Category Archives: fdfet

Three dead over 240 rescued after Philippine ferry blaze

first_imgManila: Three people were killed and over 240 plucked to safety in the southern Philippines Wednesday after a fire tore through a crowded ferry, authorities said, as rescuers hunted for more survivors. The blaze broke out before dawn as the Lite Ferry 16 was cruising to Dapitan City from Cebu, prompting some of the terrified passengers to throw themselves overboard, one witness said. It is not clear how many passengers were on the vessel, but the Philippine Coast Guard said 245 people had so far been rescued, and three confirmed dead. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US The boat’s official manifest listed just 172 passengers and crew. The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, is plagued by poor sea transport, with badly regulated boats and ships prone to overcrowding and accidents. Coast Guard spokesman Captain Armand Balilo said search and rescue operations were continuing as authorities worked to determine the exact number of people on the boat. “We have ordered the captain to explain the discrepancy,” Balilo told AFP. The ferry’s operator, Danilo Lines, said a team was deployed to assist the rescued passengers and tugboats dispatched to bring the stricken ferry back to port. Some 30 years ago another Philippine ferry, the Dona Paz, collided with an oil tanker in an accident that claimed more than 4,000 lives in the world’s worst peacetime disaster at sea.last_img read more

Conservative MPs back Sisters in Spirit database funding

first_imgBy Jorge BarreraAPTN National NewsOTTAWA-Some Conservative MPs on Thursday called for the return of federal dollars to the much-vaunted Sisters in Spirit database of murdered and missing Aboriginal women which remains in limbo after the Conservative government cut its funding.After listening to the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) tell the Commons status of women committee that the database now was dormant, the Conservative MPs said federal funding should be found to keep it going.The database, which has nearly 600 cases of murdered and missing Aboriginal women, was one of the jewels of NWAC’s Sisters in Spirit initiative which thrust the violence experience by Aboriginal women in Canada into the national and international spotlight.“Personally I think it should be kept going,” said Surrey North Conservative MP Dona Cadman, in an interview with APTN National News.“You put that much money and time and effort into something like that it is a crime to just let it fall apart and do nothing with it.”Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Conservative MP Scott Armstrong said NWAC should find a way to get funding from other departments.“I do believe there is some attributes to that database that should be supported,” said Armstrong, in an interview.“I am certainly in favour of the database, the database should be there,” said Fleetwood-Port Kells Conservative MP Nina Grewal.NWAC president Jeannette Corbiere Lavell told the committee that some women were volunteering to continue to keep Sisters in Spirit alive, but they had been unable to update the database.Corbiere Lavell said her organization was aware of 20 new cases of murders and 10 cases of missing Aboriginal women they had not been able to input. She also said there were a number of historical, unsolved cases from B.C. that the organization wanted to investigate, but couldn’t.Sisters in Spirit, which was created by the pervious Liberal government and given $5 million over five years, raised the profile of the violence faced by Aboriginal women in Canada by documenting and detailing cases of murdered and missing women.The database has also attracted the attention of police forces like the Ontario Provincial Police who sought to use of the information in their investigations. Corbier Lavell said the OPP had document only two Aboriginal murdered and missing women cases when the Sisters in Spirit database had recorded 70.The Conservative cabinet, however, decided not to renew funding and NWAC was forced to apply for money under a Status of Women Canada program that forbade the use of government dollars for research and advocacy work.Status of Women officials also informed NWAC it could not use the name Sisters in Spirit for any projects receiving additional government funding.The Conservatives then announced they would be putting $10 million toward the issue of murdered and missing Aboriginal women, but $4 million of the total would go to the RCMP to set up the national missing person’s branch which has no specific Aboriginal component.The RCMP is currently in discussions with NWAC to use some of the information in the database, according to Corbier Lavell.The rest of the money was set aside for community-based programs and victim’s services.The government, however, is expected to give NWAC about $1.8 million over the next three years for their “Evidence to Action” program to deal with violence against Aboriginal women.last_img read more

Grinding poverty faced by Manitoba First Nations worst in country Aboriginal Affairs

first_imgChinta Puxley The Canadian Press WINNIPEG–Federal government documents show Manitoba is one of the worst places for First Nations people to live in Canada.Internal reports from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development show Manitoba First Nation people are more likely to grow up in poverty, drop out of school, live off social assistance in dilapidated housing and suffer family violence.Their life expectancy is also eight years shorter than that of other Manitobans.The 10 regional updates spanning 2012 to 2014 lay out the poor living conditions on Manitoba reserves, but offer little concrete action on the part of the government.They were obtained by The Canadian Press through access-to-information legislation.“Based on the UN Human Development Index, quality of life on Manitoba First Nations ranks the lowest in Canada,” said an update dated July 2014.Another update dated from September 2013 notes that 25 per cent of First Nation children live in poverty across Canada. In Manitoba, it said, 62 per cent of aboriginal children live below the poverty line.The 2014 report also noted that, at 28 per cent, the province has the lowest high-school graduation rate for First Nations in the country.Manitoba First Nations also have the highest social assistance rates in Canada, the documents show. In some communities, 80 per cent of the population is on welfare. Just under two per cent of the population has come off social assistance and moved on to education or employment.“High levels of poverty, unemployment, domestic violence and family dysfunction are prominent adverse social conditions faced by many members of First Nations, particularly those living in remote or isolated communities,” reads the September 2013 update. “Significant gaps between the on-reserve population and the Canadian population in general continue to exist.”The 2014 report said there is less money for reserve infrastructure, because the federal government has shifted resources to education and social programs. Almost one-third of Manitoba First Nations live in reserve homes “in need of major repair” the second-highest percentage in the country.“The housing backlog, overcrowding issues, mould and inadequate condition of many of the on-reserve housing units remains a significant First Nation concern,” the update said. “Key challenges continue to include affordability, low income and high social assistance rates.”The health of Manitoba First Nations is also suffering, the documents suggest. Residents have a “higher mortality, higher incidence and prevalence of chronic diabetes,” notes the 2013 update. First Nations also experience higher family violence and suicide rates, as well as higher rates of alcohol, drug and solvent abuse, it said.“First Nations in Manitoba live eight years less than other Manitobans (the second-lowest life expectancy amongst provinces),” the update said. “First Nations in the Prairies continue to have the lowest community well-being scores, as well as the largest gaps relative to non-aboriginal communities.”None of this comes as a surprise to Chief David McDougall from the remote St. Theresa Point First Nation in northern Manitoba.McDougall listens in amazement to radio ads appealing for help for African children who are living in dilapidated homes with no running water. He shakes his head reading Canadian studies on the psychological effect of the lack of adequate housing on refugee children in the Middle East.“How come they don’t come and study the situation as is in First Nations? I know the answer to that,” he said. “They’re turning a blind eye.”The government’s regional updates estimate McDougall’s community needed 379 new homes in 2010 and project that will grow to 949 by 2020. It’s not uncommon to have up to 18 people sharing a three-bedroom bungalow on the reserve, McDougall said.The government response, flagged as “behind plan” in several updates, was to direct a steering committee to create a “sub-committee to address housing backlog.” In the meantime, McDougall said, his community and three other area reserves with a combined need for just over 1,000 homes got 12 new houses this year.“I wouldn’t even call it a drop in the bucket.”Despair grows among First Nation youth on the fly-in reserve as they see luxuries on satellite television they can only dream of, McDougall said. No one is expecting a blank cheque, he added, just some sign of interest on the part of Ottawa to work with reserves to improve the situation.“We’re trying to contribute to our own well-being. We’re not just sitting here twiddling our thumbs. They’re not really working with us.”A spokeswoman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said he was unavailable to discuss the updates or what the federal government is doing to improve living conditions for Manitoba’s reserve aboriginals. Emily Hillstrom sent an emailed statement that didn’t address the poor living conditions.“Our government believes that aboriginal peoples should have the same quality of life, the same opportunities and the same choices as all other Canadians,” she wrote before outlining legislation the government has passed such as a law that requires reserves to post their financial statements online.Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said the Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have set the clock back 30 years on aboriginal relations. The government refuses to work with First Nations to address chronic lack of safe drinking water, proper housing and basic infrastructure, he said.There are solutions out there, but First Nations can’t even get federal authorities to the table, Nepinak said.“We’ve seen indifference. We’ve seen omission. We’ve seen wilful blindness to the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls from our communities,” he said. “We’re really looking for a new government to help address some of these very significant outstanding issues.”Grand Chief David Harper, head of the organization that represents northern Manitoba First Nations, said the internal reports echo what his people have been saying for years. It feels like they are either being punished or wilfully neglected by the Conservative government, he said.“We need drastic measures. We need a plan of action of when and how we’re going to get out of this situation we’re in. We haven’t heard that at all. Period.”last_img read more

Hurricane Gustav strikes children the hardest warns UN agency

29 August 2008Hurricane Gustav has forced some 6,300 people from their homes in Haiti, where torrential rains pounded the deforested southern peninsula of the country earlier this week, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported today. Hurricane Gustav has forced some 6,300 people from their homes in Haiti, where torrential rains pounded the deforested southern peninsula of the country earlier this week, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported todayThe World Food Programme (WFP) has begun feeding those displaced by the deadly hurricane, which raged through Haiti on Wednesday, killing at least 51 people as well as destroying homes, livestock and crops.“With WFP stocks already in place, our partners on the ground have been able to begin distributing food to some of the affected families,” said WFP Country Director Myrta Kaulard.“Many people in these areas of southern Haiti already suffer from malnutrition or micronutrient deficiencies, and cannot afford this kind of upheaval,” Ms. Kaulard added.Residents of the urban cities of Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Leogane – most affected by the tropical storm – are already suffering from extreme poverty and soaring food prices are aggravating the situation.“Whenever a natural disaster such as Gustav hits the region, the consequences of its impact are amplified,” said UNICEF’s Representative in Haiti Annamaria Laurini.As an immediate response, WFP’s partners in the area are distributing rice, beans and oil to 2,000 families, and 159 people in shelters are receiving two cooked meals a day, for an initial period of four days.Nearly 45 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 18 and children are the most vulnerable to the grinding poverty, high food prices and natural disasters.UNICEF is especially concerned about the hurricane’s impact on schools. Already less than half of primary school age children in Haiti attend school, and the country can not afford to have this number further eroded. “If schools are seriously damaged or used as temporary shelter, this could seriously delay children’s return to school, which is due in about a week,” said Laurini.Media reports say Gustav has been responsible for 68 deaths so far across the Caribbean, and forecasters have indicated it could hit New Orleans and oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico next week as a category four or five hurricane, the most severe on the Saffir-Simpson scale. read more

Stocks higher BlackBerry up on Q4 results

Canadian stocks opened higher amid stronger than expected financial results from smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. and expectations that China will move to counter its economic slowdown.The S&P/TSX composite index moved ahead 58.84 points to 14,237.68, while the Canadian dollar fell 0.05 of a cent to 90.60.BlackBerry reported a loss of US$423 million or 80 cents per share for its latest quarter compared with a profit of $98 million or 19 cents per diluted share a year ago.However, excluding several one-time items, BlackBerry (TSX:BB) said it had an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $42 million or eight cents per share for the quarter. Analysts on average had expected a loss of 55 cents per share, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters. Its shares rose more than three per cent, or 32 cents, to $10.28 at the open.Wall Street was also positive as the Dow Jones industrials gained 61.08 points to 16,325.31, the Nasdaq rose 16.96 points to 4,168.19 and the S&P 500 index jumped 8.2 points to 1,857.16.Meanwhile, expectations have risen on whether more stimulus will be pumped into China, as that country saw its growth slowed to its weakest level since the financial crisis. In commodities, oil gained 80 cents to $102.08, while gold prices lost ground with the June contract faded $6.20 to US$1,288.80 an ounce. May copper rose 5 cents to US$3.04 a pound. read more

Brazils state oil company denies fuel to 2 Iranian ships

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s state oil company has refused to supply two Iranian ships anchored in the southern port of Paraná because they belong to a company sanctioned by the United States.According to a statement from Petrobras, the ships hired by an Iranian export company appear on a list of the U.S. government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.In addition, Petrobras said, the ships arrived from Iran transporting urea, which is subject to sanctions by the United States.Marcelo Silva De Sousa, The Associated Press

Delta tells Ann Coulter her insults are unacceptable

Delta tells Ann Coulter her insults are ‘unacceptable’ by The Associated Press Posted Jul 17, 2017 6:05 am MDT Last Updated Jul 17, 2017 at 11:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Delta Air Lines has pushed back at Ann Coulter after the conservative commentator berated the carrier on Twitter over a changed seat assignment.Coulter began tweeting about the episode Saturday in which she said the airline gave away an “extra room seat” she reserved before a flight from New York to Florida departed. Coulter had booked an aisle seat, but got a window seat.She joked that Delta hires people who seek to be prison guards, animal handlers or East German police. She also tweeted a photo of a woman she said took the seat she booked and labeled her “dachshund-legged.”Delta responded to Coulter on Twitter on Sunday night that it was refunding her the extra $30 she paid for her preferred seat. It added that “your insults about our other customers and employees are unacceptable and unnecessary.” In a separate statement on its website, the company called Coulter’s comments “derogatory and slanderous.”Coulter was moved to a window seat at the time of boarding as the airline was “working to accommodate several passengers with seating requests,” Delta said in the statement. Delta said that during some confusion over the assignments, a flight attendant asked everyone to move to the seats listed on their tickets. Coulter and the other passengers complied, according to the airline, and the flight departed.Coulter continued her online rant against Delta on Monday. FILE – In this Feb. 10, 2012, file photo, Ann Coulter gestures while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington. Delta pushed back at Coulter after the conservative commentator berated the carrier on Twitter over a changed seat assignment for a July 15, 2017, flight from New York to West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) read more

Police admit white powder seized during drugs bust at Gatwick airport is

Police have admitted that white powder seized during a “huge” drugs bust at Gatwick airport is actually cake mix for vegan bakery. Vegan pizza restaurant Purezza was transporting ingredients in a suitcase when a member of staff was stopped by the police on August 28.The white powder, which was divided into 25 blue bags, was sent for tests before officers accepted it was not illegal.British Transport Police said: “‘Officers were called to Gatwick Airport station at 1.34pm on August 28 after a suitcase was found containing 25 bags of powder.”Following a number of inquiries and tests, it was determined these bags of powder were cake ingredients for a vegan bakery.”They were soon reunited with the owner, who has promised officers and staff a slice of cake in return.”The restaurant, which has venues in Brighton and Camden, London, later tweeted: “Thanks for going easy on us guys! “A slab of cake all round is in order when you’re next in Brighton.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Review of Eldorados new technical report for Skouries AuCu project in Halkidiki

first_imgOn March 29, Eldorado Gold Corporation (Eldorado) and its subsidiary Hellas Gold published a new technical report for the Skouries Project located in Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece. The information and data were prepared in accordance with NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. Eldorado is an international gold mining company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Hellas Gold was acquired as part of the acquisition of European Goldfields Limited (EGL) completed in February 2012. The Skouries Project is an advance stage project with development work on process facilities and infrastructure started, but it remains on care and maintenance awaiting approval of several permits necessary to complete the development plans.The Skouries Project is a gold-copper porphyry deposit to be mined using a combination of conventional open pit and underground mining techniques. The mineral process facilities will produce doré and a gold-copper concentrate.The previous technical report on the Skouries Project was filed by EGL in July 2011. The new report updates themineral resource and mineral reserve estimate and reflects updates to the open pit and underground mining production schedules, tailings and water management designs reflecting industry best practice, and updates the operating and capital cost estimates reflecting the changes to the scope of the project. The open pit optimisation was carried out using Hexagon Mining MineSight mine planning software. The Skouries open pit is constrained by the existing EIS boundary on surface and the underground mining crown pillar, whichlimits the pit depth to 420 masl. In addition to the physical boundary constraints, the open pit design and overall size is also affected by a requirement to provide construction materials for the integrated waste managementfacility (IWMF). The mineral reserves for the open pit deposit has been evaluated at a $9.47/t NSR cutoff grade.The proven and probable mineral reserves are 59.5 Mt with an average grade of 0.56 g/t Au and 0.40% Cu. The primary grinding circuit is designed to reduce the feed ore with a particle size of 80% passing 150 mm to a product with a particle size 80% passing 120 μm. The size reduction is achieved by a two-stage wet grinding circuit comprising a SAG mill driven by variable speed motors, a ball mill (with a fixed speed motor) and a pebble crushing circuit. A gravity concentration circuit is integrated in the primary grinding circuit. The flotation is carried out in six stages: rougher, 1st cleaning, cleaner scavenger, 2nd cleaning, 3rd cleaning, additional cleaning, in order to produce a clean copper/gold concentrate. The rougher flotation circuit is comprised of a bank of ten 160 m3 cylindrical tank cells. The 1st cleaning flotation circuit is comprised of the first cleaner conditioning tank, of 50 m3 net capacity, and four 50 m3 flotation cells. The cleaner scavenger flotation circuit is comprised of six 50 m3 cells. The 2nd cleaning flotation circuit is comprised of five 10 m3 cells. The 3rd cleaning flotation circuit is comprised of four 10 m3 cells.The additional cleaning flotation circuit is comprised of four 100 m3 cells. The gold gravity concentration circuit is comprised of centrifugal FLSmidth Knelson gravity concentrators. Theprinciple of operation of the gravity concentrators is based on the difference between specific gravities of gold and other accompanying minerals, through which separation is accomplished. This circuit is comprised of three stages. The underground contribution to mineral reserves has been evaluated at a diluted NSR cut-off of $33.33/t, incorporating 5% unplanned diluting material by weight that is assumed to carry no metal value, and assuming an overall mining recovery of 95%. The mineral reserves for the underground deposit has been estimated to be 98.2Mt with an average grade of 0.84 g/t Au and 0.55% Cu. The Skouries Project is designed as a two phase mining operation. Phase 1 consists of a combined open pit and underground mine, operating over 10 years. Phase 2 consists of mining from the underground mine for a further13 years. The total life of mine (LOM) is 23 years. Open pit mining will be by conventional truck-shovel operation.Based on the modelled rock types, approximately 17% of the mined material is amenable to free digging, this material will not require blasting. Direct feed ore from the open pit will be hauled to the Skouries processing plantby the owner operated fleet of 90 t trucks. During Phase 1 a portion of oxide ores will be hauled to the oxide orestockpile (OOS) where it is planned to be re-handled during the Phase 2 of the Project. Waste material will be hauled to a transfer point adjacent to the OOS by the 90 t trucks where it will be re-handled by a fleet of smaller contractor trucks and placed in one of the material management structures within the IWMF. There is no separate waste rockdump, all waste material will be utilised for construction of structures within the IWMF. The number of haulage units was determined by calculating cycle times in RPMGlobal Talpac using annual haul cycle profiles from Hexagon MineSight. Haul simulations were carried out based on the designated 90 t haul trucks and the smaller 60 t, 40 t and 15 t contractor trucks.The Skouries orebody that extends below the bottom of the open pit is amenable to a bulk underground mining methods and has been evaluated under several different design approaches since the late 1990s including block caving, SLC and SLOS. SLOS has been confirmed as the most appropriate underground mining method for the Project and was incorporated into the EIS/JMD approval in 2011. Standard stope dimensions of 65 m high x 30 m long x 15 m wide in porphyry, and 65 m high x 20 m long x 15 m wide for primary stope design in schist can be realised. Production stopes will be backfilled with cemented paste fill. The stoping methodology is the same for both Phase 1 and Phase 2. Two test stopes have been planned to provide proof of concept for the 60 m high x 15 m wide x 30 m long basic stoping units in both porphyry and potassic schist rock types. All levels in both phases have similar designs. Peripheral development ring-drives will provide access to all sides of the orebody. Ore drives for stope extraction will traverse the orebody on 15 m centres, developed incrementally to meet the production schedule and mining sequence. Both ramps are planned to be used to haul ore, with the orebody divided into East and West in order to maintain a stope extraction sequence from the center out. The material handling strategy for Phase 1 is based on truck haulage of ROM ore directly to surface from the loading bays via a dual ramp system. The blasted production ore from the stopes will be loaded into haul trucks by LHDs at remuck/loading points off the production level U-drives. Ore is then hauled by trucks to the surface and will be crushed on surface by the same crusher that processes the open pit ore. The maximum rate at which material can be moved to surface is constrained by the number of haulage trucks that can use the ramps simultaneously with other equipment that also use the ramps. This volume of material must also account for development activities generated from the Phase 2, which must begin in Year 4. The Phase 2 materials handling will involve shaft hoisting of ore to surface. Shaft hoisting is critical to enable a ramp up to the maximum production of 6.4 Mt/y from the Phase 1 production of 2.5 Mt/y. During Phase 2, all stope ore and possibly some development ore will be hoisted to surface via the shaft. Development waste will continue to be trucked to surface via the dual ramp system, but these quantities are expected to be minimal. The use of ore and waste passes within the underground mine is not planned and no provision is made to hoist waste rock to surface.In order to hoist the ore to the surface ROM ore will have to be crushed underground. The materials handling will include ROM and fine ore bins and underground crushing. The blasted production ore from the stopes will be loaded into haul trucks by LHDs at remuck/loading points off the production level U-drives. Ore is then hauled by trucks to one of two ROM bin dump pockets accessed from the 50 Level or directly to one of two crusher dump pocket on the -10 Level. The coarse ore bin dump pockets are each equipped with a grizzly and rock breaker, the crusher tipping points are equipped with a stationary rock breaker. The production hoist will be a multi-rope friction hoist and has been rated to have 25% excess hoisting capacity in line with all other fixed underground mine plant. The hoist will be operated in fully automated mode apart from maintenance or emergencies.last_img read more

Piotr Wyszomirski to Pick Szeged

Polish NT goalkeeper  Piotr Wyszomirski (26) has signed two years contract (2+1) with Pick Szeged. Hungarian vice-champion reacted quickly after “NO.1” Roland Mikler signed deal with MKB MVM Veszprem and found replacement from the third team of the domestic Championship, Csurgoi KK. Wyszomirski is member of the Polish NT. He played at Men’s EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark alongside legendary Slawomir Szmal. He also played in Azoty Pulawy and Gdansk. ← Previous Story MVM FINAL 4: Who will fight for the trophy? Next Story → VIDEO: CRAZY GOAL by Norwegian youngstar handball transferPick SzegedPiotr Wyszomirski

Forget flashing the cashwere all paying with plastic these days

first_imgIrish people are now very comfortable making everyday purchases with cardsNew payment technology like contact-less payments makes it easier for small purchasesThe migration of many Laser cards to the Visa Debit schemeWhat’s coming?Visa Europe plans to roll out a few new technologies in the next year, such as Visa Personal Payments and by Visa.Visa Personal Payments is a service on your mobile that enables anyone with a Visa card to send money from their smart phone to another person using just their mobile number.AIB recently launched an app, called Me2U, using the Visa Personal Payments mobile by Visa is a digital wallet that we access online and it takes out the need to enter card numbers, expiry dates, etc every time we want to make an online purchase. It is expected to launch here near the end of this year.Man writes own credit card contract, sues bank for breaking it>Disposable income on the rise but 1/3 rely on credit card to make ends meet> OUR PLASTIC FRIEND (or foe, or ‘frenemy’) is certainly a popular payment option in Ireland these days with last year’s spend breaking all previous records.The annual expenditure on Visa cards (debit, credit and prepaid) was more than €21 billion last year, an 83 per cent increase on 2012 expenditure.According to Visa Europe, which announced the figures today, this means that out of every €4 spent by Irish consumers last year, €1 of that was on a Visa card.Cold hard cash no more?The annual results for the year ending 30 September 2013 show a 45.3 per cent increase in the average number of transactions per card.Over that time Visa Europe says “there were 358,173,000 Visa card transactions in Ireland, a 113.6 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure”.So what’s making the plastic so darn popular? Visa Europe reckons it’s down to a few key reasons, including;last_img read more

Microsoft lowers Windows Phone hardware requirements

first_imgIf you ever wondered why the original Windows Phone 7 devices all bore such similar hardware, it was due to Microsoft’s own rules. With the release of Windows Phone 7.5 and an eye on invading emerging markets, Microsoft wants retail prices to drop dramatically — and it has revised the hardware rules to help make that happen.Back when the platform was taking shape, a Windows Phone device had to feature a 4-point capacitive display at 480×800 pixels, one of three Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, a DirectX 9 compatible GPU, 256MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. There also had to be a rear-facing camera of at least 5 megapixels, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and FM radio tuner. Last but not least were the hardware buttons: a half dozen to perform operations like searching, returning to the start screen, adjusting volume, and firing up the camera.But with Microsoft hoping to leverage Nokia‘s popularity in less smartphone-friendly regions, their new guidelines offer a bit more flexibility. The biggest shift is that cameras — both front and rear  — are now optional. The integration of a compass and gyroscope are also left up to the individual manufacturer. Those two omissions won’t offer significant cost savings to manufacturers, as they’re sub-$2 components.  The camera pairing could yield somewhere between $15 and $20 in savings.That’s not going to make a big dent in a $500 price tag, but every dollar counts. With other ARM processors now starting to pop up in Windows Phone devices, increased competition on that front will also help drive prices down. Microsoft and Nokia probably have some other surprises in store that will help make Windows Phones more accessible, but we’ll have to wait and see exactly what they are. Perhaps today’s event in New York will provide some insight.More at WP Central and MSDNlast_img read more

Investigation after thieves use digger to steal ATM from Fermanagh filling station

first_img Image: PSNI Investigation after thieves use digger to steal ATM from Fermanagh filling station There have been a number of similar thefts in recent months. Sunday 24 Mar 2019, 10:39 AM 16,943 Views By Cónal Thomas Share114 Tweet Email1 24 Comments Short URL Image: PSNI Mar 24th 2019, 10:39 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article DETECTIVES IN CO Fermanagh are investigating after an ATM machine was stolen from a filling station in Irvinestown this morning. Police have said the thieves used a digger to remove the ‘built in’ cash machine from a filling station on the Dromore Road at around 4:05am, causing extensive damage to the building.“We believe the culprits used a trailer to remove the ATM from the scene,” Detective Sergeant Brian Reid has said. “We also believe the digger was stolen from grounds under development nearby.”The digger was set alight at the scene immediately after the ATM machine was stolen. Detectives are now investigating whether this morning’s theft is linked to a number of similar ATM thefts in border counties. Police have appealed to anyone who may have been in the area between 3.30am and 4.10am. last_img read more

Viewer numbers for 4/20 WWE RAW, viewers see an increase

first_imgFacebook Twitter Kim Kardashian ‘Got in Trouble’ With Kanye For Daughter North Wearing Makeup Now Playing Up Next Pinterest Last night’s 4/20 WWE RAW drew an average audience of 4.04 million viewers on Monday night. The first hour drew 4.11 million viewers, the second hour drew 4.14 million viewers and the third hour closed out the night with 3.87 million viewers.This is up from last week’s show that drew 3.67 million viewers.Source: Showbuzzdaily.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipKim Kardashian ‘Got in Trouble’ With Kanye For Daughter North Wearing MakeupVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:31/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:27 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey Launching ‘Office’ Podcast Exclusive Interviews – Oscars buzz is rising at the Toronto Film Fest Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next Now Playing Up Next WhatsAppcenter_img Now Playing Up Next Kanye West Rachel Bloom announces pregnancy following Emmy win WWE RAW Preview: King of the Ring Final Match, Fallout from WWE Clash of Champions Videos Articles RuPaul plans to continue hosting Drag Race ‘indefinitely’ Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+ Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11last_img read more

US rules clarify incentive levels for wellness programmes

first_imgThe US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final rules clarifying how Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to workplace wellness programmes that offer incentives and request personal health information from employees and their spouses.This follows proposed rules in 2015 to address the issue as to whether offering an incentive to employees and dependents for the provision of health information undermines the voluntary status of corporate wellbeing programmes.Under the final ADA rule, wellness programmes that are part of a group health plan and ask questions about employees’ health or include medical examinations, may offer incentives of up to 30% of the total cost of self only coverage.The ADA rule requires all wellness programmes that obtain employee medical information to be voluntary, regardless of whether they are part of a group plan. Employers may not require employees to participate and cannot deny access to health coverage to employees who choose not to participate.Employers must also provide a notice to staff to explain what medical information will be obtained, how it will be used, and who will receive it.The final GINA ruling states that the maximum incentive permitted for a spouse’s participation may not exceed 30% of the cost of self only coverage. No incentives are allowed in exchange for current or past heath information of employees’ children or for specified genetic information of the employee and their family.This rule applies where a portion of the incentive offered is for an employees’ spouse to answer questions about their health or to undertake a medical examination.GINA also applies to all wellness programmes, whether or not they form part of a group health plan.Both final rules include data protection safeguards. Information from wellness programmes can only be disclosed to employers on an aggregate basis and employers cannot require employees or their families to agree to the sale, exchange, transfer or disclosure of health information to participate in a wellness programme or receive an incentive.The final rules will come into effect in 2017. Jenny Yang, chair at EEOC, said: “The EEOC received comments on both rules from a broad array of stakeholders and considered them carefully in developing this final rule. The commission worked to harmonise the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) goal of allowing incentives to encourage participation in wellness programmes with ADA and GINA provisions that require that participation in certain types of wellness programmes is voluntary. These rules make clear that the ADA and GINA provide important safeguards to employees to protect against discrimination.”last_img read more

Asteroids are much harder to destroy than scientists originally thought

first_imgThe options are limited. SCIEPRO Nuking an asteroid out of the sky to protect the Earth is great fodder for the silver screen. However, new research suggests that simply blowing up a threatening space rock may not save us quite as simply as we might hope. Scientists find rogue asteroids roaming our solar system often — just last month they discovered yet another one that could (maybe) strike the Earth. One of the ways to deal with these potential threats is to impact them, knocking them off course. NASA is currently planning an asteroid redirect mission where it’ll send a kamikaze spacecraft into the moonlet of an asteroid known as Didymos, barreling into the rock to shoo it away.Yet we haven’t had a lot of opportunities to study asteroids up close, so we can’t appreciate exactly how they are structured or how they might be destroyed. It has been believed that bigger asteroids may be easier to destroy because they would be more likely to have cracks and weaknesses that make them easy to blow apart. Thus, if an asteroid were to threaten our peaceful existence, what should we do?”Are we better off breaking it into small pieces, or nudging it to go a different direction? And if the latter, how much force should we hit it with to move it away without causing it to break?” asks Charles El Mir, lead author on the study, in a press release. Those questions are exactly what he and a team at Johns Hopkins University set out to answer.In the simulation, an asteroid splits apart but is pulled back together by the effect of gravity. This animation is sped up — this phase occurs over many hours. Johns Hopkins University/YouTube Their findings, published in an upcoming issue of the journal Icarus, are based on computer simulations of asteroid impacts. They plugged in parameters that digitally recapitulated a small asteroid, about 1 kilometer wide, impacting a large asteroid, about 25 times bigger, while travelling at 5 kilometers per second.A previous model had shown that the large asteroid was obliterated by this type of collision — but the Johns Hopkins team found an entirely different endgame. According to their modelling, the asteroid would greatly fracture in the fractions of a second after an impact.Over the hours after an impact though, the team showed the large asteroid broke apart into smaller pieces but wasn’t entirely obliterated as previous research had shown. The fragments that flew off the asteroid were then pulled back together by the damaged asteroid core, due to the overwhelming effect of gravity.Thanks, gravity.”We used to believe that the larger the object, the more easily it would break, because bigger objects are more likely to have flaws,” said El Mir. “Our findings, however, show that asteroids are stronger than we used to think and require more energy to be completely shattered.”The strength of the asteroid to resist such an impact allows it to preserve its gravitational pull, which could wreak havoc if we were to blindly fire rockets at an incoming rock. Understanding these interactions better prepare us for the decisions that will have to be made, should an asteroid be set on colliding with the Earth.Originally published March 6 at 7:13 p.m. PTUpdate, March 7 at 1:15 a.m.: Clarifies earlier experiment. Share your voice 1 Commentcenter_img Tags Sci-Techlast_img read more

Learning to Code Just a Flick Swish Away With Harry PotterThemed Kit

first_img Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry may not be real. But, thanks to a partnership between Kano and Warner Bros., your dream of becoming a sorcerer can be.The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit—the first official HP-themed STEM product—includes a build-it-yourself wireless wand and more than 70 challenges inspired by the wizarding world.Honestly, assembling your wand and downloading the connected mobile app sound a lot less fun than visiting Diagon Alley and shopping at Ollivander’s. But I’ll take what I can get.Made from gyroscopes, accelerometers, and magnetometers instead of wood and magical substances, the plastic wand tracks your hand movement and acts as an on-screen cursor. Users can also code its light and rumble pack.The companion Kano application features challenges across six iconic settings, including Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and The Forbidden Forest (*shudders*).Creative challenges help mask the educational aspects (coding fundamentals and basic programming concepts) with enchanted activities (making serpents slither, toads transfigure, and feathers float).Be still my blue-and-bronze Ravenclaw heart.“We’re surrounded by technology in our homes, workplaces, and pockets, yet only a small percent of people—less than 1 percent of 1 percent—understand the happenings behind the screen,” Kano CEO Alex Klein said in a statement.The Kickstarter success story launched its first computer-and-coding kit, powered by the pint-sized Raspberry Pi, for $150 in 2014. Over the years, Kano’s product library has grown to include the LEGO-like Pixel Kit light board, Motion Sensor Kit, and the $250 Computer Kit Complete.Kano, bringing houses together since 2014 (via Kano)Its latest release takes users on a journey from home to Hogwarts and beyond, with a poster of classic spell motions (Incendio, Stupefy, Wingardium LeviOsa, etc.), plus stickers inspired by the wizarding world.“The Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit is a truly unique product that will spark imagination and creativity while demonstrating to users the remarkable possibilities of coding,” according to Julian Montoya, senior vice president of Global Toys.Pre-order the Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit—compatible with iOS and Android tablets, as well as Microsoft and Mac computers—for $99.99. The set hits worldwide shelves on Oct. 1.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target Geek Pick: DJI RoboMaster S1 Is an Educational Land DroneLego’s New Boost Coding Kits Let You Build and Control R2-D2 last_img read more

Although Trump and

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religion or tribe, which is the essence of universal health coverage. read more

Gilmanjust an annou

Gilman,just an announcement if the looming numbers game isn’t in his favour. In a statement to TIME, She had moved with her family to a nearby village.

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Vernon says Ralph Waldo Emerson may have offered the best advice when it comes to making and keeping close pals: "The only way to have a friend is to be one. read more