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first_imgCALGARY — A sense of calm comes over Nikki Pike when she’s with her three hens Nugget, Nibble and Noodle.The Calgary woman has had anxiety and depression since she was sexually abused as a girl. Spending time with backyard chickens provided a safe haven during that traumatic time, and the mental link between the birds and peaceful feelings has followed her into adulthood.“When I’m holding them, I’m feeling, I’m smelling, I’m hearing,” she says. “What calms me down is all of those sensory aspects of being with them.”Pike is working to formally register her “girls” as livestock emotional support animals under a new city program. In December 2017, a complaint prompted the city to investigate her backyard chicken coop.“I was worried that somebody was going to come and take them away,” she recalls. “That’s incredibly stressful on top of my already crazy life that involves a lot of anxiety.”Pike urged the city to amend its pet bylaw to allow animals normally found on farms into urban homes for mental-health purposes. Council voted to make the change last fall.Pike is happy the city has recognized her chickens’ importance to her mental health — and that the bylaw takes into account animal welfare and effects on neighbours.Pike’s hens spend most of their time in a heated coop decked out with disco balls, but they come inside at night for cuddles and treats. Her two sons, eight and six, like to read them bedtime stories.Chickens are more affectionate and show more personality than people realize, says Pike.“They will hop up on you and demand snuggles.” To get a permit, an applicant must provide a letter from a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist stating an animal is needed to treat a mental-health condition. Many websites will provide a boilerplate letter for a fee. But Aalika Kohli, a business and policy analyst for the city, says those won’t do.“The process is pretty robust to ensure there are no loopholes.”The city must be satisfied the animal has adequate space and that there’s contact information for a veterinarian who can provide specialized care. An alternate home for the animal must also be lined up.The city has not received any applications since its online portal opened in March, but Kohli says she’s expecting five to 10 a year.She thinks most applications will be for chickens, pot-bellied pigs and miniature horses. Larger animals, like cows, would probably require too much space, but Kohli says each application will be weighed case by case.Strathmore, east of Calgary, is the only other jurisdiction the city found with a similar bylaw. An exception there was made for a family with a pot-bellied pig.  In 2014, Trevor Dahl and his family convinced Strathmore’s town council to allow Chuckles, a pot-bellied pig, into their home.The Dahls had taken in Chuckles as a rescue a few years earlier, but were told he couldn’t stay. Dahl says the pig was a big help to his daughter, then 10, who had been having nightmares after a large fire on their street.“As soon as he started sleeping through the night, she started sleeping through the night, too,” he says.The Dahls have since moved to a more rural area where county officials have no problem with Chuckles and another pig named Fairie as long as they’re not a nuisance.Unlike service animals — such as dogs that help blind people get around — emotional support animals don’t need training.Dahl took Chuckles to be trained in Edmonton anyway to bolster the case before Strathmore’s town council. The course was a breeze for the pig, he says.Dahl believes municipalities should regulate pot-bellied pigs the same as cats or dogs. They’re clean and quiet, but their sharp minds do need to be kept occupied with games and toys to keep them out of trouble.“They are more loyal than a dog. They’re incredibly intelligent. They’re extremely affectionate.”Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Presslast_img read more


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first_imgTORONTO — Three former students of a prestigious Toronto private school have pleaded guilty in a sex assault scandal that rocked the institution. The teens, who attended St. Michael’s College School, each pleaded guilty to one count of sex assault with a weapon and one count of assault with a weapon.One of the teens also pleaded guilty to making child pornography.Police launched an investigation last fall after a video that captured an alleged sexual assault on the school’s campus was shared on social media.Seven students were charged with assault and sexual assault offences that related to three incidents involving members of one of the school’s football teams.Four of the students charged were expelled and three withdrew from the school in the wake of the allegations.This report by the Canadian Press was first published on Oct. 3, 2019.The Canadian Presslast_img read more


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first_imgVICTORIA, B.C. – The provincial government wants to make B.C. drivers pay ICBC premiums that more fairly reflect the risk they represent on the roads.ICBC‘s current rate structure is more than 30 years old. It is built around ensuring the vehicle rather than the driver and allows discounts to drivers despite multiple crashes.The structure has resulted in British Columbians with crash-free, clean driving records subsidizing bad drivers, including those with multiple accidents. B.C. Attorney General David Eby explained the submission ICBC is making to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) will include revenue-neutral proposals aimed at levelling that playing field. “We want to modernize ICBC so that British Columbians pay according to their crash history, driving records and level of risk, and take responsibility for their driving habits,” said Eby.  “It’s only fair.”“Right now, the system is broken. A driver with no crashes could be paying the same premium as a driver with three at-fault crashes in a year. We heard from British Columbians that their insurance rates need to be fair and we agree. Good drivers shouldn’t have to continue paying more to cover the costs for those who cause crashes or present a higher risk on our roads.”The proposed changes align with the feedback the government received from nearly 35,000 British Columbians on how to make insurance fair. Proposed changes to basic insurance include: Moving to a driver-based model, so that at-fault crashes are tied to the driver and not the person who owns the vehicle.Increasing insurance discounts for drivers with up to 40 years of driving experience, up from the current limit of nine years.New discounts available for vehicles with original, manufacturer-installed automatic emergency braking technology and for vehicles driven less than 5,000 kilometres per year.Basic insurance discounts for inexperienced drivers will be adjusted to better reflect their risk.At-fault crashes will have a larger impact on the premium a driver pays.Rate classes and territories data will be updated for the first time in more than 10 years to reflect significant changes in traffic density, population growth and changes in the urban infrastructure.An increase to the Driver Penalty Point (DPP) and Driver Risk Premium (DRP) programs of 20% in fall 2018 and 20% in fall 2019, as previously announced.“The changes we are proposing are the most significant updates to how ICBC‘s basic insurance premiums are set in more than 30 years,” said ICBC’s Board Chair Joy MacPhail. “When British Columbians were asked for their feedback on this topic, one message came out loud and clear, lower-risk drivers shouldn’t be paying the same as some high-risk drivers.”As part of these changes, ICBC is proposing a “transition cap” that limits how much the premium can change annually based on a customer’s driving record and at-fault crash history. Most customers will fully transition to their new basic premium within three years under the proposed changes.The B.C. government has directed ICBC to file an application with the BCUC by Aug. 15, 2018. Subject to approval, the changes would come into effect September 2019. Separately, the government has also directed ICBC to move the timing of its basic insurance rate application to the BCUC from late August to December to align any rate change with the other product changes already announced.last_img read more


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Rabat – The 21st annual New York Sephardic Film Festival opened on March 5 with a focus on Morocco. The featured performance involved the Grammy-nominated group Innov Gnawa summoning the spirits of Shabbat with the Israeli Sephardic jazz musician Itamar Borochov; for the third year in a row, this cultural exchange happened thanks to the partnership with the Mimouna Association, a grassroots Moroccan organization which introduces Jewish culture to Muslim university students.Gnawa music, which arose out of musical traditions of black Moroccans, and was adopted and adapted by Jews for post-Shabbat gatherings that would go on all night, is a novelty for most American Jews, even those who are familiar with the more general Moroccan musical tradition and who have had the occasion to see Gnawa groups perform all over Morocco.The novelty of the beautiful costumes, and the creative fusion of the  Gnawa songs with  Itamar Borochov’s jazz performance should come as no surprise thanks to Morocco’s rich mosaic of cultures, and encouragement not of mere coexistence, but curiosity and mutual exploration of each other’s traditions by the people from various backgrounds – Arab, Amazigh, Jewish, black tribes from other African regions who have since added their touch to Morocco’s diversity. Already famous for preserving its multifaceted cultural identity at home, Morocco is also leading by example among other MENA countries. Morocco’s leadership manifests in two ways: through the impact, its own culture has in other countries, and second, by promoting peace and good relations with other states through cultural exchanges and participation in other events.Moroccan communities are strong and active in many European countries, but they are also making an impact in the United States. In New York, for instance, a community movement called Moroccan Americans in New York, led by Simo Elaissaoui, who was recognized at the Opening Night for his contribution to the monthly Jewish and Moroccan social networking dinners, is now an NGO that is working together to build bridges between the Moroccan American community in New York and other groups, including American Jewish professionals, as well as doing broad cultural outreach by introducing Moroccan culture to the diversity of the busy city life.Despite being thousands of miles away from Morocco, the community spirit, values, and connection to their culture is strong and carries the message of openness and warmth wherever these communities settle. For that reason, Moroccans are also successful messengers of peace and bridgebuilding wherever they go.  In fact, this year, American Sephardi Federation, which is the organizer of the film festival, made history by successfully nominating two young Moroccan filmmakers to the Jerusalem Film Festival study program. They will spend 6-8 weeks learning and shooting short films in Israel over the summer. The films will then be presented at the next NY Sephardic Film festival in 2019. Moreover, the opening ceremony, held in the spirit of Moroccan tolerance, honored the Golden Globe-winning Franco-Tunisian director Said Ben Said with a Pomegranate Award for Moral Courage in response to his valiant stand against Jew-hatred in the Arab world.Mr. Ben Said, in a conversation, explained that his strong opposition to anti-Semitism arose as he grew up as a minority in France, and came to feel a sense of solidarity with other such groups, including Jews. He made it clear that he views much of the hatred aimed at Israel not as a form of support for Palestinian aspirations to statehood, or empathy for their suffering (for there is no mass outrage about the fate of the Palestinians trapped in refugee camps in Syria, for instance), but rather, hatred of Jewish presence in the Middle East. In his acceptance speech, he quoted Kafka’s response on that issue, which compared Zionism to a caravan peacefully sojourning to its destination. Kafka contrasted it with the virulent forms of extreme and ethnocentric European nationalism which contributed to the major wars plaguing the 20th century. Some would say, that such a presentation was political and therefore controversial. However, Morocco had sent an official representative to be at the event, who, along with officials from a number of other countries, correctly understood Ben Said’s message – political disputes, however, heated, should be settled without besmirching entire nations with hateful and defamatory messaging, nor should political conflicts between governments be an impediment to cultural exchanges between their peoples.Among MENA states, Morocco, again, is a leader in underscoring that cultural and athletic exchanges are not a place to resolve external political issues, but rather moments of bonding, learning, and friendly competition. In an inspiring lesson of true sportsmanship that places merit above propaganda and political agendas, Morocco hosted a world championship tournament in judo in Agadir, where two Israelis won medals. A female judoka took home the gold, and was allowed to display the Israeli national flag, while the Israeli anthem:”HaTikvah” played during the ceremony. This event is monumental, because it showed Morocco’s growing leadership, strength, and security as a rising star in Africa and an increasingly influential MENA country.Strong countries need not be afraid of athletes and other non-political figures visiting, partaking in cultural events – and even taking the risk of winning under their own flags, even when the governments of these countries are in dispute over some issue of considerable importance. The role of athletic events is precisely in overcoming such barriers. Nor should athletes who happen to be living in a particular state should be penalized for the actions of their governments.  Athletic competitions are the healthiest outlets for aggressive energy; just as cultural exchanges are much more preferrable fora to discuss controversial ideas than never-ending political battles, where all sides are compelled to play to public expectations of their constituents and agenda-driven groups, rather than to humanize one another and come to any sort of understanding. By refusing to boycott such events, or even hosting them, Morocco is accomplishing something important not just for herself but for all MENA countries looking to overcome past and present issues in dealing with each other, and sorting out various problems. It is setting an example of separating ideas from the people who carry them. That ability is what defines moderation, and what is unthinkable to extremists.Blind hatred has never led to any resolutions of conflicts, any improvements in human rights, any growth in understanding. On the contrary, inability to view individual members of any particular group as individual human beings with motivations, aspirations, and interests apart from the larger goals of that group have only fueled continuous problems and separation. Engaging in a discussion or an exchange does not mean acceptance or agreement with any political agenda, or for that matter, any particular paradigm or idea. Yet for too long, conflicts in MENA have turned into total wars, which, rather than focusing on separating the politics from the human endeavors, conflated conflcts with complete dehumanization of all participants, sowing distrust, bigotry, and fear.Morocco’s willingness to take steps which go far beyond what some of its neighors are willing to do, at a risk of raising eyebrows, is the only pragmatic solution to move past the endless and self-fulfilling need to nod to the public expectations and appearances and actually lead not only its own society, but all others hampered by misgivings and uncertainty, into a better direction. In essence, these steps have carved out a room where discussion of even the most controversial subjects is permissible, where openness to engage directly sets the tone for potential resolutions and creative ideas rather than talking past one another, and where the natural curiosity inherent to all human beings can finally satisfy itself through knowledge, learning, and experience rather than through rumors, conspiracy theories, fantasies, and distortions. We should be under no illusion that there is a quick fix to all of the current impediments to peaceful coexistence within MENA. There are far too many factors, issues, and questions to be addressed, too many decades of disinformation, misinformation, and accumulated biases.  However, the sowing of the seeds for growth is that first step that can bring about a journey of discovery and exploration, that will eventually lead to more and more people of various backgrounds coming together to resolve these issues rather than use them as weapons to perpetuate misunderstandings and tensions.There was, however, one magic ingredient that should not be forgotten before any such serious discussion.Moroccans know that secret well, and for that reason, their efforts in coexistence have been so successful.That secret is… plenty of good food and laughter. Before entering the auditorium to listen to all the speeches,  we ate copious amounts of delicious Moroccan food, drank Moroccan tea, partook in henna decorations, flaunted caftans, and mingled in a relaxed setting – meeting each other, talking, laughing, taking pictures, and seeing incredible opportunities for a rich, fascinating, and joyous future together.Only after we were satiated and not a crumb was left, did we get to the presentations. And it went very well.The lesson in that, of course, is first – if you want a great event, make sure to invite Moroccans. Not only will they show up, and be present in every moment, but you will have plenty to talk about and remember for years to come.And… never engage in any serious discussions or controversies on an empty stomach. Moroccans know that, and for that reason, they lead the way. Full people are happy people, and happy people make things happen. Moroccan opening night was a spectacular success thanks to its many partners – Association Mimouna, the Consulate General of Morocco in New York, and of course, Morocco Tourism Office… and it was but just one of the many more great events to come. Now when people hear Morocco, they no longer ask me about safety issues or express fear… they are starting to think of good food, of great music, of natural diversity, and of openness… and they want to come back for much more. read more


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SAN FRANCISCO — Google is making a $1 billion commitment to address the soaring price of housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, a problem that the internet company and its Silicon Valley peers helped create as the technology industry hired tens of thousands of high-paid workers.The pledge announced Tuesday by Google CEO Sundar Pichai consists of a $250 million investment fund and $750 million of company-owned land that will be used to build at least 15,000 homes that will include low- and mid-income housing.Google is lending a helping hand as it draws up plans to expand into sprawling offices beyond its headquarters in Mountain View, California. That suburban city of roughly 80,000 people has been swamped with affluent tech workers since Google moved there shortly after its 1998 inception.The Associated Press read more


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30 November 2011The United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees said today it has formed a partnership with a renowned architect to build 20 environmentally-friendly schools in the Gaza Strip. The blueprint for the “environmental zero impact” schools to be built by UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in partnership with award-winning architect Mario Cucinella, renowned for green architectural design and technology, will be showcased at the ongoing UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.“This project is a first for UNRWA, which we hope will lead to the creation of environmentally friendly schools in the five areas where we work,” said Filippo Grandi, the UNRWA Commissioner-General. Such schools will also be built in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria in future, he said.“We teach half a million students throughout the Middle East region. UNRWA is grateful to the Kuwait Fund, which is funding the pilot school through the Islamic Development Bank. We hope that all donors will come forward as this exciting initiative moves ahead,” Mr. Grandi added.At a cost of $2 million – about the same cost of building a regular UNRWA school – the schools will provide educational facilities for 800 students each in an atmosphere conducive to the highest levels of academic achievement, according to the agency. The schools are self-sustaining in water and energy.The aim is to promote high academic standards within the schools, while creating greater awareness and respect for the environment outside. read more


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Friends, family, and residents of Charlottesville remembered Heather Heyer Wednesday. CNN’s Omar Jimenez reports.


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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Members of a small but defiant group are pledging to keep protesting the Site C hydroelectric project in northeastern British Columbia, despite being ordered off the land.They set up a camp on Dec. 31, when BC Hydro and Power Authority issued an eviction notice while pressing ahead with land clearing for the controversial $9-billion dam.The Crown corporation gave protesters 24 hours to leave the area known as Rocky Mountain Fort, on the south bank of the Peace River, just a few kilometres south of Fort St. John.It warned that BC Hydro personnel will remove all contents of the camp and deliver it to RCMP but such action had not been taken by Monday afternoon.Verena Hofmann, a Peace River Valley resident who was at the encampment over the weekend, said contractors appear ready to begin logging a three-kilometre region that is First Nations territory.“We’ve just heard that equipment has started up. It looks like they are intending to keep on cutting,” she said on the phone from Fort St. John. “Treaty 8 First Nation people are holding their ground and are not moving from the site, so things are intensifying and changing quickly.”Hofmann said demonstrators believe BC Hydro has no right to force them off the land in the midst of ongoing legal challenges involving Site C.Several court cases raise major concerns about the potential impact of flooding from the creation of a new lake on the Peace River and the surrounding valley during construction of the dam.She said upward of about five people at a time are occupying the west side of the mouth of the Moberly River in rotating shifts. First Nations people and other landowners are staying in a small cabin that was flown to the bank, as well as a hunting tent, she said.It takes about 30 minutes to walk or less by snow machine to reach an area where contractors are set up, she said.“There is no physical structure blockading BC Hydro’s construction, it’s individual people approaching them and reasonably and respectfully pleading with them to cease construction.”Local people are trying to protect the land — significant because it contains swaths of old-growth boreal forest — until court proceedings run their full course, Hofmann said.She said the group has asked that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassess the environmental approval granted for the project by the former Conservative government, in conjunction with the B.C. government.A spokesman for Site C project said the utility will continue to monitor the situation and is evaluating “all options.”“BC Hydro respects the right of all individuals to peacefully protest and express their opinions about Site C in a safe and lawful manner,” Craig Fitzsimmons, the manager of communications and issues management, said in an email.“We are hopeful this can be resolved. We are in discussions with the protesters and local authorities to allow us to resume construction activities.”The Rocky Mountain Fort was established in 1794 by the North West Company as a fur trading post and is the site of the earliest settler post in mainland B.C.The dam will be the third on the Peace River, creating an 83-kilometre-long reservoir that’s slated to power up to 450,000 homes a year.BC Hydro announced in mid-December that a consortium of three companies will be paid about $1.75 billion to build the largest components of the Site C development over the next eight years.— By Tamsyn Burgmann in Vancouver— Follow @TamsynBurgmann on Twitter Protesters are defying an eviction notice from BC Hydro as the Crown utility presses ahead with land clearing around the Site C hydroelectric project along the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Verena Hoffmann BC Hydro orders protesters off land slated for logging near Site C dam by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 4, 2016 1:14 pm MDT Last Updated Jan 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more


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“Timor-Leste is undoubtedly the leading example of the importance of an order based on international law. Next year, our Nation celebrates the 20th anniversary of the popular consultation organized by the United Nations, in which our people voted courageously for the independence,” she said on the last day of the Assembly’s seventy-third annual general debate.Speaking on behalf of Dionisio Baba Soares, Timor-Leste’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, she stressed the UN’s continuing beneficial role in her country’s affairs with the resolution this year of a maritime conflict with Australia, holding it up as an example for other countries.“Recently, the United Nations played again a major role in Timor-Leste’s future. For the first time, a Conciliation Commission, established in 2016 under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), succeeded in the positive resolution of a longstanding dispute between Timor-Leste and Australia about the definition of maritime boundaries,” she added.“This new [Maritime Boundary] treaty allowed us to consolidate national sovereignty and establish an important model for the peaceful resolution of international disputes. In a time of increasing global geopolitical tensions over maritime disputes, the success of the first conciliation process in history assume an unprecedented international significance.“Timor-Leste encourages other State Members to consider this mechanism for the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes. We believe that this mechanism will play an important role in appeasing global tensions on our seas.”Full statement available here. read more


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Virginia (7-5, Atlantic Coast Conference) vs. South Carolina (7-5, Southeastern Conference), Dec. 29, noon EST.LOCATION: Charlotte, North CarolinaTOP PLAYERSVirginia: QB Bryce Perkins, 2,472 yards passing, 22 TDs passing; 842 yards rushing, nine TDs rushing.South Carolina: WR Deebo Samuel. 882 yards receiving, 11 touchdowns.NOTABLEVirginia: Averaged 170.3 yards per game on the ground this season.South Carolina: Will Muschamp has won 22 games in three seasons, the most of any Gamecocks coach in his first three seasons.LAST TIMESouth Carolina 31, Virginia 7 (Sept. 6, 2003)BOWL HISTORYVirginia: Will be making 20th bowl appearance (7-12). The Cavaliers have lost their last three bowl games. However, they’re 2-0 at the Belk Bowl (formally called the Continental Tire Bowl), defeating West Virginia 48-22 in 2002 and Pittsburgh 23-16 in 2003 in Charlotte.South Carolina: Will be making 23rd bowl appearance (9-13). It is the Gamecocks’ first appearance in the Belk Bowl. However, they have played three times in regular season games in Charlotte and are 3-0, most recently defeating NC State, 35-28 to open the 2017 season.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and twitter.com/ap_top25The Associated Press read more


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Will Smith’s upcoming film is stirring up some controversy, and it hasn’t even hit theaters yet. The movie is called Concussion, and it’s reportedly causing the NFL a bit of a headache.The Sony biopic tells the story of Nigerian forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu, who discovered a degenerative neurological disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The disease causes depression, dementia, and other behavioral changes in football players after repeated head trauma.Dr. Omalu presented his research to the press and the NFL in 2005 but was not met with open arms by the league. The NFL, instead, attempted to discredit his findings and allegedly blackball him in the science community.  It was an odd tactic, considering that Dr. Omalu specializes in neuropathology.Omalu’s discovery of CTE came after performing the autopsy of former Pittsburgh Steelers player Mike Webster, who publicly appeared to have gone crazy in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Though the NFL opposed Omalu’s work, a string of suicides by former NFL players—all of which were found to have CTE—brought his research to greater prominence and forced the NFL to acknowledge that concussions were an issue. A 2009 GQ profile on Dr. Omalu’s battle with the NFL, titled “Brain Game,” forms the basis for Concussion.  While there is some talk of Oscar buzz for Smith who portrays Dr. Omalu in the film, there’s even more buzz about how big of a problem the movie may cause for the NFL. Recent headlines suggest that the film delivers some serious blows to the league’s reputation, while a New York Times article published on September 1 claims that emails leaked during the big Sony hack reveal that the film may have been “watered down” by Sony executives in order to avoid rattling cages over at the NFL. However, Sony Pictures issued a statement to NBC on September 2, refuting those claims. “As will become immediately clear to anyone actually seeing the movie, nothing with regard to this important story has been ‘softened’ to placate anyone,” a spokesperson said.Dr. Bennet OmaluMeanwhile, the NFL has been doing some preemptive damage control, according to The Hollywood Reporter, welcoming any open dialogue the film may spark and holding a series of conferences and scientific strategy meetings on player safety in the months leading up to Concussion‘s release. “When something like this movie comes up and people want to talk about concussions or football or the future of the sport, that’s an opportunity for us to engage,” Jeff Miller, NFL senior VP of health and safety policy, said to The Hollywood Reporter.Miller even went so far as to say that the league would be happy to partner with Sony to raise awareness for concussion safety in the sport. “The studio hasn’t asked, and if they were to, and it gives us the opportunity to talk about the health and safety of our sport, we would do that, Miller added. That’s a much warmer reception than the NFL gave to Dr. Omalu. Neither Omalu’s name nor his research has been mentioned in any of the NFL’s recent statements. The NFL also effectively limited the reach of a 2013 documentary about Dr. Omalu and the NFL called League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis. The organization allegedly pressured ESPN, initially a partner on the project, to back out of the documentary that was based on a book written by two ESPN reporters.Omalu’s work is important for all professional athletes, but particularly to the predominantly Black NFL and the young Black players who aspire to be in the league—athletes who need to be informed, protected, and treated for the disease that the NFL has tried to discount.Since his discovery of CTE in Mike Webster, Dr. Omalu has examined the brains of at least 16 other former NFL players, who each died by some self-inflicted injury, and found CTE in all of them. He has received the backing of many doctors and scientists outside of the NFL’s roster. Some of those scientists were even hand-picked by the league to conduct their own examinations of the brains and were subsequently ignored by the NFL when their findings supported Dr. Omalu’s.Regardless of whether the NFL acknowledges the validity of Omalu’s research, they certainly won’t be able to dismiss it after it is given such public treatment as a Hollywood movie. With at least 17 cases of CTE diagnosed in NFL players, 5000 ex-players who sued the league for damages resulting from concussions in 2013, and thousands more who are or will be affected by them in the sport, Concussion may be putting a necessary spotlight on the biggest issue facing the NFL. And Will Smith may just be putting on the most important performance of his career to-date. read more


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first_imgSepro Mineral Systems has introduced the Sepro Blackhawk 100 cone crusher for heavy duty mining applications. It incorporates, says Sepro, “advanced technology with affordability to provide a reliable and simple to operate crushing solution. Engineered in-house, in partnership with key industry personnel who specialise in crusher design, the new cone crusher will meet the gap in supply of crushing equipment for small and medium sized projects.”The combination of the speed and eccentric throw of the 100 kW cone crusher provides fine crushing capability and high capacity in a very compact design. The Blackhawk 100 can be applied as a secondary or tertiary crusher as well as a pebble crusher. The new cone crusher can be incorporated into modular process solutions offered by Sepro Mineral Systems as part of a complete plant solution.The crusher is driven directly via a flexible coupling to the electric drive motor. This arrangement eliminates the need for sheaves and v-belts, allowing for simplified operation and maintenance. A variable speed drive package can be included to optimize the speed of the machine to the given liner profile, feed and production conditions.The lock bolt design for holding the cone liner in place eliminates the need for a torch or burning ring. In the event of tramp material entering the crusher, the hydraulic cylinder allows the release of the material.last_img read more


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first_imgSystème d’exploitation : Apple progresse mais Windows est encore loin devantEurope – Une récente étude montre que Windows est, de loin, le système d’exploitation le plus utilisé en Europe. Apple grignote néanmoins des parts de marché, tandis que Linux stagne.L’étude mensuelle des parts de marché des OS en Europe signée AT-Internet montre que Microsoft, bien qu’il possède un leadership important (91,9%), voit son chiffre baisser (-2,4% par rapport à mars dernier) malgré l’augmentation de 9% de l’utilisation de Windows 7. XP et Vista enregistrent pour leur part une chute d’utilisation. Cette réduction est en partie due à l’importance que commence à prendre Apple avec Mac OS X (+0,6%), mais aussi avec l’iPhone OS (+0,4%). La firme à la pomme représente désormais 6,8% des parts de marché (contre 4,5% l’année dernière) dont 10% au Royaume-Uni. Sur la dernière marche du podium, Linux joue la carte de la stabilité avec une part de 0,9% identique aux statistiques précédentes.Le 25 mai 2010 à 13:21 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


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first_imgChambre d’hôpital payante : des médecins dénoncent cette nouvelle mesureParis, France – Afin d’observer un retour à l’équilibre financier ces prochaines années, l’Assistance publique des hôpitaux de Paris (APHP) a annoncé la prochaine mise en place d’un supplément à payer pour les patients souhaitant une chambre individuelle. Cette nouvelle mesure est vivement critiquée par certains médecins.Avec 90 millions d’euros de déficit estimé en 2010, l’Assistance publique des hôpitaux de Paris a besoin de renflouer ses caisses. Pour ce faire, elle a choisi de mettre en place une nouvelle mesure tarifaire, consistant à faire payer les patients émettant le souhait d’occuper une chambre individuelle lors de leur hospitalisation. Une mesure que certains médecins sont loin d’approuver.Ainsi, le professeur André Grimaldi explique sur France Culture : “J’ai appris hier que désormais, quand vous voudrez une chambre seul à la Pitié-Salpêtrière, il vous en coûtera 40 euros la nuit. On était l’hôpital-entreprise, maintenant on est l’hôpital-hôtel !”. D’autres médecins reprochent à cette mesure d’être en totale contradiction avec un accès aux hôpitaux égal pour tous. Il n’empêche que l’APHP est bien décidée à l’appliquer, et la facturation des chambres individuelles pourrait bien être appliquée dès cet hiver.Le 8 octobre 2010 à 15:29 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


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first_imgFormer Real Madrid manager Fabio Capello thinks Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi showed a lack of respect for skipping the FIFA Football Awards show.Both players made it to the FIFPro World XI, while Juventus striker Ronaldo made it to the final three for Player of the Year and was nominated for the Puskas award.However, neither man turned up for the ceremony in London, and rumours are rife that Ronaldo decided to boycott the show after hearing that Luka Modric would win the big prize.That news didn’t go down well with Italian gaffer Capello who criticised the attitude of the former winners.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“It’s a lack of respect that they didn’t come,” Capello told Mundo Deportivo.“When the Oscars happen, they [the nominees] are all there. It’s possible they’ve won too often, and they don’t like to lose.“But you have to be gracious when you lose, just like when you win.”last_img read more


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first_imgTwo-fifths (41%) of respondents want to receive childcare vouchers via a salary sacrifice arrangement as part of their employee benefits package, according to research by Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services.Its survey of 1,000 employees also found that 51% of respondents want to contribute to their workplace pension through a salary sacrifice arrangement.The government will limit the range of benefits that attract tax and national insurance advantages when offered through a salary sacrifice arrangement from 6 April 2017. Childcare, pensions, ultra-low emission vehicles, and bikes-for-work-schemes are among the benefits exempt from the changes.The government’s new tax-free childcare scheme will be rolled out gradually from 28 April 2017, with all eligible parents set to be brought into the scheme by the end of the year. The existing childcare voucher scheme will close to new entrants from 28 April 2018.The research also found:36% of respondents would like to have access to discounted shopping through a salary sacrifice arrangement.20% of respondents would like their employer to provide access to car schemes through salary sacrifice, and 18% would like to be offered gym membership as a benefit through a salary sacrifice arrangement.22% of respondents who are parents have had to borrow money from friends and family to pay for childcare, and 32% have seen the cost of childcare increase by more than 10% since they started raising their child.James Malia (pictured), director of employee benefits at Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Sevices, said: “With just a matter of weeks to go until the new tax-free childcare scheme is introduced by the government, our research highlights that employees still view childcare vouchers as a highly valuable and sought after employee benefit.“With vouchers soon to disappear from the employee benefits world, businesses are going to have to think about other ways they can support families in order to remain competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.”last_img read more


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first_imgMIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) – Three victims have been transported following a fire inside of a Miami Springs hotel.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene along East Drive near Northwest 36th Street, just after 1:15 p.m., Monday.Rescue officials said two residents and one firefighter had to be transported from the scene.The fire broke out inside one of the units, causing extensive damage, but fire officials said crews kept the fire from spreading.“It was contained to the one unit,” Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Kirsten Miller said. “The one unit had heavy damage, but we were able to get in and stop it at that unit. The fire didn’t pass that one unit.”Tyler Anderson, who is visiting from Orlando, described the scene.“We just started smelling a whole bunch of smoke,” he said. “Everyone was in panic. I guess a room was on fire or something. I was visiting one of my friends. There was about three of us there, and after all that, they just evacuated everybody. I’m glad that everybody is OK.” 7SkyForce HD flew over the scene where rescue crews could be seen transporting a man from the scene.It remains unclear how many people were inside of the building when the fire broke out.“We did go door-to-door making sure everyone was able and did get out,” Miller said.The cause of the fire remains under investigation.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more


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first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Beats Electronics, a maker of high-end headphones whose distinctive branding and ubiquity makes them hard to miss in many urban areas nowadays, has secured a $500 million investment from Washington-based private-equity firm the Carlyle Group.Carlyle has purchased an undisclosed minority stake in Beats in a deal that values the electronics maker at more than $1 billion. The ballpark valuation comes as no surprise, given that Beats is on track to net anywhere from $1.2 to $1.5 billion in revenue this year, according to published reports.”These transactions represent the evolution of the financial strength and significant growth prospects of Beats,” Jimmy Iovine, Beats co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement.Founded in 2006 by rapper Dr. Dre and Iovine, chairman of music label Interscope, Beats has come to dominate the market for pricey headphones. According to the NPD Group, Beats has grabbed more than 60 percent of the U.S. market for headphones costing more than $100. Its signature headsets retail for between $200 and $400.Related: How Jay-Z Went From Music Mogul to Sports AgentAlso on Friday, Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC announced that it was selling back to Beats its remaining 25 percent stake in the audio equipment company for $265 million. Two years ago, HTC bought a majority stake in Beats for about $300 million and began integrating the company’s audio technology into its smartphones.Then, in July 2012, HTC sold half of its stake, about 25 percent, back to Beats for $150 million. Analysts said the partnership had failed to help HTC make gains in the smartphone market.Indeed, with most mobile-phone users voting with their wallets in the ongoing East-West beef between Samsung and Apple, HTC has been posting weak earnings. Its profit for the second quarter of 2013 was down 83 percent from the year before.Carlyle, meanwhile, has stepped in to give Beats the cash it needs to expand both in the U.S. and abroad. Beats sells speakers and car audio systems in addition to headphones. It is also developing a streaming music service to compete with Spotify and Pandora, according to The Wall Street Journal.”We are confident that Beats will continue to drive innovation and growth in the premium audio accessory market, particularly as the proliferation of smart phones and tablets stimulate increased consumption of digital media,” Sandra Horbach, a managing director at Carlyle, said in a statement.Carlyle will also reportedly fill two of the six seats on Beats’ board.Related: Music Service Rdio Will Launch Free Version to Compete With Spotify Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 3 min read September 27, 2013 Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more


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first_img Friday, December 16, 2016 TORONTO — In the 45 days prior to booking a trip, Canadians make 161 visits to travel sites, according to the 2016 Traveler’s Path to Purchase study by comScore.What’s more, Canadian consumers collectively spend 148 billion minutes per month interacting with digital content, and 70% of those people are consuming digital travel content.As shockingly high as those numbers are, Canada actually lags behind the UK and the U.S. for just about everything related to travel and technology. The growth rate for Canadian consumption of digital travel content is only 18%, compared to 44% in the UK and 41% in the U.S.And while Canadian travellers “are slowly shifting away from desktop-only usage at 36% in 2016 compared to 46% in 2015”, by and large Canadians spend many more minutes on their desktop computers and laptops than their smartphones and tablets.Simply put, when it comes to checking out travel sites online – whether it’s a travel review site, hotel and airline sites, an OTA or, ideally, the booking-friendly website of a traditional bricks-and-mortar travel agency – Canadian consumers still prefer using their desktop computers and laptops over iPhones or iPads. Going on the Internet and consuming online travel content via mobile devices – whether it’s on a smartphone or tablet – hasn’t caught on here quite as quickly as in the UK and the U.S. Growth is slow but steady.Which begs the question: do travel agencies here need to invest thousands of dollars in a mobile-friendly app that will enable clients to book with their bricks-and-mortar travel agency with a touch of their finger on their smartphones and tablets?Frederic de Pardieu doesn’t think travel agencies need a mobile app for bookings. And he’s in the travel app business. De Pardieu, CEO of Montreal-based mtrip (mtrip.com), says the best strategy for travel agencies is two-fold.For bookings, an agency should have a “responsive” website, that is, a website where the design works well with various screen sizes and can be adapted for mobile.The best time for an app, says de Pardieu, is in the post-booking stage.“Providing a native mobile app after the booking is the best way for agents to increase loyalty and generate revenue by engaging with the clients during the whole trip,” says de Pardieu.A native app is what most of us think of when it comes to apps. At Apple’s App Store, there’s an estimated two million apps available for download. Just about everything we do with our phones and tablets these days is via those colourful little app icons on our screens.Having a native mobile app for iOS and Android for the booking stage does not make sense, says de Pardieu. “Some have invested in a native app and the ROI is very weak.”More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterNot only that, but the cost of a native app built from scratch can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000. A customizable white-label app customizable costs around $10,000 “however some small agencies share the same app for a very low starter cost”, says de Pardieu.At the post-booking stage, on the other hand, a mobile app makes sense, says de Pardieu. “On the post-booking stage, you continue engaging with the client by providing a mobile app which will be downloaded if you offer an added-value product (not only a list of bookings but helpful features like real-time flight alerts, flight check-in, offline maps and directions, offline travel guides). The agency will continue to own their client and increase loyalty.” A mobile website doesn’t fit the purpose on the post-booking side as it doesn’t work offline – it can’t be used abroad as nobody wants to pay roaming charges – plus features are limited and there’s not the same agency-client connection, he said.While the retail travel industry, like just about every other industry, is overwhelmed with the ‘Go Mobile or Die’ message and can be forgiven for throwing up its hands in overwhelmed exasperation at all the tech trends hitting the travel domain, competitors with very deep pockets are making strides.“Large travel brands are now focusing on a holistic approach of their mobile offering, which means engaging with their clients after the booking and during the whole trip,” says de Pardieu.Google launched Google Trips, he adds, a travel assistant which includes bookings, travel guides, maps “and they will soon let users book flights and accommodation”. Airbnb just launched its new app. “They want to become an OTA,” says de Pardieu.“This is a real threat for bricks-and-mortar travel agents as these players will draw more traffic from them. Travel agencies should definitively engage with their clients during the whole trip by providing a mobile travel assistant.”Jean Collette with Club Voyages Dumoulin, has a white-label version of mtrip’s post-booking app. “My mobile product is an app you find in Google Play and Apple’s App store,” says Collette. “It is free but in order to get the access codes you need to purchase a travel product or service from my agency. The app download mechanic works with my back office system. The minute an invoice is created the important information is transferred directly from my back office program to my app program, for example, name of client, email, dates, destination, itinerary, product or service description, etc.”Collette introduced his agency app this past summer and says he’s waiting for the winter travel season to see just how valuable the app is for his business. “[In terms of] ROI, it is too early; most of our clients will use the app over the winter. The strategy with the app is more for client retention than client acquisition.”More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upHis investment started with a set-up fee of $15,000 and a monthly fee of $1,500 based on 5,000 clients per year.Collette says his clients can do many things with the app “and the best things is the app works offline at destination. Clients can pre-register their flights, they get a complete travel guide of their destination, they get all the information on the shopping, dining, nightlife, tours and excursions, monetary device converter, the weather, it has a geo-localization navigator, AR (augmented reality) features, they can book, flight, cars, hotels, trips and excursions and city tours.”He adds “we have a website but we were not present in smartphones. Now we are and I believe it is a strong way to stay connected with our clients.”One popular post-booking app, from Umapped, was picked up by TPI. This fall TPI announced it had joined forces with the Canadian travel tech start-up to provide TPI clients with an interactive mobile itinerary with real-time messaging and content that extends to the client’s personal and social networks.Meanwhile TPI’s Internet booking search engine is mobile-friendly and both TPI advisors and clients have access to this tool and can book travel through this tool via their desktop PC or mobile device. TPI plans to add a cruise booking engine to this tool in the near future. “Our goal at TPI is to provide our advisors with the tools they need to focus on the customer,” said TPI VP, Tim Morgan.Softvoyage’s VP Sales & Marketing, Dan Langevin, says Softvoyage is seeing a huge uptake on its various platforms being accessed via mobile technology. Canada’s slow-growth mobile stats, at least when it comes to travel, could be because “Canadians are still very much using travel agents to book.”That said, the mobile usage curve is definitely trending up: “more and more shopping is being done using various platforms which includes mobile.” << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Kathryn Folliott About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019 Do travel agents need to invest thousands in a smartphone app? Really? Tags: Technologylast_img read more


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first_imglaxqantas QF94 flying from LA to Melbourne on Saturday night [3am Saturday local time] turned back to LAX for an emergency landing, two hours into the flight, when the pilot was forced to shut down one of the Airbus A380’s four engines and abort the flight.Passengers took to social media claiming the engine was on fire, and that it appeared to ‘blow up’, however the airline has refuted those suggestions, with Qantas spokesman Thomas Woodward saying in a statement:“The pilots followed standard procedure, shut down the engine, and the flight landed normally in LA at around 3am local time on Saturday. Engineers are inspecting the aircraft. Reports that the engine was ‘on fire’ are not correct; passengers may have seen some sparks before it was safely shut down by the flight crew.”Passengers onboard QF94 were subsequently boarded on another A380 that departed LA at around 2.30pm on Saturday. last_img read more