Tokyo– A Japanese soldier who hid in the Philippine jungle for three decades, refusing to believe World War II was over until his former commander returned and persuaded him to surrender, has died in Tokyo aged 91.Hiroo Onoda waged a guerilla campaign in Lubang Island near Luzon until he was finally persuaded in 1974 that peace had broken out.Leaflet drops and other efforts to convince him the Imperial Army had been defeated were unsuccessful, and it was only a visit from his former commanding officer, who ordered him to lay down his arms, that brought an end to his one-man war. Onoda was the last of several dozen so-called holdouts scattered around Asia, men who symbolised the astonishing perseverance of those called upon to fight for their emperor.Their number included a soldier arrested in the jungles of Guam in 1972.Trained as an information officer and guerrilla tactics coach, Onoda was dispatched to Lubang in 1944 and ordered never to surrender, never to resort to suicidal attacks and to hold firm until reinforcements arrived.He and three other soldiers continued to obey that order long after Japan’s 1945 defeat.Their existence became widely known in 1950, when one of their number emerged and returned to Japan.The remaining men continued to survey military facilities in the area, attacking local residents and occasionally fighting with Philippine forces, although one of them died soon afterwards.Tokyo and Manila searched for the remaining two over the next decade, but ruled in 1959 that they were already dead.However, in 1972, Onoda and the other surviving soldier got involved in a shoot-out with Philippine troops. His comrade died, but Onoda managed to escape.The incident shocked Japan, which took his family members to Lubang in the hope of persuading him that hostilities were over.Onoda later explained that he had believed attempts to coax him out were the work of a puppet regime installed in Tokyo by the United States.He read about his home country in newspapers that searchers deliberately scattered in the jungle for him to find, but dismissed their content as propaganda.The regular overflight by US planes during the long years of the Vietnam war also convinced him that the battle he had joined was still being played out across Asia.It was not until 1974, when his old commanding officer visited him in his jungle hideout to rescind the original order, that Onoda’s war eventually ended.Asked at a press conference in Japan after his return what he had been thinking about for the last 30 years, he told reporters: “Carrying out my orders.”But the Japan that Onoda returned to was much changed. The country he had left, and the one he believed he was still fighting for, was in the grip of a militarist government, bent on realising what it thought was its divine right to dominate the region.Crippled by years of increasingly unsuccessful war, its economy was in ruins and its people were hungry.But the Japan of 1974 was in the throes of a decades-long economic boom and in thrall to Western culture. It was also avowedly pacifist.Onoda had difficultly adapting to the new reality and, in 1975, emigrated to Brazil to start a cattle ranch, although he continued to travel back and forth.In 1984, still very much a celebrity, he established a youth camp, where he taught young Japanese some of the survival techniques he had used during his 30 years in hiding, when he lived on wild cows and bananas.He returned to Lubang in 1996 on a visit, reportedly at the invitation of the local government, despite his having been involved in the killing of dozens of Filipinos during his three-decade battle.He made a donation to the local community, which was reportedly used to set up a scholarship.Until recently, Onoda had been active in speaking engagements across Japan and in 2013 appeared on national broadcaster NHK.“I lived through an era called a war. What people say varies from era to era,” he told NHK in last May. “I think we should not be swayed by the climate of the time, but think calmly,” he said.
CN Rail, at the urging of Chinese-owned Nexen Inc., is considering shipping Alberta bitumen to Prince Rupert, B.C., by rail in quantities matching the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, documents show.[np_storybar title=”New surge in oil-by-rail boom as pipeline uncertainty takes hold” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/09/20/new-surge-in-oil-by-rail-boom-as-pipeline-uncertainty-takes-hold/”%5DProducers such as MEG Energy Corp. and Cenovus Energy Inc. are doubling down on the oil-by-rail boom just as TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL project marks its fifth year stuck in regulatory limbo. Read more. [/np_storybar]Internal memos obtained by Greenpeace under the Access to Information Act show the rail carrier raised the proposal last March with Natural Resources Canada.“Nexen Inc. is reportedly working with CN to examine the transportation of crude oil on CN’s railway to Prince Rupert, B.C., to be loaded onto tankers for export to Asia,” states a departmental briefing note setting up the March 1 meeting.An attached CN presentation paper notes that “CN has ample capacity to run seven trains per day to match Gateway’s proposed capacity.”CN is denying it has made a specific proposal for Prince Rupert but says it will consider any such project as it comes up.Greenpeace provided the documents to The Canadian Press.The proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry crude oil to Kitimat, B.C., has met fierce opposition from First Nations and environmentalists.The horrific Lac-Megantic, Que., disaster in July, which claimed 47 lives when a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded, has focused intense scrutiny on the burgeoning oil-by-rail industry.Some 5.5 million litres of oil either burned or leaked into the environment in Lac-Megantic. The fire burned for four days.A spokesman for CN Rail told The Canadian Press in an email that “no specific crude-by-rail project to Prince Rupert (was) discussed” at the March meeting with Natural Resources Canada.The company “does not disclose publicly its commercial discussions with customers,” Mark Hallman said in the email.“CN will continue to explore new opportunities to move crude oil safely and efficiently to markets,” Hallman wrote.“The company will consider concrete crude-by-rail proposals, including any specific project to move crude to Prince Rupert. However, there is no infrastructure in place at Prince Rupert to transfer crude oil from train tank cars to vessels.”Hallman also noted it was the government that asked CN for the meeting, not the other way around.Indeed, the documents obtained by Greenpeace show Ottawa was intensely interested in oil by rail, at least prior to the Quebec accident.“NRCan is currently meeting with Transport Canada to mutually understand how rail could be part of a solution to current market access challenges,” says an undated memorandum for Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.The memo describes rail as “an increasingly viable option” and states that carriers Canadian Pacific and CN “have indicated that the potential to increase rail movements of crude oil is theoretically unlimited.”Rail officials had indicated that a project to bring crude to port for tanker export “is likely in future.”A separate memo for International Trade Minister Ed Fast and Dennis Lebel, then the transport minister, assets that Transport Canada “has identified no major safety concerns with the increased oil on rail capacity in Canada, nor with the safety of tank cars …”The memo states that “transportation of oil by rail does not trigger the need for a federal environmental assessment” but notes that “proposals to construct new infrastructure to support the activity” may require an assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.The “Departmental Position” on oil by rail is entirely blacked out from the memo.Greenpeace researcher Keith Stewart said the CN rail pitch has the appearance of a “Plan B” in case Northern Gateway is blocked, but that it raises “the same or greater risks.”Stewart said the Lac-Megantic tragedy revealed that federal safety regulations hadn’t kept pace with the oil-by-rail boom.“If the government or industry imagines they can use these regulatory loopholes to do an end-run around opposition to tar sands moving through those lands or waters, they will be in for a rude awakening,” said Stewart.Opposition in Canada to the Northern Gateway and in the United States to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline has keyed on stopping or slowing development of Alberta’s oilsands development.The undated memo to Oliver, the natural resources minister, suggests that’s wishful thinking.“Despite difficulties related to new pipeline capacity, Canadian crude producers are unlikely to slow down production and will turn to rail to ensure their product reaches market,” said the memo.“To date, there hasn’t been a project to bring crude by rail to port for tanker export, however rail officials indicate that such a project is likely in future.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne gave a few hints, but no solid answers today about how the government plans to fund transit over the next decade.The Premier says she has a $29 billion plan for transportation in the province over the next 10 years, and she says it is fully funded. The $29 billion investment would be split between the Hamilton- Toronto area, getting $15 billion, and the rest of the province, which would have $14 billion available. Wynne says the money will not come from increases to the gas tax, HST, or income tax for low to middle income earners. More of the gas taxes we currently pay will be diverted directly to transit, and there will be high occupancy toll lanes. But where will the new money come from? “The details will be laid out in the budget and I know you want me to scoop the budget but Charles would be very very upset,” the Premier said today. Of course the plan is contingent on passing the budget this spring. “If we cannot get the support of the opposition, we’ll take this plan to the people of the province.”In a statement the NDP said they don’t trust the wasteful Liberals, and the Tories, in a morning announcement, said they would build subways in Toronto immediately upon election, without raising taxes. However, there was no mention of the rest of the province. “A lot of things that happen in Toronto benefit the rest of the province, this is the business hub of the rest of the province. What’s good for Toronto is good for the province, ” says PC MPP Doug Holyday.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said Israel’s military operations have in effect trisected the Gaza Strip, forcing it to suspend many of its normal operations, including the resumption of much needed emergency food aid. “The conditions under which my staff are working expose them to unacceptable levels of risk,” said the Agency’s chief, Commissioner-General Peter Hansen. “For UNRWA to continue to deliver essential services to the refugees, the Government of Israel must live up to its obligations under international law. It is crucial that it ensure both our freedom of movement and our safety.” UNRWA said that nearly 1,200 staff and trainees, including nursing mothers, have not been able to return to their homes since Tuesday. “The restrictions on movement further obstruct the work of the Agency’s staff entrusted with supervising operations in the field of education and health,” it added. The restrictions have also, in effect, barred Mr. Hansen from attending the annual meeting of the Agency’s Advisory Commission. “This unprecedented event was caused by the unwillingness of the Israeli authorities to enable him to cross safely into Israel to travel to the meeting’s venue in Amman, Jordan,” UNRWA said.
by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Mar 16, 2017 6:40 am MDT Last Updated Mar 16, 2017 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US housing starts rose in Feb., led by single-family homes In this Wednesday, March 1, 2017, photo, new home construction is underway in a housing plan in Zelienople, Pa. On Thursday, March 16, 2017, the Commerce Department reports on U.S. home construction in February. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) WASHINGTON – U.S. builders broke ground on new homes at a faster pace in February, a sign that developers expect solid sales growth this year despite higher mortgage rates.Housing starts rose 3 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Almost all of those gains came from construction of single-family houses, which rose 6.5 per cent. Construction of apartment buildings fell 7.7 per cent in February.More Americans are looking to purchase homes as the job market has improved, but the supply of properties for sale has been relatively low even with additional construction. The increase in construction starts points to greater sales this year even though mortgage rates have climbed upward from recent lows, making monthly housing payments higher and hurting affordability.Housing starts are running 7.5 per cent higher than they did during the first two months of 2016. Builders last year started the most new homes since 2007, the year the Great Recession began as the housing market began to teeter.Construction surged last month in the West, offsetting declines in the Northeast, Midwest and South that were largely caused by a decline in apartment building starts.Still, growth in home building also appears to be tempered. Building permits_an indicator of future home construction_slipped 6.2 per cent in February to an annual rate of 1.2 million.Builders have been adding supply to the market, just not enough to address the tight inventory of existing homes that make up the bulk of the real estate market. The National Association of Realtors has reported that the number of existing homes on the market is near its lowest level since 1999, while the inventory of new homes on the market is near an eight-year high.Demand among homebuyers has been strong as the unemployment rate has dipped to a healthy 4.7 per cent. Yet buyers will likely borrow at higher rates than last year, a factor that could restrict the extent of price and sales growth.The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage had a 4.21 per cent interest rate, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said last week. This marks a steep increase from a 52-week low rate of 3.41 per cent.
As we approach the end of the NBA’s regular season, awards conversations are all the rage. As usual, the two most talked-about races are for Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. Whether it’s “Get Up” or The Jump, Sports Illustrated or CBS or NBA TV, or even NBA players themselves, everyone’s got an opinion on who should take home the hardware at the end of the season.The Rookie of the Year debate, at this point, pretty much boils down to the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic, who stormed out of the gate and grabbed onto front-runner status fairly quickly, and the Hawks’ Trae Young, who started off terribly but has been shining during the season’s second half.But lost among this debate is this: The entire 2018 NBA rookie class — or at least the top five picks — deserves an award. Collectively, they are having the best debut season of any group of top five picks in more than 25 years.Doncic (pick No. 3) is carrying averages of 21.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game while acting as the primary facilitator and scoring option in Dallas. He is only the second rookie in NBA history to average at least 20, 7, and 5 in those categories, and the other is Oscar Robertson, who did so during the 1960-61 season.The man whom Doncic was traded for on draft night,1The Hawks drafted Doncic and traded him to the Mavericks in exchange for Young and Dallas’s top-five protected 2019 first-round pick. Young, has been nearly as productive, albeit less consistent, in his debut season for Atlanta. Young’s season-long numbers of 19.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 8.1 assists per game are strong.2He’s one of only three rookies to have gone for 19, 3 and 8 per game. Those numbers, though, are dragged down by his poor start to the year. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging 25.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 9.2 assists a night, with shooting numbers that are far better than those he was posting earlier in the season as he struggled to adjust to the NBA game.Two of the first five picks in a given draft looking this good, this early, would be impressive on its own; but Doncic and Young are not alone in their shining debuts. The other three players selected in the top five — the Suns’ DeAndre Ayton (No. 1), the Kings’ Marvin Bagley III (No. 2) and the Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4) — have each been pretty damned good this year too.Ayton has been a monster offensive force for Phoenix from Day 1, and he is already one of the league’s best post scorers and offensive rebounders. Among rotation players averaging at least 2 post-ups per game, per NBA.com, Ayton’s 1.03 points per play on post-ups ranks third, behind only Joel Embiid and LaMarcus Aldridge. Ayton’s offensive rebound rate, meanwhile, ranks 22nd among the 263 players who have qualified for the minutes per game leaderboard. And he’s been improving on defense throughout the season.Bagley is averaging 14.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game off the bench for the surprisingly frisky Kings. And he’s been even better since returning from a five-game, injury-related absence in early March, posting 18.5 points and 8.2 rebounds a night with an improved shooting line. He has a diverse, varied face-up game and is working to stretch his jumper, and given his athleticism and quick feet, his defense could eventually come around as well.Memphis shut down Jackson in late-February due to a quad injury, but before his season ended he averaged 13.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 combined steals and blocks in just 26 minutes a night. He did all that despite being, at 19 years old, the second-youngest player in the league.3The Lakers’ Isaac Bonga is about a month younger than Jackson, and Bonga has played less than 100 minutes this season. Jackson also knocked down 35.9 percent of his threes and carried an above-average usage rate and true shooting percentage, which is wildly impressive for a player whose primary contributions were expected to come on the defensive end of the floor.So how does this season’s top five stack up against past classes? The chart below plots the collective win shares and win shares per 48 minutes for the top five picks in each draft class from 1979 through 2018 (otherwise known as the three-point era) during their respective debut seasons. Note that only players who played during the season immediately following that year’s draft are counted in this analysis; because we’re looking at the top five picks as a class, if a player did not debut with the rest of his class, it doesn’t make much sense to count him along with the others. For example, Ben Simmons was the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, but he did not play during the 2016-17 season, so he counts for 0 minutes and 0 win shares toward the total of that draft class. Simmons was excellent as a rookie once he did step on the floor, but it also would not make sense to group him with the 2017 draft class, because he was not drafted in 2017. Likewise, the same logic applies to Simmons’s Sixers teammate Joel Embiid, who was drafted in 2014 but did not debut until two years later.4It also applies to Jonas Valanciunas (stayed in Europe for a year before coming over and joining the Raptors); Blake Griffin (injured); Ricky Rubio (Europe); Greg Oden (injured); Danny Ferry (went to Italy for a year because he refused to play for the Clippers); David Robinson (naval service); and tragically, Len Bias (an overdose-caused death). 1992O’NealMourningLaettnerJacksonEllis0.118 Draft pick Among the 20 players selected in the top five of those four drafts, eight are currently in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Another four — Bill Cartwright, Sidney Moncrief, Terry Cummings and Christian Laettner — made at least one All-Star team during their career. And six more became long-term rotation players. Only Greg Kelser and Bill Garnett failed to pan out at all, as they wound up out of the league entirely within a few seasons.That’s an incredible hit rate of solid NBA players, and bodes well for what we should expect from Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young in the future. It’s obviously far too early to predict that any of these players will be enshrined in Springfield one day, but the future certainly appears bright, and it seems likely that the 2018 draft class will be remembered as one of the best in quite some time.Check out our latest NBA predictions. 2018AytonBagley IIIDoncicJackson Jr.Young0.102 As you can see, the 2018 class fares extremely well in both win shares — which represent Basketball-Reference.com’s attempt to divvy up credit for team wins to the individual players on the team — and win shares per 48 minutes. The 21.1 win shares collectively accumulated by Ayton, Bagley, Doncic, Jackson and Young ranks eighth among the last 40 draft classes during their respective debut seasons, while their win shares per 48 average of 0.102 makes this class one of just six to exceed 0.100 win shares per 48.One of those six classes (2009) saw only three players actually take the floor during their debut season, thanks to an injury that knocked Blake Griffin out for the year and Ricky Rubio’s contract with Barcelona that kept him in Spain for two years before he arrived stateside. Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden and Tyreke Evans saw varying degrees of success during their respective rookie years and ended up posting a collective average of 0.108 win shares per 48 minutes, but they also combined for only 11.9 total win shares, far fewer than the other five classes that stand out in this analysis, each of which exceeded 20 total win shares.It’s worth noting, then, who was actually taken in the top five in those five NBA drafts (1984, 1979, 1982 and 1992). It’s also worth noting that just a single class between 1992 and 2018 saw its top five post a win shares per 48 average better than 0.100, meaning it’s been nearly a generation since we saw an actual top five class debut with a performance as good as the one we’re seeing from the most recent draft class. The top-five picks in the 2018 draft are in HOF companyThe five NBA draft classes with the highest win shares per 48 minutes Hall of Fame inductees in boldSource: Basketball-Reference.com 1982WorthyCummingsWilkinsGarnettThompson0.129 1984OlajuwonBowieJordanPerkinsBarkley0.174 1979JohnsonGreenwoodCartwrightKelserMoncrief0.137 Year1st2nd3rd4th5thWS per 48 min
The UK faces further “division and despair” after Brexit if any new settlement is based primarily on economic considerations rather than the needs of people, the Archbishop of Canterbury argues.Any attempt to renegotiate Britain’s place in the world based on “calculations of dubious material advantage” will fail to resolve the problems the country faces, the Most Rev Justin Welby insists.The warning comes in his first full-length book, “Dethroning Mammon”, a reflection on the power of money, drawing from his own experience of giving up highly paid job as an oil executive to living on a clerical stipend. We need a deep sense of the priority of the human person, whoever they are and wherever they come fromArchbishop of Canterbury Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, was spotted reading an advance copy of the book on the London Underground last Wednesday morning, just before the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement.In the book Archbishop Welby openly acknowledges his own “unease” at living amid the “surreal” surroundings of Lambeth Palace while speaking about issues of wealth and poverty. The Archbishop makes political arguments in his bookCredit:Leon Neal /Getty Mark Carney has been spotted reading the bookCredit:Rex / Shutterstock He argues that far from learning the lessons of the 2008 financial crash and the so-called “Great Recession” there are signs of a return to the same “debt-fuelled, crisis-creating model that led us into such trouble in the past”.He insists that it would be “absurd” to try to predict what the effect of the vote for the UK to leave the European Union, there are lessons which can and should be learnt now.“It is essential that the new United Kingdom outside Europe is not built to a design drawn by Mammon,” he writes.“To put it more clearly, materialism is not the answer to the challenges we face. Rather we need a deep sense of the priority of the human person, whoever they are and wherever they come from.“We need to remind ourselves that Mammon always deceives his followers. A campaign fought on his agenda will lead to division and despair.” The book, intended as a meditation to be used during Lent next year, argues that a tendency Britain and other western societies to judge success and worth purely by the basis of what can be measured, such as growth in GDP, has distorted and corrupted society.It is, he argues, fundamentally unchristian to view a healthy bank balance or even a strong economy as “the goal” rather than as a means to do good.“The more interconnected the world becomes, the more power is held over individuals and nations by economics, by money, by flows of finance,” he writes.He defines those forces collectively as “Mammon” a word, derived from Aramaic, used in the New Testament to mean the power of wealth or riches. In practice, however, the Archbishop’s family live in a modest flat in the medieval compound which he has actively sought to open up to new uses: inviting in a family of Syrian refugees, a community of young people on a monastic gap year and the first Roman Catholic residents of Lambeth Palace for centuries. 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.
Nov 29th 2016, 8:10 PM Short URL Tuesday 29 Nov 2016, 8:10 PM If this path was followed then we would have no difficulty with cannabis based medicines being prescribed to alleviate suffering.Health Minister Simon Harris is understood to have some serious concerns about the bill in its current state.Boxer Moran said he also has concerns about certain aspects of the legislation, but said changes to the bill can be made at a later stage.Read: Government to talk to public sector unions about Garda pay deal>Official verdict: ‘The vast majority of consumers will not have to pay direct charges for water’> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Christina Finn ‘It’s time we got on with it’: Support for medicinal cannabis bill could mean it’s a runner The bill, which is due to be debated on this Thursday, aims to regulate use of cannabis for medical purposes. We can’t keep pushing the can down the road, we were elected to make decisions, and this is an easy decision to make.It’s understood that Fianna Fáil might support the bill, which would make the passing of the bill to the next stage a real possibility (and would mean another defeat for Fine Gael).In July, the party’s health spokesperson Billy Kelleher said:The misuse of drugs regulations were amended two years ago to allow for certain cannabis based medicinal products to be used in Ireland. Following this, the Health Products Regulatory Authority granted a marketing authorisation for a cannabis based medicinal product which relieves certain symptoms for MS sufferers. https://jrnl.ie/3110093 Image: Shutterstock/OpenRangeStock Share1031 Tweet Email Image: Shutterstock/OpenRangeStock A NUMBER OF TDS are pledging their support for the medicinal cannabis bill which is due to be debated in the Dail this Thursday.Independent Alliance TD Kevin Boxer Moran told TheJournal.ie that he will be voting in favour of the bill, which aims to regulate the use of cannabis for medical purposes.Members of the Independent Alliance are to get a free vote on the issue, while Fine Gael are opposing it.No collective Cabinet decision on the issue was reached during today’s meeting which lasted over an hour and three-quarters.However, if members of the Independent Alliance vote against their government partners, and if Fianna Fáil vote in favour of the bill, there is a possibility of getting the legislation through to the next stage.Pressure has been mounting on politicians to address the issue after Vera Twomey, a parent of an epilepsy sufferer highlighted that medical cannabinoids had dramatically decreased the number of seizures her child experienced.Support for the bill Boxer Moran told TheJournal.ie that a number of the Independent Alliance members are likely to support the bill.Junior Minister Finian McGrath stated in an interview with HotPress magazine this year that he supports legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use, while Minister of State for Trade and Skills John Halligan said: “I am not against decriminalising cannabis.”A spokesperson for the group said its members were simply “exercising their right to a free vote” on the issue due to the fact that it is not contained in the programme for government.“They will listen to the debate closely and decide how to vote next week,” she said, adding that the party did not “seek” a free vote.Boxer Moran said today the party’s TDs “insisted” on a free vote.He said that Fine Gael’s position to oppose the bill, which was put forward by People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny, was “their problem, not ours”.“You have to look at it from this point of view. If you have a loved one, young or old, you want them to have what helps them. That goes without saying,” he said.“I hope it goes through. It has been a long time talking about it now, it is time we got on with it,” he added.‘Delighted’He said it was difficult to hear Vera Twomey, a parent of an epilepsy sufferer, tell her story and not get emotional. Calling her story very sad, he said: “I am delighted to vote for it. I hope it helps make it happen.” 12,378 Views 84 Comments
With the reopening of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, the staff has announced some schedule changes to make up for events lost because of the recent 16-day closure.The park’s first Lantern Tour of the season has been rescheduled for Oct. 26, with priority placement for those with reservations for the originally scheduled tour. The Oct. 5 Lantern Tour had been booked to capacity before it was canceled.“We’re again calling each individual or group who had reserved a spot on the Oct. 5 Lantern Tour,” Chief Ranger Greg Shine said, “but this time our message is a more positive one: We’re offering them priority placement for the newly added Lantern Tour on Oct. 26. We’ll open to the general public any additional tour spots for the Oct. 26 Lantern Tour once the visitors impacted by the cancellation of the Oct. 5 Lantern Tour have been given the opportunity to sign up.”Due to public interest, the new Lantern Tour will replace the “Tales of the Engagé” talk originally scheduled for that day.Along with the 400 other units of the National Park Service, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site was closed on Oct. 1 because of the lapse in Congressional appropriations.Park staff members have begun contacting schools, groups and individuals to reschedule activities canceled by the shutdown.“We look forward to rescheduling as many as possible,” Shine said.For information, go to www.nps.gov/fova or call 360-816-6230.
EVERETT — One more victim was recovered from the mudslide that hit the town of Oso, raising the death toll to 37, the Snohomish County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday. The person’s name has not been released.Seven people remain on the missing list, the sheriff’s office said.A search for bodies continued in the debris left when the March 22 landslide raced across the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and buried dozens of homes in the riverfront community about 55 miles northeast of Seattle.Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and other state officials gathered on the steps of the Capitol in Olympia at noon Tuesday to lower the flag. Inslee ordered that flags at all state facilities be lowered to half-staff until the end of the day next Tuesday. April 22 also is the day President Barack Obama plans to survey the damage and meet with victims, first responders and recovery workers.The slide covered about a mile of state Highway 530, cutting off the direct route between Interstate 5 and the town of Darrington, which is east of the slide and has a population of about 1,300. Reopening the highway is a priority for residents facing long detours.It could take one to three months to clear all the mud, trees and other debris, state Department of Transportation officials told residents at a Monday night meeting in Darrington.
Kolkata: Former Kolkata mayor and Trinamool Congress MLA Sovan Chatterjee is likely to join the BJP by the end of this week in New Delhi, sources said on Wednesday. Chatterjee was asked to step down both as a minister in the TMC government and as Kolkata mayor by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in November last year following troubles in his personal life. After that, he took a sabbatical from active politics. According to sources, Chatterjee was in touch with the BJP for the last few months. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us He met BJP leaders in New Delhi last month fuelling speculations that he might switch over to the saffron camp. “If everything goes well, he is likely to join the BJP either today or by the end of this week. Let’s see what happens,” a top BJP source told PTI. After its shock result in the Lok Sabha polls, the ruling TMC tried to woo Chatterjee, who is known for his organisational capabilities. But the efforts didn’t yield a positive result. Six TMC MLAs and one each of Congress and CPI(M) have switched over to BJP since the results of Lok Sabha polls were announced. The BJP has made deep inroads in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha polls by winning 18 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state, just four less than TMC.
Of all the off-screen Bollywood love stories, one story that gained the maximum attention and created humongous buzz among the fans was that of Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha. Headlines, news stories, tabloids were filled with the speculations of the love triangle and the havoc that was wreathing in their lives.While Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan always maintained a stoic silence on the issue, their occasional confrontations with Rekha at award shows gives away the awkwardness between them. In a free-wheeling chat with Simi on Rendezvous with Simi Garewal, Rekha had spilled the beans on her equation with Jaya Bachchan and Amitabh.When Simi breached the topic of the rumours of an alleged relationship between her and Amitabh and asked whether Jaya Bachchan remained unaffected by the rumours, Rekha had said, “Absolutely! I don’t think she’s a petty person or so insecure.” Taking the conversation forward, Simi had said, “Yes, and a woman is so secure because the man has given her the security.” To which, pat came Rekha’s reply, “Not really.” Ahem!Many years later, when Simi was quizzed about how difficult was it to get Rekha to talk about Amitabh, Simi had said in an interview with Indianexpress, “It was easy asking her the question about Amitabh. If I can ask Jayalalitha if she was ever loved MGR, asking Rekha about Amitabh was much easier. A lot of people ask me how I got her to open up. I didn’t know if I did anything special. I don’t want to analyse it. I just chatted as good friends. Rekha and I go back a long way.”Jaya and Amitabh’s daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, shares a warm and amicable relationship with Rekha. Even Abhishek Bachchan has always expressed his admiration and love for ‘Aunty Rekha’ at several occasions.
The left-handed opener is in form. Robert Cianflone/Getty ImagesIndian opener and left-handed batsman Shikar Dhawan has high chances of missing India’s next fixture in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 due to a swollen left thumb. He will undergo precautionary scans to determine the extent of the injury he has, today. Indian fans will hope that will be fit for their next match.Indian fans on social media expressed their concerns regarding the injury of the 33-year old opener as he plays a major role in India’s batting, especially in ICC events. On June 9, in the match against Australia, Dhawan returned to form scoring a splendid century and finishing with 117 of 109 balls. India won the match by 36 runs and Dhawan was adjudged man of the match. During his magnificent innings, he was hit by a rising delivery bowled by Australian pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile. Immediately after the ball hit his thumb he was in considerable pain but he showed resilience and continued batting. India set a target of 353 for the Aussies and Dhawan did not turn up in the field during India’s defence. Ravindra Jadeja took the field in his replacement and he ended up taking two catches. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma against AustraliaSAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty ImagesIndia team physio, Patrick Farhart will take the final call on whether he can play in India’s next fixture on June 13 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge, Nottingham after the southpaw undergo the scans. It will be a major setback for Virat Kohli and Co. if Dhawan misses the match as the Kiwis are in good form winning all the three matches they have played. If he does not play then the Indian team management may bring in Vijay Shankar or Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI and KL Rahul may open with Rohit Sharma.India have won both the matches they have played in the World Cup so far with great performances from their batsmen and bowlers. They will not like to change their starting XI as they are on a winning streak.
The IL&FS group is facing serious liquidity crisis and has defaulted on interest payments on various debt repayments since 27 August.ReutersMarred by a string of defaults, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd., has said the company will sell assets and raise funds from shareholders in order to stay afloat. It further added that it will pursue a moratorium under the Companies Act to devise a restructuring plan that works for both creditors and shareholders.The company has devised a three-pronged strategy to take the cash-crunched company out of trouble. In a video shared to Quint, the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the company Hari Sankaran said that the first phase of the plan will be to complete the rights issue and enable the company to recapitalize itself.In the second part, it will “sell assets built over the last few decades to ensure value can be up-streamed and used to repay creditors”. And, finally, the third part will be to get a “liquid allocation to support repayment of debtors till assets sales begin.”The default of over Rs 9000 crore by infrastructure company and its subsidiaries have triggered fears across all NBFCs of the country. The government has tried to ensure a good sentiment in the market while promising enough liquidity in the markets.On Friday, the Reserve Bank of India has urged its large shareholders, including Life Insurance Corporation of India, Japan’s Orix Corporation and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, to check the defaults.The government-owned State Bank of India has also not clarified on its strategy to help out the beleaguered firm. VK Sharma, LIC Chairman on Friday also said they are not ruling out the option of participating in the rights issue or infusing further capital in IL&FS. However, the insurer would require to need the insurance regulator’s approval to raise its stake to more than 25 percent.The Japanese Orix Corporation has also agreed to subscribe to the issue which is expected to be completed towards the end of October. Apart from the rights issue, IL&FS told that it is considering asset monetization, short-term bridge financing through cash infusion and also plans to seek a moratorium from creditors.
Photo: Richard Drew/Laredo Morning TimesThe City of Houston recently filed a brief with the Texas Supreme Court in support of Laredo’s plastic bag reduction ordinance.The Texas Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Thursday (Jan. 11) over a ban on plastic bags in Laredo. The case could pose a danger to such bans in several cities across the state. Houston, however, doesn’t have such a ban in place. Why?Matthew Festa from South Texas College of Law Houston and Robin Schneider from Texas Campaign for the Environment join Houston Matters to consider our city’s history of trying to ban plastic bags and why those efforts have failed. Share
By BlackPressUSAWashington, D.C. — Representatives Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Val Demings (D-FL), Alcee Hastings, (D-FL), Debbie Murcarsel Powell (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Donna Shalala (D-FL) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) have issued the following statement in response to violent protests in Haiti:“We are extremely troubled by news reports coming out of Haiti that describe a country in a state of emergency as protests continue and at least two lives have been lost.NNPA NEWSWIRE — “One of the key pillars of a democratic society is the freedom to stand up and speak out, and we fully support the right of Haiti’s citizens to do so. The protesters are urged to remember, however, that violence only begets more violence and its continuation could undermine the international support that Haiti so urgently needs to right itself in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”“Congressional lawmakers have made several trips to Haiti and have witnessed firsthand the devastating toll that natural and manmade disasters have taken on the island nation and its citizens. We must do all that we can to ensure that Haiti does not become a failed state as this crisis unfolds.“While the frustrations that have prompted the protests are justifiable, the violent acts being used to express them are indefensible and hurt the very people they’re meant to help.“Violent protests have shut down government services and businesses and are preventing people from getting to work and school. The loss of even one day’s pay could set an already struggling family back by weeks, while the primary targets of the protests continue to live in great comfort.“One of the key pillars of a democratic society is the freedom to stand up and speak out, and we fully support the right of Haiti’s citizens to do so. The protesters are urged to remember, however, that violence only begets more violence and its continuation could undermine the international support that Haiti so urgently needs to right itself in the days, weeks, and months ahead.“To address this growing crisis, we plan to convene in July a meeting in South Florida that will include members of the Haitian diaspora and its advocates, elected officials from Haiti and the United States, and other key stakeholders to discuss strategies that will strengthen the rule of law and civil society in Haiti to the benefit of all Haitians.”
MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘Hellboy’ Stay on target “La Llorona” or “The Weeping Woman” is a popular Mexican folk legend about the ghost of a beautiful woman who drowned her children in a fit of jealous rage against and now haunts the earth seeking disobedient living children to take their place. Obviously, she’s an innately cinematic-sounding ghoul and a sensible addition to the vaguely-defined “Conjuring Cinematic Universe” of (sort-of) interrelated supernatural spin-off features; particularly as Hollywood horror producers are ever keen to find a through-line to tap more directly into the growing Latino-American audience that represents an exceedingly large share of theatrical ticket sales for the genre according to box office data.So while it’s not surprising that The Curse of La Llorona sucks (because, apart from the main series and the second Annabelle movie all of these Conjuring “Universe” things have sucked for the most part); it is surprising that most of the reason it sucks is because the filmmakers, by some unknown logic, have seemingly attempted to – for lack of a better word — “De-Mexicanize” the entire concept as much as possible, stripping La Llorona of all but the most incidental trappings of her specific cultural origins and actively avoiding letting Mexican or Latin-American presence color the rest of the otherwise bland and lifeless proceedings in any way until the point where they can provide an unnecessarily villainous intrusion that feels preposterously hostile in context.Set in mid-1970s San Francisco (for no reason other than to pointlessly align things with Conjuring and Annabelle continuity) the film stars Linda Cardellini as a police widow and child services agent who removes two seemingly-abused young boys from the home of their panicked Mexican-American mom despite her protestations that the kids are actually endangered by the malevolent ghost of the title. When the boys wind up dead anyway, a chance encounter leads to Cardellini’s own young children becoming La Llorona’s next targets, frustrating their own already difficult home situation, and forcing her to seek help from the Church and ultimately and independent Mexican spiritualist who battles evil with unorthodox old-world methods.Incidentally, Cardellini’s late cop husband was also Latino and her two children are mixed-race, and if you think the film is going to miss the obvious opportunity to explore the interesting cultural intersection of her living as a single white mother to Latino children in a mixed neighborhood being menaced by a literal specter of Old Mexico… you’d be absolutely right, actually — they don’t even touch that. It’s sitting right there, but they don’t use it. And it’s not like it’s because they’re busy using other stuff — there’s nothing going on in this movie other than marking time between “Well, they left the kids alone again, time for the ghost to jump out and scare em a little until a grownup shows up.”Instead, I wound up wishing they had kept the involvement of the still thoroughly minor Latino supporting characters out absent; since when one of them does suddenly become semi-prominent again in Act 3 it’s for an entirely unnecessary extra “Here’s why this is all happening in the first place” plot-twist that succeeds in turning what was already bordering on bad-taste subtext of a white suburbanite being assailed by an invading Mexican phantom just becomes… TEXT, in a way that I want to assume wasn’t so much deliberately malicious as it was a thoughtless stab at extra drama. In general, you get the sense that the overriding goal was to make La Llorona “universal” — perhaps in fear of inadvertently creating a “Mexican caricature” villain… but at least a caricature would have been a character. As it stands, La Llorona is easily the most boring of the Conjuring monsters, a generic jump-scare ghost whose ill-defined powers and motifs are sometimes about water, sometimes about mirrors or vision-filters, sometimes corporeal, sometimes spectral. She can teleport around but also has a problem with doors except when she doesn’t and then it turns out she’s got about five or six different kryptonites plus allergies to all the usual exorcism stuff right at the end, but they don’t really use most of it.All in all, a major disappointment even amid the low expectations one owes this bizarre franchise: boring monster, disrespectful of the stuff it’s cribbing from bordering on mildly racist, not scary, not interesting, no reason to watch this.
In order for the world economy to continue to grow, we need to develop digital infrastructure to sustain the speed and volume in which we share information. Data infrastructure needs to be scalable and deployable as the needs of our digital era continue to evolve.Even though blockchain is somewhat the “new kid on the block,” it has excited the world of business. According to a survey carried out by Gartner, 66 percent of the respondents said they believed that blockchain is a business disruption and 5 percent were willing to spend over $10 million on the technology.Blockchain has many uses and implications; however, the first mainstream application we’ve seen is through cryptocurrency. But the initial design of cryptocurrencies was not built for widespread use and adoption.Related: 15 Crazy and Surprising Ways People Are Using BlockchainFor Bitcoin and Ethereum to compete with mainstream systems such as Visa and PayPal, they need to step up their game with their transaction times. As explained by crypto trading company Coindesk, “While PayPal manages 193 transactions per second and Visa manages 1,667 transactions per second, Ethereum does only 20 transactions per second while Bitcoin manages a whopping seven transactions per second. The only way that these numbers can be improved is if they work on their scalability.”Scalability obstacles created by mining When dealing with Bitcoin and Ethereum, a transaction is granted only when a miner (the person whose computer processed the code behind the currency) puts the transaction data in the blocks they’ve mined.Let’s say Stephen wants to send Andrew 10 BTC (bitcoin). He will send the transaction data to the miners, the miner will then put it in their block and then the transaction will be completed.However, as Bitcoin rises in popularity, this process becomes more time-consuming. Plus, there is the issue of transactions fees. When miners mine a block, they become gatekeepers of that block. In order for transactions to go through, users will have to pay a toll to that gatekeeper. This “toll” is referred to as a transaction fee. This fee creates issues when scaling because it creates an additional barrier. What about Ethereum? In theory, Ethereum is supposed to process 1,000 transactions per second. However, in practice, Ethereum is limited by a cap of 6.7 million gas — the amount of computational effort required on the receiver’s side of the transaction — on each block.Here’s how to understand what “gas” means. Stephen has issued a smart contract for Andrew. Andrew sees that the elements in the contract will cost X amount of gas. Accordingly, he will charge Stephen for the amount of gas that’s used up. It’s like letting your friend borrow your car and making them pay back the amount of gas that was used when they drove.Related: 3 Industries Blockchain Entrepreneurs Will Change for the BetterThese issues haven’t surfaced much yet, because there hasn’t been widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies until recently. Ethereum exploded in popularity around December 2017 through a game called CryptoKitties (where users buy digital cats and raise them). The popularity of the game brought to fore the issue of scalability, as documented in this Mashable article.Here are some terms you should know regarding the scaling of blockchain.ShardingSharding is the splitting of the block verification process and running of parallel subcommittees to collate the completed data. Zilliqa is a platform that utilizes sharding. It has been proven to handle 2,400 transactions per second with a goal to match Visa’s average of 8,000 transactions per second, according to The-Blockchain. Perhaps most importantly, Zilliqa reacts efficiently to scaling needs as its throughput increases with its network size, as opposed to Bitcoin becoming clogged with transactions. With a node size equivalent to Ethereum, Zilliqa predicts it could handle twice the transactions of Visa per second.Hard forkWhen a platform drastically branches away from its initial platform direction, it is referred to as a “hard fork.” Preceding the hacking of the decentralized autonomous organization on the Ethereum network (where $53 million of crowdfunded cryptocurrency was “stolen,” as reported by Bitcoin.com). Ethereum took a hard fork in order to reclaim the money and continued as Ethereum Classic, while the existing course maintained the original blockchain as Ethereum. Bitcoin recently adopted a hard fork in its capped block size, which means that old and new software are incompatible with each other and renders the old outputs invalid. Bitcoin has already forked previously, such as with Bitcoin Cash, and there are more planned for this year.Related: Blockchain Is How We Can Protect Our Privacy in a World of Ubiquitous SurveillanceSegregated witnessThe proposed Bitcoin hard forks will all incorporate SegWit (the Segregated Witness soft fork), which is software designed to solve transaction malleability but also improve the capped block size issue. Each block has a capped size that creates a finite amount of transactions to occur on each block. SegWit increases the block size limit to 4MB, meaning a single block can hold the records of more than 8,000 transactions. However, although the block increase provides short-term respite in scalability issues, it will still eventually present the same restrictions once transactions have exceeded the limit. 5 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. August 28, 2018 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »
Read the story of their incredible relationship:—I first met Nana when I was out with my mother on Manchester’s Canal Street in the old Hollywood Show bar. I was trying to introduce my mother to the gay scene so that she didn’t worry too much when I ventured down there with friends.It was my mother who spotted her first, saying: ‘Look at that glamorous old lady over there.’We spoke to her briefly, but years later, Nana told me she didn’t recall it. I was just another random fan boy twink back then afterall.It was many years later that I became a Drag Queen myself and moved to Manchester. I was offered a gig with her in approximately 2006/7.We have been friends ever since.Nana: The legacyNana was in Drag for over 25 years – starting out at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London in a drag competition run by Lilly Savage. In fact, it was Lilly that named her, as she didn’t have one at the beginning of the show.Nana is renowned for being the oldest drag queen in Manchester, but more accurately, she held the title of oldest ‘looking’ Drag Queen in Manchester.There are at least two that surpass her in years, I could tell you who they are but then I’d have to kill you (if they didn’t kill me first).Misty Chance and Nana. | Photo: suppliedA lot of my admiration for Nana – apart from her hilarity – came from the fact that she was open about her HIV status. She had been living with it for more than 20 years, back when it was a little less manageable and a rather frightening thing to have.As each new university season starts in Manchester and the new generation of LGBTI youngsters discover Canal Street, it’s amazing to me how they seek out their favourite drag queens and use them as tourist information guides, councillors and agony aunts.It is very important that a Queen in that position use their role for good and Nana used her experience and her HIV status to make it clear that ‘Hey, if you’ve been diagnosed as positive, it’s not the end of the world – you can still have and do all the same things as everyone else and you’re no less respected than people who are negative’.This is one of the reasons that we both became ambassadors for The George House Trust, our local HIV aftercare service.‘Don’t get comfortable, Nana will be back’For many years Nana was in and out of hospital so much that it became a running joke.Each time she went to hospital, we’d sit by her hospital bed and she’d quite often say ‘I’m done for this time.’I’d usually get a replacement Drag queen to work with each time Nana was hospitalized and I would always tell them the same thing: ‘Don’t get comfortable, Nana will be back’. Sure enough, within weeks, depending on the complication, she’d be back by my side stronger than ever. It was a boy who cried wolf scenario last year while I was away, when I heard that Nana was looking unwell. When I returned from doing my season in Cyprus, seeing her brought tears to my eyes.Her condition was starting to deteriorate and this time it appeared irreversible.Nana and Misty Chance. | Photo: suppliedWe have all lost somebody at some point.Our initial reaction is to protect ourselves from the pain of loss, so we close the bedroom door as we can’t bare to see their belongings, we can’t watch their favourite movie again or visit that holiday destination we used to frequent together.I felt that the best way to deal with it was to dive in head first and to rummage around in the time capsule that is Facebook and spend some time reliving all those memories and great times we had.#100DaysOfNanaSo I started #100DaysOfNana. Myself and the followers of the project have had an extra 100 wonderful days in the company of Nana.The comments and love shown has been overwhelming and I just know that she would have been so very grateful and humbled at the outpouring.As far as closure goes, for me personally, it kept a wound that I clearly didn’t want to close, wide open.The final 100 Days Of Nana was me trying once again to say goodbye, coming to terms and telling myself ‘The show must go on’.Misty Drew a sketch of Nana after her death and raised over £800 for the George House Trust. | Photo: suppliedI am away doing a season abroad right now and I must be prepared to return to a Manchester that has no Nana.It is hard to know what comes next. Without going into personal details about our off-stage friendship, I can tell you all that Colin was there for me in some of my darkest times and even stopped me from giving it all up on one occasion.That is the kind of person Colin was – so very genuine and viciously supportive of those close to him.One of the things that makes Manchester’s LGBTI scene so much fun, is that it is still community based, even in a time when everything has become commercialized.Our Pride event is growing exponentially, but underlying that, are characters, activists, and beloved community driven individuals, like Nana.Watch Misty Chance’s final loving tribute to Nana:You can follow Misty Chance on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Misty Chance (real name Christian James D’Arcy) just shared the most loving tribute to her fellow drag queen friend, Madama Phylisan Von Hollywood Aries (real name Colin Timmins) – affectionately known as ‘Nana’.Nana passed away 100 days ago but Misty wanted to give her one final, beautiful send off. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Celebrating pop culture, drag queens, and porn starsHow Ruth Coker-Burks became the angel of America’s AIDS crisisIcons in LGBTI history and today share their pivotal stories in 29 portraitsRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/drag-queen-tribute-friend-tears/ GAYSTARNEWS-
Cigar aficionados traveling and vacationing on the Pacific coast now have a new option. Popular cigar lounge 9°N Escazú recently opened a new location at Los Sueños in Playa Herradura, on the central Pacific coast.The lounge offers guests a selection of Cuban cigars, including Romeo y Julieta, Bolivar, Trinidad, Cohiba, Montecristo, Partagas, H. Upman and more. Each month, 9°N offers a specially priced Cuban cigar of the month. 9°N Los Sueños is located behind Scotia Bank in Los Sueños Marina. Store hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. every day, except Tuesday, when the lounge is closed. For more, see www.9n.cr, call 2637-6297, or visit 9°N’s Escazú location, at el Cortijo Mall, Local #6, in Los Laureles, Escazú. Facebook Comments No related posts.