American Show “Prison Break” to Film in Rabat, Casablanca, Ouarzazate

Rabat – The fifth season of the “Prison Break” series is currently filming in three cities of Morocco – Casablanca, Rabat and Ouarzazate – according to a report by Huffington Post Maroc.  do not be surprised if you come face to face with the Scofield brothers in the coming weeks.The newspaper cited a filming permit approving the show’s cast and crew to work in the three cities from March 28th to June 17th, 2016“Prison Break” started in 2005. Every episode in the first season attracted almost 10 million American viewers to tune in to Fox during the hour-long show. By the show’s fourth and final season, the audience has dwindled down to 3 million weekly viewers on average. In January, Fox announced a nine-episode event continuing the character’s stories. The principal actors in the original cast confirmed their return soon after. The next nine episodes will take place five years after the end of the last season.The hero of the saga, Michael Scofield was thought dead, but is actually imprisoned in Yemen. The reboot will begin with his friends’ plans to try and free him from incarceration. Thus, the scenes shot in Morocco will probably be used to portray the Middle East.The Atlas Studies in Ouarzazate have been used for the filming of several Hollywood TV shows and movies over the past decades. Season three of the show “Game of Thrones” and the film “Gladiator” were shot at the studies, among others. read more

New UNbacked scheme to turn trash into cash in AsiaPacific cities

22 February 2010Under a new United Nations-backed initiative launched today, cities in Asia and the Pacific, which are dealing with ever-increasing heaps of waste, will be able to transform ‘trash into cash.’ The scheme – unveiled by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Waste Concern, a Bangladeshi non-governmental organization (NGO) – seeks to help solid waste development strategies become decentralized, pro-poor, low-carbon and self-financing through the sale of carbon credits.Exploding urban populations and economies in the region have resulted in a surge in solid wastes that municipal governments are finding difficult to dispose of, as dumpsites fill up and land for new ones is becoming harder to come by.Even though local governments spend up to 60 per cent of their annual budgets to collect, transport and dispose of solid wastes, not all waste is collected and is often disposed in crude open dumps that pollute the atmosphere and water.The new programme, launched in Dhaka, Bangladesh, seeks to harness the potential of the informal waste collection sector, which has demonstrated that recycling trash can be extremely profitable.Millions make a living from recycling waste, both from inorganic recyclable waste and organic waste, which can be turned into compost and can generate initial start-up costs through carbon credits.Waste Concern was one of the world’s first organizations to acquire carbon credits for composting under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol allowing developed countries to reduce emissions and meet global warming commitments by investing in carbon reduction projects in developing countries.Since 2005, the organization, ESCAP and local partners have tested and further refind the approach in Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. One compost plant serving some 1,000 households and treating 2-3 tons of waste daily has been built in each country, and both sites have financed themselves. read more

Palestinian unity deal must promote peace says UNs Middle East envoy

28 April 2011Reacting to reports of a unity deal between Hamas and Fatah, the top United Nations envoy for the Middle East today said that reconciliation between the two main Palestinian factions should take place in a manner that promotes the cause of peace. UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, have been urging Palestinian factions for some time to put their differences behind them, put national interest first and find a way forward so they can address the many challenges they face. Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 after ousting the Fatah party of the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that controls parts of the West Bank. On Wednesday, representatives of Hamas and Fatah announced that they struck a deal to form a national unity government and hold elections within a year. “Reunification is essential for achieving a two-state solution that should be reached through negotiations,” Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement issued in Jerusalem. Mr. Serry “notes with much interest” the agreement announced in Cairo, the statement added. “He hopes that reconciliation will now take place in a manner that promotes the cause of peace and will continue to follow developments closely.” In a related development, a two-day UN seminar that opened today in Helsinki, Finland, is focusing on mobilizing international efforts in support of Palestinian State-building activities.In a message to the meeting, Mr. Ban noted that the Palestinian Authority has accelerated progress in improving its governmental functions in the limited territory under its control and despite constraints on the ground.“However, the institutional achievements of the Palestinian State-building programme are approaching their limits within the political and physical space currently available. Time is of the essence and serious efforts must now be exerted by all to bring the parties back to the negotiating table as soon as possible,” he added in the message, which was delivered by Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).He said that along with the continued impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, constraints on Palestinian urban development and obstacles to free movement and access in the West Bank remain among the most substantial impediments to Palestinian economic viability.“While Israel has taken measures to facilitate movement, it must roll back its measures of occupation and facilitate continued economic and institutional progress in order to match the Palestinian State-building achievements,” he stated.Abdou Salam Diallo, the Chairman of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, also remarked that the Palestinians are reaching the limit of what is realizable unless the measures of occupation are rolled back, noting that the ongoing Israeli blockade of Gaza, which was imposed after Hamas took over the territory, continues to impede economic development.Meanwhile, he added, in the West Bank, “onerous and highly unpredictable” movement and access restrictions, settlements, house demolitions and displacement of residents and the separation wall have put a “chokehold” on investment and opportunity.“The Gaza blockade must be lifted completely, and measures of the occupation in the West Bank must be reversed, including a complete stop to all settlement activity, to allow socio-economic development to take root,” stated Mr. Diallo. read more

As Nepal truce ends UN human rights chief warns against abuses

“It is a tragedy for the people of Nepal that full-scale armed conflict may now resume. But there need not and must not be the same gross violations of international humanitarian law and human rights standards that have been perpetrated during previous phases of the conflict,” High Commissioner Louise Arbour said in Geneva. The truce expired on 2 January.Nepal is a party to the Geneva Conventions as well as to most international human rights treaties, while the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) (Maoist) has made general commitments to observe international humanitarian law and respect rights. Ms. Arbour called on both “to declare publicly their acceptance of all that these principles, and to explain to their cadres their responsibility to respect them in practice.”Anyone violating human rights must be held accountable, she said, including commanders.International humanitarian law, applicable in situations of armed conflict, prohibits murder or violence to persons taking no active part in hostilities. “I remind the CPN (Maoist) that this includes government officials, the families of security forces personnel, and persons alleged to be informers,” the High Commissioner said, “and I remind the state security forces that this includes unarmed persons thought to be Maoists or to have aided the Maoists.”Nepalese law prohibits attacks against civilians and acts or threats of violence intended to spread terror among the civilian population, and it requires he parties to the conflict to distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives. But during the course of the armed conflict in Nepal, both sides committed serious violations of international humanitarian law.The conflict has been marked by extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and abductions, attacks on public transport buses, indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, widespread torture and other crimes. Children have been killed and injured, forcibly recruited, used as informers, and arbitrarily detained and beaten.Ms. Arbour said her office in Nepal “will be closely monitoring the conduct of both parties in the period ahead.” read more

Caterham trio on show at SMMT

SMMT has welcomed the latest exhibit to its modern Westminster exhibition space this week: a trio of products from specialist manufacturer, Caterham Cars. The display follows the launch last week of SMMT’s report into the UK’s unique low volume car manufacturing industry, highlighting some of the challenges these companies face and, importantly, the opportunities for growth that can be achieved.SMMT’s report highlights how specialist car manufacturers like Caterham inspire diversity in the marketplace, provide highly-skilled jobs, positively contribute to net exports and are often at the leading edge of product design and innovation.Caterham’s mainstay product, the Seven, is based on an original design by Lotus Cars founder Colin Chapman that was first seen in 1957. In 1973, Lotus sold the rights to the Seven to Caterham, and the Surrey dealer became a UK sports car manufacturer in its own right.Since then, the company has continued to refine the original design, through technical development and innovation, and there is now a range of variants on offer. Three of these are on show at SMMT – a Superlight R300 race car, a CSR 200 and an R500.Superlight R300 race carFollowing in the footsteps of more powerful Superlight siblings like the R500, this car adheres to original Seven recipe; high performance through extensive use of lightweight materials. The R300 is the best-selling model in the Superlight range, blending a 515kg weight with a 175bhp 2.0-litre Caterham Powertrain (CPT) Duratec engine.CSR 200The CSR is the latest evolution of the Seven design. Both CSR 200 and CSR 260 feature bespoke, high performance engines tuned by engineering partner Cosworth. The model also benefits from fully-independent rear, and inboard F1-style, front suspension plus major chassis enhancements. There are no power brakes or power steering, and considerable aerodynamic improvements were developed by Caterham to increase downforce at higher speeds.Superlight R500In Caterham’s view, the Superlight R500 represents the ultimate expression of Colin Chapman’s fundamentals. The car’s name is derived from its power-to-weight ratio of more than 500bhp per tonne, which gives the R500 a 0-60mph time of just 2.88 seconds. Stripped to the bare essentials, all unnecessary comforts are removed to save weight and reduce mass, thereby boosting the car’s performance credentials.“The UK is home to more specialist car manufacturers than any other country, including some of the world’s most iconic and prestigious brands,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “These marques boast a strong brand heritage, enviable motorsport pedigree and display a world leading use of innovative new technologies.”To download a copy of the report, Specialist car manufacturing – a uniquely British success story, visit the UK automotive publications section of the website.Click through the slideshow below to see all the photos from SMMT’s exhibition space.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Schulte Strathaus exhibit at MINExpo

first_imgSchulte Strathaus’s main focus is the STARCLEAN® conveyor belt scrapers, “which are the problem solver designed to help operating belt conveyors more efficiently.“The main idea is to provide optimum cleaning, unlike the competition not only for a short time, but from the first to the last minute of the lifespan of the blades. This is reached by the unique Twist-Swing®feature which ensures that every blade adapts to the belt, and therefore compensates individual wear and provides longest lifespans.”When scraper blades are worn, the replacement should be carried out in a minimum of time. All STARCLEAN® scrapers provide a plug-in foot, and are inserted into the shaft without the use of any tools. This feature paired with one-touch quick-tensioning devices ensure that maintenance can be carried out within minutes.Known as a technology leader in the field of belt cleaning, Schulte Strathaus has just introduced some great innovations.First is the torsion tensioning device for heavy duty primary scrapers. With this new tensioning device for belt widths up to 3.2 m and speeds up to 11 m/s primary scrapers do not have to be retensioned (often a big problem for operators of heavy duty conveyors). This new tensioning device maintains perfect tension until the blades are worn.The company has also introduced a new electrical tensioning device. Used with tungsten carbide scrapers, the new device can disengage the scraper; for example during reversing operation or maintenance, and then move back automatically to the preset tension. As an option the device can readjust the tension automatically also for primary cleaners when wear occurs.Extremely sticky materials can be cleaned off the belt with the new STARCLEAN single-blade scraper with segmented counter rollers. In order to make sure that material build-up cannot occur, this system uses a single-blade scraper. Because single blade scrapers cannot adapt to the belt properly, limiting cleaning ability, Schulte Strathaus uses an assembly with segmented rollers at the inside of the belt, which gently adapts the belt to the cleaner. With this new system, the company says, “even the stickiest materials can be perfectly scraped off the belt, without material build-up on the scraper.The roller assembly is equipped with the proven quick tensioning device for easy tensioning.In addition to conveyor components, the company has launched the innovative closed conveyor belt system SAFEBELT®. The SAFEBELT system is an ideal conveyor for bulk material handling when it is important to avoid transfer points, to go around obstacles and to convey the material in a protected, closed and dustless way. To achieve this, the belt- loop stays closed from the loading point to the unloading point. The execution with various possible horizontal and vertical curves enables the conveyor to easily be adapted to local conditions.The closed belt design reduces total costs, because complex enclosures are not neededThe bulk material is completely enclosed in the belt. There is hardly any inlet or outlet for dust or liquidsThe lightweight steel support and because no special framework makes for simple extension and enables flexible changes of directionDue to the possibility of extremely small vertical and horizontal curves additional transfer points are not needed.last_img read more

NT urged to create anticorruption body

first_imgIn a bid to fight corruption in the Northern Territory’s police force, ombudsman Peter Shoyer is calling for the NT government and its police force to review its policies for ensuring integrity.The call comes in the wake of the case of former NT police commissioner John McRoberts, who resigned after being investigated for interfering with a criminal investigation involving travel agent Xana Kamitsis. Ms Kamitsis is facing charges for defrauding a travel concession scheme, and McRoberts was in a relationship with Kamitsis at the time of the alleged offences.Ombudsman Shoyer, who brought the case against the commissioner, alleges McRoberts was bribed by Kamitsis.“In the course of their association, the travel agent … gave a number of personal gifts to the former commissioner,” Mr Shoyer said.Mr Shoyer’s report suggests the establishment of an anti-corruption body and a review of police integrity policies. The report also stresses the need for awareness programs in order to ensure that police officers maintain analytical skills and mindfulness to identify integrity issues as they arise. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Officer on fatal Charlottesville crash Hahahaha love this

first_imgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A Massachusetts police officer is facing disciplinary action for writing “Hahahaha love this” on Facebook in response to a story about a car striking and killing a counter-protester at a white supremacist rally in Virginia.Springfield Officer Conrad Lariviere later apologized, saying in a Facebook conversation with Masslive.com that he’s a “good man who made a stupid comment.”Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri said he received a complaint about the comment Sunday.“I took immediate steps to initiate a prompt and thorough internal investigation,” Barbieri said via email. “If in fact this post did originate from an officer employed with the Springfield Police Department, this matter will be reviewed by the Community Police Hearings Board for further action.”Democratic Mayor Domenic Sarno denounced the comments.“There is no place for this in our society, let alone from a Springfield Police Officer,” Sarno said in a statement.Lariviere had written on Facebook: “Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block road ways.”He was responding to a story about the death on Saturday of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was struck by a car that plowed into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nineteen others were injured. James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Ohio, was arrested shortly after and charged with second-degree murder.Lariviere also questioned whether the driver of the car that struck the crowd was a “nazi scumbag.”He responded to a critic who asked whether he had ever been struck by a car, saying he had been struck by someone “with warrants, but who cares right you ignorant brat live in a fantasy land with the rest of America while I deal with the real danger.”last_img read more

Craig Cathcart on Watfords comeback victory

first_imgWatford defender Craig Cathcart reflects on their 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace after he scored on both ends of the pitch on Saturday.Cathcart was unfortunate to be on the end of Abdoulaye Doucouré’s attempted clearance which ricocheted off him and went into the net.The Northern Irishman equaled the most own goals scored in the Premier League this season, on par with Wesley Hoedt of Southampton.He went from zero to hero in the 67th minute when he nodded in the equalizer from a corner kick sent in by Jose Holebas.Tom Cleverley then came off the bench and scored in the 74th minute to give the visitors a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park.Joel Ward, Crystal PalaceHow Joe Ward thanks his faith for his football Manuel R. Medina – September 13, 2019 Crystal Palace defender, Joel Ward, has thanked his Christian faith for helping him play football professionally and he explains why.“It was my first brace! So I’m happy with that…” Cathcart jokingly told the club’s website.“Obviously, it’s nice after scoring an O.G. to get the equalizing goal. Then we had the momentum going forward.“The second goal from Tom was a great finish, and we pretty much controlled the game after that.”last_img read more

Bishop Boyd demands accountability on VAT

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, Bahamas, February 9, 2017 – A member of The Church is demanding accountability and clear, thorough reporting on the money collected from the recently instituted Value Added Tax.  During the Anglican Synod on Monday in Nassau, Bishop Laish Boyd rallied around the cry for clarity in spending of the contentious VAT tax, and criticized the government for the lack of accountability.Boyd, ever ready to lend a word to government on the posture it should be taking with the people is quoted saying, “There needs to be more reporting of these matters to the Public and real dispassionate accounting no pat phrases and sound bites…”   Bishop Boyd said “it is totally unacceptable to have so much money unaccounted for…”#MagneticMediaNews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Recommended for you Related Items:#magneticmedianewslast_img read more

Lockdown lifted at North Miami High School after report of weapon on

first_img Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) – A lockdown has been lifted at North Miami Senior High School after police received a report of a weapon on campus, Monday.According to police, officers received a report about a weapon on the school’s campus at around 8:30 a.m. However, police said they were unable to find a weapon. The lockdown was later lifted, just before noon.K9 units were called to the scene to help investigators.7News spoke to a student who described the situation inside the school during the lockdown. “They were just telling us, ‘Remain calm, stay inside the school building at all times’ because they don’t want us to get into any form of danger,” the student said.Concerned parents also came to the school when they heard the news. “You don’t really know what is going on with your kids inside, they’re locked down. They said everything is fine, that the kids are safe, but obviously, it looks like something is going on,” said parent Florangel Santiago.Other parents said they are tired of scares like this happening, but in the end, they are happy the situation wasn’t worse.Classes have resumed for the day. last_img read more

Air Guard Has Assumed Heightened Role since 911 James Says

first_imgThe National Guard has become an increasingly critical component of the Air Force since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, fulfilling a substantial share of the service’s missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and assuming new roles such as cybersecurity.“There’s no single institution that has been transformed in the last 15 years as much, I think, as the National Guard has been transformed,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Saturday during the National Guard Association of the United States annual conference in Baltimore.Over that time the Air National Guard has become significantly more integrated with the active component. “And tomorrow’s Air Force will continue to move more and more and more in that direction,” James said, reported Air Force Times.The heightened importance of the Air National Guard has come as the size of the active component has dropped dramatically.“We are asking more of you, we are utilizing your talents more now than ever before, and I would say that’s precisely because we need you now more than even we did before,” she said.One growing role for the Guard is cybersecurity, a change the service is carrying out by establishing new units.“It’s no surprise that we’re going to rely on the Guard more in this area,” James said. “By 2019, we expect to have cyber units in 34 states in the National Guard, consisting of almost 3,000 cyber-trained service members.”Other fields the Air Force is considering relying more on the Guard include space operations, aircraft maintenance and remotely piloted aircraft flights, according to the story. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Biocon PepsiCo to set up manufacturing units in Karnataka

first_imgIndian biotechnology company Biocon and PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. will be setting up new facilities in Karnataka entailing a combined investment of Rs. 1,650 crore.The investment proposals were approved by the state government on Wednesday.Biocon will be setting up a unit at a cost of Rs. 1,060 crore to manufacture  injectables, monoclonal and anti-bodies vaccine on the outskirts of Bengaluru (Bangalore), while the Indian arm of New York-based PepsiCo will be investing Rs.590 crore in a new beverages and snacks manufacturing unit near Mysuru (Mysore), PTI reported. “We made this proposal around the time of the global investors meet, and things seem to be happening in an expeditious manner. The project will come up in about 18 months,” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Biocon Chairman, told the Economic Times.Biocon has an R&D centre and a devices-making unit near Bengaluru. It has a manufacturing unit in Vishakapatnam where it bought Acacia Lifesciences for an undisclosed sum in October last year. PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd. has 38 bottling plants and three food plants in IndiaThe investment proposals were cleared by a high-level committee chaired by Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.A proposal by Manyata Promoters Pvt. Ltd. to set up an Information Technology Park and related infrastructure at Nagavara, Rachenahalli and Thannisandra villages in Bengaluru was also approved.The three proposals envisage creation of about 8,800 jobs in the state.last_img read more

Saudi Arabia under king Salman

first_imgThis file photo taken on 4 October, 2017 shows Saudi Arabia`s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud attending a welcoming ceremony at Moscow`s Vnukovo Airport. Photo: AFPKing Salman has overseen some important changes in Saudi Arabia since he inherited the throne from his elderly half-brother king Abdullah nearly three years ago.Following the arrest of dozens of figures including princes, ministers and a top business tycoon, here is a look back at some developments during his reign.- Changes at the top -On 23 January, 2015 Salman takes the throne at the age of 79 after the death of Abdullah, aged about 90.He makes key changes in the order of succession, choosing his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef as deputy crown prince and promoting his son prince Mohammed bin Salman to defence minister.In June of this year, he raises his son, aged 31, to the position of crown prince, completing a gradual removal of powers from Mohammed bin Nayef.- War in Yemen -In March 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition launches an air campaign to prop up Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies.Coalition members deploy troops in Yemen.Rights groups have harshly criticised the coalition for civilian casualties in its air strikes.- Rupture with Tehran -In January 2016, Saudi Arabia executes 47 people convicted of “terrorism”, mostly Sunnis linked to Al-Qaeda, but also including prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. His execution stirs a diplomatic crisis with regional rival Iran.Riyadh breaks off diplomatic relations with Tehran after its embassy and a consulate are attacked in the wake of Nimr’s execution.- Economic reform -In April 2016, the Saudi government approves a major reform plan dubbed “Vision 2030”, aimed at diversifying the oil-dependent economy.The plan involves privatising part of oil giant Aramco and creating a $2 trillion sovereign wealth fund.Since a mid-2014 plunge in crude oil prices, Riyadh has had to slash subsidies and delay major projects.In December 2016, the Saudi-led OPEC and other non-member producers led by Russia agree to slash crude output to boost prices.- Deals with Washington -US president Donald Trump visits Saudi Arabia in May 2017 on his first foreign trip since taking office.Washington and Riyadh announce contracts worth more than $380 billion, including a $110 billion arms deal aimed at countering perceived threats from Iran and radical Islamists.- Qatar crisis -In June 2017, Saudi Arabia and several Gulf allies and Egypt sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorists” and being too close to Iran.They also take economic measures against Doha, including closing air and maritime links and sealing the country’s only land border.Qatar rejects the accusations.- More rights for women -In December 2015, Saudi Arabia opens up elections to women as both candidates and voters for the first time.In September this year, a royal decree announces the end of a longstanding ban on women driving as of June 2018.The decree comes days after women are allowed into a sports stadium for the first time in the country’s history. Authorities later say they will allow women into several stadiums, long off limits under strict gender segregation rules.However Saudi women must still obtain permission from a male family member to study and travel.- Crackdown -In September, authorities arrest at least 20 people, including prominent clerics Salman al-Awdah and Awad al-Qarni, in an apparent crackdown on dissent.Prominent Saudi journalist and writer Jamal Khashoggi says he has been banned from writing in Saudi-owned newspaper Al-Hayat, apparently for defending the Muslim Brotherhood in tweets.- Investment, moderation -In late October at an investment conference dubbed “Davos in the Desert”, Riyadh unveils plans for hi-tech “giga projects” and seeks to promote the kingdom as a welcoming business destination.Authorities say they will start issuing tourist visas “soon”.And in keeping with his public image as a bold reformist, prince Mohammed pledges “a country of moderate Islam”, breaking with the kingdom’s reputation for exporting a puritanical creed espoused by jihadists worldwide.last_img

Tillerson says US troops in Syria to counter Assad

first_imgUS Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks to the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University on 17 January 2018 in Stanford, California. Photo: AFPSecretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that US troops will remain in Syria not just to fight jihadists but also to counter the power of Bashar al-Assad and his ally Iran.In a speech on the US strategy to help end Syria’s seven-year civil war, Tillerson stressed that the mission of the US military is to destroy the Islamic State group and prevent its return.But he also made it clear that the open-ended deployment is intended to help create enough stability for Syrians to be able to remove Assad from office and reject Iranian influence.“A total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad to continue his brutal treatment against his own people,” Tillerson told an audience at Stanford University.“A murderer of his own people cannot generate the trust required for long-term stability,” he said.“A stable, unified, and independent Syria ultimately requires post-Assad leadership in order to be successful.”The United States has deployed around 2,000 ground troops to Syria and its warplanes patrol over the east of the country, hunting remnants of the Islamic State group.The US works with the Syrian Democratic Forces, a militia dominated by Kurdish fighters which Washington sees as a basis for a 30,000-strong border force to hold eastern Syria.Assad’s Damascus regime has condemned this force as traitors, and US ally Turkey, wary of the presence of the YPG Kurdish militia in its ranks, is highly suspicious of its role.Tillerson insisted that Washington is not being dragged into the Syrian civil war as a combatant seeking violent regime change, nor into a long-term nation-building mission.Instead, he argued that the US role will provide stability to allow a UN-led peace process to resume and find a Syrian-led alternative to Assad’s rule and the Iranian presence.“The departure of Assad through the UN-led Geneva process will create the conditions for a durable peace within Syria and security along the borders,” Tillerson said.“US disengagement from Syria would provide Iran with the opportunity to further strengthen its own position in Syria.“As we have seen from Iran’s proxy wars and public announcements, Iran seeks dominance in the Middle East and the destruction of our ally Israel,” he said.‘Same mistakes’Despite rejecting the regime change and nation-building model of past US interventions in the region, Tillerson said that the United States must not repeat its “mistake” in leaving Iraq.US troops completed a withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, eight years after they toppled Saddam Hussein’s rule, only to return in much lower numbers in 2014 to fight the Islamic State.“The United States will maintain a military presence in Syria, focused on ensuring that ISIS cannot re-emerge,” Tillerson said, using an abbreviation for the Islamic State group.“We cannot make the same mistakes that were made in 2011, when a premature departure from Iraq allowed Al-Qaeda in Iraq to survive and eventually morph into ISIS,” he said.last_img read more

Pokemon Sleep Puts Pocket Monsters in Your Dreams

first_imgStay on target Mint-Condition Set of Pokemon Cards Sold For $107KNew Trailer ‘Pokemon Sword and Shield’ Reveals Team Yell Punks The Pokemon Company had a lot of weird, almost random things to announce at its recent press conference. The next generation of core Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Shield, are coming out this holiday. But we won’t learn more about those upcoming Nintendo Switch games until a different press conference next week. However, as we learned last night, those aren’t the only Pokemon experiences we can look forward to soon.How about a Pokemon game about falling sleep?Yes, arguably the centerpiece of the presentation was Pokemon Sleep, some kind of game/health app that apparently tracks your sleep in order to do… something with Pokemon. Maybe getting a good night’s rest not only helps you but also your partners? Snorlax jokes were made, don’t worry.AdChoices广告The Pokemon Company compares it to smash hit mobile game Pokemon Go. But whereas that game was about making walking fun Pokemon Sleep is about making sleeping fun. The game will also integrate with Pokemon Go in some way and Nintendo is developing the hardware for the sleep-tracking device itself, the Pokemon Go Plus+. Brings back memories of Nintendo’s lost other quality of life initiatives like the Wii Vitality Sensor.More traditional Pokemon experiences are also on the way. Pokemon Masters is a slick-looking Pokemon mobile game from Dena about teaming up with legendary gym leaders. Last year’s Pokemon Quest is getting an upgraded Chinese version. Pokemon Home is a new cloud service collecting Pokemon from past 3DS games, current Switch games, and Pokemon Go.Meanwhile, a film producer from Toho (wearing a limited Pokemon shirt like everyone else in attendance) is joining the company’s board of directors which gives us hope for a bright future of Pokemon films following the aesthetic achievement of Detective Pikachu. The next Detective Pikachu game is also coming to Nintendo Switch to wrap up the story.But really, we just can’t wait to finally dream of Pikachu. Get a good rest before your Pokemon wedding that’s now officially a thing. For more on sleep tech check out these smart pajamas and our Geek Pick for the Nokia Sleep.last_img read more

This upcoming indie movie portrays coming to terms with ones identity in

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) The film follows Amber (played by Devin Dunne Cannon) as she navigates life after her divorce. At age 30 and with a young daughter, Amber is forced to start over.Soon, Amber meets Logan (played by Bridget Barkan). What starts out as a close friendship quickly lends itself to romance. Now, Amber has to come to terms with this new sexual identity — one her old-school mother, Grace (played by Nikki James), is less than thrilled about. Indie film Walk With Me, written and directed by Isabel del Rosal, is all about stepping into one’s true self. Logan (left) and Amber from indie film Walk With Mecenter_img Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/indie-film-walk-with-me/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Writer/director del Rosal has previously worked on comedy web series Smile For The Camera. Walk With Me is her debut in indie film. With the relatable characters and a passion that pulls the viewer in, it is clear Walk With Me comes from a personal place.Walk With Me is due to be released in late 2019. Below, GSN gives you a first look in this exclusive, behind-the-scenes video featuring interviews with the cast and crew.Follow Walk With Me on Instagram.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .last_img read more

K9 cops bust drug dealer

first_imgDID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter  why? WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Following up on information about drugs being transported in town, K9 officers arrested a man this morning (Wednesday).The officers found that the vehicle they were looking for had been involved in a collision and police were led to a tow trucking business in the Leonardville area.A 35-year-old man was arrested after six packets of CAT and one packet of cocaine were found in his possession.The drugs weigh around 700 grams, with an estimated street value of about R250,000.The suspect is set to appear in the Ladysmith Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on charges of dealing in drugs.last_img read more

Cruising gives hotels a bruising

first_imgCruises steal business from hotels….why?As a hotel man (seriously, what else was I going to say) the whole cruise thing is something I still can’t really get my head around. But where I say I can’t stand the idea of being locked into place for eight days, advocates say “one unpack and waking up every morning in a new destination.”It eats into the hotel business and it’s one of the most commonly discussed topics when we meet with agents. It’s not surprising as The Cruise Ship Industry is the fastest growing segment in tourism and is projected to continue on an upward growth path in the coming years.My research identified not only the growth but emerging trends which seem to be prominent.Growth in Bundling ExperiencesThere has been a growing demand for bundling cruise vacations . This allows the client to get a good deal on these options through bundling, therefore reducing his overall cost of travel. For agents it grants the opportunity to be a little more opaque on pricing,  making it harder for customers to go direct to the source to deconstruct your itinerary.But annoyingly for agents, an increasing number of cruise ships are now booking these package deals for clients because of the value add generated and margin retained by the cruise company. There is a real danger of giving away your clients details after the first cruise and the cruise company becoming their default travel agent.River cruisesWhen Trevor Jones from Hawthorn travel first mentioned this to me years ago, I could think of nothing less exciting… Walking pace …as River cruising boats lineup down the canals of the world. Full of people. Me wrong again.It’s almost cruising for the active traveler as there is the opportunity to get off the barge and get on the bike, ride around town and meet up later on, giving a much more fulfilling experience than just taking a bus or taxi. Hence, it is more popular among Millennial’s constantly seeking adventure. There are several cruise lines offering river cruises now, such as Avalon Cruises, Amawaterways and Uniworld.Growth of themed cruises Unsurprisingly Richard Branson has launched a Virgin product with a difference – adults only.  Cruise Lines are actively seeking ways to attract more clientele by offering themed cruises. The theme could be wellness, music or arts as opposed to alcohol and trying to pick up someone new every second night.It creates new opportunities for engagement with clients about the things they love as opposed to necessarily a desire for them to go cruising.Actually a wellness cruise could be pretty cool… roomsXML – More Suppliers, Hot Deals www.roomsxml.com learn more about roomsXML.com herelast_img read more

Why Is Economic Confidence Not Translating to More Homebuyers

first_imgWhy Is Economic Confidence Not Translating to More Homebuyers? March 26, 2018 603 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, journal, News The National Association of Realtors has released the findings for their Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey for the first quarter of 2018. According to the survey, consumers have indicated that, while a growing number of households feel more confident about the economy and their financial situations, these positive feelings are not translating into the homebuying market. While the majority of consumers surveyed do believe that now is a good time to buy a home, the positive response is down four percent from the previous quarter, coming to 68 percent. Renter optimism has also diminished, coming to 55 percent this quarter, a five percent decrease from Q4 2017. Those with the highest levels of optimism are homeowners and older respondents, as well as those living in the more affordable Midwest and South regions. “There’s no question that a majority of homeowners have amassed considerable equity gains since the downturn,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR. “Home prices have grown a cumulative 48 percent since 2011 and are up 5.9 percent through the first two months of this year. Supply conditions would improve measurably, and ultimately lead to more sales, if a growing number of homeowners finally decide that this spring is the time to list their home for sale.”Responses from non-homeowners indicated that the top three financial burdens preventing them from saving for a downpayment were limited income (47 percent), student loan debt (30 percent), and rising rents (28 percent). Only 14 percent of respondents indicated that nothing was holding them back from saving for a downpayment. The survey also polled non-homeowners about the potential reasons they would find it difficult to apply for a mortgage. The top three responses listed were income uncertainty (45 percent), a low credit score (34 percent), and too much debt (26 percent). Twenty-nine percent responded that they lacked the financial knowledge or did not know the first step needed for qualification.  Conversely, the share of homeowners who believe now is a good time to sell their homes has risen one percent from the last quarter, with 77 percent responding affirmatively, the overall highest share since the inception of the HOME survey in December 2015.center_img Home HOME data HOME report HOME survey HOUSING NAR NAR Survey National Association of Realtors 2018-03-26 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more