The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and award-winning animal advocate Jill Rappaport, announced today they are developing Best in Shelter, a television series and prime-time special showcasing the special appeal of shelter pets.The first program is intended to culminate on Valentine’s Day 2015.Beginning February 2014 and with the help of ASPCA animal welfare and shelter experts, Ms. Rappaport will visit shelters around the country on a year-long search for a variety of outstanding canine and feline contestants. Chosen animals will then strut their stuff for a panel of judges for a chance to be crowned Best in Shelter – and score a loving home in the process.Creator, Executive Producer and Host Jill Rappaport said: “It has been my dream – ever since I created my beloved ‘Bow to Wow’ series six years ago on the TODAY Show – to develop a program that celebrates the beauty, inside and out, of shelter animals. The time has come – and long over-due – for shelter pets to shine as the true superstars they are! The win-win here is that hopefully every one of our featured fur angels, whether on the show or in the shelters I will be visiting across the country, will find a loving permanent home, which is what they deserve. The ASPCA is a critical national voice for shelter animals, and I look forward to partnering with them to truly make a difference for animals in need.”The series will be designed to showcase the dogs and cats – young and old, big and small and on four or three legs – discovered at shelters. Much like other reality show competitions, selected finalists are expected to compete in front of a live studio audience in a primetime special, Best in Shelter. In addition to Jill Rappaport and special celebrity guests, the judging panel would feature experts, such as a veterinarian and a certified animal trainer, who would be faced with the task of narrowing down their favorites. There would be trophy winners in several creative categories, such as “sizzling seniors”, and one Best in Shelter superstar.The ASPCA will be the exclusive animal welfare organization partner for the television project, leveraging its extensive relationships with animal shelters around the country and sharing its expertise in adoptions. The program is expected to feature the ASPCA’s Onyx and Breezy Shefts Adoption Center in NYC as well as non-profit and city-run shelters nationwide.Each of the animals featured on the program would be available for adoption, giving them an incredible platform in front of a national audience. Regardless of whether they’re awarded Best in Shelter, they’re sure to win the hearts of millions of viewers and hopefully a one-way ticket to a new home.The ASPCA estimates that approximately 5 to 7 million animals enter shelters nationwide each year, and approximately 3 to 4 million never make it out alive. The ASPCA works nationwide every day to change this, providing support and resources to animal welfare organizations across the country to provide positive outcomes for those animals most at risk.“Shelter animals can bring as much love and happiness to your life as any animal anywhere – the only difference is they don’t yet have homes of their own,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matthew Bershadker. “Best in Shelter would not only celebrate how wonderful these animals are, but would bring attention to the fact that many are already waiting in your own community. I’ve no doubt this program will both change lives and save lives.”Bershadker added: “As a leading voice for shelter animals on network television, Jill shares our passion for spotlighting animal victims of cruelty and homelessness. Jill’s a gifted storyteller and her life-long work has created national awareness for critical animal welfare issues, helping many animals find homes. We are thrilled to partner with her on this important new program.”Jill Rappaport has worked as a correspondent for TODAY and NBC News for the more than 22 years, the first 15 as entertainment reporter. While chronicling her beloved dog Jack’s bone cancer diagnosis and medical treatment on TODAY, she realized that animal welfare issues were her calling, and so her career path changed. In Rappaport’s award-winning “Bow to Wow” and “Meow to Wow” series, she helped make over shelter pets, giving them a second chance at life by putting a national spotlight on homeless animals and had a 100 percent adoption record. Rappaport is also the best-selling author of People We Know, Horses they Love, and has written three others books, including Jack & Jill: The Miracle Dog with a Happy Tail To Tell, about her beloved dog Jack, and 500 Cats.Rappaport is the recipient of numerous national honors and awards for her work on behalf of animal welfare. She was named the ASPCA Good Will Equine Welfare Ambassador and received the coveted Presidential Service Award for Media Excellence at the 2012 ASPCA Humane Awards. Rappaport recently launched her own line of leashes and collars called “Jill Rappaport’s Rescued Me Collection”, and has an equestrian jewelry line called “Hannah’s Heart” named after her beloved late mare and benefiting horses in need. In the spring she will be launching “Jill Rappaport’s Shelter Shake”, a wonderful toy to be given out to various shelters across the country, so animals feel like they are “one step closer to a loving home”. Rappaport lives on a farm with her five rescue dogs and seven horses, to whom she refers as her “fur angels.”
BISMARCK, N.D. — An American Indian activist named in a federal racketeering lawsuit filed by the Dakota Access oil pipeline developer denies wrongdoing.Krystal Two Bulls of Montana also denies evading service of the lawsuit. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners says the tactic is preventing it from serving three other people it added as defendants five months ago to its $1 billion lawsuit against environmental groups including Greenpeace.Two Bulls wants a federal judge to dismiss her from the lawsuit she was served with at the Phoenix airport last month.ETP alleges the defendants worked to undermine the $3.8 billion pipeline. And company attorneys say some individual defendants are evading service by moving frequently and using fake names at hotels.Company lawyers want more time to track them down. The judge hasn’t ruled.Blake Nicholson, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Fiera Capital Corp. said Thursday it has signed a deal to buy Canadian Wealth Management Group Inc., the Calgary-based subsidiary of Societe Generale Private Banking.Financial terms of the deal were not available.Fiera, which said the deal is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings, has made several acquisitions this year.In February, the company acquired the asset management business of National Bank of Canada in a deal valued at $309.6-million.Fiera shares last traded for $7.55 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.The Canadian Press
Calling Bosnia and Herzegovina a “test case” of international efforts, Jacques Paul Klein, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, said disengagement would have implications beyond the country’s borders. “If international intervention fails there, we abandon the hopes of a new generation that is just beginning to exercise democracy, and we sound the death knell for multiethnic States anywhere in the Balkans, with grave implications for peace and stability in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and elsewhere,” he said.The Special Representative further warned that the credibility of international cooperation itself was at stake. “If after six years of massive engagement the result is failure and withdrawal, United Nations authority, the NATO alliance and the principle of multiethnic tolerance as a basis of democratic society are all compromised,” he said. “If we abandon the field now to extremists, partitionists and segregationists, the moral and political basis for future interventions against ethnic cleansing and expulsion of minority populations is weakened, perhaps fatally.” While noting that the Balkans were in a “complex and volatile period,” Mr. Klein reported that there were more grounds for optimism than pessimism. Croatian, Bosnian and Yugoslav leaders had established a cooperation based “not on love but on realism,” he said. Seizing the opportunity presented by these new circumstances, the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) had been promoting regional efforts to combat illegal migration and organized crime.Welcoming the setting up of truth and reconciliation commissions in both Sarajevo and Belgrade, he stressed that this development marked “the first brave steps by the people themselves to establish what really happened and what and who plunged one of the most developed socialist States into a vortex of barbarism and self-destruction.”Mr. Klein also reported on progress in promoting ethnic integration in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The monoethnic wastelands are being reversed,” he said, noting the recent success of international action against ethnic extremists. “The political crisis is not yet over, but for the ultranationalists, the writing is clearly on the wall.”Following Mr. Klein’s opening briefing, the Council held a wide-ranging discussion on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the activities of the UN mission in the country, and the broader regional security situation.
More than 4.2 million Malawians will need $88 million in emergency humanitarian assistance consisting of food and nutritional aid over the next six months, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland said today.”I am very glad to see some of the humanitarian community’s most consistent donors have responded to the Appeal so promptly,” said Mr. Egeland, “but there is still a long way to go.”Already some $13 million in cash and 30,000 tons of food have been pledged by the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Luxembourg, and Ireland. But $51 million in food and nutritional assistance, and $37 million in emergency agricultural assistance is needed to help the Government ease the chronic food insecurity the nation now faces, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates.More is urgently needed from donors especially “among the Asian, Latin American, and Gulf States, in order to avert hunger and to promote sustainable recovery of livelihoods around the region,” added Mr. Egeland.Of particular concern is the timing of donations, since Malawian farmers will soon begin planting next year’s crops. With a shortfall of $29 million needed for planting, this could mean that many of the one million small farms targeted by the Appeal may not have enough maize seed and fertilizer to ensure they can produce enough food for 2006.Malawi is just one of the several African nations now facing a critical phase in their chronic food insecurity, with Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe battling similar problems.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently mobilizing food aid, and needs $20 million in additional funding, for tens of thousands of Congolese fleeing their homes in fear of fresh militia attacks in the Katanga region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).“Fortunately, WFP has sufficient contingency food stocks in the Katanga region and is able to respond quickly, moving one month’s supply of food aid to the town of Dubie where an estimated 13,000 displaced Congolese are arriving,” WFP Country Director Felix Bamezon said today. “We were also able to pre-position food in two other strategic locations to assist some 23,000 others,” he added of Katanga, where the Congolese army, backed by the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), is currently trying to oust militias that have tortured, raped and killed civilians across eastern part of the vast country ever since the five-year civil war ended in 2002.“However, we urgently need an additional $20 million if we are to continue meeting the needs that we regularly see as the cycle of displacement in Eastern DRC continues,” he declared.As part of its contingency planning, WFP had already airlifted 70 metric tons of food to aid 7,000 displaced people in the hard-to-reach town of Mpiana, north of Dubie, and has helped another 16,000 who have fled south to the town of Malemba-Nkulu. Nearly 110 metric tons of food for Dubie is now being loaded onto trucks at WFP’s sub-office in Lubumbashi. Once a safe humanitarian corridor is established, the trucks will begin the difficult 500-kilometre journey along poorly maintained roads that are worsened by the heavy rains now falling in the region.The newly displaced exemplify the enormous challenge of providing critical humanitarian assistance in many parts of the huge country. New pockets of insecurity regularly result in a new cycle of displaced who urgently need our help. “Unless we get sufficient funding, essential stocks are quickly depleted. These contingency stocks are crucial to our ability to respond promptly to very sudden surges of people in need,” Mr. Bamezon said. Katanga is not the only province experiencing displacement and tens of thousands of people continue to rely on humanitarian assistance elsewhere. In Ituri District, WFP has helped more than 23,000 displaced people; fighting in North Kivu Province has led to 8,000 newly displaced; and in South Kivu Province, militias that have so far refused to be demobilized or reintegrated into the Congolese army continue to roam.
“The crime of domestic violence has devastating impacts on women and children and on Zimbabwe’s development,” UNICEF country representative Festo Kavishe said in support of Zimbabwe Vice President Joice Mujuru’s vigorous condemnation of gender- based violence and any cultural practices that put the safety of women at risk.“UNICEF says no, no and no to the horrifying stories of women who go into a relationship with high hopes and good intentions – and find themselves trapped with men who beat, kick, rape and at times kill them,” he added.A combination of an inflexible approach to cultural and traditional practices, an economic downturn that has seen women become the chief bread winners as men are made unemployed, and odious beliefs on HIV and virgins have made gender-based violence frighteningly common in Zimbabwe. Press reports and data collected at workshops and through non-governmental organizations indicate a steep rise in violence against women.To counter traditional practices and principles that include the subjugation of women and acceptance that it is culturally permissible for a man to physically ‘discipline’ his wife and children, UNICEF strongly supports all those calling for the acceleration of the enactment of a law on gender-based violence.“Zimbabwe’s women continue to shine in the face of great social and economic odds,” Mr. Kavishe said, warning that domestic abuse plants the seeds of violence in the next generation.
Then-junior Elizabeth Campbell (14) prepares to serve a ball during a game against Penn State on Oct. 31, 2014. Credit: Lantern File PhotoThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team grabbed victories in two of its three matches at the Rumble in the Rockies tournament in Laramie, Wyoming, to kick off the 2015 season.After taking a loss in four sets in their season-opening match against host Wyoming on Friday, the No. 14 Buckeyes (2-1) rebounded on Saturday with wins against Butler and South Dakota.In the first contest on Saturday, the Buckeyes picked up their first win of the season by running away with a victory over Butler in three sets (25-15, 26-24, 25-18).Senior setter and Texas Tech transfer Emily Ruetter picked up her first double-double with OSU (30 assists, 10 digs) and junior libero Valeria Leon racked up 13 digs.Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell led the Buckeyes’ attack with 11 kills, while freshman outside hitter Audra Appold, junior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe and senior middle blocker Tyler Richardson each tallied nine.OSU’s second win of the day was by a wide margin, as it outscored South Dakota by 29 points and never trailed in three sets (25-13, 25-11, 25-22).As a team, OSU had a .385 hitting percentage against the Coyotes. The Buckeyes were again led by Campbell, who had 18 kills — half of those coming in the first set — and a .517 hitting percentage.Ruetter contributed 36 assists, an average of 12 per set.OSU kept things close in its first game of the season against Wyoming but was upset by the Cowgirls in four sets (23-25, 25-20, 19-25, 23-25).Wyoming was able to stifle the OSU attack, picking up 21 blocks and holding the Buckeyes to a hitting percentage of .031. Freshman middle blocker Reed Copeland picked up 12 blocks for the Cowgirls.In what was the start of a big weekend, Campbell had a double-double against Wyoming, by way of 17 kills and 14 digs. She also had five blocks.Appold had 15 kills in her OSU debut, while Sandbothe added 12. Freshman setter Taylor Hughes assisted on 36 points and added nine digs in her first game donning the scarlet and gray. Leon led all players with 21 digs.Leon (4.3 digs per set) and Sandbothe (30 kills, five blocks) were named to the all-tournament team asOSU finished in second place behind 3-0 Wyoming at the Rumble in the Rockies.Next for the Buckeyes, Saturday marks the beginning of the home schedule as they’re set to host the 10th annual Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic on Sept. 5 and 6. Their first match is scheduled against Northern Illinois at noon, before meeting Florida State at 7 p.m. that evening. OSU is then scheduled to face the Seminoles a second time on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Looking for a bargain on a zippy little Android number? Check out the just-launched Huawei Mercury from Cricket.The $250 phone packs plenty of hardware punch. Horsepower is provided by a 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm Scorpion processor. No, it’s not the dual-core powerplant you’ll find in some other Android phones, but that clock speed should allow the Mercury to power through tasks just fine.There’s 2GB of storage on board, 512MB RAM, and a microSD expansion slot for up to 32GB of additional file storage. In addition to an 8MP camera on the front, there’s a VGA rear-facing camera for video chat. 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 support is built in, and the whole package is topped with a 4-inch touchscreen that pumps out 480×854 pixels.The Mercury should boast very respectable talk and standby times with its single core chip and a 1930mAh battery pack on board. Android 2.3.5 comes ready to roll with a handful of preinstalled apps, including Facebook, Twitter, Ket’s Golf 2, Asphalt 5, Documents to Go, and Swype. At 10.6mm, this isn’t anywhere near the slimmest smartphone around — but it’s still plenty light at 138 grams.Cricket will slot the Mercury into its line-up alongside other Huawei phones like the Ascend II and M750, and you’ll need to sign up for the carrier’s $55 per month plan (contract-free, of course). It’s a pretty solid deal, though, with a full range of calling features, unlimited talk and text, and 1GB of data included in that price.Unfortunately, there’s no announcement yet as to whether the Mercury is slated for an ICS upgrade. Huawei’s already shown off a build for its higher-end sibling, the Honor, so it’s definitely a good possibility. If the single-core Nexus S can garner cheers of “it’s like a brand new phone with ICS!” the Mercury ought to offer users a similarly smooth upgrade experience.More at Engadget
According to comScore’s most recent numbers, the list of the ten most popular mobile apps in the US is ruled by Google and Facebook. That’s not a complete surprise to those who understand just how popular Android has become and how ubiquitous the Facebook app is in 2013. It’s still impressive to see how far down the list the two’s closest challengers sit. Pandora is the closest, but it’s nearly 8% behind YouTube. iTunes comes next, sitting in the eighth spot.There’s just no keeping up with Facebook, but that’s bound to happen when your service has an active base of around one billion users. Mobile traffic now accounts for around 54% of all traffic on Facebook, and its mobile penetration generally hovers between 60 and 80 percent.Google’s showing has a lot to do with Android’s rise, but that doesn’t take anything away from the significance of having five of the top ten apps. Maps has a lock on second place, and Google should give Apple a heartfelt thank-you for that. Cupertino’s inability to deliver a usable Maps app in iOS 5 paved the way for a massive exodus when Google Maps landed in the App Store.It’s curious to see comScore include numbers for Google Play and iTunes. comScore is counting unique visitors, so Play isn’t stuffing the ballot box just because Android relies on it for apps, music, movies, books, and magazines. iTunes, on the other hand, is only pushing music and video. It’s not quite fair to list the two on this chart, at least without combining App Store and iTunes numbers.Perhaps the most amazing thing about this chart? The fact that Yahoo’s Messenger is one of the ten most popular apps in the United States.
It’s been teased, hinted, and all but demanded for over a year now. Subscription-based content has come to YouTube in a big way, and it looks great.Over the last year, YouTube has seen a significant increase in high quality content. From channels like “Geek and Sundry” with Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day to “H+ The Digital Series” releasing an entire season exclusively to YouTube, it’s been interesting to see this influx of premium content. At the same time, services like HBO are constantly under pressure to release a version of their service that doesn’t include paying a cable provider. So far HBO hasn’t budged, but Google has stepped in and offered a service that makes it easy for quality content producers to give their users something to subscribe to.53 pilot channels have opened up on YouTube, each with the ability to subscribe for a monthly or yearly price depending on what kind of content you want. Whether it’s the all British all the time “AcornTV” or the “Big Think Mentor” series, or even kids content with “Franklin” there’s a ton of options available. None of the subscriptions are particularly expensive, starting at $0.99 per month and working their way up to as much as $4.99.Big Think Mentor and others offer a $19.99 per year subscription as well, though not every channel has made this feature available. Once you make the purchase, the channel is added to your existing subscriptions list as though it were just another channel.In the case of Big Think Mentor, the channel is available entirely ad free for your subscription. Signing up offers you a 14 day free trial, after which you’ll be charged for the subscription that you have agreed to when you select the channel. Purchases are made through Google Wallet, and the videos are immediately available on your YouTube account. The videos can be watched on your smartphone and tablet as well as your computer, and it all still looks and feels like YouTube. It doesn’t seem like Google has done anything new or different to stop these videos from being downloaded through existing third party YouTube downloader services as a result, but an ad-free YouTube is a breath of fresh air.
Short URL Share Tweet Email File photo – Swiss Alps Image: Shutterstock/Gutnikus Sunday 28 Apr 2019, 11:43 AM FOUR HIKERS HAVE died in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps, according to local police.The accident took place on Friday in the village of Fieschertal. A group of German hikers had set off at 9am that morning.After the hikers failed to arrive at a hut in the Konkordia area that evening, the keeper of the cabin raised the alarm. A search flight was immediately deployed. Several avalanches had happened in the area in question. Due to the bad weather, searches could only resume yesterday at 1.30pm. Four hikers were located between the Grunhorn and Konkordiahutte area in the afternoon. They have been confirmed dead.The identification of the victims is still in progress. The public prosecutor has opened an investigation. 14,898 Views https://jrnl.ie/4609933 By Hayley Halpin 6 Comments Image: Shutterstock/Gutnikus File photo – Swiss Alps Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Four hikers die in Swiss Alps avalanche The accident took place on Friday in the village of Fieschertal. Apr 28th 2019, 11:43 AM
Fog developed early Monday in the Portland-Vancouver area, with forecasters predicting it would likely become more widespread as the morning continued.In response, the National Weather Service in Portland has issued a dense fog advisory, which will remain in effect until 11 a.m.Visibility is reduced to a quarter-mile at some spots around Vancouver. The fog is thick in the downtown area, closest to the Columbia River.The advisory also includes the Clark County communities of Battle Ground, Washougal, Ridgefield, Yacolt and Amboy.“Motorists should be prepared for abrupt changes in visibilities over short distances when traveling along the (Interstate 5) corridor between Kelso/Longview and Eugene including the Portland/Vancouver metro,” the advisory says.Motorists are asked to slow down and leave plenty of distance ahead on the roadway.The fog will reappear Monday night around 11 p.m., according to the weather service. Then, rainfall is likely through Sunday.
During his long interview with Catalunya Radio, Xavi Hernandez finally took some time to talk about the comparisons with Arthur Melo.The main conversation at FC Barcelona besides Lionel Messi is Brazilian Arthur Melo, everybody is calling him the new “Xavi” due to the style of play that is very reminiscent to the one that the Catalan player practices.A central midfielder who has a unique talent to protect the ball, always make the best passing choice because of his GPS-like qualities inside the pitch, and with an insane last pass that will bring him a high number of assists playing for a club like Barcelona.One match is all that Arthur needed to earn the trust of the manager and the respect of all his teammates, who are really enjoying the club’s offensive game which left the club when Xavi retired.There hadn’t been a public opinion from Hernandez where he spoke freely about the Brazilian until now, Xavi is very happy with Arthur’s appearance in Barcelona and he did confess that there are many similarities between the two of them that will help the Catalan club a great deal during crucial matches.VÍDEO. Què opina Xavi sobre Arthur? Aquest dimecres no et perdis la conversa amb @RTorquemada al ‘Parlem de futbol amb…’Escolta la primera part de l’entrevista a @latdt del Cultural Leonesa a partir de les 20.30h a @catalunyaradio! pic.twitter.com/cCXvnjxAuQ— LaTdT (@LaTdT) October 30, 2018“I see myself when I see Arthur on television. He is a very quick thinker. He has a natural talent, but most of all, he has a lot of room to improve through training,” finally said Xavi on Catalunya Radio. “Arthur is already a mature player and I still see that he has a massive untapped potential. The priority during any match is to never lose the ball, he comes out of a tricky situation with ease and he has a strong personality already.”“He needs at least twenty more matches in order to show all his resources. He has impressive shooting skills and he will do a lot more for the team once he gets more confidence.”“Take Abidal for example, when he arrived in Barcelona he only did a couple things right. But through hard work and dedication during practice, he became the best defender in the world.”“Nothing comes easy in a club like FC Barcelona because playing in that club, means that you are going through the final exam of your career. In a club like this, you have to do at least two hundred things that you wouldn’t normally do in other clubs.”Fati and Suarez shine against Valencia at Camp Nou Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 15, 2019 With a mesmerizing first half from Ansu Fati and a brace from Luis Suarez in the second half, Barcelona demolished Valencia at Camp Nou.Valencia…“Getting an OK grade at Barça is not good enough, you have to always be excellent in everything,” he added.A @LaTdT, @RTorquemada parla de futbol amb Xavi Hernández. La retirada, Arthur… i Messi: “És un motlle fet per al futbol” https://t.co/ylLQCNd0Nv pic.twitter.com/uOPEKtE31d— Catalunya Ràdio (@CatalunyaRadio) October 30, 2018“In Barcelona you have players who always have to set the trend and play in that particular style, that’s why you always have to sign the players who are adapted to that specific game philosophy,” Xavi continued.“Signing a player like Arthur was a major hit for the club, he has the Barça DNA. You can already tell by the way he plays, how he conducts the ball, the way he thinks, how he makes his turns, he is a very quick thinker.”“There are other players who have come and they are not Barça style in the past. There are some transfers that have been a clear miss for the club, great players who had to leave because they don’t have the Barça philosophy.”“We haven’t lost the style and doing so would be a massive historical mistake. There are many players in the world who play the Barça style and we have found one, fortunately: Arthur. But there are more players who can do it, like Marco Verratti.”“But in order to keep finding those players, you have to keep trusting the philosophy and help it prevail,” he concluded.Primero El Clásico para siempre en la memoria. ¡Gran partido de nuestro equipo! #forçabarça 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/yt1KgEsV0m— Arthur Melo (@arthurhromelo) October 28, 2018What do you think about Xavi Hernandez’s analysis of Arthur Melo’s similarities with his game? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.
Senator Bill Stoltze announced on the Senate floor today that he will not seek re-election. The Chugiak Republican cited health concerns, although he clarified that he was not dealing with an immediate health threat.Download AudioSen. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, recently announced he won’t seek reelection to the Alaska Senate. Photo taken on Feb. 19, 2015. (File Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)“I’m not dying at any accelerated pace that any of the rest of us are, and I am just not running again,” Stoltze said. “You guys are all going to have to bear with me through all the special sessions wherever they may meet.”Senator Stoltze is 54 years old. He has served in the legislature since his election to the House in 2003. He was elected to Senate district F in 2014, after state redistricting created a new Senate seat in Southcentral.
New Delhi: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday dismissed concerns about safety and privacy of students over the government’s plan to install CCTV cameras in classrooms, saying the live feed will be available only to parents and the access will be password protected. Sisodia’s statement came after the Supreme Court dismissed a PIL challenging the AAP government’s decision to install closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in classrooms of Delhi schools and live stream the feed to parents of students. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us “The feed of classrooms will only be made available to parents, who will be able to access it after getting a secure password for a smartphone for a limited period of time daily without any audio. Teachers, parents and students are happy with this latest initiative and our government will prove the sceptics wrong once again like it has done repeatedly on its initiatives in the field of education,” Sisodia said in a statement. Also Read – CBI carrying out surprise checks at 150 government departments Advertise With Us “We have decided to install the CCTV cameras after careful planning. Well thought out Standing Operating Procedures (SoPs) have been put in place. It is beyond any reasonable understanding as to why cynics are creating a hue and cry about the project,” he added. A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi Friday did not agree with the PIL’s contention that the installation and transmission of live feeds of CCTV to the parents would infringe the fundamental right to privacy as the kids are incapable to give consent and the parents’ approval has not been taken. Advertise With Us The live-streaming of CCTV feeds will be done to random people which will be a breach of privacy. There were adolescents in schools and it will be a breach of their privacy if the CCTV feed was live streamed, the PIL had claimed. The plea had sought setting aside of the Delhi government’s September 11, 2017, decision of installing CCTV cameras in classroom and life streaming the feeds to the parents.
A trader reacts as he watches screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York on Feb 5, 2018.ReutersAsian shares got off to a weak start on Monday as investors braced for caution ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting later in the week.The Federal Reserve Market Committee’s first meeting with new head Jerome Powell at the helm takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday.Strengthening labor market and a steady increase in price pressures could pave the way for the central bank to raise interest rates in the upcoming meeting.The CME FedWatch tool currently places the likelihood of a 25 basis point hike at 91.6 percent, one fully worked in for the markets.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1 percent, while Australia’s main index edged up 0.1 percent in the morning trading.Major indices on the Wall Street ended lower for the week on Friday. The Dow lost 1.57 percent and the S&P 1.04 percent.Back home, the SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50’s trend in India, signals a weak start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex plunged 509 points or 1.51 percent to close at 33,176 on Friday.The partially convertible rupee ended at 64.94 on Friday, down 0.01 percent from its previous close of 64.93.So far this year, the rupee weakened 1.7 percent, while foreign investors have bought $1.4 billion in equity and $21 million in debt market.Sandhar Technologies IPO: The issue of Sandhar Technologies, a supplier to Hero MotoCorp for sheet metal components, opens on Monday and closes on Wednesday. The price band for the issue is Rs 327 to Rs 332 per share.Crude check: Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, dropped 0.54 percent at $65.85 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude shed 0.58 percent at $61.98 a barrel, on Monday morning.
Prime minister Sheikh HasinaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina said BNP should join the next polls and should not repeat the mistake as it did by boycotting the 2014 election.“I want to ask her (Khaleda) and her party to come to the right path of healthy politics. They (BNP) shouldn’t repeat their mistake as they did in the 2014 general election. People will cast their votes for those whoever they like,” Sheikh Hasina said.The prime minister was addressing a community reception accorded to her at the City Conference Center on Thursday evening.She said Awami League wants the democratic trend to continue in the country. “They (BNP) should stay away from the path of violence. We’re moving ahead as Bangladesh now reached a respected position in global arena.”She also came down heavily on Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus for his ‘role’ in stopping the World Bank fund for Padma Bridge project, bringing allegations of corruption against her, instigating Hillary Clinton to phone her after losing his MD post of Grameen Bank and giving threat to her son Sajeeb Wazed Joy thrice by the State Department.Continuing her scathing attack on Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia, the prime minister said Khaleda failed to pass matriculation exams while Ziaur somehow managed to pass that. “I don’t want to say further up to which classes their son studied as you know very well and this is their standard.”Hasina went on saying, “One thing they (BNP) have understood very well (that is) how to make money, take commission and amass wealth through ‘Hawa Bhaban’. So, Khaleda doesn’t feel well when people are in good state. Khaleda will feel better if she can again resort to looting, killing and destroying public property.”“She (Khaleda) delivered a speech today (Thursday) that Bangladesh is now in very bad shape. She (Khaleda) had embezzled the fund of orphanage, but now she fears to face the trial as she lost after filing writ petitions for 150 times in higher court after taking times for 140 occasions. Now the bad time is for them and not for Bangladesh,” she said.The prime minister also mentioned she had fruitful discussions with the King and the prime minister of Sweden.Noting that there has been marked development in Bangladesh, Hasina said that mobile phones and laptops are now in the hands of common people while they are also getting services from community clinics across the country. “But, during BNP-Jamaat’s misrule, the power generation had sharply come down as they only given electric poles to people.”But, she said, the policy of Awami League is to make the nation stand on its own feet, not to beg. “We’ll live with dignity as a nation.”“Zia was involved in the 15 August killings while his party in the 21 August grenade attack and 10-truck arms haul case,” Hasina said adding, “Repeated attempts (to kill her) were made but I tried to forget those for the sake of politics, people’s interest, and democracy.”Reiterating her firm stance that there would be no place for any sort of terrorism and militancy on Bangladesh soil, the prime minister said Islam is a religion of peace and it never supports killing innocent people. “We’ve taken massive steps to combat terrorism and militancy by any means.”She urged the expatriate Bangladeshis to project the ongoing development activities in Bangladesh alongside telling that BNP is a ‘terrorist and militant outfit’.Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali also spoke at the reception chaired by president of Swedish unit of Awami League.
Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Artificial intelligence and machine learning are often associated with tech giants like Google and Amazon that have created the most popular machine learning libraries and platforms. Since efficient AI/ML solutions require vast volumes of costly data to train, small companies are often reluctant to integrate AI into their business workflow. These worries are overblown though. These days, turning your small business into a full-fledged data-driven company might be easier than you think. To prove this, here are five easy tips on how to kickstart AI transition of your small company right now.Intelligent CRMsCRM systems are designed to compile information about consumers across different channels (e.g email, phone, social media) and to provide sales forces with an integrated environment to manage interactions with current and prospective consumers, and automate marketing and lead generation.Related: 5 Reasons Machine Learning Is the Future of MarketingThese days, small businesses can benefit from AI functionality embedded into popular CRM platforms like SalesForce. In 2016, SalesForce launched its Einstein AI, which allows developers to integrate AI functionality into their CRM applications on top of Salesforce. Einstein AI can help small businesses analyze consumer sentiments in recorded phone conversations, emails, social media posts and customer reviews, evaluate the customer feedback, and adjust marketing and lead generation activities accordingly. Sales persons of small businesses can get a better understanding of customer intents in inquiries to automatically route leads, personalize marketing campaigns and more. With AI-enabled CRM, small businesses can automatically get more insights from their customer data and make their marketing and sales teams more efficient and consumers more satisfied.Intelligent customer service solutionsCustomer service and support are one of the key components of efficient customer retention and satisfaction. However, the quality of customer service might deteriorate when support agents have to perform menial and repetitive tasks instead of focusing on unique support experiences for consumers.To make support agents more efficient, small businesses can integrate AI software into in-house customer services. Such AI solutions as Digital Genius, for example, can suggest or automate answers, and classify tickets and messages to quickly route them to the right team, freeing up your support agents’ time for dealing with issues which require human engagement. By using AI in their customer service, small businesses can radically reduce average handling time and automate repetitive questions to reach the ultimate goal of improving employee and customer satisfaction.Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less LucrativeAI for marketingManaging marketing budgets efficiently often requires deep domain expertise, which entails additional and often undesirable costs for small businesses. Fortunately, these days small enterprises can use even modest budgets effectively with AI solutions for marketing. Small businesses can entrust their marketing campaigns to such AI-powered platforms as Acquisio, which manages marketing operations across multiple channels (e.g Adwords, Facebook, Bing), analyzing advertising performance and making informed suggestions about the best budget distributions in terms of PPC (pay per click).Using AI marketing solutions, small companies can find the best marketing strategy and dramatically reduce their CPC (cost per click) thanks to the sentiment analysis algorithms that analyze customer engagement with their marketing campaigns. Automation of regular bids and efficient budget monitoring will also mean saving money on hiring additional marketing and advertising staff.Related: Want to Be More Like Amazon? Start By Making Your Startup More Data-Driven.AI for competitive intelligenceWhen your competitors produce gigabytes of content and hundreds of updates each day, it may be hard to keep track of their strategies. Knowing your competitors well, however, is crucial for reacting to market trends and staying competitive.Fortunately, AI-powered competitive analysis tools like Crayon can help you address this hard challenge. Crayon AI can track your competitors across different channels (websites, social media, web applications), identifying price changes and subtle modifications in messaging and PR activities. In pair with powerful natural language processing and business metrics, this functionality can give small businesses a better understanding of ongoing changes in their competitors’ strategy. In addition, AI-enabled competitive intelligence involves powerful analytical capabilities that allow for instant identification of competitors’ product gaps, weaknesses and strengths which can be used to adjust your own business strategy and be never blindsided by the competitor’s actions.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessAI-ready solutionsNowadays, small businesses can plug AI-ready tools into literally every element of their business workflow that involves data. Leveraging state-of-the-art sentiment analysis, classification and prediction algorithms small business can instantly draw useful business insights from any bit of their data.For example, with such AI-enabled tools as Monkey Learn, small companies can use sentiment analysis and entity extraction in their Google Sheets, CSV and Excel data without any coding. It’s easy to integrate, and the platform also enables automatic classification, tagging and processing of support tickets, and classification of inbound emails and other communications. The system can be also used to analyze product reviews and distill them into useful reports containing practical business insights. All these features will save small business the cost and time needed to review data flowing into their communication channels.As AI/ML market is booming, small businesses have more options to kickstart their AI strategy now. Instead of hiring additional data scientists and marketing specialists, small companies can use third-party tools with easy-to-use interfaces and efficient machine learning functionality to plug their data and workflow into intelligent platforms. Workflow automation coupled with business intelligence will save small businesses time and money while enabling them to stay competitive in the emerging data-driven economy. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 5 min read November 16, 2017
Source = TravelManagers Club Med Kani Jose Barbs and Michelle T – Blissful smiles are a given at Club Med Kani, as demonstrated by TravelManagers’ Barbara Turner, Jose Canas (NPO) and Michelle Thomas (L-R)TravelManagers’ Taste of Luxury in the MaldivesThey say the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and for seven personal travel managers (PTMs) on a recent TravelManagers’ famil of the Maldives’ Club Med Kani and Finolhu Villas, a four-night taste was proof enough that a barefoot-luxury holiday in this exquisite destination is well worth aspiring to.The group was hosted by Club Med’s Business Development Manager, Adam Ferraro and accompanied by TravelManagers’ Fares and Ticketing Manager, Jose Canas. After a quick stop in Singapore during which they were able to experience Changi Airport’s Ambassador Transit Lounge, they continued to their destination for the next three nights: Club Med Kani.After taking a tour of the resort, participants were free to spend the remainder of their time at the resort enjoying the various water-sports on offer, joining yoga and pilates classes and sampling both the cocktails at the resort’s Beach Bar and dining at Velhi Restaurant.“To be on the island and enjoy the scenery, to see the different room options first-hand and to sample the amazing variety of meals and activities available makes property so much easier to sell,” reports PTM Michelle Thomas, who is representative for Norah Head, NSW.“Just to see the properties and experience the destination was brilliant,” adds Barbara Turner, who is representative for Scarborough, WA. “I’ve already made a client booking and I’ve only been back for two days!”Darren Kelk, who is TravelManagers’ representative for South Yarra, VIC, is already planning to return next year for a holiday, describing the destination as “the perfect holiday for those needing a great relaxing break.”“Club Med’s all-inclusive concept represents great value for money, especially if you book the complete flights plus land package as one,” he adds. “You can just relax and enjoy your holiday without having to think about spending money or signing bills every time you order something.”After two wonderful days at Club Med Kani, the group were transferred to the nearby Finolhu Villas for a final day and night of indulgence.“It was paradise on steroids!” exclaims Thomas. “We stayed in the lead-in Beach Suites, which were stunning: from a private plunge pool and an outdoor shower to amazing views and your own butler, you really couldn’t ask for more.”Participants qualified for the famil, which was exclusive to TravelManagers, by participating in a sales incentive run over May and June this year, based on sales performance or improvement at the two Maldives-based Club Med properties, Club Med Bintan and on Singapore Airlines.“PTMs were also required to take part in both Club Med and Singapore Airlines webinars,” adds Kelk. “Seeing the properties and experiencing Singapore Airlines for themselves brought it all to life for the PTMs who were lucky enough to earn themselves a spot.”The group’s final evening in the Maldives involved sipping glasses of chilled Champagne as they watched the sun set, before heading to the overwater, fine-dining Moto restaurant, whose central bar offers a window to the ocean world below through a special glass floor.“The staff were brilliant, and the accommodations were far better than I had imagined,” says Turner. “It’s a stunning destination, and I would absolutely love to return and take my family.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.Barbs Club Med Kani – PTM Barbara Turner thinks every bathtub should come with a view like this one, at Club Med Kani in the MaldivesAbout TravelManagersTravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.8 billion for 2018. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 540 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases.