Bid On The Chance To Meet Garth Brooks

first_imgHere’s your chance to bid on a meet & greet with Garth Brooks and the opportunity to attend his sold-out September 6th concert in Chicago!Proceeds from the auction benefit Liberty Hill.Charity is important, but Liberty Hill creates lasting change by reforming policies, introducing new standards and safeguards and advancing equality and opportunity for every Angeleno. They invest in community organizing — the process of bringing people together and helping them realize their power. Through organizing, people transform their own lives and learn the power of collective action, laying the foundation for lasting social change. Liberty Hill identifies leaders on the ground, strengthens their work through grant investments and intensive on-the-job training, and builds strategic alliances so they can advance a common agenda for change.The auction runs until August 10. To make a bid, click here.last_img read more

Hidat Teklom Expanding civilian protection capacity with flying cameras

Hidat Teklom schedules flights in the DRC and will be involved in schedling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) this summer. UN Photo Hidat Teklom schedules flights in the DRC and will be involved in schedling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) this summer. UN Photo ‹ ›Being part of the new advances in peacekeeping is part of why Ms. Teklom joined the United Nations, “I love being involved, not just being an observer, and to work in a multicultural environment.” During her seven years with MONUSCO, Ms. Teklom has had to adapt to changing mandates for the Mission linked to the changing security situation in the country, as well as the waning financial resources forcing the Mission to be more creative on how it operates. “On the aviation side, the fleet has been reduced and reorganized,” she noted. There are also the daily hurdles she faces. “The greatest challenges have to do with last minute changes to the planned flights due to weather or a medical evacuation in a limited air asset. Then there was the national air traffic controllers strike,” said Ms. Teklom, an Eritrean national who herself worked as an air traffic controller before joining the UN. “Being in the UN has changed my perception towards the positive that this is an Organization which is meant to bring peace and stability to countries in crisis,” Ms. Teklom said. “Being in the UN has made me more responsible, accountable and able to accommodate a multicultural community.” Modest about her own abilities, Ms. Teklom describes UN peacekeepers with one adjective, “courageous.” As the Mission’s Air Operations Officer. Ms. Teklom helps plan, coordinate and carrie out the UN’s aviation plans in the country. It is up to her and her team to decide the type of aircraft to be used based on effectiveness and security, and coordinate the flights with key players on the ground and with the crew. “UAVs are flying objects so they are going to share the same airspace,” Ms. Teklom said. “We will need very close coordination with their launch centre to know what area they will be travelling in, flight level, speed, elapsed time, etc. Unlike a manned aircraft, we cannot communicate directly with the pilot.” When the head of UN peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous, announced in February plans for UAVs to be used in surveillance, he described them as “basically a flying camera”. Approved by the UN Security Council, the UAVs would improve situational awareness in the Kivus and exert some deterrence over armed groups by monitoring their movements during the night. The data would be relayed to the UN Force Commander who could use it to extend the peacekeepers’ capacity to protect civilians in the vast regions. The UAVs will be contracted through a third party. In late February, 25 companies from 11 countries expressed initial interest in the contracts, according to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and travelled to the DRC to learn the area and UN operations. “There will certainly be a lot of adjustments,” said Ms. Teklom. “Even though the challenges are going to be high, being a part of this new technology is a privilege and an honour,” she stressed. read more

UN health agency urges Governments to end production use of lead paint

“Lead poisoning remains one of the most important environmental health concerns for children globally, and lead paint is a major flashpoint for children’s potential lead poisoning,” said the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director for Public Health and Environment, Maria Neira.“The good news is that exposure to lead paint can be entirely stopped through a range of measures to restrict the production and use of lead paint.”On the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, WHO chose to highlight the role that Governments play in protecting the health of workers, children and women of reproductive age through the adoption of procedures to eliminate the use of lead decorative paints and the provision information to the public on renovation of homes where lead paint may have already been applied.The Week of Action runs from 20-26 October 2013. This year’s theme – Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future – underscores the importance of avoiding the use of lead paint and using safe alternatives in order to prevent children coming to harm from lead poisoning.Lead paint may be found in the home, on toys, furniture and on other objects. Decaying lead paint on walls, furniture and other interior surfaces creates lead-contaminated dust in the home that young children easily ingest. Mouthing lead-painted toys and other objects also exposes young children to lead. The sweet taste of lead paint means that some children even pick off and swallow small chips of paint.WHO estimates that 143,000 deaths per year result from lead poisoning, with lead paint is a major contributor. Exposure also contributes to 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year, and the vast majority – 99 per cent – of children affected by high exposure to lead live in low- and middle-income countries.Exposure to lead creates health problems for many years into the future. Even in countries that have banned leaded paint decades previously, such paint continues to be a source of exposure until it is finally stripped and replaced. The cost of replacing lead paint means that people living in older, poorly-maintained housing are particularly at risk, and this disproportionately affects economically-deprived communities.“Paints with extremely high levels of lead are still available in most of the developing countries where paint testing has been conducted as part of the efforts of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint,” said David Piper, the Deputy Director of the UN Environment Programme Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (UNEP DTIE) Chemicals Branch.“In most of the countries with lead paint, equivalent paint with no added lead is also available, suggesting that alternatives to lead are readily available to manufacturers.”Worldwide, 30 countries have already phased out the use of lead paint. The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, co-led by WHO and UNEP, has set a target of 70 countries by 2015.At high levels of exposure, lead damages the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive such poisoning are often left with intellectual impairment and behavioural disorders.At lower levels of exposure, lead affects brain development in children, resulting in reduced IQ, behavioural changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment. These effects are believed to be irreversible. Adults are at increased risk of kidney disease and raised blood pressure. read more

General Assembly elects 14 members to UN Human Rights Council

Algeria, China, Cuba, France Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Viet Nam, Russia, and United Kingdom, were elected by secret ballot today at UN Headquarters in New York.Members of the Council serve for a period of three years and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.The Council, composed of 47 members, is an inter-governmental body within the UN system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe and for addressing situations of human rights violations and make recommendations on them. All of its members are elected by the world body’s General Assembly, and it has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. It meets at the UN Office at Geneva. The Council’s membership is based on equitable geographical distribution and seats are distributed as follows:13 seats for African States, 13 seats for Asian States, 8 seats for Latin American and Caribbean States, 7 seats for Western European and other States, and 6 seats for Eastern European States. The other members of the Council and the end of their terms are as follows:Argentina (2015), Austria (2014), Benin (2014), Botswana (2014), Brazil (2015), Burkina Faso (2014), Chile (2014), Congo (2014), Costa Rica (2014), Côte d’Ivoire (2015), Czech Republic (2014), Estonia (2015), Ethiopia (2015), Gabon (2015), Germany (2015), India (2014), Indonesia (2014), Ireland (2015), Italy (2014), Japan (2015), Kazakhstan (2015), Kenya (2015), Kuwait (2014), Montenegro (2015), Pakistan (2015), Peru (2014), Philippines (2014), Republic of Korea (2015), Romania (2014), Sierra Leone (2015), United Arab Emirates (2015), United States (2015), and Venezuela (2015). read more

Ethiopia experiencing worst drought in 30 years due to El Niño conditions

A recent report published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) noted that the impact of the failed spring rains was compounded by the arrival of the El Niño weather conditions that weakened summer rains, which feed 80 to 85 per cent of the country.“This greatly expanded food insecurity, malnutrition and devastated livelihoods across six affected regions of the country,” OCHA indicated. Meanwhile, the water level of Wabishabelle River, in Somali region, has reportedly been rising since the past week following El Niño-caused heavy rains in the surrounding highlands, and in East and West Imy woredas of Shabelle zone. OCHA recalled that last week, the river broke its banks in East Imy woreda causing communities along the river bank to be engulfed by water. According to the Somali region Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau, 700 households from Diray kebele, East Imy woreda are taking refuge in East Imy town. The Government and partners are monitoring the situation to identify intervention needs. At the same time, local authorities in Mustahil and Kelafo woredas of Shabelle zone, which are administrative divisions affected by recurrent drought, were alerted about the rising river level. OCHA said mass community awareness will be conducted ahead of the floods in order to mitigate their impact. In addition, the National Flood Taskforce is currently preparing flood contingency plans for all at-risk areas in the country. The UN is further highlighting that its humanitarian team in Ethiopia and the Government have held a series of briefings with donor partners – separately and together – to raise the alarm on the on-going El Niño caused drought emergency and to warn about what is coming ahead. “The active and consistent communication with donors is bearing fruit in terms of triggering donor interest and few pledges, although still insignificant in relation to the need,” OCHA stated.“Sweden, Norway, Canada, Switzerland, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States have or will step-in with contributions in response to the emergency. Others are looking to re-program development budgets for emergency response or activate a crisis modifier,” it added.Given the expected increase in relief food needs following a recent assessment, the Government has also urged donor support to ensure a healthy food pipeline for the coming months. During the 2002 El Niño year, much of the required food aid was reportedly not delivered until late February 2003, leading to a doubling of moderate and severe acute malnutrition rates, which is three times more expensive than prevention. read more

The NBAs Best And Worst ShotMakers

For the past three seasons, high-speed player-tracking cameras have been logging every possession of every NBA game; over that same time, has hosted some cool observational stuff — like how far players run in a game, how often they drive the lane or spot up and, most important, how often they are passed the basketball. Now, ESPN has gotten its hands on advanced tools to analyze the game’s nuances, stats that can measure things like how difficult a given shot was or how often a given defender is torched off the dribble. We’ll be using them throughout the playoffs, but I figured we may as well slap a few of them on some charts to establish a baseline (and, hopefully, to confirm a few petty biases along the way).On our maiden voyage, we’ll take a look at which players make shots they have no business making and which miss the ones they have just as little business missing. For all these charts, we’re looking at players who logged at least 300 minutes across at least 20 games — rotation players in a quarter of the season, basically. You’ll also notice that we’re using effective field goal percentage (which weights 3-point attempts more than 2-point attempts), not true shooting percentage (which does the same but also factors in any free throws a player shoots), so we’re losing the effect of getting fouled, which is a big deal! But given the relative infancy of these stats, this is what we have. If you must, keep a running tally in your head of which players put themselves in position to really need to pile up foul shots to boost their efficiency and then go check where they stand afterward. Here’s a head start: In 2014-15, Russell Westbrook had a free throw rate of .445 (meaning he took .445 free throws for every field goal attempt); in 2013-14, Kevin Durant’s was .477; this season, Kobe Bryant had a free throw rate of .252 — the lowest of his career. Anyway, to the charts.First up, we have shot difficulty versus shots per game over the past three seasons. We explained quantified shot quality (qSQ) at some length here, but simply put, it uses the NBA’s SportVU data to measure how tough a shot was by calculating where the shot came from, where defenders were positioned and how the rest of the league fared on similar shots. In the chart below, the lower a player is, the tougher his shots were; the further to the right, the more shots he took: If you compare this chart to the yellow one above, our nicely defined trend of good shooters getting the rock has loosened considerably. It’s probably safe to assume this happens because the profile of a bench player who comes in and shoots the leather off the ball for 20 minutes a night is very different from a guy who’s asked to keep up that rate for an entire game.It’s probably a mistake to make a bunch of sweeping conclusions based on the aggregate here, as it is with most stats. But in an era of analysis in which “volume scorer” is still a pejorative, it’s notable that the players who shoot the most are also typically the best at converting tough shots, unless they are 37 years old and Kobe Bryant.Check out our latest NBA predictions. In this chart, players’ positions above and below the line for 0 represents how good or bad they were at making shots relative to how difficult the shots were.On the whole, what we see here is that as a player’s shots per game increase (we’re leaving per-play numbers for later), there’s a greater likelihood that he is good at making tough shots. This is conventional wisdom — stars get the ball — but not something we’ve been able to observe directly before.Remember that line about KD, Russ and Kobe’s free throw rates? Here’s where it comes back into play. Durant and Westbrook both had high free throw rates in their seasons on the chart, so they’d both get a boost from their positions here — Durant’s free throw rate in his MVP season was even higher than Westbrook’s, so it’s not like 2014-15 Russ catches up in efficiency. But eyeballing is enough to conclude that he would probably move up if we included free throws, and grandpa Kobe would stay in the toilet. Last thing: Notice that DeAndre, who was off the charts in shot quality this season, falls some here but is also well above average versus expectation on those good shots, evidence that he isn’t simply spoon-fed easy looks from Chris Paul but is among the best finishers in the game; this is tanked somewhat by his absurd 1.219 free throw rate, which has climbed to 1.553 in the playoffs (last season, it was 1.938 in the postseason — meaning that Jordan took just about two free throws for every field goal attempt).Moving on, we’re doubling back to the first chart again. Higher dots still mean a player took easier shots and lower that he took harder ones, but left and right track a player’s shots per 100 possessions instead of his raw per-game number: This chart mostly serves to show that the relationship we showed you in that first chart holds true when we look at per-possession. We also see guys who don’t take a lot of raw shots, like Marreese Speights, bunch up with gunners who play more minutes. But since we’ve already gone over low usage and carefully selected shots and all that, this seems like a good place to tell you that over our three seasons of data, last season’s vintage of Kobe Bryant picked his spots least carefully of any player in the data set.Kobe took not only an enormous number of shots, but also an enormous number of enormously difficult shots. Just look at him go! Many players down in that area of the chart were the primary option on their team and combined workload with a lot of long 2-pointers (the Carmelo, Blazers-era LaMarcus, Dwyane Wade crew). In Kobe’s case, that was true, but he was also old and feeble and slow and the Lakers would be bad no matter what he did. After that routine put him in traction after just 35 games, Bryant ran it back this season by getting to the line even less and shooting 467 threes; he shot 28.5 percent, but as you can see on the chart … at least he was a little more open? (Although one side effect may have been the embarrassing rash of airballs Bryant chucked from three this season, so maybe it was more of a give and take.)Anyway, here’s our last chart, which shows shots per 100 possessions against shot-making ability. As above, guys who shot better than their shot quality would predict are higher, guys who shot worse are lower, and dots farther to the right are guys who shoot a lot when they’re on the floor, even if they don’t have a lot of shots per game: This looks a lot like charts we’ve run in the past, or those that have run elsewhere, that plot workload against efficiency. True shooting percentage against usage percentage, for example, looks more or less identical. As workload increases, easy shots are harder to come by; as it decreases, players can pick their spots more carefully.Roll call: That cluster of dots in the top left of the chart is Tyson Chandler and DeAndre Jordan wrestling back and forth for the title of Guy Who Only Does Dunks. In the upper portion of the high-workload guys (on the right), we see players like LeBron James and Stephen Curry this season — those on great offensive teams that can space the floor for pretty good looks even for their highest-usage players. A little further down, still in the high-usage region, we see guys on teams that often need their stars to carry them, like Westbrook last season or Durant two seasons ago, or Carmelo Anthony, DeMar DeRozan or past iterations of LaMarcus Aldridge. Kobe this season was in the lurch, though by this measure not quite as depressing as his truncated 2014-15.But again, we’ve seen charts that show, if not this exact relationship, relationships that imply it; and while the shot difficulty stats are new, we could pretty much make assumptions based on the drops in efficiency. Here’s something truly new: read more

It has taken more time today than anything else Ireland the hot

first_img‘It has taken more time today than anything else’: Ireland the hot topic on day 1 of Brexit talks Today was the first day of Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU. The UK’s chief negotiator David Davis shakes hands with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier today. Monday 19 Jun 2017, 6:16 PM The UK’s chief negotiator David Davis shakes hands with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier today. 17,534 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Davis talks about ‘invisible’ border in Northern Ireland, says there is no doubt NI is right at top of priorities in #Brexit negotiation.— (@thejournal_ie) June 19, 2017 Short URL Barnier said that Ireland was “one of the most sensitive issues before us”. He said that the issue was brought home to him during a recent meeting with then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny.Barnier said that contact had been made with new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and that he would meet new Foreign Minister Simon Coveney tomorrow.David added that it would probably take until the end of the Brexit negotiation process until a clear decision is made on issues such as the border.Speaking to RTÉ’s Six One News, Minister Coveney said that Ireland would not sign off on a Brexit deal unless the Good Friday Agreement is protected.He said: “That makes it very complicated, but it’s something that I will insist on being the case.”“Best possible outcome” Davis (l) and Barnier (r) Source: Virginia Mayo AP/Press Association ImagesBoth negotiators made opening statements stressing that both sides would work together throughout the process to ensure the best possible outcome for the UK and the EU.“There will be no hostility,” Barnier said. Davis, meanwhile, said that he had been encouraged by the “constructive approach” that both sides had taken.Another main topic of discussion was the living rights of UK citizens living in the EU, and those of EU citizens living in the UK.“There was much common ground” on this topic according to Davis.My first priority is to provide certainty for UK citizens. Michel shares that aspiration too.An offer will be made by Prime Minister Theresa May at an upcoming EU summit on the rights of European citizens living in the UK, David added.The pair agreed to a timeline that would be followed for the discussions, and a number of focus groups had been set up to iron out the details across a number of sectors.Read: Man dead after driving car ‘loaded with gas canisters’ into police van in ParisRead: Leo Varadkar on visiting 10 Downing St: ‘I was reminded of that famous scene in Love Actually’center_img 46 Comments THE ISSUE OF Ireland, both north and south of the border, was the most talked about topic on the first day of the Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU.Speaking at a joint press conference, the UK’s chief negotiator David Davis and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier both said that a great deal of time had been taken up discussing what would happen on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when Britain leaves the EU.Davis said that “everyone understands the political sensitivities” and that there was a determination on both sides to maintain no physical border between the two countries.It was essential not to let Brexit undermine the peace process, Davis said, as it was a cause of concern in Northern Ireland. Jun 19th 2017, 6:16 PM Share58 Tweet Email Source: By Sean Murraylast_img read more

Unvaccinated children banned from public places in New York suburb following measles

first_img 17.03.19 ‘It spreads like wildfire’: Why Ireland, and the world, is seeing a huge surge in measles cases By Conor McCrave Wednesday 27 Mar 2019, 12:50 PM Source: The Explainer/SoundCloudMEASLES: How to recognise the symptoms? Share671 Tweet Email2 File photo. Image: Shutterstock/ravipat Unvaccinated children banned from public places in New York suburb following measles outbreak The extreme measure is to last for 30 days. Short URL What advice does the HSE give to people who think they might have measles?Do not go to work, school or crècheStay at home and phone your GP; tell the doctor or nurse that you think you might have measlesStop visitors coming to your homePregnant women who have been exposed to measles should seek medical advice as soon as possible With reporting by AFP  – © – AFP, 2019  Related Read 65 Comments A NEW YORK suburb declared a state of emergency yesterday following an outbreak of measles cases. Officials in Rockland County – with a population of 300,000 people and roughly 40km north of New York City – have banned unvaccinated children from entering public places “with a congregation of more than 10 people” as well as banning them from using public transport. The extreme measure is set to last for 30 days and will come into effect from midnight tonight in a bid to curb the spread of the disease which is said to be most present within Orthodox Jewish communities. Another outbreak took hold of the Brooklyn and Queens suburbs of New York City over the past six months, with many cases also stemming from Orthodox Jewish Communities. The group, along with other minorities impacted such as the Amish community, do not necessarily have religious objections to vaccinations but local media in the region is reporting that they can be more vulnerable to ‘anti-vaxx’ movements. A Washington Post article reported a slower uptake in vaccinations by religious minorities. Daniel Salmon, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety, told the newspaper that many people believe the Amish are “the classic group that doesn’t want to vaccinate”. He added, “Most people who have concerns aren’t ideologically opposed to vaccines. They just don’t trust the science, they’ve been misinformed, or they hold different values.”However, founder of Liberty Counsel – a group advocating for religious freedom issues – said that many of his clients wishes to not vaccinate were “consistent with their faith”.Anyone found to be non-compliant with the ban will face a $500 fine or up to six months in jail, authorities have said.  “We must do everything in our power to end this outbreak and protect the health of those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and that of children too young to be vaccinated,” said county executive Ed Daly. The latest concerns come as 98 countries across the world have reported spikes in the number of people who have contracted the viral illness, according to a recent Unicef report.In Ireland alone there has been a 208% increase in the number of cases recorded in 2018 against cases recorded in 2017, prompting director of Unicef Ireland, Peter Power, to brand it a “wake-up call” for people. “These cases haven’t happened overnight. Just as the serious outbreaks we are seeing today took hold in 2018, lack of action today will have disastrous consequences for children tomorrow,” Power said. He said “misinformation, mistrust and complacency” were the reasons behind parents not vaccinating their children and added, “almost all of these cases are preventable, and yet children are getting infected even in places where there is simply no excuse”.The countries with the highest recorded increase were Ukraine with 30,338 cases, the Philippines with 13,192 cases and Brazil with 10,262 cases – all due mainly to internal conflicts and vaccine shortages. Measles are most commonly diagnosed among children between the ages of one and four but can affect all ages, and those with other illnesses and pregnant women are at particular risk. There were 74 reported cases Ireland in 2018, up from 25 reported cases in 2017.To date in 2019, there have been 28 reported cases – 15 of which have been confirmed and the rest are probable or possible.A recent episode of the’s The Explainer podcast examined why there has been such a huge increase globally in a disease that was once thought to be on its way to being eradicated. 15,985 Views File photo. Related Read High feverCoughRunny noseRed eyesRed rash that starts on the head and spreads down the body – this normally starts a few days after onset of illness; the rash consists of flat red or brown blotches, which can flow into each other; it lasts about four to seven daysVomiting, diarrhoea and tummy pain may also happenMeasles can cause chest infections, fits (seizures), ear infections, swelling of the brain and/or damage to the brain.The Department of Health gives the following advice in relation to the MMR vaccine:All children should get the MMR vaccine when they are aged 12 months; if any child aged over 12 months has missed this vaccine they should get it now from their GPAll children should get a second dose of MMR vaccine when they are four to five years old or in junior infants at school; if any child in senior infants or older has missed this vaccine they should get it now from their GPAdults under 40 years who have not had measles or have not received two doses of MMR vaccine should contact their GP to get the MMR vaccineAdults over 40 years of age may sometimes be at risk and if such adults never had measles nor a measles-containing vaccine they should consider getting the MMR vaccine from their GP Mar 27th 2019, 12:50 PM 17.03.19 ‘It spreads like wildfire’: Why Ireland, and the world, is seeing a huge surge in measles cases Image: Shutterstock/ravipat Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

All business

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The biggest financial news for most Australians in the past two years has been the falling cash rate and decreasing mortgage rates. They’ve come down so far that you can get a variable rate mortgage in the low 5 per cent range and some lenders have 2 or 3-year fixed rate mortgages as low as 4.99 per cent. But it’s been more complex for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The Reserve Bank, in a recent report, said fees paid in household lending fell in 2012 to $4.1 billion, while bank fees in business lending rose 7 per cent to $7.3 billion. In another survey, banking analysts East & Partners found that 43 per cent of the SMEs surveyed experienced rate rises on their secured loans in the last six months. Just 0.8 per cent had a rate reduction and 56.1 per cent had no change in their rates. The average rate rise was 5.3 per cent. I support the workings of a free market, but we should be concerned when official interest rates drop to historic lows while businesses have rate rises. It’s easy to make this a fight between big corporations and small business, or between big banks and the ‘mums and dads’. But the problem could go deeper. Australia has so many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – 99.7 per cent of all businesses – that making them pay more for debt than other borrowers will eventually hit the general economy. If a business pays more for secured debt than the going rate, one response is to raise prices to cover costs. If this reaction gains momentum among businesses, inflation rises. A business may not be able to raise its prices but it can cut overheads such as reducing employees or cutting back hours and overtime. Given that small and medium sized businesses employ 70 per cent of the private sector work force, this affects employment. Also, small businesses constrained by the cost of debt find it harder to grow, and then we lose a vital offset to the oligopoly power of corporations – an offset that we all profit from in consumer choice, service and prices. Here’s another problem: when a small business has cut as much fat as it can in the enterprise, then the owners tighten their belts in the family home. It’s a double effect because they don’t just contract as producers – they contract as consumers. The worrying aspect of this is that while slightly more than half of the East & Partners respondents said their rates hadn’t moved for six months, the RBA has tracked rising bank fees for business lending. Which means net increases for business owners. Overriding this issue is the traditional reluctance of SME owners to change banks. So, are businesses being squeezed by their banks with nowhere else to go? Or, is this a time to attend to the basics of business performance and seek out truly competitive lenders? Which way will Australian business go? I would love to know what you think. Talk to me on Twitter. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark with any queries you may have or check for your nearest branch.last_img read more

APSSDC to offer training in digital marketing in Ongole

first_imgOngole: The Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) announced that it is organising a training programme in digital marketing and loan documentation in Ongole, Giddalur and Markapuram for 60 days. The APSSDC Prakasam district manager Sk Meeravali announced that they will select the trainees for the said courses through interviews scheduled at their office on August 19 from 10 am to 3 pm. He said that the interested candidates must pass at least a degree for training in digital marketing and intermediate for loan documentation. Also Read – AP Cabinet to meet on September 4 Advertise With Us He asked the people interested to attend the interview to bring their certificates and proof along with two passport size photographs for the interview. He advised them to call 7989854999 for more information about the interview or training courses. Meeravali also announced that they are conducting an off-campus recruitment drive at the District Employment Office in Ongole on August 14, Wednesday from 9 am to 4 pm. He asked the candidates between 18 years and 40 years of age, with educational qualifications of Class X, Intermediate, ITI and Degree to register for the job mela by visiting the website to participate in the job mela. He added that the successfully selected candidates will get a competitive salary depending on the work and qualification. He asked the candidates to bring six photocopy sets of aadhaar card, biodata, and admission card downloaded from the website. The candidates are asked to call 8125215216 for more information on the job mela.last_img read more

Oppose private university Bill AISF

first_imgKarimnagar: All India Student Federation (AISF) State general secretary Shiva Ramakrishna appealed the students to oppose the private university bill, which was introduced by the State government for dissolving the government universities present across the State.Speaking at a meeting held under the leadership of Machha Ramesh at Baddam Yellareddy Bhavan here on Tuesday, Shiva Ramakrishna alleged that the TRS is deceiving the people with fake promises and mesmerising words and is negligent in solving the issues of students. Also Read – JIH organises Eid Milap for sanitary workers Advertise With Us Instead of strengthening government educational sector, the TRS government handed over the same to private, corporate and multinational companies, he criticised. KG to PG free education has remained on papers only. Majority of lecturer and teacher posts in schools and colleges are vacant. There are no basic facilities in many schools and colleges, but the government is boasting that it is giving standard and quality education to the students, he alleged. Also Read – GHMC distributes saplings to KV students Advertise With Us The BJP government at the Centre by bringing reforms in the educational sector is trying to inject religious feelings and inviting foreign universities, Shiva Rramakrishna stated. The representatives of various students organisations must fight united to solve the issues pertaining to students and to teach the ruling party a fitting lesson, he appealed. AISF former national president T Srinivas, union members K Srujan Kumar, B Mahendar, P Kedari, D Kalyan, Srinivas, Prashanth, Venkatesh, Sai Kiran, Abrish, Sandeep and Raju were present along with others.last_img read more

One Month Later HarveyRelated Health Concerns Still Remain

first_img Share Harris County medical officials have confirmed a Kingwood woman’s death is tied to bacteria linked to Harvey floodwaters.Autopsy results confirm that 77-year-old Nancy Reed suffered necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria. County officials say Reed came in contact with the bacteria after falling in her home after the storm and cutting her arm, which became infected. Her case is the 36th official Harvey-related death in Harris County.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 700 to 1,100 cases of the flesh-eating virus in the United States each year.While it’s a rare case stemming from the storm, officials say other health concerns still remain — even a month after the storm. What are they?To find out, Houston Matters talks with a pair of public health experts to find out. Dr. Peter Hotez is the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Umair Shah is the executive director of Harris County Public Health. Listen 00:00 /09:37center_img Debris is piled outside a Houston-area home in Harvey’s aftermath. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Xlast_img read more

Early life stress may up binge eating in females

first_imgStress during pregnancy may cause female children to exhibit binge-eating-like behaviour in adulthood, a study conducted on mice has showed.Although stressed mothers passed along binge eating-related epigenetic tags on their DNA, the mouse pups’ tendency to binge surfaced only when they too were subjected to stressful situations,the researchers said.”The price we pay later in life – whether it’s psychiatric disorders, metabolic syndromes, or heart-related illnesses – is heavily impacted by the way your brain was programmed early in life,” said Alon Chen, a neurobiologist at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”We have established a model where we can actually show that early life stress increases the likelihood of binge eating in females,” Chen said.For the study, detailed in the journal Cell Metabolism, the researchers genetically engineered a line of mice, where they manipulated the hormone system that controls cortisol – stress hormones – release to increase the anxiety levels of pregnant mothers during their third trimester.The mouse pups’ tendency to binge only surfaced when they were placed in a stressful situation where the researchers restricted their access to food.In addition, measuring the eating habits of stressed mice showed that those born to stressed mothers were more likely to eat large amounts of food during short windows of time. However, putting the young mice on a diet with “balanced” levels of nutrients such as Vitamin B12 and folate, the researchers were able to prevent their binge eatinglast_img read more

Megaupload 20 secures financing

first_imgMegaupload 2.0 secures financing by Martin Brinkmann on October 24, 2016 in Internet – 6 commentsMegaupload, once the world’s largest file sharing site before it was taken down by the FBI, may make a comeback soon as the financing for Megaupload 2.0 has been secured recently.The funding campaign managed to reach the the minimum investment goal of €918.611 before it ended on October 24, 2016 with a total investment volume of €1.060.354.Pitched by and associated with the notorious Kim Dotcom, Megaupload 2.0 aims to revolutionize file sharing. Bitcache Limited, the company behind the project promises to provide the technology needed to “share files safely, securely, and away from prying eyes”.Technically speaking, Bitcache is a micro-transaction service that utilizes Bitcoin and the Blockchain. Transactions will occur off the chain according to Bitcache due to limitations in regards to how many transactions the Blockchain can handle, but are re-introduced for instance when users want to withdraw funds.Another thing that is special about Megaupload 2.0 is that users get a Bitcoin Wallet automatically on sign-up, and that Bitcache is then used for the transactions.It is unclear right now if users will have to pay for any transaction they make, and how much it would cost them to do so.Ideas for future Bitcache services show however that the system could be expanded in the future to take into account video streaming, news posts, traffic or micro-payments.The Bitcache team plans to release Megaupload 2.0 in January 2017.  Success may depend largely on how the system works, and whether it requires all users to add funds to their wallet first before they can do anything, or if there will be free options available as well.If all transactions require funds, say file uploads or downloads, then it is likely that Megaupload 2.0 won’t come close to the popularity of Megaupload or Mega, another file sharing service that Kim Dotcom pushed and then moved away from.One of the interesting questions that arises from the successful campaign is whether users will trust Kim Dotcom a third time with a file sharing service. While Mega is still in operation, Kim stated in 2015 that the service was not secure to use anymore. Considering that Mega was his project, it is only fair to assume that users may have a hard time believing that things will be different when Megaupload 2.0 launches.Now You: What’s your take on Megaupload 2.0?SummaryArticle NameMegaupload 2.0 secures financingDescriptionMegaupload, once the world’s largest file sharing site before it was taken down by the FBI, may make a comeback soon as the financing for Megaupload 2.0 has been secured recently.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

US Senators propose Algorithmic Accountability Act that requires companies to selftest their

first_imgYesterday, US senators Ron Wyden, Cory Booker, and Yvette D. Clarke proposed a bill named “Algorithmic Accountability Act”. This bill calls for large companies to assess and fix their algorithms if they show any type of unfairness, inaccuracy, or bias. While automated decision systems are being used to make some of the most important decisions for us, in some use cases they fail to give the right result because of algorithmic bias. The machine learning algorithms behind these systems are often trained using data that has an underrepresentation of a particular race or sex, which leads to their racist, sexist and non-inclusive behavior. Sen. Ron Wyden said in an interview with The Associated Press, “Computers are increasingly involved in the most important decisions affecting Americans’ lives — whether or not someone can buy a home, get a job or even go to jail. But instead of eliminating bias, too often these algorithms depend on biased assumptions or data that can actually reinforce discrimination against women and people of color.” This bill comes at a time when we are witnessing several controversies surrounding AI systems. The list of such controversies just goes on and usually includes the big tech. For instance, Facebook facing a charge of housing discrimination by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Amazon shutting down its automated recruitment tool after it was found favoring men in industries where they already dominate. Earlier, we have seen facial recognition systems misidentifying black women. Computerized money lending tools often charge higher interest rates to Latino and black borrowers. What is Algorithmic Accountability Act? This 15-page bill lists all the “impact assessments” companies are required to perform on their automated decision systems. These assessments will include evaluating the development process, system design, and training data for their accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy, and security. Companies will be required to evaluate a broad range of algorithms, including the systems that attempt to predict and analyze customer’s behavior, involve large amounts of sensitive data, or systematically monitors a large, publicly accessible physical place. If the assessment report shows any risks of discrimination, privacy problem, or other issues, companies will need to address them within a timely manner. The act targets companies who make over $50 million per year and has access to personal information of at least 1 million customers or devices. It will also be applicable to “data brokers” who, as a major part of their business, collect, assemble, or maintain personal information of individuals. Once passed, the bill would let the Federal Trade Commission to create rules for companies to check for the concerns in their automated systems and correct them if any problems are found. It also gives FTC the authority to regularly monitor how these automated systems are performing. Many Twitter users welcomed this much-needed move to fight against tech bias: You can read the proposed bill here: Algorithmic Accountability Act. Read Next Facebook will ban white nationalism, and separatism content in addition to white supremacy content Facebook takes an initiative against discriminative ads on its platform The FTC issues orders to 7 broadband companies to analyze ISP privacy practices given they are also ad-support content platformslast_img read more

Europe on sale Air Transat slashes fares

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Europe on sale, Air Transat slashes fares Thursday, January 11, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Air Transat has launched a Europe Summer Seat Sale, available now until Jan. 31.From Toronto, roundtrip flights to Venice are $843 including taxes and fees and departing May 12-19, while Lisbon costs $745 from May 19-30. Other destinations include Paris ($684), Dublin ($653), London ($677), Amsterdam ($719), Brussels ($757) and Zagreb ($836).From Montreal, roundtrip flights from Rome are priced at $703, departing Oct. 25-Nov. 3, while Athens flights are priced at $984, departing May 24-June 1. Other destinations from Montreal include Madrid ($838), Paris ($684), Dublin ($663), London ($683), Prague ($858), and Basel ($833).From Quebec City, roundtrip flights to Lisbon are $937, departing Sept. 13-21, Barcelona is priced at $818 departing Sept. 12-20, Paris at $706 departing Oct. 4-12, and Brussels at $769 departing Sept. 27-Oct. 5. Other destinations are available.From Calgary, roundtrip flights to London are priced at $741 departing May 4-12.Air Transat is also offering seat sales to the South and Florida. For details go to Share Tags: Britain & Europe, Promotions, Transatlast_img read more

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