Some common woodland songbirds go to great lengths to avoid crossing open spaces created by loggers and farmers. Instead, they stick to the trees that might hide them from a hungry hawk, even if it means flying roundabout routes. The finding, reported in this month’s issue of Conservation Biology, suggests that forest fragmentation contributes to songbird losses by forcing birds to waste precious energy. It also suggests that creating forested corridors between woodland patches might help some birds, although some biologists dispute that idea.Over the last few centuries, logging and land clearing have fragmented many of North America’s great forests into ragged patchworks of fields, clear-cuts, and disconnected woodlands. Many biologists believe this fragmentation has contributed to the dramatic declines in some forest-nesting birds. Some researchers, for example, have found evidence that birds nesting in smaller forest patches are more exposed to predators, such as house cats, than birds dwelling in larger forest reserves. But the elusive habits of many species have made it difficult for researchers to observe how birds actually behave when confronted with crossing a gap in the trees.Now, Andre Desroches of the Université Laval in Sainte-Foy in Canada, and Susan Hannon of the University of Alberta in Canada, have found a way to study how some birds react to forest gaps. In their study, conducted in southern Quebec, the researchers tried to coax five types of birds to cross 7- to 160-meter gaps by attracting them with taped birdcalls. Overall, the nuthatches, chickadees, warblers, kinglets, and vireos showed little reluctance to fly across gaps less than 30 meters wide to reach the tape recorder. As the gaps grew larger, however, the birds were increasingly likely to take longer, roundabout routes that didn’t require them to fly out into the open. For instance, they were eight times more likely to remain under cover than fly across a 100-meter gap. The researchers theorize that the energetic cost of a bird’s longer trip is worth the benefit of avoiding predators, such as bird-eating hawks, but could be stressful over the long run.Hannon says similar studies could eventually be of practical use to loggers and land managers by providing guidelines on how big forest gaps can be before they become an obstacle to birds. She also says the study suggests that preserving forested corridors could allow the birds to move unimpeded across the landscape.But several researchers, while lauding the study for its creative approach to studying bird behavior and highlighting one effect of fragmentation, do not believe its findings should be interpreted as proof that wildlife corridors will help birds. Carola Haas of Virginia Polytechnic University in Blacksburg and Dan Simberloff of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, say that the benefits of corridors remain unproven. Says Simberloff: “Corridor advocates may say this otherwise interesting study shows the value of corridors, but it is an issue the authors didn’t really address.”
Fakhar Zaman continued with his impressive form with the bat as he blasted an unbeaten 117 to help Pakistan thrash Zimbabwe in the second one day international at Bulawayo on Monday.Pakistan’s 9-wicket victory has helped them take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.Chasing a paltry 195 for a win, Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq provided Pakistan a brilliant start adding 119 runs for the opening wicket.Babar Azam too tagtetted the loose deliveries and was involved in an unbroken 76-run stand for the second wicket.Zaman, who notched up his second century, smashed 16 fours in his 129-ball knock and sprinted Pakistan to 195/1 in 36 overs.The left-hander survived two close chances when he could have been run out in the second over and then was dropped soon after completing his century.Earlier, fast bowlers Usman Khan (4/36) and Hasan Ali (3/32) took the bulk of the wickets and dismissed Zimbabwe for 194 in 49.2 overs.Captain Hamilton Masakadza (59), who won the toss and elected to bat, and Peter Moor (50) gave the total some respectability as the rest of the batsmen struggled against Pakistan’s seamers under overcast conditions.Pakistan won the first match by 201 runs last Friday and lead the five-match series 2-0. The third match of the series will be played in Bulawayo on Wednesday.(With inputs from AP)
Sweden’s tanker shipping company Stena Bulk’s chemical and product tanker Stena Imperative was named at China Merchants Wharf in Hong Kong yesterday.The IMOIIMAX MR tanker, wholly owned by Stena Bulk, was delivered a few days ago from the Chinese shipyard CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering (CSSC OME) in Guangzhou.Stena Imperative’s maiden voyage will see the vessel sail to Papua New Guinea, where it will be loaded with cargo bound for European cities of Barcelona and Rotterdam.Featuring 18 tanks, each with a capacity of 3,000 m3, the vessel has extra large cargo flexibility, high safety and low fuel consumption, according to the owner.The vessel, equivalent in size to a 50,000 dwt MR tanker, is the fifth of thirteen tankers ordered by Stena Bulk in 2012.The first four vessels, namely, Stena Impression, the Stena Image, the Stena Imperial and the Stena Important, were delivered in 2015 and the remaining five will be delivered by 2017.The IMOIIMAX tankers are part of a fleet operated by Stena Weco and sail in the company’s global logistic system, which currently employs about 60 vessels.
Kolkata: A blast took place inside a BJP worker’s house at Khejuri in East Midnapore on Sunday night.Local residents ran to the house and found a man lying inside the house with severe injuries. According to sources, residents of Katkadebichak at Janaka village in Khejuri heard a sound of an explosion on Sunday night. When they came out of their houses, they saw smoke coming out of Lalmohan Maity’s house. Khejuri police station was immediately informed. Police reached the spot and started investigating the matter. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaTill Monday afternoon, four persons were detained and interrogated. Local Trinamool Congress leaders alleged that Maity, who is a BJP worker, used to store explosives and crude bombs and supplied them to other people. It is also alleged that after Lok Sabha Elections result was out, the BJP was trying to unleash terror in and around Khejuri by creating violence. Police said a case has been lodged in this regard. Officers are trying to find out the people who are connected to Maity. Police are trying to identify the source of explosives and crude bombs which were stored inside the house. Police team is patrolling the area to counter any untoward incidents. “Probe is on. A few persons have been detained in this connection. They are being interrogated to identify other culprits,” said V Solomon Nesakumar, Superintendent of Police (SP) of East Midnapore.
JUNEAU, Alaska – A British Columbia climber who died during a recent mountain trek in Alaska is being remembered as a talented athlete who was eager to share his expertise and passion for the outdoors.Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday that Marc-Andre Leclerc, a 25-year-old from Squamish, B.C., and 34-year-old Ryan Johnson of Juneau are presumed dead.They hadn’t been heard from since March 5 when they posted a photo from the top of the Mendenhall Towers, a seven-peaked mountain about 20 kilometres north of Juneau. Poor weather hampered search efforts when the men were reported overdue two days later.Leclerc grew up in a family that loved the outdoors and he became something of a climbing prodigy early on, said John Irvine, manager of global community marketing with outdoor gear company Arc’Teryx.Arc’Teryx sponsored Leclerc’s professional climbing exploits, providing him with the financial support and equipment he needed to pursue his passion.Leclerc’s skill as a climber was one of the reasons Arc’Teryx wanted to work with him.“But more importantly for us, he was a great speaker. He was inspiring. He told great stories,” said Irvine.Leclerc enjoyed imparting his expertise about the technical and safety aspects of climbing and inspiring others to take up the sport, he said.The climber would deliver his remarks as though he were speaking to buddies gathered around a campfire, said Irvine.“He had the skill set that, in my opinion, was the equivalent of Sidney Crosby in hockey, and yet he was very approachable and very humble,” he said.“He didn’t talk about his athletic abilities or prowess, but just simply his love and appreciation for the magic of being in the mountains.”The state troopers say a helicopter with rescuers aboard was able to reach the north face of Mendenhall Towers on Tuesday. There, they saw ropes matching the description of gear Leclerc and Johnson were carrying.“Due to continuing significant avalanche danger and safety hazards, recovery efforts are not feasible at this time,” the state troopers said in a news release Wednesday.Leclerc’s father posted a message on his public Facebook page late Tuesday night with news the pair had died.“Sadly, we have lost two really great climbers and I lost a son I am very proud of,” Serge Leclerc wrote. “Thank you for the support during this difficult time. My heart is so broken. … Part of me is gone with him.”A GoFundMe campaign for Johnson says money raised for him will be used to pay for the search efforts and support his two-year-old son, Milo. The online crowdfunding website says money raised for Leclerc and his family will help his partner, Brette, as she and the family grieve.The campaign for Johnson says the pair were “climbing a cutting edge new route on the north face” of the main tower.Outside magazine called Leclerc “one of the best young alpinists in the world,” and his biography on Arc’Teryx’s website says he completed several ascents in Canada and Patagonia.Treya Klassen, a close friend of Leclerc’s father, said on the weekend the young man has had his eye on climbing Mendenhall Towers for a decade.Johnson was described in the online version of Alpinist magazine as knowing the Mendenhall Towers “like nobody else.”Megan Peters, a spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers, said it wasn’t clear what went wrong because no one saw what happened.“We know they made it to the top. We know they set anchor,” she told The Associated Press. “Whether they were taken out by an avalanche, whether their rope failed — I mean, anything could happen.”— By Lauren Krugel in Calgary, with files from The Associated Press.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said Marc-Andre Leclerc was 24.
Inuit are hoping to use the alphabet to help keep their far-flung people together.Canada’s national Inuit organization recently decided on a standard way to write their language that could be understood from Inuvik in the northern corner of the Northwest Territories to Nain on the east edge of Labrador. The new orthography replaces a patchwork of nine different, often mutually unintelligible scripts.“We’ve never done this before,” said Natan Obed of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. “It’s the first time we’re exercising our own self-determination to implement our own writing system.”Before European contact, Inuktut was an entirely oral language. Nobody needed to read or write anything down until the 1700s, when missionaries, government workers and businessmen started showing up.Those groups all worked out different ways of translating the sounds of spoken Inuktut into symbols on a page, which they then taught to the Inuit.Some methods, known as syllabics, looked like rows of circles, squares and triangles. Some used the letters familiar to European languages, but with a whole battery of accents and diacriticals. From one method to the next, the same letter could represent an entirely different sound.While Inuktut speakers can understand different dialects, they couldn’t necessarily read the different writing. That creates problems, said Obed.“Going in to my children’s elementary school, on a rack of take-home books there are as many as five different writing systems in play for the children. You can imagine how challenging that might be.”The orthographic hodge-podge has not only made it harder for Inuit kids to get educational material in their own language, it makes it harder to communicate between the Inuvialuit in the west, the Nunatsiavut in the east and all the groups in between. “Without a standard writing system, we are always catering to just one portion of Inuktut speakers,” Obed said.The digital age has posed its own challenges. Keyboarding the accent marks required by some orthographies is awkward and typing syllabics requires specialized software.Although the project has been discussed since the 1970s, the real work began in 2011. It wasn’t always easy to get people to agree to changes in long-familiar characters.Inuktut language experts would come up with proposals, then run them by the widely separated communities of the North.“They went back and forth,” said Solomon Awa, who helped develop the new approach. “‘We want this. We want that’ — it takes a while.”The result is called Inuit Qaliujaaqpait, which was officially adopted by the national Inuit organization late last month. The circles and squares are gone, as are the squiggles above and below the letters. Characters are limited to the standard and widely familiar 26-character Roman alphabet.Doubled vowels mean a long sound as in spoon. A “K” is hard, as in key, but a “Q” requires a little drag in the back of the throat.It is intended to be easy to learn and easy to use. Awa expects it to take a couple years before Qaliujaaqpait is fully implemented.It isn’t intended to immediately replace syllabics and all the other forms of writing. Obed said some prefer the familiar scripts and they will continue to be used.Qaliujaaqpait will be used to slowly develop new curriculum materials and in all written material distributed nationally.The move is supported by other Inuit groups such as Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., which oversees the Nunavut land claim.“It will take time for Inuit and service providers to grow accustomed to a new, Inuit-developed writing system,” said president Aluki Kotierk. “But we are confident that, alongside other tools and techniques, our newly adopted Inuktut Qaliujaaqpait will enable us to make much needed advances in areas such as the production of formal education resources and materials.”Inuit have decolonized the alphabet, said Obed.“It’s the first time we’re exercising our self-determination to implement our own writing system.“The biggest consideration was self-determination. It’s our right.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2019.— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
Shirley McLean APTN NewsIn early November Melissa Carlick wrote a letter to the commissioners of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls asking if her termination as community liaison worker could be rescinded and that she has the opportunity to resign.She told APTN News that as of today, she hasn’t received a response.Carlick said she her termination came without warning.“Really boom you’re done because you either push back or you don’t agree with what’s going on,“ she said.Carlick spent six months with the commission as a front line and health worker and said there is a big disconnect between the commissioners and the front-line workers.“They don’t hear you they don’t listen to you it’s just about what makes me look good and if you don’t then you’re out and if you push back you’re gone,” she said.Carlick said the commission fired her during the hearings in Edmonton on Nov. 7.She said they told her she was unprepared.Sources have told APTN Carlick was fired after members of the National Family Advisory Circle complained in a conference call and letters to the commissioners and senior staff that families complained of mistreatment by the inquiry.Carlick said she was the lead on the Edmonton hearings and arrived six weeks before and started to organize families, look for a venue, do health intakes, and find spiritual support for the hearings.She said the task was too big of a job to plan in just six weeks for a person who’s not from Alberta.And she said the working conditions were tough“We were working 24-7,” she said. “Sometimes just all day all the time it was just a lot of planning a lot time, a lot of pressure and no support, no debrief.”Carlick along with two other front-line workers have been let go from the inquiry in the last month and legal counsel Karen Snowshoe also handed in her resignation.That brings the number of inquiry employees who have resigned or fired to 19 in this year alone.Sue Caribou, a member of the family advisory circle also resigned Thursday.
Once applications are received, the board reviews prospective fosters to help make a good placement for the foster animal.The restriction for fostering cats is that the cat must remain inside the home and fosters for dogs must have a fenced yard. The rescue does do a home check before placement of a foster animal.On Our Way Home does try to provide pet essentials to foster homes such as litter box and food from donations given to the rescue.If you are unable to foster an animal yet would still like to contribute to the help and care of these rescued animals the rescue is currently in need of kitten food and cat litter.To view the FB page; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Local, On Our Way Home Animal Rescue is in need of foster homes to support the rescue with the many cats and kittens that are waiting for their forever homes.Lani Belcher, Board member of On our Way Home Animal Rescue shares they are seeking Foster’s to facilitate in-home care of cats and kittens, as well they are in need of a very special foster home that has no other pets to care for a dog that must be the only animal in the home.People that are wanting to help foster animals can fill out an application; CLICK HERE
Rabat – Mohamed Kabbaj, the founder of Morocco’s leading construction company Society General of Public Works (SGTM), died of a heart attack on Friday, January 4, at the age of 76.Mohamed Kabbaj, who had battled an illness before his death, died at the Cheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Casablanca.Read Also: Elalamy Sells Saham Group Healthcare Division to Mohamed KabbajKabbaj’s funeral will take place this afternoon at Chouhada cemetery in Casablanca. Kabbaj owned the top construction and public works corporation that constructed many institutions and landmarks in Morocco, SGTM.Mohamed Kabbaj and his brother M’hamed Kabbaj founded the company in 1971.
(Updated) An Oakville man has been charged with his mother’s murder. Judy Wilson, 62, was found dead in her home last night. Ryan Porte, 39, appeared in court today for a bail hearing on charges of second degree murder.Porte walked in and appeared to mouth “I’m sorry” to a woman supporting him in the courtroom. Porte will remain in custody and has been ordered not to communicate with a list of four people He will make another appearance in court on Friday. Halton Police say they received a call from Porte around 8:30 last night. he reported a family dispute and said his mother was dead inside her home on Sheldon Ave. Police and paramedics tried to revive Wilson, but it was too late. Her son Ryan remained in the home and was arrested last night. Neighbours told me that Judy and her son had issues in the past, but the community is in shock after what happened. We are learning more about Judy today. The town of Oakville has confirmed that she used to be an employee and retired. Judy was a widow with two sons: one in Australia, the other now behind bars. Chantel Corner of Halton Police told CHCH News this morning Ryan lived in the home with his mother, and confirmed there was a family dispute.Halton Police say they won’t be releasing the cause of death at this point. CHCH’s Melissa Raftis will have the very latest on the Evening News at 6.
According to UNEP, last week, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire introduced strict standards that will ensure cleaner, low sulphur diesel fuels, and better emissions standards, thus effectively cutting off Europe’s West African market.Earlier this year, a report by the non-governmental organization Public Eye exposed how European trading companies are exploiting weak regulatory standards in West African countries, thus allowing fuels with sulphur levels that are up to 300 times higher than those permitted in Europe.“West Africa is sending a strong message that it is no longer accepting dirty fuels from Europe,” said Erik Solheim, head of UNEP. “Their decision to set strict new standards for cleaner, safer fuels and advanced vehicle emissions standards shows they are placing the health of their people first.” He hailed the move as an example for other countries, noting that air pollution kills millions annually.“We need to ensure that all countries urgently introduce cleaner fuels and vehicles to help reduce the shocking statistics,” stated Mr. Solheim. In addition to new fuel standards, the group of West African countries has agreed to upgrade their own public and private refineries to meet the same higher standards by 2020. Photo: World Bank/Curt Carnemark UN Environment has been working with countries in West Africa to develop policies and standards that will stop the import of fuels with dangerously high levels of sulphur, as well as to introduce cleaner fuels and vehicles. Reducing such emissions around the world is essential to ensure levels of urban air pollution and climate emissions come down.Combining low-sulphur fuels with advanced vehicle standards can lead to as much as a 90 per cent reduction in harmful emissions.According to Nigeria’s Environment Minister Amina J. Mohamed, “for 20 years, Nigeria has not been able to address the vehicle pollution crisis due to the poor fuels we have been importing. Today we are taking a huge leap forward: limiting sulphur in fuels from 3,000 parts per million to 50 parts per million. This will result in major air quality benefits in our cities and will allow us to set modern vehicle standards.”Today in The Hague, Mr. Mohamed will meet with Lilianne Ploumen, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in order to take stock of the progress being made to improve the quality of fuels that have been exported from Dutch ports to countries in West Africa, as The Netherlands produces many of the exported dirty fuels.“The recent report from the NGO Public Eye made abundantly clear that coordinated action is needed to stop the practice of exporting dirty fuels to West Africa. I am very pleased West African governments quickly decided to introduce standards that will help accessing European standard quality fuels. Their people deserve cleaner air, better health, and a cleaner environment. I commend UN Environment for their excellent work,” announced Minister Ploumen.UNEP hosts the Secretariat of the Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV), a global public-private partnership that supports a shift to cleaner fuels and vehicles worldwide. When PCFV began its work in 2005, not a single low or middle income country used low sulphur fuels. Today, 23 countries have made that shift. Another 40 are on their way to doing the same.In addition, UNEP is hosting the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which recently adopted a global strategy for moving the world to clean, low-sulphur fuels and advanced emissions standards. Experts estimate that this measure will save an annual 100,000 premature deaths by 2030.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl GreenidgeThe recent exercise to identify the markers demarcating the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela is important as Guyana gears up to litigate the validity of the 1899 Arbitral Award.The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Second Vice President, Carl Greenidge, during a Region Six outreach on Sunday explained that Guyana is awaiting the final decision from the United Nations Secretary-General (SG), António Guterres, now that another year of the Good Offices Process is winding down.The SG’s Personal Representative, Norwegian Diplomat, Dag Nylander, is to submit his report on the meetings he facilitated between the two countries to the SG.The engagements between the UN representative and the South American neighbours was concluded in November. According to Minister Greenidge, there have only been three meetings between the two countries in October since Nylander’s appointment earlier this year.Minister Greenidge said Guyana has intensified its bilateral activism with other countries to ensure the SG honours his obligations which is “he must refer the matter to the court at the end of 2017 unless there is significant progress in resolving the matter”.Guyana has maintained that Venezuela’s claims on the nullity of the Award is a legal matter that must be resolved in the court. In 1962, Venezuela refused to recognise the 1899 Arbitral Award saying it was null and void. “If they are saying a decision is null and void it is only a law court can decide on the meaning of nullity…not whether Venezuela should get a piece more land,” Minister Greenidge said.The 1966 Geneva Agreement identified the UN SG to resolve the matter using a menu of measures under Article 33 of the UN agreement. “We call on the Secretary-General to look at his mandate and to refer the matter to the highest court in the world, the ICJ,” the Minister said.The more than 50-year-old controversy has since grown to include Venezuela’s claims to two-thirds of Guyana, Essequibo, and almost all of Guyana’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).The identification of the boundary marker by the Guyana Defence Force and Police Force is an annual exercise. “It is important to maintain the markers because you don’t want people moving them and shifting them into Guyana so that Venezuela can claim even more territory that is currently the case,” Minister Greenidge said.The Minster stressed it is important for all Guyanese to take an interest in the resolution of this controversy. “Between the two neighbours (Venezuela and Suriname) if they get their wishes there will be no Guyana and you must understand that,” he said.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to intensify its sensitisation of Guyanese on the Guyana Venezuela controversy. The outreach is to supplement booklets that were created to educate Guyanese on the matter. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUN SG aware of urgency for resolution of border controversy, says GreenidgeJanuary 22, 2018In “latest news”Caribbean Foreign Ministers pledge support to Guyana’s sovereigntyMay 11, 2018In “latest news”Border controversy: Good Offices Process concludes, UN SG to determine next stepJanuary 2, 2018In “latest news”
Handball tournamentHCM ConstantaRK MetalurgRK VardarStruga 2013 The 41st International handball tournament in Struga (Macedonia) start on Wednesdays. Teams like RK Vardar, RK Metalurg, HCM Constanta, Meshkov Brest, Ivry Handball guarantee TOP quality handball in the next four days on beautiful Ohrid Lake. Handball-Planet.com presents the TOP 10 stars of the one of the best pre season tournament in South Eastern part of Europe.ALEKSEY RASTVORCEV (left back, RK Vardar Skopje)TIMUR DIBIROV (left wing, RK Vardar Skopje)PAVEL ATMAN (left back, RK Metalurg)DARKO STANIC (goalkeeper, RK Metalurg)NAUMCE MOJSOVSKI (playmaker, RK Metalurg)RENATO VUGRINEC (right back, RK Metalurg)MATJAZ BRUMEN (right wing, RK Vardar)ALEX DUJSHEBAEV (right back, RK Vardar)PABLO SIMONET (playmaker, Ivry Handballl)LJUBO VUKIC (left wing, Meshkov Brest) ← Previous Story Struga 2013 is coming: Vardar with two wins finished preparation in Slovenia Next Story → Ivano Balic presented in Wetzlar!
It’s not exactly a secret that the Android Market has had a few problems with Trojanized applications. Cybercriminals typically find a popular app, modify it to include their malicious payload, and then re-upload it to the market where it poses innocuously as the original. Once a confused user downloads the infected app, his or her Android device is ready to share all sorts of juicy details with the Trojan’s creator — including text messages, call and contact information, and even complete audio recordings of phone calls.That last bit is a brand new twist, discovered by Computer Associates security researchers. The new Trojan appears to be a variant of the Golddream.A Trojan but has evolved beyond its original capabilities. Golddream could already store and transmit basic information about an infected user’s calls, like the caller’s number and start and stop time. With this “update,” the Trojan can now record the full call audio to an Android phone’s microSD expansion card (assuming one is installed, of course). Once recorded, the audio files can be uploaded to a remote server.Why bother recording call audio? For starters, it could make for a deadly one-two punch when paired with a spear phishing attack. It’s also an incredibly devious way to harvest answers to the verification questions your bank or credit card company requests when you call in. Sure, it’d be a pain to sift through all the recorded calls a Trojan like this uploaded (if it enjoyed any kind of success), but calls to financial institutions could be easily weeded out using their phone numbers.The moral of the story: read carefully before installing apps on an Android device and — especially if you’re someone who tries out dozens of apps every week — install a good antimalware app.More at CA and Network World
Update: Activision has intervened and may have players banned.Modern Warfare 3‘s street date has been broken, and a few lucky customers on the east coast are already getting their game on.Some gamers have been afraid to dig into the game’s multiplayer for fear of being banned from Xbox Live due to a “prerelease title play” violation. Such bans have been issued in the past when Microsoft-published releases including Gears of War 2 and Halo: Reach were leaked and pirated online prior to the release date.However, Microsoft policy director Stephen Toulouse has stated that those who bought the game at retail, even early, are safe. “If your copy is legit and obtained legitly, have fun,” wrote Toulouse in an official tweet on Thursday afternoon.In fact, the safety of retail copies is consistent with previous policy. In the aftermath of the Reach leak, Toulouse stated that “legit store bought copy runs no risk of ban,” and that those users who were permabanned were actually banned for piracy or unauthorized access to review copies, not for early access to the retail game. “We have ways of knowing [the difference],” he added.Some shipments of MW3 arrived at Kmart stores with instructions included to sell the copies immediately. Whether this was intentional or a mistake remains unclear. It appears that the chain has temporarily stopped selling the game, but not before some lucky customers in cities including Miami and New York got home with their copies.Other players have taken to profiteering instead and are selling copies on eBay and Craigslist for prices upwards of $200.Read more at 1UP
Even though the flu virus continues to sicken people across Clark County, relief may be on the horizon.Flu activity in the county declined recently for the first time since November. Hospital admissions of patients with the flu have gone down. And medical offices, while still busy, are reporting decreasing numbers of patients with flu symptoms.“Things are looking like we may have peaked, but I can’t tell for sure,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health director and county health officer, during a county board of health meeting Wednesday.“Even if we’re on the downswing, we’re still at increased activity,” Melnick added. “If you haven’t gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late. Flu season is going to go on for a while.”During the second week of January, the most recent data available, 35 percent of flu tests in the county came back positive. The drop followed two weeks of record-high flu positivity rates: 41 percent and 44 percent.If local flu activity follows historical trends, it will begin to decline but remain elevated for another six to eight weeks.So far this flu season, Clark County Public Health has recorded seven flu deaths: a boy younger than 10, a woman in her 50s, a man in his 60s and four people 70 or older. Five of the seven had received the flu vaccine. All of the deaths are among people considered at high-risk for complications: young children, adults 65 or older and those with underlying health conditions, Melnick said.
Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente has confirmed he would not be leaving the club this January transfer window.Llorente, 23, is now a regular in Solari’s side after impressing in a rare start away to Roma followed by seven successive starts for the club.The Spanish midfielder stepped in for the absent Casemiro and seems to be enjoying his role at Madrid“I’m sure I will stay, I’m really happy and I have no intention of leaving,” Llorente told reporters, as cited by Football Espana.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“It’s true that in life, like football, the situation can change from night to morning and you cannot lower your aims, you have to take advantage of your opportunities.“Man of the Match in the Club World Cup final? I’m happy to receive it, of course, to score the goal and win the final – now it is time to enjoy the moment.“We are trying to win all the titles, this was an important one as we were going for three consecutive titles and we have achieved it.“Now we have three more competitions this season that we will look to win.”
Jenny Rohrich, Ashley, N.D.Kudos goes out to Jenny Rohrich, of Ashley, N.D., for presenting at American Soybean Association’s 16th Annual Soybean Leadership College in Orlando, Florida last week.Jenny held a panel discussion titled, “A Farmer’s Guide to Making the Most of Social Media”.Thank you for presenting at the Soybean Leadership College and teaching farmers how to bring agriculture and social media together!Check out Jenny’s blog Prairie Californian and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.Check out last week’s ASA Kudos here!
A Vancouver woman, 54, died Friday morning after a rip current swept her out to sea in Lincoln City, Ore. Around 10 a.m. she went swimming with her 23-year-old daughter off the beach at D River Wayside State Recreation Area. About 15 minutes into their swim, both were swept away by a rip current and began to yell for help to people on shore. The daughter was able to swim away, but the victim disappeared for several minutes before being spotted face-down in the water off shore, according to the Oregon State Police. North Lincoln Fire & Rescue sent out a rescue swimmer, along with a rescue board, to retrieve her, said Lt. Jim Kusz. She was pronounced dead at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital. The victim was visiting the area with her husband and daughter, who have withheld her name. “Nearly 50 percent of all our water calls are rip currents,” Kusz said. A rip current rushes water out to sea, overpowering even the strongest swimmer. They can sweep unsuspecting beachcombers off their feet and out to sea. The Oregon State Police and Lincoln County Medical Examiner are investigating.