306 Historic Growth Record for Moroccan Handicraft Exports

Rabat – Handicraft exports increased by 30.6% this late January compared to the same period in 2016, registering an historic growth for the industry.According to the Ministry of Crafts and Social and Solidarity Economy, this development affected the majority of export products, especially footwear, which saw their export volume triple by January 2016. Regaining their rank of the most exported products, footwear was followed by clothing, which marked a 68% increase and brassware with 66%.Pottery/stone craft and carpet making followed suit with growth rates of 52% and 33% respectively, the ministry disclosed. It added that, in terms of shares, carpets (20%), pottery/stone craft (19.3%) and clothing (16.6%) account for the bulk of the turnover. Moroccan artisanal exports to Arab countries increased exponentially in January 2017, multiplying by a 2.6-fold increase over the same period in the past year. The ministry highlighted that the growth of exports to Japan showed an increase of 80%.In Europe, the volume of artisanal products exports has evolved significantly: Belgium by 65%, Spain 26% and England 7,2%.The US also represented good performance with a growth rate of 58.5% and a 28% share in export turnover. As for exports to African countries, they registered a significant increase of 7.3%, stated the ministry.At the national level, exports of handicrafts passing through the cities of Oujda and Nador marked a sharp increase in January 2017, with sales three times greater than that recorded a year earlier. Casablanca followed with 48%, Fez with 16% and Rabat with an increase of 6.3%.In terms of shares in export turnover, Casablanca and Marrakech qualified as the main exporting centers for Moroccan handicrafts, 72%. Casablanca is positioned to become the country’s future capital of Handicraft Exports.The year 2016 saw a record 16% increase in handicraft exports, a figure that has not been seen by the industry for more than 15 years. This growth has been achieved thanks to Morocco’s tourism boom that has welcomed more than 10 million tourists in the past year alone. read more

Denmarks Crown Princess to Visit Morocco

Rabat – Royal Central reported on September 22 that Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary plans to travel to Morocco in October to take part in the Youth Innovation Summit.Royal Central added that the princess’ two-day visit will start from October 3-4.The Crown Princess will meet with participants in order to “discuss the experiences they have gained in their participation in the Youth Innovation Summit.” The summit will take place from September 30 to October 4 in Rabat.Read Also: Grand Duke, Duchess of Luxembourg Visit MoroccoAccording to the Youth Innovation Summit, the five-day event seeks to bring young people to “the forefront of sustainable development.”The website added that “100 young talents will be selected to work together on creative and innovative solutions to some of Morocco’s biggest social and economic challenges in an Innovation lab.”The event is part of a partnership between the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Moroccan Ministry of Youth and Sports; and the United Nations Development Program (UND). read more

Bank of Canada deputy Macklem says economic momentum softer than anticipated

by The Canadian Press Posted Jan 10, 2013 5:12 pm MDT KINGSTON, Ont. – Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Tiff Macklem said Thursday the economy is expected to pick up this year, but sounded a note of caution amid a soft housing market and weak export demand.“Near-term momentum now appears to be slightly softer than previously anticipated,” Macklem said in a speech at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.“The strength and durability of the pick-up in growth through 2013 and beyond will depend critically on how successful we are in regearing our growth to exports, investment and innovation.”The Bank of Canada is expected to update its economic projections later this month when it makes its next interest rate decision on Jan. 23.The central bank’s overnight rate has sat at one per cent for more than two years.In its monetary policy report in October, the Bank of Canada predicted the economy would grow by 2.2 per cent in 2012, 2.3 per cent in 2013 and 2.4 per cent in 2014.Macklem is considered by many to be the front-runner to replace Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, who is leaving later this year to head the Bank of England.In his speech, Macklem reiterated many of the same themes Carney has hammered on repeatedly in recent months including concerns about consumer debt.He noted that Canadians are more indebted than the Americans or the British and housing activity is at a near record share of the economy.“These trends are not sustainable,” Macklem said.“The good news is that there are now signs a gradual correction of these imbalances may be under way. It is too early to tell whether it will continue, and there are risks on both sides.”The Bank of Montreal noted that Macklem stuck to the script.“As far as monetary policy comments were concerned, we got a blend of governor Carney’s “Guidance” speech from last month along with the recent policy announcement,” BMO senior economist Michael Gregory wrote.Macklem’s worries about a softer than expected economy follow a report last that month that the country’s gross domestic product rose just 0.1 per cent in October after a flat September and a 0.1 per cent contraction in August.However, Statistics Canada said last week that the Canadian economy created 40,000 jobs in December, adding to 59,300 created in November.The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.1 per cent, its lowest rate in four years. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Bank of Canada deputy Macklem says economic momentum softer than anticipated read more

Lost images Vitamin D fixes in the USSR Soldiers and Local Girls

first_imgICONIC MAGAZINE National Geographic is marking its 125th birthday this year and as part of the celebrations they are sharing never-published and barely seen photographs from around the world.The Found Tumblr hopes to “bring new life to these images” as “their beauty has been lost to the outside world for years”.Many of the pictures are missing dates and locations, so the people behind the blog are hoping members of the public will be able to provide fresh insights.From Scottish boys playing on a see-saw to miners in West Virginia and service women in the beauty parlour to peasant women in traditional Hungarian clothing, the collection is one readers can get totally lost in.Muscles ripple as an Arabian steed rears above its trainer in Jordan, December 1964. Photograph by Luis Marden, National GeographicChildren circle around an ultraviolet lamp to get a dose of vitamin D in Murmansk, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, August 1977. Photograph by Dean Conger, National GeographicSoldiers at Camp Shelby military base in Mississippi dance with local girls, July 1941. Photograph by J. Baylor Roberts, National GeographicSee more at the Found TumblrMore: Photographer on mission to snap Humans of New YorkRead: Happy 125th Birthday National Geographic! Here are some of your best bitsRelated: 14 incredible images: winners of 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest revealedlast_img read more

I couldnt ask for any more to be honest Im living my

first_imgSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: BOTTOM LINE: ISIBEAL Atkinson is one of the most talented, young, up-and-coming footballers in the country right now.Cool as a breeze, the 17-year-old is under the spotlight at the launch of the 2019 Aviva Soccer Sisters Easter Football Festival. Those her age may be shy, nervous and not very talkative in this situation, but no. Not Izzy, as she enthusiastically introduces herself. Isibeal Atkinson. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILEAfter a morning of photographs alongside budding Soccer Sisters participants on the Landowne Road turf, Atkinson settles down for a quick chat in front-row stadium seats.It was a morning well spent, she smiles. One in which the younger girls present — who varied in age from seven to 12 — got the chance to spend time with a star who recently made her first start for the Ireland senior side.They watched on in awe, and that’s put to her first and foremost. She’s not a whole pile older than them at the end of the day.“Well, I’m young but I still feel like they’re looking up to me which is fun,” she tells The42. It’s all come around pretty fast for the Ireland U19 ace, right?  Share664 Tweet Email Short URL 4 Comments “It has actually. I couldn’t ask for any more to be honest. Everything’s just going great.”It’s hard to process the fact that the Dubliner is just 17. Atkinson was first called up to Colin Bell’s squad in October 2017, she got her first senior international minutes against Portugal in a friendly the following January at the age of 16, made her official debut off the bench against Norway that June, and her first start came against Belgium in January.To map her meteoric rise how, it’s only right to go back to the very beginning. To where it all began, and to those closest to her who have made it all happen.Many as prodigiously talented as herself would have played more than just the one sport as a kid, tried their hand at everything and anything. But not Izzy.“Complete opposite,” she grins. “I was the type of girl that would see another sport and I’d be like, ‘No, football’s the best. I can’t play another sport.’“My Dad… if I turned around and said to him, ‘Can I play something else?’ he’d probably laugh. Football was my number one sport, my number one everything.”Atkinson, now a Leaving Cert student, basically grew up with a ball at her foot. She remembers seeing a picture of herself when she was two years old, happily sporting a tracksuit and kicking a football. Mar 28th 2019, 7:53 PM Young Soccer Sisters participants watch on in awe. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILEShe’s one of eight children, but none of the others were just as drawn to football as the Shelbourne winger. Her younger sister plays with the club’s U14s alright, but Izzy was a different breed. “I’m just a sportaholic,” she explains. “My Dad’s always saying when I was younger he’s never seen anyone as into football as me.“I used to go out at probably 10 o’clock in the morning, go to the astro, never come home for lunch, never come home for dinner. I’d come home at seven o’clock. My parents never gave out to me, they knew… I’d only be like 10 but they just knew I was alright.” ‘Ah, she’s at the astro with all the lads…’Not only was she there, but she was showing the lads up. Atkinson joined a local boy’s team when she was five years old, and played with them for as long as she could. She was forced to move to Wicklow outfit Enniskerry from U14s onward. An hour-long drive, she adds, but anything for the love of the game.“The first year I was there, we won everything,” she recalls. “Leinsters, All-Ireland, the league; I remember just saying it was the right decision. I didn’t regret anything. “I stayed with them for three years and then I went to the seniors with Shels. I genuinely don’t feel any regrets so far, it’s good.”As well as the advantage of a slightly closer location, it also really benefited her cause on the international stage. Powering through the Ireland underage ranks at the time, the move catapulted Atkinson onto bigger and better.As she charts her journey, we’re interrupted by a little voice and a wave from afar.See you tonight, Izzy…One of the kids is her younger sister’s team-mate at Shels, and it’s fair to say that Atkinson’s warm response makes the aspiring footballer’s day. Atkinson with Ireland senior team-mates Claire O’Riordan and Rianna Jarrett. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOShe doesn’t like saying it, she admits, but when she was younger all her role models were males. So to see that interaction first-hand, with Atkinson herself as the role model, is pretty uplifting.It’s rather fitting that we pick up once again at a breakthrough moment: her first senior call-up. She was in school one day and she got a long text message from her Dad. Not exactly sure what was going on, it wasn’t until she got home that she figured it all out.“I walked into the sitting room and my Mam and Dad were just smiling, laughing, just too happy. I remember him telling me. I didn’t say anything, I was just like….”Her mind wanders off slightly, almost lost for words as she relives the moment.“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Getting that at 16 was genuinely the best feeling in the world. I can’t wait — well, not that I can’t wait… but when I’m older to say, ‘I did that when I was 16.’ I mean 16 is the youngest you can do it. You can’t play unless you’re 16. To make my debut at 16 was the best thing ever.”Of course, she’s living in the moment. Of course, she appreciates it. But perhaps she doesn’t appreciate just how big of a deal this is right now. Everything’s happening so fast, it’s an absolute whirlwind. When that avenue is explored, Atkinson opens up more and more. “I’m injured now, two months nearly. Now, I’m starting to realise… I’ve definitely realised how…”Her mind wanders once again. “Now is when I’m starting to realise it really is the best thing in my life.”Atkinson was struck down with the dreaded MCL knee injury in a pre-season club match.“Always pre-season.” she frowns. “I was feeling at my peak and everything. Well, I mean it could have been a leg-break or 18 months out. Two months isn’t the worst.” Lining out for Shels against Peamount. Source: Women’s National League Twitter.Perhaps a big plus is that it’s allowed her place a little more focus on the books. In her Sixth Year with the Ardteist just around the corner, all is going to plan, she assures.“It’s not too bad. I got my Mocks back and they’re grand. Not a bother. Mam and Dad are happy so that’s all that matters.“Of course balancing it all is going to be tough. It’s always going to be tough, even if you don’t play football. Coming from my house with my Mam and Dad, it’s football first. I mean I bring my books away with me every time I’m away.”There’s plenty in the same boat. At least 11 of the U19s, she counts, and of course many of those filter through to the seniors. That support among team-mates and friends is key, but most important of all is the support that comes from her family.“Yeah,” she smiles. “My Dad… what was it, 13 countries I went to in 2018, and I think my Dad went to 12 of them. That just shows how much he’s with me all the way. I couldn’t ask for any more from him.”While the travelling to far and exotic places goes hand-in-hand with international football, Atkinson’s heart is most definitely still firmly with the club.Unfortunately though, she’s had to watch her side’s blistering start to the 2019 Women’s National League (WNL) from the sidelines.“To be honest, like, this injury… I’ve learned a lot. I can’t wait to be back now. Anytime I feel maybe I’m tired or I’m a bit weak in the legs, I’m just going to think, ‘No, I’m here, I’m not injured, I’m playing.’“I think maybe these things happen for a reason. Anytime I need a bit of a boost I can just think that my knee’s okay and I’m ready to go.”It’s her ‘first and hopefully last’ injury, and will definitely remind the eager midfielder just how much she wants to keep herself right and succeed at the top.She laughs that they train three times a week with the Reds, but she’d be the type to play — either on her own or with someone else — every single day. Gym and football seven days a week so understandably, two months feels like years. At the Soccer Sisters’ camps launch. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHOThe pain may be eased slightly how and ever by some extremely positive moves made by Shels recenly. The Northsiders have dropped ‘Ladies’ from their name in a bid to achieve equality for all players, while Tolka Park has become their new home ground.“It’s wonderful,” she beams. “I’ve always said, ‘Why are men different to us?’ We want to play football just as much as the men do. We’re all human. “Last year, we would have just played important games only in Tolka, say Cup matches. Now, we’re playing all of our home games. All the girls, every single match, if we’re in Tolka it feels like home. “It’s genuinely home for us. It couldn’t just be a coincidence, I can’t remember us playing bad at Tolka. We’re always there for it when we’re in Tolka. Even just walking the pitch when there’s no one there, you just feel right when you’re there. In the AUL when we used to play there, you didn’t feel good.”She added of the decision to use the club’s social media channels to represent and promote both men’s and women’s teams:“That’s one of the worst things for women’s football. Me growing up, I remember when I was getting called into the Ireland seniors, I didn’t even know any of the girls because of the media, I never used to see it. “Now there’d be a lot of, ‘I know her…’ I feel if I was to go in now I’d know them a lot more than I did. It’s getting better as time goes on. “For Shels, sharing it with the men should have happened a long time ago but I’m grateful that it’s happened now anyway.”That’s when the topic of role models raises it’s head once again, and Atkinson says she looks up to the likes of USA star Carli Lloyd and the Netherlands’ Lieke Martens.  Colin Bell talks to his team. Source: Andrew Halseid Budd/INPHOBell, who she worked under with the U17s last year and now the seniors, encourages they follow examples in an ‘if she can do it, so can I’ kind of way. On that note, what’s he like?“I actually can’t even explain it… he’s just the best manager I’ve ever had on and off the pitch. He makes us as disciplined as he is. His traits, his personality just grows on us. He really is the best like.“My confidence grows every day with him. Sometimes in training, maybe you’re not doing that good or whatever but he’ll give you that boost. He makes you feel like you’re good enough.“If you have a manager that has belief in you, you’re going to have belief in yourself. Simple as.”And this rising star most definitely does believe she can go all the way. Lastly, a quick word on the pride in the jersey, and just how much it means. In short: everything.But Izzy’s own words give a much better insight.“I’m one of them people that doesn’t have anything else to do but football,” she concludes. “All my friends are like, ‘Come do this, come do that…’‘Nah, I’m playing football.’ “It’s all I’ve ever done, all I’ve ever wanted to do. I mean sometimes people tell me, ‘You need to take a break,’ and I’m like, ‘Nah.’ You never need a break from that like. I’m living my dream, as cringe as that sounds.” ‘I couldn’t ask for any more to be honest… I’m living my dream, as cringe as that sounds’ Isibeal Atkinson’s rise has been meteoric, and she appears to have a very bright future ahead. https://the42.ie/4565429 By Emma Duffy Subscribe 22,147 Views Thursday 28 Mar 2019, 8:30 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Curiosity continue son exploration malgré le shutdown aux EtatsUnis

first_imgCuriosity continue son exploration malgré le ‘shutdown’ aux Etats-UnisDepuis le mardi 1er octobre, les Etats-Unis ont mis au chômage technique des centaines de milliers de fonctionnaires parmi lesquels figurent les employés de la NASA, l’agence spatiale américaine. Heureusement, contrairement à ce que certains expliquent, Curiosity lui continue de fonctionner.Ce n’était plus arrivé depuis 17 ans et la présidence de Bill Clinton. Mardi 1er octobre, les Etats-Unis ont été contraints de procéder à un “shutdown”, autrement dit l’arrêt de la plupart des administrations et services fédéraux. Pourquoi ? Parce que les démocrates et républicains ne sont pas parvenus à s’entendre sur un accord concernant le budget pour l’exercice 2014 qui devait normalement démarrer le 1er octobre.Aussi, des centaines de milliers de fonctionnaires se trouvent aujourd’hui au chômage technique et ce, pour une durée indéterminée, le temps qu’un accord puisse être trouvé. En attendant, musées, parcs nationaux et zoos notamment ont fermé leurs portes mais aussi la NASA, l’agence spatiale américaine. Depuis mardi, le site de l’agence est aux abonnés absents, de même que son compte Twitter, son compte Facebook. Tous les comptes des entreprises liées à la NASA ainsi que ceux de ses engins en font de même.”En raison du ‘shutdown’, nous ne tweeterons pas et ne répondront pas aux messages. Nous revenons dès que possible”. “Toutes les activités et évènements publiques de la NASA sont annulés ou reportés jusqu’à nouvel ordre. Nos excuses pour le dérangement”, peut-on ainsi lire sur les différents comptes. Depuis mardi, les bureaux de la NASA ont donc été vidés et les employés ont interdiction de venir travailler ou de travailler de chez eux. Néanmoins, certains continuent tout de même d’assurer leur rôle.Assurer la sécurité sur l’ISS malgré le shutdown C’est le cas des employés qui s’occupent de la Station spatiale internationale (ISS) et de son équipage. Malgré le “shutdown”, la sécurité des astronautes prime. “Pour protéger la vie de l’équipage actuellement à bord de l’ISS, nous devront continuer à être opérationnels, même en temps de blocage budgétaire”, a écrit Elizabeth Robinson, responsable du pôle finance de l’agence spatiale reprise par Ciel et espace. Face à la fermeture, cette dernière avait en effet communiqué à l’Office of Managment and Budget les services qui devaient absolument rester actifs. Toutefois, si le “shutdown” dure, il faudra ré-envisager la situation. “Nous devrons envisager l’éventualité, en cas de shutdown prolongé, d’envoyer vers l’ISS une mission de ravitaillement, voire de relève, si nécessaire”. De même, “si des satellites sont en phases opérationnelles importantes, nous devront poursuivre les tâches essentielles à sa sécurité”. Curiosity toujours actif, pour l’instant À lire aussiPourquoi certains s’évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?Mais alors qu’en est-il des engins non habités de la NASA ? Comme le rover Curiosity par exemple. Contrairement à ce que certains expliquent, celui-ci est toujours bel et bien actif. Comment ? Grâce au Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Cette entreprise est co-gérée par la NASA et le Caltech (California Institute of Technology) mais c’est ce dernier qui gère le salaire des employés qui continuent donc de travailler. Or, c’est le JPL qui supervise les missions de tous les engins et vols non habités de la NASA. De ce côté là, tout fonctionne donc normalement. Une information confirmée par le JPL lui-même contacté par plusieurs médias. Alors que certains annoncent que le rover Curiosity, contrôlé également par le CNES depuis Toulouse, a été mis en mode pause, il n’en est rien. Le robot martien continue bel et bien son exploration normalement, ainsi que ses mesures et prélèvements, du moins pour le moment. Car une prolongation du “shutdown” pourrait effectivement pousser à suspendre les opérations du rover.Le lancement d’une sonde martienne compromis ? D’autres engins sont moins chanceux. Le télescope Hubble lui va continuer d’observer le ciel mais il n’y aura personne pour analyser les données qu’il collecte et ce, jusqu’à la levée du blocage. Dans tous les cas, il vaudrait mieux que cet arrêt ne se prolonge pas trop car la NASA doit en novembre prochain procéder au lancement de la sonde MAVEN en direction de la planète Mars. Et trouver une nouvelle fenêtre de tir pour ce décollage pourrait ne pas être aisé, obligeant à reporter le départ de l’engin de plusieurs mois.Le 3 octobre 2013 à 11:57 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

What If I Told You The Matrix Code is Just Sushi Recipes

first_img It’s been almost twenty years since The Matrix, the best Wachowski’s movie not called Speed Racer, blew all of our minds with its original and electrifying cyberpunk sci-fi world, heady liberating existential philosophy, and killer live-action anime martial artist action scenes. It’s a movie about uncovering secrets and opening yourself up to new possibilities (not starting misogynistic subreddits about a red pill concept created by two trans women). So it only seems appropriate we’re still learning new stuff about The Matrix to this day.What’s the latest Matrix Revelation? We now know what the entrancing rain-like falling lines of green code that open every Matrix film actually say. The answer is pretty fishy. What if I busted out my best Morpheus impression and told you The Matrix code is just sushi recipes?It’s true! The trademark code was created by uncredited production designer Simon Whiteley. During a recent interview with CNET, Whiteley at last told the world that “The Matrix’s code is made out of Japanese sushi recipes.”Even with how fast it disappears, we could tell the code was written in Japanese characters. But now we know those characters aren’t random. They are sushi recipes from Whiteley’s Japanese wife’s cookbook. However, don’t think this is just a fun and pointless gag. Whiteley then said, “Without that code, there is no Matrix.” These sushi recipes are a big deal.It’s only a matter of time before someone wears their best replica Neo trench coat and sunglasses, turns on some Rage Against The Machine, and makes these sushi recipes to proclaim themself the new world’s biggest Matrix fan. Maybe those new Matrix prequels will explain the in-universe reason for the importance of this sushi. I’d love to see Hugo Weaving bite into a nice eel roll and suddenly understand the nature of existence. Or maybe that’s something for a new Animatrix.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Goodbye MCU Spider-Man, Hello ‘Matrix 4’11 Franchises That Should Ripoff Pokemon Go Stay on targetlast_img read more

States sue administration company over 3Dgun plans

first_imgEight states are filing suit against the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun, contending the hard-to-trace plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety.The suit, filed Monday in Seattle, asks a judge to block the federal government’s late-June settlement with Defense Distributed, which allowed the company to make the plans available online. Officials say that 1,000 people have already downloaded blueprints for AR-15 rifles.“I have a question for the Trump Administration: Why are you allowing dangerous criminals easy access to weapons?” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. “These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history.”Joining the suit were Democratic attorneys general in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia. Separately, attorneys general in 21 states urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday to withdraw from the settlement with Defense Distributed, saying it “creates an imminent risk to public safety.”People can use the blueprints to manufacture a plastic gun using a 3D printer. But gun industry experts have expressed doubt that criminals would go to the trouble, since the printers needed to make the guns are very expensive, the guns themselves tend to disintegrate quickly and traditional firearms are easy to come by.last_img read more

Weather Eye Well into autumn may the leaves be ever in your

first_img Enjoying what feels like never-ending, beautiful warm and sunny fall weather is grand. Watching the changing leaves, the garden harvest, smiles on happy faces. Such great weather to be outside.You may have heard of “The Hunger Games.” “Let the games begin, and may the odds be ever in your favor.” We are well into autumn, and nature has prepared the setting for us. It always does, every year without fail, like it or not. And who will you be this year, a participant or a spectator? Admission is free, and there is plenty of viewing room. Only a stipend for participation, but the honor of achievement and accomplishment is the utmost award. Can’t you feel the calling? The anticipation of yet another season? The new challenges calling you? You can sit and watch the games, or better yet, get out and participate. Let the games begin, and may the leaves be ever in your neighbor’s yard.OK, that may be in jest, but here is a bit of weather prose that will be appropriate soon.The winter rains fall from clouds not so high, swept by the swirling winds that blow so strong. Dark clouds racing so fast across the sky, I hope the sun will shine before too long. As I wade through the puddles soaking wet, a car comes by and splashes me some more. Lightning flashes and you can bet, that I will make a mad dash to my door. Inside my house the lights blink off and on, the room is dark; I cannot see a thing. I hear a crash out on my front lawn. I wonder what else this fun day will bring? The angry winter storms may blow on through, but as always, we will see some skies of blue. Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://patricktimm.com.last_img read more

Girls memorial offers a warning at Big Four Ice Caves

first_imgSILVERTON — Her face, friendly and innocent, looks out from a boulder beneath the sheer 4,000-foot wall, well beyond the snowfield’s edge at the Big Four Ice Caves.The image, taken from a family photo and etched in metal, is of an 11-year-old Marysville girl on her first day of fifth grade.Beside the picture are four paragraphs describing the tragic end to Grace Tam’s life, and warning others of the dangers the postcard-worthy ice fields can inflict. In the summer, water cascades into avalanche-dumped snow to hollow out the caves, a popular hiking destination about 20 miles east of Granite Falls.On the fourth anniversary of her death Thursday, Grace’s family returned to a site not far from where a large chunk of ice broke free and crushed her. Grace died that afternoon.Joining her parents and brother were workers from the U.S. Forest Service, an agency the family at one point sued in pursuit of safety reforms around the ice caves. They abandoned the case and chose a different path. On Thursday, the family worked side by side with a Forest Service crew, mixing epoxy to install the plaque and sharing hopes that it will make a difference.last_img read more

Discussion about Overseas Drawdowns Unlikely to Undo Current Plans to Expand Force

first_imgQuestions over whether President Trump intends to back away from the nation’s commitment to its allies’ security around the globe, including basing tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Europe and Korea, are unlikely to reverse existing plans to increase the military’s end strength. The administration’s request to add 15,600 personnel across the four services in fiscal 2019 is designed to improve readiness, partially by ensuring units are fully staffed. “Remember what has happened over the last several years. In order to have units ready to deploy, we’ve cannibalized other units,” Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told Military Times. “The bigger geo-strategic decisions don’t affect the need to make units whole,” Thornberry said.Adding personnel would increase dwell time and allow more time for training, explained Frederico Bartels, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. “Even if we were to draw down folks from overseas, you still have units that need to be ready to go,” he said.Until House and Senate conferees finish reconciling competing versions of the defense authorization bill, the exact increase in end strength next year is not clear. The House endorsed the administration’s request to add 15,600 active-duty service members, but the Senate version calls for adding only 7,000 troops next year.The discrepancy between the current plans to expand force levels and the president’s comments could come to a head, however. “I think we’re seeing a lot of lawmakers in denial here,” said Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “They want to grow the force, have been pushing for that, but are ignoring [Trump’s] comments on reducing security missions because it doesn’t fit with their goals.”Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Allyson Manners Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Some Yukon Quest Teams Surprised To Find Themselves Among Top10

first_imgThere are three Yukon Quest teams currently running among the top-10 that did not plan on racing with the front-runners when they left Whitehorse.In fact, none of them were able to complete the race last year, so they returned simply to finish what they started.Download AudioWhen Mike Ellis arrived in Dawson City, he had no idea what his place was.“Art the beginning of the race I said I thought I’d be lucky to be even in the top-15 with the field and the names that this race had,” he said.Ellis has started the Quest six times, but he has only finished three.“This is the first Quest I’ve ever run where I didn’t’ have a schedule written down in my book, where I didn’t have definitive plan of what I was going to do,” Ellis said. “I really just wanted to put my blinders on and just focus on my dog team and I think that’s served me very well so far.”French Canadian Normand Casavant had a similar attitude headed into the race.“I just want to have a happy run and I let my dogs go and if I’m having a nice race and a competitive one, that’s life that’s going to give it to me and that’s maybe what’s happened right now,” Casavant said.Last year, a case of shingles cut Casavant’s race short. He says the experience changed his perspective, but there are some things that never change.Casavant is known as the singing musher, and that’s what he did when he realized he was running right on the heels of Cody Strathe.“As we climbed up King Solomon’s Dome, the snow got deeper and deeper and my leaders got really excited to break trail and were just flying,” he said.Strathe also came to finish what he started last year. In 2014, he had to scratch from the race with just over 100 miles to go. He says the early part of the race was tough, but he was encouraged when what started as a slow slog just outside Dawson City turned into a high point for his team.“We got up on top and they were busting into drifts and bouncing through and we’d stop and the whole team’s tails would be wagging,” Strathe said.The top-10 teams are likely to cross the Canada-Alaska border today. They’ve come just over halfway, but there’s still 400 miles of rough trail ahead before they reach the finish in Fairbanks.last_img read more

10 cows rescued from slaughter

first_imgYalal: Activists of Bhajarang Dal from Pagidala village caught a vehicle transporting 10 cows on Sunday and handed it over to police. According to locals and the activists, the cows were being transported from Rasnam to Tandur for slaughtering on the occasion of Bakrid.When the vehicle was stopped and questioned three people travelling in it, the incoherent replies by them raised doubts among them and they immediately informed the police. SI Vithal Reddy rushed to the spot and inquired about the reason for transporting the cows. After finding that the cows were being taken for slaughter, a case was filed against the three, the SI said.last_img read more

Freestanding ERs in Texas May Be Misleading Patients AARP Survey Finds

first_imgIndependent emergency care centers in Texas, commonly called freestanding emergency rooms, often provide unclear or confusing information on pricing and insurance coverage to consumers, advocates say.A recent AARP “secret shopper” survey of 213 freestanding ER facilities in Texas found less than half were able to answer a simple “yes” or “no” question about health plan coverage over the phone, and 77% of facilities say they “take” or “accept” insurance on their website when they are actually out of network for any major health plan.The report also found 60% of freestanding ERs used language suggesting they were part of an insurer’s network when they were, in reality, out-of-network for all health plans.AARP’s Blake Hutson says patients often end up at freestanding ERs when they mean to go to urgent care clinics. Considering the similarities between the two types of facilities, which are often found in strip malls instead of office buildings, patients frequently do not notice the difference until they get the bill, which can be an expensive mistake. “As compared to hospital ERs these facilities are almost exclusively out of network, where at a hospital at least the facility is largely going to be in-network for your big health insurance plans,” Hutson said.Receiving care at an out-of-network ER can result in a much more expensive bill than what patients were expecting to pay.“We now have some evidence that shows how the industry on a very broad scale misleads consumers about what they can expect in terms of how they’ll work with their insurance and what bills they’ll receive,” Hutson said.Hutson said AARP is pushing for better enforcement of already existing disclosure laws and more transparent pricing. Sharelast_img read more

Twitter Suspends Infowars Alex Jones for One Week for Violating Abuse Policy

first_img Popular on Variety The content ran afoul of Twitter’s prohibition against abuse, which specifies that users “may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. We consider abusive behavior an attempt to harass, intimidate, or silence someone else’s voice.”With the one-week suspension, Jones is able to read tweets but cannot post anything to Twitter or interact with other users’ tweets. Twitter’s temporary ban of Jones was first reported by CNET.It’s the latest development involving the Infowars founder and his crusade to push the boundaries of what Silicon Valley companies will tolerate in terms of hateful speech, harassment and misinformation. Infowars and Jones, it’s worth noting, have enjoyed immeasurable publicity in the last two weeks after getting booted by YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Spotify, Vimeo and others. Both Apple and Google still include the Infowars live-streaming app in their respective app stores.Last week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey defended the company’s decision to not suspend Infowars and Jones from the platform, claiming they had not violated Twitter policies. After a CNN report identifying numerous past tweets from Infowars and Jones that did violate Twitter’s rules, those posts were deleted.Tweets by Infowars and Jones deleted last week included posts attacking transgender and Muslim people; a claim that the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax perpetrated by “crisis actors”; and a video calling David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., high-school shooting, a Nazi.While Jones and his sympathizers have cried censorship following the actions of YouTube, Facebook, Apple and others, internet-content platforms specifically reserve the right to suspend users or delete content found to violate of their guidelines — indeed, Infowars’ own terms of service includes such a provision. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img Twitter has barred right-wing conspiracy monger Alex Jones from posting on the social-media site for one week after violating its policies, the company confirmed.The tweet (now deleted) that landed Jones in the seven-day penalty box said, “Alex Jones: Trump Must Take Action Against Web Censorship” and included a link to a Periscope live-video broadcast (which also is now unavailable).“We can confirm that [Alex Jones’] account currently has limited functionality,” a Twitter rep said in a statement. “We haven’t suspended the account but are requiring tweets which contained a broadcast in violation of our rules are deleted.”In the broadcast in question on Twitter’s Periscope, according to watchdog group Media Matters, Jones appeared to call for violence against perceived left-wing “traitors.” He said the “mainstream media is the enemy” and said “people need to have their battle rifles and everything ready at their bedsides and you got to be ready because the media is so disciplined in their deception.” While the Periscope video from Jones’ account has been removed, the same video as of Wednesday remained accessible on the “Infowars_Live” account.last_img read more

Sony announce the PSPE1000 heres why you dont want one

first_imgSony made a surprise announcement yesterday during Gamescom by introducing a new model of the PSP called the PSP-E1000. On the face of it, the new handheld sounds enticing. It’s got the same screen as the PSP-3000, keeps the UMD so is backwards compatible with all PSP games, comes in a charcoal black that matches the slim PS3, and will be available at a pocket-friendly price of 99 euros, which would equate to $99 in the U.S.That’s where the good news stops though, as this is a limited-feature, budget version of the PSP models that have gone before. First of all, it won’t be launched outside of PAL territories, but U.S. gamers should definitely view that as a good decision with the very capable PSP-3000 remaining the only choice.Now on to what Sony has decided to remove. Even though the PSP still receives regular firmware updates, the E1000 does not include Wi-Fi, so you’ll have to rely on games providing the updates or getting them via a cable. The other big loss? Stereo sound. Sony has seen fit to replace the stereo speakers in previous models with monoaural, so one speaker.It’s unclear from the specification, but it also looks as though Sony has removed the video out feature too, as well as somehow managing to increase the overall size of the device. Where as the 3000 measures 169.4 x 18.6 x 71.4mm, the E1000 is 172.4 × 73.4 × 21.6mm. It is lighter though, weighing in at 223 grams compared to the 280 grams of the 3000.close dialogclose dialogThe only thing this model of PSP has got going for it is the price, but even then, saving 30 euros/$30 isn’t worth it for the lack of Wi-Fi and stereo sound.If you are in the market for a new PSP, then the PSP-3000 remains the only real choice. My one concern is that retailers will start replacing the PSP-3000 with the E1000 across PAL territories making it more difficult to buy one.Below I have included the official specification breakdown for the PSP-E1000 and the PSP-3000 so you can see what has changed, just click the image to see it full size: Read more at PlayStation.Bloglast_img read more

Obamas surprise opening to Cuba sparks cautious reaction among US travel execs

first_imgRelated posts:A cultural anthropologist ponders Cuba before and after Obama’s decision Cuba’s Christmas surprise for Caracas As talks with US begin, Cubans anticipate changes in their lives Cuba dissidents urge US to focus on Castro human rights record Watch The Tico Times’ Washington correspondent Larry Luxner discuss U.S.-Cuba relations with Al-Jazeera. Interview starts at minute 6:37.WASHINGTON, D.C. – First, the good news: if you’re a U.S. citizen who’s already licensed to travel to Cuba, you may now come back to the United States with $400 worth of Cuban goods, including $100 in duty-free rum and cigars. Now, the bad news: it may still be awhile before the rest of us can legally visit this forbidden island only 90 miles from Florida’s shores.On Wednesday, President Obama announced in a live TV address that he would seek to end half a century of U.S. hostility toward Cuba. That declaration – which includes the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Castro regime – followed the long-sought release of jailed U.S. contractor Alan Gross from a Cuban prison, as well as the return of three convicted Cuban spies back to the island of their birth.That morning, as shipping executive Jay Brickman was leaving for Miami International Airport for his 50-minute charter flight to Havana, he had no clue the earth was about to shake under his feet.But by the time Brickman had boarded his plane, the whole world knew.“I had planned this trip before, so this makes it even more productive once we’re there,” said Brickman, vice president of Crowley Liner Services, which earlier this year became the first customer at Cuba’s nearly $1 billion mega-port at Mariel.“The reason for switching container traffic from Havana to Mariel was to make Havana a more attractive cruise-ship port,” said Brickman. “If the U.S. government says it’s OK for cruise ships to go directly from U.S. ports to Cuba, obviously that will have a significant impact on the industry. The question is, are the Cubans ready to receive more cruise ships, and if so, how many more? And what are they going to want in their negotiations for letting the cruise ships in?”These are the types of questions to which everyone in the airline and cruise-ship industry suddenly wants answers.Joseph Hinson is president of Miami-based United Americas Shipping Services, which has been planning passenger ferry service from Florida to Cuba since 2010.“Obviously, we’re very excited. We’ve been waiting to hear this news for the last six or seven years, and finally we see some real opportunities here,” said Hinson, whose Baja Ferries unit already transports 250,000 passengers per year between the Mexican ports of Mazatlán and Topolobambo. “We will resurrect our overall business plan and get in touch with key people in Washington immediately.”Baja Ferries also owns the Caribbean Fantasy, which carries 1,000 passengers and 1,900 lane meters of cargo between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. The vessel has 150 cabins and offers a nightclub and duty-free shopping on its evening departures to the D.R., which alternate between San Juan and Mayagüez.Hinson hopes to launch similar service to Havana from South Florida – either Miami or Port Everglades, charging roughly $250 round-trip per passenger.“We have done all our homework,” Hinson said. “We’d still have to negotiate with Cuban authorities over the exact location where we would place our ship. Truthfully, we’ve been contacted by so many people over the years who wanted to do this but never had the assets. We’re one of the few who actually have ships – and we’re ready at a moment’s notice.”Yet John Tercek, VP of commercial development at Royal Caribbean Cruises, is somewhat skeptical.“These are nice words, but I don’t see any immediate impact until a number of pieces fall into place,” he said. “The president has gradually liberalized travel and made small, incremental steps, and maybe this will lead to something bigger. But I don’t see anything happening overnight.” A panoramic view of Havana taken from the top of the Focsa building in Vedado, with the venerable Hotel Nacional in the foreground. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesThere will be competitionMichele Paige, president of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, said she hopes Obama’s predictions will eventually be converted into concrete action resulting in more U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba.“Basically, none of the restrictions have been lifted. It would be phenomenal to go to Cuba, and there’s a lot of pent-up demand, but Congress would have to approve it,” she said. “Under the law, any ship that does business in the U.S. cannot call on Cuba – and until that is changed, it’s kind of a moot point.”Paige, whose FCCA is a nonprofit group representing 15 member lines that operate more than 100 cruise vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters, said the average cruise ship holds 3,000 passengers and injects $500,000 into the local economy per port call.“Cruise tourism requires the least amount of infrastructure,” she said. “It’s perfect for Cuba. They don’t need hotels, they just need to move people.”But what’s good news for one Caribbean island may not be so good for others.“Destinations that provide a satisfactory experience for passengers and are doing a good job have nothing to worry about. It’s the destinations that are having problems that need to worry,” Paige said, adding that she’d be particularly concerned with the Bahamas and Jamaica – both of which, like Cuba, are relatively close to the U.S. mainland, and both of which have reported rising violent crime against cruise passengers in recent years. “We’ve said continually that they have to be cognizant of the fact that when Cuba opens up, there will be competition.” Foreign tourists enjoy the colonial architecture of Old Havana. Larry Luxner/The Tico Times‘The embargo is still in effect’At the moment, six charter tour operators are licensed to offer flights between the United States and Cuba. The vast majority of those flights are from Miami International Airport, with a few flights also offered from Fort Lauderdale and Tampa. Direct service from Los Angeles was cancelled two years ago, and California-based Cuba Travel Service said it’ll soon reinstate service from New York JFK to Havana.CTS says its initial request to operate Havana-bound flights from Newark Liberty was denied by local airport authorities, though JFK is still easily accessible from New Jersey, home to the nation’s second-largest Cuban exile community after South Florida.Ronen Paldi is president of Ya’lla Tours USA, an authorized travel service provider based in Portland, Oregon, that has been bringing visitors to Cuba since 2002. He said it could be a while before OFAC makes clear what’s allowed and what’s not.Paldi pointed out that Obama vowed to relax restrictions governing the issuance of people-to-people licenses to Cuba in January 2011. But OFAC announced those changes only in April, and they weren’t implemented until June – half a year after they were first promised.“The embargo is still in effect. We need to see if the restrictions to be eased will include [letting] airlines fly to Cuba. If we still have to depend on charter flights, that will remain a very narrow bottleneck that limits capacity on anything going to Cuba.”Even if all the restrictions are lifted, he said, Cuba isn’t exactly a travel bargain compared to its Caribbean rivals – and the tourism bureaucracy is mind-numbing.“It’s getting worse, not better. The Ministry of Tourism decided to consolidate most tourism companies in Cuba under one roof. So instead of decentralizing the industry, they’re centralizing it under the banner of Havanatur, which will create less competition. Also, they are not allowing American organized tourists to make their own reservations at paladares [private restaurants],” Paldi told us.“They are almost full to capacity with their existing hotel rooms, tour buses, tour guides and parking lots. Finding rooms in Havana – not just at Christmas, but in January, February or March – is already very difficult. ASTA predicts that once restrictions are completely lifted, more than one million Americans would flow into Cuba during the first five years. Cuba just isn’t ready for that.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Pic of the Day Protecting and celebrating Costa Ricas birds

first_imgRelated posts:Another culinary trip around the world Gardeners of the forest: The tapir in Costa Rica Covering Santa Teresa Tico Times Pic of the Day: Corcovado National Park from above This weekend, the Osa Conservation Area, Osa Birds and the Neotrópica Foundation are hosting the annual International Bird Festival in Puerto Jiménez, Golfito.The festival will focus on reducing Costa Rica’s reliance on single-use plastics in order to protect birds and other wildlife.The festival features several free family-friendly activities. There is a drawing station for children, a photography workshop hosted by Osa Photography, a migratory bird photography contest and the fan-favorite bird “marathon.”The festival concludes today in Puerto Jiménez.​​​​​​This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.​​​​Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Malaysia remains a safe destination

first_imgTourism Malaysia http://www.corportate.tourism.gov.myMalaysia remains a safe destinationTourism Malaysia wants to assure all visitors that Malaysia remains a safe and secure holiday destination.Following a terror alert issued by the US embassy and several others about a possible terror attack in Jalan Alor late last month, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has provided the strongest reassurance on behalf the Malaysian Government that Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang and other areas in the country’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, are safe.“I want to confirm that the area (Jalan Alor) and a few other areas previously categorized as dangerous are being monitored closely by the police. There is no threat,” he said, adding, “We want to assure the people that the police are always ready to make sure that there is no act of terrorism and to ensure there is no threat at all in Malaysia.”Both the Australian and UK government websites have now retracted warnings regarding terrorist threats in Jalan Alor.Source = Tourism Malaysialast_img read more

Freddie Mac Elects New Director for Board

first_img “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ announced that Richard C. Hartnack, formerly vice chairman and head of consumer and small business banking at U.S. Bancorp, has been elected as a director on the company’s board.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]””Rick Hartnack is an outstanding addition to the Freddie Mac Board of Directors,”” said Christopher S. Lynch, non-executive chairman. “”He is a seasoned industry executive with proven leadership experience and a deep understanding of our industry. Freddie Mac will benefit from Rick’s detailed knowledge of underwriting, servicing, technology, and his dedication to operational excellence as our company builds a stronger, more efficient mortgage market for the future.””Prior to joining U.S. Bancorp in 2005, Hartnack served as vice chairman, director, and head of the community banking group at Union of California. Before that, he was EVP at First Chicago Corporation, where he was responsible for community banking.He is also a past director of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, MasterCard International, Union BanCal Corporation, and U.S. Bank (a U.S. Bancorp subsidiary). He previously served as chairman of the California Bankers Association, Bank Administration Institute, and the Los Angeles Urban League. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing May 31, 2013 452 Views Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-05-31 Tory Barringer Freddie,Freddie Mac Elects New Director for Boardlast_img read more