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Your Favorite Influencers Arent Writing Their Own Content—These Women Are

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Twitter Consider this Kylie Jenner scandal from earlier this year: When a listicle of the intimate and somewhat regressive ways that Jenner supposedly likes to “spoil” her boyfriend—like buying him sex toys and baking him cookies—was published on her app in January, she had it immediately taken down. It was “a very personal post that I would never ever approve,” Jenner said that day on Twitter. “It’s unfair to me and you to think that those were my words.”READ MORE LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment For a 22-year-old aspiring writer, it seemed like the perfect gig.Faith Xue had just graduated from USC when she was offered a job as Assistant Editor at Los Angeles-based media company EQAL in 2012. “The job description was very vague,” she tells MarieClaire.com. “I had no idea what I was getting into.” As Xue would soon find out, she had unwittingly become a ghostwriter, responsible for authoring blog posts, tweets, and Facebook statuses for a slew of famous bloggers, all under their names.The practice of ghostwriting has always been something of an open secret in the A-list world, but as our definition of “celebrity” has evolved from red-carpet types to social media stars, so has ghostwriting’s scope. Now it’s not just memoirs and magazines but even the intimate Instagram post that has a staff behind it. And in 2017, that world is more crowded—and volatile—than ever. Advertisement Facebook Login/Register With:last_img read more

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TSX up despite pullback in some oilsands stocks

The Toronto stock market was higher as positive Chinese data lifted commodity prices and mining stocks and the energy sector advanced following Friday’s announcement clarifying takeovers by foreign state-owned energy companies.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 33.42 points to 12,193.01 while the TSX Venture Exchange climbed 0.19 of a point to 1,186.25.The Canadian dollar gained 0.34 of a cent to 101.25 cents US.Markets were, however, weighed down amid the surprise resignation of Italy’s premier, who was widely credited with restoring confidence in Italy as the country deals with a debt crisis and fiscal cliff worries.Prime Minister Mario Monti announced that he intends to resign by the end of the year, saying he found it impossible to lead after former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s party, parliament’s largest, dropped its support.The Dow Jones industrials were up 15.32 points to 13,170.45, the Nasdaq gained 5.75 points to 2,983.79 while the S&P 500 index dipped 0.48 of a point to 1,417.59.The federal government on Friday approved two high-profile deals. The state-controlled China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) got the green light for its $15.1-billion purchase of Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY). And Malaysian state-controlled energy company Petronas can go ahead with its $6-billion acquisition of Progress Energy Resources Corp. (TSX:PRQ).Nexen shot up 14.17 per cent to $26.59 while Progress shares jumped 13.4 per cent to $21.96.However, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear that state-owned energy companies will find it extremely difficult to buy up Canadian oilsands producers in future.Shares in some of these companies found themselves the target of sellers since they can no longer realistically hope to be snapped up by foreign state-owned enterprises at fat share price premiums.For example, Meg Energy Corp. (TSX:MEG) was down 86 cents to $33.86 but Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH) recovered most of an early loss, down a slight three cents to $10.22.Elsewhere in the energy sector, Spartan Oil Corp. TSX:STO) shares ran ahead 43 cents or nine per cent to $4.83 as it announced it has received an unsolicited takeover offer. No other details on the offer have been released. Spartan is active the Cardium light oil play in central Alberta and the Bakken light oil resource play in southeast Saskatchewan.Precision Drilling Corp. (TSX:PD) plans to cut capital spending to $485 million in 2013 from approximately $920 million this year while also instituting a quarterly dividend of five cents per share. Its shares were up four cents to $7.33.There was also mixed economic data from China, the world’s second-biggest economy. Export growth plunged to 2.9 per cent compared with a year earlier, while imports were flat, down from October’s 2.4 per cent growth.The figures were in line with analysts’ warnings that a trade rebound that began in August was unsustainable due to weak global demand amid Europe’s debt problems and a slow U.S. recovery.At the same time, the Chinese government reported Sunday that factory output increased 10.1 per cent from a year earlier, compared with the previous month’s rise of 9.6 per cent year on year. Retail sales rose 14.9 per cent, up from October’s 14.5 per cent. And electricity consumption rose 7.9 per cent in November from 6.4 per cent in October.Oil prices advanced amid data showing November crude oil shipments to China, the world’s second-biggest oil importer, were just below their all-time high. China imported an average of approximately 5.69 million barrels per day last month, just below February’s record-high 5.98 million barrels per day.The January crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 29 cents to US$86.22.The metals and mining sector gained 0.57 per cent while copper prices also advanced sharply with the March contract ahead by five cents to US$3.71 a pound. China is the world’s biggest consumer of the metal, which is viewed as a global economic barometer. HudBay Minerals (TSX:HBM) gained 15 cents to $9.92.The gold sector was up 0.7 per cent while bullion prices also picked up with the February contract up $8.70 to US$1,714.20 an ounce. Iamgold Corp. (TSX:ABX) improved by eight cents to $10.72.Worries about whether the U.S. can head off going over the so-called fiscal cliff at the end of the month continued to cast a shadow over markets.The fiscal cliff is a combination of expiring Bush-era tax cuts and automatic, across-the-board spending cuts due to take effect in January. The worry is that the shock from both measures would cut economic growth significantly and likely push the U.S. back into recession.At the same time, the interest rate on the Italian government’s 10-year bond, an indicator of how risky investors consider a country’s ability to pay down its debt, rose 0.33 percentage points to 4.8 per cent following Monti’s surprise decision to resign.Also adding to investor unease was an announcement from Berlusconi that he was going to run for the premiership.European bourses were mixed with London’s FTSE 100 index up 0.1 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX added 0.03 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 were off 0.06 per cent. read more

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Trade wars losers could include microchips energy banks

NEW YORK — Investors concerned about the U.S.-China trade war are worrying about more than just those companies that do lots of business with China.They are also starting to consider the risks to businesses that have few if any ties to that country. The result has been a blow to much of the U.S. stock market.Among the vulnerable companies are energy providers, banks, microchip makers and industrial manufacturers.The damage has been widespread since President Donald Trump shocked investors on Aug. 1 by saying he planned to soon extend tariffs across virtually all Chinese imports.All but 2% of the stocks in the S&P 500 fell on Aug. 5, after China let its currency devalue to its lowest level in a decade.Stan Choe, The Associated Press read more

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Colombia UN mission collects nearly all remaining weapons from FARCEP

The UN political mission in the country today confirmed that “on 20 June the third phase of the laying down of individual weapons of the FARC-EP combatants was initiated.”The Mission has now stored 7,132 arms, which constitutes all the weapons that were registered from FARC-EP. The only exclusions from the list are the weapons used to provide security in the 26 FARC-EP camps until 1 August 2017.“To date, the Mission has verified 77 arms caches from which weapons have been extracted and munitions, explosives and unstable armaments destroyed,” the UN political mission said. The lay down is in compliance with the timeline agreed to between the Government and FARC-EP on 29 May, part of the historic deal that ended the half-century long conflict.The arms laydown process – a major component in the peace agreement – includes five distinct steps including: registration and identification of weapons, monitoring and verification of the holding of weapons, reception and storage of arms, neutralization of arms (to ensure that they will never again be used as firearms), and extraction of arms from camps. read more

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A letter to the Brock community from the Chair of Senate

The following letter to the Brock community was submitted by Scott Henderson, Chair of Senate:This message, adapted from my forthcoming report to Senate, should resonate with the entire Brock community.This has been a less than straightforward start to the academic year, and it is clear that Brock University faces challenges in the coming months. How we respond to those challenges, and how we demonstrate sound leadership, is critical both in terms of the messaging coming from University governance, and in terms of the role we all play in protecting and enhancing the reputation of the University.Many of us at Brock serve in multiple roles, and can have a number of affiliations. It can be difficult to cast these aside when doing something such as serving on Senate, but this is something we need to do. The decisions we are asked to make are in support of the greater good of Brock University. While faculty representation purposely has a majority on Senate, in acknowledgement of our long-term investment in the University’s academic direction, every decision made is not solely for the benefit of faculty but rather for the protection and enhancement of Brock’s broader academic mission. This mission remains at the core of all that we do here at Brock.Senate representatives are elected from all Faculties, allowing for representation from diverse programs. Once serving, Senators do not represent a set constituency. They serve to bring wisdom and perspective of their varied disciplines, but not to advocate for a particular Faculty, unit or organization on campus. They are there to advocate for the University, to look out for the interests of all of us. The reputation of the University is our reputation, as researchers, teachers, students and staff, and in these currently testing times it is incumbent on all of us to remember that this is the case. Universities actually thrive on critical enquiry, but it is vital to do so respectfully. Our work and our reputation are not enhanced by dissent or by creating disruption because we do not agree on a course of action.There has been a concerted effort in recent years to enhance relationships between Brock’s two governing bodies, the Board of Trustees and the Senate. It is at the point where we do have meaningful consultation on key issues, even beyond what is required by the Faculty Handbook or the Brock University Act. People may not always be aware that members of both bodies volunteer their time to serve the University, and that each member brings their own particular expertise to the table.  All of us, on both governing bodies, share a mutual concern regarding the success and continued improvement of the University. This does not mean that we all agree on how we achieve this goal, but we do need to respectfully recognize that it is a goal we share.In recent weeks, Senate has been consulted by the Board about the appointment of an Acting President. How the Board responds to that consultation is important to us. Yet we have to recognize the meaning of the term ‘consultation’. Consulting does not mean always getting one’s way, it means having one’s perspectives, opinions and ideas considered and hopefully incorporated. Both Senate and Board welcome input from all members of the Brock community on this important issue. A call has gone out to the Brock community, seeking feedback and nominations for the role of Acting President. This level of consultation is unprecedented, and it is hoped that the Brock community will respond to this invitation and become part of the process. The more voices we hear, the more that our governing bodies can understand the desires of everyone at the University.Nobody wins if we operate in an atmosphere of mistrust, least of all our students, both graduate and undergraduate. The Board has accepted the recommendations made by Senate regarding an extension of the current Acting President until Sept. 30, and has issued the requested call for nominations to be considered. These are welcome developments. In the meantime, the business of the University carries on. Research is conducted, classes are prepared and taught, students continue to learn both inside and outside the classroom, and the work of faculty and staff continues.I invite all members of the Brock community to engage with us on issues regarding the positon of President, and on other issues as we move forward. I am sure that I speak for both Senators and Board members in saying that we recognize the trust you have put in all of us to make decisions that will continue to make Brock a preferred place to work and to study.Once the Board has made a decision on the Acting President, I urge all of us to get behind that person and provide the support they will need to succeed. There has been much positive development at Brock in recent years, and as we see the work that has started outside of Taro Hall, providing a long awaited expansion of the Goodman School of Business, we know that this is simply the beginning of more positive times ahead.Ideally, we will all look to the future and not dwell on the past.Scott Henderson is an Associate Professor in the Department ofCommunication, Pop Culture and Film read more

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Were being fed this lie Exposing the myths of Irelands compo culture

first_imgTotal awards for personal injury cases fell 28% between 2014 and 2018 in spite of rising premiums;The average award dropped 19% during the same period;Major insurers’ spending on motor and liability claims barely changed between 2017 and 2013, despite their premium income climbing 57% in the same four years;Much higher reinsurance spending – the price of insurers covering risks to their own businesses – rather than higher claim costs has been the largest single factor that has affected firms’ bottom lines in recent years.Instead of suffering a recent explosion in spending on insurance claims, firms’ costs for motor and liability cases were greater in 2005 than in any year since – although claim costs may take several years to filter through the system.Stuart Gilhooly, a former president of the Law Society of Ireland, said the narrative that Ireland had a compensation culture rife with high payouts and exaggerated claims was an attempt by insurers to drive down compensation claims to shore up their finances.“They have very carefully ensured that any claim they see as being fraudulent or where the payout appears too high is emphasised in the media; they have used this as an excuse for why premiums are so high, but that isn’t borne out in reality,” he said.We’re being fed this lie – and it is a lie – that damages are the main driver of premiums, when quite simply they aren’t.”Nevertheless, Insurance Ireland CEO Kevin Thompson, whose organisation represents the vast majority of insurers active in the local market, maintained that increased payouts and claims for minor soft-tissue injuries were the main reason for higher costs for customers.The makings of a crisisAfter bottoming out in early 2008, motor insurance prices began their steady climb, almost doubling by mid-2016 before easing around one-third, according to figures from the CSO. Prices are still 48% higher now than at their lowest point just over a decade ago.While there is no official data on costs for insurance in other areas – such as public or employer’s liability costs for businesses – indigenous firms have for years complained about the rising costs of insurance or, in some cases, difficulty in getting cover altogether.The crunch in the insurance industry was exemplified recently with the withdrawal of Leisure Insure from the Irish market, leading to concerns that firms in the adventure sector would go to the wall due to higher premiums or their inability to get insurance.Peter Boland from the Alliance for Insurance Reform, a group made up of various business and voluntary organisations, said it was clear to everyone with an interest in insurance that there was a crisis – but the absence of clear information meant that it was hard to diagnose the cause.Everything that you’re getting is based on assumptions, and the vast majority of them aren’t backable.” 57 Comments Source: RollingNews.ieCompensation cultureWith the rapid rise in insurance premiums has come intense pressure on the government from businesses and the public to help put a lid on prices, accompanied by growing anger about spurious claims and seemingly absurd payouts in the courts.Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey – and her now-infamous fall from a swing at Dublin’s trendy The Dean hotel – became a lightning rod for public angst over high insurance costs and the belief that these were being fed by ridiculous claims.That, coupled with reports of fraudulent cases being thrown out by judges, led to the common lament that Ireland’s compensation culture had been allowed to run riot.In May, Minister of State Michael D’Arcy, who has been charged with overseeing insurance reform, complained to the Dáil that “the high level of awards here and the easy money to be made … have given rise to an attitude where people will try to get what they can”.Business Minister Heather Humphreys was singing from the same hymn sheet a day earlier when she said many firms felt they were “being punished for this compensation culture” of fraudulent or exaggerated claims.Insurers have put the rate of fraudulent or exaggerated claims in Ireland at around 20% – around half of which they said were caught – a staggeringly large figure which the industry has suggested is responsible for adding €50 to the cost of the average insurance policy.However Sinn Féin finance spokesman Pearse Doherty punched a sizeable hole in those numbers earlier this year when he highlighted data that showed just 19 cases of suspected insurance fraud had been reported to gardaí in the six months from October.That would represent a minuscule share of the more than 200,000 motor and liability claims insurers handle every year.Doherty told Noteworthy that he agreed some insurance cases awards were too high, but the idea that the system was awash with fraudulent claims was a myth that the industry had carefully cultivated.There is no such thing as an exaggerated claim, it’s industry-speak. An exaggerated claim, as confirmed by the gardaí, is a fraudulent claim … and insurers have a duty to report those fraudulent claims,” he said.Insurance Ireland’s Thompson said that one-fifth of claims raised some kind of ‘red flag’ as potentially fraudulent or exaggerated.Of this share, some would be rejected outright, while others would be negotiated based on what insurers thought was a fair offer, he said. Only in “extreme” cases, when insurers could gather enough evidence, was the file typically passed on to An Garda Síochána.The government-established Personal Injuries Commission, chaired by former High Court president Nicholas Kearns, declared in 2017 that “exaggerated and fraudulent claims contribute significantly to driving up insurance costs”, however its reports did not cite the reason for the conclusion. A separate 2017 report from the Cost of Insurance Working Group, made up of staff from various State agencies and departments, noted fraud was not one of the main reasons why motor insurance costs had increased so much over the last 12 months.A follow-up report noted there was no official data to indicate that insurance fraud was widespread. Minister of State Michael D’Arcy (front) and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Source: Sam BoalClustersNevertheless, further evidence that some people may be exploiting the insurance system to their benefit has been highlighted in the existence of geographic ‘clusters’ of claims.Minister of State D’Arcy raised the issue in an interview in December, when he told the Sunday Independent that there were local issues that meant some areas had bigger problems than others with a compensation culture.According to an analysis of figures from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), the State agency set up to handle personal injury cases, and local authorities, there are significant clusters of claims in parts of the country.Adjusted for population, Limerick residents were the most likely to receive an award from PIAB over a 10-year period, followed by people based in Longford and Louth. Limerick residents were more than three times as likely to receive an award than those living in Kilkenny, which had the lowest number of awards per capita.Similarly, Limerick City and County Council had the highest number of compensation claims by head of population after Dublin City Council over an extended period.The Dublin figure is likely skewed by the large number of visitors and workers in the capital’s city centre. Longford County Council had the fourth-highest per-person share, behind Waterford City & County Council.What is not clear, however, is the reason for the disparities – and the extent to which they indicate a compensation culture running rampant in some parts of the country.Speaking with Noteworthy, D’Arcy said the claim clusters were a cause for concern, although his information had been based on anecdotal feedback from the industry.If there are clusters, it would suggest that there are people who are gaming the system. And that’s not acceptable, it’s not acceptable because it does damage, it’s closing businesses,” he said.WhiplashSince it first met in early 2017, a key focus of the Personal Injuries Commission has been on the incidence and levels of soft-tissue awards – commonly referred to as whiplash claims.The commission handed down one of its headline findings last year, when a benchmarking exercise revealed that general damages for whiplash injuries were more than four times higher here than in England and Wales.Average claims involving these injuries were worth €19,862 in Ireland between 2015 and 2017, compared to just €3,798 in the UK for the same period.The level of these claims in Ireland are ultimately set by the courts, the payouts from which in turn feed into the Book of Quantum, which PIAB refers to when assessing its own awards.D’Arcy has said the “single most essential challenge” to be overcome in order to bring down insurance costs was to bring down these personal injury awards in line with those in other jurisdictions.With that in mind, the government is rolling out a range of measures, including a judicial ‘recalibration’ of compensation guidelines, although D’Arcy has sought assurances from the insurance industry that lower payments will also lead to lower premiums. Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ieClaim costsBut there is little evidence that more frequent or higher personal injury payouts are behind the huge increases in insurance costs in recent years – and, in fact, the available evidence points to the fact that overall claim payouts have already been trending down.In 2013, some 8,131 personal injury awards were either accepted after a PIAB application or decided by the courts. Last year, this figure was up to 8,351, although both figures are lower than the 8,997 awards decided in 2014.The total value of all these awards, when medical negligence cases are excluded, was €239 million in 2018, the lowest tally for any of the past six years and 28% below the equivalent figure for 2014.Claim numbers and payouts for cases in the circuit court – where many soft-tissue claims are heard – have been going up, but these have been counteracted by a reduction in High Court cases and payouts, which account for the biggest share of total awards payable by insurers. Source: Charted by StatistaThe figures run counter to general trends in the country and economy, in which major gains in employment since the recession have led to more cars on the road, people in workplaces and other factors likely to result in increased insurance claims.The insurance working group noted in its 2017 report that the available information showed claims had only a “moderate impact” on premiums between 2013 and 2015.That was despite both the industry and other stakeholders repeatedly pointing to increased claim frequency and costs as the primary reasons for higher premiums, according to the same group.The black hole in all the publicly accessible data is the large number of insurance claims settled privately between insurance firms and claimants, often through their lawyers. At least 75% of all personal injury claims are thought to be decided in this way.The majority of these are likely to begin with an application to PIAB, which has seen a steady increase in cases since it was established in 2004. The figures have, however, been largely flat since 2015 despite the pick-up in the economy.In the absence of more comprehensive information, one of the few clear indicators of how insurance claims have been trending over time comes from insurers’ own finances.In 2017, the most recent year for which figures are available, motor and liability claims cost insurers a net €1.31 billion, according to Insurance Ireland, whose members represent 95% of the domestic insurance market.The total includes damage to motor vehicles as the group does not provide standalone figures for personal injury cases. The tally was down on the figure for 2016 but up on the totals for the previous five years.Nevertheless, it was below the €1.4 billion Insurance Ireland members spent on these claims in 2009, when the firms took in 25% less in motor and liability premiums.Meanwhile, the share of premiums paid by customers that were flowing out of insurers’ coffers again in claims peaked in 2013. That year, net motor and liability claims were worth about 82% of premiums taken in for the same sectors.By 2017, this ratio had dropped to only 53% – meaning the firms were paying out much less in motor and liability compensation and associated costs relative to their ever-rising premium incomes.The ratio of net claims to premiums in 2017 was the lowest for any year since 2007. Source: Charted by StatistaBack in the blackIn recent years, insurers have returned to profit after posting combined losses through the late recession and on into the recovery period.In 2017, Insurance Ireland members posted an estimated profit of €227 million, up from just €16 million in 2016 and a loss of €216 million a year earlier.This has led to suggestions from Doherty and others that profit-taking, not claims, was the main reason behind high insurance costs.However, the recent profits are slender compared to the €1 billion-plus profits the firms recorded in the boom years.Thompson said firms posting losses was in “nobody’s interest” as ultimately the industry needed to be sustainable to serve its customers, although he disputed claims that excessive profits were being extracted by the industry. Why then are we seeing insurers particularly international insurers withdraw from the marketplace? Nobody is going to withdraw from a super-profitable market. That, commercially, just does not make sense,” he said.Nevertheless, with claim payouts little changed over more than a decade, the reason for insurers’ lack of profitability lies elsewhere in their balance sheets – and in the long fallout from the global finance industry’s collective meltdown in the late 2000s.Throughout the years from 2005 to 2010, insurers paid around 6% of the motor and liability premiums they received from customers back out in reinsurance costs – essentially insurance taken out by the insurer itself to protect against the risks of future claims.By 2015 that cost had exploded to more than 35% of premiums, leaving insurers with much less money left over from every policy they wrote for the sectors.Similarly, the collapse in investment returns – particularly for perceived safe investments like bonds – following the global financial meltdown stripped hundreds of millions of euro from insurers’ bottom lines.Firms are required to hold billions in so-called ‘technical reserves’ for their non-life insurance business to protect them from a raft of future claims. This money also provides an investment return for the business.In 2017, the investment income on these funds from Insurance Ireland members’ non-life business was just over €100 million – compared to €380 million a decade earlier.The government’s insurance working group identified this as one of the key reasons for the deterioration in firms’ profitability.It found the main drivers of increased premiums were underpricing in earlier years, particularly between 2010 and 2014, the costs of keeping large reserves of funds to cover future payouts, and increased claims.However it added that the available data only suggested claims had a “moderate impact” on prices during the period its figures covered, from 2013 to 2015.Doherty said the real issue that had led to high insurance premiums was firms with major holes in their finances due to bad investments, and these holes had been filled with “extraordinary” increases in motor and public liability premiums.Thompson said increased reinsurance costs were an indicator of higher risk in the market.He added that this risk was being fuelled by insurers anticipating the growing personal injury claims they were likely to receive on current policies in three or more years’ time.He pointed to industry figures which predicted the average ultimate cost per policy for smaller injury claims had increased 41% between 2011 and 2016.“The main problem in the marketplace is in soft-tissue claims, and the volume and average payments for those claims have gone up.” Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse DohertyThe bottom line for customersDespite the data suggesting reducing whiplash awards and cracking down on fraud will have little overall impact on prices as these make up a relatively small component of total payouts, any cuts in awards should eventually feed into some premium reductions – as long as the savings are passed on to policyholders. Boland, from the Alliance for Insurance Reform, said businesses believed both insurance awards and claim numbers, particularly for what he referred to as “paracetamol injuries”, were too high.But he added there was no evidence of increases in these areas that justified the huge premium rises since 2014.When eventually reform gets over the line, what’s the benefit to the policyholders – what percentage are we going to see premiums reduced? We want to see the numbers,” he said.For more about how to support Noteworthy’s work, visit our website. INSURERS’ SPENDING ON liability and motor claims has barely changed in a decade despite suggestions that Ireland’s rampant ‘compensation culture’ has been behind the country’s recent insurance crisis.And over the past four years, official awards for personal injuries have fallen significantly – contradicting allegations that growing claim numbers and out-of-kilter payments for minor injuries have fed skyrocketing premiums.An analysis of insurance and compensation data by Noteworthy, the investigative journalism platform from TheJournal.ie, has found: Monday 9 Sep 2019, 12:01 AM Share103 Tweet Email8 By Peter Bodkin https://jrnl.ie/4737557 47,601 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Sep 9th 2019, 12:02 AM ‘We’re being fed this lie’: Exposing the myths of Ireland’s ‘compo culture’ Personal injury awards have been dropping despite suggestions that out-of-control claims are feeding prices.last_img read more

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Empowering everyone to save for retirement

first_imgAuto-enrolment and the new state pension will help reduce inequality in pension provision, but there is much more to be done, according to the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI), the non-political pension education charity.In March 2016, the PPI published its The under-pensioned 2016 report, exploring differences in pension income between the sexes, disabled people and ethnic minority groups over the last two decades.The study found that once the new state pension has been fully phased in there will no longer be significant differences in state pension income between these different groups. However, some cohorts will continue to have much lower private pension saving, largely because of labour-market characteristics such as low pay, part-time working, caring responsibilities, self-employment, and unemployment.Chris Curry, director at the PPI, says: “We have seen a real improvement for all groups over time, and the new state pension system will have a really positive impact.“Its introduction in April [2016] may also have implications for employers, what they offer to employees and how they communicate it. The single flat-rate pension will be more generous for older, lower-income workers than the old system, and less generous for higher-paid employees and younger workers. But by providing a firmer foundation on which to build private pension saving, the benefits of saving should be easier to communicate.”The new system is based on the number of years that national insurance (NI) has been paid, regardless of how much someone has earned, with a full state pension paid for 35 years of contributions.People with less than 10 years of NI contributions will not be able to claim. However, Curry adds: “If someone has stayed within the UK for their full working life, then it is hard not to qualify because there are credits for childcare, disability and unemployment.”Much has been said about the impact on people who have been contracted out of the state pension in their employer’s scheme but they will not be worse off than if the current system had continued, and they may be able to build up additional years to qualify for a full state pension, says Curry.Curry is also optimistic about auto-enrolment, pointing out that it has enfranchised large numbers of employees who previously were not saving for retirement. Yet, there are still gaps where employees are too young or old, or do not earn enough to meet the enrolment threshold, and they continue to miss out on employer contributions and tax relief.Critics have often made the case that auto-enrolment simply encourages the less well off to lift themselves off means-tested benefits. However, under the options available through the pension freedoms introduced in April 2015, defined contribution (DC) pension pots can now be taken as cash.“It is unclear how means-testing is likely to work in practice,” says Curry. “There have always been measures that if a person has a source of income then they will be deemed to have taken it, but it is not clear how that will work in practice.“The key issue is that while defined contribution arrangements provide more flexibility, such as to work part-time or downsize, the amount going in is pretty low compared to what is needed.”Around 14% of band earnings is required across a whole working career to have a two-thirds chance of generating an adequate pension, defined as one where the pensioner’s standard of living will not drop.Whether the government will raise the contribution levels is something that might be addressed in the 2017 review of auto-enrolment.“One of the big unknowns is how the industry can overcome apathy and engage people,” adds Curry. “There are good examples of strategies that work with human behaviour to encourage people to act in a beneficial way.”Auto-escalation, where employees agree to automatic increases in their contributions at the time of their annual pay rise, has enjoyed success in the US, as has matching, where the employer promises to match any additional contributions made by employees.“Showing employees what their peers are saving can also be a powerful tool, giving people a feeling of safety and making them happier to take action,” says Curry. Need to know:The introduction of the new state pension could have implications for what support employers offer and how they communicate this.Although auto-enrolment and the new state pension go some way to reducing inequality in pension provision, there is still much more to be done.Employer matching and auto-escalation could encourage greater employee engagement with retirement savings.last_img read more

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Alphabets Verily teams with pharma companies to improve clinical trials

first_img Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Share your voice $59 at eBay Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) The Cheapskate Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) $999 Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Sarah Tew/CNET $999 Angela Lang/CNET TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Rylo Post a comment $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Read DJI Osmo Action preview DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. 0 Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Apple iPhone XS $6 at Tidal See It Read Google Home Hub review Tags See It $210 at Best Buy See at Turo An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Sprint $155 at Google Express Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X $299 at Amazon Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Turo: Save $30 on any car rental $520 at HP The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. $60 at Best Buy Turo Sci-Tech,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Read the Rylo camera preview Chris Monroe/CNET Comments Share your voice Boost Mobile Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $999 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Jessica Mega, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily, says diversity in research will allow for better understanding of health and disease.  Todd Williamson/Getty Images Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences arm, is working with a series of pharmaceutical companies to develop clinical trials. Verily, part of Google parent company Alphabet, is teaming up with Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer and Sanofi, Verily said on Tuesday. Through these partnerships, the companies hope to implement research with a more tech-driven approach and to reach a wider range of clinical research participants. The clinical research programs will use the platform and tools from Project Baseline, an initiative Verily launched in 2017 to bridge the gap between research and medical care. The goal of the Baseline Platform is to include more patients and clinicians in research, make it faster and easier to conduct studies and gather more comprehensive, high-quality data. Less than 10% of the US population participates in clinical research, according to Research America, an advocacy group. Common issues in research include data fragmentation, inefficient operations and a lack of value for patients, Verily says. Verily and its industry partners hope to use the Baseline Platform to “collect, organize and activate health information from electronic health records, sensors and other digital sources.” In the coming years, Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer and Sanofi aim to start clinical studies using the platform in areas like cardiovascular disease, oncology, mental health, dermatology and diabetes.”Evidence generation through research is the backbone of improving health outcomes,” said Jessica Mega, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily. “We need to be inclusive and encourage diversity in research to truly understand health and disease, and to provide meaningful insights about new medicines, medical devices and digital health solutions.” See it Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) 7 HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Tags Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. See It Sarah Tew/CNET Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. $999 Read the AirPods review Amazonlast_img read more

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ACLU says judges would invalidate crime law provision but prosecutors see a

first_imgGoose Creek Prison. Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage.Legal challenges to legislation passed last week that would revise criminal sentencing could focus on whether one provision is unconstitutional.Listen nowIf Gov. Bill Walker signs Senate Bill 54, American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska lawyer Tara Rich expects defense attorneys to file lawsuits almost immediately.Rich said the ACLU would be joining them, because it considers one part — which says that people arrested for committing class C felonies for the first time face the same range of sentences as those charged with more serious class B felonies — unconstitutional.“If there’s no rational basis for the Legislature to completely fail to distinguish between these two separate levels of crimes, then it will be struck down as violating due process rights,” Rich said.The ACLU and state prosecutors raised similar concerns about the provision with lawmakers last week.But state Criminal Division Director John Skidmore said Tuesday that judges may not strike down the law.In fact, Skidmore said he expects the courts will work out a solution.“The courts in Alaska will find a way to interpret the statute … in a way that avoids any constitutional issues,” Skidmore said.Skidmore said judges would likely do this using what are called benchmarks.“Instead of the Legislature giving specific sentencing ranges, the courts step in and provide a sentencing range within what the Legislature has already given them,” Skidmore said.In the case of first-time class C felonies, Senate Bill 54 says sentences should be between zero and two years, the same range as for first-time class B felons.Judges could set a benchmark at the low end of the range for the less-serious C felonies.The House had added the C felony sentencing provision as an amendment.Skidmore raised concerns about the issue before the Senate decided to agree to the House version of the bill.“The Department of Law obviously prefers to avoid litigation, like what we will encounter, which is why we recommended that this issue be resolved by the Legislature in conference committee,” Skidmore said.But that didn’t happen.Rich said the lawsuits will be filed quickly if Walker signs the bill, because the lawyer for anyone charged with a first-time class C felony would seek to plea bargain.And negotiating for that plea would depend on how judges interpret the law.Rich made a different prediction than Skidmore – that courts will invalidate the class C felony provision, and cause that portion of the law to revert to what it is under the controversial Senate Bill 91. First-time class C felons face only suspended sentences under the law, instead of automatic jail time.“As soon as a defense attorney receives a first-time C felony under SB 54 – once SB 54 becomes law – if they believe that it’s unconstitutional and that a court would most likely rule that it should return to the original SB 91 sentencing scheme – that is how they would operate in negotiating the case,” Rich said.Rich said the ACLU was disappointed with other changes the House made on the floor.“They’re ratcheting up criminal penalties and packing the bill with amendment after amendment like cans of sardines,” Rich said.ACLU concerns also include a provision that affect the length of sentences for people who commit class A misdemeanors for the second time, and for those who commit disorderly conduct.Rich pointed to evidence that the disorderly conduct sentencing would disproportionately affect Alaska Natives.Senate President Pete Kelly and House Speaker Bryce Edgmon must sign Senate Bill 54 before it goes to Walker. The governor would then have 20 days, not including Sundays, to sign it into law.last_img read more

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Cumilla road crash kills father son

first_imgA man and his minor son were killed while his wife and daughter injured as a CNG-run auto-rickshaw carrying them hit a roadside tree in Palpara area of Sadar upazila on Tuesday morning, reports UNB.The deceased were Aminul Islam, 40, son of late Aftab Uddin and his son Wasi Islam, 4, from Dakhshin Khan in the capital.The accident took place around 7:00am when the auto-rickshaw dashed into the tree after its driver lost control over the wheel, leaving four critically injured, said Abu Salam Miah, officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station.The injured were rushed to Comilla Medical College Hospital where Aminul and Wasi succumbed to their injuries, said the OC adding that the driver went into hiding after the incident.Aminul was heading towards Dhaka along with his family members from his in-law’s house in Brahmanpara, he added.last_img read more

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Texas Gov Greg Abbott Vows To Challenge Lupe Valdez On Border Issues

first_img “If he wants to talk about what is “antagonistic to the Texas perspective,” it isn’t our common sense and smart approach to security, it’s his shameful policies that serve the very few at the expense of the everyday Texan. You can bet this military veteran, former federal agent and 4-term Sheriff of Dallas County is going to eviscerate SB4,” said Valdez.  Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneGov. Greg Abbott speaks at a get out the vote rally in Houston on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, the first day of early voting for Republican and Democratic primaries in Texas.Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday vowed to challenge Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez over her views on border security and immigration, emphasizing an early contrast with the former Dallas County sheriff who has not yet secured her party’s nomination. In an interview after a Tea Party meeting here, Abbott offered his most extensive comments on Valdez’s candidacy yet, saying he and she “have been locked in a battle for an aspect of Texas ideology” that goes back to their clash three years ago over her department’s policy on compliance with federal immigration authorities. Like he did in a tweet earlier this month — when he broke his silence on Valdez’s campaign — Abbott treated her as the Democratic nominee Monday, despite the fact she is in a May 22 runoff against Andrew White, the son of late Gov. Mark White.“It’s clear that she’s not only obviously the frontrunner and had the most votes in the initial go-around, but it’s our analysis that she’ll be the nominee,” Abbott said. “And so every time she comes out and starts talking about ways that are antagonistic to the Texas perspective on making sure that we ban sanctuary cities, secure our border, I’m going to challenge her on it.”Valdez opposes the state’s ban on “sanctuary cities” that Abbott signed into law last year, looking to punish local officials who do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. She has also been critical of his decision to heed the call of President Donald Trump and send hundreds of National Guard troops to the border earlier this month — criticism that prompted Abbott’s April 4 tweet declaring her his November opponent. “I think she embodies the Obama approach, which is more open borders, obviously not enforcing the ban on sanctuary cities,” Abbott said Monday. “We went through a big legislative process to make sure that Texas would pass a ban on sanctuary cities. If Lupe is elected, she will eviscerate that ban on sanctuary cities, and all these concerns that so many Texans have will be threatened.”Valdez released Tuesday, April 17, the following statement responding to Abbott’s comments on her views on border security and immigration. “It’s back to business as usual with Greg Abbott spewing his fear-based open borders nonsense. I’ve spent 42 years working in law enforcement, working to keep Americans safe, I know what smart security looks like and this isn’t it. Demonizing immigrants, and spreading fear and hatred is exactly the wrong approach. We need common sense policing, we need to fund the people who truly understand the border and we need to work with our communities. Abbott’s backwards approach hurts our economy, hurts our communities, and makes us less safe,” said Valdez in a press release.   “I understand why Governor Abbott would rather spend his time sowing division than talking about his failed leadership. He’d rather beat his chest and spread fear than explain why under his leadership we’ve seen an endless assault on our schools, we’ve seen Texas remain the most uninsured state in the nation, and we’ve seen opportunity for everyday Texans disappearing – all while his special interest donors keep getting handouts,” said Valdez. Sharelast_img read more

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MovieBob Reviews MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS 2017

first_imgIs Murder on The Orient Express good?It is.What’s it about?An adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 10th mystery novel about master-detective Hercule Poirot.Pretend I’m not immediately familiar with any of those things.Widely considered to be one of the most important works of detective fiction ever written from one of the unquestioned masters of the form. The basic idea is that this is a “confined space murder mystery” in the vein of Christie’s own And Then There Were None (or, if you prefer, Clue). Except in this instead of a sprawling old dark mansion the inexplicably-murdered dead body and the seemingly random collection of eccentric, secret-keeping characters one of whom MUST be the killer are all stuck together on a lavish luxury train in the late 1930s. To add an extra dimension of uncertainty to the ticking-clock of working out the solution and a much smaller margin of error regarding how anyone could have done anything without being noticed. Unfortunately for the killer, the passenger list just so happens to include director and star Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot; a retired Belgian police inspector and owner of Earth’s Mightiest Mustache who happens to be the world’s most brilliant detective.Who else is in it?Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Boynton, Manuel Garcia Rulfo and Sergie Polunin.Which one of them did it?Sorry, no spoilers. Even though this is book from 1934 that they’ve filmed MANY times before this; it kind of has one of the most famous solutions in the whole canon so I’d still feel bad giving it away.What makes this different from previous versions?Basically, they’ve turned it into a superhero movie.…are you joking?I am not.So like those Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies?No, not like that. Structurally and story-wise it’s a very faithful adaptation.So in what sense do you call it a superhero movie?In the sense that this is big, colorful, melodramatic story filled with larger than life characters and centers on a determined seeker of justice who aims to save the day. This is all while grappling with the internal contradiction that the special superhuman skills that make him a potent force for good are also a curse that prevents him from leading a normal life. I mean… what else do you call that – and how else do you think they got a studio to shell-out for a big-budget all-star Agatha Christie movie in this century?So how do you make Hercule Poirot “read” as a superhero without dramatically reimagining the entire affair?By casting Kenneth Branagh and letting him play himself. Basically – letting him turn both the character’s eccentricities and his own well-documented flair for florid, show-stopping man-in-the-spotlight dramatic setpieces (starring himself) that here add up to nothing less than the “Classy Grown-up Drama” version of Michael Bay strapping on a dynamite vest to play his own explosion. Let’s just put it this way: The “What is a man?” speech from Hamlet Act IV Scene IV is no longer the most over-the-top thing Branagh has ever directed himself doing on top of a mountain. He doesn’t so much chew the scenery as draw it into his gravitational pull like a collapsing star… and it’s kind of amazing to behold. Also, this version of Poirot has an “arc” of his own to work through, rather than having all his development precede the story-proper.How does that work? Did they add things to his character?More like they’ve refocused him through a modern lens. This film leans hard on the popular modern interpretation of detective characters from this era like Poirot and Sherlock Holmes as being perhaps some variation on neuroatypical. Branagh’s Poirot is a benevolently-fussy, detail-obsessed loner whose physical inability to NOT notice (and be irritated by) every single thing that’s slightly askew or out of place in the world around him makes him a near-perfect crime-solver… but kind of makes existing otherwise a bit miserable.Does Branagh pull it off?He does, I think. As fun, as it is watching one of modern acting’s greatest living hams, re-earn his infamy in the scenes where Poirot shows off just HOW damn good he is, he also nails the quieter, sad moments spelling out what it’s like for this person to completely understand how his mind works… and still be unable to turn it off. The “arc,” meanwhile, comes in the idea that Poirot has come to hold his crime-fighters sense of right and wrong in the same inflexible “order versus deviation” manner… and, suffice it to say, the particulars of who the victim was and WHY someone might have wanted him dead represent a profound challenge to that sort of worldview – which is a pretty interesting spin to put on this, all things considered.So it’s worth seeing?Yes, I’d say so. There’s not necessarily a lot of thematic depth (it’s a puzzle movie, and it really only wants to be that), so the pleasures involved are mainly what you’d have to expect from this property. Watching a cast of accomplished actors in fabulous costumes inhabit opulently-designed surroundings and belt out character-establishing monologues in arch, operatic tempo while the cinematography throws itself into elaborate tracking shots and meticulous overhead compositions designed to ensure that sitting around a train with terrible people don’t FEEL like sitting around a train with terrible people. Obviously, no one gets to come even close to nudging Branagh off his own stage, but Pfieffer gets to be nice and complicated while Ridley, Odom, and Dafoe are probably the standouts. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

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Kyrie Irving takes shot at Cleveland in interview calls Boston a real

first_imgKyrie Irving spent much of the summer in a passive aggressive war with LeBron James, in an attempt to escape from the Cavs, and now that he’s out the door he’s taking shots at Cleveland , while praising Boston.In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Irving said:“It’s a really major city. Coming from Cleveland, the Midwest, where the culture is different. And then you move to the East Coast — into Boston — and it’s so real [and] alive. An ongoing, thriving city. Consistently. No matter what hour throughout the night.”“You would go to Cleveland, and it would be at nighttime, and things would be going on, but you just see a vast difference in terms of what the Midwest is — Cleveland — and what Boston is. Boston, I’m driving in and [thinking], ‘I’m really playing in a real, live sports city?’ And a great city.” Advertisement Irving makes his return to Cleveland to open the NBA season on Tuesday, and this should earn him some extra real, live boos. Not that he cares.Whoever says there’s no drama in the NBA regular season should tune in on Tuesday.last_img read more

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US Issues New Rules on Small LowAltitude Commercial Drones

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 3 min read Register Now » In a move that stopped short of allowing package deliveries by unmanned aircraft, the Obama administration unveiled landmark rules on Tuesday that will open the skies for low-level small drones for education, research and routine commercial use.The use of drones for deliveries from companies like Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc., however, will require separate regulation.The head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Michael Huerta, declined to offer a timetable on when the separate rules for deliveries would be written. Both Amazon and Google have said they plan to start using drones to deliver goods ordered online by 2017.Commercial drone operations have been illegal in the United States without a waiver from the FAA.Under the new rules, drone flights will be approved for agriculture, research and development, educational and academic use, and powerline, pipeline and antenna inspections. They will also be approved for aiding rescue operations, bridge inspections, aerial photography and wildlife nesting area evaluations.The rules, which will take effect in late August, will allow drones that weigh less than 55 pounds and fly up to 400 feet high and 100 miles per hour, but only within sight of an operator and not over people.Drones will not be allowed to fly at night unless they have special lighting and must stay at least 5 miles from airports.Operators must be at least 16 and have a remote pilot certificate. They also must report to the FAA on any drone incident that results in serious injuries or property damage.”As this new technology continues to grow and develop, we want to make sure we strike the right balance between innovation and safety,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on a call with reporters.Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said the government needs to move quickly. “We need to be looking at how we can safely integrate drones into American airspace, both right now and for the future. That said, we still lag behind many other countries in adopting this technology.”The White House says unmanned aircraft could lead to $82 billion in economic growth by 2025 and support up to 100,000 jobs.The detailed rules are laid out in a 642-page regulation. But drone flights will still remain banned in Washington, DC, because of security restrictions imposed by Congress.The White House noted that the U.S. Interior Department has used unmanned aircraft systems since 2009 in conducting wildlife and vegetation surveys to protect endangered populations and wildfire management.The FAA in December announced rules requiring registration of drones weighing more than 0.55 pound and less than 55 pounds, including payloads such as on-board cameras.(Reporting by David Shepardson and Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Dan Grebler) Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. This story originally appeared on Reuters June 22, 2016last_img read more

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Meet TheNudeYorker who shoots naked selfies in the worlds hotel rooms

first_imgGAYSTARNEWS- A photographer and dancer has chosen an unusual way to document his travels: Taking naked or near-naked selfies in the hotel room where he stays. Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Franklin Liranzo is TheNudeYorker (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram) Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/thenudeyorker-naked-selfies/ eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) ‘While I was never bothered by nudity, it became even less worry about it while serving in the US Navy. During bootcamp training I found myself having to shower with 80 other naked men in less than five minutes. I then became a medic in the armed forces, which also meant seeing the human body in other sorts of circumstances.’New York (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)‘I often asked for the quietest rooms’Having shot in many hotel rooms, I wonder if he has pet hates when it comes to hotels?‘During my many hotel-room shoots i find myself moving furniture around, to set the stage/mood for the session. Trust me when I tell you: no hotel – despite its high or low ratings – has been impeccable.‘Many of us are constantly looking for our light, while others find it right away, or settle for the little given to them… what’s your light?’ (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)‘As soon as I move the pieces, I find dust ‘bunnies’: dirt, trash and just about anything else that could make guests unhappy. It also baffles me how I always place the “Do Not Disturb” sign on my door, and some employees still dare knock on my doors to ask if I want my room made up.‘I like rooms that are exposed to the sun the longest. Also, I enjoy being as high as possible, as it decreases the chances of other people seeing me naked. I truly enjoy quiet places and often ask for the quietest rooms.’Another hotel room, another town… (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)Liranzo says he is currently single and not dating and enjoys his alone time.A personal journeyUntil now, the bulks of Liranzo’s photography work has been through commercial work: headshots, portraits, events and weddings. TheNudeYorker has led to him getting commissions from clients who wanted to make use of his sense of space and light, as well as his comfort with nudity.He’d love to be more commissioned for more travel work as travel is one of his passions.Osaka, Japan (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)‘The Nude Yorker – is a study of light, shadows and space through the human form. It is a personal journey to discover and appreciate my body, while showing the world that a nude body is at its most beautiful state.’More info: FranklinLiranzo.com and TheNudeYorkerIceland (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)See alsoMeet the fashion brand re-inventing masculinity Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Franklin Liranzo is a professional photographer and Latin dancer. He was born and raised in the Dominican Republic until the age of 12, then relocated in 1996 to New York City.His home city has inspired the name of his Instagram account, TheNudeYorker.Franklin Liranzo is TheNudeYorker (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)Liranzo said the idea for the account came to him one afternoon when he was getting ready to go out following a major dance competition in Miami, Florida.‘I saw this beautiful light coming through my hotel window. I was wearing underwear and picked up my camera and took a shot.He was taken by the result.‘I loved the colors and the way the light wrapped around me. From that moment I began to take professional selfies in every hotel I went to. I travel a lot for work.’He now aims to take similar selfies in every hotel he stays in (provided they have large windows and adequate lighting). The Instagram feed also includes some outdoor shoots.Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)‘Fascinated by the human form and the many incredible things we can do’Despite the images here, he’s not someone who spends most of his time naked.‘The funny thing is that by definition, I’m not a nudist, nor do I think I’ll become one.‘Be creative, let your imagination run wild, don’t tame it… whatever you can use in a creative way, do it!’ (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)‘As soon as I take the photos I dress up right away. I have yet to visit a nudist beach or establishment. However, as a dancer I’m fascinated by the human form and the many incredible things we can do! Also, living in such a conservative country (the USA) has always rubbed me the wrong way; how nudity is viewed in a bad light – no pun intended!Flexing in Seoul, South Korea (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)‘TheNudeYorker became a platform to disassociate nudity from pornography. While some of my poses can be sensual and even sexual, they are done in good taste.Although now dedicated to photography and dancing, Liranzo previously served in the US Navy. He says this helped tackle any inhibitions he may have had.The cabin of a cruise ship! (Photo: Franklin Liranzo | @TheNudeYorker | Instagram)last_img read more

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Facebook is investigating data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon over misuse of data

first_imgFacebook has suspended Boston-based data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon following concerns that the company has misused data. The decision was made after the Wall Street Journal reported that the company has contracts with government agencies and “a Russian nonprofit with ties to the Kremlin.” Back in March 2017, Facebook banned the use of data to develop surveillance tools. It’s this ruling for which Crimson Hexagon are being investigated. A Facebook spokesperson, speaking to CNN Money on Friday, said: “We don’t allow developers to build surveillance tools using information from Facebook or Instagram… We take these allegations seriously, and we have suspended these apps while we investigate.” Crimson Hexagon CTO responds with a blog post Crimson Hexagon hasn’t explicitly responded to their suspension, but CTO Chris Bingham did write a blog post: “Understanding the Role of Public Online Data in Society.” He writes that “the real conversation is not about a particular social media analytics provider, or even a particular social network like Facebook. It is about the broader role and use of public online data in the modern world.” Although the investigation is ongoing it’s worth noting, as TechCrunch has, that Crimson Hexagon isn’t quite as opaque in its relationships and operations as Cambridge Analytica. They have, for example, done data analytics projects for the likes of Adidas, the BBC, and Samsung. Read next Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook team up for Data Transfer Project Is Facebook planning to spy on you through your mobile’s microphones? Did Facebook just have another security scare?last_img read more

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Oktoberfest clarinet allstars and other happenings around Costa Rica

first_imgOktober Beer FestOktoberfest returns to Costa Rica with two days of concerts featuring more than 12 bands, and the final rounds of “The Beer Games” and “How to Make Beer at Home.” Many international breweries will be present, as well as national and international craft beer brewers. The organizers have arranged 50 different bus routes to make it easier for people to reach the out-of-the-way location.“Oktober Beer Fest” takes place Oct. 3-4 at Parque Viva, La Guácima. 11 a.m. – midnight. ₡10,000 – 15,000 ($20 – 30). More info at the Oktober Beer Fest Facebook page.Oktober GaffPrefer an East-side bash? Another Oktober Fest held by El Gaff will feature eight of the Costa Rica’s craft beer breweries: El Buho, Sin Corbata, Os Beer Co., Niño Huracán, Rancho Humo, Cervecería Gracia, La Cofradía Brewing Co., and the Costa Rica Craft Brewing Company. The price of the ticket includes a glass of beer.“Oktober Gaff” takes place Oct. 3 at El Gaff, San Pedro. 12 m.d. ₡4,000 ($8). For more information call 2234-1596. Wine ExpoBeer not your style? (Yes, this is the last alcohol-related event in this listing.) Taste wines from Germany, United States, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Spain, Greece, among others. At the stands you will be able to talk to the winemakers and buy wines at a discount.“Expo Vino” takes place Oct. 8 – 9 at Salon de Eventos Pedregal, $65 – 75. 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. More info at ExpoVino Website.Theatre: “Deja Vu”Mimes Alexander Neander and Wolfram Von Bodecker, followers of the great French artist Marcel Marceau, will bring a cosmic and surrealistic universe to the stage of the Melico Salazar Theatre. Neander and Bodecker have performed at many renowned festivals around the world, and won the People’s Choice Best Gestural Theater Spectacle Award in Berlin.“Deja Vu” will be performed Oct. 7 at Melico Salazar Theatre, downtown San José. 8 p.m. ₡19,000 – 42,000 ($40 – 84). For more information call  2295-6032.First Inclusive Art Festival of CartagoThe festival will be divided into three main events. A painting workshop for people with disabilities will take place from 9 a.m. – 12 m.d., followed by an exhibition of crafts by members of the Atjala Association: Center for Integral Attention for Adults with Disabilities, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Finally, a dance and a performance of a play will take place at 7 p.m., with a cost of ₡2,500 ($5). Additional activities will surround these three main events throughout the day.“Primer Festival Artístico Inclusivo de Cartago” takes place Oct. 3 at Casa de Ciudad, downtown Cartago, east of San José, 9 a.m.-evening. Free (except for the play at 7 p.m., ₡2,500 ($5). More info at RedCultura WebsiteTheatre: “A Ciegas”This free adaptation of the play “No Exit” by Jean-Paul Sartre will be performed at the Casa Museo in Barrio Amón; the Oct. 4 performance will include a tour of the museum as a preamble of that day’s performance. Check out our preview, also in today’s edition.“A Ciegas” will be performed October 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., and October 4 and 11 at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. At Casa Museo, Barrio Amón. For more information call 8420-9161 / 8997-5813, or visit the event’s Facebook page.Music: International Clarinet FestivalGet ready for six days of concerts by students and professionals from near and far, including Michael Arrignon, from the Queen Sofia Superior Music School of Spain; Ronald Van Spaendonck, of the Normal School of Paris; and Alcides Rodríguez, clarinettist of the New York Philharmonic. Concerts will be held Oct. 5 at the University of Costa Rica’s Teatro de Bellas Artes at 5 p.m., Oct. 6-7 at Eugene O’Neill Theatre in Barrio Dent at 5 p.m., Oct. 8 at the National Institute of Music at 4 p.m.; Oct. 9 at Sala Cullell of the University of Costa Rica at 5 p.m.; and Oct. 10 at the National Institute of Music at 1 p.m.“Festival Internacional de Clarinetes de Costa Rica” will take place Oct. 5 – 10 at different theaters around San José. Free. For more information call 2240-0333, or visit The National Institute of Music Facebook page.Theatre: “Perhaps”Guatemalan actress Magdalena Morales will perform a monologue about identity, joined by musician Óscar Jiménez. Based on the work of the Guatemalan poet Vania Vargas and the work of the compositor Carlos José Castro, the monologue uses puppets to show how the main character ages.“Quizá” will be performed Oct. 2-3 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Arts School of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), in San Pedro. ₡4,000 – 5,000 ($8 – 10). More info at the RedCultura Website.Circus: “Saint Expedite”Group Punto Muerto has prepared a show full of acrobatics, contemporary dance, aerial acrobatics, and many surprises.“San Expedito” will be performed Oct. 2 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 3-4 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Dance Theater inside the National Cultural Center (CENAC), downtown San José. ₡2,000 – 4,000 ($4 – 8).Upcoming Concerts:Fly Again – Pro Brazil: Cantoamérica will offer a concert alongside the band Infibeat in order to raise funds for their trip to Brazil, where the group has been invited by musician Leandro Maia to play at a university in the south of the country. Oct. 2 at MundoLoco El Chante, San Pedro. 9 p.m. ₡4,000 ($8). For more information call 2253-4125.Akasha: The rock band will be playing their three albums, including their latest “Revoluciones.” Oct. 3 at MundoLoco El Chante, San Pedro. 9 p.m. ₡4,000 – 5,000 ($8 – 10). For more information call 2253-4125. Facebook Comments Related posts:San Ramón celebrates, International Guitar Festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica Serrat concert, live karaoke, and other happenings around Costa Rica Design Festival, Marine Corps picnic, and other happenings around Costa Rica Nrmal Festival, Expo Tattoo, and other happenings around Costa Ricalast_img read more

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Those with dementia

Those with dementia are asked to join with a caregiver,爱上海Ivania.S.

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State Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Focal office, based on that process, Fox News has been playing a game of catch-up on the opinion side, “The committee should have as members, sought to pack their defence in an effort to frustrate the hosts. The subsidy reinvestment and empowerment programme board is headed by Dr. p."This is not blanket immunity. read more

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S was actually holdi

S. was actually holding an iPhone. but circumstances prompted her to take that leap—not the least of which were a series of pledges she was pressured to take, Tuesday,上海419论坛Imelda, some with known diseases.

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