Applications for UK Chevening scholarships open in Sri Lanka

Chevening Scholarships are the UK Government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The scholarships support study at UK universities– for individuals with demonstrable potential to become future leaders, decision-makers, and opinion formers.Chevening began in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international awards scheme. Chevening Scholars come from over 160 countries and territories worldwide, and more than 1,600 scholarships were awarded in 2018/2019. There are over 50,000 Chevening Alumni around the world who comprise an influential and highly regarded global network. Sri Lankan citizens are eligible to apply for the Chevening Scholarship, the Chevening Research Science and Innovation Leadership Fellowship (CRISP) and the Chevening South Asia Journalism Programme Fellowship. For more information visit Over the last 35 years, 50,000 outstanding professionals have had the opportunity to develop in the UK through Chevening. There are more than 1,500 scholarships on offer globally for the 2019/2020 academic year, demonstrating the UK’songoing commitment towards developing the leaders of tomorrow. Applications for Chevening Scholarships and Fellowship to study in the UK during the 2019/2020 academic year opened on 6 August, the British High Commission in Colombo said.Chevening Scholarships are awarded to individuals with demonstrable leadership potential who also have strong academic backgrounds. The scholarship offers full financial support for future leaders to study at a UK university whilst also gaining access to a wide range of exclusive academic, professional, and cultural experiences. read more

Uber and Pick Me drivers protest some drivers threatened

They said that some vehicle owners have been forced to give back their vehicles to leasing companies after being unable to pay the vehicle lease.The protesters demanded that Uber withdraw from Sri Lanka saying they were hurting local taxi drivers. (Colombo Gazette) The protesters said that they were suffering as a result of the high commission charged by the companies, particularly Uber, for each taxi hire. Several Uber and Pick Me drivers staged a protest in Colombo today over the commission charged by the respective companies from them.The protesting drivers also threatened some Uber and Pick Me drivers who operated their vehicles without joining the strike. Uber drivers parked their cars along Green Path and staged a protest walk to the Uber office.

UN officials call for protection of women children amid chaos in Liberia

In an urgent appeal to the leaders of all the parties involved in the Liberian conflict to end the violence immediately, both Olara Otunnu, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and the Regional Director for West and Central Africa of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Rima Salah, said they were troubled by the “unacceptable” treatment of women and children.“We are deeply concerned by the dramatic deterioration of the situation in Monrovia and by the unacceptable mobilization of children and women, in violation of all agreed international norms and standards” the two officials said on Monday following a special meeting in Dakar, Senegal, with Ould Abdallah, the Secretary-General’s top envoy for West Africa, and Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).Stressing that some of the actions against children and women constitute war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the child protection leaders said that besides forced recruitment into the armed groups, Liberian children and youth have suffered all forms of atrocities, sexual violence, disruption of schooling and forced displacement.“Children must be protected against all harm,” they said, urging all the parties to apply fully and respect the international instruments concerning the protection of war-affected children. “A key priority is the release of abductees, including forcibly recruited child soldiers.” An estimated one out of every 10 Liberian children may have been recruited at some time into the war effort both in Liberia and in neighbouring countries, contributing to the culture of violence in the region. read more

A measure of US home prices rose 105 per cent over past

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted May 7, 2013 9:00 am MDT A measure of US home prices rose 10.5 per cent over past year, as housing recovery endures WASHINGTON – A survey shows U.S. home prices rose 10.5 per cent in March compared with a year ago, the biggest gain since March 2006.Core Logic, a real estate data provider, said annual home prices have now increased for 13 straight months. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes for sale.Prices increased in 46 states over the past year — 11 of them posting double-digit gains. And when excluding distressed sales, prices rose in every state.Nevada led all states with a 22.2 per cent annual gain. It was followed by California (17.2 per cent), Arizona (16.8 per cent), Idaho (14.5 per cent) and Oregon (14.3 per cent).Home prices also rose 1.9 per cent in March from February, signalling a solid start to the spring buying season. read more

Japanese retailer Uniqlo dips its toes in Canadas cutthroat retail sector

Japanese retailer Uniqlo dips its toes in Canada’s cutthroat retail sector TORONTO – When Japanese apparel retailer Uniqlo decided to open its first location in Canada, it sent Yasuhiro Hayashi to Toronto every month for nearly a year to get a read on the Canadian customer.During each visit, Uniqlo Canada’s chief operating officer would spend the week taking notes on what people wore.“I didn’t expect that everyone was so unique and multicultural,” said Hayashi, who previously helped launch Uniqlo in Singapore and Indonesia. “That was very surprising in a very positive way.”Unlike competitors that aim for a particular demographic, Uniqlo is hoping its appeal-to-all business model will succeed in a cutthroat industry that has laid waste to some fashion retailers, such as Aeropostale and Danier Leather.“We don’t have a specific target customer,” said Hayashi. “That’s our uniqueness. We say we are made for all.”The company is opening its first store in Canada on Friday, a 28,000-square foot space in the Toronto Eaton Centre wedged between fast-fashion rival H&M and the newly arrived luxury retailer Nordstrom. A second store opening is planned for Oct. 20 at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in north Toronto.Founded in 1974, Uniqlo is known for its array of affordable basics — everything from parkas to khakis — in a variety of colours and sizes for children and adults.“If our clothes are not affordable to the people — the regular real people, not the fashionistas, not just the celebrities, not just the rich, but for all — then I think it defeats our philosophy and what we stand for,” Hayashi said.Even with more than 1,000 stores worldwide, Hayashi acknowledges Uniqlo may not have the same name recognition in Canada that some of its international rivals had before entering the country.It’s one of the challenges it will have to overcome if it wants to continue expanding in Canada, something Hayashi says he would like to do but is in no rush to. It also doesn’t have any plans to offer e-commerce in Canada.“We want to be very cautious,” he said, before alluding to the arrival of one well-known retail behemoth to Canada that went bust.“Of course, I don’t want to give a name, but some other brands have a little too ambitious plans that didn’t work out so we want to make sure that we serve the customers well and fine-tune the merchandise mix as well.”Last year, Target abruptly announced it was shutting down all 133 of its Canadian stores only two years after its highly anticipated arrival north of the border. Some of the criticisms levelled against the U.S. retailer were that it expanded too quickly, did not understand the Canadian customer and did not have the right product mix that it featured in its American stores.Since then, a number of international retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Muji and Nordstrom have opened locations in Canada — albeit with a more slow and steady approach.Retail analyst Doug Stephens said Uniqlo is priced at the right end of the fast-fashion market, which still has a lot of cachet with Canadian shoppers.But they’ll have to distinguish themselves if they want to set themselves apart from competitors and win with customers short on disposable income, he said.“You’re always living on the razor edge at that end of the market,” said Stephens, the founder of Toronto-based consulting firm Retail Prophet.Another challenge Uniqlo will face is generating customer loyalty, said retail expert Brynn Winegard.“The Target lessons that we learned is that we don’t want you to come and tell us about us. We want you to be authentically and indigenously you,” said Winegard of retail consultancy Winegard and Company.“So don’t try to be Canadian. Be authentically Japanese.”Hayashi said the Toronto stores will largely be the same as its other locations, whether they’re in New York, London or Paris — with a few nuanced differences tailored to Canadian shoppers.Customers can expect a bigger than usual selection of plaid and flannel shirts. Most sizing will be for a North American fit, but there will also be some smaller sizing to reflect Toronto’s multicultural population. Uniqlo will also sell house slippers, which is commonplace in its Asian locations.Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. Uniqlo Canada COO Yasuhiro Hayashi poses at the first Uniqlo retail clothing store in Toronto, Monday September 26, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 29, 2016 10:00 am MDT Last Updated Sep 29, 2016 at 12:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Persons with disabilities must be able to reap benefits of development UN

“We must remove all barriers that affect the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society, including through changing attitudes that fuel stigma and institutionalize discrimination,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day, observed annually on 3 December. “We need to work harder to ensure that infrastructure and services support inclusive, equitable and sustainable development for all.”About 15 per cent of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, and those persons face physical, social, economic and attitudinal barriers that prevent them from effectively participating in society.Persons with disabilities are also disproportionately represented among the world’s poorest, and lack equal access to basic resources such as education, employment, healthcare and legal support systems.At the first High-level Meeting on Disability and Development, held in September, countries adopted a landmark outcome document seeking to promote development initiatives that take into account the needs of persons with disabilities.The theme for this year’s Day – ‘Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all’ – seeks to build on that commitment, and is particularly important as countries prepare to shape the next development agenda that will follow the Millennium Development Goals after their 2015 target date.“We must take aim at breaking down barriers and creating opportunities so that all human beings can live their lives to the fullest,” John Ashe, the President of the General Assembly, said in his message for the Day.Hailing the commitments made at the High-level Meeting, Mr. Ashe said what the world needs now are tools for action and change to realize an inclusive society where everyone’s rights are protected and equal opportunities are supported.To mark the Day, representatives of the UN, Governments and civil society will offer ‘Messages of Inclusion’ at a ceremony held at UN Headquarters in New York. In addition to two panel discussions, the Day will also feature the play “Breaking through Barriers,” performed by the Broadway Theatre. Other events at UN Headquarters include the screening of the documentary “Gold: You can do more than you think,” which features the journey of three athletes from Australia, Germany and Kenya, who participated in the 2012 London Paralympic Games, and an exhibit of indigo-dyed works produced by persons with disabilities.On Wednesday, 4 December, the UN will launch an Accessibility Centre at its New York Headquarters, as part of ongoing efforts to enable the full participation of persons with disabilities in the work of the Organization.The new centre, which was made possible by contributions from the Republic of Korea, will provide cutting-edge tools for the visually and hearing impaired to access documents and participate in meetings, as well as charging stations for electronic wheelchairs.The Secretary-General said the Accessibility Centre will enable persons with disabilities to participate in the inter-governmental processes, and reinforce the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which entered into force in 2008. As of October this year, 158 countries have ratified the Convention, which asserts the rights of people with disabilities to education, health, work, adequate living conditions, freedom of movement, freedom from exploitation and equal recognition before the law for persons with disabilities. read more

2017 Big Ten football preview Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska senior wide reciever De’Mornay Pierson El (15) evades an Arkansas State defender. Credit: Courtesy of Hannah DePriest | The Daily NebraskanLocation: Lincoln, Nebraska2016 record: 9-4 (6-3 Big Ten)Head coach: Mike Riley2017 record so far: 1-1Record vs. OSU since 2007: 1-4What has happened thus far in 2017There has been no shortage of scoring for Nebraska and coach Mike Riley in the first two weeks of their season. In Week 1, Nebraska fought off a second-half surge by Arkansas State to win 43-36 in the final seconds. The script was flipped in Week 2 when Nebraska traveled to Oregon and trailed the Ducks for most of the game, only to see its second-half comeback fall short, 42-35. Impact playerIt’s difficult to find a more dangerous player on Nebraska’s roster than senior wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El. Pierson-El has recorded six catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns so far this year. The former freshman All-American at punt returner ranks third among active players in the country in career punt-return yardage. After an electrifying freshman campaign in 2014, Pierson-El sustained a knee injury that appeared to slow his production in his next two seasons. The versatile weapon is poised to return to form at full health and replace the production lost by graduated receiver Jordan Westerkamp, while continuing to be a mainstay in the return game. StrengthsThe Huskers’ backfield houses two very different playmakers in junior quarterback Tanner Lee and sophomore running back Tre Bryant. Lee has stepped in to replace longtime quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. and has shown flashes of why he was a highly touted transfer from Tulane. Lee has thrown for 490 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Bryant has 299 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 51 carries. WeaknessesNebraska’s defensive efforts have not exactly been encouraging this season for new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. Giving up 78 points in two games might be somewhat of an outlier due to playing two nonconference opponents with up-tempo offenses, but Nebraska has still allowed six touchdowns and 780 yards this season through the air. The secondary has been scrambling since senior cornerback Chris Jones tore his meniscus in July. Jones was honorable mention All-Big Ten last season. read more

DARPA wants battlefield electronics that self destruct by dissolving

first_imgTechnology has become a major asset on the battlefield and is used extensively across all areas and agencies within the Department of Defense. But that technology also forms a major problem if it gets into the wrong hands.Electronic devices are built to last, which make them very reliable. However, if during a hostile situation such a device has to be left behind or gets dropped, it will continue to function and could end up giving the enemy an advantage. With that in mind, DARPA has set about creating electronics that work for as long as necessary, but can be destroyed at a moment’s notice.The project is called Vanishing Programmable Resources (VAPR). Its main aim is to develop so-called transient electronics that are capable of dissolving completely, or at the very least to the point where they no longer function. Destroying a VAPR device should be as easy as sending a signal to it or placing the device within certain conditions e.g. extreme heat or cold, that triggers the rapid destruction process.For the moment, VAPR remains strictly a research project. DARPA is set to hold a Proposer’s Day on February 14 to introduce the ideas associated with VAPR in a bid to get industry, academia, and other government agencies interested. After that, research needs to happen in key areas including materials development, manufacturing processes, and device design.Dissolving electronics isn’t a new idea, and it’s one DARPA has visited before when researching their use in medical procedures. In that case electronics created on ultrathin sheets of silicon could be dissolved using a biofluid. It seems likely the same ideas could be used as a starting point for VAPR devices.last_img read more

Guillermo del Toro creates completely insane The Simpsons Halloween couch gag

first_imgThe “Treehouse of Horror” Simpsons episodes are a time-honored institution. No matter how you feel about The Simpsons over the years — love the old ones, hate the new ones, love them all, hate them all — the Halloween specials have always been appointment television, or at least appointment DVR. The other time-honored television institution is The Simpsons’ title credits couch gag. This year, the “Treehouse of Horror XXIV” couch gag is directed by Guillermo del Toro, and is as weird and interesting as that sounds.Rather than just a normal, quick couch gag, del Toro takes over the entire introduction, and packs it full of seemingly every single horror reference in the modern day consciousness. From every old iconic movie monster running down the street, to Mr. Burns as Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth, you’ll have to watch the introduction a handful of times in order to catch everything. Futurama’s Hypnotoad even makes an appearance (as the toad from Pan’s Labyrinth), and makes us all sad that the show has been canceled once again, and this time, likely for good.Guillermo del Toro didn’t simply pack a bunch of references into the title sequence — he took it much further, and played on the parallels between scenes in famous horror sequences, and scenes in The Simpsons‘ opening sequence. For instance, a scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds takes place outside of a school, so del Toro used Mrs. Krabappel in a similar sequence outside of Springfield Elementary. When Homer normally loses a radioactive isotope down the back of his shirt and leaves work carefree, this time, del Toro has him mutate into a Reaper from Blade, and then transforms Carl into Blade proper to chase Reaper-Homer.If you dig this year’s intro sequence and wish Guillermo del Toro would take his talents to The Simpsons once again, he did state that he’d like to direct an entire “Treehouse of Horror” segment in the future, aiming to make it truly scary instead of full of horror-themed jokes.Tune into the episode today at 8PM Eastern on Fox.last_img read more

Instagram Now Lets You Share Stories With Close Friends

first_img Sometimes the world doesn’t have to see our social media posts, and Instagram’s new “Close Friends” feature allows you to pick who can see Stories on your feed.On Thursday, Instagram announced in a press release that it rolled out Close Friends, a new feature where you can make a close friends list on Stories. The aim of Close Friends is to give Instagram users the flexibility to exchange intimate moments in a smaller group. With this feature, Instagram users can keep their digital moments more private and not have certain followers see content.Close Friends feature (Photo Credit: Instagram)Activating Close Friends is super easy. All you have do is go to your Instagram profile and tap on the Close Friends option in the side menu. You’re the only person that can see your Close Friends list and no one can send you requests to be added to the group. Once you share to Stories, you’ll have the choice to click on the Close Friends icon. If one of your other besties has you on their Close Friends list, a small green badge will appear when you see their stories and vice versa.If you have the latest Android or iOS Instagram version, the Close Friends feature will automatically update on your account. Have a Finsta? No more. Now, you won’t need a fake Instagram profile to share personal moments with your crew and keep them away from grandma.More on an Instagram ‘Sitter’ to Post Pictures for You at This Swiss HotelInstagram Employs Machine Learning to Stop BullyingHow to Unsend Messages You’ve Sent in Your Top Apps PewDiePie Pulls $50,000 Pledge to Anti-Hate Group After Fan BacklashPolice Arrest Dutch YouTubers for Trespassing Area 51 Site Stay on targetlast_img read more

Neuer managed to impress Heynckes

first_imgManuel Neuer has been out of play for the majority of the ongoing season but he is finally back in a light training practising with the ball – and he impressed Jupp Heynckes with his fitness.Goalkeeping coach Toni Tapalovic had the first training session with Neuer and it was filmed and handed to Jupp Heynckes afterwards – and the coach admitted that he was really impressed by what he saw.The experienced German manager spoke about Neuer’s condition as he said, according to Goal:“Toni trained with Manuel yesterday and of course we’re recording all of it. So, I watched him train [on the video].”rb leipzig, bayern munichReport: Bayern are held by Leipzig George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Bayern Munich was held to another draw, this time by RB Leipzig.Bayern Munich finds themselves in the unfamiliar position of sitting third in the…“He looked very good. I talked to him and he is in very good shape. His foot coped well with the workload, there was no reaction.”“Now we have to wait and see what the physios come up with, what plan is best.”“We have a clear plan which we’ll stick to and we’ll see when he can train fully.”“I told him that I’d really like it if he were able to be with us in Augsburg to celebrate with the rest of the team if we secured the title.”last_img read more

Oregonbased construction organisation to pay 98461 in back wages

first_imgUS-based custom metal fabrication and installation organisation TT and L Sheet Metal Inc has been ordered to pay $98,461 (£75,697.31) in back wages to 51 employees, following an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) into overtime violations.The WHD investigation found that the organisation, based in Beaverton, Oregon, violated overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and failed to include time that employees spent driving when calculating overtime hours each week.According to the FLSA, overtime pay at a rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a week. Some employees earned widely varying rates between projects over the course of a week, which required the employer to pay overtime based on the weighted average of those rates, or on the rates employees were paid while actually working the overtime hours.However, TT and L Sheet Metal based its overtime calculations on employees’ lowest pay rates earned during each week, which resulted in additional overtime violations.The employer also made deductions from employees’ pay for tools required for their jobs, resulting in further violations.Thomas Silva, district director at WHD, said: “Violations like these are among the most common that we find in this industry, and they are completely avoidable.“We encourage employers to use the wide variety of tools we provide or to reach out to us directly for confidential assistance in understanding and complying with federal labor laws. Employers may speak with trained Wage and Hour professionals to get their questions answered and avoid violations.”TT and L Sheet Metal was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.last_img read more

Industrial sector hit by 4 major crises

first_imgAmir Hossain AmuFour major factors, including scarcity of raw materials and lack of skilled manpower, have stood in the way of the development of industrial sector in the country, industries minister Amir Hossain Amu told Parliament on Thursday, reports UNB.The two other obstacles are electricity and gas crises, and lack of adequate experienced and knowledgeable entrepreneurs, he mentioned while replying to a question from independent MP Abdul Matin (Moulvibazar-2).To overcome the obstacles, the minister said, the government has taken various steps, including modernisation of worn-out industries and institutions, simplification of loan conditions, formation of a special fund for industrial loan and setting up of new industrial estates, economic zones and hi-tech parks.Besides, he said, the government has taken initiatives for providing technical education to youths, reducing import duty on industrial raw materials, giving gas and power connections to industries and factories under a special arrangement and formulation of industry-friendly National Industrial Policy, 2016 having provisions of giving various incentives to foreign entrepreneurs.The minister said dynamism has come in the industrial sector with the good industrial growth following various steps taken by the government.Replying to another question by Awami League MP Didarul Alam (Chattogram-4), state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) brought 62,244 villages fully and 14,647 villages partly under electricity coverage.He said 6,928 villages under the jurisdiction of BREB still remain out of electricity coverage.The state minister said the government is implementing 15 projects to bring all the 83,819 villages under the jurisdiction of BERB under full electricity coverage by installing 84,000 kilometers of distribution lines.last_img read more

Hospitals In States That Expanded Medicaid Less Likely To Close

first_img Share John Daley/CPRUp to one half of rural residents are covered by Medicaid, says Michelle Mills, CEO of Colorado Rural Health Center. And they’re typically older, poorer and sicker than city dwellers.The expansion of Medicaid helps rural hospitals stay afloat in states like Colorado, which added 400,000 people to the health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act.Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid were about 6 times less likely to close than hospitals in non-expansion states, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.The study was published Monday in the January edition of the journal Health Affairs.Colorado was one of 32 states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. That cut the state’s uninsured rate in half. The biggest group that got coverage was childless adults.Richard Lindrooth, a professor at the Colorado School of Public Health and lead author of the study, says hospitals saw more people showing up to hospitals with that insurance — so Medicaid payments increased. That helped the hospitals’ bottom line.“It’s not as though Medicaid is an extremely profitable form of reimbursement, but it is something,” says Lindrooth, a professor the University of Colorado’s School of Public Health. “On the margins, it certainly helps the hospitals’ cash flow.”Lindrooth says he and his colleagues hypothesized that hospitals in expansion states stood a better chance of remaining financially viable. So they examined national hospital data and local market conditions.They compared four years before the Affordable Care Act went into effect (2008-2012) with years right after the launch of the ACA (2015-2016). Lindrooth says the results were noteworthy, especially for rural hospitals, which often struggle to stay open.“Rural hospitals tend to be in more of a financially tenuous position, even prior to the Medicaid expansions,” Lindrooth says. “We found that really about half of the closures that did occur in non-expansion states could have been averted through the expansion.”With more insured people in expansion states, hospitals made more money and provided less free care. “So overall their margins improved,” he says. Rural hospitals in non-expansion states didn’t have that advantage.Rural health leaders said the study confirmed what they’ve seen on the ground.Jason Cleckler, CEO of Delta Memorial Hospital in Delta, Colo., in the rural western part of the state, said the Medicaid expansion helped his hospital’s finances. He compared the numbers in 2011 with 2016, after expansion. The hospital’s Medicaid population grew from 10 percent to 20 percent, and the hospital was left with less uncompensated care. It saved the hospital more than $3 million.John Daley/CPRJason Cleckler, CEO of Delta Memorial Hospital in Delta, Colo., says Medicaid expansion helped the hospital’s bottom line.“I think that really speaks to what the researchers found. So Medicaid doubled, our bad debt decreased significantly, and the uninsured rate decreased significantly,” Cleckler says. “It’s pretty remarkable, and I would venture to say that most hospitals, even ones with a lower percentage of Medicaid, have experienced a similar story.”Cleckler did describe Medicaid coverage as a “mixed bag” for rural providers. Reimbursement rates can be paltry, he says. A hospital that pays $100 for a lab test may only be reimbursed $20. Another problem, he said, is many doctors and providers either won’t accept or limit the number of Medicaid patients due to low reimbursement rates.An average of 30 percent to 50 percent of rural patients are covered by Medicaid, noted Michelle Mills, CEO of Colorado Rural Health Center, which offers rural health providers education and training. Mills says the population in rural areas is generally “older, sicker and poorer” than in urban communities.She says the expansion plus a bump in Medicaid reimbursement rates “has helped rural Colorado hospitals from closing.” The jobs generated by those hospitals are key to rural economies, with health care one of the top three rural employers in Colorado.“The importance of Medicaid expansion in our state cannot be understated,” says Cara Welch, director of communications with the Colorado Hospital Association.Welch says other factors also provided a boost, including the state’s strong economy and its hospital provider fee. That fee helps reimburse hospitals for uncompensated care from the indigent population and those paying with Medicaid.Brock Slabach, senior vice president of the National Rural Health Association, says the study correlates with data the group has reviewed. “If state legislatures and Congress want to cure the rural hospital closure problem, expanding Medicaid and not block-granting this important program would be the answer,” he says.Members of the Republican majority in Congress have suggested changing Medicaid to a block grant. That means that instead of the federal and state governments sharing payment for every enrollee who qualifies, the federal government would provide each state a set amount of money, capping total Medicaid spending. It would let states decide how to spend the money. But health care and hospital advocates worry that the change would likely lead to cuts over time.This story is part of a reporting partnership with NPR, Colorado Public Radio and Kaiser Health News.Copyright 2018 CPR News. To see more, visit CPR News.last_img read more

Walk Through the Grisly Wasteland of Chernobyl in VR

first_img Valve Steam Link App Brings Your PC Games to Mobile‘We. The Revolution’ Is ‘Ace Attorney’ With More… Stay on target Over 30 years ago, reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine melted down. It is the worst nuclear power accident to date. At least 4000 people have died as a result of the accident, making the single most deadly nuclear event in history, besides the use of atomic weapons by the United States against the Japanese Empire in World War II.For decades the site of the disaster and a 19-mile radius around it has been quarantined with only a select few research groups and clean-up crews allowed on the premises. As a result, Pripyat is one of the few places on earth where, despite the fallout, nature flourishes without any human intervention. And that’s where the Chernobyl VR Project comes in.The team behind this VR movie/game wanted to make something totally unique — they wanted to document a site that only a handful of people have ever seen and bring it to the masses. And, because they were registered as a documentary group, they were considered a research team for the purposes of accessing the site. As a result, they had almost unlimited access to Chernobyl and were able to record much of the site using 360-degree cameras to record and then digitize locations like school classrooms and homes as they looked when they were abandoned.AdChoices广告As it is the Chernobyl project is one of the most affecting VR experiences currently available. It’s quiet and serene, leaning on the serenity of the exclusion zone around Chernobyl for its impact. As you sift through the locales and see amusement parks and swimming pools lined with the vestiges of human activity, you’ll sometimes hear a narrator talk about the area, the history behind it. These are places that people lived; these are where they spent their time, where they learned and grew and dreamed. But they’ve since been completely abandoned and lives permanently altered as a result.Chernobyl VR isn’t perfect — many of the scenes are quite pixelated, artifacts from spreading too little video data over 360 degrees. Despite that, the images and videos from the area are some of the only clips anyone will ever see. And I can imagine that a camera array that would look fantastic from all angles would be incredibly expensive — especially when you consider transportation, maintenance, and all the extra costs getting it into and out of the exclusion zone.Flaws aside, it’s a fascinating look at one of the most remote places on earth. It’s easy to say that something like this is creepy. After all, we see these sorts of areas all the time in games. But the fact that Chernobyl VR looks at a real-world location, caked in radioactive fallout and shows you what an abandoned city would actually look like is hauntingly poignant.If you’ve got an Oculus, a Vive, or use Samsung VR, it’s one of the better pieces available. Plus, all funds raised by the project go to the victims of the disaster.last_img read more

Live Video Platforms Give Brands a direct channel to reach consumers

first_imgDigital marketing has emerged as a formidable challenger to traditional mediums globally and India is at forefront of tapping the impact of this disruption. Indian companies are leveraging the potential of Digital tools and platforms to share their message across the target audience. The most common form of marketing is SEO and SMO on Google, Facebook and their allied platforms. Making a content viral has become the benchmark for success on these platforms and youtubers reviews of products or services have turned into a reference point for potential purchasers before settling on a choice. Though, various studies are indicating the trend that traditional digital platforms are facing incumbency as they deliver a non-interactive mode for audience to consume content; the contemporary generation is found to be seeking more dynamic mediums where they can also be involved in content creation and not just as a passive audience. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfLive Video Streaming Platforms such as BIGO LIVE have thus emerged as a panacea for the both content creators and consumers as they empower them via a platform that makes digital interaction interactive and engrossing. Platforms such as BIGO LIVE have spawned a fresh talent pool of influencers who showcase their talents and have been able to amass their own fanbase. This presents an excellent opportunity for brands to collaborate with these emerging artistes via the platform to create exciting campaigns with out of the box ideas that enables them to reach out to their consumers in an innovative manner. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe live video platform can be integrated within main marketing campaign and can be leveraged to stimulate interest of the masses on ground level. Some positive qualitative outcomes of these campaigns are: 1. Transparency: A live video stream allow a brand to gain trust of the audience as impromptu and unedited live videos are more realistic when compared a normal video upload on traditional platforms. A live video review of a product or service creates a sense of authenticity for the audience and allows brands to position themselves as transparent in approach and open to feedback. 2. Interaction with Brand Ambassadors – Live streaming is a perfect medium for celebrity and KOL brand ambassadors to interact with their fanbase. Live Streaming also removes resource limitations since only a smart phone and data is needed; they can come online and instantly connect with their audience at any time of day. This adaptability enables the brands to reach out directly to a global audience where they are able to ask questions relating to the product or service and receive an instant answer. This is a win-win situation for both target audience and brand with instant gratification. 3. Trust is a two way street – During live streaming, brands not only can interact with their intended interest group but can build trust among the user group. The genuine question and answer will help brands understand customers requirement and offer either immediate resolution or gather information for innovation purposes. Brands who wish to gain unfiltered reviews from their target group can utilise this channel. 4. Announcements/Launch : A top management personal can use this platform for both internal or external announcements thus sharing the new updates on real time basis. Similarly, a brand can use their designated live streamers to propagate the news about their new offerings via these platforms by choosing to share the announcement with few and creating a chain of event or video logs about the news, thus making it viral among the selective audience or masses. 5. Campaigns: Brands can create video campaigns and ask users to participate in the same in the form of talent hunt, best review, behind the scenes footage, webinars, quiz contest or anything else which may suffice the brands objective. The hashtags associated with these campaigns can become viral when they are simultaneously shared on various other platforms thus enabling a wider reach without relying on mass media platform for its content to be consumed by many. Brands can use video streaming platforms to measure the impact of their campaigns by using whole set of social media app bouquet, thus generating the numbers that they may need to call their campaign a success. The number of impressions, shares, likes etc can be mapped to see the impact it has had on the minds of target audience. They can groom their own set of influencers on this platform who can very well act as brand ambassadors and help take the brands to the next level. Platforms such as BIGO Live provide a never seen before opportunity for brands to engage with the masses. Their rapid rise combined with extensive user adoption will see video streaming platforms emerging as the mainstay of digital campaigns in the future. The evolution of these platform presents an infinite scope of creativity and is only limited to the imagination of the brands and streamers. The live video streaming platforms are thus the truly democratic and empowering mediums that have the power to revolutionize the entire marketing domain and alter the way we communicate over social and digital medium.last_img read more

3 Ways to End Technology Distraction

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. June 7, 2016 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Not feeling yourself lately? Lacking motivation at work? Losing patience with people? Before making a drastic change in your life, read on, because the problem and solution may be simpler than you think.Related: 6 Ways to Break a Tech AddictionIn fact, the better, more relevant question to ask ourselves may be, how often do we check our phones each day? For many of us, pulling out our phones has become almost as natural as walking.We’re at a point now where it’s next to impossible for most of us to sit alone in public without finding comfort in that powerful device. Because . . . well . . . who just sits alone and does nothing? That’s weird.The trouble is, it’s not weird. Rather, most of us are simply not recognizing the detriment our addiction has on our psychological health and our performance at work. We don’t acknowledge how our attachment to our phones is sabotaging our relationships.It’s not technology itself that’s hurting us, it’s our overuse of it that is crippling the resources in our brain.In short, technology accelerates brain fatigue on a daily basis. This is a big reason why, nowadays, we all feel exhausted at the end of each day, despite sitting at a desk all day long!What distraction does to your brainOur brains weren’t designed to operate effectively in this age of information overload. Every time we shift our attention from one thing to the next, our brains use up additional energy to make that transition happen. And a “transition” can be as small as moving from one Facebook post to the next, or from an email, to a text, to a conversation.Yet the more we do this throughout the day, the faster we tire. Think of your brain like a muscle: Every time you shift your attention to something new, imagine that it does a squat — the kind you do in the gym.Studies say we lose track of our attention six-to-ten times a minute. Going with a lower-end estimation here, and factoring in sleep, that’s approximately 6,120 brain squats a day!The difficulty is that brain fatigue makes it hard for us to regulate our emotions. Feeling happy, loved or determined requires energy, and when that’s depleted, we simply lack the resources to sustain those positive emotions. That makes it difficult for us to stay motivated and focused at work, and makes it challenging to remain patient with the people around us.Related:, ‘Dumb-thumbing,’ and the Perils of Tech AddictionI’ve personally experienced chronic fatigue before and can say that it often makes you feel that you just don’t care about things going on in your life, even when you know you should.Add in some additional stress to that, and you may overreact, act out of character or in some other way simply not be yourself. Here, then, are three ways to conserve your energy and reduce your dependency on technology:1. Discipline is a habit.The truth about discipline is that some people are naturally more talented at it. For some, it’s easy to stick to a workout routine, follow a strict schedule each day or say no to that last drink. But the reality is that that same discipline can also be built up within you.The trouble is, most of us don’t look at the finer details that make up discipline. We think that the odd glance at our phone, a quick scroll through Instagram or a short reply to a text message isn’t a big deal. And in the grand scheme of things, it’s not. However, habits are formed from consistency. So, those tiny, consistent actions we do every day, and sometimes every hour, build up to habitual attention-shifting.Our brains get so conditioned to looking at any shiny object in our peripheral vision that they have no resistance to distraction — a scenario that gets worse over time, slowly lowering our productivity.To build up your discipline, understand that each attention transition is either making you form the bad habit of distraction or is otherwise sapping your mental energy.Know that both of these are ultimately eroding your ability to focus on your more important tasks later in the day. Even having your phone next to your computer will cause your mind to fight itself over not checking it. So, put it on, on “silent”; turn off the flashing light; or better yet, toss it in your bag. Try to check your phone only once every 60 minutes, and build this new habit up over time.2. Phone management in the morning. After turning off your alarm in the morning, take some time before looking at your phone. Why? The light from your screen triggers your brain to go into a reactive mode. It becomes almost a fight-or-flight state. Your brain has learned that when the phone is on, potential threats may be coming your way, as emails, text messages and notifications.Sure, you may not consciously see these as threats, but your brain will, when you start thinking, “Did my client email me back?” “Did that deal close?” “Is my friend mad at me?” or, “I hope I got more than a few likes on my Facebook post.”For the first week, don’t look at your phone for 15 minutes; the second week, aim for 30 minutes; the third week, try for 45 minutes and so on, until you don’t look at your phone just before you leave for work. Obviously, this won’t happen every day, but it’s not about never looking at your phone; it’s simply about looking at it less.3. Wrap your experiences with clarity.When we have an experience in life, our brains create a memory of it. This memory is held in the connections between neurons. These neural connections either get stronger or weaker depending on how often we repeat that experience, and feel the similar emotions that come along with it. Which makes it easier or harder for our brains to reference going forward.The trouble is, if we are constantly pulling out our phones with everything we experience, we’re disrupting those patterns that are being formed. For example, if you’re reading a novel, but you can’t stop from checking your phone every 10 minutes, you’re weakening your ability to stay focused on that literary state.What’s more, the memory within those neural connections that had remembered reading as a place of calm, relaxation and focus, slowly dissipates. In the past, when you picked up a book, your brain could use those inner strengths because they were so strong from years of practice. But, when we disrupt that process time and time again, we lose the ability to recall those strengths when we need them.You can fix this by what you do before, during and after an experience. Try to give yourself a minute before you start a new activity, and during that minute remain phone free. Let your mind relax and forget about your last email, so it is prepared for this new activity.Once you’ve begun the new activity, whether it’s going for a walk, working on a project or reading, take 10 seconds to stop and take in the moment. Recognize what’s going on, the actions you’re taking and the positive feelings you get from those actions. Finally, after the activity ends, give yourself another minute to appreciate what you’ve just completed and accomplished before you look at your phone.Related: The 6 Signs You’re Tech Addicted and What You Can Do About ItThis process will help strengthen those neural connections and everything good that comes from those experiences. More importantly, it will make you less susceptible to distraction and less vulnerable to temptation. 7 min read Register Now »last_img read more

Fitch Shortage of Developed Lots Threatens to Hinder Recovery

first_img The housing recovery may be fast approaching a wall as well-located finished building lots become scarce, “”Fitch Ratings””: says in a recent analysis.[IMAGE]While the ratings agency acknowledges that “”a majority of market data reflects a strengthening housing market”” (citing increases in existing home sales, healthy job growth, and a pick-up in housing starts and permits in February), a lack of finished lots in desirable locations over the next year could hinder residential construction and disrupt the market’s progress.In its report, Fitch points out “”[f]inished lots that are already graded and have infrastructure in place are becoming scarce, as development activity during the recent downturn was limited.””””We do think there will be more development, and a catch-up period will take place. But we do feel that there may be shortages in certain geographies in the intermediate term,”” Fitch explains. “”We believe it is imperative that builders continue to manage their balance sheets, keeping land and development spending at reasonable levels relative to housing demand.””With developed lots becoming harder to find, the agency says raw and semi-developed land should represent an increased share of total real estate expenditures. Fitch believes the “”irregular flow of appropriately priced developed land from banks and other sources tends to support this strategy.””The release from the ratings agency also warns that a possible combination of higher interest rates and home prices could constrain affordability for buyers, affecting the pace of recovery.””Additionally, if home prices were to rise rapidly and mortgage rates sharply increase, that could also potentially impede progress,”” Fitch says. “”While lower borrowing rates have helped spur home buying and refinancings, a pronounced increase could deter that.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fitch Ratings Home Sales Homebuilders Housing Permits Housing Starts Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-03-26 Tory Barringer March 26, 2013 401 Views Fitch: Shortage of Developed Lots Threatens to Hinder Recoverycenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Improving Markets Index Recovers from May Drop

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Homebuilders Housing Permits Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Processing Service Providers 2013-06-06 Tory Barringer June 6, 2013 409 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sharecenter_img After falling in April and May, the “”National Association of Home Builders””: (NAHB)/ “”First American””: Improving Markets Index (IMI) resumed its upward trend in June, NAHB reported.[IMAGE]According to the association, the number of U.S. housing markets showing sustained growth in housing permits, home prices, and employment rose to 263 in June, five more than May’s total. The index grew for several months to a record high of 274 in March before falling to 273 in April and then 258 in May.The list of improving markets includes entrants from 49 states and the District of Columbia, NAHB reported. For the June index, 29 new markets were added to the list, while 24 were dropped. New entrants include Salinas, California; Sioux City, Iowa; Topeka, Kansas; and Laredo, Texas.””As market conditions improve across most of the country, some metros have moved onto the IMI list while marginal seasonal fluctuations have nudged others off of it,”” noted NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “”This is to be expected as the recovery expands. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that the number of improving markets is now more than three times what it was in June 2012.””While the most recent report shows only a slight recovery from May’s sizable drop, NAHB chairman Rick Judson said the index is still in good shape, though challenges remain.””This is the fifth consecutive month in which the IMI has designated more than 70 percent of U.S. metros as improving,”” Judson said. “”While that’s a good sign that the housing recovery is on solid footing, we know that various challenges are slowing its progress–including continuing issues with credit availability for builders and buyers, as well as appraisals that aren’t keeping up with the rising cost of construction.”” Improving Markets Index Recovers from May Droplast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Resort at Pedregal

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterThe Resort at Pedregal, Los Cabos’ premier destination resort, is proud to announce its fifth annual food and wine festival – The Art of Taste. Set this year for 26 – 30 October, the gastronomic gala will celebrate the spirited Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos and feature a supernova of star chefs, including Richard Reddington, Dakota Weiss, Sonya Coté, and the resort’s new Executive Chef, Gustavo Pinet. The five-day epicurean adventure, hosted by journalist Janice Wald Henderson, will also welcome international wine and spirit authorities.“For the past four years, The Resort at Pedregal’s annual Art of Taste has seen great success, bringing together accomplished chefs and mixologists from around the world for an unforgettable five-day culinary extravaganza,” said Yvan Mucharraz, Director of Food & Beverage at The Resort at Pedregal. With The Art of Taste now kicking off Los Cabos’ peak season, Mucharraz added, “we will take this already remarkable event to an even higher level.”This year’s prestigious team of chefs includes:Richard Reddington, Executive Chef at Redd and Redd Wood, both located in Yountville, in the Napa Valley Wine Region of Northern California. Named a “Rising Star” by The San Francisco Chronicle and “Best Rising Chef” by San Francisco Magazine, Reddington has received multiple James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Pacific Region.Dakota Weiss, Executive Chef at the Sunset Strip’s sizzling new Estrella and the explosively popular Sweetfin Poke in Santa Monica. Dubbed “Best New Chef” by Angeleno magazine, Weiss has appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Texas.” She made her mark in southern California as Executive Chef at Jer-ne at the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey.Sonya Coté, Owner and Executive Chef of Hillside Farmacy, Eden East and Coté Catering in Austin, Texas. Cote has appeared on the Food Network’s “Chopped.” Marie Claire has named her one of its “Women on Top.” Tribeza magazine honoured her as one of Austin’s “People of The Year.” Austin Monthly anointed Eden East one of the city’s “Best New Restaurants,” while Bon Appétit named Hillside Farmacy one of “The Best Spots in America to Taste the Revival.”Gustavo Pinet, Executive Chef at The Resort at Pedregal, arrives with nearly 20 years of experience, most recently at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Cabo. Pinet now presides over the resort’s myriad culinary attractions, including its signature restaurant Don Manuel’s, the dramatic seafood restaurant El Farallon, the poolside Crudo restaurant and the Beach Club, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Pedregal Mountain.Celebrated sommeliers and spirits experts also taking part in The Art of Taste include:Emily Wines, Master Sommelier, Skipstone Ranch, CaliforniaArturo Lomeli, Founder, Clase Azul TequilaDaniele Dalla Pola, Owner, Nu Lounge Bar, Bologna, ItalyJordan Gardenhire, Founder, Baja Brewing CompanyUlysses Vidal, Mixologist, Employees Only, New York CitySponsors include:LVMH, featuring such esteemed cuvées as Krug, Veuve Clicquot and RuinartLittorai, showcasing its acclaimed California Pinots and ChardonnaysVinos Encinillas, producer of some of Mexico’s finest wines, here focusing on Bordeaux varietals and SyrahGonzalez Byass, graciously supplying V.O.R.S. sherries aged at least 30 yearsJasper Hill Farm, offering exquisite cheeses from Vermont’s Northeast KingdomThe Resort at Pedregal is delighted to collaborate on The Art of Taste with food and travel journalist Janice Wald Henderson. Having taken part in Chefs’ Holiday at the Majestic Yosemite in California and Hawaii’s Cuisines of the Sun, Henderson will moderate each event, drawing upon her three decades as a writer for Rhapsody, Food & Wine, Robb Report, Epicurious, Bon Appetite and Vogue. The author of White Chocolate and The New Cuisine of Hawaii, Henderson is a regular contributor to American Forces Radio’s On Travel.The Art of Taste will get underway with a welcome champagne reception featuring canapés conceived by the invited chefs along with a selection of cheeses and charcuterie. Festival highlights include instructional seminars focusing on subjects such as fresh salsa, tequila crafting, and wine and cheese pairing. The Ocean-to-Table class will concentrate on the preparation of ceviches, aguachiles, and tiraditos. A Dia de los Muertos dinner will take its inspiration from local Mexican customs and feature musicians, food booths and artisans. The Art of Taste will conclude with a gala dinner for which the chefs will each create a different course. A farewell after party will follow with live music and dancing under the stars.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more