Côte dIvoire unrest rising ethnic tensions hampering aid deliveries UN

The agency’s office in Abidjan says that vulnerable populations are further endangered by shortages of food and basic services, such as health care. Security remains very poor outside the main towns and away from the main roads in the west. The nutritional situation is particularly alarming, with high rates of malnutrition reported in the area. Tensions have also been heightened recently in Côte d’Ivoire due to the arrest of Ibrahim Coulibaly in France, accused of plotting the assassination of President Laurent Gbagbo. The Forces Nouvelles have demanded his release. Although Forces Nouvelles ministers remain a part of the National Government of Reconciliation – established under the French-brokered Linas-Marcoussis Agreement last January — a debate on who should fill the key, unoccupied posts of Defence and Interior ministers continues. OCHA also reports that local chiefs in western Côte d’Ivoire are ordering the expulsion of Ivorians not native to the area, and immigrant workers of various West African nationalities, from villages around Toulepleu, Zouan Hounien, Guiglo and Duekoue. Bands of youths are reported to be terrorizing the harassing immigrants. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has received unconfirmed reports of clashes on the Guiglo/ Blolequin axis as Burkinabés attempt to reclaim their fields.Erratic and generally below average rainfall in Côte d’Ivoire is aggravating the current climate of food insecurity. During the fighting in the west, farmers were unable to tend their fields and were forced to eat their seed stocks to survive, while looters stole agricultural tools and food stocks. This has left many farmers in an impossible situation, without food, seeds or agricultural implements to restart cultivation. In response, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has started distributing seed in the areas of Zouan Hounien and Bin Houyé. Funding shortfalls also hinder the efforts of aid agencies in Côte D’Ivoire. Several sectors remain under-funded. At least four UN Agencies, World Health Organization (WHO), UN Population Find (UNFPA), the FAO, and the Joint UN Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report that they have not yet received any funding under the most recent appeal for the country. read more

Janet Jackson moves Vegas stop to May to rest her vocal chords

Janet Jackson moves Vegas stop to May to rest her vocal chords, changes venues to MGM arena by The Associated Press Posted Oct 1, 2015 5:48 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 1, 2015 at 7:22 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This CD cover image released by Rhythm Nation/BMG Rights Management shows “Unbreakable,” the latest released by Janet Jackson. (Rhythm Nation/BMG Rights Management via AP) LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Janet Jackson is cancelling her Oct. 9 and Oct. 10 shows at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino to rest her vocal chords, and the Las Vegas stop on her “Unbreakable” tour will move to a new 20,000-seat arena in May.Live Nation Entertainment said Thursday that ticketholders will be refunded and have the first chance to buy tickets for the May 14 performance. Tickets go on sale Oct. 16.The move is a loss for Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns the venue at Planet Hollywood that features regular performances by Britney Spears and soon Jennifer Lopez.MGM Resorts International is working with concert presenter AEG to open the new arena behind MGM’s New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts in April.Jackson’s comeback album, “Unbreakable,” is being released Friday. read more

Sounding alarm on widening crisis in Yemen UN rights office says civilians

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the indiscriminate shelling in Taiz is only the latest incident impacting the area.“We are concerned at the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation, which is being greatly exacerbated by checkpoints which were set up by the Popular Committees affiliated with the Houthis on the periphery of Taiz city in April. These checkpoints have been tightening their restrictions on the movement of the civilian population,” OHCHR Spokesperson Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva.He further added that the members of the Houthi-affiliated Committees have taken control of the eastern route into Taiz and have blocked main supply routes from Sana’a, Aden, Ibb, Lahj and Hudaydah. Mr. Colville detailed eyewitness accounts of the attacks, which began at around 4:15 in the evening, when shells fired from Houthis-controlled Al-Hawban area targeted a number of residential areas in the Al-Dhaboaha neighbourhood, hitting the Al-Mutahideen Clinic and five neighbouring homes.Additionally, he said that the second round of shelling resumed later that night and that an estimated 18 shells were fired in same Al-Hawban area, targeting residential neighbourhoods in the city centre.He further added that at least one shell hit the Hayel Saeed school, at least one shell landed near a mosque in Al-Awadhi Street, two shells struck a residential area near the fish market, and more shells hit shops in the city’s central market. A total of at least seven shells also struck the Al-Akhwah and the Al-Rawdha neighbourhoods. Mr. Colville said that the civilians are currently struggling to meet even their basic needs such as potable water and added that the prices of water have increased by 300 per cent in the last week. He also said that reports received by OHCHR indicate that members of the Popular Committees Affiliated with the Houthis and armed forces loyal to former President Saleh have prevented local traders and residents from crossing check points with water, fruit and vegetables and other essential goods.Mr. Colville further said that the health system in Taiz is almost collapsing. “At present, there are a total of six public and private hospitals that are partially functional in Taiz. Following the closure of Yemen International Hospital, the largest hospital in the city, smaller private hospitals with limited capacity have been overwhelmed with casualties caused by the fighting,” he said.Lastly, Mr. Colville added that the on-going armed conflict in Yemen is taking a terrible toll on civilians as nearly 7,566 civilian casualties have been recorded this year, including 2,577 killed and 5,078 wounded. read more

Vehicle Rolls on SR29

A single vehicle rollover had authorities responding to SR-29 on Tuesday afternoon.The accident occurred between the Highway 10/SR-29 junction and Emery High School around 3 p.m. The Emery County Sheriff’s Office and a local ambulance quickly responded to the scene.Information has not yet been released on what caused the driver to leave the roadway. The vehicle rolled after it left the road, crashing through a fence that runs adjacent to SR-29.Persons involved and possible injuries have not been reported at this time. Check back to ETV News for more information as it is made available.

Former Ohio State football player Ray Small arrested on drug charges

Courtesy of MCTFormer Ohio State football player Ray Small was behind bars Friday morning after being arrested the previous night on numerous drug and gun charges.Small, 26, was indicted on a total of six felony drug possession and trafficking charges that were filed July 10.According to Columbus Division of Police, Small was held in the Franklin County jail after the gang unit found him in a condominium in Whitehall.The charges against Small were from an April search of his apartment in north Columbus.The indictment issued for Small said authorities captured drugs including heroin and oxycodone in addition to a semi-automatic handgun and assault rifle. Another man, Anthony Jones of Detroit, was also named in the indictment for being connected with the alleged crimes.Small was caught up in the 2010 Buckeyes football memorabilia scandal, telling The Lantern he sold rings and other valuables for money. He also posted a video to YouTube in May apologizing to former OSU coach Jim Tressel among others for his role in the scandal as well as his drug problem. Small cites his upbringing in the video, saying that he did not receive much discipline and that he is “truly sorry” for his actions.Small was also indicted on drug charges and after he was found to have more than 200 oxycontin tablets in Meigs County in 2012.According to Fox 28 in Columbus, Small could face up to 33 years in prison if convicted of all charges.Small played wide receiver and returned punts and kickoffs for OSU from 2006 to 2009. He totaled 61 receptions for 659 yards and three touchdowns in his career and returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns. read more

Dentures put wearers at risk of malnutrition because they cant chew healthy

first_imgPeople missing teeth were also found to be more nutritionally deficient Credit: Martin Rickett Dentures put wearers at risk of malnutrition because they cause wearers to avoid healthy foods which are difficult to chew, a major study has shown.Researchers at King’s College London found the same was true for people with teeth loss, who also struggle to chew food properly.In both cases, tooth loss and wearing dentures was associated with joint and muscle frailty which can leave people at risk of bone breakages and falls.The scientists said that people with dentures, or fewer teeth find it difficult to eat foods such as fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts and meat, which are essential for good nutrition.Although dentures improves chewing function, the bite force is much weaker than that of natural teeth, meaning users often avoid certain foods. People with dentures may avoid vegetables which a rich in calcium, like kale Denturewearers and those with fewer teeth were 32 per cent more likely to be frail and 20 per cent more likely to be nutritionally deficient.The researchers say the study demonstrates how important oral health is in preventing tooth loss which can cause nutritional deficiencies in later life.Nutrients are crucial to maintain muscle mass and stave off musculoskeletal frailty.“Few studies have examined the relationship between oral health, the number of teeth and general frailty,” added Dr Sabbah.“One of the important findings of the study is the significant relationship between the condition of teeth and deficiency in intake of essential nutrients, regardless of the use of dentures.  “To date, the majority of efforts to improve frailty have focused on nutrition strategies, including health education, while the influence of teeth on dietary restraint of the elderly has been neglected.“The findings of this analysis, along with that reported in earlier research, suggest that the use of denture could be a neglected intervention that could potentially have a preventative impact on musculoskeletal frailty.“The results also highlight the importance of developing oral health policies to ensure older adults maintain functional dentition throughout their life.”The research was published in the journal Geriatrics & Gerontology International. People missing teeth were also found to be more nutritionally deficient center_img People with dentures may avoid vegetables which a rich in calcium, like kaleCredit:Elena Veselova / Alamy Stock Photo  “Persons with inadequate dentition  are less likely to eat hard food that is difficult to chew, for example, some of the fresh fruits and vegetables, apples, pears, carrots, nuts etc,” said Dr Wael Sabbah, from King’s College London Dental Institute.“They could also have difficulties in eating some cooked food such as meat, depending on the way it is cooked.”Around 11 million people wear dentures in Britain. Although just six per cent of people now have no teeth compared to 37 per cent in 1978, 74 per cent have needed at least one tooth extracting.The study examined the health of more than 1,800 people who had an average age of 62, and were categorised into three groups; having at least 20 teeth, denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth, and people and non-denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth.Researchers tested all groups for strength, frailty, BMI and oral health and interviewed about their nutritional intake.The  group that had less than 20 teeth and did not use dentures, and those who used dentures, were found to have consumed the least amount of nutrients, compared to recommended daily amounts. They were also found to be more frail. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Dominican Republic sends soldiers to border to prevent illegal Haitian migrants

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — The Dominican Republic has sent 600 soldiers to reinforce the border with Haiti in a bid to prevent Haitians illegally entering the country during and after the holiday season.The authorities in Santo Domingo said that the soldiers would remain in place until January 13 as part of the anti-return operation.Earlier this month, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem announced the launch of the anti-return operation for Haitians, who travel to the French-speaking Caribbean Community country to spend the Christmas and New Year and then attempt to return illegally to the Dominican Republic in January with their parents.He said the operation will be deployed in the five border provinces and that measures to prevent these illegal Haitians returning to the Dominican Republic will be conducted by the armed forces.Directorate General of Migration (DGM) Major General Gonell Regalado said that the decision to send the 600 soldiers to the border was to cover some of the weak points in the area through which many Haitians enter illegally and also to reinforce the border control points.“There will be all-terrain vehicles in addition, equipment night vision, three additional helicopters and many other specialised equipment to ensure a better job in this region of the country which will be added to the 500 cameras already in place with infrared vision,” he said.The reinforcements are in addition to the existing control system which includes 80 permanent military posts and more than 7,000 deployed men monitoring the 360 km border on the Dominican side.Haiti and Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic share the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedThousands including Haitians face deportation from DomRepJuly 3, 2017In “Regional”Caribbean illegal migrants nabbed by US authoritiesJanuary 27, 2017In “latest news”People smugglers arrested in several Latin American countriesDecember 19, 2018In “World” read more

Duo charged for narco possession

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPastor accused of rape granted $350,000 bailJanuary 9, 2018In “Court”Duo placed on $100,000. bail each for alleged possession of cannabisDecember 7, 2018In “Court”High Court grants bail to duo accused of narco – traffickingJuly 24, 2013In “Crime” A Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD) man was, on Tuesday, granted bail while his co-accused was remanded to prison after they were earlier this week discovered with some 9kg of narcotics.The duo, Keon Richards, 37, of South Ruimveldt, Georgetown and Colin Joseph, 28, of Parfaite Harmonie appeared before Magistrate Faith McGusty and denied the allegation.The Court heard that on January 20 2019, at Lot 33 South Ruimveldt Park, they were found with the illegal drugs for the purpose of trafficking.Tiffany Jeffrey, Attorney for Joseph petitioned for bail for her client stating that the bus conductor does not reside at the house in which the drugs was found but was only visiting.According to her, the narcotics was actually discovered by the ranks in Richards’s bedroom.As such, bail was granted to Joseph in the sum of $250,000 and he was ordered to report to CID headquarters weekly.However, Police Prosecutor Best revealed that the other accused; Richards, confessed on tape to the crime and as such objected to bail being granted.McGusty complied and remanded the defendant to prison. Both men are expected to return to Court on February 3 2019. read more

Geek Deals 200 off Dell G5 Gaming Laptop 400 off LG 65Inch

first_imgNeed a powerful gaming laptop that isn’t going to drain your entire bank account? Right now, Walmart is selling the quad-core Dell G5 15 with a full HD display and a GTX 1060 at a around a 20 percent discount. And our friends at TechBargains have listed the best pre-Labor Day sales as well, so take a look below for some deals you can’t pass up.Featured DealsDell G5 15 Intel Core i5-8300H Quad-Core 15.6-inch 1920×1080 Gaming Laptop with 6GB GTX 1060 Max-Q, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD for $879.99 at Walmart (List price: $1099).Dell Inspiron 15 5000 Intel Core i7-7500U 15.6-inch 1366×768 Win10 Pro Laptop for $499.99 at Dell (Coupon code: EXTRA300NOW – List price: $809.99).Dell Vostro 15 3000 Intel Core i5-7200U 15.6-inch 1920×1080 Win10 Pro Laptop for $499 at Dell (Coupon code: DBVLAB499 – List price: $898.57).Dell Vostro Small 3470 Intel Core i7-8700 Six-core Win10 Pro SFF Desktop for $659 at Dell (List price: $1098.57).65-inch LG OLED65B7A OLED 4K HDTV with HDR10 and Dolby Vision (Refurb) for $1599.99 at Walmart (List price: $2299).Amazon Fire TV Stick HDMI Streaming Media Player with Alexa Remote for $29.99 at Amazon (List price: $39.99).Linksys Velop WHW0103 AC3900 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Mesh 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– List price: $229.99).Ecovacs Deebot N79S Wi-Fi Smart Robotic Vacuum Cleaner with Alexa Connectivity for $179.98 at Amazon (Coupon code: 9OPVPMN2 – List price: $229.98).iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi Robotic Vacuum Cleaner with Video Sensor for $529 at Amazon (List price: $699).Oakley Radar Pace Smart Sunglasses with Real-Time Coaching, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Pressure, Humidity, and Proximity Sensors for $133 at PCMag Shop (Coupon code: 5OFF – List price: $299.99).Farberware 3.2-Quart Digital Oil-Less Fryer for $39 at Walmart (List price: $69.99).Anova Sous Vide 800W Bluetooth Precision Cooker Immersion Circulator for $79.99 at Amazon (List price: $149).DeskCycle 2 Under Desk Exercise Bike and Pedal Exerciser for $119 at Amazon (List price: $169).DEKOPRO 168 Piece Socket Wrench Tool Kit for $59.99 at Amazon (Coupon code: 4G8LV4SJ – List price: $79.99).LEGO Star Wars Scout Trooper and Speeder Bike (452 pieces) for $37.99 at Walmart (List price: $54.99).For more great deals go to TechBargains.last_img read more

PDM to announce 40th Anniversary Convention Plans

first_img Only Doug and Ralph and Ruth can fit, that’s why Related Items:40th anniversary, convention, Pdm Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 04 May 2015 – Big announcement to come today from the PDM Camp, media to hear plans of the 40th Anniversary Convention of the first democratically elected government of these islands. The headquarters is the site for the announcement where the press is to hear what the theme is for the June 4-7th gathering of delegates from around the country. The PDM called the coming convention “a great time together as it celebrates 40 years of stellar leadership and representation.” The first of the billboards for the PDM will be unveiled tomorrow at a public meeting, set for the headquarters in Provo from 7:30pm. TCI Country Leaders condemn vicious memes TCI Premier blasts Opposition side for “slop” information, sets it straight in HOA Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for youlast_img read more

San Diego County Board of Supervisors proposed budget is largest in history

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The County Board of Supervisors adopted a $6.3 billion budget for next year, an increase of 8.5-percent over the current year. There are no new, or bold initiatives in the budget but it significantly builds on a program the County started in 2010 called, “Live Well San Diego.”KUSI’s Steve Bosh has the numbers.Capitol projects will increase by 80%, including 180 miles of road repair$1.9 billion for public safety$536 million for land use and environment$2.3 billion for pay and benefits$2.1 billion for health and human servicesThe budget primarily focuses on spending where it’s most needed, Health and Human Services is a priority. “Today we are here at the County to demonstrate that strength and innovation exists through our extraordinary investment in San Diego residents” said Kristin Gaspar, Chair. San Diego County Supervisor, District 3. Gaspar added that the budget will continue to build on the “Live Well San Diego” program.“In this year’s budget we are investing in prevention, which is the essense of ‘live well.’ We are investing in human potential, we are investing in keeping our communities safe, we are investing in strengthening people and their families, we are investing in helping people transform their lives and break through barriers to success” she said.RELATED STORY: Proposed San Diego County budget includes 8-percent increaseSan Diego County Supervisor, District 4, Ron Roberts called this a good budget, reflecting the economy and targeting addictions. Roberts also said mental illness has become an epidemic saying, “we are going to have about $125 million in individualized drug and alcohol treatment programs, this is a tripling of the amount from previous spending.” Roberts continued, “We are adding $2.5 million for public health and emergency response with the kinds of diseases that might be out there on the streets.”County Supervisor Ron Roberts joined KUSI at Coasterra to share his opinion on the proposed budget and a variety of topics that it would cover. His full interview can be seen below. June 26, 2018 San Diego County Board of Supervisors proposed budget is largest in history Steve Bosh, Allen Denton, Sandra Maas Steve Bosh, Allen Denton, Sandra Maas, Posted: June 26, 2018 Updated: 7:04 PM Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Ron Roberts FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

US Coast Guard suspends search for downed plane near Palm Beach

first_imgUPDATE: The @USCG continues to search Sunday for a downed Piper Saratoga aircraft with two people aboard 23 miles east of Palm Beach. pic.twitter.com/NabuGOVX2m— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) February 3, 2019Officials are looking for a Piper Saratoga aircraft.Local veterinarian Ken Simmons and his wife Alice were reportedly on board the plane with their two dogs.Federal investigators are attempting to determine what may have caused the aircraft to go down. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NEAR PALM BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended their search at sea for a downed plane and its two passengers near Palm Beach.Rescuers searched for 32 hours by air and sea for the wreckage of the small plane that went down about 23 miles off the coast, Friday.last_img read more

Epicurious Alexa Team Up to Bring VoiceActivated Cooking Tips to the Kitchen

first_imgAs connected devices and voice-assistant tech proliferate, publishers have never had so many different avenues through which to communicate with consumers as part of their day-to-day routines. With its latest brand extension, Epicurious wants to go where — outside of mobile apps and ink and paper — few have ventured before: the kitchen.Beginning today, with a simple download on the Alexa smartphone companion app, users of Amazon’s personal assistant can access cooking and preparation tips curated by the teams at Condé Nast’s Food Innovation Group and its Co/Lab digital partnerships group on nearly 50 commonly used food items.Eric Gillin, digital GM of the Food Innovation Group, says the launch is all a part of Epicurious’ mission to be the home cook’s ultimate resource. “We knew we had to do something different,” Gillin tells Folio:. “A lot of folks were doing recipe search and reciting recipe instructions. Knowing that most Alexa users were asking for things like sports scores and the weather, we really tried to figure out: What was our weather? What was that simple thing that we could do to help cooks do in the kitchen? We know that people are always interested in how long it takes to cook things. So we started there.”Users can activate the tips by saying, for example, “Alexa, ask Epicurious how long it takes to cook a ribeye.” Then, says Jeff Israel, lead engineer of the Co/Lab Partnerships Team, Alexa runs through a few follow up questions to gather more information. How thick is the steak? How well done would you like it? Alexa then dictates the ideal cooking time and temperature to meet the conditions, and provides helpful tips like, “Season with lots of salt and pepper,” or “Let it rest for five minutes and slice across the grain for maximum tenderness.”“Anyone that uses the skill can also start it first by saying, ‘Open Epicurious‘ and then asking about a specific food, ‘ribeye,’ or a group, like ‘steak,’” adds Israel. “The skill will respond with prompts and guide the user to their desired recipe—’What kind of steak would you like to cook?’ I expect this will be a frequently used path as users explore the skill. We will be gathering data on how different paths are used so that we can tweak and improve the skill based on interactions.”No new digital product is suited for market without ongoing data analysis, and Israel says research on not only which foods home cooks most often prepare and what they need from a digital assistant, but how exactly they’d interact with such a tool was a major part of the project from the beginning. As far out as a year ago, Gillin and the Epicurious team were in talks with Amazon about launching a recipe skill on the Alexa platform. An alpha version impressed Condé Nast’s chief development officer, Fred Santarpia, in March, and beta testing with users occurred throughout the summer.“Throughout the review cycles, the team we worked with at Amazon provided immense detail into the testing scenarios they subjected the skill to,” continues Israel. “We went into a fast-paced develop-test-review cycle. It culminated with final tweaks made while I was sitting in LAX last week on a layover.”Even the nearly 50 food items included in the tool were subject to research; Gillin’s team created a demand map of ingredients people purchase, examined Google trends, and considered which ingredients are most commonly available to consumers.“It’s no surprise to anyone who works in food, but people really love chicken!” Gillin adds.In terms of getting home cooks to actually begin using the new skill, Gillin says Epicurious will be promoting it in its newsletters and social channels, as well as around existing editorial content that covers Alexa-enabled devices to use in the kitchen. But a major benefit, he says, is expanding the brand to appeal to new readers and audiences, and that expanding to new devices — Epicurious was, after all, among the first cooking sites to launch an iPhone app — has always been in the brand’s DNA.“The interesting thing is that you really can’t add a ton of branding to the tool — it’s not like we’re going to have it say, ‘Epicurious says to cook that steak for ten minutes.’ That would be like those people who refer to themselves in the third-person. But, users will be saying our name every time they need help, and that’s pretty cool.”The new skill, as of now, is a branding initiative that doesn’t launch with any current sponsorships, and Gillin says that while the proper way to monetize products like voice-assistant skills still needs to be determined, he isn’t ruling anything out.“Even though millions of people have these devices, I think the monetization angle has to be figured out,” he says. “Jamming ads into the experience would be disruptive and less helpful to the user. And right now, a good user experience is critical. That said, we have some really fun ideas of how to extend the cook timer to our advertisers.”last_img read more

2020 Ford Explorer goes rearwheel drive gains serious tech

first_img Ford 2019 Cadillac Escalade review: Large, luxurious and long in the tooth Since launching in 1991, nearly 8 million Ford Explorers have been sold, making it the best-selling SUV of all time. Today, the current model sitting in showrooms remains the top selling three-row SUV on the market — even though it debuted way back in 2011 and contends with a number of fresher entries. Come this summer, however, it will shed its class graybeard status when the 2020 Ford Explorer lands in showrooms sporting new styling, new technology, a new platform and a broader drivetrain lineup. The all-new crossover made its debut Wednesday before being put on display at the Detroit Auto Show next week. Detroit Auto Show 2019 Feb 7 • Chevy’s full-scale Lego Silverado is plastic fantastic in Chicago reading • 2020 Ford Explorer goes rear-wheel drive, gains serious tech 57 Photos Crossovers SUVs Share your voice Tags 2016 Ford Explorer review: Go road-tripping in Ford’s updated, EcoBoost-powered SUV null Feb 4 • 2020 Kia Telluride: Detroit Auto Show debut turns Super Bowl ad star Jan 22 • Our highlights of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show Now playing: Watch this: See All 2020 Ford Explorer is better in almost every way May 14 • History of the Toyota Supra, a Japanese sports car legend The engine gets mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission routing power to rear wheels or to all corners through a rear-biased all-wheel drive system with axle disconnect that’s available with a seven-mode Terrain Management System. Towing capacity for the four punches in at 5,300 pounds, but fuel economy figures aren’t available yet. Ford is simply promising better efficiency and driving range than before. For reference, the outgoing Explorer with the 2.3-liter and front-wheel drive has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. Those looking for more oomph will want to look at the Platinum model, which packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 365 horses, a stout 380 pound-feet of torque, all-wheel drive and 5,600-pound tow capacity. As for other drivetrain offerings, a hybrid and performance-focused ST model are confirmed to be on the way.2020-ford-explorer-limited-4Enlarge ImageThe 2020 Ford Explorer lineup will also include a hybrid and performance ST model. Ford Sales of the 2020 Ford Explorer will begin this summer with a $33,860 base price representing a $400 increase over the 2019 model. The lineup will include the base Explorer, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST and Platinum trims. Besides the less-than-groundbreaking exterior design, the new Explorer has some drastic improvements with more space, tech and promise of improved efficiency that likely will give it a good shot at defending its title as the best-selling three-row SUV. • 2020 Ford Explorer is a more efficient, spacious and… From the exterior design standpoint, the sixth-generation Explorer’s appearance is best described as an evolution of today’s model. Up front, there’s a new grille shape, light housings and shorter front overhangs for a bit more ground clearance and better approach angle for off-road excursions. From the side, the subtle changes are more noticeable, with a tapering roofline and more sculpted profile surfaces, but overall the exterior redo is underwhelming and looks like it could’ve been seen on the road for a couple of years already.Alterations inside are more apparent with new multicontour seats, tiered dash design and more spacious accommodations. That’s thanks in large part to a 6.3-inch longer wheelbase that Ford says gives the new Explorer best-in-class first- and second-row hip room and second- and third-row headroom. Enlarge ImageThe exterior of the new Ford Explorer doesn’t fall far from the outgoing model. Ford Cargo capacity is also at the top of the class with 87.8 cubic feet of space available behind the first row seats and offering the ability to carry 4×8 sheets of plywood for the first time. Other available interior niceties include heated and cooled massaging seats up front, individual climate controls in all three rows and a bigger panoramic roof.  On the tech front, an updated Sync 3 system with an 8-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities are standard. A 10.1-inch portrait touchscreen interface is optional, along with a 14-speaker B&O audio setup. Top Platinum models also benefit from a standard 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, with varying 3D animated graphics depending on which drive mode is selected in Explorers equipped with the Terrain Management System.To juice up smart devices, the Explorer offers a wireless charge pad up front, up to three 12-volt outlets, two USB-A and two USB-C ports and a 110-volt three-prong outlet. 2020-ford-explorer-platinum-7Enlarge ImageAn available 10.1-inch portrait touchscreen interface is one of the more substantial changes inside. Ford For safety, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert come on all Explorers, while intelligent adaptive cruise control with traffic sign recognition, reverse brake assist and a 360-degree camera are offered on midlevel trims on up. Everything rides on a new rear-wheel-drive architecture shared with the Lincoln Aviator that Ford says make the Explorer a little more rugged and capable, while also being on average 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing car. Base models tip the scale at 4,345 pounds. Standard power now comes from a 2.3-liter turbocharged four with 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, meaning the old 3.5-liter V6 is no more. Detroit Auto Show 2019 Ford 3:30 0 More From Roadshow 2020 Cadillac CT6 first drive: Going out with a Blackwing banglast_img read more

Surge Of Candidates Leaves Texas Democrats Struggling To Recruit Qualified Staffers

first_imgPu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneCampaign volunteers for Sri Kulkarni, a Democrat vying to unseat U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, work the phones before a primary runoff in May.Jana Lynne Sanchez had a surprise waiting for her when she returned home from a business trip last July.Sitting in her office were boxes filled with supplies for her campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives: 5,000 push cards, 5,000 door hangers and a banner — all with her name misspelled. A staffer working for the fledgling campaign in Texas’ 6th District, which covers an area south of Dallas, had spent $1,500 — around 15 percent of the campaign’s monthly budget — on unusable merchandise that added an extra “n” to Sanchez’s first name.The staffer who made the mistake had no experience working on a congressional campaign, said Sanchez, a first-time candidate herself. She hired that employee and another inexperienced staffer — both of whom she declined to name — out of desperation, she said, unable to find anyone more qualified to run her campaign.“One of the most shocking situations that I had not expected was how difficult it would be to find qualified campaign staff,” Sanchez said last week. “If you have no one applying for the jobs, you’re begging people to apply. I had to stretch my imagination to believe that people could do the job I was hiring them to do.”With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Democrats have more candidates competing in congressional and state legislative races in Texas than the party has seen in years, as a wave of liberal enthusiasm fueled largely by opposition to President Donald Trump sweeps across the country. But the uptick in Democratic candidates has exposed a weakness in the party’s statewide apparatus, according to interviews with more than a dozen candidates, consultants and political experts: a shortage of experienced operatives equipped to run so many campaigns.The origins of the problem date back to the 1990s, when Republicans swept Democrats out of the state’s major offices, making it harder for many Democratic campaign staffers to find work between elections.“It’s a problem that has been around for a while,” said Colin Strother, a longtime Democratic strategist in Texas. “It’s just more pronounced this cycle because we have more competitive Democratic races than we have had in a generation.”At the time of the misspelling fiasco, Sanchez was one of several candidates running to challenge longtime U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis. Later that year, Barton decided not to run for re-election after a graphic photograph of him appeared on social media.By the March primaries, Sanchez had recruited a new team of staffers through connections at her alma mater, Rice University, and went on to win her party’s nomination in a runoff, setting up a showdown with Republican Ronald Wright, whom she has narrowly outraised in recent months. But for many Democrats competing in lower-profile races — particularly legislative contests in districts typically dominated by Republicans — recruiting qualified campaign staff has proved nearly impossible.Without dedicated staffers, these Democrats — many of whom are first-time candidates — are forced to spend valuable time writing their own press releases, drawing up fundraising plans and cobbling together lists of street addresses for volunteers to target during neighborhood block walks. The problem is partly financial. Candidates in low-profile races often have trouble matching the salaries offered by better-funded campaigns in districts widely viewed as more competitive. But this cycle, even Democrats who can afford to hire staffers say they have struggled to find people qualified to lead their campaigns.“I’ve had a terrible time hiring. I just don’t get that many applicants,” said Allison Lami Sawyer, a Democrat challenging state Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place, one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the state Legislature. “All the ones with experience are going to federal and statewide races. And it’s not even a salary difference. Even if you’re matching salary, they’re going to the federal races.”In Texas, political experts say, a competitive state House campaign should generally have three full-time staffers: a campaign manager, a fundraising director and an official who oversees volunteers working in the field. Sawyer has one part-time staffer on her team.In less competitive races, many Democrats rely entirely on volunteers. Meghan Scoggins, a Democrat vying to unseat Republican state Rep. John Zerwas in a Fort Bend County district that has not seen a Democratic challenger in three election cycles, said she has had to “build an infrastructure from the ground up.”“A lot of the time that we’d normally be able to focus on voter contact, we’re having to focus on training volunteers,” Scoggins said.A range of factors — from decades-long political trends to quirks of the current election cycle — are responsible for the dearth of Democratic campaign staffers in Texas.Since Republicans took control of every statewide office in 1998, a number of experienced Democratic operatives left Texas after struggling to find consistent employment between elections.“Finding them a gig after a campaign is not always easy,” said Jeff Crosby, a Democratic consultant in Texas. “Back in the day, when we had a bunch of statewide offices, those folks could flow into jobs over there.”In 2010, when a wave of Republican victories cut the number of Democratic seats in the 150-member Texas House by a third, Dallas native Kirk McPike managed the state House campaign of Democrat Loretta Haldenwang, who lost to the Republican incumbent, Linda Harper-Brown of Irving. The election result left McPike with a difficult choice, he said: “Either go down to Austin and compete with my 20 best friends for the five jobs that were left working for Democrats in the Texas House, or look for employment out of state.”McPike chose the second option and now works in Washington, D.C., as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, a California Democrat who McPike helped elect to office in 2012.In recent years, other Democratic operatives in Texas have left the campaign circuit to work for progressive advocacy groups like Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and the Workers Defense Project. “There’s a lot of really quality staff who are working in those organizations, which just reduces the overall pool for campaigns,” said Jeff Rotkoff, the campaigns director for the Texas branch of the AFL-CIO, another organization that has attracted experienced political operatives.On top of those long-term trends, the unusually high number of competitive congressional races this cycle has exacerbated the staffing shortages faced by Democrats running for seats in the Texas Legislature.Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, said only one Texas Democrat challenging a Republican congressman in 2016 – Pete Gallego, who failed in a bid to reclaim his old seat from U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes – ran a professional, competitive campaign, compared to four such candidates this year.“The real difference this cycle is that the congressional candidates are sucking up all the talent that wasn’t all that deep to begin with,” Jones said.By contrast, he added, Republicans generally have a surplus of campaign talent for the general election, as staffers who worked for losing primary candidates look for new jobs in the run-up to November.The shortage of Democratic staffers has put strain on volunteers working for legislative candidates in Texas. Nancy Bean, a Democrat challenging state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said her volunteers have struggled to master the intricacies of the Voter Activation Network, an online database that the Texas Democratic Party maintains to help campaigns target individual voters.“It’s been a real uphill battle,” she said. “Because my volunteers are volunteers, it takes a long time to get people to be trained. Learning to do the VAN and all the ups and downs of the VAN is quite a steep learning curve.”Bean appears to have little chance of defeating Krause, whose district is solidly Republican. But even in historically uncompetitive districts, staffing shortages could hinder the party’s broader efforts to foster collaboration between local candidates and better-funded statewide campaigns, said Strother, the Democratic strategist.“We can’t get better unless we have these coordinated efforts, and we can’t have these coordinated efforts if we don’t have good staff,” he said.Crystal Perkins, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, acknowledged that the sheer number of Democrats running for office in Texas has made it “a little bit harder for folks to find staff.” But she brushed off concerns that the staffing problems might hurt the party’s chances this year, praising the work that local advocacy groups like Battleground Texas have done to improve Democratic turnout.And Perkins emphasized that the state party provides online training modules designed for candidates and volunteers, as well as in-person workshops to help campaigns make the most of the voter database.“We’ve really gone to a more training-focused organization,” she said. “We’ve tried to figure out how we could meet that challenge.”For some inexperienced candidates, however, webinars and occasional training sessions can only help so much.“If you’ve never run a campaign and you’re maybe not top of the class, then going to a training that’s offered by the party is probably not enough,” said Sanchez, the Democrat running for an open congressional seat in North Texas.“My initial impression was that it’s not rocket science,” she added. “Well, I changed my mind about that.”Gwenn Burud, a Democrat challenging state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, said she tried to hire staffers but found that most qualified operatives had already agreed to join higher-profile campaigns. Over time, however, that setback has become one of her campaign’s strengths, she said, because the volunteers she has recruited are talented and enthusiastic.In addition to developing volunteer networks, many female candidates in Texas have also made use of another resource: each other. In group chats and Facebook exchanges, Democratic women running for office this year share tips and anecdotes, turning to their fellow candidates for advice on everything from raising money and recruiting staff to deflecting sexist comments on the campaign trail. Scoggins, the state House candidate in Fort Bend County, said she got to know other female candidates earlier this year, when they were interviewed for a documentary about women seeking elected office across the country.“We talk policy, we talk strategy,” she said. “We talk all of the things that you might normally be paying staff to bring to the table.”Disclosure: Rice University and Planned Parenthood have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here. Sharelast_img read more

Baltimore Area Church News

first_imgGreater Harvest Baptist Church1617 W. Saratoga St.Baltimore, Md., 21223Messiah and the Motown SoundFeaturing W. Patrick Alston on organDec. 3, 5 p.m.Rev. Errol D. Gilliard, Sr., Pastor=============================================Holy Temple Church-East336 E. 25th StreetBaltimore, Md. 2121812th AnniversaryDec. 6– Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m. , Dec. 10,  11 a.m.Overseer Margaret Shelley and Apostle Ronald Shelley, Pastors=============================================Morning Star Baptist ChurchThe Renaissance Center6665 Security BoulevardBaltimore, Md. 21207Caring and Sharing: Traveling Through Grief and LossDec. 9, 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.Bishop Dwayne C. Debnam, Pastor=============================================Family Bible Ministries Worldwide, Inc.5300 Edmondson Ave.Baltimore, Md. 21229Installation celebration for Bishop Cassandra A. Montgomery as General Overseer and Senior Pastor of Family Bible Ministries Worldwide.Dec. 10 4 p.m.Bishop Cassandra A. Montgomery=============================================Greater Paradise Christian Center2900 E. Oliver StreetBaltimore, 21213Family and Friends DayDec. 10  8 a.m. and 10 a.m.Rev.  Shawn Bell, Pastor=============================================Mount Pleasant Church and Ministries6000 Radecke Ave.Baltimore, Md. 21206Tis the Season, A Holy Day CelebrationFriday Dec. 15 7 p.m. -9 p.m.Bishop Clifford Johnson, Pastor=============================================New Friendship Baptist Church1515 East Eager StreetBaltimore, Md.O Christmas Tree- A Gala for ChildrenDec. 16, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.Rev. Roderick Parks, Pastor=============================================Mount Pleasant African Methodist Episcopal Church235 Tollgate RoadOwings Mills, Md. 21117Christmas ConcertDec. 16, 5 p.m.Dr. Diane H. Johnson, Pastor 2017 is almost over and I encourage you to look over the goals you set for 2017 and see what you have left to accomplish. Then make it happen.   Also, make sure you take some time during the remainder of 2017, to plan for 2018.  Be intentional about your success.  Here is your church news for the week.last_img read more

33rd Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar opens in Delhi

first_imgHeartwarming music from Kutch, traditional balinese dance performance and reverence for crafts by the dignitaries and spectators, the opening ceremony of the 33rd edition of the annual Dastkari Haat Crafts Bazaar at Dilli Haat was all things cultural. It is on till January 15, 2019.The annual crafts bazaar at Dilli Haat by Dastkari Haat Samiti was inaugurated by Sidharto R Suryodipuro, Ambassador, Indonesia to India. Dignitaries Lalitha Kumaramangalam – former Chairperson National Commission of Women, A Kapil, Assistant Director, Development Commissioner ( Handicrafts) Ministry of Textiles, Anna Roy – Niti Aayog and Mayur Singh – Coopita, Co-ordinator of Indonesian craftspersons also graced the event with their presence. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMarking 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Indonesia, the ceremony also celebrated 25 years of Dilli Haat and marked the beginning of the Craft and Skill Exchange program with Indonesian artists, supported by the O/o Development Commissioner Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles. Adding to the vibrancy was a soulful performance by Arif Rehman, a Margapati (classical balinese dance form) dancer whose performance piece narrated story of the king of jungle looking for his prey. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveMoorala Marwada, a sufi folk singer from the Janana village of the Kutch District, Gujarat enraptured everyone present in the audience. Ajay Jadeja, Aditi Jaitly, Shelly Jyoti, Sonia Bhandari, Gaurav Jai Gupta, and other industry experts also attended the event. “It is a spectacular event, an opportunity for the artisans of both skill exchange program is another process into strengthening the ties between Indian and Indonesia, and a chance to find beauty in something that is common”, shared Sidharto R Suryodipuro, Ambassador, Indonesia to India. “It was a beautiful ceremony and the annual bazaar this year is a little more special as Dilli Haat completes 25 years. This year we have started the yellow ribbon campaign as well that helps the spectators in identifying the authentic craftsmen at Dilli Haat who are a part of our bazaar. I am really overwhelmed with the response from the visitors and the design innovation that the artisans have brought forth”, shares Jaya Jaitly, President at Dastkari Haat Samiti.last_img read more

Where are You Going in 2018 Cosmically Speaking

first_imgIf you want to take the most complete version of the question, that is your answer. You’d watch the Earth and the rest of the solar system fly away from you at 371 kilometers per second toward a point near the constellation Leo, falling toward thousands of distant galaxies. After 10 seconds, you would have traveled 3,710 kilometers through the solid Earth or 3,710 kilometers up into space, depending on the time of day. You can look up the current location of Leo in the sky to figure out your path.Or you could just wait 100 seconds, and by then you would be far off in space no matter which direction you started out relative to the Earth. Per the rules of this imaginary game, you don’t need a space suit. But I hope you brought a flashlight, a good book, and a lifetime supply of snacks.Follow me on Twitter for science news and other fun geeky stuff: @coreyspowell If you were motionless relative to the Andromeda Galaxy. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) makes a handy deep-space reference point, since it is is the nearest major spiral galaxy to us. In this case, you would no longer participate in our galaxy’s slow-motion fall toward its larger neighbor. Or not so slow-motion: Our galaxy as a whole is falling that way at about 110 kilometers per second.That velocity largely lines up with the Sun’s orbital motion around the Milky Way, though, so the net effect is that you’d be left behind at a rate of about 290 kilometers miles per second (plus annual variation from our orbit around the Sun) as Earth and the rest of our solar system hurtles toward Andromeda.Fun fact: You’d fly off roughly in the direction of Alpha Centauri, but even at this breakneck speed you’d need about 5,000 years to get there.  Space is really, really vast. CATEGORIZED UNDER: ask discover, astronomy, cosmology, Einstein, genius, NASA, select, solar system, space, sun, Top Posts, Uncategorized The Sun’s grand orbit through the Milky Way, dragging us all along with it. Look sharp–you are at the little red circle in the center. (Credit: NASA/JPL/R.Hurt/Cmglee)center_img Rotation of the Earth as seen from the DSCOVR spacecraft, located 1.5 million kilometers sunward of our planet. (Credit: NASA/NOAA)A while back, I wrote a column for Discover analyzing your place in space: astronomers’ best look yet at where you fit into the big, crazy, cosmic scheme of things. Any discussion of where you are inevitably brings up the related question of not just where you are, but where you are going. And there’s no better time to think about where you are going that at the beginning of the year–right around the time when you realize that, once again, this isn’t going to be the year you keep all your January 1 resolutions.How to answer the question Where are you going? depends entirely your reference frame. There is no master set of coordinates for the universe (thanks a lot, Einstein), so you can only answer the question by addressing the subordinate question, In relation to what? Fortunately, that’s exactly when things start to get interesting.Astronomy textbooks typically depict our motion through space in terms of vector arrows pointing in different directions, indicating the direction of Earth’s orbit around the Sun and the like. A recent question on Quora got me thinking about things a different way, however. What if you were suddenly motionless relative to the various cosmic reference frames about you? What would you see and experience if you made yourself the center of the universe, and let everything else move around you?To make this thought problem work, you will need to add a couple more very important fantasy elements: You have to imagine that you can survive in space without a suit, and that you can pass like a ghost right through the solid body of the Earth if necessary. Caveats in place. Let’s go!If you were motionless relative to the center of the Earth. In this case, you’d no longer participate in Earth’s rotation. The planet would rotate beneath you eastward at a velocity that would depend on your latitude. Specifically, it would move at 1,674 kilometers per hour at the equator, and at a velocity equal to this rate times the cosine of your latitude everywhere else. At 45 degrees north, for instance, your speed would be 1,184 kilometers per hour, or about three kilometers west every 10 seconds, relative to the spinning globe beneath your feet.If you were motionless relative to the Sun. Now you would no longer participate in Earth’s orbital motion. Earth would fly past you at 29.8 kilometers per second, on average. The exact speed varies a little over the course of the year, because Earth’s orbit is an ellipse. At sunrise (roughly), your ghostly form would fly straight down through the ground. At sunset (roughly) you would fly straight up into space relative to the Earth.OK, now get ready for a big leap.Rotation, solar orbit, and galactic orbit of the Earth, beautifully depicted by JimSlater307 (based on a diagram by ESO/S.Brunier).If you were motionless relative to the center of the Milky Way (as defined by the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*).  Things get very disorienting once you are no longer participate in the sun’s orbital motion through our galaxy. Earth would fly past you at about 245 kilometers per second. As if that is not dizzying enough, note that half of the year Earth’s orbital motion would add to this speed, and the other half it would reduce it. To visualize what’s happening, we’re going to need a bigger map: Map of the microwave background shows that half of the sky appears “hotter” than the other because Earth is moving in that direction relative to the background radiation. Technically speaking, the red areas are blueshifted and the blue areas are redshifted…because astronomers are confusing like that (Credit: NASA/WMAP)If you were motionless relative to the cosmic microwave background. This is the closest thing we have to a master answer to “where are you going?” relative to the universe as a whole. The cosmic microwave background is the relic radiation from the Big Bang. You can think of it as the reference frame of the birth of the cosmos. Studies show that we are moving at a velocity of 371 kilometers per second (plus annual variation, again) relative to the radiation background.That motion is interpreted as the result of the gravitational pulls of a vast supercluster of galaxies (primarily the crowded downtown of our own supercluster, Laniakea), tugging on our Milky Way and the rest of our local cluster of galaxies.last_img read more

AirAsia named most influential airline in China

first_imgAirAsia named most influential airline in ChinaAirAsia has been named The Most Influential Airline in China at the 2016 New Power of Travel Awards held in Continental Hotel Beijing here on Friday 6 January 2017.The awards, hosted by Sina Travel and Youku Travel websites, review the development and trends of the travel industry in China, and evaluate travel-related companies and products based on the content and readership by the more than 800 million users on both websites.The awards honour outstanding companies and products as voted by users, and provide travel guides towards airlines, hotels and destinations for travellers.Sina is the world’s largest Chinese-language web portal, while Youku is one of China’s top video and online streaming platforms.The aards committee noted that AirAsia had influenced free and independent travellers (FITs) in China with its young, passionate and creative brand image since entering the market, adding that, “AirAsia has also created lots of unique content and activities on social media, so now the concept of ‘Now Everyone Can Fly’ has become more influential in China.”AirAsia President of North Asia Kathleen Tan said, “We would like dedicate this award to our 1.3 million Sina Weibo followers and 300 million guests. We have built our Chinese social media channels as a one-stop shop for anyone who loves to travel and wishes to interact with AirAsia. This award would not be possible without their strong interaction, feedback and support, and the fact that it signifies the approval of Chinese netizens makes it so much more important to us.“China is very important to AirAsia. It is an incredibly dynamic market and we have focused our efforts on pushing out the very best content on Chinese social media in order to deliver an even better travel experience to our fans in China. This includes information on where to find the best food, hidden gems and great travel destinations where amazing memories can be made.“In line with this, our team is working hard with travel tourism partners and local governments to bring the world to China and vice versa. We believe we have the power to open up new markets, not just as an airline but as a travel partner who inspires wanderlust, discovery and a new lifestyle.”Keep updated with AirAsia’s latest promotions and activities via Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia) and Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia).Source = AirAsialast_img read more

How did your garden grow

first_imgBy Patricia JordanCyprus has just endured the hottest summer for 35 years! My garden is looking parched and some shrubs have very burned tops. I am not pruning them off yet, so that the growth underneath is still protected. The myoporum hedge, which is the boundary separating us from our neighbours, was pruned severely in March and April and the new growth is gradually dying away. I hope that with some winter rain it will recover. The relentless sun also burned off our lemons and they all tumbled to the ground, barely the size of walnuts! I haven’t dared to look at the orange trees yet.The flowering season was short this year. Annuals only last for a couple of weeks anyway, and this year herbaceous perennials (those that come up every year) were short lived too. All this makes me wonder that if we have less and less winter rain and more of the high temperatures that we have seen this year and last, will it mean the end of these lovely additions to the garden that we look forward to each year.Global warming and lack of trees here is to blame for a lot of this I fear, so it was interesting to read about the Adopt a Tree project at the end of July and the efforts being made to encourage tree planting on the island. There once was a green island here. Sir Samuel White Baker, the great African Explorer, came ashore at Larnaca in 1879 with his wife and recorded his findings in a book entitled Cyprus as I saw it in 1879. He drew the reader’s attention to the dense scrub where once trees had stood, plumaged by invaders from lands nearby in their search for timber to turn into charcoal for cooking. Of course, we need trees and lots of them, both in our gardens and countryside, where they can hold soil in place and prevent erosion. They can mask concrete walls, parking lots, and unsightly views and muffle sound from nearby roads. Trees also absorb dust and wind and can bring rain, much needed in this part of the world, which we also need to survive. It’s great to know that so many others are as concerned as I have always been.Planting new saplings is all well and good if it wasn’t for the herds of goats that roam around the countryside under the control of their goatherds no less. They will munch away at almost anything, including the succulent new growth of saplings. It’s no good planting thousands of trees if they can’t be protected. I read somewhere recently that a mature oak tree can support over 460 different species of insects, birds and mammals, just think about that! Once upon a time trees were considered sacred by Druids, Native Americans and Africans as well as other primitive peoples around the world. It’s time we started to think more seriously about them and the vast impact they have on our planet. Go plant a tree, but not this month! WHAT TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN THIS MONTHStar of BethlehemWith temperatures still quite high, it is siga-siga approach in September, at least to begin with. If, like me, you have been itching to get out there and actually do things other than water and weed, don’t start with the heavy jobs just yet. Leave any tree or shrub planting until the soil is moist and temperatures cooler. You have until the end of March to do that, however you can begin to prepare the soil for winter vegetables. If you don’t have a compost heap then buy some big bags of potting compost, and dig the contents in, which should improve the soil. If you have a friendly goatherd or know of some horse stables, then you could perhaps beg some manure. However, remember that very fresh manure may have a harmful effect on your plants, so store it or add it into your compost heaps or bins for a while. If you pruned your roses after the first flowering, then with the cooling weather, they may be putting out new growths. Help them along with a feed of a proprietary rose food. By pruning the stems of Plumbago auriculata after it produced its sticky seedpods, then you should be having yet another show of pretty blue or white flowers again for at least a couple of months. This shrub used to be known as Plumbago capensis but those who study plant names have changed it. Potted plants may be looking quite exhausted by now. Dead or dying annuals can easily be replaced, using new stock from the garden centres to freshen up balconies or verandas. Check the soil first and perhaps refresh it. Pelargoniums look stressed after the long hot summer. Good advice here is to cut them right back to a new growth lower down the stem, and having loosen the existing soil first, add in some new compost to the top of the pot, give it a liquid feed and place the pot in a shady place to recover. The humidity this year has brought many mealy bugs back into the garden and even Neem Azal T/S has had little success in dealing with them. Sometimes finger, thumb and vigilance is the best way! Our lovely wisteria continues to put out new stems, waving in any breeze hoping to latch on to something close by. We found one attached to an air conditioning unit so it had to be cut back before the unit was smothered. The fresh stems have small panicles of scented flowers at the tips, but sadly, they are not able to cope with the hot weather. They look and smell much better in the early spring. If watering and feeding hippeastrum plants (you probably know them as amaryllis, but that is a mis-nomer) since they finished flowering, now is the time to stop and let the leaves die down. In about three month’s time, you can start to water again, especially if you want them to be in flower for Christmas or the New Year. Spring bulbs will come into the garden centres towards the end of the month. Buy them then by all means, before the favourites sell out, but wait until the ground is moist enough to plant them. Check the bags or nets for signs of mould or mildew on the bulbs and don’t buy those. It’s interesting to reflect that tulip bulbs started out life in this area of the Mediterranean and were taken to Holland as early as the 16th century, where they were much coveted, and a lot money was made from the sale of them. However, the bubble burst leaving many investors penniless. Nowadays, these bulbs are exported mainly from Holland The Dutch grow fields of them but not for their flowers, which are removed from the plant and used to decorate flower floats, or even end up as compost! Each bulb can yield at least two or even three bulblets each season, which is what the grower is looking for. Daffodils were natives of Spain and Portugal; the humble but heavenly-perfumed freesias were originally from South Africa and as far away as North Africa and even China, as were ornithogalums (Star of Bethlehem). I love the early flowering Paperwhites, Narcissus papyrus, which started life in parts of Greece and as far as Portugal and along the northern coast of Africa. How amazing that we are able to enjoy so many of these international flowers! Plant of the month: Brachyglottis (Dunedin Group) Sunshine AGMThis welcome addition to hot summer gardens has had several names before the latest one. Hailing from New Zealand, it goes by the name of Daisy Bush, because of the bright yellow daisy-like flowers appearing in spring and summer. This is a great plant for hot, dry gardens. Known previously as Senecio greyi, or indeed Brachyglottis greyi, it would seem that those names have been changed yet again.Elegant but sprawling, this plant provides great ground cover for difficult parts of the garden and along the shore line, where watering is not always possible. The silvery alternate leaves, with scalloped edges and a delicate white line around the outer edge, are covered on both sides with fine white hairs, which protect the leaf from the heat of the sun. In its native habitat it grows along the coastline in cracks and crevices, where soil is very limited, and is usually exposed to salt-laden winds, all of which it can cope with.Brachyglottis was introduced as a suitable shrub for gardens as it is generally pest and disease-free. Watering should be sparse once established, although in more desert-like gardens this may produce fewer flowers than those plants that are watered freely. The Dunedin Hybrids tend to make large sprawling clumps rather than tidy bushes, but are extremely hardy. They can also be used for low hedging. Regular clipping will assist in encouraging more young foliage to appear. Propagation is by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. 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