Xbox One price listed as 770 on Amazon Germany

first_imgWe’re at least a couple of months away from Microsoft divulging the official price of the Xbox One, but that hasn’t stopped a few retailers letting you pre-order one with a “to be announced” price.Amazon Germany is being a bit more speculative, however, and has listed the next-gen console with a price point of 599 euros.That converts to about US$770, which is way too expensive for the majority of gamers to consider. But you have to remember this is a guess on Amazon’s part, and listing a price below what Microsoft has in mind could see customers complain if the e-tailer tries to increase it closer to launch. It’s much better to price too high and then happily inform those who pre-order that the price has dropped in a few months.Both the Xbox One and PS4 have switched to an x86 platform, and both Sony and Microsoft are buying major components of the machine from a single vendor: AMD. Sony has also stated that we definitely won’t see a major loss made for every console sold like with the PS3 when it launched. But what price will they most likely launch at?The sweet spot price that keeps getting mentioned is $399, which would put the Xbox One at just over double the Xbox 360 and $150 more than the current PS3 price. But there’s another factor to consider here: competition. It seems likely both consoles are going to launch within a few weeks of each other, and whichever machine has the lower price will obviously have a sales advantage.With that in mind, we could see a bit of a pre-release price war, with both companies deciding to keep the hardware profit margins to a minimum in order to come in lower than their main rival. We could therefore see either machine as low as $350. How about $324.99? Surely not.On the flip side, that speculative $399 price point could be too low and both machines may be aiming for the $499 mark. But would gamers stomach such a price in today’s economy?last_img read more

Man hospitalised following singlevehicle crash after failing to stop car for gardaí

first_img Image: Twitter/@GardaTraffic Man hospitalised following single-vehicle crash after failing to stop car for gardaí The driver suffered minor injuries in the collision. A MAN IN Dublin has been taken to hospital after he was involved in a single-vehicle collision earlier today.The incident happened near the Millenium Business Park in Finglas, north Dublin, and came after the man failed to stop for gardaí.Posting on Twitter, gardaí said the driver – who was not wearing a seatbelt – suffered minor injuries in the crash, and that investigations into the incident are ongoing.A garda spokesman told that the man was taken to hospital, and that he will be questioned by investigators at a later date. 35,493 Views Share4 Tweet Email1 16 Comments Sunday 17 Mar 2019, 5:17 PM Image: Twitter/@GardaTraffic Mar 17th 2019, 5:18 PM Short URL By Stephen McDermott Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Parthenon at risk of collapse

first_imgThe Acropolis is falling down and will need significant work to shore it up, archaeologists have warned. Engineers have found that a section of the huge flat-topped rock on which the ancient Parthenon sits in Athens is beginning to give way, the Greek news agency ANA has said.The ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the Greek capital contains the remnants of some of the world’s most historic ancient buildings, the most famous being the temple Parthenon. Teams from the Central Archaeological Council found “instability over quite a wide area” after investigating a rockfall in January in which a boulder of “considerable size” tumbled from the most visited tourist site in Greece.Work to secure the southern slope of the hill on which the 2,500-year-old temple complex sits will be necessary and archaeologists have blamed rainwater pipes from the old Acropolis museum.There is evidence that the Acropolis was inhabited as far back as the fourth millennium BC, but it was Pericles in the fifth century BC who coordinated the construction of the site’s most important buildings: the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike. Construction on the Parthenon began in 447 BC when the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. Despite sharp cuts elsewhere, the restoration work on the site that has been going on since the 1970s has remained sacrosanct. Greece has endured six years in a recession, with unemployment soaring to 27 per cent. For the first time since 2008 it is expected to see growth of around 0.4 per cent this year, The Times reported.The Acropolis is not the only ancient world monument under threat of collapse. Activists have claimed the Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest pyramid in Egypt in the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, is being destroyed by the firm hired to restore it. According to the Non-stop Robberies movement, the company hired by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities to restore the pyramid – called Shurbagy – has broken preservation laws requiring that any new construction be less than 5 per cent of the preserved structure. In March, further collapses in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii were reported amid calls for more restoration funding for the UNESCO world heritage site.Source: International Business Times Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Alfred Sears Calls For Christie to Resign

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, May 12, 2017 – Nassau – Alfred Sears, on election night, called for former Prime Minister Perry Christie to resign as leader of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). Mr. Sears said he saw the sweeping defeat coming after Fort Charlotte residents repeatedly told him they could not stand the leadership of the country any longer, despite their personal affection for him.He added that it is “obvious” the party would have stood a better chance winning the election had he been victorious in the PLP’s leadership race in January, saying that “the party made a mistake” in choosing Mr. Christie.“The outcome of the convention did not inspire trust or confidence in the Bahamian electorate but that’s behind us now and I think the party has a wonderful opportunity to rebuild and reengineer itself,” he said.When asked if he thought Mr Christie should resign as party leader, Mr Sears said: “Certainly. I think the party needs to be refreshed. I don’t see how the party can rebuild without new leadership.”#magneticmedianews#searssayschristieshouldresign Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #searssayschristieshouldresignlast_img read more

Craig Gordon insists Celtic will be stronger

first_imgCeltic goalkeeper Craig Gordon insists the club will be stronger in the second half of the season following their 1-0 loss to Rangers on Saturday.The Scotland international single-handedly prevented the Hoops from suffering a heavier loss to Rangers after producing some superb saves to sent Daniel Candeias, Connor Goldson and Ryan Kent.However, the former Sunderland shot-stopper is refusing to get downhearted by Celtic’s disappointing showing.Gordon also denied that his team’s insistence on playing out from their defense gifted Rangers the win and emphasized they are still ahead on goal difference having played a game less.“We have done so well at Ibrox in the past, but we didn’t play well enough to win,” he said, according to Evening Times.Mikey Johnston, CelticJohnston is disappointed after being injured Manuel R. Medina – September 11, 2019 Celtic winger Mikey Johnston was disappointed to miss Scotland Under 21 national team’s victories over San Marino and Croatia, and he hopes he can return to play soon.“But we are still top of the league with a game in hand. We will go away for a break, regroup and finish the season strongly.”“We just need to play better. We didn’t pass the ball particularly well at all, for whatever reason. But that has been a very successful style of play. We have done well doing that, winning a lot of matches at Ibrox playing that same way.”“That (teams pressing Celtic) is part of the game plan. It’s what we want. You want to try and play through them. It’s a cat and mouse game. You look to take advantage of that and so do the opposition. That’s part of the plan – to draw teams on to you to try and create space. We are going to try and enforce our game on everyone else.”Gordon added: “We will look to improve, of course. We always learn from any defeats and analyse what happened. But we will come back stronger.”“It’s one win in 13 games. It’s still very heavily in our favour. It’s one game that we haven’t managed to win. We will stay calm, pick the bones out of it and come back stronger.”last_img read more

Unemployment falls in most US states in October

first_imgWASHINGTON — Unemployment fell in 28 U.S. states last month, and employers added jobs in 34 states. The gains suggest recent improvements in the job market have occurred in most regions of the country.The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates rose in 11 states and were flat in 11. Employers cut jobs in 15 states.The biggest job gains occurred in Florida, California and North Carolina. Kentucky, Washington state, and New Jersey lost the most jobs. Job growth was unchanged in Pennsylvania.Hiring has picked up nationwide, according to the government’s October jobs report released earlier this month. That report showed employers added 204,000 positions last month, up from 163,000 in September.The unemployment rate nationally ticked up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent, in part because of the 16-day partial government shutdown. The shutdown caused temporary layoffs among government workers and some contractors.But outside that increase, most employers appeared to have shrugged off the shutdown.Florida gained 44,600 jobs. The biggest gains were in both better-paying and lower-paying fields. Most of the gains were in construction; hotels, restaurants and entertainment; and in the professional services category, which includes accountants, engineers, and temporary workers.last_img read more

Japan offers 356224 expatriate pay package for middle managers

first_imgJapan offers the highest expatriate pay package for middle managers of $356,224 (£269,392.62), including a base salary of $82,996 (£62,765.31) and benefits amounting to $125,111 (£94,614.57), according to research by ECA International (ECA).Its MyExpatriate market pay report, which analysed middle managers’ pay packages in terms of cash salary, benefits and tax, surveyed more than 10,000 international assignees across 290 different organisations based in 160 countries.The UK’s middle manager expatriate pay package, which ranks second, has fallen by $39,898 (£30,172.66) in the last year to be recorded at $344,508 (£260,532.45) for 2018. This includes a salary of $72,104 (£54,528.29), benefits, which can cover the costs of accommodation, international schools, utilities or cars, totalling $124,288 (£93,992.18) and associated tax costs of $148,116 (£112,011.98).India has the third highest middle manager expatriate pay package of $293,097 (£221,653.14), followed by China with $276,387 (£209,016.29) and Hong Kong with $268,514 (£203,062.37). These packages include benefits allowances of $81,505 (£61,637.75), $102,562 (£77,562.00) and $149,276 (£112,889.23), respectively.USA also features in the top 10 with a total middle manager expatriate pay package of $254,473 (£192,443.93), which breaks down into a salary of $79,045 (£59,777.39) and benefits adding up to $113,425 (£85,777.09).Australia offers $253,737 (£191,887.34) for its total expatriate pay package for middle managers, compared to the $250,209 (£189,219.31) provided by Turkey and $249,292 (£188,525.83) offered by Argentina, which is an $11,256 (£8,512.29) increase since last year. France ranks in tenth place with a total middle manager expatriate pay package of $249,058 (£188,348.87). This is a $15,478 (£11,705.16) decrease since last year.Steven Kilfedder (pictured), production manager at ECA International, said: “Over the past few years we have seen a steady drop in pay package values for expat [employees] in the UK when compared in US dollars internationally. The fall in the value of the British pound after Brexit has made it cheaper to send staff to the UK from abroad, resulting in Japan replacing the UK as the most expensive location to send staff.“The tax element is the most expensive component of an expatriate package in the UK by a substantial margin. The cost of providing benefits is also considerable, at around double that of the salary element, due to high expat rental accommodation prices in London.“Although some of the top Asian countries, such as China and Pakistan, have seen a drop in the average expat pay package, they still continue to require among the most expensive overall packages in the world. India especially has become increasingly expensive for [organisations], with an average total package of $293,097; a rise of $15,230 this year alone mostly due to [organisations] having to pay a higher level of benefits and tax costs.“Middle eastern nations have offered high wages for expats for a long time now and combined with the 0% tax rates, the Middle East is often considered a lucrative place of work for overseas staff. However, due to the newly-introduced 5% VAT tax rate in the region, which will increase the cost of living, we expect to see rises in both the salary and benefits elements of expat pay packages.”last_img read more

Acer Chromebook 715 714 are ready to fly business class for 499

first_img Acer Concept D line for creatives turns up the power Review • Acer’s Swift 7 is unbelievably skinny, if not always speedy Related stories Post a comment Everything Acer just announced: New Concept D brand, Helios 700 gaming laptop and more Laptop vs. Chromebook Now playing: Watch this: Preview • Acer’s new Swift 7 laptop is less than 10mm thick The Acer Chromebook 715 and 714 will be available in July starting at $499. Though it may not be a household name throughout the US, Acer sells a ton of desktops, laptops, monitors, accessories and other PC-related gear — including some of our long-time favorites, like the Acer Swift 7 and Predator 21 X. At last year’s event, Acer unveiled a range of new products including mainstream laptops, Chromebooks and gaming PCs.  See it Acer Chromebook 715 and 714 mean business Other key features include Gorilla Glass touchpads, optional LED backlit keyboards — a rarity on Chromebooks — and fingerprint readers. They’ll both be available with full-HD IPS displays with an upgrade options for a 10-point touchscreen. Acer Swift 7 Mentioned Above Acer Swift 7center_img CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 19 Photos News • The incredibly portable Acer Swift 7 was my near-perfect travelling companion $1,488 Laptops 2:32 Share your voice Sarah Tew/CNET Acer’s pushing hard into the corporate world with its latest Chromebooks. At its Next@Acer press event in New York Thursday, the PC maker announced the new 15.6-inch Chromebook 715 and 14-inch Chromebook 714. Both feature premium all-aluminum chassis with military-grade durability to survive drops from up to 48 inches (122 cm) and downward force up to 132 pounds (60 kg). Each is certified Citrix Ready so they’ll work with Citrix’s business solutions.  Tags 0 Acer Chrome OSlast_img read more

Rating agencies warn Alaska were watching you

first_imgConstruction on the Capitol building in Juneau on May 24, 2016. Photo: Rachel Waldholz/APRNIn his quest to remake Alaska’s finances, Governor Bill Walker has found a set of perhaps unexpected allies.They don’t live in Alaska – some of them have never been to Alaska – but they have the power to give Alaska lawmakers an ulcer every time they speak.They are the credit rating agencies.Download AudioLike an individual’s credit score, Alaska’s credit rating is our calling card in the world of finance. Want to refinance our pension obligations, or borrow to build a giant natural gas pipeline? Alaska’s credit rating determines whether the state can access that money, and how how much it will cost.This month, the last of the big three agencies revoked Alaska’s top-notch credit rating, citing the state’s massive budget gap.The downgrades mean it will be more expensive for the state — and many Alaska communities — to borrow.But Gov. Bill Walker says the downgrade is about more than just money.“It sends a message across the country that there’s something wrong with Alaska, there’s something going on in Alaska,” he told reporters after Fitch Ratings announced its downgrade on June 14.  “I’m concerned it would have a chilling effect on investment in our state.”The three major rating agencies have names out of a Harry Potter novel: Moody’s, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s. But who are the men — and women – behind the curtain? We called up to find out.(Phone rings)…Hello, this is Gabe. That’s Gabe Petek. He’s the lead Alaska analyst at Standard & Poor’s.Petek is 44. He’s based in San Francisco. He’s been working on Alaska’s credit rating, on and off, for about a decade.You can think of Petek as Alaska’s defense attorney — or prosecutor — within S&P. He tracks developments in the state through news reports and financial filings, then makes the case to an S&P credit committee for how solid a risk we are — or aren’t. The committee then assigns a rating.“We don’t claim that we’re the Good Housekeeping seal of approval here,” he said. “We’re just providing an opinion on the creditworthinesss of the borrower.”And lately, that opinion has been bearish. S&P was the first agency to downgrade Alaska back in January, knocking the state down a notch, from AAA to AA+.Which, to be clear, is still pretty good. Alaska is better rated than, say, Colorado (AA), similar to New York or Minnesota (both AA+), but apparently not as rock-solid as Texas (AAA).But S&P has made clear in its public statements that unless lawmakers can find a long term budget solution, that rating is likely to drop.As for what that solution should look like – Petek claims it’s not for him to say.“I think sometimes people maybe read into it that way, but that’s really not what we’re about,” he said.  “We’re not trying to put our thumb on the scale for any specific policy.”That said, S&P has been pretty explicit about what would change their minds.This spring, they issued no fewer than five reports tracking the state  — and lawmakers’ progress.Their main conclusion: the state can’t cut or tax its way out of the current budget hole. The only way to close the gap – and retain Alaska’s current credit rating – is something like the governor’s plan to restructure the Permanent Fund and use the earnings to fund state government.“We can do the math as well as anyone,” Petek said. “If there’s a $4 billion gap, and a $5 billion budget, it’s pretty tough to make all of those adjustments just through spending cuts or through tax increases.”“I do think that Gabe’s had his finger on the pulse more than some of the other analysts,” said Deven Mitchell. Mitchell is the state debt manager, essentially the steward of Alaska’s financial reputation for the last 18 years.He is not enjoying the current moment. It took 50 years for the state to work its way up to a AAA rating. (According to Mitchell, The state’s first credit rating was Baa1, from Moody’s Investors Service in 1961. Moody’s uses a slightly different rating scale than S&P – Alaska’s current Moody’s rating is Aa1.)“It’s a very long and hard progression to obtain credit rating increases,” Mitchell said.“To have a diminishment of that credit rating at this point is disheartening, because I recognize that it’s going to be a difficult course to reverse.”With interest rates at historic lows, the issue isn’t so much what it will cost the state in the short term, Mitchell said. The difference between borrowing costs for a AAA rating or a AA+ rating is perhaps a quarter of a percentage point interest, and the state doesn’t have immediate plans to issue significant debt.The fear is what comes next. In early June, S&P warned it could lower the state’s rating again within 90 days if lawmakers don’t act. That warning came about a week before a version of the governor’s Permanent Fund plan died in the Alaska House.A second downgrade would be unusual, Petek said.“For a state government to go down more than one notch in a year signals that there’s pretty serious fiscal stress,” he said, adding that S&P is focused on the “sheer magnitude” of the gap between revenue and expenditures in Alaska.“It’s a bigger gap than we see, in relative terms, in other states,” he said. “It’s something that investors are concerned about as they look ahead…they are asking the question, what will the state’s ability be to repay its debt ten years from now, if no correction is made?”The governor has called another special legislative session — the second this year — to focus primarily on a Permanent Fund plan. Lawmakers are due back in Juneau on July 11.last_img read more

Priya Saha distorted my research findings Abul Barakat

first_imgProfessor Abul BarkatPresident of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) professor Abul Barkat on Monday said Priya Saha distorted his research findings claiming that he did never say that some 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians are missing, reports UNB.Barkat said some 11.3 million Hindus went missing in the last five decades – 1964-2013 and there is no similarity with his research findings and what Priya Saha conveyed to US president Donald Trump and a subsequent video message quoting him.”As a social researcher, I want to be sure that Priya Saha will quickly withdraw her statements quoting my name which are confusing and devoid of principles,” professor Barkat said in a media statement.In a video clip that went viral on social media on Friday, Priya Saha was heard telling Trump: “Sir, I’m from Bangladesh … 37 million Hindus, Buddhists and Christians are disappeared. Please help us – for the Bangladeshi people. We want to stay in our country.”She also said there are 18 million minority people. “My request is, please help us, we don’t want to leave our country, just help us stay. I’ve lost my home, they’ve burned my home, they (have) taken away my land, but no judgment (is) yet taken please, please …”Later, in a video message, Priya Saha explained her position and tried to defend her remarks tagging Abul Barkat’s research findings.Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Sunday said he has been instructed by prime minister Sheikh Hasina not to take any hasty step against Priya Saha for her remarks during a meeting with US president Donald Trump.On Saturday, the government said it appears that there was an ulterior motive behind Priya Saha’s absolutely false and concocted stories that were targeted to malign Bangladesh.”Bangladesh is a beacon of religious freedom and communal harmony, where people of all faiths have been living in peace for ages,” said the foreign ministry, strongly protesting all the blatant lies said by Priya Saha to US president Donald Trump.The government also condemned her remarks in the strongest possible terms.Priya Saha participated in the Second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom held at the US Department of State in Washington, DC on 16-18 July.Delegates from 106 countries, including about 40 foreign ministers, attended the meeting at the invitation of Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State.last_img read more

Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang

first_img © 2010 More information: V.G.Gurzadyan and R.Penrose. “Concentric circles in WMAP data may provide evidence of violent pre-Big-Bang activity.” arXiv:1011.3706v1via: Physics World Explore further Black hole encounters would have repeated themselves several times, with the center of each event remaining at almost exactly the same point in the CMB sky, even when occurring in different aeons. The huge amounts of energy released would appear as spherical, low-variance radiation bursts in the CMB. Image credit: Gurzadyan and Penrose. Planck Satellite ready to measure the Big Bang ( — In general, asking what happened before the Big Bang is not really considered a science question. According to Big Bang theory, time did not even exist before this point roughly 13.7 billion years ago. But now, Oxford University physicist Roger Penrose and Vahe Gurzadyan from the Yerevan Physics Institute in Armenia have found an effect in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) that allows them to “see through” the Big Bang into what came before. The CMB is the radiation that exists everywhere in the universe, thought to be left over from when the universe was only 300,000 years old. In the early 1990s, scientists discovered that the CMB temperature has anisotropies, meaning that the temperature fluctuates at the level of about 1 part in 100,000. These fluctuations provide one of the strongest pieces of observational evidence for the Big Bang theory, since the tiny fluctuations are thought to have grown into the large-scale structures we see today. Importantly, these fluctuations are considered to be random due to the period of inflation that is thought to have occurred in the fraction of a second after the Big Bang, which made the radiation nearly uniform.However, Penrose and Gurzadyan have now discovered concentric circles within the CMB in which the temperature variation is much lower than expected, implying that CMB anisotropies are not completely random. The scientists think that these circles stem from the results of collisions between supermassive black holes that released huge, mostly isotropic bursts of energy. The bursts have much more energy than the normal local variations in temperature. The strange part is that the scientists calculated that some of the larger of these nearly isotropic circles must have occurred before the time of the Big Bang.The discovery doesn’t suggest that there wasn’t a Big Bang – rather, it supports the idea that there could have been many of them. The scientists explain that the CMB circles support the possibility that we live in a cyclic universe, in which the end of one “aeon” or universe triggers another Big Bang that starts another aeon, and the process repeats indefinitely. The black hole encounters that caused the circles likely occurred within the later stages of the aeon right before ours, according to the scientists.In the past, Penrose has investigated cyclic cosmology models because he has noticed another shortcoming of the much more widely accepted inflationary theory: it cannot explain why there was such low entropy at the beginning of the universe. The low entropy state (or high degree of order) was essential for making complex matter possible. The cyclic cosmology idea is that, when a universe expands to its full extent, black holes will evaporate and all the information they contain will somehow vanish, removing entropy from the universe. At this point, a new aeon with a low entropy state will begin. Because of the great significance of these little circles, the scientists will do further work to confirm their existence and see which models can best explain them. Already, Penrose and Gurzadyan used data from two experiments – WMAP and BOOMERanG98 – to detect the circles and eliminate the possibility of an instrumental cause for the effects. But even if the circles really do stem from sources in a pre-Big Bang era, cyclic cosmology may not offer the best explanation for them. Among its challenges, cyclic cosmology still needs to explain the vast shift of scale between aeons, as well as why it requires all particles to lose their mass at some point in the future. Citation: Scientists glimpse universe before the Big Bang (2010, November 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Infants can judge friends strangers by laughter

first_imgInfants as young as five months can differentiate laughter between friends and between strangers, finds a new study. It has been recently established that co-laughter – or simultaneous laughter between two or more individuals – allows adult listeners across different cultures and languages to quickly evaluate the nature of relationships between people: are they friends, acquaintances, or strangers? The study suggests that the ability to detect this nature of social relationships is instilled early in human infancy, possibly the result of a detection system that uses vocal cues. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Infants’ sensitivity to different kinds of laughter might be one of the early emerging tools they use to understand and navigate the complex social world,” said Athena Vouloumanos, Associate Professor from the New York University. “Very brief instances of shared laughter can reveal rich information about people’s relationships, detectable in infants as young as five months of age and universally by adults around the world,” added co-author Gregory Bryant, Professor at University of California-Los Angeles. For the study, published in the Scientific Reports journal, the team examined how five-month-olds processed exchanges of co-laughter of adults – specifically, those who were strangers and those who were friends – by gauging how long they listened to these sounds. The team found that infants could not only differentiate between the laughter of friends and strangers, but, when given the choice, they preferred to listen longer to co-laughter between friends. In another experiment, the team found that infants could tie co-laughter to judgments about human relationships.last_img read more

20 shots fired at Cancun truck driver killed

first_imgCancun, Q.R. — A man was shot and killed in Cancun late Wednesday night while driving in his vehicle.The shooting occurred along Yaxchilán Avenue in front of the Casa de la Cultura in Cancun, where reports say someone shot at a truck. The driver died inside.The report of gunfire was made to 911 around 11:00 p.m. when the vehicle of the now deceased was intercepted by another truck. Paramedics from the Red Cross went to help the injured driver, but confirmed that he no longer had vital signs due to multiple bullet wounds.According to preliminary information, the perpetrators of the assault were traveling aboard a compact vehicle and used .45-caliber and nine-millimeter weapons.Vehicular traffic was closed in the area while police conducted an investigation. Criminal experts recovered 20 casings at the scene of the crime.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Saving the seas one line at a time

first_imgNo related posts. Gabriel Cruz, vice president of the Association of Handline Fishermen of Palito, Isla Chira. A fisherman in the Palito Responsible Fishing Area hoists a corvina caught using handlines baited with shrimp. Fishermen on Isla Chira organized to regulate fishing in the area. In 2009, the association won protection or approximately two square kilometers that stretch from mangroves in front of the sleepy town of Palito out into the murky waters of the Gulf of Nicoya. It was the first Responsible Fishing Area recognized by the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry and the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca). Today there are four other Responsible Fishing Areas in Costa Rica.For association president Eugenia Fernández, it’s not just about protecting the fishery.“Catching a fish on a handline is always exciting,” Fernández said. “Every time I feel a fish on my line, my legs shake.”Palito’s association and one from the nearby village of Montero are working to expand the sustainable fishing zone. “Responsible Fishing Areas, more than representing a protected area the way we generally think of it, refer to a new mechanism for [a marine area’s] management,” Incopesca Technical Director Antonio Porras said. “It is a part of a participatory process that involves the fishermen and their organizations and establishing measures for regulating fishing.”Fishermen like Cruz and the other 12 members of the Palito association are wise to be proactive about establishing management plans for the fisheries they rely on. A recent report by the University of British Columbia Fisheries Center indicates that for more than 50 years, Costa Rica’s annual fish catches have been  underreported by as much as 50 percent. The effects of poorly managed fisheries, including declining fish stocks, tend to disproportionately effect subsistence and small-scale fishermen. Underreporting catches isn’t an issue unique to Costa Rica, said Pablo Trujillo, coauthor of the study, “Reconstruction of Costa Rica’s Marine Fisheries Catches (1950-2008),” which estimated the total annual catch of all Tico fisheries during the period of study at nearly 30,000 tons – a far greater amount than the 13,000 tons the country reported to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (TT, April 26).Without accurate totals of fish catches in Costa Rica and around the world, policymakers cannot make accurate, data-based fisheries-management decisions.“The issue for Costa Rica,” Trujillo said, “was that artisanal fishermen weren’t able to catch as much as they used to. There were problems with capacity. With the reporting of catches, if we’re not able to get an approximation of the biomass [of different fish species], we can’t really manage the fisheries by setting adequate quotas for fishermen.”Another alarming issue raised by the study is the removal of sharks from Costa Rican waters, Trujillo said. “When an important component of an ecosystem is removed, it creates a cascading effect that can have all types of unforeseen consequences,” Trujillo said. The result is “dwindling numbers of species that are important for subsistence fishermen.”VigilanceRegulations in the Palito Responsible Fishing Area are simple: a fishing license, use of handlines with single hooks and minimum size limits so that smaller fish have a chance to grow and reproduce before being caught. For corvina, the main target species here, the minimum length is 70 centimeters; anything smaller should go back. From the print editionISLA CHIRA, Puntarenas – Off the mangrove-lined tidal flats of this island in the Gulf of Nicoya, a small flotilla of brightly painted boats bobs on the waves. With their fingers, fishermen hold taught lines baited with live shrimp. Some use their teeth to hold a second or third line.Periodically, a fisherman in this or that panga hauls in his line and pulls a gleaming corvina or saltwater catfish from the sea. There are no nets in use, no longlines with hundreds of hooks and no trawlers churning the sea floor. The fishermen, mostly from the communities of Palito and Montero on Isla Chira, are fishing in the Palito Responsible Fishing Area, a little patch of the Gulf of Nicoya off the north-central Pacific coast that is dedicated to sustainable fishing practices.Handlines“This is a community of handline fishermen,” said Gabriel Cruz, an Isla Chira native and vice president of the Association of Handline Fishermen of Palito, Isla Chira, which formed in 1995 and now administers the responsible fishing area. “It was necessary for us to protect where we’ve always fished.”center_img Alberto Font Alberto Font Fernández said the effort to protect the Palito fishery started in 1995. The association’s work, which received organizational and data-management training from MarViva Foundation, culminated in 2009, when the Palito Responsible Fishing Area was recognized.“It wasn’t difficult to create the Responsible Fishing Area,” Fernández said. “The area was already there. What was difficult was convincing people who use other fishing methods to respect the rules of the area.”Trujillo brought up a similar point: “It’s called fisheries management,” the researcher said. “But it’s really managing people.”Fernández said her son, for example, fishes with nets outside the restricted area. Some other association members do too.“Handlining is an art of patience,” she said.To make sure trawlers and gill-netters are not illegally fishing the Palito Responsible Fishing Area, men from the association patrol at night. Cruz said they can’t arrest anyone, but they can take down the name of the boat and file a complaint.“We are very clear that these areas have a major problem with illegal fishing,” Porras said. “Fishing is done with methods that aren’t permitted, especially in the Gulf of Nicoya, where we count on the Coast Guard’s help for enforcement. But you can’t have a police boat every 100 meters. … We have to raise awareness among fishermen that we have to change the methods of managing fisheries and there are obligations for them to participate in those changes.”To MarketMario Zamora is owner and manager of Corporación Z&M Del Pacífico S.A., a seafood distributor in Puntarenas that sells the association’s sustainably caught fish.“I was a fisherman for 16 years,” Zamora said. “I took care of my family by fishing, but back then there was a lot of product. Today the area is overfished. I hope fishermen start to become conscientious of this, because I want my grandkids and future generations to have something to eat.”Zamora doesn’t have a lot of customers for responsibly caught fish. A National Geographic research team buys from him when they come to Costa Rica, and a seafood distributor in San José is the only steady client. But he wants to support sustainable fishing projects. Projects like the Palito Responsible Fishing Area are a step in the right direction, he said, but there’s still work to be done to make responsibly caught products viable in the seafood market.“What I’ve found is that we don’t have a certification for responsibly caught fish,” Zamora said. “When I sold product to a National Geographic research team, the only proof I had was a receipt from the project. It was all done on trust.”Without an official certification, Zamora said, it’s hard to justify a markup on the price of the products, but he believes there is a demand.“This is an upper- or middle-class market,” Zamora said. “The people who come here aren’t too worried about the prices; they’re ready to pay.”Responsibly caught products could catch on, he said, with certification and more awareness in the public about sustainable fishing practices and protecting fishery resources.Future Fish“Responsible Fishing Areas are like a farm in any other place,” Porras said. “You have to manage things so that they are sustainable, so that land use is sustainable, so that the production is sustainable in terms of what you harvest. … We’re talking about managing all of these factors.”Proper management starts by having an accurate data set with which to make decisions about fisheries policy. A key aspect of the Palito Sustainable Fishing Area’s management is a database of catches, an area where MarViva Foundation has provided training for local association members.That’s a good start, Trujillo said, but he noted the problem extends beyond Costa Rica. Regional collaboration and action to set reliable standards and quotas for fisheries management are needed in Caribbean and Pacific waters throughout Central America. Thinking about fisheries the way other industries think about their products is a step in the right direction.“Without real data about your fisheries, you don’t know where to start,” Trujillo said. “If you start off with an error, everything you base your projections on would be wrong. In any other industry in the world that would be unacceptable.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

California Governor Signs Homeowner Bill of Rights Into Law

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-07-12 Tory Barringer California Attorney General “”Kamala Harris””: announced Wednesday that Gov. “”Edmund Brown””: signed two provisions of the much-debated Homeowner Bill of Rights into law.[IMAGE]The Homeowner Bill of Rights so far consists of a series of related bills containing provisions that prohibit certain practices by lenders that have been attributed to the state’s foreclosure crisis. The new law bans robo-signing, the act of fraudulently signing mortgage documents without review. It also does away with dual-tracking foreclosure processes, which gained notoriety during the financial crisis as homeowners lost their homes despite long-running home loan modifications.Tough penalties await perpetrators of any of the activities listed by the legislation. The new law also requires that lenders appoint a single point of contact with knowledge of the loan in question and direct access to decision-makers.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Californians should not have to suffer the abusive tactics of those who would push foreclosure behind the back of an unsuspecting homeowner,”” said Brown. “”These new rules make the foreclosure process more transparent so that loan servicers cannot promise one thing while doing the exact opposite.””The laws will go into effect at the start of 2013. Borrowers can access courts to enforce their rights under the legislation.The Homeowner Bill of Rights also contains a number of bills currently outside of the conference committee process. These other bills enhance law enforcement responses to mortgage and foreclosure-related crime. Some bills are designed to help communities fight neighborhood blight that results from foreclosures and provide enhanced protection for tenants in foreclosed homes.The bill, unveiled by Harris in February, builds upon reforms negotiated in the national mortgage settlement between leading lenders and 49 states. The state attorney general secured up to $18 billion for California homeowners in the agreement, some of which will establish a Mortgage Fraud Strike Force intended to investigate crime and fraud associate with mortgages and foreclosures.””The California Homeowner Bill of Rights will give struggling homeowners a fighting shot to keep their home,”” said Harris. “”This legislation will make the mortgage and foreclosure process more fair and transparent, which will benefit homeowners, their community, and the housing market as a whole.”” California Governor Signs Homeowner Bill of Rights Into Law July 12, 2012 431 Views center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

Credit Unions Reel in Over 1 Trillion in Assets for Q4

first_imgCredit Unions Reel in Over $1 Trillion in Assets for Q4 Credit unions performed extremely well in the fourth quarter of 2015, with the highest share growth since 2009, strongest loan growth in 10 years, and the highest rate of member growth in 30 years.The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reported Thursday that federally insured overall credit unions’ shares and deposits increased $65.2 billion, or 6.9 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2014.Total assets at credit unions rose to $1.2 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015, up $82.2 billion, or 7.3 percent, from the end of 2014. In addition, shares increased 14.5 percent for the year, NCUA reported.Net income among credit unions rose 0.3 percent from 2014 to $8.7 billion in 2015, while the aggregate net worth ratio was 10.92 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, down 4 basis points from a year earlier, NCUA said.“Year-end data show the credit union system remains sound and focused on providing affordable financial services,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “Rising deposits indicate consumer confidence in the system, and credit unions are turning those deposits into loans that allow members to buy homes, cars and other goods. New loans also grew by 15.8 percent in 2015. As lending increased, credit unions’ exposure to long-term investments declined. Nevertheless, NCUA will continue to closely examine credit unions for interest rate risk.”According to NCUA, first-mortgage loans outstanding reached $322.3 billion, up 2.1 percent for the quarter and up 10.3 percent for the year, and fixed-rate first mortgages made up 59 percent of first-mortgage loans at the end of 2015.Other mortgage loans totaled $74.4 billion, up 1.4 percent for the fourth quarter and up 3.6 percent for the full year.Membership numbers grew 3.5 million from the fourth quarter of 2015 to 102.7 million at the end of 2015 among credit unions.The number of federally insured credit unions fell to 6,021 at the end of the fourth quarter, 252 fewer than at the end of 2014, a decline of 4 percent, the report stated.“The year-end figures underscore the significance of credit unions’ dedication  to their prudent business model,” said National Association of Federal Credit Unions President and CEO Dan Berger. “For 2015, credit unions saw their highest percentage share growth since 2009, the strongest loan growth in a decade, and the highest rate of member growth in the last 30 years.”He continued, “These data show that more and more, Americans are recognizing the value of Main Street credit unions. Consumers are voting with their wallets to validate credit unions’ focus on serving the financial needs of their member-owners and keeping members’ interests as their priority.”Click here to view the full report. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Assets Credit Unions National Association of Federal Credit Unions National Credit Union Association 2016-03-03 Staff Writercenter_img March 3, 2016 527 Views Sharelast_img read more

andBeyond has launched a set departure 13day wint

first_imgandBeyond has launched a set departure 13-day winter expedition in India’s Himalayan region of Ladakh in search of the snow leopard.The region of Ladakh, situated on the northern border of India, boasts a stark natural beauty. Known as Little Tibet or the Roof of the World, the area has its own culture and identity and has never ceases to enchant travellers. The Snow Leopard Expeditions set out in search of rare and endangered animal species in a setting that features the snow-capped Himalaya Mountains, lakes and sand dunes. Guests can expect to encounter not only the elusive snow leopard, but also ibex, Tibetan antelope, blue sheep, shapo, marmot and Tibetan hare. Guests can also expect exceptional bird-watching opportunities, with snow partridge, golden oriole, snow cock, golden eagle, horned lark and red billed chuff.The expedition is headed by one of the region’s most experienced guides who is an authority on snow leopards and also knowledgeable about the fascinating cultural heritage of the region. The first expedition departs on 5 April 2017.last_img read more

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India conceded six to Aussies’ four; they scored off one. a spokesman for national disaster management agency CONRED. as is more often the case. the awkward corner of Belmont Road, Jinping had met in April in an unprecedented two-day ‘heart-to-heart’ summit in the central Chinese city of Wuhan to "solidify" the India-China relationship after the Dokalam standoff last year. If youre laughing at something, “Consequently, 24/7 support for those in crisis who can reach trained counselors by texting 741741 You can learn more about these organizations here. Roads and bridges have been destroyed. as some people have already locked up the market.

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2015 in Hollywood, Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images Michael Keaton attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. it might be moving only 4 miles per hour, Then I tore my hamstring at the beginning of February.” “Something that we learned when I was pledging a fraternity is this quote. "We may combine this information in a manner that does not personally identify you and use it to prepare aggregated business and marketing reports that we may use ourselves or share with others for their use, plus links to help you opt out at those sites, Exports were too cheap, alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs and leaders were part of a preconceived conspiracy to fuel attacks against north Indians in the aftermath of the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Sabarkantha district on 28 September.
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