23 killed as cloud burst causes flood in Poks Neelum Valley

first_imgIslamabad: At least 23 people were killed and several others are missing after a cloudburst caused flash flood in the Neelum Valley of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir, officials said. A large number of homes in the Laswa area of the Valley were damaged and dozens of people were swept away in the flooding caused by relentless rainfall after the cloudburst over night. “The Laswa area of the valley was badly hit where many house were swept away. There were also reports of landsliding in some areas. A total of 23 people have been killed,” Syed Al-Rehman Qureshi, Director of Operations, State Disaster Management Authority, said. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping He said several people, including women and children, are still missing. Landslides were also reported in the area and officials said many structures in the Laswa’s main market, including two mosques, were completely destroyed. Traffic flow in the area has been severely disrupted, while cell phone and internet services are also affected. Teams including officials from the district administration, disaster management authority and local police are conducting rescue operations in the area. Last week, a flood hit several villages in Golen Gol area of Chitral district after a glacial lake burst its banks overnight, toppling electricity poles and inundating roads and farmlands, the Express Tribune reported. The glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) occurred after the Jam Ashpar glacier a popular tourist destination in Chitral exploded overnight, it said.last_img read more

Theyre home Hike to see Banff bison a spiritual journey for group

first_imgBANFF, Alta. — Marie-Eve Marchand and Tanealle Shade stand on a grassy knoll in Alberta’s Banff National Park hoping to catch a glimpse of the bison herd.As they look at a small warden’s cabin, Marchand raises her binoculars to Divide Pass.“They’re there, they’re there,” she says.Marchand, who was part of the Bison Belong campaign to bring the animals back to Banff, looks a few more times to make sure she’s not imagining things, then passes the binoculars to Tanealle.“I just froze and just a little tear ran down my face,” says Tanealle, 15. “I never thought I’d see the day when we had free-roaming buffalo.“They’re home.”The herd of wild plains bison, which was reintroduced in the park in 2017, has been free to roam in 1,200 square kilometres of backcountry on the park’s northeast side for the past year.“They are incredibly adaptable,” says Karsten Heuer, manager of the park’s bison reintroduction project.“For them to come back after a 140-plus year absence and integrate and adopt the landscape to the extent that they have has really been rewarding to witness.”Most of the 36 animals have stuck together, other than three lone bulls that are off on their own.Marchand puts her fingers to her ears — mimicking bison horns — and quietly says “buffalo” to alert others in the group. They walk over and take turns with the binoculars. Others shed tears as they spot the herd, which included two new calves.The group of women is one of the first to see the herd since they were brought back to Banff, but their trek was far from easy.They met at the Bighorn campground on a Saturday evening to get organized for a week-long trip into the rugged backcountry.They hitched a wagon ride to the park boundary with a local outfitter, hiked more than 65 kilometres, carried more than 20 kilograms of weight on their backs and crossed numerous creeks in their quest to find the bison.All the while, they saw signs: a bison wallow, bison tracks on the trails, fresh bison dung.Each of the women on the backcountry hike have a connection to bison — or buffalo, as they are traditionally known by Indigenous people.Tanealle’s grandfather, Leroy Little Bear, is involved with the Buffalo Treaty, an agreement between First Nations in the United States and Canada to protect and restore bison herds in the wild.Kansie Fox, an environmental protection manager, and Diandra Bruised Head, a climate change co-ordinator, work with the Blood Tribe or Kainai First Nation in southern Alberta.Fox says they are working to bring buffalo back on the reservation as a way to connect Blackfoot people to their history.“I just wanted to be a part of it to see if we could join forces in whatever we are trying to do in order to support the buffalo coming back,” she says.It felt like a dream to see the buffalo in the Rockies, she says.“We’re so used to seeing them out on the plains and to see them here in the mountains is so cool,” says Fox.Bruised Head says she was looking for a place to make a tobacco offering when the bison were spotted.“It left me speechless,” she says. “They are my relatives, they are my cousins, they are what connect me to my ancestors. It was almost sacred seeing them, even in the distance, letting them be wild.”Glinis Buffalo, a member of the Samson Cree Nation south of Edmonton, says she’s always wanted to see buffalo in the wild.“It took me a second to see them, but then when I spotted them, I actually just put the binoculars back down because I was actually kind of shocked,” she says. “I couldn’t even stare at them for more than a second.”She says it was a beautiful sight to see these “tiny specks of brown” off in the distance.“It made me think about when my ancestors, who would hunt, and that’s probably what they would see,” she says. “So this is how they felt when they spotted a herd of buffalo to go hunt.’”Heuer says he’s heard from five different groups that have attempted to see the bison in the Banff backcountry.“It’s not a super easy place to access,” he says. “Even if you do go back there, everything has to come together for you to actually see the animals. They are quite ghost-like a lot of the time, despite their size.“It’s a pretty massive, complex landscape to find them in.”Marchand says she had her doubts about whether the group would see the bison, but she had a good feeling.“I can’t believe how lucky we were,” she says. “But we believed it — and we did it.”Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Argentina takes issue with the US on China comments at G20

first_imgBUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Argentine officials are distancing themselves from the U.S. version of how they view China trade after a meeting during the Group of 20 summit.White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Presidents Donald Trump and Mauricio Macri met Friday and “reiterated their shared commitment” to face challenges including “predatory Chinese economic activity.”But a senior Argentine official told The Associated Press later that the “adjective used by Sanders is too strong and doesn’t reflect” Argentina’s relationship with Beijing. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.China is one of Buenos Aires’ top trading partners and the main importer of Argentine agricultural commodities that are the backbone of its economy.The U.S.-China trade war has eclipsed the two-day G-20 gathering with the world wondering if Trump and Xi can reach a truce on a dispute that has rattled markets. The two leaders will meet on the sidelines at a high-stakes dinner in Buenos Aires on Saturday. Most analysts doubt they will reach any overarching deal this weekend that would settle the conflict, but if the two sides agree to a cease-fire, it could buy time for more substantive talks.Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Presslast_img read more

UN underlines need for disaster preparedness in Asian region

22 October 2010Given their vulnerability to floods, cyclones and other extreme weather events, Asian countries must incorporate disaster risk reduction strategies into their national plans to enhance their readiness to respond to climate change, the United Nations agency tasked with minimizing the threat posed by natural disasters said today. “Disaster risk reduction offers concrete solutions to deal with current weather variability and is an essential part of climate change adaptation,” said Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, ahead of the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, set to start next week.The four-day meeting hosted by the Republic of Korea’s National Emergency Management Agency is being held only four months after the worst floods in Pakistan’s history, which saw one-fifth of the country inundated and an estimated 20 million people affected. The catastrophic floods are estimated to have caused more than $43 billion in damage.Floods in China and Vietnam also caused many deaths and extensive damage this year.The Asian ministerial conference is expected to adopt a five-year regional ‘roadmap’ on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, including capacity-building activities, strengthened information sharing and solutions to manage climate risks through the use of technology.The meeting will also be an opportunity for governments in the Asian region to reaffirm their commitments to the Hyogo Framework of Action – the 10-year plan of action to reduce disaster-related losses which was adopted by governments in 2005. read more

TSX posts tripledigit loss New York markets mixed as commodities slide

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market posted a triple-digit decline as indications of a further weakening in China’s economy contributed to a big drop in crude oil prices.The S&P/TSX composite index ended the day down 107.40 points at 13,383.69 after tumbling 288.35 points, or more than two per cent, on Tuesday.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 50.58 points at 16,279.89 after an almost 180-point drop Tuesday, while the broader S&P 500 index gave back 3.98 points to 1,938.76 and the Nasdaq edged down an identical 3.98 points to 4,752.74.On commodity markets, the November crude contract fell $1.88 to settle at US$44.48 a barrel while the October contract for natural gas fell 0.8 of a cent to US$2.569 per thousand cubic feet.The December gold contract rose $6.70 to US$1,131.50 an ounce. December copper was virtually flat at US$2.30 a pound after tumbling nine cents on Tuesday.The Canadian dollar was down 0.51 of a U.S. cent at 74.92 cents US. read more

Higher stock prices and home price gains lift US household wealth to

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014.Household net worth jumped nearly $3 trillion during last year’s fourth quarter to $80.7 trillion. Stock and mutual fund portfolios gained nearly $1.7 trillion, or 9 per cent, according to a Thursday report by the Federal Reserve.The value of Americans’ homes rose just over $400 billion, a 2 per cent gain. And checking account balances, pensions plan assets and retirement savings, such as 401(k)s, also increased.Strong wealth gains tend to trigger more consumer spending, a critical fuel for economic growth. Higher household net worth is one reason economists have forecast that the U.S. economy will accelerate later this year.Household wealth, or net worth, reflects the value of homes, stocks, bank accounts and other assets minus mortgages, credit cards and other debts.Last year, home prices nationwide rose by the most in eight years. And the Standard & Poor’s 500 index of large stocks jumped 32 per cent. So far this year, home-price gains have slowed, and the S&P 500 has risen just 1.4 per cent.Rising home prices are helping people rebuild ownership stakes in their homes. The equity that Americans as a whole have in their homes has reached 51.7 per cent, the highest point since before the recession began. That’s up from a record low of 36.5 per cent in the first three months of 2009.The Great Recession hammered Americans’ net worth, cutting their overall wealth to $55.6 trillion in the first quarter of 2009. That was 19 per cent below the pre-recession peak of $68.8 trillion.U.S. wealth has since recovered. But households haven’t benefited equally. Much of the rebound stems from stock market gains. Yet roughly 10 per cent of households own about 80 per cent of stocks. Most middle-class wealth stems from home ownership, and house prices nationwide remain below the peak reached in the spring of 2006.The Fed’s figures aren’t inflation-adjusted and don’t account for population growth.Last month, economists at Ohio State University adjusted for both factors and concluded that, as of mid-2013, the net worth of the average U.S. household is still 14 per cent below the pre-recession peak.Still, rising wealth and an improving economy are encouraging more Americans to take on debt, which can be a sign of confidence. Total household debt ticked up 0.4 per cent in the quarter, mostly because Americans took out more auto and student loans.But that doesn’t mean consumers are returning to pre-recession habits of building up excessive debt. Mortgage debt fell last quarter, as it has in almost every quarter for the past five years.And after-tax income is ticking up, making it easier for Americans to finance their debts. Total household debt as a percentage of income was largely flat in the fourth quarter compared with the previous three months, at 109 per cent. But that’s down from a peak of 135 per cent at the end of 2007, just before the recession.___Contact Chris Rugaber on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/ChrisRugaber Higher stock prices and home price gains lift US household wealth to record $80 trillion by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Mar 6, 2014 11:25 am MDT FILE – In this Wednesday, March 5, 2014, file photo, specialist Brian Egan, foreground left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) read more

Big 3 of Djokovic Nadal Federer closes 2018 ranked 123

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the top three in the year-end ATP rankings for the first time since 2014.It is the seventh time that trio of tennis greats is 1-2-3 to close a season.Never before, though, had each spent some time in the top spot during the same year.For the 31-year-old Djokovic, it marks the fifth time he has closed a year at No. 1, following 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. Only Pete Sampras, with six year-end No. 1 finishes, has more.No. 2 Nadal concludes a season in the top two for the 10th time, trailing only Federer’s 11.No. 3 Federer is in the year-end top three for a record 14th time.___More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsHoward Fendrich, The Associated Press read more

Unionists demand removal of Sinn Féin posters from bonfires

first_img One is taken as the norm, outrage over the other. That both would be placed on a bonfire is abhorrent. Hate is hate. pic.twitter.com/G4XiStzrnu— Conor Keenan (@AnPhoblachtAbu) July 6, 2014 Source: Conor Keenan/Twitter The inclusion of the posters on the fires just days before the 12 July celebrations sparked condemnation on all sides in the North.Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt called on those responsible to remove the posters immediately and to “show respect for those of differing opinions”.“It is perfectly possible to celebrate one’s cultural identity without having to resort to burning election posters or seeking to offend anyone else. THE ULSTER UNIONIST Party has called for “respect” after election posters of Sinn Féin and Alliance Party candidates were placed on loyalist bonfires.Posters of Alliance Party MLA Anna Lo had appeared on bonfires in both Bangor and Carrickfergus, while Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson’s poster was also on the pyre in Bangor. The bottom line is that you cannot ask to be shown respect if you yourself are not prepared to show respect to others.Sinn Féin MLA David McKay said that the incident was a “hate crime”.“We have heard in recent days unionist politicians and the Orange Order speaking of tolerance and respect.Despite this election posters, Irish tricolours and other flags such as the Polish flag and effigies, including one of Fr Matt Wallace and Michael McIlveen have been burnt on bonfires.“These are hate crimes against sections of our community and should be treated as such.”Speaking to UTV, Lo herself called for respect.“It’s mutual respect. I have no problem with people celebrating the Twelfth with bonfires and I know they want their culture to be respected and I think that’s the right thing to do, but really if they want people to respect their culture they need to respect other people’s culture and religion as well.”Read: Peace process should not be put at risk over parades – AdamsRead: Hopes of getting through marching season ‘without public disorder on our streets’last_img read more

At times there can be just two gardaí policing three separate feuds

first_img Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie POLICING OF A number of different feuds in the Longford region is reaching breaking point as officers attempt to quell tensions between a number of gangs despite having just a handful of gardaí to police the area.Officers based in the region have a plentiful amount of garda cars as well as an overtime budget to make use of but there aren’t enough actual members of gardaí to utilise these opportunities, according to those familiar with the situation on the ground.In recent weeks, armed units were dispatched to the area such was the fear of significant violence and even death. In the last eight weeks, gardaí have been sent to four separate stabbings as well as incidents of arson. These are just the incidents which gardaí were called to. Many officers believe there to be a considerably higher number of violent incidents in recent months. The feud centres around a number of families belonging to the Traveller community. Intimidation and violence is commonplace among the protagonists. Shots have been fired at homes, innocent family members have been threatened and intimidated and assaults are common.Several garda members have been drafted in to support Longford from stations such as Ballymahon and Lanesboro, but the net effect is that other communities are going without proper policing so that Longford’s feud problem can be in some way quelled. There are times in the Longford area where there are just two members of gardaí to police the entire county, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. Garda David Conroy, who is the Garda Representative Association (GRA) spokesperson for the area, said that morale in Longford is at an all-time low and that the area is in need of a significant investment in garda members so the force is able to police correctly. He told TheJournal.ie: “What we have in Longford is essentially the opposite to what is happening in Donegal. We have loads of cars and overtime but we have nobody to drive the cars and carry out the work. There is overtime there, in fairness, but nobody wants to avail of it because of the workload they already have. “Imagine you have 30 files on your books and you take the overtime, now you have 33 to do and there’s not enough time. You might get the bit of overtime, but you’ll get the stress of it as well.” There has been somewhat of a reduction in violent incidents in the area since the seizure of a shotgun and cartridges last week. Two women have been charged in relation to this incident. For now, armed members will continue intermittently patrol some of the areas which officers believe could be targeted. However, Conroy added that the only way that Longford will remain safe is when more officers are drafted in on a permanent basis. “That’s what’s needed. I know we’re blue in the face saying it at this stage but it doesn’t change what we need. What we want is the law-abiding people of Longford to be able to go about their business without fear of violence on their streets.”In a statement to TheJournal.ie, An Gardaí Síochána said: “Gardaí in Longford and Granard Districts are to be assisted by Western Region Armed Support Units as part of Operation Stola, designed to manage the ongoing incidents of violence linked to criminal activity in Co Longford.“Investigating Gardaí in Longford and Granard Districts have conducted a number of arrests as part of this operation, and up to 15 individuals are presently before the courts for offences linked directly to the ongoing investigations. In addition, a number of files are in preparation or have been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.”  Wednesday 11 Sep 2019, 12:05 AM Armed gardai on the streets of Longford in June. Image: Eamonn Farrell via RollingNews.ie https://jrnl.ie/4801761 Wed 12:06 AM Share2 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img ‘At times there can be just two gardaí policing three separate feuds’: Longford gangs exploiting skeletal garda cover Armed units were dispatched to the county at the start of June. By Garreth MacNamee Short URL 22,169 Views 30 Comments Armed gardai on the streets of Longford in June. last_img read more

Fishing report 1106

first_imgSalmon fishing continues to be focused on the three tributaries with strong runs of late coho — the Cowlitz, Lewis and Klickitat rivers.The Cowlitz River is flowing at 10,000 cubic feet per second at Mayfield Dam. That’s a fishable flow, but much higher and the water gets gnarly.The North Fork of the Lewis on Wednesday was at 5,640 cubic feet per second, which is only about 20 percent higher than normal.The Klickitat was flowing steady at 1,100 cubic feet per second. Normal for the date is 780 cfs.Swift Reservoir remains open through Nov. 30. The reservoir is 13 feet below full pool, so launching will not be a problem. No current report of fishing success is available.Angler sampling by the Washington (WDFW) and Oregon (ODFW) departments of Fish and Wildlife:Lower Columbia — Longview, two boaters and six bank rods with no catch. (WDFW)Prescott Beach, six bank rods with two coho kept. (ODFW)Kalama, five bank rods with three coho kept and three coho released. (WDFW)Woodland, three bank rods with no catch. (WDFW)Warrior Rock to Kelley Point, three boaters with two coho kept. (WDFW)Troutdale, 18 boaters with no catch. (WDFW)Camas-Washougal, 10 boaters with one adult chinook kept; two boaters with one legal and two sublegal sturgeon released; two boaters with four walleye kept. (WDFW)North Bonneville, seven bank rods with one jack chinook kept. (WDFW)Mid-Columbia — Bonneville pool, 26 boat rods with six adult chinook, one jack chinook and 29 adult coho kept. (WDFW)John Day pool, 30 boats with five steelhead kept and seven released. (ODFW)Cowlitz — Forty-seven boater with 41 adult coho, one jack coho and two cutthroat trout kept plus 23 adult coho and one cutthroat released; 306 bank rods with 187 adult coho, five steelhead and nine cutthroat trout kept plus 40 adult chinook, 54 adult coho and one cutthroat trout released. (WDFW)Kalama — Six bank rods with no catch. (WDFW)Lewis — Eleven bank rods with one adult coho kept; ; five boaters with one adult coho kept and one released. (WDFW)North Fork Lewis — Fifty-four boaters with 49 adult coho, two jack coho and three adult chinook kept plus 10 adult chinook, five adult coho and two jack coho released; 149 bank rods with 49 adult coho and nine jack coho kept plus nine adult coho, five jack coho and one adult chinook released. (WDFW)Klickitat — Six boaters with 12 adult coho kept; 65 bank rods with 176 adult coho, one adult chinook, one jack chinook and one steelhead kept plus one adult chinook released. (WDFW)last_img read more

The Wilmington Insider For November 16 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below is a round-up of what’s going on in Wilmington on Friday, November 16, 2018:Happening Today:Weather: Rain, mainly before 10am. High near 42. Northeast wind 6 to 16 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.At Wilmington Public Schools: The Wilmington High School’s Lamplighters’ Drama Guild is ready to entertain you with its production of She Kills Monsters. Shows will be held on Friday, November 16 at 7pm and Saturday, November 17 at 2pm and 7pm in the Wilmington High School Auditorium. Tickets cost $5 for students, seniors (65 and over), and military, and $10 for adults. Tickets can be purchased in advanced at http://www.WilmingtonCATS.org or http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3821891. Tickets will also be sold at the door.In The Community: The Wilmington Rotary Club is excited to announce its Annual Auction at the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall (112 Middlesex Avenue). Doors open at 6pm. Auction begins at 7pm.Local businesses are donating items to be auctioned off, and there is a free buffet and cash bar available, as well as a “wine wall.”This is the Rotary Club’s big fundraiser, and proceeds go towards scholarships for graduating Wilmington seniors, as well as the various projects that the Club does around town, including improvements to Rotary Park, donations to the library and the public schools, and various youth organizations. Proceeds will also benefit Rotary International initiatives, including efforts to eradicate polio, develop clean water projects, and the homelessness and hunger initiative.At the conclusion of the night, the Club will draw the winning raffle tickets, for the following prizes:Grand Prize – $10,000Two Second Place Prizes – $1,000Two Third Place Prizes – $500Four Fourth Place Prizes – $250Only 350 tickets are being sold. Tickets cost $100 each.  For tickets or more information, please contact John Doherty at 978 658-3805.In The Community: The Aleppo Shriners will be holding its annual Festival of Trees on Friday, November 16 (5pm to 8pm); Saturday, November 17 (10am to 5pm); and Sunday, November 18 (10am to 4pm) at the Shriners Auditorium (99 Fordham Road).This event features a large number of beautiful trees with lots of presents to raffle.  The event also features Photos with Santa, Holiday Music, Delicious Treats, DIY Holiday Crafts, Scavenger Hunt, and Aleppo Clowns, plus the HONS Craft Fair.Admission costs just $1. (Children 3 and under are free.)  Proceeds from the event will benefit the Aleppo Shriners General Fund.  For more information, contact David Veo at 617-777-3303 or Laura Veo at 617-908-8513, or email AleppoTreeFeztival2018@gmail.com.At The Library: Needleworkers at 10am. R.E.A.D. Middle Grade Book Club: Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes at 3:45pm. [Learn more and register HERE.]At The Senior Center: Video Exercise at 10am. Doris Craft 10am. Special Exercise at 11am. Bingo at 1pm. Cards at 1:30pm. [Learn more HERE.]Live Music: Pacific Grove (211 Lowell Street) is hosting Karaoke from Winnell Entertainment at 8pm.(NOTE: What did I miss? Let me know by commenting below, commenting on the Facebook page, or emailing wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. I may be able to update this post.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Saturday, August 3, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”The Wilmington Insider For November 1, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Friday, July 19, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

Who dominated the first Democratic debate on Twitter Warren Trump

first_img Comment Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X The Cheapskate Some of the Democratic candidates got more attention on Twitter than others.  Getty Images Even though the 2020 election is more than a year away, debate season is upon us. As 10 Democratic presidential candidates took the stage for the first time Wednesday night, folks on Twitter were primed for meme-able moments and general buzz. Data from Twitter Wednesday shows that the top-tweeted moments of the night were Cory Booker speaking in Spanish (he wasn’t the first or only candidate to do so); Elizabeth Warren saying she had a plan to “deal with” House Speaker Mitch McConnell; and the technical difficulties around some mics left on.The most tweeted-about candidates on the stage for the Democratic debate were:Elizabeth WarrenCory BookerJulián CastroBeto O’RourkeAmy KlobucharTulsi GabbardWhen it came to the most tweeted-about US politicians, though, President Donald Trump took the top spot, followed by Warren, Booker, Castro, President Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders (who will participate in Thursday’s debate). Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. $299 at Amazon $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $60 at Best Buy DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Sarah Tew/CNET Chris Monroe/CNET $210 at Best Buy $999 $999 Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Sarah Tew/CNET Tags Boost Mobile TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $520 at HP Politics,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Read DJI Osmo Action preview Tags An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Read Lenovo Smart Clock review The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Sarah Tew/CNET Angela Lang/CNET Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). $59 at eBay Share your voice I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. 7:49 HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Now playing: Watch this: $999 $155 at Google Expresscenter_img Read the AirPods review Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) $6 at Tidal Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) See at Amazon Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Turo: Save $30 on any car rental See It See it See at Turo Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Share your voice Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Sprint Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Read the Rylo camera preview See It Amazon Rylo Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Comments See It Read Google Home Hub review 1 Turo Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Senators grill Twitter and Facebook over alleged political… Apple iPhone XS $999 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET 7last_img read more

Mudra Bank Start up India to shore up MSMEs

first_imgWith the opening of the Mudra Bank and Start up India programme, credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that is a big issue will now change for the better, according to the author of a new report on the subject.Institute of Small Enterprise and Development (ISED) director P.M.Mathew, who has prepared the report that will be launched by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra at Mumbai’s World Trade Centre on Thursday, 26 November, said the new steps by the government in 2015, such as Mudra Bank’s setting up, and Start up India have helped to broad base credit in the Indian economy, especially for MSMEs and other micro-level economic activities.”This, unlike the ‘Loan Melas’ of the 1970s, are likely to make a significant impact on enterprise activities at the ‘bottom of pyramid’,” he said.Mathew said that the international data shows that small business loans on the balance sheets of banks are down about 20% since the 2008 global financial crisis, while loans to larger businesses have risen by about 4% over the same period.SME lending is shrinking with bank loans to SMEs in the US have been falling as a proportion of total loans over the years, he said, adding that this is true of many other European countries as well.”Fortunately, in India, non-profit lenders, crowd funders, and other online lenders are stepping up to fill the gap. These lenders are often leveraging technology to access creditworthiness, underwrite, and service loans while traditional lenders can’t or don’t want to service anymore,” said Mathew.last_img read more

Ctg worlds cheapest place to scrap ships but its people who pay

first_imgShipbreakers cut up a beached vessel for scrap in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo: The Guardian Mohamed Edris’s life as he knew it in the Bangladeshi ship recycling yards ended at 11.30am on Saturday 11 April 2015. The 38-year-old metal cutter had been working with 100 others on the 19,600-tonne container ship Eurus London at the Ferdous Steel Corporation shipyard in Chittagong when catastrophe struck.His task had been to cut away the huge 40-tonne propeller with a blow torch. Alarm bells rang, he said, when he saw that a large metal platform had been placed below the propeller to stop it falling into the mud on the beach.“I told the supervisor and two others that it was dangerous because it could bounce back when the propeller fell. I told them I could not do it, but they insisted that I did,” he said. He obeyed and nearly died. The propeller broke free, hit the metal plate and sprung back as he predicted. It sliced off his left leg below the knee, blinded him in one eye and nearly broke his back, says The Guardian in an article published on 2 December.The yard paid for his hospital treatment, gave him Tk 125,000 (£1,142) compensation and Tk 460 (£4.32) a week for nine months. Now he, and the seven family members he supported, rely on handouts from friends. But in a legal test case Zodiac Maritime, the London-based shipping company that managed the Eurus London until it was sold for scrap, could be held responsible, the article adds.In a case that could see British, American and European shipowners and managers being made liable for the many deaths and accidents that take place every year in Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani shipbreaking yards, UK law firm Leigh Day is suing Zodiac for negligence on behalf of Edris. It claims that Zodiac, which manages about 150 large ships and is owned by Eyal Ofer, son of the late Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, should have known how dangerous the Chittagong breaking yards were when the vessel was sold for scrap to GMS, a US-based “cash buyer” or middle man.“Zodiac knew, or ought to have known, that there was a foreseeable risk of physical harm to workers when they allowed their vessel to be sold to a Chittagong yard through a cash buyer,” says Martyn Day, a director of Leigh Day.New legal action is needed, say environmentalists and unions, because of the steady number of deaths and injuries to workers. On one level, shipbreaking is one of the world’s “greenest” industries, with every nut, bolt and sheet of metal on a ship being recycled. It also employs hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s poorest countries. But, say critics, owners knowingly cause suffering to workers by sending their ships to be recycled on Asian beaches. British-based companies have sent 28 ships to be beached in the past two years, including six to Chittagong. Two vessels waiting to be dismantled in that yard last week were managed by Zodiac.“Shipowners shield themselves from responsibility through the use of cash buyers. These scrap dealers sell off the ships for the highest price offered,” says Ingvild Jenssen, director of Shipbreaking Platform, a Brussels-based coalition of environmental, human rights and labour groups. “All ships that end up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan or India pass through cash buyers, and all sales to cash buyers are clearly scrap deals where the higher price paid indicates that the vessel will be beached.”Shipbreaker Mohamed Edris has lost his left leg and blinded in one eye by the accident. Photo: The GuardianMore than 800 large ships are broken up each year, the vast majority on Asian beaches. Owners can earn an extra $1m to $4m (£740,000 to £2.96m) per ship when selling to Asian yards via cash buyers, instead of opting for recycling yards with higher standards, says Jenssen. “No one forces the industry to send ships to be dismantled there. They choose to send them,” she says.Edris, who came to Chittagong aged 14 and who, until his accident, worked six 14-hour shifts a week, earning £3.20 a day, is one of thousands of workers who have been injured in the yards since they appeared in the 1960s. There are no official statistics but labour groups say that in the past 10 years there have been more than 125 deaths, according to The Guardian.Chittagong is now the world’s largest shipbreaking centre, last year recycling 230 ships and generating 10m tonnes of steel – up to 60% of all the steel used in Bangladesh. Most of the workers migrate from rural areas. Hired out in gangs, they live in overcrowded shacks close to the yards. The Ferdous yard is like many others. Hidden behind high metal gates, it slopes down to the Bay of Bengal. It can take months for young men, wielding only sledgehammers and metal cutters, to dismantle a large vessel.“Chittagong is the cheapest place to scrap ships but the price is suffering. Nine men have died here this year. Nobody feels responsible for these men’s lives,” says Muhammed Ali Shahin, Bangladesh coordinator of Shipbreaking Platform. The law offers little protection, he says. “EU laws stop EU-flagged ships being broken up on Asian beaches, but because owners can easily ‘reflag’ ships it has little strength.”Pressed by labour groups, the UN’s International Maritime Organisation passed the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) in 2009. This demands that ship owners and states do not pose a risk to human health, safety and the environment. But, says Shipbreaking Platform, it does not stop the beaching of vessels, which is blamed for most accidents, and it is unlikely to come into force for years because it requires 15 states, and 40% of world merchant shipping, to have signed up.“The industry is moving to adopt Hong Kong standards,” says Nikos Mikelis, a non-executive director of GMS. “There is a good likelihood of the convention entering into force within the next five to seven years. Ratifying and reaching the HKC targets will not be too difficult.” He argues that groups such as Shipbreaking Platform are naive and, by demanding the end of beaching, are endangering the livelihoods of workers in some of the world’s poorest countries.He does see progress. “Japan and India are investing $100m in upgrades. Forty-one yards out of 120 in Alang, India, now meet HKC standards and 15 others are moving towards safer and cleaner work. But in Bangladesh only one yard [PHP Shipbreaking] meets international standards.”Mikelis says the major shipping companies such as Maersk now have arrangements with individual yards. “The industry wants improvement but it needs to invest to improve,” he says.In the case of Zodiac, Martyn Day argues that the company knew the methods involved in dismantling vessels in Chittagong, yet it sold the Eurus London on in the full knowledge that it would be broken up in unsafe conditions. “They had a duty not to sell vessels to Bangladesh shipyards via their contractors or cash buyers,” he says. “Zodiac sold it to a cash buyer in the knowledge it would be dismantled in unsafe conditions.”In a statement to the Observer, Zodiac said the accident occurred four months after the ship had been sold to a third-party buyer. As a result, it said: “We deny any liability for the injuries suffered by Edris and we dispute the claim.”It added: “The yard where Edris was employed was not Zodiac’s contractor and Zodiac did not select the yard used to dismantle the vessel. Zodiac has no control over the working practices at shipbreaking yards. The claim seeks to extend the law of negligence beyond any recognised boundaries. It is the law of Bangladesh which applies to this case.”The impact of an injury on workers’ families is immense. “Edris provided for seven people,” said one man who knows him. “He has no savings. He is angry. He is now wholly reliant on the generosity of friends and family. His children have become scared of him because he cries a lot and screams in pain.”Edris said: “I feel like a dead man. I have no hope. I will never be able to go back to work. I have steel plates in my body and I can only walk on sticks, I am in constant pain. I want to open a shop, but that needs 500,000 Bdt.“I have seen many men killed and injured. It is very dangerous work. I tell people not to work there.”last_img read more

Oikya Front leaders meet diplomats

first_imgOikya Front leaders sat for a meeting with diplomats at a city hotel on Wednesday. US ambassador Earl R Miller is seen in the picture before the meeting. Photo: Abdus SalamJatiya Oikya Front top leaders, including eminent jurist Kamal Hossain, are holding a meeting with the foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka at a city hotel on Wednesday afternoon.Diplomats of the USA, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Phillipines, France, Australia, among others, joined the meeting.The Oikya Front leaders include BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Gano Forum executive president Subrato Chowdhury, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, BNP leaders Tabith Awal, Sabih Uddin Ahmed, Zeba Khan and Asaduzzaman Ripon.last_img read more

India reimposes restrictions in Kashmir ahead of EidulAzha

first_imgKashmiri women shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Photo: ReutersIndian authorities reimposed some restrictions in parts of Kashmir on Sunday ahead of the Muslim festival Eid, amid fears that large gatherings could trigger renewed protests against Delhi’s withdrawal of special rights for the region.Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s government locked down the Muslim-majority region last Sunday, cutting off communications, detaining more than 300 political leaders and activists, and putting a ‘virtual curfew’ into force with numerous police and army roadblocks stopping movement by many residents.Seeking to tighten its grip on the region also claimed by neighbouring Pakistan, India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there.On Friday, restrictions on movement in some parts of the Himalayan region’s main city of Srinagar were relaxed, with people pouring out on to the streets to stock up on provisions.But protests erupted after Friday prayers, with pro-independence youth demonstrating before being repelled by tear gas and pellets, according to police sources, witnesses and footage shown by international broadcasters.On Sunday, a Reuters reporter saw a police van driving around one part of Srinagar announcing that restrictions had been imposed again and asking people to stay indoors.Police checkpoints were also placed on some roads leading to the old quarter of the city, a traditional hotbed of protests, and some streets in central Srinagar.Officials were debating how to handle Monday’s Eid-al-Azha festival, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar, which typically sees several thousands throng major mosques in Srinagar.Indian officials will hold a video-conference with senior police and administration officials from all 10 districts in the disputed Kashmir valley on Sunday evening to decide on restrictions, two senior state government officials told Reuters.”We will make an assessment of the situation today,” one official said, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “I do not think we will allow large gatherings.”Kashmiri men shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Photo: ReutersIndia’s home ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest restrictions in Kashmir.Leaders in Kashmir had warned of a backlash against the stripping of autonomy in a territory where militants have been fighting Indian rule for nearly 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 50,000 people.Reuters reported at least 10,000 people were involved in Friday’s protest in Srinagar’s Soura area, based on an estimate provided by a police source and backed up by two eyewitnesses. Another official source on Saturday gave Reuters the same estimate.Dilbag Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir director general of police, told Reuters on Sunday that between 1,000 and 1,500 people were returning from praying at mosques on Friday when “some miscreants” started pelting stones at security officials.”It was a reaction to stone pelting by these miscreants that one or two rounds of pump action gun was fired,” Singh said, adding that four to five men suffered injuries.Authorities had detained around 300 local leaders in total and some of them had been taken out of Kashmir, he said.Pakistan’s WrathPakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and suspended trade in anger at Delhi’s latest move.Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday compared India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party’s policies to dictator Adolf Hitler’s “Nazi Aryan Supremacy.” He warned Modi’s actions would go beyond Kashmir and eventually target Indian Muslims and neighbouring Pakistan.”Attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. Question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?” Khan tweeted.Ram MAzhav, a senior leader in India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hit back.”Threat to democratic world is from Pak-sponsored Jehadi terror, not from India,” MAzhav tweeted.Pakistan said on Saturday that it had gained China’s support to take a motion to the United Nations Security Council condemning the Indian decision to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir.Islamabad has not received much support from other major nations, however, suggesting its odds of success at the UN were slim.India’s BJP has long campaigned for abrogating Kashmir’s special privileges in the constitution, which it sees as an appeasement to Muslims and a hindrance to its own development.The BJP and even some top opposition leaders have welcomed the decision to absorb Kashmir fully into India, and it has brought Modi support across the country.Blocked off from the world and largely unable to work or socialize, many Kashmiris were sombre ahead of Monday’s festival. Some said they would not partake in the ritual sacrificing of sheep.”What kind of Eid is this?” said one elderly man walking down a street in downtown Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid area. “We cannot reach our loves ones, we cannot visit our relatives’ homes, then what are we celebrating?” he said, declining to be named.last_img read more

TrumpRussia Nexus Recalls Long History Of Shadow Campaigns

first_imgPatrick Semansky/APDonald Trump Jr. hugs his father, Donald Trump, during a campaign rally in Ohio, weeks after Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer, as he sought dirt against Democrat Hillary Clinton.Now that Donald Trump Jr.’s emails have produced the kind of solid evidence the Russia connection story had been lacking, what had been mostly speculative reporting has instead become the first draft of history.Expect that history to be much debated. All accounts of political skulduggery with foreign actors tend to be “tangled and murky,” as one foreign policy historian has written.But one simple truth is that governments of all kinds have tried to influence political events in other countries if they can — and much of that work has been done in the shadows.Surely the U.S. government has sought by various overt and covert means to shape events — to shore up friendly regimes and undermine hostile ones — in dozens of countries all over the world.But that does not make Americans any happier with the idea of the Russians infiltrating our electoral process, or those of Europe or of democracies elsewhere. Such interference has proliferated and gained greater effectiveness in the Internet age, as the Russians have pursued and perfected the use of cybernetic means to distort politics on several levels.Nor do Americans accept the behavior of Russia’s enablers in the U.S. or other targeted countries. And that would appear to include elements of the Donald Trump presidential campaign in 2016. That was the unavoidable takeaway from the email news this week.Obviously, it matters that the offending alien influence in this case was not just any foreign power but Russia — a longtime and salient adversary, led by an autocratic and militant Vladimir Putin, a veteran of the old Soviet spy apparatus known as the KGB.Although “vehemently denied” by Putin and dismissed as “a witch hunt” by President Trump, the Russia connection has been reported as real by 17 U.S. intelligence agencies — four of which have also concluded that the intent was to harm Democrat Hillary Clinton and help Trump. (The others either expressed no opinion regarding the Russians’ intent or were not asked to do so.)So most Americans are justifiably concerned about the whole business. But for context, we should remember that Russia’s latest effort is not the first instance of foreign meddling in a U.S. election nor is Trump’s the first presidential campaign to be accused of collusion with a foreign power.As far back as the 1790s, European powers were intent on involving Americans in their wars. First, it was the French employing various stratagems to get our backing in their battles with Great Britain. Later, the British worked hard to draw us into World War I against the Germans and to overcome the isolationism that initially kept us out of World War II. Those ultimately successful campaigns were conducted both in public and behind the scenes.During the Cold War, the Russians of the Soviet era worked at exploiting racial tensions in the postwar U.S., even as the U.S. was working hard to isolate and defeat leftist parties of various kinds in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.Political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University has compiled a Cold War database, citing 36 cases of Russian intervention in another country’s elections between 1946 and 2000 — and another 81 instances of similar intervention by the U.S. over the same period of time. These struggles around the globe often featured agents of the CIA battling their counterparts from the KGB, the Soviet-era agency that produced Putin, his worldview and his tactics.Over the years, there have also been stories of American presidential campaigns turning to foreign governments to advance their own interests in the heat of a campaign.Nixon, Vietnam, Anna Chennault and… treason?Perhaps the most compelling example is the contact between Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign and the government of South Vietnam at a critical point in negotiations to end the war in Vietnam. President Lyndon Johnson became convinced that Nixon, through the Chinese-born Anna Chennault, was urging the South Vietnamese to leave the talks.The election was just days off, and Nixon’s lead in the polls was waning. Nixon reportedly feared there would be a breakthrough shortly before election eve.Declassified tapes in 2013 included audio of Chennault telling South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu to “just hang in there through the election.” Nixon biographer John A. Farrell reports that Johnson sent a message to Nixon through an intermediary (Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen) warning that Nixon was committing treason by interfering to prolong the war.Johnson considered going public with what he knew of Nixon’s efforts in 1968. But he knew that doing so would mean revealing the extent of his surveillance of various parties involved. And, with Nixon’s lead in the polls fading in late October, Johnson may have concluded it was neither prudent nor necessary to make such a move.It was a decision not unlike the one President Barack Obama would make in 2016 when faced with evidence of Russian interference. Obama warned Putin but did not go public with what he knew, apparently believing Clinton was winning anyway and any intervention from the White House might backfire.Reagan and the Iranian hostagesQuestions have also been raised about secret contacts between Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign and Iranian officials at a time when 52 American hostages were being held in Tehran. The Reagan camp reportedly feared an “October surprise” in which the incumbent President Jimmy Carter would secure his own re-election by winning the release of the hostages.That did not happen, and the release took place on Jan. 20, 1981, the day Reagan was inaugurated. Reagan’s team have always denied striking a bargain with the Iranians, but a PBS Frontline documentary in 1991 pointed to a July 1980 meeting in Madrid between William E. Casey (later to become CIA director) and a representative of the Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. No record of that meeting exists.The PBS documentary relied on a book written by Middle East specialist Gary Sick, who had worked in the Carter administration. Sick said that “some kind of discussions took place” between the Reagan men and Iran but added “the story is tangled and murky, and it may never be fully unraveled.”The Ukrainian connectionDid the posture of the Reagan campaign have anything to do with when the hostages in Tehran were released? For that matter, did Nixon actually torpedo the Vietnam talks and allow that war to last well into the next decade?Similar questions may linger over the Russia-Trump connection. It is always difficult to establish, either in real time or after the fact, just what factors determined the outcome of an election. And there can always be counterarguments and countervailing interpretations.Some Republicans have noted, for example, that anti-Russian and anti-Trump Ukrainians may have been involved in the 2016 campaign on behalf of Clinton. In January, Politico reported that a Ukrainian-American with ties to the Democratic National Committee met with officials at the Ukrainian Embassy staff in an effort to “expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia.”We may never know the exact extent or effectiveness of these efforts or of the Russian interference on behalf of Trump — any more than we know for certain the full impact of what Nixon and Reagan’s campaigns did.But the stories about these events persist, if only because they feed such powerful thoughts of “what might have been.”The same may well prove true of the allegations against the Trump campaign, whatever Congress and the special prosecutor decide.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

With Googles New App Your Loved Ones Can Find You During Emergencies

first_imgDecember 5, 2016 Register Now » 2 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img For most of us, a call to 911 is our first impulse when facing an emergency situation. Today, with the rise of social media and advances in technology, people can turn to a smartphone app or social media page for help during crises.From Apple’s Find My Friends to Facebook’s Safety Check, tech giants are creating ways to help people during emergencies. And Google has taken things one step further with Trusted Contacts.Trusted Contacts allows users to share their location with any of their designated “trusted contacts,” while trusted contacts can request the user’s location as well. A person can accept or decline someone’s request, but if they don’t respond, the app will automatically accept the request and share that individual’s location.Users can share their location at any given time, or indefinitely. The app is different than Find My Friends, letting users share their location for a certain period of time, while perhaps walking home alone or out and about at night. Unless a location is shared indefinitely, the app only shows trusted contacts general information about a user’s whereabouts and if they are online. The app works offline too, so if a user’s phone dies, a trusted contact can find out where their last online location was.Google’s product manager David Tattersall tells Mashable, “It basically means then that as long as you’ve got your phone in your pocket, someone can always find you in case of an emergency. You’re always findable.”The app is only available for Android right now, but will be available on iPhones soon. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. February 28, 2017 Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 5 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Chatbots are the new rage as more top brands are advancing the technology and integrating it into their chat systems. Big names such as Facebook and Telegram have already made moves in this arena by creating their own chatbots and chatbot platforms.Over the past couple months, I’ve been trying to implement chatbots into my company Due. For many, chatbot marketing can sound overwhelmingly complicated, but a chatbot, not so much. It can truly save you enourments of time.With numerous advancements and tools being created to make the process easy, making a chatbot does not seem out of the question. So, if you are thinking about jumping on the chatbot bandwagon, here are the top 10 platforms for you to know about.Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of WorkChattyPeopleChattypeople is the best chatbot platform for creating an AI chatbot on Facebook with integrated Facebook commerce. With Chattypeople you can create a Facebook message both quickly and easily, no coding required. The platform’s simplicity makes it ideal for entrepreneurs and marketers in smaller companies, while its technology makes it suitable for enterprise customers. You can make a simple bot answering customer service questions or integrate it with Shopify to monetize your Facebook fan pages. ChattyPeople is where f-commerce and ai-commerce come together. Chattypeople is 100% free to get started.Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing BusinessMEOKAYMEOKAY is one of the top tools to create a conversational Messenger bot. It makes it easy for both skilled developers and non-developers to take part in creating a series of easy to follow steps. Within minutes, you can create conversational scenarios and build advanced dialogues for smooth conversations. Once you are done, link and launch your brand new chatbot.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingSmoochSmooch acts as more of a chatbot connector that bridges your business apps, (ex: Slack and ZenDesk) with your everyday messenger apps (ex: Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc.) It links these two together by sending all of your Messenger chat notifications straight to your business apps, which streamlines your conversations into just one application. In the end, this can result in smoother automated workflows and communications across teams. These same connectors also allow you to create chatbots which will respond to your customer chats…. boom!Related: Make Chats With Chatbots WorkBotsifyBotsify is another Facebook chatbot platform that helps make it easy to integrate chatbots into the system. Its paid subscription helps you in five easy steps. 1) Log into the botsify.com site, 2) Connect your Facebook account, 3) Setup a webhook, 4) Write up commands for the chatbot you are creating, and 5) Let Botisfy handle the customer service for you. If the paid services are a little too much, they do offer a free service that lets you create as many bots as your lovely imagination can dream up.Beep BoopIf you are looking for another paid platform, Beep Boop may be your next stop. It is a hosting platform that is designed for developers looking to make apps for Facebook Messenger and Slack specifically. First, set up your code using Github, the popular version control repository and Internet hosting service, then input it into the Beep Boop platform to link it with your Facebook Messenger or Slack application. The bots will then be able to interact with your customers with real-time chat and messaging.Related: The How-To: Using Chatbots As A Tool For Customer ServiceChatfuelNeed a Facebook bot? Well, look no further, as Chatfuel makes it easy for you to create your own Facebook and Telegram Chatbot without any coding experience necessary. It works by letting users link to external sources through plugins. Eventually, the platforms hope to open itself to third-party plugins, so anyone can contribute their own plugins and have others benefit from them.Facebook Messenger PlatformHave you checked out Facebook Messenger’s official page lately? Well, now you can start building your own bot directly through the platform’s landing page. This method though, may be a little bit more complicated than some of the previous ways we’ve discussed, but there are a lot of resources that Facebook Messenger provides in order to help you accomplish your brand new creation. Through full-fledged guides, case studies, a forum for Facebook developers, and more, you are sure to be a chatbot creating professional in no time.Telegram BotsBuild a bot directly from one of the top messaging apps themselves. By building a bot in Telegram, you can easily run a bot in the application itself. The company recently open-sourced their chatbot code, making it easy for third-parties to integrate and create bots of their own. Their Telegram API, which they also built, can send customized notifications, news, reminders, or alerts. Integrate the API with other popular apps such as YouTube and Github for a unique customer experience.Related: #4 Chatbots Took Full Advantage Of India’s DemonetizationBotKitA toolkit can be integral to getting started in building chatbots, so insert, BotKit. It gives a helping hand to developers making bots for Facebook Messenger, Slack, Twilio, and more. This BotKit can be used to create clever, conversational applications which map out the way that real humans speak. This essential detail differentiates from some of its other chatbot toolkit counterparts.FlowXOLast, but not least coming in with the bot platform for business is FlowXO, which creates bots for Messenger, Slack, SMS, Telegraph and the web. This platform allows for creating various flexibility in bots by giving you the option to create a fully automated bot, human, or a hybrid of both. ChatBot expert Murray Newlands commented that “Where 10 years ago every company needed a website and five  years ago every company needed an app, now every company needs to embrace messaging with AI and chatbots.”last_img read more

Recap Eightmile delays on M6 after collision between coach lorry and car

first_imgDad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window UPDATE: This incident has now cleared A collision between a coach, lorry, and care is causing long delays on the M6 through Staffordshire. Two lanes are blocked on the motorway between junction 15, Stoke-on-Trent and junction 14, Stafford North, after a collision shortly before 11.40am. Highways England has warned motorists they face lengthy delays. A spokesman said: “Delays on the M6 due to a collision involving a coach, HGV, and a car. Two lanes are blocked (of three) with narrow lane sections between J15 and J14. Please take care on approach.” We will bring more as we get it in the feed below. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Driver named following fatal collision Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us  @SOTLive  or message us on  our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at  StokeonTrentLive .13:22Carriageway now openA CMPG spokesman said: “Carriageway now open southbound, northbound busy because of broken down HGV in lane one between j14 and j15. Thank you for your patience.”12:56Video from the scene12:48Impact on nearby traffic: Meaford Queuing traffic on A34 The Fillybrooks Southbound from B5027 Newcastle Road (Meaford) to A520 Stafford Street (Stone). Delays are likely to be due to traffic avoiding the M6 following a multi-vehicle accident.12:47Impact on nearby traffic: Stafford Street Queuing traffic on A520 Stafford Street Southbound from Radford Close to A34 The Fillybrooks. Delays are likely to be due to traffic avoiding the M6 following a multi-vehicle accident. 12:35Recovery now in progressLane one and two (of three) remains closed following first reports of the accident around 11:15. Recovery is now in progress.12:28INRIX updateTwo lanes closed, severe delays and queueing traffic for eight miles due to accident, a coach, a lorry and a car involved on M6 Southbound between J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14 A34 (Stafford North). Congestion to J16 (Crewe / Stoke-On-Trent). The Northbound side is slow as well due to onlookers. Also queueing on the A500 D Road back to Hanford. In the roadworks area. Travel time is around 1 hour and 20 minutes.Lane one and two (of three) remain closed following first reports of the accident around 11:15.12:27CMPG update12:19Damage to the coachThe damaged coach (Image: CMPG)12:15Highways England update12:15No injuriesA CMPG spokesman said: “Long delays Southbound on the M6 between J16 and J14 because of earlier non-injury collision. Northbound also slow because of people slowing to look at the scene.” 12:06West Midlands Ambulance ServiceA spokesman said: We were called at 10.46am by Highways England to reports of a three vehicle collision on the M6 between junction 14 and 15. One ambulance and a paramedic officer has attended. We are assessing patients.11:52Highways England11:50INRIX updateTwo lanes closed, severe delays and queueing traffic for seven miles due to accident, a coach, a lorry and a car involved on M6 Southbound between J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent) and J14 A34 (Stafford North). Congestion to Northbound side as traffic slows to look at the accident. In the roadworks area. Travel time is 1 hour 5 minutes.Lane one and two (of three) are now closed.center_img Punter found hiding in bushes Police search for missing womanlast_img read more