Three years after damning report on death of Phoenix Sinclair changes still

first_imgThe Canadian PressMost of the recommendations from a public inquiry three years ago into the death of a five-year-old Manitoba girl in government care have not been implemented, the province’s children’s advocate said Thursday.“We were very surprised,” Darlene MacDonald said on the finding that less than one-third of the recommendations from the inquiry into Phoenix Sinclair’s death have been enacted. “Basically, the only reason I was given was some of them would take time, and with the processes that they were going through, they felt that some would take longer than others.”Phoenix was repeatedly neglected, abused and finally beaten to death in 2005 by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend after she fell through the cracks in government care. The inquiry found social workers frequently lost track of her and closed her file without checking on her.The inquiry report by retired judge Ted Hughes recommended a new central database to better track children in care, lower caseloads and better training for social workers. He also recommended more power for MacDonald’s office, an independent body, to investigate and report on problems.Hughes said the province would have to address the fact that the vast majority of kids in care are Indigenous.The province has acted on 29 per cent of the recommendations, including better training of and education for child-welfare workers, MacDonald said.Half the recommendations are still works in progress, including reducing caseloads and setting up the information database. Social workers are still using an old system from the early 1990s.“My understanding is there was some fine-tweaking done … but it’s still very cumbersome to use,” MacDonald said.Caseloads will only be reduced when the province finds a way to reduce the number of kids in care, MacDonald said. Manitoba has roughly 10,000 children in the system – one of the highest per-capita rates in Canada.It apprehends an average of one newborn baby a day.Another 21 per cent of the recommendations have yet to be addressed. They all relate to expanded powers for MacDonald’s office. The former NDP government introduced legislation to enact the changes, but failed to get it approved in the legislature before the provincial election in April.The new Progressive Conservative government has promised to reintroduce the bill in the coming months.news@aptn.calast_img read more

Spanish Press Unveils Moroccos Achraf Hakimis New Girlfriend

Rabat – Spanish magazine Semana has revealed that Moroccan footballer Achraf Hakimi is dating Spanish actress and model Hiba Abouk, who is well-known for her role in the television show “El Principe.”Hakimi’s first steps in his new club Borussia Dortmund is not the only thing that has attracted the interest of the public and international press. The Atlas Lion’s dating life is also making headlines.Despite not scoring in the 2018 World Cup, the 19-year-old sensation has scored the heart of the model and social media influencer with whom he spent a well-deserved vacation. Pictures of their romantic getaway were published Wednesday, July 25, by Semana, which revealed that the two lovers spent their holidays together in the Maldives Islands. The actress and footballer, who tried to keep their relationship secret, have not confirmed the rumors yet. Before they had been exposed by the tabloids, each had shared pictures on their own Instagram accounts from the same resort in the exotic destination.According to the Spanish press, Hakimi may take his relationship to the next level, as his girlfriend, who lives in Spain, may move to Germany to be close to the striker.Hiba Abouk, 12 years older than Hakimi, was born to Tunisian parents and became one of the most popular actresses in Spain. Her role in “El Principe” launched her to fame. Following her breakout in 2014, Abouk scored additional television roles that have made her a popular face in the country. Abouk has had several known partners, including Spanish actor Hugo Silva and French rapper Joey Starr. read more

UN human rights body begins firstever examination of all countries records

Over the next two weeks, a first group of 16 countries – starting with Bahrain and Ecuador – will have their records scrutinized, as part of the Review, one of the reforms which differentiate the Council from the Commission on Human Rights, which it succeeded in 2006.The Review meetings will feature interactive discussions between the States in question and a working group comprises all of the Council’s 47 members, according to a UN spokesperson. The discussions will be based on national reports and information from a variety of sources, including treaty bodies, Special Rapporteurs – independent experts on specific topics that report to the Council – non-governmental organizations, national human rights institutions and academics.Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Finland, India, Indonesia, Morocco, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia and the United Kingdom are the other countries being reviewed over the next two weeks. Under the Review’s work plans, 48 countries are scheduled to be reviewed each year, so that the UN’s complete membership of 192 countries will be reviewed once every four years.Last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the Council to assure that all countries were scrutinized equally. “The Review must reaffirm that just as human rights are universal, so is our collective respect for them and our commitment to them,” he said. 7 April 2008The Universal Periodic Review, a new mechanism to examine the human rights record of every United Nations Member State, was launched today at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. read more

Ontario ready to announce hike in minimum wage and update its labour

TORONTO — The benefits of Ontario’s renewed economic growth are not shared evenly across the province, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday as she planned to announce a raise to minimum wage as well as much anticipated changes to labour laws.Wynne and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn are scheduled to make the announcements Tuesday morning.“Now that we have an economy that really is doing so well, and is leading, we can now distribute that well-being a bit better,” she told The Canadian Press in an interview. “I just came back from (Ontario’s) northeast, and there are parts of the province and there are groups within the population who just are not feeling the benefit of the economy doing well.”Wynne would not confirm if her government is planning to raise the minimum wage — which is currently $11.40 an hour and adjusted for inflation — to $15, as labour groups have been calling for.One-third of Ontario’s 6.6 million workers vulnerable amid fewer union jobs, technology shift: reportMajority support Ontario’s basic income plan, but many find $17,000 not enough: pollThe changes to provincial labour laws come in response to a government-commissioned report — released last week — that made 173 recommendations aimed at creating better workplaces with decent working conditions.The report concluded that new technology, a shrinking manufacturing sector and fewer union jobs, among other factors, have left approximately one-third of Ontario’s 6.6 million workers vulnerable.Wynne said the goal is to deal with the precarious nature of modern work, which she defines as more short-term contracts, more part-time jobs, and less predictable scheduling. She said workers will feel a change in their everyday lives once the labour law changes have been made.“They’ll feel more certain and they’ll feel less anxious because they’ll have a little bit more predictability in their lives, and that has a ripple effect into the lives of their families,” she said.Business groups in the province, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, have expressed concerns about the cost to business of the potential labour law changes and a higher minimum wage. They have called on the Liberal government not to proceed without first studying the economic impact of the changes recommended in the report.Wynne said her government will work with the business communities on measuring the impact of the changes.“We want our businesses to be competitive,” she said. “But we also know that if people are better able to look after their families, or if people are able to have a decent job, that’s good for communities and that’s good for business.”The Canadian Press read more

LG polls cannot take place this year says Minister

However Yapa said that the implementation of the proposals of the delimitation committee will take time and based on that it is unlikely that the LG election can be held this year. (Colombo Gazette) The LG election was expected to take place in June this year and issues over the delimitation of electoral divisions was expected to be resolved by then. State Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says the Local Government (LG) elections cannot be expected to be held this year.He says several efforts have bee taken to hold the election as scheduled but yet unexpected delays in resolving issues over the delimitation of electoral divisions will result in the election taking place next year.

Prime Minister calls for urgent dialogue on terrorism

Wickremesinghe said that having experienced the horror of terror attacks, Sri- Lankans understand well the difficulties faced by the international community concerning atrocities of this nature. “As always, we have nothing but condemnation for such acts of violence. We believe that this incident highlights the need for an urgent dialogue on terrorism that must include steps in addressing it effectively,” the Prime Minister said. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for urgent international dialogue on terrorism that must include steps in addressing it effectively.The Prime Minister said this in a message sent to Charles Michel, the Prime Minister of Belgium in which he expressed shock over the recent terror attacks that took place in Brussels. He added that the thoughts and prayers of all Sri Lankans are with Belgium as the country faces a period of national mourning. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Wilt Chamberlains home Hollywood sign among LA historic sites listed in new

FILE – This March 12, 2013 file photo shows the US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles. From towering basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain’s hillside home to downtown’s towering US Bank building, Los Angeles is putting all its landmarks online. Officials gathered Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 to roll out a new website called HistoricPlacesLA.com. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by John Rogers, The Associated Press Posted Feb 24, 2015 3:56 pm MDT LOS ANGELES, Calif. – From towering basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain’s hillside home to downtown’s towering art-deco high-rise buildings, Los Angeles is putting all its landmarks online.Planning and preservation officials gathered Tuesday on the observation tower of City Hall, a historic landmark in its own right, to roll out their new website, HistoricPlacesLA.org.Fifteen years in the making, it is the joint project of The Getty Conservation Institute and the city of Los Angeles.So far, it has resulted in the survey of about three-quarters of LA’s 880,000 structures and placed about 25,000 determined to be the most significant onto the website’s database. When the survey is completed next year, every home, office building, freeway, bridge and iconic structure like the Hollywood sign will have been reviewed.Officials say the undertaking will not only help the city keep track of its historic resources, but also help tourists find them and possibly prevent developers from tearing any more of them down.“A city of the future has to be built on the past, and it has to be built on a past that is preserved,” said James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, which oversees The Getty Conservation Institute, which began the study in 2000.The resulting website and database, which went live Monday night, can be accessed by anybody with a smartphone. That will be a great guide to someone considering replacing an old building with a new one, developer Wayne Ratkovich said. “Before Survey LA, developers and property owners were largely in the dark,” he said.Included in the database are architectural masterpieces such as the Griffith Park Observatory and the LA homes and public buildings designed by Paul R. Williams, the first black member of the American Institute of Architects and known in the 1920s and 1930s as “the architect to the stars.”LA’s quirky side is also represented with structures like Chamberlain’s home and Los Angeles International Airport’s space-age looking “Theme Building,” with its now-closed rotating restaurant.“There’s still a persistent and unfortunate myth about Los Angeles that we hear all too often, that we’re a city that has little or no significant architecture and that just doesn’t’ care about its past,” said Ken Bernstein, director of LA’s Office of Historic Resources. “The rich findings in HistoricPlacesLA certainly explode that myth once and for all.” Wilt Chamberlain’s home, Hollywood sign among LA historic sites listed in new online database read more

Black seeks emergency hearing into tax matter holding up the sale of

TORONTO – Conrad Black is seeking an emergency hearing next week into tax-related matters holding up the sale of his Toronto mansion, arguing that servicing the three mortgages on the property is hurting his personal financial position.In documents filed with the Federal Court, Black says he’s paying more than $1 million a year towards three mortgages on the home, which come to more than $13.5 million in total, and that it’s eating away at the amount of equity he has in the property.The court documents say Black had agreed to sell the home for $14 million to an unnamed buyer who was willing to allow the former media mogul and his wife, Barbara Amiel-Black, to continue living in the home.But the sale of 26 Park Lane Circle was delayed after Canada Revenue Agency placed two liens against the property last month over allegations that Black owes taxes from 2002, 2003 and 2008.The CRA claims Black is in arrears in the amounts of $12,307,717 and $3,513,877.The prospective buyer of the nine-bedroom, 11-bathroom home says he is willing to extend the closing date until June 30, but not any later, according to the court files.In a motion filed in court, Black says he is seeking an urgent hearing so that the sale can close before the potential buyer’s ultimate deadline.He says he is prepared to “put the sale proceeds into trust for the benefit” of the national minister of revenue.One of the mortgage holders, Hudson Bay Fund LP, has launched a case in the Superior Court of Justice in an attempt to force a judicial sale of the Bridle Path home so that the lender can recover the outstanding mortgage loan amount.Black is seeking to have a jeopardy order, obtained by the national minister of revenue and dated May 5, set aside.The jeopardy order allowed the minister to place the liens against the property.The motion is set to be heard in Federal Court on June 28.Some of the figures in the documents filed with Federal Court differ from previously cited figures in regards to the home. The Multiple Listings Service had the sale price listed as $16.5 million and land registry documents listed outstanding mortgage loans totalling $15.5 million on the 23,000-square foot property.—With files from Jim Bronskill.Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter. Conrad Black’s home at 26 Park Circle Lane in Toronto is shown in a handout photo. Conrad Black is seeking an emergency hearing next week into tax-related matters holding up the sale of his Toronto mansion, arguing that servicing the three mortgages on the property is hurting his personal financial position.In documents filed with the Federal Court, Black says he’s paying more than $1 million a year towards three mortgages on the home, which come to more than $13.5 million in total, and that it’s eating away at the amount of equity he has in the property. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Concierge Auctions Black seeks emergency hearing into tax matter holding up the sale of his home by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 23, 2016 3:54 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 24, 2016 at 7:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Horsetrekking centre shuts because riders were too overweight

The scheme which involved monitoring six horses while they trotted and cantered with four people of different weights, found there was a ‘substantial impact’ on gait and behaviour when the rider was too heavy.Dr Sue Dyson, head of clinical orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust’s Centre for Equine Studies, who led the study said: “While all the horses finished the study moving as well as when they started, the results showed a substantial temporary effect of rider weight as a proportion of horse weight. “The results do not mean that heavy riders should not ride but suggest that if they do they should ride a horse of appropriate size and fitness, with a saddle that is correctly fitted for both horse and rider.”Now Mrs Wilkinson, who owns the farm with her husband Darren, said they plan to concentrate on the farming and livery side of the business.  She said that the decision to stop trekking was “very sad” as the farm has provided trekking to many people over the years. “It has given numerous happy memories to people and for many their first ever experience of being near and riding a horse,” she added.“We have no doubt that it will be very sadly missed. “Running a trekking centre takes its toll emotionally due to the risk and physically as it’s seven days a week through the summer and then the winter.”Despite the news, the yard is set to benefit with summer clinics, picnic rides and demonstrations to increase.The Babeny Riding Club will also be reformed and a packed agenda of activities will be created.“We are in the middle of Dartmoor with fantastic riding, and we’re also very lucky to have an all-weather arena so the set up is perfect for our liveries and I’m really looking forward to spending more time with my own horses taking part in clinics, rides and competing,” said Mrs Wilkinson. The farm which has been is business for 35 years currently has a rider weight limit of 16 stone.Experts from the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and World Horse Welfare carried out their study after members voiced concerns that horses were being damaged by increasingly heavy riders.  The farm now plans to concentrate on the farming and livery side of the businessCredit:SWNS The farm now plans to concentrate on the farming and livery side of the business Experts have said that it is important to match the riders to the horses Overweight horse riders have caused a trekking centre at a Dartmoor farm to close because the animals cannot carry them, its owners have revealed. The trekking centre at Babeny Farm at Poundsgate, Devon will cease trading on September 2 after the owner revealed it wasn’t fair to place heavy riders on horses. The decision for the farm to halt its trekking comes just two months after a pilot study found that if a rider is excessively heavy for a horse it can have a negative impact on the performance of the animal.Farm owner Dee Dee Wilkinson said the decision to stop the trekking was partly due to an increase in heavier riders as well as high insurance costs and other personal reasons. “The horses are at an age where they need replacing and getting those good replacements can be difficult,” she said.“We are finding increasingly that people are getting heavier, so we are unable to let them ride as it isn’t fair on the horses.” Experts have said that it is important to match the riders to the horsesCredit:SWNS Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Alienware M18x hinted at on Dell support page

first_imgOver at Dell’s support site, the company has a list of Alienware laptops, with one surprise: the M18x. We’ve been hearing rumors for some time about Dell releasing an 18-inch gaming notebook, but so far nothing has come to pass. The 18.4-inch computer would, according to rumor, come in at a larger size than the M17x, instead of replacing it.The link is viewable on Dell’s Support documentation page, right alongside current models like the M17x R3 and the M11x R2. When clicked the link sends you over to an M17x support page, with a url ending in in /M17x/. Changing that last bit to /M18x/ ends up in a 404 page and this appears to be the only instance of “M18x” occurring on the support site.While interesting, this doesn’t mean anything just yet. The link seems to be a placeholder until the day that the M18x arrives but we have no idea when that will happen or if an M18x is even in the works. We have heard other rumors about the M18x before, such as it running dual AMD 6970M (CrossFireX) or dual NVIDIA GTX 460M (SLI) graphics, but those look like slim speculation compared to a link on an official Dell site. (Though Dell doesn’t seem to appreciate them.)There is a lot of speculation flying around the forums where the link was first posted, but also further rumors. These include possibilities for the the design/components, a codename (“Avenger”), and even an arrival date (late June).So far the M18x is just another unicorn prancing about the internets, but some people are sure about its upcoming arrival and Dell’s own support page seems to agree. Let’s hope it’s just a question of timing.last_img read more

Zotac launches PCI DirectX 11 graphics card for legacy systems

first_imgZotac has seemingly decided to throw a lifeline to anyone with an ageing PC sitting at home by offering them a brand new graphics card.The Zotac GeForce GT 520 has one feature you don’t see on 99% of the graphics cards released today: a PCI connector. Your typical motherboard still has a PCI slot or two, but for graphics cards the PCIe slot is the connection of choice offering much better performance.If you system is a few years old, however, upgrading the graphics card would probably involve a motherboard update too. And upgrading the motherboard also brings with it the cost of a CPU and memory. If money is tight most people would just hang on and hope their machine lasts a few more months. Now they don’t have to.The Zotac card uses the Nvidia GT 520 GPU and is clocked at 850MHz. The shader clock is running at 1620MHz with 48 shaders available to take advantage of. There’s 512MB of DDR3 memory running at 1333MHz, and your get VGA, DVI, and HMDI connections. The card also drags your system compatibility bang up to date with DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1 support.While not fixing any issues you have with a slow CPU or main memory, the Zotac GeForce GT 520 may offer up enough extra grunt to make HD video run smooth and could get a few newer, if not latest generation games running.Unfortunately the price hasn’t been released yet, but if this card is more than $50 I’d be very surprised and disappointed. If Zotac price it for those on a budget it may see a lot of success not only with consumers still using older machines, but anyone building a nettop as some of the cheaper mini-itx boards still carry PCI slots.Read more at Zotac, via The Tech Reportlast_img read more

Morning Press Washougal grandmother killed Vancouver students march Ninja Warrior

first_imgWhat’s on tap for this weekend’s weather? Check our local weather coverage.In case you missed them, here are some of the top stories of the week:Man in court in slaying of his grandmother at Washougal homeA man accused of killing his 78-year-old grandmother told police that he was angry with her for chastising him about leaving a light on in the house, court records show.Benjamin W. Walker appeared Tuesday morning in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree murder in the slaying of Joan Walker early Monday morning at their Washougal home. The 27-year-old man turned himself in at the Washougal Police Department afterward.Senior Deputy Prosecutor Abbie Bartlett told the court that Benjamin Walker — who appeared wearing a suicide-prevention smock — “brutally” killed his grandmother and has shown no remorse. She asked Judge Scott Collier to set Walker’s bail at $1 million, which he did.Walker said he “he decided her and his fate.”Man in court in child-grabbing incidentA man who’s accused of grabbing a child at an area hospital and refusing to let him go told Clark County sheriff’s deputies that he thought the boy was his son, court records show.last_img read more

La Center limits fireworks usage

first_imgLA CENTER — City councilors in La Center are the latest to limit fireworks use, joining what Mayor Greg Thornton called a “countywide effort” to look at fireworks ordinances.At their meeting on Wednesday, the councilors voted unanimously to limit fireworks discharge to July 3 and 4 and authorize the fire marshal to restrict the discharge of all fireworks in the event of unfavorable fire conditions.Currently, the city allows fireworks use from June 29 through July 4. The new regulations will start in 2019.La Center councilors restricting fireworks use follows similar votes in Ridgefield, Camas, Battle Ground and Clark County in recent months. Ridgefield officials voted to limit fireworks discharge to July 4, Camas councilors limited fireworks use to July 4 and Dec. 31, Battle Ground councilors voted to allow fireworks on July 3 and 4 and the Clark County Council voted to restrict fireworks use in unincorporated areas to July 4.Some other municipalities also limited the number of days where fireworks could be sold.La Center city councilors will continue to allow fireworks to be sold from June 28 through July 4, as councilors don’t want to negatively affect the local groups that sell fireworks as fundraisers. Daniel Kearns, the city’s attorney, said allowing fireworks sales for seven days will also ensure there is a weekend with sales every year.Andy Taylor, a member of the La Center Lions Club, said the fireworks booth is the club’s biggest fundraiser each year. The Lions use money from the fireworks booth, as well as other fundraisers, for their scholarship program, food baskets and canned food drive.last_img read more

Gov Abbotts Goals of CPS Overhaul Budget Cuts In Conflict

first_img Share Courtesy of his website.Texas Governor Greg AbbottGov. Greg Abbott says fixing Texas’ Child Protective Services is a life and death issue. In his State of the State address, Abbott called for an overhaul of CPS, including more money for staff and training.The governor said more than 100 children died last year while under CPS’ care. He warned against skimping on funding the agency, noting that he’d included more money for CPS in his budget than the House or Senate did in theirs.“Do not underfund this rickety system only to have it come back and haunt you in the years to come,” Abbott said.But Abbott also called for budget cuts, all but unavoidable given the drop in oil and gas revenues over the past two years.Tom Oliverson, a Republican representative from Northwest Harris County, says there’s plenty of support on both sides of the aisle for an overhaul of CPS this session. But he says it will be tough to do that while cutting overall spending.“We are going to have figure out creative ways to get all of these things accomplished without breaking the bank,” Oliverson says.Gene Wu, a Democratic representative from Southwest Houston, has similar concerns.“On CPS issues, we’ve been talking a big game for the last year,” Wu says. “Everyone knows that it needs more money. But the question still remains, is the Legislature and the governor going to balk when the numbers that are demanded are actually there and we need to sign on the dotted line?” 00:00 /01:29 X Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

Study Many in Ebola Outbreak Dont Believe Virus is Real

first_imgBy KRISTA LARSON, Associated PressDAKAR, Senegal (AP) — One out of four people interviewed in eastern Congo last year believed Ebola wasn’t real, according to a new study, underscoring the enormous challenges health care workers are facing in what has become the second-deadliest outbreak in history.The survey released late Wednesday found that a deep mistrust of the Ebola response resulted in those people being 15 times less likely to seek medical treatment at an Ebola health center, according to the study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.In this Aug. 8, 2018, file photo, a healthcare worker from the World Health Organization gives an Ebola vaccination to a front line aid worker in Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo. One-fourth of the people interviewed in eastern Congo last year believed Ebola wasn’t real, according to a new study released Wednesday, underscoring the enormous challenges health care workers are now facing. (AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro, File)The study was based on interviews conducted last September, about a month after the outbreak began. It comes as the number of probable and confirmed cases has exceeded 1,000. At least 639 people have died from Ebola since August, according to the World Health Organization.This is the first time the region has experienced an Ebola outbreak.The outbreak’s response has been hampered by a series of deadly attacks on Ebola health centers since the study was completed. As a result, Doctors Without Borders has stopped staffing two health centers at the outbreak’s epicenter.Researchers said their study showed more precisely how individuals’ misinformed views about Ebola were undermining the response and helping to spread the deadly virus.“It really helps us understand how central and fundamental community trust should be as part of the response,” said Patrick Vinck of Harvard University, who led the research.Eva Erlach, the community engagement and accountability delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, called the findings “absolutely interesting” and said they show how the level of trust correlates with preventative behaviors.The organization has had more than 800 trained volunteers working to get out prevention messages amid the region’s security challenges.“There is still a part of the community who do not believe that Ebola is real and we definitely still need to continue focusing on community engagement,” said Erlach, who was not part of the study. “And this is why this report is so helpful even if it’s from September.”WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this month he was encouraged “to see the communities accepting the response more and more.”The new study highlights just how pervasive misinformation has been in places in eastern Congo like Beni and Butembo, where in-person interviews were conducted with 961 people.Some 25.5 percent of those interviewed did not believe Ebola was real. In addition, nearly 45.9 percent of people thought the Ebola outbreak was being fabricated to destabilize the region or for financial gain. Additionally 18.2 percent believed all three of those statements, the study found.Those who didn’t believe Ebola was real were far less likely to agree to agree to the Ebola vaccine or to go to a treatment center. Ebola is spread through the bodily fluids of the sick, and isolation of those infected is key to stopping transmission.This outbreak has been uniquely challenging because of the volatile security situation in the region. Eastern Congo is home to numerous armed groups and the Ebola epidemic has deepened the political and economic grievances of many in the area. The fact that people in Ebola affected areas were excluded from the December presidential election has only heightened conspiracy theories.Tariq Riebl, of the International Rescue Committee, who is currently working in eastern Congo, said the findings released Wednesday mirror what he and his colleagues are seeing on the ground. Concern remains about how Ebola prevention efforts are going because new cases are still emerging.“Once you reach a wider outbreak zone, especially urban zones, the community engagement and prevention side of things is almost more important than the treatment side,” Riebl said.“If you can’t have those messages out successfully, it doesn’t matter if you have all the treatment options available because no one is ever arriving to take advantage of that,” he said.___Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africalast_img read more

Snapchat Sets Premiere Date for Growing Up Is a Drag TeenQueens Show

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety “Bunim-Murray has a long history of creating opportunities for underrepresented voices so bringing this groundbreaking series to Snap was a natural fit,” said chairman and CEO Gil Goldschein. “We know viewers are going to love following these creative, courageous teens as we watch them pursue their dreams amidst adversity and use their drag alter-egos to boost their own self-confidence and find their place in this world.”“Growing Up Is a Drag” executive producer Patty Ivins, who co-produced the show under her PB&J Television banner, called the cast “truly brave, authentic and hilarious as they live their truth, defying society’s norms… They are truly the best example of the power of nonfiction media to open audiences up to new worlds and new friends.”Snap’s originals strategy had been led by VP of content Nick Bell, who is exiting the company after five years. The content team is now being overseen by Jared Grusd, Snap’s recently named chief strategy officer.center_img Snap is continuing its regular release cadence for Snapchat original shows, setting the premiere date for “Growing Up Is a Drag,” a docu-series about teen drag stars from reality TV pioneer Bunim-Murray Productions and PB&J Television.The newest short-form Snap Original premieres Monday, Dec. 17, and will run daily through Dec. 24 on the Snapchat Discover page’s Shows section. “Growing Up Is a Drag,” which Bunim-Murray bills as a coming-of-age story, showcases kids who live across the U.S. as they use social media as a lifeline to find community, connection and friendship in the teen-queen scene. It’s part of a broader slate of Snap Originals branching into scripted and reality programming.Bunim-Murray is the production company behind such shows as “The Real World,” “Project Runway” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” In another project for Snapchat, Bunim-Murray produces quasi-reality series “Endless Summer” starring teen YouTube creator Summer McKeen and her boyfriend, Dylan Jordan, which debuted in October.last_img read more

King Goodwill Zwelithinis daughters defend virgin bursaries

first_imgTwo major institutions – the Commission for Gender Equality and the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities – are battling it out on the issue pertaining to the ‘maiden bursaries’ that uThukela District Municipality awarded to 16 girls for being virgins and maintaining their status. The district municipality introduced this category of bursaries during its Mayoral Matric Excellence Awards on January 11 this year, sparking a national outcry.Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xavula lashed out at the Gender Commission for indirectly attacking ‘virginity testing’, stating that her commission was against people describing virginity testing as a harmful traditional practice. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Commission for Gender Equality argued that awarding these bursaries violated regional and international commitments to promote gender equality and eradicate harmful traditional practices. Mkhwanazi-Xavula stated that they wrote to the Gender Commission, asking for a meeting to mediate. The commission said it would only respond when it had issued a final report.The final report, however, lashed out at the awarding of the bursaries and indirectly the process of virginity testing known as “ukuhlolwa”.In a statement issued by daughters of Zulu monarch King Goodwill Zwelithini, several Zulu princesses berated the findings of the Commission for Gender Equality, who stated that the awarding of the bursaries was unconstitutional. They warned they would defend the rights of Zulu maidens. They also question how the Commission for Gender Equality could describe virginity testing as a harmful traditional practice.The removal by the ANC of “failed” uThukela District Municipality Mayor Dudu Mazibuko as a mayoral candidate in the local government elections scheduled for August appears to be directly linked to her support for only choosing 16 virgin girls from the ANC. “The mayor should stick to politics and not mix traditional culture with politics,” said IFP councillor Abbas Warasally. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

I Do Costa Ricas wedding boom

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s tourism sector expects high occupancy rates during holiday season Rates going up for Costa Rica taxis Government, tourism entrepreneurs seek to resolve differences on recent controversial laws President voices support for extending moratorium on maritime zone evictions At the height of the dry season, Amanda Black awoke in her hotel room to another radiant blue sky. She started the morning of Feb. 28, 2013, walking Jacó beach on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast with her father and sister, followed by a dip in the hotel pool. At 10 a.m., a beautician showed up to do her makeup, and the photographer arrived an hour later. At noon, Black met her extended family in the lobby of the Hotel Club del Mar, and they all boarded a bus.But Black’s 30 guests didn’t head for a church or a synagogue or even a courthouse. Black and her fiancé Will McMonnies didn’t want the same milquetoast ceremony in the usual venue. They wanted something different.So they got married on Tom Cat II — a pontoon boat.“We were all looking forward to a fun party cruise,” recalled Black, now married nearly a year. Once the attendees had climbed the gangplank to Tom Cat II, they were treated to a full day of lunch, champagne, snorkeling and a cruise along the coast.“We all enjoyed one of the prettiest sunsets that night on the boat – some of the brightest shades of orange and pink seemed to glow above the water,” Black said. “We got to see a family of dolphins swim by. It really seemed magical.”Back in Philadelphia, where the couple lived, the day had a high of 46 degrees Fahrenheit. The sky was overcast with passing rain.Destination: Costa RicaThe union of Black and McMonnies wasn’t a typical wedding, but it represents an exploding industry – the non-traditional destination wedding – and Costa Rica is among its epicenters. Along with hotspots like Mexico and Jamaica, Costa Rica attracts thousands of U.S. couples every year, and is gaining global attention. According to the Wall Street Journal, Costa Rica’s wedding industry has grown about 24 percent each year since 2010.“The couples who get married here are very diverse,” said Randy Gritz, who has worked as a wedding planner in Costa Rica for more than eight years. “But I think it has to be somebody with more of a sense of adventure. There are all kinds of reasons people come down here. First off, you don’t need a blood test. You could show up today and say I want to be married tomorrow, and it can be done. Getting married here legally is a lot easier than in other countries.”Another reason: economics. “When you’re at home, you’re forced to invite a lot of people. They’re friends of your parents, and your parents are insisting that they get invited. At a destination wedding, usually the guests pay their own way. The people who come are usually going to be closer to you.”Another reason? The land itself: “Getting married at a volcano, getting married at a waterfall. You have all these possibilities in Costa Rica.”It was Gritz who coordinated the Black-McMonnies wedding, as well as 200 other ceremonies throughout her career. Gritz sees Black as part of a growing demographic: the “Millennial Bride.” She’s inventive, self-sufficient, and often pays for the wedding without parental assistance. Instead of brides designing the wedding with their mothers, fiancées often collaborate mainly with their fiancés. “I’m finding that I’m speaking more with the bride and groom,” Gritz said.Many of the couples are young, others are marrying for a second time or even renewing their vows, but some traits they all have in common: They want to escape their normal lives, and they want the freedom to do things their own way. Sometimes these ceremonies are simple, for instance, an unaccompanied couple on the cove of an all-inclusive resort, witnessed mostly by sunbathers. Other times they’re complex, held inside hotel ballrooms or on mountaintops. No matter what they desire, ambitious couples can choose from hordes of wedding planners, photographers and venues. They can orchestrate the entire event by Internet or Skype. Some places, like the Hilton Papagayo, have drag-and-drop menus, allowing couples to organize their matrimony in minutes.This is all new. When Gritz moved to Costa Rica 22 years ago, the country was much calmer, and the industry hardly existed.“It was a time when I could bring two suitcases, and one of them was filled with books,” Gritz said. She spent 10 years as owner of a bookstore chain, and when she finally sold the business, she was ready for something radically different. A friend invited her to help with wedding planning, which seemed like a cottage industry. Although Gritz had little wedding experience, the industry exploded, and “within two months, I was booking my own weddings,” she said.Romance is serious business“I was Costa Rica’s very first professional wedding planner,” boasts Aimee Monahan, proprietress of Tropical Occasions. “That was in 1996, before the Gringo gold rush.”Monahan is a supersonic conversationalist, which matches her energetic lifestyle: Years after cutting her teeth at Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Monahan’s company plans about 85 weddings a year. She spent many years working in Costa Rica, but her husband struggled to find work, so they moved to the U.S. city of Denver, Colorado. Yet her business is still based in sunny Central America, where three full-time and three part-time staffers do work on the ground.“Every time I come down here, it’s like a reunion,” Monahan said. “I know the entire country. I know all the resorts. When I’m here, I am constantly touring properties. I want to see what’s out there for my clients. I’m a huge believer that no wedding should be the same.”Indeed, both Monahan and Gritz have organized a mind-bending variety of weddings and receptions. Beach ceremonies are the norm, especially in scenic regions like Guanacaste and Manuel Antonio, but couples may also opt for bonfires, horse rides, jugglers, stilt-walkers and human statues. Monahan once arranged a 140-person Hindu wedding with an eco-friendly vibe (materials included recycled tin cans). Another favorite client: a NASCAR driver and his intended.Because the destination weddings are so lucrative for specialists, and because the profession seems so glamorous, Monahan has seen plenty of would-be wedding planners come and go.“I welcome them,” Monahan said. “I help them. I want everyone in Costa Rica to have a good experience. But I’ve seen four companies pop up in the last year, and now they’re gone. You have to be good at what you do, and you have to be consistent.” Some planners fail because they arrive with tourist visas. “If you’re living here, and your business is based here, you have to be legal,” Monahan said firmly.Elysian as they seem, Costa Rican weddings aren’t all sea turtles and doilies. Bridezillas still show up, and many are surprised by the 13 percent sales tax, the price of flowers, and the drawbacks of marrying in an actual jungle (mosquitoes, mud, rain and so on). Some practices are less streamlined: Where U.S. venues universally require insurance, Costa Rican venues often scrimp.“Even putting a votive candle on a table is a fire hazard,” cautioned Gritz. “There’s a lot more leeway here.”There are also technical concerns: Couples must secure an attorney and often a priest. They must assign two witnesses for their paperwork, usually family members or friends. The couples must sign an affidavit, usually written in Spanish, which promises that they are not currently married; a past divorce requires an extra step. When paperwork is not “letter perfect,” it may get snarled in Costa Rican bureaucracy. If all goes well, U.S. citizens can expect their documents to take a few weeks to properly file; Canadians require a notary. Other nations have unique regulations.Costa Rica, mi amorMany professionals suggest that unpredictability is part of Costa Rica’s charm, and the foreigners who get married here must embrace the pura vida mentality. Micromanagers should find a nice little chapel in their own neighborhood.“When I work with a client who is uptight about every detail,” Gritz said, “something will always go wrong. Other people, when they’re just kind of laidback, everything seems to be perfect. When all is said and done, you’re not going to remember the flowers on the table. What you’re going to remember is maybe your grandfather dancing with your grandmother.”“What does pura vida mean to me?” Monahan said. “It means ‘slow down.’ If everyone was as laidback [as Costa Ricans], the world would be a much better place. If you’re a New Yorker and you want everything in a New York minute, you shouldn’t come down here. These are some of the happiest people. They’re proud of their country. They really care that you have a good time here.” Monahan is a self-described yogi and she is conversational about chakras. “I think Costa Rica was my yoga before. It was making me present, making me breathe. In [the U.S.], things are so fast-paced, I do yoga to keep myself focused.”“I think this is my destiny,” she said. “I tell my staff all the time: When you stop loving this, tell me, because you can’t work for me anymore. It’s emotional.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

asiaBuffalo ToursResponsible tourismSustainable

first_imgasiaBuffalo ToursResponsible tourismSustainable Plastic waste is one of the most urgent environmental challenges currently facing Asia, with increased tourism playing a significant role in intensifying a bad situation, and Buffalo Tours is committed to taking steps to drastically reduce its contribution to the problem.The company is now providing the option to use refillable water bottles on group tours, instead of single-use plastic. So far this has resulted in a reduction of plastic waste by over 200,000 water bottles in less than a year. “We believe that responsible travel can be achieved by offering sustainable alternatives to our customers, without compromising on service and comfort. We are delighted to see how small changes can result in dramatic progress,” said Greg Martin, General Manager, Buffalo Tours Australia & New Zealand.Buffalo Tours is further reducing its impact on the environment by replacing other forms of single-use plastic with 100% biodegradable and environmentally-friendly alternatives. This includes individually wrapped food, beverage and hygiene items.“This is a global problem that requires a global effort to solve. It is estimated that almost two thirds of all plastic waste in our oceans originate in Asia. This is believed to be one of the biggest threats to coral reefs in Asia-Pacific, from Thailand to Australia,” said Malte Blas, Responsible Travel Advisory Board, Buffalo Tours.Hotels and tour operators are a significant contributor to plastic waste, providing every guest with several complimentary water bottles each day. Waste management in many popular tourist destinations, such as Bali, are simply not adequately equipped to deal with the issue.“We have a duty to keep our guests hydrated and happy, but we also have a duty towards the environment. By offering travellers an alternative to single-use plastic bottles, even if we only save one bottle per person each day, it has a huge impact,” said Peter Christiansen, Country Manager, Buffalo Tours Indonesia.CLICK HERE for Buffalo Tours’ Responsible Travel eBook.last_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Time keeps ticking as the Arizona Cardinals continue their search for a new head coach. One of those candidates left sitting and waiting patiently is current Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Most coaches and coordinators have hobbies they enjoy during the offseason to help get their mind off the game. Horton’s happens to be different than most — he enjoys flying planes. “For me it’s just relaxation and something I’ve always wanted to do,” Horton said after a recent flying session. “I don’t know if it’s a male thing or not but you know you look up as a kid and you see planes and birds and you think, ‘why can’t man fly?’ “I just had the opportunity last year during the lockout and I did and it was amazing. It’s so much easier than I thought and so much more peaceful.”The defensive coordinator revealed his unique hobby to me after practice one day and mentioned he has his pilot’s license. He joked about being a good pilot. “You’re more than welcome to come along some day,” he said. As the offseason began and Horton’s future in Arizona in limbo, I started to think about his offer because he also said it’s something he does because it’s relaxing for him. What better time to join him on a flight than in the midst of a head coaching search when peace and relaxation could be at a premium?? My thoughts exactly…“With our schedule I try to fly every other Friday just to stay proficient at it. It’s one of those skills you can lose and get rusty at it,” Horton said when asked how he fits flying in with the busy schedule of an NFL coach. “So during the season twice a month and then during the offseason, this is the first offseason since I’ve had my license, so I don’t know.” Horton said he’s enjoyed flying in Phoenix, Flagstaff and even in the Pittsburgh area. He’s flown during the night, logged cross-country hours and continues to improve, but admits there’s still learning to do. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “I’ve been probably flying twice a week where I actually go fly somewhere. I’m still a novice at it and learning. Michael Bidwill, the Cardinals owner, is a pilot and he says you’re always learning. It’s not really a license to fly; it’s a license to learn, because you’re always learning something. You should learn something every flight.”That statement from Horton should not be a surprise to anybody who has spent time covering the coordinator during his two years in Arizona. One could have guessed he’s as meticulous and detail-oriented when flying a plane as he is at breaking down offenses in the NFL. Horton sees something he wants and goes after it without hesitation. He finished his ten-year playing career in the NFL in 1992 and has been a coach in the league ever since, including seven successful years with the Pittsburgh Steelers before joining Arizona in 2011. So what was different about flying? Why wait until he was 50 years old to get his pilot’s license?“Because of the time it takes. It would be hard to do that on your five weeks of summer vacation that you get,” he said. “I don’t think I would’ve had the time to devote during the season during the offseason of scouting and playbook and it just happened when the lockout came that everything was locked down for whatever that period was.” – / 4 Horton said it takes 60 hours total between flight and ground school. “I started May 1 and basically got it right before training camp. Basically it was May, June, July; a three-month process to get it which was amazing but I flew twice a day sometimes.”For a coach that doesn’t like to sit still, this coaching search may lead to a few more flying opportunities as it drags on. Horton would argue he uses his flight time as something fun to do and not an activity to relieve a little stress that comes with the unknown of a coaching search.“I’m not stressed,” he said laughing. “Why would I be stressed? I have no worries in my life.”He’s proven to be pretty good at breaking down offenses and now proven to me that he’s pretty good at flying, too. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more