Pioneering reporter Helen Thomas aged into legend

first_imgWASHINGTON — Covering 10 presidents over five decades, Helen Thomas aged into a legend. She was the only reporter with her name inscribed on a chair in the White House briefing room — her own front row seat to history.Starting as a copy girl in 1943, when women were considered unfit for serious reporting, Thomas rose to bureau chief.Working at a news service, where writers expect obscurity, she became one of journalism’s most recognized faces. Thomas embraced her role as a Washington institution, doing cameos in movies, giving lectures, writing books about her life until the spotlight landed on inflammatory remarks she made about Israel.The uproar pushed her out of the White House press room at age 89.Thomas, 92, died surrounded by family and friends at her Washington apartment on Saturday, the family said in a statement. A friend, Muriel Dobbin, told The Associated Press that Thomas had been ill for a long time, and in and out of the hospital before coming home Thursday.Thomas made her name as a bulldog for United Press International in the great wire-service rivalries of old, and as a pioneer for women in journalism.She was persistent to the point of badgering. One White House press secretary described her questioning as “torture” — and he was one of her fans.last_img read more

Troopers Woman raped over 5 weeks at rural cabin

first_imgA 37-year-old Alaska man has been charged with kidnapping and raping a woman over a five-week span at a remote cabin more than 100 miles west of Fairbanks.Download AudioA preliminary hearing was scheduled Nov. 20 for Daniel Selovich, who was arrested Sunday when he and the woman were brought to Fairbanks. The woman was hospitalized.Troopers say he held her against her will at the cabin located about 16 miles south of Manley Hot Springs. That’s a tiny village at the end of the Elliott Highway, the only road link to Fairbanks.Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says in an email to The Associated Press that a friend of the woman who was concerned about her health called authorities.A call to the public defender’s office in Fairbanks, which is representing Selovich, wasn’t immediately returned Thursday. Troopers couldn’t immediately provide additional information.last_img read more

Amazon to Increase US Prime Annual Fee to 119 Up From 99

first_imgFour years ago, Prime offered free two-day shipping on 20 million products in the U.S., Olsavsky noted. Today Amazon offers more than 100 million products in Prime available within two days, and many are available even faster than that — with same-day or two-hour delivery.Last week, CEO Jeff Bezos announced in his annual letter to investors that Amazon had surpassed 100 million members worldwide for Prime. That was the first time the company had ever provided a specific Prime number. Amazon still doesn’t break out how many Prime members it has in the U.S. or in other territories.Prime members receive free shipping of two days or less on more than 100 million products, as well as access to Prime Video and Prime Music streaming, Prime Reading ebooks and other titles, and other perks. For example, Prime members can now earn 5% cash back on purchases at Whole Foods Market when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card from Chase. Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last year.In addition to higher shipping costs for Prime, the company has been continuing to spend heavily on original programming for Prime Video. The company on Thursday renewed its deal with the NFL for “Thursday Night Football” live-streaming games for the 2018-19 seasons. In the first quarter, Amazon Studios greenlit series including “Cortés” from executive producers Steven Spielberg and Steven Zaillian and starring Javier Bardem, and “Utopia,” a series written by “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn. Amazon last year won the rights to a multi-season adaption of “Lord of the Rings,” its most expensive and ambitious original production to date.Earlier this year, Amazon hiked the price of the monthly Prime plan in the U.S., from $10.99 to $12.99 per month. Amazon also offers a standalone Prime Video subscription option, which — for now — will remain at $8.99 per month.Meanwhile, Amazon still offers a discount to students. The company will keep that unchanged at $59 per year for an annual Prime Student membership.Amazon announced the U.S. price hike for Prime’s annual plan after smashing Wall Street expectations for Q1. It reported $51.0 billion in sales and net income of $1.63 billion — more than double the year-earlier period — sending shares to record highs in after-market trading. ×Tom Brokaw Accused of Sexual Harassment by Former NBC AnchorVolume 90%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpHollywood Celebrities Who Died in 201904:09OffIfCM2jvG-20076350 facebook twitter reddit Email Linkhttps://variety.com/2018/digital/news/amazon-us-prime-annual-increase-119-dollars-1202789280/?jwsource=clCopied EmbedCopiedAuto 720p1080p720p406p270p180pLive00:0013:0513:05More Videos04:09Hollywood Celebrities Who Died in 201904:15Meet Zach Barack, Marvel Studios’ First Trans Actor01:08Naughty by Nature on Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award Title00:47Bebe Rexha Talked to Sophie Turner About the ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale05:35The Best of Star Wars at D2302:55Emmys: Why Your Favorite Shows Aren’t NominatedClose POPULAR ON VARIETY.COM:center_img Amazon will increase the annual cost of Prime for U.S. customers to $119 per year, up 20% from $99 currently — news coming after it blew the doors off revenue and profit expectations in the first quarter.The price increase will take effect starting June 16 for existing Prime customers based on their renewal period, CFO Brian Olsavsky said on Amazon’s first-quarter 2018 earnings call. New members will pay the $119 price starting May 11. The company last raised the price of Prime in the U.S. in March 2014.Asked on the call why Amazon was raising rates now, Olsavsky cited rising costs because of higher shipping expenses and spending on digital content. “It’s really nothing more than looking at the state of the program, and the high benefits it’s delivering,” he said. “There’s all kinds of new features we’ve continually added to the Prime program. It’s much different than it was in 2014.”last_img read more

Researchers develop 3D microstructures that respond to temperature and light

first_img 3-D inks that can be erased selectively Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Stimuli-responsive pNIPAM valves in PETA microchannels. a) 3D reconstruction of experimental data recorded via confocal laser scanning microscopy. Two different color channels have been recorded, allowing to separate the fluorescence from the PETA with the green fluorescent DETC and that from pNIPAM with the red fluorescent rhodamine dye. The corresponding iso-intensity surfaces are colored in turquoise and gray, respectively. Upon heating the sample to 45 °C, the opening in the middle widens. This process is reversible when cooling the sample back down. b) Open area in the middle of the microchannel at 20 °C and 45 °C for multiple cycles of stimulation. We find no significant deterioration. c) Alternative design with an additional inner tube and two pNIPAM-tori. Complete closure of the microchannel can be achieved in a reversible manner. Scale bars are 30 µm. Credit: Hippler et al. Stimuli-responsive microstructures are of key importance for the creation of adaptable systems, which can have interesting applications in soft robotics and biosciences. For practical application, however, materials need to be compatible with aqueous environments while also enabling the manufacturing of 3-D structures, for instance, using 3-D printing. “3-D printing by direct laser writing is a powerful technique enabling the manufacturing of almost all arbitrary stable structures in the micrometer range,” Marc Hippler, one of the researchers who carried out the study, told TechXplore. “However, for many applications, especially in the biomedical field, it is desirable to change the properties of the resulting microstructure on demand, as this enables the step from passive to active systems. We wanted to present a powerful and versatile technique to create such structures.” In order to achieve complex actuation patterns, researchers need to use materials that react differently to external stimuli, such as temperature and light. Hippler and his colleagues thus developed new 3-D hetero-microstructures based on N-isopropylacrylamide, a temperature-responsive monomer that is commercially available. Using their method, the researchers successfully created active structures that exhibit a large-amplitude response to changes in temperature. In addition, they showed that the response of these structures can be activated both globally, by changing the water temperature, and locally, by illuminating the desired microstructure with a laser focus. Temperature-induced actuation using pNIPAM-based hetero-microstructures. a) Scheme of bi-material hetero-structures with the two materials highlighted in green and gray, lower and higher dose exposure, respectively. These can be compared with the 3D reconstructions of measured fluorescence image stacks. The two temperatures T = 20 °C and T = 45 °C are highlighted in blue and red, respectively. The beams start straight at T = 20 °C and are curved at T = 45 °C. b Curvature, i.e., inverse radius obtained by fitting a circle to the experimental data, versus temperature. The right-hand side panel shows the result of twelve temperature cycles without deterioration (error bars are s.d.). c) Bright-field optical micrographs of a 3 × 3 array of nominally identical structures to demonstrate the reproducibility. d) Temperature dependence of five structures with different beam lengths prepared under identical fabrication conditions. Scale bars are 20 µm in a and b and 50 µm in c and d. Credit: Hippler et al. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Researchers develop 3-D microstructures that respond to temperature and light (2019, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-d-microstructures-temperature.html A team of researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Heidelberg University have recently introduced functional 3-D hetero-microstructures based on Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) (pNIPAM) a polymer that responds to changes in temperature close to its lower critical solution temperature. Mechanical analysis of a pNIPAM block fabricated by 3D laser lithography. a) Optical micrograph in the AFM with overlayed indications for the force measurements and the line-scan. Scale bar is 50 µm. b) Measured Young’s Modulus as a function of temperature for a stepwise heating and cooling of the sample. c) Height measurement via line-scanning from the glass substrate on top of the pNIPAM block. The different colors depict several cycles of heating and cooling. Credit: Hippler et al. “We demonstrated a very versatile and powerful technique that can be employed and used by other people,” Hippler said. “I think three of the main aspects of our study are the creation of materials with largely different properties out of a single photoresist, the strong actuation due to a mild stimulus and the opportunity to use light to trigger the response. Due to this versatility, we didn’t focus on one particular application, but highlighted different possibilities.” In the future, these findings could inform the development of materials with applications in a variety of fields, including microfluidics, soft robotics and biosciences. Hippler will now continue working on this system, specifically focusing on biological experiments.”Additionally, we will be investigating other stimuli-responsive material systems with interesting properties that could be used for direct laser writing,” he said. More information: Marc Hippler et al. Controlling the shape of 3D microstructures by temperature and light, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08175-w Journal information: Nature Communications “One important goal of our study was to achieve strong responses with a ‘mild’ stimulus,” Hippler said. “By increasing the temperature only slightly above room temperature we stay in a physiological range, which makes the system interesting for biological applications. One could, for example, think about single cells in 3-D scaffolds that are mechanically stimulated by their environment. We also demonstrated that this technique could be useful for other fields, such as microfluidics or soft robotics.”Hippler and his colleagues demonstrated that by changing the local exposure dose in 3-D laser lithography, the material parameters could be altered on demand. They then explored this possibility further to create 3-D architectures with large amplitude and complex responses. last_img read more

Stories of Santhals

first_imgThe 43-minute-duration film strives to highlight the man- nature relationship of the Santhal community. The Santhals live close to nature. As a community they may be seen in the context of their environment, ecology, the supernatural and beyond. Music and dance form an inseparable part of their day-to-day life and one of their most revered articles is the banam, a musical instrument. It reflects the whole man-nature relationship within itself.  Although the instrument is always shown in the female shape, it can only be played by a man. The anatomy of the human being is conceived by the Santhals in the various part of the banam. The film looks at different stages in making of the banam, made out of a single wooden log, from the Gulanj Baha or gula cin tree. Small and delicate, it is often planted by the Santhals near their houses, on account of its pretty fragrant flowers, which are used a ornaments. The branches are slender and very fragile and the wood is extremely soft, light and easy to work with.last_img read more

China Calls US Hacking Accusations Groundless

first_imgSeptember 11, 2015 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min read China reacted angrily on Friday following a call by America’s top intelligence official for cyber security against China to be stepped up, and said the United States should stop “groundless accusations”.Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the United States must beef up cyber security against Chinese hackers targeting a range of U.S. interests to raise the cost to China of engaging in such activities.Clapper’s testimony adds pressure on Beijing over its conduct in cyberspace weeks before President Xi Jinping visits the United States.China routinely denies any involvement in hacking and says it is also a victim.”Maintaining cyber security should be a point of cooperation rather than a source of friction between both China and the United States,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.”We hope that the U.S. stops its groundless attacks against China, start dialogue based on a foundation of mutual respect, and jointly build a cyberspace that is peaceful, secure, open and cooperative.”The Obama administration is considering targeted sanctions against Chinese individuals and companies for cyber attacks against U.S. commercial targets, several U.S. officials have said.Chinese hackers wee also implicated in extensive hacking of the U.S. government’s personnel office disclosed this year.China’s top diplomat took a softer line in an interview published on Friday in the state-runChina Daily, saying China and the United States can cooperate and work with other countries on global cyber security rules in a spirit of respect.”China and the United States actually can make cyber security a point of cooperation,” State Councilor Yang Jiechi said in the interview, which focused on Xi’s state visit to America.”We hope China, the United States and other countries could work together to work out the rules for cyber security in the international arena in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit,” said Yang, who outranks the foreign minister.Yang noted, as Chinese officials regularly do, that China was itself a hacking victim and said suspected cases should be investigated and handled “on a solid, factual basis”.His comments were not a direct reaction to Clapper’s.On another point of friction between the United States and China – territorial disputes in the South China Sea – Yang said he hoped the United States would stay on the sidelines because it was not part of the disputes.He added, though: “It is important for both countries to stay in close touch even if they have different perceptions and views.”(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel) Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

Are Your Technology Decisions Helping or Hurting Your Employees

first_img Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. 4 min read In an age where no industry is left untouched by innovations and new tools, workplace tech can be a tricky issue. Hardly a day passes without a glaring headline about automation stealing jobs. For some, new technologies at work may lead to fears related to job security. For others, training on the newest tools builds confidence that company leaders are equipping them to do their best work.Business leaders are faced with the task of convincing their employees that workplace technology exists to improve and augment the way they work, not complicate it. There’s a problem, though: Most of the technology integrated in modern business isn’t designed with real users in mind. Additionally, popular consumer technologies have built a steady momentum in team members’ lives. Those advances have catalyzed expectations that job-based enterprise technology should feel familiar, efficient and simple to use.Related: These 5 Simple Tweaks Will Make Your Office More ProductiveThe market is swamped with time-consuming and counterproductive tools. Providing technology that actually makes people’s jobs easier is a feat in and of itself. How do you know if the tools you’ve deployed as a business leader are helping engage and retain talent? Here are some signs you’re doing it right.Technology blends seamlessly with the many ways employees work.Who wants to answer seven questions from a chatbot to schedule a meeting invitation when you can accomplish the same task in just three clicks? Well-designed technology must be unassuming and unintimidating. It should be so seamlessly integrated into the way your team works that you and your employees don’t even notice you’re using it. In short, it fades into the background.Complexity is no excuse for bad tools. Your end-user doesn’t care what’s under the hood; he or she just wants it to work. As a business leader, you should choose technology that allows people to access the tool and get what they need. Often, companies tend to embrace new technologies simply for the sake of having the latest and greatest. Start with this instead: Ask how the tool will be useful to your company and your team. Related: Why Technology Is Affecting Critical Thought in the Workplace and How to Fix ItUsers can be more human.Provide your employees with technology that frees them up so they can focus on value-adding assignments. Automate any functional duties that software can do as well as (or better than) a person. Culling resumes, approving time sheets and filling open shifts all can be automated. These tasks are based on strict logic, predictable inputs and sets of rules than can be programmed, scaled and repeated. Then, reallocate the time freed up by technology. Allow your people to concentrate on areas that require more human aptitudes, such as relationship-building, creative problem-solving, consulting and strategic thinking.Related: 12 Ways to Automate Your Business and Boost EfficiencyTools foster collaboration among different teams.It’s no secret that collaboration produces more creative thinking than does working in silos. To do their best work, your team members need a diversity of perspectives and face-to-face interaction. The combination builds cohesion and drives innovation.It’s possible that some workplace technology could pull employees further apart. On the other hand, successful technology can bridge gaps between teams who think and operate in different ways. For example, a designer and a finance manager typically speak two different languages in their day-to-day jobs. Bringing them together on a common platform enables them to easily share ideas in a space that translates well for both parties. Do this, and you’ll harness the power of cross-team collaboration.Related: All Business Is Personal: Employees Need Human Connections at WorkSuccessfully navigating the work-meets-technology landscape has grown more difficult as new tech is released, and the current pace can be hard to match. Still, you must ensure that efficacy is a real value in any new tools you roll out to your staff. Take time to examine whether your proposed tech solution will free employees up to accomplish great work — or waste their time developing workarounds because the tool isn’t the right fit. April 18, 2018 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Listen Nowlast_img read more

Dr Mario World by Nintendo for Android first look

first_imgDr. Mario World by Nintendo for Android: first look by Martin Brinkmann on July 10, 2019 in Games, Google Android – 1 commentDr. Mario World is Nintendo’s latest mobile game. The game is now available for Android and iOS devices, and gamers from all over the world can download and install the game on their mobile devices.Dr. Mario World is a free to play game with in-app purchases. The game is a mobile remake of Dr. Mario, a game released in 1990 by Nintendo for various systems including the Game Boy, NES and SNES.First, the basics. You can download Dr. Mario World from Google Play and install it on the device. The game can be played without account and you can get started right away after launch.Dr. Mario World requires an active Internet connection, the game cannot be played offline.Dr. Mario WorldDr. Mario World is an action puzzle game that modifies the concept of the original Dr. Mario game in some key aspects. The main objective of the game is to destroy viruses using capsules; this works similarly to Tetris.Unlike in Dr. Mario, gameplay has been turned 180 degrees. Viruses are at the top and capsules are pushed from the bottom to the top; Nintendo did not reveal why it made the decision but the bottom approach improves the handling and one-hand usage.Players have a limited number of capsules in a level. They may rotate the capsules and push them towards to the viruses. Capsules can be rotated even when they are already on their way and you may also move them to the left or right.The first levels act as an introduction to main game concepts. Nintendo introduces different viruses and other elements such as blocks that players need to take into account.Regular capsules are split into two parts that may have different colors. Viruses are removed when capsules are connected to viruses of the same color provided that the linked structure has a size of at least three vertically or horizontally.New game elements are introduced regularly, e.g. Koopa shells that remove viruses when it hits them, bombs that destroy anything around them, bottles that fill up the character’s skill meter, or rainbow capsules that act as wildcards.Once you reach level 10 you may select a different doctor to play. You start the game playing Mario but may switch to Princess Peach or Bowser once you reach that level. Characters have different skills that may help you play the game.Once you finish the first stage, you get to choose your first assistant. Assistants add their own sets of unique skills to the game. The first that you may get, Goomba, adds 1% to the score.The game world is divided into different areas, comparable to the stages in Super Mario World games. The “real” game begins in the second stage; it is here that your live limit is set so that you may run into a situation where you end up without any lives left. Lives are required to play levels and when you run out of them you either have to wait for them to fill up again or make a purchase.In-game purchasesDr. Mario World supports in-game purchases to buy special items and the in-game currency diamonds. Diamonds are used to fill up hearts or continue playing a level when the game over sign appears.You may also purchase characters. Purchases are not required to play the game but they certainly help speed things up or master difficult levels.Please note that I this may change in later stages and levels, I did not make it this far yet, though.Challenges and Versus ModeChallenges are introduced in world 2 that add a time limit to levels. Unlike regular levels, challenge levels are quite difficult to beat because of the time limit and layout of the level.Dr. Mario World supports a versus mode (hence the name). You may play against friends or random players from all around the world. Versus mode is a fast pace game mode in which you try to clear the level faster and build up skill to defeat the opposing player.Versus mode is an independent game mode that you can play all the time as it is not linked to the lives of the regular mode. Good to spend time playing the game if you run out of lives and don’t want to make a purchase.Closing WordsDr. Mario World is a well designed puzzle game for mobile devices. It features a single-player mode and versus mode, and should keep Mario and puzzle fans entertained for a while.The game features in-game purchases but Nintendo made a wise decision not to push these forcefully in the game so that the game can be played without ever needing to make purchases.Now You: What’s your take on Dr. Mario World? Did you play it?Summary12345 Author Rating4 based on 4 votes Software Name Dr. Mario WorldOperating System AndroidSoftware Category GamesLanding Page https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nintendo.zama Advertisementlast_img read more

Experts present most pressing issues facing global lawmakers on citizens privacy democracy

first_imgThe Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy, and Ethics are hosting a hearing on Big Data, Privacy and Democracy from Monday, May 27 to Wednesday, May 29 as a series of discussions with experts, and tech execs over the three days. The committee invited expert witnesses to testify before representatives from 12 countries ( Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, Ireland, Germany, Chile, Estonia, Mexico, Morocco, Ecuador, St. Lucia, and Costa Rica) on how governments can protect democracy and citizen rights in the age of big data. The committee opened with a round table discussion where expert witnesses spoke about what they believe to be the most pressing issues facing lawmakers when it comes to protecting the rights of citizens in the digital age. Expert witnesses that took part were: Professor Heidi Tworek, University of British Columbia Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next Taylor Owen, McGill University Ben Scott, The Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School Roger McNamee, Author of Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe Shoshana Zuboff, Author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism Maria Ressa, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor of Rappler Inc. Jim Balsillie, Chair, Centre for International Governance Innovation The session was led by Bob Zimmer, M.P. and Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. Other members included Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, and Charlie Angus, M.P. and Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. Also present was Damian Collins, M.P. and Chair of the UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee. Testimonies from the witnesses “Personal data matters more than context”, Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next The presentation started with Mr. Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, a US based Trade association, who thanked the committee and appreciated the opportunity to speak on behalf of 80 high-quality digital publishers globally. He begins by saying how DCN has prioritized shining a light on issues that erode trust in the digital marketplace, including a troubling data ecosystem that has developed with very few legitimate constraints on the collection and use of data about consumers. As a result personal data is now valued more highly than context, consumer expectations, copyright, and even facts themselves. He believes it is vital that policymakers begin to connect the dots between the three topics of the committee’s inquiry, data privacy, platform dominance and, societal impact. He says that today personal data is frequently collected by unknown third parties without consumer knowledge or control. This data is then used to target consumers across the web as cheaply as possible. This dynamic creates incentives for bad actors, particularly on unmanaged platforms, like social media, which rely on user-generated content mostly with no liability. Here the site owners are paid on the click whether it is from an actual person or a bot on trusted information or on disinformation. He says that he is optimistic about regulations like the GDPR in the EU which contain narrow purpose limitations to ensure companies do not use data for secondary uses. He recommends exploring whether large tech platforms that are able to collect data across millions of devices, websites, and apps should even be allowed to use this data for secondary purposes. He also applauds the decision of the German cartel office to limit Facebook’s ability to collect and use data across its apps and the web. He further says that issues such as bot fraud, malware, ad blockers, clickbait, privacy violations and now disinformation are just symptoms. The root cause is unbridled data collection at the most personal level.  Four years ago DC ended the original financial analysis labeling Google and Facebook the duopoly of digital advertising. In a 150+ billion dollar digital ad market across the North America and the EU, 85 to 90 percent of the incremental growth is going to just these two companies. DNC dug deeper and connected the revenue concentration to the ability of these two companies to collect data in a way that no one else can. This means both companies know much of your browsing history and your location history. The emergence of this duopoly has created a misalignment between those who create the content and those who profit from it. The scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge analytic underscores the current dysfunctional dynamic. With the power Facebook has over our information ecosystem our lives and our democratic systems it is vital to know whether we can trust the company. He also points out that although, there’s been a well documented and exhausting trail of apologies, there’s been little or no change in the leadership or governance of Facebook. In fact the company has repeatedly refused to have its CEO offer evidence to pressing international government. He believes there should be a deeper probe as there’s still much to learn about what happened and how much Facebook knew about the Cambridge Analytica scandal before it became public. Facebook should be required to have an independent audit of its user account practices and its decisions to preserve or purge real and fake accounts over the past decade. He ends his testimony saying that it is critical to shed light on these issues to understand what steps must be taken to improve data protection. This includes providing consumers with greater transparency and choice over their personal data when using practices that go outside of the normal expectations of consumers. Policy makers globally must hold digital platforms accountable for helping to build a healthy marketplace and for restoring consumer trust and restoring competition. “We need a World Trade Organization 2.0 “, Jim Balsillie, Chair, Centre for International Governance Innovation; Retired Chairman and co-CEO of BlackBerry Jim begins by saying that Data governance is the most important public policy issue of our time. It is cross-cutting with economic, social, and security dimension. It requires both national policy frameworks and international coordination. A specific recommendation he brought forward in this hearing was to create a new institution for like-minded nations to address digital cooperation and stability. “The data driven economies effects cannot be contained within national borders”, he said, “we need new or reformed rules of the road for digitally mediated global commerce, a World Trade Organization 2.0”. He gives the example of Financial Stability Board which was created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to foster global financial cooperation and stability. He recommends forming a similar global institution, for example, digital stability board, to deal with the challenges posed by digital transformation. The nine countries on this committee plus the five other countries attending, totaling 14 could constitute founding members of this board which would undoubtedly grow over time. “Check business models of Silicon Valley giants”, Roger McNamee, Author of Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe Roger begins by saying that it is imperative that this committee and that nations around the world engage in a new thought process relative to the ways of controlling companies in Silicon Valley, especially to look at their business models. By nature these companies invade privacy and undermine democracy. He assures that there is no way to stop that without ending the business practices as they exist. He then commends Sri Lanka who chose to shut down the platforms in response to a terrorist act. He believes that that is the only way governments are going to gain enough leverage in order to have reasonable conversations. He explains more on this in his formal presentation, which took place yesterday. “Stop outsourcing policies to the private sector”, Taylor Owen, McGill University He begins by making five observations about the policy space that we’re in right now. First, self-regulation and even many of the forms of co-regulation that are being discussed have and will continue to prove insufficient for this problem. The financial incentives are simply powerfully aligned against meaningful reform. These are publicly traded largely unregulated companies whose shareholders and directors expect growth by maximizing a revenue model that it is self part of the problem. This growth may or may not be aligned with the public interest. Second, disinformation, hate speech, election interference, privacy breaches, mental health issues and anti-competitive behavior must be treated as symptoms of the problem not its cause. Public policy should therefore focus on the design and the incentives embedded in the design of the platforms themselves. If democratic governments determine that structure and design is leading to negative social and economic outcomes, then it is their responsibility to govern. Third, governments that are taking this problem seriously are converging on a markedly similar platform governance agenda. This agenda recognizes that there are no silver bullets to this broad set of problems and that instead, policies must be domestically implemented and internationally coordinated across three categories: Content policies which seek to address a wide range of both supply and demand issues about the nature amplification and legality of content in our digital public sphere. Data policies which ensure that public data is used for the public good and that citizens have far greater rights over the use, mobility, and monetization of their data. Competition policies which promote free and competitive markets in the digital economy. Fourth, the propensity when discussing this agenda to overcomplicate solutions serves the interests of the status quo. He then recommends sensible policies that could and should be implemented immediately: The online ad micro targeting market could be made radically more transparent and in many cases suspended entirely. Data privacy regimes could be updated to provide far greater rights to individuals and greater oversight and regulatory power to punish abuses. Tax policy can be modernized to better reflect the consumption of digital goods and to crack down on tax base erosion and profit sharing. Modernized competition policy can be used to restrict and rollback acquisitions and a separate platform ownership from application and product development. Civic media can be supported as a public good. Large-scale and long term civic literacy and critical thinking efforts can be funded at scale by national governments, not by private organizations. He then asks difficult policy questions for which there are neither easy solutions, meaningful consensus nor appropriate existing international institutions. How we regulate harmful speech in the digital public sphere? He says, that at the moment we’ve largely outsourced the application of national laws as well as the interpretation of difficult trade-offs between free speech and personal and public harms to the platforms themselves. Companies who seek solutions rightly in their perspective that can be implemented at scale globally. In this case, he argues that what is possible technically and financially for the companies might be insufficient for the goals of the public good or the public policy goals. What is liable for content online? He says that we’ve clearly moved beyond the notion of platform neutrality and absolute safe harbor but what legal mechanisms are best suited to holding platforms, their design, and those that run them accountable. Also, he asks how are we going to bring opaque artificial intelligence systems into our laws and norms and regulations? He concludes saying that these difficult conversation should not be outsourced to the private sector. They need to be led by democratically accountable governments and their citizens. “Make commitments to public service journalism”, Ben Scott, The Center for Internet and Society, Stanford Law School Ben states that technology doesn’t cause the problem of data misinformation, and irregulation. It infact accelerates it. This calls for policies to be made to limit the exploitation of these technology tools by malignant actors and by companies that place profits over the public interest. He says, “we have to view our technology problem through the lens of the social problems that we’re experiencing.” This is why the problem of political fragmentation or hate speech tribalism and digital media looks different in each countries. It looks different because it feeds on the social unrest, the cultural conflict, and the illiberalism that is native to each society. He says we need to look at problems holistically and understand that social media companies are a part of a system and they don’t stand alone as the super villains. The entire media market has bent itself to the performance metrics of Google and Facebook. Television, radio, and print have tortured their content production and distribution strategies to get likes shares and and to appear higher in the Google News search results. And so, he says, we need a comprehensive public policy agenda and put red lines around the illegal content. To limit data collection and exploitation we need to modernize competition policy to reduce the power of monopolies. He also says, that we need to publicly educate people on how to help themselves and how to stop being exploited. We need to make commitments to public service journalism to provide alternatives for people, alternatives to the mindless stream of clickbait to which we have become accustomed. “Pay attention to the physical infrastructure”, Professor Heidi Tworek, University of British Columbia Taking inspiration from Germany’s vibrant interwar media democracy as it descended into an authoritarian Nazi regime, Heidi lists five brief lessons that she thinks can guide policy discussions in the future. These can enable governments to build robust solutions that can make democracies stronger. Disinformation is also an international relations problem Information warfare has been a feature not a bug of the international system for at least a century. So the question is not if information warfare exists but why and when states engage in it. This happens often when a state feels encircled, weak or aspires to become a greater power than it already is. So if many of the causes of disinformation are geopolitical, we need to remember that many of the solutions will be geopolitical and diplomatic as well, she adds. Pay attention to the physical infrastructure Information warfare disinformation is also enabled by physical infrastructure whether it is the submarine cables a century ago or fiber optic cables today. 95 to 99 percent of international data flows through undersea fiber-optic cables. Google partly owns 8.5 percent of those submarine cables. Content providers also own physical infrastructure She says, Russia and China, for example are surveying European and North American cables. China we know as of investing in 5G but combining that with investments in international news networks. Business models matter more than individual pieces of content Individual harmful content pieces go viral because of the few companies that control the bottleneck of information. Only 29% of Americans or Brits understand that their Facebook newsfeed is algorithmically organized. The most aware are the Finns and there are only 39% of them that understand that. That invisibility can provide social media platforms an enormous amount of power that is not neutral. At a very minimum, she says, we need far more transparency about how algorithms work and whether they are discriminatory. Carefully design robust regulatory institutions She urges governments and the committee to democracy-proof whatever solutions,  come up with. She says, “we need to make sure that we embed civil society or whatever institutions we create.” She suggests an idea of forming social media councils that could meet regularly to actually deal with many such problems. The exact format and the geographical scope are still up for debate but it’s an idea supported by many including the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion, she adds. Address the societal divisions exploited by social media Heidi says, that the seeds of authoritarianism need fertile soil to grow and if we do not attend to the underlying economic and social discontents, better communications cannot obscure those problems forever. “Misinformation is effect of one shared cause, Surveillance Capitalism”, Shoshana Zuboff, Author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism Shoshana also agrees with the committee about how the themes of platform accountability, data security and privacy, fake news and misinformation are all effects of one shared cause. She identifies this underlying cause as surveillance capitalism and defines  surveillance capitalism as a comprehensive systematic economic logic that is unprecedented. She clarifies that surveillance capitalism is not technology. It is also not a corporation or a group of corporations. This is infact a virus that has infected every economic sector from insurance, retail, publishing, finance all the way through to product and service manufacturing and administration all of these sectors. According to her, Surveillance capitalism cannot also be reduced to a person or a group of persons. Infact surveillance capitalism follows the history of market capitalism in the following way – it takes something that exists outside the marketplace and it brings it into the market dynamic for production and sale. It claims private human experience for the market dynamic. Private human experience is repurposed as free raw material which are rendered as behavioral data. Some of these behavioral data are certainly fed back into product and service improvement but the rest are declared of behavioral surplus identified for their rich predictive value. These behavioral surplus flows are then channeled into the new means of production what we call machine intelligence or artificial intelligence. From these come out prediction products. Surveillance capitalists own and control not one text but two. First is the public facing text which is derived from the data that we have provided to these entities. What comes out of these, the prediction products, is the proprietary text, a shadow text from which these companies have amassed high market capitalization and revenue in a very short period of time. These prediction products are then sold into a new kind of marketplace that trades exclusively in human futures. The first name of this marketplace was called online targeted advertising and the human predictions that were sold in those markets were called click-through rates. By now that these markets are no more confined to that kind of marketplace. This new logic of surveillance capitalism is being applied to anything and everything. She promises to discuss on more of this in further sessions. “If you have no facts then you have no truth. If you have no truth you have no trust”, Maria Ressa, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor of Rappler Inc. Maria believes that in the end it comes down to the battle for truth and journalists are on the front line of this along with activists. Information is power and if you can make people believe lies, then you can control them. Information can be used for commercial benefits as well as a means to gain geopolitical power. She says, If you have no facts then you have no truth. If you have no truth you have no trust. She then goes on to introduce a bit about her formal presentation tomorrow saying that she will show exactly how quickly a nation, a democracy can crumble because of information operations. She says she will provide data that shows it is systematic and that it is an erosion of truth and trust.  She thanks the committee saying that what is so interesting about these types of discussions is that the countries that are most affected are democracies that are most vulnerable. Bob Zimmer concluded the meeting saying that the agenda today was to get the conversation going and more of how to make our data world a better place will be continued in further sessions. He said, “as we prepare for the next two days of testimony, it was important for us to have this discussion with those who have been studying these issues for years and have seen firsthand the effect digital platforms can have on our everyday lives. The knowledge we have gained tonight will no doubt help guide our committee as we seek solutions and answers to the questions we have on behalf of those we represent. My biggest concerns are for our citizens’ privacy, our democracy and that our rights to freedom of speech are maintained according to our Constitution.” Although, we have covered most of the important conversations, you can watch the full hearing here. Read Next Time for data privacy: DuckDuckGo CEO Gabe Weinberg in an interview with Kara Swisher ‘Facial Recognition technology is faulty, racist, biased, abusive to civil rights; act now to restrict misuse’ say experts to House Oversight and Reform Committee. A brief list of drafts bills in US legislation for protecting consumer data privacylast_img read more

Highprofile sharkfinning trial continues this week

first_imgRelated posts:Judge’s ruling opens the door to legalized shark finning in Costa Rica, conservation groups say Could tide finally be turning for shark fin demand in China? Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solís nominated for ‘Shark Enemy of the Year’ award The best of long-form journalism in 2015 from The Tico Times The trial of Kathy Tseng Chang began again in a Puntarenas court Wednesday.Tseng was charged with attempting to export 652 shark fins in 2011. The case drew attention due to the brutally innovative methods the finners allegedly used to attempt to skirt Costa Rican law.In order to comply with a law requiring shark fins to remain attached to the body for export while still freeing up room in their hull for more fins, fishermen on Tseng’s boat, the Wang Jia Men, cut away all of the flesh on sharks’ bodies, leaving only the spinal column and skin to attach the fins.Interpol released a purple alert last November to warn other countries to close up the potential loophole in their shark-finning legislation.Randall Arauz, president of the marine conservation group Pretoma, did not sound optimistic about the ruling in a press release sent out by the organization.“Remember that national fisheries authorities have been extremely lenient with Taiwanese businessmen involved in activities of finning” said Arauz. “The authorities aren’t afraid of being ridiculed internationally, they just fall back on their distorted  policies.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Petrol price to increase in June

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Motorists will be fuming after hearing that the price of petrol is set to once again increase next month.The petrol price will increase between 48 and 52 cents a litre in June, the Automobile Association of SA (AA) said. Diesel is expected to rise between 52 and 56 cents a litre, and illuminating paraffin by 50 cents a litre.“Despite the relative stability of the Rand/US Dollar exchange rate, the basic fuel price has been driven upwards by increases in international petroleum prices,” the AA said.But one thing is certain, motorists are in for a tough few months, with a visit to “fill up” likely to hit their wallets hard.last_img read more

Letting their hair down for Holi Celebrations

first_imgHoli celebrations take place with lots of joy and verve throughout the country. The enthusiasm of the people reaches its peak and matches with nature, which is in full bounty at the time of Holi. It is the festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, end conflicts by meeting others, and a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives.Thursday night was definitely all about fun and putting differences aside in a display of frivolity in which people got in touch with their inner ‘wild’ selves and just let their hair down, so to speak.This festival has gained much popularity in South Africa over the last few years, and Ladysmith is no exception! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Hosted by the Sanathan Dharma Sabha (SDS), devotees gathered in Azalea Drive on Thursday evening for Holi Celebrations.Young and old alike had a great time covering each other in different coloured powders as part of the “festival of colours” (or the festival of love).last_img read more

Nikela crossing guard speaks about his heroic deed

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The crossing guard who saved Nikela Primary School pupils from possibly being abducted has spoken to us about the incident.On Tuesday afternoon, crossing guard Themba Miya chased away suspicious-looking people sitting in a Toyota Tazz outside the school. He believes the occupants of the vehicle were trying to abduct schoolchildren.Rumours have been going around about missing children, not only in this town but in Durban townships as well. Durban police have, however, confirmed that the rumours in their part of the country were false and part of a hoax. KZN MEC for Social Development Weziwe Thusi was quoted in an article in one of the Ladysmith Gazette’s sister paper, saying, “They (people spreading false rumours) are wasting the police’s precious time and resources, which could be better utilised elsewhere”.However, the incident at Nikela Primary School in Steadville appears to be real, and the crossing guard who was the ‘hero of the day’ thinks it is important to keep a close eye on these children in case the would-be kidnappers should try again. He spoke to the Ladysmith Gazette about this week’s incident.“When I saw a suspicious-looking car parking next to the school, I asked myself what they wanted. Then I suddenly saw children running towards the car. I screamed at them because I know those kids and I was frightened that something bad might happen to them,” explained Themba.“I ordered the kids away from the car. Two children were already in the car and on hearing me scream at them, they jumped out. The driver of the Tazz and his passenger looked at me before speeding away. I really believe they intended to harm the children.” The matter has since been reported to Ladysmith police, who are investigating.Crossing guards in the area had become more vigilant after a child was reported missing at a nearby school, sparking worries of kidnapping in the wake of all the stories going around. The child was later found drowned on the school premises.last_img read more

Running the Comrades for the seventh time

first_imgBathokozile Gwala completed her seventh Comrades Marathon on Sunday in a time of 10:09.She says she has been running since she was at school and later joined Emnambithi Striders in 2002. From there, she has been training for long-distance running and ran her first Comrades in 2007. She has also taken part in the Two Oceans Marathon, the Mandela Day Marathon and the Bergville Marathon. Bathokozile says that, “The run de-stresses me, I love it! It’s like being addicted to something because whenever I feel down or stressed, I go for a run and always feel better afterwards. Your mind is only on the road when you run.”She is currently training teenage girls from Ezakheni E-Section who also love to run. “We are in contact every day and normally run on Saturdays. It’s a great way to keep fit and stay healthy, and also keep them away from trouble. As women, we carry a lot on our shoulders and life can get very stressful. This is such a great way to find relief.” WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite However, she says it can be dangerous to run alone, especially as a woman. “When you train, you try to run when it is cooler, which is in the early morning and in the evenings. whenAt these times, it is quiet and dark and criminals prowl the streets. So it’s much better to run with someone else or in a group, not only for safety but also for a sense of companionship.”Bathokozile prepares for a long race like the Comrades by eating lots of fresh veggies, boiling all her food and drinking lots of water. “It is also important to carbo-load before the race and I usually eat salty peanuts. Breakfast is also very important as, after about 60km of running, you start to feel hungry again. But if finishing the race is something you really want, you won’t feel the pain.”Now she is taking a short two-week break before running a 15km race in Potchefstroom. The next ‘big one’ will be the Mandela Day Marathon in August. “My dream is to one day run in a marathon overseas such as the Boston Marathon.” Bathokozile certainly shows you can do anything you put your mind to!last_img read more

Jason Wolff has been appointed to the role of Mana

first_imgJason Wolff has been appointed to the role of Managing Director for Australia for Trafalgar, commencing late April 2019.Wolff’s experience spans over 15 years, holding various senior positions in the travel, FMCG and retail sectors. Joining Trafalgar from his previous role as Head of Marketing for Flight Centre, Wolff has worked across a myriad of prominent organisations throughout his career including Supercheap Auto, BCF, Beaurepaires and McDonalds – delivering successful and forward-thinking integrated outcomes for these brands.“Whenever I hire a new executive, the key criteria I look for are one’s desire to push boundaries and drive to prosper,” said CEO of Trafalgar, Gavin Tollman. “A passionate leader that will continue to succeed Trafalgar as the leader in our category as well as possessing a deep love of travel.“Jason’s customer centric approach with a strong focus on commercial outcomes and stakeholder engagement, along with his diverse experience across a variety of senior management roles, his ability to think outside of the box and his desire to inspire and engage the members of the team to deliver bigger and better ideas as well as help further define these for our agent partners – make him the perfect candidate and we are delighted to welcome him to the Trafalgar team.”Wolff has executed astute digital and traditional media campaigns and was instrumental in leading the brand direction and marketing teams for BCF and Ray’s Outdoors within the Super Retail Group. His skills surpass the marketing sphere, having spearheaded private brand development, CRM, social and e-commerce strategies as well as having robust experience in fundamental category management, multi-site operations, due diligence and acquisitions skills.last_img read more

Ft Lauderdale FL – Reported by Elite Traveler t

first_imgFt. Lauderdale, FL – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineSilversea Cruises has selected Revelex (www.revelex.com), a leading technology company in the travel industry, to enhance its current distribution model by providing online booking capability for the company’s travel partners and their clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Revelex provides travel technology solutions, including the most comprehensive reservation system in the business, to hundreds of companies worldwide of all sizes and in all travel sectors including airline, hotel, car and cruise. Revelex technology allows its clients to effectively compete online and in the marketplace.Aboard the intimate, all-suite ships of Silversea, featuring itineraries that explore all seven continents, the discerning luxury traveler discovers a uniquely cosmopolitan, all-inclusive ambiance and spacious accommodations enhanced by the attentiveness of a butler offering special amenities to personalize the experience. In the U.S., Silversea has won numerous awards including “World’s Best” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler nine times and Travel + Leisure seven times.“We’re very excited to be able to offer travel agents an easy, online, around-the-clock booking capability that can help them significantly increase their luxury business,” said Steve Tucker, Silversea’s vice president of field sales for North America. “With six ships and over 400 destinations in our cruise collection, Silversea is now literally putting the world at the retail agent’s fingertips through our new affiliation with Revelex.”Revelex will provide Silversea with automation distribution options that encompass and create value for both agents and their clients. To celebrate the launch of the new platform, Silversea is offering agents who make a new Silversea booking by March 19, 2010, using the new booking engine, a $100 bonus commission per booking. Additionally, when agents book a Silversea cruise that departs during April, May or June 2010, Silversea will extend a $100 Onboard Spending Credit per suite to the agent’s client.www.Silversea.com/Revelexlast_img read more

Turkish navy officer seeking asylum

first_imgA man who claims to be an officer of the Turkish navy asked for political asylum along with his wife after they arrived in a boat at the Larnaca marina, it was reported on Monday.According to the Cyprus News Agency, the couple arrived at Larnaca in a yacht on Sunday morning, and as soon as it docked the man contacted the port police, claiming to be in danger of persecution due to his position as a military officer and requesting political asylum.CNA reported that the man opted to stay in the yacht with his wife, under surveillance by the port police.Meanwhile, the immigration and asylum service was notified of the incident, as were other state agencies.Unofficial reports suggest that the man fled Turkey during an operation to arrest suspected sympathisers of the Gulen movement last Friday.The operation led to the arrest of 117 military officers who allegedly used payphones to contact their “Gulenist brothers”.The movement bears the name of Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish preacher living in the United States who has turned from friend to fierce critic of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.It has been deemed a subversive and terrorist organisation by the Turkish government, which claims it planned and executed the failed coup against it in July 2016.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Risk of flight collisions in Nicosia airspace

first_imgAn internal report compiled by the European Aviation Safety Agency says there is an increased risk of planes colliding in the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR), the Associated Press reported on Monday.According to the news agency a statistical analysis dated 2015, but only just obtained by the AP, shows that issues inside a sizeable part of the Nicosia FIR are getting to the point where safety risks can no longer be considered acceptable.A risk of aircrafts colliding over the Nicosia flight information region exists, the civil aviation department and the Mediterranean Flight Safety Foundation told the Cyprus Mail on Monday but measures are being taken to ensure that the risk is at a minimum.The number of times when the distance between two aircraft was less than specified by international law in the Nicosia Flight Information Region was six in 2014, seven in 2013 and four in 2012. The planes have to be 10 miles apart when they are on the same level and 1,000 feet apart vertically.“This could mean that they were nine miles apart or any other distance,” chief of operations of the civil aviation Persephoni Papadopoulou told the Cyprus Mail.Though even nine miles apart seems far enough to avoid any chance of collision, the minimum legal distances of ten miles and 1,000 feet are chosen not only because of the primary factor of a possible collision, but also the effects of secondary factors such as sudden changes in the weather conditions and wake turbulence, the disturbance which forms as an aircraft passes through the air.“The problem has existed for several years and has been recognised by the European air safety control,” head of the Mediterranean Flight Safety Foundation Christos Petrou said.“There are three reasons. The main one is that Ankara doesn’t recognise the Cyprus government. The second is that the illegal air control at Ercan airport [in the north] is confusing pilots by giving them instructions which are conflicting with the one of the official air traffic control. Also, the Turkish air force gives no notification of its flights putting people in danger.”The problem involves a vast area. The region controlled by internationally recognised Nicosia region is 175,000 square kilometres, with boundaries close to Turkey and Rhodes. This means an annual air traffic of 150,000 to 180,000 planes which fly from Europe to the Far East and other countries. However, the Ercan air control and Turkey consider the northern third of this space under their control, the civil aviation department said.Officials say they are doing their best to keep the risk to a minimum. In order to better understand what is going on a separate study, which has not been made public, was carried out in 2015 and relevant measures were decided.“We have a wide radar coverage and can see when planes enter the region. We also let pilots know they should not obey when they receive instructions from the north and tell them to call our call centre 10 minutes before they enter the zone so we can monitor the flights,” Papadopoulou explained.   You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoOur View: Argaka mukhtar should not act as if he owns the beachUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Call for review of Hermes deal with the state on Tymbou compensation

first_imgBy George PsyllidesSINCE 2006, the state has paid €46m to airport operator Hermes as compensation for loss of revenue due to the operation of an airport in Tymbou (Ercan), in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island, MPs heard Thursday.The issue was discussed in parliament with MPs and independent state officials calling for a review of an agreement struck between the state and Hermes who had been granted the concession.In 2002 when the state issued the conditions of the tender for a strategic investor to take over Larnaca and Paphos airports, it had pledged that it would not create a third airport.But the opening of the crossing points linking the island’s divided communities in 2003 changed the state of play. The condition was inserted in the agreement, which was signed in 2006.The agreement provides that Hermes would build and manage the airports for 25 years, or until 2031 when they will return to the state.The state receives 33 per cent of the company’s revenues each year and has so far collected around €417m. In 2017 it received €50m.Transport ministry permanent secretary Alecos Michaelides said the compensation was calculated by a complex formula, which takes into account Tymbou airport’s passenger traffic as well as that of Larnaca and Paphos. Data for Tymbou is provided by the secret service.He said the agreement also includes certain forecasts and when the actual traffic in the two airports exceeds them, then the state would stop compensating Hermes.Based on the agreement, the formula can be reviewed every three years.The company said that in the first three years the two sides had observed the formula as it had been originally agreed. Between 2009 and 2014, there had been a lengthy negotiation with the company eventually collecting €33m.The two sides have yet to agree on the three years between 2015 and 2017. MPs heard however, they seemed to agree on €23m.The committee heard that authorities did not have an accurate figure for Greek Cypriots using Tymbou and they relied on guesstimates based on the number crossing over to stay at hotels in the north.Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said the EU had examined the condition and decided it was justified under the circumstances.Airport General Manager Eleni Kalogirou said Tymbou currently moved some four million passengers, triple than 2006, while Larnaca and Paphos are 50 per cent up.Kalogirou said passenger traffic now was seven per cent lower than what the company expected by 2018, adding that there was also a ceiling in the compensation it could receive and if the upward trend continues in a couple of years it would stop.MPs agreed that the agreement must be reviewed and amended if possible. Some demanded measures against those Greek Cypriots who use the airport.But in 2004 when the state tried to punish someone for using the airport, it had lost the case in court both in the district courts and the Supreme Court.The court said the state was “acting completely against what was announced and being implemented by the government (re: Green Line Regulation) and the prosecuting authority of the Republic targeted, of all the citizens of the European Union, the defendant and charged him.”You May LikeFittorsTop 15 Baby Names Parents Say They Regret Giving Their KidsFittorsUndoLonnySerena & Venus Williams’ $2.69 Million Palm Beach Gardens MansionLonnyUndoAdviceHer5 Things Not to Do When Dating a ManAdviceHerUndo Mayors lobbying president to prevent local govt mergersUndoModi versus Wild: Indian PM to join Bear Grylls in wildernessUndoHigh temperatures increase risk of firesUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Much against the advise of his friends and family, “We will get this done. a super PAC that supported Obama in 2012 but has not officially announced plans for future elections. 500 women with frequent symptoms of the onset of menopause and found significant variations in duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) between ethnic groups. the victim. 2006, Shekau on your neck,娱乐地图QI, but that being said, for sending him to jail. It was Chukwuma who contacted Ifeanyi and the same Ifeanyi recruited Jideofor Ogbue (aka Marvellous) and others to kidnap Mama. read more