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Too many lives lost in road fatalities

first_img2018 is coming to a close, and most of us, in our reflections, would accept that it has been one fraught with many challenges, as well as some positive developments. This year will go down as yet another year when Guyana experienced some of the most horrific road accidents, resulting in the loss of lives and injuries to countless others. The three most recent accidents involved teens who were killed in accidents that could have been avoid had caution be taken on the roadway.On Friday last, Police Commissioner Leslie James, in giving a breakdown of some crime and accident statistics for 2018, said there has been an overall spike in the number of fatal accidents recorded when compared to the same period last year.He used his platform to make some requests, which can affect how the GPF can function in a positive manner. Those include provisions for a traffic advisory board, training board and promotion board. At present, consultations have been convened to determine whether these panels should be reinstated. As a matter of fact, the Commissioner is quoted as saying, “There is need for the traffic advisory board. There is need for a training board and, of course, a promotion board. We have strongly recommended the resuscitation of those boards. If we are an organisation that can be recognised as a prudent organisation, those boards ought to be in place.”Guyana has been ranked in top countries in the world that have not undertaken sufficient efforts to reduce accidents, in keeping with the UN strategy. Guyana must therefore step up its efforts in order to catch up with the other countries, and be on track towards achieving the goal set out in the UN agreement.Almost every week, there is some news that someone has been killed on our roadways, and despite actions on several fronts, including enacting the relevant legislation and increasing the number of ‘campaigns’, we do not seem to be winning the battle in significantly reducing the number of road deaths.Even though there is legislation in place to ensure that persons use the roads in a responsible manner, there are still major lapses in the system which need to be addressed. To begin with, we stress the need for greater enforcement of the traffic laws. This has been the call from almost every stakeholder in the country. There is legislation in place in relation to driving under the influence, loud music in vehicles, overloading, speeding, etc; but if the laws are not adequately implemented, they become useless.It would be interesting to find out how many of the drivers/conductors who are actually stopped for breaking a traffic law are actually charged and sent to court. While we do not intend to paint the entire Police Force with the same brush, as there are many professional and honest officers within the Force, we are convinced that unless what is perceived as the endemic corruption in the organisation — and the Traffic Section in particular — is addressed in a systematic way, we will be unsuccessful in dealing with the issue.Further, collecting reliable data is also essential to improving road safety and reducing risks for pedestrians. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), data systems in most countries remain poor.Along with the measures being undertaken by the law enforcement authorities to reduce the number of road fatalities, there is need for all Guyanese to move away from the culture of disregard and irresponsibility in relation to using the roadways. The Education Ministry and other relevant stakeholders should examine the possibility of strengthening the school’s curriculum with the aim of increasing knowledge, skills and understanding among children and young people about the responsible use of our roadways. Similar efforts should also be made targeting the adult population, as they, too, are sometimes found to be irresponsible when using our roadways.Even though some progress has been made, our hope is that 2019 will see a drastic reduction in road fatalities here.last_img read more

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Unconscious Panorama City boy hospitalized

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PANORAMA CITY – An unconscious toddler was airlifted to Childrens Hospital Los Angeles today, authorities said. Emergency personnel arrived at a home in the 14000 block of Titus Street about 4:40 p.m., finding the 2-year-old boy unconscious but still breathing, said d’Lisa Davies, Los Angeles City Fire Department spokeswoman. Davies said it is not clear why the boy was unconscious.last_img read more

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Jackson asks for a little stability

first_imgBy Elliott Teaford Staff Writer Kobe Bryant will be in the Lakers’ starting lineup tonight for their season opener against the Houston Rockets. Kwame Brown will be their starting center, matching up against Houston’s 7-foot-6 Yao Ming. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Forward Lamar Odom will sit out because his surgically repaired left shoulder still isn’t sound enough and might not be for another week or two. Coach Phil Jackson is moving closer to a decision about whether to accept the Lakers’ offer of a two-year contract extension. So much for the facts. A great deal more remains unclear about the Lakers as they prepare to celebrate the start of their 60th season in the NBA, beginning with Bryant’s future with the team. Jackson confirmed reports from Chicago over the weekend that the Lakers were willing to trade Bryant for a package of players. The Bulls were said to be unwilling to part with Luol Deng, Ben Gordon, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah, however. “We’re listening,” Jackson said Monday. “That’s part of the deal. We listen. Chicago has been one of the active teams. There’s nothing imminent right now.” Jackson said he hoped the situation would be resolved one way or another before it becomes an even greater distraction. “It’s better sooner rather than later, in my estimation,” he said. “Let’s get it settled and figure out what’s going to happen or if nothing’s going to happen and then go from there. … The season is at hand. This has been going on for two or three weeks.” Bryant faced a horde of reporters, but had zero interest in speaking about the trade talk he ignited when he said in May that he wished to be dealt. “I’m not going into it,” he said. “I’m still a Laker. I’m ready to play.” Bryant indicated he was aware of discussions between the teams, however. “They’re still fielding offers,” he said. “Where that goes, it goes.” He also declined to respond to criticism leveled at him by Jackson, who on Saturday questioned the star guard’s effort during training camp. “I’m not getting into that,” said Bryant, who plans to play tonight despite a sprained right wrist that forced him to sit out the Lakers’ exhibition finale Friday in Las Vegas. “It’s not something where there’s going to be a back-and-forth dialogue.” Bryant and Jackson spoke before Monday’s practice. “Just about being here and being present,” Jackson said when asked what was said. “He knows his heart’s got to be in it. That’s really important. If it is, he’s a really dynamite player. He said, `I’m going to be here. I’m present.”‘ Asked how Bryant looked on the floor, Jackson said it was obvious that his wrist was troubling him. “He can’t shoot the ball very well and didn’t shoot it very often,” Jackson said. “You can tell it’s still bothering him. He’s got it wrapped.” Raising cane Jackson said he’s close to a decision on his future with the Lakers. “I said having Kobe Bryant on this team is not part of my job description,” said Jackson, who has been offered a two-year extension at roughly $10 million per season. “It’s not part of what I do. “That’s not the primary factor (of returning as coach).” Asked if he would return after his three-season, $30 million deal expires at the end of the season, Jackson said, “I’m not telling.” Asked why not, he raised the cane he’s used after a second hip-replacement surgery in as many years and said, “Well, I still have this beast I’m still carrying around. I want to be free of this. I am getting close. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Around the league Heat: Penny Hardaway is officially back in the NBA after the Miami Heat placed him on their season-opening roster. The Heat released guards Jeremy Richardson and Brian Chase, along with forwards Marcus Slaughter and Devin Green to reach the league-mandated 15-man limit. Hardaway signed a nonguaranteed contract this summer after a strong tryout. He hasn’t played in a regular-season game in nearly two years because of knee problems. Cavaliers: Cleveland signed rookie Demetris Nichols to a contract as it finalized its opening-day roster for the 2007-08 season. The club did not disclose contract terms on Nichols, who averaged 4.8 points in five exhibition games with the New York Knicks, who waived him last week. Pacers: Courtney Sims, an undrafted 6-foot-11 rookie from Michigan, signed with the Pacers. Sims averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in six preseason games and was waived by the Pacers last week. Nets: New Jersey opened two roster spots, trading swingman Bernard Robinson, center Mile Ilic and cash considerations to the New Orleans Hornets for veteran guard David Wesley. The Nets have told Wesley not to report and the team will eat the guaranteed portion of his $1.75 million contract, General Manager Ed Stefanski said. The team will waive Wesley at some point, he added. … The Nets also exercised the third-year options on the contracts of guard Marcus Williams and forward Josh Boone, keeping the players through the 2008-09 season. Jazz: Waived forward Kevin Lyde, setting their opening-day roster. Raptors: Forward Joey Graham will stay through the 2008-09 season after the Raptors exercised their fourth-year option. Rockets: Guards Bob Sura and John Lucas III were among four players cut by Houston on the eve of its season opener with the Lakers. Forwards Jackie Butler and Justin Reed also were released as the team reduced its roster to 15 players. SuperSonics: Seattle may not try to escape its lease at KeyArena through arbitration, a federal judge said. Judge Ricardo S. Martinez called the team’s interpretation of the contract “as errant as a typical Shaquille O’Neal free throw.” Seattle city attorney Tom Carr was delighted by the news. “The Sonics have made clear they’re attempting to leave after this coming season,” he said. “The city wants an order from the judge saying they cannot escape the terms of their lease.” Bucks: Yi Jianlian will be in Milwaukee’s starting lineup when the Bucks open the season in Orlando. The lineup unveiled by Coach Larry Krystkowiak includes the 6-foot-11 power forward from China. Timberwolves: Minnesota did some wheeling and dealing, reaching a buyout with veteran Juwan Howard and making a trade with San Antonio to get to the 15-man roster limit before the deadline. The Timberwolves sent a protected 2008 second-round pick to the Spurs for cash considerations and guard Beno Udrih, whom the Wolves immediately waived. The Associated Press contributed to this story.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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Offshore drilling on the table as gas prices rise

first_imgWASHINGTON – As gas hovers at $3.30 a gallon, there is growing fear that a plan to open areas off the Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling will erode protections for California’s shores. The U.S. Senate could vote as early as next week on a bill to open an 8 million-acre segment of the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil production while barring drilling within 125 miles of the Florida coastline. If it passes, negotiations are likely to begin over merging it with a separate House bill that would end a 25-year-old moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. The House measure passed with support from such coastal Republicans as Rep. Elton Gallegly, although opposition to offshore drilling runs deep in California. Coastal states like California could continue to ban offshore drilling but would have to vote to do so every five years. And Panetta and other environmental activists agreed that even eco-friendly California could some day bend to the pressure accompanying skyrocketing gas prices. Added Annie Strickler, spokeswoman for the Sierra Club, “This is a free ticket for oil and gas lobbyists to flood state capitols even more than they already have.” The House measure, driven by Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Stockton, would give individual states the right to allow drilling in federal waters extending three to 100 miles off the coast. It would permanently open federal waters between 100 and 200 miles from shore. At the same time, some of the royalties from new oil extraction would go to state coffers. Currently, all royalties go to Washington. The bill passed 232 to 187. Among Southern Californians, the vote came down strictly along party lines with even coastal Republicans like Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Huntington Beach/Long Beach, and Gallegly, Thousand Oaks, voting in favor. Rohrabacher called opposition “the phoniest environmentalism of all.” “In reality what we’ve got are some people who want to have a beautiful view of the ocean from their yacht, and they’re willing to let the needs of the country go to hell,” Rohrabacher said. Gallegly issued a statement emphasizing state’s rights, saying, “I have long been an advocate of giving states a say in the resources off their shores. This bill does exactly that. States that do not want oil and gas exploration off their shores are protected.” Both lawmakers argued that the skyrocketing costs of gasoline underscore a dire need for U.S. oil production. Brendle maintained that passing legislation ending the moratorium would have an immediate stabilizing effect on the markets. Consumers, he predicted, could see prices drop in as little as 18 months. But Jim Presswood, energy advocate for the Natural Resources Defense Council, disagreed. “The amount of oil in these protected areas is just not enough to make a significant difference. Really, you’re not solving a problem and you’re putting multibillion-dollar economies at risk.” Panetta said he believes it would be between 15 to 20 years before consumers would see any price reduction from offshore U.S. drilling. “The reality is that we’re, in effect, helpless to do anything about the price of oil right now because of what’s happening in the world, and the fact that Congress has not taken steps to reduce our dependence on oil,” he said. For now, California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, both Democrats, are among those trying to block the Senate bill unless they can get an assurance that the state’s coastline won’t be affected under any potential compromise with the House. Still, Brendle said he believes the Senate will be successful in passing legislation. Panetta said he agrees that there is a strong current of support for the bill, and it worries him. lisa.friedman@langnews.com (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2While California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opposes moves that could open the door to drilling off the state’s coast, environmental advocates and others said it is a distinct future possibility. “I don’t foresee California any time in the near future opting out of any ban, but long-term I think it’s very possible,” said Bryan Brendle, director of energy and resources policy for the National Association of Manufacturers. “I don’t foresee any long-term decline in demand for natural gas. Electricity and energy prices will continue to go up. The price of manufactured goods will go up. And we’re in a period where there has not been in quite some time any environmental disaster related to offshore development,” Brendle said. Leon Panetta, former Clinton chief of staff who wrote the 1981 ban while serving as a Democrat U.S. representative from Monterey, said he feared there eventually would be an oil crisis that would weaken the ban. “Deep down, I knew that one day we would face the kind of problems that we’re facing now,” he said. last_img read more

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Why Man United cannot give Solskjaer the permanent job, explains Paul Parker

first_img Ole Gunners Solskjaer has given the whole of Manchester United a lift since being appointed caretaker manager 2 Paul Parker has explained why Manchester United cannot give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the manager’s job permanently.Former striker Solskjaer has been a big hit since returning to Old Trafford as caretaker manager, lifting the gloom that seemed to have descended on the club under Jose Mourinho. Solskjaer has been a huge hit in charge of the Red Devils The players look refreshed, the performances have improved and on Wednesday the Norwegian become only the second manager in club’s history to win his first four games in charge – equalling Sir Matt Busby’s record.Solskjaer initially took the reins only until the end of the season, with United chiefs set to appoint their next full-time boss in the summer.But some are calling for Solskjaer to keep the job if he continues to get results, and the man himself even admitted after Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle that he didn’t want to leave.But former defender Parker insists that’s something the club just cannot do, telling talkSPORT host Jim White: “Ole is a lovely fella.“He’s come in and he’s brought his smile into the place and everybody’s feeling happy. You’ll get the best out of anybody when they’re happy.center_img 2 “But long-term, I don’t think so.“As good as it can be this season, you have to look at the long-term.“Manchester United need that little bit more, someone who is really going to attract the top players.“With his lack of experience, players are not going to want to go there, and agents are not going to watch to take their players there.“You’ll get players who want to play for Manchester United, no doubt.“But you’re not going to get the players Manchester United should be getting, because they haven’t got a manager of the calibre players will want to go to.” “Solskjaer has come in and made everyone happy but Man United need a little bit more.”🗣️ Paul Parker explains why #MUFC cannot make Solskjaer their manager on a permanent basis.Is Paul right? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/OePGQeWfE2— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 3, 2019last_img read more

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West Ham ‘hold talks’ with Olympiakos over £16m deal for midfielder

first_img Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT shining huge blow Getty Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Jack Wilshere endured an injury-plagued debut season at the London Stadium, featuring just eight times, which has prompted Pellegrini to sign a midfielder this summer.It is understood Husillos is adamant that Fortounis can add quality and competition to West Ham’s midfield regulars Declan Rice and Mark Noble.With West Ham flop Edimilson Fernandes reportedly set for an £8million move to Bundesliga club Mainz, Pellegrini’s midfield options will be even more limited. Kostas Fortounis has been at Olympiakos since 2014 Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January deals gameday cracker 1 Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury no dice Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars REPLY Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS tense The Sun claim West Ham director of football Mario Husillos has highly recommended Fortounis to Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini.Husillos worked with the Greece international during his brief time at Olympiakos in 2017.The Hammers failed with an £18million bid for Barcelona’s Andre Gomes earlier this week. Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won West Ham have held talks with Olympiakos over a £16million deal for Kostas Fortounis, according to reports.The 26-year-old is heading into the final year of his contract with the Greek club. Real Madrid ‘offer’ Isco to Chelsea in bid to ‘make room’ for Tottenham star Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ LATEST REAL DEAL REVEALED last_img read more

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Donna S. (Emmons) LaFollette, 76

first_imgDonna was greatly respected and admired by her colleagues and students, many whom were in regular contact. During her teaching career, Donna was an active member of SCTA, ISTA, and NEA. As President and Bargaining Chairperson of SCTA, she was able to meet her husband, Bill.Donna was also a gifted writer and a published poet. As a member of Women Who Write in Louisville, she taught creative writing to her students, and several of these students were honored as Promising Young Writers in Indiana.Donna was a long-time member and elder of the historic Salem Presbyterian Church in Salem, Indiana, where she and Bill were married in 1987. Following her retirement in 2004, Donna devoted her time volunteering for multiple causes. She was a long-time Red Cross blood donor, a reader/recorder for the Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic Studio, devoted 10 years to the NICU for premature and drug-addicted babies at the children’s hospital, and a member of the Eastern Star for over 50 years.Donna was also an active member of Coterie and PEO in New Albany and Eternal Health Yoga Studio in Louisville.Donna and Bill traveled extensively, visiting all 50 states, a majority of Canadian Provinces, and many European countries. Their favorite places together were San Francisco, Paris, Ireland, and Nova Scotia. Another highlight was coming together with all six children and spouses at Jekyll Island, Georgia, in 2014.Donna is survived by her husband of 30 years, William O. “Bill” LaFollette; sister, Darlene (Emmons) Blanford from Indianapolis, Indiana; their blended family of children, Michael S. Ratliff, Marla S. Ratliff, Sharon S. LaFollette, Scott A. LaFollette (Sandy), Todd G. LaFollette (Robbyn), and Jennifer L. LaFollette; nephews, Richard Blanford (Anita) and Steven Blanford (Connie); grandchildren, Emmons, Elias, Chasarae, Jacquelynn, Zachary (Holly), Sydni M., Mikal (Jeff), Patrick, and Bailey; great-grandchildren, Madison, Parker, Reagan, Caleb, Breanna, and Mason.Donna cherished her many friends from Indianapolis, Salem, New Albany, Louisville and elsewhere. Her faith, caring nature, and loyalty endeared Donna and Bill to family and friends throughout her well-lived life. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the caring staff in the Palliative Care Unit of Baptist East Hospital and Chaplin Jim Ivey.Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions (3309 Ballard Lane, New Albany, Indiana 47150). Her Funeral Service will be on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with burial to follow at Cave Hill Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Salem Presbyterian Church at 110 North High Street, Salem, Indiana 47167. Donna S. (Emmons) LaFollette, 76, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, departed this life for her eternal home in Heaven, Friday, May 11, 2018.Donna was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to the late Richard and Mildred (Schomberg) Emmons. A graduate of Southport High School in 1960, she attended Purdue University and then earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education from Butler University in 1964.She continued her education by receiving her Master’s degree from Indiana University. Donna was an English and Language Arts teacher for 37 years, primarily in Salem Community Schools. She was honored as Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Middle Level Education Association in 1996.last_img read more

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Latest New Century Scholars Inducted At SCC

first_imgMost academic ceremonies at Southwestern Community College pay tribute to what current students have already accomplished in their pursuit of higher education.The annual New Century Scholars induction instead celebrates the bright collegiate future awaiting several dozen area middle schoolers.More than 40 seventh graders from Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties walked across the Myers Auditorium stage on Nov. 18 and received certificates signifying the promise of a tuition-free SCC education set to begin in the year 2025.“Every one of these students has been hand-picked by middle-school teachers, and we could not be more excited to know they’ll be walking across this very same stage to receive their associate degrees eight years from now,” said Freya Kinner, New Century Scholars Coordinator.Lena Wilson, a graduate of the program, served as the featured speaker and encouraged this year’s inductees to take full advantage of their opportunities.More than 2,400 students have been inducted as New Century Scholars since it was established in 1995. The program provides resources and support to students as they navigate middle and high school – preparing them for a successful experience in college without worrying about the financial aspect.New Century Scholars is supported entirely by private donations and provides last-dollar tuition assistance.“At Southwestern, we are extremely proud to be a part of this wonderful program that has provided a brighter future to so many young people in our service area,” said Dr. Don Tomas, SCC President. “We are blessed to live in a region with so many generous individuals who make New Century Scholars possible year after year.”In addition to working toward their high school diplomas, New Century Scholars are required to participate in community service activities that encourage leadership skills and explore potential future career options.To support this program, donations may be made at SouthwesternCC.edu/Foundation or by check to New Century Scholars and sent to the SCC Foundation, 447 College Drive, Sylva, NC 28779.For more information about New Century Scholars, contact Freya Kinner, SCC’s New Century Scholars coordinator at f_kinner@SouthwesternCC.edu or 828.339.4477.last_img read more

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Boeing 777X close to rollout

first_imgIst flight test Boeing 777X being readied for roll-out. The Boeing 777X, that will be capable for flying nonstop from New York to Sydney and Sydney to London with 300 passengers, has been powered up as the superjet is being readied for an expected roll-out early next year.The power-up process enables the company to test every system on the aircraft to ensure that when it is unveiled, it is fully functional.Boeing is coy on announcing a roll-out date but industry sources say it is expected in mid-February.Boeing is building two models of the 777X family: the 400-seat -9, which will be the first to roll out and the longer range -8, which can seat 350 passengers and has a range capability of more than 17,220 km.SEE our exciting new APP that allows you to book the safest flightIt is this model that Qantas and Air New Zealand are evaluating with a decision expected early next year.The driving force behind the 777X is Emirates President Sir Tim Clark, whose airline is the lead buyer with an order for 150.Sir Tim describes the 777X as “an absolute peach”.Key to his enthusiasm is the aircraft’s economics and greater space — it is 20 percent more efficient per seat than the industry’s long-time benchmark the 777-300ER and its cabin is wider with bigger windows.The Boeing 777X combines the best features of the current 777 with a longer fuselage, new engine and the composite wing design from the Boeing 787.boeing 777XInterior fit-out has started on the first 777X, which will be filled with test equipment.Other airlines that have ordered the 777X are Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and All Nippon Airlines.Qantas’s competition, called “Project Sunrise” also includes the Airbus A350 and the airline is demanding Sydney to London non-stop capability with 300 passengers.Both Airbus and Boeing say they can meet the airline’s demands or close to it.Qantas plans to add underfloor bunks to the winner of its competition because on ultra-long-haul flights the aircraft will carry virtually no cargo, just passenger’s bags.Air New Zealand is going to accelerate the redesign of its interior offering at its Hangar 22 seating project after it decides on either the  Boeing 777X or A350 in April.Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon told AirlineRatings.com at the inaugural of the airline’s first service to Chicago last week that the airline had been bringing customers through to experience mock-up cabin spaces in an attempt to learn their thinking about space, storage, and privacy.“We’ve been running customers through a number of mock-ups that at this stage are quite primitive and quite conceptual but are giving them a feel about what they want to play back to us around that,” he saidlast_img read more

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The Fork in the Road for Social Media

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification MySpace could potentially get away with the walled garden approach for a pretty large mainstream market, using music as the fundamental draw and later leading into other arts and entertainment. This makes MySpace less age-dependent than Facebook. Everybody loves music, art and entertainment, from pre-schoolers on up to grandparents. News Corp. is a media company through and through, so this route is in their DNA.Facebook will have to become a utility for the world or a niche walled garden for college kids. Their DNA is too young to predict which way they will go. Both are viable, but neither will justify a $15 billion valuation, so they won’t make this decision until new management steps in following a crisis. They cannot become a walled garden for the world, because their core community – college kids – will move into the world of work where they have to communicate in the wider world of the Internet. Once they have left college, their only connection to each other is as alumni and that ends up being a relatively weak connection as we grow older (despite what every generation believes when they are at college).LinkedIn has a shot at becoming a mainstream, but work-centric, walled garden since the working world is constrained enough and follows well-defined conventions. LinkedIn is the network I use regularly and I have written about it before many times. They have now reached the stage where if they offered webmail that was as good as Gmail (and obviously as open as any standard webmail), it could become the default hangout for biz types. “Suits” could gradually stop talking about “living in Outlook” and talk about “living in LinkedIn.” Add in some simple RSS-based startpage-like functionality and LinkedIn would be the place to start and end the workday. Biz people will pay a reasonable subscription fee – say less than $100 a year – for a package like that without any advertising. That is a bit of a stretch from where LinkedIn is today, but fundamentally viable in my opinion.Clearly, any venture that succeeds in building a mainstream walled garden will become hugely valuable. They will effectively become the Internet for millions, which might even justify a $15 billion type valuation. The problem is that it is a very, very hard road to navigate successfully.The mass-market utility model could also be hugely valuable at scale. My simplest description of this would be “social graph + communication tools.” The communication tools could be email, SMS, VOIP, poking, walls, vampires, whatever turns people on. The social graph is the spam controller and way to make connections. The obvious players here are the vendors with big email networks – Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft (GYM). This is the background story to all the M&A “sturm und drang.”The one company that most needs to make this strategic decision – Facebook – is the one that is most constrained by that paper valuation of $15 billion. Neither route – niche walled garden for college kids or mass-market utility going up against GYM – will justify $15 billion. So they have to pretend that mass-market walled garden is viable, even though nobody believes that anymore. That is one nasty dilemma. Do you think Microsoft knew that they were giving Facebook that nasty dilemma when they agreed to a $15 billion valuation? Gates and Ballmer are smart enough, in my humble opinion.The mass-market utility model will win out in the end for 3 reasons: Tags:#Features#social networks#Social Web#Trends#web Social networking is at a major fork in the road. Down one road is adding more features to a walled garden and opening up just enough, so that users seldom need to leave. Most sites are going down this yellow brick road and the prize is clearly a big one. But they may end up back in Kansas. Down the other road, lies a future of being the primary repository for your connections (aka the social graph), but with this data available via open APIs to anybody who needs it. That is a utility type model, and as with any utility, it can be hugely valuable at scale.Deciding which path to take is a real decision. A botched choice will likely end in failure, albeit via a long, slow decline.The problem with the first road is that it relies upon a revenue model that is native to social media. What revenue model works for social media? The assumption is advertising, but CPM comes from traditional mass media and CPC is ideally suited to search. Where is the ad model that is native to social media? At the moment we are force-fitting CPM and CPC into social media for want of anything better.Some might argue that there is no ad model for social media. We don’t have an ad model for telephones, afterall, and that’s a two-way communication medium like social media. Ominously, we didn’t have an effective ad model for email, which is the earliest form of social media, until Google treated email as just more search fodder for CPC.If social media is not funded by advertising, it must be funded by subscriptions or transactions. Neither is easy.Social media is fundamentally different – it is few to few, not one to one like telephone or one to many like traditional media. There is also a fundamental problem for advertisers. We are focused on communicating with each other, not looking at content with some hopefully relatively relevant ads attached. Any advertising in that context is an annoying interruption, unless we learn to tune out the ads so effectively that it becomes useless to advertisers.The lack of a native ad model is holding back any serious monetization of social networking. All we are seeing today is weak CPM and CPC rates. The overall numbers look OK because the audience is so large and the cost of audience acquisition is so low. But at some stage, social media has to move from the cool technology/promising opportunity phase to a fundamental new business type.Lets look at a few attempts at a native revenue model for social media: The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos The one idea that clearly failed was getting people to sell to their friends in a glorified Amway scheme – that was called Beacon (some RWW coverage here and here).In tightly controlled professional networking sites such as Sermo (for doctors only), the business model can best be described as “authorized lurking” – pharma companies are authorized to listen in to hear how they might improve their products. That seems a tad murky and I cannot see consumer companies paying to listen to dorm room chat, anyway.Group buying has some possibilities. It at least fits the peer ethos, and it could be popular in a recession. To date, though, this is only a theory as far as I know. If I had to pick one sustainable revenue model, this would be the one. But the spark of innovation that turns this from a promising idea to a $100m plus revenue line is still missing.What new models have I missed? This Google search for “revenue model for social media” has a number of people asking the question, which is a good start, but if the equivalent of CPC for search is lurking out there, it is very well hidden.Here is my take on which road the big social networking sites could take: Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The social graph is so closely linked to communications, which has always been a utility model.The ownership issues around the social graph are murky. A utility skates past that problem, saying “you own, we manage.” AT&T does not own your Rolodex, or insert ads when you are calling Mom because they own your connection to Mom.The social graph has to be monetized in creative ways and the best way to make that happen is make it available to all the entrepreneurs and established businesses, on clear and simple terms.The mass-market utility model will work through an API. That sounds similar to what is already out there, but with one big difference. The current APIs are all about getting your apps INTO a walled garden, or two or three walled gardens. The utility API will be about accessing the social graph, getting the social graph OUT of the utility and into your application, for some pre-defined cost. What you do after that is entirely up to you.Image via Leo Reynolds. Related Posts bernard lunn A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

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Land Bill fiasco forces Modi to form minister groups to vet future bills

first_imgWith the contentious Land Bill hitting the Rajya Sabha road block, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to move in a more careful manner on the future legislative proposals by setting up two informal ministerial groups to work on two new bills, which could again be contentious.One of the informal groups to be headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will scrutinise the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Amendment Bill, which aims to bring under its ambit more products and mandatory certification of products concerning human life, security and health, sources said on Monday. The bill could be contentious as it provides for involvement of private players in standardisation process.Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha. Photo: PTIOther members in the group include Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.Another informal panel, headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, will go into the Seed Bill which seeks to regulate the quality of seeds and planting material to curb the sale of spurious and poor quality seeds, increase private participation in seed production and distribution. Other members of this group include Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.The first meeting of both the committees is expected to take place on Tuesday, sources said. These committees have been formed to assess the political impact that these proposed legislations will have, sources added.Why is the government cautious?The groups have been formed against the backdrop of the mess the Land Acquisition Bill has got into with all opposition parties uniting against the measure and stepping up a campaign against the government over it. The sources said similar committees were set up to look into the Citizenship Bill and a bill to amend the Lokpal Act.advertisementThe bill to amend the Lokpal Act was contentious as the main change it dealt with was regarding the absence of any of the three members of the selection committee – the prime minister, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of Opposition or the leader of largest opposition party – in a meeting not “vitiating” the proceedings.The decision to set up such informal groups assumes significance as the Modi government, soon after coming to power, had scrapped all the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOMs) and Group of Ministers, set up by the previous UPA regime. There were nine EGOMs and 21 GOMs when the new government came in May last year.last_img read more

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LOTTERY JACKPOTS CONTINUE TO GROW

first_imgThe estimated Powerball jackpot has climbed to $460 million, making it the nation’s 10th largest lottery prize.Players have until Wednesday night to spend $2 for a chance at the prize, awarded to anyone matching five white balls drawn from one drum and a red Powerball drawn from another.The odds of winning are one in 292.2 million.It’s the biggest Powerball jackpot since a $758.7 million prize won last August.The $460 million prize refers to the annuity option, paid over 29 years.The cash prize would be $291 million.Lottery players also can vie for another giant prize, as the Mega Millions game’s grand prize will be $418 million in Friday’s drawing.The odds of one person winning jackpots in both games? One in more than 88 quadrillion.last_img read more

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Four UN peacekeepers wounded in shooting in Sudans Abyei area

10 May 2011Unidentified assailants have shot and wounded four United Nations peacekeepers while they were on patrol in the disputed Abyei area of Sudan today. The four blue helmets, all from Zambia, were shot around 4:40 p.m. as they returned from a regular patrol to the north of the town of Abyei. The peacekeepers were evacuated to Abyei for medical treatment and one of them is reported to be in a serious condition.Kouider Zerrouk, a spokesperson for the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), said the peacekeepers had been forced by armed men to turn back at the village of Goli earlier in the day, and were returning to the town of Diffra when they came under fire from unknown attackers.“We condemn this act against peacekeepers who are discharging their duties to try to help maintain peace and security in Abyei,” he said.UNMIS has started an investigation into the shootings, which occurred on the day that the north and southern sides had agreed to start withdrawing their unauthorized forces from Abyei as part of a pact facilitated by the UN.That agreement, welcomed by UNMIS, is part of a broader effort aimed at de-escalating tensions in an area where deadly clashes have claimed dozens of lives since the start of the year, when a referendum on Abyei’s status that was supposed to have been held never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility. Southern Sudan will secede from the rest of the country in July as a result of a separate referendum held in January and both north and south claim Abyei. read more

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Stabbing suspect arrested

The second of two men wanted in connection with a stabbing at Norfolk General Hospital was arrested In Simcoe last Thursday.Jean Pierre Auclair, 36, of Norfolk County, was taken into custody without incident at a Water Street address according to Norfolk OPP.He’s accused of being involved with the stabbing of a man at the emergency entrance to the hospital on Aug. 23.Auclair faces charges of aggravated assault, disguise with intent, assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and failing to comply with a probation order.He’s been held in custody and will appear in the Ontario Court in Simcoe on a later date.Auclair’s co-accused in the matter is Derrick Anthony Adams, 38, also of Norfolk County, who was also arrested on Water Street.Adams was arrested Aug. 29 and has been charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm and three counts of failing to comply with a probation order.The OPP asked for the public’s assistance in locating the two suspects but warned people not to approach them.“The OPP would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our media partners and community members that assisted in bringing this incident to a successful conclusion,” said detachment Commander, Insp. Joseph Varga in a news release.SGamble@postmedia.com@EXPSGamble read more

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TSX surges 172 points in broadbased rally Bank of Canada keeps rates

TORONTO – The Toronto stock market registered a solid advance Tuesday as resource stocks led a rebound across all sectors after a string of losses amid global economic uncertainty.The S&P/TSX composite index jumped 171.94 points to 11,507.71 while the TSX Venture Exchange gained 7.02 points to 1,285.57.The Canadian dollar gained 0.16 of a cent to 96.34 cents US as the Bank of Canada said that it was leaving its key interest rate unchanged at one per cent because of a worsening economic environment. It also kept the door open for future rate hikes.In its accompanying statement, Canada’s central bank said “to the extent that the economic expansion continues and the current excess supply in the economy is gradually absorbed, some modest withdrawal of the present considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate.”Data showing greater expansion in the U.S. service sector helped lift markets.New York’s Dow Jones industrial average was up 26.49 points to 12,127.95.The Nasdaq composite index added 18.1 points to 2,778.11 and the S&P 500 index climbed 7.32 points to 1,285.5 as the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index came in at 53.7, up from 53.5 in April.The gain followed a slide of almost two per cent last week as the European debt crisis spread to Spain’s banking sector.“One of the real issues that investors are wrestling with is that people have lost confidence in the ability of the Europeans to deal with the problem (of recapitalizing their banking system),” said Norman Raschkowan, North American strategist for Mackenzie Financial Corp., adding the problems in the banking sector don’t end at the Spanish border.“The Italian banks are stretched and the French banks are stretched. I think unfortunately the Europeans still haven’t come to that basic appreciation of how critical the capitalization of the banks is for confidence.”The country’s banks are weighed by toxic loans following the implosion of the country’s real estate sector in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.Spain’s most stricken lender, Bankia S.A., needs €19 billion in government aid, but Spain only has €5 billion left in a €19 billion fund that it established in 2009 to help banks.Those banks may force the country to seek a bailout. Spain, strapped for cash, might have to tap European Union rescue funds, but it is reluctant to do so because such aid would come with strict conditions.Spain has been forced to pay ever higher amounts of interest to attract buyers for its debt with the yield on the country’s 10-year bond up 0.02 of a point to 6.42 per cent before dipping back to 6.31 per cent.Spanish Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro said Tuesday said that, given current borrowing costs, financial markets had effectively shut out the country.And he repeated the country’s calls for the European Union to move faster towards establishing a banking union that would allow ailing lenders to seek help without governments intervening.Meanwhile, finance ministers and central bank governors from seven of the world’s main economies were holding a conference call Tuesday to discuss Europe’s worsening debt crisis.Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney took part in the call.And although Flaherty’s office in Ottawa released a statement it did not provide details of any pledge from European leaders.However, Japan’s finance chief Jun Azumi reportedly said that the European members in the call pledged to “speed up their efforts” to contain the crisis.The energy sector was up almost 2.5 per cent as oil oscillated between slight gains and losses during the session before the July crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed up 31 cents to US$84.29 a barrel. Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) was ahead 59 cents to $28.30 while Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) advanced 36 cents to $30.88.The base metals sector was ahead 1.36 per cent while copper prices dipped two cents at US$3.29 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) climbed three per cent or 92 cents to $31.41 and Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) climbed 46 cents to $10.14.The resource sectors have racked up the steepest losses on the TSX, which is down about 10 per cent from its 2012 highs from late February.The financial sector was up 1.3 per cent with TD Bank (TSX:TD) ahead $1.18 to $77.68 and Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) ran up 19 cents to $10.77.Utilities were also higher as TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) said it has been chosen by Shell Canada Ltd. to build, own and operate a $4-billion natural gas pipeline in British Columbia. The Calgary-based company said the pipeline will transport natural gas from the Montney region in eastern British Columbia to a liquefied natural gas export facility near Kitimat, B.C. Its shares gained 33 cents to $42.48.The gold sector was ahead about 0.75 per cent as bullion prices improved, up $3 to US$1,616.90 an ounce. Iamgold Corp. (TSX:IMG) gained 54 cents to $12.68 while Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) rose 63 cents to $41.78.In other corporate news, Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT) has teamed up with global giant Caterpillar Inc. to co-develop natural gas technology to fuel off-road heavy equipment that typically use diesel. Caterpillar will fund the development program and Westport, a Vancouver-based specialist in engine technology, expects to supply key components for products developed under the initiative. Westport shares jumped $5.02 or 21.68 per cent to $28.17.Belden Inc. (NYSE:BDC) has made a friendly takeover offer for Montreal-based Miranda Technologies Inc. (TSX:MT), which makes high-performance hardware and software for the television industry. Belden’s offer of $17 per share cash values Miranda at about $371.5 million. Miranda’s share price jumped 62 per cent to $16.87 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 5, 2012 4:49 pm MDT TSX surges 172 points in broad-based rally; Bank of Canada keeps rates unchanged read more

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Most actively traded companies on the TSX TSX Venture Exchange

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 10, 2014 3:25 pm MDT TORONTO – Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (14,302.06 up 2.98 points):Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace. Up 17 cents, or 4.72 per cent, to $3.77 on 8.8 million shares.Ballard Power Systems Inc. (TSX:BLD). Fuel cells. Up $1.78, or 30.43 per cent, to $7.63 on 7.1 million shares.Webtech Wireless Inc. (TSX:WEW). Communication equipment. Unchanged at 41 cents on 6.8 million shares.Carpathian Gold Inc. (TSX:CPN). Miner. Down 0.5 cents, or 8.33 per cent, to 5.5 cents on 6.5 million shares.Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM). Oil and gas. Up 18 cents, or 1.63 per cent, to $11.23 on 4.4 million shares.San Gold Corp. (TSX:SGR). Miner. Down 3.5 cents, or 15.56 per cent, to 19 cents on 4.1 million shares.Toronto Venture Exchange (1,042.85 down 0.16 points):Graphite One Resources Inc. (TSXV:GPH). Miner. Up two cents, or 9.52 per cent, to 23 cents on 8.4 million shares.VentriPoint Diagnostics Ltd. (TSXV:VPT). Medical instruments and equipment. Up two cents, or 20 per cent, to 12 cents on 7 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ). Oil and gas. Down 18 cents, or 0.43 per cent, to $41.41 on 3.1 million shares. The Calgary-based company has pulled its application to resume steaming near the site of an ongoing bitumen spill in eastern Alberta after the Alberta Energy Regulator informed the company that it was going to deny the application. The AER said it would be “inappropriate” for operations to resume while an investigation into the cause of the leak was still ongoing.Com Dev International Ltd. (TSX:CDV). Space communication equipment and data services. Up nine cents, or 2.31 per cent, at $3.99 on 80,953 shares. Com Dev predicted a rebound in its fiscal second quarter after net income dropped nearly 55 per cent to $1.8 million in the first quarter compared with $4.1 million in the same year-early period, something the company attributed largely to the negative effects of currency fluctuations.Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L). Retailer. Up one cent, or 0.02 per cent, to $46.35 on 366,664 shares. The grocery giant will be the first retailer in North America to sell a new type of responsibly-farmed salmon, an offering it hopes will differentiate itself amid intense competition in the grocery business.The Second Cup Ltd. (TSX:SCU). Coffee chain. Up 22 cents, or 4.58 per cent, to $5.02 on 39,562 shares. The chain of specialty coffee shops produced less revenue in the fourth quarter than a year earlier but shook off the huge loss it recorded at the end of 2012. The $1.8-million net income for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 28 marked the second consecutive quarter of improvements for Second Cup, which had posted a $10.1-million loss in the second quarter. Most actively traded companies on the TSX, TSX Venture Exchange read more