10 More FREE After Effects Templates

first_imgLooking to add motion design to your video projects but short on time or budget? Here’s 10 free After Effects templates to add bang without the bucks!With the overwhelming interest in our previous post on free After Effects templates, we’ve decided to put together another batch of slick motion design project files that you can get gratis!  These free AE templates are great to have in your video editing and motion design toolkit, for those times when you need good looking effects cheap and fast!  Modify any of these After Effects project files to create your own cool effects.For impressive After Effects templates and AE freebies visit our sister site, RocketStock.com!HiidefinitionInspired by the title design of the Bourne films, this free After Effects template will give your project a high-tech, futuristic vibe.  DownloadMotionSquaredNeed a cool treatment for your logo or network identity?  Check out this free After Effects project file for an impressive effect.  DownloadMihai Panait This free AE template brings a high-tech, futuristic feeling that would be fitting for a crime drama or sci-fi thriller title sequence.  [Update 8/2015: Site is offline]FluxVFXWhimsical and cute describe this pop-up book themed free AE project file.  Would make a great intro for children’s programming!  DownloadFXChannelHouseFXChannelHouse is a YouTube channel of free After Effects templates. These hip designs make simple and effective logo or identity treatments.Download Template #5 (link in comments)Download Template #4  (link in comments)Lukasz LindellVersatile After Effects template with a simple and elegant design.  Great for a title sequence or highlighting text.  DownloadMedialarkThis free AE template provides the groundwork for a dramatic title reveal. Give your logo an impactful Hollywood style treatment!  DownloadKnow free After Effects templates that didn’t make the list?Share links in the comments below!last_img read more

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You Need Insight Plus Rapport and Relationship Skills

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Is it insight? Is it relationships? What is that salespeople really need to succeed? Low Insight, Low Rapport (Time Waster): Having low insight and low rapport and relationships skills makes you a time waster. Most people in this category find selling to be exceedingly difficult. This doesn’t make them bad people; it just makes them bad salespeople. They’re just in the wrong role. The problem with unleashing them on your prospective clients it that they create no value.Low Insight, High Rapport (Order Taker): There are some people who are simply magnificent at developing rapport and relationships. In the old days, you might be able to do okay without having any real business chops, but today having only rapport makes you an order taker. Salespeople in this category do okay when their prospects come to them and already know what they need. And many will gain the business acumen and situational knowledge over time, moving to the above quadrant.High Insight, Low Rapport (Obnoxious Know-It-All): The smartest person in the room isn’t the smartest person in the room. If they were really smart, no one would know that they are the smartest person in the room. Insight is useless if people resist you because you don’t leave them any room. If you don’t care, if sharing what you know is all about you, your insights won’t allow you to create value. It’s tougher to get better at relationships than it is to gain insights.High Insight, High Rapport (Trusted Advisor, Consultative Salesperson): This is where the real action is. If you want to put your insights, your business acumen, and your situational knowledge to work, the people skills are what will allow you to do so. If you want to create an opportunity for change, you need to know what needs to be changed, but you also need to be trusted to make that change. If you want to build consensus, you damn well better have the people skills. This is where the highest level of value is created. But it isn’t easy to get here.It isn’t enough to be armed with ideas–even ideas that can make a difference. You also can’t get by with killer relationships skills and zero chops. You need to work your way to the upper right quadrant to be a trusted advisor, Level 4 Value Creating™, consultative salesperson. This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.last_img read more

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Second arrest in Mandsaur child rape case

first_imgOne more person was on Friday arrested in connection with the abduction and rape of an eight-year-old girl in Mandsaur on June 26.Asif (24) was held from Madarpura locality of the city, after Irfan alias Bhaiyu (20), arrested on Wednesday night, named him as his accomplice in the heinous crime, said additional superintendent of police S S Kanesh. Asif, a construction worker, admitted to the crime, Kanesh added.He was booked under relevant sections of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Further investigation was on, the ASP said.The minor was abducted while she was waiting for her father outside her school on Tuesday. After being raped, the accused slit her throat with a knife and left her to die, police said.Following a complaint by the victims’ parents, she was found lying unconscious in bushes in the Laxman Darwaja area. Medical examination confirmed that she was sexually assaulted, they said.Doctors on Friday said that she was undergoing treatment and was out of danger.Earlier on Friday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condemned the incident and said that rapists were a “burden on the earth” and did not deserve to live.last_img read more

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Winter Olympics 2018: North Korea could send a delegation to South Korea

first_imgCOMMENTS Kim Jong Un ‘open to dialogue’ with South Korea OLYMPICS-PYEONGCHANG   –  Reuters North Korea × SHARE SHARE EMAIL North Korea likely to participate in Winter Games RELATED 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be safe: S Korea North Korea could send a delegation to the South for the 2018 Winter Olympics, in the first indication Pyongyang may participate in next month’s Games despite tensions over its nuclear weapons programme.North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said in his new year’s address today said, “We are willing to take necessary measures including to dispatch our delegation” to the Pyeongchang Games which Seoul and organisers have billed as a “peace Olympics”. The Winter Olympics will take place from February 9 to 25, with the Paralympics scheduled to begin on March 9.Games organisers and Seoul have both been keen for North Korea to take part, but Pyongyang’s participation in sporting events in the South has largely depended on the political and military situation on the Korean peninsula.The venues for the Games lie just 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the tense border with North Korea and the build-up to the event has been overshadowed by tensions running high over North Korea’s escalating nuclear and missile tests.Kim appeared to extend an olive branch to Seoul in his address to the nation today, saying the Olympics would “serve as a good chance to display our Korean people’s grace toward the world and we sincerely hope the Games will be a success”. He cautioned however that “as long as an unstable state which is neither war nor peace continues, the North and the South cannot guarantee a success of the Olympics, sit down for talks or move forward for reunification”.The two Koreas have been divided by a demilitarised zone since the end of the 1950–53 Korean war.Two North Korean athletes – pairs figures skaters – have qualified for the Games but missed the October 30 deadline to confirm to the International Skating Union that they would participate. They could, however, still take part via an invitation from the International Olympic Committee.South Korean president Moon Jae-In last month proposed delaying Seoul’s annual joint military exercises with the US until after the Games to ease the situation. The Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills usually start in late February or early March and run until the end of April, usually contributing to a spike in tensions, with Pyongyang condemning the exercises as rehearsals for invasion. null OLYMPICS-PYEONGCHANG   –  Reuters South Korea proposes high-level talks with North on Jan 9 Published on COMMENT North Korea triggers 2018 Winter Olympics security scare SHARE January 01, 2018 sport South Korea Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics over dopinglast_img read more

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El Hadary Sets Record, Saudis Beat Egypt 2-1 at World Cup

first_imgVOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — The oldest person to play in a World Cup match made some spectacular saves Monday. He also watched two go past him.Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, who is 45, took the field for his team’s final group match to set the record. Although he saved one penalty, he couldn’t stop Saudi Arabia from winning 2-1 in a game between two teams that had already been eliminated.“I am very sorry for the fans, for everyone in Egypt,” El Hadary said. “I want to thank my teammates. It was a great honor for me to play.”Salem Aldawsari scored the winner for the Saudis with almost the last kick of the match, volleying past El Hadary from a tight angle inside the Egypt penalty area.Mohamed Salah, playing for the second time since injuring his left shoulder in last month’s Champions League final, had put Egypt ahead in the 22nd minute after deftly controlling a long ball from Abdalla Said and then lobbing goalkeeper Yasser Almosailem.It was Salah’s second goal at the World Cup, and Egypt’s first in open play at the World Cup since 1934.Egypt’s Mohamed Salah reacts after Saudi Arabia’s Salem Aldawsari scored his side’ second goal during the group A match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)Salman Alfaraj got the Saudis level with a penalty kick in first-half stoppage time after Ali Gabr brought down Fahad Almuwallad in the area. The decision was confirmed after a video review and the penalty was taken in the sixth minute of injury time.“I think that in general we kept control of the pace, we kept possession … and I think that we deserved to win,” Saudi coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said. “Talking about the future, well, the association will have to decide what they’re going to do.”Almuwallad had earlier missed a chance to equalize when El Hadary saved his penalty. The veteran goalkeeper dived to his right and flicked his left hand up to push the shot onto the bar before it was cleared.El Hadary was unable to repeat the feat at the end of the half, going the wrong way and having no chance as Alfaraj scored from the spot.El Hadary also made a series of good saves in the second half to deny Saudi Arabia, notably in the 69th minute when he tipped a header from Hussain Almoqahwi over the bar. A minute later, he parried away a goal-bound header from Muhannad Asiri.He had no chance with Aldawsari’s last-gasp winner, however.El Hadary overtook Faryd Mondragon as the oldest person to play at the World Cup. The Colombia goalkeeper was 43 when he came on as a late substitute in his team’s 4-1 victory over Japan four years ago at the World Cup in Brazil.Saudi Arabia’s Salem Aldawsari celebrates with a flip after scoring his side’s second goal during the group A match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)“It is true that it was a special record today and many, many people in Egypt love him and support him,” Egypt coach Hector Cuper said. “and he has played a great game.”GROUP DYNAMICSSaudi Arabia finished third in Group A with three points while Egypt was last.In the other group match, Uruguay beat Russia 3-0 to finish first to clinch the group. Following the later matches in Group B, Uruguay will play Portugal in Sochi on Saturday in the round of 16 while host Russia will face 2010 champions Spain at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.KEY TO SUCCESSAfter weathering Egypt’s dominance in the early stages of the first half, Saudi Arabia visibly grew in confidence, keeping possession for long stretches.Egypt was hurt when midfielder Abdalla Said went off with an injury at halftime.—By PAN PYLAS , Associated PressEgypt’s Mohamed Salah, right challenge for the ball with Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Alshahrani during the group A match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd, Russia, Monday, June 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Cardiff T20I: Kuldeep threat looms over England with series on the line

first_imgVirat Kohli’s Team India will look to win the T20 International series against England as they prepare to take on the hosts in the second match of the three-game series at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Friday.India thrashed England in the first T20I on July 3 by three wickets in Manchester and the Men-in-Blue will want to carry forward the same ruthless form in Cardiff.KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav were the wreckers-in-chief for India with the English getting completely bamboozled by Kuldeep’s variations.The England cricket team will now be deploying Merlyn spin-bowling machine in the nets, which will help them prepare for the uncanny spin of the chinaman.Also read – India in England: Team India newcomers Krunal, Chahar ragged by seniorsThe Merlyn spin-bowling machine came into existence in 2005 as England prepared to face the Australian great Shane Warne in the Ashes that summer.However, Kohli will be expecting another dominant show from his side to set the tone for the long England tour.On Friday, the Indian team management is likely to stick to the same playing eleven as they will not try to disturb their winning combination.Also read – India in England: Shardul Thakur replaces injured Jasprit Bumrah for ODIsIn the batting department, opener Shikhar Dhawan, who failed in the first match would like to rectify his mistakes in the second T20I while in the bowling department, pacers who were punished in the first 10 overs would like to display some disciplined bowling.advertisementOn the other hand, the hosts will be desperate to bounce back in the series and would once again rely on opener Jos Buttler, who continued his purple patch of form with another fifty in the first T20I.In order to put a fight against the visitors, apart from Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan will have to quickly learn to read the spinners.Also read – Kuldeep, Chahal will be dangerous throughout England tour: RahulWhile England spinner Adil Rashid did a fair job in the first outing, Moeen Ali was expensive and will have to be economical against the spin-friendly Indian batsmen.The English camp will also miss the services of pacer Tom Curran, who has been ruled out of the remaining T20Is and the ODI series owing to a left side strain.A loss on Friday will see England drop down to rank seven below New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies, respectively.Also read – England pacer Stuart Broad hopeful of playing in Tests against IndiaSquads:India: Virat Kohli (C), Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Siddarth Kaul, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Umesh YadavEngland: Eoin Morgan (C), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey(With IANS inputs)last_img read more

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IPL 2019: Stoinis delighted as RCB finally get campaign underway with win over KXIP

first_imgFollowing a match-winning partnership with AB de Villiers, RCB all-rounder Marcus Stoinis said batting alongside the South African great made his job a lot easier.Stoinis remained unbeaten on 28, ensuring an eight-wicket win against KXIP, RCB’s maiden victory of the season.The all-rounder had walked in at the fall of skipper Virat Kohli with RCB needing 46 runs off 27 balls. Kohli (67) in company of de Villiers (59 not out) scripted a superb runchase, sharing a 85-run stand to lay the foundation.”I am pretty familiar with this ground, I have played here for three years,” said Stoinis at the post-match press conference here.”The more comforting factor is batting with AB de Villiers, that makes it easier.”He said that RCB badly needed a win to stay alive in the tournament.”We needed it, it’s good get to two points and get ourselves started,” he said.After Kohli got out, Stoinis said he had a chat with de Villiers on how to go about the target.”Make sure to keep head straight, watch the ball, keep it simple and then once you get in think about which balls you want to target,” Stoinis said, referring to the advice from his senior partner.Stonis also praised the knock played by KXIP opener Chris Gayle.”Main thing is every team has got world class players and they have got someone like Chris Gayle, who is arguably the best T20 player,” he said.Praising the effort of RCB bowlers, he said they applied brakes during middle overs claiming wickets at regular intervals, which also ensured that Gayle had to play a controlled innings.advertisement”Make sure you keep coming back and get into contest with every single ball and that’s what our seam bowlers did, they did particularly well. They got hit early but all of them had good spells later and then our spinners controlled through the middle overs as there was a little bit of turn,” said Stoinis.On the games ahead, he said RCB are not thinking too far ahead.”We are not thinking about finals and that sort of thing..it is just about each game now, we can’t afford to get too far ahead of ourselves, it is good to get started, we will take next game as it comes and hopefully we will win few on trot..it’s still a long season,” he said.Also Read | Virat Kohli to AB de Villiers: Being your neighbour in the team hotel a lovely experienceAlso See:last_img read more

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‘Arsene Wenger is so arrogant it’s untrue’

first_imgArsenal ‘Wenger is so arrogant it’s untrue’ – Arsenal boss blasted for ‘turning down the world’ comment Chris Burton 21:07 3/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Arsene Wenger Arsenal Getty Images Arsenal Arsène Wenger Premier League Ex-Gunners midfielder Stewart Robson says the Frenchman would have walked away from his post a long time ago if he really cared about the club Arsene Wenger has been accused of being “so arrogant it’s untrue”, with the under-fire Arsenal boss blasted by Stewart Robson for claiming to have “turned the whole world down”.The long-serving Gunners boss is facing more uncomfortable questions regarding his ongoing presence at Emirates Stadium, with a 3-0 Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City reigniting calls for him to stand down.Wenger has, however, faced regular protests against his reign in recent times and has stubbornly refused to walk away, with a new two-year contract penned in the summer of 2017. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player He has vowed to see that agreement out, having turned down the opportunity to leave for other high-profile posts in the past, but Robson believes the 68-year-old has merely stayed put as he has things easy in north London and can dictate proceedings in a manner few other clubs would allow.The former Arsenal midfielder told talkSPORT: “Did you see his interview? ‘I’ve turned down the world to stay at Arsenal’ – he’s so arrogant, it’s untrue.“The reason he stays at Arsenal is he can do what he wants, he’s not under pressure and he gets paid nearly £10 million a year – that’s why he stays at Arsenal, not because he’s loyal to the club.“If he was loyal to Arsenal and loved Arsenal so much, he would have left two or three years ago.”Robson also believes that Wenger is holding back those at his disposal, with too many players stagnating.He considers Jack Wilshere to be among them, with a man currently locked in contract extension talks advised to leave as a free agent unless he can get guarantees that a change in the dugout will be made this summer.Robson added on the England international, who is reported to have been asked to accept a 25 per cent pay cut in order to land fresh terms: “I don’t think he should stay.“If a new manager came in, and I’ve been championing Antonio Conte because he’s obviously going to leave Chelsea and I think he would be the ideal fit for Arsenal and give the team discipline. If that were to happen, I’d want Jack Wilshere to stay.“But at the moment he’s got to still be learning the game. The reason he hasn’t produced the sort of form he should have done over the years is because he’s had no guidance.“He’s a wonderful footballer but he still doesn’t seem to understand the game and he lacks discipline.“Until someone gets hold of him and teaches him that discipline, he’ll always be a player with potential rather than the world-class midfielder he could be.”last_img read more

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Tito’s Vodka Partners with Candy Company for Boozy New Treats

first_img 10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Home Any time there is a chance to combine two of our favorite activities — drinking and eating, of course — we will jump at it. Whether it’s pounding brewskis and eating hot dogs at a football game, working our way through a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and California cuisine pairing, or drinking whiskey and eating wings, the ability to put the two necessities together is great. Now, we have a new way to do that, which anyone with a sweet tooth is really going to enjoy.Tito’s Vodka has partnered with the luxury candy boutique Sugarfina to create a new set of vodka-infused candies. The collection will feature two new sweets inspired by the Moscow Mule and by (just about) everyone’s love of chocolate.“As craft vodka lovers, we’re excited to partner with [Tito’s] on this grown-up candy collection,” Sugarfina co-founders Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick said in a statement. “These new vodka-infused treats perfectly round out our top shelf collection.”The first new candy, American Mule bears, are non-alcoholic gummy bears imbued with Tito’s and a splash of ginger beer. The taste calls to mind one of the drinks that Tito’s is perhaps most known for.If you’re looking for actual booze in your candy, though, you’re going to want to try the Tiro’s Vodka Cordials. Made of rich dark chocolate, each cordial has a sip of Tito’s contained inside. Both sets comes in a signature Sugarfina cube and retail for $8.50.If you decide you need all of these in your life, there is the “Vodka Is Always a Good Idea Candy Bento Box,” which will contain both flavors. The collection comes in a custom box and is accompanied by a mini hand-crafted copper mule mug. The Candy Bento Box retails for $28.Previously, Sugarfina has worked with Casamigos Tequila to put out margarita-flavored and Paloma-flavored candies. For those that want the boozy flavor but maybe not the alcohol in their candy, they’ve also got a line that includes bourbon gummies and more.Check out more about Tito’s vodka, then head on over to the Sugarfina website and get yourself some sweets. The Manual Spirit Awards 2019: The Best Craft Liquor Made in America The Best Vodka Mixers for Stocking Your Home Bar Reyka Vodka May Have the Coolest Distiller on the Planet Editors’ Recommendations 10 Top Shelf Vodka Brands that are Actually Worth a Damn last_img read more

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Image of the Day: Ceona Amazon Reports for Duty

first_imgzoom SURF contractor Ceona has bolstered its fleet with the christening of its flagship asset, the Ceona Amazon, which has been delivered in less than two years of the letter of intent (LOI) for its construction being signed.The Ceona Amazon has been internally designed at Ceona and purpose-built to perform in multiple pipelay and operational modes. She also features a large storage capacity and heavy subsea construction capability.Lloyd Werft delivered the Ceona Amazon on schedule in Bremerhaven where the vessel was officially christened yesterday (Wednesday, December 3).Following her christening, the Ceona Amazon will transfer to Huisman yard in Schiedam, the Netherlands, where she will ultimately be equipped with a 570 tonne multi-lay pipe tower and two heavy duty 400 tonne offshore cranes – all of which have already been built by Huisman.Press Releaselast_img read more

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Plan to rescind H4 visas yet to get final shape as rule

first_imgWashington: The Trump administration’s decision to rescind work authorisation for H-4 visa holders is yet to get a final shape as the rule making process is not complete, an official said. H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) “continues reviewing” all employment-based visa programmes, including the H-4 EADs or employment authorisation card, an official told PTI. Also Read – Merkel warns UK Brexit deal ‘unlikely’ without compromise: London No decision about the Obama administration regulation granting work authorisation to certain H-4 spouses is final until the rule making process is completed, the official said. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security in its annual spring agenda had reiterated the proposal to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation. Under the Obama administration, certain H-4 workers were allowed to get employment authorisation. Also Read – India, China should jointly uphold peace and stability, resolve disputes through dialogues: Chinese ambassador Soon after coming to power, the Trump administration informed a US court that it plans to rescind such a rule. However, such a proposed rule is yet to be formally notified and the Trump administration has delayed the notification a number of times in the past two years. The USCIS is committed to upholding our nation’s immigration laws, helping ensure they are faithfully carried out, and safeguarding the integrity of our immigration system designed to protect the wages and working conditions of US workers, USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins said. “The administration has been relentlessly pursuing merit-based policy and regulatory immigration reforms, including a thorough review of employment-based visa programmes so they benefit the American people to the greatest extent possible in fulfilment of the the president’s (Donald Trump) ‘Buy American, Hire American Executive Order’, she said. The USCIS will continue adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations, Collins told PTIlast_img read more

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Province reports first decrease in child welfare numbers in 15 years

first_imgWINNIPEG – Manitoba’s high number of kids in the child welfare system has dropped for the first time in 15 years, show figures released Tuesday by the provincial government.Excerpts from the Families Department’s upcoming annual report show 10,328 kids were in care as of March 31, a 3.6 per cent drop from the same time last year.Families Minister Heather Stefanson said the government has tried to focus more on preventative measures by helping families before they reach a crisis point. That has resulted in fewer children being taken from their families.“The focus primarily in the last couple of years has been on prevention — recognizing who those at-risk families are, and getting them the resources that they need ahead of time,” Stefanson said.The number of families being reunited is up slightly, she added.The drop reverses a long trend that saw the number of kids in care almost double from 2004 to 2014. Manitoba has the highest per-capita rate of children in care and almost 90 per cent are Indigenous.First Nations groups have compared the high number to the residential school system that saw children forcibly removed from their families and culture.The Progressive Conservative government, elected in 2016, promised last year several new measures aimed at cutting the number of kids in care, including changing the funding formula for child welfare agencies to make it less focused on apprehending kids and more on supporting families.The government also plans to fulfil a promise made by the former NDP government to enact customary care, which gives children more opportunities to stay in their home communities with extended family members.Manitoba’s child welfare system has been under scrutiny for more than a decade following several high-profile tragedies.The most notorious case was that of Phoenix Sinclair, a five-year-old girl who was beaten to death by her mother and mother’s boyfriend after social workers closed her file.An inquiry found social workers, facing high caseloads, repeatedly failed to keep track of the girl and didn’t realized her mother’s boyfriend had a long history of violence.The retired judge who led the inquiry, Ted Hughes, later called the overrepresentation of aboriginal children in government care across Canada an “unconscionable national embarrassment.”last_img read more

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Experts question Alberta power threats to BC as pipeline politics intensify

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s promise to suspend electricity talks with British Columbia over a pipeline dispute may not carry much weight, according to energy experts.Notley made the commitment Thursday in protest to B.C.’s announcement that it would at least temporarily restrict increases in diluted bitumen shipments, creating more uncertainty for Kinder Morgan Inc.’s delayed Trans Mountain expansion project.The amount of power in question is, however, relatively minor, said energy consultant David Gray at Gray Energy Economics Inc.“You’re not talking about much in the grand scheme of things, it’s not much of a weapon.”Notley gave few details on what the suspended energy talks were about, but Blake Shaffer at the C.D. Howe Institute said there have been informal talks for some time to use the full 1,200 megawatt capacity of the existing power lines running between the two provinces, rather than the 800 megawatts currently allowed.For B.C. to potentially lose up to $500 million a year on the sale of that extra power, as Notley suggested Thursday, would mean some very high assumptions, said Shaffer.“That would assume that that space were used to the fullest amount every single hour of the year, at a very high price.”BC Hydro does, however, also have the option to export power to the U.S., limiting the potential impact, said Shaffer.“They do have another opportunity in California, so I don’t know there’s going to be a true limiting of market access if that’s the intention.”The move could also mean higher rates for Alberta if they were to lose the competition, he said.“It may punish B.C., but it also potentially punishes Albertans, like any import tariff or import restriction does. They end up being kind of a consumer tax.”The loss of the potential energy imports is seen as fairly neutral, however, to Alberta’s large-scale power consumers, since they hadn’t been expecting any, said Vittoria Bellissimo, executive director of the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta.“From an industrial consumer perspective, it’s essentially business as usual. We didn’t know this was a formal thing that could really happen, and here we are being told it’s not a thing.”Notley has called B.C.’s move to restrict increases in bitumen shipments unconstitutional, and has called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act decisively to end the dispute.Trudeau once again voiced his support for the project at a town hall meeting in Nanaimo, B.C., Friday, where he faced persistent heckling from a raucous crowd.He said Canada has to protect the environment and encourage economic development at the same time, which has guided the federal government’s approach on Kinder Morgan’s project.The Alberta government has been pushing strongly for the Trans Mountain expansion project to be built so that energy producers in the province would have more options when selling crude, while the B.C. government has vowed to stop it over environmental concerns.last_img read more

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As Kosovo nears final status decision UN mission organizes outreach meetings

The activities, including town hall and youth meetings, public gatherings and round table discussions have been organized and facilitated by the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Multi-Ethnicity and Outreach Unit as part of the Office of the Strategy Coordinator (STRATCO) in its efforts to help Kosovo society attain a better life in line with European and international standards. This includes bringing to the forefront the role the majority population plays in integrating minorities in the province where Albanians outnumber Serbs and others by 9 to 1, with an emphasis on the so-called Standards, eight targets that include building democratic institutions, enforcing minority rights, creating a functioning economy and setting up an impartial legal system. “By coordinating the efforts to promote Standards implementation and in the outreach process for minorities, UNMIK has analyzed, evaluated and offered guidance on ways to ensure that Kosovo becomes a vibrant multiethnic society,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Joachim Rücker said. The meetings come as Mr. Ban’s Special Envoy for the status process Martti Ahtisaari continues discussions with Serbia and the province’s ethnic Albanian-led government on a plan he presented earlier this year, which would give Kosovo the right to govern itself and conclude international agreements, including membership in international bodies, under international civilian and military supervision to help to ensure peace and stability. The plan does not specifically mention independence, which Serbia rejects but which many ethnic Albanians seek, and Mr. Ahtisaari reported last week that the sides remain “diametrically opposed” on his proposals. Following further talks he plans to present a further version to the Security Council by the end of the month. Asked last month whether he would characterize his proposals as independence in all but name, he said both sides were interpreting them as meaning independence supervised by the international community, but he would make “a very clear statement on that” when he presents the final version. 7 March 2007The United Nations mission in Kosovo is arranging dozens of outreach meetings focused on the integration of minorities and good governance as the Albanian-majority Serbian province which the world body has run since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting nears a decision on its final status. read more

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Red sanders smuggling mafia to Sri Lanka revealed

The arrest of a Tamil Nadu Kurnool-based lorry driver and seizure of 1.5 tonnes of red sanders logs worth over Indian Rs. 2 crore in the international market by the Tamil Nadu CID (Organised Crime) police in Ramanathapuram district (TN) on Monday night threw fresh light on the links of the red sanders smuggling mafia to Sri Lanka.A parcel van with A.P. registration was about to reach a coastal village in Ramanathapuram district, when the CID police led by inspector Rajesh intercepted it and seized the material, besides arresting its driver Balakrishnudu (35) of Kallur locality of Kurnool district. The official contacted the AP State Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (APSRSASTF) officials in Tirupati and passed on the information regarding the seizure of the contraband material. During interrogation, the T.N. police got information that it was a regular feature that some members of the red sanders smuggling network were operating between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu through Karnataka. Ramanathapuram, the district close to the Sri Lankan coast, remained the ideal destination for the smugglers. The agents would pick up the stocks and facilitate smuggling of the precious wood to some specified locations along the Sri Lanka’s coast. Small ferries and fishing boats are said to be deployed to finish the deals. In the present case, Balakrishnudu had initially reached Tuticorin to unload the stock before reloading it for Sri Lanka destination. However, due to Coast Guard surveillance he had to reach Ramanathapuram, where he was apprehended. The logs were skilfully arranged beneath the onion bags to avoid detection at inter-State checkposts. Speaking to The Hindu, Circle-Inspector (Organised Crime-TNCID) Rajesh said the consignment was set to reach Sri Lanka. “Though it is for the first time that we have made seizures of the red sanders in this case, we have information that regularly the goods [logs] would be coming to various locations in Ramanathapuram district,” he said. The Task Force chief Inspector General of Police M. Kantha Rao on receiving information from the TN police directed a team of senior police personnel to follow-up the matter and track the possible exit routes from A.P. towards T.N. coastal districts.“The network’s links with Sri Lanka will be further probed. On a number of occasions, the Task Force tracked the vehicles with red sanders logs sneaking into Tamil Nadu, and successfully brought back the seized logs to our godowns,” he said. read more

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US trade deficit drops to 388 billion in March as flow of

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted May 2, 2013 8:36 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US trade deficit drops to $38.8 billion in March as flow of crude oil falls to 17-year low WASHINGTON – The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March for a second month as the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the lowest level in 17 years. The deficit with China hit a three-year low.The overall trade deficit decreased to $38.8 billion, an 11 per cent drop from February’s $43.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.Exports fell 0.9 per cent to $184.3 billion as sales of machinery, autos and farm products all declined. Imports fell 2.8 per cent to $223.1 billion, led by a 4.4 per cent drop in foreign petroleum. Crude oil imports averaged just 7 million barrels per day, the lowest since March 1996.A smaller trade gap can boost overall economic growth as American companies earn more from overseas sales while U.S. consumers and businesses spend less on foreign products.For the first three months of this year, the trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $507.7 billion, 5.9 per cent below last year’s deficit of $539.5 billion. Economists are looking for the deficit to narrow slightly this year, in part because they expect continued gains in U.S. exports.Analysts said the lower-than-expected deficit in March will likely give a slight boost to overall economic growth for the January-March quarter. The government’s first estimate put economic growth at 2.5 per cent in the first quarter but some analysts said that could be revised up to perhaps 2.7 per cent because of the lower trade deficit in March.The politically sensitive deficit with China shrank 23.6 per cent in March to $17.9 billion, still far above the imbalance with any other country.Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said there was a good chance the big drop in the deficit with China would be reversed in April because much of the improvement reflected the disruption of shipments of Chinese goods to the United States over the Lunar New Year holiday in China.The deficit with the European Union grew 13 per cent in March to $9.9 billion even though U.S. exports to the region rose 14.4 per cent. But for the year, U.S. exports to Europe are down 8 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, reflecting the impact of a recession in the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.The European Central Bank announced Thursday that it was cutting its benchmark interest rate to a new record low in an effort to stimulate growth in the 17 European countries that use the euro currency.The Institute for Supply Management reported Wednesday that its index of U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a slower pace in April, held back by weaker hiring and less company stockpiling. That raised worries that overall economic growth may slow this spring.The manufacturing index slipped to 50.7 in April. That’s down from 51.3 in March and the slowest pace this year. A reading above 50 indicates expansion. A measure of export orders in the ISM survey grew at a slower pace in April.Exports of industrial machinery, telecommunications equipment, computers, autos and farm products such as soybeans were all down in March although sales of civilian aircraft were up.Imports of foreign-made autos dropped by $771 million in March and imports of toys and games were down $1 billion.The U.S. economy is being hurt this year by tax hikes and spending reductions designed to curb huge federal budget deficits.The Federal Reserve at its meeting Wednesday stood by its aggressive efforts to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment and held out the possibility that it is prepared to do more if growth doesn’t rebound from the current soft patch which the central bank blamed in part on the government’s tax increases and spending cuts to curb the deficit.Many economists believe if the government’s across the board spending cuts, known as a sequester, are not lifted, growth in the current April-June quarter and the rest of this year will come at a lacklustre 2 per cent or less. read more

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UN agencies urge end to potentially deadly – but preventable – lead

Pregnant mothers and young children in the developing world are exposed to high levels of lead through unsafe paints, particularly in colours yellow and red where lead is added as a pigment, United Nations environment agency today reported amid International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action.“In this day and age, it is quite frankly breathtaking that parents painting their child’s nursery a cheerful red, or handing their child a colourful toy may, through no fault of their own, be exposing that child to a pernicious and damaging toxin: lead,” said Nick Nuttall, Spokesperson and Director of Communications at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The study finds that the majority of the paints tested would not meet regulatory standards established in most highly industrialized countries – for example, 90 parts per million (ppm) in the United States and Canada – and that some contain astonishingly high and dangerous levels of lead. The study analyzed enamel decorative paints from nine countries: Argentina, Azerbaijan, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia and Uruguay.“This report seeks to catalyze action by raising awareness among Governments, manufacturers and consumers not just that the problem exists, but that there are cheap and safe alternatives to lead already in use that can lift this health burden in a very short time,” Mr. Nuttall said. The report also found that few countries have established regulatory frameworks for lead paint, but those that do, generally exhibit lower lead paint levels. Worldwide, 30 countries have already phased out the use of lead paint. The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, co-led by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and UNEP, has set a target of 70 countries by 2015.International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, which the Global Alliance is running through 26 October, focuses this year on the important of avoiding lead paint and using safe alternatives in order to prevent children from being harmed by lead poisoning.Exposure to lead paint can be particularly grave among children, especially those living in low and middle-income countries which account for 99 per cent of children affected by high exposure to lead, WHO reported.An estimated 143,000 deaths per year result from lead poisoning, often linked to lead paint, while some 600,000 new cases of intellectual disabilities are linked to childhood lead exposure.“Lead poisoning remains the number one environmental health concern for children globally and led paint is a major flashpoint for children’s potential lead poisoning,” said WHO’s Director of Public Health and Environment, Dr. Maria Neira.Meanwhile, UN chemical experts have recommended the phase out of two industrial chemicals, with uses ranging from wood preservation to pest control, due to human health risks.The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee, a subsidiary body of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), recommended the inclusion of polychlorinated napththalenes (PCN) and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) to the UN-backed major treaty banning hazardous chemicals.Every human in the world carries in his or her body traces of POPs, which circulate globally through a process known as the “grasshopper effect” and include chemicals which are agents that that can kill people, damage the nervous and immune systems, cause cancer and reproductive disorders and interfere with normal infant and child development.POPs released in one part of the world can, through a repeated process of evaporation and deposit, be transported through the atmosphere to regions far away from the original source. They are readily absorbed in fatty tissue of fish, predatory birds and mammals through the food chains.Both chemicals have been recommended for listing in Annexes A and C to the Convention, thus targeting their intentional production, as well as unintentional releases of the chemicals.The recommendations will be sent to the Parties to the Stockholm Convention for consideration at the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, scheduled to be held from 4 to 15 May 2015 in Geneva. read more

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First quarter of 2018 to focus on SOPs says Local Government

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEnsuring ‘high integrity’ of govt nominees holding up LGC -HarmonNovember 25, 2016In “latest news”Communities Minister should take responsibility for ‘chaos’ at LGC, says Ganga PersaudFebruary 19, 2019Similar postRose Hall Town Council instructed by LGC to rescind hiring of Town ClerkApril 20, 2018In “latest news” The recently established Local Government Commission (LGC) says that while it has been busy, much of its time is currently being spent on ensuring the operationalization of its functions in early 2018.The members of the LGC include Mortimer Mingo, Clement Corlette, Marlon Williams, Jo Ann Romascindo, Andrew Garnett, former Ministers of Local Government Norman Whittaker and Clinton Collymore and former Town Clerk of Georgetown, Carol Sooba.President David Granger and the newly sworn-in Commissioners to the Local Government Commission at State HouseThe Commission said it held nine Statutory Meetings during the period of October to December 19, 2017, with primary emphasis of these meetings being the establishment of its Institutional Framework.To that end, the LGC said that it sees “as an integral function the establishment of regulations for the conduct of its affairs and Standard Operating Procedures [SOP’s] for the conduct of the business of the Commission which will guide this entity’s operations even beyond the life of this current Commission. Since this is Guyana’s first such entity, the establishment of proper and effective guidelines of this nature is an imperative which will engage the Commission in the first quarter of 2018.”Moreover, the Commission explained in a statement that it has earmarked a location for the establishment of its operations in Georgetown consistent with the requirements of the Act, and has advertised for the key personnel that would allow its work to progress.An important aspect of the Commission’s Work Plan for 2018, the LGC said, will see the commencement of an extensive outreach, familiarisation programme of visits / meetings to the Ten (10) regions of Guyana.“The purpose of the meetings will be to engage its constituents namely RDCs; Municipalities; NDCs; Amerindian Councils on Policy and Implementation framework on Taxation and other Revenue measures; Protection of the Environment; Service Delivery; Human Resource Development and other related areas mutually identified.”According to the LGC, their initial meetings have also served to allow for the preparation of the Commission’s budget and the allocation of resources in keeping with Section 24.1 of the Local Government Act No.18 of 2013, which states that “The Commission shall determine its own annual budget for submission to the Minister of Finance for inclusion in the annual budget presented to the National Assembly.”The LGC has been allocated $110M in the 2018 Budget, with an additional $1B to be transferred to NDCs and the nine Mayoralties and a further sum of $200M allocated towards improving the City of Georgetown. read more

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Facebook adds facial recognition to photo tagging

first_imgIf you upload photos to Facebook there is a good chance you also tag your friends and family in them. Tagging photos is an easy way to share your photos, but can be a time consuming process if you’re uploading a number of them at once. Incredibly, people add more than 100 million tags to photos on Facebook every day.To help streamline the process, Facebook implemented group tagging back in October. Group tagging, as the name implies, allows users to type one name and apply it to multiple photos of the same person. Now, Facebook has implemented software to take photo tagging to the next level by offering a feature called tag suggestions.Tag suggestions uses facial recognition technology to match new photos you may have uploded to older photos which you have already tagged people in. Similar photos are grouped together and if possible the name of a person is suggested to tag the photos. By accepting the suggested name or manually typing one for the grouped photos, you save the time and effort of having to tag each photo manually. Of course, some people may have privacy concerns with the notion that Facebook’s facial recognition technology allows their name to be suggested automatically for photos.To address any such concerns, Facebook has given users the ability to prevent their names from being used with the tag suggestions feature. To block your name, simply click “Customize Settings” and “Suggest photos of me to friends.” At that point, you will once again be anonymous, though friends will still have the ability to type your name in manually.Read more at the Facebook BlogBrian’s OpinionI have no doubt that many people will focus on the notion that this new facial recognition technology is yet another invasion of privacy by Facebook. First, I’d like to point out that Facebook is a voluntary service that people can opt in and out of at anytime. Sometimes the same people who are so critical of Facebook as it relates to privacy are the service’s biggest users.Casting aside those hypocrites and recognizing the fact that Facebook is giving users the ability to turn off tag suggestions for their name, you have to appreciate how innovative this new service is. Facebook is all about making connections and sharing experiences online. One of the best ways to do that is by tagging people in photos, but let’s be honest it can be a chore. The implementation of tag suggestions offers an automated way to make the process simpler which will encourage those who typically don’t tag photos to begin doing so.People can try to villainize Mark Zuckerberg all they want. At the end of the day the dude is a billionaire and Time’s Man of the Year for a reason. He has completely transformed the way people connect online as demonstrated by the 500 million people using Facebook. Best of all, his company is continuing to find new ways to allow people to connect even easier with tag suggestions being the latest example.last_img read more

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This Mini Strandbeest is hamsterpowered

first_imgIf you have ever seen a Strandbeest in motion, you know they are a visual symphony of kinetics and aesthetics, like a fine piece of art in motion. In addition, these walking works of art can be solar powered, wind-driven, or even motorized.Not leaving well enough alone, though, the folks at Crabfu Artworks received a mini Strandbeest in a copy of Gakken magazine to play around with. And after having considered many applications to drive the tiny walker, only one unique idea came to the surface – to make the device hamster powered.So after some quick modifications to the Strandbeest and the addition of a hamster ball, chain, and gears, a new Hamster Powered Strandbeest was born and all it needed now was a brave pilot to drive it.Thankfully for us, Princess the Hamster stepped up for the challenge to take this walker for a test run.Read more at Crabfu Artworks, found via Geeks are Sexy.last_img read more

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