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Excavator blamed for islandwide blackout in Puerto Rico


first_imgSAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – An island-wide blackout hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday after an excavator accidentally downed a transmission line, officials said, as the U.S. territory struggles to repair an increasingly unstable power grid nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria.Officials said it could take 24 to 36 hours to fully restore power to more than 1.4 million customers as outrage grew across the island about the state of Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority. It was the second major outage in less than a week, with the previous one affecting some 840,000 customers.“This is too much,” said Luis Oscar Rivera, a computer technician who just got normal power back at his house less than two months ago. “It’s like the first day of Maria all over again.”Authorities said the same contractor was involved in the two latest big power failures and had been fired. The outage last Thursday was set off when a tree limb fell on a power line as the contractor cleared land in central Puerto Rico and a backup line failed. On Wednesday, an excavator used by the contractor hit a transmission line near the south coast.Several large power outages have hit Puerto Rico in recent months, but Wednesday was the first time since the hurricane struck Sept. 20 that the U.S. territory has experienced a full island-wide blackout.The outage snarled traffic across the island, interrupted classes and work, and forced dozens of businesses to temporarily close, including the largest mall and popular tourist attractions like a 16th century fort in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital. Long lines formed stations across the island, while authorities offered assurances that there was enough gasoline available.Backup generators roared to life at the island’s largest public hospital and at its main international airport, where officials reported no cancellations or delays. Meanwhile, the power company said its own customer service centre was out of service and asked people to go online or use the phone.Officials said restoring power to hospitals, airports, banking centres and water pumping systems was their priority. Following that would be businesses and then homes.By late in the afternoon, power had returned to several hospitals and at least five of the island’s 78 municipalities.Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of the capital of San Juan, said the outage would not interrupt the last of a two-game series between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins, which is being played on the island. She said all emergency systems at Hiram Bithorn stadium are functioning and that tower lights and additional security will be placed at the stadium’s parking lot.Justo Gonzalez, the power company’s executive sub-director, told reporters that workers were removing a collapsed tower Wednesday during unrelated power restoration efforts near the south coast and an excavator hit the transmission line.“We are working in areas that are quite crowded with high voltage lines,” he said.Fredyson Martinez, vice-president of a union that represents power company workers in Puerto Rico, told The Associated Press that he was concerned about the two back-to-back incidents.“That is not normal,” he said.Government officials said a company hired by Cobra Energy known as Dgrimm was involved in both incidents that led to the power outages. Dgrimm had been asked to change its security protocols after the first incident, and it has since been terminated, said William Rios, power generation director.“This is unacceptable for us,” he said, adding that government attorneys were meeting with officials at Cobra Energy, a Mammoth Energy subsidiary.Angel Figueroa, president of the power workers’ union, told reporters that workers were investigating why a backup breaker at a main power station in the island’s southern region did not function when the outage occurred, causing the entire electrical grid to shut down to protect itself. He noted it was the same problem that caused a 2016 power outage that affected the entire island.Geraldo Quinones, a power company spokesman, said in a phone interview that crews are investigating why the breaker failed.Rivera said he worries that such serious power outages are still occurring as the new Atlantic hurricane season, which starts on June 1, approaches.“If there’s a slight storm, we’re going to be worse off than we are right now,” he said.Federal officials who testified before Congress last week said they expect to have a plan by June on how to strengthen and stabilize the island’s power grid, noting that up to 75 per cent of distribution lines were damaged by high winds and flooding. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the federal power restoration efforts, said they hope to have the entire island fully energized by May. Some 40,000 power customers still remain without normal electrical service as a result of the hurricane.The new blackout occurred as Puerto Rico legislators debate a bill that would privatize the island’s power company, which is $14 billion in debt and relies on infrastructure nearly three times older than the industry average.last_img read more


Fort Nelson optimistic of the benefits from BCs largest community forest


first_imgFORT NELSON, B.C. -The Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement, in partnership with the British Columbia government has been approved.Residents and area communities that have long fought to revive Fort Nelson’s forest sector are starting to realize the benefit of their efforts, shared the government.According to the government, the Fort Nelson Community Forest Agreement partners include the Fort Nelson First Nation and the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality. Community forests are long-term, area-based tenures. They are designed to encourage community involvement in the management of local forests while expanding economic opportunities and opening doors for local job creation. This agreement has an allowable annual cut of 217,650 cubic metres per year from 191,571 hectares of Crown land, including a BC Timber Sales volume reservation of 32,650 cubic metres annually for the part of the land base that includes BC Timber Sales’ operating area.Stand-level retention targets of 8.9% for wildlife tree retention areas, ungulate winter ranges and consideration of possible future impacts to the timber-harvesting land base for boreal caribou management were submitted in a management plan during the application process.Old-growth retention targets will be a minimum of 37% in the Northern Boreal Mountains (6% of the agreement area) and 17% in the Boreal Plains (94% of the agreement area).The agreement provides for maintenance and distribution of diverse forest types throughout the agreement area, including coniferous stands, mixed-wood stands and deciduous stands.Of the 217,650 annual cubic metres, partitions include a maximum conifer harvest of 118,000 cubic metres, with the remainder to come from deciduous stands to achieve and maintain the current diversity.last_img read more


SPTSX highlights


Closing TSX index: Open 15,790.46 Close 15,807.17 Low 15,790.46 High 15,828.86 Change +64.97 Volume 249,037,403 Value 4,420,586,632


Oil drops more than 1 per cent on big increase in gasoline


AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Oil drops more than 1% per cent on big increase in gasoline supplies by The Associated Press Posted Jan 8, 2014 2:08 pm MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – The price of oil fell more than one per cent Wednesday after government data showed that U.S. demand for gasoline fell last week to the lowest level in a year.Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery fell $1.34, or 1.4 per cent, to close at $92.33 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.The U.S. Energy Department said supplies of gasoline rose by 6.2 million barrels last week, a jump of nearly three per cent.Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill, said the data indicated that demand for gasoline was the lowest since the same week last year. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected gasoline supplies to rise by two million barrels.Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, fell 20 cents to US$107.15 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.In other energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline dropped two cents to US$2.66 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil slipped one cent to US$2.95 a gallon and natural gas fell eight cents to US$4.22 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS), (TSX:CVE) read more


South Sudan UN deputy humanitarian chief calls for end to civilian suffering


Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, accompanied UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the visit to South Sudan, where they met Government officials and visited communities affected by the conflict.During her mission, Ms. Kang also met humanitarian partners and the diplomatic community and visited Malakal, where she witnessed the devastating impact of the armed violence that took place on 17 and 18 February in the UN protection of civilians site.“I am outraged by what I have seen in Malakal,” she said, noting that civilians who had sought safety at the site have been attacked, killed, traumatised and displaced once more, with the entire site, including medical clinics and schools, completely and systematically burnt down and destroyed.“Those responsible for these heinous acts must be held to account,” she said.The two-year conflict in South Sudan has taken a brutal and deadly toll on civilians. Recently, fighting has spread to new areas, including in Wau and Mundri, and there continue to be reports of people being raped and killed, and of homes and crops being destroyed and damaged by fighting.Despite the peace agreement, civilians in the country continue to face destitution, destruction, death and devastation, and the humanitarian needs continue to grow, said Ms. Kang, calling for an end to the fighting, the protection of people caught in the middle, and immediate and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to all those in need.Ms. Kang appealed to the international community to act immediately to avert an even greater tragedy in South Sudan, as humanitarian needs are higher now than ever.The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016 is currently only 6.5 per cent funded, including the $21 million of Central Emergency Response Fund allocation announced by the Secretary-General in Juba on 25 February, leaving a gap of nearly $1.21 billion.Some $220 million is needed without delay to ensure that vital supplies can be procured and delivered during the dry season, before nearly 60 per cent of the country is again unreachable by road. read more


Protesters hold Israel boycott dieins at several Dublin stores


first_imgA GROUP OF 15 to 20 protesters conducted “die-ins” at several stores in and around the Jervis Centre in Dublin city centre this evening.The group, which is organised through the Act for Palestine Facebook page, carried Palestinian flags and banners calling for a boycott of Israeli goods and held demonstrations at Marks and Spencer on Mary Street.From there, they moved to Smyths Toys on Jervis Street, before entering the Jervis Centre, holding a “die-in” protest on the second floor.Their demonstration at Smyths comes a day after the company ordered staff at the Jervis Street branch to remove a sign from the door which stated that Israeli products had been taken off the shelves. Protestors hold a die-in at the Jervis Shopping Centre in Dublin Source: TheJournal.ieThe demonstrators then continued downstairs to Tesco in the Jervis Centre, where they collected a number of goods, purportedly Israeli, and piled them on the floor next to the entrance of the store.Gardaí and security guards kept a close watch over the protests, but there were no disturbances and no arrests were made.Bernie Hughes, a protester from Finglas in North Dublin, told TheJournal.ie that demonstrations like this afternoon’s would be become regular events. Even though it took a long time, it did work – it was effective.Although today’s “die-ins” were led by a relatively small group, some shoppers at Tesco in the Jervis Centre appeared to be sympathetic to their cause.Andy from Dublin told TheJournal.ie that after seeing the die-in next to the store’s entrance, he had made a point of checking which products on display were made in Israel. I think it would be a positive move for a company to stop stocking Israeli goods, and if one of them announced they were doing it, I would definitely make a point of shopping there. Bernie Hughes protests inside Marks and Spencer on Mary Street in Dublin Source: Mark StedmanShe drew comparisons between the ongoing campaign to boycott Israeli goods, with the actions of Dunnes Stores workers against South African apartheid in the 1980s.center_img This will be happening on an ongoing basis – I personally will be escalating this. A protester takes part in a die-in outside Smyths on Jervis Street in Dublin Source: Photocall IrelandAnna from Waterford, meanwhile, said she would be consciously looking at the country of origin on her products. Holding up a bag of limes from Mexico, she said she was particularly cautious while shopping for avocados, herbs and potatoes.Management at Smyths, Marks and Spencer and Tesco refused to comment on today’s protests, and spokespersons for all three companies were unavailable for comment this evening.Read: ‘I just don’t agree with what’s happening’ – Gordon D’Arcy’s support for Gaza>Thousands turn up at demonstrations around Ireland for Gaza>last_img read more


BoxTown Project


first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Just about a year ago, three friends formed BoxTown Project (BTP), an Athens-based video production company producing ads, short films and documentaries where their love for wheels and Greece is more than evident. Melbourne-born Angelos Giotopoulos, Scottish Bob Page and US-raised Peter Boudouris joined their commonly driven creative impulses to produce some very artistic fixed-gear shorts and films about the Athenian street-culture. Apart from a distinctive and unique aesthetic that identifies them as one of Greece’s most promising production businesses, BoxTown Project’s videos deliver some very interesting perspectives about current affairs in Athens and Greece in general. “We met in Athens, and over a period of time realised we had similar creative impulses, as we would always end up talking about ideas for photo shoots or short films, and we started building short video clips just for fun. This is how we began to feel our way through the process,” Bob Page tells Neos Kosmos.“Our first real attempt at documentary filmmaking led to the film Melathiou: a sunny street for shady people, which explored the fixed gear bike scene that was centred around VCA (Vicious Cycles Athens).“BoxTown came into existence during the filming of that project,” he explains.For Angelos Giotopoulos, on the other hand, BoxTown was always there, it just hadn’t been named and the practical side of it never got up and running. “Over the years of being friends, it was unavoidable,” Pete Boudouris adds.“I think we like grasping themes and ideas that we can have fun with and trying different things. BTP isn’t all about fixed gear.”“We are just part of a really close fixed gear community in Athens and have an ongoing project with the riders of the TDA crew,” he goes on.BTP came into the international spotlight with one of their latest videos entitled SYRIZA: The State of Greece, a short documentary that set out to explore the recent changes in the Greek government and its implications for the Greek people and the European community. All participants live and work in Athens and have witnessed first-hand the very public decline of Greece’s economy and global reputation, while some do not have the right to vote in Greece despite their lengthy residence. Amongst them, Greek Australian businessman Nicholas Geronimos, Glaswegian sound-engineer and entrepreneur Stephen Flemming, journalist Giorgos Frantzeskakis and the UK owners of Vicious Cycles Athens. The BoxTown team shot the video in an attempt to convey the people’s rising hope after the elections, though the participants can’t help but question the ideology of the SYRIZA government. “In the weeks surrounding the Greek elections there was a tangible positive buzz in the air, accompanied by a lot of questions and conjecture,” Bob says. “Everyone was talking about the possibilities and pitfalls ahead. It was a small leap for us to decide to explore the subject in a film. This time though we wanted to apply our new-found skills and production values to the piece.”The film about SYRIZA was decided upon in a split second, according to Angelos Giotopoulos, as the BoxTown team felt it was a current and crucial piece that needed to be told through the eyes of the expats living in Greece. “It was a personal approach not only for us but for the interviewees who needed to be heard,” he confesses. “As expats they are not given the opportunity to vote, so this was an opportunity to voice their opinion. We had no agenda, we just let them narrate our documentary.”Some contributors to the SYRIZA documentary absolutely can vote here and the fact that the majority could not became apparent later on in the filmmaking process. We put together a list of people we considered informed and diverse, although not having a female perspective is an omission BoxTown still regrets. “It wasn’t pre-planned – more of a happy accident in terms of adding layers of interest,” Pete says. “We knew from the outset that as a fledgling production company it would be impossible for us to interview any of the major political players but we felt that as expats we had a unique perspective that we hadn’t seen covered in the media.”Both the participants and the BoxTown team feel optimistic about the radical changes the Greek political scene is undergoing; the deeper they look, however, the harder it is to maintain that feeling. The stamina of people living and working in Greece has plummeted, therefore they find themselves grasping any option that seems capable of offering a way out from the harshness of the austerity measures, whether that is the leftists’ SYRIZA or, most disappointingly, the extreme right. The leading party’s decision to form a coalition government with ANEL (a far right-wing party) was indicative of the cracks in its leadership, as ANEL opposed to SYRIZA’s decision to offer immigrants living in Greece citizenship.“Hopefully, a positive outlook is enough to turn things around, at least internally in Greece,” says Bob, despite his fears about the new government’s credibility.“It’s diverting the public’s opinion. And feelings.”Angelos stresses the fact that all people living in Greece are constantly hoping for change, a long-awaited change, which seemed as if it was going to happen, though the way SYRIZA has been priming the pump, it might end up shutting whatever window was left open for Greece. Both Angelos and fellow Greek Australian Nicholas Geronimos, who takes part in the video, are firm believers Greece won’t exit the eurozone.“The question is if SYRIZA can come home with the goods, whatever goods that may be,” Angelos says, contemplating the failed efforts by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis to reach an agreement on reforms to Greece’s bailout program. “We are hoping we can live with dignity and support one another in our attempt to progress with an intelligent future for Greek society,” he adds, choosing to focus on how more and more people from other parts of the world are changing their way of thinking.The BoxTown Project trio has just released a slightly more stylised fixed gear short that they are excited about, titled Last Man, which shall be followed by some music videos for local bands.“We have a good list of projects to keep us creative and productive. I believe this is what we all need to be doing,” Angelos says.And he couldn’t be more right, as times of crisis have always been a springboard for creativity.* For more information and to watch Boxtown’s short documentaries, check out their vimeo channel here www.vimeo.com/boxtownprojectlast_img read more


Apple contraint de casser les prix de liPad


first_imgApple contraint de casser les prix de l’iPadÉtats-Unis – Une rumeur court sur la Toile : le nouveau jouet de Steve Jobs ne convient pas au grand public.La marque à la pomme se verrait contrainte de revoir sa gamme de prix. Les consommateurs ne seraient pas convaincus par la tablette iPad : d’une part, ils trouvent son prix inabordable, d’autre part, ses caractéristiques sont controversées.À lire aussiiPad Air 2 : Keynote confirmée, tout ce que l’on sait sur la future tablette AppleEn effet, les prévisions sur les ventes de l’iPad ne sont pas à la hauteur des espérances d’Apple : la demande n’afflue pas. Si le buzz a fonctionné, le concept lui n’a pas vraiment séduit la clientèle visée. La campagne marketing, pourtant suivie et attendue, a déçu les consommateurs : le prix de la tablette tactile est excessif. Pour motiver l’acte d’achat, la marque se verrait contrainte de le revoir à la baisse.De plus, la nouvelle création est dépréciée : les caractéristiques et les défauts du “gros iPhone” n’ont pas satisfait le grand public. Entre l’iPhone et l’iPod Touch, l’iPad fait l’objet de rumeurs : Apple serait en train de réviser le projet, contraint notamment d’y incorporer un capteur photo et vidéo. L’excellent coup marketing du produit a pourtant suscité de l’intérêt auprès d’autres distributeurs. La concurrence est bel et bien décidée à suivre Apple, et à intégrer le marché des tablettes tactiles. Mais Steve Jobs ne veut pas seulement en faire partie, il veut aussi le développer : reste a savoir s’il sera prêt à jouer la guerre des prix afin d’en rester le leader.Le 10 février 2010 à 10:37 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


Toshiba un moniteur usb de 14 pouces prochainement disponible


first_imgToshiba : un moniteur usb de 14 pouces prochainement disponibleToshiba commercialisera un moniteur d’appoint USB de 14 pouces qui dispose d’un avantage indéniable : il est autoalimenté.Toshiba commercialisera prochainement un moniteur d’appoint USB de 14 pouces, autoalimenté. Il peut être utilisé avec un ordinateur ou une tablette en tant qu’écran secondaire. Cet écran peut afficher une image en résolution 1366 par 768 pixels.Cependant, la luminosité de l’écran est limitée à 220cd/m² et à un contraste de 400:1 du fait de la connectique (USB) selon Clubic. De même, le temps de réponse de l’écran est de 16 ms, un peu long mais acceptable, surtout pour l’utiliser dans le cadre de la bureautique.L’écran pèse moins de 800 grammes. Son étui de transport fait également office de support. L’écran coûtera 170 euros mais sa date de sortie française n’est pas encore connue.Le 27 octobre 2011 à 19:59 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more


Watch Robot Camgirl CardiBot Twerk


first_imgStay on target I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly, cause Cardi-Bot is too bootylicious for ya, babe.CamSoda’s new stripper bot will perform weekly webcam shows, twerking, dancing, shimmying, and shaking live for your, er… enjoyment.Citing the success of Westworld and continued advancements in artificial intelligence, “robots over the past year have become all the rage, CamSoda vice president Daryn Parker said in a statement.“Being in the adult entertainment industry and at the forefront of sex-tech innovation, we wanted to put our XXX spin on robotics,” he continued. “Which is why Cardi-Bot can not only mimic human-like behavior, but also get down and dirty, all with the quick click of a button.”Cardi-Bot (which I can only assume is named after Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar, a.k.a. Cardi B) uses natural language processing technology and machine learning to cut a rug. She can even engage in dirty talk.Once a week, users can enter a free public chat room, where they are prompted to request conversation or specific movements. Or, you can pay to take Cardi-Bot into a private cam session, where you can interact more intimately.It’s not a stretch to imagine being turned on by a silicon-covered mannequin that at least bears resemblance to a human. But Cardi-Bot’s metallic bosom (with light-up nipples) and security-cam head don’t seem that excitable. Maybe it’s the way those feathers shake when she squats and thrusts…“We’re very excited to make Cardi-Bot”—the first sex robot people can interact with over the Internet—”available to the world and let people live out their wildest fantasies,” Parker said.A work in progress, the exotic dancer will soon be able to react to more detailed instructions and converse “more intelligently,” according to CamSoda. She is also expected to get teledildonics compatibility, allowing users to get even more cozy with Cardi.Adult entertainment site CamSoda previously introduced a vibrator that orders pizza after you … finish. And Pornhub developed TwerkingButt, a high-tech sexual peripheral designed to integrate with the firm’s Cyberskin+ VR headset. Read more about sex robots here. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseMIT’s Thread-Like Robot Slides Through Blood Vessels In the Brain last_img read more


MiamiDade Police arrest woman suspected in purse snatching


first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Police have made an arrest in the case of a purse snatching in Downtown Miami.Miami-Dade Police located and detained the suspect, Jacqueline Wright, who they said snatched a woman’s purse as she walked home on Jan. 20 around 1 a.m.Wright was later arrested and charged with robbery and credit card fraud.Victim Maria Jesus was walking from a restaurant to her home located along Northwest Ninth Avenue and First Street when police said Wright got out of a car and trailed the victim to the building’s entrance.Police are still looking for the getaway driver.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img


Solar Array to Help Vandenberg AFB Reach Energy Assurance Goal


first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Officials today are scheduled to formally dedicate a 28-megawatt solar array at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., which is projected to reduce base energy costs by about $1.75 million annually over the next 25 years, reports the Santa Ynez Valley News. Equally important, the project will provide the installation a redundant source of power for its space launch and tracking mission, Dan Gerdes, rates and renewables division chief for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, said last year. “Using a long-term contract with fixed costs ensures we have the electricity we need, when we need it and broadens the pool we have for power sources there. This is one step closer to our target of full energy assurance for key Air Force missions.”Santa Ynez Valley News photo by Len Woodlast_img read more


Wilmington Public Schools Seeks Per Diem Substitutes


first_imgWILMINGTON, MA – Wilmington Public Schools is seeking substitute teachers at the elementary school, middle school and high school levels, according to a job listing posted on October 1.Substitute teacher rates in Wilmington are as follows:Day to day: $75/day without a DESE license, $85/day with a DESE license45-59 days in the same assignment: $100/day without a DESE license, $110/day with a DESE license60-90 days in the same assignment: $115/day without a DESE license, $125/day with a DESE license91 or more days in the same assignment: $250.84/day (must have a DESE license)The school system is also seeking substitute educational assistants ($60/day), substitute LPNs ($75/day), and substitute nurses ($125/day).View the job posting, which includes further information about the application process, HERE.Got a question? Contact Andrea Armstrong, Human Resources Director, at 978-694-6000 or andrea.armstrong@wpsk12.com.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Public Schools Hiring Substitute Teachers, Educational Assistants & Nurses For Upcoming School YearIn “Education”Wilmington Public Schools Hiring Substitute Teachers, Educational Assistants & NursesIn “Education”Wilmington Public Schools Hiring Substitute Teachers, Educational Assistants & NursesIn “Education”last_img read more


Puri Jagannadh makes shocking admission on copying iBoy for iSmart Shankar


first_imgPuri JagannadhTwitterDirector Puri Jagannadh made a shocking admission on copying movie iBoy without referring to it. He said that the chip concept from iSmart Shankar starring Ram Pothineni is inspired by Hollywood movies.iSmart Shankar is slated for release in the cinema halls on July 18. Kick-starting its publicity, the makers of the film recently released its trailer on the internet. The chip concept featured in this video fuelled speculations that the movie must be a copy of the Hollywood film iBoy starring Bill Milner.In an interview, Puri Jagannadh, who is currently busy with the promotions of iSmart Shankar, admitted that a portion of the movie has been inspired by Hollywood films, but did not mention the name of iBoy.”I did not have a hit after Temper and this was hurting me big time. Somehow I wanted to make a hit film and in this process met Ram. He told me to write a bad boy kind of a role for him and that is how ISmart Shankar was born. The chip concept is inspired by Hollywood films and I have set the rest of the story in Telangana,” Puri Jagannadh told in an interview to 123Telugu.The director denied having difficulty in adapting the Telangana dialect for iSmart Shankar. “I did not do any homework for the Telangana backdrop. One of my co-directors helped me with the dialect and as my wife is from Telangana I am used to this style of speaking at home,” added Puri Jagannadh.Talking about Ram Pothineni, Puri Jagannadh heaped praises on the hero. The director said, “Ram has this crazy energy which has not been tapped by many directors. I tried to bring all of that out and as his role is a local mass guy, Ram has gone all out and his performance is the biggest highlights of the film. I feel that the newcomers should learn how to act after seeing Ram’s performance.”iSmart Shankar is an action film, which is written and directed by Puri Jagannadh, who has also jointly produced it with actress Charmme Kaur. Ram Pothineni is seen romancing two young actresses like Nidhhi Agerwal and Nabha Natesh in the film, which is expected to bring back the fallen glory of both the hero and director.last_img read more


AlQaeda says Pakistani security forces detained wife of its chief Zawahiri


first_imgScreen capture from the video showing al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.SITE Intelligence GroupPakistani security forces have detained the wife of Al-Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and two other family members of the groups ‘martyrs’ for nearly a year, according to a statement released by the insurgent group on Friday.Al-Qaeda claimed that “treacherous Pakistani forces” captured the family members including Al-Zawahri’s wife a year ago as they left Waziristan, a former Taliban base bordering Afghanistan due to airstrikes, reported Associated Press.”We … hold Pakistan’s government and its treacherous army and their American masters responsible for their criminal acts,” the statement said.The current leader of Al-Qaeda, al-Zawahri is an Egyptian who took over the group’s leadership after US military forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan’s Abbottabad region in 2011. While Pakistan has not commented on the statement, Zawahiri is said to be hiding in the country.Al-Qaeda’s statement came a day after US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed the death of 9/11 mastermind’s son, Hamza bin Laden.The US official confirmation comes weeks after it was reported that he was killed during the last two years in an operation that involved the United States. Hamza who is believed, to be 30 years old, may have been killed before the US announced a $1 million bounty on him in February 2019.According to the documents found in the Abottabad house, Bin Laden was preparing Hamza to replace him as the terror outfit’s leader. Later on, Hamza was assumed to have donned the role of a deputy to the Alqaeda’s current chief, Al-Zawahiri.The United Nations Security Council reported that the deteriorating health of Al-Zawahiri has raised doubts about the global terrorist organisation’s succession.Pakistan’s war on terrorPakistan has often been accused of supporting terrorists in Afghanistan including the Al-Qaeda. Yesterday, the terror watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Asia Pacific Group placed Pakistan in its “enhanced expedited follow-up list”.The list, which is believed to be similar to be blacklisted, APG found the country non-complaint to 32 of the 40 parameters on money-laundering and terror financing.The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan said that 40 different militant groups were operating in Pakistan when the country joined US war on terror after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.”We were fighting the US war on terror. Pakistan has nothing to do with 9/11. Al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan. There were no militant Taliban in Pakistan. But we joined the US war. Unfortunately, when things went wrong, where I blame my government, we did not tell the US exactly the truth on the ground,” the Pakistani PM said as quoted by news agency PTI.However, India has accused Pakistan of its state-sponsor of promoting cross-border terrorism in the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.Earlier this month, Indian intelligence reports stated Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has given terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) full permission for conducting suicide bomb attacks in the valley and cause as many casualties as they can, without worrying about “collateral damage”.US President Donald Trump in the middle of negotiating peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and the Afghan government.The US government have stated that the withdrawal of US troops in a bid to end the 19-year war will be done over a period of time to ensure political stability and avoid security resurgence of Taliban’s state control in the region.last_img read more


European Leaders Answer Anger Over Irma Response In Caribbean


first_img Share @weatherchannel twitter handleThe powerful wind speeds of IrmaWrapping up a sweeping visit to the destroyed island of St. Martin, France’s president responded to anger that his government didn’t do enough to handle Hurricane Irma’s wrath and promised to evacuate residents of his country’s Caribbean territories and provide services and shelter for those who choose to stay.French President Emmanuel Macron outlined a plan to distribute drinking water, food and medical help using the islands’ radio stations and even megaphones, if necessary. He also said about half of the island’s mobile connectivity had been restored and all “essential communication” would be back by next week.“What we have seen today are people determined to rebuild and return to a normal life,” he said Tuesday in a press conference. “They are impatient for answers and some are very, very angry. The anger is legitimate because it is a result of the fear they have faced and of being very fatigued. It is certain that some want to leave, and we will help them in that effort.”He said France was bringing in air-conditioned tents so children can start classes again soon, and he said a center would be established by Monday to begin processing requests for financial help.Macron pledged to rebuild St. Martin as a “model” for withstanding future storms.“I don’t want to rebuild St. Martin as it was,” he said. “We have seen there are many homes that were built too precariously, with fragile infrastructure. The geography of the homes was not adapted to the risks.”Macron said the Category 5 hurricane killed 11 people in St. Martin, while another four people died on the Dutch side of the island, bringing the death toll in the Caribbean to at least 37.The visit came as residents tried to revive a sense of normalcy with small gestures like sharing radios and rescuing dogs.The Dutch Red Cross said more than 200 people were still listed as missing on St. Maarten, but with communications extremely spotty a week after the storm hit, it wasn’t clear how many were simply without cell service and power and unable to let friends and family know they survived. The organization said 90 percent of buildings on the Dutch territory were damaged and a third destroyed as Irma roared across the island it shares with French St. Martin.Yogesh Bodha, a jewelry store employee, said there was no response from European officials for two days and he hasn’t seen many changes since Dutch authorities arrived on St. Maarten.“They should’ve been more organized than they were,” he said. “We have not received any food or water. They say it’s on its way. Let’s see.”For Liseth Echevarría, who works as a bartender in St. Maarten, offering whatever she could to family, strangers and abandoned pets was helping her cope — and those around her were doing the same.The manager of a marina next door threw over a hose so Echevarría and her husband could have a semblance of an outdoor shower. He also offered them a temporary power connection from his generator so they could charge phones and listen to the sole radio station still broadcasting.“This is the only communication that St. Maarten has with the world right now,” she said.It was thanks to that radio station that she found out about a flight for all Latin Americans stuck in St. Maarten. She rushed to the airport with her brother, who was evacuating back to Colombia. As she dropped him off, Echevarría saw a Yorkshire terrier tied to a metal barricade, abandoned by a passenger fleeing the island and told they couldn’t bring pets on the plane.Echevarría scooped up the dog named Oliver and took him home to meet her three other dogs, including one rescued from a neighbor’s property. The neighbor fled with her son after the hurricane destroyed their home. There was nothing left of it other than jagged pieces of wood and a shower curtain covered in colorful butterflies tangled in a toppled tree.Echevarría’s husband, Lex Kools, a civil engineer, jumps over the fence every day to feed the other two dogs on the property.“They were attacking each other, they were so hungry,” he said.At Echevarria’s and Kools’ home, the couple fed relatives and the girlfriend and two children of Echevarria’s cousin, all of whom were staying with them.Near the front door, a large plastic table sagged under the weight of boxes of spaghetti and cookies, soup cans, chips, bags of almonds and macadamia nuts and rice. Underneath were dozens of bottles of water.The couple said they took the goods from a grocery store blown open during the storm.They said they had planned on buying the items, but no one was working at the store and they were running out of food and water. They looked at each other as they observed looting.“Do we do this as well?” Kools recalled thinking. “Everybody was just running inside. It was chaos.”Dozens of people stood in line for hours Tuesday waiting for flights, some of which never materialized.“We’ve been here since 7 a.m.,” said Rosa Vanderpool, an accountant who was trying to get her stepdaughter and 4-year-old step-granddaughter on a flight to Curacao.“We only have two days of food left,” she said. “We don’t know if there are any planes. We don’t know anything.”___Associated Press journalists Danica Coto reported this story in Philipsburg and AP writer Sylvie Corbet reported from Paris. AP writers Mike Corder in The Hague, The Netherlands, and Gregory Katz in London contributed to this report.___An earlier version of this report had an incorrect spelling for the Dutch side of the island.last_img read more


WATCH Paintings Of Barack And Michelle Obama Unveiled At Portrait Gallery


first_img Share Brand new portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama — wearing matching calm, strong expressions — were revealed on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, elbows in his knees, leaning forward with an intense expression. The background, typical of a Wiley painting, is a riotous pattern of intense greens.“Pretty sharp,” Obama said with a grin.Amy Sherald, a Baltimore-based artist, painted Michelle Obama sitting in a floor-length gown, chin on her hand, looking directly at the viewer with a calm, level gaze.The paintings, like the presidency they honor, are a historic first. Wiley and Sherald — both already famous for their portraits of black Americans — are the first black painters to receive a presidential portrait commission from the museum.Celebrities from Shonda Rimes to Steven Spielberg, former administration officials from Josh Earnest to Eric Holder, and members of the media filed into the Portrait Gallery’s expansive, glass-covered central courtyard for the ceremony. Kim Sajet, the director of the gallery, told the audience that a portrait was not truly finished until a viewer, a member of the public, had a personal encounter with it.Then came the unveiling — quite literally, as fabric covers were pulled off the portraits on a small stage.– / 4The paintings exemplify the two artists’ trademark styles.“Wiley typically portrays people of color posing as famous figures in Western art,” the Portrait Gallery writes. “Through this practice, he challenges the visual rhetoric of power that is dominated by elite white men.”Barack Obama said he admired how Wiley’s photos “challenge our conventional views of power and privilege.”But he said he rejected Wiley’s ideas that involved him, for instance, riding a horse.” ‘I’ve got enough political problems without you making me look like Napoleon,’ ” he remembered telling Wiley. ” ‘You’ve got to bring it down a touch.’ And that’s what he did.”“How do you explain that a lot of that is just simply not true?” Wiley said, when he took to the lectern. Then he got more serious.“The ability to be the first African-American painter to paint the first African-American president of the United States is absolutely overwhelming,” Wiley said. “It doesn’t get any better than that. I was humbled by this invitation but I was also inspired by Barack Obama’s personal story.”Sherald, “known for her stylized, archetypal portrayals of African Americans,” survived a heart transplant in 2012, the museum notes. “A personification of resilience herself, Sherald conveys the inner strength of her subjects through a combination of calm expressions and confrontational poses,” the gallery writes.“I am a little overwhelmed, to say the least,” Michelle Obama said in a speech, after helping Sherald reveal her work. “As you may have guessed, I don’t think there is anybody in my family who has ever had a portrait done, let alone a portrait that will be hanging in the National Gallery — at least as far as I know, Mom,” she said. “But all those folks who helped me be here today, they are with us physically and they are with us in spirit.”“I’m also thinking of all the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, who … will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall of this great American institution,” she said. “I know the kind of impact that will have on their lives, because I was one of those girls.”It was a point Sherald echoed minutes later, when she emphasized that her portrait of Obama was conceptual and archetypal, bigger than just one model.Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesObama stands between the portraits. His will be permanently installed in the “America’s Presidents” exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.“You exist in our minds and our hearts in the way that you do because we can see ourselves in you,” she said, turning toward Michelle Obama.The National Portrait Gallery, a member of the Smithsonian Institution, has worked with outgoing presidents to commission a new portrait of each one since 1962.More recently it began collecting portraits of first ladies as well. The National Portrait Gallery, a member of the Smithsonian Institution, writes:“Official portraits are interesting beasts because they are, of course official: they signify the status and attainments of the person portrayed. But they also are deeply personal, even revelatory, portrayals that say something of the character of the man or woman who shows their face to the public. The style of the portrait – the pose, the colors, the setting, as well as facial features (in the 19th century stern and forbidding was definitely the default expression) – all convey a measure of the sitter.”The official National Portrait Gallery paintings of George and Laura Bush both featured relatively casual, relaxed poses, with small smiles.The gallery’s portrait of Bill Clinton, by Nelson Shanks, was controversial after Shanks said he’d hidden a reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the canvas. A different portrait of Clinton, a Chuck Close painting of the former president’s grin, is on display in the museum.The new paintings of the Obamas will be on view to the public beginning Tuesday.Wiley’s painting of former President Obama will be permanently installed in the “America’s Presidents” exhibit (The Portrait Gallery has the “only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House,” the museum said in a statement.)Sherald’s painting of Michelle Obama will be on display through November in the museum’s “Recent Acquisitions” section.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more


Vice Media Hires Cory Haik Former Mic Publisher as Chief Digital Officer


first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Haik started her career at the Times-Picayune’s NOLA.com website, where she was managing editor. In 2006, she shared in two Pulitzer Prizes with The Times-Picayune for staff coverage of Hurricane Katrina, for breaking news and public service. She also served as assistant managing editor for the Seattle Times’ website, where she also shared in a staff Pulitzer in 2010 for the coverage of police officer shootings. She holds a masters of arts in communication theory degree from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Nicholls State University. Vice Promotes Cliff Gulibert to Oversee Digital Video as Executive Producer (EXCLUSIVE) Popular on Variety Vice Media’s Doug Jossem on Ending Their Seven-Year Relationship with HBOcenter_img Vice Media has recruited Cory Haik, former publisher of digital news start-up Mic, as chief digital officer to lead the youth-culture company’s global internet businesses.Haik will be based at Vice’s Brooklyn headquarters and report to CEO Nancy Dubuc. She most recently worked at Mic, which last fall laid off virtually its entire staff before being acquired by Bustle Digital Group for a reported price tag of $5 million.As Vice’s chief digital officer, Haik will focus on global audience growth and development, platform partnerships and digital product innovation. She is tasked with creating expanded partnerships and reach for the some-1,500 pieces of content Vice produces on a daily basis, in collaboration with the company’s editorial, video, distribution, product and audience teams. Haik commented, “Digital media has come into its own, and the opportunity to help bring together Vice’s global offerings and develop strategy for how current and future audiences will consume its groundbreaking storytelling is a privilege. This is a business I love deeply, and Vice is a brand I am so proud to be a part of.”Prior to Dubuc’s appointment a year ago, Vice Media had employed an executive with the “chief digital officer” title — Mike Germano, who was fired in January 2018 after an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him.Haik joins Vice Media as the company tries to turn the ship around with Dubuc at the helm. Earlier this year, it cut about 250 employees, or 10% of its staff, after missing revenue targets. Disney has written off $510 million of the value of its effective 21% stake in Vice Media — indicating Vice is worth much less than the $5.7 billion valuation it had two years ago — while Vice also this month raised $250 million in debt financing from a group of new investors including George Soros’ investment fund.In its digital business unit, Vice this month relaunched vice.com, which merges all of its content under one umbrella and eliminates the separate web “channels” for topic verticals like Vice News, Noisey and Munchies — a move the company believes will boost its overall audience engagement.Vice’s digital properties reach over 300 million people globally per month across multiple platforms, including 110 million in the U.S., according to the company’s estimates. At its NewFronts event for advertisers, Dom Delport, Vice’s president of international and chief revenue officer, said the company would exclude traffic from third-party affiliated sites from its overall comScore metrics as of May 15, a bid to build credibility with advertising clients.Haik was most recently publisher of millennial-focused news company Mic, which she first joined in early 2016. Prior to that, she worked at the Washington Post, acquired in 2013 by Jeff Bezos, for five years, most recently as executive director of emerging news products. “Having been on the front lines of digital for the last 20 years, Cory is the total package and a perfect fit for Vice as we build our executive team,” Dubuc said in announcing her hire. Relatedlast_img read more


Thieving geek steals a Jeep using a laptop


first_imgYou know how in the movies a thief can still steal a car just by popping the locks with a coat hanger and shorting the ignition wires? Apparently all they really need is a laptop.We’ve seen a Jeep Cherokee remotely hijacked by white hats, and now the Houston PD is looking for a thieving geek who recently made off with a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited using only a laptop. The heist wasn’t executed as expediently as the ones pulled by Memphis Raines and his crew in Gone in 60 Seconds, but the end result was the same. The thief drove off with the vehicle and the cops are still hunting for him.About seven minutes elapsed from the moment the unidentified perpetrator approached the Jeep until the time he drove away. The entire crime was captured by surveillance cameras, and HPD has shared the footage on YouTube in the hopes that someone will help them identify the crook and bring him to justice:There’s actually an accomplice who played an important role. About five minutes earlier, the hooded individual popped the Wrangler’s hood and did some fiddling. It’s believed that the objective was to disable the vehicle’s audible alarm. As high-tech as the second part of the crime appears to have been, it might not even have been possible without that bit of old-school assistance.If you happen to know who the fellow in the video is, give Crime Stop Houston a call. They’d love to have a chat with him.last_img read more


Scientists Used Carrots and Beets To Make CrazyStrong Concrete


first_imgEver walk through the produce section of your local grocery store and think “man, I bet that would make a great concrete additive”? I’m guessing no, but on the off chance you did you may have been right.It would have depended on which particular vegetable you were talking about. Thanks to the work of scientists at Lancaster University in England, we now know that carrots and beets can be used to make super-strong concrete.There’s more to it than just popping a bit of veg into a food processor and pulsing it into shreds, naturally. The research team created sheets of “nanoplatelets” which they created out of cellulose extracted from the carrots and beet roots.Those “nanosheets” were added to a run-of-the-mill concrete mix with amazing results. Producing one cubic meter of concrete normally requires about nine 50kg bags of cement. Adding the nanosheets let the research team cut out almost an entire bag without sacrificing strength or quality.The Lancashire U team had a bit of help from Scotland-based CelluComp, a company that “develop[s] microfibrillated cellulose based on waste streams of root vegetables.” They market the cellulose they produce as Curran, and it’s already being used in products ranging from paint and ink to drilling fluids.On the scale of a single cubic meter that might not be such a big deal. But when humans are churning out around 10 billion tons of concrete every year it’s crystal clear just how big an impact this could have on our planet.Cement production is a very energy-intensive process and a major source of CO2 emissions. On average, 9kg of carbon dioxide are produced for every 10kg of portland cement. Reducing cement use by 10% or so would be a massive environmental win — and these beet and carrot nanosheets could make that possible.They could also lead to enormous savings on repairs. The research team also found that the nanosheets can also be applied to existing structures to provide a boost in strength and durability.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more