Mustafi reveals Arsenal team meeting after slump

first_imgShkodran Mustafi has revealed that Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker held a team meeting and called for an immediate response after a difficult spell for the clubThe German international revealed that Mertesacker held the meeting after losing four out of their previous five matches in February, which included two consecutive 3-0 defeats to Manchester City in the space of just four days.“To be honest, this season has been more disappointing for us because we had bigger targets,” said Mustafi, as reported on arsenal.com“One really big positive thing is that to be able to recover from such a period when everything goes bad and you’re not in form, to be close together and come out of it as a team is a really big, massive thing.“I’ve been playing in a lot of teams across Europe and I’ve been playing in teams where we have been doing well, I’ve been playing in teams where we’ve been struggling, and it’s not easy to come out especially when you’re a big team.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“You find yourself fighting in every game against every opponent. I think you have to give credit to the team because we managed to come together and go back to the basics. Everyone was fighting for each other to try to get back on a winning streak.“Everyone knew it was a difficult period. The meeting was about trying to listen to different opinions, different ideas and different feelings, and I think we found a way to try to change a bit.“It’s not that easy because one meeting is not going to change a lot, especially not during the season when you’re playing every three days, but it was important to speak our opinions out loud. Overall it was about giving 110 per cent to try to get out of it, and I think we managed it well.”Since the meeting, Arsenal have enjoyed an upsurge in form and have now won their past three matches. This included the defeat of AC Milan to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League and they will now turn their focus to their league game against Stoke City on Sunday.last_img read more

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Klopp Vardy will always pose a threat

first_imgJurgen Klopp is wary of the threat posed by Jamie Vardy in Wednesday’s Premier League game.Vardy has an excellent record against the Reds with seven goals in his last meetings against them in the Premier League.The former England international has scored more goals against Liverpool than any other club and has scored in his last two visits to Anfield.And Klopp reckons his defence will have to be on form to stop the striker from finding the net again.“He’s quality, the speed he has and the finishing skills he has,” Klopp told reporters via FourFourTwo on Tuesday. “A few times we made it easy for him – Lucas Leiva, did he get an assist for that goal? So I would have scored that goal!“But Jamie is a fantastic striker really, each fibre of his body is on this decisive situation. He always waits for the ball over the shoulder and is always more involved in defending than in the past, but this doesn’t make it easy to defend against him.“He’s a massive threat, to be honest, but he’s not the only one in that team. [James] Maddison – really, really good player. Not only from set pieces, a fine footballer.Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, LiverpoolMo Salah laughs off Sadio Mane incident with a brilliant video Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Mohamed Salah laughed off his little spat with Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane by posting a brilliant video showing they’ve made up.Stunning work from Robbo. 💪Well-taken by Sadio. ⚽️Our opener 🆚 @LCFC earlier this season. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/2LRl1TaDoC— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 28, 2019“[Demarai] Gray, [Ricardo] Pereira, a lot of really quality players. [Marc] Albrighton. Experienced and in tune with all the other players, or very skilful and quick. Having [Ben] Chilwell make the left flank up and down, it makes it all interesting.“I don’t know why Jamie has such a good record against us. I would say minus one goal because that was the only one I thought he shouldn’t have scored.“The best one I think he scored when they won the title, he got the ball on the halfway line and shot pretty much [immediately], yeah that was a good year for them. Very, very good player and that’s the main reason why he is such a threat.”last_img read more

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Deadline Extended To Apply For Pipeline Risk Assessment Panel

first_imgMore than 200 miles of pipelines move oil, gas, and related products between offshore platforms and onshore facilities. To be considered, experts should have knowledge in crude oil production operations, pipeline inspection, leak prevention and detection, pipeline design, loss-of-integrity root cause investigations, common cause analysis, analysis of leak data, and general engineering practices. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council (CIRCAC) are seeking experts to provide recommendations on pipeline integrity and safety in Cook Inlet. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Experts wishing to participate in the Cook Inlet Pipeline Infrastructure Risk Assessment expert panel on pipeline integrity and safety now have until January 18, 2019, to apply. The previous deadline was January 5, 2019.center_img The panel will meet in Anchorage three times in 2019. It is a voluntary position, but expenses and an honorarium will be provided. More information for prospective applicants. Graham Wood with ADEC: “A panel of experts related to the pipeline and oil industry to discuss the identified risks and how to mitigate them.” last_img read more

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Verizons antirobocall service will be automatically enabled on Android phones

first_img Post a comment 0 The free version of Call Filter will block robocalls, sending them automatically to voicemail, and put a warning label on potential spam calls. Verizon said auto-enrollment will begin Tuesday for postpaid customers with eligible devices. Prepaid Android customers and iPhone users can enroll in the free service by downloading the Call Filter app. Verizon started offering a free version of its spam- and robocall-blocking tools to customers in March. The wireless carrier also offers a paid version called Call Filter Plus, which costs $2.99 a month per line. The paid service offers additional tools like the ability to identify unknown callers by name and a spam number lookup feature.The number of unwanted robocalls skyrocketed 46% from 2017 to 2018. A January report from Hiya, a caller ID service, said there were 26.3 billion robocalls made in the US in 2018. The number breaks down to an average of 10 monthly calls per person. The FCC has said frustration over robocalls is the No. 1 complaint it receives from consumers, amounting to hundreds of thousands of grievances filed with the agency every year. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Mobile CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $999 Best Buy Tips to stop robocalls Apple iPhone XS Boost Mobile See It $999 See It Now playing: Watch this: See it Sprint 1:04 $999 See It Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR The free Call Filter service blocks robocalls and flags potential spam calls. Angela Lang/CNET Verizon on Tuesday said it’ll begin automatically enrolling eligible Android phones in its free Call Filter service. The company said it’s making the move after the Federal Communications Commission in June voted to give wireless carriers greater power to “aggressively block” unwanted robocalls. “We know our customers are sick and tired of the endless onslaught of robocalls,” Ronan Dunne, Verizon executive vice president, said in a release. “Our team is committed to developing and enhancing the tools that will help bring relief to our customers. This is another major step in that process.” Share your voice $999 Tags Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Verizonlast_img read more

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Can you stay in power if world leaders want

first_imgBangladesh Nationalist Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. File PhotoBNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday said that ignoring the expectation of the people ,nothing can be imposed forcibly.“Much has taken place and enough is enough. Of course, everything has to be done in accordance with the expectation of the people,” Fakhrul told a meeting in the city.Bangladesh Sammilita Peshajibi Parishad, a platform of professional bodies, organised it at Shaheed AKM Siddque Hall in the capital’ s Supreme Court protesting against the false and fictitious cases against the Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders including BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and acting chairperson Tarique Rahman.At a press conference at Ganabhaban on Wednesday, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said she held meetings with world leaders during the UN general assembly in New York. “The world leaders want to see me in power again,” the prime minister claimed.”Is it possible to stay in power for long if the world leaders want it, but the people of the country don’t?” Fakhrul asked.Mirza Fakhrul urged the prime minister to think positively and facilitate the people to cast their votes by arranging a free and fair election.”Free Khaleda Zia. If you don’t release her, the crisis will emerge in the country that you won’t be able to tackle it,” the BNP leader warned.”Why are you afraid of BNP and the people? Why don’t you want to give a fair election?” Fakhrul asked referring to the prime minister.You have learnt that your popularity has plunged to zero, he observed.He alleged that the ruling Awami League is totally isolated from the people.UNB adds: BNP on Friday alleged that the government is conspiring to hurriedly complete the trial in the cases filed against BNP top leaders ahead of the national election.”There’s no rule of law in the country. We’ve seen what happened to our madam (Khaleda). The same thing is happening regarding the cases filed against our acting chairman Tarique Rahman,” said BNP Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.He further said, “Three dates are being fixed in a week for hearing cases against our standing committee members to expedite the trial proceedings. It means they (govt) are trying to settle everything before the election.”About the national unity, he expressed the hope that they will be able to ensure the fall of the current government by forging the national unity.”We all are trying together to overcome the current situation. We’re working to remove the current dangerous, fascist and despotic government to create a national unity as per the call made by our chairperson Khaleda Zia.”Fakhrul called upon people from all walks of life, including the professionals, to get united for launching a movement to save the country and its independence and sovereignty.last_img read more

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How Democrats In Texas Are Trying To Win Over Fort Bend County

first_img Share Pu Ying Huang for The Texas TribuneCampaign volunteers work the phones at the Sri Preston Kulkarni campaign office in Sugar Land on May 8, 2018. Kulkarni faces Letitia Plummer in the Democratic runoff for U.S. Congressional District 22.At a glance, volunteers at Sri Kulkarni’s campaign headquarters are no different than those for congressional campaigns across the country — huddling over laptops, tapping voters’ numbers into their cell phones and concentrating on the call scripts in front of them.But when the person on the other end of the line picks up, some volunteers greet them not in English but in Vietnamese, Hindi, Urdu or Mandarin Chinese.For Kulkarni, a Democrat vying for a congressional seat in a Republican-leaning district, getting his message out to voters means not just knocking on doors and calling voters but also speaking the language they speak. “You need to reach out to those communities the way they are and the way they want to be reached,” Kulkarni said. “The blue wave is real. That force is coming from all of us.”Kulkarni and Letitia Plummer are vying in Tuesday’s Democratic runoff to take on U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land. Though President Donald Trump won the district by 8 percentage points in 2016, both Democrats see it as vulnerable, in part due to demographic changes — the same shifts that both candidates are using to their advantage. The district includes most of Fort Bend County, one of America’s most ethnically diverse counties: 20 percent of its residents are Asian, 20 percent are black, 24 percent are Hispanic and 34 percent are white. Clinton won the county decisively in 2016.In the March primaries, Kulkarni and Plummer came in first and second among five Democrats vying for the seat, drawing 32 and 24 percent of the vote respectively.Kulkarni, a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, has focused his campaign on groups of voters that he thinks will help bring about a local “blue wave” in November — particularly Asian-Americans and Latinos, who have had low voter turnout in the past. When they’ve gone block walking in minority neighborhoods, Kulkarni and his team said they’ve noticed a sense of gratitude mixed with shock because campaigns have so rarely engaged those areas.“A lot of folks have told me that no one has knocked on their door before, no one has called them before,” Kulkarni said. “Some of them just grab me and pull me in like a life preserver because they’ve never had somebody come out that way.”Kulkarni’s campaign has translated his website into Spanish and Chinese, visited local temples and mosques and arranged appearances with Latino, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese and Indian media outlets, including Hindi/Urdu, Telugu and Malayali talk shows.One of the campaign’s youth volunteers, Nathan Troung, said many of the volunteers who are part of the Asian-American/Pacific Islander community recognize that their respective communities have low voter turnouts — and see the campaign as a way to help change that trend.“Just by the fact that Sri has been able to amass volunteers that engage in those communities in their own languages and their own cultural understandings, I think that does bring a lot to the table,” Truong said.Last week, nearly a mile away from Kulkarni’s campaign headquarters, Plummer was rallying a crowd of her own at a local restaurant. Similar to the the ethnic diversity of Kulkarni’s team, Plummer’s supporters reflected the diversity of the community she’s running to represent — African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans.“I’m a fighter,” said Plummer, who’s been in the race since June.Plummer can also point to her own unique political experience — the longtime dentist has worked on political campaigns and lobbied the Texas Legislature regarding adoption and surrogacy rights. In 2016, she worked behind-the-scenes of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a fundraiser and sat on the campaign’s small business task force. Though she said she’s campaigning solely in English, Plummer stressed that she’s also helping energize communities in the district who haven’t voted in the past — and credits her identity as an African-American woman of Indian and Arab descent. “The diversity of the district is definitely going to support a Democrat, for sure,” Plummer said. “People are excited about this race. For the first time in history, they have someone who speaks to them.” Olson’s campaign spokesperson, Chris Homan, told the Texas Tribune that Olson is taking the race seriously. “Pete celebrates the wonderful ethnic diversity of the district and is constantly working with people from all backgrounds to ensure he is effectively serving them in Congress,” Homan said. Since Trump became president last year, early murmurs of a potential “blue wave” election in 2018 have transformed into speculation of how big that wave will be.Democrats have focused much of their efforts this year on unseating three of the state’s Republicans: John Culberson of Houston, Will Hurd of Helotes and Pete Sessions of Dallas. Though all three Republicans were re-elected in 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton beat Republican Donald Trump in all three districts that year. Collectively, the Democratic primaries in those districts drew nearly 20 candidates and millions of dollars in fundraising. Those three primary races are each now down to two candidates facing off in the May 22 runoffs.But Democrats are also still battling in several runoffs for congressional districts that Trump won, in hopes that a national mood favoring Democrats will be strong enough to sweep them into office as well.Jacey Jetton, chairman of the Fort Bend County Republican Party, said Olson’s district isn’t in danger of flipping because Republicans are campaigning aggressively enough to ensure that their supporters turn out in big numbers in November. With a focus on grassroots organizing, Jetton said the energy from red voters remains strong. “We are the most diverse county in the country and people move here from all over the country because of the county Republicans have built,” Jetton said. “Republicans are still showing up. We haven’t slowed down one bit.”Nathan Gonzalez, editor and publisher of the Washington, D.C.-based Inside Elections, said he’s skeptical when campaigns appear to be relying heavily on turning out non-voters, but doesn’t rule out the strategy’s potential effectiveness, particularly in a climate in which Trump’s presidency is prompting an increase in civic action.“I think the burden of proof is on Democrats to show that they can harness the energy from the protests and increasing fundraising and large number of candidates in races into votes,” Gonzalez said. last_img read more

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City Of Austin Approves 425000 Settlement In Excessive Force Case

first_img Share JUST IN: #ATXCouncil unanimously approves $425,000 settlement in the Breaion King excessive force case: https://t.co/qtgg8Mn8lt pic.twitter.com/n4TberLHMN— Spectrum News Austin (@SpecNewsATX) May 24, 2018The city of Austin is paying $425,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a black woman who was thrown to the ground by a white officer during a 2015 traffic stop, and then told by another officer that blacks have, “violent tendencies.”The Austin American Statesman reports the City Council voted unanimously to a settle a lawsuit filed by schoolteacher, Breaion King.King was arrested after being stopped for speeding three years ago. Her case garnered national attention after patrol car dash-cam video of the incident was released in July 2016.“This was not our city at its best,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.last_img read more

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Govt alarmed over functioning of toll plazas by pvt players including R

first_imgIn a major breach of contract, the government has raised serious concern over the functioning of ‘toll plazas’ operated by private players including Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. for suppressing the ‘escrow accounts’.The total volume of the ‘irregularities’ was found to be around Rs. 903 crore, which was raised but was not deposited in the escrow accounts as per agreed terms by the private players. The ‘escrow account’ is a temporary pass through account held by third party during the process of a transaction (of toll collection) between the two parties. It was learnt that on March 10, 2010, the NHAI had an agreement with the M/s PS Toll Road Pvt. Ltd of Reliance Infrastructure for the development, maintenance and management of National Highway No. 4 (approx. 140.35 km). Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIIn the agreement it was decided to augment the existing road of nearly 140.35 km on the Pune-Satara section of National Highway No. 4 in Maharashtra to six-Lane under Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.However, it was found that despite incomplete work ‘as per the Concessionaire Agreement (CA) with the NHAI,’ the company continues to collect toll from October 1, 2010 to March 2014. Sources said, during these periods they managed to collect more than Rs. 500 but ‘surprisingly’ diverted nearly half of the amount (till August 2012) and invested it in Reliance Liquid Fund (RLF), which is against the CA. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindIt was found that on September 1, 2014, M/s PS Toll Road Pvt. Ltd in a letter to the NHAI’s Project Director claimed that work has been completed on the on the Pune-Satara section. A senior official of the company Nagendra Rai in his letter to NHAI mentioned, “We would like to inform that the old toll plaza structure has been completely removed and the surface treatment has been completed.”But, on September 9, 2014, the General Manager (Tech), NHAI, Rajesh K. Kaundal in a reply letter, to the company mentioned that, “It is seen that concessionaire has submitted the compliance after a period of about nine months and that to it is incomplete action on the part of concessionaire, as removal of old toll plazas structure is yet to be done. In view of above it is requested to take immediate action on removal of the structure without loss of further time.”last_img read more

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Delhis little Tibet

first_imgMajnu ka Tilla, a popular name among the student populace of Delhi University, has a famous Gurudwara and a Tibetan colony. The colony was allotted in the early 1960s by then Prime minister of India Pt Jawaharlal Nehru in order to give refuge to the Tibetan refugees following the mass exodus in 1959.The Tibetan colony at Majnu ka Tilla has several Tibetan stores and roadside stalls that offer traditional Tibetan clothes, handicrafts, Buddhist artifacts, jewellery, various types of pickles, bamboo shoots, dried Tibetan noodles as well as Tibetan traditional corn flakes, colourful face masks, socks, shoe-soles. Some made-in-China products like sandals, umbrellas and bags are also available here.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The colony is full of restaurants that specialise in Tibetan, Nepali, Korean and Bhutanese cuisines. Besides the mouth smacking Momos, Thukpas, and Shabalays, one thing that draws visitors from all over Delhi, is the non-alcoholic Fruit Beer, which is available in every restaurant in the colony. On Wednesdays none of the restaurants in Majnu ka Tilla provides non vegetarian food. In the year 2004, the colony was renamed after the late freedom fighter Aruna Asaf Ali.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe colony has about 363 permanent registered families in addition to many tenants and outstation students. “The temple we have in the courtyard is not a monastery, so it is only open twice a day during the morning and the evening prayer sessions. Our usual functions and festivals are performed in this courtyard only but sometimes they are also carried out in the school playground,” said an official. On asked about the timing of the lively stores, he added, “The stores here are generally open till 7pm in the evening and some of the restaurants till 10-10:30 at night which adheres to the government rule.” “The place is visited mostly by Delhi University students and foreign tourists for the good reputation of food. There are many good restaurants here that provides tasty Tibetan and Nepali food”, said Gopal Krishnan, a worker at a local Travels and Money Changer store. Since Majnu ka Tilla was gifted to the Tibetans by the Government of India, they are neither allowed to sell the land to Indians nor are Indians allowed to buy property there. The place is exclusively meant for Tibetans who are at a liberty to have Indians rent a store for business.“People mostly buy the Dream-Catcher from our store, amongst all the other artifacts and traditional items. The Dream Catcher is believed to catch the bad dreams and prevent one from having nightmares,” says Tenzin, a worker in one of the artifacts stores.According to an auto-driver, who ferries passengers to and from the Vidhan Nagar metro station to Majnu ka Tilla, the co-ed-school is only for Tibetan children from the colony and has till the 8th standard. Even though Indian children were admitted to the school previously, it had been forbidden for quite some time now.With all the colours and spices sprinkled over to flavour the place, Majnu ka Tilla still has several local residents who find it difficult to communicate with outsiders due to language issues. If only they interacted more with the visiting students and tourists in Hindi and in English they could have learnt the language and also be a tad bit more friendlier.last_img read more

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A week of celebrating comics

first_imgBeginning today, fans can download for free a host of comic book samplers on their desktops, tablets or phones from anywhere in the country for a week as part of ‘Alto Comic Book Celebration Week’.They can also participate in fun competitions that could fetch them amazing prizes.The initiative is an expansion of the ‘Free Comic Book Weekend’ that has been in vogue from the year 2013 where Comic Con India in association with a host of comic book publishers and online digital content marketplace Readwhere.com provides comic samplers for free downloads. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Jatin Varma, Founder, Comic Con India says, “I am extremely excited to flag off our latest initiative to promote Indian comics and creators and this year we have a weeklong celebration lined up.” “We are bringing the latest and the best in Indian comics to fans across the country, in return we hope they will support their local creators and not only download the free comics but also purchase them.” Additionally, we have tons of awesome contests and giveaways each from July 4 to July 10,” he says. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe main publishers participating in the Comic Book Week are Amar Chitra Katha, Chariot Comics, Graphic India, Abhijeet Kini, Campfire Graphic Novels, Holy Cow Entertainment, Meta Desi Comics, Saumin Patel, Shamik Dasgupta among others.During the week, fans can also participate in digital activities and the winners will get a chance to showcase art at the Alto Hyderabad Comic Con on September 24-25 and a Fan Meme Contest .Fun Trivia Contests, with a new theme everyday is set to reward winners with prizes like merchandise, graphic novels, comic books etc from Random house India, Planet Superheroes, Simon and Schuster, Harper Collins and Hachette India.A dedicated micro site set up for the Alto Comic Book Celebration Week also hosts a section titled ‘Know your Creators’, where people can know more about popular Indian creators and publishers, organizers said.last_img read more

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Why the Internet Needs the WayBack Machine the Site That Archives the

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The Wayback Machine, a service offered through Internet Archive, provides access to online history by preserving and offering access to websites from the past 20 years.“The Wayback Machine is used by hundreds of thousands of people every day, presenting snapshots, back in time, from more than 1.5 billion websites,” says Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine.The site was founded by Brewster Kahle, who also sold Alexa Internet to Amazon and is in the Internet Hall of Fame.To celebrate the birth of the world wide web, we caught up with Graham to talk about the Wayback Machine, how it benefits the public and some surprising facts about the service:Related: 4 Reasons to Be Excited by the ‘Internet of Things’1. How does Wayback Machine work?The Wayback Machine offers access to the billions of web pages collected through many partners and technologies. Even though it is a huge collection, it only takes hundreds of computers to serve thousands of requests per second. It is a testament to how far our computer technology has grown.2. What do we risk if something like this doesn’t exist?Without things like the Wayback Machine, we would deny future generations an ability to explore and learn from history that is increasingly digital. Oh, and for historians to try to piece together what that whole Pokemon (see: Go Pokébarbarians at the Gate) phenomenon was about.3. Why is this an important service to have? How does it benefit people?The average life expectancy of a web page is only 100 days before it is changed or deleted. The web is a record of our time, and without a record will lose history.4. How many staff members did you have when you started? How many do you have now?There are 150 employees of the Internet Archive, but there are now more than 1,000 librarians in 400 institutions shaping the holdings of the Wayback Machine by curating thousands of individual web collections through the archive-it.org service.5. What does this service tell us about how the internet has changed?People love to share and people love to learn, and people love cats. What is changing is how people are doing this. The web’s evolution, which now includes Youtube and Facebook, is making this easier and easier.6. What are the most striking changes in how we use the internet that you’ve noticed?That it is no longer a “nice to have” but so influential that governments block access to certain websites, or the whole internet, when they think they are threatened. The other obvious difference is that most people now access the internet via mobile devices, which are location aware by default, supporting a wide range of services that require that information.7. What are some surprising uses you’ve seen for your tool?On July 17, 2014, Igor (Strelkov) Girkin, a Ukrainian separatist leader, claimed responsibility online for the downing of what he thought was a Ukrainian military transport plane near the rebel held Ukrainian city of Donetsk. When reports that Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, with 295 passengers, had been shot down in the same area, his post was removed. But not before it had been preserved several times by the Wayback Machine, where it is available today.And on May 1, 2003, the White House issued a statement that said “President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended.”  Later the word ‘Major’ was added to the title and on Oct. 1, 2003, it read “President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended.” Later still it was removed from the live web altogether, but you can see preserved copies of it.Related: Your Internet Signal Is Going To Be Transmitted Through Light8. What are some facts about the Wayback Machine that most people don’t know?That the inventory of more than half a trillion web captures is not the result of a single continuous crawling process but rather millions of separate crawls, defined by thousands of people, over the years.That the home for the Wayback Machine is a former Church of Christian Scientists, which is now a digital library where the hymnal page numbers of the wall have been replaced with mathematically significant numbers. We have a new beta that allows people to search for a site with keywords: https://web-beta.archive.org.9. What’s ahead?We are trying to help build the internet into the Library of Alexandria version two by making all the published works permanently available to everyone that is curious enough to want access (all books, music, video, software and web pages). That is the opportunity of our generation, and one we are trying to help make real.  Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. August 4, 2016 4 min read Register Now »last_img read more

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Canadians and dual citizens not affected by Trump ban but anxiety still

first_img OTTAWA — The Trudeau government has received assurances that Canadian passport holders will not be caught up in an American travel ban that has barred citizens of seven countries from entering the United States.According to the CBC, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Sunday that the White House has assured that permanent residents of Canada can enter the U.S. with a valid Canadian permanent resident card and passport from one of the seven affected countries (Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya).United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday that barred people from these seven countries from entering the U.S. for three months, causing mass confusion and protests across the country. It was initially unclear whether Canadians who are also citizens of the affected countries would be allowed entry, as the State Department said that dual citizens were included in the ban.However, on Saturday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent an email saying that the U.S. has given assurances that Canadians with dual citizenship will not be turned away at the border.“We have been assured that Canadian citizens travelling on Canadian passports will be dealt with in the usual process,” said the email from Kate Purchase, Trudeau’s director of communications.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTPurchase’s email also said Trudeau’s National Security Adviser Daniel Jean and other officials were in contact with their American counterparts, including Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.“NSA Flynn confirmed that holders of Canadian passports, including dual citizens, will not be affected by the ban,” Purchase said.Trump’s executive order also banned refugees from Syria indefinitely, pending a review of the application process.Bijan Ahmadi, president of the Iranian Canadian Congress, said he’s outraged by the new policy.“It’s unacceptable. It’s very unreasonable,” he said in an interview earlier Saturday before the situation regarding dual citizens was clarified. “It’s very discriminatory to target people based on their race, their religion, the country of their origin and the country of their birth. And the community has that same outrage.”“Everybody’s nervous, everybody of Somali origin and Muslim origin,” said Osman Ali, the Toronto-based director of the Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke. “The community feels that it’s a way of targeting the Muslim community, the African community and the black Muslim community.”WestJet and Air Canada said they were waiving cancellation fees for people who hold passports from the affected countries. Air Canada said it expected that only a small handful of its passengers would be affected.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Despite assurances from the Prime Minister, the opposition New Democrats are pressing for an emergency debate when the House of Commons resumes today.New Democrat MP Jenny Kwan wants to delve more deeply into how the American ban affects Canada and how the government plans to respond.Government House leader Bardish Chagger seemed open to a debate, but noted the decision is up to Commons Speaker Geoff Regan.U.S. officials are expected to hear firsthand today how Canadians feel about the ban that affects people from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya.At least two protests are planned, one outside the American embassy in Ottawa and the other at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto.The size of the demonstrations is unclear, but American diplomats are concerned enough that they have announced the consulate will temporarily suspend services to the public today.The U.S. State Department tweeted Sunday that American citizens should exercise caution today if they’re in the vicinity of the embassy in Ottawa. The Canadian Press Monday, January 30, 2017 Canadians and dual citizens not affected by Trump ban but anxiety still running high Posted by With file from the Canadian Press Tags: America, Donald Trump Share << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

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Wells Fargo Owes 125M in Mortgage Suit

first_img After a contentious suit, “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ agreed to settle with a group of pension funds and investors over allegations the mortgage giant dropped the ball on the risks involved with mortgage-backed securities, which plaintiffs called subpar and poorly written.[IMAGE]””Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ settled in a California federal court on Wednesday, ending a nearly two-year exchange between several pension funds and the bank. The funds included those in Alameda County, Detroit, Guam, and New Orleans, among others.[COLUMN_BREAK]””The proposed settlement agreement is a negotiated resolution as to all named defendants and is intended to avoid the distraction and expense of litigation,”” Ancel Martinez, a spokesperson for “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/, said in a telephone interview, according to “”_Bloomberg News_””:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-07/wells-fargo-to-pay-125-million-to-settle-mortgage-backed-securities-case.html?cmpid=yhoo.In their complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ sold a set of 28 mortgage-backed securities in 2005 and 2006, misstating and neglecting important details related to the quality of the mortgages. “”Wells Fargo””:https://www.wellsfargo.com/ denied the allegations.The troubled mortgage giant must still settle other lawsuits regarding mortgage-backed securities. Plaintiffs in the suits include investors from “”Charles Schwab Corp.””:https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/home/welcomep.html, several Federal Home Loan Banks, and others, all of which want billions of dollars in settlements, according to “”Dow Jones Newswire””:http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=201107081006dowjonesdjonline000356&title=update-wells-fargo-settles-mortgage-backed-security-suit-for-125-million.Courts still need to sign off on the settlements, with a final ruling required sometime in the fall. The suit follows a “”Bank of America Corp.””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/ agreement to settle $8.5 billion in investor claims over bond sales guaranteed by home loans packaged by Countrywide Financial Corp., according to “”_Bloomberg News_””:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-07/wells-fargo-to-pay-125-million-to-settle-mortgage-backed-securities-case.html?cmpid=yhoo. Agents & Brokers Bank of America Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Wells Fargo 2011-07-08 Ryan Schuette Share Wells Fargo Owes $125M in Mortgage Suitcenter_img in Origination, Servicing July 8, 2011 448 Views last_img read more

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The video industry has always worked to improve th

first_imgThe video industry has always worked to improve the TV viewing experience. More than a decade ago, the transition from SD to HD provided significant improvements to video quality. 3DTV was another attempt that failed to get traction and ended up with limited success. More recently, there has been much hype about 4K/Ultra-HD from the CE industry in effort to drive sales of high-end TV models with bigger screens.On the service providers side such technological transitions have historically taken longer time as multiple elements need to fall into place. These include wide availability of new content, sufficient installed base of TV sets and reasonable cost of new equipment both on the head-end and end-customer sides.While there is a clear push from the CE industry to adopt 4K/Ultra-HD, service providers are still struggling with the new value proposition of this new format. Various studies have shown that focusing on delivering more pixels will have limited impact on the viewing experience while incurring extra cost throughout the whole content delivery value chain. On the other hand, there is a general consensus within the industry that high dynamic range (HDR) video will substantially improve the user’s viewing experience and can unlock the potential of Ultra-HD. Efforts are underway to standardize HDR implementation within the end-to-end content delivery chain.This paper outlines the key principles of HDR and reviews the remaining challenges ahead to enable mass commercial deployment of HDR video.last_img read more

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The precious metal equities continue to stink up t

first_imgThe precious metal equities continue to stink up the placeThe short selloff during the first hour of London trading proved to be the low of the Tuesday session, and by 10 a.m. BST the gold price the price jumped back to unchanged from Monday’s close.From that point gold traded sideways until about ten minutes after the 8:20 a.m. EDT Comex open, and the subsequent rally ran out of gas/got capped shortly before 2 p.m. in electronic trading.  The high tick at that point was recorded by Kitco as $1,417.70 spot.  After that, the gold price gave back about five bucks of its gain going into the 5:15 p.m. New York close.Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,412.20 spot, up $15.70 from last Friday’s close.  Net volume for both Monday and Tuesday combined was reported as 215,000 contracts, which was not overly heavy.The silver price chopped around in a broad 25 cent range either side of unchanged right up until ten minutes after the Comex open, and the subsequent rally topped out about 9:50 a.m. EDT.  The high tick was $24.60 spot. From there it traded more or less sideways until 1 p.m., and then the silver price sold down a bit into the close.Silver closed on Tuesday at $24.28 spot, up 75 cents from the prior Friday’s close.   Volume, net of September and October, over the Monday and Tuesday trading session was reported as 67,000 contracts.Platinum had a nice rally during the New York trading session, and palladium’s minor gains in Europe got taken away by lunch time in New York.  Here are the charts. The dollar index closed on Monday at 82.24 and spent all of Tuesday moving unsteadily higher.  At its 11:30 a.m. EDT zenith, the index painted 82.48.  After that it got sold down a bit going into the close, and it finished the Tuesday trading session at 82.38, up 14 basis points on the day.The gold stocks gapped up about 2 percent at the open, but couldn’t hold those gains despite the fact that gold was in rally mode right up until around 2 p.m. in New York.  The HUI closed up only 0.78%.Despite the stellar gains in silver on Monday and Tuesday, Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up only 1.43%.  I was underwhelmed.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report for Tuesday showed that 21 gold and 15 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow.  JPMorgan was the short/issuer on all 21 gold contracts and 3 of the silver contracts.  I thank reader Jon De Weese for providing this data from his website.There were withdrawals reported in both GLD and SLV yesterday.  Ted Butler and I were both surprised by this, especially Ted, and I know he’ll have more to say about it in his mid-week column later today.  GLD reported a withdrawal of 57,943 troy ounces, and in SLV it was an eye-watering 2,024,820 troy ounces.Yes, there were price declines in both metals late last week, but the withdrawals seem excessive, especially the 2 million ounces out of SLV.As expected, the U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday.  They sold 1,500 ounces of gold eagles; 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes, and 675,000 silver eagles.  And as I mentioned in Saturday’s column, it’s a near certainty that these sales occurred in August, and were just reported yesterday.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 31,813 troy ounces of gold, and shipped 21,211 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that activity is here.In silver on Friday, there were 591,540 troy ounces received, and 13,265 ounces shipped out for parts unknown.  The link to that action is here.I have a decent number of stories for you today, so I hope you find some that interest you.Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron. — General Dwight EisenhowerAlthough I was happy to see gold, and particularly silver, do well over the last couple of days, the precious metal equities continue to stink up the place.  They started the day off well again yesterday, but “faded” into the close despite the fact that the underlying metal prices did well, which is a price pattern that we’ve seen a lot of lately, and I’m sort of wondering out loud if this is the free market in action, or possibly something else.  Whatever it is, the shares aren’t confirming the rise in the gold and silver price over the last two or three weeks.I took a quick peek at the preliminary changes in open interest in gold and silver over the last two trading days; up almost 12,000 contracts in gold and a bit over 3,000 contracts in silver.  I’m not overly encouraged by that, but the final numbers should show an improvement.  However, we really won’t know for sure until this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report is posted on the CFTC’s website, and all of this data will most certainly be in it, as the Comex close yesterday was the cut-off for that report.The price of gold didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading on their Wednesday, and it’s more of the same now that London has been open for about 35 minutes as I write this paragraph.  However, silver got taken down pretty good, from $24.35 spot shortly after 8 a.m. Hong Kong time, all the way down to $23.70 by 2 p.m. in their afternoon, a decline of almost 3 percent.  It made it back to the $24 price mark by the London open.  Gold volume is not overly heavy for this time of day, but it nearly goes without saying that silver’s volume is already very chunky; north of 12,000 contracts.  Platinum and palladium are trading sideways, and the dollar index is flat.And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:15 a.m. EDT, both gold and silver are trading lower than they were at the London open.  Gold is now down about 9 bucks, and silver is down 48 cents.  Gold volume is getting up there at 30,000 contracts net, but silver’s volume is only marginally higher than reported in the prior paragraph.  The dollar index is still comatose.I haven’t the foggiest idea what will happen during the New York trading session today, but I’ll be surprised if it passes without incident.That’s all I have for today, which is more than enough, and I’ll see you here tomorrow.last_img read more

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Dear Reader You can earn a higher salary than t

first_imgDear Reader, You can earn a higher salary than the average college graduate by delivering pizzas. Just move to Stanley, North Dakota and reply to this Craigslist ad: Why are these businesses so eager to hire? Because business is booming. And business is booming because they’re near the Bakken, which is at the heart of America’s energy resurgence. It’s good old-fashioned economic stimulus. Oil companies, sensing an opportunity to profit, are luring workers to North Dakota by paying them top dollar. These workers then eat pizza and shop at Walmart. The result is a booming local economy. Notice what is not part of this equation: the government. Contrast North Dakota to the growing list of US cities that are attempting to force wages higher via minimum-wage increases. Seattle passed a minimum-wage increase to $15/hour. San Diego hiked its minimum wage to $11.50/hour. Washington DC’s minimum is rising to $11.50/hour, too. Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel wants his city to adopt a $13 minimum wage. Activists in Los Angeles are now calling for a $15 minimum. I could keep going, but you get the picture. There’s all the difference in the world between wages rising because of increased production and a government forcing wages higher by edict. The former is good for everyone. Even though $56K/year plus generous benefits seems expensive for a deliveryman, Jimmy’s is happy to pay it, because the company expects to turn a profit. But when a government outlaws jobs below a certain wage, only a lucky few win. Doug French will elaborate on that point in a minute. First, let’s take a quick look at where this trend is headed. Not only do 63% of Americans favor raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10, Obama already raised it to $10.10 for a lucky subset of Americans. Yes, Congress is deadlocked on whether to raise the minimum wage, but that’s never stopped Barack before. With a stroke of the pen, he issued an executive order raising the minimum for federal contractors to $10.10 beginning in 2015. It’s clear that the federal minimum wage is headed higher. What’s less obvious but equally important is that another, separate increase in the cost of employment is also coming. Remember the “or else” provisions of Obamacare that threaten most employers to either provide health care to their employees or pay a penalty? They kick in by 2016, and they’ll add at least another $1.05/hour to an employer’s cost of hiring an employee. Put it all together, and the minimum cost to hire a worker is likely to jump at least 50% soon, as illustrated by this chart I snagged from the most recent edition of The Casey Report: (Click to enlarge) Then hope Jimmy’s hires you. If you don’t get the job, all is not lost. Plenty of businesses in northwestern North Dakota are offering lucrative pay. Even notoriously stingy Walmart is starting new hires at $17 an hour:center_img The coming “all in” minimum wage of $12.17/hr equates to about $30,000 per year. Which prompts the question: What’s going to happen to the roughly 70 million jobs in America that cost employers less than $30,000 per year? The answer: they’ll disappear. As I mentioned last week, French McDonald’s workers know this all too well. To combat rising labor costs, McDonald’s has been installing kiosks to replace some of its French employees. France’s minimum wage is about $12.12/hour. This trend—the automation of low-skill human labor—is just getting started in America, but it will soon kick into overdrive. As the cost of low-skill human labor becomes prohibitive, businesses will search for mechanized substitutes. And the first call they’ll make is to the automation company we recommend in the newest edition of The Casey Report. If you’ve eaten at TGI Friday’s, used the self-checkout machines at Walmart, or printed a boarding pass at the airport in the last 10 years, you’ve used this company’s labor-saving products. Click here to subscribe to The Casey Report to ride this secular trend with us. Labor-saving automation is the trend of the future, and now’s the time to get positioned. I’ll now pass the baton to Doug French to continue the minimum-wage discussion. Then you’ll find a fun story from subscriber N P Chaudhri about a lucrative scam created by a communist cab driver.last_img read more

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Every evening after dinner Herman Agbavor and his

first_imgEvery evening after dinner, Herman Agbavor and his 5-year-old son Herbert have a ritual. Little Herbert climbs into his dad’s lap, unzips his book bag and they go over his kindergarten homework.The two of them have been doing some variation of this homework routine since Herbert was 1. That’s when Agbavor first enrolled the boy in preschool.They live in a working-class neighborhood of Ghana’s capital city Accra — in a cement block apartment in a multifamily house that’s got a television and lots of books but no indoor plumbing.A few minutes into their session on a recent evening, they get to a page with instructions to trace some rectangles. The boy falters.”T-R-A-C-E,” says the father. “What does it spell?””Te?” offers Herbert in a small voice.”You’ve got to learn how to read,” Agbavor says intently. “It’s very important. I’m not supposed to be reading for you all the time!”Share your story on your school experiences. In Ghana right now there’s a lot riding on getting your child to read by age 5. No one can pinpoint precisely when these expectations started. But there’s a widespread sense that Africa is rising. Just last year Ghana ranked among the world’s fastest growing economies. And like many parents, Agbavor is convinced that all sorts of jobs could be opening up for people who know things — skills like speaking English and working with computers. And so there’s a trend here. Parents — even those with very low incomes — are putting their children in private schools at younger and younger ages.This hope around preschool is something you see around the world. In rich and poor countries alike there’s a recognition that quality preschool can give children an invaluable start in life. And in the U.S. there’s a major push underway to get more children enrolled. But in Accra — and in fact in many fast-growing African cities — they’ve already achieved that. It’s estimated that in Accra by the time children reach age 3, 80 percent of them are in preschool, twice the share in the United States.But there is a problem with this picture. The government has tested Ghana’s children as they move on to elementary school. It has found that the preschool boom is not fulfilling its promise. To cite just one statistic, among second graders tested in city schools one-third could not read a single word of a simple story. The results on basic arithmetic questions are similarly disappointing.In short, when it comes to preschool in Ghana, “children are not actually getting anything from it,” says Sharon Wolf, a professor of early childhood development at the University of Pennsylvania. “They are not actually learning.”Wolf is one of several experts the government has turned to in an attempt to address this problem. Three years ago officials asked her and several collaborators — including an international research group called Innovations for Poverty Action — to set up an experiment aimed at overhauling Accra’s preschools: A training program to get the teachers to completely rethink their approach to teaching.And at first the experimental training program was remarkably effective. But then the effort ran into a wall. The very people who are most desperate for Ghana’s kids to succeed — the moms and the dads — started getting in the way.A Teacher’s QuestFour hundred and forty-four teachers were selected for the training experiment. One of them happens to be Herbert’s current teacher, a 41-year-old with a round face and a beaming smile named Godaiva Gbetodeme.She was a particularly eager recruit — because she had been trying to figure out how to be a better teacher for years.Gbetodeme had gotten into teaching more than two decades earlier, at age 20, mainly because she needed a job. Her mother had died and she needed to support her younger siblings. She didn’t have any special skills, just the rough equivalent of a high school degree.”So I had to hustle here and there,” she says chuckling. And she had noticed there were all these preschools popping up around the neighborhood, most of them privately run. The owners didn’t care that she had no teaching credentials. Few of Ghana’s preschool teachers do.But what started as just a job had almost immediately turned into a calling for Gbetodeme. She just loved being around the children: “I realized that’s what God has planned for me.”And to her that meant she shouldn’t just wing it as a teacher. “I have to get into it fully.”She tried getting advice on how to be a good teacher from the owners of a succession of preschools she worked at. Their answer was invariably: “more homework.” As in: “Why don’t you give the children three homework [assignments]. Why don’t you give them four?”And that is what the parents seemed to want. They would open their child’s backpack in front of her, she recalls, “and say ‘Oh! there’s no homework in my child’s bag.’ So I would say, ‘Don’t worry. We will double the homework for your child on Monday.'”Gbetodome says her next attempt to learn how to be a teacher was a kind of spy operation. “Yes,” she says, giggling, “don’t laugh at me.” She had noticed that there was another preschool not far from her home that charged three times as much tuition as the school she was teaching in. Maybe she could learn something from them, she thought. So “I went there in a pretend manner” — masquerading as a parent to get the headmistress to show her around.And she was blown away by what she saw.”I was like, oh wow!” she remembers.Gbetodome’s own classroom was a spartan place — with bare cement walls, not a single poster for the children to look at. This expensive school’s classroom was filled with books and toys.”Legos in different shapes and sizes,” she recalls.Gbetodome tried to make the case to her own headmaster that they should buy things like this for her classroom. She says he told her, this is a school for working-class parents. We don’t have those kind of resources.”There is no money,” she recalls. “They always complain that there is no money in my school.”And so, Gbetodome returned to her classroom defeated. It wasn’t until the researchers came along that she would find out there was something she could do to dramatically improve her classroom — a missing ingredient that wouldn’t require money but rather a fundamental re-conception of how she should relate to her students.’Chew And Pour’Before launching the experiment to train teachers, Sharon Wolf, the researcher from the University of Pennsylvania, ran some tests on groups of preschoolers to figure out how much they know.”One way is by showing a picture and asking children to tell you what they see,” she notes. For instance a landscape with lots of animals. Then, you count the number of words the kids say as a way to gauge their vocabulary skills.But when Wolf tried this common test with Ghana’s preschoolers, “we would just get blank stares.” If the tester pointed to a specific animal the child could name it. But when the kids were asked, just generally, what do you see, they were stuck. They did not know how to offer their own observations and opinions in answer to an open-ended question.”It became very clear that children are not really getting opportunities to do this in school,” says Wolf. And as Wolf started visiting Accra’s preschool classrooms it became clear that this was the result of a very particular style of teaching.We get a sense of what this approach looks like on a recent morning when we walk into one of the preschools Wolf has been studying just as class is about to begin.About 40 toddlers take their place at rows of wood tables. Their teacher walks to the front of the room and turns to face them. “Attention!” she calls out crisply. The children rise as one, snapping their hands to their sides.Almost immediately the teacher launches into a vocabulary lesson in English — the language used by officialdom in Ghana but not the language spoken in these children’s homes. “Shoe!” she shouts, holding up a flashcard with a picture of a shoe. “Shoe!” the kids shout back. “Shoe! Shoe! Shoe!”Next up, a picture of a nose. “Nose!” shouts the teacher. “Nose! Nose! Nose!” shout the children.Then it’s time for Roman numerals.It looks academically rigorous, but there’s a serious deficiency, says Margaret Okai, the government education official in charge of Ghana’s preschool and elementary schools.The teachers are exclusively focused on rote memorization. “When you enter their classroom you realize they are not able to engage the children. They’d rather stand in front of the children,” she says — lecturing to the students and making the children repeat it back.When we describe the scenes we’ve been seeing in Accra’s preschools to Herman Agbavor — the father who was doing homework with his son Herbert, he immediately nods in recognition. “Back in school we used to call it chew and pour,” he says. Meaning, for each possible question the teacher gives you one correct answer to memorize — or “chew” — so that come test time, you can regurgitate it — “pour it” back to her verbatim.”And then,” adds Agbavor with a chuckle, “you forget about it. Nothing is retained.”People in Ghana laugh about chew and pour because it’s always been this way. It’s not something they expect to change. They complain about it the way Americans gripe about standardized testing or how children are given the whole summer off to forget everything they learned during the year.But the consensus among researchers and government officials is that at least in preschools, there’s an urgent need to scrap this method. Instead of forcing kids to stare at a chalkboard or a flashcard, Okai says, teachers need to come up with hands-on activities using objects that children can touch and manipulate. And most crucially, agrees Wolf, instead of training them to spit out set answers to a list of questions, teachers need to ask open-ended questions that “draw out children’s ability to think and reason.”This was the missing ingredient in Gbetodeme’s classroom.No KnockingSo how do you turn a chew-and-pour teacher into a different kind of educator?The experimental training program that Wolf designed took place three years ago. It consisted of a week of intensive instruction, followed by two shorter refresher courses and monthly classroom visits from a coach over the course of a year. And it was chock-full of practical tips — activities teachers could use to get students to express themselves.But for Gbetodome the most important takeaway was deeper. Sitting at the training center, she began to realize that if she wanted children to really answer, and not just give blank stares, she didn’t just have to ask different questions. She would have to become a different kind of teacher.”I learned that as a teacher I should be approachable. I should be their friend,” she says. Meaning she needed to get on the children’s level — even literally.”Like if they sit on the floor, I sit on the floor with them.”Until the trainers suggested this, Gbetodeme says it would never have occurred to her to interact with her students this way.”I felt that, ‘I’m the teacher. You are my students. I’m educating you,'” she says.In other words, her role was to be the authority figure — to command respect.At first she was skeptical. This idea of asking kids questions about their thoughts and feelings and waiting for them to answer — that might work in the United States, she thought. But “this is Ghana. We are supposed to handle kids our own way.”A child shouldn’t be the one to initiate a conversation with an adult. Kids shouldn’t look adults in the eye even. You were supposed to be afraid of teachers.”It’s part and parcel of us,” she says.She remembers a time one of her own teachers knocked her in the head. She was 16-years-old. He was the French teacher. He caught her trying to sneak a few peppers out of the cafeteria.”I had a severe headache for two days,” she says.When she became a teacher, she followed the French teacher’s example.”Let me be frank,” she says, “I knocked their heads. When they would do something bad I’d just …” She gives the table a hard rap.But in the experimental training program the instructors made the case against intimidation by bringing up brain science.”When we’re scared,” says Wolf, “those parts of our brain that can absorb information and are used in learning actually shut down.”And sitting there, Gbetodeme started to rethink all the experiences she’d had. “It kept flashing back into my brain.”Like that time the French teacher had knocked her in the head. It wasn’t just physically painful, she says. It was humiliating. She wasn’t allowed to leave the cafeteria until lunch was over. So in front of everyone she put her head down on the table, “and I wept.” Soon after she dropped his class. She never studied French again. “I didn’t even want to see his face. I hate him up until today,” she says.And reflecting on that memory, Gbetodeme realized that several years earlier she had done the same thing to one of her own students. A boy named Chris “was doing something naughty,” she says, “I don’t remember exactly what.” So she hit him hard. Now when she runs into him she sees the same hatred in his eyes that she feels toward her French teacher.”That boy,” Gbetodeme says sadly, “will not forgive me.”All those years that she had been following the traditional script, “I realized that I had been harming the children.” Gbetodeme came out of the training and made a vow to herself. She would never lay a hand on a child again. Never even intimidate a kid. It was going to be a different kind of space in her classroom. A different kind of Ghana.A Classroom TransformedWalk into Gbetodeme’s class today and the contrast with the typical preschools around the neighborhood is remarkable.Her room is awash in color. Every inch of the cement walls are covered with posters with numbers and words and animals. There’s a pretend shop filled with empty food boxes and household supplies where children can “buy” the items with pretend money. The training program taught her how to use everyday supplies to make teaching materials. Bottle caps, cardboard boxes, “even the tube inside the toilet [paper] roll,” she says.But the most notable difference is how Gbetodome treats her students. Gone is the knocking. She never even yells — just calls them to attention with a cheerful “Hello!” or a ring of a bell.And if they occasionally misbehave — she talks it through with them. When a boy shoves Herbert as they wait to wash their hands, she says firmly but soothingly: “Michael, why do you like fighting? We say children of God should not fight. Say sorry to him.””Sorry,” mumbles little Michael.There are still a few chew and pour exercises. But throughout the day Gbetodeme finds all sorts of ways to engage the kids in open-ended conversations.It starts with calling the children to a poster with faces on it — one happy, another sad, another angry, another surprised and so on. The children take a sticker with their name on it and place it under the face that reflects how they feel in that moment.Herbert puts his name under the grinning face. “Why are you happy?” asks Gbetodeme.”Because my mother will buy me a toffee,” he exclaims.”Oh!” says Gbetodeme, laughing. “Will you be bringing me some of the toffee?””Yes,” he says shyly as the other children giggle.The Preschool ParadoxGbetodeme is not an outlier. Across the board, Wolf found that this short, very basic program prompted teachers to substantially change their teaching practices. Best of all that change translated into better learning outcomes for their students — who scored higher on tests of pre-literacy, pre-numeracy and social emotional skills than children taught by a control group of teachers who did not get the training.”That was the thing that really floored me,” says Wolf. She also found that of all the various changes the teachers made — like more hands-on activities and no corporal punishment — what made the most difference in the children’s performance on academic tests was when teachers engaged in the open-ended questioning.This suggests something of a paradox: Ghana’s chew-and-pour classrooms may be unsuccessful at teaching early reading and math precisely because they are so squarely focused on teaching this material. And the teachers in the training program had more success at getting children to read and do math precisely because they moved away from such a strong focus on outcomes and focused instead on the process — basically building up the thinking and reasoning skills that children need to learn.”We didn’t train the teachers on how should you be teaching the alphabet,” notes Wolf. “We just trained the teachers on how to make their classrooms more child-friendly.”But then the experiment ran into an unexpected obstacle.Herman’s Hopes … And FearsHerman Agbavor says he enrolled his son, Herbert, in preschool at such an early age because he himself didn’t have that opportunity.Agbavor is stuck in a job he doesn’t love. And he thinks it’s because he didn’t get the right start. He would have liked to be a doctor, he says. Most recently he’s been working toward getting certified as an airplane mechanic. But right now he’s working at the airport, filling out paperwork on the planes that come in.For his son, “I would love for him to be a doctor or a pilot or a pastor,” Agbavor muses. But most important, he says, is that Herbert get to choose his passion. The thought that this future is within Herbert’s grasp fills Agbavor with hope. But also with anxiety.Because right now Herbert is not reading at the pace Agbavor thinks he should. He knows his alphabet, “but when it comes to reading a full word, he’s messing up,” says Agbavor. The realization feels like a punch to the gut for Agbavor. Herbert is only five years old, and already Agbavor worries he may be failing him.So earlier this Agbavor stopped by Gbetodome’s classroom to make a request.”He told me I should lash his son for him,” recalls Gbetodeme.She considers the boy eager to please and generally well-behaved. And yet here was his father looming before her, giving her this message.”He said, ‘Lash Herbert for me. He’s naughty. He’s not learning.'”Agbavor says he was just trying to “give her confidence” to get Herbert to buckle down more — and to let Gbetodeme know that he wouldn’t complain if she needed to put the boy in line.But Gbetodeme says it felt like criticism. And in that moment — despite all her vows to be a different sort of teacher, one who no longer relies on intimidation — she slipped a little.She says she called out to the boy: “Herbert, did you hear? Did you hear what your daddy told me to do to you?'” And she says, Herbert, normally so full of pep, “he became kind of timid.”As slips go, it was not hugely dramatic. But it’s telling because of another — less hopeful — finding from Wolf’s experiment. In addition to the group of teachers that got the training (Gbetodeme’s group), Wolf created another group, training the teachers but also bringing in parents of their students to see a video on the importance of activity-based learning and encouraging them to be more involved in their children’s education.Here’s what she found: The teachers in that group didn’t change their teaching style to engage the children in open-ended conversations. And the children didn’t make gains in test scores.Why this happened is a bit of a puzzle. But Wolf found what she thinks was a clue. In some follow-up interviews she did with both parents and teachers, it appeared that the training program made parents more prone to complain about their children to the teachers — to say things along the lines of what Agbavor told his son’s teacher. Wolf hypothesizes that giving up the chew-and-pour approach “was really going out on a limb” for these teachers. So in the face of even indirect pushback from parents, the child-centered approach “was the natural thing for teachers to step back on.”The Worries Of A One-Eyed ManAgbavor seems genuinely surprised to learn that Gbetodeme took his instruction to her as a criticism. He also was not aware that she had had the experimental training. He hadn’t even realized she was using a new approach in her classroom. He’s never actually observed her in action.When I fill in him, he’s intrigued.It would be great for teachers to give kids more opportunities for hands-on learning, he says.”I believe in the practical,” he says. “If you just have theory and you can’t practice, it’s useless.”But as we discuss how he, as a parent, can make sure that Herbert’s teachers do better, he reverts to the same focus on outcomes — on the trappings of learning — that gave rise to chew and pour.”It’s step by step,” he says. First the child needs to know the alphabet, “then from that to form sentences.””And If I tell [the teachers], by the end of this year he should be writing then they’ll know that.” They’ll make it happen.He doesn’t see how he can let up on his focus on results. He can’t just step back and put his faith in the school.”Herbert is my first son,” he says. “I don’t want him to regret in the future that, ‘my father couldn’t do the right thing for me.’ “Agbavor brings up an expression in his language, Ewe: “If you’re a one-eyed man, you don’t play with sand.” It could get in your eye and “you don’t have an eye to spare. A one-eyed man doesn’t play with sand.” SHARE YOUR STORY: Kids and parental pressureAs a parent, did you ever push your child in ways you now regret – or not push them enough? Or when you were a child, did you ever feel pushed too hard or not enough? Share your story in the tool below. We are collecting responses until June 27. We may feature your post on NPR. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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A new report shows North Carolina has the nations

first_imgA new report shows North Carolina has the nation’s second highest increase in opioid deaths. A study from the Centers For Disease Control estimates that just over 2,500 people in North Carolina overdosed on opioids and other drugs in 2017. That’s a nearly 22 percent increase from the year before.The CDC says that of those overdoses, nearly 2,300 deaths were reported, but that number is expected to rise due in part to autopsy delays. Public officials tell the News and Observer that the rise is due in part to the rapid spread of synthetic fentanyl, which is cheaper and more potent than heroin.The black market is also seeing a spike in fentanyl “analogues,” which are drugs created to imitate the effects of fentanyl. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says there are at least 42 types of these copycat drugs on the market, many of which are being mixed in with heroin, cocaine and other painkillers.The skyrocketing pace of drug overdoses in North Carolina mirrors a national trend. The state with the steepest rise in overdose deaths in 2017 was Nebraska, with a nearly 33 percent increase.last_img read more

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When photographer Nico Therin came across pictures

first_imgWhen photographer Nico Therin came across pictures of wrestling matches on the sand in Senegal, he was so intrigued he decided to take his camera and go. It didn’t take long for Therin to learn that in Senegal, wrestling is a national sport. As Khadim Gadiaga, president of the Senegalese Wrestlers Association, puts it, “Every Senegalese — mothers and fathers, even the president of the republic — they love Senegalese wrestling.”During his visit to Dakar this spring, Therin saw that enthusiasm manifest itself in kids wrestling in the streets after school. And in the hours before sunset he observed beaches fill with both kids and adults, professionals and amateurs, wrestling on the soft sand. Yes, on the sand. Even in stadiums, where professional matches take place before large crowds, the “ring” is a rectangle of sand, says Therin, 30, who was born in France and is now based in Los Angeles. As the wrestlers go at it, the sand settles on their skin, like a layer of grit. When they fall to the ground, the sand also cushions them. The sport has a long history in Senegal. The traditional form of Senegalese wrestling, “without blows,” has existed for centuries, says Thierno Ka, vice-president in charge of Olympic Wrestling and Communications at the Comité National de Gestion de Lutte. “Without blows” means “people can’t hit each other with their hands,” explains sports journalist Oumar Diarra.Champion wrestlers from different villages would compete against each other as part of celebrations after a good harvest. Starting in the 1930s, a different form of wrestling “with blows” became popular. It’s “more like boxing and wrestling mixed together,” says Diarra. In recent decades television broadcasts and commercial sponsorships have brought greater visibility and enlarged fan bases for the sport, he says, including youthful wrestlers hoping to find financial success in the ring. Therin gained entrance to Senegal’s wrestling culture with the help of one of the country’s most famous champions, Lut Pathe Boy. Popularly known as Big Pato, he is also a policeman, with a T-shirt that sports dual photos of him in his police uniform and his wrestling gear, and the caption, “Le Flic de l’Arene,” which Therin translated as “The Cop of the Arena.””He told me, ‘I get up in the morning to serve others,'” says Therin. “Without him I could not have photographed this work.” Diane Cole writes for many publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The Jewish Week, and is book columnist for The Psychotherapy Networker. She is the author of the memoir After Great Pain: A New Life Emerges. Her website is dianejcole.com. Ricci Shryrock, a photojournalist based in Senegal, contributed to this report. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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Plastic garbage from Trader Joes and an AARP card

first_imgPlastic garbage from Trader Joe’s and an AARP card are peeking out of hillocks of plastic trash piling up in Indonesia.It’s a sign of a new global quandary: What should wealthy countries do with their plastic waste now that China no longer is buying it?For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products.And it wasn’t just the U.S. Some 70 percent of the world’s plastic waste went to China – about 7 million tons a year.Numerous Chinese millionaires were minted as recycling businesses started and blossomed – sure, they paid for the world’s plastic and paper trash but they made far more money from processing it and selling the resulting raw materials.But last year the Chinese government dropped a bombshell on the world recycling business: They cut back almost all imports of trash. And now a lot of that plastic gets shipped to other countries that don’t have the capacity to recycle it or dispose of it safely.To understand the current dilemma, we have to go back in time a couple of decades.A Billionaire Is BornIn 1995, Zhang Yin started a paper recycling company in China called Nine Dragons. She would become China’s first female billionaire. China wanted scrap paper and plastic to recycle into more products, and Yin seized the market. Martin Bourque runs one of the oldest recycling operations in the U.S. as part of the Ecology Center in Berkeley, California. “There were brokers going around the globe buying up every scrap of plastic they could find and paying top dollar for it,” he says.And there was this brilliant tactic to increase profits: West Coast ports in the U.S. were full of empty Chinese shipping containers that had come to deliver goods to American consumers. “So it made a lot of sense to send [waste] out though the port in an empty ship that was going back anyway,” says Bourque.For American recyclers, it was too good a deal to pass up. Many types of plastic — bags, cups, plastic wrap, thin film — gum up sorting machines at materials recovery centers in the U.S. and is of almost no value to recyclers.Waste expert Joe Dunlop at the Athens-Clarke County materials recovery facility near Athens, Georgia, explained the problem to me. We watched conveyer belts deliver tons of trash every hour, with magnets diverting metal and paper going into bins for recycling. Some plastic is binned up too, if it’s recyclable — bottles, for example. But the rest, like a box covered in film plastic – thin flexible sheets of plastic — is not easy to recycle.He pulls up a two-foot-square piece of cardboard out of a ten-foot-pile of trash. “A cardboard box wrapped in our number one contaminate, film plastic,” he says. “That’s just bad. What is so awful about a cardboard box that they had to go and do this to it?”The cardboard/plastic combo originally held beverages. “but have you ever had to unpackage containers? It’s a pain in the butt.”Dunlop says a lot of that plastic is hopeless when it comes to recycling in the United States. It mostly ended up in landfills, until China came along.China had plenty of capacity to handle plastics and lots of cheap laborers to sort the recyclable materials from the non-recyclable. By 2016, the U.S. was exporting almost 700,000 tons a year to China alone. Overall, China imported 7 million tons from around the world.About five years ago, the Chinese government started to worry about all this trash coming in. A lot of the plastic was contaminated with stuff that made it difficult and expensive to recycle – paper, food waste, plastic wrap (which is not recyclable). And some of the plastic was hard to recycle and thus not profitable to import.What’s more, a lot of plastic sneaked in illegally, without permits. These fly-by-night recyclers dumped stuff they couldn’t recycle, causing pollution on land and in waterways.In fact, Martin Bourque actually tracked some of the plastic scrap from his operation in Berkeley. In 2016, he buried a GPS transponder in one of his bales of paper and plastic waste from the Ecology Center. Waste brokers bought it. He followed the transponder’s electronic signals to a town in China. Bourque then contacted local residents to document what happened to it. They reported to Bourque what they saw. “And what we found confirms some of our worst nightmares: dumping in the local canyon of materials they couldn’t recycle, plastic in the farmland incorporated into the soil of the cornfields nearby,” he says.China Says NoSo the Chinese government cracked down.In 2017 the government started to cut way back on plastic trash imports. Then the big bombshell: In January 2018, they banned almost all imports. Last year, China took in less than one percent of its 2016 total.That means a huge amount of plastic is looking for a place to go. Especially, says Bourque, in the western U.S. where communities depended heavily on the Chinese trade.”A lot of it is being stockpiled,” he says, “you know, people who have warehouse space.” Many communities — like Eugene, Oregon — temporarily stopped collecting things like yogurt containers and shampoo bottles that used to go to China.Keefe Harrison runs a non-profit called the Recycling Partnership that works to improve recycling rates. She says more plastic in the U.S. is now ending up in landfills or getting incinerated, which creates pollution. And she says the confusion is discouraging to consumers. “It’s very hard to turn recycling on and off,” she says. “You can’t tell your citizens ‘Today we’re not recycling any more, but next week we’ll start again’.”Harrison says if recyclers in the U.S. are going to pick up the slack, they need help: For one thing, they need more good, valuable plastic — bottles and tubs like the ones detergent comes in, for example, that are easier to recycle into raw plastic they can resell in the U.S. “The truth is that only half of Americans can recycle at home as easily as throwing something away,” she says. “So that’s step one that we have to fix.”New DestinationsMeanwhile, shipments of plastic waste to other Southeast Asian countries have skyrocketed. Exports from the U.S. to Thailand jumped almost 7,000 percent in one year. Malaysia’s went up several hundred percent. Those numbers dropped in 2018 after those countries cut back on imports. Stiv Wilson is an environmental activist and documentary film-maker who works with a project on waste called The Story of Stuff. He’s also been working with an environmental group called Ecoton in Indonesia, another big importing country. Wilson visited a town near a recycling plant in the city of Surabaya. The plant takes paper bales mixed with plastic.”That plastic gets separated by the paper factory,” he says. “It gets dumped in the neighboring community and then the only way to get rid of it is to openly burn it. It is also used as fuel for boiling water to make tofu in small tofu factories all around …. air, water and land (are) all affected by this.”And he’s the one who’s documented uniquely American items that indicate where a lot of the trash comes from: “Like AARP cards with names on them. So obviously you know where that’s come from.”These new dumping destinations aren’t likely to last. Already, Vietnam and Malaysia are cutting back imports of scrap plastic because they are overwhelmed. They can’t handle the huge diversion of plastic to their countries since China shut out imports.Recycling experts say it’s a time of reckoning for their industry – and that wealthy countries need to stop exporting to countries that can’t handle it. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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