The Latest Retailers get hammered in premarket trading

first_imgNEW YORK — The Latest on retail sales (all times local):9:25 a.m.Unemployment hasn’t been so low in years, wages are rising, consumer confidence is high and gasoline is cheap, creating high expectations for department stores this holiday season.That’s not what investors got in numbers released Thursday.Department stores fell sharply before the opening bell Thursday, with bellwether Macy’s down nearly 19 per cent after posting worse-than-expected holiday sales.The Cincinnati company also cut its full-year earnings and sales forecasts. The chain reported that same-store sales rose about 1 per cent during November-December. Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement that holiday sales started out strong during Black Friday and Cyber Week, but softened in mid-December before picking up steam the week of Christmas.—The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Beirut summit highlights divisions turmoil in Lebanon

first_imgBEIRUT — An Arab economic summit in Lebanon has been marred by controversy days before delegates arrive for the gathering this weekend.Should regional outcast Syria be invited, as demanded by Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah militia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad? And should Libya get a seat at the table, despite the unresolved mystery surrounding the disappearance of a Lebanese cleric in Libya four decades ago?President Michel Aoun is hoping to use the platform to boost Lebanon’s sinking economic credentials. But Lebanon’s powerful parliament speaker, Nabih Berri, disagrees, saying a country paralyzed by its own divisions cannot successfully host a meeting of Arab nations.The turmoil is nothing new to Lebanon, a country fragmented along political fault lines.Zeina Karam And Bassem Mroue, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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UN envoy on Western Sahara continues meetings in North Africa

Christopher Ross, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Personal Envoy, today left the Algerian town of Tindouf, his second stop in the region after visiting the capital, Algiers. Yesterday, he held talks with senior officials of the Frente Polisario, including with its Secretary-General.Those discussions addressed the need to overcome the status quo, the requirements of the negotiations and the pace of work in managing confidence-building measures.The Frente Polisario confirmed its readiness to take part in the next round of talks, slated to be held early next month.Mr. Ross is now heading to Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, and then to Rabat, Morocco, to wrap up preparations for the November talks.“As with my previous visits, this tour of the region has as a principle goal the clearing of roadblocks on the path to constructive negotiations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Frente Polisario,” he told reporters after meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algiers on Monday.“There is no doubt that the status quo is untenable in the long term, given the costs and dangers that it entails, and the parties must now demonstrate the necessary political will to surmount it. This demands negotiations without pre-conditions and in good faith… to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution which provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.”Morocco has presented a plan for autonomy, while the position of the Frente Polisario is that the territory’s final status should be decided in a referendum on self-determination that includes independence as an option.“My hope is to see the parties emerge from the current impasse and start intensive and substantive negotiations in the future of Western Sahara,” the UN official said. 21 October 2010The top United Nations envoy on the status of Western Sahara is continuing discussions in North Africa ahead of the next round of UN-backed talks to resolve the long-running dispute that dates back to 1976 when fighting broke out between Morocco and the Frente Polisario after the end of the Spanish colonial regime. read more

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Curfew reimposed in Kandy special Police teams deployed

A Police curfew has been re-imposed in Kandy until further notice, the Police media division said.The curfew had been lifted yesterday but was  re-imposed in some areas till this morning. Sinhalese mobs angered over the death attacked Muslim owned property including shops, houses and vehicles on Monday.A Muslim man was later found dead in a burnt shop and it was believed he had suffocated from the smoke.Following the violence President Maithripala Sirisena declared a seven day state of emergency and deployed the Police and military to prevent further violence. (Colombo Gazette) Meanwhile, three special Police teams have been deployed to Kandy on the instructions of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara. The Police teams comprises of three Police Deputy Inspector Generals and three Police Superintendents.The violence erupted after a Sinhalese man was killed in the Kandy area by a group of Muslims. However the Police said that the curfew had been re-imposed in the entire Kandy administrative area this morning. read more

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Sudan interethnic fighting forces UN staff to relocate in Western Equatoria state

Fighting between the Dinka tribe and the Zande, who form the majority of the population of Yambio, capital of Western Equatoria state, started yesterday and was continuing today.The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which is helping to consolidate a peace agreement in Southern Sudan ending two decades of war between the Government and rebels, said the inter-tribal fighting had caused casualties, none of them so far from among the UN staff. It had no information on the number.The Mission added that 57 staff of UN agencies and NGOs in Yambio had been relocated today and that due to rising tensions in Tanbura, north of Yambio, the UN is in the process of relocating 44 UN agencies and NGOs there.Western Equatoria has over the recent years been the most stable area in Southern Sudan. There is no final determination of the exact circumstances of the clashes, but preliminary reports indicate that the fighting followed the return of the Governor of the State when initial scuffles at the airport developed into rioting, with Zandes beating Dinkas. read more

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Deputy SecretaryGeneral urges UN budget panel to back management reforms

Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown today urged the United Nations budget committee to back a sweeping set of reforms put forward by Secretary-General Kofi Annan last month to keep step with the shift at the Organization from bureaucratic tasks to life-saving work in the field.“The underlying principle and idea that drives this report (is) that of an Organization which has outgrown its existing business model,” he told the General Assembly’s Administrative and Budgetary (Fifth) Committee in New York.“We needed to lay out – so that we can all sign off on it – the idea that today’s UN is a much more complex, much more diverse, much more fast-moving organization than the UN of the past and despite the heroic efforts of our staff all around the world to deliver on the new demands on they are encumbered by institutional arrangements, by human resource policies by financial regulations, by a lack of investment in field commissions and in management development or IT systems,” he said. “What we are saying here is if you would allow the Secretariat the tools and means to deliver on the responsibilities you’ve tasked it with, it will allow us in return to offer you a much better set of tools to judge our performance by and to hold us accountable for,” Mr. Malloch Brown told delegates.Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented the proposals last month in a report entitled “Investing in the United Nations: For a Stronger Organization Worldwide,” which focuses on ensuring efficiency and accountability in a way that reflects the fact that more than 70 per cent of the $10 billion annual budget now relates to peacekeeping and other field operations, up from around 50 per cent of a $4.5 billion budget ten years ago. In the 16 years since the cold war ended, the Organization has taken on more than twice as many new peacekeeping missions as in the previous 44 years and spending on peacekeeping has quadrupled. Over half of its 30,000 civilian staff now serve in the field – not only in peacekeeping, but also in humanitarian relief, criminal justice, human rights monitoring, supporting national elections, and in the battle against drugs and crime.The proposals encompass a revamped version of how to recruit, contract, train, assign and compensate staff, with an emphasis on bringing conditions for field-based personnel up to par with those at other UN agencies operating in the field. This will include proposals for converting 2,500 existing short-term peacekeeping positions into a new flexible and mobile core of dedicated specialists who can be deployed rapidly in urgent peacekeeping and special political missions. The report proposes significant investment to overhaul the Organization’s information and communications infrastructure by replacing current antiquated, fragmented technology systems with an integrated global platform that should be led by a dedicated Chief Information Technology Officer.Separately, the report identifies significant opportunities to realize cost savings and efficiency gains, recommending that the Secretariat explore options for alternative service delivery, including the potential for relocating core functions from Headquarters to lower cost duty stations and possible outsourcing of less central functions such as printing.In the report, Mr. Annan cautions against complacency, stressing that the proposals must mark the beginning of a process that will be carried over the next several years. “One of the weaknesses of the old culture is precisely the view that a report or a vote in itself represents change,” he notes. “In practice, reports and votes enable and authorize change, but change itself is the long march that follows.”The Secretary-General’s comprehensive reform blueprint was called for in the outcome document adopted by national leaders at last September’s World Summit in New York. read more

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Worlds largest coal producer Coal India chooses Leica Geosystems

first_imgLeica Geosystems will supply seven Coal India Ltd (CIL) coal mines with Leica’s Jigsaw360 Mine Management Systems. CIL supplies coal that generates over 45% of India’s electricity and is striving to improve coal production in line with India’s rapid growth in electricity consumption. One of the key areas of focus is to improve productivity at existing mines by implementing OITDS, advanced optimisation and production monitoring systems. After and exhaustive selection process, says Leica, it has been selected to provide Jigsaw360 fleet management systems for seven sites, using over 500 mining machines.Jigsaw360 enables mines to extract a little more for a little less through intelligent automated dispatch. Anticipated movements of all equipment on site is constantly calculated, allowing haul trucks to be assigned to the shovel of most need via the ‘best path’ route. This ensures haul trucks are kept moving by avoiding queues at shovels and dumps, and travelling via roads which are clear of traffic, spills, and other delays.To match loaders to haul trucks, shovel production is optimised through the deployment of Jigsaw360. Loading tonnage analysis tracks the productivity of the fleet, and the material being hauled to each dump. Shovel operators will see the position and estimated time of arrival of haul trucks, with which they can clearly communicate.Coal India uses 12 draglines to strip overburden across the seven sites. With the enormous amount of material these machines move, each percentage of improved performance will translate to thousands of additional tonnes. Leica Geosystems’ Series 3 dragline monitor is a global benchmark for dragline monitoring, and will help CIL get the most from its investment.Mine management will be aided by a wealth of information available in real time through Leica Geosystems’ Jigsaw360. The ability to make the right decision in a timely fashion impacts performance, Leica provides the right tool to enable this. Information is delivered in real-time, and through reports which clearly summarise the facts management need to know.Leica Geosystems is working in partnership with Elcome technologies, an India based company specialising in leading GPS and communications technologies for the mining industry. Local support and maintenance will be performed from a technical support centre in Kolkata, ensuring CIL can depend on Jigsaw360.Haydn Roberts, CEO – Mining, Hexagon Machine Control, commented that “Coal India’s adoption of Leica Geosystems’ Jigsaw360 fleet management system will deliver enormous benefits in the efficiency of [its] truck, shovel, and dragline fleet. The efficiency improvement in each machine’s performance will add up to huge gains across the site; this will be reflected in increased production levels and lower costs for Coal India. The ongoing support delivered by Leica Geosystems and partners Elcome Technologies will ensure Coal India can rely on these gains”.What is being supplied:last_img read more

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Man proposes at Facebook HQ after falling in love with a stranger

first_imgWhen people ask us how we met, we say ‘mutual friends’. And today you meet your mutual friends. Nafis, I love you very much. You’re my best friend. Will you marry me? Source: Jamie HofferberShe said yes. STATUS UPDATE.Speaking to ABC news, Kawalit said “It was funny how I jumped on the social network to catch up with long-lost friends and ended up meeting the love of my life.”“There is no way we would have ever met if it wasn’t for Facebook,” Joon said.Watch the full proposal here: Source: microlivenews999/YouTubeMan uses pint of Guinness to propose in Dublin>Guy uses Kodaline gig to propose to girlfriend> A COUPLE WHO met on Facebook have become engaged after a surprise proposal at the company’s headquarters in California.Steven Kawalit from Ontario, Canada met fiancée Nafis Joon when he ‘poked’ her after she appeared on his Facebook timeline back in 2007. The pair kept talking and started going out after Joon agreed to a date.Kawalit decided to keep the spontaneous Facebook theme in their relationship by proposing in Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, telling his now-fiancée that he had won a competition for a free tour.While the two were posing for a photo in Hacker Square, a Facebook employee asked them to turn around, revealing the words ‘Nafis, will you marry me?’ on the big screen. Source: Jamie HofferberSurrounded by CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO and leaner-inner Sheryl Sandberg, he got down on one knee.last_img read more

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SNL Introduces Amazon Echo Silver for Seniors

first_img Does your grandma fight to be understood by modern technology? Can’t get your grandpa to stop telling the same rambling stories over and over?Why not gift them a new Amazon Echo Silver, as seen on Saturday Night Live.In a faux ad (below) aired over the weekend, Amazon and AARP promote a smart speaker designed specifically for “the greatest generation.”Echo Silver trades the traditional sleek black cylinder for a wood-grain barrel, complete with gold accents and matching stand—a perfect fit for any retirement home decor.The super loud device responds to any name “even remotely close to ‘Alexa’” (including “Excedrin” and “Alopecia”), and comes with an “Uh huh” feature for long-winded anecdotes.An upgrade from its predecessor, Echo Silver resignedly carries on conversations with even the most senile of users.“Allegra, what is the weather outside?” an aged Kate McKinnon asks the appliance.“It is 74 degrees and sunny,” the Echo replies.“Huh?”“It is 74 degrees and sunny.”“Where?”“Outside.”“What about it?”“The temperature outside is 74 degrees and sunny.”“I don’t know about that,” McKinnon says warily.The Echo Silver is available now for three easy payments of $9.99; interested buyers can send a check or money order to Amazon.com.Unlike some targets of the late-night comedy’s mockery, the e-commerce business is taking the joke in stride: It tweeted on Sunday about the spot-on sketch with a “face with tears of joy” emoji.As seen on SNL: An Echo designed for the greatest generation that will answer to any name close to Alexa pic.twitter.com/uqN1FRT7uP— Amazon (@amazon) May 14, 2017SNL‘s parody comes only days after Amazon rolled out new calling and messaging functions to Echo and Echo Dot devices, as well as the Alexa app for iOS and Android.Folks can now use the voice, video, or “Drop In” features to call or send a message to anyone with a supported Echo device (including the new $230 Echo Show) or accompanying mobile app—for free.Keep in mind, however, that activation requires you to give Alexa permission to access your phone’s contacts. Stay on target Geek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your WallsGeek Pick: Amazon Echo Show 5 Is a Nightstand Alexa Display last_img read more

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Caesars takes part in 2019 Tomakomai Arts Festival

first_img Suncity Group, Bloomberry Resorts unveil Wakayama IR visions RelatedPosts Aside from the traditional kaleidoscopes, visitors were also able to experience taking pictures of themselves through large kaleidoscopes and other rare types of kaleidoscopes.In a statement, Caesars said it “highly values being a part of the local community where we do business, and Japan is no exception. As a business with a commitment to contributing to the wellbeing of communities, we are honored that the Tomakomai Arts Festival graciously hosted us at the event.” Load More Caesars Entertainment Japan has taken part in the annual Tomakomai Arts Festival – an event for members of the Tomakomai community offering the opportunity to learn about and interact with art via workshops, music and dance, among other experiences.Caesars held a booth at the festival last week where members of community could experience different types of kaleidoscopes. Present at the booth was Mr Ikuya Mitsui, Director of Kaleidoscope Lab Sapporo, who has held exhibitions on kaleidoscopes across Japan and in the local Hokkaido area. This year also marks 200 years since kaleidoscopes were first introduced to Japan in the Edo period. Osaka approves Yumeshima site for commercial development in latest IR move Suncity Group looking to develop new resort hotel in Okinawa, Japan after US$10 million land purchaselast_img read more

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People on the Move 071510

first_imgFormer New York Observer editor Peter W. Kaplan has been named editorial director at Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group. Most recently, Kaplan served as editorial creative director at Condé Nast Traveler, a title he held since leaver the Observer in 2009.Ziff Davis Enterprise appointed Jeff Strief president of Enterprise Business, replacing Dave Colford, who has left the company. Strief previously has held executive-level positions at Icarus Studios, Vivendi Universal Interactive and CMP Media (UBM).Time Inc.’s Fortune announced a number of personnel changes: former Roll Call staff writer Tory Newmyer joined the magazine as a writer, Bill Powell was promoted to editor-at-large, Jessei Hempel was promoted to senior writer and Doris Burke was promoted to senior research editor. Meredith Corp. named Laura Kalehoff executive editor of American Baby magazine. Most recently, Kalehoff served as senior editor at Self.Johnnie Roberts has joined Hollywood trade news site TheWrap as editor-at-large. Previously, Roberts served as senior writer at Newsweek.New York magazine named Amy Larocca fashion director. Previously, Larocca served as a contributing editor writing primarily about fashion.Julia Fry was named advertising director at Details magazine. Fry most recently served as advertising manager at Harper’s Bazaar.Future US promoted John Gower to vice president of Future Plus, the company’s custom publishing division. Previously, Gower served as the group’s director.Condé Nast appointed Laura Frerer-Schmidt associate publisher of advertising at Self. Previously, Laura Frerer-Schmidt served as international advertising director at W magazine. Her appointment is effective July 28.Digital luxury lifestyle magazine for women VIVmag named Adrienne Wallace vice president of brand marketing. Most recently, Wallace served as executive director and CEO of Girls Inc. of Southwestern Connecticut. Before that she served as senior marketing manager of new business development and strategic partnerships at Time Warner.last_img read more

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Students continue protest for fifth day

first_imgStudents stage demonstration at Shantinagar intersection in Dhaka demanding justice of the death of their two fellows in a road accident on 29 July. Photo: Farjana LiakatStudents of different schools and colleges took to the streets for the 5th consecutive day on Thursday, demanding punishment of those responsible for Sunday’s road accident that killed their two fellows in the city and resignation of the shipping minister for his comments on the accident, reports UNB.Although the government shut down all the educational institutions across the country for Thursday, students wearing uniform and holding bag took to the streets across Dhaka in the morning.Witnesses said a group of students of Rajdhahi Ideal School and College gathered in Mouchak area in the city and continued their demonstrations.Besides, students blocked streets at Dhanmondi 27, Kabi Nazrul Govt College road, House Building areas in Uttara in the morning.Meanwhile, the students of Mohammadpur Government College and Mohammadpur Central College blocked Asad Gate area around 10:00am, halting traffic on the busy road.They were also seen checking license of vehicles plying the streets.Commuters in the city faced trouble due to shortage of public transports in the city as various modes vehicles went off the streets fearing vandalism, causing sufferings to people.In most places, people were seen moving on foot to reach their destinations while many using rickshaws.On Sunday, Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, students of the college section of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed as a ‘Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan’ bus ploughed through some students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road.last_img read more

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Deputy Involved In Dennys Death Fired

first_img Share Photo: Harris County Sheriff’s OfficeChauna Thompson.A Harris County sheriff’s deputy charged with murder has been fired.Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says Chauna Thompson has been terminated after an internal affairs investigation.Thompson and her husband, Terry Thompson, are accused of pinning John Hernandez down during an altercation and placing him in a chokehold, leading to his death.Gonzalez says several other officers were reprimanded for their handling of the response to the scene.He’s ordered additional training for deputies who respond at incident scenes.last_img read more

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Body Cameras The Good Vs The Bad

first_imgWhen the mayor of Baltimore City, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Police Commissioner Anthony Batts released a report on ways to reform the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) in the aftermath of two damning videos that surfaced showing Baltimore police officers engaged in seemingly unwarranted violence against citizens, the report included a recommendation to “convene a panel to develop a pathway towards” implementing a body camera program for the BPD. Body cameras, small cameras worn by police officers for the purpose of recording both video and audio interactions with the public, are believed to have the potential to reduce the incidence of use-of-force by police officers. The report cites a study produced by the Police Foundation, an organization that seeks to use social-scientific research to improve policing practices, which found a 50 percent reduction in use-of-force incidents among Rialto, Calif. police officers equipped with cameras, as compared to a control group of officers not wearing cameras.That study was designed to test the effect of an officer’s awareness that she was being recorded on her likelihood to use force. It did not investigate the question of whether citizens were more likely to engage in behavior that required a use-of-force response from officers if those citizens knew they were being recorded, but the study does note that in the case of the officers equipped with cameras, physical contact was initiated by citizens in all of the use-of-force incidents, whereas in the 17 use-of-force incidents in which control group officers were involved, physical contact was initiated by police in four of those instances.For the last 18 months, the police department in Laurel, Md. (LPD) has equipped its officers with body cameras worn on a sunglass or headband mounts, recording interactions with the public from the officer’s point of view. According to Deputy Chief James Brooks of the LPD, the cameras are always on and officers press the record button during any citizen contact in the public domain and let citizens know they are being recorded with both video and audio.If the officer is in an area where a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a home or a hospital room, the officer only records if consent is given. Once the officer hits record, the camera saves the previous 30 seconds of video (no audio is saved on this portion of the recording), and the camera then records video and audio until the officer subsequently turns off the recording.Brooks says that though some officers were apprehensive at first about the new equipment, the value of the cameras for the purpose of documenting and collecting evidence, training and even resolving complaint issues (officers can now sit down with complainants and explain why they acted as they did in a given situation with reference to the recorded interaction), has ultimately won the day. Since implementing the body camera program, Brooks says the LPD has seen an approximately 30 percent decline in use-of-force incidents.“[The body camera] kind of just puts everybody on the same playing field,” said Brooks.  “It’s a document of what actually occurred. It’s going to change behavior in both the citizen in some cases, and the officers in some cases, so I think it’s a win-win.”For David Rocah, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, Maryland, police-worn body cameras can provide critical evidence for determining whether any misconduct occurred during a police-citizen interaction, but they are limited to documenting single instances and cannot address broader cultural issues within a police department.“It’s critical that in our focus on police body cameras, we don’t lose sight of their limitations, and don’t lose sight of the importance of data collection and meaningful data analysis, and accountability by police departments—something that Baltimore is currently not really doing and not good at. That’s a critical defect,” said Rocah in a conversation with the AFRO.While Rocah believes that if a body camera program is implemented, all interactions between the public and police in which an officer is exercising her police authority should be required to be recorded, he says that policy protections must be in place in order to prevent the cameras from turning into a dangerous surveillance tool, used to compile information on all persons in Baltimore or all persons in certain communities.There are also important questions about how long recorded interactions should be stored, and while he understands law enforcement’s desire to keep recordings for the entire statutory period of limitations for filing a complaint against an officer, that period is three years, an amount of time over which a massive amount of data could be collected and saved.“I think if the data is going to be kept for that long, then there has to be, preferably legislative but at the very least policy, prohibitions on accessing that data for any purpose other than to assess whether misconduct occurred in a particular incident, or when the video itself is evidence to be used in a criminal case against a member of the public,” said Rocah.In a letter dated March 25, Sen. Brian Frosh and Del. Joseph Vallario Jr., made a request of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to form a work group to consider how the state might move forward on the use of body cameras. According to Kisha Brown, director of legislative affairs and of civil rights for the Maryland Attorney General, the work group will consist of persons in the law enforcement, legislative and civil rights advocacy arenas.“I’m hoping that bringing all these stakeholders together will provide for a more in-depth and knowledgeable discussion around body cameras,” said Brown.The work group is set to have its first meeting on Oct. 23, and is expected to make its recommendations on the implementation of body cameras by Dec. 1 to both chairs of the Judiciary Committee. The work group’s findings will set the stage for whether the General Assembly might act and how long such action may take to materialize.“Depending on the complexity and the parameters of the proposed language, something like this could take a year, or it could take multiple sessions,” said Brown. “But I think there is energy around doing something around this issue, not only in Maryland but around the country.” ralejandro@afro.comlast_img read more

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Justice Leagues Susan Eisenberg on What It Means to Be Wonder Woman

first_img A large portion of DC fans will tell you that the best Batman isn’t Adam West or Michael Keaton or Christian Bale. It’s Kevin Conroy, the voice of the caped crusader in the landmark Batman: The Animated Series and the entire DC Animated Universe that cartoon spawned. 15 years later, that universe expanded with Justice League and highlighted another performer’s definitive take on an iconic DC superhero: Susan Eisenberg as Wonder Woman. For both the 15th anniversary of Justice League the cartoon and the 75th anniversary of Wonder Woman the character, we got the chance to talk with Eisenberg about what it’s like to play everyone’s favorite animated Amazon.What was it like auditioning for the role?It was exciting and scary. There was a lot of pressure because it’s a really big job and you know it’s going to be a game changer. I met with Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano. They explained what they were looking for. Bruce showed me a picture of Diana, how she looked in the series. They really wanted me to have the qualities of her being a princess and her being a warrior. So that princess quality of someone who grew up in this very cherished place, Themyscira, and this warrior quality of being this Amazon of extraordinary strength and fierceness. So I tried to balance that.Did you base your performance off of previous portrayals of the character?No, I never got told something like “Remember how Linda Carter did it.” I never got the sense that was important to them. They were creating a standalone show, and they were very clear about their vision for it, which was lucky for me because I didn’t have a lot of baggage going in. I wasn’t a comic book fan growing up. It’s not like I had all these ideas about the character. I was able to receive their ideas.Have you become more familiar with the mythology?I still find it pretty confusing. I do love the Greek mythology. I loved it in college. I really responded to that. I love that version of her. It’s so mythic. I did get more familiar because I read some things and the fans helped me a lot. I met some writers and artists and tried to educate myself a bit.via DC ComicsHow do you think your performance has evolved over the years?When I started, I was terrified. I had been in some shows before, I had done some animation, but I had never been a series regular. I was really quite green. But that worked for the character because she was so young and naive. It was her first time leaving Themyscira, leaving her mother, about to leave this island and go to this unknown place on this unknown journey.As the show evolved, I evolved as an actor. I got more comfortable, and I got to know the people I was working with better. Andrea and I had more of a shorthand. It was never not exciting to pull into the WB parking lot. It never lost its magic. It still has it to me when I go even now. There’s still that giddiness that I feel like I felt in 2001. But the fear is less, so that’s a good thing. That paralyzing fear, that’s not there as much.What do you think has made Wonder Woman such an enduring icon?She’s rare. She’s one of the only female superheroes. She’s standalone character. She doesn’t depend on Superman or Batman to define her. She’s not somebody’s niece or aunt or love interest. She’s her own person. What she believes in and what she stands for are timeless. People are drawn to the simplicity of good triumphing over evil, especially in a complicated world where we see that doesn’t always happen.I also think she appeared as a beacon for so many people because she provides that sense that it’s going to be okay. She’s got your back. I love that she speaks to people on the fringes or maybe aren’t represented. Her fanbase is massive. When you meet the fans, if they watched or read her while growing up, she helped them get through a difficult bullying phase or political time. She’s always that beacon of hope. She is still is now and is even bigger because more people are aware of her now.Have you met Gal Gadot?I adore her. I just met her in our respective agents’ lobby. I introduced myself to her. She could not have been more gracious. I was lucky enough to get a photo with her.I think we should give her the space to be extraordinary because I think she will be. When it announced she was going to be Wonder Woman everyone had an opinion whether it was positive or negative. With Batman v. Superman, she came out looking the best in that movie. People were so excited to see her, and with the new clips now they’re anticipating the Wonder Woman movie in the best possible way. I’ve talked to Patty Jenkins a little bit, and she has such respect for the fans and such belief and understanding in this character. I have enormous faith in the project. There are too many phenomenal components to not believe.Do you have any words of advice for Gadot or any other actress who may play the character one day?They have their own journey to go on, just like I did and still do. Gal has got a great team. I don’t think there’s anything I could tell her that she doesn’t know or won’t experience going down the road. She’ll hopefully be playing Wonder Woman for a long time. I think the essence of Wonder Woman is her strength but also her compassion. I think anyone who voices her or plays her has to discover that because that’s what makes her extraordinary as a character.Would you be open to any kind of Justice League revival?The truth is, I’m an actor, and at the end of the day there’s that hope that I could keep playing the role forever and ever. The reality is you don’t know. When you get asked to do it, like with Injustice or another project, you’re just overjoyed and grateful it continues. There’s no character I want to play more, frankly.But I can’t fathom bringing Justice League back. We had five seasons. That’s a long run. Young Justice had two, and it was very much left up in the air. There were unanswered questions. We went off the air knowing we were going off the air. When we had the big finale where I get to say “The Adventure Continues” with all of us flying off the staircase. That was a real ending. It had music and a crescendo. It was quite dramatic. Young Justice fans didn’t have any of that.What would be phenomenal would be an animated Justice League movie, especially with the live-action film coming up. All of us would relish that so much. Last year I was able to get everyone together at New York Comic Con for a reunion. We read from scripts for Justice League, and we were all together for the first time since 2006. It felt magical. After that experience, all of us, including 3,000 fans at the panel, felt like, “Gosh, when can we do this again?”Watch live video from on www.twitch.tvThey could have all of us back at any time. That’s an actor’s life. You’re waiting for a phone call. They have their own reasons for doing things. I don’t know what they are because I’m not in those rooms (where it happens). I know that all of us cherish our time on the show and that we’d all love to have a reunion tour of some kind, in a show or a movie. It’s heartening to know people do care about who’s voicing what and when those people aren’t chosen to be on the show or movie again.Revisit Justice League by buying the series on Amazon (the website not the warrior women). Stay on target 11 Groundbreaking Female Comic Book ArtistsToy Tuesday: 11 Coolest Toys of 2018 last_img read more

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New era Myanmar set to open first stock exchange by October

first_img“Our target date is October 2015 at the latest. But it may be earlier,” he said on Tuesday from the capital Naypyidaw, adding that “no more than five companies” would be listed on the stock exchange to begin with. Myanmar’s central bank signed a joint venture agreement with Japan Exchange Group and Daiwa Institute of Research, the research arm of Daiwa Securities Group, last month to set up and run the Yangon Stock Exchange following years of discussions. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashMyanma Economic Bank will own the controlling 51 per cent stake in the Yangon Stock Exchange Joint-Venture Company with the remainder divided between the Japanese partners, the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Wednesday. The newspaper quoted Maung Maung Thein as saying Myanmar was one of only nine countries in the world, including North Korea and Brunei, without a stock exchange.“We will be able to exit the list of countries with no stock exchange soon,” he said. Since the end of outright military rule in 2011, Myanmar has moved to liberalise its economy as part of wider reforms aiming to lure international companies as the once cloistered nation seeks to rebuild its economy.Japanese businesses in particular have been active in the country with strong backing from Tokyo, which has cancelled billions of dollars of debt and offered massive aid grants.last_img read more

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Original Tamagotchi review The reboot of the 90s classic is still

first_imgDisclosureEvery product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.Image: jake krol/mashableBy Jake Krol2018-11-17 02:13:00 UTC Choose from either classic colors (Gen 1) or new colors (Gen 2) • Includes original addictive gameplay • Small size makes it super-portableNon-backlit display is antiquated • Battery isn’t rechargableThe Bottom LineOther than some color updates, there isn’t much new to be had in the Gen 1 and Gen 2 Tamagotchis. But simplicity is the point: This is a fun, affordable pet-simulation toy that owners of the original will find irresistible. In 2017, Bandai marked the 20th anniversary of the Tamagotchi with a miniature version of the electronic pet. Now, the company is hoping to capitalize on ’90s nostalgia by re-releasing the original.I’ve been trying the new collections (called Gen 1 and Gen 2), which are still in the iconic handheld egg-shaped form, for a week.There isn’t a whole lot that’s new about these Tamagotchi collections. Gen 1 comes in the same colors and with the same software as the original. Gen 2 has some newer designs (I love the galaxy one with its adorable space theme) and identical software except for the game.With these two Tamagotchi collections offering little in the way of new features, are they anything more than a nostalgia play?Ultimate portabilityBandai has brought back the original size and egg shape.Image: jake krol/mashableBack in the day, the Tamagotchi ushered in a wave of handheld toys that used non-backlit displays to recreate sports, favorite TV show characters, and, of course, pets. And even in this modern day of handheld devices with color touchscreens, little has changed about the Tamagotchi. It’s still the iconic digital pet, and yep, it needs a lot of attention. In their prime, Tamagotchis didn’t have to compete with the constant pings of phones or smartwatches.Bandai is still using a plastic build that’s outfitted in various finishes. There are several color choices across Gen 1 and Gen 2. I personally like the classic yellow color with some light blue accents, or the previously mentioned galaxy-themed Gen 2. It reminds me a lot of the galaxy-themed 3DS from Nintendo.Gen 1 comes in all the original colors from 1997: purple with pink, translucent blue, rainbow, striped tiger, pink with yellow, white with black, red glitter, and a mermaid. Gen 2 has eight new colors including white and pink, black and silver, green glitter, leopard, blue with silver, yellow with blue, galaxy, and white with colorful characters. Both feature a metal ball chain attached to the top of the egg, allowing you to attach it to your key chain or belt loop to keep it from getting lost. It also turns the Tamagotchi into a bit of a fashion statement.Previous iterations of the Tamagotchi introduced smaller sizes and smartphone integration, but the Gen 1 and Gen 2 revert back to the original dimensions.It’s an eye test for someA slightly updated brand logo is above the display.Image: jake krol/mashableThe Gen 1 and Gen 2 also keep the Tamagotchi’s classic non-backlit LCD screen, which is about the size of a quarter. It works well on this tiny device, but still seems a bit antiquated in the age of color touchscreens.Don’t get me wrong: It’s certainly usable, and it doesn’t drain the battery the way a pixel-packed color screen would. However, I found it could be hard to see the screen clearly in direct sunlight or low-lit conditions.The small screen can be a test for some eyes, though. I found myself squinting to play at times. The pro side of this rudimentary screen is that battery life doesn’t take a hit, and you should even get an extended playtime thanks to the battery improvements. These 2018 Tamagotchis use a CR2032 battery, most commonly used to power watches and Tile trackers. When it comes to replacing it, you will need to pop off the back of the handheld and swap in a new one.Familiar gameplayThree buttons below the screen are used to control the device.Image: jake krol/mashableSince the original Tamagotchi, other virtual pet games have added more connectivity, stronger hardware, and a more modern experience. For instance, many iOS tap games require you to frequently play them.Once the egg-shaped game is out of the box, starting it up simply involves pulling a white tab out of the right-hand side. Once the device is turned on, you’ll see an egg appear on the screen (representing your unhatched animal), and you’re prompted to set the time. You can control the game using the three buttons, referred to simply as  A, B, and C, below the display. The buttons control various aspects of the gaming experience. For instance, when setting the time, A controls the hour, B controls the minutes, and C locks the time in. One trick that I employed was to set the time a bit behind. That way, you have some time to get ready in the morning before your Tamagotchi hounds you for attention.Once the unit is turned on, it takes 5 minutes for the animal to hatch. After that, your new friend will ping you every few minutes to take care of his or her needs. I recommend feeding the Tamagotchi first by selecting the knife and fork. The Gen 1 and Gen 2 models are loaded with different games. Gen 1 includes a game that involves guessing the direction the animal will move in. As the animal ages up, he or she will become better at stumping you. On Gen 2 you have a number guessing game, in which you’re presented a number from 1 to 10, and guess if the next number will be high or lower. This game is easier than the direction game of the Gen 1, since fewer choices means a better chance of winning. Truthfully there is no way to game the system — both of these come down to chance.It’s like having a pet — one that needs a ton of attentionThe Tamagotchi includes a chain that you can use to attach it to your key ring or belt loop.Image: jake krol/mashableWith all of the pings that the Tamagotchi brings hits you with, it makes me feel like I have a pet. Along with that comes the anxiety of taking care of a “living” thing. I found myself continuously worrying about whether my pet needed food, to be played with, to have its poop cleaned, or to have the lights turned off. While you might get the feeling of guilt or anxiousness, the neediness of the Tamagotchi can also be an enjoyable time-waster.At at easy-to-swallow $19.99, it’s a fun, addictive handheld game, even if it comes with a small side of anxiety. If you had a Tamagotchi or another virtual pet toy growing up, I think you’ll enjoy either Gen 1 or Gen 2. The nostalgia factor here is cool, especially given that you can pick the color of your original Tamagotchi. Throw in the eminently affordable price and you have this holiday’s perfect stocking stuffer. Original Tamagotchicenter_img Mashable Score4.0 Cool Factor4.0Learning Curve4.0Performance3.0Bang for the Buck5.0last_img read more

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Cuba says terror list banking issues are blocking better ties with the

first_imgRelated posts:No opening date for US, Cuba embassies; more talks set As talks with US begin, Cubans anticipate changes in their lives US says next round of Cuba talks to take place in Havana on Monday Why Midwestern farmers want to break the Cuba embargo HAVANA, Cuba — With the United States and Cuba set to resume talks Friday in Washington on the restoration of diplomatic relations, a senior Cuban official said his government wants to be removed from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring nations and to be able to reopen U.S. bank accounts in order for the process to move forward.While President Barack Obama has asked the State Department to review Havana’s inclusion on the terrorism blacklist, Cuba’s formal removal would “create the favorable context” for the two countries to once more have formal embassies in their respective capitals, said Gustavo Machín, vice director for U.S. relations at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry.“How could we explain to the Cuban people, the American public and the rest of the world that the U.S. and Cuba have restored relations while Cuba remains on that list?” Machín said Wednesday morning at a news conference for Cuban and international reporters.Cuba’s lead negotiator, Josefina Vidal, will meet Friday in Washington with Roberta Jacobson, the top U.S. diplomat for Latin America, as they continue talks that began last month in Havana.U.S. officials are eager for the negotiations to advance swiftly, with Obama preparing to attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama, to be held April 10 and 11. He is likely to receive praise for his opening to Cuba from other leaders in the region, especially from allies who have argued that U.S. sanctions against the island are counterproductive and an anachronism of the Cold War.Still, Cuba cannot be fully removed from the State Department’s list of terrorism-sponsoring nations — which includes Iran, Syria and Sudan — until a 45-day waiting period has elapsed. U.S. lawmakers are supposed to review the president’s decision in that period, but it does not require congressional approval to take effect. The White House has not yet set the 45-day process in motion.The Castro government has been on the list since 1982, mostly for giving refuge to ETA Basque militants and Colombian FARC rebels. But the presence of the ETA members in Cuba is a product of an agreement with the Spanish government, and Havana is hosting landmark peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government.Still, Cuba’s presence on the terror list remains a red flag for international financial institutions wary of doing business with the island because of the U.S. trade embargo. Cuba’s diplomatic mission in Washington and its United Nations office in New York have been without access to banking services since last year, and Cuban officials say they cannot operate an embassy without a checking account.“We’re looking for a response that will offer a solution to this,” said Machín, adding that Havana’s negotiators were headed to Washington “in a constructive spirit.”Machín also said that the United States had accepted Cuba’s proposal to hold bilateral talks on human rights issues, though a date has not been scheduled.Rights violations by Havana’s one-party communist government are a recurring issue between the two longtime adversaries, but Cuban officials say they have their own concerns about abuses in the United States, citing cases of police violence against African Americans.Read more of our Cuba coverage here© 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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FBI investigating San Bernardino shooting as act of terrorism

first_imgRelated posts:In the wake of attack on Paris newspaper, extremists take to Twitter to celebrate World leaders express outrage over attack on Paris publication Australian politician calls for US travel warning after California shooting Obama tries to ease anxiety over terror attacks with Oval Office address The California shooting thatkilled 14 people on Wednesday is being investigated as an “act of terrorism,” David Bowdich, assistant FBI director in Los Angeles, said at a news conference Friday.One of the attackers, Tashfeen Malik, swore a pledge of allegiance to the head of Islamic State before the deadly rampage via a Facebook page that she kept under an alias, according to a U.S. law enforcement official. Bowdich said “a number of pieces of evidence” have led to the FBI treating the attack as a terrorism investigation, without confirming the Facebook post.Investigators have also found that Malik’s husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, who waged the Dec. 2 attack with her, had adopted radical Islamic views and was in touch with a number of people in California who were subjects of federal terrorism probes, according to the official, who described the matter on condition of anonymity. This image obtained from the San Bernardino County Sheriff, shows weapons carried by the suspects in the Dec. 2, 2015 mass shooting during a holiday party at the Inland Regional Center, which provides services for people with disabilities. AFP/San Bernardino County SheriffAuthorities have been scouring the couple’s online communications and phone records as they try to determine a motive for the attack at a social services center in the California city that killed 14 people and injured 21. Farook and Malik — who were clad in black, tactical gear — fled the scene and died in a gun battle with police in a nearby residential neighborhood.The second mass killing in a week in the U.S. has intensified fears that terrorists are preparing to wage a Paris-style attack on U.S. soil. After the shootings, authorities found a dozen pipe bomb devices in the couple’s home along with thousands of rounds of ammunition, San Bernardino police chief Jarrod Burguan said.“The FBI is leading this investigation, as the president said yesterday, because of the possibility that this is a terrorist attack,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday. He declined to confirm reports of Malik’s Facebook post. A reporter does a live shot inside the home of shooting suspect Syed Farook on Dec. 4, 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFPIn her Facebook posting, the U.S. official said, Malik swore allegiance to the head of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who is being pursued by the U.S.-led coalition targeting the extremist group’s strongholds in Syria and Iraq. Malik also posted images of herself and the couple’s six-month-old daughter, though some information was deleted in the days leading up to the shooting, the official said.The attackers were characterized as supporters of Islamic State in a report by the Amaq news network, which has previously aired the extremist group’s claims of responsibility for attacks.Bowdich said that “extensive planning” went into the attacks. Investigators have recovered crushed cellphones and other digital media that is being examined for evidence.The FBI is aware of a Facebook post by Malik, he said, but investigators are not yet sure about whether the attacks were inspired or directed by Islamic State. Investigators on Dec. 3, 2015 process the shooters’ vehicle. Patrick T. Fallon/AFPPolice have recovered thumb drives, computers and mobile phones from the couple’s apartment in nearby Redlands. Another U.S. official, describing the scene on condition of anonymity, said that some of the devices were damaged or destroyed in an apparent attempt by the attackers to cover their tracks.Using phone records, investigators know that Farook was in conversation with at least several people under FBI investigation for possible ties to terrorism, according to the official. But they don’t know the nature of those conversations and are chasing leads to prevent future violence and to determine whether Farook and his wife were part of a terrorist network.Farook, a U.S. citizen, had traveled to Saudi Arabia about a month ago for unknown reasons, according to another U.S. official, who also requested anonymity. Malik, who held a Pakistani passport, came to the U.S. on a K-1, or “fiance,” visa that she obtained in Pakistan, said Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman.Bowdich told reporters in a briefing on Thursday that Malik had entered the U.S. in July 2014.Farook had been employed by San Bernardino County for five years, most recently as an environmental specialist, and had worked with some of the victims, who were attending a holiday party at the center. He and Malik used rapid-fire, semi-automatic rifles to spray the room with as many as 75 shots, Burguan said.“Clearly they were equipped,” he said, and “could have done another attack.” Overwhelming grief at the San Manuel Stadium during a memorial. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFPThe two semi-automatic rifles and two handguns that Farook and Malik were armed with had been legally purchased, authorities said. Besides the pipe bombs, authorities also found tools for constructing explosive devices, Burguan said.The U.S. and other nations have been on heightened alert following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris by extremists linked to Islamic State. The shootings and bombings killed 130 people and prompted France, Germany and Britain to step up the offensive against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. In a statement from the White House on the day before Thanksgiving, President Barack Obama said the government had seen no credible intelligence suggesting plots against the U.S.In an Oval Office appearance on Thursday, Obama raised the possibility that the shootings were related to terrorism, though he emphasized that authorities didn’t know the motive. He also said every U.S. citizen has a part to play in trying to prevent this kind of violence, including making weapons more difficult to obtain.The president’s comments were the second time he’s had to address a mass shooting in the past week. During a news conference Tuesday in Paris, Obama said he hoped a Nov. 27 shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic that left at least three dead and nine wounded would spur “conversation and action” on gun control.It’s important for “all of us, including our legislatures, to see what we can do to make sure that when individuals decide that they want to do somebody harm, we’ll make it a little harder for them to do it because right now, it’s just too easy,” he said.Related: Australian politician calls for US travel warning after California shootingBloomberg’s Esmé E. Deprez, James Nash and Toluse Olorunnipa contributed.© 2015, Bloomberg News Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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China Southern Wins Melbourne Award

first_imgChina Southern Airlines’ Melbourne General Manager Adam Zhang accepts a coveted Melbourne Award for the airline’s growing role in connecting the Victorian capital with Asia and the rest of the world.Last year China Southern increased flights between its southern China hub Guangzhou and Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport from three per week to daily carrying almost 80,000 passengers on the return sector. From October 31, 2011, until February 15, 2012, the airline will double its daily flights to 14 per week to keep up with demand during the busy Summer Peak.The Melbourne Awards were set up in 2003 to formally recognise “people and organisations … who inspire and challenge others to help create a better Melbourne”. Winners are selected through a robust judging process that connects entrants with industry leaders who often become ambassadors for the achievements they witness. Source = China Southern Airlines Adam Zhanglast_img read more

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