Will Beheading of French Hostage by ISIS Affect Moroccos Tourism

Marrakech – The beheading of the French hostage Hervé Gourdel in Algeria in the notoriously dangerous terrorist area of Kabilye has caused a drop in tourist bookings according to the President of the French Travel Agents Union. Morocco, which is secure and does not have the long running terrorism problems that has afflicted Algeria since 1992, suffers by association because it is part of North Africa and it is an Islamic country.There is an irrational fear amongst Westerners when they come to an Islamic country like Morocco that they might be in danger. Morocco and its Malakite rite of Islam is the most welcoming Muslim country in the world and values its Western tourists. Algeria has a negligible tourism industry due entirely to its ongoing terrorism problem. Morocco’s internal security forces are highly effective, and although there are regular arrests of members of networks linked to ISIS and Al Qaeda attempting to send young Moroccans to fight in Syria and Iraq, they have never been able to develop to a dangerous level. There is a threat, as there is in every country, from Islamist terrorists but Morocco has a better surveillance system than most countries.In 1991 during the first Gulf War, western governments ordered their nationals to leave all Maghreb countries. In Morocco’s case, it was recognized afterwards that there was no need for this action, which severely affected Moroccan tourism at the time. The Europeans who remained in Morocco experienced no problem whatsoever.The situation in Morocco in 2014 is different. There is a serious terrorist threat and no country can be entirely sure that all terrorist threats, particularly “lone wolves” unattached to any terrorist network (like the 2011 Argana Café bombing in Marrakech) might strike. Such is the state of the 21st century world, characterized by global terrorism.However, unlike in 1991, tourist centers and towns now have expatriate populations, many of whom work in the tourist industry in riads or hotels. These individuals are committed supporters of tourism in Morocco. No other country in North Africa has this positive tourism environment, and it plays a considerable role in building solidarity and client loyalty with Morocco as the number of tourists coming to the country continues to grow.The Moroccan Tourism Office is holding events for tour operators and the press in France and in Britain this November during the World Travel Market to reassure tour operators of tourist safety in Morocco. This has been a recurring theme over the years, but Morocco’s tourism continues to grow because it is deservedly popular, offers many varied locations, and is embraced by the kingdom’s residents.In fact, Morocco’s tourism figures and rate of return may be said to be more threatened by an alarming increase in the amount of time tourists have to wait to get their passport stamped on entry at Marrakech airport, where 50% of Morocco’s tourists enter the country. Delays of one-and-a-half to two hours are now commonplace, almost as long as the flight time from Europe to Marrakech. Unresponsive immigration staff with only half the number of passport officers on duty at any one time, and the need to put details into computers by hand causes unnecessary delays, which often results in tourists hesitance to return to Morocco.This has been a problem of varying intensity for years. Tourists have asked if there is a way flights could be staggered so that they do not all land at once, or a more efficient entry system for passport details and stamps which do not fade on the passport. Practical details such as this are an important way of smoothing the way for tourist arrivals so that the number of tourists continues to increase.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

President Obama Immigrants and Refugees Revitalize and Renew America

New York – American President Barack Obama gave a touching speech about the importance of immigrants in America during a naturalization ceremony on December 15, at the National Archives in Washington D.C.The U.S. President, who was speaking during the ceremony marking the 224th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, recalled how America is a country populated by immigrants and is the quality that makes it exceptional.“There’s something unique about America. We don’t simply welcome new immigrants, we don’t simply welcome new arrivals — we are born of immigrants. That is who we are. Immigration is our origin story,” Obama said. “For more than two centuries, it’s remained at the core of our national character; it’s our oldest tradition. It’s who we are. It’s part of what makes us exceptional,” he added.President Obama reminded Americans that the U.S. is a melting pot where people have come from every corner of the world seeking a better life.“After all, unless your family is native American, one of the first Americans, our families, all of our families, come from the someplace else,” he highlighted.“The first refugees were the pilgrims themselves, fleeing religious persecution, crossing the stormy Atlantic to reach a new world where they might live and pray freely,” he said.The American leader believes Americans must remember where they came from as a way to foster tolerance and understand that immigrants are a crucial part of the U.S.“How quickly we forget. One generation passes, two generation passes, and suddenly we don’t remember where we came from,” Obama said.“We can never say it often or loudly enough. Immigrants and refugees revitalize and renew America,” he concluded.President Obama’s compelling speech went viral on social media with thousands of people from different countries praising his reassuring message. read more

Video Women Protest Sexual Assault of Moroccan Farmers in Spain

Rabat- Moroccan and Spanish women rallied on Sunday, June 17, in Spain’s Huelva province in a march of solidarity with Moroccan seasonal workers who have been sexually assaulted.The Andalusian Workers’ Syndicate (SAT) organized Sunday’s march in Huelva to denounce the sexual abuse of Moroccan agricultural workers.The syndicate called on the Spanish government to intervene and restore the rights of these seasonal workers. A video of the demonstration captured women as they held banners saying “Work Without Sexual Slavery” and chanted in protest. Some women also ululated in Moroccan style.After a meeting between 18 representatives of agricultural firms and officials from the General Directorate for Migration in January, Spain agreed to hire 10,400 Moroccan agricultural workers to pick strawberries and other berries for the April to June harvest season.In May, the US-based online media company Buzzfeed recounted the stories of several Moroccan women farmers who complained of sexual assault by their employers.Later, four farmers working in Huelva filed complaints against the same supervisor for alleged sexual assault. Shortly after Spanish authorities arrested and questioned the suspect, he was released on bail. Morocco’s Ministry of Employment carried out an investigation to inquire about the conditions of women farmers on Spanish farms.After a Moroccan-Spanish delegation visited the Spanish farms, the ministry maintained that “no specific case of abuse or violation against Moroccan workers was found.” Several news outlets, including Buzzfeed News, Spain’s El Mundo, and El Pais have reported on the conditions of the Moroccan farmers in Heluva.The news outlets recently reported that a mother, seven months pregnant, who traveled to Spain to earn money for her sick son was sexually assaulted by her supervisor.“I will only return to Morocco when the truth breaks out, I want to go home with my head up,” she told El Pais.The workers were scheduled to return to their home country once the agricultural season ends. With the current controversy, it might take longer for them to go back to their families as they wait for justice to take its course. read more

New work rules could help fight against HIVAIDS UN labour agency says

Many countries are taking significant steps to tackle the issue of HIV/AIDS in the workplace and their new regulations could help in the fight against scourge, according to the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO). In a statement today the ILO said that promoting human rights in the workplace for people living with HIV/AIDS would support the drive to achieving universal access to HIV prevention measures, as well as to treatment and care. A new report from the organization, entitled “HIV/AIDS and the World of Work,” finds that more than 70 ILO Member States have, or are in the process of adopting, a general law on HIV/AIDS, while 30 countries are applying, or planning to apply, specific workplace rules. At the same time, the ILO says that HIV is having a devastating effect on the world of work. A majority of the more than 33 million people worldwide now living with HIV are still in work. They are in their most productive years, with skills and experience their families and country can ill afford to lose. However, despite major advances in attitudes and knowledge about AIDS, many workers still face discrimination, stigma and the fear of losing their job. In a related development, the World Bank today called on African countries to continue to champion HIV prevention efforts to slow and reverse the rate of new infections. According to a new report from the Bank, for every infected African starting antiretroviral therapy, another four to six become newly infected. However, rates of infection are falling in countries such as Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, Zimbabwe and parts of Botswana. The World Bank has mobilized more than $1.5 billion to more than 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to combat the epidemic since 2000. 14 May 2008Many countries are taking significant steps to tackle the issue of HIV/AIDS in the workplace and their new regulations could help in the fight against scourge, according to the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO). read more

UN experts call for rebuilding Zimbabwes health food systems

“Zimbabwe’s health system has completely collapsed – it cannot control the cholera outbreak which is spreading throughout the country, with a daily increase in the death toll,” the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, Anand Grover, said of the epidemic which has already infected 20,000 people, killing over 1,100.“New cholera cases are being reported with no medical system or staff with the capacity to contain the epidemic,” he added.Meanwhile, the first ever UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) airlift of critical emergency supplies to Zimbabwe has landed in Harare, the capital, bringing intravenous fluids, drip equipment, essential drugs, midwifery and obstetric kits to boost the agency’s cholera response and help the Government to deliver some essential health services to expecting mothers. “This is a strategic measure to address a desperate situation,” acting UNICEF Country Representative Roeland Monasch said. “We are already supplying 70 per cent of the country’s essential drugs, and these airlifted supplies will further boost UNICEF’s lifesaving support.”The experts, whose comments ranged over a wide range of issues from lack of clean water and food to the unjustified use of force by the authorities and civil rights abuses, expressed particular concern about the closure of the main public hospitals due to lack of medical supplies and health professionals.They also highlighted the shortage of anti-retroviral therapies and essential medicines to treat acute diseases, stressing that the participation of communities was crucial for the development and implementation of plans to rebuild the failing health system and warning that the situation was becoming disastrous and was likely to deteriorate as the rainy season approached. “There is no access to clean water sources and the country is faced with poor sanitation and meagre waste disposal and management infrastructure, greatly exacerbating the incidence of the disease,” the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, said, noting that unsafe drinking water is also contributing to severe malnutrition. The Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, warned there was just not enough food at the national or household level. “An estimated 5.5 million people may need food assistance. Food and agricultural production have decreased drastically. With rising unemployment, and hyperinflation due to several years of economic instability, people have been suffering for too long in Zimbabwe; their right to adequate food has to be fulfilled now.”Ongoing violations of civil and political rights make it harder for the authorities and the people of Zimbabwe to unite and cooperate with the international community to tackle the humanitarian crisis, the experts stressed.“The crisis is compounded by the use of unjustified force by the authorities in response to peaceful demonstrations and the recent abductions of human rights defenders,” the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, said. The Rapporteurs, who are independent unpaid experts reporting to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, noted that Zimbabwe had one of the best public health systems in sub-Saharan Africa, and was considered its ‘breadbasket.’“Stable systems for providing access to health, water, sanitation and food must be restored and respect for civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights assured,” they added, reiterating their willingness to work with the Government and the international community to find urgent solutions to these problems. 22 December 2008Four independent United Nations human rights experts today called on the Government of Zimbabwe and the international community to do more to rebuild the country’s health system, end the worst cholera epidemic ever recorded there and ensure adequate food for all people as millions face hunger. read more

Western Sahara Annan urges POLISARIO to release remaining prisoners of war

“The Secretary-General welcomes this step, which is responsive to numerous Security Council resolutions and presidential statements calling for the release of all prisoners of war,” UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said of today’s repatriation, carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).”The Secretary-General appeals to the Frente POLISARIO to accelerate the release of all remaining POWs, and urges the parties to continue to cooperate with the efforts of the ICRC to resolve the fate of all those unaccounted for since the beginning of the conflict.”Mr. Annan also urged the parties to cooperate with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to embark on early implementation of confidence-building measures, the spokesman added.

Nearly 100 countries sign UN treaty to combat corruption

The UN Convention against Corruption is “a convention with teeth,” the chief of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, told a news conference in Mérida, Mexico, yesterday at the end of a for a three-day signing conference attended by representatives of more than 120 governments.The treaty, which binds ratifying countries to criminalize corrupt practices, develop institutions to prevent corrupt practices and prosecute offenders, will enter into force with ratification by 30 countries, when a Conference of the States parties will be established to monitor compliance.Mr. Costa has expressed confidence in the treaty’s ratification. “I know of no country which has stated its unwillingness to sign and ratify the UN Convention against Corruption,” he said in an earlier statement to the press.By a very rough but conservative estimate, income derived from illicit transactions is 5 per cent of the volume of total global output, World Bank Director for Global Governance Daniel Kaufmann said at a press briefing during the conference, noting that bribes and graft make up at least half of that amount. Given a gross world product of $33 trillion, a low figure for the dollar amount paid out each year in corrupt transactions would be nearly $1 trillion. read more

Liberia UNICEF chief reviews efforts to aid wartraumatized children

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)head Carol Bellamy is on a three-day visit to Liberia to assess progress in reintegrating thousands of youngsters who were abducted, recruited as soldiers or sex slaves and otherwise exploited in the 15-war civil war that tore the West African country apart. Ms. Bellamy will talk to demobilized children now living at a UNICEF-supported interim care centre while efforts to trace their families are underway. She is also scheduled to visit a child-friendly space in a camp for internally displaced people, a drop-in centre for sexually abused children, as well as a vocational training programme. During the war, an estimated 15,000 children were forcibly abducted or recruited as soldiers, cooks, sex slaves and porters. Ms. Bellamy is to meet with the Chairman of the National Transitional Government, Charles Gyude Bryant, as well as the senior UN envoy to the country, Jacques Paul Klein, government ministers, aid agencies, non-governmental organizations and donors. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), with some 16,000 troops and police on the ground, is supporting a ceasefire and peace process between former President Charles Taylor’s forces and two major opposition groups in preparation for elections next year. It is also promoting humanitarian activities. read more

Egypt Ban condemns latest terrorist attacks calls for holistic approach to scourge

He noted that the attack in the north Sinai city reportedly killed Government officials, security personnel and civilians and he extended his “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims and the Government and people of Egypt, and his wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured.“The Secretary-General reiterates his strong belief in the need for a holistic approach to preventing and countering the scourge of terrorism, stressing due regard for international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law,” a statement attributable to the spokesperson said.

Badgers hosting Guelph in mustwin hockey game Friday night

The Brock Badgers men’s hockey team is hosting the Guelph Gryphons in Game 2 of their best-of-three varsity playoff series.After Brock lost Game 1 to Guelph 5-1 Thursday night, Game 2 is now a must-win for the Badgers.Friday’s game will start at 7:15 p.m. at Seymour-Hannah Sports Complex.Tickets are available at the Walker Athletic Complex welcome desk and directly at the arena Friday night. Tickets are free for Brock students, $10 for adults and $5 for non-brock students and seniors.

Badgers head back to Meridian Centre for basketball doubleheader

The Brock Badgers are ready to paint the Meridian red.The men’s and women’s basketball teams will host the Ryerson Rams in a key mid-season doubleheader at the Meridian Centre in downtown St. Catharines on Friday, Jan. 27.Just in time for last-minute gift shoppers, tickets are now on sale for the Paint the Meridian Red game through Ticketmaster online. Both general admission tickets and courtside options are available. Prices are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $35 for courtside. Members of the Brock Community can enter the promo code GoBadgers on Ticketmaster to purchase $8 general admission tickets. Brock alumni are also invited to attend the games and can purchase the discounted tickets using code BrockAlumni. More than 1,000 free tickets for Brock students will be available from the Walker Complex Welcome Desk starting Jan. 23.Brock Sports is hoping the game surpasses the previous Brock attendance record of 3,532 fans set at the Meridian Centre during the Steel Blade Hockey Game in September.The doubleheader will start with the Badgers women tipping off at 6 p.m. Ryerson currently sits sixth in the country with a 6-1 record while the Badgers have a 2-4 record, putting them third in the OUA Central Division.The men’s game will follow at 8 p.m. when the Badgers, ranked sixth in the nation with a 4-2 record, play the Rams, ranked fifth with a perfect 7-0 record. read more

61inch Huawei Ascend Mate to compete with Galaxy Note 2

first_imgAt 6.1 inches, the Huawei Ascend Mate is set to further blur the already blurry line between phablets and actual tablets like the Nexus 7 (that’s the comparatively small Ascend D2 above). It’s all about bringing the fight to Samsung and one-upping the popular Galaxy Note 2. Huawei CEO Yu Chengdong says he’s currently using both the Ascend Mate and Galaxy Note 2 to compare, make notes, and ensure that his company’s pocket-busting device offers a superior all-round user experience.Apart from the diagonal display measurement, Yu didn’t offer any additional specifics. He did, however, boast of a “more stunning” display — and based on what ZTE, LG, and Oppo are preparing to launch you’d have to assume that means the Ascend Mate will feature a 1080p panel. He also mentions a slimmer bezel and a chassis that’s easier to grip. Both will be important design features, since the 6.1-inch phone will already be stretching some hands to their limits.Although Yu pegs the Ascend Mate as a direct challenger to the Galaxy Note %displayPrice% at %seller% , he doesn’t specify whether a stylus is part of the package. Even with a bigger battery on board (which Yu also hints at), there should be plenty of room inside the Ascend Mate to sneak one in. Whether or note a stylus is included will probably depend on whether or not Huawei decides it actually does anything to improve the UX.Perhaps the best news to come out of Yu’s revelation is that the Ascend Mate will be cheaper than the Galaxy Note 2. You’d certainly hope Huawei could produce something that will sell for less than $799 if LG can pump out the Nexus 4 and still justify a sticker price of $349, … though at 6.1 inches, it’s probably more logical to line up the Ascend Mate with the $299 Nexus 7 with HSPA if you’re talking about pricing expectations.More at Itechnews and BGRlast_img read more

Two Irish men are wanted in the UK in connection with the

first_img http://jrnl.ie/3850695 Two Irish men are wanted in the UK in connection with the murder of an 87-year-old man Police are keen to talk to Jimmy Michael Connors, 28, and Tom Joseph Ward, 17 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 52,167 Views Feb 13th 2018, 9:51 PM Image: Staffordshire Police POLICE IN THE UK are searching for two Irish men wanted in connection with the violent robbery of a pensioner who died less than a month following the ordeal.Police in Staffordshire released the names and photographs of Tom Ward and Jimmy Connors. The two men are wanted in connection with the murder of 87-year-old Arthur Gumbley last year.Gumbley was violently attacked at his home in Endwood Drive, Sutton Coldfield, on the evening of 21 November 2017, before he had valuable jewellery stolen. He passed away on 12 December.Following an extensive investigation, police are keen to talk to Jimmy Michael Connors, 28, and Tom Joseph Ward, 17,  about their whereabouts on the day of the incident.Connors is described as 5ft 5ins, average build with an Irish accent.Ward, who resides in Stoke-on-Trent occasionally, is described as 5ft 8ins, average build with an Irish accent.Detective Inspector Dan Ison, the senior investigating officer, said: “Both men have links throughout the country and are known to frequent the London, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Yorkshire areas. It is imperative they are caught as soon as possible and help from the public is needed to track them down.”“Both men are considered violent, so please do not approach them.”Read: Birmingham Repertory Theatre evacuated following explosion in basement > Image: Staffordshire Police 6 Comments Tuesday 13 Feb 2018, 10:15 PM By Garreth MacNamee Share561 Tweet Email4 last_img read more

Souffle au cœur symptômes conséquences quest ce que le souffle cardiaque

first_imgSouffle au cœur : symptômes, conséquences, qu’est ce que le souffle cardiaque ?Le souffle au cœur ou souffle cardiaque est un bruit anormal perçu lors de l’auscultation des battements du cœur. On en distingue deux formes : le souffle systolique et le souffle diastolique.Définition du souffle au cœur Le souffle au cœur, ou souffle cardiaque, correspond à un bruit inhabituel entendu lors de l’auscultation au stéthoscope des battements du cœur. Il est causé par des turbulences lors de la circulation sanguine vers le cœur. Sa durée et sa localisation sont variables.On distingue deux formes de souffle au cœur. Le souffle systolique apparaît lors de la contraction du cœur (systole), lorsque que le sang est expulsé vers les organes. A l’inverse, le souffle diastolique s’entend lorsque le cœur se remplit (diastole). La plupart des gens qui souffrent d’un souffle au cœur ne s’en rendent pas compte. Il l’apprenne le plus souvent lors d’un examen de routine chez le médecin. Causes du souffle au cœurLe souffle au cœur peut concerner des personnes de tout âge. Chez l’enfant, il est fréquent et fait le plus souvent suite à une malformation cardiaque congénitale. Il disparaît généralement lors de la croissance. Chez les adultes, c’est souvent une anomalie au niveau des valves cardiaques qui est responsable de son apparition. Une circulation plus rapide que la normale peut être à l’origine du souffle au cœur. Elle peut être engendrée par une hyperthyroïdie, une grossesse, un déficit de globules rouges ou une croissance rapide lors de l’adolescence.Conséquences du souffle au cœurÀ lire aussiAmygdalite : chronique, caséeuse, cryptique, de quoi s’agit-il ?Un souffle au cœur n’a le plus souvent aucun impact sur la santé. Cependant, il peut être le signe d’une pathologie cardiaque importante. C’est pour cela que le médecin effectue plus examens complémentaires lors du diagnostic comme une échocardiographie, un électrocardiogramme ou une radio du thorax.Traitement du souffle au cœur Le souffle en cœur ne nécessite en lui-même pas de traitement. En revanche, il est important de traiter le trouble à son origine (anémie, insuffisance cardiaque…). Pour cela, la prise de médicaments en souvent suffisante. Il peut s’agir de diurétiques, d’anticoagulants ou de bêta-bloquants. Une intervention chirurgicale peut néanmoins être nécessaire pour remplacer une valve cardiaque défectueuse. Le 30 novembre 2015 à 15:04 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Mystery of 17year old CHHS student death needs autopsy

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 03 Feb 2015 – It will be an autopsy that will unravel the mystery of how a 17 year old Clement Howell High School student died at hospital on Monday. It appears it was a heart attack, but InterHealth Canada only explains: “…at approximately 2:15 pm, an adolescent male age 17 years was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center via ambulance by the Emergency Medical Services after he complained of feeling unwell at the National Stadium. His condition worsened suddenly upon admission to the Emergency Department and all subsequent efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.” National Heritage Month ends Related Items:autopsy, clement howell high school, interhealth canada, student Eagles win again at InterHigh Championships Clement Howell High get their hands dirty for World Wetlands Day 2016 Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Trumps Revolutionary War airport quote creates highflying meme

first_img Dearest, the battle for gate C4 was hard fought, but we prevailed. Alas, we ran out of ammunition, and had to lob our stores of Cinnabons at them. The sacrifices of war try our souls. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— Diane@hpochocolate1 (@hpochocolate1) July 5, 2019 One if by land/Two if by sea/Three if arriving at Terminal C #RevolutionaryWarAirport #loganairport pic.twitter.com/5HA58phVKP— Clint McGuire (@clintster) July 5, 2019 One if by land and two if by sir, you need to remove your belt and shoes. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— Swiftian Byronic Volcanic Robotics (@JbarGarden) July 5, 2019 Share your voice Betsy Ross and I joined the Mile-High Club on the red eye to Boston.#RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— BenjaminFranklin (@BenFranklinofPA) July 5, 2019 One if by land, two if by sea, I’ll text if by air.Paul Revere #TrumpHistory #ContinentalArmy— Nate Bell (@NateBell4AR) July 5, 2019 Dearest Harold, Please expect a delay of about a fortnight. I’ve been detained by security forces for carrying three extra ounces of moisturizer. Again. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— 🏝 Kim (@kim) July 5, 2019 White House releases 1776 era painting as proof of Trump’s startling history lesson.#RevolutionaryWarAirports #TrumpSpeech #TrumpParadeFail pic.twitter.com/0uqsO90nzM— End All Pointless Wars Now 🎥 🎸 ☮️ (@ProleUprising) July 5, 2019 During his July 4th speech, President Donald Trump says American forces “took over the airports” during the US War of Independence in the late 18th century.Planes were not used in warfare until the 20th century. pic.twitter.com/pxhYVdfGz4— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) July 5, 2019 One of the prized possessions in my family is this commemorative postcard of the Lexington, Va. Militia occupying the terminal at DCA in 1777. #RevolutionaryWarAirports#RevolutionaryWarAirportStories pic.twitter.com/EYtlXcRmZE— Keith Gaddie (@GaddieWindage) July 5, 2019 Martha,Trying my damndest to make the 5:15 flight out of Philly, but the Valley Forge traffic is a nightmare. Leave a lantern on for me…Your, George#RevolutionaryWarAirportStories pic.twitter.com/ynerShnylr— Laura E. Hess (@LauraEHess2) July 5, 2019 #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories Little-Known Fact: We won because so many British soldiers couldn’t fit their muskets in the overhead bin on their flights over.— ReallyDon’tTrump (@reallyDontTrump) July 5, 2019 National Archives discover new pictures of the War of Independence. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories pic.twitter.com/dvGaLYQoYE— Acdcnut (@Acdckcnut) July 5, 2019 Comments George Jefferson. Who famously rammed the ramparts at the battle of LaGuardia International at Gettysburg. #4thofJuly #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories pic.twitter.com/sourin13P5— Liisa Lee 🦋 (@Liisabelle) July 5, 2019 Little known fact: An immense fog that rolled in off the Atlantic grounded all flights at Logan. Otherwise, Paul Revere would have been able to implement his original plan:#RevolutionaryWarAirportStories pic.twitter.com/Gg7T3EbMxC— cosmo (@agpennypckr) July 5, 2019 More presidential memes Hey @Lin_Manuel, why did you leave the airports out of Hamilton?— drew olanoff (@yoda) July 5, 2019 Trump sits in a big truck, internet drives meme into ground Trump touched an orb and now Twitter is glowing crazy Who dis? First Presidential Alert prompts jokes on social media #RevolutionaryWarAirportStoriesThe Battle of Baggage Claim (1776) Many Lives were lost. And Bags too. Some people are saying it was the worst massacre they had ever seen.Art from @Acyn pic.twitter.com/ZuKfgy3ghd— Covfefe Jones- King Of Shade👑 (@King_Of_Shade) July 5, 2019 President Donald Trump on Friday blamed a malfunctioning teleprompter for his July 4 statement that Revolutionary War soldiers took over airports in 1775, a century before the Wright brothers were even born. At an Independence Day celebration in Washington, the president began speaking about the bravery of Revolutionary War troops and then seems to have shifted to the War of 1812, with some erroneous additions.”Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over airports, it did everything it had to do,” the president said.  One if by land. Two if by Hartsfield International. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) July 5, 2019 Dearest Martha, please find enclosed a tracking number for my lost luggage at Philadelphia. It shall arrive to Mount Vernon via carriage in 21-25 days. Also enclosed is a receipt for the cost of parking my horse at Dulles for the weekend. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— Shawna 🇺🇸⚔️🇬🇧 (@shawna1776) July 5, 2019 Online Politics Whatever the cause of the error, the presidential gaffe led to the creation of the Twitter hashtags #RevolutionaryWarAirports and #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories. Naturally jokes flew faster than an F-15.Many jokesters took famous Revolutionary War paintings and added airplanes and related items. “One of the prized possessions in my family is this commemorative postcard of the Lexington, Va. militia occupying the terminal at DCA in 1777,” Keith Gaddie wrote on Twitter. Dearest Maisie, we are holding the line at Auntie Anne’s near B7. Reinforcements just arrived from Newark, but they fled down the escalators. I fear we’re on our own. #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— Anita Creamer (@AnitaCreamer) July 5, 2019 Actual footage of the U.S. Army storming the airports during the War of 1812: pic.twitter.com/z4CvvgjvzP— Derek Litvak (@TheTattooedGrad) July 5, 2019 2 Tags Others envisioned a very different history for the US, inventing battle names and heroic war stories. One Twitter user envisioned “The Battle of Baggage Claim (1776) . Many lives were lost. And bags too. Some people are saying it was the worst massacre they had ever seen.” “One if by land and two if by sea, and three if by air — don’t pahk the cah at Logan, the traffic is wicked hahd to get through.” #TrumpParadeFail pic.twitter.com/6p7c3dXxSW— Light_It_Up (@Light_It_Up27) July 5, 2019 One if by Land.Two if by Sea.Three if by the Delta Shuttle from LaGuardia. ~Paul Revere#RevolutionaryWarAirports #facts— Marco Price (@Primar13) July 5, 2019 And Paul Revere’s famed “one if by land, two if by sea” phrasing turned out to be very useful for the meme. “One if by land. Two if by sea. Three if by the Delta Shuttle from LaGuardia,” ran one version. Commander Sully crossed the Delaware and suprised the Hessians at Trenton #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories pic.twitter.com/JZ6Fl97UNF— JoeHarte (@therealjoeharte) July 5, 2019 General George Washington, #ContinentalArmy Fighter Pilot Specialist(The inspiration for Bill Pullman’s US President character in the motion picture,” #IndependenceDay “) #RevolutionaryWarAirports #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories pic.twitter.com/PrLfqNJhZu— Aldo F. Rodriguez (@AldoFRodriguez) July 5, 2019 “I knew the speech very well,” the president said, according to Fox News. “So I was able to do without a teleprompter, but the teleprompter did go out and it was actually hard to look at anyway because [there] was rain all over it.” The quote also inspired numerous parodies of letters home from soldiers, of the type made famous by dramatic readings delivered in filmmaker Ken Burns’ documentaries. “Dearest, the battle for gate C4 was hard fought, but we prevailed,” wrote one. “Alas, we ran out of ammunition, and had to lob our stores of Cinnabons at them.” Dearest Eliza,The men are near mutiny. The 4 ounce liquid limit means their rum ration has been severely curtailed. We may not survive this campaign.Yours Always,A. Hamilton #RevolutionaryWarAirports#RevolutionaryWarAirportStories— Charlie Heat (@earlyamhistory) July 5, 2019 Twitterlast_img read more

Texas AM Extremely Concerned About White Nationalist Richard Spencer On Campus Plans

first_img“Yes, it is of extreme concern to those of us who are on the campus as well as to Aggies everywhere that this person who spews poison, basically, about races and about other religions is on our campus”, says Senior Vice President Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Texas A&M University,  Amy Smith.Smith talks about the leader of the so-called Alt-Right movement, Richard Spencer, who is scheduled to participate in a privately-organized event at the Texas A&M campus on Tuesday the 6th.Spencer, who leads a white nationalist movement that has proclaimed itself close to president-elect Donald Trump, has also made clear his views on what he believes to be the supremacism of the white race and the need to find a way to expel immigrants out of the country, among other ideas.Texas A&M , however, did not invite him, Smith stresses. But the university also does not want to censor Spencer because of his First Amendment rights, according to a conversation between the university’s president, Michael K. Young, and the Texas Tribune. “We looked at a variety of different options for this”, Smith explains. “We are a state-supported school and they have free speech as do we, so we are using Aggies United which is Tuesday night at 6 pm and open to the public.”Smith refers to a counter event that the university has organized as a response to Spencer’s presence on campus: “Aggies United is an opportunity for us to come together as a campus and we have it open as well to the surrounding community to tell our story of who we are as a united front, as an active unity committed to the success of each other.” Spencer’s event was “through no invitation from us”, says the VP. “We are a public university, as you know, and we have private rooms that are available… and the administration was made aware that this person quietly booked the room, which I think is their m.o. that they are doing throughout the nation, where you have someone who would quietly book a room and then invite the speaker and that is indeed what happened.”Hence, the idea of Aggies United: “We were planning on a big end the semester party which we annually have and kind of a holiday party before students head off, and we pulled our money instead to support the students who wanted to pull together an event for each other that would talk about the things and the core values that they stand for that are in direct opposition to the speaker that is coming on campus”, Smith says. Blueag9 | CC BY-SA WikipediaTexas A&M University Sharelast_img read more

No Amazons Grand Tour Isnt the Most Pirated Show Ever

first_imgStay on target It’s not quite Game of Thrones numbers, but Grand Tour a reboot of BBC’s immensely popular car and culture show Top Gear, is collecting a lot of viewers, just not through legal means.The show, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson on Amazon Prime, was picked up by the company for an astounding $160 million as a way to grow its British subscriber base. Amazon hasn’t released specific viewing data but suggested that the first episode was watched by “millions” of people.It broke the record previously held by Man in the High Castle for opening weekend viewers. “The Grand Tour has become the biggest show premiere ever on Amazon Prime Video, breaking records around the world,” a spokesperson for Amazon told the Guardian.However, according to data released by Muso, a British research firm and antipiracy solutions vendor, Grand Tour‘s first episode was downloaded 7.9 million times, with the second getting pirated 6.4 million, making it the most pirated show in British TV history.Muso gathered data from free-to-air broadcast data in the United Kingdom along with research on the most pirated Netflix content to draw its conclusions.If you’ve been following Top Gear or the controversy surrounding Clarkson in the past couple years, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The BBC dropped Clarkson after an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack” on a producer, along with a history of racist and sexist remarks. There was a large fan outpouring in support of Clarkson though, who wasn’t reinstated at the network, but had his show picked up by Amazon. The first episode premiered on Nov. 18 of this year.Former Top Gear presenters, Richard Hammond and James May, are also on the new show.Originally, reports said that Grand Tour was the “most illegally downloaded program ever,” although that’s not exactly true. A rep for Muso told Variety that the show had the highest number of piracy views for a British TV show in history and the highest level for a show in its first season through the first three episodes.Tecxipio, a Germany-based firm, released piracy numbers for other popular shows such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and the Grand Tour numbers didn’t even come close. Clarkson’s show was shared 1.92 million times on peer-to-peer piracy networks, while The Walking Dead was shared 9.87 million over the same three-week period. The fifth episode in the fifth season of Game of Thrones was pirated more in 24 hours than the Grand Tour was in three weeks. Amazon’s ‘Marvelous’ Gas Station Discount Causes Chaos in CaliforniaAmazon to Donate Unsold Products Instead of Trashing Them last_img read more

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How to use artificial intelligence to create games with rich and interactive

first_imgMany of the most popular games on the planet have one thing in common: they all have rich, vivid worlds for the player to inhabit and interact with. This doesn’t just mean a huge terrain or an extensive map (although it might do), it could simply be how things appear within the world. Similarly, it’s not just about the environment – it’s also about characters who are able to react in different ways according to the game. The only way to achieve an impressive level of ‘realism’ is through powerful artificial intelligence. This isn’t easy, but it can be done. And learning how to do it will be well worth it, as it will create a much more engaging end product for players. This tutorial is taken from the book Practical Game AI Programming by Micael DaGraca. This book teaches you to create Game AI and implement cutting-edge AI algorithms from scratch. Let’s take a look at how we can use AI to create rich environments. Breaking down the game environment by area When we create a map, often we have two or more different areas that could be used to change the gameplay, areas that could contain water, quicksand, flying zones, caves, and much more. If we wish to create an AI character that can be used in any level of our game, and anywhere, we need to take this into consideration and make the AI aware of the different zones of the map. Usually, that means that we need to input more information into the character’s behavior, including how to react according to the position in which he is currently placed, or a situation where he can choose where to go. Should he avoid some areas? Should he prefer others? This type of information is relevant because it makes the character aware of the surroundings, choosing or adapting and taking into consideration his position. Not planning this correctly can lead to some unnatural decisions. For example, in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim developed by Bethesda Softworks studio, we can watch some AI characters of the game simply turning back when they do not have information about how they should behave in some parts of the map, especially on mountains or rivers. Depending on the zones that our character finds, he might react differently or update his behavior tree to adapt to his environment. The environment that surrounds our characters can redefine their priorities or completely change their behaviors. This is a little similar to what Jean-Jacques Rousseau said about humanity: “We are good by nature, but corrupted by society.” As humans, we are a representation of the environment that surrounds us, and for that reason, artificial intelligence should follow the same principle. Let’s pick a  soldier and update his code to work on a different scenario. We want to change his behavior according to three different zones, beach, river, and forest. So, we’ll create three public static Boolean functions with the names Beach, Forest and River; then we define the zones on the map that will turn them on or off. public static bool Beach; public static bool River; public static bool Forest; Because in this example, just one of them can be true at a time, we’ll add a simple line of code that disables the other options once one of them gets activated. if(Beach == true) { Forest = false; River = false; } if(Forest == true){Beach = false;River = false;}if(River == true){Forest = false;Beach = false;} Once we have that done, we can start defining the different behaviors for each zone. For example, in the beach zone, the characters don’t have a place to get cover, so that option needs to be taken away and updated with a new one. The river zone can be used to get across to the other side, so the character can hide from the player and attack from that position. To conclude, we can define the character to be more careful and use the trees to get cover. Depending on the zones, we can change the values to better adapt to the environment, or create new functions that would allow us to use some specific characteristics of that zone. if (Forest == true) {// The AI will remain passive until an interaction with the player occurs if (Health == 100 && triggerL == false && triggerR == false && triggerM == false) { statePassive = true; stateAggressive = false; stateDefensive = false; } // The AI will shift to the defensive mode if player comes from the right side or if the AI is below 20 HP if (Health // The AI will shift to the aggressive mode if player comes from the left side or it’s on the middle and AI is above 20HP if (Health > 20 && triggerL == true || Health > 20 && triggerM == true){statePassive = false;stateAggressive = true;stateDefensive = false;}walk = speed * Time.deltaTime;walk = speedBack * Time.deltaTime;} Advanced environment interactions with AI As the video game industry and the technology associated with it kept evolving, new gameplay ideas appeared, and rapidly, the interaction between the characters of the game and the environment became even more interesting, especially when using physics. This means that the outcome of the environment could be completely random, where it was required for the AI characters to constantly adapt to different situations. One honorable mention on this subject is the video game Worms developed by Team17, where the map can be fully destroyed and the AI characters of the game are able to adapt and maintain smart decisions. The objective of this game is to destroy the opponent team by killing all their worms, the last man standing wins. From the start, the characters can find some extra health points or ammunition on the map and from time to time, it drops more points from the sky. So, there are two main objectives for the character, namely survive and kill. To survive, he needs to keep a decent amount of HP and away from the enemy, the other part is to choose the best character to shoot and take as much health as possible from him. Meanwhile, the map gets destroyed by the bombs and all of the fire power used by the characters, making it a challenge for artificial intelligence. Adapting to unstable terrain Let’s decompose this example and create a character that could be used in this game. We’ll start by looking at the map. At the bottom, there’s water that automatically kills the worms. Then, we have the terrain where the worms can walk, or destroy if needed. Finally, there’s the absence of terrain, specifically, the empty space that cannot be walked on. Then we have the characters (worms) they are placed in random positions at the beginning of the game and they can walk, jump, and shoot. The characters of the game should be able to constantly adapt to the instability of the terrain, so we need to use that and make it part of the behavior tree. As demonstrated in the diagram above, the character will need to understand the position where he is currently placed, as well as the opponent’s position, health, and items. Because the terrain can be blocking them, the AI character has a chance of being in a situation where he cannot attack or obtain an item. So, we give him options on what to do in those situations and many others that he might find, but the most important is to define what happens if he cannot successfully accomplish any of them. Because the terrain can be shaped into different forms, during gameplay there will be times that it is near impossible to do anything, and that is why we need to provide options on what to do in those situations. For example, in this situation where the worm doesn’t have enough free space to move, a close item to pick up, or an enemy that can be properly attacked, what should he do? It’s necessary to make information about the surroundings available to our character so he can make a good judgment for that situation. In this scenario, we have defined our character to shoot anyway, against the closest enemy, or to stay close to a wall. Because he is too close to the explosion that would occur from attacking the closest enemy, he should decide to stay in a corner and wait there until the next turn. Using raycast to evaluate decisions Ideally, at the start of the turn, the character has two raycasts, one for his left side and another for the right side. This will check if there’s a wall obstructing one of those directions. This can be used to determine what side the character should be moving toward if he wants to protect himself from being attacked. Then, we would use another raycast in the aim direction, to see if there’s something blocking the way when the character is preparing to shoot. If there’s something in the middle, the character should be calculating the distance between the two to determine if it’s still safe to shoot. So, each character should have a shared list of all of the worms that are currently in the game; that way they can compare the distance between them all and choose which of them are closest and shoot them. Additionally, we add the two raycasts to check if there’s something blocking the sides, and we have the basic information to make the character adapt to the constant modifications of the terrain. public int HP; public int Ammunition;public static List wormList = new List(); //creates a list with all the wormspublic static int wormCount; //Amount of worms in the gamepublic int ID; //It’s used to differentiate the wormsprivate float proximityValueX;private float proximityValueY;private float nearValue;public float distanceValue; //how far the enemy should beprivate bool canAttack; void Awake (){wormList.Add(gameObject); //add this worm to the listwormCount++; //adds plus 1 to the amount of worms in the game}void Start (){HP = 100;distanceValue = 30f;} void Update (){proximityValueX = wormList[1].transform.position.x – this.transform.position.x;proximityValueY = wormList[1].transform.position.y – this.transform.position.y;nearValue = proximityValueX + proximityValueY; if(nearValue Vector3 raycastRight = transform.TransformDirection(Vector3.forward);if (Physics.Raycast(transform.position, raycastRight, 10)) print(“There is something blocking the Right side!”);Vector3 raycastLEft = transform.TransformDirection(Vector3.forward);if (Physics.Raycast(transform.position, raycastRight, -10)) print(“There is something blocking the Left side!”);} In this post, we explored different ways to interact with the environment. First, we learned how to break down the game environment by area. Then we learned about the advanced environment interactions with AI. To learn about manipulating animation behavior with AI read our book  Practical Game AI Programming. Read Next Developing Games Using AI Techniques and Practices of Game AI Unite Berlin 2018 Keynote: Unity partners with Google, launches Ml-Agents ToolKit 0.4, Project MARS and morelast_img read more