Trudeau doublesdown on promises to First Nations pledges new Indigenous languages law

first_imgAPTN National NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday his government would be introducing a federal law to protect and preserve Indigenous languages.Speaking to chiefs gathered for the Assembly of First Nations annual winter gathering, Trudeau said the proposed legislation would be co-developed with Indigenous peoples and aimed at protecting, preserving and revitalizing First Nation, Inuit and Metis languages.“We know all too well how residential schools and other decisions by government were used as a tool to eliminate Indigenous languages and cultures. We must undo the lasting damage that resulted,” said Trudeau. “Today I commit to you our government will enact an Indigenous languages Act.”The announcement was greeted by a standing ovation in the conference hall at the Hilton Lac Leamy Casino, in Gatineau, Que.Trudeau faced an audience that had just basked in a moving ceremony honouring Gord Downie, the lead singer for the Tragically Hip.While there was talk some chiefs planned to turn their backs on the prime minister during the speech over discontent with his government’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline, Trudeau faced no open acts of protest.Instead, the packed hall hung on his every word.Trudeau re-announced his government’s plan to launch a process of “decolonizing” all existing federal policies and laws. He said the joint-process with Indigenous leaders would be led by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.The prime minister also doubled-down on his campaign promise to remove all First Nations across the country from boil water advisories within five years. He said 14 First Nations had been removed from the list to date and half of all communities struggling with boil water advisories would have clean water within three years.Trudeau said his government also made headway over the last year on improving education on reserves. He said over 2,000 students began the school year in new school buildings. Trudeau said 31 schools are currently under construction, 27 are being designed and 27 are in feasibility studies.The Liberal government has also made “progress” on 36 of the 45 calls to actions issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that fall exclusively under federal purview, said Trudeau.He also said the government is committed to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.“I understand many of you in the room are impatient, many of the people you serve are impatient,” said Trudeau. “That’s okay, I’m impatient too.”Trudeau began his speech by referring to the Journey of Nishiyuu, a 1,600 km trek that began with a group of youth from Quebec’s northernmost Cree community of Whapmagoostui First Nation and ended in Ottawa in March 2013.“The tenacity and determination that fueled these youths inspired a nation and brought the concerns of their community to the forefront and, quite frankly, the indifference on that day of the federal government only served to demonstrate the need of their journey in the first place,” said Trudeau. “Today, we gather in the capital of this nation as many nations, we gather here in this moment to reflect on the first year of this journey to build a new relationship, one based on recognition and respect.”Trudeau said this journey wouldn’t be easy.“No one here fools him or herself the path our country overwhelmingly agreed to take will always be a gentle one or an easy one,” said Trudeau. “We’ve already felt some headwinds and there will be more.”Trudeau was referring to the Trans Mountain approval which led to immediate condemnation last week from some Indigenous leaders, prompting the Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr to suggest the military could be called into deal with resistance. Carr apologized for that comment Tuesday in Ottawa.Trudeau noted Carr’s apology in the speech.The Liberal government has also faced outrage over its approval of the Site C hydro dam project that threatens to wipe out Treaty 8 lands in B.C.AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde said during a press conference after Trudeau’s speech that people should understand the Liberals have only begun to govern.“It’s been one year, we have to keep working in collaboration and partnership, but we have to put the pressure on,” said Bellegarde. “It’s really a journey, it’s not dealt with in one year and I think everyone needs to get that in their head.”Bellegarde also said his office would by the key point of contact with the Prime Minister’s Office in developing the joint Crown-First Nation mechanism on co-developing the review of federal policies and laws along with the development of an Indigenous language law.“We don’t just deal with one department, all Crown ministers should be involved,” said Bellegarde.NDP MP Romeo Saganash, who is a member of the Cree Nation which managed to carve out its own jurisdiction through decades of battles with Quebec and Ottawa, said the AFN needs to be careful about trying to take over the process.“The national chief mentioned twice or three times in his speech this morning that the AFN is not a title holder,” said Saganash. “In working with the PMO, how is he is going to ensure my rights are protected, my rights are defended from the perspective of my people and my organizations, like the Grand Council of the Cree? There might be a problem with that, certainly from the Cree perspective…we need to take that into consideration. If you are going to decide on major issues that have an impact on my people, then you have to involve my people.”Saganash said he was pleased to hear Trudeau commit to introducing a law on Indigenous languages. And, while it sounded good, he said the government needs to be measured on what it actually does.“After a year with this government I’ve learned we need to be cautious with Liberal words because words will be words until there is real action,” said Saganash. “We can’t trust those words anymore, at least not me, I’ve been there for a year now watching them.” read more

Bieber Grande Miley join hands for music video

first_imgLos Angeles: Rapper Lil Dicky has unveiled a star-studded music video featuring singers Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus. Lil Dicky has dropped his new music video for Earth. It’s not only a song but also a short film, a music-led initiative to raise awareness for climate change and an extravagant Earth Day celebration, reports The 31-year-old recruited over 30 artistes to appear in the six-minute animated masterpiece. The group of A-listers, which includes Bieber, Sia, Grande, Miley, Ed Sheeran and more, lend their voices to anything and everything climate change-related. To name a few: Halsey as a lion cub and Meghan Trainor as India. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaHe gave fans a preview of the highly anticipated music video during an episode of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’. The rapper and comedian turned to the live audience and passionately spoke about the “environmental crisis going on right now” before sneaking in a story about how cool actor Leonardo DiCaprio is. “I went to his house and we played pickle ball,” Lil Dicky said. “One thing I can tell you is that guy cares so much about the planet. He gets really worked up talking about it.” Lil Dicky has teamed up with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (established by the Oscar-winner in 1998) to raise cash for a good cause. Net profits earned from the song, the short film-esque music video and Earth-related merchandise will be distributed to select non-profits identified by LDF as being on the front lines of implementing solutions to climate change.last_img read more

Baraka and Chabat Face Off Online Ahead of Decisive Istiqlal Party

Rabat – On the eve of the election of the Istiqlal Party’s (PI) secretary-general, scheduled for this Saturday, October 7 in Rabat, Nizar Baraka and Hamid Chabat, the two contenders running for the post, each published a video defending their visions and laying out their solutions to get the party out of its crisis.The evening of Friday, October 6, Baraka addressed a short video to the 1,283 voting members of the National Council of the Istiqlal Party.In simple words, matching his campaign thus far, Baraka stated that “the future of PI is in our hands, and we can straighten out the party.” For the politician, there are two options: “you maintain the current secretary general [Chabat] and in this case you know what awaits you, or you can opt for change.”In a sober tone, Baraka stood in front of an austere background, calling for the triumph of internal democracy within the party.“Today, the unity and cohesion of the party are more than ever at stake. If you want to get the Istiqlal Party out of this crisis and regain credibility with citizens, make the right choice.”“Saturday will be a decisive day for the PI, considering that it is going through a deep political and organizational crisis,” Baraka continued. “This crisis is very dangerous for the party, because it threatens its existence and cohesion.”Baraka said that the PI will experience a test in its history on Saturday.“Either it will emerge from its crisis or leave it without a compass,” he said. Referring to what the party reached under the leadership of Chabat and his followers, Baraka added, “Today, we’ll either continue on Chabat’s steps, which you know where they led us, or say enough and open a new page.”Meanwhile, Chabat also broadcasted a 7-minute video on October 4, in which he attacked Baraka, calling him “a former head of department in the Ministry of Finance who was parachuted minister and then president of the EESC.”He then compared Baraka’s journey to that of Hamid Chabat (referring to himself as usual in the third person), “who has been a militant since his youngest age and is a activist of proximity, as His Majesty the King said.” read more

Quicken Loans to pay 325M to settle lawsuit over bad loans

DETROIT — Quicken Loans has agreed to pay $32.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of fraudulently sticking the government with bad mortgages.Crain’s Detroit Business says the agreement, with no admission of wrongdoing, was disclosed Friday by Gerald Rosen, a former judge who served as mediator.The government had accused Quicken of cutting corners when verifying the income of certain borrowers. Quicken also was accused of seeking improper appraisals so it could make a larger mortgage. The loans were insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which paid Quicken if a borrower defaulted.The Detroit-based company denied the allegations and had described the lawsuit as “abusive.” Quicken will remain in the FHA program after the agreement.Quicken’s founder is Detroit businessman Dan Gilbert, who owns the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. He is recovering from a stroke.___Information from: Crain’s Detroit Business , http://www.crainsdetroit.comThe Associated Press read more

Apple kicks Google Maps off iPhone builds in Facebook functions

Apple kicks Google Maps off iPhone, builds in Facebook functions SAN FRANCISCO – Apple is kicking an important Google application off its iPhone and buddying up with Facebook rather than Google’s social network, as it distances itself from a bitter rival in the phone arena.Google’s Maps application has resided on the iPhone since Apple launched the very first version of the phone in 2007. It’s one of the core apps on the phone, and can’t be deleted by the user.But on Monday, Apple executives said Google Maps will be replaced by an Apple-developed app in iOS 6, the new operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. It’s set to be released late this year.Apple and Google are locked in a fight over the attention of hundreds of millions of phone users, and the advertising opportunities that come with owning a mapping application.Smartphones from companies like Samsung and Google’s own Motorola division are the chief alternatives to the iPhone, and Apple has been suing those manufacturers in court, accusing them of ripping off the iPhone’s ground-breaking features.Apple also said it’s building Facebook into iOS 6, snubbing the Google Plus social network. Users will be able to update their Facebook status by talking to their phones, and “like” movies and apps in Apple’s iTunes store, Apple executive Scott Forstall said.The announcements were part of the keynote presentation that kicked off Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.Apple presented new features in both phone and Mac software, plus updated laptops. But investors were mildly disappointed, as they expected more substantive news, like a hint of Apple’s ambition to get into making TVs. Analysts had speculated that Apple would at least update the software on the Apple TV, a small box that connects a TV set to iTunes for movie downloads, as a prelude to perhaps launching a fully integrated TV set.Apple shares closed down $9.15, or 1.6 per cent, at $571.17.Apple updates its iOS software every year, to coincide with the launch of a new iPhone.Among other updates in iOS 6, Apple’s voice-command application Siri will add a host of new languages, including Spanish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese, Forstall said. “She” will also be able to launch applications and movies, and will run on iPads for the first time.Apple also said the new version of its Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, will go on sale next month for $20. The update brings features from Apple’s phone and tablet software, like the iMessage texting application, to the Mac.Microsoft Corp., Apple’s competitor when it comes to computer software, is also making Windows more like its phone software, with the release of Windows 8 later this year. A key difference is that Microsoft is betting that PCs will have touch screens, while Apple is betting they won’t.Mountain Lion will also bring dictation to Macs. Users will be able to input text by talking to the computer, in any program. This is already a feature of Microsoft Corp.’s competing Windows software.On the hardware side, Apple showed off a laptop with a super-high resolution “Retina” display, setting a new standard for screen sharpness.The new MacBook Pro will have a 15-inch screen and four times the resolution of previous models, Apple executive Phil Schiller said.Apple already uses “Retina” displays — with individual pixels too small to be distinguished by the naked eye — in its latest iPhones and iPads.On the phones and tablets, the Retina display is a standard feature. On the MacBook, it’s an expensive upgrade. The new MacBook will cost $2199 and up, $400 more than the non-Retina MacBook with the same-sized screen.The new MacBook borrows features from the ultra-slim MacBook Air. It’s only slightly thicker, and like the Air, lacks a DVD drive. Instead of a spinning hard drive, it uses flash memory for storage. In the most radical departure from the last decades of PC design, it lacks an Ethernet port. Those who don’t want to use Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet will have to buy an adapter that goes into the MacBook’s “Thunderbolt” port.Apple’s other MacBooks are being updated with the latest processors from Intel Corp. Apple will still sell a more traditional 15-inch MacBook Pro, with a standard display.___Peter Svensson contributed from New York. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jun 11, 2012 5:25 pm MDT read more

Refugees and migrants taking enormous risks to reach Europe – UN agency

Increased border restrictions and lack of accessible legal ways to reach Europe have caused refugees and migrants to take more “diversified and dangerous journeys,” such as relying on people-smugglers or using flimsy boats to cross rough seas, a new report by the United Nations refugee agency has revealed. “This report clearly shows that the lack of accessible and safe pathways leads refugees and migrants to take enormous risks while attempting to reach Europe, including those simply trying to join family members.” said Vincent Cochetel, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Director of Europe Bureau, in a news release announcing the report. According to Desperate Journeys, issued today by UNHCR, the “closure” of the Western Balkan route and the European Union (EU)-Turkey Statement in March 2016, caused a drastic decrease in the number of people reaching Greece via the Eastern Mediterranean route. However since then, the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy become the primary entry point to Europe and arrival trends in Italy show that the primary nationalities who crossed to Greece had not switched in significant numbers to the Central Mediterranean route. In addition to drowning, migrants and refugees also risk of being kidnapped, held against their will for several days, physical and sexual abuse, torture and extortion by smugglers and criminal gangs at several points along key routes.The Central Mediterranean route The UN agency pointed out that in 2016, some 181,436 arrived in Italy by sea in need of international protection, and also victims of trafficking and migrants seeking better lives. About 90 per cent of them travelled by boat from Libya, and the top two nationalities of those arriving were Nigerians (21 per cent) and Eritreans (11 per cent). This route is particularly dangerous and, in 2016, recorded more deaths at sea than ever before.RELATED: UN reports more than 300 migrant deaths on Mediterranean crossing in first two months of 2017 Furthermore, children making this journey are especially vulnerable, and the number of unaccompanied and separated children arriving is increasing. Last year more than 25,000 came, representing 14 per cent of all new arrivals in Italy. “Their number more than doubled compared to the previous year,” said UNHCR.The Western and Eastern Mediterranean routes The report also showed that in the last part of 2016, more people reached the continent through the Western Mediterranean route, either by crossing the sea to Spain from Morocco and Algeria, or by entering the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. Similarly, people continued to leave Turkey along the Eastern Mediterranean route from April onwards, but in much smaller numbers. Most crossed the sea to Greece or Cyprus, others also crossed via land into the country or into Bulgaria. Most who arrived by sea to Greece (87 per cent) came from the top ten refugee producing countries. This was also the case for those who continued to move along the Western Balkans route: in Serbia, for instance, 82 per cent of those who arrived came from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria and almost half are children – 20 per cent of those unaccompanied. These numbers, however, numbers have reduced since April 2016, noted UNHCR. Additionally, according to the study, tens of thousands of people also have been reportedly pushed back by border authorities in Europe, including in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Spain, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, with many cases of alleged violence and abuses in an apparent attempt to deter further entry attempts. read more

Hungary Pick Szeged shows power against Balatonfüred

The last away match of the regular season for Pick Szeged took place in Balatonfüred who are at the middle of the Hungarian League table. Fans have nicknamed this team ‘small Veszprém’  since they have very good connections with MKB and several former Veszprém players (Szatmári, goalkeeper coach of the national team, Ákos Kis, István Pásztor) are now in Balatonfüred. Their coach is former Veszprém left-back László Sótonyi.Pick Szeged had to be careful as they only managed to win by 1 goal last season while two years ago they were defeated in Balatonfüred. That is why the guests started the match at a fast pace and quickly gained a comfortable lead (11th minute 2-8), which they were able to keep until the end of the first half, thanks to great goals from Balogh (12-18). Szeged dominated the second half too, almost every player scored, defence was tight and Larholm scored from every penalty (6/6), so the match ended in a very confident victory for Pick Szeged (23-36).Pick Szeged will conclude the regular season on home ground against fourth-placed Tatabánya on Sunday and will start preparing for the play-off thereafter.Best scorers: Zdolik 10(4) / Larholm 8(6), Balogh 7, Sulc 5 Text: Gábor Várkonyi, Péter ButtyPhoto: ← Previous Story FTC VS Gyor – No losers, but someone falls down (VIDEO) Next Story → Crazy handball Harlem Shake world! (VIDEO – compilation) read more

Abu Hamza found guilty of kidnapping and terrorism offences

first_imgUpdated 10.50pmA NEW YORK jury convicted British hate preacher Abu Hamza on 11 kidnapping and terrorism charges Monday, opening the way for a judge to impose what will almost certainly be a life sentence.The hook-handed imam, who became a tabloid bogeyman in Britain at the Finsbury Park mosque in London, showed no reaction as the guilty verdict was returned on all counts following a four-week trial.Terror trialJudge Katherine Forrest will return to the Manhattan courtroom on September 9 to sentence Abu Hamza and wrap up what was the second high-profile terror trial in New York in three months.Campaigners will seize on the trial as further proof that US terror cases could be tried more effectively in civilian courts as pressure builds to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.In March, another New York jury also found Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law and former Al-Qaeda spokesman, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, guilty in a lightning-quick trial a year after his arrest.“With each efficiently delivered guilty verdict against a top Al-Qaeda-linked figure, the debate over how to best seek justice in these cases is quietly being put to rest,” said attorney general Eric Holder.“These trials demonstrate that in an American civilian courtroom, the American people and all the victims of terrorism can be vindicated without sacrificing our principles,” said Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor, US attorney Preet Bharara.Who is Abu Hamza?Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 56, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri, was charged with the 1998 abduction of Western tourists in Yemen, providing material support to Al-Qaeda, assisting the Taliban and sending terror recruits to Afghanistan.The Egyptian-born father of nine and an engineer by training, joined Finsbury Park mosque in 1997, where he preached vitriolic sermons, in particular against the United States.British police arrested Abu Hamza in August 2004 at Washington’s request, and he was sentenced to seven years in jail in 2006 for inciting murder and racial hatred.He was extradited to the United States in October 2012.It took the 12-member jury just 12 hours over two days to reach the unanimous verdict.One member of the jury, who did not want to disclose his identity, said they tried to follow the judge’s guidelines in reaching a verdict.The Yemen counts were “easier” to decide, the juror said, describing Abu Hamza’s views on 9/11 as “very disturbing.”His defense lawyer Jeremy Schneider vowed to appeal, questioning the speed of the jury’s deliberations and said they had “focused on his words, not in his acts.”Gruelling cross-examinationIn the hostage-taking, Abu Hamza was found guilty of providing the Islamist kidnappers with a satellite phone, acting as an intermediary and dispensing advice by telephone from home.Two of the hostages were Americans.The jury also also convicted him of trying to set up a terror training camp in Oregon in 1999 and, from his London base, of promoting “violent jihad” on a global scale.Blind in one eye and with both hands blown off by an explosives experiment in Pakistan, he compared himself to Irish republican leader Gerry Adams and spoke of his love for Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda mastermind killed by US forces in May 2011.He denied all the charges, though he acknowledged he occasionally used strong words in his sermons and fiery speeches – numerous extracts of which were played for the jury.He admitted supplying the satellite phone to the Islamist group that kidnapped the Australian, British and US tourists in Yemen, but said he was only told of the abduction after the fact.He said he threw away a fax in which a young man who attended his mosque told him of plans to build a jihad training camp in Oregon in 1999.He also claimed he didn’t know another of the young men at his mosque had left to fight in Afghanistan.Prosecutors wrapped up their case last week, saying the evidence against Abu Hamza was “simply overwhelming.”Defence lawyer Jeremy Schneider argued that his client was being tried for “his words in general, not his deeds.”- © AFP, 2014- First published 8.12pmRead: Al-Qaeda saw Canary Wharf as a target after 9/11, US trial hears>last_img read more

Theres already disagreement about where to put Corks Luas system

first_imgHowever Kenneth O’Flynn, a Fianna Fáil councillor for Blackpool says that the light rail must go through the northside.“Our intention was always to run a light rail to Ballyvolane through Blackpool. We had been promised a Blackpool rail station but that hasn’t happened.We’re not trying to make it all northside, we want to service the city well. But we want a level pegging between north and southside. That starts with the north ring road to counterbalance the growth of the southside.Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould agrees.“The most frequent bus in Cork is the 202 from Mahon Shopping Centre to Apple in Hollyhill. If you were able to get a light rail to there, you’d be taking cars off the road, buses off the road and you’d be freeing up the city. Then, you’re only two miles out to Blarney.The northside has a massive lack of infrastructure – including in the Project Ireland 2040 plans. But two straight lines is a bit simplistic. We should be looking at the areas beyond the city – Tower, Carrigtwohill, Carrigaline, Douglas – and seeing how we can link them up.“We need balanced development – and that has to include the northside.”The needIn a city of 125,000 that isn’t physically huge, questions will be raised about whether or not Cork even needs light rail.On this, all parties agree.“Yes, it does,” says an unequivocal O’Keefe.“This is a second city that plans to grow and needs to be served. We’re being proactive about it, too. Cork City Council recently sent a delegation to Europe to discuss funding for it.“Cork is not an unmanned desolate spot as some would have you believe. We have great hopes for 2020 and beyond.”Gould concurs.“I suggested this five or six years ago and people said we didn’t have the money. But that’s when we should have been planning.You look at the time it takes – you’re talking about decades. We need to start planning it now and have a timeline in the next few years. We have no plan for how all of the new houses that we’re proposing will get around the city.The PBP proposal says regional cities use similar systems.“Many European cities of a similar size benefit from light rail systems, removing many cars from the city centre and providing fast and efficient connectivity between commercial and residential areas.The Cork city and suburbs area has grown by over 10,000 people in five years and significant future growth is predicted. Redevelopment is proposed in a number of areas in and around Cork, including Cork’s southern docklands and Tivoli. With the expansion of the Cork City boundary imminent, it is crucial that the development of the expanded city is centered around sustainable transport. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Feb 26th 2018, 12:05 AM 32,054 Views Image: Sam Boal Monday 26 Feb 2018, 12:05 AM Share140 Tweet Email3 There’s already disagreement about where to put Cork’s Luas system It won’t be planned for another decade. 69 Comments By Paul Hosford LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES ARE already split on where to put a Luas in Cork city – despite appraisal of the system being nearly a decade away.Last week’s National Development Plan (NDP) pledged to “undertake appraisal, planning and design” of a design to put a light rail system in the second city.The idea was generally welcomed on its own, but some cautioned that it will not be enough. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said that other items for the city’s public transport were “non-existent”.The Cork 2050 document, which was the city’s submission to the Project Ireland framework, estimates that the light rail system would cost around €868 million to complete. A transport master plan for the city is currently being finalised. Cork 2050 suggests the light rail system replace a bus-based BRT system after 2040.However, a proposed routing is already splitting local representatives.People Before Profit representative Ed Fitzgerald this week suggested this map:It would link Ballincollig with Mahon west to east and Kent Railway Station with Cork Airport north to south. The party says the first line would follow the old Cork to Passage West railway line and would serve UCC, CIT and the city centre.Fitzgerald says that the time has come for a “serious public discussion” about the implementation of the system. He says that many Cork roads are taking more traffic than they are designed to and this means a shift to light rail is needed.These routes could provide interconnectivity between residential areas, employment areas, transport hubs and the city centre. A system such as this would remove the need for many car journeys in and around Cork, and would connect the Docklands (due for redevelopment) to the city centre and Mahon.However, the PBP suggestion doesn’t serve much of the city’s northside, leaving out Blackpool, Gurranabraher, Farranree, Knocknaheeny and Hollyhill – home of Apple’s campus. Rather, the PBP network calls for the light rail to link to a commuter rail line that would have stations in Blackpool, Whitechurch, the planned 5,000 home Monard development, Blarney and Grenagh.The remaining areas would be served by bus.Ideas for those stations were floated around 15 years ago – with Blackpool’s site even getting planning permission – but were pulled in 2013 due to a lack of funding. The NDP says that the Cork master strategy will include future details of improvements to the commuter rail system. The Cork 2050 document costs these stations and upgrades at around €375 million. “Given the success of light rail in Dublin, similar schemes should be implemented in Ireland’s regional cities.“There are more than enough financial resources in Ireland to deliver such systems. Successive governments have lacked the political will to develop and maintain green and sustainable public transport infrastructure. We need solutions like this to provide alternatives to car transport.”Cork 2050 calls for €4.5 billion in investments in the city’s infrastructure, including over €2 billion on roads.Read: The Luas goes at a ‘slow jogging pace’ through Dublin city Short URL Image: Sam Boallast_img read more

HPRA guidance is biased It didnt use expert advisors with practical experience

first_img‘HPRA guidance is biased. It didn’t use expert advisors with practical experience of cannabis’ The government position of claiming concern for safety with unnecessary delays requires a public protest, write Gino Kenny TD and Dr Peadar O’Grady. Short URL Apr 5th 2017, 7:30 PM Wednesday 5 Apr 2017, 7:30 PM IN JULY 2016, Bríd Smith TD and Gino Kenny TD moved the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016.It is appropriate that on the day of the Bill going into “detailed scrutiny” in the Oireachtas Health Committee that we set out the reasons why the Bill needs public support in order to pass the remaining two stages of the seemingly interminable Dáil process.In short the People Before Profit Cannabis Bill will save lives and ease the suffering of tens of thousands.An effective treatment for chronic painThe Barnes report to the UK parliament last year confirmed what many people in Ireland already know, that cannabis is an effective treatment for those suffering chronic pain and illnesses like MS, intractable epilepsy and the symptoms of cancer or chemotherapy.The Bill is the only way the majority of people who could benefit from cannabis can have legally protected access to quality controlled cannabis products.The Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill provides for the regulation of cannabis for medicinal use and to do this proposes to establish a Cannabis Regulation Authority to regulate distribution by issuing licences under the Act.It also provides for a Cannabis Research Institute to improve the level of public knowledge and to develop research on the medicinal use of cannabis.A legally protected, secure supplyUnder the Act patients will be able to access from a pharmacy, with a doctor’s recommendation, a legally protected, secure supply of a quality-controlled cannabis-based product, that is effective, and safer than many authorised products, especially for pain relief.The current government policy in the “Programme for a Partnership Government” states that: “We will support a health-led approach rather than a criminal justice approach to drug use.”However, the government-sponsored alternative to the Bill the “Compassionate Access Programme” is neither compassionate nor will it provide access for the vast majority of people who could benefit from cannabis-based treatments as it excludes people suffering chronic pain without a credible explanation.The existing government programme has restricted access from all but a handful of patients. This is sadly well illustrated in the case of Vera Twomey and her daughter, Ava, who has Dravet’s syndrome, and suffered up to 300 seizures a day before Vera started using a cannabis extraction as a medicine for Ava.Health Minister Simon Harris has refused to authorise access for Ava and continues to criminalise other child and adult patients using cannabis-based treatments. By Gino Kenny TD and Dr Peadar O’Grady 102 Comments Source: Shutterstock/Africa StudioHPRA guidance is unreliable and biasedThe government claim they are supported by the Health Products Regulatory Authority report on the subject.Unfortunately for them the HPRA guidance is unreliable and biased because it did not use any expert advisors with practical experience of cannabis for medicinal use and because the reasons given by the HPRA for restricting access are not applied consistently to other drugs, and do not take into account the serious risk of death and dependency caused by the existing authorised drugs such as opioids and benzodiazepines.Existing prescription drugs are a growing concern as a cause of death and dependency, but the government and the HPRA are deliberately ignoring this concern.No overall increase in recreational use has been associated with the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal use in the US and youth cannabis use for recreational purposes is actually falling there.The government has rejected, without explanation, the progress in other EU countries and the United States where the benefits of medicinal cannabis are being seen. These benefits include not only pain relief and a reduction in seizures, but a reduction in the use of more toxic drugs, and a reduction in deaths from overdoses which happen frequently with opioid painkillers and benzos but never with cannabis.Cannabis will improve health of overall populationIncreased numbers of patients using cannabis-based products instead of more toxic alternative authorised medicines will result in a net improvement in the health of the population as a whole.The Minister has left potentially hundreds of thousands of people suffering from chronic pain out in the cold by excluding them from accessing cannabis for medicinal use.In the US the introduction of medicinal cannabis has seen drug overdoses and deaths reduce and drug sales of more dangerous drugs fall. Some of these drug companies whose sales are affected are lobbying against medicinal cannabis and making financial contributions to political groups opposing legislation.According to a report in the Guardian newspaper last October the makers of well-known opioid painkillers Vicodin and Oxycontin are prominent financial supporters of anti-cannabis lobbies.We can trust doctors to advise their patientsDoctors and pharmacists should be trusted to advise their patients, as for other more toxic medicines, of the risks and benefits and to recommend caution with populations at risk such as with children. There is nothing in the Bill which prejudges professional judgement or which attempts to influence how doctors or pharmacists carry out their professional duties.What has to happen now is for the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Bill to go to Committee stage in the Dáil without delay. The government position of claiming concern for safety while ignoring the dangers of existing treatments, excluding the majority of patients and obstructing the Bill with unnecessary delays requires a strong public protest.It is time to put “People Before Profit” and to back the Cannabis Bill. As Vera Twomey said last week: “Nothing else will do”.Gino Kenny is the proposer of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016 and People Before Profit TD for Dublin Mid-West. Dr Peadar O’Grady is the People Before Profit Health advisor and is a child psychiatrist.Medical cannabis: ‘My dad was able to relax, sleep, laugh, and breathe a bit easier’>‘If we want better people working in childcare, we need better working terms’> Gino Kenny TD and Dr Peadar O’Grady Share Tweet Email2 1,077 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Johnson Johnson ordered to pay over 570 million in landmark opioid trial

first_img AN OKLAHOMA JUDGE today ordered US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for its role in fostering the state’s opioid addiction crisis.In a landmark trial, Judge Thad Balkman said prosecutors had demonstrated that the company contributed to a “public nuisance” in its deceptive promotion of highly addictive prescription painkillers.“Those actions compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahomans,” he said.In the first civil trial of a drugmaker over an epidemic that has caused hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths, Judge Thad Balkman said prosecutors had demonstrated that Johnson & Johnson contributed to a “public nuisance” in its deceptive promotion of highly addictive prescription painkillers.“Those actions compromised the health and safety of thousands of Oklahomans,” he said.According to the ruling, which also cites the company’s former Janssen pharmaceuticals division, the cash will go towards care for a generation of addicts, families and communities affected by the crisis.“The defendants Janssen and Johnson & Johnson’s misleading marketing and promotion of opioids created a nuisance,” Balkman said.“Specifically, defendants caused an opioid crisis that is evidenced by increased rates of addiction, overdose deaths and neonatal abstinence syndrome in Oklahoma.”Johnson & Johnson was the first pharmaceutical company tried over the US opioid crisis, which fueled over 70,000 overdose deaths in 2017 alone.Prosecutors had sought $17 billion in damages.Johnson & Johnson argued that the law was being inappropriately applied and that its products had a very small role in the addiction epidemic in Oklahoma and nationally.Balkman said Johnson & Johnson had promoted its drugs telling doctors and patients that pain was not being treated enough and that “there was a low risk of abuse and a low danger” in the drugs themselves.“The defendants used the phrase ‘pseudoaddiction’ to convince doctors that patients who exhibited signs of addiction… were not actually suffering from addiction, but from the undertreatment of pain,” he said in his decision.© – AFP 2019 By AFP Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay over $570 million in landmark opioid trial A US judged ordered the healthcare giant to pay $572 million for its role in the opioid crisis. Monday 26 Aug 2019, 10:20 PM Share23 Tweet Email2 36 Comments Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million in damages. Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million in damages. Image: Shutterstock/Sundry Photographycenter_img Aug 26th 2019, 10:21 PM Image: Shutterstock/Sundry Photography Short URL 34,363 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

French nod on extension

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that a Greek request for a two-year extension to its fiscal adjustment period could be granted if the country’s foreign creditors issue a positive report on Athens’s attempted economic overhaul, while German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble struck a sterner tone, noting that the priority was for Greece to implement promised reforms.In a welcome lift for Greece, Hollande repeated an earlier-stated conviction that the two-year extension sought by Athens for the implementation of austerity measures could be granted as long as this does not oblige eurozone countries to shell out more loans.In a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in Rome, Hollande said the green light for an extension would depend on a positive report. “Then, without giving any more money, we can reimplement the program and keep Greece in the eurozone,” he said.The mood in Berlin was more skeptical. Stournaras set out Greece’s positions to Schaeuble, presenting the government’s draft proposal for 11.5 billion euros in cuts for 2013 and 2014. “Most important is that Greece fully implement its obligations. Finance Minister Schaeuble pointed this out to his colleague once again,” the German Finance Ministry said, adding that a report by Greece’s “troika” of foreign lenders — the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — was due in October. Stournaras and Schaeuble reportedly discussed Greek efforts to hammer out a new austerity package, the impact of an ever-deepening recession and the request for a two-year extension.Stournaras, who also met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, has reportedly set up a working group to conduct a study into the viability of Greece’s debt.The minister is due back in Athens on Wednesday as coalition officials continue efforts to finalize an 11.5-billion-euro austerity package that he has drafted but which the junior coalition partners have doubts about. The package must be approved by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his coalition partners before getting the endorsement of troika envoys, who are due in Athens on Friday. After meeting troika officials, Samaras is to travel to Frankfurt next Tuesday to meet ECB chief Mario Draghi for talks on the possible purchase of Greek bonds by the bank and the recapitalization of Greek banks. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

iPad une tablette propice aux achats en ligne nocturnes

first_imgiPad : une tablette propice aux achats en ligne nocturnesLes utilisateurs de l’iPad aiment faire des achats la nuit ! C’est ce qu’indique une récente étude sur les habitudes des consommateurs en ligne, révélant que la grande majorité des achats effectués pendant la nuit le sont depuis une tablette made in Apple.L’iPad a la côte chez les consommateurs en ligne, et tout particulièrement la nuit. Une enquête menée par la société Bazaarvoice et rapportée par le Journal du net révèle en effet que la majorité des achats effectués sur Internet entre minuit à 5 heures du matin sont réalisés avec des tablettes de la firme à la pomme. L’iPad devance ainsi l’iPone, puis les terminaux Android.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Cette étude met en lumière un autre tendance : non seulement les utilisateurs d’iPad achètent plus, mais ils passent aussi plus de temps, environ cinq minutes, sur les sites de commerce en ligne que les utilisateurs d’autres tablettes, smartphones et ordinateurs. Plusieurs facteurs sont évoqués pour expliquer ce succès de l’iPad, qui se place également en tête pour les achats effectués le jour. Parmi elles, la facilité d’utilisation et l’ergonomie de la tablette, qui se manipule aisément depuis son canapé ou dans son lit, mais aussi le grand nombre d’applications des commerçants dédiés à l’Ipad. A noter également que les acheteurs en ligne sont en majorité des hommes, sans doute séduits par la simplicité et la rapidité du commerce sur Internet quand d’autres peuvent préférer flâner dans de vrais magasins plutôt que surfer sur des boutiques en ligne.Le 25 avril 2012 à 12:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Burger King Celebrates Stranger Things With Upside Down Whopper

first_imgStay on target Pop culture phenomenon Stranger Things can not be contained to the screen.Since its release in 2016, the sci-fi/horror series has inspired Halloween costumes, two themed sneaker lines, an IRL Dungeons & Dragons starter set, a special-edition camera, a LEGO collection, the revival of New Coke, ice cream flavors, and an augmented reality mobile game.Even Burger King is taking a bite out of the Netflix darling.Ahead of the show’s third season—scheduled to drop on July 4—the fast-food chain will serve its Whopper upside down.“Pro tip: You can’t get eaten by something in the Upside Down if you’ve already eaten the upside-down Whopper,” Burger King wrote on YouTube.Starting June 21, folks in select cities can enter an alternate dimension for less than $6.Participating Burger King locations (see list below) will also have limited-edition Stranger Things T-shirts, pins, paper crowns, and ketchup packets, according to Nerdist.10494 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs, FL25560 Kingsland Blvd., Katy, TX128 Tremont St., Boston, MA415 Bullsboro Drive, Newnan, GA2400 Caster Ave., Philadelphia, PA2009 Coit Road, Plano, TX2840 W. North Ave., Chicago, IL35 Powell St., San Francisco, CA4918 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA327 W. 42nd St., New York, NY1437 W. Patapsco Ave., Baltimore, MDThere is no word on how long the cross-promotion will last, so make like a Demogorgon and get eating*.Can’t make it to any of the 11 (Eleven!) restaurants? Just pop into any Burger King, order a regular Whopper, and turn it over.More on‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Poster Hints at Major Hawkins EnemyBilly Turns Up the Heat at Hawkins Pool in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 ClipBurger King Introduces Meatless ‘Impossible Whopper’* Yes, I’m aware that didn’t make any sense. Burger King’s Impossible Whopper Available Nationwide For Limited Time’Impossible Whopper’ Coming Soon to All U.S. Burger King Branches last_img read more

Stoniersponsored bill addressing publicsector unions advances

first_imgNearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that could undercut financial support for public-sector unions, a bill is advancing through the state Legislature that critics say undermines the ruling.In June of last year, the court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that government workers cannot be compelled to financially support unions, including fees paid by nonmembers for collective bargaining. The ruling undid more than 40 years of precedent, effectively creating a national “right-to-work” environment for public-sector employees.The court ruling has created concerns that public-sector unions, a large constituency of the Democratic Party, would be undermined. How the ruling plays out is being closely watched by both sides in Washington, where about half of the 138,400 state employees are represented by bargaining units.House Bill 1575 would modify how public-sector employees can join and leave unions, shield unions from liability from collecting past fees and would make it easier to organize some work environments.Rep. Monica Stonier, a Vancouver Democrat who is the lead sponsor of the bill, said that the legislation will align state law with the Janus ruling. Stonier, a teachers union member, said that the bill will help ensure that public-sector employees are aware of their union’s benefits before opting out.last_img read more

Maskanoo with a long list of Entertainment

first_img Local Atty says Govt going against public consultation; says NO to taller resort plan RitzCarlton sets up signs for 12-storey on Grace Bay Related Items:boxing day, david bowen, grace bay, mahamas junkanoo festival, maskanoo Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 24 Dec 2014 – Tomorrow is Christmas Day; the day after well it will be the Maskanoo Boxing Day festivity on Grace Bay strip. This year Maksanoo starts at 6:30am with a walk and fun run from Graceway Gourmet… later, explained Culture Director David Bowen the list of entertainers is extensive including a new set of Maskanooers out of the south of the island. “Well as you know, Maskanoo is not just a parade it’s a concert. This year we have the Methodist Church Steel Pan Band, we have Carl Lewis, Kew Band Links, Keno & Kaz – Elroy & Dez, we have the Breezy Beach Dancers and we have the Ooh La La Dancers and a special surprise guest from New York doing some interesting stuff. For the second time, we have a Haitian group doing the Ra-Ra music and it’s very similar to our Maskanoo or Junkanoo we have the Filipino Group as usual and we have the Five Cays Youth Maskanoo Junkaoo group and of course Kitch Penn and We Funk leading the whole thing.” Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Public Holiday today; School in on Mondaylast_img read more

Rumblings in TRS as sidelined leaders sulk

first_imgHyderabad: Many Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders and former MLAs are unhappy with the party for not giving them preference and encouraging only the new entrants. The leaders allegedly vent their ire in front of the senior leaders for ignoring them even in the membership drive. Several instances came to light where two groups reportedly started arguments over the distribution of membership books and the Ministers had to leave the premises without taking part in the drive. Also Read – Governor felicitates Sai Praneeth Advertise With Us According to sources, the TRS leaders including former MLAs were upset with the party for ignoring them and giving preference to the present MLAs, who have joined the party. There is a fight of supremacy in the constituencies between the followers of the former MLA and the existing MLA, opined party followers. Recently, when the membership drive was started, Labour Minister Ch Malla Reddy visited Medchal constituency. Also Read – Golden 90’s Music Superstars – Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu LIVE in Concert will be performing together for the very 1st time in the city of pearls,… Advertise With Us While the drive was going on there were arguments between two groups and this made the Minister leave the premises without taking up the exercise. The Minister asked them to first sort out their issues. Sources said the differences were between the followers of former MLA M Sudheer Reddy and Malla Reddy. Similarly, difference between former and present MLAs of Nakrekal came to fore in the membership drive. Sources said former MLA V Veeresham was unhappy for begin ignored in the drive and had expressed displeasure with the seniors over the behaviour of MLA Ch Lingaiah. Sources also said there were similar incidents in the districts. Advertise With Us Another senior leader of the party Somarapu Satyanarayana alleged that he was side-lined in the party. Satyanarayana further alleged that the party leaders not only ensured his defeat but also were ignoring him. He said he was ignored even in the membership drive by not giving him the books. The leaders especially the ones on the losing side were unhappy because the party gave importance to new MLAs in the Panchayat elections. The leaders are agitated that if they cannot provide opportunities to their followers, there are chances that they would look at other parties, pointed out a TRS leader. The leaders fear that they would have to be at losing side if the party continues to give preference to the new entrants even in the municipal elections.last_img read more

Woman who robbed relatives of Rs 24 lakh arrested in

first_imgA 36-year-old woman held on Friday for robbing Rs 24 lakh worth valuables from relatives here at Ramnagar Gundu. Khusboo Naidu, a resident of Begumpet used to visit her aunt Vinaya Kumari’s house who works as a telephone operator at Telangana police academy and stays with her daughter at Ramnagar Gundu. On July 19, Khusboo went to her aunt’s home and offered lime juice laced with sleeping pills to Vinaya and her daughter. After they fell unconscious, she took the almairah key from Vinaya’s handbag and gave them to her friends V Suryanarayana (29) and Sumala Vamsikrishna (23) to prepare a duplicate key. Also Read – Hyderabad: Intermediate student dies of cardiac arrest in class Advertise With Us Later, she returned home and took the pictures of the valuables inside the house and shared to her friends. An hour later, Vinaya’s daughter came to conscious and took her mother to a hospital. Khusboo also accompanied them to the hospital where her friends handed over the duplicate key to them along with the original one. She then dropped the original keys in Vinaya’s handbag and committed the theft on the same night when mother and daughter were at the hospital. She stole Rs 5.25 lakh, 54 tolas of gold. Also Read – Vemulawada school seized after road accident Advertise With Us On July 23, Vinaya Kumari learned about the theft when she opened almairah and noticed that the jewellery was missing. She then lodged a complaint with Nallakunta police who arrested Khusboo four days after the theft. As a part of the investigation, the police went through the call data of Khusboo and found that she had done around 90 calls to her friends on the night. However, she later admitted to committing the crime.last_img read more

Satire and sincerity are indistinguishable in gamings culture war

first_imgIn face-to-face communication, there are countless little clues as to whether or not a person is being earnest. In print, the reader has a harder time distinguishing between deadpan mockery and heartfelt extremism. On the internet, this has come to be called Poe’s Law (named after a user on a Christian Fundamentalism forum), but it applies equally well to any social or political subculture. Video game writer Mark Ankucic decided to see how far this law could be pushed, by creating a fictitious persona as a feminist game critic and infiltrating a popular website that describes itself as an “inclusive, feminist community.” We talked about the experiment with Ankucic along with some outspoken members of the game industry about how this culture war is affecting the industry.In January of this year, the website The Mary Sue published an article titled “Can They Remake Final Fantasy VII Without the Sexism?” and in February they published a second piece called “Why I Love Playing Warmachine.” Both were attributed to a writer named Sandy Beaches. At the time these articles ran, they had an editor’s note reading, “Sandy Beaches is an obvious pseudonym. Before anyone lobs uncalled for vitriol at this writer for choosing to remain anonymous, please consider that reaction is exactly why the author wishes to remain anonymous.”Sandy was, essentially, placed above suspicion precisely because she used a blatantly fake name. It turns out that “Sandy” really was a pseudonym, but her reasons for remaining anonymous were not as stated. She was actually Mark Ankucic. Ankucic claims that there was no attempt to by the editors to confirm Sandy’s true identity. In our interview with him he said that he sent pitches to The Mary Sue with “an airhead version of how I usually approach pitches…there honestly wasn’t much to it. I didn’t provide any previous works, credentials or information.”According to Ankucic, Sandy’s observations on games were deliberately written to be “as ludicrous as possible” with “half-truths and lies.” He views Sandy as his parody of the actual contributors to sites like The Mary Sue. “Anytime I make any kind of declaration or interpretation in the article, it’s wrong in some way,” he told us, and cited Sandy’s analysis of one quest in Final Fantasy VII as “playing with the idea of identity politics to make a Japanese interpretation of Japanese culture seem racist.” Sandy also accused Final Fantasy VII and Warmachine of being sexist, Islamophobic, condoning domestic violence, and having many other “problematic” themes.Before the articles were revealed as a hoax, they received praise in the comments section on the site, as well as derision. People on both sides of the political spectrum believed that Sandy was a real person who genuinely held these values. At the end of February, Ankucic revealed his deception through an article on Medium called “What I learned as Feminist Critic Sandy Beaches.” Shortly thereafter, the two aforementioned articles were removed from The Mary Sue, replaced with a new editor’s note reading “It has been brought to our attention that the personal accounts and opinions in this piece were fabricated, so it has been removed. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused.” The original text is still available on internet cache sites.This event is similar to the “Sokal Affair,” which caused a stir in academic circles in the ’90s. Alan Sokal, a physicist, wrote a paper which was a satire of postmodern science. The paper regurgitated rhetoric and jargon that was popular among social progressives at the time. Sokal layered his satire by citing actual quotes from his contemporaries. Instead of arguing against them, he compiled them all together, including some statements that could easily have been written by Sandy Beaches, like “feminist thinkers have repeatedly pointed out, in the present culture this contamination is overwhelmingly capitalist, patriarchal and militaristic: ‘mathematics is portrayed as a woman whose nature desires to be the conquered Other.’”We spoke with game designer American McGee, the founder and CEO of Spicy Horse Games, an indie studio in Shanghai, China. Their most recent game is Critter Academy, but many players will know them for Alice: Madness Returns. We asked McGee about how the clash of gamer and “social justice” culture is affecting the industry.“I maintain a high level view of the ‘culture wars’ within games (and other mediums)” says McGee. “It’s manufactured on the basis of distorted representation in the media. The visibility and awareness of the narrative has more to do with an end goal of corporations and governments than the goals and concerns of the participants. That end goal is the destruction of individual rights — especially in the realm of digital communities and the technologies that underpin our society (Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc).”McGee’s views are informed by over 11 years living in China, a nation where the government arguably has the kind of “editorial control” he fears might come to America. He cites how social media sites have been accused of censoring accounts through safety councils, so to speak, that were allegedly formed to fight harassment. Some sites also less obvious techniques like shadow banning, which secretly hide posts made by certain users. Users often claim that these policies target conservative social views more frequently than liberal views.McGee points out that “These government/corporate policies are wildly unpopular with Americans — as they should be. So the issues have been loaded into various Trojan horses with names like ‘protecting women and children online,’ ‘digital citizenship,’ and ‘free speech,’ but…these are the wedge issues being used to excuse the adoption of unpopular policies.” McGee reminds us that “China too had its Cultural Revolution, by the people and for the people…and where are the rights of the people today?”We also spoke with Kate Edwards, Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). When asked about Ankucic’s hoax articles on The Mary Sue, and how they affect game developers, she said “Anytime someone resorts to fraud and conscious manipulation for the purpose of self-amusement, social demonstration or any other purpose, it degrades the truth value of expression on the internet and therefore affects people’s ability to trust what they read on any news site. For game developers, it reinforces a wariness of engaging the press if they feel they cannot expect some degree of professional objectivity.”The problem of degraded trust isn’t just a matter for game developers; players also need to believe that the opinions presented by game journalists are sincere. According to Edwards, “Like most people, game players expect their press to be honest and objective, and the individuals reporting to be genuine professionals — not people resorting to fraud or manipulation. As a result, game players would likewise develop a growing mistrust in information found in the gaming press.”McGee says that the problem isn’t seen with all game journalists “In a nutshell, I’m referring to the individuals and media outlets who level unfounded accusations at ‘gamers,’ then labeled the resulting outrage ‘harassment’…The press should fit into this by reporting in an unbiased fashion — covering both sides of the story — without letting personal politics get in the way.”“I like writing about political and social issues in my games,” said McGee, “I once made a game called Bad Day LA which was meant to be a satirical presentation of fear culture in America. It contained caricatures of stereotypical figures in games and film. The Alice series deals more with individual psychological issues arising from abuses inflicted upon us by authority figures and society as a whole. Other games I’ve created also deal with social and political issues in fantasy narratives…but none has dealt directly with the current culture war. My brain is still chewing on how best to present a premise on that topic.”“It is because I’m interested in games as an artistic medium that I react so vocally to those who would lobby for censorship or control of the content they contain.” continued McGee, “I do believe many of the issues being raised in these debates are legitimate. Yes, there’s sexism, racism, and other ‘isms in the world. These issues should be explored and resolved, but this effort doesn’t require Orwellian control of Internet communities… Ultimately, I believe we should all be left alone to ‘do our thing.’ I don’t want government, corporations, or activists telling me what I can and cannot say, play, think, or write.”Ankucic has said he intends to submit more articles using personae similar to Sandy Beaches. We asked Kate Edwards if is there anything the game industry can or should do. She says “This type of sociopathic behavior is common on the internet and frequently referred to as ‘trolling.’ Dealing with trolling is a much broader issue than the game industry and relates to issues around being educated about online behaviors, fraud and being prepared to deal with forms of harassment and misinformation that commonly occur in internet spaces. It’s unfortunate that this individual feels it necessary to resort to this type of tactic in order to state his point, whatever that may be.”Ankucic was honest enough to scream “Fooled ya!” and quickly post a public statement about his prank. He behaved like the End Boss on the final level of a game, politely explaining the details of his scheme. However, this raises the question of how many other game journalists have perpetrated similar scams without screaming “Fooled ya!”In the years to come, when fans read glowing reviews of a socially progressive game, or contrarian critiques of blockbuster shooters, they will have to wonder if these are the work of infiltrators in the culture war. How many writers are “Sandy” at one site, and “Andy” at another? Quietly praising a game’s “strong female protagonist” on one site, while condemning its “shameless feminist agenda” on another? Quietly walking to the bank to deposit two paychecks, and softly whispering “fooled ya.”last_img read more

A Robot Barista Brews the Perfect Cup of Joe at Cafe X

first_imgStay on target Cafe X promises to brew its customers “precision crafted specialty coffee in seconds.” And nothing says precision like a well-engineered robot barista backed by thoughtfully-coded software.Before you let yourself get too excited about getting Cafe X’s robot to hand you your next cup of bean juice, know that there are currently some geographical limitations. They’re only staffing two locations right now: one in San Francisco and the other in Hong Kong.The barista is not humanoid like the ones staffing the counter at Japan’s Henn Na hotel, nor is it a cutesy little automaton like LG’s friendly airport helpers. The Cafe X barista is just a clean, white piece of precision industrial robotic gear.You don’t place your order with the bot itself, though. That’s done through the Cafe X mobile app, either on your smartphone or on one of the shop’s iPad terminals. When your order is ready, it’s placed in a chute where you retrieve it by entering the four-digit code Cafe X provides you. To keep things as efficient as possible, Cafe X even prioritizes orders based on the location of the customer who places them.Cafe X says their robot and high-tech brewing systems provide something that more traditional coffee shops simply can’t: a truly consistent product. As CEO Henry Wu told Fast Company “if you’re in a rush, you have to settle for very bad coffee.” That’s not the case at Cafe X.Need a little help deciding what to order? Cafe X will happily answer any questions you might have. Not via the app, mind you. A human advisor staffs each Cafe X location, there to provide advice the way a human barista would at a less futuristic coffee shop… only from the other side of the counter, where it can be done in a friendlier, less standoffish kind of way. Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech SuitsRobots to Compete in Underground Challenge in Mining Tunnels last_img read more