Exclusive Interview Sharif Atkins Talks Charity

first_imgActor Sharif Atkins is best known for his role as Dr. Michael Gallant on ER and his current role in USA Network’s hit series White Collar, but he is also known for his off-screen role as Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile.Sharif Atkins, with 4 month old cleft lip patient, Michael Andres Cevollos during the screening process at Operation Smile Surgical mission in Quito, EcuadorCredit/Copyright: Operation Smile Photo – Jasmin ShahSharif recently returned from Ecuador where he completed his first surgical mission with Operation Smile. As an official Smile Ambassador for the organization since 2011, he possesses a genuine interest in donating his time and efforts to ensure kids everywhere get to smile forever by supporting the organization’s global efforts to provide free surgeries for children born with facial deformities.Look to the Stars contributing partner, Delinda Lombardo, spoke with Atkins about spreading smiles, daily inspirations, his outlook on life and the ‘ripple effect’ of giving.Why did you get involved with Op-Smile?I’d been giving to Op Smile on a small scale for about 2-3 years after I saw a commercial of theirs that resonated with me. I was trying to figure out a way to give back – having been in the industry for as long as I have, I felt it was about time that I gave back in an official capacity, not just money, but time and effort. So after a conversation with my publicist Darren, we reached out to Operation Smile and about a year and a half ago I became an Ambassador for them, and peace, love and happiness followed.Several things you said make me believe that you put a lot of time into researching the organization before becoming involved: one is “Packets are not people” and the other, “It’s an organization that does what it says it does’?Philanthropy is a big thing these days – it’s not a bad thing – but I definitely didn’t want to be a “celebrity for hire” so to speak. I didn’t just want to get in my one good deed for the day and add it to my resume, there’s a lot of great organizations out there and you cant participate in all of them. For me, Operation Smile was one of those that tugged at my heart strings.Smile Ambassador, Sharif Atkins, jokes around with a child during the screening process at Operation Smile Surgical mission in Quito, Ecuador on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.Credit/Copyright: Operation Smile Photo – Jasmin ShahYou recently returned from your first mission with them, where you went to Quito, Ecuador?Yes, this was really to solidify my involvement with the organization, and yes, packets are not people and you learn that very quickly when you are actually in the throws of what’s going on and you see the effects that OpSmile is having on individuals, children and families. It’s pretty cool.I’m going to quote you again – “It’s about the long journey, not the 15 minutes of fame.” What have you learned from your journey so far?I’ve been blessed to be able to do this [acting] long enough to realize that there are plenty of ups and downs. Just stay the course, duck and dive the disappointments, rise to the occasion when you have the opportunity – all of that is real.Another quote from you: “It’s the stuff you’re doing when nobody’s paying attention that is significant.”The interesting thing about doing work with Operation Smile and another organization I recently started work with this year – Share Our Strength – I know part of my job description is to help them reach those they haven’t reached, that’s part of it. When I was in Ecuador, I never wanted to feel like I was posing for a photo op, I just wanted to be able to talk with the families, hold the kids – and if Jasmin, our photographer, got something great, great, but if not, lets move along. I know that’s part of it, but if I were a multi-multi millionaire I’d be moving in the shadows LOL dropping money here, helping kids there.A lot of celebrities are using social media to engage fans and raise awareness, you did this on Twitter a few years ago with the #SharifScavengerHunt?Yeah, a few years ago I did that as a way to raise awareness for OpSmile. Viewers were asked tweet when they saw my character smile during an episode of White Collar. Just trying creative ways to make people aware, it was a lot of fun.If you could ask your fans to do one thing to improve this world, what would it be?I wont be selfish and say donate to Operation Smile LOL! I would say – and I think most folks do it anyway – find a way to be nice to a stranger. I know its cliché, but if something nice is done for you, pay it forward. I look at a lot of thing like a pebble in the lake. You watch the ripples on a calm day by the lake, and they’re so beautiful… and you really do have an effect. You may not see that effect; you might not be rewarded for what it is that was done, but being able to have that larger perspective that the smile you give that person who was about to cut you off in traffic does have an affect. It’s infectious, plus you never know what people are going through in their personal lives.Sometimes people take things like being cut-off personally when it has nothing to do with them?Exactly, it has nothing at all to do with them.Do you want to be remembered as an actor or philanthropist?In terms of the legacy I want to leave behind, I’d probably say – can I be both? I definitely want to be respected as a solid actor, but in terms of philanthropy – absolutely someone who gave back what he could, in whatever capacity he could.Finally, if you had a theme song, what would it be?Wow… I need time to think about that, that’s a thesis question LOL! But I like Michael Jackson. I grew up in the hey day and I think ‘Man in the Mirror’ might be one, you may hear that creep up when I’m walking down the street, um, ‘You Want to be Starting Something’. Do my strut like Toby McGuire when he’s bad Spiderman LOL! But you know my faith is really important to me as well, it’s in my life. Amidst the ups and downs of my life and my journey it remains significant and important, so there’s a song by Forever Jones called ‘He Wants It All’, essentially saying this is your life, it’s something bigger than yourself, do it and live it with a higher purpose.Many thanks to Sharif Atkins and the good people at Operation Smile for making this interview possible.You can support Operation Smile and Sharif Atkins by visiting his personal Fundraising Campaign on Crowdrise at www.crowdrise.com/sharifsmission to help him raise $10,000, which can provide life-changing surgery for children around the world who are suffering from clefts.For more information on Operation Smile, please click hereCopyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

Controversy is familiar ground at TIFF Howell

first_img Login/Register With: Observing that the Toronto International Film Festival will be showing a potentially controversial film is like predicting that a politician will stretch the truth. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Facebookcenter_img Handling and his staff have stared down many protests during TIFF’s 41-year history. The most vociferous I’ve seen was the 2004 furor over a documentary called Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, which merely described the fatal torturing of a cat on video by three Toronto men who were trying to pass themselves off as artists. To say that cat lovers were outraged is putting it mildly. It should go without saying, although it often has to be said, that TIFF exists to provide moviegoers with “Infinite Views,” to quote its pithy slogan for next month’s festival, which runs Sept. 8 to 18. It’s absolutely not the fest’s mandate to seek out the most bland and inoffensive cinema possible.Piers Handling, TIFF’s director and CEO, offered a timely reminder of this reality when I sought his reaction this week to the uproar over Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation, a Sundance-lauded slave drama now burdened with rape allegations from Parker’s past.TIFF is standing by plans to screen the film three times, two of them on Sept. 9 as part of its international premiere, although there are no plans for a festival press conference for the film.“You never want the festival to turn into a safe festival that’s unafraid of controversy,” Handling said. Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Nexen fined 750K for huge pipeline spill in northern Alberta

first_img(THE CANADIAN PRESS) CALGARY, A.B. – A Calgary energy company has pleaded guilty to federal and provincial environmental charges over one of the largest pipeline spills in Alberta history.Nexen has been ordered to pay a total of $750,000 in fines for the Long Lake spill southeast of Fort McMurray that released five million litres of bitumen, sand and produced water over an area of 16,000 square metres of lake and muskeg in 2015.“A number of landbird, shorebird, waterbird and waterfowl species protected by the Migratory Birds Convention Act use and were observed in the impacted area and adjacent unnamed lake,” said the agreed statement of facts. Nexen, a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned firm CNOOC Ltd., acknowledged the pipeline southeast of Fort McMurray was leaking for more than four weeks before it was discovered by workers in the area.The statement said the leak began June 13. Although the spill was visible from satellite imagery by July 3, it wasn’t until July 15 that Nexen realized there was a problem when two employees spotted it while doing work in the area.The double-walled pipeline, designed to carry raw bitumen from the ground to a processing plant had been installed a year earlier. The pipeline, which used a relatively new technology, operated at 100 degrees Celsius in order for the thick bitumen to flow.Nexen said the release went undetected because a computer failed to sound an alarm.“This failure was unknown to Nexen prior to the release,” says the statement. “Nexen had no written procedure in place to check for the type of failure that occurred.”The pipeline remains out of operation.center_img “Over the last three years, we’ve kept a close eye on Nexen’s operations to bring the company back into compliance,” Jim Ellis, head of the Alberta Energy Regulator, said in a release.“The pipeline responsible for this spill will remain suspended until Nexen can demonstrate to us that the company can operate it safely.”The total provincial fine is $460,000. About $450,00 of that will go into funds to help establish best practices on pipeline spills and to expand an environmental sciences degree program for Indigenous youth.The federal fine of $290,000 is to go into an environmental damages fund for migratory bird habitat.last_img read more

Regional District hosts meeting on Old Fort landslide update

first_imgMcQuarrie says changes in the landslide status depends on the weather conditions.“It will all come down to how much rain you will get in the Spring, how much snow you get over the Winter, and how things melt. That’s when the next risky period is going to be when it comes to Spring.”Highlighted in the report, the main elements at risk that will be monitored will be the southern part of the gravel pit, the temporary access road, and Old Fort Road.According to McQuarrie, they are still unsure as to how deep the landslide is and the rate of its movement.McQuarrie’s presentation ended as some residents continued to argue with him about the quarry and how they claim it is a contributing factor to the landslide.Following McQuarrie’s presentation Nikki Hogg, of Ministry of Transportation, gave an update on the current road status and the monitors that have been set up to watch the progress of the slide.Hogg says there are currently four thresholds that collect data that monitor slide activity.“We have four different thresholds, and that triggers different responses. They’re pretty conservative right now just because we want to see how the slide’s reacting. Since we’ve installed them since the slide has slowed down and has stopped moving, we haven’t seen any alerts from those monitoring systems and where they’re placed right now, right around five centimetres is when we will start to trigger an alert, and we will be sharing that information with the Regional District and other affected agencies to make some decisions on whether we need to close the road, increase patrol, how it’s affecting the road, and those types of things.”Hogg assured the residents that the Ministry would continue to monitor the condition of the road.Regional Chair, Brad Sperling, was on hand to report some resolutions that have been sent by the Regional District to the Provincial Government.Some of those resolutions include that the government takes full responsibility to monitor the landslide movement and that the Ministry of Public Safety should launch an investigation into the cause of the slide. Sperling feels this should not be PRRD’s responsibility.Some residents wanted to make sure that the Regional District is on board when it comes to them staying in there homes as long as possible.Sperling responded saying, “You will be, as long as it’s possible and if you’re not in danger, you will be staying there.”Sperling also assured residents that the Regional District has an evacuation plan set in place if any further sliding were to occur.At the end of the meeting, residents stated that they wish to be better informed when it comes to the releasing of information about the landslide status, as they feel they are the biggest stakeholders involved in this situation since it is they’re homes and livelihood that would ultimately be heavily affected by the landslide.The District says it will continue to improve ways of keeping residents informed on updates as they become available.The full geotechnical report can be viewed on the Regional District’s website. To present the completed geotechnical report was Eric McQuarrie of Westrek Geotechnical Services.McQuarrie says the movement of land has ceased for the time being in part to seasonal changes.“The movement has ceased, but it’s what we call suspended. We won’t call it inactive yet; it has to go through a full cycle where we don’t see any movement; have a little bit more confidence that it has stopped. This case here is just suspended because we got into the cold and we got into lower groundwater levels.”McQuarrie says a change in groundwater levels and pressures is a likely cause of the landslide and not the gravel pit alone.“Groundwater pressures are a significant contributing factor to most large landslides; therefore, the causes of the landslide would most likely be factors that increase groundwater levels or piezometric pressures. The removal of overburden soils as part of the gravel pit operation could have impacted the groundwater level by greatly reducing the volume of soil capable of absorbing groundwater within the vadose zone.”Some residents in attendance were pretty upset by the report as they say it does not list the gravel pit as a contributing factor to the landslide as they have large stockpiles of gravel on top of the hill. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District hosted a community meeting for the residents of Old Fort on Monday at the North Peace Cultural Centre.Many concerned and frustrated residents came out to listen to the updates on the landslide status.The meeting included a presentation of the completed geotechnical report, slope monitoring system, and discussions of the DRAFT evacuation plan.center_img McQuarrie says the weight of the gravel pit stockpiles is pretty minor in contributing to the landslide.“The weight of the stockpiles is pretty minor. Weight is not an issue, and the weight hasn’t changed. They haven’t really changed, what’s happened is the groundwater has changed.”McQuarrie adds that while most slides are caused by loading issues, he believes this is not the case in Old Fort, stressing that the purpose of this report is to determine imminent hazard and not the precise cause of the slide.“In most slides, the loading is an issue. In this one, we haven’t gone into enough detail, and that’s going to be a different report. You have to keep in mind that what we’re trying to deal with the imminent hazard.”last_img read more

Thousands of fish die in 3rd mass death in Australian river

CANBERRA, Australia — Hundreds of thousands of fish have died in the third mass kill on a stretch of a major Australian river in recent weeks that local officials blame on drought but critics say at least partly stems from water mismanagement.The latest deaths began Sunday night in the Darling River near the township of Menindee in western New South Wales state. That’s the same area where hundreds of thousands of fish were found floating dead in early January and shortly before Christmas.The suspected cause is hot weather leading to an algal bloom that has starved the water of oxygen.New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian blamed an extended drought. But Menindee Regional Tourist Association president Rob Gregory says officials let farmers take too much water for irrigation.The Associated Press read more

Loblaw shareholders reject living wage independent board chair proposals

Shareholders of Canada’s largest grocer rejected a proposal that Loblaw Companies Ltd. determine the feasibility of paying its employees a living wage — one that varies by location and is calculated by its cost of living.“Socially responsible companies contribute to the economic well-being of communities by providing direct and indirect employment preferably at rates that reflect the true cost of living. We believe the living wage reflects those costs,” said a speaker from Vancity Investment Management Ltd., which submitted the shareholder proposal at Loblaw’s annual general meeting of shareholders Thursday.The proposal called for Loblaw to review the feasibility, cost and benefits of implementing a living wage policy for its employees, suppliers and contractors. It asked for the company to report findings to shareholders by the end of the year.A living wage is an hourly rate set by looking at an area’s typical expenses such as food, housing, transportation, child care and other expenses. It is calculated annually.In Metro Vancouver, workers paid a living wage would receive $20.91 per hour, according to a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. If two adults worked full-time at that wage, they could support a family of four, according to the report.In comparison, the province’s minimum wage is currently $11.35 per hour, but will increase to $12.65 on June 1.Loblaw’s board of directors recommended shareholders vote against the proposal in its annual proxy circular. It reasoned the proposal over-simplifies compensation practices and won’t give the company the flexibility it needs, saying the board must ensure compensation practices “are flexible enough to allow the company to maintain its competitive position and adapt in an ever-changing retail landscape.”Additionally, the “enormous time and resources” it would take to undergo the review is an inefficient use of resources, it said, and the policy would not have any bearing on workers covered by collective bargaining agreements.The speaker countered some of these arguments when presenting the proposal at the meeting, saying the analysis would provide a factual basis for evaluating how fair the company’s compensation policies are and is an efficient use of resources as it would assure shareholders the company is a responsible employer.CEO Galen G. Weston pointed shareholders to the recommendation made in the proxy circular to vote against the proposal before adding that fair compensation and employment practices are central to Loblaw’s success, but the question of fair wages is both important and tremendously complex.While Loblaw encourages the debate, he said, “we believe that this important public policy issue is best considered by our public institutions as it is far wider in scope than one company, even one as large as Loblaw.”Ninety-seven per cent of proxies received in advance of Thursday’s meeting, which represent a majority of eligible votes, voted against the proposal, he said.At the meeting, the majority of shareholders followed suit. Though no final tally was immediately provided.One disgruntled shareholder further questioned Weston on the issue during the meeting’s question-and-answer period. He said he wasn’t clear on how many more resources it would take for Loblaw to conduct the analysis beyond the work it has already done around the impact rising minimum wages in some provinces would have on the company.“This is a national public policy question,” Weston responded, to which the shareholder retorted that it is not.Shareholders also rejected a second proposal at the meeting, asking the board to institute an independent chair of the board. Currently, Weston also serves as chairman.An independent chair would be particularly useful at the company, the proposal stated, where it was revealed last year it participated in an alleged industry-wide bread price-fixing scheme.The board recommended shareholders vote against the proposal, and the majority followed its directive. read more

UN rights expert welcomes abolishment of military tribunal in DR of Congo

In a statement issued yesterday in Geneva, Iulia Motoc, the Commission on Human Rights’ Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DRC, welcomed the Government’s decision to eliminate the military tribunal – la Cour d’Ordre Militaire – and court prosecutor’s office, military institutions which did not meet international fair trial standards. She said that this step represented important progress for the administration of justice in the DRC and encouraged the Government to continue in the same direction. read more

On international day UN spotlights history and power of jazz in building

“This spirit has inspired musicians, as well as poets, painters and writers all over the world, reminding us that culture is far more than entertainment – culture is a window onto the soul, culture is the shape we give to that which we most cherish,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a message to mark the International Day today. Ms. Bokova noted that the history of jazz draws from a mix of peoples and cultures, including from Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. “Jazz tells the power of music to build peace and bring together people of all cultures and backgrounds,” the Director-General said. “Jazz gave music to the courage that drove the civil rights movement in the United States, and it continues to provide inspiration to millions of people across the world, seeking freedom, fighting for respect and human dignity,” she added. Among activities for this year’s Day, an All Star Concert was held at the White House in Washington, D.C., hometown of the jazz great Duke Ellington, hosted by United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The celebration, which took place yesterday, will be webcast today as a one-hour program, “Jazz at the White House,” on the UN, UNESCO, U.S. State Department and White House websites. In addition to jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, the concert featured Sting, Aretha Franklin, Hugh Masekela, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny and many others. “After travelling the world, jazz returns home,” Ms. Bokova said. “This kicks off a celebration that will take over hundreds of cities across the globe. Once again, this shows the power of jazz to bring the world together as one.” Some 150 countries will be hosting Jazz Day events over the next several days, the Director-General said. In November 2011, UNESCO officially designated 30 April as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. In December 2013, the UN General Assembly formally welcomed UNESCO’s decision, with both bodies now recognizing the Day. The Day is chaired and led by Ms. Bokova and Mr. Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a non-profit organization charged with planning, promoting and producing the annual celebration. International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month, which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April. read more

With barely enough money for food conflictdisplaced Ukrainians struggling to survive –

In its report National Monitoring System on Situation of IDPs in Ukraine, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), reveals that on average, income per internally displaced person (IDP) in Ukraine is 1,991 Ukrainian Hryvnia – or $75 per month, approximately $2.50 per day. While a loaf of bread costing about 0.40, some 21 per cent are surviving on less than $2 a day. “Lack of support in finding relevant solutions for IDPs and returnees hinders their integration and creates dependencies on government and aid organizations,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission, Manfred Profazi, in a press statement.As of April, Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy has registered some 1.5 million IDPs since 2014. Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, IOM has provided support to some 138,000 conflict-affected people. Its current focus lies in providing income opportunities for IDPs and conflict-affected populations, and facilitating social cohesion, recovery and peacebuilding. On a positive note, the level of employed IDPs has increased slightly, from 35 per cent in March 2016, when the first IOM survey was conducted, to 42 per cent currently. However, when compared to the situation before displacement, employment levels remain quite low – approximately one third of those working before the conflict remain unable find a new job. Other problematic issues are living conditions and payment for rent and utilities. Two thirds of IDPs dwell in rented housing, while one fifth stay with relatives or host families. Only one per cent of people in the Government-controlled part of Ukraine live in their own home. The survey shows great uncertainty about the future. A quarter of IDPs say they will never move back to their places of origin. Thirty-nine per cent would like to return when the conflict is over. Another 17 per cent said that they may consider returning in the future. “With the National Monitoring System, IOM aims to assist the Government in improving its knowledge about the situation and the needs of IDPs, continued Mr. Profazi. “We want to highlight emerging trends so that the Government can better develop evidence-based policies to address IDPs’ needs.” At the joint presentation of the survey in Kyiv, Deputy Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs, Heorhii Tuka, stressed the importance of data collection and IOM’s expertise in shaping strategy and planning practical steps to support the well-being and integration of IDPs. read more

Weir completes acquisition of ESCO Corp

first_imgThe Weir Group has completed the acquisition of ESCO Corp, the world’s leading provider of ground engaging tools for surface mining and infrastructure markets, for an enterprise value of $1,285 million.  It follows regulatory clearance for the transaction, which was first announced on 19 April 2018.Commenting, Weir Group Chief Executive Jon Stanton said:“We are delighted to formally welcome ESCO to Weir.  It is a great brand that is respected throughout the world for its quality, performance and reliability.  ESCO’s strength in extraction complements our leadership in the mill circuit, meaning that together we will have a comprehensive offering for mining companies around the world.”Current ESCO President and Chief Operating Officer Jon Owens will continue to lead the business as it becomes a division of the Weir Group.  He will also join Weir’s Group Executive committee with immediate effect.Owens said: “This is an exciting day for ESCO and all our people.  As part of Weir we can create something that is genuinely unique that will help more customers improve their productivity and safety.  No other mining equipment provider will be able to offer customers market-leading solutions from extraction to concentration supported by a service centre network that covers every major mining region in the world.”ESCO has surface mining’s most extensive installed base of lip systems that house short-cycle consumables, such as teeth, shrouds, adaptors, blades and locking systems, with aftermarket sales representing about 90% of ESCO revenues.  ESCO’s extraction products sit upstream from Weir’s traditional strength in slurry handling equipment with market leading brands including both Warman® and GEHO® pumps, Cavex® hydrocyclones and Linatex® rubber products.ESCO was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1913 and currently employs around 2,600 people with operations in 19 countries.  In 2017 it generated revenues of $632 million.Ricardo Garib, Division President of Weir Minerals, said the combination would be beneficial to customers around the world: “It is great to welcome ESCO to Weir.  They are a business we have admired for some time.  By working together we’ll be able to give customers easier access to more market-leading products and services.  With our global network of over 100 service centres, that means customers will have more of the superior solutions they require, where and when they need them.”Joe Weber, Vice President of Global Sales for Weir’s ESCO division agreed: “As mining markets grow customers are looking for partners they can trust to help them increase productivity and safety while also lowering their total cost of ownership.  That requires a relentless focus on innovation, quality and close customer proximity, which are the hallmarks of the ESCO® brand.“As part of Weir we’ll benefit from combining some of the world’s leading materials scientists, applications engineers and developing digital technology to deliver increased innovation in the future, ensuring ESCO remains surface mining’s preferred provider of ground engaging solutions.”last_img read more

World Cup final will be very interesting – Marco van Basten

first_imgFormer Netherlands international Marco van Basten is excited over Sunday’s World Cup final, which will see France and Croatia face off against each other to determine who will bring home the famous trophyLes Bleus will meet the first-time finalists Croatia at Moscow in what should be a thrilling match with the latter’s star midfield duo in Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic going up against the likes of Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi.With the young Kylian Mbappe performing wonders at the World Cup and Antoine Griezmann continuing to find the back of the net for France, Danijel Subašić will likely be kept busy guarding the Croatia goal and Van Basten can’t wait to see what happens.Will the 1998 world champions claim a second title or will the small nation be able to cause one more upset at Moscow?Euro 2020Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group H George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group H is being controlled by France and Turkey, but Iceland is still in with a shout.Reigning world champions France ran…“I think it’s a very interesting final. Croatia has good players… I think they’re strong especially because they are a fighting team, they are fighting together till the end… I think spirit-wise they are very strong,” said Van Basten, according to FourFourTwo.The Euro 1988 winner reserved praise for Croatia captain Luka Modric for his ability to read the game and lead his side at Russia.“I think having a player like him in a team brings you far… And I think a country like Croatia [coming] so close is really something special,” Van Basten added.The World Cup final will take place on Sunday at 17:00 (GMT +2).last_img read more

Health officials reopen Vancouver Lake

first_imgClark County health officials reopened Vancouver Lake to swimmers Friday afternoon, just one day after closing the lake due to elevated E. coli bacteria levels.Clark County Public Health announced the closure Thursday after learning three of the six water samples taken earlier in the week showed elevated levels of the E. coli bacteria. But by Friday afternoon, bacteria levels had dropped within “acceptable limits,” according to health officials.“We strongly urge parents not to take diapered children or those who haven’t been potty trained into the water,” Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer/administrator, said in a news release. “We also advise people who catch fish at Vancouver Lake to always cook the fish completely, whether or not a health advisory has been issued. Any body of water can become contaminated.”Health officials will continue to test Vancouver Lake for bacteria every two weeks throughout the summer.To avoid catching or spreading E. coli or other illness that can spread in swimming areas, health officials offer these tips:Don’t swim or wade if you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make others sick.Don’t swallow the water and avoid getting water in your mouth.Practice good hygiene. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers.Take children on bathroom breaks often.Change diapers in a bathroom or diaper-changing area, not near the water. Keep children who aren’t potty trained out of the water.Wash your child thoroughly with soap and water before swimming.last_img read more

Northstar Travel Media Makes Second AsiaBased Acquisition

first_img“This adds a powerful group of face-to-face events to complement our publishing brands in Asia,” says Northstar CEO Tom Kemp. “Web In Travel is the leading group of events serving online travel distribution and travel technology.”The assets will be added to a new operating entity called Northstar Travel Media Singapore Pte Ltd, which was formed as a result of the Contineo deal. WIT founder and editor Yeoh Siew Hoon will become editorial director of Northstar Travel Media Asia, reporting to Bob Sullivan, executive vice president of Northstar Travel Media. The rest of the WIT team will continue to run the operation as before. Northstar Travel Media has made its second Asia-based acquisition in a month, picking up Web In Travel, an event and media company serving the travel and meetings markets. The deal complements another made by the company in early March when it purchased several brands from Contineo Media, which, like WIT, is based in Singapore.It’s another sub-$5 million deal for Northstar, but it expands its activities in Asia—adding a larger event component to the media brands it picked up from Contineo. The WIT brands—news website, newsletters and video—are led by a half-dozen events, including its flagship WIT Conference. last_img read more

Rep Will Hurd Lone Black House Republican Wont Run Again

first_imgBy The Associated PressSAN ANTONIO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, an ex-CIA undercover officer and the lone Black Republican in the House of Representatives, says he won’t seek a third term next year.The San Antonio Republican’s announcement came in a Thursday statement posted on his House web page. He’s the third Texas Republican to announce that he won’t seek re-election to the House, joining Michael Conaway of Midland and Pete Olson of Sugar Land.In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, right, poses for photos at the Texas A&M-San Antonio. Hurd announced on Aug. 1, 2019, he will not seek reelection in 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)Hurd says he wants to work in the private sector toward solutions to “problems at the nexus between technology and national security.”Hurd has served the sprawling 23rd Congressional District, a 71% Latino district extending from San Antonio to El Paso. He was one of only four House Republicans to vote to condemn President Donald Trump’s racist tweets taunting four Democratic congresswomen.___This story has been corrected to place Hurd’s residence in San Antonio, instead of El Paso.last_img read more

Bitcoin Bomb Threat Scam Disrupts Businesses Across US Canada

first_imgStay on target FBI statement on recent bomb threats made across the country: pic.twitter.com/lOXnwtBZqB— FBI (@FBI) December 13, 2018Accounts from San Francisco, Chicago, and Tampa Bay highlight the “clumsy” threats—”written in the stilted fashion of Nigerian prince hoaxes of years past,” according to SFGate—demanding bitcoin payment to prevent detonation.The New York Police Department tried tempering the situation by advising that “these threats are meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money” and can be assessed as “likely NOT CREDIBLE.” A wave of emailed bomb threats were reported this week at various locations across North America.All appeared to be hoaxes.News outlets, government buildings, banks, libraries, schools, and other businesses temporarily closed on Thursday as local and federal authorities investigated.AdChoices广告“We are aware of the recent bomb threats made in cities around the country, and we remain in touch with our law enforcement partners to provide assistance,” the FBI said on Twitter. Russian Bots Found to Have Rigged ‘The Voice Kids’ Talent ShowFCC: Don’t Be Fooled by ‘One Ring’ Robocall Scam We are currently monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city.These threats are also being reported to other locations nationwide & are NOT considered credible at this time. pic.twitter.com/GowGG4oZ9l— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) December 13, 2018Law enforcement in Oklahoma and Massachusetts also responded to “multiple” email bomb threats, though investigators found nothing serious.Similar messages were sent across Canada: at least 10 in Ottawa and five in Montreal, and unspecified numbers in Winnipeg, Calgary, and British Columbia.“A whole lot of people have had a stressful afternoon just like we have,” Indiana’s WNDU-TV anchor Maureen McFadden told NBC News.This sort of real-life denial-of-service attack—in which the perpetrator(s) disrupts the country by flooding it with bogus threats—would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.But in an age when gunmen and explosives make headlines almost daily, this news comes as little surprise anymore.Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier for the victims.“It makes you feel uneasy,” WNDU-TV general manager John O’Brien said after being evacuated from the South Bend building.“It’s upsetting. It’s a disruption,” he explained. “We’ve all seen how much things like this go on today in our society—we see it a lot—but you have to take each and every one of these instances seriously, because you never know when it’s a real threat.”The emails came from verified domains of non-malicious services, Dan Leahy, a website systems administrator, told NBC News. Some slipped through because they came from a “clean” address or a hacked account, he said.No further details have been revealed.More on Geek.com:Couple, Homeless Man Allegedly Made Up Story to Scam GoFundMe DonationsAmazon Scam Floods Couple With Unwanted PackagesStore Your Bitcoin Fortune in DNAlast_img read more

Two die after concrete wall collapses on top of hammock

first_imgMunicipal police went to the site where, according to witnesses, a loud rumble was heard, which is when they saw the pair deceased underneath the concrete rubble. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window) Tulum, Q.R. — Two people have died after a wall they used for hammock support, collapsed. The adult man and woman were found deceased at a construction site outside Tulum around 3:00 a.m. when the pair tied their hammock to a weak wall. The structure was unable to support their weight and collapsed on top of them, killing both. last_img read more

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first_img News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Video Player is loading.GE Cardiographe cardiac CT scanner at SCCT19Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:38Loaded: 26.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:38 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 07, 2019 VIDEO: Walk Around of a GE Cardiographe Dedicated Cardiac CT Scanner This is a quick walk around of the GE Healthcare Cardiographe dedicated cardiac CT system on display at the… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more Related Content Feature | November 22, 2013 Advanced CT Proves as Accurate as Invasive Tests to Assess Heart Blockages center_img Siemens Go.Top CT scanner at SCCT19Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:05Loaded: 15.14%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:05 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Image courtesy of Imago Systems November 22, 2013 — A 320-detector computed tomography (CT) scanner that shows both anatomy within coronary arteries and blood flow can accurately sort out which people need an invasive procedure to identify coronary blockages, according to an international study. The researchers say their findings could potentially save millions of people worldwide from having an unnecessary cardiac catheterization. The study, known as CORE 320, involved 381 patients at 16 hospitals in eight countries. The European Heart Journal published an article on the results online Nov. 19.In the study, participants were evaluated with a 320-detector CT and conventional tests that are widely used today. The researchers say 91 percent of those in whom the CT scan ruled out blockages would not have required invasive treatment such as stenting or bypass surgery. So those patients, none of whom had a history of coronary artery disease (CAD), could have avoided invasive tests because for them the CT scan was just as accurate in determining who would be a good candidate for revascularization as the conventional tests.”Ours is the first prospective, multicenter study to examine the diagnostic accuracy of CT for assessing blockages in blood vessels and determining which of those blockages may be preventing the heart from getting adequate blood flow,” said Joao Lima, M.D., professor of medicine and radiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and senior author of the study. “We found an excellent correlation in results when we compared the 320-detector CT testing with the traditional means of assessment using a stress test with imaging and cardiac catheterization.”The study findings, says Lima, would apply to people who have chest pain but not a heart attack based on electrocardiograms (ECGs) and other evidence. Many people in that situation are sent to a cardiac catheterization laboratory for further evaluation with angiography. About 30 percent of people who have such catheterization are found to have minimal disease or no blockage requiring an intervention to open the vessel with a stent or bypass the vessel through surgery.The 381 patients who completed the study had traditional single-photon emission computed tomorgraphy (SPECT) tests and invasive angiography. Lima says SPECT shows reduced blood flow to the heart without indicating the number or specific location of blockages.Study participants also had two types of tests with a noninvasive 320-detector CT scanner. In the first CT test, the scanner was used to see the anatomy of vessels to assess whether and where there were blockages — a computed tomography angiography (CTA). Then, in a second CT test with the same machine, patients were given a medication that dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow to the heart in ways similar to what happens during a stress test — a computed tomography perfusion (CTP).”We found that the 320-detector CT scanner allowed us to see the anatomy of the blockages and determine whether the blockages were causing a lack of perfusion to the heart,” said Carlos Rochitte, M.D., cardiologist, Heart Institute (InCor), University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil and lead author of the study. “We were therefore able to correctly identify the patients who needed revascularization within 30 days of their evaluation.””Many patients are sent for an angioplasty when they may not need it. Our ultimate goal is to have more certainty about which patients having chest pain — without evidence of a heart attack — need an invasive procedure to open an arterial blockage,” said Richard George, M.D., cardiologist, associate professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a co-author of the study.George developed the CTP method with Lima. “The CTP test added significant information about the patients’ conditions and boosted our ability to identify those whose blockages were severe enough to reduce blood flow to the heart,” added George.The 320-detector CT provides a complete picture of the heart by making just one revolution around the body. The researchers say the two tests combined (CTA and CTP) still produce less radiation than a scan with the 64-detector CT scanner in widespread use.”In our study, the amount of radiation exposure to patients from the two 320-detector CT tests was half the amount they received as a result of the traditional evaluation methods — the angiogram and nuclear medicine stress test combined,” said Lima.The researchers say they will continue to follow the patients in the study for five years, looking for any heart-related events such as heart attacks, as well as hospital admissions, procedures or operations.”CORE320 confirms the results of numerous single center studies performed by investigators throughout the world that myocardial CT perfusion imaging, when added to the coronary CT angiogram, provides incremental improvement in the diagnosis of flow limiting coronary artery disease,” said George. “This study demonstrates that cardiac CT is a comprehensive diagnostic tool that can define coronary plaque, plaque burden, anatomic stenosis and the hemodynamic significance of coronary artery disease.”George also said this should affect the practice of cardiac CT.”We now have evidence from numerous single center studies and now two multicenter studies that myocardial CTP accurately diagnosis myocardial ischemia,” added George. “In the setting of an abnormal coronary CTA, myocardial perfusion imaging may be added to assess the hemodynamic significance of stenosis”.With regards to CT perfusion, these next steps will be considered for the future:Training physicians in the acquisition and interpretation of CTP.Evaluating its ability to assist in treatment decisions.Evaluating its prognostic significance.For more information: www.hopkinsmedicine.org, eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Videos | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 07, 2019 VIDEO: Walk Around of a Siemens Go.Top Dedicated Cardiac Scanner This is a quick walk around of the new Siemens Somatom Go.top cardiovascular edition compact computed tomography (CT) read more News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | August 07, 2019 Contrast Use in First Transthoracic Echocardiogram for Heart Failure Reduces Repeat Testing Heart failure is the fourth most common cause for all admission to U.S. hospitals, and it is the most common reason for… read more News | Pediatric Imaging | August 14, 2019 Ultrasound Guidance Improves First-attempt Success in IV Access in Children August 14, 2019 – Children’s veins read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al.last_img read more

Spain tops the 2017 edition of the Travel Tourism Competitiveness Index

first_imgSpain continues leading the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) ranking yet again in 2017 as recently published by the World Economic Forum. This is the second time that the WEF (World Economic Forum) appoints Spain as the most competitive country for travel and tourism after leading the ranking in 2015.The World Economic Forum Report benchmarks the performance of 136 economies through measuring four broad factors of competitiveness. Spain maintains the first place with an overall score of 5.43 out of 7, followed by France (5.32), Germany (5.28), Japan (5.26) and United Kingdom (5.20).The success of Spain can be attributed to its wide and unique offer of both cultural and natural resources. The richness of cultural and natural assets is also recognised by UNESCO where it is the third country in the ranking with 45 sites listed as World Heritage. Furthermore, also remarkable are the scores gained in the tourism service infrastructure, the air transport connectivity and strong policy support.The country has also obtained good scores in Safety and security, ground and port infrastructure and health and hygiene. In general, the key of Spanish success is to obtain scores over the average in most of the 14 pillars analysed.last_img read more

Two More Bank Failures Bring 2011 Tally to 63

first_imgTwo More Bank Failures Bring 2011 Tally to 63 A rollercoaster Dow Jones Industrial Average, successive downgrades in U.S. Treasury and GSE debt, and renewed worries over euro zone defaults buried news over the weekend that the “”FDIC””:http://www.fdic.gov/ circled wagons around two new failed banks. The federal agency covered the $160.4 bill left by two banks in Illinois and Washington that brought the failed financial institutions tally to 63 for the year.[IMAGE]Requiring the FDIC to step in as receiver, Illinois-based Bank of Shorewood shuttered its windows at the behest of Illinois banking regulators, followed closely by offices darkening at Washington-based Bank of Whitman. Purchase and acquisition agreements negotiated by the federal agency with banks allowed Washington-based “”Columbia State Bank””:https://www.columbiabank.com/ to pick up locked-up Whitman with a $314.4 million purchase of the bank’s total assets, which totaled $548.6 million at closure. Meanwhile, “”Heartland Bank and Trust Company””:http://www.hbtbank.com/ sopped up $110.7 million in total assets and $104 million in total deposits at stake in Shorewood’s collapse.Under the agreements, Heartland Bank and Trust will assume control of Shorewood’s three branches and reopen to service depositors, while Columbia State Bank will snatch up Whitman’s eight remaining branches across the state of Washington.[COLUMN_BREAK]Some 12 other branches will stay closed and force depositors to take their business elsewhere or get used to traveling longer distances.In a “”statement””:http://www.columbiabank.com/about-us/news/cb-expands%20presence-in-eastern-washington, Melanie J. Dressel, president and CEO of the Columbia Banking System, said that ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£we warmly welcome former Bank of Whitman customers into our extended Columbia Bank network, and want to assure them that their deposits are safe, available and remain FDIC insured to the maximum permitted by law. We look forward to working with the Bank of Whitman team during this transition and are committed to serving our new Eastern Washington communities.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ØThe Whitman acquisition by Columbia marks the second bank it gobbled up this year. In May the bank inked its name to a purchase agreement with the FDIC for troubled First Heritage Bank, assuming control of its 88 branches across the Northwest, plus $173 million in assets and $163 million in deposits.As other depositors breathed sighs of relief, the FDIC clipped the price-tag attached to each institution, paying for Shorewood’s closure to the tune of $25.6 million. Whitman, the larger of the two, forced the federal agency to shoulder $134.8 million of the costs of failure.Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee in July, FDIC chairman Martin Gruenberg advised lawmakers that the FDIC noted positive gains for the federal agency’s balance sheet ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the first such gains since it entered negative territory during the recession, according to “”_Bloomberg News_””:http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/06/us-usa-banks-failures-idUSTRE7750MP20110806.The Shorewood and Whitman failures and acquisitions mean that 63 banks have gone under for 2011. Share in Government, Origination, Servicingcenter_img Agents & Brokers Bank Failure FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-08-08 Ryan Schuette August 8, 2011 443 Views last_img read more