BPA Board Amends Rules

first_imgThe BPA Worldwide Board of Directors voted through several amendment proposals at their Dec. 20 meeting in an effort to modernize and accommodate its association members’ digital practices. The not-for-profit auditing and accounting services provider handed down various rule modifications—updating the definition of Direct and Company request sources; eliminating the personal identifying questions from online request forms; reporting of app downloads; updating of digital magazine metrics—in an effort to address efforts to streamline various processes and update alongside its changing industry.Direct Request, Company Request DefinedDuring its May 2013 meeting, the BPA Board changed “Direct Request: Telecommunication” rules to include requests made by an employee’s supervisor to mixed results. At the latest meeting, the ruling was further amended to include a pair of definition clarifications for “Direct Request” and “Company Request.” One person “making a request through a single phone call for themselves and one other co-worker, regardless of title or function” is a direct request. The same request made by one person on behalf of “two or more co-workers” is now a company request. This new ruling includes all “written,” “telecommunication” and “electronic” requests.Personal Identifying Question EliminatedMedia owners’ shift from simple magazine publisher to multi-platform content provider is making it difficult for the BPA to track and monitor their subscription bases. In response, the BPA Board voted to eliminate the personal identifier question from all Web and electronic qualification forms. The move is supported by months of inquiry research. In May 2012, the BPA tested “subscriber recall and response accuracy for Web subscribers” on pre-populated Web forms. The positive results encouraged the BPA to now allow media owners the right to pre-populate Web forms. App Download Metric RevisedThe BPA defines app downloads as “single actions reported as month-by-month totals followed by an aggregated six-month average,” but as it can easily be misinterpreted as the aggregated average was the total number of app downloads for that six-month period the metric has been clarified. The designated “App Table” will now feature a beginning balance of cumulative apps downloaded (previous month’s total), month-by-month activity and an updated cumulative total.Updated Digital Magazine MetricsSince association members began reporting digital editions metrics in 2002, the BPA has regarded them as a unique distribution platform for print magazines and newspapers and have reported them “in alignment with its print counterpart.” To accommodate for association members’ desire for expanded information beyond simple distribution numbers, the BPA Board amended digital reporting rules to include: active views, number of sessions per issue in total and per device, number of pages accessed and time spent per device.In addition to these passed revisions, the BPA Board also formally set a launch date for its new reporting format—the period ending Dec. 2013. As of now, more than 300 brands already utilize the new reporting system.last_img read more

Maine Magazine Finds New Owners After Harassment Allegations Force Sale

first_imgA day later, King released a follow up statement calling the allegations “serious and of great concern” and acknowledging that the company was pursuing a transfer of ownership. Thomas has since apologized for “lines that were crossed,” but maintains that any contact with Lacey was consensual.In the aftermath, 16 current staffers took it upon themselves to defend the company in a letter to the Portland Press Herald that felt an awful lot like an attempt at downplaying the controversy, arguing that “the toxic environment described in recent news accounts does not reflect our current culture,” and further claiming that “people who don’t know us are publicly demeaning us and threatening anyone who partners with us.”The acquisition announcement from State 23 Media stopped short of directly addressing the circumstances behind the sale, but was careful to note that the new ownership team has “no prior connection to Maine Media Collective.”New owner Adam JapkoApart from Japko—whose Carlisle, Mass.-based Esteem Media has housed New England Home and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazines since they were spun-off from Network Communications, Inc. in 2014—investors in State 23 include local businesspeople Sandy Spaulding and Jill Hinckley; New England Home partners Chris Legg and Gary Mueller; Gerry Parker, the former COO and CFO of Network Communications; former Playbill publisher and Time Inc. veteran Bruce Hallett; and management consultant Karen Weltchek Mueller.“As publishers of New England Home, we watched the amazing connection and energy these Maine media brands created in their market,” said Japko in a statement. “Since 2005 we have been acquiring best in class regional media around the country, so getting this unique opportunity to invest in Maine’s local media and business communities made tremendous sense to us.”Speaking to the Bangor Daily News, Japko adds that “all but three” of Maine Media Collective’s current staffers will be retained.Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story stated that parent company Maine Media Collective had itself been sold. Thomas’s ownership of Maine Media Collective continues; only the media brands and their related events were involved in the transaction. Six weeks removed from the emergence of sexual harassment allegations against former owner and publisher Kevin Thomas, Maine magazine has been sold.State 23 Media, a group of investors led by Esteem Media founder Adam Japko, announced Wednesday that it has acquired the monthly title and its related assets, including Maine Home + Design and Old Port magazines, from Maine Media Collective, the company co-founded by Thomas in 2006. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.“We’re confident Adam and his team’s experience and expertise with national and local media properties will propel our business forward and allow us to continue making a positive impact on the state we love,” said publisher and CEO Andrea King, who will remain in the same role at the newly formed State 23.King said she was “stunned” in late April when former Maine Home + Design art director Jessie Lacey accused Thomas of making unwelcome sexual advances in 2010 and subsequently bullying her into leaving the company.Lacey’s Medium post—as well as an article in local magazine The Bollard in which she and other current and former employees elaborated on what they called a “toxic atmosphere” fostered by Thomas, former editor-in-chief Susan Grisanti (who left the company in 2016), and CFO Jack Leonardi—forced the company to cancel an upcoming event after losing sponsors and elicited both a resignation from Leonardi and a vague and non-committal open letter from King about “maintaining a positive, inclusive, and respectful company culture.”last_img read more

Construction Effort Taking Shape on Guam ahead of Marine Corps Realignment

first_imgThere are clear signs that many of the construction projects needed to ready Guam to host more than 4,000 Marines are moving ahead. Work is still in the early stages at the site of the planned Marine Corps Base Guam, but military leaders are pleased the effort appears to be on track, reports Stars and Stripes. “It is clearly moving forward,” said Capt. Daniel Turner, commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas. Japan is paying about $3 billion of the $8.7 billion price tag for the undertaking, which does not have a firm deadline for completion. Current plans call for the Marines to relocate from Okinawa between 2022 and 2026. About $500 million worth of projects have been completed on the island, including a new parking apron for Marine aircraft and an aviation maintenance hangar at Andersen AFB. A utility and site improvement project has been completed at Apra Harbor. DOD also is funding off-base projects, including $50 million for the island’s commercial port, $125 million for wastewater treatment upgrades, road projects between Naval Base Guam and the northern part of the island, and $30.6 million for sewer improvements.While the lion’s share of the effort lies ahead, officials say one of the key obstacles has been navigated — satisfactorily addressing residents’ concerns over the pace of construction and its environmental and cultural impacts.Photo courtesy of the Navy Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Wilmingtons Top Business Stories Of 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are the most-viewed stories involving local business on Wilmington Apple in 2018:BREAKING NEWS: Here Is What’s Going In At The Old Sonic Location…CONFIRMED: Casa Blanca Mexican Restaurant To Open In Wilmington At Former Chili’s LocationWHOA! Apartment Complex, 7 Retail Stores & Bank Proposed At Woburn St. & Lowell St. IntersectionNew Restaurant To Open On Concord Street This SpringSpruce Farm Condo Development Set To Add 27 55-And-Over Housing Units In WilmingtonTremezzo Owners Look To Open Italian Bakery In WilmingtonElia’s Country Store To Be Closed For Approximately One WeekKitty’s In North Reading Closed Until Further Notice After Salmonella OutbreakNew Retail/Restaurant Development, Pedestrian Improvements Coming To Ballardvale StreetCondos & Townhouses Proposed For Corner Of Main Street & Butters RowBREAKING NEWS: Rite Aid/Walgreens To Close In WilmingtonWORTH THE WAIT: Pancho’s Cantina, New Mexican Restaurant, Opens In Wilmington Near TargetPHOTO & VIDEO: Lucci’s Italian Sub Named ‘Best Italian Sub In Massachusetts’Pacific Grove Has A New Owner, Promises Not To Make Any Changes(EDITOR’S NOTE: Each of the above stories received at least 1,500 hits in 2018.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Top Political & Government Stories Of 2018In “Government”NEW RESTAURANT ALERT: Habit Burger Grill To Open Its First New England Location Right Here In WilmingtonIn “Business”BOARD OF HEALTH: Tremezzo Pizzeria & Michael’s Place Opening Soon; Silence From Casa Blancalast_img read more

5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Saturday February 2 2019

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things to do in Wilmington on Saturday, February 2, 2019:#1) Wilmington Travel Basketball’s Parents Night OutWilmington Travel Basketball is holding its annual Parents Night Out from 8pm to midnight at the Tewksbury/Wilmington Elks (777 South Street). The event will feature live music by DJ Dave Glinner, plus raffles. Tickets can be purchased for $20 each or two for $30.  Contact a coach or team representative for tickets.#2) WHS Hockey & Wrestling In ActionThe WHS Girls Varsity Hockey Team hosts Melrose High at noon at Ristuccia, while the WHS Boys Varsity Hockey Team hosts Melrose High at 2pm at Ristutcica. The WHS Varsity Wrestling Team battles multiple schools at a meet at 10am at Reading High.#3) Shawsheen Tech Learn To Swim RegistrationShawsheen Tech will be holding registration for their upcoming Winter Learn to Swim Program. Walk-in sign-ups will be held at the Shawsheen Tech Pool on Saturday, February 2 and Saturday, February 9, from 9:30am-12:30pm, in the pool hallway. The registration form with additional information can be found HERE. Have a question? Contact Aquatics Director at jtildsley@shawtech.org.#4) Book Store Next Door OpenThe Friends of the Wilmington Memorial Library’s Book Store Next Door (183 Middlesex Avenue) is open from 10am to 4pm. All books are $2 or less!  Every penny of every sale benefits the Wilmington Memorial Library. Learn more HERE.#5) Wilmington Food Pantry OpenThe Wilmington Food Pantry (142 Chestnut Street) is open from 10am to noon for food donation drop-offs. Learn which food items the Pantry is most in need of HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Monday, August 19, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Thursday, June 6, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Wednesday, January 9, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

Volkswagen recalls 662000 Atlas Passat vehicles for illegally adjustable headlights

first_img The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is spacious and affordable Share your voice 20 Photos Now playing: Watch this: More From Roadshow Recalls Volkswagen More about 2018 Volkswagen Atlas Review • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas: Checking all but one box Preview • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas: New 3-row SUV lets VW play with giants Enlarge ImageIf you’re not poking around behind your headlights, you’ll probably never even notice the adjuster’s missing cap. Volkswagen Every vehicle sold in the US must conform to a massive amount of regulations known as the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. If an even seemingly insignificant FMVSS violation makes it to market, it’s all but guaranteed that a recall will follow. That’s the reason behind VW’s latest recall, which is a big one.Volkswagen has issued a recall for 662,185 examples of the 2018-2019 VW Atlas SUV and the 2012-2020 VW Passat sedan. There are a lot of cars in this recall, carrying a wide variety of build dates and non-sequential VIN ranges, so it’s best to give your dealership a ring if you think your vehicle might be part of this.The problem stems from a single cap. When it’s still being assembled, factory workers align the headlights’ horizontal aim, and then that aim adjuster is sealed off with a cap. However, the vehicles included in this recall never had that cap installed, allowing Average Joes and Janes to adjust the headlights horizontally. This puts the vehicle in violation of FMVSS 108, which states that headlights are not allowed to be adjusted horizontally after assembly. Since it’s out of spec according to federal regulations, VW initiated a recall to remedy the issue.VW discovered the problem in early 2019, when the automaker discovered missing instructions about installing the horizontal-aim adjustment cap. VW remedied this by correcting the work instructions, and then it went about figuring out how many vehicles had these missing caps. If a person changes their headlights’ horizontal aim, it may not provide adequate coverage as expected, which could present a safety hazard.Volkswagen is still researching a permanent remedy, but the idea behind it is simple: Dealership technicians will block the horizontal aim adjuster, preventing owners from making changes after the vehicle has been sold. Dealers have already been notified of the recall and affected owners should start to receive notifications in the mail later in July. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek: Just as good as before, only bettercenter_img 5 things you need to know about the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2018 Ford EcoSport: Better late than never 5 Tags 2020 Toyota Supra review: A solid sports car that’s rife with controversy Car Industry SUVs Sedans 1:26 Comments Volkswagenlast_img read more

Victorias Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel poses toples and flaunts her assets Photo

first_imgCandice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel Official Instagram (angelcandices)Candice Swanepoel is an angel alright. The Victoria’s Secret supermodel turned up the heat by posing topless for a social media pic. ‘Soft to the touch,’ was the caption on her Tropic Of C Instagram page account.Reportedly Candice Swanepoel was named the world’s most influential lingerie model last year and the sultry pics cure prove why. But the stunning model didn’t even need lingerie to get pulses racing with her post. The 30-year-old beauty appeared peaceful and composed as she posed side on for the risque picture. This is not the first time that the Victoria’s Secret Angel has set Instagram ablaze with her gorgeous swimwear snaps. Recently she posted images in a white bandeau bikini and an aqua swimsuit for another one.Candice has a stunning figure and the supermodel works really hard to be in swimsuit shape. Speaking to InStyle, the supermodel said: “It’s all about balance for me. One meal in the day will be lighter than others, probably during lunch I will [eat something] heavier so that my body has time to burn it off. Night-time is something lighter, and I will always have a big breakfast.” Candice Swanepoel presents a creation during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New YorkReutersNow, we know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but we have skipped a few from time to time. But if we knew that it would help us look even a little like Candice, we would never have skipped a single breakfast.The model who sported the $10 million Fantasy Bra in 2013, sure is keeping busy with her other modelling ventures as well as parenthood. The stunning beauty has two children with partner Hermann Nicoli. You can check out the pic here:  Candice SwanepoelCandice Swanepoel Official Instagram (angelcandices)last_img read more

Avengers Endgame shatters Ajiths Viswasam Rajinikanths Petta firstday box office record in

first_imgAvengers: EndgameTwitterAvengers: Endgame has garnered an earth-shattering opening at the Chennai box office. The Hollywood film, with its two versions (English and Tamil), has got the biggest opening in the capital city of Tamil Nadu, thereby breaking the record of Rajinikanth’s Petta and Ajith Kumar’s Viswasam.On the first day, Avengers: Endgame ran into packed houses in majority of screens and shows. Owing to the unprecedented hype, leading cinema halls like Rohini Silver Screens and Vettri Theatres had special morning shows.On the first day, Avengers: Endgame has minted Rs 1.17 (that includes 3D charges) crore in Chennai. It beat the record of Rajinikanth’s Petta, which earned Rs 1.12 crore on the first day in the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Ajith Kumar’s Viswasam, which grossed Rs 88 lakh, is now pushed to the third place.The success of the previous instalments and the huge hype around Avengers: Endgame ensured it to give a great opening at the Chennai box office. With such good word-of-mouth, the Hollywood film is expected to gross over Rs 4 crore in the first weekend.However, it has to be seen whether the film will surpass the lifetime collection of Viswasam and Petta in Chennai.The market for the Hollywood films has been constantly growing in Tamil Nadu as the films are not being released in English, but also in Tamil. Ajith’s Viswasam locked horns with Rajinikanth’s Petta at box office.PR HandoutIn Tamil Nadu, Avengers: Endgame has seen the light of the day in about 400 screens on Friday, 26 April. The movie is not facing much competition from any local except for Raghava Lawrence’s Kanchana 2.last_img read more

Teen Dalit girl gangraped and set ablaze in Muzaffarnagar

first_imgREUTERS/Adnan Abidi [Representational Image]A 14-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gang-raped and set ablaze by some miscreants in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar on Friday, May 24. The victim’s body was found in a charred state at her house.According to reports, the girl used to work at a brick kiln and stayed at a makeshift room. The autopsy report suggested that the girl died of asphyxiation and burn injuries.The UP police have booked seven people for the heinous crime, although none of them has been arrested. The police said that they have not yet arrested the accused since they are still gathering evidence of the incident.The girl along with her family used to work at the brick kiln and lived in a room adjacent to it. The victim’s father had gone to the town to get some medicines on Friday evening after her mother fell ill. He left her along with her brother, 12, and the incident took place after he left the kiln. He was informed the next day that his daughter’s body was found in a charred stateAccording to the police, the girl’s family did not suspect rape initially but filed a complaint against the brick kiln owner and six others claiming so. The father claimed that she was taken by two men who work in the area and was gang-raped, after which they burnt her alive. The girl’s slippers and some clothes were recovered from the crime spot.”An FIR has been registered on the basis of a complaint by the victim’s father against the brick kiln owner and six others on charges of gang rape, murder and sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act. The allegations of rape have not been confirmed. But the investigation is pending and arrests will be made as per evidence,” said the area’s Circle Officer, reports The Indian Express.The girl’s father also claimed that since the makeshift room does not have electricity or any other inflammable materials, how can the room catch fire. He alleged the accused to have set the dress on fire as to misrepresent it as an accident. He claimed that everyone knows what happened with his daughter but choose to remain silent and there is immense pressure on anyone who wants to speak out.The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken cognizance of the case, police said. A statement of the girl’s father will also be recorded before a magistrate, adds the report.last_img read more

Telugu cinema flies high by winning 7 awards in 66th National Awards

first_imgKeerthy Suresh in Sandakozhi 2TwitterThe 66th National Awards were announced on Friday and Telugu cinema and Telugu film fraternity are very much happy. Going into the awards, actress Keerthy Suresh has been awarded the Best Actress award for Mahanati and also, the film won the Best Film at the National Awards. This is the first National award for the actress and all her fans and well-wishers from the industry are very much happy for the actress. Keerthy deserves the award for all the efforts she has put in, to step into the shoes of Savitri and of course the whole team for making the best film.Congrats dear nanba @KeerthyOfficial for #Mahanati best actress National award Proud moment & Hats off to Mahanathi team pic.twitter.com/FTqHLwmQHQ— atlee (@Atlee_dir) August 9, 2019 TwitterActor turned director Rahul Ravindran won the award for Best Original Screenplay for Chi La Sow, his first film as director. Ram Charan Tej and Sukumar’s Rangasthalam has received the Best Audiography award.Awe is definitely one of the best films from the Telugu film industry and even this film has won the honour. This Prashanth Varma directorial venture has won the award in the categories of Best Makeup and Best VFX.Many actors have taken to social media to congratulate the winners and this is definitely a big honour to the industry. These awards increase the responsibility of the filmmakers and actors to make many more amazing films.Rana Daggubati, Mahesh S Koneru, Jr NTR, Ram Charan Tej and many other celebrities from many industries have taken to their social media to share their happiness as their colleagues and friends have won the awards which are really big as an achievement.Telugu cinema is flying high! Congratulations to the teams of #Mahanati, #Rangasthalam, #Awe and #ChiLaSow for winning at the #66thNationalAwards.— Jr NTR (@tarak9999) August 9, 2019 Twitter@KeerthyOfficial congrats my dear, you played my favourite actor with great aplomb and deserve all the accolades. My wishes to the #Mahanati team????— Radikaa Sarathkumar (@realradikaa) August 9, 2019 TwitterCongratulation to all the #nationalawards winners ! Telugu cinema stands in pride!! #Mahanati #Awe #ChiLaSow #Rangasthalam ?— Rana Daggubati (@RanaDaggubati) August 9, 2019 Twitterlast_img read more

Sensex down 320 points auto stocks slump

first_imgBuildings are reflected on the glass windows of the NSE (National Stock Exchange) building in Mumbai, India, December 27, 2016.Reuters fileThe Indian equity market declined on Wednesday with the S&P BSE Sensex losing over 300 points during the afternoon session.The weakness in the domestic indices came on the back of a similar trend in the Asian markets along with a sharp decline in rupee and a slowdown in the manufacturing PMI data, analysts said.Most sectoral indices traded in the negative, led by auto, metal and banking stocks. The S&P BSE auto index lost 534.70 points on weak December auto sale figures.The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange also declined over 100 points to trade around 10,800 points.At 1.20 p.m., the Nifty50 traded at 10,807.35, lower by 102.75 points or 0.94 per cent from the previous close of 10,910.10 points.The Sensex, which had opened at 36,198.13, traded at 35,932.66 points, lower by 321.91 points or 0.89 per cent from the previous close of 36,254.57 points.So far, it touched an intra-day high of 36,236.70 and a low of 35,866.30 points.The Indian currency slumped 45 paise on Tuesday to trade at 69.89 per dollar (around 1.20 p.m.), against the previous close of 69.45 per dollar.Also, the decline in the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index released during the day subdued the market sentiments. The index declined to 53.2 in December, from 54 in November.last_img read more

Morocco bans burqa Reports

first_imgMap of MoroccoMorocco has banned the production and sale of burqa full-face Muslim veils, apparently for security reasons, media reports said Tuesday.While there was no official announcement by authorities in the North African nation, the reports said the interior ministry order would take effect this week.“We have taken the step of completely banning the import, manufacture and marketing of this garment in all the cities and towns of the kingdom,” the Le360 news site quoted a high-ranking interior ministry official as saying.It said the measure appeared to be motivated by security concerns, “since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes.”Most women in Morocco, whose King Mohammed VI favours a moderate version of Islam, prefer the hijab headscarf that does not cover the face.The niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes uncovered, is also worn in Salafist circles and in more conservative regions in the north, from where thousands of jihadists have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq.In some commercial districts of Casablanca, the country’s economic capital, interior ministry officials on Monday conducted “awareness-raising campaigns with traders to inform them of this new decision,” the Media 24 website said.In Taroudant in southern Morocco, authorities ordered traders to stop making and selling burqas and to liquidate their stock within 48 hours, the reports said.Retailers in the northern town of Ouislane were said to have received similar instructions.It was unclear if Morocco plans to follow in the footsteps of some European countries such as France and Belgium where it is illegal to wear full veils in public.The reports were met with a muted response in the absence of official confirmation, though Salafists expressed concern that the measure could be expanded to include the niqab.“Is Morocco moving towards banning the niqab that Muslim women have worn for five centuries?” Salafist sheikh Hassan Kettani wrote on Facebook.“If true it would be a disaster,” he added.last_img read more

Trump says only one thing will work for N Korea

first_imgDonald Trump, Kim Jong-UnUS president Donald Trump said Saturday that diplomatic efforts with North Korea have consistently failed, adding that “only one thing will work.”Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.”Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump tweeted.It “hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of US negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”Trump returned to the theme when he appeared on former governor Mike Huckabee’s show on Trinity Broadcasting Network television on Saturday, blaming previous administrations for not having adequately addressed the issue before.This “should have been handled 25 years ago, it should have been handled 10 years ago, it should haven been handled during the Obama administration,” the president said, referring to his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.The US has not ruled out the use of force to compel Pyongyang to halt missile and nuclear tests, and Trump has threatened to destroy the country.The mercurial American president also told journalists at a recent gathering with military leaders to discuss Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State group that the current period “could be the calm before the storm,” declining to clarify his remarks.In recent days, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew home from meeting with top Chinese officials, Trump tweeted that his envoy was “wasting his time” in trying to probe North Korea’s willingness to talk.- Insults and threats -The message came after Tillerson had revealed there were backchannels between US and North Korean officials.Secretary of Defence James Mattis later expressed support for the diplomatic track in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.”The Defense Department supports fully Secretary Tillerson’s efforts to find a diplomatic solution, but remains focused on defense of the United States and our allies,” Mattis said.In his debut speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the US or any of its allies, deriding Kim as “Rocket Man” and warning he is on a “suicide mission.”Kim responded by calling Trump a “mentally deranged dotard.”Trump’s administration has also been at the forefront of a drive to impose a series of sanctions against North Korea in response to its sixth nuclear test — the largest yet — and the firing of two missiles over Japan.North Korea’s main economic partner China has signed up to the sanctions, including restrictions on imports, as has Russia.The United States fought a bloody conflict in Korea from 1950-1953 that ultimately ended in stalemate and the continued division of the peninsula after hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops entered on the side of the north, turning it into a war of attrition.A renewed military conflict on the Korean peninsula would come with devastating consequences: in addition to its nuclear weapons, North Korea has a conventional arsenal that could wreak havoc on the South Korean capital Seoul, which is located near the “demilitarized zone” dividing the two countries.last_img read more

Trumps travel ban makes US citizens cancer treatment impossible

first_imgDonald Trump. File photoMaziar Hashemi, a naturalized US citizen who lives in Massachusetts, has been told by doctors that his best hope for surviving a rare form of blood cancer is a bone marrow transplant.President Donald Trump’s travel ban could make that impossible.Bone marrow transplants require a close match between donor and recipient. A few months after his diagnosis last September, Hashemi, 60, learned that his brother in Iran, Kamiar Hashemi, was a rare 100-per cent match. The only problem was Kamiar’s nationality.The latest travel ban, issued as a presidential proclamation and implemented on 8 December after months of legal wrangling, bars most travellers to the United States from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as certain government officials from Venezuela. Although the ban allows for case-by-case waivers to be granted, including for medical need, Kamiar Hashemi has so far been denied a visa.Attorneys who regularly deal with visa issues say the waiver process is opaque. Visa applicants aren’t allowed to apply for waivers; they are simply granted or not without explanation. US officials won’t say how they make their decisions or how long they generally take.A US State Department official told Reuters that since the ban took effect, more than 375 waivers have been approved but he declined to say how many total visa applications have been filed from countries covered by the ban. He said he could not comment on the specifics of Hashemi’s case.Kamiar Hashemi began the visa application process soon after learning he was a match for his brother. In February, the 57-year-old small business owner travelled to Armenia to be interviewed at the US embassy there, since there is no embassy in Iran.Later on the day of the interview, Kamiar’s brother back in Massachusetts checked the status of the application on the State Department’s website. A pop-up window announced in bright blue letters: “Refused.”Waivers can later be granted to applicants initially refused for visas, according to the State Department, so Maziar Hashemi continued checking the website each day, but his brother’s status hasn’t changed. He hired an immigration lawyer, Mahsa Khanbabai, hoping she might smooth the way.Transparent as MudThe Trump administration has said travel restrictions are needed to protect the United States from terrorism.Critics have challenged the latest ban, as they did previous versions, saying that it discriminates against Muslims. Six of the eight countries included in the current ban are majority Muslim.Under the current proclamation, waivers can be granted in cases where denying entry would cause undue hardship, when the individual is found not to be a threat and when their entry is in the national interest.The proclamation lists ten examples of situations in which an applicant might be eligible for a waiver. One reason mentioned is an applicant’s need for urgent medical care, something that comes close but doesn’t exactly fit the Hashemis’ situation, since it isn’t Kamiar Hashemi, himself, in urgent need.The State Department has declined to provide details of how waiver decisions are made beyond some general answers to frequently asked questions posted on its website. But a State Department letter obtained by Reuters earlier this month said “there is no waiver form to be completed” and that applicants who fall into the categories outlined in the proclamation “must be considered” for one.“The process is as transparent as mud,” said Hashemi’s attorney Khanbabai. “There are no clear guidelines. It’s difficult to figure out what the process is and who is actually doing the processing.”Nevertheless, Khanbabai submitted a packet of information on the Hashemis’ behalf to the embassy on 19 March, including a letter from Massachusetts General Hospital explaining that a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant is very rare and could provide the only viable treatment for Maziar Hashemi’s Myelodysplastic syndrome.Worried about the ticking clock, Kamiar Hashemi looked into traveling to India to have his bone marrow harvested there and rushed to the United States, but that option was also thwarted.A non-profit organization trying to facilitate the transfer, Be The Match, said it had to pull out after its legal team concluded that Kamiar’s bone marrow couldn’t be exported to the United States because of US sanctions on Iranian exports.“Can you imagine that the cells of an Iranian needed in order to help a US citizen are embargoed?” said Maziar Hashemi, a civil engineer who has lived in the United States since the 1970s.“It is just unfair,” he said in a phone interview. “I cannot wait much longer.”last_img read more

2 exIGPs get bail in grenade attack case

first_imgShahudul Haque and Ashraful HudaThe High Court on Monday granted six-month bail to former Inspectors General of Police (IGP) Ashraful Huda and Shahudul Haque, who were convicted in a case filed over 21 August grenade attack, reports UNB.The High Court bench justice Sheikh Abdul Awal and justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty passed the order after hearing on their appeals.Lawyers Mohammad Arsadur Rouf and Jamilur Rahman stood for the IGPs.Arsadur Rouf said that now there is no bar to their release from jail.Earlier on 13 January, the High Court accepted the appeals of 44 convicts, including 18 condemned ones, for hearing in the 21 August grenade attack cases.On 10 October, a speedy trial tribunal sentenced 19 people, including former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and former deputy minister for education Abdus Salam Pintu, to death while 19 others, including BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, to life imprisonment in two cases filed in connection with the 21 August grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.Besides, 11 people were awarded different jail terms in the sensational cases.Among the convicts, former Inspectors General of Police (IGP) Ashraful Huda and Shahudul Haque were sentenced to four years jail and fined Tk 50,000 for harbouring the offenders under two separate sections of the case.last_img read more

4 Takeaways From The Big Primary Kickoff Night

first_imgGerry Broome/APRick Colyer votes at the Durham County Library North Regional in Durham, N.C., Tuesday. Braun’s win might mean more for how Republicans try to win in primaries the rest of this year than Blankenship’s loss.4. Democrats aren’t facing primary headwinds yet — and might not.While there have been signs of division on the Democratic side, it hasn’t manifested very strongly.Instead, the division so far has still mostly been on one side — with Republicans unhappy with Washington. There were opportunities Tuesday night for the more progressive wing of the party to flex its muscles, but it instead chose the pragmatic route.Think: the Ohio governor’s race primary, for example, where former Rep. Dennis Kucinich was trying to paint Richard Cordray, the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointed by Obama, as too much of a centrist with less progressive views on guns. But Cordray, who was endorsed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, trounced Kucinich by 40 points.It might be somewhat worrying for Democrats that more Republicans turned out for the open Ohio gubernatorial primary than one that got as much attention as the Cordray-Kucinich contest. And a relatively unknown progressive challenger to Manchin got 30 percent of the vote Tuesday night, which is similar to what happened in Texas two months ago when an unknown got almost a quarter of the vote against Beto O’Rourke. But those seem relatively minor, compared with the anti-Washington messages Republicans are winning with and an ousted congressman.Looking ahead over the next month, in more than a dozen states, there’s really only one Senate race where progressives are expected to mount a significant challenge to a sitting Democrat. That’s Dianne Feinstein facing off with state Sen. Kevin de León. He’s a darling of the left, but Feinstein’s team is confident, and polls have shown her with a comfortable lead so far. There’s also the May 22 runoff for the 7th Congressional District in Texas, featuring Lizzie Pannill Fletcher against Laura Moser.The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee tried to muscle Moser out of the race, because it felt she was too liberal for the district. It’s a key race, because Hillary Clinton got more votes than Trump in the district yet it is represented by a Republican, Rep. John Culberson.But that’s it. The lack of challenges to Democrats, especially senators, means they’re able to preserve their resources to fight in the general election. The real Democratic fight that’s coming is likely in 2020 with a crowded presidential primary field and a race to the left shaping up.But, right now, there’s nothing more unifying for Democrats than Trump.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share In Indiana, Mike Braun, who runs a warehousing and shipping company, won the GOP Senate primary. He will take on another top GOP Senate target in a state Trump won — Joe Donnelly. Braun did it with a conservative outsider businessman message (heard that one before?), defeating two Republican congressmen. He ran a brutal ad that painted Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer as cardboard cutouts indistinguishable from each other.center_img Midterms, especially primaries, are won and lost by activists.And right now, if Tuesday night’s primary results are any indication, Democrats appear to be in better shape structurally than the GOP. It’s still very early in primary season to draw conclusions that are too sweeping, but here are four takeaways based on what’s known from Tuesday night’s elections in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and North Carolina:1. Republicans dodge a bullet. Are they learning the lesson of Alabama?Washington Republicans were holding their breath, hoping that Don Blankenship would not win the Republican Senate primary in West Virginia. Blankenship served a year in prison after 29 people were killed when one of his mines exploded and he was convicted of conspiring to undermine mine-safety regulations. Washington Republicans believed that if he won, he would lose to Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin. And Manchin should be a top GOP target in a state Trump won by one of the widest margins of any state in the country in the 2016 presidential election.Blankenship had been showing remarkable and surprising strength in the race with an anti-Washington message. He went after Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and said he was “Trumpier than Trump” after Trump tweeted urging West Virginia Republicans not to vote for him. Despite internal polling released by his opponents’ campaigns showing Blankenship in the lead, he wound up finishing third. State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won with a little more than a third of the vote.Pragmatic Republicans are exhaling Wednesday morning and hoping that the base of the party is heeding Trump’s call to “Remember Alabama” and learning that nominating fatally flawed candidates who would have trouble winning in a general election is a bad idea.Republicans over the past decade have lost roughly half a dozen Senate seats because of problematic candidates. That’s something McConnell and his team have been throwing their hands up about for years.McConnell’s team was loving this West Virginia result, though.Thanks for playing, @DonBlankenship. #WVSen pic.twitter.com/TV1ETgQdmu— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) May 9, 20182. McConnell isn’t entirely off the hook. Despite his team’s gloating, the Republican Senate leader has become problematic for the party in some circles.He remains the most unpopular senator in the country. And just 30 percent of even people in his home state of Kentucky approve of the job he is doing.Highlighting that point, in congratulating Morrisey, Senate Conservatives Fund President Ken Cuccinelli wrote of McConnell:“It’s important to note that Senator Mitch McConnell put this seat at greater risk by giving an unattractive candidate like Don Blankenship an even more unpopular foil to run against. McConnell has become so toxic with Republican primary voters that his support is often the kiss of death and his opposition is a powerful endorsement.”3. Republican voters continue to reject Washington.To that point, there was ample evidence Tuesday night that there is quite a bit of angst in the GOP base toward Washington Republicans:In North Carolina, the first sitting congressional representative this year lost a primary challenge — Rep. Robert Pittenger in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Mark Harris, who lost to Pittenger in 2016 by 2 points, won in a rematch this time around. This seat, which leans Republican — Trump and Romney won it by 12 points — could now be competitive. The Democrat in the race, Dan McCready, had raised more money than Pittenger and has far more cash on hand than Harris, $1.2 million versus $71,000. As the Charlotte Observer notes, McCready is “one of nine Democratic challengers with a six-figure fundraising advantage over a GOP incumbent, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Only one Democratic challenger in the country had more cash on hand at the end of the 1st quarter.” And Democrats also showed up in droves in Tuesday’s primary, far outpacing the GOP turnout.In West Virginia, Rep. Evan Jenkins, who was the early favorite in the race and looks the Washington congressman part, finished second. Instead, the winner was the state attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, who ran as an “outsider” (despite his lobbyist past) and gained attention for an ad that uprooted a West Virginia mountain and dropped it on the U.S. Capitol. I’m running for U.S. Senate not to just change Washington, but to blow it up and reinvent it. Washington is fundamentally broken. We can fix that with a West Virginia conservative fighter! #wvsen pic.twitter.com/hogbOoYnms— AG Patrick Morrisey (@MorriseyWV) April 5, 2018last_img read more

With Manufacturing Bootcamp Sagamore looks to Hire Locals

first_imgThe 16 men enrolled in Port Covington’s   Manufacturing Bootcamp represent the start of Sagamore Development’s promise to “make good.” Sagamore Development is seeking to deliver on a pledge to invest millions of dollars to support underserved citizens and communities in exchange for the unprecedented $660 million TIF passed by City Council for the Port Covington Project last year.Mayor Catherine E. Pugh spoke to a group of participants in Sagamore’s Manufacturing Bootcamp. (Photo by Deborah Bailey)Baltimore City Mayor Catherine E. Pugh joined civic, corporate and community leaders to celebrate the Bootcamp with a tour and mini pep-rally in early Feb.  The Port Covington Manufacturing Bootcamp is a workforce development pre-apprenticeship program and the start of programs by the developer based on a $100 million agreement announced between the City of Baltimore and community leaders in September 2016 requiring Sagamore Development to invest in job development and creation, moderate income housing and other community benefits.“This is about the long game and I commend Sagamore Development and their partners for already delivering on promises made to help train, cultivate, develop and hire Baltimore¹s workforce,” Pugh told the partners gathered at the Foundery to support the program.The Port Covington TIF was delayed for months while city council and community leaders worked with Sagamore Development’s leadership to craft the $100 million community-benefits agreement insisted on by local citizen groups like BUILD and others in exchange for support of the $660 million TIF Sagamore development project.The 16 participants represent the second class of Sagamore Development’s six-week career readiness program led by The Foundery, a workforce development hub at City Garage and the Center for Urban Families (CFUF) and co-sponsored by Whiting-Turner, and The Commercial Group.The Center for Urban Families serves as the connection point for men and women interested in the workforce readiness Bootcamp.“What we do is on the front end.  We recognize that the Baltimoreans we serve may have various labor force impediments,” said Joseph T. Jones, Founder, President and ECO of The Center for Urban Families.“They may have criminal backgrounds, little to no work experience, a checkered educational record. We support Bootcamp candidates with essential skills before determining eligibility for the program.”The second six-week Bootcamp began in early February and will be completed in March. Classes include woodworking, welding machinery, textiles and 3D printing.  Employers interact with participants throughout the course of the camp.The group of 8 men who completed the first program in January of this year program were offered jobs immediately according to Alicia Wilson, Sagamore Development’s Vice President for Community Affairs.Wilson said that the Bootcamp model will be continue to be refined and scaled-up until Sagamore Development meets the training and workforce development goals negotiated in the $100 million community agreement.“We’re starting now. We’re following through,” Wilson said.  “This is just the beginning.”last_img read more

Burns Transitioning to a New Position on Defense

first_imgBrown’s defense is very complicated, which has taken a full spring and summer to learn the new schemes and terminology. However, Burns has put a lot of time in studying the game and is poised to be a starter when the team takes the field on Sept. 2 versus Notre Dame. Story Links The Louisville native has bulked up to nearly 200 pounds and has embraced his new role, according to Brown, who coached a top 10 defense last season at Appalachian State. Forced to set the edge against the running game in Brown’s defense, Burns needed to bulk up to handle more plays near the line of scrimmage and take on pulling offensive linemen. “It was new to him in the spring,” Brown said. “I think with his ability to play defensive back and linebacker, you can do a lot of things with him. With Rodjay being a good tackler, he can make an impact on our defense. That position makes a lot of plays, and I think with Rodjay’s versatility can be an asset to our defense.” “I know the defense,” Burns said. “They are putting new things in every day, but I’ve adjusted to it. I’m looking forward to our scrimmage this weekend to see how far I’ve come since the spring.” The Cardinals finished their third day of fall camp on Tuesday, and Burns likes what he’s seen from the defense in a short period of time. Playing in shorts and shoulder pads for the first time, Burns saw the defense play at a higher level. Burns has transitioned to the play the “Card” position in the spring, which is more of an outside linebacker and nickel back in defensive coordinator’s Brown’s system. Beginning his career at Ohio State, Burns, a native of Louisville, returned home to the Cardinals in 2017 to play at Louisville. The summer strength and conditioning program under Mike Sirignano was critical for Burns to change his body to be to withstand the increased physicality needed to be able to be a forced at the line of scrimmage. Burns embraced the challenge, changed his body, and is now the leader heading into the first week of camp. The Cardinals will return to the practice field on Wednesday at 11 a.m. as the adjustment period continues. Print Friendly Version In his first playing season with the Cardinals in 2018, Burns started nine games at the cornerback position, recording 38 tackles and one interception. He was one of the most explosive punt returners nationally with a 15.2 average, returning a punt 55 yards for his first touchdown. “It was a rough transition for sure,” Burns said. “I’ve adjusted to it and gained the weight I needed to gain. The coaching staff told me that I had the ability to make tackles and be a playmaker, which was a big selling point for me. I just wanted to play and help the team.” “It was very important to change my body,” Burns said. “I had to get stronger to go against the offensive linemen and be physical with them. I had to get stronger to set a good base and be able to stop the run.” Covering wide receivers down the field and not being heavily involved in stopping the run, Burns’ responsibilities will change dramatically this year as he moves closer to the line of scrimmage, which has taken a little time to get adjusted. However, with the change in defensive philosophies under the new coaching staff, Burns’ athletic ability and size fit perfect in Brown’s vision for the former Trinity product. Playing cornerback last season, Burns started the year at 189 pounds, which was perfect for that position. LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville outside linebacker Rodjay Burns is in another state of transition heading into his third season with the Cardinals. “We were together for the first time today after splitting practices for the first two days,” Burns said. “We had a lot of guys out there making plays and flying around. It’s been fun with all the guys back together.”last_img read more

Southwest says technology outage fixed but more flights cut

first_img DALLAS — Southwest Airlines struggled to recover Thursday from a massive computer outage, as several hundred more flights were cancelled or delayed around the country for a second straight day.Airline executives said a router breakdown set off a chain of failures in critical technology systems a day earlier. Backup systems didn’t work as expected, they said.Southwest said that “most systems” had recovered and were functioning by Thursday morning. After “a day of recovery,” the airline hoped to be operating normally on Friday, CEO Gary Kelly said.By Thursday evening, Southwest had cancelled more than 600 flights and 2,200 more were delayed, according to tracking service FlightStats Inc. Those numbers were very similar to Wednesday, when the airline said it cancelled nearly 700 flights and FlightStats said 2,100 were delayed.For hours after the outage started, airline employees had to check in passengers manually and couldn’t take new reservations. The company’s website crashed – Kelly estimated that Southwest might have lost between $5 million and $10 million in ticket sales because customers couldn’t book flights.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programs“We have significant redundancies built into our mission-critical systems, and those redundancies did not work,” Kelly told reporters on a conference call. “We need to understand why, and make sure that that doesn’t happen again.”Southwest has an aging technology infrastructure, but Kelly said the airline has been making “significant investments” to upgrade it. It expects to replace the longstanding reservations system next year – at a cumulative cost of $500 million – and replace other key systems over the next three to five years.Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven said when a router failed Wednesday, it slowed the airline’s technology systems so much that other functions weren’t usable. He said router failures aren’t uncommon, but this outage was unusually severe. It took crews about 12 hours to restore most systems to working order.When the outage hit, Southwest took the unusual step of briefly holding all departing flights at their gates.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise ratesWith so many flights cancelled on Wednesday, Southwest knew that a large number of passengers would try to fly Thursday. To bounce back better, the airline reduced its load, cancelling more than 200 flights or 5 per cent of its daily schedule even before the day’s first flight. It warned passengers to expect long lines, and to arrive at the airport early.Southwest suffered a similar outage last October, resulting in about 800 delayed flights. It blamed that breakdown on a faulty software application. Share Southwest says technology outage fixed but more flights cut Friday, July 22, 2016 center_img Source: The Associated Press << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Internet media platform provider Blinkx has named

first_imgInternet media platform provider Blinkx has named Donald Hamilton as senior vice-president of Blinkx Media.Based in London, Hamilton will be charged with shaping blinkx’s growth and expansion strategy in the UK and Europe. He was previously managing partner and founder of Segmentation Consulting Ltd (Precidio).“We are delighted to have Donald bring his years of experience and deep knowledge of the European tech and online advertising markets to the Blinkx team,” said S Brian Mukherjee, CEO of Blinkx.“With an impressive career history boasting clear successes in scaling businesses and growing the scope of enterprise services, we expect Donald to make an immediate and significant contribution to the company across the board, from business strategy to thought leadership, as we grow and develop our business on a global level.”last_img read more