Los Angeles: Robert Downey Jr is returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The “Iron Man” star will feature in Scarlett Johansson’s “Black Widow” stand-alone. According to a Deadline report, “Downey will be seen in the role of Stark one more time, however, in the Marvel prequel ‘Black Widow’ in May 2020.” The highly-anticipated movie will star Johansson as Romanoff aka Black Widow, an agent of the fictional spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D and a member of the superhero team, the Avengers. However, it is unclear if Downey Jr will be seen in the Iron Man suit or as Tony Stark. No other information was available. Directed by Cate Shortland, “Black Widow also stars Rachel Weisz, Florence Pugh, David Harbour and O T Fagbenle. The film is slated to be released on May 1, 2020.
OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada will use the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina to push Saudi Arabia for answers in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.Freeland says Canada considers his murder to be very much an open case, a contrast to a statement by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier today that the facts surrounding Khashoggi’s death might just never be known.She expects the Khashoggi case to be an issue during the talks among leaders of the world’s 20 leading economies, and says Canada will push for a transparent international investigationThe kingdom is a member of the G20, and the Saudi-owned television station Al-Arabiya says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s defacto leader, will attend the summit.U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that bin Salman ordered the Oct. 2 killing of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.Trump says maybe bin Salman had knowledge of the killing, or maybe he didn’t, but regardless, Saudi Arabia remains a steadfast partner of the U.S. and has helped keep oil prices stable.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A senior government official says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to shuffle the federal cabinet on Monday.This will be the third time the prime minister switches up his roster this year.In January, Trudeau moved Jody Wilson-Raybould to veterans affairs from the justice portfolio, which went to David Lametti.The prime minister made a few more changes earlier this month to fill the void left by Wilson-Raybould after she resigned from cabinet amid the ongoing SNC-Lavalin controversy.A few days after the mini-shuffle, Jane Philpott also stepped down from cabinet, saying she had lost confidence in the government over its handling of the SNC-Lavalin issue.Philpott had served as president of the Treasury Board.The Canadian Press
The joint opposition today warned that a “Sinhalese Wigneswaran” could be formed in the South if the Government remains silent on some incidents taking place in the North.Joint opposition Parliamentarian Udaya Gammanpila said that while everybody talks of reconciliation in the South, the reality is that there is no reconciliation in the North. He said that if the Government continues in this manner a Wigneswaran is bound to be formed in the South in future. (Colombo Gazette) Gammanpila accused the President of saying that the people in the South should follow people like Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. He said President Maithripala Sirisena had said recently that there was reconciliation in the North but not in the South.
John Ivison: Liberals’ camping scheme an exercise in stupidity that takes nannyism to new heights Federal election 2019 roundup: Trudeau pledges $2k for camping trips for the ‘less-privileged’ Chris Selley: Trudeau’s contrite act is undone by his inane talking points The government will “partner with Via Rail to make these opportunities accessible and affordable,” despite Via going nowhere near any of those places and being of precisely no use as long-distance transport for anyone with less than a teacher’s or politician’s worth of vacation time and the patience of a pope.So, let’s be clear: This is bananas. Imagine telling a lower-income family you have $2,000 to help them out, and then revealing that they have to use it camping.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.The only thing more absurd might be the fact that had Andrew Lawton, a research and journalism fellow at the True North Centre for Public Policy, shown up and asked for media accreditation, he would have been denied. As if only the most highly credentialed journalists from the most august and established organs could be trusted to report on camping subsidies.Lawton has been a fairly well-known broadcaster in London, Ont., a columnist for Global News and a contributor to many other outlets. My impression of him is generally that of a polite, harmless contrarian, albeit with some impolite blots on his copybook for which he has apologized. Yet the Liberals denied Lawton accreditation for an event in Brampton, Ont., on Sunday, and again at each successive event he showed up at this week in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and then back in Ontario.Let’s be clear: This is bananasIn Thunder Bay on Wednesday night, security even removed him from a queue of people hoping to attend as members of the public. On Thursday, Zita Astravas, the Liberals’ head of media relations, apologized unreservedly to Lawton for that incident and said he was welcome at future events as a member of the public. But there has been no good reason offered for denying him accreditation to individual events, or to join the tour proper.Candice Malcolm, another True North fellow, tweeted an email from Astravas saying that “media accredited by the (Parliamentary) Press Gallery in Ottawa are welcome to submit requests (to join the leader’s tour).” That would account for my presence on the bus, and my colleague Christie Blatchford’s before me: I’m not a member of the press gallery, but six National Post journalists are. True North can’t claim that; other Liberals suggest it’s not a media outlet at all, but … something else. It’s not a credible policy, in any event: Presumably the Liberals wouldn’t turn away Chatelaine or Le Figaro or The New York Times if they wanted to book passage on the Liberal tour, despite their not being accredited on Parliament Hill.I’ve been accredited to cover Jagmeet Singh’s townhall in Burnaby. Good on the NDP for not screening anyone wishing to cover its leader’s campaign. The Liberals could learn a thing or two. pic.twitter.com/ESTPKEyTSP— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) September 25, 2019Parties can accredit whoever they want, of course, but it’s an especially bad look for the Liberals to be privileging legacy media outlets when they’re so keen on doling out cash to the ones who traffic in print journalism. The other parties seem to be conspicuously more welcoming, too.Other than to make a point, there’s not much reason to chase the bus down the highway or the plane down the runway. At a rough count, in the five days I was on the campaign, Trudeau answered roughly four per cent of the questions journalists put to him for 15 to 20 precious minutes a day. Signing on is spectacularly expensive, and in an era of straitened resources I’m far from certain it’s money well spent.But Lawton made that point, and made it well: The Liberals aren’t interested in subjecting their record and their leader to unfamiliar scrutiny. Voters can and should judge them for that accordingly.• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: cselley SUDBURY, ONT. — When I overheard talk about Justin Trudeau showing up to his Thursday morning press conference by canoe, I assumed it was in jest. Arrival by watercraft has an infamous history in Canadian politics, as Stockwell Day can attest, and while Trudeau solos a canoe with aplomb he’s not above a maritime pratfall: Just two years ago, while trying to insert himself into a kayak, the man went arse-over-teakettle into the Pacific.But then Trudeau strutted past the assembled reporters, wearing outdoor trousers and a PFD, toward the Lake Laurentian Nature Chalet. (Insert “canoe storage’ joke here.) And a few minutes later, out he came, around a little point, paddling toward us in a red fiberglass canoe. After noodling around for a while he was joined by some local youths and they headed out a bit into the lake, a drone buzzing overhead. No doubt you’ll see the footage before this campaign is done.And then, safely ashore, he announced a new commitment to land, water and wildlife protection and — I am not kidding — a new investment in camping. The Liberals want to “ensure that every young Canadian, by grade eight, is taught the skills to camp.” A new “Experience Canada” program will help “75,000 lower-income families spend up to four days in one of Canada’s national or provincial parks every year,” the backgrounder document explains, offering “a travel bursary of up to $2,000 to experience places across the country from Killarney, Banff, Gros Morne, and the Cape Breton Highlands.”Related
Antonio Maria Costa, the Executive Director of the Vienna-based agency, said that once HIV “enters the drug user community, it spreads rapidly, reaching – in some cases – an infection rate of more than 80 per cent in less than six months.” Mr. Costa said the same disturbing trend could be seen among the inmates of overcrowded prisons – who tend to share drugs, needles and sex – and the victims of human trafficking. Pointing out that an estimated 1 million people worldwide are illegally smuggled, he said, “These men, women and children are coerced into sex work, paedophilia and child exploitation” and as such are more vulnerable to infection. The UNODC also estimates there are about 12.6 million injecting drug users around the world, and in some countries 80 per cent of the drug users are HIV-positive. Injecting drug users form the majority of HIV/AIDS sufferers in several countries, including Indonesia, Myanmar, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Viet Nam. Mr. Costa made his remarks ahead of a meeting tomorrow in Livingstone, Zambia, of nine agencies which are part of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). At that event, UNODC is expected to present evidence of the impact of drug addiction and human trafficking on HIV/AIDS.
The Apple new product release cycle points to an iPhone 5 appearing this summer in either June or July. With that in mind you wouldn’t expect a new iPhone 4 to appear in the coming months, but apparently that’s exactly what is going to happen.Talk of the white iPhone 4 has rumbled on for many months now. The original release window came and went with rumors of light leakage and other challenges with manufacturing the device making a release all but impossible.More recently there’s been new evidence of a spring launch for the white model on Apple shop signs clearly stating a release window. But surely Apple wouldn’t release a new iPhone so close to the expected iPhone 5 launch? Yes they would, and Phil Schiller has confirmed as much in a tweet.Phil was asked by a 16-year-old Apple fan when exactly he could get his hands on a white iPhone 4. Surprisingly Phil responded and told him:There’s no more certain a confirmation of the white iPhone 4 appearing for sale than Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing stating publicly it will arrive in the spring. Expect an official confirmation and AT&T and Verizon to start advertising it heavily in the next few weeks.Read more at Pocket-lintMatthew’s OpinionThere are a lot of people out there who want a new white iPhone, so I can see Apple’s thinking behind this. If they launch the white iPhone 4 in late March or early April they have a good 3 months of sales time before the iPhone 5 appears on the radar. That’s a lot of time to sell new phones from an existing manufacturing line and could push up sales well beyond what just offering the black iPhone 4 could achieve.For consumers wanting a white iPhone it’s a tempting proposition that they should probably resist. The iPhone 5 will most definitely launch with a white version if Apple has solved the manufacturing issues. If you buy a white iPhone 4 now you will have to sign up to a lengthy contract putting the white iPhone 5 out of reach. You may even miss out on it completely and be looking forward to an iPhone 6 by the time your contract expires.Of course, we see it from a technology point of view and always want the latest and greatest device. For some consumers it may just be a case of wanting a white iPhone and models and release dates mean little.
Diane Woolard Clark County Superior Court Judge Diane Woolard easily defeated challenger Josephine Townsend on Tuesday, capturing nearly 63 percent of the votes to retain her seat.Of 41,631 votes counted Tuesday night, Woolard picked up 25,258 votes to Townsend’s 14,749. Under Washington law, judicial races are decided in the primary if any candidate wins more than 50 percent of the votes.The race was the first time that Woolard has drawn an opponent in 12 years.Tuesday night, Woolard said: “I’m very gratified to win another four years.”She added that she hadn’t been quick to assume she’d win re-election, as attorneys are competitive in nature and “it’s not done until it’s over.”Townsend, a private practice lawyer who formerly served as Vancouver’s city prosecutor, has long sought to join the bench. She’s unsuccessfully vied for the District Court and Superior Court previously and chose to run against Woolard this year because of what she referred to as the judge’s inconsistent rulings. She said Woolard was often overturned on appeal.But in a meeting with The Columbian’s editorial board, Townsend spoke highly of the judge.Townsend did not make a comment Tuesday night, except to say: “Good luck to her. She ran a good race.”Woolard, 68, was a criminal defense and family law attorney before being appointed to the bench.Townsend, 52, served as Vancouver’s city prosecutor for three years before resigning in 2005 because of irreconcilable differences with her boss. She did not mount a highly visible campaign, raising less than $5,000, and did not receive any key endorsements.
Every search matters, which is why Steve Riegel, co-founder and director of search at digital agency Faction Media, knows the value of online presence for publishers. Riegel offers six essential, inexpensive (if not free), but often overlooked methods that get the most out of SEO efforts.1. CREATE A SITEMAPCreating an XML sitemap allows search engine spiders to find a given Web page. “As a publisher, make an effort to have your Web development team click on indicators when adding a story to CMS,” says Riegel. Sitemaps can highlight content and increase findability. “Even if you generate 10 new homepage articles each week, they generally get archived onto the site’s secondary pages after the first week,” he says. “Creating a sitemap helps search pick up content wherever it is, and lets it live.” Riegel recommends Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo!’s Site Explorer as resources to discover which terms were used to search and find a particular piece of content.2. VALIDATE CODEIf a link or HTML code is broken, online spiders can’t register content. “It’s incredibly important for publishers to check and validate code,” says Riegel, adding that the process of checking links goes hand in hand with sitemap creation. He suggests Google Webmaster Tools and XML sites as one method: “Have your Web folks check these monthly and fix any errors. While there are ways to set up a parameter, I’d assume publishers wouldn’t want to leave this up to an automated process.” He suggests validating code through tools like www.w3.org/QA/Tools/ and confirming that a robots.txt file is not blocking spiders for content that needs indexing.3. BE THE TOP 20 Research shows that users rarely go beyond the top 20 search results, says Riegel. But publishers can “nudge these rankings [for results nearing the top 20] by creating additional on-site content (text, video, audio, blog, etc.) and placing additional emphasis on on-site promotion, such as a featured homepage link.” Drive site behavior through content from the main landing pages for best results, as well as tag video and push content out to other platforms, like YouTube. 4. ADD DESCRIPTION“Home” should never be used as a descriptor unless it’s a realty or builder magazine, says Riegel, who suggests that the Web team add unique titles and descriptions to the CMS based on the page’s content. Meta titles in the main headline, with a description in the sub-headline, is the best format (he cites foliomag.com with successful titling). Additionally, keep the title tag under 128 characters and branding at the end. “There’s a big difference between online and offline titling. Offline can be catchy and driven, but with search, you want to capture exactly what users are looking for.” A recent Health.com headline, “Food for Sleep, Sniffles, Fertility, and More,” may capture people looking for fertility-related content while it’s up on the homepage, but once archived, it’s not going to drive much search traffic, Riegel concludes. 5. EVALUATE INTERNAL SEARCHBy capturing and evaluating internal search, pay-per-click (PPC) and SEO, publishers will better be able to understand the content navigation needs of its readership, then isolate successful terms and test directly in a pay-per-click environment. These test terms should drive users to the landing page identified in the initial analysis, and be used for future SEO efforts. If PPC works, the next step is to target organic space. He says: “Google and Digg are out looking for content; keyword optimization will help aggregators find you.” Costs associated with this optimization include time, set up and analysis, while publishers who opt to pursue PPC will also need to set a budget. 6. LOCALIZEWhether a publication sells directly or through distribution channels, Riegel suggests placing detailed sales information—or at least an address—on each page. On average, 7 percent of searches include some sort of location modifier, meaning that terms must be put in the context of the market. “The most success comes from localizing; lists and directories, like ‘Top Docs in L.A.,’ will grab more readers and impressions. Yes, I want to know national news, but if I find a source on a local level, I’ll become a regular.”
Beth Frerking, editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal, attributed the change to audience reading habits — people just don’t have time for a weekly print offering. “Based on the regular feedback we receive, our subscribers prefer to keep informed of breaking headlines throughout the workday, and often find it easier to read our expert analysis in the evening or over the weekend when they have more time to digest our in-depth content,” Frerking said in the release. ALM is changing up its print offerings with The National Law Journal. The weekly news tabloid, first launched in 1978, will publish as a monthly magazine starting with the April issue. The magazine — with a circulation of around 9,000 — will continue the Journal’s coverage of federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as court appointments and lawmaking news on the state and federal levels. The cover of The National Law Journal Magazine for its inaugural April 2017 issue. While the new magazine is technically a print launch, in a release today, Richard Caruso, VP and GM of legal media at ALM, called this an expansion of the publisher’s “digital-first strategy.” The reduction in print frequency allows the team at The National Law Journal to focus more on daily digital coverage. ALM owns several other law publications and events, including the daily print newspaper The New York Law Journal, and the monthly magazines Corporate Counsel and LegalTech News.
Government-owned carrier Air India plans to launch new flights to Washington D.C. (USA), Tel Aviv (Israel), Stockholm (Sweden) and Africa. The airline is yet to give time schedule for when the flights will be launched. Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said that the airline will receive six Boeing 787 aircraft and three 777, which will join Air India’s fleet next year, The Hindu reported. The carrier requires the new aircrafts to launch international flight operations to USA, Israel and Sweden. Air India has re-launched a new app, which would allow passengers to book flight tickets, check-in and manage every aspect from their mobile devices. The app has been developed by SITA. Using the new app, passengers can obtain their flight boarding pass on their smart phones, the app developer said in a statement. In addition, the passengers would receive regular flight updates, and they could use the app for mobile boarding. From December 1, the carrier will start its Delhi-Madrid service thrice a week and is also increasing the frequency of its Bangalore-Delhi-San Francisco flight to six days a week.The new app has been termed as “sales and distribution channel for Air India. SITA has worked alongside Air India over the past few years, supporting their passenger management and distribution at every step. This new app is an extension of that relationship,” Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA’s Vice President for India and the sub-continent was quoted as saying by the publication.The managing director said the app is a step forward to enhance earnings from e-commerce and said that the airline will soon improve its website as well. Air India market share increased 0.1 percent and the airline clocked 14.7 percent in September as against 14.6 percent in the previous month (August). It recorded passenger load factor (PLF) of 79 percent during the same month.
US president Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, US on 25 September. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani exchanged taunts at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday with Trump vowing more sanctions against Tehran and Rouhani suggesting his American counterpart suffers from a “weakness of intellect.”Trump used his annual address to the United Nations to attack Iran’s “corrupt dictatorship,” praise last year’s bogeyman North Korea and lay down a defiant message that he will reject globalism and protect American interests.But much of his 35-minute address was aimed squarely at Iran, which the United States accuses of harbouring nuclear ambitions and fomenting instability in the Middle East through its support for militant groups in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction,” Trump told the gathering in the green-marbled hall. “They do not respect their neighbours or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.”Rouhani, addressing the assembled world leaders later, sharply criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran. He said he had “no need for a photo opportunity” with Trump and suggested the US president’s pull back from global institutions was a character defect.“Confronting multilateralism is not a sign of strength. Rather it is a symptom of the weakness of intellect – it betrays an inability in understanding a complex and interconnected world,” he said.Trump’s address was met largely by silence from world leaders still not comfortable with go-it-alone views that have strained US relationships with traditional allies worldwide.His speech, while delivered in a low-key fashion, was nonetheless a thunderous recitation of his “America First” policies. He has disrupted the world order by withdrawing the United States from the nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord, and threatened to punish NATO nations for not paying more for their common defence.“We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy,” Trump said, in language popular with his political base. “America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”Besides calling out Iran, Trump also criticized China for its trade practices but made no mention of Russia’s interference in Syria’s war or its suspected meddling in US elections.Rouhani was defiant in his speech to the world body.“What Iran says is clear: no war, no sanctions, no threats, no bullying; just acting according to the law and the fulfillment of obligations,” Rouhani said.Macron’s Alternative ViewOffering an alternative view when it was his turn at the podium, French president Emmanuel Macron told the delegates that the law of the survival of the fittest, protectionism and isolationism would only lead to heightened tensions.Defending multilateralism and collective action, he said nationalism would lead to failure and if countries stopped defending basic principles, global wars would return.“I do not accept the erosion of multilateralism and don’t accept our history unraveling,” Macron told the assembly, at times raising his voice. “Our children are watching.”Macron, citing the example of Iran, said that this unilateralism push would lead directly to conflicts.Trump, who begins his political rallies with boasts about his economic record in less than two years in office, used the same rhetoric before the crowd of world leaders and diplomats, telling them he had accomplished more than almost any previous US president.The remark led to some murmuring and laughter in the crowd, taking the president slightly aback.“I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” he said.Trump attempted to drive a wedge between Iran’s leadership and its people, days after an attack in southwestern Iran on a military parade killed 25 people and unsettled the country.In remarks to reporters on his way to his speech, Trump said he would not meet the Iranians until they “change their tune.” Though he held out the possibility of a better relationship in the future, he made clear economic pressure on Iran would not abate.Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, addressing a group called United Against a Nuclear Iran, called the 2015 accord “the worst diplomatic debacle in American history” and had a warning for “the mullahs in Tehran.”“If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be HELL to PAY,” he said.In May, Republican Trump withdrew the United States from the deal to put curbs on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions. France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union were part of the accord with Iran.Foes for decades, Washington and Tehran have been increasingly at odds since May. The accord with OPEC member Iran was negotiated under Democratic US president Barack Obama.“Additional sanctions will resume 5 November and more will follow and we are working with countries that import Iranian crude oil to cut their purchases substantially,” Trump said.He said the United States would help create a regional strategic alliance between Gulf nations and Jordan and Egypt, a move the United States sees as a bulwark against Iran.Trump compared US relations with Iran to what he called improved ties with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who Trump had met in Singapore in June as part of a still-unfulfilled drive to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.In his address last year to the UN, Trump insulted Kim as a “rocket man” bent on nuclear destruction. On Tuesday, Trump praised Kim for halting nuclear and missile tests, releasing Americans held prisoner and returning some remains of US soldiers killed in the 1950s Korean War.The two leaders are trying to arrange a second summit. Trump has said sanctions on North Korea would remain for now.Delivering a harsh message to OPEC members, Trump called on them to stop raising oil prices and to pay for their own military protection. He threatened to limit US aid only to countries that are friendly to the United States.Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for Foreign Affairs said oil prices were driven only by markets, by supply and demand. “These are not things that can be manipulated by a decision here or there,” said Gargash, whose country is an OPEC member.Crude oil prices shot to a four-year high on Tuesday, catapulted by imminent US sanctions on Iranian crude exports and the apparent reluctance of OPEC and Russia to raise output to offset the potential hit to global supply.
Share APSenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., left, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., right, walk outside the chamber during debate in the Senate on immigration, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Schumer said on the Senate floor that “the one person who seems most intent on not getting a deal is President Trump.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Senate moderates reached a bipartisan agreement Wednesday aimed at balancing Democrats’ fight to offer citizenship to young “Dreamer” immigrants with President Donald Trump’s demands for billions of dollars to build his coveted border wall with Mexico, participants in those talks said.It was unclear how the compromise would be greeted by Republican and Democratic leaders or the White House, or whether it could attract the 60 votes that will be needed to move through the closely-divided Senate. So far, no other package has emerged from either side that seems able to do that, leaving the debate’s outcome in doubt.The proposal was emerging as the Senate spent a third day of debate largely as it’s spent the first two — with the chamber floor mostly empty. Other than an initial roll call allowing formal debate to begin, there have been no other votes while party leaders talk behind the scenes about scheduling votes on specific proposals.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he wants the Senate to finish considering immigration legislation this week. It is unclear whether that will happen.Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the moderates’ proposal would grant a 10- to 12-year route to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, the same number Trump has suggested in his own wider-ranging proposal. Dreamers are young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and still have no permanent protection from deportation.Graham and Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said the plan would provide $25 billion over a decade for a wall and other border security measures, an amount Trump has requested. It would bar Dreamers from sponsoring their parents for citizenship — well short of a Trump proposal to prevent all legal immigrants from bringing parents and siblings to the U.S.The moderates’ measure does not end a lottery that distributes about 55,000 visas annually to people from diverse countries, as Trump has proposed.“The diversity lottery is kind of toxic politically because of some of the things said by the president made that really hard politics on the Democratic side,” said Graham, a reference to a vulgar description Trump used for people from African countries.The White House issued a written statement by Trump urging senators to back and his bill and “oppose any legislation that fails to fulfill” his “four pillars.” But the statement did not say Trump would veto a bill that fell short of his demands.A GOP bill tracking Trump’s proposal and backed by McConnell has been introduced and could receive a Senate vote soon.Few expect Trump’s plan to attract the 60 votes it would need to survive, but Rounds said he believed the moderates’ proposal could.If that happens, Rounds said, “We’ll allow the president to determine whether or not it moves in the direction that he wants.”Also in play is a more modest plan by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chris Coons, D-Del., and supported by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. It would let many Dreamers qualify for permanent residence and direct federal agencies to more effectively control the border by 2020. But it doesn’t offer a special citizenship pathway for Dreamers or make sweeping changes in legal immigration rules.In another statement, the White House said it opposes the McCain-Coons plan. It said the proposal would “increase illegal immigration, surge chain migration” — a term critics use to describe family-based immigration — and cause other problems.Democrats prefer a narrower approach that addresses “Dreamers” and border security. Schumer said that “the one person who seems most intent on not getting a deal is President Trump.” He said Trump “is trying to force his unpopular, hard-line immigration agenda down the throats of the American people.”McConnell said the president has “spelled out a fair and generous framework that will be necessary to earn his signature.”
By The Associated PressPHILADELPHIA (AP) — A portrait long thought to be of George Washington’s enslaved chef, who cooked for the former president at Mount Vernon and Philadelphia before escaping, is actually not of Hercules, and isn’t even of a chef, art experts concluded after a two-year study.Experts who gathered in 2017 at Mount Vernon, Washington’s Virginia plantation, unanimously agree the 18th-century portrait believed to be of Hercules wearing a chef’s toque is not actually of the man, Philly.com reported Friday. The findings are now public.The portrait at question, until recently, believed to be of George Washington’s cook, Hercules. (Courtesy Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid)“There is a real sense of loss there. It’s such a powerful portrait,” Mount Vernon senior curator Susan P. Schoelwer told Philly.com.Hercules had cooked for Washington for a number of years before escaping in 1797. He wasn’t heard from again.Schoelwer helped coordinate the gathering to discuss the mystery of “Presumed Portrait of George Washington’s Cook.” The portrait had long been attributed to Gilbert Stuart, best known for his unfinished portrait of Washington. But that also doesn’t appear to be true.Dorinda Evans, a Stuart scholar, said the portrait is “very different from how Stuart would have done it.”The experts agree the painting is from the 1700s and say the subject must be notable if a portrait was commissioned. Experts also said what was thought to be a toque is actually a headdress similar to ones worn in by free Dominicans in other paintings.When journalist and author Ramin Ganeshram, who used the image on the cover of her novel “The General’s Cook,” was told of the experts’ new realization, she couldn’t let it go. Ganeshram is executive director of the Westport Historical Society in Connecticut and gathered information on Hercules, hoping to prove the portrait was of him.Instead, the quest led her to documents about a “Hercules Posey.” Posey is the surname of a previous owner of Washington’ chef. She and her historical society colleague, Sara Krasne, who is a trained genealogist, recovered a death notice from New York City. They believe Hercules was left behind at a Manhattan cemetery when bodies were moved to Brooklyn in the early 1800s. He’s most likely still buried under what is now sidewalk, they said. Two historians agree.“I would totally feel comfortable speculating that it was him,” said Erica Armstrong Dunbar, a history professor at Rutgers University.
Kolkata: The construction work for installing a tower at the power grid project in Bhangar has been suspended as the meeting held between the local people and the district administration officials on Friday failed to arrive at a consensual decision.Another meeting would take place on 31 December in this regard. The local residents and the members of the Jami Jibika Bastutantra O Paribesh Rakshya Committee (JJBPRC) refused to allow the construction of the tower unless their demands are met by the district administration. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe meeting was held for nearly five hours on Friday morning but the issue was not resolved. The members of the JJBPRC staged a demonstration at the project site on Thursday, stalling the construction work of the tower. Some of the villagers and committee members alleged that other development projects which were promised by the government earlier have been stalled as well and hence they would not allow the power project to continue. JJBPRC members also alleged that the local administration had assured them that dredging of river would take place and a hospital would be set up but no steps have been taken so far. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThey also alleged that the district administration had agreed to meet certain demands of them, including the introduction of vocational training for the unemployed youths in the area and also setting up of a cold storage for fishermen and farmers. But nothing has happened, they said. It may be mentioned here that a logjam had been created in the power grid project in Bhangar for sometime as they local people did not want the project to take place. The matter was finally resolved following the intervention of the Power department and administration officials in the district. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, during her administrative meeting in the district on Thursday, expressed her dissatisfaction over the non-completion of the power grid project and sought an explanation from the Power department officials as to why the project has not been completed despite the efforts made by the state government in this regard.
A wide swath of the millennia-old Indian civilization came alive through a cluster of artefacts of astonishing brilliance as the National Museum, recently, began a nearly two-month transcontinental exhibition. The showcase takes the viewers on an intriguing and exhilarating trip of the country’s spectacular past and its links with the outside world since antiquity. ‘India and The World: A History in Nine Stories’, the first of its kind event in India, marks an unprecedented collaboration in museum exhibition with the British Museum, London; National Museum, New Delhi; Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai; and some 20 private collections pooling in their resources for the phenomenal show. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfChief Guest Ram Bahadur Rai, President, IGNCA, formally inaugurated the exhibition, unveiling a unique line-up of around 200 ancient and modern exhibits which offer a chronological and thematic depiction of the evolution of India with multiple expressions of art and artefacts, stories and aesthetics. Some of the eye-popping objects on display include the oldest known hand-axe in the world (1.7-1.07 million years) from Attirampakkam, Tamil Nadu, a replica of the dancing girl of Mohenjodaro (2500 BC), a gold-horned Harappan humped bull (1800 BC), a Mughal miniature-inspired work by Rembrandt, an Ashokan edict (250 BC); and an imprint of the Constitution of India having more than 50 paintings supervised by the renowned artist Nandalal Bose. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveRai described the exhibition as a “journey through history”, taking Indians to “moments in history that are a matter of pride for us”.”This is also a celebration of cultural exchanges and a moment to remember that our civilization has existed for millions of years and what it has given to the world in terms of culture, science and spirituality,” he said.In a message, Matt Hancock, UK Secretary of State for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “Culture is at the heart of the UK-India relationship and the living bridge that connects our two nations. This exhibition not only explores our shared history, but shows how our institutions are building partnerships that will last well into the future. I am delighted that it has reached new audiences in Delhi and I look forward to seeing it myself when I host a launch event next week.” A host of dignitaries, including British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith, L.N. Sharma, Chief Post Master General, Delhi Circle, Dr Hartwig Fischer, Director, British Museum, and Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Director General, CSMVS were present at the inauguration.On the occasion, National Museum released three books: Divyambara: Masterpieces of Costume from the National Museum Collection by Lotika Varadarajan; Kaivalyam: Jain Painting in the National Museum by Dr S.V. Tripathi and Pawan Jain; and An introduction to the Indus Valley Civilization by Sanjib Kumar Singh and Gunjan Kumar Srivastava. Unveiling a special postal cover brought out by the Department of Post, L.N. Sharma said the exhibition showcases Indian history from two million years ago to the present day, not just displaying the regional connects but global links that provide visitors with a lifetime opportunity and a great learning experience. The exhibition will run till June 30 from 10 am to 6 pm, except on Mondays and public holidays.
2 min read If you’ve ever wanted to hang out with an adorable robot and casually shoot the breeze with it — naturally, (mostly) with ease, kind of like you do with your real-life friends — Musio might be your man. Or woman. Or, well, thing. Recently launched on Indiegogo, Musio is an artificially intelligent personal assistant robot that its creators describe as a “kind, crazy and smart friend.” The small stationary bot chats back and forth with you, reminds you of important dates, expresses its “feelings” and gets smarter with every interaction.Related: People Prefer Robot Bosses, Study ShowsLike Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana AI personal assistants, Musio also fields questions and fires back answers, lame jokes included. Only it’s a lot cuter and less snarky. The Android device, which looks to be a friendlier, more personable version of the Jibo personal robot, is produced by AKA. The Korean tech upstart, which developed Musio at its Santa Monica, Calif. R&D lab, specializes in using artificial intelligence and big data to improve English learners’ speaking skills, another cool thing Musio is programmed to do.When paired with its sidekick (at added cost), a smaller white plastic gizmo called Sophy, Musio controls nearby Bluetooth “smart” home devices, such as TVs, lights, thermostats and other connected objects. Related: These Tiny Robots Have Superhero Strength (VIDEO)Edutainment and smart device bennies aside, we’re taken by how adorable Musio looks. The molded plastic droid, marketed to adults and kids alike, features goofy pointed ears, long droopy arms, short, squat legs and dual mini screens — one for its animated digital eyes and one for its pixelated beating heart. Musio’s squeaky, high-pitched cartoonish voice is cute, too, but could get old fast.So far Musio has raised more than $17,000 toward its $50,000 crowdfunding goal, with 35 days to go. Pricing for the affable gadget starts at $99. To see Musio charm a pair of giggly kid testers, check out the video below:Related: This Robotic Butler Could Make Your Next Hotel Stay…Interesting Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now June 1, 2015 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free
Vistara announced Chennai as its 22nd destination to its steadily expanding network. Effective February 15, 2018, Vistara operates a daily direct flight between Delhi and Chennai and will increase the frequency to twice daily from March 1, 2018. This will facilitate a convenient same-day return option in both directions and onwards via Delhi.The carrier will also connect Chennai to Port Blair with a daily direct flight between the two cities, effective March 1, 2018. Bookings are now open on all channels, with one-way fares for Delhi – Chennai (economy class) starting INR 3,099 all-in, and INR 3,699 all-in for Chennai – Port Blair.
DESPITE ITS strong growth, the Cypriot economy still has key vulnerabilities, like the high level of bad debts, which could be compounded by the worsening external environment, EU officials said on Friday.According to European Commission staff who conducted the sixth post-programme surveillance mission in liaison with staff from the European Central Bank, the IMF, and the European Stability Mechanism, the Cypriot economy continued to grow strongly in 2018 despite the global slowdown, reaching 3.9 per cent in 2018.“However external headwinds are increasing and important national vulnerabilities remain,” their report said, and the “growth momentum is forecast to ease further, mostly reflecting the less favourable external environment.”“These challenges are further compounded by key vulnerabilities of the Cypriot economy, notably the still very high levels of non-performing loans (NPLs), private, public and external debt in a context of low productivity growth and high dependency on foreign capital flows.”For 2019 and 2020, the budget balance is expected to resume posting sizeable surpluses, the report said.Risks in the next two years mainly relate to the fiscal impact of the healthcare reform and the outcome of court rulings on past measures to reign in the public sector wage bill.“Moreover, a sharper-than-currently-expected slowdown may adversely affect fiscal revenues.”The report noted the significant rise in public debt in 2018 due to the bank support measures related to the sale of the co-op bank, but was expected to steadily decline thereafter.“The high public debt underlines the importance of a continued prudent expenditure management to firmly anchor the downward path of public debt in line with the requirements of the Stability and Growth Pact.”It said Cyprus made significant progress in consolidating its banking sector and reducing NPLs held by banks, but important challenges remain.To continue with NPL resolution, it was now essential to enhance payment discipline and resolve unviable debt by fully using the amended insolvency and foreclosure frameworks.“Rigorously assessing the compliance with the eligibility criteria and swiftly triggering foreclosure procedures in the case of re-defaults will be critical for the performance of the forthcoming ESTIA scheme for NPLs collateralised with primary residences.”Another key priority is the establishment of Kedipes as a successful asset management company in line with the corresponding state aid decision.“This includes setting up an effective governance framework, ensuring operational independence from the State, and having an adequate supervisory framework.”The EU officials urged Cyprus to seize the opportunity provided by the still favourable conditions to step up the pace of structural reforms to boost potential growth.“A key priority is the judicial reform, which is essential for the functioning of the economy. This involves increasing the specialisation of courts, clearing the high accumulation of cases and revising the outdated civil procedure rules. This would also have a beneficial impact on repayment discipline. Moreover, it is important to swiftly address the long-overdue reform of the title deeds issuance and transfer system.” You May LikeLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoWalk In Tubs | Search AdsSearch Walk In Tubs Rowland HeightsWalk In Tubs | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
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Adam Ferguson for TIME A Nepalese man tends to a funeral pyre built for a person killed in the earthquake. it could empower hardliners while weakening the moderate camp that has sought better relations with the West.” Twenge says. the chief sponsor of the bill sent out an email to his colleagues urging them to get behind the measure writing it was of “enduring importance to the security of our nation”“In case of emergency break glass” Raskin told Yahoo News in an interview “If you look at the record of things that have happened since January it is truly a bizarre litany of events and outbursts” Asked if Trump’s latest tweets attacking Brzezinski and her co-host Joe Scarborough — which were roundly condemned by members of both parties as beneath the dignity of his office — strengthened the grounds for invoking the 25th Amendment Raskin replied: “I assume every human being is allowed one or two errant and seemingly deranged tweets The question is whether you have a sustained pattern of behavior that indicates something is seriously wrong” After Trump’s Thursday morning tweets four more Democrats signed on to Raskin’s bill his office said Friday (Brzezinski and Scarborough’s response to Trump’s tweets ran in today’s Washington Post under the headline “The President is not well” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s tweets Thursday saying he “fights fire with fire”)President Trump (Photo: Yuri Gripas/Reuters)MoreTo be sure even Raskin acknowledges Congress and the country are in largely uncharted waters The 25th Amendment was adopted in 1967 in response to the assassination of President John F Kennedy and past presidential medical crises — including the heart attacks of Dwight Eisenhower and the illnesses of Franklin D Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson — to deal with instances where presidents become incapacitated and unable to perform the duties of their officeOne of its provisions known as Section 4 empowers the vice president along with a majority of the Cabinet to make a determination that a president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office and then provide it in writing to Congress resulting in the president’s removal It’s a step that has never been takenBut Raskin a former constitutional law professor has seized on some largely overlooked language in Section 4 as the basis for his bill It turns out it doesn’t have to be the Cabinet that makes a finding of presidential incapacity The section also permits “such other body as Congress may by law provide” — along with the vice president — to reach the same conclusionYet in the 50 years since the 25th Amendment took effect Congress has never set up such a body Raskin’s bill would do so It calls for the creation of an “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity” The commission would be a nonpartisan panel appointed by congressional leaders composed of four physicians four psychiatrists and three others — such as former presidents vice presidents or other former senior US government officials The commission if directed by Congress through a concurrent resolution would be empowered to conduct an examination of the president “to determine whether the president is incapacitated either mentally or physically”Rep Jamie Raskin D-Md, even if it was one once supported by Clinton. Ga. File photo of Robert Lewandowski." Argonne is home to the Advanced Photon Source x-ray synchrotron, The ties will be played between 16 and 19 March. Nigeria first before him.
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