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Equatorial Guinea New Host of CAN 2015

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Rabat- According to French Sports Magazine L’équipe, Equatorial Guinea will be the new hosts of the 2015 African Cup of Nations instead of planned hosts Morocco who were ruled out from hosting the tournament following a decision of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on November 11.Citing Equatorial Guinean sources acquainted with the issue, the French Magazine said on Friday that the decision of hosting the forthcoming edition of the African football showpiece will be formally announced in the day.The magazine said that Equatorial Guinea has proven its technical ability and know-how to host the competition when it co-hosted the 2012 African Cup of Nations with Gabon. This comes following the emergence of news suggesting that the Gulf state of Qatar stands ready to host the event in case the African Football Federation makes a formal request.“If officially asked, Qatar is ready to offer any help in hosting the African Cup due its strong relation with Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football,” Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Thani, the President of the Qatari football association was quoted as saying. read more

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Saad Eddine Othmani Committed to Benkiranes Political Line

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Rabat – Facing the  anger and disappointment within PJD, Head of Gvernement Saad Eddine Othmani ended his silence and adopted a frank discourse, promising commitment to Benkirane’s political line.Morocco’s newly head of government, Saad Eddine Othmani, has said that the new government would continue the reform that  his predecessor, Abdelilah Benkirane, initiated.During a meeting held on Friday with Justice and Development Party (PJD) members of parliament, Othmani said that he would not renounce his “constitutional prerogatives”, adding that the “fact that PJD managed to  keep its portfolios from the previous government is a victory itself”. There was no wrongdoing“The new government’s program includes the continuation of reformative plans that Abdelilah Benkirane started, including there form of the Compensation Fund.”, Othamni told the youth section of his party.One of the most important announcement made during this meeting was also Othmani’s frank commitment to pursuing the reform of the Compensation Fund.“The parties that are currently leading the government have not mentioned their retreat to reform the Compensation Fund,” Othmani noted. “[Regarding] what is stirring controversy on media, I don’t know where the media gets its sources from.”Regarding the criticism of PJD members following the formation of the coalition government, Othmani said, “We can make a mistake in the politics – but there is no intentional deliberate wrongdoing.”Othmani explained that he cannot prohibit people from expressing their criticism about the structure of the new coalition government.Opinion is free, Decision is bindingOne of the most famous arguments in PJD rhetoric was “Opinion is free, decision is binding”. Each time during their arm wrestling with other parties the PJD has stuck  to “role repartition”. Some members adopt a violent tone, expressing indirectly party’s position on some issues, while the official position comes to balance it and make it more acceptable.This time again, Othmani used the same arguments to down play the impact of the current division within the party regarding his political line in comparison to Benkiran’s one.“The PJD is not a Stalinist party to reach  consensus on [the decisions of the party’s] leadership. However, there is a fair amount of ethics [for people] to express politely their opinions,” Othmani added.Othmani’s structure of the government, which includes six parties, caused an uproar among the PJD membership, leading many followers  to take to Facebook to exchange accusations.Abdelali Hamidine, a member of the PJD politburo, wrote on his Facebook account on Friday that “several glaring mistakes have been made since the appointment of Othmani’s government.”“Substantive repercussions have emerged since the evening of the announcement of the new government, which was certainly not in line with the aspirations and the spirit of  Moroccans who cast their votes in difficult circumstances for the Justice and Development Party (PJD),” Hamidine added.“I am the only Boss”One the Other Hand, the head of government responded to the claim that his party, the PJD, continues to succumb to the pressure of Aziz Akhannouch, Secretary-General of the National Rally of Independence, and that the latter has more power than Othmani in the newly-appointed government.“Akhannouch is not the Head of Government. There is only one Head of Government, the one appointed by King Mohammed VI,” said Othmani, noting that Akhannouch does not act outside of his limit in the government.Othmani added that the leading members of the PJD do not have any “interests, or companies, or anything” that would make them succumb to pressure.On another note, the head of government announced that the government program would soon be released.“You will see the government program that will be released soon. It will be strong and will carry strong implications. It will continue the reforms, from which we not back down […] including continuing the reform in the Compensation Fund,” said Othmani noting that the allegations saying the contrary are not true. read more

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Concerns over hate campaign

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At the core of the discussions on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission which clearly calls for the upholding of democratic rights, including freedom of expression. The National Peace Council, in a statement today, said that the campaign to vilify and incite hatred towards NGOs and human rights activists in the context of the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva is of particular concern as it involves the use of the state controlled media. The National Peace Council said it regrets that even while the government is trying to convince the international community that it is committed in both spirit and substance to the recommendations of the LLRC and to upholding universal human rights, certain sections persist in intimidation of the NGOs and human rights activists using the state media.“We are deeply concerned that the background is being created for targeted attacks and that the state-controlled media is being utilized for this purpose in an orchestrated campaign.  Incitement of the people is a reckless exercise which may spill over to mindless violence against minorities and those perceived to be enemies which the government may find difficult to restrain once unleashed as in 1983,” the National Peace Council said. Concerns have been raised over a hate campaign launched by the state media against some journalists in the private media as well as human rights workers and NGOs in the country.State owned ITN has, for the past few days, been profiling some journalists and human rights activists saying they are working against the country. read more

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Sri Lanka looks to strengthen its presence in Africa

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Sri Lanka’s new Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the  African Union (AU) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Dassanayake Mudiyanselage Sumith Priyantha said that Sri Lanka will officially open a new Embassy in Addis Ababa in January 2017.Sri Lanka extended an invitation to the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to attend the opening. The Chairperson congratulated and welcomed each of the new Representatives to the AU and wished them success in their collaboration with the AU and during their stay in Ethiopia. (Colombo Gazette) Opening an Embassy in Addis Ababa, is very strategic as Sri Lanka strengthens its presence in Africa, satprnews.com reported. Newly appointed Ambassadors of India, Japan, Netherlands and Sri Lanka to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representatives to the AU and UNECA, presented their Credentials to the AU Commission Chairperson. read more

Top UN envoy says 15000 troops needed for wartorn Liberia

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Having just completed his assessment of what will be needed to cement Liberia’s fragile peace, Jacques Paul Klein, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Liberia, held a news conference in Monrovia today and announced that he plans to head to New York next week and press for a Council mandate on UN peacekeepers for Liberia by mid-September. “The sooner the better for the people of Liberia,” he told reporters, adding that killings, rapes, looting and intimidation will continue, particularly in the country’s interior, unless peacekeepers are deployed in large numbers.”I think there’s a clear understanding by the region that this, this time, has to work,” said Mr. Klein, adding that “Unless we, this time, do this thing correctly, it potentially destabilizes West Africa.” He had consulted with a whole spectrum of Liberian society, ministries, non-governmental organizations and private citizens to get their input on what needs to be done, he said.He stressed that the UN would be looking for a “working partnership with the Liberian Interim Government, not a trusteeship.” A trusteeship implied that people are not capable of doing it themselves. “That is not true,” he said, “We can work with a technocrat government over two years or so to rebuild the fabric of Liberian society. It is a long-term process…we need to think about how to set up political parties that represent the Liberian people, that are not personality driven.”Mr. Klein said that if he got the mandate by the first of October – when the Interim Government is due to take over – the West African ECOMIL troops that have been policing the country for nearly a month would be “blue helmeted” and become UN peacekeepers. “ Then we can begin the process of bringing in the rest of the force structure that we need.”“I don’t know what the Security Council will give us; I am asking for 15,000 troops…enough troops to quickly be able to do disarmament, demobilization – the demilitarization that needs to be done,” Mr. Klein said. All those troops would not be on the ground by 1 October, but the process would take about four months. He said his assessment also calls for some 900 international policemen, some armed, some not. The goal will be recruit, to train, equip and try to build a Liberian police force that understands its role in a democratic society – to protect the citizens. “I would like to find international funds to pay these police, so that they do not live off the citizens and can do their job with dignity,” he added.“We are going to appeal to the international community and also to the American Government that after 1 October they maintain a presence of some sort – we need that,” he said. Mr. Klein also said that the if he got the mandate he needed, he would meet with the European Union to see what monies could be found for long-term reconstruction and job creation. “The key challenge as we demobilize is all these young people – many without education, traumatized and coerced into fighting – to find them meaningful employment and reintegrate them into society, “ he said. As for the United States, the most useful thing is to take on the reconstruction of a small Liberian army, rebuilding it and making it professional and reflecting all the ethic groups and structures within the country. read more

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Funds at last coming in for hungerracked Niger but more still needed

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“Over the last few days, the world has finally woken up, but it took graphic images of dying children for this to happen,” Under-Secretary-General Jan Egeland told a news briefing in Geneva. “More money had been received over the last 10 days than over the last 10 months.”He said he was hopeful that most of the $30.7 million that so far been sought will be forthcoming, with $25 million so far in hand or pledged but the figure will again be revised upwards.This is not much money; in fact it is only 20 minutes of the world’s military spending, he added, and it is for the 800,000 malnourished children of Niger and the 2.5 million people living on less than one meal a day due to a food crisis brought on by last year’s drought and a plague of crop-devouring locusts.Mr. Egeland said he found one of his most difficult missions was to bring attention to the most neglected and forgotten emergencies. For each one that received funding and profiling, there were a dozen neglected emergencies, some of which turned, despite early warnings, into full-blown catastrophes, as in Niger.The Government of Niger and the few agencies present in the country had tried to warn about the situation, and he said he had also tried to warn the international community. In general, donors were more and more responsible – giving money earlier and earlier – but in Niger, the system had failed. There should not have been so many children dying in Niger. It could have been averted, he added.Asked how many children had died in Niger, Mr. Egeland said it was not known, but the number was in the thousands. Niger had already been listed before the present crisis as one of the two poorest countries on Earth according to the UN Development Index, and the child mortality rates were very high to start with, but now it was well over the emergency threshold, with more dying than in Sudan’s strife-torn western Darfur region. read more

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No City Needs A Championship As Badly As Philadelphia

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Seattle-0.12-0.92-1.16+0.00-2.20 New York City+1.75-2.45+3.69+0.20+3.20 The roots of the Fairmount Park-sized chip on Philly fans’ collective shoulders go back decades — the infamous Santa snowball incident happened in 1968, less than three years into the Super Bowl’s existence. But they have seemed to grow deeper as the years went on without a championship in the sport Philadelphia embraces the most. The Eagles, which have been around since 1933, are one of 13 NFL franchises that have never won a Super Bowl, and nobody has won more total ballgames among the Super Bowl oh-fers.2The Eagles did win three NFL championships before the Super Bowl existed, most recently in 1960. But any fan who was following the team back then is now at least into their mid-60s, if not much older. It is, to say the least, a distant memory from another era.Making matters worse, the Eagles’ rivals in the NFC East — the hated Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Washington Redskins — have won a combined 12 championships in the Super Bowl era. Six times a year, Eagles fans are forced to contrast themselves against fan bases whose historical résumés have been weaponized for the taunting.There’s a cultural component to the frustration as well. “Football represents Philadelphia’s ideal view of itself: a tough, blue-collar sport,” Longman said. Both he and Glen Macnow, a longtime host at the local sports-talk radio station WIP, agreed that the Eagles are the one team in the city whose rabid support stretches across demographic and societal lines. Indeed, over the past five years, the Eagles have dominated the search-traffic battle against the city’s other pro teams to a greater degree than the national average.3Granted, the Sixers went on their infamous tanking expedition during this span.“It’s a football town,” Macnow said. “The Eagles bring together everybody in the city.” If so, that also puts the team squarely at the emotional epicenter of Philadelphia angst.The city’s general lack of sports success over the years hasn’t helped matters. Philly teams went more than 25 years without a title, between the 1982-83 76ers’ NBA crown and the Phillies’ World Series victory in 2008. And it hasn’t been for lack of trying. In the 34 years starting in 1984 — the year after the Sixers won their title — through 2017, no other city in pro sports has underachieved more on the championship front, based on the number of actual titles won and the number we’d expect from how many teams they had in each sport.4Including only the “Big Four” North American pro sports of football, basketball, baseball and hockey. (Sorry as always to all you ardent MLS fans out there.) The tug of war between Philadelphia’s view of itself as a combative underdog and the greater prestige to which it sometimes aspires will be on full display Sunday night, when the Eagles take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Between the city’s sports heartbreaks and hooliganism, its perpetual inferiority complex and recent civic resurgence, this Super Bowl could be a turning point for Philly or another way for its fans to double down on their notoriety.“You can’t deny that there is coarse [fan] behavior,” New York Times reporter Jeré Longman told me in a phone interview. Longman would know — he wrote a book about the neuroses of the city’s fans the last time the Eagles made the Super Bowl, back in 2005. But he also made a case that Philly deserves a better image. “It’s the founding city of the United States; it has these great institutions,” Longman said. “And now it has a vibrant art and music scene, great food, lots of young professionals living downtown.” In Longman’s view, Philadelphia too often sells itself short of what it could be (and already is) when its fans live down to their boorish reputation.“The city’s slogan actually used to be, ‘Philadelphia: Not as bad as Philadelphians say it is,’” he said. “Maybe this Super Bowl will be a chance for people in Philadelphia to realize what a great city they have.”1As someone who lived in Philly for about five years, I agree about the city’s greatness — which makes the juxtaposition between its friendly day-to-day interactions and sometimes psychotic sports fandom even more jarring. Championships vs. Expected Pittsburgh+0.88+0.00-1.16+3.73+3.45 Boston+4.38+1.78+1.84-0.27+7.73 Chicago-0.12+4.78-0.31+1.73+6.08 The sports fans of Philadelphia are known for their unique brand of bottle-throwing, Santa Claus-attacking, expletive-laced rowdiness. But is this reputation deserved? Are they actually any different from other fiery fan bases in, say, Buffalo or Oakland? I asked my colleague Rob Arthur to look at citywide crime rates, and he couldn’t find any significant uptick on game days. Then again, multiple Eagles fans are alleged to have punched horses (!?!) during these playoffs alone: Phoenix-0.98-1.22+0.33-0.68-2.55 Top 10NFLNBAMLBNHLTotal Edmonton+0.00+0.00+0.00+3.73+3.73 Los Angeles-0.88+5.60-0.59+0.73+4.86 San Antonio+0.00+3.78+0.00+0.00+3.78 Philadelphia-0.62-1.22-0.16-1.27-3.27 Minneapolis-1.12-0.97+0.84-1.00-2.25 Detroit-1.12+1.78-0.16+2.73+3.23 Bottom 10NFLNBAMLBNHLTotal Milwaukee+0.00-1.22-1.16+0.00-2.38 This assigns Boston and Philadelphia a “half-championship” for the 2017 NFL season, since Super Bowl LII’s winner isn’t known yet.Expected championships are calculated by assigning each team in a league equal odds of winning the title in a given season and then adding up those title chances over time.Source: Sports-Reference sites San Diego-1.09-0.04-1.16+0.00-2.29 Which sports cities have overachieved the most (and least)?Actual vs. expected championships in the big 4 North American sports for cities, 1984-2017 Washington, D.C.+0.88-1.22-0.43-1.27-2.05 Buffalo-1.12+0.00+0.00-1.27-2.39 Cleveland-1.02-0.22-1.16+0.00-2.40 Miami-1.12+1.99+1.19-0.80+1.26 Championships vs. Expected San Francisco+2.88+0.00+1.84+0.00+4.72 Atlanta-1.12-1.22-0.16-0.37-2.87 (And that’s after assigning Philly and Boston a “half-championship” each for the upcoming Super Bowl, assuming that each team has roughly 50-50 odds. If we didn’t do that, Philadelphia teams would be running a collective 3.7 championships below expectation since 1983.)Here’s another way this data helps illustrate why Philadelphia fans are so emotionally overwrought when it comes to sports: In terms of expected titles — which measures the sheer number of cracks a city has had at championship glory — Philly trails only New York, Los Angeles and Chicago (and it’s tied with Boston and Detroit). Justifiably, it thinks of itself as belonging among that group of towns. But collectively, those five cities have won 57.5 championships — 25.1 more than expected — since 1983, with each exceeding their expectation by at least 3.2 titles. Philly, meanwhile, is running 3.3 titles below expectations. Add in the fact that Philadelphia ranks only 25th in championships won since 1983 despite being a top-eight U.S. metro area by both population and economic might, and it makes sense why Philly fandom is often a powder keg waiting to explode.“It’s like a permanent wedgie,” Macnow said of Philadelphia’s sports inferiority complex. “You look up the East Coast at New York and see their championships and at Boston’s smug fans — we call them ‘Massholes.’ There’s an element of envy there as well.”That’s one reason the Patriots might be the ultimate opponent for the Eagles as they try to end their Super Bowl drought. Since 1983, Boston teams have won 7.7 more titles than expected — in exactly the same number of chances as Philly had. The cities are similar in many ways, from population to their shared importance in the early history of the country, a common insular attitude and their parallel rivalries with the behemoth situated between them — New York City. It isn’t difficult to envision an alternate universe in which the fates of Boston and Philadelphia sports had switched places several decades ago.Everyone agrees that an Eagles win on Sunday would set off something approaching total pandemonium in the Philadelphia. “It would be by far the largest sports celebration ever,” Longman told me. “There aren’t enough cans of Crisco in the world to keep people from climbing every [street] pole in Philadelphia.” Longman thought the potential crowds would dwarf the Phillies’ championship parade in 2008 and be more akin to when the pope visited the city in 2015.Whether the long-awaited Super Bowl victory would mark the beginning of a change in fans’ behavior, however, is another question, given that so much of Philly fandom — for good and bad — is wrapped up in the feelings of being overlooked and misunderstood.“It would require a change in a mindset that has prevailed for many generations,” Longman said. “It’d be fascinating to see if Philly is comfortable with being the overdog instead of the underdog.”Although it would only begin to make a slight dent in the city’s championship shortfall of the past three and a half decades, winning Sunday would be a good start. read more

Russia and Belarus want Mens EHF EURO 2022

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Belarus handballMen’s EHF EURO 2022russia Russia and Belarus want the Men’s EHF EURO 2022! Russian Handball Federation president Sergey Shisharev announced that he had meeting with EHF Secretary General Michael Wiederer in Vienna, where that was a main topic.– During the meeting we shared our idea of ​​a Men’s European Championship in 2022 in Russia and Belarus. Our countries are natural alliance in terms of infrastracture, geography, spectators. We can and we should qualified for that.Whole project will me discussed with the Ministry of Sports of Russia.According Shishkarev, the venue of of the even will be decided during 2017. -The procedure will start in the spring of 2017. During 2017, within a reasonable period of time sufficient for the submission of applications will be determined the winner. Of course, we will hold talks with the leadership of the Belarusian Handball Federation, perhaps the head of the Olympic Committee of Belarus. It seems to me, the idea of to co-host the European championship is very interesting. ← Previous Story Rojewski buzzer-beater for a tie in Kassel Next Story → Ivry sign Vasja Furlan read more

This is how drastically your Windows computer has changed over the years

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first_img The US is building a case against Iran in the attacks on Saudi Arabia, but Trump is in no rush to act SpaceX is trying to buy a hamlet inside its Texas rocket-launch site because it ‘did not anticipate’ there’d be any ‘significant disruption’ to residents who live there The Pixel watch that never was: An inside look at how Google’s smartwatch efforts beat Apple to the punch, but then broke down and never recovered (GOOG, GOOGL) A car plowed through the main hall of Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, New York THINK BACK TO the early 1990s, and the computer you used in school or at work probably looks drastically different than the laptop you’re using today.We’ve come a long way from the massive, chunky monitors.And, as computers have become slimmer and more sleek, so has the software that goes along with it.Here’s a look at how Windows has changed throughout the years:Windows 1.0 (1985) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWindows 1.0 was officially released in 1985, two years after Microsoft first announced the software. The company initially considered calling it Interface Manager, but instead called it Windows after the format in which programs were designed.Windows 2.0 (1987-1990) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesThe second iteration of Windows launched in 1987, and introduced desktop icons, expanded memory, and the ability to overlap windows.Windows 3.0 (1990) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWhen Windows 3.0 debuted in 1990, it became the most widely used version of the software yet. Microsoft sold 10 million copies of Windows 3 in its first two weeks. With Windows 3.0, Microsoft significantly enhanced the software’s performance, improved app icons, and added 16 new colors to its graphics. You can also try it out online here.Windows 95 (1995) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWindows 95 was one of Microsoft’s most prominent software releases to date. The iconic Start button made its debut on Windows 95, as did Internet Explorer. Microsoft sold 7 million copies within its first five weeks of availability.Windows 98 (1998) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWindows 98 was released as the age of the internet was in full swing. Microsoft describes it as the first real software release for consumers. The ability to read DVDs and the Quick Launch menu were among Windows 98′s new features.Windows ME (2000) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWith Windows ME, or Millennium Edition, Microsoft added new media-focused features such as Windows Movie Maker. It was also the first version of Windows to support System Restore, which allows you to reset your system’s preferences to before a certain date. Windows ME faced some harsh criticisms when it hit the market, however. PCWorld listed it in their list of the Worst Tech Products of All Time countdown, and ABC’s review criticized it for being difficult to install.Windows XP (2001-2005) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWindows XP was praised for its cleaner aesthetics and smooth performance. “You’ll hear few complaints about the operating system itself, especially when it’s compared with previous versions,” David Pogue wrote in The New York Times’ review back in 2001.“No matter what you think of Microsoft, using Windows XP on a new or very recent PC feels sure, swift and satisfying. And that’s a big deal.” Microsoft also says that it emphasized security with Windows XP.Windows Vista (2006-2008) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWindows Vista introduced a new design and some minor updates to existing Windows programs, but it was ultimately met with criticism. Many reviews concluded that there was no compelling reason to upgrade from XP.Windows 7 (2009)Windows 7 was received with praise when it launched in 2009. CNET called it “what Vista should have been.” It’s still used across corporate environments today.Windows 8/8.1 (2012-present) Source: Courtesy of the Microsoft ArchivesWindows 8 is Microsoft’s most recent version of Windows. Microsoft completely changed the user interface of Windows 8 from the traditional desktop to a tiled, touch-friendly design. The goal was to optimize the OS for tablets, but Windows 8 has seen lukewarm reception at best. The software has been criticized for its complicated interface and lack of a Start menu, which Microsoft is rumored to bring back with Windows 9.- Lisa EadiciccoNow read: These ten computer operating systems never made the grade >More: Microsoft appoints Nadella as its new CEO >last_img read more

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Commodity Classic Offers Wide Range of Unique San Antonio Area Tours

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first_imgAttendees at the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, can make their experience even more memorable by signing up for one or more of the fascinating tours available during the event.  These optional tours provide the opportunity to discover even more about the history, attractions and culture of the San Antonio area—and this year’s tour schedule is among the most varied ever offered.Optional tours are scheduled Wednesday, March 1 through Saturday, March 4. Tours available during those four days include:A tour of the 2.2 million square-foot Toyota Tundra manufacturing plantA visit to the world-renowned San Antonio zooExploring the scenic backroads of Texas Hill County including the home of President Lyndon JohnsonTours of distilleries, greenhouses and a unique orchard featuring 10,000 olive treesAn underground adventure in Natural Bridge Caverns, one of the top 10 caves in the U.S.Tours of several San Antonio missions and the area’s impressive historical homesA guided cruise of San Antonio via the famed San Antonio Riverwalk waterwayA bus tour of major landmarks and points of interest throughout the city“These optional tours are a great way for families to make the most of their time in San Antonio and to have one-of-a-kind experiences they can’t have anywhere else,” said Ed Erickson, Jr., a North Dakota farmer and co-chair of the 2017 Commodity Classic.  “While Commodity Classic is focused on making all of us even better farmers, it’s also about having a little fun and taking some time with family. This year’s line-up of optional tours truly has something for everyone.”For details on the tours and to register, visit www.CommodityClassic.com.  Tour fees vary and are not included with convention registration.Tours may be reserved online, by mail or via fax using the form available on the website.Space is limited and tours are available on a first-come basis.  The deadline to preregister for tours is Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.  Tour registrations are refundable only if cancelled by that date. On-site registration in San Antonio will be accommodated subject to space availability.Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show, produced by the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and Association of Equipment Manufacturers.last_img read more

USFRA Conducts Survey to Help Elevate Voice of Farmers Ranchers

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first_imgThe U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is made up of more than 100 farmer and rancher led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture. USFRA strives to bring the voice of the farmer and rancher to consumers, and answer questions about how today’s food is grown and raised. The American Soybean Association (ASA) is an alliance member.In an effort to further the dialogue, USFRA is conducting a short survey to better determine how it can help elevate the voice of farmers and ranchers, and create a united voice for agriculture. We ask that you take five minutes and complete the survey to help with the efforts.Thank you in advance for sharing your opinion and insights. The survey can be found here. Please submit all responses by April 30.last_img read more

Konami unveils TurboGrafx16 mini game console

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first_img $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Chris Monroe/CNET Turo Share your voice Apple iPhone XS Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Best Buy Rylo Jul 26 • Doom Eternal: QuakeCon ‘Year of Doom’ keynote shows more ‘Battlemode’ action What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. reading • Konami unveils TurboGrafx-16 mini game console Tags E3 2019 Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Gaming The Konami TurboGrafx-16 mini game console harkens back to the company’s 1980s home game console. Konami Konami Digital Entertainment on Tuesday took the wraps off the TurboGrafx-16 mini. The gaming console is a compact version of the company’s 1980s version.The console is small enough to fit into gamers’ palms but comes with a full-size controller, the Japanese game giant said Tuesday at the E3 game expo in Los Angeles. The console will come preloaded with an initial handful of retro-like games, including R-Type, New Adventure Island, Ninja Spirit, Ys Book I & II, Dungeon Explorer and Alien Crush.The TurboGrafx-16 mini will be released in North America, while variants called PC Engine Core Grafx and PC Engine mini will be released in Europe and Japan, respectively. Details about pricing, availability and additional games planned weren’t made available. TurboGrafx-16 was a cartridge-based home video game released in the US in 1989. Competing with the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, it featured an 8-bit CPU and an optional add-on that stored the games on CD-ROM. The line was discontinued in 1994. $520 at HP Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See at Turo Read the AirPods review $999 $999 $60 at Best Buy HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Read Google Home Hub review CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) 0 Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Sarah Tew/CNET The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. See at Amazon $59 at eBay Aug 19 • Borderlands 3: FL4K, new endgame content and everything else we know Angela Lang/CNET Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). $155 at Google Express $210 at Best Buy Post a comment Sarah Tew/CNET DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. See It 7 $299 at Amazon Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Sprint Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. See It Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) See All Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Comments Aug 28 • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order trailer, gameplay footage and everything we know Sarah Tew/CNET $6 at Tidal Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) $999 $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Tags Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. E3 2019 DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $999 Read the Rylo camera preview Aug 3 • E3 journalists see their personal info exposed by security flaw Boost Mobile See it See It Amazon JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Share your voice Read DJI Osmo Action preview Mini,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Sarah Tew/CNET Turo: Save $30 on any car rental • The Cheapskate Read Lenovo Smart Clock review An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free.last_img read more

Did You Know

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first_img11.5 Certification to Recruit Off Campus. Did you know…?Only those coaches that have been certified may contact or evaluate any prospective student-athletes off-campus. In order to become certified, all coaches must pass a national standardized test developed by the NCAA national office covering topics such as recruiting, freshmen academic requirements, and institutional aid. See Bylaw 11.5 for more information. Story Links 11.5.1 Annual Certification Requirement. Only those coaches who have been certified may contact or evaluate any prospective student-athletes off campus. Certification must occur on an annual basis. (Adopted: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/92) 11.5.1.1 Certification Administration. Such certification procedures shall be established and administered for its member institutions by the member conferences of the Association or, in the case of an independent institution, by the NCAA national office or the conference office that administers the National Letter of Intent for that institution. Such certification procedures shall include a requirement that the coaches shall have passed a standardized national test developed by the NCAA national office covering NCAA recruiting legislation, including Bylaw 13 and other bylaws [e.g., Bylaws 15.3 (institutional financial aid award) and 14.3 (freshman academic requirements)] that relate to the recruitment of prospective student-athletes as a condition for being permitted to engage in off-campus recruiting. Member conferences shall establish the procedures for administering and correcting the test within each conference. (Adopted: 1/10/91 effective 8/1/92, Revised: 1/16/93, 4/24/03)Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Sony isnt losing money selling PlayStation VR for 399

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first_imgWith the exception of Nintendo, when console manufacturers release a new console it is sold at a loss. That loss slowly turns into profit as manufacturing costs fall and optimizations are made to the hardware configuration. Sony knows this all too well, with the PlayStation 3 being a particularly expensive beast at launch.With the launch of the PlayStation VR, you’d expect a similar situation. This is brand new tech and Sony has chosen a very consumer-friendly price point, so they must be making a loss in an attempt to sell a lot of them, right? Wrong.Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, has confirmed that PlayStation VR will not be sold at a loss. From launch day it’s going to be at least breaking even or possibly generating a profit. Yoshida hasn’t confirmed which, but it certainly isn’t losing any money for the company, meaning they’ll have more to spend on marketing.That’s surprising not least because Palmer Luckey has said the Oculus Rift is as expensive as it is because they are selling it at cost. And yet, it’s $200 more expensive than the PlayStation VR. Even if the Oculus Rift does offer more in terms of features, or a better overall experience (as yet to be determined by the gaming masses), this will come as quite a blow, especially when you consider the hundreds of dollars price difference between a PS4 and a PC capable of running Oculus Rift.It seems likely the price difference could grow larger in the short term as both the PS4 and PlayStation VR prices can, and probably will, drop. Sony is very experienced at revisiting and optimizing hardware to make it cheaper to manufacture. Oculus and Facebook are newcomers to this game.PlayStation VR will launch in October with 50 games expected to be available before the end of the year as well as the 6 games included with the headset. Don’t forget to add $45 to the price if you don’t already own a PlayStation 4 Camera, though.last_img read more

To the Moon Jackie Gleasons SpaceAge Party Retreat – now up for

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first_imgJackie Gleason may have been best known to American TV audiences as Ralph Kramden, a bus driver in Brooklyn living in a small apartment, on the 1950s hit series The Honeymooners, but on the weekends, the actor enjoyed his country retreat north of New York City that was the essence of 1950s swanky style — with a special twist. Drawing on his fascination with UFOs, Gleason had the home and adjacent cottage constructed to be round inside and out — even the curved floorboards, windows, cabinets, bars, and furniture. He called the two buildings “The Spaceship” and “The Mothership.”Aerial view of the round property. Photo by Zillow.“The Mothership might not be a vessel for journeying to the stars, but stepping through its doors today is a trip back in time to an era when luminaries such as Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio gathered with Gleason to sip cocktails around the 13-seat bar and to hear live music on a grand piano that’s the centerpiece of the first level,” reported Iohud.The buildings are part of a Westchester County estate that went on the market this year for $12 million.Photo of the complete cast of the television program The Honeymooners. This was the premiere of the show on CBS as it moved there from the DuMont network. From left: Jackie Gleason (Ralph Kramden), Audrey Meadows (Alice Kramden), Art Carney (Ed Norton), Joyce Randolph (Trixie Norton).Gleason reportedly designed the two-bedroom, 3,950-square-foot home himself at the height of The Honeymooners’ popularity. It took five years and about $650,000 to build. The house was finished in 1959.Memories of Gleason, who died in 1987 at age 71, are still strong in the region, where he lived from the middle 1950s until the early 1960s. It was during these years that he hosted the long running The Jackie Gleason Show too. Gleason’s restaurant in Peekskill is named in honor of the actor.Gleason as Minnesota Fats in The Hustler (1961).“He spent quite a bit of time up here,” said realtor Margaret Bailey in an interview. “He loved going to the bars in the area. All the people knew him. Jackie was a partier. He wanted an escape from New York City, and this was his nirvana.”The current owner, a retired orthodontist, had bought the property in Cortlandt Manor in 1976 for just $150,000.Interior of the house. Photo by ZillowDesigned by architect Robert Cika, the house was constructed by a Norwegian shipbuilder, who shipped the completed pieces to Cortlandt Manor for final assembly, Bailey explained to the press.The Mothership was the main house. Designed to host parties, it has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and two bars — the centerpiece was a 14-person, curving bar, which had a baby grand piano and a microphone that would rise from the marble floor.One of the five bedrooms. Photo by ZillowAccording to realtor.com, “The house was certainly ahead of its time. It had central air conditioning and a built-in, surround-sound system. Each of the Mothership’s marble fireplaces was double-sided, save for the main fireplace, a three-sided, 40-foot-tall marble model that weighed 240 tons. Gleason reportedly commissioned Italian artists to fly to Cortlandt Manor to complete the stonework.”It took Gleason five years and $650,000 to build his unique home. Photo by Zillow“The master bedroom features a uniquely rounded bed, and a TV mounted on the ceiling. There’s a fishbowl-like shower in the master bathroom, and a curved built-in desk in the office.”Gleason’s guests ranged from Marilyn Monroe to Richard Nixon.In the sitcom, Ralph is famous for yelling to his wife “To the moon, Alice!”Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, and Audrey Meadows in The Honeymooners.Honeymooners co-star Audrey Meadows, in her autobiography Love, Alice: My Life as a Honeymooner, “recalled being puzzled by a small, round hole in the marble floor near the piano until a fellow guest explained that Jackie could press a button for a microphone to rise from under the floor for a singer to perform using the state-of-the-art sound system,” reported the New York Post.Read another story from us: Brady Bunch house is now for sale for $1.8 MillionGleason may have been fascinated by UFOs but he was afraid to fly in an airplane after he was in a plane with an engine that died and had to make an emergency landing in Tulsa. Rather than get on another plane, Gleason borrowed money for a train ticket to New York. And after that, very few plane trips. Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.last_img read more

9 Mobile Apps That Are Taking Social Entrepreneurship to the Next Level

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first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 9 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now January 28, 2018 While the idea of social entrepreneurship isn’t new, it has taken a more concrete definition only recently. Twenty years ago, The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur by Charles Leadbeater was published, commenting on how a ragtag group of misfits and dreamers were mobilizing business resources and tactics for helping deprived communities or even lost causes.The book set fire to the imagination of many entrepreneurs who wanted to pursue a higher calling. More motivated by tangible social change than inflating profit margins and satisfying shareholders, the social entrepreneurship movement has finally come of age and is an established business practice today.Related: How Social Entrepreneurship Can Benefit Businesses and the Communities They ServeAs information technology has become more ubiquitous with business, its effect on social entrepreneurs was all but inevitable. The democratization of technology is empowering more people with information and creating value like never before. The mobile revolution has only taken this idea even further.So, while being part of massive social change until recently could only be considered by people with deep pockets and big ideas, today everyone can contribute to something they care about. As long as you have a smartphone — and who doesn’t — you can now contribute to whatever issue you care about and have fun while you’re at it. Here are nine mobile applications that can help do just that.1. Atlas Run.Called the running app that gives back, Atlas Run is an interesting take on this specific app genre. Unlike most running apps, where the user sets a goal and then simply achieves it, Atlas Run gives you a chance to run for something you care about.Companies that wish to support a nonprofit set up a challenge in the app, offering to donate an amount of money to a charity or nonprofit should it be completed within a defined amount of time (e.g. 3 months). For every mile the users run, bike or hike, a portion of the set amount is unlocked. When a challenge is completed, the amount is awarded to the organization.Atlas Run is all about creating a community of like-minded people who want to sweat for a good cause and help to create awareness around social issues. Runners know how hard it can be to keep themselves motivated at times. However, doing it for a cause — particularly one that you care about — will give you all the more reason to complete that extra mile! Feel free to challenge your friends while you’re at it.2. Micro Hero.Online surveys are one of the quicker methods of making a quick buck online. Simply answering a few questions to get paid doesn’t get any simpler. However, once the sparkle of making money online dies off, those surveys really have a way of become boring and pointless, especially given the pay-off.Micro Hero offers people a chance to contribute while answering such surveys. Simply download the app, choose a cause that you will like to help, and start answering questions to earn real money for it.Much like Atlas Run, companies can set up surveys in the app and decide how much money they want to be awarded per survey and question. Unlike other online surveys, where users are paid, Micro Hero awards the earned money to a nonprofit the company and user want to support.3. Fotition.Can’t go for a day without taking a selfie? Fotition let’s you help out a charity by simply uploading photos. Social media really is one of the best tools available to spread awareness about any issue, and Fotition has found a great way to utilize it.Campaigns can be set up by both charities and brands. Companies can use Fotition to donate money to a charity. Every time a user uploads a photo using their filter, the company donates a fixed amount to their chosen charity. For instance, Marvel Studios donated $717,230 to provide learning material for children in Nepal, Tahiti and the U.S. through their Hero Acts campaign.Likewise, nonprofits and charities can use Fotition to create awareness about what they are doing, and give their corporate partners a better way to reach an audience. Finally, people can have a lot of fun while supporting issues they are passionate about.Related: 10 Inspiring Quotes From Billionaire, Philanthropist and Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen4. We Day App.You know what are the two hardest parts about doing something big? It’s getting started and sticking to it. How many of us wish that we could contribute to something big, making our lives more meaningful? We365 helps us do just that, in a fun way.It works like this. A company or charity creates a challenge on the app. Every time a user completes the challenge, funds are donated to the charity. Anyone can create a challenge on the app. We.org, the company behind the app, has partnered with many brands, educational and charitable organizations that are committed to social change.The creators of the app believe that every small action makes a difference and give people a way to take one positive action every day. You can connect with like-minded people who are pursuing the same challenges you are and spread the word, all while creating a real, tangible impact.5. Forward.One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. After all, why discard when you could donate? But all too often, we have things to give away and no takers. The good people at Forward decided to do something about it and have come up with a simple app that allows people to turn their unused item into donations.Download the app, take a photo of the item you wish to give away and what it’s worth, along with what charity/nonprofit you wish to support. The item is made available on the app within your locality. People who are interested in the item can bid on it, declaring how much they intend to donate. Monies from the winning bid are immediately transferred to the charity/nonprofit you have chosen.6. Budge.We all love to dare our friends to do something we know there’s a good chance they can’t. But, what if you could take a regular everyday challenges to the next level by using them to power change? That was the idea that led to Budge, a microdonations app that turns lively, everyday activities and games into a powerful tool for social change.Once you get the app, set up a challenge and invite a friend to compete in it. The winner gets to brag, the loser has to donate a fixed amount to any organization that you want. Everybody walks away happy.Typically, the donations are in the $1-$5 range. The makers of the app want to drive home the point that small contributions every now and then can have a massive effect, too. Budge has been received very well and has users in U.S. and Australia budging and donating. The app is available for iOS devices.7. GiftaMeal.As the name suggests, this app helps feed the less fortunate, all while helping you spread the message and getting more people involved. The app’s unique “buy one gift one” model leverages partnerships with restaurants to provide meal for the less fortunate.With GiftaMeal, every time a user walks in the door of a partner restaurant and takes a picture of a food item they like with the app, a meal is donated to someone within the user’s locality. Meals are donated through their network of food banks including Operation Food Search in St. Louis, Lakeview Pantry in Chicago and Forgotten Harvest in Detroit.Related: Corporate Charity Is What Inspires Greater Employee Engagement8. Givvr.Pay-to-watch ads have been around for a while — where users can earn some cash watching corporate sponsored videos. Much like paid surveys though, there is never a lot of money to be made, nor any satisfaction to be had.  The guys behind Givvr decided to take this idea further by letting users donate their earnings from watching corporate sponsored videos to a charity of their choice. Much like Micro Hero, where you have to answer questions to help your favorite charity, Givvr let’s you do the same by watching corporate sponsored videos. Your earnings are forwarded to a charity of your choice.9. Instead.Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. Many of us wish to contribute to charities and nonprofits only to gasp back to reality after taking a look at our upcoming expenses. Instead helps you get around this nagging issue by actively making suggestions on how to save more money via smarter day-to-day choices.The makers of the app, Ovenbits, say they believe that every little bit counts. Instead is essentially a microdonations portal that lets you donate to a charity of your choice. So, when you’re at Starbucks the app may suggest that you forgo your coffee, and donate to, say, the WWF.  The app will only make suggestions within a dollar range that you have to decide when you sign up. It also keeps track of all your donations, which serves as a good reminder of how much charity you have done.  All of these apps essentially gamify philanthropy and utilize microdonations to help out a charity or nonprofit. Almost anyone with a mobile device can join in and start helping out their preferred organizations. Even making a few dollars worth of contributions every now and then can have a phenomenal impact. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Guatemalan president spars with US over Chixoy Dam reparations

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first_imgGUATEMALA CITY – In January, the U.S. government suspended military aid to Guatemala after the Central American country failed to deliver on $154.5 million in reparations to survivors of a massacre over a hydroelectric dam built in the 1980s.The suspension of military aid and the lack of progress with the reparations are fueling an ongoing spat between the two countries.Located in north-central Guatemala between the departments of Baja Verapaz, Quiché and Alta Verapaz, the Chixoy Dam was built in the early ’80s with World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank funds. In the process, 33 Mayan communities were destroyed and some 3,500 people were permanently displaced.Residents lost homes, livelihoods and land. And 445 Guatemalans who refused to leave or later returned lost their lives, massacred by the Guatemalan government. The mass killing became known as the Río Negro massacre, and by the mid-’90s it was a major point of contention as Guatemala’s 36-year civil war drew to a close and widespread human rights violations came to light.In 2010, following intense international pressure, the Guatemalan government agreed to pay reparations to those who survived the ordeal. These reparations included land grants, $154.5 million in monetary compensation, paved roads and construction of health centers and schools, along with smaller items.Since then, progress has been slow to nonexistent. Families displaced by the dam now live in communities without electricity, and a recent report on the region by the Guatemalan daily Prensa Libre described families subsisting on a single meal a day and lacking basic necessities like salt. For emergency medical care, a sick person’s neighbor or family member must trek to a mountaintop to find a cellphone signal to call the fire department. A doctor in the region reported shortages of medicines, including basic painkillers like acetaminophen.The U.S. is now attempting to use military aid as leverage to force Guatemala to adhere to the 2010 agreement.“During construction of the Chixoy Dam in the 1970s and ’80s, thousands of Mayans living in the construction zone were relocated and hundreds were killed,” U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Maureen Mimnaugh said last Friday. “In 2010, then-President (Álvaro) Colom and representatives from the affected communities agreed to a reparations plan, which to date neither the Colom administration nor the subsequent Pérez Molina administration formally ratified.”In response, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina lashed out at a U.S. senator and congressional staffer: “Another country is not going to legislate us. We may be a small country, but we are a sovereign, independent country, and we have our own laws,” Pérez Molina told local media last week. “I’m not going to allow (the U.S.) to impose things on me.” Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina gives a press conference during the II Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Havana, on Jan. 29, 2014. Yamil Lage/AFPStepping up the pressureThe U.S. Congress last month passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2014, which cut off the flow of U.S. military aid to Guatemala until “the Secretary of State certifies that the Government of Guatemala is taking credible steps to implement the Reparations Plan.”The Appropriations Act also requires executive directors of the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank to report to the Appropriations Committees every 30 days on their efforts to support the reparations plan.But the reparations agreement is not legally binding in Guatemala, which has not ratified it, and there is no built-in enforcement mechanism.In his statements, the Guatemalan president singled out Timothy Rieser, a staffer for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and the majority clerk for the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State and Foreign Operations:“This serves the interests of an individual (Rieser). We know who he is; he believes he is the owner of Guatemala, (but) he is only an adviser, a senator’s staffer,” Pérez Molina said.Leahy responded forcefully last Friday, saying, “Rather than blame a staff member for a law passed by the U.S. Congress, Guatemalan officials should fulfill the state’s responsibility to implement the 2010 Chixoy reparations plan and its commitments under the Peace Accords.”Leahy added:“These officials have also misstated U.S. law. The Appropriations Committee, with my support, provides about $100 million in aid for Guatemala this year, mostly for social and economic programs.”Pérez Molina now wants to replace the original reparations agreement with a new accord that would provide land and an unspecified promise of well-being.For Mike Allison, an associate professor of political science at Scranton University in Pennsylvania, the confrontation between President Molina and the U.S. isn’t unprecedented. During the Cold War in the ’70s, U.S. President Jimmy Carter threatened to withhold U.S. military aid unless Guatemala improved its record on human rights. The Guatemalan government responded by turning down the aid before it was cut off.“There’s always been this pride on the part of the Guatemalan military that they don’t need aid,” Allison said, adding that as a former general, Pérez Molina is part of that military culture.The full effects of the appropriations bill won’t be felt in Guatemala for some time. Because of the nature of congressional appropriations bills, it could take up to 12 months before the money stops flowing to Guatemala.Benjamin Reeves is a freelance journalist based in Antigua, Guatemala. Follow him on Twitter.  Facebook Comments Related posts:For justice in Guatemala, ‘2 steps forward, 1 step back’ Making the invisible, visible: In Nicaragua, women journalists call for equality 26 lawyers have been murdered in Guatemala in the past 3 years Guatemala’s Otto Pérez Molina dismisses ‘spurious’ corruption caselast_img read more

Trilateral summits not designed to isolate Turkey Cyprus says

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first_imgThe matrix of trilateral summits among Mediterranean nations is not directed against Turkey, rather, Ankara with its own actions has made it impossible for itself to be included, foreign minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Thursday.He was speaking to the state broadcaster, providing his assessment of the latest trilateral summit held this week in Jerusalem between Cyprus, Greece and Israel – with the ad hoc participation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.The three-way meeting in Israel was all about energy security, Christodoulides said.“What came out of yesterday [Wednesday] was that the three countries, but the United States as well, due to the presence of American [energy] companies in the region, and due to the fact the eastern Mediterranean has the potential to become an alternative energy corridor for Europe…all this generates an interest in energy developments, and it is within this framework that there is a will for cooperation.”But, he stressed, the lattice of trilateral cooperation is not designed to isolate Turkey.Rather, it is Turkey itself through its own actions in the Mediterranean which has become isolated.Christodoulides cited the example of the recent Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, where Turkey was the only country absent.The foreign minister emphasized also that the network of cooperation being built via the trilaterals is not intended to “militarise” the region.He went on to reveal that France has been invited to attend on an ad hoc basis the next planned trilateral summit – between Cyprus, Greece and Egypt.But asked what the agenda would be in the upcoming trilateral, he declined to elaborate.On the dispute between Cyprus and Israel over the gas in the Aphrodite reservoir – which straddles the economic waters of the two nations – Christodoulides said that progress was achieved in Jerusalem.There, Cyprus proposed a “new approach” to resolving the dispute. This would involve engaging the two governments as well as the concerned energy companies, he said.According to the foreign minister, the Israeli side responded well to the Cypriot proposal.“I believe we can look forward to a positive outcome soon.”You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more