VIENNA: Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz Monday lost a no-confidence vote in parliament, removing him and his cabinet from office over a corruption scandal that brought has down his coalition government. “An application (by the opposition Social Democrats) has been accepted, so he has lost the confidence” of parliament, deputy speaker Doris Bures said. The move comes just after Kurz celebrated a big win for his conservative People’s Party (OeVP) in Sunday’s European elections, which is projected to gain 34.9 percent of the vote and two extra European parliament seats. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’It comes in the wake of the so-called “Ibiza-gate” scandal, which saw FPOe leader and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resign from both posts after he was caught appearing to offer public contracts in return for campaign help from a fake Russian backer. That led to Kurz ending his coalition with the FPOe and calling early elections for the autumn, but the opposition say the 32-year-old leader must also take responsibility for the scandal. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in ChinaThe no-confidence vote against Kurz and his government took place in a special sitting of parliament with more than half of MPs withdrawing their support, making him the shortest-serving chancellor, as well as the first in post-war Austrian history to be removed in this fashion. Social Democrats (SPOe) leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner accused Kurz of an unprecedented “uncurbed and shameless power grab” when bringing forward the motion against him. Kurz’s former partner, the FPOe, also supported the motion. It is now up to President Alexander Van der Bellen to appoint experts to lead the government and all the ministries until the elections. Speaking in parliament before the vote, Kurz accused the opposition of causing instability with the motion against his government, but said if the vote succeeded, he would ensure an orderly transition to whoever is appointed next. The far-right, meanwhile, seemed to have suffered a setback in Sunday’s vote over “Ibiza-gate”, falling from 19.7 percent to 17.2 percent and losing one of their four MEPs.
“He calls for their immediate release and return to their homes and families,” his spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a statement on Tuesday.“There can be no justification for these crimes against civilians, particularly minors,” added Mr. Dujarric.According to news reports, at least 79 students were abducted on Monday morning with their teacher, the principal and a driver – prompting a massive search operation involving the Cameroonian army. One student who hid under a bed said that events unfolded quickly as the kidnappers threatened to shoot, rounding up the older boys and leaving the smaller ones behind.While no group has taken responsibility for the kidnappings, some journalists report that separatists complain that the Cameroon school system suppresses the English-speaking system inherited from the British. “The Secretary-General reiterates the need for a peaceful solution to the crisis in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon through an inclusive dialogue process,” in which the UN “stands ready to assist,” said the UN spokesperson.
The long-running Brock-Niagara French Contest/le Concours de français Brock-Niagara, created in 1978, provides about 150 local high school students with a chance to put their French language skills to the test.At the annual event, Grade 11 and 12 students from 13 Niagara high schools take part in five different language activities in one of three language categories designed to test their know-how of the Romance language.This year’s contest takes place Wednesday, May 8 at Brock University.Faculty members from the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Brock, as well as representatives from the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) and the Niagara Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) organize the event.Student volunteers from Brock act as French language student monitors for the contest, and also provide participants with campus tours of the University.“This important event, linking Brock with the Niagara community, requires year-long preparation,” says contest co-ordinator Astrid Heyer, an assistant professor of French at Brock. “The chance to interact with Brock students who study French at the University offers high school students some insight into what campus life is like.”The daylong event kicks off with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. in Thistle 247. The contest runs throughout the day with a break for lunch followed by a francophone play, “Les trois mousquetaires” by the Dufflebag Theatre Company in Thistle 325.The concluding prize ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in Pond Inlet. Major category winners will receive monetary prizes made possible through the generosity of Brock University and the School Boards, as well as local businesses and community organizations, many of which represent the Francophone community in Niagara.2012 Brock-Niagara French Contest participants
Former Ohio State tennis player Blaz Rola hits the ball in a match against Spain’s Pablo Andujar June 23 at Wimbledon in Wimbledon, England. Rola won, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4.Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsA midweek clash of tennis titleholders saw a former Buckeye get international exposure playing in all-white instead of scarlet and gray.The gentlemen’s singles draw of the Wimbledon Championships produced a second-round matchup between Ohio State product Blaz Rola and the Grand Slam tournament’s defending champion, Great Britain’s Andy Murray.Murray won the match, 6-1, 6-1, 6-0, Wednesday morning.Rola, who became OSU’s first-ever NCAA singles champion in 2013, has since moved on to the professional circuit and faced the third-seeded Murray at the All England Club in London.Rola, representing his native Slovenia, is currently ranked No. 92 worldwide in the ATP Rankings and competing in his first Wimbledon tournament. He took on the fifth-ranked player in Murray, who looks to continue the defense of his 2013 Wimbledon title. He was the first British champion since Fred Perry won it all in 1936.No. 80 Pablo Andujar of Spain fell to Rola in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, in the first round Monday, while Murray dispatched No. 105 David Goffin of Belgium, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5, the same day.Rola said in an OSU press release Monday that his “motivation was off the charts” upon seeing the draw that gave him a chance to play against Murray.“It feels great to have this opportunity. I don’t think an up-and-coming tennis player could have asked for a better matchup. I’m facing probably the greatest sportsman in Britain in one of the greatest venues,” Rola said.OSU men’s tennis coach Ty Tucker had good things to say about his former star player.“It’s great he has been able to accomplish his goals this year, reaching the Top 100 and play in Grand Slams,” Tucker said in the press release. “Sooner or later, Blaz Rola will be a guy that makes the Round of 16 at a Grand Slam tournament.”Rola had 35 winners in his match against Andujar and managed to snag six break points en route to victory. Rola also won 80 percent of his first-serve points and 92 percent of points in which he came to the net.Murray, no stranger to the big stage, is a disciplined player who commits very few unforced errors — he had only 10 against Goffin. The Belgian outplayed Murray at the net as he won 22 of 34 net points while Murray won nine of 15.To succeed Wednesday, Rola may have needed to focus on making Murray move in so that he can work on beating him from the baseline with strong groundstrokes and placement.Continuing to create break opportunities also figured to be key for Rola in gaining a foothold in this tournament. But defense could have presented chances for him, too, as Murray has only won 41 percent and 31 percent of return points in his two previous matches, respectively.In addition to his collegiate singles accolades, Rola also enjoyed a successful doubles career at OSU.Rola and his partner, Chase Buchanan, accomplished an unprecedented sweep of the three major college tennis tournaments during the 2011 to 2012 season when they won an NCAA title to go alongside their wins at both the ITA All-American Championships and the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships.However, despite having risen to an ATP ranking of No. 222 as a pro doubles player, Rola entered only the men’s singles event at Wimbledon.
SURVIVORS FROM THE Bethany Home in Dublin have called on the government to provide them with redress for their time in the Protestant-run home, but say they are being given confused messages on the issue.Bethany Survivors Group Ireland chairperson Derek Leinster said that following this week’s State apology to Magdalene survivors, he “hopes the Minister for Justice Alan Shatter will act on his long-expressed promise to TDs, senators and northern MLAs to give justice to Bethany survivors”.Leinster continued: Alan Shatter’s first response to publication of the McAleese Report was to apologise for the delay in recognising the injustice done to the Magdelen women. We now suffer the same delay. Now would not be too early to give Bethany survivors the same apology and consideration as the Magdalen women.He also said the Church of Ireland should contribute to the redress. The state’s case is that the home’s residents were there voluntarily and therefore did not qualify for the 2002 Residential Institutions Redress scheme.In July 2011 about twenty Bethany survivors were encouraged to apply for inclusion in Martin McAleese’s Magdalen inquiry. However, the government did not extend its mandate.Unmarked graves at Jerome cemetery. Pic: Bethany Survivors Group Ireland/FacebookSpeaking to TheJournal.ie, Leinster said that the survivors are being given confusing information from the Government, but are being buoyed by the support they are receiving from political parties, trade unions and others.“We’re struggling on,” he said. Leinster said there is “no clarity” to the situation, and that while the ordinary people on the street are aware of their situation, as far as the political perspective is concerned, the survivors feel “very, very let down”.MeetingsHe is to meet with Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald on Thursday week, while TD Joe Costello has also been in touch with them.Deputy McDonald said she would help the group with their campaign, said Leinster. “I can’t express the reception she gave us. It was an amazing thing. We feel very honoured that we have met such a wonderful person on our cause.” He said that they now have all the political parties’ support on the island of Ireland, as well as the support of the trade unions.Bethany Home survivors say they satisfy all of the criteria laid down by government for redress. Leinster said the government “will have to realise we are not going away”, and that they are also calling on them to put a memorial in the name of the 219 children buried in unmarked graves in Mount Jerome cemetery.We want the Taoiseach to apologise for what happened to us. As they have for everyone else. We just want to be treated as Irish citizens. We don’t want one penny more or one penny less.They also want their records from the adoption agency that looked after them put into a Government office department that would normally deal with those issues.There is a general feeling of frustration for the survivors, as “most of these people only found out in the latter years” that they had been adopted from the Bethany Home.Leinster said that their own Protestant churches “have left us down”, and that though the Archbishop of Dublin made a statement on the matter, this only came after they met with him about the issue last week.We are a minority group of people dumped by our own religious groups and dumped by government.He claimed they have documents under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act that show that some institutions that didn’t qualify for redress did benefit from it. “We’re trying to get documents to anyone who will be interested in looking at them,” said Leinster.The group met and put their case to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Naoise Ó Muirí, earlier this week. “I think he was quite shocked,” said Leinster. “I have taken from it that he was sincere in doing what he can to see if he can help.”Despite the confusion, Leinster is hopeful.We will win. The only thing I fear is there’s too many of my fellow sufferers might not live to see it.Read: 400 calls made to Magdalene redress scheme line>
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A day after the Greek Foreign Ministry ruled out conducting joint patrols in the Aegean Sea with Turkey, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday called on Athens to reconsider, noting that the refugee crisis is “a European issue, it’s not an issue of Greek-Turkish relations.”Speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels ahead of a two-day summit of European Union leaders on migration, Juncker asked Athens to rethink its position as the cooperation of the two countries’ naval forces, “under European auspices,” would be “very useful” in the Aegean.Describing Turkey is an important but difficult partner, Juncker said joint patrols of the Aegean were crucial as Turkey has become a gateway for hundreds of thousands of refugees. He suggested that Turkish authorities were open to the idea of joint patrols.German government spokesman Steffen Seibert struck a similar tone, stressing the need for a “coordinated situation” between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean and at the EU’s external borders to obstruct the activities of human smugglers. In a related development, the head of the EU’s task force in Greece, Maarten Verwey, said that the process of identifying and registering migrants and refugees by Greek authorities had improved, noting that officials on the island of Lesvos, a key entry point, were registering up to 3,500 migrants daily.Source: Kathimerini
13 16 Photos Oculus Virtual Reality Facebook Nintendo Price is not going to be easily beat$400 for the Quest isn’t cheap, but it’s the cost of a game console. It’s $100 more than a Nintendo Switch. It’s spitting distance from an impulse purchase. Facebook seems intent on offering its mobile VR experiences at Amazon hardware-type prices: get more people in VR, and the value of VR increases.Whatever the strategy, consider the price of everything else in VR and AR right now. The Magic Leap One is thousands of dollars. Smart glasses like the Vuzix Blade, which don’t even play games well, cost $1,000. Other VR hardware like the PlayStation VR can be as low as $200, but requires something else to plug into. Tags Oculus Quest is a full-motion, self-contained VR headset… 1:34 Review • Oculus Quest is amazing, even months later CES 2019: The tech changing the way we play video games News • Oculus Quest may have its first killer app with Beat Saber The 51 best VR games Comments CNET may get a commission from retail offers. This thing might be a killer fitness device (if I don’t hit the furniture)After playing a few active games — a tennis game that felt as good as a Nintendo title, a port of the PC and PS4 game Superhot that made excellent use of the motion controls — I felt seriously winded. I dodged, ducked, moved around. There are already weight loss-enabling fitness games for nonmobile VR systems, like Beat Saber. With the added 6DoF movement and the ease with which the Quest can be set up, fitness could be a killer app. I have no idea how lots of sweat plus an Oculus Quest will work out, but I’m willing to try. The Nintendo Switch dabbles in some fitness games, like the recently released Fitness Boxing, but the fully wearable Quest seems easy to use, and could end up with ports of some already successful PC and console games soon. Oculus Quest virtual reality headset revealed But Oculus Quest is so great. I loved the motion in Superhot and a tennis game. I nearly ran for a ball and into a wall. #CES2019 pic.twitter.com/LUg2ysXrtV— Scott Stein (@jetscott) January 8, 2019 15 Photos $398 Share your voice And while companies like Google have experimented with low(ish)-cost VR headsets such as 2018’s standalone $350 Lenovo Mirage Solo, Google’s ambitions — and execution — in VR haven’t been nearly as consistent as what Oculus has delivered (but Google’s already dabbling in more advanced standalone VR, so expect future moves to match Facebook).In fact, Oculus already has a fully standalone VR product available at half the price of the Quest: The $200 Oculus Go came out in 2018, and delivers a great beginner VR experience. But what makes the Quest so notable is that you can (literally) walk around in VR with it. It adds six degrees of freedom (“6DOF”) to the headset and both of its wireless controllers, allowing full positional movement much like desktop or console-based VR. And it does that with sensors built into the headset, so you don’t need pricey and cumbersome sensors placed around the room you’re in. The difference is massive. See it The $400 Oculus Quest arrives this spring. There’s nothing quite like it. Scott Stein/CNET I missed traveling to Facebook’s Oculus Connect developer conference last fall, where the upcoming Oculus Quest was first announced and demoed. The standalone headset is expected in the spring, and it’ll cost $400 all-in with the headset and controllers. (That price is roughly £300 or AU$560.) And unlike current PC-based VR gear, no annoying wall sensors or other accessories are needed.Read the review: Oculus Quest is the best thing I’ve tried this yearBut I was finally able to try out the Quest earlier this month, at CES 2019, where Facebook was quietly demoing the Oculus Quest for those who may have missed it before. That’s what I did the same day I tried every demo the HTC Vive Pro Eye had to offer.While the Vive’s eye tracking possibilities point to where VR and AR are heading next, what I tried couldn’t compare to my experiences in the Oculus Quest.And, really, I saw nothing else as exciting as the Quest at the whole show. It won my personal best in show in Las Vegas without officially setting foot on the convention floor — and unlike a lot of stuff at CES, it should be just a few weeks away, not years (or never). While the Quest has compared to many things including a Honda Civic, as I played it for the first time it reminded me more of the Nintendo Switch than other VR devices I’ve tried. The Oculus Quest allows full motion, and you can paint your virtual borders around your room to create a guardian mesh that alerts you when you’re close to the walls or furniture. But the Quest doesn’t actually “see” things in the room, so if someone moves a chair or a dog enters, you’re out of luck. And credit to the Quest, but the motion controls were so good that I ran to try to hit a ball in the full-court tennis demo I tried, and a Facebook employee had to stop me from crashing into something. I ignored the blue grid to chase the ball. I hope others don’t do this.Tracking stayed nearly perfect, even though the Quest can’t see the controllers when out of view of the headset’s cameras (motion controls complete the illusion and track the controllers). The Quest’s controllers feel nearly like the PC-connected Oculus Rift’s Oculus Touch controls, complete with helpful buttons and triggers.But I did have a few hiccups, especially when bringing my hands near my face (the Quest requires the controls to stay far enough away to be able to track). When I raised my hands to my face in terror as I entered a spider-filled house in Face Your Fears 2, my hands vanished. They appeared again when I moved them back in range and pressed the control triggers. And in Superhot, a few hand motions glitched just a bit. A future of strange possibilitiesTo be sure, the Oculus Quest will have limitations. It’s still an unknown how easy it will be to port games to the Quest, which is exactly the sort of thing that’s helped the Nintendo Switch become a killer home for indie games. Also, it’s unclear what the true limits of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip in the Quest will feel like using Oculus’ optimized headset. More advanced VR standalone hardware will come down the line, including headsets with more graphics-powerful Snapdragon 845 processors and eye tracking. Plus, will a great VR headset that’s mobile be enough to make a still largely VR-apprehensive consumer crowd hop aboard?What interests me most is the full untethering of VR, and what that could mean for future experiences. Immersive theater or arcades where people wear these in groups. Perhaps even gyms where everyone works out in VR together. Would it make museum exhibits easier to set up, or encourage VR in classrooms to a degree we haven’t seen before with simpler headsets?Oculus Quest made for such a good demo that I can’t wait to try more. It was nearly as good as any other PC or console VR I’ve ever played. Much like the Nintendo Switch, it breaks the boundaries of what “console” and “mobile” even mean. And for that reason alone, it could be the biggest change in VR in years.Originally published on Jan. 27.Update, Jan. 28: Clarified the meaning of 6DOF VR tracking. At Sundance, AR and VR are getting epic and weird: The cutting edge of enhanced reality.Oculus Go review: Portable VR, no strings attached. Oculus Quest 53 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Wearable Tech Video Games Mentioned Above Oculus Quest
Kathleen Adair encountered an eagle stuck in two traps Dec. 24. (Photo courtesy Kathleen Adair)A bald eagle was lying on the ground, each leg shut inside traps. When Juneau resident Kathleen Adair came across it scouting a trail for a group hike, the eagle was alive and looking at her. She spent an hour freeing it.Download AudioBut there’s more to the story. Two and a half weeks later, Alaska Wildlife Troopers cited her for the hindrance of lawful trapping. She now faces a potential $500 fine and 30 days in jail.On Dec. 24, Kathleen Adair was on Davies Creek Trail when she saw the eagle in her path. She’s familiar with the Juneau Raptor Center and knew the bird rescue nonprofit would be concerned, so she took photos of what she saw and recorded the GPS coordinates.Kathleen Adair (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)“I wanted to go back and tell the Raptor Center where it was. I knew that would be the best thing to do, but I also knew that it would be getting dark soon. It was 2 miles from the road and it was all the way at the end of the road, so I knew that they wouldn’t be able to get out there that day to it,” Adair says.So she took the matter into her own hands. Before untangling the eagle from what she describes as two large long spring traps, she noticed a smaller trap on the other side of the trail. Out of concern for the three dogs with her, she sprang it. She then tied the dogs up so she could deal with the eagle.Adair says the eagle’s legs were wrapped up in the trap chains. Before she did anything, she covered the eagle’s head to keep it docile, something she’s learned from her time around raptors. She says it took an hour to get the eagle out of two traps.“I knew at the time that the eagle didn’t have a very good chance. I knew if I left it there all night, it would have had a worse chance of surviving,” Adair says. “But even as it was, I could tell one of the legs was just dangling, just completely broken and I knew they wouldn’t be able to fix that, but I was hoping they could at least fix the other and keep it as an educational bird.”She placed the eagle in a large pack and hiked it out. When she got to what she estimates to be a half mile from the highway, she spotted another large trap near the trail. She sprung that one as well, worried for the hikers that would be on the trail in the coming days.Adair is no stranger to the outdoors. She spent the early part of her life in Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island. She moved to Juneau when she was 9 and has lived here for almost 30 years. She grew up fishing and hunting and shot a bear at age 16. She raises rabbits for food. As an avid outdoors person, she often sees traps, but had never tampered with any before this. She saw one earlier that day, but it had been hanging from a tree and off the trail.“I’m not against trapping per se. I am concerned about the traps when they’re on the trail in such a way as these were,” Adair says.As soon as she drove into cell phone range, Adair called the Raptor Center. She brought the eagle to a volunteer’s house and sent photos. She was told the Raptor Center would call U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies to report the incident. At that point, she thought her involvement was done.A beaver carcass hung on a nearby tree. About a foot above the carcass, Adair says she saw a covering made of branches. This may have been meant to visually block the bait from birds flying above. (Photo courtesy Kathleen Adair)The eagle was immediately brought to a vet in Juneau where it was later euthanized.Three days later, Adair led nine people on an 8-hour hike on Davies Creek Trail to the Thiel Glacier. It was dark as the group was finishing. Adair again saw a large trap near the trail head and sprung it. She says she was concerned for the hikers’ safety. Adair knows it’s illegal to mess with lawfully set traps. She wasn’t sure about this one because it was so close to the trail.State and municipal codes say it’s illegal to trap within a half mile of any road and within a quarter mile of a designated list of trails. Davies Creek Trail is not on that list, but it is in the popular book, “90 Short Walks Around Juneau.” Adair says there was another group on the trail that same day.Alaska Wildlife Trooper Sgt. Aaron Frenzel says his office received a complaint from a trapper on Dec. 30 regarding someone tampering with several of his traps. On Jan. 10, Adair was cited. The paperwork only identifies the trapper as “J.F.”Frenzel says he doesn’t know how many traps had been tampered with. To his knowledge, no photos are part of the investigation. Since the complaint, he says no troopers have gone to the site to look at the traps.“We got out and do routine checks of trap lines throughout the Juneau area so we had already been on this trap line once before and there was really no reason to go back in since there was nothing to investigate at that point,” he says.At the start of the Trooper investigation, Frenzel says he didn’t know about a trapped eagle. He says that information got to him sometime after Jan. 1 via the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.“What we expect from the public is if they come upon an eagle in a trap, to notify us as soon as possible. That way we can go out there and see what’s going on,” Frenzel says.He says hindering lawful traps is illegal, but freeing an eagle from traps isn’t.“If a trap’s already sprung on a animal, you cannot hinder it because that trap can no longer be caught, so whatever you do to that trap, you’re really not hindering at that point. That would not be something we would cite for, if a person came in and was freeing an eagle from a trap the eagle was in,” Frenzel says.There is no regulation against accidentally trapping bald eagles. Frenzel says in the eight years he’s been in Juneau, he hasn’t heard of any other cases of trapped eagles and troopers haven’t cited anyone for hindering traps.Jesse Ross is a trapper in Juneau and a member of the Alaska Trappers Association. He says he sympathizes with Adair. He’s seen wounded animals in nature and he’s accidentally trapped animals he wasn’t targeting.“It’s unfortunate. You feel bad that you caught something that is now wasted and hopefully you learn, say, ‘Hey, maybe what could I have done different?’ That’s what I tell myself when I see that,” Ross says.But he says Adair broke the law.Ross says trappers follow a code of ethics and go to great lengths to reduce the possibility of trapping nontarget animals, but he says they’re guidelines. Trapping is ultimately about good judgment.“Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right thing to do,” Ross says.Adair is being arraigned in court this afternoon at 1 p.m. As of last night, she didn’t have a lawyer.
People take shelter at the Egan Center in downtown Anchorage after an earthquake on November 30, 2018. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)The earthquake hit just as Anchorage was beginning its day, causing widespread damage, derailing plans and snarling traffic.At the Dena’ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage, water was steadily dripping from the ceiling. Greg Spears, general manager for Anchorage Convention Centers, said it was from the sprinkler system as he walked around to assess the damage, stepping around large puddles and pointing out fire retardant on the floors. Spears said in all his decades living here, Friday’s earthquake was one of the biggest he had ever experienced.Anchorage Convention Centers general manager Greg Spears at the Denai’ina Center in downtown Anchorage shortly after the earthquake on November 30, 2018. (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk)“I had just gotten out of my car behind the building and felt it, heard it,” Spears said. “I had to hang on to a light pole just to stand up. It was one of the most significant shakers I’ve seen in 40 years.”At first, state officials told people in Anchorage to go to the Dena’ina Center if they needed shelter.Anna Oxereok was there with her sister and her eight-year-old grandson. They are from Wales in Western Alaska, but came to Anchorage for a conference. Oxerok said they were in a coffee shop with the earthquake hit.“Heard the rumble before we felt anything,” Oxerok said.Oxereok said she told her family members to get under the table.“Dishes, the cups and stuff started falling off,” Oxerok said. “We saw some people go under the table and there were others that were kind of surrounding each other, like in a big hug. We waited for a while, and then there was an aftershock, then we went back under the table.”Soon, because of the damage to the Dena’ina Center, people needing shelter were directed to a different convention center, the Egan Center, a few blocks away. Many there were also from out of town, temporarily evacuated from their hotel rooms.Angela Johnson from Nelson Lagoon was holding her dog, Mavis, with a makeshift leash made of bathrobe ties. She said she was just waking up in her hotel room at the Hilton when the shaking started.“The power went out, so we were standing in the doorway like you’re supposed to, right?” Johnson said. “And the doorway was moving so hard back and forth, it was like the frame was made of twigs.”Angela Johnson of Nelson Lagoon was staying in a hotel when the earthquake hit. (Photo by Elizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk)Johnson was staying on the 14th floor. Wrapped in a blanket and wearing borrowed flip-flops, she was waiting at the convention center to hear from the Hilton when she could go back.“We had to run outside,” Johnson said. “We didn’t have any shoes on or anything. We don’t have our wallet, we don’t have our phones.”Outside, a few windows were shattered and several traffic lights were out, but otherwise things were surprisingly quiet downtown. Most businesses were dark, having shut down for the day.Mike Middleton was standing outside Flattop Pizza and Humpy’s, two of the restaurants he manages. He said was dealing with water damage, a power outage and other, less urgent problems.“We lost quite a lot of alcohol and things fell, obviously,” Middleton said.But Middleton predicted a quick recovery, at least for his businesses:“Hopefully by mid-afternoon, we might be able to open in some fashion,” Middleton said, laughing.As the rest of Anchorage got busy picking up the pieces from the 7.0 quake, Flattop did, indeed, re-open by Friday afternoon.
UCO Bank shares fall.ReutersShares of the Kolkata-based UCO Bank saw its biggest drop in over a decade after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked the bank’s former chairman Arun Kaul for allegedly cheating the bank. Shares of UCO Bank fell nearly 18 percent in the morning trade Monday. It is reportedly the biggest drop of the bank’s shares since 2003. On the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange), shares of the bank opened at Rs 20, and fell to a 52-week low of Rs 19.15 – down by 14.31 percent over its previous closing price of Rs 22.35.On the NSE (National Stock Exchange), the UCO Bank stocks opened at Rs 20.60, then fell to its 52-week low of Rs 18.25 – down by 17.97 percent over its last closing price of Rs 22.25.The investigation agency had reportedly booked Kaul, former chairman-cum-managing director of UCO Bank and two private companies – Era Engineering Infra India Ltd (EEIL) and Altius Finserve Pvt Ltd and their directors in connection with the alleged Rs 6.21 billion loan fraud. The agency also booked a few chartered accountants in connection with the case Saturday. Kaul was the CMD of UCO Bank between 2010 and 2015. At 12.17 pm shares of the state-run bank was trading in red at Rs 20.50 in BSE and Rs 20.45 in NSE.The year 2018 saw a string of financial frauds in banks across India that involved several top bank officials, raising questions about the credit management practices of the lenders. Investigating agencies are yet to nab diamond jeweler Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who allegedly masterminded the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam. Archana Bhargava, former chairperson and managing director of United Bank of India, was arrested in March in connection with another big scam.
Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! 7 lives were tragically lost in a horrific motor vehicle accident just outside Vryheid this morning (February 25). Children are among the fatalities.3 vehicles were involved in the crash.Also read: 1 dead in horror crash on N11Also read: 1 person injured in crash along bypassEmergency personnel are on scene.We will update this story when we have more information. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
Huge increase in Chilean D’Agen plum exports to Ch … Kiwifruit in Charts: With stocks at five-year high … You might also be interested in Chile edges closer to Vietnamese market access for … November 16 , 2018 Chile: SAG launches phone app to identify ag pests … The Chilean citrus industry notched total exports of 358,570 metric tons (MT) this season, marking an impressive 32 percent year-on-year growth. Juan Enrique Ortúzar, president of the Chilean Citrus Committee, said the export volume had 2018 a record season.”It was a season of great contrasts, with a market rarely seen for lemons, but complicated for oranges and for the first time, a market with sufficient supply of mandarins.”Chilean citrus exports were focused in the U.S., with 87 percent of shipments, followed by the Far East with 7 percent and Europe with 3 percent. The rest was sent to Canada, Latin America and the Middle East.Breaking down the citrus categories, mandarins made up 30% of exports, followed by oranges with 28 percent, lemons with 25 percent and clementines with 17 percent.”A key challenge during the whole season was the delay in ripening and harvesting, which generated an initial feeling that the estimated volumes would not be met, but in the end we exceeded our goals,” said Ortúzar.He added that the frosts that occurred from June onwards “were also an important test, both because of the decrease in the potential supply and because of the need to technical procedures to recognize and segregate the damaged fruit in the field and the packing, preventing it from reaching the market.”Clementines, which were unaffected by the frosts as the harvests had already wrapped up, surpassed forecasts during the season, rising by 55 percent year-on-year to 63,198MT.Similarly, lemons had a good season and were largely spared any frost damage and the season had almost wrapped up when the lowest temperatures arrived. Lemon exports rose by 14 percent year-on-year 88,140MT.Some orange farms were affected by the frosts, but the category still saw a 32% increase to 99,876MT.For mandarins, which are just completing their harvests now, the season got off to a slow start as cool temperatures had delayed the ripening process. In addition, they suffered the most severe frost damage, shaving off 15 percent of the fruit volume that would have been exported.But despite that, mandarin exports have so far jumped by 40%, exceeding forecasts and reaching 107,356.Photo: Shutterstock.com
Viking has launched a trade incentive rewarding the travel agent who sells the most Viking river cruises between 1 August 2018 and 30 November 201 with an 8-day Lyon and Provence River Cruise for two.This 8-day itinerary reveals the highlights of Lyon, Tournon and Viviers while leisurely cruising the beautiful Rhône River from France’s culinary capital – Lyon to historic Avignon.Prize Details:A Veranda stateroom on Lyon and Provence itinerary departing 24 March 2019 on Viking Longship Heimdal for two adults.Includes all on board meals, wine and beer with lunch and dinner, a free shore excursion in every port and unlimited Wi-Fi.Incentive DetailsOpen to Australia and New Zealand travel agents.The competition opens at 12.01am AEST on 1 August 2018 and closes at 11:59pm AEST on 30 November 2018.Deposits must be received for qualifying bookings.For additional information, agents should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or their Regional Sales Manager.
Geneva, Switzerland – Timepieces made from fragments of the Apollo XI spacecraft, and the Soyuz spacecraft, dials with mineral structure containing Moon dust, with straps partly woven with fibers from an International Space Station spacesuit were launched here tonight by Romain Jerome, DNA of Famous Legends.The high Swiss watchmaker gained worldwide attention for its first Legends watches made with steel and coal dust from the stricken ocean liner R.M.S. Titanic.The next in the series, announced by CEO Yvan Arpa during a press conference and gala evening at the Kempinski Hotel, will be in limited editions of 1969 to celebrate man’s first landing on the Moon in that year.Five watches in the Moon Dust-DNA series include the Moon Rider, Gold Mood, Dark Side of the Moon, Steel Mood and Dark side of the Moon Tourbillon with only nine pieces being made.The company guarantees that the origin of each of the unique materials is certified by a legal document authenticated in Switzerland and each piece in the collection will be accompanied by a certificated from the Association of Space Explorers. www.romainjerome.com
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