Mr Bisthamy’s family has relatives in Dubai, and he had previously worked with a Dubai-registered merchant vessel.Jawaid Khan, the MV Albedo captain who was among those freed, and Ahmed Chinoy, the lead negotiator, have also pledged to help.“I will do my best to get these men free,” Mr Chinoy said. “The pressure on the men and their families is extreme and people from all communities should come forward.”The 15 hostages had sent a letter to Mr Chinoy through the freed Pakistani sailors, warning that they would not survive the difficult conditions on the ship, and pleading with him to continue his efforts to free them.Meanwhile, Mrs Farhana worries about the health of her father, who turns 60 this year.Mr Bisthamy has a weak arm due to an earlier accident, and she is anxious after learning about the random firing and severe beating the Pakistani crew endured.“I think he was shot in the hand, but he is not telling us everything when he calls,” she said.“He doesn’t want to upset us. My father had some responsibilities because our family home is mortgaged with the bank, so he wanted to save some money. Now, we must borrow again. But money and our income does not matter. We just want our dad back.” (The National) The pirates released the Pakistanis in exchange for a US$1.1 million (Dh4m) ransom raised by Pakistani relatives and businessmen. The amount was part of a total $2.85m ransom that the pirates had demanded. They have refused to release all the sailors until their demands are met. “I can’t express how difficult this is for us. This was supposed to be my father’s last sail. He wanted to rest, and now we have to try everything to get them back. It is really too sad for all our families.”The hostages have been aboard the Malaysian-flagged cargo vessel since November 2010, when it was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden after leaving Jebel Ali port for Kenya. Family members of six Sri Lankan sailors who are still being held hostage aboard the MV Albedo will launch a nationwide appeal today in a bid to raise enough money to free their men.The sailors are among 15 crew still being held captive by Somali pirates on the hijacked ship, after seven Pakistani crew were freed last week. Mr Bisthamy called his wife in Colombo shortly before the Pakistani crew were released, asking her to talk to the government.“A day before the Pakistanis were freed, my dad talked to my mum and asked her to go to the president. He said, ‘Try to do something,’” recalled Mrs Farhana.“We have tried to reach the government but we had no success, so now we are going to the media and to Sri Lankan people anywhere in the world, asking if they can assist us.” Worries about the safety of the remaining hijacked crew resurfaced after news spread about the brutality suffered by the freed Pakistani sailors. Among the sailors still held captive are seven Bangladeshis, six Sri Lankans, an Indian and an Iranian. One Indian sailor was shot dead by pirates last year in an effort to pressure the Iranian owner to pay.The Sri Lankan fund-raising drive aiming to raise $1m will begin today in Colombo with a media conference to be attended by relatives of the six Sri Lankan hostages.The families have asked a former naval officer from their country to act as a mediator in talks with the pirates. “We don’t want them to keep waiting and die there, we must do something,” said Fatima Farhana, a schoolteacher and the daughter of the ship’s second engineer, Segu Mohammed Bisthamy.
According to a readout issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, the Secretary-General had separate phone calls with John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, and Nana Akufo-Addo, head of Ghana’s opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), to discuss the general elections scheduled to take place on 7 December.“The Secretary-General underscored the importance of an environment conducive to peaceful and credible elections, and urged the two leaders to continue their role in defusing tensions and preserving peace,” the readout said.“Bearing in mind Ghana’s history of political stability and peaceful elections, the Secretary-General underscored the need for all political parties to sign a Code of Conduct, which will greatly assist in lowering tensions and preventing electoral violence,” the readout added. read more
California quarterback Jared Goff throws during a game against Northwestern Aug. 31, at Memorial Stadium. Northwestern won, 44-30.Credit: Courtesy of MCTFor a second consecutive season, the Ohio State football team is set to play California for the third game of the year, looking for a win to remain undefeated.Beating California at Ohio Stadium didn’t come easily for the Buckeyes last season.The Golden Bears took a 21-20 lead over OSU with 12:26 left to play in the fourth quarter. After the Buckeyes took a 28-21 lead on a touchdown pass followed by a two-point conversion with 8:31 to play, California tied the game just 21 seconds later on a 59-yard touchdown run by then-sophomore running back Brendan Bigelow.It took a 72-yard touchdown connection from quarterback Braxton Miller to wide receiver Devin Smith, both sophomores at the time, with just 3:26 to play for the Buckeyes to win the game 35-28.This year the Buckeyes will have to win in a road game Saturday at California’s Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif.The Golden Bears will look to capitalize on the home-field advantage and turn the tables after a close defeat last season.“We have a chip on our shoulder,” Bigelow said Tuesday. “We went up there and we almost upset them, and came short.”Bigelow, now a junior running back, was the star of last year’s loss to the Buckeyes as a sophomore. He only received seven touches in the game — four rushing attempts and three kickoff returns — but gained a whopping 234 all-purpose yards. Prior to his game-tying 59-yard touchdown, he scored an 81-yard touchdown on the first play of a drive early in the third quarter.OSU junior linebacker Ryan Shazier and senior safety Christian Bryant said Wednesday after practice that the OSU coaches have stressed the concept of maintaining leverage on defense in this year’s game to keep Bigelow in check.“He’s a pretty good back. He’s real fast, so once somebody makes a mistake, he can capitalize on it real quick,” Shazier said. “We just got to keep him under control, we just can’t let him get where he want to go.”Bryant said the Buckeyes, who had a number of missed tackles on Bigelow’s two touchdown runs, have also been working on open-field tackling since last year’s game.“It was just some guys just making small mistakes,” Bryant said of Bigelow’s touchdown runs last season. “He’s a guy who likes to get on the edge and showcase his speed. Agile guy, can make you miss in the open field.”Bigelow hasn’t been at his best in California’s first two games of the season. He underwent offseason knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus and acknowledged he does not yet have full confidence in his ability to plant and cut off of the rehabilitating knee.“In time, I’ll have more faith in it,” Bigelow said Tuesday. “Right now, I’m still struggling with that.”Through the first two games of the season against Northwestern and Portland State, Bigelow has 136 rushing yards on 33 carries. He also has six catches for 60 yards.He said he would grade his performance in the first two games as a “D-minus.”“I’m pretty hard on myself though, and I expect more out of myself,” Bigelow said. “I want to improve on my cutting ability, more vision, seeing the field better and my blocking.”Although Bigelow is back, the California offense will be a considerably different one than OSU faced last season. The Golden Bears have a new coach, Sonny Dykes, a new offensive coordinator, Tony Franklin and a freshman starting quarterback, Jared Goff.Using the fast-paced offensive scheme Dykes brought to California, the Golden Bears have run 194 total offensive plays through their first two games. The Buckeyes, by comparison, have only run 138 plays and had 135 run against them.Shazier said the defense’s goal will be to control the game’s tempo and stop California from reaching its average of nearly 100 offensive plays.“To be honest, when you’re a good defense, you’re not allowing people to (run) 100 plays,” Shazier said. “If we can control the tempo of the game, I feel like we can win it.”Dykes expects OSU’s defense to present a “huge challenge” Saturday.“Ohio State’s defense matches up pretty well against everybody,” Dykes said.Franklin said the Buckeyes defense has no shortage of talent.“(OSU coach Urban Meyer) is a phenomenal coach, but he’s also a great talent evaluator and brings in guys that can do what he wants them to do,” Franklin said. “There’s so many good players on the field, it’s not that none of them stand out, it’s that they all do.”That defensive talent, however, has not changed California’s offensive game plan, Goff said. He and his team is preparing the same way to play the Buckeyes as it did for its first two games.“I think our offense can match up with any defense in the country,” Goff said. “We go into every game the same way … we’re going into Ohio State the same way we went into Northwestern and the same way we went into Portland State. We don’t really change much with our offense, we stay the same way every week.”On the other side of the equation, OSU’s offensive star is also dealing with a knee injury. Wednesday, Meyer said Miller’s status for the game remains uncertain after he suffered an MCL sprain last Saturday.If Miller is out, the Buckeyes will turn to redshirt-senior backup quarterback Kenny Guiton, just as they did when Miller was injured on OSU’s first drive of the game last week.Even if the Buckeyes are without the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Dykes said California’s defensive game plan would not change significantly.“There’s not much drop-off (from Miller to Guiton),” Dykes said. “It’s hard to say that when a Heisman Trophy front-runner goes down … but I think that’s a credit to the supporting cast. They’ve got a lot of good players offensively, and they just got to keep on humming when Braxton comes out.”The Buckeyes still put up 445 total yards of offense, 43 of which came while Miller was in the game, in their 42-7 victory against San Diego State. Guiton completed 19 of 28 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns and added 83 rushing yards and a touchdown on nine rushing attempts.California redshirt-freshman linebacker Hardy Nickerson said the defense is prepared to face either quarterback.“One is down and the other guy steps in, we’re still going to do the same thing. We’re still going to do our jobs,” Nickerson said. “Everybody has to do their assignments, so it’s not much of a difference whether one plays or one doesn’t.”The 1-1 Golden Bears, who already lost to a Big Ten school in their season opener against Northwestern, will be the underdogs against the No. 4-ranked Buckeyes. Dykes said his team is going to have to play at a “very high level” to win.“We’re a little bit inconsistent, we have been up to this point,” Dykes said. “We feel like we’ve got some talent and some kids that are hungry and want to get better, and are excited about the opportunity, but we’re going to have to certainly play better than we played last week.”Franklin concurred with Dykes that California must play better, but he is confident in his team’s chances if it focuses on its own game and not its opponent.“They’re young men and they’re good players, but (we’ve) got good players,” Franklin said. “You just go out and play and sometimes, teams that aren’t ranked beat teams that are. Sometimes it doesn’t happen that way, but again, the No. 1 focus we have is just the fact that this week we play a really good football team.”Kickoff for Saturday’s game at California is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET. read more
Britain’s busiest airport was targeted by a wave of anger from Chinese Internet users and denounced by state-run media “We hope that this matter can be dealt with appropriately and that no similar case would occur in the future. over allegations that Chinese consumers were being singled out and “ripped off”. A duty free shop at Heathrow Airport has triggered outcry from China after apparently being caught discriminating against the country’s passengers. The accusations emerged after an employee at retailer World Duty Free alleged they had seen the store offer 20 per cent VIP discount vouchers to customers spending £79 or more, while telling passengers travelling to China they had to spend £1,000… read more
BEWLEYS HOTEL IN Ballsbridge was evacuated last night as fire services dealt with a blaze that had broken out in the laundry room.Dublin Fire Brigade tasked four engines and an ambulance to the site in Dublin 4 at about 11.25pm, a spokesman told TheJournal.ie this morning.No injuries were reported and the fire was under control within hours. The fire units left the scene at 1.30am.Guests have now returned to the hotel and it is “business-as-usual”, Bewleys said.The damage caused by the fire is not thought to be extensive.Man arrested after assault on Dublin Fire Brigade paramedic read more
At a glance: What’s in the proposed public pay dealUnder the proposals Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore would see their pay drop by €14,650 and €13,096 to €185,400 and €171,300 respectively.Cabinet Ministers would see their pay drop by €11,700 to €157,500 with the same cut applying to the Dáil Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett. Ministers of State would see their pay drop to €121,600.All TDs would see their annual pay cut from €92,600 to €87,300. The pay of judges, senior civil servants such as Department secretaries general, and the Garda commissioner would also be cut if the proposed measures are agreed to.More: Howlin tells public servants Croke Park II will be ‘the last ask’Read: Pat Rabbitte: Ministers and TDs should ‘lead by example’ and take paycut PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins will so far not say whether he would take a further pay cut under the proposals that would succeed the Croke Park Agreement on public sector pay.Under the proposals announced yesterday – which still require the approval of members of various unions representing public servants – Higgins would be in line for a 10 per cent cut in his €249,014 annual salary which he voluntarily cut by €76,493 in 2011.Higgins – in addition to forgoing his Dáil pension entitlements while in the Áras – agreed to voluntarily waive 23.5 per cent of his salary in November 2011 to bring his total pay under the €250,000 cap imposed by the government.In response to a query from TheJournal.ie on whether or not the President would take an additional 10 per cent pay cut as outlined in the Croke Park II proposals, Áras an Uachtaráin forwarded a statement from last November, outlining the 23.5 per cent voluntary pay cut. read more
Movie tickets are expensive. With prices as high as they are, it almost feels like a luxury to go see a film. A new service, MoviePass, has sought and still seeks to avert the high prices by bringing a subscription service to the big screen. After massive opposition from theaters, MoviePass has a second life thanks to a partnership with Hollywood Movie Money.MoviePass functions much in the same way Netflix does. A yet-to-be-determined monthly rate would give moviegoers access to as many films as they can make time for. Users select a show time, print out the tickets, and redeem them at the box office. The original price for an unlimited plan was set at $50 a month with the possibility of a limited $30 per month plan.The service was set to release in a beta in San Francisco, but the movie theaters had something to say about that. They simply said they wouldn’t honor the tickets printed via MoviePass, and that forced the service into a brief hiatus.The partnership with Hollywood Movie Money has brought MoviePass back from the dead. The deal gives the service access to over 36,000 theaters nationwide. Theaters would get paid the full price for their tickets via Hollywood Movie Money.The idea is to get people into theaters without killing their wallets. By offering a flat-rate service, MoviePass asserts that it will increase attendance which will also mean more money for theaters because of increased sales of popcorn, soda, candy, and other goods. The snacks usually beat the ticket price by a significant margin.If it can price itself correctly, MoviePass stands a good chance of attracting a lot of moviegoers. Of course, with the recession and packed schedules, it’s hard to make it to even one movie. Perhaps offering tiered packages with an unlimited option would be more desirable for the busiest among us who can only make a trip out occasionally.MoviePass is gearing up for a nationwide release instead of the initial San Francisco run. A zone pricing model will be tested to determine rates relative to the average ticket price of a given area. A mobile application is also in the works.You can request an invite here.More at MoviePass, via GigaOM read more
The battle of the banks continued last week with a myriad of flashy deals and discounts from NAB, Westpac and CBA. The big banks have been at each other throats in an effort to wrestle customers and market share from each other, and the competition is to the benefit of mortgage holders. I’ve received a number of emails this week from readers telling me that they’ve approached their lender to get a better deal. Good on you for making a move and keep those emails coming. If you haven’t approached your lender yet, it’s worth making the call. The banks are in the midst of a pricing war in an effort to hang onto customers, which puts mortgage holders in the driver’s seat for the time being. But it won’t last. European economic conditions have been declining, which means financing will become more expensive and the banks will have to find a way to recoup costs incurred. The battle of the banks dominated news headlines last week, but it looks like the media aren’t the only ones taking notice. Last Tuesday, the Reserve Bank left interest rates on hold for the 11th consecutive time, but the language the RBA used to explain current economic factors has changed dramatically from previous months. In the RBA’s statement on monetary policy, Governor Glenn Stevens explained, “… that financial conditions have been easing somewhat, with interest rates for some housing and business loans declining slightly due to increased competition and the fall in some funding costs in financial markets.” This is hardly surprising, but it is the first time we’ve seen the RBA hint towards a potential rate cut. The statement goes on to outline a number of factors that could contribute to a drop, including dismal consumer and business confidence, continued economic stagnancy in the US and Europe, rising unemployment, slowing near-term growth and an exchange rate decline. What a difference a year makes. Last November, jaws dropped across the country as Melbourne Cup Day delivered a harsh and unexpected blow in the form of a quarter per cent rate rise. Today we’re looking at a very different scenario as inflation figures are tipped to come down closer to RBA’s target of two to three per cent when the September quarter data is released on October 26th. If CPI drops as expected, a rate cut for Melbourne Cup day would be a good bet. My advice to you is to keep an eye on rates and make sure yours is in line with what’s out there. If the RBA drops the official cash rate, variable rates for mortgages will be likely to come down next. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on firstname.lastname@example.org with any queries you may have or check www.ybr.com.au for your nearest branch. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram read more
SaweetiePhoto: Ismael Quintanilla/Getty Images SXSW: Keith Urban’s Kinetic Keynote Deva MahalPhoto: Xavier De Nauw Austin’s South Congress Boasts Vintage Charm Deva MahalPhoto: Xavier De Nauw SXSW 2018: 7 New Bands To Check Out This Year DorothyPhoto: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic Keith UrbanPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images SXSW 2018 Korea Spotlight Coming To SXSW 2018 Today is the day! We cannot wait. RSVP on our website for our show today RIO Austin with 2 stages full of bands, food trucks and more from 12-6pm. #SXSW #KINDNESSPALOOZA pic.twitter.com/cDx92767FU— The Mrs (@themrsband) March 17, 2018This year’s Kindnesspalooza featured two floors of wall-to-wall inspiration, with Irish coffee on tap, a host of merchandise available for purchase to support the cause, a large community coloring wall, a magical positive affirmation mirror, a see-saw, and a crowd that spanned all ages, from parents with young children to adults of all ages. And, of course, there was music.Singer/songwriter Ian Moore, pop/rock band Joseph King And The Mad Crush, rock duo Love & Choas, singer/songwriter Sarah Sharp, rock band Corbella, singer/songwriter Johnny Goudie, pop artist Madison McWilliams, country singer/songwriter Jordan Cody, rock musician Paul Renna, vocalist Courtney Santana, and the Mrs themselves all took the stage throughout the day to add some music to the proceedings. With strong messages leading the charge, The Kindness Campaign has won over plenty of new fans over the years, including Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. The Kindness Campaign partnered with Born This Way in 2017 — declared the year of kindness by Gaga’s foundation — to present a special day of kindness on Dec. 14, 2017, at Austin Independent School District’s Cunningham Elementary School.With their positive message, embodied in the lyrics for their empowering signature song, “Enough” — “I’m enough, I’m enough, “I’m enough” — the Mrs have again proven that music and making the world a better place go hand in hand. What 11 Artists Did At SXSW 2018 Korea Spotlight Coming To SXSW 2018 (L-R) The Mrs’ Mandy Prater, Andra Liemandt and Larissa Ness Email See The Official FADER Fort Lineup At SXSW 2018 Korea Spotlight Coming To SXSW 2018 Cue Says Apple’s Ecosystem Is Expanding See The Official FADER Fort Lineup At SXSW 2018 SXSW 2018: Keith Urban, Rapsody, K-Pop & More Revisit 7 SXSW 2018 Highlights HyukohPhoto: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage SXSW 2018: 7 New Bands To Check Out This Year (L-R) The Mrs’ Mandy Prater, Andra Liemandt and Larissa Ness Photo: Earl Gibson III/WireImage.com The Mrs Spread Kindness One Music Fest At A Time SXSW 2018: How Big Is The K-Pop Explosion? KardPhoto: TPG/Getty Images See The Official FADER Fort Lineup At SXSW 2018 HyukohPhoto: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage Eddy CuePhoto: Jason Bollenbacher/Getty Images Sophie Allison of Soccer MommyPhoto Courtesy Fat Possum Records KardPhoto: TPG/Getty Images Watch: Neil Young Teases Experimental New Western The Mrs Spread Kindness One Music Fest At A Time sxsw-2018-mrs-host-kindnesspalooza-music-fest-benefit Cue Says Apple’s Ecosystem Is Expanding The 7 Most-Shazam’d Women Performers At SXSW 2018 What 11 Artists Did At SXSW 2018 Keith UrbanPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Austin’s 6th Street Comes Alive At SXSW SXSW: Keith Urban’s Kinetic Keynote HyukohPhoto: Han Myung-Gu/WireImage SXSW: Keith Urban’s Kinetic Keynote News Austin’s Deep Cultural History On Rainey Street The Mrs Spread Kindness One Music Fest At A Time SXSW 2018: How Big Is The K-Pop Explosion? SaweetiePhoto: Ismael Quintanilla/Getty Images DorothyPhoto: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic KardPhoto: TPG/Getty Images Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs” Revisit 7 SXSW 2018 Highlights Austin’s 6th Street Comes Alive At SXSW Photo: Earl Gibson III/WireImage.com Blake LewisPhoto: Tara Ziemba/Getty Images Austin’s 6th Street Comes Alive At SXSW Sophie Allison of Soccer MommyPhoto Courtesy Fat Possum Records Revisit 7 SXSW 2018 Highlights Watch: Neil Young Teases Experimental New Western Keith UrbanPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images The Mrs Spread Kindness One Music Fest At A Time What Happens After A Reality TV Singing Show? Eddy CuePhoto: Jason Bollenbacher/Getty Images Blake LewisPhoto: Tara Ziemba/Getty Images Deva MahalPhoto: Xavier De Nauw Inside The 2018 Texas Chapter Block Party At SXSW What 11 Artists Did At SXSW 2018 Sophie Allison of Soccer MommyPhoto Courtesy Fat Possum Records Keith UrbanPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images SaweetiePhoto: Ismael Quintanilla/Getty Images (L-R) The Mrs’ Mandy Prater, Andra Liemandt and Larissa Ness Eddy CuePhoto: Jason Bollenbacher/Getty Images Austin’s Deep Cultural History On Rainey Street The 7 Most-Shazam’d Women Performers At SXSW 2018 Austin’s South Congress Boasts Vintage Charm Prev Next MélatPhoto: Sasha Haagensen/WireImage.com SXSW 2018: Keith Urban, Rapsody, K-Pop & More SXSW 2018: The Mrs Host Kindnesspalooza Music Fest Benefit DorothyPhoto: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic Austin’s South Congress Boasts Vintage Charm Inside The 2018 Texas Chapter Block Party At SXSW Twitter Keith UrbanPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images SXSW 2018: 7 New Bands To Check Out This Year Watch: Neil Young Teases Experimental New Western MélatPhoto: Sasha Haagensen/WireImage.com The 7 Most-Shazam’d Women Performers At SXSW 2018 Daryl Hannah and Neil YoungPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images What Happens After A Reality TV Singing Show? Daryl Hannah and Neil YoungPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Keith UrbanPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Cue Says Apple’s Ecosystem Is Expanding SXSW 2018: How Big Is The K-Pop Explosion? Austin’s Deep Cultural History On Rainey Street SXSW 2018: Keith Urban, Rapsody, K-Pop & More Photo: Earl Gibson III/WireImage.com Facebook Seeking to spread a little more positivity amid today’s turbulent society, the four-piece female band host their annual music bash during SXSWRenée FabianGRAMMYs Mar 17, 2018 – 6:49 pm Four-piece band the Mrs — comprising drummer Andra Liemandt, bassist Jenny Mason, keyboardist/singer Larissa Ness, and guitarist/vocalist Mandy Prater — are a force to be reckoned with, and their weapon of choice is kindness. During SXSW 2018, the Mrs took the opportunity to harness all the focus on music in their native Austin, Texas. The result? Kindnesspalooza Music Fest at Rio on March 17 to raise awareness and funds for The Kindness Campaign, which was founded in 2015 by Liemandt.Liemandt was inspired to launch the campaign after seeing the negative impact bullying had on her daughter’s peers. As a result, TKC takes an anti-bullying stance and puts action behind the sentiment by providing schools with an innovative curriculum that “empowers students to recognize the transformative power of kindness.” What Happens After A Reality TV Singing Show? MélatPhoto: Sasha Haagensen/WireImage.com Daryl Hannah and Neil YoungPhoto: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images Inside The 2018 Texas Chapter Block Party At SXSW Blake LewisPhoto: Tara Ziemba/Getty Images Read more read more
WILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Sunday, May 20, 2018:Police checked on a vehicle stopped in the roadway near the High School with its hazards on. The operator of this vehicle was playing Pokemon. He was advised to move to a safer location, out of the travel lane, while playing. Driver moved into the parking lot. (6:52am)A blue 2005 Toyota Prius struck the guardrail on 93 North ramp, onto Concord Street. No injuries noted. (7:20am)Fire deputy reported hydrant on the corner of Chestnut Street and Marion Street appears to have been struck overnight, requested Water Department take a look at it. (10:20am)A walk-in party reported his vehicle was stolen from Mill Road. (11:52am)A red 2011 Ford Edge struck a pole at Butters Row and Elizabeth Drive. Verizon notified. Airbag deployed. Driver refused medical attention. Vehicle towed. (5:42pm)A white 2016 Nissan Rogue struck a pole at Woburn Street and Great Neck Drive. Air deployed. Driver transported to Winchester Hospital. Mailbox damaged. Water Dept. and Verizon notified. DPW notified of vehicle fluid leaking into storm drain. (8:17pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information. An arrest does not constitute a conviction. Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for July 26: 2 Missing Teens; OUI Arrest; Main St. Shut Down Due To Crash; Road Rage IncidentIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 11: Incidents Not What They Seem; Marijuana Confiscated From Vehicle; Missing Woman FoundIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 30: $11.00 Found & Turned In By Good Samaritan; Car vs. Mailbox; Car vs. Brick WallIn “Police Log” read more
Guntur :Doctors in the GGH Guntur removed a nail cutter from the stomach of a 7-month old girl through a surgery on Friday. Now baby is safe and is undergoing treatment in the ICU.According to doctors in the GGH, Maurya Rajani, daughter of Lakshmi and Raju, residing in Vinukonda, accidentally swallowed a nail cutter on June 20 night. Parents admitted her to the GGH for treatment. Based on the X ray report, doctors Yashodhara and Kavita located it in her stomach. On Friday, they performed surgery and removed the nail cutter. GGH superintendent D S Raju Naidu congratulated the doctors for successfully performing the surgery and removing the nail cuter. read more
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday issued directions for setting up of a centrally-funded exclusive court in all districts where 100 or more cases have been set up under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, directed the Centre to set up these courts within 60 days. Also Read – INX Media case: P Chidambaram’s CBI custody extended for three days till September 2 Advertise With Us It said the exclusive courts for child victims have to be set up in every district having over 100 cases under the POCSO Act. The bench said the Centre would have to appoint trained, sensitised prosecutors and support persons to deal with the POCSO cases and also directed the chief secretaries of states and union territories to ensure timely submission of forensic reports in such cases. Also Read – Pakistan ISI agents copy most hi-tech feature of Rs 2,000 notes Advertise With Us It asked the Centre to apprise it about the status of compliance of the order in 30 days and to make the money available for setting up of POCSO courts and appointment of prosecutors and others. The top court noted that the collection of further nationwide data on child rape cases would delay implementation of POCSO law. It said the suggestion of amicus curiae V Giri to set up a forensic lab in each district for expeditious disposal of POCSO cases can wait, and added that in the meantime, the state governments can ensure timely submission of such reports for expeditious conclusion of trial. The court has put up the matter for further hearing on September 26. read more
British luxury car maker Jaguar has listed its entry-level premium sedan, the XE on the company’s India website.The Jaguar XE, which made its appearance at the recently concluded 2014 Geneva Motor Show, is based on the company’s brand new aluminium architecture called iQ, which was seen in the C-X17 concept vehicle in 2013.The vehicle will be powered by newly developed four-cylinder engine which can have low emission and can attain top speed of 300kmph. The car will compete with the Mercedes-Benz C -Class, the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 in India.”We never forget we are designing a Jaguar, and that means it must be as exciting to look at and drive, as it is brilliant to run and practical to own. We believe we’ve done just that with the Jaguar XE,” Jaguar India website quoted Ian Callum, Director of Design.Meanwhile, the Indian arm of Jaguar has started accepting the bookings for its upcoming 2014 XJ in the country with an advance payment of 5 lakh, reported Motoroids.2014 XJ, the flagship sedan from the luxury car maker will reach Indian shores in June and the company will bring Jaguar XJ via CKD (Completely Knocked Down) route. The CKD will be assembled at its plant in Pune. Globally, Jaguar XJ is marketed with 3.0-litre V6 petrol and diesel engines and a 5.0-litre petrol V8 motor.Recently, company launched its XF 2.0l petrol sedan in India, priced at ₹48.30 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The car is powered by a1999 cc, inline 4 petrol engines which can generate a power of 240 hp and torque of 340 N. The vehicle accelerates from 0-100 kmph in 7.9 seconds and offers a top speed of 194 kmph. It is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.Photo credit: Jaguar India /Screenshot(Edited by Anu James) read more
PexelsHouston voters will get to decide on a $123 million bond package to improve local libraries this election. 00:00 /01:03 Listen Share X As early voting starts Monday for Harris County, voters in Houston will have a chance to decide on several bond packages, including over $100 million for city libraries. It officially shows up as “Proposition E” on the ballot.It asks Houston voters if they want to fund $123 million to improve libraries. If approved, it would replace the Moody Library in the Northside and the Henington-Alief Regional Library. Council Member Jack Christie gave that a strong endorsement earlier this year.“If we do not build Alief’s library and service center, we ought be taken out of office,” Christie said from the dais. “We got to build that and we have other projects, so I’m going to be voting in favor.The proposition would also renovate and improve other libraries, as the city finishes the library system’s master plan.Houston City Council sent the library bond package to voters along with other propositions to replace aging fire trucks and police vehicles and also $1 billion in bonds to pay off the city’s pension debt.City officials estimate that the general bonds will not require a tax hike. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: read more
Mckinsey report predicts that artificial intelligence techniques including deep learning and reinforcement learning have the potential to create between $3.5 trillion and $5.8 trillion in value annually across nine business functions in 19 industries. Reinforcement learning (RL) is an increasingly popular technique for enterprises that deal with large complex problem spaces. It enables the agents to learn from their own actions and experiences. When working in an interactive environment, they use a trial and error process to find the best-optimized result. Reinforcement learning is at the cutting-edge right now and it’s finally reached a point that it can be applied to real-world industrial systems. We recently interviewed Sudharsan Ravichandiran, a data scientist at param. ai, and the author of the book, Hands-On Reinforcement Learning with Python. Sudharsan takes us on an insightful journey explaining to us why reinforcement learning is trending and becoming so popular lately. He talks about the positive contributions of RL in various research fields such as gaming industry, robotics, inventory management, manufacturing, and finance. Author’s Bio Sudharsan Ravichandiran, author of the book, Hands-On Reinforcement Learning with Python is a data scientist, researcher, and YouTuber. His area of research focuses on practical implementations of deep learning and reinforcement learning, which includes natural language processing and computer vision. He used to be a freelance web developer and designer and has designed award-winning websites. He is an open source contributor and loves answering questions on Stack Overflow. You can follow his open source contributions on GitHub. Key Takeaways Reinforcement learning adoption among the community has increased exponentially because of the augmentation of reinforcement learning with state of the art deep learning algorithms. It is extensively used in the Gaming industry, robotics, Inventory management, and Finance. You can see more and more research papers and applications leading to full-fledged self-learning agents. One of the common challenges faced in RL is safe exploration. To avoid this problem, one can use imitation learning (learning from human demonstration) to provide the best-optimized solution. Deep meta reinforcement learning will be the future of artificial intelligence where we will implement artificial general intelligence (AGI) to build a single model to master a wide variety of tasks. Thus each model will be capable to perform a wide range of complex tasks. Sudharsan suggests the readers should learn to code the algorithms from scratch instead of using libraries. It will help them understand and implement complex concepts in their research work or projects far better. Full Interview Reinforcement learning is at the cutting-edge right now, with many of the world’s best researchers working on improving the core algorithms. What do you think is the reason behind RL success and why RL is getting so popular lately? Reinforcement learning has been around for many years, the reason it is so popular right now is because it is possible to augment reinforcement learning with state of the art deep learning algorithms. With deep reinforcement learning, researchers have obtained better results. Specifically, reinforcement learning started to grow on a massive scale after the reinforcement learning agent, AlphaGo, won over the world champion in a board game called AlphaGo. Also, Deep reinforcement learning algorithms help us in taking a closer step towards artificial general intelligence which is the true AI. Reinforcement learning is a pretty complex topic to wrap your head around, what got you into RL field? What keeps you motivated to keep on working on these complex research problems? I used to be a freelance web developer during my university days. I had a paper called Artificial Intelligence on my Spring semester, it really got me intrigued and made me want to explore more about the field. Later on, I got invited to Microsoft data science conference where I met many experts and learned more about the field way better. All these got me intriguing and made me to venture into AI. The one thing which motivates and keeps me excited are the advancements happening in the field of reinforcement learning lately. DeepMind and OpenAI are doing a great job and massively contributing to the RL community. Recent advancements like human-like robot hand control to manipulate physical objects with unprecedented dexterity, imagination augmented agents which can imagine and makes decisions, world models where the agents have the ability to dream excite me and keeps me going. Can you please list down 3 popular problem areas where RL is majorly used? Also, what are the 3 most current challenges faced while implementing RL in real-life? As a developer/researcher how you are gearing up to solve them? RL is predominantly used in the Gaming industry, robotics, and Inventory management. There are several challenges in Reinforcement learning. For instance, safe exploration. Reinforcement learning is basically a trial and error process where agents try several actions to find the best and optimal action. Consider an agent learning to navigate/learning to drive a car. Agents don’t know which action is better unless they try them. The agent also has to be careful in not selecting actions which are harmful to others or itself, say, for example, colliding with other vehicles. To avoid this problem, we can use imitation learning or learning from a human demonstration where the agents learn directly from the human supervisor. Apart from these, there are various evolutionary strategies used to solve the challenges faced in RL. There are few positive developments in RL happened from Open AI and DeepMind team that have got widely adopted both in research and in real-world applications. What are some cutting-edge techniques you foresee getting public attention in RL in 2018 and in the near future? Great things are happening around RL research each and every day. Deep Meta reinforcement learning will be the future of AI where we will be so close to achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI). Instead of creating different models to perform different tasks, with AGI, a single model can master a wide variety of tasks and mimics the human intelligence. Gaming and robotics or simulations are the two popular domains where reinforcement learning is extensively used. In what other domains does RL find important use cases and how? Manufacturing In manufacturing, intelligent robots are used to place objects in the right position. If it fails or succeeds in placing the object in the right position, it remembers the action and trains itself to do this with greater accuracy. The use of intelligent agents will reduce labor costs and result in better performance. Inventory management RL is extensively used in inventory management, which is a crucial business activity. Some of these activities include supply chain management, demand forecasting, and handling several warehouse operations (such as placing products in warehouses for managing space efficiently). Infrastructure management RL is also used in infrastructure management. For an instance, Google researchers in DeepMind have developed RL algorithms for efficiently reducing the energy consumption in their own data center. Finance RL is widely used in financial portfolio management, which is the process of constant redistribution of a fund into different financial products and also in predicting and trading in commercial transactions markets. JP Morgan has successfully used RL to provide better trade execution results for large orders. Your recently published ‘Hands-On Reinforcement Learning with Python‘ has received a very positive response from the readers. What are some key challenges in learning reinforcement learning and how does your book help them? One of the key challenges in learning reinforcement learning is the lack of intuitive examples and poor understanding of RL fundamentals with required math. The book addresses all the challenges by explaining all the reinforcement learning concepts from scratch and gradually takes readers to advanced concepts by exploring them one at a time. The book also explains all the required math step by step intuitively along with plenty of examples. My intention behind adding multiple examples and code to each chapter was to help the readers understand the concepts better. This will also help them in understanding when to apply a particular algorithm. This book also works as a perfect reference for beginners who are new to reinforcement learning. Are there any prerequisites needed to get the most out of the book? What do you think they should keep in mind while developing their own self-learning agents? Readers who are familiar with machine learning and Python basics can easily follow the book. The book starts with explaining reinforcement learning fundamentals and reinforcement learning algorithms with applications and then it takes the reader in understanding deep learning algorithms followed by the book explaining advanced deep reinforcement learning algorithms. While creating self-learning agents, one should be careful in designing reward and goal functions. What in your opinion are the 3-5 major takeaways from your book? The book serves as a solid go-to place for someone who wants to venture into deep reinforcement learning. The book is completely beginner friendly and takes the readers to the advanced concepts gradually. At the end of the book, the readers can master reinforcement learning, deep learning and deep reinforcement learning along with their applications in TensorFlow and all the required math. Would you like to add anything more to our readers? I would suggest the readers code the algorithms from scratch instead of using libraries, it will help them in understanding the concepts far better. I also would like to thank each and every reader for making this book a huge success. My best wishes to them for their reinforcement learning projects. If you found this interview to be interesting, make sure you check out other insightful articles on reinforcement learning: Top 5 tools for reinforcement learning This self-driving car can drive in its imagination using deep reinforcement learning Dopamine: A Tensorflow-based framework for flexible and reproducible Reinforcement Learning research by Google OpenAI builds reinforcement learning based system giving robots human like dexterity DeepCube: A new deep reinforcement learning approach solves the Rubik’s cube with no human help read more
What is left of the group is hidden in rugged mountain terrain among people who loathe AQIM and the central government in equal measure. The Algerian group’s last hideout is ironically in an area where historically it has had the least support.High above the clear blue waters of the Takhoukht reservoir, along a winding road in the Kabylie mountains, locals park their cars, open their trucks and settle down for sunset beers. The last remnants of Al-Qaida’s Algerian branch also lurk around here, and in fact six of them were gunned down by Algerian soldiers last month at this very spot. But judging by the evening leisure of the local Berbers _ an indigenous ethnic group separate from the Arabs who dominate Algeria’s government _ they aren’t winning many converts.The Berbers of the Kabylie have traditionally been fierce opponents of the Islamists and are known for a more secular outlook in general than Algeria’s majority Arabs. But their hostility to the government means they do nothing to help authorities root out AQIM.“No one supports the militants, but no one informs on them because you are confronted by an authority you reject,” explained local journalist Samir Leslous, who has close contacts with Algerian security officials and has covered the conflict for years. “There is also the way security forces operate, you get interrogated by them, so people are caught between the hammer and the anvil.” More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The difference between men and women when it comes to pain The Algerian al-Qaida made its mark with a series of high profile suicide car bombings inside the capital Algiers in 2007, including the December U.N. headquarters bombings and twin attacks in April on the prime minister’s office that together killed 74 people, which suggested a major new terror force had entered the fray in North Africa.The Algerian forces successfully took the attack to al-Qaida, experts say, and drove the new force out of most of the country except for the rugged Kabylie mountains and the far south along the border with Mali.“The government has put down the Islamist groups over the past few years, and from this perspective the Algerian security forces have done a very good job,” said Rachid Tlemcani, a professor of politics and regional security at the University of Algiers. “Every citizen now feels the situation is very secure, while in the past it was very hard to travel around the country. In many places outside the cities, it wasn’t at all easy to travel after 5 p.m.”That level of security has not yet come the Kabylie, where public buses between villages stop running after sunset and everyone knows that out there in the forests lurk the remnants of al-Qaida. Yet the group does not touch the locals. A list of its attacks for the past four months _ minor operations targeting army trucks or checkpoints that kill a couple soldiers at a time _ show no dead civilians. Comments Share Al-Qaida is also careful not to attack the local civilians, for fear of further antagonizing their reluctant hosts and jeopardizing their last refuge. So people feel free to crack a beer on the roadside.AQIM’s mountain hideout increasingly seems like a cage.“They are rather isolated without much possibility for action in Algeria,” said Jean-Louis Bruguiere, a former French magistrate specializing in counter-terrorism. “The sanctuary of AQIM remains the Kabylie, but it’s very reduced because of the actions of the armed forces and intelligence services.”AQIM grew out of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, the last surviving group of Islamicist insurgents that battled the Algerian government for more than a decade after a military coup canceled elections in 1992 that an Islamist party was poised to win.Vigorous counter-terrorism operations by government forces as well as amnesties extended to former militants had left the Islamist rebels much diminished by the early 2000s. Many fled to the deep south and the unpatrolled lands on the borders with Mali and Mauritania.The extremists received a shot in the arm in 2006 when al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri recognized it as part of the network and tasked it with bringing the fight to France _ opening a new front during the height of the U.S. campaign in Iraq. Together with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, it was part of the aggressive new branches in the terror network aimed at the U.S. and its allies. Parents, stop beating yourself up AQIM’s collapse is particularly notable given its blood-soaked history.The group jumped to the forefront of the terror scene with a series of high-profile attacks after joining al-Qaida, including suicide bombings on U.N. headquarters in Algeria that killed more than 40 people. It has its roots in a decades-long battle with Algerian security forces that killed a staggering 200,000 and left indelible scars on this oil-rich nation.The success of Algeria’s counter-terror campaign provides insights into how al-Qaida can be beaten if faced with a well-organized and focused foe: With limited U.S. help, Algeria has thrown millions of dollars and the full weight of its security apparatus into eradicating AQIM on its soil.“Al-Qaida as it stands right now has been knocked down to something that’s much more like a criminal threat,” Henry Ensher, the U.S. ambassador to Algiers, told The Associated Press, referring to AQIM’s original northern group. “Their capabilities are much, much less and that’s because the Algerians fought an effective counterinsurgency campaign and essentially destroyed their capabilities as a guerrilla organization.” Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressTIZI OUZOU, Algeria (AP) – It’s being hailed as a key success in the fight against al-Qaida: a determined Algerian clampdown that has pulled the teeth from one of the terror network’s deadliest offshoots and could be a model for elsewhere.Six years after joining the Osama bin Laden franchise, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb _ known by its acronym AQIM _ appears to have been neutralized in the nation where it originated and made its name, officials and experts say, corralled into a remote mountain area and reduced to occasional pinprick shootings against soldiers. Most experts agree there remain just a few hundred combatants holed up in Algeria’s Kabylie mountains. The once-feared terror force appears further than ever from its goal of creating an Islamic state in Algeria. Its failure is even more striking compared to the success of AQIM’s southern offshoot, which recently allied itself with rebel Tuaregs in northern Mali and appears on the brink of establishing a hardline Islamic state in the little-governed wastelands of the Sahel region.Without the Algerian military to contend with, the southern offshoot has flourished in an empty lawless region of smugglers in the Sahara desert and nearby Sahel, much the way other al-Qaida franchises took root in the hinterlands of Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan.The original northern network, however, has been pushed out of nearly all areas of Algeria where it once operated freely. Now, it is confined to a mountainous region about the size of West Virginia, Western officials say. Violence and especially kidnappings remain a persistent problem in the Kabylie region, but the Algerian AQIM hasn’t mounted a successful operation against Algiers in the past five years _ even though the mountains are less than a two-hour drive from the capital. What has plagued the population, however, is kidnappings. There have been around 70 cases of kidnapping since 2004, always targeting wealthy businessmen for ransom. Locals say it is not clear if it’s al-Qaida raising funds or just local criminal networks taking advantage of the lack of security.The result, however, is a disastrous decline in businesses interested in investing in the area and an unemployment rate estimated at 35 percent. Mahfoud Bellabas, head of the provincial council said that the lack of security is driving out business and preventing any new investment.“So far 71 businessmen have left this region, mainly due to the lack of security,” he said. “They don’t just kidnap anyone, they are targeting the businessmen, the people with money and the state does nothing.”Despite soldiers and police losing their lives every week in militant ambushes, local politicians maintain that the central government _ which has a history of repressing the Berbers _ is satisfied with the situation as it is. In exchange for a few lives lost, some say, the Berbers of the Kabylie are kept off balance and economically poor.Mohammed Ikarbane, a lawmaker from the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy, maintains that the government could root out the rest of al-Qaida if it wanted. Top Stories “There is a clear will by the government to maintain the Islamic threat in the Kabylie to oppress the people,” he said.For its part, al-Qaida has recently attempted to reach out to the Berbers of the Kabylie, to fight against their common enemy of the government.In December they issued on jihadist websites their first ever Berber-language video in which a masked militant from the Kabylie region appealed to the people to rise up against the government.Abu Hazim Moudoud evoked past Berber uprisings and demonstrations against the government and urged them to take up arms, while assuring them that al-Qaida would not harm them.“If we wanted to kill the people, we would have done so, we possess weapons, bombs and mortars,” he said. “For 20 years, the mujahedeen have been in the Kabylie region and they never harmed the people.”But there has been no sign of any sudden surge of support for AQIM in the Kabylie.“This is a region that has always confronted the Islamists and the state at the same time,” said Bellabas. “They are both monsters created together.”_________Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten contributed from Paris(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates read more
Go back to the e-newsletter >There is only one month remaining for Scenic guests to take advantage of the fantastic Earlybird offers to Africa in 2016 which end on 31 December 2015.Guests can enjoy partner free fly, including taxes up to a value of $800 per person, on the 31-Day Grand African Expedition and 24-Day Grand African Safari; this equates to a saving of up to $2000 per couple. Plus a saving of up to $1500 per couple on journeys of 12 days or longer to Africa.Andrew Kelleher, Journey Designer Africa, commented: “Seeing the ‘Big Five’ in 5-star luxury is our delivery mission and private game reserves, high quality safari vehicles, extra inclusions, enriching village visits and spectacular scenery are enticing a record number of guests onto Scenic’s 2016/17 Africa programme.”New for 2016, Scenic is providing 20 wonder-filled days exploring Southern and East Africa on an itinerary travelling from Cape Town to Nairobi: 20-Day Great Game Parks of Africa. Priced from $14,465 per person twin share.Go back to the e-newsletter > read more
RelatedRecovery in number of passengers taking cheap flights to AthensRecovery in number of passengers taking cheap flights to AthensBA sees increased demand for premium flightsBA sees increased demand for premium flightsInternational flights to Bristol Airport picking upPassenger numbers at Bristol Airport increased by 8.5 percent Airports across the country are seeing increased amounts of traffic forcing many of them to consider expanding.This week figures from the Association of European Airlines show that February saw a boost in the number of people flying out of the county. The data suggested that airline traffic rose by 6.0 per cent – part of which could also be attributed to the leap year.”The February results represent a significant widening in the gap between traffic and capacity development,” the report said.Birmingham International are among many airports now looking to expand their offering to passengers. The Midlands airport is predicting an increase in passenger numbers from 9 to 27 million by 2030 if plans for extending the runways to allow more long-haul flights are given the go ahead. The recent opening of Terminal 5 at Heathrow, the expansion underway at Glasgow and the development of Carlisle as a new passenger hub for the north west indicte that airports are investing ahead of the anticipated passenger increase. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map read more
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