Air Canada to hire 900 over next year 200 more for new

MONTREAL — Air Canada says it will hire about 1,100 employees across a number of fields, including 200 at its new low-cost carrier.The airline said Thursday the jobs are part of its strategy to “seize new commercial opportunities, enhance customer service and renew our workforce.”Air Canada says it will hire approximately 400 flight attendants and some 500 airport customer service agents and baggage handlers.Sixty customer service agents will be hired for call centres in Montreal and Toronto.[np-related /]“This recruitment program is consistent with our focus on controlling costs to become more competitive in our various markets,” said president and CEO Calin Rovinescu.“At a time when youth unemployment is nearly 15% in Canada, we are pleased to offer exciting career opportunities that will especially appeal to young people.”The company cited attrition as one of the main drivers behind the hiring of customer service agents and flight attendants.In addition to the hires at the main airline, the company says it will hire approximately 150 flight attendants and 50 pilots for its low-cost airline — which is slated to launch in 2013.Air Canada says information on the job postings can be found at, adding applications can be filled out online.The airline currently employs some 27,000 people across Canada and the world.On Wednesday, Air Canada said it’s just a couple of weeks away from announcing details of the new discount carrier that will serve transatlantic and leisure routes in the Caribbean and the United States.It will be wholly owned by Air Canada, but carry a different name.Air Canada had been beset by labour problems for most of the last year with all of its major unions, which has hurt both its reputation and its share price.The pilots are one of two major labour groups at Air Canada that were forced to accept the airline’s final offer in labour negotiations earlier this year. The other union is the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents repair and ramp crews.Both disputes were sent to binding arbitration ordered by the federal government, which brought in back-to-work legislation after Air Canada locked out the pilots and the Machinists announced they would go on strike earlier this year.In August, the airline reported it lost $96-million in the second quarter, more than double the $46 million it lost in the same period a year earlier and more than analysts had expected.The loss was equal to 35 cents per share, up from 17 cents per share in the comparable year-earlier period.On an adjusted basis, the Montreal-based airline had a loss of five cents per share, up from a loss of one cent per share a year ago.Air Canada is the country’s largest domestic and international full-service airline providing scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 175 destinations on five continents.It is the world’s 15th largest commercial airline, providing service to more than 32 million passengers a year.The Canadian Press read more

Midsized companies in Canada on the decline BDC says

MONTREAL — The number of mid-sized companies in Canada declined by 17% from 2006 to 2010, according to a study by the Business Development Bank of Canada.The study says the number dropped from 9,370 to 7,814 during that period. The hardest hit sector was manufacturing, which saw more than half its mid-sized firms vanish between 2001 and 2010 from 2,807 to 1,381.The BDC study is based on Statistics Canada data and Harris-Decima surveys.It also found that 14% of mid-sized firms became small firms (below 100 employees) or closed down each year from 2006 to 2010. Only 1.4% grew to become corporations with 500 or more employees.While mid-sized companies declined across the country, Ontario was hit worst, losing a quarter of these firms between 2006 and 2010 (from 3,810 to 2,861).”This decline should signal a call to action as mid-sized firms are vital to the Canadian economy,” said BDC chief economist and study lead author Pierre Cleroux.”They’re few in numbers, yet their contribution to Canada’s economic prosperity cannot be overemphasized. They really do punch above their weight.”BDC said while mid-sized firms represent just 1% of the total number of companies, they account for 16% of Canadian jobs, 12% of GDP and 17% of exports. read more

Liberals defend Hydro One sale they opposed when PCs tried it PCs

by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 15, 2015 11:34 am MDT Last Updated Sep 15, 2015 at 2:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberals were forced Tuesday to explain why they want to sell Hydro One after condemning the previous Progressive Conservative government for proposing a similar privatization plan.The Conservatives dug up a 2002 quote from veteran Liberal Jim Bradley, now the chair of cabinet, saying Hydro One “is best kept in public ownership and public hands.” He was debating a motion that was supported at the time by several Liberals who now are members of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet.“They were selling 100 per cent with no conditions placed on it at all when those comments were made,” Bradley said. “It’s pretty sad when they have to go far back in history to deal with those things, but it’s all part of politics.”Bradley cited cabinet confidentiality when asked if he had ever spoken against Premier Kathleen Wynne’s plans to sell 60 per cent of the giant transmission utility to raise an estimated $9 billion.“I always support government policy,” he said.Wynne has pledged to use $4 billion from the sale to help pay for a $130-billion, 10-year infrastructure and public transit program, and $5 billion to pay down hydro debt.“It is critical that we invest in the roads and the bridges and the other large infrastructure across the province that is needed by communities in order for them to be able to thrive,” she told the legislature.Wynne said unlike the old Tory privatization proposal, the Liberal plan will see taxpayers remain as the largest single shareholder of Hydro One.“It was extremely important for the government and the people of Ontario to retain 40 per cent ownership, making sure we retained control of the board…and making sure that no entity could own more than ten per cent.”Wynne also raised the issue of the Conservatives’ decision to privatize Highway 407 just before the 1999 election to help balance the province’s books, which critics say cost taxpayers millions of dollars in lost revenues.“One of the guiding principles that we held on to as we went into this process was that we would not do what had been done by that party with the 407,” she said.New PC Leader Patrick Brown warned that “anyone who sells one of their largest revenue tools is headed toward bankruptcy.”Brown said he won’t be tied to positions taken by previous PC leaders, and warned that privatizing Hydro One will drive up electricity rates and remove oversight at the utility by the provincial ombudsman.“The premier has lost the trust of families in Ontario because of her fire sale of Hydro One,” he said. “By turning her back on independent oversight, the premier has lost the province’s trust.”The New Democrats have consistently opposed any move to privatize Hydro One, and dismissed Wynne’s explanation about needing money from the sale to invest in infrastructure.“It must be sadly embarrassing to be the only premier in the history of this province who can’t keep Hydro One public while at the same time investing in infrastructure for the people of Ontario,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter Liberals defend Hydro One sale they opposed when PCs tried it; PCs now oppose it read more

UN agency calls for renewed global commitment to develop effective HIV vaccine

Steadfast in leaving nobody behind in the HIV response, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé explained: “A vaccine would be a major step towards ending the AIDS epidemic.” The UN agency elaborates that one major advantage of vaccines is that they promote equity and can be used effectively in all communities and settings, including where many other health services may be harder to deliver.“There have been encouraging recent scientific advances that give us hope for the future development of an HIV vaccine,” Ms. Sidibé said in a press release on the Day, marked annually on 18 May, pointing to studies that indicate with great promise the feasibility of an HIV vaccine.The clinical RV144 vaccine trial in 2009, which combined two vaccines that failed on their own, lowered the rate of HIV infection by 31 per cent – offering hope that further research building on this test will deliver results.Newer vaccine candidates, as well as neutralizing antibodies, are also being studied.Vaccines have effectively controlled a number of infectious diseases, including diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, mumps, measles and rubella; have eradicated smallpox; and are close to eradicating polio. However, in 2013, HIV vaccine research and development dipped to its lowest investment decline since 2008, according to the agency. In order to transform promising concepts into an effective and accessible vaccine, increased and sustained funding is critical. read more

From UN Assembly podium Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) was established in 2014 with the protection of civilians its top priority, after fighting between the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia and the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition tore the country apart.An arms embargo imposed at the same time was renewed for another 12 months earlier this year.“Our ambition is to contribute at MINUSCA’s side to the immense effort for the stabilization and return to peace in CAR,” Mr. Touadera declared. “But to fulfil this, allow me to reiterate from this lofty tribune our call for the total lifting of the arms embargo which still weighs heavily on our national army.”Only last month armed anti-Balaka fighters attacked MINUSCA personnel is in the southern-central part of the country, killing a Burundian member.Full statement (in French) available here read more

Blevins late dunk helps Montana St hold off North Dakota

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Keljin Blevins scooped up a loose ball, ran the length of the floor and slammed home a dunk in the final seconds to give Montana State enough cushion to hold off North Dakota 81-76 on Tuesday night and halt a four-game skid.Blevins made a layup with 1:00 remaining for a 74-69 lead. Harald Frey knocked the ball away from the Hawks on the next possession and Blevins ran the floor for a 76-69 lead.North Dakota did not fold as Cortez Seales drilled a 3-pointer and followed that with two free throws to close to 78-76 with 16 seconds left. Tyler Hall, who has now surpassed 2,000 points in his career, made three straight free throws to close out the scoring and seal the win for the Bobcats (2-6).Blevins had 18 points to lead five players in double figures. Devin Kirby, Ladan Ricketts and Hall all finished with 14 points. Frey chipped in 13. Kirby had a double-double with 10 rebounds, Hall had six assists and Frey finished with five rebounds, four assists and two steals.Billy Brown had 17 and Bentiu Panoam added 15 for North Dakota (4-3).The Associated Press read more

Christmas grotto Santa branded a disgrace by parents after he tore off

A Christmas grotto Santa has been branded a “disgrace” by parents after he tore off his beard and swore in front of children.Organisers of the Father Christmas Grotto experience at the Corn Exchange in St Ives, Cambs have now apologised for “any offence or distress caused to parents and children”.He reportedly lost his cool after a smoke machine at a children’s rave happening in the same building set off the fire alarm.One shocked dad branded him a “disgrace”, describing how he burst into the room, “ripped his hat and beard off” and shouted “get the f*** out”.Adam Gaynor took to social media to vent his frustration. He said: “The guy dressed as Santa at the Corn Exchange is an absolute disgrace.”[The] fire alarm went off due to the smoke machine at the children’s rave and everyone was in the process of clearing the room.”He came changing [sic] in, ripped his hat and beard off in front of 50 odd kids and started shouting and swearing at people to leave.”You should be ashamed of yourself acting like that in front of children. There is no way he should be allowed near a child.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Helen Brook, who also witnessed the incident, added: “Bad language is never called for. He continued his unfortunate choice of words while we were waiting outside.”Pictures posted on social media appear to show the Santa stood outside the venue, with his beard lying on the pavement.FESt St Ives, who organised the grotto, said: “Last Sunday during a family rave event (not a FESt event) in the Corn Exchange, St Ives, the fire alarms were activated by smoke in the Charter Hall.”Santa was upstairs in his grotto, an event organised by Festival Events St Ives (a voluntary organisation) and immediately assisted in the evacuation of the building.”FESt wish to apologise for any offence or distress caused to parents and children by the attempts to ensure all visitors and staff had exited the building and were safe.” read more

Ernie the 21yearold duck prepares to enter the record books

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Ernie and guide duck ElmoCredit:John Robertson His eyes are so clouded with cataracts that he can barely see, while his legs are stiff with arthritis.Yet Ernie the duck, who relies heavily on his friend Elmo to guide him around the garden, could soon be entering the official record books.The 21-year-old call duck is thought to be the oldest domestic duck in the UK, having outlived the previous record holder by nine months, and could take the title of the world’s oldest living duck after Guinness World Records opened a new title in its honour yesterday.Ernie’s owner, Chloe Timberlake, 31, was given the duck for her tenth birthday and has lovingly cared for him ever since, ensuring he has already lived more than twice as long as the average for his breed.But Miss Timberlake, an environmental scientist from Princes Risborough, Bucks, admits he might not have done so well without his sidekick, Elmo.“He’s remarkable, certainly very unusual. He’s done very well,” she said. Ernie aged two days oldCredit:John Robertson Chloe Timberlake with a eight-week-old ErnieCredit: John Robertson The current record holder for oldest duck to have lived in the UK is a female mallard duck called Desi from nearby Maidenhead, who lived to be 20 years, three months and 16 days old before she died in August 2002.But since that title was bestowed, Guinness World Record have stopped monitoring UK records. Gina Timberlake, 58, Miss Timberlake’s mother, explained that as a child, her daughter had “hankered after ducks” so for her tenth birthday, she was given two one-day old ducklings, whom she named Bert and Ernie.They were hand reared indoors for eight weeks until they were fully feathered and ready to go outside, where a brand new pond awaited them. The oldest duck the British Trust for Ornithology has on record is a seaduck called an Eider which was 35 years, 6 months and 26 days. It was an adult when it was ringed in 1958 on the Ythan Estuary in Aberdeenshire and found dead in the same place in 1994.The oldest Mallard, the closest wild species to a call duck, that the organisation has on record was 20 years, 5 months and 17 days old. It was ringed in Peterborough in 1965 and found alive but unwell in Essex in 1986.The call duck is a domesticated hybrid, not unrelated to Mallard, believed to have been bred to attract wild ducks by hunters. Chloe Timberlake with a eight-week-old Ernie Ernie and guide duck Elmo Bert sadly died ten years ago, leaving Ernie bereft.So the Timberlakes bought Elmo, who was then two years old, and despite initial misgivings, the pair became inseparable.Indeed, as Ernie’s sight deteriorated due to cataracts, he has become increasingly reliant on Elmo, who is white and therefore just about visible, to guide him around.Mrs Timberlake said: “He’ll call for him if he goes out of his range and Elmo goes straight to him. They sleep together at night and are firm friends.”She acknowledged that it was likely thanks to Elmo’s company that he was still waddling on at such a ripe old age.“If you have somebody keeping you going, it always helps,” she added.The family recently sent off an application form to Guinness World Records to ensure his name goes down in history. To verify that Ernie can take the title of the oldest living duck, they will require independent witness statements to testify his age, a vet’s statement and photos or video footage of the duck through the years, as well as its size, breed and age. Ernie aged two days old read more

When Nelson Mandela danced to The Corrs in Galway video

first_imgIN 2003, NELSON Mandela visited Ireland when we hosted the Special Olympics.As part of his visit, he travelled to NUI Galway to receive an honorary degree.The Corrs played at an event after the ceremony. Nelson Mandela was, quite literally, first on the dancefloor.He rolled out his trademark dance – known as the Madiba Jive – for those in attendance. Source: rockartMEDIAHe wasn’t alone on the dancefloor for long.RIP Nelson Mandela.via RedditNelson Mandela’s funeral to be held December 15>‘We are in struggle because we value life and love all humanity’: Mandela’s address to the Dáil>last_img read more

Whats the range of the Wii Us gamepad

first_imgNintendo boss, Iwata, has interviewed his colleagues that made the gamepad possible, to give a better understanding of how it works and answer that all important question — what’s the range of the Wii U’s gamepad?The Wii U gamepad acts as a wireless receiver for images sent from the Wii U itself and therefore needs to receive the images in real time, without any latency issues. In fact, to get round these issues the people at Nintendo had to get outside help in order to achieve something no one else has before.There is no clear answer on the range of the Wii U’s gamepad, it entirely depends on how your house is built. In certain games, you can continue playing your game without the TV so if someone wants to watch something on TV, you can keep playing on your gamepad. However it is recommended that you continue playing in the same room with no other objects in your way to avoid the signal being interrupted.Iwata said it is possible to continue playing a game while having a wall in between the gamepad and the Wii U but it depends what that wall is made of. As the signals being sent from the Wii U to the gamepad are radio waves, these waves can be affected when they have to go through something such as water or steel but a single wall should be ok.Bill Trinen from Nintendo America recently suggested using the gamepad 24 feet away (8 meters) for the best performance but it is recommended you simply test how far you can take your gamepad, when you get a Wii U, without losing the signal.via Iwata Askslast_img read more

Archbishop Stylianos affirms the sanctity of organ donation

first_imgHis Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, has recently affirmed the sanctity of organ and tissue donation in conjunction with the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA). Chief executive of the OTA Ms Yael Cass welcomed Archbishop Stylianos’ support for the affirmation of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in organ and tissue donation and states that the “majority of religions allow and even encourage organ and tissue donation as the ultimate act of generosity, so we urge those who observe a faith to seek guidance from their religious leaders on this matter”.Archbishop Stylianos further states that: “Our Church and our archdiocese in Australia support organ and tissue donation as a selfless act of giving. Human life can be bettered through the humanitarian act of donation and transplantation while preserving the sanctity of life. We have the word of God as our guide which says ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35).”Ms Cass looks forward to working closely with the archdiocese in order to inform priests across Australia about organ and tissue donation to enable them to guide their communities on the issue.For more information visit Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

A museum of ancient technology opens in Athens

first_imgAchievements of ancient Greek technology are featured in Athens newest museum. Created by Patras-based engineer Kostas Kotsanas the “Museum of Ancient Greek Technology” features reproductions of ancient mechanic constructions of the Classical and Hellenistic Period. The museum’s exhibits cover a vast array range of mechanisms and instruments, from automations and time recording, to mapping, astronomy and encryption.The museum is a labor of love spanning over three decades of studies for its creator, who is the author of six books on ancient Greek technology. Before relocating to Kolonaki, at an impressive three-story art nouveau manor, it was based in the small city of Katakolo in Peloponese, where Kotsanas has also established the Museum of Ancient Greek Musical Instruments and Toys – he has also created the Archimedes Museum in Olympia.The exhibition area is about ​​700 square meters, housing the permanent exhibition “The High-Tech Inventions of the Ancient Greeks”, which includes more than 100 exhibits – copies of ancient Greek machines and other inventions, all functional and most of them interactive. Among the impressive exhibits some stand out, most notably Heron’s wind sphere (mankind’s first locomotive steam machine), the astrolabe of Ptolemy, the first sonar warning mechanism in history, the first autonomous flying machine, the hydraulic clock of Ctesibius, and of course, a copy of the Antikythera mechanism, the putative first computer of mankind.Visitors can also see the separate exhibition of ancient Greek musical instruments, the collection comprised of 42 reconstructed operative instruments, such as Pythagoras’ helikon and Hermes’ lyre.Apart from the two permanent exhibitions, the museum will present periodical exhibitions on ancient Greek technology, engineering and science, while also hosting various educational programs and workshops for children and adults.  Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

British experts visit toxic lake to find Cyprus serial killers victims

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram British forensic experts have visited the toxic lake where a 35-year-old Cyprus military captain had told police he had dumped three victims inside suitcases. The Cypriot police chief and other investigators briefed experts from Scotland Yard on the investigations so far regarding the killings of seven foreign women, including two girls.One suitcase has already been lifted out of the lake where the body of an adult woman was found inside, weighted down by a cement block. Authorities have not found the other two bodies believed to be in suitcases inside the lake due to poor visibility in the lake.A robotic camera is being used, however other options will be examined if the current method fails to yield more results. A high-tech sonar device would be used to provide detailed images of the bottom of the lake, and will also be used at another reservoir where a dumped child’s body is believed to be.Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told the media that the evidence so far has not indicated that the suspect is linked to any more than seven people he has already confessed to killing. Only one victim has been positively identified, that of 38-year-old Marry Rose Tiburcio from the Philippines. The suspect said that her 6-year-old daughter, Sierra, was dumped in the reservoir.last_img read more

Camila Cabello Reveals SelfTitled Debut Album Release Date

first_img Camila Cabello Reveals Self-Titled Debut Album Release Date The “Havana” singer/songwriter revealed the news via her Instagram.”Thank you for being so patient with me this year. I can’t wait for you to hear what has been the soundtrack to the past year of my life,” she said. “All of these songs have special memories behind them, and I’m not gonna lie, it feels emotional letting them go; feels like the end of a chapter … It’s in your hands January 12.” News Email NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Sep 20, 2017 – 3:14 pm Camila Cabello: Healing Pain Through Music Facebook center_img Learn When Camila Cabello Will Release Her Album camila-cabello-reveals-self-titled-debut-album-release-date According to Billboard, Camila the album will be available for pre-order beginning Dec. 7. Those who order early will also get two instant download tracks — “Never Be The Same” and “Real Friends.”Apple Music: Watch Classic GRAMMY Pop PerformancesRead more Twitter The “Havana” singer/songwriter revealed her debut solo album is finally finished and will be available soonRenée FabianGRAMMYs Dec 5, 2017 – 5:04 pm Good news today for Camila Cabello fans. She announced via Instagram that her debut solo self-titled album will be dropping Jan. 12, 2018.last_img read more

With fall chum opening Marshall and Russian mission urging Maserculiq to fix

first_imgThe first commercial fishing opening for fall chum starts Wednesday for Marshall and Russian Mission, but still no solution has been found for the villages’ broken ice machine.Listen nowMaserculiq’s broken ice machine (Photo courtesy of Nick P. Andrew Jr.)Marshall’s Maserculiq Native Corporation owns the machine but has made no effort to fix it since the compressor quit working two weeks ago. Replacing the part would cost $15,000.Fishermen and shareholders are meeting with Maserculiq on Tuesday via teleconference to urge them to fix the problem.St. Mary’s-based Boreal Fisheries can buy the chum, but only with the right ice.  Owners Randy and Edna Crawford won’t send a boat to pick up the fish unless it’s in flake ice, which fishermen can’t make at home and which Edna calls a necessary industry standard.“It has to be flake ice,” Edna Crawford said, “because that’s the only way you’re going to keep the temperature of the fish down, especially with the weather we’ve had over here.”Without ice, fishermen face a tough decision: don’t fish, or boat 60 miles and back to get ice from Boreal.Since the machine broke, Marshall commercial fisherman Leonard Fitka Sr. has missed two fishing openings. He’s been boating the four and a half hours to fetch ice and fears the trips are unsustainable.“Fishermen are working harder, staying up longer, [spending] more time away from family. It’s hurting the economy,” Fitka said.Fishermen in Russian Mission travel even further for ice. Myron Edwards, a commercial fisherman there, says with gas over four dollars a gallon he won’t make a profit, and he doesn’t know when he’s going to fish next.“We’re not too sure how we’re going to do this,” Edwards said. “Some of us don’t have enough money to pay for gas to pitch in for one boat to go all the way up to Boreal to pick up ice.”The Crawfords, who own Boreal, have known the commercial fishermen in Marshall and Russian Mission for decades and have built a close relationship with them. Boreal has provided free labor multiple times to fix their ice machine, and last year the Crawfords donated a generator. They run a small operation and Randy Crawford says they’ve done all they can.“Edna and I are really frustrated because we’ve put so much effort into it, and we can give no more,” he said.Boreal pays an average of $400,000 a year to Marshall fishermen. Randy says it’s an important part of the Marshall economy and he wants Maserculiq to invest in its community.Marshall commercial fisherman Nick Andrew Jr. has sent letters to shareholders and fishermen in Marshall and Russian Mission asking them to attend Tuesday’s meeting.“We are imploring the village corporation for them to take ownership and invest in the ice machine,” Andrew said.The Maserculiq CEO and board members did not respond to KYUK’s emails asking about the machine.last_img read more

Iran vows to respond to UK detaining oil tanker

first_imgTEHRAN: Iran’s defence minister vowed Monday to respond to Britain detaining an oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, local media reported. The tanker’s seizure “will not be tolerated by us and will not go without a response,” said Amir Hatami, as quoted by semi-official news agency ISNA and Tasnim news agency. “This move is against international regulations and a kind of a maritime piracy,” he added, speaking at a ceremony at Bandar Abbas port in southern Iran. Also Read – EAM Jaishankar calls on European Parliament President David Sassoli Advertise With Us The 330-metre (1,000-feet) Grace 1, capable of carrying two million barrels of oil, was halted Thursday by police and customs agencies in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain’s southern tip. Authorities in Gibraltar said they suspected the tanker was carrying crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Tehran denies this and claims the vessel was intercepted in international waters. Also Read – This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax Advertise With Us Gibraltar’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that the tanker can be held for 14 more days, the territory’s attorney general said. The vessel’s detention came at a sensitive time in Iran-EU ties as the bloc mulls how to respond to Tehran breaching the uranium enrichment limit it agreed to in the troubled 2015 nuclear deal.last_img read more

In The US Flu Season Could Be Unusually Harsh This Year

first_img Share Pascal Pochard-Casabianca/AFP/Getty ImagesAustralia had a particularly hard flu season this year, which may predict similar challenges for the U.S.Health officials are warning that the United States may have an unusually harsh flu season this year.But they stress that flu seasons are notoriously difficult to predict, and it’s far too early to know for sure what may happen.The concern stems from several factors, including signs that the season started a few weeks earlier than usual. “When you have an early start with regional outbreaks, that is generally not a good sign,” says Anthony Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Sometimes that’s the forerunner of a serious season.”An early start could mean a longer season, which could mean more people end up getting infected with the flu.Another reason for concern is that Australia had a severe flu season this year.“We generally follow in our season what happened in the Southern Hemisphere, such as in Australia,” Fauci says. “And Australia had a particularly bad influenza season for a number of reasons.”A major reason for Australia’s struggle is that the main strain of flu circulating there was one known as H3N2. That kind of flu virus tends to make people sicker than other strains, especially the elderly.To make things worse, the flu vaccine appears to have been only about 10 percent effective against that strain in Australia. Part of the reason for that is that flu strains are constantly changing and the H3N2 strain used to make the vaccine mutated during production of the vaccine. This weakened the shot’s effectiveness.“The mutation just happened to be in a very bad spot on the virus to make it essentially be a mismatch for the vaccine,” Fauci says.The United States is using the same vaccine, and an H3N2 strain appears to be dominating outbreaks in this country so far too.“It looks like not only are we using the same vaccine, but the virus that was circulating in Australia appears to be the same virus that we’re starting to see now in the outbreaks in the United States,” Fauci says.But it could also turn out that the vaccine could be far more effective in the United States than it was in Australia, according to Brendan Flannery, an epidemiologist at the influenza division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.That’s because a slightly different H3N2 strain could end up dominating in this country, for example. Another possibility is that other flu strains could become more common. The vaccine provides stronger protection against those.“It could be that we’re going to have a severe season — and we have to prepare for that,” Flannery says. “But it’s early to make a prediction for this season.”U.S. officials also think they have a better system than Australia for estimating vaccine effectiveness. Last year, the vaccine was 32 percent effective against the H3N2 flu strain in the United States.Another factor in America’s favor is that “the U.S. population overall is more highly vaccinated than the Australian population,” says Lynnette Brammer, another CDC epidemiologist. “So you may get some indirect effects of more people being vaccinated here.”Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, also noted that there’s evidence that Australia didn’t use antiviral drugs as aggressively as it could have when treating the flu.Regardless of what happens this year in the United States, infectious disease experts say it remains crucial that as many people get vaccinated as possible.“They need to get it not only to protect themselves but so that they don’t spread it around to other people — their loved ones, folks at the gym, and at work and at religious services — who are more vulnerable,” says William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. “No one wants to be a dreaded spreader.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Retailer GAME to offer gaming hotel suites in London

first_imgIn the UK, GAME is just an ordinary video games retailer, similar to GameStop. But that is changing, as the company has announced they are launching a gaming hotel suite in London.It’s called the GAME Pad and it’s designed for gamers who are sick of being interrupted during their play time and just want to get away from it all. It’s £199 ($320) a night, which is quite pricey, but you get a lot for your money. The suite includes three different gaming zones, one featuring an Xbox 360 Best Price at Amazon , another with a PS3 and the last one holding a Wii U. In each gaming zone you get a 40-inch TV and several of the latest games to play, such as Call of Duty Blacks Ops II and Halo 4. If you get sick of playing games there’s another TV that can be used for watching whatever you like when you need to give your thumbs a rest.During your stay you don’t ever need to leave your room thanks to the food provided. You get a fully stocked fridge containing a healthy diet of pizza, snacks, beer, wine, and soft drinks. When you’ve finished pigging out, you can crash on the king size bed. So that $320 a night gets you games, consoles, a fridge full of goodies, and finally breakfast the next morning, which isn’t too bad if you want to treat yourself.It’s a bit odd for a games retailer to offer up a hotel room to stay in, but it might turn out to be a pretty good idea. We all get annoyed at our partners bugging us while we game, the phone ringing, people coming to the door, etc and this could be an escape from that. It’s an expensive treat for yourself mind you and can you bring your own consoles? As I’d like to earn some trophies on my own system.If you’re interested in booking a night in the GAME Pad, you can stay there from January 2013 at the Staybridge Suites in Stratford.More at GAME, via MCVlast_img read more

Scientists demonstrate first colortunable and first graphenebased LED

first_img Graphene quantum dot LEDs Citation: Scientists demonstrate first color-tunable and first graphene-based LED (2015, July 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Nature Communications Instead of having a bandgap somewhere in between GO and rGO, the partially reduced interfacial GO actually has many different intermediate bandgaps as a result of how the blending occurs—not as a smooth transition, but in the form of rGO nanoclusters embedded within the GO layer. Because these rGO nanoclusters are reduced to varying degrees at the interface, they exhibit variations in their energy levels and, consequently, in the color of emitted light. These energy levels can be easily modulated by changing the applied voltage or by chemical doping, which selectively stimulates a single color of luminescence and enables tuning of the LED’s color.”We found that a combination of GO and rGO can create a conductive and wide bandgap material,” Ren told “It is commonly known that graphene does not have a bandgap. Therefore we were all surprised that our GO/rGO interface (a graphene-based system) can actually be luminescent.” Commercial expectationsThe fact that this is the first observation of luminescence in a graphene-based system paves the way toward using graphene as a light source in future graphene-based photonic devices. A color-tunable LED has also been highly desired for high-quality LED displays and light fixtures. Because the color changes in response to certain chemicals, the devices could also have sensing applications. “Graphene-based, color-tunable LEDs can enable the realization of flexible display technologies that can cover the entire visible spectrum,” Ren said. “Conventional LEDs only emit a fixed wavelength of light and thus display technologies require a mixture of red, green, and blue LEDs. If a graphene-based, color-tunable LED is used, a full-color and flexible display can be realized in a simple way. A wide range of consumer and medical electronics can benefit from such a technology.”In their work, the researchers designed, fabricated, and tested 20 graphene-based LEDs. Overall, the devices demonstrated good brightness but low efficiency, which they plan to improve. Another drawback of the current prototype is a very short emission lifetime of less than a minute or so in ambient conditions and about 2 hours in vacuum. The researchers attribute the short lifetime to oxidation in the air and predict that protective coatings may improve this area.Despite the room for improvement, the researchers expect the graphene-based LEDs to have encouraging commercial prospects due to several advantages, including their precise color tunability, compact structure, and straightforward fabrication.”The efficiency of the graphene LED could be improved further,” Ren said. “One way to achieve this would be by using n-type [semiconductor] materials combined with graphene. The short lifetime could also be improved by vacuum sealing. Commercialization may be expected in a few years since our method is simple and low-cost. As with any other technological development coming out of a lab, challenges exist; however, we believe these challenges can be overcome in the near future. We believe that graphene-based, color-tunable LEDs are a promising technology for flexible displays.” So it’s quite remarkable that in a new study, scientists have demonstrated an LED that not only can be tuned to emit different colors of light, but can do so across nearly the entire visible spectrum: from blue (450-nm wavelength) to red (750-nm wavelength)—basically all colors but the darkest blues and violets.The key to achieving the color-tunable LED is making it out of graphene—the same material that has led to groundbreaking research in a number of areas, from batteries to solar cells to semiconductors. Despite graphene’s success in these areas, graphene-based LEDs have never been realized before now, making the new device the first-ever graphene-based LED in addition to being the first color-tunable LED. Applications of the new LED include high-quality, color-tunable LED displays for TVs and mobile devices, color-tunable LED light fixtures, and the potential for a variety of future graphene-based photonic devices. Blending two forms of grapheneThe researchers, led by Professor Tian-Ling Ren at Tsinghua University in Beijing, made the light-emitting material from the interface of two different forms of graphene. These forms are graphene oxide (GO), which is produced from inexpensive graphite, and reduced graphene oxide (rGO), which is a more pristine form of GO. (Top) The light-emitting layer lies at the interface between graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO). (Bottom) Typical electroluminescent spectra of a single graphene-based LED. Credit: Wang, et al. ©2015 Nature © 2015 Lying at the interface of the GO and rGO is a special type of partially reduced GO that has optical, physical, and chemical properties that lie somewhere in between those of GO and rGO. The most important “blended” property of the interfacial layer is that it has a series of discrete energy levels, which ultimately allows for the emission of light at many different energies, or colors. The occurrence of this property is especially interesting because, on their own, neither GO nor rGO (or any other known form of graphene, for that matter) can emit any light at all. This is because neither material has the right size “bandgap,” which is the gap between two energy bands that electrons must jump across to conduct electricity or emit light. While GO has an extremely large bandgap, rGO has a zero bandgap. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The graphene-based LED’s color depends on the applied voltage. The red and blue diagrams show electrons excited to different energy levels, corresponding to different photon energies and therefore different colors of light emission. Credit: Wang, et al. ©2015 Nature Explore further More information: Xiaomu Wang, et al. “A spectrally tunable all-graphene-based flexible field-effect light-emitting device.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8767 (—Currently, all light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emit light of only one color, which is predefined during fabrication. So far, tuning the color of light produced by a single LED has never been realized, despite numerous attempts.last_img read more

Extortion Over 50000 Twitter Handle Sets a Chilling Precedent

first_img 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Twitterverse, take heed: The caché of possessing a highly sought-after Twitter handle has apparently escalated to the extent that hackers are now prepared to extort users for access to their usernames.The California web developer Naoki Hiroshima, for instance, says he was offered as much as $50,000 for his account, @N, while attempts to steal the name were recurrent. In a post published today, he recounts the cunning and systematic machinations that ultimately forced him to relinquish @N after a hacker compromised both his PayPal and GoDaddy accounts.Hiroshima had registered @N back in 2007. His new handle? @N_is_stolen.Related: The Only Thing Scarier Than Self-Driving Cars Are the Hackers Waiting to Attack Them Initial attempts to access the account were fairly pedestrian. A hacker contacted Hiroshima through Facebook messages asking him to change his Twitter login info, and then e-mailed Twitter in an attempt to reset the email address and password.When Twitter demanded more information, the hacker set his sights on Hiroshima’s GoDaddy account, which comprised various domain names that he’d paid for with a credit card attached to a PayPal account. Here’s where it gets scary: The hacker later admitted in an email to Hiroshima that he’d simply called PayPal and “used some very simple engineering tactics” on one of its agents to obtain the last four digits of Hiroshima’s credit card over the phone.Related: Uh, Did Your Refrigerator Just Send Me an Internet Virus? Then, in order to poach the GoDaddy account, the hacker told a GoDaddy agent that, “I had lost the card but I remembered the last four.” In a terrifying turn, the agent then allowed the hacker to simply guess the first two digits of the card number — all that was needed in order to gain complete access to Hiroshima’s domains. “I got it in the first call,” the hacker later admitted — part warning, part boast. “Most agents will just keep trying until they get it.”According to Hiroshima, the experience sets a chilling precedent: “To avoid their imprudence from destroying your digital life,” he wrote, “don’t let companies such as PayPal and GoDaddy store your credit card information.”Related: Target’s Security Breach Stresses the Need for Better Cyber Security January 29, 2014center_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »last_img read more