NGT forms panel to oversee facilities in Amarnath

first_imgComing down heavily on the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing enough infrastructure to devotees, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday constituted a committee of experts to maintain the “sanctity of the shrine”.Directing the board to build eco-friendly washrooms, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatatnter Kumar said: “There are no proper facilities for toilets. Do you even know how humiliating this is for women? You have allowed shops on the path near the shrine. You are giving priority to commercial activities over pilgrims.”The panel asked the committee to consider the construction of an iron bridge from Panchawati to the steps of the shrine in order to protect the glaciers. The tribunal also directed the authority to remove an iron rod from the cave to facilitate devotees offering prayers. The NGT has also asked the committee to take enough measures to ensure that pilgrims did not pollute the cave with the material they carried inside.The committee set up by the green panel is headed by the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and comprises scientists, officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Board, petitioner Gauri Maulekhi and others.The committee has been asked to file a report before the tribunal by the first week of December on aspects like providing proper paths for devotees.On Monday, while hearing Ms. Maulekhi’s plea, the NGT capped the number of devotees at Vaishno Devi to 50,000 a day. The directions came after the petitioner had alleged that due to the increasing number of devotees at shrines, the ecosystem was being damaged.last_img read more

BC taxi group urges province to take slow and cautious route on

first_imgVANCOUVER – The B.C. Taxi Association says it has found an app to meet customer demands across the province, making the need for ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft unnecessary.But an Uber spokesman said Monday hundreds of thousands of people in B.C. have already accessed their app in the search for reliable and affordable services.The association and Uber are among numerous industry representatives and experts who are appearing before an all-party legislature committee this week in Vancouver on the future of ride-hailing services in the province.Taxi association president Mohan Kang said ride-sharing services could “destroy” the taxi industry and put drivers out of work.He told the committee a single ride-sharing app that allows people to book rides should be approved by the government. The association is endorsing an app called Kater, developed in B.C., that would be used by taxi companies.“I believe it will serve the consumers better if there’s one app,” Kang said, adding that a single app would also prevent the oversupply of taxis.“If there are too many, then it will become like a deregulated state. There has to be some sort of cap to ensure the guys are making enough money for (their) livelihood.”The Green party has been pushing for ride sharing, but the NDP and Liberals have said further study is needed to look at the impact on the industry.Green Leader Andrew Weaver said ride sharing in B.C. is long overdue.“There’s no question we are lagging the rest of the world,” said Weaver, who is a member of the committee. “Vancouver is the only major jurisdiction in all of North America, and one of the few in the world, that does not have some form of riding-hailing.”Michael van Hemmen, public policy manager with Uber Canada, told the committee there is huge demand for reliable and affordable ride sharing.“Since 2015, over half a million residents and tourists have downloaded or opened the app here in British Columbia,” he said.The company wants the province to implement regulations similar to those previously proposed by Weaver in the legislature that would allow ride sharing to operate in B.C.“A provincial framework is key because there is no reason there should be different safety rules or restrictions in each of the 20-plus municipalities across Metro Vancouver or dozen municipalities in the capital (Victoria) region,” van Hemmen said.Taxis and ride sharing have managed to co-exist in other markets, van Hemmen said, and the service could come to B.C. if regulatory changes are made to insurance policies, drivers licence requirements and vehicle inspection standards.“Ride sharing won’t happen unless there is a workable insurance product,” he said.The company wants an insurance system that would allow personal vehicles to be insured as commercial vehicles only for the duration — measured by distance — that a ride is being provided.Drivers would only need a standard licence, rather than a commercial-class licence, to provide rides and the rigour of vehicle inspections should reflect the occasional nature of ride sharing, van Hemmen said.The B.C. Taxi Association said if ride-sharing services are allowed to operate, they need to be held to the same regulatory standards as taxi companies. Kang said there should also be a standardized base rate to create a fair playing field for all operators.Representatives from the ride-sharing service Lyft are also scheduled to make their case to the committee. The hearings will continue through Wednesday and a report is expected to be released next month.— Follow @Givetash on Twitter.last_img read more

The US Is Twice As Likely To Win The World Cup As

“Time heals all wounds” is kind of a nonsense saying when it comes to sports. If it were true, rivalries wouldn’t exist and 35-year-olds on the brink of retirement wouldn’t hang on for one last World Cup. More than half the likely starters on the U.S. and Japanese national teams in the Women’s World Cup final this Sunday were there for the agony and ecstacy — depending which team you were on — of the 2011 final game, when Japan defeated the U.S. on penalty kicks. Japan now has a chance to repeat history, and join Germany and the U.S. as the only countries to win two World Cup titles. The U.S. is looking to break its 16-year World Cup drought and secure its place in history as the greatest World Cup dynasty of all time (in either the women’s or men’s game).This championship game might not be the greatest of all time, but it’s one with a lot of still-fresh wounds, so here’s a look at how it’s shaping up.Things are more even than they seemBack in 2011, some betting lines put Japan’s chances of beating the U.S. around 28 percent, not so far from where they are this time around. Coming off a huge semifinal win over Germany, FiveThirtyEight’s model says the Americans should win 67 percent of the time, but the two teams’ performances in this World Cup have been pretty similar. Both teams have created the same number of chances (59) and scored the same number of goals (nine), despite having traveled very different paths to the final.It’s likely that goals won’t come easily for either side. The U.S. hasn’t been scored on since its opening game, and Japan has conceded only three goals in six games (one of which was an egregious keeper error). It may very well come down to who can capitalize on the few good opportunities the defense allows, and which team doesn’t miss early chances like the U.S. did in the 2011 final.A battle of two very different stylesJapan is arguably the most technical team in the world; it has had the highest pass completion percentage of any team at the World Cup (80 percent compared to the Americans’ 74 percent) and its players have touched the ball and attempted almost 1.5 times as many passes as the U.S. players. Japan plays a quick, one-and-two-touch style of soccer that is different from the styles of most teams the U.S. has faced so far. The closest comparison is probably Colombia — and the U.S. struggled a bit to win the ball back in the midfield in that game.Where the U.S. will excel against Japan is with its physicality and speed; by pressuring the defense and surprising Japan by playing the ball in behind. This is how the first U.S. goal came at the 2011 World Cup: The midfield collapsed to win the ball back, Megan Rapinoe played a long ball in behind, and Alex Morgan outran her defender and scored with just two touches. In the semifinal game against England this year, Japan struggled when the Lionesses pressured and stepped to win the ball back, and the U.S. must do the same thing if it hopes to break down Japan’s tremendous organization. The Americans are undoubtedly faster and stronger than Japan, but they’ll also need to be able to win the ball from a team that hardly loses it.Slow and steady wins the race (at least for one team)Both teams’ chances of winning didn’t change significantly throughout the tournament aside from a bump after the semifinal games; the U.S. hovered around 30 percent and Japan around 10 percent for the majority of the World Cup. Neither team looked stellar during the group stage — eyes were on Germany, France and even Brazil’s early dominance — but these are the two teams that have made it to the World Cup final.“These are two talented teams with a lot of history and rivalry, and I think it will be a classic matchup,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said about Sunday’s final. The score in head-to-head matchups is one to one right now — one World cup victory for Japan to one Olympic gold medal for the U.S. — but everyone knows a World Cup trophy tastes sweeter than gold. read more

Nassau population swells New Constituency proposed

first_img Recommended for you American tourist claims #MeToo after alleged sexual assault in Grand Turk Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, Bahamas, February 10, 2017 – The proposal is for The Bahamas to now have 39 constituencies, no loner 38 and that is partly due to the fact that the population in Nassau has swelled by a huge 6.9% in just five years.Of the 39 seats, Nassau will now have 24, Freeport remains with five and the Family Islands with 10.  The new constituency is called St Barnabas and takes 11 polling stations from surrounding areas including Ft. Charlotte, Centerville and Englerston.  It includes Wulff Road, East Street, Thompson Boulevard, Lightbourne Avenue, Maxwell Avenue and Haven Avenue.The  Revision of Boundaries and Re-Distribution of Seats Order 2017 which was tabled in the House on Thursday, also offers that the constituency we know as Montagu in Nassau should be changed to Freetown.#MagnetiMediaNews Multi-millionaire Barbados businessmen arrested in $3m drug bust, yacht suspected in drug trafficking Sint Maarten to close Kim Sha Marketplace to make way for future construction Related Items:#magnetimedianewslast_img read more

Courtois explains the pressure at Madrid

first_imgThe Belgian goalkeeper knows that defending the goal of Real Madrid is the most difficult job in the football world.A goalkeeper’s job is very difficult. Not only you are the last line of defense against the rivals, but you are also in constant pressure.This is why Thibaut Courtois feels there’s a lot of pressure when playing for Real Madrid.“Whenever a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it almost always ends up in a goal, so there is always pressure,” he told UEFA.“There’s pressure here at Madrid, but I don’t think that changes whichever club you’re playing for,” he added.“You have to focus at all times.”“When we’re attacking, it is very important to be alert, to play behind the defensive line; if it’s a high defensive line then you need to get further upfield,” he continued.“You need to play in the space and stop those balls getting through; for example against Roma [in the group stage], I had to come out of the area two or three times to stop the counter. That’s when you need to be alert and that’s why you always need to be concentrating.”“Over the last ten years, a lot more has been asked of goalkeepers – to be good with your feet, play in the space – when maybe it was not like this 20 years ago,” he continued.Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“Even so, when I played at Genk as a child, they asked you to play with your feet from a very young age.”“It also depends on the team you play for, whether they’re only looking to play long balls or to play out from the back,” he explained.“Being a goalkeeper nowadays is much more than making saves on the line – it’s also about playing into space, playing with your feet, and reducing the distance between yourself and the defense. It’s a little of everything.”“It’s the same for every match: I watch videos of the team’s attacking routines, I watch the penalties, I look at the mistakes, I see how the strikers finish,” he said when preparing for matches.“That doesn’t change, whether it’s the Champions League, the Liga, or a cup tie.”“They have a good team with a mix of experience and young talent and I think they play good football. They will come and play open. They won’t defend; that’s their style, they play football,” the goalkeeper concluded talking about Ajax.Great teamwork pays off. Proud of our team for jumping to second place. A big thanks to all our fans in the world for cheering us on #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/cqTRiS1GC4— Thibaut Courtois (@thibautcourtois) February 10, 2019last_img read more

Scheduled Seward Highway Closures Canceled Due To Extreme Weather

first_imgSeward Highway drivers should expect intermittent road closures and flagging operations at mile 68.7, the Turnagain Pass area, throughout the night due to flooding. The road closures were scheduled to start this evening, Oct. 24, to replace culverts under the road. This work will now take place next spring. Original Story: http://www.radiokenai.us/reminder-overnight-closures-on-the-seward-highway-start-today/ Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Due to extreme weather on the Seward Highway, scheduled road closures for mile 84.6 and 86.1 has been cancelled according a release from the Department of Transportation.  Workers will be pumping water across the road, so both lanes need to be closed for the work. For updates, visit 511.Alaska.gov.last_img read more

Alitas Christoph Waltz sets aside acting techniques for FX blockbusters

first_imgAlita: Battle Angel is packed with cutting-edge visual effects, which means everybody involved had to be on top of their game — and that goes for the actors too, according to Christoph Waltz.Oscar-winning actor Waltz plays a cybernetics expert who nurtures a young cyborg in Iron City, a dystopian future metropolis ruled over by a distant elite floating high above in the sky. It’s an action-packed sci-fi extravaganza laced with political themes about inequality. Filmmakers Waltz trained as an actor in Vienna and New York in the 1970s, studying method acting with legendary teachers Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler. According to Waltz, Strasberg admitted teaching acting was a way of making money, and so Waltz doesn’t romanticise thespian techniques — especially when there’s thousands of dollars at stake during a shoot. With hundreds of technicians and crews standing by, Waltz emphasises that actors have to be focused and prepared.Alita was developed by legendary director James Cameron, who Waltz calls the éminence grise of sci-fi action. But Cameron was busy with the planned Avatar sequels, so Robert Rodriguez took over. Waltz describes how the pair complemented each other with their different styles.Alita: Battle Angel is released in the UK on 6 February and the US on 14 February.Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers.  3:46 Alita: Battle Angel’s Christoph Waltz reveals why acting… Post a comment TV and Movies 0 Now playing: Watch this: Tags Share your voicelast_img read more

SC extends Subrata Roys parole asks Sahara Group to deposit Rs 5092

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Sahara Group to deposit Rs 5,092 crore for its chief Subrata Roy’s bail by selling 13 of its properties. The court also said they may be granted more time if the group were unable to sell these properties by April 7. Meanwhile, the court also extended Roy’s parole till April 17.The SC also asked the Ghaziabad Development Authority to compensate the Sahara Group with Rs. 1,112 crore for acquiring 91 acres of the latter’s land. The money has to be deposited by the Ghaziabad Development Authority on behalf of Sahara. The next court hearing is on April 17.The Sahara Group also gave the SC a list of properties that it wishes to sell for repayment, which the court agreed to. The SC also ordered global real estate company MG Holdings to deposit Rs 750 crore to prove its bonafide for buying Sahara’s share in New York’s Plaza Hotel. MG Holdings told the court that it would pay $550 million for buying Sahara shares in Plaza Hotel.The apex court had earlier ordered that the group’s prime property worth Rs 39,000 crore at Aamby Valley in Pune be attached in an ongoing case against Roy.Roy was jailed on March 4, 2014, until he was granted a four-week custody parole on May 6, 2016, to perform his mother’s last rites. The apex court had earlier extended the Sahara chief’s parole till November 28, 2016, after he deposited Rs 200 crore with the SEBI in October.In August 2012, two companies of the Sahara Group were ordered by the SC to deposit over Rs 24,000 crore to SEBI. The money was collected from around three crore investors, who invested in their optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) between 2008 and 2011, through issuance of certain bonds with 15 percent interest.Roy was sent to jail on March 4, 2014, after he failed to abide by the court’s order to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 crore. SEBI had said, earlier in February 2017, that the Sahara Group still has to pay Rs 14,779 crore towards principal.last_img read more

Court calls Nizam Hazaris MP status legal

first_imgNizam Uddin Hazari. File photoThe High Court on Thursday declared parliament membership of the Awami League’s Nizam Uddin Hazari legal, reports UNB.The single bench of justice Md Abu Zafar Siddique handed down the verdict rejecting the writ petition filed challenging the legality of his parliament membership.On 27 February, the same bench set Thursday for delivering its verdict on completion of the hearing, said Satyaranjon Mandal, lawyer of the petitioner.On 15 January, the single HC bench of justice Farid Ahmed felt embarrassed to hear the petition and sent it to the then acting chief justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah.Later, the acting chief justice assigned justice Md Abu Zafar Siddique for hearing and disposing of the petition.The High Court felt embarrassed for eight times to hear the writ petition and gave split orders once after hearing the pleas.On 6 December last year, an HC bench delivered the dissenting verdicts on the writ petition challenging the legality of AL MP Nizam Uddin Hazari’s parliament membership.Senior judge of the bench justice Md Emdadul Huq declared the election of the Feni-2 constituency MP illegal while junior judge justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan rejected the petition.In 2014, Shakhawat Hossain Bhuiyan, a Jubo League leader of Feni, filed the writ petition with the HC attaching a newspaper report of 10 May 2014, stating that Nizam Uddin Hazari had been awarded 10 years’ imprisonment in an arms case, but had been freed from prison two years and 10 months before his jail term was completed.last_img read more

Suu Kyi cancels public speech in Australia as feeling unwell

first_imgMyanmar`s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi (L) receives an official welcome on the forecourt during her visit to Parliament House in Canberra on 19 March 2018. Suu Kyi is in the Australian capital after attending the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)-Australia special summit in Sydney over the weekend. Photo: AFPMyanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday pulled out of a public speech and question-and-answer session in Sydney because she was “not feeling well”, the event’s organisers said.Suu Kyi has been under fire internationally for her public silence about a military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state that has seen nearly 700,000 of the Muslim Rohingya minority flee to Bangladesh.Suu Kyi, who attended a special ASEAN-Australia summit on Friday-Sunday, was in Canberra for talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Monday. She had been due to make a keynote speech at the Lowy Institute think-tank in Sydney Tuesday.The speech and subsequent Q and A session would have been the only public comments the Nobel Prize winner would have made during her Australia trip.“This afternoon the Lowy Institute was informed by the Myanmar embassy that the State Counsellor will no longer be able to participate in this event as she is not feeling well,” a spokeswoman for the think-tank said in a statement.“Accordingly, the event is now cancelled.”The Rohingya humanitarian crisis was one of the key topics at the special summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia, with other leaders quizzing her about the issue during a gathering Sunday, Turnbull said.Malaysia’s leader Najib Razak had warned Saturday that the issue could threaten regional security since those victimised could fall prey to extremist groups like the Islamic State.The exodus has sparked rare tension within the regional body, and Muslim-majority Malaysia has called for an independent ASEAN-led investigation into allegations of army abuse.Suu Kyi was the subject of public protests against human rights abuses during the summit, with demonstrators criticising her as well as Cambodian strongman Hun Sen and Vietnam’s Nguyen Xuan Phuc.last_img

Gas cylinder blast at school compound kills 1

first_imgA destroyed rickshaw-van is seen at the Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College ground in Mirpur 1, Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Ashraful AlamA man was killed and several people, including students, were injured after a gas cylinder exploded at Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College compound in Mirpur 1 area of the capital on Friday morning.Deceased Siddique, 60, was a balloon vendor.Balloons scattered after the explosion at the Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College ground in Mirpur 1, Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Ashraful AlamWitnesses said Siddique was selling gas-filled balloons near a temporary platform set up for the annual sports competition at the school compound.At a stage, the gas cylinder went off with a big bang around 8:00am, leaving Siddique and several others injured.One of the several injured students of Dhaka Education Board Laboratory School and College ground in Mirpur 1, Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Ashraful AlamFatally injured Siddique was taken to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital where physicians declared him dead on arrival, said Selimuzzaman, officer-in-charge of Darus Salam police station.Wife of deceased balloon vendor cries at Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital in Dhaka on Friday. Photo: Zahidul KarimThe injured students were treated Delta Hospital, he added.last_img read more

Houston Health Department Knocks On 8000 Doors To Help Residents

first_imgListen Florian MartinKalicia Minor and Daniel Perez with the Houston Health Department knock on a door in a northwest Houston neighborhood.More than 200 employees from the city’s Health Department walk through Houston’s neighborhoods twice a year to hand out booklets with city resources.That includes information on the Zika virus, family planning and phone numbers for health and housing assistance or how to report potholes, for example.The Health Department’s Porfirio Villarreal said the program also helps the city.“We make sure that we get information as, like, what type of services they need, what exactly they’re seeing in their community,” he said. “And that helps us make sure we plan correctly for future programs.”And sometimes, the city employees turn out to be first responders.On Thursday, they went to an apartment and found a senior woman who had been lying on her bathroom floor for more than a day.Kalicia Minor said they quickly got help.“Had we not gone, no one would have known that she was there,” she said.The woman was dehydrated but other than that was OK, Minor said.City employees are visiting about 8,000 homes between May 5 and 7.         Florian Martin230 employees with the Houston Health Department are going door to door to pass out information on city resources. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share X 00:00 /00:00last_img read more

Texas Border Patrol Agent Charged In Deaths Of Woman Child

first_img Share APThis undated photo provided by the Laredo Police Department shows Ronald Anthony Burgo Aviles. Texas authorities say Burgos Aviles, a supervisor for the U.S. Border Patrol, killed his girlfriend and her 1-year-old child before calling 911 claiming to have discovered the bodies in a city park. Aviles was being held without bond Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in the Webb County jail on two counts of capital murder. (Laredo Police Department via AP) A supervisor for the U.S. Border Patrol killed a woman with whom he was romantically involved and her 1-year-old child before calling 911 claiming to have discovered the bodies near a park along the border with Mexico, Texas authorities said Tuesday.Ronald Anthony Burgos Aviles, 28, was being held without bond in the Webb County jail on two counts of capital murder.Joe Baeza, police spokesman in the border city of Laredo, said Burgos Aviles was identified as a person of interest within an hour of the 911 call Monday, but Baeza declined to elaborate.He said Grizelda Hernandez, 27, and her son, Dominick Alexander Hernandez, likely were killed Monday near the park, which is adjacent to the Rio Grande and just south of the World Trade Bridge that carries traffic between the U.S. and Mexico.Burgos Aviles and the woman were in a romantic relationship, Baeza said. The investigation will determine if Dominick was Burgos Aviles’ child.“This isn’t over,” Baeza said. “This investigation is just barely getting started.”Authorities declined to provide the manner of death for the two. Online jail records do not indicate an attorney for Burgos Aviles to answer the allegations.Burgos Aviles was a nine-year veteran of the Border Patrol, Baeza said, and had been promoted last year.Jason Owens, Border Patrol chief for the agency’s Laredo sector, said at a news conference Tuesday that the deaths represent a “horrific tragedy.”“The actions of this individual, if true, are both inexcusable and reprehensible,” Owens said. “No one is more sickened than we are at the thought of someone wearing this uniform committing such a heinous act.”Baeza said investigators are working to learn more about Burgos Aviles’ relationship with Hernandez and many other aspects of the case, such as whether the suspect acted alone or had help.Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said it’s too early to determine if prosecutors will seek the death penalty, adding that the case “is being given extreme priority.”last_img read more

Obama Says Dysfunction Under Trump Is Hurting US Security Prosperity

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /03:55 Listen 00:00 /21:39 Obama noted other causes for that division, then he pointed to the costs. He said one of the biggest revelations to him when he took office was the degree to which the U.S. underwrites international order.“If there’s a problem around the world, people do not call Moscow,” he said. “They do not call Beijing. They call Washington. Even our adversaries expect us to solve problems and expect us to keep things running.”And here he took a swipe at the current administration. Without naming President Trump, Obama talked about the costs of “dysfunction” in Washington, making it difficult to make decisions, and the undermining of career civil servants particularly in the State Department.Mike Stravato for Rice University’s Baker InstituteFrom left to right: James Baker III, Former President Barack Obama and Edward Djerejian.“That doesn’t just weaken our influence. It provides opportunities for disorder to start ramping up all around the world and ultimately makes us less safe and makes us less prosperous,” Obama said.That led the evening’s moderator, historian Jon Meacham, to pivot the discussion to how U.S. foreign policy has shifted under the current administration. Secretary Baker blasted Trump’s attacks on the alliances and institutions that helped the U.S. win the Cold War.“This president is right in one respect for sure,” Baker said. “NATO needs to, our European allies need to pay their way, what they’ve agreed to pay, and we shouldn’t be required forever to pick up the tab on that. But these institutions make America stronger, and we ought not to be running them down.” Those included not only military alliances but also economic institutions.Obama echoed the point. But he noted that supporters of that global model, himself included, became “a little too comfortable.”“We did not adapt quickly enough to the fact that there were people being left behind,” he said.Others had, and the results started playing out during Obama’s tenure, shaping the outcome of the 2016 election, and driving policy ever since. “You start getting politics that based on, ‘That person’s not like me, and it must be their fault.’ And you start getting a politics based on a nationalism that’s not pride in country but hatred for somebody on the other side of the border,” he said.Towards the end of the evening, Obama reflected on his time in the Oval Office, saying he and his predecessors shared a reverence for the office independent of themselves. He declined to mention his successor. X Listen Andrew Schneider/Houston Public MediaFormer President Barack Obama, speaking at Rice University’s Baker InstituteFormer President Barack Obama visited Houston last night. He spoke at Rice University’s Baker Institute at an event marking the think tank’s 25th anniversary. Joining Obama on stage was former Secretary of State James Baker. Much of the event focused on the importance of bipartisanship and how that had broken down in the years between when Baker came to Washington and when Obama took office. The two agreed that the changing media landscape played a big part.“In 1981, your news cycle was still governed by the stories that were going to be filed by the AP, Washington Post, maybe New York Times, and the three broadcast stations,” Obama said. Whether people got their news from Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley, they tended to agree on a common set of facts. That set a baseline around which both parties had to adapt and respond to.“By the time I take office,” Obama said, “what you increasingly have is a media environment in which, if you are a Fox News viewer, you have an entirely different reality than if you are a New York Times reader.” To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Sharelast_img read more

Black Film Comes to DC

first_imgBy Nyame-Kye Kondo, Special to the AFROThe D.C. Black Film industry is on a steady incline. In the last two years, big advancements have been made to enrich African-American cinematic culture in the nation’s capitol; 2017 was especially important because it was the inaugural year of the DC Black Film Festival. A groundbreaking media platform, the DC Black Film festival is helping to reshape Black cinema along with the African-American film festival that will be taking place at various Smithsonian locations this fall.The first of its kind in the District, the DC Black Film Festival’s mission is to provide people of the African diaspora with a new resource to express themselves, and to ultimately get their work recognized on larger media platforms. The DC Black Film Festival is important because it gives D.C.’s own filmmakers a chance to interact and engage with other Black filmmakers from all over the country, while also setting a new standard for Black film in the District of Columbia.“Boom For Real” is a new film featured in the Smithsonian African American Film Festival. (Courtesy Photo)When interviewed for DCist, DC Black Film Festival founder Kevin Sampson said, “We only get a certain amount of films each year led by an African American. I realized there are a lot of screenwriters and directors out there trying to do the work—but they don’t have the accessibility.”Initially attempting to raise funds for an independent film on the lack of diversity in 2014, Sampson switched gears and decided to provide an answer to the problem. Three years later the DC Black Film Festival had its first event.  With this year’s festival featuring films like “United Skates,” which documents the resurgence of skate culture in different Black communities, as well as the festival’s local pick “Odyssey: A Web Series,” the festival is paving its own way.In its inaugural year is the Smithsonian African American Film Festival, which will be taking place this fall at a slew of Smithsonian locations throughout the District. An international platform, the launch of the Smithsonian African American Film Festival is a welcomed surprise to many because it provides filmmakers and film enthusiasts with a second experience of cinematic excellence to look forward to in one year.Juxtaposing themes within the museum with those featured in the films, the focus is on these three themes; 1) Making a way out of no way, 2) Power of place and 3) cultural expressions.  Featuring films like the highly acclaimed “Boom for Real” which documents the teenage years of the art legend Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well “Copper,” which explores death from a gender perspective, the Smithsonian African American Festival is giving Black filmmakers the opportunity to both curate and abstract the Black experience.While different in presentation and packaging, both festivals are important in making strides in the film industry  as they both seek to create new opportunities for the Black voice to be recognized and properly represented moving forward.last_img read more

MacKenzie Bezos Signs Giving Pledge to Donate Half Her 37 Billion Amazon

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 MacKenzie Bezos, one of the world’s richest women after her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, joined a pledge to donate at least half her wealth — currently estimated to be around $37 billion — to charitable causes.MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos finalized the terms of their divorce in April, under which she will get 25% of the shares in Amazon that were jointly held by the couple. On Tuesday, the Giving Pledge announced that she is one of 19 additional individuals who have signed on to the philanthropic initiative, founded in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, which exhorts high-net-worth people to commit to giving away more than half their wealth.Jeff Bezos, who will remain the richest individual in the world even after the divorce, has not signed on to the Giving Pledge to date. Streamers, Asians, V/R, Boost Industry Attendance As Venice Market Kicks Off Kristen Stewart on ‘Seberg’: ‘It’s Not Hard for Me to Wear My Politics’ Popular on Variety center_img In January, Jeff Bezos announced the couple’s plans to divorce after 25 years of marriage. Jeff Bezos, 55, and MacKenzie Bezos, 49, were married in 1993, after they met at hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. in New York City where Jeff Bezos was an SVP and MacKenzie Tuttle was a research associate. They are the parents of four children: three sons, and a daughter adopted from China.Jeff Bezos last year began dating Lauren Sanchez, the wife of Endeavor executive chairman Patrick Whitesell. Sanchez and Whitesell, who were married in 2005, separated last fall.MacKenzie Bezos has supported marriage equality through Washington United for Marriage; transitional housing for homeless families through the Day 1 Families Fund; college scholarships for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors through TheDream.US; and efforts to reduce political polarization through With Honor, a nonpartisan organization that works to increase the number of veterans in public office.She also has funded cancer research through donations to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Alzheimer’s research through the Diagnostics Accelerator at the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. In 2013, she founded Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization, where she serves as executive director. “In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” MacKenzie Bezos said in a statement. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.” Related Following their divorce, MacKenzie Bezos will hold shares representing about 4% of Amazon’s outstanding common stock for which she is granting Jeff full voting rights. She’s also giving her ex-husband her full interest in the Washington Post, which Jeff Bezos bought in 2013, and space-aeronautics company Blue Origin. The couple’s combined net worth currently is estimated at $151.4 billion, according to Forbes.On Tuesday, Jeff Bezos praised MacKenzie’s decision to join the Giving Pledge but didn’t comment on whether he will follow suit. “MacKenzie is going to be amazing and thoughtful and effective at philanthropy, and I’m proud of her. Her letter is so beautiful. Go get ‘em MacKenzie,” Jeff Bezos wrote in a Twitter post.last_img read more

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