If tourists choose not to come then Malapascua will slowly go back

first_imgDAVID JOYCE RUNS Evolution Diving  on the tiny island of Malapascua, part of Cebu Province, which was in the direct path of Typhoon Haiyan when the massive storm hit the Philippines at the start of November.In the days and weeks that followed, David, along with other staff members at the resort, spearheaded the relief and rebuild effort on the island — raising thousands of euro to help those left homeless.We checked in for an initial update from David the week after the storm hit. He said that Malapascau had been “completely cut off” in the wake of the typhoon. Even at that stage, however, the effort to get supplies to those most in need was already well under way.In tandem with the effort to help the community, staff at Evolution have also been hard at work rebuilding the resort. Tourism is the main source of income on the island; around 80 per cent of its inhabitants rely on the sector for their income — either directly or indirectly.TheJournal.ie has been back in contact with via email in the last few weeks. David took us through the stages of the initial response, and outlined his hopes for 2014 — and beyond. The rebuild — both in the resort and the wider community — has been continuing at an impressive pace.As he puts it:We went though the various phases of remorse but now its about determination not to be beaten down by this event. The staff at ‘Evolution’ return from a clean-up operation at the dive sites [via Facebook]Find out more about Rebuild Malapascau at their website > Another home/store rebuilt with the ‘Rebuild’ funds [Facebook/Evolution Diving]HOLIDAYMAKERS As the storm passed everyone stayed in what they felt to be a safe place.  For many this proved inaccurate as whole structures tore apart. Somehow there were no fatalities, mainly due to the fact that it was daylight and everyone simply spent the time dodging the debris flying everywhere.Most of our staff were absent to deal with their own homes and we had a core staff at the resort with our remaining guests.  Everyone stayed indoors until after. Once people came out, there was a sense of shock. The island was unrecognisable.The first thing was to try and get temporary shelter. Evolution staff had five days off to get what shelter they could for their families. I was off the island for the storm and my house was not a good place to be during it.  The roof blew off and windows blew in — I had some people there trying to help, but they ended up spending several ours hiding in the bathroom.  With two young kids, it’s certainly lucky they were not there for that. The Philippines is very dependent on tourism and it employs a huge number of people. In remote areas such as Malapascua it is the only source of meaningful income with approximately 80 per cent of the island directly or indirectly relying on tourist income. If tourists choose not to come then Malapascua will slowly go back into the dark ages.For example we have a private power company selling electricity here, and its main customers are resorts. If resorts start to close due to no customers then the company will withdraw and the island will go back in time and be without electricity again — there are so many things interconnected in this way.We are fighting to keep an income for the 34 employees we have, and they understand that things have changed but hopefully not for long. The Philippines is not effected by mass commercial tourism.  It’s still a place of smaller, independent businesses offering a great, personalised experience — businesses are open and the island remains magical as does the region. People should certainly consider booking as this year there will be less tourists — so what a great time to visit!Ireland and The Philippines have an amazing parallel history of colonialism, Catholicism and emigration, and have a lot in common. The people are friendly and charming and very resilient — so come and see for yourself… Damage to boats in the immediate aftermath of the storm [Image: Facebook/Evolution Diving]THE INITIAL RESPONSE As Malapascua has several foreign owned business, some of them quickly became focal points. Our isolated location means we tend to stock good quantities of food and water so staff were able to get these. I arrived back about 48 hours later with a boat load of relief goods — mainly water, tinned goods and rice. By day seven we already had several lorry-loads of building materials on the island, and that effort still underway today.By the second week outside help started to appear — aid from the Red Cross and others arrived. It was generally enough food for a family for three days so very short term. Eventually medical aid came. No one was seriously injured in the storm, but many people had wounds from nails and corrugated sheets after the storm so tetanus was in demand.As donations began to grown the main recipients came together to co ordinate and now work together on ‘Rebuild Malapascua’  (www.rebuildmalapascua.com).Building supplies were hard to get in the first month after the storm, but a steady supply is now coming and homes are being completed every week. In fact we have already built 100 homes — and a lot of that has come from Irish donors. We had a few guests in the resort during the storm — they mainly holed up in our rooms as no one could step outside.After the storm it took 48 hours before a boat could get some off the island to make flights.  We had two steely Scots who had just arrived with us and they were damned if they were leaving so they stayed for a further ten days and helped us clear up, even though we had no electricity and ate nothing but noodles and sardines. They plan to come back next year as they enjoyed it so much this time.However — we have had a massive amount of cancellations.  People are afraid, based on the media coverage. The fact is that in my area things are getting back to normal, and we are open for business.  We have had a steady stream of intrepid customers coming through over the last two weeks and more, and they are pleasantly surprised by the air of optimism and energy.This is not a miserable place.  People just want to get back to work, earn some income and do their jobs.  Of course customers are being very patient, everything is still being fixed and it will still be a while before we operate as smoothly as before but maybe that is part of the current charm.Ultimately we are offering the same product as before – great diving, food and accommodation on a warm and hospitable tropical island.  It just has the added caché now of being a disaster zone! The resort’s ‘Craic House’ bar & restaurant, around a week after the storm hit [via Facebook]PUBLICITY One of the homes rebuilt with the help of ‘Rebuild Malapascua’ [Facebook/Evolution Diving]RESPONDING & REBUILDING We were aware that the storm was going to be big and it was clearly tracking straight over Malapascua island, even from 5 days out.  As we are in the business of diving, weather is key so we are always consulting pertinent websites and have learned that they are pretty good at predicting major weather events.Malapascua was hit by a relatively small storm a year before, but as the eye also passed over the island the wind directions changed very suddenly so quite a few boats were sunk.This time people were much more cautious.  Of the hundreds of boats on the island — big and small — every one of them was either pulled high onto the beach or hidden in what was expected to be the safest bay. It turned out nothing was safe and huge multi-tonne boats on the beach were literally flipped over by the wind.In the resort we boarded up windows with plywood, only to see it ripped right off.  Things were stored indoors — but again the storm ripped the roofing off several buildings, leaving all contents destroyed from the deluge and vast volume of sand what was being blown around.  In fact one of our newly painted boats had its entire livery sanded off so that it was again a blank hull. Our main target, and what I believe our donors wanted most, was to rebuild the homes of the local people.  Homes are simple on the island, usually plywood, concrete and metal roofing.  This has made it somewhat easier for us to achieve as there are enough local carpenters to turn materials into a simple home in about a week.Both the primary and secondary schools were badly damaged, so we are also involved in a rebuild of the elementary school which is currently operating a half schedule and mainly outdoors.  We are also looking at establishing one of the first proper clinics on the island.The communities are working with us to get things back on track but for sure they need assistance. People have limited means and income here, so solutions are immediate, simple and final.  Most people’s reaction is to find debris roofing and damaged wood and erect a temporary shelter and that’s about it.Assistance should really be from the Government or NGOs, but we are here so are able to work with them on getting better homes and considering more long term projects such as getting proper sanitation into some areas and maintaining a permanent medical clinic on the island.We’ve basically cut out the local political structure and are working directly with the people themselves — the fewer committees the better! Local houses in the immediate aftermath of the storm [Facebook/Evolution Diving]THE AFTERMATH Almost there — Craic House 2.0 [Evolution Diving/Facebook]THE FUTURE We went though various phases on remorse but now its about determination not to be beaten down by this event. We are doing what we can to get things back to what they were. We have achieved a massive amount already and in early January our completely rebuilt restaurant should open.What is harder to undo is the month of the worst publicity imaginable. We are set to have a record number of visitors this year but we have probably seen it go back five years or more in terms of numbers.This is difficult in terms of investment or effort, but that’s the way it is.  It has been draining — an emotional roller-coaster really, and between us we have had some very low moments. But on Malapascua we are lucky —nobody died, so you remember that and work back up from there. The tiny island is just 2.5km long [Google Maps]PREPARATIONS Read: ‘Cash, not second-hand clothes please,’ Irish NGOs appeal to donorsRelated: Column from the Philippines: ‘Driving through the city, I saw approximately 100 dead bodies’last_img read more

Definite line of inquiry being followed into source of Tolka pollution

first_imgDUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is following a definite line of inquiry in their investigations into a significant pollution incident yesterday on the River Tolka.Hundreds of fish were killed after a foam-like substance spread down the river from Finglas Road Bridge down as far as Griffith Park.The full extent of the environmental impact of the incident is not yet known, but the fish kill is being described as “extensive”.Testing of the substance is ongoing.A barrier had been installed to prevent the contamination from spreading further down the waterway, but this has since been removed as it is no longer needed.The council confirmed in a statement released this evening that a ‘definite line of inquiry is being followed’ in relation to the source of the pollutant.Members of the public can report incidents illegal fishing and water pollution, and also the presence of invasive, on the Inland Fisheries Ireland confidential hotline, 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.Background: Emergency response under way after “extensive fish kill” on the Tolka >last_img read more

Apple exploring smaller cheaper iPhone model

first_imgApple is getting eaten alive by Google’s mobile operating system, Android, when it comes to global market share. In the fourth quarter, Android market share tripled to 32.9%, which is more than double Apple’s market share of 16%, to make it the world’s leading smartphone OS according to Canalys. As we all know, Apple and its leader Steve Jobs doesn’t like to settle for second place.That’s why there may be some truth to the Bloomberg report that Apple is looking to offer a cheaper and smaller version of the iPhone to apply pricing pressure to Android smartphones. Besides being one-third smaller, the new iPhone would be priced cheaper since it would use the same parts contained in current iPhone models instead of the more expensive parts that would be put into new iPhone models. Apple has even considered selling the smaller iPhone for $200 without a two-year agreement.To gain a competitive advantage Apple is also working on other technologies including a dual-mode iPhone which would work on GSM and CDMA networks and something called a Universal SIM which would let owners switch between GSM networks without having to swap out SIM cards.An unsubsidized iPhone, would allow owners to easily switch between carriers without any concern over termination fees.  Unfortunately, just because Apple is looking at these technologies and the smaller iPhone model it doesn’t mean that they will ever see the light of day since all prototypes don’t make it to market.Read more at Bloomberglast_img read more

Microsoft wont offer a full retail boxed Windows 8 DVD

first_imgMicrosoft has already made it known that they wanted to streamline their Windows 8 product offerings. Gone are Ultimate edition, Starter, and Basic. In retail stores, only two flavors will be offered when the new OS ships this October: Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. But in the past there’s been added confusion for shoppers when it came to retail boxed copies.With previous versions, shoppers could choose from either the full version DVD, the upgrade, or the money-saving OEM/system builder edition. The difference being the upgrade was meant to install on a system that already had a valid Windows installation, but that’s never been a strict requirement. Upgrade discs could be used to perform a full install, too, so long as you could provide a valid product key for a previous version of Windows.Then there’s the OEM version. Plenty of places sell this flat-packed, shrink-wrapped version, and it’s aimed at DIY enthusiasts who want to build a machine from scratch. It’s almost exactly the same as the full retail version of Windows, except that it doesn’t come with 90 days of free tech support and the license is meant to stay on a single computer — so you might have to call in and reactivate with Microsoft if you replace a hard drive or mainboard in your computer if you used a system builder disc.With all this crossover, it’s easy to see why Microsoft would choose to not produce a full retail boxed Windows 8 DVD. Instead the choice will be between upgrade and OEM editions. By doing this, they’ll save money not only by producing fewer varieties, but also by not having to provide tech support to quite as many people.The real winner here is shoppers and sales associates, who won’t have to spend hours sorting out which version is the right one to take home… as long they are clear on the differences between Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro.More at Insiderislast_img read more

Man convicted of murdering friend who was bludgeoned to death with a

first_img http://jrnl.ie/3277421 By Peter Doyle Mar 8th 2017, 4:56 PM Man convicted of murdering friend who was bludgeoned to death with a rock Thomas O’Connor claimed he was acting in self-defence. Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia Wednesday 8 Mar 2017, 4:56 PM 15,347 Views Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia Short URL Share17 Tweet Email A MAN WHO claimed he was acting in self-defence when he bludgeoned his friend to death with a rock weighing 1.6 kilos has been convicted of murder.Thomas O’Connor (29) of Burnaby Court, Greystones had been charged with murdering John O’Brien, who was from Burnaby Lawns in Greystones on June 4, 2010.The father of one had pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to the 22-year-old’s manslaughter at Farrankelly Road, Delgany, Co Wicklow.O’Connor had admitted hitting John O’Brien over the head with the boulder “two or three times” but said he only did so to protect himself after his friend attacked him.A post-mortem later revealed John O’Brien died from “catastrophic injuries” as a result of blunt force trauma to the headToday, a jury at the Central Criminal Court took just under four hours to find him guilty of murdering John O’Brien.O’Connor now faces a mandatory life sentence.During their deliberations, the jury of six men and six women asked to re-examine the murder weapon.They returned less than half-an-hour later to say they had found the accused guilty of murderDressed casually in a grey windcheater and blue jeans. O’Connor kept his head bowed and did not react when the verdict was read out.Trial judge Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan remanded the accused in custody for sentencing on 23 March and exempt the jury from service for 10 years.Read: ‘Dangerous’ prisoner on the run after being released by mistake> 5 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Evasion at 100m euros

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A sweep by the Financial Crimes Squad SDOE of 32 businesses, such as real estate offices, hotels, construction companies, advertising agencies, law firms and doctors offices, discovered more than 100 million euros in undeclared taxes, the Finance Ministry announced this week. The audit of the 32 businesses found them to be in debt to the Greek state for amounts in excess of 150,000 on average, which means that unless they arrange a settlement soon, the owners of the businesses will be arrested. Meanwhile, a businessman in Halkidiki in northern Greece was arrested for a second time on Tuesday for owing money to the state. The 41-year-old, who presents himself as the owner of a number of different businesses, was first arrested last Thursday for owing 395,317 euros in unpaid taxes from his profession as a diver, while the Financial Crimes Squad tracked him down again on Tuesday for owing 1,297, 356 euros through a stationary store that is in his name. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Sony le PSN enfin rétabli au Japon

first_imgSony : le PSN enfin rétabli au JaponComme promis par Sony, les réseaux Playstation Network et Qriocity sont entièrement rétablis au Japon ce mercredi 6 juillet, soit un mois après l’Europe et les Etats-Unis. Les services de jeux, de vidéos et de musique en ligne de Sony étaient suspendus depuis le mois d’avril, suite à un important piratage. Après deux mois et demi de suspension, les joueurs japonais vont enfin pour avoir accéder aux réseaux PSN et Qriocity. Comme les utilisateurs américains et européens, ils se verront offrir un lot de compensation, l’offre “Welcome back”, à savoir des contenus gratuits et un mois de souscription gratuite au PSN.Les réseaux de jeux en ligne et de musique et vidéos à la demande de Sony ont été arrêtés le 20 avril dernier, après une attaque informatique visant les serveurs de la firme japonaise. Les hackers avaient réussi à dérober les données de quelque 77 millions de comptes d’utilisateurs, et notamment leur nom, adresse, identifiant et mot de passe. Si le rétablissement des réseaux a été beaucoup plus longue au Japon que dans les autres pays, c’est parce que les autorités japonaises ont exigé de la firme une vaste révision de la sécurité de ses serveurs, afin que ce genre d’attaques ne puissent plus se reproduire. Au total, le coup de ce vaste piratage est estimé par Sony à quelque 14 milliards de yens, soit 119 millions d’euros environ.Pour faire oublier cet épisode à peine achevé à ces utilisateurs, la firme japonaise devrait prochainement offrir une importante refonte au PSN. D’après le site RegHardware, l’ergonomie du réseau pourrait ainsi être revue pour s’inspirer du Xbox Live de Microsoft, et de la plateforme Steam.Le 6 juillet 2011 à 17:23 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Astronomers May Soon Reveal the First Photo of a Supermassive Black Hole

first_imgStay on target NASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This WeekendHubble Captures Saturn’s ‘Phonograph Record’ Ring System Astronomers might have taken the first direct picture of a black hole in the Milky Way and now, science fanatics around the world are waiting for more details on this groundbreaking image.Direct observations of black holes haven’t been captured before, however, researchers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Germany might have snapped evidence of one of these enormous bodies in space, the Daily Mail reported. On April 10, the ESO is expected to discuss the “first result from the Event Horizon Telescope” and the black hole picture announcement at a press conference that will be streamed on YouTube.Astronomers worldwide have been observing two primary targets: Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole  in the middle of the Milky Way, and another spot, M87, a gigantic elliptical galaxy that’s home to trillions of stars.NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured this photo of the Milky Way’s center, which is believed to be the location of Sagittarius A*, a supermassive black hole. (Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an international project that involves a network of telescopes across Earth, has conducted observations on these large black holes. The EHT is currently studying the results from the first full run of data from two years ago, which is planned to be revealed at the press conference.ESO’s New Technology Telescope (NTT) made its “First Light” 30 years ago today, “completely satisfying the high expectations towards this revolutionary high-tech telescope, the first of its kind in the world”. https://t.co/4vT64YxSFV pic.twitter.com/NTKpr6CeTV— ESO (@ESO) March 22, 2019Peter Galison, a professor who works on the project, said if EHT is successful, the black hole picture will become one of the most, “iconic images of science.” Furthermore, the image would be a major astronomy milestone as well, since astronomers and scientists have been working for many years to capture photographic evidence of a black hole.Capturing a black hole image is challenging, since a telescope the size of our planet would be needed to snap an image of the closest one to Earth. Thankfully, the EHT uses between 15 and 20 telescopic dishes worldwide to help collectively spot black holes. All of these telescopes would need to be pointed towards the black hole and measure radio waves, which are kept on hard disk drives. Then, all of this data is collectively stored on a supercomputer, where it will be studied by EHT.‘If the project succeeds in making an image of a black hole, it would be a really big deal for the fields of physics and astrophysics,” Sera Markoff,  a professor at the University of Amsterdam who co-runs the EHT’s Multiwavelength Working Group, told the Daily Mail. “Scientists have been working towards this goal for over 20 years.”Even though this black hole update is exciting, the EHT first has to conduct a peer review process on data from Sagittarius A* before the image is released to the public. Professor Markoff told the Daily Mail that she couldn’t confirm if the observations had developed the first picture of a black hole’s shape.More on Geek.com:Watch: Meteor Lights Up Sky Over Florida, Stuns WitnessesWhy Haven’t We Found Aliens Yet? NASA’s Cassini Reveals Secrets of Saturn’s Mini ‘Ravioli’ Moonslast_img read more

Trump administration plans immigration enforcement operation

first_imgCHICAGO — The Trump administration is moving forward with a nationwide immigration enforcement operation this weekend targeting migrant families, despite loud opposition from Democrats and questions over whether it’s the best use of resources given the crisis at the border.The operation had been postponed by President Donald Trump late last month and would target people with final deportation orders, including families whose immigration cases were fast-tracked by judges in 10 major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami.It has sparked outrage and concern among immigrant-rights advocates and lawmakers.“Our communities have been in constant fear,” Estela Vara, a Chicago-area organizer said Thursday at a rally outside the city’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement offices where some activists chanted “Immigration Not Deportation!”The sweep remains in flux and could begin this weekend or later, according to two administration officials, who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Still, the American Civil Liberties Union pre-emptively filed a lawsuit Thursday in an attempt to protect asylum seekers.Meanwhile, activists ramped up efforts to prepare by bolstering know-your-rights pocket guides, circulating information about hotlines and planning public demonstrations. Vigils outside of detention centers and other hundreds of locations nationwide were set for Friday evening, to be followed by protests Saturday in Miami and Chicago.last_img read more

Gambia gets a new President

first_imgSerrekunda 19 January 2017 – Adama Barrow, who was declared elected as president by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) after defeating ex-president Yahya Jammeh at the 1 December presidential poll was sworn in at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar yesterday evening. He was sworn in by the Acting President of the Gambian Bar Association, Mr Sheriff Marie Tambedou, in a ceremony chaired by Mr Mai Fatty, a member of the coalition of seven parties that sponsored the candidature of President Barrow at the 1 December 2016 poll.Representatives of Ecowas, the AU, the UN, the EU and other diplomatic missions were present at the ceremony.In his inaugural address President Barrow described the development as a victory for the Gambian Nation, noting that “Our National flag will now fly high among those of the most Democratic Nations of the world.”He emphasized that we are “One Gambia, One Nation, and One People.”He talked about building “a Secular Democratic Republic that is built on the pillars of Good Governance, Rule of Law and Respect for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.”He declared his intention to “establish a Think Tank, The Agency for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development (ASSED) and charged it with the task of establishing an expert bank that would bring all experts on board to share their knowledge and skills in order to put in place an inclusive development agenda.”He emphasized that as commander-in-chief of the armed forces the armed and security forces are to become loyal to him as from now on and that the armed forces should be confined to barracks, otherwise they will be regarded as rebels.last_img read more

The Governor General Hosts the Prime Minister and Members of His Cabinet

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 12, 2017 – Nassau – Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling hosted the Prime Minister and members of his Cabinet to the Annual Cabinet Ministers Christmas Luncheon at Government House on Monday, December 11, 2017.Pictured in the Drawing Room seated with Dame Marguerite are Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis (centre left) and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs the Hon. Carl Bethel (centre right).  Also pictured from left are: Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames, Minister of Works the Hon. Desmond Bannister, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources the Hon. Renward Wells, and Minister of the Public Service and National Insurance the Hon. Brensil Rolle.  Standing from left: Minister of State in the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Hon. Elsworth Johnson, Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kwasi Thompson, and Minister of the Environment and Housing the Hon. Romauld Ferreira.(BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)Photo caption:Insert: The Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling gives welcome greetings to the Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis (second left), and members of his Cabinet at the Annual Christmas Luncheon at Government House, December 11, 2017.(BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:last_img read more

Condé Nast Ups Investment In Ecommerce

first_imgCondé Nast continued its aggressive push into e-commerce this week, leading a $20 million investment round in the luxury online reseller Vestiaire Collective.Exact terms of the investment were not disclosed, but the company says it has taken a minority stake. It’s the latest move in a trend for both Condé Nast’s domestic and international divisions. The U.S. publishing group announced partnerships with e-retailer Amazon and e-commerce design site Project Décor in August, while launching a b-to-b e-commerce site earlier this year and upping its investment in another in 2012. Meanwhile, Condé Nast International has made minority investments in four e-commerce startups in 2013. It’s less clear exactly how those projects will be integrated with Condé Nast’s publishing portfolio. Internationally, the company is treating each investment as a wholly separate entity, apart from its media properties.”Integration is not really the issue,” says Moritz von Laffert, vice president of Condé Nast International and president of Condé Nast Germany. “We’re looking for investment targets which are adjacent to what we do, to what our core is in print and digital business, but we’re not looking at integrating all of them necessarily. We might, but we might not. The whole idea is to expand into new fields, into new segments, knowing that certain things we can’t do ourselves.”von Laffert also points out that the company holds minority investments. Even if it wanted to integrate, Condé Nast doesn’t have final say.”We might integrate a company at some point, but I can’t see that happening for the next couple of years,” he says.Conversely, the U.S. division has seemed more focused on merging its publishing properties with e-commerce. The Amazon deal lets readers subscribe to Condé Nast titles through the e-retailer, while giving the company access to consumer data; the Project Décor agreement comes as part of the relaunch of Domino, a shelter title, that will reportedly offer product sales.Paris-based Vestiaire Collective functions as a high-end eBay where users buy and sell used luxury goods. But unlike most online consignment shops, Vestiaire qualifies its inventory. The company says it rejects about half the products submitted for resale.This latest Series C round brings total funding to more than $30 million, according to Crunchbase. James Bilefield, president of Condé Nast International Digital, tweeted that he will join Vestiaire’s board as part of the deal.”It is clear that inspiration leads to conversion in our environment,” says Vestiaire Collective co-founder and CEO Sébastien Fabre in a statement. “The legitimacy and the credibility of Condé Nast will reinforce our capacity to build an endless source of supply, pushing the convergence of pure user-generated content and media to create the most inspiring social shopping experience.”*Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Moritz von Laffert. To stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, become a Facebook fan and follow us on Twitter!last_img read more

Obama Defers Judgement on Key Military Compensation Reforms

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR President Obama is withholding judgement on the most controversial recommendations of an independent panel to update military pay and benefits, he told Congress Thursday.One of the most significant reforms urged by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission would transform the existing pension plan that only pays benefit to personnel serving at least 20 years to a hybrid system that would allow troops serving at least two years to invest in a 401(k)-type plan. Interestingly, the House Armed Services Committee early Thursday morning approved language adopting the commission’s recommendation as part of its fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill.The president also put off endorsing a recommendation to shift military families from the Tricare health system to commercial plans and giving them allowances for healthcare.  Other recommendations the White House deferred judgement on called for merging the military commissary and exchange systems, consolidating the duty statuses of reservists and reforming support for dependents with special needs, reported the Hill. Obama did endorse 10 of the commission’s less controversial recommendations.“As President Obama informed Congress earlier today, we are now prepared to support specific proposals for 10 of the commission’s 15 recommendations, and, given the complexities of four others, we will continue to conduct analysis and work with the commission over the next few months,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a written statement.“In some instances, the Defense Department is already taking steps to implement these first 10 recommendations, but in areas that will require legislative changes to do so, we will work quickly to submit proposed legislative language to Congress as soon as possible,” Carter stated.last_img read more

Study of sea creatures suggests nervous system evolved independently multiple times

first_img Cellular self-digestion process triggers autoimmune disease Because the central nervous system similar looks so similar across species, it has been assumed for some time that it likely evolved just once in a very early common ancestor. But recent studies have shown that may not be the case. In this new effort, the researchers sought to gather more evidence of multiple instances of nervous system development by studying invertebrates scattered across the evolutionary tree with different types of central nervous system architectures. To that end, they collected tiny specimens from multiple locations and studied their lineage. They report that some of them belong to an ancient lineage called Xenacoelomorpha, which had a wide variety of nervous system types. Some had no central cord, they note, while others, such as modern jellyfish, have multiple cords—and one species has a cord running along its back reminiscent of vertebrates.The team also looked at a gene called bmp, believed to be the gene that is responsible for kicking off the development of the nervous system. But another team had shown that in the acorn worm, it became active before the formation of the nervous system, suggesting other genes were also at play. After looking at the invertebrates they had collected, the team found other instances of the bmp gene becoming activated before the formation of nerve cords. They also found that blocking the protein that is produced when bmp becomes active did not prevent formation of the cord in some species. The group also found that other genes that have been associated with development of the nervous cord became active in some species that had no nervous cord at all.The researchers claim their findings show that the nervous system evolved in different creatures at different times, which means that it evolved more than once. Journal information: Nature Explore further Proporus sp., a xenacoelomorph. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY 2.5 Citation: Study of sea creatures suggests nervous system evolved independently multiple times (2017, December 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-12-sea-creatures-nervous-evolved-independently.htmlcenter_img 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. © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Norway, Sweden and Denmark has found evidence that suggests the nervous system evolved independently in multiple creatures over time—not just once, as has been previously thought. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their study of tiny sea creatures they collected from fjords in Norway and Sweden, from various sea floor locations, and from a site off the coast of Washington state, and what they found. Caroline Albertin and Clifton Ragsdale, with the University of Chicago, offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. More information: José M. Martín-Durán et al. Convergent evolution of bilaterian nerve cords, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature25030AbstractIt has been hypothesized that a condensed nervous system with a medial ventral nerve cord is an ancestral character of Bilateria. The presence of similar dorsoventral molecular patterns along the nerve cords of vertebrates, flies, and an annelid has been interpreted as support for this scenario. Whether these similarities are generally found across the diversity of bilaterian neuroanatomies is unclear, and thus the evolutionary history of the nervous system is still contentious. Here we study representatives of Xenacoelomorpha, Rotifera, Nemertea, Brachiopoda, and Annelida to assess the conservation of the dorsoventral nerve cord patterning. None of the studied species show a conserved dorsoventral molecular regionalization of their nerve cords, not even the annelid Owenia fusiformis, whose trunk neuroanatomy parallels that of vertebrates and flies. Our findings restrict the use of molecular patterns to explain nervous system evolution, and suggest that the similarities in dorsoventral patterning and trunk neuroanatomies evolved independently in Bilateria.last_img read more

Protein rich diet may reduce Alzheimers risk

first_imgA diet high in protein rich foods such as meat and legumes may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a study claims. Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia examined the diets of 541 Australians and measured the levels of amyloid beta (A ) in their brain, which is a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.They found that participants with higher levels of protein in their diet were less likely to have high levels of A in their brain, reducing their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe participants were divided into three groups based on their protein intake.The team found that those with the highest consumption, around 118 grammes per day, were 12 times less likely to have high levels of A than those in the lowest consumption group, who ate only 54 grammes per day.According to Binosha Fernando, who led the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, this was the first ever study to examine the relationship between protein consumption and A . Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”The research clearly demonstrates that the more protein eaten the lower the chances someone has of having a high A burden on the brain, which corresponds to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s in the future, she said.Fernando said it was still unknown what was driving the relationship between high protein intake and low A.One possibility is that previous studies have shown that a high protein diet is associated with lower blood pressure, she said. High blood pressure is a risk factor for both Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. We also know that developing cardiovascular disease increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” said Fernando.She said the next step was to further examine what role gender, genetics, age and metabolic factors play in the relationship between protein consumption and Alzheimer’s disease.Protein is found in animal products like beef, pork, lamb, eggs, fish and poultry, as well as in plant-based foods like legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.To get the protective effect that we have demonstrated, you need to be eating about 120 grammes of protein each day, which is not too hard, Fernando said.For example, if you had a mixed bean and tuna salad for lunch, 100 grammes of chicken and salad for dinner and snacked on a handful of peanuts during the day, you would be getting very close to enough protein to lower your chances of having a high A burden in your brain,” she said.last_img read more

Why Instagram Is Adding View Counts to Videos

first_imgFebruary 12, 2016 Register Now » Instagram is to show how many views a video has received in a bid by the Facebook-owned service to compete with rivals such a Google for advertising dollars.Videos posted on Instagram will now show a view count where the number of likes used to be, similar to the way Facebook shows the number of views on its site and app.The idea, according to analysts, is to attract more brands and content producers – which has been YouTube’s tactic for a while – to platforms like Facebook and Instagram and get them to pay more money for advertising.”If you want to attract branded content, having a view count is essential,” Richard Broughton, research director at Ampere Analysis, told CNBC by phone.”Unlike ad-impressions, for which your campaign management will deliver detailed statistics, for branded videos and product placement there isn’t an obvious, independent and verifiable currency for measuring the success and reach of a series of videos. Publishing a view count means that brands are no longer reliant on statistics shared by the video creator and can independently check performance of videos featuring their product and brands.”Broughton also said that it acts as a “calling card” for advertisers who will be able to see the commercial implications of advertising on Instagram by showing how many views videos are getting. Mobile on the riseVideo has recently become a huge area of focus for Facebook. The company claimed that it now clocks up 100 million hours of video watched per day on its social network. YouTube does not break out specific stats but said that people watch “hundreds of millions of hours” a day on the platform. But independent figures show that video views on Facebook exceeded two trillion in 2015, or two-thirds of YouTube’s total for the same period, according to Ampere Analysis.At the same time, video ad spend in the U.S. is expected to hit $9.59 billion this year, a 28.5 percent year-on-year rise, with a large percentage of that growth on mobile, according to eMarketer. Meanwhile, mobile is expected to account for 82 percent of Facebook’s U.S. digital ad revenue this year, with Instagram expected to earn $1.48 billion globally in mobile ad revenues. In the U.S., Instagram will represent 20.1 percent of Facebook’s total mobile ad revenues, eMarketer forecasts. YouTube ad revenue was up 4.6 percent last year, reaching $4.28 billion worldwide.As Facebook tries to boost the views on its platform it has rolled out a number of new features including live-streaming to take on the likes of Twitter-owned Periscope. Last year, chief executive of the social networking site Mark Zuckerberg said that content creators will eventually pocket a revenue share from video views.This is the tactic that has made YouTube so popular with content creators and led to the rise of YouTube stars who command millions of dollars a year through advertising and product deals. Facebook will be hoping to attract the same level of talent as well as brands looking for creative ways to advertise.”Adding view counts is the first of many ways you’ll see video on Instagram get better this year,” the photo sharing service said in a blog on Thursday, signaling that there are more features to come. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 3 min read This story originally appeared on CNBC Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

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first_img News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | March 26, 2015 ASTRO Advocates for Bipartisan Legislation to Repeal the SGR Association applauds introduction of Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:33Loaded: 2.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:33 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications Related Content Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2019 Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019 Varian showcased systems and software from its cancer care portfolio, including the Identify Guidance System, at the… read more News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more center_img March 26, 2015 — The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) called on legislators across the country to find a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula to preserve access and improve the quality of care for Medicare’s millions of beneficiaries. The association commended Congressional leadership for introduction of the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 2) and also met with Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., as part of its 12th Annual Advocacy Day.The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) commends Congressional leadership for introduction of the “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act” (H.R. 2) and urges swift passage during votes in the House and Senate later this week. ASTRO also held its 12th Annual Advocacy Day efforts, with 97 ASTRO members convening in Washington, D.C., for more than 130 meetings with Congressional leaders from their home districts. In addition, ASTRO members across the country called on their legislators to seize the opportunity for a permanent fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula to preserve access and improve the quality of care for Medicare’s millions of beneficiaries.The SGR, originally instituted in 2003, has been patched 17 times in the years since then, and a 21 percent rate reduction for all physicians is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2015, if legislation is not passed in time. The permanent SGR fix would yield a new Medicare payment system that should stabilize reimbursement with a focus on higher quality care.ASTRO also continued to encourage Congress to offset the costs of repealing the SGR and reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) with $3.5 billion in 10-year savings achieved from closing the physician self-referral loophole for radiation therapy, known as the in-office ancillary service (IOAS) exception. The President has recommended closing the IOAS exception in his budget three years in a row, including the fiscal year 2016 budget, and this delivery system reform policy is supported by several bipartisan groups, as well as AARP.“We are at a turning point for our nation’s healthcare system. Permanently fixing the SGR with the comprehensive plan outlined in this legislation would be significant. A stabilized reimbursement plan would strengthen Medicare and allow us to improve quality faster for our patients,” said Bruce G. Haffty, M.D., FASTRO, chair of ASTRO’s board of directors. “ASTRO members across the country provide radiation therapy to more than 1 million cancer patients each year, and passage of this legislation will help us accelerate our primary mission—curing cancer. We commend the bipartisan Congressional leadership for these proposals and urge immediate passage to end the short-term patches and realign physician reimbursement with both value and quality of care. As Congress continues to examine needed Medicare delivery system reforms, we urge closing the physician self-referral loophole to further reinforce patient-centered care and to realize significant savings that can help offset the costs of healthcare priorities, including the SGR repeal and CHIP reauthorization.”The legislation would increase physician pay by 0.5 percent in the second half of 2015, and then an additional 0.5 percent annually from 2016 through the end of 2019; the 2019 rates would be maintained through 2025 with no additional increases. The bills also include comprehensive structural changes to Medicare’s reimbursement model that would promote physician participation in clinical quality improvement activities and value-based, quality care that would take full effect in 2019. In addition, current Medicare programs that reward electronic health records, quality reporting, the value-based modifier and meaningful use would be merged by 2019 to encourage participation and to reduce the administrative burden. The total package for the SGR fix is estimated to cost more than $200 billion over the next 10 years, of which approximately $70 billion would by offset by additional Medicare policy changes.For more information: www.astro.org FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July.  News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more Videos | Radiology Business | August 02, 2019 VIDEO: Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019 Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) President … read morelast_img read more

Garuda Indonesia Honoured as Worlds Most Improved Airlin

first_imgIndonesia’s national carrier, Garuda Indonesia, was named the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’ at the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards in Hamburg, Germany. The Skytrax World Airline Awards is the airline industry’s most comprehensive and prestigious measure of service quality and is based on survey results from nearly 18 million international passengers. The survey measures passenger satisfaction with some 35 different aspects of product and service delivery, involving more than 200 airlines worldwide.According to a statement published by the organisation, Edward Plaisted, Chairman of Skytrax said “This was a very competitive category in the 2010 Awards, and our sincere congratulations go to Garuda Indonesia on their success. It is clear that a real process of transformation has become well progressed at Garuda Indonesia, and aside from new aircraft and new onboard products, it was improvements in onboard service that were most frequently commented upon by survey respondents.” The Skytrax award recognises the success of Garuda Indonesia’s ongoing transformation programme, and its progress towards becoming one of Asia’s most successful and profitable airlines. Recent landmarks include the introduction of a new aircraft fleet, new in-flight product, new on-board service concept and a fresh corporate identity. Garuda Indonesia was recently awarded the Skytrax 4-star rating and aims to achieve the coveted 5-star standard.“This prestigious award endorses our efforts to transform the airline and to deliver the highest standards of service to our passengers on the ground and in the air. Garuda’s financial turnaround over the last three years has played an integral part and was very much the foundation for its improvements in service, training and overall quality”, said Agus Priyanto, Executive Vice President Commercial, Garuda Indonesia. He added: “With the re-launch of long-haul flights to Europe on 1st June, we are truly entering a new era of success for Garuda Indonesia”.As part of its ‘Quantum Leap’ transformation programme, Garuda Indonesia has invested heavily in developing a service concept known as the ‘Garuda Indonesia Experience’. This combines warm Indonesian hospitality with elements of the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, reflected in the on-board decor, staff uniforms, food and beverages. Its new aircraft fleet features seatback video-on-demand systems throughout Executive and Economy classes, while the long-haul Airbus A330-200s are equipped with lie-flat beds in Executive Class. Agus Priyanto, Executive Vice President Commercial of Garuda Indonesia receiving the ‘World’s Most Improved Airline’ award from Edward Plaisted, Chairman of Skytrax at the World Airline Awards ceremony which took place in Hamburg on 20th May 2010. Source = Garuda Indonesialast_img read more

Forecasters Revise Expectations on Disappointing May Production

first_img FBR Capital Markets Investment Market Share Mortgage-Backed Securities 2014-06-09 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination A disappointing performance in May has mortgage market commentators once again bringing down their origination forecasts for the year.In a letter to clients, analysts at investment banking services firm FBR Capital Markets said they are lowering their 2014 origination outlook to $989 billion from an earlier forecast of nearly $1.1 trillion.The company says the change reflects “a weaker May environment than previously forecast,” pointing to securities issuance volume of $68 billion as reported by Inside Mortgage Finance—nearly flat from April.”After an April where volumes had increased for the first time in a year, we had grown modestly more optimistic,” the firm said in an industry update. “Now, we believe May results could prove to be a leading indicator of what is shaping up to be the weakest overall origination year in recent memory.”At the same time, FBR remains optimistic for 2015, projecting origination volumes of $1.35 trillion.Meanwhile, the ongoing weakness in production has caused a shakeup at the top, leaving more room for smaller players as the top four banks took up only a quarter of the market. With the larger bank-based originators putting their focus on providing loans to core customers and abandoning other channels, FBR says mid-sized lenders are poised to gain ground.At the other hand, with lower volume making it more difficult to turn a profit, the smallest mortgage banks have greater incentive to sell to larger platforms.Given the current trends, FBR says companies with scalable platforms are the best positioned right now.”We believe companies that have sizeable mortgage market exposure and scalable origination and servicing platforms remain well positioned as they gain market share or should origination activity increase,” the firm said. “With significant negative investor sentiment having driven down earnings expectations for those companies with meaningful exposure to originations, we believe most of the bad news is already in existing stock valuations.” June 9, 2014 472 Views center_img Forecasters Revise Expectations on Disappointing May Production Sharelast_img read more