Southern Region Reaps Benefits Of Opportunities For Prosperity

first_img In 1999, the government of Nova Scotia did something radical: Itrecognized that ad hoc, piecemeal efforts to grow the economyweren’t working. It recognized that a strategic, co-ordinated andfocused economic growth strategy was needed — a strategy thatwould involve other levels of government, business and thecommunity. In October 2000, Opportunities for Prosperity — Nova Scotia’sgrowth strategy — was born. Today, that strategy has positivelyaffected every region of the province. The numbers tell the story. The first chapter of that story begins with the number ofbusinesses in existence. In 1993, according to StatisticsCanada’s business register, there were 28,922 businesses in NovaScotia. By 2003, there were 52,085 business in the province. If the southern area of the province is singled out, the numberscontinue to be positive. In 1993, according to the register,there were 4,347 businesses in the area. By 2003, that number hadgrown to 8,400. This growth can be attributed to the ingenuity of our workforce,and the fact that the government of Nova Scotia has provided anumber of tools to help small business, and rural Nova Scotia,grow. The Small Business Loan Guarantee Program is one example. Sincethe program began in June of 2003, more than $3.4 million hasbeen put into the hands of 42 businesses which have employed 211Nova Scotians. This $8-million program is in place because smallbusiness was clear that access to capital was a problem. Theprovince agreed and put a solution in the hands of the creditunion system — and in the hands of Nova Scotia’s communitiesthemselves. Community Economic Development Investment Funds, or CEDIFs, arealso helping improve the economy across the province. The province recognized that more than $600 million is investedby Nova Scotians in RRSPs, with less than one per cent findingits way back into Nova Scotia’s economy as reinvestments. Itcreated the Community Economic Development Investment Fundprogram to encourage more people to make investments at home,making the 23 funds currently operating a made-in-Nova-Scotiaplan to local investment. The program allows communities to putideas, and people, to work. To date, $10 million has beeninvested in these funds, most of which has been reinvested inbusinesses within their communities. Since the number of businesses is on the rise, it makes sensethat employment numbers are up as well. In 1993, there were352,100 Nova Scotians working. In 1999, there were 388,000. By2004, there were 421,500. More importantly, the participationrate — or the number of people entering the workforce — grewfrom 58.2 per cent in 1993 to 61.7 per cent in 2004. The latest seasonally adjusted figures from Statistics Canadacontinue to indicate an upward trend. More than 449,200 NovaScotians were working in the month of May, an increase of 3,700people over the previous month. In the southern area — which includes the counties of Yarmouth,Digby, Queens, Shelburne and Lunenburg — 47,200 people wereemployed in 1993. By 1999 that number had grown to 52,200. And,in 2004, there are 55,300 people employed. The participation rates have grown in this area as well, from52.4 per cent in 1993 to 60.3 per cent in 2004. The unemploymentrate has fallen from 12.4 per cent in 1993 to 11.9 per cent in2004. There is more work to do. Regional unemployment rates are stillunacceptably high, but steady progress is being made. Regional development authorities are helping guide that progress.The province of Nova Scotia helps fund 13 regional developmentauthorities around the province because successful efforts togrow the economy are driven by the communities themselves. In the southern area of the province, regional developmentauthority representatives include Frank Anderson in Yarmouth(902-742-3210) and Neil Emenau in Lunenburg (902-543-0491). Input and ideas are also welcome at Nova Scotia Business Inc.(NSBI), an organization borne out of Opportunities for Prosperityand mandated to take a client-focused, private-sector approach togrowing the provincial economy. It does so by developing theprovince’s exports, attracting investment from companies outsideNova Scotia and providing tools for companies to help themrealize growth opportunities. Since it was created in November 2001, NSBI has met with 750businesses across the province. Its business attraction andfinancing clients aim to create or maintain at least 7,200 jobs. Last year alone, the organization helped 230 companies increaseexport sales or find new markets. Companies interested in growthopportunities through NSBI can contact Irvin Surette (902-742-0533). -30- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT–Southern Region Reaps Benefits OfOpportunities For Prosperitylast_img read more

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Port Bickerton Students Video Second in Canada

first_imgBayne Horton of Port Bickerton, Guysborough Co., has placed second in a national competition for his video promoting the benefits of budgeting, saving, and investing. Mr. Horton was the provincial winner of the Test Your Financial IQ contest organized last spring by the Canadian Securities Administrators. The winners from each province and territory received digital camcorders and an invitation to submit a video for a chance to win a $2,000 scholarship. Mr. Horton, who graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in June, won a personal DVD player for his second-place finish. Mr. Horton’s video featured two young men discussing whether to spend all of your pay cheque or save some for financial commitments, some for investing, and some to spend. “We are very pleased that one of Nova Scotia’s students has been recognized nationally for this contest,” said Chris Pottie, compliance examiner, Nova Scotia Securities Commission. “We encourage all students aged 15 to 20 to keep their eyes open for the 2006 version of the Test Your Financial IQ contest. Details will be available from schools or the Nova Scotia Securities Commission website.” The securities commission website address is www.gov.ns.ca/nssc . The Canadian Securities Administrators, the council of the securities regulators of Canada’s provinces and territories, co-ordinates and harmonizes regulation for the Canadian capital markets. Its mandate is to protect investors from unfair or fraudulent practices through regulation of the securities industry. Part of this protection is educating investors about the risk, responsibilities, and rewards of investing.last_img read more

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Energy Transportation Main Topics at Governors Premiers Meeting

first_imgPremier Rodney MacDonald and other premiers from Atlantic Canada and Quebec met today, Sept. 16, with the six New England governors at the 32nd Conference of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in Bar Harbour, Maine. Among the main topics at the conference were energy and transportation issues. With the growing need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, the premiers and governors were presented with an update of renewable energy projects from both sides of the border. They included reports on hydro, wind and the potential for tidal power from the Bay of Fundy. The meeting also focused on the huge task of getting projects to transmission lines that could be networked throughout Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the energy-hungry U.S. Northeast. “Clearly a lot of work would need to be done to bring some of these massive projects together to realize their maximum potential, which would greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and play a huge role in protecting our environment,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. On issues of transportation, regional agencies will work to harmonize weight limits to allow heavier Canadian trucks better access throughout New England. This would be a positive development for the Atlantic Gateway project. Also promoting the gateway project at the conference was Stephen Hartlen, vice-president of Nova Scotia’s InNOVAcorp. His presentation addressed strategies for promoting innovative industries. “Promoting the gateway project and addressing transportation issues are items that are directly related,” said Premier MacDonald. “The conference provided an excellent forum to work on both of those areas and should, in the long term, be a positive benefit for the Nova Scotia economy.” Next year’s conference will be held in Saint John, N.B.last_img read more

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BJP forms new parliamentary party executive Modi leader in Lok Sabha Rajnath

first_imgNew Delhi: The BJP Wednesday announced its parliamentary party executive committee with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its leader in Lok Sabha and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as the deputy leader. In Rajya Sabha, Union minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot has been appointed as leader of the house and his cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal as the deputy leader. Gehlot replaced senior BJP leader and former Union minister Arun Jaitley as leader of the house in Rajya Sabha. Jaitley had requested the leadership to relieve him from key positions in view of his health. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from France Union minister Smriti Irani’s induction in the BJP’s parliamentary party executive committee shows elevation in her stature within the party after she defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi from the Amethi parliamentary constituency. The party has appointed Sanjay Jaiswal as its chief whip. It also the first time appointed three women MPs as its whips, specifically for women parliamentarians. Besides these three women whips, 15 other whips for Lok Sabha have also been appointed for parliamentarians from different states, where its strength has increased to 303. Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics Prize Other special invitees from Lok Sabha to the BJP’s parliamentary party executive are Nitin Gadkari, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Arjun Munda, Narendra Singh Tomar and Jual Oram. In Rajya Sabha, special invitees are J P Nadda, Om Prakash Mathur, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmedndra Pradhan and Prakash Javadekar. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya has been reappointed as in-charge of the party’s parliamentary office and Balasubrahmanyam Kumarsu as secretary. The newly constituted BJP parliamentary party executive committee marks generational shift in the party as perhaps for the first time L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are not part of it, as both are not MPs. Besides them, Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj are also not its members. The first meeting of the executive will be held on June 16 at 3:30 pm, a day before the commencement of the session. The government has also called an all-party meeting on the same day in the morning which will be chaired by the prime minister.last_img read more

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Haiti still reeling from Matthew could be devastated by Irma says aid

first_imgOTTAWA – Hurricane Irma could deal a crippling blow to Haiti while it’s still recovering from hurricane Matthew, which struck less than a year ago, says a Canadian aid worker in the impoverished country.Preparations were underway Wednesday in the beleaguered Caribbean nation to deal with the potential aftermath of the latest storm.Haiti is less able to handle the effects of a Category 5 storm than other countries in the region, said Laura Sewell of Ottawa, assistant country director in Haiti for CARE.“The level of poverty in Haiti is not even comparable to some of the other countries,” said Sewell.“Haiti has less developed tourist industries and agricultural export industries, so it means there’s sort of a chronic level of vulnerability.”Aid agencies are preparing for the worst from Irma, which has already caused major flooding and destroyed buildings on several Caribbean islands.The U.S. National Hurricane Centre said sustained wind speeds reached 295 kilometres per hour.Haiti’s government issued a warning to residents along the north coast late Wednesday to seek shelter.The World Food Programme said it had moved a convoy of contingency food supplies to the north of Haiti, where Irma was forecast to pass over or nearby on Thursday night and Friday morning.CARE said it dispatched teams of aid workers to at least seven of Haiti’s 10 departments, or provinces, with stockpiles of emergency supplies including water purification tablets and tarps that can be used for shelter.Oxfam Canada said it was also mobilizing its people in northern Haiti, as well as the Dominican Republic and Cuba, to quickly assess humanitarian needs once Irma has passed through the area.Air Transat said it sent 10 planes to the Dominican Republic, which neighbours Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, to pick up passengers ahead of Irma.Air Canada said Wednesday night that it was operating 24 additional flights to bring customers home from the Dominican Republic, Florida, Cuba and other locations in Irma’s path.Haiti is lacking in government-controlled infrastructure, including transportation services, making it difficult to evacuate people.Other countries, including Cuba, have built evacuation centres where people can huddle in cement buildings during natural disasters.“Here, we don’t have those kind of things,” Sewell said in an interview from Port-au-Prince.“People are evacuated into little tiny schools with tin roofs and whatever building that is available that seems safe.”Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the Americas, making it more vulnerable than its wealthier Caribbean neighbours to natural disasters.Much of the country’s southern regions were damaged or destroyed by hurricane Matthew when it struck the island last October, killing more than 500 people.“There’s been a lot of effort for the past year trying to respond to that emergency,” said Sewell.“And now on top of that to have another (hurricane), it’s going to put a strain on the resources here.”An earthquake in 2010 killed more than 200,000 people and caused extensive damage to Haiti’s infrastructure and economy.last_img read more

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Funeral chain creates program to underscore the dangers of fentanyl

first_imgLANGLEY, B.C. – A funeral services chain in British Columbia is developing a program it hopes will cut the number of drug deaths related to fentanyl among children and young adults.Alternatives Funeral and Cremation Services has created a fentanyl prevention program after a funeral home in the chain reported serving four to five families every month who had lost a loved one to an overdose in Metro Vancouver.The owner of the chain, Tyrel Burton, says the company felt it could no longer tolerate those numbers and unlike other programs focusing on harm reduction, it decided to aim at prevention through the use of visual aids that it describes as “powerful, perhaps even controversial.”The program includes a poster of grieving family members surrounding a coffin, under a banner reading “Will fentanyl be the reason for your next family get-together?”A casket and hearse are also part of the 45-minute presentation aimed at parents and their children aged 12 and up.The death toll has surged since the powerful opioid fentanyl arrived in the province.Coroners service statistics between January and September of this year show there were 186 deaths involving victims aged 10 to 29.The company’s presentation also involves personnel from local victim services and parents who have lost a child or young adult family member to addictive drugs.“We felt that we had to do something to reach teens and young adults before they become addicted,” Burton said in a news release. “This program is our response to what we see as a critical need.”Funeral director John Romeyn in nearby Abbotsford said he backs the program after hearing a comment from a grieving dad.“I had a father say to me, ‘I was supposed to (be choosing) clothes for my daughter to wear for her graduation. Now I’m picking something to wear for her casket,’” he said.Romeyn said all of those involved in the presentation try to impress on young people that no one is immune from the dangers of fentanyl or other opioids.“We’ve dealt with pastors’ children and lawyers’ kids, and everyday people who are out there … either experimenting or the casual user who isn’t aware of what’s out there,” he added.The funeral home plans to visit schools, church youth groups and community centres around Metro Vancouver with presentations, which are expected to begin in early 2018. (The Canadian Press, CKNW)Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly stated that the coroners service was involved in the presentation.last_img read more

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Royal Canadian Legion releases digital version of the Remembrance Day poppy

first_imgOTTAWA – The Remembrance Day poppy has entered the digital age.The Royal Canadian Legion launched a digital version of the distinctive red flower Friday, which it says can be customized, shared online and used as a profile image on sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.The downloadable image looks like a silver coin with a red poppy at the centre. The words “Remembrance Day 2018” run along the top edge, while the bottom edge can be customized to display the name of a veteran or someone in service. Otherwise, the words “We Remember” will appear.The Royal Canadian Legion’s deputy director says he hopes it will appeal to younger generations accustomed to communicating on social media.“It’s the way they communicate to their friends and to groups of individuals and it’s the same as physically wearing a poppy and saying, ‘I support veterans,’” says Danny Martin.He also expects a downloadable poppy would address our “increasingly cashless society,” guessing that a growing reliance on debit and credit purchases mean shoppers often have less cash to donate when faced with a request.In the same way there are strict rules around how a lapel poppy should be worn (over the heart, with the original pin), there are limits to how the digital poppy should be used.Martin says they’re not meant to be altered, and although they can supplant a profile image on a social media account, they’re not meant to be combined with other images.The danger that the poppy can be co-opted and distorted is why the legion is fiercely opposed to creating a poppy emoji, he adds, despite the popularity of miniature images in messages and email.“It’s a free-for-all. People can take that emoji and utilize it for other purposes, which happens all the time in different environments or different companies,” he explains.“You send that thing out in the common domain, then we’ve lost control and we actually, legally, (would be) losing control of the poppy trademark.”Still, he admits there’s “no doubt” someone could manipulate the digital poppy that’s being released now.“Yes, there’s going to be cases where they’re going to abuse the symbol or try and use it for their own cause and we’ll have to deal with that as we go along.”Poppies are meant to be displayed from the last Friday of October until midnight, Nov. 11.Beyond that date, an accompanying link to the online poppy will expire, although the image will remain on sites they’ve been posted to or drives to which they’ve been downloaded, says Martin.The digital poppies are available for an online donation at www.mypoppy.ca until Nov. 11 and are meant to complement the traditional lapel poppy, typically available at cafe and convenience store cash registers alongside a donation box.Martin says the legion is also selling a butterfly clasp that for the first time is allowed for use with the lapel poppy to better secure it in place.Publicity material for the digital poppy featured endorsements by celebrity Canadians including Margaret Atwood, Ashley Callingbull and Don Cherry, who dedicated his poppy to his great uncle, Sgt. Thomas William MacKenzie. He died in battle four days before Armistice Day in 1918.— Cassandra Szklarski in Torontolast_img read more

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ABSENTIA STAR CANADIAN ACTRESS STANA KATIC ON MEETING JAYCEE DUGARD SHES A

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment TORONTO — In trying to grasp the trauma her “Absentia” character endured while in captivity for several years, Canadian actress Stana Katic reflected on a meeting she had with a real-life victim of such harrowing circumstances: Jaycee Dugard.The Hamilton-born star says she has someone in common with Dugard, who was abducted in June 1991 on her way to school in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Dugard was held for 18 years by Phillip and Nancy Garrido, and gave birth to two daughters in a hidden compound in the couple’s California backyard.The opportunity came up for Katic and Dugard to meet “in a social setting,” the actress said in a recent interview, noting it happened not as part of her research for “Absentia” but “just because.” Advertisement A photo of the two of them together can be seen on Katic’s Facebook page in a post from July 2016.“She’s a beautiful human being,” Katic said during a stop in Toronto to promote Season 2 of “Absentia,” which premieres Wednesday on Showcase.“She is, in so many ways, fully realized. After having come from a situation where her identity was stripped away from her in so many ways, for her to unfold into this authentic and fully realized woman — she’s got a great sense of humour, she’s a good person — I admire her.”Katic said she didn’t use Dugard specifically as a reference point as she crafted her “Absentia” character, former Boston FBI agent Emily Byrne, who is trying to return to “normal” life after being kidnapped and presumed dead during a risky hunt for a serial killer.But she found Dugard’s story left an impression on her.“In no way can I say emulated it or anything like that, because that experience is, to me, I have to completely respect it and protect that,” said the former “Castle” star.“Her ability to recover and her resilience as a human being and the growth that she’s had since that, I honour and respect that woman so much. However, reading her story, hearing about her and meeting her in person, I can’t say that it didn’t leave granules of information for me.”At the start of Season 2, Emily is in a dark place as she tries to bond with the son she had in her former life before she went missing. She’s also researching her troubled childhood at an orphanage and starting to remember snippets from her time in captivity.The new season was shot in Bulgaria and explores themes of identity, finding a sense of self and having dominion over yourself, said Katic, noting it also delves into the lives of other characters surrounding Emily.Overall, Katic feels her character is like Odysseus from Greek mythology and an antihero going through psychological challenges in order to find her way home.“That’s the kind of character that I am drawn to in my own TV and movie-viewing experience,” Katic said.“For instance, I love Tom Hardy in ‘Taboo,’ I love Cillian Murphy in ‘Peaky Blinders,’ and of course Tony Soprano…. Humans are imperfect and so why wouldn’t a female character be … a version of an antihero?” Facebook Twittercenter_img Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Stana Katiclast_img read more

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Palestinian children mark 20th year of UN rights treaty with video testimony

The project, launched yesterday, is organized by the United Kingdom-based non-governmental organization (NGO), Hoping Foundation, together with the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main body caring for some 4 million Palestinian refugees.The “Hopes and Dreams” project encapsulates the youngsters’ aspirations, bringing together on-line a community divided and scattered by decades of statelessness and exile.Each student is recording a 30-second message. These will form the basis of a living network for the future, to be added to each year. The yearbook has been endorsed by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, who is marking the Convention’s anniversary at an event at UN Headquarters in New York. The segments show the youngsters outlining their hopes in various situations – in the classroom or library, sitting by the roadside, kicking a soccer ball.“Twenty years on, what difference has it made in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestine refugee children?” UNRWA asked in a news release on the anniversary of the Convention. 20 November 2009Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugee children in United Nations schools in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria have been clicking away with flip cams to create the region’s first ever online video yearbook to mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. read more

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Lion Air bodies not yet found

The bodies of the passengers killed in the Lion Air flight which was believed to have been shot down by the LTTE in 1998 are yet to be found.The police today began digging the site where the bodies were believed to have been buried but by this afternoon the bodies were yet to be found. The passenger plane went missing soon after takeoff from Jaffna on 29 September 1998 and was not found since.The plane was carrying 48 passengers and 7 crew members. According to the police, a group of fishermen are believed to have recovered the bodies and buried them nearby following the incident in 1998. The wreckage of the plane was found in the sea off Iranamadu in October after an LTTE cadre in police custody had revealed the location from where the plane was shot down. With the discovery of the wreckage further investigations had revealed the location where the bodies of some passengers of the flight had been buried.The Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) is investigating the incident. read more

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Medicines blankets shelter kits and other supplies rushed to Iran by UN

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has sent over 45 tons of supplies, including health care kits and blankets for the tens of thousands of children affected by the massive disaster. One relief flight from the agency’s global supply centre in Copenhagen was bringing in first aid and health supplies capable of treating 120,000 people; dozens of special obstetric and surgical kits each sufficient to assist in the delivery of 150 babies; 14,000 blankets, including 7,600 for babies; 625,000 water purification tablets; 16 community water tanks with a capacity of 5,000 litres each; three portable generators; and tents, tarpaulin, rope and other shelter supplies. The shipment is valued at approximately $285,000.The second flight from UNICEF operations in neighbouring Afghanistan brought in 72 emergency health and essential drug kits containing antibiotics, painkillers, syringes, injectables, drips and other equipment to enable health workers on the ground to establish small medical clinics capable of providing minor surgery.Each kit contains enough supplies to cover the emergency health needs of 10,000 people for up to three months. The consignment also includes winter tents and plastic sheeting. UNICEF also sent one of its senior Afghan health officers to Bam to help coordinate the response on the ground. Speaking from Kabul, UNICEF’s Reza Hossaini recalled how during its own emergencies, Afghanistan had received a great deal of support from its neighbours. “It is only natural that we should be amongst the first to return that support in this time of acute need in Iran.” For its part, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (IUNHCR) has sent $140,000 worth of aid including 1,000 tents, 10,000 blankets and 3,000 mattresses.Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) today sent blankets, emergency kits, water purification units and jerry cans to the area. The agency is also planning to fly in 40 tons of high-energy biscuits tomorrow from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Brindisi, Italy.A joint UN assessment team in Bam on Saturday found that up to 90 per cent of all buildings in the city were significantly or totally damaged. With temperatures in the area falling below freezing at night, tents and blankets are essential to provide immediate relief.The UN Development Programme (UNDP) contributed $100,000 for relief and coordination efforts, supplementing $90,000 in cash immediately provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are furnishing medical and health supplies.The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) pledged support in safeguarding the cultural heritage of Bam, one of the Iran’s most famous historical sites and home to the 2,000-year-old Arg-e-Bam Citadel. Considered to be the largest earthen structure in the world, the Citadel suffered extensive damage in the quake. read more

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UNESCO chief condemns murder of Iraqi educator CBS crew members

The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today condemned the assassination of a senior Iraqi Education Ministry official and denounced the growing number of attacks against educators in the country while also deploring the killing two CBS television crew members, the latest media professionals to die while covering the war.“I categorically condemn the murder of Sabah al-Jaf,” UNESCO Director-General Kochiro Matsuura said in a statement. “The escalating violence against Education Ministry officials and academics is intolerable. By targeting educators, the perpetrators are of such violence are undermining the reconstruction of Iraq and the future of the country and the democracy.”Mr. al-Jaf and one of his guards were killed by unidentified gunmen in the Al-Karradha district of Baghdad on May 22. Another of his guards is reported to have been seriously wounded in the attack. According to the Geneva-based Study and Research Centre for the Arab and Mediterranean World, nearly 200 academics have been killed in Iraq since 2003 and thousands have been forced into exile. Last month, the UNESCO Director-General appealed to the international community to support Iraqi academics and intellectuals.Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Mr. Matsuura also deplored the killing of two CBS television crew members in Baghdad and called for improved safety for journalists in Iraq.“I urge all authorities concerned to spare no effort in seeking to improve the safety of journalists, media workers and support staff committed to the fundamental human right of freedom of expression in Iraq,” he said.CBS cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan died when a United States military unit came under attack Monday. Both Mr. Douglas and Mr. Brolan were accompanying the US military unit.According to the International Federation of Journalists, as many as 127 reporters have been killed in Iraq since 2003. read more

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Refugees overcrowded to boiling point on Greek island warns UN agency

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which issued the appeal on Friday, described the centres as “squalid, inadequate and rapidly deteriorating”.Levels of overcrowding on some islands are on a par with March 2016, when arrival rates were far higher than they are now.The majority of those seeking shelter are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the UN agency.It has warned that hundreds of unaccompanied boys and girls are particularly at risk, along with dozens of pregnant women, newborns and survivors of sexual violence.More than 3,000 asylum-seekers on the islands have been given permission to move to the mainland, but transfers “have been slow”, UNHCR says, owing to a lack of accommodation and reception facilities. “The situation is reaching boiling point at the Moria RIC on the island of Lesvos,” UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley said, referring to the Reception and Identification Centres (RIC) used to house new arrivals.“More than 7,000 asylum-seekers and migrants are crammed into shelters built to accommodate just 2,000 people,” he added. “A quarter of those are children.”There are similar overcrowding levels on another Greek island, Samos, where some 2,700 mainly Syrian and Iraqi families are staying in a facility that was originally designed to hold around 700 people.On the islands of Chios and Kos, meanwhile, reception centres are at close to double their intended capacity.“This is likely to become a serious concern if not addressed before winter sets in,” Mr. Yaxley told journalists, before warning of other urgent needs.“We are particularly concerned about woefully inadequate sanitary facilities, fighting amongst frustrated communities, rising levels of sexual harassment and assaults and the increasing need for medical and psycho-social care,” he said, noting that increasing numbers of people – “including children” – have been displaying signs of mental health problems.So far this month, around 800 asylum-seekers have been moved to the Greece’s mainland.But this has failed to ease the pressure on the island reception facilities, as the number of arrivals has increased to an average of 114 per day, up from 83 in July.To help reduce delays in transporting vulnerable people to the Greek mainland, UNHCR will continue to assist in the process next month.“We do encourage the Greek authorities, who have received European funding for this situation, to address these challenges and to accelerate the procedure and measures to decongest the island as soon as possible,” Mr. Yaxley said.Latest data from UNHCR indicates that so far this year, around 19,000 vulnerable people have reached the Greek islands from Turkey. In 2015, the number was more than 850,000.“It’s a very manageable situation, it’s a question of political will,” Mr. Yaxley told journalists in Geneva, in an appeal for European Union countries to show solidarity with those in need of international protection. read more

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Why is Apple still selling the iPad 2

first_imgThe big announcement regarding tablets at the Apple event today was the super thin iPad 5, which has been given the new name of iPad Air. That actually makes sense as it brings it in line with the thinnest of the MacBooks — the MacBook Air. But Apple surprised everyone by stating it will continue to offer the iPad 2, but discontinue the iPad 4. Why continue to sell the A5-powered iPad 2 when the Retina display iPad is being killed off?If we didn’t have the two iPad minis in the lineup, then the answer would be a simple one: Apple wants to offer a cheaper tablet for those who can’t afford the $500 iPad Air, while at the same time competing with cheaper 10-inch tablets from its competitors. The new iPad mini with Retina Display, though, is $399, which is the same price as the iPad 2. And the previous generation iPad mini is even cheaper at $299. Seemingly, there is no need for that iPad 2 to exist.My guess is that sticking with the iPad 2 over the iPad 4 or simply not offering a second 9.7-inch tablet at all, came down to two factors: cost and consistency. Apple typically offers a new generation alongside the old generation for its mobile products. That’s classically the case for the iPhone, the iPad, and now the iPad mini. Apple wants to continue that trend with the iPad Air, and opted for the iPad 2 as the older, cheaper option.The other factor of cost simply comes down to how much cheaper the iPad 2 must be to produce compared to the iPad 4. The iPad 2 has half the RAM, a non-Retina Display, no LTE, cheaper cameras, and a cheaper A5 chip at its heart. The profit margin for producing such a tablet compared to the year-old iPad 4 must be significant. The iPad 2 also doesn’t have the thicker body, the bigger battery, or the longer recharge times associated with the power-guzzling iPad 3 and 4.In other words, Apple is keeping the iPad 2 for those who don’t want to spend the money on the iPad Air, but who also want a full-sized 9.7-inch display. They will happily sell you one and take the extra profit they wouldn’t have made on the iPad 4. At the same time, the difference in performance and features offered on the iPad Air will make it look even better, and push many consumers to spend the extra $100. Consumers will also be thinking: why spend $400 on an old iPad when I can get that gorgeous new Retina iPad mini for the same price?Apple wants you to purchase its latest products, and by continuing to offer the 31-month-old iPad 2, it is actually gently pushing you to purchase an iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display instead.[Image credit: osde8info]last_img read more

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No One Ever Told Tanya Grief Felt So Like Fear in Class

first_img BBC Officially Cancels ‘Class,’ And I’m SadSchool’s Out for ‘Class’ Creator Patrick Ness Stay on target This article contains spoilers for “Nightvisiting,” episode three of Class season one.Grief is a powerful motivator.Almost as powerful as hatred.On the two-year anniversary of her father’s death, Tanya mourns his passing with flowers, tears, and a heart-to-heart with the late policeman.Unlike its parent series, Class pulls no punches when it comes to evil doings in and around Coal Hill School. Writer and creator Patrick Ness knows when to tease out a villain (see “The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo”), and when to just get on with the explanations and the vanquishing (see this episode).Dear Ol’ Dad Jasper is clearly not actually sitting in Tanya’s bedroom, expecting a chat. Just as Ram’s murdered girlfriend Rachel and Miss Quill’s long-departed sister Orla’ath—each sprouting an alien umbilical cord from their back—are not here for a friendly visit.At only 14 years old, Tanya has experienced more emotional trauma than most will in a lifetime; the child prodigy has been hardened to the ways of the world—terrestrial and alien.So when the ghost of her father appears on the anniversary of his passing, she almost shrugs off the situation, saying that she doesn’t think she’s “dealing with this very well.”Frankly, she’s not: It’s her heartache that’s led a grief-sucking race of aliens directly to her bedroom window, like sharks smelling blood. The Lankin travel through space and time to gather wounded souls—just like Tanya’s (and Ram’s and Quill’s).“The more souls we gather together, the more energy the Lankin have,” Jasper explains, urging Tanya to take his hand so “I can ease your pain.”Unable to take people against their will, the chameleon-like Lankin morph into lost loved ones, in an effort to entice new victims (a stranger in a white van full of candy and toys). Then, by taking another life, the alien feeds on the next generation of mourners, creating an unending cycle, as Ram so aptly pointed out (while clinging to Tanya’s pajama-clad leg—a surefire survival tactic, I’ve heard).Tanya fights fear with anger (via BBC)While the hungry alien creature feeds on unwitting Londoners, Charlie and Beau newly homeless Matteusz take their relationship to the next level, just as sparks begin to fly for April and Ram.Bonding over death, destruction, and folk music, the teenagers share a sweet (if not brief) kiss. After all, if the world’s ending, what’s one smooch between diverse classmates forced together by extraordinary circumstances friends?This episode, expertly written by Ness, plays with words and phrasing in a most satisfyingly subtle way. When Matteusz confesses to Charlie that his homophobic father kicked him out because “if I don’t have a boyfriend, he doesn’t have to think about it.”But Charlie—he exists. He’s a “real person.” Unlike those imitations haunting Tanya, Quill, and Ram.Everyone deals with sadness and loss in their own way. Some bottle up their feelings, others set them free. I tend to spend a quiet evening alone, sobbing into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s froyo and watching my favorite Barry Manilow live concert DVDs.Tanya, however, fights back. Younger than her peers, she is at once guarded and hasty; desperate to fit in with the Scooby Gang, she’ll never show her hand to anyone.“My grief may be strong, but my anger is stronger,” she declares to the weakening monster. “And that’s what I gave you. … You don’t get to have my closure.”The bitter taste of outrage was not enough, though, to defeat the Lankin. So Miss Quill drives a double-decker bus into the city-wide vines, forcing it back through the rift.“We beat it together,” Tanya cheers in the end. “Finally we did something as a team”—just as the Doctor ordered.Missed episode two of Class? Check out our recap of “The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo,” as well as our review of Doctor Who episode “Thin Ice.”last_img read more

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Star Wars Outer Rim Is a Bounty Hunter Board Game

first_imgStay on target Star Wars x Adidas Ultraboost Photos Have Leaked’Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form Whether or not Disney wants to admit it, Star Wars video games are a huge trash fire right now. You wouldn’t think it would be this hard to translate one of the most iconic #brands of all-time, currently at one of its creative heights, into a medium as varied as video games. But here we are.Fortunately, video games aren’t the only kinds of games. So if you’re looking for an interactive experience in the galaxy far, far away, take a look at Star Wars: Outer Rim, a new board game from Fantasy Flight Games.As the name suggests Star Wars: Outer Rim takes players to that furthermost edge of the galaxy where all the crime happens. The nifty layout of the board itself even evokes this sense of place. And speaking of Star Wars video games, the premise reminds us of the infamous Star Wars 1313, the game whose cancellation in retrospect was an early premonition for Star Wars video game troubles.In Star Wars: Outer Rim players are seedy lowlifes, mercenaries and bounty hunters, skeptical criminals who haunt Mos Eisley Cantina and scoff at the very idea of the Jedi. The goal is to go from rags to riches taking on jobs like smuggling illegal cargo and messing with mob bosses. Your gear and your ship play a big role as you navigate the dangerous space of the Outer Rim itself.While your dream might be to earn fame, the scoundrels you recruit for your crew need no introductions. Characters include outlaw Star Wars icons like Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett, and Jyn Erso each bringing their unique set of skills to the job. The Fantasy Flight Games website has way more details.Star Wars: Outer Rim releases in Q2 2019. Here’s hoping it’s a better trek through the Star Wars underworld than Solo. For more on board games check out the upcoming Metal Gear Solid tabletop game and read our lists for best board games and best two-player board games.last_img read more

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Strong winds kick up a storm of ash dust on Mount St

first_imgStrong winds and dry weather were blowing ash from Mount St. Helens Sunday morning, reducing visibility and air quality in areas west of the peak.The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) reported re-suspended volcanic ash blowing from the mountain due to winds from the east, based on satellite and web cam footage showing ash and dust coming from the mountain. There has been no eruption at the active volcano, according to VAAC and the National Weather Service (NWS).Ash and dust from the mountain are fairly common in the fall after much of the snow that keeps the dust down has melted, said Colby Newman, a meteorologist with the NWS in Portland. Areas west of the mountain as far out as Washington’s southwestern Pacific coast had reported a decline in air quality Sunday morning, dropping to “moderate” from “good,” according to airnow.gov. An air-quality measurement station in Raymond, Pacific County, showed the air was back at “good” by 11 a.m., while another in Chehalis, Lewis County, showed it was still “moderate.”“It’s usually in August, September when the mountain starts to lose most of its snow,” Newman said by phone. “If everything’s covered in snow there’s nothing to blow around.”Air pollution caused by the ash and dust in the mountain’s vicinity may continue through the afternoon, but conditions are expected to improve as winds die down Sunday evening, according to the Portland Weather Forecast Office.The Portland Weather Forecast office warned that people immediately west of Mt. St. Helens may experience respiratory problems and should avoid outdoor activities in the region.last_img read more

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Speech By the Hon Attorney General on the Opening of the Supreme

first_img Turks and Caicos Laws now available online Attorney General announces 14 Law Reforms for 2016 Related Items:attorney eneral, rhondalee knowles Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppMy Lady Chief Justice, Judges of the Supreme Court, distinguished guests, President of the Bar Council and Colleagues at the Bar, Ladies and Gentlemen.I am pleased to rise to move a motion for the opening of the Supreme Court for the 2015 session after a long abeyance in this practice. On this ceremonial occasion, it is perhaps timely to recall the origins of this event in the Middle Ages in the United Kingdom. For the legal fraternity, this traditional gathering commemorates the principles of defending access to justice and the rule of law. I commend My Lady Chief Justice for reintroducing the practice as such events “… reminds all of those actively involved within the legal system of the need to uphold these principles internationally, as well as at home, for the benefit of society.”With your Ladyship’s leave I propose in moving the motion, to make a few observations by way of a brief retrospective on 2014 as well as a look at some of the work before us.2014 can only be described as another daunting year for the legal profession in the Turks and Caicos Islands. A year in which there was more than the usual share of challenges. Fortunately we were more than able to rise to each challenge and to dispassionately and calmly meet matters head on.My Ladies, 2014 was characterized by continued good work, co-operation and endeavour in a number of areas by stakeholders in the legal arena and significant further progress towards systemic improvements.Access to Law – Work is almost completed on the current Law Revision which has a revision date of 31st December 2014 and is intended to be issued before the end of the first quarter of 2015. In this regard, the question of greater access to the laws of the Turks and Caicos Islands is being explored to provide a solution that would allow more ready access through the use of modern technology whilst at the same time maintain the integrity of the authorized versions of the Law which would be used in the Court room setting.Legislation – I am pleased to report in a bid to give effect to the Government’s Legislative Agenda, that the Legislative Drafting division had another very active year and with the cooperation and involvement of members of the legal profession, associations and the general public a number of important pieces of legislation were progressed. We are grateful for the assistance of all those who participated in the consultation process with respect to the very many pieces of legislation which were considered throughout the year, including legislation dealing with the better regulation of Not For Profit organizations.The hardworking staff of the Legislative Drafting division consists of three drafters and one legislative systems administrator with a vacancy in one of the drafting positions. That small team produced 24 Ordinances and some 50 pieces of subsidiary legislation.Of note:1. The Abolition of Bearer Shares which was done by a December 2013 Ordinance which took effect in the first half of 2014.2. Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance 2014 which provides for the implementation of the United Nations Convention respecting the suppression of the financing of terrorism and the United Nations Security Council resolution on terrorism and generally to make provision for preventing and combating terrorism. The Ordinance is modelled after the UK Terrorism Act 2000 and the Terrorism (Jersey) Law 2002.3. Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance 2014 – provides for the rehabilitation of offenders who have not been reconvicted within the specified rehabilitation period. This is to ensure that people do not have lifelong blots on their records because of relatively minor offences in their past, which may impact negatively in such persons acquiring employment or other services. The intention of the Ordinance is to exclude any prejudice which may occur because of disclosures of person’s relatively minor past convictions or offences; and to aid the reintegration and resettlement of ex-offenders into employment by not requiring them or any other person to disclose or answer questions regarding their spent convictions.4. Financial Intelligence Agency Ordinance 2014 – established an independent agency to assist in the detection, prevention and control of financial crimes; by receiving reports of suspicious transactions from financial institutions and other persons; analysing that information and disseminating it to law enforcement authorities and relevant bodies.5. Invest Turks and Caicos Islands Agency 2014 – established the Invest Turks and Caicos Agency as a corporate body with legal personality to assist the Government in encouraging business and commercial development in the Islands.6. Dormant Accounts Ordinance 2014 – makes provision for financial institutions to report dormant accounts to the Permanent Secretary, Finance and to transfer monies in accounts that have not been used for more than 7 years, called “dormant accounts” to the Government, subject to claims for repayment by the owners of the dormant accounts. Prior to the enactment of that Ordinance, all inactive accounts were managed by banks. The Ordinance was based largely on the Cayman Islands Dormant Accounts Law 2010 but consideration was also given to the BVI Dormant Accounts Act 2011 and the Republic of Ireland Dormant Accounts Act 2001.Additionally, a heavy legislative drafting programme is being prepared for the year 2015 in order to give effect to the Government’s Legislative Agenda.Some of the proposals to be implemented by legislative measures include-1. New Domestic Insurance provisions2. Trust law reform3. Immigration law reform4. Important criminal law and procedure reforms5. An Employment Bill to repeal and replace the current law with substantial reforms6. Small Medium Enterprise proposals to encourage local business7. An Attorney General’s Reference Bill to enable questions to be referred to the court8. New and substantial anti Domestic Violence provisions9. More elaborate provision to provide for the Maintenance of Children10. Detailed Family Guardianship Custody and Access to Children provisions11. Better provision for Child (Care and Adoption)12. New provisions relating to Child and Juvenile JusticeAs well as the completion of work on the long consulted new Legal Profession provisions to reform the law in this area to provide for better accountability and effectiveness in areas such as the training of local attorneys and continuous education generally, handling client accounts, requirements relating to good practice for insurance coverage, solvency and discipline.International obligations – As for international obligations, during 2014 the Turks and Caicos Islands completed negotiations and signed a FATCA agreement with the United States of America, was a member of the early adopters group along with all of the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies following recent developments in the new international Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters. We saw the beginning of the National Risk Assessment of our financial services industry using the World Bank tool, which is a self-assessment ahead of the next round of peer assessments by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force. I wish to personally thank the members of the Bar and the private sector generally for their participation and ongoing commitment.Crime – On the crime front, we note the continued extensive work of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Police in meeting the many challenging situations over the past year. In so doing I take this opportunity to thank the outgoing DPP JoAnn Meloche who has served the Islands with energy and determination during her tenure and has seen the progressive development of the Office of the DPP which may be her enduring legacy. Additionally, I wish to offer our sincere gratitude to the outgoing Commissioner of Police Colin Farquhar who has led the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force through the numerous challenges faced by them and the Islands during his tenure. At the same time, I welcome the incoming Commissioner James Smith to the post and extend to him our good wishes for a smooth transition.I also take this opportunity to commend the DPP and the Commissioner and their respective teams of Officers for their strenuous efforts in fighting crime and overseeing law and order.Administration of Justice – Turning now to the administration of justice, our gratitude goes out to the former Chief Justice Edwin Goldsbrough for his competent service to the Islands as head of the Judiciary. With the appointment of My Lady Chief Justice we have already begun to see the fruits of some of the energy referred to by His Excellency Governor Beckingham in his speech at the swearing in. Noting that a new Judge of the Supreme is shortly to arrive and other efforts at reforming the administration of the judiciary are already underway with plans to promote important law reforms, many of which coincide with areas of law reform already being considered. Other areas of welcome reform which are being considered include the publication of statistics and better financial management. On the issue of facilities, we saw the opening of an additional and much needed courtroom on Providenciales, however, it is noted that the increasing reliance on video-conference or remote testimony, in both domestic as well as mutual assistance in criminal matters cases, would be greatly hampered if these facilities were not of an acceptable standard or were not well maintained. My Lady, the Government is committed to ensuring the proper resourcing of the courts and it is hoped that improvements in this area will shortly be realized.The volume of civil and commercial litigation has markedly increased and important work on establishing an accessible repository of judicial decisions which would be greatly assist civil and commercial litigators needs the support of the bar to succeed. All levels of the Courts have been incredibly busy and notwithstanding some challenges, it is obvious that the judiciary has worked assiduously during 2014 and has accomplished much.Personnel side – My Ladies, I am pleased to say that two additional civil/commercial attorneys and one additional drafter are due to be hired within my Chambers in the first quarter of 2015. I am equally pleased to announce that Mrs. Wynante Adrien-Roberts has today taken up her position as Deputy Attorney General following the February 2014 vacancy. Mrs. Adrien-Roberts is a thoroughly qualified and experienced attorney having been solicitor general in Dominica for many years before moving to the private bar. Mrs. Adrien-Roberts will focus on training and development within my Chambers and will undoubtedly be an asset to my already stellar team.We recognize that while change is underway in some areas, there are still steps which need to be taken towards full implementation of others in 2015. The challenges of dispensing justice are numerous and supporting each other is our strength. Together we ought to stand up in our various roles as the judiciary, the legal service and the private bar and make a difference.My Ladies there remains only for me to reiterate the continued commitment of the Government in ensuring the required resources for the smooth administration of Justice, and of my Chambers to providing quality service and our assistance in whatever way we can to facilitate the efficient conduct of the business of these Courts, valuing the independence of the Judiciary as a corner stone to the rule of law and in moving the motion for the opening of the Supreme Court 2015 to wish for your Ladyships, Magistrates, Court Staff, and all here present, a prosperous and productive New Year.I now formally move the motion for the opening of the Turks and Caicos Islands Supreme Court for the year 2015. May it so please you my Ladies.Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, OBEHon. Attorney General5th January 2015 Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Sexual crimes trending higher for 2015last_img read more

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Xhaka speaks about Arsenals victory

first_imgThe Gunners defeated Fulham 4-1 today in the English Premier League to open 2019 with a win that puts them fifth on the tableGranit Xhaka scored in the 25th minute today for Arsenal in order to open the doors for the Gunners to beat Fulham FC 4-1.And Xhaka is very happy after his goal and explained the importance of winning at Anfield.“Of course, it was not a good game for us against Liverpool. We started well there but after we lost 5-1. We know we have a lot we need to improve, and today is the first step,” he told the club’s official website.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“We know they have a new coach, a good team and we knew that before but we were playing at home and we started well, we had some chances and scored the first goals and after it went to 2-1, there were a few nerves but we are happy to have the three points.”“Yes, surprise, surprise, I can score in the box now! I am happy to be able to help the team and to take the three points, which is the most important thing,” he said about his goal.“We can learn a lot from this team. We know Liverpool have a good team this year and we have a tough programme in front of us we play West Ham away and then Chelsea at home and we want to get in the top four.”last_img read more

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Gregoire kids dignitaries celebrate new waterfront access

first_imgMore information about the waterfront access project can be found on the City of Vancouver’s website.More information about the West Vancouver freight access project can be found on the Port of Vancouver’s website.Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday helped the Vancouver community celebrate a critical breakthrough, literally, in the city’s waterfront access project: Constructions crews recently punched through the railroad berm that’s blocked access to the waterfront for more than a century.In the coming years, the 35-acre waterfront area located just west of Interstate 5 will be transformed into a “world-class destination,” as Gregoire put it, boasting an 8-acre public park, new roads and railroad infrastructure, retailers, restaurants, office space and condos. The land was formerly an industrial site owned by Boise Cascade. “I think this is one of the best celebrations that I could ever envision to close out my time as governor of this great state, and one of the biggest accomplishments for this entire region,” said Gregoire, who will not seek re-election in November.last_img read more

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