Former political attache to Quebec premier Pauline Marois pleads guilty

first_imgMONTREAL – A former political aide to ex-Quebec premier Pauline Marois has pleaded guilty to counselling a criminal offence that was not committed.Ernest Murray was part of a group of seven people, including former deputy Quebec premier Nathalie Normandeau, who were arrested in 2016 and charged with fraud-related offences.Murray pleaded guilty today to sending an email to an engineering firm with names of people he claimed were willing to be used in a scheme to violate campaign finance laws.His defence lawyer Mathieu Camirand says sentencing arguments are scheduled to take place at the end of August.Normandeau and five other co-accused in the case were not permitted to have a preliminary inquiry and will head straight to trial.The allegations against her include conspiracy, corruption, breach of trust and fraud in a scheme in which political financing and gifts were allegedly exchanged for lucrative government contracts between 2000 and 2012.last_img read more

Lake Louise resort power outage jeopardizes womens World Cup downhill

first_imgLAKE LOUISE, Alta. – A power outage closed Lake Louise ski resort to the public Saturday morning, but organizers were still trying to get the women’s World Cup downhill underway.A resort spokesman said a power line to the resort failed.Athletes and the public were stranded on lifts for about 30 minutes before backup power got them running again to off load.The public were told to go to their cars.It was announced athletes would be taken up the mountain on snow cats for their course inspection and that the start time for the race was delayed an hour.“We cannot get people up the hill on backup power, but if you can get them up the hill, you can run a race,” resort communications director Dan Markham said.“We have power systems that will allow for the timing to work. The challenge is getting all the athletes up there.”Cornelia Huetter of Austria won the season-opening downhill Friday at the resort.A super-G is scheduled for Sunday.last_img read more

Joss Stone Says No To Exotic Skins

first_imgIt’s a side of Joss Stone you’ve never seen before: the singer appears as a crocodile in a stark new PETA advert that states, “3 Animals Are Killed to Make 1 Crocodile Bag. Say NO to Exotic Skins”.Joss Stone – Exotic SkinsThe ad was shot by top photographer Andrzej Dragan and comes in the wake of a PETA exposé of farms that supply crocodile and alligator skins to Hermès-owned tanneries, which revealed that reptiles were trapped in barren and severely crowded pits. Workers shot alligators in the head, some multiple times, with a captive-bolt gun and sawed open the back of their necks with a box cutter to sever their blood vessels. Some of them were still moving minutes after the crude attempt to slaughter them.“Although I’m not as familiar with crocodiles as I am with dogs and horses, I know that all animals are capable of suffering”, says Stone. “I hope when people see footage of what happens to crocodiles and alligators killed for their skin to be turned into handbags, they’ll join me in leaving wildlife out of their wardrobes.”“Every bag made from exotic skins comes with a high price – and it’s paid by the animals who are raised in filthy, crowded, waste-filled tanks and cruelly killed. We don’t need to steal animals’ skin for fashion, and we’re grateful that Joss has joined us in sending this message”, says PETA Associate Director Elisa Allen.As revealed by PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – snakes, alligators and other exotic animals who are killed for their skins are commonly nailed to trees, bludgeoned with hammers and skinned alive.Stone has previously teamed up with PETA to draw attention to the plight of bears who are cruelly killed to make The Queen’s Guard’s ceremonial caps.last_img read more

From a backyard rink made of scraps to the NHL – Brady

first_imgAmber BernardAPTN NewsFor more than 40 years, community members in the Pimicikamak Cree Nation in Manitoba have gathered nightly for the game of bingo – that streak was put on hold Thursday night.Instead, they gathered to watch Brady Keeper, one of their sons, take to the ice in Ottawa and make his NHL debut as a defenceman with the Florida Panthers.“I’m so happy with all of the support I get back home, it’s really, really cool, I’m just really happy,” Keeper told APTN News after the game. “I guess they cancelled bingo and watched the game. That was pretty cool.”Keeper signed with the Panthers last week after playing two seasons with the Maine Blackbears.(Family and friends made the trip to Ottawa for Brady’s game. Photo: Amber Bernard/APTN)In Ottawa, at a game dubbed reconciliation night by the hometown Senators, Keeper took part in the ceremonial puck drop.“Obviously it’s special for me. I guess I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life,” he said.Growing up, Keeper, 22, used to play hockey on a rink his father made out of garbage scraps.Brady’s father Anthony Keeper, remembers he built a backyard rink for his kids with materials he found in a garbage dump – not knowing that it would ever lead to watching his son play in the big leagues.“I did, just to keep them busy,” he says. “To get them where I guess I can see them all the time and it kept them busy.“We didn’t know how far it would take them, we’re actually here now (Keeper’s first NHL game,) it’s so amazing.”Thank you to @FlaPanthers for making Brady’s dream come true!!!!— SC (@shaylynconstant) March 20, 2019Brady Keeper talks fondly about his childhood and the opportunities his father helped to create for him.“Me and my brother used to play in the background of our house. So it was really special for them… so all the props got to go to him (his Father.)”Back at home, with no bingo on the schedule, people were ready to cheer Keeper on.“So back home there’s a lot of people hyped up for this game – the NHL debut of Brady,” said Pimicikamak Councillor Ivan Monias who made the trip to Ottawa.(Keeper meets with media after being named the game’s 3rd Star. Photo: Amber Bernard/APTN)The young player wants to remind youth looking up to him to work hard and have fun.“My dad used to tell me all the time that if you work hard and stay away from the wrong stuff…and have fun, you can do whatever you want in your life, and that’s what I’m doing right now,” he said.Brady Keeper said he wants to get more time on the ice moving forward and wants to play in the next game with the Florida Panthers.“Hopefully fly to Boston and join another game tomorrow.”Keeper ended the game with one shot on goal, 12:40 of ice time and was named third star.Florida’s next game is March 30 in read more

New Saudi Fatwa Prohibits Eating in Open Buffets

first_imgTaroudant, Morocco- According to Al Arabiya, Saleh al-Fawzan, a Saudi cleric, has recently issued a Fatwa (religious edict) prohibiting eating in open buffets.According to the same source, the Saudi cleric based his Fatwa on the way restaurants in the kingdom run buffets.“The value and quantity of what is sold should be pre-determined before it is purchased,” the cleric was quoted by Al Arabiya as saying. “Whoever enters the buffet and eats for 10 or 50 riyals without deciding the quantity they will eat is violating Sharia (Islamic) law,” said Fawzan on al-Atheer channel.The fatwa, which was issued on a Saudi Quranic TV station, has stirred a hot debate among Twitter users.Some tweets criticized the fatwa arguing that it has nothing to do with the Quran and that restaurants quantify the food they serve to their customers.“This is not Quran just a mere fatwa, if you want to follow it, you are a free man but you cannot impose it on others,” said one Twitter user according to the same source.“Restaurants will be ruined if they didn’t quantify the food they sold. This negates the sheikh’s premise that the quantity is unknown,” another user said.But other users defended the fatwa, and labelled those who criticized the cleric as “ignorant.”“The disaster is those who criticize the sheikh are ignorant, they do not know.”It is worth mentioning that the Saudi Council of Muftis is only religious council which has the authority to issue fatwas.last_img read more

UN refugee office to monitor closure of camp for Chechen refugees in

Up to 3 December Camp A, or Alina camp, housed 818 refugees. They are now being offered a choice of returning to Chechnya, going to Camp C, Satsita camp, also in Ingushetia, a republic bordering Chechnya, or taking rooms in temporary settlements which have been repaired by non-government organizations (NGOs), UNHCR said.One hundred and three families said they wished to relocate to Satsita, 72 families chose to return to Chechnya and another 27 families had not yet made up their minds. UNHCR said it was making sure that these choices are voluntary.Camp A is the third camp closed in the past year, it said. Iman camp was closed last December. Camp B, Bella, was closed in late September and about 1,000 persons were moved to Camp Satsita, it said. UNHCR, Ingushetia migration authorities and the displaced people have been erecting tents at Satsita for the new families, while NGOs are helping hook up lines for gas, electricity and water.In another development, UNHCR sent a mission to Grozny to survey the situation of voluntary returnees in two temporary accommodation centres (TACs). Everything was fine, except for garbage collection outside, it said.The internally displaced people (IDPs) there were concerned about compensation for property losses and education for their children, UNHCR said. read more

New apparel innovation centre to design test and manufacture protective clothing

CALGARY – You won’t see this fashion on the catwalks of London or Paris — it’s more likely destined for the energy, mining and manufacturing sectors of northern Alberta.A new research, development and manufacturing centre in Calgary is being set up to try to make the workplace safer.Olds College is joining Alberta Garment Manufacturing to establish what is believed to be Western Canada’s first apparel research and development facility.When it opens in 2015, the Calgary-based facility will test, design and manufacture protective clothing for the energy and construction industries, as well as for the Canadian Forces.“It’s looking at how we can make our workplace more safe and certainly when we’re looking at labour challenges for the energy industry this is going to have a direct impact on that,” said Michelle Rempel, the federal minister of Western Economic Diversification.“So the development of flame retardant clothes, especially clothing for steam exposure … hot liquid exposure. A compelling part of this project for me, is that even though they’re developing innovative technologies it’s also going to help the corporate, social responsibility of some of the energy sector.”The federal government has announced it will give the facility just under $3 million to purchase equipment.Adrian Bussoli, president of Alberta Garment Manufacturing, says the centre will design its own product lines and test designs from other companies.He says an example would be tests on cold-weather gear developed by the Canadian military.“People in Vancouver, people in the military, people in Winnipeg, people in all of Canada can test their product. Canada is known as a cold country. It doesn’t have many facilities that can test their cold ratings of products. Now it will have,” said Bussoli.He said the oil and gas sector has the most potential right now especially in steam assisted gravity drainage operations in Fort McMurray. The technique is an enhanced oil recovery technology for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen.“They have need for testing product and developing standards for steam because steam processing is a dangerous occupation. Right now there is no clothing that protects the worker from steam accidents,” Bussoli said.The new facility will complement the Fashion Marketing and Apparel Technology programs offered by Olds College and will be connected to the Alberta Garment Manufacturing facility in northeast Calgary.Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter by Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press Posted May 2, 2014 11:16 am MDT New apparel innovation centre to design, test and manufacture protective clothing AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

At UN Prime Minister of Bangladesh spotlights countrys development progress

In the last four and a half years, 50 million people have joined the ranks of the middle class while the average gross domestic product (GDP) rate has remained at 6.4 per cent, Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh told the General Assembly today.According to Prime Minister Hasina, “Bangladesh is often named as a ‘Model of Economic Development’ and the ‘Standard Bearer of South Asia’,” and Bangladesh aims to become a middle income country.Using state of the art digital technology, said the Prime Minister, the country is already on track to meet several of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the anti-poverty targets set in 2000 covering a broad range of development indicators.Rural women are getting health care services from digitally-connected community health clinics, while advanced cell phone technologies are also providing services to over 100 million subscribers, she said.On the education front, girls will be provided free education up to the higher secondary level along with free textbooks and monthly stipends, she added. According to the Prime Minister, “real national development is achievable only through education.”She told delegations how Bangladesh is possibly the only nation today with women occupying the position of Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader. However, despite progress in some spheres, Bangladesh faces a calamitous future due to global warming and sea level rise. A one degree Celsius increase in temperature would lead to a metre rise of sea levels, submerging a fifth of the country and 30 million “climate migrants” would be created, she warned.Bangladesh is the first among South Asian nations to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Anti Personnel Mine Ban Treaty, she said, and the country will be first to sign the Arms Trade Treaty.The Prime Minister reminded delegations that as Bangladesh is a least developed country, held back by resource constraints, donors need to make good on providing official development assistance of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product (GNP). read more

Radio 2 puts Jo Whiley in the driving seat but axes its

first_imgBBC Radio 2 has axed three of its longest-running shows, and their veteran male presenters, in a station shake-up that promotes women.Listen to the Band, a weekly mix of brass and military band music hosted by Frank Renton for the past 23 years, is to go, as is The Organist Returns, presented by Nigel Ogden.Renton and Ogden will be replaced in their late night slots by Sara Cox, who has a new 10pm-midnight show offering an “upbeat playlist” and interviews with theatre, film and music stars.Paul Jones, the former Manfred Mann singer and presenter of a Radio 2 rhythm and blues show for more than 30 years, is also leaving the station. His Monday night show will be taken over by Cerys Matthews. Paul Jones thanked listeners for tuning in over the decades but said it was time “to hand over the baton”. Mr Carnie said the programmes would be “resting”. But Frank Renton told the Telegraph: “The programme is finished. I have been doing it for 23 years. I’m very sad.“Listeners will be equally upset because there are a large number of people involved in band culture in Great Britain, and they enjoy their weekly outing with BBC Radio 2 and now they have lost it.“I’ve no quibbles with the BBC. I’ve been there for a long time so they treated me with a great deal of respect, but at the end of the day you’re getting the sack.”  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sara Cox Cerys Matthews said hosting the blues show on Radio 2 is “a dream come true”Credit:Jay Williamscenter_img Cerys Matthews The BBC said brass music would continue on the station, featuring in other programmes.Nigel Ogden said it had been a “privilege” to present his organ music show for 38 years. “Nothing lasts forever and it has had a great run. Obviously people in higher places than me have plans for Radio 2. It’s sad that it has come to an end.“The reason is simply that changes need to be made from time to time to reflect changes in the majority of listeners’ tastes. We’ve certainly had a good and loyal audience and I think, were the programme to remain, that dedicated audience would remain.” Sara Cox will present a new live show from 10pm-midnight every Monday-ThursdayCredit:Andrew Crowley Jo Whiley will partner Simon Mayo on a new drivetime show – the first time a woman has presented a primetime weekday show on the station for 20 years.After an outcry over the cancellation of After Midnight, live programming will return to Radio 2 overnight with a midnight-3am show presented by OJ Borg.And Gary Davies, a Radio 1 presenter in the 1980s, will host a weekly Friday night show.Lewis Carnie, head of Radio 2, said the station needed to “refresh” its specialist genres. The Organist Entertains and Listen to the Band “have been long-serving programmes on Radio 2 but as the audience evolves we have to reflect what best serves their needs.”last_img read more

Metso to supply grinding equipment to Kinross Golds Paracatu in Brazil

first_imgMetso will supply a ball mill and related equipment and services to Kinross Gold Corp for its Paracatu operation, located 230 km south of Brazil’s capital Brasília. The delivery will be completed by June 2011. This is the fourth high capacity ball mill supplied by Metso for the nKinross Paracatu site. The order comprises one ball mill with dual drive. Metso’s scope of supply also includes spare parts, maintenance, training and technical supervision services. Metso has already supplied one SAG mill and three ball mills for this grinding circuit.The Paracatu mine is a large-scale open-pit operation located near the city of Paracatu. Kinross first acquired an ownership interest in the Paracatu mine upon completion of the merger with TVX on January 31, 2003. On December 31, 2004, Kinross purchased the remaining 51% from Rio Tinto.Access to the mine is provided by paved federal highways and charter aircraft. The mine is the largest employer in Paracatu, which is predominantly an agricultural town. Gold mining in the Paracatu area dates back to 1722 with the discovery of placer gold in the creeks and rivers of the Paracatu region.Both the mill and mine operate 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The nominal plant throughput is 4.8 t/month or 58 Mt/y, considering the present ore hardness. In 2006, Kinross began an expansion of the mill facilities, which is expected to triple throughput to 61 Mt/y. Production of gold from the expansion plant began in September 2008. The expansion is expected to extend the life of the mining operation to 2040.Kinross is a Canadian-based gold mining company with mines and projects located in the US, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Russia, Ghana, and Mauritania. The company employs approximately 7,000 people worldwide. Kinross is listed on Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges. In 2009, Kinross revenue was US$2.4 billion.last_img read more

Normet wins large order from Hindustan Zinc to enhance mining operations

first_imgNormet, an innovative underground technology company, has won several new orders from Hindustan Zinc, India’s only and a world leading producer of zinc-lead-silver.Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group Company, with whom Normet has been a preferred partner for several years, has plans to substantially increase production, productivity and safety in its zinc-lead-silver mines.The orders include the latest technologies in equipment for explosive charging, concrete spraying and transport, personnel transport, lifting and installation, scaling and underground logistics, and total close to €15 million.Normet’s service teams will support and maintain the ordered fleet of Normet equipment according to a separate comprehensive long-term fleet maintenance agreement.“We are proud to be a partner with our state-of-the-art technologies with Hindustan Zinc, which has world class mines and smelting operations in India, in their process towards safer and highly effective mining,” said Robin Lindahl, President and CEO Normet Group. “Normet is offering its customers continuous improvement to underground construction and mining processes.”last_img read more

Rastko Stojkovic to Meshkov Brest

Rastko Stojkovic Serbian line-player Rastko Stojkovic (32) will play at Belarus in the next 6 months – Meshkov Brest. Experienced ex-member of Vive Targi Kielce has played in the last six months for RK Crvena zvezda Beograd and Qatari Al Rayyan. He signed contract with ambitious Belarussian squad, who competing at SEHA GAZPROM SS league.Meshkov have signed also contract with Dejan Malinovic, young Bosnian right back who came from Slovenian RK Maribor. ← Previous Story Onesta calls 20 players for the Danish adventure Next Story → Tamas Mocsai in Veszprém!

Young Greeks hesitant about moving abroad

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Seven out of ten young Greeks would like to leave the debt-wracked country and seek their fortune elsewhere, but less than one in five have taken steps to emigrate, according to new research carried out on behalf of Athens’s Panteion University. The survey, conducted by the firm Focus Bari in January on a sample of 444 people aged between 18 and 24, found that 76 per cent believe leaving the country would be the ideal response to the repercussions of the economic crisis. However for most this still appears to be a pipe dream. Half (53 per cent) of the respondents said the idea of emigrating is in the back of their minds while 17 percent claimed to be determined to leave and to have made steps in that direction. A slightly smaller percentage of respondents, 14 per cent, said they had made a conscious effort to stay in Greece, considering that it is their generation that will bring much-needed change to the country. Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Réchauffement climatique le Danemark veut de nouvelles négociations

first_imgRéchauffement climatique : le Danemark veut de nouvelles négociationsPlus de six semaines après le Sommet de Copenhague, 56 pays ont respecté leur engagement en notifiant auprès de l’ONU leur plan de lutte contre le réchauffement climatique. Un signal positif selon le Premier ministre danois Lars Loekke Rasmussen, qui a appelé mardi la communauté internationale à engager de nouvelles négociations.Au 2 février, “56 pays, représentant près de 80% des émissions mondiales de gaz à effet de serre, ont présenté leurs objectifs de réduction” a souligné Lars Loekke Rasmussen, président de la conférence sur le climat de l’ONU. Saluant cette étape positive, le Premier ministre danois rappelle qu’il y a “encore un long chemin à faire”.C’est pourquoi il estime aujourd’hui nécessaire d’organiser de nouvelles réunions de négociations pour “rendre opérationnels les éléments dans l’Accord de Copenhague”. Cet accord non contraignant établit une limite de 2°C de réchauffement climatique à ne pas dépasser, comme les experts du climat le préconisent. Il ne fixe aucun objectif de réduction des émission de gaz à effet de serre, ni aucun calendrier jusqu’à la conclusion d’un traité contraignant.La prochaine conférence internationale sur le climat est prévue fin novembre 2010 à Mexico, soit près d’un an après le Sommet de Copenhague. D’ici là, le Danemark promet de poursuivre “activement son travail sur le climat en coopération étroite avec l’ONU”. Le gouvernement danois indique avoir notamment demandé à la Convention sur le climat des Nations unies (UNFCCC) d’organiser une réunion pour discuter de la suite du programme de lutte contre le changement climatique. Cette réunion devrait alors être présidée par la ministre danoise du Climat et de l’Énergie, Lykke Friis.Le 7 février 2010 à 11:53 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Des mathématiciens découvrent le plus grand nombre premier

first_imgDes mathématiciens découvrent le plus grand nombre premierDes mathématiciens ont annoncé avoir découvert le plus grand de tous les nombres premiers connus à ce jour. Avec 17.425.170 chiffres, il vient détrôner le record de celui de 2008 qui contenait 12.978.189 chiffres.Ce nombre ne pourrait même pas tenir sur une page Word ! Et pourtant, la découverte a de quoi ravir les amoureux des mathématiques : des scientifiques viennent d’identifier un nouveau nombre premier qui contient 17.425.170 chiffres. Un record qui suffit à lui accorder la place de nouveau plus grand nombre premier jamais découvert. Le précédent était détenu par un nombre identifié en 2008 et possédant 12.978.189 chiffres. Un record qui a donc été largement dépassé par le nouveau nombre qui correspond mathématiquement parlant à : 2 puissance 57.885.161 moins 1. Celui-ci a été découvert par un mathématicien de l’université du Missouri grâce à un réseau d’ordinateurs mis en place dans le cadre d’un programme baptisé GIMPS ou programme de recherche via Internet du plus grand nombre premier de Mersenne. Le fameux réseau comprend pas moins de 360.000 processeurs qui effectuent 150 trillions de calculs par seconde. Grâce à lui, c’est la troisième fois que le mathématicien en question, Curtis Cooper, découvre un nombre premier supérieur au précédent. “Cela équivaut à l’escalade de l’Everest” , a estimé George Woltman, le scientifique qui a mis en place le GIMPS. Il s’agit en fait, d’un concours de recherche du nombre premier le plus grand. “Les gens aiment ce concours pour le défi de trouver quelque chose qui n’avait jamais été découvert jusqu’alors”, a t-il précisé cité par LiveScience. 37 jours de calculs et deux vérifications À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Mais avant d’aller plus loin rappelons tout de même ce qu’est un nombre premier. Un nombre premier est un entier positif qui n’admet que deux diviseurs entiers et positifs : 1 et lui-même. Le chiffre trois par exemple ne peut être divisé que par 1 ou 3, sans quoi l’on obtient un nombre décimal. Le nombre récemment découvert ne peut donc lui aussi qu’être divisé par 1 ou lui-même. Un nombre de Mersenne entier (du nom d’un mathématicien français du XVIIème siècle) est lui un nombre premier qui peut s’écrire sous la forme 2 puissance p moins 1 avec p qui est lui-même un entier premier. Depuis que la définition des nombres de Mersenne entiers a été établie, 2 puissance 57.885.161 est le 48ème à être découvert, d’où son nom de M48. Il a nécessité plus de 37 jours de calculs et a été vérifié deux fois avant d’être validé par plusieurs autres chercheurs utilisant d’autres ordinateurs. Grâce à cette découverte, Cooper pourrait se voir attribuer un prix de 3.000 dollars.Le 6 février 2013 à 19:40 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

From Missile Command to Fallout 76 A History of Video Game Nuclear

first_img Play ‘Fallout 76’ Nuclear Winter Battle Royale as Long as Yo…Fallout 76’s Bags Are Broken, Too Stay on target Video games and nuclear weapons came of age together — just 13 years separate the first nuclear bomb from the first electronic game. As time went on, the threat of world destruction at the push of a big red button became a global preoccupation. And, naturally, video games followed suit, depicting atomic war in a variety of different ways.With Fallout 76 dropping, we decided to take a trip into the bunker to see how video games have tackled the specter of mutually assured destruction.Protect The CitiesThe 1980s were the hottest point of the Cold War, with the Commies rattling sabers and America rattling them right back. The fear of global thermonuclear war was vividly expressed in Atari’s 1980 arcade title Missile Command. Using a trackball and three fire buttons, the player guided a cursor through the skies above six futuristic cities. As incoming ICBMs fell from above, you needed to intercept them with your limited supply of counterattacks. The game was simultaneously slow-paced and frantic, requiring players to anticipate the location of a missile before they fired, due to the poky travel speed, as well as chain explosions to take out more than one at a time. Every game finished with the ominous letters “THE END” displayed on the screen, a reminder that you can only hold off the apocalypse for so long.Japan Weighs InAs the country most directly affected by nuclear weapons, Japan has a very complex relationship with them. In 1983, a young company known as Enix released a role-playing game for the MSX computer called Zarth. Set near the end of the 21st century, the plot involves a superintelligent computer that triggers a nuclear holocaust. A small group of survivors manage to put themselves in a 100-year cryosleep, and then they wake up to contend with the new world a century later. Enix, of course, went on to create the Dragon Quest series and become one of Japan’s RPG powerhouses.The Bad EndingDuring the 80s, the spectre of nuclear war was a very big boogeyman, and several game designers tapped into it. Chris Crawford, one of the most ambitious designers of the era, used it as the endgame condition for his 1985 strategy title Balance of Power. As either the President of the U.S. or the Premier of the U.S.S.R, your goal is to improve the prestige of your nation in the eyes of the world without provoking the other side too much. It’s a remarkably deft illustration of the knife edge the world was teetering on at the time, when nuclear war was considered a “when,” not an “if.”Rule of ThreesNot every nuclear tale was one of panic and doom — Infocom, the developers responsible for the decade’s best text adventure games, tapped into the history of the bomb for Brian Moriarty’s brilliant 1986 Trinity. While the player character flies back from a London vacation, he sees a Russian ICBM heading right for his plane. The appearance of a mysterious door floating in space takes you on a trip through time, visiting the sites of numerous historic nuclear detonations — the bombing of Nagasaki, the Eniwetok Atoll test, and the first ever nuclear explosion at Trinity. Beautifully written and compelling, it showed that nuclear war could be fodder for true electronic art.Laid WasteThe success of the Mad Max movies made other types of media interested in tapping into the idea of a post-nuclear world. Interplay’s 1988 RPG Wasteland is widely considered to be the progenitor of the genre. After nuclear war ravages the world in 1998, scattered survivors scrape out a meager existence. The player guided a team of Desert Rangers in what remained of the American Southwest to investigate an artificial intelligence looking to finish the job humanity started. Based on a pen & paper RPG system, Wasteland was a complex and rich tangle of systems that offered tons of flexibility. An unofficial sequel, Fountain of Dreams set in Florida, followed in 1990.Who Will SurviveBy the end of the 80s, nuclear war had undergone a pretty significant shift in popular culture. With new threats demanding our attention and Communism on the outs, the Red Scare wasn’t quite so scary. A game that perfectly illustrates the new attitude towards nukes was 1989’s PC release Nuclear War. Developed by New World Computing, players picked five world leaders to face off in a turn-based exercise in brinksmanship where they can use propaganda, diplomacy or just bomb the hell out of each other in order to reduce their population while leaving some survivors in their own countries. When a country is destroyed, all of their stockpiled missiles launch, often leading to total planetary destruction.After The FallNearly a decade after Wasteland, Interplay returned to the post-apocalyptic future with something new – Fallout. Again set in California, it introduced a number of tropes that the series would chew on over and over. As a resident of a “Vault,” an underground fallout shelter that a lucky few were able to get to before hellfire dropped from the sky, you have to venture to the untamed surface world to find a replacement for a malfunctioning water chip. Needless to say, things are never that simple and the protagonist is soon drawn into all sorts of trouble. It was a huge critical hit and still ranks as one of the best PC games of all time. Interplay released a sequel the next year, but also had to file for bankruptcy and sell off their intellectual property.That takes us to 2008, when Bethesda buys the Fallout license and releases Fallout 3. The game immediately irked purists by moving from the traditional isometric overhead perspective to a first-person view with 3D graphics and real-time combat. That said, it was probably necessary for the franchise to grow with the times. Taking place in and around Washington D.C, Fallout 3 was wildly successful and followed by Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, mobile game Fallout Shelter, and multiplayer Fallout 76The Big MapIntroversion is a British developer known for their unique takes on the strategy genre, so when they turned their focus on thermonuclear war the end result was one of the best mutually assured destruction simulators ever made. 2006’s DEFCON doesn’t make any pretenses about the morals of war. You take control of one of six alliances and the goal is simple: reduce the rest of the world’s population and protect as much of yours as you can. With deaths measured in the millions, DEFCON is a deep but ultimately miserable experience, as even if you win your reward is a world that’s barely worth living in.center_img Shock And AweTypically first-person shooters don’t bring out the nuclear weapons because if you blow one up, everything in a reasonably-sized map will either die instantly or die horribly soon after. But one of the most talked-about missions in FPS history deployed a nuclear device in shocking fashion. In Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare‘s “Shock And Awe” mission, the player’s squad lands in Basra, Iraq to capture a terrorist leader. The mission… doesn’t go as planned, with intel revealing that the terrorists have a nuclear device. During pullout, it’s detonated, killing you and 30,000 other U.S. troops. Amazingly, this isn’t the end of the game, but you take control of a different player character moving forward.Eastern PromisesOur counterparts on the other side of the Cold War made their own games exploring the possibility of nuclear holocaust. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, by Ukranian dev team GSC Game World, takes place in a brutally irradiated “Zone” around the former Chernobyl nuclear plant. This awful area wasn’t caused by war, but rather a manmade disaster at the plant, but that doesn’t make conditions any better in there. As an amnesiac “stalker,” you have to contend with deadly radiation, weird spatial anomalies and hostile competitors as you plunge deeper into the dead zone. Few games have pulled off the atmosphere of certain death around every corner quite like this one, and it holds up a decade later.At the same time, another Ukranian studio was launching their own post-nuclear franchise. 4A Games released Metro 2033 in 2010. Based on a Russian sci-fi novel, it takes place in the ruins of Moscow, where the only relatively habitable zone is the abandoned subway tunnels beneath the city. As Artyom, the player must fight off a horde of mysterious creatures and travel to the capitol of the Metro to find help. Just like their brother studio, 4A captures the grim tension of a post-capitalist world, with scarcity informing all of Artyom’s actions.Nukes are still used as plot devices and superweapons in games, and we don’t see that ever changing. But the two-party war that saw the United States and the Communist bloc both frantically stockpiling more bombs than we could ever use is over.Buy ‘Fallout 76’ at Amazon.comMore on Deadliest Assassins in Video GamesThe Complete History of Platform GamesBest N64 Gameslast_img read more

Biden launches 2020 bid warning soul of America at stake

first_imgWASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden formally joined the crowded Democratic presidential contest on Thursday, declaring the “soul of this nation” at stake if President Donald Trump wins re-election.In a video posted on Twitter, Biden focused on the 2017 deadly clash between white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden noted Trump’s comments that there were some “very fine people” on both sides of the violent encounter, which left one woman dead.“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said. “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”The 76-year-old Biden becomes an instant front-runner alongside Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is leading many polls and has proved to be a successful fundraiser. Biden has legislative and international experience that is unmatched in the Democratic field, and he is among the best-known faces in U.S. politics.He quickly racked up endorsements on Thursday morning, becoming the first Democrat running for president with the backing of more than one U.S. senator.last_img read more

Mystery surrounding apparent suicide Filipino man called great guy

first_img Related Items:filipino, suicide Filipino killing still a mystery; hospital confirms multiple wounds Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 28 May 2015 – The Filipino Community is still reeling from news that a compatriot was found hanging in his apartment on Tuesday night. The man, said to be the father of five and married, his family back home, was working as a bartender at Beaches Resort Villages and Spa and is described by friends as a great guy. Police have not officially ruled on this one which appears to be a suicide; and have not issued an official report on the death either. More witnesses needed in Five Cays killing of Filipino Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Home invasion leaves one Filipino dead; another hospitalizedlast_img read more

Debunk GMO Myths with the SciBabe at the 2017 Soybean Leadership College

first_imgYvette d’Entremont AKA the SciBabeMark your calendars now—the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) annual Soybean Leadership College is kicking off the New Year in St. Louis Jan. 10 – 12, 2017.Soybean Leadership College provides current and future agricultural industry leaders with training to effectively promote the soybean industry, communicate key agricultural messages and work to expand U.S. soybean market opportunities domestically and internationally while fostering networking between growers from across the country.The 2017 Soybean Leadership College opens with the session, “10 Blankety-Blank Arguments Against GMOs – Why Science Rocks Agriculture”- with Yvette d’Entremont AKA the SciBabe.For those of you who aren’t familiar with SciBabe, she is an analytical chemist turned science blogger, who has proven that a few jokes and a little bit of sass can shake up the way people talk about all things agriculture. She has traveled the world busting pseudoscience and speaking to the importance of only trusting proven science, especially in agriculture and food consumption.The 2017 Soybean Leadership College also features the following sessions:“Why Can’t We Be Friends? – Finding Shared Values to Connect with Consumers”“Making Their Mark: The Importance of Women and Young People in Agriculture”“Soy 411”– Your chance to ask ASA’s grower leaders questions about the soybean industry.Rounding out the program are sessions on sustainability, communications, social media and financial management.Participants will also have the opportunity to make new friends and win prizes during the Soybean Leadership College Trivia Night and Dinner.For additional information about the Soybean Leadership College, click here.ASA thanks the 2017 Soybean Leadership College Corporate sponsors:BASFBayer Crop ScienceBungeFarm CreditAnd special thanks to supporting states: Tennessee Soybean Promotion Board Kansas Soybean Commission Indiana Soybean Alliance Iowa Soybean Association Arkansas Soybean Promotion BoardDelaware Soybean Board Kentucky Soybean Board North Dakota Soybean  Council South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Councilcenter_img Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council Ohio Soybean Council Maryland Soybean Board Nebraska Soybean Board New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association North Carolina Soybean Producers Association Illinois Soybean Associationlast_img read more

Lack of funding hinders maintenance of universitys aging infrastructure

first_imgWork continues on the UAF Engineering Building in Oct. 2016. (Photo via UAF Engineering Building Project Facebook Page)Download audioAging infrastructure throughout the University of Alaska is causing a $1 billion maintenance crunch, and campuses are trying to find ways to cope with a growing backlog of projects.Michelle Rizk, the Vice President of University Relations, said the Board of Regents has been working for years to find ways to reduce the backlog of projects.“As our buildings have been aging, you know the average age exceeds 30 years and we have over 400 facilities across the state of Alaska – as the buildings age, the need for emergency maintenance increases,” Rizk said. “So there’s roofs that are leaking and that need to be replaced, sewer systems, there’s a variety of issues out there.”Traditionally, funding for deferred maintenance and projects to renew or re-purpose old buildings comes from the state legislature. If money is appropriated, it’s often a drop in the bucket compared to the actual need.While former Governor Sean Parnell was in office, the university system received more than $37 million per year, for five years.According to John Faunce, the director of planning and construction for the Anchorage campus, about $10 million per year went to UAA.“Our deferred maintenance grows at a rate of about $14 million per year,” Faunce said. “So we’ve got a backlog already of $240-250 million, and we continue to grow at $14 million a year.”That’s just at UAA.No deferred maintenance funds were allocated by the state for this fiscal year, but the University was able to funnel about $10 million from its operating budget into deferred maintenance – about $2.5 million of that went to the Anchorage campus.Chris Turletes, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities and Campus Services at UAA, said that money helps, but it’s not enough.“Kind of what we’ve been doing is keeping the roof from caving in and doing just-in-time work, systems that are broken or not operating efficiently, just keeping them running,” Turletes said. “And that’s what we’re doing a lot of. And eventually they break and you’ve got a problem.”And those problems are not limited to UAA; the university system maintains buildings in Fairbanks, Juneau, and satellite campuses in many smaller communities across the state.Michelle Rizk said the Board of Regents’ goal is to reduce the project backlog to a manageable level, but the exact path to doing so is not clear.“Of course, one way to reduce the deferred maintenance of a building is actually to get rid of the building,” Rizk said. “And so we’re assessing is there some of our buildings over time should we sell them, should we lease them, to reduce our overall operating expense.”And Rizk said the University will continue to seek funding from the state and other sources, but deferred maintenance can be a hard sell.“A lot of people instead of fixing what you have, I mean, they wanna build a new facility, you know, so it’s hard to get donors and others excited about funding a roof replacement,” Rizk said.In recent years, the university built the Alaska Airlines Center and a state-of-the-art engineering building on the Anchorage campus, and another engineering building on the Fairbanks campus remains partially complete.The University of Alaska Board of Regents will address deferred maintenance and a variety of other capital and operating budget issues this week in Fairbanks.last_img read more