(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)The 2016 college football season kicks off two weeks from tomorrow (technically it starts earlier than that, but the first Saturday of the season is what really counts).Week 1 should be incredible.The opening weekend of the year includes the following games:Alabama vs. USC (Sept. 3)Florida State vs. Ole Miss (Sept. 5)LSU vs. Wisconsin (Sept. 3)Clemson vs. Auburn (Sept. 3)In anticipation of Week 1, Marvel has created the following comic book covers for those four games. They were tweeted out today by ESPN’s Paul Finebaum.Check them out below.Marvel’s College Football Comic Book Covers
Meet Up Mondays is a new column here at The Manual where we sit down with designers who inspires us and learn more about them and their brand. New York’s fashion design landscape has never looked more exciting with a new generation of modern American sportswear brands such as Public School, the menswear brand, stealing the limelight from womenswear in winning the year’s most coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund fashion prize. If there’s one name you should watch out for, however, it’s David Hart. Best known for his amusingly decorative ties, the Maryland native won the Fashion Group International Scholarship at the age of 17, earning him the reputation of that designer to watch. Later, upon graduating from FIT, he would work for some of the country’s best known houses including Anna Sui, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. This past fall, Hart made the leap from neckwear to menswear by debuting his first full collection, including a footwear collaboration with Walk-Over Shoes. To some, the jump might have recalled another accessories designer entering the big leagues—Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders—but make no mistake, Hart’s designs—clean American sportswear with a sense of dash and refinement mixed with effusive colors and prints—are all his. We spoke to Hart over the break about the year ahead for him and the quintessential elements of good style.M: It’s the start of a new year. Happy New Year! What did you get up to over the holidays? DH: I spent the holidays in Los Angeles; it was great to get away from the cold weather. Some highlights include visiting the museum or Jurassic Technology, LACMA, mid-century modern architecture tours, and lunch at Musso and Frank with Nick Waterhouse.M: It’s also probably the busiest time of the year for menswear designers. You’re gearing up for another fashion week, I gather. How’s it going to be different from the last for you?DH: This year I am really coming into my element. We are working with the best mills and factories in the world and the collection is much more elevated than before. This season I’ve paid close attention to the textiles and the shapes which are much more flattering than the suits we are used to seeing from other designers. I’ve also taken full advantage of my background in sweater design as we are very knitwear driven for Fall 2014.M: Yes, for the guy who isn’t familiar with your label, what is David Hart about?DH: The concept of “New Futurism” has always been the underlying theme behind my collections. The clothing exudes a sense of optimism about the future through the attention to detail, construction, materials and fit.M: A lot of people have criticized fashion week for becoming a circus. Do designers, however, have a choice but to partake of it in order to generate publicity?DH: I think there are creative ways of generating press other than fashion shows; the Internet and social media have changed the way people view and see fashion, and it’s still rapidly changing. I think that the fashion industry is still trying to keep up. Having said that, fashion shows are one of [the] ways for designers to have a platform to showcase their collections and have a sense of identity—it’s an integral part of the business. I think it’s more or less the exuberant amount of people around fashion week and the shows that have turned it into a circus—it’s become more about the events themselves than the clothing.M: Do fashion shows need to go on?DH: I think they are an important platform for designers to have a voice, so yes they should go on, but editors and buyers will only attend the shows they think are worth covering or seeing. There is a lot of talent in New York and worldwide, so I think the important shows will surface and the others will fall by the wayside.M: Guys have more menswear options than ever to shop right now. What are three items every guy needs in his wardrobe right now?DH: A great tab collar dress shirt, a fine gauge merino wool polo shirt and a mohair suit.M: I also see that you include an evening/formalwear component in all your collections. Are these made-to-measure and what’s your advice for getting into formalwear?DH: We offer made-to-measure services but also offer these as ready-to-wear. With formal wear it’s best to keep things classic and follow all of the rules. If you do it, do it right: studs, braces, bow tie, pique shirt with a bib and the right collar. It’s also acceptable to add some color or a tuxedo jacket as long as you keep the trousers black.M: You started out with neckwear of course. Are there any (unwritten) rules to neckwear? DH: Neckwear is a reflection of your personality. Keep things light and you will be ok. When in doubt, always wear a tie; it’s the new way of standing out in a crowd.M: Sweatpants. Thoughts?DH: No, thank you. Or stick to wearing them for the appropriate activities, i.e., working out, sports, etc.M: What’s another style faux-pas for the “modern gent”?DH: Athletic socks worn for any other purpose than athleticism.M: Any overused fashion terms you’d like to retire for good in 2014?DH: Bespoke. It’s overused and not used properly. Let’s please give it a rest.M: You know that everyone loved your spring collection. Can you tell us a little more about it and if there is one piece to get what would it be, and why?DH: The Hawaiian shirt is a must for Spring 2014—especially the ones we showed. Be mindful of the fit and the prints. No one should be caught dead in a bad Hawaiian print.M: What’s one good, perhaps hidden gem of a store you can recommend a guy to go shopping?DH: Church Street Surplus.M: And if we wanted to run into you, where would we find you?DH: I’m an enigma.Photos courtesy of David Hart; portrait by David White. Editors’ Recommendations A Peek Inside the Joseph Abboud Factory: Italian Fabric, Made in America The Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato Shows Us What an Off-Road Supercar Would Look Like Why Every Man Should Care About Slow Fashion Meet the Spirits Network, the Real-Time Shoppable QVC of Booze The Best Podcasts to Listen to at Work
zoomImage Courtesy: United Heavy Lift Heavy sea transport specialists United Heavy Lift (UHL) and Ocean7 Projects are opening a joint office in Bergen, Norway, from where they intend to offer a wider scope of service.As disclosed, the coordinated activities will allow Germany’s UHL and Denmark’s Ocean7 to cover all segments of their industry, offering customers a larger and more diverse fleet.It was also noted that the Bergen office was just the first of a number of joint branches planned to be set up.As noted by Lars Rolner, CEO of United Shipping Group, the two sides are working on opening new offices in Asia and the USA.“We see this new office as a start of building a world-wide network of offices together with Ocean7,” Rolner said.“We have always had the mindset of working together and this cooperation will enhance our ability of offering a wider scope to our customers in the future,” Stefan Petersen, CEO of Ocean7, added.Ocean7 Projects operates a fleet of over 25 heavy lift carriers, including RoRo vessels. United Heavy Lift was established in 2015 and is part of the United Group which also includes United Wind Logistics and United Engineering Solutions. Both UHL and Ocean7 specialize in the transport of heavy, project and breakbulk cargo.
Manila: Philippine police say rescuers have plucked more bodies in rough seas where three ferry boats capsized after being buffeted by fierce wind and waves off two central provinces, bringing the death toll to 25 with six missing. Regional police spokesman Joem Javier says the dead were mostly passengers of two ferries that flipped over in sudden gusts of wind and powerful waves Saturday off Guimaras and Iloilo provinces. Fifty-five other passengers and crew were rescued. Javier said Sunday a third ferry, which was not carrying any passenger, also capsized in the Iloilo Strait but its four crewmen survived. Forecasters have warned of heavy monsoon rains, thunderstorms and rain-triggered landslides amid a tropical depression more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) off the country’s eastern coast.
On June 12th, Jamie-Lynn Sigler hosted her baby shower benefiting Baby Buggy, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing families in need with essential equipment, products, clothing, and services for their infants and children up to age 12.Jamie-Lynn Sigler celebrates her baby shower benefitting Baby BuggyCredit/Copyright: wireimage Jamie McCarthyJamie and her close friends celebrated at boutique bistro and bakery Sugar and Plumm. The event was sponsored by Britax/BOB, Hanky Panky, cloud b and Serena & Lily who also donated to Baby Buggy’s families in need and all guests donated diapers to Baby Buggy in lieu of gifts.
(TsuuT’ina Chief Roy Whitney, left, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stand together Friday after naming ceremony. Brandi Morin/Photo)Brandi Morin APTN National NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau and Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde were honoured side by side in a historic ceremony Friday on the TsuuT’ina Nation in Alberta.TsuuT’ina Chief Roy Whitney called it “The Thundebird’s Awakening.”Whitney said it was time to “seize this moment” because it was “important for the survival” of First Nations.“Canada has failed. Failed on a scale so unimaginably huge…but there’s always hope. There was progress and survival for us. First Nations have arrived at a historic moment in time,” said Whitney.Whitney thanked Trudeau for making a priority the need to end the crisis created by the high number of missing and murdered Indigenous women.“I give you thanks in recognizing the importance for justice for our women,” said Whitney.In a ceremony held at the Grey Eagle Resort conference center on TsuuT’ina land adjacent to Calgary, Trudeau and Bellegarde were given gifts and fitted with war bonnets. They also received names in the TsuuT’ina language from elders.Chief Whitney said the bestowing of the honour was considered a sacred exchange.Trudeau was renamed Gumistiyi, which means “He Who Keeps Trying.”The prime minister said he was honoured by the name.“You can be guaranteed that I will wear both the title and the TsuuT’ina feather hat with the upmost pride and respect,” said Trudeau. “I will remember this ceremony and cherish this experience always. And I will remember the responsibility that comes with the great honour that you bestow on me today.”Trudeau reiterated past remarks that no relationship is more important to him and to Canada than the one with First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.“A relationship built on a recognition of the constitutionally guaranteed rights of First Nations in Canada are a sacred obligation. A relationship that is guided by the spirit and intent of the original Treaty relationship respectful of inherent rights, Treaties and of jurisdictions,” said Trudeau. “And a relationship committed to making progress on the essential work of rebuilding a partnership based on cooperation, respect and trust. This is something that we will work on together. We will make significant achievements in the coming days and months. This is a work that will go on for years, for decades and for generations.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, right, stand facing each other following naming ceremony Friday. Brandi Morin/PhotoBellegarde was named Xani-tii Sido?i which means “Sitting Buffalo.”In his speech, Bellegarde took the opportunity to remind the Prime Minister of the promises he made to Indigenous people during his campaign.“The removal of the 2 per cent cap on funding, which has been in place for 20 years—they (Liberals) said it’s going to be gone, so on March 22 we are watching. We have our fingers and toes crossed. Because that cap was a cap on growth and a cap on potential,” said Bellegarde, who added that a new era was unfolding for Canada’s First Nations.“We are starting to rise up and get healthy as nations again. And so when we hear that Victory song, we stand and dance,” he said.Over one hundred Treaty Chiefs from across Canada attended the event.Following the ceremony Trudeau joined hands with Whitney, Bellegarde, other nation members and chiefs to participate in a victory song and dance around the room.The ceremony was held on the heels of a climate change meeting in Vancouver between the prime minister, premiers and Indigenous leaders. Many First Nation leaders called the meeting a “failure” and expressed frustration with Trudeau and his government.Last fall TsuuT’ina hosted a polling station on reserve during the federal election for the first time ever in the belief the community needed to influence mainstream politics. The First Nation had expressed disappointment with the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper.firstname.lastname@example.org@songstress28
Brittany Hobson APTN National NewsThe family of Azraya Ackabee-Kokopenace are still searching for answers a year after her death.The 14-year-old disappeared from a Kenora Ontario hospital in northwestern Ontario last April.Two days later, she was found dead.A vigil was held for the young girl where family and supporters continued their push for an email@example.com
Mumbai/New Delhi: GMR Infrastructure Wednesday said the Tatas along with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC and another Singaporean fund SSG Capital Management, have picked up around 45 percent stake in its airports arm for Rs 8,000 crore. The deal values GMR Airports at over Rs 17,700 crore and post-deal, the group flagship GMR Infra and subsidiaries will hold around 54 percent in the airport arm, the consortium of new investors will own the close to 45 percent and the remaining will be held by an employees welfare trust. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalOf this, the Tatas will own around 20 percent by investing Rs 3,520 crore (which is around 45 percent stake of the total equity that the consortium will own in GMR Airports), GIC will pump in Rs 2,640 crore for 33 percent share of the diluted equity or 15 percent in GMR Airports and SSG will chip in with Rs 1,760 crore for a 22 percent of the diluted stake or around 10 percent in the company, GMR group told reporters in Mumbai Wednesday. The GMR group operates the country’s largest airport in New Delhi which has an annual capacity of 70 million and the 22-million Hyderabad airport, besides Mactan-Cebu in the Philippines (with 40 percent stake) and Crete in Greece in which it controls a little under 22 percent. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostSignificantly, the Tata group, which also runs the full service airline Vistara in partnership with Singapore Airlines and the low-cost AirAsia India, enters the booming airport business at a time when the Adani group has bagged the mandate to run as many as six government-run airports for a 60 year-period through an last month. As part of this transaction, GMR Infra intends to provide an exit to existing private equity investors who hold 5.8 percent equity stake in the airport arm and most of the proceeds from sale will be used to pare the group debt of Rs 20,000 crore, Saurabh Chawla, executive director finance and strategy at GMR Infra, said. Of the consolidated debt of Rs 20,000-crore, GMR Infra alone has about Rs 6,500 crore in its books, and GMR Airports has around Rs 2,000 crore as of the December 2018 quarter, GMR group chief financial officer Sushil Modi said. Paring of debt will help reduce consolidated finance cost by almost half from Rs 2,000 crore at the end of the last quarter, Modi said. “So, post-transaction, which should be completed in the next two months, consolidated debt would come down to Rs 12,000 crore-Rs 7,000 crore at the group level and Rs 1,000 in GMR Airport,” Modi said, adding helping the group flagship GMR Infra become PAT positive from the next financial year. The new capital of Rs 8,000 crore will consist of Rs 1,000 crore equity infusion into GMR Airports and Rs 7,000 crore towards picking up GMR Airports’ shares from GMR Infra and its subsidiaries by the consortium, Chawla said. The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals, lenders’ consents and other approvals. The transaction will speed up GMR Infra’s plan to demerge its energy, highways, urban infra and transportation businesses, leading to separation of its airport business and the group will broadly have two main companies-those listed entities under one arm and those unlisted under another arm. “The Tata Group has identified GMR group and GMR Airports as a vehicle for their ambitions in the airports space. They also recognise the huge growth opportunities in the area,” Chawla said, adding aviation is a long-term business that demands investors have patient capital and deep pockets. While after this transaction the group’s holding in airports arm will come down to around 54 percent, Modi said over a period of time promoters’ will increase their stake to 62 percent by buying back a portion of the stake of the consortium to the tune of 8 percent.
Rabat – The US administration is considering Morocco’s development model as an “exceptional success” in the region, said Morocco’s minister-delegate for foreign affairs and cooperation, Mbarka Bouaida.In an interview with Morocco’s TV channel 2M, Bouaida said the visit paid by King Mohammed VI to the USA last week, has opened new prospects in Morocco-US partnership, recalling that the two countries started last year a strategic dialog process and have agreed to consolidate the Millennium challenge Account, the free-trade agreement and to hold the 2nd conference on development in Rabat in 2014.She also pointed out that the Moroccan and US heads of state have agreed to appoint a high-ranking personality to follow up implementation of all decisions made during their summit meeting. Inter-government and private agreements signed during this visit will lead to concrete results for both Morocco and Africa, she went on.
Paris – The approach of the King Mohammed VI on the African continent which links security issues to development was on the agenda of the Elysée Summit for peace and security in Africa, said, Saturday in Paris, Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar. In a statement to the Moroccan press, Mezouar noted that the resolutions of the Summit took into account the priorities and urgent matters, especially in the security field through the training of specialized response units, noting that there a concrete commitment to support European countries in this field.On the economic front, the minister noted that Africa can no longer be seen as a problematic sphere that needs donations and support, but as an area that needs investment, clear commitments to the development of its resources, and wealth creation. Regarding the issue of climate, emphasis was placed on the need to respect the commitments made to Africa, he said, stressing the importance of supporting the continent, including financial plan to promote renewable energy.The Elysée Summit for peace and security in Africa wrapped up Saturday with the adoption of a final declaration in which participants reaffirmed their commitment to security in Africa.Forty African Heads of State and Government attended the Summit which focused on three main themes, including peace and security, economic partnership and development and climate change.
NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is condemning outside groups’ efforts to profit off the president’s name and White House bid.The campaign released a blistering statement Tuesday attacking any group whose “actions show they are interested in filling their own pockets with money from innocent Americans’ paychecks.”It went on to criticize organizations “run by people who claim to be part of our ‘coalition,’” though it did not identify a particular group.But it came in the wake of an Axios report about Presidential Coalition, a group run by former Trump campaign adviser David Bossie.Federal records show that the group raised millions of dollars but spent only a tiny fraction on candidates.Bossie did not immediately respond to a request for comment.The Associated Press
However some opposition Parliamentarians demanded a debate on the allegation.Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe responded saying the Government is prepared to debate the matter in Parliament. However Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella insisted that there was no such move and that the US Embassy in Colombo had also issued a statement on the matter. Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) leader Douglas Devananda told Parliament today that it was reported the base was going to be established in Trincomalee. On Sunday the United States had rejected claims it was in the process of establishing an army camp in Sri Lanka.The US Embassy in Colombo had said that a base had never been a part of the US relationship with Sri Lanka nor have there ever been discussions aimed at establishing one.US Embassy Spokesperson Nancy VanHorn said that the claims were categorically false. The Government today insisted that the US has not sought to establish a military base in Trincomalee.The opposition raised concerns in Parliament over alleged moves by the US to establish a military base in Sri Lanka. “The US Embassy is aware of erroneous reports that the United States intends to establish a military base in Sri Lanka. These reports are categorically false. While the US-Sri Lanka military partnership has included disaster preparedness and relief, maritime security training, and exercises to enhance interoperability, a base has never been a part of the relationship nor have there ever been discussions aimed at establishing one,” she said. (Colombo Gazette)
Air Canada lawsuit accuses Airbus of negligence in Halifax crash landing by Aly Thomson, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 30, 2017 9:10 am MDT Last Updated Mar 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email HALIFAX – Airbus’s negligence contributed to a crash landing at Halifax Stanfield International Airport two years ago, Air Canada claims in a lawsuit against the French aircraft manufacturer.In a statement of claim filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Air Canada (TSX:AC) said Airbus SAS failed to identify shortcomings of the Airbus 320.The document said it did not advise that in certain conditions, the plane’s flight path angle could be affected by external forces.It also claims Airbus failed to incorporate a warning system to alert pilots to a deviation from the planned flight path angle.“(Airbus) failed to provide adequate and/or accurate information as to how pilots should correct a deviation in the flight path in circumstances where manual intervention was required,” the March 28 claim said.None of the allegations have been proven in court.The statement of claim does not specify an amount for damages, but says: “(Air Canada) pleads that (Airbus) was negligent and that its negligence caused or contributed to the damages claimed in the within action.”“Damages claimed herein include the damage sustained by the aircraft and other expenses related to the subject incident,” it said.Airbus did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday and has not filed a statement of defence. Air Canada declined to comment, as the matter is now before the courts.Flight 624 hit the ground about 200 metres short of runway 05 shortly after midnight on March 29, 2015, as it approached in gusty winds and heavy snowfall.The twin-engine plane bounced into the air and crashed near the runway threshold before careening along the tarmac for another 570 metres.An engine and the plane’s landing gear were torn from the airframe amid a shower of sparks and leaking fuel, but there was no fire and the fuselage remained largely intact.More than two dozen people were injured in the crash landing, which is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit. The defendants in that lawsuit include Air Canada, Airbus SAS, the Halifax International Airport Authority, Nav Canada and Transport Canada.Air Canada’s lawsuit against Airbus says the flight crew correctly configured the aircraft for landing, including entering the correct flight path angle into the flight computer.“Since the aircraft was correctly configured for approach and landing and the approach was stable, the aircraft should have intercepted the threshold to runway 05 at an altitude of 50 feet,” the claim said.“Instead, the aircraft descended at a steeper angle than expected and touched down short of the runway.”Follow (at)Aly Thomson on Twitter.
Paul Pierce missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds as the Los Angeles Lakers best the Brooklyn Nets, 99-94, from Barclays Center.Brooklyn trailed by 27 points early in the contest and never led but rallied to tie the score after Mirza Teletovic’s career-high 17 point effort. Teletovic blocked Lakers’ Wesley Johnson at the rim and scored four straight points plus a 3 pointer, hitting half his free throws to even the score at 92 a piece with just under four minutes on the clock.The Lakers recaptured the lead with Johnson’s steal and breakaway dunk with 1:33 left to play, and Brooklyn missed four shots in a row until Alan Anderson’s dunk cut it to 95-94 with 10 seconds remaining.Nick Young led the Lakers with a season-high 26 points off the bench. Pau Gasol netted 21 points while Steve Blake dished out 10 assists.“I thought Nick Young hit some huge shots,” Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He played really well to kind of get us out of our funk.”Joe Johnson carried Brooklyn with 18 points. Pierce scored 12 but struggled with his shooting, making 4-of-17 from the field.“It’s frustrating when the ball doesn’t go your way, but eventually I know these shots throughout the course of 82 games are going to fall for me,” Pierce said.Right before halftime The Nets came out of a timeout with a 15-0 run however, the shooting was off and the Lakers took a 54-40 lead into the locker rooms.Pierce scored 10 in the third and his layup in the final minute had the Nets within single digits heading into the final period. Teletovic opened the fourth with a triple, and Brooklyn was competitive the rest of the way.The Nets haven’t beaten LA since Nov. 27, 2007, when current head coach Jason Kidd had on a jersey and scored 15 points and handed out 14 assists.
Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “It’s a very big difference in terms of what private individuals are paying. “In many cases, councils will not be meeting the cost of their residents at all and constantly re-negotiating down how much they are willing to spend, so care providers have no choice but to find the money from their private residents.“There is a clearly a crisis in social care, not just in funding but in provision. A long-term fix, working on a cross-party basis and involving the public and social care sector, is urgently necessary to meet the ever-increasing demographic pressures on the system.”MPs found that several care providers including Kent Integrated Care Alliance and Brunelcare had been told by councils that their private rates “should be raised in order to subsidise the socially funded provision”.Stephen Burke, director of the Good Care Guide and United for All Ages, said: “This is a stealth tax on people who fund their own care home places.“The care system is so underfunded that some care homes can only make ends meet by cross-subsidizing state funded residents. We need a properly funded care system that is fairer, simpler and sustainable to meet the needs of our ageing population.” Private care home residents are paying nearly £10,000-a-year extra to subsidise local authority patients because councils can no longer afford their bills, MPs have found.A report by the Communities and Local Government Committee discovered that 96 per cent of people who paid for private care were unknowingly spending an average of 43 per cent more than their state-funded neighbours for the same room and same level of attention.Care home campaigners said it amounted to a ‘stealth tax’ on private residents. The average cost of a private care home in the UK is approximately £31,000 a year, but the report suggests that is should be closer to £22,000 if private residents did not have to pick up the council shortfall.The CLG Committee said it was unacceptable that private individuals were picking up the bill for council deficits and called for an urgent review of social funding. Some councils are spending less than £2.50 an hour on careCredit:John Stillwell MPs warned that government’s commitment to provide an additional £2 billionn for social care over the next three years will falls short of the amount required to close the social care funding gap.The advised implementing a new social care tax, similar to that in Germany, where around one per cent of salary is deducted each month from employees to fund future social care, which is matched by employers.“I think if Britons knew that the money was being spent on social care they would be happy for it to be taken,” added Mr Betts.The report found that more than a quarter, 28 per cent, of care services are inadequate, or require improvements, and just one in 12 adult social care directors are fully confident that their local authority will be able to meet its statutory duties in 2017-18.More than a quarter of care workers, 27 per cent, received no dementia training, and 24 per cent of those who administer medication are not trained to do so, the report stated.Care providers told MPs that they were being ‘pushed to the brink of financial viability’ by council cost cutting, with many forced to ‘exit the market and hand back contracts.Between 160,000 and 220,000 care workers are paid below the national minimum wage, while the number of unpaid carers has increased by 16.5 per cent between 2010 and 2014.The Committee warned that councils are increasingly taking a “price first, quality second approach” in their commissioning of social care, with accounts of some councils paying as little as £2.24 an hour for residential careMPs concluded said funding levels meant councils were in “panic mode”, providing help to fewer people, and that the deterioration in overall care quality was set to continue.Mark Atkinson, Chief Executive at disability charity Scope, said: “It is a sad indictment of the care system that just one in twelve councils think they meet their duty to deliver the care that disabled people have a legal right to.“This report is yet more evidence we need a long-term funding solution for social care.“Hundreds of thousands of disabled people rely on care to live independently, but we know too many disabled people aren’t getting the support they need.“It is vital the Government uses the upcoming Green Paper on social care to finally deliver a long-term solution to the crisis in care.” Clive Betts MP warned that councils were constantly renogotiating contracts to pay less Credit:Lauren Hurley /PA 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.
In industries that deal with copyright, The Pirate Bay had may as well be a legion of super villains. When members of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) preach about how much their (booming) businesses are being damaged by piracy, The Pirate Bay is usually the prime recipient of their ire.Make no mistake: the torrent tracking site does grant free access to countless songs, albums, TV shows, and movies. But the site also helps artists by increasing exposure. In the face of increasing criticism of file sharing, The Pirate Bay is amping up its efforts to promote artists with a new platform that will make it easier for artists to feature their music on the site.The Pirate Bay’s new artist promo campaign is similar to Google Doodle. The torrenting site has previously replaced its logo to highlight internet censorship issues or indie bands, but now it is building the feature into a bigger, more organized part of the site.Artists ranging from musicians and movie producers to comedians or comic book artists are invited to submit their doodle image. The artists can pick three countries where they’d like their music to be seen. They can also send a link to their websites, where visitors will be redirected if they click on the doodle. The only thing that The Pirate Bay asks in return is that the artists post their work on The Pirate Bay.While some would bristle at the idea of offering their work for free, it can be an effective strategy. In the performing arts, exposure is paramount. Even when their albums or films are available for free, there will always be a million ways for artists to make money (merchandise, touring, web advertising, future sales). Artists like Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and author Paulo Coelho have willingly embraced The Pirate Bay; this promotion will encourage others to do the same.Of course this promotion is also a smart line of defense for The Pirate Bay. If SOPA (or similar copyright industry legislation) passes, then the site will be squarely in the crosshairs of the Department of Justice. If the site has an increased presence in the (willful) promoting of artists, it can point to that as a way that the industries would be worse off without it.The Pirate Bay, via TorrentFreak
It’s been well established by now that the Microsoft Kinect device is an incredibly versatile piece of hardware. With the ability to write custom code for the peripheral by using the SDK Redmond has made available, we’ve seen several novel ideas on how to use the 3D camera device for purposes other than video gaming. The latest example of this is a new project shown in the video above called the V Motion Project, in which a group of programmers join forces with dancers and electronic music artists to create an impressive body-controlled musical instrument. While this may not seem incredibly unique, the fact that the team created a way to use two Kinects at the same time makes it unusual.Created and developed as part of an advertising campaign for an energy drink company, the V Motion project was started to create a machine that turns motion into music. Specifically the group wanted a musician/dancer to be able to control a popular piece of music software called Abelton Live with just their body, a task that was easier said than done. Using some open source software for the Kinect that the development team made heavy modifications to, the creative group found that they indeed could achieve their motion control goals but at a price; the amount of data they were crunching per second was causing some significant lag.The single Kinect device and computer was getting bogged down as it was trying to process the position of each joint in a person’s skeleton some thirty-times-a-second. That in addition to trying to process the image data was simply too much for the hardware. When the musician tried to activate a drum beat, there was a several second gap that was painfully obvious. Considering that the end goal was to have a dancer give a musical performance with their moves, this was somewhat counter productive.To lighten the load, the team made the decision to employ a second Kinect device and computer which brought with it a whole new set of problems. Namely the fact that when you put two Kinects in the same room trying to measure the same space you end up with some significant interference and artifacts in the depth data that each of them picks up. Each device throws a pattern of infrared dots to detect objects in a piece of space, when you have more than one field of dots the devices get “confused” since they are seeing more dots than usually. This causes all sorts of glitches that also would not be conducive to create a motion based musical instrument. So how did the V Motion team solve this problem? By creating a small motor to “wiggle” one of the Kinects.The team found that if they made one of the cameras stable while putting the other in motion this allowed them to ignore each other’s dot field, giving them the smooth control they were seeking. A member of the team built a small battery-operated wiggling device out of a model car kit, which is pictured below.As you saw in the video at the top of the article, the group definitely succeeded in creating an amazing motion controlled musical instrument for performance DJ’s and musicians. The complexity of the controls are evident and if you’ve had some experience with Abelton Live, you’re probably aware that controlling all the bells whistles of that program with your body is a feat in itself.Read more at Custom Logic, via the V Motion Vimeo page.
Over 250 Iranian immigrants living in Athens demonstrated outside the Greek parliament in Syntagma last week to add their voices to protests taking place around the world over election results and recent violence in Iran. The demonstrators held up photocopies of photographs of people recently killed or wounded in street protests in the country, and pictures mocking Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Protesters waved Iranian flags and flowers as another demonstrator held a sign in the air reading, “Peace to Iran”. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
This week, aged care reforms announced by the Gillard government two years ago came into effect – implemented by the Coalition. The revamped system is promoted as being more transparent, offering greater flexibility and control for the consumer, but already deep concerns have been expressed over its introduction.The changes that came into force on July 1 are aimed at encouraging two modes of behaviour: the first – to encourage older people to stay in their homes longer, and the second – to ensure the user pays appropriately for the care they receive, with new formulas to work out how much they pay. New rules for care providers, aimed at raising the bar for their customers, are also part of the package.In short, the new system removes the distinction between high and low care, offers flexibility in the way users pay for their care, and introduces a revised income and assets test – to assess how much a person will pay (for care accommodation or care in their home). This test will affect how, for instance, keeping or selling the family home will impact the homeowner’s aged-care bill.Aged care service providers are now required to change the way they offer their services and how they price them. Care homes will still set their own fees, but from now on they must be advertised via the Government’s My Aged Care website – www.myagedcare.gov.au. With an online calculator to work out fees and payment formulas, the website is central to the government’s apparatus for operating the new system, and it hopes, making it accessible. A section devoted to service providers includes details of their care services, right down to the standards of each type of room on offer.New regulatory controls for care providers also apply, with any nursing home wishing to charge more than $550k as a lump sum for a bed, needing approval from the Aged Care Pricing Commissioner.These changes have been a long time coming and both sides of politics know they are essential.Australian politicians and economic commentators have been worrying about aged care for decades. 40 years ago the ‘lucky’ country was also a youthful country. In 1970-71, 31 per cent of Australia’s population was aged 15 or younger. That figure is now 18 per cent. Over the same period, the proportion of the population over 65 grew from 8 to 13 per cent and the line on the graph is heading up. Over the next 40 years the proportion of the population over 65 will almost double, to 25 per cent. For multicultural communities the trend is steeper. By 2026, the proportion of the Australian population over 65 from multicultural backgrounds is expected to increase by more than 40 per cent, and within the next 12 years, one in four Australians aged over 80 will be from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.Against this backdrop, sustaining and expanding culturally appropriate aged care provision will become vital.Mike Zafiropoulos AM, President of Fronditha Care, which operates five aged-care residential facilities in Victoria and NSW, says gauging the impact of the changes applied this week will take time.“We need 6 to 12 months to assess how they are going to influence our operations,” he told Neos Kosmos. “For instance, now that all eligible residents – both low and high care – are expected to pay a bond, the question is ‘how will that be accepted by prospective clients?’ “Mr Zafiropoulos says the repercussion of the Government’s recent cost-cutting measures in relation to dementia sufferers is a concern. With the abolition last week of the Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement – which assisted providers care for people with dementia – Fronditha is set to lose out, and its ability to offer such care is weakened.“It will impact our finances adversely by $530,000 per annum,” says Zafiropoulos. “The government has decided to put more emphasis on the ‘user pays’ principle, but at the same time exert greater financial pressure on providers.”Despite this, Fronditha’s President says his organisation is committed to affordable accommodation bonds – now known as the Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD). Under the new system, users of care homes will either pay a lump-sum payment (the RAD), or a regular rental-type payment called a ‘daily accommodation payment’, or a combination of both.Last week, CEO of Alzheimers Australia, Glenn Rees expressed his concerns over the trade-off between the ‘user pays’ focus, and the need to improve the quality of aged care services – particularly in relation to the care of patients with dementia.“One would have to say the scorecard is not promising,” said Mr Rees, who is sceptical about the Government’s plans to ensure dementia can be diagnosed early.The Department of Social Services cited a blow-out of the budgeted cost of the Dementia and Severe Behaviours Supplement program for its abolition (the program consumed its four-year allocated budget of $52 million in less than 12 months of operation), but while the Government has said a replacement scheme will be established. Rees isn’t holding his breath. “It’s not clear to me that further discussions are going to be about actually designing a program to do the job that was originally intended,” said the CEO.Victorian MP Maria Vamvakinou, a member of the Gillard government that originated the reforms that came into force this week (the dementia program abolition was not one of them), says that while Labor set out to create “a positive and targeted policy that responded to all the needs [and] a more flexible and streamlined approach, especially in relation to cultural sensitivity,” the Abbott administration has instead “engendered fear and insecurity amongst elderly Australians.”Labor’s Member for Calwell told Neos Kosmos that while welcoming the changes as part of the roll-out of Labor’s Living Longer, Living Better reforms – she has grave concerns over the Coalition’s approach to aged care in general.“The Abbott government has made cuts to Labor’s historic aged care investment in its first Budget, putting progress at serious risk,” says Vamvakinou, adding that while Labor has done “the heavy lifting” the Abbott government is undermining reform.Cuts to the $652 million payroll tax supplement and the $1.1 billion Aged Care Workforce Supplement, as well as reductions in pension entitlements (affecting service providers’ revenue streams), are all examples of the Coalition’s misguided approach, says the Victorian MP.“Living Longer, Living Better was the culmination of years of hard work [involving] aged care stakeholders, the Productivity Commission and thousands of Australians who assisted in the development of these reforms.” Deeply concerned over the abolition of the dementia supplement, Vamvakinou says the Government’s myopia over “the looming workforce crisis in the industry” should also be ringing alarm bells.“Tony Abbott has been put on notice,” she says defiantly. “Labor will not stand by and allow this government to undermine our reforms.”The changes to aged-care that came into effect this week do not necessarily affect people already in the aged care system. Anyone receiving aged-care services before July 1 may continue with their current arrangements, or they can choose to move to the new system. Those who were in an aged-care facility before July 1 but leave the system for more than 28 days are subject to the new rules. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Travel and being immersed in different cultures can be an eye opening experience that provides a form of education that can only be obtained outside of the classroom.In a bid to ensure young Europeans have the chance to seek out these invaluable experiences, the European Union has launched a new initiative.DiscoverEU will see 15,000 18-year-old Europeans, among them 315 young Greeks, given tickets to travel to four European cities over the summer.By venturing to different parts of the continent, and stepping outside of their comfort zone, organisers hope young people will have the chance to experience freedom of movement, better understand Europe’s diversity and cultural richness, and make new friends while also discovering themselves.The initiative coincides with European Year of Cultural Heritage, giving successful applicants the chance to be present for a number of events taking place throughout the region.Those who receive a travel pass will mainly be travelling by rail, granting them the opportunity to take in the different towns and landscapes that Europe offers. The pass will also permit travel on buses and ferries, and in fewer cases by plane.To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:· Be 18 years old on 1 July 2018 (born between 2 July 1999 and 1 July 2000);· Have the nationality of one of the 28 Member States of the European Union;· Be able to supply your ID or passport number on the online application form;· Start your journey in one of the EU 28 Member States;· Plan to start your travel between 9 July and 30 September 2018;· Plan to travel between one and up to 30 days inclusive;· Plan to travel to at least one and up to four foreign country destinations within the EU;· Be willing to become a DiscoverEU Ambassador.Applications are now open until 12:00 (CEST) 26 June 2018. To find out more and to apply, visit the European Youth Portal. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram