Tim Allen To Be Honored By Midnight Mission

first_imgThe Midnight Mission is to honor Tim Allen at its annual Golden Heart Awards in May.From MidnightMission.org: “Please join us on Monday, May 6, for The Midnight Mission’s (TMM) Annual Golden Heart Award Gala. Each year, The Golden Heart Award is presented to those who have shown exceptional support, deep partnership and dedication to TMM and our purpose of providing a bridge to self-sufficiency for those in need.“This year, our Gala will be held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, beginning at 6 pm with a reception, followed by dinner, the awards presentation and entertainment.“We are pleased to be honoring Tim Allen, an American comedian, actor, voice-over artist and entertainer, known for his role in the sitcom Home Improvement. We will also be honoring Jason Sinay, a respected Los Angeles session musician, who has worked with many artists including Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Diamond and The Dirty Knobs (with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers).“We hope you will join us for this moving and awe-inspiring night of celebration!”For tickets and more information, click here.last_img read more

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Paqtnkek Nation in Nova Scotia in mourning after two die when boat

first_imgAngel MooreAPTN NewsThe Paq’tnkek First Nation in Nova Scotia is in mourning after two members of the community died after their fishing boat capsized just off the community’s coast.Ozzy Clair, and his cousin Niko were about 60 metres offshore harvesting oysters when the calm waters turned stormy.Lenore prosper was also on the boat.She survived.Her uncle, Paul Prosper says Niko saved her life.“They were with the boat as far as I understand for a bit, and then realized that they should make it to shore and so they swan together,” he said.“And it really was… it really helped her to survive.”Niko Clair’s body was found about three metres from the shore.His cousin Ozzy’s body was recovered near the boat.Both were unresponsive and pronounced dead that evening.The community is getting help.The Eskasoni First Nation has sent its crisis team to help the community at the health centre.“Ozzy and Niko Clair will be dearly missed by certainly people within, throughout our community,” said Prosper. “But throughout our surrounding communities, throughout the Mi’kmaq nation and beyond there.”The community has only been in the oyster fishery for about five years.According to Prosper all three were wearing a life jacket.The Transportation Safety Board is investigating.amoore@aptn.ca@angelharksenlast_img read more

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Group home at odds with coroner over how long Amy Owen left

first_imgKenneth JacksonAPTN NewsA private group home operator in Ottawa says it had a suicidal First Nations girl under “heightened supervision” when she took her life over two years ago according to recently filed court documents. In fact, the company claims Amy Owen was alone in her bedroom for just 10 minutes before she took her life April 17, 2017.“Mary Homes’ staff had interaction with Amy 10 minutes before she was found in her room …,” the company wrote in its statement of defence  in response to a $5.5 million lawsuit filed by Owen’s family in April.“On that last occasion departing staff saw her in the doorway of her room and had a brief discussion with her.”Staff then tried to revive Owen once they found her lifeless said Mary Homes.This drastically changes the time frame previously reported by APTN News based on the investigating coroner’s report made up in part from police interviews. Dr. Dimitri Makropoulos determined Owen was left alone for approximately one hour.“Ottawa Police and Forensic Identification detectives also attended the (group home) and interviewed group home staff,” wrote Makropoulos.Owen’s family is also suing Tikinagan Child and Family Services, the agency that removed Owen from her home on Poplar Hill First Nation after she was sexually assaulted by someone not in her immediate family.Tikinagan filed a statement of defence, like Mary Homes, denying responsibility for Owen’s suicide. However, both Tikinagan and Mary Homes filed cross claims pointing the finger at each other.But it leaves the question, how long was Owen left alone?The day Owen died there were three workers in the home according to Makropoulos’s report. A fourth worker was out picking up another child.Makropoulos wrote Owen was “alive and well” at 2:45 p.m. in her bedroom.“Amy Jane was checked on by a staff member approximately one hour later at 15:45 p.m., and was found hanging from the window frame,” wrote Makropoulos.She was officially pronounced dead at 5:10 p.m. at hospital.About a month before her death, Owen tried to die by suicide in her bedroom following previous trips to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa where she was admitted each time for several days for severe self-harming.Then in the first nine days of April she was back at CHEO and would be four times for self-harm.Makropoulos wrote that group home workers were aware of multiple incidents of self-harm and that Owen reported increased suicide ideation at the time and described a specific plan, noting that she had made an attempt “a couple of weeks ago”. As well, her best friend had recently died by suicide. She was released in the afternoon of April 4 requiring treatment for self-harm. Four days later, on April 8, she was back at CHEO for the same thing. “She was subsequently assessed by a crisis intervention social worker … deemed not to have any active suicidal ideation, and was advised to follow-up with multiple available resources in the community,” said Makropoulos.The next day Owen was back at hospital having harmed herself again.  She denied any suicidal ideation.“According to group home staff, Amy Jane continued to demonstrate aggressive and self-harming behavior and had been supposed to return to the higher-acuity crisis home … on April 13, 2017,” said Makropoulos.But the home was found to have too many other high risk “clients” and the decision was made to keep Owen at the Wilhaven residence.The former Wilhaven residence in Ottawa. Kenneth Jackson/APTN photo.CHEO recommended two weeks before her death that Owen should be under strict supervision.This issue was brought up by Tikinagan during the police investigation into her death.“Amy Jane’s Tikinagan CAS worker did express concerns to Police about the lack of 1:1 supervision at the group home at the time of Amy’s death,” the coroner said.The “1:1 supervision” means having a group home worker with Owen around the clock but Mary Homes said, according to the coroner’s report, it had difficulty arranging a 1:1 worker for Owen.In its statement of defence, Mary Homes alleges Tikinagan never approved funding for the specialized supervision.The Owen family is the second from Poplar Hill to sue Tikinagan over a child in its care dying by suicide.Kanina Sue Turtle’s family is suing for $5.9 million after Turtle, 15, filmed her suicide in a foster home owned and operated by Tikinagan in Sioux Lookout Oct. 29, 2016.The video shows she was left alone over 46 minutes before the sole worker in the home checked on her.That home was still operating as of last year, while Mary Homes had to shutdown the Wilhaven residence.It was recently put up for rent.kjackson@aptn.caThe Canada Suicide Prevention Service enables callers anywhere in Canada to access crisis support using the technology of their choice (phone, text or chat), in French or English:Phone: toll-free 1-833-456-4566Text: 45645Chat: crisisservicescanada.calast_img read more

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Religious Tolerance and Security Reforms Have Made Morocco a Bulwark against

Rabat – Amidst widening security and social concerns over the return of ISIS and other terrorist network-affiliated Moroccan nationals, Moroccan authorities are confident about the country’s preparedness to prevent future events of the magnitude of the 2003 Casablanca and 2011 Marrakesh bombings.Since the April 2011 Marrakesh terror strike, Morocco’s modernized and upgraded security system has established the kingdom as a bulwark against radicalization and organized crime, BCIJ (Central Bureau of Judiciary Investigations) director, Abdelhak Khiame, told French magazine Valeurs Actuelles in an interview published on June 14. The success of Morocco’s anti-terrorist model, Khiame elaborated, lies in an “anticipatory philosophy” that deals with terrorism at its very core.Despite separatist grievances in the south and some recent—though sporadic—political upheavals, the North African country still carries its so-called “exceptionalité Marocaine” (Moroccan exception) reputation: a bastion of security and peace in a troubled neighborhood. Although the idea of the Moroccan exception is also said to entail  Morocco as a cultural bridge, home to striking social-cultural diversities, the notion has been slightly altered in recent years. The shift has placed a particular emphasis on the country’s brand of tolerant and difference-accommodating Islam, as a factor of stability and social cohesion during and after the events of the Arab Spring.But how did this come about? How, after being shaken to its core by the terrorist strikes in 2003 and 2011, has Morocco managed to establish itself as an inspiration for other nations fighting against terrorism and radical ideologies? Why is the Moroccan anti-terrorism experience an example worth emulating?The BCJI director claimed that Morocco did not just want to fight terrorism after the 2011 strikes; the country also had “to deconstruct radicalization” in order to both limit the appeal of ideology-linked violence but also identify those most susceptible to fall prey to it.“Although it is premature to claim victory now, radicalization has drastically declined in Morocco in recent months,” he said, explaining that there now is an established network of government-sponsored experts who identify and intervene in “high risk areas.” The experts include sociologists, psychologists, Islamic law specialists, and Ulemmas (Islamic scholars) who cooperate to promote a version of moderate and tolerant Islam. “These experts also intervene in prisons to persuade terrorists to review their ideas on the meaning of jihad,” Khiame further said, hinting at another successful feature of Morocco’s robust anti-terrorism model: deradicalization. Successfully de-radicalized former terrorists are also sometimes relied upon to participate in awareness-raising campaigns in “fragile and vulnerable places.”The effective coupling of theological re-orientation and security reforms has thus been a crucial ingredient of Morocco’s anti-terrorist apparatus. Investing in state-sponsored IslamOn the religious front, the Rabita Mohammedia of Oulemas (Mohammedia House of Scholars) is leading a strenuous battle against radical and monolithic interpretations of the Quran and Islamic tenets. With more than 30 online platforms at its disposal, it disseminates books, video recordings, cassettes, and even animes whose main objective is to prevent the proliferation of radical Islamism.The body is made of experts from various academic backgrounds committed to “de-coding and deconstructing religious radicalism.” They first identify the ideological terrains that terrorist are most likely to exploit—Arab Unity, religious binarisms (Islamic world vs. others), name-calling piety, etc. Once they identify the rhetoric and vulnerable populations most susceptible  to such appeals, they then devise a counter-rhetoric designed to “immunize” fragile populations not priorly exposed to radical rhetoric, in addition to “de-radicalizing” those with previous  exposure to “simplistic pan-Islamist narratives.”“There are no self-proclaimed imams in Morocco. That is illegal,” other governmental sources told Valeurs Actuelles, as they further explained that everything is done to ensure that the country’s 45,000 practicing imams uphold and echo the pluralist core of Morocco’s official Islam in their Friday sermons. “Mosques that deviate are rapidly identified, and steep punishment follows.” A new generation of imamsEqually crucial on the ideological and religious front is Morocco’s tutelage of a new generation of imams, trained both in traditional theological sciences and “modern” courses in social sciences and the humanities. At the Mohamed VI institute for Imams, courses include sociology, philosophy, psychology, communication sciences, etc., and imams are instructed to value debates and critical thinking.Since its inception in 2006, the institute has attracted candidates from other African countries, due to the  Moroccan government’s extension of scholarships to candidates from countries like Guinea, Niger, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria. Scholarships include everything, from on-site accommodations, free courses, and pocket money. “This is to prevent external influences,” said a religious instructor, well aware of the financial factor in feeding the ranks of radical Islamism.The success of the institute has also attracted the attention of some non-African governments, with France agreeing to a partnership in 2015. France now sends on a yearly basis dozens of Imam Students to be trained in the Moroccan tradition of Islam. This year, for example, the Institute hosted 50 French nationals, of whom 10 were girls. Of the inclusion of female students in the Institute’s program, one instructor said: “It is the best way to show our openness and effectively fight against extremists who are annoyed by such a model.”Modernized anti-terrorist unitsTo supplement the ideological success of its anti-terrorism, Morocco has also heavily invested in its intelligence and elite police units, creating sophisticated networks of cooperation and intelligence sharing between the country’s top anti-terrorist specialized units. The BCIJ, the perfect embodiment of Morocco’s specialized anti-terrorist units, has often been described as the “Moroccan FBI,” an indication of the body’s high standards and commendable achievements in dealing with terrorist threats. It a special police made up of 400 detectives and 700 field agents, highly trained and equipped to root out   the various forms of domestic and transnational terrorism. The BCIJ works in collaboration with other sub-departments and security sub-divisions under the commands of the Interior Ministry, therefore creating a vast interconnected and independent hierarchy of anti-terrorist units. BCIJ operatives have neutralized 815 terrorist since 2015, in addition to dismantling 53 terrorist cells from 2015 to April 2018.“We anticipate terrorist strikes,” said BCIJ director Khiame, adding: “We receive intelligence from all agencies working under DGST (General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance). All tasks are divided and this gives us ample time to gather intelligence and intervene in time to stop potential terrorists.” read more

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Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to discuss prisoner transfers

2. The visiting Afghan Foreign Minister was accompanied by His Excellency Mr. Shaida M. Abdali, Non-Resident Ambassador of Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, Mr. Azizudin Ahmadzada, Director General, First Political Division and Mr. Saed Abdul Bashir Sadaat, Deputy Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.3. One-to-one meeting between the two Ministers was arranged on 19th December 2012, followed by official bilateral talks. 1. At the invitation of the Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan paid an official visit to Sri Lanka from 18th – 21st December 2012, marking the first ever bilateral visit undertaken by an Afghan Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have agreed to  discuss matters pertaining to the transfer of prisoners, a joint communiqué released by the External Affairs Ministry said today.The joint communiqué follows the visit to Sri Lanka by Afghan Foreign Minister Dr. Zalmai Rassoul. The joint communiqué said: 4. Hon. T.B. Ekanayake, Minister of Culture & the Arts, Hon. Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Justice, Secretaries of the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Culture & the Arts, Ministry of External Affairs and the Vice Chancellor of the Kotelawala Defence Academy were present at the official bilateral talks representing Sri Lanka.5. The official discussions between the two sides were marked by friendship, mutual respect and understanding. The Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan noted that the two countries share a common cultural and historical heritage that has paved the way for regional cooperation which is an impetus to build a multi-faceted partnership between the two countries.6. The official bilateral discussions focused mainly on the areas of cooperation in the fields of trade and commerce, culture, legal consultations, employment opportunities and education. 7. The two Ministers agreed to harness the resources and the skilled labour available in Sri Lanka to contribute towards rebuilding Afghanistan and restoring cultural artifacts in the country. The urgent need for development of professional and skilled manpower in Afghanistan was reiterated at the Meeting. In this regard, a bilateral agreement for providing professional and skilled labour to Afghanistan was proposed by Sri Lanka. Afghanistan welcomed the participation of Sri Lankan professionals and skilled manpower to rebuild their country. 8. Sri Lanka was requested to provide more placements in its universities in the disciplines of medicine, engineering, agriculture and technology. Sri Lanka responded positively to the request of Afghanistan and offered to consider more placements in the universities on a fee-levying basis in addition to two gratis placements in the Kotelawala Defence University.9. The visiting Afghan Minister made a special request seeking assistance of the Government of Sri Lanka to restore the printing press of the Ministry of Education in Afghanistan, which would be exclusively used for printing of text books for Afghan school children. Sri Lanka agreed to consider the request positively which would symbolize the friendship and cooperation between two countries.10. Signing of the bilateral Agreement on Economic, Educational, Scientific and Technological Cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation between the two countries were viewed by the Ministers as the core component of stronger Sri Lanka- Afghanistan relations. This will pave the way for conducting annual consultations between the two countries. 11. Both sides agreed to discuss matters pertaining to the transfer of prisoners.12. Both sides noted that they could draw inspiration from each other’s experiences as both countries are re-emerging from the shadows of conflict and facing formidable challenges in the areas of reconciliation and reconstruction. The visiting Foreign Minister praised His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka for his leadership in eradicating terrorism and achieving peace and stability in Sri Lanka.13. The two Ministers acknowledged the need to enhance bilateral trade and the Afghan Foreign Minister agreed to send a delegation representing Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Chamber of Commerce of Afghanistan with a view to exploring avenues for trade expansion. Further, cooperation in the field of processing gemstones was discussed. In this context Afghanistan requested the services of Sri Lankan expertise in this field.14. Both Ministers emphasized the significance of this historic visit of the Afghan Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka and with a view to further consolidating the political, economic and socio cultural relations, announced the decision to open Embassies in both capitals.15. The two Ministers reiterated the importance of working together at bilateral level and in regional fora for the mutual benefit of the two countries.16. The visiting Afghan Foreign Minister called on His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on 20th December 2012 and also had comprehensive discussions with the Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. Visiting Minister extended President Karzai’s invitation for H.E. the President of Sri Lanka to visit Afghanistan.17. His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan delivered a Public Lecture on the topic “Afghanistan today and beyond 2014” at the Ministry of External Affairs, which was appreciated by those present.18. The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan visited the Southern Port City of Galle. During the visit he called on the Hon. Kumari Balasuriya, Governor of the Southern Province and visited the Maritime Museum.19. His Excellency Dr. Zalmai Rassoul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan expressed his gratitude to the Honourable Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during their visit to Sri Lanka. read more

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UN to observe day of solidarity with detained missing staff members

There are at least 39 staff members of the UN family of organizations currently missing or “disappeared” – possibly under arrest or being held in detention. To focus global attention on their plight, the Eighteenth Annual International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff members will be observed tomorrow.The Day marks the armed abduction of Alec Collett near Beirut Airport in1985 while on assignment for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The fate of Mr. Collett, a former journalist and Director of the UN Information Centre in Ghana, has never been determined. This year, a lapel pin intended to highlight the importance of staff security and safety will be distributed. Mrs. Elaine Collett will present Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette with the first pin during a brief ceremony at UN Headquarters. read more

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UNs agricultural and educational agencies spotlight rural Caribbean poverty

With rural poverty high and the level of rural education low in Caribbean countries, the United Nations agricultural and educational agencies today opened a two-day regional meeting in St. Lucia on nutrition, education and HIV/AIDS.According to a UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) report to be presented at the meeting, “The education system in the Caribbean evolved from a colonial historical legacy which was predicated on privilege. Education served as a primary device for social selection and class stratification.”With the attainment of independence, mass education has become a social and political priority, but has not reached many in the rural areas, the report said. In Jamaica, the rural poverty rate is three times higher than the urban poverty rate, while in Guyana, almost the entire rural population is poor.“In the Caribbean region, the impact of poverty, HIV/AIDS and educational deficits is acutely felt in the rural context,” according to the report, which stresses the need to make a considerable effort to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and raise standards of living. The MDGs are a set of time-bound targets for slashing a host of global ills.“Education is essential for the rural poor, many of whom are women. It is also essential for rural children who lose their parents to AIDS. Field schools need to be developed to provide essential skills and knowledge to orphaned children. Educating the rural poor contributes to preventing the (HIV) pandemic from expanding rapidly in rural areas,” said the head of FAO Gender and Population Division, Marcela Villarreal. read more

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Termtime holidays Parents can be prosecuted for taking children out of school

first_imgMinisters have argued that children must be in school every day, and that every extra day of school a child misses can affect their GCSE results.How many children miss school for holidays?Figures published by the Department for Education last month showed that around a million schoolchildren missed lessons last year after taking family trips during term time.About one in six pupils in England took at least a half day off for a trip in the 2015/16 academic year with the vast majority doing so without getting permission from the head teacher.Overall, there were 801,980 pupils in England’s state primary, secondary and special schools (11.9 per cent) with one or more sessions (half days) of absence due to unauthorised family holidays, and 223,080 students (3.3 per cent) with at least one missed session due to agreed family breaks.There are no overall figures on the numbers of parents handed fines for taking children out of school, but figures previously showed that in the 2014/15 academic year, at least 50,414 penalty notices were issued due to children being taken out of lessons for trips.This was up 25 per cent on the year before, when at least 40,218 penalties were given out, and up 173 per cent from the 18,484 fines handed out by local authorities in 2012/13. These figures cover 71 councils that provided data for all three years. But a QC for Mr Platt described the submission as a new and radical interpretation of the law which was absurd and would ”criminalise parents on an unprecedented scale”.James Eadie QC, for the Education Secretary, argued it would be ”absurd” if parents could go on holiday with children when ”the sun is out and foreign climes beckon” in a way that ”undermined” Government policy on unauthorised absences.The Government ordered a crackdown on school absences in 2013.New guidelines were introduced for English schools which only allow heads to permit pupils to miss classes in ”exceptional circumstances”.Families complain that trips in official holiday periods are up to four times more expensive, and local councils have reported that the number of breaks in term time is increasing. Reading out the court’s verdict,  Lady Hale, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, said that Parliament would not have found it “acceptable” for children to be taken out of school by parents with a “blatant disregard for the rules”.”This is not an approach to rule-keeping which any educational system can be expected to find acceptable,” she added. It is a slap in the face to those obedient parents who do keep the rules, whatever the cost or inconvenience to themselves. “The case will be returned to the magistrates’ court with a direction to proceed as if the submission of no case to answer had been rejected.”The ruling will be seen as a victory for the Department of Education, which tightened the rules in 2013 in response to the rising numbers of parents taking their children out of school during term-time in order to avoid the surge in prices charged by travel companies during the peak holiday seasons.It followed a pledge by the then Education Secretary Michael Gove to curb the scale of unauthorised absences in primary schools – which were then twice as high as secondaries. Jon Platt High Court  Jon Platt Commenting, a spokesman for the council said the ruling had provided “much-needed clarity”, adding that it would continue to apply its code of conduct on school absences in accordance with the judgement.A Department for Education spokesman said it was “pleased” with the judgement, adding that it had removed lingering “uncertainty” for schools and local authorities.“The evidence shows every extra day of school missed can affect a pupil’s chances of achieving good GCSEs, which has a lasting effect on their life chances,” they added.Father: This is the state taking away parents’ rightsSpeaking after the ruling was given, Mr Platt said he was “not at all surprised” at the judgment.He said: “I’m pleased that they acknowledged the judgment doesn’t go on to say what the school rules should be. Schools need to think very carefully about what these rules should be.”Some have policies that mean that every day missed is a criminal offence.”He added that schools need to build in some flexibility to “attenuate the shocking outcome of this case”. He added: “I have absolutely no intention of pleading guilty to this offence when it goes back to the magistrates’ court.”To parents all over England I say this: the legal battle is now over. There is no right of appeal beyond this place. It will be a generation or more before this court revisits this issue, if ever it does.”You can no longer make the decision to take your children out of school, even for one morning without permission of the state.”Labour: Taking children out of school creates ‘chaos’Speaking on BBC Breakfast on Thursday, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said removing children from school during term-time would create “chaos” in the classroom.She said: “I completely understand the difficulties that working parents face – I did myself as a single mum.”But it’s really, really important that we set that principle that actually children should attend school in term-time. There are exceptional circumstances, there is discretion at the moment.”But if all parents took their children out of school in term-time because it was cheaper to get a holiday that way, then it would be chaos in our schools and it would affect all children.”What is the background to this case?The High Court ruling in May last year cleared Mr Platt of failing to ensure his daughter attended school regularly, as required by section 444(1) of the Education Act 1996.Mr Platt’s request for permission to take his daughter out of school was refused by her head teacher. Speaking in Parliament Square after the ruling, Mr Platt apologised to his wife for his stubbornness, adding that he was “not at all surprised” by the verdict.However, he said that he felt the decision was “outrageous” and “shocking”, as he warned parents with outstanding fines to pay them or face “ending up here in two years time”.Speaking to The Telegraph, he added: “I really hope people have paid them, but I know there will be those who don’t because they think they can still win.“I say to them that it is very difficult to do so now, because this ruling makes it very difficult to win the case. If you think that you can argue that 99 percent constitutes good attendance, you can’t.” Jon Platt speaking outside the High Court in May last year Credit:Matthew Chattle/REX/Shutterstock Jon Platt outside the Supreme Court on ThursdayCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty Mr Platt added that the decision represented a victory for the Department of Education, and symbolised the “state” wrestling parents’ rights over their children’s welfare away from them.He now faces legal costs of more than £10,000  and could be fined a maximum penalty of £1,000 when the case is reexamined at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court later this year. Jon Platt arrives at the Supreme Court  Until the Supreme Court’s ruling, many parents presumed they could escape prosecution for truancy, providing they could demonstrate that their child had regularly attended school.But on Thursday that question was unequivocally answered, with the judges ruling that unless a child is sick, absent due to religious observance reasons, or unable to attend because their school transport did not arrive, they must attend school – unless the headteacher has stated otherwise.It means that even half a day’s absence, unauthorised, could lead to prosecution – although the judges noted that “trivial” breaches of the law would likely receive a lesser sentence, such as a fixed-penalty notice or an acquittal.It comes two years after Mr Platt was unsuccessfully prosecuted by the Isle of Wight Council after he failed to pay a £120 fine, leading the authority to pursue the case through the case through High Court and subsequently the Supreme Court. The Department for Education has told parents that their children missing just a few days in the classroom can damage GCSE results.Why is this such an important decision?The crux of the matter is that five Supreme Court judges were being asked to consider whether or not Mr Platt committed an offence by failing to ensure his daughter “attended school regularly”, as required by section 444(1) of the 1996 Education Act. As managing director of JMP Partnership, a business which advises clients who have been mis-sold PPI, Mr Platt has been providing guidance to other parents facing prosecution during his landmark legal battle.But on Thursday there were fears that advice issued by the 46-year-old on his website may have resulted in some parents refusing to pay fines issued by their local authority – meaning they too could now face hefty penalties and a criminal record.The guidance, published by Mr Platt, who colleagues said was currently undertaking a law degree, claims that there “is a very good chance” that local authorities will “withdraw” fines if your child’s attendance is over 92.3 percent.Following Thursday’s ruling, however, he emphasised that “all parents with outstanding fines” should now pay them. After the holiday, he was issued with a fixed penalty notice, but he did not pay the £60 by the initial deadline, and was sent a further invoice for £120, which he also did not pay.At a Supreme Court hearing in January, the local authority, backed by the Education Secretary, argued that a child’s unauthorised absence from school ”for even a single day, or even half a day” can amount to a criminal offence. Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in central London on Thursday morning Jon Platt said schools now need to think ‘very carefully’ about absence rulesCredit:Stefan Rousseau/PA Jon Platt and his wife Sally outside the Supreme Court in central London on Thursday morningCredit:Stefan Rousseau/PA Mr Platt warned other parents to pay any outstanding fines or “face ending up here in two years time”, adding that the decision represented the “state” wrestling the duty of care for children away from their parents. “The issue is no longer about term-time holidays,” he said. “It is about the state taking the rights of parents away from making decisions about their children. “Many of you thought, as I did in 2015 when I took my daughter on holiday, that it would be grossly unfair to retrospectively criminalise me. That was very nearly the case.”  A key High Court finding was that the magistrates who originally heard the case were legally entitled to take into account the daughter’s overall attendance record and not just her lack of “regular attendance” during the Florida holiday period.At a Supreme Court hearing in January, the Isle of Wight council argued a child’s unauthorised absence from school “for even a single day, or even half a day” can amount to a criminal offence.A QC for Mr Platt, described the submission as a new and radical interpretation of the law which was absurd and would “criminalise parents on an unprecedented scale”.The action was being closely watched by parents across the country. 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. The High Court ruling led to a surge in term-time holiday bookings, which are expected to fall sharply after Thursday’s ruling. Parents may no longer believe it is worth taking them out of lessons to take advantage of cheaper holiday prices.As the Supreme Court decided in favour of education bosses, it means that schools and local councils could be even tougher on families whose children miss any school without permission.What are the current rules?In the autumn of 2013, there was a major crackdown on absence, including term-time holidays.New rules were brought in, which said head teachers could only grant leave in “exceptional circumstances”. Previously, school leaders were able to approve leave of up to 10 days for “special circumstances”.Fines for unauthorised absence were also increased in 2013, with parents now incurring a penalty of £60, rising to £120 if it is not paid within 21 days. anyone who fails to pay within 28 days can face prosecution. Parents who take their children out of school for term time holidays can be prosecuted, the Supreme Court has ruled as a “stubborn” father lost his landmark case on Thursday whilst appealing to parents not to follow his example.Delivering their verdict, the judges ruled that Jon Platt, a businessman from the Isle of Wight who took his six-year-old daughter on a seven-day family trip in Florida in April 2015, should have paid a £120 fine for his daughter’s unauthorised absence.The judges said he had shown a “blatant disregard of school rules” and that his approach had been a “slap in the face” to “obedient” parents who abide by the law.Their ruling means that parents who take their children out of school on holiday – even if their child has regular attendance – can be prosecuted if they do not receive permission from the head teacher.last_img read more

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Over 340 arrested in global child pornography investigation

first_imgPOLICE IN TORONTO say 341 people have been arrested, and 386 children rescued from situations where they may be at risk as part of an international investigation into child pornography.Details of the three-year investigation were revealed at a news conference hosted by the city’s police force this afternoon.According to local media, 108 of the arrests made were in Canada, including 50 in Ontario, with the remainder in the rest of the country.The investigation centred on the Toronto-based ‘AzovFilms.com,’ which went out of business in 2011.Those charged in connection with the case include the head of the company, 42-year-old Brian Way. It’s alleged the company solicited and sold child pornography footage around the world via the internet, according to a press release from Toronto Police.Authorities from the US, Spain, Sweden and Australia were also involved in the wide-ranging inquiry — several of whom had representatives at today’s press conference.Toronto Police press release says An Garda Síochána were involved in the investigation. A spokesperson for the force told TheJournal.ie this afternoon that they had no information of any Irish arrests.The investigation – known as ‘Project Spade – also covered Mexico, Hong Kong, Norway, Greece and Gibraltar.Undercover officers from Toronto Police first made contact with Way in October 2010, and began an investigation of his company.The US Postal Inspection Service was called in as the inquiry developed, and the 42-year-old was arrested in May 2011.According to the police service, over 45 terabytes of data was seized, and the company had revenues in excess of 4 million Canadian dollars (€2.8 million).It’s alleged that Way “paid various people to film children for the purpose of creating movies for sale on his website”. He faces a total of 24 charges, including ‘possession of child pornography’ and ‘laundering proceeds of crime’.(Youtube: Toronto Police Service)(Note: The term ‘child pornography’ is used in this article as it’s the term for the offence used by Interpol, which defines it as “any means of depicting or promoting sexual abuse of a child”).Read: 3,000 suspected child pornography reports in Ireland last yearRead: Child pornography blocking system to be debated by Seanadlast_img read more

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Three arrested after gun found in car in Dundalk

first_imgGARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED three men after seizing a gun from a car in Louth.The arrests happened at Greenacres in Dundalk shortly after 9pm last night.The men – one aged 40 and the other two in their late 20s – were arrested at the scene and are being questioned at Dundalk Garda Station.The men are being detained under the Offences Against the State Act.Gardaí said this morning that the investigation is ongoing.last_img

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Surrender an hour of your day to Mozillas Browser Quest

first_imgIn the eternal war of who makes the better thing (regardless of whatever that thing may be), it is occasionally nice to see something pop up that everyone can appreciate. Such is the case with Browser Quest, and HTML5 game made by Mozilla and Little Workshop.Browser Quest showcases the best of HTML5 in an online multiplayer game that anybody with an HTML5-friendly browser on a PC, Mac, Linux, Android or iOS can play. If you are interested in some pixel art fun filled with some of the internet’s greatest hits, it is well worth an hour of your time.Browser Quest starts you off as a generic male character in a small village. As you explore, you discover weapons and armor that increase in strength right alongside the power of the baddies you find in those areas. You will find everything from town guards with HTML5 shields to a Nyan Cat nestled in the bushes. As you defeat enemies, explore caves, and talk to NPC’s you’ll unlock some of the 20 achievements that are available for you to aim for.You’re not alone, either, and there’s a basic chat system that will allow you to communicate with the other players you can see on your screen. The other players can help you attack the baddies, but they can also drop in and steal your loot if you aren’t fast enough.With all of this awesomeness going on, there’s still a little room for self-promotion. Randomly available at any point in the game are “foxy” potions, which make your character invulnerable to damage for about 15 seconds. During that time, your armor is replaced with a firefox costume for everyone to see. By the time you reach the final boss you are appropriately prepared to take him on by yourself, but typically you’re not alone in taking him on. When you have defeated the boss, you can still go around unlocking the rest of the achievements you find.This is an impressive undertaking, made even more so by the transparency Mozilla offers. The game is entirely open source and available on Github, and you can even take a look at the server load the game is under. The game is functional on Phones, Tablets, and PC’s, but the phone experience even on a Galaxy Nexus with Chrome for Android is fairly uncomfortable.Browser Quest is free to play for anyone, and is available now. Huge props to Mozilla for releasing such an undertaking, including how incredibly smooth and enjoyable the game is. Take a look at our gallery below!wrdfwrdfretghedphoto 5photo 4photo 3photo 2photo 1jutyjhyutfhfygdfoxyfgnhfdhjnslast_img read more

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Why Samsungs Galaxy Tab 3 might not be as boring as it

first_imgSamsung announced the Galaxy Tab 3 today, and the new tablet hasn’t enjoyed the same warm reception as the Galaxy S4. There are two big reasons why some folks are yawning. First, the third generation GTab sports the same 7-inch, 1024×600 display as the Galaxy Tab 1 and 2. Second, it’s only running a 1.2GHz dual-core processor.But neither of those necessarily make this a boring tablet. Yes, just about every 4.5-inch or larger smartphone on the market is shipping with a 1080p display. And, yes, the Nexus 7‘s panel has a higher native resolution and pixels-per-inch (PPI). Then again, 1024×600 is pretty close to the iPad mini’s 1024×768 — and no one seems to have a problem with its display.Samsung might have opted out of the PPI race here to keep the retail price of the Galaxy Tab 3 down. It’s not like shoppers that want a more premium version from Samsung don’t have another option — they can buy the Galaxy Note 8.0. If the goal here is to ship a tablet that can compete with the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire in terms of price while still offering a solid user experience, Samsung’s display choice makes sense.As does that dual-core processor. Right now, a multitude of cores doesn’t necessarily yield huge performance gains on Android — the OS and apps just don’t take full advantage of multi-core chips. Clock speed doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to performance, either.Samsung hasn’t specified exactly which chip it’s going to use in the Galaxy Tab 3. If it’s an Exynos 5, then even at just 1.2GHz and with half as many cores as the Nexus 7 it will perform just fine. The Exynos 5 is an ARM Cortex-A15 SoC, and it can run rings around Cortex-A9 chips. It’s got a faster GPU and double the memory bandwidth.If an in-house chip and a serviceable display let Samsung keep the price of the Galaxy Tab 3 down, it could be a big hit with consumers. If, however, it turns out that Samsung just phoned this update in and the GT3 is just another yawn-inducing me-too slate, well… let’s hope it falls flat and someone else (hello, Asus!) steps up with an awesome new 7-incher.last_img read more

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Angry farmers fear new sheep inspections will put pregnant ewes at risk

first_img FARMERS HAVE EXPRESSED their concern at State sheep inspections, which are scheduled to take place during lambing season.Farmers have said that the process of gathering sheep for them to be counted and inspected may place undue stress on more vulnerable animals such as pregnant sheep, and have criticised the timing of the inspections.Recent sub-zero conditions and just a few days notice before inspections have also caused problems for farmers preparing for the recently introduced inspections.The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association’s national sheep chairperson John Brooks said that this was “absolutely” a problem and it “shouldn’t have to happen” at this time of year. https://jrnl.ie/3852311 By Gráinne Ní Aodha Feb 15th 2018, 6:02 AM 11,943 Views Short URL Thursday 15 Feb 2018, 6:01 AM It should be carried out in the field without having to gather the sheep up – it’s a huge welfare issue.The inspections are part of the government’s newly introduced Sheep Welfare Scheme, which gives grants to farmers as long as they comply with inspections.Under those rules, inspectors will “verify compliance by examination of applicants’ animal remedies, feed and mineral supplement records and where applicable flock register and dispatch dockets to ensure animal treatments and other requirements are in accordance with the scheme”.It added that farmers will be notified a “maximum of 48 hours in advance” and “ewes must be penned for inspection”. Image: Birgit Urban via Shutterstock 45 Comments ‘Angry’ farmers fear new sheep inspections will put pregnant ewes at risk Sheep farmer representatives plan to meet with government officials to discuss their problems with the inspections. Share45 Tweet Email1 Image: Birgit Urban via Shutterstock Source: ShutterstockBrooks said that when gathering young lambs and heavily pregnant ewes to place them in pens for them to be inspected, you “run the risk of injuring” those vulnerable animals.“We’re going to schedule a meeting with the Department of Agriculture,” he told TheJournal.ie, adding that the government understood farmers’ issues, but this was just a reminder to give vulnerable animals consideration.Sinn Féin’s agriculture spokesperson and Leitrim-Sligo TD Martin Kenny said that he had been contacted by a few “angry” farmers over the timing of these sheep inspections.He said that farmers “are being forced to gather all their sheep both on lowlands and the mountains and pen them up for the Department to inspect them”.“Surely, the Minister and his Departmental officials know that we are heading into lambing season and sheep are heavily pregnant and vulnerable at this time of year?“It is recognised that stress to sheep is a major cause of sheep aborting lambs and also causes difficulties and complications during the lambing process.He added that “severe weather” over the last number of weeks has caused problems for farmers; added to this is the fact that they’ve only received a couple of days notice of when sheep need to be gathered.“I understand that farm inspections are part of the Department’s remit, but now is not the time to be inspecting heavily pregnant sheep. The Minister and his Department must use some common sense and stop these inspections until lambing season is over.”The sheep chairperson at Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Sean Dennehy said that at this time of year 2.5 million ewes prepare for lambing.“There is a provision in the Farmers’ Charter of Rights that ‘with inspections involving sheep, the Department will take account of the circumstances and follow agreed protocols in relation to penning at lambing time’.The Department has to take account of this unique situation and adopt an approach that is both practical and flexible.The Department of Agriculture didn’t respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.Read: Farmers are calling a fodder crisis …but the government says there is sufficient supplyRead: ‘Nobody should live in fear due to lack of garda resources’: 45% of all agricultural crime not reported to gardaí Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Activist files suit against auditor

first_imgA petition filed with the Clark County Superior Court this week argues that a precinct committee officer candidate must be removed from the 2018 ballot.Former Clark County Republican Party state committeeman and local conservative activist Christian Berrigan who describes himself as the sole officer of the Citizen’s Committee to Drain the Swamp Political Action Committee, filed the petition against Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey and PCO candidate Greg Cheney Wednesday.Berrigan argues that Cheney has been wrongfully placed on the ballot and is ineligible to run for the position. Berrigan is also running for a PCO position in a different precinct.To file to become a PCO, a candidate must only be registered to vote in the precinct for which they are filing. At that time, the candidate marks which party they are seeking to represent as a PCO in the specified precinct.“Any member of a political party who is a registered voter in the precinct may file his declaration for candidacy with the county auditor for the office of precinct committee officer of his party in that precinct,” Kimsey said in his response to the petition. “To my knowledge, the term ‘member’ is not defined in state statute or rule.”last_img read more

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Herrera Beutler Long set for November

first_imgIncumbent U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, will face political science professor Carolyn Long in what Tuesday’s results suggested may be a close race.Long, a Democrat making her first run for office, was less than 4 percentage points behind Herrera Beutler, 40.9 percent to 36.6 percent, according to districtwide results posted on the Secretary of State’s website. Long led Herrera Beutler in Clark County, the district’s most populous, by 2,249 votes.Herrera Beutler said she’s honored to have advanced through the primary.“I’m so incredibly grateful to Southwest Washington voters for continuing to trust me to fight on their behalf,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman. “Over the next few months voters will be presented with a clear contrast between a proud Southwest Washingtonian who has worked hard and reached across the aisle to get results for this community, and an Oregonian who will vote to raise taxes and kill economic growth.”Long has taught at Washington State University Vancouver for 23 years and moved to Washington in 2017.Herrera Beutler’s campaign spokeswoman, Angeline Riesterer, said late ballots historically lean Republican, so they expect her lead to increase as the remaining ballots are counted.In an election night interview at the Clark County Public Service Center, Long said there was a lot of energy surrounding her campaign, even on Election Day as she and her supporters canvassed throughout the district. She said her internal polling showed similar results to the Tuesday returns.last_img read more

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Gus Poyet on his Chelsea playing days

first_imgFormer Bordeaux manager Gustavo Poyet has revealed his favorite memories at Chelsea and lifted the lid on his time at Stamford Bridge.Poyet joined Chelsea on a free transfer in June 1997 and helped the club win the European Cup Winners’ Cup, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup.During his four-year spell at Stamford Bridge, he scored 36 goals in 105 appearances.In an exclusive interview with the official Chelsea website, he takes the fans on a trip down memory lane.On how he came to Chelsea, he said: “Chelsea were looking for a player and at Zaragoza we were three player out of contract.”“Chelsea watched a few games and I have to say that in two of the three games I played very well. One was against Athletic Bilbao away, one against Deportivo La Coruna and from one moment to the next there was an offer on the table that I couldn’t refuse.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…Poyet played under Ruud Gullit, Claudio Ranieri, and Gianluca Vialli at Chelsea, and had this to say about the coach that had the biggest influence on him: “I had not a lot of time with Ruud but it was important the way he was able to manage all the egos, and he started a generation of winners because they won the cup before I arrived and they were winning for four years.”“With Gianluca it was intense, Gianluca is Italian and Gianluca was the kind of guy who probably put too much pressure on himself and it was strange to have him as a team-mate, then as a manager and team-mate.“It was quite unusual. With Claudio Ranieri, it was very different because I was translating for him for a long time so it was a little bit more difficult.”And on his most memorable game in a Chelsea shirt, he said: “I say two. One is Newcastle at Wembley in the semi-final.“For me, the old Wembley was always special, it was unique and to be able to play there and score in an important game, it was incredible.“And the only final I scored in my life was against Real Madrid, in the Super Cup, so I cannot forget that moment, scoring in a final and being able to win.”last_img read more

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More fall at BPL former Chairman never agreed with PowerSecure management

first_img Related Items:#BEC, #BEWU, #BPL, #magneticmedianews, #PowerSecure Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, August 23, 2017 – Nassau – Two more suspensions at Bahamas Power and Light as the Minister responsible tells media that the Board of BPL is out to get the missing money back and to see operations improved.   Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister is among government and former government leaders weighing in as the drama seems to be unending at the embattled company, where a vendor fraud problem has led to over $2M in missing monies.The Bahamas Electrical Workers Union told media about the suspensions and had last week threatened to take industrial action as the power company continues to make missteps, they say, in how staff is being treated following the handover of an Ernst & Young forensic audit report of #BPL.On Monday, CEO Pamela Hill was fired and last week three line staff, also #BEWU members were let go from the company.    Former #BEC chairman, Leslie Miller is also commenting on the termination of Hill, saying it was long overdue and that it made no sense having PowerSecure take over management of #BEC anyway.#PowerSecure signed a Management Service Agreement or MSA with The Bahamas Government in February 2016, and recently received a $1.1M performance bonus, which many say they did not deserve.    A political cartoon, spoofing both the eclipse and the frequency of electricity outages teased that BPL has had the Bahamian public in an eclipse all summer.#MagneticMediaNews Bahamas Minister says audit allegation wrong, says Opposition Leader is an ‘honourable man’ Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Bahamas Power company cuts electricity ahead of Hurricane Irma; storm changes direction. Bahamas Power Company evacuates its employeeslast_img read more

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What the Huawei Matebook X Pro tells us about Nvidia MX250 graphics

first_imgThe 2019 model of the Huawei MateBook X Pro incorporates the Nvidia MX250 graphics processor. Sarah Tew/CNET Light, powerful or affordable: Pick two. Given the state of technology today, you can’t get all three. Nvidia’s MX line of mobile graphics processors (GPUs) is designed as a compromise between Intel’s lackluster integrated graphics and more power- and space-hungry discrete graphics like Nvidia’s GTX mobile chips to deliver on weight and power without punishing creators and gamers who need the extra oomph too heavily on cost.The question is, how much of a compromise? We took a look at some of the systems we’ve benchmarked and the new MX250-based version of the Huawei MateBook X Pro to try to figure that out. Nvidia’s current MX lineup consists of the MX230 and MX250. Laptops incorporating the chip were announced by all the usual suspects in early 2019 as updates to their existing MX150 models — Acer Aspire 5, HP Envy 17, Dell Inspiron 15 7000 and the Huawei MateBook X Pro, to name a handful — though none of them are available to buy as yet. (We haven’t heard about anyone using the MX230.)Both GPUs are very modest upgrades of the MX130 and MX150, respectively, and that means you really don’t need to wait for the newer models if you’re in the market for a new laptop now. It also means that when you inevitably start seeing discounts on the MX150 cohort, you should feel comfortable snapping up a bargain.  Asus Zenbook Flip 14 17.8 See it Razer Blade Stealth (2019) Huawei’s new MateBooks give you the power to touch and… 13,339 Note: Longer bars indicate better performance Acer Dell HP Huawei Intel Nvidia Razer 89.93 Huawei MateBook X Pro (2018) Huawei Matebook X Pro (2019) 15,666 Mentioned Above Huawei MateBook X Pro Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 Graphics; 512GB SSD Razer Blade Stealth Razer Blade Stealth 14,392 12,940 16,110 Now playing: Watch this: Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) LG Gram 14 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) 51.17 HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) Huawei MateBook X Pro (2018) 47.8 Razer Blade Stealth HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) LG Gram 14 47.8 90.69 Note: Longer bars indicate better performance Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gaming test Microsoft Surface Book 2 Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) Review • The MateBook X Pro squeezes some big features into its little package 14.9 12.9 14.9 Huawei MateBook X Pro (2018) 51.05 79.25 Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) 28.2center_img 13,509 Share your voice Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-8650U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 ; 1TB SSD 1 15,425 HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) 28.2 Asus Zenbook Flip 14 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gaming test Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) 15.4 Huawei Matebook X Pro (2018) System Configurations Asus Zenbook Flip 14 12.9 Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) $1,720 Note: Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS) HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) Tags Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 Graphics; 512GB SSD Asus Zenbook Flip 14 2:11 Laptops Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 16GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 Graphics; 512GB SSD 90.16 LG Gram 14 2-in-1 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-8705G; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics; 512GB SSD Asus Zenbook Flip 14 17.8 Cinebench R15 OpenGL (fps) Acer Aspire E15-57G6 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD Note: Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS) Razer Blade Stealth Huawei MateBook X Pro 16.5 Comment Huawei MateBook X Pro (2018) Geekbench 4 (multicore) There’s a bit of a twist when looking at laptops incorporating MX-series GPUs, though. Each comes in two different versions: a 10-watt part that goes in the thinnest of ultrathins and a 25-watt part for laptops a bit thicker; the higher-power version supports slightly faster clock speeds so it should theoretically deliver somewhat better performance. Also, both generations of the MX series are based on Nvidia’s Pascal-architecture GP108 graphics core, which makes them equivalent to the GT 1030 desktop card. And like that card, it can support up to GDDR5 memory — but is usually paired with GDDR4, which can bog down performance significantly.  Unfortunately, you don’t know what you’re getting until you’ve gotten it. Laptop manufacturers don’t tell you, and there’s no branding, such as “Max-Q.” You have to dig into the details of the system to even find that information.   How much faster?Extrapolating from the high-power MX150 part in the Razer Blade Stealth we tested, I’d place the differential between low- and high-power versions at about 25%. (But stick a pin in “performance differential,” because I’ll come back to what that means in practice.) You do seem to sacrifice battery life, though.The MX250 is definitely faster than Intel’s integrated graphics, though it’s hard to say exactly how much for gaming because you can’t even run most of the games on the integrated GPU. I think the bigger point here is that for some games, such as Limbo, it tips your system over the line between “can’t run it” and “at least meets the minimum requirements.” For OpenGL-supporting graphics work, it makes a notable difference, too, if you’re working with simple 3D models, applying complex filters on photos or working with low-res video.The generational differences are a lot smaller, though. For example, on the Deus Ex and Time Spy (a measure of DirectX 12 performance) benchmarks we saw a bump of roughly 20% — but that translates (in the case of Deus Ex) to an increase to 15fps from 12fps. So unplayable game is still unplayable. I dropped the 1080p quality settings down to low for the newer model and the gap increased to 45% better frame rate: 22.4fps. Still unplayably slow.In contrast, you’ll get way better performance — and be able to play a lot more games — by simply stepping up to a laptop with GTX 1050 graphics, or its replacement, the GTX 1650.While no one would ever play Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the MateBook, it does illustrate the point that year-over-year improvements which may sound big can be illusory. But it may move the line an inch between “I give up” and “I can live with this” for your favorite platformer. Performance tests 15.4 Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch) Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX250 Graphics; 1TB SSDlast_img read more

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Over half of BNPs rejected candidates back in polls race

first_imgOver half of BNP’s rejected candidates back in race. Photo: UNBThe election commission on Saturday cleared BNP candidates M Morshed Khan for Chattogram-8, Afroza Abbas for Dhaka-9, Aslam Chowdhury for Chattogram-4, and independent Nazmul Huda for Dhaka-17 for the general elections slated for 30 December.However, the EC on the day upheld the decisions of the returning officers rejecting candidatures of jailed BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for Feni-1, Bogura-6 and 7, Amanullah Aman for Dhaka-2, and Gias Uddin Quader Chowdhury for Chattogram-2 and 7, and Krishak Sramik Janata League chairman Abdul Kader Siddique, reports UNB.The commission also rejected two other petitions challenging the validity of candidatures of Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad for Rangpur-3 and Mirza Abbas for Dhaka-8.Ruling Bangladesh Awami League-led grand alliance candidate for Dhaka-8 Rashed Khan Menon filed a petition against the candidature of his rival Mirza Abbas, while PDP contestant Sabbir Ahmed submitted a petition challenging the validity of HM Ershad’s candidature for Rangpur-3.On the completion of three-day hearing, a total of 243 aspirants including 78 BNP’s ones got back their candidatures as the election commission declared their nomination papers valid disposing of all 543 petitions submitted challenging the returning officers’ decision over rejection and acceptance of nomination papers.Now the number of total valid contestants increased to 2,522 for the country’s 300 constituencies.On 2 December, the returning officers accepted 2,279 nomination papers and rejected 786 others during the scrutiny.A total of 543 petitions were filed with the EC, the appellate authority, seeking the decisions of returning officers overturned.Following the hearing, the commission declared 80 candidatures valid on Thursday, 78 on Friday and 85 ones on Saturday.In the first two days, the EC cleared candidature of a number of well-known aspirants including the BNP and Oikya Front candidates Golam Maula Rony for Patuakhali-3, retired major Akhteruzzaman for Kishoreganj-2 and Aminul Haque for Rajshahi-1, Gano Forum aspirant and former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria’s son Reza Kibria for Habiganj-1 constituencies.In the next two days, the commission trashed candidatures of some important aspirants including BNP’s Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu for Natore-2, Mir Mohammad Nasir for Chattogram-5, Iqbal Hasan Mahmud for Sirajganj-2 and Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan for Khagrachhari, removed Jatiya Party secretary general Ruhul Amin Hawlader (Patuakhali-1) and Ganajagaran Mancha spokesperson Imran H Sarkar (Kurigram-4).The deadline for withdrawal of candidature will expire at 5:00pm on Sunday.The number of final contesting candidates in the election is likely to come down again.last_img read more

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GTA V gets a stunning visuals and gameplay enhancing mod

first_imgConsole gamers may get to play the latest Grand Theft Auto game first, but it’s PC gamers who get rewarded the most for their patience. The game will always have better visuals and performance on PC, but it’s the mods that end up adding the most to the experience, and that’s clearly the case with The Pinnacle of GTA V World Enhancement Project.Pinnacle is a game enhancement modification for GTA V that tweaks just about every aspect of the game, including both visuals and gameplay. The list of visual improvements is extensive, including color rebalancing, a redone weather system, photorealistic rain and puddles, better reflections and shadows, volumetric lighting, improved wind effects, better particle collisions, improved grass and plants, enhanced smoke effects (from exhausts to chimneys) and lights (spotlights, flares, police lights), and 4K visuals including 4K textures for every aspect of the game world.You can see the results of these improvements in the video below:Then we come on to the gameplay tweaks. Vehicle handling has been completely reworked allowing for realistic deformation, control that takes into account vehicle weight, redone physics, and even the AI has been improved.In-game relationships have been edited to make for more realistic interactions between the police, gangs, pedestrians, and even animals. Population levels within each area now take into account the time of day and day of the week. You’ll see a lot more people on the streets, and there are new faces and activities to experience. The police also patrol in a more accurate and therefore natural way.All weapons in the game have been modified to be more realistic (muzzle flash effects, reload animations, bullet spreads, tracer effects), and realistic bullet speeds have been implemented. Materials can now be shot through (metal, wood, plastic, etc.), rag dolls accurately respond to weapon fire, the police and gangs carry a wider range of weapons, blood spray and mist is more realistic, and melee fighting has been completely overhauled. All weapon audio has been replaced with custom sounds.The mod is a free download and going on the feature list should present you with a completely new game to experience even if the missions and story remain the same. As for what kind of PC you need to run it, the mod website doesn’t give a definitive answer beyond stating it won’t work if the existing game struggles to hit 30fps.last_img read more

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