Two US Marines arrested for migrant trafficking

first_imgLos Angeles: Two US Marines have been arrested for smuggling undocumented Mexican migrants into the United States in exchange for money, according to a court document. Byron Darnell Law II and David Javier Salazar-Quintero were arrested on July 3 along the Mexican border in Jacumba, California, the document said. They were charged with having transported three undocumented migrants about six miles (10 kilometers) over the border. The three Mexican nationals seated in the back of the Marines’ vehicle were prepared to pay 8,000 “to be smuggled into the United States,” although it is unclear to whom they would have paid the money. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping The two Marines, who were stationed at Camp Pendleton near San Diego, have been accused of “knowingly” transporting the migrants into the US “for the purpose of… private financial gain,” according to the court document. During their hearings, both men accused each other of responsibility in the matter: Law said that Salazar received directions to the pickup location via a cell phone, while Salazar said that Law originally got him involved with smuggling. Salazar also said he had made four other smuggling trips to Jacumba. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in Xinjiang Law and Salazar were formally charged Monday, according to The Washington Post. The office of the attorney general did not respond to AFP’s request for comment. “We continue to cooperate fully with the investigative efforts into this matter,” Marine spokesman First Lieutenant Cameron Edinburgh told Marine Corps Times. This is not the first case of US military members helping migrants enter the US. There were similar instances in 2014, 2017 and last year. The US Border Patrol apprehended nearly 700,000 people illegally crossing into the United States from October to June, 140 percent higher than during the same period a year earlier.last_img read more

Rescue Film Featuring Olate Dogs To Open Sonoma Film Festival

first_img“Who rescued who?” is a question often pondered by those who know the joy of rescuing a pet. This question was the impetus of a powerful short film that is opening the Sonoma International Film Festival in Sonoma, Calif. this week.Video: Le Sauvetage (The Rescue) — #rescuefilm“Le Sauvetage” (The Rescue) is a six-minute film produced by Peter McEvilley, award-winning filmmaker and composer whose credits include The House Bunny, Last Vegas and Alias, and starring the Olate Dogs, winners of America’s Got Talent. The film is a magical tale about life, love, and finding our true destiny….with a little help from a furry friend.Sponsored and produced by Halo, Purely for Pets, Ellen DeGeneres’ natural pet food company, Le Sauvetage will open the Sonoma festival on April 2, an honor and exciting opportunity to showcase pet rescue and adoption. The film has also been selected to appear at the Court Metrage, Festival de Cannes in France this May.In 2012 the Olate Dogs shot to stardom when they won the America’s Got Talent grand prize. These sweet, funny, talented dogs and their entertaining owners and handlers captured hearts across America. But there’s more to their story.Many of the Olate Dogs are rescue dogs themselves. Family patriarch, Richard Olate, developed his act on the streets of his native Chile when he was a poor boy of just 12. He rescued stray dogs and trained them to be part of his amateur show. He worked hard for years to realize his dream of becoming a professional dog act. Today, Richard and his son, Nicolas, and wife, Rebecca, continue to save dogs from shelters and train them to become part of their professional troupe.Halo, known for its philanthropic efforts to promote rescue and adoption, admired the Olate Dogs and their dedication to rescue. Steve Marton, Halo’s CEO and Executive Producer of Le Sauvetage, wanted to find a unique way to draw attention to the special bond we share with animals.“We see this film as an entertaining yet meaningful way to show how companion animals add value to our lives,” he said. “Producer Peter McEvilley did a phenomenal job conveying this extremely important message by combining his creative story telling and film making capabilities.”Because the Olate Dogs love Halo natural pet food, it seemed the stars aligned to bring the two groups together to do great things for homeless pets.Halo has a track record of promoting rescue and adoption through film. The company sponsors all three episodes of Shelter Me, a PBS special dedicated to showcasing shelter dogs and the incredible lives they lead. Halo also sponsored the Humane Society of the United States’ video campaign, “Meet My Shelter Pet,” a series of videos featuring celebrities and their adopted pets.The Olate Dogs will also perform at the Sonoma festival. And, in keeping with the film’s mission, Halo and Freekibble.com will donate 10,000 meals of Halo Spot’s Stew to local Sonoma animal shelter, Pets Lifeline.To view the film and for more information, click here.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

AnnaSophia Robb And DoSomethingorg Premiere The AntiFood Waste Kitchen

first_imgDoSomething.org, the largest organization for young people and social change announces “Feeding Better Futures” in partnership with General Mills.Video: Feeding Better Futures with AnnaSophia RobbFeeding Better Futures looks to address hunger relief and sustainable agriculture issues by championing the ingenuity of today’s youth. The new campaign launches today with a PSA starring actress, AnnaSophia Robb, who steps into “The Anti-Food Waste Kitchen” to show how thoughtful food consumption choices today can solve food access issues now and in the future.Today, 842 million — nearly 12 percent of the world’s population — struggle with hunger, including 13 million kids and teenagers in America. By 2050, it is projected there will be 9.2 billion people on the planet and recent estimates suggest food production will need to increase by 70 percent to feed everyone. These alarming facts are why DoSomething.org is activating it’s over 5.6 Million young members to help make a change.“At DoSomething, we know that young people are more aware today than ever before, and we also recognize how important it is for young people to have a voice in the creation of long-lasting change,” said Aria Finger, CEO & Chief Old Person, DoSomething.org. “We’re thrilled to partner with General Mills for the launch of Feeding Better Futures. Together we will empower young innovators and encourage them to showcase new perspectives on ways we can address the global issue of food security, starting in their own backyards.”General Mills has been active in hunger relief and sustainable agriculture for years, as a leader in promoting environmentally and socially responsible practices across its supply chain, as well as providing resources to food insecure communities. With the launch of the General Mills Feeding Better Futures Scholar Program, the company seeks to elevate the fresh thinking of today’s young innovators.“General Mills’ mission is to serve the world by making food people love, and to do that for another 150 years, we must protect the resources we all depend on,” said Jerry Lynch, chief sustainability officer for General Mills. “We’ve seen it time after time, small steps lead to big ideas and even bigger impact. We believe hunger is something we can solve for — if we work together.”Actress and social activist AnnaSophia Robb is supporting the initiative by filming a PSA. Robb steps into the “Anti-Food Waste Kitchen” where she shows how to use one simple ingredient in multiple ways. The fun video encourages young people to think about how we consume foods and offers solutions for how to repurpose food beyond the kitchen.“Almost 13 million young people don’t have access to the food they need,” says actress AnnaSophia Robb. “I’m excited to be partnering with DoSomething.org to build awareness around this topic and encourage other young people to take action. It’s my hope that through Feeding Better Futures my generation can create real solutions that can turn this issue around!”Young people can sign up for the campaign at Dosomething.org/food or by texting FOOD to 38383. Those who take a photo of a food issue, upload it to the site, and suggest a solution their community could use will be entered for the chance to win a $5,000 scholarship from DoSomething.org.Young people also have the opportunity to amplify their impact by applying for the General Mills Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program, where they will be asked to share a short video that explains a solution for an issue they have identified in one of two categories: hunger relief and sustainable agriculture. A General Mills panel of hunger relief and sustainability experts will review the video submissions and select five finalists. From these five finalists, General Mills will engage the public’s help in selecting a grand prize winner who will receive $50,000, as well as a mentorship with an industry leader and the opportunity to share their program at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival. The remaining four finalists will each be awarded $10,000 each to grow their programs.last_img read more

Hydro succeeded in what church government have been unable to do for

first_imgThis story is part of the APTN News series Power Failure: The impacts of hydro dams on Northern Manitoba.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsDouglas Kitchekeesik points to the spot on the beach where he found the bones.It was late July, and he was out on the land at his family’s camp on Split Lake.“We found other remains going down to the water and after we flagged them, marked them on GPS, then continued a little further up the shore,” he recalls. “That’s when we found the skull. We knew what it was right away.”It was the latest unsettling find on the shores of Split Lake by a member of Tataskweyak Cree Nation.For years their ancestors’ remains have been washing out along the banks of the once clean and bountiful lake in Treaty 5 territory, some dating back millennia.Split Lake is part of the Nelson River watershed and sits about 150 kilometres upstream from where the river empties into Hudson Bay.A couple weeks prior to Kitchekeesik’s find, more remains were discovered about a 15-minute boat ride away.They were about 1,900 years old, he says.Kitchekeesik has a calm demeanor and exudes a wisdom common among those who spend as much time on the land as he does.(Douglas Kitchekeesik on the shores of Split Lake. Photo: APTN)He’s one of only a handful of remaining fishermen who harvest from Split Lake.A few decades ago, prior to the wave of hydro development that dammed the Nelson River in multiple places and altered the local ecosystems, the Split Lake fishery was alive and well.But Kitchekeesik is hanging on to his people’s traditional ways, trying to preserve them or future generations.He sometimes brings community members, including youth, to his camp, where they speak Cree and learn how to live off the land.“Our waterways, it’s the most important thing to teach our young people,” he says. “What’s in the water and how to navigate that water.”But working to preserve that way of life isn’t easy.A few winters back, Kitchekeesik’s cousin went through the ice and plunged into the frigid water beneath.“He was still alive when he got here, we pulled him out of the water,” he recalls, explaining he got his cousin back to the camp, where he died of hypothermia.Kitchekeesik attributes his cousin’s death to the “high water going up and down” due to the hydro dams upstream on the Nelson River.“The community was self-sufficient”The Clean Environment Commission’s recent report on the cumulative effects of hydro development in the region describes a woman who showed up to the community hearing in Tataskweyak.She said prior to hydro development the people of her community “had everything they needed.“Fish were abundant, the water was healthy, and the land was teeming with wildlife,” the report reads. “The community was self-sufficient.”The woman “felt that Manitoba Hydro played with people like a ‘predatory animal,’” and that “all it had brought was destruction and deceit.”Tataskweyak was hit doubly hard by hydro development in the 1970s.The Churchill River Diversion impacted the waters of the Burntwood River, which flow from the west into Split Lake. And the Lake Winnipeg Regulation altered the waters of the Nelson, which empties into Split Lake from the south.Several dams control the flow of waters that eventually make their way into Split Lake.Now, 60 kilometres downstream, another is being built.(The massive Keeyask dam in northern Manitoba. Photo: Ashley Brandson)Kitchekeesik fears once the Keeyask dam is complete it will back water up into Split Lake and further erode the shorelines and impact the fisheries.Incidentally, Tataskweyak is a partner on the Keeyask project.After decades of destruction and dispossession at the hands of Manitoba Hydro, the crown utility has made First Nations whose lands stand to be impacted partners on the first two dams of the 21st century.Tataskweyak, Fox Lake, War Lake and York Factory are all partners on Keeyask, with a 25 per cent stake in the project.But Robert Spence, a band councillor, and until recently, one of the last remaining commercial fishermen harvesting from Split Lake, says his people’s traditional economy isn’t going to get any better.Spence says Keeyask is “going to change the dynamics of the whole system.”He says Hydro once promised the people of O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation at South Indian Lake, a few hundred kilometres northwest of Split Lake, that their waters “would recover in 50 years.”Spence says it’s been almost 50 years since Hydro built the Missi Falls dam, which controls the flow of water out of South Indian Lake into the Churchill River — “and South Indian still hasn’t recovered,” he says. “It’s still getting worse to this day.“So do you think we’re going to believe Manitoba Hydro when they tell us that Gull Lake and Split Lake will recover in 50 years?”(Erosion along the shores of Split Lake contributes to the amount of trees and other debris in the water. Manitoba Hydro pays community members to clean up the debris and pile it along the shores, creating a safer environment for those who still fish and use the lake. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)Spence says he has watched the “demise of the fish population on Split Lake,” and that his community’s fishery is “slowly collapsing.”“There’s only six fishermen on the lake right now,” he explains. “There was 12 of us in 2005, and it’s 2018 now and there’s only six fishermen on the water now.”Spence doubts he’ll return to fishing after his time on council comes to an end. He laments that Split Lake “is going down the same path as South Indian Lake did.”And he doesn’t have hope that being a partner on Keeyask will do much good for the community’s long term well-being.In addition to the continued impacts on the Split Lake fishery, Spence says “the partnership that [Hydro] talks about isn’t so much of a partnership when the majority partner, the owner, doesn’t even include you on any of the major decision-making that takes place.”He points to a series of protests by members of his community in 2014, when they blockaded provincial route 280, a long dirt road that connects Tataskweyak and Fox Lake Cree Nations to the paved provincial highway system.Heavy traffic to and from the Keeyask worksite had made the road impassable for community members, including patients who regularly needed to get to the hospital in Thompson for dialysis treatment and other medical needs, Spence explains.He says the Keeyask traffic was a “safety issue” for his community when large trucks would get stuck in the mud. Other times trucks would unload cargo in the middle of the road when they couldn’t pass due to the poor road conditions.“It was like playing Russian roulette with your life going on that road,” he says. “There was no restrictions on the traffic there.”In the end, the province agreed to repair the gravel road, but as partners on Keeyask, Tataskweyak would have to foot part of the bill.Spence says the council wasn’t made aware of this at the time.Meanwhile, as partners on the project, Tataskweyak members were promised good jobs.But reports of racism on the construction site and in the worker’s camp have repeatedly made their way back to the community, says band councillor Robert Garson.He says the council has “put pressure” on Hydro to address racism on site, and that while they “have done a few things about it, it’s not enough.”APTN News requested an interview with Manitoba Hydro for this series, but they declined.Instead, spokesperson Bruce Owen forwarded a statement that outlined a number of measures the utility has taken to “ensure all workers feel safe and welcomed at our project sites,” including “cross-cultural training” and a mandatory two-day cultural awareness workshop for supervisors and managers.The statement claims “almost 50 per cent of our staff in the north” is Indigenous, and that “respect and support of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of our business is a critical priority for us.”The 695-megawatt Keeyask project was originally estimated to cost $6.5 billion, but the price tag has since risen to $8.7 and, according to some analysts, could reach $10 billion by the time construction is complete.Peter Kulchyski, a professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba and co-founder of the Wa Ni Ska Tan alliance who is leading the visits to the hydro-impacted communities, says Tataskweyak “invested their own money in the hope of windfall profits,” but “they may be investing in a losing proposition.”The destruction of South Indian LakeO-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation at South Indian Lake was once a thriving community with one of the healthiest fisheries in the region.The Indigenous presence along the 100-mile long lake dates back 6,000 years.But by the late 1960s the community’s 500 residents who were living on a small island just off the lake’s north shore found themselves in the way of Manitoba Hydro’s master plan for development.The Churchill River Diversion (CRD) would raise water levels by 10 metres and transform the lake into a massive reservoir.(Erosion along the shores of South Indian Lake. Photo: Justin Brake/APTN)To make way for CRD, the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin people were paid to burn their own houses down in a forced relocation off the island where they lived, onto the lake’s shore.“In some instances, the RCMP had to come in and take the people out, ‘cause they didn’t wanna move,” recalls Steve Ducharme, a fisherman and former community leader who is helping lead the Wa Ni Ska Tan members on a tour of the lake.O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Elder and educator Hilda Dysart has lived in South Indian Lake her entire life.She says South Indian Lake “was once a self-sufficient community prior to the flood,” adding there was a total of “three people on social assistance” before the Churchill River Diversion.She estimates 95 per cent of the people now rely on social assistance.The flooding “made a drastic change,” she says, adding her people “have a lot of social problems, which we didn’t have before.“You can’t even find words to explain how much destruction there’s been done to the beautiful environment that we used to live in.”Hydro “a major contributor to the assimilationist agenda”Kulchyski says while assimilation of Cree in Treaty 5 territory may not have been an explicit goal of hydro development, the government and Manitoba Hydro were aware it was certainly a consequence.“The intention was to make money, basically, but one of the elements of hydro development, and any development really, is it impedes the ability of people to make a land-based living,” he says.“And that therefore is a major contributor to the assimilationist agenda.”With residential schools, the Cree were subjected to “government policies that are specifically designed to—through education and everything they’re doing—assimilate Aboriginal people.“And on the other hand,” with hydro development, he explains, “you have economic development…presuming that being menial wage labourers is the best possible future for them, and [which] is destroying the land base that allows a degree of independence and is the material basis of their culture.”Kulchyski says today Manitoba Hydro could be “doing a lot more to support traditional culture in the communities” as a mitigation of its ongoing damming of rivers.Most of the agreements Hydro has signed with First Nations in the region include monetary compensation to fishers and trappers whose activities are impacted.But that type of compensation is missing the point, Kulchyski says.“Hydro thinks its impacts are wrecking nets, and it’s compensating people for [lost or damaged] fish nets,” he says.But Hydro is “not willing to think about the impact of their dams on people’s language, people’s ability to pass down their cultures.”Intentional or not in 2018, the perceived necessity of assimilating Cree to facilitate hydro development on their lands has long existed.A 1967 report from a group of University of Manitoba researchers who were commissioned to study the South Indian Lake and report back to Manitoba Hydro and the government advised against flooding the lake.They said relocation “would be unjust to the present inhabitants and unworthy of the Province, although it might be in keeping with much past treatment of the Indians.”Manitoba Hydro Chair Donald Stephens rejected the report and ultimately worked with the province to determine an amount of monetary compensation they felt was adequate.A few months later, in May 1967, another report was released, this one by a the law firm Ginkel and Associates. It was commissioned by the Manitoba Development Authority to produce an “exhaustive examination of the settlement and the problems at South Indian Lake,” according to a report on the Clean Environment Commission’s website outlining the history of hydro development in Manitoba.The report concluded that flooding South Indian Lake would “move forward in time the breakup of this community and way of life,” and help them to make a “substantial contribution” to Manitoba’s growing economy.APTN requested an interview with Manitoba’s Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations, Eileen Clarke, but she declined.Instead she emailed a statement saying that “Manitoba is working to build better relationships with northern First Nations affected by hydroelectric development, including the Keeyask Hydro project partnership.”Ducharme, standing on the shore of South Indian Lake, says “the Manitoba government and Manitoba Hydro have succeeded [in] what the church and the federal government have been unable to do for the last 500 years. And that is the total economic, cultural and social genocide of our people.“That’s what happened. That’s literally what happened,” he continues, “because our culture’s gone. You can’t live off the land anymore because it’s been totally destroyed.”jbrake@aptn.ca@justinbrakenewsabrandson@aptn.ca@ashleybrandsonlast_img read more

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Q1 revenue rises 25 but loss doubles to 275M

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Q1 revenue rises 25%, but loss doubles to $27.5M by The Canadian Press Posted May 2, 2013 7:15 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email LAVAL, Que. – Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (TSX:VRX) saw its net loss more than double in the first quarter, with the Quebec-based concern citing costs associated with its acquisition of Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corp. among the reasons.Valeant, Canada’s largest publicly traded pharmaceutical company, says its net loss for the three months ended March 31 was $27.5 million or nine cents a share.That compared with a first-quarter loss of $12.9 million or four cents per share in the same 2012 period.However, total revenue rose 25 per cent to almost $1.04 billion from $750.9 million.Valeant said selling, general and administrative expenses rose four per cent in the quarter to $242 million, or about 23 per cent of revenue.“SG&A was unusually high this quarter due to the integration of Medicis, and we expect this ratio to return to historical levels for the remainder of 2013,” the company said in its earnings release.“Despite a slow January due to the integration of the Valeant and Medicis sales organizations, we delivered another solid quarter of strong growth in cash EPS and adjusted cash flow to our shareholders,” added chairman and CEO Michael Pearson.“We were particularly pleased with the strong organic growth of our emerging market segment, which was primarily driven by Poland, Russia, Brazil, South East Asia and South Africa, as well as the continued growth in many of our promoted brands.”Valeant is a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of pharmaceutical products primarily in the areas of dermatology, neurology and branded generics. read more

Warren Buffett pokes fun at his mistakes in duet with Paul Anka

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Warren Buffett pokes fun at his mistakes in duet with Paul Anka shown at shareholders meeting OMAHA, Neb. – Billionaire Warren Buffett poked fun at himself by singing a duet with songwriter Paul Anka to start the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting Saturday.More than 30,000 people filled an Omaha arena and overflow rooms for the meeting, which always starts with a humorous movie.One of the videotaped skits featured Buffett and Anka singing a Berkshire-themed parody of “My Way.” Buffett referenced in the song a past investing mistake — buying Dexter shoes.Anka attended Saturday’s meeting. The 83-year-old Buffett joked that his pairing with Anka was part of his succession planning, so he and Anka will be available to sing at weddings.Buffett says someone offered him $1,000 if they both sing or $10,000 if Anka sang alone. by The Associated Press Posted May 3, 2014 8:35 am MDT read more

Fed minutes Officials back reducing bond holdings this year

Fed minutes: Officials back reducing bond holdings this year WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve officials signalled in discussions early this month that they would likely start reducing the Fed’s huge portfolio of bond holdings later this year, a step that could cause borrowing rates to rise.At the same time, the Fed appears to be on track to resume raising its key short-term interest rate when it next meets in mid-June.The minutes of the Fed’s May 2-3 meeting, released Wednesday, show that officials not only discussed beginning a reduction of bond holdings this year but also expressed approval for a plan on how the bond sales should proceed.The Fed would set a cap on the size of maturing bonds to be sold each month and a schedule for gradually raising the cap. The goal would be to minimize the effect of the bond sales on loan rates paid by consumers and businesses. Typically, a sell-off of the Fed’s bonds would gradually ripple through the economy and force up many borrowing rates.The first signal from the Fed in April that it was considering a move to start reducing its $4.5 trillion portfolio this year had initially jolted investors.In laying out a possible approach to reducing its bond holdings, the Fed appeared Wednesday to be trying to further prepare financial markets for the impending change. The minutes of this month’s meeting indicated that the Fed may soon release updated details on how the bond reductions will be achieved.After it met early this month, the Fed left its key policy rate unchanged after having raised it at its December and March meetings. Most economists and investors have said they think the Fed will raise rates twice more this year, with the next one occurring after the next policy meeting ends June 14. Nothing in the material the Fed released Wednesday suggested otherwise.Economists suggested that the Fed’s decision on when to raise rates again will depend heavily on how the job market fares. Some noted that since the Fed met early this month, the government reported that unemployment in April fell to a decade low of 4.4 per cent, with a healthy 211,000 jobs added.“Our money is on the unemployment rate as being the key variable driving policy forward,” said Chris Rupkey, senior analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi. Rupkey noted that the jobless rate is already below the 4.7 per cent level that the Fed considers as signalling full employment.The Fed minutes said, “Most participants judged that if economic information came in about in line with their expectations, it would soon be appropriate for the committee to take another step” to raise rates.The minutes did not spell out what officials meant by “soon.” But the minutes made clear that Fed officials believe that a sharp slowdown in economic growth early this year was likely “transitory” and would be followed by stronger growth in coming months.In discussing why the Fed thought it was appropriate to hold off on raising rates at its meeting early this month, the minutes said “members generally judged that it would be prudent to await additional evidence indicating that the recent slowdown in the pace of economic activity had been transitory before taking another step” to raise rates.For seven years, the Fed left its key short-term rate at a record low near zero in an effort to support the economy’s recovery from the 2007-2009 recession, the worst downturn since the 1930s.The Fed raised rates for the first time in December 2015 and has followed with two more modest increases, in December last year and then in March. The Fed indicated in March that it still expected to boost rates twice more this year.The discussion of the Fed’s staff plan for reducing its bond holdings provided the most concrete information so far on how the central bank might proceed.Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, estimated that about $30 billion in mortgage-backed securities and $33 billion in Treasurys will mature each month in 2018. He said the Fed might start with a cap of $20 billion in bonds that would be allowed to roll off its balance sheet, with amounts above that level continuing to be reinvested. Currently, all maturing securities are reinvested by the Fed.“There are still plenty of questions to answer on balance sheet normalization — not least exactly how big the Fed wants its balance sheet to be in the long term,” Ashworth said.The Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet represents a five-fold increase from where it stood in the summer of 2008 before the financial crisis hit, sending the country into a deep recession. After the Fed had cut its short-term rate to near zero in December 2008, it turned to three rounds of bond purchases to try to exert downward pressure on long-term rates. by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted May 24, 2017 12:08 pm MDT Last Updated May 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this June 19, 2015, file photo, people walk past the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington. On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, the Federal Reserve releases the minutes from its last interest-rate meeting. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) read more

UN expert alarmed at worsening human rights situation in Myanmars Rakhine state

“Recent developments in Rakhine state are the latest in a long history of discrimination and persecution against the Rohingya community which could amount to crimes against humanity,” said the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana.He warned in a news release that the evacuation of aid workers, following the recent attacks on UN and non-governmental organization (NGO) premises in the state capital, Sittwe, “will only increase the vulnerability of this community.” “These workers were in Rakhine state providing essential life-saving support, including health services, water and food to internally displaced persons, isolated villages, and other affected communities,” he noted. “The withdrawal of these workers will have severe consequences on the enjoyment of fundamental human rights, including the right to life.” He warned that the availability of water could reach critical levels within a week in some displacement camps, particularly in Pauktaw. The impact on healthcare will be particularly severe for the 140,000 people still in such camps in Rakhine and the 700,000 vulnerable people outside the camps. Mr. Ojea Quintana noted the Government’s commitment last week to ensure the safety and protection of UN and NGO personnel, and underlined the need for the prompt return of all humanitarian staff so that their life-saving work can resume with all communities. Prior to these latest developments, the Special Rapporteur had reported to the UN Human Rights Council in March that, taking into consideration the information and allegations he had received throughout his six years on the mandate, crimes against humanity may have been committed in Rakhine. He also expressed concern about the ongoing census in Myanmar. “The Government’s decision against self-identification of the Rohingya for the census is not in compliance with international human rights standards,” he stressed. Self-identification for the Rohingya has been at the root of some protests in the past in Rakhine that led to violence and human rights violations and abuses for which there is yet to be accountability. “The ongoing census risks this cycle repeating itself,” the expert said. “Self-identification should constitute a pillar of the collection of ethnically disaggregated data. It is related to respect for the rights of individuals to assert their own identity,” Mr. Ojea Quintana stated. “To deny self-identification is therefore a violation of human rights.” During his latest mission to the country last February, the expert heard from various ethnic groups that the ethnic categories included in the census did not reflect how they identified themselves. “It is not only in Rakhine state that people object to the ethnic categories included in the census,” he noted. “It became clear during my discussions with communities in Kachin state that the Government has approached the census without sufficient or meaningful consultation with all affected communities.” The news release noted that Mr. Ojea Quintana’s views on the census and calls for the prompt return of all humanitarian staff are shared by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani; the Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Rita Izsák; and the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Anand Grover.The Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, and the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Mutuma Ruteere, also shared his views.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Taliban are in daily talks with the US says president

first_imgAFGHAN PRESIDENT HAMID Karzai has today criticised the Taliban for holding daily talks with the United States as they also launch suicide attacks that kill civilians and children.The Islamist militants deny re-opening talks after they broke off tentative contact with the US in Qatar in March last year due to failed attempts to negotiate a prisoner exchange.Reacting after two suicide bombs killed 19 people in Kabul and Khost on Saturday, Karzai accused the Taliban of negotiating with their enemy at the same time as murdering innocent Afghans.“The Taliban said they wanted to show their strength (by launching the attacks),” he said. “This is while the leaders of the Taliban, their representatives, are every day at meetings with the Americans abroad.“We know about it, both the foreigners tell us about it and the Taliban. In Europe as well as in Gulf countries, the Taliban and the Americans and foreigners are in talks on a daily basis.”Karzai, who offered no proof of the talks and who has a record of making inflammatory speeches, said the attacks enabled the US-led military force to justify its presence in Afghanistan.“The bombs that were detonated in Kabul and Khost were not a show of force, they were serving America,” he said in a televised speech in Kabul.A US spokesman travelling with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is visiting Kabul, reacted to the speech by saying that the US and Afghanistan governments “shared a common view of the Taliban, and that is that they’re the enemy.”“If a political reconciliation process leads to different behaviour on their part, it will be an Afghan-led process,” the spokesman added.The Taliban have consistently refused to negotiate directly with Karzai’s government, which they have been battling since they were ousted from power in a 2001 US-led invasion.- © AFP, 2013Read: Unsolved murder highlights plight of Afghan women > Read: Bin Laden son-in-law captured, faces terror charge in New York >last_img read more

Deerfield Beach families displaced after apartment catches fire

first_imgDEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Two South Florida families were left without a place to call home after, officials said, a fire broke out at an apartment unit in Deerfield Beach, Tuesday night.According to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, they received a call about the blaze just after 8 p.m. Crews responded to the scene at the Waters Edge complex along the 600 block of Cypress Lake Boulevard, near Green Road.Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke conditions at the second-story unit. They quickly extinguished the flames.However, the apartment sustained moderate smoke damage, and the kitchen sustained fire damage.A resident told investigators that a frying pan containing cooking oil had been left unattended, likely igniting.No one was hurt.Officials said the family that resides in the unit and the ones living one floor below them have been displaced. They will be staying with friends or relatives for the night. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

In the name of Ram Minister heckles Muslim legislator

first_imgRanchi: A minister in Jharkhand was seen heckling a Muslim lawmaker from the Congress, asking him to shout “Jai Shri Ram” just outside the state assembly, in an incident that was caught on video, provoking condemnation. “Irfan bhai, I urge you to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ loudly,” CP Singh is seen saying in the video, physically holding Irfan Ansari, a Congress legislator. Also Read – Shashi Tharoor accepts Modi’s language challenge Advertise With Us He then goes on to tell him that “his ancestors were Ram-wale and not Babur-wale.” “You are using Ram’s name to intimidate… you people are denigrating Ram’s name. The need of the hour is jobs, electricity, water, drainage,” Ansari said. “I am not saying it to scare you. Don’t forget that your ancestors chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’… Taimur, Babur, Ghazni were not your ancestors. Your ancestors were Shri Ram followers,” Singh said. Also Read – HC declines protection to Shivakumar from arrest Advertise With Us CP Singh is the minister for Urban Development, Housing and Transport in the Jharkhand’s BJP government. Irfan Ansari is the legislator from Jamtara. State BJP leaders have said the incident was being misinterpreted and was in jest. The incident is the latest in a series where Muslims have been seen being bullied with the “Jai Shri Ram” slogan. Advertise With Us Last month, a Muslim man died in Jharkhand after being beaten for hours by a mob that was filmed forcing him to chant the religious slogan. The 24-year-old had been accused of trying to steal a motorcycle. PM Modi had condemned in parliament mob attack Jharkhand last month, and said incidents of violence should be treated in the same manner and perpetrators of violence get a lesson that the entire country is one on this issue.last_img read more

Dallas Police Face Ire Over Portrayal of Man Shot by Officer

first_imgBy RYAN TARINELLI, Associated PressDALLAS (AP) — Attorneys for the family of a Black man who was killed in his own apartment by a White police officer accused Dallas officials of trying to “assassination his character” by releasing a report saying that authorities found marijuana in the victim’s apartment.At a news conference Friday, the lawyers also called for the firing of police officer Amber Guyger, who gunned down 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own apartment on Sept. 6. She has been booked on a preliminary charge of manslaughter and is free on bond.This photo from video released Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office in Kaufman, Texas, shows Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger getting booked after turning herself in Sunday, Sept. 9 following the fatal shooting of Botham Jean in his own apartment. Guyger was arrested manslaughter and has since been released on bond. (Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office Jail via AP)Guyger told investigators she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which is right below his, and that upon entering the dark home, she believed she had encountered an intruder and shot him when he didn’t obey her verbal commands.Lee Merritt, one of the Jean family attorneys, said Friday that investigators wasted no time in digging for dirt they could use to smear Jean’s name. Within hours of Jean being shot, they asked a judge for a warrant to search his home for drugs, among other things.“On the night that he was killed, the Dallas Police Department investigators were interested specifically in finding information that could help assassinate his character,” Merritt said.Dallas police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the criticism.Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, expressed disgust that on Thursday, as mourners at her son’s funeral were remembering him for his religious convictions and kindness, the results of that search of his home were released. They showed that, among the things, police found a small amount of marijuana — 10.4 grams — and a marijuana grinder.“To have my son smeared in such a way, I think shows that there (are people) who are really nasty, who are really dirty and are going to cover up for the devil Amber Guyger,” she said.She also called on police to release toxicology results from a blood sample taken from Guyger on the night of the shooting.The local Fox television affiliate, KDFW, was roundly criticized for its initial reporting on the release of the report on the search’s findings, drawing scorn from figures across the political spectrum for focusing on the marijuana, tweeting: “DEVELOPING: Search warrant: Marijuana found in Botham Jean’s apartment after deadly shooting.”On Twitter, the ACLU called the tweet an “attack on an innocent man.”Fox News contributor Guy Benson commented on Twitter, “Irrelevant. 100% irrelevant.”KDFW, which later updated its story and added more context, declined to comment Friday about its initial coverage of the search affidavit.At his funeral, Jean was described as talented and passionate man, who confided to his uncle that he might want to become prime minister of his native Caribbean island country of St. Lucia someday.Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall were among those who attended the hymn-filled funeral. Rawlings has described Jean as a young professional and man of faith who was “exactly the sort of citizen we want to have.”In Texas, being caught with that amount of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable for up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.last_img read more

Important Changes coming to Google Photos and Google Drive

first_imgImportant Changes coming to Google Photos and Google Drive by Martin Brinkmann on June 17, 2019 in Google – 7 commentsGoogle revealed on June 12, 2019 that it plans to “simplify the experience across Drive and Photos” by disabling the automatic synchronization of photos and videos between Google Drive and Google Photos.Photos and videos that users take using Google Photos are automatically synced to Google Drive currently, a useful option for Google customers who like to push media to their desktop devices using Google Drive. Similarly, new photos and videos added to Google Drive will show up in the Photos application as well.Starting July 10, automatic syncing will be disabled. The change has no effect on existing photos on either platform but it has an effect on new media and the locations you may access your media.Photos or videos that users take using Google Photos won’t be pushed to Google Drive anymore automatically, and media that Google customers add to Google Drive won’t show up in the Photos application anymore.Google plans to add an option to the online service photos.google.com that gives customers the option to select photos and videos from Google Drive that they would like to add to the Photos application. Google customers may use it to push some media files to the Photos application.Backup and Sync applications for PC and Mac can be used to upload media files to both services in high and original quality. High quality uploads from the desktop don’t count against the available storage quota, original quality uploads will count against the quota but only once if uploaded to both services.Media that is copied between Google Drive and Google Photos in original quality counts towards the storage quota; if media is saved in both services, it counts twice against the storage limit.Confusion and side-effectsGoogle stated that it wants to make things easier for its customers. While it can certainly be confusing if photos are stored in multiple places automatically and synced between services, it is clear that the decision to remove the automatic synchronization without options to enable the feature manually impacts other customers.One side-effect of the change is that the automated option to sync photos from a mobile device to Google Drive and from there to a desktop system is not available anymore.Is there still an option to sync photos from Android devices to desktop PCs directly without using third-party applications? Third-party sync clients like Microsoft’s OneDrive or Dropbox support the syncing of photos with accounts and thus also the syncing to desktop PCs these clients run on.It is still possible to download photos from photos.google.com to the local device, but that is a manual process and not automated. Another manual option that users have is to connect the mobile device to the desktop system directly to transfer media; some operating systems support automated transfers of media when mobile devices are connected.It is getting more difficult to transfer media from mobile devices to desktop systems when Google products and services are used. A positive side-effect of this, at least for Google, is that customers may spend more time on the Photos website especially so if they don’t use other sync clients or connect their devices directly.Google released the new Photos application with unlimited storage back in 2015 and customers could push media from Google Drive to Photos to free up space.Now you: Why is Google making the change? What is your take on it?SummaryArticle NameImportant Changes coming to Google Photos and Google DriveDescriptionGoogle revealed on June 12, 2019 that it plans to “simplify the experience across Drive and Photos” by disabling the automatic synchronization of photos and videos between Google Drive and Google Photos.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Flash Sale Xiaomi Mi Ruby Laptop Available at Insane Discount – Limited

first_imgWaiting to upgrade your laptop to something more sleek and powerful? Well, now might be a good time because we have a new model in the store which not only looks good but performs equally. That’s right, the Xiaomi Mi Ruby Laptop is now offered at a massive 27 percent discount for a limited time. If you’re interested, check out the specifications below.Xiaomi Mi Ruby Laptop Down To Just $769.99 – Get It Now!Before we head over to more details, be sure to note that the discount on Xiaomi Mi Ruby Laptop is only available for a limited time. This means that the price drop will revert back to its original model soon. Henceforth, we would advise you to act fast and order your share as soon as you can.Get The Xiaomi Mi Ruby For $769.99 HereXiaomi Mi Ruby is a pretty great option if you’re looking for an option with the solid build quality and high-end performance. It comes with a 15.6-inch display which is bright and color accurate and runs Windows 10 out of the box. Furthermore, in terms of internals, the Xiaomi Mi Ruby houses 8GB of RAM coupled with 256GB of onboard SSD storage capacity, so you get fast read and write speeds.Other than this, if you’re worried about any graphics intensive tasks that you might be doing on it, the Xiaomi Mi Ruby Laptop is powered by Intel’s Core-i5 processor along with an integrated NVIDIA GeForce MX110 GDDR5 2GB dedicated graphics. So you’re good on performance and graphics.If you’re interested, the Xiaomi Mi Ruby Laptop is available at a massive 27 percent discount for a limited time. This makes the price of the machine come down to just $769.99. All you have to do is head over to this link and order your share.Get The Xiaomi Mi Ruby For $769.99 HereThe Ruby Laptop is a pretty neat option as an all-around machine. It’s great for work, mild games and best for media consumption. Be sure to note that the discount is only available only for a limited time, so get it as fast as you can.This is all for now, folks. What are your thoughts on the Xiaomi Mi Ruby? Are you willing to get it for yourself? Let us know in the comments section below. Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

AI and IoT Will the Marriage Work

first_imgThe fate of the furious, Rogue One- Stealing Data, The Dark Knight based on IoT, Metropolis, 200-A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner based on Artificial Intelligence and there are many more in the list.Wondering, what is this all about? Well, these are a few of the names of the movies based on the concept of IoT and Artificial Intelligence. That concept has fascinated filmmakers, directors and did not spare even Scientists. Though, we tend to view these examples from the lens of science and something which is more based on a hypothetical situation.But the reality is Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things is the mastermind behind the whole concept. And this remarkable relationship between these two things will be generating millions of dollars in the coming years. Meanwhile, the question remains: what is IoT and AI?Let’s find the definition one by one before proceeding ahead:Internet of ThingsThe simplest and easiest definition of IoT is giving internet connection to all the devices in order to make our daily work and chores easier and smarter. The device includes refrigerators, watches, speakers, televisions, and even automobiles. Hence, the concept does have the power to bring a great revolution in the coming year.Basically, the technology will help users to improve and simplify their lives along with satisfying the basic needs like operating television, washing machine, etc. The key features of IoT include:– Connectivity– AI– Sensors– Active engagement– Smart devicesArtificial IntelligenceSometimes, in computer science, AI is also referred to as machine learning. Intelligence that is demonstrated by the machines, a simulation of human intelligence is processed by machines, especially computer systems.Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for-– Learning– Solving everyday problems– Planning– Speech recognition– Knowledge– Ability to manipulate and move objectsIn short, the Internet of Things is all about connecting machines and using the data generated from those machines whereas Artificial Intelligence is about simulating intelligent behaviour in kinds of machines. And together they have given birth to many things like-– Machine intelligence– Decrease in downtime– Work efficiency– Enhancement in product and services– Improvement in risk management– Advanced architectural  construction and many more things,But why do we really need these technologies?According to Deloitte, the acquisition of both AI and IoT startups already established themselves in the market in 2017 and there are higher possibilities that the concept is going to hit the market with record numbers.This is the reason, AI is becoming a perfect solution to manage and organize multiple connected IoT elements. Because IoT based smart systems generate a large amount of data that cannot be processed by traditional data processing applications or algorithms. Here AI methods play a significant role apart from working in the various domains which include business monitoring, healthcare applications, research, social network analysis, and many more things. Hence, many companies are applying the same concept in their everyday operations.Earlier, things which were impossible to imagine or done now can be seen transforming the whole procedure of doing things with ease. With the advent of technology and techniques, doing things is like eating a piece of cake, easy and tasty. This is the reason, be it reminding users regarding that they need to buy milk, salt, pepper, payment of bills, etc, is now live. But the soul behind the whole concept is Artificial intelligence.Assembling the whole piece, it seems it is essential to know why you should invest in AI application development. Since the essence of IoT devices is to gather data along with making use of it and placing data obtained from physical devices through machine learning allows us to expand upon those processes.Let’s figure out the benefits of both IoT and AI to understand their potential-–  Analysis and maintenance- The first and foremost benefit of both of these technologies is predictive analysis and maintenance. Predictive analytics basically refers to an analysis of prior data and based on the outcome, it predicts the possible future events and possibilities.And it will not be wrong that both AI and IoT are the soul of predictive maintenance. And many enterprises have accepted the idea. Shipping companies can also use predictive analysis to check and analyze their data in order to avoid possible failures in the future.–  Advanced and innovative- There is no denying that IoT based applications and deployments are influenced by Artificial Intelligence. The growth of AI lies in its capacity to fetch the insight of the information.This is the reason, IoT platform applications provide machine learning in order to establish analytics which is again the part of the AI. AI does have the potential and capability to predict operation requirements for the businesses many times faster.–  Accuracy- Analyzing data is a tedious and laborious task as human brains are limited to perform certain tasks at a limited rate. Hence, if the load of the works increases, there are higher chances of human error.To rescue firms and enterprises from such situations, IoT is breaking down the quantities of data coming and going through devices. And the driving force behind the whole procedure is machine and software. This is the reason, the whole process can be accurately done without the intervention of human and the outcome will be error-free along with improved accuracy rates.For instance- ATM transactions, online payments, e-commerce transactions are prone to fraud and other fraudulent activities. Hence, if the power of IoT and Artificial Intelligence is combined together, potential frauds can be detected and also can be taken into account in advance. And the whole of the strategy will result in no loss of money.–  Operational activities- Artificial Intelligence does have the potential to increase the operational efficiency of the business. How? Well, combining the in-depth insights which were obtained through the AI can be used to improve the overall business process from the very basic level. And the whole process will help in operation efficiency along with decreased costs.Meanwhile, the company working on a big scale which generally includes aeroplanes, ships, the insights generated from the AI can help them in order to modify their processes, along with improving equipment settings and inventory. Not just that, the insight will also help in decreasing the extra cost.–   Customer satisfaction- No matter how advanced your service is, customer satisfaction is the most important factor. Companies like Amazon are on the list who has kept their customers’ priority before anything else.But, most of the time, due to the language barrier, zone difference, and other issues, customer satisfaction becomes zero. Hence, in order to improve customer satisfaction, various companies are introducing chatbots to offer customers personalized experience along with solving their queries easily and effectively.–  Smart devices- Everything is smart today, be it smart TV, smart watches, smart security system, and many more things. Meanwhile, we are also equipped with intelligent and smart vacuum cleaners, lighting systems and many more.It seems all of these devices are the great blessing of AI, that is why AI is making life even more comfortable and easier. Not just comfort, AI systems can also detect the mood along with analyzing the interaction with home objects and also adjusting the temperature accordingly.With every passing day, AI and IoT are proving their worth and intelligence with better examples and procedures of doing things.By analyzing the data and writing, it is quite evident that AI and IoT both require each other and in the coming year, the marriage between them will get legalized badge. Till now, the technologies are quite beneficial in many domains. These domains are-– Healthcare– Travel and leisure– Logistics and transportation– Retails– Security– Surveillance– Last but not least, homeAlso, everything carries two sides, the same is the story of AI in IoT, there are a few of the challenges being faced by AI. let’s figure them out:– – Complexity- No doubt, the IoT is a complicated system as it includes many things, features along with the incessant flow of data. And the amalgamation of these things makes the process quite complicated and complex apart from making a complicated ecosystem.– – Legal and ethical issues- There are many companies coming up with different ideas in today’s cut-throat competition. Moreover, it also constitutes a territory that was not tested earlier with new guidelines and laws.– – Compatibility- There is no denying that the whole concept of IoT is a compilation of many parts, elements, and systems that are different in terms of time and space.ConclusionWinding up the whole content does not mean that the horizon of both IoT and AI is limited. There are so many things attached to the same thread which will slowly and gradually be discovered.While the IoT is impressive but it is nothing without the power and technique of Artificial Intelligence. In order to remain compatible with each other, the same level of development to function is also required. Due to the power of these two technologies, companies are also routing towards them in order to gain value in the market.———————————————————————————————————————Author Bio:Priyanka Juyal is the content writer with Mobile Application Development Company writing about the various genres of mobile development and technologies related to the same. Through her knowledge, skill, wit, and understanding, she focuses more on delivering the content in a simplified and easiest way. Her priority is to cover up new technologies and techniques for her audience. When not writing about techs and technology, you will find her writing poems, sketching, drawing, playing the guitar and touring in the valleys of Uttarakhand.————————————————————————————————————————–last_img read more

Kitchen burns in Steadville fire

first_imgA fire broke out at a house in Joe Slovo Street, Steadville, yesterday afternoon (Friday).The fire gutted the kitchen, allegedly having started from something  that had been put on the stove.Public Safety officers and firefighters battled the blaze and managed to extinguish the flames before they spread to the rest of the house.The residents were at home at the time, but no one was injured. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img

US hoteliers on alert after first quarter occupancy decline

first_imgThe Plaza New York US hoteliers on alert after first quarter occupancy declineUS hoteliers on alert after first quarter occupancy declineThe U.S. hotel market suffered a 0.5 percent decline in occupancy during the first quarter of 2016. This is the first year-over-year decline in occupancy since the fourth quarter of 2009 according to STR.Based upon the recently released June 2016 edition of Hotel Horizons®, the annual occupancy rate for U.S. hotels is forecast to decline in both 2016 and 2017, the result of supply increases outpacing growth in demand. U.S. occupancy levels will persist above the 65 percent mark, thus providing pricing leverage for hotel operators. For 2016, average daily room rates (ADR) are projected to increase by 4.3 percent, followed by a 4.9 boost in 2017. The gains in ADR will offset the declines in occupancy, thus resulting in revenue (RevPAR) gains of 4.2 and 4.7 percent the next two years.“The first quarter decline in occupancy is a concern for U.S. hotel owners and operators,” said R. Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research. “The industry has been on a good run for the past five years, and there were no obvious economic warning signs foreshadowing a decline in occupancy. That being said, the slight pull-back from the record occupancy level achieved in 2015 is not particularly surprising.”The cause of the decline in occupancy was a 1.5 percent increase in supply, accompanied by an increase in demand of just 1.0 percent. “It is important to note that U.S. lodging demand did grow during the first quarter of 2016. While ADR increases are starting to mute demand growth, the economy remains healthy and will generate increases in lodging demand for the foreseeable future. We are simply at that point in the cycle when supply growth is outstripping demand,” Woodworth noted.“Compared to the 6.0 to 8.0 percent annual increases in RevPAR the industry has enjoyed the past five years, our forecasts of RevPAR growth for the next two years seem quite modest. However, we are still projecting growth in RevPAR, and in real terms, revenue gains will occur at more than twice the pace of inflation,” Woodworth added. CBRE GroupSource = CBRE Grouplast_img read more

First state wide edition of the MICHELIN Guide

first_imgSource = Visit California First state wide edition of the MICHELIN GuideMichelin and Visit California announce first state wide edition of the MICHELIN GuideMichelin and Visit California today revealed an unprecedented expansion of the MICHELIN Guide, with the announcement of the MICHELIN Guide California 2019, at an event held at the Golden 1 Center in the ‘Host City’ of Sacramento.In addition to the previously covered San Francisco Bay Area and Wine Country, the new MICHELIN Guide California will include restaurants in greater Los Angeles, Monterey, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego and Santa Barbara.The expansion recognizes California’s unique blend of laid-back sophistication and its leading role as a culinary powerhouse, a combination that attracts travellers from around the world seeking the tastes and experiences of relaxed luxury. A recent EY study on the impact of the MICHELIN Guide in San Francisco confirmed that the Guide is a trusted source for international tourists and directly contributes to a destination’s economy and food industry.Commenting on the new California Guide, Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, said: “With access to many of the world’s best farms, food producers and vineyards, California cuisine is respected worldwide not only for the quality of its ingredients but also due to the creativity displayed by its chefs. In addition, our inspectors have been impressed with the talent and innovation within the gastronomic community across the state. Michelin’s partnership combines Visit California’s strength in tourism with Michelin’s 120-plus years of experience in gastronomy.”“California and Michelin are a perfect pairing, joining forces to show the world the innovation and breadth of the Golden State’s culinary landscape,” Visit California President & CEO Caroline Beteta said. “The diversity and abundance of dining opportunities here, including an unparalleled array of ethnic dining, women chefs and limitless agricultural bounty, sets California apart from any other destination in the world.”Michelin, Visit California and Visit Sacramento hosted the announcement in the acclaimed Farm-to-Fork Capital of America. “This event celebrates Sacramento’s rich agricultural history, bright culinary scene and focus on all things fresh and local,” said Mike Testa, president and CEO of Visit Sacramento. “Our hometown Golden 1 Center provides a perfect stage, as the arena sources 90% of its food and beverage from farmers, breweries and wineries within 150 miles. This exciting new Guide affirms Sacramento’s status among the world’s great culinary destinations, a milestone worth celebrating among our community of cuisine.”Michelin will reveal the 2019 star selection in the inaugural California Guide during a special event scheduled in the summer, with the Bib Gourmand selection announced a few days prior.last_img read more

Los Angeles Tourism unveils new look for discoverlosangelescom

first_imgFollowing more than 12 months of planning, research and development, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board unveiled its latest iteration of discoverlosangeles.com. Built by Los Angeles Tourism’s digital team, the mobile-first design ensures a faster response, enhanced search and better accessibility while featuring an editorial-led, visual storytelling focus that serves up the inspiration and research travellers seek in official destination websites.L.A. Tourism has tapped some of the most talented writers and photographers in the L.A. area to create a fun, robust library of content, ranging from guides on hidden neighbourhood gems to favourite beaches by playlist and places to visit based on astrological signs. Throughout the coming months, newly created content will focus on the rise of the millennial parents, neighbourhood experiences and quick-read guides, in direct response to traveller trends.“We know that the previous version of our site was one of the highest trafficked tourism sites in the United States of America and we look forward to serving travellers’ needs with our latest mobile-first version, which is packed with user-friendly attributes,” stated Bill Karz, Vice President of Digital Marketing for Los Angeles Tourism.Other highlights include:– Interactive maps: Featured prominently on the homepage, the maps allow site visitors an in-depth look at L.A.’s distinct neighbourhoods; while reviewing any of the guides, the maps auto-populate with guide locations, helping visitors understand L.A.’s geography through heat mapping technology.– Personalisation: Visitors are invited to bookmark content, ‘flag’ places they have been and share places they are considering going. These actions are saved within an individual profile, allowing them to serve as a personal itinerary for future visits; bookmarked content can also be easily accessed while in-destination.– Events calendar: Featuring the most robust events calendar for the city of Los Angeles, this page is truly the ‘go-to’ source for events.– Multi-lingual: Available in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, and Japanese.last_img read more