ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A boatload of 75 early risers headed out on the North Atlantic off Newfoundland to be among the first to welcome Canada Day as dawn broke over the country’s eastern edge.Rain and low clouds blocked the sunrise over the flashing lighthouse at Cape Spear but that didn’t bother the flag-waving crowd.They cheered and danced to music onboard the Iceberg Quest vessel Capo de Espera as they celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.“There’s no sun but there is plenty of mist and rain and cold, which kind of makes it a pretty extraordinary experience,” said Craig Simons. He and his wife, Jennifer, moved to St. John’s a year ago from Houston.“It has been a wonderful experience for us and the kids. It’s nice to see how much Canadians love their country.”The early-morning tour was especially moving for Gerry Cantwell who’s descended from five generations of lighthouse keepers at Cape Spear.He said it’s a day of reflection and gratitude for the men and women who have helped protect Canadian rights and freedoms.Canada Day starts in the province each year on a sombre note with services to remember how the Newfoundland Regiment was decimated July 1, 1916.Of 801 troops who went over the top at Beaumont-Hamel as the Somme campaign began during the First World War, just 68 answered roll call the next day. Families across Newfoundland were stricken with grief and shock.“We’re very fortunate to live in a country with the freedoms that we have and, on July 1, to remember the people who gave us our freedom,” Cantwell said.Kellie Loder of St. John’s sang “O Canada” as the vessel pulled in front of Cape Spear. There was a moment of silence after to remember those who have fought and died in battle over the last 150 years.Loder said as the boat passed through the Narrows from the St. John’s harbour, she thought of those who once sailed the same route not knowing if they’d ever make it home.“I think it’s definitely more than a party,” she said of Canada Day. “It’s more than the festivities and the excitement.“It’s about appreciating what was done before and is still being done around the world.”Capt. Barry Rogers of Iceberg Quest stood in the wheel house after the vessel docked and smiled like a man who knows his own good fortune.“To all you Canadians out there, stand proud. We’ve got a great country and a great province,” he said. “Newfoundland and Labrador is probably — not probably — it is the best place to live in the world. No question.”Follow @suebailey on Twitter.
APTN National NewsA Saskatchewan woman who says she is the hereditary chief of the Lean Man First Nation is now calling for recognition of her family’s rights.That includes compensation she says the government owes her people.APTN National News reporter Priscilla Wolf has this story from North Battleford, Sask.
TORONTO – Volkswagen has reached a $290.5-million deal to settle claims in Canada covering 20,000 3.0-litre Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche diesel vehicles that were caught up in an emissions cheating scandal.The agreement was reached by Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel in consultation with the Commissioner of Competition.In addition to the proposed class settlement, which is subject to court approval, Volkswagen Group Canada has agreed to pay a $2.5-million civil penalty.If approved, cash payments will be made to roughly 15,000 owners and lessees of model year 2013-2016 Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche 3.0L diesel vehicles who receive the recall for an emissions repair as well as an extended emissions warranty.Payments will also be made to owners and lessees of affected model year 2009-2012 vehicles, as well as additional options that include buyback, trade-in, early lease termination or, if approved by the U.S. EPA and available by recall in Canada, a modification to reduce emissions.The agreement follows a settlement deal last year covering Volkswagen and Audi vehicles with 2.0-litre diesel engines.
While there has been greater activity on the integrated management of the Caribbean Sea, there was still room for improvement in information sharing and the wider use of the network of Small Island Developing States, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report released today at UN Headquarters in New York.The report, which covers the implementation of the outcome of the 1994 Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States held in Barbados, notes continued support from some national governments and UN agencies for issues relating to the Barbados Programme of Action.Ongoing and new projects have overwhelmingly been directed at institutional and technical capacity-building and the development of human resources, according to the report, while climate change adaptation measures, tourism and coastal management have been a major focus of activities.As for work on the vulnerability indexes, the report suggests that the UN General Assembly consider what further actions were required to fulfil previous Assembly resolutions pertaining to the completion of work on such measures.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General points out that while many international and regional organizations, as well as national governments and non-governmental groups, were approached in preparation for the report, only limited information was submitted.”In order to provide an adequate and thorough overview of activities carried out at all levels, in particular at the local and national levels, further support for small island developing States is needed to ensure comprehensive reporting and feedback,” he writes.
Tuesday’s data breach affected up to 100,000 Bell Canada customers whose names and email addresses may have been illegally accessed by a third party.In recent months, many companies have fallen prey to similar data breaches, causing cyber security to continue to be a grave concern for businesses.Teju Herath, Goodman School of Business Associate Professor of Information Systems at Brock University, teaches courses on information assurance and says these types of risks are inherent because of how much technology is used.“We live in an era where there is so much data captured by technology that is so prolifically used,” she says. “Sometimes there is little we can do to overcome the risk of data breaches like these.”According to Herath, companies need to plan ahead for a possible data breach so that they can react appropriately.“The first thing companies need to do is be forthcoming and transparent in their communications and contact the affected parties right away,” she says.“Companies are disclosing this information more openly all the time, and proposed changes to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act are positive because it would make it a legal requirement to disclose information in cases like this. The second thing companies need to do is resolve why it happened through due diligence.”Herath says to reduce their risk of being affected by information security issues, computer users should regularly change their passwords, think twice before clicking on unexpected email attachments and back up files on a regular basis.
With a difficult week looming for Greece and amid rising pressure from creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras presented his government’s policy program in Parliament, pledging to implement pre-election promises to revoke austerity measures, though not all at once.“We only have one commitment – to serve the interests of the people, the good of society,” he said, adding that it was the “irrevocable decision” of his government to implement campaign promises “in their entirety.”The premier said the government would not seek an extension to Greece’s bailout, noting that it would be an “extension of mistakes and disaster,” and reiterated Greek demands for a “bridge” deal to be put in place until a “mutually acceptable agreement” is reached with creditors. “We do not intend to threaten stability in Europe,” he said, adding, however, that he would not “negotiate” the country’s sovereignty.Tsipras said his government needs “fiscal space” for a discussion on restructuring Greece’s debt and a new deal, adding that increasing austerity would only exacerbate the problem.He pledged to replace a unified property tax (ENFIA) with a new tax on large property and to increase the tax-free income threshold to 12,000 euros from 5,000 euros. He also vowed to introduce a fair tax system and crack down on tax evasion and corruption. Collective wage bargaining will be restored, Tsipras said, adding that the minimum wage will return to 751 euros a month from 586 euros, though gradually from now until 2016.Greek authorities would also reinstate at the end of the year the so-called 13th pension for retirees earning less than 700 euros a month, Tsipras said.A chief priority remains tackling the “humanitarian crisis,” he said, pledging free electricity and food to households that have fallen victim to the “barbarous measures” of recent years. In the civil service, immediate rehirings will include dismissed Finance Ministry cleaners, school guards and university administrative staff, he said, noting that this would not burden the budget and will come from planned hirings for 2015.The premier also pledged to reopen ERT, the state broadcaster that was abruptly shut down in June 2013 by the former government, and to launch a parliamentary investigation to determine how Greece entered the memorandum. On privatizations, he said the government welcomed private investment but rejected a “selloff,” adding that utilities would not be up for sale. In a dig at Germany, he said it was a “historic duty” for Greece to seek war reparations and the return of a forced loan during WWII.Tsipras’s speech marked the launch of three days of debate that are to culminate in a vote of confidence in his government. The coalition is certain to clinch the vote, with 162 seats in the 300-seat House. But winning around the country’s creditors will be tougher. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is to face his eurozone counterparts in Brussels for an emergency summit on Wednesday and suggested over the weekend that he would present them with a “comprehensive proposal” for a solution. Tsipras is to meet his European peers the next day at a leaders’ summit in Brussels. Another summit of eurozone finance ministers next Monday has been set as a deadline by Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem for Greece to apply to an extension to the European part of the country’s bailout which expires on February 28.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is in awe of James Milner’s performances and believes it’s going to be tough for new signings Naby Keita and Fabinho to break into the team’s midfield this season.“Milner is causing them selection problems. He’s in the form of his life,” he said.“On current form, he is the first name on the teamsheet.”Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.And Gerrard added that goalkeeper Alisson, who joined from Roma this summer in a deal worth up to a reported £66.8m, and centre-back Virgil van Dijk, a £75m signing from Southampton in January, have “made a big difference”.“Liverpool have looked a different animal since Van Dijk came in and Alisson brings more composure and trust,” he said.“In time that’ll be the big difference – the front three will always score goals and the midfielders back them up too – but it’s all been about trying to improve defensively and they’re very close.”
At last week’s Clark County commissioner meeting, more than 20 people showed up to ask commissioners not to sell a 10-acre plot of land in Felida designated to become a future county park. Some took the issue so far as to claim Commissioner Tom Mielke was involved in a possible real estate development deal on the land.Several county sources say those claims aren’t true.Mielke was put in the position of defending himself for nearly an hour of public testimony over an accusation he looked visibly surprised by.“Everyone’s been coming up with things I don’t know about,” said Mielke, who was de facto chair of the meeting as Commissioner Steve Stuart was absent. In his role as chair, he allowed the commenters to go past the five minute time limit to speak their piece against him.Finally, Mielke told one commenter who connected him to an unknown developer that he was incorrect in his claim.“You insinuated I was going to buy this park or develop it,” Mielke said. “I am not a developer. I don’t have money to buy that park. Just thought I would set the record straight so you would know.”After confirming the land was located near Cougar Creek, Mielke continued: “I have no use for it. Not true. Sometimes when you come up and say something like that, it would be nice to have your facts rather than make accusations as to my character, as to what I’m doing.” Click to enlarge
HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Hallandale Beach police are trying to identify a crook who broke into multiple cars, in April, in the area of Northeast Third Street and 12th Avenue.The man was seen on surveillance footage from April 14 using a credit card from one of the cars at a gas station.He is described as 5 foot 7 inches and in his 20s.If you have any information on these burglaries, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The failed hydraulic ram, at the bottom of a 160 ft shaft at the Green Lake power plant. The ram – which is essentially a water-powered pump – failed while the Green Lake Tunnel was being drained for a planned inspection. (File photo courtesy of Utility Director Bryan Bertacchi)A breakdown in the Green Lake hydroelectric plant has forced Sitka to temporarily switch fuel sources this winter. The city – which normally runs on hydropower – has been using diesel since October to meet energy demand on the coldest of days. As the Electric Department waits for the new part to arrive. KCAW’s Emily Kwong visited the dam to see the work in progress.Listen NowAudio transcript:Bryan Bertacchi is Sitka’s Utility Director.“Where we’re going is we’re going to Green Lake Dam, this is a side view of the dam right here,” Bertacchi said.It’s 8 a.m. The temperature is below freezing, and has been for several weeks. But before throwing on our coats to head out Green Lake Road, we take a moment to look at a diagram of the dam’s inner workings.“This is the single most important safety feature in the powerhouse,” Bertacchi said.That being the intake gate.“If there’s a leak or something goes wrong in the powerhouse, the first thing you do is you close that gate because you can imagine the amount of water going down there,” Bertacchi said.The gate is opened and closed by a giant hydraulic cylinder, 11-feet-long. The problem is that it’s made of carbon steel, which corrodes easily in fresh water. Bertacchi shows me a picture of the old part. It’s rusted red and chewed up, like a Slim Jim.“Last time it was operated was 1989,” Bertacchi said. “And it’s underwater when it’s running, so all the fish stuff…this was really a mess.”Now FERC, that’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requires that the whole system be inspected every five years. But that didn’t happen in Sitka. Decades went by, with no inspection of Green Lake. I asked Bertacchi, who started on the job last year, why.“I think there were a lot of other distractions they were working on overtime,” Bertacchi said. “Funding was kind of tight for a lot of years on the Electric Department. They weren’t doing much. They weren’t doing tree trimming. There’s a lot of stuff you just can’t do. But I can’t speak to why the decision was made not to do that. All I know is my job is make sure we’re in compliance with all the rules and regs. And it’s a safety issue. It’s a $50 million asset on the other end of this pipe.”So, to get system back into compliance, the Electric Department decided to schedule the inspection on October 17th.“We didn’t want to do this in the middle of summer, with our tourist season, fish processing, when we needed all the energy for sure,” Bertacchi said. “We picked this time of year to go do it, we thought it would work okay but it didn’t.”What happened is that the gate closed, that went fine, but red oil appeared in the water. The seal on the hydraulic cylinder had broken. Coast Guard was called in to contain the leak, about five gallons of oil. The dam shut down. And Bertacchi, who was then acting city administrator, authorized an emergency procurement of $60,000 for a replacement cylinder to be built out of stainless steel, which should fare underwater much better. When it arrives, it will be installed inside the belly of a dam, at the bottom of a 160 foot shaft.We’re at the Green Lake Dam. Water is spewing over the top in a furious cascade. And I’m peering over the edge of the shaft, where Adam Charlton, Tony Balovich, and Trevor Webb have been working six days a week, twelve hours a day, to clean out the muck and prepare the area for the new part. Here’s Balovich and Webb.“When you get down there it’s like working in a muddy ditch, laying a pipe,” Balovich said.“With no light,” Webb said.“With very little light,” Balovich said.“They’re having their lunch down there,” Bertacchi said. “It’s amazing.”Safety is Bertacchi’s #1 priority. There’s a ladder and when the mechanics descend, they wear a harness that they can hook onto the side. They’re also clipped to a cable, that would automatically stop them if they fall. And on standby is a crew of emergency and search and rescue personnel.“It’s the unsung heroes in all this too,” Bertacchi said. “Because with the wind up and it’s snowing, they’re getting out there and they’re doing this job.”Temperatures plummeted in December and the cold has forced the electric department to fire up the diesel generators during peak use. So far, they’re within their $166,000 budget for diesel. There likely won’t be a fuel surcharge for the community. But it’s very likely that major components of Sitka’s electrical infrastructure will continue to fail. Here’s City Administrator Mark Gorman.“It’s reaching the end of it’s life and we have not put in the bank what we have needed to put in in terms of taking care of it and we’re seeing those consequences now,” Gorman said.Like the Marine Street substation, which provides power to 80% of the city, and the 69 kilovolt line, which delivers a huge amount of power to downtown. The Sitka Assembly recently approved a 10 year capital plan to fix these and other problems. But that will take money, which is scarce within a city also tasked with paying off the $150 million Blue Lake Dam. For Bertacchi, the key is identifying what the city is not going to fix and focus on the big things that ensure reliability.“We’d hate to have a two month outage in the middle of our summer season impacting fish processing and everything else,” Bertacchi said. “So that’s where our focus is and that’s why we’re here today.”Not here yet is the hydraulic cylinder, but it’s scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. The city hopes that the Green Lake Dam will be back in operation before the new year and the next cold snap.
A group of Rohingya refugee people walk in the water after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Teknaf. ReutersA number of US interfaith leaders on Wednesday called upon the international community to impose full sanctions on Myanmar until it stops what they said the textbook case of genocide against Rohingyas and restore citizenship of its displaced Muslim minority, reports UNB.They also called upon the world leaders to stand in solidarity with Rohingyas and invoke the convention for the prevention and punishment of genocide to protect the Rohingyas from persecution.At a press conference held at a city hotel after their recent visit to Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, the American Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Muslim community leaders praised Bangladesh’s humanitarian assistance and provision of security to the Rohingyas.They also endorsed prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s call that Rohingyas restored in their land in Myanmar with clear mandate for the UN to defend Rohingyas and bring the perpetrators of these crime to justice.Noor Ankis, 25, whose husband Ayub, a leader of the unregistered makeshift camp in Kutupalong, was killed late last month, poses for a picture with her two children in Cox’s Bazar. ReutersA 14-member delegation of American interfaith leaders, including that of two Buddhists, two Jews, two Muslim Imams and several Christians, earlier visited the Rohingya camps and listened to Rohingya voices. The visit was arranged by ‘Interfaith Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma’.Upon getting back to the USA, they said, they will amplify Rohingya voices in the US Congress, administration and the civil society to mobilise public opinion across the globe to resolve the crisis and ensure safe return of Rohingyas to their mother land with security, dignity, rights and citizenship.Speaking at the press conference, a leading Buddhist American scholar Alan Senauke said what he saw at Balukhali Rohingya camp and heard the stories of the persecuted people make his heart weep. “Violence that directed against children, women, men and the families is the worst form of cruelty. To my understanding, the murder and displacement of Rohingyas in Myanmar has nothing to do with the Buddha’s teaching.”He also called upon the Buddhists around the world to stand with Rohingyas’ cry for safety, justice and citizenship. “We’re greatly disturbed by what many see as slander and distortion of the Buddha’s teaching.”Alan Senauke also said the hatred, systematic persecution and ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas stand in stark contradiction to monastic precepts and Buddha’s teaching on universal morality, peace and tolerance.He said they will raise fund in the USA to drum up support from Buddhists to stand by Rohingyas and raise voice for ensuring their security, justice and citizenship.Rabbi David Saperstein, a Jewish leader and immediate past US Ambassador at Large for religious freedom, said religious persecution was central component of the increasingly harsh oppression of the Rohingyas over the past decades.”We’ve heard the stories of mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of watching how their family members were killed in front of them, and how they faced persecution,” he said.The Jewish leader said they will try to encourage the American authorities and international community to take the right step so that they Rohingyas can return to their country with protection and rights, including religious freedom.
Popular on Variety Led by former DreamWorks Animation chief Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi has raised $1 billion from investors including major Hollywood studios and is seeking to raise another $500 million ahead of its spring 2020 launch. The company last week said it had booked $100 million in upfront ad deals from advertisers including Google and Procter & Gamble. Related Quibi keeps shelling out cash for content: Jeffrey Katzenberg’s richly funded startup has ordered a short-form murder-mystery comedy written by and starring former “Saturday Night Live” writers Paula Pell and John Lutz, and executive produced by Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video alongside Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker.In “Mapleworth Murders,” Pell (pictured above) is Abigail Mapleworth, a murder-mystery writer who solves homicides in her quaint small town of New Woodstream. Each episode will feature guest victims and suspects in search of answering a bigger question: Why are there so many murders in one small town?The series is one of dozens of shows — designed for on-the-go mobile viewing in sub-10-minute episodes — coming to Quibi, which is slated to launch in April 2020 at $5 monthly with ads and $8 without ads. Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg Discuss New Joint Venture Quibi “Mapleworth Murders” is executive produced by Lorne Michaels, Broadway Video’s Andrew Singer, Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker, and co-executive produced by Hilary Marx and Jason Carden. The show is being produced at NBCUniversal’s Universal Television.Quibi has announced a slew of projects including Steven Spielberg’s “After Dark,” a horror series users will be able to watch only between sundown and sunrise local time. Other partners include Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Sam Raimi, Jason Blum, Steven Soderbergh, Catherine Hardwick, Anna Kendrick, Doug Liman, Laurence Fishburne and Stephen Curry’s Unanimous Media. Quibi also has ordered shows featuring Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Don Cheadle and Idris Elba as well as a remake of MTV’s “Punk’d.”Quibi’s untested theory is that people will pay to watch premium entertainment, produced specifically for mobile consumption. Its challenge will be to carve out a large and loyal subscriber base, amid stiff competition from free and paid video services and apps. In the first year of launch, Quibi is aiming to deliver 7,000 pieces of content, including scripted and unscripted shows and daily news and lifestyle programming. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Leslie Jones to Leave ‘Saturday Night Live’
Kolkata: JSW Cement has inaugurated a railway siding to cater to the incoming and outgoing cargo of its 2.4 MTPA cement manufacturing unit at Salboni in West Bengal. The 6.5 km-long railway siding will connect the manufacturing unit to the main railway line between Godapiasal and Salboni, the company said in a statement today. “In cement business, logistics accounts for 30-35 per cent of the cement cost and to be cost effective, we are continuously working on various levers to reduce this cost. “This railway siding is a step in this direction. Access to markets in the east would be economically feasible,” JSW Cement managing director Parth Jindal said in the statement. The state-of-the-art manufacturing unit produces eco-friendly PSC cement for the eastern markets including West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and northern Orissa.
Posted by Share Insight, Luxury Gold added to Virtuoso lineup TORONTO — Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold have been accepted into Virtuoso’s portfolio of luxury travel partners, which comprises 1,700+ preferred suppliers in 100 countries.Inclusion in Virtuoso will open up new sales and marketing opportunities to the network’s more than 16,000 luxury travel advisors around the world and their highly desirable clientele, says Ulla Hefel Böhler, CEO of Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. Virtuoso agencies sell more than US$21.2 billion annually.“Virtuoso’s acceptance process is incredibly discerning, so becoming a preferred partner is a true honour, and we are 100% committed to fully supporting the long-term success of our partnership,” said Böhler. “The reputation Virtuoso member advisors have for outstanding dedication to their clients is a perfect fit with our own bespoke approach to service. Now that we’re part of this renowned network, we look forward to offering Virtuoso advisors and their clients special amenities, values and experiences that surpass their expectations.”More news: Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJInsight and Luxury Gold’s acceptance into Virtuoso gives them direct relationships with the world’s leading leisure travel agencies in North and Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, she added.Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold join several other TTC brands that are already part of the Virtuoso network, including African Travel, Inc., Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, and several properties that are part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection: The Milestone Hotel and Residences, The Egerton House Hotel, The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, and Ashford Castle.“We are pleased to welcome these two award-winning brands, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, as Virtuoso’s newest luxury travel partners since they offer unforgettable experiences and exceptional service,” said Matthew D. Upchurch, Chairman and CEO of Virtuoso. “We also share similar principles in making sustainable travel more accessible for travelers and providing purposeful travel experiences to our clients.” Tuesday, January 9, 2018 Tags: Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Virtuoso Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>
<< Previous PostNext Post >> More Europe, more ways to save with Contiki & Costsaver in 2019 Posted by Tags: Contiki, Europe, New Tours Thursday, July 26, 2018 Travelweek Group TORONTO — Contiki and Costsaver, both part of The Travel Corporation, have announced new Europe 2019 programming featuring more itineraries and more ways for clients to save.Contiki’s Europe 2019 Preview program is particularly notable since for the first time in its history, it’s offering 100% guaranteed definite departures on its over 470 European summer adventures in 2019. Moreover, Contiki is also offering the guaranteed best price, whether the price goes up or down at the time of the program’s launch in the fall.Plus, to help clients book in advance, a $100 Free-Time voucher is being offered. The voucher can be used to spend on any Free Time Add-Ons for any bookings made now until Sept. 5, 2018.The $100 voucher can be put towards any Free Time Add-Ons, including ‘Isle of Capri Cruise’, ‘Paragliding in the Alps’, ‘Excursion to Aran Islands’, and ‘Gondola Ride in Venice’.“While guarantees are hard to come by these days, clients can count on a couple things when they book early with Contiki. Chiefly, a guaranteed fun time no matter which European adventure they book on,” said Sheralyn Berry, President of Contiki Holidays Canada. “While millennials are known to book their trips last minute, we encourage agents to use our $100 Free-Time voucher offering as one of the ways to help their young clients save on their travels.”More news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsFor more information about Contiki’s 2019 Europe trips, go to www.contiki.com/ca/en/activity/europe-summer-2019-guarantee.Elsewhere, Costsaver has unveiled the new concept ‘First Look’ with its 2019 Europe & Britain Guided Vacations. Giving agents their ‘First Look to Book’, the concept allows clients first access to the trip they want, helping them to secure their 2019 tour at the best possible price. First Look prices start at $143 per day.Similar to Contiki’s best price guarantee, Costsaver’s dynamic pricing assures clients that if the price of their trip goes up they won’t have to pay more, and if they price goes down they’ll be reimbursed the difference.Costsaver 2019 itineraries in Europe include the 10-day ‘Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina’, the eight-day ‘Irish Wonder’, and the seven-day ‘Jewels of Italy’. To view the complete Costsaver ‘First Look’ 2019 Europe & Britain lineup, go to https://www.costsavertour.com/en-ca/deals/first-look-2019.
From Telegraph to Bitcoin and Libra: A Brief History of Electronic Payment Technologies If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking By Tatyana MaksimenkoThe means of exchange is one of the three key functions of money. Since the ancient times of trade relations developments, people has been searching ways to speed up and simplify the process of money exchange. With the development of technology, especially with the spread of the Internet, more and more solutions are emerging to facilitate transactions.Western UnionInitially, first money transfers started three hundred years ago due to the banking system development, money lenders and guarantors, as well as postal services, yet it was the appearance of telegraph in the 1800s that brought the money transfer industry to a new level. In 1858, the Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company (NYMVPTC, founded in 1851) was rebranded and renamed Western Union.The company’s founders, Hyrum Sibley, former sheriff of Monroe County, New York, and Judge Samuel Selden, had no idea at the time that the future company would refuse to simply send telegrams and focus on money transfers alone. The first Western Union money transfer via telegraph was executed in 1871. The service turned out to be on demand. By 1876, the company carried out 37,190 money transfers.In general, the workflow was the same as with the postal transfers, which have been used for more than a century. It worked as follows: a sender would come to the post office, give a post-office employee the amount he wanted to send, and the latter had just to register the amount in a special record book. The form was then sent to the post-office, where the addressee received money. It was possible to speed up the process using the telegraph. It was no longer necessary to send coupons and discounting forms by mail. Information about the receiver and the amount of payment was transmitted by telegraph.From telegraph to first credit cardsThe development of cash-free payment systems in 1900s went faster. Western Union was the first company to issue a kind of payment card, a forerunner of a bank card. In 1921, loyal clients of Western Union could issue a prepaid card. So much the idea was approved that it was picked up by many large retailers in the United States, from petrol station chains to fast food restaurants and grocery stores.The first credit card was the one from Diner’s Club, issued in 1950. With its help, it was possible to pay in a chain of restaurants in New York. 1958 saw credit cards issued by Bank of America (BankAmericard) and American Express (Carte Blanche). With their appearance in the US, the consumer lending boom began. American Express used a simple workflow: they issued credit cards, collecting annual fees from their owners. They paid with cards, and American Express billed invoices on a monthly basis. The following decades gave the world Visa and Mastercard payment systems.World Wide Web and PizzaThe speed and volume of transactions increased, and the users’ appetites grew with them, too. They wanted much faster, much easier and cheaper. By the early 1990s, the Internet, which originated as the development of the ARPANET defense industry in 1960s, began covering the world and a wide range of users. This process is often considered to start as early as in 1989. In March 1989, a British development engineer, Tim Berners-Lee, who later received the title of Sir and became known as TimBL in the network, developed the concept of a network of web pages that would be linked together by hyperlinks.The concept was called the World Wide Web. In November, he performed the first successful connection between a client and server using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) via Internet.The development of the Internet allowed the use of new communications for money transfers. In 1994, Stanford Federal Credit Union was the first to offer online banking services to its clients. Though since the interface of these early systems cannot be called friendly, the transactions were effected not by the users themselves, but by Transactions Officers who had special knowledge in computer technology.In August 1994, the world’s first online purchase was completed. This was a pizza from Pizza Hut – a big Pepperoni with mushrooms and an extra portion of cheese. But some people argue that the first purchase was “Ten Summoner’s Tales” by the British singer, Sting.It was paid online at the Net Market Company store in New Hampshire a week before the online pizza purchase. One thing is true that since then, online payments and money transfers has begun to develop rapidly. In 1995, services of electronic micropayments Millicent and ECash (trademark of DigiCash, founded back in 1980s by the legend of cryptography David Chaum from Berkeley University) appeared. Both offered an option to cash and a quick way to the value transfer.PaypalIn 1998, a programmer Max Levchin, a financier Peter Thiel, with Luke Nosek and Ken Howery, founded Confinity, which in 1999 launched a money transfer service called PayPal, a name that is well-known worldwide. At the same time, a businessman Elon Musk was trying to develop his fast online payment banking service X.com. In 2000, X.com and PayPal joined their efforts, and in 2002, PayPal successfully held an IPO and was sold to eBay for $ 1.5 billion. PayPal owes its popularity mainly to eBay users. In 2002, more than 70% of all eBay auctions were paid using PayPal.Not only PayPal developed the popularity of online payments, it also actively participated in the technological development of the industry. Particular attention was paid to security, the development of appropriate software, VeriSign, PayPal Secure Card and other solutions.China and a Chinese wayPayment technologies were developing all over the world, but China as one of the largest markets, has been developing separately for a long time due to a number of geopolitical factors. Along with PayPal, an online e-commerce Alibaba company appeared in China. In 2004, Alibaba launched the Alipay payment system, which initially acted as an intermediary between sellers and buyers at the Taobao C2C-trading site.In fact, it was a kind of Chinese equivalent of eBay with its PayPal. The main advantage of payments through Alipay was that the seller would not receive money from the buyer until he confirmed the receipt of the ordered products.Over time, Alipay was so liked by sellers and buyers that other enterprises began to use it. In 2009, the number of registered users of AliPay exceeded 200 million. In 2013, Alipay overran PayPal as the world’s largest mobile payment platform. Now Alipay’s payment services are used not only by the affiliate giants Taobao, Tmall, but also by more than 460,000 online and offline Chinese companies. Alipay is especially popular with small and medium businesses, for which acquiring services from banks are not as affordable as the cheaper Alipay service.In China, via Alipay you can pay for goods in stores, both large and small, top-up your balance of mobile phone, order food, pay for tickets in a bus or a train, or travel in a taxi, pay for going to cinemas and utility bills. Alipay has long reached the international level since then, but outside China it has not gained such a widespread distribution, although it has occupied a certain level, supporting transactions in 18 foreign currencies.In China, its main competitor was the WeChat social media payment service, which emerged in 2013. In August of that year, the micro-message service WeChat released the Wallet application. This made it possible to operate with any payment cards issued in China. Now users of WeChat Pay can link bank accounts with Chinese banks to their wallets, as well as Visa and MasterCard issued by foreign banks.In 2018, Charlie Munger, the legendary American investor, Vice Chairman of Investment Berkshire Hathaway and a collaborator of Warren Buffett, mentioned WeChat as a potential competitor to credit card companies such as American Express.“…and there is one tiny cloud on the horizon of the payments processors and that is the system of WeChat in China”, Mr Munger said at the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in 2018.In 2017, Tencent company, which owns WeChat, reported that they managed to overrun Alipay in the number of active users of mobile payments – 600 million against 450 million with Alipay. However, if you compare the market share by the volume of transactions, Alipay still remains its leader with 54% against 37% for WeChat in 2017.The world financial crisisIn 2007, the US mortgage loan bubble burst, leading to a banking crisis. On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, an investment bank, one of the largest in the US, declared its bankruptcy. The world was in panic. The distrust to the financial system became the catalyst for the emergence of a completely new tool, which was called Bitcoin. On October 31, 2008, an anonymous developer or a group of developers under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto sent out to a limited society of cryptographers and developers a description of the world’s first cryptocurrency:“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”Although the idea of ??creating private electronic money using cryptographic security tools has yet been circulated in the narrow environment of developers since 1980s, it was Bitcoin in which it turned possible to combine all the existing developments of the time.The Bitcoin network was launched in January 2009. On January 3, the first block in the Bitcoin network was extracted. The Genesis block of Bitcoin contains a symbolic message from Satoshi Nakamoto: a title from The Times – Chancellor on Brink of Second Bailout for Banks. Thus, the creator of cryptocurrency hinted that the Bitcoin is a response to the financial instability, a decline of confidence to banks and government institutions.In 2010, the first deal was made with the Bitcoin: for the first time ever, goods from the real world were paid for with the cryptocurrency. As in the case of the first online payment, this product has become … a pizza. More precisely, it was two pizzas from Papa John’s. On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer from Jacksonville, Florida, transferred 10,000 BTC to his friend Jeremy Sturdivant, who ordered 2 pizzas from Papa John’s to Laszlo at the cost of $ 25 using his credit card.In 2019, Bitcoin is an asset worth $ 200 billion with a user base of more than 633 thousand active addresses.“It is difficult for people of the 21st century to sell banking services of the 14th century. We get information faster, move faster between cities, we communicate with people from the other end of the planet. The monetary system also adapts to this, – Sergey Esipov, co-founder of Bitlish crypto-exchange, registered in the UK, says. “Bitcoin is a tool that gives the user not only the possibility of a quick and cheap transfer of value, but also what banks did not give – full control over their assets.”Apple Pay and Google PayIn the mid of 2010s, solutions for transfers and online payments using mobile phones started to emerge on the foreground. In September 2014, Apple showed new models, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as Apple Watch, which were equipped with an NFC chip to pay via payment terminal. Thus, Apple has launched the Apple Pay payment system. It was enough for users to enter card data into the system.You take a smartphone or a watch to the payment terminal and the payment gets confirmed via the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. During the presentation on September 9, 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that after a while, the new service would replace plastic cards.In parallel with Apple, the system of electronic payments from mobile devices was developed by Google, which completed the creation of the Android operating system, the main competitor of iOS. In 2015, Google launched Android Pay on the basis of the existing Google Wallet system, that was created in 2011. In 2018, both payment solutions were combined under the same Google Pay brand.In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, some 10 billion payments will be made through Apple Pay. “This is awesome!” – said Tim Cook, announcing such a forecast in March 2019 at Apple’s Keynote conference.According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, the volume of transactions through Apple Pay will reach $ 190 billion by 2022, and $ 304 billion by 2027. To compare, according to the forecast of the analysts at Morgan Stanley, the volume of transactions through PayPal will be $ 431 billion by 2022, and $ 579 billion by 2027.Apple intends to compete not only with PayPal, but also with the credit card market, releasing its first credit Apple Card in the fall of 2019. Thus, it will try to get a part of the market, which is dominated by Visa and its closest competitor Mastercard. However, Visa has an indisputable advantage so far, as in 2018, 124.3 billion transactions were effected via Visa system, and in 2019 their volume will reach 140 billion.Facebook and TelegramApple, Google and the Chinese Alibaba and WeChat have shown that now the main key to success in the market of electronic payments is in the presence of an extensive base of active and loyal users.In early 2018, the media got information about the plans of the Telegram messenger to create a blockchain platform, TON (Telegram Open Network), and build its own crypto-economics around. There will be tokens as well for internal user payments, GRAM. To finance the project, Telegram founder Pavel Durov chose the initial coin offering (ICO), which was popular at the time in the cryptocurrency market. Telegram has managed to raise $ 1.7 billion in two closed rounds of financing, it was said in documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).In April 2019, Telegram launched a test version of TON and gave access to it to a limited number of professional blockchain teams around the world. It is expected that TON will be launched before the end of 2019, but the exact date is still unknown.At the same time, Facebook is thinking about the creation of its own cryptocurrency. It is curious that the blockchain division of Facebook is headed by none other than David Markus, the former president of PayPal. In June 2019, Facebook officially announced plans to launch its own digital currency, and its rate will be pegged to the US dollar and other national currencies for stability. Facebook calls Libra’s main mission to create a simple global financial infrastructure that will be accessible to billions of people around the world.“This is especially important for people who don’t have access to traditional banks or financial services. Right now, there are around a billion people who don’t have a bank account but do have a mobile phone”, Zuckerberg wrote.Libra Association, which already comprises 28 companies, including Visa, MasterCard, Uber and many others, will develop the stablecoin, which was called Libra. The launch of Libra is expected in 2020.Looking to the futureNowadays, the global electronic payments industry is developing faster than ever. It took the mankind thousands of years to move from metal coins to paper, a century to go from bank accounts to electronic wallets, but the Internet gave an incredible power impulse. Almost every year launches new providers, platforms and payment instruments. And this is despite the fact that the level of Internet penetration in the world has not yet reached the limit value.According to the developer of the platform for managing social networks HootSuite, at the beginning of 2018 over 4 billion people worldwide had access to the Internet. This means that the industry will continue to move upwards due to the influx of new users.“Now the main focus is the synthesis of all payment solutions in one. Users don’t want to choose between PayPal and Bitcoin, they want to be able to use everything and, preferably, from one interface,” Sergey Esipov, co-founder of Bitlish, notes. “We are moving in that direction ourselves. For operations with crypto-assets, Bitlish customers can use transfers from a variety of payment systems, bank transfers, cryptocurrency, special vouchers, through which users can transfer to each other cryptocurrency without a fee. We are trying to offer all possible ways to exchange assets, because we see that this is what users are waiting for. ”Recent years have shown that the financial market is no longer the prerogative of larger banking organizations, and larger players from other industries may appear on it in the coming future.Author bio Tatyana MaksimenkoEditor-in-chief of CoinFox MediaBlockchain & FinTech enthusiastEntrepreneurMore information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => Irish Tech News now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. 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Just in time for the new school year, Google’s educational arm, Google for Education, today announced the launch of new tools aimed at helping teachers fight plagiarism. The company this morning is unveiling Assignments, an updated version of the software previously known as CourseKit, which will ship with new features that help instructors check students’ work to ensure it’s properly cited — not stolen from another source.Students also can take advantage of the new tools, notes Google, as the feature will allow them to run these “originality reports” up to three times before submitting their final work to their teacher.This gives students the chance to catch and fix any errors, while also saving the teacher time in grading, the company says.The updated Google Assignments program does more than help catch cheaters, however.The software combines aspects of Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Search into a new tool that’s focused on the creation and management of schoolwork, including the collection, grading and feedback process — and now, the ability to check for plagiarism, as well.Other features include a comment bank to save teachers from typing the same feedback over and over; the ability to assign files to students without having to use the copier; the ability to grade assignments for a class with a student switcher and rubric included, and more.With the plagiarism checker — the feature called “Originality Reports” — teachers can check for missed citations and other issues. When the work is turned in and locked, the feature will check the student’s text against “hundreds of billions of web pages” and “tens of millions of books,” says Google.Once the feature is enabled on a given assignment, students can only run the check three times. This allows them the chance to fix oversights, but doesn’t let them abuse the feature to rewrite multiple pieces within a longer report to avoid detection.Teachers will receive an Originality Report attached to the assignments that details any missed citations and notes the source — like a book or a web page.“Today’s students face a tricky challenge: In an age when they can explore every idea imaginable on the internet, how do they balance outside inspiration with authenticity in their own work? Students have to learn to navigate the line between other people’s ideas and their own, and how and when to properly cite sources,” explains Brian Hendricks, a product manager for G Suite for Education, in an announcement.The plagiarism-checking feature is launching into beta testing today, with invites rolling out to schools and teachers over the next few weeks. Assignments is a free addition to G Suite for Education.The software can be used either as a companion to a school’s Learning Management System (LMS) or a school admin can opt to integrate it with the existing LMS, notes Google.
As a curtain raiser to the ’16 Days of Activism’ campaign targeting violence against women and children, which runs from November 25 to December 10, police officers descended on Bhevu High School on yesterday morning (Wednesday).The group, who were intent on creating awareness among the youth, discussed topics such as the Child Care Act, Sexual Offences Act, Dangerous Weapons Act, as well as drugs awareness.They addressed approximately 400 students and distributed pamphlets.At the function were members from the Department of Social Development and Khulisa.Mr A Karrim from the Al-Imdaad Foundation was also present, and female students were handed gifts of feminine hygiene products. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
Chicago police have released hundreds of files from the investigation into Jussie Smollett’s claim he was attacked by two men, including footage that shows the actor with his face blurred and wearing a white rope he told detectives his attackers looped around his neck.Many files contain surveillance camera footage that police collected as they launched what was initially a hate crime investigation, as well as footage from what appears to be the route police have said the two brothers who participated in the staged January attack took to and from the scene.The release is the latest chapter in a story that began with Smollett’s allegations that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. He was eventually arrested on charges that he lied to police, and prosecutors later dismissed the charges.The Associated Press Police release hundreds of files from Smollett investigation FILE – In this March 26, 2019, file photo, actor Jussie Smollett smiles and waves to supporters before leaving Cook County Court after his charges were dropped in Chicago. A judge has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the decision by Cook County prosecutors do dismiss all charges against Smollett. On Friday, June 21, 2019, Cook County Judge Michael Toomin suggested Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx mishandled the case by recusing herself and then ordering a top assistant to handle the case. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File) by The Associated Press Posted Jun 24, 2019 3:52 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
MAIN opposition Akel has urged the police and the Attorney-general’s office to investigate claims by a former army officer who boasted during a spat on social media that he took part in the planning and execution of the 1974 military coup that toppled then President of the Republic, Archbishop Makarios.The revelation was made during a heated argument on Facebook between daily Politis journalist, Manolis Kalatzis and Georgios Constantinou who claims to be a founding member of the ruling Disy.The online fracas begun when Kalatzis posted comments on social media relating to some excerpts of the Cyprus File, whose first four volumes were made public last Wednesday. The Cyprus File contains the findings of a Greek parliamentary enquiry into the events of 1974, including both the coup d’état and the Turkish Invasion that followed, and names many of the perpetrators.Constantinou, who appears to be the head of the Larnaca Reserve Officers Association, admitted to his participation in the coup during the spat when Kalatzis asked him whether he was proud of his involvement in the coup.“[…] you should know that I took part in the planning and execution (of the coup) and when I put on my officer’s uniform I feel very proud,” Constantinou replied.Akel’s spokesman, Stefanos Stefanou, said in a written statement that, following Constantinou’s admission that he was involved in the planning and execution of the coup, and that he was “proud of it,” his party expected the authorities to act.“We expect those responsible for the protection of legitimacy and justice, and in particular the office of the Attorney-general and the police, to respond promptly and to address the issue,” Stefanou said.A Disy official told the Cyprus Mail he was unaware of the incident, adding that it is their policy, anyway, not to comment on what is said on social media. He could not confirm or deny if Constantinou was a founding member of Disy.On July 15, 1974 Makarios was ousted by a coup d’etat perpetrated by the Greek Cypriot EOKA-B paramilitary organisation, backed by the Greek junta and was replaced by pro-Enosis (union with Greece) nationalist Nicos Sampson. The coup was followed five days later by the Turkish invasion, which resulted in the occupation of 37 per cent of the Republic’s territory and its de facto division.You May LikeUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsThese SUVs Are The Cream Of The Crop. Search For 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsLuxury Crossover SUV I Search AdsUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola