TPI named Top Host Agency in Canada at STAR Awards

first_imgTags: Sandals Resorts, TPI Thursday, February 1, 2018 Share Posted by TPI named Top Host Agency in Canada at STAR Awardscenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> TURKS & CAICOS — Travel Professionals International (TPI) took home a slew of awards at last week’s 16th annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (STAR) Awards, which took place at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa.Not only was TPI named ‘Best of the Best Agency’, thanks to high sales productivity from its independent agents between Aug. 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017, it was also once again named the Top Host Agency in Canada.And the awards kept on coming, with Travel Time TPI in St. John’s Newfoundland receiving the ‘Best of the Best Agency’ award for its outstanding sales performance, and Western Canada TPI taking home the Top Butler Travel Agency award for its high percentage of butler bookings.Moreover, Lois Barbour of Travel Time TPI was named once again to the exclusive Chairman’s Royal Club, an honour reserved for the world’s top performing agents and one that she has received each year since the program was implemented in 2011. Barbour is the only agent in Newfoundland to ever receive this honour, and one of only three in Canada for 2018.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is back“Congratulations to all our advisors across Canada for the outstanding job they do each and every day,” said TPI’s CEO Zeina Gedeon, who was on hand to receive the awards on behalf of TPI. “I am constantly amazed at all of the hard work our advisors do to grow their business. They are the backbone of our company and it is a great pleasure to see them succeed. Being recognized with awards such as these truly shows the strength of the TPI organization and the commitment our advisors have to supporting their clients and our preferred partners.”The STAR awards celebrate excellence in sales and recognize the agencies and individual advisors who utilize innovative selling techniques and employ outstanding marketing initiatives to sell the luxury Sandals and Beaches brand. Travelweek Group last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Oceania Cruises Insign

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterOceania Cruises’ Insignia is returning to Australasian waters in early 2019, giving guests and the industry their first look at the re-inspired ship, the first of the line’s R-class fleet to undergo a ‘better-than-new’ refurbishment as part of its recently announced OceaniaNEXT initiative.To celebrate the occasion, Oceania Cruises’ Vice President of Sales Australia & New Zealand, Steve McLaughlin, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s SVP and MD Asia Pacific, Steve Odell,  held a media event at O Bar & Dining in Sydney.OceaniaNEXT encompasses the most comprehensive suite of product and guest service enhancements that the brand has ever undertaken, kickstarting with a US$100 million investment to completely transform its four R-class vessels, starting with Insignia.After emerging from drydock on 7 December 2018, Insignia will make her way to local waters via the South Pacific as part of her 180-day Around the World Cruise. After cruising New Zealand in late February, she will visit Sydney on 4 March before reaching Brisbane on 6 March, giving guests and the industry their first chance to experience the refurbished ship first-hand.Insignia’s stunning re-inspiration will be followed by sister ships Sirena in May 2019, Regatta in September 2019 and Nautica in June 2020.“One of the many reasons Oceania Cruises enjoys one of the highest repeat cruise rates of any brand is the fact [that] we’re constantly refreshing our offering and investing in our fleet, with the OceaniaNEXT initiative encompassing the most extensive suite of enhancements we have ever embarked upon,” said Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific with Oceania Cruises, Steve Odell.“Australasia will be one of the first regions in the world to experience the re-inspiration of our R-class, with Insignia to boast 342 brand-new designer suites and staterooms, and stunning new decor in her restaurants, lounges and bars inspired by Oceania’s 450 ports of call,” continued Odell.Other highlights will include re-imagined menus featuring more authentic regional colour, flavour and local wines; dramatically transformed public spaces; refurbished restaurants and lounges; and ocean-inspired colour palettes.All accommodation aboard Insignia, Regatta, Nautica and Sirena will emerge with new bathrooms, new closets, desks and vanities, new sofas, chairs and tables, new lighting and mirrors, new upholstery, carpets and drapers and updated technology, including interactive TV systems and USB ports.“The refurbishment of our R-class fleet is just the beginning,” explained Odell. “The OceaniaNEXT program will also see Oceania Cruises’ O-class 1,250-guest vessels, Riviera and Marina, debut their new owner’s suites – the only suites at sea furnished exclusively by luxe label Ralph Lauren Home – in 2019 and 2020 respectively. There are many surprises and delights to be revealed in 2019, and beyond, as part of the OceaniaNEXT initiative.”Lead image: Ben Angell, Vice President Marketing Asia Pacific, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings;  Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Steve McLaughlin, Vice President of Sales Australia & New Zealand, Oceania Cruises.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Channel distributor Thema has struck deals to dist

first_imgChannel distributor Thema has struck deals to distribute luxury lifestyle channel HD in Angola, Russia and Portugal.Luxe.TV HD is available on the Zap Premium extended basic tier of Angolan DTH service Zap, on the basic TV offer of Russia’s ER-Telecom and on the digital extended basic offer of Portuguese cable operator Cabovisão.Luxe.TV recently decided to expand its multilingual programming, already available in English and French, to Mandarin to target markets in East Asia and the Mandarin-speaking audience globally.last_img read more

David Butorac OSN CEO and Emad Morcos SVP Busi

first_imgDavid Butorac, OSN CEO, and Emad Morcos, SVP, Business Development & Digital, at the Go by OSN launch.Middle Eastern pay TV platform OSN has launched online TV service allowing its subscribers to watch content on connected devices.Go by OSN will cost the pay TV operator’s subs US$10 (€7.30) a month and allow them to tune into content carried on the OSN channels. The pay platform has programming deals with all of the US studios as well as other international partners including HBO and DreamWorks. It also has a wide range of content produced within the Middle East and North Africa region.OSN said the GO content line-up will include features from studios including Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount and Sony. There will also be full ‘box sets’ of series including  Revenge, Justified and Cougar Town available in English, dubbed, or subtitled in Arabic.The Go service works across PCs, Apple and Android devices and OSN said it will soon roll out on connected TVs and gaming platforms. It allows ‘dual-device screening’ whereby two different shows can be streamed at the same time on different devices. OSN is offering a free seven-day trial.OSN CEO David Butorac said: “With internet users across the region expected to reach over 400 million by 2015 and over 200 million people in the region currently below the age of 25, the potential for online TV streaming is tremendous. With ‘Go’, we are creating a new entertainment choice for those who traditionally have been depending on online video channels for content that is often illegitimate or low quality.”Emad Morcos, senior VP, business development and digital at OSN added: “There is no other service in the market that has multiple Hollywood studio deals which enables ‘Go’ to play host to the most critically-acclaimed and diversified Western and Arabic content.”last_img read more

I hope this initiative is successful and as we mo

first_img“I hope this initiative is successful and as we move forward brings peace of mind to local residents and improves road safety in that part of the city.”COOPER WELCOMES POLICE CRACKDOWN ON ‘BOY RACERS’ AT STRAND ROAD was last modified: September 28th, 2016 by John2John2 Tags: COOPER WELCOMES POLICE CRACKDOWN ON ‘BOY RACERS’ AT STRAND ROADCOUNCILLOR MICKEY COOPERPSNISinn Fein SINN Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper has welcomed an initiative by the PSNI to tackle the issue of “boy racers” located at a car park on the Strand Road.He says the issue has been of huge concern to local residents has started.Added Cllr Cooper: “I welcome the news that the first phase of this initiative has taken place.“I have organised a number meetings between residents and the PSNI over the issue which left the police in no doubt about residents’ concerns.“And I will ensure that there are follow up meetings with residents  and police to gauge the success of how this is  going.center_img ShareTweetlast_img read more

A few summers ago in the southern Indian city of B

first_imgA few summers ago in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, an economist named Anant Nyshadham was heading to lunch with some executives at a garment factory.”We walked through the factory floor on the way to the canteen,” he recalls. “And I thought, ‘Wow, this is really hot.’ “And this is a man who grew up in the state of Georgia. “But you know, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the heat and humidity [there],” he says, laughing. “And India is on a different level.”That is because in India, as in a lot of developing countries, garment factories generally don’t have air conditioning. Central air is only just beginning to spread to some homes and offices as the country has grown more prosperous. But it’s still considered prohibitively expensive to install in many factories, given the tight margins they operate on.Nyshadham, a professor at Boston College, had come to the factory to research an unrelated program to teach workers about financial literacy and other skills. But he found he couldn’t stop thinking about the heat — specifically its impact on both the workers and even on the company’s bottom line.”I mean, I can’t imagine being able to work for eight hours a day in this environment,” he says.Certainly, laboratory studies suggest that once the temperature rises above around 85 F degrees — what is sometimes referred to as the “heat stress threshold” — our bodies can no longer dissipate the heat fast enough to keep our core temperature stable. We start to warm up on the inside, and doing pretty much anything becomes more difficult.”But it’s a different thing to be able to show this in a real-world, working setting versus in a laboratory,” notes Nyshadham.Then Nyshadham hit on an unexpected way to do just that, when, he says, one of the executives at the garment factory mentioned: ” ‘Oh by the way, we’ve been rolling out this lighting change.’ “The company, Shahi Exports, has more than 50 factories, employs about 100,000 workers and supplies brands that include Gap, Uniqlo, Zara and H&M. Some of these brands had encouraged the company to be more environmentally responsible by switching out the fluorescent tube lights in its factories for LEDs that would consume about one-seventh the amount of energy.Nyshadham’s reaction: “Look, if you’re consuming a seventh of the energy, you’re probably dissipating something like a seventh of the heat as well.” This lighting switch was probably going to lower the temperature on the factory floor, too.”We realized, ‘Oh! We can use this as a natural experiment.’ “So over the next several years, Nyshadham started crunching the numbers – working with Achyuta Adhvaryu of University of Michigan and Namrata Kala of MIT Sloan School of Management. They compared the day-by-day relationship between the outside temperature and the number of garments produced at 26 factories before and after their lights were switched to LEDs.Anant Ahuja is one of the managers at Shahi Exports who helped get this data to Nyshadham.”I was thinking that maybe he was wasting his time looking into this,” Ahuja recalls with a chuckle.He says the view among company officials was essentially: This is India — we’re used to the heat. And besides, Bangalore isn’t even all that hot compared to other parts of the country.Then Ahuja saw the results. “I think all of us were kind of like, ‘Wow. That’s amazing,’ ” he says.The researchers found that at those 26 factories, the mercury spiked above the heat stress threshold (roughly 85 degrees inside the factory) one quarter of the time. And once the temperature passed that tipping point, for every extra degree it got hotter, productivity went down by 3 percent and profits went down by 2.2 percent.That can add up quickly, notes Nyshadham. “On the days it’s hot enough to matter — it matters a lot.”The findings have been featured on, a platform that highlights research on economic policy in developing countries.One person who is not surprised to hear about the results is Manjula, a 34-year-old seamstress at one of Shahi’s factories. (Like many Indians, she goes by one name.)I reach her by phone as she is sitting at a long row of sewing machines, finishing up her shift. She tells me she has been putting the zippers on a set of jeans for H&M.Manjula has been doing this work for over a decade. She says it requires her “maximum concentration.””These are powerful machines,” she notes. “If I lose my concentration and don’t watch what I’m doing, I could break my finger — or my hand.”And not only is there no air conditioning, but there are also no fans. She recalls that on one particularly sweltering day, she and some colleagues asked the factory official charged with looking after worker welfare about putting in a few fans. “We were told, ‘No. This is a denim unit.’ ” A fan would kick up too much fluff and dust from the fabric. And that could cause respiratory problems.So when it gets really hot, Manjula says, the sweat starts pouring down her face, she starts feeling tired, and sometimes, she’ll need to take a break. Inevitably, production slows.But she says, ever since the tube lights were swapped for LEDs, she has noticed it’s not as hot. And the daily production targets?”We can achieve more of them,” she says.In fact, the study found that the LEDs reduced the temperature on the factory floor by over 4 degrees. And the resulting boost to profits covered the cost of swapping in the LEDs in less than eight months.These findings have implications well beyond this one company, says Rema Hanna, an economist at Harvard University who has researched various environmental impacts on labor in poor countries.”I was really impressed with this study,” she says. For one thing, it illuminates one of the challenges that developing countries face as they strive to lift their populations out of poverty. Worker wages are directly tied to productivity – and on average, workers in poor countries are substantially less productive than workers in wealthier ones. Lower levels of education and health are among the reasons. But poor countries also tend to be a lot hotter.”There have always been these theories that part of why the Northern Hemisphere grew faster than the Southern Hemisphere was because of temperature issues,” she notes. “So this starts to give some credence to that.”Just as significantly, it points to yet another downside of climate change: Namely how the expected rise in the frequency of extreme heat days could sap the productivity of businesses around the world.But there is a silver lining to this, says Hanna, because “it changes the conversation around climate policy.””There’s this idea that there is a trade-off between climate change policies and economic growth,” she explains, meaning that in order to be more environmentally responsible, businesses must sacrifice their profits. But, says Hanna, “if actually having stronger climate change policies reduces heat and that improves worker productivity, that suggests climate change policies can have positive effects on growth.”In other words, businesses actually have an incentive to lead the charge in adopting environmentally-friendly practices.Ahuja of Shahi Exports says officials at the company have already absorbed that message when it comes to designing their newest factories. They have committed to the principle of keeping their facilities a minimum of about 9 degrees lower than the outdoor temperature. And they believes it’s not necessary to do so with air conditioning, which is not only costly but also contributes to climate change by consuming so much energy.The findings on LEDs “gave us the conviction that there are all sorts of other ways to further reduce temperature,” says Ahuja. In contrast to its older factories — which tend to be multistory structures in hot, urban neighborhoods — Shahi is building many of its newest factories in the cooler countryside area. It is also keeping them to one-story structures with high ceilings that allow for greater air circulation and using construction materials that enable better insulation.Nyshadham, the researcher, says he hopes the study inspires other businesses to adopt a similar approach. After all, manufacturing plants are a major source of the emissions that are driving climate change.”When it really comes down to trying to bring down energy consumption, trying to affect the carbon footprint, industry is so important.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Two dog carcasses found in Ħal Għaxaq

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrint Christine Dalli – Facebook Christine Dalli – Facebook A dog was found surrounded by syringes on the 15th July, while the second dog was dumped on the 16th July, just twelve hours after Ħal Għaxaq Local Council workers had cleaned the area of ​​the syringes and the other dog’s body.  Christine Dalli – Facebook Christine Dalli – Facebook The deputy mayor of Ħal Għaxaq Christine Dalli said that the the person who disposed of the dogs was captured by CCTV which is installed on site.Dalli described the heartache that she felt after she and another councillor, Andreas Gatt, found the body of the first dog. She condemned the fact that these dead dogs and syringes are disposed of illegally and irresponsibly by people.Dalli added that there are more dignified ways to bury animals, and that waste is collected from behind one’s front door or by bulky waste removal services.WhatsApplast_img read more

In SeparatistBacked Eastern Ukraine Entrepreneurs Are Turning Abandoned McDonalds Into DonMak

first_img When the McDonald’s in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk shuttered due to war and Western sanctions, some local entrepreneurs opened a nearly-identical restaurant that they call “DonMak.”The fast food joint, which we first spotted over at Vice, serves burgers, fries and meals that come with a toy for children — all sheathed in DonMak packaging, which looks suspiciously like McDonald’s.The iconic yellow arches still grace the front of the remodeled DonMak building:The two original McDonald’s in Donetsk closed their doors in 2014, after fighting among pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces for control of the territory intensified.But while the city remains under siege, DonMak’s founders quickly seized on the opportunity to fill local cravings for American fast food:People packed DonMak for the July 2016 opening:Last year, McDonald’s lawyers said that they were looking into “Mc,” a copycat burger restaurant that opened in Luhansk, another separatist-controlled city in Ukraine, after the American chain closed there in 2014. It’s likely a matter of time before DonMak faces the same legal scrutiny. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List This story originally appeared on Business Insider Next Article March 31, 2017 –shares Image credit: YouTube Screenshot via BI 2 min read Veronika Bondarenko Add to Queue The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. The fast food joint serves burgers, fries and meals that come with a toy for children — all sheathed in DonMak packaging, which looks suspiciously like McDonald’s. Writer People have been buying ‘DonMaks’ in Donetsk since the summer of 2016. In Separatist-Backed Eastern Ukraine, Entrepreneurs Are Turning Abandoned McDonald’s Into ‘DonMak’ Apply Now » Fast Foodlast_img read more

A Future Apple Watch Could Be Essential for Diabetics

first_imgApple Register Now » Add to Queue According to CNBC, Apple has a secretive team working on blood sugar monitoring. 2 min read Next Article This story originally appeared on Engadget Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. April 13, 2017 Apple is quietly developing a sensor that can monitor a person’s blood sugar levels continuously and non-invasively. If successful, the technology will be integrated into a future version of the Apple Watch to help people with diabetes manage their condition. At least, that’s the scuttlebutt being slung around by CNBC, which claims the project was set up by Steve Jobs before his death.According to the report, Apple has quietly hired an anonymous-looking office building well away from its HQ for engineers to work in secret. It’s believed that the company has been so successful it is already running trials of the sensors at “clinical sites” in San Francisco’s Bay Area. In fact, progress has been so encouraging that Apple has already hired consultants to help it navigate the torturous process of getting FDA approval.There are a number of practical issues to overcome, including the fact that using optical sensors to read blood glucose is hard. The world is littered with the bodies of companies that have tried — and failed — to use noninvasive monitoring for this particular issue. HealBe’s GoBe, for instance, promised to count your calorie intake without penetrating the skin, and we know how well that went.Right now, the only effective way to continuously monitor someone’s blood glucose level is by inserting a sensor below the skin. Continuous glucose monitors often use an internal sensor that connects with an external transmitter that’s held, for instance, on the stomach, tricep or thigh. Even new wearables like KTrack use tiny needles that burrow into the skin in order to work.According to statistics from the World Health Organization, there were 422 million people living with diabetes in 2014. That’s up from 108 million in 1980, a staggering increase for a disease that is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, stroke and heart attacks. In addition, the better part of four million deaths per year can be directly attributed to diabetes-related conditions.If Apple can, somehow, innovate where so many others have not, then it will make the number of people who have reason to purchase a Watch increase exponentially. Daniel Cooper Image credit: Aol via engadget –shares A Future Apple Watch Could Be Essential for Diabetics Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

A Quick Explainer of the Laptop Ban for Some International Travelers

first_imgTravel A Quick Explainer of the Laptop Ban for Some International Travelers Entrepreneur Staff Instituted in March by the Department of Homeland Security, it has now been entirely lifted. Next Article Image credit: Baona | Getty Images Update, July 20, 2017The controversial ban on laptops and other electronic devices instituted by the United States in March that affected passengers flying from 10 Muslim-majority countries has been lifted entirely.Department of Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan tweeted that all airlines that were impacted had updated their security protocols to DHS specifications.With enhanced security measures in place, all restrictions on large PEDs announced in March for 10 airports/9 airlines have been lifted.— David Lapan (@SpoxDHS) July 19, 2017On the DHS website, it describes the enhanced security measures as “both seen and unseen” and that they will be implemented in several phases, though the specific timetable is unclear.The site proffers several examples of what the “layers of security” entail, including “the use of intelligence and analysis, cross-checking passenger manifests against relevant databases, thorough screening at checkpoint, random canine team screening at airports, reinforced cockpit doors, federal air marshals, armed pilots and a vigilant public.”Update July 10, 2017Following the lift of the United States-imposed electronics ban on Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines last week, passengers traveling from Kuwait and Jordan to the United States on Kuwait Airways and Royal Jordanian are now able to bring their laptops and other devices with them on the plane.Update, July 5, 2017Three of the 10 airlines in Muslim-majority countries affected by the U.S. electronics ban can now allow passengers to take their laptops and other devices with them on flights to the United States.Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, Dubai’s Emirates Airlines and Turkish Airlines heightened their security measures to comply with guidelines set by the Department of Homeland Security.However, travelers coming from to the United States from Egypt’s Cairo International Airport, Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport, Kuwait International Airport, Morocco’s Mohammed V Airport, Qatar’s Hamad International Airport, Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul-Aziz International Airport are still operating under the rule that was instituted in March.Update, June 29, 2017On June 28, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement about the implementation of “enhanced security measures for all commercial flights to the United States.”The statement cited four broad areas of increased scrutiny, including: “enhancing overall passenger screening; conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices; increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas; and deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening and establishing additional preclearance locations.”What this will look like for travelers and the manner in which it will be rolled out — and in which airports — was not made clear.However, the Department of Homeland Security did share the number of airports and the number of travelers that the new security measures could affect: 105 countries, 280 airports and 180 airlines conducting 2,100 daily flights that transport an average of 325,000 passengers daily.The original story, published on April 6, 2017, followsOn March 21, a rule issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security went into effect that requires travelers flying to the United States from 10 airports in Muslim-majority countries to put electronics larger than a smartphone in checked baggage. The DHS identified cameras, e-readers, portable DVD players, tablets, travel printers and scanners and laptops as the devices that wouldn’t be allowed on board.The airports that were impacted by the rule are Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport, Egypt’s Cairo International Airport, Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport, Kuwait International Airport, Morocco’s Mohammed V Airport, Qatar’s Hamad International Airport, Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul-Aziz International Airport and Turkey’s Ataturk International Airport.For all domestic flights or international flights departing from the United States, the new rule does not apply.Related: Trump Travel Ban, Even While Blocked, Casts Long Shadow Over Immigrant EntrepreneursThe DHS had this to say to explain why the rule was being implemented: “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”The agency did not say at what point the ban would be lifted, and at a congressional hearing this week, Homeland Security secretary John Kelly said, “we may take measures in the not too distant future to expand the number of airports.”Last month, the United Kingdom also instituted a similar ban for direct flights to the U.K. from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.Related: What Does the Travel Ban Mean for the U.S. Tourism Industry?Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration is considering “extreme vetting” practices for citizens from foreign countries that want to enter the United States. Those could include being compelled to share social media passwords, phone contacts and financial records, in addition to questions regarding ideology.Though none of these practices have been implemented, if were they to go into effect, they could be far-reaching and affect countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows people from specific countries to stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa. Those participating countries include Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Nina Zipkin –sharescenter_img July 20, 2017 Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Add to Queue Apply Now » 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List 5 min readlast_img read more

Facebook Twitter YouTube Microsoft Back EU Hate Speech Rules

first_img Next Article Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Microsoft Back EU Hate Speech Rules Facebook, Twitter, Google’s YouTube and Microsoft on Tuesday agreed to an EU code of conduct to tackle online hate speech within 24 hours in Europe.EU governments have been trying in recent months to get social platforms to crack down on rising online racism following the refugee crisis and terror attacks, with some even threatening action against the companies.As part of the pledge agreed with the European Commission, the web giants will review the majority of valid requests for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to the content if necessary.They will also strengthen their cooperation with civil society organizations who help flag hateful content when it goes online and promote “counter-narratives” to hate speech.”The recent terror attacks have reminded us of the urgent need to address illegal online hate speech. Social media is unfortunately one of the tools that terrorist groups use to radicalize young people,” EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said.Germany got Google, Facebook and Twitter to agree to delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours last year and even launched an investigation into the European head of Facebook over its alleged failure to remove racist hate speech.”There’s no place for hate speech on Facebook,” said Monika Bickert, Head of Global Policy Management at Facebook.”With a global community of 1.6 billion people we work hard to balance giving people the power to express themselves whilst ensuring we provide a respectful environment.”The code of conduct is largely a continuation of efforts that the companies already take to counter hate speech on their websites, such as developing tools for people to report hateful content and training staff to handle such requests.Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts since the middle of 2015 for threatening or promoting terror acts, primarily related to Islamic State.The United States has undertaken similar efforts to entice the cooperation of tech companies in combating online radicalization, focusing on promoting “counter-narratives” to extremist content.EU ministers had called for cooperation with tech companies to be stepped up after the Brussels attacks in March.Jewish lobbyists, frequently the target of hate speech, welcomed the code of conduct.”This a historic agreement that could not arrive at a better time,” said Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress.(By Julia Fioretti and Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Alexandra Hudson) –shares 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Politics May 31, 2016 3 min readcenter_img Reuters This story originally appeared on Reuters Add to Queue Image credit: Reuters | Dado Ruvic The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now »last_img read more

Online CBT can help treat gastrointestinal disorders in children

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 7 2018Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) online can be useful in treating gastrointestinal disorders in children when no physical cause can be found. This is the viewpoint of researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden that is described in a new study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.About 13 per cent of all children suffer from FAPD (functional abdominal pain disorders), which means that they experience pain and other stomach symptoms without any clear physical cause. Many children with FAPD have a reduced quality of life and their families often seek medical care, resulting in large costs for society. So far there is no scientific evidence that medication or changes to their diet help children with these problems.Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have previously shown that online CBT can be effective for teenagers with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is one of the diagnoses included in FAPD. Ninety children with FAPD from the whole of Sweden in the age group 8-12 took part in the new study, together with their parents. All the children were examined by a doctor and a psychologist before they participated in the study to check that they specifically had FAPD. The children were randomly assigned to either ten weeks of exposure-based online CBT or standard medical care.Several positive effectsThe results show that the children who accessed online CBT had an improved quality of life, fewer stomach problems and a reduced fear of symptoms, as well as avoiding fewer situations compared with children who received standard medical care.”Online CBT can be offered to patients regardless of where they live, and does not require them or their families to take time off school or work to undergo treatment,” says Maria Lalouni, psychologist and researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, who carried out the study for her doctoral thesis.Related StoriesResearchers identify gene mutations linked to leukemia in children with Down’s syndromeNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaChildren in the online CBT group were exposed to symptoms, i.e. they practised accepting the symptoms and coping with situations that they would normally prefer to avoid. Examples of exposure exercises were to eat food that produced symptoms (such as pizza or ice cream) or to go to school despite having a stomach ache. The parents were given the task of paying less attention to their children’s symptoms and giving more attention to other things, such as participation in recreational activities. Families had the treatment in their homes and were able to contact a psychologist using text messages on an internet platform.Big cost savingsOnline CBT led to large savings in costs compared with standard medical care: on average SEK 9,500 for every child who participated in the online treatment over a ten-week period. These savings are partly from reduced healthcare consumption and partly from reduced indirect costs such as children’s absence from school and parents’ absence from work.”We show that online CBT can increase the accessibility of evidence-based healthcare for a large group of children with considerable suffering, at the same time as reducing costs for society,” says Ola Olén, consultant and researcher at the Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet, who led the study. Source: read more

Research project validates viability of pigments that reduce building temperature absorb environmental

first_img Source: Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 7 2019The Environmental Inorganic Chemistry and Ceramic Materials Group of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón, Spain, has developed a research project to assess, transfer and exploit refreshing and photo-catalytic pigments (cool pigments) with a base of Scheelite that are used to decrease the temperature of buildings and also to absorb part of the environmental pollution.The research personnel have conducted efficacy tests of the pigments in the last few months, on the rooftop of the UJI’s Higher School of Technology and Experimental Sciences, with financing by the Valencian Agency for Innovation (AVI), where they have observed that the photo-catalytic pigments used were able to decrease air pollution by almost 20%, specially regarding nitrous oxides, volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide.The team also tested refreshing pigments with high infrared reflectance, rejecting the infrared radiation rays from the buildings and thus decreasing the temperature of the surface by around three degrees while preventing the urban heat island effect, which is when dark, asphalted surfaces from cities absorb the solar energy and then release it slowly, causing the temperature of urban areas to be higher than that of its surroundings, as well as increasing the probability of smogs (polluting clouds) to appear.The project has been developed by researchers Guillermo Monrós, Vicente Esteve and Mario Llusa with the collaboration of Arnau Monrós and Sara Cerro from the Department of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry of Castellón’s public university.last_img read more

CityU scientist receives grant for new way to cultivate 10 distinct probiotic

first_imgThere are well-developed and low-cost bio-degradable materials such as cellulose [abundant plant-based material] hydrogels, which are ideal candidates for immobilizing gut bacteria. However, these materials need novel modification strategies so that they can be integrated into the free cell fermenters to simulate the human gut environment in the fermenters”.Dr Srinivas Mettu, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Melbourne Related StoriesOlympus launches next-generation X Line objectives for clinical, research applicationsTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchDr Greg Martin, who is the other investigator in the team and a chemical engineer with bioprocessing expertise in the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Melbourne, said, “Creating an artificial environment to grow complex mixtures of gut bacteria is a significant engineering challenge. The use of immobilization materials will enable different species to grow rapidly under their own optimal conditions in a low-cost, scalable reactor”.Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 1,420 projects in more than 65 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times per year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million. Source:City University of Hong Kong Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 20 2019An environmental scientist at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has been awarded US$100,000 by Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE), an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the foundation), for a novel way to cultivate 10 distinct probiotic bacteria simultaneously.Dr Carol Lin Sze-ki, Associate Professor in CityU’s School of Energy and Environment (SEE), an expert on microbial fermentation and bioprocessing, will lead the project in collaboration with Dr Srinivas Mettu from the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Melbourne, with expertise in soft surfaces and hydrogels.GCE supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Dr Lin and Dr Mettu’s bold idea is one of 56 GCE Round 22 grants announced by the foundation from approximately 1,700 proposals submitted in the round (i.e. an overall successful rate of 3.3%).The grant will be used to develop a specially designed bioreactor that can accommodate a huge variation in the microbial environment. Mimicking the human gut, the microbial environment enables the growth of multiple strains of probiotic bacteria. The bioreactor can help to manufacture low-cost gut microbial biotherapeutics with a target cost of USD$0.1 per dose consisting of 1 billion bacteria.Gut microbiota is a community of microorganisms that lives in the digestive tracts of humans. The reduced diversity of gut microbiota affects health. Fermenting individual commercial probiotic bacteria is common in the market, but the complex microbial diversity existing in the human gut cannot be restored using a single strain of probiotic bacteria. However, live biotherapeutic products containing multiple strains of probiotic bacteria can perform this function.”To produce low-cost gut microbial biotherapeutics is very challenging,” said Dr Lin, adding that gut microbiota across the digestive tract contains a massive amount of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that requires various growth conditions such as different nutrients, gas composition and pH values. As such, these gut microbes are currently cultivated individually and then mixed together to form a biotherapeutic product, which is a complex and costly process.However, in the research, titled “Novel Bio-Degradable Radial Gradient in-situ-FiBrous-Bed Reactor”, the team will develop such a bioreactor using the intelligent design of immobilization materials, i.e. the cellulose hydrogel to cultivate the bacteria, with varying degrees of spatial structuring and gradients.last_img read more

Snap Inc launches accelerator program to invest in media startups

first_img For the first cohort of the program, which starts in September and goes for three months, the company is seeking start-ups that “have a vision for what mobile storytelling can be.”In exchange for an undisclosed amount of equity, those who make the cut will receive the $150,000 investment, as well as office space in Los Angeles’ Venice neighborhood, where Snap is based; mentorship; access to Snap-facilitated networking events; and the opportunity to distribute their content on Snap’s platform, Snapchat.Snap will accept 10 applicants in its first cohort, a company representative said. That would suggest an initial upfront investment of $1.5 million. The representative would not specify exactly how big an equity stake Snap would take from each start-up, but said that the size would be in line with Y-Combinator’s figures.Y-Combinator, Silicon Valley’s most famous tech incubator, invests $120,000 for a 7 percent equity stake and has helped launch companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox and Twitch.Tech incubators have long existed to provide funding and support for up-and-coming start-ups in exchange for an equity stake. But a growing number of established firms have in recent years launched their own incubators to help build companies that could eventually benefit their own businesses.Coca-Cola, Oracle and Microsoft are among the companies that have their own start-up accelerator programs.Applications for the first cohort of Snap’s accelerator program close July 8. Citation: Snap Inc. launches accelerator program to invest in media start-ups (2018, May 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Snap Inc. will dole out $150,000 investments to various media start-ups this fall as part of an accelerator program it announced Wednesday called Yellow. ©2018 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Explore further Snap, NBCUniversal form original content venturelast_img read more

This EagleNosed ShovelChinned Dinosaur May Be the Weirdest Thing You See Today

first_img Photos: Spiky-Headed Dinosaur Found in Utah, But It Has Asian Roots Decades earlier, other scientists who examined the dinosaur’s skull thought that the nasal crest resembled that of another hadrosaurid, Gryposaurus. But despite the superficial similarities, Aquilarhinus proved to be a more primitive hadrosaurid than Gryposaurus, taking up a position at the very base of the group’s family tree. This hinted that the diverse shapes of hadrosaurid cranial crests all stemmed from a structure that began as a simple arched nose, Prieto-Márquez said. Aquilarhinus, aka eagle-nose shovel-chin, also provides a missing puzzle piece concerning where hadrosaurids may have originated. These dinosaurs were common across Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Antarctica during the latter part of the Cretaceous period (145.5 million to 65 million years ago), and the appearance of this primitive specimen supports an increasingly popular hypothesis that hadrosaurids first appeared in the southern part of North America, the study authors said. The findings were published online July 12 in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. That ridged, scooping chin likely came in handy millions of years ago; what is now a dry and rocky landscape in Texas was back then a coastal swamp or marsh. Aquilarhinus probably used its peculiar jaws to scoop vegetation from the bottom of a muddy creek bed, the researchers wrote. However, it’s less clear what the dinosaur’s prominent nasal crest was for, though it may have been used as a display to help the dinosaurs recognize members of their own kind and compete for mates, Prieto-Márquez said. “The crest of Aquilarhinus is simpler in structure than that of most other hadrosaurids, except members of kritosaurini (a subgroup of hadrosaurids),” he explained. “In both Aquilarhinus and kritosaurins for which the crest is known, this is just a fold of the nasal bone, giving them a Roman nose appearance.” Like other hadrosaurs, or duck-billed dinosaurs, Aquilarhinus had a bony crest on its skull. However, this dino had unique, shovel-like jaws. Credit: ICRA Art Originally published on Live Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoLivestlyThese Dog Breeds Do Not Make Good PetsLivestlyUndoScience10140 Photos That Will Help You Understand Weird Dog And Cat BehaviorsScience101Undo A newfound duck-billed dinosaur species that lived about 80 million years ago had a face so bizarre that scientists named the animal “eagle-nose shovel-chin.” Its jaws resembled a pair of gardening tools, with wavy ridges along the edges in a “W” shape. An arching crest in the middle of its face was curved like the majestic beak of an eagle, giving the dinosaur’s profile the appearance of a prominent, humped nose. Scientists found the unusual fossil skull and a partial skeleton of the animal in the 1980s in Big Bend National Park, a site in southwestern Texas, though the specimen was not analyzed in detail until recently. The duck-billed weirdo shared some features in common with other duck-billed and crested dinosaurs, the group Saurolophidae, but it was more primitive, offering intriguing new clues about how the group’s trademark crests evolved, scientists reported in a new study. [Image Gallery: 25 Amazing Ancient Beasts]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  Some dinosaurs’ scientific names invoke a sense of drama: Think of Tyrannosaurus rex (“tyrant lizard king”) or Velociraptor (“swift thief”). In this case, the researchers couldn’t resist calling out the dinosaur’s bizarre face. The genus name “Aquilarhinus” combines the Latin word “aquila,” for “eagle,” and the Greek word “rhinos,” which means “nose.” The species name “palimentus” comes from the Latin words for “shovel” and “chin,” according to the study. All known dinosaurs in this group (also called hadrosaurids) have beak-like jaws that expand at the end into a scoop shape, “hence the nickname ‘duck-billed’ dinosaurs,” said lead study author Albert Prieto-Márquez, a researcher with the Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont in Barcelona, Spain. “However, they differ from Aquilarhinus in that this ‘scoop’ is all concave. In contrast, in Aquilarhinus, there was a rise, a convex relief at the center of the ‘scoop,'” Prieto-Márquez told Live Science in an email. Photos: School-Bus-Size Dinosaur Discovered in Egypt The lower jaw and teeth of Aquilarhinus, showing the unusual upturned end of the mandible. Credit: Photo by Albert Prieto- Marquez; material housed at the Texas Vertebrate Paleontology Collections at The University of Texas at Austin. Photos: Duck-Billed Dinosaurs Found in Alaskalast_img read more

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The meeting lauded

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