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Forecaster says spring temperatures to be delayed in much of Canada

first_imgSpring will arrive a little late and showcase rather volatile weather this year, one of Canada’s most high-profile forecasters predicted Monday.In its spring outlook, the Weather Network said temperatures across much of the country will skew colder through March and early April before eventually warming up toward the end of the season.“Spring tends to be a season where we get a lot of volatility, a lot of ups and downs with our weather, because after all, we’re going from winter to summer,” said Chief Meteorologist Chris Scott. “It’s not a straight line. There’s always a bit of a bumpy road to get there.”This year’s season will see more swings in weather than usual, he said.British Columbia in particular will have a cooler spring than usual, Scott said.“We won’t see that kind of early bursting of spring that we sometimes get through the south of B.C.,” he said.The Prairies will also have to contend with temperatures lower than they’re used to for March and early April, but that, in combination with minimal snowpack, reduces the risk of flooding during the eventual thaw, Scott said.Moving east to Ontario and Quebec, Scott said that while temperatures rose in February, they’re expected to swing back down over the coming weeks.“We think that winter has at least one more show to come, maybe even two,” he said. “March looks to be an even stormier month than we often see.”Whether those storms come in the form of snow, ice or rain depends entirely on the day, Scott said.“We can’t pin down those details until we get within a week of a given storm system,” he added.Atlantic Canada has had a relatively mild winter thus far — but that could change, Scott said.“We’ve hardly seen any snow this winter in St. John’s. It’s been a very tame winter this year by Newfoundlanders’ standards,” he said. “This is not over, though. We expect likely the biggest snowstorms yet to come in March and even into April in parts of the region.”He said Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, too, can expect nor’easters.But in spite of the “bumpy road,” Scott said Canadians shouldn’t give up the hope of warm temperatures.“We will get there eventually,” he said. “Everyone will get their spring weather.”last_img read more

Stepmother of Quebec girl who died in April now faces seconddegree murder

first_imgGRANBY, Que. — The stepmother of a seven-year-old Quebec girl who died under troubling circumstances now faces a charge of second-degree murder.The charge was laid today against the woman on her 36th birthday, while an additional charge of criminal negligence causing death was laid against her co-accused, the girl’s father.The woman had previously been charged with unlawful confinement and aggravated assault.The couple were arrested after police found the girl in critical condition in her family home in Granby, about 80 kilometres east of Montreal. In the hours following their initial court appearance on April 30, the girl died in hospital.The father, 30, was denied bail on June 10. He was already facing three charges: unlawful confinement, failing to provide the necessities of life and child abandonment.The entrance of the courthouse in Granby, Que., was adorned with stuffed animals today in memory of the young victim, whose death has sparked several probes about the state of youth protection services in the province.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

IBM computer proves formidable against 2 human debaters

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – An argumentative computer proved formidable against two human debaters as IBM gave its first public demonstration of new artificial intelligence technology it’s been working on for more than five years.The new skills show that computers are getting better at mastering human language and speech.The computer made its case for government-subsidized space research by pulling in evidence from its huge internal repository of newspapers, journals and other sources. After delivering opening arguments, the computer listened to a professional human debater’s counter-argument and spent four minutes rebutting it.The company unveiled its Project Debater in San Francisco on Monday. IBM selected possible topics based on whether they were debatable, but neither the computer nor the human debaters knew the topic in advance. Nonetheless, the computer championed the topic fiercely with just a few awkward gaps in reasoning.“Subsidizing space exploration is like investing in really good tires,” argued the computer system, its female voice embodied in a 5-foot-tall machine shaped like a monolith with TV screens on its sides. Such research would enrich the human mind, inspire young people and be a “very sound investment,” it said, making it more important even than good roads, schools or health care.After closing arguments it moved on to a second debate about telemedicine.An IBM research team based in Israel began working on the project not long after IBM’s Watson computer beat two human quizmasters on a “Jeopardy” challenge in 2011.But rather than just scanning a giant trove of data in search of factoids, IBM’s latest project taps into several more complex branches of AI. Search engine algorithms used by Google and Microsoft’s Bing use similar technology to digest and summarize written content and compose new paragraphs. Voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa rely on listening comprehension to answer questions posed by people. Google recently demonstrated an eerily human-like voice assistant that can call hair salons or restaurants to make appointments.But IBM says it’s breaking new ground by creating a system that tackles deeper human practices of rhetoric and analysis, and how they’re used to discuss big questions whose answers aren’t always clear.“If you think of the rules of debate, they’re far more open-ended than the rules of a board game,” said Ranit Aharonov, who manages the debater project.IBM doesn’t try to declare a winner of the debates, but Noa Ovadia, one of the human debaters, said the computer was a formidable opponent even if it made a few too many blanket statements about space exploration being the pinnacle of human achievement.Ovadia, a national debate champion in Israel, said she was impressed by its fluency in language and ability to construct sentences. She said the computer was able to “get to the bottom line of my arguments” and respond to them.Among several outside experts IBM invited to attend Project Debater’s debut was Chris Reed, who directs the Centre for Argument Technology at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Reed said he was impressed by its grasp of “procatalepsis” — a rhetorical technique that involves anticipating an opponent’s argument and preemptively rebutting it.As expected, the machine tends to be better than humans at bringing in numbers and other detailed supporting evidence. It’s also able to latch onto the most salient and attention-getting elements of an argument, and can even deliver some self-referential jokes about being a computer.But it lacks tact, researchers said. Sometimes the jokes don’t come out right. And on Monday, some of the sources it cited — such as a German official and an Arab sheikh — didn’t seem particularly germane.“Humans tend to be better at using more expressive language, more original language,” said Dario Gil, IBM’s vice-president of AI research. “They bring in their own personal experience as a way to illustrate the point. The machine doesn’t live in the real world or have a life that it’s able to tap into.”There are no immediate plans to turn Project Debater into a commercial product, but Gil said it could be useful in the future in helping lawyers or other human workers make informed decisions.last_img read more

Morocco, US discuss ways to boost cooperation in field of energy

first_imgRabat – Minister of Energy, Mines, Water and the Environment, Abdelkader Amara, held talks Monday in Rabat, with Ambassador of the United States of America in Morocco, Dwight L. Bush Sr., on ways to promote cooperation in the field of energy, including renewable energy.This meeting was an opportunity to discuss several topics including energy and ways to further promote the Moroccan-American cooperation in the energy field as well as the Free Trade agreement, Amara told the press.The two officials also discussed means to expand the prospects of this cooperation toward sub-Saharan countries, given the particular interest shown by HM King Mohammed VI and President Barack Obama toward the continent, he added, noting that Africa suffers from a shortage of equipment in terms of electrification and energy in general. In a similar statement, the American diplomat said he was “very happy” to be in Morocco, a “longtime friend,” deeming as “constructive” the talks with the Moroccan Minister.This meeting also discussed “the opportunities to work together,” Bush said, noting that they also focused on the commitment of His Majesty the King to expanding access to energy.last_img read more

Gaz Cylinder Explosion Kills 1, Injures 54 in Central Morocco

Ain Aouda (Skhirat-Témara) – A gas cylinder exploded on Monday inside a shop in the weekly market of Ain Aouda (Skhirat-Témara prefecture), killing one person and injuring 54 others, local authorities said.The victim, a woman, succumbed to her injuries after she was rushed to the hospital, while 54 other people were wounded and had multiple degree burns, said local authorities in the Skhirat-Témara prefecture.The injured were rushed to the Sidi Lahcen hospital in Témara and Rabat Avicenne hospital to receive the necessary health care, they added. read more

Venezuelan MP: Morocco’s Western Sahara Autonomy Plan Is Wise Initiative

Rabat – A Venezuelan MP on a working visit to Morocco has thrown his country’s weight behind Morocco’s Western Sahara position, praising Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for settling the territorial conflict.Francisco Sucre, president of the Venezuelan Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Wednesday in Rabat that the international community should give more credit to Morocco’s efforts in finding a definitive end to the decades-long dispute in Western Sahara.“Morocco’s proposal, local autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, is a welcome and wise initiative,” Sucre said, referring to Morocco’s 2007 plan to solve the Western Sahara territorial dispute. The Autonomy Plan seeks to establish a platform of autonomous local governments under Morocco’s watch.For Morocco, the point is to grant Sahrawi locals full autonomy while making sure that they remain connected to their “historical motherland”: Morocco.Closeness with Juan GuaidoSucre, who is known to support opposition leader Juan Guaido, said that Venezuela will unconditionally support Morocco’s plan once the international community intervenes to end President Maduro’s “illegitimate rule.”Referring to Guaido’s stance on Morocco’s plan for Western Sahara, Sucre said, “This is the position that we will defend in international forums and at the UN once we are fully established in our rightful place in Venezuela, after an end is put to the grip of the current regime.”He showed appreciation for Morocco’s support for Guaido, explaining that Venezuela’s Parliament had designated the 35-year-old as interim president on the grounds of power vacancy.Sucre was roundly dismissive of President Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Maduro, he said, won elections that “were not transparent” and were rife with irregularities, including “mass imprisonment or exile of opposition leaders and an abstention rate that reached 82 percent.”Morocco said it would support Guaido’s work to fulfill the “aspirations” of the Venezuelan people shortly after he announced that Maduro’s rule was illegitimate and declared himself interim president.The international community has since been divided, with the EU-US axis calling for the end of the Maduro regime, and countries like Russia, China, and Turkey dismissing international pressure as “interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.”For Sucre, ousting Maduro will “save Venezuela’s democracy and benefit the world and the region.”Sucre’s comments come as Morocco takes part in the second Geneva roundtable along with other parties in the Western Sahara conflict.The routable started Thursday, March 21, and is scheduled to end Friday. The UN hopes that the two-day event will pave the way for building trust and brokering the necessary compromises to settle the Western Sahara political stalemate.In recent years, Morocco’s increasingly assertive diplomacy has succeeded in securing international support for its position in Western Sahara.In addition to the French and the US governments, a number of African and Latin American countries have lauded the Autonomy Plan. It however remains to be seen whether Rabat’s turn toward South-South cooperation and versatile diplomacy will eventually pay off as it wishes. read more

SM Chandrasena appears before FCID to make a statement

Former Minister S M Chandrasena appeared before the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) today to make a statement.He was asked to appear to give a statement on allegations of financial malpractice.

Speaker defends informing polls commission on Geethas seat

The court ruling was referred to the Secretary General of Parliament by the Speaker, as appropriate. Thereafter, subsequent to consulting the Attorney General as well about the measures to be taken by the Secretary General of Parliament, it was referred to the Elections Commission in the afternoon of the 8th 0f May (08.05.2017) for further action, the Speaker’s office said.The relevant ruling of the Court of Appeal had not been subjected to any reconsideration or stay by any superior court up to that point. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya defended the decision taken by his office to inform the Elections Commission about the Court of Appeal ruling on the Parliament seat of Geetha Kumarasinghe.A statement by the Speaker’s media unit said that certain parties have made statements targeting the Speaker, criticizing the informing of the ruling issued by the Court of Appeal with relevance to the case filed in relation to dual citizenship which disqualified Geetha Kumarasinghe from holding a seat in Parliament, to the Elections Commission. “However, we wish to point out that the relevant matter was informed to the Elections Commission by Parliament after a lapse of three working days while similar rulings had been conveyed to the Commissioner of Elections after a lapse of one working day in certain earlier occasions. Accordingly, we wish to emphasize that no undue urgency or delay was involved in conveying the relevant ruling to the Elections Commission and that the ordinary procedure has been followed in compliance with the Constitution and the elections law,” the statement said.The Speaker’s office said that any claim by any party that informing the Elections Commission about the ruling of  the Court of Appeal regarding Geetha Kumarasinghe’s Parliamentary seat was faulty and that the Speaker has acted on the agenda of the Government, is a total distortion of facts or one made out of ignorance. (Colombo Gazette) “We consider it our responsibility to furnish an explanation as such comments were given publicity by the media as well. When a seat in Parliament falls vacant due to some reason, informing that to the Elections Commission immediately in compliance with the Constitution and the elections law, is a task assigned to the Secretary General of Parliament,” the Speaker’s office said. The ruling regarding Geetha Kumarasinghe’s seat in Parliament was conveyed to the Speaker in the afternoon of the 3rd of May (03.05.2017). read more

Aer Lingus confirms new takeover bid by British Airways parent IAG considers

by Shawn Pogatchnik, The Associated Press Posted Jan 26, 2015 12:28 am MDT FILE – In this Wednesday June 20, 2012 file photo a flock of sheep stand in a field as two Aer Lingus jets taxi and take off at Dublin Airport, Ireland. Aer Lingus announced Monday Jan. 26, 2015 that British Airways parent IAG has made an improved takeover offer of 2.55 euros ($2.85) per share, and the board of the Irish airline says it is considering the proposal. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik, File) Aer Lingus confirms new takeover bid by British Airways parent IAG, considers improved offer AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email DUBLIN – Aer Lingus announced Monday that British Airways parent IAG has made an improved takeover offer of 2.55 euros ($2.85) per share, and the board of the Irish airline says it is considering the proposal.The offer — the third by IAG in the past month — values Aer Lingus at more than 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion). Unlike previous offers, the Aer Lingus board did not reject this offer outright.Instead, Aer Lingus said acceptance of IAG’s all-cash offer would require “irrevocable commitments” from the two biggest shareholders: rival budget carrier Ryanair and the Irish government. Ryanair has a nearly 30-per cent stake, the government 25 per cent.Monday’s published offer is higher than the figure of 2.50 euros per share that airline officials circulated to British and Irish media over the weekend. It includes payment of an extra 5 cent dividend per share.IAG, which was formed in 2009 by a merger between British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, is led by Willie Walsh, the Irishman who was chief executive of Aer Lingus from 2001 to 2005. It long has been considered a logical suitor for Aer Lingus following the failure of three hostile takeover bids by Dublin competitor Ryanair.Walsh opened IAG’s bidding last month with a 2.30 euros-per-share offer, and raised it to 2.40 euros. The move coincided with the imminent departure of Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller, who is taking the same position at troubled Malaysia Airlines.Aer Lingus is most prized for its ownership of 24 landing slots at Heathrow Airport near London, British Airways’ primary base. Those are valued at 400 million euros ($450 million) alone.Aer Lingus also has a profitable, growing trans-Atlantic network to the United States operating from two Irish airports that, uniquely in Europe, allow U.S.-bound passengers to clear American immigration and customs checks on Irish soil. Industry analysts believe IAG could funnel hundreds of thousands of European travellers annually to the United States through Irish airports rather than overcrowded Heathrow.The government is pulling Ireland out of six years of austerity, and the offer would deliver an estimated 335 million euros to reduce debt. But surrendering the remaining state hold on Aer Lingus — an emotional totem of Irish independence, with its emerald green fuselages and shamrock-bedecked tailfins — risks bringing the government into conflict with nationalist opposition leaders and labour unions, which fear cuts to Aer Lingus’ 3,900-strong unionized work force. read more

Canadian Corey Conners wins in Texas earns invitation to Masters

Up until last year, Mike Weir shared a spot in the champions’ locker room at Augusta National with 1957 winner Doug Ford. Ford passed away in May 2018, and now Weir is alone.And up until Sunday night, there wasn’t even another Canadian in the Masters field next week.Enter Corey Conners.Conners, of Listowel, Ont., captured the Valero Texas Open by two shots Sunday for his first PGA Tour win. The victory comes with a plethora of opportunities including a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a US$1.3-million payday, which is the most beneficial career-wise. But the very last Masters invitation is the most thrilling.Ask those closest to Conners and you’ll quickly realize a win on the PGA Tour was an issue of “when” and not “if.”Golf Canada National Team head coach Derek Ingram told Sportsnet he believes Conners is a Jim Furyk/Matt Kuchar-type player who will be a consistent winner on the PGA Tour for more than a decade.“He’s just that consistent, smart, and committed,” said Ingram. “He is getting more and more comfortable on the PGA Tour, and as this continues … watch out. He is going to be in this position more and more.”The 27-year-old Conners wasn’t even in the Texas Open field to start the week.Given his standing on the PGA Tour’s season-long FedEx Cup race last year, he doesn’t have full status for 2019. Conners had to enter an open qualifier on Monday to try and earn one of four final spots.He tied for third in the qualifier and won a 6-for-1 playoff to get into the field. Two of the three other qualifiers missed the cut, and one finished next-to-last.Conners became just the fifth Monday Qualifier ever on the PGA Tour to go on to win a title and the first since 2010. Fellow Canadian Brooke Henderson is one of two Monday Qualifiers on the LPGA Tour to do it.Congratulations to Leafs Nation’s very own @coreconn on winning the Valero Texas Open and punching his ticket to @TheMasters.Let’s get you set up with some more blue & white as you go for the green jacket, Corey! https://t.co/t1DEOr5pvZ— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 7, 2019Despite a torrid start Sunday where Conners make birdies on four of his first five holes, he struggled in the middle of his round making four-straight bogeys. But his routine and demeanour never changed. He made six birdies on the back nine to finish with a 6-under 66.Back at Conners’ home club, the semi-private Listowel Golf Club (Listowel is about two hours northwest of Toronto), the membership didn’t get together in person to watch, but head golf professional Brenden Parsons was at the hub of every text, tweet, and call.“Panic has set it,” he admitted to Sportsnet after Conners made his fourth bogey of the day. That came about 45 minutes after he said four members texted him saying they were all starting to “freak out,” with Air Canada on the other line, destination Augusta, Ga.But when Parsons realized the win was official, he was crying tears of joy and said there were roars coming from Conners’s hometown.Conners worked in the pro shop in Listowel for a few years and even moonlighted one afternoon – in full PGA Tour-gear – when his sister was off sick. He remains a popular figure in town, at the golf course, and across Canada.Everyone at the club, according to Parsons, raves about his ball striking (and with reason, he’s fourth on the PGA Tour in Greens in Regulation percentage this year). His putting is the lone part of the game Conners struggles with — ranking 201st in Total Putting in 2019 – but this week he was clutch on the greens.“If he putts well, he will have a great chance to win and this week he has made some great putts,” said Ingram, who said it’s “just a matter of time” before Conners is a household name.Former world No. 1, Justin Thomas, has already recognized Conners’ mettle. He dubbed Conners a “quiet assassin” on Twitter late last year.“Love his tempo and demeanour,” said Thomas.The tempo never wavered for Conners Sunday, although the score fluctuated and the victory became less and less certain.Parsons said one member mentioned voodoo charms being cast onto their television. There was talk of sacrificing a chicken. Conners’ caddie, Kyle Peters, was on the hunt for a hot dog at the turn (he ate them before and after every round this week so figured there might be some good-luck there).Nothing was necessary.Conners’ wife Malory (they got married last October and she follows him to every tournament) became a bit of celebrity during the final round with her every enthusiastic reaction recorded by television cameras.Malory was there to embrace Conners on the 72nd green. Conners’ friend and fellow professional Taylor Pendrith was driving to a mini-tour event but pulled into a bar to watch the final round unfold. Fellow Canadian PGA Tour winners Nick Taylor and Mackenzie Hughes were on the 72nd green in Texas, beers in hand – like good Canadian boys.They were all there to see Conners answer the question of when he would win on the PGA Tour with an emphatic, “now.”Weir will have company next week at the Masters. And maybe, one day, some company in the champions locker room too. read more

Shoplifter caught on Google Street View after IT worker browsing online spots

first_imgShe was pictured by the camera, which had been taking shots in the street, emerging from the store with her haul in a Sports Direct carrier bag.McIvor is shown running away as a member of staff gave chase. Store bosses were unable to identify McIvor, who has a string of previous convictions, from the stills.But, while her face had been blurred out by Google, Cleveland Police identified McIvor from her distinctive white outfit, which she was wearing when she was arrested. The series of pictures show McIvor running away as a member of staff gave chase from the discount storeCredit:Google Street View In 2013, she was jailed after burgling two properties in one night, took drugs into prison and used someone else’s name to get out of trouble.The judge at the time told McIvor she should keep away from the “undesirable influences” that led her into drugs and crime.But, with her long criminal record, he said he had no alternative to jailing her for her crime spree. A court heard how McIvor, then 26, had been a heroin addict from the age of 16.After the case, a friend of McIvor, said: “She’s harmless but she gets into trouble for shoplifting quite a bit.”A lot of the shops in Middlesbrough and Stockton already know her and look out for her, but she’s never been caught like this before. “Google’s camera-equipped cars, designed to build up an efficient map of the world’s urban and rural areas, allow 360-degree pictures to be taken and searched by anyone around the world. It has been blurring out the faces of people captured on camera to protect their identity since 2008.Mr Darby, of Leyland, Lancashire, added: “It is unbelievable technology and I’ve found a lot of funny things on there, but this is up there with the best.”It was like an action scene from a cop show. I followed it right along the street but obviously couldn’t tell whether she got away or not. “It was bad luck on her part to be running away just as the Google camera was passing.” A shoplifter has been prosecuted for stealing £60 of washing-up goods – after she was caught fleeing a store on Google Street View.Tammy McIvor thought she had got away with the theft from a branch of Savers, the discount chain, in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire.But she was caught in the act when an IT worker stumbled across images online of the 30-year-old making her escape with the shoplifted items. A third image clearly shows the store member running after Tammy McIvor, far leftCredit:Google Street View Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The series of pictures show McIvor running away as a member of staff gave chase from the discount storecenter_img A third image clearly shows the store member running after Tammy McIvor Tammy McIvor has previously been told by a judge to keep away from the 'undesirable influences' that led her into drugs and crime It is unbelievable technology and I’ve found a lot of funny things on there, but this is up there with the bestPeter Darby, IT worker who spotted theft on Street View Peter Darby, an IT worker, stumbled across the images of McIvor fleeing the store while he killing time online.The 34-year-old said: “I’m an ex-Teesside University student so I thought I would see my old stomping ground, and as soon as I spotted it I thought ‘that seemed a bit strange’.“I moved further down the street and you could see a bloke pursuing her. By the end she was going full speed.”You could tell as soon as you looked at the pictures that something was up as she came out of there very angrily.“She was running around with the Sports Direct bag and it was obvious she was up to no good.” Tammy McIvor has previously been told by a judge to keep away from the ‘undesirable influences’ that led her into drugs and crimeCredit:Facebook The images were filmed as McIvor, who has a string of previous convictions, targeted the store at around 2.45pm on June 19.She appeared before Teesside magistrates, where she was handed a year-long community order, which has a drug rehabilitation requirement, after pleading guilty to theft.The court heard McIvor, of Middlesbrough, has a long history of offending and drug abuse. last_img read more

British tourist in Egypt painkillers trial sobs after mistake confession

first_imgShe replied “yes” and the judge then instructed the session clerk to record that she “confessed”.But when the defence translator later explained the question, she denied she was guilty.“She meant that she is admitting that she had the Tramadol, but not admitting of being guilty. The judge jumped to the conclusion that she confesses before clarifying that she understood the question and this is worrying,” Dia al-Bassal, Ms Plummer’s lawyer told the Telegraph. She meant that she is admitting that she had the Tramadol, but not admitting being guiltyDia al-Bassal Laura Plummer pictured with her sisters Rachel Plummer and Jayne Synclair Lawyers for a British tourist held in Egypt accused of smuggling painkillers will write to her trial judge appealing to correct her plea, after she misunderstood questions and admitted importing the drugs.Laura Plummer sobbed in an Egyption courtroom when she realised what had happened and tried to correct her plea on the first day of her trial in the Red Sea town of Safaga.The 33-year-old shop worker from Hull was arrested at Hurghada airport after she was found to be carrying 290 tramadol tablets in her suitcase.She has insisted the tablets were for her Egyptian partner Omar Abdel Aziz, known as “Caboo”, 31, who suffers from chronic back pain. She said she was unaware the drug, which is legal in the UK, was banned in Egypt.Standing before the judge in court, Ms Plummer was asked: “You are accused of smuggling and possessing Tramadol to Egypt?” Laura Plummer pictured with her sisters Rachel Plummer and Jayne SynclairCredit: Facebook Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “You can imagine the pressure – this is her life.”Ms Plummer is being kept in a 15ft-by-15ft cell with three other women in Hurghada’s Police station.There is no women’s prison in the Red Sea governorate, so those awaiting trail are locked in a police cells.In a visit to her cell before the trial, the Telegraph was told Ms Plummer has been locked up around the clock and has been sleeping on the floor without a bed.“She is well-treated by the authorities in Egypt to the extent that she receives distinguished treatment comparing to Egyptian citizens,”“I didn’t know that she will bring it, I will not send my wife to prison in my country,” Mr Abdel Aziz told the Telegraph.Ms Plummer met Mr Abdel Aziz in 2014 in Sharm El Sheikh when he was working as a hotel lifeguard.The couple had what is known as an Urfi marriage, which is a customary marriage contract that requires witnesses but is not legally recognised by the state. Ms Plummer has since visited him two or three time a year. Her last visit was scheduled to last for two weeks according to Mr Abdel Aziz. Her legal team will enter a written submission from her explaining she had not admitted guilt, but had meant to say she carried the drug without knowing it was illegal and with no intention of selling it.“Don’t be afraid [when speaking to the judge] be brave. Pray and I will pray for you,” Mr Bassal told Laura during the break.“It’s not fair,” Laura told her lawyer.The case was adjourned until Tuesday when her lawyers are expected to begin her defence and submit documents showing Omar Abdel Azim and his mother are being treated for illnesses that need Tramadol.Mr Bassal said: “In order for the drug crime elements to be complete, two conditions must be met. First advance knowledge that the substance is forbidden in the country of destination, and second it was brought for trading,” Mr Bassal told the Telegraph after the session.“Both conditions are not available in Laura’s case. The British Foreign Office has updated its travel instructions after Laura’s case. The new instructions included Tramadol in the drug list and mentioned Laura’s case by name.”Ms Plummer’s sister, Rachel, said her sister was visibly nervous, upset and sleep deprived.She said: “She’s answered some questions wrong because she’s not understanding them, she obviously can’t think straight. Ms Plummer broke down in tears during the session as her lawyers told her she should not have answered yes to the judge.last_img read more

Man arrested after taxi driver hijacking in Cork

first_imgA MAN HAS been arrested following an assault of a taxi driver and the hijacking of his car at Lower Killeens Blarney Cork.The incident occurred at in the early hours of this morning at 1.30am when a taxi driver, a man in his early 70s, picked up two men at Dillons Cross.AssaultedWhile heading in the direction of Cork City the driver was threatened and then assaulted.The offenders removed the driver from the vehicle at a service station on the Carrigohane Straight and drove off in the car.They subsequently crashed at Lower Killeens a short time later. One man was arrested at the scene, while the other fled the scene on foot. The man believed to be in his early 30s is currently detained at Gurranbraher Garda Station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.The taxi driver was taken to hospital with a facial injury and released a short time later.Read: Appeal for witnesses after woman in her 80s seriously hurt in car crash>Read: Man killed, 9-year-old boy injured in Galway single-car crash>last_img read more

Field Stream Cover Brings In a New Audience

first_imgLike a lot of covers Field & Stream has put out over the last 119 years, the May issue of the magazine shows a camo-clad hunter, bow in hand, looking ready to prowl off into the wilderness.It’s a departure from the norm though—for the first time since 1974, and only the second time in the magazine’s history, that hunter is a woman.The appearance of Eva Shockey, a hunting community celebrity and costar of an Outdoor Network TV show, generated a lot of buzz for Field & Stream, so we talked to Anthony Licata, editorial director of Bonnier’s Men’s Group, about the decision to run with it and how they’ve been able to turn that into lasting gains for the title. —FOLIO: Take me through the discussions in your initial editorial meetings when you were considering putting Eva on the cover.Anthony Licata: The theme of the issue is ‘What’s Next?’ so the cover package is looking at what the latest trends are in hunting and fishing with an eye toward the future-what’s changing, what are we going to be talking about in the next five years. One of those trends is the growth of women hunters, fishers and shooters. The ranks of female hunters have grown by 10 percent from 2008 to 2012 and it’s a growing segment of our audience.FOLIO: Has that growth translated into a demographic shift for you? What are the magazine’s demographics and how did that play into the decision?Licata: The vast majority of Field & Stream’s readers are men [print readership is 84 percent male, according to GfkMRI numbers from Fall 2013 later provided by Licata], however, we’ve seen a growth there in print and an even bigger growth online. Over the last 12 months, FieldandStream.com has grown its audience by double digits, with the percentage of female unique visitors growing by 39 percent, whereas male users are growing by 22 percent.Anecdotally, even if a subscriber is a man, a lot of times his wife reads the magazine and we get a fair amount of interaction from female readers through letters to the editor and traditional methods, and also through social media and online.FOLIO: Were you looking to reach that new, growing female audience with this cover?Licata: Absolutely. Our circulation is 1.25 million and is predominately a subscription-based business. That’s what we depend on for consumer marketing. The newsstand is important, but not as important [as subscriptions]. But something we factor in with the newsstand is a desire to reach that audience that maybe isn’t fully committed, isn’t a subscriber, might be new to the sport. We felt by putting a woman on the cover, we’d have a chance to reach out to some of those women outdoorsmen.What we didn’t do was make a big statement and big splash and put a woman on the cover just for the sake of putting a woman on the cover. This was part of a larger story looking at current trends and where the sports are going. It fits. Not only would it possibly attract new people, but it’s core to what our readers are seeing.FOLIO: Once you realized it was gaining steam on social and traditional media did you promote the issue any differently?Licata: Eva Shockey has a television show, a good social media presence, she has her fans, so we worked closely with her and her team to promote it social and get it in front of a new audience.It’s not something we do very often. Most of our covers are animals or locations or gear and when we do feature a person, that person usually stands for an idea and they’re not necessarily a celebrity.It was a big success on social media though. We had hundreds of shares and thousands of likes and got an additional 10,000 Facebook followers for the brand since it came out. And on Twitter there’s been a social campaign to take a selfie holding the cover.last_img read more

2018 GRAMMYs Meet 15 FirstTime Nominees

Alaska Federation of Natives keeping close eye on White House

first_imgAlaska Federation of Natives President Julie Kitka (Alaska Federation of Natives)The Alaska Federation of Natives is keeping a close eye on the new administration of President Donald Trump. The Native organization’s board is developing ways to negotiate with the current government in Washington, participate in decision making, and advance Alaska Native priorities.Listen nowFollowing President Trump’s first 100 days, AFN President Julie Kitka is hopeful Alaska can create a seat at the federal table. For example, Kita sees an opportunity in a new task force, chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, focusing on rural America.“And clearly Alaska and most of the bush falls under rural America,” Kitka said. “So we’re going to see whether or not there’s opportunity to get some of our issues on the agenda with that task force.”Kitka’s also advocating for current bills that would allot land to Alaska Native veterans.While some people are nervous about the change in command, Kitka is taking it in stride. She’s worked for AFN for more than 20 years, first as a lobbyist, and then as President.  She has seen U.S. presidents and majority parties turn over multiple times. It’s politics. And each change requires a different strategy for promoting Alaska Native priorities.“If you think about what you read about this administration, they don’t like the terminology climate change,” Kitka said. “I think all our communications going forward should be on extreme weather.”Kitka was referring to how President Trump revoked an executive order passed by President Obama to create a Northern Bering Sea Resilience area with a tribal advisory committee. The Bering Sea Elders Group had worked for the order, and Alaska’s Congressional delegation supported Trump’s action to revoke it. For Kitka, the reversal is nothing new.“We’re talking about how can people regroup, sit down and talk with our Congressional delegation, the governor, and see where we go from there,” Kitka said.Kitka said it’s time to address the issue from another angle. Instead of approaching it from a natural resources and the environmental standpoint, they could try national security.“Whether or not you’re talking about shipping traffic, the opening of the ice, there’s a lot of national security interests,” Kitka said.Kitka said the AFN board will be meeting with Cabinet members traveling to Alaska to engage and educate them about Alaska Natives issues. First up is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who’s traveling to Fairbanks this week to meet with representatives from other Arctic nations.AFN members will also be traveling to D.C. to meet with members of the administration and with Alaska’s Congressional delegation. They’ll lay out federal priorities and budget requests.Closer to home, Kitka said AFN is urging the Alaska Legislature to pass a responsible fiscal plan.“Because it’s our assessment that, if they don’t take action this year, it’ll be very hard to take action next year, because it’s an election year and so many people are up for election,” Kitka said.Kitka was in Bethel last week for the AFN board’s quarterly spring meeting. Each board member received a Naloxone kit and a five-minute training session on how to use it. The kit holds a nasal spray that can reverse opioid overdoses. The members have taken the kits home to work with their communities on how to use this new tool as the state looks for ways to counter an opioid abuse epidemic.Kitka also gave a preview of next fall’s annual AFN Convention. On the agenda are solutions to mitigate sexual assault, advance emergency preparedness and merge declining federal and state resources to improve the Office of Children Services and the lives of children across Alaska.last_img read more

India vs Pakistan After crushing Pakistan Virat Kohli identifies big reason behind

first_imgThe only moment which went in favour of Pakistan was the flip of the coin – Sarfaraz Ahmed won it, asked India to bat first and then things went south for him and his side. Barring Mohammad Amir, no other bowler was able to exert any control on the match as India galloped away to 337.And then when they chased, they were troubled by the Indian seamers up front, stagnated in the middle phase and were then tied in knots against the spinners. By the time rain intervened, they had lost five wickets and it was then always going to be an uphill task. India were clinical as they wrapped up the match by 87 runs and captain Virat Kohli said that they always approached this game professionally and this bore fruits.’We need to be professional’ Virat KohliGetty images”I think they outplayed us in the Champions Trophy final, but apart from that, we have played good cricket against them. If you focus on this game with too much emotion, things can go haywire. We never approach these games from the fans’ atmosphere, but as cricketers, we need to be professional and understand what needs to be done on the field,” Kohli said after the match.Kohli also conceded that he too would have bowled first as the pitch had assistance for the bowlers under cloudy skies. He also spoke about the template which has been set and praised the responsibility shown by his players.”The template has been really nice in the first three games till now – Rohit single-handedly winning us the first game, a team effort in the second and today was Rohit’s day again. You could say that to get to 330, you need a team effort, KL set a great foundation with Rohit and Rohit after getting to 70-75 is unstoppable and he showed again why he’s such a good ODI player,” he added. Kuldeep Yadav was brilliantGetty ImagesHe praised the platform set by Rohit and Rahul which allowed him to play his own game and also enabled Hardik Pandya to come in later and inject momentum into the innings.Indian spinners were brilliant and Kuldeep Yadav bowled the spell of the match, which proved to be too good for the Pakistan batsmen and Kohli put it down to the fact that his spinner was allowed to bowl an extended spell.”They were thinking that he would go out of the attack sooner rather than later. That ball to dismiss Babar was just outstanding with the drift, the turn and just beating the batsman batting so well. This is the best he has been bowling since coming to England and him confident with Chahal is going to be an important factor for us in the tournament,” the skipper added.last_img read more

Happy Birthday Companions Alex Kingston John Barrowman

first_imgHappy birthday to two of the most considerable companions in the Whoniverse: Alex Kingston and John Barrowman.Professor River Song and Captain Jack Harkness go to-to-toe with the Doctor (in his various manifestations), bringing heart, sass, and a bit of romance to the TARDIS.A dashing Time Agent and con man from the 51st century, Captain Jack (one of his many aliases) meets the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler above a blazing London.(I remember, upon seeing him in the season one episode “Bad Wolf,” declaring that if I’d known the blue-eyed Scottish-American actor were joining the team, I would have started watching Doctor Who years earlier.)As a consequence of his death and resurrection in the show’s 2005 finale, the flirtatious action hero becomes immortal, is abandoned in the future, and gets stranded in the past—when he joins Torchwood, a British organization dedicated to combating alien threats (and the name of the spin-off Barrowman led for five years).The first openly non-heterosexual character in the history of televised Doctor Who, Jack eventually reunites with the Tenth Doctor, hinting that he may one day evolve into the 5-billion-year-old Face of Boe.Since becoming mortal again in the fourth season of Torchwood, the possibility Jack is destined to grow into the massive wrinkled, disembodied head is merely a “conjecture,” according to former writer and showrunner Russell T Davies. (But Barrowman still believes, and so can you.)Barrowman rose to international fame with his portrayal of Captain Jack. But Kingston was already a bonafide star when she joined Team TARDIS.Best known for her role as Dr. Elizabeth Corday on NBC medical drama ER, the curly haired Brit debuted as River Song in the two-part story “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead.”A mysterious time-traveling archaeologist, River’s adventures with the Doctor occur out of sync; their first meeting (from the audience’s perspective) is his first and her last.Born Melody Pond, she is the daughter of Amy Pond and Rory Williams, and “sort of the Doctor’s wife.” But regenerating River, who has taken on various faces, almost didn’t assume the form of Kingston. In fact, when the BBC cast the role, the production team sought Kate Winslet, who appeared very early in her career in Davies’ teen drama Dark Season.Luckily for Kingston, what she expected to be a one-off gig turned into a 15-episode arc between 2010 and 2015, when she last appeared in Christmas special “The Husbands of River Song” alongside Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi.While their Who characters never crossed paths, the actors both appear in The CW’s Arrow action crime series, based on DC Comics’ Green Arrow.Series regular Barrowman stars as antagonist Malcolm Merlyn, while Kingston occasionally steps into the role of Professor Dinah Lance, mother of Laurel and Sara Lance.(Don’t expect a cameo by The Doctor, though: Tenth incarnation David Tennant slayed (literally) as Kilgrave in Netflix’s original Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in Jessica Jones.)Raise a glass to 54-year-old River Song Alex Kingston (what anti-aging cream does she use?) and 50-year-old Jack Harkness John Barrowman (what anti-aging cream does he use?)—without whom Doctor Who would be much less sexy.View as: One Page Slides1. Aimee Steinberger2. Max Kennedy3. Alice X. Zhang4. Jesse H. Bechtold5. Paul J Hanley6. Listheweasel7. Koroa8. Tami Wicinaslast_img read more

How to Build a Tech Company That Works for Franchisers

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Naranga is a growing technology company headquartered in Atlanta, which was founded less than four years ago by Tariq Farid, the founder of Edible ArrangementsI interviewed Naranga CEO Mark Montini to get to the bottom of what makes the company tick. We had a lot in common, starting with the belief of growing a thriving community of franchise brands by offering world-class consulting and resources.Related: Our Top 10 Franchises You Can BuyMontini started with their vision statement, which is “Simply Succeed,” with the primary focus on making their clients more efficient and profitable. He then pointed out their four-prong focus:Align value with price. Naranga is committed to the success of the franchisor clients and their corresponding franchise communities. A big part of this is making sure that the customers always feel that they are getting a great value from Naranga at whatever level they are paying for.Make it easy for emerging franchisors. I found this to be one of the critical differentiators for Naranga. The company was founded by a franchisor and therefore could empathize with newer franchisors. I have seen many technology companies that don’t get the lifecycle of franchise organizations and don’t offer suitable options for emerging brands. Naranga gets it and knows that a long-term relationship with a franchisor is well worth being flexible in the early days, which builds trust and loyalty.Modernize technology. Montini pointed out that they are committed to staying in front of the technology curve for the benefit of their client organizations. For instance, they say “mobile first, not mobile friendly.” Franchise owner experience. Naranga also understands that it is imperative to focus on the franchise owner experience to make sure that their platform is facilitating growth and efficiencies for the actual operators that are in the field every day.It’s simple: Franchise owners come first. I coach my clients in this way on a daily basis. Technology is one of the five departments of every franchise organization and needs to be a primary focus. As a franchisor, you will want to implement the most efficient technologies so your franchise owners can thrive as well as streamlining your communication, support and training systems. Related: 5 Low-Cost Franchises You Can Start for as Little as $4,000Always make sure that you do your homework to make sure that you are choosing the best solutions at the right time. You may want to get your owner’s advisory committee involved with the implementation or roll out of new platforms to streamline the process. The marketplace is more competitive than ever before and the franchisors that optimize technology will have the upper hand. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now September 8, 2017 Enroll Now for Free 3 min readlast_img read more

Disney plans Cruises into NYC Seattle Texas

first_imgDisney Cruise Line has added three new ports to its 2012 itinerary, setting sail into New York, Seattle and Galveston in Texas for the first time ever.The additions are part of the family cruise line’s commitment to making its voyages more accessible around the world, Disney Cruise Line president Karl Holz said in a PR-USA.Net online statement. “Guests can now enjoy a magical, one-of-a-kind Disney cruise experience with the convenience of departures from their own backyard.”From 25 May next year, Disney Magic will navigate into New York for 20 cruises ranging from eight-nights to the Bahamas, five nights to New England and weekend cruises for a sampling a the Disney experience.While Disney Magic will also include 12 seven night cruises from Galveston to the Western Caribbean with port of calls including Grand Cayman as well as Mexico’s Costa Maya and Cozumel. Passengers leaving from Seattle will be treated to the Disney Wonder, hosting 14 seven night cruises to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Alaska as well as British Columbia. In addition to the new port, the Disney Wonder will also offer for the first, 15 night voages to Hawaii from Los Angeles with port of calls including Kahului, Maui, Honolulu, Oahu, Nawiliwili, Kauai and Ensenada in Mexico.  The Disney Wonder will also continue to sail its seven night LA departed Mexican Riviera cruises while the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream will carry on with Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries from Port Canaveral. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more