My recent voyage down to the Bay Area allowed me to rest, but also do some catching up on baseball that wasn’t so Humboldt County-themed. Basically, I got to actually watch games rather than following along on my phone for once.And, as I’ve pretty much thought all season long, two main thoughts continued to pop into my head as my feet were kicked up in the recliner.One, the Giants’ frontline starters, Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto, are really, really good.Secondly, the Giants’ bullpen, …
Shiromani Akali Dal president (SAD) Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said the party would start a “struggle”’ against the ruling Congress government for allegedly distorting history related to the Sikh faith and Sikh gurus by misrepresenting facts through the newly released chapters of the Class XII history book of the Punjab School Education Board.“We would start the struggle to force the Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh and the Congress government in the State to apologise to the ‘Khalsa Panth’ for repeatedly and deliberately insulting the Sikh Guru Sahiban,” he said.Mr. Badal said a 48-hour long protest “”=dharna” would commence in Amritsar on November 1. “I will sit for the first 24 hours and then the SGPC chief Jathedar Gobind Singh Longowal would sit for the next 24 hours,” said Mr.Badal.He said the next phase of the “’struggle”’ would be announced at the conclusion of the “dharna” in case the Congress government did not apologise.Mr. Badal asked for exemplary punishment to all those responsible for casting insults against the great Gurus through blasphemous versions of history. “Mere withdrawal of the repeatedly sacrilegious text-books was not enough to atone for the grave sin of casting insults against the great Gurus,” he added.
Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul A couple of seeded men departed, too: No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 15 Tomas Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon runner-up.The No. 3-seeded Federer won five consecutive U.S. Open championships from 2004-08 and also was the runner-up twice, including two years ago. But he missed last year’s tournament while taking off the second half of the season to let his back and surgically repaired left knee fully heal.That back, an off-and-on issue for years, flared up again while Federer was losing in the final of the Montreal Masters in August. He didn’t get to fully work on returns or serves, in particular, as the U.S. Open approached. That lack of training and the resulting lack of timing — rather than pain from his back — is what Federer said caused him problems Tuesday night in the first round against 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe and again against Youzhny, a former top-10 player who reached the 2006 and 2010 U.S. Open semifinals but is now ranked 101st.“I’m pretty confident that I’m only going to get better from here. That’s a good thing,” Federer said. “Because I’ve played a lot, I definitely found some rhythm now.”He did falter repeatedly Thursday, though.Federer let a lead slip away in the second set and got broken while serving for it at 5-4.“He helped me to come back,” Youzhny said.Federer stumbled again while serving for the fourth set at 5-3, but responded to a break there by breaking right back.Still, Federer’s unforced errors continued to mount in the fifth set — 11 in the first four games alone, including a badly shanked forehand on his first break point at 2-1, a netted backhand on his second, and a long forehand to let Youzhny hold there. Eventually, Federer nosed ahead, aided by the considerable dip in the 35-year-old Youzhny’s level of play.While Federer played his first-round match Tuesday under the roof in Ashe, Youzhny’s opener was postponed until Wednesday because of rain, and he blamed that for his fatigue. His legs started cramping late in the third set Thursday and then reached other parts of his body, even his fingers, by the end. That made it hard to move forward or to jump normally while serving. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “He’s also a real man who plays tennis,” Youzhny noted. “He’s not a god.”Well, OK, that’s true. But remember: Federer did not drop a single set en route to his record eighth Wimbledon championship in July. And that he is 37-3 with five titles, including two at majors to raise his record total to 19.Second on that list, with 15, is No. 1-seeded Rafael Nadal, who trailed by a set and a break before figuring things out and beating 121st-ranked Taro Daniel of Japan 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in Ashe at night. That followed 20th-seeded American CoCo Vandeweghe’s 7-6 (6), 6-2 victory over Ons Jabeur of Tunisia under the lights.What already was a wide-open women’s bracket became more so when 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova was upset by 116th-ranked Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. The No. 8-seeded Kuznetsova’s exit means five of the top eight women are already gone.Two other seeded women lost to Americans in the afternoon: Shelby Rogers edged No. 25 Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (6), 4-6, 7-6 (5) in a tournament-record 3 hours, 33 minutes, and Jennifer Brady eliminated No. 23 Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-1.ADVERTISEMENT Promoters: Pacquiao-Horn rematch won’t happen this year Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after winning a point against Taro Daniel, of Japan, during the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)NEW YORK — A bad back prevented Roger Federer from getting ready for the U.S. Open the way he prefers to prepare for a Grand Slam tournament. And it’s showed so far.Federer blamed a lack of proper practice after making an uncharacteristic 68 unforced errors and being forced to go five sets again before coming back to edge a cramping Mikhail Youzhny 1-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on Thursday in Arthur Ashe Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side It is the first time the 36-year-old Federer has played five-setters in both the first and second rounds at a major tournament.“I knew I was going to maybe struggle early on. Maybe I struggled more than I would have liked to. But I’m still in the draw, which gives me a chance. I still believe I’m going to pick up my game and become just more consistent because I’m not playing all that bad,” Federer said. “It’s just that I’m going a bit up and down in waves throughout the match.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingGiven that Federer entered the day with a 16-0 career record against Youzhny and a 16-0 mark in the U.S. Open’s second round, one might have thought that their match would be a mismatch.Think again. At 1-all in the deciding set, Youzhny collapsed to the court, grabbing at his right leg after whiffing on an attempted swat at Federer’s lob. Youzhny stayed down for a few moments, then grimaced and limped around for the rest of that game.Afterward, Youzhny chuckled at the mention of having lost all 17 matches against Federer, even leaning back in his chair and joking about how he would have completed the upset if Grand Slam rules were different: “I beat him in three sets now — but we played five sets. But come on, if we played three sets, I already beat him!”Federer, naturally, preferred to look at matters from a different perspective.“I find my way,” he said. “I don’t panic.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ View comments
Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s heroine, Maria, thinks she has lost her husband at,Rainer Fassbinder’s classic 1979 movie The Marriage of Maria Braun is an allegorical tale about the moral complications and emotional cover-ups that surround Germany’s re-emergence as a strong state after World War II. Set between the war and 1954, the film’s heroine, Maria, thinks she has lost her husband at war, becomes the darling of a victorious American GI, kills him when the husband returns alive from the front, becomes the mistress of a wealthy industrialist as the German economy recovers, inherits his fortune in the 1950s and is set to be reunited with her first husband and about to live a life of luxury when she is suddenly killed in a gas explosion at her home. The explosion is the final scene of the film, and as the credits run one can hear football commentary for the 1954 World Cup final where West Germany won their first championship. ‘Deutshland ist Weltmeister’ screams the delirious commentator-while in the shot we see Maria Braun’s home go up in flames, her short life with all its sad secrets over, a new country reborn which can forget about the sins and complications of the past, rising again on the wings of the Wirtschaftswunder, ‘the German economic miracle’. In Germany, the World Cup is always about much more than just football.Germany first fancied themselves with a shot at the World Cup in 1938. After Adolf Hitler’s Anschluss of Austria excellent Austrian players were incorporated into a ‘Greater Germany’ team (though perhaps the greatest Austrian player of all, Matthias Sindelar, refused to take part in the Hitler-Mannschaft [football team] and went on to commit suicide in 1939). As with other areas of Nazi sports, the German football team had a strong ideological dimension, meant to prove Aryan superiority over inferior races. However, the German team had only managed fourth place in the 1934 World Cup, and were knocked out by minnows Norway in the 1936 Olympics. 1938 was meant to right all this-only for the Germans to draw 1-1 in their opening game against the Swiss in their first game, and then humiliatingly knocked out 4-2 in the replay. But the tournament had some solace for fascism: Benito Mussolini’s Italy beat Hungary 4-2 in the final to win their second World Cup on the trot (football was much more important to Mussolini than Hitler, who saw more value in boxing and individual sports).advertisementWest Germany were barred from taking part in the 1950 World Cup, and the 1954 edition was the first time the national anthem was played at an international sporting event since the War (though the stanza about ‘Deutschland Uber Alles’ was cut). In the final, the German team were expected to be defeated by the all-conquering Hungarian team lead by the greatest player of his generation, Ferenc PuskÃ¡s; the Hungarians had already thrashed them in a qualifying round. But after the Hungarians streamed ahead 2-0, the Germans pulled the game back to 2-2. They had no stars like Puskás but the weather was on their side: it was raining heavily and the Germans had the advantage, thanks to a new type of boot with innovative screw-in studs designed by a little-known company called Adidas. The Germans scored again after the break, and Puskás had a late equaliser ruled out for off-side. In Germany the match became known as the ‘Miracle of Bern’, the triumphant sporting symbol of Germany’s ‘Economic Miracle’.West Germany’s next World Cup Final win came in 1974 when they again managed to get the better of the greatest player of his generation, Holland’s Johan Cruyff, with a tenacious team display. But the most important political game in the 1974 World Cup had actually come in the first round, when West Germany played East Germany in a showdown between Communism and Capitalism. The tournament was overshadowed by the Cold War: the USSR had dropped out after refusing to take part in a match against a Chile where the US-allied General Augusto Pinochet had just ousted the Soviet-sympathetic Salvador Allende in a coup d’etat; there was intense security as Germany was terrorised by the ultra left group Rote Armee Fraktion. The West Germans were clear favourites in their game: they were European Champions, with a core from the European Champions Cup-winning team of Bayern Munich, captained by Franz Beckenbauer. But the East Germans managed to frustrate their Western ‘brothers’ and won the match 1-0. Both teams had qualified for the next round by that point-but it was still a great moment for East German pride.Throughout the Cold War decades the West German team was one of the few ways Germans could confidently express their patriotism without feeling WW II awkwardness, and with Germany essentially barred from the geopolitical scene it became not so much a continuation of politics as its substitution. The West German team that evolved towards the end of the Cold War was everything Germany could never dare to be in diplomacy: Teutonic, powerful, self-confident. They peaked in 1990, in time with the West’s victory in the Cold War, with the man-machine Lothar Matthaus leading a Valkyrian team to beat Argentina: the losers again featuring the world’s greatest player, Diego Maradona, who like Cruyff and Puskás before him, could not conjure a victory against the less spectacular but more united Germans.advertisement1990 was the high water mark of West German postwar success. After the two Germanies were reunited, both the economy and the national team were expected to become superpowers: an idea that made many surrounding countries uncomfortable. Were we about to see a re-emergence of bad, bullying Germany? Instead the German economy slowly slumped, dragged down by costs of paying for the East and a burdensome welfare state. The team dwindled too: they reached the 2002 World Cup Final by luck and were easily blown away by Brazil. It was as if a reunified Germany was almost scared of being too successful and overbearing. Slowly, since 2004, a new German team has been re-emerging. Except it’s a different type of Germany, not Aryan at all but made good with immigrants like Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Jerôme Boateng, Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose. By winning the 2014 World Cup with such a globalised team, the demons of 1938 have been put to bed (though some things never change: again a unified German team beat the world’s best player, Lionel Messi). This globalised Germany is one which the nation can back with no remnants of Nazi hang-ups, it becomes acceptable to be patriotic as the patria (homeland) becomes less German. And at the same time Germany has re-emerged as the superpower of Europe. Except it’s no longer a case of other countries wanting to hold them back: “I will probably be the first Polish foreign minister in history to say so, but here it is: I fear German power less than I am beginning to fear German inactivity,â€ Radek Sikorski said in 2011, as he hoped for Germany to be more assertive in the Eurozone crisis, and as he no doubt hopes now that Berlin will stand up to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Germany is reclaiming its geopolitical status, but that will mean letting go of some of the benefits of being diplomatically neutral-such as being able to do business with everyone and never thinking of the geopolitical responsibilities (the German business lobby is the most involved in Putin’s Russia, is among his greatest supporters and has been vocal in stopping Berlin from sanctioning the Kremlin). Let’s just hope German Chancellor Angela Merkel is as good at her job as its football team’s coach Joachim Löw is at his.advertisement
Becoming “smart” in the shipping industry has been a hot topic over the recent period as the rise of technology promises to unlock numerous benefits, ranging from cost cutting to improved productivity and effectiveness.Smart containers, smart ships, smart ports are the buzzwords being repeated on a daily basis. But the question is: how to make a smart decision when choosing the right technological solution for one’s fleet or business operation?To help answer that question, the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has issued Guidance Notes on Smart Function Implementation to help owners use technology to achieve their operational targets.Smart technology is aimed at helping collect, process, and perform advanced data analytics, in order to allow the people using that technology to make more informed decisions.Image Courtesy: ABSCommenting on the launching of the guidance, Derek Novak, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Technology, ABS, told World Maritime News that the key goal was to recognize “that the industry is embarking on a journey towards smart functionality, with more smart equipment and systems being installed on vessels every day.”The drivers from the industry that prompted drafting of the notes are twofold, according to Novak.“Owners and operators want guidance to enable them to truly take advantage of the technology on their vessels to improve operational performance, asset maintenance, or to have a less intrusive class experience. The driver from the equipment manufacturers, who are putting their products on board the vessels, is that they want recognition from class that allows for owners and operators to easily realize the benefits of the technology that they have placed on their assets,” he said.“If you are building ships or buying modern second-hand tonnage, then ABS can look at what you have on board and help you take advantage of that equipment. A big part of that is being able to adopt technology and have confidence in what it can do for you. It’s not expensive, certainly not to get started and this kind of technology is increasingly going to be found on ships coming out of yard as standard equipment.”Hence, smart functionality is not intended only for the big players. According to Novak, it’s more about the mindset of taking the technology you may already have and work out how to make that technology fit your goals.Main Concerns of Owners and OperatorsFor some owners, the use of new technology can be overwhelming and they don’t know where to get started, Novak continues.“We have seen a spectrum within the industry and there are many owners who are interested in using technology to their advantage and are trying to figure out how to get smart functions on board.“The process to implement these technologies needs to be flexible to allow for further advances, but to get the process started we suggest that the owners have a specific goal in mind, for example to improve operational efficiency, to make surveys less intrusive, or to improve performance of the asset overall.“We work with owners through a process one step at a time to leverage the technology; that’s our unique approach. What we provide is a well-designed framework that will let them set and achieve their goals.The idea of the guidance is to take owners to a place where they can leverage technology today to meet the defined goals of their businessIn addition to setting the goal you want to achieve and choosing the right equipment to do so, there are potential downsides to improper implementation of the technology. Basically, there is a risk that an owner will not get the benefit out of the technology they have bought.“It can happen, especially where systems are very complex. The main reason why we see this issue is companies not understanding what they want the technology to do for them; they do not have a goal in place. As we’ve said, just paying for technology is not going to help, when what they really need is a plan.“Nobody puts digital technology on a ship just because it’s interesting; we’re not in an environment where owners have that luxury. If one buys equipment with state-of-the-art technology they should expect to have it work in their favor. For us it’s a process of helping owners to set a goal, to use the technology to achieve that specific goal.”Is the Industry Ready to Embrace Smart Shipping?Novak believes that a considerable portion of the industry is ready to embrace smart shipping and for some straightforward reasons.“We are living in an era of increasingly demanding regulation and that is driving the collection and reporting of data that has a ‘smart’ element. Secondly, the industry increasingly understands how to use technology to find value and benefit to their operations, so they are moving in the right direction,” he pointed out.Over time, as the benefits of the technology become embedded, Novak believes flag states and regulators may recognize that having this information available could provide some equivalency to the way that requirements are being fulfilled now.“There will be early adopters who get in there first and pick up the opportunity more rapidly but in the long-term, smart functionality is a philosophy the industry will squarely get behind,” he added.As explained, smart functionality is part of the industry’s journey to autonomy.“Years ago most vessels were pretty basic in terms of data technology and humans made a majority of the decisions,” he said.“Now we’re at the stage of collecting and analyzing data so that humans can make better decisions: that’s ‘smart’. If you look at the world we are heading towards, the next step is semi-autonomous where the machines can take decisions with humans providing oversight and intervention.”The last step is full autonomy, and for that, “we are going to need a lot more information about operations and maintenance,” according to Novak.“To get down that path, you really need to take that step fully into smart before you can truly go towards autonomy.”Can BigData Live Up to the Hype Seen Over the Recent Period?“For us, avoiding the hype and gaining the benefit of big data is all about focusing on what you need to know. You can collect data from many different locations but it’s the value it provides and the information it delivers that contributes to better decisions,” Novak said.“If you don’t understand why you’re looking into operational data then yes, it could be a lot of hype. If you want certain questions answered and you want data to help you with those goals, that’s when big data can be a huge asset.“Let’s not forget we are in the era of IMO 2020 and looking ahead to the IMO’s requirements for carbon emissions reductions after 2030 and 2050. We are going to need to collect and analyse a lot of data – much more than we have now – on vessel operations if we are going to be able to meet a challenge on that scale.”Interview by Jasmina Ovcina Mandra
Here is your chance to win a personal encounter with Cesar Millan just by donating to charity.Meet Cesar Millan!Dog lovers everywhere know that Cesar Millan’s relationship with dogs is undeniably special. As a young boy he was teased for his close relationships with dogs by his classmates calling him ‘dog boy,’ but today, he is the pet care industry’s most recognized and sought-after authority working in the field of dog care and rehabilitation. Pooch lovers everywhere would dream of the opportunity to meet this celebrated dog behaviorist in person and Omaze.com is now making their dream come true.Anyone can now enter-to-win the ultimate dog-lover’s experience: a flight to Miami with their best pal to meet Cesar Millan, VIP access to filming of the Cesar Millan show and some one-on-one time with the man himself backstage before the show. The winner will learn about Cesar’s philosophies on dogs, see a live demonstration with a variety of breeds and participate in an audience Q&A session. The best part? Entries start at just $5 a pop and every 5 entries will teach a classroom of children humane education and helps save the lives of shelter dogs.Donations benefit the Cesar Millan Foundation.To find out more about the experience or Omaze.com, click here.
Melissa Ridgen APTN National NewsA Sandy Bay mother of seven has had less than a week to get her head around the idea that her family will soon be free of rats and sewage.That’s because she is getting a new home.Thanks to a kind-hearted donor.APTN was there when she got to meet the donor and find out more about her dream home.
Photo by Washington Post/Getty Images.Michele Roberts made history as the first women leader of a professional sports union when she was tabbed to take over the beleaguered NBA Players Association this summer. That done, in a few months she’s shown more vision and nerve than any of her predecessors.Refreshingly, her office is in Harlem, a departure from the Midtown Manhattan location of the past and an indication that she is rooted in her culture. Roberts has strong ideas about the league, the owners, the season. . . you name it. To ESPN The Magazine, the woman considered one of the best trial lawyers in the country said:*On the NBA rookie wage scale: “I can’t understand why the [players’ association] would be interested in suppressing salaries at the top if we know that as salaries at the top have grown, so have salaries at the bottom. If that’s the case, I contend that there is no reason in the world why the union should embrace salary caps or any effort to place a barrier on the amount of money that marquee players can make.”* On players splitting revenue with the owners, which has been in place since 1982: “Why don’t we have the owners play half the games? There would be no money if not for the players. Let’s call it what it is. There. Would. Be. No. Money,” she added, pausing for emphasis. “Thirty more owners can come in, and nothing will change. These guys [the players] go? The game will change. So let’s stop pretending.”* On the length of the season: “Every time a player gets hurt, I think, my God, they really are pushing their bodies. And back-to-backs, those are the ones I really find disturbing. . . So the answer, of course, is that everybody wants a shorter season. The tension is, Will that mean less money? And that’s something we need to talk about and think about. . . I don’t think it would hurt the game to shorten the season.”* On an age minimum to play in the NBA: “It doesn’t make sense to me that you’re suddenly eligible and ready to make money when you’re 20, but not when you’re 19, not when you’re 18. I suspect that the association will agree that this is not going to be one that they will agree to easily. There is no other profession that says that you’re old enough to die but not old enough to work.”If nothing else, Roberts is bold and smart—and willing to take on the establishment. Gotta love her.
This photo, taken from in front of Bangla Academy, shows thousands of activists of ruling Awami League are present at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka to accord a reception to prime minister and ruling Awami League (AL) president Sheikh Hasina on Saturday. Photo: Syful IslamRuling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) will accord a mass reception to prime minister Sheikh Hasina this afternoon [Saturday] at the historic Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital for some remarkable developments and achievements in different fields of the country under her leadership.Awami League presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury will chair the function, reports UNB.The reception will be organised for attaining Bangladesh’s eligibility to graduate from a least developed country (LDC) to a developing nation, successful launching of Bangabandhu Satellite-I, Sheikh Hasina’s achieving the Global Women’s Leadership Award from US-based NGO Global Summit of Women and her receiving D. Lit from Kazi Nazrul University in India.The venue, Suhrawardy Udyan, has been decorated with great fanfare. A huge L-shaped podium has been set at the venue. The entire Suhrawardy Udyan has been illuminated. A big gate has been erected at the entry point to the venue in front of Matsya Bhaban while 40 other colourful gates have been erected from the city’s Matsya Bhaban to Shishu Park area.This photo, taken from in front of Bangla Academy, shows thousands of activists of ruling Awami League are present at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka to accord a reception to prime minister and ruling Awami League (AL) president Sheikh Hasina on Saturday. Photo: Syful IslamCity streets stretching from the premier’s official residence Ganabhaban to the reception venue Suhrawardy Udyan also have been decorated with banners and festoons.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s son and her ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy is expected to be present on the stage.A cultural function was arranged with the participation of noted singers at 12:00pm before the formal beginning of the function at 3:00pm.A 30-minute presentation will be shown on history and heritage of Bangalee nation.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo listens as US president Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, US on 18 July 2018. Photo: ReutersUS president Donald Trump on Friday abruptly canceled his top diplomat’s planned trip to North Korea, publicly acknowledging for the first time that his effort to get Pyongyang to denuclearise had stalled since his summit with North Korea’s leader.Trump partly blamed China for the lack of progress with North Korea and suggested that talks with Pyongyang, led so far by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, could be on hold until after Washington resolved its bitter trade dispute with Beijing.It was a dramatic shift of tone for Trump, who had previously hailed his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a success and said the North Korean nuclear threat was over, despite no real sign Pyongyang was willing to give up its nuclear weapons.But Trump still kept the door open to a second summit with Kim, with whom the president recently said he has “great chemistry.””I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump wrote on Twitter.The North Korean mission to the United Nations declined to comment.Negotiations have all but deadlocked since the summit in Singapore. Pompeo has pressed for tangible steps toward North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear arsenal while Pyongyang is demanding that Washington first make concessions of its own.Trump’s statement came just a day after Pompeo said he would again visit North Korea and would take his new special envoy, former auto industry executive Stephen Biegun, with him.But Trump asked Pompeo not to go during a Friday meeting and they crafted the tweets together, White House officials said.National security adviser John Bolton, considered a leading North Korea hawk, weighed in by speakerphone during a visit to Ukraine, US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.Many other key officials learned of Trump’s decision by seeing the crawl across a television screen, some during a meeting on North Korea negotiations, officials said.Some US intelligence and defense officials had considered Pompeo’s latest trip to be premature and said the prospects for significant progress appeared dim.Pompeo, who would have been making his second visit to Pyongyang since the summit, had not been due to meet Kim this time.Trump himself was still open to another meeting with Kim, in hopes of advancing the process, but was not pleased with the latest signals from North Korea, a White House official said.Onus On ChinaTrump put some of the onus on China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner and a crucial actor in enforcing sanctions to keep pressure on Pyongyang.”Because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place),” Trump tweeted.”Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” Trump wrote. “In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”Trump told Reuters on Monday he believed Kim had taken specific steps toward denuclearization and that they would “most likely” meet again.Kelly Magsamen a former US deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian affairs, said Trump was undermining his leverage with Kim as well as that of Pompeo and his new envoy.”It’s fine to not send the Secretary due to lack of progress, but don’t then also talk about how you are eager to meet with KJU and how China is thwarting you,” she tweeted.Christopher Hill, a former US ambassador to South Korea, tweeted: “Looks like @realDonaldTrump has begun to worry about #NorthKorea intentions. Good decision especially if otherwise Pompeo would have returned empty handed.”Kim made a broad, vague commitment in Singapore to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula but has given no sign of willingness to give up his arsenal unilaterally.Talks since then have made little headway, with the two sides far apart on denuclearization and the US insistence for this to happen before North Korea sees any sanctions relief.On his last visit to Pyongyang, in July, Pompeo left saying progress had been made, only for North Korea within hours to denounce his “gangster-like demands.”U.S. officials have been trying without success to persuade North Korea to detail the extent of its nuclear arsenal.Trump’s decision came just days after the UN nuclear watchdog reported it had not found any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities.However, some analysts suggested Trump’s move may also be a negotiating ploy. In May, Trump announced he was calling off his planned summit with Kim, citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility,” only to reverse himself eight days later.The cancellation follows two days of US-China trade talks in Washington that ended with no sign of progress toward resolving a deepening trade war between the world’s two largest economies and no plans for more talks in the near term.
Lent is the church season during which we remember God’s willingness to face death. For many Christians this time gives them an opportunity to explore their relationship to suffering and death for the sake of a greater cause. Traditionally, many people of faith mark the beginning of Lent with the “imposition of ashes”, which is having a cross drawn on their forehead with ashes. On the first day of Lent, March 1, at the corner of 18th Street and Columbia Road, NW from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., a group of people will gather in prayer, blessing and/or the imposition of ashes for anyone who would like to receive them.
By JUANA SUMMERS Associated PressORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — California Sen. Kamala Harris has described her experience as a student at a historically Black college as “one of the most important aspects” of her life. Now, her Democratic presidential campaign is using that experience to connect with voters.Not only is she one of only two Black candidates in a field that’s expected to grow to more than 20 candidates, she’s also the only candidate who attended a historically Black college or university, commonly called an HBCU. And she’s the first major-party candidate to have graduated from an HBCU — Washington’s Howard University — since Jesse Jackson ran for president in the 1980s.To be sure, she is not the only candidate focusing on such institutions.Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority South Central Regional Conference in New Orleans, Friday, April 19, 2019. Harris is tapping into a network of historically black colleges and universities to mobilize her supporters (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke have campaigned at historically Black colleges. So has the other Black candidate in the 2020 race, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.At a CNN town hall last month in Orangeburg, home to two of South Carolina’s HBCUs, Booker noted that his parents and grandparents were educated at historically Black institutions and that “the majority of Black doctors, Black lawyers, Black generals are produced by HBCUs.”But Harris’s campaign has visited more historically Black colleges than any candidate, and she is burnishing her personal ties to this community, and not just to current students.“Presidential candidates are recognizing HBCUs as a political and cultural center for the broader Black community,” said Aimee Allison, the founder of the political network She The People, which plans a candidate forum Wednesday at Texas Southern University, a historically Black college.Allison said that holding events at these schools is an “essential part of a long-term strategy to build trust and relationships” with Black voters.Harris’s focus on historically Black colleges could be particularly important in South Carolina, home to eight HBCUs. Black voters are vital to success for Democratic primary candidates anxious to win the South’s first primary.In Orangeburg, Harris’s town hall Saturday night was moderated by Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina state representative who recently endorsed her campaign.Turning to a group of South Carolina State students seated on bleachers, Harris talked briefly about the value of attending a historically black institution.“At an HBCU, everything you are told is that you can be whatever you want to be, and there will be no barriers to that success,” she said. “And you are told as a young black student that you do not need to make choices and fit into anyone’s narrow definition of what it means to be a young black person in America.”Harris added later that historically black colleges “teach us that there will always be a community that will support us, whatever we will decide to do,”Including, perhaps, running for president.Joann Berry, a 66-year-old who worked at South Carolina State for more than two decades, said that historically black colleges don’t just give diplomas, “they’re more like family.” She said that the fact that Harris had attended an HBCU could give her an advantage with connecting here.While Berry has yet to decide who to support in South Carolina’s primary, she said Harris is among the candidates she’s considering.“I’m proud of her. I have faith in her just like I had faith in Barack Obama,” said Berry. “A lot of people said he couldn’t do it — and he won.”Harris’ campaign has made a number of overt appeals, in South Carolina and elsewhere, to the network of HBCUs.One of Harris’s early congressional backers, California Rep. Barbara Lee, held events at Benedict College in Columbia on her behalf.Harris also waded into the local issue of Denmark Technical College, which primarily serves residents of rural Allendale, Bamberg and Barnwell counties, and has been battling declining enrollment.Her first significant policy rollout, aimed at increasing teacher pay nationwide, specifically calls for the federal government to support programs dedicated to teacher recruitment, training and professional development, particularly at HBCUs.Harris’s first news conference as a presidential candidate was held at her alma mater, with the leaders of the Howard University Student Association on hand. She recalled that she had run her first political campaign as freshman class representative.“This is where it all began,” she said.On Twitter, her campaign even took note of Beyonce’s “Homecoming,” which was released this past week and paid homage to the musical legacy of historically black colleges. Harris said “Homecoming” ”exemplifies and rightly celebrates the spirit and legacy of HBCUs.”“She brought our culture and tradition to the world stage and as a proud Howard graduate, I can’t wait to watch,” Harris wrote.Other times, the exchanges come unprompted.On an earlier trip to South Carolina, Harris was addressing a gathering of more than a dozen female leaders in Columbia when 83-year-old Marjorie Hammock arrived. Hammock, wearing a crew-neck Howard University sweat shirt, slowly made her way through a throng of reporters and onlookers.When Harris noticed her, she immediately called to her.“Hey, Bison, I know you,” Harris said, referencing Howard’s mascot, as the women laughed.“We both went to Howard,” said Harris, 54, and joked, “I was there before her.”Hammock, who attended Howard in the 1950s, said later that Harris’s campaign “gives me also hope for this country” and that seeing a Howard graduate run for president “reinforces the fact that the legacy continues.”
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Japan Bathe naked with strangers? Welcome to a Japanese bathhouse By: The Associated Press Share TOKYO — Japan is proud of its bathing traditions. For many Westerners, though, the fact that these traditions involve being naked with strangers is awkward at best, even though men and women bathe separately.On my first trip I tried to wriggle out of a friend’s offer to take me to an onsen, or hot springs resort. I suggested a different town that had an attraction I wanted to see, and thought I was off the hook.I should have done my research better: That town was famous for its onsen as well.It turned out for the best, though, because I’ve become a fan. Nothing is more relaxing after a tiring day of sightseeing than a long soak, and you can reassure yourself that you’re experiencing authentic culture at the same time.Two terms are basic when talking about Japanese baths: onsen and sento. An onsen has natural hot spring water. A sento, usually translated as public bath, typically uses regular water, traditionally heated by burning wood. Tall chimneys for the smoke are one visual symbol of the city sento.The distinction is noted because various spring waters are supposed to have different health benefits. Onsen are commonly found at hotels and resorts outside the city, but there are about 45 sento in Tokyo, for example, that do have natural spring water.For the outsider, though, the facilities will look much the same and more important, so are the traditions and etiquette.Stephanie Crohin is author of a book in Japanese about sento. For the past three years, she has been the official volunteer ambassador for the Tokyo Sento Association. She has visited over 700 sento across Japan and her book and Instagram feed reveal the beauty of their interiors, where photography is usually prohibited, including many traditional painted murals and immaculate tilework.More news: Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backShe reassures first-timers that with everyone else acting like it’s normal, you will quickly get comfortable. “For some people it is a big challenge to be naked in front of others, but genders are separate, and everybody just doesn’t look and doesn’t care,” she says. “It is the ideal place to forget about complexes!”Although you won’t have much trouble finding a sento in a city like Tokyo, their numbers are in fact declining. Last year, she says, 40 sento closed in Tokyo. Fifty years ago, there were around 2,700 sento in the city, but now there are around 560, with 2,500 across the country.One reason sento are closing is that many of their customers are elderly. Now that every home has its own bath, younger people often never cultivated the habit. Some sento are trying new strategies to attract customers, including presenting exhibits and events such as concerts and developing English information to attract tourists.Another innovation: ‘super sento,’ more like day spas with additional facilities and entertainment. One in Tokyo, Oedo Onsen Monogatari, is basically a hot bath theme park with a re-created Edo period townscape.These may be an easy way in for the first-timer, but if you want to experience authentic local culture, make sure you try a sento too. Just follow the rules so you’ll fit in. At a typical bath here’s the routine:Leave your shoes in an outside locker.Pay the fee. If you haven’t brought your own soap and shampoo, you can buy small bottles and rent towels. You’ll be given one large towel and a small one.Go through the entrance for your gender. (You might want to memorize the characters for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ in advance.)In the changing room, undress and put your clothes in a locker. This part should feel familiar to anyone who’s been to a gym.Leave the big towel in the locker but take the small one with you. Use it for washing and/or to dry yourself a bit after your bath so you don’t drip onto the changing room floor.The bathroom has individual washing stations. The station may already have a stool, or you can take one and a wash basin from a stack. The basin is the traditional way to wash and rinse yourself, but now there are also hand sprayers.Wash thoroughly. The bath is just for soaking; since the water there is shared, you’re expected to be clean first. Be careful not to splash your neighbours.Tie up long hair. You don’t want it to dangle into the shared bath.More news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedNow you’re ready to soak!At this point you’ll still be carrying your small towel, which brings up another rule: never put your towel into the bath. If you’ve seen Japanese bathing on TV, people will usually be covered with towels, but that is only for filming. The most traditional thing to do with the small towel is fold it and rest it on your head while you’re bathing.Finally, sento and onsen have traditionally prohibited tattoos, which are associated with organized crime. These restrictions are loosening. Sento are usually fine with them, but super sento and onsen resorts may not be, so check in advance. Monday, June 4, 2018
Create your own private fam with discounted offers from Saint Lucia Tuesday, June 18, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group Tags: FAM, Saint Lucia Share << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — As part of its Saint Lucia Agent Months program, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority has unveiled exclusive discounted rates and offers for travel agents in 2019.The offers, which include up to 50% off on hotels, ground transportation, meals, tours and activities, invite agents to experience more of the destination during their personal vacations through Nov. 30.“We are deeply appreciative of the tremendous value travel advisors bring to consumers and Saint Lucia, which is why we are thrilled to recognize their continued support and loyalty with this rewarding program,” said Kelly Fontenelle, Director of Marketing, USA for the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. “Travel advisors are an integral part of our industry, and during Saint Lucia Agent Months they can take advantage of incredible deals and discounts during their own personal vacations in order to fully immerse themselves in the destination and experience all we have to offer their clients.”Sample offers include (prices in USD):More news: Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reported• Anse Chastanet: Rates starting at $185 per person daily (double occupancy) and include breakfast, dinner and all tax/service charges• Bay Gardens Marina Haven: Bed & Breakfast Meal Plan $60 per night and All-Inclusive Meal Plan $150 per night• Caille Blanc Villa: 35% off rack rates, daily buffet breakfast, free transfers and welcome cocktail• Calabash Cove: All-inclusive nightly rates of $250 (double) for up to five nights; additional nights 20% off published rates• Marigot Bay Resort Spa and Marina: $99 per night for up to three nights (single or double) with full daily breakfast plus taxes and service charge; additional nights 50% off published rates• WestJet: Travel agents and one companion receive 50% to 75% off regular published fares, plus taxes and feesThe following hotels, tour companies, attractions and airlines are participating in Saint Lucia Agent Months: • Hotels: Anse Chastanet, Bay Gardens Resorts, Bel Jou, BodyHoliday, Caille Blanc Villa, Calabash Cove Resort & Spa, Casa Del Vega, Coco Palm, Fond Doux Plantation & Resort, Jade Mountain, La Dauphine Estate, Marigot Bay Resort Spa and Marina, Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort, Oasis Marigot, Samfi Gardens, Sandals Resorts, Sugar Beach – A Viceroy Resort, Ti Kaye Resort & Spa and Villa Beach Cottages• Tour companies and attractions: Barefoot Holidays St. Lucia, CHI Shuttles, Diamond Botanical Gardens & Waterfall, Holiday Adventures, Jus Sail, Rainforest Adventures and Sea Spray Cruises• Airline: WestJetMore news: Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsTravel agents can contact the hotel or tour operator directly to make arrangement before notifying their Saint Lucia Tourism Authority trade manager of the intended travel dates, as well as their preferred dates for their private fam trip. The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority will then create an itinerary, confirm the hotel site inspections and coordinate ground transportation.For the full list of offers and further information go to ww.stlucia.org/travel-trade.