What is Light Wrapping? Tips & Tutorials

first_imgTake an in-depth look at the art of light wrapping in post-production.If you do a lot of keying than you’re probably familiar with the term “light wrapping“. Light wrapping as a concept is easy to understand, but in practice it can be rather difficult to get a perfect light wrap. In the following post we will take a look at light wraps and examine a few easy methods for creating them yourself.What is Light Wrapping?Light wrapping is a compositing technique designed to blend keyed out green screen footage with a background plate. When done correctly, light wrapping can really help give realism to your scene. If overdone, it can make your footage look soft and unbelievable.Often times light wrapping is preformed automatically when using a keying software. However, just like in photography, automatic doesn’t always mean better!How to Light WrapIn a nutshell, light wrapping works by softening the hard edges produced when keying out a green screen footage. By adding in a feathered portion of the background to the edges of the keyed subject you can make your scene look more like a composition than a series of layers. Check out the following diagram:As you can see light wrapping is a very subtle effect that, when done well, isn’t going to be noticed by your audience. The light wrapping layer is merely using the outline of the keyed footage to blur out a small portion of the background. Light wrapping is used to simulate the ambient light that is supposedly casting light onto your subject in the scene. In some circumstances (like mixed lighting) it can be better to use another layer besides your background layer for the light wrap, but it all depends on your scene.Light Wrap TutorialsEven though light wrapping is a pretty straightforward concept there is a seemingly endless number of ways to create a good light wrap. The following tutorials illustrate a few ways to tweak and manually create a light wrap.Easy Light Wrap by MikeyIn this After Effects video tutorial, AE expert Mikey Borup shows us how to create a light wrap using only a few effects including the Set Matte, Fast Blur, and Channel Blur.Light Wrapping in After EffectsThis video created by Marcos Salvi illustrates how light wrapping can be used to simulate lighting, even if it doesn’t use the background layer at all.Plugin SolutionsA lot of higher end keying applications have light wrapping built-in, including the Keylight software that comes with Adobe After Effects. However, if you want to get stunning light wraps check out a few of our favorite plugins for creating realistic light wraps:Key CorrectKey Correct is an industry-standard when it comes to light wrapping, noise reduction, and any other key-related feature you can imagine. In Key Correct you will find 15 stand-alone plugins designed to help you clean up your green screen keys. The results are fantastic and you can even get a free trial from Red Giant’s website.Price: $399Borris Continuum: Key and BlendServing as a small portion of the larger Boris Continuum Complete, the Key and Blend pack gives users of After Effects, Premiere, FCPX, Resolve, Nuke, Media Composer, and even Scratch the ability to preform realistic light wraps with ease. The pack comes with 20 plugins and filters designed to help with the compositing process. Boris is also offering a free trial of Key and Blend so you can use it today.Price: $299If you want to learn more about other filmmaking concepts check out the video production section of the PremiumBeat blog. We have hundreds of articles and tutorials dedicated to helping you become a better filmmaker.Have any other tips for light wrapping? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Why Independent Film Festivals Matter Now More Than Ever

first_imgAs the film industry continues to grow, indie film festivals are becoming essential for up-and-coming filmmakers.Cover image via D Magazine (Bret Redman).Indie film festivals — historically fringe territory for filmmakers outside of the mainstream — are now becoming a hotbed for up-and-coming filmmakers looking to develop their craft, make connections, and launch their brands.Using the Oak Cliff Film Festival, a fast-growing indie fest hosted around the historic Texas Theatre in Dallas, Texas, as an example, let’s explore how filmmakers are using these festivals for everything from audience testing, to networking opportunities, to even de facto theatrical runs.Filmmaking ConnectionsImage via D Magazine (Bret Redman).Film festivals, at their core, bring people together to watch films. Quite a concept, I know, but as films are gradually moving away from theaters and toward online streaming, finding opportunities to sit, watch a film, and chat with other enthusiasts at real screenings are becoming more rare.The indie film industry is built on collaboration. If you’re not actively involved with a community and helping friends on their projects (as much as others help you on yours), film festivals are the perfect place to meet some fellow contributors.Test Audience ReactionsDavid Lowery screening A Ghost Story for audiences at the OCFF — image via Clayton Browning.Indie films, unlike the majority of their blockbuster counterparts, do not often get the luxury of multiple rounds of audience test screenings. Instead, indie filmmakers most often rely on screenings for feedback and audience reactions.Film festivals are a great place for filmmakers to screen a project for hundreds of people, whom they can actively engage before and after. It’s not uncommon for films to go through a festival run only to get re-cut (or sometimes even re-shot) based on critical feedback from crowds.The Allure of LaurelsDirectors Julia Halperin and Jason Cortlund winning the Narrative Feature — Grand Jury Prize for their film La Barracuda — image via OCFF.While this may be a point of contention, screening at film festivals puts your film in front of new people, and it brings your project a stamp of approval.In addition to laurels for screening, film festivals give out plenty of awards for achievements in everything from directing, to cinematography, to breakout performances. Many even include cash prizes or sponsorships.De Facto Theatrical RunsImage via OCFF.In many cases, films that screen at indie film festivals may very well be the local public’s only opportunity to see these movies on the big screen. While some may go on to major theatrical runs, the majority will screen sporadically in select cities before finding a home online — whether it’s through Netflix, Amazon, or some more indie-focused online channel.For films caught between major theatrical runs and their pending online VOD distribution, a tour of indie film festivals across the country becomes the de facto theatrical release, which offers one-off chances for fans to see the film and engage with other fans and the filmmakers.Community EngagementEric Hatch speaking at the OCFF awards ceremony at Small Brewpub in Oak Cliff.Film festivals also give filmmakers a chance to engage with local communities and develop connections. Festivals usually have deep roots in the communities that host them. From outdoor screenings, to daytime workshops, to trips to nearby restaurants — attending film festivals gives filmmakers a great opportunity to engage the community and the filmmakers who support it.For a full recap of the 2017 Oak Cliff Film Festival, you can go to their website or Facebook page — or check out their video recap below. What are your thoughts on the indie film festival scene? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

Kamal Nath’s comments on migrants triggers row

first_imgUnion Minister Giriraj Singh on Tuesday sought an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi for Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s remark that local people lost out to migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in jobs.“They [people from U.P. and Bihar] contribute to the progress of the State through hard work. Kamal Nath should answer whether India is a federal structure. Congress president Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the people of Bihar and U.P.,” Mr. Singh said. Mr. Nath’s comments on Monday evoked sharp reactions from the Samajwadi Party, RJD and the JD(U) as well. “This is wrong. In Maharashtra, you hear questions like why have north Indians come here? Why are north Indians doing business here? The same questions come from Delhi. Now this is coming from Madhya Pradesh. If north Indians get together and decide then who will come to the Centre?” he said.Soon after being sworn in on Monday, Mr. Nath had said, “Lot of industries are set up in which people from other States, like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, come to work. I do not want to criticise them, but the youth of Madhya Pradesh remain deprived.” He added that his government would provide incentives to industries that provide 70% of their jobs to people of Madhya Pradesh.‘Attack on Constitution’Mr. Nath’s statement was also criticised by the JD(U) and the RJD. JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said it was ironic that while Congress president Rahul Gandhi speaks at length about the Constitution being under threat from the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, a senior leader of his party took a stand that was an assault on the federal structure of the country.RJD MLA and spokesman Bhai Virendra said such comments should be avoided as every citizen of the country is free to live and work anywhere.The Bihar Congress unit hit back, saying the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister was talking about providing employment to the people of his own State and that should be a priority for the government in Bihar as well.Positive spinBihar Congress working president Kaukab Qadri said Mr. Nath was not spreading hatred against the people of U.P. and Bihar, or threatening to drive them out, something which was witnessed in the BJP-ruled Gujarat and which has been a pet theme of Shiv Sena, the BJP’s ally in Maharashtra. He said the thrust of Mr. Nath was on giving incentives to employment-generating industries in the State.“Herein lies a lesson for U.P. and Bihar where the political leadership seems to have abdicated its responsibility towards its talented and hard-working youths who have to fend for themselves outside their home states,” Mr. Qadri alleged.last_img read more

Olympic runner Caster Semenya loses fight over testosterone rules

first_imgThe IAAF argued that high, naturally occurring levels of testosterone in athletes like Semenya with “intersex” characteristics that don’t conform to standard definitions of male and female give them an unfair competitive advantage, and it decreed a maximum level for females.The court decision could open the way for similar rules in other women’s sports where size, speed and power make a difference, such as weightlifting, boxing, swimming, rugby, field hockey and soccer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsSemenya — a 28-year-old South African whose sculpted biceps and super-fast, blow-away-the-competition times have led others to question her accomplishments — declared she will not be deterred.“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically,” Semenya said in a statement. “For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.” MOST READ The two-time Olympic champion in the 800 meters will have to lower her testosterone levels by such means as birth control pills or prostate cancer drugs if she wants to defend her world title in September in Doha, Qatar. Semenya is expected to race in the 800 on Friday at a track meet in Doha in what will be the last world-class event before the new rules apply.Testosterone strengthens muscle tone and bone mass. Because of that, it is against the rules for athletes to use testosterone supplements. Some women have what is known as hyperandrogenism, meaning they have natural levels that are unusually high.The IAAF rules require women to reduce their levels below 5 nanomoles per liter of blood. According to the IAAF, most females, including elite athletes, have levels of testosterone circulating naturally in their bodies of 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per liter, while men have levels that can be dozens or even hundreds of times higher — typically 7.7 to 29.4.Semenya’s level is considered private medical information and has not been disclosed.The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee decried the ruling, saying, “We maintain that the rules are ill-thought and will be a source of distress for the targeted female athletes.”ADVERTISEMENT Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew View comments LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue FILE – In this Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 file photo Britain’s Lynsey Sharp, United States’ Charlene Lipsey, South Africa’s Caster Semenya and Switzerland’s Selina Buechel race for the line in a Women’s 800m semifinal during the World Athletics Championships in London. Caster Semenya will find out Wednesday, May 1, 2019 if she has won her appeal against IAAF rules to curb female runners’ high natural levels of testosterone. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)GENEVA — The sports world’s highest court ruled Wednesday that Olympic gold medalist Caster Semenya and other female runners like her with unusually high testosterone must take medication to reduce their levels of the male sex hormone if they want to compete in certain events — a landmark decision with far-reaching ramifications for other women’s sports.In a 2-1 ruling, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld proposed rules issued by track’s governing body, the IAAF, saying that they are discriminatory but that “such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means” of “preserving the integrity of female athletics.”ADVERTISEMENT Semenya was legally recognized at birth as female, but her speed and muscular body have led others to cast doubt on the integrity of her track achievements throughout her career. As a teenager in 2009, she won her first world title in Berlin. Hours before the race, the IAAF asked her to undergo a gender verification test.She is not the only female athlete with high natural levels of testosterone but has become an unwilling face of the issue. Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has been publicly identified as having high testosterone. Two weeks ago, Olympic silver medalist and Semenya rival Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi confirmed she has hyperandrogenism too.Referring to the rule, Niyonsaba said: “For me, it’s about discrimination. It doesn’t make sense. I didn’t choose to be born like this. What am I? I’m created by God.”At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Semenya and Chand competed, and other athletes implied that other runners, including medalists in the 800 meters, also had elevated levels.“I think that we need separate events for them and for us,” Nataliia Lupu of Ukraine said after running against Semenya. “You can see that it’s easy for them.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Maria Sharapova withdraws from Italian Open with lingering shoulder injury “This decision marks a massive turning point as it now redefines what a female athlete in particular is,” said Natalie du Toit, head of the organization’s athletes commission, adding: “Knowing Caster and the hard work she has put into her sport, we support all her endeavors, and we are all behind her.”The IAAF went into the case arguing that female runners with high testosterone have an unfair advantage in events from 400 meters to the mile. However, the court suggested that the IAAF apply the rules only up to the 800 because the evidence was not clear that women with hyperandrogenism have an edge in the 1,500 meters and above.Under the rule, female athletes whose medical profiles previously showed high testosterone will be subject to blood tests to prove they have complied.An appeal to Switzerland’s Supreme Court is possible. But judges rarely overturn decisions of the world sports court.Ross Tucker, a sports science consultant who testified on Semenya’s behalf and boasts of a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, said the scientific evidence is insufficient to justify the rules. He said that as a result of the court decision, other sports will essentially copy the IAAF’s regulations.“For them, every fear and concern they had that they will be in the spotlight for introducing similar rules will be gone,” he said. “Other sports will be super happy because the pressure’s off to develop their own regulations.”He said the ruling moves the world of sports closer to developing its own definition of gender, based on hormone levels.“‘Sporting sex’ has been introduced,” he said. “That is where the decision does have far-reaching effects.”John Brewer, a professor of applied sports science at the Buckinghamshire New University in Britain who supports the IAAF rule, said such regulations could end up being adopted not just by individual sports but by team sports such as rugby, soccer and field hockey.Hormone-blocking drugs can increase the risk of blood clots, thinning bones, fractures and heart problems.last_img read more

Barack Obama puts South China Sea back on agenda at ASEAN Summit

first_imgPresident Barack Obama put the long-simmering dispute in the South China Sea front and center on the agenda at a regional summit on Thursday as it became clear that most of the other leaders gathered in the Laotian capital were going to let China off with a mild rebuke over its territorial expansion in the resource-rich waters.”We will continue to work to ensure that disputes are resolved peacefully including in the South China Sea,” Obama said in his opening remarks at a meeting with leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.He said an international arbitration ruling on July 12 against China was “binding” and “helped to clarify maritime rights in the region”.ASEAN will hold a separate summit later Thursday with other world powers, including China and the US. The summit is expected to let China off with a muted reprimand over its expansionist activities in South China Sea, according to a draft of their joint statement to be released Thursday.CHINA’S CLOUTThe mild language in the statement, despite growing frustrations in the region over China’s claims, is a reflection of Beijing’s diplomatic, economic and military clout within ASEAN, which forms the core of the East Asia Summit that also includes the US, China, Russia, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.The US has repeatedly expressed concern over Beijing’s actions in the resource-rich sea. Obama brought that up again.Referring to the arbitration panel’s ruling that invalidated China’s claims, Obama said: “I realize this raises tensions but I also look forward to discussing how we can constructively move forward together to lower tensions and promote diplomacy and regional stability.”advertisementChina went to great lengths to block any references in the statement to land reclamation, militarization or loss of trust, lobbying for the document to avoid mention of recent activities or the need to respect legal processes, said a senior Obama administration official.CONCERN OVER DEVELOPMENTSThough Beijing recently announced a 600 million dollar aid package to ally Cambodia, China was unable to get it to block the statement, said the official, who requested anonymity to discuss diplomatic discussions. Instead, Cambodia opposed including an explicit mention of the UN tribunal’s ruling, the official said.”We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability and security and freedom of navigation in and over-flight in the South China Sea,” said the draft.”Several Leaders remained seriously concerned over recent developments in the South China Sea … We stressed the importance for the parties concerned to resolve their disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international laws,” it said.The statement also made no reference to the land reclamation activities by China, which has turned shoals and coral reefs into seven man-made islands and built airstrips capable of handling military aircraft on three of them. ASEAN leaders at their earlier summit on Tuesday expressed concern over China’s island-building.The ASEAN leaders had also said that their summit “took note of the concerns expressed by some leaders on the land reclamations and escalation of activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region”.The use of the phrase “some leaders” in the two statements underscores the fundamental problem ASEAN and the wider East Asia Summit has in dealing with China not all its members are willing to scold Beijing. Cambodia, for example, remains firmly in China’s camp, as is Laos to a large extent, preventing any robust statement from the consensus-bound ASEAN group.CLAIMS OVER LANDThe issue of ownership of territories in the South China Sea has come to dominate ASEAN summits in recent years. China claims virtually the entire sea as its own, citing historical reasons. That has pitted it against the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, all members of ASEAN, which have overlapping claims.On Wednesday, the Philippines released what it says are surveillance pictures of Chinese coast guard ships and barges at the disputed Scarborough Shoal, an apparent attempt to publicize its concerns before ASEAN leaders met with Chinese Premier Li Kequiang in Vientiane.The Philippines is concerned that China may plan to turn the shoal into another man-made island.CHINA’S DENIALBut Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China has not done anything to alter the circumstances surrounding the shoal.”What I can tell you is that the situation in waters near Huangyan Island remains unchanged and China hasn’t made any new moves,” Hua said in Beijing, using the shoal’s Chinese name. “We should be highly alert against the mischief-making intentions of people who spread such groundless information in such situations.”advertisementNew Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has taken a more conciliatory approach to China than his predecessor, and has said he would not raise the dispute in an adversarial manner that might upset Beijing.The US military has also expressed concern over the possibility that China might turn Scarborough into another island, something that would give Beijing’s forces greater control over a swath of the South China Sea used as a passageway to the Taiwan Strait.Also Read:Ahead of summit, Philippines shows images of Chinese boats at disputed shoallast_img read more

Toronto Wolfpack face London Broncos in Million Pound Game

first_imgRugby league Roosters run riot to deny NRL grand final repeat for the Storm Hull KR Toronto started Sunday in one of the Qualifiers’ three automatic promotion places but knew if Hull KR beat Widnes by 14 points or more they would be forced to go through the play‑off of fourth versus fifth. It was clear early on that would be Toronto’s fate, with the Robins beating the relegated Vikings 30-0.Danny McGuire has been instrumental in Hull KR’s attempts to survive in their first season back in Super League, and here the half-back had a hand in three tries which put them 20-0 up by half-time against a Widnes side who exit Super League having not beaten a top-flight team since April.It means Hull KR join Leeds and Salford as the three Qualifiers sides guaranteed top-flight rugby in 2019, with Super League now shifting its focus to the play-offs this week. The runaway league leaders, St Helens, head into the semi-finals favourites to become champions for a seventh time – they host Warrington in the first play-off game on Thursday.On Friday second-placed Wigan welcome third-placed Castleford, who will be aiming to reach the Grand Final for a second successive year. The Warriors begin that game favourites, though, having won their past seven games on the run-in to the play-offs, as they aim to send their long-serving coach, Shaun Wane, out with another title before he departs for Scottish rugby union.The winners meet at Old Trafford on Saturday 13 October, before British rugby league again revamps its domestic structure over the winter. Since you’re here… Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Toronto Wolfpack news Share on Facebook Widnes Vikings Read more Topicscenter_img Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Reuse this content Super League Super League XXIII (2018) Share on Messenger Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp London Broncos The fourth and final Million Pound Game in the event’s short-lived history will be arguably the most cosmopolitan and interesting, as Toronto Wolfpack host London Broncos in Canada next weekend to determine the 12th and final participant in Super League next season.This has been a heartening year for rugby league expansionists, with Catalans Dragons becoming the first non-English winners of the Challenge Cup in the sport’s 123-year history. On Sunday the Wolfpack, formed two years ago, face the Broncos to determine who replaces Widnes in Super League in 2019.last_img read more

Will the W Series herald a new age for women in motor sport?

first_imgWhere is it happening and when?All six rounds of the W Series take place at European circuits. The races will be televised live on Channel 4 (coverage on Saturday begins at 2.45pm BST), with a broadcast team of David Coulthard, Lee McKenzie, Ted Kravitz and the lead commentator, Claire Cottingham. After the opening round at Hockenheim it will visit Zolder in Belgium, Misano in Italy, the Norisring in Germany and Assen in the Netherlands before the finale at Brands Hatch on 10-11 August. Each race weekend will consist of two practice sessions on day one, followed by qualifying and the race on day two. Britain’s Flick Haigh heads for Le Mans despite lack of funding Read more Since you’re here… Hide Ninety years ago Eliska Junkova – the queen of the steering wheel as she was known – lit up motor racing. An exceptional talent, the Czech driver was an inspirational figure for women in the 1920s. This weekend 18 of her spiritual heirs will take to the grid for the inaugural round of the all-female W Series. They believe the championship will be equally groundbreaking, changing the landscape for women in a sport that has remained almost exclusively male-dominated since Junkova’s time. Thank you for your feedback. Who are the drivers?From more than 100 applicants from 30 countries, 54 drivers were initially selected by a panel including Coulthard, Red Bull’s technical director, Adrian Newey, and the former McLaren team manager Dave Ryan. Two separate selection tests, analysing driving as well as media, technical engineering and fitness assessments, were conducted before the final 18 were chosen. Britain’s representatives are Alice Powell, Jamie Chadwick, Esmee Hawkey, Jessica Hawkins and Sarah Moore. Was this helpful? Share on Facebook A women’s-only series to address this is not new but the W Series model is radical. It is funded by private investment and equity, so the drivers are not required to bring any backing. Instead they have been selected through on-track tests. Skill, not money, is dictating the seats. It gives them the chance to showcase their talent, while forging what is hoped to be a long‑term championship to keep female drivers in the spotlight.Alice Powell is one of five British drivers on the grid. A huge talent and winner of two championships, she was forced to drop out of racing in 2014 because of a lack of funding and has described the sport as “a billionaire boys’ club”. The W Series has given the 26-year-old a second chance.”I want to try and progress and reintegrate myself into other series,” she says. “Whether that be F2, Le Mans, DTM [the German touring car series], I just want to be driving again at a high level.”She is not alone. Despite success in karting, the 24-year-old American driver Sabré Cook struggled to find funding for a full season in cars and is appreciative of this chance. “I probably wouldn’t have been driving at all if it wasn’t for the W Series. They want to give women the time to develop as drivers and the necessary connections and funding, so that if we do well we can move on and compete and win against men. It will show the younger generations they can choose this as a career, give young girls something to aim for.” Read more Share on Pinterest Topics Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. What are the cars?The W Series aims to highlight driver talent and a single-make racing car will present a level playing field. All the drivers will be using the Italian manufacturer Tatuus’s T-318 Formula Three car and will be run by one team, Hitech GP. Hitech, who have been competing since 2002, have entries in the FIA Formula Three Championship and the F3 Asian Championship. The cars will use 1.8L turbo-charged engines, feature the halo cockpit safety device and run on Hankook tyres of only two types, slick and wet Formula One Pinterest If we do well we can move on and compete and win against men. It will show young girls they can choose this as a career Facebook center_img Alice Powell: ‘The W Series has given me the chance to get back out racing’ Show Support The Guardian Twitter Share on LinkedIn ‘The drivers are not required to bring any backing. Instead they have been selected through on-track tests. Skill, not money, is dictating the seats.’ Photograph: Maja Hitij/Getty Images There has been opposition to the concept, given that motor racing is one of the few sports where women can compete equally against men. Last year Flick Haigh was the first woman to win the British GT Championship but lack of backing has left her without a drive this season. Yet she still rejects the series’ concept. “You are segregating women in a sport where it does not need to happen and shouldn’t happen,” she says. “You are saying to the public: ‘Women need to race with other women.’ That is not the case, it is not about strength or power.” What is at stake?Funding from private equity and investment means competitors are not required to bring any backing, which is how some drivers in Formula One are hired and is proving to be a huge obstacle to youngsters climbing the motor sport ladder. W Series drivers will be competing for a considerable prize fund as well as the hoped for career advances that may follow. The series has $1.5m to award across the 18 competitors with the winner set to receive $500,000. Motor sport Other drivers share this view, as well as the belief the money should have been spent backing women in existing series against men. Their arguments are answered robustly by Muir. “I don’t recognise it as segregation,” she says. “We are encouraging our drivers to race against men, an aim of W Series is to enable women to compete more successfully against men.” Equally, she believes their strategy’s long‑term goal is more effective. “If we had spent that money on individual drivers that money would be gone, where we have invested it in the business model,” she argues.The model’s success is far from guaranteed. Pre-season running suggests it will present a genuinely close contest and Channel 4 has opted to show every race live. There is also a sense the series is generating interest beyond motor racing’s traditional audience. The criticism, especially from female drivers, is understandable but equally it seems clear something positive is being achieved by putting women on the track and in the public eye.Certainly the enthusiasm of the drivers is unmistakable: they do not feel segregated but empowered. Now they and the W Series must make their mark. If it brings more women into racing and helps promote some into the highest echelons, it can count itself a success, Junkova’s legacy fulfilled. features Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Reuse this content The floodgates did not open in her wake, however. In Formula One, of the almost 900 drivers who have competed since the world championship began in 1950, only two have been women. Across the sport today, not only are few women involved, many have to drop out for lack of funding and as they fall away, so do the chances of inspiring a new generation. Share on WhatsApp Quick guide W Series: Q&A The W Series, using single-make, single-seater F3 cars, will hold its first race at Hockenheim on Saturday, with practice taking place on Friday. It aims to give female drivers the chance to race, to promote them so they can move on to other series and to provide inspiration to a new generation. The series’ chief executive, Catherine Bond Muir, believes it will herald a new age.“In 10 years’ time there will be so many women involved in motor sport it will be commonplace,” she says. “We will have to remind ourselves that back in 2019 we could count the number of women across the globe racing in single-seater series on one hand.”The series hopes to follow Junkova’s pioneering example. In 1926 she was the first woman to take part in the fearsome Targa Florio, featuring a 67-mile lap of about 1,400 corners in the mountains of Sicily. In 1927 she became the first woman to win a grand prix, a class victory at the Nürburgring. In 1928 she led the Targa Florio only to suffer a water pump failure on the final lap. Junkova proved – if proof was needed – that women could master both the physicality and art of motor racing. Share via Emaillast_img read more

Athletes are shot dead all the time in the US. It makes grim, tragic sense

first_imgTopics Share on LinkedIn NFL Share on Twitter Gun violence is of particular interest to athletes of color because they are more in danger of being victims than their white teammates. African Americans comprise only 13% of the population, yet as of 2017, players of color made up 42.5% of the MLB, 80.7% of the NBA, and over 70% of the NFL. At the same time, blacks make up 58% of gun homicide victims while guns are the leading cause of death of black males between 15 and 34. Among whites, 77% of gun deaths are the result of suicide, while among blacks 82% of gun deaths are the result of homicide. This is especially worrisome when you realize that while 41% of white households own guns, only 19% of black households do. Fewer blacks have guns but they are much more likely to catch a bullet.I own guns. Over the years, I’ve supplemented my studies of the history of the Old West by collecting a number of guns and other paraphernalia from that era. So, this is not a finger-wagging creed demanding the banning of all firearms. Instead, it is an exploration of the passive-aggressive and sometimes abusive relationship among sports, violence, and guns. All three of these are powerful social influencers of how the world sees America and how Americans see themselves. Maybe therein lies the answer.Violence is in the DNA of most popular sports, which either include some form of violence in the play and/or elicit violence from rabid fans. Perhaps the worst case of fan violence occurred in AD532 during which a chariot race resulted in half of Constantinople being burned and 30,000 people killed. Most people are familiar with more modern fan riots following championships as well as games in which players (myself included) punch, kick, or bite each other. While fan violence is difficult to control, players have to behave within strict rules or be punished. Sport tries to create a well-regulated form of entertainment that pushes athletes to their physical and emotional edges, but reins them in from going too far. In general, that philosophy works so that sport, while acknowledging our aggressive impulses, promotes individuals striving to go beyond what people have achieved before. But we also have to accept some responsibility when we see referees standing around letting two hockey players pummel each other, or we see the benches clear for a brawl at the pitcher’s mound, we are sending a message that this is how adults resolve problems. It’s entertaining, but maybe we need to be more vigilant in condemning it.Interwoven in this tapestry of sports and gun violence in the US is our current political landscape, which pundits and politicians constantly describe as the product of a deeply divided country. However, as far as I can remember, the country has always been deeply divided – that’s one of the defining elements of a democracy because we encourage diverse opinions. These divisions are eventually bridged when the public is informed through facts, statistics, and experts. Knowledge leads to mutual compromise. Is LeBron James a better player than me? Is Hawkeye better than Green Arrow? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Messenger Kareem Abdul-Jabbar US sports Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook NBA “A senseless act of violence.” That’s how University of New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nuñez described the 4 May shooting death of 23-year-old UNM baseball player Jackson Weller. But he might just as easily have been describing the killing that same day of 14-year-old football phenom Jaylon McKenzie, shot along with a 15-year-old girl at a party. Or the shooting death six days earlier of Dwane Simmons and the wounding of his college roommate, Corey Ballentine, recently drafted by the New York Giants. Three young athletes killed in the space of a week. Three families destroyed. Three promising athletic careers cut short.Devastating. Tragic. But maybe not so senseless.There is a certain perverse logic when we look at the numbers, the macabre math of murder. A US Centers for Disease Control report concludes that gun deaths in the US are at a 20-year high at nearly 40,000 people in 2017. A previous CDC report placed homicide by firearm as the second-leading injury category for Americans between the ages of 15 and 24. Given these statistics – and many more – it seems less “senseless” that these shootings take place, than inevitable. The senselessness is in our drowsy reaction. NHL Basketball Yet, under the Trump Administration, rational discourse has been under direct attack. The president has called the press the “enemy of the people” and encouraged supporters to verbally and physically harass reporters. Instead, disinformation is given out to the public (Trump recently passed his 10,000th lie as president) directly and through what amounts to the public relations branch of the White House, Fox News. This tactic is meant to stem the flow of information to the people. Which is why the US has a higher proportion of climate-change deniers than almost any other country in the world, and why anti-vaxxers thrive. Scientific, medical, and legal experts are being discredited whenever they say something that makes people uncomfortable or interferes with those seeking profits. This removes any way for people of goodwill but with differing opinions to hash out those differences by examining the facts.The result is that the most uninformed, irrational, and violent among us are encouraged to express their rage. This has led to increased attacks on Muslims, Jews, and others. Hate crimes increased nationwide in 2017 and then again in 2018. Of course, those without the ability or inclination to articulate issues and discuss them rationally will want to support their opinions with guns. And guns need targets. In the past few years, athletes have become more outspoken in protesting the rise in perceived social injustices and in doing so have made themselves targets. Most of these outspoken athletes – Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Stephen Curry – are black, which statistically already makes them bigger targets anyway.My fascination with the Old West is in how people braved harsh elements and harsher people to build a lawful civilization, while at the same time justifying eradicating indigenous people who’d already done that. Guns allowed them to exert their brand of morality and eliminate any who didn’t agree. But that is the history of nearly all civilizations, including indigenous people. Might makes right. The gun has been the symbol of every aggressive US expansion policy from manifest destiny to eminent domain to American exceptionalism. That’s why we feature it so much in our movies, TV shows, and literature. Disagreements lead to violence and violence is resolved by who has the biggest gun.But there’s a difference between entertaining fantasy and operating in the real world. Sports, movies, television, and video games create a fantasy world where violent impulses can be acknowledged without being endorsed as appropriate behavior. In the real world, where issuing “thoughts and prayers” to victims’ families is easier than turning down gun lobby money, we need to demand extensive gun legislation that restricts who gets guns, what kind of guns are available, and why they want guns. Anything else is senseless. And we know what that leads to. Share on Pinterest Read more comment The way Americans regard sports heroes versus intellectuals speaks volumes Support The Guardian Share via Email MLB Baseball Read more Since you’re here… Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Solskjaer makes it eight from eight to extend record

first_imgOle Gunnar Solskjaer continued his flawless start to life as Manchester United manager as the team made it eight out of eight under the Norwegian with a 3-1 win at Arsenal.Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial dragged United to victory at the Emirates despite Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s strike which temporarily cut the deficit.Solskjaer had already set a club record at Old Trafford for consecutive wins at the beginning of a managerial tenure, clocking up victories in each of his first seven games since succeeding Jose Mourinho as boss on December 18th. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And the caretaker boss has now moved one match further ahead of previous record-holder, United legend Sir Matt Busby, becoming the club’s first-ever manager to win his first eight games at the helm.Solskjaer is still due to step down as manager at Old Trafford at the end of the season, but his case for serious consideration as the club’s next permanent boss is getting harder by the week for United chief Ed Woodward to ignore.The Red Devils have hauled themselves into contention for a top-four Premier League place since Mourinho was removed, and look a good bet to rescue a season that had seemed to be drifting towards disaster under the Portuguese.And victory at the Emirates – United’s sixth since Arsenal left their former home Highbury, more than any other visiting side – reinforced their credentials as possible winners of the FA Cup for a joint-record 13th time.Lingard has now scored four goals for United against Arsenal in all competitions – double the number he has scored against any other opponent for the Red Devils.Arsenal and United are neck and neck in the race to secure the Premier League’s final Champions League place in what is likely to be three-way race with Chelsea.Unites still have to visit the Emirates in the league later this year.last_img read more

Ranveer Singh: I knew Deepika Padukone was mother of my children 6 months into our relationship

first_img India Today Web Desk New DelhiMarch 1, 2019UPDATED: March 1, 2019 21:43 IST Ranveer Singh opened up on his love story with Deepika Padukone on Day 1 of India Today Conclave 2019. Photo: Chandradeep KumarRanveer Singh made a promising start in Bollywood with 2010 film Band Baaja Baraat. And nine years since then, Ranveer’s popularity and craft has seen a meteroic rise. Be it playing an anti-hero like Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat or a notorious policewala in Simmba or a rapper in Gully Boy, the 33-year-old actor has shown his versatility with each of his films. If he is a hero on the big screen, he is a star off it.On Day 1 of India Today Conclave 2019, Ranveer opened up on his love story with Deepika Padukone, the success of Gully Boy and the return of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India.Excerpts from his interview:ON ABHINANDAN’S RETURNI am very happy and elated. The entire nation is rejoicing. I was disturbed seeing the imagery that has come out. Gully Boy had come out the same day as Pulwama Attack. I should have been on the top of the world but I am down in the dumps. I was extremely upset and frustrated.Today is a good day, but let’s not forget what has happened recently. I don’t think we are back to any semblance of normalcy. The kind of dignity with which he [Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman] carried himself, he is true hero. So proud of him.ON BANNING PAKISTANI ARTISTS IN INDIAI am very cognisant that there is this school of thought that one should not mix art and sport with it, they are two different realms. But at the same time, us as artists and sportsmen, we are not sacrificing the same way that some of our compatriots are. If there is even one mother of a soldier who believes we should not engage, we should respect it. Their sentiments are of utmost importance.advertisementON HIS BEST YEARDeepika Padukone ko wife bana diya, ye hoti hai achievement, ter bhai jais koi hard-ich nai hai.For the good year, I couldn’t have anticipated it. Khilji and Simmba and Gully Boy, they are very different from each other. People are recognising my verstaility. This year it is more evident than ever before and it is very heartening for me. With the kind of adulation, I have been getting.In my next film, I am playing Kapil Dev. The most spectacular underdog story. It is a film of a lifetime. The story is unbelievable. I am 85 born. When Kabir [Khan] sir came to me, he told me the actual story. we didn’t know the magnitude of the story. They changed the attitude of the people.ON MEETING MODIIt was a pleasant meeting. Some very good and positive things came out of that meeting. GST reduced, it was a good thing for Bollywood. That kind of engagement was fruitful. He also asked the actors and filmamkers to try and pass on the message of unity in our films. And I am doing that with my next film -83.ON MINDSETI go back to my core. I was a little kid with big dreams. This industry has accepted me with open arms. Main actor ban gaya, isse badi aur kya baat ho sakti hai. That’s all I wanted to do. I ever dreamt of being a Hindi hero. My mindset is simple. I will put my heart and soul and entertain people.ON MOTIVATION TO BE BESTI am trying to be myself and to evolve. We as artists, we live in realm of subjectivity. So, there is no quantifiable parameter. I am not trying to trump anyone else.ON MONEYThe money is great but I don’t work for the money. Acting is my true passion. I am few lucky people who gets to do what he loves for living. It was too far-fetched to think that I would get a break in films. But with the support of my parents, I was able to do it.ON MISTAKESI tend to overdo things in a wave of excitement or to give people a piece of me. At times, my overenthusiasm that I can regard as mistakes. I need to curb my overexcitement.ON LOVE STORY WITH DEEPIKA PADUKONEIt was a breeze. Six years fielding ki bhai ne aur pakda catch. Six months into our relationship, I knew she was the one. This is the one I want to marry and get old with and be the mother of my children. I nutured it, cultivated it. She took her to come around. It was a matter of time. I wanted her.advertisementON DEALING WITH DEEPIKA’S DREPRESSIONThere are phases in very relationship. If your focus is to make it work regardless of any issues, then you do it. As a couple, we have seen each other in every phase. I have seen her through different phases. She once went into this unprecedented stratosphere of stardom and post 2013, I started dating her before that. I have seen a lot of growth and evolution. We have grown together. It is a matter of being patient and sensitive and having that empathy. She is the warmest, nicest, all cosuming magic soul in the world. I am the luckiest guy in the world.ON SECURITYDo I seem like an insecure person? I am an extemely secure in who I am and what I am. I know no one can love her the way I do.ON EQUATION WITH RANBIR AND ALIAI worked with Alia in Gully Boy. She is a very special actor, she is an unbelievable actor. She is outstanding. Our first collaboration has turned out to be special.Ranbir, we had many oppotunities to work together but never worked out. But I would want to collaborate with him in the near future.ON GULLY BOY AND LOVE FOR RAP CULTUREAffluence is relative. I had this advantage of where I grew up- Bandra West is affluent and Bandra East is not so affluent. I grew up on the vantage point. I used to go to school in the West and play cricket with friends from the other part. When i started working on the film, many asked how I got the diction so well. I told them, ‘This is how I have grown up’. I was waiting for me to portray it on the big screen.I am particularly proud of Gully Boy. Zoya [Akhtar] told me it is not about you and me, but about the guys who have dreams and hopes.WATCH: Ranveer Singh makes Delhi dance to Gully Boy at India Today Conclave 2019ALSO READ | Ranveer Singh on IAF hero Abhinandan’s return: Today is a good day but let’s not forget PulwamaALSO READ | Ranveer Singh on Pak actors ban: If even one soldier’s mother believes in it, we should do itALSO WATCH | Deepika Padukone marries Ranveer Singh in ItalyGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bycharu thakur Tags :Follow Ranveer SinghFollow Abhinandan VarthamanFollow Gully BoyFollow India Today Conclave 2019 Ranveer Singh: I knew Deepika Padukone was mother of my children 6 months into our relationshipAt India Today Conclave 2019, Ranveer Singh opened about his love story with wife Deepika Padukone. He revealed that within six months of dating her, he knew that she was the one for him.advertisementlast_img read more

LNG Can Become the Most Important Fuel Solution

first_imgzoom LNG as a fuel has the potential to become the most important fuel solution for environmentally sustainable shipping over the next few years, the CMA Shipping 2016 in Connecticut has heard.Namely, during a presentation at the conference, Dr. Gerd-Michael Würsig, Business Director LNG fuelled ships at DNV GL — Maritime, looked at some of the current issues in the LNG industry and provided an overview of what DNV GL is doing to support growth in this segment.“The main drivers, in order of importance, are price, availability, and of course legislation,” he said.In a low cost market with a vast number of liquefaction plants commissioned or under construction, DNV GL expects global LNG production to grow by around 40 percent over the next four years, when  compared to figures from 2014.Looking ahead, DNV GL expects the overall use of alternative fuels to increase, including LNG, methanol, and other new fuels produced from natural resources. However, the challenge will be aligning partners across the industry and regulators around the world.“It is clear that operators and owners are looking to regulators and class societies for guidance. Throughout the week, we’ve repeatedly heard that companies are ‘learning as they go.’ DNV GL’s notations on gas fueled ships are the most advanced available and address the global picture,” explained Paal Johansen, DNV GL’s Executive Vice President for Region Americas.“We are very pleased to see the significant growth within the LNG industry in the Americas. Looking at the newbuilding projects, 25 percent confirmed they will operate in American waters, which means this region will be second only to Europe in terms of LNG operations,” Johansen added.Currently, there are roughly 160 ships in operation and on order worldwide.DNV GL has just released a new LNG intelligence portal (LNGi) on Monday, March 21, which allows subscribers to assess the availability of LNG fuel for specific trade routes and newbuild projects. It also provides information about current market developments, as well as status updates of other alternative fuels and emissions reduction technologies across every vessel segment.last_img read more

Western Region Preliminary Assessment Notices Sent

first_imgMore than 300,000 Nova Scotia property owners will have a chance to review their proposed 2007 assessments, now that notices are in the mail. The proposed notices were sent to owners of properties whose assessments are expected to increase by more than three per cent in 2007, and are based on Jan. 1, 2005 market value. Proposed notices allow property owners to make inquiries about their proposed assessment before the formal assessment notice is sent in January. In the western region, which includes Hants West, Kings, Annapolis, and Digby counties, the total proposed combined value of 2007 commercial and residential property assessments is almost $6.6 billion, up almost 5.4 per cent from 2006. Residential proposed assessments in the west are showing a total increase of 5.9 per cent, while commercial proposed assessments are up over four per cent. The most common reason for an increase in a residential assessment is that the value of a property increased as a result of a strong real estate market. Assessments also change when renovations or additions are done to a property. All properties in Nova Scotia are assessed at market value. Nova Scotia property owners can check their 2007 proposed assessment online by going to www.nsassessment.ca and clicking on online property assessment information. “Sending Nova Scotia property owners their proposed assessment in June, means that they can talk to us and get information about their property assessment before the formal assessment notice is sent in January,” said Tannis Seewald, acting regional director for the western regional assessment office. “This year, the information will also help property owners decide if they will apply for the 2007 CAP Assessment Program.” The CAP Assessment Program is designed to help protect property owners from sudden and dramatic increases in market value by placing a limit or “cap” on the amount of taxable assessment increase on eligible properties. Property owners who qualified for the program in the past need not reapply. Applications are available online at www.nsassessment.ca/cap , by calling 1-800-667-5727, or at any assessment office, municipal tax office, Access Nova Scotia Centre or registry of deeds. “We encourage property owners to call us or visit our website if they have any questions about their preliminary assessment or need further information about the CAP Program,” she added.last_img read more

June Tourism Stats Available

first_imgNova Scotia welcomed more than 197,000 visitors in June, a two per cent decrease — or about 3,500 fewer visitors — compared with June 2007. So far this year, there have been 824,000 visitors to Nova Scotia, which is about the same as as the first six months of 2007. “Year to date, we’re on par with last year,” said Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “We will get a better sense of how the whole tourism season is unfolding as we get the numbers for our peak period which runs through the summer and into the fall.” Room nights sold across the province were up seven per cent compared with last June, with all regions seeing increases. The regions of Yarmouth and Acadian Shores and metro Halifax/Dartmouth each saw an eight per cent increase. There were 14 per cent fewer American visitors, which represents 3,600 fewer people in June. Overall, visits from the rest of Canada are consistent with June 2007. Although there was a decrease in Atlantic Canadian visitors, there were more visitors from Western Canada, which had a 12 per cent increase year to date, as well as Ontario and Quebec. There were 18 per cent more overseas visitors, which is about 1,300 more people in June. In keeping with recent trends, the number of people travelling to Nova Scotia by road decreased nine per cent, while visits by air were up 17 per cent in June. Nova Scotia’s comprehensive system for reporting tourism statistics includes counting overnight visitors — excluding Nova Scotia residents — at all entry points to the province and gathering the number of room nights sold from all licensed accommodation operators. Detailed tourism statistics can be found on the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc/pubs/insights . Statistics for July are expected to be released in early September.last_img read more

Projects to Help Reduce Flood Risk for Communities

first_img Residents and businesses in Colchester County will benefit from work to help minimize the risk of flood damage. Lenore Zann, MLA for Bible-Hill Truro, on behalf of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell, today, Sept. 4, announced $700,000 to support eight projects through the Flood Risk Infrastructure Investment Program. “We need to work co-operatively with municipalities and communities to reduce the risk of floods with the objective to prevent damage where possible,” said Ms. Zann. “That is why the province is supporting efforts to improve infrastructure, provide better information and work with municipalities on new or strengthened planning.” In April, the province announced a flood-mitigation framework to help Nova Scotia communities. It will provide $3 million annually over the next five years. Each year, $300,000 will be used for risk assessments to identify solutions, $700,000 will fund up to half the cost of community infrastructure investments to reduce floods, and $2 million will help improve safeguards such as provincial dykes and berms. Colchester County communities are receiving funding this year because it is particularly vulnerable to flooding. Approved projects include installing permanent flow monitoring stations, raising dykes, stabilizing river banks and removing sediment from stream beds. “After months of consultation with citizens and Colchester County, I am pleased that work has started on our regional flood plan,” said Truro Mayor Bill Mills. “Thanks to the province for its commitment and follow through to help in our region’s efforts to work toward long-term solutions to long-standing flooding issues in our communities. We appreciate promises made and kept that will also be of benefit to other flood-prone areas in Nova Scotia.” “The community has recognized for many years that a major cause of flooding in our area has been the buildup of material in our rivers,” said Municipality of Colchester Mayor Bob Taylor. “This has been happening for over 50 years and now, through this joint effort, we are finally doing something about it. This is living proof of what can be accomplished when all orders of government get together and work together on projects.” Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade said they are pleased to have worked with the Joint Flood Advisory Committee to find solutions to the flooding issues. “We expect that the flood water containment project, involving tributary brooks and streams that lead to McClure’s Brook through Millbrook lands, will mitigate these reoccurring significant flooding events,” said Chief Gloade. “I believe that our co-operation with the Town of Truro and the County of Colchester with storm water management initiatives and strategic planning will continue to yield positive results as we move forward to mitigate the risks associated with flooding within each of our communities.” Note: A list of the projects follows the release.last_img read more

Havens needed for unwanted babies advocates say after Toronto baby abandonment report

first_imgTORONTO – The media frenzy surrounding reports that a newborn baby had been abandoned in Toronto highlights the need for Canada to fall in line with other countries around the world and offer safe havens for unwanted infants, advocacy groups said Wednesday.Few details of the case are known as city police remain tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation.They have confirmed that a woman claiming to be a passerby discovered a baby boy behind a plaza in the city’s west end. Media reports, however, have since quoted sources as saying the person making the report was the child’s teenage mother, who was visiting the country from abroad.Police said they have located the mother and do not intend to lay charges, but said the investigation into the matter is ongoing. The baby remains in hospital in critical condition, while the mother is receiving undisclosed medical care.Regardless of the particulars of the case, advocates said it shines a light on what they perceive as a gap in Canada’s child welfare system.All 50 states in the U.S. and several countries throughout the European Union have “safe haven” legislation in place that allows parents to leave children in a secure location and walk away without identifying themselves. Proponents of the system said it allows parents coming from vulnerable situations to ensure a baby’s safety while preserving their own anonymity.But Canada has no such law on the books, a situation the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness would like to see changed.“There’s nothing. There’s no resources or places to go or things to do,” president Helena Kameka said in a telephone interview. “All there is is the fear of the parent.”Kameka said abandoning a child is not illegal in Canada so long as the baby is unharmed.But she said widespread ignorance of this fact sometimes prompts parents to take desperate steps which could paradoxically leave them open to charges if caught.Kameka said her organization has been lobbying the Ontario government on the issue for years without success, saying she’s unsure as to why efforts have met with so much resistance.Despite its widespread adoption outside of Canada, safe havens have come in for strong public criticism from some prominent international voices.In a 2012 report, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child called for an outright ban on such spaces, which are often referred to as “baby boxes.”“They are a bad message for society,” said Maria Herczog, a Hungarian child psychologist on the UN committee. “Instead of providing help and addressing some of the social problems and poverty behind these situations, we’re telling people they can just leave their baby and run away.”The committee argued the practice encourages women to have children without getting medical care. It also challenged the perception that only mothers were leaving babies in the safe havens, saying sometimes pimps or others in positions of power over a woman may take a child away from its mother without having to face consequences.Some theorize that Canada is particularly resistant to the idea because of the nature of its health-care system and social safety net.Dr. Geoffrey Cundiff, regional head of obstetrics and gynecology for British Columbia’s Providence Health Care, said Canadians are more likely to believe that existing systems should make it easier to care for newborns, leading to increased stigma for parents who relinquish their infants.But he said the practice of abandoning babies is more common than many believe.“(Babies) are abandoned in hospital monthly. Women come in, give birth, and then leave. But in the community it seems like a different issue.”The lack of safe spaces for babies born out of hospital prompted Cundiff to set up one of the few safe spaces available in Canada.Since 2010, the Angel’s Cradle program has operated an incubated box at Vancouver’s St. Paul’s hospital where parents can leave an unwanted baby. An alarm will sound after the baby has been inside for 30 seconds, giving parents time to walk away.Since then, two Edmonton hospitals have established similar spaces. Cundiff said the Vancouver Angel’s Cradle has been used twice since it was set up.Cundiff said it’s important for vulnerable parents to have access to a channel that will protect both the baby’s safety and their own anonymity.For Kameka, the need for safe havens is more explicitly about the children.“When you’re a newborn and you’re discarded, you have rights,” she said. “You’re a citizen of this country, and it’s just unthinkable that it’s not important for us to protect those who can’t speak for themselves.”last_img read more

Arrest of theft suspect at Vancouver airport likely part of larger ring

first_imgRICHMOND, B.C. — RCMP say a woman arrested at Vancouver’s airport for allegedly stealing a passenger’s purse is believed to be part of an organized group of thieves targeting airports.The Mounties say the 60-year-old woman was arrested by Vancouver airport RCMP officers in conjunction with an ongoing undercover theft investigation.The RCMP says plainclothes teams have been at the airport conducting surveillance since March for theft issues primarily at the international arrivals terminal.Police say other law enforcement agencies besides the RCMP are interested in the accused and have been involved in the investigation.RCMP say the woman is in custody and police are looking at the possibility of linking her with multiple thefts.RCMP Inspector Keith Bramhill says in a statement that thieves who specialize in theft at airports generally work in teams and divert attention from passengers to steal valuables.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

More Stars Named For 17th Annual 24 Hour Plays

first_imgMore favorites of stage and screen have joined the star-studded line-up for the 17th-Annual 24 Hour Plays on Broadway.Michael Shannon, Rachel Dratch, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Paul Sparks, Annie Parisse, Carolyn Cantor and Leslye Headland are the latest to join the exceptional group of artists who will come together to write, direct and perform six original plays within 24 hours. The culminating performance will take place on Monday, October 30th at 8:00pm at the American Airlines Theatre.Proceeds from the one-night-only performance benefit the Company’s program supporting theatre professionals 25 and under through The 24 Hour Plays: Nationals and The Lilly Awards Foundation’s work supporting women in theatre and promoting gender parity.As previously announced, this year’s cast also features Raul Castillo, Josh Charles, Jackie Cruz, Jennifer Esposito, Noah Galvin, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Nina Hellman, Cush Jumbo, Mia Katigbak, Lola Kirke, Russell G. Jones, Orlando Pabotoy, Christina Ricci, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Justice Smith, Lois Smith and Yul Vazquez.Cantor joins the directing team for this year that also includes May Adrales, Warren Leight, Patricia McGregor, Jessica Stone and Kate Whoriskey. Headland joins the writing team of Fernanda Coppel, Leslye Headland, Chisa Hutchinson, David Lindsay-Abaire, Martyna Majok and Molly Smith Metzler. This year’s musical guest is Shaina Taub. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman will be honored as part of the organization’s partnership with The Lilly Awards.The marathon process for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway begins at 10 p.m. the night before the performance. The writers, directors, actors and production staff – many of whom have never worked with or met each other before – gather for an orientation where they are asked to share one costume piece, one prop, a special skill, and to reveal something that they have always wanted to do on stage. Using these items as inspiration, the writers spend the night developing 10-minute plays. At 9 a.m. on the morning of the event, the actors receive their roles and the directors arrive to begin rehearsal. Less than 12 hours later, they must be ready to perform in front of a live audience.THE 24 HOUR PLAYS ON BROADWAYOctober 30, 2017 at 8 p.m.American Airlines TheatreAdditional tickets for The 24 Hour Plays on Broadway are available for purchase online atwww.24hourplays.com or by calling (212) 868-4444.last_img read more

Ottawa continues mulling how to endorse UN declaration

first_imgAPTN National NewsOTTAWA–The federal government is still examining “how to best formalize” its endorsement of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but appears to stand by its position outlined during debates last week at the UN Human Rights Council that collective rights to not equate to human rights.Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Willie Littlechild said Tuesday that the Canadian delegation at the council had resisted attempts to equate human rights with the collective rights of Indigenous peoples during debate on the wording of a resolution extending the mandate of a UN official tasked with monitoring Indigenous rights around the world.Littlechild said this position was an “attack” on the rights of Indigenous peoples and made him wonder if he could ever reconcile with Canada.Foreign Affairs issued a statement Wednesday saying that Aboriginal treaty rights were already “recognized and affirmed in our Constitution.”The statement also seemed to affirm the distinction between human rights and collective rights.“Canada fully supports that indigenous individuals are entitled, without discrimination, to all human rights recognized in international law, and that indigenous peoples also possess collective rights,” said the Foreign Affairs statement.“In the domestic context, Aboriginal and treaty rights are already recognized and affirmed in our Constitution. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms further provides for the protection of the rights and freedoms of all individuals, including Aboriginal individuals, noting that they should be balanced with the public interest as part of the fundamental values of Canadians,” the statement said.During an appearance before a Senate committee Tuesday morning, Littlechild demanded Canada meet its Speech from the Throne promise and endorse the UN declaration.The department said the government was working on the issue.“The government of Canada remains committed to taking steps to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in a manner that is consistent with Canada’s Constitution and laws,” said the statement.“The government is currently looking at how to best formalize its endorsement. Canada supports the overall aspirations of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and believes endorsement will build on this government’s commitment towards a stronger and more respectful relationship,” the statement said.last_img read more

Canopy Growth to supply marijuana strains seeds to be grown and cultivated

Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED), Canada’s largest licensed cannabis producer, has extended its reach into Europe with an agreement to provide certain marijuana strains and seeds to a Spanish pharmaceutical producer.Canopy Growth announced today that the cannabis giant and its German subsidiary Spektrum Cannabis have signed a supply license agreement with Spain’s Alcaliber.As part of the agreement, Alcaliber will use Canopy Growth strains and seeds to grow and cultivate marijuana at the Spanish producer’s facilities for sale worldwide.This is the latest move by a Canadian licensed marijuana producer towards an international footprint. Earlier this month, B.C.-based cannabis producer Tilray said it planned to invest 20 million euros, or about $29.5 million Canadian, in a medical cannabis operation in Portugal.After winning federal licenses to import cannabis seeds and clones to cultivate them in Portugal, Tilray said it plans to establish a campus north of Lisbon to grow, process and package medical cannabis for the European Union.Canopy Growth shares were up 1.6 percent to $9.33 on Monday morning. read more

UNP led Government to devolve powers

The UNP had supported Sirisena at the January 8 Presidential election when he contested against Mahinda Rajapaksa. (Colombo Gazette) The UNP leader also said that a UNP Government will also look to legalize a special unit to fight corruption. However he said that the UNP later decided to form a broad coalition under the United National Front in order to defeat the threat posed by the current opposition.The opposition United Peoples Freedom Alliance is contesting the Parliament elections with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.Wickremesinghe said that the United National Front will work with President Maithripala Sirisena, if it wins the election. The UNP, which will be contusing the August 17 Parliament election as the United National Front by including candidates from other political parties, is aiming to obtain a Parliament majority to create a stable Government.Wickremesinghe said that the UNP had initially decided to contest the Parliament elections on its own and not as an alliance. A United National Party (UNP) led Government will devolve powers to the provinces within the policies of an undivided Sri Lanka, UNP leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.Speaking at the UNP special convention in Borella, Wickremesinghe said that he believes every community in every part of the country should be able to enjoy equal rights. Wickremesinghe also said land acquired during the war will be returned to the rightful owners in the North and East as well as in the South. read more