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Shopify and Air Canada help lift Toronto stock index energy shares drag

TORONTO — Strong earnings results from Shopify (TSX:SHOP) and Air Canada (TSX:AC) helped offset dragging energy shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s main index Tuesday.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 58.23 points to 15,202.10, with information technology and industrials sectors among the leading advancers.Energy stocks, which retreated more than 0.7 per cent, were the biggest decliners.“We’re seeing a lot of activity, particularly in the tech sector,” said Cavan Yie, a portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. “But the biggest driver in that sector is Shopify’s quarter.”Second-quarter results from the Ottawa-based e-commerce company topped expectations, and its stock closed up $15.72, or 13.68 per cent, to $130.61.Elsewhere on the corporate front, Air Canada shares jumped $1.91, or 9.63 per cent, to $21.74 after it reported record second-quarter earnings.The airline posted a $300 million profit for the period ending June 30, up from $186 million a year ago, as traffic increased and costs dropped.“They put up a very strong earnings number that was above expectations and they also provided a more positive outlook for their business,” said Yie.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average advanced 72.80 points to 21,963.92, its fifth-straight day of record highs. The S&P 500 index edged up 6.05 points to 2,476.35 and the Nasdaq composite index added 14.82 points to 6,362.94.The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 79.91 cents US, down 0.19 of a cent.In commodities, the September crude contract was down $1.01 to US$49.16 per barrel while September natural gas was up three cents at US$2.82 per mmBTU.December gold gained $6.00 to US$1,279.40 an ounce and the September copper gave back one cent at US$2.88 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter. read more

Africa calls for principles of fairer world trade to be worked out

African government ministers in charge of their countries’ economies, meeting under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), have called on rich countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to remove their high tariffs on developing country exports, their distorting export subsidies and other obstacles to fair trade by July.”Africa’s share in world merchandise exports fell from 6.3 per cent in 1980 to 2.5 per cent in 2000. Africa has hardly benefited from the boom in manufactured exports, with Africa’s share in world manufactured exports remaining unchanged at 0.8 per cent in two decades,” the Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development said Saturday in the final statement of their annual conference, held this year in Kampala, Uganda.Africa’s efforts at diversifying its economies by including manufactured exports have been blocked by rich country tariff escalation and tariff peaks on manufactures from developing countries, with some peaks as high as 900 per cent, they said. “We strongly recommend that our development partners should take action to correct this,” the statement said.The Ministers praised the United States legislation known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for opening a window for African goods to be sold in that country. In this regard, they agreed to write to the US Congress to express their concern over delays in extending AGOA provisions from 2008 to 2015.According to the World Bank, the May 2000 AGOA could have increased Africa’s non-oil exports by 8 to 11 per cent. Medium-term gains could have been greater if AGOA had not imposed certain conditions, including the stringent rule-of-origin stipulating that exporters source certain inputs from either within Africa or in the United States, it said.In addition, Africa’s apparel exports would drop by over 30 per cent with the dismantling of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) at the beginning of 2005, giving African exports to the United States competition from many other apparel manufacturers, the World Bank said. If AGOA had provided unrestricted access, the negative impact of the MFA’s end could have been nearly fully offset.In multilateral negotiations, the question of cotton is critical, the ministers said. “This sector is a key contributor to GDP and export earnings, and to employment, in many African countries. Policies in developed countries that have led to overproduction and glutting of world markets have driven down world prices, thus playing havoc with African economies.”The ministers also saw problems in their domestic trade policies and pledged to find new, predictable sources of trade financing and ways of maintaining fiscal stability while advancing trade liberalization in their countries. Intra-African trade accounted for only 10.5 per cent of total exports and 10.1 per cent of imports, they noted. read more

Joey Bosa wins NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Elliott misses out

Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas (73) blocks the San Diego Chargers’ Joey Bosa during the second quarter on Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. Credit: Courtesy of TNSThe Ohio State 2016 NFL Draft class will likely go down in history as one of the best there ever was. Its highest draft pick earned a major achievement on Saturday.Former OSU and current San Diego Charger defensive end Joey Bosa was named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year. Bosa played just 12 games and had the most sacks (10.5) for a rookie since Aldon Smith (14) in 2011. Along with his 10.5 sacks, Bosa had 41 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 15 quarterback hits.The game-altering defensive end gained notoriety in his first game wearing No. 99 for the Chargers. He was just the fifth rookie in NFL history to have two sacks in his first NFL game. After a rather lengthy contract holdout, Bosa injured his hamstring which kept him out until Week 4. Even with that, he had arguably the most dominant defensive rookie in a decade.Bosa was the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.The fourth-overall pick, former Buckeye and current Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott finished behind teammate quarterback Dak Prescott for the league’s offensive rookie of the year. Elliott led the NFL in rushing in his rookie season with 1,631 yards and had 15 touchdowns. read more

Commentary History remembrance at stake in Ohio StateMichigan game

This is it for the Ohio State seniors. On Saturday, they’ll walk into Ohio Stadium gladiators – warriors at the top of their form – ready for perhaps their biggest battle against their most hated enemy. But when they walk out, their careers will be over. There will be no lingering in the sunset of a career, no choice to return for one more season, no resurrection from retirement. They will exit stage right – most of them never to play a meaningful down again – and take their place in history. This senior class has already had most of their history written for them, though. It’s filled with the trials of a turbulent program, a deep-cutting scandal that rocked the team and its supporters to the core and a revolving door of three head coaches in four years. Ten or 20 years from now, those looking back at this period will remember the program’s troubles more than its triumphs. Saturday is an opportunity for the troubled group though. It’s an opportunity for them to control part of their legacy and carve out their own place in the OSU history books instead of having it defined for them. Only nine Buckeye football teams have gone undefeated in the program’s history. Michigan – and only Michigan – stands in the way of this team becoming the 10th. It’s remarkable when you think about it. In 2011 the then-juniors contributed to a team that went 6-7 and lost to Michigan for the first time since 2003. When a postseason ban robbed the group of a bright-lights bowl game in their final year, it would have been easy to throw in the towel. Yet again, factors beyond their control were dictating their future and their place in OSU history. A new coach, who undoubtedly had his gaze transfixed on the future more than the present, had no reason to hold any loyalty for them. The bowl ban meant that the most important aspect of 2012 season quickly became how it would set up the 2013 team. The 2012 team – and its seniors – would be lost in the transition. But somehow, this team became something. It’s on the brink of something great. Sure, the Big Ten is weak this year and sure the out-of-conference schedule was even weaker, but as Kansas State and Oregon proved last Saturday, going undefeated is no picnic, regardless of the opponent. This Buckeye team isn’t dominating. It doesn’t overpower many opponents and the defense (though it has improved lately) is one of the weakest in recent memory. But they keep winning. Often ugly. Often barely. But winning nonetheless. A win Saturday completes the job. It makes the team that everyone was ready to forget memorable. It will spark an endless wonder of “What could have been if they were eligible?” The stakes are high. Lose Saturday and most of it goes down the drain. For the first time in a long time, it all really does comes down to Michigan and that’s what makes this Saturday’s game special. It’s been a long time since there was so much on the line for a Michigan game. The Rich Rodriquez era at Michigan was not kind to the rivalry and neither was a 6-6 Buckeye team last year. Even in years where both teams came into The Game highly ranked, there was always bowl positioning and conference championships at stake. During the years of the legendary Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, there was still the Rose Bowl. For the Buckeyes this year, there’s none of it. Only Michigan. “This is what it all comes down to – playing Michigan,” said little-known senior wide receiver Taylor Rice, whose career will surely end after this game. “Winning or losing. This is what determines the outcome of our season … It’s been a great season but this is what really counts. This is what our season comes down to. This is our Super Bowl.” The Game carries the prize of remembrance and the spoil of irrelevance – especially for the seniors. “We’re forever indebted to (the seniors) because they didn’t have to do what they did,” said coach Urban Meyer. That’s true. Their leadership helped put a broken program back together and leave it in a position to compete at the highest level of college football for years to come. But The Game Saturday is a chance to leave something for themselves – a history that’s worth remembering. read more

GameStop gets exclusive preorder mission for Deus Ex Human Revolution

first_imgThe pre-order bonuses and special edition goodies have been announced for the forthcoming Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and unless you intend to buy from GameStop you are going to miss out on some gameplay.There will be both a standard edition and special edition of the game called the “Augmented Edition” costing $70 on console and $60 on PC. The standard edition is $60 on console and $50 on PC.In the Augnmented Edition you get the following extras:40-page artbookBonus DVD: Making of, special trailers, animated storyboard of CGI trailer, and soundtrackPremium packagingMotion graphic novelIn addition, certain retailers are getting some exclusive extras if you pre-order and buy from them. GameStop is the big winner in this with the following content:An entirely new mission with special cameo appearance of original Deus Ex character Linebacker G-87 multiple shot grenade launcherM-28 Utility Remote-Detonated Explosive Device (UR-DED)Automatic Unlocking DeviceOther unannounced participating retailers get:Huntsman Silverback Double-Barrel ShotgunLongsword Whisperhead Extreme Range Sniper RifleExtra CreditsDeus Ex: Human Revolution still has a release date of “early 2011”, but GameStop has it listed as March 8.Read more at ShacknewsMatthew’s OpinionWhile I have no problem with certain retailers getting an exclusive weapon, outfit, or some physical object in the box, publisher Square Enix/Eidos has crossed a line by allowing GameStop to offer an exclusive extra mission. So that’s gameplay you will miss out on if you don’t buy through a specific retailer.That should not be allowed as it means us as gamers either have to buy from GameStop, or choose to play the game with content missing. That’s exactly what GameStop wants the choice to be as a business, of course. But like everyone else, I don’t like being forced to make a choice like that.Eidos Montreal has taken the time to create an extra mission, but only a subset of gamers will have the opportunity to play it. That just seems plain wrong to me. Maybe we will see the additional mission offered online at a later date, but in my opinion it should not happen in the first place.last_img read more

Art of by and for the community

first_imgTask 150 local artists with one simple but open-ended assignment — to decorate an 8-inch-square panel — and you can count on a dazzling display of diversity and talent.All 150 artworks are up now on the walls of the Columbia Room at the Vancouver Community Library, but they won’t be there for long. Everything goes on sale today for $30 apiece at 5 p.m. sharp, when December’s downtown First Friday Art Walk begins, and branch manager Jackie Spurlock expects there to be something of a run on the art then, as the library’s art sale also begins.The sale is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Vancouver Community Library organization — the same volunteer group that maintains the perpetual book sale in the library entranceway. The money from this sale will be dedicated entirely to more community art displays at the library, according to organizer Charles Forshew.In fact this whole project is about community, Spurlock said. The Friends organization bought the lumber. Panels were cut by Friends of the Carpenter, the local homeless day center and woodworking shop, and then the library and its Friends started distributing them at First Friday Art Walk events. A couple of local schools asked if their art classes could have some panels in bulk. Many members of the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society took up the project as a group. So did some families that Spurlock knows, with family members doing their own panel.The panels grew so popular and sought-after, Spurlock said, it was funny to remember that they were in fact still blank.“It has been a very gratifying process,” she said. “Some very well-known artists in Vancouver took some panels and did some amazing things with them. Also, some people who have never done art before and they’re looking at this as a way to start.”last_img read more

Deutsche Bank says US seeks 14 billion settlement in mortgage case

first_imgThe U.S. Department of Justice is asking Deutsche Bank to pay $14 billion to settle an investigation into its selling of mortgage-backed securities, Germany’s flagship lender said on Friday.The claim against Deutsche, which is likely to be negotiated in several months of talks, far outstrips the bank’s and investors’ expectations for such costs.While it is yet to become clear what the final payment will be, if it were to be as high as $14 billion, this would be a severe strain for Deutsche’s fragile finances and would likely further rock investor confidence in the bank.The bank’s US-listed shares fell 8 percent in after-hours trading.”Deutsche Bank has no intent to settle these potential civil claims anywhere near the number cited. The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts”, Deutsche Bank said in a statement on Friday.The Department of Justice declined to comment.The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the department’s demands.The Department of Justice has taken a tough stance in settlement negotiations with other banks, requesting sums higher than the eventual fine.In 2014, it asked Citigroup to pay $12 billion to resolve an investigation into the sale of shoddy mortgage-backed securities, sources said. The fine eventually came in at $7 billion.In a similar case, rival Goldman Sachs agreed in April to pay $5.06 billion to settle claims that it misled mortgage bond investors during the financial crisis.That settlement included a $2.39 billion civil penalty, $1.8 billion in other relief, including funds for homeowners whose mortgages exceed the value of their property, and an $875 million payment to resolve claims by cooperative and home loan banks among others.Deutsche Bank’s settlement will comprise a different list of recipients, a source close to the matter said, adding that the lender had already settled some claims three years ago.In late 2013, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $1.9 billion to settle claims that it defrauded U.S. government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America’s biggest providers of housing finance, into buying $14.2 billion in mortgage-backed securities before the 2008 financial crisis.A $14 billion fine, or even half that sum, would still rank among one of the largest paid by banks to U.S. authorities in recent years. In 2013, JPMorgan Chase & Co agreed to pay $13 billion to settle allegations by the U.S. authorities that it overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors in the run-up to the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In 2014, Bank of America Corp. agreed to pay $16.7 billion in penalties to settle similar charges.Deutsche Bank has not said what it has set aside in anticipation of a settlement over the sale and packaging of resident mortgage-backed securities before 2008. Its overall legal provisions stood at 5.5 billion euros at the end of the second quarter.Deutsche was once one of Europe’s most successful players on Wall Street. Like many of its peers, it has since faced a slew of lawsuits that often trace back to the boom years before the crash. Its litigation bill since 2012 has already hit more than 12 billion euros.Claims filed by individuals, companies and regulators against Deutsche, outlined in the bank’s 2015 annual report, relate to mis-selling of subprime loans and manipulation of foreign exchange rates or gold and silver prices. Other lawsuits are for the rigging of borrowing benchmarks Libor and Euribor, used to set the price of mortgages and derivatives.In July, Chief Executive John Cryan said he hoped to close the four largest remaining litigation cases this year.These are the mortgages and FX cases, an investigation into suspicious equities trades in Russia and allegations of money laundering.last_img read more

Senate GOP Dem Leaders Say Its Time For Immigration Deal

first_img Share AP Photo/Timothy D. EasleySenate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., left, talks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before his speech at the McConnell Center’s Distinguished Speaker Series Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Louisville, Ky.The Senate’s two top leaders put on a show of comradery Monday as their chamber launched its immigration debate, but also laid down markers underscoring how hard it will be to reach a deal that can move through Congress.“We really do get along, despite what you read in the press,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at a previously scheduled appearance alongside his counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., at the University of Louisville.There was even ribbing when Schumer presented McConnell with a bottle of bourbon made in his home New York City borough of Brooklyn. McConnell, whose state knows a thing or two about bourbon, proclaimed, “There’s no such thing as Brooklyn bourbon.”But just days after the two leaders brokered a bipartisan $400 billion budget agreement and helped shepherd it into law, both men made clear that an immigration agreement will be tough.“The time for political posturing is behind us,” McConnell said later Monday on the Senate floor. He said while Democrats have called for “swift action” on immigration, “Now’s the time to back up the talk with the hard work of finding a solution.”That, he pointedly said, would mean passage by the Senate and the House of a measure “which the president will sign.”McConnell expressed his support for a wide-ranging proposal by President Donald Trump that the Senate is expected to vote on this week. It would pave a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million young “Dreamer” immigrants in the U.S. illegally, a lure for Democrats that many Republicans oppose.Trump also wants $25 billion for Trump’s border wall with Mexico and other security measures, as well as curbs on legal immigration — a must for many Republicans. Many Democrats consider some of the proposals, including limiting the relatives that legal immigrants can bring to the U.S., to be non-starters.In his own remarks on the Senate floor, Schumer expressed opposition to such a sweeping approach.“The only enemy here is overreach,” Schumer said. “Now is not the time nor the place to reform the entire legal immigration system. Rather, this is the time for a narrow bill” — which Democrats have said would help the Dreamers and provide some money for border security.The comments came as the Senate voted 97-1 — Ted Cruz, R-Texas, provided the sole “no” vote — to plunge into an open-ended immigration debate that’s been promised by McConnell. Both parties’ leaders hope debate can be concluded this week, but it’s unclear if that will happen or what the product, if any, will be.“This is going to be done or not done this week,” No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas told reporters.Lawmakers’ focus will be the Dreamers, hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who have lived in the U.S. illegally since being brought here as children.They had been given temporary protection from deportation by President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Trump has said he’ll end that program March 5, though a federal court has temporarily blocked him from scuttling it.Trump’s overall immigration plan, opposed by many Democrats, stands little chance of prevailing because any measure will need 60 votes. That means proposals will need substantial bipartisan support since the GOP majority is 51-49, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been absent in recent weeks battling cancer.Highlighting the partisan gap, there was plenty of finger-pointing Monday.Trump put the onus on Democrats, saying, “I hope the Democrats are not going to use it just as a campaign” issue.No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois said the key impediment to a bipartisan deal was Trump’s history of switching positions on the issue.“Nailing the president down has been next to impossible,” he said.last_img read more

Harris County Shuffles Road Construction Funds To Benefit DemocratLed Precincts

first_img Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share 00:00 /00:48 X Andrew Schneider/Houston Public MediaState Rep. Jon Rosenthal (D) addressing Harris County Commissioners Court, in opposition to the plan to reallocate METRO mobility fundsEast Houston and Harris County will be getting several million more dollars to spend on roads and other transportation infrastructure this year. But that will come at a big cost to west Harris County.County commissioners voted 3-to-2 to reallocate METRO mobility funds evenly, with 25% now going to each of the county’s four precincts.The debate was bitter, with several public speakers taking the majority Democrats to task.“When you can rob each other’s coffers because you can, because you can count to three, split on a partisan vote, you set a very dangerous precedent. It’s a precedent that sets up for retaliatory voting, because someday you’re going to find yourself not being able to count to three, and you’re not going to like it,” said Bobby Lieb, president and CEO of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce.More money will now go to Democrat-led Precincts 1 and 2, with their heavily traveled roads. It’ll come at the expense of GOP-led Precincts 3 and 4, which are growing much faster.Here are some of the other significant developments that came out of Harris County Commissioners Court Tuesday:Commissioners voted unanimously to speed up flood control projects approved by voters during last year’s bond election. The vote will accelerate by 18 months the work on 86 out of the 105 neighborhood projects. Previously, the work wasn’t expected to be done until the end of 2024. Now, much of the work will be done before the start of the 2024 hurricane season, and in some cases before the start of the 2023 season.The Court also approved stricter rules for developers, in order to offset the risk of flooding. It’s an interim measure until new federal floodplain maps are issued in about two years’ time. Current floodplain maps use rainfall data that’s nearly 50 years old. “The idea is, using the latest and most accurate rainfall projections, we’re analyzing how much a new development would increase flooding and asking the developers to detain that much water so that the net effect is zero,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a plan to move their courtroom to the first floor of the county Administration Building. The court currently meets on the 9th floor. Heavy attendance since the beginning of the year has repeatedly tested safety limits allowed by the fire marshal. The relocation  is expected to cost roughly $2 million.last_img read more

Of things old and beautiful

first_imgRenu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace, presents a solo show of terracotta sculptures and drawings by Delhi-based artiste Manjunath Kamath at Gallery Espace, Community Centre, New Friends Colony in the Capital from January 16 till February 28. Manjunath Kamath creates Modern Narratives out of Classical, Traditional Sculptures in his new body of work titled Postponed Poems. Postponed Poems is the aggregate of Kamath’s distinctive imagery rich with the narratives of everyday life, interwoven with mythologies and intimate stories. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Kamath’s collecting hobby of over 30 years forms the basis for understanding of his new body of sculptural work. The old and aged classical and folk sculptures holding the trace and weight of time becomes the subject for his work. The artiste is fascinated with the amazing forms of the past such as traditional temple sculptures, broken parts of old havelis, ritual masks and icons of god and goddesses. The artiste pours out his heart and soul and captures such antiques in terracotta sculptures. His works signify beyond the mere meaning of realistic representation, to becoming a kind of shamanistic process that honors aged things and elaborately traces the various lives and sensibilities inherent in the objects. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAt the same time, Kamath imparts his signature flavor of witticism in his interpretation of the secular, mythological and the historical. Hence, his terracotta sculptures in this show are inspired by classical aesthetics but turned into a modern metaphor replete with humor and satire.Says the 42-year-old artiste: “I have a great fascination for traditional classical sculpture and paintings from my childhood, and I still remember that I spent hours looking at those sculptures in temple chariots and on walls. The temples and churches are like art museums for me, and that was how I was introduced to art. I have spent hours with local craftsmen watching them make idols of Gods and Goddesses. Eventually, I even started collecting classical sculptures and paintings like ritual masks, wooden and metal sculptures, parts of temple chariots, old terracotta sculptures. It was natural then that I would want to bring the aesthetics of this classical style into my works but interpret them on my own terms. It is like reconnecting to our roots.”Kamath has been conceptualizing the show for the last 5 years, and the attempt to use classical influence in contemporary art was a challenge.  Kamath is also showing paper works which include 30 small drawings, 9 small Indian miniature-styled paper works and 15 gold leaf portraits drawing reference from the Buddhist Thangka paintings.When: January 16 to February 28 Where: Gallery Espace, Community Centre, New Friends Colonylast_img read more

After Hacks Twitter Updates SignIn Security

first_imgMay 22, 2013 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min read After a wave of high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked, the microblogging service has taken its security up a notch — or two. Starting today, users will be able to add two-factor log-in authentication to their accounts, Twitter announced on its official blog.Usually, when you sign in to twitter.com, you have to enter your Twitter handle or email, and a password. With two-factor authentication, you’ll also have to enter a six-digit code that Twitter will text to your phone each time you sign in.Twitter has come under fire in recent months after the accounts of big-name brands like Burger King and Jeep were hacked and errant tweets were sent. For business owners, having a social media account taken over by hackers can result in a PR headache.Most recently, the Associated Press’s Twitter was hacked and tweets were sent reporting explosions at the White House and that President Barack Obama had been injured. The fake news tweets sent the U.S. stock market sliding by more than 140 points. To set up two-factor log-in authentication for your business, go to your account settings page, and then click on “Require a verification code when I sign in.” After providing your email address and a verified phone number, Twitter says it will send a test text to confirm that your phone is able to receive the messages.Related: 10 Tips for Using Twitter Like a Procenter_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now »last_img read more

Disable AMP on mobile devices

first_imgDisable AMP on mobile devices by Martin Brinkmann on July 04, 2017 in Google Chrome – Last Update: July 05, 2017 – 14 commentsAMP is a controversial technology by Google with the aim to speed up the loading time of websites on mobile devices. It is criticized both by users and publishers, for instance for making it difficult to access the original content, for caching sites on Google properties so that the Google URL is shown and not the publishers, or for making it difficult to share the original link.Google pushes AMP content heavily in search which is probably the main reason why many publishers make use of AMP right now.Google Search highlights AMP pages in the results, but does not offer any option to access the “real” source directly. While it is possible to use another search engine, Startpage for instance, the bulk of users remain on Google for the time being.Disable AMP on mobile devicesWhen you run a search on Google Search, AMP pages are often returned. This is the case especially for news related searches, but you will come across AMP pages when you run other searches as well.While you cannot do anything about that if you use Google Search, you may use another Google Search engine that does not return AMP pages right now.Here is how that works:Open Google Chrome, or any other browser that supports AMP, on your device.Load https://encrypted.google.com/ in the browser’s address bar. This is another address for Google Search.Run a search. You will notice that there are not any AMP pages in the search results.So, all you have to do is use https://encrypted.google.com/ instead of https://www.google.com/ to run searches.You can make the search engine your default search engine in Chrome so that it is used automatically.Tap on the three dots to open the menu in Chrome, and select Settings from the list of menu items.Tap on search engine under basics. This displays the list of installed and known search engines.Select encrypted.google.com from the listing. You should see it listed at the bottom of the page”.This makes encrypted.google.com the default search engine in Chrome, so that you can run searches using it directly from Chrome’s address bar.You may undo the change at any time by selecting a different search engine from the options.Closing WordsChanging the default search provider works best for users who want to keep on using Google Chrome and Google Search. While there are other options — changing the search engine to another provider, e.g. Startpage, using a different browser, or loading the desktop version of the search results — they are not as straightforward as this option. (via Reddit)Now You: What is your take on AMP pages?SummaryArticle NameDisable AMP on mobile devicesDescriptionFind out how to disable AMP results in the Google Search results when you are using the Google Chrome web browser on mobile devices.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Puppets with a message Costa Rica troupe strives to make a difference

first_imgRelated posts:VIDEO: Holalola captures Costa Rican life with wit and whimsy Cities filled with art: A visit to the 10th Central American Biennial 5 questions for Costa Rican sculptor José Sancho PHOTOS: Expo Tattoo gathers more than 200 tattoo artists Puppets and toys from Costa Rica are making the world a better place to live. Fernando Thiel, a psychologist and puppeteer, and architect Caroline Pizarro have traveled the world using puppets to show how we improve our homes and communities.As Grupo Ticotiteres (Ticopuppets), the husband-and-wife team has taken their program to Europe, Africa and South America, Mexico and the United States. They have been to professional conferences, cultural festivals and art shows. Here in Costa Rica, they have appeared at museums, meetings, schools, programs in the parks, municipalities and business meetings.“A Community for Everyone” is the central idea of their performances, and they use stories and activities that get people working together to address human needs.“We want people to see that people are at the center,” Pizarro told The Tico Times.Thiel, 52, and Pizarro, 53, have both adopted Costa Rica as their home. Thiel is from Argentina and grew up in a show business family: his father was a well-known puppeteer, and his grandparents, immigrants from Austria, were actors. Thiel came to Costa Rica in 1978 and studied psychology and theater at the University of Costa Rica (UCR).Pizarro, from Chile, was eleven when she came here with her family. She studied architecture at the UCR and met Thiel at a student carnival. They married, worked in their respective professions, and formed Grupo Ticotiteres in 1990. Both also teach theater courses at the UCR, where their two daughter are students.The stories and characters are Thiel’s own creations. The cuddly and sometimes outrageous puppets introduce themes such as freedom from violence, or creating clean, safe environments without dengue or Zika.Complementing these characters are activities that add fun and mental challenges. Architect Pizarro loads a table with building blocks, small plastic toys and tubes, and asks the audience to build a city. Working together, strangers and families have to decide where to put the church, the school, the plaza and other components.“People come up with good ideas, too,” she says.  “Even children. One suggested putting water pipes above ground to that they can climb on them and play on them.”“At one workshop with a municipal government, the mayor and other officials were concerned about streets and cars. They were not thinking of sidewalks and bike routes, or people with handicaps,” she added, explaining that the workshop persuaded them to think about the people at the heart of the community.Ultimately, theirs is a love story: love for their family, for the world and for the work they are doing. Find more about their programs on Facebook or contact them at grupoticotiteres@gmail.com. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Russias singing granny finds her fathers grave

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 MOSCOW (AP) – To find her father’s World War II grave, Natalya Pugachyova had to become a celebrity.She is one of the Buranovskiye Babushki, a group of singing grandmothers who ended up second at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with their catchy tune sung in the Udmurt language, a distant relative of Finnish. As the oldest and smallest member of the group, the 76-year-old Pugachyova became a star of the pan-European contest, whose millions of devoted fans love its kitschy fun. “Even I sobbed,” Pugachyova said. “So many years, so many winters, I didn’t know.”Pugachyova brought a handful of soil from her mother’s grave to mix with that of her father’s, and took a handful back to do the same at her mother’s grave.That way, her parents could be together.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Her newfound fame helped her find the grave of her father, who disappeared while fighting the Nazis in 1942.At a press conference she mentioned her father, Yakov Begeshev, who disappeared when she was 6 years old. The last letter they received from him came during a battle in the Voronezh region south of Moscow, which he described as being so fierce that he was unlikely to survive.Nearly 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died in World War II, and tens of thousands are still listed as missing. War enthusiasts roam the forests and swamps of western Russia in search of the remains of soldiers and their aluminum dog tags that identify them.Nina Geryusheva of the Bailiffs Service in the musical group’s native Russian region of Udmurtia said its volunteers set out to find Pugachyova’s missing father. After a lot of phone calls and official requests, they were able to identify the mass grave where he was buried.“To say she was surprised is to say the least,” Geryusheva said by telephone.Russian state television showed Pugachyova’s visit over the weekend to the village of Malaya Vereika in the Voronezh region, where she saw her father’s name among those engraved on memorial walls at the mass grave. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

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first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press Posted Dec 12, 2018 1:25 pm PDT Review: Spit spot! Blunt’s a practically perfect Poppins In the half-century since the original “Mary Poppins” debuted, we’ve learned a lot about refined sugar, frankly none of it good. Doctors tell us it can lead to obesity, heart disease and all sorts of other detriments to our health.But let’s face it, there are times when a little sugar — oh what the heck, let’s say a spoonful — is just what we need, if not for health then for happiness. So it’s sweet news indeed that “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel 54 years in coming, provides just that spoonful of happiness in the form of Emily Blunt, practically perfect in every way as the heir to Julie Andrews.“Spit spot!” ”Pish Posh!” ”Jigetty Jog!” (Did we spell that right?) These Poppins-isms slip effortlessly off Blunt’s tongue. It’s also no simple feat to gaze at one’s reflection and say “practically perfect in every way” and not seem egotistical, but Blunt’s easy warmth and charm shine through.Of course she can also sing, and dance, with partners both live and animated. And she’s funny — witness her priceless indignation when a child asks how much she weighs. But then she can spin on a dime and convey that steely Poppins nerve, that sense that in a crisis, she knows exactly what must be done, and everybody else had better stand aside.There’s further happy news here: It’s not just Blunt that’s at the top of her game in this thoroughly delightful enterprise by director Rob Marshall and a crack team of artists devoted to both honouring a time-worn classic and finding something new to say.The visuals are lovely, from the oil paintings in the opening credits to the balloon-filled spring fair at the end. And Sandy Powell’s costumes are fabulous, especially the reds and blues and stripes and polka dots that adorn Mary, from her straw-hatted head to her turned-out feet (What we wouldn’t give for one of those slender-waisted, caped overcoats, or polka-dot bow ties). And those candy-hued clothes that Mary, Jack and the Banks kids wear in the centerpiece scene mixing live action and animation? They’re literally hand-painted, to delectable effect.Blunt’s star power is complemented here by appealing turns from Lin-Manuel Miranda as the afore-mentioned Jack, a kind-hearted lamplighter who once worked for Bert the chimney sweep (aka Dick Van Dyke); Ben Whisham and Emily Mortimer as the elder Banks children, a slimy Colin Firth as the bank chief, and, for icing on the cake, a flame-haired Meryl Streep as Mary’s vaguely Eastern European cousin Topsy (“Vat do you VANT?”).Then there’s the icing on the icing: a cameo by Van Dyke himself, still spry at 92, that is hands-down the emotional peak of the film — even before he starts to twinkle those toes.The setting is Depression-era London, where widowed Michael lives with his three young children at 17 Cherry Tree Lane, struggling to stay afloat. Sister Jane, a labour organizer, lives in a flat across town.As we begin, Michael learns he’s behind on loan payments, and the bank wants to take his house. He’s given five days to find proof that his father owned shares there, which could save the home. Searching desperately, he comes across an old kite but tosses it in the trash.Luckily it’s a windy day, and who flies in with that kite? Yep, Mary, emerging from the sky with her bottomless bag and umbrella (If you’re crying already here, and you might be, you’re in trouble). “It’s wonderful to see you,” exclaim a shocked Michael and Jane. “Yes it is, isn’t it,” Mary replies.Just like that, Mary’s sliding up the banister again. First order of business: the children’s bath, which turns into a wild adventure down the drain and into the colorful sea, flying dolphins and all.“Can You Imagine That?” Mary sings, one of the catchy original songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. There’s also the mournful “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” about loss, and Streep’s tour de force, “Turning Turtle,” and the brassy performance number “A Cover is Not the Book.” Each song has its spiritual antecedent in the original film, including the lamplighters’ dance number “Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” a nod to “Step in Time.”As for Miranda, though the role he’s given could have used more of a backstory, his presence injects a warm and sunny vibe into grey Depression-era London, and it’s totally infectious. His Cockney accent is better than his predecessor’s, too, and it’s nice that he gets to rap a bit in the animated fantasy sequence, as did Van Dyke (sort of) in the original. Mortimer and especially Whisham are both touching in roles that could have felt perfunctory.Perhaps no more explanation is necessary — after all, as Jack says, “Mary Poppins never explains anything.” Will we meeting her yet again? Who knows. But it was wonderful to see her, especially in Blunt’s loving hands.“Yes it was, wasn’t it,” she’d surely reply.“Mary Poppins Returns,” a Walt Disney Studios release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America “for some mild thematic elements and brief action.” Running time: 130 minutes. Three and a half stars out of four.MPAA definition of PG: Parental guidance suggested.Follow Jocelyn Noveck on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/JocelynNoveckAPJocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press This image released by Disney shows Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in “Mary Poppins Returns.” (Disney via AP) last_img read more

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