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MR tells Pillay incidents isolated

Speaking about implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the High Commissioner said she was very pleased about the establishment of a commission to look into war-time disappearances.The President and the High Commissioner also spoke about reports that depicted Sri Lanka as a country of religious intolerance, with Pillay saying she was surprised since Sri Lanka is generally known to have a culture of tolerance, the President’s office added. President Rajapaksa however said that these have been isolated incidents and that the majority of Sri Lankans continue to coexist peacefully in all parts of the island. “This is a visit long overdue, but I felt that it’s much better that I come so that I’ll be in a position to report on the very many achievements that have been made,” Pillay said. “Firstly, it was very very visible to me in the North how much you have invested in reconstruction.” President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that some incidents raised by her are “isolated incidents” and that the majority of Sri Lankans continue to coexist peacefully in all parts of the island.President Rajapaksa also told Pillay that there is a belief among many Sri Lankans that the United Nations is biased in the way it deals with countries, and he said he urged those who voiced these concerns to him not to prejudge the report Pillay is due to issue on Sri Lanka next month. Pillay also said there has been “good cooperation” between her office and the Sri Lankan government in facilitating her visit and that she had received comprehensive briefings at all her meetings. (Colombo Gazette) The President’s office said that Pillay, at her meeting with President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this afternoon, acknowledged the post-war progress that has been made in Sri Lanka. read more

Brock in the News — March 410

Kids with late birthdays can wait a year for kindergarten if neededJohn McNamara, a Child and Youth Studies professor at Brock, shares his personal experience and professional insight in The Globe and Mail about whether parents should keep their child back a year in school due to a late birthday.Grant awarded to study workplace ergonomicsCanada Research Chair and Kinesiology professor Michael Holmes is making work a safer place through his research on how people use their muscles on the job. The Canada Foundation for Innovation recently awarded Holmes a $100,000 grant for his study: Remi Network Brock men net bronze medalAfter an outstanding athletics season, the Brock men’s basketball team earned the bronze medal at the Ontario University Athletics championships in Ottawa last weekend, defeating the No. 3 ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees: St. Catharines Standard read more

New Gold and Western Goldfields merger recommended

first_imgNew Gold and Western Goldfields report that RiskMetrics Group and Glass, Lewis and Co. have each formally recommended that their subscribers vote FOR the proposed business combination of New Gold and Western. RiskMetrics and Glass, Lewis are leading providers of proxy research and voting recommendations to institutional investors in Canada and the US. Highlights of the Transaction include a diversified gold production base from three gold mines in mining-friendly jurisdictions with forecaste gold production of some 335,000 oz in 2009 and organic growth with cash on hand and cash flow from operations  sufficient to fund development of the New Afton copper-gold project in British Columbia, CanadaUnder the terms of the Transaction, shareholders of Western will receive one common share of New Gold and C$0.0001 in cash for each common share of Western. Upon completion of the transaction, existing New Gold and Western shareholders will own approximately 58% and 42% of the combined company, respectively. It is expected that the transaction will deliver on industry consolidation and production growth in a rising gold price environment. It will also enhance market presence, providing increased liquidityNew Gold is an intermediate gold mining company with operating assets in Mexico and Australia and two development projects in Canada and Chile. Western is a gold production and exploration company with a focus on precious metal mining opportunities in North America. The Mesquite mine, currently the company’s sole asset, was brought into production in January 2008. www.westerngoldfields.comlast_img read more

Irelands casual attitude to antibiotics leading to alarming rise in superbugs

first_imgFitzpatrick pointed out that before antibiotics were available, common injuries such as cuts and scratches that became infected could result in death or serious illness but that they should still be used only when approproiate.Here’s what the HSE recommends:Antibiotics don’t work for colds or flu – If you have a cold or flu – read the patient information leaflet for advice on how to help yourself get better and ask your doctor for advice if you are concerned.Antibiotics should be taken exactly as prescribed – at the right time for the right duration.Always finish an antibiotic course – even if you feel a lot better. This is to ensure that all the bacteria are killed completely and that no survivors are left that could multiply and develop resistance.Common infectionsPresident of the Irish College of General Prectitioners, Dr Seamus Cryan said that both GPs and patients need to be constantly reminded that antibiotics should only be used appropriately as most common infections are viral and treatable with rest and fluids.As part of the current information campaign, information leaflets and posters are being circulated to all GPs and Pharmacies nationwide, explaining how antibiotics work and that they don’t help to fight colds and flu. It outlines how people can relieve the symptoms of colds and flu with rest, fluids and over-the-counter remedies. Radio advertising nationwide supports the campaign during the coming weeks and later on during the winter.Read: Resistance crisis looms as antibiotics ‘handed out like cough sweets’>Read: Infant antibiotic use may have implications for allergies, asthma and obesity – study> LEADING CLINICIANS HAVE warned that the misuse of antibiotics in Ireland threatens to undermine the progress that has been made in medicine over recent years and makes patients less likely to respond to treatment.Launching a campaign today, Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick, Consultant Microbiologist and HSE/RCPI Clinical Lead said the casual attitude to antibiotics is damaging their effectiveness. She also said we are seeing an alarming global rise in ‘superbugs’, such as drug-resistant bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis, MRSA and E coli.“Taking antibiotics when they aren’t needed means that they might not work when you really need them for a serious infection,” she said.The evidence is very clear – overuse and misuse of antibiotics has allowed bacteria to develop resistance and they are becoming immune to the drugs we use to defend ourselves against them.last_img read more

Better coaches basic skills 7s more Exiles the IRFUs plans for development

first_imgBetter coaches, basic skills, 7s, more Exiles – the IRFU’s plans for development The union’s performance director, David Nucifora, explains the latest goings-on in the development pathway. 24 Comments By Murray Kinsella Share45 Tweet Email3 21,176 Views Former Leinster and Munster lock Trevor Hogan is one of the PTCs. Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO“Part of what we’re trying to do with this talent squad is to be able to look at the obvious, but then look at the less obvious. Let’s look at the players that may not have the opportunities that some other young players might have had put in front of them.“I know there are plenty of good young players out there that, because they haven’t had access to coaching and to all the other services to develop a player, they’ve got just as much talent but we have to invest in them a bit more.”The IRFU is hopeful that plans for sevens rugby competitions in non-traditional rugby schools will produce more players for their PTCs to assess, with the shortened form of the game potentially bringing a new range of athletes into the game.The movement in this area is still a little way off where Nucifora hopes it to be eventually, although the Aviva Stadium did host an U18 girls sevens tournament, the GX7s, back in April, with 16 teams from secondary schools across the country taking part.“That will expand into the boys and we have a plan to be able to grow that down further in the age groups to U15, U16 levels and have that throughout our schools system,” says Nucifora. “That’s aimed not necessarily at schools that are the major rugby-playing schools now.“If they want to compete, that would be great, but it’s an avenue to get into schools that predominantly don’t play rugby now – that’s a huge opportunity for us to be able to break in with the games of sevens.”“There are a lot of good athletes playing the Gaelic sports in this country who could be rugby players, but they need to have an avenue to access the game. The beauty of rugby can sometimes be its own enemy as well – it’s a complex game.“That’s why people enjoy it, but it can be a bit daunting for people to start playing, especially if they’re a little further down the track age-wise.”Sevens is a key component of Nucifora’s strategy of increasing Irish rugby’s focus on the basis skills of the game too.The Australian cites the presentation by IRFU director of sevens rugby Anthony Eddy at last month’s seminar in the Aviva Stadium, during which the Australian provided an interesting case study on how sevens rugby truly tests the core skills. Ireland’s men’s and women’s sevens teams missed out on the Olympics. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOThe analysis compared the number of involvements an U18 player had that drew on the core skills of the game during a 15-a-side inter-provincial U18 tie, and in a sevens game at the Rugby Europe U18 Sevens Championship, which Ireland won.The number of times the player’s core skills were involved “was significantly greater in the game of sevens than it was in the game of 15s.”“That can’t be ignored as a way of developing our players and that’s what the players who are having a go at sevens are finding,” says Nucifora.“They’re getting exposed more often to the decision-making and execution of the core skills of the game by playing sevens. It’s just improving them as footballers.”Eager to grow the depth of Ireland’s playing pool in every way possible, Nucifora and the IRFU have also made moves to build on the job being done by the Exiles in the United Kingdom.Former Ireland Schools coach Wayne Mitchell has been doing excellent work in his role as the Exiles’ talent identification officer alongside development manager Mark Blair, but Nucifora believes that even more can be done in this channel.“We think that it has untapped potential, just the pure numbers and volume of Irish-eligibile people that are in that area in the UK. It’s enormous.“We’re looking at talent development programmes that can aid us and in there even the way we work it  – we have a number of Exiles players that are identified that might come and spend a summer in the provinces,” says Nucifora.“There are other players that are eligible that may already be in other systems in the UK – in academies, etc. – that are Irish-eligible but don’t really see a pathway for themselves. If we can identify with those players and they have the ambition and desire to play for Ireland, we need to be able to offer them a development pathway.“For some of them, it may be to stay in the UK a bit longer, for others it may be an immediate opportunity to come and join one of our teams over here.“I just think there’s huge scope to be able to develop that and Wayne and others have done a great job to get it to another level. But we’ve got ambition to take it to another level again.” The Exiles system produced Kieran Marmion. Source: Colm O’Neill/INPHONucifora is hesitant to say that the quality of player coming into Ireland’s four provincial academies hasn’t been good enough in the past, but he is open about the IRFU’s desire to ensure that young players are progressing earlier than before.One measure has been to scrap the U20 inter-provincials, with this season instead seeing the first series of U20/Development games, whereby the U20 players have been mixed into teams with academy, development and senior provincial players.It has been an unpopular measure in some quarters, so it’s worth asking Nucifora why the IRFU went down this route.“That really came out of our academy managers; they felt it was a better way of trying to develop the talent. They felt that if we had the best of our U20s and the best of the players who are, I suppose you could call them the ‘back-end’ of the pro squad and academies playing together, it would lift the standard of those games.“That’s what we were looking for; we were looking for the quality of the games.“As opposed to focusing on the competition as an U20 competition, we were more wanting to achieve the higher standard, higher quality of game so that the players who are in there and participating are getting more out of it, as opposed to the standard of the game maybe being lower if we just restricted it to one age bracket.”There has been some friction around the shift, but Nucifora understands that encountering disagreement is part of his job – whether it is based around Ruan Pienaar or as aspect of the development pathway.Having previously worked with the Blues in New Zealand, Nucifora understands that one of the strengths of the Kiwis’ rugby system is that everything is designed and nurtured with the All Blacks as the clear priority number one.It has been clear since Nucifora arrived in 2014 that his desire is to see Ireland viewed in that light here too.“I think we’ve made great improvements in that area,” says Nucifora. “I’ve worked in the New Zealand system and you’re left in no doubt as to what’s the most important thing. You buy into it. Nucifora, Schmidt and Andy Farrell at an Ulster game. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO“I think we’ve made good strides here in recent times and the relationship that we have between the national coaches and provincial coaches is really good. We’ve got a great set of provincial coaches out there at the moment and they buy into it.“It doesn’t mean that at times there’s not some friction, because it’s just the nature of what we do, but I think they genuinely do buy into it and that’s terrific because our resource is the player and we’ve got to be maximising the development of the player.“To do that we’ve got to work together and that’s what the New Zealand system does really well and the players benefit from that, and I think that we do likewise.“I think we’ve just got to keep that in mind in the development pathway – that it’s about the player, it’s about having a system that allows the player to be the best he can be.”The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add! Short URLcenter_img EARLY LAST MONTH, Joe Schmidt and his Ireland coaching team presented at a seminar in the Aviva Stadium, with around 100 schools and clubs coaches from around the country in attendance.The core skills of the game were the focus of the seminar, with Andy Farrell presenting on the tackle, Richie Murphy on passing, Simon Easterby on continuity, and Greg Feek on the breakdown. Schmidt presented at the Aviva Stadium last month. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOSchmidt himself spoke about ’connecting the core skills to the game,’ before Anthony Eddy presented on sevens and Jason Cowman gave insight into managing players’ training and playing loads.A stellar cast, and this seminar was a strong sign of the way the IRFU is hoping to move its development pathways under performance director David Nucifora.Nucifora has repeatedly stated that Irish rugby must focus intently on producing as high a quality of homegrown player as is possible.Produce better coaches and better players will follow.“We feel that if we can invest in the coaches who are working at that level, there’s multiple upsides for us,” says Nucifora when we sit down at the Aviva Stadium. ”One, we’re educating and sharing and they see we’re investing in them.“They have access to the elite young players that we’re dealing with, so we need to be educating them, because they’re the ones that have the most hands-on time with these players.“The other benefit is that not only are they just dealing with the players we have a distinct interest in, there’s a broader group of players within their school or club that will feel the benefit of improved coaching standards.”The feedback from last month’s seminar has been good, with Nucifora particularly encouraged to see several of the attendees getting in contact looking for further learning opportunities.Clearly, the thirst is there among these rugby educators who play such an important role in the game. It could even be argued that the clubs and schools coaches are more important than those in the professional game.Nucifora stresses that grassroots Irish coaches have been doing good work for years, but he sees scope for a refined focus on what is being coached and how it’s being done. Nucifora [left] is driving the IRFU’s refreshed development pathway plans. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHOWorld-class coaching of the basic skills of the game is at the heart of the plan.“I think it’s about just getting their focus firmly on ‘What is player development? What is skill development?’ That’s what the day was all about.“The [Ireland] coaches each spent time on explaining in their own areas what they do and what they focus on right up to the national team level on developing the core skills of the game.“That’s what we wanted to try and get these coaches who coach at that level to understand – it’s that by investing in the individual and investing in the skill development, that is going to pay huge dividends for the player going forward.“I think that at times, we can still be a little too team-orientated and worry about outcomes, whereas if we actually invested in developing the skill level of the players, those other things will follow.“I suppose it’s just trying to recalibrate the thinking of our coaches at that level as to what is really important and how they’re going to make the biggest impact on the players.”Nucifora says the provincial coaches at Munster, Connacht, Leinster and Ulster also have a role to play in this reshaping by setting an example, and he points to the excellent skills-focused work being done by Pat Lam and his coaches out west as “paying dividends.”Richie Murphy is the IRFU’s national skills coach, as well as working with the Ireland team alongside Schmidt, and his role involves putting an aligned and accessible skills programme in place around the country.Everyone on the same page, helping to produce players who are highly skilled at the basics of rugby.“There are no secrets in the game,” says Nucifora. “The core elements of the game are what they are – you need to be able to catch, pass, run, retain possession, all of those things.“We’re focusing on those and getting that sort of alignment right from our pro teams, certainly our national team, down through our pro teams, down through our academies, down through the provincial talent squads. Richie Murphy is the national skills coach. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO“I think it will have a significant influence on the development of Irish rugby players.”Mention of the provincial talent squads is extremely pertinent, as the young men now forming these groups from the ages of 15 and 16 should benefit from improved coaching standards.Part of the IRFU’s strategy to improve the quality of player streaming into the academies was to appoint a provincial talent coach [PTC] in each of the four provinces this year – Trevor Hogan in Leinster, Mark Butler in Munster, Colm Tucker in Connacht and Michael Black in Ulster.The PTCs now help to identify and then manage the most promising rugby talent in the country through the pathway from a younger age, hopefully producing a more advanced player for the academies than has been the case.The new strategy has been unfolding in recent months, with Nucifora confirming that the talent squads – consisting of around 20 or 25 players – have been formed and are already at the beginning of what he hopes will be a successful pathway.The IRFU has “pumped a lot of money” into getting more from existing staff in the academies to aid these new talent groups, while additional bodies have been added in the fields of physiotherapy, medical, nutrition and strength and conditioning.While the PTCs will continue to scour the traditional schools and clubs games in order to identify the best talent, they will also be tasked with broadening the IRFU’s net and taking a fresh mindset to actually understanding what talent is.“We’ve got to make sure we’re working as hard as we can to get the best available players into academies,” says Nucifora. ”We’ve got to constantly be able to review and question our own systems of identification. Are we missing anything? We’ve got to keep asking ourselves the question.“The work that the talent coaches have been tasked with doing is to be able to get out there and not only be able to look at the obvious talent but look at the less obvious talent.”Nucifora also underlines that the IRFU can’t simply take a one-size-fits-all approach with their development of young talent. Sometimes, patience will be required.“If you see talent in someone, some of them do actually take longer to develop and build on their experience. Some players have at their disposal, or have had at their disposal, better coaching and better facilities to be able to develop quicker as a rugby player. Friday 4 Nov 2016, 3:00 PM Add us: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Nov 4th 2016, 3:00 PM ‘If I look back on that 10 months, it was a breath of fresh air for my coaching’21-year-old Irish tighthead Jager joins Crusaders for 2017 Super Rugbylast_img read more

As the UK withdraws economic opportunities will arise Ireland must aggressively pursue

first_img Mar 23rd 2017, 6:20 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Share179 Tweet Email1 185 Views By Neale Richmond Thursday 23 Mar 2017, 6:20 AM center_img Neale Richmond Senator and Chairman of the Seanad Brexit Committee SINCE 2013, WHEN then Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he intended to hold a referendum to ask the British people whether they should remain in the EU, Ireland has discussed at length the possible negative implications of Brexit.We are well-informed as to the problems; now is the time to focus on solutions.The Government has identified the impact on the economy, Northern Ireland and preserving the common travel area as its priorities in the negotiations.The Seanad Special Select CommitteeThe Seanad Special Select Committee on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union is a newly established Seanad committee, tasked with finding possible solutions to the challenges Brexit poses, in order to produce a report that will better inform negotiations.In terms of membership, the Committee represents a wide spectrum of senators, all with differing opinions and experiences, but we are wholly united in our goal of contributing to trying to make Brexit as positive as possible for Ireland.The varied areas of expertise from which our members are drawn will facilitate a more considered debate of the possible solutions to the uncertainty and challenges Brexit brings.Constructive, positive input from the Seanad can and will now play an important role in laying the groundwork for a solutions-based approach to the negotiations.Focusing on solutions not problemsAs Chairman of the Seanad Special Select Committee, I will ensure that we will not spend our months analysing the problems Brexit poses.Valuable work has already been done by numerous Joint Oireachtas Committees, who continue to produce reports on the potential impact that Brexit could have on jobs, trade, exports, investment, travel and the movement of people.My Committee will now set about building on that work by holding a series of hearings that will specifically focus on the solutions to the many problems identified. To do this, we will invite experts and leading Brexit campaigners to come before the Committee.The chairs of those Oireachtas Committees that have produced sectoral reports on Brexit will be invited to address the Seanad in plenary session, in order to facilitate substantial engagement on the recommendations contained within those reports.The Seanad Special Select Committee will use the reports’ recommendations as the starting point for our work, taking an all-encompassing view of the sectoral issues. Our task is not to analyse once again the challenges posed by Brexit; the writing is on the wall and the UK will soon exit the EU. Our job is to find constructive potential solutions to the problems and work to safeguard Ireland’s strategic interests.TimeframeOur Committee will produce a report by the end of June 2017, which will form part of the overall negotiation strategy.This report will be sent to all government departments, all member state governments, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council.In February of this year, I was part of a cross-party delegation that travelled to Brussels for talks with EU Chief Negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier.The report published by the Committee in June will be in response to a direct request for solutions from Mr Barnier and it is the Committee’s hope that the report will further inform negotiations.Mitigating risks while looking for positivesAs the UK withdraws from the EU, economic opportunities will arise and Ireland must aggressively pursue those opportunities, so while we remain mindful of the risks Brexit poses and will continue to work to mitigate those risks, we also have to look for positives.In particular, we now need to look further East, beyond our traditional Anglo-Saxon markets, and assess the possibilities for Irish exports in the Asian markets and indeed, in other member states.Ireland’s future is tied to Europe, but our relationship with the UK will always be vital. Ireland has an economic, historical, political, social and cultural relationship with the UK unlike any other member state of the EU; a relationship which literally spans centuries.The Irish and UK economies are highly inter-dependent, notwithstanding our common access to the wider European single market. The peace process will undoubtedly be impacted by the UK departure; and the sizeable Irish community in the UK also have concerns about their status once the UK leaves the Union.For these reasons and others, it is vital that we now stop analysing the many challenges Brexit brings and focus instead on what our future relationship with the European Union is going to look like, as well as how we can mitigate the negative effects of the UK departure on the peoples of Ireland and Northern Ireland.Neale Richmond is a Fine Gael Senator and Chairman of the Seanad Select Committee on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The Committee will hold its first meeting today at 11am in the Seanad chamber.‘After hours of questioning by “experts”, Theresa was left traumatised and had to make her own way home’>Opinion: ‘McGuinness ended up in a better place, bringing his party, followers and society with him’> As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: 18 Comments ‘As the UK withdraws economic opportunities will arise. Ireland must aggressively pursue them’ As Chairman of the Seanad Special Select Committee, I will ensure that we will not spend our time analysing the problems Brexit poses, writes Neale Richmond.last_img read more

Australie réintroduire des prédateurs locaux pour sauver les écosystèmes

first_imgAustralie : réintroduire des prédateurs locaux pour sauver les écosystèmesPubliée dans la revue Trends in Ecology and Evolution, une étude réalisée par une équipe internationale évoque les risques et les bénéfices d’une réintroduction des dingos et des diables de Tasmanie à certains endroits pour redynamiser les écosystèmes australiens.Changement climatique, espèces invasives, transmission de maladies… : ce sont quelques-unes des menaces qui pèsent sur nombre de biotopes d’Australie, de plus en plus fragilisés. Pour les restaurer et les fortifier, des chercheurs suggèrent d’y réintroduire les prédateurs du haut de la chaîne alimentaire qui en avaient disparu, tels que les dingos et les diables de Tasmanie.”Je reconnais que c’est une solution assez radicale et il y a des effets négatifs qui doivent être abordés, mais nous croyons que c’est quelque chose dont les gestionnaires des terres doivent tenir compte : parfois, les situations désespérées ont besoin de mesures audacieuses”, explique le Dr Euan Ritchie, de l’Université Deakin (Australie), auteur principal de l’étude cité par Sci-news.”Les écosystèmes australiens sont devenus fragiles, dégradés, avec une faible capacité à répondre aux défis, principalement en raison de la perte d’espèces indigènes avec les fonctions qu’elles occupaient, de la perte de biodiversité, de l’invasion d’organismes nuisibles et des changements consécutifs sur l’habitat”, poursuit le chercheur.De multiples menaces À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”Dans les seuls tropiques australiens, plus de 20 espèces indigènes de mammifères pourraient être menacés d’extinction au cours des prochaines décennies, en raison d’utilisation de feux inappropriée, du pâturage du bétail et de la prédation par les chats ensauvagés”, précise t-il encore. Mais ce ne sont pas les seuls menaces évoquées puisque l’introduction récente du renard roux en Tasmanie et le déclin du prédateur indigène – le diable de Tasmanie – risquent également de provoquer l’extinction de nombreuses espèces autrefois abondantes sur le continent australien et la Tasmanie.Au vu d’une telle situation, les chercheurs soulignent l’importance d’agir. “Nous soutenons que cette grave situation justifie d’envisager sérieusement des programmes de gestion des grands prédateurs, dans lesquels ceux-ci seraient réintroduits ou autorisés à recoloniser les habitats où ils se trouvaient jadis”, conclut ainsi le Dr Ritchie.Le 1 avril 2012 à 10:57 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Final 326 WWE Smackdown rating number sees a drop

first_imgFacebook Twitter Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 Now Playing Up Next Bully Ray Calls Out Ring Of Honor Fan On Twitter NFL Week 2 Preview With Mike Lombardi, Will Antonio Brown Play? Impact Ratings: Viewers see another drop on June 28 featuring Rayne vs. Blanchard main event Videos Articles WhatsApp The 3/26 WWE Smackdown on Syfy drew a 1.86 cable rating with 2.51 million viewers. This is down from last week’s show that drew a 1.91 cable rating with 2.60 million viewers.Smackdown was the highest-rated non-basketball program on Thursday night drawing a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49.Source:, TVbythenumbers.comRecommended videosPowered by AnyClipNFL Week 2 Preview With Mike Lombardi, Will Antonio Brown Play?Video Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 3:34/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 36.35%0:04Remaining Time -3:30 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Pinterest Now Playing Up Nextcenter_img Ben Roethlisberger Now Playing Up Next Roman Reigns is in Remission Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Match announced for next week’s 205 Live, 8-Man Elimination from TLC PPV in 2015 Adam Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next Google+ Now Playing Up Next WWE RAW Ratings: Viewers up again for June 11, Averages still below three million viewerslast_img read more

Offduty lifeguard saves shark with hook stuck in its mouth

first_imgJanko said this is the first time he has ever done anything like that.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. (WSVN) — An off-duty lifeguard came to the rescue of a nurse shark that had a hook stuck in its mouth.“Pretty sure it was scared, like he was just trying to wiggle his tail, like he wasn’t moving anywhere, so I was trying to do my best to get him out as fast as possible,” said Szilard Janko.Janko and his friends were free diving off of Commercial Pier, Wednesday, when he noticed the shark trapped under a rock. “We see this little hole with the shark’s tail sticking out, so I dive down with my camera to try to get a good picture of him, and I see that he has like a hook, like stuck inside the hole,” Janko said.Janko freed the shark and began working on the hook. “Once I had him on his back, that’s when I tried to get the hook out of his mouth,” he said. “Like, I was waiting for him to bite me while he was wiggling.”After a few minutes of work, Janko was able to free the shark, which then swam away.Janko’s friend, Eliz Fulop filmed the entire ordeal. “If there was nobody there, I may have given it a try, but it was kind of scary,” she said.Janko himself wasn’t worried at all. Instead, he is worried about people who don’t keep the beach clean. “Clean up the trash you see around the beach, and if you have any trash, any fishing lines, try to put it in the trash can, don’t just throw it in the ocean. It’s destroying the environment out there,” he said. last_img read more

Growing Food Near the Kitchen

first_imgPhoto from Foundroot.During the Second World War, household “Victory Gardens” produced almost half the food the nation consumed. Now home gardens produce about two percent. Could the path to food security run though a garden plot in your front yard?Download AudioHOST: Steve Heimel, Alaska Public Radio NetworkGUESTS:Roger Doiron, founder, Kitchen Gardeners InternationalLeah Wagner, founder, FoundrootStaff members, Alaska Botanical GardenCallers StatewidePARTICIPATE:Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).Send e-mail to talk [at] alaskapublic [dot] org (comments may be read on air)Call 550-8422 in Anchorage or 1-800-478-8255 if you’re outside Anchorage during the live broadcastLIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.SUBSCRIBE: Get Talk of Alaska updates automatically by e-mail, RSS or podcast.TALK OF ALASKA ARCHIVElast_img read more

Shark Tanks Current Season Features a Virtual Set Built by Sonys Innovation

first_imgInnovation Studios, which was founded in summer as a state-of-the-art digital technology facility in service of creators across Sony and beyond, proposed the use of a virtual set instead of a real one for some of the show’s scenes. “At first, I have to be honest, I was a little bit worried,” recalled Jacobs.But then, Gainor’s team did a 3D scan of the actual “Shark Tank” set. “We got it done in a day,” he said. Innovation Studios started to turn the raw imagery into a virtual set, shared some early results with the “Shark Tank” team, and blew everyone away. “It was really amazing,” said Jacobs. “It looked completely authentic and real.” CREDIT: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television CREDIT: Tony Rivetti/ABC/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television The real “Shark Tank” set, as seen on the December 2 episode.Come September, the “Shark Tank” team began to record the show on its regular stage. And when it was time for contestants to film their exit interviews, some of them simply walked across the lot to the Innovation Studios stage, sat down in front of a green screen, and filmed their take with a virtual set in real-time, complete with a crew lighting them and the set based on their needs. “They were lighting as if they were lighting a physical set,” Gainor said. Going forward, Sony is looking to use this kind of technology for other projects as well. Gainor wasn’t able to share any details about future projects, but made it clear that building virtual environments won’t necessarily be constrained to sets on sound stages. “We’re capable of capturing larger environments,” he said.Jacobs said that she was already thinking about future applications as well. “It’s going to have a really big impact on what we can do in production,” she said. Popular on Variety An exit interview for “Shark Tank’s” December 2 episode, shot with a virtual set.All in all, Innovation Studios recorded exit interviews with around 100 contestants. The results have not only been convincing to TV audiences, who got to see some first interviews filmed on the virtual set during the show’s December 2 episode. They even fooled the crew during the filming, with crew members in the production truck forgetting that they weren’t actually monitoring a real set.“When we were watching interviews on monitors remotely, a producer asked to move a plant next to the couch, but it wasn’t really there because it was the virtual set,” recalled “Shark Tank” production manager Alex Halatchev.“That means that we succeeded,” quipped Gainor. He added that “Shark Tank” was a perfect fit for this kind of project. “The show is celebrating innovation,” he said. When “Shark Tank” producers were getting ready to record the show’s current 10th season earlier this year, they were dealing with a dilemma: There simply wasn’t enough sound stage space on the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City, Calif, available to record all of the show’s scenes.“We’ve had some very busy times here,” said Sony Pictures Television alternative & syndication programming executive vice president Holly Jacobs, who oversees unscripted programming for the studio. “Shark Tank” needed 2 sound stages in close proximity, and there simply wasn’t enough capacity left on the lot. That’s when the team started to talk to Sony’s newly-lauched Innovation Studios arm to see if there would be a high-tech fix.“They came to us with a real-world issue,” recalled Innovation Studios president Glenn Gainor. “Content creation is up, and it is very taxing on sound stages.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Supply On Demand

first_img When Robert Howard (eBay User ID: hurricainbob1), a PowerSeller in Jacksonville, North Carolina, decided it was time to ratchet up his business on eBay, Everythingforsale2006, he went straight to the market–the eBay Reseller Marketplace, that is.”I wanted to sell tools, but I wasn’t big enough to go right to the wholesalers,” says Howard, 45, who already had a lucrative business on eBay selling items left behind at the ministorage business he owns. “[As] an eBay PowerSeller, I received a notice from eBay about the Reseller Marketplace, and I tried it as a source for tools. Now I ship about 200 to 300 packages a month, and about two-thirds of them are tools.”Since its launch in 2005, the Reseller Marketplace has become a viable B2B source of new and refurbished inventory open only to PowerSellers like Howard. Today there are hundreds of manufacturers, liquidators, wholesalers and retailers who have been approved as Reseller Marketplace sellers, as well as tens of thousands of PowerSellers who are registered buyers. The latter are small- and midsize-business owners interested in growing their existing businesses, expanding to new product categories or both, and they’re finding that the Reseller Marketplace is a great place to buy large lots of product at discounted prices without the hassle of trying to persuade reluctant suppliers to sell to them.”Finding reliable new sources of supply is an ongoing challenge for eBay PowerSellers,” says Howard Rosenberg, eBay’s director of private marketplaces. “On their own, these small businesses usually don’t have enough spending power to interest a wholesaler, plus they often can’t meet the minimum volume amount. What the Reseller Marketplace does is consolidate buying power among PowerSellers to interest suppliers with excess inventory, like manufacturers, liquidators and wholesalers, as well as eliminate the time-consuming process of forming relationships with individual suppliers.”And it doesn’t matter what a PowerSeller wishes to purchase for resale on eBay or through another sales channel–chances are it will turn up in the Reseller Marketplace. From day to day, the Reseller Marketplace inventory is dynamic and eclectic–it’s not uncommon to find inventory across many product categories.Because of this variety, the Reseller Marketplace has become an important new buying channel for PowerSellers like Billy Ng, the 31-year-old founder of Teczilla (eBay User ID: teczilla) in Germantown, Maryland, which sells small consumer electronic products on eBay and projects 2007 sales of $300,000. “The Reseller Marketplace has made a big impact on my business,” Ng says. “I now buy about half my inventory there because there’s a lot of stuff to choose from.” Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. How Success Happens Listen Now Although it’s a separate site from, the Reseller Marketplace is owned and operated by eBay. Once a business on eBay crosses into PowerSeller territory, an invitation to visit the Reseller Marketplace is issued automatically by eBay. The Power-Seller then sets up a free buyer’s account by going to, entering his or her unique PowerSeller User ID and password, and filling out the registration form that pops up with the first sign-on. The PowerSeller then has immediate access to Reseller Marketplace listings, which contain detailed information about the product and quantity available, terms of sale, shipping costs and so on. Using a credit card previously placed on file, the Power-Seller can bid immediately, and if a lot is won, that credit card may be billed automatically by the seller; there’s no need to make payment arrangements. There’s also no charge to the PowerSeller to use this valuable service beyond, of course, the cost of any lots that are won and the shipping charges associated with them. Continued access to the Reseller Marketplace is guaranteed as long as the buyer maintains PowerSeller status.There are two types of listings in the Marketplace. The first is a one- to seven-day auction-style listing, which is usually placed by suppliers with inventory to liquidate. “Basically, these companies want to get rid of the stuff at any price,” Rosenberg says. “Many of these [listings] start at $1 [with] no reserve. If enough PowerSellers are interested in the merchandise, there could be a bidding war.”In fact, that is exactly what happens with the $1 lots offered by Larry Peterson, president and founder of ToolWarehouse, a specialty tool distributor in Cape Coral, Florida, that also sells tools through the Reseller Marketplace under eBay User ID toolwarehouse. “We open and close 50 to 60 wholesale lots per week,” says Peterson, 49, who projects 2007 sales in the low seven figures. “Power-Sellers can get some amazing buys in these lots, the majority of which contain brand-new, quality tools.”The second type of listing is the Fixed-Price “wholesale” listing, which lasts for one to 30 days and is usually used for items offered at wholesale prices. While a buyer can purchase these lots on the spot, this format is primarily a lead-generation mechanism that prompts buyers to contact the seller to discuss the product. The sellers may be liquidators, distributors or manufacturers who set the lot price at a fixed amount, then wait for an inquiry or a buyer. Often the price per piece is higher than it would be in an auction-style listing, but it’s still possible to get a good deal.No matter which type of listing a PowerSeller wins, he or she can be virtually certain that the seller will deliver the merchandise as agreed because each company is thoroughly investigated in advance. “Before we could sell in the Marketplace, eBay ran our D&B report, among other things,” says Bill Frischling, 35, who co-founded Dyscern (eBay User ID: dyscern) with Jennifer Canty, 36, and John Angerer, 35. The Sterling, Virginia, company sells small consumer electronics through eBay, the Reseller Marketplace and their site, “They really check you out to see if you’re for real,” says Frischling, who projects overall sales of $12 million for 2007, $1 million of which will come from the Reseller Marketplace.If there is ever a problem with a transaction or a supplier, eBay will step in to arbitrate. “Every seller is [vetted], but things can still happen,” says Rosenberg. “Just like with eBay, the buyer and the seller are first encouraged to communicate, but if they can’t resolve their issues, we’ll [try to assist]. Though we don’t have a public feedback system for the Reseller Marketplace, we do ask buyers for feedback after a transaction is concluded, and we track their responses. If we see repeated bad transactions from a seller, we’ll take action. So PowerSellers can feel confident that they’ll have a good experience.” 11 min read On the Flip Side Selling through the reseller marketplaceAlthough the Reseller Marketplace was designed for suppliers like wholesalers and manufacturers who want to liquidate excess inventory quickly, some eBay PowerSellers are seizing the opportunity to sell through the Marketplace themselves and beef up their bottom lines.”If you want to grow, there’s only so much you can sell to individual buyers [on eBay],” says Jennifer Canty, co-founder of Dyscern (eBay User ID: dyscern). The Sterling, Virginia, company sells small consumer electronics on eBay, the Reseller Marketplace and its own website. “We tried out the Reseller Marketplace and were really happy with our success. It opened another side of our business and caused a jump in our sales.”In addition to having their businesses vetted just like the big boys before getting the green light to sell through the Reseller Marketplace, sellers pay a one-time setup fee of $199. Other fees include a basic subscription fee of $79 per month for sellers who place auction-style listings only. According to Howard Rosenberg, eBay’s director of private marketplaces, auction-style listings have a very high conversion rate, which makes them very attractive to PowerSellers and others. Sellers who wish to place both auction-style and Fixed-Price listings in the Marketplace pay a monthly extended subscription fee of $149. Both basic and extended subscribers also pay listing and final transaction fees: Auction-style listings are subject to a $20 per listing fee and a final transaction fee of 3 percent, while Fixed-Price listings incur a $1 per listing fee and a final transaction fee of 5 percent. –Eileen Figure Sandlin September 1, 2007 Let’s say you’re a PowerSeller who wants to try to ramp up your sales by buying in bulk on the Reseller Marketplace, then reselling the merchandise on eBay or through another sales channel. Despite the tempting deals you’ll encounter in the Marketplace, it’s always best to have a well-planned business strategy before you dive in.First, before you make a purchase, it’s important to realize that the wholesale and liquidation lots of products you’ll be offered usually consist of excess merchandise, such as last year’s models, store returns or factory seconds. These items may be new or refurbished, but they’re not likely to be the most up-to-date items available in today’s market. However, when you consider that an attractive price can often overcome a buyer’s hesitation when it comes to certain product categories, this may not be a problem–as long as you pick the right categories. For instance, you could probably sell 12 dozen Pirates of the Caribbean Captain Jack Sparrow action figures with no trouble, but you might not be able to sell 12 dozen royal blue women’s tweed jackets with fringe.”There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that with the right product, you can make money as a seller and as a buyer in the Reseller Marketplace,” Peterson says. “As a seller, it opened a new dimension for us that has allowed us to maximize the return on our investment.”Another thing to decide right away is whether you prefer to offer a wide-ranging inventory or specialize. It can be beneficial to specialize because you’ll become an expert on a particular product or product line, and you won’t have as many decisions to make when it comes to selecting products. In addition, you’ll save yourself a lot of preparation time when listing items because you can reuse product descriptions and photos.On the other hand, specializing can be risky when you’re buying liquidation lots because once the lots are gone, they’re gone for good–and you’ll need to find another specialty item, which in essence amounts to starting a whole new business model. Also, if your product line is too narrow and sales are flat, you could find yourself sitting on hundreds or even thousands of items (albeit in various models, sizes and colors, depending on what you’re selling) with little hope of recovering your costs. That can be catastrophic for your business.”If you can’t move a product fast enough to affect your cash flow, don’t bother,” says Jason Guarino, 31, founder of Key West Distributors Inc. (eBay User ID: keywestinc), a Raymond, New Hampshire, seller of small consumer electronics with 2007 sales projections of $750,000. “Sure, $10 for a widget that sells for $30 on eBay is a great deal. But if you need to buy 100 and only move five a week, is it worth it? Don’t let the thrill of bidding affect your judgment.”Offering a well-balanced line of related merchandise can help offset these problems–and of course, the Reseller Marketplace is the perfect place to investigate other potential product lines. But do some due diligence to find out what the market will bear so you don’t find yourself stuck with products no one wants. “You can’t be stupid about what you buy,” says Howard, who projects 2007 sales of $150,000. “To have a good experience, you have to research the product first. Just because something is a good buy [in the Reseller Marketplace] doesn’t mean it will sell.”The obvious place to start your market research is on eBay. Search for the item you’re planning to sell and note the selling prices on individual listings. If there are a lot of open auction-style listings for the item and few or no bids, you might want to try another product.Finally, pay attention to inbound shipping charges on the lots you’re interested in because they can add considerably to the per-piece cost of the items. Also be sure to find out how the product will be shipped to you. Imagine scoring a great deal on digital cameras, for instance, and one day finding a semi loaded with hundreds of boxes–or even dozens of heavy pallets–parked in front of your house with no one to help unload them. Then, you’ll need a place to stash all that inventory once it’s off the truck. If your garage, basement, entire home and so on are not large enough to accommodate your treasures, you may have to rent a storage locker, use a temporary storage unit (like the ones available at or lease a warehouse.Taking the PlungeOnce you’ve made these decisions, you should be primed and ready to jump into the Reseller Marketplace, although Frischling does have one more important piece of advice: “If you’re looking to expand your sales base, the Reseller Marketplace is a great place to do it,” he says. “But start small. Lots priced in the sweet spot of $2,000 to $5,000 are a good place to start. Then it’s all about velocity–if you turn, turn, turn the merchandise, you’ll make a profit.”Eileen Figure Sandlin is an award-winning freelance writer and author who writes on business topics. Reseller Marketplace Basics Bulk Buying Tipslast_img read more

ANYmal C robot is made for walking – and inspecting

first_img Are you up to date on meningitis? Get research updates on Privacy policy Does your staff administer meningitis vaccines in your practice? Get info at AllMedX We recommend Vaccination for meningitis is important for public health. Search for studies on AllMedX AllMedX Help your patients learn about meningitis vaccines. Get information on The ANYmal C is able to climb slopes of up to 20 degreesANYbotics Yes No Powered by Google Analytics settings It was a couple of years ago that we first heard about the ANYmal, a quadruped robot developed by ETH Zurich spin-off ANYbotics. Now, the Swiss company has announced its new-and-improved ANYmal C.Like the original model, along with those of a few other companies, the ANYmal C walks on four legs instead of rolling along on wheels. Among other things, this allows it to move over uneven terrain, maintain stability when bumped into, and even climb up and down stairs. As a result, locations where the robot is used typically don’t need to be altered for accessibility in any way.That brings us to the C model’s main intended use, which is the inspection of industrial facilities such as gas plants. AllMedX It can be operated by remote control – letting users manually inspect areas that may be hazardous to humans – but it can also navigate autonomously. For either scenario, it’s equipped with sensors including a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) unit; thermal, depth-sensing and optical cameras; a gas detector; and an LED spotlight. Some of these items are located on a pan/tilt module, that can swivel 360 degrees.This setup not only lets the 50-kg (110-lb) robot see where it is within the plant and check for problems such as gas leaks and hotspots, but it also allows the C to avoid obstacles such as workers. Intel i7 Hexa-core processors additionally help with locomotion control, real-time mapping and autonomous navigation, plus an extra 10 kg (22 lb) of sensors or other gear can be added to the ANYmal’s dust- and waterproof body.One 3-hour charge of its battery pack should reportedly be good for at least two hours of use. When that battery starts getting low, the robot automatically proceeds to a docking station for recharging.The ANYmal C was unveiled this week at the World Robot Conference in Beijing, and is now available for sale to industry partners who are interested in helping to field-test it. You can see it in action, in the following video. Information about FDA-approved meningitis B vaccines is available on AllMedX AllMedX ANYmal C Legged Robot – The Next Step in Robotic Industrial Inspection I consent to the use of Google Analytics and related cookies across the TrendMD network (widget, website, blog). Learn more Source: ANYbotics via IEEE Spectrum Many free full text studies of meningitis vaccine are available on read more

Sunwing introduces direct flights from Montreal to Mazatlan

first_img TORONTO — Sunwing’s new Mazatlan route out of Montreal takes flight Dec. 18 and runs through April 16 with direct departures every Tuesday.With the introduction of the new route Quebecers can book direct flight service to 27 of the most popular sunshine destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida and Central America from Montreal this winter with Sunwing.Mazatlan’s Golden Zone is home to top-rated resorts plus Sunwing clients can also take advantage of Sunwing Experiences to discover Mazatlan’s culture and heritage.The Local Hotels Mazatlan“We are delighted to be offering Montrealers even more choice this coming winter and the introduction of this popular beach destination is sure to be well-received,” says Sunwing Travel Group Quebec’s Executive Vice President, Sam Char. “Enjoying a combination of top-rated hotels, excellent beaches, varied excursions and an excellent climate, it has something for every kind of traveller and offers excellent value.”Pueblo Bonito Emerald BaySunwing’s Mazatlan options include Riu Emerald Bay overlooking Brujas Beach. The all-inclusive resort features weekly beach parties, water sports and a daily kids club. Clients who travel with Sunwing also get exclusive RIU-topia inclusions such as unlimited à la carte dining and spa discounts. Other resorts include The Local Hotels Mazatlan and Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort and Spa. Travelweek Group Sunwing introduces direct flights from Montreal to Mazatlan Share Wednesday, July 4, 2018 center_img Posted by Tags: Local Hotels, Pueblo Bonito, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Sunwing << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Snapshots of a peaceful Monday protest by Costa Ricas public employees

first_img Robert Isenberg Robert Isenberg Robert Isenberg Facebook Comments An elder marcher’s sign reflects wide-ranging anger: “Costa Rica, get rid of the same political parasites in the PLN [National Liberation Party] … along with this [expletive].” Protesters hold their banner aloft in front of Iglesia La Merced. Motorcyclists make figure-eights ahead of the march down Second Avenue. This sign reads: “Money isn’t the problem, thieves abound.” Robert Isenberg Robert Isenberg A public health care worker’s banner waves in front of San Juan de Dios Hospital in downtownChepe. Robert Isenberg A union leader rallies the crowd from a mobile platform. A student marching band plays in San José’s Plaza de la Cultura Monday morning. Striking workers picket in front of the headquarters of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute. Hundreds of public employees, teachers, students, taxi drivers and motorcyclists on Monday morning marched from at least four locations in the capital to wage a variety of complaints against government officials. Most protests concentrated near San José’s Central Park.Members of teachers’ unions began the march with a blockade at the La Hispanidad roundabout, east of San José. Shouting through megaphones, teachers denounced a reduction in extra salary bonuses and boasted that “at least 80 percent of the country’s public schools canceled classes” on Monday in support of the temporary strike.  The group of about 500 was joined by students from the University of Costa Rica and workers from 45 community health centers, or EBAIS, in San José and Cartago, east of the capital.Motorcycle owners caused a ruckus in front of the National Insurance Institute (INS) in Barrio Amón to protest recent increases in the the price of vehicle circulation permits, or marchamos, which came in at a rate well above public salary increases announced in recent days. INS officials closed their doors to the loud protests in front, and reopened just after midday, when the bikers had moved on to rally with other protesters. Eastbound city traffic was rerouted all morning on 7th Avenue, while vendors offered the bikers and Transit Police beverages and snacks.In La Sabana Park, west of the capital, striking workers formed a loose picket line in front of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, where union leaders gave speeches in tandem. Police officers were scattered along the walkway, looking unconcerned, while down the block, a mass of public health workers marched down 42nd Street and turned up Paseo Colón to the Finance Ministry, accumulating supporters as they went. Police cut off traffic, and pedestrians watched from the sidewalks.Luis Chavarría, a union representative from the Social Security System, or Caja, said workers are upset at Finance Ministry officials over recent tax increases, and for the privatization of some Caja services.“It’s about social security,” said one protester. “People have to know that the system is completely broken. It is just that simple.”Given the range of grievances, the atmosphere was remarkably festive: Music blasted from speakers, activists blew vuvuzelas, and hawkers weaved among the marchers, vending fedoras and flags. By the time the protesters reached Iglesia La Merced, the crowd was boisterous with shouting, dancing, and bursts of pre-recorded labor songs. After a long pause, the march resumed down Second Avenue, building in intensity as it went.Nearby, student demonstrators from area schools gathered in the Plaza de la Cultura. The scene looked like a children’s festival: Body puppets frolicked among grade school dancers, clowns walked on stilts, and a marching band ringed the square.Hordes of people packed together to watch the buskers, snapping photos and clapping along.In other provinces, support for the strikes was moderate, but several communities faced problems with blocked streets and the suspension of some public services.In the Caribbean province of Limón, a dock workers’ strike forced a tourist cruise ship to skip the port, while municipal workers refused to collect trash. Additionally, some 200 protesters blocked traffic on the bridge over the Pacuare River on Route 32, a main access to the province.In Alajuela, north of the capital, groups boarded at least three buses that joined protesters in San José. Outside two local hospitals, small groups of demonstrators waved banners and chanted slogans.In the only official response to the protests from the administration of President Laura Chinchilla, Presidency Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides said the government recognizes the public’s right to demonstrate, but “no one has the right to interrupt essential services.”Benavides sent an order to top officials at all public agencies to dock a day’s wage from employees who failed to show up to work on Monday.Aside from traffic jams and closed public agencies and schools, the morning passed with no major incidents or injuries. Robert Isenberg Robert Isenberg Robert Isenberg Body puppets entertain crowds in La Plaza de la Cultura, thanks to a rally for education. No related posts.last_img read more