Kevin Kennedy, the Deputy UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement that while the basic humanitarian needs of Gaza’s estimated population of 1.4 million people are largely being met, the conditions remain very difficult.UN officials have warned repeatedly in recent weeks that the closure of border crossings since intra-Palestinian violence flared in May and June and Hamas took control of the territory is threatening Gaza’s economic sustainability.Factories in import-dependent industries have had to close because of a lack of basic materials, and other businesses are also suffering because they are unable to export their products.Mr. Kennedy said “tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs and income” as a result.He added that UN relief agencies are facing increased demands to provide humanitarian assistance and “much remains to be done” to help the people of Gaza. 21 August 2007A senior United Nations official in the Middle East today voiced concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation inside the Gaza Strip, where the closure of border crossings and other restrictions have cut exports and forced factories to shut, leaving tens of thousands of Palestinians without jobs or income. read more


“The evidence of their rapid revival is a positive signal, not only for the environment and the local communities who live there, but must be seen as a contribution to wider peace and security for the Iraqi people and the region as a whole,” UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said of the marshlands which were ravaged by a vast drainage operation carried out by Saddam Hussein after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Almost 40 per cent of the marshlands have recovered to their 1970s condition and the new satellite images have revealed a rapid increase in water and vegetation cover over the last two years. Although more detailed field analysis of soil and water quality is needed to gauge the exact state of rehabilitation, UNEP scientists believe the findings are a positive signal that the marshlands are well on the road to recovery.However, he noted that while the re-flooding bodes well for the marshes, their recovery will take many years. “We must continue to monitor the situation carefully and make the necessary long-term investment in marshlands management,” he said. Iraq’s permanent wetlands total almost 9,000 square kilometres. But the marshlands dwindled to just 760 square kilometres in 2002. As of August 2005, The Iraqi Marshlands Observation System (IMOS) shows them at almost 3,500 square kilometres, or about 37 percent of the former 1970s extent. In the spring of 2005 the figure was nearer to 50 percent before shrinking with the high summer evaporation rates, UNEP said. IMOS is the latest component of UNEP’s multi-million dollar marshlands project, launched a year ago with funding from the Government of Japan. The programme is helping Iraq restore the environment and provide clean drinking water for up to 100,000 people living in the marshlands.UNEP said it is achieving this through a variety of activities ranging from dissemination of appropriate “environmentally sound technologies” (ESTs) to the establishment of an Internet-based marshlands information network and technical training.Further studies released in 2003 showed that an additional 3 per cent, or 325 square kilometres, had gone. Experts feared the entire wetlands could disappear by 2008. In 2001, UNEP released satellite images showing that 90 per cent of these fabled wetlands, home to rate and unique species like the sacred ibis and African darter, and a spawning ground for fisheries, had been lost.With the collapse of the former regime in mid-2003, local residents began opening floodgates and breaching embankments to bring water back and satellite images indicated that by April 2004 around a fifth, or 3,000 square kilometres, had been re-flooded. The challenge now is to restore the environment and provide clean water and sanitation services, UNEP said. read more


“Finding innovative ways to help refugees is enormously important. The clean energy we’re able to provide with the support from the IKEA Foundation is a practical solution to an essential need and transforms the quality of life for many,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres in a news release on the effort to provide light and energy from renewable sources to refugee camps.According to the High Commissioner’s Office (UNHCR), the funds generated through the campaign will help in provision of solar-powered street lights, lanterns and solar energy systems that will support energy self-reliance among refugees and host communities in UNHCR camps in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and fund improved access to primary education.According to UNHCR estimates, there were 19.5 million refugees globally at the beginning of this year, with more than half that number being children. “With the millions of people worldwide who are forcibly displaced today, the global context for our work is more challenging than ever,” said Mr. Guterres.Further, the UN agency said that although war and persecution are primary reasons forcing people to flee, climate change and related drivers of displacement including natural disasters such as droughts, floods and diminishing natural resources are also causes for concern.“Sadly, the escalating refugee crisis caused by protracted conflict situations around the world does not seem likely to calm down any time soon, and lesser-known factors, such as climate change-induced natural disasters, could force even more people to flee for a safe place to call home,” explained Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation.UNHCR reported that the campaign, which started in 2014, will reach its final phase this year and added that a lot of progress has been marked since its initiation.According to the news release, more than 284,000 refugees and members of host communities in Ethiopia and Jordan are able to live in greater safety at night after 56,000 solar lanterns and the installation of 720 solar street lights were provided to the region.Additionally, funds generated by the campaign helped more than 37,000 refugee children to be enrolled in primary school in Bangladesh, Chad and Ethiopia, allowing them to pursue their education and also allowed more than 740 teachers to be trained in these countries.The agency also said that 22 biogas plants were constructed in Bangladesh, allowing for 15 per cent of human waste to be processed and generating green fuel for cooking.Lastly, the news release also added that the Ikea Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner since 2010, believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home and the partnership has helped in providing shelter, care and education to families and children in refugee camps and surrounding communities in many parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. read more


DOWNLOAD1. Air Quality Report published2. £25 million funding for advanced biofuels3. Ed Miliban delivers key economic speech4. Motoring services strategy: VCA competition result5. National College for Advanced Manufacturing6. New careers and enterprise company for schools7. Consultations on removing exemptions for HGVs8. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)


first_imgUpdated at 11.10pmONLY A LEADER like Nelson Mandela could compel almost one hundred dignitaries of differing beliefs and opposing viewpoints to sit together in the name of peace.“He was not,” said US President Barack Obama, as he spoke of the freedom fighter at today’s memorial in FNB Stadium, “a bust made of marble. He was a man made of flesh and blood”.Mandela, who died at the age of 95 last Thursday night, resisted his image being painted as a ‘lifeless portrait”, said Obama.AP Photo/Ben CurtisMandela was mortal; he was not a perfect man. But he was close to perfect in the eyes of millions.The ending of apartheid, after a long and violent struggle, did not mean that South Africa became perfect, but it meant that a heavy, unequivocal blow was dealt against the terrible force of racism.Its end meant freedom. It meant hope.Just as Madiba was not perfect, so too was his memorial imperfect, if people were expecting a toned-down event. It was riotous, irreverent at times, pulsing with energy. There were appeals for the crowd to tone down their singing, rambunctious bands were asked to put down their instruments, and the country’s own president Jacob Zuma had his speech initially marred by boos.ArrivalsThe contrasts were no more evident than in the footage of the ceremony. Into the grey belly of the FNB Stadium the dignitaries from throughout Africa and beyond arrived this morning, along with a scattering of celebrities – Bono, Charlize Theron – all sombre in their dark clothing.Above them in the almost full 95,000-seater stadium, the crowds smiled, sang, danced, and cried, clutching images of their hero. Colourfully celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela – their Madiba, their Tata – in full spirit.Some would describe it as a show of pathetic fallacy that the rain fell slowly on the gathered crowds.But others saw a more spiritual reason for the opened heavens.“When it rains when you are buried, it means that your gods are welcoming you and the gates of heaven are most probably open as well,” Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC deputy president, told the crowd as he opened the ceremony.Of course, the rain may as well not have been there. Under umbrellas, and ANC flags fashioned into headscarves, people cheered.Pic: Gavin Barker /Sports Inc/Press Association ImagesThe memorialAs he welcomed those present, Ramaphosa spoke of the hope for a ‘dignified and fitting’ service for Madiba, a man who “worked to free us all”, whose life “transcended the faultlines of our own humanity”.Mandela took under his care the millions of South Africans who were oppressed under apartheid, moving from peaceful means to a more violent movement as the grip of oppression grew tighter. Eventually, he was jailed for sabotage.In court, on the cusp of being jailed, his message was clear and uncompromising.Said Ramphosa:He worked to free us all and in a way, black and white, to embark on a journey to reconcile with each other to forgive our past transgressions to bury hatred, embrace human rights, non-racialism, non-sexism, and begin the task and arduous odyssey to become a nation of diverse cultures, diverse religions and different races.Pic: AP Photo/Muhammed MuheisenFamily and friends paid their tributes first, including Robben Island cellmate and Rivonia Trialist Andrew Mlangeni, who said there was “no doubt” that Mandela was smiling while his countrymen met in his memory.Family members spoke of sharing Mandela with South Africa and the rest of the world, calling for people to help keep Madiba’s dream aliveUnited Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon acknowledged the “mighty loss and celebration of a mighty life”. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma of the AU Commission Chair said that now is the time to build on what Mandela achieved.The similarities between Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi were explored by India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, who said his country stands with South Africa.A handshake between Cuba’s Raúl Castro and Obama was a small but significant example of how Mandela brought about peaceful moments after his death.President Jacob Zuma described Mandela as a “courageous leader”, and a “fearless freedom fighter”. “There is no one like Madiba,” he told the crowd.Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, left, Nelson Mandela’s former wife. Pic: AP Photo/Matt DunhamBarack Obama, who received a rapturous welcome, spoke of Mandela’s influence on his own life. “He makes me want to be a better person,” he said.For him, Mandela was imperfect, shrewd, proud, rebellious. He held an anger inside that was “borne of a thousand slights” an anger felt by people whose race marked them out as other. His death is a time for self-reflection, said Obama: “We must ask how well have I applied his lessons in my own life”.The absence of the Dalai Lama, who had previously met Mandela but was unable to obtain a visa, was notable.Mandela’s long walk to freedom led him gently to this stadium, to an overwhelming event that belied his humble beliefs.As a memorial, it was somehow fitting in its rambunctious imperfectness. As a symbol of the continued fight for equality, it was powerful.Watch the remainder of the ceremony live here.First posted at 1.40pm.Read: More than 80,000 to attend memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg>PHOTO: Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban president Raul Castro>LIVE: The Rainbow Nation says goodbye to its founding father>last_img read more


first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, November 29, 2016 – Up to news production time there was still no government issued media release on the passing of former LegCo (Legislative Council) member, Aulden Smokey Smith.Smith died on Friday, while attending hospital in Jamaica and is a former House Representative for the island of Salt Cay. Related Items:last_img


first_img When Woodland resident Bailey Martin was pregnant with identical twin boys, her doctor hoped she would make it to 36 weeks but her body had other ideas.At 29 weeks and six days, on Oct. 16, 2010, Martin had an emergency Caesarean section at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.Her son Ryder weighed 3 pounds, 3 ounces; Foster weighed 2 pounds, 8 ounces.The preemies spent eight weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Martin was with them from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily; her husband would visit the twins after work. Martin said she would watch DVDs, change diapers, take temperatures and pump her breast milk every three hours.On Saturday, Martin returned to Legacy Salmon Creek with her twins, now two healthy toddlers, for an NICU family reunion attended by more than 300 people.She recalled spending a few nights in the NICU, but nurses encouraged her to go home and rest.“They said, ‘If you can’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of them,’” Martin said. It was difficult to leave the twins behind, but she realized the nurses were right. Nurses offered other invaluable advice to the new mother, as well.“They quit becoming your nurses and they become your friends,” said Martin, who also developed friendships with other mothers.While doctors were uncertain how well her sons would fare, for the most part they thrived in the NICU. They were in separate incubators for the first few days, then slept together in a crib. They were allowed to go home when they could control their body temperature on their own, their lungs were developed enough so their breathing was stable and they could eat by either breast or bottle and no longer needed a tube. Nicole Tiffany shows her son Gavin, 13 months, his 5-day-old sister Emma inside the neonatal intensive care unit at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center on Saturday. Gavin was also born premature and spent time in the NICU like his sister who was born about five weeks early.last_img read more


first_imgFitzelle noted that the down valuations show that global “economic conditions are having an impact in the b-to-b world.” Consumer magazine deals were all but non-existent in the second quarter, according to Whitestone Communications, a private equity firm that tracks media M&A activity. The number of transactions in the second quarter—five—matched the first quarter, and the total value of the deals—$19 million in the second quarter, $27 million in the first quarter—were similar. But those numbers paled in comparison to 2007’s consumer magazine deal market, when 10 mergers were completed, totaling $1.7 billion. (That number, however, is skewed by Primedia’s sale of its Enthusiast Media group to Source Interlink for $1.2 billion.)On the b-to-b side, there were 16 magazine or trade show deals, up from 14 in the first quarter and 12 in the second quarter of 2007. The total value of b-to-b deals dropped to $60 million from $249 million in the first quarter and $225 million in the same period last year. “This part of the publishing world has not been getting the respect that areas such as Internet content have been getting,” said Whitestone managing director Ed Fitzelle. “People see the trade magazine and trade show models as kind of ‘old school’ with advertisers and exhibitors hunting out new ways to promote their companies on the Web.”last_img read more


first_img Tags Tags GMC CanyonIf you’re looking for a slightly fancier version of the Colorado that’s more focused on luxe than dirt, check out the GMC Canyon. The top Denali trim gets standard heated and ventilated front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Maximum payload capability is 1,665 pounds while max towing is a fairly healthy 7,600 pounds.The Canyon is available with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s also built in Wentzville, Missouri. 71 Photos 2019 GMC Sierra Denali review: So close to greatness 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus: More range, more power More From Roadshow Preview • 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus first drive: Expanding the EV’s appeal Acura MDXMoving up one slot to sixth place on the American Made Index is the non-hybrid variant of the Acura MDX. With its SH-AWD system, the MDX is one of the better handling midsize luxury crossovers, and for 2019 the company gives us the A-Spec treatment with a new front fascia and side skirts, 20-inch wheels, wider exhaust tips, unique gauges, a new steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and various Alcantara interior touches.However, both the standard and A-Spec models get a 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque going through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is made in East Liberty, Ohio.  Jeep CherokeeKeeping its top-of-the-list placement, the Jeep Cherokee is 2019’s most American-made car. Refreshed for 2019, the compact crossover now features more tech, better cargo space and a slightly tweaked look. It’s available in no fewer the nine trims, including the off-road specific Trailhawk and a fancy-pants Trailhawk Elite.For 2019, the Cherokee gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though naturally aspirated I4 and V6 choices are also available. Regardless of engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the pavement — or dirt as the case may be. The Cherokee is made in Belvidere, Illinois. 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch General Motors Chevrolet Honda Jeep Acura 2019 Honda Passport: A well-rounded midsize offering 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 26 Photos Electric Cars Hatchbacks 31 Photos 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport loves to hustle 2019 Honda Odyssey offers plenty of room and features for families Share your voice 81 Photos Chevrolet CorvetteMoving up from the 10th-place slot last year is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. While we’ve all been ogling the new mid-engine Corvette, it’s easy to forget what a performance bargain the current-generation ‘Vette is. From the base trim to the Grand Sport to the bonkers ZR1, the Corvette is an American icon.My preference is for the Grand Sport, which strikes a perfect balance between everyday drivability and canyon-carving performance. The 6.2-liter V8 puts out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. You can get it with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the kicker is the borrowed chassis and aero parts from the beefier Z06. Like I said, perfect balance. The Corvette is made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model Enlarge ImageThe longer-range Leaf Plus arrives at Nissan dealers this month. Steven Ewing/Roadshow When the 2019 Leaf Plus launched, Nissan initially estimated a range of 226 miles. Turns out, that’s legit, but not for every trim level.The 226-mile range only applies to the base Leaf S Plus trim. The better-equipped SV and SL models see an official rating of 215 miles. Inside EVs initially reported this information, which we verified on the EPA’s website Monday. The higher trims’ reduced range is simply due to their more robust set of amenities, and therefore, added weight.We first heard about the possibility of this range discrepancy back in January, though as it turns out, the delta between the final numbers isn’t quite so big. Even so, the Leaf Plus falls behind competitors like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, which are EPA-rated at 238 and 258 miles, respectively.Still, the Leaf Plus has a lot to offer, including a comfortable on-road demeanor and lots of driver assistance and infotainment tech. The 62-kilowatt-hour battery also means the electric motor produces a bit more oomph than the standard Leaf: 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque, compared to 147 and 236 in non-Plus models.The 2019 Leaf Plus hits dealers this month, priced from $37,445, not including $895 for destination. The Leaf S Plus costs $6,560 more than a 40-kWh Leaf S, while the SV and SL Plus models command $6,000 more than their less powerful counterparts. Nissan,Enlarge ImageIt’s all in a day’s work for the Jeep Cherokee, the most American-made car in 2019. Jeep With high trade tensions looming and increasing talk of tariffs, more and more consumers are looking to buy American. Cars.com has released its annual American Made Index, showcasing companies that use the most American-sourced parts and labor in their vehicles. The results may surprise you.Cars.com analyzed more than 100 US-built vehicles for five key data points: manufacturing location, parts sourcing, US employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. You might think something like the Ford F-150 would top the list, but it drops from its No. 5 spot for 2018 and out of the top 10 completely. Even the first-place holder, the Jeep Cherokee, is a pretty global product. It’s a Jeep, sure, but that brand is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-owned business.Cars.com surveyed 1,000 people and found that half are concerned about automotive import tariffs, with 41% saying they are unsure if tariffs would make them more likely to buy American. Either way, we’re big fans of all the vehicles on this list. These days, buying American doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with a US-based automaker. Share your voice Honda PilotDropping down to seventh place for 2019 is the Honda Pilot. Like its two-row Passport sibling, the three-row Pilot offers parent-focused technology like Cabin Talk as well as myriad standard driver-assistance features through the Honda Sensing tech suite. Honda’s largest crossover offers up nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space. Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine shows up again, making a serviceable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Elite trims get a nine-speed automatic transmission while lower trims have to make do with a six-speed auto. The Honda Pilot is made in Lincoln, Alabama. Review • 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus review: A better EV, but maybe not the best 2019 Jeep Cherokee can handle the rough stuff 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 69 Photos 18 Photos Honda RidgelineAgain keeping the status quo, the Honda Ridgeline maintains third place on the American Made Index. This crossover-that-looks-like-a-truck provides a better ride than a traditional pickup and gets an awesome lockable trunk right in the floor of the bed. And it doesn’t do the truck stuff too badly, either, as it’s able to carry 1,860 pounds of payload and tow 3,500 pounds.The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. It’s built in Lincoln, Alabama. More about 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus 2019 GMC Canyon: A fancier Colorado 2019 Honda Pilot Elite: A smoother, tech-rich crossover SUV 52 Photos Honda OdysseyThe feature-rich Honda Odyssey minivan also retains its number-two slot from last year’s list. While the 2019 model doesn’t see any changes from last, it’s still a darn good choice for families on the go with reconfigurable seats, Wi-Fi and an excellent rear-seat entertainment system. The Cabin Watch video system lets parents keep an eye on their little darlings without turning around in their seats, while Cabin Talk amplifies their voice so no yelling is required.The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most trims get a nine-speed automatic but the top Touring and Elite trims now use a 10-speed automatic with stop-start technology. The Honda Odyssey is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 68 Photos 49 Photos Comments 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 12 Photos 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: Sharp handling, sharper looks 10 Photos Acura RDXThe third-generation Acura RDX squeaks into the top ten list with larger proportions, plenty of interior space and better handling than its predecessor. Forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation are all standard across the board. Like its MDX counterpart, the RDX is available with the A-Spec styling package.The RDX sports a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new RDX is built in East Liberty, Ohio. Chevrolet ColoradoMaking its debut in the top 10 is the Chevrolet Colorado. Shown here in the tough ZR2 Bison off-road spec, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent truck and one of the two midsize pickups you can get with a diesel engine. Adding to the ZR2’s two-inch lift and front and rear locking differentials, the Bison gets beefier skid plates (trust me, that’s a good thing), steel bumpers and integrated recovery points. Heck, you can even get a snorkel.Base models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but a more popular choice is the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.8-liter diesel pumps out 186 horsepower and a delicious 369 pound-feet of twist and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The Chevy Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri. Comments 2 Nissan Honda PassportThe Honda Passport is a new (well, reborn) entry to both the Honda lineup and the American Made Index. This midsize crossover comes to the fray with great driving dynamics and plenty of tech like the standard Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. An available 8-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot.Under the hood is the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However unlike the Ridgeline, the Passport sends that power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Having said that, just like the Ridgeline, this is the only powertrain available. The Honda Passport is built in Lincoln, Alabama. More From Roadshow Car Industry 2019 Honda Ridgeline: The commuter’s pickup truck 3 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animallast_img read more


first_imgThe UN Security Council holds a meeting to discuss the violence in Myanmar at the United Nations in New York on 28 September 2017. Photo: AFPRepresentatives of different countries from around the world in a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday spoke about the ongoing violence in Myanmar, against Rohingya Muslims. The United Nations said about approximately 500,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in recent weeks following the violence what the global body has called a textbook example of “ethnic cleansing”.The meeting began at 3:05 pm and ended at 5:17pm (local time) at the UN headquarters in New York.The UN has published the speeches of world leaders at the meeting of the global body in its website.Following are the statements of the representatives of the United Kingdom, United States, Senegal, Sweden, Japan, China, Italy, Ukraine, and Uruguay.Jonathan Guy Allen, deputy permanent representative of UK to UNThe world had watched in horror at the violence that had erupted over the last month.  By now, all had seen reports of the extrajudicial killings, burnings of villages and the placement of landmines.Most of the victims were Rohingya Muslims, although others were also being affected. The situation was a human tragedy and an acute humanitarian crisis that had exploded at an unprecedented speed.It was becoming increasingly clear that world opinion was aligning on the issue, and it now fell to Myanmar, and its military to respond. The military bore the primary responsibility for resolving the crisis. There is a way out. The military must immediately stop the violence and ensure the protection of all civilians. The hate speech and incitement to violence must also stop and the military must uphold the rule of law.The authorities of Myanmar must allow full humanitarian access to Rakhine, highlighting that the current humanitarian needs vastly exceeded the capacity of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and only the United Nations and its partners could provide aid at the scale that was required. Myanmar should work with Bangladesh to establish a safe and sustainable way for those that had fled Rakhine to return home.In that context, those that have fled must be able to register themselves as refugees.The crisis placed a deep shadow on the history of Myanmar, as well as its leaders and military. If the leaders did not take the necessary steps, they would find themselves on the wrong side of history and the council must be ready to act.Nikki Haley, US permanent representative to UNFor the last four weeks, the world had witnessed images from Myanmar of suffering that no one should be forced to endure. The United States government had tried to engage the military of Myanmar at the highest levels and supported regional efforts to stop the violence and expand humanitarian access.Still, the exodus of the scared people of Myanmar continued while the government failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation.[Myanmar] must come to terms with the facts on the ground. The international community could not be afraid to call the actions of the Myanmar authorities exactly what they were — a brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority.Such a brutal assault did not advance justice, but rather put it further from reach.The government of Myanmar had a responsibility to restore the rule of law and prevent attacks by citizens in its name, regardless of which individual or group was the target of such attacks.The situation had been made worse by the rhetoric coming from official military channels inside the country. The time for well-meaning diplomatic words in the UNSC had passed and now was the time for action.The military must respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and those accused of committing abuses should be removed from power and immediately prosecuted.The authorities must immediately allow rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and work with all partners that could help get assistance to the affected communities.Myanmar must also commit to welcoming all those that had been displaced to safely return to their original homes. The risk that the conflict could spill over to other countries in the region was real.What was most frustrating about the conflict was “how we should have seen it coming”.Wu Haitao, China’s deputy permanent representative to UNOrder must prevail as soon as possible and that unity among different people must be restored. Antagonism had been building for a long time. A series of steps had been taken to ease the situation in Rakhine state.The international community must view the difficulties and challenges facing the Myanmar government through an objective lens.The international community must support dialogue between Bangladesh and Myanmar so that they could properly address the mass exodus of the Muslim population.As a friendly neighbour to both countries, China had provided necessary assistance for accommodating the displaced. The situation on the ground was moving towards stability.Vassily A Nebenzia Russian Federation permanent representative to UN The situation was far from being resolved. According to reports, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army was guilty of killing civilians and the extremists had forced members of the Hindu communities to leave their homes and migrate with Muslims to Bangladesh.The efforts of the government of Myanmar are underway to resolve the situation in Rakhine state and repatriate refugees from Bangladesh.The efforts of Bangladesh are commendable. We hope the international community would provide sizeable support to resolve the humanitarian crisis. The situation could only be resolved through dialogue among people of all nationalities and faiths. The international community must be very careful before labelling something genocide and ethnic cleansing.François Delattre, France permanent representative to UNAn ethnic cleaning was currently underway in the west of Myanmar and that 500,000 Rohingya, mostly women and children, had fled to Bangladesh in the last month.The incitement to hatred and violence against the Rohingya existed in Myanmar today. Public discourse and other stigma could lead to even worse atrocities.  The Security Council had the responsibility of standing united and acting to break the negative spiral.Immediate efforts must concentrate on putting an end to the violence. The security forces in Myanmar must ensure protection for all, without discrimination.The authorities must also put an end to the self-proclaimed groups that went after the Rohingya.Humanitarian access must be swiftly restored. The Myanmar government’s intention to organise a visit for diplomats and humanitarian actors to Rakhine state was a positive development.The major efforts demonstrated by Bangladesh should be welcomed and supported by the international community. Once there was an end to violence, modalities for the safe and orderly return of the refugees must be identified. Efforts should be taken to tackle the root causes of the violence, discrimination and systematic violation of the rights of the Rohingya, who had been denied citizenship for decades.Olof Skoog, Sweden permanent representative to UN The seeds of conflict continued to go unresolved. The total number of internally displaced persons within Rakhine state had not yet been established.While the Myanmar government’s security operations had ended on 5 September, it was deeply worrying that reports of violence — including of the burning of Rohingya villages and violence against civilians — continued. All violence must end. Myanmar government must ensure the immediate suspension of all military and security operations. It should also grant immediate, full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to the United Nations and its partners seeking to reach those in need, and move swiftly to ensure that those who had fled the country could return to their places of origin in a safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable manner.Those responsible for human rights abuses and violations, as well as other crimes, must be brought to justice.Fodé Seck, Senegal permanent representative to UN Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly children, women and the elderly, were fleeing and seeking refuge where they could, especially in neighbouring Bangladesh. Myanmar must put an end to the human tragedy. The involvement of Bangladesh and Myanmar in today’s meeting was a testament to the transparency of discussions.We now know much more about the deep-seeded causes of the conflict.The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European Union had all condemned the violence.  Military operations must end and international law must be respected.We welcome Myanmar working with Bangladesh to solve the crisis, the root causes of which revolved around the issue of statelessness.Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta, Egypt permanent representative to UN Hundreds of thousands of innocent souls had been killed or persecuted and regional security dangerous threatened, creating a heavy burden on neighboring countries. The issue was humanitarian at heart, based on the principle of acceptance of others and coexistence with people of different beliefs and religions.Hate speech, violence or threat of use of violence could not be accepted and must be rejected, whether perpetrated by a party or government institutions. The message to Myanmar from the international community was to end the violence and allow for humanitarian access. Egypt’s position that the Rohingya had a right to life did not mean that it supported violence of any related groups. But it is important to ask: What choice are we leaving to these people, other than taking up arms to defend themselves?  Myanmar must interact with the international community, allow for a high-level United Nations delegation to visit the Rakhine state and work to provide citizenship to the Muslim Rohingya. He also noted the condemnation of the treatment of the Rohingya community by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif.Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan permanent representative to UNThere had unfortunately been reports of a fresh influx of 14,000 refugees crossing into Bangladesh on 24 September. The lack of measures to stop those flows called into question Aung San Suu Kyi’s statement that clearance operations had ended on 5 September.It provided an additional rationale for dispatching a United Nations fact-finding team to provide an objective assessment of the situation in Rakhine state. Myanmar government should suspend all military operations and end acts of persecution and discrimination against the Rohingya Muslims, as well as to provide unhindered humanitarian access.Urgent measures should be undertaken to allow the Rohingya to return to their homes with safety, security, dignity and prospects for decent livelihoods. We endorse the Organization for Islamic Cooperation’s calls to ensure inclusive and transparent citizenship verification processes for all, and urge the government to fully implement the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, and warn that inter-ethnic and interreligious strife, as well as refugee flows, could serve as fertile ground for terrorism.Koro Bessho, Japan permanent representative to UNJapan isdeeply concerned by the human rights and humanitarian conditions on the ground, the allegations of killings of civilians and the fact that more than 400,000 people had been displaced to Bangladesh.Japan calls for the restoration of security in a manner consistent with the rule of law and with full respect for human rights, while ensuring transparency.Japan also stress the importance of continuous efforts to secure humanitarian access for all affected communities as soon as possible.Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Myanmar last week and conveyed the country’s deep concerns and position directly to the leaders of the Myanmar Government, including the military.Japan commends the dedicated efforts by Bangladesh in responding to the humanitarian aspects of the current situation.In that connection, Japan was providing humanitarian assistance for displaced persons in Rakhine state and in Bangladesh and decided to provide up to $4 million in emergency assistance for those affected.Sebastiano Cardi, Italy permanent representative to UN It is the Security Council’s responsibility to urgently address the situation and send a strong, unified and constructive message in line with the priorities outlined by the Secretary-General.The violence must end immediately, and in that context and the authorities must stop the attacks against civilians and stressed the need for the security response to fully respect international humanitarian and international human rights law. Attacks against the Rohingya were a matter of grave concern and could not be tolerated.National authorities were responsible for protecting lives. Safe and unhindered humanitarian access must be ensured. Humanitarian agencies and donors had quickly mobilized, yet the needs on the ground exceeded the available resources and access to those in need faced major restrictions. We commend the government of Bangladesh for keeping the borders open and its efforts in hosting the refugees.Their voluntary, safe and sustainable return would be critical, including for the stabilization of the region.Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine permanent representative to UNAny targeting of civilians is totally unacceptable and impunity for perpetrators could not be tolerated.We are concerned about allegations of human rights violations having taken place during recent military operations in the province. We express concern about the worsening humanitarian situation and stressed the need for unhindered access of humanitarian actors to those in need.Given the dire nature of the situation, the least the government could do would be to halt all military operations in Rakhine.We welcome the release of the Advisory Commission’s final report and the expressions of the Myanmar government supporting the recommendations contained within the document.Concrete steps were urgently needed, as what was doable and within reach today may not be available tomorrow. It was not too late to deliver, although it was imperative that the Council be more proactive to ensure the violence was stopped.  Nobody around this table wants to see the worst-case scenario.Luis Bermúdez, Uruguay deputy permanent representative to UN The grave crisis created by the wave of sectarian violence against the Muslim Rohingya people is alarming. Humanitarian and security conditions had seriously deteriorated.The resurgence of violence emphasized the need for true national reconciliation.  We call on Myanmar to adopt measures to end impunity and investigate all violations of human rights.We urge the authorities to implement recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission. Noting the deep-rooted history of the crisis, we condemn the violence of all military groups but reiterated that the main responsibility of protecting civilians fell on the Myanmar government.Human rights must be respected, and the government must stop the violence, allow the return of those that had fled and facilitate unfettered access to those in need.Oppressive behaviour against the Rohingya group under the pretext of fighting terrorism risked destabilising the region.*Note: the speeches have gone through minor editinglast_img read more


first_imgA view of the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp after sunset near Cox`s Bazar. ReutersBangladesh has announced plans to build a refugee camp that could accommodate around 800,000 Rohingya Muslims pouring over the border from Myanmar.The camp would be the largest in the world and has raised concerns about the risks of concentrating vulnerable people, such as the spread of disease.Around 550,000 Rohingya have fled communal bloodshed in Myanmar since the latest violence began in August 25.While some have joined the roughly 33,000 fellow Rohingya living in the official camps of Kutupalong and Nayapara since the 1990s, most have set up alongside hundreds of thousands more already living in makeshift camps and villages outside those settlements.The UN’s refugee agency estimates there are an unprecedented 65.5 million refugees in the world today, split between urban centres or informal settlements, and more formal camps.Here are some of the largest of these camps, based on UN figures.Bidibidi, Uganda: 285,000This vast settlement in far northern Uganda has sprung up over the past year as people flood out of South Sudan, fleeing civil war and severe food shortages.A village in the Yumbe district on the South Sudan border, Bidibidi became a refugee settlement in August 2016 and now hosts nearly 285,000 people, according to figures from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.Uganda hosts more than half of the nearly two million South Sudanese who have fled their country since war erupted in 2013.The Adjumani district in the same border area of Uganda contains many further camps and settlements where there are together about 233,000 more South Sudanese.Dadaab, Kenya: 239,500The sprawling Dadaab complex 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Kenya’s border with Somalia has housed Somali refugees for around 26 years.The majority fled the outbreak of civil war in Somalia 1991 and many never returned, going on to have children and grandchildren.Dadaab is made up of four camps, some of which have come to resemble towns, but is considered a single area.There were about 239,500 people in Dadaab at the end of September, according to UN figures. The population peaked at around 485,000 in 2012 following a new influx after famine in Somalia.A voluntary repatriation programme is helping some to return.The Kenyan government decided last year to close Dadaab, about 450 kilometres northeast of the capital Nairobi, saying it was a training ground for Shabaab Islamist militants from Somalia.The decision was overturned by Kenya’s High Court on the grounds that it violated the country’s international obligations and amounted to the persecution of refugees.Kakuma, Kenya: 185,000This camp on the outskirts of the town of the same name in northwestern Kenya was established in 1992 following the arrival of thousands of people fleeing from southern Sudan during the 1983-2005 war.Many were young boys who risked being forced into combat.The camp also took in some of the hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians who fled around the fall of the military government in 1991.About half of the refugees there today are from South Sudan and a quarter from Somalia, with those from Ethiopia down to under four percent.Nyarugusu, Tanzania: 139,630Just 37 kilometres from the border with Burundi, this camp was opened in November 1996 to host people fleeing conflict in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.Tens of thousands of Burundians arrived in 2015 when their country plunged into crisis after President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a fiercely contested third term.Burundians now account for around 47 percent of the camp’s population.Tanzania hosts around 60 percent of the 410,000 Burundians who are refugees.Zataari, Jordan: 80,140About 5.2 million Syrians have left their country since conflict erupted in 2011, the largest migration in the world today.Most are in neighbouring countries, where only nine percent are in camps, the UN says.About 20 percent of those in Jordan are in camps, the largest of which is Zataari with about 80,140 people, according to figures for August.Some 80 kilometres north of the capital Amman, Zataari was established in 2012 and evolved from a collection of tents into an urban settlement.There are also more than 3.2 million Syrians in Turkey, which hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, the UN says. However only about 10 percent are in camps, the largest being the Akcakale tent camp with around 26,400 people.The government of Lebanon estimates it hosts 1.5 million Syrians. Most of them live informal tented settlements in the Bekaa Valley.last_img

first_imgPrague city. Photo: CollectedPlans to re-erect a Baroque column with a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary in the centre of Prague have triggered a religious controversy in the Czech Republic, one of Europe’s most atheist countries.A group of Catholics and Prague history fans hope to erect a replica of the original column — built in the 1650s but torn down in 1918 as a symbol of the Habsburg empire — at its initial site on the city’s central Old Town Square.”The day the column is re-erected, we’ll know there has been reconciliation,” says sculptor Petr Vana, who carved the replica.In the past, similar plans were already blocked under both Nazi and Communist rule.In 1989 — shortly after the fall of Communism — local Catholics and history enthusiasts set up the “Association for the Renewal of the Marian Column.”Vana told AFP that he had been asked to select the technology and draw up a budget.”It was then that I came to understand the immense spiritual depth of the project. For me, it’s no ordinary contract,” says Vana, who has spent two decades working on it.The original 15-metre (49-foot) column, erected in the early 1650s, was topped by a sandstone statue of the Virgin Mary by Baroque sculptor Jan Jiri Bendl.It commemorated Prague’s defenders against the protestant Swedish army at the end of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648.’Cynical monument’But in the eyes of ordinary Czechs, the column came to symbolise the enforced re-Catholisation by Austria’s Habsburg rulers of a country that venerated the religious reformer Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1415.On November 3, 1918, just days after Czechoslovakia gained independence from the disintegrating Austro-Hungarian empire, a crowd led by anarchist Franta Sauer tore down the column, shouting “Far from Vienna, far from Rome!”Many Czechs turned their backs on the Catholic Church at that time, and many more did so during the Communist regime of 1948-1989, which depicted the Church as the enemy of the people.Believers are now a minority in the EU member state of 10.6 million people, where 8.6 million people identified as non-believers or refused to fill in the box marked “religion” in a 2011 census.”The column was a symbol of religious intolerance,” said one opponent of the project, Jan Vano, during a recent meeting on the Old Town Square.Zdenek Zacpal, a translator, described the monument as “cynical” because it was erected not far from the spot where 27 leaders of a protestant revolt were executed in June 1621.He brandished a banner that read: “We don’t want the column of humiliation.”Bureaucratic trapThe association has found itself caught in a bureaucratic trap.Even though it possesses a building permit — scheduled to expire in July — the municipal authorities argue that the document is merely a general one that does not include permission for construction to begin at a specific site.And an earlier rejection issued by the previous municipal council in September 2017 was still in force, according to the authority’s spokesman, Vit Hofman.For the current city council, elected in 2018, the decision was “like a ball and chain and it doesn’t know which way to turn,” said Vana who, along with other association members, takes turns in guarding the site day and night.In recent days, the association’s members have twice started digging up the square’s paving stones, but have been prevented from doing so by municipal police whose van is parked at the site around the clock.”We’re only missing a single piece of paper. I hope we get it soon so that work can begin,” Vana said.Prague’s archbishop Dominik Duka has spoken in favour of the project, but merely on a personal level, “as a Catholic and a citizen.” The archdiocese has taken no official line.For the time being, until a final decision is taken, Vana’s 60-tonne sculpture sits aboard a boat moored on the Vltava river in the city centre.last_img read more


first_imgThe Paper Moon Diner in Remington arguably has the best blueberry pancakes in Baltimore City.And it was the blueberry pancakes (sans powdered sugar), along with the addictive duck bacon that summoned me back to the eatery last Sunday for a very late breakfast.Years ago the restaurant was the choice of the late night, early morning clubbers, because it was open 24 hours; after a night of partying, it was a favorite pit stop to refuel and debrief with friends. So, Paper Moon with its eclectic (and bizarre) decor, tasty comfort food and insomniac hours of operation, consistently attracted the party people, various practitioners of “the life” as well as the garden variety weirdos Baltimore is infamous for.Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)Nowadays, Paper Moon seems to attract a more mainstream clientele including, tourists, curious millennials and the ubiquitous Baltimore hipster (especially in neighborhoods like Remington).Last Sunday, as I ate my blueberry pancakes with my companion, we were exposed to two fascinating conversations engaged by two pairs of women; one Black the other White. To be clear, the conversations weren’t very compelling independent of each other, they were remarkable because they were juxtaposed to each other.My friend sat closest to the young White women. She couldn’t hear precisely every word of their dialogue, but what she did hear apparently was about to make her, “head explode.” The inane babble of two millennial women — something about a roommate’s transgression of leaving a door unlocked, among other trivial matters —  didn’t seem to go down well with my friend’s arugula salad. But, on a breezy Sunday afternoon, perhaps it is appropriate for a conversation between two 20-somethings to be light and airy.However, the dialogue between the two young Black women was decidedly heavier and infinitely more ominous. One of the women talked about, “a lot of shootings,” in her neighborhood, “but, only a few people got killed.” The other woman divulged matter of factly, that her brother had been jailed for murder, before she began to dig back into her meal.Two sets of women, approximately the same age, apparently living in the same city, but seemingly worlds apart.The divergent life experiences of these  young women are in many ways the embodiment of Baltimore, a tale of two cities; rich and poor, Black and White, privileged and imperiled, gentrified and blighted.The reality is victims of the most inferior Baltimore City Public Schools are rarely White. Targets of police intimidation, brutality and profiling are almost exclusively Black. The big money beneficiaries of Baltimore City Government largess, especially when it comes to downtown development, (see Port Covington and Harbor East), are all White. The names on, “the murder list,” the victims of homicide in 2017 (167 and counting as of June 28) are almost all Black.In 1911, Baltimore Mayor J. Barry Mahool crafted an ordinance to prevent, “conflict and ill feeling between the White and Colored races in Baltimore City, and promoting the general welfare of the city by providing…separate blocks by White and Colored people for residences, churches and schools,” stated Mahool’s ordinance, the first segregation law aimed specifically at Blacks in the United States.Indeed, Baltimore “invented” legal residential segregation and the city remains one of the most segregated cities in America more than 100 years later.In 2017, tools like gentrification, big money development, failing public schools (still) and law enforcement (still), have helped the city erect even higher walls around Black and White neighborhoods and the experiences of Black and White Baltimore almost always seem wildly disconnected and inequitable.This despite the fact we can eat a late breakfast in the same restaurant on a lazy Sunday afternoon.Sean Yoes is the AFRO’s Baltimore editor and host and executive producer of, “First Edition,” which airs Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m. on WEAA, 88.9.last_img read more


first_img ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Director Explains Thanos’ Faceoff With Captain America‘Marvels’ Expands Marvel’s Podcast Universe The Marvel Comic Encyclopedia is overflowing with characters by now. Marvel has created a lot of superheroes, villains and everything in between. You never really know what you’re going to get, but you always know it’s going to be entertaining and talked about for a long while.Yet there are some characters that you just never hear from again. They’re kind of in the back of your mind, but you can’t remember if you’ve heard about them or not. Some characters have gone up and down with Marvel. They’ve been in a couple of storylines or arcs, on a team for a period until disbanding, came back but then forgotten again, or just plain too weird to live on in the Marvel Universe for a very long time. So, here are 11 Marvel characters that everyone might have forgotten about.ARCADEvia MarvelArcade is one of those villains that seems to weave himself in and out of comic history easily. Yet you kind of forget that he even exists. Created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne and first appearing in Marvel Team-Up #65 (1978), there has been a couple of different tellings of Arcade’s life. The definitive one seems to be that he was the son of a millionaire who cut him off. Just like any spoilt brat of the time, he blew his father up. Arcade became slightly obsessed with the act of killing people, becoming an assassin and a villain pretty swiftly. The one thing about Arcade that’s fascinating is his creation of what he called “Murderworld,” an amusement park geared with high technology and death traps so he can torture whoever he pleased.Arcade is a character that rarely shows remorse for what he’s done. Quite the opposite really, he wants to watch you as you suffer. Think of him as that funhouse operator at your favorite amusement park. The one that watches you while you get upset cause you can’t find the exit. With Arcade, you only ever see the egomaniacal game master that he is. This quickly makes you forget about him in the shuffle of supervillains. The best version of his character is in Avengers Arena (2013), which is still a very highly underrated series. In Avengers Arena, he kidnaps teenagers and puts them in Murderworld, watching them pick each other off Battle Royale style for his amusement. Seriously, read Avengers Arena, such a great book. Arcade slowly becomes a great character that you will remember. Hopefully.THE MENAGERIEvia MarvelI would give everything to see The Menagerie in action just one more time and bigger than ever. As quick as they came, they disappeared into the Spiderverse and never appeared again. The Menagerie was made up of White Rabbit (Dr. Lorin Dodson), Skein (Sybil Dvorak), Panda Mania and Hippo. This team consisting of supervillain animals team, created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1 (2014). Spider-Man ends up dealing with them faster than the speed of a web fling after they steal decorated eggs. This team lasted four issues.When you think about it, the idea of The Menagerie is pretty dope. I know that I am very much reaching when I say that, but hear me out. A team of criminals that consist of animals? That’s kind of cool! No one remembers this team because of their swift entry and exit. They were almost like a starter battle before Peter gets hit with the harder stuff. Hippo, White Rabbit, and Skein have their respective places in the Marvel Universe. I think if they come back together and give some more to Panda Mania (how amazing is that name?!), I think this team could do a lot more to be remembered as a craft supervillain team.CAPTAIN ULTRAvia MarvelCaptain Ultra is a classic type of superhero. He seems to be super forgotten in the comic books but sneaks up once in awhile in flashbacks or storylines never getting the proper attention he truly deserved. This superhero was created by Roy Thomas, George Perez and Mike Friedrich with his first appearance being in Fantastic Four #177 (1976). Captain Ultra’s background is… strange. It’s not every day that a superhero gets a background that makes you lift your eyebrow going, “Wait, huh?” Griffin Gogol worked as a plumber when a client wasn’t able to pay for the job. He told him that by hypnosis he’d be able to cure his smoking habit. Gogol, weirdly, agreed to this. It turns out that Gogol was facing an alien and the hypnosis unlocked Gogol’s dormant superhero abilities to get his “ultra potential.”Captain Ultra isn’t remembered that much in comics because he’s such a weird background character that even when he’s the leader of a team, it somehow falls flat. He’s been apart of the Initiative, Revengers, and Defenders, moving from place to place and not stable as he appears to be. Even if you can’t remember his background, you can’t forget his pyrophobia or fear of fire. Recently, there was a glimpse of Captain Ultra in Civil War II: Choosing Sides #2 (2016) as he tried to escape the Celler with his old teammate Tom Foster (aka Goliath), but… none of that went as planned. Here’s to hoping Captain Ultra isn’t indeed forgotten and one day can get that storyline of his own someday.JAMIE BRADDOCKvia MarvelIf you’re an X-Men fan, you know Psylocke. She’s one of the most badass X-ladies, but did you know she had a brother? No? Join me in my immediate shock and awe over finding this out! Jamie Braddock, created by Chris Claremont and Herb Trimpe, is the oldest of three children including twins Brian (Captain Britain) and Elizabeth (Psylocke). Jamie was a slick businessman, heading his families prestigious Braddock Industries and being a race car driver on the side. Everything was good for a period until Jamie started to do some double dealings that landed him in big trouble with Doctor Crocodile and Witch-Woman. At the torturous hands of these two, Jamie’s mind went completely off the rails. His mutant powers manifested themselves, gaining him the ability to manipulate reality and time.Jamie seems to be the forgotten Braddock of the bunch because of his powerful twin siblings. It also may be that Jamie had a little bit too much power for people to know how to use it. Since his conception, he’s been an on and off antagonist between Captain Britain and X-Men storylines. He has a wide range of powers in the realm of reality-warping including controlling energy, resurrecting the dead, resistance to mind/reality attacks and so much more. He’s even resurrected Psylocke at some point and amped her power so no one could climb in her mind. .Not too long ago, he died in the comics, with Uncanny X-Force #23 (2012). It’s one of those sad and somber issues that take you by surprise and give you a kind of sadness when you think about the relationship between the three of them.SCORPIONvia MarvelCarmilla Black has powers that sound like the latest science experiment gone a-muck. It’s extensive, super science-ey but so very cool that it’s a shame that everyone seems to have forgotten about her. Carmilla Black was first introduced in Amazing Fantasy #7 (2005) and created by Fred Van Lente & Leonard Kirk.Carmilla Black was born Thanasee Rappucci until she was adopted. She grew up with adoptive parents Julia and Tim Black and believed to be an average girl until her prom night. Her powers came full force that night, killing a couple of people, including her boyfriend. She found out that she is genetically engineered by a company called A.I.M (or Advanced Idea Mechanics). After the night of prom, she ran away from home and lived in the open, but tragedy would strike again when she found out her adoptive parents were dead. She also found out that her mother genetically modified her and others (the Wakers) and she soon because a SHIELD agent to help track down her mother.Carmilla is SUCH an interesting character. It’s a shame we don’t see more of her around. She reminds me a little bit of a Marvel version of Cassandra Cain, and Poison Ivy rolled into one. Carmilla Black also comes with an extraordinary array of powers and abilities. These include immunity to all toxins, be it biological, nuclear or chemical. She can also absorb toxins in her body and carries a stinger. This stinger is used like a witchblade on her body, through all the toxins she acquires she can shoot at someone and kill them. Why did we forget all about Carmilla Black? Someone bless this lovely lady with a few issues.WINTER GUARDvia MarvelWinter Guard is a superhero group that should still be happening now. I didn’t know about this team until the most awesome editor Sheilah Villari suggested them to me for this article. A lot of people think of them as the Russian version of the Avengers, and that’s dangerously accurate. The group, created by Kurt Busiek & Sean Chen, first appeared in Iron Man #9 (1998), as Tony flies over Russia, he sees the battle going on below and asks for Winter Guards help in defeating the Manderian. They don’t give him the help that he needs, but the group would appear in and out of Iron Man and then later in Hulk, She-Hulk, Thunderbolts, and X-Men Forever. This team has seen a TON of changes in their short time, but only really changing twice and that’s because of the rotation of the team. The rotation of Darkstar had Laynia Petrovna, Sasha Roerich and Reena Stancioff taking the mantle. Crimson Dynamo (Russia’s Iron Man) and Red and Steel Guardian (Russia’s Captain America) have had different members dawning those titles as well. The past members include Fantasma, Powersurge, Sibercat, Vostak and Steel Guardian.The current lineup is Darkstar (back to Laynia Petrovna after Reena’s untimely death), Ursa Major (a mutant who can be a bear) Red Guardian (leader, also Vanguard, Darkstar’s brother) and Crimson Dynamo V. Winter Guard had one short-lived series all to themselves. Darkstar & The Winter Guard is a spin-off of their appearance from Hulk: Winter Guard. It would be absolutely amazing to get this team back into the field and out of guest appearances before they fall away forever. Maybe there’s a future with Black Widow and Bucky Barnes making guest spots in their limited issue. Eh!? Eh!?!MAGGOTTvia MarvelI’m all in for disgusting, especially when it comes to film and comics. There’s something about Maggott, as dope as he is, that makes my skin crawl and slightly happy that he’s one of the forgotten Marvel characters. Maggott aka Japheth was introduced in Uncanny X-Men #345 (1997), he was born in South Africa to a large family. Japheth worried his parents because he was the weakest of his siblings. He also had stomach pains and a meager appetite. The doctors tried to predict what was wrong with him since he wasn’t eating a lot and only eating particular foods that his parents and the doctor told him to eat.Not to worry his parents, Japheth ran away from home and tried to die in peace so his parents, especially his mother, wouldn’t have to worry about him. While on this path of destroying himself, Magneto found him on the road, unleashing his power. So, it turns out that the doctor was wrong. It wasn’t stomach cancer that was hurting Japheth. It was two slugs that acted as his digestive system. Fun, right?Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira did a number with creating this mutant. He’s the sweetest mutant ever, but goddamn is his power gross. You feel the pain he’s going through ten times more when you read some of his stuff. Especially when the Eany and Meany leave him for awhile, and he’s close to dying. The slugs in his stomach have actually to dig their way in and out. When they feed, it gives him power afterward and turns him blue but hearing that is pretty terrifying.LIFEGUARD AND SLIPSTREAMvia MarvelI feel like if we’re going to talk about this duo, we need to talk about them together. Heather & Davis Cameron are Austrailian born mutants created by Chris Claremont & Salvador Larroca. They first appeared in X-Treme X-Men #6 (2001) and with a title like that, you know this is going downhill very fast. Heather & Davis stepped into panels like any other mutants starting out, attractive and minding their own business. They never knew who their father was the kingpin Viceroy and when he died, the X-Men thought that Gambit and Sage had something to do with it. Storm and Thunderbird put their resources together and went to check out Heather & Dave because they thought they might be targets next. They were completely right.Heather’s X-Gene kickstarted when they were attacked by assassins, turning her into solid gold that bullets couldn’t get through. Later, Davis, to save his sister, lets Sage start the X-Gene inside him. This allowed him to “warp-wave” and surf through space and time. I know what you’re probably thinking, and I agree with you.Lifeguard and Slipstream are two characters in the X-Men universe that we can leave in the past. When researching this, I completely forget how much of their origin story I blocked out. They weren’t strong enough in the X-verse to stand on their own. As sucky as it sounds, it seems that this brother and sister duo should probably stay forgotten in the Marvel Universe.DARKSTARvia MarvelI want more Darkstar. I’m PLEADING for more Darkstar. If there was one mutant that we should bring back with full force and all glory in her own title with or without Winter Guard, it should be Darkstar. Created by Bill Mantlo & George Tuska, Laynia Petrovna is a twin to her brother Nicolai and the daughter of a nuclear physicist. Her father believed that she and her brother were killed in childbirth with her mum. They were soon shipped away and when they were of age, they went to a training school by the Russian government that exclusively trained Russian mutants. At the school, Laynia was given the name Darkstar. She could manipulate Darkforce, or dimensional energy, the very thing she was named after and her brother  Nicolai became Vanguard.The twins come with a long strange history of being used by the government, but Darkstar’s journey didn’t kick into action until she was sent to look for and capture Black Widow, Yuri’s (Crimson Dynamo)’s father, and the Commissar. In the middle of everything, Darkstar switched sides, choosing to help Black Widow and return to the United States.Darkstar has been apart of many teams, which is most likely why she’s a little hard to remember sometimes. She’s been apart of Champions of Los Angeles, Soviet Super-Soldiers, KGB, Siberforce, and X-Corps. However, she’s recognized more famously for being apart of the Winter Guard. She was apart of the team for years before dying. After this, Sasha Roerich took her place, but shortly after was killed during a battle. Reena Stancioff replaced Sasha but was also sadly killed. But Laynia was about to resurrect herself in Reena’s body and becomes a member of Winter Guard again. Trippy, right? This is precisely why we need more Darkstar in our lives. She’s badass, and I already ship her with Black Widow. Oops…SPECTRUMvia MarvelRemember when I said there were characters that you’re like, “OH THEM! I know them!” That’s Spectrum. As soon as you see her, you immediately remember who she is. In passing, it’s hard to pick Spectrum out of a long lineup of superheroes. Her first appearance is in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982), created by Roger Stern and John Romita, Jr. There’s not a lot about Rambeau’s childhood, except that she was born in New Orleans, so we skip straight into adulthood. She used to work at the New Orleans Harbor Patrol as a lieutenant. Her life came to a crashing halt when Felipe Picaro, a criminal scientist, built an energy disruptor weapon that fires extradimensional energy. Monica is knocked by the blast and transforms into a beam of light.As Monica goes through her adventures, everyone started calling her Captain Marvel. She later changed to Photon because Genis-Vell, son/clone of the original Captain Marvel took the name from her. He then went back and changed his name to Photon, making her give up her name once again to Pulsar. (That’s massively messy.) In Mighty Avengers, she ends up going by her rightful name, Spectrum. Let’s hope that Photon doesn’t steal it away from her. Monica Rambeau is a magical person to add to any team, but she ends up always getting lost in the background until you forget she’s there. Monica doesn’t deserve to be lost forever.GABRIEL ROSETTIvia MarvelThere aren’t as many horror leads in Marvel. It would be interesting to see more come up, but one that immediately made me think about how forgotten they are is Gabriel Rosetti. The first thing to note is that Gabriel Rosetti might not even be his name. He also goes by Gabriel, Gabriel the Devil-Hunter, and Hunter of Demons. Created by Doug Moench & Billy Graham, Gabriel was introduced in Haunt of Horror #2 (1974) as a scholar at Columbia University and married to Andrea with a baby on the way. Things were happy for Gabriel until one day he came home to find his wife and child murdered. He went over to the priesthood after this, devoting himself to God for the rest of his days.After three months, Gabriel was possessed by Catherine, a witch, who made Gabriel rip out his right out and succeeded. He performed his own exorcism and soon after met Desadia, a woman who looked just like his deceased wife and was a clairvoyant. The two of them would go on fighting demons and perform exorcisms side by side. But… we all know things can’t go well for anyone.At the time of his partnership with Desadia and doing all the exorcisms, Gabriel started drinking hard, slippery slopping himself into alcoholism. On top of this, Gabriel couldn’t catch a break. He ended up losing his assistant to whatever demon took her and never saw her again. Gabriel’s final appearance was in Hellstorm #21 (1994). He was last seen drunk as a skunk being protected by Issac Christians on instruction by Hellstorm. It’s so sad that nothing got resolved with Gabriel. Even though he had a tragic run, he should be remembered for helping exorcise all the demons.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more


first_img More information: www.autodeskresearch.com/publications/magicfingervia Discovery The Magic Finger Device. Credit: Xing-Dong Yang et al. (Phys.org)—You can swipe and tap away for content on mobile device screens. What if you didn’t have to touch the screen? A group from University of Alberta, Toronto, and Autodesk Research presented their answer at the ACM Symposium that took place from Oct. 7-12 in Cambridge, Mass. Their Magic Finger is a thimble-like device worn on the user’s finger and allows the user’s gestures to control smart devices like phones or tablets. “If I am walking down the street and the cellphone is in my pocket, I can make a swiping gesture and execute a function like making a call,” Tovi Grossman, a scientist at Autodesk Research, told Discovery. Magic Finger is placed on the fingertip using an adjustable Velcro ring. As a demo video shows, commands can be placed on a variety of surfaces for content to be displayed on the screen. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Sharp Releases Notebook PC with Optical Sensor LCD Pad Explore furthercenter_img Interestingly, the Magic Finger can differentiate its input to a device according to the surface with which the device is interacting: wood or cloth. “While texture has been previously explored as an output channel for touch input we are unaware of work where texture is used as an input channel,” the authors said in their paper, “Magic Finger: Always-Available Input through Finger Instrumentation.”The researchers worked on Magic Finger as a proof-of-concept prototype that enables input through finger instrumentation. And they emphasize that this “instrumentation” is what makes the Magic Finger unique. “We propose finger instrumentation, where we invert the relationship between finger and sensing surface: with Magic Finger, we instrument the user’s finger itself, rather than the surface it is touching.” Tests of the device’s accuracy are encouraging: Results show that Magic Finger is able to recognize 22 environmental textures or 10 artificial textures with an accuracy of above 99 percent. Overall, their evaluation showed that Magic Finger can recognize 32 different textures with an accuracy of 98.9 percent, allowing for contextual input. “Accuracy levels indicate that Magic Finger would be able to distinguish a large number of both environmental and artificial textures, and consistently recognize Data Matrix codes,” they said.They also recognized the study’s limitations: Their hardware was tethered to a nearby host PC. “This simplified our implementations, but for Magic Finger to become a completely standalone device, power and communication needs to be considered.” The interactions that they demonstrated should be treated as “exploratory,” they added. Magic Finger is a research project from Autodesk Research, in collaboration with the University of Toronto. Xing-Dong Yang, Tovi Grossman, Daniel Wigdor and George Fitzmaurice authored the paper presented at the ACM UIST 2012 conference proceedings. A small plastic casing holds the components. There is a small micro camera and optical flow sensor attached to the finger. Magic Finger senses touch through the optical sensor, enabling any surface to act as a touch screen.For the optical flow sensor, an ADNS 2620 optical flow sensor with a modified HDNS-2100 lens. Used in optical mice, the sensor is reliable on a variety of surfaces. The sensor detects motion by examining the optical flow of the surface on which it is moving. For an enhanced scope, they used an AWAIBA NanEye micro RGB camera embedded on the edge of the optical flow sensor. Magic Finger senses texture through the micro RGB camera, allowing actions to be carried out based on the surface being touched. Citation: Magic Finger device suggests new day for calling up content (w/ Video) (2012, October 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-magic-finger-device-day-content.html © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more


first_imgOne of the world’s most famous works of art isPablo Picasso’s “Don Quixote.” The sketch shows the eponymous knight, his squire Sancho, a blazing sun, and windmills all around. What is remarkable about Picasso’s portrait is its simplicity: If you had a lot of patience, you could probably guess the number of strokes required to compose it. Picasso completed the final image in a single day (August 10, 1955, to be precise), and it probably took less than 10 minutes, yet those two black-and-white figures have achieved nearly the same immortality as “Guernica.”Bear this in mind if you visit the National Theater this month and order yourself a coffee, because artist Guillermo Fournier’s exhibition “Documentos en Línea” has similar qualities. Liberally translated as “Documented in Lines,” Fournier’s series is about as casual as sketches can be: He draws in pen on lined and Xerox paper, and no drawing could have taken more than a few minutes to draft. They hang in the National Museum’s café, otherwise known as the José Luis López Escarré Gallery.A typical response to such works is “my kid could do that,” and some visitors to the gallery may feel underwhelmed by his portraits. If Fournier’s series is worth framing and hanging in the National Theater, why not display the doodles of any middle-school student with a boring pre-algebra class and a legal pad? What makes Fournier so special? Why should his drawings be “art,” while everyone else’s are (shall we say) marginal? The reaction is legitimate, and it is certainly an easygoing portfolio.But sketches are sometimes the most provocative part of an artist’s oeuvre. “Mona Lisa” is perhaps the most famous painting in the world, but few art fans can resist Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks, whose sketches and studies dig deeper into the artist’s everyday mind. It is extraordinary what a capable draftsman can render with a few dashes of pencil on paper. Fournier is no Picasso or Da Vinci, but his sketches, created during a residency in Córdoba, Spain, do reveal a lot about the man.Fournier, whose budding career has earned him accolades and awards at the University of Costa Rica and Barcelona’s Museo Olímpico, seems to have a fairly low-key personality. Most of his characters are seated, and many of them look tired, spacey, or bored. Perhaps Fournier asked them to pose, or perhaps he simply started drawing the people near him; either way, the sketches look improvised, as if Fournier had been killing time. In “Estudios de Ñaqui,” a figure perches crossed-legged in a high-backed chair. Above him hover two additional faces. Like most studies, this sketch looks like preparation for a more finished work, but they allow us to see Fournier practicing, figuring out shapes and personality. Whoever Ñaqui was, Fournier shows us a raw interaction between artist and subject.Generally speaking, Fournier doesn’t communicate much emotion. “Documentos” is precisely that, a documentation of everyday scenes, and most of his characters seem indifferent. One of his drawings is entitled “J.M., El Mexicano, y Su Camisa Rosa” (“J.M., the Mexican, and His Pink Shirt”). The way Fournier illustrates J.M., his shirt has a lot of personality: It looks fuzzy and broken-in. J.M. himself is disheveled and hunched, as if he just woke up. He crosses his legs on the couch and stares into space. His biggest preoccupation is probably what he plans to do today.The real statement is not Fournier’s, but the National Theater’s. It takes guts for a major institution to give such prominence to sketches of this nature. In the past year, the gallery has displayed artwork that is fairly safe. In contrast, Fournier’s sketches won’t appeal to everyone; showing “Documentos” is a risk, and a risk worth taking.“Documentos en Línea” is on display at the López Ecarré Gallery, National Theater, downtown San José. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.–7 p.m., until August 8, 2014. Free. Info: Gallery website. Facebook Comments Related posts:A national festival, a grand old opera and other happenings around Costa Rica TEOR/éTica offers different views of urban life The Prague Ballet, an international blues festival, and other happenings around Costa Rica Man Yu celebrates 10 years of hyper-realistic artwork at the Club Uniónlast_img read more


first_imgAssociated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Right down to the power cuts that frequently plunge its artifacts into shadow, the National Museum of Afghanistan is a symbol of the country’s decades of hardships. Its building was shelled, looted and caught fire during the 1990s civil war. Taliban extremists later smashed many centuries-old statues.Now, the museum is slowly rebuilding, thanks to international efforts to return thousands of looted treasures _ and to heroic Afghan staff members who hid its most priceless works during the war years and kept the secret for more than a decade. Looted from the museum during the civil war that followed the Soviet occupation, the statue turned up in Japan in a private collection before it was bought by an anonymous donor who arranged for the British Museum return to its Afghan home, Rahimi says The statue is an example of art from Afghanistan’s long Buddhist history, before the arrival of Islam.“This is simply our heritage,” Rahimi says. “If we have our heritage back, it’s everything for us.That’s a heritage that not all appreciate. In 2001, the Taliban dynamited a pair of giant Buddhas carved into a mountain in Bamiyan province. Around the same time, the Taliban also rampaged through the national museum, smashing any art depicting the human form, considered idolatrous under their hardline interpretation of Islam. In all, they destroyed about 2,500 statues.The recently returned Buddha statue’s long exile abroad at least protected it from that fate, Rahimi says.“You can see here, the hand is complete and the head is complete. It’s not broken,” he says.He points out the finer points of the 4th Century piece: the painstakingly carved folds of the robe; the chakra on the Buddha’s right hand, the streams depicting water flow from his feet and the images of flames rise from his shoulders _ a representation of one of the Buddha’s first miracles, in which he levitated and produced fire and water to silence skeptics. The museum welcomed home nearly 850 Afghan artifacts in early August _ including a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age axe, a 1st Century ivory elephant carving and a life-sized Buddha statue _ that were either stolen from the museum or illegally excavated during decades of insecurity. The British Museum catalogued and helped return the pieces in cooperation with British authorities, who seized many from smugglers. It was the second major handover of Afghan historical pieces by the British Museum. In 2009, about 1,500 historical pieces were returned.The aim is to restore the facility to its pre-war reputation as one of the finest in the region, with displays ranging from the Bronze Age to more contemporary Islamic art.With its gates topped with barbed wire and rifle-toting guards directing visitors to undergo body searches, the museum on Kabul’s outskirts carries the air of a culture still under siege.Chief curator Mohammad Fahim Rahimi apologizes for the darkened halls during a recent visit to view one of the newly returned pieces. Like much of Afghanistan, the museum puts up with frequent power outages as the government struggles to provide basic services.Minutes later, the power shudders back on and the museum lighting reveals its latest acquisition: a Buddha statue estimated at about 1,700 years old. “We all together tried the best to rebuild … from zero,” he says.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosiscenter_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day But after Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, museum workers became increasingly concerned as the country deteriorated into civil war.So, in 1989, Massoudi and several other staff members packed up some of the most museum’s most treasured pieces _ including the legendary “Bactrian gold,” an intricate collection of tens of thousands of gold and silver coins, crowns and jewelry more than 2,000 years old _ and hid them in two locations in central Kabul, one of them a secret vault under Kabul’s central bank.“Luckily, this decision gave us a good result when the civil war started in Kabul city,” Massoudi said. “The national museum artifacts were looted … but the artifacts we shifted to the two places in the center of the city.”The pieces remained hidden until 2003, when the hidden treasures’ existence was revealed. Now the Bactrian gold and some of the other rescued artifacts are on a tour of museums around the world, having already been displayed in New York, Paris and London. The traveling exhibition is now in Norway and goes next to Australia.Eventually, those treasures, too, will be returned to Afghanistan’s National Museum. Massoudi laments the facility still lacks such modern museum staples as humidity control and high-tech security _ they’re still working on the electricity, after all. But he says the museum is seeking funds to build a new, modern home near the current building. Comments   Share   The “miracle” Buddha is the only the recently returned pieces from Britain that is on display so far.Museum director Omara Khan Massoudi says the rest are still in boxes, waiting to be examined and eventually displayed. Cooperation with other museums and with UNESCO has been key to rebuilding the museum, which by 2001 had lost 70 percent of its artifacts to the years of war.“Within these last 10 years, we’ve gotten more than 16,000 pieces, among them 9,000 returned from outside of Afghanistan,” Massoudi says.Some of the pieces recently returned were stolen from the museum itself, but many others were illegally excavated and smuggled out of the country in past decades while war otherwise occupied Afghan authorities. It’s a practice that continues to this day, according to Massoudi.“Unfortunately, some places, there is no security, sometimes it happens that people have illegal excavations,” he says.Massoudi has devoted most of his life’s work to the National Museum, which he says was once renowned for having one of the region’s finest collections, with some 100,000 artifacts including millennia-old tools from some of the earliest human settlements. Established in the 1920s by Afghan King Amrullah Khan, the museum was still thriving when Massoudi joined it more than three decades ago. The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more


first_imgJohn Abel Joins Ellie Mae as SVP and Chief Information Officer February 7, 2017 580 Views Ellie Mae Movers and Shakers 2017-02-07 Nicole Casperson John Abel has joined Ellie Mae as SVP and Chief Information Officer, where he will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s internal information technology and systems and will partner with business units to propose, plan, and implement enterprise IT systems to align Ellie Mae’s technology vision with business strategy in support of business operations. With over 20 years’ experience in technology expertise, Abel was SVP of IT at Hitachi Data Systems prior to joining Ellie Mae. Before Hitachi Data Systems, he held roles at Symantec, JDS Uniphase, KPMG Consulting, and British Nuclear Fuels plc. Abel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems from Staffordshire University in England.“As Ellie Mae transforms to a cloud-based platform company, it is a perfect time to build and deploy a comprehensive internal IT strategy to keep pace with our external growth trajectory,” said Abel. “I look forward to working alongside this great team to run our systems to help us scale to the next level while providing a comprehensive lending platform to benefit the entire mortgage lending industry.”“John’s strong leadership will be an asset to Ellie Mae as we streamline and scale our enterprise systems to support our growth and transformation as a platform company,” said Peter Hirsch, Ellie Mae’s EVP of Technology and Operations. “John will drive the evolution of our systems and technologies and will be responsible for establishing our vision and roadmap to ensure Ellie Mae’s success for years to come.”center_img in Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more


first_img Data Home Prices Home-Value Segregation Neighborhoods Trulia 2017-03-09 Staff Writer On Thursday, Trulia released a housing trends report that found that in the last five years while expensive neighborhood prices maintained their high-prices, previously moderately-priced neighborhoods are seeing  affordability fall. In its “Housing Diversity: What Home Values Say About Inequality” report, the real estate site also found that there is a strong correlation between decreasing housing affordability and the increasing racial and income divide within a metro. In order to gauge the unevenness found, Trulia created an index that measures the segregation of home values in metros across the U.S. by looking at the median prices in the lowest and highest tiers and comparing that to the average price in that metro. Neighborhoods were ranked based on how far the average home value strays from the metro’s average home value. The index measures segregation of home values on a 100-point scale and reflects the share of neighborhoods in the very high value and very low value category. The closer the index is to 100, the more segregated the area is by home values. Trulia used Detroit as an example of how their index is capturing growing inequity tied to affordability,  reporting that in 2016 the home value index for the Motor City was 72.2, meaning that Detroit had a high level of home value segregation with 72.2 percent of its neighborhoods falling in the most extreme value categories.Trulia hopes that local governments will use the index to better identify and address persistent economic and racial segregation in their neighborhoods. Other findings from the report:·         A little more than half of the 100 biggest metros have less neighborhoods classified as very low value compared to five years ago, indicating that recovery from the housing crisis·         As home values become more polarized in a market, racial segregation increases. Among the largest 100 metros, home-value segregation tends to increase as racial segregation increases.·         The largest segregation of home values in the last year were Detroit, Milwaukee, Fairfield County, Connecticut, Birmingham, Alabama, and Dayton, Ohio.To see the full findings, including which markets are closing the gap in terms of home value segregation, click here. in Featured, Headlines, News, Origination March 9, 2017 661 Views center_img Economic Diversity Rises Bringing Home Prices With it Sharelast_img read more