Kolkata: About 80,000 state candidates, who are supposed to take the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on May 5, are confused over the timings of entering the examination centres, as they claim, their admit cards doesn’t provide clear instructions.The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test is an examination for admission of students into medical and dental colleges at graduate and post-graduate levels. Students are not aware at what time they should turn up at the centres on the day of examination. The confusion was created as the admit cards of the aspirants mentioned that the reporting time is at 12 pm and the students can enter maximum by 1.30 pm. The gate of the centres will be closed at 1.30 pm and the examination will be conducted from 2 pm to 5 pm. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaMany aspirants said it was not clear whether a candidate will be allowed to enter the examination centre if he/she arrives after 12.30 pm. Many candidates who come from distant places don’t know if they can reach the centre 10-15 minutes prior to 1.30 pm. Candidates, who live in close to the centres, prefer to reach half-an-hour before the examination as there are no adequate sitting arrangements at the centres. At each examination centre, around 500 to 2,000 candidates are accommodated depending on the size of the centre. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayA candidate said if majority of students enter the centre half-an-hour before the examination, how will the centre authorities handle such a huge number of students at that time as they have to individually search each candidate. The timings of the examination have been rescheduled this year. Since the introduction of the NEET, the examinations would start at 10 am and end at 1 pm. Students will be not allowed to enter the examination centres with anything made from metal such as rings, earrings, nose-pins, chains, necklaces, pendants, badges and brooches. Sikh students do not know if they would be allowed in the centres with their kada and kirpan. In the NEET prospectus, it is mentioned that in case there is any error in the translated version of question-paper in Bengali, the National Testing Agency would not take the responsibility. Earlier, Bengal candidates had to face difficulties in this regard. Dr A K Maity, an expert in the field of medical education, who has written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard, said: “NTA should take the responsibility if there is any mistake in the question papers in Bengali. Many meritorious students from Bengal had to face problems in previous years only because they had opted Bengali as the medium of examination. The responsibility of conducting the medical entrance examination should be entrusted upon the state government.”
“Such challenges demand full and better collaboration – all nations working together for common solutions – rich and poor, big and small, north and south, developed and developing,” Mr. Ban said in Seattle during a special convocation held at the University of Washington. “If ever there were a time to act in a spirit of renewed multilateralism… a moment to create a United Nations of genuine collective action… it is now,” he stated. “We must be united in purpose, united in action.” The Secretary-General, who received an honorary degree of doctor of laws at today’s ceremony, told the gathering that the US is central to the renewed multilateralism. He welcomed US President Barack Obama’s vigorous engagement within the framework of the UN, adding that a major test of the new cooperation will take place when nations meet six weeks from now at the Copenhagen climate change conference. “Copenhagen does not need to resolve all the details, but countries must agree to a deal that establishes an ambitious framework for progress on fundamental issues,” he said, referring to the need for targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and funding to help developing countries limit the growth of their emissions. Mr. Ban also highlighted the need for urgent action in remarks to the World Affairs Council of Seattle, in which he called climate change the leading geopolitical and economic issue of the 21st century. “We will continue to see growing pressure on water, food and land. It will reverse years of development gains… exacerbate poverty… destabilize fragile States and topple governments,” he warned. “Some say tackling climate change is too expensive,” he added. “They are wrong. We will pay an unacceptable price if we do not act now.” The Secretary-General delivered a similar message at a lunch with business leaders, telling them failure to act on climate change will have devastating consequences. “But we also know that this crisis presents an opportunity to retool our global economy,” he stated, adding that a successful agreement in Copenhagen can help to unleash a clean energy revolution that will deliver economic growth and lower carbon emissions. Yesterday, Mr. Ban attended an event hosted by the City of Seattle dubbed the “Shrinking Bigfoot,” a programme to raise awareness among local students about climate change, conservation, and the responsibility to protect the planet. Speaking to children between the ages of five and 16, he called on all people, young and old, to consider the well-being of the planet, and to shrink their carbon footprints with easy, everyday actions such as turning off the lights and recycling. Following the meeting with students, Mr. Ban and the children participated in a commemorative tree-planting ceremony, where they gathered to plant a ginkgo biloba to celebrate Seattle’s contributions to protecting the global environment. He also met yesterday with the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, and expressed gratitude for the corporation’s support for the efforts of the UN. In addition, he commended Microsoft for its work in introducing new energy-efficiency standards in its buildings and offices, as well as increasing the use of renewable energy, including solar, wind and hydropower. Today he met with Bill and Melinda Gates, who, he said, are using their wealth to make the world a better place. 26 October 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted the need for greater collaboration among nations to address common challenges, including the global economic slowdown, the flu pandemic and climate change, adding that the United States is central to these efforts.
OSU senior quarterback Braxton Miller. Credit: Courtesy of OSUWhen Urban Meyer named the Ohio State football captains for the 2014 season, he seemed to set the tone for the rest of the year.Despite being out for the season, senior quarterback Braxton Miller was voted a captain by his teammates for the second season in a row. He headlined the list of five players who will lead the Buckeyes on the field.Coach Meyer said Miller was a “high vote getter” and the team will try bring him along when it travels as often as possible.“He’d be one of the 70 (players to go on the trip) if he can go. He won’t be able to go this time because of his (shoulder), but there will be times we have to make that decision,” Meyer said of Miller, who is currently in Florida to meet with Dr. James Andrews for shoulder surgery. Meyer said his surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.The other four players, all seniors, include cornerback Doran Grant, linebacker Curtis Grant, defensive lineman Michael Bennett and tight end Jeff Heuerman.Doran Grant, the only returning starter in the Buckeye secondary, has had impressive spring and fall camps, Meyer said Aug. 16, adding that Grant was playing like an all-Big Ten conference corner.Curtis Grant struggled for most of his Buckeye career to crack the starting lineup as he was constantly battling for time against former Buckeye Ryan Shazier, but then was eventually replaced by former converted fullback Zach Boren because of lack of production.Despite that, he’s emerged as a starter and team captain for the Buckeyes this year because he’s been putting the team first, junior linebacker Joshua Perry said.“Curtis has been here for a few years and he has tried a lot of different things to be successful and some of them have worked better than others,” Perry said. “This year his mentality was to be a guy who is about the team and to help everybody in our unit out. I think by doing that, that made him a better overall player and leader.”Meyer also made a point of singling out Curtis Grant, who has started 13 games in his Buckeye career.“That’s one of the great things about what we do for a living is to see young people grow up, and boy, has Curtis Grant done a nice job,” he said Monday.Bennett, who has remained a model of consistency at OSU, is coming off of a season in which he started 13 games and recorded seven sacks.Bennett is the fourth Buckeye from Centerville High School in Centerville, Ohio, to be named an OSU captain along with now-ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit (1992), Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent (2004) and Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk (2005). All three went on to be named team-MVP at the end of the year.He has played 34 games so far in his Buckeye career.Rounding out the captains is Heuerman, who, like Miller, is coming off of an offseason injury.Meyer said that although Heuerman still isn’t 100 percent healthy, he anticipates the tight end will play in the opener against Navy.The senior from Naples, Fla., recorded a career-best season in 2013 with 26 catches for 466 yards and four scores.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on Navy Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Manchester United are believed to be among those included within an image rights “tax dodging” investigation, a Conservative MP has said.Charlie Elphicke added fans should be angry that top football clubs and players including United and England captain Wayne Rooney “stand accused of dirtying the beautiful game with a culture of excessive greed and tax dodging”.Jennie Granger, HMRC’s head of enforcement and compliance, earlier this month said 43 players and 12 football clubs in British leagues – alongside eight agents – are currently under investigation around the issue of image rights.Speaking in the Commons, Mr Elphicke said: “HM Revenue and Customs says it’s investigating 43 Premier League players and 12 clubs for image rights tax-dodging, believed to include Manchester United.”Would you agree fans are right to be angry that big clubs, including players like England captain Wayne Rooney, stand accused of dirtying the beautiful game with a culture of excessive greed and tax dodging?” Sports Minister Tracey Crouch replied: “I agree with you that those in football should protect the reputation of football.”But you are asking me to comment on a matter that HMRC is still investigating, and football players, clubs, managers are treated no differently to others and are expected to adhere to the same principles.”A Manchester United spokesman said later: “The club operates within the rules set by football’s governing bodies and HMRC has full visibility of all agreements and payments.” A spokesman for Wayne Rooney said: “All of Wayne Rooney’s tax affairs, including those involving his image rights, are conducted in full compliance with the law.”
Local businesses are making a significant contribution to the development of Randgold Resources’ new mine at Tongon, Côte d’Ivoire, Chief Executive Mark Bristow said on a visit to the project on April 24. The mine, now rapidly taking shape, is scheduled to pour its first gold in the fourth quarter of this year. Bristow said that thanks to capacity and quality improvements, Randgold had been able to increase the use of locally produced steel from 300 t to over 800 t, which is more than 20% of the total of 3,800 t, which will go into the mine’s construction. All the steel for the first phase of the project has already been produced and the final 1,400 t are now being manufactured.Many local businesses are being used for the development of the project. These include construction contractors, metal constructors and transporters. Local professionals have also been retained for the electrical and civil work. Bristow also noted that the transport of goods to the site had to date required 1,660 truck trips between the port of San Pedro and the mine. All the trucks are being provided and operated by Ivorian companies and, despite the ruggedness of the route, there have been only two minor accidents so far. Ten breakbulk vessels have already delivered 31,000 t of equipment and materials for the mine through San Pedro. Only two more are due, of which one is on its way from Durban while the other will be loaded at Jeddah towards the end of June. Once their cargoes have been received, 99% of all the requirements for the first two phases of the mine’s development will be on site.Construction activity is at its peak level at present, with more than 1,600 workers on site. Randgold hopes that many of these workers can eventually be absorbed into the mine’s permanent workforce or allied business activities after suitable training by the company and its partners.In other developments, Randgold has built two schools for the local communities and is currently completing the construction of 120 permanent houses for employees. It is also financing a 90 kV power line from Korhogo to Tongon and has rebuilt the roads between Tongon and Korhogo as well as M’bengue.
Fura Gems Inc has announces updates and results of its bulk sampling program at the Coscuez emerald project in Boyacá, Colombia. Key highlights:Initiation of a bulk sampling program at Coscuez in March 2018, with an aim to mine from the mineralised body in different levels and workingsIn phase 1 of the sampling, 9,737 t of material were mined6,396 t of mineralized body were identified, with a total of 1,800 t of high-priority mineralised body washed; recovering 12,845 ct of emeralds at 7.14 ct/tThe balance of the low to medium quality emeralds are expected to be washed before the end of the year and the company expects the post-wash blended average to be lower than the 7.14 ct/t recovered to dateOut of the 12,845 ct of emeralds recovered by Fura Gems, there is a good mix of high, medium and lower quality emeralds, which are needed to support the wider demand for Colombian emeraldsIn May 2018, the Company announced the discovery of an exceptional high quality 25.97 ct emerald, the ÄRE EmeraldPhase 2 of the bulk sampling program has been initiated, with a larger size stope, to further define the mineralizationFura Gems has started working on the pilot wash plant design to support the bulk sampling process and completion is expected before the end of the yearThe maiden NI 43 – 101 Mineral Resource Estimate is on track to be released in Q4-2018The company has appointed Mining One Australia to carry out a scoping study to validate the mine plan assumptions and trade-off studies between different mining methods to construct a large underground mine, due to be released in Q4-2018The 2,500 m of diamond core drilling program to delineate the mineralized zone was initiated in June 2018 and is expected to be completed in Q4-2018.Dev Shetty, President & CEO of Fura, commented: “We have significantly progressed our understanding of the emerald mineralization at the mine. Within a short period of six months since the launch of the bulk sampling program, we have gained a comprehensive understanding of the geology, possible mining methods and we have developed a culture of workplace safety. We are now continuing with the next phase of our program with an even greater confidence on our vision of a long term mine plan at Coscuez.”“Through our phase one program, we have found a wide range of quality in our emerald production, including the 25.97 ct ÄRE Emerald. This further proves the potential of the mine and we look forward to confirming this with our maiden NI 43-101 mineral resource estimate at the end of the year.”
There are many motivations for not just earning but actually building, with your own hands, your very own bicycle.There’s pride in building useful skills, and even greater pride when you’re zooming along on the human-powered machine you made. There’s the joy of independence and the sense of inclusion in a society of cyclists. There’s the mental map that grows as you explore. There’s access to familiar destinations and new opportunities — parks and playgrounds, schools and stores, jobs and income.And then there’s sunset sightseeing along Vancouver’s beautiful waterfront while clowning around on bikes — as safely as possible — with your buddies.That was the reward on a recent Tuesday for a group of dedicated high-schoolers enrolled in the Bike to Leadership program at nonprofit Bike Clark County: After reviewing tire replacement, hand signals and risky traffic situations (like what to do when four vehicles simultaneously approach a four-way stop), all embarked on a guided ride from The Community Hub workshop on Main Street through the historic reserve, over the land bridge and along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail.“Wow!” one of the kids shouted as the Columbia River spread out before them on one of the last clear, sunny evenings of the year.Preston Antisdel puts all that together and calls it “empowerment.” The eight-week Bike to Leadership program he manages for Bike Clark County is open to all high-schoolers, but it mostly looks to recruit students at low-income schools who could use a little extra attention and inclusion. Some are English language learners, and anything more than basic conversation with them can be challenging, Antisdel said — but the sixth-grade math teacher, who’s used to leading diverse groups, does his best to reach out with trademark smiles and positive energy.“We want this to be a well-rounded program,” Antisdel said. “We don’t want to just support kids on bikes. We want to get them ready for the real world.” So, Bike to Leadership goes beyond the technical and safety matters covered by Antisdel and co-manager Aaron Gibson; there are also sessions on first aid and CPR, taught by nurses from Clark County Public Health, and even résumé-building and job-interview skills, taught by volunteers from Partners in Careers.
Free agent Jack Wilshere has revealed that he is willing to consider any offers abroad after his contract at Arsenal officially expired on SaturdayThe England international had previously accepted a deal with the Gunners that would have resulted in lower wages for next season, but he retracted his decision upon learning that his opportunities for regular football would be restricted under new boss Unai Emery.Wilshere has been strongly linked with moves to several Premier League clubs over the past year along with Serie A giants Juventus and AC Milan.“I am willing to go abroad if the right opportunity comes up,” he told Sky Sports.Fiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“Also, everyone knows I like the Premier League and the battle of it.“It is literally the best thing that comes up and the best opportunity that we will take. I am not really in any rush, today [Saturday] is actually my last day with my contract at Arsenal, so it’s been a bit of a strange day.“I have played 10 years as a professional there and had 17 years at the club. We are looking at things and I am keeping myself fit. So if something does come up I am ready to go.”Since joining Arsenal at the age of nine in 2001, Wilshere made almost 200 first-team appearances for the Gunners and won the FA Cup twice in 2014 and 2015.
Jorge Drexler Wins Song Of The Year Latin GRAMMY Luis Miguel Wins Album Of The Year Latin GRAMMY The Complete Latin GRAMMY Awards Viewer’s Guide Karol G Wins Best New Artist At 2018 Latin GRAMMYs Maná Honored By An Array Of Latin American Talent Rosalía Thanks Women During Latin GRAMMY Win Take a look at the many ways to celebrate Latin music throughout this week leading up to the main event, Thursday’s Latin GRAMMY AwardsPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Nov 13, 2018 – 2:45 pm Get ready! The Biggest Night In Latin Music is coming on Nov. 15, but there are so many ways to enjoy the festivities in Las Vegas including and leading up to the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards from virtually anywhere in the world. Here’s how! Will Smith, Marc Anthony, and Bad BunnyPhoto: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images Why Rosalía Is A Rising Global Pop Star Prev Next Karol G Wins Best New Artist At 2018 Latin GRAMMYs Performers on the broadcast include Marc Anthony, Will Smith and Bad Bunny performing their collaboration, “Está Rico,” for the first time in public, as well as Ángela Aguilar, El David Aguilar, Pepe Aguilar, Pablo Alborán, Anitta, Steve Aoki, J Balvin, Calibre 50, Jorge Drexler, Karol G, Kany García, Halsey, Nicky Jam, Mon Laferte, Natalia Lafourcade, Victor Manuelle, Carla Morrison, Christian Nodal, Jenna Ortega, Ozuna, Laura Pausini, Monsieur Periné, Banda Los Recoditos, Rosalía, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Carlos Vives and Sebastián Yatra. The 2018 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Maná will perform as well.Performers at the Premiere ceremony include Santiago Barrionuevo, Yamandu Costa, Jerry Demara, Rozalén, and José Alberto El Canario with El Septeto Santiaguero.This week of celebration will honor artists across a wide array of Latin cultures, styles, genres, and countries. Awards will span many fields, including General, Pop, Urban, Rock, Alternative, Tropical, Singer-Songwriter, Regional-Mexican, Instrumental, Traditional, Jazz, Christian, Portuguese Language, Children’s, Classical, Arranging, Recording Package, Production, and Music Video. While some of these have categories that bring works from different traditions together, others allow a more narrow focus within traditions, making for a rich, unique sampling of the power of Latin music.No matter your language or musical background, this multi-screen experience will be filled with excitement. New discoveries await television and online viewers prepared to be enriched by the biggest night in Latin music. RosalíaPhoto: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for LARAS Will Smith, Marc Anthony, and Bad BunnyPhoto: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images Maná Honored By An Array Of Latin American Talent https://twitter.com/LatinGRAMMYs/status/1061355452448026625 ManáPhoto: Kevin Winter/WireImage ManáPhoto: Kevin Winter/WireImage ManáPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images for LARAS Twitter Jorge DrexlerPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Who Will Win Best New Artist At The Latin GRAMMYs? Jorge Drexler Wins Song Of The Year Latin GRAMMY Karol GPhoto: Sam Wasson/Getty Images RosalíaPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images RosalíaPhoto: Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto/Getty Images 2018 Latin GRAMMY Awards Complete Winners List Mon Laferte at the 18th Latin Grammy AwardsPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Relive The 2018 Latin GRAMMY Awards Which Artist Performance Are You Pumped For? News Will Smith, Marc Anthony, and Bad BunnyPhoto: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images Vicente García Photo: Mindy Small/FilmMagic/Getty Images Maná Honored By An Array Of Latin American Talent ManáPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images for LARAS Luis Miguel Wins Album Of The Year Latin GRAMMY The fun-filled day of the main event begins at 1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET with exclusive behind-the-scenes coverage of the red carpet and the Latin GRAMMY Premiere ceremony via Facebook Live, where the first Latin GRAMMY Awards of the night will be presented before the broadcast. Additional coverage in Spanish will also be available at Univision.com. The 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards show will follow, airing on Univision at 8:00 p.m. PT / 8:00 p.m. ET Relive The 2018 Latin GRAMMY Awards 2018 Latin GRAMMYs 19 Things You Didn’t Know About The Latin GRAMMYs Karol GPhoto: Sam Wasson/Getty Images Why Rosalía Is A Rising Global Pop Star Jorge DrexlerPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Jorge Drexler Wins Song Of The Year Latin GRAMMY Who Will Win Best New Artist At The Latin GRAMMYs? RosalíaPhoto: Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto/Getty Images Luis MiguelPhoto: Omar Vega/Getty Images 2018 Latin GRAMMY Awards Complete Winners List Luis Miguel Wins Album Of The Year Latin GRAMMY Vicente García Photo: Mindy Small/FilmMagic/Getty Images Facebook 19 Things You Didn’t Know About The Latin GRAMMYs Relive The 2018 Latin GRAMMY Awards Luis MiguelPhoto: Omar Vega/Getty Images RosalíaPhoto: Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto/Getty Images ManáPhoto: Kevin Winter/WireImage Rosalía Thanks Women During Latin GRAMMY Win 19 Things You Didn’t Know About The Latin GRAMMYs RosalíaPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Vicente García Photo: Mindy Small/FilmMagic/Getty Images Which Artist Performance Are You Pumped For? Rosalía Thanks Women During Latin GRAMMY Win Which Artist Performance Are You Pumped For? Why Rosalía Is A Rising Global Pop Star Jorge DrexlerPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Email 2018 Latin GRAMMY Awards Complete Winners List Karol G Wins Best New Artist At 2018 Latin GRAMMYs Luis MiguelPhoto: Omar Vega/Getty Images RosalíaPhoto: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for LARAS Who Will Win Best New Artist At The Latin GRAMMYs? https://twitter.com/LatinGRAMMYs/status/1060550609525366785 How To Watch: Latin GRAMMY Awards complete-latin-grammy-awards-viewers-guide ManáPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images for LARAS But even earlier this week, this year’s Special Awards presentation ceremony will be streamed on Tuesday, Nov. 13 via Facebook Live at 5:00 pm. PT / 8:00 p.m. ET. The program will honor Erasmo Carlos, Dyango, Andy Montañez, José María Napoleón, Chucho Valdés, Wilfrido Vargas and Yuri with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Horacio Malvicino and Tomás Muñoz will receive the Latin Academy’s Trustees Award. Karol GPhoto: Sam Wasson/Getty Images RosalíaPhoto: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for LARAS Read more Mon Laferte at the 18th Latin Grammy AwardsPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images RosalíaPhoto: John Parra/Getty Images Mon Laferte at the 18th Latin Grammy AwardsPhoto: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
2 Tech Industry Digital Media Politics Internet Services Tags Comments Facebook Facebook has released a progress report on its civil rights audit, which shows it’s made some significant changes like strengthening efforts to fight voter suppression and cracking down on fake accounts seeking to influence political views.The social network unveiled on Tuesday the results of the first six months of the audit (PDF), which it launched in May in response to demands from civil rights organizations. Laura Murphy, a civil liberties leader and longtime ACLU director, led the audit. After meeting with civil rights leaders and experts, Murphy said in the progress report, Facebook decided to focus the first phase of its audit on preventing voter intimidation and suppression ahead of the US 2018 midterm elections.The social network acknowledged that implementation took longer than expected but said it was able to make important changes on its platform including strengthening efforts against voter suppression; supporting voter engagement; bringing in voting experts to inform training and policy; adding ways for users to report incorrect voting information; creating channels for state election authorities to report potential voter suppression content; and tackling fake accounts. Facebook also highlighted its “war room” efforts to combat fake election news leading up to the midterms. “Facebook is committed to working with leading US civil rights organizations to strengthen and advance civil rights on our service. They’ve raised a number of important concerns, and I’m grateful for their candor and guidance,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in a blog post. “We know that we need to do more: to listen, look deeper and take action to respect fundamental rights.” The social media giant plans to continue the audit in 2019, focusing on content moderation and creating a “civil rights accountability infrastructure” to make sure Facebook stays on the right track. Facebook will release another progress report on the audit next year, Murphy said. Share your voice Facebook
When the Republican-led Legislature went into overtime last week, they knocked a set of citizen’s initiatives onto an already packed November ballot. In the process, they changed the playing field in a fight for a U.S. Senate seat that their party needs to pick up if they want to take control of Congress. But the shift might not be in their favor.Caroline Tolbert has studied politics for decades. A professor at the University of Iowa, she’s written dozens of papers on elections and she’s given special attention to the role ballot measures play in them. Among her big takeaways? “Ballot measures do have an effect in increasing turnout,” says Tolbert. And people tend to factor those issues in when they’re voting on candidates. If a measure is popular, voters are more likely to support a candidate who is seen as sympathetic to it.Alaska voters are looking at three initiatives this November. There’s one to increase the minimum wage, one that would make it harder to build the proposed Pebble Mine, and another that would regulate marijuana like alcohol. There’s also a city-wide question in Anchorage that would repeal a controversial labor law.Tolbert says that combined, these initiatives could boost turnout by as much as five percent.“The conditions are ripe for these ballot measure to potentially increase turnout and potentially shape the races in 2014.”With the caveat that Alaska is uniquely difficult to survey, all three initiatives have polled favorably. They’re especially likely to attract support from younger and often more liberal voters. February results from Public Policy Polling show that 88 percent of people who identify as very liberal support raising the minimum wage, while just 24 percent of people who say they’re very conservative like the hike.The numbers are similar for marijuana.Tolbert says this could amount to an advantage for Democrats.“If there’s going to be a spillover effect from minimum wage, or legalization of marijuana, or an environmental type ballot measure, it should if anything it would have a positive effect on the Democrats running for office,” says Tolbert.And that advantage could be a special boon to Democratic incumbent Mark Begich, who is fighting off three Republican challengers in the U.S. Senate race. That race is one of the most closely watched in the country, and it’s been listed as a toss-up by all the big political analysts.None of the Senate campaigns, including Begich’s, would speak to how they see the initiatives affecting the race. But the initiative campaigns acknowledge their ballot measures could shake things up. “It has the potential to, without a doubt,” says Art Hackney, a political consultant working on the anti-Pebble Mine initiative. “A lot of that has to do with the candidates as they go forward to the election. I mean I said early on that if they moved them across to the general it would certainly have a big benefit for [Democratic gubernatorial candidate] Byron Mallot and Mark Begich.”That’s because those Democrats have come out against the development of Pebble Mine.Even though Hackney sees Democrats benefiting, he says initiatives like his should still cross some political lines. He can see a person supporting the anti-Pebble initiative and voting for a Republican ticket. After all, he’s a prime example of that.On top of his initiative work, Hackney has a portfolio of Republican clients. “We are involved in a super PAC trying to help Dan Sullivan beat Mark Begich,” says Hackney. “Will we do that heart and soul? Absolutely. If there is some level that Mark Begich will try to trade upon the Pebble issue, so be it.”Taylor Bickford is a spokesperson for the marijuana initiative, and he’s kind of in the same camp. Like Hackney, he’s mostly worked to get Republicans elected. He also thinks the ballot measure he represents has crossover appeal, especially to the state’s more libertarian leaning voters. “If you were looking at it objectively, I think it would be safe to say that having the marijuana initiative on the ballot will have some impact on turnout,” says Bickford. “It’s just very, very hard to say how significant that’ll be.”Of all the initiatives, the minimum wage measure seems to be the one that most obviously helps Democrats.Alaska AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami has been a major backer of the effort. His union has put money into the initiative and helped gather signatures to get it on the ballot. He says his constituency will definitely be coming out to vote on it.“We’re going to be very motivated and our membership will be very motivated to turn out,” says Beltrami.Beltrami points out that the Alaska minimum wage initiative was in the works a year before national Democrats seized on it as a strategy. And originally, all of the initiatives were scheduled to be on the primary ballot, alongside a referendum to repeal Gov. Sean Parnell’s law capping oil taxes. But he says it became apparent the other party was afraid of it after a bloc of Republican state lawmakers tried and failed to pass their own minimum wage hike that would have taken the initiative off the ballot. “You’d have to be blind not to see the implications that it has on the elections,” says Beltrami.Now the question is just how big those implications will be.
Steve Hall is a nominee for the 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year. He’s a high school science teacher at Houston High School. (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)The State Department of Education will pick Alaska’s teacher of the year next month.This week we’ll have profiles of each of the five finalists, from across the state.Steve Hall is a math and science teacher at the high school in the Mat-Su town of Houston. Hall’s style of teaching emphasizes a lot of hands-on learning.Listen nowGrowing up in small-town Wisconsin, Hall joked that one of the few ways to apply science in the area was to be a veterinarian working with dairy farmers. His passion for science was always a little different.“I just was really good at it and enjoyed it a lot,” Hall said. “I’ve got a couple uncles that were, if you will, rocket scientists for 3M, and so I think I just got predisposed to that kind of field.”Hall says he found his calling as a teacher when he was in the army, where he learned just how valuable effective teaching could be.“There was a grenade safety course that was being taught by a sergeant, and he forgot to mention the secondary safety pin,” Hall said. “And so, he got dropped for push-ups, and I thought, ‘If I ever have to teach something like that, I’m gonna have a diagram or something.’ And so, sure enough, I had to teach that course, and I had my diagram. I really enjoyed that.”After his service, Hall went to college for his teaching degree and taught for five years near his hometown. But after budget and staffing cuts, he started looking for a job somewhere else. His wife’s sisters had settled down in Houston, Alaska and suggested he apply for jobs there. He says when he got to Houston in 2003, he knew it was the place for him.“Oh, I loved it. The hunting, the fishing,” Hall said. “I said to my mother-in-law, ‘I’m home now.’”When Hall first arrived in the Valley, he taught at Palmer Junior High, but was soon hired at the brand new Houston High School.The Department of Education highlighted Hall’s extensive use of labs in his lessons as one of the reasons he was selected as a Teacher of the Year nominee. Hall says these activities help his students see where chemistry fits into their everyday lives.“We talk about what things are going on around the house,” Hall said. “So if you’re mixing oil and gas, and you have to go 50-50, why do they mix? So you can talk about solubility of different liquids. Same with antifreeze, stuff like that. We also make ice cream, so we can make it fun — food science.”Hall is also a strong advocate for making sure every student in his classes is actively involved in the coursework. He teaches kids at a variety of levels, from his beginner classes to his Advance Placement courses, and he pushes all of them to work to their potential.“What I’ll do when we’re doing an activity is get all the kids to participate, to learn it,” Hall said. “I’m like, ‘You’re not walking through that door ’til you know XYZ. And then, once they see that success, they keep working at it, so they can understand it. And then you get the application.”Hall has been teaching for over 20 years, so long in fact, that a former student of his now teaches biology at Houston High.“It’s good. It makes me feel a little old, but that’s alright,” Hall said.Between his work with the recently started AP Chemistry class, to his technology-infused inquiry labs, Hall says he’s happy when his students go out into the world contributing to society and understanding the importance of science in everyday life.
Greg Banks, M.D. always has been passionate about boxing and mixed martial arts. But being a doctor is what forced him into a corner … literally. An intimate knowledge of the dangers of ring competition, as both participant and spectator, inspired the family and urgent-care physician to moonlight as a guardian of these combatants.Greg Banks moonlights as a ringside doctor in Richmond Va. (Courtesy photo)Banks has been a Washington, D.C.-area ringside doctor at boxing and MMA events for a decade. He is driven by his love of these sports and his commitment to help people.“I would see these guys ringside in a corner and wonder: ‘Who’s that with a stethoscope?’”That curiosity ultimately led Banks to secure his license through the Association of Ringside Physicians. He soon became that guy ringside, with the stethoscope.“It’s a very significant job because of the physical nature of the sports,” said Dr. Gregory Pleasants, who has served for 15 years as a Richmond, Va.-based ringside doctor. “I have worked some fights with Greg, and he has a real passion for the sports to go with his passion for service.”“For me,” said Banks, 52, “as someone who loves the sports and studied taekwondo, too, it’s a great opportunity to have a great seat to see the matches. Most important, though, it’s very dangerous to compete in these sports, and the ringside doctors are there to help minimize injury — especially brain injury.”The native Washingtonian and Howard University College of Medicine graduate said his job is both entertaining and gratifying.“The doctor is mostly in the shadows — until something happens,” he said. “It’s scary sometimes. But, most of the time, the injuries are cuts or maybe a broken bone, sprains. When I’m not worried about the fighter, I’m actually having a great time because I have the best seat in the house.”But Banks said there are many factors in boxers or MMA fighters who suffer serious brain damage — and it’s not just because of hard punches. Participants often undergo dramatic weight loss just before fights to meet weight requirements. Banks explained that quickly losing and regaining weight can spell trouble.“Dehydration comes with weight-cutting,” Banks said. “Their whole goal is to come into the fight as big and strong as possible, to inflict as much pain as possible. But with weight-cutting, you lose weight all over.“In the brain, there is something called CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] that helps cushion the brain. But when you’re dehydrated, there is less of that cushion, that fluid. Quick weight gain won’t allow you to function at your premium and you won’t be as protected. So, your brain can get hit with the first blow and then bounce off the other side of the skull. So that’s a double concussion that can cause tearing of the blood vessels in the brain, causing bleeding, which is never good.“It’s a big science. [Doctors are] looking at it each year: ‘What can we do to prevent [traumatic brain injuries] from happening?’ One thing we’re looking at is dates, so boxers have a deadline to make the weight that’s not so close to the fight, giving the body enough time to replace that fluid.”Banks said that doctors continue to seek ways to detect performance-enhancing drugs. They contribute to severe injuries because they “allow guys to train longer, get more muscle mass on their bodies and withstand more injuries. And they are able to inflict more injuries on their opponents because their strength is off the scales.”Banks started his medical journey as a teenager. He hoped to become a marine scientist. But when that discipline bored him, Banks’ physician father asked him several questions and then said: “You want to help people? Then maybe you should be a doctor.”“Then he walked away,” Banks said. “No pressure.”But the idea took root. At age 18, he began the trek that led him to his family-medicine practice in Front Royal, Va. His service as a ringside doctor has been just as rewarding.“Back in the day, getting your residency was like going through war,” he said. “And with that, you got something engrained in your character: Everyone’s a patient. When you see someone who looks like they are about to get into trouble, that stuff from my training kicks in. … And trouble is where the ringside physician steps in. No. 1, above all, is to protect the fighter. That’s more of a thrill than watching the fights.
In the past, IT was often viewed as a cost center. But today’s IT professionals are business-savvy executives responsible for bottom-line results. They are important members of the corporate management team, tasked with improving productivity and efficiency. However, many CIOs may be surprised to find a significant business loss caused by their own departments.For example, a CIO at a company with 500 employees can potentially recover more than $100,000 per year, according to our study, by asking six key questions and making simple changes that often require zero development costs. They’re easy fixes that many IT professionals may be overlooking.Related: Sneaky Recurring Contracts: 10 Common Ways Your Business Is Getting OverchargedHow does your company compare? Run through these questions and find out.1. Approximately what percentage of your workflow is paperless?A self-assessment tool for small-to-medium business users offered by Brother International Corporation has shown that paper is still critical to business operations in most industries. On average, only 36 percent of respondents are utilizing paperless workflow.While paper will likely never go away entirely, businesses can utilize technology to help reduce the paper, increase efficiency and minimize printing-related costs. To potentially do this, consider adopting electronic document capture and sharing, enabling mobile-based printing and scanning, leveraging cloud-based services and moving to sustainable/“green” printing.2. Do you currently utilize output management software to help secure, redirect or track print jobs in your office?The data collected from the Brother self-assessment tool shows that only 19 percent of businesses are making use of these valuable tools. Output management software can help you control costs and reduce paper usage. An InfoTrends whitepaper titled “Device Underuse and Unbalanced Fleets” reports that organizations can maximize cost savings and productivity through print management/cost recovery solutions to automate a range of print, copy and scan tasks, including activity tracking, cost allocation, quota setting/enforcement, secure printing, job redirect and reporting.Industry-specific solutions are also available. For example, healthcare organizations can deploy software that securely integrates printers with electronic medical records or claims management systems, enabling jobs to be properly transmitted to the appropriate repositories.3. How many pages does your organization print per month?InfoTrends research shows a steady decline in printing, which can be attributed to a number of factors. Many employees choose to work from smartphones and tablets rather than from printed documents. Most print jobs are now five pages or fewer, and the decline in print volumes will persist as more operations move from paper to digital. This knowledge can translate into big savings for your organization.Here’s a trick to aid in improving your bottom line: Many multifunction printers are capable of printing at least 100,000 pages per month. However, many businesses typically print no more than 10,000 pages per month. For businesses committed to a common 100,000-page per month contract, this 90 percent underutilization wastes valuable capital. Determine your organization’s print volume and recalibrate to match the needs and help curb the monthly losses.Related: 10 Essential Startup Expenses, and 10 You Should Avoid4. Which best describes your current printing environment?It is printers for every desktop; a mix of desktop printers, shared printers and standalone copiers; or primarily a shared standalone printer/copier?The ideal solution is a mix of desktop printers, shared printers and standalone copiers. Current Brother self-assessment results show that 18 percent of companies provide a printer for each employee and 25 percent have a mix. However, more than half (57 percent) rely on a shared standalone printer/copier — a strategy that may kill productivity and hurt the bottom line.5. What is the approximate number of printers and printer/copiers in use at your company?To optimize productivity, maintain a worker-to-device ratio of approximately eight to one. A survey conducted by Clarus Research Group reveals that workers with more shared printers are also more digitally engaged. A greater number of these respondents say their companies encourage the use of digital documents, use multiple screens, find reading on screen easier, use more mobile devices than they used to and are more environmentally conscious.Those that have centralized printers are more than two times more likely to say their company printers take too long to finish printing jobs. But just adding more printers won’t solve your challenges.6. What’s the average distance an employee needs to walk to use a standalone printer/copier?Printer placement is the most critical step in maximizing your cost savings. InfoTrends data shows that poor allocation of office devices is a drain to corporate profits, wasting more than 4,000 hours and nearly $130,000 per year in long walks to and from copiers and printers. The solution? Make sure you have one printer within 25 feet of every workgroup.The Clarus survey shows that trips to the printer can also be a significant drain on productivity. Non-work conversations at the printer are 98 percent more likely to result in stops to other colleagues’ desks to chat about personal things, but only 28 percent more likely to chat about work.In fact, 61 percent of employees have conversations at the copier/printer vs. just 31 percent who have conversations at the water cooler. This wasted time could be costly to SMBs. As the CIO, you can easily mitigate these business losses with more appropriate device allocation.Many IT leaders overlook office devices when optimizing for cost and efficiency. If your company is like most, your printers may be too big, too far away and too expensive. A balanced deployment strategy the results in right-sizing your printer fleet can help you save time and money, and it’s surprisingly easy.A number of free resources are available to guide you through the process and help improve the bottom line. For a more in-depth assessment of your organization’s challenges, along with custom recommendations, use the free Brother self-service assessment tool.Related: Broken Tech: Should You Fix it or Replace it? (Infographic) May 21, 2015 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 5 min read For many people, digital currency is an abstract concept that’s seemingly beyond understanding. For Jackson Palmer, a full-time marketing product manager at Adobe, however, cyber currency took on a whole new dimension when a well-timed joke ballooned into the $30-million network known as Dogecoin, an open-source, peer-to-peer digital currency.To get the inside scoop on this incredible story, I sat down with Dogecoin founder Palmer for some interesting insights into the world of digital currency and his unexpected rise to fame.The launch of Dogecoin.Palmer didn’t set out to launch a new currency — all he did was make an innocent Twitter joke proposing “Dogecoin” in the wake of Bitcoin’s intense press coverage and an article on the Gawker website marking 2013 as the year of the Doge meme. Digital-currency enthusiasts latched on to the idea, and Palmer was able to change Bitcoin’s code to include the Comic Sans exclamations that are part of the Shiba Inu-based meme.Image credit: DogecoinThis was enough to launch the currency and corresponding website in just a few hours and, according to Palmer, “The rest, as they say, is history.”Related: Bitcoin Is Now Classified as a Commodity in the U.S.Understanding digital currency.To understand the massive impact of Dogecoin, you first need to understand how digital currency works.“Just think of it as a digitized credit,” Palmer says.Essentially, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Dogecoin operate by creating a massive, open ledger that records every transaction that has ever occurred on the currency’s network. Individual users are given a “public key” (basically, a long stream of digits than can be represented as a QR code), which can be used to either send or receive funds for a small fee.Where things get really interesting, though, is that every single device that records a balance in a given digital currency — whether Bitcoin, Dogecoin or another alternative — maintains a record of the full network’s transactions. So while traditional banks and services such as Paypal are vulnerable to system-wide outages stemming from major hacks, digital-currency markets can carry on as usual, thanks to their decentralized nature.Is digital currency safe?For the most part, cryptocurrencies’ infrastructure keeps them safe, as developers would need to get more than 51 percent of the network to agree to changes in the way that the currency operates. Even the fees generated by digital-currency transactions contribute minimally to fraud because the fees go to the data miners who push updates to the network successfully, not to owners or investors who could abuse the system for profit.That’s not to say that safety issues don’t exist. The Mt. Gox bankruptcy, for instance, demonstrates that services built of digital currencies can be as susceptible to hacking attacks as traditional banking institutions. PCWorld also acknowledges that digital currencies aren’t protected or insured by anybody, so if your computer (or your cryptocurrency wallet-hosting service, as in the case of InstaWallet) is hacked, these irreversible transactions could result in losses.However, programs such as these can also be used for good. Palmer attributes the growth of Dogecoin to the early creation of a bot that lets website readers “tip” site writers with small amounts of real currency (rather than just a Facebook “Like”).“People liked the idea so much that they started tipping their friends who had never heard of Dogecoin, so it created a sort of built-in virality,” he says.Related: Citigroup Is Testing Its Own Bitcoin: ‘Citicoin’Lessons from Dogecoin’s growth.As a technical marketer by trade, Palmer had quite the learning curve to get up to speed with cryptocurrency basics. His overnight education, along with the network’s surprising success, led him to a few interesting revelations:1. Be innovative.Now an advocate for online payments as a whole, Palmer estimates that cash could be obsolete in as little as 20 years. Getting there, however, will require both innovative new technologies such as Dogecoin and the adoption of these new products and services by a wide enough pool of customers to become self-sustaining.Palmer sees tremendous potential in these technologies, and encourages others to look forward to the possibilities that the future holds for digital currencies.2. Be aware of what you’re selling.Palmer argues that all marketers, including those in cryptocurrencies, should be aware of what they’re selling. He’s made it a point to take on small side projects throughout his career that give him the opportunity to learn new skills. Apart from his endeavors in digital currency, he also learned web development to ensure that he could communicate clearly with Adobe’s customers.You can do the same. Look for opportunities to develop complementary skill sets, then pursue them, even if you have to do so in your off hours.3. Don’t be afraid to fail.“All too often, people are afraid to get something off the ground because of what might happen, but you never know until you try,” Palmer says. “Don’t worry about what will happen if something fails, but think about what you’ll get out of it in terms of personal growth.”For more great insight, check out the full interview with Dogecoin’s Palmer:Have you ever used Dogecoin or any other cryptocurrency? Share your predictions on the future of cryptocurrency by leaving a comment below.Related: SexCoin, Dogecoin, HoboNickel, Ripple: Should You Take These Bitcoin Wannabes Seriously? October 20, 2015 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free
Public Safety officers, together with Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL) workers, went out this afternoon (March 9) to help a lost donkey that was wandering around the Settlers Drive area.A member of the community noticed the donkey roaming the street and contacted Public Safety.The officers and AACL staff worked tirelessly to catch the donkey and get it onto a bakkie.Also read: Animal abuse: Neglected dog with broken leg put down at Ladysmith AACLAlso read: Rocks thrown at AACL kennelsThe donkey roaming along Settlers DriveThe donkey’s leg was slightly injured. The poor animal was taken to the kennels, where the AACL will try to locate its owner or look for a caring home.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
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