Dont cut short process SC to NRC coordinator after retired soldier declared

first_imgAssam: A day after a retired soldier from Assam, who served in the Army for 30 years, was declared a foreigner by the state police, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed the National Register of Citizens (NRC) coordinator Prateek Hajela to ensure a fair hearing without cutting short the process and thereby completing the same by end of July, news agency ANI reported.Media reports suggested that Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi asked the NRC official not to rush through the process in an attempt to meet the deadline of July 31. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC The top court’s observation came after Md Sanaullah, who retired as subedar with the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) of Indian Army in August 2017, was detained to be lodged in a detention centre for illegal foreigners in the state as a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) declared him a foreigner.In his testimony at the FT, Sanaullah said that he had served in insurgency-affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast. He was declared a foreigner by FT No 2 Kamrup (Rural) on May 23 this year. His family members and lawyer maintain that Sanaullah’s Indian citizenship can be proved easily with the documents of his ancestors, and of that of his employment with the Indian Army. Sanaullah at present works as a sub-inspector with Assam Police’s border wing — a special wing that deals with detection of illegal migrants in the state. Confirming that Sanaullah has been detained, Additional SP of Kamrup, Sanjib Saikia, told The Indian Express, “The FT declared him a foreigner and we are complying with the law.”(With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

Mayor in London Ont elected after 14 rounds in Canadas 1st ranked

first_imgThe country’s first municipal vote to be held under a ranked-ballot system was finally decided on Tuesday, with a mayor declared after 14 rounds of counting.Under the system, in which voters picked their top three candidates in order of preference, Ed Holder was declared winner over his closest challenger about 18 hours after polls closed Monday evening.This was the first provincewide election in Ontario in which municipalities were allowed to choose using ranked ballots rather than the traditional first-past-the-post system that rewards a person with the most votes, regardless of whether that translates into a majority.Only London opted to go that ranked-ballot route after public consultation and passage of a bylaw. Two other communities — Cambridge and Kingston — asked voters during Monday’s election whether they should move to ranked ballots in 2022. Voters in both centres said yes but Cambridge didn’t have a large enough turnout to make the result stick.Under the ranked system, votes are counted and the last-place person is dropped from the ballot. However, their votes are distributed according to the second and third-place choices voters indicated, provided those candidates have not been eliminated.To win, Holder had to win a simple majority.He started off strong, taking about 33,000 votes — or roughly one third of all ballots cast — to lead the balloting on the first round. However, despite coming out as the front-runner through subsequent rounds, he was unable to make much headway through round 11, where he still led against three other challengers.It was only in the following few rounds that he finally powered his way to more than 57,000 votes and a solid victory over his second-place rival, Paul Paolatto.Holder, 64, a former Conservative MP, takes over from Matt Brown, a former one-term city councillor and teacher.Brown had been elected mayor in 2014 on a platform of integrity and teamwork but scandal marred his tenure. Among other things, he admitted to an affair with the deputy mayor, leading to a split with his wife. He announced in April he wouldn’t run again.The mayor-elect campaigned on a platform that included his opposition to a $500-million bus rapid transit project. He said it would cost too much for not enough benefit, and would create traffic chaos during a decade of construction.In Kingston, almost 63 per cent of those who cast ballots voted to move to a ranked-ballot system. In Cambridge, the split was closer. About 57 per cent were in favour and 43 per cent opposed. However, overall turnout in Cambridge was a low 33 per cent, election officials said, invalidating the result, which required a majority of voters to have weighed in.last_img read more

Trevor Noah Bill Burr Nikki Glaser among names on justannounced JFL NorthWest

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter F Is for Family‘s Bill Burr, The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah, and podcaster Jo Koy are just some of the big names heading to next year’s JFL NorthWest festival, March 1 to 10, 2018.The event unveiled its list today, with shows at venues around town, and single tickets and a new three-show pass going on sale Friday (December 8) at 10 a.m. at comedian, writer, and actor Bill Burr, perhaps best known for his breakout role on Chappelle’s Show, will hit the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on March 8 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Facebook Tacoma-raised Koy, a weekly guest on The Adam Carolla Show podcast before starting his own podcast, The Koy Pond with Jo Koy, hits the same stage on March 7.And Noah headlines two shows the same evening of March 9 at the Queen E. His Daily Show correspondent, Ronny Chieng, by the way, hits the Rio Theatre on March 3 and 4.Other names coming to Vancouver for the third annual rendition of the fest include Saturday Night Live cast members Jay Pharoah and Sasheer Zamata, Lady Dynamite star Maria Bamford, and Brian Regan, Anthony Jeselnik, Mike Birbiglia, Nikki Glaser, Ali Siddiq, Beth Stelling, Vir Das, Rachel Feinstein, and Jim Norton. See a full list of names and venues below.Podcast fans will be fully entertained: aside from Koy, Todd Barry hosts a live podcast March 8 (as well as a standup show March 10);  Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld bring their advice podcast “If I Were You” to the Vogue Theatre on March 8; and podcast star (and former UFC and NFL athlete) Brendan Schaub performs March 1 at the Biltmore.In addition, JFL NorthWest presents, in association with SiriusXM, the best in local talent with the Best of the West Series featuring:All You Can Eat Laundry; Barely Legal; Comedy Bucket: Panel Edition; Cords comedy; Fox Hole Comedy; the Hero Show; Jokes Please; The Lady Show; Little Mountain Improv; LMG News; Musical Jokes; The Outsiders Comedy; Phantom Signal; the Ryan and Amy Show; Sidekicks; and Tinder Tales.See below for a full list of shows and dates; find more details and tickets here.Bill Burr – Thursday, March 8 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre | 7:00pm & 9:30pmTrevor Noah – Friday, March 9 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre | 7:00pm & 9:30pmJo Koy – Wednesday, March 7 | Queen Elizabeth Theatre | 7:00pmMaria Bamford – Saturday, March 3 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pmBrian Regan – Monday, March 5 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pmJay Pharoah – Saturday, March 10 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pmAnthony Jeselnik – Thursday, March 8 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pmMike Birbiglia’s “The New One” – Friday, March 9 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pmNikki Glaser – Thursday, March 8 to Saturday, March 10 | Yuk Yuk’s (various times)Jim Norton – Friday, March 2 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pmThe Fighter and The Kid Live – Friday, March 2 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pmSasheer Zamata – Friday, March 2 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pmTodd Barry: 30th Anniversary Crowd Work Tour – Saturday, March 10 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pm & 9:00pmTodd Barry Podcast Live – Thursday, March 8 | Fox Cabaret | 7:00pmAri Shaffir – Saturday, March 3 | Vogue Theatre | 9:30pmAri Shaffir’s Renamed Storyteller Show – Sunday, March 4 at Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pmJake & Amir: “If I Were You” Live Podcast – Thursday, March 8 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pmRachel Feinstein – Friday, March 9 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pmThis Is That – Sunday, March 4 | Vogue Theatre | 7:00pmRyan Hamilton – Friday, March 2 & Saturday, March 3 | Rio Theatre | 7:00pmBeth Stelling – Thursday, March 1 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pmKyle Kinane – Thursday, March 1 at 7:00pm & Friday, March 2 at 9:30pm | Rio TheatreTom Papa – Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 3 | Yuk Yuk’s (various times)Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher – Friday, March 9 | Rio Theatre | 7:00pmRonny Chieng – Saturday, March 3 at 9:30pm & Sunday, March 4 at 9:30pm | Rio TheatreVir Das – Thursday, March 8 | Rio Theatre | 7:00pmSiriusXM’s Top Comic Showcase – Wednesday, March 7 & Thursday, March 8 | The Comedy Mix (various times)Ali Siddiq – Saturday, March 3 | Biltmore Cabaret | 7:00pmBrent Morin – Friday, March 9 & Saturday, March 10 | The Comedy Mix (various times)Debra DiGiovanni – Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 3 | The Comedy Mix (various times)Brendan Schaub – Thursday, March 1 | Biltmore Cabaret | 9:00pmThe Alternative Show Hosted by Andy Kindler – Thursday, March 8 to Saturday, March 10 | Yuk Yuk’s (various times)last_img read more

National Hockey League partners with Fanatics for Canada ecommerce platform

first_imgTORONTO – The National Hockey League has partnered with Fanatics to launch a Canadian-based e-commerce platform.The league says the new online shop, will provide Canadian hockey fans with faster shipping and a larger selection from Fanatics and official NHL partners such as Adidas.The new Canadian shop will be available in English and French.As part of the deal, Fanatics has introduced what it calls the official fan jersey, dubbed the “Breakaway,” for all 31 teams.The NHL announcement comes two days after MLS and Fanatics announced a longterm global agreement that includes a Canada e-commerce site beginning in 2018.Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., Fanatics operates more than 300 online and offline stores, including the e-commerce business for the NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS, NASCAR, PGA as well as more than 200 collegiate and pro teams.The company, which recently acquired the apparel brand Majestic, specializes in producing event-related gear — such as celebrating a champion being crowned or a record player performance — overnight.last_img read more

UNbacked conference ends with push to protect ozone combat climate change

22 September 2007An historic agreement to tackle the twin challenges of protecting the ozone layer and combating climate change has been agreed by governments meeting in Montreal on the 20th anniversary of a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) treaty established to control the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere. An historic agreement to tackle the twin challenges of protecting the ozone layer and combating climate change has been agreed by governments meeting in Montreal on the 20th anniversary of a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) treaty established to control the release of harmful substances into the atmosphere.Participating countries signed up to an accelerated freeze and phase-out of substances known as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) under the pact, according to UNEP.The decision, including an agreement that sufficient funding will be made available to achieve the strategy, follows mounting evidence that HCFCs contribute to global warming, the agency said.HCFCs emerged as replacement chemicals in the 1990s for air conditioning, some forms of refrigeration equipment and foams, following an earlier decision to phase-out older and more ozone-damaging chemicals known as CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons. Governments meeting in Montreal ended their meeting on Friday with an agreement to freeze production of HCFCs in 2013 and bring forward the final phase-out date of these chemicals by 10 years.The acceleration may also assist in restoring the health of the ozone layer — the high flying gas that filters out damaging levels of ultra-violet light — by a few years.UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said the meeting’s outcome is an “important and quick win” for combating climate change.“The precise and final savings in terms of greenhouse gas emissions could amount to several billions of tonnes, illustrating the complementarities of international environmental agreements,” he said. Mt. Steiner said the spotlight now moves to New York where, on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting a summit meeting on climate change.The gathering aims to build confidence in the run up to the UN Climate Convention negotiations scheduled for Bali, Indonesia, in December. That meeting will be tasked with hammering out an international greenhouse gas emissions reductions agreement to kick in after 2012, when the current legally binding Kyoto Protocol is set to expire. read more

UN agency lauds Assembly resolution on noncommunicable diseases

14 May 2010The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed yesterday’s adoption of a General Assembly resolution calling for the curbing of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, the leading cause of death in the world. The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed yesterday’s adoption of a General Assembly resolution calling for the curbing of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, the leading cause of death in the world.Cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, among other non-communicable diseases, claim nearly 35 million lives every year.“There is a sense of urgency,” said the agency’s Assistant Director-General Ala Alwan. “Tackling these diseases constitutes one of the major challenges for sustainable development in the 21st century.”Last night’s resolution highlights the importance of supporting countries to enhance access to essential medicines and affordable medical technology.It also called for a high-level Assembly meeting, with the participation of heads of State and government, to take place in New York in September 2011 on the issue.Many of the deaths caused by non-communicable diseases in developing countries, WHO said, could be prevented by reducing exposure to tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol, as well as improving early detection of breast and cervical cancers, diabetes and high blood pressure.In spite of signs that death rates from non-communicable diseases have stabilized or even declined in many high-income countries in recent decades, research points to deaths from these diseases increasing in all regions of the world.Continuing on the current trajectory, more than 40 million people will die from them annually by 2015, WHO said.Last month, a WHO official told reporters in New York that non-communicable diseases are imposing a much greater burden on the poorest countries than on richer economies and must be tackled as a development issue.“It’s not like we have to wait for these countries to develop their economy, then start to suffer from non-communicable diseases,” WHO Coordinator of Health Promotion Gauden Galea said. “We are talking about countries and populations that are already dying at much higher rates and much earlier than people do in the richer economies.”The Director of the Population Division in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Hania Zlotnik, noted the irony that the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases in developing countries was the result of success in combating communicable diseases.The consequent ageing of the population means that “people do not die early in life, they die much later in life and it is more likely that then they will die of a non-communicable disease,” she said.Dr. Galea noted that four chronic diseases – cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory illness – are responsible for 60 per cent of the world’s deaths “and 80 per cent of these deaths are happening in the poorest populations of the world.” read more

General Assembly President stresses job creation and investment in poor countries

In an interview with UN Radio on the sidelines of the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Istanbul, Turkey, Mr. Deiss exhorted the world to remain keenly engaged in the global effort to combat high levels of poverty in those countries.“We have to be impatient. We have work faster than possible, knowing that it will take time, that we’ll have drawbacks. But if you are not ambitious, you will not succeed,” said Mr. Deiss.He said many LDCs were on track to graduate from the LDC category before the effects of the global economic crisis undermined their efforts.“I think this action plan of Istanbul should restart helping them to come back on this track they were on and create new hopes and also results,” he said.“Our goal should be that all of them graduate. There should no one country [considered] as least developed country. On the other hand we have also to prepare them to graduate,” Mr. Deiss added.He said supporting LDCs is not only a question of money, but also partnership. “It is also a case for the LDCs. They have their own homework and this is essentially the institutions. They have to create the framework [so] investments can be profitable… both sides have to do it,” he said. 10 May 2011The President of the General Assembly Joseph Deiss today expressed hope that the plan of action that will emerge from the United Nations conference on the world’s least developed countries under way in Turkey will include elements for job creation and greater investment in those nations. read more

November arts events roundup

Here is a roundup of November events hosted by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts:Dramatic ArtsThe SuicideThe Russian comedy banned by Stalin in 1930.Nov. 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 p.m.Nov. 9 at 11:30 a.m.Sean O’Sullivan TheatreTickets: $15 adults, $12 seniors / students. eyeGo $5Centre for the Arts Box Office: 905-688-5550 x3257 or visit the Centre for the Arts. MusicThe University Wind Ensemble presents Dizzy FingersNov. 27 at 7:30 p.m.Sean O’Sullivan TheatreTickets: $5Centre for the Arts Box Office: 905-688-5550 ext. 3257or visit the Department of Music.TorQ Percussion QuartetNov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.Sean O’Sullivan TheatreTickets: $28.50 adults, $22.50 seniors/students, $5 eyeGo high school program.Centre for the Arts Box Office: 905 688 5550 x3257or visit the Centre for the Arts. Tuesday Music@NoonNov. 6Recital: Piano, voice and instrumental studentsConcordia Seminary ChapelFreeNov. 13Recital: Voice studentsSean O’Sullivan TheatreFreeNov. 20Recital: Instrumental studentsSean O’Sullivan TheatreFreeNov. 27Recital: Piano studentsSean O’Sullivan TheatreFreeViva Voce! Choral Series 2012-2013Avanti Chamber Singers – MagnificatNov. 17, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.St. Barnabas Anglican Church31 Queenston St., St. CatharinesTickets: Adults $20, seniors/students $15, $5 for children 13 and under and eyeGo.Available at the door, Ryson’s Music, or from the Deptartment of Music, 905-688-5550 x3817.Brock University ChoirsCantemusNov. 24, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.Knox Presbyterian Church53 Church St., St. CatharinesTickets: Adults $15, seniors/students $10, $5 for children 13 and under and eyeGo.Available at the door or from the Centre for the Arts Box Office, 905-688-5550 ext. 3257.Walker Cultural Leader SeriesJoan Watson, principal horn of the Canadian Opera Company and member of True North BrassNov. 2: Workshop: setting career goals for musicians I, 3 to 5 p.m.Nov. 3: Workshop: setting career goals for musicians II, 10 a.m. to noonConcordia Seminary Chapel$5 admissionContact: Prof. Matthew RoyalStephen Nachmanovitch, performer, author and workshop leaderNovember 16Public lecture/performance: 7:30 – 9 p.m.TH 325FreeContact: Prof. Joe Norris read more

Efforts to control bird flu in animals seriously underfunded UN agency warns

The global strategy to control bird flu in animals, which in a worst-case scenario could mutate into a worldwide human pandemic killing tens of millions of people, remains largely under-funded, with only a fifth of the $100 million sought so far pledged, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today. “It makes sense to stockpile antiviral drugs to protect humans against a potential avian influenza pandemic, but at the same time we have to contain the virus at source, in animals, to reduce the risk to people,” FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer Joseph Domenech said, calling the international donor pledges to date excellent, but only a start. “Strong national veterinary services are essential to improve the early detection of avian influenza. The rapid exchange and analysis of virus samples require additional resources to immediately respond to avian influenza outbreaks,” he added.The circulation of so much influenza virus in animals in many countries in close proximity to humans remains a major risk factor that could trigger a pandemic, FAO warned. There is still a small window of opportunity before winter to reduce the levels of infection through vaccination of poultry, it added.In countries like Viet Nam it is the only way that the can be dampened down in the short time available. It involves mass vaccination of poultry, especially in the smallholder sector where there is also close contact between poultry and humans.The Global Strategy for the Progressive Control of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza launched in May by FAO and the inter-governmental World Animal Health Organization (OIE), in collaboration with the UN World Health Organization (WHO), has called for over $100 million for the next three years for programmes in South-East Asia. To date, donor countries have pledged around $16.5 million. FAO will provide another $2 million from its own resources. The World Bank and the European Commission are also planning to heavily invest in controlling bird flu.“This support is excellent, but it marks only a starting point and unless it translates into further financial funding to support affected countries, the cycle of bird flu infection that will occur in poultry this winter will not be stopped,” Mr. Domenech said.“Countries in Asia are doing their best to control the virus but they cannot and should not be expected to do this job on their own,” he added.Overall, there have been some 120 reported human H5N1 cases, about 60 of them fatal, all in South-East Asia, since January 2004. Some 140 million domestic birds have died or been culled in an effort to curb the spread. UN health officials have repeatedly warned that the H5N1 virus could evolve into a global influenza pandemic if it mutates into a form which could transmit easily between people. The so-called Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920, unrelated to the present virus, is estimated to have killed from 20 million to 40 million people worldwide. read more

Delta passenger who found needle in sandwich thought it was a toothpick

by News Staff Posted Jul 17, 2012 8:38 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Delta passenger who found needle in sandwich thought it was a toothpick; investigation begins MINNEAPOLIS – Jim Tonjes was high above North America when he bit into a hot turkey sandwich aboard a Delta Air Lines flight and felt a sudden jab in his mouth.Glancing down, he noticed what looked like a sewing needle in the food. Another passenger on the plane reported the same thing.At first, he thought a toothpick meant to hold the sandwich together had punctured the roof of his mouth. When he pulled it out, “it was a straight needle, about one inch long, with sharp points on both ends.”Now U.S. and European authorities are trying to determine how the needles got into meals served on at least four Delta flights from Amsterdam to the U.S. and why anyone would place them there.“We are keeping all options open because at this moment, we have no idea why somebody or something put needles inside the sandwiches,” said Robert van Kapel, a spokesman for Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.The FBI and the airport’s police department have opened criminal investigations. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said it does not view the matter as a threat to national security.A Delta spokeswoman said the needles were found Sunday in six sandwiches on four flights. Passengers discovered four of them. The flights included one to Minneapolis, one to Seattle and two to Atlanta.Tonjes was returning after a visit to Amsterdam for his mother-in-law’s 90th birthday. The nine-hour flight was about 90 minutes from Minneapolis when flight attendants offered Tonjes, who was seated in business class, a cold Mediterranean salad or the hot turkey sandwich.“I’ll be very honest, the first bite, I thought, ‘Boy, this is pretty good,’” Tonjes said. “It was the second bite that got me.”Now Tonjes is on a 28-day course of pills (at a cost of $1,400) aimed at warding off any infection, including hepatitis or HIV. His doctors have asked the FBI to tell them right away if they find any residue on the needle.The sandwiches were made by Gate Gourmet, one of the world’s largest airline caterers, with facilities on five continents.The company serves many airlines, but only Delta flights appeared to be affected. The company said it was investigating. Spokesman David Fisher declined to elaborate.Delta Air Lines Inc. spokeswoman Kristin Baur said security has been stepped up at all of the Gate Gourmet facilities used by the airline. Delta is also using more prepackaged food.Gate Gourmet was founded in 1992 to cater Swissair flights and grew by taking over other airline caterers, including that of British Airways. It went into private ownership in 2003.Even though U.S. airlines no longer serve free meals in coach on domestic flights, the airline catering business is still a big industry. Gate Gourmet provides food for 9,700 flights per day. That’s 250 million meals a year from 122 flight kitchens.Those kitchens are often not on airport grounds, so meals are taken by truck to a “sterile” area where planes are parked. The TSA monitors the area in the U.S. Local authorities monitor it at overseas airports.“Food delivery to airports is a very strict process,” said Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent who was the chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the police department at Los Angeles World Airports. Truck drivers get background checks, and “those trucks are inspected for everything from sealed packages to explosive devices,” said Southers, who is also managing director of counter-terrorism at TAL Global Corp., an international security consulting service.The needles are a reminder that insiders — people who work within the industry and have passed a background check — are among the biggest threats to aviation security, Southers said.Gate Gourmet’s ads for cooks say applicants must be able to pass a criminal background check. The TSA declined to discuss the security process.Ton Scherrenberg, chairman of the VNC union that represents some 7,000 Dutch cabin personnel, said cabin crews check prepared food for foreign objects when they open catering packages, “but you can’t check every single sandwich.”When the needles were discovered on the first Delta flight, a message went out to other Delta flights, which is why some of the needles were found before they got to passengers. The TSA said it “immediately notified all U.S. air carriers with flights from Schiphol to ensure awareness.”On board Tonjes’ flight, he pushed the flight attendant call button as soon as he found his needle. A few minutes later, another passenger nearby did the same thing. He said flight attendants offered to call ahead for an ambulance.“When we landed, it was very, very impressive. When they opened the door, it was flooded with customs agents, police, paramedics and firefighters. It was the whole jetway full of people.”The FBI interviewed him for about three hours. He said he was told the remaining sandwiches were X-rayed, and a third needle was found.Gate Gourmet was cited by the FDA in 2005 for failing to keep meat at proper temperatures and for the presence of live flies and roaches near its salad production area, plus other violations.Roy Costa, who runs food safety consulting firm Environ Health Associates in Deland, Fla., and used to be an auditor with the Department of Health and Human Services for more than 20 years, said food preparation standards are not as tight in Europe as in the U.S.“Everything we do over here, we do because the (Food and Drug Administration) requires it,” he said. “There’s just a huge hole there.”___Associated Press writers Doug Glass in Minneapolis, Mike Corder in the Hague, Netherlands, and Samantha Bomkamp in New York contributed to this report. read more

UN panel warns against designer babies and eugenics in editing of human

While acknowledging the therapeutic value of genetic interventions, the panel stressed that the process raises serious concerns, especially if the editing of the human genome should be applied to the germline, thereby introducing hereditary modifications.“Gene therapy could be a watershed in the history of medicine and genome editing is unquestionably one of the most promising undertakings of science for the sake of all humankind,” the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a news release on a report by its International Bioethics Committee (IBC). But the IBC added: “Interventions on the human genome should be admitted only for preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic reasons and without enacting modifications for descendants.” The alternative would “jeopardize the inherent and therefore equal dignity of all human beings and renew eugenics,” it said.This is not the first time that a UN body has raised such concerns. In 2010, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said that “as we develop technologies that enable us to make life-or-death decisions, we need a shared, value-based approach to what are fundamentally moral questions.”In 2004, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan questioned whether such processes might promote a world dominated by eugenics like that imagined by Aldous Huxley in the novel Brave New World.“The greatest fear is that we may be trying to ‘play God,’ with unforeseeable consequences, in the end precipitating our own destruction,” Mr. Annan warned then, asking whether the dangers outweigh the benefits and where the line should be drawn between what is feasible and what is desirable or ethical. In today’s report IBC, comprising scientists, philosophers, lawyers and government ministers, noted that recent advances have opened the door to genetic screening and testing for inherited diseases, gene therapy, the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research and the possibility of cloning and genetic “editing” for both medical and non-medical ends.It noted that scientists and bioethicists are calling for a wider public debate about the power of science to modify genetically human embryos in the laboratory, so as to control inherited traits, such as appearance and intelligence.A new genome “editing” technique called CRISPR-Cas9 makes it possible for scientists to insert, remove and correct DNA simply and efficiently, IBC added. It holds out the prospect of treating or even curing certain illnesses, such as sickle cell diseases, cystic fibrosis and some cancers. But germline editing can also make changes to DNA, such as determining a baby’s eye colour, easier for scientists working with human embryos, eggs and sperm. The report also cautions against the hidden danger of do-it-yourself genetic testing, saying that consumers who tested their own DNA using so-called Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) kits bought online, needed professional genetic and medical counselling to understand and act on the results. It called for clear regulations and information for consumers about such tests.UNESCO member States adopted the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights in 2005 to deal with ethical issues raised by rapid changes in medicine, life sciences and technology. It states lists the human genome as part of the heritage of humanity, outlining rules that need to be observed to respect human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms. read more

New bus and coach market declines in 2017

The UK’s new bus and coach market fell in every quarter of 2017, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Following a period of strong growth in 2015 and 2016, last year saw registrations decline by -12.7% to 7,666.Double-deck demand saw the biggest fall across the year, declining -17.1% with 1,598 units registered. Single-decks and minibuses also experienced declines, down -8.2% and -13.2% respectively.Between October and December, 1,688 new buses and coaches were registered, falling -15.9%. Single-deck and double-deck registrations both saw double-digit declines in Q4, by -20.7% and -27.6% respectively. Meanwhile, demand for minibuses was down -5.7%.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Following strong market performance in the previous two years and the highly cyclical nature of fleet purchasing in this sector, it’s no surprise to see orders fall in 2017. However, declining business confidence undoubtedly played a part. To encourage future long-term investment, operators must have economic and regulatory certainty. Government’s proposed closure of the Euro V legislation loophole is overdue and must be implemented urgently if we are to get more of the latest low emission Euro VI vehicles onto our roads and improve air quality in our towns and cities.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Double-digit decline in new bus and coach market in 2017, down -12.7%.Registrations of minibuses, single-decks and double-decks all down, with 7,666 joining UK roads.Q4 registrations fall -15.9% to 1,688 units. read more

Family distraught after pet attacked and killed by pack of hunt hounds

first_imgKayleigh, who has started a Facebook campaign calling for stricter regulation of hunting, says residents weren’t informed by the club that the hunt would be taking place in the area this weekend.On the Bray Harriers website, a hunt listed for yesterday is still labelled this afternoon as ‘TBC’ and no location is given.“That’s the most shocking part. No-one was aware of it. That dogs like this can run uncontrolled on roads and on private property is just incredible.”Kayleigh’s Facebook page calls for the “shocking and barbaric sport” to be more strictly regulated, and for tough new laws to be introduced to protect people and other animals.In the short-term, she said, the Bray Harriers and clubs like them should inform communities in areas where they plan to hold meetings. She said that two of the riders had spoken to the family in the aftermath of the incident, apologised, and offered compensation for what had happened. “What can you say though? It won’t bring Isabelle back.”She said they told her they would be back in contact today, but as of this afternoon, the family hadn’t heard anything. According to its website, Bray Harriers have around 100 members who are “mostly from the south Dublin and north Wicklow areas” and they carry out hunts each Wednesday and Saturday from October until March.They also held a meet last Wednesday, while last weekend they were in the Roundwood area.This article was originally posted at 3.30pm.Read: Over 40 complaints lodged over Love/Hate cat shooting scene Updated at 4.19pmA FAMILY IN Ashford, Co Wicklow say they’ve been left shocked after their pet dog was attacked by a pack of hunting hounds yesterday afternoon.It happened at around 4pm when a hunt by the Bray Harriers club was taking place in the area. The family pet, a hypoallergenic dog named ‘Isabelle’ died from her injuries.Club Secretary with Bray Harriers David Power confirmed that the incident happened, but said he had no further details and wasn’t at the scene himself.“The dogs came in in two packs, one on either side of the house,” Isabelle’s owner Kayleigh told“They were totally out of control. They chased her until they caught her and basically savaged her.”Kayleigh said that her brother and her father, who is in his 50s, tried to separate the animals, along with members of the hunting party.Once the hounds were called off, the wounded dog ran into a nearby field. She was brought back to the house by one of the hunters. A vet who was with the hunting party briefly tended to her, but she died from from her injuries inside the family home.“There were about four riders on horses I think. Another two horses without riders,” Kayleigh said.“It was chaos. They were basically trespassing on our property.last_img read more

Diego Simeone wary of Paco Alcacer threat for Atletico Madrid

first_imgAtletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone admits that the “in-form and confident” Paco Alcacer is a cause for concern ahead of their Champions League clash with Borrusia DortmundThe 25-year-old striker has enjoyed a stunning campaign for both club and country following his loan move from Barcelona in the summer.Alcacer has scored eight goals in just five appearances in the Bundesliga and Champions League with Dortmund now set to make his stay a permanent one at the end of the season.Although Simeone insists that this comes as no surprise to him.“I am not surprised by his current form,” Simeone told reporters, according to Marca.borussia dortmund, marco reus, jadon sancho, paco alcacerReport: Dortmund hammer four past Leverkusen George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund put four past Bayer Leverkusen.Borussia Dortmund leapfrogged Bayern Munich to claim second place in the Bundesliga. After handing out a 4-0 thrashing of…“He has always had great skill and instinct inside the penalty area, his movement is excellent and when he has confidence it is hard to manage.“This is a key point of the game for us because we are up against a striker who is in-form and confident due to his run of games.Alcacer described playing against Atletico as “like suffering a toothache” earlier this week.The Group A game between Dortmund and Atletico will begin at 21:00 (CEST) tonight at Signal Iduna Park.last_img read more

Bihar to set up lightning alert system to save lives

first_imgPATNA: Alarmed over the rising number of deaths due to lightning strikes, the Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA) has signed an agreement with Bangaluru-based Earth Networks to set up a lightning forecast system in the state. Earth Networks monitors and collects data on lightning strikes around the world. Its system will inform the BSDMA, District Collectors, Municipal Officers and other public representatives about an impending lightning strike 30 minutes before its occurrence. Also Read – Man held for slapping woman employee at Gurgaon toll plaza booth Advertise With Us “The authorities will then send alerts on a mobile application, which will help save lives in the state. No mobile service provider has been selected so far to send the alerts,” a BSDMA official said. More than 172 people have died in lightning strikes in Bihar so far this year, Chief Secretary Amrit Pratyay said. Thunderbolt last year killed 139 people, 180 in 2017 and 107 in 2016 in the state, he added.last_img read more

NAACP Experience

first_imgFamilies, students, professionals and residents of the Baltimore-Washington area are invited to attend the NAACP Experience July 22nd through Tuesday, July 25th. Co-sponsored by McDonald’s, Hyundai, and Geico, this family-friendly event is open to children ages 18 and under will take home backpacks filled with goodies.  Adults will have the chance to win prizes and freebies. NAACP Experience  is free and open to the Public. For a detailed schedule of events and locations, visit the NAACP convention website at

Sharing a better idea

first_imgSangeet Natak Akademi took a new initiative Sanchayan to share its collection with the connoisseurs of performing arts through the screening of video recordings from its archives regularly. Over the last six decades, it has built a large archive of audio-tapes, photographs, films and video-tapes on performing arts.Ang Tarang: Mayurbhanj Chhau, a 17 minute duration recording was screened  yesterday (25 April). It was directed by Jiwan Pani. Chhau traces its origin to indigenous forms of dance and martial practices. The natural beauty of Chhau inspired the communities inhabiting the region to live in harmony with nature. Stylised gaits called Chalis and Topkas resemble movements of animals and birds. The daily chores of village housewives were imitated as movements called Uflis or Upalayas. These, together with the martial techniques, comprising of the basic stances of Chowk and Dharan, constitute the fundamental vocabulary of Chhau.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It is traditionally performed and taught by the male members of the community. The training is by a Guru in an open arena called Akhada. The dance is also a family tradition. The transmission of knowledge pertaining to its various aspects of dance, music and mask-making is done orally. Though vocal music is not used in Chhau performances, the melodies are based on songs from the folk tradition of the Jhumur devotional songs of the Kirtan, traditional songs from Orissa and classical Hindustani ragas.last_img read more

Climate change Artists voice their concerns

first_imgTwelve global artists have voiced their concerns about climate change through many paintings that was showcased in the national Capital. They focused on carbon, a fundamental element for life and the primary cause for the greenhouse effect. Carbon is shown as a detriment for the future survival of human beings.Titled- ‘Carbon-12,’ after the most common natural isotope of the non-metal, the two-day-long exhibition began on May 3. It attempted to offer a unique amalgamation of art and science by shedding light on man’s relationship with earth while highlighting the impact of his carbon footprints. One of the artworks titled ‘The Sun’ displays a dark-skinned Egyptian woman, donning a crimson red bindi, who looks back at her viewers with teary-eyed rage, as if in rhetoric. “My idea was that she is the sun but she is sad and a little bit angry because she does not like what she sees – what people are doing to the planet,” said Lithuanian artist Dovile Norkute, who has two of her artworks on display. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Her works are also symbolic of a peaceful amalgamation of cultures. Her subject, who at first glance appears to be African but wears a familiar Egyptian hairdo with the quintessential red Indian bindi.Norkute’s works are an effortless mix of oil, graffiti, calligraphy and photo on collage. The selling art show was inaugurated at the Egg Art Studio by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who termed it as the one that “easily touches your heart.”   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“The topic is carbon footprint which we are experiencing today in the form of climate change. This is a beautiful exhibition makes people aware of the dangers and artists have come out with various good concepts and they can easily touch your heart,” he said. The minister who was part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last year and later at the UN Climate Summit in New York, talked about solutions regarding the climate change.  “The challenge can be met by common will, collective wisdom and joint efforts. And therefore, what we decided in Paris and later in New York is about mitigating the challenge of climate change. I believe that if human intervention has caused climate change, now human intervention in positive way will help mitigate the challenge and we can deliver or hand over a better earth to the future generation,” he said. In layman’s language, carbon footprint can be essentially termed as impact of human beings on the environment measured by the greenhouse gases they are responsible for creating. Claudie Dimbeng hailing from Ivory Coast uses the concept of ‘mixed art relief’ to drive home the message of how carbon footprints are affecting the planet.Her work titled- ‘We are life, We are earth,’ is a textured piece of abstract art in myriad colours that often render a 3-dimensional effect. Its relevance to the theme of the exhibition lies in how she has created the artwork.The artist uses locally available materials, often found objects – marble powder, tree bark, leaves, handmade paper and recycled paper from factories, natural dyes and ceramic paste – all of which are “ecological.” “My artistic concept is mixed art relief which is mixed media technique and also a way to the mix of cultures, but it is very ecological and organic. “The purpose for me was to produce a green organic artwork which will be nature friendly because it is all about our impact on the planet. I also wanted to produce an artwork with a mix of cultures. So this is inspired by the colours of India matched with the colours of Africa,” said the artist, who has been living in Paris for the last three decades.Dimbeng says her work which is a splash of hues across a horizontal canvas, is symbolic of life, power and energy and can be seen a piece of earth. It shows the power that we have to make a change. For Indian-born artist, Premila Singh, the element of carbon has both positive and negative, and the focus should not be on eliminating it from the environment altogether, but to strike a balance.Her work in oil, showcases, the “carbon crying for help. Not the earth, but the carbon, because even they feel saturated.”last_img read more

Theater director fired amid sexual misconduct clai

first_imgTheater director fired amid sexual misconduct claims by The Associated Press Posted Jan 24, 2018 8:55 am PDT Last Updated Jan 24, 2018 at 9:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A Connecticut theatre’s artistic director has been fired amid allegations of sexual misconduct.The board of trustees for the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven voted unanimously Tuesday night to fire Gordon Edelstein, who was placed on leave Monday following a report in The New York Times.No one answered a phone listing Wednesday for Edelstein’s home in New York City.The Times reported Monday that it interviewed four women on the record who alleged unwanted sexual contact by Edelstein since his arrival in 2002. One of the women, who complained to theatre management in 2006, accused Edelstein of unwanted groping and kissing, and alleged he masturbated in front of her. Other former employees told the Times the prominent director made sexually explicit remarks.Theater board chairwoman Laura Pappano said none of the current board members were on the board when the 2006 complaint was filed, and there hadn’t been any sexual misconduct complaints since.Pappano said she looked into the board’s responses to allegations against Edelstein and they seemed appropriate, including mandatory counselling and sexual harassment training after the 2006 complaint. She said the allegations reported by the Times were different, and more lurid, than the accusations reported more than a decade ago.Pappano released a statement Tuesday night saying there will be an independent review of the theatre’s policies and procedures for reporting misconduct, and managing director Joshua Borenstein will be taking over artistic and administrative leadership.“We must ensure that nothing like this happens again,” the statement said. “This is a time that demands sober self-reflection and openness. We must do more to create the kind of working environment that our talented and committed staff deserve.”Before coming to New Haven, Edelstein was artistic director at A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle. After the allegations were reported Monday, an actress at the Seattle theatre alleged Edelstein groped her there in 2002, The Seattle Times reported .Also this week, the Alley Theatre in Houston fired Edelstein as director of “Satchmo at the Waldorf,” which is still scheduled to open next month under a new director.Edelstein has won awards from the Connecticut Critics Circle, including its highest honour in 2007-2008. He also directed plays on Broadway, including “The Road to Mecca” in 2012.last_img read more

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People should not pay a water bill for poisoned water" The conversation broadcast on CNN was one that both candidates were looking to use to make inroads in Michigan which votes on Tuesday The race here is tight and both candidates are bracing for a long night of ballot counting Clinton has the backing of the Establishment and many unions but Sanders populism in the economically unstable state could help him finally find a win in a minority-heavy state As the pair debated the pipes and poisons in Flint Sanders was declared the winner in Maines caucus It added to his victories in Saturdays contests in Kansas and Nebraska Yet it was unlikely to upend a race that at the moment favors Clinton Clinton even in loss still is in control She is amassing an advantage among delegates that Sanders will struggle to overcome As Sanders picked up white-heavy Kansas and Nebraskatwo states that are unlikely to tip to Democrats in NovemberClinton picked up Louisiana where African-Americans lent her a hand Heading into Tuesdays primary in Michigan Sanders faced the question of how much more he was willing to fight Even when telling Democrats in Michigan about his victories one night before the debate on Saturday he sounded like a candidate who was contemplating an exit "No matter who wins this Democratic nomination I have not the slightest doubt that on our worst days we will be infinitely better than the Republicans" Sanders said Sunday nights debate was clearly an effort to connect with Michigan residents and to demonstrate empathy for their troubles Clinton advisers were privately bracing for a potential loss here especially with Sanders dumping piles of cash into urban radio to boost his name with African-American audiences He was also casting her record on trade as a reason for voters difficulties Clinton pushed back noting that she voted against the one trade bill that was sent to the Senate during her eight years there All of Sanders other criticism was rooted in Bill Clintons term as President when Mrs Clinton was First Lady "If were going to argue about the 1990s I think its only fair to say that the end of the 1990s after two terms of my husbands Presidency the unemployment of 44%" Hillary Clinton said If they were going to litigate Bill Clintons legacy she at least wanted voters to look back fondly on that booming economy Clinton has remained ahead of Sanders in the national race for delegates and while he can win some states here and there the former Secretary of State is keeping her focus on the delegate chart which aides have put on a wall in her Brooklyn headquarters "Its a slog but were going to come out on top" one adviser said The Sunday night debate was a late addition to the schedule but unavoidable given the crisis given the water disaster in the city "This is a crisis We cannot drink the water" Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said "What happened in Flint could happen in any community" Former President Bill Clinton spent his Saturday in Detroit encouraging union members to work for his wifes bid Although the powerful UAW Teamsters and the AFL-CIO were not going to take sides others such as AFSCME the American Federation of Teachers and LIUNA were knocking on doors for her "Shes got the unionsor at least their leaders You cant overstate that impact" said one neutral Democratic operative in Michigan whose clients include Clinton and Sanders backers "Its hard if youre a shift worker to tell Bill Clinton no" Its why Team Clinton is spending every day ahead of Tuesdays balloting here She has proven successful in winning over more diverse states while Sanders has found success in largely-white states A win in Michigan could prove immensely helpful ahead of March 15 when other swing states Ohio and Florida cast ballots While Clinton has yet to clinch the Democrats nomination shes obviously looking ahead to the general electionand gleefully imagining a contest against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump "The stakes keep getting higher and the rhetoric you’re hearing from the other side keeps sinking lower” Clinton said Saturday night making an allusion to Trump Its clear shes ready to pivot to a head-to-head race with the man Establishment-minded Republicans see as being dragged to the muck by the New York billionaire Shes betting luck is on her side So far it has been Write to Philip Elliott at philipelliott@timecomNintendo Creative Fellow and game design luminary Shigeru Miyamoto is renowned for his work on foundational franchises like Donkey Kong Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda But there are a few things you may not know about the 64-year-old gaming celeb like what he thinks of artificial intelligence or what he’s been doing in his spare time (It’s more surprising than you’d think) TIME spoke with Miyamoto mid-January just after the Nintendo Switch hands-on for press in New York City Here’s a lightly edited transcript of our conversation covering Nintendo Switch (the company’s $299 new platform that’s out March 3) and more TIME: A question that goes back to the beginning about Nintendo designer Gunpei Yokoi‘s idea of “lateral thinking with seasoned technology” What if anything about that philosophy factored into your approach to Switch Shigeru Miyamoto: As a company we take in all different kinds of new technologies as they become available The tendency for some companies is for their technical people to be more important or treasured Companies like that tend to want to move forward and be at the top end of everything But at Nintendo we really place importance on finding something unique something that only we can do So there’s nothing specific from Mr Yokoi that went directly into the Nintendo Switch But as a company Nintendo really puts the idea of fun up front and I feel like that perspective was something Mr Yokoi had established Mr Yokoi had this way of stepping back and calmly observing what’s going on too In my younger days we had a tendency to want to move forward so quickly and we several times had Mr Yokoi kind of hold us back and say “You need to look step back and observe everything” And so we learned from him the importance of really putting ideas into forms of play There’s a term in Japanese that indicates someone who wants to always say the opposite so if I say yes someone says no It’s not like we’re trying to be that but when everybody is saying the same thing we need to be a little bit more suspicious and have keen eyes to observe what’s going onwe’ve been kind of trained to be that way It’s not that Mr Yokoi was against new pieces of technology Sometimes when he would get a new technology he would just stare at it for an entire day For example he had this magnetic object that would float and he would just put it on his desk and stare at it and play around with it and really observe it In that sense I felt like a lot of people were able to trust him because he was really open and keen to observe things (Pre-order: Nintendo Switch Amazon) I know you weren’t as personally involved with Switch’s development but were there any tables flipped Nothing really in terms of 180 degrees but myself Mr Takeda and Mr Iwata were more providing feedback during development So a lot of the younger staff would give us presentations and we would give them feedback and make decisions if necessary The feedback that we did provide I think was put to good use and I don’t think there were any times where we had major clashes of ideas If anything we had to think about how to make Switch unique and there’s a certain cost associated with that So it was like “Oh my God it’s going to be a lot more expensive How are we going to deal with this” We struggled with that together as a team Is there anything in particular about Switch that reflects Satoru Iwata’s involvement [Iwata was Nintendo’s president from 2002 to 2015 and passed away in July 2015] I mentioned that Mr Iwata Mr Takeda and myself provided feedback and made decisions but ultimately Mr Iwata was the head of development so he put a lot of thought and time into Switch I think that the idea of Nintendo Switch being a device you can take out and anywhere and the idea of it being a system that really allows networking and communicating with people I think that’s something Mr Iwata put a lot of emphasis on Because Mr Iwata was tech-savvy a lot of our discussion involved trying to figure out how to make the technical things like network capabilities or servers or whatever fun For example think about when we added the ability to use a browser on the DS [Nintendo’s two-screen gaming handheldthe browser was added to North American systems in 2007] As time goes on all of these services become more and more advanced and so we need to think about “How do we incorporate mobile devices or new browser features that come up” That’s something Mr Iwata and I discussed a lot really trying to decide what to do and what not to do in our hardware You’re gambling on new haptic feedback features with Switch What prompted the turn toward higher fidelity vibration as a cornerstone feature First of all I can’t say for certain that HD Rumble is going to create something completely original but I can say that the sensation HD Rumble provides is completely new When we first created the Rumble Pak [released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64] at that time we were trying to just think about cost and performance What could we make that was cost-efficient to create a rumble sensation Within Nintendo there’s a group of people who just focus on researching rumble features and capabilities For many years they’ve been bringing different kinds of rumble and vibration features and putting them into games and testing them What’s incredible is that it’s not just this monotone vibration but you can feel the taps So when you put your pen on the screen it’s not just this dull vibration you can feel the tap that the tip of the pen makes on the screen Right now there’s this idea that 60 frames-per-second graphics is the standard [speed for modern video games] If you were for example to make something that ran at 20 frames-per-second someone would get mad at you For anything interactive the response time is very important So like with virtual reality the latency makes a big difference in the experience And with HD Rumble the latency is different so it provides a unique experience and with that unique experience I think new ideas can come about When we spoke in 2014 you said of virtual reality that you had “a little bit of uneasiness with whether or not that’s the best way for people to play” Has your view on this changed since then In terms of being together online in virtual reality I think a lot of the problems have been solved or are starting to be solved This is something that we’re looking into too But when I see people play virtual reality it makes me worry just as for example if a parent were to see their kid playing virtual reality it would probably make them worry Another issue and challenge that I think everybody faces is how to create an experience that’s both short enough while also fully fleshed out in virtual reality I’ve read you weren’t a fan of story-heavy games early in your career The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is clearly more story-driven than the franchise’s earliest installments What are your thoughts these days on story in games Let me start off by saying that Mr Aonuma [Eiji Aonuma the game’s producer] and his team instead of creating a game where you’re playing the story you yourself are embarking on an adventure and I think they’ve found a unique way to strike a balance between the story and the fact that you’re on an adventure It’s not that I don’t like story that I’m denying the importance of story I think after someone has played a game it’s important that a story lingers in their mind But what I do think is a challenge is to cut down on playtime to set up and explain a story that’s already been set I think what’s important especially for the Zelda series is for the person to be able to think it through for themselves and to really live the story I think that’s the challenge we’ve been working on through the many iterations of The Legend of Zelda And so in this game while you’re playing you start to kind of dig the narrative out and see the overarching story that lies in the background And so I think the story in Breath of the Wild still doesn’t break the balance that’s been established in previous Zelda games But we also wanted to make a game where after someone is done playing their own experience in that game is what the story is and I think we’ve been able to accomplish that with this title And really in this game everybody can take very very different routes and approaches How long it takes to beat the game has a huge range Mr Yamauchi [Nintendo’s longest serving president from 1949 to 2002] once said that Nintendo shouldn’t have a corporate philosophy to avoid creative staleness Is that still true today Mr Yamauchi had a kind of a personal philosophy which was that he didn’t hold a personal philosophy What’s really interesting is that even though this was how he lived he left several lasting nuggets of philosophy to the company One of them was like because we were profitable by providing fun experiences that we should only use money to create fun What this means is that what we as business owners look forward to is not increasing our company but expanding our work So because Mr Yamauchi had that philosophy and he said that consistently it made work a lot easier for us We didn’t have to think about all the other things All we had to think about was really providing fun There’s also the idea of having this original thought a unique thought which means not doing the same thing as other people This is something obvious in the world: If you’re trying to do the same thing as everyone else you get further and further from the top If you want to be in second place or third place you can do what other people are doing I mean you’ll have to put a lot of effort and work into it If you’re doing something on your own something unique when the spotlight hits you’re already at the top before you know it So that’s why I feel like in the world of fun there’s only number one And that’s why I think you’ve got to take risks to become number one If you want to be number one by doing the same thing as other people you’ve got to be kind of tough And because we’re not tough we can’t fight with other people [Miyamoto holds up his fists and laughs] I think this really coincides and equates to what the entertainment industry is like anything with the creative industry and it links to terms like blue ocean or red ocean This is something that Mr Iwata did to really link the philosophy of Nintendo to some of the business and corporate jargon while also being able to convey that to all of the employees at Nintendo A left field question about “super artificial intelligence” this idea of AI that’s far “smarter” than human brains Some of the biggest advances in artificial intelligence may come from games or at least be built on advances in game design And so given the concerns about how wrong that could also go down the road I’m wondering if you’ve been thinking about this as a designer What I can say is that I try not to use generalized terms like AI or even others like “voice recognition” because with all of those technologies there’s from zero to 10 some really elementary stuff to the very advanced stuff That’s just my philosophy When you look at this new Zelda the horses are smart the enemies are smart this is all AI Then when you look at the cutting edge like things where the machines could enslave human beings that’s also AI I think in the industry of creating fun when we’re trying to use AI in the upper regions of what we’re talking about the cost performance just doesn’t work out So we have to figure out what level of AI we need to use As the frontier of artificial intelligence advances I think the scope of what we can use in video games will increase as well but I’m not daring enough to use the cutting edge [Laughs] Even things like voice recognition you can’t just use pure calculation to get everything There’s a certain level of prediction and guesswork that you need to do Once we’re able to do that we can really pinpoint what kind of technology to use and so there’s a certain aspect or perspective that we need to put into these things For example in the medical field we obviously can’t take any chances But in the world of fun you can do a bit more guessing and take a few more chances or shortcuts here and there and really come up with ways to fill in some of those gaps so that it becomes a fun and intuitive and easy-to-use experience In that sense we have a lot of opportunities to practice right now But AI is definitely something that I’m interested in For things like robots or AI, Ogunjemilusi said the suspects 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com. as amended.Chan@timeinc. read more