Upside down Christmas tree trend going viral – but comes with a

first_imgTORONTO – For those who like to upend holiday traditions, this trend is for you: the upside down Christmas tree.This season, social media is rife with photos of inverted pines and firs that are adorning hotel lobbies, shopping centres and downtown atriums with gravity-defying drama.It’s a surefire showstopper for retailers eager to attract shoppers, but the over-the-top stunt is now making its way into some living rooms, with several retailers offering up kits for the home decorator willing to try something different.But these trendy inverted trees aren’t cheap.Most cost more than $200, although prices range from $60.99 for a modest three-foot model to $1,299.99 for a 7.5-foot pre-lit version.Calgary salon owner Dave Richards says he’s thinking about a purchase for next year, noting he already put up his Christmas tree several weeks ago, before he saw the latest trend.“I’m in the market for one at the end of this Christmas season if they go on sale — if any are left,” says Richards, who is known as DevaDave to his clients and friends.“In terms of space … it allows for more movement at the lower base of it. It’s definitely a conversation piece more than anything else and I think most people when they’re purchasing something like that it’s because they are hoping to make the corner of their home a little bit more interesting for guests and all that.“Is it weird? Hell yes. Very much so.”Richards suspects such a tree would be a good fit for his downtown hair salon, where he is a stylist and wig retailer who caters to cancer patients and people in the transgender community.But at home, he says he’s very much a traditionalist, with this year’s decor of balls, bells and angels driven by a white-and-silver theme. He also doubted his four-year-old son would approve of a non-traditional tree.“There are things that kids like (and) he wants his tree just ‘so.’ He’s fussy,” says Richards, admitting he’d otherwise consider a flashier display since he sometimes welcomes clients to his home and often entertains friends and family.A nine-foot Christmas tree hangs upside down in the hotel lobby of the Fairmont Vancouver Airport and it certainly seems to be a hit with guests and passersby, says marketing specialist Kate Francois.It’s the second year in a row they’ve flipped their centrepiece, which is festooned with mini passports, planes, suitcases and hand-painted blue and gold globes.“We’ve had a ton of interest, actually. We’ve had a few people come in just specifically for that, they weren’t even staying at the hotel but they wanted to come and photograph it,” says Francois.It’s certainly not for everyone, says interior designer Jane Lockhart, who set up an upside down tree for a commercial retail display a couple of years ago. But she adds that the trees do seem to be part of a broader trend of more radical home design, possibly fuelled by social media.After a year of disturbing headlines that at times felt like the world was warping into an alternate universe, an upside down tree might be just what some people need, adds Richards.“It’s a finger up at the establishment of making (Christmas) so commercial,” he says.But then again, many people find comfort in familiar rituals when times are tough, he muses.“There are probably hipsters who think it’s a great idea and it’s fun and funky,” he says. “But the tradition of going to the lot and buying a traditional tree …. people still want that.”last_img read more

Fraser Basin Council to help Peace Region Municipalities with Climate Change

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fraser Basin Council announced Friday it would work with six municipalities in Northeast British Columbia to strengthen their resilience to the effects of a changing climate through the recently formed Northeast Climate Risk Network.The network’s participating communities include the City of Fort St. John, City of Dawson Creek, District of Tumbler Ridge, District of Chetwynd, Village of Pouce Coupe and Northern Rockies Regional Municipality.The Fraser Basin Council was chosen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to help these communities prepare for a changing climate, understand the associated risks and vulnerabilities, and increase public awareness. The project will develop a regional climate projections report for Northeast BC and will develop community-based vulnerability assessments according to individual community context and needs. Through the Northeast Climate Risk Network, local leaders will help each other work on innovative approaches and solutions to common challenges and explore ways to integrate climate adaptation into new or existing plans and systems.“BC’s municipalities are on the front lines,” said Fraser Basin Council Executive Director David Marshall. “They want to understand the impacts of a changing climate, such as more extreme weather events, drought and flood, and to manage in a way that minimizes disruption and increases community resilience.”last_img read more

Office space worth 35 billion eligible to be listed under REIT

first_imgNew Delhi: India currently has USD 35 billion worth of office spaces that are eligible to be listed under the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), according to property consultant JLL India. REIT is an investment tool that owns and operates rent-yielding real estate assets. It allows individual investors to make investment in this platform and earn income. The successful listing of India’s first REIT floated by Embassy Office Parks heralds the institutionalisation of real estate assets and indicates enhanced maturity and professionalism in the real estate market, Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalJLL India Chief Executive Officer and Country Head Ramesh Nair said. “Growing knowledge of REITs will ensure acceptability and gradual increase of interest from retail investors. We expect to see other asset classes like retail, warehousing and hospitality also offering REITable assets in the times to come,” he said. According to JLL’s latest report titled India REITs – Heralding a new era in real estate investments released today, Indian commercial real estate market is estimated to provide 294 million sq ft of REITable space from the existing office stock. “These REITable assets would be valued at USD 35 billion”.last_img read more

Closing Bell TSX closes higher amid string of positive US economic data

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed slightly higher Thursday amid reassuring economic data from the United States.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 13,362.06 +12.29 0.09%S&P 500 — 1,807.23 +4.48 0.25%Dow — 16,097.33 +24.53 0.15%Nasdaq — 4,044.75 +27.00 0.67%The S&P/TSX composite index rose 12.29 points to 13,362.06, held back by declines in base metals and utilities stocks.Sharply lower oil prices helped push the Canadian dollar down 0.59 of a cent to 94.38 cents US.U.S. indexes were higher as the Dow Jones industrials climbed 24.53 points to 16,097.33, the Nasdaq gained 27 points to 4,044.75, while the S&P 500 index edged up 4.48 points to 1,807.23.“Today’s economic news was generally favourable,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management.“In the absence of bad news, the path of least resistance for equities is up.” As traders get set to wind down for the American Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday when U.S. markets will be shuttered, they took in data showing U.S. jobless insurance claims, which are a proxy for layoffs, fell by 10,000 last week to 316,000. Economists had expected a slight rise.Orders for American durable goods fell 2% in October, which was in line with expectations. Excluding transportation, orders dipped 0.1%.A key gauge of the manufacturing sector in the U.S. Midwest showed slower expansion. The Chicago purchasing managers index dropped to a higher than expected 63 in November from 65.9 in October.Meanwhile, the U.S. Conference Board said its leading economic indicator rose 0.2% in October. That data gives an indication on where the American economy is heading over the next six months.And the University of Michigan released its latest reading on U.S. consumer sentiment. It rose to 75.1 in November from 73.2 in October, better than the 73 reading that had been expected.The TSX gold sector led advances, up 1.2% as traders bought into a segment that is down almost 50% year to date as gold prices have also fallen amid speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to taper its monthly US$85 billion of bond purchases, which have kept rates low and supported a stock market rally. Also, inflation is very low in many parts of the world.“It’s only going to go down for so long and all of a sudden, you have to think that it’s time to turn around and move it up,” said Fred Ketchen, manager of equity trading at ScotiaMcLeod..December bullion shed early gains and fell $3.60 to US$1,237.90 an ounce. Iamgold (TSX:IMG) was up nine cents at C$4.41 and Kinross Gold (TSX:K) improved by five cents to $4.92.The telecom sector was ahead 0.7% as Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B) was up 96 cents to $47.19 a day after reaching a 12-year, $5.2-billion agreement with the National Hockey League that gives the company the league’s broadcast and multimedia rights in Canada.Gains in railway stocks also lifted the TSX as Canadian National Railways (TSX:CNR) ran up $1.17 to $118.61.Financials were also positive with Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) ahead 18 cents to $20.36.The interest rate sensitive utilities sector lost 1% with TransAlta Corp. (TSX:TA) down 65 cents to $14.02. The sector has been under selling pressure amid rising U.S. bond yields amid speculation about when the Federal Reserve might cut back on its US$85 billion of monthly bond purchases.“And I don’t think we’re going to see any change in that sector any time soon,” said Ketchen.The base metal sector was down 0.8% as March copper dropped three cents to US$3.19 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) dropped 28 cents to C$25.24.The energy sector lost 0.34% as the January crude contract fell $1.38 to US$92.30 a barrel. Supply data from the U.S. Energy Department for last week showed oil supplies rose about three million barrels, versus a decline of 1.5 million barrels that had been expected. Crude supplies have now increased for the past 10 weeks. Canadian Oil Sands (TSX:COS) fell 32 cents to C$19.81.On the corporate front, Hewlett-Packard rose $2.27 or 9.05% to US$27.36 as the world’s second-largest maker of PCs issued a strong profit prediction for the current quarter. TOP STORIESBank of Canada can afford to put off rate hike until 2015: IMFHomeowners feel the pinch of rising prices, mortgage ratesBuffett promises ‘generous’ severance packages to 700 workers being laid off due to Heinz plant closureBitcoin surges to new record above US$1,000 as virtual currency moves into the mainstreamWHAT’S ON DECK THURSDAYU.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving holiday ECONOMIC NEWSCANADA8:30 a.m.Current account balance Q3: Economists expect a deficit of $14.4-billion Industrial product price index (Oct): Economists expect a decline of 0.5% Raw materials price index: Economists expect a decline of 2% read more

Rona Inc sees sales double after experimenting with 15page digitalonly flyer

MONTREAL — Home renovation chain Rona says its efforts to attract tech-savvy shoppers got a recent boost when the retailer temporarily replaced its printed flyer with an expanded digital offering.The Montreal-based company says sales doubled at its stores across Canada despite scrapping the printed flyer during a nationwide test one week in February.Marketing vice-president Claire Bara said the boost far exceeded expectations and silenced internal skeptics of Rona’s three-year strategy to spend more on digital marketing.“I think for us that was a turning moment because that test confirmed that we have been doing the right shift,” she said in an interview.Lowe’s Canada CEO says growth, not consolidation after recent Rona acquisitionRona Inc posts loss, higher revenue, ahead of takeover by Lowe’sThe 15-page digital flyer, created at half the cost in partnership with digital flyer platform Flipp, was far larger than its typical printed versions. Like traditional printed flyers, the digital version promoted products on sale in-store but allowed readers to click to find more details, create lists and watch how-to videos.Rona also got insight into consumer choices because it could track what they viewed, including a video on installing toilets that proved to be popular.With little lead time for publication, digital flyers including ones targeted to certain shoppers can be easily altered to account for sudden weather changes that could drive traffic for specific products — like shovels after a major snowstorm, for example.The Rona flyer was distributed online to customers in the company’s databases and those of Air Miles. It was also available on the Flipp app and some websites, including those linked to Canadian newspapers.Bara said the digital flyer experiment’s success was confirmed by the number of Air Miles loyalty program coupons that were redeemed in-store. Rona’s Reno-Depot big box stores didn’t participate.Jean Coutu, one of Canada’s largest pharmacy networks, said it’s also seeing success with its digital efforts. The company said cosmetic sales got a five per cent lift after it twice published a 20-page digital flyer this year enhanced with videos on the Montreal La Presse Plus tablet and website.Chief executive Francois Coutu said the move is part of the company’s efforts to attract younger female shoppers.“We have to fight the idea that we are the pharmacy of my mother,” he told reporters after its annual meeting.The digital flyers are part of a larger push by both retailers to offer services that consumers are increasingly demanding.“As a marketing manager it’s very simple: I need to be where the consumers are and Canadian consumers are spending more and more time online,” said Bara.Although digital flyers were launched more than a decade ago, retailers have accelerated their efforts since companies like Flipp enhanced distribution through apps and websites, said Flipp managing director Seth Stover.The Toronto-based company says about 15 million North Americans have downloaded the Flipp app since its launch in November 2013, giving easy access to digital flyers for retailers including Rona, Walmart, Canadian Tire and Home Depot.I need to be where the consumers are and Canadian consumers are spending more and more time onlineA recent Nielsen study found that 79 per cent of primary household shoppers browse digital and print flyers weekly. Print still dominates, but use of digital advertising is growing annually among all demographics, but especially millennials.One in four Canadians between the ages of 18 and 54 read more digital flyers now than they did last year, the study found. Some 16 per cent of Canadian household shoppers are almost exclusively using digital flyers, but that number is 26 per cent among millennials.That’s doesn’t mean the 13 million printed flyers that are delivered weekly to Canadian households will disappear any time soon.“Canadian customers today are living in the two worlds — the traditional world and the online world — so I need to keep a balance,” Bara said.Stover said there will always be consumers who will use print, but he sees a majority of consumers shifting exclusively to digital flyers within the next three years.BrandSpark International, which conducted a study for commercial printer Transcontinental, found resiliency in printed flyers.Vice-president Mark Baltazar predicts a dramatic shift will only take hold when most of the public becomes comfortable with digital platforms, and online shopping continues to grow.Despite a potential long-term threat, Transcontinental said its retail flyer volume is stable as it continues to sign long-term contracts.“Printed flyers are a mass marketing tool that work. It drives traffic to the store,” said Jennifer McCaughey, vice-president of communications for Transcontinental. read more

Meeting at UN media executives launch global AIDS awareness campaign

Kofi AnnanIn his remarks Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the audience that as leaders of the media they have the power and the reach to disseminate the information people need to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. “Many of you here have already made magnificent contributions to the fight against the epidemic,” he said. “We hope to see many more of them in the future.”UNAIDS Executive Director Dr. Peter Piot said that AIDS was an epidemic of the information age. Yet, it was precisely the tools of the information age that were the strongest weapons in the fight against the epidemic, as denial, inaction, ignorance, stigma and discrimination were the key forces that allowed to spread.”Perhaps most alarmingly, despite knowing what works, we are not yet reversing its spread,” he said, pointing out that more people had been infected with HIV and more people had died of AIDS last year than in any previous year.”What makes today’s meeting historic is your commitment and action to harness the enormous power of your companies in making AIDS part of your core business,” Dr. Piot said, and that would have a tremendous impact on the world’s response to the epidemic. Bill GatesDelivering the keynote address to a luncheon for media executives, Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corp. and Co-founder of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlighted numerous examples of partnerships between the business community, governments and civil society.”I think the challenge for all of you is to think about how to raise visibility. The AIDS story is not just a bad news story; it’s a story about incredible people doing this scientific discovery…It’s a story of volunteers, it’s a story of people persevering, it’s a story of families coming together. There’s so much that’s positive about this that it doesn’t just have to be viewed as something that is incredibly negative,” he stressed. Shashi TharoorAt the end of the day, Shashi Tharoor, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, moderated a press conference for participants in this morning’s meeting. Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and co-Chair of the event, said the summit had been an “amazing” event, during which all attending media leaders had made major commitments towards expanding public knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS. The Global Media AIDS Initiative, arising from a partnership between the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the Kaiser Family Foundation, brought together the Presidents, Chief Executive Officers and senior executives of more than 20 companies from around the world for a discussion on how media can use their resources to raise awareness about and gain broader support for the fight against the disease.According to UNAIDS, a large percentage of people in some of the worst affected regions have never heard of the disease. Recent studies have shown that in 21 African countries more than 60 per cent of girls were found to have at least one major misconception about the virus or were unaware of its existence. In addition, stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV continue to be among the greatest barriers to preventing the spread of new infections and to providing adequate care and support. Drew AltmanMr. Altman also noted that all the participants had signed a declaration recognizing that the world’s media were in a unique position to help fight the AIDS epidemic. This, coupled with other major initiatives, would bring the fight against AIDS to a new level, he said. Video of events Roundtable meeting Luncheon Press conference Listen to UN Radio report read more

UN health agency warns rainy season now hampering Ebola response in West

Meanwhile, Peter Graaff, the Acting Special Representative and head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), told the UN News Service that the rainy season “creates problems because it will bring other diseases like malaria that often shows similar symptoms to Ebola.”Mr. Graaff said the rainy season “makes things more complicated because for the time being, people showing those symptoms have to be dealt with as if they are potentially Ebola patients, therefore have to be tested.”As a consequence, he warned that the number of people to be tested for Ebola will go up “quite dramatically” over the next few weeks.The latest update on Ebola noted that since 10 May, when a 10-month low of nine cases of Ebola were reported, both the intensity and geographical area of transmission have increased. In the week ending 31 May, 25 cases were reported from four prefectures of Guinea and three districts of Sierra Leone, and several cases in both countries arose from unknown sources of infection in areas that have not reported confirmed cases for several weeks, indicating that chains of transmission continue to go undetected, according to WHO.“Rigorous contact tracing, active case finding, and infection prevention and control must be maintained at current intensive levels in order to uncover and break every chain of transmission,” it said. “However, the onset of the rainy season will make field operations more difficult from now onwards.”WHO also reported that response efforts have been complicated by active and passive resistance from communities in Guinea and also Sierra Leone.“Community engagement has continued to be challenging in several chiefdoms in Kambia, with UNICEF reporting a large number of incidents of resistance to response measures in the district,” according to the update.And “community engagement has proved challenging in all 4 affected prefectures of Guinea, with several reported incidents of violence directed at field staff during the past week,” it said.Given the proximity to Guinea-Bissau of the recent cluster of cases in the north-west Guinean prefecture of Boke, two response teams from Guinea-Bissau have been deployed to the border with Guinea to assess several points of entry and sensitize the communities. As of 31 May, there have been 27,181 Ebola cases, mostly in West Africa, with 11,162 deaths. read more

Former Roughrider pleads guilty to pot possession gets absolute discharge

SASKATOON — A former wide receiver with the Saskatchewan Roughriders has been given an absolute discharge after admitting to marijuana possession.Duron Carter’s lawyer appeared in Saskatoon provincial court and replaced his client’s not guilty plea from earlier this year with one of guilty. Carter was arrested at the Saskatoon airport in February after customs officers opened a cigar package in his luggage and found cannabis inside.A judge accepted a joint submission from the Crown and defence asking that Carter receive the absolute discharge.That means the conviction will show up on Carter’s record for one year before it is wiped out.He was also fined $100.Carter had already received an absolute discharge earlier this year on another pot possession charge in Winnipeg.Recreational marijuana became legal in Canada on Oct. 17.Carter was named most outstanding player with the Roughriders in the 2016-17 CFL season. He was let go by the team last August and joined the Toronto Argonauts.(CKOM, The Canadian Press)The Canadian Press read more

Lord Buckethead Mr Fishfinger and Elmo among those photobombing main candidates

first_imgMr FishFinger is the hero this country needs, true hero.— Alex Taylor (@AlexTaylor_8) June 9, 2017 249! A new Buckethead record! Something to celebrate, eh? #GeneralElection17— Lord Buckethead (@LordBuckethead) June 9, 2017  Americans unused to the British tradition of strange joke candidates were confused as to why Lord Buckethead was standing behind Theresa May in Maidenhead.He got a few hundred votes too, but it was difficult to tell whether he was pleased as he was wearing full face covering.The candidate, whose real name is unknown, won 249 votes in the Kent constituency. That candidate in the middle (running against Theresa May) is called “Lord Buckethead”. God bless you, British politics.— Barry Malone (@malonebarry) June 9, 2017 Mrs May, by contrast, won 37,718 – or 64.76 per cent of the vote. Nevertheless, Lord Buckethead celebrated the result as “A new Buckethead record!”He proudly informed his 2,000 Twitter followers that he is an “intergalactic space lord, running to be an independent member of parliament for Maidenhead.” Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron, the leaders of the three main parties, were photobombed by rival candidates during their victory speeches.A joke candidate, Mr Fish Finger, mocked Lib Dem leader Tim Farron throughout the campaign, and brought down the gravity of the occasion as he made faces behind Mr Farron during his victory speech.He seemed pleased that he got just over 400 votes, tweeting: “Absolutely shattered walking back to hotel for a few hours in the freezer then off to London in the afternoon thanks everyone”. Jeremy Corbyn was photobombed in a less fun way – the Ukip candidate behind him mouthed he was a “terrorist sympathiser” as the Labour leader celebrated his massive win in Islington North. Non entity UKIP candidate @MrKeithFraser mouthing ‘Terrorist Sympathiser’ behind @jeremycorbyn’s back in Islington.— Andy Heaton (@Andrew_Heaton) June 9, 2017 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.last_img read more

Julian Fellowes how Old Etonians took on the working classes at football

Julian Fellowes showed us the upstairs-downstairs world of an English country house in Downton Abbey.For his latest television project, Fellowes is taking his fascination with the class divide in a more surprising direction: the invention of modern football.The English Game, set in the late 19th century, is billed as “part Etonians, part factory workers, coming together to create the world’s most popular sport”.The six-part Netflix drama will focus on the battle to professionalise the game.“It is not only going to be about football, but about the human drama. They were sitting on a powder keg in the last quarter of the 19th century. What was happening in football was also happening in society,” Fellowes said of the era’s class struggles.Many of the characters will be taken from real life – among them Lord Kinnaird, the Old Etonian who played in nine FA Cup finals and was president of the Football Association for 33 years until his death in 1923; and Fergie Suter, a Glasgwegian stonemason who joined Darwen FC in Lancashire, and became one of England’s first professional players.“We are telling a story about a real game and real people,” Fellowes said. Fergus Fergie Suter Arthur Lord Kinnaird Julian Fellowes at Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton AbbeyCredit:Andrew Crowley Eton College claims credit for the development of English football, noting that the rules of the modern game were based on those developed in public schools. Before the establishment of the Football Association in 1863, there were different rules – even different balls – depending on where games were played and who was taking part.Fellowes said: “As football turned from boys and girls kicking a ball around the street into a proper game, it went through these extraordinary convulsions.“You had the Etonians trying to control it and set the rules, and at the same time it was growing in popularity through the Midlands and the North in recently industrialised communities who were identifying with their local football teams. You had this power struggle.“When it came to paying players, on one hand you had the former public schoolboys thinking it would make the sport vulgar and open it up to bribery. And then you had the working class teams saying, ‘It’s all very well for them because they have all the time in the world to practise. But how can we get our standards up when we have to go out to work?’“It was rather mean-spirited [of Old Etonians] and for a time they exerted control of the game in an unfair way. But gradually the force of the sea became too strong and all that stuff was pushed aside.” Fergus ‘Fergie’ Suter, one of the first professional footballers to play in EnglandCredit:Archive PL/Alamy Fellowes described Lord Kinnaird as a “visionary” figure. “He started out thinking, ‘Eton has got it right and these are the rules and we are gentlemen’. But he came to understand its importance to communities all over Britain.”Fellowes said his interest in football was sparked when his son took him to watch Manchester United play “East Ham or West Ham”.“I am not a fan in the sense of always being on the terraces. But my son took me to see Man United and suddenly I was able to tell that this game was like a ballet,” Fellowes said.“It was so beautifully done, so measured, so skilful that I came away with a completely different feeling about the whole thing. I understood there is an artistry to this, as there is to anything.” A cartoon image of Arthur, Lord Kinnaird, who played in nine FA Cup finalsCredit:Antiqua Print Gallery Ltd/Alamy  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. Julian Fellowes at Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey read more

Strategic role for rare earths in clean energy technologies – the truth

first_imgThe National Mining Association notes the critical role of rare earth minerals and other materials used in clean energy technologies is examined in a recently released report by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Critical Minerals Strategy addresses the challenge of ensuring future reliable access to the essential minerals used in wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells and energy efficient lighting. According to Steven Chu, DOE’s secretary of energy, “The availability of a number of these materials is at risk due to their location, vulnerability to supply disruptions and lack of stable substitutes.” In a forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, DOE’s assistant secretary for policy and international affairs, David Sandalow, commented that: “With the mines that are projected to come on line by 2015, there is a pretty big gap between where supply will be and demand.”The report identifies 14 elements and related materials for their level of criticality based on factors contributing to risk of supply disruption, including a small global market, lack of supply diversity, market complexities caused by coproduction and geopolitical risks. In its analysis of these critical materials, DOE assesses the risks and opportunities, informs the public dialog and identifies possible program and policy directions.The approach recommended in the report for achieving the combined objectives of mitigating supply risk while promoting a clean energy economy included achieving globally diverse supplies, identifying appropriate substitutes and improving capacity for recycling, reuse and efficiency of use.In related news, Molycorp has received the last of its required environmental permits and can now begin construction on its new rare earth production facility located near the Nevada border in Mountain Pass, California (see International Mining Project News). Mark Smith, CEO of Molycorp, said, “Securing these permits means that construction of our new rare earth manufacturing facility at Mountain Pass will proceed on schedule, with project groundbreaking occurring on January 2, 2011. Additionally, we have begun pre-stripping operations of the mine, which is preparing the way for active mining of fresh ore to commence in 2011.”The project is expected to support roughly 700 jobs per day over the 18-month construction period, with an additional 200-300 permanent jobs when the new facility runs at full capacity, which is scheduled to occur by the end of 2012. The NMA says “this is welcome news with China producing 97% of global rare earth supplies and its recent Ministry of Finance announcement of an increase in export duties on some rare earth products beginning in January.last_img read more

Two Ukrainians killed on eve of Crimea breakaway vote

first_imgUKRAINE IS BRACED today for a breakaway vote in Crimea as deadly violence flared again in the ex-Soviet country’s tinderbox east amid the biggest East-West showdown since the Cold War.The second successive day of deadly unrest that has now claimed three lives in the mainly Russian-speaking east came hours after Moscow – its forces already in control of Crimea and conducting snap drills at Ukraine’s eastern border – warned that it reserved the right to “protect” compatriots throughout its neighbour.A patrolman in an unmarked uniform sits at a security check point near Chongar, Crimea. Pic: AP Photo/Andrei UdovichenkoUS Secretary of State John Kerry had on Friday failed to either avert Sunday’s ballot in Crimea or win Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s assurance that Moscow may delay annexing the Black Sea region that Ukraine only received as a “gift” from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954.The rugged peninsula of two million mostly Russian speakers is widely expected to vote to split from Ukraine and join Russia after its lawmakers declared independence from Kiev earlier this month.The referendum comes in direct response to three months of deadly protests that on February 22 toppled the pro-Kremlin president and brought to power a new nationalist European-leaning team in Kiev, infuriating Moscow that views Ukraine as its strategic sphere of influence and wants to retain influence over its former Soviet satelite.Kiev has denounced the Crimean vote as illegal but is also warily watching as similar separatist sentiments are being fanned by Moscow supporters in other industrial regions in mostly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, which has deep cultural and trade ties to Russia.Pic: AP Photo/Andrei UdovichenkoYet Moscow – whose troops took effective control of Crimea in the days after the Ukrainian president’s February 22 fall – strongly backs the referendum despite a new round painful sanctions against top Russian officials that Washington and EU nations are expected to unveil Monday.Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he expected to sign in Brussels on Friday the political portion of an historic EU Association Agreement whose rejection in November by the deposed government spaked the initial Kiev unrest.Yatsenyuk said the economic and trade terms of the pact were still difficult for some Ukrainian companies to accept and would be signed “later”.Pic: AP Photo/Andrei UdovichenkoTop Russians blacklisted The European Union will debate travel bans and asset freezes on Monday against Russian officials held responsible for threatening Ukraine’s territorial integrity.Germany’s Bild daily cited Western diplomats as saying that the Russians on the joint US-EU travel ban list will include Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov along with other top Putin advisers and the heads of the Gazprom and Rosneft state energy groups.US officials have stressed that Putin himself is not on the sanctions list.The United States has also drafted a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that the Crimean referendum “can have no validity”.Moscow is almost certain to veto the measure when goes up for a vote later today.But Washington hopes to highlight the Kremlin’s isolation by winning support from 13 of the Security Council’s 15 members while also securing the abstention of Russia’s geopolitical ally China.Read: ‘No common vision’: Last-ditch US-Russia talks on Crimea end in failure>last_img read more

Greek women have fewer children and at an older age than the

first_imgThe average Greek woman becomes a mother later in life than her EU peers, and also gives birth to fewer children. This was confirmed by a Eurostat report on fertility throughout the European Union.In terms of number of children, Greece ranks at the lower end of the spectrum, with 1.38 babies per woman, well below the EU average, standing at 1.6 children. Spain and Italy recorded the lowest fertility rates with 1.34 children per woman, followed by Portugal (1.36), Cyprus and Malta (1.37).On the other hand, France leads the way in fertility, with 1.92 children per woman. Sweden ranks second with 1.85 births per woman, followed by Ireland (1.81) and Denmark (1.79) and Britain also (1.79).As far as age is concerned, Greek women become mothers at the age of 30.3, slightly above the EU verage of 29 years of age. Greece ranks fourth, after Italy (where women first become mothers at 31), Spain (30.8) and Luxembourg. The country with the youngest mothers in Europe is Bulgaria, where women first give birth at an average age of 26, followed by Romania (26.4 years old), Latvia (26.8), Slovakia (27), Poland (27.2) and Lithuania (27.3).The data also showed that 3.7 per cent of Greek women under 20 had children, compared to the EU average of 5 per cent. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Japon lélectricité pourrait revenir dans les réacteurs de la centrale

first_imgJapon : l’électricité pourrait revenir dans les réacteurs de la centraleDepuis quelques jours, les autorités japonaises tentent de rétablir le courant au niveau des réacteurs de la centrale de Fukushima Daiichi afin de remettre en route les systèmes de refroidissement.Le réacteur n°2 de la centrale accidentée de Fukushima Daiichi pourrait être en partie remis en service dans la journée. C’est ce qu’a annoncé ce matin un responsable de l’agence de sûreté nucléaire japonaise, créant l’espoir quant à l’issue de l’accident nucléaire survenu après le séisme du vendredi 11 mars. “ll est possible que certains équipements puissent fonctionner aujourd’hui, comme par exemple le système de climatisation et de ventilation, qui est doté de filtres à charbon, ce qui contribue à bloquer les particules et l’iode radioactifs dans la salle de contrôle”, a-t-il expliqué à la presse. Un progrès qui pourrait quelque peu faciliter le travail des techniciens qui ont beaucoup lutté ces derniers jours.En réalité, plusieurs réacteurs ont été raccordés aux installations électriques dès vendredi. Mais les autorités japonaises attendent avant de rétablir le courant. En effet, les mesures prises sur les réacteurs de la centrale depuis l’accident, notamment les arrosages répétés peuvent représenter un danger pour la remise en service. “L’électricité n’a pas encore été rétablie car il faut faire plusieurs vérifications préalables pour éviter de provoquer un court-circuit, des zones baignant dans l’eau de mer”, a expliqué samedi un porte-parole de l’opérateur Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), Fumiaki Hayakawa. De plus, les autorités font face à un dilemme. Le relancement de l’alimentation et les contrôles requis nécessitent un arrêt des arrosages alors que celui-ci a dû s’intensifier ce week-end pour empêcher le combustible des réacteurs 3 et 4 d’entrer en fusion. En 13 heures, plus de 2.000 tonnes d’eau ont été déversées sur le n°3 dont la situation est toujours préoccupante.Plusieurs fois reportée, l’opération est délicateÀ lire aussiLa fusion nucléaire pourrait bien devenir prochainement une réalitéSi elle est possible, la remise en service de certains réacteurs pourrait prendre 2 à 3 jours selon la télévision publique NHK. En plus des contrôles requis, il semblerait aussi que plusieurs pièces importantes doivent être changées, des composants qui ne sont pas nécessairement disponibles. “Nous devons remplacer le système existant d’alimentation électrique d’urgence. Il s’agit d’un transformateur de courant électrique alternatif en courant direct, que nous devons faire venir de l’extérieur pour pouvoir réactiver certains systèmes de la salle de contrôle”, a expliqué le responsable de l’agence de sûreté nucléaire.Par ailleurs, les autorités ont tenu à préciser que la centrale ne serait plus utilisée après les multiples accidents. “En considérant avec objectivité la situation de la centrale, je pense qu’il semble évident que la centrale de Fukushima Daiichi (numéro 1) n’est pas en état de fonctionner de nouveau”, a indiqué dimanche Yukio Edano, porte-parole du gouvernement japonais. Consultez notre dossier spécial pour tout savoir sur le nucléaire : son fonctionnement, ses risques, sa place dans le monde…Le 21 mars 2011 à 09:49 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Une exposition exceptionnelle de masques funéraires mayas à Paris

first_imgUne exposition exceptionnelle de masques funéraires mayas à ParisSortant pour la première fois de leur Mexique d’origine, plusieurs masques mortuaires mayas, lourds de symbolisme, sont exposés à la Pinacothèque de Paris du 26 janvier au 10 juin.  Découverts ces dernières années dans 7 tombes royales nichées dans des pyramides mayas du sud du Mexique, une quinzaine de masques funéraires sont offerts, jusqu’en juin, parmi une centaine d’autres objets, à l’admiration des visiteurs de la  Pinacothèque de Paris. Datant de la période dite classique (entre 250 et 900 après J.-C.) de cette civilisation précolombienne, ces masques mortuaires sont faits en mosaïque de jade. Pourquoi du jade et non de l’or comme pour leurs  ‘homologues’ égyptiens et incas ?À lire aussiBoson de Higgs, chèvre et masque maya, les 8 actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 30 aoûtUne raison pratique, d’abord : il n’y a pas de mines d’or sur l’ancien territoire des Mayas. Une raison symbolique, ensuite : la couleur verte du jade évoquait, pour ces gens, la Nature nourricière qui les entourait, ainsi que l’océan, éléments importants de leur cosmogonie. Mais surtout, “la nuit, le jade devient très froid et lorsque le soleil vient le réchauffer, il exhale de la vapeur d’eau. La pierre donne alors l’impression de respirer, d’être en vie. C’est ce ‘souffle’ qui a conduit les Mayas à penser que cette pierre avait une âme divine”, transmise au défunt lorsqu’on le parait du masque, comme l’a expliqué Sofia Martinez del Campo Lanz, commissaire de l’exposition cité par Science et avenir.Ces masques représentent souvent une divinité, telle K’awiil, le dieu du maïs – plante essentielle à la survie des Mayas. À l’aide de planchettes, “on pratiquait la déformation céphalique afin de donner à la tête [du souverain, de son vivant,] une forme oblongue rappelant celle d’un épi de maïs”. Parfois, le masque représente le roi mort qui le porte, et non un dieu : on peut alors observer les traces de cette déformation rituelle sur le masque tout autant que sur le crâne…Pour en savoir plus sur l’exposition, rendez-vous sur le site de la Pinacothèque de ParisLe 4 février 2012 à 11:42 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Vancouver Symphony gets outreach grant

first_imgThe Firstenburg Foundation has granted the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra $20,200 to further its educational outreach program, focused specifically on reaching low-income children and disadvantaged communities.The VSO’s Education Initiative includes many school-oriented activities, including: high school and college-student classical music ambassadors on local campuses; symphony and small-group concerts at schools and other facilities such as senior citizen and assisted living centers; free concert tickets and special invitations to pre-concert discussions; school visits from VSO conductors Salvador Brotons to work with student musicians — and even an annual instrument “petting zoo,” so kids can touch and try out instruments, during the orchestra’s free summer concert in Esther Short Park.Board chairman David Smith said that VSO sees its role as providing not just music but education, leadership development and an improved quality of life in Clark County.Learn more at read more

31 believe their employer does enough to support mental health and wellbeing

first_imgLess than a third (31%) of respondents say that their employer does enough to support employee wellbeing and mental health, according to research by workplace consultancy Peldon Rose.Its survey of 621 office-based employees also found that 37% of respondents feel their employer appreciates them, down from 44% a year ago.In addition, just over a quarter (26%) say that their workplace has a positive effect on their mental health.The research also found:76% of respondents have experienced or are currently experiencing stress in the workplace.The majority (93%) of respondents believe supportive line management is the most important aid for supporting mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.81% of respondents say that an open organisation culture is the most important factor in supporting mental health and wellbeing at work, compared to social and collaborative workspaces (75%), health insurance (62%) and gym membership (58%).73% of respondents say that having a greater involvement in decisions about their workplace would have a positive impact on their motivation, as well as their mood (70%), productivity (70%) and mental wellbeing (56%).44% of respondents believe that winter negatively affects their mental wellbeing, while 43% say that it impacts their motivation and 30% that it has an adverse effect on their productivity.90% of respondents think exposure to natural light is important in supporting mental health, as well as access to quiet and private areas (76%).Jitesh Patel (pictured), chief executive at Peldon Rose, said: “Thousands of office [employees] are struggling with their mental health, motivation and productivity this winter, but our survey reveals that there are steps businesses can take to try [and] prevent [Seasonal Affective Disorder] and the winter blues developing in the first place.“The first step is for businesses to engage with staff via change management and getting them more involved in decisions about their workplace environment. By doing this, it will boost their motivation, mood and productivity.“Employees are clear that rather than paid-for interventions, such as mental health support through health insurance, a supportive work culture and the right office environment will do far more to support their mental health and boost their wellbeing, meaning all businesses, regardless of size can look to make small changes that will have a big impact this new year.”last_img read more

Amala Paul shines in intriguing Aadai trailer Watch Video

first_imgAmala Paul’s Aadai.PR HandoutWith less than two weeks for its release, the makers of upcoming movie Aadai are leaving no stone unturned to create a right buzz before the sees the light of the day in multiple languages.The promotional activities have got a boost on Saturday, 6 July with the release of the film’s trailer. [Crawl down to watch the trailer]While the teaser was unveiled by Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar, the trailer was released by leading director-actor Anurag Kashyap. “So proud to be releasing the trailer of Aadai . Makes me want to watch the film and more than that waiting to see the reaction of the purists . All the best team Aadai #AadaiTrailer. [sic]” he tweeted. Going by the trailer, Amala Paul plays the tomboy role. From riding a bike to boozing with the male friends, she does everything that girls hesitate to do in a patriarchal society. The clip projects random scenes from the film to construct a intriguing trailer.What we understand from the clip is that Amala and TV anchor Ramya Subramaniam work in a same place. They love parties, but something ruins their lives. Amala dons a few avatars including that of a joker. So, is she seeking a revenge? We will be known once the film hits the screens.The trailer stands different from the intense teaser.The teaser of Aadai had stunned the fans with its simple yet powerful presentation. Amala Paul’s nude scene had come as a shock, while also winning appreciation for her courage to do such a bold scene.In fact, Aadai has piqued interest of the viewers from the day the film was launched. It was once again, Amala Paul’s battered and bruised avatar with tissues papers covering her modesty in the first look which hogged the limelight.The movie has a strong message to the society and Amala Paul is the vehicle to convey it to the people. Presumably, it deals about a rape victim and tries to expose the misogyny in the society.Viji Subramaniyan-produced film has popular TV anchor Ramya Subramaniam doing an important role. Rathna Kumar has directed the film, which has Oorka’s music, Vijay Karthik Kannan’s cinematography and Shafique Mohammed Ali’s editing.last_img read more

Krishak League man stabbed dead

first_imgA member of local unit of Krishak League was stabbed to death allegedly by some miscreants at Baburbazar in the municipality area on Thursday.The deceased was Abul Khayer Masum, 45, son of late Abdul Mukith of Bahirchapra village in sadar upazila and aFakhruzzaman Jewel, additional superintendent of Netrakona police, said the miscreants stabbed Abul Khayer with sharp weapon indiscriminately around 6:30pm, leaving him severely injured.Later, locals took him to Netrakona Sadar Hospital where physicians declared him dead.He might have been killed over establishing supremacy in the area, the police siuper added.last_img

Of Course More Dragon Ball Games Are Coming in 2019

first_imgStay on target ‘Dragon Ball’ Wants to Set a Major Guinness World Record at SDCC 2019Toy Tuesday: 11 Most Powerful ‘Dragon Ball’ Toys Man, Dragon Ball is extremely a thing again, huh. We’ve got an explainer right here in case you’re lost but really it seems like everyone these days is unapologetically sharing their love of the action anime to end all action anime. Al Roker talked about Goku at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. That Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie made like actual money at the American box office. And even I, who really can’t wait for people to stop talking about Dragon Ball so much, will happily admit that the gorgeous exciting fighting game Dragon Ball FighterZ was absolutely one of the best video games of 2018.So try to be shocked that there’s a lot more Dragon Ball content coming your way this year. To start, Bandai Namco revealed the first teaser for its new Dragon Ball Game Project Z trailer, coming this year to PC, PS4, and Xbox One from developer CyberConnect2.This trailer doesn’t explain everything, which makes sense considering the name doesn’t even seem final yet, but there are a bunch of interesting takeaways. Bandai Namco describes the game as an action RPG, and Dragon Ball games have flirted with genres other than fighting before. There have been handheld Dragon Ball RPGs and the Xenoverse series includes role-playing elements as well.But the scope of the environments teased here make us wonder if this will be a full-on open-world adventure in the Dragon Ball universe? Skyrim with Goku? Dragonballborn? It would certainly make the game seem more exciting if it’s plot is just summarizing the events of Dragon Ball Z again. Regardless of the franchise, a huge action RPG with anime fighting mechanics would be fun to try, too.Still, even if this new Dragon Ball game winds up bad, at least Dragon Ball FighterZ is still great. And it’s only going to get better in 2019 as we now know some of the new characters arriving in the Season 2 battle pass.Dragon Ball FighterZ has taken some flack for its paltry amount of female characters. But Videl, daughter of Mr. Satan and daughter-in-law of Goku, is coming as DLC. She fights with her husband Gohan in his Great Saiyaman disguise. Videl releases at the end of January alongside Jiren, a fan-favorite buff grey space alien and antagonist of a later Dragon Ball Super arc. Four more characters will be released after that including Gogeta and Base Broly.I can’t wait to watch SonicFox beat everyone up with Hercule’s daughter. For more on Dragon Ball games watch us play Dragon Ball FighterZ and get ready for Jump Force coming in just a few weeks.last_img read more