23 September 2011Lasting peace in the Middle East will only be achieved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and not through the imposition of United Nations resolutions, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today. “The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian State, but the Palestinians want a State without peace,” Mr. Netanyahu told the General Assembly’s annual general debate.He called on the Palestinians to accept Israel as a Jewish State, and said the core of the long-running Middle East conflict is not the dispute over Israeli settlements in the West Bank, “but the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish State in any border.”Mr. Netanyahu spoke shortly after Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President, addressed the Assembly and after he handed over an application to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for Palestine to become a UN Member State. Mr. Ban later submitted the application to the Security Council for consideration.Mr. Netanyahu called on Mr. Abbas to “recognize the Jewish State, and make peace with us. In such a genuine peace, Israel is prepared to make painful compromises. We believe that the Palestinians should be neither the citizens of Israel nor its subjects. They should live in a free State of their own.“But they should be ready, like us, for compromise. And we will know that they’re ready for compromise and for peace when they start taking Israel’s security requirements seriously and when they stop denying our historical connection to our ancient homeland.”He offered to conduct direct negotiations with Mr. Abbas immediately in New York, where the General Assembly’s general debate is being held.“President Abbas, why don’t you join me? We have to stop negotiating about the negotiations. Let’s just get on with it. Let’s negotiate peace.”When a peace agreement is signed between the two sides, “Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian State as a new member of the United Nations. We will be the first.”In his address Mr. Netanyahu also extended a “hand of peace” towards peoples across the Middle East and North Africa.
If needed, UNHCR and its partners, including the Government of Iraq, can potentially host 700,000 people, including a number of shelter solutions outside of camps. But funding for this is crucial, he stressed.So far, more than 5,705 emergency relief packages have been distributed by UNHCR. And with winter approaching and temperatures declining, the focus is on protecting people against the weather and keeping them safe and warm. The plan is to reach 1.2 million people in Iraq with special winterized kits including blankets, heating stoves, plastic tarpaulins and water and kerosene jerry cans. UNHCR is also providing cash assistance and plans to winter-proof 53,000 tents. UNHCR is also bolstering protection monitoring and psychosocial and legal assistance through mobile teams to ensure timely interventions when problems are identified. Among the main concerns are family reunifications, supporting female-headed households, a lack of documentation and supporting victims of abuse.UNHCR is also supporting an initiative with BBC Media Action and Radio Nawa to initiate a programme to help newly-displaced families access timely information. This week, 2,000 small transistor radios were distributed in UNHCR’s Hasansham camp. Radio Nawa has installed a new transmitter to reach the camp. UNHCR is also calling again on all parties in the fighting to respect the rights and lives of civilians, and emphasizes the importance of freedom of movement for residents of Mosul.“Civilians should not be prevented from leaving the city and should have access to safe areas. Equally, civilians must not be forced to return to unsafe areas,” he said. “There has been a marked increase over the past week in the number of people fleeing after fighting intensified in the more densely-populated urban areas of Mosul,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters at the regular bi-weekly news briefing in Geneva.He said that of the 60,000 people who have fled their homes since the start of the military campaign on October 17, about 40,000 have done so since the beginning of November. Close to half are children, according to UN data and UNHCR surveys. Households headed by females, some of whom are survivors of abuse, account for much of the rest. “The need for sustained funding support as winter approaches, and a redoubling of efforts to reach those displaced by the fighting, many of whom now live in rudimentary conditions in camps, is crucial,” Mr. Edwards emphasized.UNHCR currently has six camps open, hosting well over 14,000 people and with a capacity for 54,600. Three more are under construction and one is in planning, he said. All told, the 10 camps will have capacity for 17,000 plots. Additional land is required for UNHCR’s total planned 20,000 plots (with six people on average per family tent/plot), in order to provide shelter for 120,000 people in camps. Workers load World Food Programme food rations onto a truck in Mosul. The convoy had enough supplies to last 30,000 people for one month. Photo: UNICEF Iraq/Chris Niles
“The magnitude of the situation calls for scaled up action and coordination at national and regional levels,” FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo told a high-level panel on humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa chaired by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, which was held yesterday on the side lines of the 28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. “This is, above all, a livelihoods and humanitarian emergency – and the time to act is now. We cannot wait for a disaster like the famine in 2011,” she added.FAO estimates that over 17 million people are currently in crisis and emergency food insecurity levels in member-countries of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), namely Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, which are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Currently, close to 12 million people across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are in need of food assistance. Much of Somalia, north-east and coastal Kenya, south-east of Ethiopia as well as the Afar region are still to recover from El Niño-induced drought of 2015/16 while South Sudan and Darfur region of Sudan are facing the protracted insecurity.Acute food shortage and malnutrition also remains to be a major concern in many parts of South Sudan, Sudan (west Darfur) and Uganda’s Karamoja region.FAO warns that if response is not immediate and sufficient, the risks are massive and the costs high.For his part Mr. Guterres called for a stronger commitment to work together: “We must express total solidarity with the people of Ethiopia on the looming drought, as a matter of justice.”“FAO’s partnership to build resilience to shocks and crises in the Horn of Africa is critical and will increase,” said FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa Bukar Tijani.Recently, FAO and IGAD agreed on some key steps to enhance collaboration in mitigating the severe drought currently affecting the countries in the Horn of Africa region and strengthening food security and resilience analysis.
CATHOLIC MARRIAGE AGENCY ACCORD says it has had to make staff redundant due to a major reduction in the amount of money it receives from the Government.Four staff members are to lose their jobs and one full-time role has been changed to a part-time position, ACCORD president Bishop Christopher Jones said this evening.The agency receives its funding from the Catholic Bishops, couples who take part in pre-marriage courses, and State grants. ACCORD says its State funding will have dropped by more than 40 per cent by the end of next year – a loss of €3.6 million which it was expecting to receive since 2010.ACCORD says it will receive a reduced grant of around €700,000 next year for the central office, which is designed to pay overheads and salaries for fourteen staff, nine of whom are full-time.Bishop Jones said the redundancies were especially difficult because they came at Christmas time.“Unfortunately, we have no alternative but to make these redundancies compulsory,” he said. “Staff have been met and ACCORD is engaged in a process to finalise new arrangements, which will take effect in early February 2014″.“Redundancies at any time are very difficult for all involved but particularly so at Christmas. We have done our best to keep job losses to a minimum and will endeavour to continue to meet the ever increasing demand on ACCORD’s marriage education and counselling services in these economically challenging times”.ACCORD said some 6,536 couples used the services in 2012.Read: Increased demand for marriage counselling as financial difficulties rise >
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The government looks set to exceed its revenue targets from the unpopular property tax, an official at the Public Power Corporation (DEI) which is collecting the tax said yesterday. A total of 650m euros of the tax have been collected so far, suggesting the final take may breach the government’s initial goals, said the official who declined to be named. “This [figure] means that the government will meet its 1.7bn euro revenue target for this year, probably hitting 2bn,” he said. DEI is collecting the tax through electricity bills under the threat of cutting consumers’ power if they fail to comply. But despite the protests, only about a fifth of households are in arrears – the usual rate for all DEI bills, the official said. The government imposed the tax in September in a desperate move to meet its budget deficit targets under the EU/IMF bailout. Interim budget figures published on Tuesday suggest that the state will still miss its target to narrow the deficit to 9 per cent of GDP this year from 10.6 per cent in 2010 due to a deeper-than-expected recession. DEI is also struggling from the recession. The state-controlled company has reported its first loss in almost two years for the third quarter, due to falling electricity demand and rising generation costs. DEI, 51-per cent owned by the government, has also been hurt by the country’s sovereign debt crisis. The company is holding talks with banks to refinance 1.2bn euros of debt maturing next year, about 700m euros of which will fall due by the end of the first quarter, Zervos added. DEI hopes that the government will approve later this month electricity price increases that will help the company cope with recession. Energy Minister Yiorgos Papakonstantinou told the same conference earlier on Thursday that the new prices will be announced within the next 10 days. Source: Reuters
The Xbox One X Looks Nice, But Twice as Nice as the Xbox One?Super Mario Odyssey and Other E3 Nintendo Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda Stay on target Star Wars Battlefront II (the upcoming one not the old one) appears to be the latest in a depressingly long trend of video game sequels that are what the originals should have been. The gorgeous visuals and sounds still lovingly recreate the Star Wars universe better than ever, and the Battlefield developers at Dice still bring a lot of large-scale multiplayer shooter knowledge to the table.However, the first Battlefront’s stellar presentation felt hollow once the limited content and so-so shooting set in. The sequel promises to tighten up the gunplay, adding new strategic classes and weapon loadouts, and deliver “three times as much content.” But what does that content look like?Well for starters the game now spans all three eras of Star Wars canon. The E3 gameplay demonstration was set during the Clone Wars and showcased teams of Republic Clone Troopers and Separatist Battle Droids blasting each other on famous Jar-Jar homeworld Naboo, before Darth Maul showed up. Meanwhile, characters like Rey and Finn and Captain Phasma will be playable heroes, eventually sporting their Last Jedi outfits as free DLC. In fact, all of the planned DLC will be free, although you can buy in-game currency to speed up unlocks which doesn’t sound much better.But the biggest missing feature from the first game was a single-player campaign. Battlefront II will boast a cinematic story mode in which players control Imperial agents perhaps taking orders from Emperor Sheev Palpatine himself following the events of Return of the Jedi. The main character Iden Versio is performed by Janina Gavankar, who also performed hosting duties for EA’s press conference.So far Star Wars Battlefront II looks pretty good. Unfortunately, all I can talk about so far is how it looks due to the… “unique” circumstances of this E3 and EA’s way of participating in it. If you’re allergic to games journalist inside baseball, turn away now. I hope you enjoyed the preceding preview.I was all set to play Battlefront II as well as EA’s other titles like the Fast & Furious-inspired Need for Speed: Payback, and the surprising comparable FIFA 18 on Switch. Like last year, EA didn’t set up a booth on the show floor. Instead, in this weekend before the show they put on their own show, EA Play, where anyone could enjoy a sneak preview of their games. It was further away from E3 proper than last year but not too bad. Surely I check out these games my job flew me out here to play.However, unlike last year, all of E3 is now open to the general public. The show hasn’t started yet, so we don’t yet know how the addition of hundreds more even less professional gamer bodies will affect things for veteran attendees. But I fear EA Play is a harbinger of bad things to come.I’ll admit, I arrived a little late for my appointment. But that’s the point of an appointment, having a guaranteed to see something without rushing. My mistake. When I arrived, the line to get in stretched across several Los Angeles blocks. That’s the power of Star Wars and Madden I guess. My media registration didn’t mean anything, so I was turned away by exhausted-looking employees, as were many other journalists I later learned.I can already hear the tiny violin strings. While I am annoyed the public nature of this event kept me from doing my job and playing cool games, I’m more sympathetic for the fans coming to E3 for the first time and facing these unexpected setbacks. They’re expecting another PAX, a fun and well-oiled machine designed for the masses. E3 is like that but with more reveals, right?Well no. E3, while full of dumb spectacle, is an industry event designed for people doing business. Waiting in line for hours to play an unfinished demo is a way better deal when you’re being paid to do it, not when you paid to do it. Countless fans also failed to get into EA Play, and they don’t have platforms for writing bitter blog posts about it. The Hot Pocket party thrown by our sister site IGN later that night was a more efficient fan event than EA’s.I suspect part of this chaos is just E3 working out the kinks of becoming a public event. Chronic overbooking is something you can solve after a few years of tests. But as it stands now, the insiders and the outsiders all vying for the same early games is a lose-lose scenario for everyone. At least Star Wars Battlefront II looks good. I’m excited to play it this fall.
PACIFIC CITY, Ore. (AP) — Authorities along the Oregon Coast — from Neskowin to Pacific City — are preparing for one of the largest tsunami drills in history.Evacuation drill spokesman Jim Kusz says that people need to prepare in case a tsunami hits the coast, similarly to the way that people in Florida have drills for hurricanes.Tsunami drill awareness has been more acute since the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. That tsunami hit Oregon, causing millions of dollars in damage.The drill will span 15 miles, and authorities will use fire sirens to a set off the drill. Messages will be played telling people where to go to get to higher ground. Authorities hope to have a large attendance from nearby residents.Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com
Father’s Day celebrates the dads in our lives, but for some, it’s a reminder of pain and loss.Listen nowThe Dinner Party is an organization that connects people grieving the loss of a loved one. This Sunday they’re sharing stories on social media from the thousands of Dinner Partiers all over the world whose dads have died.Kami Miller is standing in her kitchen over a bright blue pot of boiling water. She says she wants to be clear about one thing.“I don’t fancy myself a cook,” Kami said. Instead, she said she likes to experiment.“And usually when I experiment cooking it just means I get a bunch of stuff from the refrigerator and I put it in a pot and I see what happens,” Kami said, laughing, “But this time I’m actually following a recipe.”The recipe is for Chicken Florentine. Kami turns to the sizzling pan on the side burner.Steve Miller with his daughter, Kami Miller. (Photo courtesy of Kami Miller)“Do you like spice in your food?” she asked me.“I do, yeah.”“Alright let’s add some ‘Kickin Chicken,’” Kami said.This is just the second time I’ve met Kami. Both meetings began with a hug.We were first introduced over email by The Dinner Party. It’s this organization that connects people in their twenties and thirties who have experienced loss and grief.Becca Bernstein is the The Dinner Party’s Community Organizer.“My mom died in November 2015 and I found The Dinner Party on Thanksgiving Day in a CNN article like two weeks after she died.”Becca hosted dinners for two years before coming on as staff.“We’re in over 100 cities now across the world– everywhere from California to Amsterdam in the Netherlands,” Becca explained.Becca said the group realized a lot of Dinner Partiers who’d lost someone they loved had specifically lost their dads. So on Father’s Day, they’re publishing stories on social media about some of those dads.“At some point people stop asking and they shouldn’t stop asking,” Becca said. “Those are stories that are deep inside of you and there should be a way for those [stories] to come out.”Kami’s dad, Steve Miller, duck hunting on Fox Lake in Wisconsin. (Photo courtesy of Kami Miller)For Kami, a lot of those stories she has with her dad, Steve Miller, are about birds. He worked for decades as a wildlife ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.“We’d go to the marsh and just look at the ducks and the geese,” Kami said. “One time I was with him and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Dad,’ because he’s swerving and looking up and [saying] ‘I can hear the flock. Where are they? Oh there they are,’ and he’d swerve back around.”Sitting around the dinner table, Kami told me about a trip to Alaska her dad took right after retirement. It was a dream trip, she said.He came up for a whole month in the summer of 2016. Kami showed me a photo of her dad. He’s got a salmon in his hands and a smile across his face.Kami and her dad, Steve, charter fishing out of Homer. (Photo courtesy of Kami Miller)“He’s like, ‘I’m always the person who doesn’t catch the fish.’ There’s always that one person who it’s like, ‘Come on! Get a fish!’ And he was always that person,” Kami said, grinning. “He had never caught a fish in the ocean on a charter. He was the only one who caught a salmon on that trip. Isn’t that amazing?”On her dad’s last night in town Kami called to see if he wanted to get dinner, to cap off the great month. He didn’t pick up, so Kami drove to where he was staying.“I opened the door and he just looked so helpless,” Kami said. “And I think my dad is never helpless. He always has the answer. He’s always the one you call when you don’t know what to do. And he looked so fragile.”It was sudden cardiac arrest. Kami’s dad died on Aug. 8, 2016. The next few hours were a blur, she said. The police showed up and asked if there was someone they could call.“My emergency contact is my dad,” Kami said. “In that moment I felt so alone. Who do you call when your dad dies?”But as the first person to find out about her dad’s death, Kami did have to make a phone call. She had to tell one of her sisters.“And she’s like, ‘Not my dad. My dad doesn’t die. He doesn’t die,’” Kami said. “Our dad knew everything– he fixed everything. He doesn’t die. He’s never going to die. I think that was worse than finding him dead.”Mark Russell and daughter Emily Russell at Tintagel in England the summer of 2017. (Emily Russell/Alaska Public Media)My conversation with Kami was different from most of the interviews I do because I’m not here just as a reporter. I was on the other end of one of those calls back in October. I remember being on the phone and saying, “No, no, no, no it can’t be.”I took a video of my dad, Mark Russell, a week before he died. He’s wearing a white tee shirt tucked into khaki shorts. His legs look like toothpicks, but he’s smiling walking down the sidewalk in the September sunshine.He had just been released from the hospital after having a heart attack and he thought he was in the clear. He died of sudden cardiac arrest on Oct. 1, 2017.“It should have been 20 years from now,” I said to Kami at dinner.“People experience the death of parents, but it shouldn’t be when you’re a teenager or when you’re in your twenties or thirties and haven’t been married, haven’t had kids, haven’t bought a house,” I said.Mark Russell at home on Hay Island, Ontario in the summer of 2016. (Emily Russell/Alaska Public Media)My dad will never see me do those things. Kami’s dad won’t either.We talked at dinner for more three hours — about what we miss, what we remember, what we regret, and why it’s so important to keep the stories of our fathers alive even after they’re gone.“Well cheers to our first dinner party,” Kami said.“And to our fathers,” I added.“And to our fathers,” she agreed.
Mahbubnagar: Excise Minister Srinivas Goud distributed free books to Intermediate students at Government Junior College and Vocational College in Mahbubnagar district on Friday.While taking part in the programmes, Srinivas Goud said that the State government was taking all necessary steps to improve the quality of education in government schools and colleges in the State. As part of the initiative to promote free education, the government has been providing free books to all Intermediate students studying in government junior colleges in the district. Also Read – Secunderabad: Major General N Srinivas Rao makes farewell visit to AOC Advertise With Us “Earlier, when we studied in the schools and colleges, we were not given free books. But today, the government with an aim to help the poor students, is distributing free books, bags and uniforms in all schools and colleges. The Students must make use of them and should study well and pass out with good marks,” said Srinivas Goud, while addressing the students. Also Read – Kolkata artists giving final touches to 24 ft clay Ganesh idol Advertise With Us Informing the students that he too studied in the same college, the Minister spent some time in the classroom where he once studied and recalled his memories. Later, the Minister took part in the plantation drive on the college premises. Councillor Krishna Mohan, District Library chairman Rajeshwar Goud, Zilla Parishad Territorial Council member Vijaya Nirmala, Government Junior College Principal Urmila and students attended the programme.
Guillermo del Toro’s animated “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy, beginning with the award-winning “Trollhunters,” continues Dec. 21 on Netflix, with the debut of DreamWorks Animation’s “3Below.” It follows a pair of ingenious teenage aliens on the run from a coup on their home planet, with their bombastic bodyguard in tow.“There’s a real art to doing a spin-off of any show, and it’s my personal philosophy, and I think one that Guillermo shares, that the best spin-offs actually exist on their own,” explains executive producer Marc Guggenheim, who also exec produces live-action superhero series “Arrow” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” among other shows. “The best spin-offs don’t require the mothership show to work. So, we really tried to create a world that could stand on it’s own two feet.”“3Below” has drawn a stellar voice cast led by Tatiana Maslany as queen-in-waiting Aja, Diego Luna as her brother, king-in-waiting Krel, Nick Offerman as bodyguard Varvatos Vex, and Glenn Close as Mother, the spaceship that provides their cover. The supporting voice cast continues that who’s-who list from television, film and toons, including Nick Frost, Uzo Aduba, Cheryl Hines, Tom Kenny, Haley Atwell, Danny Trejo and Ann Dowd. “It’s such an embarrassment of riches and a real testament to how much people want to work with Guillermo,” Guggenheim says.Notes Luna: “Guillermo is like the wisest kid on the planet. Being able to give echo to his voice is the best thing I’ve ever felt as an actor. It’s a voice that needs to be amplified.”And all that talent delivers in a show that, like “Trollhunters,” can be very dramatic as well as incredibly fun, but it builds quite differently than its predecessor did. The stakes are very high right off the bat, with the characters forced to run for their lives and with the fate of other characters very much in question.“The structure of the show itself and the structure of the pilot is very, very different from ‘Trollhunters,’” explains Guggenheim. “With ‘Trollhunters,’ we’re basically following a very classic hero’s journey, whereas ‘3Below’ is a much different animal. Not just in the sense that we drop you straight into the drama pretty much immediately — I mean, you barely get to know these characters before their world is coming apart — but that world, in particular, is very intentionally and by design an alien world.”Still, with all that drama, the fish-out-of-water circumstances give the show lots of opportunity for humor as well as social commentary. When given identities to make sure they stayed hidden, the mothership transforms them into people though to be invisible on Earth: a teenage girl, a Latino boy, and a senior citizen.That undercurrent of social commentary was always in the creators’ minds as they were working on the show. “That was always Guillermo’s vision, and it was always the design of the show,” Guggenheim says.Immigration has become even more of an issue now than it was when production on “3Below” first started. “Immigration has obviously always been an issue historically, but it wasn’t nearly as relevant it is right now,” Guggenheim adds. “In many ways [the show] anticipated this moment that we are living through right now. We have episodes coming up where we deal with prejudice. Not in an after school special kind of hit-you-on-the-head kind of way, but in a way that just shines a light on the issue of fitting in, and the issue of prejudice, and the issue of what does it mean to be the other. Popular on Variety All 13 episodes of “3Below” will be available on Netflix beginning Dec. 21. The two-part opener was co-directed by Del Toro and Rodrigo Blaas. Executive producers are Guggenheim, Blaas, and Chad Hammes. “I grew up with television that reflected the real world and had something to say [about society.] You know, they didn’t proselytize, didn’t preach at you, but just helped put up a mirror of society, I think,” he adds. “I think that can be a very powerful thing. I’m glad [“3Below”] gets a chance to do that. With ‘3Below,’ we take some different chances and one of those chances we take is some occasional social relevance.”The trilogy’s second chapter overlaps neatly with “Trollhunters,” creatively interweaving familiar characters from that show into the new show’s narrative while giving “3Below” its own unique identity. Throughout “3Below,” not only will the main “Trollhunters” characters (Jim, Claire, Toby, Blinky, and Aaargh) show up from time to time, but less prominent “Trollhunters” denizens will be promoted to greater roles, such as pompous high school student Steve and nerdy Eli.“Once we sort of established the show and established the characters, then we felt like we had more license to start bringing in other characters who you’ve met from ‘Trollhunters,’ Guggenheim says. “It’s done very carefully. Steve and Eli, who were really tertiary characters, in ‘Trollhunters,’ really become major characters over the course of ‘3Below.’”And that carryover will continue when the third chapter of the “Tales of Arcadia” trilogy, “Wizards,” debuts sometime next year.“‘Wizards’ sort of builds on a lot of the characters and relationships that are developed in ‘3Below,’ and at the same time it has a feeling of being a little bit more like ‘Trollhunters’ season four,’ explains Guggenheim. “The hope when we get to ‘Wizards’ is, if you like ‘Trollhunters.’ you’ll love ‘Wizards.’ And if you like the character dynamics of ‘3Below,’ you’ll love ‘Wizards.’Beyond that, Guggenheim won’t say much more about the hush-hush project, except that, “Visually, it is stunning. Just as ‘3Below’ actually raised the bar from what ‘Trollhunters’ did in terms of the visuals, ‘Wizards’ is on another level. The environments, the character design, just the sheer scope of the show is mind blowing and really, truly beautiful.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Writers aren’t out of a job just yet.But the time may come soon since an AI recently impressed judges of a Japanese literary prize.The novella, The Day a Computer Writes a Novel, was co-written and edited by a team of humans. The story itself follows a computer program as it recognizes its talent for writing and leaves behind its preprogrammed duties.Related: How One Man Used Artificial Intelligence to Generate Genuine Sales LeadsInitially, the book was included in the group of 11 AI-authored submissions allowed to enter the contest for the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award, according to Smithsonianmag.com. Though the submission didn’t make it past round two out of four, the judges were still fairly impressed with the novella.“I was surprised at the work because it was a well-structured novel,” Satoshi Hase, a writer and judge, said at a press conference, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports. “But there are still some problems [to overcome] to win the prize, such as character descriptions.”There’s clearly some room to grow for “aspiring” AI novelists, especially since the program that wrote The Day a Computer Writes a Novel wasn’t exactly independent. In fact, the novel was first written by humans before they entered it into the program for the AI to analyze and create its own version of the story.Just last week, Microsoft’s AI Tay took to Twitter to learn how to interact. That experiment ended in disaster after a day when trolls taught the program to be racist and sexist.Related: Why We Shouldn’t Fear Artificial IntelligenceSo maybe author and social-media marketer aren’t future careers for artificial intelligence programs. Still, the machines are definitely coming for our jobs. Businesses are already laying the groundwork for bots to take over deliveries and the hotel concierge desk.Is your job next? Maybe, but futurist Ray Kurzweil isn’t worried. Leave the anxiety to Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates, who all have voiced misgivings over AI, especially in the military.Luckily, it appears we’ve got some time until AI programs develop a mind of their own — if ever. March 29, 2016
Related posts:US Postal Service to issue stamp this week honoring gay rights pioneer Biden urges Latin America to take in Guantanamo prisoners Costa Rica woman pleads guilty in US to masterminding human smuggling ring 5 ways the world will look dramatically different in 2100 Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III, the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and former state attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday after battling brain cancer for several years.Biden, 46, the oldest son of the vice president and the rising star of a family dynasty, had been admitted recently to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, as he fought the cancer, a battle that his father largely kept private in the last weeks as his son clung to his life.“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words. We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us — especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter,” Vice President Biden said in a statement that was released Saturday night.Beau Biden, a major in the Delaware Army National Guard‘s Judge Advocate General Corps, became one of his state’s most popular public figures and had been considered the front-runner for the 2016 race to become the state’s next governor, but in August 2013 he was admitted to one of the world’s most renowned cancer treatment centers, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, to begin his fight with the disease.According to the vice president’s office, Beau Biden underwent surgery in Houston in 2013 and then followed a normal course of radiation and chemotherapy. By November 2013, he had been given a clean bill of health, but after a recurrence this spring, Biden began an aggressive treatment and was admitted to Walter Reed this month.Biden is survived by his wife, Hallie, and two children.President Barack Obama released a statement late Saturday saying that he and first lady Michelle Obama were grieving and calling him “a good, big-hearted, devoutly Catholic and deeply faithful man, who made a difference in the lives of all he touched — and he lives on in their hearts.”“But for all that Beau Biden achieved in his life, nothing made him prouder; nothing made him happier; nothing claimed a fuller focus of his love and devotion than his family,” Obama’s statement said.Beau Biden became a national political star in 2008 after delivering a stirring introduction of his father at the Democratic National Convention in Denver the night Joe Biden accepted the nomination for vice president. A little more than a month later, Beau Biden deployed to Iraq and served there for one year — except for a trip home in January 2009 to see his father take the oath of office as vice president.Beau Biden was awarded the Bronze Star.In Denver seven years ago, Beau Biden told the tragic family story that became the emotional foundation for his father’s 36 years of service in the Senate and the past 6 1/2 years as vice president. Shortly after winning his Senate race, in December 1972, Joe Biden received a phone call while in Washington interviewing staff.His wife, Neilia, and three children had been in a horrible car crash on the way home from purchasing the family Christmas tree. His wife and daughter had died, and his two sons, Beau and Hunter, were clinging to life. Having just turned 30, Joe Biden raced home to Wilmington, Delaware, and considered never taking the oath of office.Through the support of other senators, Biden agreed to be sworn in the next month at the hospital bedside of Beau and Hunter. Eventually venturing to Washington, Biden decided that he would take the train every morning from Wilmington and return every night.“As a single parent, he decided to be there to put us to bed, to be there when we woke from a bad dream, to make us breakfast, so he’d travel to and from Washington, four hours a day,” Beau Biden told the Denver crowd on Aug. 27, 2008, in the speech that introduced the world to a story that his father had told many times.In recent weeks, the vice president’s public schedule had declined as he regularly visited his son. Two weeks ago, during Yale University‘s graduation ceremonies, he delivered a deeply personal speech to thousands of students and parents who had no idea what the vice president was personally enduring.Close advisers viewed it as the closest Joe Biden ever came to fully explaining how much his personal life and tragedy informed his own career. Of his Amtrak ride home every night to see his two sons, he said that it wasn’t for them.“The real reason I went home every night was that I needed my children more than they needed me,” he told the Yale crowd.Beau Biden attended his father’s high school, Archmere Academy, was class president and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He then got his law degree from Syracuse University, out of devotion to his deceased mother, who graduated from that college. Joe Biden, originally considering other law schools, decided to attend Syracuse Law after falling in love with Neilia Hunter.Beau Biden was elected Delaware’s attorney general in 2006 and was considered the likely candidate to take his father’s Senate seat after he left to become vice president. Ted Kaufman — the vice president’s closest confidant and former chief of staff — was appointed as an interim senator, but eventually Beau Biden decided to run for reelection as attorney general in 2010 rather than try to claim his father’s Senate seat, charting his own political path toward one day becoming governor.In recent weeks Kaufman has returned to Vice President Biden’s side, working with him again as he dealt with the looming tragedy of his son’s death.“More than his professional accomplishments, Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother. His absolute honor made him a role model for our family. Beau embodied my father’s saying that a parent knows success when his child turns out better than he did,” the vice president said Saturday in his statement.© 2015, The Washington PostSee also: Biden urges Central America to tackle poverty, violence, impunity Facebook Comments
Fannie Mae Forecast GDP 2014-07-27 Krista Franks Brock in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Despite an anticipated pickup in economic growth and housing recovery in the second half of this year, Fannie Mae expects the economy to grow at just 1.5 percent overall this year. Fannie revised its previous estimate of 2.1 percent growth for 2014 after a disappointing start to the year.The first quarter of this year measured “the worst performance in five years;” and if Fannie’s 1.5 percent prediction pans out, it would be “the worst performance of Q4-over-Q4 growth in the current economic expansion,” according to Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.Lower-than-expected healthcare spending was the culprit in first-quarter economic woes; but consumer spending, business capital investment, and residential investment should all contribute to more robust growth in the second half of this year, according to Fannie Mae’s economists.Job growth and real personal income are growing, which Fannie expects to translate to a rise in consumer spending over the second half of the year.”We expect the economy to grow approximately 3.0 percent in the second half of the year, although there is an element of uncertainty given government statisticians’ difficulty in assessing the full scope of healthcare expenditures,” Duncan said.The housing market is continuing to recover, contributing positively to the economy, but Fannie Mae anticipates a 2.0 percent decline in home sales and a 41.0 percent decline in mortgage originations over the year this year. On the other hand, single-family mortgage debt outstanding should increase “slightly,” according to Fannie Mae. July 27, 2014 428 Views 2014 Expected to See Slowest Growth Since Start of Recovery Share
Go back to the enewsletterRegent Seven Seas Cruises is giving Australian and New Zealand retail trade partners an opportunity to win an exclusive luxury experience hosted by Steve Odell, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific at NCLH, and Lisa Pile, Vice President Sales Australia and New Zealand at RSSC.The incentive will see winning agents whisked away for a luxurious getaway to Sydney’s Northern Beaches, staying overnight at Jonah’s in an Ocean Retreat Suite.Also included are:Return flights to SydneyReturn limousine transfers from Sydney Airport/HomeScenic seaplane flight over Sydney and landing in the Northern BeachesPrivate cruise around the Northern Beaches complemented by a Seafood & Champagne lunchThree-course à la carte dinner with wine pairing at Jonah’s RestaurantA la carte breakfast at Jonah’s RestaurantExclusive gift from Regent Seven Seas CruisesSteve Odell and Lisa Pile aboard Seven Seas Mariner.To be in the running for this incentive, agents need to book 2019 sailings from now until 29 April 2019. Winners will be the top five sellers in terms of bookings and revenue in Australia and New Zealand.“Regent Seven Seas Cruises leads the way in luxury. We are always looking for new and exciting ways to reward our valued trade partners, who are such an important part of our ongoing success in the local luxury cruising market. We are delighted to be able to offer such a special incentive to our top sellers, with the winners having the opportunity to indulge in an all-inclusive luxury experience which myself and Steve Odell are delighted to be hosting personally,” said Lisa Pile.“There is no better time to encourage your clients to discover or re-discover over 460 destinations via Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ renowned, truly all-inclusive luxury experience onboard The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™,” adds Pile.For more information about Regent Seven Seas Cruises or to receive a brochure, call 1300 455 200.Terms and Conditions apply: To qualify, retail travel agents must be the top seller in terms of bookings and revenue. Applicable for new bookings on 2019 sailings booked and deposited from 1 Feb and 28 April 2019 inclusive. Cancelled and rebooked bookings will not count. Five winners in Australia and/or New Zealand will be chosen at the discretion of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Prize must be claimed from 9-10 May 2019 as per itinerary provided by Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Package will be hosted by a representative of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. For travel agents residing outside of Sydney, a return economy flight will be provided to access package. Winners will be selected on 29 April and notified by 30 April 2019 by email or phone. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserve the right to change the selection if there is a tie. Further terms and conditions may apply.Lead image: Jonah’s Terrace, Whale BeachGo back to the enewsletter
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