Car batteries powered by relativity

first_imgScientists found that 80-85% of the voltage of a lead-acid battery is due to relativistic effects. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. (PhysOrg.com) — French physicist Gaston Plante invented the lead-acid battery in 1859 – almost 50 years before Einstein developed his theories of relativity. Now scientists have found that the lead-acid battery, which is commonly used in cars, strongly relies on the effects of relativity. Specifically, the scientists calculated that 1.7-1.8 volts of the lead-acid battery’s 2.1 volts (or about 80-85%) arise from relativistic effects. More information: Rajeev Ahuja, et al. “Relativity and the Lead-Acid Battery.” Physical Review Letters 106, 018301 (2011). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.018301 Citation: Car batteries powered by relativity (2011, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-01-car-batteries-powered-relativity.html The physicists and chemists who performed the study – Rajeev Ahuja, Andreas Blomqvist, and Peter Larsson from Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden, and Pekka Pyykkö and Patryk Zaleski-Ejgierd from the University of Helsinki – have published their results in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.”This is a new, well-documented case of ‘everyday relativity,'” Pyykkö told PhysOrg.com. As the scientists noted in their study, the finding essentially means that “cars start due to relativity.”The lead-acid battery is the oldest type of rechargeable battery, with the main component being lead. With an atomic number of 82, lead is a heavy element. In general, relativistic effects emerge when fast electrons move near a heavy nucleus, such as that of lead. These relativistic effects include anything that depends on the speed of light (or from a mathematical perspective, anything that involves the Dirac or Schrödinger equations).The lead-acid battery contains a positive electrode made of lead dioxide, a negative electrode made of metallic lead, and an electrolyte made of sulfuric acid. Through their calculations, the scientists found that the battery’s relativistic effects arise mainly from the lead dioxide in the positive electrode, and partly from the lead sulfate created during chemical reactions.The discovery of relativistic effects in the lead-acid battery also sheds some light on why no corresponding “tin battery” exists. In the periodic table, tin is located directly above lead and has an atomic number of 50, making it lighter than lead. According to the scientists’ calculations, a tin battery would basically be a lead battery with very minimal relativistic effects. Although tin and lead have similar nonrelativistic energy values, tin’s small relativistic effects prohibit it from being used in an efficient battery.As the scientists noted, relativistic effects have been found in other areas, such as the perennial yellow color of gold and the liquidity of mercury, although the latter is still not very well proven.Overall, the scientists predicted that this understanding of relativity’s importance to the lead-acid battery will probably not help researchers improve the battery; however, the insight could be useful for exploring better alternatives, especially those that involve any sixth period element (found in the sixth row of the periodic table, like lead). New Hitachi Li-ion batteries to last ten years This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Supercomputer Titan to get worlds fastest storage system

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Titan is also a green powerhouse (Phys.org) —Officials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have announced the selection of the Spider II data storage and retrieval system from DataDirect Networks (DDN) to replace the existing system on the Titan supercomputer. They say it will give Titan the fastest such system in the world. Explore further Citation: Supercomputer Titan to get world’s fastest storage system (2013, April 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-supercomputer-titan-world-fastest-storage.htmlcenter_img Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory The Titan supercomputer (built by Cray Inc.) on the ORNL campus was named the fastest in the world in November of last year, and currently still holds that title. Adding the fastest data storage and retrieval system will increase the entire computer’s computational efficiency.At the heart of Spider II are 36 SFA12K-40 hardware devices—each capable of handling 1.12 petabytes of data. Together they will allow Titan to move 40 petabytes of data at 1.4TB/s. According to ORNL, that’s equivalent to the amount of information in books stacked high enough to reach the moon. The system will have 20,000 disk drives to hold all that information and will use Lustre, the open source file-system software. In contrast, the current system is able to manage 10 petabytes of storage, running at 240GB/sec. Titan is a more advanced version of the supercomputer Jaguar—initial costs, paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy, were approximately $60 million. New additions, including the beefed up storage system, have raised that price to nearly $100. It’s a big machine—it takes up 404 square meters of floor space, and consumes 8.2 MW of electricity. At peak times it can perform 27,000 trillion calculations per second courtesy of 18,688 AMD Opteron CPUs and 18,688 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPUs—it’s ten times faster than any prior computer at ORNL. It also has 710TB of memory at its disposal.The new upgrade will help scientists conduct research efforts that ORNL reps say either cannot be done any other way, or are too dangerous or costly. Expected uses for the computer will likely involve running applications that typically involve an enormous amount of data crunching such as developing models for weather or economic forecasting, searching for oil deposits or putting together information from millions of sources to help track and stop terrorist activity. Currently, ORNL has chosen 31 projects to run this year. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Using sugar molecules to make cotton material glow

first_imgDigital camera image from in vitro cotton model after incorporation of exogenous molecules with new functionalities. Credit: Filipe Natalio Microscopic image of the cotton fibers after incorporation of the fluorescent exogenous molecule. This image was taken under a binocular under UV light showing the fluorescent fibers. Credit: Filipe Natalio Play Time lapse movie of the in vitro cotton model showing the development of fibers and integration of the fluorescent molecule. The time lapse movie was taken for 20 days with 1 image per hour. This video is shown under UV light to trace the fate of the fluorescent molecule. Credit: Filipe Natalio Explore further More information: Filipe Natalio et al. Biological fabrication of cellulose fibers with tailored properties, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5830AbstractCotton is a promising basis for wearable smart textiles. Current approaches that rely on fiber coatings suffer from function loss during wear. We present an approach that allows biological incorporation of exogenous molecules into cotton fibers to tailor the material’s functionality. In vitro model cultures of upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) are incubated with 6-carboxyfluorescein–glucose and dysprosium–1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid–glucose, where the glucose moiety acts as a carrier capable of traveling from the vascular connection to the outermost cell layer of the ovule epidermis, becoming incorporated into the cellulose fibers. This yields fibers with unnatural properties such as fluorescence or magnetism. Combining biological systems with the appropriate molecular design offers numerous possibilities to grow functional composite materials and implements a material-farming concept. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Image that shows a cotton fruit and different colors to show that we can provide functionalities to the cotton. Credit: Filipe Natalio Citation: Using sugar molecules to make cotton material glow (2017, September 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-09-sugar-molecules-cotton-material.html Wiping out bacteria with nanoparticle-cotton fibers Play Time lapse movie of the in vitro cotton model showing the development of fibers and integration of the fluorescent molecule. The time lapse movie was taken for 20 days with 1 image per hour. This video is shown under normal light. Credit: Filipe Natalio The team reports that they spent a significant amount of time testing the resulting cotton fibers to prove that the molecules were, indeed, inside the fiber cells and not just coating them—an important factor, because it means the molecules will not be carried away when the fabric is washed.Besides the coolness factor, the process offers the possibility of adding other features to wearable materials. To demonstrate, the researchers used the same process to introduce a magnetic molecule instead of one with fluorescent properties, and created cotton cloth with magnetic properties. Magnetism in cloth, the group notes, could possibly be useful for storing data from electronic devices. They note that the process could also be used with other materials made from plants such as bamboo or flax.center_img As scientists continue to look for ways to create wearable electronic products, some unique ideas have emerged. One of them is adding material to the water used by a growing cotton plant to endow it with desirable properties. In this new effort, the researchers found that by combining two molecules, one that is naturally carried by plants to its cells and another that causes fluorescence, they could produce plant fibers with fluorescent properties. That fiber could then be used the same way it has for thousands of years, to make cloth. In this case, cloth that glows under a fluorescent light.In practice, the researchers grew cotton plants in water, then harvested their ovules, which is the part of the plant that makes the fibers. They cultured the ovules separately and eventually fed them water doctored with the desired molecules. After 20 days, the cotton was harvested and tested. The researchers found that approximately 5 percent of the molecules had made their way to the fibers—enough to make them glow green when exposed to fluorescent light. Journal information: Science PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Microscopic image of the cotton fibers after incorporation of the fluorescent exogenous molecule. This image was taken under a binocular under UV light showing the fluorescent fibers. Credit: Filipe Natalio © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Germany, Israel and Austria has developed a process for imbuing cotton fibers with material that glows under fluorescent light. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their process, how well it works and other applications under which it might prove useful. Image that shows a cotton fruit and different colors to show that we can provide functionalities to the cotton. Credit: Filipe Natalio This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

New hard Xray eclipsing polar identified

first_imgOM V-band (upper panel) and PN 0.3–12 keV (lower panel) background subtracted light curves of 2PBC J0658.0-1746 binned at 200 s, where for plotting purposes is also shown the result of a fit made with 7 sinusoids, the orbital period (8,565 s) and its first six harmonics (red curve). Image credit: Bernardini et al., 2019. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: New hard X-ray eclipsing polar identified (2019, July 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-hard-x-ray-eclipsing-polar.html Using ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Swift spacecraft, astronomers have found that a hard X-ray source known as 2PBCJ0658.0-1746 is an eclipsing magnetic cataclysmic variable of the polar type. The finding, presented in a paper published July 11 on arXiv.org, makes the object one of only a handful hard X-ray eclipsing polars known to date. Explore further New eclipsing cataclysmic variable discovered More information: 2PBC J0658.0-1746: a hard X-ray eclipsing polar in the orbital period gap, arXiv:1907.05318. arxiv.org/pdf/1907.05318.pdf Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are binary star systems consisting of a white dwarf and a normal star companion. They irregularly increase in brightness by a large factor, then drop back down to a quiescent state. Polars are a subclass of cataclysmic variables distinguished from other CVs by the presence of a very strong magnetic field in their white dwarfs.Although over 140 polars have been detected to date, only 33 of them have been identified as eclipsing systems. Out of this number, so far, 12 such objects have been classified as hard X-ray eclipsing polars, which makes it a rare class. Therefore, any new addition to the still relatively short list of such objects is very important for building a larger database of these systems. This could offer astronomers more opportunities to study magnetic accretion in binaries, for instance.Now, a team of researchers led by Federico Bernardini of Rome Observatory in Italy reports about the newest addition to this list. By analyzing the data from XMM-Newton and Swift, they found that 2PBCJ0658.0-1746 (J0658), an unidentified source discovered by the Swift/BAT survey, appears to be a hard X-ray eclipsing polar.”The XMM-Newton observation, carried out a few months later in 2018, is here reported together with archival Swift/XRT and Swift/BAT light curves and spectra,” the researchers wrote in the paper.According to the paper, the X-ray emission shows bright and faint phases and total eclipses recurring every 2.38 hours. Moreover, the X-ray emission was found to be modulated at the orbital period and the intensity of the modulation turned out to be variable from cycle to cycle. Such behavior is indicative of a non-stationary mass accretion rate. The astronomers also found that the X-ray luminosity is highly variable on long timescales and the XMM-Newton spacecraft caught it at the lowest state ever observed. When it comes to the X-ray spectrum, observations have shown that it is thermal and consistent with a multi-temperature structure, as observed in many magnetic systems.In general, the results confirmed that J0658 is the 13th hard X-ray eclipsing polar detected. The researchers added that its orbital period of around 2.38 hours makes it a rare find, as only one pulsar of this type with similar orbital period (between two and three hours) has been identified to date.The study also reported fundamental parameters of the J0658 system. According to the research, the polar is located some 681 light years away and consists of a white dwarf with a mass of at least 0.6 solar masses and a companion of spectral type M4 about four times smaller than the sun, with a mass between 0.2 and 0.25 solar masses. The effective temperature of the white dwarf is estimated to be between 12,000 and 22,000 K, while for the companion this value was calculated to be at least about 3,000 K. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

When culture and creativity join hands

first_imgThe third edition of the bazaar which kickstarts on 26 October, is being organised by the NGO – Centre for Equity and Inclusion (CEQUIN), an initiative of social activist Sara Pilot and Lora Prabhu.Stocked with locally made craftworks for home furnishing, fashion accessories, clothes and festive gift items for the shoppers, and spiced up with mouth-watering cuisine from the undiscovered streets of Jamia for the foodies, the Jamia Bazaar is something more than just an ordinary fair. It has an emotion to describe, a tale to tell. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With a wide range of products, visitors can enjoy shopping for embroidered kurtis and salwars, shawls, bags, jewellery, high fashion ware, interesting items for kids, home furnishing, lamps, candles and lots more, completely handmade by women artisans and designers. The exhibition will showcase an interesting fusion of high end fashion with grassroots artisan skill sets – a celebration of traditional art, evolving fashion and women’s entrepreneurship. There will also be a gourmet trail featuring hot biryani, kebabs, achari chicken, kashmiri wazwan etc. A special feature will be the quintessential Flury’s Coffee Shop from Kolkata. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixLive demos of adda work, crochet, resham embroidery will provide the visitors a unique experience to observe the skilled labour that goes into creating extraordinary works of fashion and art.Sara Pilot, Chairperson for these women living at the fringes of society, bringing to light their vastly neglected, but laudable talent and enterprise, thereby making a tremendous effort in uplifting the spirit of these women and the ghettoised communities of Jamia Nagar on the whole.’ The exhibition is being organised by women who are a part of CEQUIN’s Gender Resource CEQUIN on this venture, said, ’The bazaar opens a whole new world Centre in Jamia Nagar in partnership with other local NGOs including Muslim Women’s Welfare Organisation, IIWA, Roshni Craft Centre, Azra and several others.last_img read more

The India of times bygone

first_imgA History of Modern India provides an interpretive and comprehensive account of the history of India between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, a crucial epoch characterized by colonialism, nationalism and the emergence of the independent Indian Union. It explores significant historiographical debates concerning the period while highlighting important new issues, especially those of gender, ecology, caste, and labour. The work combines an analysis of colonial and independent India in order to underscore ideologies, policies, and processes that shaped the colonial state and continue to mould the Indian nation. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With the launch of this book, Cambridge University Press India has been successful in bringing together outstanding scholars – Professor Shahid Amin, Department of History, University of Delhi (DU); Professor Ashis Nandy, Honorary Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi; and Dr Charu Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of History, DU, in a lively discussion on the perspectives of learning and teaching history, and the need to re-envision the past. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe event was chaired by Professor Emerita Romila Thapar, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, whose contribution to the understanding of ancient India has enriched and in many ways, shaped our idea of history. For Shahid Amin, this was a book to be savoured and read. He specially mentioned the evocative cover of the book and said it allows the reader to judge for himself/ herself – was Gandhi tired and dependent or was he confident of leading the nation into new areas. Charu Gupta praised Ishita for her great academic honesty and courage to write a book like this. The book is a ray of hope for our understanding of history. While, Professor Thapar noted that the great merit of the book is that it beckons the student to read some more. A History of Modern India is the first international textbook produced by the India branch of the Press and within only three months of publication, has become a part of the syllabus of Pune and Gauhati universities in India.last_img read more

Paint it red

first_imgWhether guests are surprising a special someone or planning a romantic evening, Hyatt will set the stage for romance with a special experience designed especially for couples.  Make this Valentine’s Day memorable by declaring love#InAHyattWorld. Simply reserve, click and share for a chance to win a diamond for a loved one on this special day.Hyatt Regency also brings you a special Valentine’s Day special dining offers. At La Piazza, The China Kitchen and T K’s Oriental Grill offer starts at Rs 3,000 per person, Offering at Café, is starting at Rs 2,800 per person. Latitude 66 has the special offere starting at Rs 3,300 per person (non-alcoholic), Regency Green offers the special package at RS 50,000 (including a private canopy and unlimited drinks)last_img read more

Music beyond boundaries

first_imgThe Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre is organising an event Music Without Boundaries by Delhi’s biggest and one of the most well-known choirs, the Capital City Minstrels on May 6 at its premises. The choir will be conducted by Carolin Remy. The concert celebrates 20 years of their existence. This time around, the audience will get to enjoy arrangements. As the title of the concert suggests, the repertoire will include a diverse range of music, keeping true to CCM’s dedication to music which has traces of Carnatic music. The singers will be supported by the well known Nise Meruno on Piano and Suchet Malhotra, with an array of percussion sounds adding special flavour. CCM is comprised of people from all walks of life. Different languages are spoken by various choir members. But the language that unites us all is music. A long-time member of ours, Tapas Bhardwaj is a visually challenged student and has earned the confidence and stage presence with his many performances on stage with CCM. Originating in 1994, the choir recently had celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Over these two decades CCM has performed in more than 200 concerts at prestigious venues around the capital. The choir has also established strong cultural links with the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, Alliance Francaise, the Austrian, Italian and Vatican Embassies and regularly performs for important events at these places. CCM’s repertoire spans a wide range; from the earliest choral music to the entire spectrum of western classical music, and opera to ballads, folk songs, Broadway musicals, rock, pop, jazz as well as Indian music arranged for choir performances. So mark the dates!last_img read more

Security guard suspended after inmate flees

first_imgBALURGHAT: In a significant move, the fugitive inmate’s security guard Ajit Goswami has been directed to keep away from exercising all responsibilities following the alleged ‘negligence of duty’ being raised against him.Notably the security measures of fugitive under-trial inmate Rafiqul Sheikh (35) were on the shoulders of Goswami. Sheikh fled from Raiganj super specialty hospital’s washrrom by breaking its false ceiling on Wednesday night. Sheikh had been undergoing treatment there for abdominal pain. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedDoctor had diagnosed him for Hernia operation.North Dinajpur police chief, Anup Jaiswal informed that a DSP ranked officer has already been delivered a message for a thorough investigation against Goswami and report the same at the earliest if there was any negligence of duty.According to him, the security guard has initially been asked to stay away from work until further order.Police sources informed Rafiqul had been sentenced to jail custody since 2010 as his name was involved in several crime cases like burglary, murder, drug trafficking and many others. He hails from Malda’s Kaliachak. Around 11 months ago, he had shifted from there to Raiganj Correctional Home. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPHigh alert has immediately been issued throughout the entire district to trace him. NAKA checking has been on.Neighbouring counterparts Malda and South Dinajpur have been requested to intimate district police headquarter of North Dinajpur if they get anyinformation on Rafiqul.While interrogating other under-trial inmates closed to Rafiqul, they informed police that Rafiqul used a mobile phone while his stay in the correctional home. According to a police source, perhaps the mobile phone helped Raqiful to execute his plan to flee the hospital.Goswami is being interrogated by police officials forprobable clues.last_img read more

Eight killed in two separate road mishaps in Hooghly district

first_imgChuchura(WB): At least eight persons were killed in two separate road mishaps in West Bengal’s Hooghly district, police said Saturday. Five persons were killed when a car ploughed into a Durga puja immersion procession at Dumurdaha in the district Friday night, the police said. Hooghly Rural, Superintendent of Police, Sukesh Jain said two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident. In the second incident, three persons were killed when a truck hit an e-rickshaw at Chuchura Friday night, they said.last_img read more

Rider dies after colliding with goods vehicle

first_imgKolkata: One biker was killed and the pillion rider injured after a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) ran them over on Circus Avenue near AJC Bose Road Flyover on Sunday morning. It was alleged that the bike riders violated traffic rules and were trying to move ahead on the opposite direction in a one way road.According to the locals, around 6:15 am on Sunday, a bike was headed towards Park Circus Seven Point using the wrong flank of the Circus Avenue. Both of the riders on the bike were without helmets. At the same time a HGV was moving towards Theatre Road using the same lane. Near Nasiruddin Road, the Bike collided head on with the HGV. Both the riders fell on the road and sustained multiple injuries. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey were immediately rushed to Chittaranjan National Medical College and Hospital (CNMC) where doctors declared the rider of the bike, Syed Iftikar Abbas Hossain (23), dead. The pillion rider identified as Shaikh Saif Ali is admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. The HGV and its driver were detained by the locals. Later, Karaya police station took charge of the vehicles and detained the offending driver. A case on charges of causing death by negligence, rash driving on a public way and causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others was initiated. In another incident, a person identified as Ashok Khan (30) died in a bike accident at Bishnupur in South 24-Parganas. According to the locals, Ashok with a friend riding pillion was racing with another bike. Near Moudi on Amtala-Baruipur Road, he lost control and hit a wall of a tea stall beside the road. Ashok was declared brought dead by the doctor at Amtala hospital. His friend is admitted there with multiple injuries.last_img read more

Symphony of relationship and music

first_imgWhen artists create something, those particular art works reflect the shadow of their thoughts, reality of their fascination towards life, and the reason behind their very existence. The perception behind the artist’s creation, most of the time, is totally different from that the onlooker’s. Moreover, the relationship of an artist with his/her creation is quite a complicated topic to comprehend. Mohinder K Puri’s works do not seem complicated to the beholders and that is what makes him different from other artists. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfA striking fact about his paintings is the firm composition without the plethora of structures. A subtle use of colours turns his fascination into reality for which one can easily find forms delicately woven into each other in his creations. Those forms depict human relationships and music– his fascination. He is so fascinated about music that once he wanted to be a musician. It is unfortunate that he could not turn his dream into reality for Triveni Kala Sangam in Delhi denied him admission. But that did not end his love for music. He turned towards Fine Art to create music.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBorn in Quetta, Pakistan, in 1938, Puri moved to Dehradun in 1953 to learn Fine Art. Later, he joined Triveni Kala Sangam and studied painting under the supervision of KS Kulkarni. His work on music is his most beloved and most acceptable work so far. Perhaps no one has ever created music through painting as Puri has, which in itself is a marvelous achievement for an artist. Moreover, his paintings are known for creating dialogues through distinctive expressions demonstrated in them and Puri attributes all these expressions to his interest in music, theater and dance forms. Also, human relation and behavior has remained as the other central theme in the artist’s creation.  One can easily see human forms depicting emotion such as pain, pleasure, joy and sorrows in his creations. There was a time when Puri admired Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. He never refused to accept that his works were influenced by Picasso, his all time favourite. But later he realised that his own identity was getting washed out under the influence of Picasso. So he quit painting and devoted himself to ceramic sculpture and murals. He learned that art in 1960s, when the medium was not yet to evolve in India. It was a small mural job that brought him to Delhi Blue Art Pottery and he came in contact with S Gurucharna Singh, the father of studio pottery in India. Later, S Krishnan, then well known art critic, declared him as the first sculptor in India to use ceramic for sculpture. Human head is the main theme of his ceramic works. He says, “Human head is a mine of expressions, which provides flexibility for experiments.”Recently, MK Puri represented India at the ‘China Hangzhou G20 International Art Exchange Exhibition’ at Hangzhou Qianjiang International Art Museum in China. The theme for the G20 art exhibition this year was ‘Peace, freedom, and environment protection’. Two of MK Puri’s paintings with the theme of Yoga and Meditation were selected for the exhibition. The works were semi realistic and attributed the Indian flavour.This is not the first time that he represented India at an international art exhibition, in the past he has represented the country at exhibitions across the world including Second Havana Biennale in Cuba, Exhibition of contemporary Indian art at Cuba, Mexico, France, Yugoslavia and Myanmar.He was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Fine Art Exhibition in Beijing, where he had been specially invited by the Olympic association to represent India. MK Puri, 78, still feels energetic and enthusiastic. He thinks there is a lot left to discover, “Although I have represented India across the world in various art exhibitions throughout my life, each new invitation to represent India enthralls me and inspires me to showcase India depicted like never before, especially the rich culture and heritage our civilization has. This enthuses me and I feel as a fresher to the world of depicting my thoughts on canvas.”last_img read more

First solarpowered tempcontrolled warehouse inaugurated in Singur

first_imgSingur: State Finance and Industry minister Amit Mitra on Monday inaugurated the first solar-powered temperature-controlled warehouse at Tapasi Malik Krishak Bazaar in Singur, which is the first of its kind in the country. The warehouse has been developed by a 92-year-old Japanese warehousing-cum-transportation logistics company Kawasaki Rikuso Transportation (KRT) that has is headquartered in Tokyo.”Around 25 percent of the produce by farmers are wasted due to lack of warehouse facility. This compels him to sell his produce at a much lower price. This facility will keep vegetables fresh for six to seven days. The farmers will be able to store their produce and get price for it and at the same time, the consumers will also get fresh good and quality vegetables,” state Agricultural Marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedSpeaking at the event, the state Finance minister urged the Japanese company to set up around 100 such warehouses in different parts of the state at an estimated cost of Rs 300 crore without cost of land. “This warehouse has the capacity of storing 30 tonnes of vegetables per day,” Mitra said. KRT is already coming up with two such warehouses in North Bengal. The first one will be set up at the krishak bazaar in Phansidewa and another at Dhupguri. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThere are plans to build 100 solar-powered warehouses with similar infrastructure in another five years with emphasis on North Bengal. “Japan will be the partner country for the fourth time this year at the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) scheduled to be held in February. Your success story in Singur should be showcased at the BGBS,” Mitra said with Keiichi Higuchi, president, KRT seated on the dais. State Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee urged the state government to come up with a similar facility in Burdwan as it is a huge producer of vegetables. Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Higuchi said his company will stay focused in Bengal as huge potential is there waiting to be explored and the state government has been supporting its efforts to modernise its existing farmers’ markets across the state. The KRT facility, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been made operational within three years of initial discussion. JICA India chief representative Katsuo Matsumoto said a total of Rs 6 crore had been offered as grant from pre-feasibility study to project execution for setting up this facility.last_img read more

BroadbandEnable Your Car

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now November 1, 2005 Now that cellular networks are starting to achieve broadband speeds in major markets, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the faster data speeds on their mobile phones. But there’s no reason you need to be limited to your phone. Why not bring your laptop or PDA to the party? Assorted hardware devices let you capture data over broadband cellular connections.For example, OmniWav Mobile’s MBR-1100 is an in-vehicle system that lets you connect any Wi-Fi or Ethernet-enabled device to the internet. The vehicle broadband package costs $979, and the data service contract through Verizon Wireless is about $80 for unlimited use. Its range extends up to 300 feet, so you can still get online outside your car. A portable package version is also available so you can connect at your hotel, at a trade show or at a customer’s site.For a less expensive alternative, check out Novatel’s Merlin V620 Wireless PC Card Modem, which runs about $100 with a service plan. It also works with Verizon’s EV-DO network and will keep your laptop connected on the go. Generally, data speeds aren’t quite up to your office broadband line, but they’re sufficient for use on the road. Check provider websites to see if these services are available in your area yet. As broadband network rollouts continue, expect the number of similar solutions and providers to grow. This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 2 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

This Is Why You Should Be Excited for the Internet of Bikes

first_img Register Now » 3 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. May 15, 2014center_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Bikes generally haven’t changed that much since they first rolled, apart from getting lighter and sleeker and being outfitted with mini motors. For about 120 years, the humble, spoked two-wheeler has helped people get where they’re going.But it’s never been smart enough to tell people where to go. Not until now.Enter the Vanhawks Valour, a GPS-enabled Bluetooth smart bike that delivers turn-by-turn directions to riders using LED indicator lights embedded in its handlebars.Related: A Fashionable, Inflatable Bike Helmet Collar? Yes, You Read That RightIts Canadian creators are calling the sleek, matte black and ruby red pedal pusher the “world’s first connected bike for the urban commuter.” And, though we’re typically extremely skeptical of often inflated “first-ever” claims, we don’t think these guys are exaggerating.  California engineering undergrad Kenny Gibbs came close last year when he invented a set of standalone GPS-enabled Helios handlebars for bikes. The Yuba City, Calif.-based designer’s aluminium bars help users geolocate their bikes when lost or stolen, indicate estimated speed and light up on either side to tell riders which way to go when they roll up to their next turn.Cool as Gibbs’ handlebars may be, they’re hardware you have to add to your bike. Not a bike itself. That’s where he lost his edge.Related: 8 Ways the ‘Internet of Things’ Will Impact Your Everyday LifeThe Toronto-based Vanhawks crew went whole hog and put all of the “connected” functionality that the Helios bars have into a badass, heck of a good-looking bike. And they took “the internet of bikes” theme quite a bit further than Gibbs did, though he still has one thing on them — his Helios bars have blinking directional lights, a safety feature we’re surprised the Valour doesn’t seem to have.   Designed to make urban bike commuting safer, the Valour does, however, warn riders of dangers lurking in their blind spots. The bike’s mesh network, ultrasonic haptic feedback sensors detect nearby vehicles. When riders veer too close to traffic, the sensors trigger the handlebars to vibrate, another industry “first” the bike’s designers claim they boast the bragging rights to.The multi sensor-loaded Valour also works like a Fitbit with wheels, tallying stats like riders’ calories burned, speed, distance traveled, best times and more. Ride data is delivered via Valour’s companion smartphone app, which is slated to be available for iOS and Android devices and Pebble smart watches upon product launch.  Related: College Startup Re-Imagines Bike SharingThe durable, ultra-light carbon fiber bodied bike went live on Kickstarter 16 days ago and has already more than quadrupled its $91,962 funding goal. With 16 more days to go, additional pledges are icing. The extra cash will fund the addition of a few fun, tricked-out features, including additional rim and frame colors, along with disc brake and carbon belt drive options.  A pledge of $900 (plus shipping) would have gotten you a limited edition, production number engraved single-speed fixie Valour. Too bad they’re all sold out. Luckily, you can still put your money on a variety of other Valour rides, for fixie lovers and gear heads. About 225 were still up for grabs as of 3 p.m. ET.See the Vanhawks Valour in action in its official Kickstarter video below: Related: Uh, Did Your Refrigerator Just Send Me an Internet Virus?last_img read more

Do RoboAdvisors Have a Place in Insurance

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global May 14, 2017 8 min read When my co-founder and I were fleshing out the foundation of PolicyGenius, we knew our goal was to bring the insurance-buying process — from education to shopping to application — to the modern online consumer. The question was, “How do we do this?” And as we spoke to consumers about their decision journeys, we realized that the answer wasn’t new. It had been around for 30 years.Time after time, unprompted, we’d get asked why there wasn’t something like TurboTax for insurance.TurboTax helped pioneer robo-advice in household finances by offering expert-level guidance without requiring a face-to-face appointment with a specialist. It showed that it could be done for a complex financial process (there isn’t anything more complicated than filing your taxes, is there?) and now robo-advisors are taking over the investing world thanks to the likes of Tradeking, Wealthfront, Betterment, and more.Related: 11 Ways to Make Money While You SleepSo the people we wanted to reach wanted TurboTax for insurance: something where they could go through the insurance shopping process — the whole process — online, getting guidance that they could follow at their own pace.Here’s what we learned by building it.You can’t be just an aggregator.You can find and compare insurance policies on PolicyGenius, so it’s tempting to describe the process as like “Kayak, but for insurance.” But unlike travel aggregators, we don’t just gather a bunch of deals and show them side-by-side on the screen. We can’t. Insurance is more complicated than flights, so we have to do more.When you go on vacation you buy your plane ticket, go on the trip, post the pictures to Facebook, and go back to your life. Insurance, especially life insurance, is more expensive, longer-term, and more complex. Choosing the wrong flight means you have to wake up early or have no legroom, but messing up your insurance policy has real consequences. That’s why we emphasize education and decision support.We built a resource center with content that explains different concepts, terms, and scenarios. During the application process, we explain why we’re asking for each piece of information. And with our Insurance Checkup, we show you not only what sort of protection you need, but why you need it.For a lot of people, shopping online for insurance means plugging your personal information into a form and waiting to get called by a horde of salespeople. That’s not a good experience. Customers don’t want to just be added to a call list. They’re trying to protect the wellbeing of themselves and their family; being little more than a stepping stone for a salesperson to get closer to their quota isn’t reassuring. Instead, we gave people a full shopping experience: go from research to application at your own pace, and only give up your contact information when you’re ready to take the next step in completing your application.Related: How to Start a Business With (Almost) No MoneyAnd insurance isn’t something that people think about all the time. That means you have a limited window to reach (and keep) them. How do you make the most of that time? By giving them all of the information and tools they need to go through the whole process upfront without needing to jump through hoops. In other words, don’t waste their time. Showing them the opportunity and value of life insurance through educational content and an easy-to-use process gives users the confidence that they can buy a policy without hassle and benefit from it for years to come.People will do more than you think they will.It’s easy to write off digital experiences as only being appealing for Millennials. And even though Millennials make up half of our customer base, that means that half of our users are from older, more affluent segments – and yet they still use and enjoy our digital experience. Remember, they’ve lived most of their lives in a world where TurboTax is the way millions of people do their taxes. They’re not new to this.Where do you integrate robo-advice? Wherever you can in the funnel – which, as it turns out, is every step.For example, we customize content and advice so that we’re giving customers relevant information. Even though the advice is “robo” that doesn’t mean it’s impersonal. If you can translate the type of advice a human insurance agent would deliver in the “kitchen table conversation” into an algorithm, then you can deliver tailored advice in a self-service, automated fashion. That’s what our Insurance Checkup does: in five minutes customers can find out exactly what type of coverage they need based on their financial situation.It doesn’t stop there, though. We provide instant, accurate, automated quotes with advanced underwriting techniques; at the evaluation stage, we’ve built plain-English content and decision-support features that answer the most important questions insurance shoppers have; our insurer report cards highlight all the ratings and customer “moments of truth” essential for the purchasing decision. Step by step, we make learning about, applying for, and purchasing insurance easy and self-directed.And what happens when you put robo-advisor tools in place in the funnel? More than you’d think.Related: Habits of the World’s Wealthiest People (Infographic)Our customers spend a lot of time on the research and decision-making steps of the process because we’ve given them personalized content to dig through. They answer a lot of high-friction questions to get accurate quotes (more questions than a typical UX/UI designer would think is possible) and spend upwards of 10 minutes on our site per transaction. There’s only a few days between when they begin the process and when they finish their application, and a vast majority of our users do finish their application once they start – enough that we’ve seen 20% month-over-month growth when the rest of the life insurance industry has stayed relatively flat. We’ve done this by enabling people to buy life insurance the way they want to: with plenty of advice, on their own terms, instantly.Robo-advice isn’t a one-size-fits-all tool.We aren’t all suited for robo-advice just yet. Whether it’s because we’re concerned about the security implications of entering all of our financial information online or we just like having an expert sit down with us and answer questions in real life, an agent works better for some people.Although we’ve been able to reach across generational gaps at PolicyGenius, studies show that older generations (sorry 35 year olds, you’re an “older generation” now) are more likely to prefer a face-to-face experience at some point, while younger people are more comfortable with a fully online process – according to an AXA survey 34% of Millennials want to interact with their insurer solely online, and 8% don’t want to interact with them at all.But it’s not just an age thing. Whether or not people want to apply for life insurance online depends on their needs and their do-it-yourself orientation; where they fall on that spectrum dictates where you can fit robo-advisor tools into the process to make their experience as seamless as possible.On one end, you have someone with simple needs — they just want a pretty straightforward life insurance policy, for instance — and they’re comfortable going through it themselves; you can automate every step of the process, from education all the way through to checkout. They don’t have to talk to a single person if they don’t want to.Then you get to people who want to do it on their own but need an agent due to their financial situation: high net worth consumers with complicated estate planning needs are probably better served with a personal advisor at some point in the process.The inverse of the latter customer is the consumer who wants (more than needs) an agent but it may not be feasible for them to be supported every step of the way because it’s not cost-effective for the agent to handle every step of the process for them. For these customers, you can complement their journey with robo-advisor tools — let them go through as much as they can on their own and having an agent step in only when necessary so the agent doesn’t have to invest too much in time or resources for a simple policy.And finally, at the other end of our spectrum, there’s the traditional agent model for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the process alone or has complicated needs that an experienced professional can help with. 69% of respondents to a recent Allianz survey said they don’t trust advice found online, so they’d rather work with an agent than a robo-advisor — so there’s still a market out there for them.The life insurance industry has been around for a long time. We’re not going to revolutionize it overnight. We don’t have to, and we don’t want to — it’s a large, complex industry, and a lot of people still find value in the way it currently works. But we shouldn’t fight the tools and technology that are available to us, and implementing robo-advisors is one of the incremental changes we can put in place to make buying life insurance easier for everyone.  Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

Cognitive Analytics Market Share to Record Steady Growth by 2024

first_imgThe report begins with a brief introduction and market overview, in which the Cognitive Analytics industry is first defined before estimating its market scope and size. Next, the report elaborates on the market scope and market size estimation. This is followed by an overview of the market segmentations such as type, application, and region. The drivers, limitations, and opportunities are listed for the Cognitive Analytics industry, followed by industry news and policies. The report performs an industry chain analysis, focusing on upstream raw material suppliers and major downstream buyers. The data is highlighted through the use of tables and figures, which also include manufacturing cost structure and market channel analysis. Major players involved in the Cognitive Analytics industry are also delineated, along with their market share and product types. Download Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-sample/3176566?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil Chapter 2 is about the market landscape and major players. It provides competitive situation and market concentration status along with the basic information of these players. Buy Now @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/checkout/sales/521?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil Chapter 10 provides clear insights into market dynamics. Chapter 12 concludes the research findings and refines all the highlights of the study. Contact us: 5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland,OR 97220 United StatesDirect: +1-971-202-1575Toll Free: +1-800-910-6452E-mail : [email protected] Chapter 4 gives a worldwide view of Cognitive Analytics market. It includes production, market share revenue, price, and the growth rate by type. Avail Discount on Report @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-for-discount/3176566?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil Cognitive analytics market has been segmented on the basis of technology, deployment, end user and vertical. The technology segment is further bifurcated into natural language processing, machine learning, automated reasoning and others. Natural language processing and machine learning techniques are used together to analyze patterns and behaviors that are unusual. It helps in better decision-making processes. Chapter 3 provides a full-scale analysis of major players in Cognitive Analytics industry. The basic information, as well as the profiles, applications and specifications of products market performance along with Business Overview are offered. Chapter 11 prospects the whole Cognitive Analytics market, including the global production and revenue forecast, regional forecast. It also foresees the Cognitive Analytics market by type and application. Chapter 6 is about production, consumption, export, and import of Cognitive Analytics in each region.center_img About Us:Big Market Research has a range of research reports from various publishers across the world. Our database of reports of various market categories and sub-categories would help to find the exact report you may be looking for. Chapter 7 pays attention to the production, revenue, price and gross margin of Cognitive Analytics in markets of different regions. The analysis on production, revenue, price and gross margin of the global market is covered in this part. Chapter 8 concentrates on manufacturing analysis, including key raw material analysis, cost structure analysis and process analysis, making up a comprehensive analysis of manufacturing cost. Chapter 9 introduces the industrial chain of Cognitive Analytics. Industrial chain analysis, raw material sources and downstream buyers are analyzed in this chapter. The research extensively analyses the key market players involved in the global Cognitive Analytics industry. With the help of tables and figures, valuable insights on production, value, price, and gross margin of each player are offered. The report segments the global Cognitive Analytics market based on factors such as type, application, and region. For the historic period, extensive insights on value, market share, production, growth rate, and price analysis for each sub-segment is offered by the report. Additionally, the report also delves into regional production, consumption, export, and import for the historic period. The regions analyzed in the research include North America, Europe, China, Japan, Middle East & Africa, India, and South America. Finally, the current market status and SWOT analysis for each region are elaborated, which would assist market players to gain a competitive edge by determining the dominant segments. We are instrumental in providing quantitative and qualitative insights on your area of interest by bringing reports from various publishers at one place to save your time and money. A lot of organizations across the world are gaining profits and great benefits from information gained through reports sourced by us. Table of content:Chapter 1 provides an overview of Cognitive Analytics market, containing global revenue, global production, sales, and CAGR. The forecast and analysis of Cognitive Analytics market by type, application, and region are also presented in this chapter. Chapter 13 introduces the research methodology and sources of research data for your understanding. The major market players operating in the industry are Google (U.S.), IBM Corporation (U.S.), Microsoft Corporation (U.S.), Nokia Networks (Finland), Saffron Technology (U.S.), ColdLight Solutions (U.S.). Chapter 5 focuses on the application of Cognitive Analytics, by analyzing the consumption and its growth rate of each application. The report mainly studies the size, recent trends and development status of the Cognitive Analytics market, as well as investment opportunities, government policy, market dynamics (drivers, restraints, opportunities), supply chain and competitive landscape.last_img read more

iPad 2019 7thGeneration Rumors Release Date and What to Expect

first_img3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited1 of 7Tests graphics and gaming performance using the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark. Higher number is better.Apple iPad Air (2019)Apple iPad 9.7-inch (2018)Apple iPad mini 2019Lenovo Tab 4 10 PlusCategory Average (as of 02/28/19) Storage Drive Type 20537.25 0 15000 30000 45000 60000 75000 90000 256GB One year of hardware repair coverage via limited warranty, up to 90 days of tech support. Company Website Headphone 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Display Resolution RAM Upgradeable Specifications CPU Apple iOS 12 RAM Included https://www.apple.com/ipad-air/specs/ Storage Drive Size 3DMark Ice Storm UnlimitedBattery LifeColor AccuracyColor GamutDisplay Brightness (Nits)Geekbench 4Jetstream Not Tested 13801 Review OS 2224 x 1668 Card Readers Graphics Memory Ports Card Reader Sizecenter_img Ports Yes USB Ports 10.5 Wi-Fi 8MP 7MP Weight Nano’SIM Looking up and down Apple’s revised iPad lineup, the newly reborn iPad Air appears to remix all of the company’s best tablet features together. The iPad Air packs Apple’s fast A12 Bionic chip and support for the Smart Keyboard, a first for a non-Pro iPad. And at $499, it’s half the price of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and $170 more than the regular iPad.article continued below Its bright, colorful, crisp 10.5-inch screen falls in a particularly sweet spot as well, giving you a great canvas for multitasking and gaming. Toss in fantastic battery life, and you get the best mid-size tablet we’ve seen in a while. iPad Air price and availability The iPad Air starts at $499 with 64GB of storage, which is enough for most, especially those that store photos and files in an iCloud account. A 256GB storage option is available at $649. You can upgrade to cellular LTE connectivity for an extra $130, a perk I’ve been begging Apple to offer on the next MacBook Pro. This would mean the difference between relying on airport Wi-Fi, or carrying a hotspot everywhere, as not everyone has a cellular plan that includes mobile hotspot capabilities. The iPad Air supports Apple’s $99 iPad Pencil (1st Gen) and a $159 Smart Keyboard cover. Design The new iPad Air is a larger iPad, which makes it a much-larger iPad mini, which is to say we’re all familiar with this machined aluminium design (available in silver, space gray and gold). Sure, its side bezels are slimmer than those of the original 2012 iPad Air, but if I were packing a bag in a rush, I might not notice the difference. This isn’t a bad thing, mind you, as the top and bottom bezels (also called the forehead and chin), look a lot less chunky on this 10.5-inch design than on the new 7.9-inch iPad Mini. The new 10.5-inch iPad Air weighs 1 pound and measures 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.24 inches, which makes it heavier than, but just as thin as, the new 7.9-inch iPad mini (0.68 ounces / 8 x 5.3 x .24 inches). It’s a hair lighter and thinner than the 9.7-inch iPad (1.05 pounds, 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.29 inches) and the 10.1-inch Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus (1.1 pounds, 9.7 x 6.8 x 0.28 inches). With the Smart Keyboard attached, the iPad Air measures a slightly chunkier 0.5 inches and weighs about 50 percent more, at 1.56 pounds. Having carried the iPad Air around with and without its Smart Keyboard, I prefer holding it with the attached accessory, which provides a grippier surface. While I’d love the iPad Air to ditch its Lightning port for the USB Type-C port seen in the iPad Pro, I’m happy its other “retro” port — the 3.5mm headphone jack — is still around. I’m not sure why this tablet gets a feature that the iPad Pro doesn’t, but I’m not complaining. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor has also stuck around (Face ID has yet to replace it), and still unlocks the tablet almost instantly. Display When watching a 4K version of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse on the iPad Air, I was giddy with the tablet’s image quality. The red-and-blue hues of young Miles Morales’ Spider-Man costume popped off the screen as he interrogated Peter B. Parker. Skipping around the movie, I stopped in awe when I saw the seafoam-green walls of Kingpin’s Super Collider, which looked absolutely electric on the screen. The dark corners of the subway tunnels in the movie looked pretty rich to me, despite the iPad Air not using an OLED display. The iPad Air’s 2224 x 1668-pixel panel is also great for crisp images, as those tiny Ben-Day dots that permeate every object and person in the Spider-Verse look extremely sharp on this 264 pixel-per-inch display. When watching a 4K version of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse on the iPad Air, I was giddy with the tablet’s image quality. According to our colorimeter, the iPad Air produces a high 132 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which jumps over the 116 percent average, the 119 percent rating from the 9.7-inch iPad and the 109 percent rating from the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus. The new iPad mini posted a slightly higher 135 percent. The iPad Air’s screen gets pretty bright, emitting up to 425 nits of brightness, besting the 409-nit category average and the 400-nit Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus. The new iPad mini (490 nits) and the 9.7-inch iPad (489 nits) get even brighter. The Air’s screen is so bright that it offers a superb range of viewing angles, with colors looking true even when I’m examining its panel from 85 degrees to the left or right. MORE: Best Tablet 2019 – Top Tablets on the Market As I’ve navigated the iPad Air’s home screen and apps with taps and swipes, I’ve noticed that this touch-screen display continues Apple’s history of excellent input-tracking accuracy. You’ll appreciate that responsiveness as you drag apps up from the dock for split-view and swipe them in and out for a third “slide-over” app. Smart Keyboard, Apple Pencil The iPad Air is the first tablet outside the iPad Pro line to both support the Apple Pencil and feature a Smart Connector for use with Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover. And while I’m delighted to see these two perks finally arrive, it just makes me want more. The iPad’s Air Smart Keyboard ($159 extra) offers a decent typing experience. Despite its keys being quite shallow, with 1.1 millimeters of travel (we look for at least 1.5 mm), I was able to type comfortably at 73 words per minute (with 98 percent accuracy) on the 10FastFingers.com typing test. That’s below my regular 80 words per minute (98 percent accuracy) average, but I’m OK with the trade-offs. The biggest issue with the Smart Keyboard is its high price, especially since this is not the latest version of the keyboard. Fortunately, you can pair this tablet with any Bluetooth keyboard, though the benefit of the Smart Keyboard is how neatly it folds into the tablet as a display cover for travel. The iPad Air supports the Apple Pencil ($99 extra), which works just as well as ever. When I handed the tablet and stylus to my colleague Remy Zimmerman, a graphic designer, she whipped together a gorgeous-looking avocado in the Procreate drawing app, mixing greens, yellows and browns together in the app while drawing a mix of thin and wide strokes on screen. I wish the Air supported the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, which is currently limited to the iPad Pro. Sure, that device only charges via magnetic connections, and there’s no such edge on the iPad Air’s design. But its matte barrel feels much more natural than the glossy (and a bit too slick) 1st Gen Apple Pencil. Plus, the process of connecting the Apple Pencil to the Lightning port on the bottom of the iPad Air still feels awkward, like something’s going to break. Performance The iPad Air’s A12 Bionic system-on-chip (which features a Neural Engine for machine learning and the M12 co-processor) provides plenty of speed for such apps as Procreate and Pixelmator Photos to enable snappy creative experiences. This processor can also handle more-traditional laptop-like usage as well. Splitting its screen between the Bear text editor and nine tabs in Safari, I was able to quickly jump, without any stuttering, between tabs about Tucson, Arizona, and plan out my upcoming trip, even with the Music app active as the third slide-over app. I found the limits of the Air only by switching the third open app to YouTube, where I opened a 1080p clip from the VideoGameDunkey channel. Then, I saw Safari tabs taking a moment to refresh when I reopened them by clicking Cmd+Tab to cycle through open pages. The iPad Air’s A12 Bionic processor provides plenty of speed for apps such as Procreate and Pixelmator Photos to enable snappy creative experiences. On the Geekbench 4 general-performance test, the iPad Air notched a solid 11,471, more than twice the 5,600 tablet average. The new iPad mini (also packing the A12 and M12 chips) scored a similar 11,515, while we saw a lower 5,983 from the 9.7-inch iPad (Apple A10 Fusion) and a 4,097 from the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus (Qualcomm Snapdragon 625). Gaming The iPad Air is one of the best tablets for gaming, thanks to its speed, large screen, access to a wide range of iOS games and its augmented reality perks. As I played NBA 2K Mobile I was impressed by the visual effects, including the beads of sweat on the neck and back of Frank Ntilikina, who moved smoothly up and down the court at Madison Square Garden. (The fans, on the other hand, looked realistically bored and disappointed with the ever-underperforming squad). Indie game Donut County, where you navigate a sinkhole around California, looks even better on the iPad Air’s 10.5-inch screen than it does on my iPhone XS Max. Even as phones get larger and larger, apps just look better on larger canvases, where you have more space to enjoy the cartoonish visuals of a giant donut shop and its workers falling through the earth. I also got to enjoy a couple of augmented-reality apps on the iPad Air. In Avo!, I doodled lines on my screen to direct an avocado with googly eyes around my coffee table, and in Ghostbusters World, Slimer appeared in my bedroom, where I got to zap him on screen when he levitated in front of my TV. In each app, the AR objects handled object-detection well, and moved fluidly without issue. MORE: 21 Best Education Apps for Your iPad On the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test, the iPad Air earned a great 77,385, easily toppling the 26,854 tablet average, the 37,117 from the 9.7-inch iPad and the 13,801 from the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus. Apps One of the most impressive apps I’ve tested on the iPad Air is Pixelmator Photo, currently in its final beta, which provides a really neat trick. Its ML button applies Machine Learning-based intelligence based on thousands of improved photos to instantly make your photos look starkly more realistic. (That’s where the A12 Bionic chip comes in.) Testing it out on a photo of a nightclub I shot in a back alley in London, a tap of the ML button instantly fixed the white balance of the image. Because of this, the van parked outside the venue gained a more natural white, and the pink design on the towel taped to it also cleaned up nicely, and you could see the dark gray (not black) tone of the marker-written words “SECRET GIRL GANG CLUBHOUSE.” It’s a much faster alternative to re-touching shots in VSCO, my current means of image doctoring, which can often lead to images that look unnatural and oversaturated. Testing a beta version of the Moleskine Flow drawing and writing app, I saw loads of potential in the app that could provide an alternative to using a real notebook, as it packs tons of writing utensils and an unlimited set of pages in a clean aesthetic. Unfortunately, I noticed a slight latency in my input in Flow when compared to using the Pencil in the Apple Notes app. Hopefully, this is something that gets solved in development. Audio Luniz’s “I Got 5 On Us” sounded great on the iPad Air as it filled my loft’s living room with accurate bass, crisp drums and clear synths. The iPad also handily reproduced James Blake’s soulful “Where’s the Catch?” with the singer’s plaintive, serene vocals coming through accurately. Battery Life The iPad Air is a trooper when it comes to endurance. The Laptop Mag Battery Test (web surfing at 150 nits) took 11 hours and 54 minutes to drain the slate of its charge, a time that beats the 10:16 tablet average and the 10:07 time from the 9.7-inch iPad by nearly 2 hours. The new iPad mini (12:40) and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus (13:06) last longer. Cameras Photography is definitely not a strength of the iPad Air.. I’m not just saying that because of how awkward I looked as I snapped photos with a 10.5-inch tablet, either. The 8-megapixel and front 7-MP cameras just aren’t very impressive. I was able to eek out decent selfies and shots of street art in downtown Manhattan — with accurate hues of spray paint and sharp details for my stubble — but only with the help of ample daylight (Though too much light caused sections of photos to be overexposed.) Fortunately, Pixelmator Photos’ MR button helped salvage those images. The rear cam’s ƒ/2.4 aperture (higher is worse) is partly to blame, as the iPad Air’s shooter lets in less than the wide-angle (ƒ/1.8 aperture) camera on the back of my iPhone XS Max. The iPad Air’s selfie cam sports an ƒ/2.2 aperture, the same as the selfie shooter on the iPhone XS. Both cameras are surprisingly zoomed in, which didn’t help, either. If I were giving this iPad to a relative, I’d advise them to keep using the phone in their pocket, as it’s also easier to hold in one hand than the 10.5-inch iPad Air. Instead, the iPad Air’s cameras are best suited for use in augmented-reality apps. iPad mini vs. New iPad Air vs 9.7-inch iPad: What should you buy? As Apple’s iPad lineup grows, the decision about which iPad is best for you becomes harder. The newly updated iPad mini is so similar to the iPad Air regarding battery life, screen quality and performance that any decision between those two comes down to three questions. MORE: Best Laptops Under $500 The first is “Do you love to multitask?” because the iPad Air’s 10.5-inch screen is much better suited to having three apps open at once, accomplished by using split-view apps with a third that you “slide over” on top of one of the first two, as the 7.9-inch iPad mini’s screen is a bit cramped for all those apps. Next: “Do you prefer to use your tech with one or two hands?” The lighter, smaller iPad mini is ideal for single-hand use, while the large screen of the Air practically requires using both hands. Lastly: “What kind of reader are you?” While comic books look great on the iPad Air’s large screen, ebooks fit the smaller iPad mini’s screen a lot more naturally. But what about the cheaper $329 9.7-inch iPad, which is often marked down on Amazon (it’s on sale there for $249 at the time of publication). With its slower A10 Fusion chip and lack of Smart Keyboard support, I’d recommend this slate to those who are looking for a tablet primarily for web browsing, email and looking through their photos. That’s why it’s a good fit for younger students. Bottom Line The new iPad Air doesn’t reinvent anything about the tablet, but simply provides a great combination of Apple’s existing parts and pieces. If only it included Apple’s Smart Keyboard, it wouldn’t feel so pricey at $500 (which is enough for a decent laptop). Still, the iPad Air’s fantastic display, lengthy battery life and speedy performance place it in a league of its own. The $329 iPad will suffice for more modest users, but those who want a great tablet experience without breaking the bank should buy the iPad Air. Credit: Laptop Mag by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoGrepolis – Free Online GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this GameGrepolis – Free Online GameUndoTODAYPolice Identify Girl Licking Ice Cream Tub In Viral VideoTODAYUndoForbes15 Cities With the Worst Drivers in AmericaForbesUndoMy Food and FamilyHealthy, Homemade Drunken Thai Noodles In Just 20 MinutesMy Food and FamilyUndoVerizon WirelessThis new phone will blow your mind.Verizon WirelessUndo Best Apple Laptops Best Laptops for College Students Kids Tablets to Buy (or Avoid) 77385 Lightning Advertisement Camera Resolution Size Front-Facing Camera Resolution Warranty / Support 37117 Graphics Chip Display Size 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.24 inches A12 Bionic 1 pound Has Bluetoothlast_img read more

Three major Australian political parties hacked by sophisticated state actor ahead of

first_imgYesterday, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, revealed that “a sophisticated state actor”  was behind a cyber attack on the Australian Parliament’s computing network that also affected the network of major political parties. First reported by The Guardian, the attack affected the computer networks of the Liberal Party and the Nationals – as well as the opposition Labor Party, only three months before the Parliamentary election in May. Morrison told reporters that “Our cyber experts believe that a sophisticated state actor is responsible for this malicious activity”. In a statement to parliament on Monday, he said there was no evidence of electoral interference and measures  were taken to “ensure the integrity of our electoral system”. This intrusion into the networks of political parties was detected by agencies investigating the attack on the Parliament House network. He said security agencies had “acted decisively” to confront the incursion and were “securing these systems and protecting users”. Australian Cyber Security Centre head Alastair MacGibbon stated that the agency was currently unable to answer whether or not data had been stolen because all the agencies involved were “acting extraordinarily quickly and very openly, so we are piecing together all of the events.” There is no evidence as to which country was behind the intrusion as well as no comment on how deeply the attack had penetrated the computer networks. The news comes just months after the Assistance and Access Bill was passed that allows the police to tell apps like WhatsApp and Signal to build in so-called “backdoors”, to give investigators access to the contents of messages, to assist in any investigation of cyber offense. However, security experts were unanimously against backdoors since once such a mechanism has been implanted in the app, it can create a target for other countries’ spy agencies and corporate spies to see what people are discussing. Users on Twitter and HackerNews have expressed strong sentiments on this news, one user is blaming the government’s choices like weakening the encryption in apps through their new law, that has lead to this attack. Other users are speculating Russia’s hand in this attack. The Sydney Morning Herald stated that just four states — China, Russia, Israel, and the United States — have the capability to perform such an attack. Head over to BBC for more insights on this news. Read Next Australian intelligence and law enforcement agencies already issued notices under the ‘Assistance and Access’ Act despite opposition from industry groups Australia’s Facial recognition and identity system can have “chilling effect on freedoms of political discussion, the right to protest and the right to dissent”: The Guardian report Australia passes a rushed anti-encryption bill “to make Australians safe”; experts find “dangerous loopholes” that compromise online privacy and safetylast_img read more

Record numbers of LA arrivals are finding plenty of new hotels

first_imgTags: Los Angeles LOS ANGELES —L.A. Tourism wants 50 million visitors by the year 2020 and it’s well on its way to that goal, with 48.3 million visitors in 2017 – a new tourism milestone for the seventh consecutive year.The 2017 record figure is 1 million visitors higher than 2016’s total, an increase of 2.2%, driven by an all-time high 41.2 million domestic visitors.International visitation overall grew 0.9% to a record 7.1 million visitors, outperforming both its projected forecast and inbound travel to the U.S. as a whole in 2017.International markets recording significant gains for Los Angeles in 2017 included Canada with its highest visitor total ever at 747,000, a 5.5% year-over-year increase).L.A. Tourism recently launched ‘L.A.’ Insider’, a new specialist training program now available as an online training tool that’s both mobile and tablet-friendly. The specialist program is the first of its kind for L.A. Tourism and is designed to help Canadian and U.S. travel trade better sell the city.There’s plenty of hotel news coming out of L.A., with recent openings in 2017 and more new hotels to come in 2018. Here’s a look at the newest offerings:CAMBRiA LAX (Beach Cities) – Choice Hotels International’s upscale CAMBRiA badge has entered the Los Angeles area with the opening of The CAMBRiA Hotel Los Angeles – LAX. The hotel has 152 rooms and a bistro called Social Circle. The hotel is located about three kilometres south of Los Angeles International Airport.cambriahotelsandsuites.comDream Hollywood Hotel (Hollywood) – The West Coast’s first Dream Hotel has debuted in the heart of Hollywood, at Selma Ave. and Cahuenga Blvd. Designed by the award-winning Rockwell Group, the 10-storey boutique Dream Hollywood Hotel features 179 hyper-chic rooms, unique-to-market dining experiences and an 11,000-square-foot rooftop lounge area.dreamhotels.comKimpton Everly Hotel (Hollywood) – Opened in August 2017, Kimpton Everly Hotel features 216 rooms, relaxed communal spaces and effortlessly cool design. With its light-filled interiors, thoughtfully designed for comfort and ease, Kimpton Everly Hotel is a true celebration of its Beachwood Canyon neighborhood and the laidback California lifestyle. The hotel is steps away from the iconic intersection of Hollywood and Vine with unbeatable panoramic views of the nearby Hollywood Sign, Downtown Los Angeles skyline and the Pacific Coast.everlyhotelhollywood.comFreehand Los Angeles (Downtown) – Sydell Group introduced the Freehand Los Angeles after transforming the 1924 Commercial Exchange Building in Downtown L.A.’s Historic Core. The 13-storey building boasts 226 rooms, ranging from traditional accommodations to high-design hostels (or ‘poshtels’) with up to eight beds. The hotel also features a lobby living room, retail, restaurant and bar offerings in addition to a rooftop pool and lounge.thefreehand.comH Hotel/Homewood Suites (LAX) – A dual-branded property under Hilton’s Curio Collection and Homewood Suites badges opened in September 2017 at the site of a former office building near LAX. The H Hotel, L.A.’s first hotel within the Curio Collection, has 168 rooms and boasts an elevated deck and fitness center with nearly 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood. The Homewood Suites Los Angeles International Airport has 122 rooms.Hotel Figueroa (Downtown) – Hotel Figueroa is sporting a recent renovation that transformed its Moroccan décor to a new contemporary aesthetic with a touch of Spanish flare. Hotel Figueroa has expanded bathrooms, 57 new suites, a second restaurant, a fourth bar and a garden on the roof. New windows have been installed in rooms to help block out the noise from Figueroa Street. hotelfigueroa.comHotel Indigo Downtown Los Angeles (Downtown) – InterContinental Hotels Group debuted Hotel Indigo Downtown Los Angeles, a hip 350-room hotel in 2017. The 18-storey Hotel Indigo is the flagship hotel at Metropolis, a US$1 billion mixed-use development, which will feature three residential towers, curated retail experience and a rooftop bar. The property is at the heart of downtown L.A., linking the Financial District to L.A. LIVE. Design for the hotel is inspired by its surrounding neighborhood and focuses on prominent narratives from Downtown’s past including Fiesta De Las Flores, the glamorous pre-Hollywood nightlife scene and the underground speakeasies of the Roaring Twenties.ihg.com/hotelindigoInterContinental Los Angeles Downtown (Downtown) – InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown is part of the tallest U.S. building west of Chicago as the Wilshire Grand Center. The hotel features 889 rooms, 110 suites and one presidential suite, including a ‘sky lobby’ on the 70th floor. There is nearly 100,000 square feet of meetings, conventions and event space. Wilshire Grand Center is a $1.1 billion project that also includes 400,000 square feet of offices and 45,000 square feet of retail space. Wilshire Grand Center is about 80 feet taller than the U.S. Bank Tower and the hotel is the largest InterContinental in the Americas.ihg.comThe Jeremy West Hollywood (West Hollywood) – The Jeremy West Hollywood Hotel has moved in on the corner of Sunset and La Cienega and features stunning panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills and Los Angeles Basin. The hotel has 286 guestrooms with two Penthouse Suites that all feature panoramic Hollywood Hills views.jeremyhotel.comLa Peer (West Hollywood) – Opening in January 2018, La Peer Hotel will feature 105 guest rooms and suites, a rooftop event space, poolside fitness centre and more than 8,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining and lounge spaces. In addition, the property’s pool – while in the center of the bustling city – is an escape in and of itself accented by lush landscaping and handcrafted lanterns hanging from above that set the tone for an urban retreat.lapeerhotel.comNobu Ryokan Malibu (Beach Cities) – Nobu Hospitality, famous for Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature restaurants, reclaimed the former Casa Malibu and repurposed it as a ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn. The beachfront property, which is owned by tech magnate Larry Ellison, has 16 custom rooms.nobuhotels.comNomad Hotel (Downtown) – Sydell Group, which opened Koreatown’s The LINE Hotel in 2014, has opened the Los Angeles outpost of New York’s NoMad Hotel. The NoMad has been redeveloped out of Downtown’s Giannini Place, which was built in 1923 as the headquarters for Bank of Italy (which became Bank of America). The 12-storey hotel has some 250 rooms as well as a rooftop pool. L.A. is the first city where three Sydell Group brands are represented.sydellgroup.com/nomad/los-angelesProper Hotels (Downtown) – Proper Hotels, the new brand headed by former Viceroy Hotels chief Brad Korzen, is slated to enter Los Angeles with a Downtown L.A. property located at the site of the former Case Hotel. The 13-storey property, which was built in 1924, will have 145 rooms and has plans to open in mid-2018.properhotel.com/downtown-laSheraton Gateway Los Angeles (LAX) – The hotel completed its second phase of multi-million dollar renovation with sophisticated upgrades to their 802 guestrooms and suites as well as the hotel lobby area and Sheraton Club. In addition, Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel invested $3.5 million dollars to enhance its 38 versatile meeting and function rooms totaling in 50,000 square-feet of distinctive event space.sheratonlax.comWaldorf Astoria (Beverly Hills) – The Los Angeles area’s first hotel under Hilton Worldwide’s Waldorf Astoria luxury brand is on the triangular corner next to the Beverly Hilton. The newly-built property, with Streamline Moderne design influences, is 12 storeys tall and features 170 rooms.waldorfastoriabeverlyhills.comWestdrift Manhattan Beach (Beach Cities) – Making its debut last month as the first Autograph Collection hotel in Los Angeles, the 26-acre westdrift Manhattan Beach boasts 392 luxury guest rooms, a nine-hole golf course, a signature indoor/outdoor restaurant, a CrossFit-inspired fitness centre and more than 35,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space, including 18 meeting rooms, a traditional ballroom and three large, industrial-chic venues. The property is currently operating as Marriott Manhattan Beach, and is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation.westdrift.com/More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamFor more information, go to discoverlosangeles.com. Posted by Share Monday, February 26, 2018 center_img Travelweek Group Record numbers of L.A. arrivals are finding plenty of new hotels << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Oasis of the Seas sailing cut short after Norovirus outbreak

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Oasis of the Seas sailing cut short after Norovirus outbreak By: The Associated Press Tags: Oasia of the Seas, RC, Royal Caribbean International, Sick Share MIAMI — Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is returning to a Florida port a day early and giving passengers full refunds of their fare after 277 guests and crew members were hit with an outbreak of Norovirus as it sailed to Jamaica.Cruise line spokesman Owen Torres told The Associated Press “we think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health.”He says the ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday. It sailed from there Sunday on a seven-day Caribbean cruise.Passengers took to social media on Wednesday, tweeting they were forced to stay onboard after docking in Falmouth, Jamaica, for what was supposed to be a day of excursions.Torres says returning a day early gives the cruise line “more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship” before it sails again. Friday, January 11, 2019 last_img read more

Water rationing to limit service to half a million people this weekend

first_imgSome 550,000 residents of San José and the eastern province of Cartago will have rationed water service on Saturday and Sunday, officials said. The measures start at 8 a.m. on Saturday and end at 8 p.m. on Sunday.The Costa Rican Electricity Institute will perform maintenance works in tubing systems in the Río Macho area east of Cartago, which requires the Costa Rican Water and Sewer Institute to reduce aqueduct operations.Systems from the eastern zone of Cartago supply most of the water in the two provinces. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rican court annuls building concessions in Osa Peninsula protected areas

first_imgThe Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, on Friday ruled against construction concessions granted by the Municipality of Osa in the southern Pacific for new tourism businesses inside protected areas.The Sala IV ruled in favor of an appeal against the municipality, which had said that forests and wetlands located inside “natural areas of patrimony” were fair game for the projects, part of a new development plan for the canton.Sala IV justices said that “in the absence of certainty about whether or not activities will cause serious or irreparable damage to an area, the administration must refrain from approving such projects.”The court suspended all concessions in the area “until there is absolute certainty that the properties are not part of natural patrimonial lands.” The case against the Osa Municipality was filed by local conservationist groups, after the municipality approved a construction concession for a private marina in the area.According to the complaint, several other projects are being planned and built in protected areas in the Osa region.The Osa Peninsula is one of the richest regions in the world in terms of biodiversity, boasting nearly 2 percent of animal and plant species found around the world. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

International effort widens for missing Nigerian schoolgirls

first_imgLAGOS, Nigeria – International efforts have widened to trace more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militants in Nigeria, while France has called for African leaders to hold a summit focused on the issue.Israel on Sunday joined the bid to find the 223 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram fighters in Nigeria’s restive northeast four weeks ago, but Washington said U.S. troops would stay out of any rescue mission.“There’s no intention, at this point, to [put] American boots on the ground,” U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told ABC television, admitting that finding the girls would be no easy task.Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone and accepted an offer for assistance in finding the girls, who were kidnapped from their school dormitory in the town of Chibok, Borno state, on April 14.Jonathan told Netanyahu that, “Nigeria would be pleased to have Israel’s globally acknowledged anti-terrorism expertise deployed to support its ongoing operations,” according to the president’s spokesman Reuben Abati.Britain, the United States and France have already sent specialist teams and equipment to help Nigeria’s military in the search concentrated in the remote northeast, which has been hit by five years of deadly violence.French President Francois Hollande said a summit on security in west Africa, focusing on Boko Haram, could be held as early as this Saturday “if the countries agree.”“I suggested, with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, a meeting of Nigeria’s neighboring countries,” he said on Sunday during a visit to Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. Demonstrators hold a vigil for the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, in Washington, D.C., on May 9, 2014. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFPThe leaders of at least five African countries — Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin — may take part, a source close to the president said.Nigeria’s government has been criticized as slow to respond to the crisis, and Amnesty International claimed on Friday that the military had prior warning of the impending abductions.Abuja has since been forced into action after a groundswell of national and international outrage that has included protest marches across the world.Jonathan has said he believes the girls are still in Nigeria. Searches were being conducted in the Sambisa forest area of Borno state, where the military has previously found Boko Haram camps and arms caches.There are fears, however, that the girls may have been moved across the border into Chad and Cameroon.‘Utterly merciless’Boko Haram, whose name translates loosely from the Hausa language spoken widely in northern Nigeria as “Western education is sin,” has attacked schools, churches, government installations and, increasingly, civilians since 2009.This year alone more than 1,500 people have been killed, despite a state of emergency imposed in three northeast states in May last year which was designed to put down the insurgency but has failed to stem the bloodshed.The militants were blamed for another attack on Friday night that completely destroyed the village of Liman Kara in northeastern Adamawa state.The kidnapping of young girls and women has been used as a previous tactic, but the scale of these abductions — and threats from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau to sell the girls as slaves — has galvanized the international community into action.U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, in a recorded message on Saturday, described the kidnappings as “unconscionable,” adding to condemnation from governments, religious leaders of all faiths, Hollywood celebrities, business figures and ordinary people around the world.The leader of the world’s Anglicans, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, warned that dealing with Boko Haram would be fraught with danger, as his opposite number in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, pledged his support for the girls’ return.Welby, an oil executive before joining the Church, has experience negotiating with violent groups in the oil-producing Niger Delta region in southern Nigeria.He told BBC radio in an interview that the girls faced a “colossal” risk.“They’re in the hands of a very disparate group which is extremely irrational and difficult to deal with, and utterly merciless in the example it’s shown in the past,” he said.Negotiating would be “extremely complicated” because of Boko Haram’s disparate structure, while poverty and mass unemployment in mainly Muslim north Nigeria — factors seen as fueling support for the group — have to be addressed, he added. Facebook Comments Related posts:Nigerian president orders probe into schoolgirls’ kidnapping Obama not seeking plans for US troops to rescue Nigerian girls Bringing home Nigeria’s missing girls Boko Haram’s horrendous abduction of 234 teenage girlslast_img read more

Honduran judges sacked for opposing 2009 coup seek reparations at InterAmerican Court

first_imgFour Honduran judges dismissed after having opposed the bloody coup d’etat that toppled then-President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya on Jun 28, 2009, expect to obtain full reparation from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights this week.Former Judge Guillermo López, one of the four, summarized the group’s expectations on Monday, during the start of a two-day hearing at the court, headquartered in the Costa Rican capital.A favorable ruling would mean justice, a goal the judges were unable to obtain in Honduras, López told seven continental magistrates heading the proceedings in a packed courtroom yesterday.When asked about his request to the court, the former judge stated in closing testimony that, “I believe I’d speak of full reparation.”He also sought a return to the bench: “I believe that a key act is to have us reinstated,” he added.A win at the court “would be a very heartening message for all judges in Honduras, in terms of expressing themselves, organizing themselves, and taking part in the defense of institutions,” he said, adding that, “in situations of crisis, [it would go] against the breaking of constitutional order.”He also urged the court to help empower judges “in exercising their rights and strengthening judicial independence.”López suggested a mandate by the court on reforming recent legislation in Honduras that governs a judge’s career, notably the “disciplinary system.”“Reform is urgent and necessary,” because, “if we are reinstated, that very same law, as it is today … could serve to have us investigated again and to have us fired,” he warned. Honduran Judge Adán Guillermo López speaks on a mobile phone next to Judge Luis Alonso Chévez after calling off a hunger strike they were holding along with lawmakers Sergio Castellanos and Waldina Mejia, not pictured, at La Merced square in Tegucigalpa, on June 1, 2010. Orlando Sierra/AFPIn his hour-long testimony Monday, López – the only one of the four judges attending the hearing – also pointed out the need for the Honduran government to accept its responsibility in the events.“I believe it’s very important for the state to admit full responsibility for those events, and to do so publicly,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court must “announce it will stop all persecution, exclusion and discrimination against members of the Asociación de Jueces por la Demnocracia,” or the Judges’ Association for Democracy, AJD.López referred to the organization to which he and 180 other Honduran judges belong, one of two such groups in the Central American nation.The former jurist explained that in 2009, AJD issued statements countering the Supreme Court’s allegation that Zelaya’s violent overthrow and exile was not a coup, but rather a “constitutional succession.”“Nowadays, being a member of the judge’s association is practically a crime,” he said.For AJD members, “there’s no possibility for training, there’s no possibility for promotion; the judges in our organization are not promoted, they’re banned from being promoted simply because they belong to this guild,” he said.In his detailed account of events the day of the coup and since then, López told the court that he was disciplined for having taken part in a massive, peaceful demonstration on July 5 in front of the Toncontín International Airport on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa.Thousands of opponents to the coup gathered there to welcome Zelaya, who had announced his return, accompanied by Organization of American States Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza and several Latin American presidents.But military authorities parked jeeps and other vehicles to block the landing strips, forcing the plane carrying Zelaya and the other leaders to abort the landing.Military and police forces then charged the demonstrators, firing bullets and tear gas.López was among the wounded that day, suffering a severe fracture in his left leg. Supporters of toppled Honduran President Manuel Zelaya protest on July 11, 2009 in Tegucigalpa. Orlando Sierra/AFPOn Monday, the former judge pointed out that, “as I was being punished for what was seen as a disciplinary crime – having taken part in the July 5 demonstration, as of June 28, the Supreme Court expressed in a communiqué that everything that had happened in the country was legitimate, and the rule of law had been preserved.“Later on, in July, they issued another communiqué, and in the following weeks, they put out a total of five communiqués … clearly stating the constitutional – or presidential – succession that had taken place in the country was legitimate,” he added.“It’s unheard of that a high court of justice would make an effort to legitimize what had been a coup d’etat,” he said.López and colleagues Luis Alonso Chévez, Rolando Barrios and Tirza Flores hope the Costa Rica-based court will declare the Honduran government responsible for human rights violations committed against them.The hearing concludes today, with legal representatives of the victims, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the Honduran government expected to make their closing arguments. Facebook Comments Related posts:In 2nd day of trial, Honduran judges say they acted in defense of human rights Miguel Facussé is dead: What does that mean for the people of Honduras? Honduras brings homicide rate down Honduran journalist travels to Costa Rica to denounce death threats, beating back homelast_img read more

La Ruta de los Conquistadores starts tomorrow Lance Armstrong set to compete

first_imgLa Ruta de los Conquistadores is a brutal, three-day mountain-bike race in which participants traverse more than 220 kilometers from Jacó Beach to Playa Bonita, Limón.The race bills itself as “one of the most difficult athletic events on the planet,” and its website highlights reviews from participants who describe the race as a “soul-sappingly hard […] journey across laughably steep inclines.”The event sends riders through five mountain ranges and almost 30,000 feet of elevation gain. It promises “every imaginable riding surface,” from sand, to thigh-deep mud, to volcanic ash. In 2015, a participant spent 30 hours lost in the Carara Rainforest after a river swept him away.La Ruta has grown dramatically since Román Urbina first blazed the path in 1993. The race now welcomes hundreds of international riders and has helped create a genre of similar events worldwide.It has even garnered the attention of cycling’s best-known athlete, Lance Armstrong. The retired road-racing star will participate in this year’s Ruta, the race confirmed to The Tico Times.“Apparently, this shit is supposed to be terrible — like the hardest three days you could ever imagine,” Armstrong said earlier this year on his “Stages” podcast.Armstrong won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, but he was later stripped of those accomplishments after an investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.Armstrong is banned for life from sanctioned cycling events but is able to race at non-sanctioned events like La Ruta. Not that Armstrong has any expectation he’ll win. Despite his competitive nature, the 47-year-old admits he’s no longer in peak cycling shape.“They’ve got some of the best mountain bikers in the world now, and the locals – the domestic guys from Costa Rica – are insane,” Armstrong said. “They know the trails.“[…] ‘Pura Vida’ — That’s what they say down there. They have monkeys everywhere. They have alligators. I’m serious, they have alligators. I’ve seen pictures. […] I fear more the mosquitoes. I hate mosquitoes.”Armstrong also posted a video announcing his participation:Lance Armstrong at La Ruta de los Conquistadores from Mark Higgins on Vimeo.La Ruta has partnered with the Association Fight Against Childhood Cancer (ALCCI) since 2012 and expects Armstrong’s participation to increase their contribution this year.La Ruta de los Conquistadores will be held Nov. 1-3. The full course map is available here. Facebook Comments Related posts:Betalú wins, Armstrong finishes Ruta de los Conquistadores PHOTOS: La Ruta de los Conquistadores Costa Rica’s Román Urbina inducted into Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Three days of mountain biking through Costa Ricalast_img read more

Troubling increase of cancer in Latin America

first_imgMost recent global data indicate that the number of cases and deaths caused by the disease will grow in the region in a faster pace than the average.Different sectors point to the need of action in order to increase access to cancer treatment. Better infrastructure, more financing, human resources and availability of treatment are the most mentioned solutions.Every two minutes, five persons are diagnosed with cancer in Latin America. The region has 1.4 million new cases per year and the disease continue to increase. In September 2018, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), linked to the World Health Organization (WHO), updated the Global Cancer Observatory and the picture for the future is alarming: the incidence of the disease is bound to grow 63 percent in the world until 2040, and the number of deaths should increase 71.5 percent.In developing areas, like Latin America, where early diagnostic and the access to treatment are more difficult, the outlook is even worse: the number of cases must leap 73 percent in the next 21 years, getting close to 2.5 million a year.At the same time, the access to health care in the region faces serious problems: according to a study published in The Lancet, more than 156 million people die every year due to the lack of access to health services. The growing need of attention faces fragmented health systems, lacking infrastructure, human resources, diagnostic, treatment and financing.Formed by countries with different socioeconomic and cultural realities, Latin America also has different panoramas related to prevention and fight against cancer. “The situation is uneven. There are countries with well succeeded policies, well implemented and with good results, such as Uruguay and Costa Rica, and there are others that are still very far from these results”, analyses the oncologist Eduardo Cazap, one of the biggest authorities of the region. The doctor was the founder and first president of the Latin American and Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology (SLACOM, in the original language) and he also presided the International Union against Cancer (UICC, in the original language).The specialist adds that Chile, Peru and Colombia have also obtained good results with their policies, and that Brazil is making “important progress”. In Latin America, cancer is the second most deadly disease, losing only to cardiovascular illnesses.The report Latin America Cancer Control Scorecard (LACCS), published by The Economist Intelligence Unit, has shown that only 7 percent of the population of the twelve analysed Latin-American countries live in areas where there is a thorough registration of the cases. With respect to the PNCCs, in 2014 ten countries had a well-developed plan, but its implementation and the results were variable. “In order to be effective, the plan must be well designed, be fit to the needs of the country and be according to the existing resources”, asserts Cazap.However, the implementation of the politics stumble upon the lack of resources, on cultural barriers such as the fear to be screened and finding out a disease, and that at the time, and the difficulty to reach the whole population. “The fragmentation is a common problem in almost every country. There are areas where the population have a very good resources bases, even better than in developed countries, while in others, access is too limited”, says Cazap.In Peru, for instance, 85 percent of oncologists are in the capital; in Colombia, six out of each group of ten specialists live in the four biggest cities of the country. In Panama and Paraguay there aren’t linear accelerators outside the capitals. In Brazil, people living in cities like Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro have good hospitals, professionals and equipment, but those who live in the North of the Country, in the Amazon, virtually don’t have access to treatments. “I believe that the governments efforts must be focused on democratizing the access to public health care”, says the coordinator of the Agreement Against Cancer in Ecuador, Wilson Merino.Another problem that is common to the countries is the little investment in prevention, which drives to a statistics worrying: between 30 percent to 40 percent of tumours are diagnosed in advanced stages. “Speak about cancer and taking good quality information should be public health programmes. This is a challenge to every country”, asserts the director of the National Institute of Cancer of Uruguay, Álvaro Luongo.The doctor remembers that many diseases may be prevented or detected right at the beginning, elevating the chances of a cure: lung tumours may be avoided with good anti-smoking policies; breast and prostate tumours may be detected early by a mammogram and rectal examination, respectively; and cervix tumour may be avoided by vaccinating the population against the HPV.According to an estimative of the World Oncology Forum, edition 2014, to each US$ 1 invested in prevention, US$ 2.74 are saved in treatment.This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican experts seek to curb increase in breast cancer cases, deaths UN official cites violence against Latin women in spread of HIV Costa Rica sees rise in domestic violence Mandatory prices for medical procedures rankle public, politicianslast_img read more

Amnesty sought for 125 Venezuelans jailed exiled

first_imgCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuelan opposition leaders are asking President Hugo Chavez’s government to consider amnesty for 125 people in prison or exile.Lawmaker Edgar Zambrano says he submitted case files Friday on 80 people in exile and 45 others listed as “political prisoners” to the office of Vice President Nicolas Maduro. A swift response seems unlikely since Chavez is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba. Among those on the list is Pedro Carmona, a business leader who temporarily took over the presidency during a failed coup against Chavez in 2002. He fled to Colombia and received asylum there.Another is Maria Lourdes Afiuni, a judge under house arrest for freeing a banker from prison while he was awaiting trial on charges of flouting currency exchange controls.The government denies Venezuela has political prisoners.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectcenter_img 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Parents, stop beating yourself up Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Tunisian sets self on fire to protest theft claim

center_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Top Stories Sponsored Stories According Interior Ministry figures, it is the 165th case of a self-immolation in Tunisia since that of an itinerant fruit-seller in the town of Sidi Bouzid.That young man’s burning and eventual death sparked Tunisia’s successful pro-democracy uprising in December 2010.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Check your body, save your lifelast_img read more

US trade deficit jumps to 6year high of 514 billion

first_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit in March swelled to the highest level in more than six years, propelled by a flood of imports that may have sapped the U.S. economy of any growth in the first quarter.The deficit rose to $51.4 billion, the largest trade gap since October 2008 and more than 43 percent higher than in February, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Exports were up 0.9 percent to $187.8 billion, while imports increased 7.7 percent to $239.2 billion. The trade deficit is the short-fall between exports and imports. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies FILE – In this Feb. 23, 2015 file photo, container ships wait to be unloaded at the Port of Los Angeles. The Commerce Department releases international trade data for March on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) The result suggests that international trade played a bigger-than-expected role in the U.S. economy’s anemic growth in the January-March. It could even force the government to further revise down its gross domestic product estimate for the quarter, possibly into negative territory.Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said the massive trade deficit means the U.S. economy “undoubtedly contracted slightly in the first quarter.” He estimates GDP in the January-March period fell 0.3 percent instead of the 0.2 percent growth the government reported last week.However, he notes that the surge in imports stems largely from the resolution in February of a labor dispute at West Coast ports, which worked to clear their backlogs in March.“Assuming that most of the catch-up is now complete… then imports should fall back in April, bringing the trade deficit down to a more normal level too,” Ashworth said in a note to clients.That means the road ahead should be brighter. Economists are looking for growth to rebound in the current April-June quarter to around 2 percent, climbing to a 3 percent average in the second half of the year. Rising employment is expected to fuel stronger consumer spending, which would help offset sluggish export growth. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Exports have been hurt by an increase in the value of the dollar against other major currencies over the past year. A strong dollar makes U.S. products more expensive overseas while lowering the price of imported products in the U.S.The jump in imports in March reflected greater shipments of foreign-made industrial machinery, autos, mobile phones, clothing and furniture.For the first three months of this year, the trade deficit was 5.2 percent higher than the same period a year ago. A larger trade deficit acts as a drag on growth because it means more U.S. producers are losing sales to foreign competitors.The trade gap with China in March surged 38.7 percent to $31.2 billion. The U.S. trade deficit with China is the largest for any country and is on track to set another record this year.Imports of petroleum products declined 6.6 percent to $15.4 billion, the lowest level for imports since September 2004. U.S. exports of petroleum dropped 7 percent to $7.7 billion. Both declines reflected the big drop in oil prices over the last year.President Barack Obama has been pushing the benefits of free trade in an effort to convince Congress to pass the legislation he needs to complete a sweeping trade agreement with 11 other nations, an agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories The legislation, approved by committees in both the Senate and the House, would force Congress to consider the trade agreement under fast-track rules. That means an up-or-down vote with no amendments from Congress.The fast-track legislation is expected to win Senate approval but passage in the House will be more challenging. Democrats in both chambers are demanding that the administration negotiate stronger labor and environmental standards and ban currency manipulation, with some believing that China is doing so to gain trade advantages.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories last_img read more

China stocks hit 7year high Europe muted ahead of Fed

first_imgThe big mover was the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China, which earlier jumped 2.8 percent to close at 4,657.60, the highest level since 2008.CHINA RALLY: Investors who weren’t allocated shares in recent initial public offerings are plowing the money back into the market, sending it higher, said Andrew Sullivan, a sales trader at Haitong Securities. They’re also betting that the economic stimulus that has powered the Chinese rally will continue after recent poor economic indicators such as a disappointing manufacturing index on Thursday. “Even when you’ve got bad news, stocks are going up anyway,” Sullivan said. “It is just pure liquidity, it’s not fundamental in any way.US ECONOMY: Global investors are awaiting a speech later Friday by Fed Chair Yellen on the outlook for the world’s biggest economy. Stock markets are hitting record highs as investors bet the U.S. central bank will delay raising interest rates based on mixed reports on the world’s biggest economy. Data out Thursday showed U.S. home sales in April slipped on tight supply while jobless benefit applications fell to a 15-year low.GOLDIN BOUNCE: A Chinese horse breeding, winemaking and financial conglomerate’s Hong Kong-listed units saw further fluctuations a day after they plunged more than 40 percent. Goldin Properties Holdings Ltd. jumped 6.3 percent while Goldin Financial Holdings Ltd. rebounded before sinking 3.1 percent in the final half hour of trading. Earlier this week, another Chinese firm, solar panel maker Hanergy, tumbled in Hong Kong for no apparent reason before being suspended. The volatility is partly a sign of the rising flow of money from mainland China after the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges opened a trading link last year. Trader Dudley Devine works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, May 21, 2015. U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading. Energy stocks rose more than the rest of the market as the price of oil climbed. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober How do cataracts affect your vision? Sponsored Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona KEEPING SCORE: Asian benchmarks ended mostly higher. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index added 0.3 percent to close at 20,264.41 and South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.1 percent to 2,146.10. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.7 percent to 27,992.83. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was little changed at 5,660.70. Southeast Asian indexes were mixed.ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude slipped 58 cents to $60.14 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.74 to close at $60.72 a barrel on Thursday.CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 120.98 yen from 121.05 yen on Thursday. The euro rose to $1.1176 from $1.1110.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese stocks hit a seven-year high as investors pinned their hopes on further economic stimulus while most other world markets were subdued Friday ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.KEEPING SCORE: European stocks were mixed in midday trading. France’s CAC 40 was down 0.1 percent to 5,142.77 and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.4 percent to 11,818.81. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.6 percent to 7,052.25. U.S. stocks were poised to open higher, with both the Dow and S&P 500 futures up 0.1 percent. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

LGBT find friends at Preferred Pride

first_imgLGBT Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Preferred Hotel Group has launched Preferred Pride, a collection of nearly 100 independently owned and operated hotels catering specifically to the needs of the gay and lesbian traveller.With LGBT travel booming, Preferred Pride aims to offer the extra level of reassurance the discerning gay and lesbian traveller seeks, whilst standing for equality in employment practices and supporting the LGBT community. “Preferred Pride is more than just another LGBT seal of approval; the program was created to unite Preferred’s diverse community of independent hoteliers around the world who are committed to the LGBT community,” Preferred Hotel Group executive director, leisure sales Rick Stiffler said. “It is a global initiative that enables hoteliers to learn about and better understand the needs and preferences of the LGBT traveller.”To better serve the gay and lesbian market, the Preferred Pride program offers diversity training on industry best practices, with participating properties able to choose a qualified ‘internal ambassador’ to work within the hotel. Properties must be either TAG Approved (Community Marketing’s Travel Alternatives Group) or belong to IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association) to qualify as a Preferred Pride hotel. last_img read more

Bali in Aus demand

first_imgTripAdvisor has revealed the most popular travel destinations Australians are researching online, with Bali topping the list as the most sought after holiday escape.Internationally, Bali is the standout winner with the region of Seminyak taking the number one spot and neighbouring cities Kuta, Ubud, Legian and Nusa Dua all appearing in the top 20 destinations.Although Bali is one of the closest international hotspots, distance is not an issue as New York, Paris and London all ranked within the top five most-researched destinations.The interest in the Olympics and Paralympics could have helped London secure the fifth spot, according to TripAdvisor.   The only New Zealand city to make this list was the resort village of Queenstown, coming in at 17.Melbourne beat out Sydney as the most searched city in Australia, while Queensland recorded the highest number of destinations researched online. Australia’s wine regions have begun to intrigue domestic travellers with two NSW Hunter Valley towns – Cessnock and Pokolbin – ranking in the top 20 and Western Australia’s Margaret River making the list. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Resort Pool in Kuta, Balilast_img read more

Cruise tourism reaches new depths in Dubai

first_imgWelcoming more than 407,000 cruise tourists last year, numbers will increase to around 420,000 for the new season with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) expecting that number to reach one million by 2020. With Dubai featuring on most of the world’s leading cruise liners’ international itineraries, it continues to reinforce its position as a popular cruise destination, firmly cementing its reputation as the Arabian Gulf’s “cruise hub of the region.” New to the region, MSC Cruises has proudly announced Dubai as its newest home port for their 2013-2014 season itinerary, with the MSC Lirica arriving in November and bringing over 60,000 passengers in its 20 turnaround call. Dubai’s cruise industry continues to flourish with the announcement of MSC Cruises becoming the hub’s newest home porting partner and two Cunard cruise liners due to make an appearance as well. “A combination of careful and strategic planning, marketing initiatives, infrastructure development, targeted investment and Dubai’s appeal as a popular destination, has allowed Dubai to experience robust growth in cruise tourism,” DTCM general manager Veronica Rainbird said.center_img Cunard Line has announced in addition to their overnight Dubai calls in April 2014, both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth will be returning once again to Dubai as part of their world cruise in 2015. Source = ETB News: L.B. “Dubai has the largest, state of the art facilities for cruise tourism in the Middle East and has consistently kept up with the industry’s growth and demand, enhancing the facilities and services of its ports to cater to the growing number of cruise lines and visitors.”last_img read more

Tourism Australia brings the best Australian business events to IMEX F

first_imgTourism Australia brings the best Australian business events to IMEX FrankfurtAustralian business events industry partners will today join Tourism Australia on the Australia stand at IMEX Frankfurt, showcasing the latest developments in incentive and association offerings from across the country. Providing even more opportunities to showcase Australia, Tourism Australia is also sponsoring the media centre and the Associations Day program at IMEX Frankfurt.Commenting on the importance of business events to the visitor economy, the Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck said, “International business events contributed over $3.8 billion in visitor expenditure and over 800,000 visitors in 2015. Business events also generate closer people-to-people links and drive our knowledge economy”.This year, 18 Australian business events products and destinations (up from 15 at IMEX 2015), with 30 delegates in total, will give buyers an excellent opportunity to discover why there’s nothing like Australia for business events. The Tourism Australia team will be conducting business appointments as well as group training sessions and networking opportunities on the stand.“Tourism Australia hosts the Australia stand at IMEX Frankfurt because it provides the platform for Australian industry to meet qualified buyers, do business and network,” said Penny Lion, General Manager Business Events Australia. “It’s great for Australia that we’re joined on the stand by such a high calibre of stand partners, as buyers are always looking for new ideas and information”.Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Ovation Australia, and Shangri-La Hotel Sydney are all new exhibitors on the Australia stand, adding even more for buyers to discover.In order to bring association buyers at IMEX Frankfurt all the latest news on Australian innovation and innovators, Tourism Australia has also developed a new, bi-annual publication, “Australia Innovates”, which features selected content originally created by Austrade.“It’s a great way to continue to build on our work in showing the world that not only is Australia a stunning destination for business events, it also has a depth of knowledge that can really help associations deliver on their event objectives,” said Ms Lion.“Having recently finalised new research on association delegate behaviour, we know that Australia is strongly perceived as a quality destination for business events. We look forward to sharing further insights from this research in the coming months, to provide industry with a competitive advantage when it comes to developing delegate acquisition strategies,” said Ms Lion.“There is so much happening in Australia right now and visitors to our stand at IMEX Frankfurt will benefit from the wealth of business events knowledge and experience being shared. We can’t wait to help buyers discover why Australia should be their next event destination,” said Ms. Lion. Business Events AustraliaSource = Tourism Australialast_img read more

Ministry of Tourism decides to promote Rural Tourism in India

first_imgThe Union Ministry of Tourism sanctioned 15 Rural Tourism sites for an amount of Rs 436.29 lakh during the year 2012-13. Similarly during 2013-14, 17 Rural Tourism sites for an amount of Rs 9.44 lakh were sanctioned and for 2014-15, four Rural Tourism sites received fund of Rs 131.05 lakh. The states in which the sites of Rural Tourism sanctioned are Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Tripura.The Union Ministry of Tourism has launched a new Scheme namely Swadesh Darshan for Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around Specific Theme pursuant to the Budget 2014-15 Announcements. One of the circuits which have been selected for development is Rural Tourism Circuit.Ministry of Tourism has a Rural Tourism Scheme which is the part of ‘Product/Infrastructure Development for Destinations and Circuits (PIDDC)’ Scheme. The main objective of this scheme is showcasing rural life, art, culture and heritage in villages that have core competence in art and craft, handloom, textiles, natural environment etc. Under this scheme, Central Financial Assistance (CFA) up to Rs 50 lakh for infrastructure development and up to Rs 20 lakh for capacity building is provided to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for each identified site by them. However, an amount of Rs 20 crore has been allocated under UT Plan for PIDDC during 2015-16.last_img read more

Indians preferred to travel domestically in 2016 says Skyscanner

first_imgA study has found that the year 2016 witnessed a huge rise in Indians planning travel on the go and showed an increased preference to travel domestically.According to the study by Skyscanner, mobile web is instrumental in travel planning. The data revealed an eight percent Year-on-Year leap in searches made on smartphones, indicating a growing preference to plan travel on the go.Skyscanner reports also suggest a 13% growth in searches for domestic destinations, due to a rise in a number of new routes and flight choices. New Delhi took the major share of domestic searches in both 2015 and 2016, achieving a steady 15% both years.Additionally, in terms of international destinations, the U.S. achieved most searches in both 2015 and 2016, with the searches accounting for eight percent and nine percent of all searches in the respective year.Budget airlines continued to be the preferred mode of air travel in both domestic and international travel. There was an eight percent increase in searches for budget airlines tickets compared to 2015.Indians made the most of the festive season in October, which is usually plush with holidays. Occasioned by Durga Puja or Diwali and Bhai Dooj, October turned out to be the favourite month for travel for the second year in a row.Commenting on the findings of this analysis, Reshmi Roy, Growth Manager- India, Skyscanner, said, “The insights we have drawn from this review of Skyscanner’s data are key to understanding travel patterns and will help us to continue building products that solve problems for Indian travellers. With increased connectivity, travel planning can become very simple.last_img read more

Mortgage Applications Surge Forward by 103

first_img Share Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Confidence Debt Crisis Euro European Union First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage Housing Affordability Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Bonds Mortgage Rates Processing Refinance Service Providers Treasury Department Treasury Yields 2011-11-09 Ryan Schuette More refinance loan applications inspired a 10.3-percent leap forward in mortgage applications last week, according to the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2031/IMG11484.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

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center_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke PHOENIX – The Arizona Cardinals will take on the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 on Sunday and will also get the first look at number one overall draft pick quarterback Cam Newton.Despite being a young player, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt knows his team has to be on the lookout for Newton’s athletic abilities.“He’s a guy you have to make sure that you understand he can hurt you with his feet,” said Whisenhunt on the Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf show on Tuesday. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

After all when a team invests the kind of resourc

first_imgAfter all, when a team invests the kind of resources it did to get Kolb — and then perhaps passed on a chance to sign Peyton Manning because they were afraid of losing him — there’s no other way to view things.And it’s a shame.Now the Cardinals are, for better or worse, in pretty much the same place they were two summers ago, minus the possibility that their franchise QB could be on the way. Drew Stanton is alright, but in no way projected to be a star. Brian Hoyer played admirably last season, but the same could be said for him.Then there’s John Skelton and Ryan Lindley who, well, yeah.The Cardinals swung for the fences when they made the deal for Kolb, as he was the biggest name on the market and many believed he was destined to blossom into a quality quarterback. As anyone who knows baseball could tell you, sometimes a cut like that leads to a home run, and sometimes it results in a strikeout. The Cardinals didn’t connect, and now the Kevin Kolb era is over in Arizona. He will go on to sign with another team and, maybe, stay on the field long enough to show what kind of quarterback he can be. It’d be nice to finally find out. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Oh, and I guess this makes number 22. 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

LISTEN Deone Bucannon Cardinals safety

first_imgLISTEN: Deone Bucannon- Cardinals safety But things changed. Most notably, inside linebacker Daryl Washington was suspended for the entire 2014 season, making it necessary for head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to be flexible and creative in coming up with a plan for 2014.Part of that plan was to utilize the rookie in the dollar linebacker position — a hybrid of safety and linebacker — in the middle of the Cardinals’ defense. “Coach Bowles trusted me with such a big position and such big responsibility, and I’m honored and I’m thankful for that,” Bucannon told Bickley and Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. The 22-year-old admitted the learning curve has been steep this season.“Honestly, the first thing I had to learn was different offensive line fronts, understanding when guards pull and how to adjust my gaps and how to get over and reading the surface,” he said. “That was probably the toughest to know right away because when you’re at safety, you have 10 or 15 yards to diagnose a play. When you’re a linebacker, you have two to five yards to diagnose a whole play and react a lot faster.”As a First Team All-American and Pac-12 selection in 2013, Bucannon was very comfortable with what his coaches asked him to do at the collegiate level. They never asked him to do anything like what he’s been called on to deliver this year. “Never, I was always at safety,” he said. “Sometimes, I would drop down, but it really wouldn’t be in the box, it would kind of be outside the box — I’d play more of an outside linebacker. But no, this is the first time.”He’s learned it quickly. Bucannon is fourth on the Cardinals in total tackles, has four tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. And he’s retained his reputation as a big hitter that followed him to the NFL.His coaches have praised him, as well as his teammates.“He’s seeing the game from a totally different perspective, so we knew it was going to take a few weeks to come along to where we needed him to be,” safety Rashad Johnson told Burns and Gambo Monday. “Right now he’s hitting his stride and playing great.“He’s doing a great job for us filling in at that position. He’s going to be a really, really special player for the Cardinals for years to come, just because his mindset and his drive for perfection. I’ve never met someone as young as him who is just so hungry to get it right every time.” – / 26 Your browser does not support the audio element. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “With the 27th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select safety Deone Bucannon from Washington State.”That’s what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced back in early May — emphasis on the word ‘safety.’That’s the position Bucannon played during a stellar collegiate career in Pullman; it was certainly where the Cardinals planned to play him during his rookie season. Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories last_img read more

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first_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals are bringing back another one of their own.ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report that running back Chris Johnson is re-signing with the team on a one-year deal.He had reportedly been deciding between the Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   #AZCardinals RB Chris Johnson received a 1-year deal worth up to $3M, source said. He turned down nearly double that from another team.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 17, 2016Johnson was a late addition to the 2015 Arizona Cardinals, but he proved to be one of the most important. Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) runs for a touchdown as Baltimore Ravens defensive end Carl Davis (94) looks on during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) I like to thx all the teams that was involved but I we have unfinished business in AZ let’s get that ring— Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson28) March 17, 2016 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Signed during training camp, he went on to run for 814 yards and three touchdowns on 196 carries after filling in for an injured Andre Ellington. A fractured tibia suffered in Week 12 ended his season.At that point, rookie David Johnson took over as the team’s primary running back and excelled, leading many to speculate Chris Johnson would depart in free agency in search of a larger role.However, the 30-year-old — who is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and one time First-Team All-Pro — has been to the postseason just once in his career, and decided his best chance to get back was in Arizona. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories On March 7, NFL teams will be allowed to start contacting the agents for free agents.On March 9, they can start signing them.As it all pertains to the Arizona Cardinals, it’s difficult to predict who they might be interested in. They have holes to fill, yes, but with roughly $17 million in cap space it’s unlikely they will have a legitimate shot at some of the league’s best available players.Then again, where there is a will there is a way, and the Cardinals may very well find a way to nab some impact players. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo But the Cardinals are not the only team who could be interested in the 26-year-old, and though he may not be viewed as the top interior lineman on the market, his price tag figures to be fairly high.Should the Cardinals nab Zeitler, he would be their second high-profile free agent pickup at the guard position and third overall along the offensive line, following Mike Iupati in 2015 and tackle Jared Veldheer in 2014.Also notable in Bowen’s piece, he wrote that the Indianapolis Colts are the best fit for defensive lineman Calais Campbell, saying the longtime Cardinal “has put himself in a position to grab a lot of attention in free agency.” Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) celebrates his touchdown with guard Kevin Zeitler, left, and center Russell Bodine during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in Cincinnati, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling One such option could be Kevin Zeitler, a guard formerly with the Cincinnati Bengals whom ESPN’s Matt Bowen believes is a perfect fit in Arizona. In the Insider piece, Bowen explains scheme is a big part of his thought process.The Cardinals’ vertical passing attack took a step backward in 2016. Now, there are multiple reasons for why that occurred, but it starts up front with an offensive line that surrendered 41 sacks. That impacted Bruce Arians’ game plan and the overall production from quarterback Carson Palmer. Adding Zeitler — the best interior offensive lineman on the market — allows the Cardinals to get younger and more athletic up front. Zeitler’s ability to pull is a fit for the Cardinals’ running game, and he strengthens an offensive line that has to keep its aging quarterback off the turf.Zeitler was a first-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2012, and since then the 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman has established himself as one of the NFL’s better guards, and it’s true he would make a lot of sense for the Cardinals.Arizona has some uncertainty at right guard after Evan Mathis retired following an injury-shortened season, and though there are some options there is not much certainty with regards to replacements currently on the roster.last_img read more

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones isn

first_img Arizona Cardinals defensive end Chandler Jones isn’t donating what he committed to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. He’s doubling what he promised with two games left in the 2018 regular season.Jones said he would donate $20,000 per sack to the hospital before the second-to-last game of the year, and though he only tallied 1.0 sack combined against the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks, the defensive end announced on Wednesday that he had donated $40,000. 2 Comments   Share   Top Stories Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, is sacked by Arizona Cardinals’ Chandler Jones, right, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The lone sack over the last two games came on Sunday in a 27-24 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.Relatively, Jones had a quiet season. But quiet for him is 13.0 sacks, tied for eighth-most in the NFL this year.Related Links98.7 FM roundtable: Which direction should Cards’ coaching search go?Arizona Sports NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Who’s next for the Cards at No. 1?Chiefs OC Bieniemy, like McCarthy, reportedly uninterested in CardinalsThe 5: Most pivotal moments in the Cardinals’ 2018 seasonJones led the NFL with 17.0 sacks last season, and since joining Arizona in 2016 via a trade with the New England Patriots, he has led the NFL with 41 total sacks.In 2018, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald led the league with 20.5 sacks.Bettering Jones in sacks this year were Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (16.0 sacks), Chiefs defensive end Chris Jones (15.5), Broncos linebacker Von Miller (14.5), Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (14.5), Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (14.0) and Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (13.5).Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, Kansas City linebacker Dee Ford and Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt tied Jones with 13.0 sacks. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Designed to spark the imagination of avid travelle

first_imgDesigned to spark the imagination of avid travellers, Silversea’s World Cruise 2019 – an epic 132-day voyage from San Francisco to London – is now open for reservations. Hosted aboard the all-suite Silver Whisper, travellers will voyage in luxurious comfort to 52 ports in 31 countries across five continents. Plus, with 16 overnight calls and numerous late-night stays, guests will have ample time to delve deeper into destinations.This one-of-a-kind journey, titled “The Tale of Tales”, offers innovative destinations and unique features, such as an overnight stay in Tokyo with two full days to explore, a circumnavigation of Africa with an overnight in Cape Town, and a double overnight in Bordeaux to enjoy the region’s famous wines. There is also a stopover in Saint-Malo, gateway to Mont Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests will also have the chance to sail the Guadalquivir River in Seville and savour Bilbao’s cultural scene with a visit to the Guggenheim Museum, before the voyage concludes in London, renowned as a financial centre and one of the great capitals of the world.“World Cruise 2019 has been crafted to tell a fascinating story about our planet,” said Barbara Muckermann, Silversea’s chief marketing officer. “From island hideaways and ancient temples to tribal cultures and nature preserves, guests will be treated to extraordinary discoveries — all while enjoying the understated luxury and small-ship camaraderie of Silver Whisper. It’s the perfect setting for guests to create exciting new chapters in their own lives, shaped by new experiences and perspectives.”The Tale of TalesWith this unique voyage, Silversea has the pleasure of inviting nine writers aboard to seek the drama of the unknown and the amazing. They will each create a short story inspired by regions of sublime natural beauty and exotic cultures. The result will be an exclusive anthology of the voyage, an unprecedented portrait of The Tale of Tales. Already confirmed to put their pen to paper are Paul Theroux, travel writer, novelist and winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction; and Pico Iyer, novelist, travel writer and essayist since 1986 for Time magazine, Harper’s, The New York Times, and The New York Review of Books.A host of added-value benefitsTo make this all-inclusive journey even more carefree, guests sailing the complete World Cruise will enjoy a variety of special amenities and events, including a Bon Voyage reception and overnight luxury hotel stay in San Francisco; Business Class air (from select gateways) and transfers (between airport, hotel and Silver Whisper); complimentary baggage valet service; a US$4000 onboard spending credit (per suite); complimentary unlimited Wi-Fi; complimentary laundry and dry cleaning service; special commemorative gifts and more.Plus, some of the exclusive events that are in the planning stages will include “Greeting Tahitian Gods”, set in Papeete around the only fully restored marae (temple); “Robben Island: A Walk Through the History of South Africa”; and a private opening of the spectacular Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.last_img read more

People always use round numbers but at Skyscanner

first_imgPeople always use round numbers but at Skyscanner we like to do things differently. £104 is close enough to the ton, but with the extra four quid gets you to a really quite exotic place.Part of Skyscanner’s functionality you may not have used is the “Weekend breaks” option which appears under “Suggestions” on the homepage. This allows you to pick a weekend in the future and quickly find flights (in ascending price order) for destinations all over the world. Booking flights for a romantic weekend, a stag or hen-do, a birthday surprise, a sporting couple of days or just a short get-away takes hardly any time with Skyscanner since all the dates are already listed. Having chosen your departure airport, a selection of cities appears with just a click of a button.The list of destinations below shows just a selection of possible trips using Skyscanner’s search engine capabilities. All return prices are correct at the time of writing and all relate to the same weekend 14th-16th March 2008.Skiing in FinlandFlights: London Stansted – Tampere, Finland with Ryanair Price: £44.18 per personWhen you think of weekend ski trips in early spring, Finland is not a country which immediately leaps to mind – not to my mind anyway. Himos is one of Finland’s most popular ski resorts and is just 95km from the airport in Tampere. The resort can be reached by bus or by hire car and the trip takes about 90 mins – a reasonably short transfer time to a ski resort.Himos has 21 runs – the longest being just under one kilometre and 13 lifts. There are slopes to suit all abilities and children under the age of 7 with a helmet can ski for free. Unlike many resorts in the rest of Europe, you can ski from late October and also unlike many resorts, day prices for adult lift passes are around 30 Euros.For more information see:www.himos.comA taste of North AfricaFlights: London Gatwick – Marrakech, Menara with Royal Air Maroc from www.ebookers.comPrice: £104.00 per personA quick three and a half hour flight can transport the weekend traveller to a city that is genuinely very different to cities in western Europe. The airport is just 4km from the city and a quick bus or taxi ride can take you to the heart of the city. The first stop for the visitor is often the Medina (or Old City).In the centre of the Medina is Djemaa el-Fna – a busy square with a carnival-style atmosphere which draws tourists to witness the entertainers and performers and to sample delicious Moroccan food from local stalls. The city also affords the visitor the opportunity to explore a maze of alleyways full of bazaars and shopkeepers selling local products – get your haggling skills sharpened up before embarking on a spending spree. With average temperatures in March reaching up to 21 degrees, you might even get a bit of a tan.For more information see:www.fodors.comwww.morocco.comHistoric GranadaFlights: Liverpool – Granada, Spain with RyanairPrice: £77.92 per personThe Spanish city of Granada is famous for, amongst other things, the magnificent Alhambra – the Moors’ hilltop citadel and their last stronghold before being ousted in 1492. Over two million visitors a year flock to see it every year and as such tickets are at a premium. The number of tickets is strictly controlled so rather than risk a long queue and potential disappointment, it is best to get tickets in advance (more information here).On a hill opposite the Alhambra is the Albaicín – the old Arabic quarter – which still retains the feel of its origins. The winding cobbled streets and white-washed houses are a photographer or painter’s dream and almost everywhere one goes, there is a beautiful view to be had. Exploring the area, one finds countless squares, restaurants and shops – a beautiful and picturesque place to while away an afternoon or two.For more information see:www.timeout.comgranadainfo.comEastern European adventures in SloveniaFlights: London Stansted – Ljubljana, Slovenia with EasyjetPrice: £64.98 per personLjubljana is the capital of Slovenia and only a couple of hours away by air. It is one of the most attractive of the former Soviet Bloc countries, and its capital is well worth a visit.The buildings of the city centre were shaped in the main by architect, Jože Pleènik though they have also been influenced by other nations who have passed through the city in the preceding centuries. The city offers the visitor a wealth of sites with one of the most popular being Ljubljana Castle where you can either don a stout pair of walking legs and climb to it or catch a funicular railway. The castle affords the visitor fine views of the city and is certainly recommended. Elsewhere, you can enjoy museums, galleries or simply sit in one of the many squares enjoying a coffee and watching the world go by.Ljubljana is not just a city of sights though: there is a vibrant nightlife supported by one of the youngest populations of any European capital. The bars and clubs offer an eclectic mix and there is surely something to suit any visitor from the cool, clubber to those wanting just a quiet drink somewhere.For more information see:www.cityguide.travel-guides.comwww.lonelyplanet.com**Belgium – not your first choice for a weekend away perhaps…;Flights: London Heathrow – Brussels International, Belgium with bmiPrice: £64 per personOrFlights: Glasgow Prestwick – Brussels International, Belgium with RyanairPrice**: £56.49 personMost people will agree that Brussels is not a particularly attractive city and as such, I would suggest you leave it as quickly as possible and get on a train (conveniently located at the airport) and make your way on the 90 minute journey to Ghent.Belgium gets a bad press from many European countries despite its lovely countryside and unspoilt towns and cities; Ghent is one of these. Much of the city’s medieval architecture remains remarkably well-preserved and wandering around the picturesque streets is a real pleasure as you walk down winding streets with stylish shops on either side – only to find yet another historic building. Ghent has the largest car-free area of any Belgian city so it is ideal for visitors exploring on foot.If walking is not your thing, then perhaps take a boat ride down Ghent’s canals. These offer an excellent way to get to know the city and also offer an attractive backdrop for a bite to eat or a drink in the many cafés and restaurants.Belgium is famous for its beer and there is no shortage of bars where a bewildering array of choice is available. A large student population ensures that there are always places open and you can be guaranteed a good night out courtesy of the friendly and helpful locals.For more information see:www.travel-library.comwww.world66.comPrices correct as at January 2008ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedHow to search for flights with Skyscanner’s new Facebook Messenger botIntroducing Skyscanner’s latest flight search innovation: the Skyscanner bot for Facebook Messenger. Using the latest technology, we’ve made it even easier for you to find the best flights, but how does it work? Let us explain…The best time to book cheap flightsWant to make sure you’re getting the best price for your flight? We’ve got the tool you need that’s just the ticket!Top 20 travel hacks and money saving tipsYou may be skint, but you can still holiday in style; here’s how.last_img read more