Facebook to release Russia ads beef up election integrity

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Facebook is slowly acknowledging the outsized — if unintended — role it played in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.Bowing to pressure from lawmakers and the public, the company said it will provide the contents of 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency to congressional investigators, while also pledging to make political advertising on its platform more “transparent.”“I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook video and wrote in an accompanying post . “That’s not what we stand for.”The moves Thursday come amid growing pressure on the social network from members of Congress, who pushed Facebook to release the ads after the company disclosed their existence in early September. Facebook has already handed over the ads to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Facebook’s reluctance to be more forthcoming with information that could shed light on possible election interference has prompted the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee to call for the company to testify in its election-meddling probe.A MORE TRANSPARENT FACEBOOKIn one of the first steps Facebook has ever taken to open up its secretive advertising system to observation, the company will now require political ads to disclose both who is paying for them and all ad campaigns those individuals or groups are running on Facebook.That’s a key step that will allow outsiders to see how many different variants of a given ad are being targeted to various groups of individuals, a tactic designed to improve their effectiveness. At the moment, there’s no way for anyone but Facebook to track these political ads, or for recipients to tell who is sponsoring such messages.Since average users “don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else,” Zuckerberg said, Facebook will “make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook.”The company will hire 250 more people in the next year to work on “election integrity,” Zuckerberg said.The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence panel would go farther. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is writing a bill that would require social media companies to disclose who funded political ads, similar to rules on television broadcasters. In an interview with The Associated Press, Warner said he hoped to work with social-media companies on the bill.AND YET STILL SECRETIVEZuckerberg suggested that the company may not provide much information publicly, saying that the ongoing federal investigation will limit what he can reveal.The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee have sought to bring Facebook executives before their committee for the past couple of weeks. But critics say Facebook should go further. They say the company should tell its users how they might have been influenced by outside meddlers.The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, for instance, stressed again on Thursday that the company should make the ads public, “so that everyone can see the nature and extent of the use of Facebook accounts by Russia.”Zuckerberg also warned that Facebook can’t catch all undesirable material before it hits its social network.“I’m not going to sit here and tell you we’re going to catch all bad content in our system. We don’t check what people say before they say it, and frankly, I don’t think our society should want us to,” Zuckerberg said. But those who break the law or Facebook’s policies, he added, “are going to face consequences afterwards.”Facebook won’t catch everyone immediately, he added, but it can “make it harder to try to interfere.”FACEBOOK HAS COMPANY IN THE HOT SEATZuckerberg’s move came a day after Twitter confirmed that it will meet next week with staff of the Senate intelligence committee, which has been scrutinizing the spread of false news stories and propaganda on social media during the election.Warner said the committee wanted to hear from Twitter to learn more about the use of fake accounts and bot networks to spread misinformation.“Twitter deeply respects the integrity of the election process, a cornerstone of all democracies, and will continue to strengthen our platform against bots and other forms of manipulation that violate our Terms of Service,” the company said in a statement.__LoBianco reported from Washington. Associated Press Writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Chad Day contributed to this story from Washington.last_img read more

We wanted to win this title badly says Chhetri

first_imgMumbai: An elated Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri termed his team’s maiden Indian Super League victory against FC Goa as a “sweet one” especially after his side had faltered in the summit clash last season against Chennaiyin FC. Courtesy Rahul Bheke’s championship-winning header in the second extra time, Bengaluru defeated FC Goa 1-0 in an edge of a seat thriller last night here to win their maiden ISL title. Bengaluru had last year lost last year’s final to Chennaiyin FC Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”Last year after the final, I said next year we’ll come back. Right from the ball boy to Carles (Cuadrat the coach), everyone wanted this. We wanted to win it (the title) badly. When you lose the way we did last year, it’s sweet to win this one. Asia, we are back,” Chhetri said at the post match media conference late Sunday night. Now by winning the ISL, Bengaluru FC will play in the AFC Asian Cup next year. Chhetri also said it was “commendable” that a player like Ferran Corominas, who bagged the Golden Boot award, did not get any chance against his team on all the three occasions when the two teams clashed. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later”The message from the coach was that we should try to attack but as soon as we lose the ball, we should fall back and defend and have numbers (at the back). For players like me, Miku and Udanta (Singh), it was not easy because we are attacking minded people,” Chhetri said. “I am happy we did it because Nishu (Kumar) and (Harmanjot) Khabra got that security when Udanta and I traced back. It is commendable that a player like Coro (Corominas) did not get open chances against us in three games,” he said. “Last year, we conceded off set pieces and we were dominant until those two goal, so we were sure on not letting it happen today,” he added. Asked where he would rate this win, Chhetri quipped, Top-two. Number 2.” The winning coach Carles Cuadrat said that the team was trying not to take the game to the penalties as then it can be anybody’s game. “We were trying not to get into tie-breaker as it then becomes a lottery a lot of times. We are happy that one ball in the box gave us the victory. This is the seventh goal done by a set-piece and it shows how important set pieces are in the game, Cuadrat said. Meanwhile, FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera termed Ahmed Jahouh being sent off the field after earning a red card as the key moment of the match. “The key moment was when were reduced to 10-men in the first half of extra time. It was a very tight game was going to be a matter of small details and the sending off was a big handicap for us,” Lobera said. Despite the loss, the FC Goa head coach said he was proud of his players. “Till today, we were focused today only on this game (the final). From tomorrow onwards, we will start working towards the (upcoming) Super Cup. I said to my players in the dressing room that I am proud of them and (what) they have done in the season.”last_img read more

PM Modi greets Widodo on reelection as Indonesian president

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Joko Widodo on Tuesday for his re-election as the Indonesian president, saying he looked forward to working with him to further deepen the bilateral partnership. Widodo was re-elected as the leader of Indonesia, the third-biggest democracy in the world, on Tuesday. “Heartiest congratulations @jokowi on your re-election! As two large democracies, we take collective pride in successful celebration of democracy. We wish you and people of Indonesia all success under your dynamic leadership,” Modi said in a tweet. He added that as the two nations marked seven decades of diplomatic relationship, “I look forward to working closely with you to further deepen our bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.”last_img read more

The Most Impressive Run to the Final Four And Its Not Kentuckys

Which team had the most impressive run to the Final Four?The question might seem like the sports equivalent of “Which of your children do you love the most?” Any team that wins four straight games in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has a lot to be proud of. Papa Brackets thinks all the Final Four teams — Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky and Wisconsin — are very special.But conventional wisdom appears to hold Kentucky’s path in ever-so-slightly higher regard than the other schools’. The Wildcats defeated an unbeaten No. 1 seed (Wichita State) and both of last year’s finalists (Michigan and Louisville) en route to Arlington.Kentucky has been great. Despite entering the tournament as a No. 8 seed, it has a 19 percent chance of winning the NCAA championship, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast model. That’s up from only a 2 percent chance before the tournament began.Still, Connecticut’s run has been slightly more special than Kentucky’s so far. And Wisconsin’s, even more so.The FiveThirtyEight model has a particular way of answering our question. It evaluates teams not in any absolute sense, but relative to its expectations. And it accounts not only for wins and losses (by definition, any team that makes to the Final Four has won at least four straight games), but also for margin of victory.To be more specific, the model calculates not only the win probability for each game, but also an implicit point spread. For example, it gives Florida a 69.9 percent chance of beating Connecticut on Saturday. That translates into Florida being 5.5 point favorites. The model has Wisconsin with a 58.2 percent chance of beating Kentucky, which would equate to the Badgers being favored by two points.How a team fares relative to this point spread affects how the model evaluates it going forward. Why? Tournament results are quite predictive of future tournament results: A team that is terrific in the early rounds often does well in later ones.Occasionally, a team can end up in worse shape despite winning its game. This happens when the model expects a blowout and the team wins by a smaller margin.A case in point is Florida in its opening-round game against Albany. The model had the Gators as 24-point favorites, but Florida won by 12 points (in fact, the game was a little closer than the scoreline implies).What about Florida’s three other wins? It was clear that the Gators were the favorite in each game, but they performed about in line with the model’s expectations — beating its point spread by six points against Pittsburgh and four points against UCLA, and underperforming it by two points in their win Saturday against Dayton. To be clear, the Gators have been great — and the model has them as the plurality favorite to win the tournament. But Florida was a great team going in. It has performed roughly as expected against a relatively easy draw.How about Kentucky? If viewed as a No. 8 seed, the Wildcats have been extremely impressive — not least on account of the quality of competition they’ve faced. But Kentucky was no typical No. 8. The Wildcats ranked first in the country in the preseason AP and USA Today Coaches polls, a factor for which the FiveThirtyEight model accounts. They took 10 losses in the regular season, but they faced a tough schedule; all but two of the losses, both to Florida, came by single digits.Kentucky was badly underseeded to begin with, in other words. The FiveThirtyEight model actually had Kentucky as slight favorites against Michigan, despite the Wildcats’ inferior seed. The Wildcats were underdogs against Louisville and Wichita State, but only modest ones, and both games were close. Kentucky outperformed the FiveThirtyEight point spread by two points against Michigan, four points against Wichita State and 10 points against Louisville.By this standard, both Connecticut and Wisconsin have done more to exceed expectations. The Huskies were the narrowest of favorites against Iowa State on Friday, in part because Madison Square Garden is a de facto home court for them. (Geographic distance from a team’s home campus is another factor that the FiveThirtyEight model accounts for; the author of this article went to the games at MSG for “research purposes” and can confirm that there was a lot of Huskies love there.) But Connecticut also won as underdogs against Michigan State and Villanova. The Villanova win, which came by 12 points, was relatively emphatic.The improvement in the model’s esteem for Wisconsin is partially the result of the Badgers’ upset of No. 1 seed Arizona on Saturday. But it has more to do with the their performance in earlier rounds. Wisconsin thrashed Baylor by 17 points Thursday, and the Badgers beat American University by 40 points in their opening game. On average, Wisconsin has outperformed the FiveThirtyEight point spread by 12 points, as compared with nine points for Connecticut and four for Kentucky.Evaluating teams by their margins of victory is unpopular; it may seem as heartless as rating your kids by their SAT scores. We’re fans of systems such as the Basketball Power Index (BPI) that account for the scoring margins throughout games and not just at the final buzzer. But margin of victory predicts future performance reasonably well — better than ratings based on wins and losses alone do. By that measure, Wisconsin heads to Texas with the most momentum.(Nerd alert: The point spread can be derived through the formula NORMSINV(WINPROB)*10.36 in Microsoft Excel, where WINPROB is a team’s probability of winning.) read more

Lightning strikes twice Moeller out for second straight season

Tyler Moeller is no stranger to bad luck. Perhaps that’s how he knew more of it was coming when he suited up to play Illinois on Saturday. While the senior defensive back was pulling up his uniform pants, he could feel a tweak on the left side of his chest that had bothered him since partially tearing his left pectoral muscle in 2008. By his own count, he’s partially torn the muscle 10 to 12 times during the last two-and-a-half years. Those injuries never fully healed, and Moeller could sense that it was only a matter of time before it would cost him. “I kind of thought it was a ticking time bomb,” Moeller said. “Something big was going to happen eventually.” Sure enough, something did happen. During Illinois’ opening drive, Moeller tried to wrap up Illini running back Mikel Leshoure. Moeller’s left arm was pulled back violently as the hard-charging Leshoure burst through his arm tackle. Before hitting the turf, he could feel the muscle rip from the bone. As he got up and rushed toward the sidelines, Moeller knew his fate. “I knew it was totally torn when it happened,” Moeller said. “I ran off the field, and the trainers didn’t even have to tell me what was wrong. I knew what was wrong.” Moeller had completely torn his left pectoral muscle, finishing his season and possibly his career at Ohio State. The NCAA must grant him a medical redshirt and a sixth year of eligibility for him to return. But none of that news could dim the radiant smile Moeller wore on his face as he addressed the media on the eve of his surgery Tuesday night, accepting his latest misfortune. “Bad things happen,” Moeller said. “You have to keep your head up and you have to work hard. Then you can overcome everything.” Moeller, who missed all of last season with head injuries he sustained during an attack in Florida, will have to overcome another setback. “It’s really sad for a guy to be able to put so much work into something and have it taken away twice in a row,” defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said. “It is kind of tough for everybody on the team, especially since he was a great player for us and did some great things.” The injury comes just as his career was finally taking off. Before Moeller came to OSU in 2006, he was a relentless pass rusher at Colerain High School in Cincinnati. He spent his Friday nights wreaking havoc in the offensive backfield, recording 15.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss as a senior. But questions regarding his 6-foot-1-inch, 210-pound stature clouded the outlook of his future. Seen as too big to play safety but too small to play linebacker, Moeller developed into a solid defender on special teams during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. “I wanted to be a linebacker,” Moeller said. “I always had the mentality. I wish I had the mentality to play safety because linebacker kind of beat me up.” During the summer of 2008, Moeller partially tore his left pectoral muscle for the first time. Unable to fix the injury with surgery and too focused on the season to bother with rehab, Moeller essentially played 2008 with only one functioning arm. “I was younger then, so I wasn’t as intelligent as I am now,” Moeller said. “If I could do it again, I would definitely rehab it a lot more.” He made his first career start at linebacker, strangely enough, against Illinois in 2008. He recorded seven tackles, including two for a loss and forced a fumble. Before the 2009 season, Moeller was expected to win a starting linebacker job, even though doubts about his chest problems and size still lingered. But those issues would prove to be the least of his troubles. On July 26, 2009, Moeller was with his family in Florida to celebrate his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. He doesn’t remember much else from that night. While eating at Gators Cafe and Saloon in Treasure Island, Moeller was punched in the face by Ralph Gray Decker, 28, of Kenneth City, Fla., in what was described as an “unprovoked” attack by an assistant state attorney. The back of Moeller’s head smacked against the ground as he fell, leaving him to spend the coming days fighting for his life in a Florida intensive care unit. Details of the altercation with Decker remain murky because of legal issues, but on June 3, Decker pleaded guilty to assaulting Moeller and in August was sentenced to two years of probation. He’s paid the Moeller family more than $11,000 in medical expenses. After the attack, Moeller had severe memory loss and trouble speaking. Doctors learned there was bleeding in his brain and had to drill two dime-sized holes into his skull, which now has a metal plate. Moeller said the surgery had him worried for his life, even if only for a little bit. “I was worried in the beginning, going into surgery,” Moeller said. “But after surgery I knew I was fine and was going to be OK.” Even though some doctors suggested he should’ve ended his football career, Moeller’s passion for the game wouldn’t let him stop. “Why would I want to keep playing? Because I love it,” Moeller said. “I love the game of football.” He spent the next few months preparing for his return to the football field. Unable to train for more than seven months, he spent most of his time away from the football team, focusing on his school work. He couldn’t participate in any contact drills until summer practice, but by the time the season started, coach Jim Tressel had a spot for him that would maximize the speed and physicality of the undersized Moeller. Inserted at the “star” position, which is a hybrid between a linebacker and a defensive back, Moeller’s tenacity resurfaced immediately during the season-opener against Marshall as he registered seven tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. It was good enough to earn him Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Moeller would spend the next three games harassing the offensive backfield unlike any time since high school, recording 12 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss during that span. But his comeback would be cut short after his season-ending injury against Illinois. And even though the injury isn’t comparable to the one he suffered at the hands of Decker, the two injuries are related. Because of the brain surgery, Moeller was unable to exert himself physically enough to treat the lingering pectoral damage he suffered in 2008, leaving him vulnerable to more damage. He hasn’t bench pressed in two years. The Moeller family has forgiven Decker for his crime. Tyler, who no longer suffers from short-term memory loss, said he’s moved on from the attack. “I don’t really think about it anymore,” Moeller said. “If he’s sorry or not, I don’t really care. I wish him all the best. I hope he controls his inner demons.” The Buckeyes’ loss of Moeller can’t be understated. As one of the most effective pass rushers and leaders on the team, Tressel knows he won’t be easy to replace. “You just feel sick for him because you saw the pain he was in last year not being able to help his teammates and now he was, and now he was having fun,” Tressel said. “So, yeah, it’s very disappointing and obviously it hurts us.” Moeller won’t be able to train for the next three months but he expects to be much more involved with the team this year and help freshman Christian Bryant take over his role at the “star” position. Regardless of whether his career as a Buckeye is over, the ever-resilient Moeller expects to play football again at an even greater level. “I know I can play at that caliber level, and if I can get a medical redshirt, I’ll be better than ever,” Moeller said. “I’ll have a chest to work with and my legs will be stronger.” As unlucky as Moeller has been for the last two years, he refuses to let bitterness consume him. Moeller thrives on confidence, even while on the road to recovery. It’s a road he knows very well. read more

Womens Hockey No 5 Ohio State records first loss of season against

Ohio State then-freshman forward Emma Maltais (17) heads back out on the ice to start the second period of the game against Minnesota on Jan. 19. Ohio State won 3-2. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for DesignNo. 5 Ohio State (3-1) lost its first game of the season in the second game of the weekend series against No. 8 Colgate (2-2) by a score of 5-2.Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said she saw a different team than the one that defeated the Raiders last night.“You don’t know why a team can play so dominant yesterday and the first 20 minutes of the first period and then disappear,” Muzerall said. “Against a good team like Colgate, they are going keep coming back at you, so you can’t wait until the third to try and win the hockey game.”Ohio State struck first less than eight minutes into the first period off a strike by sophomore forward Liz Scheppers to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. Senior forward Madison Field and redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne recorded assists on the goal. This assist was Dunne’s third on the season in only four games. Still early in the game, the Buckeyes extended their lead off a goal less than three minutes later when sophomore forward Tatum Skaggs scored her fourth goal of the season in as many games to make the score 2-0. Sophomore forward Emma Maltais received an assist on the play. However, momentum quickly shifted to Colgate as the game moved into the second period.Colgate struck back just 36 seconds into the second period to close the gap to 2-1 when freshman Nemo Neubauerova knocked a shot by freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli with an assist by senior defenseman Olivia Zafuto. Taking advantage of a power play, Colgate tied the game up at two all 5:10 into the second period off a power play goal by freshman forward Delani MacKay with assists by sophomore forward Malia Schneider and senior forward Jesse Eldridge.The domination of the second period by Colgate continued as a goal by senior forward Shae Labbe 14:59 into the second period gave Colgate the lead for the first time, 3-2. Senior forward Bailey Larson got an assist for the play. “It was unfortunate that we gave up in the second, which dominantly, we don’t,” Muzerall said. “We usually dominate the second period, so when we had such a great first period, I was very excited for the second knowing that we usually are in control of it, but Colgate came to win, and Saturday games are always tougher.”Throughout the entirety of the second period, Ohio State was held to just four shots on goal to Colgate’s 14. The Buckeyes outshot Colgate 19-8 in the first period. “I think our first period was great, but then Colgate came out flying in the second period,” Dunne said. “You got to give them credit, they are a national championship contender. They don’t quit, and they don’t give up. I think we were a little on our heels and they took advantage of that.”The Buckeyes continued to lose momentum, as with just 2:10 left in the third period, sophomore forward Coralie Larose added an insurance goal for Colgate to extend their lead to 4-2, marking the fourth goal that Braendli gave up. Larose was assisted by senior forward Bailey Larson and sophomore defenseman Shelby Wood.In Braendli’s first start of her collegiate career, she recorded 32 saves and gave up four goals. “If you look on the scoreboard, that doesn’t tell you everything if you watch the hockey game,” Muzerall said. “She couldn’t see two of the goals. We had way too much traffic and if we’re going to do that, we have to block it. The other two, you have to give Colgate credit. They scored four goals on us this weekend with that top shelf goal shot. Her angling was pretty good on both of them, they were just good shots.” Just over a minute later, senior forward Shae Labbe scored her second goal of the game with an empty net goal to make the score 5-2 and end all chances of an Ohio State comeback. “I don’t think you ever put yourself in a good position when you have to play desperate,” Dunne said. “We were given chances and we just got to capitalize. I think it’s opportunity for us to learn how to play when we’re down, and when we do need an extra goal, what do we need to do to get that.” read more

Emery praises Arsenal teenage star Bukayo Saka

first_imgArsenal manager Unai Emery was full of praise for Bukayo Saka’s “big personality” after their 1-0 Europa League win against Qarabag FKThe 17-year-old winger made his full debut for the Arsenal senior team on Thursday night and impressed greatly in the second-half at the Emirates Stadium.In fact, Saka nearly capped off a superb performance by becoming the club’s youngest goalscorer in Europe after shooting the ball into Qarabag goalkeeper Vagner’s face in the dying moments.“Every young player, we have the responsibility to give them chances, first to train with us and to be demanding with their performances,” said Emery on Arsenal.com.“We give them these chances in the games like today, when we can do that. They show us in every match positive things.“Today Saka also played with a good performance, with a very big personality and we were speaking at half-time.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“His personality is very important for us to continue trying to go 1v1 and break lines with his quality.“He played with a very big personality and sometimes with a very good performance.“It’s very important for his confidence and for us also, because we can look at this player and see quality to help us.”Alexandre Lacazette scored the only goal of the game as Arsenal finished as Group E winners with 16 points from six games.The Gunners will next take a trip to St Mary’s to face Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.last_img read more

Solskjaer discusses bringing the best out of Pogba

first_imgManchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes rattling Paul Pogba is key to bringing out the best from the Frenchman.United continued their 100 perfect start to life since Solskjaer was appointed as caretaker manager in December following their 2-0 win against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.Pogba has been one of the most improved players since the Norwegian took over, with the World Cup winner scoring four goals and creating three assists in his last four games for the Red Devils.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.Solskjaer believes tapping into the aggression of the former Juventus star which was on display against the Magpies after being fouled by Jonjo Shelvey, has helped him rediscover his form for United.“You need to rattle Paul Pogba at times to get him going; he has been immense for us,” Solskjaer said, according to Standard.United face a tough game after their FA Cup third round tie at Reading on Saturday when they travel to Wembley Stadium to face high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.last_img read more

Arrivals down dramatically for Grand Bahama Nassau better with cruise stop overs

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, August 4, 2017 – Grand Bahama – The Central Bank of the Bahamas report is out and it shows a devastating reality; that Grand Bahama has seen a tourism dip of nearly 17% and air arrivals to the island are extremely concerning and are down over 40%.    Even cruise ship arrivals are down for the country’s second city, by 12%.The crippling blow dealt by Hurricane Matthew is largely to blame for the loss of room inventory, investors, airlift and bookings.    Grand Bahama is losing the largest ground of all the country’s islands in the tourism sector, and overall, according to that Central Bank report, arrivals nationally are down 2.2%, in a trend which saw the same period last year dip, though just slightly.   New Providence is doing best, with sea arrivals up 14.7% and overall tourism is improved by 7.3% for the Capital.#MagneticMediaNews#arrivalsdownforGrandBahama#TheCentralBankofTheBahamasreportPhoto credit: Bahamas Weekly Related Items:#arrivalsdownforGrandBahama, #magneticmedianews, #TheCentralBankofTheBahamasreportlast_img read more

Newsstand Declines Hitting New Lows Across More Categories

first_img There’s more bad news in the analysis of who’s being affected by the consumer’s growing lack of interest in picking up single copies. MagNet data shows that smaller titles whose newsstand sales had been holding up well against bigger ones are now feeling the squeeze. Whereas the top 25 and 50 titles had been experiencing larger declines, the latest data show that titles in the top 100 and top 1000 have pulled even. The percentage decline in sales is now more similar across all groups of titles through the top 1000, ranging from -1.4 percent for the top 25, to 3.2 percent for the top 1000. MagNet, though, puts a caveat on the comparison; the 2014 numbers may be overestimated both because numbers from Source Interlink Distribution dried up when it went out of business, and Barnes & Noble stopped providing data this year. That even despite publishers responding by paring back the number of hard copies distributed by 40 million over the same time period, but perhaps owing partly to an average 5 percent increase in cover prices. The latter move was factored into a dollar sales efficiency figure of 26.5 percent.  Yet MagNet is confident enough in the numbers to suggest in its narrative on the data that a stabilization of newsstand circ doesn’t appear to be in sight. The decline began eight years ago and sales are approaching an inauspicious milestone. The newsstand tracker’s first-half 2015 numbers are in and they show that the key metric of sales efficiency hit what it says is an all-time low. Only 26.8 percent of the magazines publishers distributed to retail outlets actually sold, down from 31 percent in the first half of 2014. Newsstand performance comparison for U.S. and Canada, first half 2015 versus 2014. (Includes estimates for Barnes & Noble sales) Source: MagNetcenter_img “We estimate that newsstand magazine sales will generate about $2.5 billion in 2015, just about half of what was generated in 2007,” the review reads in part. It’s getting to be old news now. Magazine newsstand sales are declining, according to the latest data from MagNet. But what is new, and worrisome, is that the declines are accelerating and the pain is spreading. MagNet’s outlook for 2015 looks even gloomier looking beyond the first-half numbers that are in the books. It says preliminary July and August numbers are tracking worse than those for the first half. Title rank comparison for U.S. and Canada, first half 2015 versus 2014. (Data does not include Barnes & Noble sales) Source: MagNetlast_img read more

Article 13 EU countries approve copyright directive

first_img Share your voice Internet Services Tech Industry Tags The EU has adopted Article 13, among other reforms. Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images European countries approved sweeping reforms to copyright law on Monday after the European Parliament voted to adopt the new legislation last month.The EU Copyright Directive will protect and govern how copyrighted content posted online, bringing outdated rules up to scratch for the internet age. The law has been hotly debated both by politicians and the wider tech community, with some of the world’s biggest companies taking a strong stance against the legislation — in particular a section known as Article 13.Article 13 dictates that anyone sharing copyrighted content must get permission from rights owners — or at least have made the best possible effort to get permission — before doing so. In order to do this, it’s thought that internet services and social networks will have no choice but to build and enforce upload filters and generally apply a more heavy-handed approach to moderating what users post online.For proponents of digital rights, the approval of the directive comes as a huge blow after over a year of campaigning to uphold what they see as the integrity of the internet. Following the European Parliament vote in March, there was hope that enough key countries might try to block the directive that it wouldn’t pass, but ultimately it didn’t face enough opposition on a national level (all EU legislation faces a final vote by member states before it can pass into law).Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Finland and Sweden voted against adopting the directive, whereas Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia abstained. In total 19 countries voted to approve the legislation.”This is a deeply disappointing result which will have a far-reaching and negative impact on freedom of speech and expression online,” said Catherine Stihler, chief executive of rights group the Open Knowledge Foundation in a statement. “The controversial crackdown was not universally supported, and I applaud those national governments which took a stand and voted against it.”But not every was disappointed by Monday’s result. A coalition of organizations representing news publishers in Europe celebrated the adoption of the directive. “This important reform will help make the EU copyright regime fit for the digital age without stifling digital innovation,” said Christian Van Thillo, chairman of the European Publishers Council in a statement.center_img 2 Commentslast_img read more

Paul McCartney almost played Ross fatherinLaw on Friends

first_imgBeatle star Paul McCartney almost guest starred on Friends as he was offered the role of Ross’ father-in-law.Emmy-nominated casting director Leslie Litt, who was working on the NBC hit series during most of its run, revealed that McCartney, now 72, could’ve appeared in the season 4 finale of the show as David Schwimmer’s on-screen father-in-law, but he turned it down, reported Huffington Post.“I went through his manager and gave him all the details. One day, someone in the office brought me a faxed letter written to me by Paul himself! He thanked me for my interest and said how flattered he was, but it was a very busy time for him,” Litt said.If the British musician had agreed to do it, he would’ve appeared in the two-part season four finale which aired in 1998.In the said outing, Ross married Emily (Helen Baxendale) in London though he accidentally said Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) name instead of his bride’s name at the altar.last_img read more

Promoting and preserving public art

first_imgFifteen artists from different backgrounds have gathered to showcase sculptures and installations on the theme of ‘Public art and its relevance’, at India International Centre. Titled ‘Sculpt for Delhi-II’, the group exhibition was inaugurated by Anil Baijal, Lt Governor, Delhi and Ambassador of Bulgaria Eleonora Dimitrova in the presence of Vijay Kumar Dev, Chief Secretary, Delhi.”Exhibitions like these offer a platform to express our thoughts through the medium of art, showcase our creativity, and bring it into the notice of concerned authorities. The authorities need to understand our strengths, and therefore use our potential in the best way possible. It is a way to communicate with them and discuss the importance of such installations and sculptures for artists as well as the public,” said Shovin Bhattacharjee, whose sculpture ‘Mystery of life’ highlights how urbanisation is destroying the nature. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”I have tried to bring a mirror in front of the people to see the sad reality, and understand why it’s important to be sensitive towards nature,” he added. The show is conceptualised by artist and sculptor Neeraj Gupta, President, Delhi Art Society in collaboration with Indian International Centre, and will go on until March 19. Well-known artists including Bipasa Sen Gupta, Anjali Khosa Kaul, Asurvedh, Suresh Kumar, O P Khare, Sangeeta Gupta, Farhat Jamshed, Neeraj Gupta, Shreedhar Mukul Panwar, Kavita Nayyar, among others, have created tangible forms and figures of smooth stimulations, gradual escalation of symmetry and a hint of mystery for the ongoing exhibition. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOn this occasion, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal said that this exhibition will be a witness to the symbol of art and cultural influences, which the artists have raised with finesse. All artists have given their best to make this exhibition one of its kind. I have always been a fan of sculpture exhibitions, and I congratulate the Delhi Art Society and India International Centre for organising such an event with great enthusiasm.” Neeraj Gupta said, “This liberating form of art is a mystical practice, and thus brings together a dreamy amalgamation of form, features, ideations, and ideals. Art is what metamorphoses the world into a more humane world. ‘Sculpt for Delhi II’ is one such attempt to control your world to consecutively take over culture. Works of art displayed in public places are the magnets that may hold the public space together. They represent the relentless spiral of the energies of the people.”last_img read more

Kids Stay Free at select luxury Bahia properties

first_imgKids Stay Free at select luxury Bahia properties Friday, June 16, 2017 MIAMI — Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts is making summer travel even more affordable for families with a Kids Stay Free offer at select properties.Available for stays through Oct. 31, the offer includes the new five-star Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection and Grand Bahia Principe Turquesa, where the first child stays free, as well as the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana where up to two kids stay free.“We have taken fantastic steps to make summer 2017 not only more kid-friendly than ever, but even more affordable as part of our commitment to offering all-inclusive luxury travel the whole family can enjoy,” said Helen Montijano, VP of Sales, USA. “From the new waterpark at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, to the new five-star Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection in the Dominican Republic, Bahia Principe knows how to turn family vacations into memorable Caribbean fairy tales – all while offering competitive rates.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthThe newly-opened Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection in Punta Cana features a pool with a fairy tale castle, complete with its own moat and bridge, a delight for children of all ages. Other family-friendly features in the new Fantasia include entertainment for all ages and a Kids Club with costume workshops, arts and crafts activities, cooking classes, expeditions and a waterpark. The Fantasia Teens Club for guests aged 12 to 17 is equipped with a gym, movie theatre, DJ dance floor, video consoles, pool table, and spa.Bahia Principe hotels offer a wide array of kid-friendly touches, including family suites in select hotels where welcome packages include children’s bath kits and bathrobes, minibars that come with milkshakes and soft drinks, children’s mini-clubs and even kids spa treatments. Babysitting services let parents take a romantic break too. For guests looking for adventure, the Bahia Scouts program combines fun, learning and excitement in supervised activities split by age group.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJBahia Principe Hotels & Resorts includes properties in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica. Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Tags: Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts Posted by Sharelast_img read more

Opening this December Melias newest resort in Punta Cana

first_img PALMA DE MALLORCA — Melia Hotels International is set to debut a sprawling new all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana in time for the busy winter season.Costing $110 million and featuring 288 suite-style accommodations, The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real is located 30 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport on the famed Playa de Bavaro. Upon completion, it will also boast seven restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, kids club, aqua adventure park and a wellness facility with gym equipment.Rooms will range from 800 to over 3,000 square feet, with suites including either one or two bedrooms, living and dining spaces, soaking tubs, walk-in showers, private balconies with hydro-massage whirlpool tubs and outdoor living spaces. Most noteworthy of the suites are The Grand Reserve’s Swim-Up Suites featuring one or two bedrooms, direct access to an exclusive pool, lush garden areas and a solarium.Co-existing with hotel guests will be an additional 144 suites for members of Circle by Melia for a total of 432 suites in the entire building. Launched in 2016, Circle by Melia is Melia Hotels International’s vacation membership program that includes private transfers, exclusive dining experiences, spa treatments and special add-on amenities for children and couples.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJOther top selling points will be the Cigar Bar, coming this winter, The Grand Reserve Spa by Natura Bissé featuring 14 treatment rooms and a relaxation room, and Stay at One & Play at Three privileges, which include complete access to the extensive property offerings at both The Reserve and Paradisus Palma Real.“We’re eager and excited to welcome The Grand Reserve to the Melia Hotels International family later this year, said Alvaro Tejada, Senior Vice President for the Americas for Melia Hotels International.” With its unique design superior amenities and new technological advancements, The Grand Reserve is set to radically transform the way travelers experience our hotels in the Dominican Republic.”In addition to The Grand Reserve, Melia Hotels International is transforming its Meliá Caribe Tropical property into two distinct properties: Meliá Punta Cana Beach Resort for adults only, and Meliá Caribe Beach resort for families, set to be completed by November 2018. Share Thursday, June 21, 2018 Posted by Tags: Melia Hotels, Punta Canacenter_img Travelweek Group Opening this December: Melia’s newest resort in Punta Cana << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

AE Networks Latin America has teamed up with Sony

first_imgA+E Networks Latin America has teamed up with Sony Pictures Television to launch the female-focused Lifetime channel in Latin America.A+E Networks Latin America, a joint venture between A+E Networks and Ole Communications, and Sony Pictures Television said they will launch Lifetime in Latin America and Brazil in July.The channel will feature scripted drama series, non-fiction series and movies.Scripted drama shows will include the premier of Witches of East End starring Julia Ormond and Mädchen Amick, the new season of Eva Longoria-produced Devious Maids and Drop Dead Diva with Brooke Elliott.Non-fiction shows will include Dance Moms, Bring It! and Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, while movies on the channel will include Steel Magnolias, Liz & Dick, Drew Peterson: Untouchable and Talhotblond.“We are thrilled to partner with Sony Pictures Television for the launch of Lifetime in Latin America and Brazil,” said Sean Cohan, executive vice-president, international, A+E Networks.“Lifetime and its content have an extremely loyal fan-base around the globe, and we are confident that it will develop an equally loyal audience in the Latin American region.”last_img read more

Switzerlandbased ADB will showcase a range of ove

first_imgSwitzerland-based ADB will showcase a range of over-the-top (OTT) solutions with regional solutions partner Vector at ANGA COM. ADB and Vector are working together to enable European service providers and operators to “maximise the cloud and deliver superior OTT video services across platforms and devices.”The pair are working together to help local operators launch personal TV services. ADB’s systems solutions deliver content to multi-platform environments and include features like start-over, catch-up TV and cloud DVR.“2015 is sure to be an explosive year for OTT. Consumer viewing habits are changing and more and more consumers are shifting from traditional TV viewing and turning to the smaller screen to watch their favourite content,” said ADB’s CEO, Peter Balchin.“OTT is a significant part of ADB´s software and solutions proposal. We have the right technology, expertise and delivery capability to help operators win and retain customers, and ultimately increase their return on investment.”ADB will demo its full OTT product suite at ANGA COM, including its GraphyneOTT application – a multi-DRM solution that lets OTT service providers upgrade to a live, linear broadcast service.ADB provides and integrates software, system and service solutions to cable, satellite, IPTV and broadband operators – including Swisscom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenet, and Vodafone. ADB and Vector will be exhibiting at ANGA COM at the Vector stand, hall 10.2, booth K15.last_img read more

Make sure you have a neutral setting Dont talk t

first_imgMake sure you have a neutral setting. Don’t talk to the child about liberty, obedience, or anything along those lines before asking the question. Make sure that you are feeling neutral too. You should want to know the child’s opinion, sincerely. If the child answers more than a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No,’ write down precisely what they say. Then, if necessary, write down your interpretation of what the child said and why you interpreted their meaning that way. We’re all born knowing the truth, but by the time you’re four or five years old, they’ve beaten it out of you. – Attributed to Bob Dylan I think I’d be a bit more charitable than Mr. Dylan; I’d say that we’ve only had the truth partly beaten out of us by the age of five. I think truth endures in us, at least to a significant extent, up till puberty, after which it is beaten into submission over the next decade or so. The Crazy Years We all have experience with the tumultuous years that begin with puberty: First we are slapped with a rush of hormones. That triggers a reproductive imperative. That’s crazy-making enough, but then we find ourselves inside of a rigid, status-based system… a system that massively influences all of our potential mates. That’s a recipe for the corruption of thought, and it does corrupt our thoughts. Orson Welles was an unusually clear-thinking and experienced child… far more experienced than average. He spent his days (he was what we’d now call home schooled) reading the works of Shakespeare and all the existing Greek tragedies, repetitively. As a man, Orson was once interviewed about his young days. The interviewer asked what he had thought of teenagers. Orson replied, “I thought they were absolutely insane.” I think all of us can understand why. Getting to the Truth So, if we want to get a glimpse of human nature before it’s stressed and shaped during the crazy years, we should really go to pre-teens. Granted, kids are not the pure saints they are sometimes imagined to be… and it is true that these kids are already sexualized and trained in status these days… but there remains, in most of them, some residue of honest thinking. They have not yet been dragged all the way into the conformist way of mind. My hypothesis is that most of us are born as natural libertarians – having a built-in bias toward liberty. And I have a clean way of testing this idea: Go to pre-teens, in a neutral setting, and ask them a very simple question: Shouldn’t you be allowed to do anything you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone? My guess is that the results would show a large majority agreeing with the statement, and the younger the respondent, the higher the percentage. A Challenge to You I’d like to propose we actually run such an experiment. I’ll be pleased to coordinate and publish the data. In order to ensure that the results are meaningful, I recommend the following: After you write down the answer, feel free to continue the discussion with the child if fitting, but not if there are other study participants in the area. Keep them neutral.    Can I ask you a question? I want to know what you think about this. Since children have notoriously short attention spans, ask the question only after you have calmed them and centered their attention. I suggest something like this: As I say, I’ll be pleased to tabulate and publish the results if one or more of our readers want to run the experiment. I think the results might be very interesting… and quite possibly very useful. Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.comlast_img read more

Disabled campaigners have welcomed the longawaite

first_imgDisabled campaigners have welcomed the long-awaited publication of draft legislation to create Europe-wide access laws.The European Commission – the European Union’s executive body – finally published a European Accessibility Act this week, 15 years after promising to outlaw the discrimination faced by disabled people in accessing goods and services.It said the act would set “common accessibility requirements for certain key products and services”, including cashpoint machines and other banking services, personal computers, telephones and television equipment, telephony and audio-visual services, transport, e-books and e-commerce.The publication came the day before the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), which this year had a theme of “access and empowerment for people of all abilities”.The proposed European Accessibility Act would complement Britain’s own Equality Act by making existing voluntary European access standards mandatory across the European Union (EU).The act’s publication comes only two months after the United Nations said it was “concerned” that a European Accessibility Act had not yet been adopted by the EU, and gave it just 12 months to explain how it would be introduced.Yannis Vardakastanis (pictured), president of the European Disability Forum (EDF), said the act could “contribute to the empowerment of persons with disabilities to better enjoy the freedom of movement of persons, goods and services in the European single market”.He said the act had been a “top priority” for EDF and its members for many years, through its Freedom of Movement campaign.But he said it was too early to comment on the content of the act itself.He said: “In the coming weeks and months EDF and its members will work together with the EU institutions, partner organisations and other stakeholders to make this piece of legislation meaningful for 80 million people with disabilities in Europe.”The European Blind Union (EBU) also welcomed the act’s publication.Wolfgang Angermann, EBU’s president, said: “We have faced discrimination for long enough.“Along with our partners in the European Disability Forum, we will respond thoughtfully to the consultation which has just opened on this proposed legislation.“After that, we will be urging all those involved in the legislative process to ensure this new law is fully effective and thorough.”Marianne Thyssen, the EU’s commissioner for employment, social affairs, skills and labour mobility, said: “Disability should not be a barrier to full participation in society, nor should the lack of EU common rules be a barrier to cross-border trade in accessible products and services.“With this act, we want to deepen the internal market and use its potential for the benefit of both companies and citizens with disabilities. In fact, we all may benefit from it.”The commission believes the act will make it easier for companies that want to export goods and services within the EU, and will help small business “take full advantage of the EU market”, with disabled people benefiting from “a greater supply of accessible products and services at more competitive prices”.Without the act, each EU country would continue to develop different laws as they implemented their accessibility obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Richard Howitt, the Labour MEP and co-president of the European Parliament’s all-party disability rights group, said European officials had “shamefully dragged their feet” on a promise made 15 years ago to outlaw disability discrimination in access to goods and services.  Howitt, who played a key role in negotiating that promise in 2000, said it would have been long-forgotten if it had not been for “16 years of relentless campaigning by disabled people’s organisations”.Howitt said: “It is shameful how long disabled people have been forced to wait and the foot-dragging by anyone and everyone in Brussels has to stop right now.“Echoing the slogans of disability activists, this is much more a victory by rather than for disabled people themselves.“When I helped negotiate the EU law against disability discrimination in access to employment in 2000, the European Parliament was promised that action to outlaw the same discrimination in access to goods and services would soon follow.“Today, we are close to achieving what for many years has simply only been a dream and equality itself is finally being given equal treatment.”He added: “Although I am proud that Europe has made progress in the past on disability access rules in relation to the installation of lifts, for some public transport and on the internet, the bitter truth is that a large swathe of the built environment remains a ‘no go’ area for people with disabilities in Britain and in Europe.”There will now be a period of eight weeks’ consultation, followed by legislative procedures in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.last_img read more