Tories pitch change to benefits clawback for disabled people who want to

first_imgOTTAWA – The Conservatives are proposing legislation aimed at ensuring disabled Canadians don’t wind up losing their disability benefits when they get a job, earn a raise or work longer hours.As it stands now, said Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, both federal and provincial governments claw back benefits, including income, housing and medication support, when a disabled person takes a job. Combined with income taxes, the marginal effective tax rates can exceed 100 per cent, he said.“Imagine, the harder you work, the poorer you become,” said Poilievre, blaming successive federal and provincial governments for instituting tax and benefits policies with little idea how they’d impact the ability of disabled Canadians to work.“The result is a welfare wall that keeps people jobless and in poverty.”Poilievre introduced a private member’s bill Monday designed to knock down that wall.Under his bill, the federal government would be required to calculate how much people with disabilities in each province lose in taxes and benefit clawbacks for every additional $1,000 they earn, up to $30,000.In any case where a person loses more than they gain, the federal government would have to adjust its disability benefits to resolve the problem.As a condition for receiving federal transfer payments, provinces would also have to adjust their taxes and benefits to ensure disabled people are not penalized for getting a job or earning more money.Poilievre’s bill was introduced in tandem with one from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, who last week proposed putting an end to taxation of employment insurance benefits for Canadians on parental leave.Poilievre characterized his bill as a non-partisan effort to improve the lives of disabled Canadians and said members of other parties have responded favourably to the idea.Still, both bills are part of a Conservative effort to start presenting proposals they say will go further than the Liberal government’s approach to helping the middle class.The Tories argue the government’s policies hurt more than they help, and they are offering up new tax changes as a way to undo that damage.The new policies also, however, harken back to the Harper Conservatives’ strategy of offering niche tax breaks as incentives to targeted pools of voters – a strategy the Liberals have argued voters rejected in the 2015 election.The policy ideas and political plays come as the Conservatives struggle with the fact that two former MPs have been accused of sexual misconduct dating back to their time on Parliament Hill.Both former prime minister Stephen Harper and his former chief of staff Ray Novak have now publicly admitted they were aware of allegations against one MP, Rick Dykstra. Both have said they allowed Dykstra to remain a candidate in the 2015 election because no criminal charges had been laid.Dykstra has denied the allegations.Another former Tory MP, Patrick Brown, is also facing accusations he denied, but which forced him to step down as leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives.— Follow @StephanieLevitz on Twitterlast_img read more

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First Nation Elders want Eagle Staff gifted to Canadas UN ambassador returned

first_img(Marshall Dreaver, left, Marc-Andre Blanchard and AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. Photo: AFN)Jorge Barrera APTN National News Some First Nation Elders want to repatriate an Eagle Staff gifted by Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde to a Canadian diplomat in honour of the 10th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Bellegarde gave the Eagle Staff to Marc-Andre Blanchard, who is Canada’s permanent representative at the United Nations, during a visit last week to New York City.Elder Elmer Courchene, who is the chair of the AFN Elder’s Council, said the Eagle Staff gift caused concern among several elders on the council who want a meeting with the national chief to clarify the issue. “I know there are a lot of people that are not happy with what took place,” said Courchene, in an interview Thursday. “I am not happy with it, let’s put it that way.”Courchene said a meeting is planned in Ottawa next week with the AFN executive and the Elder’s council to discuss the issue.“The Eagle Staff is our identity, it means everything to us. It has to be shown that respect and it has to be taken care of properly,” said Courchene. “I don’t know if all of the people have been informed with what took place and that is some of the things that have to be cleared up.”(Elmer Courchene is chair of the AFN’s Elder’s council)The Eagle Staff, which originated with the Cree, was used as standard before flags appeared on the continent.Under proper protocol, it has to be cared for and stored in a certain way. It can’t be left to gather dust or used simply as a decoration.“The Eagle Staff has always been representative as our first flag before state flags were ever in existence, since time immemorial,” said Assembly of First Nations Manitoba regional Chief Kevin Hart. “It is very sacred. The highest honour you can get is to be given an eagle feather, let alone an Eagle Staff being presented.”Hart said he heard concerns over the Eagle Staff gift from many Elders during the National Gathering of Elders in Edmonton last week.He said some Elders want to get the staff back.“There were obvious concerns regarding the protocol with the national chief’s office and I have heard since that some Elders want to go retrieve that Eagle Staff and repatriate it,” said Hart.Hart said he wrote Bellegarde an email recently on the issue.“I expressed my concern with what I heard,” said Hart. “Everyone was surprised with the Eagle Staff and how it was presented…. You hear what is happening in Native country as well, obviously there is a concern with this Eagle Staff being presented.”Bellegarde is aware of the Eagle Staff concerns and AFN CEO Paulette Tremblay sent an email to the AFN executive on Sept. 14, the day after the gifting, explaining proper protocols were followed in the handing over of the staff.Tremblay’s email said the Eagle Staff was commissioned in April by the diplomat Blanchard who made the request using tobacco, a prayer cloth and sweet grass to Haida Nation master carver James Maurice Hart. Eagle Staff maker John Fisher, from George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, was also involved in the process.The carving process followed the advice and guidance of British Columbia Grand Chief Ed John, said the email.The Eagle Staff was gifted to Blanchard during a ceremony overseen by Marshall Dreaver, a ceremonial leader from Big River First Nation in Saskatchewan, which included smudging and a prayer song.“While meeting with ambassador Blanchard the national chief educated him as to the spirituality of the Eagle Staff, and the importance to honour it with appropriate smudging and an annual feast and ceremony, which ambassador Blanchard has committed to honouring,” said Tremblay’s email.Contact APTN National News here: news@aptn.calast_img read more

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New project trying to determine how many children died at residential schools

first_img(The site where the Brandon Indian Residential school operated from 1895 to 1972. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTN)Brittany HobsonAPTN News SaturdayIt’s unknown the official number of Indigenous children who died while attending residential schools in Canada but the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is hoping to change this.The Centre estimates 4,200 children lost their lives but the organization is launching a new project that will help determine the actual number.“We know that the number is going to go up,” said Ry Moran, director for the NCTR. “Obviously, that’s very sobering…what we’re doing in this is trying to fully account for, fully remember, fully honour those children that never returned home.”The National Residential School Student Death Register is the answer to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Actions released in 2015.Moran calls the register the beginning of a conversation about the appropriate way to honour the children and families.“What’s really important to recognize is this is part of a much broader series of calls to action around a very sensitive and very dark period in our country’s history,” he said.Part of the research includes going through millions of documentations.During TRC hearings the commission received approximately five million records including church and government archives, coroner’s reports and records from other archival collections.Moran says the commission was never given a sufficient amount of time to go through the documents. The NCTR has had to do much of the work.“There’s a significant amount of research to still be done,” said Moran. “There’s a lot of investigation that still needs to happen, a lot of dialogue with community that still needs to occur to properly honour and identify all the children that passed away while at the schools.”Also included in this research is determining the locations of unmarked graves.This is something the city of Brandon has been dealing with for the past four years.The Brandon Indian Residential School operated from 1895 to 1972. The building was demolished in 2000.The Sioux Valley Dakota Nation currently owns the property and an RV park is located down the hill from the old school grounds.It is believed children are buried on the property by the river.(The RV park where bodies of children who went to the Brandon Indian residental school attended are believe to be buried. Photo: Brittany Hobson/APTN)Brandon mayor Rick Chrest says it’s been widely believed the area is an unmarked burial ground.“There weren’t really any records that were specific indication. There were just general areas we believed bodies were buried,” he told APTN News last month.Recently, Sioux Valley is appealing for the ability to search the grounds for remains. The park owner and the city are working with the community to determine the next best steps.The NCTR is hoping to speak with communities like Sioux Valley to determine what the final project will look like. Moran said this could include something along the lines of a national monument, “we’re talking about a very solemn place of reflection and honouring for these children.”Community meetings start in November and include locations across Canada.Information can be found here: https://education.nctr.ca/memorial-register/bhobson@aptn.ca@bhobs22last_img read more

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US durable goods orders up 17 per cent in August

first_imgWASHINGTON – Orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose a modest 1.7 per cent in August, reflecting a rebound in the volatile aircraft sector. A gauge of business investment was up for a second month, providing hope that a revival in manufacturing is gaining strength.Last month’s advance in orders for durable goods followed a 6.8 per cent plunge in July, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Both months were heavily influenced by swings in orders for commercial aircraft, which surged 44.8 per cent in August after having plunged 71.1 per cent in July.A closely watched category that serves as a proxy for business investment posted a 0.9 per cent gain in August after a 1.1 per cent increase in July. Economists believe that U.S. factory output should continue rising in coming months, reflecting a rebound in the global economy.Manufacturing has been improving since the middle of 2016, following a two-year slump caused by cutbacks in the energy industry and a strong dollar that made U.S. goods costlier overseas. Prospects are brighter now with the dollar weakening in value this year, which makes U.S. exports more competitive on overseas markets, and a rebound in energy drilling.The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, expanded at a solid 3 per cent rate in the April-June quarter after a tepid 1.2 per cent gain in the first three months of the year. Analysts believe activity in the current July-September quarter will likely slow a bit, in part because of the devastation caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.For August, orders excluding transportation were up 0.2 per cent after a stronger 0.8 per cent rise in July.Demand for machinery rose 0.3 per cent while orders for computers and related products fell 2.3 per cent. Orders for autos and auto parts rose 1.5 per cent after a 2.1 per cent drop in July.last_img read more

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JK school teacher arrested in terror case dies in custody

first_imgSrinagar: A school teacher, who was arrested in connection with a terror case, has died in a police custody here, prompting the department to request for a magisterial inquiry, officials said on Tuesday. Rizwan Pandit, 28, a resident of Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, died during the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday, a police officer said. Pandit, who was a teacher at a private school, was picked up by the security agencies three days ago in connection with a terror case, the officer said. The police department has requested a magisterial inquiry under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to ascertain the cause and circumstances leading to Pandit’s death, the officer said, adding that further details were awaited.last_img read more

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Beyond social media Businesses find other ways to advertise

NEW YORK — Ryan Knoll thought social media sites like Facebook would be the best places to advertise his brand-new home cleaning service. Then he had an epiphany.“Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. How would that customer go about trying to find the business?” says Knoll, whose company, Tidy Casa, is based in Phoenix.Ryan tried marketing on several social media sites, but eventually realized people needing cleaning services would head first for review websites like Yelp, Thumbtack and Angie’s List.While small business owners who started their companies the past few years have achieved great success by marketing on social media, some find that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter aren’t an automatic go-tos. Instead, owners turn to more specialized websites like review services, and even low-tech methods like networking and cold-calling. Many, like Knoll, go through a period of trial and error before finding an advertising method that works.Knoll also assumed at first that he should try to get Tidy Casa’s website to rank high in Google directory results; owners can accomplish that using specific keywords that customers are likely to search for. But he realized it would take months and thousands of dollars to get the response he wanted. Then Knoll noticed review websites showing up when he searched for “cleaning service Phoenix.”Knoll is taking a different approach with his men’s hair product, Simple Hair. He’s working toward selling on Amazon.com because that’s where many consumers search for personal care products.An owner’s choice of advertising channels depends on their target customers, says Ramon Ray, a small business consultant who often speaks publicly about marketing.“It’s ultra-important to clearly understand who you are selling to,” Ray says. Armed with that information, an owner can decide if social media is best or if they should try methods like email marketing, sending brochures through the mail or making networking calls, Ray says.Simon Trask has had four companies including an advertising agency, two online stores and a consulting business. With his background in advertising, “I’ve seen hundreds of companies and they’re all case by case unique, depending on what products they sell and what kind of companies they are,” Trask says.Trask has found that for his e-commerce sites, knife seller Uppercut Tactical and Rita Marie’s Chicken Coops, buying ads on Google have worked well; his customers are likely to do an online search for his products rather than seek them out through social media. Trask, who lives in Denton, Texas, has also started using podcasts to help market his chicken coops, which come in a variety of styles and sizes. He sees podcasts as a way to build public awareness about the coops — podcasts are likely to work in the long term by entertaining and informing people rather than prompting immediate visits to his website.But Trask is taking a different tack with his consulting business, which is still in its formative stages. He’s not advertising it; he’s talking about it through networking and letting other business owners know he’s available.When Robyn Lanci began marketing her public relations firm nearly three years ago, she found success from cold-calling, phoning business owners who are complete strangers and pitching her company to them. Cold-calling can be frustrating because owners get more rejections than interest, but Lanci was able to sign up clients for Owl PR in her first two months because she researched the businesses before calling to improve her chances of success. Similarly, when she emailed prospects, she crafted subject lines that were personal.Since then, Lanci, who is based in Lindenhurst, New York, has found more success from networking groups and casual, friendly conversations with business owners she encounters. Talking rather than pitching has been her best approach.“When I stopped “selling” myself hard, the business came easier,” Lanci says.Speaking or taking part in panels at conferences and other events has helped Spencer Smith get clients for his social media marketing firm, AmpliPhi. Smith estimates that he’s given 200 speeches in the past few years.“When you’re on stage, those in the audience assume you’re an expert in your field. After all, you’ve already been vetted by someone — a conference organizer — who’s involved with an association or group they trust,” says Smith, who’s based in Madison, Wisconsin.Smith finds that LinkedIn, the social media channel where business people connect, helps because he’s able to prospect for new customers there, and he’s also able to post articles and other content that will appeal to his target client.Still, social media channels like Facebook and Instagram are appealing to many small businesses, especially those that sell to consumers, because of their reach and low cost. Social media marketing can be free if companies use the basics, like Facebook pages and Instagram accounts without ads. And advertising, depending on how many people a company wants to reach, can be relatively inexpensive, in the hundreds of dollars per month.Cost was one reason why Gabriella Jacobsen decided to market her environmentally friendly grocery bags on sites including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Jacobsen, who calls social media “cheap and accessible,” says Instagram alone prompts 70 per cent of the visits to her website, www.greenupward.com .One of the most valuable aspects of social media for Jacobsen is the fact she can get feedback — marketing information — on her products from the comments people post.“It helps me with making better business decisions going forward,” she says._____For more small business news, insights and inspiration, sign up for our free weekly newsletter here: http://discover.ap.org/ssb_____Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.comJoyce M. Rosenberg, The Associated Press read more

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Guterres pledges UN support to Iraqi Government people in Mosul 562M needed

“The recovery of Mosul is a significant step in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism,” the Secretary-General said in a statement attributable to his spokesperson. Mr. Guterres said the UN would stand by the Government as it creates the conditions for “voluntary, safe and dignified return” of the displaced communities, as well as to restore the rule of law, prevent a return to violence and foster accountability for all violations. In the statement, he also lauded the “courage, determination and perseverance” of the people and Government, and added condolences for the loss of lives and wishes for those injured. Since the military campaign to retake Mosul began on 17 October 2016, some 920,000 civilians fled their homes, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. “It’s a relief to know that the military campaign in Mosul is ending. The fighting may be over, but the humanitarian crisis is not,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande. Close to 700,000 people are still displaced, nearly half of whom are living in 19 emergency camps, she explained. They need shelter, food, health care, water, sanitation and emergency kits. “The levels of trauma we are seeing are some of the highest anywhere. What people have experienced is nearly unimaginable,” said Ms. Grande.She said aid workers “have been working around the clock” and that “enormous efforts” have been made by the Government and partners, but that there is “a lot to do in the weeks and months ahead.” The UN has called for $985 million to aid humanitarian projects. So far, about 43 per cent has been received, leaving a gap of $562 million. read more

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Missionary Announcement McKay Meccariello

McKay Meccariello has been called to serve as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He will serve in the Botswana Namibia Africa Mission. He will be speaking June 16th at 10:30 AM in the Dutch Flat Ward located at 555 South 400 West, Ferron UT.

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It May Not Matter How Much Young Talent NFL Teams Have

The St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings combined to go 18-29-1 last season. This season, those three teams rank highest in Football Outsiders’ annual ranking of franchises according to the amount of under-age-25 talent on hand. Should fans of those teams start planning for the Super Bowl in a few years? Is there evidence that teams ranked highly in such “young talent” indices see dividends on the field?Football Outsiders has been compiling a similar list going back to 2010 (it used to include 25-year-olds in the assessments but doesn’t anymore). That doesn’t give us anywhere near the sample size we had when we looked at how well Baseball America’s annual organizational talent rankings predicted future team success, but we can begin to investigate whether there’s a relationship in the NFL between having a lot of young talent and winning down the road.For the rankings released prior to the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the correlation against schedule-adjusted Pythagorean wins in the following three seasons was 0.021, meaning there’s practically no relationship between how highly regarded a team’s talent is and how well it does in the next three seasons. (Nerd note: Since Football Outsiders only ranks teams relative to one another, we need to run the Spearman rank correlation coefficient between a team’s young talent ranking and its ranking among NFL teams in schedule-adjusted Pythagorean wins for future seasons.)But perhaps it’s unfair to include early seasons in that range. Teams with a lot of young talent usually acquired it through recent (high) draft picks, which typically implies a team might not be ready to win right away. If we toss out years one and two and only focus on the season three years in the future, the correlation does improve. But it’s still just a minuscule 0.080, which probably doesn’t inspire a lot of hope in the hearts of Rams, Bills and Vikings fans.Now, it may be that it’s tough for young talent to move the needle on a roster that’s already bad. But if you control for existing team quality by regressing a team’s young talent ranking and its league ranking in schedule-adjusted Pythagorean wins from the previous two seasons against its performance three seasons into the future, neither predictor is statistically significant and the R-squared is essentially zero.If you used the number of draft points a team spent the previous spring (using Chase Stuart’s draft value chart from Football Perspective), or the amount of Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement generated by a team’s quarterbacks the season before, those rankings correlate better with a team’s performance three years into the future. The short schedule and interconnectedness of individual statistics in football make it difficult to judge who has talent in the first place, much less to project which teams will succeed because of it down the road.Maybe these teams will buck the trend, or the rankings will appear more accurate as the sample grows. Certainly, a few years’ worth of rankings aren’t the final arbiter — in either direction — of whether future wins are related to a stockpile of what appears to be burgeoning talent. Theoretically, the two categories should be linked, but it bears mentioning that a similar analysis of young talent rankings and team results in baseball yields a very weak correlation, too. And that’s baseball, where projections are somewhat reliable; in general, the NFL is much more difficult to predict than MLB. read more

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Cannabis factories could create jobs in deprived areas says exminister

Building cannabis factories in Britain’s neglected post-industrial towns may be the solution to unemployment problems, a former Conservative justice minister has suggested.Jonathan Djanogly, who served as an under-secretary for justice under David Cameron, said towns in Canada with declining manufacturing industries had reinvented themselves as hubs for the cannabis industry.Mr Djanogly travelled to the country on a research trip to explore the possibility of legalising cannabis in the UK, which will be the subject of BBC documentary available today.  He told The Daily Telegraph: “We had a meeting with a mayor of a town. “I would call it a post-industrial town, the likes of which we have many in this country, where the main employer, the only main employer in town, had moved out and closed down their factory, and there had been mass unemployment.”“A cannabis factory had opened up,” he said. “[The Mayor said], ‘Look, this has provided us with jobs and better jobs than we had before’.”While Mr Djanogly said legalising and regulating cannabis was “easier said than done”, he suggested that the cannabis industry could provide the UK with a solution to unemployment in formerly industrial northern cities.“I don’t know about the scale involved, but cannabis is now roughly half a per cent of GDP, so it must be creating jobs somewhere,” he said. Mr Djanogly acknowledged that any legalisation of cannabis in the UK would have to be accompanied by regulation that allowed market forces to operate without putting users at risk. Sir Norman Lamb and David Lammy joined Mr Djanogly on the research trip, which was organised by the Volteface drugs think tank. Mr Lammy told the BBC: “I want the market legalised and regulated, taken away from criminal gangs, young people not criminalised by use and properly educated. “But I want to see the strength of the stuff reduced, labelled and properly organised in our country.” While Sir Norman added: “There does not appear to be the same level of debate about mental health and psychosis as there is in UK. I would have a cap on potency if legalised in the UK.” The BBC documentary, Legalising Weed – Canada’s Story, is available online today and follows the three MPs exploring cannabis legalisation policy in Canada. All three said they expected cannabis to be legalised in the UK in the next decade.  The documentary will also show Sir Norman, who does not usually use recreational drugs, taking a cannabis “capsule” bought in a legal dispensary. The Home Office has repeatedly stated that it has no intention to legalise cannabis for recreational use. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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The truth about Cydia

first_imgFor most people iOS is a sophisticated operating system that provides everything you need to have a great mobile computing experience. The are some of us, however, that like to push the boundaries of what a device can do. There’s always the chance that you might break something though, so this isn’t behavior that is encouraged unless you know what you are doing. For iOS users the best way to play with your device outside of Apple’s walled garden is with Cydia.Cydia is a service that, in concept, is not unlike the App Store. The purpose of Cydia is to deliver content for your device that is not approved by Apple. Despite the sinister sounding nature of installing something not approved by Cupertino, the purpose of Cydia is to help deliver a better experience to iOS users that want more from their devices. First things first, though, you have to get Cydia on your device.Since you won’t find Cydia in the App Store, it needs to be side-loaded during the jailbreak process.  For most iDevices now jailbreaking is a quick and painless experience, where all you need to do is run your application and pick through a few different options. Then, if you are using Absinthe 2.0 to jailbreak your device, Cydia will be available as soon as your device reboots. The Cydia logo will be on the last page of apps, as though you had installed it from the App Store.Using the Cydia app in its stock configuration is incredibly easy. You can navigate the store for an app, theme, or customization that interests you, and install. If the thing you are trying to install has pre-requisites, you can install them as well. Some apps are free, but many app developers in the Cydia store charge prices that are comparable to apps in the App Store. You will need to give Cydia payment information in order to buy apps, since it can’t use your iTunes account, but once you have purchased an app it will install immediately.Now that you have Cydia installed, you can go crazy. Maybe you want a file explorer so you can see what files are where on your device. Maybe you want to get rid of that annoying “This accessory is unsupported” message and just use the cables you already have. Or, maybe you want to tweak the haptic feedback for your keyboard when you are typing. These are just a few examples of the kinds of things you can do with the apps in Cydia. Most things are just little usability tweaks that will make the device feel more yours, but weren’t included in iOS by default. The apps are really clearly labeled and typically include screenshots to show you what it is you will be doing when you install the app.The out-of-the-box Cydia experience allows you to explore and tinker, without really getting very deep into anything particularly dangerous. For some that will be enough, but Cydia allows you do go as deep as you want. There are app repositories that can be added to Cydia for additional content. Some of these repositories are just massive collections of themes, while other contain experimental builds of apps or even apps that have been pirated from the App Store. It is entirely up to the user at this point to choose what they want to put on their device.Cydia doesn’t stop piracy, but it doesn’t turn a blind eye to it either. If you are connecting to a repository that is known to contain pirated material, Cydia will warn you before you actually explore it. Once you have connected it is easy to disconnect it without any consequences, but once you have pirated apps on your device you will be unable to sync back to iTunes without Apple asking you to pay for the apps you borrowed. If you aren’t pirating apps, the Apps Store and Cydia exist harmoniously with one rarely getting in the way of the other.Cydia certainly isn’t for everyone, but it can be a nice addition to iOS. In many ways it reminds me of the kind of modifications and improvements that are made in the Android modding community, including project like CyanogenMod. The people who develop and post things to Cydia want to enjoy their devices, but the want to have a little more control than Apple typically allows. While this does open the door to things like piracy, that couldn’t be further from the purpose of Cydia.Read more: The best Cydia appslast_img read more

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Hemlock Grove Netflixs failed attempt at edgy werewolf television

first_imgNetflix CEO Reed Hastings recently said that he wants Netflix to become HBO before HBO can become Netflix. Before you get too excited about that statement, go watch their new series Hemlock Grove and you’ll see how much work they have in front of them.One of the advantages to premium channels like HBO is the kind of content you’ll find there. Showtime, HBO, and others are in a unique position to show a little more than what you’ll find on normal television. While some shows have taken the freedom as an opportunity to show random acts of nudity whenever they can, there have been some great shows to come from the more flexible format. Dexter, Game of Thrones, True Blood, Weeds, and others would only really be acceptable — or expected — on premium channels. For Netflix, deciding to produce their own content allowed the company to have complete creative control, and to appeal to the same crowds that enjoy HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime, as well as Amazon and Hulu. Netflix was surely happy to be free of the limitations of network television, but they forgot the old adage that goes along with any relaxation of imposed rules: just because you can doesn’t mean you should.The first five minutes of Hemlock Grove have all the makings of an HBO-style series. The creators do their part to lure viewers in with a little taste of nudity, a fairly high creep factor, and a gruesome death that sets the tone and hooks you in. There’s some drug abuse thrown in too, just to make sure they have everyone’s attention. Then the show steps right off of the cliff and deep into weird. The seemingly random use of a variety of filters makes it difficult to discern past or present, and what witty dialog you do encounter in the first couple of episodes is marred by a spinning chamber of unrealistic accents.The promotional material for Hemlock Grove — assuming that you have not read the book — gives the distinct impression that this show is going to be a werewolf gore-fest. In fact, Hemlock Grove is more like a murder mystery with supernatural tones, but with less focus than a typical who-done-it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the set up of the show makes it so the viewer isn’t able to even begin to piece that premise together until well into the second episode. For a 13 episode series — where the future of the series is determined by whether or not enough people watch the first season — it takes way too long to understand what exactly you are watching. Even those who are thoroughly indoctrinated in the catch-up required by supernatural-themed television shows, Hemlock Grove really drags on in the beginning.If you can muscle through the first two episodes, HG begins to take shape. Despite the uncomfortable use of camera filters, the lack of basic explanation, and the “because I can” use of sex and drugs, the show gets more interesting. It seems like the biggest hurdle the story has to overcome is the need to establish so many mysteries up front in order to make it difficult to piece together who is doing what and why they are doing it, which would ruin the mystery.Back to the drawing board, Mr. Hastings. If Hemlock Grove were on at a specific time every week and competing with the shows on the networks Netflix is trying to emulate, it would not make it to a second season. Netflix being a producer of unique content is a fantastic idea. House of Cards was a brilliant remake that would have done excellent on television, and the ability to watch at a pace determined by the user is a great thing. Werewolves and the fantastic is as good a direction to head in as any, but if you’re looking to be more like HBO you’ll need to step up your game.last_img read more

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Finance ministry official charged in tax case

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A top Finance Ministry official was charged this week with failing to collect fines imposed on firms for smuggling, court officials said, the second case to embarrass the government in under a week. Yiannis Kapeleris, a general secretary who was handling the tax and customs portfolio and had previously worked in the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE), was accused of not collecting fines imposed on fuel and heating oil suppliers for smuggling. Financial crimes prosecutor Grigoris Peponis ordered his prosecution on the charge of breach of duty. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos requested his resignation after he was charged, in order to facilitate the investigation. Kapeleris denies wrongdoing but he tendered his resignation. “He is charged with breach of duty,” a court official said, adding that the state had lost an estimated 15 million euros as a result. “An investigating magistrate will look into the case and also for accomplices.” The investigation was launched two months ago after media reports that Kapeleris and the head of the Customs Control Directorate, Evangelia Pantazi, issued circulars that blocked the collection of fines imposed through the electronic Ifestos system. The affair came to light after another Finance Ministry General Secretary, Diomidis Spinellis, resigned over decisions preventing him from collecting such fines. Press reports concerning Spinellis’ resignation mentioned a secret system within the finance ministry that froze or blocked the collection of fines. A subsequent investigation conducted by deputy financial crimes prosecutor Spyros Mouzakitis found grounds to prosecute for breach of duty and said that the estimated losses to the state amounted to at least 15m euros. Kapeleris said that the system was not operating properly, most of the fines should not have been imposed or there would be serious fuel shortages, and the ministry was preparing a bill to address the issue. “I respect the prosecutor’s decision but I am not responsible for the dysfunction of the electronic system,” he told Reuters. He asserted that thousands of businesses would have closed if the process of collecting fines went ahead and that the Finance Ministry leaders were aware of the problem and had been asked to pass legislation to fix it. A Finance Ministry announcement confirmed that Kapeleris had proposed legislation to resolve the problem at the last meeting of the National Commission against Tax Evasion, considering that the problem was with the system and not the sale of contraband fuels. At the time, the Finance Ministry had asked the secretariat, in Peponis’ presence, to crosscheck the information at their disposal with that of the police, especially the Financial Police, and the General Secretariat for Trade that also deals with contraband fuel cases. In another high-profile case that shook the government last week, two financial crime prosecutors resigned, saying unnamed third parties were pressing the government to replace them. This prompted Prime Minister Lucas Papademos to demand an in-depth investigation by the justice minister. A day later, the top court ruled that there had been no government interference in the prosecutors’ work. The two fraud prosecutors involved, Grigoris Peponis and Spyros Mouzakitis, are now involved in the investigation against Kapeleris. They withdrew their resignations over the weekend. The government has stepped up its drive against tax evasion and corruption by lifting privacy restrictions on bank accounts and slapping tougher penalties on tax dodgers. But international lenders say the results so far are not satisfactory. Source: Reuterslast_img read more

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Video NXT star Aleister Black makes his RAW debut against Elias on

first_img Wrestleview Weekly: Predictions for tonight’s Clash of Champions event in Charlotte WWE Draft confirmed to be taking place as a two-night event starting on October 11 Pinterest WALTER and Kassius Ohno set to compete at EVOLVE 135 and 136 Live Events Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Kevin Nash Shares Heartfelt Condolences For WWEs Mean Gene Okerlund .@WWEAleister is putting his striking abilities on full display! #Raw pic.twitter.com/YwAFbI2eS1— WWE (@WWE) February 19, 2019 Ric Flair Pays Tribute To Late Friend Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipSeth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate OccasionsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:03Loaded: 100.00%0:03Remaining Time -0:27 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list Videos Articles Facebook Now Playing Up Next Seth Rollinscenter_img Kurt Angle Now Playing Up Next Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions WhatsApp Google+ Videos Articles Paul Nemer RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Now Playing Up Next Why WWE’s The Miz Won’t Stop Talking About His Newborn Daughter Former NXT Champion Aleister Black made his RAW debut against Elias.Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the match:“Black boots him back and comes off the second rope, but Elias knees him out of mid-air for a two count. Elias cannot believe it. Elias talks more trash, but Black wipes him out with the Black Mass for the win.”From Mike Tedesco’s Live RAW report.Here are some highlights from Twitter:.@WWEAleister shows everyone how an interruption is done! #Raw pic.twitter.com/4hLRTpVXRc— WWE (@WWE) February 19, 2019 The Rock Honors Mean Gene Okerlund Twitter Cesarolast_img read more

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Bonita offleash dog park proposal

first_imgBonita off-leash dog park proposal Updated: 8:35 AM 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – There is a new proposal to create a new dog park in Bonita off Sweetwater Road next to the Live Steamers Train area on the north side of Rohr Park.Chula Vista Councilmember John McCann said he has been working with Tracy Lamb the Director of Community Services at the City of Chula Vista on th off-leash dog park project.McCann visited Good Morning San Diego to discuss the proposal.There will be a public meeting on February 6th at 6:30 p.m. at the Bonita Library. Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter Posted: January 28, 2019center_img January 28, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

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Kenai River To Reopen From Cooper Landing State To Sportsmans Landing

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai River has reopened to boaters as of Wednesday, at 6 a.m., from the Cooper Landing State boat launch to Sportsman’s Landing. The river will remain closed to boating from Sportsman’s Landing to Skilak Lake, to reduce traffic on roads and make it easier to quickly and effectively deploy fire personnel and resources in fighting wildfires on the Kenai Peninsula. Although fire danger has decreased over much of the Kenai Peninsula, residents and visitors should remain aware and prepared. For statewide fire information, visit the AICC website at https://fire.ak.blm.gov/ or http://www.akfireinfo.com.center_img The Kenai River will be open to boaters from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from the Cooper Landing state boat launch to Sportsman’s Landing, announced the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, the U.S. Forest Service Chugach National Forest, and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.last_img read more

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National Geographic Discontinues Green Guide

first_imgTouted as a magazine “written for general consumers, not for enviromaniacs,” the Green Guide carried a rate base of 100,000 and a $4.95 newsstand price, with distribution at Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods Markets and Hudson News. The magazine was printed on Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper.National Geographic also produced a digital edition of the magazine, which is expected to be published through at least next fall. A mobile version of the guide is slated to roll out this month. National Geographic’s Green Guide, which the National Geographic Society acquired in 2007 and relaunched as a general consumer quarterly in March, has been shuttered, FOLIO: has learned.A source close the magazine said the company is “discontinuing” the magazine but “may publish some print specials.” Instead, the focus will be on the Green Guide’s Web site, which launched in 2002.It is unclear how many employees will be affected by the shift, or when the decision will be announced. (The masthead lists 16 staffers.) A spokesperson for National Geographic declined to comment on the change.last_img read more

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Legal Battle Between Trade Giants Heats Up

first_imgThe ongoing legal battle between Reed Construction Data and McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge has taken another strange turn. In a statement it posted online, RCD says that McGraw-Hill Construction, in a document filed in federal court on October 22, admitted that it paid third parties to access RCD’s confidential and secret trade information that was accessible only to paying subscribers, and that it shared that information with its sales staff. RCD filed its original lawsuit against McGraw-Hill in October 2009, alleging 11 counts of misconduct, including corporate espionage.“McGraw-Hill has admitted accessing our proprietary system, admitted reviewing our data and admitted downloading that data, yet they deny that they did anything wrong with the data,” RCD CEO Iain Melville says in the online statement. “RCD firmly believes that McGraw-Hill acted inappropriately in obtaining and using RCD’s confidential and proprietary data in an attempt to gain unfair advantage in the marketplace. We intend to vigorously pursue our claims against McGraw-Hill in court.”In an e-mail to FOLIO:, a McGraw-Hill spokesperson echoed the company’s denial that is unlawfully misappropriated RCD’s trade secrets or shared any RCD trade secrets with its sales team. “Reed’s main claim is that comparisons McGraw-Hill made between its Dodge product and Reed’s product are misleading, but all evidence shows that the comparisons were accurate,” McGraw-Hill says in a statement. The company goes on to make an allegation of its own. “Indeed, McGraw-Hill has learned that Reed hired a consultant to access McGraw-Hill’s Dodge data base (exactly what Reed’s lawsuit accuses McGraw-Hill of doing), and to perform its own comparisons of the two products. Reed’s paid consultant also concluded that McGraw-Hill’s Dodge product was superior—a fact that Reed never disclosed to its customers or the public.  McGraw-Hill intends to establish this in the litigation and once we do so, it will undermine Reed’s main claim.”The McGraw-Hill spokesperson says its information regarding Reed’s use of consultants is “something we learned through our investigation of the matter,” and that McGraw-Hill expects additional information to emerge as the case is litigated.Last month, a New York U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge to dismiss three of the counts brought against it in the RCD case. Specifically, the ruling dismissed the counts alleging violation of the New York General Business Law consumer fraud statute, violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and conspiracy to violate RICO.The litigation concerning the remaining eight counts, obviously, is ongoing.last_img read more

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Venkatesh to play Ajay Devgns role in De De Pyaar De Telugu

first_imgVenkatesh to star in Ajay Devgn’s role in De De Pyaar De Telugu remakeVictory Venkatesh is set to play the role of Ajay Devgn in the Telugu remake of hit Hindi movie De De Pyaar De. His brother, producer Suresh Babu has made an official announcement about the film.De De Pyaar De is one of the hit Bollywood movies released this year. The film is about a 50-year-old single father, who faces disapproval from his family and his ex-wife when he falls in love with a 26-year-old woman. Soon after its release, it was rumoured that the role played by Ajay Devgn suits Venkatesh very well and he would take up the Telugu remake of the Hindi movie.Putting an end to the speculations, Suresh Babu announced on Wednesday that he has acquired the remake rights of De De Pyaar De. He would produce the film to commemorate the completion of 55 years of Suresh Productions, which was funded by his late father D Ramanaidu. Meanwhile, he also confirmed the news about Hiranyakashyapa starring Rana Daggubati.”Right now, we are shooting Venky Mama (which stars Venkatesh and Naga Chaitanya) in Kashmir. We spent the last three years working on India’s biggest film which will be Hiranyakashyapa (starring Rana Daggubati), and its pre-production work is currently underway. As a company, we want to make more films than before,” IANS quoted Suresh Babu saying.Suresh Babu added, “The remake of De De Pyaar De will star Venkatesh. The other details regarding the project will be announced in due course. We also have films planned with directors Tharun Bhascker and Trinadha Rao with Venkatesh.”However, Venkatesh is basking in on the success of his recent release F2 – Fun and Frustration, which has become blockbuster at the box office. He will wrap up the production of Venky Mama starring his nephew Naga Chaitanya with him soon. After this, he is likely to take up the filming of the remake of De De Pyaar De.last_img read more

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Malaysias Najib quizzed for second time over graft claims

first_imgMalaysia`s former prime minister Najib Razak (C) arrives at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Putrajaya on 24 May 2018. Photo: AFPFormer Malaysian leader Najib Razak arrived at the anti-graft agency Thursday to be questioned for a second time this week over a multi-billion-dollar corruption scandal following his shock election loss.Najib’s coalition suffered a defeat at the May 9 poll which ended their six-decade hold on power, beaten by a reformist alliance led by Mahathir Mohamad.Mahathir, who first served as premier from 1981-2003 and came out of retirement aged 92 to take on Najib, campaigned on claims that the former leader and his cronies looted sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.Billions of dollars were allegedly stolen from the fund in a sophisticated fraud, and used to buy everything from artworks to high-end real estate.Najib pushed through a huge media scrum at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in the administrative capital of Putrajaya as he arrived to be quizzed about 1MDB money allegedly ending up in his personal bank accounts.Najib is being questioned by the anti-corruption body over SRC International, an energy company that was originally a subsidiary of 1MDB.According to an investigation by the Wall Street Journal, 42 million ringgit ($10.6 million) originating from SRC was transferred to Najib’s personal bank accounts.It is just one small part in the graft scandal, which is being investigated in several countries.Hundreds of millions of dollars from 1MDB allegedly ended up in Najib’s accounts but the ex-leader and the investment vehicle have denied any wrongdoing.Mahathir has vowed to fully investigate the financial scandal.After holding meetings with key figures from 1MDB Wednesday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the fund was insolvent, could not pay its debts, and its chief was “utterly dishonest”.Najib and his unpopular wife Rosmah Mansor have suffered a swift fall from grace. Police have raided properties linked to them and seized a huge stash of handbags, cash and jewels.The ousted leader has sought to mount a fightback in recent days, insisting he has not stolen public and attacking the new government.In a Facebook post late Wednesday, he accused the new prime minister and finance minister of causing the stock market to fall by saying that the country’s national debt was huge.”Words spoken while in such positions of power result in actual losses to the country and the people,” he said.last_img
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