first_imgEDMONTON — The unofficial turnout shows nearly 70 per cent of Albertans voted in the provincial election — the highest in decades.Elections Alberta says about 2,615,000 people in Alberta were registered to vote.Deputy chief electoral officer Drew Westwater says the unofficial turnout was 69.9 per cent based on the numbers published by mid-afternoon Wednesday.He says that’s the highest it has been since at least the early 80s — voter turnout was 66 per cent in 1982.Melanee Thomas, associate professor of political science at the University of Calgary, says she expects the competitiveness of the election led people who normally don’t vote to cast their ballot.She says the fixed election date, which required the vote to be held between March 1 and May 31, could have also been a factor.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_img Twitter What do a ’90s Toronto pop-rock band have in common with a ’60s a capella group from Brooklyn?Turns out a lot as Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions found out when they got into a Toronto studio for two days last October to record the just-released (as of April 14) Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions. “What it took to get us in the studio was us singing together once,” said BNL’s singer/guitarist Ed Robertson, whose group has a new studio album, Fake Nudes, coming later this summer.The disc of 14 reworked BNL classics like Old Apartment and One Week – and one Persuasions song, Good Times – came about after a fated meeting at the Apollo Theater in New York City between BNL keyboardist Kevin Hearn and The Persuasions during a memorial to Lou Reed they were both performing at. Login/Register With: Do you feel this will be a major boost to The Persuasions profile in Canada?Revels: Very much so. I feel they’ve given us the gift of their music and they’ve trusted us with their gift. Because it could have [gone] horribly wrong (laughs). Robertson: (Laughs) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment ‘Fan reactions thus far from both sides?Revels: First, [it’s] surprise. Like, ‘Huh?’But then, when they heard snippets of it, they’re all going, ‘This is – wow!’And a lot of Persuasion fans know Barenaked Ladies. They know the music. Even more than we know the music. So far, what we’ve seen from the fans, they’ve embraced us.center_img “It starts with great music, great lyrics, great melody, and an inspirational feel to the music,” says The Persuasions lead singer Dave Revels.“Barenaked Ladies music is very inspirational, uplifting,” Revels continues. “Even a sad song makes you want to move and sway which is kind of weird. It’s almost like Motown, which could write the most heartbreaking message in a song and you still want to move to it and feel good. Barenaked Ladies to me is like that.”24 Hours sat down with Robertson and Revels in Toronto, where their fivedate mini-tour, begins Friday (April 21).What would Lou Reed think about all this?Revels: He’d be smiling. He’d want to be here to see it. [To see] he was still inspiring and putting pieces together. He was still having an effect. When did both bands fully meet?Robertson: We met backstage in Central Park at the New York City Summer Stage concert that BNL did this summer. And Kev [BNL’s keyboardist Kevin Hearn] invited these guys out to sing a couple of songs [Four Seconds and Sound of Your Voice] with us and as soon as we tried it in sound check, we really hit it off. We spent the day singing together and we said, ‘We got to do this.’Revels: It was just cool. At the end of the song, we looked at each other and smiled. Did you know who each other was before making this album together?Robertson: I was certainly aware of the Persuasions.Revels: Nope. [We knew their songs] from The Big Bang Theory. (Starts singing) ‘The whole human race …’We fell in love with that. And, of course, everyone knows If I Had A Million Dollars. How did you choose the BNL songs to ‘reimagine?’Robertson: [It was like] ‘What would be fun to do in a completely different way?’And that’s how we approached the record. It wasn’t like, ‘What makes sense for an a capella group sing with you.’It was more like, ‘Let’s be adventurous. Make bold choices. And do interesting arrangements. Advertisement Let’s talk about your joint tour. (BNL has its own Canadian tour in the Sept-Oct-Nov.)Revels: We are so excited about bringing what we recorded to the people live. I’ve got a saying, ‘Until you play it live, it doesn’t live.’We are so eager, charged. I think that’s what’s going to make it a real dynamic concert.Robertson: It’s some of the most fun I’ve had ever in making a record in almost 30 years of recording. It was so effortless and challenging in the most fun way. Like, ‘Everybody around here is like really good. So I gotta be good.’It was really fun. I immediately started sharing this and sending links to friends and family: ‘You gotta check this out.’I haven’t done that in a few records. Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Advertisement OTTAWA – The National Gallery of Canada’s presentation of paintings from the world-renowned Ordrupgaard collection has attracted more than 114,000 visitors to date, making it the most attended summer exhibition since Van Gogh: Up Close, the Gallery’s 2012 summer show. Impressionist Treasures:The Ordrupgaard Collection opened May 18, 2018 in Ottawa, the only North American stop on its international tour. The exhibition travels to Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic after completing its run at the Gallery on September 9, 2018. Impressionist Treasures: The Ordrupgaard Collection features 76 paintings by the masters of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the Danish Golden Age, such as Pissarro, Gauguin, Monet, Matisse, Delacroix, Renoir and Cézanne, to name but a few. Assembled by Wilhelm and Henny Hansen in the early 20th century, the collection is regarded today as one of Europe’s most comprehensive and exquisite; and while on view in Ottawa, has captivated crowds with its masterpieces that are traditionally only displayed at the Ordrupgaard museum near Copenhagen.The collection was originally assembled between 1852 and 1931 by the Danish businessman and his wife, who aspired to own up to 12 works by each of the leading artists of the period. Out of a desire to promote French modern art, the influential couple welcomed the public to their stately home, called Ordrupgaard, one day a week in 1918. Following Henny Hansen’s death, the couple’s home was transformed into a museum by the Danish state, which continues to operate as such today. While the museum undergoes renovation, the collection has embarked on an international tour – with the National Gallery of Canada marking the only stop in North America. The Ottawa presentation features 60 French and 16 Danish paintings, including the Gallery’s very own Sunshine in the Drawing Room by Vilhelm Hammershøi. The exhibition also presents educational spaces and programs designed to enrich the visitor experience – such as an interactive scrim designed to place visitors inside an Impressionist painting, as well as an online Art Match quiz that prompts users to answer multiple choice questions in search of paintings that match their individual personalities.Visitors have ten more days to visit the exhibition, which is organized by Associate Curator Erika Dolphin and presented with the generous support of Dr. Paul Mandl and Mrs. Elsje Mandl. To learn more, please click here.Visitors’ comments:“It is one of the best exhibitions of Impressionist paintings I have ever seen. If you have not seen it, you should definitely visit it.” –Kersten, Ottawa, ON“I finally was able to look at paintings in person that I only saw in books or on TV. It was amazing.” – Kevin, Ottawa, ON“I saw the exhibit earlier this summer and was stopped in my tracks by Hammershøi’s works. His work reminded me of the more austere of the Canadian east coast magic realists: Christopher Pratt, Colville, and Forrestall.” – J. Calder, Ottawa, ON.“Exquisite exhibition of the remaining impressionists in Ordrupgaard as well as intriguing Danish artists of 19th century. Worth becoming a yearly member of the NGC.” – Jane“Yesterday morning, I had never heard of Vilhelm Hammershøi. By last night, I was smitten. Tonight, colour me obsessed. Thank you National Gallery of Canada.” –Sarine, Montreal, QC“We had our picture taken in [the] garden. A clever idea where technology allows a ‘selfie’ in impressionistic imagery!” – Eliza, Queensland, Australia“I saw this exhibit two weeks ago and loved it. Thank you to the National Gallery of Canada for bringing these works to Canada for us to appreciate.” – Jo“What a wonderful time we had yesterday walking through and enjoying all these wonderful treasures.” – Sheryl-Elaine, Ottawa, ON“Saw that exhibition twice. Mesmerised by it.” – ToniePublicationThe exhibition is accompanied by a 120-page hardcover bilingual catalogue written by National Gallery of Canadaformer Chief Curator Paul Lang. Complete with in-depth descriptions and full page illustrations, Impressionist Treasures surveys the great masters of Impressionism and Post-impressionism and the major trends of French painting that preceded them, such as the Barbizon School and Realism, through a collection regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe. On sale for the price of $25 at the Boutique and online, at ShopNGC.NGC is a beautifully illustrated online source of information about the Canadian and international art world, and the National Gallery of Canada’s activities and programming. This online magazine includes articles about upcoming and travelling exhibitions, behind the scenes features, artists’ profiles, book reviews and interviews.  NGC Magazine is free and published here. Subscribe to the NGC Magazine newsletter here. Read the article “Painting in Light: a Journey through Impressionism and the Danish Golden Age“ and watch Associate Curator Erika Dolphin give a tour of the French works on view in the exhibition online now.Hours of operationUntil September 30, 2018, the Gallery is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and on Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm. Holiday exceptions apply, and hours are subject to change without notice. For more information, visit $20 (adults); $18 (seniors); $12 (age 24 and under and full-time students); $40 (families: two adults and three youth, 17 and under). Admission is free for children under the age of 11 and for Members. Includes admission to the national collection, and all exhibitions. Free admission on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8 pm. To find out more.BoutiqueExhibitions catalogues are on sale at the Boutique, allowing visitors to revisit their favorite works of art for years to come. Also available online at Opens at 10 am daily. 15% off for Members.Connect with the GalleryFollow the Gallery’s latest news on its social media networks: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.About the National Gallery of CanadaThe National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCancenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgBRUSSELS — Croatia’s prime minister says European Union leaders could meet in January for a new Brexit summit once Britain clarifies exactly what help it needs to pass the deal in the U.K. Parliament.Andrej Plenkovic said Friday that “if there is a need we can always convene, but nothing in that respect was concluded yesterday” during Brexit talks in Brussels.British Prime Minister Theresa May cancelled a vote in Parliament this week after it became clear the assembly would reject the Brexit deal she concluded with the EU.EU leaders refuse outright to re-open the deal, but in a statement they did offer assurances about how it would work.Plenkovic says that “text is a solid signal, first of all to the prime minister, but also to the U.K. Parliament.”The Associated Presslast_img read more

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street led by declines in banks and internet companies.JPMorgan Chase gave up 1.1 per cent in early trading Tuesday and Google’s parent company Alphabet lost 1 per cent.Drugmakers will be in focus today as CEOs of several major pharmaceutical companies appear before Congress to discuss drug pricing. The leaders of AbbVie and AstraZeneca are among those appearing.The S&P 500 index fell 4 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 2,791.The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 93 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 26,000. The Nasdaq fell 15 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,539.Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.63 per cent.The Associated Press

13 October 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has transmitted to the Security Council the last report issued by the independent commission on Ethiopia and Eritrea’s common boundary. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has transmitted to the Security Council the last report issued by the independent commission on Ethiopia and Eritrea’s common boundary.In 2002, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission handed down a final and binding decision awarding Badme, the town that triggered fierce fighting between the neighbouring Horn of Africa nations, to Eritrea. But the two countries have since been at an impasse on that demarcation.The report notes that the body’s mandate has been fulfilled and that all administrative issues connected to its termination have wrapped up.The Commission has given both sides a deadline of 26 November 2007 in which to place pillars on the boundary.In a letter sent to the two countries in June, it wrote that “as there has been no communication from the parties, the Commission must now reach the conclusion that… no further activity on its part is called for, and that it should therefore take the few final steps involved in winding up its operations,” including returning resources to the United Nations.The final report said that it received a response from Asmara, but none from Addis Ababa.In July, the Security Council voted unanimously voted to terminate the UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, known as UNMEE, after restrictions placed on the peacekeeping operation by the latter country undermined its ability to carry out its mandate.As such, Mr. Ban said in his recent letter to the 15-member body that he will no longer provide regular reports on the situation between the two nations. read more

first_imgSpeaking after her own match, on Court 18, Mladenovic said: “Honestly, the feeling is that I couldn’t care less if I lost the match today, I just want to be healthy. I’m just so blessed and happy that I am not injured today, because we saw worse today.”Mladenovic, 24, said she and her opponent had asked for officials to intervene on safety grounds over the state of the court.She said: “We just had to keep on playing. I’m not sure how the other courts are, if they’re damaged as much as Court 18. “The colour of the court, the fact that there’s no more grass, the fact that the baseline where we are running, it’s very slippery. There’s no grass. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not even clay. It’s not flat.”She added: “I feel it’s totally different than the previous years. I guess the climate doesn’t help, the fact that it’s too nice, too hot, too sunny, makes everything very dry. That’s what we got as an answer from the officials.”French player Benoit Paire also complained the grass was slippery.”It’s like every grass court was. I think sometimes it’s a little bit slippy, but I try to stay focused,” he said.”We have to play in these conditions. We have to fight. I played some dropshots because I know it was slippy, and I wanted to try something else.”There were also complaints from the British number four, Aljaz Bedene, who said he fell twice due to the conditions.”A few players have been saying the baseline’s quite slippery, it’s more worn than some years,” he said.”I think I fell twice. I started to feel my hip again, which is never good. It was a little bit slippery. I don’t know if was it because of the shoes. I guess it was slippery to everyone. The roof of No. 1 court “But to postpone a match because of slippery grass, I have never heard that. It’s a tough one. I don’t know what to say.” Forgini added: “I think the courts this year are really, really bad. But they do the best that they can. Is not their fault. I think this year was really sunny days, so the grass is not really good like last years.”During one match this week, the French player Kristina Mladenovic and her opponent Alison Riske, 27, even tried to get play stopped because of their fears, only to be told by officials to carry on.Fears were heightened after the American player Bethanie Mattek-Sands was seriously injured on Thursday after falling and was stretchered off Court 17 in agony, although it is not known if the surface played a part. The roof of Wimbledon’s No. 1 courtCredit:JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP “But, you know, that’s grass court tennis.”Wimbledon on Friday closed the roof of Centre Court before the start of play in an attempt to protect the grass from the heat as temperatures reached 31 degrees for the second day in a row. The AELTC has defended the condition of the courts, saying it carried out regular inspections of the playing surface.But other players have weighed into the row, remarking on the poor quality of the grass.Caroline Garcia said it seemed particularly bad for this early stage of the tournament and Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky, the world number 20, said she was “disappointed” with the quality of the grass this year, particularly on Court 18, where she played on Tuesday.She said: “It was the second day of the tournament, and it was already ruined. Usually you see that after a week. Sorry, Wimbledon, it’s not against you, but there are improvements to do on this thing.”Seven times Wimbledon winner Roger Federer said players’ fears over the condition of courts had to be taken seriously.“Sometimes it’s not attached any more. You know, it’s like dead grass. It changes colour. And that bit can be slippery,” he said. “It’s not a good sign, and you should always take the players’ opinion serious, especially when both say it. 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. The AELTC said its court preparation have been to “exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years”. In a statement it said: “Grass is a natural surface and it is usual for the baselines to start to be showing signs of wear and tear four days into The Championships.“The AELTC and Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) take hardness readings every morning in order to ensure that the courts have the right level of moisture and are playing consistently.”No readings of any significance have been taken from Court 18. We will continue to monitor these readings and adjust our care plan for the grass appropriately.” Andy Murray joined a number of players hitting out over the condition of the grass at Wimbledon this year, voicing fears for their safety in what they say are dangerous conditions.With the famous courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club visibly drying out in this week’s high temperatures, several players have raised their concerns.On Friday night Murray’s match was punctuated with complaints from opponent Fabio Fognini over the state of the court and the bounce of the ball.After his win, Murray said the court was in a worse condition than in previous years.”There’s quite a few spots on the court, like just behind the baseline and just in front of the baseline, where there’s quite big lumps of grass, sort of almost like little divots there, which I don’t remember really being the case [in previous years],” he said.”I don’t know if it’s anything to do with the weather that they’ve had over the last, you know, few weeks and months. It’s been pretty hot, pretty extreme conditions. Not much rain. So I don’t know if that’s affected it.”But the court, when I played the first match, was great. I think it’s just getting a bit beaten up early. A few of the players have said that about some of the outside courts, as well.”last_img read more

Hungary lost all the chances to play at the Olympic Games in Rio after defeat in World Championship 2015 eight-finals against Poland 23:24. Only few days after it, Hungarian NT coach Andras Nemeth decided to resign. Experienced coach had unsuccesful mission on the bench with two failures at EHF EURO 2014, when Hungary missed to qualify for semi-final in front of home fans, and now in Denmark, when the goal was Olympic qualifications.Nemeth won world’s bronze medal with Hungary in 2005, but his come back was under previous level… Andras NemethHungary ← Previous Story DHB CUP: Flensburg smash Kiel – RNL with “suspicious” win over Melsungen Next Story → Danes with 11 “German legionaries” for EHF EURO 2016

first_imgTHE DÁIL HAS risen for the summer and TDs are off on their holliers as well as doing a bit of that all important constituency work.While many of them will be grateful for the break they might also be pleased to get away from the Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett who has regularly chastised deputies for their raucous behaviour in the chamber.Barrett has frequently stood up to give out to deputies for their “shouting and roaring” across the chamber over the last few years and in the last few months he’s been particularly prolific.Here are a few examples from the Dáil term that has just ended:1. That time when TDs embarrassed themselves on television…As Enda Kenny and Mary Lou McDonald went at it over budget cuts, which the latter claimed were forcing young people to emigrate, it all got very loud.That prompted Barrett to declare: “Roaring and shouting is getting nowhere. You’re an embarrassment on television!” Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTube2. The next day when Barrett had some advice to shouty deputies… A day after that particular row the shouting and roaring continued prompting Barrett to offer some advice: “Take the morning off and go and watch television and see what it sounds like to be listening to the roaring and shouting”. Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTube3. That time he threatened to resign It wasn’t TDs roaring that got Barrett upset on this occasion but rather the amount of times they ran over their allotted speaking times which prompted the Ceann Comhairle to make this little speech: Source: Video That time when a TD didn’t resume his seat and had to take a walk… Brendan Griffin wasn’t playing by the rules during the Order of Business which got Barrett pretty angry.“You can’t use the Order of Business for a chat,” he told Griffin before a lengthy row resulted in the Fine Gael deputy being told to leave the chamber. Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTubeWhen Griffin did eventually leave under protest, Barrett responded sarcastically: “Thanks very much, that’s very kind of you, very considerate. Jesus, I’ve heard it all now.”5. When the Ceann Comhairle stands, everyone else sits Finally, just last month Barrett clashed with Gerry Adams and had to remind the Sinn Féin president of the rules: Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTubeWith all this hassle over the last few months, we’re sure that Barrett himself is looking forward to the summer break…Gifs by Michelle HennessyAnother year over: What exactly has happened in the Dáil since September Dáil over: TDs are off on their summer holidays* and won’t return until the middle of Septemberlast_img read more

first_img By Gavin Cooney David McGoldrick speaks to the media ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland. David McGoldrick speaks to the media ahead of Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland. Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO Sep 3rd 2019, 11:49 AM Short URL 27,631 Views 11 Comments ‘A year ago, when the phone wasn’t ringing, playing in the Premier League was a long way off’ Having been without a club last year, David McGoldrick is now a Premier League regular and is leading the line for Ireland. Share1 Tweet Email THE STATUS HAS been a long time coming, but David McGoldrick speaks with the confidence a Premier League striker who is first-choice at international level. “I think we have, yeah”, when asked if Sheffield United had taken a few people by surprise thus far this season. “And we are still getting our critics. I heard Garth Crooks talking the other day, saying we are a bit down and we’re rubbish but he hasn’t seen anything [from us]. I don’t have a clue what he took that morning, but he needs to think.” Speaking on Final Score on the BBC last Saturday, Crooks said the Blades “lack potency upfront” and thought “their style of football is quite basic for the Premier League.” “We’re not ordinary”, said McGoldrick, “we play a different way style. We’ve come with the same philosophy that we had in the Championship and we need to get respect for the fact we won’t change for anyone.“We’ve got a few results and listen, it’s going to be a long season, we are going to have ups and downs, there are going to be games where we get beaten and walk off the pitch and we are just going to have to hold our hands up but I think at home we can give teams a lot of problems.” Having previously worked under Mick McCarthy at Ipswich, McGoldrick has started all of the qualification games to date and looks likely to lead the line in Thursday’s crucial Euro 2020 qualifier with Switzerland. It’s been a remarkable transformation. He was absent from the international squad for all of 2018, a year in which his contract expired at Ipswich Town and was briefly left without a club and looking anxiously looking at his phone.Eventually Sheffield United called to take him on trial, and once he had proven his fitness to the club, he was given a contract. “If I’m honest, a year ago, looking at it when the phone wasn’t ringing, playing in the Premier League would have been looked a long way off to look at. But I always would have had confidence in myself.“I always would have felt that once I got myself sorted I could hit a bit of form and I did that. I’m here now, I’m thankful for it and that’s why I don’t want to stop now.” McGoldrick in action in June’s win over Gibraltar. Source: James Crombie/INPHOHe is forging a club partnership with international team-mate with Callum Robinson at the moment, something which he says can benefit the international team. “ We’ve brought in the whizz-kid Callum down to our place. He’s a great bubbly guy to have around in any dressing room”, said McGoldrick. “Callum is a good player. He started the last game against Gibraltar and did really well, nearly scored, and he’s come down and he’s done really well again. Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO Tuesday 3 Sep 2019, 3:00 PM “I’ve had chances in each game, one will go in and the rest will follow.” While McCarthy yesterday played down the fact Xherdan Shaqiri won’t be in the Swiss team on Thursday night – he has decided to stay on Merseyside to try and prise his way into the Liverpool team – McGoldrick was more straightforward on the same question. “David, when you heard Shaqiri wasn’t going to be involved, how did you feel?” “Buzzing. “He’s a good player, isn’t he? He’s the main player you look out for. When I heard the news he wasn’t playing, yeah, I was buzzing.” – Originally published at 11.49 Murray Kinsella joins Gavan Casey, Ryan Bailey and Sean Farrell with their immediate reaction to Ireland’s 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article He’s a bright footballer, so he’s easy to play with. He’s got good feet, he’s got a good football brain – not off the pitch, he’s a bit of a dope – but on the pitch, he’s got a football brain and he can play, so that helps out any footballer, so yes, it’s going well. It’s nice playing with him at club level, learning his little movements and we worked together a lot in pre-season.So if we do play together at international level I think it can only bode well for the country.”McGoldrick has yet to score in his 10 games for Ireland – the opening goal against Gibraltar was given to him but soon corrected to a Joseph Chipolina own goal – but he is confident the goals will soon arrive. “First and foremost, qualifying is most important. But every striker is judged on goals. I want to score goals every day in training and in games, and when it hit the post and bounced out against Gibraltar I thought, ‘F-sake’. But it’s coming, I’m getting chances and that is the main thing. Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloudlast_img read more

first_imgAustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison might have been unable to attend this year’s Lonsdale Street Greek Festival but his visit at the “home” of the Greek Community of Melbourne on Thursday, featuring traditional cuisine and dancing at its best, most likely compensated for the absence.Joined by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman and the Liberal Party candidate for Chisholm, Gladys Liu, Mr. Morrison arrived for his first ever visit at the ‘Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture’ shortly after 2pm.Following a brief tour around the facilities that get more than 1,400 visitors per week, guests also got a glimpse into the Greek teaching classrooms and watched a brief video about the GCM’s activities, Mr Morrison had a one-on-one meeting with GCM President Bill Papastergiadis. The state of Greek language teaching, pensions and the needs of newly arrived migrants were among the topics discussed.As Mr. Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos, the PM’s visit is part of the ongoing communication GCM has with the government to ensure demands of the Greek community are taken into account by the country’s leadership.The visit was concluded at the Greek Centre’s Melina restaurant, with officials given a warm welcome sampling Greek cuisine and watching a traditional dance performance.Spirits were high with the PM even joining along Mr Papastergiadis the dancing circle for a tsamiko!READ MORE: Community Language Grants to Built Stronger CommunitiesGreek Community leadership is exemplaryMr Morrison gave his own personal insight into the success of tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open, but also spoke of the significant contribution that migrants have contributed to Australia citing studies that have shown that first and second generation migrants are consistently do well in any metric that considers the population as a whole.“It’s impossible to think about Melbourne without thinking about the Greek community, these two ideas are inseparable,” said Mr Morrison in his opening address stressing that the Greek community broadly has helped “built a great [Australian] nation” with their contribution pervasive across the country.PM Scott Morrison danced tsamiko at the Greek centre. He also made special mention to the Greek Community’s leadership in Melbourne having set the standard for all communities to work towards, through helping their members become part of the nation and establishing a high level of social services.Mr Papastergiaidis also spoke about the GCM’s outreach citing the work that it had just commenced with the assistance of former Neos Kosmos English editor Fotis Kapetopoulos and the South Sudanese community who were looking at the GCM as mentors.The Prime Minister said that it was a great development and in fact was what he expected an organisation with the international reputation that the GCM had to be doing. He was impressed by the volume of education programs and cultural activity.Finally, the PM stressed the government’s ongoing commitment in supporting the work of the Greek community, at which point Mr Papastergiadis intervened to remind attendees of the $2m federal funding that was directed towards constructing the Greek Centre’s building.In appreciation of his contribution to multiculturalism and his visit to the Greek Centre, Mr Morrison was awarded an honorary plaque.During the event, plaques honouring their contribution towards the realisation of “The Kaias Education Level” and “The Delphi Bank Mezzanine Level” were also presented respectively to Mr Greg Kaias and head of Delphi Bank Mr Jim Sarris.READ MORE: What went on at the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_imgThis project is about 90% finished. The goal here is to complete it and then release it to the public for free. Gameplay-wise, it would be akin to a “walking simulator” since all that the player can do is navigate through the world and take in the sights. With the exception of some droids, there are no NPCs here because no character animators were involved. The team also hopes to make this VR compatible, which would no doubt make it an even more immersive experience.This is easily one of the coolest “fan-made” projects out there. Even a game like Star Wars Battlefront doesn’t look as good as what this small team is putting together. If you want to read a full account of how this project came together, make sure to follow this link for more information. <> When it comes to fan-made projects, the go-to tool is usually Unreal Engine 4. Given the capabilities of the engine and how gorgeous it makes everything look, it’s a natural fit for those who want to create projects that are visually impressive. We’ve seen a number of fan-made projects that run on Unreal 4 just this year alone, but most have been from unprofessional (albeit highly talented) individuals. This latest Unreal 4 passion project, however, is a bit different since the folks behind it are all professional game developers.Jason Lewis and 16 other colleagues from Obsidian Entertainment have recreated Star Wars‘ Mos Eisley spaceport using Epic’s engine. As Lewis states, this project came to life purely because of the love the team behind it have for Star Wars. This project was also an excuse for the team to learn Unreal Engine 4. Originally, Lewis planned to just re-create the Millennium Falcon inside of a hanger bay. But as he kept going, he added more and more. He realized he couldn’t continue expanding the environment on his own, so he started bringing on colleagues. Before long, there was a total of 17 people working to build Mos Eisley spaceport.last_img read more

first_imgLANSING, Mich. (AP) — As the chants of angry protesters filled the Capitol, Michigan lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to right-to-work legislation, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a state that has been a cradle of the movement for generations. The Republican-dominated House ignored Democrats’ pleas to delay the passage and instead approved two bills with the same ruthless efficiency that the Senate showed last week. One measure dealt with private sector workers, the other with government employees. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed them both within hours.“This is about freedom, fairness and equality,” House Speaker Jase Bolger said during floor debate. “These are basic American rights — rights that should unite us.”After the vote, he said, Michigan’s future “has never been brighter, because workers are free.”Once the laws are enacted, the state where the United Auto Workers was founded and labor has long been a political titan will join 23 others with right-to-work laws, which ban requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services.Supporters say the laws give workers more choice and support economic growth, but critics insist the real intent is to weaken organized labor by encouraging workers to “freeload” by withholding money unions need to bargain effectively.last_img read more

first_imgAlaska Pacific University is adding a new scholarship for low-income students who are eligible for the Pell Grant. The school also recently lowered tuition costs and hopes both measures will help attract new students.Download AudioCarter Caywood is the director of admissions for Alaska Pacific University. He says if a student is either fully or partially Pell eligible, they qualify for APU’s promise tuition grant:“APU will use a unique combination of other scholarship grants and discounts to help them basically fill their tuition costs,” Caywood said. “If they are fully Pell eligible, they pay nothing for tuition out of pocket. If they’re partially Pell eligible, they just have to make up the difference that the Pell grant doesn’t cover up to whatever the maximum Pell is for that year – APU will cover the rest.”Ian McDermod has already gone through the application process. He says APU’s scholarship programs and lowered tuition costs have drawn in students like him from across the U.S.McDermod is a freshman from New Hampshire, and is in APU’s outdoor studies program. He says he mostly applied to schools in the Northeast“Initially, I didn’t think that I would be going to school so far away, but when I received all my applications back, all the schools that I got accepted back, and all of the money I had received, it came down to a few different colleges, and APU just seemed like the best option as far as affordability,” he said.McDermod says affordability was a top priority for him.“I know that there’s so many kids who just go into endless amounts of college debt,” he said. “I know some kinds have six-digit numbers as far as college debt goes, and I knew that was something I didn’t want to happen.”Tuition runs about $19,500 per year at APU. And McDermod says he’s only had to pay about $7,000 out of pocket so far, much of that going toward room and board at the university – which isn’t included in the tuition price.Carter Caywood says stories like McDermod’s are becoming more common, due in part to the school’s outreach efforts both online and through traditional methods like open houses and college fairs. But, for many potential students, he says it comes down to cost.“You hear private education, you think very expensive, but if you look at a lot of these schools, especially along the West Coast, the Pacific Northwest, even the state schools, we’re exponentially more affordable even at full price,” Caywood said. “And that doesn’t consider the fact that almost every student that comes to APU who asks for one, gets a scholarship paid.”Tuition at Whitman College, a private liberal arts school in Washington State, costs about $44,000 – more than double APU.Caywood says currently about 60 percent of APU’s undergraduate students are from outside Alaska, but the school has recently bolstered its in-state recruitment efforts.He says APU’s enrollment has been stagnant over the last few years, but he expects enrollment to jump next fall.“There’s a number of different things that we’re doing, but it would be hard to disassociate the changes in our tuition and the new scholarship programs that we’ve rolled out from this bump in interest in APU,” Caywood said.The first recipients of the APU Promise Grant will see reductions in their tuition starting next fall.APU is hosting a FAFSA workshop and APU Promise Grant assistance Saturday from 11am until 2 pm.last_img read more

first_imgEvery summer, Homer and the surrounding area are inundated by a transient population that’s come to work for eco-friendly businesses. They’re called WWOOFers, and they spend weeks in different places around the world learning how to live sustainably.Lori Jenkins of Synergy Gardens holds garlic scapes her WWOOFers helped harvest – Photo by Shady Grove Oliver/KBBIAcross Kachemak Bay from Homer, in the small community of Little Tutka, Emma Bauer is setting up kayaks on a beach.“Today we have a bigger group of guests,” says Bauer. “I think they’re all a big family but it’s seven people. Like the other day we just had a tour of two people. So sometimes the guides and the volunteers outnumber the guests but today we have to take out the majority of our kayaks. So it takes us a little bit longer to get everything ready.”She’s a college student from Huntington, West Virginia who has spent the last several weeks working for an eco-friendly lodge and tour company as an all-purpose helper. She assists with kayak tours around the bay, washes dishes, collects seaweed for organic soup, and turns down bedding when guests leave. She’s not paid, but in exchange, she gets to stay in a cabin with an ocean view, nestled in a scenic coastal forest, and do things she otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do.“I had not traveled much before so this is my first big adventure,” says Bauer. “I had never flown commercially so that was a big thing. So this whole trip was a bunch of firsts for me.”She’s part of the WWOOF program, which stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Emma is one of the non-traditional WWOOFers doing something aside from farming.“I thought it would be really neat to learn about sustainable living,” says Bauer. “I’d like to do another WWOOFing experience where I’m farming because here it’s a little different where I’m doing the kayak tours with them but I’m still learning a lot about the environment and things that go on here.”Most of the WWOOFers here are like Noel Krasomil. He’s been working at Synergy Gardens on the Homer side of the bay. Today, he’s helping out at the farmer’s market booth.“Today we are selling our wonderful garlic, first of the season harvest braids,” says Krasomil. “We have scapes. We had tomatoes- they’re about out, cucumbers, flowers, everything. Really great stuff all around.”He says he’s wanted to learn how to farm organically his whole life. For the past three weeks, he’s seen the inner workings of an independent growing operation from every side.“Oh it’s different every day,” says Krasomil. “It all depends on the needs of the farm. Some days I’ll harvest kale and arugula. I’ll harvest garlic, hang it to dry. I’ll run around town getting beer waste for the compost. I’ll go grab manure. I’ll dig ponds…any number of things, whatever they need me to do.”“You know, a lot of people think WWOOFers just weed but it’s just way more,” says Lori Jenkins, owner of Synergy Gardens and Noel’s host. “Each person’s going to have different strengths and different weaknesses. So I ask them every day, what do you want to learn today? And then I have my goals of what I need to achieve, as far as whether we’re replanting, what needs irrigating, what needs harvesting, what needs weeding.”She says she likes to have WWOOFers in residence for at least two weeks, so they get the rhythm of day-to-day operations. That may sound like a very short time, but quick turnover is one of the ideas behind WWOOFing.It was started in the 1970s by an English secretary named Sue Coppard who lived and worked in London. She wanted to spend more time in the country without leaving her job, so she coordinated with a farm in Sussex to let her come out for the weekend. Thus began Working Weekends on Organic Farms, its first title.Since the seventies, it’s spread to more than 50 countries, from Ghana to Poland, New Zealand and Bangladesh. In 2010, the most recent year with WWOOFing stats, nearly 12,000 host organizations filled more than 80,000 positions. Many of the WWOOFers jump from farm to farm every few weeks to spend an entire year traveling and working.Jenkins says having new people in the house every few weeks has taken some adjustment.“I’m getting used to communal living. And that’s been a shift. I share my bathroom,” says Jenkins.It’s also not free. She says she’s done the math and it costs her about $500 per month to house, feed, and provide water for her WWOOFers.Despite the cost, Jenkins says it’s worth it.“So here, I have an educated college grad, coming to my place, and then they’re often world traveled. It’s not for everybody. But, with the attitude of give and take, I think it’s awesome,” says Jenkins.It’s like-minded people coming together for a common cause and mutual benefit. And Jenkins asks, really, what’s better than that?last_img read more

first_imgIndian voters stand in a queue to cast their vote at a polling station during India`s general election in in Kawaal village near Muzaffarrnagar in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on 11 April 2019. Photo: AFPIndians turned out in big numbers to vote in the first phase of a mammoth general election on Thursday, with prime minister Narendra Modi seeking a second term after campaigning on his national security record amid tensions with rival Pakistan.Reuters reporters saw long queues outside many polling stations. The election commission said voters were also turning out in large numbers in an eastern district where Maoist insurgents were blamed for a bomb attack on Tuesday, which killed a state legislator from Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and four security officials.Two people were also killed on Tuesday in Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, prompting authorities to increase security even further. Shops and schools were closed in the disputed region of Kashmir and roads mostly clear of traffic after separatists called a strike against the election.Shadab Ali, an 18-year-old first-time voter in the volatile Muzaffarnagar constituency in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, queued with a group of friends at a polling station set up in a primary school. Hindu-Muslim riots there killed at least 65 people before the previous election in 2014.”Modi has worked but not done enough for us,” said Ali, a Muslim. “We want development. I’ve voted for development.”Voters came to three polling stations in Muzaffarnagar on foot, by bicycle and motorcycle, in cars and on tractors.Voting in the first of seven rounds is being held in 91 parliament constituencies across 20 states and federally administered regions. There are 543 seats at stake.Almost 900 million of India’s 1.3 billion people are eligible to vote. The first phase of voting covers an electorate of 142 million, some of whom will vote in pink booths staffed by female security personnel and polling officials.The election is spread over 39 days, with the final phase on 19 May and the result announced four days later.Modi’s BJP is the frontrunner despite economic distress over mounting unemployment and weak farm incomes in rural areas, where two-thirds of Indians live.Modi said on Twitter as voting began that the mood was “firmly” in favour of his National Democratic Alliance (NDA), of which the BJP is the senior party. “NDA’s aim is – development, more development and all-round development,” he said.Nationalist UpsurgeVoters line up to cast their votes outside a polling station during the first phase of general election in Alipurduar district in the eastern state of West Bengal, India, on 11 April 2019. Photo: ReutersPollsters say support for the BJP rose in response to Modi’s tough stance against Pakistan. Aerial clashes between the nuclear-armed neighbours followed a Pakistan-based militant organisation’s suicide attack in February that killed 40 paramilitary police in Kashmir.The main opposition Congress party has sought allies among regional parties to defeat the BJP over its economic record. Congress wrested three major farming states from the BJP in state polls in December by promising to waive the outstanding loans of distressed farmers.”Vote for Congress, vote for you,” Congress said on Twitter, promising more jobs and “love over hate”.However, the upsurge in nationalist fervour has undermined its strategy and helped 68-year-old Modi.”He’s improved India’s global standing and taken revenge against the enemies of the country,” Sachin Tyagi, 38, a mobile phone shop owner, said near a polling station in Uttar Pradesh, which sends the most lawmakers to the lower house of parliament among all states.”I am happy with Modi-ji but the employment situation could be improved,” he said.Divided OppositionGilles Verniers, a political science professor at Ashoka University near New Delhi, said Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, would struggle to catch the BJP.”The gap between Congress and the BJP is still enormous, so no one is seriously thinking that Congress is going to fill that gap,” he said. “The opposition landscape remains heavily fragmented.”An average of four opinion polls showed the BJP alliance on course to win 273 of the 545 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, a much-reduced majority from the more than 330-seat margin it won in 2014. The Lok Sabha also includes two seats reserved for the Anglo-Indian community.The BJP alone won a landslide 282 seats five years ago, securing a clear single-party majority for the first time in decades and raising hopes of economic reform after a period of sluggish growth.Congress is trying to rebuild its appeal after winning only 44 seats in 2014 and has promised monthly handouts of 6,000 rupees ($86.59) for the poorest families.It hopes to win enough seats to lure regional parties opposed to Modi after the election and form the government.Anima Saikia, a 61-year-old voter in northeastern Assam state, said she was excited to participate in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.”I’ve never missed my vote in my life,” she said. “This is the only time we can do something. The game is in our hand right now.”last_img

first_img Share Finalizing a budget: “The strength of the governor … when it comes to the budget is that there’s line-item veto power,” he says. That veto threat means lawmakers can’t get a budget past the governor that he or she doesn’t support, “because the governor can veto large chunks of it, and then call a special session to have [legislators] write it all over.” Appointment power: “Many of the powers of the governor … come from the responsibility of appointing many, many positions within state government, within [state] agencies,” Heflin says.And that appointment power is how former Gov. Rick Perry transformed the office from weak to strong.Even after a 1972 constitutional amendment lengthened the governor’s term to four years, that still meant any governor would have to serve at least two terms just to appoint enough people to start gaining controlling percentages of various state boards. But stay in office more than 14 years, like Perry did, and eventually, you’ve made every single appointment to every single board.That meant, when Perry left office, he took much of that power with him. Current Gov. Greg Abbott has begun to make a dent in those Perry appointments during his time in office. But so far he’s had a more limited role in the legislative process. center_img KUT NEWSThe Texas Governor’s Mansion in 2012, restored after a 2008 fire ruled arson. Its next inhabitant inherits a vastly different landscape than that of Gov. Rick Perry.1876. It was a time of rebirth in Texas. Or maybe more precisely – time to get rid of those Reconstruction-era carpetbaggers.“When the North sent folks down to Texas to govern as governors, Texans felt like these king-like people came down from the North and ran roughshod,” says Sherri Greenberg, a clinical professor with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. “So when Texans wrote the Texas Constitution, this very populist document with as much power as possible vested in the people and at the lowest, most local level of government.”UT Law Professor Hugh Brady says decentralizing government power was a broader trend across the country in the 1800s. “Now the Constitution says the governor is the chief executive officer of the state of Texas, but what does that mean?” he says. “And for over 100 years, it meant very little.”But even with those constraints, there’s plenty a governor can do. Former state budget writer Talmadge Heflin offers a rundown:Calling the Texas Legislature into special session: “When there’s a need for a special session,” Heflin says, “the governor has the responsibility of calling that and setting the agenda.”last_img read more

first_imgMadeline Edwards describes her music as a cross between the cool California jazz she heard as a kid, and the southern soul/R&B she was exposed to when the family moved from Santa Barbara, California to Houston. “You can hear a little bit of Ella Fitzgerald; you can hear a little bit of Amy Winehouse; you can hear a little bit of Etta James and Ray Charles,” says Edwards. “It’s a good conscious blend. I tried to do that intentionally.”She’s releasing a full-length album, MADE, in the fall. The title, says Edwards, is a play on her name, Madeline, and also the tendency of people to equate success with unattainable levels of fame. “I don’t need to have millions and millions of dollars and this Beyonce status to feel like I’ve made it in life,” she says. “I’m really happy doing what I’m doing right now, and hopefully people can see the same thing–that they don’t need to achieve these high levels of success to be content with where they are in their lives.”Edwards, with bassist Ryan Owens and drummer “Tank” Lisenbe, visited Houston Public Media to record the original songs “Killin Me” and “Tryna Make Sense”–the first single off her upcoming album MADE.Watch more Skyline SessionsSubscribe to the Skyline Sessions YouTube channel Sharelast_img read more

first_img Setter Shannon Shields, a University of Louisville signee, was named as the Gatorade Arizona Volleyball Player of the Year.Shields, a 5-10 setter from Chandler, Ariz., played high school volleyball for Xavier Prep and club ball for Arizona Storm. Story Links  Print Friendly Versioncenter_img As a freshman, she helped her team to a second place finish in the Arizona State 6A Finals. That year, she was named to the AVCA Phenom List and was on the Triple Crown and PrepVolleyballs Dream Teams. Her team won the USA National Championships (15s) and she was named First-Team All-Tournament Team for 15 Open.As a sophomore at Xavier, she was named to the First team all-conference and All-6A Region and took her team to a fifth place finish in the state tournament and was named to the PrepVolleyball Dream Teams and the Flo Volleyball Watch List. She also was named High Honorable Mention – All American List 2016 by PrepVolleyball, which also named her as a sophomore of the year finalist.   That year playing club, she helped her team to a fifth place finish in the USA Nationals  (16 Open) and made the  USA Nationals All-tournament team (16 Open) She also played on the State Champions XCP Beach Volleyball team.As a junior, she led her team to the Arizona 6A State Championship and was named to the both the first team all-conference and all-region teams. Her performance earned her All-American honors from PrepVolleyball, which also placed her on their Junior of the Year and Player of the Year Watchlist.  For her club, she placed tenth at the USA Nationals Open Division.As a senior, she led her high school to a second consecutive 6A championship and a 33-win season. She had 974 assists, 401 digs, 143 kills Shields and 49 service aces. She was one of six athletes selected for Nike TOC Video and Cover of Nike program AVCA Under Armour All American 2nd Team.  Shields is one of the eight finalists for azcentral Sports Awards Girls Volleyball Player of the Year, an award that will be handed out at ASU Gammage on June 9.The national award will be announced later this month. Gatorade honors top high school athletes who also make an impact in the classroom and community.last_img read more

first_imgMahahual, Q.R. — Two American citizens have been rescued from waters in the Chinchorro Reef zone after their boat ran aground.The Mexican Navy says two Americans were rescued from their boat after it was found stuck in the Chinchorro Reef zone along the coast of south Quintana Roo.The secretary of the Navy of Mexico says that personnel from the Naval Search and Rescue Station of Mahahual headed out sea to rescue two people reported stranded after a call from the National Commission of Protected Areas.Mexico’s vessel, Defender, was ordered deployed. Due to the US vessel being hung up on reefs, a rescue swimmer was sent to the boat, Amazing Grace, since it was not possible to approach.Photo: Secretaría de Marina-Armada de MéxicoBoth American citizens were safely returned to shore. Eduviges Martínez Sandoval of the navy said that the American crew members did not suffer any injuries, but were still transferred to the town of Mahahual for medical treatment.There was no update regarding the situation of the boat or what may happen since it ran ground in a state-protected reef zone.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more