Toronto stock market falls as oil prices and energy stocks move lower

first_imgTORONTO — Losses in the energy sector helped Canada’s main stock index posted a triple-digit decline as U.S. markets also sank deep into the red in late-morning trading.The S&P/TSX composite index was down 154.50 points at 14,916.51.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 362.66 points at 24,654.78. The S&P 500 index was down 28.4 points at 2,662.33, while the Nasdaq composite was down 55.82 points at 6,972.66.The Canadian dollar traded for 75.57 cents US compared with an average of 75.89 cents US on Monday.The January crude contract was down US$2.47 at US$54.73 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was down 15 cents US$4.55 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was down US$1.30 at US$1,224.00 an ounce and the December copper contract was down 0.90 of a cent at US$2.79 a pound.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

General Assembly chief deplores threat to burn copies of Koran

9 September 2010General Assembly President Ali Treki has added his voice to United Nations concern about the threat by a Christian clergyman in the United States to burn copies of the Koran. Dr. Treki “condemns such calls, which can only provoke hatred and discrimination between religions and faiths and reinforces the clash between the civilizations and religions of the world,” according to a note released by his spokesperson.The Dove World Outreach Center, a small church located in Florida, has reportedly said it will go ahead with its intention to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, despite widespread international condemnation.Dr. Treki said the threatened burning was “an expression of obsolete and reactionary thinking, which in turn threatens to bring humanity back to the age of the Inquisition,” adding he was concerned that it will “lead to uncontrollable reactions.”The Assembly President stressed that religious coexistence and tolerance is one of the most important aspects of modern societies.His comments follow similar remarks from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Staffan de Mistura, the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), who warned yesterday that the burning threat could endanger the lives of those working to further peace and development in that country.Speaking to journalists today at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Ban reiterated his concerns about the planned burning.“Such actions cannot be condoned by any religion,” he said. “They contradict the efforts of the United Nations and many people around the world to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions.” read more

EU hails progress in Sri Lanka ready to move forward

“As we share the joy of inaugurating the Delegation’s new home, we also look to the future together with the people of Sri Lanka. We stand in solidarity to embrace our shared vision and commitment to safeguarding our common principles and values: democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, the principles of equality and solidarity, and the respect for international law,” he said.He said the new EU building opens up a new space for cooperation, and the EU is looking forward to welcoming Sri Lanka and the Maldives Governments, international and regional organisations, civil society organisations and all those with interest in the European Union to its new workplace. (Colombo Gazette) “Today is my first day of a short but I hope fruitful dialogue with the Government of Sri Lanka and the civil society. This visit will be an occasion to strengthen our bilateral ties through the signing of two Financing Agreements with the Government of Sri Lanka amounting in total to 38 million euros. These will restart our full cooperation to provide Trade related assistance and to support for rural development in the poorest and most vulnerable districts of the Central and Uva Provinces,” he said.He says the European Union has emerged as a key partner in Sri Lanka across a range of fields including development, climate change, trade, aid to displaced populations. Speaking at the opening of the new EU office in Colombo today Neven Mimica said that over the past year, the European Union and Sri Lanka have turned a new page of partnership and have rejuvenated their relations. Neven Mimica, who is on a visit to Sri Lanka, will hold a series of high-level meetings, including with the President of Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and other senior members of the Government. The Commissioner will also meet with civil society representatives, including those working on women’s empowerment, child rights, disappeared people and media freedom. The European Union says the Government of Sri Lanka has made significant advances since the presidential elections held in January 2015 to restore democratic governance, initiate a process of national reconciliation and re-engage with the international community.The EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica said he will be discussing with the Sri Lanka authorities the most appropriate way to support the new political momentum initiated by the new Government in 2015 in the years to come. read more

Grant application backlog has Alberta film industry worried

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Alberta’s film industry has found itself on some unstable ground after a backlog of grant applications started to grow because the provincial government delayed the release of its budget.The province says the budget will not be released until they hear back from a ‘blue-ribbon panel’ it struck to look into government finances.Producers in the industry continue to wait for their applications to be processed and have begun to look outside of Alberta to work.Damian Petti with IASTE Local 212 says some have already left.“I personally know of three projects that have decided not to shoot in Alberta because of the uncertainty that is arriving because of this backlog,” Petti said.Petti adds the UCP government made promising commitments about converting the grants to a tax credit during the election which was supported heavily by the industry.“This industry represents so much opportunity for jobs. I think we need to view this as an investment in jobs, technology, and growth and this is precisely what was promised in the (election) platform for the UCP, it was very specific to the screen industry.”If the problem is not fixed he says it will be very difficult for the province to recover. read more

Massachusetts businessman donates 20K to replace Scary Lucy statue in stars NY

by The Associated Press Posted May 28, 2015 7:39 am MDT Last Updated May 28, 2015 at 10:33 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Massachusetts businessman donates $20K to replace ‘Scary Lucy’ statue in star’s NY hometown CELORON, N.Y. – A Massachusetts businessman has donated $20,000 to replace an infamous statue of comedian Lucille Ball that’s located in her western New York hometown.The Post-Journal of Jamestown reports ( ) officials in the village of Celoron announced this week that Ernie Boch Jr. of Norwood, near Boston, had donated the funds to purchase a new statue.Boch, president and CEO of Subaru of New England, said he made the donation because he loved Lucille Ball and is a big fan of her 1950s television show, “I Love Lucy.”The life-size bronze in Lucille Ball Memorial Park drew international attention last month when a Facebook posting called for replacing what has been dubbed “Scary Lucy” because its face bears little resemblance to the star.The village board has agreed to give the statue to the National Comedy Center in neighbouring Jamestown.___Information from: The Post-Journal, read more

Yemen UN agency warns of deteriorating health situation amid ongoing fighting

Briefing reporters in Geneva earlier today, WHO’s Tarik Jašarevic said sources within Yemen’s Ministry of Health were warning about the possible collapse of health services as clinics and hospitals around the country struggle to function while facing medicine and health supply shortages. Power cuts and fuel shortages were also threatening to disrupt the UN agency’s ongoing vaccine operation, he said, leaving millions of children under the age of five unvaccinated and at increased risk of communicable diseases like measles and polio. In addition, limited access to safe water has also led to a spike in cases of bloody diarrhoea in children below five, as well as increased cases of measles and suspected malaria.Before the current conflict exploded, Yemen was ranked 50th out of 194 countries in terms of highest under five mortality rate which, he said, added to the burden already facing the country’s children. According to the UN’s overview of the situation on the ground, the fighting in Yemen has steadily escalated in recent weeks, spreading throughout the country and into urban areas and residential neighbourhoods.Civilian infrastructure has reportedly been destroyed as airstrikes and shelling have hit hospitals, schools, airports and mosques. At the same time, reports of serious human rights violations being committed are also emerging.Mr. Jašarevic also warned that as of 17 April health facilities across the country had reported 944 deaths and 3,487 injured – a significant increase in casualty figures since the last reporting period. read more

Was I Too Naive Simone Biles Fought with Guilt

In a statement via Twitter on Monday, Jan. 15, 2017, Biles says she is among the athletes sexually abused by a now-imprisoned former USA Gymnastics team doctor.. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)Simone Biles watched as her friends and former Olympic teammates came forward to detail abuse at the hands of a now-imprisoned former USA Gymnastics team doctor.Drawing in part from their strength, the four-time gold medalist acknowledged Monday she is among the athletes who were sexually abused by Larry Nassar.Biles, who won five medals overall at the 2016 Olympics, released a statement via Twitter outlining that abuse. Nassar, who spent more than two decades as a physician at USA Gymnastics while also working at Michigan State University, has admitted sexually assaulting gymnasts, possessing child pornography and molesting girls who sought medical treatment. He was sentenced in December to 60 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography and is facing another 40 to 125 years in prison after pleading guilty to assaulting seven girls.Biles, now 20, called Nassar’s behavior “completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially from someone whom I was told to trust.” She joins a list of high-profile gymnasts who have come out against Nassar, including six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, 2012 all-around champion Gabby Douglas and two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney.Like her Olympic teammates, Biles detailed abuse by Nassar that he disguised as treatment.“It is not normal to receive any type of treatment from a trusted team physician and refer to it horrifyingly as the ‘special’ treatment,” Biles wrote.Biles is in the beginning stages of a return to competition, a journey that includes visits to the national team’s training center at the Karolyi Ranch north of Houston, where she said the abuse occurred.“It is impossibly difficult to relive these experiences and it breaks my heart, even more, to think that as I work towards my dream of competing in Tokyo 2020, I will have to continually return to the same training facility where I was abused,” Biles wrote.USA Gymnastics initially agreed to buy the Karolyi Ranch in the summer of August 2016, following the retirement of longtime national team coordinator Martha Karolyi, but then backed out of the deal. The national team continues to use the facility while options for a replacement are explored.Biles says she initially wondered if she was to blame.“For too long I’ve asked myself, ‘Was I too naive? Was it may fault?’” Biles wrote. “I now know the answer to those questions. No. No. It was not my fault. No, I will not and should not carry the guilt that belongs to Larry Nassar, USAG, and others.”Feelings… 💭 #MeToo— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 15, 2018USA Gymnastics said in a statement it is “heartbroken, sorry and angry” that Biles and other athletes were harmed by Nassar.“USA Gymnastics’ support is unwavering for Simone and all athletes who courageously came forward to share their experiences,” the organization said in a release. “We are our athletes’ advocates. USA Gymnastics will continue to listen to our athletes and our members in our efforts of creating a culture of empowerment with a relentless focus on athlete safety every single day.”The organization has taken several steps in recent months. President and CEO Steve Penny resigned under pressure last March and was replaced by Kerry Perry, who took over on Dec. 1.The organization hired Toby Stark, a child welfare advocate, as its director of SafeSport last summer. Part of Stark’s mandate is educating members on rules, educational programs and reporting. The federation also adopted over 70 recommendations by Deborah Daniels, a former federal prosecutor who oversaw an extensive independent review.That’s not far enough for some. Raisman has urged the organization to remove chairman of the board Paul Parilla among others. Biles, like Raisman, wants USA Gymnastics to take a deeper look at the conditions that allowed Nassar’s behavior to run unchecked for so long.“We need to know why this was able to take place for so long and to so many of us,” Biles said. “We need to make sure something like this never happens again.” read more

New Species of Leech Found Near Washington DC

first_img New Dinosaur Discovered After Laying ‘Misidentified’ in Vault for 30 Years11 New Species of Rain Frogs Discovered in Ecuadorian Andes Stay on target There’s a new bloodsucker in town — and it has been lurking in plain sight for decades.Scientists have discovered a previously unrecognized species of medicinal leech from specimens collected in southern Maryland, just less than 50 miles from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC — one of the world’s largest libraries of biodiversity.For #NationalRelaxationDay we share this hypnotic video…of a LEECH. Its name is Macrobdella mimicus. And it was just described today in the Journal of Parasitology, by our curator of parasitic worms, Anna Phillips @Annalida500, and a team of scientists.— Smithsonian’s NMNH (@NMNH) August 15, 2019The discovery prompted Smithsonian scientists to search through marshes and museum collections that ultimately revealed that the leech, now named named Macrobdella mimicus, has long occupied a range that stretches throughout the Piedmont region of the eastern United States, between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coast, according to a press release.“A discovery like this makes clear just how much diversity is out there remaining to be discovered and documented, even right under scientists’ noses,” said Anna Phillips, the museum’s curator of parasitic worms and lead author of an article describing the new species published in the Journal of Parasitology.Leeches are parasitic worms, many of which feed on the blood of their hosts. In the 1700s and 1800s, physicians used leeches to treat a wide range of ailments, believing that by ridding a patient’s body of bad blood, the parasites could cure headaches, fevers and other conditions, according to the Smithsonian. Any leech that readily feeds on humans is considered a medicinal leech, although in North America most leeches used for bloodletting were imported from Europe, leaving native species relatively undisturbed.During a 2015 field expedition to the explore the diversity of medicinal leeches in North America, Phillips had collected several orange-spotted, olive-green leech specimens from a Maryland swamp. She and her team assumed they belonged to a familiar species called M. decora, a leech that is thought to live throughout a large swath of the northern United States. But DNA sequencing revealed otherwise.A team of scientists led by Anna Phillips (pictured), the Smithsonian’s curator of parasitic worms, describe the Macrobdella mimicus in the Journal of Parasitology. (Photo Credit: Paul Fetters for Smithsonian)Examining the specimens’ genomes at key regions used for species identification, Ricardo Salas-Montiel, a graduate student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, found significant differences from the DNA of M. decora, the Smithsonian said in the statement.Aside from the molecular discrepancy, scientists also found a physical difference that distinguished them from M. decora. “Like M. decora, the new leeches have multiple reproductive pores along the bottom of their bodies, known as gonopores and accessory pores. In the new leeches, the gonorpores and accessory pores were located in a different position relative to each other,” the Smithsonian said.Another expedition led to the team finding more leeches from South Carolina that shared the same accessory pore positioning. “Then we sequenced [their DNA], and they all came out more closely related to the leeches we had found in Maryland than to anything else known to science,” Phillips said.Phillips quickly retrieved dozens of North American leeches stored in the Smithsonian’s parasite collection and examined their accessory pores. “All of a sudden, I started finding these things everywhere,” she said.The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: George Rose / Getty Images)Leeches with the unique pore positioning had been found in locations from northern Georgia to Long Island and preserved in the museum’s collection for years. The oldest, Phillips said, dated back to 1937.Phillips also scoured parasite collections at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Virginia Museum of Natural History, pinpointing additional places where the leech had been found in the past. She and her team also found fresh specimens in Georgia and North Carolina and used DNA sequencing to confirm their close relationship to the others.The historical record from the museums’ collections, with specimens spanning 63 years, adds another critical layer of information, confirming that the species was not recently introduced to the area and does not represent a newly evolved species.“It’s been here this whole time,” Phillips said. “We just hadn’t looked at it in this new way.”More on Dinosaur Discovered After Laying ‘Misidentified’ in Vault for 30 YearsWakanda Forever: New Fish Named After ‘Black Panther’ HomeNew Species of Worm Found in Scotland Has Eyes on Its Buttlast_img read more

Gustavs gets better with each visit

first_imgWhy: Gustav’s is a stand-alone, family-friendly, full-service restaurant that has been known for years on both sides of the river for its fresh, seasonal and traditional German cuisine with a little bit of Northwest influence. Gustav’s bar serves exclusive cocktails and a wide selection of German and local craft beers and wines.What I tried: My dining companion and I started our meal with the famous Rheinlander Fondue, which combines deliciously creamy cheeses into a warm dipping sauce for an assortment of rye, sourdough and white bread cubes. We found it to be the perfect beginning to our meal and noted the cheese sauce was not too rich nor too filling.I settled on the Bavarian meatballs served with house-made German potato salad and fresh greens. My dining companion had the sauerbraten, which comes with spatzle and red cabbage.The pan-fried meatballs are made of veal and pork and sit atop a Spaten Optimator pepper cream sauce. The dark brew gives the sauce a rich flavor that complements the meat. Although they are meatballs, they appear more like meat patties, and the flavor and consistency was somewhere between meatballs and meatloaf. I thought they were very appetizing. The warm German potato salad was the perfect pairing for the meatballs, and the greens provided a garden-fresh element well suited for the entree. The sauerbraten is made from select cuts of beef that are marinated for 5 days. The sauce is a close second to the flavor of the marinaded meat and adds just a touch of sauer to the overall profile. The meat reminded me of all those wonderful spices associated with the holidays. The spatzle and red cabbage completed the dish in tasty, German fashion.last_img read more

Workers comp insurance wont rise in 13 LI says

first_imgVancouver — The Department of Labor and Industries will not impose an overall increase in workers’ compensation insurance premiums in 2013, the state agency said Friday. This is the second year in a row that L&I has held overall rates flat.Individual employers may see their rates go up or down, depending on their recent claims history and changes in the frequency and cost of claims in their industry, L&I said in a news release. The new rates take effect Jan. 1, 2013.An accord has been reached to buy 32 fighters in addition to the 63 already on contract, Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters Friday.last_img

Wilmington Educational Foundations Joanne Benton WEF Walk Raises 10000

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Educational Foundation’s 2018 Joanne Benton WEF Walk was a tremendous success.On Halloween, students and staff at the Boutwell Early Childhood Center, Wildwood Early Childhood Center, Shawsheen Elementary School, Woburn Street Elementary School, North Intermediate School, and West Intermediate School participated in the popular fundraiser.Hundreds dressed in costumes and paraded around their school buildings, taking a 30-minute break from the classroom to enjoy some exercise and fresh air. Many students received pledges from family and friends leading up to the walk.“We raised approximately $10,000,” announced WEF Vice President and WEF Walk organizer Jen Mason. “They proceeds will go towards supporting requests from Wilmington’s teachers and administrators through out grant programs.”Mason noted the WEF Walk was recently renamed in honor of the late Superintendent Joanne Benton. Benton was instrumental in the launch of the fundraiser.The Wilmington Educational Foundation shared dozens of photos from each school’s walk on its Facebook page.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch PSA On Joanne Benton WEF Walk Set For This HalloweenIn “Videos”PHOTO OF THE DAY: Wilmington Education Foundation’s Halloween Walk Raises Nearly $15,000In “Photo of the Day”Wilmington Educational Foundation’s Joanne Benton WEF Walk Returns This HalloweenIn “Education”last_img read more

Yukon subsistence fisherman get first targeted opening for Yukon salmon in 5

first_imgSubsistence fishermen on the Yukon are getting some rare gillnet openings during the middle of the summer season, and will be allowed to keep any king salmon they catch.Download Audio“Chinook salmon, Yukon Delta NWR.” Photo: Craig Springer, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Via Flickr Creative Commons.Targeted openings for Yukon king salmon have not occurred in more than 5 years, though occasionally subsistence users are allowed to keep kings taken as bycatch in the summer chum fishery.Fish and Game Yukon River Summer Season Manager Holly Carroll said the idea of allowing gillnets during the heart of the summer run has been developing since the end of the 2015 fishing season, when subsistence users up and down the Yukon repeatedly criticized managers for not enabling people to meet their subsistence needs.When it came time to discuss the 2016 management plans last winter, Carroll said that subsistence users and fishery managers came to a consensus.“We told them that we would rather, if the run looks strong enough, provide a little bit more subsistence harvest than last year,” Carroll said. “And most people gave us feedback on how they would want that. They want it soon enough to be able to dry their fish. They want it before all of the kings are old or unusable upriver. They also wanted chums when they were fresher, for the people that harvest chums. Basically at those meetings, we present our management strategy, and then we take all of the feedback we are given, and try to incorporate what say they actually want.”The openings are being timed to fall after a large second pulse of kings moves upriver, in order to minimize the impact that the more efficient gillnet gear could have on the struggling king salmon stock.The 2016 king run appears to be similar in size to last year’s run, when over 85 thousand kings crossed into Canada – almost twice as much as required by a treaty between the U.S and Canada.Fish and Wildlife Service Yukon River In-Season Manager Fred Bue acknowledges that managers achieved that high level of escapement, in part, by virtually eliminating subsistence fishing time. But this year, Bue said, managers want to provide better subsistence opportunities on the river.“There’s no way we are going to meet people’s needs,” Bue said. “But we do hope to get a little bit of fish for people to use, and we hope to have it not right on the back end of the run when the quality of fish kind of deteriorates. It’s not as good as those first, fresh fish. If you are going to harvest a fish, we would like you to get the maximum benefit out of it.”A series of 18-hour openings utilizing gillnets with a maximum mesh size of 6 inches have occurred in lower river districts 1 and 2, and similar opportunities will be afforded to middle and upper river districts over the next few weeks.A 6-inch mesh restriction for gillnets is intended to select the smaller males, while allowing spawning females to escape.Middle and upper river fishermen are more likely to harvest kings as the runs separate, and chum turn off into tributaries to spawn.The Pilot Station sonar estimate for kings on Tuesday was just over 91 thousand fish – about 18 thousand fish above the 10-year average for that date. Managers attribute some of that high number to the early run timing this year.last_img read more

Sensex to End the Year at 26900 Yuan Devaluation to Weigh HSBC

first_imgGlobal brokerage firm HSBC has kept its Sensex target for calendar 2015 unchanged at 26,900, saying China’s yuan devaluation could have a “domino effect” on the rupee, triggering heavy capital outflows. The firm has revised its target to 26,900 in May this year, down from 30,100. The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 27,931.64 on Wednesday, 100 points above its Tuesday close.HSBC has cautioned over recent offloading of shares by foreign investors in Indian markets. Overseas investor had pulled out $500 million from Indian equities, marking the highest weekly outflow in 74 weeks.”Continued logjam in Parliament combined with the devaluation of the yuan led to a sharp spike in outflows from India,” The Economic Times reported, citing a note by HSBC’s Jitendra Sriram and Vikas Ahuja.The Modi government failed to pass the land acquisition bill and the goods and services tax (GST) bill in the recently-concluded monsoon session of Parliament, as the Opposition disrupted both the Houses over the Lalit Modi row.”The delay in passage of key legislations such as GST and the Land Bill has kept investor sentiments subdued,” said the analysts.The depreciation in rupee as a result of yuan devaluation by Chinese authorities is also weighing on the domestic stock markets.The rupee has fallen by over 2% against the US dollar since China’s announced its currency devaluation move last week.Besides, global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday trimmed its growth estimate for India to 7% in the current fiscal year ending March 2016 from a previous forecast of 7.5%, citing lower-than-expected monsoon rainfall witnessed so far across the country.last_img read more

Clash Royale is the best game its own developer doesnt want you

first_imgSupercell, the developer behind famed mobile hit Clash of Clans, just released its new potential mega-hit, Clash Royale. The game smooshes together the two most popular competitive genres on the market right now, CCGs and MOBAs, and wraps it all up in a Clash of Clans theme, complete with an art style, audio, and characters from the original game. Clash Royale is a very fun game — legit fun, not Clash of Clans “fun” — but Supercell does everything in its power to prevent you from actually playing the damn thing.Everything about Clash Royale is primed for success. The bright, colorful art style is cheery and uplifting, you can collect and level up cards with varying rarities (the current industry addiction), the game is rich with robust features, and you can play one-handed in a portrait orientation — a feature every public transportation commuter demands from their games. There’s even built-in match replays presented in a way where it feels like its own mini-Twitch. Unfortunately, almost everything you can do in the game is locked behind very aggressive, very long time-gates. Yes, that’s exactly how Clash of Clans works — its in Supercell’s DNA to make players wait around, and to make money off their boredom. Unfortunately, though, the fast-paced, player-versus-player gameplay does not work well — at all — with Supercell’s rampant time-gating.Clash Royale’s gameplay is great. Really. It scratches all the itches you want from a CCG or MOBA. The game takes place on a portrait-oriented battle arena with two tower-defended lanes flanking your base. You build a small deck of eight cards, and those cards either summon a unit, structure, or spell, each with different abilities that help you destroy the defensive towers and eventually the opponent’s base. Matches only take a handful of minutes — almost the perfect balance between a short burst of gaming you can sneak in while waiting in line, and just long enough to make weighty strategic decisions. The problem, though, is that you just can’t progress by playing when you feel like it. You can only progress when Clash Royale’s myriad timers give you permission.You can play a match whenever you want, sure, but unlike, say, Hearthstone or Duelyst — or really, any decent mobile CCG — you’re not getting any rewards. No gold or gems, no chance at cards, no card or account experience. Your rewards are on very strict timers. In Clash Royale, you have four treasure chest slots. Each match you win lands you a chest of varying quality. In order to open chests, you have to wait a very long time; the middling silver chests take three hours to open, the higher-tier gold chests take eight, the “super magical” chests take a whole day, and you can only set one chest-opening timer at a time. The chest rewards aren’t very good, either. You get a meager amount of gold (usually less than the cost of one card upgrade) and cards (not nearly enough to fuse into your cards to make them eligible for upgrades). Basically, you can play four matches — which only last a few minutes apiece — before you have to wait an inordinate amount of time to make more progress.The one thing you do get from playing even when your chest slots are full, however, are trophies, which are effectively your player rating. When you breach certain trophy thresholds, you unlock new battle arenas, and those arenas unlock the potential to get new cards from your chests. The funny thing is, though, that those new cards actually hinder your progress in the game. Once new cards get added to the pool of potential cards you can pull from chests, you’ve now nerfed the pull rates of cards you haven’t gotten yet. If you’re trying to get good cards, the best strategy is to not increase your player rating until you collect everything from an arena, and thus, to literally not play.There are a few other ways to make progress, but those are also locked behind insane time-gates. Once you hit level three, you can join a clan and put up card requests for your generous clanmates to fulfill. Donating cards gets you a bit of experience and gold, so players actually do donate since it’s one of the only ways to make some (albeit meager) progress. As is Clash Royale’s modus operandi, though, you can only place one card request every eight hours, and your request only lasts one hour. So, if your request doesn’t get fulfilled during that hour, you’re waiting another seven to place another. If you’re wondering why Supercell would time-gate charity, it’s because charity provides a minuscule amount of progress, but progress nonetheless.The game itself even warns you that playing it isn’t worthwhile.Of course, you can get around all of these timers by dumping cash into the game — a lot of cash. In-depth, totally sincere guides on the game casually discuss strategies centered around whether you’re tossing hundreds or thousands (literally!) of dollars into the game, as if that’s normal and there’s no other choice. One of the most efficient ways to play is to spend gems (the premium currency) on opening up chests that you’re rewarded after winning a match, so you can free up a chest slot and get a new chest from your next win. You’ll go broke very quickly. Obviously, Supercell’s hope is that you’ll dump enough money into the game on a regular basis so you can keep playing to earn rewards, but this ratio of play time to money-dumping is egregious, even for a free-to-play, cash shop-based mobile game.The Hearthstone or Duelyst pack-buying model would’ve been great for this game. Players who like the game would’ve been able to progress when they want, and there wouldn’t be any awful time-gates to turn people off. Most free-to-play games allow you to grind out your progress. You pretty much can’t in Clash Royale, because you’ll spend most of your time not playing the game waiting for your timers to count down. The best way to get people to play your game is to, you know, let them.last_img read more

Roads closed flood alerts and weather warnings as heavy rain and snow

first_img Watch Next The video will start in 1Cancel Play now Click to playTap to play Met Office forecast for Easter MondayMet Office forecast for Easter MondayVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmute0:00/2:14Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-2:14 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. UP NEXT:Met Office national morning forecast for August 7Met Office national morning forecast for August 7UP NEXT: Click for Sound Watch again The weather forecast for Easter Monday Video Loading Video Unavailable Share this video Video will play in  We pay for stories! Send your videos to video@trinitymirror.comGritters have been out, roads are closed and flood alerts have been issued due to two separate weather warnings are in force in area of North Staffordshire and South Cheshire this morning. The latest weather forecasts from the Met Office show the area is set to be hit by heavy rain – with snow also possible in areas of the Staffordshire Moorlands and parts of Cheshire. A Met Office Yellow Weather Warning for rain is in force across the area until 4pm this evening – after coming into force at 6pm on Sunday night. The warning states: “Heavy rain is expected to affect parts of England and Wales. Bus and train services probably affected with journey times taking longer. Spray and flooding on roads probably making journey times longer.” The latest Met Office hour-by-hour forecast for Stoke-on-Trent, which is subject to change, suggests heavy rain will continue across the city until 5pm – with lighter showers likely to continue throughout the evening. A separate warning for snow, which initially covered most of England including Stoke-on-Trent, is in force from 3am on Monday morning until 11.55pm. Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are warning about surface water on the roads of Staffordshire. Although the Potteries itself is no longer covered by the warning other areas, including much of the Staffordshire Moorlands including Leek and parts of Cheshire including Congleton, are still covered by the warning. Gritting teams from Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council and Cheshire East Council have been out overnight treating the roads, the councils have said. Readers have contacted us to say they have snow in areas including Meir, Cheddleton and Hilderstone. The A53 between Leek and Buxton, the A54 between Buxton and Macclesfield and the A537 between Buxton and Macclesfield were all shut for most of the morning – but Derbyshire County Council said they had reopened at around 12.20pm. Read MoreParvovirus is sweeping the UK – here’s how to protect your pet Snow in Onecote in the Staffordshire Moorlands this morning A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said: “Two roads have re-opened in Derbyshire following heavy snow this morning and two remain closed. “A53 Axe Edge and A54/A537 Cat and Fiddle are now passable and our gritting teams are working to re-open A57 Snake Pass and A6024 Holme Moss as soon as possible. “The north west of the county faced the worst of the weather overnight. Our gritting teams have been working through the night and throughout the morning trying to keep routes clear in conditions that were worse than forecast. “Conditions have been steadily improving acorss the county this morning with temperatures rising and snowfall turning to sleet and rain.” Read MorePolice and ambulance called after boy hit by car There are,as of 12.30pm currently 197 flood alerts and 20 flood warnings in force across England, according to the latest information from the Envrionment Agency – including 12 affecting areas of Staffordshire. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “After a very wet night and a drizzly start to the morning there are currently 12 flood alerts in place across the county, meaning that localised flooding is a possibility. “We like our partner agencies in the Environment Agency and Local Authorities continue to monitor the situation and will respond where needed. A majority of the alerts appear to be in the south of the county – although one also now covers the River Churnet and the River Tean in the Staffordshire Moorlands – and there are reports Uttoxeter Road is flooded in Draycott in the Moors near the junction with Cheadle Road. Read MorePaedophiles, perverts and other sex offenders convicted in Stoke-on-Trent so far in 2018 An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Water levels along the River Churnet and River Tean are steadily rising. Overnight rainfall will see that levels will continue to rise throughout this morning and will remain high for the remainder of today (Monday April 2). “There may be flooding to low lying land and roads in the area. Remain vigilant as further rain is expected throughout today, which may lead to further flood risk. We will continue to monitor river levels in this location.” We’ll be bringing you live updates on any issues on the live feed below. What is a Met Office Weather Warning?The Met Office issue weather warnings when there is a risk of weather causing damage, disruption or danger to life. Generally warnings will be issued for heavy rain, wind, ice or snow. They come in three categories. Yellow: The lowest of the three. Yellow means you should plan ahead about potential disruption to travel and other day-to-day activities. These are the most common. Amber: A step up from Yellow, an Amber warning means there is an increased risk of disruption/danger to life and property. Red: These are only issued when ‘extreme weather’ is expected. When one is issued the Met Office advise immediate action is taken to keep yourself and others safe as widespread damage, disruption and risk to life is likely. Red warnings are extremely rare anywhere in the UK and almost unknown in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. 17:34Queues in CreweQueueing traffic on A534 Crewe Green Road Eastbound before the roadworks at A5020 University Way (Crewe Green roundabout). Travel time is four minutes. 17:02Nantwich Road is now closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Please bear with us we will open the road as soon as we can— Crewe Alex Police (@CreweAlexPolice) April 2, 201814:56Heavy traffic building on the M6Queueing traffic and traffic heavier than normal on M6 Southbound between J19 A556 (Knutsford) and J18 A54 (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel). 13:33Traffic lights not working in Hanley againWe’ve had reports traffic lights aren’t working on a stretch of Potteries Way. The lights are not working between Tesco and the junction with Bethesda Street. This has been an ongoing problem for several days.13:18Three people and dog rescued from car stuck in flood water in DerbyshireFirefighters have rescued three people and a dog after their car became stuck in flood water just across the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border.The car was in flood water on Shirley Lane in Hollington, south east of Ashbourne, when firefighters were called this afternoon.No one is believed to have been injured.A Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Fire crews from Ashbourne have attended a car stuck in flood water on Shirley Lane Hollington. “Firefighters rescued 3 occupants and a dog from the vehicle.”12:58Heavy traffic on the A500Heavy traffic on A500 Queensway Southbound before A53 Etruria Road (Basford Roundabout). Travel time is five minutes. (Image: Inrix)12:27A53 now open in DerbyshireThe A53 is now open in Derbyshire – meaning traffic can now pass between Buxton and Leek again.A Derbyshire County Council spokesman said:Two roads have re-opened in Derbyshire following heavy snow & two remain closed. A53 Axe Edge & A54/A537 Cat & Fiddle are now passable and our gritting teams are working to re-open A57 Snake Pass & A6024 Holme Moss as soon as possible.” 11:59Current flood alerts around North StaffordshireFlood alerts around Staffordshire on April 2 (Image: Environment Agency)11:54Flooding reported on Staffordshire Moorlands roadFlooding on Uttoxeter Road near Cheadle Road in Draycott in the MoorsCaller states that there is flooding along this stretch between Tean and Blythe Bridge. There are no official restrictions in place, however extra care is needed generally across the board with flooding. (Image: Inrix)11:51Fire service remind people not to drive through flood waterA Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “Reminder to all drivers, please take care in this wet and do not drive through flood water.”11:48Broken down van causing delays on M6One lane closed and heavy traffic due to broken down van on M6 Southbound between J13 A449 (Stafford South) and J12 A5 (Gailey).Lane one (of four) is closed.11:11Slow traffic on A527 Heavy traffic on A527 Brownhills Road Westbound between Pinnox Street and A500 Queensway / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank). 10:52Accident and flooding on A51 in Longdon in south StaffordshireThe accident has taken place in the village – which lies between Lichfield and Rugeley. More here.10:49Slight delays on trainsDelays of up to ten minutes on Virgin Trains West Coast between Watford Junction and London Euston due to speed restrictions. 10:34Localised flooding and accident on A51 between Rugeley and Lichfield.There are delays due to an accident and localised flooding on the A51 in Longdon, between Rugeley and Lichfield, this morning.Police say one lane is closed at the junction with Borough Lane – and motorists are being urged to take extra care.The accident is believed to have happened at around 10.15am this morning.A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We are currently on scene of an RTC at the junction of the A51 Longdon and Borough Lane. “This combined with localised flooding on the road has resulted in one lane being closed. Please approach and pass with care.”10:18Flood alert issued for Staffordshire Moorlands riversMore on the flood alerts in the Moorlands here.The warning has been issued for the River Churnet (pictured) and River Tean (Image: Google)09:44Flood Alert now issued in the Staffordshire MoorlandsA flood alert has now been issued for two rivers in the Staffordshire Moorlands.The alert has been put in place on the River Churnet and the River Tean.An Environment Agency spokesman said: Water levels along the River Churnet and River Tean are steadily rising. Overnight rainfall will see that levels will continue to rise throughout this morning and will remain high for the remainder of today (Monday 2nd April). There may be flooding to low lying land and roads in the area. Remain vigilant as further rain is expected throughout today, which may lead to further flood risk. We will continue to monitor river levels in this location.” 08:54Snow in Onecote this morningSnow in Onecote in the Staffordshire Moorlands this morning08:43Police advice about wet weather safetyStaffordshire Police have issued the following advice: Be vigilant when out and about with family particularly those of the four legged kind of the dangers of swollen rivers. Be careful when your out driving of the dangers of standing water particularly on A-Roads and Motorways. Be careful when driving through flooded roads, such flood waters can be deeper than you expect and damaging to vehicles. Keep abreast of all the latest information around flooding through local media 08:4012 flood alerts in place in countyStaffordshire Police say there are 12 flood alerts affecting Staffordshire.A spokesman said:After a very wet night and a drizzly start to the morning there are currently 12 flood alerts in place across the county, meaning that localised flooding is a possibility. We like our partner agencies in the Environment Agency and Local Authorities continue to monitor the situation and will respond where needed.” 08:38Flood Alerts and Warnings across EnglandThere are now 162 flood alerts and 18 flood warnings in force across England, according to the Environment Agency.08:3578 homes without power in SheltonA total of 78 homes are currently without power in the Shelton area of the city.Western Power Distribution believes supplies will be restored by around 4pm.There is a power cut in the area08:31Warning about surface water on roads in StaffordshireStaffordshire and West Midlands Fire Control said:Good Morning and Happy Easter from White Watch. We are looking after Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service this wet bank holiday Monday. There is lots of surface water on the roads this morning and some flood alerts in place .”07:56Traffic slow at Crewe Green roundaboutA534 Crewe Green Road Eastbound busy but moving before the roadworks at A5020 University Way (Crewe Green roundabout). Travel time is four minutes.07:51Midlands Traffic News: M5 still shutProbably not weather related but the M5 remains closed southbound due to an accident in the West Midlands this morning. A diversion is in place. More here.07:42Latest weather forecast for Stoke-on-TrentThe latest Met Office forecast for Stoke-on-Trent states:It will be a cloudy, wet and windy morning with some heavy rain possible at times. It will stay breezy this afternoon, although the rain should become more showery, with some brighter spells developing. Milder than of late. Maximum temperature 13 °C.Tonight:There will be some clear spells overnight, although further showery outbreaks of rain are also likely. It will remain breezy and it will be frost-free.” 07:33The A537 Cat and Fiddle this morningThe road is, as you may expect, closed:The Cat and Fiddle on April 2 2018 (Image: Derbyshire County Council)07:08Could be a rainy day for derby gameIt looks set to be a rainy afternoon for football fans ahead of the Crewe Alexandra vs Port Vale match. The latest Met Office hour by hour forecast suggests rain will continue in the South Cheshire town throughout the day (although this could change).The current hour-by-hour forecast for weather in Crewe (Image: Met Office)07:00For those just waking up, this is what is going on at the momentRain and snow are set to continue across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire throughout the day. With snow more likely in the Moorlands and some eastern areas of Cheshire.A number of roads in Derbyshire which connect the county to Staffordshire and Cheshire, including the A53 between Leek and Buxton, are closed due to snow – with accidents also reported on other roads in the county.While this may not be weather related, anyone travelling into the West Midlands or further south west today should not the M5 Southbound is currently shut due to an accident.06:54Roads in Derbyshire closed due to snowAmong those affected are the A53 between Leek and Buxton, the A54 and the A537 Cat and Fiddle – with accidents reported on other routes and a lorry stranded on Snake Pass. More here.last_img read more

Tamalemaking with Antojitos de Maíz

first_imgAntojitos de Maíz uses a machine to grind their corn.Lindsay Fendt EAT THE TAMALESLindsay Fendt We put chicken, carrots, cilantro, sweet chill and cheese in our tamales.Lindsay Fendt Because they produce mass quantities of masa, Antojitos uses a grinding machine, and because no one has the time or energy to grind up corn with a rolling pin, most Costa Rican households use pre-made masa from a grocery store. Step 5: Enjoy!Usually you let the tamales cool before eating them to give them time to take shape, but we just couldn’t wait and ate our tamales mushy and hot. Fold the long sides of the leaf over the masa puddle and roll the ends once or twice (until it stays in place). Then fold the other two sides in forming a square. Finally, wrap the string both ways over the leaf and tie it in a bow forming what looks like a plantain leaf present. Finally putting all of the ingredients together into a wrapped tamale.Lindsay Fendt After wrapping your tamale should look like a tiny, green wrapped present.Lindsay Fendt If you’re Costa Rican, then you have likely spent at least part of every Christmas season in the company of your entire extended family making tamales. The process can take days, but it ends with a a giant pot of banana wrapped tamales that last the whole Christmas season.For those lacking a Costa Rican grandmother or the patience to wait until December, there is Antojitos de Maíz, a restaurant in San Isidro de El General completely dedicated to corn.The restaurant’s tamales are such a hit that local hotel Monte Azul has begun sending its guests over for cooking classes. So, with the illusion that we would soon be professional tamale chefs, two Tico Times reporters headed to Antojitos for a crash course in tamale-making. It turns out, that there is a good reason Costa Ricans only make tamales once a year. But if you happen to have hours of free time, there are few Tico dishes as delicious as homemade tamales.Step 1: Preparation and ingredients Making tamales is labor intensive, with each ingredient encompassing an entire meal in itself. To speed up the process, we were greeted in the Antojitos kitchen with bowls of pre-cut and pre-cooked ingredients, but to make your own tamales you first need to prepare the filling. We used a spicy chicken filling in our tamales, but there are other meat and vegetarian variations. Step 3: Wrapping the tamalesOnce everything is cooked, it’s time to actually assemble the tamales using the plantain leaves and string. Spread a plantain leaf onto a counter and scoop two or three ladles full of masa into the leaf’s center. The finished tamale before it is wrapped up.Lindsay Fendtcenter_img Facebook Comments Next, add whatever it is you want to fill your tamales with on top of the masa trying not to pack too much onto the leaf. We added chicken, carrots, sweet chili, cilantro and cheese. While you can fill your tamales with practically anything, traditional Costa Rican tamales almost always use saffron rice (which needs to be prepared separately), cilantro, sweet peppers and carrots. Though most of the fillings are optional you will need the following:Dried corn or masa mixSkinned potatoesSquare-cut plantain leavesStringA stove or bonfireA large pot for boilingStep 2: Making the masaMaking up the corn part of the tamale is masa, the spongy outer layer over the filling. Traditionally masa is made by manually grinding up dried rice kernels and mixing the resulting powder with water. Step 4: Set to boilGather your tiny plantain leaf packages and transfer them into a pot of water for boiling. Be sure to leave the pot covered in order to steam the tamales. Boiling time will vary depending on the number of tamales. Gather up your tamale packages and set them to boil.Lindsay Fendt Traditional tamale makers start with dried ears of corn, scrape off the kernels with a knife and grind the masa by hand.Lindsay Fendt Mix the masa and potato dough and heat it until it is the texture of mashed potatoes.Lindsay Fendt You then mix your ground masa with skinned potatoes and water to create dough and cook this on the stove until it has a mashed potato-like consistency. At Antojitos we added chicken broth to the masa, but you can also add vegetables or other meat broth. No related posts.last_img read more

Travellers choosing holiday rental Stayz over hotels

first_imgAn increasing number of holidaymakers are steering away from the traditional hotel accommodation block, with holiday rentals becoming one of Australia’s fastest growing sectors.Unbeknownst to many, the intimate form of travel has picked up in popularity, according to Travel Fairfax Media Marketplaces general manager Kristy Shaw, with more and more travellers are opting to rent out homes.Tourism Australia general manager of strategy Nell Anderson added that holidays rentals provides travellers with wider bedding options, which is among the more important necessities while on holidays.”Across the industry there is wide acceptance of the need for a better quality Australian tourism product, and nowhere is this more important than accommodation,” Mr Anderson said. “Tourism Australia has already identified the need for more beds in many places and creating the most appealing product to meet the industry’s growth aspirations, as part of the 2020 Tourism Industry Potential.” Speaking at the inaugural Stayz Holiday Rentals Summit in Sydney yesterday, Tourism Australia and Travel Fairfax Media were among 250 holiday rental owners and agents across Australia discussing and considering investing in the holiday rentals market. Agents looking for more information on the sector and the summit can stay up to date by searching the hashtag #stayzsummit on Twitter. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Bombardier Skyjet the pioneer service for online

first_imgBombardier Skyjet, the pioneer service for online booking of private jets and provider of the Skyjet Card, has announced the latest enhancement to its jet card program. Effective immediately, Skyjet Card members are able to apply their jet card funds toward their on-demand charter trips.“This allows our members additional cost savings,” says Skyjet Managing Director Chris Milligan. He explained that if Skyjet can find a better value with an empty leg charter flight that fits the card member’s travel needs, the customer may use his or her jet card account to fund the trip.Milligan says he understands the need to provide customers with additional value to their jet card program and is pleased to offer this new feature. “Our goal is to provide our customers with world-class service, quality aircraft and unmatched value. We feel strongly that this latest enhancement will create opportunities for customers to reduce their travel expenses yet retain the dependability of the Skyjet Card membership.”www.skyjet.comlast_img read more