Beach Parties: A Timely Interdiction

first_imgThe Liberian Government’s announcement this week banning all beach festivities on November 29 ensuing is very timely.The Information Ministry told the regular Ebola press briefing on Wednesday that GOL had decided to prohibit any gathering whatsoever at beaches on that day to avoid the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.The ban is particularly aimed at President William V.S. Tubman’s birthday celebration on November 29, which has over the past several years morphed into a major holiday in Liberia kicking off the Christmas season.  Tubman would be surprised.As though determined to recapture Tubman’s happy-go-lucky, libertine (unrestrained by morality) character, which most of today’s generation know little about, the nation’s youth in their thousands, converge on the beaches to party until late into the night. In Monrovia, droves of celebrators, scantily dressed, jam up in the back of pick-ups or on the hoods and in the trunks of vehicles to get to the beaches, especially those along the Robertsfield highway.  Quite often traffic on that highway and in the whole of Paynesville is blocked most of the day as people throng the beaches and entertainment spots to have a good time. This year when Tubman’s 119th birthday falls on a Saturday the crowds would have been even bigger.  Many would have forgotten that they had to attend church services on Sunday, as they reveled late into the night, in relentless, rambunctious (rowdy, high-spirited) partying.Alas! Not this year!  The deadly Ebola virus has changed all that.  It is not just the economic crisis that Ebola has brought upon us.  Indeed for this one day, most people would prefer to forget the crisis and spend their last to crowd the beaches and let the good time roll.But the risk of the virus spreading again is too high and the Liberian Government is not taking any chances.  Neither should any of us even for that one day. After surviving the horrendous experience of the past several months in the grip of the deadly Ebola virus from which we are not yet free, who would want to flout (disobey) the precautions that have restrained the virus, pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory, so to speak?The government, its foreign partners and the Liberian people themselves have joined in the unrelenting fight to contain the virus, causing us to make big gains towards its recession and finally zero cases.  The least we can do is sacrifice one day of celebration.But just to make sure, the GOL has for now banned beach gatherings on November 29. We do not know whether we can achieve the status of “Ebola free” by Christmas, but a lot depends on the people themselves—their following all the rules, observing all the measures to prevent infection; and on the government and the international partners ‘in union strong’. We have been striving to let the government see the need to take one other urgent action—to deploy Liberian troops, accompanied by some from the United States, at key border points, especially on the Guinea and Sierra Leone sides.  This, we believe, would   help stop the resurgence of the virus, by keeping it from coming again across the border. We saw what happened last week in Jenewonde Town on the Cape Mount border with Sierra Leone.   We have to be very vigorous in protecting our borders, because while the virus is receding in Liberia, it is spreading in the other countries, especially Sierra Leone.  We don’t know why.  But government must take immediate action, remembering what happened in Foya, Lofa County in March: it took only one person with the virus to cross the Guinea border into Liberia.  After that, the virus spread like wild fire and our country became the worst hit in the entire sub-region.We pray that the government will go one step further in obeying the First Law of Nature: Self-Preservation.      Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Watch: Nelson Mandela addresses Davos in 1999

first_imgNelson Mandela speaking to delegates at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on 29 January 1999. Click image for a larger view. (Photo copyright World Economic Forum)• Sello HatangCEO and spokespersonNelson Mandela Centre of Memory+27 11 547 [email protected]• WEF Davos 2014: Keeping up with a fast-changing world • Zuma urges Team SA to sell South Africa at Davos • Watch: Nelson Mandela’s first television interview• Nelson Mandela – a timeline • Nelson Mandela: a life in photographsFifteen years ago, on 29 January 1999, Nelson Mandela addressed global luminaries gathered at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, for the last time. It was his final year as president, and South Africa had been free for only five years. Yet much of what he had to say still resonates in South Africa, and in the global economy.Mandela had spoken at Davos before, in 1992, two years before he became president. In 1999 he was able to look back on five years of democracy and reflect not only on the successes South Africa had achieved since the end of apartheid, but also its continued challenges. These lay not only at home, but also in a newly globalised world. Global economic integration had brought benefits, but also new risks of worldwide economic contagion.Jump to videoJump to transcript of Mandela’s speechAt 80 years old, Mandela looked strong, dressed in a cream-and-gold floral print Madiba shirt – and welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation from the audience. He was introduced by World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab, who described him as “an inspiration to all of us”.“I have had the opportunity of welcoming many heads of state in Davos,” Schwab said. “But when it comes to you, Mr President, it is a very special and a very cherished moment.”Reflecting on the approaching end of the 1990s, Schwab added: “Mr President, you are most likely the greatest statesman at the end of the century. Your achievements form a guiding light, which all of us should consider as we build the 21st century.”Watch the videoNelson Mandela’s address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, 29 January 1999. (Mandela’s speech begins at the seven-minute mark.)Read the transcriptEdited transcript of Nelson Mandela’s address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, 29 January 1999. Let me begin by thanking you most sincerely for affording me the privilege of addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos for the last time as president of South Africa.South Africa’s leadership has had a close and fruitful relationship with the forum over the past eight years. Such is our approach to the international business community that our new democracy never hesitated to accept your kind invitations to participate in this rigorous forum. I hope that by doing so we have been able to convey information about the challenges and the potential of our wonderful land.We have been lauded, politely listened to and pilloried for some of the things that others and I have said on various occasions here in Davos. Indeed, I have vivid memories of this process during my visit here in 1991! It has taught us much and reinforced our belief in dialogue and interaction with the international community.The success of the annual regional summits has confirmed us in this judgement. I would, therefore, like to use the occasion to invite you all to this year’s Southern Africa Economic Summit in Durban in June. While I will not be able personally to welcome and host you, I can assure you of South Africa’s warmest hospitality and of many opportunities to promote our mutual goals.However, if you should during your visit see an old man by the road carrying a placard saying, “No Job, No Money, New Wife, Big Family”, please spare a thought! [Audience laughter]‘The desire of good men and women everywhere’What has stood out in all our interactions with you is your profound goodwill toward South Africa. I doubt if you know how much this means to us. To ensure a better life for all our people is a complex and difficult task. Your support strengthens our efforts and inspires us.We know that this goodwill arises from the desire of good men and women everywhere that South Africa should succeed in reconciling our people, and that we should lay the scourge of racism to rest.This requires strong democratic institutions and a culture of compassion. None of this is possible without a strong economy.The challenges we face combine many of the great challenges that face our global society. We need social stability that is based on socioeconomic development. We must nurture tolerance, collective wisdom and democracy. Like all countries, we must provide real personal safety and security against criminality and abuse of human rights.Who benefits from globalisation?The fact that we face these global challenges at the precise moment that we have become free with the world’s support places special obligations on our new democracy.Some people argue that we should focus on our own immense problems and leave others to their own devices. That would be to turn our back on those that helped to liberate us, often at great costs to themselves. It would be contrary to our morality, which will not let us desert our friends.Who, in our interdependent world, can turn their back on people in other lands when press, radio and television bring us the graphic reality of abuse, death, genocide and senseless and destructive wars?Is globalisation only to benefit the powerful and the financiers, speculators, investors and traders? Does it offer nothing to men, women and children who are ravaged by the violence of poverty?To answer “yes” to these questions is to recreate the conditions for conflict and instability. However, if the answer is “no”, then we can begin to build a better life for all humanity.Reflections on five years of freedomSouth Africa knew from the outset that reconstruction and development would be even more difficult than the defeat of the apartheid system. I cannot report that we have succeeded in all our endeavours in South Africa. Yet a great deal has been achieved in the first five years of democracy, in the face of many difficulties.The statistics of our progress are readily available to those that want them, so I will only cite two facts:In 1994, 12-million people in our rural areas, some 30% of South Africans, lacked access to clean drinking water. Since then, 3-million have gained access to that absolutely basic amenity.In 1994, two thirds (63%) of South African households lacked electricity. Today the figure is reduced to one third (36%) of households without electricity.An audience such as yourselves will understand what these two examples indicate about our broad programme of socioeconomic improvement: the scale of the challenge we inherited; the progress we have made; how much more is still to be done.You will appreciate that such improvement, if it is to be sustained, requires enduring changes in our public service, a stable and living democracy, as well as a dynamic and sustainable economy.Partnerships to combat joblessness, crime and HIVBecause development brings great structural change that affects different interests in different ways, the achievement of our goals requires of us the capacity to mobilise a highly complex society in pursuit of broad national objectives. It means building a broad partnership of major social forces.Considering the condition of South African society a few short years ago, I believe that we have made great progress in this regard. What is deeply encouraging is the way in which civil society is becoming actively engaged in transforming our society, in particular to deal with the most difficult challenges we face.Our recent Jobs Summit brought business, labour and the development community together with government to work for job creation.Business actively assists in our critical battle against crime. The religious community has come together with political parties to give a lead with government in the moral regeneration that will help fight corruption and crime. Farmers and farmworkers are working with the police and army to combat rural criminality.Last year this World Economic Forum gave a global lead to the international business community in the fight against HIV/Aids. I am pleased to be able to report to you that late last year a national Partnership Against Aids was launched in South Africa, by Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, bringing together all sectors of our society, including the private sector, to combat this epidemic.Such partnerships of social forces give our society a resilience and stability that keep it on a steady course, whatever the vagaries of political mood. This environment allows government to take a longer view and consistently apply sound and sustainable economic policies.In the stormy seas of the world financial markets, our medium-sized ship has taken some storm damage but continues to sail under its own power.Economic integration of AfricaHowever, like all trading nations, our own growth depends critically on growth in the world economy. When we can least afford it, the current crisis has had a very real impact on our growth rate, as it has across the world. Though still positive, our growth rate is nearly 3% below our initial projections for this year. Stability in the world economy and, more important, a return to growth in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa are vital.Our own long-term structural development also depends on all of southern Africa and Africa achieving the same, and on our building economic ties and development cooperation among ourselves.We are making sure but steady progress overcoming the colonial legacy of poor links, including transportation links, between our economies. Cross-border cooperation with our neighbours to promote investment and development grows by the month. We will make progress this year toward a Free Trade Agreement in the Southern African Development Community.But much as we have advanced in these and other ways, continuing conflicts are hampering development. The gains we are making could be jeopardised, not only in the countries directly involved but more generally, such is the interdependence of all our countries.African renaissance and the world economyAfrica is beyond bemoaning its past for its problems. The task of undoing that past is ours, with the support of those willing to join us in a continental renewal. We have a new generation of leaders who know that we must take responsibility for our own destiny, that we will uplift ourselves only by our own efforts in partnership with those who wish us well.In short, now that Africa is free, we can embark on the realisation of our long-held dream of the rebirth of our continent, of reconstruction and development.One of the greatest effects of this African renaissance will be the reintegration of the African economies into the world economy, no longer as dependent participants. One dimension to this reintegration is the unfolding of the complex processes that I have reflected on above. These processes will have to emanate in Africa.The other dimension raises a profound and fundamental question, as to whether the world economy in its current structure will allow this reintegration. This question is seldom asked, since it is the weaknesses in Africa and the developing world that are usually put under the spotlight. But it is an essential question.For Africa to reintegrate, its economies must industrialise and modernise, and their success in doing so will depend on the framework within which this occurs. When Southeast Asia and South Korea, and later some Latin American countries, successfully followed an export-oriented path to industrialisation, a new orthodoxy was established on industrialisation that relied on the globalised marketplace.For many, globalisation was no longer seen as a complex historical process but as an economic policy panacea.‘A grand and destructive irrationality’Today, however, we have seen how global financial turmoil can stall industrialisation – and even de-industrialise in some cases. Finance in abundance derived from very high levels of development is destabilising industrialisation processes where they are needed most.Profitable as this may be for individual market actors, it is a grand and destructive irrationality for those countries and their peoples whom it sets back on the development path.And it introduces instability in the global system whose effects ultimately no economy can escape.This must be addressed.Trade protectionism in the NorthIt is, however, not the only obstacle to the development of the South. Despite liberalisation of trade, there remain areas of protectionism in the developed countries. In agriculture, for example, Europe seeks to protect its rural communities by capturing markets that are the true competitive advantage of the South.In the steel industry, to take another example, the North seeks to protect old industries that will never be able to compete with the modern resource-based production of the South. This restricts an obvious avenue to modern production in Africa.These matters must be addressed in the multilateral fora if we are to ensure that Africa is able, through its own efforts, to reintegrate into the world economy. They form part of those changes to the economic, social and political world order which are needed if we are realise our dreams of a better world for all humanity. They are a part of what is necessary if the next century is to be, as it must be, the century in which Africa again takes her rightful place in the world.You will, therefore, understand why this old man, to whom you have granted the privilege of bidding you farewell in the twilight of his public life and at the turn of the century, has raised such very practical matters of unfinished business.‘My heart full of hope’It has been my great privilege to fight a struggle for freedom that the world adopted as its own, and which has been victorious in my lifetime. I have had the honour of representing a people who won the admiration and respect of all nations by reaching out to each other and finding common ground across a divide that seemed unbridgeable.In these last years I have experienced the complexities of governing a nation that seeks to overcome a legacy of social deprivation, and I am profoundly aware of how much is still to be done. I have witnessed the enormity of the task, still to be completed, of redirecting international institutions and systems in such a way that the prodigious capacity of the world economy shall satisfy the basic needs of all people.Knowing that I leave the governance of South Africa in strong and wise hands, and that there is a new generation of leaders in the world who have recognised the possibility of realising our dreams of a better world, I approach the end of my public life with my heart full of hope.I thank you for your attention, and wish you well in your efforts.last_img read more

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Android Gingerbread & Honeycomb Will Combine to Form Ice Cream

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … sarah perez At this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google’s former CEO, now Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt delivered a keynote address where he revealed the future of the Android mobile operating system.  Currently, there are two distinct versions of Android: Android 2.3, code-named “Gingerbread” for smartphones and a newer, tablet-optimized version of Android 3.0 called “Honeycomb.” Schmidt says that the two separate versions will be merged in the next release of Android.Android Confusion The next version of Android is expected to be called “Ice Cream” or perhaps “Ice Cream Sandwich,” but Schmidt did not confirm the naming. All he said was that the follow-up release will start with an “I” and will be named after a dessert.This information came up during the Q&A session at the end of his keynote as Schmidt took questions from the audience. In this case, the audience member had asked for clarity on the many different variations of Google’s operating systems – not just Android, but also Chrome OS, Google’s browser-based desktop OS.“I apologize for the confusion,” said Schmidt in response to the question. He blamed the speed of innovation at Google for the causing the situation – different teams were working on the different versions of these operating systems at the same time.Chrome OS Will Also Merge with Android, Says Schmidt After responding that the two concurrent versions of Android would be merged in the next release, Schmidt also offhandedly mentioned that Chrome OS would eventually be merged with Android, too.In explaining the differences between Android and Chrome OS, Schmidt put it simply: “Chrome OS is unrelated to mobile phones. Chrome OS is for netbooks and PCs.” However, said Schmidt, “over time, we’re working on merging them.”Whether or not Google will actually be able to accomplish such a feat is unknown, but it’s interesting to hear that its vision is to have just one operating system for all devices – desktops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets, TVs, mobile phones and more.Details on Ice CreamIn the nearer future, what can we expect from the combined versions of Gingerbread and Honeycomb? According to an interview between PhoneScoop and Google Android Engineering Director Dave Burke, Ice Cream will bring Honeycomb’s “Action Bar” to Gingerbread. This is the bar that brings the contextual, app-specific buttons to the top of the screen.Burke also said that Honeycomb’s “System Bar” (the bar at the bottom) may not come to phones, but would remain a tablet-only feature. The hologram-esque visual styling found in Honeycomb will arrive in Ice Cream, though, as will Honeycomb’s multi-tasking app switcher functionality. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Android#mobile#news center_img The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts last_img read more

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Yes, you can run

first_imgIt’s one of the fastest ways to slim and tone and a natural next step for walkers. Our 6-week walk-to-run programme will have you clocking kilometres in no time!Running is only for the very fit? Hardly! For decades, scientists have been gathering research that proves running does more good than harm. It doesn’t damage knees and actually increases your chances of staying active as you get older. It’s also effective for weight loss, strong bones and mental sharpness-at any age! In fact, a new study shows it provides an extra 70% reduction in risk of c-on top of the improvement you’d get from walking for exercise. Try our easy plan to safely get you up to speed and running 3 miles straight at any fitness level.Keep it pain-freeYou need running shoes. “Also, make sure that your muscles are adequately strong and flexible. Weak and tight muscles lead to injuries,” says sports physiotherapist Dr Anand Gangwal, HOD, Physiotherapy, Sancheti Institute, Pune. “So you need to focus on strength training and stretches while working out,” he adds.* Run 3x/weekRun the given distance, taking walking breaks as needed. If you can run only 15 to 30 seconds at a time to start with, that’s okay. Stop before you’re out of breath, walk until you’ve recovered and then return to running. Gradually you’ll be able to go longer, until, after 6 weeks, you can cover a full 5 km without walking. (You don’t have to be able to run the entire distance to progress each week).* Cross-train 1x/weekIncorporating different types of workouts helps beat boredom and prevents injury by exercising different muscles. Try yoga to stretch and relax your muscles or cycling to give your legs a break from impact.* Walk 1x/weekThis is your easy exercise day, designed to get your blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. Walk at a pace that allows you to chat with a friend.We’re Running Converts!Still sceptical about taking up running? They didn’t think it was for them-until they tried it and were wowed by the incredible results.* “Emotionally, I am calmer now” Dr Vaneeta Kapur, Radiologist, 54, Delhi As a child, I was overweight, so I began walking and swimming at a very early age. About 15 months ago, I took to running in the IIT Delhi campus. It was Anita Bhargava of Running and Living who encouraged me. Initially, I would be out of breath after having covered just 500 metres. Now, I run for 6 kilometres at a stretch five days a week. I conclude my run with stretches. Last year, I completed the Delhi Half Marathon and surprised myself.My advice Make sure you choose soft ground for running and remember, you can take it up at any age. Stretch your limits a little at a time and you will be surprised when you look back to see just how far you have come.* “Running keeps my weight in check”Dr Divya Parashar, mental health expert, 35, Delhi Three years ago I overcame a battle with the bulge; having lost 34 kgs I wanted to test my fitness level by engaging in an active sport. I took to running and have taken to it for life. I’ve run in different places around the world and recently finished my sixth half marathon. Psychologically, long distance running is like life itself in so many ways-it’s all about your attitude, your pain, your fatigue and how you deal with obstacles on your way and about coping with pain. Physically, it has helped me keep my weight in check and allowed me to focus more keenly on what I do.My advice Buy good running shoes and gear, watch your posture and keep yourself hydrated while running. Also, you need to work on strengthening your upper and lower body muscles. Eat a balanced meal. -Interviews by Benita Sen10 fast fixes for every excuseMy knees hurt Fix #1 Shorten your stride No matter how cushioned the heel of your shoe is, your body isn’t designed to land on it when running, experts say. Shorter strides help you land on the middle of your foot, activating your body’s natural shock absorbers.Fix #2 Strengthen your hips and thighs One of the most common causes of knee pain is weakness in the thighs and hips, which absorb impact, says runner Alexis Chiang Colvin, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Go to prevention.com/knees for targeted toning exercises to keep you pain free.I keep getting blistersFix #3 Check your shoe size”Your feet increase as much as a size to a size-and-a-half when you run,” says coach Hal Higdon. “Especially for new runners, fluids can pool in your extremities, making them swell.”Fix #4 Invest in fancy socks Yes, good socks make a difference. Fabrics that ‘wick sweat,’ including synthetics and lightweight wool, limit friction-causing moisture.Fix #5 Reduce rubbing Apply a lubricant such as petroleum jelly to hot spots before putting your socks on.It feels too hardFix #6 Talk to yourself Exercisers who repeated an inspiring phrase (such as I am strong and beautiful!) aloud at least three times before running a mile went faster and felt better than when they did the same run without the mantra, according to research from the University of Nevada.Fix #7 Partner up Not only is exercising with a friend more fun than going solo, but the company also may make your workout feel easier, according to a recent British study. Researchers believe the camaraderie may heighten levels of mood-boosting hormones.I ‘m constantly windedFix #8 Slow down As you become fitter, your body will become more efficient at converting oxygen into energy. Then you’ll be able to go faster without getting breathless.Fix #9 Breathe through your nose and mouth Forget the old wives’ tale that air through your nose is better for you. Quite simply, you need more oxygen to support running or fast walking, and using both your nose and mouth is the most efficient way to get it, says Higdon.Fix #10 Practise belly breathing Allowing your chest and belly to expand as you take a breath relaxes your body so it can get oxygen to your muscles more efficiently during exercise, says Susan Joy, MD, director of Women’s Sports Health at Cleveland Clinic. Practise it while you’re on hold or waiting in line at the grocery store, then try it while you run.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough, Who Had Knee Surgery 2 Days Ago, Posts Video Of Leg Lift

first_imgAlabama Bo ScarbroughAlabama Bo ScarbroughThis past Friday, Alabama freshman running back Bo Scarbrough, a five-star recruit from Tuscaloosa, tore the ACL in his right knee during a team scrimmage. Monday, he underwent surgery to repair the injury. Wednesday, he’s already starting rehab, completing straight leg lifts. Really.Scarbrough, who is clearly excited about how his recovery is going, posted a 30-second Twitter video of himself extending and lifting his right leg in a doctor’s office. It’s impressive, given the quick turnaround.Two day out of surgery and already can do a straight leg lift! It’s a blessing to be able to come back and work hard! pic.twitter.com/8NQ31ZDsjR— Bo Scarbrough (@starbo06) April 8, 2015Scarbrough was a huge get for the Tide, and has a bright future ahead. Let’s hope he’s back on the field as soon as possible.last_img read more

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Netflix and chill no more – streaming is getting complicated

first_imgStreaming TV may never again be as simple, or as affordable, as it is now.Disney and WarnerMedia are each launching their own streaming services in 2019 in a challenge to Netflix’s dominance. Netflix viewers will no longer be able to watch hit movies such as “Black Panther” or “Moana,” which will soon reside on Disney’s subscription service. WarnerMedia, a unit of AT&T, will also soon have its own service to showcase its library of blockbuster films and HBO series.Families will have to decide between paying more each month or losing access to some of their favourite dramas, comedies, musicals and action flicks.“There’s definitely a lot of change coming,” said Paul Verna at eMarketer, a digital research company. “People will have more choices of what to stream, but at the same time the market is already fragmented and intimidating and it is only going to get more so.”Media companies are seeking to capitalize on the popularity and profitability of streaming. But by fragmenting the market, they’re also narrowing the once wide selection that fueled the rise of internet-based video. About 55 per cent of U.S. households now subscribe to paid streaming video services, up from just 10 per cent in 2009, according to research firm Deloitte.Just as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime tempted people to “cut the cord” by cancelling traditional cable TV packages, the newer services are looking to dismember those more-inclusive options.Disney Plus is set to launch late next year with new Marvel and Star Wars programming, along with its library of animated and live-action movies and shows. It hasn’t announced pricing yet, but Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an August call with analysts that it will likely be less than Netflix, which runs $8 to $14 a month, since its library will be smaller.AT&T plans a three-tier offering from WarnerMedia, with a slate of new and library content centred around the existing HBO streaming app. No word on pricing yet.Individual channels, such as Fox, ESPN, CBS and Showtime, are also getting into the act. Research group TDG predicts that every major TV network will launch a direct-to-consumer streaming service in the next five years.Netflix and others have invested heavily in original movies and TV shows to keep their customers loyal. Netflix, for instance, said Wednesday that 45 million subscriber accounts worldwide watched the Sandra Bullock thriller “Bird Box” during its first seven days on the service, the biggest first-week success of any movie made for the company’s nearly 12-year-old streaming service.That first-week audience means nearly a third of Netflix’s 137 million subscribers watched the movie from Dec. 21 through Dec. 27 — a holiday-season stretch when many people aren’t working and have more free time.But Netflix, Hulu and others may soon have to do without programs and movies licensed from their soon-to-be rivals. In December, Netflix paid a reported $100 million to continue licensing “Friends” from WarnerMedia.Why are media companies looking to get in? Data and dollars. Sure, they get money when they sell their programs to other services like Netflix. But starting their own service allows networks and studios access to valuable data about who is binging on their shows.For services with ad-based options, that data translates into more dollars from advertisers. And services that rely only on subscription revenues, media companies can use the data to better tailor their offerings for individual tastes, helping to draw in more subscribers.“I think all media companies are coming to grips with the reality that you better establish a relationship directly with your audiences,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson at an analyst conference earlier this month.The business model that some networks and content companies are currently using, distributing their TV shows and movies only by licensing them to streaming platforms, is getting “disrupted aggressively” as more companies launch their own services, said Stephenson, whose company acquired WarnerMedia in June.Forrester analyst Jim Nail compares this moment to the “Cambrian explosion,” a historic era when plant and animal species rapidly multiplied after Ice Age glaciers receded.“Big brands like Disney have to evaluate: Are we only going to access this market by licensing our content to Netflix, Hulu and others?” he said. “Or, can we go direct to the consumer with our own service?”But a multiplicity of streaming services could easily overwhelm or confuse consumers. To get a full slate of programming, TV watchers may soon have to subscribe to several services instead of just one or two.Among those options will be services like Netflix and Hulu that offer a wide range of video from a variety of sources; cable-like “skinny bundles” such as FuboTV, Sling and YouTube TV that offer a variety of live channels; and channel- or network-specific services like Disney Plus.Consider just AT&T’s plan to launch a three-tiered service this year centred on HBO. An entry-level bundle will offer mostly movies; a second, slightly more expensive tier will include original programming and newer movies. A third and still more expensive offering would add more WarnerMedia entertainment such as “Friends.”The cost of multiple streaming services could quickly approach the average cost of a cable bill — not counting the cost of internet service. That’s around $107 per month, according to Leichtman Research Group.“It’s unlikely any of the services individually can charge more than $10 per month,” Forrester’s Nail said. “The great unknown is how many individual streaming services people are willing to sign up for.”Companies are already trying to tame this chaos by bundling multiple streaming services together. Amazon Prime customers can add-on subscriptions to HBO, Showtime or Starz. Roku and Chromecast viewers can access their different services from a central place; Roku said Wednesday it will start selling in-app access to Showtime, Starz and other channels as well.How should consumers deal with all the coming change?“Be patient,” said Michael Greeson, president of research group TDG. “We’re in a time of dramatic change for the TV and video business. There’ll be great benefits, and question marks and consequences.”Mae Anderson, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Excessive hygiene can cause antibiotic resistance

first_imgWhile maintaining hygiene is good for health, excess cleanliness could lead to antibiotic resistance often resulting to death and illness as well, suggests a new study. Comparing all existing microorganisms and antibiotic resistances, the researchers at Austria’s University of Graz, showed that microbial diversity decreases in areas with high levels of hygiene and the diversity of resistances increases. The team compared the intensive care unit of the institute with clean rooms subject to strong microbial control in the aerospace industry and with public and private buildings which have hardly any microbial controls. “In environments with strong microbial control in the intensive care unit and industrially used clean rooms, there are increasing antibiotic resistances which show a high potential for combining with pathogens,” said Alexander Mahnert, director at the varsity. The number of people who become ill and die from antibiotic-resistant germs is increasing worldwide, said the study, published in Nature Communications. Hence, the results indicated that a stable microbial diversity in clinical areas counteracts the spread of resistances. With the microbial control of pathogens already being used in cultivated plants and also in humans in the framework of stool transplantation, pursuing such ideas in indoor areas in future is recommended, said Gabriele Berg from the varsity. The team suggested regular airing, houseplants, deliberate use of useful microorganisms and reduction of antibacterial cleaning agents could be the strategies in maintaining or improving microbial diversity.last_img read more

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Arabs criticize Shakira, Colombian politician accuse her of ‘promoting lesbianism’

first_imgCasablanca- Have you watched the music video by Colombian diva Shakira for her new single, “Can’t Remember to Forget You,” which features Barbados superstar Rihanna? Well, in some countries of the Middle East and Colombia, many have watched the video, and the overall reactions have not been very positive.   Two of the world’s most celebrated music stars, Shakira and Rihanna, got intimate in the music video. The two share a bed, touch, and “get sexy” in the video while reminiscently singing, “The only memory is us kissing in the moonlight.” While millions have viewed the YouTube video, not everyone seems to be charmed by their “arousing” video, especially those from the eastern hemisphere. Many Arab fans and music industry professionals criticized the video—some even described it as “promoting lesbianism.” “It’s a lesbianist music video, it’s really over [the top],” Fadi Haddad, a Lebanese music video director was quoted by Al Arabiya News as saying.While many Arabs have found fault with the sexual dimension of the video, others found it more constructive to criticize its creative significance. The general idea is that music videos like Shakira’s further victimize women’s bodies, rendering them sexual tools of entertainment and commercial benefit. Quoted by Al Arabiya News, Nabil Alalawi, CEO of Qithara production, an art production and advertising company, said that, “stars around the world have to search for a new concept” without abandoning focus on social matters because, “it kills creativity.” Knowing that her paternal grandparents immigrated from Lebanon to New York, many fans wonder whether Shakira’s Arab origins are the reason behind the outrage.  Perhaps it is due to the fact that Shakira has made it clear in her interviews that her cultural identity is, “a fusion of the western and the eastern.” However, some voices in the Arab world expressed different opinions on the video. “I do not think that it is promoting lesbianism,” Lynn Darwich, the Lebanon-based coordinator of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies, said to Al Arabiya News.  “It is catering to a male audience, which would presumably appreciate eroticism between women,” he justified. “The Arab world is used to one female artist [appearing in an explicit manner]. We also have gay men in music videos, it’s very obvious, but we never have explicitly labeled it like they have done,” stated Fadi Haddad, a Lebanese music video director. The Arab world’s negative criticism of Shakira’s video seems harsher than that of Rihanna’s 2010 music video for one of her most listened-to songs, “Te Amo.” Some claim that this is because Shakira had never before appeared in a music video where her “sexy partner” is actually a girl. Reference of a society in moral decay Meanwhile, Marco Fidel Ramirez, a Colombian politician lashed out at Shakira, accusing her of “promoting lesbianism and the usage of tobacco.” “Our Shakira with her erotic video is promoting tobacco usage and has become the worst example for our youth,’ he wrote on his Twitter feed, using the hashtag #PeligroVideoShakira, which translates to ‘Dangers of Shakira’s Video.’“Shakira’s new video is a shameless case for lesbianism and immorality. It is a danger to children,” he added. Ramirz called on the Colombia’s National Television Authority to ban the video from being broadcast on any of the country’s TV channels.last_img read more

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Ohio State synchronized swimming team wins 2014 US National Championship

Members of the OSU Synchronized Swimming team compete during the Jessica Beck Memorial Competition Feb. 1 at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The team finished 1st.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorRoutines based on the elements of fire and ice solidified the Ohio State synchronized swimming team as national champions.An overall score of 57 points secured a first-place finish for the Buckeyes at the 2014 U.S. National Championship Saturday in Oro Valley, Ariz., making for the team’s first U.S. Senior National title since the 2010-11 season, according to an OSU press release.The team, led by coach Holly Vargo-Brown, was awarded three medals at the competition.OSU’s Scarlet Team, consisting of seniors Chelsea Aton and Yuliya Maryanko , juniors Katie Spada and Khadija Zanotto and freshmen Emma Baranski, Elizabeth Davidson, Morgan Boneberg and Lorraine Hack, tallied an overall 85 points to receive the gold medal in the team competition, while the Gray Team, consisting of seniors Lauren Nicholson, Julia and Natalie Gaylard, juniors Samantha Golomb, Heidi Liou and Emily Muma and freshmen Alexa Aton, Jasmine Pulido and Sarah House, was awarded silver with a score of 81.0667 points.The two squads within the varsity team are divided based upon skill, with the athletes more refined in technicality and execution placed on Scarlet.Hack and Maryanko picked up a bronze medal in the duet competition with a score of 164.1038, and the two tied for fourth for the Individual High Point Award with 29 points.Baranski placed fifth in the solo competition, the highest placing for the Buckeyes in that contest, with 81.7333 points.Vargo-Brown said not only was competing in the U.S. Senior National Championships less than three weeks after the U.S. Collegiate Championship challenging, the team also lost senior All-American Lauren Nicholson and freshman Natalie Huibregtse to injury, forcing the teams to make “huge adjustments to each of the free team routines,” she said in an email to The Lantern.However, she said she is proud of the team’s performance.“I’m so happy for our seniors,” Vargo-Brown said in the email. “Our strong finishes in the two biggest competitions of the seasons are really a testament to the leadership they have provided the team all year. Every one of them has a ‘fight until the end’ attitude.”The team’s win follows a second-place finish at both the North Regional Championships March 1 in St. Louis and U.S. Collegiate National Championships in Oxford, Ohio, March 19.Correction: A previous version of this article listed the members of the Scarlet and Gray squads incorrectly. The current version reflects the correct roster. read more

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Lacazette ready for a fresh start at Arsenal

first_imgAlexandre Lacazette is ready to move from the struggles of his debut campaign at Arsenal and prove doubters wrong by improving on his goal tally in the upcoming seasonThe Frenchman struggled to live up to his £46.5m price tag from his transfer last summer and ended, what promised to be a an exciting spell, in disappointing fashion with just a mere 17 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions.Lacazette’s performances were often the subject of criticism by both pundits and fans alike throughout the entire season and he was omitted from the France squad that would later win the World Cup this year.But the 27-year-old has refused to let the criticism get the better of him and he is now ready for a fresh new start with the Gunners after scoring the equalising goal in their victory over Chelsea on Wednesday night.“I don’t care how people judge me,” said Lacazette, according to Reuters.“I know if I stay in Arsenal the club is happy and my team-mates as well. This is the most important thing.“It (last season) has finished and for me it’s the past. OK, when I didn’t score, of course I was frustrated but it’s finished. It was my first season so I can’t be too hard on myself, even if I wanted to score more goals.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“I’ve learned from this and now I am happy to start a new season.”Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was signed by Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January for a club record fee and the striker made an instant impression by scoring 10 goals in his first 13 Premier League games.But Lacazette denies that he feels any rivalry towards Aubameyang.“I never said it (Aubameyang’s arrival) was bad for me, only people in the press said it was bad,” he said.“I was happy because I knew I could play with him.“I didn’t see him as a rival, more like a team-mate, so since the beginning I was happy about his signature.”Arsenal will begin their Premier League campaign against Manchester City on August 12.last_img read more

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