RenderingGo back to the enewsletter Starwood Ho

first_imgRenderingGo back to the e-newsletter >Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced on 27 August its market entry into Romania with the opening of the Sheraton Bucharest Hotel.“As a market debut for Starwood and Sheraton, Romania symbolises an important expansion opportunity while also putting Sheraton one step closer to its goal of opening more than 150 new hotels over the next 5 years,” said Dave Marr, Global Brand Leader, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. “Demonstrating best-in-class design and offerings in a historically rich part of the world, Sheraton Bucharest Hotel is an excellent addition to the brand’s global portfolio.”Sheraton Bucharest Hotel features 270 spacious guest rooms, including 27 Executive Suites and 1 exquisite Presidential Suite. Guests can make use of the Fitness Centre, which includes 2 massage rooms and spa treatment facilities, and the Sheraton® Club lounge offering guests views of Bucharest as well as complimentary breakfast, all-day refreshments, and free Wi-Fi.“Sheraton has a robust footprint across Europe, and we are delighted to continue to increase our portfolio with developments in strategic new markets such as Romania,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “The emerging city of Bucharest presents immense growth potential, and we look forward to welcoming travellers to our most iconic hotel brand.”The hotel boasts 1200sqm of combined meeting and event space. The hotel offers 10 conference rooms, 2 ballrooms and 1 distinguished boardroom. Each conference room can hold between 10 – 400 people, and together, the 10 rooms can accommodate up to 1400 individuals. All spaces are equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology and are backed by an outstanding events team.Two dining venues provide a variety of culinary options—from a contemporary twist on Romania’s cuisine at Avalon to the world-renowned Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Benihana—in addition to Centro Sweets, which offers a selection of desserts, from freshly baked cakes to tantalising tarts.In addition to Sheraton Bucharest, key openings this year included Sheraton Lake Como Hotel, the brand’s 8th in Italy, Sheraton Ufa in Russia and Sheraton Samsun in Turkey.Go back to the e-newsletter >Renderinglast_img read more

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By Jeff Thomas International Man In LatinAmeri

first_imgBy Jeff Thomas, International Man In Latin-American culture, the beating of a piñata began as a religious activity, but, today, it is more secular and generally takes place at celebrations. The general idea is that someone (usually a child) is blindfolded and given a stick, then spun around several times to disorient him. He then begins swinging the stick in the air, trying to locate the piñata, which is suspended overhead. Once he finds it, he beats it until it breaks open, spilling out goodies – sometimes candy, sometimes toys, coins, or food. In concept, this is much like taxation, with the rich being the piñata. Taxation Seems Reasonable Throughout the world today, governments pay for their existence mostly by way of taxation. On the surface of it, this isn’t an especially unreasonable concept. Candidates are elected to take charge of the government, and they then need to be paid to do their jobs. Taxes are also intended to pay for the programmes that government representatives come up with. Unfortunately, a common trend in politics is that once someone has been elected to office, he wants to remain there, often for the remainder of his working life. Once someone has become a career politician, it is a logical step for him to realise that the more he can tax the population, the more goodies he can get for himself. After all, he is in a position to be able to increase his own salary and benefits. Additionally, he may be tempted to siphon off a portion of funds intended for government programmes as they pass through his control. The difficulty for politicians who increase taxes is that, if they increase taxes on the majority of the people, the people may not vote them back in. Consequently, politicians find that they are more likely to be re-elected if they create or increase taxes that only apply to a minority of the electorate. Whenever the middle- to lower- income taxpayers outnumber the more wealthy (which is, of course, most often the case), politicians tend to propose higher taxes on “the rich.” The reason this is a safe bet is that the rich are in the minority and therefore do not have the power (on their own) to vote such politicians out of office. Hence, most developed countries not only tax the rich more heavily than others, but also create and maintain a “tax the rich” mentality amongst the electorate. Today, most every country that regards itself as a democracy has a “tax the rich” consciousness, and those who are not “rich” generally support the concept. As George Bernard Shaw said, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.” But Excessive Taxation of the Rich is Not Necessarily Reasonable And why not tax the rich? After all, the rich have more, so why shouldn’t they give more? Well, there are two reasons why not. The first is that the concept is inherently unjust. As Thomas Jefferson is said to have argued, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” The second reason why the rich should not automatically pay more is that they may possibly be taxed to the point that they choose to opt out of the system. As Maggie Thatcher said, “The trouble with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other people’s money.” Of course, who “the rich” are has never been accurately defined. Is it the top 5% of earners? The top 10%? Politicians avoid such questions; they prefer to keep it vague. After all, if they got specific, many of them would qualify as being amongst “the rich.” And of course, one of the best aspects of taxing the rich, from the politician’s point of view, is that they can’t really do anything about it. The rich are, by their very nature, generally speaking, very responsible citizens. They are easily tracked down and will generally prefer to pay a higher tax than to be imprisoned. Consequently, there is much to gain and little to lose for a politician if he proposes further taxes on the rich. The Rich Are Much Like a Piñata The rich are much like a piñata: Those who are gathered around the piñata know that it contains goodies and they would like to get some share of those goodies. They are unconcerned as to whether the piñata is destroyed, as long as the goodies are forthcoming soon. Someone is elected, who beats the piñata repeatedly, knocking the goodies out. This person wears a blindfold, so, although he knows what his objective is, he cannot actually see the results of his actions. The more he beats the piñata, the more goodies fall out. But, beyond this point, public opinion would diverge as to the comparison of the piñata and the rich. Those who wish to be receivers of the government largesse would argue that the process is endless, as the rich will always have plenty of money. But those who are more productive and choose to sustain themselves through their own efforts will take a different view. How to Stop Being a Piñata Through Internationalisation The fact is, the rich do, in most cases, have an ability to opt out. Historically, this does not take place through violent means, such as revolution. Rather, it is by quiet means – by exiting the jurisdiction if it becomes too oppressive. There is now a growing trend toward internationalisation. It has never been easier to physically move one’s self or one’s possessions from place to place. Through technology, it has also never been easier to move wealth from place to place. In fact, the only exception to this trend is governments themselves. Some governments are placing ever-increasing restrictions on the ability to move one’s self and one’s wealth from one jurisdiction to another. Considering this to be the case, many older people are quietly moving themselves and their wealth away from those countries that are becoming increasingly draconian in their laws. Additionally, many younger people are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. Whilst they may not yet have amassed much in the way of wealth, many are assessing their futures in jurisdictions that are becoming oppressive, and choosing to vote with their feet now, rather than wait until it is no longer possible. Many people are fond of their present jurisdiction but are watching the door slowly closing. Those who take the next step – that of seeking out other possible destinations – are finding that in some other jurisdictions the doors to personal economic prosperity are opening wider. However, should an exodus occur into these countries by frustrated First-Worlders, there is the possibility that, in time, their immigration laws may tighten up. Therefore, the time of greatest opportunity may well be right now. Those who are older and have attained some measure of wealth would do well to consider whether they are tiring of being hit with a stick and worrying that, in the future, they may well be hit a great deal harder. Those who are younger may feel that, if they succeed in creating wealth for themselves, their reward may well be to become a piñata. [If you enjoyed this article, you might like our complimentary report, The Best of Jeff Thomas. Pulling no punches, Jeff shares his thoughts on the greatest threat to gold ownership, finding a bolthole on a budget, as well as the coming hyperinflation. You may download this free report immediately in our member’s area. Or, if you are not a member, register for free here.] About the Author: Jeff Thomas is British and resides in the Caribbean. The son of an economist and historian, he learned early to be distrustful of governments as a general principle. Although he spent his career creating and developing businesses, for eight years, he penned a weekly newspaper column on the theme of limiting government. He began his study of economics around 1990, learning initially from Sir John Templeton, then Harry Schulz and Doug Casey and later others of an Austrian persuasion. In 1999 he began his predictions for a second Great Depression and has since focused his attention on its ramifications and how it would affect the world.last_img read more

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It was the second day in a row where the dollar in

first_imgIt was the second day in a row where the dollar index didn’t do much, as it traded sideways in a very tight range once again.  It closed in New York at 79.21, which was down 7 basis points from Wednesday’s close.The gold stocks gapped up about 3% at the open, and then climbed to their high of the day shortly after 12 o’clock noon in New York, which was gold’s high tick. After that they chopped sideways for the remainder of the New York trading session.  The HUI finished up 4.11%.As has been the case all week, the silver shares have underperformed their golden cousins.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up only 3.33%, and it didn’t even gain back all of Tuesday’s losses.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 29 gold and 11 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  JPMorgan was the only long/stopper of note in both.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.For whatever reason there was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time it was 57,909 troy ounces.  And as of 9:21 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.Joshua Gibbons, the “Guru of the SLV Bar List” posted his weekly commentary on the in/out action for the week that was in SLV.  Here’s what he had to say.  “Analysis of the 23 October 2013 bar list, and comparison to the previous week’s list.  3,661,880.2 troy ounces was removed (all from Brinks London), and none had a serial number change.  The bars removed were from: Solar Applied Materials (1.3M oz), Aurubis AG (0.6M oz), Nordeutsche (0.6M oz), Inner Mongolia Qiankun (0.2M oz), and 17 others.As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was over-allocated 68.6 troy oz.  There was a withdrawal of 770,883.6 oz on Tuesday and deposit of 2,408,785.0 oz on Wednesday (that nets to +1,637,901.4 oz) that have not yet been reflected on the bar list, that should appear on the next bar list (as it normally takes a day or two for the bar list to get updated).”  The link to his Web site is here.I also noted that the folks over at the shortsqueeze.com Internet site updated their Web site with the latest changes in the short positions for both GLD and SLV for mid-October.  The short position in SLV rose by 7.19%, and the total number of shares/ounces sold short now stands at 17,775,400.  GLD‘s short position increased by 8.90%, and it’s short position is up to 2.40 million troy ounces.  In tonnes, that’s 553 tonnes of silver and 74.5 tonnes of gold.  One can only imagine what the prices of gold and silver would be if those holding short positions in both these ETFs were required to purchase the metal on the open market to cover them.The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday.  They sold 500 ounce of gold eagles, and that was it.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, they reported receiving 32,075 troy ounces of gold, and shipped 64,009 troy ounces out the door.  The link to that activity is here.As is always the case, it was much busier in silver, as 639,533 troy ounces were shipped in and 235,623 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that action is here.It was another slow news day again yesterday, and I hope you find something of interest in what I did manage to cobble together.In a nutshell, the coming influence of monetary expansion on gold and silver prices will be due to the great inflation already witnessed in other asset classes. At some point, it is inevitable that there will be some switching of funds from bonds, stocks and real estate to precious metals. There always is such switching as asset classes come in and go out of favor on a recurring basis. Someday, something will spook the bond, stock or currency markets and there will be some rush to precious metals. Because the growth of other asset classes has been so monumental, even the smallest amount of switching to precious metals will have a profound impact on gold and, especially, on silver prices. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 23 October 2013There’s not much to add to my comments at the top of this column regarding yesterday’s price action in both gold and silver.  It was nice to see the rallies in both metals, along with the commensurate rallies in their associated equities.  One can only hope that this trend will continue.As of yesterday’s close, both gold and silver are slightly above their respective 50-day moving averages.  It will be interesting to see whether prices power higher from here as the technical funds move to cover their short positions, or will prices “fail” at this point, as they have done in the past at this juncture?Today we get the October Bank Participation Report, along with some sort of Commitment of Traders Report.  The only thing I know for sure is that the COT Report won’t contain data up to the last cut-off date, which was Tuesday, October 22.  Even before I check the numbers, I’ll be looking for the cut-off date at the top of the web page.  And in some respects, without the data being current, it won’t mean a lot.  The Bank Participation Report data will also be a month out of date as well, and in some ways what it contains will be of more importance than the COT Report itself.But whatever they show, I’ll be commenting on it at length in Saturday’s missive.All four precious metals were under a little selling pressure during Far East trading on their Friday, but it was silver that really got clubbed going into the 8 a.m. BST London open.  The CME low print was $22.325, which was down 40 cents from yesterday’s New York close.  Obviously there was nothing free market about that.  Gold volume [as of 3:56 a.m. EDT] was pretty light, but silver’s volume was [not surprisingly] very decent.  And also not surprisingly, it was mostly of the HFT variety.The dollar index took a 20 basis point nose dive around lunchtime in Hong Kong, but there was a buyer in the wings waiting to catch that particular falling knife at the 79.02 mark.  There was no sign of that currency move in any of the precious metal prices at the time.And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 5:15 a.m. EDT, three of the four precious metals have recovered off their lows at the London open, and are rallying unsteadily higher, but none are back above their New York closes from yesterday.  Volumes are about average in gold, and still slightly elevated in silver.  The dollar index is down about 11 basis points.Since today is Friday, I’m wide open to any price scenario that presents itself when I power up my computer later this morning.Enjoy your weekend, or what’s left of it, and I’ll see you here tomorrow. Both gold and silver are slightly above their respective 50-day moving averagesAs has been the case for what seems like forever now, there was no price activity worthy of the name during the Far East trading session on their Thursday.  But a rally commenced at 11 a.m. BST in London which ran into the obligatory not-for-profit seller at the Comex open in New York, and this sliced ten bucks off the price in about 30 minutes.  But the rally continued shortly before 9 a.m. EDT, and topped out a few minutes after 12 o’clock noon.  After that it traded more or less sideways until the 1:30 p.m. Comex close.  Then it got sold down a bit into the close of electronic trading.The CME reported the low and high price ticks at $1,330.20 and $1,352.30 in the December contract.Gold closed in New York at $1,347.30 spot, which was up $13.60 from Wednesday’s close.  Volume, net of October and November, was decent at 148,000 contracts.The price pattern in silver was pretty much the same as the price pattern in gold.  The only two differences were the fact that the high tick came shortly after 11:30 a.m. in New York, and the sell-off in electronic trading was a little more pronounced than it was in gold.The CME recorded the low and high ticks as $22.51 and $22.91 in the December contract.Silver closed at $22.72 spot, which was well off its high, and up only 16 cents from Thursday’s close in New York.  Volume, net of October and November, was on the lighter side at 34,000 contracts.Platinum closed back above its Tuesday close, and palladium finished the day flat.  Here are the charts.last_img read more

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Shark week Aunt Flo Carrie at the prom — t

Shark week Aunt Flo Carrie at the prom — t

first_img“Shark week,” “Aunt Flo,” “Carrie at the prom” — these are a few common nicknames for periods, according to Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, author of Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity. But the list is far from exhaustive: “There are something like 5,000 euphemisms for periods,” she says.Why all the code words? Society has become more open to talking about menstruation in recent years (in fact, NPR declared 2015 the “year of the period”), but periods are still a topic more often talked around than talked about. That can have consequences — like shame, undiagnosed medical conditions and lack of product innovation, to name a few.Hear five people who are fighting the taboo share their thoughts and experiences about periods — from leaks to the “tampon tax” to what it means to bleed when you don’t identify as a woman — all out in the open. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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After Hurricane Maria hit many people were left w

After Hurricane Maria hit many people were left w

first_imgAfter Hurricane Maria hit, many people were left without access to water, food and power. But when food came, it raised a host of health concerns.As food aid began to arrive last fall, Twitter was full of complaints from recipients and their families expressing shock that the contents of relief boxes appear to be stuffed with items like candy bars, potted meat and cheese crackers.”Who in their right mind would think this qualifies as a meal?” tweeted CBS correspondent David Begnaud, quoting a Puerto Rican resident named Pedro who found candy and chips in his box.After seeing a flood of such social media posts, Uriyoán Colón-Ramos, a professor of public health at George Washington University, and a group of researchers went down to Puerto Rico to check it out. Colón-Ramos and her group analyzed 10 days’ worth of food shipments found at a FEMA distribution center in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, six weeks after Hurricane Maria hit.They found that 11 of the 107 different food items in the warehouse were candy and chips, including M&Ms and Twizzlers. And every item in the fruit category, which included sweetened fruit cups and applesauce, exceeded the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendations for added sugars. Eighty-three percent of veggies, which were all canned, exceeded the recommended content of sodium.Some of the items analyzed were low-sugar and low-sodium, like canned sardines and fruit pouches packed in water, but these were in the minority, Colón-Ramos says.Even when she excluded candy and chips, Colón-Ramos found that meals made with the foods provided would exceed the upper limit recommended for daily sodium, added sugars or saturated fats.”As a public health nutritionist, I just don’t know why we are providing these foods,” she says. “How did these foods end up there, and who was monitoring them?”Colón-Ramos presented this data on June 11 at the Nutrition 2018 meeting in Boston. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans says to keep sodium below 2,300 milligrams per day and that less than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from saturated fats or added sugar.A typical meal plan using the foods found in the FEMA warehouse could include a ready-to-eat cereal and milk for breakfast, a morning and afternoon snack like dried peanuts or a cereal bar, tuna salad and crackers for lunch and a pre-packaged pasta dinner, Colón-Ramos says.Following the meal plan with these foods would meet the DGA food group recommendations but exceed the dietary limits for salt, saturated fat, or added sugars.In a situation where disaster has wiped out food options, people are happy for help. And who would deny a child who has been through a hurricane a piece of candy? But it doesn’t make for a healthy eating plan in the long-term, which is what some food assistance operations in disaster zones sometimes become. As NPR has reported, the island is still struggling to access power and rebuild.”In the past and traditionally, not just in the U.S. but globally, food aid has been focused on providing enough calories and enough water,” Colón-Ramos says. “It makes perfect sense: You don’t want people to be hungry, and you don’t want people to die out of dehydration.”But now, this type of aid may be outdated and unhealthy. Thirty to 35 percent of Puerto Rican adults already are obese.Ursula Marcos Tovar, a Manati, Puerto Rico, resident, received a FEMA box in October. She says the contents of the box were applesauce cups, animal-shaped cookies, beef jerky, canned pasta, bottled water and plastic cutlery. At that time, she and her family did not have power or water.The box, which were handed out to each of the homes in her community, was too small to sustain her family of four for long, but luckily food stores in the area were starting to open. Marcos Tovar says at the time, there was only dry food available and the ATMs weren’t working due to power outages.For the first two to three months after Maria, this was all the food her family could access. She only received one box of FEMA food aid during this time.”I’m thankful for [the food], it was a terrible time after Maria,” she says. “It was a little, but it was something.”In the municipality where Colón-Ramos did her analysis, she found that there was extremely low access to healthy food even before the hurricane. There was only one major grocery store in the entire municipality, with the rest being small corner shops.Colón-Ramos says food aid should increase accessibility to nutritious food for survivors. People in the area already had access to candy and chips through local stores, but none of them had options like nonfat milk. Fruits and vegetables were limited, as well as low-sodium protein options. Those are the kinds of things that FEMA should have been providing, she says.”Any foods that are distributed by the federal programs need to abide by the U.S. dietary guidelines,” she says, including limits on salt, sugar and fat.Colón-Ramos says the federal government also offers emergency SNAP programs that allow survivors to purchase their own food. But in a situation like this, where grocery stores are limited, people could only get more of the same high-sodium and sugar snacks.FEMA said in an email to NPR that food aid meals meet guidelines developed in consultation with various groups, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a short shelf-life meal, there would be a fat content of 47 grams or less and a sodium limit of 800 milligrams, FEMA says. FEMA did not mention any requirements on sugar content.While individual meals or snacks may fall under the fat or sodium content, Colón-Ramos found that many could not simultaneously fit the food groups in the Dietary Guidelines’ daily recommendations.For example, one serving of canned Chef Boyardee ravioli that could be found in these boxes has a full meal’s worth of sodium and seven grams of fat.FEMA manages multiple contractors, and according to The Washington Post, is moving away from MREs and snacks and towards grocery boxes and hot meals.The food aid nutrition challenge isn’t new. Greg Gottlieb, a professor in nutrition and human security at Tufts who was not involved in the research, says that in the late 1990s, he ran into a problem like this one when delivering aid to the Soviet Union.”When we opened up some of those packages, they were candy,” he says. “There were Twizzlers.”Dried fruits like raisins and apricots could be a healthier option, but it’s also important to analyze what people actually eat where the aid is being delivered, he says. On top of that, it’s hard to escape sodium in things like canned tuna and vegetables.Colón-Ramos says there is a need for better monitoring of food aid and its health value, as well as more specific guidelines for those providing help.”We’re seeing a larger prevalence of chronic diseases that are diet-related, and we’re taking that in to consideration in food aid,” she says. “And we should, because those are now the most vulnerable populations to these kinds of disasters. The repercussions of what we may provide … it could have repercussions on people’s health.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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A new study shows that North Carolina continues to

A new study shows that North Carolina continues to

first_imgA new study shows that North Carolina continues to perform below average when it comes to overall child health conditions.The 2019 report by the nonprofit groups N.C. Child and the N.C Institute of Medicine was released in February.The state received an “F” grade for housing and economic security for the third consecutive report. According to the Winston-Salem Journal, this reflects a high percentage of children living in low-income homes and neighborhoods.The study also points to an increase in youth suicides over the past 10 years. Black high school students in 2017 were twice as likely to have attempted suicide in the past year, and much less likely to receive treatment for depression.The study did show progress in breastfeeding, oral health, HPV vaccinations for teens, and decreasing the number of teen births.While the state earned top marks for insurance coverage, the report says many more children could be covered with an expansion of the Medicaid program.last_img read more

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WikiLeaks says Julian Assange is being spied on in Ecuadorean embassy

WikiLeaks says Julian Assange is being spied on in Ecuadorean embassy

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Assange took refuge in the embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation. That probe was later dropped but WikiLeaks fears the United States wants to prosecute him.WikiLeaks angered Washington by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare often highly critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the Saudi royal family.Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters news staff.Later that year, the group released over 90,000 secret documents detailing the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan, followed by almost 400,000 internal U.S. military reports detailing operations in Iraq.More than 250,000 classified cables from U.S. embassies followed, then almost 3 million dating back to 1973.WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo/File Photo 1 of 10 Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and barrister Jennifer Robinson hold a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez takes part in a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls SharePrint Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and barrister Jennifer Robinson held a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and barrister Jennifer Robinson hold a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson takes part in a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and barrister Jennifer Robinson hold a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and barrister Jennifer Robinson hold a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo/File Photo WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been the subject of a sophisticated spying operation in the Ecuadorean embassy where he has been holed up since 2012, the group said on Wednesday.“Wikileaks has uncovered an extensive spying operation against Julian Assange within the Ecuadorean embassy,” Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief said, adding that Assange’s “eviction” from the embassy could happen at any time.Hrafnsson did not immediately give evidence for his claims. Reuters was unable to independently verify the allegations.Assange’s relations with his hosts have chilled since Ecuador accused him of leaking information about President Lenin Moreno’s personal life. Moreno has said Assange has violated the terms of his asylum.To some, Assange is a hero for exposing what supporters cast as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech. But to others, he is a dangerous rebel who has undermined the security of the United States.“We know that there was a request to hand over visitors’ logs from the embassy and video recordings from within the security cameras in the embassy,” Hrafnsson told reporters, adding that he assumed the information had been handed over to the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. Former Consul of Ecuador to London Fidel Narvaez, WikiLeaks editor in chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and barrister Jennifer Robinson hold a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls Barrister Jennifer Robinson takes part in a news conference relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London, Britain April 10, 2019. 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Analyzing patterns helps students spot deceptive media

first_img As such, educators have called for a new approach to teach students how to analyze digital media and some tech and media organizations are getting involved. Education policy-makers have added new media modules to recently revamped curricula that aims to help students become better-informed and critical future citizens. But the questions explored in public school media units are also important for people of all ages to consider. Recent studies have shown all demographics of people are susceptible to being deceived. Showing students how to determine source credibility, and to analyze tone, bias and motive, is a great way to help them with their media literacy. Another helpful way to teach students to think critically about media is to teach them to examine media formats and media patterns. What exactly does that mean and how do patterns work to manipulate viewers? Patterns structure our expectationsPeople have become familiar with, and expect, specific patterns within specific genres of media. Canadian communications theorist Marshall McLuhan famously argued that “the medium is the message:” the media format or genre (including its patterns), can influence people’s thoughts and beliefs. Each genre has a unique set of characteristics —for example, a haiku poem’s three lines have a particular number of syllables (five, seven, five). The genre of documentary film often includes suspenseful music, interviews with specialists and recorded footage or re-enactments. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Or consider the television news broadcast: there are often two anchors, and the colours blue, red and white are seen alongside an animated globe or map. Citation: Analyzing patterns helps students spot deceptive media (2019, February 6) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-patterns-students-deceptivemedia.html Patterns associated with news: red, blue, white and a globe. Credit: www.shutterstock.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Provided by The Conversationcenter_img All demographics of people are suceptible to being deceived. Credit: www.shutterstock.com With the current pervasive use of online media for personal and academic reasons, it’s necessary for students to have skills to confidently filter and decipher what they’re reading. Social media use linked to lack of sleep in students Even the news music itself has a common pattern. The “Six O’Clock Soundtrack” episode of the podcast Every Little Thing by Gimlet Media documented how news music is a global genre, and is difficult to create. Yet news music composers from Israel, India, England and the U.S. all agree news music has three common patterns: The music starts by grabbing the attention of the viewer, and is usually quite catchy.The rhythm is constant, which often provides a feeling of reliability for the viewer. The tone of the music conveys a sense of urgency and importance, but at the same time, allows the viewer to feel things are still under control. The music, while tense, still provides a safe and authoritative feeling.In my research, I have found that specific media forms and patterns can impact viewers’ understanding of important issues. Further, I have begun exploring how the success of deceptive media relies on manipulating viewers’ understanding of patterns. “Deceptive media” encompasses all forms of media that persuades or dupes, including fake news in all its possible formats (for example, print or video or other electronic content). For example: Hollywood films can easily mimic such iconic aural or visual patterns of news to create a representation of reality which almost instantaneously invites particular viewer expectations. A movie like Anchorman is funny because it creates a satirical story based on viewers’ existing knowledge of news. Producers of deceptive media use such representational patterning techniques to deliberately stimulate the viewer’s expectation that they are delivering factually-based news—even when they’re not. Patterns plus personal experiencesIn some instances, drawing upon people’s expectations of patterns in particular media formats, plus their lived experiences can make deception possible. For example, Orson Welles’s The War of the Worlds radio play, an adaptation of H.G. Wells’s book broadcast by CBS on Oct. 30, 1938 mimics an interruption of a radio broadcast: it starts with information about the weather, and later plays ballroom music, which is then abruptly interrupted by the events of an alien invasion of Earth. The opening of Welles’s play actually explained to listeners that the broadcast is an adaptation of H.G. Wells’s novel. Yet there were instances when some listeners believed the broadcast to be true.Media scholars Jefferson Pooley and Michael J. Socolow have determined most of the so-called hysteria was exaggerated. Researchers have found it was immediately fuelled by some newspaper journalists’ efforts to discredit broadcast media; later, the event’s legacy was amplified by a questionable academic study on psychological panic. Still, because Welles followed the representational patterns of a radio broadcast, and drew upon people’s realities of surviving WWI and being on the brink of WWII, Welles’s broadcast successfully convinced at least a portion of his audience the events were authentic. Considerations for the classroomA number of online resources offer ways for educators to help students detect deceptive media. Some provide checklists of characteristics to explore. PBS offers lesson plans on teaching students about fake news. Such resources may be helpful, but coaching students to consider patterns in genre, and to look for representational patterns is also relevant. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Mobile app to check poll code violations

first_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL The day elections are announced in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram voters in these states will get to use a mobile application to check poll code violations by political parties and candidates, Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat has said. The C-Vigil mobile application gives the common man the opportunity to click pictures and take videos of violations and send it to concerned election officers. Further the application can triangulate the exact location of the complaint using longitude and latitude information. “Within 100 minutes, the complainant will be given feedback on the action taken,” Rawat told PTI. As soon as the complaint lands in the inbox of the concerned returning officer and deputy election officer, it is verified within minutes and action including lodging of FIR is taken care of. He said it is highly unlikely that the application will be misused. Rawat said as a pilot project the application was used in Bangalore city during Karnataka assembly polls. “Now, this is a bigger pilot ahead of Lok Sabha elections,” he said. Though the application can be downloaded from Google Play Store and websites of EC and state chief electoral officers, it will be operational only in constituencies and states where there is an election. Rawat said the application has an in-built option which will help the people tick a box to keep their name and cell phone number secret. SHARE September 16, 2018 elections Mobile App Published on COMMENTSlast_img read more

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Sashi Tharoor suffers injury while performing thulabharam ritual at Kerala temple

first_imgPublished on Congress leader Sashi Tharoor Monday suffered head injuries when the hook of a weighing scale came off and its iron panel hit his head while performing ‘thulabharam’ ritual at a temple here. According to party sources, Tharoor, who is aiming for a hat-trick from Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, sustained injuries on his head, which required six stitches. The 63-year old MP also suffered a minor leg injury in the incident which occurred at a Devi temple here.‘Thulabharam’ is a Hindu ritual in which a person is weighed against a commodity such as flowers, grains, fruits and similar articles in temples and the equal value or quantity is offered as donation.Monday being the Malayalam new year day (’Vishu’), Tharoor performed the ritual by offering sugar equal to his weight in the morning before embarking on his poll campaign.He was accompanied by his family members and party leaders and workers, including MLA, V S Sivakumar. While he was sitting on one of the pans of the weighing scale, the hook came off and its iron panel fell on his head, the party sources added. The accident happened when Tharoor, sitting in the weighing scale, was waiting to see the ‘deeparadhana’ (aarti) being performed at the sanctum sanctorum,” Sivakumar later told reporters. The iron panel of the weighing scale came down and hit his head,” Sivakumar added. Tharoor was given first aid at the government general hospital here and then taken to the Trivandrum Medical College for detailed examination, party sources said. Television channels showed the former union minister getting into a car with a bandaged head and waving to onlookers wearing a blood-stained kurta. A Medical College source told PTI that Tharoor is “keeping well” and his condition is “stable“. “He is under observation.. he has no other serious health issues. But due to the flow of visitors, he has been shifted to ICU now from the observation ward,” the official said adding that the MP has to undergo a repeat scan. In a press release, Congress party leader Thampanoopr Ravi said here that Tharoor’s election programmes for the day has been cancelled. accident (general) SHARE SHARE EMAIL elections April 15, 2019 Indian National Congresscenter_img COMMENT Shashi Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram   –  KSL SHARE Kerala COMMENTSlast_img read more

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