Low and slow A tale of online recreational pot orders across Canada

first_imgCanadians were eager to buy legal cannabis for recreational use online on Oct. 17, as government-run and privately operated pot portals were lit up with thousands of orders within the first 24 hours of legalization day.However, the problems plaguing many of those initial orders such as delivery delays highlights the growing pains facing the newly legal market.The Canadian Press tried to order the cheapest available gram or pre-roll of dried flower in each province and territory during the afternoon of Oct. 17. One order could not be completed and two had still yet to arrive more than one week later.All websites required various age verification checks and most interfaces were easy to navigate, but the available product was low and delivery times were often slower than promised.The fastest delivery was in Halifax where the bureau received its order within two days, while it took a full week before the order arrived in Iqaluit. The cheapest order including delivery was in Quebec at roughly $14 and the most expensive was in the Northwest Territories at more than $31.Here’s how the pot order process rolled out across the country:NewfoundlandDelivery date: Still waitingShipping fee: $10 minimumCost: $8.99; $20.34 total costCannabis NL’s website was clean and easy to navigate, but on Oct. 17 the options for a quick, low-cost gram were limited. The “shop” section advertised dried flower, oils, pre-rolled joints and plants, but most products were labelled “coming soon.” The product page was fairly informative with a breakdown of the plant’s THC and CBD levels, growing method and province of origin, as well as acceptable methods of use. Sorting by lowest to highest price, the most affordable flower was a hybrid plant called Island Pink from Emerald Health Therapeutics Canada. The “expedited parcel” shipping was the cheaper option, promising a delivery time between five and seven days. On the morning of Oct. 26, the product had not yet arrived and Cannabis NL sent customers an email that said “unexpected challenges with supply” are causing “unfortunate delays.” It added that suppliers have agreed to begin refunding the Xpresspost shipping fees for orders that do not arrive within the posted delivery times.— Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John’s, N.L.———Prince Edward IslandDelivery date: Oct. 22Shipping fee: $7Cost: $7.83; $17.05 total cost including shippingThe P.E.I. Cannabis Corp. website greets you with a scenic Island landscape. The standard warnings flash “Start low. Go slow,” and various other catchy slogans. In product descriptions, some companies have opted to keep established illicit market names like “Diesel” while moved to establish their own names with strains like “Radiate”. The website allows users to sort by format, plant type, strength or brand, but not price. The package arrived Monday around 11:00 a.m. looking like anything else one would receive in the mail. FIGR’s No. 17 ground cannabis sealed in a red packet came with pamphlets about responsible smoking and a receipt. Though, the website advertised THC totals of 9.99 to 17.00 per cent and the description boasted levels of 21 per cent, the physical product was marked with a total THC percentage just under 13 per cent.— Tony Davis in Charlottetown———New BrunswickDelivery date: Oct. 22Shipping fee: $7Cost: $10.50; $17.50 total cost including shippingThe ordering process was simple. Just click on a button to state you are over 19, set up an account, order the product and go to the checkout to give your credit card info. A confirmation page after the order is placed indicated that the order should arrive by Friday. However, the package did not arrive at the office — part of the legislature press gallery in a secure government building — until Monday morning. Another reporter signed for the delivery, but was not asked for ID to ensure he was over 19 years of age. However, he’s close to 50 and bald. Inside the large plastic Canada Post envelope was a packing slip and the small brown paper envelope containing the cannabis. The envelope had a label with the product information and the perforation at the top of the envelope had a Cannabis NB seal over it.— Kevin Bissett in Fredericton———Nova ScotiaDelivery date: Oct. 19Shipping fee: $6.09Cost: $8.65; $16.95 total cost including shippingThe Halifax bureau attempted to order the least expensive brands of dried flower cannabis from the government operated Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. Cannabis site at 3 p.m. on legalization day, just hours after obtaining an identification number from a downtown store. The brands that ranged from $6.33 to just under $7.50 per gram were unavailable, according to the website’s search by price function. However, one gram of the Haven St. Mango Kush was available at $8.65. A Canada Post delivery agent arrived at the door of the office two days after the order and a colleague who hadn’t ordered the marijuana signed for it. The packaging included consumer information that suggested the user “start low and go slow” in using the marijuana, and noted the effects could last up to six hours.— Michael Tutton in Halifax———QuebecDelivery date: Oct. 22Shipping fee: $5Cost: $8.50; $14.25 total cost including shippingThe Montreal bureau ordered one gram of Harmoniser — an indica strain from Aphria Inc. at 3 p.m. on Oct. 17. When the package arrived the following Monday at 10:15 a.m., the Canada Post delivery person asked for an employee’s signature at the door. The package gave no hint of what it contained, except for the “18+ signature” printed above the barcode. The delivery person did not request ID to confirm age upon delivery — but the person accepting the package looked more than 25 years old.— Christopher Reynolds in Montreal———OntarioDelivery date: Still waitingShipping fee: $5.65Cost: $10.40, $16.05 total cost including shippingWith no brick-and-mortar cannabis stores in Ontario until next spring at the earliest, Ontarians can only buy legal recreational pot online. Unlike some other provincial retail websites, the designers of the Ontario Cannabis Store seem to have strived for austerity. Devoid of colour, there are no stock photos, only an OCS logo and a message warning off those below the age of 19. Once inside, it’s all business. The user is sent straight to the product range, represented by photos of the packaging, making it unclear in some instances what exactly is on offer. After choosing one gram of Tangerine Dream from brand San Rafael for $10.40, the checkout process was quick and efficient. A shipping charge of $5.65 was added, bringing the total to $16.05, far above the black market price of less than $10 per gram. OCS said the product should arrive within one to three days, but the order has yet to arrive more than one week later.— Jody White in Toronto———ManitobaDelivery date: Oct. 22Shipping fee: $7.95Cost: $12, $21.59 total cost including shippingWinnipeg’s Delta 9 Cannabis Store website is easy to navigate and advertises same-day delivery in the city, but the shelves of the online store were nearly empty. Of the 11 dried cannabis strains, eight were sold out. Most of the strains left were only sold in larger quantities (five grams for $60 or 10 grams for $120) and only one offered smaller quantities (DNA Genetics Lemon Skunk for $12 a gram). There were also smoking tools and accessories for sale including papers, lighters, vaporizers and cannabis cook books. Despite the website saying American Express was an accepted payment, after an hour in an online help chat and on the phone with employees and the bank, the only suggestion was use a different card. It took five days of waiting for it to show. It arrived in an unnecessarily large plastic container in a giant bubble-wrap envelope. It looked large for a gram but, much like a Prairie tumbleweed, it was not dense and extremely dry.— Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg———SaskatchewanDelivery date: Online orders were not available on Oct. 17Those looking to buy cannabis online from Jimmy’s Cannabis were out of luck on legalization day. A message on its website on Oct. 17 said it held back on online sales due to discussions between Health Canada and Canada Post, Jimmy’s shipping provider. Upon accessing its website, the user was asked to put in their date of birth. The website itself was both clean and trendy with a video playing above a header that said “Welcome to Jimmy’s.” There were five options at the top including flower, oil, accessories, apparel and a drop down with contact information, locations, about the company and the online shop. Upon clicking the online shop option, there were flowers, oil, pre-roll and accessories. However, on Oct. 22, Jimmy’s said in a post on its website that it was unable to open its e-commerce store “due to inventory shortages.” On Oct. 26, online cannabis sales were still unavailable.— Ryan McKenna in Regina———AlbertaDelivery date: Oct. 19Shipping fee: $9.95Cost: $9.24 before tax, $20.15 total cost including shippingAfter a few simple questions to verify age — Alberta’s site checks submitted answers against provincial databases — users are taken to the product page. Only plain white packages are shown. Each product entry provides THC content and whether it’s a sativa, indica or a hybrid. Strawberry Ice, $9.24 a gram, is described as “fun and fruity,” and “perfect for making the most of a sunny summer day.” The site won’t allow you to ship to a different address than the one provided for age verification. On Wednesday, the site offered 73 different types of dried flower from 24 different growers. By mid-afternoon, six were out of stock. It had four kinds of pre-rolled joints, two of which were gone by 3 p.m. Its only oil offering was also gone. The site was clean and classy, with lots of Alberta scenery and no psychedelia. You could be buying tires. The most expensive per-gram offering cost $14.95. The cannabis arrived Friday afternoon, two days after it was ordered, and picture identification with a current address was required.— Bob Weber in Edmonton———NunavutDelivery date: Oct. 24Shipping fee: roughly $9Cost: $16.99; $27.29 total cost including shippingAs an online customer in Nunavut, you become accustomed to a lack of options, all of which are expensive, and a sense of relief for even just getting an online order through. Internet speeds and access are far below national averages. Pot is no different. The government’s website says you can only buy from the approved vendor list, which contains one entry: Canopy Growth Corp., whose brand name is Tweed. To verify your age, you enter your date of birth and confirm you are not ordering from a shared device. Tweed offered four options — only dried flowers — in various quantities: one indica, two sativa and one hybrid. All but two options were sold out. With shipping, one gram of Lemon Skunk came to $27.29. Seven days later, postal workers deposited a package slip into a P.O. Box. It’s a short ATV ride to the postal warehouse. There, a worker said half the warehouse is full of pot orders.— Thomas Rohner in Iqaluit———Northwest TerritoriesDelivery date: Still waitingShipping fee: $12.47Cost: $17.50; $31.47 total cost including shippingThe Northwest Territories’ cannabis website was simple and easily navigated, though creating an account took 15 minutes longer than anticipated as a verification email took time to arrive. There were only seven items available, offering five strains in various sizes. Despite the territory’s pledge that cannabis prices would start at around $8.50 per gram, the cheapest one-gram package available online on legalization day cost $31.47. The total price included $17.50 for a gram of the Rockstar strain (one of two strains available in one-gram packages, identically priced), $1.50 in tax, and $12.47 in shipping to Yellowknife. The territory’s website stated proof of age would be required upon delivery. The package was shipped on Oct. 24 according to an email from the NWT website — well within standard time for anything to arrive. By the morning of Oct. 26, the package had not yet been delivered.— Ollie Williams with Cabin Radio in Yellowknife———YukonDelivery date: Oct. 23Shipping fee: $12 expedited shippingCost: $15.94; $29.34 total cost including shipping.The Cannabis Yukon website has an age verification process and a question about whether you are intoxicated. The scheduled website launch on Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. ran into a technical glitch, and didn’t go live until just before 12:30 p.m. At 3 p.m., it took a few tries through a couple of different computers before being able to access the site. The website showed pictures of happy people in various settings such as around a kitchen table or a campfire with direct links to various cannabis types. The website offers value, core and premium pricing, ranging from just over $10 to $155. The cheapest pre-rolled cannabis was $15.94. The only choice was expedited shipping, costing $12 — almost as much as the joint itself. The package didn’t arrive until Tuesday about 11 a.m. and delivery required identification and a signature, even though they did get my name wrong.— Tim Kucharuk with CKRW in Whitehorse———British ColumbiaDelivery date: Oct. 26Shipping fee: $10Cost: $8.99 before tax. $21.27 total cost including shippingIt took less than 15 minutes to complete an online order for one gram of marijuana at B.C. Cannabis Stores. To enter the B.C. cannabis website, users must confirm they are 19 years or older by providing their date of birth. There were about eight cannabis product for sale on legalization day in prices ranging from $6.99 per gram to $11.99 per gram. The cheapest brands of cannabis at $6.99 were already sold out just hours after the online store went live. Tangerine Dream at $8.99 a gram was still available. The total price, including a $10 shipping charge, taxes and the one gram of cannabis, was $21.27. On Oct. 20, the B.C. Liquor Distribution branch said it was “working hard to ship every order as quickly as possible” but “slight delays” meant rather than the estimated delivery period of up to two business days, the order would be shipped from the warehouse on Oct. 22. The order was picked up at a neighbourhood Canada Post outlet on the morning of Oct. 26. Packaged in a small, blue cardboard box, it included details about the strain, the THC and CBD content and a warning label, “Cannabis smoke is harmful.”— Dirk Meissner in Victorialast_img read more

Passenger train derailment kills at least five

At least five people are dead while more than 140 others were evaluated or treated in hospital after a passenger train carrying 243 people derailed in Philadelphia around 10 pm last night.  Six people have critical injuries.The engine and every passenger car in the 6-car Amtrak train travelling from Washington, DC to New York City went off the rails.  Several cars were on their sides, with the front of the train being described as a mangled wreck.It happened in an area where there is a big curve in the rails, and one passenger says he felt the brakes slam on just before the disaster.Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking into the cause. The incident has shut down America’s busiest rail corridor and is affecting morning commuter trains in Philadelphia.

Security Council seeks proposals on how to respond to illicit small arms

The request came through an official statement read by the Council President, Colombian Foreign Minister Fernandez de Soto, who noted that the illegal flow of small arms “increases the intensity and duration of armed conflicts, undermines the sustainability of peace agreements, impedes the success of peace-building, frustrates efforts aimed at the prevention of armed conflict, hinders considerably the provision of humanitarian assistance, and compromises the effectiveness of the Security Council.”Mr. Annan was asked to submit a report by September 2002 containing “specific recommendations on ways and means in which the Council may contribute to deal with the question of illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in situations under its consideration.” The statement also touched on the legal arms trade, reaffirming the inherent right of self-defence and the right of each State to import, produce and retain small arms and light weapons for its security needs. “Bearing in mind the considerable volume of licit trade in small arms and light weapons, the Council underlines the vital importance of effective national regulations and controls for this trade,” said Foreign Minister de Soto. He added that arms-exporting countries should exercise the highest degree of responsibility in related transactions. The Council also discussed the need for innovative strategies to address the illicit exploitation of natural and other resources for the purpose of buying illegal weapons. The Foreign Minister voiced the Council’s intention to continue to consider ways of effectively combating that problem. “In this regard, information on financial or other transactions fuelling the illicit flow of arms to those conflicts should be made available to the Council,” he said. On the positive side, the statement welcomed a number of recent initiatives, such as the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, which was adopted at a United Nations conference in July. The Council called on all States to implement the Programme of Action, while recognizing its responsibility to assist in that process. read more

Trump seeks talks to overhaul South Korean trade deal

Trump seeks talks to overhaul South Korean trade deal by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Jul 12, 2017 4:58 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 12, 2017 at 5:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The Trump administration is seeking talks that could lead to the renegotiation of a free-trade agreement with South Korea.U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said in a letter Wednesday to South Korean Trade Minister Joo Hyung-hwan that the United States wants to meet to discuss “possible amendments and modifications” to the pact that that went into effect five years ago under President Barack Obama. The terms of the trade deal call for the talks to begin within 30 days.Obama had predicted that the pact would increase U.S. exports to South Korea, the world’s 11th-biggest economy. Instead, U.S. exports of goods to South Korea fell from 2011 to last year, and the U.S. trade deficit in goods with South Korea widened from $13.2 billion to $27.6 billion over the same period.The Trump administration blames the rising trade gap on continuing South Korean barriers to U.S. exports, especially in the auto market. But other analysts cite South Korea’s sluggish economy and note that other countries have seen their exports to South Korea fall even more.Jeffrey Schott, senior fellow in trade policy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, says it would make sense to update the U.S.-South Korea trade deal to cover emerging businesses such as e-commerce.The administration focuses on trade in goods, like airplanes and washing machines. But Schott points out that the U.S. runs a trade surplus with South Korea in services, such as banking and tourism. Including services, the overall trade deficit last year was $17.6 billion, a fraction of the deficits of $309.3 billion with China, $63.1 billion with Mexico and $57.1 billion with Japan.President Donald Trump has criticized past trade deals and has already begun an effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. read more

Kazakhstan urged to end mandatory registration of religious communities – UN expert

During a visit to Kazakhstan – mandated by the UN Human Rights Council – Heiner Bielefeldt, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief found religious pluralism to be a hallmark of the society “traceable far back in history and perhaps even pre-history.” “Some of the people I talked to during my visit invoked specifically nomadic traditions of hospitality and open-mindedness when explaining the accommodation of different religious communities in Kazakhstan today,” Mr. Bielefeldt said. However, a 2011 Law on Religious Associations requires all religious communities in Kazakhstan to obtain registration status to exercise collective religious functions.Mr. Bielefeldt pointed out that, registering religious communities leads to legal insecurity. “Those communities, which fail to meet the threshold set by the law or prefer not to be registered, live in legal insecurity which adversely affects their freedom of religion or belief,” he warned. While Mr. Bielefeldt acknowledged the active role Kazakh authorities play in promoting peaceful interreligious coexistence, he added “freedom of religion or belief inherently belongs to all human beings and does not require State’s approval.”Noting the country’s secular constitution received general approval by the population, he said that during his visit, he sometimes came across restrictive interpretations that confined freedom of religion or belief to pre-defined territorial spaces.The Special Rapporteur recommended, “an open discussion of the meaning and implications of secularism” to help “overcome restrictive attitudes within the administration and within law-enforcement agencies.” Mr. Bielefeldt spent 12 days in Astana, Almaty and Karaganda meeting with Government officials and agencies; religious and belief communities; and civil society organizations.In 2015, the Special Rapporteur will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council. Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Cutting greenhouse gases reducing disaster risk vital for sustainable development – UN

Presenting the report’s findings Monday to the General Assembly’s main economic and financial body (Second Committee) Robert Glasser the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction said that the failure to include such risks in investments have resulted in rapidly rising disaster-related costs. In his briefing, Mr. Glasser noted that over the past two decades, more than 1.35 million lives and in excess of $2.5 trillion have been lost to disasters. “In the light of this disturbing picture,” he said, “delivering on the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will only be possible if we cut greenhouse gases as rapidly as possible in line with the Paris Agreement and reduce climate and disaster risk in accordance with the ambitious global targets agreed […] in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.” The report, Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, also warned that the developing world remains at particular risk from disasters, which have resulted in annual average loss of more than 20 per cent equivalent of social expenditure. According to the report, by 2050, urban populations exposed to hurricanes will increase from 310 million today to 680 million. Urban assets vulnerable to sea level rise and flooding could reach $35 trillion by 2070 – 10 times more than the current levels. To overcome the challenges, the report urged, UN Member States to prioritize and resource the development of inclusive national and local disaster risk reduction strategies by 2020, as a key element of efforts to reduce climate risk and disaster risk more broadly. It also called on them to identify and seize opportunities to coherently incorporate the Sendai Framework and the Paris Agreement into social and economic planning and investments within the context of the 2030 Agenda. The report comes ahead of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, to be marked this Friday. The 2017 theme of the International Day, Home Safe Home: Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement, seeks to raise global awareness about effective actions, policies and practices taken to reduce exposure to disaster risk at the community level, thereby contributing to saving homes and livelihoods. read more

By the numbers Michigan State silences Ohio State in 1714 victory

Michigan State redshirt senior quarterback Connor Cook (18) celebrates following the Spartans’ upset of the Buckeyes on Nov. 21 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Muyao Shen | Assistant Photo EditorAll good things must come to an end, which the Buckeye faithful learned painfully as the Michigan State Spartans hit a last-second field goal to end Ohio State’s 23-game winning streak.For the final home game of the season, OSU honored its winningest senior class in history (which now currently stands at 48-4), but the Spartans played spoiler and came away with a 17-14 victory in Columbus even without star redshirt senior quarterback Connor Cook.Right away, it was clear that Michigan State was playing with a chip on its shoulder as its defense smothered the Buckeyes. OSU limped to 75 yards of total offense in the first half, luckily tied with the Spartans at 7 after a fumble recovery led to a touchdown in the second quarter.The Buckeyes came into the game with the best offense in the Big Ten but barely managed more than a fourth of their normal yardage per game as they finished with a measly 132 yards and only five first downs.Momentum came at a premium throughout the cold and rainy night as both teams struggled to find a groove. OSU caught a major break when Michigan State fumbled a punt return, which led to another touchdown and a 14-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Buckeye offense never threatened again as the Spartan rushing attack imposed its will on a beleaguered defense in the final 15 minutes of play.For the game, the Buckeyes were led by redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett, who finished with 46 yards passing and a touchdown, as well as another 44 yards on the ground.  Junior running back Ezekiel Elliott, who came into the game with Heisman Trophy aspirations, only managed 33 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, of which only two came in the second half.However, despite the multiple miscues and shortcomings of OSU, Michigan State’s fantastic performance should not be overlooked. The Spartans had a simple gameplan and stuck to it: stop the Buckeye rushing attack, impose their will through their own rushing attack and own time of possession. Michigan State finished with 203 yards rushing for game, led by redshirt sophomore running back Gerald Holmes with 65 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler O’Connor stepped into the spot of Cook and also performed efficiently, passing for 89 yards and a touchdown on 7-of-12 passing with another 25 yards added on the ground.With the victory, Michigan State took control of first place in the Big Ten East, and will play in the Big Ten Championship Game as long as it defeats Penn State next week. OSU, meanwhile, can still play in the Big Ten Championship Game if the Spartans get upset and the Buckeyes are able to bounce back and take care of business against archrival Michigan next week in Ann Arbor. By the numbers:108,975: The number of fans who braved some brutal weather to cheer on the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium, a new attendance record.48: The amount of wins by the senior class at OSU, the most in any four-year stretch in Buckeye history.4: The amount of losses suffered by Urban Meyer after four seasons at the helm of the Scarlet and Gray.2: Of those four losses, two have come at the hands of Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans.1: Urban Meyer finally suffered his first regular-season defeat in the Big Ten Conference after starting 30-0 as a Big Ten coach.2.93: The amount of yards OSU averaged per play on Saturday, the fewest it has since Meyer took over. 86: The total number of rushing yards the Buckeyes had against the Spartans. It is the lowest total OSU has registered inside Ohio Stadium since Oct. 1, 2011 against — Michigan State. read more

The Time A Guy Named Flipper Set The SingleGame NFL Receiving Record

The tape? It’s been a while since Anderson, now 49 and long retired from football, has seen it. There’s a VHS copy buried somewhere in his house, but like most of us, he no longer owns a VCR. Still, sharp memories remain. “Everything that was thrown to me,” Anderson said, “I just caught.” He recalled thinking afterward: This is what Michael Jordan must feel like.Until then, nobody would’ve dared compare him to MJ. Dubbed “Flipper”4From Richard Hoffer’s 1990 Sports Illustrated profile of Anderson and Henry Ellard: “Flipper, raised by grandparents in a stew of seven uncles, considers it all to be as ordinary as Ozzie and Harriet. For the record, none of these people nicknamed him Flipper. That was done by Aunt Pearl, a distant cousin of Flipper’s, who thought his crying sounded just like the critter then popular on TV.” as a baby by a relative who thought his crying made him sound like the famous dolphin, Anderson grew up in South Jersey and eventually became one of Troy Aikman’s favorite targets at UCLA. The Los Angeles Rams5The Rams moved to St. Louis before the 1995 season. took the receiver in the second round of the 1988 NFL draft, but he caught only 11 passes his rookie season. Anderson entered his second year third on the depth chart behind Aaron Cox (a first-round pick in ’88) and Ellard (a two-time first-team All-Pro). Then came an opening.At practice two days before the Rams faced the Saints that November, Ellard strained his right hamstring. This led to what seemed like an unsolvable problem. He led the NFL in receiving yards — nobody could fill his role. With Ellard on the Superdome sidelines in a blue Rams sweatshirt and a baseball cap, Anderson slid into the injured star’s spot. “Most of the time during the game it was kind of tough getting our timing down,” Everett said.Flipper was a fill-in, but unbeknownst to many, he already had proven himself capable of producing highlight-reel material. Over the first 11 games of the 1989 season, he only had 19 receptions, but averaged a league best 30.7 yards per catch. Generously listed at 6 feet and 172 pounds, Anderson could fly. “From the minute he got there until the minute he left,” said Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jackie Slater, his Rams teammate from 1988 to 1994, “our DBs used to say, ‘If I can cover Flipper Anderson on a go [route], I can cover anybody.’”The Rams (7-4) needed something out of him while facing an NFC West rival that sat one game behind them in the standings. The Saints were ferocious. They boasted four Pro Bowl linebackers: Sam Mills, Vaughan Johnson, Pat Swilling, and future Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson. “They were just ass kickers,” said Rams kicker Mike Lansford, whose bare right foot6In the ’70s and ’80s, Lansford was one of a handful of barefoot NFL place kickers. In his book “A Few Seconds of Panic”, kicking enthusiast Stefan Fatsis explained the fad: “As long as it didn’t hurt, the theory went, kicking sockless and shoeless eliminated the energy-absorbing and -dissipating layers of fabric and leather.” ended up heavily factoring into the proceedings.“Our weakness,” said former Saints cornerback Robert Massey, “was in the secondary.” Through 11 weeks, the Saints had the top-ranked run defense in the NFL. On the other hand, their pass defense ranked 22nd.ESPN aired Sunday night NFL games at the time, and before kickoff, analyst Joe Theismann explained to the audience that in Ellard’s place “Cox can do a real good job” and that if L.A. used a four-receiver set, tight end Pete Holohan would be split out wide. Theismann never mentioned Anderson. On Oct. 27, 2013, Dres Anderson’s cell phone began lighting up with text messages from friends imploring him to turn on the Cowboys-Lions game. Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson, they explained, was having an impossibly prolific day. By late in the fourth quarter, the All-Pro had gained 290 receiving yards.To Anderson, this more or less constituted a family emergency. After all, his father was Willie “Flipper” Anderson, the former Rams wideout who had set the record Johnson was chasing. In a primetime clash against the Saints on Nov. 26, 1989, Flipper had piled up 336 receiving yards, eclipsing the single-game NFL record of 309.Almost a quarter-century later, Flipper’s record was on the verge of being broken. “I’ve never rooted for the Cowboys in my life,” Dres tweeted that afternoon last fall, “but I pray they hold down Megatron for these last two minutes!!!”His prayers were answered. Despite hauling in two long passes during his team’s final, game-winning drive, Johnson finished with 329 yards, seven short of Flipper’s mark. “I thought it was going down,” Dres said recently. “Thankfully it didn’t.”It’s been 25 years since his historic night, and since then Flipper Anderson has become a piece of obscure sports trivia. He once even popped up as the answer to the $125,000 question — “What NFL player holds the record for most receiving yards gained in a single game?” — on a Super Bowl week episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”1The choices were: A. Randy Moss, B. Jerry Rice, C. Flipper Anderson, and D. Stephone Paige. After asking the audience, the majority of which guessed Rice, the contestant decided not to answer, instead walking away with a $64,000 prize. But reducing the accomplishment to game show fodder undersells its brilliance. Before defense-hindering rule changes and sophisticated scoring strategies led to the arcadization of offensive statistics, Anderson made “Tecmo Bowl” come to life.“Those weren’t short easy passes,” said then Rams quarterback Jim Everett. “He was going up in traffic, pulling them down and beating the corner. He had a special night.”How special? In 1989, Anderson’s teammate Henry Ellard averaged an NFL-best 98.7 receiving yards per game. In games where pass catchers had at least one reception, those catchers averaged 34.6 receiving yards.2While the NFL has become more pass happy, that figure actually hasn’t changed much. In 2013, pass catchers averaged 35.9 receiving yards in games where they had at least one reception. Anderson’s night was 9.0 standard deviations from the average.Football Outsiders editor-in-chief Aaron Schatz, whose site has compiled extensive data from every NFL season going back to 1989, said Anderson had “the best game of any receiver in our advanced stats. Period. By a significant amount.” To measure individual offensive output, FO uses a metric called Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement. That evening in New Orleans, Anderson racked up 160 receiving DYAR, the most in at least the last 25 years. Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith’s 141 DYAR in Week 2 of the 2000 season is the second-best total. The gap between those two performances is almost the difference between Smith’s and the list’s 10th best.3The seventh best, you’ll notice, is Anderson’s teammate, Ellard. Everett could sling it. As Schatz reminded me: “That’s a big gap.”The numbers show how impressive Anderson’s record was, but they don’t show the spectacular way he set it. For that, let’s go to the tape. Anderson played five more full seasons and parts of three more, gaining 100 or more yards in a game seven more times in his career, but never coming close to matching his performance in the Superdome. Then again, few have. Since November 1989, Terrell Owens (283), John Taylor (286), Jerry Rice (289), Jimmy Smith (291) and Johnson (329) all approached 336, but the record still belongs to Flipper.These days, he lives in the Atlanta area, coaches youth football, and follows his son Dres’s career. The University of Utah senior receiver, who recently suffered a season-ending knee injury, is an NFL prospect. If there’s one person Anderson would like to see rewrite the family history, it’s Dres. “It’s waiting there for you,” he’s told him. “Go get it.” What you don’t see in the above clip is the way ESPN closed the broadcast. It being 1989, the network cut to a quick shot of Anderson flashing the “I’m number one!” sign followed by a freeze frame of the record-setting receiver and teammate Aaron Cox leaping together for a giant high-five. For most of the night, the Rams looked hopeless. They piled up penalties, committed turnovers, and allowed Everett to take some nauseatingly vicious hits. With the Saints leading 17-3 in the fourth quarter, New Orleans defensive lineman Jumpy Geathers recovered Rams running back Greg Bell’s fumble. Everett said that across the country “you could hear every television click off.”If the game had ended at that moment, it still would’ve been a special night for Anderson. In 55 minutes of action, he had tallied career highs in catches (8) and yards (171). But then he caught a 46-yard pass and the Rams soon scored, making it 17-10. On the next Rams possession, Everett threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Anderson and it was tied.When the game reached overtime, L.A. simplified its strategy. “I didn’t care if they had two guys over there,” Everett said, “I’m finding a way to get it to Flipper.” By then, Anderson had 13 catches for 296 yards.During the Rams’ first overtime drive,7On that drive, Anderson also drew a 36-yard pass interference penalty. Anderson caught a short pass on a crossing route, shook trailing Saints cornerback Toi Cook, and sprinted toward the sideline for a 14-yard gain. ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Patrick quickly perked up. “Flipper Anderson has just set an NFL record: 310 yards receiving,” he said. “What a marvelous night.” Anderson erased a mark made by his friend, Chiefs receiver Stephone Paige, who in 1985 racked up 309 receiving yards in a game against the Chargers. But Flipper wasn’t finished.On third-and-11 from the Saints’ 40, Anderson lined up outside. After the snap, he made a quick inside move to gain a step on cornerback Milton Mack then ran straight ahead. Everett’s throw came high and fast, so he jumped up to corral it. With legs splayed and arms fully extended, the bare-handed Anderson made a fingertip grab. It was his best catch of the night.Saints defensive backs Mack and Dave Waymer tackled Anderson, but not before he reached the 14 yard line. At that moment, Anderson rolled over on his back and looked up at Waymer, who was standing over him. “I was just done,” Anderson said. “They had to come get me off the field.”He eventually made it to the bench, where cameras caught Ellard congratulating him. On the very next play, Lansford hit a 31-yard field goal to give the Rams a 20-17 victory. To those involved, processing the events of that evening 25 years ago still requires some suspension of disbelief. Anderson’s 336 receiving yards made up 29 percent of his season total.“You would think — 13 catches, over 300 yards — that during the game, you’d be like, ‘Man, this guy’s ballin’,” Cook said. “But it wasn’t that way. He was workmanlike. It wasn’t like he would get up and call attention to himself. It did not feel like 336 yards.”Anderson’s performance may have seemed workmanlike, but it was anything but. “There was no one better than Flipper that night,” said Everett, who in that game8Despite getting sacked six times in that game, Everett passed for a career high 454 yards. targeted the receiver 20 times. The numbers are still staggering: 13 of Anderson’s 15 catches produced a first down or a touchdown, and the ones that didn’t were still important: one went for 16 yards on second-and-20, and another went for 26 yards on second-and-32. For the most part, Anderson wasn’t simply turning short throws into big gains. By my count, 107 of his 336 yards came after the catch. In today’s NFL, where quick passing has all but replaced the running game, his screw-it-I’m-going-deep style would be rare. His 20.1 career yards per reception still ranks fourth in league history.Amazingly, Anderson’s 336-yard game wasn’t his most memorable accomplishment of that season. On Jan. 7, 1990, in overtime of a divisional playoff game against the Giants at the Meadowlands, he caught a 30-yard touchdown pass, and without breaking stride, ran into the tunnel and into the visitors’ locker room.9Anderson said it was Cox’s idea. “When the game went to overtime, he brought it up first. He said, ‘If I catch it, I’m going to the tunnel.’ I said, “Ooh, if I catch it, I’m going to the tunnel, too.’” read more

Female cop murdered in TT

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon yesterday expressed deep concern following the discovery of WPC Nyasha Joseph’s body, but urged the population not to give up hope in the fight against crime.WPC Nyasha Joseph (Trinidad Express photo)However, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Glenda Jennings-Smith, said the news of Joseph’s death had left her “saddened and shaken.”Jennings-Smith said the job of a police officer was always dangerous and when they left home in the morning they were not sure to return to their family at nights since they could be killed in the line of duty.“It is not the first time a woman police officer has been killed in these types of circumstances,” said Jennings-Smith, a former assistant commissioner of police, adding Joseph worked at the Morvant Police Station, which was a crime hotspot.It was during the Parliament tea break that Dillon confirmed Joseph’s body had been found by a fisherman at the mouth of the Caroni River.“He (fisherman) found this heavy weight in his net and then they called on the Coast Guard that was in the Sea Lots area that was part of the operations this morning and the Coast Guard subsequently sent a vessel down to the area where the fisherman found the weight in the net. We just got confirmation that it was WPC Joseph,” Dillon told reporters.A team of divers went into the water and retrieved Joseph’s body, Dillon said. He could not say how Joseph died.“We don’t have that information as yet. Investigations will be ongoing to determine, of course, the cause of death.”He said one person of interest had since been held and the investigation was continuing.Admitting the news was sad, Dillon offered condolences to Joseph’s mother, family and four-year-old daughter.“It’s a very sad time in my mind. I don’t feel nice when any citizen dies, quite frankly. Whenever someone dies, or is killed or murdered in Trinidad and Tobago I don’t feel good about it at all.”Asked what he would tell citizens who have been feeling a sense of hopelessness in the police’s inability to fight crime, Dillon replied, “I don’t think they should feel a sense of hopelessness because the police would not put their hands up in the air and give up the fight against crime and criminality in Trinidad and Tobago. Neither would I as Minister of National Security…neither would the Government. I don’t feel that citizen themselves would put their hands up in the air in frustration. If we do that is to die ourselves.”While he admitted that the average person would be impacted by discovery of the body, Dillon said counselling would be provided to Joseph’s colleagues at the Morvant Police Station who worked with her closely. (Trinidad Guardian)  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCouple charged with murder of young T&T policewomanMarch 20, 2017In “Crime”Cop, soldier gunned down in T&TMay 24, 2016In “Crime”T&T family in dark over motive for triple murdersNovember 7, 2016In “Crime” read more

Google Play tablet hinted at by domain registrations

first_imgKeeping an upcoming device as a secret is no small task. There are usually so many parties involved in the planning and production stages that avoiding leaks is nearly impossible. Sometimes even the smallest things can tip your hand. Like, for example, a domain registration.MarkMonitor, a brand protection firm that anonymously registers domains for big companies, just registered several “Google Play”-related domains. Judging by the accompanying keywords (downloads, apps, games, movies, etc.), it looks like Google Play is going to be a multitouch mobile device. Like, you know: a tablet.Could this be the rumored 7-inch Google tablet that Eric Schmidt first let out of the bag a couple of months ago? He said that it would be a Google-branded tablet “of the highest quality.” Later leaks suggested that it would be more of a budget 7-inch Kindle Fire competitor than a 10-inch iPad rival.Of course, it would be silly to think that a few domain registrations confirm the name of an unannounced tablet. We don’t even have confirmation that MarkMonitor was working on behalf of Google.Even so, signs are pointing in that direction. MarkMonitor works with lots of big companies: “over half of the Fortune 500,” according to its website. Some of its clients that have been made public include Time Warner, FedEx, and World Wrestling Entertainment. Would such a big company with relationships with many major corporations register Google-related domains for someone else? It doesn’t sound likely.So, though this is far from confirmation, we wouldn’t be shocked to see a Google Play tablet hitting the market soon. The 7-inch slate is rumored to have 1280×800 resolution, run Ice Cream Sandwich, and (possibly) run Google’s rumored Siri rival, Majel. Recent rumors said that it would go into production next month.via Fusible, via Slashgearlast_img read more

Tsipras lastgasp effort at deal

first_imgGreece’s new Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras travel to Brussels on Tuesday with the aim of keeping the country in the eurozone but with most of its partners seeming to have decided that an exit would be more preferable.Tsakalotos was sworn in on Monday night after replacing Yanis Varoufakis at the Finance Ministry. The outgoing flamboyant economist said he was stepping aside to assist Tsipras’s efforts to reach an agreement with lenders.Tsipras took part on Monday in a meeting of political leaders chaired by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. The heads of all the parties (bar Golden Dawn’s Nikos Michaloliakos) discussed the government’s plans for securing a deal with the institutions for several hours.Sources said that Tsipras informed his counterparts that the coalition would propose a deal based on the most recent set of proposals published by the European Commission.The premier is thought to have said Athens will also ask for the more gradual implementation of some measures.It is not clear if the government is willing to add to this set of proposals, which could prove a stumbling block as the deterioration of the economy, which has been accelerated by capital controls, means that a larger fiscal adjustment is needed.Following the meeting, all the leaders who took part (with the exception of the Communist Party’s Dimitris Koutsoubas) signed a joint statement insisting that they want Greece to remain in the eurozone.“The recent verdict of the Greek people is not a mandate for rupture, but a mandate to continue and strengthen the effort to reach a socially fair and economically viable deal,” the parties said in the statement, which also called for liquidity to be restore to the banking system and discussions about debt relief to begin.Tsipras also spoke on the phone on Monday to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.Varoufakis, a controversial figure since his appointment in January, will not be part of the negotiations following his resignation on Monday morning. “Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners,’ for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement,” Varoufakis wrote on his personal blog yesterday morning.His successor, the more mild-mannered Tsakalotos, admitted that he faces a daunting task. “I cannot hide from you that I am quite nervous. I am not taking on this job at the easiest point in Greek history,” he said during last night’s handover ceremony.According to sources in Brussels, 16 of the other 18 countries in the eurozone are in favor of letting Greece leave the eurozone and they will have to weigh up the cost of any agreement to keep Athens in the single currency.Merkel, who was in Paris on Monday to discuss the Greek crisis with French President Francois Hollande ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of eurozone leaders, said she expected Athens to present reform proposals to creditors without delay.“It will be important tomorrow that the Greek prime minister tells us how things should proceed and what precise suggestions he can submit to us for a medium-term program that will lead Greece to prosperity and growth again,” Merkel said, adding that “time is of the essence.”Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert appeared less conciliatory, saying that the conditions are “not there at present to enter negotiations on a new program.” He said the “no” vote in the Greek referendum opposed the principle that “solidarity requires countries to take responsibility.”Hollande struck a similar tone to Merkel’s, saying “the door is open for discussion” and calling on Tsipras to offer “serious, credible proposals so that this willingness to stay in the eurozone can translate into a lasting program.” The French leader stressed that “time is running out and there is urgency, urgency for Greece and urgency for Europe.” He added that although there is room for solidarity in Europe, “there is also a balance between responsibility and solidarity, which must be our course of action in the coming days.”France’s Finance Minister Michel Sapin suggested that Paris would support debt relief for Greece if Tsipras presents “serious” conditions for a new bailout package.Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he was in favor of further aid for Greece but not without “responsibility” and reforms from Athens. “What matters is that Greece knows we are willing to help… but the key is that in exchange the reforms necessary for growth and job creation are carried out,” Rajoy said.In Brussels, meanwhile, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters that there was no easy way for Greece to emerge from its crisis and the referendum result had broadened the gap between Greece and other eurozone countries. Still, he expressed very cautious optimism. “If all sides are working seriously, it’s possible to find a solution, even in this very complicated situation.”Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Armed robber targets Weston gas station

first_imgWESTON, Fla. (WSVN) — Police are investigating an armed robbery at a Weston gas station.A man, wearing a hoodie, stormed into the gas station and ordered the clerk to open two registers. With cash in hand, the crook took off.It happened at the Shell near Southwest 14th Street and North Park Drive in Weston on May 20.He may have robbed a Davie gas station the day before.If you have any information here, call the Broward Sheriff’s Office or the Davie Police Department.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Will users find LinkedIns Trending Storylines interesting

first_imgWorld’s largest professional network LinkedIn is here to keep its more than 400 million users engaged and spend more time on the site by suggesting topics that they might find interesting. It has launched a new feature called Trending Storylines to provide its users a window to go deeper into the topics of their interest, which will in turn expand its horizon in advertising department.Trending Storylines curates interest-based feeds that provide developing stories to users with an aim to help them discover and discuss news, ideas, and diverse perspectives from professionals, publishers and editorial voices.Also read: Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn cleared by EU commission”Over the past year, we have completely rebuilt the LinkedIn Feed experience. We redesigned it from scratch so you can fully curate your professional experience to keep you informed on top conversations from people you are following and your connections,” said LinkedIn in a statement.It went on to say that the company, which has been acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion in June 2016, has seen over 40 percent increase in year-over-year engaged feed sessions weekly and “referral traffic to some of our top publishers on LinkedIn has doubled or tripled in that same time range.”The Trending Storylines helped the company in engaging with the users better as it feeds personalized trending stories based on what the site knows about them like their profession, helps users discover, learn and explore more about the story being discussed within each storyline, and helps the members see a perspective shared by a renowned healthcare expert, an article in a top medical magazine, or a similar post shared by someone you follow. You can also join the conversation through the hashtags created for each story.LinkedIn uses algorithms and its editorial team to bring Trending Storylines to its users. The users will also be able to follow people and interesting topics within storylines.last_img read more

In Colombia Pence Tries To Strike Balance On Venezuela

first_img Share NASAFrom the photo archive: Vice President Mike PenceDemonstrating the delicate balancing act that has come to define his vice presidency, Mike Pence tried to strike a balance Sunday in Colombia between Latin American opposition to possible U.S. military intervention in neighboring Venezuela, and President Donald Trump’s surprising refusal to rule out that option.Speaking during a joint news conference with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos shortly after his arrival in Latin America, Pence also declined to rule out possible military action against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, whose efforts to consolidate power in the country have drawn alarm. Still, Pence stressed the U.S. would much prefer what he called a “peaceable” solution to the growing political and humanitarian crisis.“President Trump is a leader who says what he means and means what he says,” Pence said. “But the president sent me here to continue to marshal the unprecedented support of countries across Latin America to achieve by peaceable means the restoration of democracy in Venezuela, and we believe it is achievable by those means.”Trump’s startling comments Friday sparked backlash across the region, including from Venezuela’s chief opposition coalition and the Colombian government.Standing at Pence’s side in Cartagena after a joint meeting, Santos said he had repeatedly told Pence in no uncertain terms that the U.S. must not even consider military action in response to Venezuela’s crisis.The two countries are important allies, Santos said. “But since friends have to tell each other the truth, I have told Vice President Pence that the possibility of a military intervention shouldn’t even be considered, neither in Colombia nor in Latin America,” Santos said through a translator. “America is a continent of peace. It is the land of peace. Let us preserve it as such.”Analysists said Trump’s comments played into Maduro’s hands by awakening dark memories of U.S. intervention in the region and making it harder for other Latin American countries to join the anti-Maduro coalition. “The phantom of military interventions in Latin America disappeared a long time ago, and we don’t want it to return,” Santos said.Pence emphasized the U.S. will work together with many nations in Venezuela’s “neighborhood” to pressure Maduro so that Venezuela’s democracy can be restored.“We simply will not accept the emergence of a dictatorship in our hemisphere,” he said, continuing the tough talk that has been Trump’s approach to Maduro. “The United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles,” he said.Pence also addressed the deadly violence that broke out Saturday during a march by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, using words the president would not. “We have no tolerance for hate and violence, white supremacists or neo-Nazis or the KKK,” Pence said. “These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”Trump has been criticized by both Democrats and Republicans for not singling out those groups directly in a lengthy Saturday statement and instead blaming “many sides” for the violence.Pence insisted the president had “clearly and unambiguously condemned the bigotry, violence and hatred which took place on the streets of Charlottesville” and blamed the media for the criticism. “We should be putting the attention where it belongs, and that is on these extremist groups that need to be pushed out of the public debate entirely,” he said.Pence also addressed the spike in coca production in the Colombia, saying the worsening crisis required “swift action to protect the people of both our countries.” A July report from the United Nations showed that coca production in Colombia had reached levels not seen in two decades, complicating Colombia’s efforts to make its vast, lawless countryside more secure.Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami lashed out at Pence, rejecting what he called “interventionist” comments intended to hide the failure of US anti-narcotics policies in Colombia. He dismissed Pence’s meeting with Santos as “an encounter between the world’s largest producer of drugs and the nation with the most consumers.”El Aissami was sanctioned by the Trump administration in February for allegedly running a drug trafficking network of corrupt officials in Venezuela.Pence and his wife, Karen, arrived Sunday in Colombia for a six-day, four-country trip through the region. Pence has other stops scheduled in Argentina, Chile and Panama, giving speeches and meeting with leaders.White House officials tried Sunday to explain Trump’s decision to raise the prospect of possible military action in Venezuela.CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Trump was trying “to give the Venezuelan people hope and opportunity to create a situation where democracy can be restored.” Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday” that Venezuela “could very much become a risk” to the U.S. if it descended into further chaos.Yet a Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee who calls himself “a pretty hawkish guy” expressed skepticism about the idea of American troops in Caracas.“I have no idea why we would use military force in Venezuela. I’m open-minded to a reason, but at the end of the day, our military should be deployed when there’s a national security interest that can be articulated to the American people,” South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham told “‘Fox News Sunday,” adding: “I don’t see one in Venezuela in terms of the military force.”Trump’s national security adviser, who has previously warned against military talk, said the Trump administration wants to get a handle on the current situation under Maduro’s embattled government and “understand better how this crisis might evolve.”“The president never takes options off the table in any of these situations and what we owe him are options,” McMaster told ABC’s “This Week.”The U.S. has imposed sanctions against Maduro and more than two dozen current and former officials in response to a crackdown on opposition leaders and the recent election of a pro-government assembly given the job of rewriting the country’s constitution.Venezuela’s chief opposition coalition issued a restrained criticism of Trump’s talk of using a “military option.” The coalition rejected “the use of force or threats of applying the same in Venezuela on the part of any country.” But the coalition’s statement didn’t directly mention Trump’s remarks.___Associated Press writer Joshua Goodman in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.___Reach Jill Colvin on Twitter at http://twitter.com/colvinjlast_img read more

Zeus to Bow Comedies From DeStorm Power BlameItOnKway Michael Blackson on SubscriptionVideo

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Influencer-driven subscription video service Zeus is set to premiere three new original comedies this fall starring social-media stars DeStorm Power, BlameItOnKway and Michael Blackson.The $3.99-per-month service, launched this past July, is geared around a diverse, millennial-targeted slate of premium content starring and produced by popular creators. Zeus was co-founded last year by a trio of top social-media personalities — DeStorm Power, Amanda Cerny and King Bach — and TV producer Lemuel Plummer, who serves as president and CEO.Comedy series “Bad Escorts,” created by and starring DeStorm Power, hits Zeus on Oct. 20. Power plays a pizza-delivery man who, along with his also-struggling-to-make-ends-meet buddies form a male escort service, managed by their mutual friend Candice. After achieving a little success despite no proper training, the motley crew must learn to adapt to the unfamiliar world of male escorts. Popular on Variety Power, who also serves as co-president of Zeus, received a 2018 Emmy nomination for actor in a short-form comedy or drama series for the streaming service’s “Caught” season one, billed as a “hip-hopera.”BlameItOnKway’s “Titi Do You Love Me?”, premiering Nov. 4, was created by and stars the social-media comedian (whose real name is Kwaylon Rogers) in his first Zeus original series. BlameItOnKway has nearly 4 million followers and counts Tyler Perry, Rihanna and Kylie Jenner among his fans.BlameItOnKway made a cameo as his Titi alter-ego in Janet Jackson’s tribute to her brother Michael Jackson’s video “Remember The Time,” featuring her new single “Made for Now” — and now Titi is getting a show of her own. In “Titi Do You Love Me?” the self-proclaimed (and wholly delusional) queen of beauty, style and grace is now looking for her king to fill her life. Through a series of outrageous competitions for the seven-round elimination process, the selected bachelors do their best — or worst — to be the last man standing to claim Titi as their queen.The third new show, “Dr. Blackson,” stars Ghanaian-born comedian-actor Michael Blackson (“Next Friday”) and premieres Nov. 10. Dr. Blackson is untrained, unlicensed and uncertified — but none of that matters to his roster of troubled clients. The “advice” series is an extension of Blackson’s popular “Advice Column” segments on his Instagram page, which has 3.3 million followers.Previous Zeus original series that have already launched include “Caught” season two starring and written by DeStorm Power; “A Taste of Dance with Amanda Cerny”; “Your Best Life,” starring and produced by King Bach; “The Lab Ratz,” starring, written and produced by Ry Doon, Luke Flipp and Marlon Webb; and “The Scholarship,” starring Young Ezee and Natalie Odell.Zeus is available on iOS and Android mobile phones and desktop computers at thezeusnetwork.com.Watch the trailers for Zeus’ “Bad Escorts” and “Titi Do You Love Me?” Pictured above (l. to r.): DeStorm Power, BlameItOnKway, Michael Blackson last_img read more

Holland America celebrates 70 years in Alaska

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted by Friday, April 21, 2017 Travelweek Group center_img SEATTLE — Holland America is celebrating 70 years of Alaska exploration this year with special experiences and events on every Alaska cruise and on the popular Land+Sea Journeys.“Celebrating 70 years in Alaska — or any destination — is a milestone that isn’t often seen in our industry. We are especially proud to have been the first tour company in Alaska back in 1947, showing the beauty and greatness of this region to travelers, said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Going into 2017 we wanted to mark our anniversary in a memorable way with special experiences that add an extra dimension to our robust Alaska programming and bring even more of Alaska to our guests.”In partnership with BBC Earth, the cruise line will debut a new Alaska in Concert multimedia production, which combines live music set against a backdrop of footage from the BBC Earth television series ‘Wild Alaska’. Plus, Holland America continues its long relationship with the Huna indigenous people of Glacier Bay to showcase Native Voices, a program of Huna cultural interpretation while cruising through Glacier Bay National Park.More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughtsThe anniversary will also be commemorated with a new Alaska-centric menu and exclusive culinary offerings. America’s Test Kitchen will feature top tips to select and prepare regional favourites through its Every Salmon shipboard cooking show, while Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff will be on hand to create ‘Midnight Sun’ cocktails.The main dining room will showcase customized menus that celebrate the cruise line’s Alaska heritage with new dishes created by Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin and the company’s Culinary Council. A 70th Anniversary Baked Alaska will be the culmination of the celebratory meal.Moreover, brewing beer – though not easily done in Alaska – is growing in popularity and has become one of the more popular highlights onboard. Holland America currently features beers by Alaska Brewing Co., both on the menus and during tastings. For the 70th anniversary, the company will introduce a customized Holland America Pale Ale, while another exclusive anniversary beer by Denali Brewing Company will be available at Denali for guests on Land+Sea Journeys.More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyOther special anniversary touches on 2017 Alaska cruises include a themed bon voyage party with a champagne toast, and a commemorative backpack for Land+Sea Journey guests.Starting this spring, ms Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms NOordam, ms Oosterdam, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam will offer a total of 135 Alaska departures, more than any other cruise line. Holland America Line will feature 126 seven-day cruises and nine 14-day Great Land Explorer sailings beginning in late April and running through late September. Holland America celebrates 70 years in Alaska Tags: Holland America Linelast_img read more

Brussels asks Cyprus to address inefficiencies in public sector

first_imgThe European Commission said that Cyprus should continue its course towards fiscal consolidation and address inefficiencies in the public sector, including healthcare, education and judiciary and also address corruption in addition to resuming efforts to modernise the economy and labour market and strengthen its financial sector.The Cypriot government which should stick to the medium term 2018 budgetary objective of generating a fiscal surplus of 0.4 per cent of economic output, as much as last year and half as much it is projecting in 2017, the EU Commission said in its country specific recommendations on its website on Monday.The government, which is facing re-election next year, should by year-end improve the efficiency of the public sector, including the governance in state-owned entities and local administration bodies, the Commission said.The December deadline expires a year after the parliament rejected the bulk of a bundle of reform bills prepared by then Undersecretary to the President and now Minister of Interior Constantinos Petrides, aiming at overhauling human resource management in the public sector.“Despite having one of the euro area’s highest wage bills -as a percentage of gross domestic product-, the Cypriot public sector remains characterised by inefficiencies,” the Commission said.Brussels also asked Cyprus to modernise “the judicial system by modernising civil procedures, implementing appropriate information systems and increasing the specialisation of courts”.As part of the reform of the judiciary, Cyprus should also take action to lift obstacles preventing the full implementation of the insolvency and foreclosure legislative framework. These became effective in 2015, as part of the reforms agreed with international creditors in exchange for a bailout aiming at addressing strategic defaults and reducing non-performing loans.The Commission also recommends that Cyprus take action over the next two-year period to accelerate the reduction of non-performing loans, which account for roughly half of the banks’ loan portfolio and threaten financial stability “by setting related quantitative and time-bound targets for banks and ensuring accurate valuation of collateral for provisioning purposes”.Authorities should also create the conditions for the secondary non-performing loan market to function and “integrate and strengthen the supervision of insurance companies and pension funds,” the Commission said. Further, Cyprus should improve the protection of property rights by making the title deed issue more reliable and speed up the process.The country specific recommendations also include references to the necessity of resuming the privatisation programme, which provided for the sale of state-telecom Cyta and the government, abandoned in face of strong political and union opposition early last year. With respect to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, which the government removed from its privatisation list a year earlier, Cyprus should split it in two by the end of 2017.The government went ahead in late last year in the unbundling of accounts of the power producer, splitting it into one part in charge of generation and supply and another responsible for transmission and distribution, but maintaining the company as one entity.Cyprus should also do more to help accelerate investment and improve access to finance, to increase the capacity of public employment services and the effectiveness of labour market policies as the unemployment rate remains in the double digits.“Unemployment is decreasing but remains high, especially among young people and the long-term unemployed,” the EU Commission commented. “Plans to increase the numbers of counsellors in public employment services and improve their specialisation have not yet been implemented. Moreover, their recruitment is likely to occur on temporary contracts, therefore not addressing the challenge in structural terms”.“There is still insufficient capacity to meet the needs of jobseekers, especially those having more difficulties to integrate in the labour market, and to put in place outreach measures for their activation,” it continued. “The impact of active labour market programmes and income support schemes continues to be constrained by limited quality assessment and follow-up measures”.The EU commission also recommended that Cyprus, which in 2015 was the worst performer among EU countries in an international comparison of secondary school student performance, introduce a system to evaluate public school teachers.Also, by end-2017, Cyprus should adopt legislation to reform its public healthcare sector and introduce the national healthcare scheme and so provide universal health care coverage to its citizens.In a first reaction, finance minister Harris Georgiades said that the EU Commission was no longer demanding additional budget cuts, which was in reference to a previous position of EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici.“The European Commission’s recommendations with respect to Cyprus’s 2017 national reform programme are to a great extent streamlined with the government’s priorities,” he said in an emailed statement. “Undoubtedly, ensuring competitiveness and the growth prospect requires a continuous reform effort”.Georgiades added that the Commission lists Cyprus as the third best performer in implementing the country specific recommendations, right behind Denmark and Finland.Germany, Luxembourg and Slovakia are considered the worst performers, according to the document forwarded to the press by the finance ministry.The finance minister added that the Eurogroup, the euro area finance minister body, noted that Cyprus is on a recovery course, supported by stronger employment, consumption and investment figures, and added that growth is forecast to continue over the next two-year period.You May LikeClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndoFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? 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Health care reforms going ahead with efficient time management

first_imgBy Constantinos PsillidesTHE government is taking the first step towards improving state provided health care, with the head of Nicosia General Hospital Petros Matsas announcing yesterday that a number of changes in the current service system will take place in three weeks time.The changes aim at better resource management and reducing waiting periods for patients.“We still have a lot of issues to resolve but we are making progress. I think we can find solutions to those problems,” said Matsas, speaking to state broadcaster CyBC.One of the changes will be the creation of a minor injuries department that will deal with non-vital emergencies such as insect bites and light injuries, instead of directing all the patients to the casualty department. According to Matsas, the casualty department will only deal with serious cases that require hospitalisation or intensive care.Improved bed management is also a new focus of the changes being introduced at both Nicosia General and the Makarion hospital.Matsas said that a pilot programme that run for a month saved the hospital €51,000 by establishing a pre-operation unit.The unit was responsible for completing all required preparation procedures, such as blood analyses or chest x-rays. Matsas told CyBC that just by completing the procedures beforehand, the hospital saved one bed for each patient who up until then had to stay in the hospital for a night prior to the operation.He said the two hospitals will also introduce an automated bed availability programme, so that every doctor referring a patient will instantly know whether there are beds available.As regards long waiting periods, Matsas referred to the Pap smear test for women, saying that under the new system, appointments can now be made within two weeks, instead of the eight month that applied before.Changes at both hospitals are part of the government’s general plan to introduce the much-delayed National Health Scheme.Concluding the NHS plan was one of the demands set down by the Troika of international lenders who bailed out the Cyprus economy with the condition that far reaching public sector reforms and efficiencies would be introduced.The NHS has been in the works for quite some time but implementing it proved impossible due to reaction by the doctors and nurses unions.During the second troika review, the government managed to obtain an extension on presenting a plan which would see the final introduction of the NHS. This was done in order to ensure the NHS would not further burden vulnerable groups to the point that they would not be able to afford public medical care.According to the conditions of the bailout, the NHS would need to be introduced by the end of 2015 and for that reason the troika had asked the government to present a detailed plan by this month.A troika delegation is expected on the island for its third review on January 28 and will leave on February 12.You May LikeDr. Marty ProPower Plus Supplement3 Dangerous Foods People Feed Their Dogs (Without Realizing It)Dr. Marty ProPower Plus SupplementUndoUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementAdd This One Thing To Your Dog’s Food To Help Them Be HealthierUltimate Pet Nutrition Nutra Thrive SupplementUndoAngels And EntrepreneursRobert Herjavec Announce Venture Could Make You RichAngels And EntrepreneursUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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