Tunis: Leaders meeting in Tunisia for the annual Arab League summit on Sunday were united in their condemnation of Trump administration policies seen as unfairly biased toward Israel but divided on a host of other issues, including whether to readmit founding member Syria. This year’s summit comes against a backdrop of ongoing wars in Syria and Yemen, rival authorities in Libya and a lingering boycott of Qatar by four fellow League members. Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir skipped the meeting as they contend with mass protests against their long reigns. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USRepresentatives from the 22-member league minus Syria aim to jointly condemn President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israeli control over the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 war, and Trump’s decision last year to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. At the opening of the summit, King Salman said Saudi Arabia “absolutely rejects any measures undermining Syria’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights” and supports the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe added that Iran’s meddling was to blame for instability in the region. One of the few things that have united the Arab League over the last 50 years is the rejection of Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights as well as east Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories seized in the 1967 war that the Palestinians want for their future state. The international community, including the United States, largely shared that position until Trump upended decades of US policy by moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem last year and recognizing Israel’s 1981 annexation of the strategic Golan plateau earlier this month. The Arab leaders meeting in Tunisia are expected to issue a statement condemning those moves but are unlikely to take any further action. That’s in part because regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have cultivated close ties with the Trump administration, viewing it as a key ally against their main rival, Iran. Both face Western pressure over their devastating three-year war with Yemen’s Houthi rebels, and Riyadh is still grappling with the fallout from the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents last year. Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said Saturday that Arab ministers had voiced support in a preparatory meeting for a declaration that Trump’s Golan move violates the UN Charter, which prohibits acquiring territories by force. In Syria, small protests against Trump’s Golan move were held in different parts of the country and state media criticized the Arab summit. “The Golan is not awaiting support from the Arabs, and not a statement to condemn what Trump has done,” the Thawra newspaper said in an editorial that accused Arab leaders of taking their orders from the US and Israel. The Arab League is expected to consider readmitting Syria, a founding member that was expelled in the early days of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad. But officials speaking ahead of the meeting said it was unlikely Syria would be welcomed back anytime soon. The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Damascus last year, and other Arab states have expressed support for restoring relations. But Saudi Arabia and Qatar have actively supported the rebels trying to overthrow Assad, and many other states view his government as an Iranian proxy that should continue to be shunned. In a rare sign of easing tensions across another regional rift, King Salman and Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sat at the same sprawling table when the heads of delegations met Sunday. It was the first time the two leaders have appeared in the same room since Saudi Arabia led the boycott of Qatar nearly two years ago over Doha’s ties to Iran and its support for regional Islamist groups.
In an address to the debate, Mr. Topi said any political, economic, military or diplomatic effort against Kosovo’s consolidation as a State “would be a hopeless attempt against the integrating processes towards NATO and the European Union.“It would be a regressive move against foreign investments and progress which we need so direly,” he added.Mr. Topi said “this new political, economical and social reality” that is Kosovo is an irreversible development, adding that formal recognition of it as a State “is to the interest of Kosovo, of Albania, of Serbia and of all its close and distant neighbours, of Europe and Mediterranean space.”He said the independence move would help with efforts in the region to promote the rule of law, encourage long-term peace and stability and spur closer integration with the rest of Europe.“The independence of Kosovo finally frees this part of Europe from the nightmare of war, of inter-ethnic conflicts, of ethnic cleansing and genocide; it fulfils and respects the free will of a people to break free from the political oppression, from historical injustices and inability to develop.”The President noted that Albania was helping the people and government of Kosovo – where ethnic Albanians outnumber other groups by nine to one – to build a society that is genuinely democratic, secular and multi-ethnic.He added that he was confident that the precise role of the UN peacekeeping mission to Kosovo, known as UNMIK, would soon be reconfigured to take account of the changed circumstances. 24 September 2008Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia earlier this year, deserves to be a United Nations Member State as soon as possible, Albanian President Bamir Topi told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate tonight.
President Maithripala Sirisena today said that a new Parliament will be in place by September this year.Speaking to media heads this morning, the President said that Parliament will be dissolved after an agreement is reached on the 20th Amendment to the constitution and the Constitutional Council. The current government which came into power following elections held in January was mandated to be in power only for 100 days which ended last month. Sirisena said that when he came to power, his main goal was to reduce some of the powers given to the President and hand it over to Parliament.He added that his next aim is to obtain support for a new electoral system for which discussions are now underway.“Everything is now in the hands of the Parliament. We will be having talks this week on the electoral reforms and we hope to get them approved,” he said. The President did not say when Parliament will be dissolved and when elections will be held but he was confident that the outstanding issues will be addressed and elections will be held soon.One of the mandates given to the new government was to implement key constitutional reforms, part of which have already been approved by Parliament. “There are some pending issues to be addressed by the current Parliament. Once those issues are addressed Parliament will be dissolved and elections will be held. We should have a new Parliament by September,” he said. Differences of opinion had arisen within Sirisena’s coalition government over the past few days over the proposed electoral reforms with minor political parties saying the proposals may not favour them. (Colombo Gazette)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedStaff shortage cannot be an excuse for breaches – AliMarch 4, 2017In “latest news”PAC grills REO’s as major discrepancies found in several RegionsApril 11, 2017In “latest news”Drug purchases in Region 7 placed under PAC’s microscopeApril 16, 2018In “latest news” The need to recruit staff to fill administrative positions was highlighted yesterday, when the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) held an extraordinary meeting with Regional Officials.The necessity for staff, particularly in the financial departments of the regional Administrations was brought to the PAC’s attention by the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Communities, Emile Mc Garrel.Regional officials during the Public Accounts Committee MeetingPS Mc Garrel informed the meeting at Parliament Buildings, that there are three chief accountants instead of the required 10. This issue was among several that came to the fore during discussions about lapses and errors in regional administrations, in terms of handling procurement, contracts and finances.PS Mc Garrel opined that the regional financial management system was negatively affected. He cited the example of the National Regional Accounting Unit which currently operates at 14 percent of its full staffing strength. The PS said an assessment showed that 260 staff members were required for effective management, but only 150 persons were employed in the unit.The PAC was also informed that the need for staff was critical at the authorisation and certification levels in Regional Administrations. Mc Garrel described this as, “Levels with responsibilities for checks and balances, the controls, to ensure the laws and regulations and that circulars are observed and expenditures for regional councils are in keeping with the requirements.”These challenges, he added, are further amplified at regional oversight and administrative levels.The meeting was also notified by Mc Garrel, of the need for more Finance Secretaries, pointing out that up to a maximum of 40 accountants are needed, but there are only six.He urged that immediate steps be taken to boost the system so it will be able to serve the residents, in the delivery of services being sought regionally.Previously, the Regional Officials met with Ministry officials on the same day, for discussions on the financial management structures. One of the issues brought to the fore during those discussions was the need for better inventory and internal control, across the Regions, in addition to having the work of storekeepers and field auditors be upgraded.In closing, Mc Garrel stated that the Ministry of Communities was aware of the problems and challenges. These were among issues addressed during a Regional consultation forum held earlier this year.The PAC has the responsibilities to examine the audited accounts, as presented in the Auditor General’s Report, showing the appropriation of sums granted by the National Assembly to meet public expenditure, and such other accounts laid before the Assembly, and to exercise general supervision over the functioning of the Auditor General in accordance with the Rules, Policies and Procedures Manual and any other law.It also nominates members of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) for approval by the National Assembly, and thereafter, the appointment by the President and to determine the emoluments and allowances of the PPC members in consultation with the Commission. (GINA)
Multotec Group will demonstrate its in-depth knowledge and understanding of industry relevant topics and trends at this year’s Electra Mining Africa (EMA) exhibition. In combination with a range of technologically innovative equipment solutions on display, the group will showcase its ability to assist the mining industry to achieve its minerals processing goals.Multotec is offering an added value attraction to its EMA stand, hosting a series of talks, presentations and panel discussions at regular intervals throughout the week to educate the sector and highlight its technological expertise across various minerals processing applications. The events will be presented by a number of local and international speakers from within the Multotec stable, as well as various industry and institutional partners.All visitors are welcome to join and experience Multotec’s reputation as an industry expert with the ability to deliver market-driven solutions. Full presentation and panel discussion schedules will be available on the Multotec website – www.multotec.com – and via the various EMA platforms.Multotec will also have a wide range of its proprietary technologies and solution driven equipment on display at EMA to demonstrate its high level minerals processing expertise.Multotec’s approach to technology management, supported with a test facility focused on innovation and verification, is a reflection of its business philosophy – to differentiate itself with a professional knowledge of process technology, pioneering products and solutions as well as excellent service.Multotec will use EMA as a platform to showcase its research and development (R&D) capabilities as well as the test work facilities it has available in South Africa.Unplanned shutdowns, which often result in the costly loss of production hours, can be avoided using Multotec’s Hawkeye predictive maintenance services. This forms part of Multotec’s service offering for customers. Precise measurements based on wear rate history facilitate consumption projections with accurate timeline predictions for parts replacement, thereby ensuring maximum equipment performance and availability.Multotec has developed a state-of-the-art technology which allows customers to monitor milling performance. Having recognised that this particular circuit can directly impact downstream recoveries, Multotec will highlight how its customised, integrated linear measurement reporting system delivers this functionality which will ultimately help improve the overall performance of any processing plant.The group has the in-house flexibility to optimise the performance of any screen by customising a solution specific to the needs of individual applications. There are no limits to its capabilities in this processing area with a range of products that extends from polyurethane to rubber and wedgewire.The MATO mechanical belt fastening system, produced using 75% local content, can deliver a seamless joint in less than 30 minutes, which is considerably less than the traditional hot splice method which can take up to six hours. Again, this solution from Multotec is assisting its customers reduce operational downtime. The system’s Lacer Head is interchangeable throughout its range of fasteners and lacing beds which reduces the number of tools and parts needed on hand. The MATO Wavemaster specifically guarantees straight and smooth belt joints flawlessly and consequently eliminates joint failure.The primary and diagonal conveyor belt cleaners are part of Multotec’s comprehensive offering which ensures the highest belt operational availability. On the back of significant success with the product, it introduced the MATO secondary belt cleaner which incorporates the unique, quick-change M-Track technology which features a slide-on-blade that further reduces maintenance downtime.Multotec will showcase its T-range series of 26” (T660) cyclones at EMA. These cyclones are ideal for brownfield operations, an area which is rapidly gaining momentum in the mining industry in a low capital expenditure environment.The slurry pump range on show can be customised to suit specific operational requirements. Impeller material flexibility assists in this process and further ensures optimal performance from the pump across any application.The Multotec DTV range of vertical spindle pumps features a cast y-piece that lasts up to three times longer than traditional components, thereby reducing overall cost of ownership.The entire range is fully supported in South Africa through Multotec’s local R&D service and facilities.The rotating cone sampler is a patented Multotec technology which overcomes the limitations of fixed cutter or pressure pipe probe designs.Sample integrity is enhanced due to its proportional design which provides on-line analysers with accurate sampler designs which take continuous full stream samples (and not portions of it) to deliver precise results on a continuous
← Previous Story THW Kiel and Milutin Dragicevic – The End! Next Story → Christiansen ended career – Thank you, Lars! Alpla HC HardAustrian handballHit Tirol handball Decisive, third match of the Championship Play Off Final in Austria will take place on Friday in Hard. Results in Final series is 1:1 and 2.500 spectators will watch an extremely interesting clash between Alpla Hard and HIT Tirol for the title.Alpla Hard – Hit Tirol 24:23Alpla HC Hard:Suppanschitz, Doknic; Kathrein, Varga, Schmid 1, Raschle, Zivkovic 1, Jochum 3/1, Glusaks 3, Wüstner, Friede 2, Rigas 1, Knauth 3, Krsmancic10HIT medalp Tirol:Wieser, Kalischnig Michael; Hermann 4, Steiger P. 3, Clementi, Babarskas 6, Walter 2/2, Mörtl, Rackauskas 2/1, Kainmüller 1, Steiger J., Watzl, Bammer 2, Perovic 3HIT Tirol – Apla Hard 23:21.HIT medalp Tirol:Wieser, Kalischnig Michael; Hermann 3, Steiger P., Clementi, Babarskas 4, Walter, Mörtl, Rackauskas 8/4, Kainmüller 3, Steiger J., Watzl 2, Bammer, Perovic 3Alpla HC Hard:Suppanschitz, Doknic; Kathrein 1, Varga 1, Schmid 5, Raschle, Zivkovic, Jochum 2/2, Glusaks 2, Wüstner, Friede 3, Rigas 1, Knauth 3, Krsmancic 3
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Driving to Nicosia one is faced with a massive Turkish flag carved out of the Pendadaktilos mountainside to stare drivers in the eyes. Come nightfall the flag is brightly illuminated. What does such symbolism say to Greeks and visitors alike? Meanwhile, the Turks are opening the largest mosque in Europe in the city of Amsterdam, named Hagia Sophia – a Christian Greek name. It is modelled on the iconic Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and will turn the sacred symbol of Orthodoxy and Greek culture into a place of Muslim worship. This is in line with President Erdogan’s dream and promises that he would turn the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople into a mosque. Turkey’s behaviour is not surprising, but what is deplorable is that Ankara shuns the principle of democratic values and pretends to be a democracy when it suits.President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it quite clear, claiming that: “Democracy, freedom and the rule of law … for us, these words have absolutely no value any longer.” Yet, this nation wants to join the European Union; a union whose primary existence depends on holding democratic values in high esteem.When Turkey – the first Muslim nation – becomes a new member of the EU, under qualified majority voting (which roughly reflects the size of population of each member state), it would share a powerful EU decision-making influence well above many other member states. In preparation, the commission has already added Turkish as the 25th official working EU language. European Parliament President Martin Schulz, on his recent visit to Ankara, did not mince his words and praised Turkey for its cooperation on the refugee crisis. “I express our recognition for the generosity of Turkey in its hosting of Syrian refugees. The EU must support Turkey financially and through joint efforts,” he stated. Ironically, he ignored Turkey’s complicity in the ongoing human smuggling from its borders.President Erdogan, an autocrat to millions of people, rejects criticism, and even the Vatican has not escaped his fury. He described the EU and Pope Francis as part of an “evil front” that was hatching “plots” against Turkey. Only a mistrustful leader would come up with such ridiculous statements accusing the pope of collusion. However, nothing Ankara does or comments on is without a reason. It is a known fact that Erdogan’s life-long ambition is to revive a neo-Ottoman Empire and name himself the ‘Great Sultan’ of 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide. The president has recently played host to a two-day summit in Istanbul, and 30 heads of Islamic states (out of 57) gathered to iron out political and theological differences. This was a perfect opportunity for Erdogan to pitch his qualifications to lead the Islamic world. “My religion is not that of Sunnis or Shiites. My religion is Islam,” he advocated, attempting to use religion as the way to Islamic greatness. Not everyone was convinced.At the summit Erdogan also found the opportunity to urge his guests “to break the isolation of our Muslim brothers in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, while his Prime Minister Ahmet Davudoglu called to “liberate all the Islamic lands under occupation”, especially Palestine, Karabach and Crimea. Only President Putin stood up against Ankara and gave a blunt warning to Erdogan’s military expansionist plans: “Should Turkey not stop supporting al-Qaeda’s Syrian Branch, I am indeed eager to end the job the late Tsar Nicholas II left unfinished during WWI. He (the Tsar) sought to restore Constantinople to Christendom and protect Russian maritime security by liberating the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits but fate prevented him,” TASS News Agency cited. Putin also advocated Greek sovereignty over Cyprus and stated that Turkey must “end its decades-long occupation of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus”.Such statements by a world leader such as Putin show that Russia has been consistent with its support for Cyprus. Instead of attempting to build stronger ties with this long-time friend, President Anastasiades agreed with EU-Troika’s plan to reduce Russian banking on the island and also crop the accounts of Russians, including all Cypriots. If that was not bad enough, his government, instead of abstaining, actually voted in favour of EU sanctions against Russia. In retaliation, Russia introduced its own counter-sanctions, sending shockwaves in the small economy of Cyprus. The country had jumped from one frying pan straight into another with disastrous repercussions to the economy. With the May election coming up, President Anastasiades has finally succumbed and admitted making political mistakes: “The pledge about haircut (bail-in) was probably my biggest mistake simply because, not knowing the situation, I believed we could avoid it through negotiation,” he told reporters during a news conference. In hindsight, he made decisions flippantly without
Chevy just unveiled its first-ever full-size Lego truck, and it’s the ride toy lovers have been waiting for.On Saturday, Chevy exhibited the Lego brick masterpiece at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, said a company press release.The Lego vehicle, which is a replica of Chevy’s new 2019 Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss Truck, is part of ongoing marketing efforts for Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which hits theaters on Feb. 8.The Lego truck wasn’t an easy project though: Eighteen Lego Master Builders spent over 2,000 hours transforming small Lego bricks into the life-size model. The car, which was built with 334,544 Lego bricks and features working lights, weighs 3,307 pounds. It was developed at the Lego Group’s Model Shop in Connecticut.Chevy will also make an appearance in the upcoming Lego movie: A custom-built mini Silverado High Country Lego truck will be shown in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. In the movie, the Lego heroes reunite to protect their city from intergalactic Lego Duplo invaders.“The themes of determination and teamwork in the new movie align perfectly with our Chevy brand values and we are sure that the all-new Silverado has the features, technologies, and strength that would help Emmet, Lucy, and their friends as they take on exciting new challenges,” Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Truck marketing, said in the press release.Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sauger for ChevroletThe Lego Silverado is part of a two-year partnership between Chevy and Warner Bros. Pictures. The two companies collaborated on The Lego Batman Movie in 2017, and debuted a life-size Lego batmobile that was made with 344,187 Lego bricks.To learn more about the Lego car and its production process, you can watch this Chevy Lego video on YouTube.More on Geek.com:Tiffany & Co Is Now Selling This Fancy ‘Lego’ Set for $1,650Prepared to Be Amazed By This Tiny Working Lego PianoThis Is How Long It Takes to Poop Out a Lego Minifig Head Stay on target The New Lego UCS Imperial Star Destroyer Is Nearly Four Feet LongLego Makes Building Sets Accessible to the Blind
We work on a lot of special projects at The Columbian, but our latest feels more special.After more than a year of planning and months of reporting, we are presenting a multipart series detailing the lack of teachers of color in Washington, the huge gap between teachers of color and students of color, how that affects learning, what is being done and what more could be done to close the gap.It took so much work! But that’s another reason why this is a special, special project: We shared the reporting with The Seattle Times and the staff of its innovative Education Lab.Our talented education reporter, Katie Gillespie, thought about doing this story for a long time. In 2017, she attended a data in journalism conference where she met reporter Dahlia Bazzaz of the Times’ Education Lab. It turned out they both had the same idea. So why not throw in together on the story and make it a statewide report?The first thing was to assemble a database containing demographic data on 64,700 teachers and 1.1 million students from 313 Washington school districts, charter schools and educational service districts. Katie and Dahlia then came up with a formula to calculate the ratio of students of color to teachers of color, with 1.0 being a perfect representation. When you read the story or look at the graphics, you’ll see almost every number but 1.0. Clearly we have a statewide disparity.From there, the story required a lot of reporting. Katie visited local classrooms, talked with students and teachers and documented some new alternative teacher training programs here that could improve diversity in school faculty. Craig Brown is The Columbian’s editor. His column will appear in this space periodically. Contact him at 360-735-4514 or email@example.com
At statehood, Alaska was promised more than 100 million acres of land. So far, the federal government has transferred just 65 percent of it. That’s because it takes time to survey the land. At the current pace, it will take another 20 years. Today, the federal Bureau of Land Management announced it’s imposing a new surveying method to speed things up.But the state is not happy about it.Listen NowThe current method for surveying is hard work, and it’s expensive. Surveyors have to fly into remote areas, run chainsaws through brush and place brass markers – called monuments – at two-mile intervals. The new method is based on GPS coordinates. BLM Director Neil Kornze said it requires far fewer monuments in the field and would save about $60 million.“We’ve found that by applying GPS technology, the same type of technology that drives your smart phone, we can cut the time in half,” Kornze said. “We can cut costs in half and Alaskans can have the land that’s due to them.”But this method, known as Direct Point Positioning Survey, is controversial. The state has been fighting it for years. Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources Andy Mack said the federal government is violating an agreement to give the state land that’s been properly surveyed.“The problem is, the methodology that has been proposed by the BLM is untested, and we’re not so sure that this isn’t simply passing on the costs … to the state,” Mack said.Without the monuments in the ground, Mack said it’s not clear anyone who buys land from the state could record their purchase.Steve Buchanan is a surveyor and past president Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors. He said those brass markers are the best evidence to show where a landowner’s property lines are.“When someone goes out and they want to look and see where their land is, they look for monuments,” Buchanan said. “They find those monuments. They can see it. They can touch it. They know where their land is.”With the DPPS system, Buchanan said there might not be a monument for many miles, so a landowner would have to pay to put them in.“And it’s going to be very expensive,” Buchanan said. “It’s what I call a ‘survey debt’ that’s being passed on from the BLM to the state, and it could be passed from the state to whoever buys that land.”Kornze, the BLM director, said the new GPS method will be a legally valid way to establish the state’s property lines. He said eventually the BLM will use it in other states, too.
00:00 /01:26 Share X Listen Houston’s six-mile tunnel system is where many downtown workers spend their lunchtime or travel between buildings.But it hasn’t been the best place to use a cellphone.“There’s parts of the tunnels I get no texts, no calls, no anything,” said Stephen Ruiz, who works in the Bank of America building and uses the tunnels a lot.Lilly Lee was walking just below the city’s public works building. She said the signal was fine there, “but if I keep walking to a certain area, it just – totally just gone.”A new antenna system is supposed to change that.Verizon partnered with AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile to install the system, which improved the phone and internet signal. It started to be fully functional last month.“Initially there was zero coverage in the Houston tunnels,” Verizon’s Jeannine Brew said.She said the city wanted better reception for people who use the tunnels every day, “but also without the coverage, the wireless coverage, there was also no coverage for critical services such as police and fire.”The companies worked with the city to install an emergency communications system, which channels calls directly to the police or fire department.In a statement, Mayor Sylvester Turner called it a “major public safety improvement.”Back in the tunnels, Shelby Walker welcomed the upgrade, especially given that she often has difficulty finding her way around.“You have to call somebody if you’re lost,” she said. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:
The portrait known as “The Ugly Duchess” by the Flemish artist Quenten Matsys is one of the most popular paintings in the British National Gallery. The portrait was painted in 1513 and although the curators from The National Gallery describe it as “A picture probably intended to satirize old women who try inappropriately to recreate their youth,” numerous people have for a very long time wondered what’s the story behind the Duchess’ peculiar physical appearance that undoubtedly is unique in Renaissance painting.According to The Guardian, the mystery about this artwork was finally solved when it had been discovered that the Duchess’ looks were actually the product of an exceptional form of disease, known as Paget’s disease- a bone deformation caused by a metabolic abnormality that enlarges the bones.Engraving of Quentin Matsys by Joachim von Sandrart“The disease enlarged her jaw bones, extended her upper lip and pushed up her nose. It also affected her hands, eye sockets, forehead, chin, and collarbones. The lady on the portrait really looked as presented,” reports The Guardian.The disease was first noted in the 19th century by the surgeon Sir James Paget who was the first to describe it. The painting was investigated by surgery professor Michael Baum who despite being a great admirer of the Duchess, had also professionally approached the portrait after wondering why anyone would bother painting a clearly grotesque image.The Ugly Duchess (c. 1513), Quentin Matsys. Oil on wood, 64.2 × 45.5 cm. National Gallery, LondonBaum said that the woman was suffering from a very rare form of Paget’s disease and that in the Duchess’ case it probably strongly progressed in her later years. Having said this, it may be assumed that this popular lady was a beauty before being stricken by the utterly unpleasant condition.The story of the Duchess goes further in that she was probably a real duchess, considering her attire and accessories presented in her portrait as well as the fact that Matsys, the painter, was highly paid for painting it.John Tenniel’s illustration of the Duchess from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865The significance of this work is also confirmed by the revealed discovery that the Duchess was the inspiration for the creation of John Tenniel’s Duchess in his illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s “Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.”Mysterious Books That Can’t Be ExplainedTenniel’s illustrations suggest that the artist didn’t find her to be attractive as he draws her as an ugly lady with an enormous head. As for Alice’s encounter and experience with the Duchess, it is described on the pages of the 9th chapter of Carroll’s book:King and Queen of Tunis, Wenzel Hollar (1607–1677)“Alice did not much like keeping so close to her: First, because the Duchess was very ugly…” Another important piece of research about this painting regarded the formerly adopted assumption that Matsys copied DaVinci’s work because, reportedly, his paintings were very similar to DaVinci’s drawing. However, this case was solved as soon as a team of art experts discovered that it was actually Leonardo who copied Matsys.Grotesque Head – Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1480-1510) Red chalk on paper, 17.2 x 14.3 cm. Windsor Castle, Royal LibraryAmong the many peculiarities of this painting is its real name which is actually “The Old Woman” dubbed “The Ugly Duchess.” Not many know that this work of Matsys was made as a pair with the painting “The Old Man.” According to the Web Gallery of Art, the latter is an artwork of great historical importance “for it is the first portrait by a Flemish artist to show the sitter in profile, following the Italian model.”Portrait of an Old Man, the second half of the diptych.Finally, as Michael Baus has stated, The Duchess is a painting that one either loves or hates. However, no one could deny its intriguing look that attracts museum visitors and provokes curators and art historians to keep on studying the layers under the common description of the artwork as a “painting of an ugly woman.”Read another story from us: Portrait of the Devil? Hidden Image in Vosper’s Famous Painting “Salem”In the year 2008, The Duchess was exhibited along with numerous other Renaissance works at the National Gallery. Ironically enough, she was placed among the portraits of great belles such as “La Bella” by Palma Vecchio.
Slack is our favorite place for wasting time and sharing gifs collaborating with colleagues and peers, but right now (Wednesday 27 June) Slack is experiencing significant connectivity issues. It’s not yet clear what the cause of the outage is, but Slack are aware of the issues and working to fix them. At around 6.30am PDT, Slack posted a tweet: “We’re investigating connectivity for all workspaces, thanks for your patience, we’ll have updates shortly.” Another update just after 7am PDT stated “our team is still looking into the cause of the connectivity issues, and we’ll continue to update you on our progress.” The best responses to Slack’s outage on Twitter As you’d expect, with Slack down, people have been taking to Twitter. Fortunately for Slack, most of the comments weren’t actually that unkind or angry. Instead, they’ve done what anyone would do – make funny jokes and memes. Here are some of the best from quick witted Tweeters in temporary exile from the messaging app: One user noted that now Slack was down, productivity might go up. The irony, of course, being that he was simply part of the wider exodus of part-time comedians and procrastinators to Twitter: Some traditionalists thought that the outage might actually be a good thing for IRL interaction – once again, the irony of airing their thoughts in the digital environs of Twitter lost on them… With Fortnite also facing a number of connectivity issues, some users were quick to draw parallels… While the Slack outage is largely a carnival of memes and jokes, spare a thought for the Slack support team on Twitter. They’re truly doing a hero’s work. One Twitter user praised the Slack team’s service on social: However frustrated the media and technology world’s become with the Slack outage one thing’s for certain – no one’s talking about moving to Skype yet. Read next: Someone made a program to make it look like you’re typing on Slack when someone else is
Agents say ‘I do’ to TDC’s Destination Wedding Academy Travelweek Group Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Romance & Weddings, Transat The week included site inspections at Transat’s top wedding chains where agents had the opportunity to meet the resort wedding coordinators, visit the onsite wedding locations and learn about their wedding packages.They also experienced a mock wedding including a ceremony, a private group dinner and a reception, all to experience a destination wedding first-hand.There was also dedicated TDC destination wedding in-class training and workshops where agents learned about the ‘groups cycle’.More news: Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJTDC participants included a number of Transat Travel agent@home participants. Home-based agent Lori Kennedy attended the training and had this to say: “WOW! The mock wedding – what a surprise, it was so beautiful and you could tell just how much work went into the planning and the whole week.”Kennedy added: “It was so beneficial to actually see the resorts and wedding set-ups in person to get the feel of them you cannot get from pictures alone. It was exactly what I needed to help me focus on what I need to do to get wedding bookings. I received some great tips and ideas by seasoned professionals.”TDC home-based agent Anita Stephens said: “Being able to see the many resorts offered by Transat and getting to speak and ask questions to the wedding planners and staff at each resort was an invaluable learning experience. That, coupled with the in-class training and getting to spend time with colleagues that possess a wealth of knowledge and experience, was a real game changer for me. It has given me the confidence to pursue group wedding business, and has opened my mind and career to new possibilities.”More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionTo learn more about joining the TDC Agent@home program visit transatagentathome.com. TORONTO — Transat Distribution Canada agents got a first-hand look at some of Mexico’s top-selling destination wedding product with TDC’s recent Destination Wedding Academy in Riviera Maya, Cozumel and Playa Mujeres.The week-long event was “a game changer”, according to one agent, as TDC Academy organizers hosted an intensive week of training on destination weddings and wedding groups.The Destination Wedding Academy combined experiential, product and functional training for the agents, covering every aspect of destination weddings in a 360 learning experience, says TDC. Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Intrepid Travel to become the first ‘climate positive’ companyWith climate change policies coming to the fore during the federal election, Australian owned Intrepid Travel commits to becoming the first travel company to be climate positive by 2020The first step in this goal is supporting a Tasmanian seaweed solution to climate changeIntrepid Travel is donating 40% of profits from its Family trips to preserve the planet for future travellersWhile politicians discuss climate policies, one Australian company is investing in climate action.Melbourne-based Intrepid Travel has committed to becoming the first of its kind to be ‘climate positive’. This means the already carbon-neutral business will create an environmental benefit by removing additional carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.Joining forces with the Climate Foundation and the University of Tasmania, The Intrepid Foundation is crowdfunding for a new marine permaculture initiative that will regenerate marine ecosystems in Tasmania and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. All donations made to the project through the Foundation will be matched dollar for dollar with the goal of raising AUD $350,000.The seaweed project will be one of the first of its kind in Australia.Darrell Wade, co-Founder of Intrepid Travel said: “The global climate crisis is escalating, but ignoring the problem isn’t going to make it go away. We need to act now. The good news is that there are solutions.”Intrepid has been a carbon-neutral company since 2010, purchasing carbon credits associated with a range of renewable energy projects. These include a wind power project in India, a rainforest restoration initiative in Borneo and forest protection project in Malawi.“We can’t rely on governement. Climate action has to be a priority for government, private enterprise and consumers. We all have a responsibility to make urgent positive difference,” added Wade.Dr. Brian von Herzen, Executive Director of the Climate Foundation, said: “Marine permaculture enables us to regenerate kelp forests that have been lost to climate disruption. These projects not only draw down carbon dioxide, they help to ensure marine biodiversity for generations to come.”Inspired by children around the world striking for climate action and the visionary new documentary, 2040, Intrepid Travel will also donate 40% of all profits from their family holidays booked by the end of June 2019.“From tiger spotting in India’s Ranthambore National Park to trekking Costa Rica’s active volcanoes, these family trips showcase Earth’s finest to our next generation of travellers who will go on to change the world,” commented Wade.For more information, visit www.intrepidtravel.com/uk/regeneration-generationSome of the most impactful technologies and solutions to reverse climate change are explored in a new documentary titled 2040, to be released in Australian cinemas on 23 May. The film explores what the future could look like if we adopted the best regenerative climate solutions already available to us, including marine permaculture. As part of its commitment to climate change solutions, The Intrepid Foundation supported the film with an AUD $100,000 donation. For more information, visit www.whatsyour2040.comSource = Intrepid Travel
FHA Loans Could Cost Less for Homebuyers FHA Homebuyers Homeownership House Financial Services Committee households HUD loans mortgage 2019-07-24 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News A new measure passed by the House Financial Services Committee recently could help more low-income households achieve their dream of homeownership.The bipartisan legislation called the Housing Financial Literacy Act requires the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide a 25-basis-point discount in upfront Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family mortgage insurance premiums for first-time homebuyers who complete a housing counseling program to help them sustain homeownership.The bill was introduced by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH).“Motivating first-time homebuyers to seek vital pre-purchase counseling and equipping them with the much-needed financial skills and tools to make informed financial decisions benefits their families, the surrounding neighborhood, and our entire economy,” Beatty said. “I am pleased to see my bill move one step closer to becoming law, and many thanks to my Democratic and Republican colleagues for their support.”The Bill still needs to be passed by the Senate before it goes to the President’s desk to get signed into law. According to a CNBC report, if passed, this legislation would allow first-time homebuyers, especially those from low- or moderate-income households, who opt for an FHA loan to pay less.Currently, borrowers who take an FHA loan are required to pay mortgage insurance to the agency as well as an upfront mortgage insurance premium, since these loans are often taken by buyers with low credit scores and pose an increased risk for lenders. Borrowers today, pay 1.75% of the base loan amount towards mortgage insurance.However, if the bill passes the Senate vote, they would have to pay only 1.5% of the base loan amount towards these charges, if they opt for housing counseling, the CNBC report indicated.”The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which FHA is part of, should make sure the counseling is designed well,” Pete Mills, SVP of Residential Policy for the MBA told CNBC. “Face-to-face would be better than online.” 9 days ago 202 Views Share
Discovery Parks is offering 20% off mid-week stays at Discovery Park – Jindabyne, in the NSW Snowy Mountains, just a short drive from some of the best slopes in Australia. Bookable for stays of a minimum 2-nights from 1 July to 30 September, the 20% Midweek Snow Saver leaves adventure-seekers with more money to spend on ski hire and entertainment in the bustling alpine hub of Jindabyne. Accommodation at Discovery Parks – Jindabyne ranges from Deluxe Cabins that sleep up to six people ($139 per night) to powered caravan and camping sites ($110 per night).“In snow season, the Jindabyne cabins become the Australian version of European ski chalets. They are warm, comfortable havens to relax with a glass of wine after a fun day on the slopes,” said Adam Koch, Chief Operating Officer of Discovery Parks. “Known affectionately as ‘Jindy’ by locals, the town has lots to entertain those looking for a break from snow adventures. From a thriving arts scene, to shopping and restaurants that will please the toughest culinary critics, Jindy is a quaint Snowy Mountains town that swells in both population and energy come ski season,” said Adam.The 20% Midweek Snow Saver is applicable to stays from Sunday to Thursday, between 1 July and 30 September 2018, of a minimum two nights. Blackout periods may apply.The park overlooks Lake Jindabyne, which is a fishing enthusiast’s dream and one of the best places to catch trout and Atlantic salmon in Australia. Discovery ParksJundabyneskisnowSnowy Mountainsspecials
European airports have come together to tackle what they believe will be the four major aviation challenges of the 21st century: airport capacity, the environment, global connectivity and aviation security.These are detailed in the new Airports Council International (ACI) Europe policy outlook, which was launched in Brussels yesterday (February 24th).The publication, entitled Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century, also documents the changing business models of European airports, which have been influenced by increased competition and differing government attitudes.ACI Europe president Ad Rutten said the four key challenges will define the look of the continent’s airports over the next two decades and the benefits to society they can bring.”Now is the opportune moment,” he commented. “With the EU institutions currently considering the future direction of the European transport policy, we are making constructive proposals and stand ready to play our part.”Earlier this month, ACI Europe revealed that overall passenger traffic at the continent’s airports had decreased 5.9 percent last year compared to 2008.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedEuropean airports experience passenger declineAirports in Europe are experiencing challenging trading conditionsRecovery in number of passengers taking cheap flights to AthensRecovery in number of passengers taking cheap flights to AthensACI Europe calls for improved airport securityNew security measures are needed at European airports in the face of an increase in passenger numbers
FILE – In this June 6, 2018, file photo, Kelly Clarkson performs “American Woman” at the CMT Music Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. Clarkson will headline opening night at U.S. Open. The U.S. Tennis Association announced Monday, July 16, 2018, the Grammy Award winner will perform at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Aug. 27. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File) Kelly Clarkson to serve as headline act at US Open NEW YORK, N.Y. – Singer Kelly Clarkson will headline opening night at the U.S. Open.The U.S. Tennis Association said Monday the Grammy Award winner will perform at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Aug. 27.This is the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Open in the professional era, which began in 1968. The Grand Slam event moved from Forest Hills to Flushing Meadows in 1978.Clarkson recently released her eighth studio album, “Meaning of Life.” The Texas-born singer has worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 36 million singles.USTA President Katrina Adams calls it an honour to have “such a talented performer join us in this very special year.”The opening-night ceremony will include former U.S. Open champions. by The Associated Press Posted Jul 16, 2018 3:47 pm PDT Last Updated Jul 16, 2018 at 4:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
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