London – Speaker of the House of Advisors (Higher house) Hakim Benchamach highlighted in London the democratic progress made by Morocco.Speaking during a conference held Tuesday at the British think-tank Chatham House, Benchamach gave an overview of political and constitutional reforms undertaken by Morocco under the leadership of King Mohammed VI.These inclusive and proactive reforms have enabled Morocco to move forward in the democratization process, he said.He noted that Morocco’s new constitution expands individual and collective liberties, strengthens the independence of the judiciary and the prerogatives of Parliament and consolidates good governance, gender equality and the role of civil society.Speaker of House of Advisors also mentioned the impressive large-scale development projects taking place in the kingdom’s southern provinces and which generate growth and jobs.He also underlined the constant mobilization of the Moroccan people to defend the Moroccan Sahara, as evidenced by the huge march held in Rabat to denounce the comments delivered by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the Moroccan Sahara during his recent visit in the region. Benchamach leads a House of Advisors’ delegation on a working visit to the UK.The delegation also had talks with House of Lords Speaker Baroness Frances D’Souza.
Mr. Ban marked the first United Nations Global Road Safety Week, which began today, with a call for greater political will, financial investment and decisions “at the highest levels of government” to cut the number of accidents – many of which are entirely preventable.A report released last week by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that road traffic crashes have become the leading cause of death for people aged between 10 and 24, with nearly 400,000 people in that age bracket killed every year and millions of others permanently disabled or injured. Global Road Safety Week is dedicated to young road users this year.The overwhelming majority of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and the report concluded that, on average, the crashes cost such nations more than one per cent of their gross national product (GNP) in health care, material and other expenses.In his message marking Global Road Safety Week, Mr. Ban praised recent initiatives undertaken by several countries, such as mandating the use of helmets and seat belts and toughening measures against speeding and drink driving.“A significant number of lives can be saved and resources spared, even as motorization continues to rise,” if such initiatives are introduced into other countries as well, Mr. Ban said.As part of Global Road Safety Week, a two-day World Youth Assembly for Road Safety involving more than 100 delegates will be staged in Geneva so that young people can share experiences and plan projects to encourage more awareness about the issue. 23 April 2007Observing that “road safety will not happen by accident,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on government ministers, community and business leaders, parents, insurers, car makers, the media, survivors of road accidents and others to play their part in toughening laws and regulations to reduce the death and injury toll from crashes.
Worries over a possible food shortage in Kenya – where tensions are still running high despite the recent announcement of a new power-sharing Government – are on the rise due to surging food prices worldwide, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.Further complicating the situation in the East African nation is the fungi that have reportedly destroyed 5,600 hectares of rice in Central Province, where between 10 and 20 percent of the country’s annual production is harvested.Even during good years, Kenya is a net importer of rice, and this fungi problem results in the need for an even greater amount of imported rice to feed its people.Rice prices have soared 75 per cent globally in the past two months, while the cost of wheat has risen a whopping 120 per cent in the last year, contributing to a food crisis worldwide.The resulting food insecurity in Kenya has led to an escalation of tensions, with four internally displaced persons (IDPs) having been killed in the Rift Valley while attempting to make their way back to their farms.Earlier this week, the East African nation’s major parties agreed on a grand coalition Government following months of post-election violence in which 1,000 people were killed and more than 300,000 others forced to flee their homes.Last week, OCHA launched a revised appeal for $189 million for Kenya. 18 April 2008Worries over a possible food shortage in Kenya – where tensions are still running high despite the recent announcement of a new power-sharing Government – are on the rise due to surging food prices worldwide, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.
Media reports say at least six people have been killed and dozens of others injured in the attack, which took place in the early afternoon in Islamabad.In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said that a security guard working at a nearby United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) building was among those killed, and six local staff working for a UNDP project were among the injured.“The Secretary-General reiterates his total rejection of such acts of terrorism and expresses condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Pakistan,” the statement added.UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis voiced his deepest condolences to the families of the staff member killed in the attack, adding that the agency’s thoughts and prayers went out to all of the victims.“We are still trying to gather information as to the exact situation on the ground and are supporting our colleagues in any way possible,” he told reporters in New York. 2 June 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his outrage at today’s deadly car bombing outside the Danish Embassy in the Pakistani capital.
23 February 2010Given the potential impact of continued droughts in Iraq, some national officials and experts have asked for United Nations assistance in planning for and in mitigating the dangers of prolonged dry spells. The call came at the Workshop on Integrated Drought Preparedness and Management in Iraq organized by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “Let us hope that this momentum gained here will now be the force that moves Iraq forward in placing early preparedness and planning at the centre of government drought management efforts,” said Casey Walther, UNESCO representative at the workshop.An onset of droughts in northern Iraq four years ago had driven more than 100,000 people from their homes, according to a UNESCO report released in October of last year.The workshop on Iraq – held from 13 to 15 February in Amman, Jordan – brought together senior representatives from ten Iraqi ministries, three major cities, five provincial governments, four universities and one non-governmental organization, to examine drought planning policies in Iraq and explore reform options for the Government.At the core of the recommendations was the development of a long-term national drought mitigation plan that could be implemented before, during and after a drought. The group also cited the need to upgrade the country’s system of weather stations into a more robust, comprehensive national early warning system that could provide more accurate forecasts and data. The participants called on the UN to assist in building institutional capacities in drought planning and research, promote the adherence to international conventions and treaties pertaining to water use, and foster regional and international networks for best practices in drought management.
Yesterday, Hamas released Israeli Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, who had been held captive since June 2006, in exchange for the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners by Israel. The first 477 of those prisoners were released yesterday. In a statement issued by his spokesperson yesterday, Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser thanked all those who worked tirelessly over many years to facilitate the release. “This positive development reinforces the importance of mediation and negotiation in the peaceful settlement of disputes,” the statement said, noting that mediation is a subject that Mr. Al-Nasser has identified as one of the key focus areas during the current session of the Assembly.He also said he hopes the exchange will help boost renewed efforts to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a sentiment also expressed yesterday by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who said he hoped it would have a far-reaching and positive impact on the Middle East peace process.Talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians have been stalled since late September 2010 following Israel’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory. That decision prompted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus. 19 October 2011The President of the General Assembly has welcomed the exchange of prisoners by Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, calling it a “positive development” that reinforces the importance of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Former Navy Lieutenant Commander Chandana Hettiaracchi aka Navy Sampath, was today ordered to be further remanded till September 12th over the abduction of 11 youth.Hettiaracchi had been in remand till today (August 29th) and was presented in court where the Magistrate ordered that he be further remanded. He was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) earlier this month over the abduction of 11 youth in Colombo in 2008. (Colombo Gazette)
The repatriation is the biggest such organized operation globally this year, and easily the largest such operation overall in history, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in Kabul, the Afghan capital. Including those who returned without assistance, the overall total since 2002 has reached 4.2 millionSince the UNHCR programme began after the fall of the Taliban regime, 2.9 million Afghans have returned from Pakistan and 1.3 million from Iran. Three million Afghans are estimated to still remain in Pakistan and 900,000 in Iran.The decision by the Government of Pakistan to close all refugee camps in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has triggered a sharp increase in Afghans opting to return. The most recent closures affected more than 100,000 people.The majority have chosen to repatriate with UNHCR assistance, while others accepted the Pakistan Government’s offer of relocation to other existing camps. The order to close the FATA camps was given on security grounds.The return of former FATA residents over a brief, five-week period has put UNHCR’s reintegration operations within Afghanistan under significant pressure, the agency said. Together with the relevant government ministries, other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), UNCHR is working to ensure that families and individuals are able to settle into their places of origin before winter sets in.Under this repatriation programme, each returning Afghan is eligible for transport assistance ranging from $4 to $37 and a grant of $12. The return assistance is complemented by programmes designed to help former refugees resume their lives in their original communities.
LONDON – Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC will buy out Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s stake in their partnership to develop and sell diabetes drugs in a deal worth $4.1 billion — seizing an opportunity to serve the projected explosion of patients suffering from the disease.The package announced Thursday includes $2.7 billion to buy Bristol-Myers’ 50 per cent share, as well as up to $1.4 billion in regulatory, launch and sales related payments. Bristol-Myers will also receive royalty payments based on net sales through 2025. Payments of up to $225 million may also be made after the transfer of certain assets and royalty payments.“Together with Bristol-Myers Squibb we concluded that consolidating ownership of the diabetes portfolio would benefit both companies and allow us to better serve the needs of diabetic patients,” said Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer of AstraZeneca. “Today’s announcement reinforces AstraZeneca’s long-term commitment to diabetes, a core strategic area for us and an important platform for returning AstraZeneca to growth.”AstraZeneca’s share price rose 1.1 per cent in London to close at 35.99 pounds.Despite the broadly positive response to the news, investors had a reminder of the uncertainties of the business. AstraZeneca said it would incur a $1.7 billion pretax charge connected to the diabetes drug Bydureon whose sales were below expectations. However, it remains confident in the drug’s commercial future.The buyout comes as AstraZeneca undergoes a major research and development re-organization to offset the expiration on patents for drugs like cholesterol medication, Crestor. The plan is meant to reduce costs and make research programs more productive amid big drops in revenue and net income last year.Like other big pharmaceutical firms, AstraZeneca has faced the pinch from rising research costs, a surge in generic competition and the demands of government health programs to hold down spending.But in diabetes, the company sees the possibility of as many as 550 million people being affected worldwide, particularly in emerging markets, where the company has a strong presence.“Diabetes is rapidly becoming a global challenge of epidemic proportions,” Soriot said.Once the deal is completed, AstraZeneca will own rights for drugs such as Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR, which are used for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for the vast majority of diagnosed diabetes in adults.It expects about 4,100 Bristol-Myers Squibb employees working on diabetes issues will eventually transition to AstraZeneca, though some will remain to support the transition.Alex Arfaei, the pharmaceutical analyst for BMO Capital Markets in Toronto, described the deal as a boost to the profile of Bristol-Myers — and a sign of confidence in its cancer drugs.“Bristol probably believes that it has a high opportunity cost and doesn’t want to compete in the increasingly competitive diabetes market, which is mostly a primary care market requiring intensive promotion,” he said.He said the royalty structure of the deal offers is also a boost to Bristol-Myers.“The deal allows Bristol to put more resources into cancer immunotherapy during the next 2-3 years, while it continues to get significant economics from the diabetes franchise,” he said.Bristol-Myers’ share price was up 3 per cent at $54.19. by Danica Kirka, The Associated Press Posted Dec 19, 2013 2:14 am MDT AstraZeneca in $4.1 billion payout to take control of diabetes link with Bristol-Myers Squibb AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
LONDON – Tim Barlow pushes a green stamp onto the edge of an unfinished plate, leaving behind the words “Made in England.”It’s still a piece of unglazed grey clay, a far cry from the gleaming decorated disc of Wedgwood Jasperware it will become, but Barlow and his employers are betting those words will be a selling point as Britain begins the process of leaving the European Union.“It takes on a greater importance now we’re coming out of Europe,” he says, matter-of-factly. “We’re standing on our own now.”It’s not just Wedgwood, the 258-year-old firm that has supplied tableware to Britain’s royal family, the Kremlin and the White House. Companies ranging from luxury clothes maker Burberry to Bee Good, a small business making products from British bees, are hoping to make virtue out of necessity by promoting British identity as a selling point.For some, like Wedgwood, it can mean appealing to foreign visions of a stereotypical Britain: the traditional, classy culture of high tea and garden parties. For others it’s a bet that consumers around the world recognize the quality of British workmanship and are willing to pay a premium for it.The question is important for British business if, as expected, Brexit leads to tariffs and other barriers to trade with the EU, the country’s biggest export market. Exports of goods and services account for about 27 per cent of the British economy, with almost half of exports going to the EU.The government is trying to bolster overseas trade with a five-year program designed to help 100,000 new exporters sell goods and services abroad. The Exporting is Great website lists potential buyers including online retailers in China looking for U.K. jewelry and housewares, a Japanese company interested in British raincoats and Wellington boots, and a Turkish importer seeking British cosmetics.Leaning into the uncertainty, Wedgwood has embarked on a sweeping revamp of its offerings to broaden its international market. Building on a heritage of making granny’s china, Wedgwood is planning to capture the image of crumbling castles, Downton Abbey and Will & Kate as it expands to a younger audience and tries to tap into the zeitgeist of companies like Burberry — except that they are doing it for homeware.Wedgwood is an “unpolished jewel to undust,” said Ulrik Garde Due, president of the Fiskars Corp. unit that owns the company. Helsinki-based Fiskars bought Wedgwood, founded in what is now Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1759, two years ago.“I think Britain will sell more than ever” after Brexit, he said. “It’s turning into a positive. We are turning it into an opportunity.”There’s value for a company in being associated with Britain. The country is generally perceived as a “quality supplier,” which means that customers in new and emerging markets are willing to pay as much as 7 per cent more for British products, according to a 2014 study by the Centre for Economics & Business Research for London-based Barclays bank.“There are bigger premiums to be had when products are marketed as ‘Made in Britain,’” the report said.Like Wedgwood, Burberry turned up the volume on heritage in its latest show last month in London. The company, known for trench coats to fend off the British weather and traditional plaid linings, used the curving sculptures of the late British artist Henry Moore as a backdrop for their show, with fashionistas receiving invitations etched on stones recalling his work.The question is whether Wedgwood and other companies that bank on being British will find their names tarnished by the turmoil of Brexit. In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, there were reports of continental Europeans shunning British goods. Carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, for example, said last summer that some European customers were explicitly avoiding their vehicles after the Brexit vote.But the long term is another matter. Branding expert Richard Cope, of research firm Mintel, says that Brexit can be positive, particularly in trade outside Europe.Brexit “strengthens the idea that Britain is a bit different,” Cope said. “It’s not like the rest of Europe. It’s another thing that makes it different. I don’t think that’s a bad thing if you are exporting to Japan or the United States.”In a period of international flux, people will retreat to brands with status, brands that stand for something, said Simi Nijher, an associate strategist at brand consultant Siegel+Gale. Outside of Britain, people won’t question what Britain means, and won’t bother with the soul searching under way right now in the U.K. about identity and the future without membership in the single market.“When you put a stamp of provenance on something, you want that to be very clear, very simple,” Nijher said. “That link is very clear. It’s about quality, about heritage. It’s about attaining something that is desirable and, no, I don’t think that will change with Brexit.”Much is at stake for companies like Wedgwood, and for people like Barlow. A short stroll around the factory floor showed employees with extraordinary levels of service — 20, 30, even 40 years of painting, moulding and firing clay.These are the people who have been through the good times and the tough times, surviving the company’s recent bankruptcy, re-organization and purchase.Barlow picked up a vase in the Jasperware line, a classic design with white Grecian style figures on blue background. He flipped it over.“I got my initials at the bottom as well,” he said proudly. “So in 200 years, on the Antiques Roadshow (TV program), you might be able to say: It was one of mine.” by Danica Kirka, The Associated Press Posted Mar 27, 2017 7:19 am MDT Last Updated Mar 27, 2017 at 8:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Rule Britannia: firms bet on British allure to get by Brexit
As a financial analyst, Massine Bouzerar found ways to save Cadbury millions of dollars and helped earn him Ontario’s co-op student of the year award.Massine Bouzerar wasn’t just another co-op student.Six weeks into the second term of his placement, the 21-year-old let his bosses at Cadbury know that he wanted a bigger role.You don’t dream of becoming a CEO without taking risks.“I said give me something challenging, give me something really tricky,” Bouzerar said.As a financial analyst, Bouzerar found ways to save the company millions of dollars and helped earn him Ontario’s co-op student of the year award.“This is a first step, getting that recognition and showing I’m on the right path toward my goal,” Bouzerar said. “It’s a pretty big goal, but I think if you don’t make challenging goals for yourself you won’t achieve anything in life.”The bachelor of business administration co-op student at Brock’s Goodman School of Business spent two placements at Mondelez International, Cadbury’s parent company.Bouzerar was given a productivity project to determine where Cadbury could save money.The Denis Morris High School grad studied different products Cadbury produced and how much they cost on a yearly basis versus what they should cost.For example, if the company overspent by $10,000 on producing its popular Caramilk chocolate bar one week, Bouzerar had to identify the reasons why.In the process he may have saved Cadbury $10 million.“It was about taking a long-term perspective,” Bouzerar said. “With $10 million, you can’t really achieve all of it in one year, but it’s about setting goals for the next three to five years for everyone.”Bouzerar is already preparing for his next step.He’s accepted a full-time job in product management and marketing, pricing and product strategy with Rogers, which begins April 4.Bouzerar credits much of his success to Brock’s co-op program.“I think it’s crucial,” he said. “I think if you didn’t do co-op, you’re having a really hard time finding a job.“I think what co-op did for me was prove to employers out there that I can hit the ground running.”
A conference on Risks and Hazard Management in Former Mining Districts will take place on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 in Newcastle upon Tyne in England. Organised by Brownfield Briefing, a publication for professionals involved in previously developed land, in association with Newcastle University, the event will examine issues relating to environmental legislation, gases and air pollution, subsidence and stability, mine water and water pollution, and waste from mines. The UK’s extensive mining history has left thousands of abandoned mines in its wake, which can present serious risks to groundwater, gases and air pollution, as well as stability issues. Operational mines also have their own challenges, if we are to avoid environmental risks in future. The conference will investigate how to avoid future hazards, and how to turn them into opportunities. It will explain the implications of the Mining Waste and Water Framework Directives and their implementation; examine air pollution risks and management in the mining sector; and assess the causes and consequences of coal mining subsidence in historically mined regions.This event will be particularly useful for consultants, contractors, regulators and local authorities, environmental lawyers, mining firms, problem holders, landowners and developers. In addition to networking opportunities, attendees will get practical and concise information on a range of environmental hazards and will learn about new ideas and techniques. They will also hear presentations from leading speakers, including:Dave Johnston and Hugh Potter, Environment AgencyProfessor Paul Younger, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) and Professor of Hydrogeochemical Engineering, Newcastle UniversityDr Adam Jarvis, Head of HERO Group, Newcastle UniversityProfessor Tanja Pless-Mulloli, Newcastle UniversitySteve Kershaw, The Coal AuthorityIan Wilson, Director of Mining Projects and Property, The Coal AuthorityRobin Burrell, White Young Green.The agenda for the conference can be downloaded at www.brownfieldbriefing.com/files/newzeye_bbrief/Mining09_0.pdf For more information and to register, send an email to email@example.com or call +44 20 8969 1008
buducnostbuxtehuderClujdinamoGyorGyorihypoLarvikljubljanaOltchimPodravkaRandersSavehofthuringerzvezda After already two rounds of Men’s EHF VELUX Champions League were played, now it’s time for the female competition to begin as well. In the opening game one of the most serious candidates for the title, Gyori ETO hosts Podravka Koprivnica. On Saturday also, Larvik meets Savehof, while last season’s Champions League winners Buducnost welcome Zvezda Zvenigorod.HC Dinamo – Ferencvaros, Thuringer – Viborg, Oltchim – Hypo, Ljubljana – Cluj and Randers – Buxtehuder are the rest of the games to be played on Sunday and Monday.The defending champion is Buducnost, but coach Dragan Adzic will have very tough job following the departure of Katarina Bulatovic, Barjaktarovic and Djokic, and the retirement of Popovic and Savic. ← Previous Story ASOBAL (Round 6): Markussen and Lazarov lead Atletico past Puerto Sagunto Next Story → Tatari and colleagues walk the model runway
City boss Pep Guardiola said on TV today that his team is not expecting to add more players for their title defense in the Premier League“People say, ‘Can you improve on 100 points?’ – I say no. We are not here to do that,” Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports tonight.“But individually the players can improve. Of course, we can improve. If I felt we could not improve the team I would call my chairman and say, ‘OK, I leave’,” he added.“We believe we can do better, dominate more and we will try to do it. Is it going to happen? I don’t know but we believe we can do it,” he said.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…The current English Premier League champions only made one major addition to their squad this summer, after acquiring Riyad Mahrez.The 27-year-old winger came to City after playing for four seasons with Leicester City, where he scored 42 goals in 158 matches.The France-born Algerian recently said he believes his team can win the Champions League this year.“It’s still hard [to accept] that we couldn’t achieve more than we did last season. As always, this will be our target – to be better in this competition,” he said.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino insists he doesn’t believe he’s the reason why players are committing their futures to the club.English midfielder, Dele Alli became the latest player to sign a new long-term deal on Monday when he agreed terms on a six-year deal to take him through to the summer of 2024.The former MK Dons player joined Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Heung-min Son, Davinson Sanchez and Harry Winks ad players who have all agreed new contracts over the past few months.Alli revealed Pochettino was the main reason for him agreeing to stay, but the former Southampton manager is keen to stay modest.“They have confidence in me, yes of course. But it is not that they attached to me only,” he said, according to Sky Sports.Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“It is about the club, it is about many things. If I believe Dele or a different player is only going to sign a contract because of me, it is a bad feeling, or I am wrong in my head.”“I think for me the most important thing… I think the club always need to be above the manager, the player.”“You need to feel you are going to play of course but it is about wanting to play for Tottenham.”“You need to play for something that is bigger than a person. It is nice to hear the player say one of the reasons is the manager or the chairman or the new stadium is so exciting.”“I want to hear them say I want to play for Tottenham, to make history, to touch glory with this badge.”
BOSTON — A Rolling Stone cover story featuring a glamorous photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is generating controversy, with several retailers including CVS and Walgreens announcing Wednesday that they will not carry the issue.The cover of the magazine’s Aug. 1 edition is a photo in which Tsarnaev looks more like one of the rock stars that usually grace it than a suspect in the April 15 bombings at the marathon finish line that killed three and wounded more than 260. A preview on the magazine’s website says the story by contributing editor Janet Reitman traces how “a bright kid with a charming future became a monster.”Rolling Stone editors said in a statement that the story falls within the traditions of journalism and the magazine’s commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage.“The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens,” the statement said.The cover was ill-conceived at best and reaffirms a message that destruction gains fame for killers, Boston Mayor Tom Menino wrote in a letter to Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner.
Stay on target ‘Death Saves’ D&D Streetwear: Interview With Designer D…Wesley Snipes Says ‘It’s All Good’ With Marvel Studios’ ‘Blade’ Reboot Film Surely one of the reasons why battle royale games became the biggest thing in gaming is because of how appealingly straightforward the premise is. A bunch of players drop onto an island full of guns and try to murder each other as the walls close in until there’s only one left. Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex Legends may mess around with different ideas in the margins, but that core idea is pretty easy to understand.Hideo Kojima, meanwhile, is making a game where Norman Reedus tries to bridge America back together with a baby in a tube while fighting Mads Mikkelsen’s time-traveling goo soldiers or something in the upcoming Death Stranding. We’re excited, but not because we think it’s going to be easy to understand. And at the game’s San Diego Comic-Con panel Kojima bluntly stated his disinterested in creating something more mainstream.According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kojima got a big applause when he said “The easiest way to make money is to make a game where everyone is on an island trying to shoot each other. I don’t want to make that.”Considering that I’m also more into weird Kojima games than derivative battle royale games, I’m happy about this. But it is a little surprising considering how well the battle royale genre might have blended with Kojima’s past work. For all of its political anime weirdness, Metal Gear is ultimately a game about sneaking around and shooting people like in a battle royale. The kind of intense emotions battle royales evoke in players I have to imagine Kojima would love. And you know if Metal Gear Survive (infamously made without Kojima’s involvement) was made just a year or two later it would’ve been a battle royale game.But this Fortnite shade wasn’t the only thing Kojima had to say at SDCC. The gaming legend talked about how streaming offers new possibilities for the future of the medium. We learned more about Death Stranding characters including Heartman, played by director Nicolas Winding Refn, who dies every few minutes. And we even found out that before he became the breathtaking star of Cyberpunk 2077, Keanu Reeves could’ve taken the Death Stranding role that ultimately went to Mikkelsen. That Metal Gear Keanu mod could’ve been real.For more on Death Stranding, rewatch the latest trailer to see if you can wrap your head around it before the November release. For more on battle royale games, check out PUBG’s attempt at a story for its latest season.
Erik Kusma Faye-Lund, a graphics programmer, introduced Zink on Wednesday. Zinc is an OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan. It is a Mesa Gallium driver that supports OpenGL implementation in Mesa to provide hardware-accelerated OpenGL when only a Vulkan driver is available. Currently, Zink is only available as a source code, distro-packages aren’t available yet. It has only been tested on Linux. To build Zink, one needs to have Git, Vulkan headers and libraries, Meson and Ninja. Also, one needs to build dependencies to compile Mesa. Erik says, “And most importantly, we are not a conformant OpenGL implementation. I’m not saying we will never be, but as it currently stands, we do not do conformance testing, and as such we neither submit conformance results to Khronos.” What Zink may include 1. Just one API OpenGL is a big API and is well-established as a requirement for applications and desktop compositors. But since the release of Vulkan, there are two APIs for essentially the same hardware functionality but both are important. As the software-world is working hard to implement Vulkan support everywhere, this is leading to complexity. One would only require things like desktop compositors to support one API in the future. There might be a future where OpenGL’s role could purely be one of legacy application compatibility. Maybe Zink can help in making the future better! 2. Lessen the workload of GPU drivers Everyone wants less amount of code to maintain for legacy hardware but the drivers to maintain are growing rapidly. Also, new drivers have been written for old hardware. If the hardware is capable of supporting Vulkan, it could be easier to only support Vulkan “natively”, and do OpenGL through Zink. There aren’t infinite programmers that can maintain every GPU driver forever. But maybe with Zink, driver-support might get better and easier. 3. Zink comes with benefits Since Zink is implemented as a Gallium driver in Mesa, there are some side-benefits that come “for free”. For instance, projects like Gallium Nine or Clover could, in theory, may work on top of the i965 Vulkan driver through Zink in the future. In the coming years, Zink might also act as a cooperation-layer between OpenGL and Vulkan code in the same application. 4. Zink could be used as a closed-source Vulkan driver Zink might also run smoothly on top of a closed-source Vulkan driver and still get proper window system integration. What does Zink require? Currently, Zink requires a Vulkan 1.0 implementation and the following extensions: VK_KHR_maintenance1: This extension is required for the viewport flipping. VK_KHR_external_memory_fd : This extension is required for getting the rendered result on screen. Additionally, Erick has also shared a list of features that Zink doesn’t support, which include: Currently, glPointSize() is not supported. Though writing to gl_PointSize from the vertex shader does work. The texture borders are currently black due to Vulkan’s lack of arbitrary border-color support. Currently, no control-flow is supported in the shaders. There is no GL_ALPHA_TEST and glShadeModel(GL_FLAT) support yet. It would be interesting to see how Zink turns out when the features go live! Read more about this news on Kusma’s official website. Read Next Valve’s Steam Play Beta uses Proton, a modified WINE, allowing Linux gamers to play Windows games UI elements and their implementation Game Engine Wars: Unity vs Unreal Engine
May 9, 2018 718 Views in Headlines, journal, News, Servicing, Technology Mr. Cooper, a Dallas-based non-bank mortgage servicer and mortgage lender, today introduced Mr. Cooper with Home Intelligence, a new mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to reimagine the experience of homeownership with tools to help homeowners optimize their personal balance sheets.The new Mr. Cooper with Home Intelligence app is the latest step in the company’s vision to transform the home loan industry with a digital-first approach and a customer-centric experience. The app provides homeowners with valuable insight into their largest asset—their homes—to help them manage not just their mortgage but their broader financial well-being. “U.S. consumer debt continues to climb to new heights, and financial pressures are weighing heavy on millions of Americans. Mr. Cooper is excited to offer an industry-first digital solution that puts the home, rather than the loan, at the center and helps homeowners better understand how to use their home as an asset to strengthen their personal balance sheets,” said Jay Bray, Chairman and CEO of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, the parent company for the Mr. Cooper brand. “The new Mr. Cooper with Home Intelligence app is more than just a new mobile experience; it is a game changer for homeowners looking to get out of high-cost debt. In just a few minutes, the app provides homeowners with solutions to help them achieve their financial goals—from optimizing their debt to realizing monthly savings opportunities to paying off their home sooner.”Home Intelligence gives homeowners:Insight into what their home may be worth, neighborhood trends, and the current state of their equity.Instant, personalized ideas for debt consolidation, such as a cash-out refinance, personal loan, or second mortgage. Plus, homeowners can easily see the pros and cons of the option they choose.Options to save money and manage their debt without the in-depth research and time required to identify similar debt management solutions on their own.A simple way to clearly see how putting monthly savings towards their home loan can help speed up their ultimate goal of owning their home.Direct access through phone or email to a Mr. Cooper mortgage professional who can help homeowners get started with a product and answer questions.To better understand consumer sentiment around debt and equity leading up to launch of Home Intelligence, YouGov, on behalf of Mr. Cooper, conducted a nationwide online survey among more than 1,000 homeowners with over $500 in credit card debt. According to survey results, the burden of credit card debt is putting a strain on many American homeowners: A third of respondents reported having a restless night due to their debt.Forty-five percent of respondents said they were at least somewhat concerned about their debt. Many homeowners are struggling to keep up with monthly payments, while they continue to rack up debt from interest rates: 30 percent of respondents expect to accumulate more credit card debt due to interest rates, while 44 percent have had trouble paying the credit card minimum in the past. But there is hope: 44 percent of respondents have more than $100,000 in home equity. Many homeowners have the ability to use this equity to optimize debt, including high-interest credit card debt, and save thousands of dollars a year. With the new Mr. Cooper with Home Intelligence app, homeowners can easily see their home equity and discover how to use it to save money.Mr. Cooper with Home Intelligence was announced at FinovateSpring in Santa Clara, California. The app will be available to Mr. Cooper customers this summer with plans to launch beyond customers in the near future. To learn more about the Mr. Cooper with Home Intelligence mobile app, visit mrcooper.com/homeintelligence. App Company News Home Equity Home Intelligence Mr Cooper 2018-05-09 David Wharton Mr. Cooper Brings the Power of AI to Homeowners Share
appointmentsContiki Nathan Taylor has been appointed as Head of Sales for Contiki and will be based at the company’s Sydney office effective 25 September 2018.Nathan TaylorTaylor has experience in building strong commercial partnerships and managing multiple teams, with over 10 years’ experience in the Travel Industry, most recently as an Area Leader for Student Flights. “Nathan’s genuine desire to shape the experience of young travellers, aligns with our core values and vision,” said Vanessa Fletcher, Contiki md. “Knowing that our agency partnerships are in good hands thanks to the experience and expertise he brings, we’re excited for him to join our sales team and help drive the success of Contiki in Australia.”