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Cinematography Tip: How the Pros Frame a Close-Up

first_imgThe close-up shot is considered a building block of film. It has become a staple of cinema, featured in nearly every motion picture.Cover image: 2001: A Space Odyssey via MGMThe close-up shot, or CU, tightly frames a character or object. The technique dates back to the 1890s. Typically close-ups are used to portray a character’s emotions, while only framing their face. They are also used to show specific action, like a hand picking up a knife. Close-up shots are also used as cutaways to highlight a specific plot point for the audience.  The First Close-UpImage: Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze  from the Library of Congress via WikipediaIn January of 1894, the Edison Manufacturing Company filmed Thomas Edison’s assistant, Fred Ott, sneezing. Fred Ott’s Sneeze, also called Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze, was filmed at the Black Maria studio by William K.L. Dickson. The Black Maria was the first movie studio in America.This seven second film was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States. It is considered to be one of the earliest – if not the first – uses of a close-up shot in film. (Dickson followed this film with the action-packed sequel Fred Ott Holding a Bird.)In modern terminology, this shot would now be classified as a Medium Close-Up or MCU. It’s the halfway point between a Medium-Shot and a Close-Up. This shot features Fred Ott’s shoulders and chest. The modern close-up only shows an actor’s face.The Passionate Close-UpImage: Maria Falconetti in The Passion of Joan of Arc via StudioCanalPerhaps to most notorious film to feature the close-up was the 1928 drama The Passion of Joan of Arc. The film ran two hours and was almost entirely made up of close-ups. Director Carl Theodor Dreyer wanted the film to use a great deal of close-ups. He felt that the emphasis on the actor’s facial expressions would help the audience feel the fear that Joan felt.There were questions, there were answers- very short, very crisp… Each question, each answer, quite naturally called for a close-up… In addition, the result of the close-ups was that the spectator was as shocked as Joan was, receiving the questions, tortured by them.Ready for My Close-UpBy the 1950s, the close-up was associated with fame. Having a close-up in a film could turn an actor or actress into a celebrity. The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard tells the story of Norma Desmond, a silent film star turned recluse. In regard the the films of the silent era, Desmond declares, “We didn’t need dialogue, we had faces.” It was true, as film audiences would develop the feeling of an intimate relationship with the stars of films. The same film would deliver one of the most iconic lines in film history, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Video from MovieClipsThe Psychotic Close-UpIn 1960, director Alfred Hitchcock terrified audiences with his use of close-ups in his thriller Psycho. By focusing on certain details, Hitchcock was able to circumvent the ratings board. The film seemed much more graphic than it actually was, which is all due to the film’s editing.Video from Roman Holiday (who cuts out of a key shot too soon for some reason)Once Upon a Close-UpImage: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly via United ArtistsDuring the late 1960s, director Sergio Leone would go on to redefine the close-up. In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, he would use it in nontraditional ways. In the above image, the audience first sees a wide shot of the desert landscape. It is then that this face appears right in front of the camera. Since a wide angle lens was used to capture the desert, the man’s face seem stretched and disoriented in this close-up.However, it was the close-ups during the standoff at the end of the film that made The Good, the Bad and the Ugly the epic western it is. Leone uses a series of close-up shots to build tension, constantly cutting between shots of the actors’ faces and their guns.As we await for the first person to draw, Leone then moves in to a series of Extreme Close-Up shots. We only see the eyes of the actors, ultimately moving in a a series of fast-paced quick shots before the first gun is drawn.Video from MovieClipsLeone would follow this film with Once Upon a Time in the West, another western saga that opens with a great series of close-ups of three mysterious men waiting at a train station. This time the audience does not hear the traditional Ennio Morricone musical score or even much dialogue. The audience waits in the abandoned quiet desert surrounding the train station. Using only sound effects and close-up shots, Leone creates an intense amount of drama.Leone’s use of the Extreme Close-Up (XCU or ECU) went on to influence a generation of filmmakers, most notably Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson.Not only has Tarantino gone on to use extreme close-ups throughout his films, his westerns feature nods to the work of Leone. Most notably, Tarantino uses the music of Ennio from Jacob T SwinneyAnderson had always declared his love for the extreme close-up, but he always felt he could push the technique further.I loved extreme close-ups for the longest time, but for some reason, I always felt like, No one is getting it exactly the way I want to see it. The way I want to see an extreme close-up.Video from Jacob T SwinneyThe Close-Up of TodayThroughout the 1980s and 1990s, director Jonathan Demme would center his actor’s in the middle of frame during close-ups. It was that technique that created the terrifying look of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs.Video from Jacob T SwinneyThe close-up is also a favorite of director Edgar Wright, who uses the technique for cutaway transitions.Video from Jaume LloretIn fact, Wright is so passionate about his love for the close-up, he talked about his influences like Martin Scorsese in this interview with David Chen from Slash Film.Video from Slash FilmThe close-up is also still used to build tension, just as Leone had done with his standoff. In fact, the pulse pounding pace and stressful story of Whiplash perfectly captures the intense pressure the main character feels.Video from Between FramesWe couldn’t cover every close-up, so we probably missed your favorite. Which close-ups did we leave off? Want more historical posts like these? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Central team to visit Punjab soon to assess flood damage

first_imgA Central team will soon visit Punjab to assess the damage in the flood-ravaged State, where rains lashed some parts on Sunday as Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed all Ministers and Deputy Commissioners overseeing relief operations to step up vigil. The Chief Minister, who was joined by his Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar and Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, presided over a high-level meeting to review the flood situation in Ferozepur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Rupnagar districts.“Responding to the Chief Minister’s request, the Union Home Ministry has decided to send a Central team to assess the damage and loss due to floods in Punjab too. “Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has informed the State government that a Central team to assess damage on account of floods would also be sent to Punjab, along with 11 other flood ravaged States,” a Punjab government statement said here. Earlier in the day, Capt. Amarinder had tweeted: “In view of resumption of rainfall, have directed all Ministers in charge and DCs to step up vigil ” He has deputed four Ministers — Charanjit Singh Channi, Sunder Sham Arora, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu — to oversee relief operations in the worst-affected Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Rupnagar districts. NDRF, SDRF roleNDRF and SDRF personnel, who are assisted by hundreds of volunteers, have been working overtime to provide succour to the flood-hit population. They have been reaching out to people with food, water, medicines and other essentials.In Jalandhar’s Shahkot, hundreds of flood-affected people thronged a medical camp set up by authorities. “People in numbers are reporting with stomach-related infections, skin allergies, high fever and other ailments,” one of the doctors at the camp said.last_img read more

Indian Premier League 2016: Virat Kohli fiery and a real fighter, says Mitchell Johnson

first_imgFormer Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has accepted that it was a mistake to take a dig at Indian batting superstar Virat Kohli shortly before Australia’s must-win game against the hosts during the ICC World Twenty20. (IPL 2016: Clash of the Captains )Love it!! Went missing in WC semi last yr when it really counts ????? Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) March 26, 2016Kohli smashed an unbeaten 82 off 51 balls as India gunned down a challenging total in Mohali to qualify for the semi-finals where they were defeated by eventual champions West Indies. (It’s CSK effect on Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina )Johnson and Kohli have had a history with each other. The two were seen in animated exchanges during the Adelaide Test of 2014. That was Kohli’s first Test as captain and he nearly pulled off an improbable win for the tourists with twin hundreds.Johnson has since retired but he has returned to India for the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League. As the main strike bowler for Kings XI Punjab, Johnson will once again run into his nemesis and a few fireworks during the T20 extravaganza cannot be ruled out.”One man who definitely thrives on the extra scrutiny and pressure is Virat Kohli. The man is a superstar and he showed why during the World Twenty20, when he almost single-handedly dragged India into the final,” wrote Johnson in his column for Fox Sports . “You might have seen that I had a little dig at Virat on Twitter before India’s match against Australia. That was just an attempt by me to throw him off his game but given he scored 82 off 51 balls, I don’t think it was such a smart move!”advertisementKohli was upset with Johnson when the left-arm quick threw a ball back at him in Adelaide. While Johnson said he only meant to run the batsman out, Kohli was annoyed because the ball had hit him. The two had a nasty altercation on the field and later Kohli told the media that he had no respect for Johnson. (Fans to turn umpires this IPL )”We have had our differences and most of it stems from the 2014 Adelaide Test, when a ball I threw hit Virat on the body. I was legitimately trying to run him out but he didnt like what I did. When he made some comment in the media that night about having no respect for me as a player, that is when I got really annoyed.”However, Johnson said Kohli was a real fighter and he understood where the fire came from. The former Aussie pacer, who had ripped the England batting line-up apart during the 2013-14 Ashes, felt Kohli was a lot like Australian cricketers.”Virat is the kind of player you would want in your team. He is a real fighter and to be honest he is a bit like most of us were in the Australian team. We go pretty hard on the field, and he has got that about him as well.”The fact he plays the game like us is probably why we have rubbed each other the wrong way. If I sit back and digest it properly, we are actually quite similar in the way we approach the game.”He is a fiery character and he pushes the boundaries, just like I have always tried to do. Maybe that is why we have clashed so often,” wrote Johnson.last_img read more

Neymar, under fire for tax evasion, buys jet worth USD 9 million

first_imgBrazilian football star Neymar has bought a Cessna 680 plane valued at $9.1 million, the media reported on Friday.The purchase was made through a mortgage signed with the company Bir Participacoes, according to a document published by the website of the newspaper O Globo on Friday, reports Xinhua.The Cessna 680 is a medium sized business jet that can carry up to 12 people.On February, the Brazilian Federal Justice ordered blocking the accounts and assets of Neymar in order to guarantee payment of possible fines in cases open against the player for alleged tax evasion.The Brazilian authorities have asked Neymar to pay 63.6 billion reals ($16 million) in taxes on undeclared income between fiscal years 2011 and 2013, concerning his transfer from Santos to Barcelona.Among the assets of which the footballer can use but not sell are a $3.8 million helicopter, a yacht and another plane.last_img read more

I dedicate my Arjuna Award to women of India: Bembem Devi

first_imgOinam Bembem Devi, the flagbearer of Indian women’s football for over two decades, today dedicated her Arjuna Award to women of the country who are trying to break the stereotypes.The 37-year-old Bembem Devi retired from international football last year during the South Asian Games in Shillong, having represented India in 85 games and scoring 32 goals.”I dedicate this to all the women in the country who overcome hurdles every day in the sociological context to excel in their respective fields. This award is for all of them as much it is for my mom, all my teammates and coaches.”I also need to thank AIFF for the continuous support,” Bembem Devi was quoted as sating ‘’.Bembem Devi made her international debut in 1995 and is closely associated with All India Football Federation (AIFF) for spreading awareness about women’s football in India.Asked how much her Arjuna recognition would help to enhance the women’s game in the country, the Manipuri said, “As I said, there are sociological obstacles in India which sometimes disallow girls to play football.”I feel my award will encourage parents to send the girl child to play football as now they understand that you can win an Arjuna Award by playing women’s football in India.”Bembem Devi, who once took back her retirement, eventually bowed out on a high after winning the SAF Games gold medal in Shillong in February 2015.”After my initial retirement, I was floored when AIFF called me up and requested me to take back my retirement. ‘You deserve a better farewell’ I was told.advertisement”I wasn’t sure, but they insisted. It eventually came when we won the SAF Games gold medal before a packed house in Shillong. I am not sure if this has ever happened in Indian football ever. Thank you AIFF for giving me the honour,” an emotional Bembem Devi said.Talking further about the Arjuna Award, she said, “It is one of the highest recognitions for any sportsperson in India.Right from childhood I have heard about the Arjuna Award.”No sportsperson ever plays for any recognition but at times, it can be so satisfying. My sacrifice over the past two decades has not gone waste.”Asked if she had any message for the girls, Bembem Devi said, “Follow your dream and always believe in yourself. There is no alternate to hard work. Aim for the sky and you will achieve it.last_img read more

Here’s How Every Conference Performed In The First Round Of The NCAA Tournament

first_imgNCAA basketballs sitting in a ball rack on the court.SUNRISE, FL – DECEMBER 21: NCAA basketballs in a rack on the court during the shoot-around proipr to the game between the Florida Gators and the Fresno State Bulldogs during the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic on December 21, 2013 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Florida defeated Fresno State 66-49. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)We’re 32 contests into the 2016 NCAA Tournament, and a few things are already clear. The ACC, after posting a 6-1 record in the first round, is headed for a stellar postseason. The Pac-12, meanwhile, after finishing just 2-5, isn’t getting much love from pundits. Other winners? The Big Ten posted a 5-3 mark, despite 2-seed Michigan State destroying everyone’s brackets after losing to 15-seed Middle Tennessee. The Big East put together a 4-1 record. The Missouri Valley finished 3-0.The losers? The Big 12’s top teams (Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State) survived, but West Virginia, Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas all faltered. The AAC wound up 1-3, with just UConn advancing. Here’s a list showing the record for every conference that got at least two bids. As noted, the ACC is top dog.Heading to Sat, conference standings…(multiple bids)ACC 6-1B1G, 5-3Beast, 4-1MVC, 3-0B12, 3-4SEC, 2-1A10, 2-1Pac-12, 2-5 AAC, 1-3— Adam Gold (@AGoldFan) March 19, 2016How will it look after the second round?last_img read more

Meet Up Monday: Barking Irons

first_img How to Drink Absinthe and Live to Tell the Tale 1. Barking Irons 2. Barking Irons 3. Barking Irons 4. Barking Irons 5. Barking Irons 6. Barking Irons 7. Barking Irons Editors’ Recommendations Long Hair for Men: Tips for Growing and Maintaining Your Style Why Every Man Should Care About Slow Fashion center_img NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski on Crashing, Winning, and Creating a Legacy Founded in 2003 by brothers Daniel and Michael Casarella, Barking Irons began as a T-shirt brand that specialized in graphics based on the history and folklore of 19th century New York City and The Bowery a la “Gangs of New York.” It later expanded to a full-on clothing collection, which is still produced and sold online today.However, in 2009, the brothers started creating cobranded tour T-shirts for the band The Kings of Leon, which were so successful that they soon shifted their business concentration to producing tour merchandise for musicians. Today they work with about 15 acts, including The Kings of Leon, Billy Joel, Beirut, Jake Bugg, Dawes, Albert Hammond Jr., Manchester Orchestra, Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono.Now they are looking to return to fashion that is not music-related and will release a new collection of bags ($100 to $300) on their website in mid September.The pair recently spoke to me in their SoHo studio about their creative evolution and what the future holds for their brand.How did you first get involved making music merchandise?Michael: It came about really organically. It was about 2007 or 2008. And at the time one of our favorite bands, The Kings of Leon, called us up and asked us if we would be interested in sponsoring an afterparty. About six months later we got a call asking if we would be interested in doing some limited merchandising T-shirts for the band because they were looking for something cooler than was offered in music merchandise.Daniel: A lot of these bands that we love don’t really have someone minding their brand on the merchandise level. Let alone the visual in general. Some of them were missing the boat entirely. That’s really where we saw the opportunity.Michael: Our product went on tour with The Kings and we were only doing about 20 percent of the offerings and our shirts were the bestselling by far. And they were about $10 more than the other ones.Aside from price, what sets your product apart from typical concert merchandise?Michael: People like wearing their band T-shirts and it has always been such a disappointment to me when I go to buy my band T-shirt and I get it home­–or I sober up the next day–and it doesn’t fit and I realize that it’s a shitty shirt. That was our mantra was to make shirts that when people buy them that they would say, “This is an awesome shirt.” And that actually resonated with the bands.Why is all your band merchandise cobranded?Daniel: We really wanted to tell the artist, as a fashion label, this is what we do. By having us develop your visuals and your merchandise you are actually adding value to your brand. Without that fashion-label end, I don’t know that the attraction would have been as strong.Michael: We started realizing in 2008-2009 that music merchandise is a big category and it’s still in its prehistoric days and there’s no actual brand in it. It’s all Acme-branded stuff, which the customer feels. They don’t feel like they are getting anything special. They feel like they are getting a big shadowy corporation that puts logos on shirts and sells them under the name.Daniel: We also thought: Why not think bigger and with more of an apparel mind? Develop better garments. People will buy denim jackets at an Iron Maiden concert that are duded up. And likewise for other artists. We were talking to Sean Lennon, who is one of our clients, about doing blazers with patches and personal drawings. So stuff like that also made us think: Let’s also break the mold of what’s going on these merchandise stands.How involved are the musicians in the design process?Daniel: It depends on the artist. For bigger artists like Billy Joel it is not a collaboration at all and he doesn’t want to be involved in it. And for Yoko Ono the best we’ll get is that she will tell us that she wants a white shirt for that particular art. But for people like Sean Lennon I can work directly with him on things. So it is really a full gamut.What’s new for Barking Irons on the non-music front?Daniel: We are actually weeks away from releasing a capsule of very cool bags. We’ve done bags before and gotten good attention. They’re all-purpose bags in waxed canvas and leather and mixed media. But they still have the Barking Irons old-world urban identity. We developed these bags ranging from a very cool everyday tote to a weekender and a knapsack. Conceptually they are all white or a natural color and the idea is that they will gain hues by rubbing against your denim and start to discolor. We are also doing a black version for the customer who just wants a black bag. Of course T-shirts and henleys will be a part of this offering because we do them day and night.How would you say the brand has evolved over the years?Daniel: If you think about what we were originally hooked into, which was this old New York history and largely folklore, and if you think about what folklore was on The Bowery, it transcended music. That is still kind of what the brand is all about. It’s just a wider breadth of folklore now, which at one time would have been on The Bowery from punk in the 1970s to tap dancing in the 1870s. A Peek Inside the Joseph Abboud Factory: Italian Fabric, Made in Americalast_img read more

Persons Encouraged to Get Screened for Colon Cancer

first_imgStory Highlights “More than 90 per cent of colon cancer cases are diagnosed in men and women older than 50. A family history of colon cancer or polyps, especially among first-degree relatives, can also increase the risk,” she added. Senior Lecturer in Anatomic Pathology and Consultant Pathologist at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Dr. Nadia Williams, says persons should talk to their doctors to find out if certain risk factors for colon cancer apply to them.Speaking at a Colon Cancer Medical Symposium on March 11 at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Hotel, St. James, Dr. Williams pointed out that having a family history of colon cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease of significant duration increase colon cancer risk.“More than 90 per cent of colon cancer cases are diagnosed in men and women older than 50. A family history of colon cancer or polyps, especially among first-degree relatives, can also increase the risk,” she added.She further noted that health hazards and bad habits, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, physical inactivity, a diet high in fat or red meat, vitamin deficiencies, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables are also colon cancer risks.“They work synergistically to cause genetic alterations in the cells,” she explained, adding that colon cancer is caused by the accumulation of multiple genetic accidents.She pointed out that it is the third commonest cancer among Jamaican men, and that the survival rate is 90 per cent when detected in its early stages.Dr. Williams said that colon cancer usually has no symptoms in its early stages, and tests for the disease are as important as annual pap tests, mammograms and prostate examinations.“There are several tests for colon cancer, so talk to your doctor about which one is right for you. A colonoscopy can find and remove growths, which are called polyps, before they turn into actual cancer. If you have bleeding from your rectum or blood in your stool, do not hesitate… go see a doctor. Prevention as we all know, is better than cure,” she said.Colon cancer almost always develops from precancerous changes or growths in the lining of the colon, called polyps. It can be prevented if the precancerous polyps are found and removed.Dr. Williams added that it is important for individuals to make smart choices as it relates to a healthy lifestyle, noting that the consequences for doing otherwise can be fatal.“It’s a matter of doing the things that will and can reduce your chances of getting cancer. Early detection is very important. It is also equally important to make the commitment to a positive lifestyle change,” she said. Senior Lecturer in Anatomic Pathology and Consultant Pathologist at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Dr. Nadia Williams, says persons should talk to their doctors to find out if certain risk factors for colon cancer apply to them. She further noted that health hazards and bad habits, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, physical inactivity, a diet high in fat or red meat, vitamin deficiencies, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables are also colon cancer risks.last_img read more

Norden Aims to Return to Profit in 2017

first_imgzoom As 2016 was a particularly difficult year for the shipping industry, Danish shipping company Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S said that its adjusted results for the year amounted to a loss of USD 35 million. Norden added that the results are in line with the latest expectations, as the company generated earnings in dry cargo and tankers which were 19% and 7% above the market, respectively.From the historical low in February, the dry cargo market gradually improved, while the markets within Norden’s product tankers business started the year with good rates that dropped considerably as more product tankers were delivered, and demand growth declined.“In general, the markets developed as expected in 2016, and Norden positioned itself towards them also on the long term through a number of initiatives,” Jan Rindbo, CEO of Norden, said.The company has focused and optimised the fleet, increased operator activities in dry cargo and reduced annual fleet operating costs by USD 15 million. This has not prevented a loss in 2016, “but it plays a part in creating the foundation for the fact that the midpoint of our expectations for 2017 indicates a profit.”“In 2017, in dry cargo we will focus on taking advantage of expected improved markets and strengthening our operator activities, while in tankers we are focusing on positioning ourselves towards possible market improvements after 2017,” Rindbo said.Against that background, Norden expects its adjusted annual results for 2017 to be in the range of USD -20 million to USD 40 million.last_img read more

Updates to the Pipeline Act

first_img permit and licence applications monitoring and enforcing orders around pipelines and public safety. The province is proposing changes to the Pipeline Act that will give the Utility and Review Board broader power and more options to ensure compliance. “Our current act has been in place since 1989,” said Energy Minister Barry Barnet. “It is time to update the act to allow Nova Scotia to develop regulations that reflect practices in other provinces.” The board has authority to regulate certain pipelines under the Pipeline Act. These changes will expand the board’s authority around: If the amendments are passed, government will introduce draft regulations for public comment, likely in the fall. The Pipeline Act covers Heritage Gas pipelines and the onshore Sable natural gas liquids line that runs from Goldboro to the Strait area. It does not cover private gas lines in homes and businesses nor the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline. Private gas lines in homes are covered by the Fuel Safety Act. The Maritimes and Northeast pipeline is covered by the National Energy Board.last_img read more

TMC expels Hill leader Sarda Subba

first_imgDarjeeling: Sarda Rai Subba of the Darjeeling District Hill Trinamool Congress has been expelled from the party for anti-party activities. This comes in the wake of Subba filing her nomination as an Independent candidate for the Darjeeling Assembly bypolls, going against party decision. TMC has not fielded any candidate for the Hill bypoll but is supporting Binay Tamang who is also contesting as an Independent candidate. In the Lok Sabha election, the GJM (Binay faction) had not fielded any candidate, whereas GJM MLA from Darjeeling Amar Singh Rai was fielded as a TMC candidate supported by GJM. On the last day of filing nominations Subba, the TMC Women’s Wing president, Darjeeling, filed nomination as an Independent candidate. She did not withdraw her nomination despite repeated requests. A press release from Aroop Biswas, general secretary and Observer, Darjeeling District Trinamool Congress, stated that Subba is being expelled from the party for 6 years.last_img read more

Netherlands determined to strengthen cooperation ties with Morocco ambassador

first_imgEl Jadida – The Netherlands is determined to strengthen cooperation ties with Morocco, mainly in the fields of the environment, economy, and culture, said, Thursday in El Jadida, Ambassador of the Netherlands, Ron G. Strikker. Trade is expected to reach a higher level in the coming years, especially with the takeoff after the current global economic crisis, he told MAP at the end of a meeting of Dutch businessmen with members of the Association of Moroccan Businesswomen (AFEM), in the presence of the governor of the province, Mouad El Jamai and several local actors.Morocco is full of economic potential to stimulate trade between the two countries, he noted, adding that the visit of the Dutch delegation aims to explore the industrial, agricultural and tourist potential of the Doukkala- Abda region. He said the economic platform of the region is marked by the diversification of activities and the great dynamism supported by good local governance.last_img read more

Member States focus on reducing poverty ahead of UN summit

“As world leaders are preparing to discuss progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and efforts to reduce poverty, democracy remains central to any development approach,” Joseph Deiss, President of the General Assembly, told a meeting at UN Headquarters. The President has identified the pursuit of the MDGs – which include slashing poverty, fighting disease, halting environmental degradation and boosting health – along with UN reform and the promotion environmentally sustainable development as key areas of focus for the Assembly’s 65th session, which kicked off on Tuesday.“In particular, we must bridge the gaps in the fight against hunger, child mortality and maternal health,” he told a news conference yesterday. “This is possible,” he added. “Our work in the coming week must result in a sincere commitment and a genuine plan of action to ensure that we reach the ambitious goal that the international community set for itself in 2000.”The three-day summit on the MDGs, convened by the 192-member Assembly, begins in New York next Monday and is expected to attract nearly 140 heads of State and government, as well as dozens of representatives from civil society groups, foundations and the private sector.Mr. Deiss said in an interview with the UN News Centre that he hoped the summit will give additional impetus to efforts to advance the Goals.“What the General Assembly can produce most is to create the momentum. We need to mobilize, to motivate, to bring the Member States to more action,” he said, adding that he expects Member States to come prepared to put forward concrete commitments on what they will do over the next five years.This, he added, will hopefully send a clear message to the outside world that despite the economic crisis and despite other difficulties, countries are still committed to achieving the targets they set for themselves in 2000. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today’s meeting is an important opportunity to underline the pivotal role that democracy plays in reducing poverty and promoting human well-being, as it comes just days before the summit. “The political consensus is clear; and experience bears it out: transparency, accountability, and responsive governance are essential if our work for development is to succeed,” he told the gathering. “Robust oversight… a vibrant civil society… popular participation… the free exchange of information and ideas: all these hallmarks of democracy are also crucial for generating economic growth and securing social justice.” Mr. Ban has said that he will use next week’s summit to launch a global strategy for women’s and children’s health. 15 September 2010Member States today underlined the vital role that democracy plays in reducing poverty, just days before a major United Nations summit on how to advance the ambitious development targets world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015. read more

Foreign exchange rates

These are indicative wholesale rates for foreign currency provided by the Bank of Canada on Wednesday. Quotations in Canadian funds.Australia dollar 0.9801Brazil real 0.3943China renminbi 0.1880Euro 1.4628Hong Kong dollar 0.156718India rupee 0.01914Indonesia rupiah 0.0000920Japan yen 0.01125Malaysia ringgit 0.2894Mexico peso 0.06885N.Z. dollar 0.8838Norway krone 0.1575Peruvian new sol 0.3790Russia rouble 0.02137Saudi riyal 0.3270Singapore dollar 0.9081South Africa rand 0.09565South Korean won 0.001082Sweden krona 0.1540Switzerland franc 1.2829Taiwanese dollar 0.04075Thailand baht 0.03700Turkey lira 0.3575U.K. pound 1.6008U.S. dollar 1.2264Vietnam dong 0.000054 read more

Oakville man arrested for robbery with homemade shotgun

Halton police have arrested a 30-year-old man following an armed robbery at a convenience store in Oakville.Officers were called to the Piggy Mart convenience store on Lakeshore Rd. at 7:35 p.m. Tuesday for reports of a robbery. Police arrested Ronald Marwick, of Oakville, as he attempted to leave the store. Investigators say Marwick was in possession of a loaded homemade firearm that was designed to fire a 12 gauge shotgun shell, a conducted energy weapon disguised as a flashlight and 12 more shotgun shells.Marwick is also accused of smashing the security cameras during the robbery and breaking the window of a parked vehicle and stealing miscellaneous documents.He is facing several charges including mischief, robbery using a firearm and unauthorized possession of a weapon.Armed man w/ loaded homemade shotgun, robbed a convenience store & walked out only to be arrested by one of our #finest arriving onscene. Our officers continue to do their best at #emergency response: @HRPSOak— Deputy Duraiappah (@DeputyNish) November 29, 2017 read more

Israel not complying with General Assembly demand to halt barrier Annan

Israel is not in compliance with a demand by the United Nations General Assembly to halt and take down a barrier on occupied Palestinian land, and the construction in present circumstances cannot be seen “as anything but a deeply counterproductive act,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report released today. Mr. Annan cites the following evidence monitored by UN staff on the ground to support his conclusion: ongoing construction along the northeast boundary of the West Bank and Jerusalem; levelling of land; issuance of land requisition orders; release of the first official map showing the planned route and a declaration of intent to complete the barrier by 2005.While recognizing Israel’s “right and duty to protect its people against terrorist attacks” and noting that it began the barrier began after a sharp rise in Palestinian terror attacks in 2002, he adds: “That duty should not be carried out in a way that is in contradiction of international law, that could damage the longer term prospects for peace by making the creation of an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state more difficult, or that increases suffering among the Palestinian people.”Mr. Annan also notes Israel’s repeated statements that the barrier is a temporary security measure and does not represent a “political or other border,” but he says its scope and the amount of occupied land being requisitioned or that will end up within the barrier are of serious concern and have implications for the future. Referring to the Road Map peace plan sponsored by the UN, European Union, Russia and United States, which aims at a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace by 2005, Mr. Annan writes: “In the midst of the Road Map process, when each party should be making good faith confidence-building, gestures, the barrier’s construction in the West Bank cannot, in this regard, be seen as anything but a deeply counterproductive act.“The placing of most of the structure on occupied Palestinian land could impair future negotiations,” he adds, noting that in places the barrier deviates more than 7.5 kilometres, and its planned route by up to 22 kilometres, from the pre-1967 war ‘green line’ border to incorporate Israeli settlements while encircling Palestinian areas.In such an eventuality, some 975 square kilometres, or 16.6 per cent of the entire West bank, including the homes of some 220,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and 17,000 elsewhere, would lie between the barrier and the Green Line, while a further 160,000 would live in almost completely encircled enclaves. The planned route also places 320,000 Israelis between the barrier and the Green Line, including some 178,000 in occupied East Jerusalem, Mr. Annan adds.The report was requested by General Assembly Resolution A/ES –10/13 of 23 October 2003. read more

World moves towards gender parity in basic education UN says

The Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, Rachel Mayanja, told the 23-member Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) that girls and women were being denied decision-making roles, were being left in abject poverty and were vulnerable to being trafficked.Educational opportunities were being equalized in many countries and probably would be nearly met by 2005, except in sub-Saharan Africa and southern and western Asia, she said at the opening of the Committee’s 32nd session.Discriminatory laws remained on the books in some countries, as did laws whose outcome was anti-female discrimination. As parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 179 countries were obliged to translate the treaty into domestic law and find practical ways to achieve gender equality, Ms. Mayanja said.Meanwhile, until 28 January eight Governments and some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were scheduled to report to the committee and receive feedback on official steps they had taken to provide equality of opportunity to women nationals.The eight are Algeria, Croatia, Gabon, Italy, Laos, Paraguay, Samoa and Turkey. read more

US new home sales jump 79 per cent in August to 421K

US new home sales jump 7.9 per cent in August to 421K, biggest one-month gain since January by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Sep 25, 2013 10:26 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Americans stepped up purchases of new homes in August after cutting back in July, suggesting that higher mortgage rates are not yet slowing the housing recovery.Sales of new homes increased 7.9 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 421,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That comes after sales plunged 14.1 per cent in July to a 390,000 annual rate.The rebound in sales could ease worries that higher mortgage rates have started to dampen sales. It coincided with the best month of sales for previously occupied homes in more than six years. And homebuilders remain more confident in the market than they’ve been in eight years.Still, some buyers may be racing to close deals before rates rise further. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage has risen more than a full percentage point since May.New-homes sales were 12.6 per cent higher in August than a year ago, although the pace remains well below the 700,000 consistent with a healthy market.The number of new homes available for sale rose 3.6 per cent from July to 175,000. That’s still relatively lean — at the August sales’ pace it would take five months to exhaust the supply.The median price of a new home sold in August fell 0.7 per cent from July to $254,600.Sales rose in all but one region of the country in August, increasing 19.6 per cent in the Midwest, 15.3 per cent in the South and 8.8 per cent in the Northeast. Sales plunged 14.6 per cent in the West, the second straight month of double-digit declines.The housing market has been one of the strongest performers this year in an otherwise sluggish economy, helped by steady job gains, low mortgage rates and a limited supply of available homes for sale.Sales of previously occupied homes rose in August to a seasonally adjusted 5.5 million annual pace, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. That’s a healthy level and the highest in more than six years.The realtors’ group cautioned that the August pace could represent a temporary peak. The gain reflected closings and largely occurred because many buyers rushed to lock in mortgage rates in June and July before they increased further. The Realtors said buyer traffic dropped off noticeably in August, likely reflecting the higher rates.Many economists say the housing recovery should withstand the recent rate increase. Mortgage rates are still quite low by historical standards. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.5 per cent last week.Though new homes represent only a fraction of the housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to National Association of Home Builders. read more

Ukraine leader defends himself in offshore account leaks

Ukraine leader defends himself in offshore account leaks by Ken Moritsugu, The Associated Press Posted Apr 6, 2016 3:42 am MDT Last Updated Apr 6, 2016 at 4:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Poroshenko said at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday that an offshore holding company set up for his candy business was a necessary step to put his assets into a blind trust when he became president in 2014.(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) TOKYO – One day after the prime minister of Iceland resigned, the president of Ukraine defended himself Wednesday in the massive leak of records on offshore accounts that has named political officials, business and celebrities from around the world.President Petro Poroshenko said at a news conference in Tokyo that his case is significantly different than others in the so-called Panama Papers, including those in Iceland and Russia, where friends of President Vladimir Putin have been named.An offshore holding company set up for his candy business was necessary to put his assets into a blind trust when he became president in 2014, Porshenko said.He was in Japan to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and business leaders.The leaks have raised suspicion that such offshore entities were set up to avoid taxes, but Porshenko denied that was the purpose in his case. Rather, he said, it was the only way to put his assets into a blind trust through Rothschild investment bank.“This is absolutely normal procedure, and I think this is the main difference from the naming of all the political figures in this Panama list,” he said.Asked why he had failed to fulfil a campaign promise to sell his business if elected, Porshenko said there are no buyers for assets in a country “in a state of war.”He said he was open to an investigation.“If we have anything to be investigated, I am happy to do that,” he said. “But, this is absolutely transparent from the very beginning. No hidden account, no associated management, no nothing.” read more

Wellness activities aim to reduce stress on campus

To help ease student stresses during a tense time, several free Wellness Wednesday initiatives will be held on campus March 29 and April 5.“It’s the last week of classes and people are stressed out and overwhelmed,” said Jaclyn-Rae Tanguay, special events co-ordinator with the Brock University Students’ Union. “We want to be there to help.”With exams on the horizon, she’s hopeful people will take a few minutes out of their busy schedule to take advantage of the various offerings.Wednesday, March 29 will kick off with a free breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at Isaac’s Bar and Grill.Free fruit will also be offered throughout the day at the General Brock store.Student Life and Community Experience is hosting a Charity Car Smash in support of MADD Canada from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants can exchange a $2 donation for two chances to smash the vehicle that will be sitting in the field in front of Schmon Tower.Free massages and free chiropractic check-ups, hosted by the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre and BUSU respectively, will take place in Skybar Lounge from 1 to 5 p.m.The centre is also bringing the popular puppy room, which allows students to interact with St. John Ambulance therapy dogs, to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts from 12:30 to 3 p.m.The day will conclude with We Love Laser Tag in the Bob Davis Gymnasium from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.Participants will receive two games of laser tag in exchange for a $5 donation to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.All of the Wellness Wednesday events are meant to be quick drop-in initiatives that require little time commitment from students, said Tanguay, in her third year of Business Communication.“It’s a chance for them to stop in for half an hour, get refreshed and then get back to studying,” she said. “It’s a great cause. It’s been really well received.”Wellness Wednesday will return April 5 for the final time this term.The puppy room will return to the main campus from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pond Inlet and free fruit will again be offered throughout the day at General Brock.Thirty-minute paddleboarding sessions will be offered at the pool from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants must sign up in advance at the Walker Complex Welcome Desk.An art therapy class be held in Isaac’s from 2 to 5 p.m., with canvases set up for students to drop in and create whatever they please using supplied materials.If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed, support is available on campus.Student Health Services, located in Harrison Hall next to Campus Security, can be reached at 905-688-5550, ext. 3243, and personal counselling, in Schmon Tower 400, at ext. 3240.For more information, visit read more