Snowfall damages Kashmir’s apple crop

first_imgAuthorities on Sunday grappled with the aftermath of untimely heavy snowfall in the Kashmir valley where power supply, apple orchards and road connectivity were badly hit in the past 24 hours. Over 700 stranded passengers were evacuated to safer locations.According to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCI), preliminary reports received from various fruit associations suggest losses to the tune of ₹500 crore. Early snowfall in November, for the first time in nine years, uprooted apple trees and damaged fruit on Saturday.“A particular variety of apple, Maharaji, was still hanging from the trees. We have reports of huge losses,” Divisional Commissioner-Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan said.National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah demanded comprehensive compensation for the affected orchardists. “The government should offer succour to the farmers and orchardists, who form the backbone of the State’s economy,” said Mr. Abdullah.Demanding compensation, Peoples Democratic Party (PDF) leader and former horticulture minister A.R.Veeri said, “Technical advice of the horticulture experts should be sought to counsel the snow-hit orchardists about the measures required to revive the half-damaged fully grown apple plants.”Valley in darkness Governor Satya Pal Malik’s administration was criticised for its failure to restore electricity in all ten districts of Kashmir, home to over 70 lakh population. The Valley, including several hospitals, reeled in darkness through the night. “Electricity will be restored in 90% of the affected areas by Sunday evening,” said the Governor’s advisor, Khursheed Ganai.Over 700 civilians stranded on the highways at Jawhar Tunnel and at Sonmarg were rescued in the night. The police restored traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Sunday to allow stranded vehicles to reach their destinations. However, the Mughal Road and the Srinagar-Leh Road remained closed due to major landslides.last_img read more

Exit interview: CDC epidemiologist sees hope for controlling Ebola in southeastern Liberia

first_img Ebola is exceedingly real at this training of health care workers. Fish Town didn’t have an Ebola case until August. Contact tracing in Gee River County means motorbiking on muddy roads. At first, the contact tracers were met with some hostility; one town threatened to burn the ambulance some of the workers were traveling in. The team held a community meeting with town leaders. “I’ve never seen a large-scale community gathering change its mood like that after getting information delivered and being heard,” he says. “By the end, they were OK with it.”Bjork says he saw a lot of signs that the international response to the epidemic is being ramped up. Welthungerhilfe, a German nongovernmental organization, was helping build a community care center at a local school that would isolate suspected Ebola patients and provide some medical treatment. Samaritan’s Purse, the missionary group, flew a team in by helicopter to start building a more sophisticated Ebola treatment center. The World Health Organization and the Liberian ministry of health sent in trainers to teach health care workers how to safely do their jobs. Adam Bjork Later on, the pharmacist from Grand Kru and his son fell ill. They took a taxi with three other family members, presumably to seek care in Monrovia. First they drove through River Gee County toward a city on its northern border, Zwedru, the capital of Grand Gedeh County. “They got turned away at the border,” Bjork says, so they headed south toward Maryland County. The taxi driver and family members spent a night in River Gee en route. “Somewhere in River Gee the dad and son died in the taxi,” Bjork says. All three of the remaining family members became Ebola cases, as did the driver. Two were transported to Monrovia, where they died.In all, the virus that infected the woman on 2 August spread to 10 others in River Gee, marking the county’s first 11 cases. Four others who are at least suspected to have had the disease were in Maryland County and Monrovia. By the time Bjork left on 29 September, all the health care facilities had reopened or were preparing to do so soon.Bjork says the outbreak in River Gee County is so “fresh” that with training of health care workers, educating communities, contact tracing, and swift isolation of patients, it can still be contained. “This Ebola treatment unit being built may never need to be used,” he says. “They have an opportunity—if that’s the right word—to get ahead, where more populated counties that got hit earlier in the outbreak were forced to play catch-up.”*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public. None of Liberia’s four counties in the far southeastern corner of the country (dark blue) had a case of Ebola until August. CDC, MMWR Adam Bjork Liberia has become synonymous with out-of-control Ebola and all the horrors that follow. But Liberia is a fairly large country, nearly the size of Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium combined. Adam Bjork, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, spent the last 2 weeks in the southeastern corner of the country, which has seen relatively few Ebola cases. He spoke with ScienceInsider on 6 October as he waited for his flight home at the airport in Monrovia, the country’s Ebola-ravaged capital.Bjork had an unusually optimistic assessment about the opportunities to curb the epidemic in remote River Gee County, home to some 70,000 of Liberia’s 4.3 million inhabitants. But he also had a most frightening story about a sick family, traveling from place to place in a taxi in a desperate search for care, who inadvertently spread the virus.CDC sent Bjork to Fish Town, the capital of River Gee County, a 3-day drive from Monrovia this rainy time of year, to assess the situation. He arrived on 15 September, one of three CDC employees sent to the southeast to “be eyes and ears on the ground and give our bosses in Monrovia a sense of what’s going on.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Health workers in Fish Town told Bjork about a woman who died on 2 August in River Gee, presumably the county’s first Ebola case. Before arriving in River Gee, she had been in Monrovia and in Grand Kru County, which borders River Gee, where she saw a pharmacist.Five people who had been in close contact with the woman in either Grand Kru or River Gee fell ill—including her boyfriend, an aunt, and roommates—and became suspect, probable, or confirmed Ebola cases. (Confirmation requires evidence of the virus with a polymerase chain reaction test that was not readily available for most cases.) Three died. In a “secondary wave,” three people who cared for some of these five people became cases, and only one survived. Adam Bjork When Bjork was in River Gee, a woman and her daughter showed up at the hospital; both were suspected Ebola cases. The infected taxi riders had stayed at their house when passing through River Gee.One health care facility after another in River Gee County began shuttering its doors in fear. “They were all closed except for a maternity ward,” Bjork says. The reasons varied but were understandable, he says: “A lot of workers wanted to help and felt it was their duty, but they wanted to be trained.”Bjork worked with local health officials to piece together the chain of transmission and to help mount an effective response. Despite the bleak situation, he’s still optimistic about the Ebola outbreak in the remote area. “They could get in front of it out there,” Bjork says.During his 2-week stay, Bjork worked with a team in Fish Town to do contact tracing. He was surprised by how well-organized the effort was already. “I came with a template to make sure they had initiated the tracing, but what they’d done had covered the vast majority of it,” Bjork says. But they were short on motorbikes and vehicles to do the fieldwork. “They know what to do, but they don’t have the resources,” he says. “And they need to communicate with nearby communities so they’re accepted there to do it.”last_img read more

Longer PKL wont lead to viewer fatigue: Franchise official

first_imgMumbai, Jul 11 (PTI) The CEO of Pro Kabaddi Leagues Mumbai franchise team, Supratik Sen, dismssed fears that an extended league would affect interest among fans of the league and feels it will, in fact, help build fan loyalty. “Every prominent global sporting league is played across 6 to 10 months and we have noticed an appetite for the sport and don?t see viewer and fan fatigue at all. In fact we see an extended season allowing us to create an expanded viewer base and build fan loyalty,” said U Mumbas Sen. “This extended leagues is a positive development for the team and the players. But the extended league also has us developing a new strategy for the increased number of games, while continuing to pursuing excellence and also accommodating for player and team fatigue. “In 2016, we had two Pro Kabaddi seasons and through that year there no was dip in interest in the sport, as seen by TV ratings and ticket sales. A longer season will also be a boost for franchises as it increases potential for teams to increase on all revenue fronts or revenue buckets,” added Sen. The upcoming season 5 of PKL will see a dozen franchise outfits, up from eight in season 4, fighting it out for the honours from July 28 to October 28. The four new teams are Haryana Steelers, Tamil Thalaivas, Gujarat Fortunegiants and UP Yoddha. His own team is geared up for the tougher challenge due to the longer season and increased matches, said Sen. “As a team, we?ve always tried to take a different approach to everything we do. This season too is no different in terms of our approach. Our pre-season training camp kicked off in Dehradun closer to Mussoorie in the first week of June. This camp site is an ideal location for a training boot camp as it allows for altitude training. Being cut-off from the city helps keep the focus completely on training,” he said. “Our aim has always been to be a professionally run and consistently performing side, and having done that across 4 previous seasons of the Pro Kabaddi League, I do consider ourselves amongst one of the top Kabaddi teams. We also have been Champions in Season Two and finalists twice, which makes us a winning side,” he pointed out. PTI SSR DK DKadvertisementlast_img read more


first_imgKolkata, Dec 18 (PTI) Following are the top storiesKolkata, Dec 18 (PTI) Following are the top stories from the Eastern Region at 1630 hours.CAL1 POL-NITISH-BJPPatna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar congratulates Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for winning the Assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.CES1 WB-MAMATA-MINORITIESKolkata: Extending her wishes to people on Minorities Rights Day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says all should pledge to uphold the rights of minority communities.CES3 WB-MAMATA-TAPASIKolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today remembers Tapasi Malik, who was raped and burnt to death during the Singur agitation over land acquisition in 2006.CES4 OD-MAOISTMalkangiri (Odisha): Armed Maoists storm a road construction site and set ablaze around 10 vehicles and machines in Odishas Malkangiri district.CES5 OD-SPORTS-TRIBALBhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik hails the “extraordinary” sporting potential of tribal youths and hopes they would bring laurels to the state and the country. PTI NNlast_img read more

‘Salah one of the best and will get better’

first_imgLiverpool ‘Salah one of the best and will get better’ – Totti expects even more from Liverpool star Chris Burton 16:37 2/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2017 Getty Images Liverpool Mohamed Salah Premier League The Egyptian left Roma for Anfield in 2017, with a man he played alongside in Italy tipping the 30-goal forward to remain among the global elite Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is already “one of the best players in the world”, says Francesco Totti, but boasts the potential to become even better.The Egyptian forward left Roma for Anfield in the summer of 2017 as a player considered to be good, but not yet great.His exploits for the Reds have lifted him into the latter of those categories, with 30 goals netted in just 36 appearances. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Roma legend Totti, who played alongside Salah in Italy, believes the 25-year-old can cement a standing among the global elite as he is a player who will strive for continuous improvement.“The level he is playing at at the moment, he is one of the best players in the world — and I think he can and will get even better,” said a World Cup winner.“I know him well, he is a good friend and wants to keep ­improving, to keep ­getting better as a player.“He does all the right things, he trains hard, he works hard, he listens to the coaches – that’s why, as good as he is playing at the moment, I think maybe there is even one more level in him.”Salah’s efforts this season have helped to keep Liverpool in the mix for a top-four finish in the Premier League.They are also looking good to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, having established a commanding 5-0 first leg lead in a last-16 encounter with Porto.Totti believes Salah could be the man to inspire the Reds to another continental crown, with Jurgen Klopp boasting the attacking firepower to trouble the best sides in Europe.“He is one of those players who can make the difference in the big games,” added Totti.“That is why Liverpool cannot be ruled out of winning the Champions League.“There are more complete teams in the competition – but when you have a player like him, you start to believe anything is possible.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

McQuilling: Winners and Losers in Tanker Market

first_imgzoom The number of first quarter global Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) fixtures has been increasing for more than five years and 2015 is no exception, a marine transportation consultancy McQuilling Services reports.Approximately 542 vessels (530 in 1Q 2014) were chartered in the first three months of the year, 63% of which originated from the Arabian Gulf, McQuilling says.Looking at supply, there has been no net fleet growth in the VLCC segment so far this year as four ships have been delivered to the fleet and four ships have been sold for demolition or conversion. McQuilling anticipates that the VLCC fleet will see a net fleet growth of 16 vessels in 2015.In the Suezmax sector, global fixture activity increased in the first quarter by 5% year-on-year, with the bulk of the activity coming out of West Africa.With regard to Suezmax supply, there has been a net fleet growth of four vessels so far this year. The Suezmax fleet is expected to expand by just five vessels in 2015.In a turn of events, the Aframax sector has experienced a 19% decline in global activity in 1Q 15, driven by a decrease in fixtures out of the Black Sea, Caribbean and Arabian Gulf.The dirty Aframax fleet has grown by six vessels through the first quarter, as eight additions were recorded and just two demolitions. This segment should see a net fleet growth of 16 vessels in 2015, McQuilling reports.Like their larger counterpart, the Panamax segment also saw a decline in global fixture activity, but only by 4%. Looking at supply, there has been a negative net fleet growth of two vessels and no dirty Panamax ships will be delivered this year, according to McQuilling.In the LR2 segment, global fixture activity has increased 15% when compared to 1Q 2014. Year-to-date there were two LR2s delivered to the trading fleet and McQuilling expects 14 newbuildings to hit the water this year.The LR1s experienced global fixture growth of 14% year- on-year with additional loading out of the UKC and Korea. Fixtures to Japan, West Africa, Singapore and the Arabian Gulf all saw a significant increase as well, while fixtures to the UKC declined by about 31%, giving way to their LR2 counterpart.With regard to supply, there has been no activity to record so far this year, but McQuilling expects a net fleet growth of three vessels in 2015.The biggest surge in activity has been witnessed in the MR2 segment as counts increased by almost 400 fixtures in 1Q 2015 versus 1Q 2014. Volume out of the Baltic rose by around 71 fixtures, with shipments to the UKC accounted for a 150% increase year-on-year. There was also a substantial rise in activity out the West US Gulf and West Coast India.MR1s also saw an increase in fixture activity when compared to the same period last year by around 50%. The growth can be attributed to additional fixtures out of the Black Sea, Baltic and the Mediterranean.Despite the increase in activity, the MR2 sector is still faced with oversupply, which is being further exacerbated by newbuilding deliveries of CPP and IMO II chemical carriers. To date, there has been a net fleet growth of 19 MR2s. There’s been less pressure on the MR1s as a net fleet growth of just two ships through the first quarter has been recorded.Source: McQuilling Serviceslast_img read more

Indiabulls Housing Finance terms siphoning charges as bizarre

first_imgNew Delhi: Terming allegations of siphoning of Rs 98,000 crore as “bizarre”, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL) on Monday said the writ petition filed in the Supreme Court is an attempt to “malign” the company’s reputation and create hurdles in its merger with Laxmi Vilas Bank. A plea was filed in the Supreme Court Monday by Abhay Yadav seeking legal action against IBHFL, its Chairman and directors for alleged mis-appropriation of Rs 98,000 crore of public money. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents “The writ petition is filed only today and is not heard by the court….The total loans on the books of Indiabulls Housing is approx Rs 90,000 crore. The allegations of siphoning off of Rs 98,000 crore is bizarre,” IBHFL said in a statement. The company said the filing of writ petition is a “desperate attempt to malign our reputation.” IBHFL also mentioned that the petitioner had bought four shares in the company only a month back. The company also alleged that the writ petition has been filed at a time when it is in the process of getting a regulatory approval of merging itself with Laxmi Vilas Bank, the statement added.last_img read more

Brock in the News – July 2329

Brock University-led team discovers way of tapping into testing Earth’s prehistoric airNew research led by a Brock University international team examines oxygen levels in the Earth’s atmosphere from 800 million years ago, helping us to better understand what life was like on Earth during this time and how it evolved: The Economist, CBC, The Bulletin, Popular Mechanics, Earth Mystery News, New Mexico Tech, Gizmodo, University of Aberdeen, Nerd Reactor, Motherboard Magazine, Science News Magazine, Phys Org, and News Talk 106-108FM In the anti-doping battle, athletes are collateral damageWith the 2016 Olympic Summer Games one week away, Sport Management professor Hilary Findlay discusses the anti-doping battle in The Globe and Mail and how a blanket ban on doping athletes isn’t the best solution. Animal cruelty investigators working in ‘shocking conditions,’ report saysFindings from a new report led by Labour Studies professor Kendra Coulter reveals that OSPCA officers are facing dangerous working conditions, making recommendations to the government on how to support these investigators: Global News, CTV News, St. Catharines Standard, Toronto Star, Hamilton Spectator, London Free Press, 99.1FM, Metro News, Windsor Star, Peterborough Examiner, Sudbury Star, and North Bay Nugget read more

New learning tools at the Port Dover library

Seven new technology kits and a literacy computer are now available for young library guests to discover at the Port Dover library.Norfolk County Public Library and Execulink Telecom held an unveiling event last month at the Port Dover branch to showcase the new technology available.A grant of $4,693 from Execulink has been used to purchase an all-in-one touch screen After School Edge computer for use at the library, and seven maker kits that can be borrowed from the branch. The kits include items such as solar robots, a virtual reality headset, and Microbit Go sets.“These kits are about engineering, technology, science, and math, and we want you guys to be interested in all of this stuff,”  Ian Stevens, CEO of Execulink Telecom, said to a room full of elementary school students before they were able to open the kits and discover what was inside.Heather King, CEO of the Norfolk County Library, said, “These maker kits are a combination of books and equipment to help kids discover and learn a whole lot more about technology.”Hands-on learning opportunities are a great way to increase a child’s interest in technology-based literacy, King added.“It’s not just about bringing services to the community, it’s about becoming part of the community,” Stevens said about Execulink’s recent investments in Port read more

England wins toss bats 1st in bid for test series sweep

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — England skipper Joe Root has won the toss and elected to bat first in third test as he pushes for a sweep of the three-match series against Sri Lanka.It was the third consecutive toss that Root has won, and each of the first two resulted in wins: by 211 runs in the first test Galle, and by 57 runs in the second test at Kandy.Both teams have made two changes for the third test.England recalled Stuart Broad to give veteran seamer Jimmy Anderson a rest and Jonny Bairstow was picked to replace Sam Curran. For Sri Lanka, opening batsman Danushka Gunathilaka replaced the struggling Kaushal Silva and spinner Lakshan Sandakan was called in for Akila Dananjaya, who had to travel to Australia for testing after his bowling was reported to be suspect.Lineups:Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal (captain), Lakshan Sandakan and Malinda Pushpakumara.England: Rory Burns, Keaton Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad and Jack Leach.Umpires: Sundaram Ravi, India, and Chris Gaffaney, New Zealand.Third Umpire: Marais Erasmus, South Africa. Match Referee: Andy Pycroft, Zimbabwe.___More AP sports: and Clementine, The Associated Press read more

Toronto Defiant Vancouver Titans season openers set in Overwatch League

TORONTO — The Toronto Defiant will open their inaugural season in the Overwatch League on Feb. 15 against the Houston Outlaws while the Vancouver Titans start the next day against the Shanghai Dragons.Toronto and Vancouver are two of eight expansion teams in the second year of the 20-team esports league.Houston finished seventh last season while Shanghai was 12th.London won the inaugural league championship — and US$1 million — in July, defeating Philadelphia 3-0 at a sold-out Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Philadelphia collected US$400,000 as runner-up.The league will stage its games at Blizzard’s esports arena in Burbank, Calif., in 2019 with plans to host games in the franchise cities in 2020.The league is the brainchild of Overwatch developer Blizzard Entertainment, whose gaming portfolio also includes “World of Warcraft” and “StarCraft.” Overwatch has more than 40 million players. The Canadian Press read more

Sony cut the PS4 camera to hit the magic price of 399

first_imgSony Computer Entertainment CEO Andy House has admitted that Sony originally intended to include the PlayStation Camera as part of the base package PS4 console that will be available on November 15. The reason they ended up cutting it from the pack was one of price.Apparently $399 is seen as “the magic price.” It’s $200 cheaper than the PS3’s launch price, and $100 cheaper than the Xbox One. So I guess that’s what they see as being magic. Even so, it is thought every PS4 console sold will net a loss of around $60 for Sony, and that’s ultimately why the camera isn’t bundled. The camera on its own retails for $60, but the cost of including it (which would be lower than that) was deemed too high to be reasonable by Sony’s upper management.Even though some may see a lack of camera as an advantage for the Xbox One, House doesn’t view it that way as you’d expect. He makes the fair point that early adopters of the PS4 console will, like is usually the case for console launches, be made up of “serious gamers” who aren’t bothered about a camera. They want the controller for input and don’t want camera controlled games.This also suggests to me that eventually we may see the camera becoming a standard inclusion with the PS4 when manufacturing prices start to drop and the console is attracting a more mainstream consumer audience. However, if the camera proves unpopular or games supporting it don’t appear in great enough quantities, then it can remain a niche peripheral for the life of the console.last_img read more

I Watched The Last Jedi DeFeminized Fan Edit So You Dont Have

first_img Star Wars x Adidas Ultraboost Photos Have Leaked’Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Great points. Hope it’s okay to make a final point…— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) January 16, 2018 Priscilla hits all the major points here but I’ll just add hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) January 16, 2018 This article contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If you have not seen it yet, stop reading this and go to the cinema.Since its debut in 1977, the Star Wars universe has been bursting with strong female leads—from Carrie Fisher’s Princess-cum-General Leia to Daisy Ridley’s Resistance Jedi Rey.But not everyone can handle battle-tested, resilient women. Which is why some schmuck created the “chauvinist cut” of The Last Jedi.Apparently the “anonymous” creator is a pre-teen from the ’90s (via The Pirate Bay)Uploaded to The Pirate Bay on Sunday by an anonymous user, the “de-feminized” fan edit of Rian Johnson’s epic space opera removes most of the female fighters, pilots, and officers “commanding people around/having ideas.”Which, in turn, removes most of the humor, suspense, heart, and general plot.Described as “basically The Last Jedi minus Girlz Powah and other silly stuff,” the resulting movie is only 46 minutes long—a far cry from the 152 minutes (2.5 hours) of the original.That’s a lot of edits. Including the extraction of entire roles (Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Hodo, Veronica Ngo as the all-important Paige Tico!) and the maiming of storylines (Leia’s death, Luke’s heroism).Newcomer Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) was all but erased from the film (via“It would probably be easier to make a list of things that were kept instead of things that were changed. Hardly any scene got away without cuts,” the coward uploader wrote before providing a “short rundown” of adjustments they made to the blockbuster film (edited for grammar and syntax):“NO HALDO! She simply doesn’t exist. Her whole subplot doesn’t exist. The kamikaze is carried out by Poe. ( = Poe dies.)”“Leia never scolds, questions, nor demotes Poe. He is a respected and very skilled high-ranking member of the Resistance.”“Kylo is more badass and much less conflicted and volatile. For example, he does not smash his helmet.”“Kylo takes on more of Snoke’s guards, Rey struggles with a single one.”“Less Porg nonsense.” [Hold me back!]“Rey does not Force-grab Kylo’s lightsaber. One of the many things that made him look like a weakling.”“[Captain] Phasma is finished after the first blow by Finn. (Women are naturally weaker than men, she isn’t Force-sensitive, and we know nothing about any exo-skeleton in her suit.)”(I skipped the more offensive comments. But you can read the list in full online.)The words “General Leia’s” were censored from the opening crawl (via The Pirate Bay)“Obviously it’s far from perfect,” the creator wrote, blaming the source material (“not even DVD-level”). “There are plot holes and continuity errors and some cuts are not as smooth as they should be, especially audio transition-wise.“But for what it’s worth, it can now at least be viewed without feeling nauseous about most of the terrible big and small decisions they made in this film.”I would have rather simply decanonized The Last Jedi and pretended it never happened than waste 46 excruciating minutes watching this hack job remake.There’s no word on whether any of the film’s cast and crew have seen the fan edit. But that hasn’t stopped them from commenting on its existence: Stay on target Agreed. But let me add- mh— @HamillHimself (@HamillHimself) January 16, 2018last_img read more

911 calls released after woman gets stuck in SUV dangling from Miami

first_imgMIAMI SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) – Miami-Dade Police have released several 911 calls for help after a woman became stuck in an SUV dangling from a Miami Springs parking garage.Officials said the woman’s car was barely hanging on by its hatchback at a garage along the 700 block of South Royal Poinciana Boulevard on April 4.First responders quickly worked to stabilize the vehicle and pulled the woman out to safety.Several people called police to report the car had gone over the wall.“Dade County Police and Fire. What’s the address to the emergency?” the operator could be heard saying in one of the calls.“Listen, we’re at 700 South Royal Poinciana Boulevard,” the witness said in response. “A car ran over the railing on the second floor parking lot. The person is in the car.”“OK. Yeah, we have the car already. We’re on the way,” the operator said. The woman was alone at the time of the incident.She said she was backing out of the second story parking space when her car lost traction.Officials said the woman must have put the vehicle in drive at some point, which sent her car over the edge.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

National Drug Take Back Day Saturday

first_imgThe drugs are transferred to the Alaska Drug Enforcement Unit in Anchorage for disposal. The drug take-back day is being hosted by the Soldotna Police Department, Change 4 the Kenai and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), to prevent pill abuse and theft. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. Representatives from Change 4 the Kenai emphasize that the service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享This Saturday, April 27, Kenai Peninsula residents will be able to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Soldotna Police Department. Soldotna Police Sergeant Stace Escott has helped watch over the operation in years past: “You know, there are many great benefits, the ease of it, the protection for our children. So many times there’s misuse of those drugs that are just freely obtainable by children in medicine cabinets over at their friend’s house or something like that. There’s that and the safety of keeping it out of the sewer system and making our water clean and all kinds of benefits.” For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 27, Take Back Day event, contact the Soldotna Police Department at 262-4455. Sergeant Escott said SPD will also dispose of unwanted drugs throughout the year: “For the convenience of the public, they can come in at any time, day or night. There’s a red phone out front if someone’s not there, they just call Dispatch and they’ll let them in and there’s a box out front, they can just drop them off any time.”last_img read more

The XFiles Dives into Skinners Past for a Conspiracy on Autopilot

first_imgStay on target Overall, I’m loving this season of The X-Files. Every Wednesday night, I can’t wait to dive into a massive government or corporate conspiracy, or hunt cryptids with my two favorite federal agents. They can’t all be bangers though. The season started out on a rocky note with a mythology episode that wanted to believe the truth was up its own ass. After that, we took a much needed break from the mythology for some exceptionally strong Monster of the Week episodes. Then last week, the show combined the two for a surprisingly thrilling installment that gave us a scary creature and moved the overall plot forward. Last night, it was back to the standard Monster of the Week format, and I do mean standard. Despite the promised dive into Skinner’s past, nothing about this episode felt new or even all that interesting. It was the same conspiracy tropes we’ve heard before. To its credit, at least they were put together in a decently fun way. The episode moved along at a decent clip, and it gave us a pretty great villain. That at least makes up a little for the fact that it didn’t really do anything new.“Kitten,” like any good conspiracy, begins in Vietnam. A squad of American soldiers in a helicopter are delivering a box  containing… something. All we know about it is that they should never look inside. Their helicopter starts to take fire, and two of the soldiers escape with the crate to a nearby village. One of the soldiers runs out to grab their wounded buddy when a stray bullet hits the crate and a green gas pours out. Everyone inside starts screaming and the one soldier left inside starts seeing an antlered monster. He starts attacking his fellow soldier, who is revealed to be the young Agent Skinner.David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson (Cr: Eric Millner/FOX)In the present day, Skinner has gone missing. The director of the FBI assigns Mulder and Scully to find out what happened to him. At first, Mulder suspects that it may have something to do with the alien virus, their son William and the Smoking man. Inside his apartment though, they find no cigarette butts. Only a package, addressed using his military rank. Inside is a severed ear, wrapped in stationary from Mud Lick, Kentucky. Well, they’ve started from worse leads in the past. And hey, a body turned up in Mud Lick missing an ear. Mulder guesses that the body is one of Skinner’s old squadmates. From a document so classified even they don’t have access to it. What was Skinner up to? On the way into the morgue, a man warns them that they won’t find a kitten. Mulder and Scully shrug it off, but we all know that’s going to be of vital importance. That’s just how this show does things.Once inside the morgue, they learn about a “craziness” going around town. People swear they see a monster in the woods. Obviously Mulder’s interest is piqued. It looks like there’s something to those rumors too. Hunters are seeing strange things out in the woods and falling into hunters’ traps. Traps very similar to those used in the Vietnam War. Mulder and Scully investigate the latest victim who, like pretty much everyone else in town, is losing his teeth. They investigate footage from a nearby deer cam, and they find Skinner. He was recorded standing over the body, which immediately makes the local law enforcement suspicious. Mulder and Scully scrub through more of the footage, and they find something else: The monster.Mitch Pileggi (Cr: Shane Harvey/FOX)Thankfully, the show doesn’t waste too much time before Mulder remembers the man who told them about “kitten.” Kitten is a nickname. Everyone in this town has one. Interestingly, Kitten has a kitten. The man also mentions that he told Eagle where to find Kitten. Eagle, Mulder figures out instantly, is bald. So now they know where to look for Skinner. Skinner is on a person-finding mission of his own though. That ear he got in the mail? It turns out one of his fellow soldiers, John James, back in the war had a habit of collecting men’s ears and wearing them as a necklace. Skinner searches the man’s house and runs into his son, Davey. (Both men are played by Haley Joel Osment, and he’s the creepiest part of this whole episode.) It’s there we get the whole story. That crate from the beginning was full of weaponized gas that manifested people’s fears in front of them. It turned John into a monster who killed innocent people. Skinner knew it was the gas that did that, but it didn’t change what John did. Davey isn’t so convinced.Still, at Skinner’s request, Davey leads him to John. John, it seems, hung himself after being called a crazy murderer for so long. It also did a number on Davey. He’s led Skinner into a trap. As Skinner rushes towards John’s body, he falls into a pit, right onto a spike. Osment is loving playing the villain in this episode and he’s so very good at it. Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that the kid whose first role was The Sixth Sense knows his way around a horror story, but he’s terrifying here. Easily my favorite X-Files guest star in a long time. Mulder and Scully pull up right afterwards, and Davey tries to act nonchalant. He plays the helpful witness and tells them all about the gas. He pretends to know nothing about Agent Skinner, but Mulder finds a photo album filled with photos of the Skinner and John James in the war. He knows Davey isn’t being entirely truthful. He tricks Davey into thinking they’re driving away, only to run back on foot to rescue Skinner. If you’re ever impaled by a spike trap set up by an old friend’s psychotic son, Mulder’s the guy you want on your side.Haley Joel Osment (Cr: Shane Harvey/FOX)Overall, most of the episode feels pretty flat. The conspiracy is interesting, and it’s cool that we get a look into Skinner’s past. It moves along at a decent pace, but it doesn’t feel like a ton is going on. The story isn’t as complex as recent episodes have been, and the whole seeing things that aren’t there thing was explored much better in last week’s stealth mythology episode. What really saves it from being boring is, again, Haley Joel Osment. In this final scene, he provides the tension and terror the rest of the episode needed. When Mulder searches the house, you’re sure he’s going to jump out at any moment. Mulder finds the antlered monster costume seemingly hung up in the closet, and leaves the house to follow Skinner’s screams. Then the costume movies. Davey was under it the whole time. Even when The X-Files delivers an episode that’s just OK, it’s nice to see it’s still good for at least one good chill.Mulder and Scully rescue Skinner, and in trying to attack them, Davey falls into his own trap. A spiked panel falls from a tree and kills him. Skinner gives a heartfelt speech about how Mulder and Scully inspired him to seek the truth rather than blindly move up the bureaucratic ladder. He vows to find out what happened to his old war buddy, and well, you know how this show loves leaving loose ends open. As Skinner walks out of the house to an ambulance, he realizes he’s losing his teeth. The chemical is in the air. As unhinged as Davey was, he was right about one thing. The government is experimenting with the drug on unsuspecting citizens. How? Why, chemtrails of course. It’s a nice paranoid note to go out on, but I wish the whole episode had more of that tone. As it was, it’s kind of a flat note to go out on before the short hiatus. We won’t get new X-Files for another three weeks, and it’s always a shame to go into that kind of break on a low note. Fortunately, the next episode is already looking much better. Haley Joel Osment may have been the best part of this episode, but I’m real excited to watch Mulder and Scully fight the spy drones. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img 11 Great TV Shows With Terrible EndingsBuy This Comic: The X-Files: Case Files – Flordia Man #1 last_img read more

Ushering in the Christmas spirit

first_imgWith Christmas being just a month away, the only thought the hovers over the mind is the thought of devouring the yummy Christmas cake. It is no fun without the Christmas cake and making it quick is also not an easy task- preparations begin months in advance. The first step towards making a cake is the mixing process, better known as the Cake mixing ceremony. This ceremony is a part of an age-old Christmas tradition, which dates back to 17th Century Europe. In those days, it marked the arrival of the harvest season. A lot of fruits and plums were harvested and used in making the traditional plum cake. In the stirring ceremony the ingredients of the festive fruit cake,the raisins, black currants, prunes, glazed dates, cherries, candid orange, lemon rinds and nuts like cashews, pistachios and almond are emptied on a large container and  mixed with wine and liquor in advance so that the ingredients can develop aroma and taste.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOriginally a family affair, it is for many years celebrated within organizations to spread camaraderie and goodwill. People from all the walks of life come together for such festivities The Suryaa,a five-star hotel hosted the Cake-mixing ceremony to mark the beginning of warmth and cheer of Christmas in the National Capital on November 11. The festivity started with the cake-mixing ceremony. This age-old ceremony of cake mixing was hosted to usher in good tidings and happiness. The guests were invited to be a part of this traditional celebration and were presented aprons and chef’s hat as a small token of love. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivePatrons of the hotel and other guests along with members of the staff participated and contributed towards the large mixture. Senior Executive Sous Chef Pankaj Jha said, “The fruits are soaked for about a month, after which they are used to make the traditional plum cake and Christmas pudding. Also, for the cold and bone-chilling Christmassy weather, the plum cakes are the perfect food to help you beat the cold”.The mixing ceremony was enjoyed by all the guests present in the gathering while the fragrance of different spirits that continued to linger on. Filled with camaraderie and cheer, this cake mixing ceremony not only infused fruits and wines, but also reaped in early Christmas cheer.last_img read more

6 Ways Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Are Changing Entrepreneurship

first_img 5 min read May 17, 2018 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now It’s become impossible to ignore cryptocurrency and blockchain — it’s everywhere, and there is no sign of slowing down. As a result, blockchain-based exchanges of information and tokens are releasing a wave of new possibilities for entrepreneurs.The rush to create innovative business solutions that are faster, more secure and more transparent is on. Blockchain is already contributing to real-world improvements in the world of entrepreneurship; here are six examples.Related: 5 Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs Serious About Cryptocurrency1. Increasing access to entrepreneurship education.People of all ages and from all walks of life are becoming increasingly interested in entrepreneurship, and many simply don’t have the time or resources to seek further education from formal institutions. Someone with a 9-to-5 job trying to launch his or her own business likely doesn’t have time to enroll in an MBA program.While formal education isn’t a requirement, many new entrepreneurs seek flexible, reliable and affordable educational options to help them develop the skills needed to launch their businesses. SuccessLife is using blockchain tokens to offer video content, digital courses and personal coaching to aspiring entrepreneurs, covering topics such as management and investment techniques.The token’s immutable ledger and automatic smart contracts render the transactions that provide these educational opportunities reliable and cost-effective. Entrepreneurs only need an internet connection to access the educational content.2. Unlocking crowdfunding opportunities.One of blockchain’s most newsworthy contributions to entrepreneurship is its effect on crowdfunding campaigns. In fact, blockchain startups raised $5.6 billion in funds in 2017, mostly driven by community campaigns. This blockchain-based fundraising model has proven so successful that it’s attracting plenty of mainstream investment.Despite the success of blockchain-centric crowdfunding campaigns, the traditional crowdfunding market is still extremely inefficient. Only 1.9 percent of campaign funds go to developing countries and 78 percent of campaigns fail to reach their targets. The lack of accessibility has led some innovative companies to combine blockchain with traditional crowdfunding to give power back to entrepreneurs around the globe.Acorn Collective is one company providing a second-generation open marketplace for new ventures seeking crowdfunding. Any legal new project whose founder passes primary screening can make a pitch on the Acorn platform.Blockchain makes the process transparent, safe and accessible from any region. On the platform, a crowdfunding engine helps entrepreneurs drum up marketing support, maximizing the chance of a successful project.Related: Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Anymore3. Providing user-friendly financial tools.More new ventures are using cryptocurrencies in addition to fiat currencies in order to manage their financing, whether that takes the shape of a token sale or an entrepreneur raising funds through adroit trading on crypto exchanges. Managing multiple fiat and crypto accounts, however, has always been a complicated task.Zerta is a next-generation trading platform built by a leading team of exchange technologists and entrepreneurs. The platform connects an exchange, a crypto and fiat wallet, and a bank in a single ecosystem. “We are taking the crypto-trading market up to the level of traditional markets and stock exchanges,” says Paruyr Shahbazyan, co-founder of Zerta.As crypto adoption becomes more prevalent, it is important to focus on education and ease of use, especially within financial services. For Zerta, this means personalization and customizable interfaces to help users of all experience levels trade, send and receive payments and engage with a community of like-minded people. User-friendliness is the focus.4. Cultivating new investment opportunities.Entrepreneurs across every industry are constantly looking for new ways to diversify their investments, and the introduction of coin-based transactions is opening up new possibilities. For example, Muirfield has decades of experience facilitating private equity investment opportunities.Now, as blockchain becomes increasingly common across industries, Muirfield IP is rumored to be launching its own Tokenized Asset Offering in 2018. Not only do token-based opportunities open up the doors for new entrepreneurs to purchase assets, facilitating a TAO also ensures that the laws and regulations regarding security tokens are strictly followed.5. Developing customer-loyalty platforms.Customer loyalty is essential for all businesses. To nurture business-customer relationships, many entrepreneurs try to create customer-loyalty problems. Such programs, however, can require more technological headaches and bookkeeping hurdles, creating one more data field for entrepreneurs to track and manage.Blockchain is an ideal tool for helping entrepreneurs develop low-stress customer-loyalty programs, rewarding repeat customers with special incentives and fostering close relationships.Blockchain’s automatable transaction ledger can keep track of customer interactions and adjust customers’ loyalty status appropriately. Blockpoint, for example, allows users to quickly set up blockchain-based loyalty programs to integrate with their existing businesses.6. Creating reliable agreements.Entrepreneurs thrive in a network of mutually supportive relationships that allow them to launch their ventures. Many of these relationships, such as between investors and founders, take the form of official or unofficial contractual agreements. When these agreements fall through, entrepreneurs struggle. A product launch, for example, could be ruined if a deal with a manufacturer collapses.Blockchain signatures and smart contracts provide effective, affordable options for entrepreneurs seeking reliable legal contracts. Companies such as DocTailor offer tools for users to build and customize legal agreements and smart contracts on the blockchain. Tennessee recently made smart contracts legally binding in the state, and other locales seeking to nurture tech innovation are likely to soon follow their lead. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

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first_img Related Content News | Mammography Reporting Software | July 26, 2019 Ikonopedia Releases Automated Combined Reporting Package at AHRA Ikonopedia showcased its recently released Automated Combined Reporting package and its entire suite of structured… read more Technology | Mammography Reporting Software | July 25, 2019 Hologic Partners With MagView to Develop Unifi EQUIP Solution Hologic announced a partnership with mammography information solutions provider MagView to develop Unifi EQUIP, an… read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | October 10, 2014 3-D Breast Imaging Could Revolutionize Cancer Screening cancer screening Detection rate for invasive cancers significantly higher than 2-D digital mammography News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Technology | Artificial Intelligence | July 18, 2019 Paragon Biosciences Launches Qlarity Imaging to Advance FDA-cleared AI Breast Cancer Diagnosis System Paragon Biosciences LLC announced the launch of its seventh portfolio company, Qlarity Imaging LLC, which was founded… read more Technology | Breast Biopsy Systems | July 24, 2019 Fujifilm Releases Tomosynthesis Biopsy Option for Aspire Cristalle Mammography System Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently expanded its breast imaging solutions with the launch of its… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems October 30, 2014— In community-based radiology practice, mammography screening with 3-D digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) yielded lower recall rates, an increased overall cancer detection rate and an increased detection rate for invasive cancer compared with 2-D digital mammography (DM).Researchers at Washington Radiology Associates conducted a study of more than 59,000 patients. The results included: an increase in the detection rate for cancer overall of 28.6 percent and a 43.8 percent increase in detecting invasive cancers in patients screened with 3-D DBT versus 2-D DM.”We observed a significant increase in the detection rate for cancer overall and an even greater increase in the detection rate for invasive cancer,” said Julianne Greenberg, corresponding author of the study.  For more information about the study visit: FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Qlarity Imaging’s software is used to assist radiologists in the assessment and characterization of breast lesions. Imaging features are synthesized by an artificial intelligence algorithm into a single value, the QI score, which is analyzed relative to a database of reference abnormalities with known ground truth. Image courtesy of Business Wire. read more IBM collected a dataset of 52,936 images from 13,234 women who underwent at least one mammogram between 2013 and 2017, and who had health records for at least one year prior to the mammogram. The algorithm was trained on 9,611 mammograms. Image courtesy of Radiology. News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more News | Ultrasound Women’s Health | July 11, 2019 FDA Clears Koios DS Breast 2.0 AI-based Software Koios Medical announced its second 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Feature | Artificial Intelligence | July 19, 2019 | Michal Chorev AI Models Predict Breast Cancer With Radiologist-level Accuracy Breast cancer is the global leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer… read more last_img read more

Costa Rican authorities to drop murder charges in death of US traveler

first_imgRelated posts:24-year-old US tourist shot in Costa Rica robbery gone wrong Update: Missing US tourist found dead in Costa Rica Family of US hiker disappeared in Costa Rica passes another dark anniversary Missing US hiker Cody Dial’s parents submit DNA to investigators The Costa Rican Prosecutor’s Office has requested to dismiss an investigation into the 2013 killing of a U.S. tourist, according to court documents and the victim’s family.In a document dated July 29, the Prosecutor’s Office said that it no longer intended to pursue first-degree murder charges against Aaron Alfaro Salazar and Juan José Martínez Segura for the killing of U.S. citizen Steven Flesch in the notorious slum of Torremolinos, Desamparados, south of San José.Prosecutors cited a lack of evidence as a reason for dropping the case. A criminal judge in Desamparados has yet to rule on the request.Flesch, a 32-year-old native of Brookfield, Wisconsin, was traveling alone in Costa Rica when he ended up in the Torremolinos slum, far off the tourist track, on the afternoon of April 2, 2013. It is not known why Flesch was in that neighborhood. A group of five — including three minors — attacked Flesch and tried to rob him, The Tico Times reported at the time. The group stole Flesch’s bag, which held a small laptop, digital camera, cell phone and personal documents.Flesch fought with them before he was forced into an alley and shot in the back of the head, according to a report from the Judicial Investigation Police.Flesch lay in San Juan de Díos Hospital in downtown San José, unidentified, for five days in a medically-induced coma. Finally two concerned traveling buddies — Kyle Eklund of Reno, Nevada and Ray Quinn of Ireland — showed up looking for him. He died at the hospital on May 7, 2013. Ray Quinn, Kyle Eklund and Steven Flesch (from left to right) boating in Costa Rica in 2013. (Courtesy Nikki Lannert)More than two years after Flesch’s death, prosecutors were unable to secure testimony from two key witnesses, Prosecutor’s Office spokeswoman Karla Rivera said in an email.According to emails from the U.S. Embassy to the Flesch family about the investigation, which the family shared with The Tico Times, the first witness is believed to have left Costa Rica and his whereabouts are unknown. A second witness, the embassy told the Flesch family, claimed that she did not see the crime and could not testify to Alfaro and Martínez’s involvement.The suspects were arrested after the crime but were not held in custody. Both Alfaro and Martínez are free.Only one of the three minors suspected of being involved in the attack was initially charged in connection with Flesch’s death. But all charges were dropped in April, also due to a lack of evidence, according to the Juvenile Criminal Court.Nikki Lannert, Flesch’s sister, told The Tico Times that the family was shocked at the news that the Prosecutor’s Office had requested to drop all charges.“We’re pretty upset,” Lannert said. “We expected that we were going to have to wait a long time but we did not expect to wait this long for nothing.”Lannert reserved some of her ire for the U.S. Embassy in San José, which she accused of misleading them into thinking that the investigation was making progress. She said the family didn’t receive any information about the status of the investigation into Flesch’s killing until Lannert’s mother, Sharon Flesch, contacted embassy officials in May 2014. Steven Flesch (top center) with his mother, Sharon; father, Don; and sister, Nikki Lannert. (Courtesy Nikki Lannert)The Prosecutor’s Office told the family it could file its own indictment, but Lannert said she didn’t have enough faith in the Costa Rican judicial system to pursue the case independently.Lannert remembered her brother as the “life of the party,” positive and funny. Flesch was an avid golfer who saved his earnings working as a caddy to travel around the world.He was an experienced traveler, visiting 42 countries in four years across Europe, Asia and Latin America. He had a knack for making fast friends, including Eklund and Quinn.“He was the best friend anyone could ever have,” his sister said.Last year the family held its first golf benefit in Flesch’s honor in New Berlin, Wisconsin, outside Milwaukee. The family raised $1,000 for golf scholarships for local high school students and plans to continue the tradition in the future, Lannert said.With little hope for a legal resolution to her brother’s death, Lannert said she hopes his killers will get their due somehow. “I just have to believe in karma and that they will find their punishment in some other way.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more