NEW YORK — The makers of Budweiser, Coors and other large-scale brewers are placing their bets on cannabis as a way to fight saturated markets and shifting consumer trends.For years, the industry’s largest players have struggled with stagnating markets and shifting consumer tastes. Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors and Corona brewer Constellation Brands have responded by buying up fast-growing craft brews. Anheuser-Busch’s 2011 purchase of Chicago’s Goose Island is one of the most emblematic examples of this strategy, which has helped big brewers maintain revenue and profit steady. But concerns over growth continue to hang over the industry.The craft beer segment of the industry has slowed considerably since 2016, however, according to trade association The Beer Institute.“This seems to be running out of steam now,” said Spiros Malandrakis, head of alcoholic drinks at market research provider Euromonitor International.While the same macroeconomic issues of saturated markets and consumers constantly looking for something new remain, the industry may have to contend with escalating trade issues and a market downturn that could cut into consumer spending.The larger players are fighting back by pushing into the cannabis industry as a potential engine for future growth. Anheuser-Busch said in December it would partner with medicinal cannabis maker Tilray Inc. to develop non-alcoholic drinks containing cannabis.Constellation raised its stake in Canadian cannabis maker Canopy Growth to 38 per cent from 9 per cent in 2018. Molson Coors holds a 59 per cent stake in cannabis producer Hydropothecary.“This is the area that I would expect the most interesting development to happen,” Malandrakis said. “Cannabis could be the big disruptor.”Constellation, in its latest conference call with investors, said the “emerging cannabis space represents one of the most significant global growth opportunities of the next decade and frankly our life time.”The new strategy is not without risks, however. Constellation shares recently took a dive, seemingly over concerns centring around its cannabis investment. Wall Street is cautious about the potential return on those investments, considering the legal hurdles that still need to be cleared in key markets, including the U.S.Investors should soon get some insight into how several of these brewers’ cannabis plans are faring. Molson Coors reports its fourth-quarter results Feb. 12 and Anheuser-Bush reports results Feb. 28.Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press
26 February 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the Government and the people of Kuwait as they marked 50 years as an independent State and celebrated the 20th anniversary of the country’s liberation from occupation by forces of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. “This was an historic moment for Kuwait,” Mr. Ban said of the liberation. “It was also a notable development for the international community, as it was achieved under the mandate of Chapter VII resolutions of the United Nations Security Council – and thus serves as a symbol of how the international community, acting together in the framework of international law and collective security, can uphold the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter.”In his message, the Secretary-General said the attack on the sovereignty of Kuwait brought untold suffering not only to its people, many of whom remain missing, but also to the region and to the people of many other countries. He said the repercussions of the invasion of Kuwait were global, with many lives lost both in the initial incursion and in the military action that reversed the aggression.“Today, Kuwait and Iraq stand at the dawn of a new era of peaceful coexistence and friendly relations. I welcome the recent steps taken by the leadership of the two countries to normalize relations and resolve outstanding issues within the framework of the resolutions of the United Nations.“ This is a formidable challenge, but I have faith in their resolve to move in that direction and achieve full closure. The United Nations will continue to provide all necessary support,” said Mr. Ban.He said looked forward to the contributions Kuwaitis will continue to make to the work of the United Nations to build a better world for all.Iraq, under the leadership of the late Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait in 1990, an event that sparked what came to be known as the first Gulf War.In January 1991 coalition forces launched a massive military campaign against Iraq after it failed to comply with UN Security Council resolutions which demanded the withdrawal of its troops from Kuwait. Iraqi forces began retreating from Kuwait on 26 February 1991.
As part of its effort to reduce aircraft emissions that affect local air quality and the increase in global warming greenhouse gases, the United Nations aviation agency has adopted more stringent standards for controlling a pollutant that can contribute to the reddish-brown smog often seen over urban areas.By unanimous decision of its 36-member Council, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted new oxides of nitrogen (Nox) standards which are 12 per cent more stringent than previous levels for applicability in 2008.Nox is the generic term for a group of highly reactive gases, all of which contain nitrogen and oxygen in varying amounts. Many of the nitrogen oxides are colourless and odourless. However, one common pollutant, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), along with particles in the air can often be seen as smog. Most Nox emissions from aircraft have been found to occur in approach, take off and climb in a height range up to 3,000 feet.Since 1981, ICAO has issued progressively stricter Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) for aircraft engine emissions, as well as exploring ways to reduce emissions through operational and market-based measures.In close cooperation with international organizations concerned and the air transport industry, ICAO aims to limit or reduce the number of people affected by significant aircraft noise, the impact of aviation emissions on local air quality and the impact of aviation greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate.The entry into force last month of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aimed at further reducing greenhouse gas emissions reaffirmed ICAO’s leadership role in environmental matters related to civil aviation.Specifically, the Protocol calls on industrialized countries to work through ICAO to pursue the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions from international civil aviation.
by The Associated Press Posted Jan 12, 2017 4:41 am MDT Last Updated Jan 12, 2017 at 10:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A snow covered house is seen in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Snow showers and strong winds are expected across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the north of England on Thursday. (Niall Carson/PA via AP) Heathrow Airport cancels flights amid snow forecasts in UK LONDON – Dozens of flights at London’s Heathrow Airport were cancelled Thursday amid forecasts of snow and strong winds in Britain.Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, said 80 out of about 1,350 flights scheduled Thursday were cancelled pre-emptively because of the wintry weather. Officials say travellers should check their flight status with their airline before heading to the airport.Britain’s weather forecasters issued warnings for snow for much of the country up until Saturday, with frequent snow showers and gales expected across Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England. Sleet or snow may affect southern England as well.Forecasters say the weather is caused by a polar air mass that originated over northern Canada.Gatwick Airport, also in London, said there may be some delays and cancellations because snow and ice warnings are causing route restrictions.Officials say residents from the village of Jaywick, on England’s southeastern coast, were being evacuated from their homes amid warnings of high waves and floods.Schools in parts of the country have closed and some students have been sent home.
FRANCE COACH PHILIPPE Saint-Andre has called back teenager Gael Fickou as one of four team changes for the last chance Six Nations championship decider with Ireland in Paris.The 19-year-old Toulouse centre scored the dramatic late try that beat England and Saint Andre will need his aggressive talent in the battle for a victory on Saturday while the Six Nations crown is still mathematically open.Fickou is considered one of the most dangerous players of his generation, but he has generally been used as a replacement by Saint Andre.“He is in form, he is fast,” said Saint Andre. “We need to see his talent on show from the start.”Fickou will team up with Mathieu Bastareaud in the charge for points after France managed only a close 19-17 victory over Scotland last weekend.Saint Andre has also brought back Remi Tales, 29, in place of Jules Plisson to reinforce France’s defence.Dimitri Szarzewski comes back as hooker in place of Brice Mach and Louis Picamoles also returns after he was dropped against Scotland for showing a “lack of respect” to referee Alain Rolland in the defeat to Wales. The Toulouse star, though, has been named at blindside flanker with Damien Chouly at number eight.Ireland, England and France are level on points but Ireland and England have a far superior points scored record. – © AFP, 2014Rugby technique: Counter-attacking against the grain offers real chancesrendergast believes in Schmidt’s ability to tweak game plan for Paris France team v Ireland: B Dulin; Y Huget, M Bastareaud, G Fickou, M Medard; R Tales, M Machenaud; T Domingo, D Szarzewski, N Mas, P Pape (cpt), Y Maestri, L Picamoles, A Lapandry, D Chouly.Replacements: G Guirado, V Debaty, R Slimani, A Flanquart, S Vahaamahina, W Lauret, JM Doussain, M Mermoz.
Property prices are up by 8.5 per cent on last year but they’re still down compared to the peak prices of 2007. Joan Burton has launched her bid to become leader of the Labour Party while Brendan Howlin has confirmed that he does not want to be the new leader. INTERNATIONAL NEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of today’s news…IRELAND Source: Eamonn Farrell via Photocall Ireland A strike is looking likely at Irish Rail as a second union has now rejected the pay deal . The acting Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan shook hands and chatted with whistleblower John Wilson outside Leinster House today. Google has started building its own self-driving car which have no steering wheel or brakes. [TheJournal.ie] Source: Carolyn Kaster#ACCLAIMED: American writer Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86.#AMERICA: Barack Obama has announced that “US forces will complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2016.”#FIRE: A patient with dementia was questioned after 21 people died in a fire at a hospital for the elderly.INNOVATION CSO figures have revealed which sectors saw the biggest wage gains so far this year with construction workers coming out on top. Skype is planning a feature that will translate in real-time so two people with different languages can chat away. [TheJournal.ie] PARTING SHOTThis is the video footage of deceased writer Maya Angelou reciting her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the 1993 Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton. Source: clintonlibrary42/YouTube via William J. Clinton Presidential Library
Des dauphins morts dans le golfe du MexiqueCes deux dernières semaines, les côtes du golfe du Mexique ont vu s’échouer 17 bébés dauphins morts, soit dix fois plus qu’à l’ordinaire.En deux semaines, les chercheurs de l’Institut pour l’étude des mammifères marins, aux Etats-Unis, ont retrouvé 17 bébés dauphins morts le long des côtes du golfe du Mexique. Le directeur de l’Institut explique qu’habituellement, “la moyenne est de un à deux par mois. Cette année nous en avons 17, et février n’est même pas encore fini”.À lire aussiLe syndrome de Cotard, l’étrange maladie qui fait croire à une personne qu’elle est morteLeMatin.ch rapporte que la cause exacte de ces morts est encore inconnue mais la marée noire de l’an dernier n’est sûrement pas étrangère à ce phénomène. Le scientifique indique simplement que “pour une raison inconnue, [les femelles] ont commencé à avorter […] ou [les bébés] étaient morts avant d’être nés”. Toutefois il est lui aussi persuadé qu’il ne s’agit pas là d’une simple coïncidence.Déjà, en 2010, le nombre de dauphins morts avait atteint le chiffre de 89 contre 30 habituellement. A noter que la plateforme pétrolière Deepwater Horizon avait explosé en avril, période à laquelle les naissances de dauphins sont extrêmement nombreuses.Le 23 février 2011 à 19:02 • Emmanuel Perrin
Une proposition de loi contre l’exploitation de gaz de schisteHier, le groupe de sénateurs socialistes a déposé une proposition de loi visant à interdire l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz et huiles de schiste sur le territoire national.Les sénateurs socialistes ont annoncé leur intention de demander une réforme du code minier et de réclamer l’interdiction de l’exploration et l’exploitation des gaz et huiles de schistes en France. Ils se joignent ainsi aux députés PS et Verts qui avait déjà, le 13 juillet, annoncé leur souhait de déposer un texte en ce sens. Celui-ci sera donc normalement inscrit le 6 octobre prochain dans une séance publique réservée au groupe du PS à l’Assemblée nationale.À lire aussiGaz de schiste : l’AIE plaide en faveur de son développementCités par l’AFP, les sénateurs socialistes ont en effet estimé que “la loi adoptée le 30 juin 2011 par la majorité ne répond pas aux questions posées par la mobilisation citoyenne et se limite à l’interdiction d’une technique particulière d’exploration permettant ainsi la poursuite des recherches par d’autres moyens”. “Par ailleurs, le calendrier initialement prévu par le gouvernement n’a pas été respecté”, soulignent les élus, qui expliquent que “le rapport final de la mission interministérielle n’est toujours pas publié et l’ordonnance de ratification de la réforme du code minier n’est toujours pas inscrite à l’ordre du jour du Parlement”.Les sénateurs estiment ainsi que “le gouvernement semble tout faire pour gagner du temps jusqu’aux prochaines échéances électorales”, précisant qu’il est “indispensable que la représentation nationale se saisisse à nouveau de cette question pour amener le gouvernement à modifier sa position”.Le 28 juillet 2011 à 19:41 • Maxime Lambert
Taxation des FAI pour aider le Conseil national de la MusiqueSans augmenter la pression fiscale sur les FAI, le CNM percevra entre 70 et 95 millions d’euros par an de la part des FAI, si la mesure est validée pour soutenir la création musicale française.Le ministre de la Culture, Frédéric Mitterand, est sur le point de finaliser les accords pour créer le Conseil national de la Musique, qui devra aider l’industrie musicale dans l’hexagone et étudier tous les chiffres du secteur pour mieux le gérer. À lire aussiLe baladeur : du walkman au MP3… 30 ans d’évolutionEn plus de subventions, le CNM fera participer les FAI, qui, rappelons-le, sont déjà taxés pour le cinéma. L’objectif n’étant pas de créer une nouvelle taxe mais plutôt d’utiliser une “dérivation” des aides plafonnées destinées au 7ème art. Cet accord-cadre rapprochera les acteurs (auteurs, compositeurs, label, disquaires…) du secteur dans un centre d’étude à l’image du Centre national du Cinéma dans le but de soutenir au mieux leur industrie.Au-delà de cet aspect financier, le CNM devra livrer des analyses précises et des expertises sur le secteur musical français, tel un observatoire indépendant sur cette industrie.Le 27 janvier 2012 à 15:45 • Maxime Lambert
Stay on target While Solo has opened to some mixed reviews a bright spot for sure has been Donald Glover’s version of Lando Calrissian. I say version because he’s basically doing a Billy Dee Williams impersonation but it works solely due to how dialed he is. One thing Donald and Lando do very well is fashion.Cloud City’s finest resident is quite the celestial trendsetter. His iconic claim to fame lies is the simple chicness of his cape. It’s essentially an extension of him. Cool, hip, and definitely catches the eye.It made sense when it came time for ThinkGeek to put together a collection for the Solo movie that Lando would be involved. And of course, they chose the capes too. The black crepe material on the outside pairs perfectly with the sating lining. You’ll notice it’s detailed to match Lando’s skinning tie scarf from the film. And the faux leather collar stays perfectly up, but I preferred to fold it down which doesn’t change the look.There is something fetching about how well this thing goes with anything in your wardrobe. I’m playing with the idea of styling it with a black skirt and red belt to give the full Lando look. And boy does it really billow went you strut! I mean, who wouldn’t completely sashay when you’re embodying the awesomeness of the original Millennium Falcon Captain.The only downside was the material is it’s a bit heavy, but that could be because I’m on the petite side. I doubt a vertically advanced person would notice the literal weight on their shoulders. That being said, it did keep me very warm in our chilly office.It might be considered steep at $69.99 (I know, I see it too) but it’s absolutely quality. And honestly, you can wear it will anything. A few weeks ago I wore it around with a sleeveless babydoll dress and got lots of compliments. It looks like the new run of these will be navy and come in sizes, which is helpful if you’re a taller or shorter person.This is an awesome gift for anyone who wants to party like the most perfect pansexual space boy.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Geek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone KitGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls
By Modou Nyang Banka Manneh is the latest target in the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) continuing probe into the events of the December 30th State House attack. Manneh, was, on Wednesday, 18th March, in a Federal court in St. Paul, Minnesota, charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony, court papers reveal.He is being jointly charged with Cherno Njie and Alagie Barrow for“Conspiracy to Make an Expedition against a friendly nation,” and“Conspiracy to Use a firearm during and in relation to crime ofviolence.”Manneh, who lives in Jonesboro, a city in the U.S. state of Georgia,is alleged to have conspired with Njie and Barrow all residents of theU.S., and others, to overthrow the Government of the Gambia. In a newindictment that ties Manneh to the charges against Njie, Barrow, andPapa Faal, a U.S. grand Jury alleges that he purchased two pistols anda rifle “to equip coconspirators participating in the coup.”The charge against Manneh said he participated in conference calls andexchange of documents with his co-conspirators. “In thesecommunications”, the charge said, “Njie, Barrow, and Manneh and othersdiscussed operational and logistical planning for the attemptedoverthrow of the Gambian government.” Manneh is also said to have sentNjie a list of would be leadership positions that were to be filledshould the operation have succeeded.“On or about May 29, 2014,” the charge outlined, “defendant Mannehprovided defendant Njie with a document identifying leadershippositions in the government of The Gambia that would be filled afterthe coup”.All three are standing trial for violating the U.S. neutrality Actthat forbids U.S. citizens and residents from seeking to overthrow oruse violence against countries with whom the U.S. is not at war with.The charges carry 4 to 5 years of imprisonment or fines of up to $100,000.Manneh’s arraignment has led to a dramatic shift in the FBI’s probe ofU.S. based Gambians involvement in the armed attacked. Shortlyfollowing Faal and Njie’s arrest, Manneh was questioned by federalagents but was not arrested. He later had to resign his position in aDiaspora pro-democracy advocacy group for undisclosed reasons.Following the attack on the State House on December 30th 2014, thatresulted to deaths, Faal an airman and retired sergeant in the U.S.air force, and Njie a businessman and real estate developer who werein the country at the time, fled back to the U.S. where they werearrested and put on trial. Faal has since pleaded guilty to the samecharges and is awaiting sentencing. Barrow, who was the last to returnto the U.S. was also arrested and put on trial. Both Njie and Barroware currently on bail, they are expected back in court in May.Manneh is the latest target of FBI’s raid, search, confiscation ofcomputers, arrest and preferring of charges.]]>
Spain coach Luis Enrique has praised the Wales national team for their decision to rest Gareth Bale ahead of their friendly tie this week.The Real Madrid star was dropped by Wales coach Ryan Giggs due to his recent injury problems and Enrique believes it’s the right thing to do.“It seems a sensible move due to the injuries he (Bale) has had, but it is a positive for Spain,” he said, according to Daily Mail.“We have analysed Wales with Bale in the team, and he has great speed, but it does not change anything for us.”“They have good, young players, like Tyler Roberts, and we know it will not be easy.”Players who made it public that they weren’t happy in their club Jozef Fabian – September 12, 2019 Football is about so much more than what happens on the pitch.Meanwhile, Enrique has told his players that impressing the coaching staff in training will lead to more time on the pitch.“He who takes advantage of his opportunity and does well in training will have minutes,” Enrique said.“We’ve had a few training sessions, but only one where the level of intensity has been very high, as I want it. The attitude in everything that surrounds the team is important – and the value of this game is huge.”“There are no points, but we are in a process where no match can be wasted. That is the message to the players.”
Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A U.S. judge ruled on Friday that President Donald Trump ‘exceeded his authority’ when he reversed bans on offshore drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of canyons in the Atlantic Ocean. Senator Murkowski: “I strongly disagree with this ruling, which asserts that past presidents can bind their successors and only Congress can overturn those decisions. That is not the correct interpretation of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and could have catastrophic impacts for offshore development, which creates jobs, generates revenues, and strengthens our national security. I expect this decision to be appealed and ultimately overturned—if not by the Ninth Circuit, then by the Supreme Court.” In 2015, Obama halted exploration in coastal areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and the Hanna Shoal. In late 2016, he withdrew most other potential Arctic Ocean lease areas, about 98 percent of the Arctic outer continental shelf. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason announced the ruling that restored the Obama–era restrictions. Gleason: “The wording of President Obama’s 2015 and 2016 withdrawals indicates that he intended them to extend indefinitely, and therefore be revocable only by an act of Congress.” The decision on Friday threw out Trump’s executive order that overturned the bans placed by Obama. Gleason: “Presidents have the power under a federal law to remove certain lands from development but cannot revoke those removals”.
A visiting breakdance duo has been teaching Juneau residents some new moves. They’re featured in a documentary that’s playing in town over the weekend about hip hop culture and social change in Uganda.About 12 people ranging from toddlers and teens to adults are learning the fundamentals of breakdance at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.“Breakdancing is one of the elements of hip-hop. It’s the way you use your body,” says Fahad Kiryowa, the dance teacher who lives just outside Kampala in Uganda.Breakdancing is often characterized as being low to the ground. There’s spins and flips. It’s a full body workout.Fahad Kiryowa shows a class how to master the basic moves of breakdance. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)But Kiryowa is taking it slow with his new students.He’s here in Alaska teaching with Eric Egesa.Juneau-born Rachelle Sloss convinced the pair to come up to her hometown. She’s lived in Kampala for several years and became fast friends with the two through Breakdance Project Uganda.“By the end of my first week there, I was totally sold on this place with so many great dancers and this great community,” she says.The dancers just attended a youth leadership camp in Colorado.“And the camp funded their international flights. Then they were here and we thought, ‘Let’s go to Alaska,’” she says.Egesa started dancing when he was a kid. He says it took some effort to convince his parents that breaking was a good thing.“Anything football or any sports, back in Uganda when children join anything, they just go into drugs,” he says.(Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)The director of Breakdance Project Uganda came to visit Egesa’s house to talk with his parents. It’s a nonprofit that offers free dance lessons and mentorship to at-risk youth.Egesa’s parents said yes.Kiryowa says breaking entered his life at the right time.“I couldn’t listen to my parents. I was chilling with the gangs because that’s what I see people doing,” he says. “So I was just like that. Stealing, that was one of the things I always did.”But he didn’t want to go down that path.“When I started doing breakdance, they said if you love this you have to quit the other one. It was at first hard for me, but when I got into dance I loved it. And I was like, ‘Oh, I’m stopping this.’”After a while, people started to notice a change in him.“My mom was like ‘Wow. Are you still on drugs?’ I was like, ‘No.’ I changed my life, dance changed my life,” he says.When he’s home in Uganda, Kiryowa says people see him as a leader. The dancers are looking forward to sharing their stories of Alaska back home.
Download AudioOne of the biggest upsets in the final dash to finish this year’s Iditarod is the sudden disappearance of Brent Sass from the top standings.The Eureka musher and Yukon Quest winner spent most of the race near the front of the pack. But as he was preparing to leave White Mountain Monday evening, Sass’s dogs refused to run. After about a half-hour of trying to coax them onto the trail, Sass turned them back to the checkpoint, and let them rest overnight.Shortly after 1 p.m., more than 17 hours after Sass was cleared to leave the checkpoint, he started getting his dogs ready.“It’s in their head. They don’t want to run any more,” Sass said. “It was my responsibility to control that. And I obviously didn’t. Sorry guys.”Sass had his dogs ready to go right as his 8-hour rest ended in White Mountain, but they wouldn’t budge.For more than a half-hour he walked up and down the line trying to coax his leaders into a trot, but to no avail.Eventually he brought the team back to the checkpoint on the frozen northern bank of the Fish River, re-arranging the piles of straw they’d left not long before.Nothing like this has happened to Sass in his racing career, and he wasn’t sure what to do.“It’s a pretty hard pill to swallow at the moment,” he said. “Such is life. When you push things a little too far, this is what happens.”He says this protest is the result of running an aggressive race, especially along the last two legs on the way to White Mountain.“I pushed ‘em too hard. Bottom line,” Sass said. “Ya know, last night I debated about camping before I came into here, and probably should have—well, definitely should have. No probably involved in that. I feel horrible about it. It’s totally my fault.”After he’d seen to his dogs, Sass headed back to a building near the checkpoint. A few hours later, Aliy Zirkle, who came into White Mountain in fourth place, was the third to leave.
The main entrance of the German Defence Ministry is pictured in Berlin, Germany, on 1 March 2018. ReutersGermany said on Wednesday hackers had breached its government computer network with an isolated attack that had been brought under control and which security officials were investigating.A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry said the affected government agencies had taken appropriate measures to investigate the incident and protect data.“The attack was isolated and brought under control within the federal administration,” which oversees government computer networks, he said in a statement, adding that the authorities were addressing the incident “with high priority and significant resources”.The spokesman said he could give no further details immediately due to security and analysis measures that were still under way.He did not comment on German media reports that the attack was launched by Russian hacker group APT28, which had already attacked the German parliament in 2015.The reports said the group managed to steal data from the Foreign and Defence Ministries in the latest attack.The ministry did not say when the attack took place. German media reported it happened in December.German security sources said authorities had been aware of the incident for some time, but the Defence Ministry and the German military were not affected.Jens Zimmermann, the Social Democrats’ (SPD) spokesman for digital issues, said the German parliament’s Digital Agenda committee had agreed unanimously to hold an extraordinary meeting, likely to be on Thursday.“The federal government must inform parliament comprehensively,” he tweeted.German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen declined to comment about the reports during an appearance in London.News of the attack on German government computers comes after repeated warnings by German intelligence officials about possible meddling by Russia in last year’s federal election.The head of the German domestic intelligence agency last year said such attacks had not occurred, but the risk of interference remained until a new government is in place.Germany’s Social Democrats are voting by postal ballot on an agreement to form another “grand coalition” with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, with the results to be made public on Sunday. If they reject the tie-up, Germany could face new elections or the formation of a minority government for the first time in its post-war history.Western governments and security experts have linked the hacking group known as APT28 or Fancy Bear to a Russian spy agency, and have blamed it for operations including an attack on the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 U.S. elections and the German lower house of parliament in 2015.German officials have blamed APT28 for the May 2015 hack of the German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, and other cyber attacks aimed at political groups, Merkel and other individuals, or institutions.Moscow has previously denied in any way having been involved in cyber attacks on the German political establishment.Top German intelligence officials have urged lawmakers to give them greater legal authority to “hack back” in the event of cyber attacks from foreign powers.
Listen 00:00 /04:03 Laura IsenseeGirls study and compete in chess, just one of several extracurricular activities added to this girls’ public school since the Zindagi Trust adopted it in 2007.Three years ago, Bushra Nasim left her public school in Karachi and switched to a private school with low tuition.She didn’t like how teachers treated her and classmates.“There was a physical and verbal abuse and now it doesn’t happen here anymore,” she said through a translator.That’s because new managers run her campus, called the Pakistani Railway School.A nonprofit known as The Citizens Foundation, or TCF, took it over from the government last year. Now dozens of students are coming back, like Bushra. She’s ready for eighth grade, dressed in her sky-blue uniform with a cream shawl across her shoulders.Bushra said that she was excited to return because of new course books and polite teachers. Her father was so excited about the new management from TCF that he also enrolled three of her six siblings.Laura IsenseeMiddle and high school boys line up for the opening assembly with prayer and the pledge of allegiance at the Pakistani Railway School in Karachi, The school was adopted by the nonprofit, The Citizens Foundation, last year and has already seen a jump in test scores.This is part of a larger experiment in Pakistan to reform education. Several nonprofits like The Citizens Foundation, Developments in Literacy and CARE have adopted hundreds of public schools in all.Some of the nonprofits also operate their own schools and collect donations around the world – including more than $1 million a year from Houston.But with the government schools, they take over management and often replace or retrain teachers. Some have long waiting lists or lotteries to win a seat.If this sounds like charter schools in the United States — where independent management groups operate public schools — it’s because it’s fairly similar. One difference is that U.S. charters are free. The Pakistani groups can charge a nominal tuition, such as a couple of dollars or less per month.“They have more experience,” said Fazlullah Pechucho, the Education Secretary in the Sindh province. He said he’s eager to partner.“A lot of elements are being executed with the EMOS, education management organizers, who are the private partners,” he said.Groups like TCF are also excited because they see a faster route to improve both the quality and access to education in Pakistan, a country with a booming population and a dismal public education system. TCF’s strategic director said that adopting a public school and revamping the building saves them time and money, instead of building a new brick-and-mortar campus from scratch.Laura IsenseeThe nonprofit, The Citizens Foundation or TCF, has adopted more than 80 public schools, including this Pakistani Railway campus in Karachi. Its strategic director Isfandyar Inayat Sher Khan said that the model could expand more.“If we are getting decent per child subsidy, which would cover our costs, we can go into thousands,” said Isfandyar Inayat Sher Khan, who directs strategic development at TCF headquarters in Karachi.Others see limitations to this model of reform.“There is no solution to Pakistan’s education crisis without dramatic improvements to the state of government schools,” said Mosharraf Zaidi, who leads the advocacy group Alif Ailaan in Islamabad. In Pakistan, many public schools are understaffed and underfunded. Teachers may not show up. Buildings are often in disrepair. Zaidi said that he believes reform includes nonprofits like TCF, religious schools and others, but that the entire system needs a boost.“It’s just that a coherent, successful modern society, the backbone of that society has to be the government school,” Zaidi explained. “The free education that is going to be the difference between being average and being phenomenal.”That’s why there’s another strategy at play at the Fatimah Jinnah Government School in Karachi. Here seventh grade girls compete in dodge ball in the courtyard.The Zindagi Trust adopted the girls-only school nine years ago. It offers chess, soccer, a library and art classes. The trust has invested almost 100 million Pakistani rupees in the school, including upgrades to the campus so drinking water didn’t mix with sewage lines.The trust’s director Shehzad Roy calls it a success for other reasons.“The most important thing why we’re turning around government schools is (to) change the system,” he said.Roy is a Pakistani pop singer turned activist. He said that the campus acts as a model to change education laws. So far, he counts half a dozen reforms. They include a ban on corporal punishment and allowing non-government textbooks in the classroom.“And as an institution yes, the school is doing really well. But more importantly, are we impacting the system or not,” Roy said.He said that in Pakistan more than 20 million children don’t attend school at all. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Share
D.C. Council member Anita Bonds got funding for housing programs and seniors. (AFRO File Photo)On May 27, the District’s $13 billion fiscal year 2016 budget was passed by the council on its first reading without significant objection. The budget centered heavily on housing and education but shies away from revenue enhancing measures like new taxes. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), for the most part, was pleased with the budget.“Residents elected me mayor of my hometown last year to deliver a fresh start and with my first budget that is exactly what we have done,” Bowser said. “With a focus on ensuring all of our residents share in the prosperity, our budget will create pathways for the middle class in all eight wards. Put simply: the budget the council voted on fulfills our key priorities, thus is a win for District residents.”Bowser did have some reservations, particularly with the expansion of the summer youth jobs program. The mayor signed legislation on May 26 extending the eligibility of the program up to 24 years old, and while the council voted for that in the budget, the extension will have to be voted on again for the next budget year. Bowser was not happy about that.“The council failed to fund this vital program in the next fiscal year,” she said. “I will work with this year’s class of summer youth employment participants to ensure it is a success and then we will redouble our efforts to expand the program for other young Washingtonians in need of a hand up, not a hand out.”The mayor also expressed displeasure with the council for not raising the sales tax and supporting measures to bring in revenue through parking. Nevertheless, she said, “I look forward to signing the budget into law and working with members of the council to implement the FY 2016 budget in a thoughtful, responsible way.”The council will hold its second and final reading of the budget on June 16.D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) was also happy with the budget. “The FY 2016 budget is one that moves the District of Columbia forward,” Bonds said. “I am proud of our significant investments in affordable housing, education, combating homelessness, and services to our most vulnerable residents.”Bonds lauded the $100 million investment in the Housing Production Trust Fund and the $2.3 million for targeted affordable housing, $5 million for the Local Rent Supplement Program vouchers and an additional $1.8 million for permanent supportive housing. A strong advocate for seniors, Bonds got the budget for the D.C. Office of Aging increased by $200,000 to support senior meals and senior wellness programs.A spokeswoman for Councilmember LaRuby May (D-Ward 8) said she was pleased with the restoration of funds to the St. Elizabeth’s East projects, the Anacostia Recreation Center, and the Congress Heights Great Streets project. In a move last month, Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) attempted to cut funding for those projects.Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) was elated that his pet education project, Books From Birth was funded in the budget. The project will mail a book to each child in the District every month from birth through age 5, while also working to connect families with D.C. Public Library resources and educational information that includes adult literacy.“We will take an important step forward for early childhood literacy in the District,” Allen said. “Our support for Books From Birth shows we are serious about confronting the District’s literacy and achievement gaps at their starting point, well before those gaps show up in the classroom. Books are direct building blocks for learning but children must be exposed to them to use them.”At-large Council member David Grosso (I) scored major victories in the budget by reversing cuts to the city’s library system, restoring funding to the University of the District of Columbia, and making up funding losses to schools such as Wilson and Ballou Senior High schools. Grosso worked to fund urban farming projects, a comprehensive citywide cultural plan, and supporting teen pregnancy programs.“For this council period, education and housing were designated as the council’s two top priorities,” Grosso said. “I am pleased that a comprehensive budget to benefit District of Columbia residents was developed in the areas of education, workforce development, transportation, and health and human services, with historic investments for a strategic pathway to end homelessness.”
If you’re looking for a huge new post-apocalyptic video game, a Bethesda game co-developed by an internal team whose legacy precedes them, a wasteland where you shoot mutants and twisted humans with scrappy guns while leveling up, it’s time to give up on Fallout 76 and start looking forward to Rage 2. We recently got to go hands-on with the new iD shooter, made alongside Avalanche Studios. And instead of seeming suspiciously good it now just seems actually good.Studio Director Tim Willits, himself a Doom veteran, spent some time telling us why Rage 2 even exists, and it’s not just so Avalanche Studios can get more mileage out of their desert wasteland expertise from that Mad Max game. The first Rage, from 2011, was supposed to be iD’s hot new thing, with its open world and vehicles and buzzworthy “megatextures” delivering impressive visual fidelity to modest hardware. But the result was a technically interesting but blurry and brown segmented mess that definitely didn’t set the world on fire way Doom or Wolfenstein did.So Rage 2 then is a do-over, officially a sequel that takes places some decades after the original but in practice a reboot now that “technology has caught up” with the original vision. Rage 2 feels more comfortable, and as a result its individual pieces maybe aren’t so groundbreaking. But together the experience wound up having more individual personality than I was expecting.Despite the post-apocalyptic similarities, Rage 2’s open world shares more in common with Far Cry than Fallout, (which is funny since the upcoming Far Cry: New Dawn looks nearly identical to Rage 2) . There’s more of a focus on exploring the world to find crazy emergent first-person action, using the experience to improve your character’s abilities and advance your faction’s agendas. I allied with a kick-ass gun-toting lady mayor embroiled in conflict with Not Guy Fieri with a personal motorized fan attached to a wrestling belt draped across his shoulder.The game is full of colorful characters and concepts like this, gyrating half-naked dancers wearing gross old man masks and slitting their own hands to bleed into cups for decadent local rulers to drink out of. The grease monkey dude who runs the derby races won’t shut up about meat. And the world is actually colorful as well, brash neon signs and splashes of pink paint liven up the dead and dirty world. It’s a careful balance that constantly risks tipping over into being obnoxious, and might just be obnoxious to some players after hours and hours of this. But I ultimately enjoyed it the same way I enjoyed Sunset Overdrive.You’re willing to open yourself up to Rage 2’s anarchic and unapologetic punk personality because that’s just the kind of hard-partying mood the gameplay puts you in. By far the most intriguing thing about early Rage 2 footage to me was how it looked like the sublime action-packed gory gunplay of 2016 Game of the Year Doom dropped into an open world instead of tight arenas. After playing for myself, the combat might not be that excellent but it’s damn close.Shotguns and assault rifles and rocket launchers turn enemies into chunks. You can whack people with a big boomerang. Smart design choices like no snipers (and no cover) encourage more aggressive close-range tactics. And killing enemies quick enough builds up a combo meter that makes you even stronger, so patience isn’t a virtue. Rage lore explains how your character is loaded up with nanomachines, son. And those machines also give you superpowers that expand combat even further. I would’ve been toast in a boss fight with a Rancor-like beast or a hillbilly mech suit covered in Christmas lights without my gravity grenades and aerial ground pound.Maybe it’s because the tools are so on point, but at least in this demo I feel like the actual content could’ve done a better job at taking advantage of them. I cleared one gas station outpost, and it was pretty much a standard open-world video game outpost to clear, even though exploding all the gas barrels made for a great light show. You can also find caches of powerful weapons while scavenging in the wasteland. But after enough aimless driving and shooting (as well as flying with a little gyro-copter drone) I decided to fast travel for the rest of the demo.Meanwhile, the main story mission I completed had me getting famous in local bloodsports before getting a (doomed) meeting with Not Guy Fieri (actual name Klegg Klayton). First I had to slaughter waves of mutants for a gameshow, where the cramped arenas made my superior range less useful against their vicious melee attacks. Despite their little thongs, these foes didn’t have the character of Doom’s bestiary. Then I had to win a deadly derby race with vehicle handling maybe just a little too unwieldy for its own good. I know these cars are barely functional but they should still be fun. Both events felt like introduction to side content, and it’s well-made creative side content, but I was looking for something a bit more crafted, which I didn’t get until the final stretch of the mission.Still, I walked into this Rage 2 demo with virtually no expectations and walked away pleasantly surprised, even if “pleasant” is hardly the right word to describe something so deliberately hardcore. Rage 2 launches on May 14 for Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. If you have the premium consoles you’ll enjoy a higher frame rate, and it didn’t sound like a potential Nintendo Switch version was completely ruled out. For more on iD check out John Romero’s new Doom levels and this new line of Doom figurines. Stay on target Trade In Your Nintendo Switch For a Better Battery (With a Catch)Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech Suits