Thiruvananthapuram: Thushar Vellapally, President of Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a coalition partner of the BJP-led NDA in Kerala, has been arrested in UAE in connection with an alleged Rs 19 crore cheque bounce case.Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, seeking his intervention in the matter. Vellapally is also the Vice President of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, a prominent organisation of the backward Ezhava community in the state. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The arrest was on a complaint from N Abdulla of Thrissur in an alleged Rs 19 crore cheque bounce case of 2009 when Vellapally was running a construction business in Ajman in the UAE, according to media reports. Thushar Vellapally had unsuccessfully contested as the NDA candidate from Wayanad in the Lok Sabha elections in April 23 this year, in which Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had emerged triumphant. In the letter, a copy of which was released to the media here, Vijayan expressed concern about the well being and health of Thushar Vellapally. “News channels have reported the arrest of Shri Thushar Vellapally, Vice President of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) yogam at Ajman in United Arab Emirates. I express concern about his well-being and health while in custody. All possible help within the limits of law needs to be made available to him. I request your kind personal attention and intervention in this regard”, Vijayan said in the letter.
HINTON, Alta. – A western Alberta woman is urging hunters and hikers to be more aware of their surroundings after her pet husky was mistaken for a wolf and shot in the legs.Bethany Dyck was walking with two friends on Saturday along a wooded trail near Hinton, Alta., that runs parallel to an old road. The group was on its way back, when her pooch, Meka, was playing in the forest with another dog.“We were three women walking single file, talking pretty loudly,” Dyck said Wednesday. “The other dog that was with us had bells on and Meka was wearing a bright orange collar.”They heard a gunshot and ran 30 metres through the bush toward the road, where they found Meka. Blood was seeping into the snow and the animal was screaming.“It’s the worst sound I can imagine hearing coming from my pet,” Dyck recalled.A hunter was in a clearing another 30 metres from where Meka was lying.Hinton RCMP said in a news release that they were called to a rural area on Saturday where a husky had been shot.“The adult male who had fired the shot was lawfully hunting in the area at the time and mistook the dog for a wolf,” the RCMP said. “The male has co-operated with the investigation.”RCMP said no charges have been laid, but they’re asking anyone with information to contact them.Dyck said one of her friends fashioned a tourniquet out of a sock to put on Meka’s leg and they set off for the vet. Throughout the 20-minute drive, Dyck said she was watching Meka’s chest rise and fall.“She was very lucid the whole time. Her pupils never dilated. She was so clear and aware,” Dyck said.The bullet went through Meka’s front right leg, hit bone, and then passed through her rear left leg.She said the hunter stuck around and accompanied Dyck to the vet, but he told her he could only contribute $1,000 toward the bill.Vet bills so far have totalled $4,000, Dyck said. If Meka needs surgery, which will be determined in another week or two, it could be another $4,000.A GoFundMe page has been set up to help ease some of the financial burden.Dyck said she hopes her dog will be back to her usual self before too long.“Meka’s happiest when she’s in the woods off leash going for a run. It’s so obvious when she’s running how happy she is,” she said.“She has endless amounts of energy, especially when it’s -30 C. She loves people. She’s not a very affectionate dog, but she’s a really great sidekick to do any adventures.”There was a similar case of mistaken identity near Whistler, B.C., in September. But that time, a four-year-old therapy dog that resembled a wolf died of its injuries after it was shot by a hunter.Dyck said she hopes people will learn from her story.“Just because you don’t hear or see them, you have to understand that there’s other people in the woods,” she said.“So to assume that you’re by yourself on a Saturday afternoon, it’s a beautiful day outside, that there’s not going to be people walking their dogs, that’s wrong.”She said she has nothing against hunting in general.“But I’m not OK with them shooting my dog.”— By Lauren Krugel in Calgary
Lance Armstrong, founder and chairman of LIVESTRONG, made the following announcement today regarding his status as chairman of the cancer non-profit organization’s board of directors.“In 1996, as my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart.“I am deeply grateful to the people of the foundation who have done such hard and excellent work over the last 15 years, building tangible and effective ways to improve the lives of cancer survivors. And I am deeply humbled by the support our foundation has received from so many people throughout the world — survivors, world leaders, business leaders and of course, the cancer community itself. We turn to this community frequently for guidance and collaboration to achieve our shared goals. They are unfailingly generous with their wisdom and counsel and I can never thank them enough.“I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation’s chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.“My duties will transfer to Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey who will serve as chairman. Jeff’s guidance and wisdom have been critical to shaping the foundation’s work since its earliest days. Jeff was this organization’s founding chairman and I have full confidence that under his leadership, the foundation will continue expanding its ability to serve cancer survivors.“My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation’s creation.”“Long before he became a household name, Lance Armstrong created a foundation to serve others facing the same fears and challenges he struggled to overcome as a result of his cancer diagnosis,” said Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG President and CEO. “Today, thanks to Lance’s leadership, that foundation has had the privilege of raising close to $500 million to serve people affected by cancer.“Lance has made this foundation and its cause — aiding people whose lives have been touched by this disease — his life’s work. His leadership in the cancer community has spurred immeasurable progress and it has been a great privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with him on a daily basis during his chairmanship.“We are grateful to Jeff Garvey for assuming the responsibilities of chairman. Jeff has been a guiding presence for LIVESTRONG for 15 years and we look forward to a seamless transition under his leadership and a continued strong focus on our core values and mission.“Lance’s devotion to serving others whose lives were irrevocably changed by cancer, as his was, is unsurpassable. We are incredibly proud of his record as an advocate and philanthropist and are deeply grateful that Lance and his family will continue to be actively involved with the Foundation’s advocacy and service work. We look forward to celebrating 15 years of progress with Lance and his family this weekend and recommitting ourselves to the work of the cancer community for the years ahead.”
The leader of Switzerland today highlighted the centrality of the United Nations and the responsibilities of its Member States in meeting global challenges, ranging from promoting development to fighting climate change, as she addressed the annual high-level segment of the General Assembly.“We must avoid making the United Nations an immutable ‘historic monument’ but rather turn it into a dynamic organization,” President Doris Leuthard said, adding that it is the “only organization in the world with the legitimacy to represent all nations and all peoples.”The UN is also the only body in the world “capable of narrowing difference and restoring a balance between nations,” but she underlined that each Member State must also meet its responsibilities and “place its national interests second to the common good.”She pointed out that nearly 1 billion people are still hungry, while the world will see its population grow and make do with fewer resources in the future.“We know that dropping sacks of rice from helicopters is not enough,” Ms. Leuthard said. “We must help people to grow it.”Although large sums of money flow to countries when disasters strike, “but who is still concerned three years later?” she asked.On climate change, binding objectives for reducing carbon dioxide emissions must be defined as quickly as possible, the President said.“Simply waiting for the industrialized countries to invest in the South will not lead anywhere,” she said, urging all countries to take necessary actions.Ms. Leuthard also welcomed the creation of UN Women, or the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, which will oversee all of the world body’s programmes aimed at promoting women’s rights and their full participation in global affairs.“Gender equality must at last become a reality,” she said.Women and girls, she noted, have been the victims of poverty more than others, as well as targets of violence in armed conflicts.“It is high time to make full use of their potential in mediation and reconstruction in countries affected by conflict.” 23 September 2010The leader of Switzerland today highlighted the centrality of the United Nations and the responsibilities of its Member States in meeting global challenges, ranging from promoting development to fighting climate change, as she addressed the annual high-level segment of the General Assembly.
Calamander Group, the operators of Calamander Unawatuna Beach and Calamander Lake Gregory, have threatened to file legal action against USAID over a boutique hotel in Trincomalee.The Calamander Group said in a statement that the new hotel and its owners have nothing to do with the Calamander Group. The Group’s spokesmen added “We were also surprised to see press reports that the financial investors and backers of this illegally named hotel include USAID and the Bank of Ceylon. Given the US Government is the global flag-bearer for protecting copyright and intellectual property, and BOC is the Republic’s best known state owned institution, we find it shocking that they would support such an entity, and if proven that they have funded this hotel, they will be subject to the same legal action as the hotel itself.” According to many press reports in January this year, Calamander Bay was ‘built with a generous grant from the USAID with the aim of creating employment for local youth and financed by Bank of Ceylon’. (Colombo Gazette) A spokesman for Calamander stated: “The Calamander Group has no association of any sort with the boutique resort calling itself Calamander Bay”. The Singapore based Calamander Group is a prominent major investor in Sri Lanka in the hospitality, food and beverage, and real estate sectors. In hotels, it owns and operates two properties under the Calamander brand name – Calamander Unawatuna Beach (the rebuilt former UBR), and Calamander Lake Gregory in Nuwara Eliya. The Group is not present on the East Coast and has no current plans to be so. The Group, on behalf of its hotels, will be serving notice to its travel agencies, trade, and other distribution agents, which number over 300 and this will clarify the facts to ensure there is no confusion.The Calamander Group, established in 2006 and patented owner of the ‘Calamander’ brand name, announced that it would be taking legal action against all parties concerned trading under the name ‘Calamander Bay’.
A new United Nations report on the human rights situation in Iraq paints a grave picture of abuses in the war-ravaged country while pointing to the possibility for positive change with the establishment of a Government there.In its bimonthly human rights report for May – June 2006, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) expressed the hope that there are “unique opportunities with a new Government of national unity announced on 22 May and its firm commitment to address forcefully urgent human rights concerns so as to establish the rule of law in the country.” At the same time, the report notes a grave situation of human rights in Iraq that the new Government must address. While welcoming recent positive steps by the Government to promote national reconciliation, the report raises alarm at the growing number of casualties among the civilian population killed or wounded during indiscriminate or targeted attacks by terrorists and insurgents, as well as militias and criminal groups.Kidnapping of individuals and groups, for ransom or political purposes also continued to surge, according to the report, which commends the release of over 3,000 detainees but expressed concern at new evidence of torture in detention centres administered by the Ministry of Interior. The report also reiterated the UN’s call for “the immediate release of the report on Al-Jadiryia, a detention centre run by the Ministry of Interior uncovered on 14 November 2005, and for criminal prosecution of those held responsible.”The document recognizes that the security forces are working under extremely difficult conditions but points out that, on occasions, the response of the security forces itself has been a source of human rights violations and further violence. Sectarian violence continues to fuel displacement at an alarming pace, UNAMI warns. Mosques and religious leaders have been victims of attacks while teachers, professors and students continue to be severely affected by the violence. The killing and wounding of significant numbers of health workers and professionals is crippling health services at a time when there is an increasing need for health care services as a result of ongoing violence. Women continued to face restrictions in their freedoms while children, minorities, Palestinian refugees and other groups continued to suffer.The document also describes reports received by the United Nations regarding military operations carried out by the MNF-I which resulted in the loss of civilian life and property.The report noted a markedly better situation in the Region of Kurdistan. “UNAMI is encouraged that while current challenges remain significant, progress is also manifested in the advancement of legislation in favour of women’s rights, the protection and promotion of children’s rights and in some areas of economic, social and cultural rights. Concerns remain regarding freedom of expression, detainee rights and discrimination.”The UN, together with other donors, continue to assist the Government of Iraq to establish a strong national human rights protection system which can address both current and past human rights violations. To this end, the report outlines activities conducted to advance the establishment of the rule of law and progress made toward the establishment of a National Commission for Human Rights in the country.
THIS WEEK BRINGS an end to a public consultation process which few of us may have noticed. At the end of November, An Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore announced a review of Ireland’s foreign policy, and invited members of the public to have their say on what our foreign policy priorities and goals should be. Unfortunately, the discussion about “how we can continue to serve the interests of the Irish people through active international engagement” seemed to go pretty quiet.Yet, this is still an important discussion, and one that shouldn’t necessarily end with the consultation process. As the Tánaiste has pointed out, “our foreign policy is a statement of who we are as a people. It is the means by which we promote our values and pursue our interests abroad. Through it, we pursue economic prosperity and promote peace and security in Ireland and the wider world.” If that is so, it is indeed good to take a moment to pause for thought, and ask our citizens to reflect on exactly what those values, interests and prospects for prosperity really are.What are our core values?For in recent years, we have appeared less sure of what our core values are. We now know that the Celtic Tiger model of society is not a very attractive option, but are we ready to embrace any of the alternatives? We have come to realise that our prosperity is irrevocably linked to the ups – and downs – of the welfare of the rest of the world but we seem to feel unable to take the steps needed to safeguard our common future. We understand the impact of global forces, but may have lost the confidence in our ability to shape those forces. And without such confidence and clarity of direction, we may not feel very well equipped to “promote our values and pursue our interests abroad”.In an increasingly inter-linked world, the biggest threats we face as a nation are quite different from those we based our foreign policies on the last time around. The last time the Government set out a foreign policy was in 1996. Climate change, cyber terrorism and Shannon stop-overs had a very different meaning in those days. As did another main challenge of the 21st century: inequality.A report published by Oxfam in January showed almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and that we now live in a world where the 85 richest people own the same wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people.Even the annual meeting of the world’s rich and famous in Davos decided that this enormous – and growing – inequality is a problem. The fact that in far too many countries the benefits of growth are being enjoyed by far too few people is not, according to the head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, “a recipe for stability and sustainability”. The American economist and Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz has also blogged that “inequality leads to lower growth and less efficiency”.Where do we stand on neutrality and aid?Irish foreign policy has long been framed by our concept of “neutrality”, but as a nation we have shown many times that we don’t want to be “neutral” when it comes to human suffering. Is it time for us to declare that we are not willing to be neutral in the other major fights of our times, too? Do we want to explicitly take sides in the battle against inequality, human rights violations and climate chaos?Our aid programme has also long been a central part of Ireland’s foreign policy, and there is a public expectation that Ireland will do ‘the right thing’ on the global stage. Our focus on human rights, development cooperation, peace-keeping and conflict resolution has served us well and has been an invaluable source of influence and what political scientists like to call ‘soft power’. As a country not suspected of ulterior motives – whether commercial or colonial – we have been able to play a role not normally reserved for countries our size.Though time is fast running out to make a submission, the foreign policy consultation process offers a chance for us, as a nation, to use the process as an invitation to look at how we can use our influence on the global stage positively. We can confirm that we believe our own future is interwoven with the future and prosperity of everyone else on this planet, and that we do not want the needs of the few to outweigh the rights of the many. It is an opportunity to re-affirm that we do not want our economic agenda to come at the expense of our planet, our fellow humans or of future generations. Finally, it is an opportunity to continue this discussion after tomorrow’s deadline has passed.You can access information on the Public Consultation on the Review of Ireland’s Foreign Policy at dfa.ie. The deadline for submission is tomorrow, Tuesday the 4 February 2014, and submissions can be made via email.Hans Zomer is the Director of Dóchas, The Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations.Column: Ireland is reviewing its foreign policy – but it’s asking the wrong questionsRead: World’s wealthiest 85 people own same amount as half the global population
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) has urged all Victorians to stand together in affirming the principles of multiculturalism and to resist demonising members of the Muslim community in the wake of the Paris and other recent terrorist attacks.ECCV chairperson Eddie Micallef said it is well recognised that multiculturalism and the embrace of diversity are what underlie the strengths of Victorian society, and this is something that should be continually supported and celebrated.“The ECCV is appalled by the barbarity of the terrorist attacks in Paris and in other places such as Beirut in recent times, and totally condemns those who have been involved in carrying them out.“I would urge Victorians, however, to resist the temptation to criticise all Muslims within our community because of the acts of an isolated criminal element. It has long been recognised that one of the best ways to counter radicalisation is by using Islam to counter the messages of radical Islam.“No religious tradition should be blamed. Rather, we need to understand that one of the answers in this highly-complex issue lies in engaging in a meaningful and ongoing dialogue with Muslim parents, leaders, teachers and their communities.“The violent extremist recruiters and others of their ilk have been very sophisticated in their use of social media, in particular, to groom and recruit what are often vulnerable young people in our communities, and one way to counter that is by using those same tools to show how flawed their corrupted ideology is.”Mr Micallef said the ECCV strongly supported the recent call by the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) secretary, Kuranda Seyit, about the importance of the Victorian community standing together to denounce evil.“ECCV commends and supports the ICV for its recently-reported comments on the need to differentiate between the actions of violent criminals and the religion of Islam. We are also totally supportive of Mr Kuranda’s view that Australia’s strength as a nation comes from its multicultural diversity and the social harmony that comes with it.“ECCV is also very concerned about the potential backlash against some Muslim women, who have the right to have their religious dress respected.“People should resist the simplistic urge to lash out at members of the Muslim community as a response to the terrorist attacks in Paris and other parts of the world. It should be remembered that there have been many members of the Muslim community who have been victims of these attacks, which highlights and underscores the perpetrators’ utter criminality.“ECCV would like to express its deepest sympathy to all the victims of the Paris and Beirut attacks, and to extend its condolences to them, their families, friends and members of their communities.”
La Corée du Sud ne reprendra pas la chasse à la baleineMardi, l’agence Yonhapa, citant un haut responsable du gouvernement, a annoncé que la Corée du Sud ne reprendrait finalement pas la chasse à la baleine. Le projet révélé à la Commission baleinière internationale (CBI) avait provoqué une indignation internationale.C’est une bonne nouvelle que vient d’annoncer l’agence sud-coréenne Yonhap. D’après les dires d’un haut responsable du gouvernement, la Corée du Sud aurait en effet renoncé à son projet de reprendre la chasse à la baleine. C’est le 4 juillet dernier que le pays avait annoncé cette intention lors de la réunion de la Commission baleinière internationale (CBI) tenue au Panama. Un projet qui avait rapidement suscité un tollé général parmi la communauté internationale et surtout parmi les défenseurs de l’environnement.Le pays avait en fait indiqué vouloir reprendre ses campagnes de chasse à des fins scientifiques comme le fait déjà aujourd’hui le Japon. Mais cet argument n’a pas apaisé l’indignation internationale, loin de là, dans la mesure où les défenseurs le considèrent comme totalement fallacieux, permettant de mener une chasse commerciale déguisée. En effet, si les baleines sont réellement pêchées dans un objectif scientifique, la loi autorise ensuite la viande à être consommée. D’où les critiques régulièrement faites au Japon. Mais contrairement à ce dernier, l’indignation générale aurait donc fait reculer la Corée.”Les discussions entre les ministères du gouvernement se sont conclues d’une manière qui signifie l’abandon du projet de pêche à la baleine dans les eaux le long des côtes du pays”, a ainsi déclaré à Yonhap ce haut responsable qui reste anonyme. Celui-ci a également ajouté : “Même si c’est pour des recherches scientifiques, nous devons être conscients du fait que c’est apparu comme un sujet délicat, à l’étranger et ici”. Néanmoins, pour l’heure, l’information n’a pas été commentée par le ministère de l’Alimentation, de l’Agriculture, des Forêts et de la Pêche. Des baleines déjà tuées délibérément en Corée ? À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Actuellement, seuls trois pays chassent officiellement la baleine : le Japon donc, pour des raisons supposées scientifiques, et la Norvège et l’Islande, qui eux ne respectent pas l’interdiction adoptée dans les années par la majorité des pays membres de la CBI. La Corée du Sud elle, a arrêté la chasse depuis 26 ans mais elle autorise la vente de viande de baleines attrapées accidentellement dans les filets de pêche. Toutefois, au vu du taux élevé de ces captures, certaines associations environnementales suggèrent que les cétacés seraient tués délibérément.Le 18 juillet 2012 à 11:55 • Maxime Lambert
Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter August 27, 2018 Posted: August 27, 2018 Steve Bosh 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter has vowed to fight the criminal indictment charging he and his wife with violating campaign laws.What will be his defense at trial?Former US Attorney Charles LaBella spent 24 years in the Department of Justice, he says some key issues for the defense include the timing of the indictment, what campaign funds are personal, what are political, and is the US Attorney’s Office guilty of a conflict of interest.The timing is politically suspect. It’s often difficult to determine which funds are personal, which are political, and the case may be turned over to another US Attorney’s Office because of a potential conflict of interest after three prosecutors attended a Hillary Clinton fundraiser while pushing the investigation.KUSI’s Steve Bosh has the details: Former US Attorney Charles LaBella on the Hunter investigation Steve Bosh,
He doesn’t have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame or a caricature on the wall of Sardi’s.But actor Nathan Fillion may soon get his name on a park building in Edmonton, Canada.Lauren Hunter recently launched a Change.org petition to rename the Warehouse Campus Neighborhood Central Park after the Edmonton native.AdChoices广告“The City of Edmonton is turning downtown parking lots into a new Central Park that doesn’t have a name yet,” according to the online description.“To honor great Edmontonian actor Nathan Fillion,” Hunter wrote, “we propose we build a small building on this park, and call it… ‘The Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion.’”In just two weeks, the petition has garnered more than 9,000 signatures (my own included).Fans have been leaving messages of support, suggesting that “Brilliance deserves to be recognized” and “We deserve nice things.”“Whereas there used to be an A/V Club commenter named ‘It Takes a Nathan of Fillions,’ I think it’s extremely important to North American civilization that this tradition of Nathan Fillion-based workplay should continue,” David Buchmann wrote today.“I’m signing because it’s the right thing to do,” Terry Soucy stated simply.One person even suggested that a Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion would be reason enough to visit the Canadian city.Neither the Edmonton government nor Nathan Fillion immediately responded to a request for comment.Most famous for his roles as smart-mouthed space smuggler Captain Malcolm Reynolds in Joss Whedon’s sci-fi/western masterpiece Firefly (and later Serenity) and the ruggedly handsome crime writer Rick Castle in murder-mystery series Castle, Fillion has stayed busy over the years.(If you haven’t seen them yet, I highly recommend Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog and Con Man [not least of all because the latter also stars Alan “I am a leaf on the wind” Tudyk].)Fillion can currently be seen as LAPD cop John Nolan in The Rookie.More on Geek.com:Marvel Fans Create Petition Urging for the Return of Iron ManPetition Seeks to Sell Montana to Canada for $1 TrillionStephen Byrne’s Animated Firefly Trailer Needs to Become a Reality Stay on target This Uncharted Fan Film Proves Why Nathan Fillion is the Perfect Nathan …Santa Clarita Diet’s Second Season is Much More of a Sitcom
Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Skype tells surveillance alarm-raisers they got it all wrong (2012, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-skype-surveillance-alarm-raisers-wrong.html (Phys.org) — Skype, the famous and widely used voice-over-Internet protocol service and software application that in 2011 became Microsoft’s online message, phone and video chat service, is fighting off assumptions and reports that its parent Microsoft has made it loosen up and roll out a welcome mat to law enforcement for surveillance purposes. Skype has issued flat denials that it has changed its policy about outside surveillance of users’ Skype communications. Skype insists that any technical upgrades to its system have not been with surveillance in mind. © 2012 Phys.org “Skype first deployed ‘mega-supernodes’ to the cloud to improve reliability of the Skype software and service in December 2010,” he said. The nodes were deployed at Skype’s data centers, in third-party infrastructure such as Amazon’s EC2, and most recently in Microsoft’s data-centers and cloud.The move was made to improve platform reliability and “to increase the speed with which we can react to problems,” he added.Gillett said reports of changes to facilitate law enforcement’s access to instant messages were false too. He acknowledged that some messages are stored temporarily on Skype/Microsoft servers for immediate or later delivery to a user, “to provide for the delivery and synchronization of instant messages across multiple devices, and in order to manage the delivery of messages between clients situated behind some firewalls which prevent direct connections between clients.”Skype does make an exception to cooperate with law enforcement, he said, “if a law enforcement entity follows the appropriate procedures and we are asked to access messages stored temporarily on our servers,” and he said that will happen “only if legally required and technically feasible.”Meanwhile, the China-only version of Skype remains a glaring exception to privacy. The China-only version is provided locally through Skype’s joint venture partner operating “tom.com” which contains a “chat filter” in order to comply with local laws. The Chinese government monitors communications in and out of the country. TOM Online, like other communications service providers in China has an obligation to comply in order to operate in China.Skype traditionally has been credited with its use of strong encryption and complex peer-to-peer network connections as a safeguard against interceptions. What fed on recent alarm and speculation were reflections on the supernode move in the light of how Microsoft had filed in 2009, before the acquisition of Skype, an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which was later published in 2011, describing “recording agents” to legally intercept VoIP phone calls. Microsoft’s application noted that “Sometimes, a government or one of its agencies may need to monitor communications between telephone users. To do this with POTS, after obtaining the appropriate legal permission, a recording device may be placed at a central office associated with a selected telephone number. Electrical signals corresponding to sound to and from the telephones at the selected telephone number may be monitored and transformed into sound. This sound may then be recorded by the recording device without the telephone users being aware of the recording. With new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and other communication technology, the POTS model for recording communications does not work.” This “Legal Intercept” patent application discussed an idea for how communications on VoIP networks can be silently recorded.Skype serves 250 million active users each month and supported 115 billion minutes of person to person live communications in the last quarter alone, according to numbers cited by Gillett on the Skype blog. The reports have suggested that Skype infrastructure upgrades may make it easier to hand over users’ chat data to eager legal agencies wanting access to conversations over the Skype service. The reports were largely based on a recent addition of supernodes in the data centers of Skype’s new corporate parent, Microsoft. Skype moved its supernodes into Microsoft’s data centers for the purpose of reliability, not to please legal surveillance agents, assured the company in its statements.Earlier this month, Mark Gillett, Skype’s corporate vice president of product engineering and operations, described all claims that Skype was bending its policy rules as false. In contact with ExtremeTech, Gillett said any changes in infrastructure were to improve user experiences.“As part of our ongoing commitment to continually improve the Skype user experience, we developed supernodes which can be located on dedicated servers within secure datacenters. This has not changed the underlying nature of Skype’s peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture, in which supernodes simply allow users to find one another (calls do not pass through supernodes). We believe this approach has immediate performance, scalability and availability benefits for the hundreds of millions of users that make up the Skype community.”More recently, he decided to pen a detailed explanation of what Skype has done and why on Skype’s own, The Big Blog. He was concerned that reports could mislead the Skype community about how Skype handles user security and privacy.“It has been suggested that Skype made changes in its architecture at the behest of Microsoft in order to provide law enforcement with greater access to our users’ communications,” he said, which he repeated as false.Regarding the supernodes, he said that even before Microsoft came into the picture for acquisition of Skype, the latter was already in the process of moving supernodes to cloud servers. Skype calls instant-message privacy bug ‘rare’
Guests: Chris Broussard – FS1 NBA Analyst; Greg Cosell – NFL Films Senior Producer; Matt Barnes – NBA Champion and 15-year NBA Veteran Forced media narrative of Brady’s decline is fake newsA hot little trend in the NFL media appears to be taking a sample of Tom Brady’s last several weeks of subpar statistical games, but Colin thinks the overly aggressive story manufacturing is literally fake news.The fact are that New England is 7-3 with a two game lead in the AFC East, Brady has has 2700 yards passing and 17 TD passes, and is doing so without Gronk, a leading receiver coming off an ACL, and midseason pick up Josh Gordon as a key target. Regardless of a cross section of bad regular season stats, everyone writing this garbage knows Brady and Belichick will be standing deep into the playoffs with at least a chance at another Super Bowl. Also:– The Rams have taken the NFC West torch from the Seahawks– Aaron Rodgers should beat some QB’s everyone says he’s better than– Colin’s first in-person LeBron game takeaways
“Ensure the Internet is a global public resource… where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent.”-Team Mozilla Yesterday, Firefox explained the idea behind Firefox Sync as well as how the tool was built keeping in mind user’s privacy. Because sharing data with a provider is a norm, the team found it important to highlight the privacy aspects of Firefox Sync. What is Firefox Sync? Firefox Sync lets a user share their bookmarks, browsing history, passwords and other browser data between different devices, and send tabs from one device to another. This feature re-defines how users interact with the web. Users can log on to Firefox with Firefox sync, using the same account across multiple devices. They can even access the same sessions on swapping devices. With one easy sign-in, Firefox sync helps users access their bookmarks, tabs, and passwords. Sync allows users logged on from one device to be simultaneously logged on to other devices. Which means that tasks that started on a user’s laptop in the morning can be picked up on their phone even later in the day. Why is Firefox Sync Secure? By default, Firefox Sync protects all user synced data so Mozilla can’t read it. When a user signs up for sync with a strong passphrase, their data is protected from both attackers and from Mozilla. Mozilla encrypts all of a user’s synced data so that it is entirely unreadable without the key used to encrypt it. Ideally, even a service provider must never receive a user’s key. Firefox takes care of this aspect when a user signs into their Firefox account with a username and passphrase which are sent to the server. Traditionally, on receiving the username and passphrase at the server, it is hashed and compared with a stored hash. If a match is found, the server sends the user his data. While using Firefox, a user never sends over their passphrase. Mozilla transforms a user’s passphrase on their computer into two different, unrelated values such that the two values are independent of each other. Mozilla sends an authentication token, derived from the passphrase, to the server which serves as the password-equivalent. This means that the encryption key derived from the passphrase never leaves a user’s computer. In more technical terms, 1000 rounds of PBKDF2 is used to derive a user’s passphrase into the authentication token. On the server size, this token is hashed with scrypt so that the database of authentication tokens is even more difficult to crack. The passphrase is then derived into an encryption key using the same 1000 rounds of PBKDF2. It is domain-separated from the previously generated authentication token by using HKDF with separate info values. This key is used to unwrap an encryption key (obtained during setup and which Mozilla never see unwrapped), and that encryption key is used to protect a user data. The key is used to encrypt user data using AES-256 in CBC mode, protected with an HMAC. Source: Mozilla Hacks How are people reacting to this feature? Sync has been well received by customers. A user on Hacker news commented how this feature makes “Firefox important”. Sync has also been compared to Google Chrome since Chrome’s sync feature collects their users’ complete browsing histories. One user commented on how Mozilla’s privacy tools will make him “chose over chrome”. And since this approach is relatively simple to implement, users are also exploring the possibility of “implement a similar encryption system as a proof of concept”. In a time where respecting the privacy of a user is so unusual, Mozilla sure has caught our attention with its approach to be more “user privacy-centric”. You can head over to Mozilla’s Blog to know other approaches to building a sync feature for a browser and how Sync protects user data. Read Next Mozilla pledges to match donations to Tor crowdfunding campaign up to $500,000Mozilla shares how AV1, the new the open source royalty-free video codec, worksMozilla introduces new Firefox Test Pilot experiments: Price Wise and Email tabs
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Posted by Travelweek Group SEPT-ÎLES — This winter Sunwing is offering not just Cancun flights from Sept-Îles, QC, but new weekly flight service to Punta Cana as well.Sunwing says it’s the first season that the travel company has offered vacationers in the region two different destinations from their local airport. Both routes will be available between Dec. 12, 2018 and April 10, 2019.“Sunwing is proud to be the only leisure carrier to offer vacation packages directly from Sept-Îles,” says Executive Vice President of Sunwing Travel Group Quebec, Sam Char. “Both Cancun and Punta Cana are consistently two of our most popular destinations and we are delighted to be offering local residents even more convenient and affordable travel from Sept-Îles Airport this year.”Platinum Yucatan Princess, Punta CanaResort options in Punta Cana and Cancun include the new Grand Memories Punta Cana, the newly-renovated Riu Palace Punta Cana and, just north of Cancun in Playa Mujeres, the recently opened Riu Dunamar. There’s also the top-rated adults only resort, Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites Resort and Spa, with no fewer than 13 pools and exchange privileges at neighbouring resorts Grand Riviera Princess and Grand Sunset Princess. Tags: Cancun, Memories Resorts & Spa, Punta Cana, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Sunwing Sunwing adds Punta Cana flights to Sept-Îles schedule Thursday, July 26, 2018
by Kristin M. Hall, The Associated Press Posted Apr 3, 2018 8:27 am PDT Last Updated Apr 3, 2018 at 10:21 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Dierks Bentley wants to celebrate women at ACMs FILE – In this Nov. 8, 2017 file photo, Dierks Bentley, left, and his wife Cassidy Black arrive at the 51st annual CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Bentley hopes that his new single reminds people that he’s not always singing about being drunk on a plane, or being a beach bum looking for a rebound. Bentley will perform his new song, “Woman, Amen,” at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on April 15. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country star Dierks Bentley hopes that his new single reminds people that he’s not always singing about being drunk on a plane, or being a beach bum looking for a rebound.Bentley’s new song, “Woman, Amen,” is a rousing, drum-driven celebration of the kind of women that aren’t typically profiled in country songs. And he’ll be using the song to highlight real women during his performance at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on April 15.“I think it helps counter out some of the other songs I have had out there,” Bentley said recently as he was preparing to shoot the music video in Nashville, Tennessee.Bentley is hardly the worst offender of lyrical stereotyping in Nashville, but he knows he’s got a bit of reputation for songs like “Somewhere on a Beach,” ”Drunk on a Plane,” and “Am I the Only One,” with the regrettable lyrics: “country cutie with a rock and roll bootie.”“‘Woman, Amen’ is hopefully really tipping the scales back into more of a level playing field,” Bentley said. “I am definitely guilty of some songs just to party to.”Bentley is asking fans to submit pictures and stories on social media with the tag #WomanAmenACM of exceptional women in their lives who deserve recognition, which will be part of the performance being aired on CBS. Bentley said his wife, Cassidy, has been looking at the submissions and getting emotional.“It’s a song about celebrating a woman in my life and several women in my life,” Bentley said. “I love seeing a song that’s very personal to me, that’s concrete and identifiable be taken by fans and they can use it in a way that’s universal to them.”This year Bentley won’t be co-hosting the awards show, as he has for the past two years with Luke Bryan. Longtime host Reba McEntire has returned this year to host the show and Bentley is just fine with that, frankly.“Speaking candidly, I don’t really see myself as a host,” Bentley said. “I am more of just an artist and performer and songwriter. That’s really what I like doing.”He said he had fun doing the comedy and skits and working with Bryan, but he’s trying to focus his career on what’s really important to him.“I just try to strip away stuff that’s not what I really love doing,” Bentley said. “I have tried to break my life down into either a huge yeah, like ‘Yes, I can’t wait to do that.’ Or no. And just make it easy.”__Online: http://www.cbs.com/dierks__Follow Kristin M. Hall at Twitter.com/kmhall
BRUNSWICK, Maine – The founder of the Dead Poets Society of America got what he wanted Monday: His remains were laid to rest under a special tombstone he commissioned before suffering a fatal heart attack.The family of Walter Skold read poetry, including some of his own works, during the ceremony in a historic cemetery in Brunswick. His remains were buried under a slate tombstone carved with a dancing skeleton at the top.“The end does not discriminate, It gives; it takes; it heals and breaks,” Skold wrote in a poem from the 1990s read by one of his sons, Charles. “It beckons for all to enter the grave: The final bed of roses from which the flesh cannot evade.”Afterward, family including five children and two grandchildren gathered in a circle, danced and sang hymns. One of his poems read aloud was named, “Grave Dance.”Known as the “dead poet guy,” Skold combined humour, history and the macabre in his travels to the final resting places of more than 600 poets. He launched the Dead Poets Society in 2008 in Maine, drawing inspiration for the name from the 1989 Robin Williams movie.His ultimate goal, he said, was to draw attention to poetry and poets, especially those bards who were in danger of being forgotten by history.He travelled in a colorful cargo van dubbed “Dedgar the Poemobile” with a stuffed panther named “Raven” and an Edgar Allan Poe bobblehead on the dashboard. He held graveyard poetry readings and sometimes toasted poets with a drink. More than once, he had to explain himself to police.That uniqueness came through in his tombstone, which he commissioned little more than a month before he was felled at age 57 in January by a heart attack.Michael Updike, son of novelist John Updike, was enlisted to carve the tombstone featuring a scattershot of literary inspiration from Skold’s life and from graves he’d visited.There was some gallows humour, of course. Carved on the bottom, hidden from view under the dirt, were these words: “This here rock’s a talking stone just like Walt, who’s turned to bone.”The tombstone was supposed to be at a family plot in York, Pennsylvania. But it was rejected because it didn’t meet the cemetery’s requirements.So the family decided to bury part of Skold’s ashes in Maine, where he lived when he created the Dead Poets Society of America and began documenting graves.Charles Skold said his father would’ve approved of his final resting place at Pine Grove Cemetery. Situated behind Bowdoin College, the historic cemetery is the final resting place of the late Civil War general and governor Joshua Chamberlain. by David Sharp, The Associated Press Posted Aug 27, 2018 2:07 pm PDT Last Updated Aug 27, 2018 at 2:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Poet laid to rest under unique tombstone he commissioned
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