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Shooting investigation at Cloverfield/I-10

first_imgHomeNewsCrimeShooting investigation at Cloverfield/I-10 Aug. 15, 2018 at 5:10 pmCrimeFeaturedNewsShooting investigation at Cloverfield/I-10Matthew Hall3 years agocrimeSanta Monica Police Departmentshootingsmpd The Santa Monica Police Department is investigating a shooting on the 1900 block of Cloverfield.According to SMPD, one individual was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury to the leg.Officials sent out a notification on the City’s alert system at about 5 p.m. regarding the shooting that occurred at about 4:15 p.m.Residents were asked to avoid the area of Cloverfield and the I-10 Freeway pending the results of the investigation.Tags :crimeSanta Monica Police Departmentshootingsmpdshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentMetro adding portable body scanners to bus/rail stopsSummer StreamsYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall9 hours agoBriefsLos Angeles Sheriff’s deputy accused of destroying evidence of 2019 assaultAssociated Press13 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press20 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press20 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson20 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter20 hours agolast_img read more

Women riding in style: Hit the road with SOAS & Velocio, or cruise the…

first_imgThe $120 jerseys mix an aero and more mesh fabrics to get a smooth, comfortable, and fast fit. They use light, gripper-less sleeves and get full-length zips, a rear gripper at the hem, and 3 standard pockets. Matching $72 vests are available with venting mesh sides, and warmers with anatomic 3-panel construction and thumb holes for the armies. Baselayers are in the works and will be available soon. The whole kit is designed, sublimated, and made in SOAS’s San Diego HQ.SOASacing.comVelocio ES The $209 ES bib shorts include lightweight block color leg bands to match both jerseys with printed silicone grippers. They offer more breathability and support than Velocio’s standard bibs, use a Cytech high-density chamois pad, and seamless upper straps. A highly packable, and breathable $249 waterproof ES rain jacket rounds out the collection to keep you dry throughout your riding and racing. The jacket is made of a stretch membrane fabric for a comfortable close fit on the bike, and includes full-taped seams, reflective detailing, and even a light loop on the extended tail to improve low-light visibility.Velocio.ccChance of Rain Choice in proper performance clothing for women riders and racers seems to be growing rapidly these days. At the same time we’ve seen bigger cycling brands focus more top-end development on the women’s side, but there also have been a number of companies catering just only women and growing their cycling offerings. SOAS is a good example of the latter. They had made a name for themselves with women-specific endurance clothing mostly geared toward triathletes. That logically included some appeal to riders, but this spring they are finally rolling out a complete line dedicated to cycling. Velocio on the other hand develops products for both men and women cyclists in striking designs. They do seem to focus their efforts quite evenly on both men and women, and their new premium ES collection is a good example of that. Then we’ll finish this round-up off with a small new cross-over brand from Berlin. Chance of Rain is more of a boutique fashion label introducing a couple of premiem jackets for urban riding that mix functional fabrics and designs with a classic, elegant style. Take a closer look at each below the fold…SOAS RacingThe new 2016 cycling collection from SOAS includes a full range of kit: performance bib shorts, jerseys, vests, baselayers, and arm and knee warmers. The developed to bike-centric kit in direct response to customers already using their run and triathlon gear. A proper set of women’s bib shorts was probably the biggest driver. Their ES line is meant to satisfy these needs. Built for racing, the ES shorts and jerseys use a high wicking, highly breathable set of fabrics and combines that with a performance fit. Velocio took their most functional tech from their popular Signature line and trimmed them for a lighter and faster feel for high tempo riding. The $170 women’s ES jersey comes in two colors in the graphic print. It features perforated side panels, longer sleeves,  reflective logos, and a 3+1 pocket layout SOAS is a strong opponent of the ‘pink and shrink’ model, and their colorful line of jerseys, bibs, and warmers play that out. The cycling clothing borrows a lot of fabrics from the gear the had already produced for multi-sport athletes.The bib short add a new premium lined compression fabric designed to be longer wearing, and then get full sublimated designs from top to bottom. The $172 bibs use a Italian chamois made just for SOAS, wide and flat leg openings without grippers, and two small hidden side pockets to stash a something small like keys or a gel.center_img The 170€ Laura Cape offers effective protection while riding in the rain with zippered arm slits and hidden thumb hooks to keep it in place above your legs. Its lightweight fabric flows smoothly over the body when not on the bike, and has small weights at the hem to keep the cape from blowing in the wind. For full details on both coats and available colors, check out the project on Kickstarter. We’ve covered a few of Velocio’s previous offerings, including last fall’s Helen Wyman signature collection. But now they are ready for summer again with the new top ES collection. Velocio’s co-owner Kristy Scrymgeour has close links to racing, first as a rider herself, and then as a team owner and director. While Velocio knows the folly of calling something “Pro” (the pros don’t get much choice and have to race with whatever their sponsors pay them to wear), they do focus on the needs of elite racers and build gear to perform at the highest level. On the urban side of things, the new Berlin-based label Chance of Rain specializes in providing a bit of high fashion for cyclists. Having won a few German design awards earlier this year, they are opening their clothing to a wider audience by way of a Kickstarter campaign. They still have a little ways to go before they hit their crowd-funding target on their short campaign, but might be worth looking for a some premium performance on the bike that doesn’t scream “Cyclists!”The two Kickstarter jackets are the product of designer Antoniya Ivanov and aim to blur the line between function and fashion. The Alex Trenchcoat and Laura Cape are both designed to be timeless, yet modern pieces. Each is made from high-quality water-repellent and breathable fabrics and provide protection against rain without sacrificing style.Functional details like adjustable cuff lengths and a detachable hood make it easy to transition from riding everyday by bike to moving about town on foot as well. The 220€ Alex Trenchcoat is actually a two-piece crop-top jacket that is worn over a long vest to offer a lot of style flexibility and to suit varying weather and occasions.last_img read more

Black Stars, Nigeria clash cancelled

first_imgThe much anticipated Ghana, Nigeria friendly in Watford, London, Tuesday evening has been cancelled.This follows the escalation of violence in North London which was sparked by the killing of a 29 year old man over the week end.Riotous youth have been on rampage, looting and engaging London police in violent exchanges.The riots have led to the cancellation of key international friendly matches including the England, Netherlands game.Early on in the day, organizers of the Ghana, Nigeria match had confirmed the game was on but Watford Police have called for its cancellation.It is not yet clear when the matched will be replayed.last_img read more

Rock Hall to celebrate 50 years of Rolling Stone magazine

first_imgThe Rock Hall says the exhibit will explore the magazine’s archive of award-winning music and political and cultural reporting. It will open in conjunction with the release of the book, “50 Years of Rolling Stone.”The exhibit will include rarely heard stories, original manuscripts, music reviews and audio interviews that spotlight the artists, writers and others who shared a special partnership with the magazine that debuted in 1967.Highlights of cover images reaching back to rock ‘n’ roll pioneers such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry also will be included in the exhibit that opens May 5. It will close in November 2017. FILE – This April 24, 2016, file photo shows the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, located on the shores of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will celebrate 50 years of Rolling Stone magazine in a new exhibit set to open this spring in Cleveland. Highlights of cover images reaching back to rock ‘n’ roll pioneers such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry also will be included in the exhibit that opens May 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File) CLEVELAND | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will celebrate 50 years of Rolling Stone magazine in a new exhibit set to open this spring in Cleveland.last_img read more

A tale of two seasons

first_imgMarshfield baseball turns it on down the stretchBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterMARSHFIELD — Entering the month of May, the Marshfield baseball team was just 4-5 overall, had lost all four of its Wisconsin Valley Conference games, and was left wondering where its offense had gone.The Tigers scored just two runs over a three-game span, which concluded with a loss in the opening game of a doubleheader on May 2 against Middleton.The team’s fortunes changed in the second game of that twinbill. A bases-loaded, walk-off single by Sam Klein in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Marshfield a 5-4 victory. Even more importantly, it gave the Tigers confidence.Since, Marshfield has gone 10-1, including eight wins in a row heading into Thursday’s doubleheader against Wausau East.“It seems like the kids are just coming together,” Marshfield coach Mark Zee said. “They don’t care about who gets the credit, who has the big hit. They have just decided to put it all together to be successful as a team.”Zee added that the Tigers are having fun playing a game they love, and they should be after what they have put together over the last three weeks.Another walk-off win, on a hit by Matt Meyer in the second game of a doubleheader against New Richmond on May 10, started the win streak.In the next game, Marshfield scored nine times in the top of the seventh inning to beat Merrill 12-8 and followed that up with a 10-0 whitewashing of the Bluejays at home two days later.On May 16 the Tigers opened their home tournament with another walk-off win, this time beating Menomonie 9-8 on an RBI sacrifice fly by Cameron Swanson in the ninth inning.The Tigers have scored 61 runs during their eight-game winning streak, which includes six in a row in the Valley, moving them from last place into second.“I think it started playing a lot of (nonconference) games on those weekends,” Zee said. “Usually what happens is you get to see some less experienced pitching in those games. We got some good pitching from our group and took advantage of that to win some games. It was good to get our confidence going, and it paid off in our hitting and our pitching.”Sophomore Jake Brueggen was one of the pitchers who got a chance to throw in a nonconference game early in the season out of necessity. He defeated Eau Claire North 6-2 back on the opening weekend of the season, and after giving up just one run in six innings against Tomah a couple of weeks later, he found himself in the rotation for good. He is 5-1 with a 2.51 ERA.Senior Jack Donahue is the team’s other main starter, and after some early-season struggles he has turned in 12-straight scoreless innings in his last two starts.“We’ve said that decent pitching and good defense keeps you close and gives you a chance if you can hit,” Zee said. “The top six in the batting order are all seniors except Trevor Schwecke, but he is a two-year starter. We knew the guys behind them were good hitters too, and now everybody is hitting. Everybody is having fun.”Marshfield closes its regular-season schedule at Mosinee on Friday.Marshfield earned a No. 3 seed in the Division 1 Sectional 1 bracket and received a first-round bye. The Tigers (15-7) will host the winner of No. 11 New Richmond (11-10) and No. 6 Chippewa Falls (12-7) in a regional final on Thursday, June 4, at Jack Hackman Field at 5 p.m.Paul Lecker is publisher of, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at [email protected]last_img read more

Fashion week wows Jozi

first_imgA striking outfit by designer Tiaan Nagel for his summer 2009 collection. A creation by Anisa Mpungwe, winner of the 2008 Elle New Talent award. A suit from Ephymol, owned by formertop male model and now leading designer Ephraim Molingoane. (Images: Sanlam SA Fashion Week) MEDIA CONTACTS • Estelle Cooper Media liaison: Sanlam SA Fashion Week +27 11 705 1714 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • SA fashion goes to New York • African fashion takes Paris • Elizabeth Arden’s new SA face • Miss World returns to SA Khanyi MagubaneLoincloth & Ashes, De Beers diamonds, velvet lingerie, indigenous craftwork, clothes for Barbie … These were some of the ingredients that went into the sumptuous Sanlam South Africa Fashion Week (SSAFW).Held in Johannesburg from 16 to 19 September, the event was an opportunity for leading South African designers to showcase their winter 2010 collections to fashion critics, magazine editors, stylists, design students and everyday fashion addicts.Included in the stellar line up this year were the winners of the 2009 Mercedes Benz Art Award, designers Black Coffee, as well as Gideon, Tiaan Nagel and Lisa Jaffe, Abigail Betz, Clive Rundle, Life and Ephymol, David Tlale, Ruby and the duo who make up Two.A popular show on the first day was the special collection designed to commemorate the 50th birthday of Barbara Millicent Roberts, more widely know as Barbie.Thirteen established designers such as David Tlale, Stoned Cherrie and Craig Port were commissioned by the organisers, along with Mattel, the makers of Barbie, to create a classy but fun and whimsical collection in line with the doll’s image.The top designers were joined by a selected number of design students from the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Fashion Design, whose winning designs were selected to be part of the show.The Barbie Collection also included jewellery from the De Beers Southern Africa Shining Light collection.On 17 September leading lingerie designer Ruby also showcased an edgy collection characterised by velvet underwear and vests, as well as, low-cut French cut knickers with striking bows.Newcomers to watch at fashion week were designers Anisa Mpungwe and Gugu Msomi, the former head wardrobe mistress of popular South African soap opera Generations.Since winning the 2008 Elle New Talent award, Mpungwe has been creating a name for herself.Her label, Loincloth & Ashes, has sold very well at the clothing chain stores of the Mr Price group. She was invited to design a clothing collection for the retailer.According to Msomi, her Gugulam label is designed to be a brand of clothing that glides with the body.Speaking of her collection, Mpungwe says her 16-piece Midnight collection combines the elements of “wholesome comedy and creepy horror,” she says.According to Gugulam’s website, the dresses will fit all the occasions of life “…dresses to sit in, and stand in, and walk in; dresses to dance in, and flirt in, and talk in; dresses in which to do nothing at all; dresses for winter, spring, summer, and autumn.”Bringing crafts and fashion togetherA 2006 partnership formed between SSAFW and the Department of Arts and Culture, the Fashion Fusion Project, once again saw top designers collaborating with crafters from different parts of the country.The initiative has empowered 900 crafters, and assisted 40 designers to develop collections with a uniquely contemporary “made in South Africa” look and feel.Another success story which has come out of the Fashion Fusion Project since its inception, is the export of cotton/linen fabric batik, printed by Sizakele, who are a Pretoria based group of crafter for use by a former South African designer who now lives in New York.A fashion and accessories exhibition comprising 120 stands were on hand to further delight and entice visitors.This part of the event was primarily aimed at pleasing the finicky tastes of fashion die- hards, who prefer to buy directly from the designers.Most designers exhibiting their clothes showcased their 2009 summer collections.A love for fashionThe Sanlam SA Fashion Week is a celebrated annual event that has contributed in launching many designers’ careers in South Africa.Established in August 1997, renowned and respected fashion stalwart and show producer, Lucilla Booyzen, seized the opportunity after South Africa’s 1994 democratic dispensation to produce a fashion event that would unleash South African talent.The first event took place inside a large marquee, placed in the middle of what is now known as the Nelson Mandela Square.At the time, 17 relatively unknown designers showcased their collections and since then, the event has claimed its place as the premier event on the fashion calendar.Fashion journalists were also recognised for their work during the 2009 Sanlam Fashion Journalism Awards during fashion week.Each of the finalists in each of the two categories of the awards – fashion writing and fashion editing, were selected by a panel of leading journalists and radio personalities.The 2009 judging panel comprised of the newspaper City Press’s editor Ferial Haffajee, Laurice Taitz, publishing and media consultant, Jenny Crwys-Williams, literary critic and Talk Radio 702 show host, Kassie Naidoo, whose a creative director at advertising agency, King James RSVP (Johannesburg), as well as fashion commentator and trends analyst, Dion Chang.Each category winner received a prize to the value of R25 000 (US$ 3 000) each, to be used for a trip to an international fashion event, or a trade fair in 2010.Queries or comments? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected]last_img read more

Free Lunch Does Not a Culture Make

first_imgLow-Cost Employee Engagement Inspiration For Millennials, By Millennials! Breaking up is hard to do – or so the song says – for both employees and employers. As HR professionals, many of us have seen the oft-quoted skyrocketing costs to an employer to replace an employee between recruiting and training replacements.  Quite plainly, it is in every employer’s interest to strive for an effective employee engagement plan – but how is an employer with limited financial resources able to compete with napping pods, endless paid time off, or kitchens stocked to the brim with organic specialty snacks? As young HR professionals, many of my peers have found themselves facing these same questions while accepting entry-level positions in companies with less than a Google Nap Pod budget. Between their fiery streak of creativity, a determination to develop a truly engaging employee retention plan, and reducing costs wherever possible, the following points of inspiration are drawn from the real-life solutions developed by my fellow young HR professionals and can serve as a road map forward in recruiting, retaining, and most importantly, engaging your up and coming millennial work force!Coffee with the ChiefThe key here isn’t rewarding your employee with a cup of coffee and a blueberry scone. The true element of recognition and opportunity to engage the employee is giving them the opportunity to speak freely with a member of leadership – whether that’s John Smith, CEO or John Doe, Company Owner. This gives the employee a chance to have their ideas and feedback be truly heard in a one-on-one setting – all for the cost of a cup of joe.Volunteerism – Paid time off OR volunteering as a teamIf there is one commonality I hear among my fellow young professionals it is a commitment to bettering our environment and the lives of those walking in the world with us. Encouraging this desire to make a difference for the better in the world speaks more than donating a few hours of pay for an employee to volunteer on a crisis line, plant trees, or contribute time and efforts to the cause they connect with. This not only speaks to the company’s commitment to the future and our world, but to the importance of building strong relationships if you can get your entire team involved.Wellness HourMy most recent employer provides this benefit that professionals of all ages across our company truly treasure. For the employer cost of one extra paid hour per week, employees can pursue a health and wellness related activity at their choosing. Whether that means taking in some fresh air on a walk outside or meditatively clearing the mind during a yoga class, this method of engagement not only communicates to employees the genuine concern for the mental, physical, and emotional well-being, but also is more likely to yield happier, more productive employees when they take time to step away, refocus, and reenergize.Many, many, many young professionals that I’ve worked with, connected with, and discussed engagement with are not focused on how many hours they schedule into a nap pod. While everyone loves a free lunch, on the average millennials are most engaged when their employers have a mission and a vision that purposefully and intentionally want to improve and grow. Not every company has the freedom to try and tackle world hunger as part of their mission, but every company can approach developing a company culture where their employees understand how what they contribute makes a difference to more than just the bottom line. Step one in engaging your employees? Time to start re-evaluating your company culture and assessing how you think about engaging your team. Perhaps it is even time to, in the words of Steve Jobs, think different:““Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things.”Are you ready to think different?last_img read more

Dangal to Secret Superstar: 5 times Aamir Khan educated Indians through cinema

first_imgNo one does social service through cinema in India quite as well as Aamir Khan. Over the last decade, Aamir has made an an artform out of mixing entertainment and preaching to produce highly successful, commercial films. Aamir’s success in such films has given him the reputation as an actor who uses his superstar image to fight for causes he believes in.MOVIE REVIEW: DANGALALSO READ: Dangal is a better film than Sultan, says Salman KhanALSO WATCH: What works and what doesn’t in Aamir’s Dangal Aamir Khan’s recent release Dangal is one such film. Based on the struggle of real-life wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who gave his all to train his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumar to become world-class wrestlers, Dangal is a pro-feminist film that deals with the societal bias against women and the girl child in India.Here’s looking back at Aamir’s tryst with being a social crusader using cinema as a weaponRang De Basanti (2006) Dir: Rakeysh Omprakash MehraFeaturing an ensemble cast, Rang De Basanti urged the country’s youngsters to take a part in shaping contemporary India. Rang De Basanti was the story of a few wayward youngsters, fresh out of college, who were apathetic towards the state of modern India and never thought that they would need to, or they were required to do something about it. Looking back, Rang De Basanti can be credited with creating political consciousness among India’s modern-day youth.Taare Zameen Par (2007) Dir: Aamir KhanWith Taare Zameen Par, Aamir Khan continued his crusade of fighting against social injustice. Directed by Aamir Khan, Taare Zameen Par highlighted the plight of those, especially children, suffering from dyslexia. The film also showed how every child is special and that each child should be allowed to pursue what they feel they are good at and not what their parents choose to force upon them.advertisement3 Idiots (2009) Dir: Rajkumar HiraniThe theme of following your dreams and letting each child/person excel at a field of their own choosing was further explored in 3 Idiots, Aamir Khan’s first collaboration with director Rajkumar Hirani. 3 Idiots became very popular among India’s students, in particular, engineering students, because the film’s depiction of what it feels like to be an Indian engineering student was highly accurate.Peepli Live (2010) Dir: Anusha RizviProduced by Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao, Peepli Live was a satritical take on the issue of farmer suicides and how India’s government and media chooses to deal with it on a surface level rather than seriously engage with the problem and solve it. Chosen as India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, Peepli Live was also commercially successful grossing Rs 40 crore worldwide from a Rs 10 crore-budget.PK (2014) Dir: Rajkumar HiraniThe science-fiction comedy film was Aamir Khan’s second collaboration with director Rajkumar Hirani. PK, in the guise of a fantastic science-fiction film, talked about the issues of religious superstitions and dogmas prevalant in India. PK was highly acclaimed and also criticised for being overtly critical of Hinduism. But neverthless, PK got its message across.Now, Aamir Khan will be seen in Secret Superstar where he is playing the supporting role of a popstar. The film focuses on a young girl who wants to be known for her singing and musicianship. However, her stern father comes in the way of her dreams. As such, the girl dons a burkha to hide her identity and upload music on the internet thereby becoming a secret superstar.Here’s hoping that Aamir continues his legacy of being a competent social justice warrior with his cinema.last_img read more

USC Loses Starting CB Isiah Wiley To Academics

A University of Southern California football roster still in flux because of ongoing NCAA sanctions became a bit clearer on Friday with the announcement that starting cornerback Isiah Wiley had been ruled ineligible for the season.Trojans coach Lane Kiffin delivered the news, while also adding that linebacker Marquis Simmons and cornerback Brian Baucham had each been cleared to play.Top-ranked USC has until Monday’s first day of fall semester classes to have its roster trimmed to 75 scholarship players as mandated by their NCAA punishment for recruiting violations.Kiffin declined to say exactly how many players were on scholarship, but said the Trojans were hovering a few below the maximum limit allowed.“We’re definitely not over,” Kiffin was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times. “I’ll leave it at that.”Wiley, a senior who had transferred from Arizona Western Community College last year, started the final six games last season after both Torin Harris and Anthony Brown suffered season-ending injuries. Wiley recorded 39 tackles, four pass deflections and one fumble recovery to shore up the spot opposite All-Pac 12 cornerback Nikell Robey.Wiley had not been practicing or attending workouts while his status was determined.“We didn’t want to invest a lot of time in guys that weren’t sure whether they were going to be here,” Kiffin said. “Now, all of a sudden, we’d be sitting here … going ‘Now what do we do’“The blow is not so big, I think, because of the way we went about it.”Wiley is not expected to remain enrolled at the school.Simmons had also sat out all of preseason practice while awaiting word about his academic status. The fourth-year junior, who is coming off neck surgery, is expected to bolster USC’s linebacking corps and special teams.Baucham had been ruled academically ineligible last season, but was singled out by Kiffin during spring practice as one of the most improved players on the team.The Trojans open the season next Saturday when they host Hawaii. read more

San Diego Sheriffs Department recruiting station at Miramar Air Show

first_imgSan Diego Sheriff’s Department recruiting station at Miramar Air Show September 27, 2018 MIRAMAR (KUSI) – If you want to be apart of the great work the San Diego Sheriff’s Department does for our communities, you have the chance to apply this weekend.San Diego Sheriff Department’s Human Resource Manager, Michael Alvarado, told us all about it on Good Morning San Diego. Posted: September 27, 2018 Jason Austell, Jason Austell Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Forbes BrandVoice Accounts for 20 Percent of Total Advertising Revenue

first_imgWith all the focus on native advertising as a viable source of digital ad revenue for publishers, Forbes has leant an element of legitimacy with the announcement that its BrandVoice platform is projected to account for 20 percent of all ad revenues in 2013, a 10 percent jump from last year.BrandVoice, which launched three years ago as AdVoice, is a big-ticket service that allows brands to contribute ad-labeled content that, if it works right, behaves the same way editorial content does. It appears in the same content streams and gets bumped to ‘most popular’ content modules and social trending lists if it performs well. So far, it appears advertisers are liking what they see. There will be a dozen new BrandVoice ads appearing by the end of the year, and Forbes is predicting the custom-branded content will rise to 30 percent of all ad revenue by 2014. Traffic in August was up to almost 25 million unique visitors and, says the company, digital passed print for the first time this year, accounting for 53 percent of ad revenues versus print’s 47 percent.The program now includes a newly-launched analytics dashboard that lets marketers track the performance of their content across the site and on social networks.last_img read more

OMB Chief Rips GOPs Resort to Budget Gimmicks

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan on Monday reiterated the administration’s concerns about the Republicans’ strategy for bypassing the statutory spending caps by stashing extra funds in the Defense Department’s war account, in a letter to the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.The letter was timed to coincide with Tuesday’s markup of the committee’s fiscal 2016 defense spending bill.Donovan said the administration has “serious concerns about this legislation, which would underfund these important investments in the base budget and instead rely on budget gimmicks that have been criticized by members of both parties. The legislation also includes highly problematic riders and provisions that would preclude needed reforms.”The White House has previously threatened to veto spending bills that adhere to the Budget Control Act caps, an argument Donovan reprises in his letter. The OMB director also criticizes the GOP’s budget framework for shifting costs that should be funded in the base budget to DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account.“By paying for base budget costs using OCO funds, the subcommittee bill fails to provide the stable, multi-year budget on which defense planning is based,” he states.“The subcommittee’s deliberate relabeling of non-war costs as OCO clearly violates OCO funding’s purpose,” Donovan adds.A White House official told Defense News that the Republican leaders’ decision to stick to the budget caps as way to control spending while at the same time rejecting many of the administration’s cost-cutting reforms is inconsistent.“I think it’s quite ironic that a bill that has the veneer of curbing costs by maintaining sequestration and goes to such lengths to maintain that veneer — by using that gimmick — then turns around and blocks a variety of needed reforms that DOD needs to take in order to fully achieve the defense strategy, even at the funding levels in the president’s budget,” the official said.Donovan highlights several proposals the House’s defense spending bill ignores, including divesting unneeded force structure, slowing growth in compensation and reducing overhead.“The subcommittee bill would constrain DOD’s ability to align military capability and force structure with the president’s defense strategy and to reduce unneeded costs,” Donovan said.last_img read more

UN cautions of growing humanitarian needs for Rohingyas

first_imgThere is an urgent need to continue scaling up humanitarian operations to meet the growing needs of Rohingya refugees as one month passed by since the Rohingya refugee crisis has broken out, says the UN.Since 25 August, more than 436,000 refugees have crossed the border from Rakhine state to a number of areas in Cox’s Bazar district.They are settling in severely overcrowded camps and makeshift settlements where there is very limited access to basic services such as food, clean water and shelters.The UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh Robert Watkins said in just one month more than 436,000 Rohingya people have fled across land and water to seek refuge in Bangladesh, reports UNB.“All the available land is now in the process of being built on as the refugees have put up shelters that can offer them some protection,” he said in a statement on Sunday.He said the UN and its NGO partners are working to support the government to provide the refugees with life-saving assistance. “The scale of the needs is immense, and we urgently need funding to rapidly increase the support we are providing,” Watkins said.UN agencies have been working to meet the life-saving needs of the refugees since the crisis began.To date, UN agencies and their partners have been providing people with emergency shelter kits, food, healthcare, and clean water and sanitation facilities.The people who have arrived in the area are extremely vulnerable, having left their homes and possessions behind.The majority of the refugees are women and children, with one in five households estimated to be headed by women.The growing number of separated and unaccompanied children is being reported and support-services for gender-based violence has been identified as a critical need, said the UN Dhaka office.Humanitarian actors are also providing access to temporary learning spaces and safe spaces for children, psychosocial support and mental health care services and specialised support for survivors of violence.Watkins said, “As we mark one month since this crisis started, I take this opportunity to thank the national authorities and the people of Bangladesh for their generosity and to commend the tireless work of the aid workers, teachers, volunteers and the host communities for their support to the refugees.”A preliminary Response Plan for $77 million was launched in August.However, with the number of refugees having increased dramatically, this is currently being revised and a new Plan and funding target will be launched at the beginning of October to support the refugees and the host communities for six months.last_img read more

Cyclone Fani kills 9 so far leaves trail of destruction

first_imgAn Indian resident rides a bike past a bulldozer clearing debris from a road after Cyclone Fani landfall in Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on 3 May 2019. Photo: AFPCyclone Fani headed for the major Indian city of Kolkata on Saturday after leaving a trail of deadly destruction along the country’s east coast.Fani, one of the most powerful storms to come out of the Bay of Bengal in the past decade, has reportedly killed at least eight people in India and one person in Bangladesh — some hit by flying trees and lumps of concrete carried by ferocious winds.While weakening, the storm — which had packed winds of 200 kilometres (125 miles) an hour — lashed torrential rain onto Kolkata, and its normally packed streets were empty ahead of the arrival of Fani, which means ‘snake’ in the Bengali language.The international airport in the city of five million people was ordered closed. Train services were also halted.The storm moved north into West Bengal state from neighbouring Odisha, where more than one million people were moved away from coastal areas.An Indian resident sits on an electric rickshaw next to a damaged structure after Cyclone Fani landfall in Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on 3 May 2019. Photo: AFPEight people were killed in Odisha, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported, including a teenage boy crushed under a tree and a woman hit by concrete debris.Authorities in Bangladesh, next in Fani’s path, said a woman was killed by a tree, and that 14 villages were inundated as a tidal surge breached flood dams even before the storm arrived.Some 400,000 people have been taken to shelters, officials told AFP.While not confirming any deaths, Odisha disaster management official Prabhat Mahapatra told AFP there were about 160 people injured in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Puri alone.The storm made landfall just south of Puri and immediately tore up trees and flimsy thatched roof homes.’The wind is deafening’Indian residents inspect damages on street stalls at a promenade after Cyclone Fani landfall in Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on 3 May 2019. Photo: AFP”It just went dark and then suddenly we could barely see five metres in front of us,” said one Puri resident.”There were roadside food carts, store signs all flying by in the air,” the man told AFP. “The wind is deafening.”PTI reported that a construction crane collapsed and that a police booth was dragged 60 metres (yards) by the wind.As Fani headed northeast, Odisha authorities battled to remove fallen trees and other debris strewn over roads and to restore phone and internet services.Electricity pylons were down, tin roofs were ripped off and windows on many buildings were smashed.Puri’s famous 12th-century Jagannath temple escaped damage however.Gouranga Malick, 48, was solemnly picking up bricks after the small two-room house he shared with his six-strong family collapsed, its roof blown away.”I have never witnessed this type of devastation in my lifetime,” he told AFP.”Energy infrastructure has been completely destroyed,” Odisha’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik said.’Trying to survive’People move through debris on a road after Cyclone Fani hit Puri, in the eastern state of Odisha, India, on 3 May 2019. Photo: ReutersIn Kolkata, many businesses took precautions ahead of the storm’s arrival.Shopping malls shut and hawkers moved their stalls off the roads. Only a few vehicles packed with people heading home plied the roads.Subrata Das, manager of the AXIS Mall, said: “We have seen how the cyclone ravaged some buildings in Bhubaneswar. We don’t want to take any risk. We are trying to survive the cyclone.””If we don’t take our things, we fear the cyclone will raze everything,” said Murad Hussain, 45, who runs a stall.”We are monitoring the situation 24/7 and doing all it takes… Be alert, take care and stay safe for the next two days,” West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.The winds were felt as far away as Mount Everest, with tents blown away at Camp 2 at 6,400 metres (21,000 feet) and Nepali authorities cautioning helicopters against flying.Indian residents ride on bikes along a flooded road after Cyclone Fani landfall in Puri, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on 3 May 2019. Photo: AFPPorts have been closed but the Indian Navy has sent warships to the region to help if needed. Hundreds of workers were taken off offshore oil rigs.”We are mooring our boat because it’s the only means of income for us. Only Allah knows when we can go back to fishing again,” Akbar Ali, a fisherman near the town of Dacope in Bangladesh, told AFP while battling surging waves to tie his boat to a tree.last_img read more

Analysis No The Texas Legislature Isnt Lowering Your Property Taxes

first_imgAustin Price / The Texas TribuneConstruction in downtown Austin on June 20, 2017.Voters don’t like property taxes. State lawmakers like voters and want them to be happy. But they are not going to lower your property taxes.As they enter the second half of their 30-day special session, Texas legislators are trying to limit increases in a tax they do not control. They might accomplish that much, but they don’t have the power to actually cut your property taxes. Only the local governments that set your property tax rates can do that.This is a weird public policy problem, and a prickly political one. People complain because taxes are high. They complain at town hall meetings and in letters and calls to state officials, in volumes high enough to prompt official action, even from officials who aren’t directly responsible for the taxes they’re complaining about.State lawmakers, eager to win over their angry taxpayers, can intervene in a couple of ways: by increasing what it spends on public education and thus lowering pressure on local school taxes or by trying to hobble cities and counties and other tax collectors with growth limits and reporting requirements and so on.The second option is less satisfying to voters, but it’s cheaper.Over the past decade, the state’s share of the cost of public education has dropped from about 45 percent, according to the Legislative Budget Board, to about 38 percent. Had legislators and budget writers kept the state’s contribution at 45 percent, local school districts across Texas — and their property taxpayers — would have spent $18.6 billion less over that decade than they actually did.If state lawmakers had that much money in the till, they’d be able to say “our bad” and put a bandage on the boo-boo, spending more money per student and giving local property taxpayers a big, fat tax cut.They don’t have the money. The governor has asked them to study the school finance system, an exercise that could address property tax pressures, equity among school districts, adequacy of public education and a number of other gnarly policy issues connected to public education and how we pay for it.In the meantime, legislators are considering that second, cheaper option mentioned above — restraining local government increases in property tax increases. They failed in the regular session. The Senate wanted to require voter approval for any local tax increases (not including school districts) over a certain amount. The trigger rate was different in various proposals; special-session legislation approved by the Senate last week would require elections for tax hikes of 4 percent or more; a House committee change would put the trigger at 6 percent. (They’ve tried very hard to spin that as savings, even going to the extent of attaching an unusual “hypothetical fiscal impact” to the financial analysis of Senate Bill 1.)A separate House bill scheduled for debate today has a lot in common with a proposal that stalled in the regular session. It doesn’t mess with the rollback rates. Some people aren’t even calling it a property tax bill, opting for “the transparency bill.” The idea is to change property tax notices to make it clear to each taxpayer what each local government is proposing to do with tax rates — the better to arm people to complain to city hall or the commissioner’s court when they think tax hikes are too high.None of those bills would lower taxes. Each theoretically arms voters to keep local taxing and spending under tighter control. And neither of them gets to the more effective, more expensive rebalancing of the school finance system.State officials, to take their side for a minute, have no easy way out of this box. The state already has the sixth-highest property tax burden in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. Texas has the 12th-highest sales tax. Other states can keep those taxes down, in part, because they also have personal income taxes.Texas doesn’t have one, and is pretty proud of it. One of the most emphatic answers — ever — to a question in a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll was on a state personal income tax. In 2011, when the state was in a very tight financial spot, the poll aimed to see what sources of revenue might be more or less acceptable to voters. Personal income taxes were deemed the unfairest proposal of all; only 6 percent said they’d be willing to consider it.Raising the state’s sales tax was right behind income taxes in unpopularity in that six-year-old survey; only 12 percent thought that was a good idea.Two years ago, Texas lawmakers began dismantling the business franchise tax that was the foundation of the state’s last rebalancing of public school finance a decade ago.The money has to come from somewhere. Sharelast_img read more

RHOA Star Opens Boutique at National Harbor

first_imgBy Mark F. Gray, Special to the AFRO, [email protected] came early and waited longer for a passing glimpse at a reality show icon who is now blazing a trail in the high-end fashion industry.  Real Housewives of Atlanta (RHOA) star Nene Leakes, by all accounts, officially became the first Black woman to own a retail establishment at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill.Leakes, whose often combative TV personality has earned legions of fans who revere and despise her, opened her second Swagg Boutique in a prime location, just outside the food court in front of Starbucks at Maryland’s mega casino and entertainment complex. She opened the first in Atlanta after launching a successful clothing line on QVC and her Swagg brand stores currently has another location called Swaggalicious in Miami.Nene Leakes, who is posing with her friend and RHOA co-star Marlo Hampton, became the first Black woman to open up a store at MGM National Harbor, with her shop Swagg Boutique.A massive audience waited outside the store inside a velvet rope for more than three hours before she appeared and was swiftly escorted into the store to become a sales magnet.  The overflow audience stretched from the store’s entrance and halfway down the hall towards the casino with an excited gathering who was far more enamored by being in the presence of celebrities than making a purchase.This was not the conventional grand opening in the D.M.V. to a celebrity’s retail establishment. There was no countdown to the ribbon cutting. There were no dignitaries, nor other celebrities who weren’t associated with the RHOA brand either. However, Nene cleverly pulled off a fashion show with runway models who worked the hallway outside the store inconspicuously. Through about five different wardrobe changes, the quartet brought a closer look to the store’s summer fashions that would inaugurate it’s inception.  Somehow it was almost too discreet and hard to determine if they were representing for the reality show fashionista’s line of clothing or random divas looking for a photo opportunity.Guests who were visiting the resort for the afternoon matinee’ of the “Disco Nights” show that played in the theatre were split on their reaction to the atmosphere that surprisingly greeted them. The generational culture divide was most apparent then.  Many knew that something significant was happening although the late 1970s and 80s dance craze audience weren’t RHOA – or reality show fans – so they couldn’t fully comprehend the magnitude of what they were walking into.Leakes grand entrance came approximately 90 minutes after the doors opened.  The first wave of customers had their patience tested after standing on-line to be first in the store, then have to wait for another hour for a coveted moment to see the star. The RHOA fans from the D.M.V. were mindful of how important it was to have a Black woman to operate a retail establishment at National Harbor while trying to get the perfect selfie without making a purchase.The RHOA star joined Sex In The City’s Sarah Jessica Parker, as the only female celebrities to have their names associated with retail establishments at MGM National Harbor.  Parker reportedly was in the building Friday to debut a pre fall collection of SJP shoes by serving as a pop-up salesperson for two hours then heading back to New York. The boutique’s shop and sip event opening gave fans and high end customers a chance to browse and shop during an afternoon of decadent dessert, hors d’oeuvres, and wine. Those who made purchases didn’t have to worry about that perfect selfie because full bags meant full tummies while Leakes would strike a pose with them.last_img read more