3 Inventive DIY Camera Sliders

first_imgLearn how you can create your own DIY camera slider in these informative how-to videos!A professional camera slider will set you back a few hundred bucks – out of reach for some newbie shooters and hard to justify the cost if you won’t be using it often. Get dramatic, moving shots by creating your own DIY camera slider!  Although there are quite a few DIY slider projects online, these 3 were featured because:The steps to create your own are well laid outThe parts can be found at a local hardware storeThey are all VERY inexpensive to buildIf you’re looking for a DIY slider option for your own shooting, see if one of these homemade projects fits the bill!PVC SliderCost: $20  The guys from Backyard FX have put together this instructional (and funny!) how-to video for their wood and PVC camera slider.  This DIY slider balances on top of a tripod, so you can easily adjust the height.  Two PVC pipes are screwed down onto a 1X4 and used as rails for the sliding camera platform.Steel DIY SliderCost: Under $50  This DIY camera slider utilizes steel rods and sheet metal for a strong sturdy design.  Using products found at his local hardware store, shooter Austin Wilson created this tripod mounted camera slider that looks and functions similar to many pro models.  Spray those rails down with WD40 and you’ve got really smooth slides!Gutter SliderCost: $13  This may be the most low-tech camera slider of the three, but if you’re in a pinch you can build it quickly and for VERY little cost.  Using rain gutter parts you can create this DIY slider that runs the length of the gutter.  Definitely not as stable as professional camera slider models, but major points for ingenuity!last_img read more

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Former Arunachal CM urges PM to change Bogibeel bridge opening date

first_imgFormer Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to inaugurate the Bogibeel bride on the Brahmaputra river in Assam on Christmas day.Mr. Modi is scheduled to inaugurate Bogibeel, India’s longest rail and road bridge at 4.94 km, on December 25, also the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Modi government observes December 25 as ‘Good Governance Day’.In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr. Tuki wrote: “We are aware that you will be inaugurating the Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra on December 25. While I congratulate you for seeing to the completion of this historic bridge, which is of strategic and economic importance to the region, I would at the same time like to request you to kindly defer the said inauguration to any other date as December 25 is Christmas and one of the most important festivals of Christians… A large number of people will be deprived of participation if the inauguration is done on the 25th.”Highway blockadeThursday also saw several organisations belonging to the Tai-Ahom community block National Highway-37 in Dibrugarh district to press for naming the Bogibeel bridge after Swargadeo (emperor) Chaolung Siu-ka-pha, the founder of the Ahom dynasty that ruled Assam for 600 years. The bridge connects Dibrugarh district on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra and Dhemaji district on the opposite bank.last_img read more

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Messi donates money won in court case against newspaper

first_imgBarcelona’s Lionel Messi controls the ball during the Champions League group D soccer match between Olympiakos and Barcelona at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium at Piraeus port, near Athens, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)MADRID — The company that manages Lionel Messi’s image rights says the player has donated more than 70,000 euros ($81,000) to the medical charity Doctors Without Borders after winning a court case against a Spanish newspaper.The money was awarded to Messi for an article the La Razon newspaper published implying that the player was doping.ADVERTISEMENT CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:51SC gives QC court one month extension to resolve Maguindanao massacre case00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Read Next Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 The company says Messi will continue to defend himself from accusations and insinuations against his honor.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout LATEST STORIES Thompson’s injury another blow for struggling Cavaliers Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Klay Thompson says ‘he’ll be fine’ after pulling hamstring in Warriors’ Game 2 win

first_imgDA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew ESPN’s Doris Burke, who was working courtside, reported during the game that Thompson felt tightness in his left hamstring.After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr reportedly said Thompson told him “he’s fine” but added the severity of the injury remains unclear at this point.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Klay said he’ll be fine, but Klay could be half dead and he would say he would be fine. We’ll see. He pulled his hamstring. He thinks it is minor, so I don’t know what that means going forward,” Kerr said during the post-game press conference after steering Golden State to a 109-104 win that leveled the series.Thompson still led the Warriors with 25 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the three-point area that went with five rebounds and five assists in 32 minutes. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Toronto Raptors guard Danny Green (14) pressures Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) as he drives down court during the first half of Game 2 of basketball’s NBA Finals, Sunday, June 2, 2019, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson got hurt early in the fourth quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors and did not return.Thompson limped toward the locker room after landing in a split following a three-point attempt.ADVERTISEMENT Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Steph Curry shrugged off a slow start to finish with 23 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field.The series shifts to Oakland at Oracle Arena for Game 3 on Thursday (Manila time).Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Dwyane Wade surprises graduates at Stoneman Douglas Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport View commentslast_img read more

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DU student union polls: NSUI release first women manifesto

first_imgNew Delhi, Aug 22 (PTI) In run up to the Delhi University Students Union polls, the Congress affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) today released a “women manifesto” raising issues concerning girls studying in the varsity.Facilitation of sanitary napkins in every college at subsidised rates, female health consultants in all colleges, standard hostel timings for boys and girls, deployment of female constables at bus stop and outside evening colleges, are among the issues listed by NSUI in its women manifesto titled “Priyadarshini”.”We will also start a Big sister programme in all the colleges where all senior students who enroll for the programme will be allotted a fresher who they will guide and mentor throughout their college period,” a NSUI spokesperson said.”At a time when most Rio olympic medals have been bagged by women of the country, girls are constantly being discouraged by university administration for being involved in sports. We will take several initiatives to improve this situation,” he added.The election of office bearers of DUSU and members of Central Council, the most keenly contested students polls in the country, will be held on September nine.Last year, the DUSU polls were swept by BJP-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) trouncing NSUI and AAPs Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (CYSS) to bag all four positions — president, vice president, secretary and joint secretary. PTI GJS RGlast_img read more

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Glenn Maxwell back on the big stage to push credentials for India

first_imgAll-rounder Glenn Maxwell was disappointed not to get an Australia Test recall during the recent overhaul of the squad but wants to use the one-day series against New Zealand to press his claims for next February’s tour of India.Australia awarded debuts to three batsmen for the third Test against South Africa at Adelaide Oval last month after losing the first two matches in the series on the back of a string of batting collapses.Although the prodigiously gifted Maxwell is better known for his all-out attack in shorter formats, he thought his recent performances had shown the sort of application that might have earned him another chance at Test level. (Also read: Pat Cummins returns to Australia’s one-day squad)”I thought I might have been a chance,” Maxwell told reporters on Thursday.”The way I batted in my first game back at the MCG against the reverse-swinging ball against Queensland, I thought that was a really good sign of the improvements I’ve made in my defence, technique and the way I leave the ball.”But the way the selections have gone I’m probably looking at the Indian series now. I think I’ve probably missed the boat for the home summer.”The 28-year-old, who played the last of his three Tests in 2014, was dumped from the one-day squad for their tour of Sri Lanka having struggled to score any meaningful runs and said the time away from the national set-up had helped him refocus.”I changed a few things slightly technically and slightly mentally as well, more so the way I look at the game and the way I start my innings,” Maxwell, nicknamed “Big Show”, said. (Also read: Trent Boult set to return for ODI opener against Australia)advertisement”I think that’s going to be a big change heading into this one-day series about starting my innings and making sure I get into the game, and not sort of throw it away too early.”Being back in the one-day squad was his first opportunity to show the selectors those changes to his game, he added, but he would be doing his best to make it as hard as possible to continue to leave him out of the test side.”Whether that comes from white ball cricket or any sort of cricket I’m playing whether they come down and watch me at Fitzroy-Doncaster and see how I’m going in club cricket it doesn’t matter,” he said.”I’m going to be trying to make as many runs and taking as many wickets and show them the improvements I have made.”last_img read more

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Jamshedpur FC demolish FC Goa 4-1 in ISL tie

first_imgJamshedpur, Nov 1 (IANS) Jamshedpur FC broke their run of four successive draws in the Indian Super League (ISL) with a stunning 4-1 demolition of FC Goa at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Thursday.Michael Soosairaj’s brace (17th minute and 50th) along with goals from Memo (77th) and Sumeet Passi (78th) saw Jamshedpur hand Goa their first defeat in the league and climb to third spot on the table. Mourtada Fall’s 33rd-minute equaliser for the Gaurs went in vain as Goa’s defence was found wanting.Having lost the prolific striker Ferran Corominas to a suspension, Sergio Lobera started with Miguel Palanca up top, while Cesar Ferrando made five changes to his Jamshedpur starting XI from the 2-2 draw with Kerala Blasters.The hosts were lightning quick off the blocks with young Gaurav Mukhi forcing Mohammad Nawaz into an excellent save as early as the second minute. The young Goa custodian made an even better one a minute later from Sergio Cidoncha’s well-struck free-kick.The hosts’ early pressure paid off in the 17th minute with Soosairaj calmly slotting the ball into the net after Goa failed to clear a Cidoncha corner.Goa failed to threaten a dominant Jamshedpur until the 26th minute when Hugo Boumous struck the woodwork with a fierce low shot.A few minutes later, the visitors equalised against the run of play through Fall’s header after Edu Bedia had flicked on a Boumous free-kick. The hosts should have gone into the break with their noses in front but Memo blasted his shot high and wide after he had peeled away at the far post from a Cidoncha free-kick.Ferrando’s men did have their deserved lead four minutes into the second half with Soosairaj bagging his second. The 24-year-old made no mistake after he was released behind the Goa defence by Cidoncha following a quick breakaway.A horrible Lenny Rodrigues back pass almost gifted the hosts another goal before Tiri came close with a header. At the other end, Bedia threatened with a couple of long-distance attempts with the hosts remaining in the ascendancy.A belter of a Memo strike from just outside the box after Goa failed to deal with a corner in the 77th minute sealed three points for Ferrando’s men. Passi added gloss to the scoreline just a minute later after he tapped into an empty net following a layoff from fellow substitute Carlos Calvo.–IANSgau/vmadvertisementlast_img read more

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Province Capital Health to Conduct Joint Review

first_imgThe province and Capital District Health Authority will conduct a joint review of circumstances surrounding the release of a patient at East Coast Forensic Hospital on April 16. The patient was subsequently charged in a homicide. The joint review will be led by the deputy ministers of Health and Wellness and Justice and the CEO of CDHA. The review will determine whether all relevant policies and procedures were followed and whether they were adequate. A progress update will be provided in 30 days. -30-last_img read more

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Kankinara 55yrold man dies in blast while making bombs

first_imgKankinara: A 55-year-old man on Friday succumbed to injuries he suffered in a low-intensity bomb blast at a Kankinara club in North 24 Parganas on Friday.The incident took place on the rooftop of the club, Ramnagar Yuva Sangha, in Ramnagar Colony under Bhatpara police station area. The deceased has been identified as Bishu Sarkar. “The bomb went off during manufacturing. So far, no one has been arrested,” DCP Barrackpore Ajay Thakur told The Indian Express. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers Bhatpara has been tense since the Lok Sabha polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which won 18 Lok Sabha seats, and the Trinamool Congress have accused each other for a string of incidents of violence. At least two people were killed and 11 others injured in various incidents of violence in Bhatpara-Kankinara, long considered a TMC stronghold, since the Lok Sabha polls. Despite repeated attempts by police to maintain law and order, the situation remains volatile. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja As per sources, local residents were panic-stricken as the sound of a blast could be heard from distance late on Thursday night. Local residents found Sarkar in a pool of blood. He was taken to Bhatpara State General hospital and referred to Kalyani General Hospital. He received multiple splinter injuries. On Friday morning, he succumbed to his injuries. According to police, the club gate was locked from outside when the incident took place. Police teams are conducting regular marches in sensitive areas such as lane number 3 and 5 in Kankinara. Sources said a few were detained. Police continued to appeal to people through loudspeakers to maintain peace in the area and not to pay heed to rumours. Extra forces have been deployed in the area for patrolling. On Thursday, police recovered a few crude bombs in separate raids in Kankinara. Nine people were arrested. (With inputs from Indian Express)last_img read more

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Saskatchewan seeks intervener status in BC Trans Mountain pipeline case

first_imgREGINA – Saskatchewan is seeking intervener status in British Columbia’s reference case over the flow of heavy oil through that province.Attorney General Don Morgan says Saskatchewan is dismayed that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion continues to be held up by unreasonable delays.The case before the B.C. Court of Appeal asks whether amendments the B.C. government is proposing to the Environmental Management Act are valid.The case also asks whether B.C. has the authority to control shipment of heavy oils based on any impact spills could have on the environment, human health or communities.B.C. is also asking the court whether the amendments would be overridden by federal law.The $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan project would double an existing pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., in an effort to sell more fuel to Asian markets.“We know that these pipelines are necessary for our energy companies to get their products to tide water to ensure a competitive price, and that the increased capacity this pipeline represents stands to benefit all Canadians,” Morgan said in a statement Wednesday.B.C. Premier John Horgan said in late April when the reference case was filed that the aim is to protect the province’s coastline and economy from the harms of an oil spill.Saskatchewan has voiced its support for Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain line.The Saskatchewan government introduced a bill in April that would allow the province to control its oil and gas exports. It’s similar to one introduced in the Alberta legislature as well.The law, once passed, would establish a permitting process for people or corporations looking to export energy products outside the province.(Companies in this story: TSX:KML)last_img read more

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Brussels attacks Three Moroccans are Missing

Brussels  – Three Moroccans are missing following the terror attacks that hit on Tuesday Belgium’s capital, Moroccan diplomatic sources in Brussels said. Their families have no news of them since the attacks, the same sources added.There are two women and one man. The first woman, a university professor, visited Brussels and had to leave the airport to return to Morocco. The second woman is missing following the attack that targeted a subway station in the European district, while the man was in transit at Brussels International airport.According to the same sources, six Moroccans were wounded in the attacks, including two people who left the hospital after receiving necessary care.Morocco’s Embassy and Consulate General in Brussels have set up a crisis unit to monitor the situation and inform of the existence of Moroccan nationals among the victims of the attacks.At least 31 people were killed and nearly 270 injured in two blasts at Brussels airport and a third at the Maelbeek Subway Station.With MAP read more

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Building consultant airs frustrations

A former senior building official took Norfolk’s planning and development department to task this week at Norfolk council.David McPherson of Simcoe, principal of the consulting firm Permittable, was a senior building inspector with the former Haldimand-Norfolk Region and Norfolk County until his retirement in 2012.On Tuesday, McPherson told council that the customer-friendly practices he remembered have gone by the wayside in Norfolk.“I am exceedingly frustrated and am at my wit’s end,” he said. “The tail is wagging the dog here. Staff are arrogant, adversarial, act as though they have no oversight, are untouchable, and believe they are immune from council.”McPherson’s presented his observations last week in Tillsonburg to the Long Point Region Conservation Authority.The four members of Norfolk council who sit on the LPRCA encouraged McPherson to share his experiences at Tuesday’s council meeting.The immediate cause of McPherson’s complaint is a client’s home-building project on New Lakeshore Road, near David’s Restaurant, in Port Dover.McPherson said that – over the past year — he has hired numerous professionals and consultants at a cost of $150,000 to satisfy the concerns of the LPRCA and Norfolk’s building department – all to no avail.He pointed out there are houses in the neighbourhood where he wants to build but that the local approval authorities will not green-light his project.“Between LPRCA and (the) Norfolk County building department, hurdle after hurdle and stumbling block after stumbling block has been placed in my path,” he told council. “The Norfolk County building department is completely and utterly dysfunctional.”McPherson is in the business of guiding clients through the permit approval and construction inspection process. His client base ranges from Oxford County in the west to Milton in the east. Most of his business is conducted in Norfolk.He cited four other projects in Norfolk where clients wanted to make basic investments in their property but have been thwarted.“This deplorable scenario is repeated time and time again,” McPherson said. “Virtually every builder in Norfolk will tell similar stories.”McPherson added he could fill the council chamber at Governor Simcoe Square with people in the construction business with similar stories to share.Ultimate responsibility for the Norfolk building department rests with Pam Duesling, Norfolk’s general manager of development and cultural services. She was given an opportunity Tuesday to respond.“Personally to Dave, apologies,” Duesling said. “My door is always open. We can have conversations about this. There are changes being made. I have been in this position five months and I have heard from Dave once.”Fritz Enzlin, Norfolk’s chief building official, was provided a copy of McPherson’s presentation Wednesday. He did not respond to an invitation to comment.At Tuesday’s meeting, Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus – a member of the LPRCA and a past chair of the authority — said he had received a message from an LPRCA senior manager that they will meet soon with Norfolk building officials to discuss McPherson’s issues. Duesling confirmed that the meeting is pending.Before he left Governor Simcoe Square, McPherson said he cannot believe how much things have changed locally in the area of permitting and inspections since he left the municipal field.“Our whole focus all those years was co-operating with the public,” he said. “Good customer service was drilled into our heads. That has since turned 180 degrees and has steadily gone downhill to the point where it is utterly deplorable.“I’ve concluded they’re not picking on me. Every builder I talk to says they are treated the same way.”Other members of Norfolk council who sit on the LPRCA include Mayor Kristal Chopp, Langton Coun. Roger Geysens, and Port Rowan Coun. Tom Masschaele.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

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Head of UN refugee agency denounces child abuse in camps

Distressed by reports of child abuse occurring in West African refugee camps, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, announcedthat remedial measures are being put in place to address the problem. UNHCR is participating in the UN investigation into the allegations. On Tuesday, UNHCR and Save the Children UK released a report detailing an apparent pattern of abuse and exploitation of young refugees in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, allegedly by some members of the humanitarian community, including locally employed members of the agency’s staff. “These disturbing allegations, based largely on testimonies by the children themselves, have raised awareness of a very serious problem,” said Mr. Lubbers, who was in Kigali, Rwanda, at the conclusion of a weeklong mission to Central Africa. “Although unverified, the sheer number and similarity of accounts provided by the children leave no doubt that this problem requires immediate, coordinated action and thorough investigation.” The High Commissioner stressed that evidence found against individuals would bring swift disciplinary action, and reiterated UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s policy of “zero-tolerance” for such behaviour. “There is absolutely no place in the humanitarian world for those who would prey on the most innocent and vulnerable of the world’s refugees – the children,” Mr. Lubbers said. “Aid workers must adhere to the highest standards of conduct.” Mr. Lubbers said UNHCR was working closely within the UN system and with its humanitarian partners to put in place remedial measures, ranging from increasing senior-level international presence and monitoring in the camps, to identifying children who were particularly vulnerable to exploitation and ensuring they got the help and protection they deserve. “Some of the children said they and their families were not getting adequate aid,” the High Commissioner said. “This is symptomatic of a wider problem faced by humanitarian agencies: poverty and a lack of assistance make refugees more prone to exploitation.” The High Commissioner noted that in the past few years, despite a reduction in available resources, all humanitarian agencies have tried to ensure that at least minimum standards were met so refugees could receive the basic essentials of life in a safe and secure environment. “The tragic testimonies of these young people make it heartbreakingly clear that those standards are not being met in West Africa,” Mr. Lubbers said. “We must do more and we must do it now.” read more

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UN envoy meets with senior Saudi officials on support for Lebanon

According to a UN spokesperson, the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, visited Saudi Arabia today and met with senior Saudi officials, including the Second Deputy Prime Minister and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. He discussed the support agenda for Lebanon and the region ahead of the conference on Syrian refugees, which is to be held in Kuwait on 15 January. The Spokesperson said that following the discussions, Mr. Plumbly noted the crucial importance of the Lebanese Armed Forces for security and stability in Lebanon and the calls by the Security Council, the Secretary-General and the International Support Group for assistance in support of those Forces. He said that Mr. Plumbly warmly welcomed the very generous pledge of assistance from Saudi Arabia in that regard recently announced by Lebanese President Michel Sleiman.On 2 January, Mr. Plumbly joined other UN officials in calling on all parties in Lebanon to show restraint following the second deadly car bomb attack in less than a week, and to support the army and security forces as they seek to prevent further acts of terrorism.“This act follows the terrible bombing on 27 December and further reflects a deeply worrying escalation in the violence witnessed in Lebanon in recent months,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement issued by his spokesperson.The Security Council issued a press statement reaffirming that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.”Several people were killed or injured when the car bomb ripped through the southern Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik. Last Friday, a car bomb in the centre of the capital killed former minister Mohammad Chattah and at least five others, an attack that Mr. Ban and the Council said underlined the need to protect Lebanon’s stability in the face of such terrorism and the civil war in neighbouring Syria.At that time, Mr. Plumbly voiced outrage that this was the fourth bomb to explode in Beirut’s southern suburbs since July and stressed the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for this and all other such acts of terrorism. read more

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Hidden Ireland Step into the site where Halloween began

first_imgLOOKING TO DO something a little different this Halloween?As a special edition of our Hidden Heritage series, archaeologist Neil Jackman gives a few suggestions for spooky sites with dark pasts in counties Meath, Roscommon, Dublin and Wexford. If you have a suggestion for a great site to visit please do leave a comment below.The Hill of Ward, (Tlachtga), Co MeathImage © Joe ConlonJust two kilometres outside of Athboy in Co Meath you can find one of the possibly most important, yet largely unheralded, archaeological sites in Ireland. This is Tlachtga, known now as the Hill of Ward, and it was here that the origins of Halloween began.The monument appears as a series of extensive ditches and earthen banks surrounding a circular mound. The site itself is around 150m in diameter, though originally it could have been even larger, as investigations using LiDAR survey by The Hill of Ward Archaeological Project show possible outer embankments suggesting that originally the entire hill was enclosed, potentially making it one of the largest hilltop enclosures recorded in Ireland.These hilltop enclosures often date to the later part of the Bronze Age or Early Iron Age period, and rather than defensive structures they are thought to be places of massive gatherings and celebrations at particular times of the year.The celebrations at Tlachtga are thought to be the origins of Halloween. At Samhain (the ancient precursor to modern Halloween), it was believed that the spirits of the dead would return and creatures like the fairies would leave their mounds and walk the lands again. It was a time of disorder, where the boundaries between the living and the dead were broken.As part of the ceremonies, the old year’s fires were extinguished across the country and, after sunset, the ceremonial New Year Samhain fire was lit here on Tlachtga to mark the death of the old year. Torches were lit from this sacred fire and carried to seven other hills around the county including Tara and Loughcrew, and then on to light up the whole countryside.The views from the site are simply spectacular, from here on a clear day you can see the Hill of Tara, Loughcrew, Kells, Trim and the Dublin Mountains and it must have been an awesome site watching the blackness of night being slowly dotted with the fires across the landscape, marking the victory of life and light over death and darkness for another year.Image © Joe ConlonThese events are recreated every year, when local historian Joe Conlon leads an atmospheric torchlit procession from the Fairgreen in nearby Athboy to the Hill of Tlachtga. This is a free event. Access to the Hill is over a difficult stile and you will be walking over an uneven field in near darkness so please do be careful and wear comfortable boots.This event is part of the great Spirits of Meath, with fun events across the county. Please visit this section of the meath.ie site for more information.Rathcroghan, Co RoscommonAnother site connected to Samhain is at Rathcroghan, just outside Tulsk in Co Roscommon. Here you can find Oweynagat – The Cave of the Cats. This cave is central to many legends and folklore. It was thought to be the entrance to the Otherworld, and home to the mythical early Irish race that became Fairies, the Tuatha Dé Dannan.It was also believed to be a place guarded by malevolent creatures that emerge from the cave at Samhain with the spirits of the dead, and ravage the land of Ireland. It was also home to the Morrígan, the powerful goddess of battle, strife and fertility.Image © Richard MillsRathcroghan is a fascinating landscape deeply steeped in folklore, legend, history and archaeology. Though you can access the main site for free, I strongly recommend you pay a visit first to the excellent visitor centre. This will give you a real grasp of the complexity of the archaeology as well as the stories and legends that make this such a special place.You can also arrange tours of Rathcroghan and its associated sites through the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre at Cruachan Ai in Tulsk Village where the staff are more than happy to take you on a journey through this ancient landscape.There is a wonderful opportunity on Halloween to enter Oweynagat itself! Take a guided tour at Samhain to the Cave of the Cats, ‘Entrance to the Otherworld’, the Morrigan’s ‘fit abode’, a place the Christian scribes called the Gates of Hell… if you dare! Tour Cost is €6 per person. Please bring torches, waterproofs and your courage! See rathcroghan.ie for more great events.The Hellfire Club, Co DublinIf you like your scares a little more modern where could be better than a visit to The Hellfire Club, on Montpelier Hill near Tallaght, south Co Dublin. The Hellfire Club is steeped in stories of dark events and the occult. It was built by the famous Irish politician William Speaker Connolly in 1725 as a hunting lodge.However this building wasn’t the first structure on the hill. In the foreground of our picture you can see a low grassy mound with some large stones, this could be the remains of the Neolithic passage tomb that William Connolly is said to have had destroyed to clear the land for the lodge.It would have had extensive views over County Dublin, and its prominent location is similar to that of Seefin Passage Tomb located nearby in County Wicklow. The tomb features in the first supernatural tales associated with the building. It is said that shortly after the tomb was destroyed and its stones used in the construction of the Hellfire Club, a strong wind blew and demolished the fashionable slate roof off the new building, presumably in retaliation for the desecration of the ancient burial site.Undeterred, Connolly had a new roof constructed, this time from a strong arch of stone that still stands today.Connolly died in 1729 and the lodge lay unoccupied for a time before being acquired by the Hellfire Club. This was a group notorious for excess and depravity. They had famed drinking bouts, during which they always left one chair empty in honour of the devil. They drank a mix of melted butter and whiskey called scaltheen, and various accounts of them and their practices abound.I have read accounts that they poured this scaltheen mix over a black cat then set the poor animal alight as a precursor to their evening’s revelries and ‘devil worshipping’. Another account tells of a priest who had been told of the satanic worship, he arrived at the club during one of their sessions to see them all gathered around a table, at the head of which sat a large black cat. The clergyman recited prayers of exorcism and threw holy water at the cat which ‘tore the beast apart’. Creepy stuff indeed, and you thought the television show Love/Hate was cruel to poor moggies!There are even darker stories of murder and sacrifice, of a young woman who was killed by being rolled down the steep hill in a burning barrel.The building was burned either on purpose to give it a more hellish appearance, or as an accident when a poor footman accidentally spilled drink on the Principal of the Hellfire Club’s coat and the Principal reacted by pouring scaltheen over the footman and setting him alight. The poor footman tried to flee but bumped into tapestries, setting the whole building ablaze. According to this tale, many of the members of the Hellfire Club burned alive as they were too drunk to escape.With the Hellfire Club largely destroyed by the fire the members relocated down the hill to the nearby Stewards Lodge which also has a grim reputation with more tales of apparitions and ghoulish goings-on.When we visited there wasn’t much in the way of anything supernatural happening (well apart from a lot of kids running around shrieking, they kind of dulled any spooky atmosphere a bit but they were terrifying in their own way).Inside the building there are a number of rooms with fireplaces, arched windows and connecting galleries. The architecture is very unusual and it is well worth a look. Probably the most disturbing thing about the site is the unfortunate extensive graffiti and vandalism. There is no doubt it is still used as a place for excess and boozing – I suppose it’s just keeping up the tradition set by the original Hellfire Club!The views over the landscape are incredible, and there is a nicely set out walking loop around the hill so it is a popular place for walkers and dog owners.The site is about 15 minutes’ drive or so south of Tallaght on the R115. It is well signposted with a large carpark (please be careful not to leave any valuables on display in your car) and follow the well made path up all the way to the site.  If you like to use Google Maps enter Montpelier Hill, South Dublin as your destination.Loftus Hall, Co WexfordMy final suggestion for a spooky Halloween site is Loftus Hall in Co Wexford. The legend tells that in the eighteenth century the house was owned by Charles Tottenham (whose first wife was Anne Loftus). Charles, his second wife and his daughter from his first marriage were staying at Loftus Hall, when a fierce storm raged and an unexpected ship arrived at the nearby Hook Peninsula. A young man arrived at the Hall to seek shelter.Charles invited the young man to stay, and the young man and his daughter Anne quickly became very close. The family and handsome stranger began playing cards in front of a roaring fire. Anne clumsily dropped one of the cards, and when she bent down to pick it up she noticed instead of a foot the stranger had a cloven hoof! She shrieked in fear and the stranger flew through the roof leaving a large hole in the roof.Anne was in a state of deep terror and shock. She wouldn’t leave the Tapestry Room at Loftus Hall, and refused food and drink until she died in 1775. Later, it is said that the demon stranger returned, and that it is he that is responsible for the reported poltergeist events.A number of attempts at exorcism are said to have failed as ghostly events are still reported at Loftus Hall…Loftus Hall has a number of great events planned for Halloween, with actors setting the scene to bring the gruesome and ghastly events of Loftus Hall to life. Please see here for more details.These are just a few suggestions for great heritage sites associated with Samhain and spooky goings on. If you know of a creepy site with a dark past I’d love to hear your stories, please leave a comment below if you have a site to recommend or a terrifying tale to tell!If you’d like to keep up with daily images and information about Ireland’s fantastic heritage sites please consider following Neil’s company Abarta Audioguides on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+.If you’d like to support us please consider downloading one of our audioguides from abartaheritage.ie: they are packed with great facts, information, stories and legends from Ireland’s iconic sites. They are designed to be fun and informative whether you are visiting the sites or from the comfort of your own home, so if you are looking to escape to the Court of Brian Boru the next time you are doing household chores, download one of our guides and let us whisk you off to ancient Ireland!All images © Neil Jackman/abartaheritage.ie unless stated otherwise. Read more in our Hidden Ireland series here>Watch: Ghost caught on camera robbing an off-licence>last_img read more

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Dear EndaHeres Eamon Gilmores heartfelt resignation letter to the Taoiseach

first_imgTHIS IS THE letter that Eamon Gilmore sent to the Taoiseach today as Labour get set to elect a new leader.Joan Burton is the firm favourite to take over the top job with the counting of votes well underway.She will also be formally appointed as Tánaiste later today.The text of the letter, in full: Clearing the way: Eamon Gilmore has officially resigned as TánaisteMore: Joan Burton to be next Labour leader as counting continues, Kelly to be deputy leader Dear Enda,As you know, the new Leader of the Labour Party will be elected later today.I am, therefore, now resigning the office of Tánaiste to enable you to nominate my successor at the earliest possible time.It has been a privilege and an honour to work with you in the leadership of Government during a very difficult time in our country’s history. I wish to thank you personally for the courtesy and co-operation which characterised our work together.With best wishes,Yours sincerely,Eamon Gilmore TDMinister for Foreign Affairs and Tradelast_img read more

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Bereaved families spend days searching for coffins due to Venezuela shortages

first_imgSHOPPING HAS BECOME a feat of endurance in Venezuela, where mass shortages have extended beyond basic goods to everything else, from hair dye to sandpaper and even to caskets.As inflation has soared above 60% and airlines cancel services to Venezuela over billions of dollars owed by the Caracas government, the list of impossible-to-find-items has grown considerably.“Now, there aren’t even enough coffins,” lamented Roberto Leon, president of Venezuela’s main consumers association (Anauco).His group has received 15 complaints from bereaved families who spent more than three days searching for a casket for a loved one’s funeral. Other families have been forced to give up on a funeral service altogether.Analysts blame the crisis on the strict currency controls in place since 2003 in Venezuela, the country with the world’s largest oil reserves, but which imports nearly everything it consumes.Under the currency laws, Venezuela only provides US dollars at the official rate of 6.3 bolivars to importers of designated priority goods such as food and medical supplies.Others who need dollars have to buy them at a higher rate of 10 to 50 bolivars. On the black market, the greenback can cost as much as 60 bolivars.The situation is getting worse every day, with the government failing to pay out the dollars they owe and which are necessary for businesses to import crucial goods or parts needed for manufacturing. An anti-government protester throws a molotov cocktail at the Bolivarian National Police during clashes in Caracas in April. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesAnd the economic woes have fueled months of violent protests in which 43 people have been killed and more than 850 injured.Funerals cancelledThe undertakers and funeral services association was due to meet with coffin makers to analyse the problems in their sector.The manufacturers rely largely on a state-run company called Sidor whose activities have been almost completely frozen amid a labour dispute. Other supplies for coffins including paint, screws and sandpaper are only arriving in dribs and drabs.The supply chain dried up starting in March, said Tomas Rodriguez, president of the undertakers and funeral services association.Since then, coffin production has dropped sharply, he said.“One manufacturer used to make 1,000 a month, and now makes just 600 or 700,” Rodriguez told AFP.“We can’t deny that we are in crisis.”We have documented cases of families faced with difficulty finding a coffin canceling the funeral and bringing the body directly to the crematorium.No makeupJose Lopez, a Venezuelan who lives in the United States, says his mother made simple requests ahead of his recent visit to Caracas.“I called my mother and asked her what she wanted as a present. ‘Deodorant,’ she told me,” he said.“I brought a suitcase-full, and my mother was the happiest in the world,” he said wryly.In a beauty supply store, an employee repeats on a disheartening loop, “There’s no more,” to customers looking for makeup, hair dye or nail polish remover.“It’s been months since we’ve had any nail polish remover or makeup. It’s disappeared. We have hair dye, but only in two or three colors,” the employee explained, showing a shelf full of boxes, all in the same shade.After a long search, it is possible to find deodorant – but only one brand, and only for women.“Even us, we need to use women’s deodorant, because that’s all there is,” complained Leon, of the consumers association.“There are no more blade refills for razors — only new razors, at triple the price,” he said.It is the same refrain in hardware stores. There are no screws or bolts in certain sizes, let alone spare parts for cars – one of the industries most impacted by the shortages.The leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro blames the worsening crisis on an “economic war” waged by the opposition.Leon however blames the fixed prices imposed by authorities.Two years ago, they started controlling the prices of 18 personal care products. Before, there were 87 varieties of shampoo — now there are eight.“They are taking away our right to choose, as consumers. You ignore if it’s scented or for sensitive skin; you just buy what’s there,” he said.© – AFP 2014last_img read more

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Nokia design chief envisions totally portfree phones

first_imgSteve Jobs loved clean, minimal designs. He rather famously hated cables and buttons, and he’s certainly not the only person in the tech industry to feel that gadgets should be uncluttered and beautiful. Nokia‘s design chief Marko Ahtisaari feels the same way. In speaking with The Guardian, Ahtisaari hinted at a future where Nokia phones have no moving parts — and perhaps no ports whatsoever.Nokia’s current flagship phones are certainly headed that way. When its updated Lumia Windows Phone designs are unveiled this fall, they’ll be ditching the tiny plastic tab that covers the phone’s microUSB port. That could be just the first step in the beautification process. “Take it to the extreme,” says Ahtisaari, “and why are there any connectors?”That’s certainly not as radical an idea in 2012 as it might once have been. Cords aren’t required for charging any more — inductive charging options abound, and HP/Palm proved that they work quite nicely with phones and tablets. They’re certainly not needed for data transfer when 802.11 wireless connectivity and Bluetooth are readily available. Really, the headphone jack might be the last remaining connection point that’s actually required.Stereo Bluetooth headphones have come a long way, but for the most part they’re still not quite up to snuff with their corded counterparts — at least as far as audio purists are concerned. Perhaps the arrival of Bluetooth 4.0 in devices like the iPhone 4S will lead to cord-free cans that offer impeccable audio fidelity without sacrificing battery life. Once they’re readily available, however, there’s still the minor issue of all those other devices that utilize a headphone jack to transfer audio from your phone, like car stereos and bookshelf systems.Personally, I can’t wait for a connector-free phone. It’d be nice to own a device that was impervious to pocket crumbs.More at The Guardianlast_img read more

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SFR lance son Facebook Places sur mobile

first_imgSFR lance son “Facebook Places” sur mobileSFR lance un service d’actualisation de son statut et de sa localisation Facebook par SMS. Une sorte de “Facebook places” adaptée aux mobiles. SFR s’est lancé dans un nouveau projet combinant les principes de géolocalisation et réseau social. Les usagers pourront donc mettre à jour leur statut et indiquer le lieu où ils se trouvent via un sms. Ce “Facebook Places” est une application gratuite et s’appelle “SFR Text Ici”. Après avoir téléchargé le programme sur Facebook, l’utilisateur pourra renseigner son profil en envoyant un SMS gratuit au 1510. Selon le Journal du Net, il suffit d’ajouter un signe # devant son message pour diffuser sa localisation.Le message s’intégrera alors à son profil et ne sera visible que de ses amis. “SFR Text Ici” est un service accessible pour toutes sortes de mobiles ou smartphones avec n’importe quel forfait rattaché à l’opérateur. Le 29 décembre 2010 à 12:16 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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