Australia Holland and Russia start talks over downed MH17

first_imgSydney: The Netherlands and Australia confirmed Wednesday that three-way talks with Russia have begun over the ongoing criminal investigation into the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014. The two countries announced last year they were holding Russia responsible for providing the missile fired by pro-Russian forces in war-torn Ukraine that brought down the jet, causing the deaths of all 298 people aboard. The dead included 196 people from the Netherlands and 38 from Australia. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USDutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne said Wednesday that the first trilateral talks about state responsibility for the incident took place earlier this month, after diplomatic approaches were made earlier this year. “We cannot go into the content of this process because confidentiality is vital here,” Blok said at a news conference in the Australian capital, Canberra. “But I can say this: We remain committed to achieving truth, justice and accountability.” International investigators last year said they had strong evidence the Buk missile system that shot down the Boeing 777 plane came from a Russia-based military unit. Russia has denied involvement and dismissed the findings from the international criminal probe because it was not invited to be part of the investigation team. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsPayne said Australia remained “a strong supporter of the Dutch national prosecution of the individuals responsible,” and pledged her country’s continuing commitment to the Dutch-Australian joint investigation into the incident. If Russia were ultimately to acknowledge some form of legal responsibility, it could lead to compensation claims from relatives of the people killed. When the Netherlands and Australia last year said they were holding Russia responsible, they quickly received backing from the United States, Britain and other allies.last_img read more

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Paris Agreement on Climate Change to Enter into Force in 30

Bonn – The UN’s climate change chief Patricia Espinosa has declared the Paris Agreement will enter into force in 30 days, after the two thresholds for triggering the historic agreement were reached.Writing on Twitter, Espinosa said 72 parties representing 56.75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions have now ratified the Paris Agreement, meaning the two thresholds of at least 55 countries covering over 55 per cent of global emissions ratifying the deal have been reached.The landmark means the Treaty will come into effect on November 4th, ahead of this year’s annual UN climate summit in Marrakesh later in the month. Espinosa’s announcement suggests several European countries have lodged official documents with the UN ahead of the EU, as full EU ratification would have taken the share of emissions covered by ratification to around 64 per cent.He has in the past signaled his backing for the Paris Agreement and has said the UN’s focus should now be on implementing the treaty and accelerating climate action through to 2030 and beyond.The full ratification of the Paris Agreement as early as next month and its goal of delivering a net zero emission economy this century surpasses many of the early expectations for the deal. Observers had counselled that the ratification process could take around two years and risked being derailed by the US presidential elections.The move also means the focus of the Marrakesh Summit will now shift to delivering on the goals of the Paris Agreement, including on-going discussions about how to mobilize increased climate finance for developing countries and ensure parties upgrade their national climate action plans in the coming years. Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, said the international agreement was now “ready for lift off”.“This is a welcome development after years of frustratingly slow progress around the international climate talks,” he said. “In a remarkable display of global cooperation, countries joined hands, demonstrating that they understand the urgent need to accelerate action on climate change.“With the Agreement in full force, countries can shift their focus from commitment to action. We need to increase investment in sustainable infrastructure and accelerate the uptake of renewable energy. We must create more livable, low-carbon cities and expand the supply of land and forests for carbon storage. We must slash food loss and waste, a major source of emissions and a travesty for people who lack enough food. And, we must continue to work at all levels – global, national, cities and communities – to build the political will for this transformation,” he added. read more

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Key information on plot to kill the President to be revealed

An Indian national was also arrested in connection to the investigations. Key information on a plot to kill President Maithripala Sirisena will be revealed over the next few days, the Government said today.Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara told reporters today that key information had surfaced in the investigations and it will be revealed soon. Former Terrorist Investigations Department head, (DIG) Nalaka de Silva, was arrested last month by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) after being questioned over the alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and other VVIPs. Activist Namal Kumara had made the revelation to the media over the plot to kill the President, following a telephone conversation he had with Nalaka de Silva. read more

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Tribe opposes Wyoming oilfield pollution proposal

CASPER, Wyo. — An American Indian tribe opposes a company’s plan to dump oilfield wastewater upstream of a river in central Wyoming, saying the pollution could hurt business for fishing and rafting guides.Dallas-based Aethon Energy plans to put over 8 million gallons (30 million litres) of polluted water from the Moneta Divide oil and gas field into two creeks feeding the Wind River and Boysen Reservoir.“Maintaining the environmental quality of these resources for current and future generations is essential,” the Northern Arapaho Business Council wrote in a recent letter to state regulators.The Casper Star-Tribune reports the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is reviewing public comments on the plan, which also has raised U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concerns.The state agency has received some 450 comments on the proposal and will need some time to review them all, department spokesman Keith Guille said.Dallas-based Aethon has said it would follow all regulations and offer more water protections than those required under previous permits. The company could treat the water more thoroughly than proposed, tribal officials have said.The Wind River flows through the Wind River Indian Reservation, which the Northern Arapaho share with the Eastern Shoshone tribe.Aethon and Houston-based Burlington Resources look to expand Moneta Divide oil and gas field in Fremont and Natrona counties by 4,250 wells.___Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.comThe Associated Press read more

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I Unleashed A Super Bowl Troll And Im Sorry

Mea culpa!The assassin’s murder weapon was Twitter, that scourge on the ignorant masses. By creating an account with the Twitter name “[team name redacted] Won SB 50,” the assassin was able to force what Last Manners call “The Knowledge” (aka who won) upon unsuspecting players through favorites and replies. He took out as many people in eight hours as had been eliminated in the entire second week of the competition.The Last Man Twitter account, which had announced on Sunday that active coverage of the survivors would be winding down, sent out a warning to “go dark like it’s post-SB week again.”I had to know what would lead someone to become a Last Man assassin (and see if I could assuage my own guilt), so I used his medium of choice to get in touch. Over Twitter DM, the assassin declined to offer his full name but confirmed that he was a man who had seen my article, wanted to see how many players he could take out and made the Twitter account as “a spur of the moment thing.” He said that spoiling the result seemed like fair game, as he felt the players should have expected that this could happen. (Someone pulled a similar stunt last year.1Without my involvement!)But the reactions of eliminated players on Twitter, some more profane than others, have given the anonymous assassin pause. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel bad,” he told me. There hasn’t been a death recorded in the Last Man database since 9:43 p.m. on Tuesday, and the assassin’s Twitter account doesn’t appear to have taken any additional action since earlier that afternoon. On Wednesday, he told me that he won’t be collecting scalps next year. Nor will he be competing himself: He’s a fan of football and acquired The Knowledge the conventional way, by watching the game. I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance. Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone. — Oscar Wilde, “The Importance of Being Earnest”There are some people out there who can’t leave an iced-over puddle unstomped, a freshly poured slab of concrete unmarked, or innocence unspoiled.On Tuesday, we published a story about a competition called Last Man, a challenge to see who can be the “last” American to still not know who won the Super Bowl. More than two weeks after the football game, 29 of the initial 199 Last Man players remained, and the competition had largely gone stagnant.But then a reader of my piece started targeting the remaining players. By the end of Tuesday night, 28 percent of the remaining competitors had been taken out, leaving only 21 players. UPDATE (Feb. 25, 4:58 p.m.): Since publication of this post, the Last Man organizers have acknowledged that their database did not include one contestant who was still viable in the competition. She has since been eliminated, but the numbers in this post would be slightly different if the database had been correct at the time of publication. read more

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iPhone 5 September release looking ever more likely

first_imgThe whirlwind of rumors surrounding the release of the next Apple iPhone is still swirling. Many of us thought Apple would release the iPhone 5 in June at WWDC as it has in the past. Then, we heard all the way back in February that we may have to wait until September. From February until now, we’ve heard quite a few rumors that have our heads spinning.We can hopefully retain some sanity thanks to a Reuters report today that said we will be seeing the iPhone 5 in September. Let’s hope that’s right, because we can’t take any more of these date predictions.Reuters attributed this claim to “three people with direct knowledge of the company’s supply chain.” The sources said production will start in July or August. Apparently, the iPhone 5 will look a lot like its predecessor, which means we may not be seeing the rumored 4-inch screen many people were hoping for. Although looking the same is quite a general term and the phone will look similar if it has a larger edge-to-edge display.Apple has historically released a new version of the iPhone once every 12 months, which means if the iPhone 5 really does come out in September, the time in between releases would be about 18 months.Still, there’s not much info about the iPhone 5’s specs. We have heard it will have a faster processor, which is not surprising, a higher-quality camera, and it may even feature Near Field Communications capabilities.The iPhone 4 still has some life in it, though. Apple has confirmed it will release a white version of the phone in the next few weeks.Read more at Reuterslast_img read more

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Paspaley pearling family behind deal for Darwin detention centre

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The pearling chief Nicholas Paspaley has teamed up with a Darwin property developer to secure a $200 million taxpayer-funded deal to build a detention centre. The Immigration Department has agreed to the duo’s venture to ease pressure on the overcrowded system. The centre will house 1500 asylum seekers. Paspaley and John Robinson will build and manage the new facilities at Wickham Point, about 35km south of Darwin. The government has agreed to a three-year lease with the pair. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the deal saves the government more than $175 million in capital costs. “Based on an independent quantity surveyor’s assessment of the likely capital and lease costs of a similar sized facility for the mining industry, Wickham Point is value for money,” he said. According to the Paspaley Pearls website, Mr Paspaley’s family fled the Greek island of Castellorizo to Australia in World War I. The Paspaley family’s business empire has evolved to include aviation, property development, farming and marine engineering.last_img read more

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US Brazil Partner on Statement on Innovation in Plant Biotechnology

first_imgASA welcomed a joint statement from the U.S. and five like-minded nations this week expressing those governments’ mutual desire to pursue innovation in plant biotechnology.Among other commitments, the statement shows an effort by the nations to “endeavor to work together to promote synchronization of [biotechnology trait] authorizations by regulatory authorities, in particular for food, feed and processing purposes.”Joining the U.S. on the statement are the governments of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Paraguay, which combine to account for more than 86 percent of global soybean production.last_img read more

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STATE REP RACE Mark Kratman Receives Endorsement Of Tewksbury Planning Board Tewksbury

first_imgTEWKSBURY, MA — State Representative candidate Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury) announced on Monday he has received the endorsements of every member of the Tewksbury Planning Board, as well as Tewksbury Town Moderator Jayne Wellman.Kratman, an administrator with the Massachusetts Highway Department, is currently serving his fourth year on the Tewksbury Board of Selectmen, having been elected to his second term this past April. He serves as Chair of the Town’s Economic Development Committee.Kratman is also a member of: the Tewksbury Patriotic Activities Committee (Vice Chair), the Board of Directors for the Wilmington-Tewksbury Chamber of Commerce, the Tewksbury Knights of Columbus, the Tewksbury Lions Club, and the Tewksbury-Wilmington Elks.Back Row: Planning Board members Stephen Johnson, Eric Ryder, Vinny Fratalia, Jay Delaney; Front Row: Town Moderator Jayne Wellman, Selectman & State Rep. Candidate Mark Kratman(Editor’s Note: In Tewksbury, unlike Wilmington, the Planning Board is an elected, not appointed, body.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Massachusetts AFL-CIO Endorses Mark KratmanIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Tewksbury Firefighters Union Endorses Mark KratmanIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Massachusetts Teachers Association Endorses Mark KratmanIn “Government”last_img read more

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Anchorage snowboarders Mancari Stassel named to Olympic team

first_imgRosie Mancari will compete in snowboard cross and Ryan Stassel will compete in big air and slopestyle at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. (Wikimedia Commons).The list of Alaskans headed to the Winter Olympics in a few weeks just got a little longer.Listen nowThe U.S Ski Team announced this week that snowboarders Rosie Mancari and Ryan Stassel will represent the United States in PyeongChang, South Korea in February.Mancari and Stassel both grew up in Anchorage.Stassel is a graduate of Service High School. He competed at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi and, in 2015, won gold at the World Cup Championships in Austria. The 25-year-old will compete in two snowboarding events: big air and slopestyle and said in a post on Instagram he, “couldn’t be more hyped!”Olympic snowboarders Ryan Stassel, 25, and Rosie Mancari, 24. (Photos via Instagram)Olympic rookie Rosie Mancari started snowboarding at Alyeska when she was just three years old. The 24-year-old graduated early from South High School to snowboard full-time in Colorado.In a post on Instagram, Mancari said she was, “beyond excited to announce that I have been chosen to represent the US at the upcoming Olympics!”Mancari will compete in the race-style snowboard cross event.Mancari and Stassel join the growing list of Alaskans qualified for the 2018 Olympics. So far, there are four cross-country skiers qualified for the winter games and more are expected to be named to the Olympic team this week.last_img read more

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Subba Reddy to take charge as TTD chief today

first_imgAmaravati: Senior YSRCP leader Y V Subba Reddy, who has been appointed chairman of the Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams, will take charge at 11 am on Saturday. The former member of Parliament, Reddy was not given party ticket to contest the 2019 elections by the leadership. He aspired for the Rajya Sabha seat, but Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy decided to appoint him as TTD chairman. TTD chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav, appointed during the earlier TDP regime, had resigned to the post recently clearing the way for Subba Reddy to take charge as new TTD chairman. It’s said that the new TTD governing council will also be formed within four days.last_img read more

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Geckos found to have skin mechanism that flings off water w video

first_imgImages of various sized static water droplets interacting with the gecko skin and snapshots of droplets self-propelling off the gecko skin. Credit: Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published 11 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1396 Researchers uncover morphological and biomechanical consequences of geckos losing adhesion Everyone knows that geckos can walk on ceilings and walls, scientists have been studying them closely to see how they do it so their skill can be mimicked by us humans. Now it appears that they have another feature that might provide us benefits as well—skin that automatically ejects water off its surface.In studying the wild box-patterned gecko, native to Australia, the researchers noted (using a scanning electron microscope) that its skin was covered with tiny spines, each just a few micrometers in length. Using other techniques they also found that the skin of the gecko actually ejected water droplets, causing the skin to dry quickly (which could be useful in preventing disease and warding off mold).Analysis of the process showed that as water made its way to the skin, via rain, humidity, dew, etc. it was forced into drops by the spines, rather than forming a layer across the surface. As more water was collected, the drops grew bigger, and then, at a tipping point, they were ejected, pushed out as if a kernel of popping corn on the stove. The ejection mechanism, the team found was in the hydrophobic spines. The researchers also noted that the tipping point could also be reached very quickly by an external drop colliding with one already present on the skin—and very small drops could also be ejected as well. © 2015 Multiple droplets merging and propelling laterally along the surface. Captured at 1200 fps and played back at 15 fps. Credit: Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published 11 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1396 Explore further Self-propulsion of water droplets from the skin (orientated horizontally) when cooled below the dew point. The field of view is 9.73 mm x 3.624 mm. Captured at 400 fps and played back at 30 fps. Credit: Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published 11 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1396 It is not known if other types of geckos have the same abilities, as they have not been tested, though the researchers point out that others have been found to have similar skin spines, which makes the possibility of water ejection likely. In any case, it is likely that some future researches will move their focus from the special feet of the lizards to their skin in hopes of finding a way to use its water ejecting skill for use in human products, such as windows, etc.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interface Citation: Geckos found to have skin mechanism that flings off water (w/ video) (2015, March 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A small team of researchers with members from institutions in Australia and the U.K. has found that in addition to being able to walk on walls, at last one type of gecko has a skin feature that causes water to be thrown off its body. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the team describes their close up study of the lizard’s skin and the features and forces at work they discovered. More information: Removal mechanisms of dew via self-propulsion off the gecko skin, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Published 11 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1396AbstractCondensation resulting in the formation of water films or droplets is an unavoidable process on the cuticle or skin of many organisms. This process generally occurs under humid conditions when the temperature drops below the dew point. In this study, we have investigated dew conditions on the skin of the gecko Lucasium steindachneri. When condensation occurs, we show that small dew drops, as opposed to a thin film, form on the lizard’s scales. As the droplets grow in size and merge, they can undergo self-propulsion off the skin and in the process can be carried away a sufficient distance to freely engage with external forces. We show that factors such as gravity, wind and fog provide mechanisms to remove these small droplets off the gecko skin surface. The formation of small droplets and subsequent removal from the skin may aid in reducing microbial contact (e.g. bacteria, fungi) and limit conducive growth conditions under humid environments. As well as providing an inhospitable microclimate for microorganisms, the formation and removal of small droplets may also potentially aid in other areas such as reduction and cleaning of some surface contaminants consisting of single or multiple aggregates of particles.last_img read more

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Redesigning the India story

first_imgIn the heart of Germany’s business capital, four Indians showcased a facet of the country’s soft power: handicrafts. With India the partner country of one of the world’s biggest consumer goods trade fairs, its pavilions are serving as a window to its diverse cultures and deft craftspeople. At Ambiente 2019, that brings together global manufacturers, traders and buyers of innovatively designed products, designers Sunil Sethi, Sandeep Sangaru, and Ayush Kasliwal – who presented India’s campaign Hand Make in India here – have created an India experience at the event, where over 515 Indian exhibitors are showcasing products in the Living, Giving and Dining categories. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Frankfurt exhibition grounds saw, for the first time, four Indian award-winning craftspeople giving demos of the crafts they championed over decades. Tapas Kumar Jana, a recipient of 2016 National Award, demonstrated the centuries-old Masland mat weaving. He painstakingly wove away on these grass-based chatais, as global visitors stopped in awe and often video-recorded the elaborate procedure. “The grass we use grows in West Bengal. We make thin strips of it with our teeth, and then weave these manually using our instruments. One simple mat can take several weeks, with the time going up as designs get complicated,” Jana said, adding that these chatais were gifted during weddings as a norm. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDisplaying woven grass mats as soft and malleable as pashmina fabric, Jana said the craft is changing as per the modern consumer demands. Not just gifted mats, the finished Masland sheets can now be used to create folders, bags, wall hangings and table decor products – customised versions of a traditional craft to suit modern needs. The contemporary use of Jana’s mats draws from India’s larger showcase at the trade fair. Handmade, which is touted as India’s strength, is often thought of as products incapable of competing with the industrially produced modern consumer goods. Is modernising Indian handicrafts the way forward? Sunil Sethi said yes. Speaking on the intricacies of Indian design, he emphasised that the world needs to wake up to its strengths, and platforms like Ambiente provide a visibility like no other. “Indian design doesn’t lack the talent, but the exposure. If we are competing in a global market, designers from the country must come and see what the world has to offer. It is an eye-opener,” Sethi said, during a walkthrough of the pavilion designed by him. Displaying modular furniture done in the traditional Ikat style, a sofa with wood blocks as the upholstery, and a beautiful and minimalist peacock glass installation, Sethi said the homes, globally, are changing and modern versions of handicrafts become a way of expanding markets and also retaining the future generations in the trade. Inder Singh Kudrat, a veteran Rajasthani craftsperson, who was awarded the top artisan honour of Shilp Guru, stressed the importance of global visibility to “keep children’s dwindling interests in crafts alive”. Also exhibiting are Amrit Lal Sirohiya, a gemstone carver from Rajasthan and Naseer Ahmad Mir, a Kani shawl maker from Jammu and Kashmir. All the four handicrafts are Geographical Indication (GI) listed, which identifies each product with its place of origin to promote regional crafts. Listing sustainability, high-end material, and handmade, healthy products as future design trends, as compared to luxury and branding, the Fair’s vice president Nicolette Naumann iterated her belief in Indian products. The Fair, which concluded on February 12, has gone a long way in cementing India’s strengths as a mass manufacturer of handicrafts, which suit modern living traditions.last_img read more

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Refi Activity Sees Summer Spike

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, News, Origination Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Refinances 2016-09-21 Seth Welborn Share The mortgage industry continues to feel the effects of the Brexit vote from late June, as refinancing activity experienced a surge from July to August, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ First Look at Mortgage Data for August 2016.Prepayment speeds, which are usually a good indicator of refinance activity, caught up with the surge in applications reported after mortgage rates dropped off following the Brexit vote, according to Black Knight. The prepayment rate, also known as the single month mortality rate (the percentage of mortgage principal prepaid during a given month) experienced a 32 percent increase from July to August and a 53 percent jump from August 2015 to August 2016.In fact, August’s prepayment rate of 1.67 percent was the highest it has been in more than three years, according to Black Knight.“The increase in prepayments clearly seems to be driven by the post-Brexit wave in mortgage applications, particularly refinances,” Black Knight Data & Analytics Executive Vice President Ben Graboske said. “What we’re seeing here is the effect of standard 30-plus-day underwriting timelines pushing closings on those post-Brexit applications—many of which were initiated around the end of June and early July—into August. We may see Brexit continue to affect prepayment speeds into September.”Mortgage loans were performing better in August than in the previous month, as the national delinquency rate (percentage of properties 30 or more days overdue but not in foreclosure) declined by approximately 6 percent—reversing the calendar-driven spike that occurred in July—since July ended on a Sunday and payments are not processed until the following Monday or Tuesday, payments made on the last day of the month count toward the next month. According to Black Knight, it is typical to see partial, but not always a full, recovery the following month. The national delinquency rate was at 4.24 percent for August, which calculated to approximately 2.15 million properties. In addition to the monthly decline, August’s delinquency rate also represented an over-the-year decline of 11 percent.Click here to view the entire First Look for August 2016.center_img Refi Activity Sees Summer Spike September 21, 2016 614 Views last_img read more

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first_imgCanberraearlybirdsMantra Canberra’s new Mantra MacArthur Hotel was officially opened yesterday by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo MP, and ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay MLA. Formerly an office tower, which has been transformed into a 176-room hotel as part of the city’s vibrant urban renewal program, Mantra MacArthur Hotel is the only new hotel to open in Canberra in 2017.Mantra Group Chief Executive Officer Bob East said the property provides a much-needed new hotel offering to support the growth of international and domestic tourism in Canberra.“We’re thrilled to partner with local developer HTI Group on this project, which is a win for the economic growth of Canberra from both a tourism and jobs creation perspective,” said Mr East.Designed by AMC Architecture, the hotel boasts a modern industrial design and features 136 hotel rooms and 40 suites, as well as the new Podilato restaurant and bar serving Mediterranean-style cuisine, a fully equipped gym, conference and meeting spaces, car parking, an internet lounge and 24-hour reception.There is an opening special from $129* per night in a Studio Room including 1GB Wi-Fi daily, drink voucher on arrival and 12pm late check-out. To book, visit Mantra MacArthur Hotel is located at 219 Northbourne Avenue in Canberra’s inner city suburb of Turner. The hotel is located close to the central business district, the Australian National University and has a light rail stop, which seamlessly connects the hotel with the city, directly outside the hotel.*Conditions apply, subject to availability. Valid for sale and travel until 31 January, 2018.last_img read more

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The Grosvenor House Art Antiques Fair always sho

first_imgThe Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair always shows a great range of European art, dating from thousands of years ago up to 20th century modern classics. The show also encompasses furniture, paintings and jewelry and is now even more diverse by offering masterpieces from China and India, too. Naturally, this show is also the first choice for displaying specifically British works.Show HighlightsWith thousands of works of art on show, this preview only provides a taste of what to expect. Beginning with the dawn of European civilization—ancient Greece—Rupert Wace’s offering of a Greek amphora from about 500 BC, is decorated in red and black. Dionysus, god of wine, holds a drinking cup made out of a horn, which is a clever reference to the use of this amphora for holding wine. He is accompanied by two figures, and they are framed by floral patterns.Jumping ahead into the European Renaissance, Philip Mould is offering Portrait of a Lady by Lavinia Fontana, the first woman to be considered a professional artist in the 16th century. The subject of the portrait, dating from the 1590s, is unknown, though she most likely was a prospective bride whose family commissioned Fontana to paint her as part of the wedding negotiations. The details in the dress likely represent fertility, and the string of pearls and flowers in her hair symbolize purity.Britain’s greatest era for art may well be the 18th century, when the artistic innovations of mainland Europe had been fully absorbed and were then given new wings by the country’s increasing economic prosperity and scientific progress. A notable example is Matthew Boulton, who combined excellent taste and artistic creativity with new industrial processes. A pair of perfume burners circa 1772 show him at his best, mixing classical motifs such as harps and leaves in gilded bronze, with perfectly smooth white marble. They are offered by Ronald Phillips.All That GlittersJewelry is also a major attraction at the fair. Hancocks is showing an English diamond, ruby and platinum brooch in the shape of an orchid. Dating from 1930, it combines the lightness and dynamism of the 20th century with the elegance and luxury of the 19th century.But for luxury and fine materials no one can beat Fabergé, the great Russian jewelers to the tsars. A highlight at the show is a basket by chief workmaster Michael Perchin, from about 1900. The basket is made from agate. Rather than attempt to outdo nature, Perchin has emphasized the beauty of the naturally occurring stripes of red, white and pink in the precious stone. Then, he has embellished it with gold and gems.The 20th century saw a complete transformation in the limits of art. British sculptor Henry Moore was one of the many artists who found new ways to express himself in response to a changing world. His Helmet Head No. 3 is inspired by antique helmets the artist saw in museums as a boy. Moore does not use a traditional style but instead reaches out to abstraction, as can be seen from the rounded curves of the helmet and the archway-like mouth. It is on disply with Agnew’s.Another completely different thread of 20th century art is to be seen in Helmut Newton’s In My Garage, Monte Carlo. Newton was a fashion photographer and he elevated his work to fine art through lighting. His unique, subversive vision of society was inspired by early 20th century German cabaret, but he added a late 20th century aggression. This photograph, celebrating the human form, is a classic.Grosvenor House Art And Antiques Fair GuideWhen: June 11 to 17 Where: The Great Room, Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London Contact: Alison Vaissiere, 44-20-7399-8100;; London City Airport (LCY) is the only airport in the center of town. Contact: Andy Baker, 44 –20-7646-0222;; Since its founding in 1906, The Ritz has ranked as London’s most famous hotel. Its sumptuous Louis XVI style interior has been restored over the last 12 years at a cost of $100 million. Its guests have included King Edward VII, the Aga Khan and Charlie Chaplin. Select the 1,689-square foot Royal Suite ($6,900 a night). Contact: General Manager Stephen Boxall, 44-207-300-2221;; www.theritzlondon.comRestaurant J. Sheekey is an excellent fish restaurant right in the heart of London. Enjoy traditional and modern dishes from scallops with cauliflower mash and black pudding, to monkfish and tiger prawn curry. The restaurant started in 1896 and it still enjoys a classic and timeless décor. Contact: Robert Moretto, 44-20-7240-2565;; CalendarUntil June 7 “Early Altarpieces,” Louvre Museum, ParisUntil August 23 “Silent Writings,” Espace Louis Vuitton, ParisMay 1 to 5 The International Fine Art Fair, New YorkMay 3 to October 4 “Pompeii and the Roman Villa,” Los Angeles County Museum of ArtMay 5 Impressionist and Modern Art Auction, Sotheby’s, New YorkMay 14 to 17 Hong Kong International Art Fair, Hong KongJune 10 to 14 Art Basel, Basel, SwitzerlandBY SAMSON SPANIERlast_img read more

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2014 probably the most difficult year

first_imgBy George PsyllidesNEXT YEAR will probably be the most difficult year for the Cypriot economy, the finance minister warned on Monday, but it is also the year to correct the ills that led to its collapse.Presenting the 2014 budget to parliament, Harris Georgiades also stressed that there was no room for any increases in expenditure as he repeated that the government had no intention of revising its conservative forecasts.“We remain cautious,” he told reporters. “We know 2014 will be a very difficult year. Perhaps the most difficult.”The island’s economy has performed better than expected so far as Cyprus reeled under the terms of an international bailout, which saw its banking sector decimated in return for €10 billion.Despite the results, international lenders expected deterioration in the second half of the year.According to their draft report on the first review of Cyprus’ programme, both the primary balance as well as the overall budget balance exceeded their targeted values, by 1.6 per cent of GDP and 2.3 per cent of GDP, respectively.The main factors behind the positive outcome were tight expenditure controls, sizeable consolidation measures, but also one-off revenues of 1.6 per cent of GDP from the sale of licences for gas exploitation and higher dividends due to extraordinary Central Bank profits.The budget reflects the difficult times expected ahead, Georgiades said, adding however, that 2014 was the year when the ills plaguing the economy must be corrected.“Let me stress that 2014 must be, and will be, the year when the most crucial decisions will be made to correct all those that led the economy to this difficult position,” Georgiades said. “It is the time to take and enforce the decisions, which were postponed in the past.”The budget is the island’s first post-bailout budget, providing for a 10 per cent, or some €626 million cut in net spending compared to 2013.Main opposition AKEL criticised the government for not spending enough on development.Georgiades said there was “simply no room” to increase expenditure but was prepared to listen to any proposals as long as they included suggestions on how to save money from elsewhere.“It is not as if we have more to spend but we are putting it aside,” Georgiades.Cyprus has been shut out of international markets since May 2011, leaving international assistance under painful terms as the “sole source of financing”.“Everyone’s aim should be to restore credibility, upgrading the Cypriot economy’s credit ratings and eventually returning to the markets,” the minister said.The minister said growth would come from the private sector and the government was not planning on imposing any more taxes.“We will not continue the policy of the past 18 months,” he said.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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