Pride members resign over calls for police apology for alleged homophobia

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Most of the board members of a Newfoundland Pride group have abruptly resigned, days after one of its leaders accused the police of targeting homosexual men for allegedly having sex in a mall bathroom more than two decades ago.Noah Davis-Power, co-chairman of the St. John’s Pride board of directors, said that at least one of the resignations was due to his recent call for an apology from the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary over arrests at a local mall in 1993.Davis-Power, who will step down Saturday, said the request didn’t sit well with a law enforcement officer who was on the board before resigning earlier this week. He had also reportedly said St. John’s Pride was considering a ban of RNC officers and Liberal politicians.“I understand that my politics aren’t coinciding with what a lot of the community feels right now,” Davis-Power said on Twitter. “I don’t think Pride is about one person. It’s never about one person. When it is, you’ve lost the goal. That’s when it’s time to step away.”Power had asked for a police apology for a series of arrests related to alleged sexual activity in the washrooms at the Village Shopping Centre in St. John’s.Police began investigating in 1993 after a woman complained that her young son was approached by a man at the mall who started a conversation of a sexual nature.At the time, police installed hidden cameras in the men’s washrooms and captured 60 men on camera performing various sexual acts. About 34 men were charged with indecent acts in what police said at the time was an investigation into alleged pedophilia and a homosexual sex ring.The apology request and news stories prompted RNC Chief Joe Boland to issue a statement earlier this week saying the investigations were “free from discrimination” and did not target homosexuals.Boland said in the brief statement that the 1993 investigation “produced evidence of sexually explicit acts occurring in the open area of a public washroom.”“I can assure you that this investigation was not carried out for the purpose of targeting homosexual men,” he stated. “At no time did the RNC refer to the subject of this investigation as a ‘homosexual ring’.”The provincial government has rejected a request for an apology, but Davis-Power said an apology would help set the groundwork for true “bridge building.”He alleged that a number of the men involved killed themselves for being outed in that way, but Boland insisted that the RNC did not publicly identify the people involved.(VOCM)last_img read more

David SaintJacques talks space training and robotics during stop in Montreal

first_imgMONTREAL – David Saint-Jacques is two-thirds of the way through his training ahead of his flight to the International Space Station in November, the Canadian astronaut said Saturday.Saint-Jacques, who took a break from his training to cheer on the participants of a youth robotics competition in Montreal on Saturday, said he’s finished the theoretical part of his training, and is currently working on simulators and practising the science experiments he’ll do in space.“I’m in the very practical part of my training, where we’re learning to react to every emergency situation available,” he said in a brief interview.“It’s a bit like the launch ramp is at the summit of Mount Everest, and I’m at about the two-thirds mark of climbing Everest.”The 47-year-old will be the first Canadian aboard the ISS since Chris Hadfield spent five months aboard the station in 2013.By the time he leaves Earth, the Quebecer will have undergone intense training, including time in the microgravity simulator.On Saturday, Saint-Jacques, who is both an engineer and a doctor, appeared eager to check out the talents of the next generation.He spent time touring and chatting with the mostly teen-aged participants and took in the competition, where student-designed robots raced to pick up and place bright yellow cubes as rock music blared.Nouha Doghri, 16, said she was impressed and touched by Saint-Jacques’ interest in their project.“He’s really inspiring as a person, having done all those jobs: pilot, astronaut, astrophysicist,” said Doghri, part of an all-girls team.“It’s really impressive and motivating because it shows that if you want something you can do it.”Saint-Jacques told reporters that robotics are Canada’s main contribution to space flight and he’s happy to see that innovation continue in the next generation.He said there’s always a chance one of the students could design the next Canadarm — the country’s famous now-retired robotic contribution to space flight — but even if they don’t, they’re still learning.“They’re learning to be ingenious, thinking outside the box, fixing, focus on the solution, not the problem — all these skills that will be invaluable later in life,” he said.He compared the students’ hard work to his own preparation to go to space, adding that for the moment, he was more focused than excited.“(They students) were eager to get ready for the big day, and that’s the shoes I’m in,” he said.last_img read more

In the news today June 6

first_imgFive stories in the news for Wednesday, June 6———FINAL DAY OF CAMPAIGNING IN ONTARIO ELECTIONThe three major party leaders in the Ontario election race have one more day of campaigning before voters head to the polls. A poll released Tuesday suggests Andrea Horwath’s NDP and Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives are in a virtual tie heading into Thursday’s vote at 39 and 38 per cent respectively. Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are well back with just 18 per cent support among those surveyed.———CANADA REJECTS BILATERAL DEAL TO REPLACE NAFTAOttawa is rejecting a push by the Trump administration to strike separate, bilateral trade deals with Canada and Mexico instead of forging ahead with a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement. Ottawa’s refusal to pursue a one-on-one trade deal with the United States came after Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, said the president was serious about pursuing bilateral agreements with its NAFTA partners.———SENATE SEEKS DISCLOSURE OF POT INVESTORSThe Senate wants to ensure organized crime doesn’t use offshore tax havens to wind up secretly controlling the recreational marijuana market in Canada once pot is legalized. Senators voted 45-29 Tuesday to amend the cannabis legalization bill to require that any company licensed to grow marijuana must publicly disclose all its shareholders or executive members who are not based in Canada.———NO CERTAINTY AT G7 ON PLASTICS OR CLIMATEDoubt is percolating about Canada’s ability to deliver on its two biggest environmental commitments at this week’s G7, with no agreement yet on a plastics waste charter and Canada’s recent pipeline purchase casting a pall over its commitment to climate change. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said Tuesday it is still uncertain whether Canada will get its proposed zero plastics waste plan signed at this week’s G7 leaders summit.———B.C. INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE SPEAKER AWARDEDShe’s the last surviving fluent speaker of her Indigenous language, but Elizabeth Phillips says she’s more confident than ever that her mother tongue will survive. The 79-year-old Sto:lo Nation elder is scheduled to receive an honorary degree Wednesday for her efforts to preserve the Halq’emeylem language in British Columbia. Phillips, whose Sto:lo name is Siyamiyateliyout, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree at the University of the Fraser Valley’s convocation ceremony.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Statistics Canada releases April data on the value of building permits and Canadian international merchandise trade.— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with French President Emmanuel Macron.— Gov. Gen. Julie Payette meets with French President Emmanuel Macron at Rideau Hall.— Preliminary hearing in Edmonton for Michelle Rice, charged in the death of her 11-day-old daughter.— Transportation officials will outline details of Calgary’s first low-speed autonomous shuttle pilot.last_img read more

US keeps Sri Lanka on watch list in human trafficking report

Before leaving Sri Lanka, many migrant workers go into debt to pay high recruitment fees imposed by unscrupulous labor recruitment agencies—most of them members of Sri Lanka’s Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies—and their unlicensed sub-agents. The United States has kept Sri Lanka on a watch list in the latest human trafficking report released by US Secretary of State John Kerry today.The report states that Sri Lanka is primarily a source and, to a lesser extent, a destination country, for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Migrant laborers receive a monetary advance as an incentive to move abroad, only to be trapped in debt bondage upon arrival at their destination. Some recruitment agencies commit fraud by changing the agreed upon job, employer, conditions, or salary after the migrant’s arrival. Some Sri Lankan women are subjected to forced prostitution in Jordan, Maldives, Malaysia, Singapore, and elsewhere.Within the country, the report says women and children are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels. Boys are more likely than girls to be forced into prostitution in coastal areas for child sex tourism. Children, individuals with physical deformities, and those from socially vulnerable groups are forced to beg or engage in criminal activity in Sri Lanka’s largest cities. Some child domestic workers in Colombo, generally from the Tamil tea estate sector, are subjected to physical, sexual, and mental abuse, non-payment of wages, and restrictions of movement—indicators of labor trafficking. A small number of women from Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East have been subjected to forced prostitution in Sri Lanka in recent years. Police accept bribes to permit brothels to operate, some of which exploit trafficking victims. Sub-agents collude with officials to procure fake or falsified travel documents to facilitate travel of Sri Lankans abroad. Some of the Sri Lankan men, women, and children who migrate to the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Afghanistan to work in the construction, garment, and domestic service sectors are subjected to forced labor. The report says the Government of Sri Lanka does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the Government ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol and the Cabinet approved the Government’s national action plan to combat human trafficking.Despite these measures, the report says the Government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Sri Lanka is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year.Per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, Sri Lanka was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its Government has devoted sufficient resources to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Sask women reflect on cancer diagnosis relapses ahead of inaugural Multiple Myeloma

A mere five years left to live — the words hit Mona Neher like a punch to the stomach.She was only 39 years old and a single parent of two young girls when she got the devastating news.“They said if you don’t have a stem cell transplant you may live three years. If you have one you may live five years,” recalled Neher who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (a type of blood cancer) in 2006.At the time there was a lot of fear. Fear of what’s next. Fear of what would happen to her daughters when she was gone.But despite her poor prognosis, Neher continues her fight against the incurable disease 13 years later.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“I’m very fortunate,” she said in an interview this week. “I really didn’t think that I was going to survive.”Determined to do her part to help create awareness and raise money so that a cure may one day be found, Neher is helping organize the inaugural Multiple Myeloma March in Regina this Sunday.An offshoot of Myeloma Canada’s annual five-kilometre walk/run, which is in its 11th year, this is the first time one has been held in the Queen City. Organizers hope to raise $10,000 for the cause.Related Teen cancer survivor sisters share story at 39th annual Terry Fox Run “I’ve known quite a few people, sadly, that have passed away from myeloma which is really hard,” said Neher, who was born and raised in Regina, but now lives in Southey. “I really feel I am blessed. You just keep taking a day at a time.”Neher was diagnosed after prolonged back pain and fatigue prompted her to go to her family doctor. She had her first stem cell transplant in 2006. Her daughters were just 11 and 15 years old at the time.A long recovery process, she had to step away from her work as a registered labour and delivery nurse and joined phase two of a clinical trial for medication she said is now a mainstream treatment for the cancer.She returned to work in 2010, but a relapse in 2015 sent her back for a second stem cell transplant in 2016.“They’ve been very supportive,” she said of her daughters and her then-boyfriend, now husband. “They learn that there’s a lot in life that a person can cope with, and you just keep putting one foot forward. That’s the positive side of it I guess.”Kathy Dorsett was 66 years old when she was given the same three-to-five-year prognosis.But with the cut-off for stem cell transplants set at age 65 at the time, she relied solely on drug maintenance programs for her treatment.Like Neher, she beat the odds and seven years later is still fighting. But now 73 years old, she’s going through a relapse.“It was under control with one set of drugs … and then obviously my body must have gotten used to it, and all of a sudden my blood work numbers were going out of wack,” said Dorsett, who is also one of the march’s organizers.Every day, eight Canadians are diagnosed with multiple myeloma, according to Myeloma Canada. Although there’s still no cure, strides in research has improved the quality of life for myeloma patients. The life expectancy has more than doubled in the past 15 years “and is continuing on an upward trend.”Dorsett said the amount of research being done is more encouraging every year, but that like with any cause, money is needed to keep moving in the right direction.Despite no cure, she remains optimistic and good humoured.“I’m getting a new puppy on Monday and I’m hoping I’ll be able to have her for a few more years before I have to maybe give her up or something. I wouldn’t do that if I thought I was going to be popping off in the next five years or so,” she said with a laugh.Both Dorsett and Neher are encouraging residents to come out and support the walk on Sunday, which begins at 10 a.m. at the RCMP Heritage Centre.“We … need to keep raising awareness and looking for treatments,” said Neher.In the meantime, she says she and her family take it one day at a time, try not to let the fear creep in and enjoy their lives and each other while they still can.“We value our time together,” she said.jackerman@postmedia.com read more

Annan UN Mission welcome pact forming new government in DR of Congo

In a statement issued today in New York, the Secretary-General welcomed President Kabila’s naming of the Ministers of the DRC’s new Government of National Unity. “The Secretary-General looks forward to the inauguration of this transitional government as soon as possible,” the statement said, adding that “he calls on the Government of National Unity to seize this opportunity to work together to bring about peace and stability in the country.” Meanwhile in Kinshasa, the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) also welcomed the formation of the new Transitional Government. According to the mission, President Kabila last night named the authority, which will comprise 36 ministers and 25 deputy ministers. The agreement divides the 36 ministries among the government, rebel movements and pro-government militias, political parties and representatives of civil society, in line with the comprehensive power-sharing accord signed by the parties last December in Pretoria.The deal comes on the heels of an agreement signed this past weekend between the DRC government and the country’s two main opposition factions – Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) and Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) – on a division of military and security arrangements. In a press release, MONUC expressed the hope that the ceasefire would also be implemented throughout the country, in particular the war-ravaged eastern and the northeastern part and the State would be extended to the whole of the DRC. read more

South Sudan Senior UN relief official condemns killing of health worker

“I am deeply saddened by this senseless act and send my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sister Veronika Racková,” said the humanitarian coordinator, Eugene Owusu, in a statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “I welcome steps being taken by the authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice and urge them to act swiftly.” The health worker was driving an ambulance in Yei, in southwest South Sudan, on her way back from a medical centre when she was attacked. Her death brings the number of aid workers killed in South Sudan since the beginning of the conflict in December 2013 to 54. “Violence against humanitarian workers and humanitarian assets is categorically unacceptable and must stop,” said Mr. Owusu. “I urge the Transitional Government of National Unity to endeavour to strengthen the safety and security environment for aid workers and will work intensively with them to achieve this.” read more

Vehicle production – July 2006

Source:Cars Commercial Vehicles Total vehicles SMMT LtdJul-06YTD 2006Jul-06YTD 2006Jul-06YTD 2006 Total117,829917,34715,318121,439133,1471,038,786 -5.3%-1.4%22.7%8.4%-4.4%-0.4% Home28,919219,6004,89340,56333,812260,163 % of total24.5%23.9%31.9%33.4%25.4%25.0%* Car Production ‘More than three quarters of the UK’s July car production was destined for foreign markets’, said Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘With European volumes a little flat during this period, it was no surprise that the UK output levels were slightly lower this month. But despite the lower July figures, it is very encouraging to see the likes of Toyota, Honda, Land Rover and Jaguar posting significant growth’ * Commercial Vehicle Production ‘A big increase in van production served to boost the commercial vehicle market by 7.5% in July’, commented Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive. ‘And again exports were a key factor in this rise. Whilst LCVs took the lion’s share, at the heavier end, DAF’s Leyland truck plant was able to continue to show a modest gain despite the backdrop of purchasing indecision caused by the changes from Euro 3 to Euro 4 standards’ * Full details – and Toyota plant focus – can be found within the attached press releaseDownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Export88,910697,74710,42580,87699,335778,623 % of total75.5%76.1%68.1%66.6%74.6%75.0% -20.5%-19.2%-15.0%-18.4%-19.8%-19.1% -9.6%-6.3%7.5%-2.3%-7.9%-5.9% read more

April preregistration data

DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) The Supply of New Cars Order 2000 requires motor manufacturers to publish the number of pre-registered cars supplied and the gross income received by suppliers from selling those pre-registered cars.  This information is published on a monthly basis. For more please see the attached SMMT has released figures for April pre-registrations in the UK car market. The data shows the number of cars disposed of in April 2008 that were defined as pre-registrations.

Freshman Maddy Humphrey shines as Buckeyes pick up 1st victory of 2014

The Ohio State University Field Hockey team defeat Miami 3-2 at Varsity Field, The Ohio State University. September 5, 2014Credit: Courtesy of OSU athleticsOn her parents’ 33rd wedding anniversary, Ohio State freshman forward Maddy Humphrey scored the first two goals of her OSU career and assisted on another to lead the OSU field hockey team to its first win of the season.The Buckeyes won, 3-2, against Miami (Ohio) on Friday behind Humphrey’s brace and a goal from junior back Emma Royce.“Those two (goals) are for them,” Humphrey said about her parents in attendance.OSU picked up the win despite being outshot, 15-2, by the Redhawks in the second half.“It feels awesome. I love this team more than anything,” Humphrey said. “We’re just a family, and I’ll do anything for them. We’d do anything for each other.”The Buckeyes came out aggressively looking for shots and struck less than 12 minutes into the game. After being denied twice early, Humphrey snuck in front of the cage and converted off a pass from senior midfielder Kaitlyn Wagner to put OSU in front.OSU possessed the ball for much of the first half, but Miami responded with more than eight minutes remaining in the period on a goal from sophomore midfielder Geagy Pritchard from the left corner.The Buckeyes were not satisfied with a halftime tie, however. With 6:31 to play in the first half, Humphrey showed some of her ball-handling skills. She maneuvered into the scoring zone, hurdled a defender and fired a shot from right to left to put OSU back on top, 2-1.The third Buckeye goal of the game came with a little more than three minutes to play in the first half when Royce converted off a penalty corner from Humphrey.“I was really proud of (Humphrey) because she put away goals when we most needed it,” Royce said. “Her goal actually fired me up for scoring the third.”Humphrey was slowed down in the second half after receiving a shoulder to the chest area early in the period. She returned to the game, but was visibly winded on the field and had to leave the game again.Miami mounted a late comeback behind an unassisted goal from Pritchard with just over four minutes to play. However, the Buckeyes held on for the 3-2 victory behind solid goalkeeping from freshman Liz Tamburro, who saved 10 shots in the second half.OSU is scheduled to have a week off before its next game against the Ohio University Bobcats on Friday.Royce said it is important that OSU uses the extra time to work on keeping its defensive pressure up for a full 70 minutes of play.“(Miami) got that second goal in and that put a lot more pressure on us that we didn’t need,” Royce said. “We’re gonna be tightening up the defense and keep working on putting those goals away.”OSU coach Anne Wilkinson said she’s going to let her team get some recovery time in after a hard-earned victory.“I’m gonna just let them relax and let their bodies repair,” Wilkinson said. “We’ve really been going hard through this entire preseason so we’ll let them just relax a little bit.”The Buckeyes’ game against Ohio is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Athens, Ohio. read more

Is RTÉ to charge international viewers for watching online

first_imgIS RTÉ TO charge international viewers to watch its programmes abroad?It was reported in the Irish Independent at the weekend that Noel Curran, RTÉ’s Director General, told journalism students at the University of Limerick that overseas viewers would be charged for viewing programmes on the RTÉ website.However an RTÉ spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that there are no plans to charge for popular RTÉ programmes currently available internationally such as Late Late Show and The Saturday Night Show.Noel Curran last week confirmed that RTÉ is looking at premium content options online internationally. This is motivated by our desire to add to the offering currently available to international audiences and to enable diaspora maintain a connection with home as well as showcase the best of Ireland internationally.The broadcaster is “constantly assessing new products and services to serve these audiences” but says there are additional costs involved in making that additional content available.There has been no date given for the possible introduction of any online charges.Read:RTÉ contributed €384 million to Irish economy in one year>last_img read more

Oikya Front briefs foreign diplomats

first_imgSenior leaders of newly formed Jatiya Oikya Front briefed foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka at a city hotel on Thursday afternoon about the country’s latest political situation and the alliance’s position on the next general election, reports UNB.On behalf of Oikya Front leaders Dr Kamal Hossain started briefing diplomats around 3:10pm.Diplomats from different countries, foreign agencies and international bodies joined the progarmme.Senior BNP and Oikya Front leaders were also present at the closed-door programme.Earlier on Tuesday, the Oikya Front leaders at a meeting at JSD president ASM Abdur Rob’s Uttara residence decided to hold a rally in Sylhet on 23 October.On 13 October, BNP together with Dr Kamal-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, JSD and Nagorik Oikya launched the Jatiy Oikya Front to press for their seven-point demand, including holding the next polls under a non-party administration.last_img read more

Italian Runner Wins Venice Marathon After All The Favorites Take A Wrong

first_img Share Dimitris Kamaras/FlickrVenice! Not pictured: the apparent skein of streets that led the guiding motorcycle astray in the city’s marathon Sunday.It’s fair to say things were not supposed to go this way at the Venice Marathon.It would’ve been little surprise if Kenya’s Gilbert Kipleting Chumba had won the race Sunday — or maybe it could have been his countryman David Kiprono Metto. And in fact, both of those favorites were among the leaders roughly 16 miles into the marathon.Then, they took a wrong turn.Led astray by a guide motorcycle, the small pack of runners leading the marathon followed the errant rider several hundred meters off course and apparently onto a main thoroughfare. A video captured the crucial, crushing moment the runners learned of the error and turned back.Delayed by about 2 minutes, according to The Associated Press, the favorites ultimately lost out to Eyob Gebrehiwet Faniel, a local who was reportedly running in only his second marathon. Faniel, who has been referred to by both surnames, runs for the Venice Marathon Club. The Eritrean-born Italian made his official marathon debut in Florence last year, as noted by the International Association of Athletics Federations.Now, he is the first Italian man to win the Venice Marathon in 22 years.“Today’s race shows that the work is paying off,” Faniel said after the marathon, according to the IAAF. “It was not an easy race as I had to run alone on the Ponte della Libertà. I dedicate the win to myself as I have always believed in my work despite all the difficulties.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Study 5000 Is the SelfDriving Car Sweet Spot

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 2 min read Register Now » May 10, 2017 This story originally appeared on PCMag Sometimes it’s tough to make sense of the hodgepodge of technologies that currently describe the “self-driving car” buzzword, from lane departure warning systems all the way up to Tesla Autopilot, not to mention industry jargon like “Level 5 automation.”So why not organize autonomous driving technologies by how much people think they’re worth? That’s what a group of economists and engineers tried to do in a paper published in March, CNET reports. The model suggests that on average, Americans are willing to pay a $3,500 premium for a partially automated car and a $4,900 premium for a fully automated one. For comparison, $4,900 for full automation is very similar to what Tesla charges for its most advanced Autopilot, which costs a little over $5,000.The researchers’ model is based on interviews with 27 potential car buyers in New York City and upstate New York. As you might expect, just four of the New York City residents drove a car every day, while all of the 15 upstate New Yorkers commuted via car daily. The two groups perceived similar benefits from self-driving cars, from increased productivity and safety to easier and quicker parking.After crunching the numbers, the researchers found a fairly even segmentation of the demand for automation: about one-third of people are keenly interested and willing to pay $10,000 or more for self-driving features, one-third are ambivalent and the remainder isn’t willing to pay for automation at any price.As the researchers note, however, one of the key problems with such a study is that it’s based on a hypothetical purchase scenario: their study participants weren’t actually buying a car, and even if they were, there are very few models on the market that come with full automation on the level of the Tesla Autopilot.Still, it’s good to establish a peer-reviewed benchmark for how much self-driving tech should cost at this early stage in its development. If it follows the cheapening pattern of most other technology (and the government continues to urge its inclusion in new cars), you might one day be able to do yoga in your Toyota Corolla on the highway for far less than $5,000. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

How to Stop Some Dumb Destructive Bot From Ruining Your Companys Poll

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. It’s a common technique for a business  to solicit feedback from its audience, either on social media or via web polls and surveys. But, problem: Any time you ask the internet for information, you have to look carefully at what you get back in return. The reason is that the internet is no stranger to corrupting simple polls.Related: Why IoT Botnets Might be the Next Big Worry ?What kind of impact could a campaign have on your poll? You could find an internet meme taking over. You could see a representative sent to a far-off location. You could see a strange choice of venue for an event. Or you could see something more malicious, like what Mountain Dew encountered years ago. (Its attempt to let viewers choose the name for a new green-apple infused soft drink drew such offensive responses that the campaign had to be shut down).That’s just a publicized example of a high-profile poll gone wrong. More insidious are the cases that are never reported. You run a poll to gain demographic information or user feedback, and a clever fraudster manipulates the results to fit his (or her) needs without anyone’s ever knowing. You might think you’ve gained new insight, only to find further efforts to capitalize on that information falling flat.Contests often fall victim to the same manipulation. If your internet poll helps determine a winner, you have to be vigilant to make sure the winner isn’t chosen by a hired botnet rather than your legitimate followers. So, how can you protect your poll and your business from poll manipulation? The answer is to find a poll service or app that provides security against manipulation.Use a captcha.Captchas — programs or systems that distinguish human input from machine input — are some of the most basic internet security available today, so they should be a baseline bare minimum for any poll you do. The best choice is Google’s reCAPTCHA, which uses a variety of signals, ranging from user behavior on pages prior to the poll to mouse movements on the poll page itself. Powered by Google’s immense wealth of data, these captchas are good at separating a human response from machine one.Of course, captchas are in an arms race, and there are tools out there that help scammers bypass even Google’s most advanced reCAPTCHA algorithm. People are even developing machine-learning bots that can learn how to get past such algorithms. That’s why this solution is just one of many for a secure poll.Some polling services like Crowdsignal integrate some features of advanced reCAPTCHAs, like tracking mouse movements on the submit button. A bot usually simply jumps to position rather than mouses over, which is easier to detect. Even a bot that records mouse motion will be detected when the exact same motions are used over and over.Related: How Bots Steal Your Online Advertising BudgetUse a unique identifier.Other different ways exist to help you enforce some level of unique identifier for each entry in a poll. The easiest and most common today, which you see in contest apps like Gleam, is a social media authentication. This requires a user to sign into a valid social account to get an entry or a vote, and puts another barrier to entry in front of your poll.Again, this isn’t a perfect solution on its own. We all know of the issues with bots on Twitter and other social networks. A simple authentication alone will stop some people, but when your opposition controls 10,000 accounts, it’s no a barrier to all of them.Remember, an email address is not a valid unique identifier. It’s incredibly easy to generate unique email addresses, temporary or permanent. Gmail even allows you to add a . or a + to your address and customize it; each variation is likely to count as a unique address if you’re not filtering properly.This is where you add some IP filtering to the mix. A poll app that can monitor and filter entries based on IP can help prevent numerous accounts from entering from the same IP address. Sure, you might catch cases where three members of a family using the same computer want to enter, but you can specify just “one entry per household, please” to make it a non-issue. Using an IP tracing service like MaxMind or IP2Location can also help pinpoint entries that come from obvious proxy servers or data center IPs which are often used to hide this kind of poll manipulation.  Normal users are unlikely to be voting from within a data center, right?Give a false positive.It’s important that you don’t give your opposition a reason to look deeper. If the person controlling a botnet encounters a message about his or her vote not counting, or is unable to access the poll with different accounts, this person might dig deeper and find a way to break your security after all. On the other hand, if it looks like the bot’s vote is accepted while your system quietly rejects it, the bot’s controller will be satisfied and leave things at that.Related: Why the Rise of Bots is a Concern for Social NetworksThis can be tricky in cases where the number of votes or the ranking of various options is publicly updated. If a user intends to add 200 votes to the second-place candidate, but doesn’t see the vote count rise, he or she will look a little deeper. You don’t want that to happen: Let this person think he or she has “won” — right up until you announce the real results. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 30, 2019 5 min read Register Now »last_img read more

Did you know Facebook shares the data you share with them for

first_imgFacebook is constantly under the spotlight these days when it comes to controversies regarding user’s data and privacy. A new research paper published by the Princeton University researchers states that Facebook shares the contact information you handed over for security purposes, with their advertisers. This study was first brought to light by a Gizmodo writer, Kashmir Hill. “Facebook is not content to use the contact information you willingly put into your Facebook profile for advertising. It is also using contact information you handed over for security purposes and contact information you didn’t hand over at all, but that was collected from other people’s contact books, a hidden layer of details Facebook has about you that I’ve come to call “shadow contact information”, writes Hill. Recently, Facebook introduced a new feature called custom audiences. Unlike traditional audiences, the advertiser is allowed to target specific users. To do so, the advertiser uploads user’s PII (personally identifiable information) to Facebook. After the uploading is done, Facebook then matches the given PII against platform users. Facebook then develops an audience that comprises the matched users and allows the advertiser to further track the specific audience. Essentially with Facebook, the holy grail of marketing, which is targeting an audience of one, is practically possible; nevermind whether that audience wanted it or not. In today’s world, different social media platforms frequently collect various kinds of personally identifying information (PII), including phone numbers, email addresses, names and dates of birth. Majority of this PII often represent extremely accurate, unique, and verified user data. Because of this, these services have the incentive to exploit and use this personal information for other purposes. One such scenario includes providing advertisers with more accurate audience targeting. The paper titled ‘Investigating sources of PII used in Facebook’s targeted advertising’ is written by Giridhari Venkatadri, Elena Lucherini, Piotr Sapiezynski, and Alan Mislove. “In this paper, we focus on Facebook and investigate the sources of PII used for its PII-based targeted advertising feature. We develop a novel technique that uses Facebook’s advertiser interface to check whether a given piece of PII can be used to target some Facebook user and use this technique to study how Facebook’s advertising service obtains users’ PII,” reads the paper. The researchers developed a novel methodology, which involved studying how Facebook obtains the PII to provide custom audiences to advertisers. “We test whether PII that Facebook obtains through a variety of methods (e.g., directly from the user, from two-factor authentication services, etc.) is used for targeted advertising, whether any such use is clearly disclosed to users, and whether controls are provided to users to help them limit such use,” reads the paper. The paper uses size estimates to study what sources of PII are used for PII-based targeted advertising. Researchers used this methodology to investigate which range of sources of PII was actually used by Facebook for its PII-based targeted advertising platform. They also examined what information gets disclosed to users and what control users have over PII. What sources of PII are actually being used by Facebook? Researchers found out that Facebook allows its users to add contact information (email addresses and phone numbers) on their profiles. While any arbitrary email address or phone number can be added, it is not displayed to other users unless verified (through a confirmation email or confirmation SMS message, respectively). This is the most direct and explicit way of providing PII to advertisers. Researchers then further moved on to examine whether PII provided by users for security purposes such as two-factor authentication (2FA) or login alerts are being used for targeted advertising. They added and verified a phone number for 2FA to one of the authors’ accounts. The added phone number became targetable after 22 days. This proved that a phone number provided for 2FA was indeed used for PII-based advertising, despite having set the privacy controls to the choice. What control do users have over PII? Facebook allows users the liberty of choosing who can see each PII listed on their profiles, the current list of possible general settings being: Public, Friends, Only Me. Users can also restrict the set of users who can search for them using their email address or their phone number. Users are provided with the following options: Everyone, Friends of Friends, and Friends. Facebook provides users a list of advertisers who have included them in a custom audience using their contact information. Users can opt out of receiving ads from individual advertisers listed here. But, information about what PII is used by advertisers is not disclosed. What information about how Facebook uses PII gets disclosed to the users? On adding mobile phone numbers directly to one’s Facebook profile, no information about the uses of that number is directly disclosed to them. This Information is only disclosed to users when adding a number from the Facebook website. As per the research results, there’s very little disclosure to users, often in the form of generic statements that do not refer to the uses of the particular PII being collected or that it may be used to allow advertisers to target users. “Our paper highlights the need to further study the sources of PII used for advertising, and shows that more disclosure and transparency needs to be provided to the user,” says the researchers in the paper. For more information, check out the official research paper. Read Next Ex-employee on contract sues Facebook for not protecting content moderators from mental trauma How far will Facebook go to fix what it broke: Democracy, Trust, Reality Mark Zuckerberg publishes Facebook manifesto for safeguarding against political interferencelast_img read more

Mom raises family by day studies crime fighting by night

first_imgRelated posts:PHOTOS: Celebrating Costa Rican moms ‘The Salt of the Earth’ focuses on photographer Sebastião Salgado Cuban artist pushes boundary between art and politics, and pays a price PHOTOS: Cuba as it was – A glimpse of life before the US arrives Zeneyda Flores’ day starts at 5:00 a.m. — to get her children, Libby, Zack and Liath, up and ready for school. That is, when she doesn’t have to wake up at 3:30 a.m. to get ready for work at the flea market near the municipal offices in downtown San José.Flores, 35, lives in Triángulo de la Solidaridad, a slum off Route 32, just north of the city center, with three of her four daughters. From the highway shoulder, a dirt path leads up the hill and into the dense neighborhood that was once notorious for gang violence and drugs.After Flores gets her kids breakfast and drops them off for class, she’s back in Triángulo to open the family’s pulpería — a small convenience store — which she runs out of the front of their home. Neighbors stop by for kitchen staples like flour or cooking oil and kids bound up to the small opening in the black grate over the window to ask how much for a package of Chiky chocolate-covered cookies.Flores and her family have lived in Triángulo de la Solidaridad for four years now. Their home has a tin roof. The floor is an accidental mosaic improvised from scraps of different floor tiles. The store takes up most of the front of the house along with a long table pushed up against the wall where Flores sits to study over the reggaeton thumping through the walls from a neighbor. (A hulking stereo system of her own sits in the corner, promising the house has seen a party or two.)Thanks to a scholarship from the community development organization Boy with a Ball Costa Rica, Flores takes correspondence courses for a degree in criminology from Costa Rica’s distance learning college, UNED. Having lived in marginalized communities since she moved to Costa Rica at the age of 19 from Masaya, Nicaragua, Flores said she thinks she has a unique perspective on law enforcement.“I’ve seen a lot of unfair things happen, especially to children,” she said, “Sometimes police don’t understand what leads someone into crime.” Zeneyda Flores in the store she runs out of her home in the slum of Triángulo de la Solidaridad, north of San José on Aug. 13, 2015. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesFlores knows about that path firsthand: “Living in these areas, the same things are always surrounding you and your family: drugs, addiction, gangs,” she said.Her oldest daughter, 17-year-old Liszie, was straying into drugs and crime when they lived in Lomas del Río, an impoverished neighborhood in Pavas, a western suburb of San José. After Liszie had some run-ins with the police, the family moved to Triángulo.“A mother always wants what’s best for her family,” Flores said. But she hesitated when asked if Triángulo was a better place for her family. “People told me they used to hide under the beds to avoid gunfire from gangs. It’s improved a lot,” she said.Still, Liszie decided to return to Nicaragua. She and her eight-month-old daughter, Monserrat, now live with Liszie’s grandmother in Masaya.The daily juggleFlores needs to get lunch ready for her children before she can run errands to get ready to sell car accessories and other small items at the flea market on Saturdays. She used to have a more traditional job working in a Musmanni bakery but she had to be up at 3:30 every morning and had less time with her kids. She doesn’t regret the trade off but said that she’s always at risk of not making ends meet.Triángulo is a pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of place. “It’s a very independent place. It’s hard to ask for a favor from someone,” Flores said. The children’s father helps out, she said, but he is not always around so it can be difficult to run the store, get ready for the weekend market, pick her kids up and study.“There’s just not enough time in the day,” she said with a smile.Despite the time crunch, education is a priority for Flores. She said that her own mother, a “marvelous” woman of whom she is proud, instilled the importance of learning in her, and she tries to do the same for her family. Along with her university studies, Flores takes English classes at Boy with a Ball’s center in the slum. She takes her daughter Libby along too.Flores’ perseverance is equally as important as the value she puts on education. Over the years, she said, many people have tried to hold her back, questioning her desire to keep learning.“Maybe I’ll never actually get to practice my career,” she said. “People tell me I’m too old, ask me why I’m studying when I should be working. But for me it’s a personal challenge,” Flores said.“I want that degree.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas Turrialba Volcano resumes vapor ash explosions

first_imgRelated posts:Volcanologists follow presence of magma at Turrialba Volcano’s crater Turrialba Volcano spews ash 1 km high Turrialba Volcano again spews ash and vapor Ashes from Turrialba Volcano’s explosions reach San José, Heredia Facebook Comments Turrialba Volcano increased its activity once more over the weekend with vapor, gas and ash explosions, volcanologists from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and the National University (UNA) reported.Activity at the volcano, located in the province of Cartago, some 70 kilometers (43 miles) northeast of San José, remained low during the past three weeks, with mostly low-intensity tremors, the UCR’s National Seismological Network (RSN) reported.RSN volcanologist Mauricio Mora indicated in a written report that ash and vapor spewings of almost 500 meters (1,640 feet) above the crater resumed on Jan. 27, along with an increase in volcanic tremors.UNA’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) reported a strong explosion at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. On Sunday, the RSN reported another explosion at 8:46 a.m.Turrialba entered an active phase in October 2014 and has since presented numerous explosions of ash and gas. OVSICORI experts noted that they found rocks up to 2 meters (6.5 ft) in diameter in the surroundings of the crater.In September 2016, the volcano began a new eruptive cycle that has generated ash columns of up to 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) above the crater.Access to Turrialba Volcano National Park is currently closed and emergency agencies maintain a security perimeter of two kilometers around the crater. However, park rangers have reported that groups of tourists have been entering the restricted area to observe the explosions.Strong gusts carrying ashStrong gusts of winds are carrying ash into the area northwest of the crater. Ash reached various communities in the Central Valley, mainly north and east of San José.Posts on the RSN and OVSICORI social media profiles reported ash fall and the smell of sulfur in several communities. Most of those reports are from residents of Coronado, Ipís, Guadalupe, Tibás, Moravia and Sabanilla.The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) on Monday reported the influence over Costa Rica of a cold front that entered the country on Sunday from the northern Caribbean Sea.The weather phenomenon is increasing the intensity of winds in the Central Valley and in the province of Guanacaste. The IMN reported that gusts in the first half of this week will oscillate between 60-80 kilometers (37-50 miles).See a video of the Jan. 29 explosion:last_img read more

ChinaTaiwan talks seek to maintain momentum for closer ties

first_img TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Negotiators from Taiwan and China met Saturday for talks in an attempt to maintain momentum for the forging of closer ties in the face of a skeptical Taiwanese public.The talks resulted in no firm agreements but underscored Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s determination to prove that engagement with China can help the local economy.Ministerial-level officials from the sides met on the tiny Taiwan-controlled island of Kinmen, just off the Chinese coast, where the rivals fought bloody military battles in the 1950s and 1960s. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Top Stories Sponsored Stories Topics discussed included controlling the illegal excavation of sand from the ocean floor, opening outlying Taiwanese islets to more China-based tourism and letting Chinese tourists make transit stops in Taiwan, Taiwan’s Cabinet-level negotiating body, the Mainland Affairs Council, said in a statement.“The development of relations between Taiwan and mainland China has been self-evident, and despite bumps in the recent past I want to emphasize this is a development trend backed by public opinion,” council Chairman Andrew Hsia said in opening remarks.Beijing’s representative Zhang Zhijun, director of the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said China was determined to keep ties moving forward.“We absolutely cannot let mainland China-Taiwan relations go backward again, even less so into the past,” he was quoted as saying by China’s official Xinhua News Agency in his opening remarks. “I believe this is also the joint desire of compatriots from both sides who have weathered storms of the past.”Many among the Taiwanese public fear closer ties could undermine their economic advantages while furthering Beijing’s eventual goal of ending the island’s self-rule of nearly seven decades. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home China’s Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun, left, and his counterpart Minister Andrew Hsia of the Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council shake hands in front of the media as they arrive for the start of a two-day cross-strait meeting, Saturday, May 23, 2015, on the outlying island of Kinmen, Taiwan. Zhang is meeting with Hsia to discuss various cross-strait issues, including Taiwan’s interest in joining China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the latest trade agreements between both sides. (AP Photo) TAIWAN OUT Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologistlast_img read more

Proposal to partially privatise Cyta likely to be ineffective economist says

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesThe government’s plan for partial privatisation of state-telecom company Cyta, is unlikely to prevent it from further losing ground to competitors, an economist said.“These are not serious reform efforts,” economist Michalis Florentiades said in a telephone interview on Tuesday, hours after Finance Minister Harris Georgiades revealed aspects of the government’s plan to privatise the telecom. “They simply want to demonstrate that they are doing something amid criticism that they are not privatising, which will cost nothing in terms of popularity”.“The true test will be to find a good investor willing to put millions in a company which is playing defence and no longer grows,” Florentiades, the chief economist at the online financial service provider XM.com, said. “The question is whether private investors would be willing to bring know-how to a company that they cannot effectively control.”Georgiades said on Tuesday that the government, which a year ago abandoned its plan to fully privatise Cyta when opposition parties said they would reject the bill, is now proposing to sell a minority stake to a private investor who will be in charge of management.Unlike the previous plan, workers will now retain their current status and will not be transferred to other government departments or services, while future recruitment will be done on similar terms as in the private sector.On Friday, Standard & Poor’s raised Cyprus’s sovereign credit rating a notch to BB+ citing the better than expected performance of the economy and public finances. The rating company also placed Cyprus’s outlook on stable citing the stalled reform process, which means that the rating is unlikely to change, partly on “risks of weaker reform delivery ahead of next year’s presidential elections”.The state will maintain its majority stake in Cyta in perpetuity and the situation can only change “by passing a law,” the finance minister said.The government’s proposal provides for the setup of a limited liability company which will initially belong to the state, according to Georgiades. “At a later stage, and after this first step is approved” the terms of the private strategic investor’s involvement will be examined, in an attempt to preserve Cyta’s value and prospects, he added.On Monday, the Cyprus News Agency reported that the government proposal, subject to parliamentary approval, includes a clause allowing the government-appointed board members to overrule a decision taken by the majority of the board of directors. In the case of decisions taken by a majority at annual general meetings, the state will also have to give its consent. The provisions apply to issues related to today’s Cyta staff.Following the liberalisation of telecommunications after Cyprus became a member of the European Union in 2004, Cyta saw its market share in landline connections shrink to 75 per cent by December last year, in broadband connections to 59 per cent, and to 58 per cent in the mobile phone market.According to the latest data from the telecommunications regulator, only 8 per cent of new broadband subscribers opt for Cyta.While Georgiades said that the government’s adjusted plans are closer to the positions of opposition parties, communist party Akel, which generally opposes privatisations and economic reforms, criticised the proposed bill.While other political parties generally reject privatisations, they hinted that they could agree in attracting a private investor.“It looks like the government did not get a lesson from the chaos caused by the privatisation of the Limassol port’s operations and the huge problems caused to the Cypriot economy,” Harris Polycarpou, a member of the party’s central committee said in an emailed statement, adding that the government “insists dogmatically on the same unproductive policies”.The privatisation of Cyta and the commercialisation of the port’s operations -which resulted in a brief chaos partly on acts of sabotage by affected workers- were part of Cyprus’s bailout terms, agreed with international creditors four years ago. Revenue from privatisations, initially estimated at €1.4bn, was supposed to help reduce government debt of €19bn, or 106 per cent of economic output at the end of 2016.President Nicos Anastasiades pledged, before his election in February 2013, that he would not privatise state-owned companies. His predecessor, the communist Demetris Christofias, agreed to ditch his resistance to privatisations in November 2012 and include them in a draft memorandum of understanding prepared by international lenders.Georgiades said in February 2015 that it regarded the privatisation programme not as a “cash-raising raising exercise but primarily as a reform” that would boost Cyprus’s competitiveness.“Akel stresses again the need to modernise state-owned corporations, to protect public property and interest,” Polycarpou said.The party dismissed the argument that Cyta is losing market share, arguing that it remained the most profitable state-owned enterprise.Cyta, whose workers enjoy similar salaries and other benefits to those of civil servants, which dwarf those of workers in the private sector, generated a profit of €58.9m after tax in 2015, compared to a net profit of €47.6m in 2014.Should the government succeed with its plan to establish a private company with a minority private investor, the setup will be similar to that of Cyprus Airways, the state-owned and subsidy-addicted airline which closed in January 2015 after it ran out of money. Private investors held roughly one-third of the Cyprus Airways stock.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more