Give your video projects a unique, stylized look with these FREE ink mattes from CreativeDojo!Premiumbeat blog friend VinhSon Nguyen from CreativeDojo.com has released a free pack of Ink Mattes. These unique textures can be used in a wide variety of video editing projects and are great for logo or title reveals.Details on the Ink Pack:20 Ink Mattes (.MOV)All 8 seconds long1920×1080 resolution60fpsPhotoJPEG compressionAs these are all video files (as opposed to filters or plugins), they can be brought into any video editing or motion design application (like AE, Final Cut Pro X or Premiere Pro). The pack contains “small ink mattes, large ink mattes, reversal mattes that bleed in and out, and many other variations” all in high resolution 1080 HD. To use the clips as a reveal, VinhSon recommends setting the ink clip on the top layer and choosing “layer matte inverted” from the blending modes. It’s a great way to create an organic ink look in After Effects!Jump over to CreativeDojo to snag the Ink pack download.Thanks for sharing, VinhSon Nguyen!
Justice Jayant Patel, former acting Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court and currently a judge in the Karnataka High Court has resigned from the Service. Though Justice Patel has not cited any reason for tendering resignation, sources said he was apparently unhappy since he was not made the Chief Justice in any High Court despite his seniority, and even after the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Gujarat High Court Bar Association have in the past raised the issue of his elevation as Chief Justice. It may be noted that as a senior judge of the Gujarat High Court, Justice Patel had ordered CBI probe in the controversial fake encounter of Ishrat Jahan and three others and monitored the case for more than six months.It was during his monitoring that the CBI filed charge sheet in the case naming top officials of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Gujarat police for staging the fake encounter. In Karnataka High Court, he was due for elevation as Chief Justice or Acting CJ but was instead transferred to Allahabad High Court where he was to be the third senior-most judge. Justice Jayant Patel sent his resignation to the Chief Justice’s office and the same has been accepted.
The state-wide shutdown called by the Congress and other opposition parties against rising fuel prices received a lukewarm response in the State.While Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers damaged a Pune Municipal Corporation bus in the city’s Kumthekar road area in the morning, it was business as usual for most shops and establishments across the city.Most petrol pumps, however, remained shut for security reasons. Schools and colleges continued to function normally. Robust security ensured that commute was not hit in Pune city. The Congress, NCP and MNS, took out major rallies.NCP MP Supriya Sule led the rally in Pune while senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil headed his party’s protest in Ahmednagar district. The ‘bandh’ received a marginally better response in Solapur district, with shops in Pandharpur taluk downing shutters in support of the shutdown. Bus services, however, were thrown awry in Nashik.The protest fared better in Marathwada. Protests and sit-ins were observed throughout Aurangabad, Beed and Jalna whereCongress workers were seen raising slogans against the Modi government, and mocking the BJP-led NDA for the sky-rocketing fuel prices.
Studying in a convent school is a different experience altogether. Right from hearing the school church’s enchanting bell, trying to impress the strict nuns, to singing hymns everyday in the assembly, those were the days which brings back the memories of studying in a strict convent environment, but with joy and enthusiasm. Convent schools are mostly considered to raise and nurture students in a strict atmosphere, but are also thought of as a stepping stone towards self discipline.We bring before you eight things which one can relate to, if they have studied in a convent institute: 1. Value education lessons:Every convent school had classes for value education, commonly known as ‘Moral science’. All the more, it was a proper subject which was mandatory for everyone to study and score good. There used to be narration of a story in every class held, and in the end, you were always asked about the moral of the story.2. Fascination towards the Church:School churches have always fascinated students not only because of the prayers held inside, but also due to its beautiful decoration, the gothic structure and the peace of mind one gets inside the same. 3. Four fingers above the knee rule:Yes, you read it right. If you have studied in a girls convent school, the length of your skirt or tunic was pre-decided and strictly mentioned in your school diary. Not an inch above and not an inch below, it had to be perfect four inches above the knee. Strict check regarding the same used to be kept during the assembly time, although later on, the length used to get reduced surprisingly by 6 to eight inches.advertisement 4. Musical environment:Apart from the regular prayers, Christmas was the time, when carols could be heard after every few hours in the school. There used to be Christmas carol competitions in which, the group which performed the best, used to be awarded. 5. Grammar Nazism:You cannot tolerate misplacement of punctuation marks and wrong pronunciations. English was the only language to be spoken inside the school premises and if you were found conversing in any other language, your fate would be to stand outside the class or take 3-4 rounds of the sports ground. 6. Future nuns:Almost every girl had wished to become a nun once in their convent school tenure. Visualising one in those long skirts and scarves along with the rosary used to be so alluring to the eyes. Although, after getting enlightened about the strict lifestyle rules which nuns have to follow, the reality was found to be better than dreams. 7. Haunted buildings:As most of the convent school buildings in India are old-built, stories regarding them being haunted used to scare as well as excite the students. If ever a building was found to be located at an isolated area, with giant trees all around, it used to be the favourite spot to play Sherlock Holmes or Truth and Dare.8. The sign of the cross during prayers:Irrespective of whichever faith you belonged to, you became habitual in making a sign of the cross while and after praying. You might also have tried to imitate the nuns and fathers doing the same, so as to do it with perfection. So much so that, even while passing by temples, mosques and other places of worship too, you started doing the same.
This jewelry designer is also an architect Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Fultz, who has been limited by injuries to 33 NBA games, begins training camp with “absolutely no limitations” said Jeff Weltman, Orlando’s president of basketball operations.Mo Bamba, the Magic’s first-round pick in 2018, can also be considered an addition, having missed the second half of last season with a stress fracture in his leg.With most other teams in the Eastern Conference having undergone roster changes, the Magic believe their strong finish last season was no fluke.“I can’t even think of a whole roster in the East right now,” said Ross, “but I’m confident in the way we play. I know we have a style. I know we have a way to play on defense, so I know we’re going to give ourselves a chance.”Clifford is excited about the Magic’s chances to get back to the playoffs — and make a deeper postseason run.ADVERTISEMENT DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Orlando Magic players, from left, Mo Bamba (5), Aaron Gordon (00), Jonathan Isaac and Terrence Ross (31) have some fun posing for photos during the NBA basketball team’s media day, Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Florida — The Orlando Magic will open training camp Tuesday with an expectation they haven’t had in many years — to win.After making the NBA playoffs for the first time in seven years, the Magic brought back every rotation player including Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ros after both signed four-year contracts this summer to stay in Orlando after becoming free agents.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ NCAA: San Beda dominates Letran to go 13-0 Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? “We were balanced the last 15 games — first in defense, 15th in offense,” Clifford said. “If you do that the whole year, you’re going to be a very good team. And in the playoffs, we came up short. So if we play well enough to get back, we have to be at a higher level.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Becoming his own man LATEST STORIES “If you look at all the teams in the past that brought back the same teams, like the Spurs, they always win,” said guard D.J. Augustin. “They keep the same culture and the same chemistry. It’s going to be great for our team. If we start how we finished last year, we can do amazing things this year.”Under first-year coach Steve Clifford, the Magic won 22 of their last 31 regular-season games to finish 42-40, then lost in five games to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40“Just to get a taste of the playoffs was a great feeling,” said forward Aaron Gordon. “We put together a great stretch after the All-Star break, and we knew with a couple of additions to the team, and keeping essentially the same team, we’ll have a good shot to achieve whatever we want to achieve.”A couple of players that will contribute — and who helping fuel the optimism — are forward Al-Farouq Aminu and Markelle Fultz. Aminu signed with the Magic as a free agent after four years in Portland; Fultz, the first overall pick in the 2017 draft, was acquired in a trade from Philadelphia in February. Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical View comments
Alex Carey will be given the opportunity to push for a top order spot at the World Cup when he opens the batting with Australia captain Aaron Finch against India in the first of three one-day matches in Sydney on Saturday.The 27-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has played just six previous one-day internationals and typically batted in the middle order, where he has scored 172 runs at an average of 34.40.Carey, however, is also an aggressive opening batsman in domestic Twenty20 cricket and Finch said the selectors wanted to see what options they had in their batting order as they prepare for their World Cup defence in England later this year.”It’s just an opportunity to see Alex play in a position he’s done quite bit in Big Bash and one-day cricket,” Finch told reporters on Friday, where he added that Peter Siddle would make his return to ODI cricket for the first time in eight years.”It’s a position he’s performed really well with in the last couple of years. We are starting to get a balanced side that we feel can adapt to a lot of different conditions.”Finch might project some overt confidence of his side’s chances against the Indians and the May. 30-July 14 World Cup, but they are arguably under more scrutiny than ever before.Aaron Finch didn’t know what to say about some of the shenanigans from his teammates in yesterday’s team photo!#AUSvIND | @alintaenergy pic.twitter.com/QSIsbzUGbwcricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 11, 2019The selections have been second-guessed by commentators and former players while current players have also openly voiced their concerns over the process.advertisementThe five-times world champions are also still reeling from the fallout of a ball-tampering scandal last March and the 12-month suspension of two of their best batsmen in Steve Smith and David Warner, while recent results have been terrible.Of their last 20 completed ODI matches they have won just three, but Finch said they still had time to fine tune selections and tactics ahead of their World Cup opener against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.”It’s still enough time to get it right and make sure, come that World Cup, that we are ready to go with a really balanced and settled side,” Finch said of the current series and five more one-dayers in India in March.Siddle, who last played a ODI in November, 2010, was also given the opportunity to force his way into World Cup contention after being selected on the back of recent domestic Twenty20 form while first-choice pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were rested.The 34-year-old Siddle said he was feeling “like a young kid” after being selected again and that his success in the shorter format could help with the 50-over game.”If there’s ever a good way to learn fast, how to develop skills in white-ball cricket, it’s definitely the T20 format,” Siddle told reporters.”You have to learn quickly, learn on your feet and if you don’t execute the deliveries, you obviously cop it a lot in the shortest format. That’s definitely helped my 50-over form.”Australia Playing XI: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (wk), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff.Also Read | Australia cricket stars doff their hats to MS Dhoni: He is a legendAlso Read | Looking forward to playing with Warner again, says Bancroft despite ball-tampering fiascoAlso Read | Australia to sport retro look from 1986 for ODI series vs IndiaAlso Watch:
That was it. I didn’t know … but I knew. I knew what had happened. Mark Cooper is a Tulsa World reporter (and a good one), and I knew he was at the game and probably 15 seconds ahead of me. As soon as I saw the “M” in that tweet, I knew I wasn’t going to see my family for the next 12 hours. That was followed by a string of “OMG” tweets from other people before Twitter literally broke for me. Like my Twitter for Mac app literally did not work because of the traffic. Cooper Rush broke my Twitter.Then the next tweet I saw, I’m not kidding, was this one:In Gundy’s defense he’s only been around college football for like 30 years— Dave Hudson (@okc_dave) September 10, 2016It made me laugh a lot. The entire 20 minutes was insane. I was franticly Slacking Kyle Boone fire emojis and he was asking me legitimate questions like, “what do you want me to write about?” that I had no idea how to answer. I’ll never forget seeing that Cooper tweet. It was my “oh, Weeden just threw a pick in Ames, eh” moment of this year.3. Mike Holder, bossThe strongest response of all came from Holder who called the entire thing “incomprehensible.” That’s the proper response from the proper person with enough distance from the situation. It would be difficult for Mike Gundy or any of the other coaches to take this stand because it would make them look whiney and weak. But Holder has the clout and the cachet to use these words, and he did so very well.4. How Did Nobody Know the rule?Carson Cunningham said this at some point in the insane postgame, but how did nobody associated with the Oklahoma State football program know that the CMU play at the end of the game should not have happened? I get that everything happened really quickly, but you would think someone in the organization would have radioed Gundy. From that point Gundy should have ran to the 50 yard line, signaled Larry Reece to hit the music and done The Gundy on loop until officials sorted everything out and declared the game and OSU the winner.How great would that have been, by the way?5. That Play ThoughCan we talk about the actual mechanics of the play? It has to be up there with the Nebraska catch against Mizzou, the Tyrone Prothro and the Kordell Stewart play in Boulder against Michigan (these are just the ones I thought of off the top of my head) as one of the craziest plays of the last 25 years.Central Michigan miracle win pic.twitter.com/dJ0QtNw7r9— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 10, 2016The pitch back hail mary is a play we used often in co-ed flag football. Nolan Cox (whose brother Mason is much more famous and likable) is 6’6″ and we used to run him to the corner of the end zone and just heave it up to him. The rule in co-ed flag football is that you had to complete a pass to a girl every other play (or something like that) but it would count if the girl caught a pitch back before Nolan’s feet hit the ground.So we would throw him the jump ball, he would pitch it back to a girl and we would have our completion. It actually worked a lot. Except that we weren’t using it to beat a Big 12 favorite at home in September on an untimed down at the end of the most insane game many of us have ever seen. Other than that, basically the same.6. What should happen?I thought Berry Tramel’s column about how CMU should give the game back was interesting but not realistic or necessarily what should happen. Here’s the thing that really irks me — who is in charge here? We had statements from the Big 12, the MAC, the athletic directors and basically everybody weighed in except for a liquored-up Dan Beebe sipping a Mai Tai from a Caribbean hut (#buyoutlife). But does anyone know who has the governing authority to nullify or solidify a win? Is it one of the conferences? The conference whose referees were used? Bob Bowlsby? The CFP committee? John Skipper? President Obama?It *should* be the NCAA. College football is too big and too important to not have a clarified governing body with a legitimate commissioner to make decisions like this. It’s insane that this is not a reality for what has become probably the third-most popular sport in the nation. It’s 2016, $932 billion is made on college football every year (approximately), and nobody actually knows who’s in charge.Would it change anything if there was a centralized governing body that everyone knew was the centralized governing body? Probably not, but like OSU changed the college football playoff system, maybe it can help affect change here as well. It already has in some ways. As a buddy said to me in church this morning: “Well, it sucks for you guys. But at least you know it will never happen again.”If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! I’ve had some time to sleep on everything (not that that helped anything), but I’m back fresh with a few thoughts on the final fiasco that unfolded at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday afternoon. I already did my 10 Thoughts on the game here so I’ll limit these thoughts to simply the intentional grounding call and subsequent play of the year from CMU.1. Gundy’s Big GaffeIt still seems impossible that Mike Gundy did not know that intentional grounding would be called on Mason Rudolph. I wouldn’t even be as flummoxed if he thought it would be waived off because it was the end of the game (that I would sort of understand), but he seemingly thought it would not be called at all. Did he think the refs had a lunch appointment at Chili’s and had to get out of dodge? That they would look past the throw right at his mullet and simply “do the right thing”?I’d like to know exactly what the thinking was here. And why Justice Hill is not running down the Cimarron Turnpike with the football as I write this with the final score of 27-26 Cowboys because he ran out the east end zone as time expired and never stopped. A lot of people will think about that play for a long time (Gundy included).2. When did you know?Everyone will have a different “this is when I knew … ” story 10 years from now. Here’s mine. I watch the games on the Fox Sports Go feed on my computer because you can rewind and fast-forward so I can cut GIFs and videos for you guys while the game is going on. It’s proven to be a really good resource for me in running this site. It’s how we were able to get the video of the last two plays up so quickly.The problem is that the feed is probably 10-20 seconds behind the real-time feed so Twitter is sort of a mess during the game. I don’t really want to know what’s happening via Twitter, but it’s also helpful so I sort of keep it rolling but try to not look every two seconds (#firstworldproblems). So anyway, I have the feed up and I’m tweeting about things like this as CMU gets lined up for the play:I’ll never blog again if it goes down like this.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 10, 2016Then all of a sudden I see this tweet.OMG— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) September 10, 2016
zoom Houston-based project, breakbulk and heavy lift cargo transporter Intermarine, LLC, has added the 19,450 dwt super heavylifter Industrial Grace to its global fleet.The 2010-built P2 type vessel with 2 X 700 ton cranes recently completed her five-year dry-docking in Bremen, Germany, and has joined Intermarine’s fleet as of August 10.She is the fourth G-Class ship to enter the company’s “Fleet of the Future” in 2015, following the Globe, Grand and Glory.Intermarine’s “Fleet of the Future” also includes a newbuilding program for the construction and delivery of more than 20 ships from 2016 to 2018.”As we listen to our customers there is a strong interest in increased lifting capabilities for a small but important segment of clients,” said Al Stanley, President and CEO of Intermarine.”As we execute on our broader “Fleet of the Future” campaign, we have also investigated specific specialty vessels in the existing global pool. The Grace is a fine example of an opportunity where we were able to align our customers’ needs, our relationships with respected owners and our financial strength for a winning solution.”Industrial Grace was previously owned by Hansa Heavy Lift of Germany under the name of HHL Macao, and was chartered out to Beluga Shipping.
Los Angeles: Singer Lorde has revealed she is currently busy creating music for her third album. The 22-year-old singer, whose real name is Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, made the announcement on Instagram celebrating the two-year anniversary of her acclaimed 2017 LP ‘Melodrama’. “I was such a baby making that work, lots of emotions and learning so much all the time. Feels like I’ve grown a lot since then, I’ve been to Antarctica, I have a dog now and a cat and I can bake bread and cook dinner and keep plants alive etc. Also Read – Rihanna to release 500-page ‘visual’ autobiography”It’s a good life you’ve given me. Thank you thank you. Third one in the oven,” Lorde wrote. The singer also thanked her fans for their constant support and love. “‘Melodrama’ came out two years ago… Want to say thankyou for how you took that record and made it your own. Swells my da*n heart thinking about your love for it and your willingness to go there with me and to dance the way that we did together,” she said. “The day it came out I did a jigsaw puzzle all day in my hotel room in NY. I felt so emptied, I didn’t really know yet that you make a record and get filled up, and then releasing it empties you and slowly fills you up again.”
TROIS-RIVIERES, – A fifth member of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard’s Liberal cabinet has announced she won’t seek re-election later this year.Tourism Minister Julie Boulet said Monday she no longer has the energy or the motivation to run again.“Politics has occupied an important place in my life, but the frantic pace, the demanding schedules and having to be so widely available to do my job properly led me to make this difficult decision,” she told a news conference in Trois-Rivieres.Boulet, 58, has been a member of the legislature since 2001 when she was elected in the riding of Laviolette in a byelection.She has held various other cabinet portfolios over the years, including transport and employment.“Today, I can announce I am leaving and tell myself, ‘Mission accomplished,’” Boulet said.“But I’m having mixed feelings. I’m proud to have had a rich and thrilling professional life, but I’m also sad to be leaving my constituents who have been like a big family for me,” she said.Before entering politics, Boulet was a pharmacist and pharmacy owner in Saint-Tite.She joins fellow cabinet ministers Martin Coiteux, Stephanie Vallee, Jean-Marc Fournier and David Heurtel in deciding to pack it in.Two other cabinet ministers are reportedly contemplating their futures — Agriculture Minister Laurent Lessard and Native Affairs Minister Geoffrey Kelley.About 10 Liberal backbenchers have also confirmed they won’t seek re-election in the Oct. 1 vote.
Advertisement First responders respond to emergency calls that take an unexpected turn in ‘Paranormal 911,’ airing on T+E on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET. (Blue Ant Media) On this week’s episode of the Dark Poutine podcast, we learn about one of Canada’s most documented and as-yet-unexplained paranormal events.For this, we have to go back in time to 1878 in Amherst, N.S. Esther Cox, an ordinary 18-year-old, was at the centre of these horrific psychic attacks, which some people attributed to poltergeists. It began with the feeling of something under the bed, then odd noises and Cox suffering a weird illness. The events went on for months, eventually leading to items flying around the home and mysterious fires being set, seemingly out of nowhere. Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With:
Chris Stewart APTN National NewsIt’s a long drive, let alone a walk.But that’s what Stanley Barkman did when he left Sioux Lookout in Ontario last month for Fort McMurray.Over 2,000 km later Barkman arrived at the fire ravaged city in northern Alberta.He did so to raise money for the people affected by the wildfire.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — PolyMet Mining Corp. has received the final permit it needs to proceed with building Minnesota’s first copper-nickel mine, the company and the Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday.The Corps said it issued the permit late Tuesday. It deals with the steps PolyMet must take to mitigate the project’s effects on wetlands. The announcement said the project will impact 500 fewer acres of wetlands than PolyMet’s original proposal.“We are confident that we have identified an appropriately balanced alternative and proffered a permit that will allow access to an important mineral resource, while maximizing protection to natural resources including wetlands,” Col. Sam Calkins, commander of the Corps’ St Paul District, said in a statement.In a separate statement, PolyMet called it a “historic achievement” that will let it move forward with Minnesota’s first copper-nickel-precious mine.“It’s a really big day for us,” spokesman Bruce Richardson said.PolyMet and its supporters say the projects near Hoyt Lakes and Babbitt would create hundreds of jobs in northeastern Minnesota. Environmentalists have long fought the project because the vast but untapped reserves of copper, nickel and precious metals underneath the region are in the form of sulfide minerals, which can leach sulfuric acid and other toxic chemicals when exposed to the environment. They’ve also raised questions about the safety of the dam that will hold back its mine waste pond.Minnesota regulators issued the other key permits for the project last year. But the mine still faces litigation that could hold it up, including challenges to its state-issued permits before the Minnesota Court of Appeals and lawsuits pending in federal court that seek to void a land swap between the company and the federal government.Polymet’s critics denounced the final permit. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy tweeted that it will lead to the largest permitted destruction of wetlands in Minnesota history.“Nearly a thousand acres of irreplaceable wetlands will be destroyed, and thousands of acres will be adversely impacted by PolyMet’s toxic copper-sulfide mine. This is an unacceptable degradation of the headwaters of Lake Superior and must be stopped,” said Lori Andresen, president of Save Our Sky Blue Waters, said in a statement.While a lot of site preparation work and planning for final engineering and construction work is underway, Richardson said PolyMet’s focus now shifts to raising the $945 million it needs for construction financing. That process could take several months, he said.The financial work also includes paying off debt coming due to PolyMet’s largest investor, Swiss commodities giant Glencore AG. PolyMet’s statement also announced an agreement with Glencore on how they’ll proceed with that.“We would not be where we are today, we would not have these permits, without the support and backing of Glencore,” Richardson said. “This agreement shows that they continue to support and have confidence in this project.”Steve Karnowski, The Associated Press
He said that Sri Lanka was working with several countries, including Malaysia, to share intelligence information. (Colombo Gazette) Wijewardena however said the Government will take all measures to protect the unity of Sri Lanka as it takes forward the reconciliation process. He also insisted that the Government is not looking at arresting soldiers over false claims as alleged by the opposition.The State Minister also denied claims that Sri Lanka’s intelligence service was facing issues or was under pressure from the Government. The Government insists it will not allow the country to be divided or National security to be placed in jeopardy.State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena said that while the Government and politicians in the North may discuss devolution of power, it will not be done at the expense of harming the unity of the country. The Northern Provincial Council had last week called for a separate State for Tamil speaking people.
Exiled Tamil victims of alleged war crimes and torture say they would testify by video to a special court in Sri Lanka only if international judges were involved and their identities protected, says a new study.This comes as Sri Lanka is under scrutiny at the Human Rights Council in Geneva this week for its progress in implementing a transitional justice programme it outlined nine months ago and agreed to in a consensus. “it’s important that thousands of Tamils who’ve fled Sri Lanka have a voice, especially as some are the only known surviving witnesses to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity”. Victims interviewed in the study clearly identified their top priority as criminal accountability, including the prosecution of those who were in positions of superior and command responsibility. Sri Lanka currently has no legislation incorporating superior and command responsibility.Victims were also clear that all of the transitional justice mechanisms, particularly the special court, must have a majority international staff in the form of judges, prosecutors, investigators and commissioners so as to guarantee independence and inspire their trust. They were clear that no amnesty should be offered for international crimes. 44% of those interviewed reported that a close family member had been tortured. In some cases multiple generations had been tortured as a result of the conflict. “What is often under-reported is the extent of violations inflicted on the entire family, be it torture, reprisals or extortion. Worryingly several people reported that their families were still being harassed or threatened after the change of government in Sri Lanka in 2015 and this cannot create a conducive atmosphere in which to conduct national consultations,” Sooka said. The ITJP study found the level of mistrust in the Government was very high; 94% of those interviewed did not think Sri Lankan officials would take any notice of their views. There was also a marked distrust of the international community, including the United Nations, because of a perception that many countries are now blindly supporting the new government in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) “These findings have huge implications for the design of the transitional justice mechanisms in Sri Lanka,” Yasmin Sooka said, “donors, the international community and the Government of Sri Lanka must take note and facilitate the participation of these victims”.“The recent publication of Sri Lanka’s law establishing an Office of Missing Persons without input from the families of victims and civil society is contrary to the spirit of the UN resolution and the normative framework for participation and consultation. The Sri Lankan law is problematic as it does not deal with the criminal aspects of enforced disappearances.”The latest study by the International Truth and Justice Project is based on interviews with 75 Tamil victims in four different European countries. The majority had survived the final phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009 and 73% had been subjected to torture by the security forces after the fighting stopped, 54% to rape or other forms of sexual violence. “To our knowledge this is only the third time – after Sierra Leone and Liberia – that victims outside a country have been consulted during a transitional justice process,” said its author, Yasmin Sooka,
“I invite you to join me in dedicating this year this year to those three great tasks: to refocus the world’s attention and resources on the needs and fears of the poor; to strengthen our system of collective security, so that no State feels it has to face global threats on its own; and to overcome distrust and division between people of different faiths and cultures, so that we can all live together in harmony and mutual respect,” he said in the prepared text of his address on accepting the German Media Award in Baden-Baden, Germany.The jury for the prize – which is based on a poll of the editors of the country’s most important media – said the Secretary-General “stands, like no other politician, for the basic ideals of the United Nations, striving for a better organized and peaceful world.”On helping the poor, the Secretary-General recalled the pledges world leaders made in 2000 at a UN summit to halve poverty and hunger, halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and other major diseases, and improve the lives of 100 million slum-dwellers, all by 2015.”Last year we let ourselves be distracted from these vital tasks,” he said. “We were concerned – and rightly so – with issues of peace and security.”At the same time, he warned that “there will be no peace and no security, even for the most privileged amongst us, in a world that remains divided between extremes of wealth and poverty, health and disease, knowledge and ignorance, freedom and oppression.”The Secretary-General said that to help repair the system of collective security, he has asked a 16-member blue-ribbon panel, which he appointed last November, to recommend ways of dealing with threats and challenges to peace and security in the 21st century. “The object of the exercise is to find a credible and convincing collective answer to the challenges of our time.”As for rebuilding trust and confidence between peoples of different faiths and cultures, Mr. Annan noted that many recent events – including the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the war in Iraq and the continuing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians – have pushed the international community dangerously close to a “clash of civilizations.””We must resist this,” he said. “We must deal with all our fellow human beings fairly and objectively, judging them by their own individual words and actions, and not on the basis of generalizations or preconceptions about the group to which we think they belong.”Earlier Wednesday, the Secretary-General said at a press encounter that he was in touch with parties in Iraq and was still considering how best the UN can help following the request Monday by the coalition and the Iraqi Governing Council that he send a team to Iraq to assess the transition process, including elections and the proposed caucus system, before the return of sovereignty at the end of June.”Once I have completed my reflection, and we have studied the documents, I will decide how best the UN can help and I will make a decision and an announcement as to what I am going to do. But I am still considering it,” he told reporters following his meeting with Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.In addition to Iraq, the two also discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan, UN-German relations and the Secretary-General’s high-level panel on UN change.Asked about the political situation in Iran, the Secretary-General expressed his hope that Iranians would find a way to resolve their differences so that they could hold “free and fair elections with participation of all the parties.”On UN efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, Mr. Annan said his settlement proposal was still on the table and that he was waiting to hear from all parties that they are ready to resume negotiations.”We haven’t reached the stage where I would get involved yet,” he said, adding that he expected to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Davos, Switzerland, in the coming days.More photos of Mr. Annan’s visit
9to5mac has been doing some homework and has come to the conclusion that the iPad 2 isn’t far off. Earlier today we got a look at a possible iPad 2 case but, let’s face it, case leaks happen all the time. This article notes a few prominent retailers that have either discounted the iPad or sold out of it altogether, which leads the author to believe that Apple hasn’t been able to replenish supplies. And why would Apple not be able to do that? It stands to reason that it’s because the second iPad is just around the bend.iPad shortages have been noted at the UK’s Carphone Warehouse, Europe’s Ingram Micro, and Canada’s Future Shop. Discounts on the tablet have been made available at T-Mobile and Orange according to Tech Radar. In my research of Apple.com sites of major European countries the iPad seems to be in stock in every capacity in both the 3G and WiFi variants, but it wouldn’t be strange for resellers to sell out of the device before Apple does.If the iPad is becoming scarce now, in late February, then the rumored March release date for the iPad 2 doesn’t seem very far-fetched. We still haven’t heard about an announcement keynote yet and the shortages/discounts seem limited to a few key sellers, but all this evidence seems to add up to one thing: the iPad 2 can’t be that far off.Read more at 9to5mac
Fan Expo Canada welcomed its 23rd year this past Labor Day weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the heart of Toronto, Ontario. This year’s guest list featured mainstream notables Tim Curry and Richard Dreyfuss, comics creators Jim Lee and Adam Hughes, animation stars such as Justin Roiland of Rick and Morty fame, and cosplay guests including Jessica Nigri.With a star-studded guest line-up, an expansive artist alley, and a geek marketplace full of toys and collectibles, Fan Expo Canada was a four-day multimedia experience that offered something for everyone. For attendees who didn’t mind waiting in line, this year’s show floor included a Thor: Ragnarok costume exhibit, Star Trek laser tag, a spooky VR experience promoting the upcoming It movie, and a variety of food vendors that sold poutine (yay) but lacked chicken tenders (boo).For those looking to shop, the exhibit halls were filled to the brim with vendors selling virtually anything to satisfy your nerdy needs: comics, toys (both new and vintage), homemade crafts, geeky apparel, cosplay items, and a booth selling bones and other oddities (at which, I definitely spent too much time lurking). Similarly, the artist alley featured rows upon rows of creators selling their wares, including original artwork, comics, enamel pins, and more.Fan Expo Canada 2017 drew a hefty attendance that undoubtedly surpassed last year’s count of 130,000+ fans, which made the exhibit halls feel as busy and crowded as San Diego Comic Con or New York Comic Con. Despite the massive crowds and lines, plenty of con-goers were still able to suit up to the nines, whether they were entering the costume contest, wandering the convention halls with friends, or dressing up for their very first time. Luckily, I was able to capture a sample of some of Toronto’s finest in cosplay craftsmanship.All photos by Betty Felon.View as: One Page Slides1. Viktor Nikiforov, Yuri Katsuki, & Yuri Plisetsky (Yuri!!! On Ice)2. Quentin Quire (X-Men)3. Black Panther4. Yondu (Guardians of the Galaxy)5. America Chavez6. Pidgey & Pokemon Trainer7. Rey (Star Wars)8. Bat-Mite9. Huntress10. Starfire, Nightwing, & Batgirl11. Zant, Link, & Skull Kid (The Legend of Zelda)12. Josie & The Pussycats13. Professor X (X-Men)14. Tomoyo, Kero, & Sakura (Cardcaptor Sakura)15. Thanos16. Loki17. Finn & Rey (Star Wars)18. Android 18, Vegeta, & Bulma19. Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service)20. Batgirl & Commissioner Gordon21. Guardian (The Legend of Zelda)22. Lottie (Snotgirl)23. Spider-Gwen24. Jewel25. Froppy, Deku, & Uravity (My Hero Academia)Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target 11 Things We’re Looking Forward to at PAX WestPhotos: Best Cosplay at San Diego Comic-Con 2019
Stay on target These Are the Games You Should Check Out in March 2019Red Storm’s Terry Spier on ‘The Division 2’ Campaign a… I’ll be honest, I initially had next to no interest in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. I played the original game when it launched in 2016 and quickly lost interest after reaching the level cap. Though the core third person cover-based looter shooter mechanics were sound, there just wasn’t enough content to keep me interested for long. Thankfully, I didn’t have this issue with The Division 2. Developers Massive Entertainment and Red Storm Studios listened to fans and delivered a title bursting at the seams with content. After playing it for nearly 100 hours, I’m still not done yet. It’s a testament to how much there is to do in the game.The Division 2 takes place in Washington D.C., which is now a wasteland thanks to the same viral infection that devastated New York City seven months prior. Players assume the role of a Division agent tasked with restoring order to the nation’s capital. This means facing off against various well-armed factions and aiding citizens. On top of that, players must also get their hands on a possible cure for the devastating virus. The plot is interesting but not all that deep. It mainly serves as a vehicle to get you from set piece to set piece.Controls are virtually unchanged since the last entry. This is great considering how tight the mechanics were to begin with. Using all of the different weapons feels satisfying, as is running from cover point to cover point. It’s crazy how the third person shooting is an aspect few discuss since it’s some of the best out there. There are no bad weapons in your arsenal, which means anything you bring to the battlefield is viable. I do wish you could bring more than two weapons and a handgun with you, but this is a small gripe.AdChoices广告The other half of The Division 2 is finding loot. Enemies scale to your current level, so you’ll need the best gear possible. You get items such as backpacks, knee pads, body armor, and weapons from completing missions, defeating foes, and discovering them in the open world. Getting new gear is addictive, and it’s easy to spend hours grinding away for better loot. Even if you only play for 30 minutes you’ll get enough loot to make a meaningful impact on your stats.One of my personal complaints with the first game is how lifeless the world felt. The only people I ever ran into were enemies. This isn’t a problem with The Division 2. There are several settlements populated by civilians who are trying to survive. Visiting a settlement with children playing, folks singing, and gardening is a nice change of pace from the constant battles. Your actions help settlements, and it’s satisfying to see them grow and evolve over time. You’ll even run into civilians in the open world as they transport goods or go on patrols. These NPCs make the world of The Division 2 feel alive and help you connect with it.Activities come in the form of main missions, side missions, control points, territory control, convoy ambushes, assassinations, and collectibles. Main and side missions not only award the most experience points, but they also drive the narrative of The Division 2. The other activities reward players with loot. The world map is huge but not overwhelming and you’ll quickly learn how to navigate through it. It can sometimes feel as if there’s too much to do, but you’re not forced into completing every activity. If you want to go crazy and do everything available, you can. If you only want to do select missions, that’s fine too.The Division’s famous Dark Zone makes a comeback, only this time it’s three separate Dark Zones. This is where you’ll find the absolute best loot. It’s also where you can die at the hands of other players who want to take your hard-earned goodies. Dark Zones are normalized, with everyone’s gear being at the same level. This ensures an even playing field. However, there are also occupied Dark Zones where player stats aren’t normalized. Players who brave these zones must have the very best gear equipped in order to survive. Make no mistake, Dark Zones provide the most harrowing experiences in the game and are a lot of fun if you’re up to the challenge.Those who want a more traditional multiplayer experience can get their fix with a PVP mode called Conflict. Conflict has two different modes: Skirmish and Domination. The former is classic team death match while the latter has players controlling sections of the map. Like Dark Zones, Conflict is normalized. Victory in Conflict earns players some of the best loot in the whole game. Even if you’re not into PVP, it’s worth trying out Conflict for the chance to get some sweet gear.Endgame is where things get really interesting. Instead of a character level, you progress with Gear Level. You’ll need to get as high a Gear Level for your World Tier as possible thanks to an enemy faction called the Black Tusks. These foes behave like players, and use advanced tactics like flanking to get the drop on you. Their army of robots don’t make things any easier. Endgame forces you to alter your tried-and-true tactics, which really enhance the overall gameplay. While you are essentially replaying the same missions in Endgame, the fact you must contend with Black Tusks makes things considerably different (and exciting).While you can certainly play The Division 2 on your own, the game is a hell of a lot more fun with friends. The enemy loves to flank you (especially the Black Tusks), so having a buddy watching your back is beneficial. You’ll also want to have friends around to revive you should you fall. Dark Zones are places you definitely want to enter with friends. The only complaint I have with co-op at the time if this writing is how unbalanced it becomes when you have four players in a party. In some cases it’s easier playing with two players than four because of how difficult things get. But this is something the devs can easily rectify. That issue aside, co-op is a pure blast and highly recommended.I can’t end this review without talking about The Division 2’s graphics. Like it’s predecessor, the game runs on the Snowdrop engine, which does a marvelous job of bringing the post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. to life. Everything from dense city streets, suburban neighborhoods, and lush swamps are extremely believable. The world looks as great at night as it does during the day, though it can sometimes get too dark. No matter if you play The Division 2 on consoles or PC, you’re in for a visual treat. This is one of the best looking games out there.Like I’ve said, I’ve sunk many many hours into The Division 2. Even though I’ve reached the Gear Level cap for World Tier 4, I still want to keep playing. Thankfully, players will get more content over the coming year. Best of all, it’s all completely free. I really have to commend Massive Entertainment and Red Storm Studios for delivering on all of their promises with this title. As far as I’m concerned, this is the only looter shooter worth playing. While I wish the narrative was more compelling, I’m having too much fun blasting enemies away to worry about that. The Division 2 is just bad-ass.Get The Division 2 on Amazon.comMore on Geek.com:‘Telling Lies’ Is a New Live-Action Video Game MysteryThe Witcher’s ‘Gwent’ Coming Soon to Mobile‘Wolfenstein: Youngblood’ Teases Hot Co-op Nazi-Killing Action