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SP bond rating agency hands BC highest mark confirming healthy economy

first_imgVICTORIA – British Columbia’s finance minister is pointing to what she says is another confirmation of the province’s healthy economy.Bond rating agency Standard and Poor’s has confirmed B.C.’s triple-A long-term credit rating.James says in a release that the rating reflects the province’s superior financial management practices, strong economy and robust liquidity.B.C. has been rated triple-A with Standard and Poor’s since May 2007, when the province was upgraded from a double-A plus rating.The release from the Finance Ministry says B.C. is the only province rated triple-A with all three international credit rating agencies, which include Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch.James says the latest rating report verifies that B.C.’s path forward is a fiscally prudent one.“Our government will continue to take action to make life more affordable, improve the services that British Columbians count on, and ensure strong economic growth that benefits the entire province,” James says in the release.The Standard and Poor’s report says one of B.C.’s greatest credit strengths is its diversified and healthy economy.“Large resource endowments, high-ranking livability and close proximity to Asian markets underpin its affluent tax base,” it says.The report says that when the total of all B.C.’s goods and services is divided by its population, the estimate per person is more than US$42,800, based on a three-year average.The findings also forecast continued strong performance, in part because the bond rating agency says the province has protected itself from the uncertainties of United States fiscal and trade policies by expanding trade with other partners, particularly in Asia.“We believe that the province’s near-term economic prospects are healthier than those of most other Canadian provinces because of B.C.’s relatively diversified economic base, which provides revenue diversification and resiliency,” the report says.last_img read more

NIRF ranks: CU, JU among top ten varsities in India

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta University (CU) and Jadavpur University (JU) have made it to the list of the top ten universities across the country in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking that was launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Monday.CU has bagged the fifth spot while JU featured in the sixth spot. In the overall ranking of institutions across the country CU has bagged the 12th spot while JU has come 13th. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaCU Vice-Chancellor Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee is elated with the performance of the university that had jumped to the fifth spot from 14 last year. “It is a result of our teamwork and our constant effort in upgradation of our academics and research. “We have already started developing the infrastructure of having an integrated system linking all our campus,” Banerjee said. A senior university official said that they have been able to compile several research works undertaken in various campuses of the varsity under a single umbrella which contributed to the jump in ranking of the university. ” Our aim is to figure at the top spot and for this we are taking new decisions to raise the academic and research standard of the varsity,” Banerjee added. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayJU had ranked fifth among the universities in 2017 and slipped to sixth in 2018. It remained in the sixth spot this year too. Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das said it is great news for Bengal with two of its universities figuring in top 10. “I feel very happy because I was also associated with CU for many years,” Das said. Academicians, however, feel that several instances of student movements in JU in has contributed to its remaining in the same spot. In fact, in the span of one month in February-March students’ movement had led to the gherao of senior officials of the university at least four times. “NIRF rankings give an academic recognition to a university and help the institution to have an edge in getting foreign funds,” a senior JU professor said. Two colleges in Bengal have also figured in the top ten colleges across the country. Ramkrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College in Rahara, North 24 Parganas has bagged the eighth spot while St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata has ranked 10th. IIT Kharagpur has bagged the 5th position in the overall ranking of institutions and has come 4th in the list of engineering institutes. Indian Institute of Management in Kolkata has bagged the third position in the category of management institutes.last_img read more

At least 7 killed in China’s latest industrial accident

BEIJING — Authorities say at least seven people were killed and five injured when a container containing scrap metal exploded in the latest in a series of industrial accidents in eastern China.Sunday morning’s blast in the city of Kunshan in Jiangsu province caused a fire that spread to a nearby workshop. The Kunshan city government said on its microblog that the cause of the explosion is under investigation.In March, 78 people were killed in a blast at a chemical plan in the Jiangsu province city of Yancheng that had numerous safety violations. In November, at least 22 people were killed and scores of vehicles destroyed in an explosion outside a chemical plant in the northeastern city of Zhangjiakou, which will host competitions in the 2022 Winter Olympics.The Associated Press

SecretaryGeneral calls for worlds assistance to bring stability to Somalia

The country has been wracked by deadly clashes in recent weeks, and according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 340,000 people – roughly one-third of the city’s population – have fled the violence in the capital Mogadishu since the start of February, while at least 1,000 have sustained injuries.“The international community should fully cooperate and give some concerted efforts to restore peace and security in that country,” Mr. Ban told reporters in New York.Since the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopian forces, dislodged the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from the capital and much of the country last December, there has been an upsurge in violence. Clan-based militias have also been involved in the clashes.“I am also very much troubled by the fact that the Transitional Federal Government is [not] able to sustain the momentum thus created politically,” Mr. Ban noted.He also urged for plans to convene a National Reconciliation Congress, which have been postponed until next month, to continue. Recognizing that such a Congress will have logistical and financial difficulties, he appealed to the international community for assistance.“We have seen in the last 10 days or so some of the worst fighting in Mogadishu that the city has seen in the last 15 or 16 years,” John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said at a press briefing in Geneva today.He stressed that “the rules of international humanitarian law are being flouted by all sides in Mogadishu,” which has witnessed the largest displacement of people in the world this year. He added that civilians have been caught in the crossfire, there is indiscriminate shelling and missiles have been seen hitting hospitals.Mr. Holmes argued that the dire humanitarian situation is not entirely a question of adequate resources, but rather of access and security. Aid workers endeavouring to assist those in need have been thwarted by the unstable security situation as well as by the TFG.“Getting aid to [those who have fled Mogadishu] is proving very difficult” due to both the insecurity and the blockage of roads by the military. He also mentioned a distribution by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) “which was halted because the Government said they had not inspected the food themselves, which seems inappropriate in an emergency situation.”Although the TFG agreed during a meeting with the UN’s Somalia Country Team this week to allow humanitarian workers access to Mogadishu’s airports, he said that OCHA is “waiting to see whether that agreement in principle is translated into practice.”Another major public health concern is the outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea, which OCHA reports has affected 17,000 people and killed 600 in south-central Somalia, which includes Mogadishu and surrounding areas.“A particular concern is that the rainy season is approaching, which will obviously exacerbate these health problems very considerably,” Mr. Holmes said.Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners on the ground have distributed urgently needed supplies to over 35,000 people who have fled the capital and are currently residing in the small town of Afgooye, 30 kilometres west of Mogadishu.Despite the influx of aid, the town, sheltering more than 41,000 displaced, is overwhelmed by the constant stream of desperate people who are seeking help and safety.“People living in Afgooye are scared because the fighting might spread along the road from Mogadishu,” a UNHCR staff member said of the increasingly chaotic situation in the town. “They also fear the increasing theft and burglary and the gangs that roam the town, which used to be safe.”Many residents have already taken in family members and friends who have escaped the capital, and the town has run out of shelter space. Many families are living under plastic sheeting supplied by UNHCR to protect them from the weather, and prices have surged in local shops due to the increased demand. Local landowners are even charging rent to people seeking sanctuary under their trees.“People in Afgooye are extremely poor, most of them live on less than a dollar a day, and now they can no longer afford the prices which rise day after day,” the UNHCR staffer said. “Some shopowners and landowners make a lot of money by demanding unaffordable prices.”Explosions and military activity on the road linking the town to Mogadishu have forced it to close, and the closure of a bridge on the town’s end has blocked trucks carrying UNHCR supplies.Despite the obstacles, the agency plans to distribute a second round of relief items – including plastic sheeting, mattresses and kitchen utensils, all of which have been airlifted from Dubai – this week for an additional 13,500 people. 26 April 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his grave concern about the intensified violence in Somalia, and called on the world to step up its assistance to the war-torn East African nation. read more

Halal logo withdrawn following tensions

The Venaerable Bellanwila Wimala Rathana thero, addressing the joint media briefing today, said that as monks they were glad the issue was brought to light.He said that he was also glad that in the end the issue was resolved amicably in a manner which did not affect the co-existence of the communities.He said that the Mahanayaka theros in Kandy will be informed of the decision taken on the Halal certification. (Colombo Gazette) Meanwhile the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said it did not expect the withdrawing of the logo for products sold locally to have an impact on businesses.Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of the Chamber said that the Halal logo will be imprinted on products sent to some countries like in the Middle East and the Maldives where it is compulsory for the logo to be on food products.The issue over the Halal certification arose after the Bodu Bala Sena campaigned against it and demanded its complete withdrawal. ACJU President Rizvi Mufthi said that the Halal certification was issued as a service to the Muslims and was not compulsory. He said that the money obtained to issue the certificate was used to cover the overhead costs.“But this led to a situation which affected the co-existence of the communities so we decided to do away with the logo,” he said. The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) says it has decided to withdraw the Halal logo from local food products as a result of the tensions which arose in the country recently.Addressing a joint media briefing today between the ACJU, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and a group of senior Buddhist monks, the ACJU said that the Halal logo will not be issued in future for products sold locally. Report by Easwaran Rutnam The monks questioned the need for the ACJU to be paid for the Halal certification. However the logo will be made available as an option for products to be exported  to some countries, the ACJU said. read more

Syria UN chief stresses urgency of achieving political solution to end ongoing

“We all need to inject urgency towards reaching a political solution while there is still time to prevent Syria’s complete destruction,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.“The end goal is clear to all – there must be an end to violence, a clean break with the past and a transition to a new Syria in which the rights of all communities are protected and the legitimate aspirations of all Syrians for freedom, dignity and justice, are met,” it added.“The sooner a military solution is abandoned the better. There is no need for more people to die, flee or grieve in Syria.”Well over 70,000 people have been killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011. The country is facing a humanitarian crisis, with over three million people displaced from their homes, including one million seeking safety in neighbouring countries. “Two years ago, Syrians stood up in peaceful popular protests to appeal for their universal rights and freedoms,” noted the statement. “This appeal was answered with brutal force by the Syrian authorities. Today, the world is watching the consequences with horror.” Mr. Ban called on the region and the international community, in particular the Security Council, to find unity and lend its full support to the efforts of the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, to help the Syrian people reach a political solution to the conflict. read more

UN General Assembly spotlights need to boost regional digital connectivity

Vuk Jeremic said that information and communication technologies (ICT) can contribute to the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a sustainable development agenda to follow after 2015.As such, he urged Governments to continue working in public-private partnership to expand broadband infrastructure in the developing world, and stimulate efforts to provide local content and develop regionally-appropriate software applications.“One-fifth of all households in developing countries are now hooked up to the internet – up from 13 per cent just three years ago,” Mr. Jeremic told a panel entitled ‘Improving connectivity in Eurasia,’ organized by Azerbaijan.“This is a significant achievement, but much more needs to be done in order to overcome the digital divide with the developed world, where 78 per cent of homes are linked to the internet – many through affordable and reliable broadband networks,” the GA President noted.Ahead of the panel discussion, the Assembly held a plenary meeting where it adopted a resolution by which the world body invites UN Member States to explore ways to support the proposal by Azerbaijan to establish the Eurasian Connectivity Alliance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).The aim will be to promote the development of telecommunication transit routes in the region and improving the coordination between the Governments, private sector, civil society and international development institutions.In his remarks to the panel discussion, Mr. Jeremic, said ICTs “can help establish a more level playing field, expediting the integration of developing countries into the global economy – especially the LDCs [least developed countries], nations with few natural resources, and post-conflict countries.” He added that ICTs can also increase opportunities for education and professional training, contribute to delivery of healthcare and other essential services and assist with business and technical fields. “Technology has never been an end in itself, but a means—an opportunity—to improve the human condition, when put to good use,” the Assembly President said. The UN is currently amidst 1,000 days of accelerated action to reach the targets set by the MDGs, including making more widely available the benefits of new technologies, especially ICTs.Later this month, the General Assembly will host a high-level special event to follow up on those efforts. In today’s meeting, the 193-member GA is expected to act on resolution on support for establishing a Eurasian Connectivity Alliance with the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for improving the development of “regional telecommunications transit routes.” read more

First IHF Global Coaching Clinic in Bahrain and Qatar

IHF coaching clinic Starting in Bahrain and Qatar, the International Handball Federation will organize special courses for top coaches from all over the world – so called Global Coaching Clinics (GCC) – in all continents. All national federations can nominate their applicants for those Clinics. The first one is addressed to all coaches from Asia and all Arabic speaking countries.This GCC is divided into two parts, starting 19 – 26 March in Bahrain, followed by the second and final part on the fringes of the IHF Super Globe in Qatar (the exact date will be announced soon).An IHF working group has worked on the concept of those GCCs which promote coaches to a top level and finish with the coaching licence level A (the top IHF licence). Besides there are two more levels (B and C) to be reached. The GCCs had been created especially for countries that don’t have their own licensing system for coaches – and IHF is trying to recruit international top coaches as lecturers of the GCCs. Only national federations can nominate the participants (a maximum of three people per federation) – and the candidates must be active coaches on advanced level and English speaking. Further objectives of the GCC are to teach the coaches to be multipliers, to develop handball in their regions and to be a potential continental lecturer.The GCC will be led by CCM members in small teaching groups, and every participant will have a personal mentor during and after the course. Topics of the GCCs are all kinds of individual and group tactical training methods (part I) and strategic and long-term coaching including sports medicine.For further information about the Global Coaching Clinics, please contact the IHF Head Office in Basle.Source: ihf.info ← Previous Story Team Bosnia & Herzegovina: The return of Tahirovic, “enough” with Doborac, Toromanovic and Terzic Next Story → Tatran Presov won Slovak Cup read more

SENSATION IN SLOVENIA Krka beat Celje PL to win Super Cup

It sounds completely amazing, but RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko lost first trophy in the season! Absolut outsiders MRK Krka Novo Mesto made the biggest sucess in the club history by beating the Slovenian handball powerhouse 23:22 (11:12) at the final of Super Cup.MRK Krka Novo mesto – RK Celje Pivovarna Laško 23:22 (11:12)MRK Krka Novo mesto: Tomić 14 saves, Pavlin; Leon Rašo 1, Bevec, Didovič 4, Okleščen 2, Pršina 3, Irman, Jakše 5, Klemenčič, Dino Rašo, Batagelj, Papež 8, Kukman, Windischer, Matko.RK Celje Pivovarna Laško: Ferlin 4 saves, Panjtar; Vujović 1, Jurečič 4, Malus 1, Razgor 3, Marguč 1, Šarac 4, Grošelj 1, Nenadić, Kodrin 3, Horžen, Makuc 1, Anić 2, Dujšebaev, Bećiri 1. ← Previous Story LNH 18/19: Rampant PSG beat local rival Ivry Next Story → Rampant RNL smash MT Melsungen MRK KrkaRK Celje Pivovarna Lasko read more

Arrest Made In Car BreakIn Police Have Man In Custody

first_img Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force’s mission to combat abusive images of children online Update: Women robbed while exercising (21 year old Arrested) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Police get wanted man; Magistrate Court back open Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 06 Sept 2015 – One man is behind bars in connection to a string of car break-ins that have plagued the island of Providenciales for the past two weeks.No word on if or when police will lay formal charges against the man as they investigate more than a dozen cases of car break -ins from the Bight, Grace Bay, Five Cays and Kew Town.The alleged nabber or nabbers have managed to vandalize vehicles, making off with small amounts of cash and electronics.Police remind residents to keep their vehicles locked and remove valuables from plain sight. Related Items:car break-in, policelast_img read more

Princess Diana musical to have Broadway premiere in April 2020

first_imgLOS ANGELES: A musical, titled “Diana”, based on the life of the Princess of Wales is set to make its Broadway debut in April next year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the musical is directed by Christopher Ashley. It will begin performances at New York’s Longacre Theatre on March 2, 2020, with an official opening set for March 31. The Joe DiPietro-David Bryan production focuses on Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles and the pair’s separation. Also Read – Watch: Donald Trump says Florida faces absolute monster hurricane Advertise With Us Actor Jeanna de Waal will play the titular role, while Roe Hartrampf will essay the part of Charles. Erin Davie portrays Camilla Parker Bowles and Tony winner Judy Kaye plays Queen Elizabeth. Kelly Devine is the choreographs while Ian Eisendrath serves as the music supervisor. Diana died in 1997 after a car crash in Paris.last_img read more

Biman 6member probe body to investigate Yangon crash landing

first_imgPhoto: AFPBiman Bangladesh Airlines, the national flag carrier, formed a six-member committee on Thursday to investigate the crash landing of one of its flights at Myanmar’s Yangon Airport on Wednesday, reports UNB.The committee is headed by chief of flight safety Captain Shoeb Chwodhury, said Biman General Manager (public relations) Shakil Meraj.Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority Bangladesh formed a separate committee to investigate the incident. Details about the body were not immediately available.A Biman flight from Dhaka skidded off the runway while landing at Yangon Airport on Wednesday evening due to inclement weather, injuring a number of people on board.Fourteen of the injured have been hospitalised in Myanmar and four released from hospital after treatment, Meraj said.”Biman will ensure the highest treatment of the injured,” he said.last_img read more

On Snapchat SpiderMan Far From Home Slings to World Landmarks in SonySponsored

first_imgSnap’s Spidey sense is tingling in a new pact with Sony Pictures.To hype the release of “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Sony Pictures is letting Snapchat users take selfies with the famed webslinger and pal-turned-nemesis Mysterio — with the studio sponsoring the first Snapchat lens tied to four major world landmarks.The Sony campaign uses Snapchat’s Landmarker technology, which enables location-based augmented reality experiences in real-time. The “Far From Home” Lens is available at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, the Flatiron Building in New York Ctiy, Buckingham Palace in London, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.It’s aimed at building buzz for “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the latest Marvel superhero pic starring Tom Holland as Spider-Man and Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, which opens July 2. Film News Roundup: ‘Ghostbusters’ Returning to Theaters for 35th Anniversary Hollywood Execs Talk Their Inclusion Initiatives and Removing Barriers The “Spider-Man: Far From Home” Landmark AR Lens launched June 26. Fans outside of those four landmark cities can use a standalone (non-geotargeted) Spider-Man selfie lens that goes live today (June 28). In addition, Sony’s “Spider-Man” Snapchat campaign will feature Story Ads in the form of a news channel with “newsflash”-style content, with reports on where Spider-Man has been seen around the city.“In ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home,’ Peter Parker travels the globe, so it only made sense to enable augmented-reality effects for Spidey fans around the world,” said Elias Plishner, EVP digital marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment.Over the last three years, Snap has build a reliable business selling premium Lenses to Hollywood marketers, notwithstanding its user-growth problems in 2018 following a poorly received app redesign. Around 70 million Snapchat users play with AR lenses on the app daily, the company said last fall.Sony has previously bought Snapchat Lenses to promote big movie launches, including last year’s “Venom” and 2016’s “Ghostbusters” reboot.Snap has touted the moviegoing proclivity of its youth-skewing user base. Per a study it commissioned last year from National Research Group (NRG), Snapchat users comprise 36% of all U.S. moviegoers and account for 50% of all movie ticket sales. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety Here’s how the experience works: When Snapchat users are near any of the four landmarks, a Spider-Man icon will appear in their Lens carousel. When Snapchatters point their smartphone’s camera at the building, they can watch as Mysterio appears in a cloud of smoke and Spider-Man swings into the frame to land in front of them — whereupon they can take a virtual touristy selfie with the superhero (and share it on Snapchat). Relatedlast_img read more

This bisexual teenagers hilarious tweet about staring at gay couples has gone

first_imgIt’s happened to you.It’s happened to your friends. And let’s be honest: it’s happened to everyone at some point.You’re out in public – maybe on the bus – and you see a same-sex couple who attract your attention.They’re unfathomably gorgeous, and you find yourself casting longing – or hateful, depending on your mood – looks in their direction.And then one of them looks at you.And you avert your gaze, totally inconspicuously, except now you’re sweating because you’re so very sure that they saw you staring.The thought goes through your mind: what if they thought I saw judging them?Oh god, what if they thought I was hating on them for being so clearly in love with each other?You desperately rack your brain for a solution, considering everything from subtly indicating your Pride badge to flirting very loudly with other passengers.But nope. That’s it. What’s done is done. You hang your head in shame.Enter Kait, a bisexual teenager with a large Twitter following who has a history of skewering homophobes. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) She was also responsible for spreading that viral “gay silence” meme, which, it turned out, originated during a hilariously awkward, decades-old Jodie Foster interview.In a new viral post which has attracted more than 90,000 retweets and likes, the teen tweeted: “any gay couple holding hands in public who caught me staring at you: i’m gay and jealous not homophobic”.People related, and related hard.Retired nurse Maggie Jones wrote: “Same here but my problem is I look like the demographic that is homophobic .”Another user said: “I need this on a shirt.“I stare because I love it and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to see. I hope I never scared anyone.”i try not to stare but i’m so proud. pic.twitter.com/hnh7xTZ1YE— jennifer (@GniieBee) September 29, 2017“I try not to stare but I’m so proud,” one person wrote, while another said: “I thought I was the only one omfg”.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Bisexual porn star reveals the differences between gay and straight pornDustin Lance Black tells agents deliberately closeting actors: ‘Open your eyes’Russia website wants users to hunt gays in Saw-inspired horror ‘game’PINK NEWS-last_img read more

San Francisco and Los Angeles battle it out for George Lucas museum

first_imgTags: California, Los Angeles, Museums, San Francisco Share San Francisco and Los Angeles battle it out for George Lucas’ museum By: Jocelyn Gecker Source: The Associated Press Wednesday, January 4, 2017 SAN FRANCISCO — George Lucas is no stranger to epic struggles on the big screen, but he didn’t expect one off-camera when it came to his art collection.For nearly a decade, the filmmaker has tried to build a museum to house an extensive personal collection that includes 40,000 paintings, illustrations and film-related items. But legal entanglements and other complications have thwarted his efforts.After several false starts, Lucas and his art team say they will decide later this month whether to put the museum in San Francisco or Los Angeles, a strategy that has stirred a California rivalry.The prize is big, and both cities want it badly.“This is the largest civic gift in American history,” LA Mayor Eric Garcetti told The Associated Press. “I think Los Angeles is the natural home for it” _ a notion that San Francisco officials enthusiastically contest.The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, as it will be called, promises hundreds of jobs and a high-profile attraction _ and it’s essentially free.The “Star Wars” creator is financing the project himself. He plans to spend more than $1 billion to build the museum, endow it and provide a trove of initial artworks valued at over $400 million. Together with Chinese architect Ma Yansong, Lucas has proposed a sleek, futuristic design looks like a cross between the Guggenheim and a galactic starfighter.The museum’s bold design and concept make clear that the 72-year-old filmmaker sees it as part of his legacy, and he is increasingly impatient to break ground.“It’s not just an enormous philanthropic gift to a city and to the world, but it is a unique museum in the way it is envisioned,” said Don Bacigalupi, an art historian and respected museum director Lucas hired as its founding president. “Certainly, we’ll be looking forward to the day we can move the art into a museum.”The museum will not, as many assume, be a repository for “Star Wars” memorabilia.It will, however, show how Lucas spent some of his filmmaking fortune and that his interest in art extends beyond movies.More news:  Virgin Voyages de-activates Quebec accounts at FirstMates agent portalAn avid collector for more than 40 years, Lucas is giving the museum some 10,000 paintings and illustrations that include dozens of Norman Rockwells and works from French impressionist Edgar Degas to American contemporary artist Keith Haring. There are illustrations for classic children’s books by Beatrix Potter of “Peter Rabbit” fame and Jean de Brunhoff, who created “Babar.”The museum gets its pick from some 30,000 film-related pieces including storyboards and costumes from “The Wizard of Oz,” ”Casablanca,“ and, naturally, ”Star Wars.“There’s art from comic books, graphic novels and other popular works that Lucas hopes will attract people who don’t typically visit museums.In 2010, Lucas first pitched his project to San Francisco and considered a site in the Presidio, but the trust that oversaw the park ultimately rebuffed him. He then took his project to Chicago, his wife’s hometown, but preservationists sued to keep it off the lakefront.Lengthy delays prompted Lucas to abandon that bid in June and change strategy.In October, Lucas unveiled similar but competing designs for Los Angeles and San Francisco sites, turning the project into a public competition. It seems to have worked.Government leaders in both cities have unanimously approved it. And officials are quick to stress that this time there is no apparent opposition, and construction could begin quickly ahead of a projected 2020 finish date.Later this month, Lucas is convening the museum’s board to decide between two distinct locations.In San Francisco, his project would virtually have an island unto itself.The city offered Lucas a 4-acre waterfront plot on Treasure Island, a man-made creation in the middle of the bay with cinematic views of the city skyline.The island was built for the 1939 World’s Fair, then used as a World War II naval base. These days it’s populated mainly by seagulls, boarded-up barracks, some art studios and old warehouses, but officials hope the museum triggers its transformation. A massive $6 billion redevelopment project includes apartments, hotels and a ferry terminal.San Francisco Bay Bridge And Treasure Island“It’s a risk they would be taking, but it’s a bet on the future,” said Adam Van De Water, project manager for the museum at San Francisco City Hall. “We think his heart is here in the Bay Area.”More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyLucas has spent most of his life in the San Francisco area, and Lucasfilm was based in the city before he sold it in 2012 to Disney Co.“Put yourself in his shoes. You could be on Treasure Island, where you’re visible throughout downtown San Francisco,” said Van De Water, pausing to take a swipe at Los Angeles. “Or you could be a museum in a park with other museums.”Los Angeles has offered Lucas a 7-acre spot in Exposition Park, a sprawling cultural compound that holds three other museums and the Coliseum, home to the LA Rams. It has its own light rail station and is near the main campus of the University of Southern California, where Lucas went to film school.The California Science Center museum located in Exposition Park, Los Angeles“A museum should not be cloistered away from the people,” LA Mayor Garcetti said. “We don’t live life on islands.”Exposition Park also is near eight public high schools and could help expose young people to Lucas’ collection, Garcetti says.If Lucas has a favourite, Bacigalupi won’t say.But Bacigalupi calls Treasure Island “sort of magical.” Not only does it offer stunning views, but the island would give the museum an iconic location on the water’s edge, which he compares to the Sydney Opera House. And, he says, Lucas is deeply devoted to the Bay Area.Los Angeles is exciting for different reasons, he said. Its proximity to schools and being part of a community of museums “is certainly attractive,” he said. And, like San Francisco, Los Angeles is part of Lucas’ history.“These are two spectacular places. Two great cities,” Bacigalupi says. “It’s a tough decision. But for all the right reasons.” << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Sunwings holiday deals come with savings worth up to 1000 per couple

first_img Posted by TORONTO — Sunwing’s ‘Holiday Escapes Sale’ takes up to $1,000 per couple off the cost of an all-inclusive vacation at resorts across Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.Sunwing says a warm and sunny Christmas can be had at Memories Splash Punta Cana in the D.R., home to the largest on-site waterpark in the Caribbean. Along with unlimited and complimentary water park access, the resort also features a free kids program, evening entertainment, fitness centre and tennis courts.Another option, Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, is an adults-only resort with large suites including swim out options, on-site spa, fitness facility and tennis courts and free water sports. Guests also get unlimited à la carte dining across a range of specialty restaurants at no extra charge.There’s also Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica, combining a beautiful natural setting on pristine white sands. There’s also an expansive pool complex, free kids’ club, daily activity and evening entertainment program, spa, fitness centre and floodlit tennis courts. Sunwing clients get exclusive RIU-topia inclusions such as unlimited reservation-free à la carte dining and international drinks, in-room liquor dispenser, free WiFi and spa credits. Tags: Promotions, Sunwing Monday, November 13, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Sunwing’s holiday deals come with savings worth up to $1,000 per couplelast_img read more

5 questions for PolishCosta Rican chef Patryk Jara Krasinska

first_imgPatryk Jara Krasinska, originally from Poland, came to Costa Rica with his family when he was 5 years old. He’s the son of a Costa Rican civil engineer and a Polish fashion designer. Now, he says he is “more Costa Rican than gallo pinto, but as Polish as kielbasa.”After studying Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing, Jara decided to devote his life to the kitchen. Now, he’s the owner of the San Pedro restaurant “Opa!” and a a culinary instructor at Ambichef. He is also the creator of Passion marmalades, whose story began during World War II as a way to reunite a family, and Passion juices, which resulted from a fight against cancer. Jara studied with Polish master butchers, but his first teachers were actually his grandmother and aunts. He attributes his success to his friends’ support, and people who trusted in his talent and decided to bet on him.The Tico Times visited the production plant which the chef calls “the heart of Opa!” to talk about his story, his products, and his unusual approach to the work of a chef. Excerpts follow.How did you become a chef?That comes from a not very nice story, but, well, it’s all a part of it. I come from a family where almost everyone is involved in cooking, but at the age of 15 you are not really interested in it – you know, you are thinking about high school, the girl you like, and so forth – but then my mom died when I was 15 years old. I have three little siblings, Ania [4 years old at that time], Fer [3] and Sebas [1.5].  It was a really tough moment for my dad, so they took my siblings to Poland, and I stayed here alone with my dad for a year, and I had to cook.At the beginning I burned the water, so to speak. I started calling my grandmother to ask her how my mom cooked the meals, and she told my grandfather and my aunts [that I was struggling], and at the end I had my whole family telling me over the phone how to cook. After a year, my father brought my siblings back to Costa Rica and I had to look after them. I never dropped out of high school, but those were tough times. I had to recreate the meals my mom used to cook to us on my own. That’s how I developed my taste memory, which one think doesn’t exist. People started to like what I did, and after a while, I saved money to go to Poland, where I learned more through formal instruction with a master chef. I learned from the best chefs of Poland in Staropolska cuisine. When I came back to Costa Rica, I became a personal chef, cooking for people who are now pretty important. They open doors for me. I have a lot of Polish influences, but my Costa Rican grandmother taught me a lot of other things.When my son Nico was six months old, the story was repeated: I told my grandmother I wanted to raise him the same way I was raised, [on the same foods]. She told my aunts, and everybody started to give me advice on how to cook for him. The mango and passionfruit marmalade was the first “Gerber” I made for Nico, then guava and carambola. As the time went by, I gave the marmalades to friends, and people started telling me to sell them, and one board member of the Cervecería Nacional, whom I cooked for, told me “Look, you have to package it, I’ll help you.” And so we did. It was like the movie “Pay It Forward” – this man told another man, who was the owner of ampm and Fresh Market, so I went to his house and cooked for him and his wife, and she told me she knew another man who had a production plant, and so on. Everything went on like that: “Don’t worry, this is really good, I know you will sell it, when you do, you can pay me.” I started to send [marmalades] to Poland, then to Canada, Chile, and Fresh Market help to sell them here in Costa Rica. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesCan you tell me more about your marmalades and juices?Our marmalades are produced in a production plant in Paraíso de Cartago, and are sold in Chile, Canada, and here in Costa Rica. They are a tribute to my grandmother. My great-grandfather [from Poland] was a partisan, who were the ones who took over Warsaw in 1944. They were revolutionaries and most of them went to Gdynia, a city near the coast. So, my great-grandmother was separated from my great-grandfather by 100 kilometers of war territory. She, along with my great-aunt and my grandmother, [while they were making their way to my great-grandfather,] gathered fruits in the fields and cooked them at night to give away to the Nazis so they would let them continue their journey. They made it through 100 kilometers of war territory thanks to [those marmalades]. Obviously, our marmalades now are a bit different, but the concept is the same. We don’t use sugar. Instead, we use cane juice.The juices we make are actually used in the Children’s Hospital; those have no water and no sugar. It began when a friend of mine, Priscilla, who was, and is still today, fighting against cancer, told me, “The doctor told me I need to drink a specific grape juice that is 100 percent vitamin C.” I started to think about how to make other juices she could drink. I got a bunch of mangos and other fruits, and made juices with no sugar, and analyzed them. It turns out it was 120 percent vitamin C and 230 percent vitamin A. We were just experimenting. We were like, “Let’s use this and this and this, to see if Priscilla likes it,” and we created three different juices. Today they are sold in AutoMercado and are given to children [at the Children’s Hospital] after they receive chemotherapy. I sent them to the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration], and they sent me a note saying “This juices’ formula is really good. You should commercialize them, because they are the new B8.”What do you like to most about being a chef?To create. For example, this morning when I got here and they were preparing the bacon, I did a bacon with balsamic vinegar reduction, and waited there like a fool for about half an hour to see what happened. I like to create all the time. I like to do new things, and then [to have other] people continue doing them because I get bored too fast. I have a really good team, and they know me pretty well. They know I come in really excited about something, I do it, I teach someone else, and now you do it. I continue doing something new.Cooking is not just about moving spoons and knowing specific measures. When I’m going to teach something I don’t give you a specific recipe; I show you how to do it. Right now, for example, you are not dressed like me. You are wearing different colors. The same is true in cooking. Each person brings his or her personal touch to the food.I also love to watch people eating, and then hear whether they liked it.What’s the most difficult part of being a chef?Staying thin [laughs]. No, no! Just kidding. I would say the most difficult part is to believe [in yourself]. Because I know really talented people – sometimes I think I’m not even fit to shine their shoes – and they’re working in places where they are not valued. This blocks you. Myself, I have motivation all the time, because it’s hard to believe it. I think [being a chef] has become a stigma, something unreachable. But no, any person who cooks is a chef. Of course, you need a certain level of academic responsibility. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesWhat makes “Opa!” different from other restaurants?I’m not a regular chef; I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I like to go to Poland to learn things such as cattle raising, killing cattle, and consumption, in sustainable ways, which is pretty important. If I take you to a slaughterhouse, you would be traumatized. Instead, [killing an animal] has to be a process of giving thanks to that animal because it’s providing you with food. Using preservatives or other things that damage the meat is like profaning that meat.Everything used at Opa!, from bread to meat, is made by us. We don’t marinate the meat with powders, nor did people in the 1800s; we use a base of onion, garlic and celery, then the meat rests in wine, then it’s milled. We produce kielbasa, which is a Polish sausage – if Costa Rica is known for the “pura vida” and its coffee, Poland is known for the vodka and the kielbasa – as well as [other Polish specialities such as] kaszank and zenka. We don’t use any kind of preservatives. Our bacon, for example, is prepared with balsamic vinegar and garlic. Same with the bread. We don’t use butters or oils; we use water.We also have options for vegetarians. We do mushroom and asparagus pâtés, vegetarian sandwiches, and a lot more options. At Opa!, all furniture is recycled.We don’t cook in the restaurant. Everything is an assembly. I cook here [at the production plant]. That way we avoid changes, because people are always expecting the same quality. Everything gets to the restaurant specificaly the way it has to be. That allows me to have control, and to know that everything is fine.Find more info about Jara and Opa! restaurant at the Restaurant’s Facebook page.Read other Weekend Arts Spotlight” stories here.Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican Embassy opens to public for Washington’s annual ‘Passport DC’ festivities 5 questions for a Costa Rican comedian – ‘To hear them laugh is poetry’ 5 questions for a Costa Rican chef A quest to prevent the extinction of Costa Rica’s blue cornlast_img read more

The Tico Times Weekly Digest March 18 2019

first_imgOIJ joins the investigation into two police officers, the 737 Max is banned from Costa Rican airspace and some awesome vigorones at the Santa Ana farmers market. This and more in this week’s digest.Read the stories mentioned above:Police officers suspected of robbing tourists under investigation by OIJ, MSPEuropean airlines plan to increase flights to Costa Rica, ICT saysMore than 500 arrests made in raid against arms trafficking in eight Latin American countriesCosta Rica bans 737 Max 8 from its airspaceA photo exhibit in Jacó connects with the “Divine Feminine”Off the eaten path: Santa Ana Farmers MarketNicaraguan ‘marathon protester’ escapes to Costa Rica after leaving prison————————————————————————Follow The Tico Times:————————————————————————TwitterInstagramFacebook————————————————————————Support The Tico Times:————————————————————————https://www.patreon.com/theticotimeshttps://www.paypal.me/theticotimesCR Facebook Comments Related posts:The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Jan. 21, 2019. The Tico Times Weekly Digest: Feb. 4, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: March 25, 2019 The Tico Times Weekly Digest: April 8, 2019last_img read more