Ottawa plans more police mandatory jail terms in battle against underground tobacco

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA–The Conservative government said Tuesday it would create a 50 officer RCMP anti-contraband tobacco force and introduce a new bill to impose mandatory minimum jail terms for repeat offenders involved in the trade.In a statement, the federal government said the new RCMP force would target “organized crime groups engaged in the production and distribution of contraband tobacco.” There were no immediate details available on where the force would be based.The statement also said the Conservative government would introduce a bill to amend sections of the Criminal Code and impose jail terms on those involved in the black market tobacco trade. Repeat offenders caught transporting more than 10,000 cigarettes or 10 kilograms of tobacco products would face a minimum of 90 days in jail on a second conviction, 180 days on a third conviction and two years less a day on subsequent convictions.Under the changes, a first conviction could net a maximum 6 month jail term on a summary conviction and a 5 year term if prosecuted on an indictment.“Tobacco trafficking is a serious threat to the public safety of Canadians, our communities and our economy,” said Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, in a statement. “Contraband tobacco fuels the growth of organized criminal networks, contributing to the increased availability of illegal drugs and guns in our communities.”Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who represents Nunavut, also praised the announcement.“There is no place for contraband tobacco in our communities and today is an important step in the fight against illegal tobacco,” said Aglukkaq.Much of the underground tobacco trade flows through Akwesasne, a Mohawk community straddling the Canada-U.S. border.Tobacco was introduced to Europeans through contact with First Nations and many see the tobacco trade as a traditional right.There have been concerns expressed in Mohawk communities that the RCMP focuses too much on trying to seize cigarettes at the expense of other, more dangerous products like cocaine.last_img read more

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Cree Elder documents erosion of land and culture

first_imgAPTN InFocus:Cree Elder Jackson Osborne began taking pictures of the land on the Pimicikimak Cree Nation thirty years ago.He wanted to document changes brought on by fluctuating water levels caused by hydro development.Now students at the University of Manitoba are taking his work a step further.And then another story about why volunteers are searching the banks of Winnipeg’s Red River.last_img

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SC seeks status report on 2017 SSC paper leak case

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing in the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) exam paper leak matter and sought status report on it. The exam took place in 2017 and thousands of students who appeared for it continues to remain in limbo. The court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to bring on record its latest status report regarding the ongoing probe into the leak.last_img

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Second City improv class teaches how to work unscripted

Consultant Melissa Madian wanted to help her clients navigate the fast-paced world of sales. She turned to a comedy juggernaut for a new skill to add to her tool kit: improvisation.“Sellers have to be improvising all the time with our customers because there’s not one set script,” says Madian, owner of Toronto-based consulting firm TMM Enablement Services.“You need to listen to what the customer is saying, then improvise and adjust based on what they’ve said so you can come to a solution together. A lot of the foundational items you learn in improv are absolutely applicable in a business environment.”Madian had previously attended training at Second City Works, the business arm of the famed comedy company, and returned to enroll in RewireU, a new educational program designed to help businesses boost on-the-job efficiency through improv.“It used to be B2B (business to business); we now talk about H2H — human to human,” says Kevin Frank, artistic director of the Second City Training Centre.“That’s the storytelling of your own story, listening to the story of your client, telling the story of your company, and those kind of tools are what we do.“We’re storytellers. We know how to craft a great story based on the truth and honesty of what we are; so we help companies and business managers be authentic about their story so they can relate one-on-one with their client and their teams.”Five questions to ask yourself to build your confidenceSix easy steps to help you deal with conflict at work, professionally, while also keeping your coolFollowing a post-lunch warmup, Madian joined her RewireU classmates in a series of exercises testing their abilities to think on their feet and forge bonds of trust. Fellow participants included a holistic doctor, consultants and individuals from a variety of sectors, including retail, finance and tourism.In one exercise dubbed “A Bunch of…” they branched out into small groups to take turns reciting a common story punctuated by their own punchlines. Regardless of whether their improvised endings elicited a hearty belly laugh or groan, the response from their peers was always the same: unconditional support, kudos and warm applause. The practice is designed to promote inclusivity and give participants the confidence to take a risk knowing that their delivery will have a soft landing.Frank says they have attendees self-evaluate their experiences within the exercises and tie them back to business culture to explore the parallels they see within their own work environments.“There’s a lot of evaluation, there’s a lot of debrief that allows our participants to say, ‘All right: it’s one thing to do this exercise in a workshop — how is it going to affect my workplace and the way I do business?’ ”Second City has also teamed with University of Chicago Booth School of Business, which is researching the impact of improv tools on business practices.“Those studies will allow us to quantify the effects of our training on business leaders and managers in the industry,” says Frank.He recognizes each individual arrives at RewireU with their own skill sets and comfort level and will evolve at different rates — particularly those who may initially seem more reserved.“I think (the term) ‘introverts’ is sort of a blanket description. What are the reasons that you aren’t stepping out?” asks Frank.“Is it because you are a perfectionist? Is it because you’re cautious? Is it because you don’t want to offend people? Let’s go down to the core of that and work on those skills.” read more

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President declares war on group of 15 members

The former Ministers had attended a recent protest rally staged by the joint opposition against the government. The move came hours after the SLFP Central Committee removed former Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, W.D.J. Seneviratne, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, T.B. Ekanayake and Chandima Weerakkody from their SLFP electoral organiser posts. President Maithripala Sirisena has declared war on the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) ‘group of 15’ who had left the Government with his blessings.The President today removed former Ministers Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, John Seniviratne and Chandima Weerakody from their SLFP District Development Committee cho-chairmanship posts. They were however invited to attend the SLFP Central Committee held last night yet they did not attend.Former Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera, who was part of a ‘group of 16’ SLFP members who left the Government, has since made a u-turn and extended support to President Maithripala Sirisena. The 16 SLFP members resigned from the Government in April this year, with the blessings of the President, after voting in support of a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. read more

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UN fund for fighting hunger launches first project in Caribbean

FAO jointly launched the $5 million project with the Caribbean Community, the CARIFORUM and the Government of Italy to strengthen policy, services and improve production and marketing systems accessible to small farmers. Funded by the Italian Government, the project is the first of its kind to focus on regional food security with support from the FAO Trust Fund for Food Security.The $500 million Trust Fund, created during the 2002 World Food Summit, aims to increase the flow of resources to fight hunger. During the Summit, Heads of State and Government signed a declaration committing themselves to renewed support for the goals set during the 1996 World Food Summit, which included halving the number of hungry people worldwide by 2015.Italy is the first UN Member State to respond to this appeal and has committed itself to providing €100 million (euros), of which €50 million have already been received. Other projects to support developing countries are in the final stages of preparation. read more

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Gladiator acoustic switch for blocked chute protection

first_imgThe Gladiator Acoustic Switch uses acoustic wave technology in a new Sender/Receiver form for blocked chute detection and anti collision for heavy machinery. The Gladiator Amplifier powers two AW Transducers which use special Hawk developed software where both units pulse and receive each others acoustic echoes. When the path between the transducers is blocked the units immediately detect the presence/absence change of the return signal and trigger a communications relay for indication or control purposes. The transducers work both together and independently to detect pulse interference giving twice the application security.Hawk’s Acoustic Wave Switches are self cleaning. The switch is designed for continuous operation in dusty, wet environments where other technologies fail. The power of each pulse (pressure wave) blows the water, moisture and build-up off the face of the diaphragm. Typical uses include:•Blocked chute detection in wet or dry environments•Wet screen blocked chute detection•Nucleonic/tilt switch replacement•Hi level alarm / Low level alarm•Truck/machine detection (ROM bins, Primary Crusher Dump Pockets)•Sewage sludge handling.last_img read more

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Analysts iPhone 4S heading to Sprint TMobile without LTE or NFC

first_imgWe’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about the upcoming iPhone. Many questions have been thrown around like will it be called the iPhone 5 or the 4S, will it have near-field communication technology, will it be 4G, and will it be available on other carriers? Two research firms have come out with their take on the new iPhone with answers to many of those questions.Bernstein Research said the next iPhone would not feature NFC technology. Though NFC is seen as one of the most up-and-coming trends in the U.S. smartphone market, Apple isn’t jumping on the bandwagon just yet. Currently, NFC is most commonly used for mobile purchases. You can just swipe your phone in front of a reader to make a purchase. NFC is also being used in downloading updates, as we saw with Angry Birds Magic being able to open new levels via NFC-enabled Symbian C7 smartphones. When two NFC-enabled Nokia phones connect, or the phone is near a special NFC-tag-embedded object, a new level is unlocked and downloaded.Apple may need more time to perfect the technology, which is why it might have to wait until 2012 to release a phone with NFC. Bernstein Research said NFC could potentially add $15 billion to $30 billion in “incremental revenue for higher-end mobile firms.”As for the name of the future iPhone? Both Bernstein and Jeffries & Co. agree that the future iPhone will be called the iPhone 4S instead of the iPhone 5. From what we know at the moment, the 4S is expected to be a slight upgrade to the iPhone 4. It’s said to have an A5 processor and better cameras, but technical updates may only be seen with HSPA+ support, as well as with the inclusion of more networks, like T-Mobile and Sprint, as well as China Mobile. According to Forbes, Jeffries & Co.’s analyst Peter Misek said the iPhone 4S will be reaching more carriers by the end of the year.As we mentioned back in April, Apple’s Tim Cook made it clear that the future iPhone won’t be 4G since the chipsets from Qualcomm won’t be ready in such a high quantity at the time of the new iPhone’s release. Misek said Apple had wanted to have the LTE chipsets ready, but was planning a version without LTE called iPhone 4S. This is a move similar to when Apple’s iPhone 3G evolved to the iPhone 3GS.Jennifer’s ThoughtsDoes the iPhone 4S sound like a Plan B for Apple since it couldn’t get its 4G LTE Qualcomm chips in time? As the news comes out that the next iPhone will be available for the four biggest mobile networks, many people on Sprint and T-Mobile may jump at the chance to own an iPhone on the network they’ve stayed with all these years.Personally, I’ve been a T-Mobile customer for years because I like their prices, good network coverage, and their customer service. However, I’ve waited a good long time for an iPhone to come to T-Mobile, all the while knowing that my wish may never come true. Apple may release the iPhone 4S in September, but who’s to say that it won’t release the iPhone 5 a few months later when the 4G chipsets are finally ready? Releasing a 4S model on new carriers is a good way to get new iPhone customers locked into a two-year contract without knowing that a faster iPhone may be on the way.What do you think? For those of you on Sprint and T-Mobile, will you jump at the iPhone 4S release in the fall, or will you wait it out for the LTE release, whenever that may be?via Forbes and Electronistalast_img read more

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ChargeWrite Pen Multitasks to Power Phone Take Notes

first_imgA Montreal-based startup has created the Canadian Swiss Army Knife of pens.ChargeWrite—”the world’s coolest pen”—is actually a power bank, stuffed with Lightning and Micro USB chargers, screen cleaner, stylus, and ballpoint.From the creators of keyring battery bKey, ChargeWrite quickly flew past its flexible Indiegogo goal of $10,000; as of press time, the campaign is overflowing with more than $35,000 from 586 backers.There are still two months left to snag a power-bank pen, available for $29 with blue and black ink cartridges and a 1,000mAh battery. The upgraded ChargeWrite+ adds 650GB of flash memory for $39 but takes a hit with its lesser 650mAh battery.Two regular writing utensils cost $58, while a pair of enhanced quills sell for $78. A “family pack” of four is priced at $109 or $149; retailers (or stationary lovers), meanwhile, can buy 50 for $775/$1,025 or 100 for $1,450/$1,950.ChargeWritePull off the top of the metal cap to reveal a USB plug, which inserts into any computer or AC wall adapter to juice up. Look for a flashing blue light to indicate when it’s charging; solid blue means it’s full. To charge your phone, simply unscrew the pen nib and plug the tip into your device—pen clip-side down for iPhone, pen clip-side up for Android.Once the crowdfunding project ends, all backers will receive an email survey asking for a shipping address, and which ordered items (if any) are from the add-ons section.The first 500 ChargeWrite and 500 ChargeWrite+ units are expected to ship in April to early-bird supporters. Everyone else can expect their newfangled pens in May or later.The Canadian firm in 2014 introduced a handy way to sneak a few more minutes of juice out of your mobile devices in an emergency: bKey opts for a slim profile over battery capacity and is designed to be stored so it’s always with you.last_img read more

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Get Unlimited Access to Thousands of Games With Wild Unlimited Gaming

first_imgWant your products featured in the Geek.com Shop? Learn more about how to sell your products online! Wild Unlimited Gaming Subscriptions – $24.99See Deal Heads up, gamers. Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of ad-free game titles for the lowest price of the year. A six-month subscription to Wild Unlimited Gaming, which is normally discounted to $24.99, is just $20.24 when you use the promo code NEWYEAR2019.If it’s games you want, Wild Unlimited Gaming offers all you’ll need. They boast a vast library of over 2000 titles — with more being added every month — and there are selections to suit every interest. Choose between AAA hits, indie games, classics, and more. All that’s required to play is a personal computer running at least Windows 7 and an internet connection.With a subscription, you’ll also have the opportunity to rent or buy thousands of other titles, often at a discounted rate. And if you choose to purchase a game that you’ve already rented, they’ll deduct your fee from the final price. That means you can try games before you buy without taking on any additional risk.AdChoices广告Consider the cost of purchasing one new game at retail versus how much you’ll save by taking advantage of this offer. It’s really an easy choice. Use code NEWYEAR2019 to get a six-month subscription to Wild Unlimited Gaming for just $20.24 or subscribe for a whole year and pay only $36.44. Sonic Soak Is the Tiny Washing Machine That Goes AnywhereThis $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 Today Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Fire heavily damages old Ridgefieldarea home

first_imgFirefighters pulled an elderly couple to safety as they attempted to use a garden hose to douse a fire in their house north of Ridgefield on Wednesday afternoon.Firefighters were called to the 29900 block of Northwest 71st Avenue around 1:30 p.m. Clark County Fire & Rescue spokesman Tim Dawdy said one 911 call indicated firefighters were heading to a barn fire, but it turned out to be in an old home.The occupants, an older couple, were inside, Dawdy said.“They were in their house, they heard some noise upstairs, and the fire and flame started creeping into the main floor,” he said. “They called 911 and actually started trying to fight the fire, which is something we don’t encourage people to do.”Division Chief Dan Yager was among the first firefighters to arrive, then ran inside to bring the two outside. Afterward, the man from the house went back in.“Again, something we discourage people from doing,” Dawdy said.Yager went back inside, again, and brought the man to safety.More firefighters arrived, and found the upper floor of the home completely on fire, Dawdy said.Complicating firefighters’ efforts was the old age of the house and the lack of nearby hydrants. Dawdy said the house is at the end of a dirt driveway off a gravel road, and firefighters had to roll in water tenders to supply water.last_img read more

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Pasalic considering leaving Chelsea

first_imgThe midfielder is currently on loan at Italian Lega Serie A club Atalanta after not finding a spot in Sarri’s teamCentral-midfielder Mario Pasalic joined Chelsea in 2014, but after being loaned five times in four years, he believes maybe is time to look for a permanent club.The Croatia national team footballer started his professional career in Hajduk Split.But after one year he was then transferred to English Premier League club Chelsea, where he hasn’t played a single game.He was then loaned to Elche, Monaco, Milan, Spartak Moscow and now to Atalanta in the Italian Lega Serie A.Serie A, Gian Piero GasperiniGasperini reveals why he rejected Inter Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, has revealed why he rejected Internazionale Milan’s job proposal over the summer transfer window.“In a week with them in Australia, I experienced the football of Sarri,” he was reported saying by Football London.“Quality and aggressiveness, possession and pressing, all combined very well. I asked myself another question: what good would it have done me to sit on the bench?”“I don’t belong at Chelsea right now, or at any top club. I have to understand if I can be. And to understand it, I need a team to stay at and play, two or three years,” he added.“Maybe I’ll be back there [Chelsea], maybe you’ll understand that my big club is Atalanta, but I don’t want to make the wrong choice anyway.”last_img read more

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Volunteers help in many ways on MLK Day of Service

first_imgInterested in volunteering with Clark County parks and recreation projects? Visit Parks Hero or call 360-487-8344.Interested in other volunteer opportunities? Try Volunteer Connections, 360-735-3683; or the United Way’s Hands On Greater Portland website. Or, call your favorite nonprofit agency directly.Teenagers Kendall Record, Frances Calvin and Kaliyah Davis spent Monday morning digging junk out of a dry roadside ditch in Blandford Canyon, the steep north-south furrow that cuts through Vancouver’s Heights neighborhoods.On their first pass, they collected big prizes — such as car tires — but subsequent efforts got down to rags, wrappers and shards of shattered glass. At one point, they huddled over the broken neck of a bottle and spent minutes trying to pry it from the frozen ground.“It disappoints me that people do this. You’d think that adults would be more responsible,” said Record, 16. But then again, she added, it felt good to be able to step in and make a difference. Record and her pals have also scoured clean other Clark County park and trail sites, from Frenchman’s Bar to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, as part of Urban Youth, a program that aims to expose at-risk kids to nature — and the joy of giving back.That joy was widespread across Clark County on Monday. Since 1983, the third Monday in January has been a federal holiday commemorating the birth of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; in 1994, the holiday also became the King Day of Service, with citizens encouraged to pitch in and improve their neighborhoods, and our nation, in whatever ways they choose.last_img read more

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BCL leader assaults coaching centre owner video goes viral

first_imgThe vedio of assulting Rashed Mia by BCL leader Nurul Azim goes viral on social media Facebook on Thursday. Photo is collected from the vedio.A case was filed against Bangladesh Chhatra League Chattogram unit general secretary Nurul Azim Roni for ‘torturing a coaching centre owner for extortion in Panchalaish area in Chattogram, reports UNB.A vedio footage of the incident collected from a CCTV camera went viral on social media Facebook.Victim Md Rashed Mia, owner of Uniaid coaching center, filed the case with Panchalaish police station on Thursday.Rashed said on 17 February, Roni demanded Tk 2 million and beat him up as he refused to give him the money.Again on 13 April, Roni called Rashed to his office at Muradnagar and assaulted him. Besides, Roni’s cohorts took away his wife’s passport and Tk 35,000 from Rashed’s house.When contacted, Roni denied the allegation and said Rashed was his partner in the coaching business and he embezzled Tk 900,000.Earlier, Roni allegedly assaulted the principal of Chattogram Science College Zahed at Chawkbazar area in the city and a vedio footage of the incident also went viral on Facebook.last_img read more

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One Metric for Testing a Successful User Experience

first_img Apple employees are so trained to consider the end user that they prioritize any project that will affect the user’s experience. This user-centric tech giant proves with every new product release that its customers can’t wait to buy again and again.Other companies would do well to prioritize the user experience as Apple does. Many try, so long as they get budget approval. Unfortunately, most companies don’t understand the right way to measure the effectiveness of their UX design — not to mention how to improve it.What determines UX success?Standard metrics for UX don’t always deliver the insights businesses need to know. What looks sleek and straightforward to one person might be counterintuitive to another. Companies can get past this hurdle, but to do so, they must focus on the most meaningful metrics, not the most popular ones.Related: User Experience Is the Most Important Metric You Aren’t MeasuringConversion rate is one of those important considerations. When a change to the website correlates with a higher conversion rate, that’s always a good sign. Forrester has reported that better UX design could increase your conversion rate by 400 percent. Other good UX metrics include average order value, system usability measurements and task performance indicators. But for this analysis, we will focus on how to optimize conversion rate.Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is one of the most important tactics for online sellers. If 10 million people visit a page but only 1,000 of them buy something, that company has wasted its money on valueless traffic. While a good conversation rate is in the ballpark of 4 to 5 percent, the top 10 percent of advertisers on Google Ads are actually hitting an 11.45 percent account conversion rate.A higher conversion rate proves the value of UX investments more so than any other metric. Whereas UX refers to the total website experience, CRO refers only to those parts of the experience that turn browsers into buyers. By tying UX changes to conversion rate improvements, companies can draw the line from UX to revenue, making it much easier to determine the ROI of their labors.Better practices to boost conversions?CRO and UX are closely related, but they aren’t identical. The prettiest, most easily navigable websites don’t always have the highest conversion rates. Follow these CRO best practices to enhance UX and generate more revenue from your website.1. You can’t woo without knowing the who.Marketers love to get into the weeds about CRO tactics, but the truth is, tactics are secondary to audience. The methods you use don’t matter if you don’t aim them at the right groups of people. Make sure you’re attracting qualified leads who will be interested in your product or service.Find out everything you can about the members of your audience. What’s your primary traffic source? Why are they interested in your site? What do their user paths look like, and what motivates them to leave (or stay)? Try studying heat maps to see what website elements draw the most attention from your visitors, conducting surveys to get user feedback on functionality and using the bounce rate to see how long a page holds user interest.Related: 23 Sure-Fire Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics for Striking Online GoldTrue CRO relies on content that not only guides your audience members toward the outcome you want, but also delivers the information and experiences they want. Figure out the behavior of your users, and then problem solve based on those audience insights. If you’re getting a majority of clicks on your calendar menu button but there’s no opportunity to convert from that page, you know you need to add a call to action on the calendar.2. Mobile lags make conversion rates sag.Most businesses design their sites using desktop computers. That’s fine — after all, it would be quite the challenge to build an entire site on a smartphone — but mobile browsing and app use continue to eat into desktop and laptop share. Don’t ignore the 77 percent of Americans who own a smartphone.Prioritize the mobile experience to convert users no matter how they encounter your site. Elite SEM, a top digital marketing agency, was able to improve the conversion rate of auto lease matchmaking service Swapalease by 30 percent just by switching the company’s focus to the mobile audience.Fix your mobile experience by reducing loading times as much as possible. Mobile users, even more than desktop users, have little patience for lagging pages. Keep written content short and images mobile-friendly so that smartphone and tablet users never feel like they need to revisit the page on a computer to get the full story. And if you really want customers to convert, add a one-touch payment option to eliminate sales friction.Related: 6 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Conversion Rate and Make More Money From Ecommerce3. Conversion rates, like fine wine, get better with time.Once you know your audience members and meet them on their mobile turf, you can start testing different optimization tactics.Keep your A/B groups as similar as possible so you don’t have to question whether the UX changes were influenced by other factors. Randomize which of those users see which designs; that’ll give you an unbiased picture of the effectiveness of each approach. Use your CRO analysis to break down user touch points, and then use that information to inform your UX design.Continue to refine as you learn new things from every iteration. You’ll notice that each test result is a chance to fine-tune your UX. Conversation rate will not skyrocket immediately as a result of one small change, but a scientific approach will improve your rates over time.Don’t let UX trends dictate your strategy. Put CRO at the heart of your design, and follow these tips to translate your efforts into revenue. 6 min read November 2, 2018 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

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FILE In this Jan 18 2017 file photo The Egypt

first_img FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, The Egyptian Theatre is pictured on the eve of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. This year’s film festival runs through Jan. 28, 2018. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) Hot-button topics coalesce at the Sundance Film Festival The Sundance Film Festival has always been a place for boundary-pushing programming, but from the Me Too movement, to diversity and representation in film and even the current presidency, this year the snowy mountain town of Park City, Utah, is primed to be an epicenter of conversation around some of the most burning issues of the day.Among the over 110 films set to play at the festival, which kicks off Thursday night, are timely documentaries about trailblazing women like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (“RBG”), Netflix’s “Seeing Allred,” about attorney Gloria Allred who represented women in sexual misconduct cases against Bill Cosby and Donald Trump, and Hollywood actress and activist Jane Fonda (“Jane Fonda in Five Acts”).The festival has a number of buzzy narrative features spotlighting African-Americans, too, like the racially-charged police killing drama “Monsters and Men,” a wrongful conviction tale, “Monster,” ”Tyrel,” about a man who panics when he realizes he’s the only person of colour going on a weekend trip, the dystopian “Sorry to Bother You,” and the opening night film “Blindspotting,” a dark comedy with “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs.“One thing that has come into play, especially this year, is an awareness for a need for alternative voices and points of view to really tell better stories about America and the world,” said festival Director John Cooper.Also, far surpassing the dismal numbers of the industry at large, 37 per cent of the films at Sundance are directed by women (up three per cent from last year), including features from Debra Granik (“Leave No Trace”), Tamara Jenkins (“Private Life”), Reed Morano (“I Think We’re Alone Now”) and Josephine Decker (“Madeline’s Madeline”). Christina Choe directs a thriller, “Nancy,” about a woman convinced she was kidnapped as a child. And “Ophelia,” with Daisy Ridley, is a reimagining of “Hamlet” from her perspective. There’s even a documentary, “Half the Picture,” from director Amy Adrion, about the systematic discrimination of female filmmakers in Hollywood, with accounts from Catherine Hardwicke, Penelope Spheeris and Ava DuVernay.One sure-to-be button-pushing documentary, “Our New President,” also playing opening night, looks at Trump’s ascension through Russian propaganda and “fake news” footage.“Sundance has always focused on the most relevant political and social questions of the day,” said Franklin Leonard, found of the Black List, a survey of the industry’s best unproduced screenplays. “I don’t expect this year to be any different.”And that’s just inside the theatres. On the streets, Allred, Fonda and Common are some of the celebrities set to lead a Respect Rally Saturday, one year after some 8,000 women and men turned out for the March on Main that followed Trump’s inauguration. Among the many panels and events taking place across the 10 days, Ginsburg will be interviewed by NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg, and DuVernay will share the stage with Issa Rae and producer Christine Vachon to discuss the power of storytellers to change society.For the first time in some 30 years, too, fallen mogul Harvey Weinstein will be absent from the festival he dominated for years and helped raise the profile of with big acquisitions for Miramax and The Weinstein Co. In recent months, Weinstein has been accused of two instances of assault at Sundance, including actress Rose McGowan’s rape allegation from 1997. Representatives for Weinstein have denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.In response, the Sundance Institute introduced this year a public code of conduct that states attendees have the right to experience the festival free of “harassment, discrimination, sexism, and threatening or disrespectful behaviour.” Those who violate the code are subject to have credentials and access revoked without notice or refund. To enforce this, the Sundance Institute has partnered with the Utah Attorney General’s office to set up a 24-hour hotline (801-834-1944) for reports of violations.“At the end of the day, Sundance isn’t just a place people go to watch movies. It’s a ginormous network of events and people, some of whom are working professionals, some of whom want to be working professionals and some of whom just want to party. They all kind of mesh together in completely unregulated environments,” said Eric Kohn, IndieWire’s deputy editor and chief critic.One high-profile example of that was in 2015, when actor Emile Hirsch pleaded guilty to misdemeanour assault for putting a female studio executive in a chokehold and body-slamming her at a nightclub during the festival.“Ultimately this is kind of a rip off the Band-Aid moment,” Kohn said.Weinstein’s shadow won’t just affect the social aspects of the festival, but the acquisitions market as well, which was already skittish after the 2016 collapse of Nate Parker’s “Birth of a Nation,” when a rape allegation from his past surfaced right before release.There’s also the continued disruption of big streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, which last year spent big bucks to acquire films like “Mudbound” ($12.5 million) and “The Big Sick” ($12 million), and the ever-present threat that what might be a hot title in Park City will fail to catch on with audiences — just look at “Patti Cake$,” which Fox Searchlight bought for $9.5 million, and then went on to earn a meagre $1.5 million at the box office.“Who knows if the new big players are going to buy things in the same way that they did last year,” said film critic Amy Nicholson. “It feels like we’re figuring out the future of movies right now. The old guard is gone and the new guard is taking shape. It feels really fresh this year.”And with no obvious breakout hit going into the festival, it could be a year for some true discoveries.“Last year there was a surprise screening of a midnight film called ‘Get Out’ and that obviously proved to be one of the biggest hits of the year,” said Leonard. “Maybe there will be something we don’t even know about that will emerge.”The festival runs through Jan. 28.___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr___This story has been corrects the spelling of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s name in two instances.center_img by Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press Posted Jan 18, 2018 9:50 am PDT Last Updated Jan 18, 2018 at 1:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

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Twice she tried to

Twice she tried to take her own life. though quite brief, Questioned about the purpose of the meeting, BGR published a long report on the long-rumored device,Peter Steele,How effective is the IUD

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