Cybersecurity in IoT: Achieving Digital Security in an Age of Surveillance

first_imgTags:#Blockchain#Government#personal security#secure payments#surveillance#the blockchain Related Posts In the 2006 science fiction thriller Déjá Vu, Denzel Washington plays a government agent who uses novel government technology to fold time and space back onto itself so that he can retroactively prevent a terrorist attack. It’s a creative interpretation of the concept of déjà vu, and, of course, Washington’s character uses this technology only for good. While the idea of literally bending time and space to repeat the past is relegated to science fiction, the film raises important questions about the ethics and prevalence of government surveillance, which are particularly prescient for our modern times.As part of the natural evolution of technology, the internet of things (IoT) has established itself as one of the most transformative innovations of our time. IoT is a simple process of connecting existing devices to the internet so that they can send and receive data that allows them to act independently. Dubbed “smart” devices, they are becoming incredibly popular. We are connecting billions of IoT devices to the internet, and Gartner predicts that we will connect more than 20 billion IoT devices by 2020. This includes everything from smart home systems to driverless cars. The full range of the ordinary to the extraordinary is represented by the IoT.Unfortunately, all of these connected devices and the troves of data that they transmit through the internet are fodder for government surveillance. As Shay Hershkovitz eloquently wrote in Wired, “There is little doubt that the web is the greatest gift that any intelligence agency could have ever asked for.” The internet is a place where we willingly provide our personal data to companies and governments in exchange for the pale privilege of surfing the web.This is especially true with IoT. All of our connected devices continuously broadcast our information, and the collection can be used in unimaginable ways. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper said during congressional testimony that “In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment or to gain access to networks or users credentials.Even for people with nothing to hide, this is a concerning statement. With all the data shared through IoT, it’s almost like surveillance projects do have the ability to bend time and space to repeat the past.Fortunately, we are making progress here with the development of blockchain technology, the decentralized ledger system that’s enabling and securing the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world, and is also offering security solutions for IoT that may allow the practice to thrive while still preserving privacy and security.The blockchain decentralizes the network.One of the obvious but unique aspects of IoT is that all of its devices broadcast their information through the internet. Even two devices sitting directly next to one another will communicate across millions of miles of internet infrastructure. Since these devices broadcast through cloud services housed in centralized servers, there are evident and vulnerable points of attack or surveillance.The blockchain runs a decentralized ledger system, which distributes information across a network of computers and uses a consensus algorithm to ensure parity. IBMembraces this approach in its IoT for business products, noting that the blockchain “enables your business partners to access and supply IoT data without the need for a central authority or management.”Moreover, according to Deloitte, IBM and Samsung have put together a proof of concept using the Ethereum blockchain to improve the technical capabilities of IoT and to enhance its security. Their product has secured financing from Verizon Ventures, the investment division of Verizon Communications, which indicates that the security enhancements produced by decentralization are offering promising results.The blockchain enables tokenized information.The blockchain was initially conceived by bitcoin developers to facilitate p2p transactions without the use of an intermediary like a bank. It’s been pretty successful so far, and this same concept can be applied to IoT. The creation of unique IoT related tokens can allow individuals to participate in the ecosystem while still protecting their most vulnerable information.In many ways, tokenized information is the perfect balance between accessibility and privacy. After all, the IoT becomes a lot less compelling if it can’t adapt to your use-cases. In this case, the token acts as a substitute for a person’s actual information. Therefore, IoT can achieve a personal connection without ever revealing any personal information. It’s an ironic scenario, but it’s one that makes all the difference in preserving privacy.The blockchain is unchangeable.One of the most troubling aspects of government surveillance is their ability to conceal their actions. Without whistleblowers like Edward Snowden or ironic hacks on government databases, the extent of surveillance is rarely known or understood. The blockchain offers a transparent framework that records activity and ensures that records cannot be tampered with.The blockchain’s transparency is a hallmark of the platform, and it’s a valuable measure toward ensuring that user’s data is accurate, intact, and secure. There is no slowing IoT development, and that’s a good thing. With the blockchain, IoT can secure users’ privacy before it becomes a commodity of government surveillance programs.Unfortunately, we know that surveillance programs rarely play the heroic role that they do in films like Déjà vu. In fact, for IoT to ignore this fact would cause some unfortunate déjà vu as it falls victim to the same privacy violations already plaguing the internet. Ruben is a blockchain security consultant currently living in New York City. He helps organizations fundamentally redesign experiences to create new sources of value also digitally reinventing company’s operations for greater efficiency. How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Reuben Jackson AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…last_img read more

Liars Leading with Lies

first_imgTwice in as many weeks, I’ve had a salesperson reach out to me and begin the sales conversation with a lie.In the first case, the salesperson suggested that they were already doing business with one of my companies and recognized we needed an account manager. I didn’t believe we had a contract with this company, and I asked the salesperson who signed our contract. He replied that someone in our Human Resources department or the CFO signed the contract. Unfortunately, the company he was referring to doesn’t have a Human Resources department or a Chief Financial Officer, proof that he was indeed lying. It was all downhill from there.Fast forward one week and I get a call from a Google Certified Search consulting organization based out of London, England. They called to let me know they only represent one speaker per state in the US, and to share with me that the speaker in Ohio had just decided to move to Canada. This opened a space for me to work with them exclusively.They also suggested the speaker was obtaining four to five engagements per month because of their work. When I asked them the name of the speaker, they refused to share the name. There was no name because there was no speaker. Were there a speaker, they would have leveraged her name to gain credibility. The search consultant hung up on me.No Lies and No LiarsFor most people and be to be sales, there is little willingness or desire to begin a relationship with the prospect by lying. There are very few who would be willing to trade the their integrity and the relationship for the opportunity to explore change. In fact, most B2B sales people would prefer to protect their integrity and try again rather than do anything that would damage the possibility of a future relationship.Opportunities are too rare. Relationships are too valuable. Your long-term success in sales is dependent upon you being someone worth doing business with, and starting with a lie is an indication that you are self-oriented, smarmy, manipulative, deceitful, dishonest, and lack integrity. Not someone anyone wants as their partner in anything.It’s better to lose by being truthful than to win by lying.If you are salesperson and are being told to lie to your prospective clients as a way to create and win opportunities, you should immediately resign from that position and go to work for a company with better leaders. If you lie to your prospects because you think it makes selling easier, you should immediately find your way out of the profession. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Eumir Marcial ousts Kazakh foe, gets shot at gold in World Boxing Championships

first_imgFILE – Eumir Felix Marcial of Philippines (blue). PSC PHOTOMANILA, Philippines—Eumir Marcial advanced to the gold medal match after taking a unanimous decision win over Kazakhstan’s Tursynbay Kulakmet in the semifinals of the Aiba World Boxing Championships at Expo Centre in Ekaterinburg, Russia.The middleweight star landed a vicious two-punch combination to knock down Kulakmet, the third seed in the 69-75-kilogram division, in the first round.ADVERTISEMENT Marcial took off from there and took the 5-0 decision win, 29-27, 29-27, 30-27, 30-26, 29-28.Marcial will face Gleb Bakshi of Russia, the eighth seed in the middleweight division, in the finals on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Bakshi defeated Brazil’s Hebert Da Conceicao Sousa in the other semifinal.Marcial aims to become the first Filipino to win a world title since Josie Gabuco, who captured the gold in the women’s championships in 2012. Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ View comments Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES MOST READ This jewelry designer is also an architect Cardel ‘overjoyed’ as Columbian finds what it needs in import Khapri Alston Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Becoming his own man Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan 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 issuelast_img read more

IPL 2017: Suresh Raina fashions Gujarat Lions victory over Kolkata Knight Riders

first_imgSkipper Suresh Raina conjured up a tenacious rearguard action to lead Gujarat Lions to a four-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League game at the Eden Gardens on Friday.Raina (84; 46b; 9×4, 4×6) brought up his second fifty of the season’s IPL also eclipsing Virat Kohli as the highest run-getter in the cash-rich T20 league. This was the former Chennai Super Kings batsman’s 30th half century.The dashing left-hander, who was dropped on 1 by wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa, smashed Chris Woakes and Nathan Coulter-Nile for 18 and 16 runs respectively but fell to Kuldeep Yadav. Ravindra Jadeja, who was unbeaten on 19 with James Faulker for company at 4, hit the winning runs with a boundary.At the beginning, Aaron Finch (31;15b 4×4 2×6) lost his wicket just when he was looking good. Coulter-Nile undid the world’s second-best T20 batsman with a fast bouncer that the Aussie tried to pull, holing out to Manish Pandey at deep square leg.Play was stopped for half an hour after a light drizzle, helping KKR stem the flow of runs just when Brendon McCullum was looking dangerous on 27 off 13 balls and his team on 62/1. Gujarat were ahead by 21 runs by Duckworth-Lewis method.The big-hitting Kiwi fell to Woakes with Pandey snaffling it at sweeper cover.Dinesh Karthik (3), Ishan Kishan (4) and Dwayne Smith (5) followed suit soon after, Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav removing the trio.Earlier, brilliant half century by Uthappa (72; 48b 8×4 2×6) and a quickfire 17-ball 42 (9×4, 1×6) by makeshift opener Sunil Narine helped KKR post 187/5.advertisementFor the visitors, skipper Raina was the pick of the bowlers conceding just 11 runs in his two overs and taking the crucial wicket of Narine, who eclipsed Sri Lanka batting great Sanath Jayasuriya’s tally of 36 runs scored in boundaries when the dashing southpaw was playing for Mumbai Indians against Deccan Chargers.Alongwith skipper Gautam Gambhir (33; 28b 2×4 1×6), he engineered a 45-run partnership, finding the fence every three balls taking Praveen Kumar, James Faulkner and Thampi to the cleaners.Faulkner — playing his first match for Gujarat this season — suffered the most, going for three back-to-back fours in his last three deliveries as the allrounder, who was dropped from the Champions Trophy squad, went for 17 runs in his first over.Courtesy the Narine blitzkrieg, the hosts were 65/1 after the powerplay.Uthappa, in his new found No. 3 role, seamlessly blended with Gambhir to stitch together a 69-run stand for the second wicket as the men in purple tore their weak counterpart’s bowling attack to shreds.Jadeja missed a run out opportunity off Smith’s bowling, throwing at the wrong end when Uthappa was halfway down the crease at the non-striker’s end. Gambhir benefitted from the gaffe, bagging four overthrows.The in-form home team skipper fell to Faulkner soon after with KKR well set for a big score at 114/2, top edging a good length delivery to Raina at midwicket.Uthappa was finally taken by Praveen Kumar but the damage was already done.Pandey (24; 21b 2×4 0x6) and Suryakumar Yadav (1) departed soon while Yusuf Pathan remained unbeaten on 11.last_img read more

20 days agoBordeaux defender Laurent Koscielny: Why I had to leave Arsenal

first_imgBordeaux defender Laurent Koscielny: Why I had to leave Arsenalby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBordeaux defender Laurent Koscielny has opened up on his departure from Arsenal.The French defender left Arsenal under somewhat of a cloud as he forced his way out by refusing to go on the club’s pre-season tour to America.But the 34-year-old has now revealed he wanted to leave for the sake of his family.Koscielny told L’Equipe: “A Premier League season is very long. It requires a lot physically and mentally. I didn’t feel I could play 40-50 matches and I didn’t want to end my career with injuries.”I’ve gone down a level, but to take more pleasure.”Either I finished there or changed clubs. With my family, we felt it was time.”Everything was in my thinking: football, my physical state, my wife, my children, the daily life we could have.”I can only say that I left with my head held high. All of those I worked with for nine years… everyone respected my decision to return home with my family.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

They Mixed What With Their Grey Goose?: 4 Great New Vodka Cocktails

first_img Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktails You Can Master National Martini Day is over, but there is never not a good time for a Grey Goose cocktail. No matter the season or the reason, the premium vodka is versatile and craft bartenders around the country are proving that, lately more than ever. Check out these new cocktails and the ways bartenders across the country are using the spirit’s flavor profile to bring their cocktails to new heights.Grey Goose Such is Mango(Dan Sabo, Beverage Manager and Bartender at the Ace Hotel)1.5 oz Grey Goose le poire.75 oz Mango puree.5 oz Ginger Syrup.5 oz Lime juice.25 oz Benedictine2 Dashes Brother’s Aztec Chocolate Bitters5 Drops SrirachaMethod: Add ingredients to mixing tin with cube ice and shake. Double strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a lime and ginger slice.Related: Blue Tooth Enabled Vodka: What Hath God Wrought?Grey Goose High Five(Created by Guillaume Jubien for the 2015 ESPY Awards)1.5 oz Grey Goose1 oz Watermelon juice (cold press)2 oz Coconut water (cracked open).5 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice.5 oz Habanero pepper syrup*Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake with ice and strain over fresh ice in a long glass and garnish with a red-hot chili pepper.*Habanero Pepper Syrup:32 oz water1 lb. sugarMethod: Heat up on a pan and dissolve sugar until it become a syrup. Slice 1 habanero pepper without seed and infuse cooling down syrup. Strain.Kings’ Highway(Jeff Bell collaborating with fashion company Ovadia & Sons)2 oz Grey Goose® VX.25 oz Belle de Brillet Pear LiqueurBarspoon Honey SyrupLemon TwistRocks 2″ cubeMethod: StirGrey Goose VX Martini Exceptionelle5 oz. Grey Goose ® VXAbsinthe rinseSpray of honey waterGarnish or skewer of frozen grapesMethod: Rinse absinthe in glass. Stir VX over ice and strain in martini glass. Spray honey water into glass. Garnish with frozen grapes, a peach slice, or no garnish at all.(“Such is Mango” pictured above) 7 Fall Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy With Cooler Weather 6 Classic Gin Cocktail Recipes You Can’t Live Without 10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Home Editors’ Recommendations 10 Reasons Why Yuzu Should Be Your New Favorite Cocktail Ingredientlast_img read more

Lalit Arpan 2019

first_imgGuru Shovana Narayan (Padmashri), Dr Jyotsna Suri and Harish Narula announced the 18th edition of the LalitArpan Festival of Asavari. Conceptualised by Kathak maestro Padmashri Guru Shovana Narayan, Dr Jyotsna Suri and one of the most renowned tabla players late Ustad Shafaat Ahmed Khan, the festival will present a feast of performances by national and international artists. This year the LalitArpan Festival 2019 (18th Edition) will have: (September 30) LalitArpan Samman samaroh Performnace by Komal Biswal (Kathak) ‘Rashmirathi’ dance ballet by Shovana Narayan and Asavari Repertory (October 1) Kathak by Afsar Mulla Swachh Bharat dance ballet by Kavita Thakur and group Timings : 7.00 pm onward Venue : Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhilast_img

Ontarios Liberal premier sets focus on fairness one year away from the

first_imgTORONTO – Kathleen Wynne is all about the F word.Listen to Ontario’s premier speak these days and chances are she’ll talk about fairness. It has become her mantra, an idea she ties to nearly every big announcement she has made lately, from a $15 minimum wage to a basic income pilot to housing market cooling measures and rent control.Expect that to continue through to next year’s election on June 7, 2018.“Everything we’ve done will be part of the re-election (bid), but I certainly hope there will be a discussion in the election campaign about how to have a fairer society,” Wynne, 64, said in a recent interview.Wynne said she is “being very intentional about fairness,” whether it’s by raising the minimum wage, giving low- and middle-income students free post-secondary tuition, a youth pharmacare plan or cutting electricity bills.Hydro is where the renewed focus on fairness and affordability seems to have started. With voter anger over rising hydro bills reaching a fever pitch, Wynne first admitted at a Liberal convention in November that she made a “mistake” by paying too much attention to the larger problems in the electricity system and not enough to how costs were accumulating on people’s bills.She has always fought for “social justice,” Wynne said, but what’s changed is how she communicates her plan.Wynne used the word fair and variations of it about a dozen times while unveiling a basic income pilot project in April and about two dozen times while talking about a $15 minimum wage last month. She has unveiled the Fair Hydro Plan, the Fair Housing Plan and the Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs plan.“Making sure that we do everything that we can to make people’s lives fairer, make the province a fairer place to live, yeah, that has been a focus,” Wynne said in the interview.Greg Sorbara, who was finance minister under Wynne’s predecessor Dalton McGuinty, called that platform a game changer.Sorbara made headlines earlier this year for saying on TVO’s “The Agenda” it was “extremely unlikely” the Liberals could win the next election with Wynne at the helm. Her approval ratings have been dismal of late.“The night I was on ‘The Agenda’ the prospects looked very dim indeed,” he said in an interview. “I think there’s more light at the end of the tunnel…There’s a sense that the premier herself and the government is really getting its act together and that bodes well in the last year of a mandate.”There is a renewed focus on vulnerable populations, which is often a political strategy of the left, Sorbara said.“Is (Wynne) occupying all of the space of Andrea Horwath’s (NDP) party?” he said. “I think she’s occupying a lot of it and I’m not sure that’s a bad political strategy.”Wynne swears she is still “leading from the activist centre,” her phrase of 2014, but many others have noted her shift to the left. A recent newspaper editorial called her a great NDP premier.The next election will be the most difficult the Liberals have faced in a long time, Sorbara said.Anger over hydro bills has not gone away, and opposition politicians will be sure to remind voters that the Liberal plan to cut bills in the short term means ratepayers will end up paying more in the long term. Wynne’s decision to partially sell Hydro One to raise infrastructure cash remains unpopular.In September, not one but two trials begin involving Liberals. One in Sudbury on Election Act bribery charges and another in Toronto on mischief and breach of trust charges over the alleged deletion of emails about gas plant cancellations.And by that time, the Liberals will have been in power for 15 years. One of their biggest challenges will be fighting an appetite for change, said Genevieve Tellier, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa.“It’s to send a message that it’s not the old Liberals that are in power, but they have new ideas and they’re a dynamic and efficient and responsible government and they deserve to be re-elected,” she said.That messaging was on display this weekend as 600 Liberals did a mass canvass in 54 ridings, knocking on 60,000 doors to promote their plan.Polls have suggested they have a long way to go, but Wynne’s laser focus on pocketbook issues could still pay off.One of the latest polls put the Liberals ahead of the Progressive Conservatives, though within the margin of error, and Wynne’s own dismal approval rating saw a slight uptick, though still below 20 per cent.The Campaign Research poll is an outlier right now, but CEO Eli Yufest said announcements such as youth pharmacare, basic income and a balanced budget have helped the Liberals pull ahead in his polling for the first time in a long time.“The provincial Liberals will not give up without a fight,” he said. “There’s no doubt that what they’re doing, what they’re unveiling in terms of policy is resonating among the electorate.”last_img read more

Family of Indigenous woman who was decapitated say killers walk free

first_imgWINNIPEG – Just one of the many cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women has left a Manitoba community divided, a family struggling with grief and a mistrust of the justice system, a national inquiry was told Tuesday.On its second day of hearings in Winnipeg, the inquiry heard about the ripple effects from the killing of Roberta McIvor — a 32-year-old woman who was decapitated on the Sandy Bay Ojibwa reserve northwest of Winnipeg on July 30, 2011.“It’s really hard on me still. I still sometimes cry myself to sleep at night,” McIvor’s daughter Justine Strong said, sobbing occasionally as she spoke.“I try my best to be the best mother — just like her — because I know everything I did with my life, she’d be really proud of me.”Strong was 14 when she last saw her mother, who was going out for the evening to visit friends. McIvor’s body was found the next morning — her head on one side of a road, her torso on the other.Authorities told the family the decapitation was inadvertent and caused by a seatbelt during a violent carjacking. Two teenage girls from Sandy Bay pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to two years in custody and one year of supervision in the community.The family immediately had doubts about how accidental the decapitation was. It occurred on the third anniversary of the death of Tim McLean, a young carnival worker who was beheaded by a fellow passenger aboard a Greyhound bus on a Manitoba highway in a case that made international headlines.The family also believed others in the community of 2,500 were involved in the killing, perhaps by helping out the killers before or after. Suspicion and rumours grew. The family did not know who to trust.“My community was so split in half that people were hiding murderers within our community,” the victim’s cousin, Alaya McIvor, told the hearing.“There are still a lot of unanswered questions.”The family was taunted, McIvor added. Strong said she left Sandy Bay right after finishing high school.“I don’t feel protected in the community and … it just doesn’t feel like home any more.”The inquiry also heard about the death of Cherisse Houle, 17, originally from the Ebb and Flow First Nation — an Aboriginal community 40 kilometres down the road from Sandy Bay. Her body was found in a creek bed just outside Winnipeg on July 1, 2009.Her death remains a mystery and no one has been charged.“I know for a fact someone took my daughter to the outskirts and killed her,” the teen’s mother, Barb Houle, told the hearing.“My daughter didn’t get to live her life.”As with the McIvor family, Houle’s death had a ripple effect. Her mother recalled spiralling into depression and substance abuse. Cherisse’s brother, Jordan, died in a shooting in Winnipeg three years later.Cherisse’s young son was left without a mother.“The other day, I had him and … he said, ‘If I could have one wish, I wish I could see my real mom for one day,’” Barb Houle said.The Winnipeg hearings follow earlier meetings in Smithers, B.C., and Whitehorse, Yukon. The inquiry has faced criticism from some families about delays, poor communication, a lack of transportation and accommodation support. One commissioner and some staff members have resigned.Alaya McIvor told Tuesday’s hearing she does not have faith in the process.“You’re failing us,” McIvor said. “This is not what family members picture as a national inquiry.”Her remarks were met with some applause from the audience.last_img read more

Toronto International Film Festival Announces 2018 Award Winners

first_imgGROLSCH​ ​PEOPLE’S​ ​CHOICE​ ​AWARDS IWC​ ​SHORT​ ​CUTS​ ​AWARD​ ​FOR​ ​BEST​ ​SHORT​ ​FILM For the 27th year, the Festival welcomed an international FIPRESCI jury. This year’s jury is comprised of Jury President Lesley Chow (Australia), Andrés Nazarala (Chile), Astrid Jansen (Belgium), Pierre Pageau (Canada), James Slotek (Canada), and Viswanath Subrahmanyan (India).The Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery programme is awarded to Carmel Winters for Float Like a Butterfly​, which the jury called “a pastoral and traditional bucolic film, capturing the familiar angst and anxiety a young adult woman undergoes in order to have her say in the scheme of things in a predominately male-driven patriarchal society.”“Through her spectacular and deft narrative, nuanced understanding of the dilemmas women face, and a pitch-perfect performance by Hazel Doupe, this film is a triumph of free spirit.”Honourable mention goes to Laura Luchetti’s Twin Flower.The Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations is awarded to Guy Nattiv for Skin, which the jury called “a gripping study of a group of extremists and the choices available to them. It’s raw yet intelligently paced, with stunning performances, especially by a near-unrecognizable Vera Farmiga.”Honourable mention goes to Louis Garrel’s A Faithful Man. The IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film goes to Sandhya Suri’s The Field​. The jury noted, “The film is striking for its aesthetic lyricism, tender performances, and powerful emotional impact.” TORONTO — The Toronto International Film Festival® announced its award winners at the closing ceremony at TIFF Bell Lightbox today, hosted by Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. The 43rd Festival wraps up this evening. The Festival and the Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund present the third Audentia Award for Best Female Director, selected by the jury comprised of Anne Frank, Reinaldo Marcus Green, and Kerri Craddock. The award goes to Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian’s Fig Tree.“Fig Tree is a stunning and illuminating debut,” the jury remarked. “Based on her own experiences, Ethiopian-Israeli writer-director Aäläm-Wärqe Davidian takes us on an unsentimental journey and shows us the tragic effects of civil war on ordinary people. Confidently directed with grit and compassion, Fig Tree is a beautifully rendered, big-hearted story about a Jewish teenage girl’s attempt to save those she loves, but it’s also an intimate coming-of-age story of self-discovery and female empowerment.” This award carries a €30,000 cash prize.Awarding an honourable mention to Camilla Strøm Henriksen’s Phoenix, the jury said: “Phoenix is a courageous debut from Norwegian director Camilla Strøm Henriksen. A visually arresting and emotionally nuanced film, Phoenixfocuses on a young teen who assumes an enormous burden of responsibility in the face of her mother’s mental illness and her father’s absence. With a seamless blend of stark realism and cinematic magic realism, Henriksen’s story subtly, yet powerfully, unfolds from the perspective of her mature young protagonist.” As selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Pacific Cinema for the seventh consecutive year, the NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere in the Discovery and Contemporary World Cinema sections goes to Ash Mayfair’s The Third Wife.Jury members include Vilsoni Hereniko (Fiji), Meng Xie (China), and Gülin Üstün (Turkey). The jury remarked, ”Ash Mayfair’s debut feature The Third Wife signalled the emergence of a young female director-writer whose aesthetic sensibilities, cinematic language, and extraordinary ability to illuminate the past for contemporary audiences augur well for the future of Vietnamese and world cinema.”The jury gave honourable mention to Bai Xue’s The Crossing. The jury said, “Bai Xue’s storytelling in her debut film The Crossing shattered cinematic boundaries to create an original visual language that propelled her protagonist’s emotional crossing into adulthood as she crossed the physical boundaries of Hong Kong into mainland China.” “It’s a unique and refreshing glimpse into female desire set in rural India that demonstrated a scope greater than its short format.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize, made possible by IWC Schaffhausen.The jury gave honourable mentions to Anette Sidor’s Fuck You, for its acutely observed study of teenage sexuality, and to Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels’s This Magnificent Cake!, for the spectacular level of animation and the surreal humour it uses to explore its complex colonial subject matter. The short-film awards were selected by a jury comprised of Claire Diao, Molly McGlynn, and Michael Pearce. The IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film goes to Meryam Joobeur’s Brotherhood.​ The jury remarked, “The film was masterfully executed, layered with bold ideas, rich textures, and nuanced character observations played by an unforgettable cast.”“The film successfully explored complex personal and political themes with compassion for its characters. By employing the intimate prism of a Tunisian family, the film was evidently made with a sense of maturity that points to a bright future from Meryam Joobeur.” The award offers a $10,000 cash prize, made possible by IWC Schaffhausen.The jury awarded an honourable mention to Jérémy Comte’s Fauve for its confident visual storytelling and moving performances from the child actors. The short-film awards were selected by a jury comprised of Claire Diao, Molly McGlynn, and Michael Pearce. Facebook CANADA​ ​GOOSE®​ ​AWARD​ ​FOR​ ​BEST​ ​CANADIAN​ ​FEATURE​ ​FILM The Canada Goose® Award for Best Canadian Feature Film goes to Sébastien Pilote’s The Fireflies Are Gone (La disparition des lucioles). The jury said it was chosen, “For its true-to-life depiction of a young woman’s quest to find meaning and hope in a world that has constantly disappointed her.” This award carries a cash prize of $30,000 and a custom award, sponsored by Canada Goose®. The Canadian awards were selected by a jury comprised of Mathieu Denis, Ali Özgentürk, and Michelle Shephard. Advertisement Advertisement NETPAC​ ​AWARD center_img The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film goes to Katherine Jerkovic’s Roads in February (Les routes en février). The jury remarked it was selected, “For its warm portrayal of a young woman trying to reconnect with her distant heritage after her father’s untimely death, and for the way the film demonstrates how genuine human connections best develop between two individuals when they stand on common ground.” This award carries a cash prize of $15,000, made possible by the City of Toronto. The Canadian awards were selected by a jury comprised of Mathieu Denis, Ali Özgentürk, and Michelle Shephard. This year marked the 41st year that Toronto audiences were able to cast a ballot for their favourite Festival film for the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. This year’s award goes to Peter Farrelly for Green Book.​ The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by Grolsch. The first runner-up is Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. The second runner-up is Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA.The Festival presents free screenings of Green Book at TIFF Bell Lightbox tonight. Tickets are now available online, by phone, and in person. This screening is Rush eligible.The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award goes to Vasan Bala’s The Man Who Feels No Pain​.​ The first runner-up is David Gordon Green’s Halloween. The second runner-up is Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation.The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Free Solo, directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The first runner-up is Tom Donahue’s This Changes Everything.  The second runner-up is John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm.   THE​ ​PRIZES​ ​OF​ ​THE​ ​INTERNATIONAL​ ​FEDERATION​ ​OF​ ​FILM​ ​CRITICS​ ​(FIPRESCI​ ​PRIZES)  TORONTO​ ​PLATFORM​ ​PRIZE​ ​PRESENTED​ ​BY​ ​AIR​ ​FRANCE  EURIMAGES’ AUDENTIA AWARD LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment CITY​ ​OF​ ​TORONTO​ ​AWARD​ ​FOR​ ​BEST​ ​CANADIAN​ ​FIRST​ ​FEATURE​ ​FILM  IWC​ ​SHORT​ ​CUTS​ ​AWARD​ ​FOR​ ​BEST​ ​SHORT​ ​FILM This is the fourth year for Platform, the Festival’s juried programme that champions directors’ cinema from around the world. The Festival welcomed an international jury comprised of award-winning filmmakers Mira Nair, Béla Tarr, and Lee Chang-dong, who unanimously awarded the Toronto Platform Prize Presented by Air France to Wi Ding Ho’s Cities of Last Things.The jury said, “This is a deeply moving drama from a director who shows great skill in his ability to weave together multiple genres with social and political critique, while telling a story that remains intimately human at its core. For us, this film has a spirit that always feels beautifully close to real life.”“Over the course of the Festival, we’ve had the privilege of watching 12 films that left us excited with the feeling that the future of directors’ cinema is in such capable hands. The great joy of being on the Platform Jury has been participating in a competition celebrating emerging visions that are bold, daring, innovative, and sometimes even challenging. The great difficulty, however, has been selecting only one director to win the Toronto Platform Prize. After much contemplation and thorough discussion, we all agreed together upon one prize winner and one honourable mention.”Awarding an honourable mention to Emir Baigazin’s The River, the jury said: “We were completely absorbed by the singular world this film creates through precise and meticulous craft, breathtaking visuals, and a boldly patient yet engrossing observational style.”The Toronto Platform Prize offers a custom award and a $25,000 cash prize, made possible by Air France.TIFF presents a free screening of Toronto Platform Prize winner Cities of Last Things at TIFF Bell Lightbox, 9:15pm, on September 16. Tickets to this free screening are now available online, by phone, and in person. This screening is Rush eligible. TIFF prefers Visa.Social Media: Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Macro Enterprises begins construction on Aitken Creek spread of North Montney Mainline

first_imgThe Aitken Creek Section – Spread 2 is approximately 67 km of NPS 42-inch pipeline and related facilities, and the value of the contract is approximately CAD$200 million.The company said it is working with joint venture partner Spiecapag Canada Corp. on the project.“We are very pleased to be working again for TransCanada Pipelines Inc. and their subsidiary Nova Gas Transmission Ltd,” said Macro Enterprises President and CEO Frank Miles. “This award substantiates our growth plans. This also positions the Company for future opportunities in this market”.Macro said that construction on the pipeline spread is planned to be completed during the first quarter of 2019. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John-based Macro Enterprises Inc. announced Tuesday that it has started construction of the Aitken Creek section – Spread 2 of the North Montney Mainline Project.The North Montney Mainline comprises 301 kilometres of 42-inch pipeline, which will also include metering facilities, valve sites and compression facilities and will provide the added capacity needed to ship natural gas southward.The pipeline will be owned and operated by NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd., a subsidiary of TransCanada Pipelines Ltd.last_img read more

With high food prices set to continue UN agencies issue call to

“The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2011,” an annual flagship report which the three Rome-based agencies jointly produced this year, states that small, import-dependent countries, particularly in Africa, are especially vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity.The report – produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – says that crises, such as the food crisis several years ago and the current one in the Horn of Africa, “are challenging our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half in 2015.”“Even if the MDG were achieved by 2015 some 600 million people in developing countries would still be undernourished. Having 600 million people suffering from hunger on a daily basis is never acceptable,” the heads of the three agencies said in the preface to the report.“The entire international community must act today and act forcefully to banish food insecurity from the planet,” they added.Among its recommendations, the report calls on Governments to ensure that a transparent and predictable regulatory environment is in place, one that promotes private investment and increases farm productivity.“We must reduce food waste in developed countries through education and policies, and reduce food losses in developing countries by boosting investment in the entire value chain, especially post-harvest processing,” it states.It also calls for more sustainable management of natural resources, forests and fisheries, all of which are critical for the food security of many of the poorest members of society.This year’s global hunger report focuses on high and volatile food prices, major contributing factors in global food insecurity. Food price volatility may increase over the next decade, it notes, due to increasing demand from consumers in rapidly growing economies, a population that is on the rise, further growth in biofuels that will place additional demands on the food system, as well as more frequent extreme weather events.Meanwhile, stronger economies and high food prices present incentives for increased long-term investment in the agricultural sector, which can contribute to improved food security in the long run, the report adds.“When farmers react to higher prices with increased production it is essential to build on their short-term response with increased investment in agriculture, with emphasis on initiatives that support smallholders, who are the main food producers in many parts of the developing world,” the agencies stated in a joint news release.The report stresses that investment in agriculture remains critical to sustainable, long-term food security and calls for directing resources to cost-effective irrigation, improved land-management practices and better seeds developed through agricultural research.There were an estimated 925 million hungry people in the world in 2010, as compared to 850 during the period from 2006-2008, according to FAO. No estimates have been produced for 2011 since the agency is currently revising the methodology it uses for calculating the prevalence of hunger. 10 October 2011The United Nations agencies working to combat hunger today called for action to ensure long-term food security as a new report shows that high food prices are likely to continue and possible increase over the next decade. read more

Noconfidence motion against Prime Minister postponed

However following the current developments in the country it has been decided to postpone submitting the no-confidence motion in Parliament.The joint opposition has also postponed a major rally it was to stage in Nugegoda. (Colombo Gazette) The joint opposition has decided to postpone the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.The no-confidence motion was to be presented to Parliament today.

Womens lacrosse No 15 Stanford hands Ohio State first loss of the

Ohio State freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez looks to pass in the offensive zone against Stanford on Feb. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: James King | Lantern reporterEarly struggles plagued the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team yet again. This time it was costly. The Buckeyes (3-1) dropped their first game of the year, 19-9, to the No. 15 Stanford Cardinal (2-3) by digging themselves into a four-goal deficit in the first 12 minutes of the game. This marks the fifth time the Cardinal have taken down the Buckeyes in the last five seasons, with OSU’s last win coming in 2012.“We knew Stanford was going to give us a complete game,” OSU coach Alexis Venechanos said. “So we knew we were going to need a complete game.”Stanford dominated the ball in the early goings in large part due to OSU’s 12 first-half turnovers. The Cardinal would capitalize off of the Buckeyes’ mistakes with their first goal from junior midfielder Kelly Myers coming at the 25:45 mark. Stanford would then grab three more unassisted goals from sophomore midfielder Genesis Lucero, senior attacker Elizabeth Cusick and senior attacker Anna Salemo.OSU, as they’ve done before, found a way to close the goal gap quickly. Sophomore midfielder Baley Parrott netted the first goal for the Scarlet and Gray with 15:46 remaining in the first half. Within five minutes of Parrott’s seventh goal of the season, the game was tied.“We know the team we are,” junior attacker Molly Wood said. “We’ve been in those positions this season already, where we were down, and we do find that in those situations we stay calm.”Freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez would score her first of two goals on the day, which was followed shortly by Wood’s seventh score of the year. Freshman midfielder Sage Darling, who made her first appearance of the season last game against Cincinnati, would score her first collegiate goal to tie the game at four.Stanford responded, going on a 4-1 scoring run to close out the half, sending them to the locker room with an 8-5 lead. The Buckeyes struggled to gain and keep possession throughout the first half, only winning six of 14 draw controls. And despite having 18 less fouls than the Cardinal’s 31, it only correlated to two free-position goals in the first half.OSU won the opening draw of the second half and struck first off of two goals from Wood in the first 71 seconds, narrowing the Cardinal lead to just one. Wood has scored back-to-back hat tricks, putting her season point total at 12.Stanford stretched its lead back to four with 25:04 remaining in the game. The Cardinal’s senior attacker Kelsey Murray would be responsible for two of the goals in that span, her third and fourth of the game, putting her one shy of her season high for goals in a game.“At halftime it was reachable, ” Venechanos said. “And then, we just didn’t have that opportunity to make our own run. Stanford had the next five or six possessions and we didn’t make any stops.”Parrott would connect on her second goal of the evening before Stanford would go on a three-goal run to extend their lead to six, 14-8, with 19:59 left in the game. At the 16:27 mark, Wood found the net yet again, giving her four on the day, this time off an assist from freshman midfielder Alex Vander Molen. It was her 10th assist of the season, putting her at a Big Ten best 2.5 assist per game.“I thought we had one more run in us to be honest,” Venechanos said. “But maybe (the game) was a little bit physical and emotional so mentality wise, we didn’t have enough gas.”It was a physical game. There were 75 fouls between the two teams, with Stanford being assessed four yellow cards to OSU’s three.Stanford would go on to push their lead out to eight by scoring four consecutive goals for a second time in the contest. The run included a goal from Salemo, giving her her first hat trick of the season.The Buckeyes would allow two more goals before the game was over, giving Stanford the eventual 19-9 victory. OSU allowed a season-high 36 shots against Stanford and when coupling that with 16 turnovers, it does not add up to a stellar outing.“If you give a team almost 40 shots they are going to have an opportunity to execute,” Venechanos said. “And they did.”Now the Buckeyes turn their attention to Sunday’s matchup against the California Golden Bears (1-2) in Ohio Stadium at noon. “The good news is we have another game in 48 hours,” Venechanos said. “Credit to Stanford, they beat us. But we’ve got to get better from this.” read more

Mens Basketball No 5 Ohio State seeks redemption in rematch against No

Ohio State freshman forward Kaleb Wesson (34) looks to drive in the second half of the game against Penn State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Mar. 2 in Madison Square Garden. Ohio State lost 68-69. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorNo. 5 Ohio State has faced No. 4 Gonzaga before and it did not end well for the Buckeyes. The Bulldogs handed first-year head coach Chris Holtmann his first loss at the helm of the Buckeyes in what is still the largest loss of the season, an 86-59 defeat.Both teams have come a long way since then. Ohio State lost two of its next three games, but then finished the season going 19-4 in the remaining 23 games. Gonzaga, on the other hand, lost its next game against Florida, but finished the regular season with a 27-4 record and claimed both the West Coast Conference regular-season and tournament championships.Projected Starters:GonzagaG — Josh Perkins — Junior, 6-foot-3, 190 lbs., 12.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.3 apgG — Silas Melson — Senior, 6-foot-4, 194 lbs., 9.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Zach Norvell — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 205 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.3 apgF — Killian Tillie — Sophomore, 6-foot-10, 210 lbs., 13.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.7 apgC — Johnathan Williams — Senior, 6-foot-9, 228 lbs., 13.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.6 apgOhio StateG — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apgG — Kam Williams — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 185 lbs., 8.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 0.7 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 12.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.8 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 19.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 1.7 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 10.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 1.1 apgScouting GonzagaGonzaga has everything that gives Ohio State trouble. It is a team with a significant size advantage that can score from 3 if it needs to and relies on strong post play with big, athletic guards who shoot well. For those reasons, Ohio State was unable to even come remotely close to the Bulldogs in its early season loss. Aside from center, where freshman Kaleb Wesson has a 42-pound advantage over senior Johnathan Williams, Gonzaga is bigger at every position in the starting lineups. The physicality and size advantage is part of the reason the matchup last time was not close.Typically this season, Ohio State has been able to outscore its opponents in the paint and win the battles on the glass. But against Gonzaga, Ohio State was outscored in the paint 36-22 and outrebounded 35-31. This is not an uncommon trend for Gonzaga this season. The Bulldogs have the fifth-highest 2-point scoring success rate of any team in the country at 58.7 percent and hold opponents to a miniscule 43.7 percent rate, sixth-lowest in the nation. They have also dominated opponents on both sides of the court in rebounding, owning the sixth-highest rebounding margin in the country at plus-8.6.Gonzaga is not just a big team, however. It also possesses quite a lot of speed and athleticism. Against Ohio State, it scored nine fast-break points to the Buckeyes’ zero and converted 17 points off turnovers. This type of offense is one that could give the Buckeyes plenty of issues the second time around. Ohio State has struggled against teams with a fast-pace offense and against any team with a size advantage. Likely no player will give Ohio State more issues again than junior guard Josh Perkins. Standing 6-foot-3, he is taller than either of the Buckeyes’ starting guards and gave the team a lot of issues in the first meeting. He dropped 20 points on the Buckeyes in the last game between the teams, making 6-of-9 3s and two free throws. Though he is not quite of the same caliber as Penn State sophomore guard Tony Carr, who has combined to score 83 points in his team’s three wins against Ohio State, Perkins’ ability to both score from 3 (40.4 percent 3-point success rate) and inside (49.6 percent 2-point success rate) combined with his size and athleticism will provide the Buckeyes with a significant challenge. Where’s Wesson?For the first time this season, Wesson played fewer than 10 minutes. The freshman center logged just seven minutes in his team’s 81-73 win against South Dakota State while the team deployed a smaller lineup that leaned heavily on Wesson’s older brother, sophomore forward Andre Wesson, and a trio of guards. Wesson made his first career start against Gonzaga and fouled out after recording 25 minutes. But in his second game against the Bulldogs, he will need to be ready to give the Buckeyes even more minutes. The drastic size disadvantage for Ohio State means the team will need its biggest player to provide production in the paint if it hopes to come away with the win.The Bottom LineOhio State and Gonzaga play very similar games. Both can score from beyond the arc when they need to and both tend to dominate in the paint. But Gonzaga plays the same game significantly better than Ohio State.This Ohio State team could be better than the one that lost 86-59 to Gonzaga on Nov. 23, but this is still one of the toughest possible second-round matchups the Buckeyes could have drawn. It would be a major surprise if the Buckeyes came away with the win.Prediction:Gonzaga wins 82-68 read more

Column Are we really foreign agents – Russias crackdown on civil society

first_imgEARLIER THIS YEAR we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our NGO – the “Women of the Don” Alliance, named after the mighty river Don which flows near our city Novocherkassk, in southern Russia’s Rostov region.For 20 years we have focused on the promotion of human rights and peace through non-violent means. It came as a shock to us when in March this year our offices were raided by a host of authorities – the prosecution office, the tax office, the police, the security services, the fire brigade and the financial auditors. Ostensibly, they wanted to check on our activities in connection with the “foreign agents law”.We have never kept our activities secret – we have helped thousands of people who can testify to this.Our NGO has lawyers, human rights defenders and psychologists on hand to advise people from around the region on a range of issues affecting their everyday lives – family, labour, housing, pensions. More than 12,000 people have visited our surgeries.More than 7,000 people – military and civilians, teachers and students, members of parliament and local administrations, journalists, and police from all over Russia have taken part in our projects. In the last two decades, we have dealt with violence against women, gender discrimination, peace and cooperation between different peoples, cooperation with law enforcement and human rights.Over time we have grown, and now we are one of the biggest and most influential NGOs in the Rostov Region. The “Women on the Don” alliance includes eight groups and more than 60 activists in different cities across the region.We have been providing material and psychological support to people who became destitute and homeless as a result of flooding in the town of Krymsk, which was completely submerged under water in July last year. With the help of 250 volunteers, soon after the flooding, we sent trucks with clothes, drinking water, hygiene materials and food. We organised a seminar to educate teachers from the town on how to counsel the victims of flooding.Since last December we have been working on a project to promote dialogue and tolerance between different sectors of society. In this dialogue we want to promote different voices on the most important issues of our everyday life and we want this to be done in a civilised, tolerant manner. We want people to learn to respect different points of view.So, are we really foreign agents? Who are we working for if not for our own people? How can our activities be viewed as “political”?Russian law does not define what constitutes “political activity”. This has given the authorities free rein to prosecute NGOs on a whim!In the last eight months following the March raid on our organisation we have spent hours and hours trying to prove that our only aim is to help ordinary people in their everyday lives – is this a political ambition? Maybe this should be the ambition of all politicians.The “Women of the Don” Alliance has nothing to be ashamed of and we have nothing to feel guilty for. We are proud of our work. That’s why, at a meeting of the organisation we decided that we cannot and should not label ourselves as “foreign agents”.The courts threw out all of the administrative charges against us. However, we are being sued now for refusing to register as “foreign agents”.What will become of us, I don’t know. I don’t know what will happen to me, because my work is my life.I know that everyday people who we have helped are phoning us to offer support.The closure of our organisation will affect so many people. It will be really awful if the authorities try to make us close down our organisation by making life impossible.Valentina Cherevatenko is the head of a Russian non-governmental organisation (NGO) which is being sued under the so-called “foreign agents law”. The law, enacted by the Russian authorities late last year, requires any NGO receiving foreign funding and engaging in what it defines very loosely as “political activity” to register as an “organization performing the functions of a foreign agent”.This article originally appeared on Amnesty International’s Livewire blog. Take action: Tell Russia’s President Putin to protect freedom of expressionlast_img read more

10 Reasons Into the SpiderVerse Is the Best SpiderMan Movie Ever

first_imgStay on target At one point, Sony’s animated Marvel feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse looked poised to be a mere quirky, also-ran in an era of superhero filmmaking where a well-received live-action Spider-Man (as portrayed by Tom Holland) has been popularly integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe juggernaut. Instead it became a huge hit with audiences, earned some of the best reviews of the year, and launched multiple spinoffs of its own into pre-production. With the Academy Awards one week away and having thus far near-swept the year’s worth of animated film awards, it’s considered a heavy favorite to win Best Animated feature — joining Black Panther in Marvel’s double-pronged assault on the previously superhero-proof Oscar season.With all that praise, it’s hardly surprising that as the film continues to make its way through the popular consciousness, many have suggested that it might actually be the best animated film of the year, the best animated superhero movie yet or even the best Spider-Man movie — animated or otherwise — ever made. That’s quite a statement, considering how often Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 is ranked alongside Richard Donner’s Superman or Nolan’s The Dark Knight as one of (if not the) best superhero movies ever made.Could it be? Here are 10 times that Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse made its case as the best Spider-Man movie ever made (WARNING: SPOILERS).It’s the Most Comic-Book Feeling Movie EverPlenty of films and TV shows have tried, to varying degrees of success, to bring the unique feel of comics to motion; think the Adam West Batman incorporating off-kilter angles and cartoon sound-effects, or Sin City’s abstract monochrome palette. But Into the Spider-verse not only goes all the way visually — using a revolutionary mix of 2D, 3D, digital, and hand-drawn animation techniques to recreate the fusion-media feel of a modern comics page — it uses those stylized tricks to convey mood and emotion in ways a live-action film never could; from the thought balloons crowding out Miles’ post-empowerment headspace to the astonishing final battle set in a collapsing maelstrom of different styles and animation-effects representing a breakdown between realities. Nothing in the world of live-action or animation has ever looked more heroic.Photo Credit: Sony Pictures AnimationIt Uses the Best of Every Previous Spider-ManEven when the change is overall for the better, there are always pieces of the prior incarnations that end up being missed whenever a superhero franchise retools or reboots: No one has yet managed to write a piece of Superman music that can supplant John Williams’ theme in the popular imagination, and the live-action Spider-Man movies can’t seem to bring themselves to even attempt re-casting J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson.But liberated from the constraints of live-action and with a Multiverse gimmick baked into its plot, Into the Spider-Verse takes full advantage (and then some) of the freedom to mix and match the best aspects of every version that’s come before: Its Miles Morales is both inspired-by the original from Ultimate Spider-Man but also new to the film, its two versions of “classic” Peter Parker freely borrow from the comics, cartoons, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland versions, it’s flashback invocation of “With great power…” samples Cliff Robertson’s reading of the line from the first Sam Raimi film (at one point having Maguire voice Peter B. Parker was discussed) while classic moments like the first-webswing “Woooooo!” to the upside-down kiss and even Spider-Man 2’s iconic train rescue combine with visuals inspired by comics, cartoon, and video-game versions to create something wholly new.It’s the First Superhero Movie to Go Beyond (And Think Bigger Than) the MCUThe Marvel Cinematic Universe rewrote the rules for superhero movies (and made the genre bigger than it ever was before) by winning its gamble that the genre-fluid shared-universe continuity employed by comics — where sci-fi, fantasy, horror, action, and comedy storytelling break down and merge into a singular cohesive whole — could successfully translate to movies and television. But with audiences now having fully accepted, via the MCU, that what began in the semi-grounded world of the first Iron Man could grow to include wizards, viking gods and space raccoons… where can the genre go next?As it turns out, the answer is to begin breaking through the walls between reality, logic, and self-awareness itself, and it’s not Marvel-proper that got to this next-level first but rather a licensed side-project from Spider-Man co-owner Sony. Spider-Verse took the possibilities of superhero movies to the place genre-reshaping works like Crisis on Infinite Earths and Grant Morrison’s Animal Man did for comics in the ’80s and ’90s, and one has to wonder if it’ll be a comedown to step back into the “normal” MCU after this: “Yeah, sure, this is fine… nobody’s a cartoon pig, though…”It Goes Big Without Losing the Real StoryFans were rightly worried when it was revealed that what had initially been announced as an animated film about Miles Morales would also be a multiverse crossover featuring several other Spider-Men: Would the popular young hero’s fans be shortchanged in favor of a team-up — or, worse, would the premise itself render a character presented in comics as the successor to the Spider-Man mantle as just one of many interchangeable alternates? Incredibly, those fears turned out to be unfounded: The film balances its two-tiered story commendably, always keeping Miles’ origin and development at the center, and wisely keeping the other Spider-People as a Greek Chorus of supporting players whose presence enhance his story without ever overwhelming it. That’s hard to do, especially in a high-energy family film (not every animation studio would have the courage to cut away from introducing the wacky alt-universe Spiders in order to pick up a key plot-point about Miles and his Uncle Aaron) but Into the Spider-Verse consistently goes the right way.Photo Credit: Sony Pictures AnimationThose Awesome Fresh Takes on Classic Familiar CharactersSure, the film already has “new” material to spare in terms of how relatively unknown Miles Morales and the (living) version of Spider-Gwen are outside of loyal comic readers, but Into the Spider-Verse takes its conceit of being mainly set in a universe decidedly not identical to the “conventional” Spider-Man continuity or the real world as a free pass to try exciting new things with by now well-known characters: Two different Peter Parkers (one whose life has worked out much better than Spider-Man’s typically does, another who ended up even worse), a tech-wiz Aunt May who’s in on the secret and builds the gear, a Spanish-speaking cyborg Scorpion, some of the most intimidating versions of Kingpin, Tombstone, and the Prowler ever… and, of course, Kathryn Hahn’s Olivia Octavius — a gender-flipped Doctor Octopus whose reveal is one of the film’s best “gotcha!” moments, and who ends up being one of the most inspired versions of the character ever.It Does Diversity Right — And That MattersEvery Hollywood studio worth its salt knows that diverse casting that reflects the evolving 21st-century face of the global audience is a smart box-office move in addition to a forward-thinking one; but not every film has pulled it off without seeming awkward or tone-deaf. But the filmmakers behind Into the Spider-Verse clearly took their mandate to make the film’s central mantra of “Anyone can wear the mask” work as a real statement to rally behind, not simply in the instantly-iconic imagery of the familiar Spider-Man mask lifting to reveal the face of a Black teenage boy but in the way its story builds on themes of identity and culture for new insight into the familiar superhero “secret identity” setup.From the casual bilingual swapping between English and Spanish in conversation with his family and melting-pot NYC neighborhood to his unease at transferring to an upscale charter school to his internal conflict over admiration for his straight-laced policeman father and slick operator uncle (itself a micro-morality-play of competing cultural visions of Black American manhood), we’re repeatedly shown how profoundly Miles is already asked by the world around him to inhabit multiple identities even before it’s his turn to be Spider-Man — a significant but fascinating difference from other versions of the character that feels natural instead of heavy-handed.Photo Credit: Sony Pictures AnimationIt Gives Us a Spider-Man for the 21st CenturyMoreso than any other A-list superhero, Spider-Man has always connected strongly with the youth culture of each successive generation. The most popular versions of the character tend to be those that hew to the high school and college age versions of the comic book original, which is part of why Miles Morales was so much better received conceptually than many other radically-different “inheritor” legacy heroes by notoriously change-averse fans. But while movie versions have often leaned hard on nostalgia for the teen years of grownup filmmakers, Into the Spider-Verse feels directly in-tune with the 21st Century young audience it’s mainly aimed at: It speaks Generation Z’s language, moves at a modern speed, and (as noted previously) features a cast that actually looks like the diverse, evolving world it’s being released into.It Showed Us What a Superhero Death Looks Like When It CountsLet’s get real: The Infinity War “dusting” of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker (“Mr. Stark – I don’t feel good…”) was the shocker movie-meme of 2018 in large part because it’s so conceptually grim and Holland so effectively communicates the horror of the sequence — but no one thinks he’s going to stay dead, any more than they thought Henry Cavill was going to not come back in Justice League. That superhero deaths are hard to take seriously or be moved by has been a punchline for years — but maybe not after Into the Spider-Verse let us see what it can look like when it’s “for real.”Sure, there’s still a bit of an “escape hatch” — the Peter Parker of Miles’ universe has only been dead for a day or so before Miles meets the older, grumpier but very much alive (if dimensionally-displaced) Peter B. Parker version. But the initial sequence of the Morales Family, along with the rest of New York, gradually receiving the news that Spider-Man has been found dead (at only 26 years old — an additional gut-punch) is one of the film’s best sequences: Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla $ign, and XXXTENTACION’s “Scared of The Dark” queuing up on the soundtrack, the nighttime montage of New Yorkers’ stopping in their tracks as their phones light up with the bad news, Mary Jane Watson delivering a eulogy whose content says “This is the real thing, not just plot-information for later”… it’s a stunning moment, maybe the best version of such a scene ever — even before the additional final bruising no one could’ve planned for.Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Animation“I’m Gonna Miss Him…”“…We were friends, y’know.”If the rest of the funeral sequence didn’t fully break you on first viewing, hearing the voice of the (then) just recently-deceased Stan Lee come up on above the chatter had to do it. Especially with those two lines, and the perfectly-timed reveal of what the King of the Marvel Cameo’s role this time actually was: A costume store owner, who sells Miles Morales his first Spider-Man suit. Oof.It Has a Real Heart — And a Real Message“Anyone can be Spider-Man. You can be Spider-Man.” It sounds a bit like a cynical marketing line, and to an extent it is — a philosophical “poptimistic” sounding justification for the Into the Spider-Verse’s gimmick of a multiversal superhero team starring different versions of a popular hero. But the film turns it into a serious statement of purpose as well, crafting a narrative of inclusivity and openness to new concepts of what a hero can be that (in the broad strokes) offers the spectacle of “Spider-Men” across multiple different ages, genders, body-types and even species — but also gets serious and specific about the personal journey and stakes for the young hero at the center of the story.The Miles Morales of Into the Spider-Verse isn’t exactly the same character as the one who originated in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man, and its unknown if he resembles the (hypothetical) version who’s eventual existence has already been hinted at for the live-action MCU Spider-Man films. But for most moviegoers, this will be the first introduction to the character — a young Black man who inherits the mantle of a famous white superhero and has to make it his own in a world that already alternately demands of him, fears him, dismisses him, and in general, can’t stop telling him what he can and can’t be.Photo Credit: Sony Pictures AnimationThose realities hang over and inject real heart into every frame of the film, from his evolving relationship with his father to his shattering final confrontation with his uncle (revealed, as in the comics, to be The Prowler) and especially in his showdown with The Kingpin; whose stature as symbolic embodiment of blatant criminality enabled by power and privilege takes on a stark new dimension when he’s looming over a Spider-Man with the same face and voice of dozens of young men without superpowers who are (literally and figuratively) beaten down by other powerful old white men, like Wilson Fisk in real life, every day. It’s an animated film, and a very unusual one, but at heart it’s more “real” than most live-action superhero epics can ever hope to be.More on’s 15 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019MovieBob’s 12 Least Anticipated Movies of 2019MovieBob’s Top 10 Movies of 2018 MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ last_img read more

Fate of Clark County facilitator’s office moves into spotlight

first_imgConnie Brown deals with a lot of upset, confused and, sometimes, angry people.As a clerk in the Clark County Facilitator’s Office, she provides people with information on how to navigate common legal issues in family court, such as child support, custody and parentage, among other issues. The service costs $20, and Brown gives people the correct forms and can check to make sure they’re complete.Brown said that by the time she’s done, people are hopefully headed in the right direction and are less upset and confused.But the facilitator’s office faces an uncertain future as Clark County Manager Shawn Henessee assembles a budget for 2019 that’s expected to include spending reductions. The facilitator’s office could be cut, and Barbara Melton, a Democrat, has made it an issue in her bid to unseat Clark County Clerk Scott Weber, a Republican, in the November election.“I just know that getting rid of the facilitator’s office would not help family law. It would not help domestic court,” said Melton, who works as a legal secretary in the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.Weber said that he doesn’t want to cut the office but is faced with difficult choices and needs to preserve the core of his office that’s responsible for fulfilling state mandates.“What it comes back to is if they ask us to cut even deeper, I really can’t go any deeper than where I’m at,” he said.last_img read more

Race for Layuns signature heats up

first_imgThe race for FC Porto defender Miguel Layun has begun to heat up with three European giants interested in securing his services during the summer transfer window, reports ASThe Mexico international had spent the latter part of last season on loan at Sevilla, where he had scored two goals in his 16 La Liga games.New boss Pablo Machin is expected to pursue a permanent deal for Layun this summer after impressing the La Liga side in his short loan spell.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.However, it appears that the former Girona coach will have to act swiftly in order to complete the deal with Arsenal, AC Milan and Marseille believed to be waiting to pounce on the opportunity to sign Layun for themselves.Sevilla do have an agreement with Porto to make Layun a permanent addition to their ranks this summer for a fee in the region of €6m, but they only have seven days remaining until the deal expires.last_img read more