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Vijay Rupani Cabinet to be sworn in

December 3, 2019 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgThe new BJP government led by Vijay Rupani will take the oath of office and secrecy at a grand ceremony in the State capital of Gandhinagar on Tuesday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, senior party leaders and the Chief Ministers of the States ruled by the National Democratic Alliance, besides saints and religious leaders of various sects and faiths, will attend the function to be held at the new Secretariat complex, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani said in a statement.More membersIn addition to Mr. Rupani and his deputy, Nitin Patel, several leaders will be sworn in as Ministers by Governor O.P. Kohli. The BJP Legislature Party elected Mr. Rupani and Mr. Nitin Patel after party observers Arun Jaitley and Saroj Pandey named them at a meeting with top leaders and elected representatives. “BJP president Amit Shah and the CM and the deputy CM will decide the names of the Cabinet,” a senior party leader told The Hindu.The Cabinet is likely to have new members because six Ministers and Speaker Ramanlal Vora lost the polls. However, those who won the polls are expected to make it to the Ministry again.The Ministers who lost are Chimanbhai Saparia (Energy and Agriculture), Atmaram Parmar (Social Justice, Women and Child Development) and Shankar Chaudhary (Health), besides two junior Ministers.Depleted strengthIn the recently held Assembly polls, the ruling party won for the sixth consecutive time but its tally came down to 99, its lowest since 1995 when the party stormed into power in the State for the first time.With 99 MLAs, the BJP has a simple majority in the 182-member Assembly, 16 fewer than its 2012 tally of 115.The Opposition Congress, which won 61 seats in 2012, increased its tally to 77.The strength of the Congress and its allies in the new House is 80.last_img read more

first_imgSebastian Coe said he felt huge sympathy for Usain Bolt after the Jamaican pulled up with a hamstring problem during his final event on Saturday, but believes the great sprinter’s departure will open the door for new talent to shine.”It’s a devastating moment if you are mid-race and that happens, it’s horrible,” the IAAF president told a news conference ahead of the last night’s action at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday.Bolt pulled up while running the anchor leg for Jamaica in the 4×100 relay, his final race before retiring.”I do think this gives us an opportunity to cast a light on the young talent that’s out there,” Coe said.”I can’t remember a time when the competition has been so competitive and the stories around them so compelling,” he added.”We have had some of the youngest-ever medallists and the emergence of such extraordinary young talent is what many people will remember this event for,” Coe said.”This is a really comforting place to be in at a time when we are asking what the sport looks like after Mo (Farah) and Bolt and for example with the emergence of (American 100 metres silver medallist) Christian Coleman we may be looking at the future face of sprinting for the next five years.”LARGE NUMBERSColeman was beaten by compatriot Justin Gatlin and large numbers of the 60,000 crowd that packed the stadium each evening loudly booed the man who has served two drug suspensions.Ed Warner, co-chairman of the London 2017 organising committee, was surprised by the extent of the booing but understood the reasons.advertisement”My view as the organiser is the fans have the right to come and express their views about doping in our sport and people feel very passionate about it,” he said.Coe said he did not like to hear jeering but accepted that fans felt strongly about the issue.”I would rather not see athletes who have tested positive winning some of the biggest titles in our sport but he is entitled to be here,” he said.”I don’t think the IAAF has singled Gatlin out but we’re not here to choreograph public opinion.”I thought in a way the athletes took the lead in a dignified way that Usain dealt with the situation took some of the tension out of the response by the time we get to the medal ceremony.”After two years during which the sport has been battered by doping and corruption issues Coe said he felt the last 10 days had helped the process of recovery.”I’m speaking to federations, coaches and athletes more than ever before and my instinct is that there is a confidence and people are proud to be involved and seen to be involved in athletics,” he said.Coe believes the sport needed to learn lessons from the success of London and apply them to the Diamond League and other events and create a calendar that everybody can understand.”If we don don’t get those things right then everything we’ve achieved here will be a happy memory but won’t be a springboard,” he said.last_img read more

Private Security Legislation Introduced

October 22, 2019 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgNova Scotians will benefit from improved regulation of the private security industry in new legislation introduced today, Nov. 2, by Justice Minister Ross Landry. The development of the proposed bill, an Act Respecting the Provision of Security and Investigative Services, represents the first significant legislative change governing the security industry in 35 years. “The current private security legislation is outdated and does not address public safety issues resulting from the current heightened security environment, and the growth of the security industry,” said Mr. Landry. “This legislation is long overdue.” The bill will enhance protection of the public through increased public trust and confidence in the security industry by ensuring those engaged in such security activities are suitable and properly trained. Similar legislation has been introduced in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba. Introducing new private security legislation to expand the licensing requirements and introduce mandatory training will bring Nova Scotia in line with the other Canadian provinces.last_img read more

The campaign – backed by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners – administered the measles vaccine to children between the ages of 9 months and 5 years, an age bracket that has the highest risk of measles mortality. “The progress made in immunization efforts underlines steady improvements in the infrastructure and systems available to health teams as part of the country’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI),” UNICEF said yesterday of the campaign held across the country in June. The improvements include investments in cold chain systems – the equipment and training required to ensure the safe storage and transport of vaccine – and also training of vaccinators themselves. The increased use of women vaccinators over the last 18 months also improved access to households. UNICEF said there has been a notable reduction in the number of reported cases of measles in Afghanistan, “from over 400 per month in January 2002 to less than 50 per month by mid-2003.” The recent campaign has ensured that the Afghan Government’s target for measles immunization for this year has been fully met, although routine vaccination activities will continue in order to maintain the necessary coverage levels to interrupt the transmission of the virus, UNICEF noted. read more

On Trial For Murder Oscar Pistorius Called A Liar

September 30, 2019 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

Oscar Pistorius’ credibility was under fire at his murder trial Thursday with the prosecution asserting that the star athlete had a string of unlikely excuses for why he was not to blame for murder and the three gun charges he faces.Casting doubt on the Olympian’s honesty while cross-examining him, prosecutor Gerrie Nel was pushing the prosecution’s argument that Pistorius is also lying about killing his girlfriend by mistake in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine’s Day last year.Nel asserted that the double-amputee Paralympic champion wouldn’t ”accept responsibility for anything” and reacted incredulously to Pistorius’ explanation of why a gun he was handling went off under a table in a packed restaurant, for which he was charged with firing a gun in public without good reason.Pistorius said a friend’s pistol, a Glock, fired while he was holding it but insisted that he hadn’t pulled the trigger. A police expert testified earlier at the trial that the Glock couldn’t be fired without the trigger being pulled.Nel said: ”We have you in possession of the gun, a shot went off, but you didn’t discharge the gun? … I’m putting it to you, you fired that gun. There is no other way,” Nel said. ”You are lying.””I respect Mr. Nel’s comment,” Pistorius replied, ”but I didn’t pull the trigger on that firearm.”The incident in a trendy Johannesburg restaurant happened just weeks before he shot to death his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.Pistorius also said two witnesses, a former girlfriend and a friend, were both lying about an incident in 2012 when the runner is alleged to have fired his gun out the sunroof of a moving car. He has been charged with a firearms violation in this incident.Pistorius said he wasn’t guilty of yet another charge against him, illegal possession of ammunition for .38-caliber ammunition found in a safe in his home after Steenkamp was fatally shot.Pistorius said his estranged father had put the bullets into the safe and that they belonged to his father. But Nel said Pistorius’ father Henke had ”refused” to make a statement to police on the ammunition being his.”You just don’t want to accept responsibility for anything,” Nel said to Pistorius. Pistorius’ answers to the accusations were short denials.Pistorius, 27, says Steenkamp’s death was a terrible accident after he mistook her for an intruder and fired four times with his licensed 9 mm pistol through a toilet door and into a cubicle. Prosecutors say he intended to kill the 29-year-old after a loud argument heard by witnesses and they charged him with premeditated murder – for which he faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.Pistorius insisted again Thursday that the shooting was an accident and he did not intentionally fire four shots.”I didn’t have time to think about if I wanted to or didn’t want to,” Pistorius said. It was his fourth day in the witness stand, the first two days having been spent being questioned by his own lawyer, Barry Roux.Nel also accused him of egotistical behavior in his relationship with Steenkamp, and described Pistorius’ courtroom apology to his girlfriend’s family on Monday as an insincere ”spectacle” that ignored the feelings of her relatives. Steenkamp’s mother, June, has attended court sessions this week.”Your life is just about you,” Nel said to Pistorius, claiming he wasn’t ”humble enough” to apologize in private to the family and away from the media glare of his murder trial, which is being broadcast live around the world.”That’s not true,” Pistorius replied.Pistorius said his lawyers had been in touch with representatives of Steenkamp’s family, and that he had believed the family of his girlfriend was not ready to meet him.”I completely understand where they’re coming from,” he said. ”It’s not that I haven’t thought about them.” read more

Public asked to avoid visiting Beaumont Hospital

September 22, 2019 | kzmwuuff | No Comments

first_imgBEAUMONT HOSPITAL HAS advised members of the public not to visit it unless it is absolutely essential in an effort to protect patients from the spread of influenza.Flu is currently prevalent in the local community according to he hospital which has recorded 45 cases of its since 13 February. The public is being asked to avoid its Emergency Department and its wards unless absolutely essential.The hospital said essential visiting may only take place between 2pm and 4pm and between 6pm and 8pm with only one visitor allowed per patient.It has asked that if anyone is living with anyone who has flu-like symptoms they should not visit the hospital other than for medical treatment.Children are not permitted to visit in any circumstances.The hospital said in a statement: “Beaumont Hospital is appealing to the public for their support in observing these restrictions for the common good.“Beaumont Hospital would like to acknowledge the co-operation and support of the public in advance for their cooperation with regard to visiting restrictions.”last_img read more

first_imgRabbitte explained today: “The situation is as announced in terms of the 80-20 divide and in terms of the variability clause that is there for an individual authorities to make their own decisions.” He insisted that the “continues to be in the position and if there are any changes in it they haven’t come to government”.He said that a planned meeting of the Economic Management Council to discuss the issue didn’t take place because its members – the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and both finance ministers – were unable to attend.He reiterated there is “no squabble” about the issue and said it would be a matter for councillors “about how they want to operate the variability clause”.Yesterday the Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted there is “no big division” between Fine Gael and Labour on the issue, urging Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to not believe everything he reads in newspapers.Responding to questions on State board appointments from Sinn Féin’s Jonathan O’Brien, Rabbitte rejected suggestions that people with political allegiances should automatically be disqualified from the process.Read: Rebel Labour TDs warn of “rip off” over Dublin’s property tax being spent in rural areasRead: 200,000 homeowners told property tax will be taken from their wages and pensions COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER PAT Rabbitte has moved to play down talk of a government split over the local property tax.The Minister insisted today that the coalition position on property tax has not changed despite reports today that there is a dispute between Fine Gael and Labour over local authorities reducing property tax rates.“There is no squabble in government about this issue,” Rabbitte told Fianna Fáil’s Dara Calleary during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today.By law councils have the power to lower property tax rates by as much as 15 per cent next year but while Labour is pushing for authorities to cut rates, Fine Gael is said to be keen that council who take more tax use that money to pay for services funded by the exchequer.Labour TDs have also raised concerns that if a portion of Dublin’s LPT take is being spent elsewhere in the country the capital should not receive proportionately less from central government funding.last_img read more

first_imgJust like us, Google wants our accounts to stay protected and not fall into the hands of a spammer or someone looking to make money by contacting your friends and relatives. With that in mind, your Google account is about to get a lot more secure.A few months ago Google introduced 2-step verification for Google Apps customers. This additional verification system requires a second piece of information to prove your identity garnered from your phone. So as well as a password being required, Google will send a code to the cell phone you register which also needs to be entered.Such a system makes it that much harder for someone to compromise your account as they need more than one piece of information to gain access. So we’re pleased to hear Google is making it available to all Google accounts meaning we can all be that little bit more secure.Over the next few days a new option will appear in your Account Settings page called “Using 2-step verification”. As Google explains, it takes a bit of time to setup:We expect it may take up to 15 minutes to enroll. A user-friendly set-up wizard will guide you through the process, including setting up a backup phone and creating backup codes in case you lose access to your primary phone. Once you enable 2-step verification, you’ll see an extra page that prompts you for a code when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. The choice is up to you. When you enter this code after correctly submitting your password we’ll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you. If you have a Google account then we urge you to set this verification up as soon as it becomes available. Making it more difficult to have your account hijacked only takes 15 minutes, where are getting it back after hijacking can take a long time, result in lost information, and possibly even a new Google login being required.Read more at The Official Google Bloglast_img read more

first_img 37,706 Views Share98 Tweet Email Leo Varadkar gives Donald Trump a bowl of shamrock in the White House last year Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesTHE GOVERNMENT SPENT more than €260,000 to send Ministers abroad on trade missions for St Patrick’s Day in 2018, figures seen by reveal.The figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, show that at least €267,000 was spent on trips abroad as part of the ‘Promote Ireland’ programme last year.Members of the Cabinet and almost 50 civil servants visited more than 40 countries in an effort to promote Ireland’s political and economic interests abroad.Those who travelled included the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, Ministers and Ministers of State, as well as the Chief Whip, the Ceann Comhairle, the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, and the Attorney General.More than €190,000 was spent on flights, with tens of thousands also spent on hotel accommodation and thousands more on gifts for dignitaries – including €350 on a customary bowl of shamrock for the US President.While the entire cost was more than Ministerial visits in previous years, particularly those made when Enda Kenny was Taoiseach, it pales in comparison to trips taken at the height of the Celtic Tiger.Information previously supplied to RTÉ, showed that in 2007, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s government spent €560,000 when they travelled abroad for St Patrick’s Day.The annual visits last year were part of ‘Ireland Connected’, a Government trade strategy billed as a “comprehensive, strategic approach to high-level visits and trade missions”.Ahead of last year’s trips, the Government announced that it was hoping to express its position on Brexit and Northern Ireland during the visits, as well as to campaign for membership of the UN Security Council from 2021 to 2022.Only Minister for Health Simon Harris, who cancelled his trip to deal with hospital overcrowding, and Minister for Transport Shane Ross, who promoted Ireland at home, did not travel.As part of an audit of last year’s programme, asked each Department, the Houses of the Oireachtas and the Office of the Attorney General about the costs associated with each visit.The request asked how much was spent on travel, accommodation and other expenses for each member of Government who travelled, as well as for any officials who travelled with them, and the amount each Department or office spent on gifts.Taoiseach Leo VaradkarAs tradition dictates, the Taoiseach had the most high-profile trip abroad last year (one which didn’t pass without controversy), visiting the US to spend St Patrick’s Day with US President Donald Trump in the White House.The total cost of the trip for Varadkar and eight officials, who included Chief of Staff Brian Murphy, Secretary General Martin Fraser, Government Press Secretary Nick Miller and security for the Taoiseach, came to more than €54,000.Transatlantic and internal flights for each member of the delegation cost a total of €32,281, with Varadkar and Murphy travelling to and from Ireland in business class for €5,808 each.Five nights’ accommodation for seven members of the delegation cost €8,672, with accommodation for the Taoiseach’s security totalling an additional €916 for four nights. Leo Varadkar shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the White House Source: UPI/PA ImagesMeanwhile, transport around Austin, Dallas, Washington and New York came to €10,899, while €1,610 was spent by the Department of Taoiseach on gifts, including €350 on a bowl of shamrock to present to Trump.Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon CoveneyMeanwhile, the Tánaiste was sent much further afield on a 19,000km round trip to China and Hong Kong, with three officials from the Department accompanying him at a total cost of €27,522.Flights made up the bulk of that figure, with €20,521 spent on return flights for the Minister and two of his officials.That included a trip in business class for the Minister and two of his officials from Manchester to Hong Kong, and in the opposite direction from Beijing to Dublin via Amsterdam.A third official travelled from Ireland to Hong Kong and back via Beijing and Istanbul for less than half that price at €2,546, while a further €957 was spent on internal flights for the delegation. The Irish Embassy in China spent over €1,000 on gifts, but not all of these were used on St Patrick’s Day. Source: Department of Foreign AffairsThe delegation also clocked up a €4,782 hotel bill, spending three nights in the five-star St Regis in Beijing, one night in the five-star Portman Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai and another night in the five-star Conrad in Hong Kong.A further €503 was spent on hiring a car, €483 on train tickets, €124 on dining, €470 on travel and subsistence expenses, and €152 on gifts.Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal DonohoeDespite holding two Ministerial roles, there was just one trip abroad for St Patrick’s Day for Paschal Donohoe last year, when the Dublin Central TD travelled to Argentina.He was joined by two officials from the Department of Finance and another from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform on the trip, which cost a total of €28,645.Once again, most of that figure was made up by the price of return flights, which came in at a cost of €22,817.An additional €5,380 was spent on accommodation the delegation, while the Department of Finance also included an invoice for €448.20 on Irish-themed cufflinks, pendants and bangles and seven Irish-themed silk ties.Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie FlanaganFlanagan travelled to Australia, seen as a key partner with by the Government since the Brexit referendum, with his special advisor and private secretary.He attended several events in Melbourne and Sydney on a trip that cost a total of €17,746.The Department of Justice spent €15,037 on return flights for the delegation, while a further €2,618 was spent on hotels during a seven-day stay.Although the Minster and his private secretary used ministerial transport to get around, taxis to and from the airport cost €63, and the delegation also claimed €31 in food expenses.No gifts were purchased.Minister for Housing, Eoghan MurphyFor his trip, Murphy travelled with two officials to Korea and Japan for 13 days at a total cost of €15,737.The Department of Housing spent €10,882 on flights for the trip, including a €3,370 round trip to Tokyo in business class for the Minister. Details of Eoghan Murphy’s return flights from Japan Source: Department of HousingA further €2,306 was also spent on hotels, €2,107 on transport, while there was also a €348 bill for gifts – including 10 pens and a necklace – and €94 in other unspecified costs.Minister for Education and Skills, Richard BrutonThe current Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment spent seven days in Germany last year, visiting Munich and Hamburg during his stay.He was joined by his private secretary, an advisor and a Department official on the trip, which cost the taxpayer €9,774.Transport made up the bulk of the costs for the delegation, with €2,425 spent on flights and €2,986 on hiring a minivan.Although there was no money spent on gifts, a further €2,052 was spent on accommodation costs, while a further €2,309 in travel and subsistence expenses was claimed by members of the delegation.Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael CreedCreed didn’t have too far to travel for his trip last year, when he visited London on a visit that took in meetings with UK Secretary of State Michael Gove and London mayor Sadiq Khan, as well as the Six Nations clash between Ireland and England at Twickenham.The Minister travelled with a special advisor and private secretary on the six-day trip, which cost €3,541 in total.Both Creed and his special advisor were accommodated in the Irish embassy for the duration of their stay, but €1,144 was spent putting up his private secretary elsewhere. Source: James Crombie/INPHOMeanwhile, €1,550 was spent on flights for the delegation, who also claimed €786 between them in travel expenses – although ground transport costs were provided free of charge by the Irish Embassy.A further €60 was spent on corporate gifts.Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina DohertyAnother Minister who didn’t have far to go was Regina Doherty, who spent three days in France with her advisor and her private secretary at a cost of €1,906.Doherty was also accompanied by her husband, who paid for his own flights, and stayed in the Irish Embassy in Paris without any cost to the taxpayer.Return flights in economy class for the three government officials were €378 each, totalling €1,134, while her advisor and secretary were put up in the four-star Hotel Montfleuri for €381 each at a total cost of €772.Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha MadiganThe Dublin Rathdown TD travelled to Scandinavia with an advisor, spending three nights in the Norwegian and Swedish capitals at a cost of €1,952.The Minister and her advisor stayed in the Radisson in Stockholm and the five-star Grand Hotel in Oslo at a cost of €1,270, while bus and train tickets for the trip cost €681.Madigan also presented a book as a gift, which was provided by Culture Ireland free of charge.Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine ZapponeThe Independent Minister travelled to Italy with two officials at a total cost of €4,092.Flights for the three cost €2,575, while €912 was spent on accommodation and €605 was paid on hiring a car. Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone Source: Rollingnews.ieMinister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather HumphreysAnother of those who travelled to the US last year, Humphreys and one official from her Department visited Boston, Texas and San Francisco at a cost of €16,997.Transatlantic and internal flights for the pair – including return flights to Dublin in business class –  cost €5,946, while their week-long trip also saw them stay at the five-star Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco for €1,368.Travel and subsistence payments for taxis, meals and other expenses worth €502 were also claimed.Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis NaughtenThe Independent Minister, who resigned over a controversy surrounding the National Broadband Plan in October, travelled to Canada with his press advisor and private secretary for €13,042.The delegation flew in business class for €11,791, and spent €552 on accommodation during their stay.The costs also included a €539 dining bill, and €111 on unspecified entertainment, while €49 was also spent on Canadian visas for the three people who travelled.Chief Whip, Joe McHughMcHugh, who has since become Minister for Education, spent last St Patrick’s Day in South America, taking in visits to Chile and Brazil alongside his special advisor.A total of €11,472 was spent on the trip, with €10,061 spent on eight flights – including €457 on missed flights from Paris to Dublin – making up the majority of the cost. Details of Joe McHugh and his advisor’s flights to and from South America Source: Department of TaoiseachThe Chief Whip and his advisor spent €907 on accommodation, including stays in the 5-star Tivoli Hotel in Sao Paulo and Caesar Park hotel in Rio Di Janeiro.Meanwhile, €520 was spent by the Department of Taoiseach on gifts, including €320 on jerseys and €183 on other unspecified gifts.Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’ConnorIn a six-day trip to the Middle East that cost €6,945, O’Connor travelled to the UAE and Oman with her private secretary, her advisor, and an official from the Department.Flights for the delegation cost €2,973, while €1,466 was spent accommodating the four officials.The Department also spent €413 on gifts, while travel and subsistence expenses worth €2,092 were claimed by the delegation.Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew DoyleThe junior minister at the Department of Agriculture spent €3,133 on a five-day visit to Vietnam for St Patrick’s Day last year.The cost breakdown was not supplied to by the Department. A spokesman for the Department directed queries about Doyle’s trip to its website, which did not provide a breakdown of costs. Minister of State for Food, Forestry & Horticulture Andrew Doyle Source: Rollingnews.ieMinister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran CannonGalway East TD Ciaran Cannon was part of another delegation to travel to the US, taking in an eight-day trip to Chicago with one official for €3,243.Return flights for the junior minister and his official in economy class cost €1,459, with accommodation – including at the four-star Drake Hotel – costing €987.An additional €798 was also spent on a limousine to transport the junior Minister and his official around Chicago. A bill for a limousine for Ciaran Cannon’s delegation Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and TradeMinister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEnteeMcEntee and two officials spent four days in Austria and Slovakia at a cost of €2,070.Return flights in economy class for the three cost €1,080, while they spent two nights at the Astoria Hotel in Vienna and another two nights in the Radisson Blu in Bratislava for €989.The Department of Foreign Affairs was also invoiced for €509 for travel and subsistence expenses.Minister for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’ArcyD’Arcy was also sent to the US and Canada for St Patrick’s Day, travelling with two officials at a cost of €6,503.A total of €3,513 was spent on flights, €2,766 on accommodation, and €224 on a number of unspecified gifts.Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Damien EnglishThe junior Minister in the Department of Housing spent St Patrick’s Day with a parliamentary assistant in Poland at a cost of €773.Accommodation made up the majority of English’s bill, with €520 spent on hotels, while a further €218 was spent on return flights and €35 on gifts.Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform, John Paul PhelanThe other junior Minister in the Housing Department also had a long round trip, travelling over 22,000km with one of his officials to Singapore at a cost of €10,013.Flights for the junior Minister and his official came in at €7,848, while transport cost €1,127 and gifts cost €35. Minister of State John Paul Phelan (L) Source: Rollingnews.ieMinister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan GriffinGriffin and his private secretary travelled to the US west coast and Mexico for St Patrick’s Day at a cost of €17,603.A total of €13,353 was spent on return flights through London, while hotel costs amounted to €4,113 and €137 was spent on gifts.Minister of State at the Department of Defence, Paul KehoeKehoe’s St Patrick’s Day trip saw him visit Israel and Irish troops stationed in Lebanon at a total cost of €1,772.The junior Minister travelled with a private secretary and a special advisor, with no costs given for how much it cost to fly the delegation to the Middle East.Included in the costs were €226 in subsistence expenses in Israel, €67 in subsistence expenses in Cyprus, and €906 on hotels in Lebanon.Meanwhile, €525 was spent on dinner for nine guests in Israel on 14 March, while a further €48 was spent on lunch for five guests in Beirut on 19 March.Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Kevin ‘Boxer’ MoranThe independent junior Minister travelled to Kenya with his private secretary and special advisor at a cost of €7,229.The delegation was put up at the five-star Fairmont Norfolk Hotel for €1,793, while return flights to Nairobi via London cost €5,436.Minister of State for Public Procurement, Patrick O’DonovanThe junior Minister at the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform travelled with his private secretary to Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina for €6,718.Flights for the two cost €4,018, hotel accommodation cost €1,704, while €661 was spent hiring a car.The Department also paid €335 on a number of unspecified gifts for the trip. Patrick O’Donovan (R) pictured with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (L) Source: RollingNews.ieMinister for Community, Natural Resources and Digital Development, Sean KyneKyne, who replaced Joe McHugh as Chief Whip during a mini Cabinet re-shuffle last October, visited Switzerland with his personal assistant and wife – who travelled in a personal capacity – for four days at a cost of €2,230.Flights for the junior Minister and his assistant cost €1,116, a three-night stay at the four-star Hotel Warwick in Geneva cost €946, while another night at the three-star Bristol Hotel cost €170.No information about whether any gifts were purchased was supplied by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.Attorney General, Séamus WoulfeThe AG also travelled to the US west coast, spending a week in Seattle at a cost of €4,669.Return flights via London Heathrow cost €3,533, while a six-night stay in an unnamed hotel cost €924.Meanwhile, a further €212 was spent on gifts, including €65 on a GAA jersey and €147 on books.Ceann Comhairle, Sean Ó FearghaílThe Ceann Comhairle and his personal assistant travelled to Croatia for three days at a total cost of €2,245.Return flights to Zagreb cost the Houses of the Oireachtas €1,951, while expenses worth €294 were also claimed – although accommodation was paid for by those hosting the delegation.An Oireachtas spokeswoman added that no gifts were purchased for the trip.Cathaoirleach, Paul CoghlanThe Cathaoirleach of the Seanad and his personal assistant spent six days in Slovenia and Bosnia at a cost of €2,718.Plane tickets and accommodation made up the majority of the cost, with €1,090 spent on flights and €1,008 on hotels.A further €381 was claimed in expenses, while €239 was spent on five unspecified gifts. By Stephen McDermott Short URL Business-class flights and 5-star hotels: Here’s how much the Government spent on St Patrick’s Day trips in 2018 Figures obtained under FOI show how each Department spent on St Patrick’s Day last year. Mar 9th 2019, 12:06 AM 69 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Saturday 9 Mar 2019, 12:05 AMlast_img read more

first_imgA 48-year-old Vancouver woman who broke her ankle in a fall while hiking in Lacamas Park in Camas on Monday afternoon is recovering in a hospital.Alevtina Yukhimets, who initially was listed in serious condition at Southwest Washington Medical Center, had improved to satisfactory condition Tuesday night, a nursing supervisor said.In a steep, rugged area known as the upper Pot Holes, she fell about 15 feet, officials said.Two firefighter-paramedics with the Camas Fire Department were first to arrive, and, with the help of Yukhimets’ family members, stabilized her on a backboard with C-spine protection, bound her broken bones with vacuum splints and prepared her to be carried up to Round Lake and a waiting ambulance.As many as 20 rescuers worked at the scene, including specially trained members of the Technical Rescue Team of the Vancouver Fire Department and Fire District 6.Round Lake is accessed at Everett Street and Lake Road. Lacamas Park has 311 acres with a restroom, parking area and a picnic shelter. Trails lead around the lake and below it to the Pot Holes, with waterfalls and pools that are popular with swimmers in summer.John Branton: 360-735-4513 or read more

first_img X Listen 00:00 /00:59 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Cinepoetry is a genre that blends poetry and film, with a myriad of approaches. It’s often a film that features a poem, as well as collaborations with musicians and artists — but it doesn’t have to.“One of the cinepoems [in the festival] is actually silent. But you get to see the poetic expression, if you will. It has its own rhythm and meter even though it lacks words,” said Fran Sanders, founder and director of REELpoetry, a poetry film festival sponsored by her organization, Public Poetry.The three-day event will screen about 40 cinepoems from over a dozen countries, plus documentaries and videos. The festival opens with a showcase of local poets, at times reading live on-stage, alongside videos of their past performances in a “4-D” experience.Sanders said that, as a genre, cinepoetry is not usually shown by itself, but with Houston’s active poetry and film scene, she decided to focus on it and create the city’s first international festival of this kind.“I think it will introduce a whole new audience to some really exciting poetry that’s going on at this time all over Houston, all over the country and all over the world,” she said.The plan is to make REELpoetry an annual or biennial festival. “There is so much exciting material that’s out there, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Sanders.Her inspiration for the festival came after watching BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, a documentary about the award-winning poet, playwright, teacher and activist, who emerged from the Black Arts Movement.“I thought, people need to see this. People need to know who she is and what she’s accomplished,” she said.A screening of BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez will be the centerpiece of the festival. The film showcases Sanchez’s life, beliefs, vision and ground-breaking poetry. But it’s also Sanchez’s approach to social justice through her life and art that Sanders hopes audiences will take with them beyond the festival.“Poetry is a really unique and valuable way of transforming the world. Poetry is enormously powerful, and this film about Sonia Sanchez gives you a sense of what the real power of poetry can be,” Sanders said. The festival takes place March 22 – 24, at various venues. A complete schedule and tickets are available here.Listen to the complete interview with Fran Sanders below: X Listen Images from cinepoems of the 2019 REELpoetry Festival Share 00:00 /13:16last_img read more

first_imgDirector David SommervilleModel, actor and director David K. Sommerville is prepping for his directorial debut, a short film he wrote and developed titled, Indoctrination. The film challenges its audience to take a strong look at their values and ask whether they are personal commitments or simply personal inheritances, and Sommerville is currently raising funds for the project via an online campaign, in anticipation of the film beginning production in Annapolis on March 31.Indoctrination follows life consultant Damien King, who uses his angelic persona to manipulate Laura Rose, whom Sommerville describes as a virtuous but naive woman, to give into her secular desires.“[King] attempts to strip away, layer by layer, her self-identity and her belief system in his hopes of making it easier to exploit her,” said Sommerville.“I realize that a lot of us, we have values that we believe belong to us by choice, when [they’re] actually our values by inheritance,” continued Sommerville. “I believe that we’re conditioned to go through our entire lives without questioning, nor examining anything that we’re taught, making us duplicates of the ones that we love and trust. . . . If we just go through our entire lives without questioning anything, to verify the things we’re taught, how can we say our thoughts belong to us?”Sommerville, who began his entertainment career as a model, had his television acting debut in 2010 film I Married the Beltway Sniper, which aired on MSNBC. Sommerville played the role of Lee Boyd Malvo in the film, and met actor Michael K. Williams (of “Omar from ‘The Wire’” fame), who served as a mentor, even connecting him with acting coach Melvin Williams, who has worked with Queen Latifah and Common, said Sommerville.Sommerville also wrote and starred in the 2014 film Disillusion. He is now looking to direct a feature-length version of Indoctrination, and has courted interested investors, but because they desired creative control, Sommerville is turning to the public to help raise funds for a short version of the film, which he hopes will open doors and attract investors who will allow him to direct the feature version and retain creative control of the project he initiated.Sommerville has created a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $2,550 that will partially fund the film (Sommerville is using his own funds as well). The campaign went live on Feb. 3 and has raised approximately half of the total goal in three weeks.“I’m just grateful for any help that I can actually get from the public to bring this vision to life,” said Sommerville. “I think people are going to really like the film; it has meaningful and compelling material, and I believe people will be interested in seeing it.  I just want to take people to a new level of consciousness in relation to their values, their beliefs, and individuality.” ( read more

first_imgSomeone at the official PlayStation Blog is going to be in a bit of trouble today. They accidentally made live a post that wasn’t meant to go public just yet. Luckily for us, it was a post announcing the U.S. release date of the PS Vita.The post was quickly taken down, but not before a few websites managed to grab the wording. If the post is to be believed, then the official launch of the PS Vita will happen on February 28 in the U.S. We’re also hoping for a similar date across Europe, but it could end up being later in order for Sony to cope with demand.Both models will be available on the same day with the WiFi-only version costing $249.99, and the more expensive 3G version costing $299.99.We expected there to be a strong line-up of launch games following the announcement 28 will be available for the Japanese launch. Those mentioned for the U.S. include LittleBigPlanet, Little Deviants, Resistance, and Uncharted Golden Abyss. I’m sure there’s going to be a few more available either on launch day or in the first few weeks on sale.With the PS Vita confirmed by Sony President Shuhei Yoshida as being region free, that three month wait after the Japanese launch may be too much for some gamers. So we can definitely expect there to be demand for imports. That’s assuming of course Sony doesn’t start threatening e-tailers offering the import service with lawsuits.With this leak happening via an official Sony site, I doubt it will be long before the company formally announces the U.S. launch date.via ShopTo Newslast_img read more

first_img UW fusion reactor concept could be cheaper than coal The old promise of Atoms for Peace was a noble one, but the technology wasn’t right for it. “We can achieve that grand vision and bring clean power to people. The true Atomic Age can start,” he said.Lockheed defines fusion as “the process by which a gas is heated up and separated into its ions and electrons. When the ions get hot enough, they can overcome their mutual repulsion and collide, fusing together. When this happens, they release a lot of energy – about one million times more powerful than a chemical reaction and 3-4 times more powerful than a fission reaction.” A reactor small enough to fit on a truck could provide enough power for a small city of up to 100,000 people. In a discussion of the Skunk Works effort in Aviation Week, Lockheed’s McGuire spoke about the company’s interest in attracting interest in the project. “One of the reasons we are becoming more vocal with our project is that we are building up our team as we start to tackle the other big problems. We need help and we want other people involved. It’s a global enterprise, and we are happy to be leaders in it,” he said. “We have a long ways to go, and there are lots of challenges, but we have a path to do it and a community of fusion researchers and national labs. There’s a collaborative atmosphere and we have got some really good feedback so far.” Lockheed Martin aims to get at a prototype in five years. According to the Aviation Week report, the prototype would demonstrate ignition conditions and the ability to run for upward of 10 sec. in a steady state after the injectors, used to ignite the plasma, are turned off. It would not be at full power like a working concept reactor, “but basically just showing that all the physics works,” McGuire said. © 2014 Tech Xplore Explore further Lockheed Martin is making news this week with declarations about putting the Atomic Age on Restart and advancing in the realm of energy. “We are on the fast track to developing compact nuclear fusion reactors to serve the world’s ever-growing energy needs.”center_img The company’s Skunk Works has provided new details to the public about its work in compact fusion. “At Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, we’re making advancements in the development of fusion energy, the ultimate form of renewable power. Our scientists and engineers are looking at the biggest natural fusion reactor for inspiration – the sun. By containing the power of the sun in a small magnetic bottle, we are on the fast track to developing compact fusion reactors to serve the world’s ever-growing energy needs.” Thomas McGuire, compact fusion project lead, said they think they can get to a prototype in about five years. “That’s what we are doing here; we are testing the concept out.” He said, 50 years ago when people were “super-excited” about nuclear power, “we tried putting it on everything,” including airplanes. He said some big operational issues prevented widespread use. “Fusion is a much safer option,” he stated. The next generation of airplanes not relying on fuel can just stay aloft—with unlimited range, unlimited endurance. That’s what nuclear fusion can do for an airplane. Citation: Lockheed Martin pursues compact fusion reactor concept (2014, October 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_imgA pair of researchers affiliated with Duke University and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has found that great apes tend to bond with one another when they watch a video together. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Wouter Wolf and Michael Tomasello describe their work involving studying chimpanzees and bonobos as they watched videos together and how they behaved afterward. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Great apes found to bond when watching videos together (2019, July 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Most people have experienced the feeling of bonding with another person, or even several people, when watching a movie or TV show together. Until now, behavioral scientists have believed such feelings were restricted to humans. In this new effort, Wolf and Tomasello have shown that great apes have similar experiences.The experiments involved seating pairs of chimps together in front of a television so that they could watch a video, and the researchers took measurements of bonding-type behavior after the video was over. They then compared the behavior they observed with a control group. They report that chimps that watched the videos together engaged in more bonding-type behaviors.The videos watched by the chimps were of other chimps engaging in various activities—prior research had shown it was their favorite subject. And the chimps were encouraged to remain in place watching the video by feeding them grape juice. Bonding-type interactions were described as touching, how long they stayed in proximity with one another and how much they paid attention to one another. The researchers also used eye-tracking systems to show that the chimps were actually watching the videos. The researchers also paired up bonobos in the same fashion, and also human-chimp pairs. They report that in all instances, increased bonding was observed for those participating in the shared social events.The researchers suggest their results show that great apes are capable of social bonding when participating in shared events. They suggest that such types of social bonding have deeper evolutionary roots than has been realized. They also suggest that their findings hint at what is lost as humans cease participating in shared social events, preferring instead to engage privately in social media. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img More information: Wouter Wolf et al. Visually attending to a video together facilitates great ape social closeness, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0488 Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain Bonobos found to focus more on feel-good imagery than danger or aggressionlast_img read more

first_img“I have full confidence in India-China relations and I believe that new progress will be achieved in growing this bilateral relationship in this new year,” Xi told Swaraj, who called on him at the cavernous Great Hall of the People here on her maiden visit to the communist nation after she assumed charge last year.Xi said China and India have taken “solid steps” to make new progress in bilateral ties besides implementing the agreements reached between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.He said that since his visit to India in September last year, relations between the two countries have entered into a new stage of growth.”The positive side of India-China relations has been growing and momentum of our cooperation has been strengthening and solid steps are being taken to implement agreements reached between Prime Minister Modi and I,” he said as he welcomed the 62-year-old senior BJP leader.One such solid step taken was yesterday’s exchange of notes on modalities for opening the second route for the Kailash-Manasarovar Yatra in Tibet via Sikkim by June, that will allow more Indians to undertake the pilgrimage.Xi had promised opening the new route to Modi during the former’s maiden visit to New Delhi last year.Recalling fond memories of his India visit, Xi told Swaraj: “Last September I visited India and cherish fresh memories about the gracious hospitality extended to me by government and people of India.”In particular, I cherish the memories of Prime Minister Modi’s home province Gujarat and Prime Minister himself accompanied me on that trip.”The 61-year-old Chinese President, who is also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party, conveyed his best wishes to the Indian leadership. “Please convey my best regards and greetings to President (Pranab) Mukherjee and Prime Minister Modi when you go back,” Xi said in a rare meeting with a visiting Foreign Minister.Reciprocating Xi’s warm words, Swaraj said Prime Minister Modi has sent his greetings and best wishes for the Chinese Lunar Year of Sheep, which commences on February 19.”Prime Minister Modi has extended his very best greetings for the Chinese Lunar Year of Sheep, which I have been told is associated with creativity and innovation… Your visit to India was also associated with creativity and innovation based on which the two countries explored new ways forward,” she said.last_img read more

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now April 24, 2015 This story originally appeared on CNBC This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. If you think you knew Amazon, things are about to change.Amazon has built its business and reputation by becoming an e-commerce giant, but one of the company’s top execs says 10 years from now, it will be all about the cloud and its division Amazon Web Services (AWS).”This is a huge opportunity and as such Jeff Bezos, our CEO and founder, has said several times that he believes the opportunity is so big that maybe AWS, over time, may become bigger than the retail company,” said Werner Vogels, Amazon chief technology officer told CNBC in an exclusive interview.Amazon Thursday broke out the figures for AWS for the first time ever, and Wall Street liked what it saw. The division generated $5.16 billion in revenue last year and $1.56 billion in sales in the first quarter of 2015, up 49% from last year.And this is just the start: investment analysis company Morningstar expects AWS could become a $15-20 billion business in the next three years, which would make it a substantial revenue stream for the e-commerce player. So big that the company may even spin it off one day, says internet analyst, James Cakmak of Monness Crespi Hardy. Amazon’s stock, after have a rough ride in 2014, is in rebound mode this year with shares up more than 20 percent. If Amazon continues to show investors that its North American retail division is doing well and that its investment in cloud is paying off, “the stock could get Netflixed,” says Mark Mahaney, the analyst at RBC Capital.Nonetheless, there are clouds on the horizon for AWS. A big one is competition.Google and Microsoft are seen as the biggest threats. Analysts also see Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Rackspace and Terradata as a competitive threat to Amazon’s success in cloud computing.And there are many more start-ups and venture-backed firms that are making such big strides in cloud innovation, that analysts say could soon also steal a piece of the pie.Further competition could result in Amazon and other players having to cut their prices. The fear is that over time, the cloud could become commoditized.But Vogels doesn’t agree, referencing AWS’s differentiated product line.”There’s a difference between pricing, low pricing and commodity. If you look at sort of the wide range of services that we have available on AWS, if you look at the cloud in 2010, its almost the bottom layer of what Amazon is now.”Sort of the basic servers, compute, storage, data bases and that’s where most of the other cloud providers are at this moment. But we now have 45 different services whether it’s around analytics, whether it’s around mobile development, whether it’s about innovative new virtual desktops or people services.”The other big threat is security. Twitch, a video streaming site Amazon acquired in 2014 was hacked earlier this year. If more and more companies use Amazon Web Services to develop software programs and store their data, the greater the need for a technology that is not susceptible to a cyberattack. But Vogels is convinced his team at AWS is prioritizing safety and security though the use of innovation. “[We’re] building a whole range of new security tools that are unique in the industry and that nobody has ever seen before.””If you want to have total control over who has access to your data, you have to store it on was because that’s the best way to protect it,” Vogels told CNBC. 3 min read Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

first_imgThe Jennifer Garner speech is essentially that. It’s the message of the movie. It’s so evocative and therapeutic for straight people, and specifically for LGBT people; the wish-fulfilment we’re used to seeing in other movies. Now, hopefully, it’s for us too.‘Younger siblings don’t have our shame or biases’It was great to see Simon talk about his sexuality with his infant sister. That never gets written about or depicted anywhere…Yeah. Every kid is going through discovering who they are and having to figure that out and tell people, but it’s extra for LGBT kids. You worry: ‘How are people going to react?’ Are they still going to love you? Are they going to love you differently?’I think not seeing portrayals or conversations about it between siblings, and particularly younger siblings… I think sometimes people presume young people can’t process that information. That’s absurd to me. In many ways, they don’t have our shame or biases.Simon’s dad refers to someone on TV as ‘fruity’. There’s also a moment where the mom admits she lost an ability to communicate with Simon at some point. Was it important to you to not depict the parents as perfect?Yeah – I mean, they’re idealized in some ways: they’re Jen Garner and Josh Duhamel! They’re already pretty perfect! But we were talking to them about giving those characters arcs, to make those moments honest.One of things we were really cognisant about was that Christmas morning scene. Without giving too much away, there’s a moment at the end where Jen wanted to go to the son. We talked a lot about that. I said ‘If you go now, the next scene won’t mean anything.’ The awkwardness of the moment – you can feel the audience when they watch it getting a little restless – it helps set up the later moment, and the connection.‘I was in the theater program at college – you’d think I would’ve come out!’The relationship, or character contrast, between Simon and his gay schoolmate Ethan was also great. Ethan perhaps wasn’t able to able to hide his sexuality, or didn’t want to. Was it important to also tell that character’s story?It was. That wasn’t in the book or the original script. It was really important to me that there were other versions of the gay experience represented.I remember when I was a closeted gay kid going to college, being in the theater program. You’d think I would’ve come out; there were all these kids around me. I remember thinking: ‘They’re so much more courageous than I am. Why can’t I have the courage to be myself?’I thought that was an important element to bring to Simon. What it’s like on Simon’s side of it, and then the presumptions he makes about other people that are gay, even though he’s gay himself. And then you do all that, and you cast someone like Clark Moore, who brought so much to the part. As well as the writers had written it, Clark is Ethan. He brought himself to the role so beautifully.‘I’m impressed and proud of young people today’Has there been a piece of feedback that’s meant the most?Any stories I’ve heard from kids, whether online, Twitter, at some of the screenings. Some of those kids afterwards – trans individuals the other night, talking about their life experiences at 16, how this movie ‘made me feel more accepted’ – I’m always so impressed and proud of young people today. They’re in possession of more courage and worldliness than I had at that age. It blows me away.Did you have a favorite film with an LGBTI character or plot when you were younger?When I was a teenager it was more in shows and stuff. But the one I remember purchasing and hiding in college, not telling people I had was Longtime Companion, from 1989. I remember watching and re-watching that film, and how much it moved me.I’ll look it up!It’s devastating. There’s a moment at the end…it’s comparable to the bit at the end of Cinema Paradiso, that flips the switch on something.There’s a moment at the end of Longtime Companion that captures, cinematically, the devastation of a whole generation to the AIDS crisis. I was coming of age while that was all sort of happening, so it made me feel a lot less alone at the time.Love, Simon is out now in the US and the UK on the 16 AprilGot a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) 16 best reactions to K-pop boyband BTS’s iconic Love, Simon postLove, Simon star Keiynan Lonsdale talks coming out on setThis is how Love, Simon is doing at the box officeRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : Despite his impressive filmography, the husband of openly gay footballer Robbie Rogers (and dad to two-year-old Caleb) is experiencing something of a career peak right now. His new teen movie Love, Simon is a critical smash, currently scoring 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.The adorable romcom, about a straight-acting 16-year-old accepting his gayness in modern day Atlanta, stars Jurassic World’s Nick Robinson [below] as Simon and 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford as his best friend Leah.Here, Greg talks making the movie in under a month, working with superstar actress Jennifer Garner and how his own coming out story compares to Simon’s. Warning, this article contains spoilers…You shot the film in 30 days, which is crazy because it doesn’t seem rushed. How did you manage that?I come out of TV, 30 days is a luxury! I had about four times as much time as I’m used to. In fact, we finished two days early. I used the money we saved for the soundtrack to buy songs. Sometimes, when you’re doing something a little quicker, as long as you’re well-planned, it gives a sense of energy. Especially comedy.‘The executives at the studios were all straight – it demonstrates the power of allies’It’s been reported that you were the only gay filmmaker on the project. Did you consult any other LGBTI people’s perspectives when making the film, or was it 100% your vision?There were crew and other people who were LGBTI. But the writer of the book, the script and the producers and executives at the studios were all straight. They were the ones who were already committed to making the movie, which was wonderful. It demonstrates the power of allies. And then, it was me bringing my perspective, as it were.Simon obviously knows what Grindr is, but doesn’t use it – or any service like it – in the film [It should also be pointed out that Simon is 16, while the age restriction for using Grindr in the US is 18]. Why did you make that decision, creatively?I think he’s got enough annoying problems! You have to keep something for the sequel! [Laughs][embedded content]Could there be a sequel?!I said that jokingly… My point is he wasn’t really at… You know, it’s interesting. On a comprisable note, we had a section in there that was in the book, where his friend takes him to a gay bar. It just played as it wasn’t his character. That section of the movie sort of – the people in it were great, the moments were great – but it just slowed down the narrative. And it felt like we were jumping the gun about what his experience was.‘God willing, people ask for a sequel’As for a sequel or anything like that, you know… God willing that the movie is successful enough that people actually ask for something like that. What I’m focused on right now is that it does well enough that people get to hear other LGBT stories in mainstream media.Well, I’d love to see a sequel. Look at all the terrible teen movies that have had sequels and franchises…Well, thank you very much! I loved working with these people on this film so much. I would just like to spend more time with them, that would be good!My favorite relationships in the film are between Simon and his mom, dad and sister. How did you make those dynamics so believable?So much of it is casting. In that process, when Jennifer Garner got interested, we didn’t have the original scene that she has, that pushes Simon into act three. We had one ‘parent scene’, a scene with the dad.Jen said: ‘Look, I want to do this. But I want there to be a scene that has me connect with him.’ I said: ‘That’s our intention, we’ll have to build [it] again.’ I shared with the writers my own experience of coming out, and talked a lot about having these parent scenes in close proximity.We wanted them to be as distinct and different as possible. I said to the writers: ‘The two most powerful things for me to hear after coming out’ – and it should have been self-evident, but I didn’t realize how powerful they were until I heard them – were ‘I still love you’ and ‘You deserve love.’ Those are different things. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… GAYSTARNEWS- At just 45, openly gay director Greg Berlanti is already a Hollywood veteran.Since serving as writer-producer on 90s hit Dawson’s Creek, he’s worked for TV smashes Riverdale and Supergirl, while also helping write and produce blockbuster movies like Pan, Green Lantern and Wrath of the Titans.last_img read more

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailMotorists in Leek are being advised to expect delays over the coming weeks due to roadworks in the town centre. Multi-way traffic lights will be in place and a number of stretches of road will be shut during stages of the work as Cadent replace gas mains with new pipes. Staffordshire County Council have issued a road closure order affecting the following stretches of road – with the order coming into force on Monday February 4. The A523 Church Street/Overton Bank/Mill Street from the junction with St Edwards Street down onto Mill Street. St Edward Street (southbound only) from the junction with Church Street down to High Street Church Lane: From its junction with the A523 Church Street for 70 metres Clerk Bank: The first 20 metres from the junction with Church Street Read MoreRoadworks across the Staffordshire Moorlands in the week ahead A Staffordshire County Council spokesman said:  “The order will come into operation on February 4 2019 and the said works will commence on or as near as practicable to that date. “It is anticipated that the works will be completed by March 27 2019.” There is no current schedule for precisely when each section will be shut. Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times – although only emergency vehicles, vehicles requiring access to premises and vehicles involved in the work will have access to closed areas. Cadent said:  “Cadent are carrying out essential gas maintenance in the road to replace old iron gas mains with more durable plastic pipes. “This is to ensure we continue to provide safe and reliable gas  supplies to local businesses and residents.” Read MorePlans for homes on outskirts of town thrown out Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us  @SOTLive  or message us on  our Facebook page  . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at  StokeonTrentLive .last_img read more