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first_imgNursing her ambition of still becoming Himachal Pradesh’s chief minister, Congress’ most enduring and much loved veteran Vidya Stokes – who says she has lived on a non-cereal diet for 50 years – hopes to finally achieve the goal in what could be the last fight of her over four-decade-long political career.But in a male-dominated state, where even past royalty is revered, Stokes, a long-time Indian hockey administrator and the daughter-in-law of an American missionary, is still looking to score that master stroke in politics.At 84, the oldest candidate in the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls, she is still in the field and welcomes the younger party aspirants in the electoral fray.”I am happy to see the younger lot in the fray. For me they are not a challenge. Our aim is to bring the party back to power in the state at any cost,” Stokes, a seven-time legislator, including five stints from this constituency in Shimla district, told IANS in an interview.Stokes stressed that throughout her political career, she has remained loyal to the Congress.”I have not demanded or bargained for any post from the party. Whatever the party offered me, I accepted it with grace,” she said.On the race for chief minister’s post if the party returns to power, Stokes, who is known for her proximity to the Gandhi family, said: “I think at this point in time, our objective is to bring the party back to power and get rid of this corrupt (BJP) government.”She said she has no qualms that she was never offered the top post in the state despite being active in state politics since 1974, after the death of her husband Lal Chand Stokes.”Look, when you are working in the party, serve it as a foot soldier. For me becoming chief minister is not important. Leave it for the party leadership to decide,” said Stokes.”If I couldn’t secure the top berth (in the state) that doesn’t mean the party has not taken care of me well. I was offered a (governor’s) post back in the 1990s, but I preferred to stay back in the state politics to serve the people,” she said to a query whether she was recently offered a gubernatorial berth.Political observers believe Stokes, a prominent apple grower, was always chief ministerial stuff but the personality of Raja Saab (as five-time chief minister and present state unit chief Virbhadra Singh is popularly known) has always overshadowed her.An observer said, “Every time when the Congress came to power, Stokes, being the seniormost leader in the state, made a serious bid for the chief ministerial post but Virbhadra Singh managed to get it. This time too he has not given up his hopes for a comeback.”Interestingly, Stokes and Virbhadra Singh, who have been at loggerheads for the last two decades, have joined hands before the elections and, unlike the past, the latter is also campaigning for her.Stokes is also known for being on a non-cereal diet for the last 50 years. During her long backbreaking campaigning in this constituency which she represented five times – 1974, 1982, 1985, 1990 and 1998 – she prefers to eat only salads and vegetables.In the last two assembly elections, 2003 and 2007, she represented Kumarsein, a seat scrapped in the delimitation exercise and its areas merged with Theog and Shimla (rural). She is now back in her old constituency.Throughout her political and sports administrator career, Stokes never courted any controversy. “One should remain sincere with one’s work; nobody will dare to harm you then,” Stokes advised the IANS correspondent.Stokes is known for not taking even a penny of her salary, be it as a legislator or as a minister, throughout her political career.Stokes’ father-in-law Satyanand (Samuel Evans Stokes Jr), an American missionary, first introduced high quality apples in the Kotgarh-Thanedar belt in upper Shimla in the early 1920s. Stokes now manages most of her family’s orchards.On being asked what career she would have chosen had she not been in politics, she said: “I would have been a successful banker.”Before venturing into politics at the age of 36, I was the youngest State Bank of India woman director,” said Stokes.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgFrom the moment she landed in a chartered Air-India jet at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on the sunny afternoon of July 27, Mrs Gandhi exuded optimism and openness, a warmth that easily cut across protocol and security barriers to create a deeply personal impression during her first state,From the moment she landed in a chartered Air-India jet at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport on the sunny afternoon of July 27, Mrs Gandhi exuded optimism and openness, a warmth that easily cut across protocol and security barriers to create a deeply personal impression during her first state visit to the US in 10 years.Received in New York by an assortment of dignitaries, including Ambassador Selwa Roosevelt, chief of protocol for the US Government, the Indian Ambassador K.R. Narayanan and the US Ambassador to India, Harry G. Barnes. Mrs Gandhi’s indication of informality was instantly evident as she stepped off the plane. Cordially patting a reporter’s hand in the press enclosure, minutes after she stepped on American soil, she enthused: “I’m delighted to be here, to see President Reagan again and to see some of the American people. I hope.”As her black Cadillac, flying both the American and Indian flags, whisked her off to her suite in the restrained elegance of the Carlyle Hotel on Manhattan’s fashionable Upper Eastside, Mrs Gandhi had ample time to savour the pleasures of New York – spending four days in the city out of her eight-day American tour.Exclusive Lunch: Almost her first public appearance in the city was an unscheduled, shopping spree at a reputed department store, followed by an exclusive lunch for 55 hosted by the Metropolitan Museum (the Met). Chatting amiably to celebrities who included Zubin Mehta, conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Diana Vreeland, high priestess of fashion, the city’s culture commissioner Henry Geldzahler, as well as the heads of The Asia Society and the Indo-US Sub-commission, the occasion marked the official sanction of the Met’s 1985 exhibition entitled ‘India!’advertisementMrs Gandhi being welcomed at the White House: Right foot forwardThe Met, which will present the major exhibition of Indian art from 1300-1900 with the cooperation of the Indian Government, has already been working on the project for over a year. Says art historian Stuart Carey Welch, consultant to the Met in charge of assembling the best of the 300 Indian art objects that will be shown under one roof: “Our thought is to do a grand exhibition, choosing things from every tradition within the enormous continuum that characterises Indian culture borrowed from public and private collections in India, the US. Great Britain and Europe.”Rushing straight from the Metropolitan Museum lunch, she appeared relaxed in one of her flowered silk saris, as she dropped in for a 20-minute closed-door discussion with United Nations Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar at his 38th floor office in the United Nations building. The talk, vaguely described as a “general review of international problems in many parts of the world” by a spokesman, was followed by her presenting the UN with a 900-year-old stone representation of the Hindu god, Surya, a manifestation, she claimed, of “India’s commitment to the United Nations”.Fabulous Banquet: Later that afternoon, she flew off to Washington in the rain to official meetings with President Reagan and Secretary of State George P. Shultz. Surrounded by the rich panoply and perfection of a Presidential welcome, the high point of Mrs Gandhi’s social success in the US came in the fabulous White House banquet hosted for her by the Reagans on July 29. Washington’s society columnists called the evening the “most elaborate entertainment to date in the Reagan White House” – dinner and dancing for 116 people with unique finale: a special concert by Indian conductor Zubin Mehta conducting 60 musicians of the New York Philharmonic in the Rose Garden.Received by the President and the First Lady on the north side of the White House – other guests arriyed on the south side – the Indian prime minister, in a textured raspberry silk sari looked simplicity itself in comparison to Nancy Reagan, who as a special gesture wore a sari-inspired, peach-coloured one-shoulder dress trimmed in silver and designed by her favourite designer Adolfo.As the President and prime minister slowly descended the White House’s Grand Staircase to the trumpets sounding ‘Ruffles and Flourishes’, they followed a colour guard to the East Room where the guests had assembled to be introduced in a receiving line. Among them were two former American ambassadors to India. Ellsworth Bunker and John Sherman Cooper; former ambassador to Italy Clare Booth Luce; S. Dillon Ripley, head of the Smithsonian Institution, the novelist John Updike as well as a distinguished team of academics and intellectuals.Long Preparation: In an interview with The New York Times, Nancy Reagan admitted that she had been involved in preparing the evening since April, when the Indian prime minister accepted the American visit. In fact, she had approached conductor Zubin Mehta for the concert through their common friend Frank Sinatra. Said she: “I try very hard to mix people up, to have guests from the business world, the arts, sports, education and old friends, because I think that’s what makes an evening fun and interesting for everyone.”advertisementTypical of the manner in which Mrs Gandhi can captivate a foreign audience, as much by her political barbs as by sudden personal revelations, were the words in which she described herself after receiving the U Thant Award in New York. She suddenly let the mask slip as she discussed her public and private persona saying…Mrs Gandhi at a presentation ceremony at the UNProfessor Buultjens also said that much has been written about me. I differ. Many, many words have been written but they” re been written about some person whom I don’t recognise at all. I don’t know who she is or where these people hare met her because she certainly isn’t anywhere within me. I am somebody quite different and whether that person will be discovered or not, I don’t know and frankly, I don’t really care. What is important is that that person is there, audit is that person who exists, and who has nothing to do with being in power or out, haring a victory or a defeat. The person that is in the core of each one of us welcomes any experience and tries to use that experience for an inner strength, to build up the inner resources, to build up the inner calm, which 1 think, is the message of most religions. Even the menu obtained her final approval. Bathed in candlelight, the guests sat at tables in the State Dining Room to go through a four-course dinner that included seafood neptune, lamb in golden pastry, salad and French cheese and a frozen black cheery bombe accompanied by a choice of Caiifornian wines. After dinner the guests attended the musical concert following which the Indian prime minister left. But champagne and dancing followed in the flower-filled Grand Foyer, glittering with crystal chandeliers and mirrors.The end of her Washington visit was marked by the usual exchange of gifts between the two families: President Reagan received a Kashmiri carpet showing a hunting scene and Nancy Reagan a gold silk sari. The Reagans gave Mrs Gandhi a silver shell box reproduced from colonial Williamsburg, Audubon prints of American birds with Reagan’s personal signature, Audubon-designed serving spoons in a satin case and a silver frame with Reagan’s picture personally signed and embossed with the Presidential seal. Rajiv Gandhi received a crystal bowl by Cartier on a wooden stand with the President’s seal. Sonia, his wife, was presented a rainbow-rose Boehm lapel pin and her children, Rahul and Priyanka, a pen each with inscriptions by the President and the First Lady respectively.Close Encounters: Returning to New York on July 31, Mrs Gandhi amazed New Yorkers by immersing herself in a series of gruelling meetings with Americans and Indians residing in America from all walks of life. Starting with an encounter with a string of office-bearers of the numerous associations of Indians settled in the US and ending with a tea party to meet leading American women, Mrs Gandhi spent an exhaustive two days in the city, taking time off for two theatre shows.advertisementTypically, her style varied from group to group. Sternly admonishing the Indian groups, she snapped at them in school-marm fashion: “It is indeed unfortunate that wherever Indians are, instead of forming one strong Indian organisation, you have hundreds of separate groups.” Even sharper was her claim that “the Indian community abroad is not standing up for India. We have nothing to be ashmed of. You only have to see our statistics and see how impressively we have progressed”.Later in the afternoon, she turned her attention to a group of scientists of Indian origin who had flown into NewYork from all over the US to express their desire to aid development of science and technology in India. The meeting, which was closed to the press, was held under the stewardship of Dr M.S. Swaminathan (formerly of the Planning Commission, and now director-general of the Rice Research Institute in Manila).Discussions at this meeting revolved round the creation of an Indo-US joint panel on science and technology transfers and, specifically, the setting up of a demonstration-cum-training project housed in a “Technology City” for which the Indian Government will provide 2,000 acres of land, water, electricity and other facilities. The city will be set up with PL-480 funds to be released for development and additional support will be sought from the American private sector. Already, Westing-house Corporation has agreed to aid the project.Her meeting with Indian scientists was followed by another closed-door meeting with Indian businessmen, whom Mrs Gandhi personally encouraged to correspond with her secretariat in New Delhi about their particular problems. She discussed possibilities of increasing exports to America in the way of electronics and software goods, and responded very favourably to the group’s offer to raise equity funds in dollars for Maruti.Dashing off in the evening to catch up with a Broadway show Agnes of God starring Tony, award-winning actress Amanda Plummer, Mrs Gandhi maintained an unflappable calm when a crisis erupted mid-performance. In the show’s last 15 minutes, sudden groans in the audience led to speculation that an assassination attempt on the prime minister had been foiled, but it turned out that a member of the audience had suffered a heart attack and had had to be carried out. The play resumed after the actress took a few minutes to regain her composure but Mrs Gandhi sat through completely unruffled by the incident, later going backstage to greet a thrilled cast.Next morning, which was a Sunday, she donned a crimson salwar-kameez to visit a gurudwara in an Indian-dominated section of Queens and returned to a quiet private lunch with a family friend, Dorothy Cousins. Changing into an elegant silk lungi, she spend the afternoon once again at the theatre, this time to catch a matinee show of the popular and rather bawdy play about 18th century composer Mozart called Amadeus.Award: Her last day in New York began early, with a small ceremony at her hotel where she prestigious U Thant Award for cultural understanding between the East and West. Named after the third general of the United Nations, was presented by Sri Lankan economist Professor Ralph Buultjens, on behalf of the Award Committee. He explained that it was being presented to Mrs Gandhi in her personal capacity, not as prime of India, its earlier recipients being distinguished world leaders like Professor Arnold Toynbee, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Adlai Stevenson and Lester Pearson.Her next engagement was of an altogether different kind. Calling on the city’s colourful Mayor, Ed Koch, she was forced to apply her evasive diplomatic skills. When Koch politely enquired of her whether there were any Jews in India and whether Israel had an embassy in New Delhi, Mrs Gandhi, exercising crucial tact, replied: “No, but they have a consul who is not there right now. The individual may be different, but there is a consulate.” Koch presented her with an expensive Steuben glass apple – “symbolic of our city which is popularly known as the Big Apple” – to which she responded with a gift of a rosewood box inlaid with an ivory Taj Mahal.Canny Replies: At a huge luncheon in her honour held at the Waldorf-Astoria, hosted by the Foreign Policy Association in cooperation with The Asia Society, the Far Eastern American Council of Commerce and Industry and the Indian Chamber of Commerce of America. Mrs Gandhi summed up the state of the Indian nation flooring the 1,500 guests – who had paid $40 (Rs 360) per ticket – with her canny fielding of questions. Former ambassador to India Robert Goheen, who read out the questions written down by members of the audience, asked: “What do you think is a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem?” With great elan, Mrs Gandhi retorted: “Problem? What problem? We don’t see a problem there at all.”Informal Tea: Her last scheduled meeting in New York, before she took off for a day’s halt each in Los Angeles and Honolulu, was an informal tea, called at her own request to meet leading American women. Hosted by the Indian ambassador’s wife. Mrs Narayanan, the 30 women were placed at small tables for five each with an empty chair at each table for Mrs Gandhi to join the groups at random.Among the women were the doyenne of modern dance Martha Graham, Eleanor Smeal, president of the National Organisation of Women, Ellen Futter. president of Barnard College. Ruth Heineman of the League of Women Voters, novelist Bette Bau Lord and editors Joan Freseman (of The Asia Magazine) and Charlotte Curtis (of the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times.)Reporters were neither invited nor allowed at the meeting, described as a “private event”, where Mrs Gandhi moved from table to table receiving information, though the exchange of views inevitably turned to the status of women in India. Said Joan Freseman of her impressions of Mrs Gandhi at the meeting: “She’s refined and chiselled-looking and, when she speaks, she’s very convincing. Unless you know differently, you want to believe her.”That was typical of the impression Mrs Gandhi left behind on America’s east Coast where she spent most of her visit. Her directness of approach, combined with her obvious warmth and candour, took most Americans by surprise-they may know otherwise but for the extent of her visit they wanted to believe her.last_img read more

first_imgATK were reduced to 10 players in the 52nd minute when ATK were reduced to 10 players in the 52nd minute when their Scottish midfielder Stephen Pearson was sent off for a rash tackle on Trindade Goncalves. Goans turn came in the 60th minute when the Sanjay Balmuchu was sent off after being shown a second yellow for a foul on Prabir Das. It was an intense first-half play for both the teams but ATK nosed ahead by virtue of their fruitful attack coupled with some resolute keeping by Debjit Majumder. That the Gaurs dominated the possession in the first 45 minutes without being able to convert a single opportunity summed up how their attack kept Majumder busy under the bar. First it was Trindade Goncalves who tested Majumder with a one-on-one in the 16th minute but the ATK goalkeeper stood tall making an excellent save. In the 38th minute, Robin Singhs right-footer from the edge of the box was on target but Majumder dived full length to his right to make a fingertip save. The Goans have never won against ATK from seven occasions. Five of them were draws, including two legs of the 2014 semi-finals, which Kolkata won on penalties. The other two matches were won by Atletico de Kolkata, including a 4-0 in their last meeting in Kolkata. PTI TAP PDS PDSlast_img read more

first_imgJames Rodriguez scored twice while Alvaro Motata, Isco, Lucas Vazquez and Casemiro got a goal each as Real Madrid thrashed Deportivo La Coruna 6-2 on Wednesdsay night.Real Madrid had gone into the game without their BBC (Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo) combination with Bale out injured, Ronaldo left out of the travelling squad and Benzema subjected to the bench.Just like it has been the case almost all season, Morata, Isco, James, Asensio and Vazquez rose to the occasion and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.Except for James and Asensio, none of the others had appeared in Real Madrid’s 2-3 loss to Barcelona last Sunday starting debates that Zinedine Zindane isn’t giving them enough chances.The brilliance of Isco:Isco was the stand-out player of the night with his creativity and skills creating havoc in the Deportivo box. Isco scored towards the end of the  match in the 77th minute and for all his hard work, he deserved that.Isco has now scored and assisted 12 goals in his last 12 starts for Real Madrid. Zidane said about Isco after the game, “He does things that not everyone is capable of. I’m delighted for him after the work he’s put in. He always delivers when called upon.”Isco’s game by numbers vs. Deportivo:88% pass accuracy7 take-ons4 chances created3 shots1 post hit1 assist1 goalIsco, disco. ?? pic.twitter.com/adhSRDan2O- Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 26, 20178 – Isco Alarcon has scored more goals than any other midfielder in La Liga in 2017. Delight. pic.twitter.com/bp8j20qVWxadvertisement- OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 26, 2017What has worked for Real Madrid without BBC:This season, what has been working for Real Madrid without the BBC combination has been the fluidity in their game. Without the BBC, the non-starry Galacticos display better connection, more selflessness and enhanced work rate.Another factor that favours the dismantling of the BBC is the cover the younger brigade provide at the back. Be it Morata or Vazquez, they put their bodies at the back and provide more solidity in the midfield and defence.Just like it was seen in Real Madrid’s last night game against Deportivo, every time Madrid were losing the ball, they were tracing back and collectively worked to get the ball back.Bale, Benzema and Cristiano have been the decisive elements of Real Madrid’s success over the years but with the influx of new talent and Bernabeu crowd also willing to see home grown players get more playing time, it may be wise to start pushing forward the younger crop of players.The question remains… Is is time to dismantle the famed BBC?Some statistics:1. Real Madrid have played 12 matches without Ronaldo this season in all competitions, winning 10 and drawing two.2. Real Madrid have gone exactly a year without being prevented from scoring – the last shutout being against Manchester City on April 26, 2016 – and since then, Madrid have scored 151 goals in 57 games.3. Real Madrid have scored 5 goals in a La Liga match for the first time without Cristiano Ronaldo playing ever since his debut in August 2009.4. Since he has joined Real Madrid, no midfielder in La Liga has been involved in as many goals as James Rodriguez – he has scored 25 and assisted 27 goals.5. Real Madrid have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 La Liga games.How Twitter reacted:@realmadriden Real Madrid more creative,attractive without BBC, Thanks for your all contribution had done, but let’s Madrid move forward without you (BBC)- Mahyudin Nasution (@yudi_fe_usu) April 27, 20178th time this season that Real Madrid have started without BBC. Their record in the previous 7 games (all comps)W 6D 1L 0F 29A 11 pic.twitter.com/xPPmGqAmzr- Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) April 15, 2017Good play by Real Madrid. No ego, good passing, good movement. As I said, Real Madrid plays better without BBC. #halamadrid- Vasili Brutsky (@vaselOK92) April 5, 2017last_img read more

first_img The Board of Directors of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has appointed Ms Heather Pinnock, General Manager of the entity as of April 1, 2019.Ms Pinnock acted as General Manager from September 24, 2018 until the time of her appointment. Prior to that she served as Deputy General Manager, Planning Development and Project Management Division.According to Chairman Senator Ransford Braham, the Board extends its full support and good wishes to Ms. Pinnock as she embarks on this new journey, ‘the Board expects that the UDC will continue its transformative mission of making development happen by delivering mega-projects such as the Closed Harbour Beach Park in Montego Bay, for which ground was recently broken. The upgrading of Ocho Rios, master planning for the town of Port Royal, establishment of Jamaica’s Third City and the completion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Building’ and further build out of the downtown Kingston redevelopment including the construction of the Houses of Parliament are also high priority projects for the UDC.Ms Pinnock provides leadership for a team of almost 1000 professionals spanning disciplines of technical services, legal, finance, estate management, integrated marketing communication and environmental management. Her professional experience includes key public sector roles including Chief Technical Director at the then Ministry of Water and Housing, Senior Project Manager at the National Housing Trust and Consultant Senior Project Manager with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago’s Housing Development Corporation.Ms Pinnock has also garnered valuable experience working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Jamaica, the Institute for Sustainable Development, University of the West Indies, University of Technology (UTech) and the Kingston Restoration Company.Ms. Pinnock is a graduate of the University College London, where she completed a Master of Science degree in Development and Planning with a concentration in Building and Urban Design in Development. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies degree from the Caribbean School of Architecture at the University of Technology and a Postgraduate Certificate in Green Economy (Climate) from Technische Universität Dresden in Germany.She has been the recipient of many awards including that of being a Chevening Scholar and also serves as a Justice of the Peace in the parish of St. Andrew. Ms Pinnock is married to Julian Dadag and they have one son Sean.For further information, please contact:The Corporate Relations and Marketing DepartmentUrban Development Corporation12 Ocean BoulevardKingston, JamaicaTel: (876) 656-8031Email cr@udcja.comwww.udcja.com Ms Pinnock acted as General Manager from September 24, 2018 until the time of her appointment. Prior to that she served as Deputy General Manager, Planning Development and Project Management Division. According to Chairman Senator Ransford Braham, the Board extends its full support and good wishes to Ms. Pinnock as she embarks on this new journey, ‘the Board expects that the UDC will continue its transformative mission of making development happen by delivering mega-projects such as the Closed Harbour Beach Park in Montego Bay, for which ground was recently broken. The upgrading of Ocho Rios, master planning for the town of Port Royal, establishment of Jamaica’s Third City and the completion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Building’ and further build out of the downtown Kingston redevelopment including the construction of the Houses of Parliament are also high priority projects for the UDC. The Board of Directors of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) has appointed Ms Heather Pinnock, General Manager of the entity as of April 1, 2019. Story Highlightslast_img read more

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Nakilat Qatar-based shipping company Nakilat delivered a 9% increase in profit during the first quarter of 2019.For the quarter ended March 31, 2019, the company’s net profit increased to QAR 236 million (USD 64.8 million) from QAR 217 million (USD 59.6 million) reported in the same period in 2018.This rise was mainly due to the acquisitions of two liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and one floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) in 2018, as well as a higher volume of projects at Nakilat’s ship repair facility. The achievement of positive results across its operations is also attributed to the rationalization of operational expenses and enhanced operational efficiency.The company has managed to grow its international portfolio through the recent expansion with Maran Gas Ventures Inc. to include four additional LNG carriers, demonstrating the enhanced operational efficiency and financial strength of the company. With 4 LNG vessels under the new JV, the number of Nakilat’s vessels has increased to 74, accounting for approximately 11.5% of the global LNG fleet in carrying capacity.last_img read more

first_img Mme Jennex a déclaré que le ministère continuerait d’investir des efforts en mathématiques et en littératie et de faire fond sur le travail effectué actuellement dans tous les conseils scolaires. « Ces évaluations nous donnent des renseignements précieux sur les habiletés de nos élèves, les domaines dans lesquels ils ont besoin d’aide additionnelle et la façon dont nous pouvons utiliser nos ressources efficacement pour assurer le succès de tous les élèves », a ajouté Mme More. Il n’y a pas eu d’examens provinciaux de la Nouvelle-Écosse en mathématiques ou en anglais en 2010. Des résultats seront disponibles en 2011. Le rapport est en ligne à l’adresse www.ednet.ns.ca. 63 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes lors de l’évaluation Elementary Mathematical Literacy Assessment 77 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes lors de l’Évaluation des apprentissages en mathématiques 75 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes lors de l’évaluation Early Elementary Mathematical Literacy Assessment (3e année) 87 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes lors de l’Évaluation des apprentissages en mathématiques : premier cycle de l’élémentaire (3e année) 81 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en lecture lors de l’évaluation Junior High Literacy Assessment (9e année) 94 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en rédaction lors de l’évaluation Junior High Literacy Assessment 79 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en lecture lors de l’Appréciation de rendement en littératie au premier cycle du secondaire (9e année) 70 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en rédaction lors de l’Appréciation de rendement en littératie au premier cycle du secondaire 84 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en lecture lors de l’évaluation Elementary Literacy Assessment(6e année) 90 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en rédaction lors de l’évaluation Elementary Literacy Assessment 75 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en lecture lors de l’Appréciation de rendement en littératie à l’élémentaire (ARL) (6e année) 69 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en rédaction lors de l’Appréciation de rendement en littératie à l’élémentaire 78 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes lors de l’évaluation Early Language Literacy Assessment (3e année) 83 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en écoute lors de l’évaluation Early Elementary Literacy Assessment 86 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en rédaction explicative lors de l’évaluation Early Elementary Literacy Assessment 74 p. 100 des élèves ont répondu aux attentes en rédaction narrative lors de l’évaluation Early Elementary Literacy Assessment Les élèves de 3e année en Nouvelle-Écosse continuent d’obtenir de meilleurs résultats en mathématiques. Le Rapport de la ministre aux parents et tuteurs 2010, publié aujourd’hui 1er juin, contient les résultats des élèves de 3e, 6e et 9e années en mathématiques et en littératie, présentés selon les écoles et les conseils scolaires. Les résultats d’évaluations nationales et internationales sont également publiés dans le rapport. « Il est encourageant de voir des améliorations considérables en mathématiques au niveau élémentaire. Il s’agit d’une bonne fondation qui assurera le succès des élèves en mathématiques dans le futur, a dit Ramona Jennex, ministre de l’Éducation. Les résultats des évaluations nationales et internationales démontrent que la moyenne en Nouvelle-Écosse est considérablement plus élevée que la moyenne internationale en mathématiques et en sciences. » Le rapport indique que les écoles, la communauté, les parents et les tuteurs collaborent pour renforcer l’engagement des élèves. Voici un résumé des résultats provinciaux en 2010 aux évaluations en mathématiques et en littératie :last_img read more

first_imgFisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell will present Nova Scotia’s position on the Last-In, First-Out policy for the northern shrimp fishery on Friday, June 10, when a federal advisory panel is in Halifax. The session is part of an external review being conducted in Nunavut, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia by the Ministry of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. The purpose of the meetings is to hear from stakeholders whether the Last-In, First-Out policy specific to the northern shrimp fishery should be continued, modified or abolished. “The value of Nova Scotia’s seafood exports is $1.678 billion, with shrimp bringing in $131 million,” said Mr. Colwell. “Taking into consideration the current state of our northern shrimp fishery, the province is in favour of maintaining the Last-In, First-Out policy to ensure our shrimp fishery is maintained and not depleted, and I look forward to sharing this with the panel.” Nova Scotia companies are offshore licence holders that participate in the northern shrimp fishery. Several were pioneers that developed the fishery. In the late 1990s, due to increased stock, the fishery expanded and new licence holders were included. The Last-In, First-Out policy was adopted then to protect original license holders. It stated new entrants would leave the fishery if the stock declined. In recent years, the shrimp stock has declined and new entrants were removed from the fishery, but that policy is now being reviewed. “Nova Scotia companies relied on that protection when they agreed to expand the fishery,” said Mr. Colwell. “Last-In, First-Out protects the offshore fleet who were the original participants in the fishery and it needs to remain.” For more information visit http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/comm/shrimp-crevette/shrimp-crevette-eng.htmlast_img read more

first_imgVANCOUVER — A man from Surrey, B.C., is mourning the loss of his former classmate who was killed in a gun massacre at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday.Shaukat Khan said when he heard news of the attack, he sent a message to his friend, Naeem Rashid, reading: “Hope all is well with you and your family. Just heard about the news. Let me know.”Rashid is the kind of person who always responds within a few hours, Khan said, but in this case he didn’t hear back before going to bed Friday night.“When I got up, the high school WhatsApp group was buzzing and there was news of him being martyred in the incident. It was a big shock,” Khan said in a phone interview Sunday.Khan and Rashid were friends since elementary school in Abbottabad, Pakistan.“When I remember Naeem — he was one of the kids who was more mature than anyone else among all of us,” Khan said.“He would simply smile at us whenever we tried to bother him or tease him. Everyone had respect for him like they would have for an elder.”Although the two went their own ways after college, they kept in touch. Khan said he last met Rashid about six or seven years ago at a function in Pakistan.A few days before his death, Khan said his friend posted a verse from the Qur’an on Facebook about the importance of giving back to the community.“His life was all about that,” Khan said, adding that Rashid and his son, Talha Naeem, gave their lives trying to snatch the attacker’s gun.“It doesn’t come as a surprise because he’s the kind of person who will stand up to the evils of the world, anything that is happening wrong, and if somebody is hurt and he will try his best to help.”Rashid comes from a family who believe in social work, Khan said, noting that his friend’s mother is an active member of charities helping out the less fortunate.“So whatever he did is nothing astonishing for us because it runs in the family, runs in his blood, runs in his genes.”Rashid’s mother is on her way from Pakistan for her son and grandson’s funerals, Khan said.As the shootings unfolded, the 50-year-old Rashid is seen on video trying to tackle the gunman, Rashid’s brother, Khurshid Alam, told The Associated Press.Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Twitter that the country is proud of Rashid, and his courage will be recognized with a national award.Khan said Rashid moved to New Zealand about a decade ago and was working as a teacher at a local high school and finishing a PhD, adding that he was very active in the community.Rashid has three children, he said.“I heard about Talah who was martyred in the same incident,” Khan said. “He had his whole life ahead of him.”Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national and avowed white supremacist, is believed to have carried out the attacks at two mosques that left at least 50 people dead and just as many injured.Thirty-four wounded remained in hospital, where officials said 12 were in critical condition. A 4-year-old girl at a children’s hospital in Auckland was also listed as critical.—with files from The Associated PressHina Alam, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgBargari (Faridkot): Intensifying his attack on the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday promised strict action against those involved in the 2015 desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib.Recalling his previous visit to the Punjab town, where the first incident of sacrilege took place and two people died in police firing at protesters, Gandhi said, Your ‘dharm’ was disrespected. Strict action will be taken against the perpetrators, he promised. I give you a guarantee on this. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe row over the 2015 incidents continues in Punjab with the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government, blaming the previous Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state for it. At another rally on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi’s sister and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi had also tried to corner BJP’s ally SAD over the issue. The Congress focus on the desecration religious scriptures comes at a time when the BJP has renewed its attack on the party over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, both emotive issues in state which goes to the polls on Sunday. Gandhi also taunted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly failing to keep poll promises. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadHe contrasted the UPA government at the Centre headed by Manmohan Singh with the BJP government led now by Narendra Modi. Modi used to make fun of Manmohan Singh. But after five years now, Modi ji does not make fun of Manmohan ji. Today the country is making fun of him, he said. He accused Modi of not keeping promises like the creation of two crore jobs and putting Rs 15 lakh into the bank account of every citizen. Gandhi targeted Modi for likening the country’s economy under the UPA government as sleeping elephant , and asked where he was when the hard- working Punjab farmers ushered in the green revolution. Accusing Modi of destroying the economy with his two decisions, he said had the PM taken the advice of Manmohan Singh he would not have rolled out demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Gandhi referred to it as the Gabbar Singh Tax. He claimed that the former PM had rightly predicted the fall in the country’s GDP due to these decisions. Taking a dig at Modi for his TV interviews, the Congress leader said the prime minister does not talk about issues like unemployment and farmer suicides. The PM thinks only one person can run the country, but actually it is the people who run it. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced a memorial at Bargari for those who lost their lives and sustained injuries in the 2015 police firing.last_img read more

Rabat – Quoting Moroccan officials, a recent report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), confirmed that Morocco is set to further broaden the dirham currency band when all economic conditions are met.“The authorities remain committed to continuing the exchange rate transition,” reads the report which was made public by IMF on Thursday. The report added that the transition “would consist in a further broadening of the dirham fluctuation band when conditions permit (…) in the context of a well-structured communication strategy.” Read Also: Fitch Ratings: Despite Challenges, Moroccan Economy Stays StableMorocco’s government announced the flexible exchange rate system for its currency in January 2018. The parity of the dirham is determined within a band of fluctuation of 2.5 percent against the previous 0.3 percent. The report included a letter addressed to the head of IMF from Central Bank Governor Abdellatif Jouahri and Morocco’s Finance Minister Mohamed Benchaaboun. In the letter, the Moroccan officials said that “the authorities intend to move to the next phase of this reform for preventative purposes as soon as economic conditions allow them to do so.”According to the authorities, “such a transition will help the economy better absorb potential external shocks, preserve its competitiveness, and support its diversification.”According to the officials,  the government will continue to improve the business climate, including by strengthening incentives and the legal environment for firms” following the “outstanding progress” made in the last few years.Bloomberg reported earlier this month that two Moroccan officials, who requested anonymity, said that the government is likely to wait until “at least 2020 before considering further easing their hold on the currency.”According to the anonymous sources predicted that the system might result in further crisis as Morocco faces debt.Officials, including the Head of Court of Auditors Driss Jettou and President of High Commission for Planning (HCP) Ahmed Lahlimi, warned the government that debt is weighing down Morocco’s economic growth.The overall public debt of the economy will increase to 82.5 percent of GDP, slightly up from 82.2 percent in 2018, according to HCP.Morocco’s economy will also experience a slowdown in growth as the economy is expected to grow at 2.9 percent in 2019. read more

“The harm inflicted on children around the world does tremendous damage,” said UNICEF Chief of Child Protection Cornelius Williams in a press release on the report, titled A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents. “Babies slapped in the face; girls and boys forced into sexual acts; adolescents murdered in their communities – violence against children knows no boundaries,” he added. The report uses the latest data to show that children experience violence across all stages of childhood and in all settings. About 60 per cent of one-year-olds in 30 countries with available data are regularly subjected to violent discipline. Nearly a quarter of one-year-olds are physically shaken as punishment and nearly one in 10 are hit or slapped on the face, head or ears. Worldwide, 176 million, or one in four, children under age five are living with a mother who is a victim of intimate partner violence. The report also finds that around 15 million adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts in their lifetime. Only one per cent of adolescent girls who had experienced sexual violence said they reached out for professional help.VIDEO: Recognize it. Report it. UNICEF calls for everyone to stand up and speak out to end violence against children. Credit: UNICEF In the 28 countries with data, 90 per cent of adolescent girls who had experienced forced sex, on average, said the perpetrator of the first incident was known to them. Data from six countries reveals friends, classmates and partners were among the most frequently cited perpetrators of sexual violence against adolescent boys. Globally, every seven minutes, an adolescent is killed by an act of violence. In the United States, adolescent boys from African American or black non-Hispanic populations are almost 19 times more likely to be murdered than non-Hispanic white adolescent boys. Latin America and the Caribbean is the only region where adolescent homicide rates have increased; nearly half of all homicides among adolescents globally occurred in this region in 2015. The report also says that half the population of school-age children – 732 million – live in countries where corporal punishment at school is not fully prohibited. Three-quarters of documented school shootings that have taken place over the past 25 years in non-conflict countries occurred in the United States. To end violence against children, UNICEF is calling for governments to take urgent action and support such measures as adopting well-coordinated national action plans; changing adult behaviours; limiting access to firearms and other weapons; educating children, parents, teachers, and community members to recognize violence in all its many forms and report it safely; and collecting better disaggregated data to track progress through robust monitoring and evaluation. read more

“Every two minutes a child dies from this preventable and treatable disease”, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.Every two minutes a child dies from this preventable and treatable disease – WHO chiefMalaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. According to the UN health agency’s latest World Malaria Report, the estimated number of malaria cases remained virtually unchanged from 2015 to 2017.Moreover, there are approximately 219 million cases globally and an estimated 435,000 deaths.In his video message, the WHO chief said the campaign “Zero malaria starts with me”, calls on political leaders, the private sector and affected communities to take action to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment, stressing: “We all have a role to play”.Commemorated every 25 April, World Malaria Day highlights the need for sustained investment and political commitment for malaria prevention, control and elimination.An ominous numbers gameTracking data and trends, the goal of WHO’s Global Technical Strategy to reduce malaria cases and deaths by at least 40 per cent by 2020 is off track.Funding for the 2017 global malaria response remained largely unchanged from the previous year, which at $3.1 billion for malaria control and elimination programmes, is well below the $6.6 billion funding target for 2020.According to the latest World malaria report, major coverage gaps have limited access to core WHO-recommended tools for preventing, detecting and treating the disease.In 2017, 50 per cent of the at-risk population in Africa slept under an insecticide-treated net, a similar figure to the previous year and a marginal improvement since 2015.Moreover, that same year, just over 22 per cent of eligible pregnant women in Africa received the recommended three or more doses of preventive vaccine, compared with 17 per cent in 2015. And from 2015 to 2017, only 48 per cent of children on the continent with a fever were taken to a trained medical provider.World Health OrganizationWHO’s 2017 estimated malaria burden by region, taken from the World Malaria Report 2018 Responding to the situationIn response, WHO and the RBM Partnership – the largest global platform for coordinated action towards a malaria-free world – recently catalyzed a new approach to intensify support for countries carrying a high burden of malaria, particularly in Africa.“High burden to high impact” is founded on four pillars: greater political will to reduce malaria deaths; more strategic information to drive impact; better guidance, policies and strategies; and coordinated national malaria responses.On World Malaria Day, WHO and other partners are promoting the “Zero malaria starts with me” campaign to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.“The time for decisive action is now”, stressed WHO. Breaking it downLast year in the Western Pacific region, there were more than 6000,000 cases of malaria.From 2015 to 2017, WHO reported a 47 per cent jump in the preventable and treatable disease and a 43 per cent increase of deaths, largely due to outbreaks reported from Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Solomon Islands which jointly account for 92 per cent of the malaria burden in the region.“Mosquitos know no borders and will bit regardless of nationality or reason for migrating – IOM“Urgent action is needed to address outbreaks in the highest burden countries”, underscored the UN health agency. “Ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by malaria and community empowerment is critical to support grassroots engagement across the region”. ‘Mosquitos know no borders’The response to malaria should include all populations, according to the International Organization for Migration – including migrants, whether they are disabled persons, refugees or other vulnerable or displaced groups.“Mosquitos know no borders and will bit regardless of nationality or reason for migrating” IOM said.Managing health, mobility and frontiers means “much more” than monitoring a boundary check point between two countries, IOM pointed out. It is a joint commitment that recognizes “a series of spaces, actors and conditions that are part of the every-change and complex continuum of human mobility”.Disease is easily transmitted in the overcrowded and unhygienic conditions that people on the move deal with.While migration itself does not pose any health risks, IOM said that the adverse conditions on the migration route “do threaten the health of migrants and communities living in areas of transit, destination and return”.The UN migration agency spelled out that any person linked to the migration cycle must be “informed, sensitized and prepared to prevent, detect and respond” to health threats. read more

SYDNEY, Australia — Diego Castro’s 82nd-minute goal gave first-place Perth a 1-1 draw with the Wellington Phoenix in the A-League on Sunday.Roy Krishna gave Wellington a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute before Castro’s late equalizer allowed the Glory to maintain a two-point lead over the Melbourne Victory.In other matches, Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda scored a goal as the second-place Victory extended their winning streak to four matches with a 4-0 win over Western Sydney.Ben Halloran scored both goals in fourth-place Adelaide’s 2-1 win over Brisbane, and Sydney FC moved into third place after defeating last-place Central Coast 2-1.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press read more

Eugenie is ninth in line to the throne since the birth of Prince Louis, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child.After leaving Take That in 1995, Williams achieved significant commercial success as a solo act. During his career he struggled with addiction to alcohol and drugs.Last year he boasted that he “smoked a spliff in Buckingham Palace” when he headlined the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012. Last year Robbie Williams boasted that he “smoked a spliff in Buckingham Palace” when he headlined the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012Credit:Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Europe Last year Robbie Williams boasted that he "smoked a spliff in Buckingham Palace" when he headlined the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012 The Duke of York announced in February that the couple would marry on Friday, October 12.Eugenie, the Queen’s granddaughter, became engaged to Mr Brooksbank, her long-term boyfriend, in Nicaragua in January. The daughter of Robbie Williams will reportedly be a flower girl at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in October. The ex-Take That star and his wife, Ayda Field, have been friends with Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice, for several years and will both attend the wedding, according to a report.Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank are going to get married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle – the same venue at which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in May.Along with Williams’ five-year-old daughter, Theodora Rose, other flower girls will be three-year-old Princess Charlotte and Maud Windsor, the four-year-old daughter of Lord Freddie Windsor and his actress wife Sophie Winkleman, according to the Mail on Sunday.Maud Windsor is in the same class as Prince George, the eldest child of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, at St Thomas’ School in Battersea.Prince George is due to be a pageboy at the wedding, along with Louis de Givenchy, the son of the JP Morgan banker Olivier de Givenchy and his wife Zoe, it was reported. She is the younger daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York, formerly Sarah Ferguson. The 27-year-old is one of the Queen’s granddaughters and her elder sister is Princess Beatrice of York. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article But this isn’t the first time the future of Sinn Féin as a political party has been cast into doubt because of Gerry Adams’ leadership of the party.The majority of political commentators believe that when leaders with republican pasts resign from their role in the party, that it will gain momentum among more voters.There is the (less common) theory that Gerry Adams brings an element of recognition to the party that no other politician does, and if/when he leaves politics, that the Sinn Féin party could suffer as a result of that.Additional reporting Cianan BrennanRead: Does Gerry Adams regret getting involved with the Stack meeting? Yes and noRead: Man jabs knife at till assistant during off-licence armed robbery 36,895 Views Arlene Foster on Sinn Féin: ‘If you feed a crocodile it will keep coming back for more’ In response, Gerry Adams said simply “see you later, alligator”. Feb 6th 2017, 10:30 PM By Gráinne Ní Aodha http://jrnl.ie/3225834 Short URL Arlene Foster said that they want to whip up old grievances and fight old battles. Source: Niall CarsonUpdated 22.30FORMER FIRST MINISTER of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster has launched a major salvo in the election campaign by saying that her party will never agree to an Irish language act.Speaking at a DUP event in Lurgan, Co Armagh, Foster said that seeing as there are more Polish-speaking people living in Northern Ireland than Irish-speaking, then a Polish language act should take precedence.Regarding demands from Sinn Féin, Foster said: “If you feed a crocodile it will keep coming back for more”.Separately, at a Sinn Féin event in Belfast, the party’s hierarchy reacted with a degree of mirth to Foster’s words.“We are not interested in negativity,” said the party’s new leader in the North Michelle O’Neill. Party president Gerry Adams, who was also at the event, said: “See you later, alligator.”Earlier, Foster had taken aim at Sinn Féin and Adams, saying that the republican party president’s “radical agenda” for Northern Ireland is clear.She said that the collapse of the Stormont Assembly last month was proof of the failure of the republican project and that Sinn Féin’s new leader O’Neill “was installed by Gerry Adams and she will be instructed by Gerry Adams”.How do we know? Because she told us. When asked about making decisions she said she is, ‘part of Gerry’s team’. She went on to say, ‘he is still our President so we will be working with him very closely’. Monday 6 Feb 2017, 10:30 PM Source: Rodney Edwards/Twitter Share80 Tweet Email3 140 Comments “So let’s be clear, at this election Gerry Adams is no longer in the shadows, he is front and centre of Sinn Féin’s campaign.He is their leader and hoping for the opportunity to implement his radical agenda for Northern Ireland.Foster has been receiving a large amount of criticism for her reaction to the Renewable Heating Incentive scandal, which happened when Foster was minister of the department responsibleThe mistake could see up to half a billion pounds wasted on a scheme that was meant to conserve energy, but that saw some businesses and households burning energy just to avail of the scheme.The scandal triggered calls for the newly appointed Foster to resign, but Foster has denied she is to blame, insisted that an inquiry will find her innocent, and that Sinn Féin are using the RHI scandal for their own gains.The Northern Ireland elections will be held on the 2 March. In her speech today DUP leader Arlene Foster mentioned Sinn Fein 24 times, Gerry Adams 12 times, RHI six times and equality once.— Rodney Edwards (@rodneyedwards) February 6, 2017last_img read more

first_imgIf there’s one thing we know about Hollywood, it’s that no good idea goes unpunished. When a film becomes a hit, you’ll see copycats and rip-offs on theater screens faster than you can say “extra butter.” We’ve lived through an eternity of found footage horror flicks, Hangover-inspired gross-out comedies and teen survival dystopias.And now it seems like the industry has found its latest chew toy: “cinematic universes.”Secret OriginsIt all started with Marvel. Tony Stark showed up at the end of the Hulk movie. Thor’s hammer in Iron Man 2. All leading up to Avengers, then flowering back out to solo films over three “phases” so far. Just about every one of these movies has been a massive hit, leveraging geek-friendly directors like Joss Whedon, star power from Robert Downey Jr, and the well-established world of Marvel superheroes.Let’s clarify for a second: we’re not talking about sequels and franchises. The Fast and the Furious is not a “cinematic universe.” The definition here is a group of films that have independent storylines and casts but reference and influence each other by taking place in a fictional space with shared continuity – what happens in one film affects the others.One could argue that Disney has pretty much caught lightning in a bottle here. What are the odds of another successful franchise encompassing fifteen films and counting, with another nine on the way plus broadcast and Netflix TV series? Here’s the answer: the odds are not good.Where Marvel goes, DC will follow. But Warner Brothers has seriously botched the rollout of their “cinematic universe.” Instead of delivering warm, family-friendly takes on their iconic heroes, they drilled audiences with Zack Snyder’s murderous Batman and moody Superman. Suicide Squad introduced a little levity into the formula, but their attempts to hint at and introduce other heroes have been clumsy at best and painful at worst. It’s looking like Wonder Woman finally gets it right, but it’s set some 80 years in the past.The funny thing is that DC has already made a live-action universe work on TV with multiple shows on the CW. The problem is, they’ve already made the choice to not have that successful set of properties intersect with the movie versions. That leaves fans with two competing fictional worlds to keep track of, hamstringing both.A Ruined WorldThis illustrates the central danger of the “universe” model of filmmaking: it has to feel natural. Marvel was smart: they dripped out connections in slight cameos and post-credits scenes. DC introduced a pile of heroes for the upcoming Justice League in Batman vs Superman all at once in the middle of the movie and then shuffled them off to Buffalo. The Marvel movies work as stand-alone films first and foremost, while other studios seem to think that the “universe” will do the heavy lifting for them.It’s not surprising that superhero properties have done well here because the core concept of a shared universe originates from there. It’s called “continuity,” the idea that every story is true and can have repercussions in the future. That’s how Marvel created “Marvel zombies,” who had to pick up every issue of every series so they knew what was happening in the fictional world.But Jim Shooter, the editor who presided over Marvel during their massive success in the 1980s, had a maxim: every comic book is somebody’s first. Even though the storylines of their comics could be intricately woven together, each and every 24-page issue needed to provide enough information and value that it would be worthwhile for a new reader to pick up.That philosophy has carried forward to the Marvel movies. Nearly all of them are fun and engaging on their own merits, with the deep continuity cuts backgrounded for hardcore fans.It’s easy to see how superhero universes can go wrong. All we have to do is look across the aisle at Fox, which has built an X-Men universe that is frankly incoherent. Time skips, alternate futures, Oscar Isaac painted like Ivan Ooze – the X-Men movies are wildly repellent. James Mangold’s Logan made it work by stripping away nearly everything but a handful of core characters, but the franchise is already pretty poisoned.Welcome To The MultiverseAnother case: the fact that a “Hasbro Cinematic Universe” even exists is a terrifying indictment of our culture. Michael Bay’s incoherent CGI robotfests make plenty of money, and the G.I. Joe films have been solid if unspectacular actioners. But now Paramount is working on a movie to tie the two properties together, to be followed by big-screen adaptations of late 80s toy lines M.A.S.K., Micronauts, Rom and Visionaries. How many of those do you remember, let alone have fond feelings for?The announcement of Universal Pictures’ “Dark Universe,” connecting all of their classic monster franchises together, hit the Internet like a wet thud last week. The latest remake of The Mummy with Tom Cruise is painfully lacking in buzz, so why did the studio think that making it the cornerstone of a “cinematic universe” would help matters any?Even Guy Ritchie’s flop King Arthur was originally conceived as part of an “Arthurian cinematic universe” that would roll out individual films for each of the Knights of the Round Table before bringing them together, Avengers-style.Final CrisisAll of these failed and pre-failed universes share some things in common. They all came hot on the heels of Marvel’s success without recognizing what made those movies work. I realize that in 2017 it’s kind of a waste of time to tell Hollywood to “just make good movies,” but that’s really the case here. If a Marvel movie ends up being a dud, it’s not going to sink the franchise because they’ve already built enough momentum to get over it. All of these other “universes” don’t have that momentum. They’re trying to burst out of the gate as fully-formed cultural phenomena, and if there’s one thing geeks really don’t like, it’s being told we’re supposed to like something.The one other “cinematic universe” that seems to be doing well, both creatively and financially, is Star Wars. But, like Marvel, that’s a franchise with a tremendous amount of both fan affection and lore. There are hundreds of paperback novels, video games and comic books painting every corner of George Lucas’s galaxy far away. And while the mainline movies are one continuous narrative, Rogue One proves that there’s plenty of room to explore.I didn’t even touch on every “cinematic universe” in the works right now – Legendary’s King Kong/Godzilla “monsterverse,” Sony’s ridiculous Robin Hood franchise, Lionsgate proposing a Power Rangers one… we’re in the dozens at this point, straining both studio budgets and moviegoer patience.Marvel’s movies work because each one of them is a good film. They’ve brought in new directors like Taika Waititi and Ryan Coogler to carry the movies forward in interesting directions, and slowly and steadily build the universe. But if you went in and stripped out the “shared universe” from most of them, they’d still work just fine. It’s a garnish, not an entree.People didn’t like Paranormal Activity because of the found footage gimmick – they liked it for the tension it racked up and its unique atmosphere. The Sixth Sense was more than the twist at the end, but M. Night Shyamalan obviously learned the wrong lesson. All of these proposed “cinematic universes” are putting the cart before the horse, counting on the gimmick to sell tickets when nothing else works.Good luck with that, guys.last_img read more

first_imgSEOUL, South Korea — In its latest effort to develop its ballistic and nuclear weapons, North Korea fired a medium-range missile Sunday that appeared to be similar to one the country tested earlier this year, U.S. and South Korean officials said.The rocket was fired from an area near the North Korean county of Pukchang, in South Phyongan Province, and flew eastward about 500 kilometers (310 miles), South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked the missile before it fell into the sea.White House officials traveling in Saudi Arabia with President Donald Trump said the system that was tested had a shorter range than the missiles fired in North Korea’s most recent tests.The missile appeared to be similar in range and maximum altitude to the missile that North Korea test-fired in February, an official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The missile launched on Sunday reached an altitude of 560 kilometers (347 miles), said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules.The February test involved using a launch truck to fire a solid-fuel missile that North Korea calls the Pukguksong (Polaris)-2, a land-based version of a submarine-launched missile the country revealed earlier. That missile traveled about 500 kilometers before crashing into the sea, according to South Korean and U.S. officials.last_img read more