28 July 2010The United Nations today expressed its deep concern over a helicopter pilot who has been missing for two days in the south of Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region. On Monday, the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission, known as UNAMID, lost contact with one of its helicopters after it landed in Aborjo in South Darfur state. Three commanders from the rebel group known as the Liberty and Justice Movement (LJM), who were being transported in the helicopter, were beaten at the scene, along with the pilot. The passengers and crew – not including the pilot – were later taken to a Government military camp, and following further contacts with authorities and security officials, returned yesterday to Nyala, the capital of South Darfur. “However, the pilot is still unaccounted for,” UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York today, noting that UNAMID is working with the Sudanese Government to locate him. In a related development, the mission reported today that the situation in the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) is calm but remains tense following recent unrest over the current state of the peace process. Fighting broke out in the camp over the weekend following the latest round of peace talks in the Qatari capital, Doha, aimed at bringing an end to the conflict in Darfur, with some of Kalma’s residents saying they were not fully represented. The gunmen identified themselves as members of the Abdul Wahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), one of numerous rebel groups that have been fighting Government forces and allied Janjaweed militiamen in Sudan’s Darfur region since 2003. Some 250 representatives of Darfurian civil society attended the Doha negotiations, including 60 people on behalf of IDPs and refugees, with all envoys elected after months of deliberation, community gatherings and training workshops. One person was injured and no deaths were reported following the violence. Sudanese authorities have arrested two people for attempting to assault a sheikh who attended the Doha conference. An estimated 300,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million others have been displaced in the past seven years in Darfur due to fighting between rebels and Government forces backed by the Janjaweed.
“Ten years ago, world leaders transformed expectations about the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the General Assembly’s informal dialogue on the subject. “Today, on its 10th anniversary, I urgently call on governments and UN entities – especially the Security Council – to move from understanding to action.”The principle of the responsibility to protect, which was adopted at the 2005 World Summit and is commonly referred to as R2P, holds States responsible for protecting their own populations from war crimes and crimes against humanity, and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.Mr. Ban noted that R2P was not only a question of law but “a matter of common humanity.” He used the occasion to call on Member States to create political space to prevent and respond to atrocity crimes; for stronger connections between early warning and early action; and for courage in publicly confronting and addressing signs of risk.Mr. Ban also recalled the responsibilities of the Security Council, noting that the 15-member body is “the only body empowered under international law to authorize military action to save lives when all else fails.” “We must do all that we can to act early, prevent atrocity crimes and support States in protecting their citizens,” he added. Speaking on behalf of General Assembly President Sam Kutesa, Ambassador Einar Gunnarsson of Iceland told the meeting that the anniversary is an opportunity to reaffirm a collective responsibility to protect populations from war crimes and other crimes against humanity.“A decade after the World Summit, the principle of responsibility to protect continues to receive recognition by Member States, regional mechanisms and other stakeholders,” he said, emphasising that “continued engagement is required for its wider acceptance and implementation, in accordance with international law.”Mr. Gunnarsson added that the primary responsibility to protect lies with State authorities, and regional and international efforts should focus on supporting national capacities in detecting and preventing crimes against humanity and war crimes. He noted that while the scale of such crimes has gradually decline, the international community continues to witness situations around the world, especially by non-State groups and actors, that constitute some of these crimes against humanity. “The heinous atrocities and terrorist attacks by groups such as ISIL, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda and Al Shabaab are unacceptable, and we must redouble our efforts to stop them,” he said.At a press conference later in the day, the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, said that the Secretary-General’s remarks to the General Assembly constituted “a powerful call to action,” and outlined a way forward for the international community to combat atrocity crimes.Jennifer Welsh, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, recalled that the principle adopted in 2005 arose out of the failure to protect the populations of Rwanda and Srebrenica from crimes against humanity and war crimes.“The principle is, at its core, a political commitment but is based on pre-existing legal obligations to protect populations from these crimes, to never allow them again,” she said. She also highlighted the report of the Secretary-General, “A vital and enduring commitment: implementing the responsibility to protect,” noting there was an ambitious agenda that lay ahead.“We know that in certain cases when there is concerted action, we can make a difference in addressing these kinds of situations,” she said. “And when we see in the news, on a daily basis, stark reminders of the consequences of either inaction or half-hearted action, it is imperative for the Secretary-General’s call to action in this report to be heeded.”
DOWNLOAD1. Government publishes recommendations of the Low Emission HGV Task Force2. Government announces centralisation of DVA services3. DPM announced City Deal for Sunderland4. Government announces Catapult network review5. Business to help reform enforcement of regulation6. CBI report demands action on growing skills vacuum7. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
Boston63.175.647.51.915.82.4<1<1<1 TEAMOVERALLOFF.DEF.WLTPLAYOFFSFINALSWIN Kansas City103.696.1113.26.08.35.7521 RATINGAVG. SIM. SEASONPLAYOFF CHANCES Chicago99.689.3188.8.131.52.846167 Houston93.683.6184.108.40.206.2521 W. New York120.3138.197.8220.127.116.119%65%37% This year’s surprise standout, the Western New York Flash, has skyrocketed to the top of our table and now has the greatest chance of winning the NWSL championship — 37 percent — up from just a 5 percent chance before the season started. With the league’s top two goal scorers, Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald (seven and six goals, respectively), the Flash are almost certain to earn a playoff spot. The Washington Spirit will likely grab another — our model gives them a 96 percent chance of making the playoffs.There’s a little less certainty for the third and fourth playoff spots. The Portland Thorns are currently in first place in the league, with 26 points, and have an 86 percent chance of making the postseason. But the team has lost their past two games, in part because several national team players have been absent as they prepare for the Olympics. So Portland may continue to fall in our rankings over the next month. The Chicago Red Stars’ chances of making the playoffs have remained about the same from our initial forecast — dropping to 46 percent from 47 percent — but a strong start to the season has given way to three losses in the past four games.The biggest shock this season, however, has undoubtedly been the rapid descent of the league’s top two teams, Seattle and Kansas City. Both teams were heavily favored in our initial predictions — with a 78 percent and 72 percent chance of making the playoffs, respectively — but at this point, it’s extremely unlikely that either team will earn a playoff berth. There are still six weeks of matches left, but both teams’ chances of winning the championship have plummeted more than 20 percentage points since the season started. Sky Blue97.299.418.104.22.168.82073 Although our preseason forecast didn’t think it was impossible for both Seattle and Kansas City to miss the playoffs (it assigned roughly a 6 percent chance to that possibility), their drastic decline may indicate that we should re-evaluate some components of the model for next year’s NWSL season. As in many of our sports forecasts, each NWSL team’s rating is reverted toward the league average between seasons to account for factors such as changes in personnel and retirements. For the NWSL, two-thirds of a team’s rating from the previous season carries over into the new season; that amount is based on the first three seasons and is in line with other soccer leagues around the world (both men’s and women’s). This year’s results, however, may indicate that NWSL teams should be reverted further toward the league average each season. Or maybe this is just a crazy season. Only time (and more data) will tell. If at the start of the National Women’s Soccer League season you thought two-time defending champions FC Kansas City would be in third-to-last place just over halfway through the season or that two-time regular-season champions Seattle Reign FC would have almost as many losses as they did in their previous two seasons combined, you’re either psychic or your predictive abilities are far greater than ours.Before this year’s matches got underway, we built a model to forecast the league using the best information we had available: data from the three previous NWSL seasons. But because two of those years were dominated by Seattle and Kansas City, correctly predicting this year’s chaos in the league would have been very difficult. So with the table in tumult and the end of the regular season not far off, we thought this would be good time to update our initial predictions, see what’s changed and look ahead to which four teams are most likely to reach the playoffs this fall. Below is a table showing each team’s overall rating — made up of offensive and defensive components (higher is better for both) — as well as its projected win-loss-tie record and its chances of making the playoffs. Portland106.9110.9102.09.73.96.5863515 Orlando90.882.122.214.171.124.82773 Seattle109.9101.6126.96.36.199.81785 Washington115.0123.5104.3188.8.131.525829
“Accessible contraceptive services are often focused on the needs of younger women and women over the age of 25 can in particular find themselves excluded from schemes providing free, pharmacy access to emergency contraception.”As so many women in the UK rely on pills and condoms as their main methods of contraception, it is vital that there is swift access to emergency options when those methods fail or a pill is missed.”She said greater access to services was also needed for women who are already mothers. “It’s time we ended the culture where abortion is seen as the only option. Women need to be supported and informed about the wide variety of alternative out there.”A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We are committed to maintaining a safe and caring environment for all women who need an abortion. It is encouraging to see that the number of women under 18 having abortions has fallen – however we do want to better understand why rates in other age groups are increasing and we are monitoring this trend closely. We are looking at ways to increase access to contraception, which will be set out in PHE’s reproductive health action plan to be published this year.” “Unplanned pregnancy in the year after birth is not uncommon, particularly among women who are breastfeeding,” she said.”However, it is also possible that over the longer term couples are making different decisions about family size and the number of children they can afford and feel able to properly care for.”The two-child benefit cap was designed to influence reproductive decision-making and we are certainly aware of cases where that has been a factor in a woman’s decision to end a third, unplanned pregnancy.” However, anti-abortion activists said that the latest abortion data represented a “national tragedy”.Clare McCarthy, spokeswoman for the Right to Life charity, said: “Every one of these abortions represents a failure of our society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.”Proposals from abortion campaigners to remove legal restrictions around abortion and introduce abortion right to birth would likely see these numbers get even worse.”There has been a sharp rise over the last decade in the proportion of abortions to women who are already mothers.In 2018, 56% of abortions (111,633) were to women who had had one or more previous pregnancies that resulted in a live or stillbirth, up 5% on the 106,550 the previous year. Less than half (48%) of abortions in 2008 were to women who had already had one or more previous births. Overall abortion rates have increased in the last decade for all women over the age of 25. The rates for women aged 30 to 34 increased from 15.6 per 1,000 women in 2008 to 19.9 in 2018.Among those aged 35 and over, they have risen from 6.7 per 1,000 women in 2008 to 9.2 per 1,000 women in 2018.In total, 34,380 women aged 35 and over had an abortion in 2018, up 6% on the 32,330 the year before. The data also showed there were 1,267 abortions to girls aged under 16 (0.6% of the total) in 2018.Of these, 363 were to girls aged under 15 (0.2% of the total). Overall, the abortion rate among under-18s has been falling for a decade.Nola Leach, chief executive at Christian Action Research and Education (CARE), added: “The fact that the abortion rate for women 35 or over has increased again since last year raises big questions about the pressures of modern life.“The instability of cohabitation and the intense pressure for couples to maintain two incomes are taking a heavy price. Abortions have reached the highest level ever in the UK, as new data reveals that 200,000 women had their pregnancies terminated last year.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) published figures today revealing that there were 200,608 abortions for women in England and Wales in 2018. This marked an increase of 4% or 192,900 from the previous year. A further 4,687 abortions were carried out on non-residents in 2018.Experts said that the increase was as a result of older women and mothers being more likely to have abortions.Clare Murphy, director of external affairs at abortion provider the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said: “The reasons for the increase in abortions for older women in England and Wales are complex. 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.
He related that the police are currently investigating the matter and have no information as to how the man suffered his injuries. According to Police Public Relations and Press Officer, Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan, the victim, Munir Amin, 31, of First Dam, Garden of Eden, EBD, was first taken to the East Demerara Regional Hospital by his father, with severe injuries to his head and face. A male labourer who was on Monday morning found lying in a pool of blood at First Dam, Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara (EBD), is presently admitted at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, in a critical condition. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPensioner killed in EBD accidentAugust 31, 2019In “Crime”Lifeless body of a 70-year-old man “neatly placed” along Garden of Eden road sideMay 3, 2017In “Crime”Labourer critical following assault from brotherDecember 3, 2018In “Crime”
Retailers are giving the holiday shopping season one final push today with yet another retail holiday. It’s free shipping day. Some 1,500 stores across the country are participating in the event. The event was created two years ago by Luke Knowles. It has more than double since last year, when 750 companies participated. According to a recent poll, 37 percent of shoppers plan to buy online today thanks to the holiday. A list of eligible stores can be found over at the easy-to-remember FreeShippingDay.com.AdChoices广告And while you’ve got shipping on the mind, keep in mind these cutoffs for getting those presents delivered by Christmas Day:FedEx Ground: December 17UPS 3-Day Select: December 21, Next Day Air: December 23Priority Mail: December 21Express Mail: December 22
PORTLAND — The Trump administration is angering environmental groups and residents of the Columbia River Gorge by rolling back a 2015 rule on oil train safety.Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Thursday that the Obama administration rule change required trains carrying highly explosive liquids to have electronically controlled pneumatic brakes installed by 2021.Those new systems were intended to help prevent fiery oil train wrecks like the one that happened in the Oregon town of Mosier in 2016.President Donald Trump’s administration says the rule change would cost three times the benefit it would produce.Chet Thompson, of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, says in a statement that the rollback a “rational decision.”Electronically controlled pneumatic brakes are supposed to be safer than air-controlled brakes because they are faster.
Why do people use Facebook? For students, it is often the center of their lives—they communicate within the Facebook email system, or by posting messages on each other’s sites, they send digital gifts to each other, invite people to parties, or upload thousands of pictures, which are then “tagged” with the names of all their friends. It is a great way to keep in touch with distant friends, scope out the special interests of new acquaintances, join an online support group, or share pictures. To its rabid fans, it is a critical part of their lives. But Will It Last? And is it a sustainable business model? Will students who spend two hours a day on Facebook continue to use it as much ten years from now? Do traditional banner ads work on a site like this? Or will the new models of marketing Facebook is experimenting with make a difference? And Why Does All This Matter To Publishers?I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But if you are running a media business, you’d better be asking these questions. And you should be trying to experiment with social networking in some way on your own sites. At a minimum, you can create a product Facebook page for your magazine. If you are more ambitious, consider incorporating social networking functions for all your web users. Businesses, blogs, even politicians, can create their own page on Facebook. Sen. Barack Obama’s page has nearly a million “supporters”, while FOLIO:, a recent addition, has 294 “fans”, and posts video interviews from its own Web site [Edit: FOLIO: offers its own social network at mediapro.foliomag.com with more than 1,700 members]. Even the TV show “The Office” has a page with 52,000 fans. There is no reason why almost every publishing Web site shouldn’t use Facebook for such grass roots promotional purposes. Social networking is probably most important to publishers because it represents real, albeit indirect, competition for readers and for the dollars of our advertisers. If you can’t fight it, you should join in. Advertisers are looking for new ways to attract customers. They are using product placements, Facebook applications, and their own Web sites to attract, retain, and engage customers. And just recently, Facebook, MySpace and Google have opened up their closed network sites to allow users to take their profiles, favorite applications, and networking capacity to other Web sites. “I believe (we) will look back to 2008 and think it archaic and quaint that we had to go to a destination like Facebook or LinkedIn to ‘be social,”’ explained Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li, in her own blog. Your Web developers and operators should be thinking about how to expand this new “social” function on your own Web sites, to enhance your own communities. After all, the most successful publishers are really communication enablers for communities. If you publish a magazine, there’s little doubt that you’ve developed a digital strategy. At first, publishers just loaded up the print magazine on the Web and mistakenly thought that they had one. More recently, publishers have learned to incorporate at least some of the attributes of Web 2.0, such as chat, forums, webinars, blogs But where should “social networks” fit in a publishing strategy?Facebook, the social networking site started by Harvard drop-out Mark Zuckerberg, has grown from 3 million users, when it was limited to college students a few years ago, to more than 70 million users today. Can you imagine the circulation of any magazine growing at that kind of rate, without direct advertising, just by word of mouth? It’s beyond astounding.And social networking is not just something for young people—the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is the over-40 crowd. LinkedIn and Plaxo, two professional social networking sites, are also showing significant growth. I opened a Facebook account a year ago when I started teaching a graduate class at the USC Annenberg School of Communication on the impact of the Internet on the traditional media business model. I figured I needed to personally understand what the excitement was all about. And I’m not alone. My “friends” on Facebook include Don Graham, CEO of the Washington Post Company, David Nussbaum, CEO of F+W Publications, and Laurel Touby, founder of Mediabistro.com. Jeffrey S. Klein is Chairman of 1105 Media Inc., a B2B publisher.
A Fairbanks restaurant is in trouble with the state over a golf game that often sends balls into the Chena River. The driving range on the deck of Pike’s Landing has closed due to environmental concerns.Listen nowThe patrons of Pikes Landing can no longer try to hit golf balls across the Chena River. Pikes challenges customers to buy a ball and drive it across the water, but many end up in the river, and Department of Environmental Conservation compliance officer Tiffany Larson said that’s illegal.”We’re determining what level of violation it is because it affects water violations or solid waste violations,” Larson said. “We’re trying to ascertain exactly what’s the composition of a golf ball and what does it constitute.”Larson said the issue was never previously raised and the state only began looking into it after a complaint was filed earlier this month by Anchorage environmental activist Rick Steiner. Steiner said he was on his way home following a float trip in Gates of the Arctic National Park, when he stopped in Fairbanks.”And came thorugh Pike’s and saw these people hitting golf balls right into the river and couldn’t believe it,” Steiner said.Steiner, a biologist and former University of Alaska marine conservation professor, said golf balls are slightly negatively buoyant in fresh water, meaning they likely carry downstream to the Tanana and Yukon Rivers and eventually the Bering Sea, where denser ocean water, floats them to the surface and the golf balls can be eaten by wildlife.”I have, in my work in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, found hundreds of dead albatross chocked full of plastic items and a lot of these dead albatross had golf balls in them,” Steiner said. “They’ve also showed up in dead whale carcasses on beaches and such like that.”Steiner admits there’s no evidence of golf balls from Pikes ending up in the ocean or wildlife, but the restaurant’s driving range has likely sent thousands into the Chena River. Pikes owner, former state legislator, Jay Ramras said the range dates back to before he bought the restaurant and lodge in 1999, and that he’s being unfairly singled out among local golf venues.“They all have state waterways that run through their property and all have ball hazards,” Ramras said. “We serve 1,600 golfers, roughly, per summer. I’m quite certain that there are more golfers on the other three golf courses in Fairbanks, you know, who are hitting into water hazards that are also state waterways everyday of summer.”Ramras cites numerous environmentally beneficial projects at Pikes, including solar energy, composting and a hydroponic greenhouse, as well as river protection efforts with various agencies and groups. Ramras said he immediately closed down the golf venue after talking to the D.E.C., but has yet to receive an official compliance letter.”Give me a letter and tell me what I did wrong and I will go about correcting it right away,” Ramras said. “But meanwhile I have a damaged small business guy who wants to do the right thing who’s good name and good stewardship of the river has been swamped by a curious media and a non-responsive state agency.”A study found a standard plastic golf ball could take up to a thousand years to naturally degrade, releasing toxins as it does. Specific to Pikes, the DEC’s Larson said more environmentally friendly options are being considered.“Such as biodegradable golf balls, some sort of reclamation effort for catching all of the golf balls,” Larson said.Larson expects the Pikes golf issue to be resolved this summer, adding that the DEC is likely to issue a statement on the broader concern. Steiner has also asked the agency to look into the annual Bering Sea Ice Golf Classic in Nome.
UberUber announced on Thursday it is halting operations in Taiwan, saying it is at an “impasse” with authorities which deem the ride-hailing app as illegal.The US firm has racked up fines since it entered the Taiwan market in 2013 for running a business without the proper registration to operate as a taxi service.Taiwan’s suspension comes after Uber halted services in Hungary last July due to new legislation that stops drivers from making money with their own vehicles.Last month Taiwanese authorities hiked the maximum possible penalty for Uber drivers to Tw$25 million ($803,639) — the highest in the world.The Transport Ministry Thursday said it was preparing to charge the firm Tw$230 million in penalties and would issue an order to halt operations.The order would be executed by the Taipei’s office of commerce, an official at the transport ministry told AFP.Preempting the order, Uber said in a statement on its website that it would suspend service on the island from February 10.”In the face of this impasse, we must create a new path forward,” the company said.”We hope that pressing pause will reset the conversation and inspire President Tsai to take action,” it added.Uber had in November warned President Tsai Ing-wen in an open letter that actions against the firm were scaring away foreign investors.Tsai’s administration is pushing for Taiwan to foster its own “Asian Silicon Valley” to help kickstart the economy by encouraging and fostering start-up technologies.But Uber on Thursday slammed the government for shunning new business models.”Unfortunately, the government has moved further and further away from embracing innovation and setting the stage for a 21st century transportation policy,” it said.Uber has also taken heat on social media in the United States in recent days for continuing to operate during a New York taxi strike against Donald Trump’s immigration ban.The firm this week said it was committed to assisting drivers affected by the restrictions.Across the world, the smartphone app has faced stiff resistance from traditional taxi drivers, as well as bans in some places over safety concerns and questions over legal issues, including taxes.Uber says it is not a transport company like taxi companies, and that it is simply a platform connecting drivers and passengers.It had intended to reconcile with cab drivers with a new service UberTAXI in Taiwan that lets customers order taxis with its app.
A suspected drug trader was killed in a reported gunfight with police near Marine Drive road in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar early Wednesday, reports UNB.The deceased is Dil Mohammad, 36, son of Makbul Ahmed of Godarbhil village in the upazila.Police arrested Dil Mohammad from the upazila on Tuesday afternoon, UNB quotes Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge of Teknaf police station as saying.Later, a team of police along with Dil Mohammad conducted a drive at an abandoned fish enclosure in the area to recover arms and yaba.Sensing the presence of law enforcers Dil Mohammad’s associated opened fire to police and tried to snatch away Dil Mohammad from police, forcing them to fire back.At one stage, Dil Mohammad caught in the line of fire and died on the spot.Six LG gun, 13 cartridges and 7,000 yaba pills were recovered from the spot.According to the human rights organisation, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfires or shootouts with the law enforcement agencies in 2018.In January and February of 2019, the number of such killing was at least 50, the rights body said on its website.
An Israeli soldier walks by mobile artillery cannon in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on 2 June. Photo: AFPIsrael launched a second round of strikes against Syria in 24 hours on Sunday, state media reported, as US president Donald Trump called on Russia and Iran to “stop bombing the hell” out of the war-torn country.Syria accused Israel of targeting an airbase in Homs province, reportedly killing five people, just hours after carrying out retaliatory attacks on military and intelligence posts south of Damascus, killing 10.”Our air defences thwarted an Israeli aggression and destroyed two of the rockets that targeted the T-4 airbase,” a military source told state news agency SANA said Sunday evening.The remaining rockets “killed one soldier, wounded two others, and damaged an arms warehouse,” the source added.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported five killed, including one Syrian soldier, adding that a rocket warehouse was destroyed.In addition to the Syrian army, Iranian fighters and Hezbollah paramilitary forces are also stationed at the airbase, according to the monitor.Hours earlier, Israel said it had carried out strikes in the province of Quneitra, which includes the Golan Heights, most of which is occupied and annexed by Israel.It said the attack was in response to rare rocket fire from its neighbour late Saturday.Two rockets were fired from Syria at Mount Hermon in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and one had been “located within Israeli territory,” the Israeli Army said.The Observatory said 10 were killed, including Syrian soldiers and foreign fighters in the attack south of the capital.STOP!Late Sunday, Trump tweeted calling for an end to the bombing in the jihadist stronghold of the northwestern region of Idlib.”Hearing word that Russia, Syria and, to a lesser extent, Iran, are bombing the hell out of Idlib Province in Syria, and indiscriminately killing many innocent civilians.”The World is watching this butchery. What is the purpose, what will it get you? STOP!” he said on Twitter shortly before he departed for a state visit to Britain.As well as killing dozens of civilians, the recent bombardments by Syrian and Russian forces allied to president Bashar al-Assad have pushed 300,000 people towards Turkey’s border, Syrian NGOs have said.Meanwhile, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria, most of them against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah targets.The country says it is determined to prevent its arch foe Iran from entrenching itself militarily in Syria, where Tehran backs president Bashar al-Assad in the country’s eight-year war which has killed more than 370,000 people.The Jewish state insists that it has the right to continue to target positions in Syria held by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah out of self-defence.”We won’t tolerate fire at our territory and will respond forcefully to any aggression against us,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, after the first strikes.The attacks come amid soaring tensions between Iran and the United States.The stand-off had been simmering since the US last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear treaty which Iran reached with major world powers.In recent weeks Washington has accused Iran of alleged threats and deployed an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.
The Fannie Lou Hamer Black Leadership classes are on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at Coppin State University. For more information contact Dr. Ken Morgan at 410-951-4187 or see www.upppmaryland.org for more information.
Feature | Information Technology | July 31, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr How Smart Devices Can Improve Efficiency Innovation is trending toward improved efficiency — but not at the expense of patient safety, according to… read more News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | August 01, 2019 DrChrono Teams With DeepScribe to Automate Medical Note Taking in EHR DrChrono Inc. and DeepScribe announced a partnership so medical practices using DrChrono EHR can use artificial… read more Case study supplied by Change Healthcare. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Enterprise Imaging | November 03, 2017 Alberta Health Deploys Peer Review Solution to Drive Quality and Improved Patient Outcomes Sponsored by Change Healthcare News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more Enterprise-wide peer learning to improve quality.Achieving quality in healthcare demands a multifaceted approach that includes technology, education and professional dedication. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is using Change Healthcare’s solution for automated, anonymous peer review as a driving force for improved quality.The program has not only provided day-to-day practice, but has in some cases had a lifesaving impact on individual patients.When an anonymous review discovered a colon cancer that was missed on a recent study, AHS was able to alert the radiologist, who quickly contacted the attending physician. Because the solution is configured to select recently performed studies for peer review, the care team could adjust the patient’s care pathway.While few discrepancies are that dramatic, it is a good example of the difference in care that the peer review program brings to Alberta.As Canada’s largest provincial health system, AHS serves more than 4 million people. The system includes 134 imaging facilities that range from high-end acute care trauma centers to small rural community hospitals and health centers. Nearly 3 million annual exams are performed by 1,800 technologists and interpreted by over 300 radiologists who work in 16 different professional organizations and groups.Quality has always been a high priority for the province, but in 2011 a series of events highlighted the need for a more systematic approach.AHS officials discovered that in one rural community, several CT studies had been misinterpreted, raising questions about the care provided to patients. Out of that incident, the provincial Health Minister ordered a thorough examination of quality assurance practices for performing and reading all radiological patient studies. These discoveries gave a boost to AHS’ ongoing efforts to enhance quality and drive better patient care.The province embarked on a program where the primary goal was the reduction of errors in diagnostic imaging, with the end goal of improving patient outcomes. “Quality is the only driving force behind our program,” said Marlene Stodgell O’Grady, AHS director of quality, education and safety. “We constantly ask ourselves how we can ensure that the public is confident that we’re monitoring the quality of the service provided in our facilities and ensuring that we are providing the highest standard of care.”Achieving buy-in for a review process can be challenging, but AHS brought teams of radiologists and technologists together early in the process so they could design a program that would meet their needs and fit seamlessly into their workflows.The next step was identifying a solution that provided a high level of functionality and integration, and also delivered the level of customization that was needed by this project.At the heart of this quality improvement program is a structured process that ensures studies are anonymized before review by outside radiologists. Each study is stripped of identifying data such as patient name, radiologist and location.“When we knew what we wanted, we went and found the right solution,” said Stodgell O’Grady. “One of the key components in our program is that need to have all the reviews performed anonymously. We have multiple radiology groups across the province. We really felt that to maintain an educational focus and solicit unbiased reviews, the process had to be anonymous.”Following a comprehensive search, AHS selected Change Healthcare’s Workflow Intelligence. It was the only product that could provide true anonymization of studies, according to Stodgell O’Grady.Scans are randomly assigned to radiologists throughout the province for a second look. With many different facilities and groups scattered over a wide geographical area, the solution also had to seamlessly connect multiple PACS and RIS.“Our peer review program has to span a large area and connect to multiple systems to make it effective,” she explained.The system sends the anonymized study to a randomly selected radiologist. When radiologists login the images are waiting for them. They can immediately review the scan and then grade it using a modified American College of Radiology scale.The goal of the quality assurance program is not punitive, but aimed at improving performance by radiologists and technologists and the overall quality of care.“Our peer review program is education-focused because we needed to make sure there was no mechanism for anyone to utilize the system to further their own financial or business interests,” said Stodgell O’Grady. The successful implementation of the program has been a collaborative effort and a significant change in practice for all involved. The program was initially implemented for general imaging and CT studies. It has since expanded to include MRI, and will expand even further next year to include nuclear medicine and ultrasound.Since the program was implemented in October 2015, more than 90,000 technologist reviews and 26,000 radiologist reviews have been performed. Thanks to these reviews nearly 700 clinically significant discrepancies have been identified.In addition to finding discrepancies quickly and improving patient outcomes, the system has driven higher levels of performance by radiologists and technologists alike. The kinds of ordinary mistakes that are easily identified have been largely eliminated, allowing the system to focus on less common and hard-to-identify errors.“So not only have we given technologists and radiologists individual feedback on their performance, but we’ve taken the information that comes out of the system and identified trends across the province,” explained Stodgell O’Grady. “The program has taken those trends and collated data and identified areas where there are consistent challenges across the province, and we have created learning and educational materials.”By identifying trends within the health system, the program can achieve results that reach beyond individual physicians and staff. For example, data drawn from the peer review system identified wider-spread issues with scans of skulls and knees for trauma.“We took that information and our quality assurance specialists created learning modules,” said Stodgell O’Grady. “They worked with employees and helped them to learn and improve the quality of these scans.”AHS also developed auditing and education programs to improve practices and protocols for computed tomography angiography for stroke. This training has allowed staff to improve practices for performing scans which results in better quality images. “So not only are the quality of the images improving but the number of repeats being done are decreasing and as a direct result of that our patients are getting less radiation,” she explained. News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read more Videos | Radiology Business | August 02, 2019 VIDEO: Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019 Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) President … read more Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:33Loaded: 2.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:33 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. 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Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more Related Content News | Radiology Business | August 01, 2019 Philips Completes Acquisition of Carestream Health’s HCIS Business … read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more
IBM collected a dataset of 52,936 images from 13,234 women who underwent at least one mammogram between 2013 and 2017, and who had health records for at least one year prior to the mammogram. The algorithm was trained on 9,611 mammograms. Image courtesy of Radiology. Fujifilm introduced a DBT option to the Aspire Cristalle full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system in 2017 following FDA approval for the upgrade.In the world of breast imaging, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is a relative newcomer, only being adopted into clinical practice in the last 8 years. The benefits of DBT, also known as 3-D mammography, are generally understood — improved cancer detection over traditional 2-D mammography due to the ability to scroll through different slices of the breast to see lesions undetectable in two dimensions. While the evidence for DBT has been mounting, new data reveal the technology has seen explosive growth in the last 18 months.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks statistics on certified mammography facilities and systems across the United States under the directive of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), and in June 2016 the FDA began monitoring certification of breast tomosynthesis systems. At that time, out of 8,740 mammography facilities in the U.S., just 2,444 (about 28 percent) had 3-D mammography systems (for a total of 3,362 DBT machines). As of Dec. 1 of last year, however, FDA data showed a total of 5,394 systems in service at 3,866 centers.“There is still plenty of lingering confusion caused by screening guidelines that were developed with 2-D technology in mind, which is having a negative impact on the adoption of tomosynthesis in some areas,” said Tracy Accardi, global vice president of research and development, breast and skeletal health division at Hologic. Accardi attributed the rapid growth of DBT to expanding clinical evidence, as well as several recent state and national payer updates that she said have brought the total population of women ages 40 to 75 covered for tomosynthesis to 90 percent. News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Technology | Artificial Intelligence | July 18, 2019 Paragon Biosciences Launches Qlarity Imaging to Advance FDA-cleared AI Breast Cancer Diagnosis System Paragon Biosciences LLC announced the launch of its seventh portfolio company, Qlarity Imaging LLC, which was founded… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems read more Technology | Breast Biopsy Systems | July 24, 2019 Fujifilm Releases Tomosynthesis Biopsy Option for Aspire Cristalle Mammography System Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently expanded its breast imaging solutions with the launch of its… read more Qlarity Imaging’s software is used to assist radiologists in the assessment and characterization of breast lesions. Imaging features are synthesized by an artificial intelligence algorithm into a single value, the QI score, which is analyzed relative to a database of reference abnormalities with known ground truth. Image courtesy of Business Wire. News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more Feature | Breast Imaging | March 07, 2018 | By Jeff Zagoudis Greater Evidence, Payment Expansion Driving Tomosynthesis Adoption This article originally ran as the Breast Tomosynthesis Systems chart introduction in the March 2018 issue. The chart can be viewed here. News | Ultrasound Women’s Health | July 11, 2019 FDA Clears Koios DS Breast 2.0 AI-based Software Koios Medical announced its second 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Technology | Mammography Reporting Software | July 25, 2019 Hologic Partners With MagView to Develop Unifi EQUIP Solution Hologic announced a partnership with mammography information solutions provider MagView to develop Unifi EQUIP, an… read more News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more Related Content Feature | Artificial Intelligence | July 19, 2019 | Michal Chorev AI Models Predict Breast Cancer With Radiologist-level Accuracy Breast cancer is the global leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer… read more Tomo Vendors Remain Limited Currently, Hologic is one of only four DBT manufacturers in the market, joined by Siemens, Fujifilm and GE Healthcare.Hologic was the first to bring tomosynthesis to the commercial market when it received FDA approval for the Selenia Dimensions system in 2011. Its newest premium DBT system, 3Dimensions, provides high-quality 3-D images with Clarity HD High-Resolution 3-D imaging to clearly reveal subtle lesions and fine calcifications, regardless of a patient’s breast size or fibroglandular breast density. The 3Dimensions system also features Intelligent 2-D mapping technology that allows radiologists to instantly move from suspicious areas on the 2-D results to the point of interest on the 3-D slice, optimizing workflow. Clarity HD High-Resolution 3-D imaging and Intelligent 2-D technology are both pending FDA approval.Siemens Healthineers made the most recent introduction to the market, debuting its newest premium digital mammography system, Mammomat Revelation, at the 2017 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting last November in Chicago. The Mammomat Revelation features 50-degree 3-D HD Breast Tomosynthesis, which Siemens says is the widest scan angle in the industry. In addition, the system adds an HD Breast Biopsy feature that allows the acquisition and scanning of biopsy samples at a single station (rather than two separate systems as is custom) in 20 seconds or less, significantly streamlining workflow. Technologists can target a suspicious area in a scan with one click, down to ±1 mm accuracy. The Mammomat Revelation is still pending FDA approval.Fujifilm introduced a DBT option to the Aspire Cristalle full-field digital mammography (FFDM) system in 2017 following FDA approval for the upgrade. Unlike other mammography systems, the detector on the Aspire Cristalle uses a hexagonal close pattern (HCP) design, which Fujifilm says improves the efficiency of signal capture and results in a higher-quality image. The system also features advanced image processing and image acquisition workflow to optimize patient dose.GE Healthcare put the emphasis on patient comfort with its latest mammography system release, the Senographe Pristina, which debuted at RSNA 2016 and was cleared by the FDA in September last year. The system takes what is often the most uncomfortable part of the mammography exam for patients — breast compression — and literally puts it in the patient’s hands with the Dueta remote control. The patient can gradually increase compression after initial setup from the technologist until adequate compression is achieved.Hologic also brought the idea of patient-centered care to the new 3Dimensions system via the SmartCurve breast stabilization system (which is still pending FDA approval). This compression plate features a curved surface that mirrors the shape of a woman’s breast to reduce pinching and allow better distribution of force over the entire breast. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Mammography Reporting Software | July 26, 2019 Ikonopedia Releases Automated Combined Reporting Package at AHRA Ikonopedia showcased its recently released Automated Combined Reporting package and its entire suite of structured… read more
Related posts:Brazil split ahead of presidential election Incumbent Rousseff leads in first round of Brazil election, faces runoff China throws Brazil multi-billion dollar lifeline for jets, oil Brazil police arrest Lula aide in widening corruption probe Beaming and wearied, her voice faltering, Dilma Rousseff stepped up to the microphone at the packed hotel auditorium in Brasilia and paused. She had just shoehorned victory from Brazil’s closest presidential contest on record, beating Social Democrat Aecio Neves by 3.4 million votes out of more than 110 million cast, but you’d never have known how close it was by the militantes’ war whoops.These might be the last “oles” she’ll hear for a while. Brazil’s economy is in a ditch, inflation is 6.75 percent, running two points above target. Unemployment is low, not because of an opportunity bonanza but a shrinking labor pool as idled workers give up job hunting.Rousseff will have to steward all this alongside an even more splintered Congress (with 28 parties, up from 22), an emboldened opposition (with Neves in the lead) and a creeping corruption scandal at the nation’s giant oil company. Sunday’s election may be history, but from now on, every day is Monday in the federal courtroom hearing the case.No doubt this was what Rousseff had in mind when, after 10 minutes of partisan swagger, she played the unity card. “I don’t believe this election divided the nation,” she said, moments after her political mentor, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva hoisted her hands in victory, Rocky-style. “Winning is about building bridges. … I am prepared for dialogue.” Magnanimity is the victor’s disclaimer, but not once in her 27-minute rambling victory lap did Rousseff mention Neves or acknowledge the vote that clove Brazil in two. Lula Inc. don’t do gracious.What their Workers’ Party does do is power, and this is where Rousseff’s victory could sour. It’s not just the widening of the congressional aisle she must reach across. The hazard lies in her own court. Rousseff sits astride a nine-party coalition, where the appetites for patronage and power are now sharper.Until now, the ruling PT has kept its junior partners at bay by growing ministries, scattering second-tier posts but keeping core jobs for the homies. The PT currently controls 15 of 39 Cabinet posts, leaving just five to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the largest party in the legislature. That arrangement has sparked resentment among allies and repeated rumblings of mutiny.That explains why Rousseff filled her victory speech with hosannas to the alphabet soup of coalition partners but also to Lula. Rousseff’s political godfather is widely seen as having rescued her struggling campaign in the home stretch and will likely be leaning in for the next four years.If keeping the patchwork together was headache enough when the PT won big at the polls, it has just gotten worse. Rousseff ‘s 3.2 percent margin of victory was the tightest of any Brazilian president since 1894, according to O Globo.Brasilia isn’t her only worry. Thanks to the PT’s aggressive spin men, the 2014 race split Brazil in two along a red-states (for Rousseff), blue-states (Neves) meridian of class, clout and culture. To the north and northeast is solid Rousseff territory: poor, less educated, more rural and beholden to government assistance. The “reddest” regions, where she took over two-thirds of the vote, jibe tidily with the map of beneficiaries of Bolsa Familia, the government’s marquee cash transfer program.To the south lies the opposition stronghold, a handful of states where silos and smokestacks dominate the skyline, kicking in 62 percent of Brazil’s $2.4 trillion gross domestic product. Ground zero of the anti-Dilma vote is São Paulo, the country’s wheelhouse, where Neves took two-thirds of the 30 million ballots.This tropical Mason-Dixon line has little to do with the ideological civil war that Rousseff’s campaign men started. But Rousseff should take note. She won a tight reelection among voters fractured by discontent, with the tricky narrative of change through continuity. Now she will have to sell austerity as healing. If she slips up, Lula will have her back, with a hand on her shoulder and an eye on 2018.Bloomberg View contributor Mac Margolis is Brazil bureau chief for Vocativ.© 2014, Bloomberg News Facebook Comments
AirAsia AVAAirAsia unveils AI chatbotAirAsia today unveiled a website and mobile app facelift, including a chatbot named AVA (AirAsia Virtual Allstar) powered by artificial intelligence.The updates are designed with guests in mind, and are aimed at delivering a more seamless, user-friendly experience to airasia.com and the app’s 3.3 million monthly active users, from flight bookings to browsing for deals to online shopping and customer support.New features include:New homepageNew comprehensive homepage designed for easier and faster navigation, including upcoming flight notice, search shortcut and recent searches, links to the best hotels, travel, duty-free shopping and activity deals, recommended destinations and link to BigPay, AirAsia’s money app.AVA chatbotMeet AVA, an AI chatbot available on the new live chat feature to respond to guest inquiries instantly. AVA currently speaks eight languages – English, Bahasa Malaysia, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. AVA was built by the AirAsia Software Engineering and Technology (AASET) and Customer Happiness team using technology from Ada, a Toronto based company that specialises in AI-powered customer experience.New flight search with mapiOS users can now choose where to go using an interactive map that pinpoints all AirAsia’s destinations in a single page. This feature is the first among airline apps.Combined Station PickerA first among airline apps, iOS users can now select the nearest departure and arrival airports and filter by number of stops and flight duration.Voice assistantiOS users can now also check their upcoming flight status simply by asking Siri. To use this feature, just click the “Add to Siri” button under Flight Itinerary or My Bookings.FACES enrollmentGuest may now enroll to AirAsia’s Fast Airport Clearance Experience System (FACES) on their mobile app to clear security and board their flight seamlessly. Just click on My Account and My FACES to take a 5 seconds video of your face.More featuresOn top of that, guests can search for the lowest fares using the Low Fare Calendar, which has been integrated in the app, earn and pay using BIG Points and enjoy instant member discounts when they log in.AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Digital, Transformation and Corporate Services) Aireen Omar said, “We are excited to welcome the new year with our new-look website and app that features AI and boasts a better, faster, more intuitive experience. We are always working to enhance our guest experience, and we will be adding more mobile app features in the months to come so it is no longer just a flight booking platform, but your complete travel companion. We encourage new users to download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play to experience these features for themselves.”AirAsia mobile app users can enjoy 19% off bookings made via the app from 28 January to 3 February 2019 for travel between 1 August and 30 November 2019* by entering the promo code MOBILE19.For the latest AirAsia news, activities and promotions, follow AirAsia on Twitter (twitter.com/AirAsia), Facebook (facebook.com/AirAsia) and Instagram (instagram.com/AirAsia).*Terms and conditions apply.Source = AirAsia
Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News In this rollercoaster year of housing news, where ominous warnings of a new recession driven by rising home prices mingle with cheerier assertions that markets are slowly but surely getting back to stable, the latest snapshot from Zillow brings some good news for homebuyers and sellers.Zillow’s August Home Value Index, released Friday, shows that U.S. home values in August rose at a cool 0.1 percent from July.This cooling of price increases is good news for both buyers and sellers, as slow growth makes for a market in which final sales numbers are more in sync with actual property values.August’s values were also 6.6 percent higher than those in August 2013.Inventory of all for-sale homes nationwide rose 20.6 percent year-over-year and 2.1 percent month-over-month in August, and the pace of home value appreciation is expected to slow to 3.1 percent through August 2015, according to the Zillow Home Value Forecast.According to Zillow, sellers in Bay Area California, Seattle, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Denver have the greatest leverage. Sellers in these markets have the upper hand because of either traditionally strong appeal (as in San Francisco) or growth in jobs (as in Dallas, where the pending opening of Toyota’s North American headquarters in neighboring Plano is bringing 4,000 workers to the Metroplex by 2017). Sales in these areas are more often higher than the asking price.Zillow defined a sellers’ market as one not necessarily in which home values are rising, but rather one in which homes are on the market for a shorter time, price cuts occur less frequently, and homes are sold at prices close to or higher than their last listing prices.For those looking to buy a home, Providence, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Chicago offer the most favorable conditions. According to Zillow, buyers in these markets are less likely to be faced with the fierce bidding wars taking place in California, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, and Nashville. According to Zillow, in buyers’ markets, homes for sale stay on the market longer, price cuts occur more frequently, and homes are sold for less relative to their listing price.Nationally, the average home price according to Zillow was $175,600 in August. If all trends stay as they are, this number should rise to $180,970 by next year. September 19, 2014 800 Views Report: Cooled Market Offers Better Prospects for Buyers, Sellers Home Values Housing Supply Zillow 2014-09-19 Scott_Morgan
TORONTO — Canadian pop act Walk off the Earth are paying tribute to their late bandmate Mike Taylor with a new track named in his memory.“Mike’s Song” is an ode to their former keyboardist, who was affectionately known as “Beard Guy” by his fans.Taylor died last December from what the band said were “natural causes.”Members of Walk Off the Earth released the acoustic song on Friday, saying on Twitter its creation was “a therapeutic process” for the band. The song explores themes of moving forward while dealing with the pain of losing someone.In January, the Burlington, Ont.-based group held a memorial for Taylor in their hometown where hundreds of people gathered in deep cold weather to celebrate the musician.The all-star concert featured members of the Barenaked Ladies, Arkells and Scott Helman.Walk Off the Earth rose to international fame with their breakout YouTube cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know,” and have built a career mixing original songs with pop covers, many of them punctuated by vibrant music videos. Follow @dfriend on Twitter.The Canadian Press AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Walk Off the Earth dedicate new song ‘Mike’s Song’ to late bandmate ‘Beard Guy’ by The Canadian Press Posted May 25, 2019 12:25 pm PDT Walk Off The Earth’s Mike Taylor, known as “Beard Guy” attends the announcement of the nominees for the Juno Awards at an event in Toronto on February 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young