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first_imgThe ancient city of Hatra fended off two Roman emperors and repulsed a ruler of Persia’s powerful Sassanid dynasty. But late last week, local people near the ornate ruins about 110 kilometers southwest of the Iraqi city of Mosul heard massive explosions that likely marked the demise of the 2000-year-old city and its spectacular, well-preserved sculptures and stone architecture.While inflicting misery on the people of northern Iraq, supporters of the Islamic State group have also attacked one ancient site after another in the past 2 weeks, systematically taking sledgehammers and drills to artifacts. Other reports say that the forces of the group, increasingly known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, are using bulldozers to demolish ancient buildings. By last week the toll included the statues in the Mosul Museum, the classical site of Hatra, and the ancient Assyrian capitals of Nineveh, Nimrud, and Khorsabad, famed for their massive protective deities in the form of human-headed winged bulls. Assur, a 4500-year-old temple-studded Assyrian city where kings and queens were laid to rest for centuries, is likely the next target, say archaeologists, who are desperately trying to piece together the extent of the damage.The unprecedented wave of destruction has prompted a small protest today in front of the White House, as well as statements of outrage from archaeologists and museum curators around the world. U.N. officials have said that the events constituted a war crime. “Those barbaric, criminal terrorists are trying to destroy the heritage of mankind and Iraq’s civilization,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. 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Outside experts feel the losses keenly, because northern Iraqi sites have been largely off limits to study since the start of the first Gulf War a quarter-century ago. “Assyria was the first true empire in world history,” says Yale University Assyriologist Eckart Frahm. Its “scholarly exploration is far from complete.” For example, many of the inscriptions at Nimrud have yet to be properly documented, he says.Representatives and publications from the Islamic State group have said that statues and reliefs of animals and humans are anathema to their brand of Sunni Islam. “We were ordered by our prophet to take down idols and destroy them,” explained an unidentified Daesh representative in a video widely distributed earlier this month, which showed men pushing intricately carved statues off their plinths and smashing the remains with sledgehammers. Another video image showed a man using an electric drill to destroy the human face of a huge winged bull standing at a gate at Nineveh.Independent Iraqi archaeologist Lamia al-Gailani, based in London, identified the location of the destroyed statues as the Mosul Museum and said that 26 of the 30 statues in the museum’s Hatra hall were originals, made during Hatra’s heyday at the start of the common era. She adds that 21 of 24 Assyrian reliefs and statues from Nineveh and Nimrud in the museum were also originals.The militants spare some artifacts because sales serve as an important source of revenue, according to organizations tracking the illicit antiquities trade. Irina Bokova, the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said that officials are examining images that showed looted material from Nimrud, about 30 kilometers southeast of Mosul, “put on big trucks” and transported, possibly for sale.After looting the site, the capital of the sprawling Assyrian Empire in the 8th century B.C.E., Islamic State forces reduced some or all of it to rubble. Abdul Amir Hamdani, an Iraqi archaeologist at Stony Brook University in New York, spoke with a colleague in Mosul familiar with the situation and reports that Islamic State forces occupied Nimrud for several days before bulldozing it from noon to late evening on 5 March.The next day, explosions were heard at Hatra, though the extent of damage at the statue-filled site remains uncertain. Then on 8 March, the Iraqi government said that Islamic State supporters demolished Khorsabad, another ancient Assyrian capital about 15 kilometers northeast of Mosul. Hamdani and other archeologists fear that Assur, nearly 100 kilometers south of Mosul, is next, although that site lacks the large sculptures that have previously drawn Daesh’s attention.  In an 8 March press conference in Baghdad, Adel Fahad al-Shershab, Iraq’s minister of tourism and antiquities, lamented the lack of international action. “We request aerial support” from the United States, he said. American bombers carried out a dozen airstrikes in the region this past weekend, but it was not clear if protecting the sites was part of the mission. American bombers are striking Islamic State forces involved in the destruction and looting, including machinery like bulldozers and earth excavators, said U.S. Defense Department spokesperson Kim Michelsen. “But we don’t have troops on the ground to protect the sites—and that might make them even more of a target,” he said. The Iraqi government was considering a formal request for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to discuss the crisis.U.S. spy satellites, however, could provide important data on the exact extent of damage. The U.S. State Department made a “high-priority request for new satellite imagery,” according to a source there. Real-time imaging could conceivably be used to follow the trucks that left Nimrud, and so track looted material. But such requests will likely take a back seat to ongoing military operations, including a battle now unfolding around Tikrit. Meanwhile, Sunni Islam’s leading institution, al-Azhar in Cairo, put out a statement declaring that the destruction “is forbidden in Islam and rejected in total … [and is] a major crime against the whole world.”For Near Eastern archaeologists, the news provoked both outrage and a sense of helplessness. Many say they are at a loss about what they could do to reverse—or even assess—the damage. The University of Chicago, long a center of research in the field, said in a statement that the events add “to the growing spiral of despair from both Iraq and Syria.” Hamdani, who is finishing his Ph.D. at Stony Brook, expressed his anger by helping organize today’s protest.  “Thousands of years of history are being smashed by the hammers of ignorance,” he says. “With each destroyed statue, a story is forgotten.”*Correction, 10 March, 12:17 p.m.: This article has been updated and corrected. For example, the previous photograph was of Nimrud, not Hatra, and the spelling of Kim Michelsen’s name has been corrected.*Update, 10 March, 3:06 p.m.: This article has been updated to include a photo and information about today’s protest.center_img Jeffrey Mervis last_img read more

first_imgWill it be safe for athletes and officials to go to Delhi? The Delhi Police’s security blueprint for the Commonwealth Games is sure to quell fears raised by a spate of reports in the foreign media that suggested athletes from several countries are considering pulling out of the event, fearing for their safety.Paramilitary personnel guard the Thyagaraj stadium.In terms of manpower and planning, the Game security plan surpasses the arrangements during the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations in the Capital. More than 80,000 Delhi Police personnel, 17,500 paramilitary personnel, 3,000 commandos, 100 anti-sabotage teams, over 200 dogs and 15 bomb disposal squads will work day and night to ensure the safety of the more than 10,000 athletes and one-lakh foreign visitors expected in the city during the event.If a medal is what the athletes will aim for, the biggest achievement for Delhi Police officers will be an incident-free Games. Athletes, officials, dignitaries and foreign heads of states arriving in the Capital will be covered by a four-tier security cordon from the moment they step out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).AIRPORT The parking lots around IGIA will be sanitised days before the Games and slots reserved for vehicles that will ferry athletes, officials and dignitaries to hotels.Each of these vehicles will be assigned an RFID (radio frequency identification tag) and their drivers issued with unique IDs. Anti-sabotage, commando and sniper teams will be deployed in and around the airport. A team of commandos will escort buses ferrying officials and athletes.advertisementBetween the airport and the Games Village, the Delhi Police will set up 15 posts. Armed guards stationed there will be ready to act in case of an eventuality.HOTELSCorridors and rooms of hotels that will host athletes and visitors will be sanitised and only verified hotel staff carrying ID cards provided by the Delhi Police will be allowed access. The hotels will have watch towers and access control. Even the food and water for athletes and officials will be first tasted by security personnel and food experts.VENUES The “impregnable security” plans of the Delhi Police get tested here. All persons except for state guests will get ‘park and ride’ facility at the first tier with only designated, pretagged vehicles allowed inside the outermost cordon manned by the traffic police.In the next cordon, spectators will be guided to their designated entry gates leading to seating galleries.The galleries will be under electronic surveillance with officers moving around in plainclothes.Snipers will be positioned on the rooftop of the stands.In the next cordon, security personnel will screen the barcode of tickets being carried by spectators, and keep photocopies of spectators’ ID and photos for record. VIP vehicles entering this zone will be checked for their special RFID tags and I-cards of the drivers verified. For the first time, licence plate scanners will be in use. There will be separate entry gates for athletes, Games officials, dignitaries and spectators.The entry gates where the RFID tags and vehicles will be checked will have boom barriers, tyre-killers and road blockers in place. In case any vehicle doesn’t comply with the mandatory RFID and other checks at the entry gates, all these gadgets will automatically activate.The exclusion zone, within 30m radius of the stadium, comes next. Here, even athletes will have to get off their vehicles and go through doorframe metal detectors, hand- held detectors and manual frisking. Baggage will be put through X-ray scanners.The X-ray scanners will have a memory back-up, saving images of 250 items last scanned.The zone will be CCTV-secured.Vehicle-mounted scanners called ‘mobile cargo container inspection equipment’ have also been hired to inspect cargo without opening containers. “This gadget can scan 20 containers in an hour,” a police officer said.GAMES VILLAGEThe Games village will have unprecedented security. “In fact, the steps beat the Parliamentary session arrangements in terms of checks and counterchecks put in place,” a police officer said. The place has a 3m-high perimeter wall with a 1.5m-high iron grill running over it. “But once inside athletes will feel free to move around,” the officer added.Only RFID-tagged vehicles driven by drivers with valid IDs will be allowed in. Tyre-busters and boom barriers will be installed at the entry gates. This apart, commandos, anti-sabotage teams and intelligence officials will be deployed in and around the complex.Each of the 574 vehicles assigned to ferry athletes to venues will undergo mechanical and anti-sabotage checks every morning.When athletes and officials staying at any of the nine designated hotels or Games Village venture outside the dedicated lanes, they will get a helicopter escort.advertisementOPEN EVENTSThe trickiest part of the security plan is to provide security for events such as marathon, cycling and walkathon, which passes through busy markets and residential areas. “We will not only put restrictions on movement of vehicles but even open telephone and electricity boxes and windows will be sealed for the duration of the event,” a police officer said. Snipers will be deployed along the route along with commandos.last_img read more

first_imgOutgoing Manchester City head coach Manuel Pellegrini believes Leicester City will not be able to maintain their place at the top of the English football for long because they do not have enough money.Having narrowly escaped relegation last season, a dramatic turnaround has seen the Foxes move to the brink of the English Premier League (EPL) title, which they will claim if second-placed Tottenham fail to beat Chelsea on Monday.However, Manchester City coach Pellegrini, who will be replaced by Pep Guardiola next season, said that Leicester’s success may turn out to be a mere flash in the pan as he does not believe they have the financial muscle to continue challenging at the top.”I do not think Leicester being top is a lesson. They are a very well-organised team with very few injuries,” Pellegrini was quoted as saying by Spanish daily El Mundo.”They have great merit, but I do not think they will remain at the top for eight or 10 years. All big teams have money at their base. What Leicester have done, I think, is similar to what we did with Villarreal when we finished second in La Liga in 2007-08.”Pellegrini also said that EPL sets an example in a number of areas that La Liga could follow, namely in greater equality in the distribution of revenue from television rights.With Barcelona and Real Madrid afforded the bulk in Spain, the City coach reckoned the league has become less competitive.”The Premier League is an experience that no major coach should miss. The organisation is perfect, a show for the fans and for television, and the support of the people is impressive: all the stadiums are always full, in any competition,” Pellegrini continued.advertisement”Stadium attendance could be replicated in Spain. Real Madrid and Barcelona fill theirs, but people here support their club a lot more, no matter how the team is doing,” the 62-year-old said.last_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi, May 6 (PTI) Indian Super League today said that its organising committee was in the process of studying the order pronounced by its regulatory commission which slapped FC Goa a whopping Rs 11 crore fine while banning their two co-owners for a few seasons for “bringing disrepute” to the tournament. “The ISL organising committee is in the process of studying the order pronounced by its five member eminent and independent regulatory commission headed by Honble Mr Justice D A Mehta,” the ISL said in a statement. “We thank the jury for completing the hearing in less than five months, considering the delays caused due to several extensions sought by FC Goa,” it added. The ISL said it was committed to upholding the spirit of the game. “ISL stands committed to upholding the true spirit of the beautiful game and the fans interest first. ISL will continue to invest in Indian football, until we as a nation realise our true potential in this sport. “ISL in less than two years of its existence is being recognised as the Brand of Indian football in the global market. This is the result of dedication, foresight, commitment and hard work of all the stakeholders involved in ISL including AIFF, FSDL, its league owners, players and most importantly the fans.” the statement said. Yesterday, the five-member ISL Regulatory Commission headed by Justice (Retd) D A Mehta banned FC Goa co-owners Srinivas Dempo and Dattaraj Salgaocar from taking part in any ISL activities for two and three seasons respectively while the franchise was slapped a total fine of Rs 11 crore for “bringing disrepute” to the league. The decisions were related to the controversy surrounding the scuffle between Chennaiyin FCs Brazillian marquee player Elano Blumer and FC Goa officials after the ISL second season final in Margao in December last. PTI PDS SSC SSCadvertisementlast_img read more

first_imgIt was a day of double cheer for Indian athlete Lalita Babar who was named for the Arjuna award as she also received a class one post job offer from the Government of Maharashtra.ATHLETE FELICITATEDThe Maharashtra government offered a government job to the steeplechase athlete, who became the first Indian athlete after P T Usha, to reach a track final at the Olympics.Babar met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai today.Known as “Maan-deshi Express”, Babar comes from a financially weak family from Mohi village in drought-prone Maan tehsil of Satara district in the western Maharashtra. Babar was felicitated at the state Guest House by the Chief Minister and Sports Minister Vinod Tawde. Fadnavis and senior ministers wished her success for all her future endeavors.AIMING MEDAL IN TOKYO OLYMPICS: LALITALalita said “I am thankful to the CM for offering me a class one post job with the state government. Though I am happy for the experience, which was a first time for me, my target is now to win a medal for the country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”Lalita had finished 10th in the final of the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase at the Rio Olympics. The Haryana government has also announced a reward of Rs 15 lakh to Lalita.last_img read more

first_imgThe days of Youri Djorkaeff, Jay-Jay Okocha and Fernando Hierro running out to play Premier League games for Bolton are a distant memory for long-suffering fans of the English soccer team.Now, the club is in a complete mess — and, in the worst-case scenario, could yet go out of business.On Wednesday, Bolton officials are due in the High Court in central London over an unpaid tax bill of 1.2 million pounds ($1.6 million) and other debts. Britain’s tax department says the club will go into bankruptcy protection if it doesn’t pay what it owes.The problems are many at Bolton, which is now languishing in next-to-last place in the second-tier League Championship and is likely to be relegated to the third division in the coming weeks.The club — one of the 12 founding members of England’s Football League in 1888 — is in a dire financial position, with its players currently on a 48-hour strike in support of staff whose wages were not paid on time for the second straight month. It is the second time in less than a year that players have taken such action.In addition, the team will have to play its next two matches behind closed doors after Bolton’s safety advisory group decided Tuesday that the club could not guarantee the safety of fans at the stadium. The group, which comprises representatives of the local council, police and emergency services, informed the Football League that it has placed a prohibition notice on the club.With Bolton desperate for wins in an effort to escape relegation, having no supporters for the games against Ipswich on Saturday and Middlesbrough on April 9 is a big blow. The team is five points from safety with seven games left this season.Through all of this, Bolton chairman Ken Anderson, a former agent who bought the club in 2016, says he is hitting obstacles in his efforts to sell it — infuriating fans in the process.The latest in a series of bullish updates from Anderson was published Tuesday, in which he said “talks are ongoing with buyers” whose “advisors (say) that they are in a position that will enable completion to take place shortly.”Anderson urged the team’s players to go back to work, saying their decision “has a negative rather than a positive logic behind it.”“I have read that the players and management staff have said that being paid late does not actually motivate them to go out and perform on the pitch,” Anderson said, adding pointedly: “That is fully understandable, but perhaps they could also explain why the results up to Christmas were not exactly impressive either?”And in remarks that likely didn’t go down well with club staff yet to be paid their salary, Anderson said: “Let’s remember, yesterday was only April 1, so it is not as if it is weeks late, is it?”These latest events contrast sharply to the Bolton of 15-20 years ago when the club was well run and constantly punched above its weight before its relegation in 2012, which ended 11 straight years in the top flight.Bolton reached the last 16 of the now-defunct UEFA Cup in 2008. At the end of the stewardship of Sam Allardyce (1999-2007), the team finished in the top eight of the Premier League every year from 2004-07 and was a beaten finalist in the English League Cup in 2004.There were two glorious years — from 2002-04 — when Bolton’s attack was led by Djorkaeff, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, and Okocha, a Nigerian whose flair and skills made him one of the most watchable players in the world’s most watched league.Now, many soccer fans only hear of Bolton in relation to a crisis that is damaging the reputation of one of the English game’s most famous names.By: Steve Douglas, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgArsenal aim to close Denis Suarez deal with Barcelona on Mondayby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal hope to close a deal for Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez on Monday.The 25-year-old is surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp, and is believed to be keen on a move to join the Gunners this month.According to Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira, Emery will push for a deal that included an option to buy at the end of the season.He tweeted: “Arsenal is continuing to talk with Barcelona for Denis Suarez (agreement with Sanllehi).”Unai Emery has offered a transfer on loan with option to buy. Blaugrana prefers a permanent deal.”Monday there will be new contacts between Gunners and Barca.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

According to UNTAET, the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, Mr. Ramos-Horta’s resignation follows his failure earlier this month to be elected by the Council to replace the body’s former Speaker, Xanana Gusmão. Mr. Ramos-Horta will be returning to his former post as Cabinet Member for Foreign Affairs, where, he said, his skills would be put to better use. In his statement to the National Council, Mr. Ramos-Horta said the Council’s role was not to oppose UNTAET, but to channel constructive criticism of the UN mission’s regulations and policies from various East Timorese groups. He also reminded the 20 members in attendance that the presence of the UN had been requested by the East Timorese for 24 years during the struggle for independence and had allowed peace throughout the country for the first time.Speaker Manuel Carrascalão, who chaired today’s meeting of the Council, stressed that the UN should not leave East Timor until the groundwork was laid for a functioning independent country.Tomorrow, the Council is expected to consider a draft regulation on the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission, which would help to address the violence and human rights violations committed in 1999. read more

WestJet/YouTube WestJet is back to its old Christmas tricks — and treats.In previous years, the Calgary-based airline brought a white Christmas to a tropical landscape and surprised guests with big screen TVs and other gifts.This time around, they brought some holiday magic to residents of Fort McMurray impacted by this year’s massive wildfire.WestJet threw a ‘Snowflake Soiree’ for the city, complete with food, songs and crafts for the kids.Then, they surprised each guest with not only a keepsake to remember the night, but a free flight.Watch the video below: by Mike Tarasko Posted Dec 12, 2016 6:34 am MDT Last Updated Dec 12, 2016 at 6:35 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WestJet reaches out to Fort Mac in annual Christmas miracle video read more

The statement says relatives indicated the toddler wandered from inside a home and fell into the pool from an attached deck.Police say the death appears to be an accident and remains under investigation.(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Police in Kentucky say a 1-year-old boy has died after falling into a pool.News outlets cite a Louisville police news release that said the toddler was found unresponsive in an above-ground pool on Saturday night. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.- Advertisement – read more

first_imgThe way of the future is upon us. Various stages of autonomous mining systems, from mere contemplation to fully driverless and more, permeate the industry. The momentum to autonomy can’t be ignored and requires whole new ways of thinking and planning to meet its challenges. Its popularity is no surprise. Benefits of going autonomous are legion: one major operator reports a 15% savings in haul costs; there’s improved safety; reduced maintenance, and more.“The implementation of autonomous machinery will fundamentally change mining and will have a profound impact on the industry as a whole,” says Dave Goddard, of the Global Mining Standards and Guidelines Group (GMSG), a facilitator of global mining collaboration on common industry issues. “Although there are a lot of mining companies currently taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to autonomous operations, the reality is that automation will be hugely disruptive in mining and will come whether they want it or not. And it’s more likely to come in a sooner and shorter time horizon than anyone is expecting.”That’s what drove GMSG to create its Autonomous Mining Working Group in 2016, where Goddard manages a project to publish a globally-relevant Implementation of Autonomous Systems Guideline. The key areas covered by the guideline will include functional capability, functional safety, change management, communications with the workforce and local community, and interactions with regulators. It’s to be an expanded checklist or playbook to provide mining companies and OEMs with the tools necessary to move forward with autonomous mining from planning to final stages.Industry will benefit from the guideline in several other ways. Collaborative and constructive communication with regulators will increase. Manufacturers and technology providers will be helped in adjusting their innovation and development strategies. The framework the guideline provides will allow new suppliers from parallel industries, such as the automotive industry, to provide innovative new technologies for rapid integration into new and existing systems. With automation, the mining companies’ process controls will be more consistent, unifying the industry and fostering greater collaboration.The Autonomous Mining Working Group held a kick-off workshop in Perth, Australia, on February 22-23 – the first in a series of planned workshops designed to produce the guideline. Two days of intensive brainstorming and discussion generated a starter list of what needs to be considered to create an effective and comprehensive guideline. As all sectors of the industry are affected by the advance of autonomy, delegates represented several. Included were OEMs Caterpillar, Liebherr and Epiroc; regulators from the Western Australia Department of Mines and Energy; and mining companies BHP, Rio Tinto, Roy Hill, Goldfields, and CITIC Pacific. Other stakeholders were original technology manufacturer RCT Global, and METS Ignited – a government-funded growth centre for the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.“All of these diverse participants added huge value, coming from different perspectives,” says Goddard. “The input and the team we had there was phenomenal.” But as well, he says the workshop pointed up a need for more broad-based participants to ensure no aspect of autonomous mining is overlooked for the guideline. “The majority of the implementation challenges in automation are around the culture, the people, and the processes—not about the technology,” he says. “A workshop of this nature is an excellent opportunity to explore what those changes needed are and how they can be implemented in a sustainable manner.”Goddard adds that he is pleased with the participation from the mining OEMs, “because they are the ones delivering the technology and so have the greatest familiarity with it.” However, he would like to see more representation from an underground mining perspective. “As we go to the next workshop we’d like to have the opportunity to really flesh out the guideline with some underground experience. The technology components required for underground automation, particularly the positioning and communications technologies, are rapidly maturing – and with them underground automation has the potential to leapfrog surface automation. We want to make sure we capture this.”Based on outcomes from the Perth workshop, five task groups have been developed to enable volunteers to contribute their expertise to the development of the guideline: Business Case; Change Management and Planning; Safety and Regulatory; Design, Architecture and Data; and Human Factors.The next workshop is scheduled for Vancouver, May 3-4 – it will expand on topics and identify any missing concerns. Additional workshops – likely in Europe, Africa, South America, and the US will then be held to further advance the document. Many  of these jurisdictions lack anautonomous mining deployment but all of them are contemplating doing so; therefore it’s important that the process captures their concerns as well. A complete draft is expected by September 2018 with the final document to be published by year end.last_img read more

first_img Watch These Movies Before ‘The Lion King’Watch Beyoncé’s New ‘Lion King’ Song Stay on target Light dawns over a kingdom, bringing with it new life. A father tries to prepare his son for the inevitability of death and the weight of the crown he’s destined to wear. A slighted uncle schemes with heathens in the badlands. A son cannot cope with the reality of his father’s murder and abandons his post to live a life of blissful ignorance, only to realize he cannot outrun his responsibility, or his birthright.He fights to reclaim the throne he’s abandoned and in doing so restores balance to life itself. Victorious, the new king ascends and as dawn breaks once more, his child enters the world. The circle remains unbroken. The notes reappear time and time again over the course of centuries, millennia even in new tales every time. It’s the oldest story there is, one of life and death, love and hate. It’s primal. Biblical, even.(Photo Credit: Disney)How weird is it that this era’s defining take, The Lion King, features a bunch of cartoon-talking animals singing Elton John songs?It is, after all, an extraordinarily weird premise for a movie: the rough story beats of Hamlet only with a happy ending, talking animals, and a bangin’ soundtrack full of original songs seems like a recipe for disaster in retrospect. Somehow it was anything but. With its original worldwide gross of $766 million, The Lion King was the highest-grossing movie of 1994 and, at the time, the second-highest grossing movie of all time. It remains to this day the highest-grossing traditionally animated movie of all time.That’s not even getting into the award nominations, the sequels, the Broadway musical, and the litany of other works its legacy has inspired. There’s even, as you are likely well aware, a photorealistic remake directed by Jon Favreau in theaters right now and sporting an all-star cast that includes everyone from Beyoncé to Billy Eichner.That cast features James Earl Jones returning as Mufasa and while I’d ask that you not quote me here I think it’s the first time an actor has reprised a role they originally played in a note-for-note remake — that’s how iconic his original performance is. Remember back in 2011 or so when studios decided 3D rereleases of beloved movies were where the money was at? Remember how almost none of those rereleases proved to be all that successful? The Lion King’s opened at #1 at the box office and went on to gross almost $200 million worldwide.My senior year of high school was the first time I studied Hamlet in a classroom. It was the capstone to this extensive Shakespeare block my teacher had us read and at the end we had to write a paper on the text of our choice. I remember the day that teacher (shoutouts Ms. Brown, a legend) broke down how we should approach our theses and at how at one point she put this massive multi-page list of themes we could focus on in our papers, everything from Oedipal tones to gender roles to fate vs. choice to madness — the list went on and on. After breaking down what must have been close to a hundred potential topics she added, “By the way, you could apply every single one of these to Hamlet.” And maybe it’s not fair to make this out to be extraordinary seeing as how it loosely adapts a number of story beats from the play but I can’t help but feel that you could say the same thing about The Lion King.(Photo Credit: Disney)It’s not like there haven’t been a ton of extraordinary animated films since the genesis of the medium, and it’s not like you’re objectively incorrect if your favorite Disney animated movie is Coco or Beauty and the Beast, and not The Lion King, but there’s something about the movie that sets itself in a different echelon than its peers. The songs are great and the animation is stunning and the vocal performances are plenty memorable but those aren’t what make The Lion King the masterpiece of filmmaking that it is.It’s that richness of text and the way it works in tandem with a lightness of tone that set it apart. That balancing act is no small feat — a story holding this much thematic weight can often by nature close itself off to younger audiences. Heady themes of life and death and the responsibility that comes with power can be overwhelming to a four-year-old. The Lion King avoids this because the themes are framed through Simba, a character we meet in infancy. The lessons the viewer learns over the course of his journey have to be accessible to children because our protagonist is encountering them as a child himself. Our understanding of his world grows alongside his, and with it our understanding of our own — because in every form this eternal story takes (but especially in this incarnation) it is, at its core, about life.(Photo Credit: Disney)Simba, Mufasa, Scar, and the rest are both unique and individualistic characters and avatars for primal forces of life and death, balance and imbalance. It’s why certain story elements that should read as melodrama instead feel fully logical, the Pridelands shriveling in the shadow of Scar’s rule being a prime example. Yes, there’s an internal story logic introduced in the idea of Scar allowing hyenas into the Pridelands disrupting the food chain but that isn’t what incites the rot of the jungle and the ensuing drought.No, we understand these things have happened not through tangible story logic but because Scar is a force of imbalance. The Pridelands are in ruin not because Scar made them to be but because Scar is, period. He is a piece out of place when on the throne and the jungle erupts into chaos accordingly. When Simba ascends to the head of Pride Rock and the skies finally open up, spilling rain upon the Pridelands for the first time in years, they’re doing so because order has finally been restored. They are doing so because they are finally allowed to.(Photo Credit: Disney)Life begets death; it is inevitable. You cannot run from the past, only learn from it. The ones we lose cannot truly be lost to us unless we allow ourselves to forget them, to forget what they taught us and who they believed we could be. There is a balance to our world that connects us all and only by hiding from who we are and refusing to aspire to be the greatest version of ourselves can it be thrown off. There is no futility in trying, even if trying leads to failure. The only true failure is apathy. Death begets life; it is unbreakable.I could go on. The lessons I find most resonant in it change each time I watch it. Forget confining it to the realms of animated film. The Lion King is one of the great cinematic accomplishments of all time. No direct-to-video sequel or photorealistic remake will ever change this.Stream ‘The Lion King’ on AmazonMore on Geek.com:Watch These Movies Before ‘The Lion King’Watch: Beyoncé and Donald Glover Duet in ‘The Lion King’ Will Make You MeltDisney Soundtracks Now Live in Special Spotify Hublast_img read more

first_imgWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says parts of the government will stay shut as long as Democrats refuse to build more barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border, seemingly dashing hope for a Christmas miracle that would soon allow several departments to reopen and employees to return to work.Asked when the government would reopen, Trump said: “I can’t tell you when the government’s going to be open. I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they’d like to call it.”“I’ll call it whatever they want but it’s all the same thing,” he said at the White House after offering holiday greetings to U.S. troops stationed around the country and the world.Trump argued that drug flows and human trafficking into the U.S. can only be stopped by a wall.“We can’t do it without a barrier. We can’t do it without a wall,” he told reporters.Democrats oppose spending any money on a wall or fence, pushing instead for increased use of technology to control access at the border.Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leaders of Congress, blame Trump for the stalemate and for “plunging the country into chaos.” They pointed to problems beyond the shutdown, including heavy losses on Wall Street and Trump’s decision to fire his defense secretary.“The president wanted the shutdown, but he seems not to know how to get himself out of it,” they said in the statement.Trump had said he’d be “proud” to shut down the government in a fight over the wall, but now blames Democrats for refusing to vote for a House-passed bill that includes the $5.7 billion he wants for the wall.last_img read more

first_imgSalary sacrifice arrangements are very simple, highly effective and potentially beneficial to both employee and employer. It is almost too good to be true.At the heart of a salary sacrifice arrangement is an agreement between an employer and an employee to change the terms of the employment contract to reduce the employee’s entitlement to cash pay. This sacrifice of cash entitlement is usually made in return for some form of non-cash benefit such as more holidays, a better car or enhanced health insurance.Salary sacrifice can be financially beneficial for both employer and employee. For example, when part of an employee’s remuneration shifts from cash, on which tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) are due, to non-cash benefits that are wholly or partially exempt from NICs, both sides can be better off.While simple in principle, and capable of being changed, suitable documentation is required. If an employee wants to opt in or out of a salary sacrifice arrangement, their employer must alter their contract with each change. Employees’ contracts must be clear on what their cash and non-cash entitlements are and, once the entitlements are clear, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that they pay and deduct the right amount of tax and NICs for cash and benefits.Following the significant increase in salary sacrifice arrangements over the years, the government is becoming concerned about the potential loss of NICs. Concerns were raised in the Summer Budget, and the government announced in the Autumn Statement 2015 that it was launching consultation among employers, which seems likely to form part of a wider evidence-gathering process on the use of salary sacrifice.At present, there is no clear indication as to which way the Treasury is likely to move. With the prospect that income tax and NIC maybe harmonised in the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will remove any of the tax advantages from salary sacrifice.However, HMRC is almost certain to take a tougher approach to ensuring that every detail of salary sacrifice schemes is implemented correctly, whether or not the harmonisation of income tax and NIC actually happens. Employer failures in implementation may mean that what looks too good to be true is proved by HMRC to be just that.George Bull is senior tax partner at RSM UK Tax and Accountinglast_img read more

first_img Email News The Hollywood Reporter’s Composer Roundtable featured GRAMMY-winning masters and newcomers who discovered the musical approaches they share in commonPhilip MerrillGRAMMYs Nov 20, 2017 – 5:52 pm The half-dozen film composers brought together by The Hollywood Reporter for their Composer Roundtable, the latest in their Roundtables Series, discussed a fascinating topic: what it’s like to create a musical reality that can transport audiences into the worlds of cinema.The roundtable comprised GRAMMY winners Michael Giacchino and Alexandre Desplat, GRAMMY nominee Philip Glass, Carter Burwell, Daniel Pemberton, and Tamar-kali.”[Music is] like anything else in art. It’s going to trigger an emotional response,” began Giacchino. But then he noted the paradox of music’s power, saying that “sometimes in order to feel something, you need the absence of music first.”The musicality of his upcoming Pixar film Coco is so effective that the GRAMMY Music Education Coalition has launched in conjunction with it.Discussing what it was like to score her first project ever, the 2017 film Mudbound, Tamar-kali said almost everything flowed as she scrambled to pull together 40 minutes of final music in four weeks. The exception was a difficult cue for a climactic, violent scene. To bring her own honest emotional response to the challenge, she played along with the scene again and again until she knew she had it right. Finding that kind of authentic connection within themselves is part of the art of transporting an audience.Tamar-kali also made an important observation about avoiding a “numbers game” while trying to correct the gender imbalance in Hollywood hiring.”Before you can get more [women], you have to find out what exists. So there needs to be a shift in culture,” said Tamar-kali. “Horizons need to be expanded. How can you hire more women if you don’t even know who the women composers or directors are?”Another issue discussed during the event was how to communicate about music with professionals who live for film. Glass admitted that he enjoys being able to do anything he wants while writing opera but he acts more like a guest in someone else’s home when writing soundtracks.”It’s a different vocabulary, words, grammar, everything,” agreed Desplat. “You have to know what cinema is about. We’re part of this collective artwork.”In Desplat’s case that led to GRAMMY wins for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The King’s Speech.’Score’: Soundtracks take us on an emotional rideRead more Composer Roundtable On The Art Of The Film Soundtrack Composers Connect Us To The World Of Film composer-roundtable-art-film-soundtrack Twitter Facebook last_img read more

first_imgSalman Khan, Katrina Kaif in BharatYouTube ScreenshotSalman Khan is extremely confident not just about the content of his upcoming movie Bharat, but also on the work done by his co-actress Katrina Kaif in it. So much so that the superstar feels Katrina will bag a national award for her performance in the film.At a recent song launch event of Bharat, Salman could not stop praising his co-actress’ work in the film. He is so impressed by her that he went on to say that Katrina will definitely get national award for it.”Katrina will get national award for this film,” he said at the event. When the reporter and Katrina laughed on it, he added,” Seriously. You will see. She is so good in the film, and she has worked so hard in it. So, it is certain that if anyone would get national award, it will be Katrina only”.At the same event, Salman also praised Sunil Grover saying that he is one of the most talented actors he ever came across. Apart from Salman, Katrina and Sunil, the film also features Disha Patani in a key role.Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, Bharat is one of the most awaited films of this year like most other movies of Salman. The superstar will be seen in multiple avatars in the flick, including that of a 70-year-old man. It is slated to be released on June 5.last_img read more

first_imgEmami on Wednesday reported first quarter earnings for the financial year 2016-17. The FMCG company’s consolidated net profit in the June quarter fell about 35 percent to Rs. 56.6 crore when compared to the corresponding quarter in the previous fiscal.Emami’s earnings were impacted by higher finance, taxes and lower other income even though the company fared better on revenues and operational growth front, as disclosed in its regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.Shares of Emami closed at Rs. 1,148 on Wednesday, up 0.72 percent from their previous close on the BSE.The Kolkata-based firm’s total income from operations grew about 20 percent to Rs. 644.4 crore during the April-June quarter in the present financial year, when compared to Rs. 537.2 crore during the corresponding quarter in the previous fiscal.The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) rose by 49 percent year-on-year to Rs. 147.2 crore for the quarter that ended on June 30, 2016. Other income of the company during the quarter declined about 72.8 percent to Rs. 5.08 crore, Emami said in its regulatory filing.”Robust business plan and efficient cost management have helped us to meet the challenging environment to achieve a good top line growth with heavy margins. Most of our power brands including new launches like HE Deodorants, Navratna i-Cool talc, Navratna Almond Cool Oil, Emami 7 oils-in-one and Fair and Handsome face wash have performed well,” Harsha V. Agarwal, director, said in a statement.Emami is one of the fastest growing FMCG firms in India which covers more than 40 lakh retail outlets through a distribution network of 2,900 distributors across the country.last_img read more

first_imgIf you’re having a difficult enough time believing that Duke Nukem Forever is actually going to come out, much less be released later this year, the news that Gearbox and 2K Games have unveiled a very special collector’s edition of the game will be even more difficult to swallow. The Duke Nukem Forever “Balls of Steel” Edition was announced first over at the First Access Club this morning and currently only members of the club have pre-order rights. Pre-orders for the general public haven’t been opened just yet. The Balls of Steel edition will set you back $99.99 retail price, about $50 more than the regular game, but for your added cash you’ll pick up a ton of Duke Nukem related loot. The package includes a certificate of authenticity, a Duke Nukem comic book, stickers and paper craft, Duke Nukem poker chips, a deck of cards, a set of dice with the radioactive emblem on them, Duke Nukem postcards, a 100-page hardcover book chronicling the story of the game over the past decade or so and concept art, a copy of the game, and what must be the biggest trophy: a bust of Duke Nukem himself, in all his glory. When the collector’s edition is available for the public to pre-order, it will be a GameStop and Amazon exclusive, so you’ll have to act quickly before they sell out. [via Forbes]last_img read more

first_imgA depiction of the double helical structure of DNA. Its four coding units (A, T, C, G) are color-coded in pink, orange, purple and yellow. Credit: NHGRI © 2018 Phys.org Citation: Should the police be allowed to use genetic information in public databases to track down criminals? (2018, June 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-police-genetic-databases-track-criminals.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. How cops used a public genealogy database in the Golden State Killer case Journal information: Sciencecenter_img A trio of concerned citizens from the University of Baltimore and Baylor College of Medicine has published a Policy Forum piece in the journal Science surrounding the issue of law enforcement using genetic information in public databases to pursue criminals. In their paper, Natalie Ram, Christi Guerrini and Amy McGuire highlight the issues involved and offer some suggestions regarding how the issue might best be handled. More information: Natalie Ram et al. Genealogy databases and the future of criminal investigation, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aau1083SummaryThe 24 April 2018 arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo as the alleged Golden State Killer, suspected of more than a dozen murders and 50 rapes in California, has raised serious societal questions related to personal privacy. The break in the case came when investigators compared DNA recovered from victims and crime scenes to other DNA profiles searchable in a free genealogical database called GEDmatch. This presents a different situation from the analysis of DNA of individuals arrested or convicted of certain crimes, which has been collected in the U.S. National DNA Index System (NDIS) for forensic purposes since 1989. The search of a nonforensic database for law enforcement purposes has caught public attention, with many wondering how common such searches are, whether they are legal, and what consumers can do to protect themselves and their families from prying police eyes. Investigators are already rushing to make similar searches of GEDmatch in other cases, making ethical and legal inquiry into such use urgent. Explore further The case of police arresting a man suspected of being the Golden State Killer made headlines recently, partly because of the notoriety of the case and partly because of the way the case was cracked. The police compared DNA samples taken from crime scenes with those in a public database and found a close match—someone who was related to the suspect. Further work allowed them to narrow their search down to the man who was arrested. While most people likely received the news of a serial killer’s capture as good news, others were also concerned about how it happened. This led to questions about the privacy of data in public databases—such as whether the police should be allowed to use such data to search for a suspect.The authors point out that there is no law forbidding what the police did—the genetic profiles came from people who willingly and of their own accord gave up their DNA data. But should there be? If you send a swab to Ancestry.com, for example, should the genetic profile they create be off-limits to anyone but you and them? It is doubtful that many who take such actions fully consider the ways in which their profile might be used. Most such companies routinely sell their data to pharmaceutical companies or others looking to use the data to make a profit, for example. Should they also be compelled to give up such data due to a court order? The authors suggest that if the public wants their DNA information to remain private, they need to contact their representatives and demand that legislation that lays out specific rules for data housed in public databases.last_img read more

first_img Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer 2 min read It seems that there is no consensus about how much longer we’ll be stuck with winter. Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow — ostensibly predicting six more weeks of winter — while the less alliteratively named Staten Island Chuck did not.Now, predictions are a tricky business, but it seems that we’re going to continue to deal with precipitation and chilly temperatures at least for the time being, and that means travel delays, especially for flights.Google might be a little bit more adept at attempting to see the future than a groundhog. The search giant said that an update of its Google Flights app is making it possible to predict whether your flight will be delayed, even before the airlines figure it out.Related: Emotional Support Peacock Rejected to Fly by United Airlines”Flights already shows delays, and now we’re sharing reasons for those delays and delay predictions too,” the company explained in a blog post. “Using historic flight status data, our machine learning algorithms can predict some delays even when this information isn’t available from airlines yet — and delays are only flagged when we’re at least 80 percent confident in the prediction.”The company doesn’t suggest relying solely on Google Flights to decide whether you should go to the airport or not as things can always change, but at least you’ll have a sense of how long you’re going to potentially be stuck in the terminal. February 2, 2018center_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Nowlast_img read more