Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal

first_img Marija Pejčinović Burić / Council of Europe News Follow the news on Europe – Central Asia Attacks on press freedom in Europe are at serious risk of becoming a new normal, 14 international press freedom groups and journalists’ organisations warn today as they launch the 2020 annual report of the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalists. The fresh assault on media freedom amid the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened an already gloomy outlook. FranceHungaryPolandSwitzerlandTurkeyUkraineBulgariaIrelandBosnia-HerzegovinaAzerbaijanMaltaSlovakiaRussiaAlbaniaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesReports and statisticsProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources Council of EuropeCorruptionCovid19DisappearancesImprisonedWomenImpunityInternetWhistleblowersFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassmentViolence Launch of the 2020 Annual Report by the partner organisations to the Council of Europe Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists  June 7, 2021 Find out more The complete report is here. Organisation These threats risk a tipping point in the fight to preserve a free media in Europe. They underscore the report’s urgent wake-up call on Council of Europe member states to act quickly and resolutely to end the assault against press freedom, so that journalists and other media actors can report without fear. FranceHungaryPolandSwitzerlandTurkeyUkraineBulgariaIrelandBosnia-HerzegovinaAzerbaijanMaltaSlovakiaRussiaAlbaniaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesReports and statisticsProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources Council of EuropeCorruptionCovid19DisappearancesImprisonedWomenImpunityInternetWhistleblowersFreedom of expressionEconomic pressureJudicial harassmentViolence Help by sharing this information The report analyses alerts submitted to the Platform in 2019 and shows a growing pattern of intimidation to silence journalists on the continent. The past weeks have accelerated this trend, with the pandemic producing a new wave of serious threats and attacks on press freedom in several Council of Europe member states. In response to the health crisis, governments have detained journalists for critical reporting, vastly expanded surveillance and passed new laws to punish “fake news” even as they decide themselves what is allowable and what is false without the oversight of appropriate independent bodies.  Other serious issues identified by 2019 alerts included expanded surveillance measures threatening journalists’ ability to protect their sources, including in France, Poland and Switzerland, as well political attempts to “capture” media through ownership and market manipulation, most conspicuously of all in Hungary. These threats, too, are exacerbated by the actions taken by several governments under the health crisis, which further include arbitrary limitations on independent reporting and on journalists’ access to official information about the pandemic.  April 29, 2020 Attacks on media in Europe must not become a new normal News The Platform partners call for urgent scrutiny of action taken by governments to claim extraordinary powers related to freedom of expression and media freedom under emergency legislation that are not strictly necessary and proportionate in response to the pandemic. Uncontrolled and unlimited state of emergency laws are open to abuse and have already had a severe chilling effect on the ability of the media to report and scrutinise the actions of state authorities.   2019 saw a clear increase in judicial or administrative harassment against journalists, including meritless SLAPP cases, and spurious and politically motivated legal threats. Prominent examples were the false drug charges filed against Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov and the continued imprisonment of journalists in Ukraine’s Russia-controlled Crimea. The Covid-19 crisis has strengthened officials’ tools to harass journalists, with dangerous new “fake news” laws in countries such as Hungary and Russia that threaten journalists with jail for contravening the official line.center_img The physical attacks tragically included two killings of journalists: Lyra McKee in Northern Ireland and Vadym Komarov in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Platform officially declared the murders of Daphne Caruana Galizia (2017) in Malta and Martin O’Hagan (2001) in Northern Ireland as impunity cases, highlighting authorities’ failure to bring those responsible to justice. Only Slovakia showed concrete progress in the fight against impunity, indicting the alleged mastermind and four others accused of murdering journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. Related documents annual_report_en_final_23_april_2020.pdfPDF – 1.52 MB Although the overall response rate by member states to the Platform rose slightly to 60 percent in 2019, Russia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan – three of the biggest media freedom violators – continue to ignore alerts, together with Bosnia and Herzegovina. News At the end of 2019, the Platform recorded 105 cases of journalists behind bars in the Council of Europe region, including 91 in Turkey alone. The situation has not improved in 2020. Despite the acute health threat, Turkey excluded journalists from a mass release of inmates in April 2020, and second-biggest jailer Azerbaijan has made new arrests over critical coverage of the country’s coronavirus response. Receive email alerts While the Platform welcomes an increased focus on press freedom by European institutions,  including both the Council of Europe and European Union institutions, the ongoing crisis demands more urgent and stringent responses to protect media freedom and freedom of expression and information, and to support the financial sustainability of independent professional journalism. In the age of emergency rule, protecting the press as the watchdog of democracy cannot wait. News to go further June 4, 2021 Find out more “We’ll hold Ilham Aliyev personally responsible if anything happens to this blogger in France” RSF says Respect judicial independence in cases of two leading journalists in Serbia and Montenegro, RSF says RSF_en RSF calls for a fully transparent investigation after mine kills two journalists in Azerbaijan June 8, 2021 Find out more 2019 was already an intense and often dangerous battleground for press freedom and freedom of expression in Europe. The Platform recorded 142 serious threats to media freedom, including 33 physical attacks against journalists, 17 new cases of detention and imprisonment and 43 cases of harassment and intimidation.last_img read more

City Holds Special Golden Shovel Ceremony Saturday, Celebrates Phase II Of Jackie Robinson Recreation Center Renovation

first_imgHome of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Subscribe Uncategorized City Holds Special Golden Shovel Ceremony Saturday, Celebrates Phase II Of Jackie Robinson Recreation Center Renovation From STAFF REPORTS Published on Friday, February 17, 2017 | 7:36 pm Make a comment First Heatwave Expected Next Week Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * 2 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it The long awaited multi-million dollar renovation of the Jackie Robinson Recreation Center will break ground Saturday (under a tent) at a special ceremony that will kick off Phase II of the Center’s extensive rehabilitation project designed to better serve the recreational needs of the community.The ceremony marks a milestone for the project which has been in development for over a decade and will feature remarks by local dignitaries, city government officials and community members who made this dream a reality for the City of Pasadena.“The Robinson Park Recreation Center will definitely be a true center to our community and we think that it will be truly representative of what we would like to see in a recreation center,” said Department of Human Services and Recreation Director Horace Wormley.Phase II of the the rehab will include a substantial rehabilitation of the existing approximately 19,000 sq. ft. recreation center and consists of the demolition and reconstruction of the Center’s 9,000 square feet multipurpose room, administrative offices, kitchen the open courtyard, recreation rooms and a conference room, according to Wormley.Approximately 4,900 additional square feet of fitness areas, dance rooms and storage will be added to the facility.“The actual planning of this groundbreaking included and extensive community engagement effort,” said Horace Wormley.City Council approved the preliminary design in February 2015 and authorized the Department of Public Works to proceed with the proposed project.Over thirty community meetings were conducted to gather public input for the new facility.“The community has really embraced this project and they’ve really let us know what they want to see in this facility,” said Wormley.The City Council adopted the Robinson Park Master Plan In 2002 after extensive community input and City Commission review, according to the City website.Phase I of the implementation involved a 2 1/2 acre expansion of the existing park and improvement of the site with new soccer and baseball fields, installation of synthetic turf, construction of new restroom and storage facilities, new sports field lighting, site amenities and parking lot.Demolition is expected to take place in early March and will take approximately fifteen months to complete with a price tag of $11.4 million.“Everything except for the gym and pool area will be demolished and built from the ground up,” said Wormley.The new and improved facility is designed to be ADA accessible and will include energy efficient lighting technology in addition to new security upgrades.The grounds will be equipped with drought tolerant landscaping as well.“We think it will certainly bring our community together and it will be a center that will be worthy of the greater Pasadena area. We’re looking forward to it and certainly we think it will work,” said Wormley.Once the new center is up and running next year, there are plans to continue offering the popular Youth Sports and Enrichment Program that will include summer camps, tiny tots classes, and adult and senior fitness programs.“The community is really excited about having a facility that will continue and in a better way, accomodate all of these various programs that we have to offer,” said Wormley.The event will include elected officials, City staff and spotlight young people that will utilize the facility, according to Wormley.“Everyone who will have a hand in or do something inside of the facility will definitely be apart of the groundbreaking ceremony,” said Emerson.Speakers will include Councilmember John Kennedy, remarks by Mayor Terry Tornek, City Manager Steve Mermell a representative from Assemblyman Chris Holden’s office and a representative from the legendary Robinson family.“We’re looking forward to the project getting started so we can have a great facility for our community to enjoy,” said Wormley.Robinson Park Recreation Center Ground Breaking Ceremony begins Saturday at 1 p.m. on the lawn in front of the Robinson Park Recreation Center located at 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Top of the News center_img More Cool Stuff Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Community News faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News HerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHe Is Totally In Love With You If He Does These 7 ThingsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyFinding The Right Type Of Workout For You According AstrologyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Trends To Look Like An Eye-Candy And 6 To Forget AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty7 Reasons Why The Lost Kilos Are Regained AgainHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Female Celebs Women Love But Men Find UnattractiveHerbeautyHerbeauty Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Business News EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDSlast_img read more

Stormy Daniels settles for 450K in strip club arrest lawsuit

first_imgPorn star Stormy Daniels is settling her lawsuit against the Ohio city of Columbus for more than 400-grand.The settlement comes more than a year after Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was charged with three misdemeanor counts of illegally touching a patron at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club.The charges against Daniels were dropped 12 hours later.She then sued the city claiming her arrest was politically motivated.Daniels told WBNS-TV she was pleased with the outcome of the settlement, and that the lawsuit was never about the money.“It was the changes that were made in bringing awareness to how the law isn’t written fairly, and they targeted me and other women,” Daniels said. “I’m really proud of how the city of Columbus stepped up and took responsibility in actively making changes and holding those officers accountable.”Stormy Daniels is the woman at the center of the scandal that landed former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in jail. She is one of the two women who claimed to have received money in exchange for silence about an alleged affair with President Trump.Cohen is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for violating campaign finance laws and lying to Congress.In February, he told Congress that Trump instructed him to move illegally move campaign funds to pay off Daniels and Karen McDougal before the 2016 election.Trump has adamantly denied all of the allegations.last_img read more

A Sweet Treat Makes A Comeback

first_imgLiam Bentinck, Fair Haven, enjoys a “baby” cupcake treat at Gourmet Picnic in Fair Haven. Photo by Art Petrosemolo. ***BBPiece O Cake***ENDB, Broad Street, Shrewsbury – Joely and Anthony Carasia have been at the same site for 18 and their special order business includes all types of cakes and cupcakes. “You need to be lucky to come into the shop and buy cupcakes,” Joely smiles, “as that would happen only if we had extras from an order.” So for cupcake treats from Piece O Cake, call and order and the sky is the limit in terms of cake flavors, filling and icing. “We work within the customers budget,” Joely says, “but many people think just because we are in Monmouth County, we can do what the Cake Boss does on TV for half the cost.”***BCups & Cakes**ENDB, East River Road, Rumson –  Denise Kelleher and Elizabeth Shiftan run a cozy little spot in a building they share with a florist. It’s the kind of place you stop for coffee and a special muffin on your way to work or on the way home after picking up your kids at school.Kelleher, downsized from her New York job, was interested in staying closer to home and starting a business. She was introduced to Shiftan, a classically trained baker, who was baking for friends from home. The collaboration resulted in Cups & Cakes (the name comes from the Spinal Tap movie)  which does both walk-in retail and catering.“We opened as a traditional bakery with cakes, pies, muffins, scones, and the like, Kelleher says, “it was our customers that got us into cupcakes as they started to ask for them.” Cups & Cakes prides itself on only high quality ingredients in its baked goods described by Shiftan as “pure with nothing artificial.”Cups & Cakes offers a variety of traditional and specialty cupcakes and many have special theme decorations for parties.  They also have been asked to make special, cupcake wedding cakes . “We have seen our cupcake business grow especially over the past five months,” Kelleher explains.  “If customers want them, we’ll make them and they are now a part of our regular offerings.”Cupcakes at Cups & Cakes range from $1.50 to $3.00 depending on size, what’s on them or in them. Packaging is exquisite and take out cupcake looked like a present tied with a blue ribbon.***BGourmet Picnic***ENDB, East River Road, Fair Haven – Suzette Overien, an experienced baker, has run Gourmet Picnic for eight years.  The bright corner location with outdoor tables is a great spot for eat-it there coffee and pastry or pick it up and take it home.“Cupcakes always have been a big part of our business,” Overien says, “and especially what we call ‘baby cakes’ –  small, one bite cupcake treats in lots of flavors and toppings.Tiny cupcakes are guilt free and affordable and “everyone, regardless of if they are working or not, can treat themselves to one,” she says. “I think Crumbs Bake Shop, a high end bakery that has multiple locations on the East Coast has done a lot to help market high end cupcakes,” Overien continues, “and some of that cupcake awareness has filtered down and translates into business for local bakeries like Gourmet Picnic.”Overine does large special orders of cupcakes and, like her competitors, has done cupcake wedding cakes with a variety of flavors and toppings.Gourmet Picnic’s cupcakes start at $1.25 for minis and go to $2.50 for stuffed.Cupcake Magician, Monmouth Street, Red Bank – It’s only five months old but according to the Cupcake Magician John Nardini, business is booming. “We have a great location,” Nardini says, “and our business has increased every month.”Cupcake Magician has free parking behind the shop and John says he’ll even deliver cupcakes to Monmouth Street and your car door if you ask when you order by phone.A former union painter, Nardini said “I got tired of part-time work and decided to go into business for myself. I had always cooked and baked and the popularity of cupcakes was the push that got me started.”Dee DeBari,  whose family has owned a bakery in Hoboken for years, is John’s fulltime decorator and he keeps her busy icing  or stuffing more than 500 cupcakes every weekdays and more than 1000 on weekends. Cupcake Magician currently has 37 different flavored cupcakes (cake and icing) with new, seasonal, and non-traditional offerings added each week like French Toast or Pancakes and Bacon.***BCupcake Magician**ENDB caters along with its retail operation and has provided upwards of 600 cupcakes for a school outing. Nardini allows customers to order on-line through his website for pick-up and advertises specials to his more than 650 friends and followers on Facebook.The Devil Dog cupcake is CM’s best seller but he has had busts too….just ask  him about the “malted milk ball” cupcake, which,  he says “just didn’t cut it and was soon off the menu.” Nardini makes pricing easy at Cupcake Magician with regular cupcakes at $2 and mini’s at $1.***BSugarush**ENDB, East Front Street, Red Bank – Partners Chris Paseka and Jesse Bello opened less than a year ago right around the corner from Riverview Hospital and they wanted to be unique. “We wanted out cupcakes to be different,” Paseka says, “and you can’t be much different if you have a case full of what everyone else has.”So, the partners decided on what they describe as a cupcake bar.  “We have five basic cupcake flavors and then you pick the icing or icing and stuffing as well as the toppings.  Yes, it takes a little longer,” they say, “but what you get is a truly unique cupcake.”Both Paseka and Bello always had a love of baking and cakes for parties and special events for friends and family. “We just decided to make it fulltime,” Paseka says, “ and we quit our New York jobs and began looking for the right location.” Bello grew up in Middletown and the partners liked the idea of a small, walk-around community site. The Red Bank location fit the bill.Like the other bake shops, Sugarush does a lot more than cupcake retail. Catering is a big part of the business with dozens of weekend parties requiring cakes and cupcakes. They have done as many as 800 cupcakes for a special event. “Our business is growing with some basic, local advertising and word of mouth,” Paseka says. Pricing at Sugarush varies depending on stuffing and toppings but, like the other bakeries, is in the $2 – $3 range for full size cupcakes.Sugarush has made philanthropy a part of its business plan since day one and each week has a charity cupcake special where a portion of the proceeds from each sale is donated to a local or national charity. IF YOU HAVEN’T nibbled on a cupcake recently,  you must have spent the last few years at the North Pole. From birthday parties to lunch boxes with weddings in-between, the sweet treat has become the trendy indulgence for just about everyone.Joely and Anthony Carasia (Piece O Cake, Shrewsbury) have been in business on Broad Street for 18 years and their award winning wedding and party cakes are area favorites. “We’ve made cupcakes from the start,” Joely, a French Culinary Institute graduate, says, “but in recent years, they have become more of a trend and we see moms using them for parties and brides requesting them for wedding cakes.”Although a dozen cupcake may be smaller than a full size cake, Joely explains, it takes more work. “Cupcakes are very labor intensive as they all have to be decorated separately; it’s time consuming.” Joely has seen customers go over the top on cupcakes with elaborate decorations that puts the per cupcake price above $5.The cupcake trend started, according to an article in the ***ITALSWall Street Journal**ENDTALS, as a way to treat your sweet tooth without spending a lot of cash during the recession. More recently, cupcakes have taken on a life of their own fueled by television shows like DC Cupcake, programs on the food networks, magazine, newspaper and on-line articles. “But Joely says, “they are a trend and people hosting parties or weddings always are looking for something new. They won’t go away entirely but something else will take their place that’s for sure.”Even if that’s the case, for now, cupcakes are hot and here in the two rivers communities, new cupcake bakeries have sprung up and traditional bakeries have added cupcakes to their offerings so you can fill that childhood craving for something small and sweet. And with so much emphasis today on portion size and calorie counts, cupcakes seem to have found their niche.Cupcakes have been around for more than a century and may trace their name to the measure (a cup) of each ingredient used in the mix or possibly the fact that they were first baked in small teacups. In the 1950s homemaking era, cupcakes became extremely popular with moms who baked for and with their children. Hostess (brand)  Cupcakes  were first sold in 1952 and are still popular today.A decade ago, the TV show **ITALSSex In the City**ENDTALS gave cupcakes a monster push when the cast visited Magnolia Bakery (which still thrives in New York City on Bleeker Street) for cupcake treats. Small mom and pop shops blossomed in cities around the country and bakeries added fancy cupcakes to their offerings as everyone seemed to rediscover these treats.Monmouth County is no exception with small, successful specialty bakeries selling the sweet treats. A few of the areas most popular spots to indulge in cupcakes are: Piece O Cake in Shrewsbury, Gourmet Picnic in Fair Haven, Cupcake Magician and Sugarush in Red Bank, and Cups and Cakes in Rumson.The keys to good cupcakes are ingredients, flavors and stuffing, decorations and presentation and each of the bakers interviewed echoed these sentiments. So if what you need for a pick-me-up is something sweet, here are five spots to satisfy your craving.last_img read more

Selects repeat as champs at Sam Steele Days tourney

first_imgThe best result for the Nelson Selects would be to repeat at champions of the Sam Steele Day’s U14 Boy’s Soccer Tournament while going unscathed in the injury department.The soccer Gods must have been smiling on the Heritage City lot as the Select swept through the competition en route to the gold medal.“Last year, after losing in playdowns, we played in (Sam Steele) tournament and wanted to prove something to ourselves,” said coach Dan Szabo. “We won it. This year we wanted to avoid that same fate as we now had the targets on our backs. More importantly we wanted to get through this injury free.”Nelson opened the tourney by blasting the Creston Blitz 6-0.Micah May opened the scoring midway through the first half taking a James Miller and hitting it home. Minutes later, Nicholas Wethal added to that converting a corner kick and Galen Boulanger would finish the first half scoring. In the second, Boulanger added another with 30-yard blast before May completed the scoring with his second and third goals of the game.Saturday afternoon saw the Selects struggled against an improved Kootenay South side, stealing a 2-1 victory.Nolan Percival and May scored for Nelson.“We have had a relatively easy time with Kootenay South in the past but all the credit too them, they worked hard,” Szabo explained. “We had some bad breaks as well. One of those games.”Nelson clinched the gold medal Sunday morning by posting a 3-0 shutout over East Kootenay Rovers of Cranbrook.Galen Boulanger scored twice while May added a single for the Selects.Nelson concluded the tournament with a 2-1 win over a physical Columbia Valley squad. Boulanger scored twice for Nelson while Percival registered the shutout between the pipes.Percival played most of the games in goal for Nelson with Spencer Szabo sharing the duties for one half of game two.The Selects return to the training pitch in preparation for the B.C. Soccer Provincial B Cup July 7-10 in [email protected]last_img read more

$2 Million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (Grade I) – Notes Thursday November 3, 2016

first_imgForever Unbridled – Charles Fipke’s homebred multiple Grade I winner Forever Unbridled left Barn 59 at 5:30 a.m. and galloped an easy 1 1/4m under the watchful gaze of trainer Dallas Stewart. Stewart will try to win his second Breeders’ Cup Distaff with a daughter of Unbridled’s Song, having landed his lone World Championships victory with Roger Devenport’s Unbridled Elaine in 2001 at Belmont Park. I’m a Chatterbox – The 4yo Munnings filly I’m a Chatterbox, ridden by her trainer Larry Jones, went to the track at 7:50 a.m. for an easy 1m gallop and then visited the paddock for the third straight day.Jones is seeking his first Breeders’ Cup victory, but did found success with two other fillies he brought to the event. In 2007, Proud Spell finished second in the Juvenile Fillies before winning the Kentucky Oaks the next spring and in 2011, Havre de Grace finished fourth against the males in the Breeders’ Cup Classic en route to Horse of the Year honors. When asked how I’m a Chatterbox stacked up against those two fillies, Jones replied, “She’s always been an overachiever. She was overlooked at the sales, maybe because she was from the first crop of Munnings and her dam hadn’t produced much. But, she always tries so hard and definitely matches up to them.”The only time I’m a Chatterbox was worse than second this year was when she was fourth behind Cavorting in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in late August. She then was a dominant winner of the Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in her last race.“If there was a bias that day at Saratoga, it definitely worked against us,” Jones said. “No one was going to catch the winner. We feel our filly has only gotten better since then. But, this is tough race. There’s going to a Grade 1 winner finishing sixth in here.” Beholder – Champion 6yo mare Beholder went to the track at 7 a.m. and galloped 1 1/2 mile over the main track in preparation for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff.“She’s feeling great, really moving good across the track,” said regular exercise rider Janeen Painter, who was in the irons. “She’s been really focused, behaving herself well, so I think she is ready to give her best shot.”Before the main track opened, Painter reflected on her time with the two-time Breeders’ Cup heroine and three-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder.“I galloped her a little bit at 2, mostly at late 4, 5 and 6. She’s much bigger and stronger that we ever thought she would be. When she came in her 4-year-old year, wow. You could see how much she had developed during the time she had off. ”Painter recalls the 2015 Pacific Classic as her favorite Beholder moment. “Of course the Pacific Classic, that was pretty special. The Kentucky Oaks race, that was a great race too, even though she ran second that is up there too. I get excited every time she runs and I know she runs her heart out every time she runs. You can’t say that about every single racehorse there is, but she does, she gives it 100 percent.”Asked about how he wanted see the Distaff unfold, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said, “My job is just looking to see if there’s anything wrong. Everything is right, right now, so my job is to see if there is anything wrong between here and there. Hopefully, I am not going to find it or there is nothing to find.”Hall of Fame jockey  Gary Stevens, who rode Beholder to victory in the 2013 Distaff at Santa Anita, expressed happiness with his Distaff post position (post eight), and also pointed out the 2015 Pacific Classic as his favorite Beholder memory.“The Pacific Classic is my favorite Beholder moment. She beat the boys, it was a huge race and very memorable,” Stevens said.“On paper, this is the best Distaff I’ve ridden in, but I can go back to 1988 with a great filly and a great mare in Winning Colors and Personal Ensign, I’ve been in some good Distaffs before. I don’t want to take anything away from years past, as I’ve said before, Beholder is the best horse I have ever ridden.” Songbird – Now just a little over 24 hours away from the year’s filly and mare championship-deciding race of the year, the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer watched his prized pupil, 6-5 morning line choice Songbird, walk in front of his barn.“You really can’t plan for how to run the race, because the moment the gates open, it could all change,” he said.  “We know she can go to the front or sit off the pace; we’re comfortable with her versatility.  This really becomes a riders’ race so you need to have confidence in your jockey.  Mike (Smith) has ridden her in all of her starts and knows her very well.”Added the hall-of-fame conditioner, “She’s been so consistent, I really can’t pick out one race that really stands out.  With her, they’re all special.  But she was really good in her last start in Pennsylvania (the Cotillion Stakes) and she’s even better now.”Songbird went to the track for the final time Thursday morning in advance of Friday’s Distaff, galloping 1m under Edgar Rodriguez.  The Kentucky bred is scheduled for a schooling session in the paddock after Thursday’s first race. Stellar Wind – Stellar Wind went through her usual 5 a.m. routine of standing quietly before a 1 1/2m gallop Thursday.“She’ll school in the paddock between races this afternoon,” trainer John Sadler said.Sadler is undecided about what Stellar Wind will do Friday morning, the day of the race.“She might jog, or she might just walk,” Sadler said.Asked what it would take for Stellar Wind to win, Sadler said: “She needs a good trip. I don’t know what that trip is, but just a nice, smooth one and she should do well.” Land Over Sea – Land Over Sea was joined by Team O’Neill Breeders’ Cup entrants Ralis (Turf), Gomo (Filly and Mare Sprint) and Term of Art (Juvenile) for morning gallops leading up to the two-day Breeders’ Cup Championships at Santa Anita.Trainer Doug O’Neill, who watched the stablemates’ exercises from the apron at mid-stretch said, referring specifically to Land Over Sea, “She’s been second to Songbird on three occasions and was runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks. So, despite her long odds, we feel like she deserves this chance, especially here on her home track.”Obviously having watching ample amounts of pre-election coverage, O’Neill added with a smile, “However, our path to victory might require us turning red states blue and blue states red.” Corona Del Inca – The 5yo Luhuk mare strolled to an easy gallop one lap around the main track at 7:45 a.m. Uruguayan jockey Pablo Falero, a legend in his native country and in Argentina, was in the irons.“For me, it is a great honor to be here, and is a very important commitment and a life-long dream,” Falero said about his first Breeders’ Cup participation.Corona Del Inca earned an automatic berth into the Distaff after annexing the Gran Premio Criadores by the smallest of margins at Palermo on May 1.Curalina – Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Curalina galloped 1 1/4m at Santa Anita Thursday in preparation for Friday’s Distaff, which will be her first start since finishing second in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga Aug. 27.“We felt like if we were going to take our best shot at the Breeders’ Cup, bypassing the Spinster and the Beldame like we did last year with (2015 Distaff winner) Stopchargingmaria was the correct approach for her,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “She does run well fresh. It takes a lot of discipline to pass up the Beldame or the Spinster, races like that where you’d be favored or certainly one of the favorites.”last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 31, 2016)–Purchased for just $108.00, one lucky ticket took down the entire Pick Six pool Saturday at Santa Anita, resulting in a payoff of $313,208.  The total money paid out included $212,103 that had accumulated in the Single Ticket Jackpot pool through the first four days of racing this winter and $155,854 in “new” Pick Six money wagered on Saturday.Purchased by an as-yet unidentified patron through TVG, the end-of-the-year jackpot cleans the Pick Six slate for the New Year, as Santa Anita will offer a nine-race program on Sunday that is scheduled to be highlighted by reigning Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Arrogate’s appearance in the Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth.With first post time on New Year’s Day at 12:30 p.m., the San Pasqual has been carded as race eight and the Pick Six will be comprised of races four through nine.  Approximate post time for race four is at 2 p.m. PDT.For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit read more

Jenkins achieves WTF Grandmaster status

first_imgPresident of the Jamaica Taekwondo Federation, Conrad Jenkins, is now the only local Olympic style Taekwondo Grandmaster.On December 7 at the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships in Mexico City, president of the WTF, Dr Chungwon Choue, together with Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU) president, Grandmaster Ji Ho Choi, presented Jenkins with his Seventh Dan Black Belt certificate.In addition, on December 9 at the Sala de Armas ( Fencing Olympic Venue), Jenkins and Guillermo Rodriquez of Venezuela were jointly awarded best male referees, while Hee Young Kim of Korea was awarded best female referee. Male and female teams from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Russia,Korea, China, Chinese Taipei, Iran, Ivory Coast, Mexico, USA and Belgium competed at the World Cup Taekwondo Team Championships in Mexico City.President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Mike Fennell, has congratulated Jenkins on achieving “this high distinction” while secretary general of the JOA, Christopher Samuda, remarked that he is not surprised as Jenkins has “consistently demonstrated his pedigree and credentials.”last_img read more

Focus on Indianapolis: Can Luck-less Colts ruin Raiders’ fortunes?

first_imgIt turns out the Colts’ season wasn’t necessarily doomed when Andrew Luck stunned everyone by retiring last month. That’s because Jacoby Brissett has shown he’s a pretty good facsimile of the former Stanford star.Brissett’s strong quarterback play has helped Indianapolis get off to a surprisingly strong start as the Colts stand at 2-1 after last Sunday’s 27-24 win over a solid Falcons team.Still, controlling Brissett could go a long way in allowing the Raiders to notch their first road …last_img read more

Scientists Are Studying Your Garden for Ideas

first_img51; Your garden plants are visited by a butterfly and various insects as you sip tea in a lawn chair.  Did you have any idea that inventors are watching the same things with an eye to making money?  Or that military officers are getting ideas from the garden to use against the enemy?  Biomimetics – the imitation of nature’s designs – is on a roll, because some of the best design ideas are right in your yard.It’s a bird; it’s a plan:  Watch the video clip of Matt Keennon’s ornithopter at PhysOrg.  It’s a robotic mimic of a real hummingbird – size, shape, wings and all.  Like the real thing, it can hover and move in all directions.  The military wants to use such devices as “spybots” to enter buildings with tiny cameras.    The hummingbird makes it look easy: “Manager of the project, Matt Keennon, said it had been a challenge to design and build the spybot because it ‘pushes the limitations of aerodynamics.’”Moving plants:  Schoolkids are often delighted with touching the leaves of the sensitive plant, Mimosa, and watching how they instantly fold up.  PhysOrg reported that University of Michigan researchers are sensitive, too: they are leading studies of moving plants that are “inspiring a new class of adaptive structures designed to twist, bend, stiffen and even heal themselves.”    Where could these efforts lead?  “When this technology matures, [Kon-Well] Wang said it could enable robots that change shape like elephant trunks or snakes to maneuver under a bridge or through a tunnel, but then turn rigid to grab a hold of something,” the article ended.  “It also could lead to morphing wings that would allow airplanes to behave more like birds, changing their wing shape and stiffness in response to their environment or the task at hand.”Solar plants:  What uses sunlight better than a leaf?  Penn State researchers are trying to copy photosynthesis, reported PhysOrg, in order to make efficient fuels.  “Inexpensive hydrogen for automotive or jet fuel may be possible by mimicking photosynthesis,” the article said, “…but a number of problems need to be solved first.”  Thomas Mallouk at the university has only achieved 2-3% hydrogen so far.  He needs to aim for 100%.  His team is trying to figure out how to handle the “wrecking ball” of oxygen produced by his experimental solar cells, and how to channel electrons so they stop recombining.  Plants make it look so easy.Hear thee:  Chang Liu at Northwestern is fascinated by the hair cells of the inner ear.  Like many researchers with the biomimetics bug, he “is using insights from nature as inspiration for both touch and flow sensors – areas that currently lack good sensors for recording and communicating the senses.”  He’s not all ears; “Hair cells provide a variety of sensing abilities for different animals: they help humans hear, they help insects detect vibration, and they form the lateral line system that allows fish to sense the flow of water around them.”    This multi-application potential of nature’s design particularly impressed him: “The hair cell is interesting because biology uses this same fundamental structure to serve a variety of purposes,” Liu said.  “This differs from how engineers typically design sensors, which are often used for a specific task.”  Synthetic hair cells might be useful for anything from robots to heart catheters. Fly me a computer:  Last week’s Science (Feb 11) had an article by Jeffrey Kephart about “Learning from Nature” to build better computer networks.1  What, in nature, did he have in mind?  Fruit flies.  “Studying the development of a fruit fly’s sensory bristles provided insight into developing a more practical algorithm for organizing networked computers,” the caption said on a photo of the little bug’s bristly head.    Kephart explained that biomimetics has a long history.  “The tradition of biologically inspired computing extends back more than half a century to the original musings of Alan Turing about artificial intelligence and John von Neumann’s early work on self-replicating cellular automata in the 1940s,” he noted.  “Since then, computer scientists have frequently turned to biological processes for inspiration.  Indeed, the names of major subfields of computer science—such as artificial neural networks, genetic algorithms, and evolutionary computation—attest to the influence of biological analogies.” (Note: evolutionary computation is a form of intelligent design, in which a scientist or computer selects outcomes from randomly varying inputs according to purpose-driven goals.)Crawl me a network:  Speaking of IT, ants are inspiring new ideas for computer networks.  According to PhysOrg, “Ants are able to connect multiple sites in the shortest possible way, and in doing so, create efficient transport networks,” scientists at the University of Sydney are finding.  Even without leaders, they solve this complex problem by making many trails and pruning them back to the best ones.    Ants are not the only inspiration for the next generation of networks: “The findings sheds light on how other ‘simple’ natural systems without leaders or even brains – such as fungi, slime molds and mammalian vascular systems – are able to form efficient networks, and can help humans design artificial networks in situations lacking central control,” Dr. Tanya Latty said.Firefly probe:  Science Daily told how scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have made a probe of hydrogen peroxide levels in mice based on the chemical that makes fireflies glow: luciferin.  Their device seems reminiscent of Doc Bone’s hovering probe that could detect problems non-invasively: the new probe “enables researchers to monitor hydrogen peroxide levels in mice and thereby track the progression of infectious diseases or cancerous tumors without harming the animals or even having to shave their fur.”    How did Christopher Chang come up with this neat idea?  “The fact that in nature fireflies use the luciferin enzyme to communicate by light inspired us to adapt this same strategy for pre-clinical diagnostics,” he said.  Their PCL-1 probe has already passed a milestone and has found that hydrogen peroxide, “nature’s disinfectant,” is continuously made even in a healthy body.  Now they are working to improve the sensitivity of the probe.Roach model:  Hopefully your garden experience was not interrupted by seeing a cockroach in the kitchen when getting your tea out of the refrigerator.  Even so, Israeli scientists at Tel Aviv University are finding things to admire in the beasts: PhysOrg said, “Ask anyone who has ever tried to squash a skittering cockroach – they’re masters of quick and precise movement.”  That’s why “Tel Aviv University is using their maddening locomotive skills to improve robotic technology too.”  While we’s getting grossed out with bugs, the article added, “Cockroaches are not the only insects that have captured the scientific imagination.  Projects that highlight both the flight of the locust and the crawling of the soft-bodied caterpillar are also underway.”  Good.  Get them out of the house and yard and give them to the scientists.Chang Liu had one of the best recent summations of why biomimetics is such a hot trend: “Using a bio-inspired approach is really important,” he said.  “Nature has a lot of wonderful examples that can challenge us.  No matter how good some of our technology is, we still can’t do some of the basic things that nature can.  Nature holds the secret for the next technology breakthrough and disruptive innovation.  We are on a mission to find it.”1.  Jeffrey O. Kephart, “Computer science: Learning from Nature,” Science, 11 February 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6018 pp. 682-683, DOI: 10.1126/science.1201003.As stated before, biomimetics provides a breakthrough that can bring scientists together.  Evolutionists do not have to worry about how these things evolved, nor waste time and energy making up stories or building their shrines to the Bearded Buddha.  Creationists do not have to mention God and risk alienating their colleagues who don’t want to hear the design argument for God’s existence.  Everyone can agree that the designs in nature, however they arose, are fascinating, important, and worth imitating.  The public will benefit from the inventions that result.    Follow the biomimetic research lead, and pretty soon Eugenie Scott will be out of a job, because all scientists will be marching together away from Darwinland and into the promised land of nature-inspired technology, talking design without any need for help from those who already knew intelligent design is the inference to the best explanation.  The ranks of the Darwinists will shrink by attrition.  Why?  Nobody will be looking to them for answers (re: stories), when practical science based on design is winning the hearts and minds of everyone.  Books and lectures on garden-variety intelligent design will, by then, seem perfectly natural.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more