Taxes of all kinds big focus of Manitoba budget

first_imgWINNIPEG – The Manitoba government tabled its budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year on Monday. Here are some of the highlights.— A $25 per-tonne carbon tax to take effect Sept. 1 will add 5.3 cents to a litre of gas and also affect natural gas, diesel and propane prices.— Marked fuel used in agriculture, mining and forestry will be exempt from the carbon tax.— Ambulance fees to be reduced to $340 from $425.— New income tax credit for companies that provide on-site child care to be set up. Limited this year to 200 spaces.— Post-secondary funding to be cut by $6 million, or one per cent.— Five new schools to be built without using private-public partnership models.— Basic personal exemption before people have to pay income tax to rise by $2,000 to $11,400 by 2020.— Threshold at which small businesses start paying income taxes is to be raised to $500,000 from $450,000.— Tax on fine-cut tobacco for rolling cigarettes is increasing to 45 cents per gram from 28.5 cents. Other forms of tobacco are unaffected.— A special income tax deduction for credit unions to be phased out over five years. Will cost credit unions $15 million a year.last_img read more

The Breadwinner director says Angelina Jolie helped guide the film

first_img Twitter “Then a while later she got a call from her agent asking her to audition for the part,” said Twomey. Twomey said Jolie signed on to the film about three years ago, when they were in the early stages of script development. Jolie was a perfect fit, given her work with Afghan refugees and schools in the country. “She was quite moved by the film and spoke really beautifully about it afterwards and the importance of girls’ education and the importance of women.”VICTORIA AHEARN Oscar-winning actor-director Angelina Jolie, an executive producer of Twomey’s “The Breadwinner,” showed up for the film’s premiere at the recent Toronto International Film Festival with five of her six children and posed with the cast for photos. Advertisement It’s one of 26 movies that have been submitted for consideration in the animated feature film category for the 90th Academy Awards. Advertisement Opening Friday in Toronto, “The Breadwinner” features the voice of Toronto actress Saara Chaudry as 11-year-old Parvana, who disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family while her father is wrongfully imprisoned by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. Irish animator and filmmaker Nora Twomey poses for a photo as she promotes the movie “The Breadwinner,” at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, September 10, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young Twomey hopes to bring it to Afghanistan next year. The story is adapted from Canadian author Deborah Ellis’s children’s novel, which is based on the testimony of Afghan women in refugee camps in Pakistan. “We’re in negotiations about it … and we’re certainly going to dub the film into Pashto and Dari,” she said, noting they recently screened the film at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. for Rula Ghani, the first lady of Afghanistan. “For our cast, I think it was incredible for Angie to stand on the carpet with them all, and certainly for us it was fantastic,” Twomey said in a recent phone interview. “As a female film director, to have another female film director to be able to ring up and seek guidance from was great. It was fantastic for our cast as well, because she very much asked me to, where I could, cast Afghan actors or at least people who had some kind of a story to tell in terms of moving from one country to another, or some kind of depth to them and intelligence to bring to the part.” Facebook “I don’t think any of us had ever experienced cameras flashing to that extent ever before. But it was such a strong message to bring her children and to celebrate the film. It was a really, really great day.” Advertisement After reading it with her mom she wrote to Ellis, who responded to her. Ellis then spoke at Chaudry’s school, and the actress told the author she’d love to see it be made into a film. Acclaimed Canadian composers Jeff Danna and Mychael Danna did the score for the film, which opens in Vancouver on Dec. 1, in Ottawa on Dec. 8, and across Canada on Dec. 15. It’s rare to see Jolie on the red carpet with so much of her brood, and the moment made international headlines and provided a big boost to the independent Canadian co-production, which features various forms of 2D animation. TORONTO — It was a show-business moment Irish animator and filmmaker Nora Twomey had never experienced before. “Just the intelligence and sensitivity in her voice and her performance was just incredible.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: She “shared our sensibilities and helped guide the process, from the casting all the way through to the exact sensibility of this story and where the story leads to,” said Twomey, co-founder and creative director at Cartoon Saloon, which is behind productions including the series “Puffin Rock” and the Oscar-nominated “The Secret of Kells.” Coincidentally, Chaudry already had a history with Ellis and her novel before being cast.last_img read more

Have you seen Sarah Michelle

first_imgAPTN National NewsPolice in Winnipeg are asking for the public’s help in finding a missing 16 year-old girl.Sarah Michelle was last seen on Oct. 3.She’s described as Aboriginal, 5’3 in height and weighing 125 lbs.Police describe her as being at high risk of exploitation.Anyone who might know where Michelle can be located is asked to phone the Winnipeg police or the RCMP.last_img

No US charges against Chinese billionaire in alleged assault

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota prosecutors say there will be no charges filed against Chinese billionaire Richard Liu, who was arrested in Minneapolis after a Chinese college student accused him of sexual assault.Liu is founder of the Beijing-based e-commerce site JD.com. He was arrested Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony rape and released. He returned to China. Prosecutors said Friday that “profound evidentiary problems” would have made it “highly unlikely” that any charge could have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.Liu was in Minneapolis for a weeklong residency as part of the University of Minnesota’s doctor of business administration China program.Liu’s attorneys have said he is innocent. JD.com has said he was falsely accused.Liu is known in Chinese as Liu Qiangdong. He is worth $7.5 billion.The Associated Presslast_img read more

TSX up commodities mixed as sanctions imposed against Russia after Crimea vote

The Toronto stock market was higher Monday as traders looked beyond the weekend vote that saw an overwhelming number of Crimeans opt to break from Ukraine and join Russia.Traders are now looking to see what level of sanctions will now be imposed against Russia for its part in backing the referendum. Western countries have refused to recognize the referendum while Russia does not recognize the new Ukrainian government.The S&P/TSX composite index was up 32.97 points to 14,260.63 as traders had widely anticipated the results of the referendum. The Canadian dollar was up 0.16 of a cent to 90.29 cents US.U.S. indexes surged amid data showing that U.S. factory output rebounded strongly in February.Factory production surged 0.8 per cent, nearly reversing a 0.9 per cent plunge in January that was due mainly to weather. February’s gain was the largest in six months.The Dow Jones industrials climbed 169.97 points to 16,235.64, the Nasdaq advanced 47.54 points to 4,292.94 and the S&P 500 index gained 18.36 points to 1,859.49.European Union foreign ministers agreed Monday to slap travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people from Russia and Crimea they have linked to the push for the secession.The U.S. also imposed sanctions against Russian officials. President Barack Obama’s executive order names seven Russian government officials. The Treasury Department also is imposing sanctions on four Ukrainians, including former President Viktor Yanukovych and two Crimea-based separatist leaders.Meanwhile, Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) is selling its interest in assets located in Boundary Lake, Cynthia/West Pembina, and Rocky Mountain House in Western Canada to Whitecap Resources Inc. for approximately $855 million. These assets produced about 15,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day in 2013 on a net before royalty basis. Production is split evenly between oil and gas. Imperial shares added three cents to $51.10.And the Wall Street Journal reported that gas giant Encana (TSX:ECA) is in advanced talks to sell its Wyoming natural-gas fields to private-equity firm Carlyle Group for about $2 billion. Encana has been looking to sell its holdings in the Jonah Field as it shifts its focus away from natural gas to drilling for more valuable oil and natural-gas liquids. Its shares ran up 21 cents to $22.67.The TSX base metals sector was the leading advancer, up 1.05 per cent as copper rose after a string of negative data from China sent prices dropping by eight per cent last week. The May copper contract in New York rose one cent to US$2.96 a pound.The energy sector gained 0.3 per cent while April crude dipped 15 cents to US$98.74 a barrel.The industrials and financial sectors also lifted the Toronto market.The gold sector led decliners, down 1.5 per cent as gold prices edged lower after nervous investors seeking safety pushed prices ahead last week. The May contract in New York declined $1.70 to US$1,377.30 an ounce.Traders also looked ahead to Wednesday when the U.S. Federal Reserve makes its next interest rate announcement.Traders will be looking for any change in a gauge the Fed is using for interest rate guidance — the jobless rate. Generally, markets aren’t expecting a rate hike from the Fed until the middle of next year at the earliest. read more

Air Canada frequent flyer program part of digitization push CEO says

MONTREAL — Air Canada’s plans to develop its own frequent flyer program are one of several digitization initiatives the airline is pursuing to meet the varying needs of its 45 million passengers a year, CEO Calin Rovinescu says.Weeks after Air Canada announced it was ditching Aeroplan, Rovinescu said the decision was part of the company’s broader strategy to become more digital in its operations. That includes looking at working with artificial intelligence specialists to recognize patterns in customer data and employing augmented reality to change how employees learn and collaborate.Using data analytics on information collected from frequent flyers will help the airline better understand their shopping patterns, improve service and build loyalty, Rovinescu said. Air Canada plans to launch its own loyalty rewards plan in 2020.“By bringing it in house, it will enable us to be much, much closer to our customers in terms of the offers that can be made and having the ability to in some respects deal directly with our key frequent flyers,” he said in an interview.Michael Kamel, who advises airlines on business strategy and innovation for PricewaterhouseCoopers, said carriers are feeling pressure to act from tech-savvy passengers and competitors that operate with lower costs.Airlines around the world are using different technologies in an effort to improve passenger service, such as texting flight changes to cellphones. Still, the industry has been slow to adapt.“We are in that pre-evaporation phase where we’re just seeing the bubbles,” Kamel said.The transportation sector as a whole is becoming increasingly focused on technology with the advent of automation. Last week, Canadian National Railway announced it plans to spend $500 million over five years, partly in response to the threat posed by driverless trucks.Air Canada’s (TSX:AC) focus on its next wave of growth comes after a series of restructuring efforts since 2009 that have helped turn around the financial position of the country’s largest carrier.It has signed long-term labour agreements, spent billions of dollars adding new aircraft, expanded its international network, launched a low-cost travel airline and restored its pension plan to a surplus.“This is a totally different company than it was in 2009 in almost every single respect,” said Rovinescu, whose company was selected Tuesday as the best North American airline according to a survey conducted by Skytrax of nearly 20 million passengers around the world.Globally, the Montreal-based airline is ranked 29th, behind mostly Asian and Middle Eastern airlines, which are perennial leaders. Porter Airlines was 55th, WestJet 58th, Air Transat 70th and Air Canada Rouge 99th. read more

Leading underworld figure killed in Wanathamulla

Leading underworld figure was killed in Wanathamulla today, the police said.The police said Chamara Sandaruwan alias ‘Kudu Roshan’ was hacked to death by unidentified assailants. Chamara Sandaruwan was taken to the Colombo National hospital where he was declared dead.Investigations are underway. (Colombo Gazette)

Aimia reports secondquarter profit as postAeroplan transformation continues

Companies in this story: (TSX:AIM)The Canadian Press MONTREAL — Aimia Inc. earned $43.5 million in its latest quarter, boosted by gains related to investments, as it worked to transform itself following the sale of its flagship Aeroplan program earlier this year.The loyalty rewards company says the profit amounted to 29 cents per share for the quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of $11.1 million or four cents per share a year ago.Revenue from continuing operations fell to $31.0 million compared with $42.8 million in the same quarter last year.On an operating basis, Aimia reported a loss of $21.7 million from continuing operations for the quarter compared with an operating loss of $39.5 million a year earlier.Aimia sold the Aeroplan program to Air Canada earlier this year, leaving it with significant cash on hand but also questions about its future.The company’s other assets include a 48 per cent stake in Aeromexico’s loyalty program, PLM, and a 20 per cent share of AirAsia’s loyalty program, Think Big.“The second quarter was marked by a significant return of cash to shareholders as we progress in our business plan to transform our existing business to deliver profitability during 2020,” chief executive Jeremy Rabe said in a statement.“We remain confident that our new strategy as a consolidator in the loyalty and travel space should create value for the company, and we are in active discussions with potential acquisition targets.” read more

Cogeco strikes biggest deal in 60year history with US14B MetroCast purchase

Cogeco strikes biggest deal in 60-year history with US$1.4B MetroCast purchase MONTREAL – Cogeco Communications inked the biggest acquisition in its 60-year history on Monday with a $1.4-billion deal to buy the MetroCast cable systems and expand its U.S. presence.Cogeco CEO Louis Audet said he sees growth opportunities that are double what is available in Canada by increasing the number of TV, internet and phone services to each customer.The Montreal-based company (TSX:CCA) will make the acquisition through its Atlantic Broadband subsidiary, which signed a definitive purchase agreement with Harron Communications LP, a family business.Under the agreement, Cogeco said the Caisse de depot pension fund will provide US$315 million in return for a 21 per cent equity stake in Atlantic Broadband’s holding company.The deal, which follows Cogeco’s acquisition of MetroCast’s network in Connecticut for US$200 million in 2015, will expand Atlantic Broadband’s presence to a total of 11 states.Audet said MetroCast is present in smaller communities where competition is fragmented and customers have higher average incomes than the U.S. average and are more likely to adopt technology than Atlantic Broadband customers and the U.S. overall.“So there is interesting growth and that’s what among other things interested the Caisse de depot et placements which are joining us in this development of the American market,” he said in an interview.Cogeco’s annual U.S. revenues are expected to increase by 33 per cent to US$704 million, while its consolidated revenues will reach C$2.5 billion.Analyst Drew McReynolds of RBC Dominion Securities said he views the transaction as “neutral” because the premium paid for MetroCast will be offset by growth, operational savings and the Caisse’s investment.“Strategically, the transaction fits with the company’s long-stated strategy of U.S. cable expansion via tuck-in acquisitions and thus is in line with our expectations,” McReynolds said in a note for clients.Analyst Maher Yaghi of Desjardins Capital Markets said there is potential growth by increasing the penetration of services, as Cogeco has done in past deals.“Overall, we see this transaction as a good move to increase the size of the U.S. cable assets by buying a business that has very little fibre-to-the-home competition and with favourable demographics,” he wrote in a report.Audet said the company will focus on reducing its debt over 18 months before looking for other acquisition opportunities.The deal is expected to close in January subject to regulatory approvals.— With files from Julien Arsenault by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 10, 2017 5:58 am MDT Last Updated Jul 10, 2017 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

INTERVIEW Global humanitarian needs have never been higher says UN official

Women displaced by drought waiting to meet Secretary-General António Guterres during his visit to Baidoa, Somalia, where the focus was on famine and cholera. Photo: UN News/Laura Gelbert The number of those needing humanitarian assistance is at its highest since the end of the Second World War – some 145 million people. Several protracted crises in Africa and the Middle East are deteriorating and climate-induced emergencies, sometimes combined with violent conflict, continue to wreak havoc on vulnerable communities. Amid all this, United Nations-coordinated response plans remain severely underfunded.It is against this backdrop that Mark Lowcock began his tenure as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. The British national brings to the position more than 30 years of experience leading and managing responses to humanitarian crises across the globe. In his new role, Mr. Lowcock serves as the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), oversees efforts to bring together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. He has hit the ground running, traveling to the Lake Chad Region just days into the job, attending his very first UN General Assembly high-level session, and now preparing to see first-hand the plight of the half a million Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar and sought safety in Bangladesh. Mr. Lowcock spoke to UN News about why he accepted the post of the UN humanitarian chief, his first weeks on the job, and what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure. UN News: What is your overall assessment of the current humanitarian situation around the globe?Mark Lowcock: There’s never been a larger need of humanitarian assistance in the world – 145 million people right now. We are, through the appeals we are in the UN running this year, trying to reach 100 million of those people. What I can tell you is the global humanitarian system is an effective system. Every year we reach tens of millions of people and we save millions of lives, but we don’t have all the resources we need and we’re facing some big challenges. So, the system needs to step up a bit more, and we need to get a bit more support for our work. Since then, as you say, the problem has got even more difficult and even bigger, and we’re working on a further response at the moment. I’m expecting to be in Bangladesh myself very, very soon to assess the situation, to make sure that the scale-up is going well. At the moment, we think we’re reaching, with some form of assistance, about 80 per cent of those who’ve come across into Bangladesh. But we need to do better. And one thing we are going to need to do is seek further generous assistance from our donors, as this problem is significantly bigger than we thought it was going to be. And we need to do that in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh. Bangladesh and its people have shown exceptional solidarity and generosity, and we need to help them tackle this problem which they’re taking the leadership on. UN News: What made you accept this role as the UN’s top humanitarian official? There’s never been a larger need of humanitarian assistance in the world.Mark Lowcock: Well you know I spent the whole of my adult life working on these issues. My first job was working on the famine relief effort in Ethiopia in 1984-1985. I’ve always loved doing this work. I like doing things which make a difference. But the real, specific thing on this job, which when the Secretary-General called me in April and asked me about it, that made it such an easy decision for me, is that I think the vision he has for the United Nations in the period ahead to deal with the problems the world faces, and to build a United Nations which is fit for purpose, is just an inspiring vision. So, it was an enormous honour for me to receive the request from him and it was not a difficult decision to come here and play a part with tens of thousands of other colleagues, to try to realize that inspiring vision. UN News: What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead in your new role?Mark Lowcock: Well there are three, big areas where I hope, when, however many years from now, I look back on the time I spent here and what we’ve been able to do, which we’ve made some progress on. The first relates to the way combatants, belligerents behave in conflict. Because the single biggest challenge we face relates to atrocities, conducted in conflict, and the enormous human suffering that they cause for unfortunately millions of people at the moment. So if we could make some progress on that, that will reduce a lot of suffering and that’s a good way of spending some time. Secondly, we need to extend the number of countries who cope better with protracted food crises. You know famines used to be ubiquitous, very common across the whole world. Now there are small numbers of countries which are at risk from time to time of famines. What we need to do is get that number down, essentially to zero, in the period ahead and that is a completely achievable objective. I told you that my first job was working on the famine in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s. Because Ethiopia’s developed and has good safety net systems, they deal with even worse droughts now than happened in ’84, ’85, better than they were able to. And there’s no reason why other countries can’t be supported to make similar progress. UN agencies are scaling up efforts to assist the over half a million Rohingya who have fled violence in Myanmar and sought refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. Photo: UNHCR/Paula Bronstein VIDEO: Head of UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Mark Lowcock, shares his vision for bringing together global partners.UN News: The Lake Chad Basin was your first visit, just a week after taking up the job. Why?Mark Lowcock: At the end of last year when I was doing a different job, I was worried that there was a potential for four famines in the world in 2017, and one of them is in the Lake Chad Basin region, so I wanted to go and see what had happened. What I found is there’s still 10 million people in that region just a step away from starvation. But, the international community, the UN, the NGOs, the Red Cross have rallied behind the governments of the region and have provided life-saving assistance to millions of those people. So I listened to the people whose lives have been affected by this crisis. I heard their stories, and I brought them back to the leaders of the world at the General Assembly last week. And one of the things that I really want to do as the Emergency Relief Coordinator is to be an advocate for those people, to listen to their stories and bring them to the wider world. So that was why I went there. UN News: The Lake Chad Basin was also the subject of a high-level event here in New York. Did it get the global attention you wanted?The origins of the Myanmar crisis lie in Myanmar, and the solutions lie in Myanmar.Mark Lowcock: We had a very good meeting actually. I was pleased on a number of levels. Firstly, that the governments of the region came and told a very compelling story about how they are taking the lead in managing the crisis. Secondly, a number of the donors generously pledged new resources. But thirdly, crucially, we were able to tell the stories of people whose lives were affected. We showed pictures and we told their stories. I recounted the words that people who I met sitting under a tree, or under an awning, told me and I think that’s an important thing to do. We also were able to get beyond the immediate challenge. So we talked about root causes. We talked about addressing conflict. And we talked about the things that need to happen not just to deal with immediate need but to help people rebuild their lives and get some hope back into the future. UN News: Let’s talk about Myanmar. Daily reports indicate that the humanitarian situation of the Rohingya people, who have now fled into Bangladesh, remains dire. Is there an end in sight? And also, there are accusations of the UN not doing enough. Do they have any merit, and what needs to be done?Mark Lowcock: Well the origins of the Myanmar crisis lie in Myanmar, and the solutions lie in Myanmar. But one thing we must do is make sure those 480,000 people who have fled, terrified for their lives, into Bangladesh are well looked after there. My very first weekend at this job in the beginning of September, we saw the flow starting to happen and that weekend, from the Central Emergency Response Fund, I allocated money to help the agencies scale up their response. Then the third big challenge I would like to help with is building a better business model, operating system, for dealing with refugees and displaced people. [UN High Commissioner for Refugees] Filippo Grandi has been doing amazing work helping the world develop a better system for that problem, and I would like to contribute to that work. I’m not saying that we at OCHA are going to be providing the solution to all those problems; we are a service. Our job is to support, facilitate, listen, help other parts of the international humanitarian response system. But I’m a person who’s motivated by solutions and outcomes, so I’m hoping that what we do in OCHA will help all the other agencies make progress on those outcomes. UN News: And when the time comes for you to end your term as the top UN humanitarian official, what do you personally hope to be able to have achieved? Mark Lowcock: Well some progress on those three things really: the better handling and reduction in the number of atrocities committed by belligerents in combat; this issue on protracted food security crises; and this refugees issue. I would also like to leave my organization as strong as possible. I’ve been amazingly impressed by the brilliant people we have in OCHA. We’re trying to improve and get better as an organization and we’re making a number of changes to do that. But what I would like to do is leave OCHA as an organization where our brilliant people can all do their best work, and we have the confidence and trust, both of those who finance us, because we’re mostly financed by voluntary contributions, and those we’re working with. So I don’t know exactly when that moment in the future will be when I’ll be looking back on this, but I would like to be able to look back on those things. UN News: What did you hear from the world leaders that were here recently for the General Assembly in relation to the many competing humanitarian demands around the world? Mark Lowcock: I’ve never been to the General Assembly before. I’ve been going to international meetings for more than 30 years, but this was the first time at the GA for me so I learned a lot and I met lots of people who I didn’t know. I think the overriding thing that I heard from the leaders was a lot of engagement with humanitarian suffering and the desire to do something about humanitarian suffering. I heard that, I think, from everybody, from all perspectives – government, agencies, civil society – who I listened to and talked to. And I took a lot of encouragement from that because what I think it means is that there’s a lot of support for the underlying work that we across the UN family and including in OCHA are doing in this area. And so we can engage all those people we need to work with because they are interested and because they care about the issues that we work on. read more

LeBron James Is Still In His Prime

2013725.310.97.024.4 AVERAGE PER GAME 2012528.610.27.425.9 The only run of performances that surpassed it came in the closing three games of the 2013 finals. That year, James averaged a 26.7 Game Score over games 4 through 6 of the series — remember the headband-losing moment in Game 6 that seemed to activate his powers? — before dropping the very best game of his career (after adjusting for the stakes) in Game 7: 37 points on 52 percent shooting, to go with 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. The magnitude of that game helped make it LeBron’s greatest, but he’s been even better (with an average game score of 35.5) in games 4 through 6 this year. And on Sunday, James will get a chance to set a new standard in another Game 7, with the championship on the line again. 2014528.27.84.025.3 2007422.07.06.812.4 LeBron James has been so great for so long that, sometimes, it’s easy to take him for granted. This season was relatively ordinary by his standards — ho-hum, another 25, 7 and 7 campaign. There were differences from James’s earlier incarnations, such as an out-of-whack shooting stroke, but nothing so substantial as to much separate this LeBron from any LeBron of seasons past.But during these NBA playoffs, and the finals in particular, James has been playing at a level so superhuman that even the most jaded LeBron watchers have to sit up and pay attention.James’s best per-minute playoff campaign came in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ ill-fated 2009 postseason, when they flamed out against the Orlando Magic in the conference finals. His per-game averages in that series were 38.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks. But apart from that one-man exhibition in a losing effort (something James knows well), these 2016 playoffs have seen the best statistical version of LeBron — and certainly the best version ever to appear in the NBA Finals.In fact, when it comes to production in the finals, James has also saved his best performance for 2016. According to Game Score, John Hollinger’s pet single-game productivity rating, LeBron is enjoying the highest (pace-adjusted) per-game average of his finals career right now, and it isn’t especially close: Game Score has been adjusted to a pace of 100 possessions per game.Source: Basketball-Reference.com 2011617.87.26.815.6 2016630.211.38.528.2 YEARGAMES PLAYEDPOINTSREBOUNDSASSISTSGAME SCORE 2015635.813.38.825.6 LeBron’s 2016 stats for games played in the NBA Finals are his best In Thursday night’s Game 6, James produced the top Game Score of his finals career (44.1 after adjusting for pace), thanks to a jaw-dropping stat line: 41 points on 59 percent shooting, 11 assists, 8 rebounds and 4 steals. He even splashed home three of six threes, bringing his finals 3-point percentage to 40 percent, a massive difference from the 31 percent rate we were all so worried about during the regular season.In other words, James’s game has rounded into peak form at exactly the right time for the Cavs. And I really mean peak form: If we look at his Game Scores relative to what a league-average player would produce in the same number of minutes and then weight by the importance of each game in terms of championship odds, we’re currently witnessing the second-best three-game stretch of James’s entire career, culminating in his second-best game ever on Thursday night: VIDEO: History will be made in Game 7Check out our NBA Finals predictions. read more

Bass Metals global market now seeing cross over of rising demand and

first_imgAustralia’s Bass Metals Ltd is progressing well with its optimization and refurbishment of the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar. While optimization and refurbishment of the mine has been in progress, significant time has been allocated to the continued training of the workforce in safe working procedures, with additional education in health and hygiene.Another significant safety initiative has been realized at Graphmada with the arrival of two fire fighting trailers. The trailers are critical equipment required for mine recommissioning and camp safety.Bass Metals continues to progress optimization and refurbishment works at its 100% owned Graphmada mine, remaining on track to deliver Stage 1: the establishment of 6,000 t/y production of premium graphite concentratesThe process plant has been de-commissioned, with civil works underway to prepare for arrival and install of new equipmentThe new dryer is in transit to site, while civil works are underway in preparation for its installationBass Metals continues to make sales of concentrates to maintain customer relationships.The company reports that the flake graphite market looks to have stabilized in the wake of the Chinese export duty removal. Some minor pressure was reported on prices out of China as a result of higher shipping costs, however discounted offers from suppliers seeking to reduce inventories kept average prices stable.Supply pressure across larger flake grades continues to grow, reflected in higher prices for +80 and +50 mesh concentrates. This pressure comes from the prospect of further closures in China, limiting flake graphite concentrate production in Shandong province. Recent environmental restrictions on bauxite and magnesia mining raise the possibility of further restrictions being implemented on the flake graphite mining sector, in turn further pressuring prices for large flake concentrates throughout the remainder of the year.In addition to tightening supply of large flake out of China, it has been confirmed that a significant large flake producer in Madagascar has ceased production due to under-investment in its production line and resource development. It appears that Bass is now the only producer in Madagascar of large flake graphite to the open market, and one of the few globally outside of Brazil and the diminishing flake supply from China.These supply-side pressures are being met by some increased demand for larger mesh concentrates from industrial markets. Brazil, Germany and the US all reported strong growth in steel production throughout Q1 2017, compensating the marginal decline in Asian output and prompting market optimism.The market is now seeing the beginnings of a cross over of rising demand and decreasing supply of large flake graphite concentrates, with signs a divergence in pricing between small and large flake concentrates will continue to develop over the coming months.With the delivery of Stage 1 at Graphmada in calendar year 2017, Bass will emerge as a low cost (1st quartile) producer of high quality concentrates as these supply and demand fundamentals begin to pressure large flake pricing.Through positive cash flow from Stage 1 production of 6,000 t/y, the company, over the course of 2018/19, will progress towards its intended Stage 2 expansion of 20,000 t/y with decreasing costs of production and decreasing capital intensity.last_img read more

MCU News Infinity Wars Opening Scene Vision Wraps Filming and More

first_img We have just over one week left until 2018, the year containing two of Marvel Studios’ most highly anticipated movies. One of them, Marvel claims, is the biggest movie they’ve ever made. It’s what the studio’s been building up to since 2008’s Iron Man. Its villain has been teased with minor appearances since 2012’s The Avengers. Every character we’ve met in the last ten years will come together. The one question on everyone’s mind: Will the villain be worth it?As exciting as the movie’s first trailer was, fans did have some fun with Thanos. He appeared without the helmet we’ve seen on him in previous appearances. He also appeared pinker on Earth than on his throne in space. In short, he didn’t look all that threatening. But then, no one can after you’ve seen them Photoshopped to look like Homer Simpson. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige says the opening moments of Avengers: Infinity War should fix all that.CBR reports that while speaking at Brazil’s Comic Con Experience, Feige promised Thanos would surpass every villain the Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us so far. “Within the first five minutes of Infinity War, people will understand why Thanos is the biggest and baddest villain in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Feige said.He, of course, didn’t say much more than that. Marvel movies are among the most secretive in Hollywood. The Marvel Studios head wasn’t going to let specific details slip at a comic con. He did make it clear that he’s aware of the stakes at least. Thanos has been teased as the ultimate bad in the universe since the first Avengers movie. That’s a lot to live up to. “We’ve been teasing him for years, and the trick is when you tease something for that long you have to deliver,” he said. Feige seems confident that Thanos will deliver on everything that’s been promised when Avengers: Infinity War premieres on May 4, 2018.As we get closer to that date, actors are finishing up their scenes for both Infinity War and Avengers 4. The latest actor to announce their exit (for now) from the MCU: Paul Bettany. He joined the universe later than the rest of the superheroes, appearing as Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Bettany announced that his work was concluded with a fun, short Instagram video featuring the Infinity War logo and the word “Vision” printed on the back of his chair. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. This post, plus that image in the trailer of Thanos prying an Infinity Stone from Vision’s head makes me especially worried about him. All I want is for him to retire to that happy suburban life as he does in the comics. Maybe we get a Vision-starring family comedy in Phase Four. Something tells me that’s not going to happen, though. We’ll see exactly what becomes of Vision this May.As we gear up for the end of the MCU as we’ve known it, it’s a good time to look back on what’s come before. If you’re like us, you’ll be rewatching all the Marvel movies to prepare yourself for Infinity War. It’s also interesting to see what could have been. Redditor wmtruong put together a collage comparing the concept art for Marvel’s villains to how they ended up in the movie. Some of them look even better than the final product. Ultron would have looked so cool with those spikes. Others are better for their changes. Kurt Russell was perfect in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Covering him up with makeup or CGI would have been just wrong.”(Via Reddit)I also wish we’d gotten the concept art version of Dormammu in Doctor Strange. Giant floating heads are boring at this point. More than anything else, a massive CGI head only reminds us how fake everything is. It calls attention to the fact that we’re watching a massive green screen effect. Some good effects makeup and light CGI touch-ups could have made that space deity into a fantastic villain.Finally, with Disney’s deal with Fox now being a real thing, it raises a ton of questions for the future of the X-Men series. One of the films that could be affected is X-Men: Dark Phoenix, which fans now theorize could be the mutants’ introduction point to the rest of the MCU. As Comic Book reports, the theory goes that in the comics, Dark Phoenix is linked to the M’Kraan Crystal, a reality-altering artifact that allows the user to travel between universes. In the Dark Phoenix Saga of the comics, the crystal is the story’s MacGuffin, the device that drives the plot.The movie is still far enough away that we don’t know if the M’Kraan Crystal figures into the plot at all, but now that Disney will be putting out the movie, they can easily go back and put it in a post-credits scene. If that’s the case, they can then use the sequel to bring all the mutants into the reality of the MCU. Whether this turns out to be the route Disney takes or not, it seems like the easiest, most painless way to bring the X-Men over without erasing the stories that have come before. As Comic Book points out, it’s not like the X-Men series hasn’t erased, retconned and rebooted its own material before. X-Men: Days of Future Past necessarily undid all the terrible story decisions made by X-Men III: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This series isn’t afraid to make it, so the really bad movies never happened. Whether the X-Men’s integration with the MCU will be as seamless as fans hope remains to be seen. Either way, we can’t wait to hear what Deadpool has to say about it. Tom Holland Responds to Disney-Sony Spider-Man Feud‘Game of Thrones’ Star Kit Harington Joins Marvel’s &#… Stay on targetlast_img read more

Videos from Smackdown 10Woman Tag Main Event Hardy vs Nakamura Styles Interview

first_img Twitter Pinterest Videos from Smackdown Live on June 12, 2018 from Memphis.Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke NakamuraSamoa Joe vs. Rusev with The Miz as Guest RefereeJerry Lawler interviews AJ StylesDaniel Bryan vs. Shelton BenjaminWomen’s Money in the Bank Summit Facebook Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Google+center_img Sammy Guevara talks about his match against Cody on TNT, the Wednesday Night Wars WhatsApp Dustin Rhodes on AEW against NXT: “I don’t consider us going to war with anybody” WWE United States Championship match added to Clash of Champions this Sunday in Charlotte last_img read more

AG Ferguson files suit against Value Village

first_imgWashington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday a consumer protection lawsuit against TVI Inc., the for-profit company that owns Value Village, which used to have a Vancouver location. Ferguson alleges that the Bellevue-based company “deceived thousands of Washington consumers and donors for more than a decade,” according to a news release.The complaint filed in King County Superior Court claims TVI violated the Consumer Protection Act and Charitable Solicitations Act.“The numerous alleged deceptions mainly involve misleading consumers and donors to believe that all types of donations and purchases benefitted charity, and creating the impression that Value Village itself is a nonprofit or charity. In fact, no portion of Value Village in-store sales benefits its charity partners, and contrary to Value Village’s marketing, for years, some types of donations — including furniture and housewares — did not benefit charities at all,” a news release from the Attorney General’s Office said.The 37-page complaint also claims that “Value Village failed to disclose its status as a for-profit commercial fundraiser, and failed to disclose certain contact information for the secretary of state,” which is required by law and, according to Ferguson, important for donors to know.TVI runs 330 store worldwide including 19 Value Village stores in Washington. The Vancouver store’s last day was Nov. 12, 2016. Property owner Dick Hannah Dealerships declined to renew Value Village’s lease when it expired at the end of last year. Hannah’s Ram truck dealership has since opened in its place.The store’s closure interrupted a revenue stream for The Arc of Southwest Washington, a Vancouver-based nonprofit that relies on selling used goods to support its programs that help people with autism, Down syndrome and other developmental and intellectual disabilities. In July, The Arc’s executive director, David Wunderlin, said he negotiated to extend its contract through the end of February. The local Arc has been around since 1936 and in the last several years has worked to move away from reliance on Value Village.last_img read more

Senate Attempts to Pass 3 Year Highway Bill

first_imgSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this week unveiled a highway bill that reauthorizes programs for six years and provides full funding for three years.McConnell negotiated the bill with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. The Senate bill provides funding offsets to cover the shortfall in money available from the Highway Trust Fund and those offsets, as well as some of the policy issues, could be contentious and could complicate Senate passage. McConnell hopes to pass the bill in the Senate this week and have the House pass it before they adjourn on July 31, which is also the date that the current highway authorization expires.The House has already passed a bill that temporarily extends the highway programs for 5 months, through Dec. 18, 2015.  Even if the Senate passes their three year bill, the House is unlikely to take it up and pass it by the end of next week. Doing so would bypass their Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and deny the House the opportunity to have input on highway and transit program policy issues. It would also limit the possibility of getting provisions included to increase truck weight limits on federal interstates, which is a top priority for the American Soybean Association (ASA).  The Senate bill does not include the increased truck weights.The House could adjourn on July 31 without taking any further action, leaving the Senate with the choice of accepting the House passed five month extension or allowing the Highway program to expire, which would cut off funding to states for road construction and maintenance.last_img read more

Amazon is reportedly building its own gaming service

first_img $999 Share your voice Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) See at Amazon Best Buy Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Share your voice See It $210 at Best Buy Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Read Google Home Hub review $999 $60 at Best Buy The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. $59 at eBay Read the Rylo camera preview Amazon $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Tags JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $299 at Amazon See It Amazon Google Microsoft Sony,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. 0 Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. $999 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 7 Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Turo Read the AirPods review Apple iPhone XScenter_img Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $999 $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express See It Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Rylo Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Boost Mobile See it See at Turo Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Angela Lang/CNET Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. $155 at Google Express Post a comment Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Chris Monroe/CNET $6 at Tidal Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Sprint $520 at HP An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images Amazon may looking to level up with gamers.The giant online retailer is building a service that will let you stream video games online, according to a report from The Information on Thursday. Amazon has already started talking to game publishers about offering titles, though the service won’t be ready to launch until next year at the earliest, according to The Information.Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Streaming games isn’t exactly new and several tech giants are working on similar services. In October, Google unveiled a partnership with Ubisoft to bring the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey to the Chrome browser. In the same month, Microsoft said that it’s testing an Xbox game streaming service called Project x Cloud. Games like Forza and Halo, which were designed to be run on an Xbox One console, were shown being played on Android phones and tablets. Sony’s PlayStation Now gives PS4 and Windows PC subscribers access to hundreds of games to stream and download.  Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Read DJI Osmo Action preview Gaming Video Games Digital Media Internet Services Comments The Cheapskate Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET Tags TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50)last_img read more

Juneau Assembly accepts settlement agreement with cruise industry

first_imgCruise ships in port in Juneau in August 2012. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)The Juneau Assembly on Friday evening put an end to the three-year legal fight over how it spends money collected from cruise ship passengers.“Any objections?” Mayor Beth Weldon asked before the final vote. “Seeing and hearing none, Resolution 2852 is passed.”After a pause, the chambers burst into laughter and applause.The city announced last week that this agreement with Cruise Lines International Association Alaska, or CLIAA, had been tentatively reached.The organization is made up of cruise ship companies that do business in Alaska. It filed a lawsuit in 2016 calling Juneau’s $8 tax on passengers unconstitutional, leading to a three-year court battle over how the fees were collected and spent.A federal judge eventually ruled that Juneau could keep collecting the fees. But the city and CLIAA continued to disagree over how the fees could be spent, leaving open the possibility of an appeal from either side.Under the terms of the settlement, Juneau will pay CLIAA $1.5 million to cover its legal fees. Eventually, cruise ship passengers will pay for that with the very fee the city and CLIAA have been fighting over.The city will also pay the remainder of its own $800,000 legal bill with passenger fees.CLIAA agrees not to object to how the city spends the fees going forward, but both parties will meet annually to discuss those plans. Both parties also agree to continue working together and to settle future disagreements outside of court.CLIAA Executive Director John Binkley and Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt exchanged thanks at the meeting.“We’re certainly pleased with the settlement,” Binkley said. “It’s really an opportunity for all of us in the cruise industry and the community of Juneau to move forward. We realize that when we bring visitors here, we are guests in your community, and it’s our primary responsibility to make certain we act as guests and work with you to make certain we sustain and maintain the excellent quality of life for people here in Juneau. So to that end, we want to work together as we go forward. And we’re excited about this, and happy to be turning a new chapter and working together. So thank you.”“Both parties are relieved to have settled the litigation in such an amicable manner,” Watt said. “While CBJ and CLIAA haven’t agreed on the exact meanings of the law, but both parties recognize solid communication will continue to be necessary to keep the parties together. … I look forward to continue collaboration with cruise ship industry representatives and heartily thank them for their extensive, good-faith negotiations.”The Assembly unanimously passed the measures Friday allocating the money and authorizing the city manager to execute the settlement agreement.Read the full settlement agreement between CBJ and CLIA Alaska below:Jeremy Hsieh contributed to this report.last_img read more