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Christopher Plummer has this to say about retirement – never

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement Twitter Advertisement NEW YORK — At 87, Christopher Plummer isn’t just working — he’s busy.He has five movies scheduled for release, including “A Christmas Carol” origin story called “The Man Who Invented Christmas.” And he plans to work until the very end, literally.“I love my work. I love what I do. And I’m so sorry for a majority of people who do not like their jobs, and can’t wait to retire, which of course, is death. I’ll never retire. I hope to drop dead onstage. That’s what I really want to do.” Plummer, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge in the film, recently toured a Charles Dickens exhibit at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. Plummer admits that Dickens, especially “A Christmas Carol,” was a big part of his upbringing.“All my family had grown up on Scrooge, and some of them had actually seen Dickens lecture and tell stories. So you took it for granted that it was part of Christmas cheer,” Plummer said.Plummer also has begun shooting scenes for the upcoming Ridley Scott film “All the Money in the World,” replacing Kevin Spacey as billionaire J. Paul Getty. Spacey was ousted from the movie in the wake of a series of sexual misconduct allegations.The actor credits his wife for maintaining his stamina. “I have a very good chef as a wife. She knows how to cook wonderfully balanced food. She’s a real artist at it, and that’s one good reason.”center_img Login/Register With: Facebook In this July 25, 2013, file photo, Christopher Plummer poses for a portrait at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

DR Congo UN official urges protection for civilians caught in conflict

Andrew Wyllie, the acting head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the Central African country, repeated his invitation “to those of you who are playing a central role in your communities, who have direct and privileged links with all their members and who have their confidence” to respect humanitarian principles and work towards improving the living conditions of all Congolese.He spoke at the Conference of Church Leaders, Religious Denominations and Organizations for Peace, Security and Development in the Countries of the Great Lakes Region, which was held form 4 to 6 June in Bukavu, in South Kivu province.The meeting was organized so participants could discuss the repatriation of armed groups and refugees, and also the sexual violence and other crimes perpetrated against the civilians of the African Great Lakes region.Regarding the situation in North and South Kivu provinces in the DRC’s volatile east, Mr. Wyllie stressed that humanitarian aid must be provided based on the principles of humanity, neutrality, independence, impartiality and in consideration of need. He added that all sides have a responsibility to protect civilians caught in the crossfire.The worsening security situation caused by armed groups and continuing military operations is hampering the provision of aid to vulnerable populations, particularly those forced to flee their homes, he said.Welcoming the work of churches in helping those in need, Mr. Wyllie voiced hope that they would partner with humanitarian agencies to advocate with the disagreeing parties.The Conference was attended by representatives from churches and church associations from Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and the DRC, as well as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the DRC, Ross Mountain, and the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the DRC, Eusebe Hounsokou. 7 June 2007At a conference of religious leaders in the troubled eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a United Nations humanitarian official has said dialogue among parties is a cornerstone for the protection of civilians caught in the conflict. read more

UNICEF teams up with African footballers to score a goal for education

18 January 2008In the latest collaboration between the United Nations and world sport, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are teaming up during Africa’s biggest international football competition to raise funds for quality education for all the continent’s children. Through a series of public service announcements and other means during the MTN Africa Cup of Nations, this year hosted by Ghana from 20 January to 10 February, popular players will help to drive home the message that quality education helps children, especially girls, to stay in school and gain the knowledge and confidence they need to pursue their dreams. The PSAs encourage football fans to use their mobile phones as a donation tool for education programmes in their own countries. Fans who subscribe to the MTN mobile-phone service will be able to donate the local equivalent of $1 by sending an SMS text to a prescribed number. All donations will stay in country to benefit local children.“Playing football helped me to gain self-discipline, confidence, negotiation skills, teamwork and leadership,” UNICEF Ghana Goodwill Ambassador and former star footballer Marcel Desailly says. “I am glad to learn UNICEF considers sport an important part of education.” Athletes like Ghanaian Stephen Appiah, Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu, Salomon Kalou of Côte d’Ivoire, South African Aaron Mokoena, Samuel Eto’o from Cameroon and Oumar Tchomogo from Benin are participating in the PSAs. In addition to the SMS donation initiative, UNICEF and CAF have launched a special fundraising website that will also be publicized throughout the MNT Africa Cup of Nations: Ghana 2008. To make an online donation that will help to get Africa’s girls and boys in school – and help them stay there – visit the games, UNICEF and CAF will promote the achievement of two education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – achieving universal primary school education and promoting gender equality and empowering women by 2015.While progress has been made in education across Africa, many challenges remain. In sub-Saharan African alone, some 41 million primary-school-age children are not in school, while millions who do attend classes are often without teachers, textbooks or basic school supplies. Students frequently lack access to toilets or safe water at school, and their chances of dropping out are high.UN agencies frequently join with athletes and international sports organizations to get their message across and raise funds. In 2006 UNICEF teamed up with the European Swimming League (Ligue Européene de Natation – LEN) in “a race against time” to prevent deaths from unclean water. UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) appointed Spain’s national soccer team captain Raúl Gónzales as a Goodwill Ambassador to combat hunger and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) teamed up with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, the governing body of women’s tennis, to promote gender equality.In 2005 the UN World Food Programme (WFP) launched the “Cricket Against Hunger” partnership with the England and Wales cricket team to draw attention to the plight of the 400 million chronically hungry children around the world, and has similar fund- and awareness-raising arrangements with the International Rugby Board, as well as with individual stars from the worlds of soccer, American football, marathon running and Formula One auto racing. read more

Playing Russian roulette with naloxone

Disturbing reports are circulating that the opioid antidote naloxone may be increasing the rate of opioid abuse in Haldimand, Norfolk and elsewhere.“I’ve heard naloxone makes things worse because people believe they can take any amount of drugs and there will be this miracle drug that can save them,” Windham Coun. Chris Van Paassen said at a meeting of the Haldimand and Norfolk board of health last week.Public health nurse Tamara Robb has heard similar reports but suspects the number of opioid abusers playing “Russian roulette” is small.Robb said most overdoses are accidental and that the push locally to make naloxone available is sound public health policy.The major problem health officials are trying to address, Robb added, are casual drug users who think they are ingesting something else when the substance at hand has actually been spiked with fentanyl or its more powerful variant carfentinal.People without a tolerance for synthetic opioids are vulnerable to respiratory arrest after ingesting even minute quantities. Naloxone temporarily blocks the uptake of opioids into the system, giving paramedics and other first responders time to get overdose victims to hospital for a more permanent solution.Robb and her harm-reduction partner Lauren Martin – also a health unit nurse – reported five overdose deaths in Haldimand and Norfolk this year that they are aware of related to opioid abuse.Three of these were in Norfolk in March while there were two in Haldimand in February and March.In their report to the board of health, Robb and Martin said the mortality rate from opioid-related overdoses in Haldimand and Norfolk more than doubled from 2005 to 2016. The number of overdose hospitalizations locally in 2016 was also double the provincial average.The health unit has also taken an interest in opioid abuse because many users inject the drug. Users will share needles and, in the process, spread blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.As a means of controlling the incidence of disease and reducing costs to the health-care system, the Ontario government supports the free distribution of sterile needles and the collection of used needles.The health unit, four local pharmacies, and local methadone clinics gave away 94,000 clean needles in 2017. This fell to about 88,000 last year. The health unit reports that members of the local “Exchange” can hand out more than 250 needles on a busy day.The nurses added that needle deposit boxes at select locations in Norfolk and Haldimand accounted for a significant increase in the number of used needles returned for safe disposal.In 2017, the return rate was 23.3 per cent. With nine disposal boxes in place, the return rate increased to 34.2 per cent last year.All told, Robb and Martin said these programs are valuable because they create points-of-contact for addicts with the health unit. Along the way, they say many addicts eventually grow weary of their routine and come to the health unit for information on cessation programs advertised on read more

Iraqi petroleum exports drop under UN oilforfood programme

The Office of the Iraq Programme said that Baghdad’s exports had plunged from the previous week’s high of 18.6 million barrels to 11.2 million barrels in the week ending 23 November. The week’s exports earned another €192 million (euros) or $170 million in estimated revenue. The average price of Iraqi crude oil was approximately €17.20 or $15.15 per barrel. The current phase of the oil-for-food programme, which began in July, is set to expire on 30 November. Meanwhile, the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) today held a handover ceremony between the incoming force commander, Gen. Miguel Angel Moreno of Argentina and his predecessor, Gen. John Vize of Ireland. Named to the post on 15 November, Gen. Moreno previously served in 1993 as the commander of the Argentine Battalion in Croatia as part of the UN Protection Force. Two years later, he was an observer in the deployment of the multinational force headed by the United States in Haiti. He also served the UN as a Military Observer in the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group in 1988. read more

Canadian inflation dips to 12 in August

by News Staff Posted Sep 21, 2012 8:41 am MDT OTTAWA – Canada’s inflation rate continued to slide in August, dipping one-tenth of a point to 1.2 per cent as most goods and services tracked by Statistics Canada rose moderately or fell compared with the same month last year. The agency said the result returned the inflation rate to where it stood in May and equalled the lowest level in the consumer price index in more than two years. The weakness in inflation was anticipated by economists — although the consensus was for the index to remain unchanged — and is typical of a weak economy where retailers and producers face soft demand. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose slightly by 0.2 percentage points from July as gasoline prices rebounded by 2.7 per cent during the month. That wasn’t enough to push the annual rate higher; however, given that prices also rebounded last year at this time and increases on most goods and services were modest. The more significant movers pushing the annual rate higher were gasoline, passenger vehicles, which on average cost two per cent more than a year ago, meat, up 5.7 per cent, and homeowner replacement costs, which increased by 2.2 per cent. Food overall was 2.2 per cent higher, a slight increase from July, but showing no signs as yet of the major bounce expected later this year in response to the drought in the southern U.S. states. But natural gas fell 13.9 per cent, video equipment by 15.6 per cent, women’s clothing by 3.4 per cent, furniture was down 3.0 per cent, and mortgage interest costs were 1.8 per cent lower. With a jump of 4.6 per cent in August, gasoline prices were strong enough to push up the annual inflation rate in Quebec by one-tenth to 2.0 per cent, the highest in Canada. The gasoline price jump in Quebec was more than twice the national average, the agency said. Still, the major take-away from the report is that inflation remains well tethered in Canada. Core inflation, which measures underlying price pressure and excludes volatile items such as gasoline, fell one-tenth of a point to 1.6 per cent and is comfortably below the Bank of Canada’s two per cent target. Despite bank governor Mark Carney’s monetary tightening bias, which he again re-stated last month, analysts say there is no pressure on the bank to raise interest rates over inflationary fears. On a regional basis, inflation was highest in Quebec and lowest in New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, which all recorded an annual rate of one per cent. Canadian inflation dips to 1.2% in August AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email business|canadian economy|canadian inflation august|cpi read more

Shahbaz Nadeem bags 8 for 10 to break alltime ListA record

Shahbaz Nadeem celebrates a wicket AFPA week ago, Shahbaz Nadeem was one of five bowlers sent to the UAE to help India prepare for the Asia Cup. Today, playing for Jharkhand against Rajasthan in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he returned figures of 10-4-10-8, the best ever figures in List-A cricket.The previous best was Rahul Sanghvi’s 8 for 15, for Delhi against Himachal Pradesh back in 1997-98.Rajasthan were shot out for 73 in 28.3 overs, which Jharkhand chased down in 14.3 overs with seven wickets in the bag.Nadeem struck at the end of the tenth over, when Rajasthan were 32 for no loss, and the wickets tumbled thereafter. His haul included a hat-trick spread across two overs, with Mahipal Lomror and Chetan Bist falling off the last two balls of his sixth over, and Tajinder Singh lbw off the first ball of his seventh.He was on track to get all ten wickets, having taken the first eight. But Anukul Roy – the 19-year-old left-arm spinner – got the last two batsmen out, ironically thanks to Nadeem’s own advice.“People told me about the world record after the innings,” Nadeem told ESPNcricinfo after the match on Thursday. “When I was bowling, I didn’t even realise I had taken a hat-trick, because I got the first two wickets off the last two balls and then the third one off the first ball of my next over.“I first thought of the possibility of getting all ten when I got my eighth wicket. But you get what is destined for you, so I was destined to get only eight today.”Nadeem was at peace with the missed opportunity, emphasising that the team getting off to a winning start – after their first match against Haryana on Wednesday was washed out – was paramount.“No, I didn’t think of it that way, that he [Anukul] denied me ten wickets. It’s natural to feel a bit disappointed if you are close to getting all ten and you don’t, but at the end the team won, so that was the main thing,” Nadeem said.  (Excerpts from ESPNcricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIPL: Pant’s epic ton in vain as Sunrisers reach playoffsMay 10, 2018In “Sports”Kings XI cap off dream league season with seven-wicket winMay 25, 2014In “Sports”IPL: Royals return home with rain-hit victoryApril 11, 2018In “Sports” read more

Deep Space Industries plans interplanetary mining mission

first_imgDeep Space Industries has announced its plans to fly the world’s first commercial interplanetary mining mission. Prospector-1™ will fly to and rendezvous with a near-Earth asteroid, and investigate the object to determine its value as a source of space resources. This mission is an important step in the company’s plans to harvest and supply in-space resources to support the growing space economy.“Deep Space Industries has worked diligently to get to this point, and now we can say with confidence that we have the right technology, the right team, and the right plan to execute this historic mission,” said Rick Tumlinson, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder of Deep Space Industries. “Building on our Prospector-X mission, Prospector-1 will be the next step on our way to harvesting asteroid resources.”Recently, Deep Space Industries and its partner, the government of Luxembourg, announced plans to build and fly Prospector-X, an experimental mission to low-Earth orbit that will test key technologies needed for low-cost exploration spacecraft. This precursor mission is scheduled to launch in 2017. Then, before the end of this decade, Prospector-1 will travel beyond Earth’s orbit to begin the first space mining exploration mission.“Our Prospector missions will usher in a new era of low cost space exploration” said Grant Bonin, Chief Engineer at DSI. “We are developing Prospector-1 both for our own asteroid mining ambitions, but also to bring an extremely low-cost, yet high-performance exploration spacecraft to the market. At a tiny fraction of what traditional custom-built space probes cost, the Prospector platform has the versatility and ruggedness of design to become the new standard for low cost space exploration.”Prospector-1 is a small spacecraft (50 kg when fuelled) that strikes the ideal balance between cost and performance. In addition to radiation-tolerant payloads and avionics, all DSI spacecraft use the Comet™ water propulsion system, which expels superheated water vapour to generate thrust. Water will be the first asteroid mining product, so the ability to use water as propellant will provide future DSI spacecraft with the ability to refuel in space.“During the next decade, we will begin the harvest of space resources from asteroids,” said Daniel Faber, CEO at Deep Space Industries. “We are changing the paradigm of business operations in space, from one where our customers carry everything with them, to one in which the supplies they need are waiting for them when they get there.”The destination asteroid will be chosen from a group of top candidates selected by the world renowned team of asteroid experts at Deep Space Industries. When it arrives at the target, the Prospector-1 spacecraft will map the surface and subsurface of the asteroid, taking visual and infrared imagery and mapping overall water content, down to approximately metre-level depth. When this initial science campaign is complete, Prospector-1 will use its water thrusters to attempt touchdown on the asteroid, measuring the target’s geophysical and geotechnical characteristics.“The ability to locate, travel to, and analyse potentially rich supplies of space resources is critical to our plans,” continued Faber. “This means not just looking at the target, but actually making contact.” Along with customer missions already in progress, such as the cluster of small satellites being built by DSI for HawkEye 360, the Prospector missions will demonstrate the company’s simple, low-cost, but high-performance approach to space exploration. The Prospector platform is now available to government and commercial explorers interested in developing sophisticated, yet low-cost missions of their own.“Prospector-1 is not only the first commercial interplanetary mission, it is also an important milestone in our quest to open the frontier,” said Tumlinson. “By learning to ‘live off the land’ in space, Deep Space Industries is ushering in a new era of unlimited economic expansion.”More detailed information about the Prospector program, including the Prospector-X (eXperimental) and Prospector-1 missions, and the DSI technologies that are making these missions possible, can be found on the company’s website: read more

Calling and Driving Could Make You Safer Report

first_imgHere’s a report sure to raise the ire of safety advocates, everywhere. According to a new study, an increase in the number of people driving while talking on the phone may have actually made us all safer. The study, conducted by Saurabh Bhargava of the University of Chicago and Vikram Pathania from London’s School of Economics studied 440,000 made by California drivers over 11 days. They found no significant increase in crashes from those drivers using their cells. The study comes as the number of traffic accidents declines, in spite of an increase in those talking while driving. So, how could “distracted driving” actually make you safer? Bhargava and Pathania have a few theories. First, there’s the fact that drivers are often extra cautious when they pick up the phone behind the wheel. Also, those who are crappy drivers while talking on their phone may just be crappy drivers in general.Makes sense, I suppose. It also flies in the face of pretty much everything we’ve ever heard about distracted driving, ever–including a number of laws that have been passed over the past couple of years.Of course, we can’t really recommend that anyone go out and actually try it–after all, who will keep the Bluetooth headset companies in business?last_img read more