first_imgA major forest fire in northwestern Ontario that forced nearly all residents of a remote Indigenous community to leave their homes has worked its way closer to the First Nation, a government official said Friday.Jonathan Scott, a spokesman with the province’s Ministry of Natural Resources, said the blaze dubbed Red Lake Fire 23 is burning eight kilometres south of the community of Keewaywin after growing by about 40 square kilometres since Thursday evening.Scott said one positive factor was that favourable winds were blowing across the blaze on Friday.“The good news for today is there’s going to be northwest winds, which will move the fire to the southeast, away from the community,” he said in a telephone interview from Dryden, Ont.The fire, now estimated to be roughly 582 square kilometres in size, forced nearly all of Keewaywin’s 450 residents to be evacuated from the community over the course of the week.Community resident and former chief Joe Meekis said all but a handful of people are now staying in larger centres in northern Ontario, such as Sioux Lookout and Timmins.“Everybody’s out,” he said on Friday. “There’s only monitors there, 10 people maybe.”Red Lake Fire 23 began as a small blaze a week ago about 40 kilometres from Keewaywin. But with higher winds came an accelerated fire that was soon approaching the community’s borders.Smoke began drifting into the First Nation, prompting residents to close windows and shut down air conditioners.Ultimately, the chief declared an emergency and the initial transfer of babies, pregnant women, and children under five and their families began.On Tuesday and Wednesday, a total of 227 people were flown about 330 kilometres south to Sioux Lookout, which has declared its own state of emergency aimed at defraying the cost of helping the evacuees.More than 200 other residents were flown to Timmins, Ont., on Thursday, Meekis said.Scott said ministry staff are on scene trying to contain the blaze, noting that weather conditions are expected to remain warm and dry in the coming days.“Crews are placing sprinklers on areas of the community as a precaution,” he said. “And they’re looking for aerial … opportunities as well.”Keewaywin’s last full evacuation occurred in 2011. While the community was spared, damage to the surrounding area was significant.The latest information from the Ministry of Natural Resources indicates there are 26 active fires in the northwest region of the province, with eight that are not under control.Michelle McQuigge , The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Rabat – UN Secretary General’s spokesperson’s claim that the UN mission in Western Sahara  (MINURSO), “has not observed” any Polisario-linked military maneuvers in the southeastern provinces backfired when Polisario fired “warning shots” at the UN, potentially pushing the UN official to alter his earlier position.Speaking at a news conference on April 20, Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric reported that a MINURSO patrol unit was intercepted and faced Polisario gunfire on April 16.“MINURSO has informed the UN Security Council that on April 16, in the Tifariti area, MINURSO observers were intercepted by Polisario elements, who then proceeded to fire warning [shots],” the UN official said, adding that the observers were deterred from doing their job and could only resume working much later in the day. According to other reports, the UN official is finally opening up about the occasional interception of UN convoy by military elements; this week’s incident was not an isolated case. There are reports that in March, prior to Mr. Dujarric’s claim of absence of activities in the region, other MINURSO convoys were allegedly targeted and intimidated with warning signs about potential minefields they had been monitoring in the areas, thus preventing the UN mission from doing thorough observations in some areas.The moves are reportedly an attempt to bar the UN mission from freely moving in the zones where the separatist front’s military maneuvers are more blatant.Altering his early-April statements, Mr. Dujarric said that the UN Secretary-General “is more than ever preoccupied by the mounting threats” as well as the deadly attacks targeting UN blue helmets. The Frenchman added that this has been the case since the beginning of the UN mission in the area.Reacting to incident on Thursday this week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his deep concerns about the gradual “loss of respect of UN symbols.” While UN symbols and operatives were previously revered and “respected by even militant groups,” they are now being targeted due to their status as UN officials, Mr. Guterres said. Commenting on the death of UN operatives killed in service between 2016 and 2017, the Portuguese said: “UN personnel are regularly targeted by those who oppose peace.” read more

Despite calls from the sides in Cyprus for a renewal of his diplomacy, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report that there has been no evolution in their positions and recommends a six-month extension in the mandate of the United Nations mission (UNFICYP) which has been deployed on the island for over four decades.In his report to the Security Council released today, Mr. Annan notes that over the past six months, both the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader renewed their calls for a resumption of his mission of good offices. “While there were signals of some willingness to begin to re-engage, there have been no tangible indicators of an evolution in the respective positions,” he observes.The Secretary-General’s envoy, Michael Møller has started to explore options to encourage progress on the ground and possibilities for a resumption of contacts between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, which had been suspended for over two years. Specifically, Mr. Møller has been seeking to establish a mechanism for them to engage on issues of common concern through bicommunal discussions at the technical level.These talks, the Secretary-General says, would serve as a “step aimed at building trust and understanding, paving the way for the resumption of full-scale negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement,” and are not intended to substitute for that process.“Only the achievement of a comprehensive settlement will bring an end to the Cyprus problem,” Mr. Annan asserts. “In the absence of such a comprehensive settlement, the presence of UNFICYP on the island continues to be necessary,” he adds, proposing that the Council extend its mandate through 15 December.Urging the parties to resume contacts and to begin to think about how to re-engage in the search for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, the Secretary-General says “there is a need to match words with action.”He repeats his stated intention to dispatch Ibrahim Gambari, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey in the near future to assess the political situation and the prospects for a full resumption of good offices. Established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, UNFICYP remains on the island to supervise ceasefire lines, maintain a buffer zone, and undertake humanitarian activities. read more

It’s a chilly, foggy Sunday morning on the Scioto River 2.5 miles west of campus. While their fellow students are home snoozing, Ohio State’s varsity rowers are gathering in the team room of their new boathouse. Coach Andy Teitelbaum has arrived early and is reviewing footage from the previous day’s races on the flatscreen TV. The rowers take a seat on floor in front of him and gaze up at screen. It’s 8 a.m. They got to sleep in today, weekday practices begin at 6 a.m. Teitelbaum congratulates the athletes on their wins against Rhode Island, Louisville, Iowa and Bucknell. The team is 21-36 races and ranked 10th in the country. For his praise he is applauded but the mood in the room remains somber, as if to say yesterday’s victories are an accomplishment to be noted but there is still more work to do. In less than a month the Buckeyes aim to claim another Big Ten Championship. The team warms up and heads downstairs to the boat bay to take the boats to the water and begin the workout. Teitelbaum zips up a Mustang suit, much like a thick one-piece snowsuit, climbs into a motorboat and follows the rowers out to the middle of the river. He holds a megaphone to his mouth and instructs the crew. The sun is out but the sky is still gray. At about 11 a.m. the boats pull up to the dock. The red-faced rowers step out onto the dock, lift the 54-foot, 200-pound shells out of the water, and carry them on their shoulders back up to the boathouse. This is a new scene for them, in March they were rowing out of a steel pole barn located just meters from their new location. The team moved into a new $5.2 million building during spring break. “I did not realize the impact it was going to have on our program,” Teitelbaum said. “It has touched every aspect of Ohio State women’s rowing. Everything is better. It has improved our ability to recruit and the quality of training available to the team.” Teitelbaum has been the coach since the team went varsity in 1995. “We can now visually display our history, the teams and the people of the past,” Teitelbaum said, referring to the photographs hanging in the entrance. “This gives our athletes context — they appreciate the excellence of past crews — and gives them the ability to imagine having their picture up there, leaving their mark for people to see.” Teitelbaum said time is saved now that they are centralized in a building designed as a boathouse. Repairs can be made more efficiently. The time to get boats on and off the water has been halved. There are meeting rooms and offices. “We no longer have to choose between conversation and heat,” Teitelbaum said. “It’s like we went from rags to riches,” senior Erika Benford said. “Now we have a locker room and running water.” “It’s about 20 degrees. We’d come in and we’d all be shuffled around one little heater,” Prescott said. “We looked like a pack of sardines in there.” Benford said the added comforts are only the beginning, “It’s easier to do what we need to do to improve; now we have the tools to be the best.” As excellent as the new boathouse is, Benford wants future crews to remember where they came from and how lucky they are to have such great facilities. The boathouse is owned and run by the city of Columbus. The Buckeyes share space with Greater Columbus Rowing Association and Recreation and Parks will host programs there in the summer. It is also a public Wi-Fi hotspot. “We are more connected with the community now. Hopefully we will see more people becoming aware of rowing and taking interest,” Benford said. The two-story boathouse is 24,400 square feet. The ground floor is divided into six bays to store rowing boats, kayaks, canoes and other equipment. Upstairs are window-lined offices, carpeted meeting rooms, balconies over-looking the water, lockerrooms, and laundry facilities. The large window at the end of the entranceway is adorned with a Block “O” decal designed to cast its shadow across the floor. Rows of framed photographs of past crews line the hallway and hang from high ceilings. OSU Boatman Joseph Pipia oversees care of the team’s equipment. He watched boathouse planning and construction from beginning to end. “Environmental concerns were considered in building construction. Countertops are made of compressed banana plants, which are a waste product of the banana industry,” he said. “There is also a rain garden used to responsibly deal with the roof’s runoff.” Pipia said the boathouse is considered a landmark of Duranceaux Park. The Buckeyes’ next race is against Michigan and Michigan State at 9 a.m. Saturday the Scioto River. read more

The weasel species Mustela nivalis has two subspecies with differently coloured winter coats, white and brown, which coexist in the same habitat. Researchers also carried out tests using toys of brown and white-coated weasels to see if the colours were actually making a difference to predators. When they set up camera traps they found dozens of animals, such as foxes, wolves and birds of prey had approached the white toys, but none had shown interest in the brown versions. It is likely to see an increase in weasels with darker coats Previously they would have been dominant, because their coats would have given them a survival advantage. The problem is likely to affect other white-furred mammals and birds living in areas vulnerable to climate change such as the Arctic fox as the snow cover increasingly gives way to a landscape of greens and browns.  Scientists have recorded 21 mammal and bird species which turn white in the winter to hide themselves in snowy landscapes including the mountain hare, the Siberian hamster, the collared lemming, the white-tailed jackrabbit and the willow ptarmigan bird.Author Dr Karol Zub, told The Telegraph: “Definitely the same rules apply to all seasonally moulting mammals and birds.“According to studies on showshoe hares during periods when hares are colour mismatched weekly survival probability decreases by 3.3 – 6.5 per cent. This seems not to be a big effect, but the cumulative effect over winter can seriously influence mortality of the species.“It is very probable that in the near future white weasels and stoats will disappear completely from many areas of Northern Europe and North America.”They will ether be replaced by brown morphs or they will evolve and moult later in the season, being only partly white for a relatively short period.” The problem is likely to affect other white-furred mammals too The authors say both findings suggest that the decrease in white-coated weasels is due to an increase in detection by predators in a less snowy environment.The researchers are hopeful the animals will learn to adapt, but say they cannot rule out the animals vanishing entirely. White-furred animals are in danger of dying out because climate change is causing a fall in snow cover, leaving them exposed and vulnerable, a new study suggests.Scientists in Poland have been following the worrying case of the white-coated weasel, which sheds its tawny covering in the winter for a milky coat allowing it to blend effortlessly into its icy environment.But researchers have discovered that between 1997 and 2007 the number of days with permanent snow cover in Białowieża Forest, Poland, halved, from 80 to 40.It means that the little creatures are being caught out in a completely unsuitable environment, where they are easy prey for predators like foxes and crows.The team at the Polish Academy of Sciences found that on days when there was little winter snow cover, the number of white-coated weasels they managed to capture fell to as low as 20 per cent of the total, suggesting the rest had been killed. Weasels that do not change colour in the winter, are more likely to survive to pass on their brown-coated genes, increasing the numbers of the darker species. Dr Zub added: “We should not underestimate the power of natural selection. We hope that along with future climate warming, autumn temperatures will also increase, providing an additional signal to the weasels to delay their moult.“Last autumn in our study was extremely mild and under such conditions about half the weasels we observed started to moult at the begin ing of January whereas most weasels complete their moult by the end of November.”The research was published in the journal Scientific reports. It is likely to see an increase in weasels with darker coats The problem is likely to affect other white-furred mammals too We should not underestimate the power of natural selectionDr Karol Zub Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

first_imgSATURDAY’S HEINEKEN CUP clash between Leinster and Northampton Saints was a strange one, particularly on second viewing. The Premiership side greatly raised their physicality levels, as expected, but Leinster still had more than enough possession to win the game.Matt O’Connor’s men were a poor shadow of the side that had dismantled the Saints at Franklin’s Gardens, even allowing for the visitors’ improvements. A week ago we lauded Leinster’s phenomenal accuracy in their attacking play but, oddly, we will be doing exactly the opposite here.The eastern province had 57% of both possession and territory in this game, whereas the week before they had 45% and 47% of those stats respectively. It’s not a huge difference, but the key point is that Leinster saw enough of the ball to score tries.We’ve taken a look at some of the areas that let Leinster down.Decoy running gets laxOne of the impressive aspects of Leinster’s display in the first leg of this double-header was the sheer precision and threat offered by their decoy runners. Time and again, Saints’ defenders were taken out of the game by intelligent, selfless running off the ball by Leinster.That was strangely absent on Saturday, with the example below serving as a case in point. Too often, Leinster’s attacking play was predictable and lateral, failing to force Northampton defenders into making difficult decisions.We must, of course, credit the Saints’ defence in this instance and elsewhere throughout the game. Jim Mallinder’s men were powerful in the tackle and a lot hungrier for contact than the previous week.Still, Leinster made the visiting team’s job far easier by relaxing on their decoy running. In this example, the four men outside Madigan are all very flat, and all running very similar lines, crabbing towards touch. A counter-balance of a direct line back towards where the ball is coming from would have been useful.If Jennings had taken it upon himself to run that line, forcing George North [an inexperienced defender in the 13 channel] to make a decision, then Leinster may well have been able to play out the back to D’Arcy, as they did so effectively in Franklin’s Gardens. It’s also worth noting the slight hesitation in Eoin Reddan’s pass, again an inaccuracy and one that allows the Saints to press up quicker in defence.Supporting play loses touchDespite the Saints’ vast improvement in defence, Leinster did still manage to create line-breaks on Saturday. Mallinder’s side made 111 tackles, but still missed 18 and allowed five clean busts of their defensive line.Unfortunately for Leinster, their support play [again a feature we highlighted a week ago] wasn’t sharp enough and chances to score tries were missed. Again, showing a couple of examples serves best to illustrate the point.A wonderful offload by Jack McGrath allows Brian O’Driscoll to scythe through the Saints’ defence in the clip above, but you can then see the centre searching for a teammate to pass to. There’s simply no one there for him though, a stark contrast to what was on offer in England the week before.Leinster just weren’t alert enough, there was no one expecting the line-break, no one desperate for another touch of the play. It was actually Jamie Heaslip – who had been part of the previous ruck as circled below – who was first on the scene after O’Driscoll’s break.Another fine example of Leinster’s failure to get to offer support following positive attacking play was the searing break Luke Fitzgerald made in the second half. A gorgeous pass from Gordon D’Arcy allowed the left wing to dance inside North and burst upfield.O’Driscoll offered up a passing option inside, but when Fitzgerald saw that wasn’t really on he stepped back off his right foot and briefly, but decisively, found himself isolated. North did very well to get back and win the turnover penalty, but again O’Connor will have been angry that the support was a split second too late arriving.Saints get on top at breakdownLeinster’s brilliance in Franklin’s Gardens was built on their sheer precision and aggression both in carrying the ball and hitting rucks. The latter component was sorely missing on Saturday though. Again, kudos go to Northampton, who massively upped their game at the breakdown, but Leinster must look at themselves in this regard.Too often, there was that lack of an initial burst to get in behind the ball carrier, as highlighted in both examples above. There was a slight hesitancy in Leinster’s rucking, with man players being indecisive in either slamming defenders off the ruck or slotting into the attacking line.It’s a sign of a lack of focus, something that did appear to affect Leinster. The video below shows such a moment from D’Arcy, whose excellent rucking we highlighted last week.In the video, just keep an eye on D’Arcy as Rob Kearney rushes past him to be tackled. The inside centre initially looks like he’s going to hit the ruck, but then he steps backwards and away from the contact area.Realising in a split second that he will need to clear Alex Waller off the ball, D’Arcy goes back towards the ruck but by then it’s too late. This all happens in less than a second, but it’s that hesitancy which allows Northampton to turn possession over. From a Leinster point of view, this happened too often and allowed the Saints to win the breakdown battle.Inaccurate back playThe sloppiness of Leinster’s rucking and support play extended into much of their passing and starter moves too. Twice off attacking scrums –  usually a platform from which they thrive – Leinster were guilty of inaccuracy.In the first example below, it’s a poor pass from Ian Madigan that causes the breakdown in play. Passing is probably the strongest aspect of the out-half’s game, so to see him failing in that area was jarring.Fitzgerald could possibly have stretched for the pass, but he appeared not to be quite expecting it and it ends up with Kearney having to hack the ball away under pressure. This brief passage was emblematic of much of Leinster’s play; inaccurate and indecisive.In the second half, we had another example of Leinster’s lack of incision with their starter plays. The move below is designed to free Zane Kirchner down the right wing, but the South African ends up getting tackled into touch.Leinster do reasonably well with their loop play in midfield, but from there everything is far too lateral. Neither of the Leinster centres were able to get any sort of block in on their opposite numbers, so that means Northampton are able to drift across the field with a ‘wedge’-style defence.As signified in the screen grab below, Fitzgerlad, Kearney and Kirchner are all running laterally, towards the sideline. That makes it far easier for the Saints to defend, as they don’t have to worry about anyone straightening the line or coming back ‘against the grain.’If Kearney had offered a switch play for Fitzgerald, changing his line to cut inside the wing, it would have forced North into making a decision in defence. That didn’t happen and Northampton could simply cover across the pitch and shove Kirchner into touch.Where were the ball carriers?Obviously, Sean O’Brien withdrawing through injury was a big blow for Leinster. Having the powerful back row on the pitch would have possibly made a match-winning difference, but Leinster cannot afford to be so reliant on the Tullow Tank.Heaslip did a decent job of filling in for Leinster’s prime attacking boulder, carrying the ball 12 times. However, the No. 8 aside there was a lack of explosive forward runners on display, such a contrast to Franklin’s Gardens, where the entire Leinster pack got involved in attack.There was just a lack of the same hunger to get on the ball for Leinster in general. The shot below is taken in phase play, and highlights part of the problem. As Madigan gets ready to accept a pass from Reddan, there is one man outside him. Inside the circle are no less than seven Leinster players.Even though it’s a still, you can clearly see above that several of those players are walking. The hunger to get around the corner and offer themselves to carry the ball again just isn’t present. This was not a feature of the entire game, but these little moments can make a huge difference.The final playDespite it all, Leinster came very, very close to winning this game, which is what made it such a strange encounter. Following the 40-7 demolition job in Franklin’s Gardens, O’Connor spoke about the “small margins” having all gone Leinster’s way.Those same fine differences largely went the way of Northampton in Dublin, but the final passage of the game offered Leinster a chance to secure victory. Following Heaslip’s excellent line-break from his own quick-tapped penalty, Leinster burst forward and it appeared that they were going to score.However, it was a final, symbolic moment of Leinster inaccuracy that decided the game, with Heaslip dropping the ball, allowing Jamie Elliot to race away and score.It was a horrible moment for the No. 8 and one that is very explainable. Heaslip knew Leinster were ‘numbers up’ outside him; he knew that if he got his pass away a try was extremely likely. Anyone who has played rugby, or many other sports, can empathise with the situation.So focused on getting his pass away was Heaslip, that he forgot all about catching the ball cleanly first. Regardless of our sympathy for the No. 8, it’s a missed chance. In the shot below you can see that Heaslip has Kirchner, Madigan and Jimmy Gopperth outside him.What isn’t shown is the fact that Luke Fitzgerald is also waiting wide on the left. Northampton have just two defenders who can realistically stop the Leinster attack and a try would almost certainly have been scored if Heaslip can make his pass.It would have been a steal of a victory, but it shows just how close Leinster came to winning this Pool 1 encounter. They remain top of the group, and still have an excellent chance of securing an all-important home quarter-final.However, the inaccuracy demonstrated on Saturday cannot be repeated if Leinster are to win in Castres in January. Also, the worrying nature in which his side’s attitude changed so much in a brief week will need to be addressed by Matt O’Connor.A full repeat of the Franklin’s Gardens display was never a realistic possibility, and Leinster are still well in control of their European destiny. Their frustrating lack of accuracy on Saturday means there is much work to be done.Like rugby? Follow’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >‘O’Brien dearly missed as Saints won every single collision’ – Shane ByrneThis is how one Perpignan player looked after the defeat to Munsterlast_img read more

first_imgLa NASA a observé des araignées de carbone sur MarsQue ceux qui souffrent d’arachnophobie se rassurent ! Celles remarquées sur la Planète rouge n’ont rien à voir avec celles qu’ils peuvent croiser sur Terre. Les araignées observées par la sonde MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) ne sont pas de véritables arachnides mais des « araignées de carbone ». Explications de ce phénomène.  Pendant quelques secondes les scientifiques de la NASA ont dû se croire dans l’album l’Etoile mystérieuse lorsque Tintin pense voir une araignée géante sur une étoile alors qu’elle ne faisait que courir sur l’objectif du télescope ! Mais en réalité, c’est bel et bien sur Mars qu’ont été observées ces sortes d’araignées. Décryptage.  Un cliché très précis qui vient du Pôle Sud de MarsPlanète qui fascine et source de nombreux fantasmes, Mars n’a pas fini de révéler ses secrets. Trouver la preuve de potentielles traces de vie sur cette planète, telle est l’une des obsessions des passionnés d’astronomie et surtout des scientifiques. Mais pour l’instant, nous devons nous contenter de petites observations photographiques qui nourrissent notre imaginaire et stimulent notre enthousiasme. La preuve avec cette photo que l’on doit à MRO, une sonde placée en orbite de la Planète Rouge, et que la NASA vient juste de révéler. Le cliché a été pris le 13 mai dernier lorsque Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter passait au-dessus du Pôle sud de Mars. C’est grâce à HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment), une caméra de MRO que l’on peut apprécier la précision et le détail des images ainsi capturées. Sa technologie de pointe offre une résolution atteignant les 20 ou 30 centimètres alors que la sonde circule à 250 km du sol martien. Les « araignées » ne pouvaient donc pas échapper au gros zoom de ce paparazzo cosmique !Les araignées martiennes À lire aussiFossile, Mars et Google Chrome, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 4 juinSpoiler alert ! Malheureusement et on l’aura compris, il ne s’agit pas de véritables arachnides. Et nous ne sommes pas non plus face à un phénomène nouveau, puisqu’il survient au printemps et n’est pas sans rappeler la fonte des glaces que l’on connaît aussi sur Terre. Lorsque la calotte carbonique de Mars fond,  le gaz creuse la roche et laisse derrière lui des terrains en forme d’araignées.Ces étonnantes formes géologiques sont appelées par la NASA des « terrains aranéiformes ». Un nom qui leur a été donné par Candice Hansen, une scientifique de l’Institut de Science planétaire, lorsqu’elle s’est rendue compte de la similitude entre la forme des pattes des araignées et celle de ces dépôts noirs extra-terrestres. En attendant d’observer peut-être un jour de véritables araignées martiennes, on peut toujours se consoler en écoutant le mythique album de David Bowie The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars…Le 17 juillet 2018 à 17:56 • Marina Marcoutlast_img read more

first_img PS4 Hits Turn Tabletop With ‘God of War,’ ‘Bloodborne&…‘Metal Gear Solid’ Board Game Is Tactical Tabletop Action Stay on target I always describe Betrayal at House on the Hill as two games. When explaining the rules to new players, I always start out by saying, “the first half is a haunted house exploration game and the second half is you getting trapped inside a horror movie.”The expansion Widow’s Walk, which is the game’s first expansion in nearly a decade, adds a third element to this already packed experience: casual role-playing.For those who haven’t played this game (and you really should), Betrayal at House on the Hill is a board game that takes up to six players and lets them explore an oddly-designed mansion. Each person turns up a tile on the ground floor, the upper floor, or the basement, which can trigger an event or allow them to discover an item. You slowly build the house until, at one point, you activate what’s called “the haunt,” which means you’re thrown into one of 50 stories, with typically one of the players turned into a “traitor.” Throughout this first half, you’re wracked with anticipation, wondering what story you’ll get, if you’ll become the traitor, or if you’ll get to work with your fellow players. The fun in Betrayal is that you don’t know what’s going to happen once the haunt occurs. Your character could die, and you could become a witch that turns people into frogs. You could become a werewolf. You could go on a treasure hunt while the whole house collapses around you.So with 50 stories to get through, there was almost never a need for an expansion. You’re guaranteed at least that many rounds, and that doesn’t include the scenarios you might play multiple times in different roles. Widow’s Walk just makes it more difficult to “finish” since, just like with the original game, the creators don’t skimp on the story. In fact, there’s 50 new stories to get through in the expansion. Along with now having 100 scenarios to survive through, there’s also a new floor–the roof–and new rooms, including the house’s first bathroom, and new events, items, and omens to uncover in those rooms. If you happened to get through every haunt in the base game, you’ll find plenty more to do in the expansion, and it’ll probably take the same amount of time to get through, and it only costs half as much as a full version.But the crew behind the game wasn’t satisfied with just creating 50 new stories. They catered dozens of guest writers to craft stories: from Pendelton Ward, the creator of Adventure Time, to Cards Against Humanity’s Max Temkin and Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian, allowing for new perspectives to craft horror stories. The original game had villains such as witches, eye monsters, and dream demons, but with the help of the guest writers, Widow’s Walk has even more unique monsters, such as a haunt that allows you to fight the darkness (and no, you can’t attack the darkness), and one that pits you against an evil presidential candidate.And while I haven’t been able to get through every new haunt in time to write this review, the ones I have experienced aren’t straight scary scenarios. While the original game’s haunts didn’t encourage role-playing, many of the new ones do, having the players change their real-life behaviors according to the rules. The aforementioned haunt, called “Burn Out the Darkness,” has the players cast as the darkness only able to talk in a creepy whisper.I got the opportunity to demo the Betrayal at House on the Hill expansion Widow’s Walk at PAX East this year, months before its release in October, and while sitting down at a table with a group of complete strangers, we had to interact with the game in a more intimate manner. The haunt, called “Shush,” took away everybody’s voices, except for the traitor, so we were forced to find other ways to communicate strategy. We exchanged Google Hangout handles, passed each other notes, and passed confused and awkward glances at each other, much to the amusement of the Wizards of the Coast representatives supervising the game.These new features add an element of surprise to the haunts, which are already surprising the first time you encounter them. You’re always jumping into the unknown once somebody says that you’ve activated The Haunt, but not knowing who is going to be the traitor, how you’ll be able to communicate, and what you might have to do to achieve your goals is one of the things that made the original game so special. Now with Widow’s Walk, the mystery builds up even more anticipation.However, since the expansion adds so many new elements, some which allow you to move about the house faster or get out of failed dice rolls, it leaves a lot of room for the game to break, or to end up unbalanced. I haven’t been able to play every haunt yet, but these issues seem to vary from game to game. In the game “Sushi Night,” for example, where you have to kill a merperson, a killer plant item that can deal excessive amounts of damage bends the game in the survivors’ favor. When you play through at least 45 minutes of a game, only to get into a scenario that you could never win, it can sour that session.Those moments are based on luck, though, so the correct tiles, items, events, omens, or anything else you may uncover factor into your haunt. You can play the exact same haunt with entirely different items and it’ll play out in a more balanced manner. The random, spontaneous nature of Betrayal at House on the Hill has always meant the game’s been unbalanced. This hasn’t changed with Widow’s Walk. It’s frustrating if you happen to fall into one of these traps, but for the most part, the game is just as it always was, except it’s more.Widow’s Walk does all that a board game expansion is supposed to do, with the added bonus of new features and new types of games. It’ll ensure that the game never gets boring and that you can continue playing for another ten years before the next expansion.last_img read more

Broken water main causes major flooding in North Park

first_img Updated: 10:59 PM North Park resident Samer Naji sent #KUSINews this video of the water main break. Water is moving very fast through the neighborhood. More:— KUSI News (@KUSINews) October 4, 2018 Posted: October 4, 2018 Broken water main causes major flooding in North Park October 4, 2018 Mike McKinnon III, KUSI Newsroom Mike McKinnon III, KUSI Newsroom, center_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A 24-inch water main ruptured in the North Park neighborhood Thursday, flooding streets and prompting the closure of a North Park continuation high school as city utility crews worked to fix the leak. Footage of the leak from the helicopter can be seen below. The break was reported shortly after 7:05 a.m. at the intersection of Idaho Street and Polk Avenue, located next to North Park Community Park, city spokesman Arian Collins said.No residents in the area lost water service due to the break because the pipe is a transmission line that is not connected to any water meters, Collins said, but he said some residents may experience low water pressure.There was no immediate estimate on when repairs would be completed.As of 9:15 a.m., the flow of water had been stopped, and the cause of the leak was still under investigation.Footage from the scene showed water flowing down Oregon, Utah and Idaho streets.San Diego Gas & Electric crews shut off power to four apartment complexes near Idaho Street as a safety precaution at the request of the San Diego Fire-Rescue department, SDG&E spokesman Joe Britton said.As of 10:05 a.m., around 80 customers were without power, Britton said.Students at ALBA Community Day School, located at the corner of Oregon Street and Lincoln Avenue, were evacuated from campus and the school was closed for the day, said Jennifer Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for San Diego Unified School District.San Diego police closed eastbound Lincoln Avenue at Oregon Street, southbound and northbound Oregon Street at Lincoln, westbound Lincoln at Idaho Street, westbound Polk Avenue at Utah Street, southbound Utah Street at Polk and the right lane of westbound University at Arizona Street, public-affairs Officer Billy Hernandez said.As of 9:35 a.m., the water was receding and roads were being reopened, Hernandez said. Another video from #NorthPark resident Samer Naji. Authorities are urging motorists to avoid the area. More:— KUSI News (@KUSINews) October 4, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue hosts fundraiser for 3 boys injured by fireworks

first_imgThe PBFR Benevolent Association organized a fundraiser to help assist with the boys’ medical costs.“They’re coming out to help us,” said Robert.“It was a really rough call that we ran. It hit us in the hearts. All the crew wanted to do something nice, and we started asking the community for help. The benevolent helped us, and we put this whole thing together,” said PBFR Firefighter Samantha Emslie.A bounce house, food, a silent auction and plenty of other fun activities were at the event.The family was just grateful strangers were willing to come out and help them.“I think it’s a blessing — a gift from God. So many people got hearts, and I think it’s great,” said family member Dedra Stewart.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A Pompano Beach Fire Rescue crew came together to raise funds for three boys who were left permanently injured after playing with fireworks.Dozens gathered at Guluppi’s Restaurant in Pompano Beach, Saturday, for the special cause.Just days after the Fourth of July, 8-year-old Marvin Lane, his 9-year-old brother Robert and their 11-year-old friend Jeremy Johnson suffered life-changing injuries after playing with fireworks.The boys were playing at a park in Pompano Beach when Marvin picked up a firework lying on the ground and lit it on fire.The firework exploded in the boys’ hands and faces.Marvin lost his hand, Robert had burns to his chest and face, and Jeremy also burned his face and lost two fingers.Almost three months later, the boys feel lucky to be alive. last_img read more

first_imgid Software has done nothing but impress us lately with two great gameplay videos teasing what Rage will look and play like later this year. I was all gearing up for a September release, but that is now not going to happen.Although no formal announcement has been made, the release date of id’s latest game has ben pushed back. Originally it was meant to arrive in the middle of September, but the official Rage website, as well as online gaming retailers such as Gamestop, have issued a new date of October 4 in the US. European gamers will now have to wait until October 7.It’s only a few extra weeks, so we can guess that this is just some extra polishing time the team need. Although, having watched the two gameplay videos (one of which is included below), I don’t see much that needs polishing.There is another potential reason for the delay, though. Microsoft is releasing Gears of War 3 on September 20. The marketing push for that game will be huge, and Bethesda may be a little concerned that Rage could potentially get forgotten about in a very important launch window for Microsoft.If those extra weeks of waiting seem like to much to ask you can make the time pass more quickly with a visit to the App Store. Rage HD is already available and only costs a couple of dollars.How am I passing the time? By loading up Steam of course, and losing myself in some classic id Software first-person shooters. Even if you’ve played the likes of Quake and Doom to death, a bit of target practice means you can go straight to the Hard setting come Rage release day.via NeoGAFlast_img read more

first_imgIf you’ve been watching the App Store for the past few years it’s clear to see more of the big publishers are producing games for the iPhone. You can find games carrying well-known names such as Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, and Rage. What you won’t find is World of Warcraft, and it looks as though that will remain the case even though Blizzard would love to get the game on portable devices.According to John Lagrave, senior producer on World of Warcraft, the issue isn’t the team not spending any time doing a port, it’s the fact there are some problems that need to be overcome. The main issue is figuring out how to get the full game of WoW working on a touchscreen with controls that work for the diminutive display. That’s not an easy task, and one that Lagrave says will take “an epiphany” before it is solved.For now, WoW players can access the game on their phones, but only to check auctions and look at the armory. Anything more than that just isn’t going to happen until the interaction issues have been solved.We know that getting the MMO to run on a touchscreen device won’t be an issue. OnLive and Gaikai have already demonstrated it can run pretty much any game in the cloud and stream it to a tablet or phone. But Blizzard obviously want to keep control, port the game so it runs natively on the platform, and overcome the challenges faced in the process.If a full implementation of World of Warcraft does ever appear on the App Store, don’t expect to sit there playing it for hours every day. Even if the data transfers for the connection are minimal, the game will soon eat through your monthly data allowance. With that in mind, maybe it’s actually a good thing Blizzard haven’t managed to figure out the issues.Read more at Eurogamer.netlast_img read more

Housing complex for the homeless

first_imgBALURGHAT: Those who are homeless and have always been moving to and fro in search of shelter, either to avoid the sweltering summer heat or incessant rainfall, finally have something to rejoice about. The TMC-led Balurghat Municipality has undertaken a mega project to build a housing complex for the homeless at Khadimpur Loknath Mandirpara area, within two months.Official sources informed that the project has been jointly taken up by both the Centre and state. A fund amounting to around Rs 1,22,00,000 has already been sanctioned, to finish the entire project work within the stipulated period. Balurghat civic body chairman Rajen Shill said: “We can accommodate 50 homeless persons in the complex. Initially, we have decided that a four-storey building will be established with the fund. Construction of the ground floor has already been completed, while we have targeted to end the project work by the end of July.”last_img read more

Azul Fives hotel again denies public beach access city files for official

first_imgPlaya del Carmen, Q.R. — In an attempt to prevent more hotels from denying public beach access, the municipality has requested official federal zone boundaries of beach areas.The move comes after another sign was removed from the beach at Azul Fives Hotel, who posted the large warning denying beach access to the general public. This has been an ongoing problem with hotels such as Azul Fives who continue to try and claim public federal space as being private.Municipal treasurer, Asunción Ramírez Castillo, said that a request for the official boundaries of the federal zone has been made to the General Directorate of the Federal Maritime Land Zone (Zofemat).He is hoping that the verification will end the abuses of the hotels that try to prevent public access on the beaches.“We already have a new cartography of the federal area. We sent it to the General Directorate of the Federal Maritime Land Zone for it to be validated. Once complete, the abuses by hotels would end because we would have the official boundaries for each of the concessioned areas,” he said.The new official boundaries will include at least 14 concession areas where free passage is guaranteed to all, regardless of whether they are on adjoining concession areas to private hotels or individuals.The latest sign removal at Azul Fives was due to a citizen complaint, but it was not the first time that hotel has tried to deny public access. Last year, Le Reve Hotel also at Xcalacoco Beach denied public access to people wishing to sunbath.“We are doing verification with Zofemat about the irregularities the Azul Fives hotel. We are making the boundaries clear so that they are clear about the concession and how far it goes.“We have to verify the cartography and how the area is zoned, but the fact of having the sign are reasons for sanctions that have already been handed out because they do not allow access to the population,” he said.Ramírez Castillo says that they expect the official boundaries to be ready for March where they will be able to offer additional beach access points as well as marking concession areas for hotels.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Lock in 2018 rates for 2019 dates on Ireland rail travel with

first_imgTags: Goway << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Clients can book the Emerald Isle in 2019 at 2018 prices with Goway’s new limited-time offer.When booking travel for 2019 before May 31, 2018, clients will be able to secure 2018 rates on the ‘Belmond Grand Hibernian’ train, which offers three different tours that take in the landscapes and legends of Ireland.Passengers can opt for travel from Belfast to Waterford, and out to the west to see famous areas like Kerry and less famous gems like Westport. The Grand Hibernian offers 16 twin and double cabins, including some that interconnect. All meals, beverages and touring are included in the rates.“This product fits perfectly into the Goway range of luxury train offerings,” said Craig Canvin, Goway’s Vice President for Europe. “And for those wanting to experience several parts of Ireiland in a short time in absolute comfort, this is the perfect solution.”For more details email or go to Lock in 2018 rates for 2019 dates on Ireland rail travel with Goway Travelweek Group center_img Thursday, April 26, 2018 Posted by Sharelast_img read more

First Mortgage Debt Up to Highest Balance Since 2011

first_img Equifax First Mortgage Home Equity Mortgage Debt 2014-03-24 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Origination Share March 24, 2014 441 Views center_img First mortgage balances last month saw their largest annual increase since September 2008, Equifax reported Monday.According to the company’s latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report, the total balance of first mortgages in February came up to $7.97 trillion, a 2.8 percent year-over-year increase and the highest balance since December 2011.As of the most recent report, delinquent first mortgages—30 or more days past due—represent 5.65 percent of outstanding balances, a decline of more than 22 percent from the same time in 2013. Meanwhile, the total balance of first mortgages 90 or more days overdue or in foreclosure came down to less than $270 billion, a six-year low and a yearly drop of nearly 27 percent.“The decline in mortgage balances from accelerated amortization and foreclosure write-offs has finally been overcome by increases in mortgage debt due to home purchase lending,” said Equifax chief economist Amy Crews Cutts.Cutts continued, “This trend should gain additional momentum as we head into the spring and summer home buying seasons, which increases the volume of new loans coming in, while at the same time rising home values and improving employment conditions should push down the incidence of mortgage defaults.”In other findings, the total limit of new home equity revolving credit through 2013 was $90.5 billion, representing a five-year high and a 15.7 percent increase. As of February, the total balance of home equity revolving loans was $485.3 billion, a decrease of 6.8 percent from the same time last-year and a five-year low. The total number of loans outstanding was 10.3 million, the lowest in a decade.Meanwhile, the total balance of home finance write-offs year-to-date as of February was $17.9 billion, 41 percent lower than last year. The total balance of home finance debt was $8.58 trillion (including first mortgage and home equity), marking the first time in four years in which home finance debt increased year-to-year for three straight months. Debt,First Mortgage Debt Up to Highest Balance Since 2011last_img read more

Fed Keeps Rate Hike On Hold For Now

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News Federal Funds Target Rate Federal Open Market Committee Federal Reserve Mortgage Rates 2016-11-02 Seth Welborn The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the policymaking arm of the Federal Reserve, elected not to raise the federal funds target rate at its meeting on Wednesday as the presidential election looms next week.The Fed has indicated that it may be ready to raise the target rate in its next meeting, on December 13 and 14, which would be exactly one year from its historic rate hike in December 2015. The Committee noted that since it last met in September, “the labor market has continued to strengthen and growth of economic activity has picked up from the modest pace seen in the first half of this year” and that “the Committee expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further.”Lindsey M. Piegza, Chief Economist with Stifel Fixed Income, said that though the Fed has not explicitly communicated that a rate hike would occur in December, the Fed has positively assessed the economy and stated that the case for a rate hike continues to strengthen.“Is such an optimistic assessment warranted by the Fed?” Piegza said. “With the economy growing less than 2 percent, consumers under pressure amid declining income growth, business investment negative for nearly two years, and inflation sluggishly low, many—ourselves included—would argue ‘no.’ But like most things in life, it’s all relative. And for the Fed, the apparent ‘improvement’ from extreme weakness earlier in the year is good enough to suggest a continued progression of growth going forward, despite lingering trends pointing in the opposite direction.”Robert Denk, AVP for Forecasting and Analysis with the National Association of Home Builders, stated that the language in the FOMC’s November statement on Wednesday was nearly the same as it was from the September meeting, with the notable addition of one statement.“The most important language that was repeated verbatim was ‘The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen, but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives,’ and within that language,‘ for the time being,” Denk said. “This sentence was new to the statement in September and a clear signal that the committee is inclined to take the next step, under the right conditions. With the consensus inching toward that position, and despite protestations of being of being 100 percent apolitical, the upcoming elections made a November hike highly unlikely. Coupled with the emphasis on clear communication, the December meeting, with its scheduled press conference is a better choice. So in this case, ‘for the time being’ may be roughly translated to ‘six more weeks.’”Last December, the Fed raised the federal funds target rate 25 basis points from their near zero level where they had been for the previous nine years. Since then, mortgage rates have plummeted and remained near historic lows for much of the year.“As expected, the Fed put off a rate hike until next month,” said Curt Long, Chief Economist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. “Given the growing amount of uncertainty over the election, it makes sense for the Fed to take a wait-and-see approach. Nevertheless, positive job data and strengthening inflation mean that a rate hike is more likely than not in December.” November 2, 2016 577 Views center_img Fed Keeps Rate Hike On Hold, For Now Sharelast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter A week after announcing

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterA week after announcing two new-generation vessels for Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd has now revealed plans for a new ship to join the Regent Seven Seas Cruises stable in late 2023.The new vessel will be a sister ship to the two-year-old Seven Seas Explorer, dubbed “the most luxurious ship ever built”, and Seven Seas Splendor, billed by NCLH as “the ship that perfects luxury” and set to debut in early 2020. The currently unnamed ship will be designed and built by Fincantieri, the shipbuilder constructing Seven Seas Splendor at its Ancona, Italy shipyard.Accommodating up to 750 guests, the new ship will be the brand’s sixth-all-suite vessel. Details regarding her itineraries, accommodations, dining venues, amenities and onboard experiences will be revealed leading up to her 2023 debut. Voyages for the ship’s inaugural season will go on sale in 2021.Seven Seas Explorer – Compass Rose restaurant“We are excited to build on the spectacular success of Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor as we embark on bringing to life a new vessel that will set an even higher benchmark for elegance, luxury and style,” said Frank Del Rio, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.“This new ship further strengthens our Company’s robust, yet measured growth profile, with vessels now on order for all three of our award-winning brands, enabling us to expand our presence globally [and] further diversify our product offerings.”President and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Jason Montague, said: “Since debuting in 2016, Seven Seas Explorer has solidified her reputation as the most luxurious ship ever built based on the continuous awards and guest accolades she earns.”“When Seven Seas Splendor’s inaugural season went on sale in April 2018 we set a new single-day booking record for our 26-year-old company, demonstrating the anticipation for her 2020 arrival. Each new ship is progressively more successful.”Seven Seas Explorer – Explorer SuiteThe contract price for the new vessel is approximately €475 million.With today’s announcement, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has eleven ships on order for delivery through 2027 including seven ships on order for Norwegian Cruise Line, two for Oceania Cruises and two for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The company will take delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, in late 2019.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Union berates rude doctor while blaming overwork

first_imgState doctors’ union Pasyki condemned on Friday the rude behaviour of a Nicosia general hospital physician towards an elderly patient, but said that as long as there is lack of staff and doctors are pushed to the brink of exhaustion ‘unpleasant situations’ are a possibility.The union in a written statement expressed sorrow for the ‘unfortunate incident’ at Nicosia general hospital’s accident and emergency department.  Such incidents, the union said, are offensive whether they come from patients to doctors or vice versa.The union said that neither doctors or patients are to blame for ‘the rupture between the sacred relationship’ that must exist between them in state hospitals and that ‘understaffing and burnout, lead to unpleasant situations’.Pasyki called for ‘true reforms’ to help restore the doctor-patient relationship.Health Minister Giorgos Pamboridis said on Thursday he had ordered a disciplinary inquiry into an A&E doctor at Nicosia general hospital who is heard on video being rude to an elderly man who went to the department saying he had had a stroke.In a statement, the minister said he had ordered an investigation into a doctor allegedly implicated in an incident regarding improper behaviour towards a patient and his family.The minister urged patients visiting public hospitals to report any incident they felt insulted their dignity.The Cyprus Third Age Observatory also condemned the incident and called on the medical association to take measures to prevent similar behaviour in the future.“It is inconceivable, no matter the workload, for the elderly and their relatives to be ridiculed by anyone who does not realise that in addition to being a competent doctor, you equally have to have sensibilities and ethos,” the group said.The incident, which was reported in the daily newspaper Phileleftheros, took place last week.An elderly man is seen in a partially-blurred video lying on a bed groaning, after coming in with his family reportedly with stroke symptoms. Shortly after he starts to groan the doctor arrives and he is heard on the video being sarcastic, asking the relatives whether he was suffering from psychological or psychiatric problems.He then makes a crude remark concerning the ailment as the colloquial Greek term for it, kolpos, is identical to the word for vagina.“Only women have kolpos,” he replies to the man’s wife, after she tells him what her husband’s problem is.Later in the video, he is heard shouting at another patient, who apparently threatened to report him.“Report me anywhere you want, and if you want I will give you the minister’s number.”You May LikeHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsThe Common Signs Of Heart Failure. Research Acute Heart Failure TreatmentHeart Failure Treatment | Search AdsUndoKelley Blue Book10 Longest-Range Electric Cars of 2019 Kelley Blue BookUndoStuff Answered5 Laptops That Are Guaranteed To Impress For Any Type Of UserStuff AnsweredUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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