Learn How to Fix a Variable ND Filter Vignette in DaVinci Resolve

first_imgLooking for more articles on DaVinci Resolve? Check these out.How to Work with Different Frame Rates With The Same File in ResolveReview: DaVinci Resolve 16’s Cut Page — Is It Any Good?DaVinci Resolve’s New Object Removal Tool — Is It Any Good?A Rundown Of The Edit Page Changes in DaVinci Resolve 1How to Upload to YouTube Directly from DaVinci Resolve 16 A variable ND filter is handy for run-and-gun filmmakers, but it’s not perfect. Here’s how you can correct some of the issues that may arise.Variable ND filters can seem like the perfect tool for the run-and-gun filmmaker. They eliminate clunky square filters and the holder system they require. Likewise, variable NDs will also free up the kit bag by reducing the number of individual ND filters you need to carry, as one variable ND filter may cover the same range of stops as three screw-in filters.However, this is not to say that variable ND filters are the pinnacle of perfect engineering — they do have problems. Because a variable ND filter is two polarizing filters stacked on top of each other, you can run into unwanted reflections, as in the still below:Because you’re shooting through two layers of glass, your image can also become softened (which is more predominant in the budget-friendly brands) and occurs in color casts, and the primary negative is if you push beyond the “max” stop limit, you can get uneven exposure, vignetting, or an X bar that will appear in the center of the image.Once the cross appears in the center of your image, the image is dead in the water. However, the damage caused by a variable ND vignette doesn’t put you out of the game. Correcting a vignette caused by using an APS-C lens on a full-frame body isn’t possible because the lens not covering the sensor creates the dark edges that vignette the frame. That information isn’t underexposed — it doesn’t exist. Whereas, a vignette caused by a variable ND filter is simply underexposed.With that covered, let’s look at how we can apply a soft fix. And that’s what this is — a soft fix. It’s quite like having soft focus and applying a sharpening layer (as talked about here); we’re never really going to get the footage to appear as it would without maxing the variable ND, but we can bring it pretty close.Open the color page and go to the footage that needs correcting.This is my image. It’s been corrected and graded, and as you can see, it has a nasty vignette around the edges of the frame.However, as I said, it’s just the edges that are underexposed. There’s not a physical obstruction to the sensor or lens. At first, you may think about quickly adding the vignette OFX to a node and reversing the damage with a white vignette. But when variable ND filters are rotated past the max symbol, the vignette it creates will be dependent on a number of things (such as your focal length), and as such, it may not appear as a symmetrical circle — like a lens that’s too small for the sensor.In my image, the vignette appears more like a skewed egg than a circle.Therefore, we need to do this manually, after we’ve completed the grade — but applied to a new node set before the first node. With this, we’ll be able to accurately see what needs adjusting, while fixing the issue at the end of the grading process. I’m going to select the first node and add a serial node before the current one. On this blank node, I’m going to add a circular power window and make sure the window is inverted (so we’re just affecting the outside of the window).Of course, I’ve already said that the vignette isn’t symmetrical. Therefore, using the power window adjustment tools, we need to correct the shape of the window, and most importantly, increase the softness. If you don’t increase the softness, the exposure adjustment will be very apparent.From here on out, it’s not rocket science. Based on the density of vignetting, you’re going to have to increase all tonal regions: the shadows, the midtones, and also (importantly) the highlights, as it’s likely that any natural highlights in the scene would have been completely nullified.With the laws of light, we also know that the less light that falls onto a subject, the more desaturated it becomes. Therefore, you will need to slightly increase the saturation of the node.While this is a great start, we have two problems. Let’s look at problem one. While this node has done an excellent job of correcting the vignette, we still have a slight amount of darkness at the very edge of the frame, and this comes down to the softness of the first power window. We could decrease the softness, but that would make the correction very obvious.Regardless, this is a super-quick fix. Click on the vignette node and select “add a parallel node.” Right-click on the first node, and select “copy,” then paste the attributes to the node underneath. At first, it may appear overwhelming, but don’t adjust any of the properties. All we want to do is expand the size of the power window, so the strength of the window reaches the edges of the frame.Perfect.The second problem, however, is an increase in noise around the edges of the frame. You have to remember that we’ve mainly tried to increase the exposure of an underexposed part of the image, and it’s reacting just as it would if you were to do this on a severely underexposed image shot at night — there’s going to be noise because the sensor wasn’t correctly receiving light.Therefore, we’re going to add another node at the end of the tree, then open the motion effects panel and adjust the temporal noise reduction. I’m going to base my noise to be referenced from the proceeding four frames, and I’m only going to increase the reduction by 15.0, as the effect can be quite intense, removing most of the clarity from the image.You can see a visible difference in the amount of noise, and I’ve also lowered the saturation (just a touch) to hide it a bit more.This is the before:And this is the after:Honestly? It’s not entirely perfect, but it’s better. We can’t continue to push the edges too much because you’ll then be trying to counter the noise and artifacts that arise from the correction. But overall, the vignetting is a lot less visible and likely won’t be noticeable by your audience — not that they notice the flaws we stress over anyway.last_img read more

Asian Games: Indian women’s kabaddi bag gold

first_imgThe Indian women’s kabaddi team completed a memorable Asian Games debut by clinching the gold medal with a comprehensive win over Thailand in the finals in Guangzhou on Friday.Medals TallyThe Indians beat Thailand 28-14 in a dominating performance to clinch the inaugural women’s kabaddi gold of the Asian Games.The Indians led 17-7 at half-time after Thailand failed to secure a single lona against India’s two. The Indian team also got a couple of bonus points in the opening half.The second half followed a similar script and India once again dominated by securing a couple of lonas and getting 20 outs to emerge triumphant.last_img

Stage set for Prudential World Cricket Cup Tournament in England

first_imgFew sporting events can match the sustained excitement of limited overs cricket. The pressure of scoring as many runs as possible sets the stage for cricket at its nail-biting best.The stage is now set for 16 days of limited overs spectacle in England in June: the Prudential World Cricket Cup,Few sporting events can match the sustained excitement of limited overs cricket. The pressure of scoring as many runs as possible sets the stage for cricket at its nail-biting best.The stage is now set for 16 days of limited overs spectacle in England in June: the Prudential World Cricket Cup Tournament where teams will compete in a series of matches – double-leg matches where each team plays another twice – until the top two meet in the final at Lords.  Srikkanth (left) and Patil: Hard hitting Last fortnight, the Indian World Cup campaign began when the 14-man squad was announced – amidst controversy, with one national selector, Pankaj Roy, absent from the selection meeting and the surprise inclusion of medium-pacer Sunil Valson. Roy said that he had not been informed about the meeting and thus only four, selectors chose the team. However, few would fault them for the final line-up, which is led by the battle-hardened Kapil Dev, has Sunil Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath as its equally battle-hardened sheet-anchors, boasts of free-scoring stroke-players in K. Srikkanth and Sandeep Patil and displays a surfeit of medium-pacers – so crucial to the limited overs game – in Madan Lai, B.S. Sandhu, Roger Binny, and Valson.The lone spinner is Ravi Shastri, although he probably got the nod more for his gritty batting than for any forlorn hope that his slow left-armers might skittle out opposing sides.Surprise Choice: Valson, in fact, is the only question mark in the side. The medium-pacer has not been among the wickets recently, and there were murmurs that the selectors should have given someone else the chance, like Raju Kulkarni, who had played such a stellar role when Bombay defeated Delhi in the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy championship. However, medium-pacers are the need of the hour.The hard-hitting Patil is back, after missing the West Indies tour for reasons more personal than cricketing. Srikkanth’s return, too, was expected, as was that of Binny and Kirti Azad. Binny and Azad are all-rounders who can be expected to shore up the middle of the Indian batting; as a bonus. Binny can open the innings.advertisementThe selectors have also scotched rumours that Gavaskar would be “rested” after his lean tour of the Caribbean; but every team needs a dependable sheet-anchor and moreover, memories are still fresh of the superb innings that Gavaskar played to enable India to record their first-ever victory over the West Indies in one-day cricket.All in all, Kapil Dev’s boys are a balanced lot; asked about India’s chances, the ebullient captain said, “We are going to try very hard and are capable of a surprise or two.”Azad (left) and Binny: All-round ability Surprises, however, would have to be fought for. India are grouped with the West Indies, Australia and Zimbabwe. In the last two tournaments, India had failed to qualify for the semi-finals and in 1981 had lost to Sri Lanka.What is more, the West Indies are looking for their third trophy and will go flat out to get it. They and the Australians are clear favourites to go into the semi-finals from this group. The other group is equally tough: runners-up England, Pakistan, New Zealand and an unexpectedly strong Sri lianka are competing for the honours. Pakistani Challenge: England, of course, have the advantage of playing on their home grounds; against this are their inept displays against Australia and New Zealand in a series of one-day matches. Sri Lanka must be taken seriously after their shock victory over Australia in a recent one-day series.But the real challenge will come from Pakistan, who have been forged into a razor-sharp combination by Imran Khan. However, Imran appears to have fitness problems. If he pulls out, it will be a big blow to Pakistan and to the tournament. To add to Pakistan’s problems, Sarfraz Nawaz is on the anti-establishment warpath again. A fair guess would be that the West Indies, Pakistan, England and Australia finish the last four. The bookmakers have picked the West Indies as favourites: if they make it a hat trick then it would indeed be a fitting crown for them and their captain Clive Lloyd, who has played pivotal roles in the previous tournaments.As the teams brace for the pitched battles, spectators are looking forward to a nail-biting fortnight.last_img read more

NCAA: Kent Salado lifts Arellano past Perpetual

first_imgEthel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Becoming his own man MOST READ WATCH: Canadian figure skater holds up flag for Japanese Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu This jewelry designer is also an architect Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11’Not just basketball’: Circumcisions, pageants at Philippine courts01:19Magalong: Albayalde also got SUV out of ‘agaw bato’ operation in 201302:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img MANILA, Philippines–Cat-quick guard Kent Salado played a stellar role during the Arellano Chiefs’ narrow 91-86 victory over the Perpetual Altas in the NCAA Season 95 men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Arena in San Juan.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Salado, a combination of speed and acumen, simply drove into the teeth of the defense in the closing minutes and fed his teammates with nifty passes on numerous occasions that keyed their only third win in 12 games.Arturo Oliva preserved Salado’s heroics with a three off a feed by Salado for an 89-85 Arellano advantage with 21 seconds remaining.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Salado posted double-double figures of 18 points and 12 assists on top of four steals and three rebounds. The Altas continued their skid to 3-8. Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers View commentslast_img read more

Barcelona vs Valencia: Team news & TV guide

first_imgCopa del Rey Barcelona vs Valencia: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & Copa del Rey semi-final preview Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 21:45 2/1/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Lionel Messi Barcelona Getty Images Copa del Rey Barcelona Barcelona v Valencia Valencia Ernesto Valverde’s side host Los Che in the first leg and, with a place in the final at stake, they will aim to surge into the lead Barcelona will hope to put one foot into the final of the Copa del Rey when they face Valencia in the first leg of the semi-final on Thursday.The Catalan side are the defending champions and reached this stage of the competition by beating Murcia, Celta Vigo and Espanyol.Valencia, meanwhile, overcame Zaragoza, Las Palmas and Alaves en route to the semi-final as they look to challenge for a title they haven’t won since 2008. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The two teams come into the match with contrasting form and Barca, who won against Alaves in their last outing, have the edge on the visitors, who suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to Real Madrid. Game Barcelona vs Valencia Date Thursday, February 1 Time 20:30 GMT / 15:30 ET Stream (US only) fuboTV (7-day free trial) TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream beIN fuboTV In the United Kingdom (UK), the game cannot be watched live on TV but Goal will be providing updates here.SQUADS & TEAM NEWS Position Barcelona players Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Ortola Defenders Semedo, Pique, Alba, Digne, Vidal, Umtiti, Mina Midfielders Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta, Coutinho, Paulinho, D. Suarez, Roberto, Gomes, Alena Forwards L. Suarez, Messi, Alcacer, Arnaiz Thomas Vermaelen is a doubt for the game after aggravating a hamstring injury, while Ousmane Dembele is definitely unavailable.Potential Barcelona starting XI: Cillessen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Digne; Busquets, Paulinho, Coutinho, Gomes; L. Suarez, Messi. Position Valencia players Goalkeepers Domenech, Rivero, Neto Defenders Vezo, Gabriel, Gaya, Lato, Montoya, Garay, N. Vidal Midfielders Maksimovic, Guedes, Parejo, Pereira, Kondogbia, Coquelin, Soler Forwards Vietto, Zaza, Rodrigo, Mina, Torres Valencia will be without long-term absentee Javi Jimenez, who is recovering from a knee injury, while Jeison Murillo remains a doubt.Potential Valencia starting XI: Domenech; Garay, Montoya, Gaya, Lato; Kondogbia, Coquelin, Parejo, Guedes; Rodrigo, Mina.BETTING & MATCH ODDS Philippe Coutinho Barcelona Espanyol Copa del ReyBarcelona are favourites to win, with dabblebet pricing the Catalan side at 1/5. Valencia are available at odds of 10/1, while a draw is deemed more likely at 6/1.Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.GAME PREVIEW Lionel Messi Luis Suárez Aleix Vidal BarcelonaBarcelona have been totally relentless this season and their impressive form has catapulted them clear at the top of La Liga and pushed them closer to yet another Copa del Rey title.Thus far they have been unbeatable in the league, with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez seeming to play with greater freedom under Ernesto Valverde, but there have been a few wobbles in the Copa del Rey, particularly against Celta Vigo and Espanyol – the latter ending an unbeaten streak that had stretched to 29 games in all competitions.Semi-final opponents Valencia are one of the few teams they have not beaten in La Liga this season and they needed a late Jordi Alba goal to salvage a point at Mestalla in November, so they will have to be particularly wary of Los Che on Thursday.However, Valverde’s charges come into the game armed with the knowledge that Camp Nou is a virtually impregnable fort, having last tasted defeat at the venue back in August – in a Spanish Super Cup loss to Real Madrid.last_img read more

USS Taylor Inspected for Damage after Running Aground …

first_img此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 My location Print  Close zoom The Mayport-based frigate USS Taylor (FFG 50) is being inspected for damage after running aground Feb. 12.The incident occurred as Taylor was preparing to moor in Samsun, Turkey. Taylor was able to moor without further incident.There were no reported injuries, and the incident is currently under investigation. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.Taylor is currently supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the Black Sea to establish and enhance cooperation, mutual training and interoperability with regional partner nations and allies.Taylor is currently on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations. US Navy, February 19, 2014last_img read more

In the news today Nov 22

first_imgFive stories in the news for Thursday, Nov. 22———INJURED HUMBOLDT PLAYERS TO REUNITE ON ICE AGAINSeven months after they were both paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, Ryan Straschnitzki and Jacob Wasserman will finally have a proper reunion. Straschnitzki, a defenceman, and Wasserman, a goaltender, last played together in April in the SJHL playoffs, but their season ended after a horrific crash in northern Saskatchewan killed 16 people and left 13 others with serious injuries. The two young men will be on the ice together Friday at a short exhibition sledge hockey game at the University of Denver.———CONVICTED WINNIPEG LETTER BOMBER TO BE SENTENCEDA Manitoba man convicted of sending bombs to his ex-wife and two lawyers will learn today how long he will be behind bars. The Crown is seeking a life sentence for Guido Amsel, who was convicted on four charges of attempted murder and numerous other offences earlier this year. The defence has asked for a sentence of between 20 and 25 years. Amsel, who is 52, sent letter bombs to his ex-wife, Iris, and two Winnipeg lawyers who represented her in the summer of 2015.———ONTARIO SET TO REFORM SOCIAL ASSISTANCEThe Ontario government is set to lay out its plans to reform the province’s social assistance program, just months after it moved to cancel a basic income pilot project. A pair of Progressive Conservative cabinet ministers will introduce the plan at Queen’s Park this afternoon. The government announced in July it was “winding down” a pilot project that provided payments to 4,000 low-income earners in cities such as Hamilton, Brantford, Thunder Bay and Lindsay.———TWO NAMES LEAD PACK FOR POTENTIAL HALIFAX CFL TEAMA businessman trying to bring a CFL team to Halifax says a contest to come up with a team name is a “horse race” between Atlantic Schooners and Atlantic Storm. Anthony LeBlanc of Maritime Football Ltd. won’t say which name has the upper hand, but he says he’s surprised the vote is as close as it is. The name is to be unveiled in an event Friday at Grey Cup festivities in Edmonton.———FORMER STUDENT DRAFTED VOTE OPTION ON B.C. BALLOTThe first time he was old enough to vote in an election, Sean Graham says he realized the system was flawed. His hometown riding in northern Alberta was a secure seat for a party that he didn’t support, so voting for anyone else under the first-past-the-post system felt like a wasted ballot. Only a few years later as an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta, Graham crafted a pitch for a new electoral system. That model is now being considered by voters in British Columbia, where a provincewide referendum on electoral reform is underway.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Calgary today, where he is expected to make an affordable housing announcement.— Finance Minister Bill Morneau will address the Economic Club of Canada today — one day after the release of his fall economic and fiscal update.— Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc meets municipal leaders gathering in Ottawa to promote local empowerment.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Uber decries ridehailing price cap passed in Honolulu

first_imgHONOLULU, Hawaii – Honolulu leaders approved a measure Wednesday to limit prices that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft can charge during peak demand, a cap that the companies say would be the first restriction of its kind in the United States.The measure would prevent “surge pricing” if increased rates are higher than the maximum fare set by the city. Honolulu attorneys will review the measure before it goes to Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who would have 10 days to sign it into law, allow it to become law without his signature or veto it.Uber sent emails to customers across the island of Oahu, which is where the rule would apply, urging them to oppose the rules that would impose “outdated taxi-style requirements on rideshare.”Oahu taxi drivers have been at odds with those who drive for mobile apps that connect riders with nearby drivers. Taxi companies complain that companies such as Uber and Lyft create an unfair playing field because they face fewer restrictions.Uber has been told the city hasn’t received any consumer complaints about surge pricing, said Tabatha Chow, the company’s senior operations manager for Hawaii. Honolulu has the highest taxi prices in the nation and Uber is 40 per cent cheaper, she told council members Wednesday.Surge pricing only happens during peak times such as rush hour, weekend nights and big events, she said, adding that fares go back down when more drivers are on the road.If Uber and Lyft rides are cheaper, then why do they need to use surge pricing, asked Robert Deluze, owner of Robert’s Taxis, who said ride-hailing companies have hurt the taxi business.Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine, who voted for the limits, said she was concerned to hear that U.S. Navy sailors getting off ships in Pearl Harbor recently were charged as much as $221 to get to Waikiki when a cab ride was $44. As the wife of a sailor, she said she wants to protect service members from being “price gouged.”Uber said in a fact sheet that surge pricing gives drivers the incentive to work in busier areas, which lowers wait times for riders and ensures reliability.Riders and drivers who submitted testimony opposing the measure said taxis aren’t as reliable or affordable as ride-hailing companies.Uber driver Lisa Gonzales wrote that she drives to help support her family of six. During surge pricing, passengers have the option to accept or reject costs, she said, and that it’s based on supply and demand.Uber and Lyft officials testified in City Council committees last month that the cap on surge pricing would be the first such restriction on the companies in the country, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.“When demand for rides is greater than the number of drivers on the road, passengers may pay an extra percentage on top of the base ride amount,” Lyft said in a statement explaining its “Prime Time” pricing.A $6 ride would become a $9 ride during Prime Time pricing of 50 per cent, the statement said, adding that it “only adds a percentage to the ride subtotal, which is calculated before any other fees or additional amounts.”Council Chairman Ernie Martin said he wrote the measure to ensure consumers won’t pay an “unreasonable price.” He said companies will still be able to employ surge pricing — or as he prefers to call it, “predatory pricing” — within limits.The measure would set precedence nationwide, he said: “Other cities are struggling with this as well.”The city’s Department of Customer Services would be tasked with setting the maximum price. Deputy Director Randy Leong told council members that the department opposes setting the threshold but will do so if it becomes law. It’s difficult to dictate to businesses what they may charge, he said.Uber released a statement after the vote saying that, if implemented, the bill will limit consumer choice and put the availability of Uber service on Oahu at risk.last_img read more

Google restricts Huawei’s use of Android

first_imgWashington: Google has cut phone maker Huawei off from some updates to the Android operating system, dealing a blow to the Chinese firm. New Huawei smartphones will also lose access to popular Google apps. The move comes after the Trump administration added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence. In a statement, Google said it was “complying with the order and reviewing the implications”. Also Read – Swiggy now in 500 Indian cities, targets 100 more this year Huawei has declined to comment. Only about two months ago Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer products division had told a German newspaper that the beleaguered Chinese smartphone brand had been prepping a mobile OS as a kind of Plan B if the company ever got cut off by Google from relying on Android, bgr.com reported. The move by Google, means the company has just lost its Android license, and its devices will no longer receive Android updates — nor will its future handsets be able to access Google apps as well as the Google Play Store. Any new Huawei devices would no longer have apps such as YouTube and Maps. Huawei can still use the version of the Android operating system available through an open source licence, though. Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy, said the move by Google would have “big implications for Huawei’s consumer business”.last_img read more

Over 200000 vulnerable Afghans to receive winter aid from UN agency

29 December 2008The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners have started to deliver supplies to help an estimated 200,000 Afghan returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) get through the country’s harsh winter. Over 147,000 blankets, more than 80,000 plastic sheets, 32,000 jerry cans, 46,000 items of warm clothing including 18,000 pairs of shoes and 30,000 pairs of socks have been purchased and sent to UNHCR’s regional offices for country-wide distribution.Some 276,700 Afghans returned to their homeland this year through UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation programme, 99 per cent of them coming from neighbouring Pakistan and the remaining 1 per cent from Iran and other countries.So far UNHCR has distributed aid to more than 5,000 families in the eastern region, where most of this year’s returnees, some 61 per cent, are living. The agency hopes to reach a total of 11,000 families there in the coming weeks.Overall, UNHCR plans to assist a total of 31,897 Afghan families – some 200,000 individuals – across the country. It hopes to complete all of the distributions by the end of January.The agency noted that many more families are receiving winter aid this year as a result of its awareness-raising and advocacy efforts. Over 5 million people have returned to Afghanistan since 2002, representing a 20 per cent increase in the country’s overall population. Some 4.3 million of them were assisted through UNHCR’s voluntary repatriation programme for Afghan refugees, the world’s largest for the past six years.The programme is currently suspended for the winter and will resume next March. The agency estimates there are still 2.8 million registered Afghans living in Pakistan and Iran.Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has noted important elements of progress in the country, which it says give rise to a sense of “cautious optimism” for the future. These include the “marked” improvement in the relations with Pakistan, according to a report released today on the Council’s 21 to 28 November mission to Afghanistan.The 15-member body also cited recent Cabinet appointments, which are expected to bring about increased energy and efficiency on the part of the Government, for example, in the fight against corruption. Progress also included the “significant” reduction in opium cultivation – some 19 per cent – as well as the commitment to improve governance, and the registration of nearly 2 million Afghans in the first two phases of the voter registration project ahead of presidential and provincial council elections slated for 2009. “Those gains must be built upon, especially in the coming year,” the Council stated. read more

Security Council renews DR Congo sanctions

The Security Council today extended for another year the arms embargo and other sanctions it imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to renew the mandate of the group of experts tasked with monitoring the measures.Council members voted unanimously to renew the measures, which also include a travel ban and an assets freeze on those who violate the embargo, until 30 November 2011. They requested the Secretary-General to extend the Group of Experts tasked with monitoring the embargo for the same period, and asked the Group to concentrate its activities in areas affected by illegal armed groups, including North Kivu, South Kivu and Orientale Provinces.The 15-member body also requested the experts to focus on regional and international networks providing support for such groups, criminal networks and perpetrators of serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses, including those within the national armed forces, in the eastern part of the country.In its latest report, the Group of Experts highlights the involvement of certain criminal networks with the Congolese armed forces, known as FARDC, in the illegal exploitation of natural resources, through illegal taxation, protection rackets, and various forms of commercial and coercive control. “This involvement, which President Kabila has publicly condemned, has led to pervasive insubordination, competing chains of demand and failure to actively pursue armed groups and protect civilians,” states a press summary of the report, which was made public today.The report also observes that, though forced to concede most of the main mining sites in the Kivus to the FARDC, Congolese and foreign armed groups continue to control natural resources in more remote areas and have increasingly relied on intermediaries and predatory attacks to profit from the mineral trade.Despite their varying strategic agendas, these armed groups have expanded coalitions among themselves with a view to maintaining their capacity to attack the FARDC and pillage local populations. 29 November 2010The Security Council today extended for another year the arms embargo and other sanctions it imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to renew the mandate of the group of experts tasked with monitoring the measures. read more

Major ice storm hits region

See our special coverage of the ice storm here.A major winter storm has hit portions of southern and eastern Ontario, including Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area. As much as 10 to 15 mm of more freezing rain is possible today.Ontario Provincial Police Constable Graham Williamson told CHCH that despite the slippery conditions, the number of collisions are typical for a Sunday. There are no reported serious injuries or highway closures.Environment Canada is warning people to take the following precautions:Make sure you are safe before assisting othersWatch television or listen to the radio for information from authorities and follow their instructionsStay put until all is safe or you are ordered to evacuatePower outages can be reported to hydro providers at the following numbers:Horizon 24-hour hotline: 905-522-6611Hydro One 24-hour hotline: 1-800-434-1235. read more

Local news briefs

Teens damage mailboxesPolice are investigating after a group of teens were seen damaging mailboxes.On Friday night a homeowner on Middleton North Walsingham Townline Road spotted three teens travelling along the road in a vehicle and damaging mailboxes.The homeowner began to follow the vehicle but lost sight when the driver sped away.The vehicle is described as a white coloured Chrysler vehicle with three teenage males.“Police are looking to speak to anyone that may have information regarding these incidents. We need to hold these individual(s) accountable for their actions. Residents are tired of having their property vandalized or property stolen by individuals who think that this type of behaviour is acceptable,” said Norfolk OPP Staff Sergeant John Fashing.Pickup truck fails to stop for policeOn Friday morning an officer patrolling Ireland Road in Simcoe spotted a pickup truck that grabbed the officer’s attention. The officer attempted to stop the truck, but the driver ignored the emergency lights.The vehicle was subsequently stopped at a Glenda Street address where the driver then fled from the vehicle and was last seen running through the Oakwood Cemetery.The driver was described as a white male, about 5’10” in height. He had close-cropped  hair and was wearing a hooded sweater and jeans at the time.Anyone with information is asked to contact the police at 1-888-310-1122.Concerned call leads to driver’s arrestA concerned citizen contacted police to report a possible impaired driver on James Street in Delhi on Sunday morning.Officers patrolling the area were able to stop the vehicle and investigate.As a result, a 34-year-old Norfolk County man was charged with operation while impaired — alcohol and drugs and failure or refusal to comply with demand.He is scheduled to appear in court in Simcoe at a later date.Driver crashes into treeA Norfolk County man has been charged with impaired driving after crashing into a tree in the early hours of Sunday morning.Police responded to an incident at Blossom Avenue in Simcoe around 5:20 a.m. on Sunday.As a result of the investigation a 20-year-old man was charged with operation while impaired – alcohol and drugs, public mischief, failure to remain and failure to comply with probation order.Chainsaw and tool sets stolenAt some point between December 2018, and April 13, 2019, someone entered a trailer and barn located at a 2nd Concession Road address in South Walsingham and removed a chainsaw along with several tool sets.Police received the report of the break and enter on Saturday around 4 p.m.The OPP is continuing to investigate and is seeking assistance from the public. read more

International Criminal Court arrives in DR Congo to start probe UN says

Staff from the ICC Prosecutor’s Office and Registry are expected to spend the next few days holding closed meetings with representatives of the Congolese authorities, civil society, and international organizations, spokeswoman Marie Okabe told a press briefing in New York.ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said on 23 June that the Court would open the first investigation of the ICC by looking into the grave crimes that allegedly took place on DRC territory since 1 July 2002.Last September, the Prosecutor spotlighted connections that between crimes being committed in DRC’s Ituri province and businesses operating in Europe, Asia and North America. He pledged to determine the contribution, if any, that these businesses are making to the commission of crimes in the DRC.”The investigation of the financial aspects of the atrocities allegedly committed in Ituri will be crucial to prevent future crimes and for the prosecution of crimes already committed,” he said at the time, voicing hope that the exercise would “contribute to the ongoing peace process and ultimately yield stability for the DRC, fostering not just political stability but also healthy markets.” read more

Getco buying Knight Capital in cashandstock deal that companies value at 14

by The Associated Press Posted Dec 19, 2012 8:45 am MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nearly five months after a major software malfunction at Knight Capital roiled financial markets, the trading firm has agreed to sell itself to a competitor, Getco, in a cash-and-stock deal that the companies value at $1.4 billion.Knight shareholders can choose $3.75 per share in cash or one share of stock in the new holding company. The per-share price — which is more than the $3.50 per share that Getco offered last month — is a 13 per cent premium to Knight’s Tuesday closing price. But it’s a fraction of the company’s worth before the meltdown.Knight’s stock rose 24 cents, or 7.2 per cent, to $3.57 in premarket trading.Knight Capital Group Inc. has one of the most advanced platforms for trading brokerages. The Jersey City, N.J., company takes stock trading orders from brokers like TD Ameritrade and E-Trade and routes them to the New York Stock Exchange and other exchanges.Getco’s acquisition is a path forward for Knight, which suffered $461.1 million in losses from the August malfunction that sent the shares of dozens of publicly traded companies haywire.After the problem was traced back to Knight, its shares lost three-fourths of their value in two days, forcing it to cede control of its operations on the New York Stock Exchange and seek a lifeline.Getco Holding Co. company became a major stakeholder after pitching in on a $400 million bailout of Knight this summer with a group led by financial firm Jefferies Group. Getco itself owns 57 million shares of Knight.Under the buyout agreement, Getco will receive 233 million shares of the new holding company. Getco CEO Daniel Coleman will become CEO of the combined company. Knight Chairman and CEO Thomas Joyce will become executive chairman.The combined company’s board will have nine directors, including Coleman and Joyce. Getco will designate 4 additional board members, while Knight will name three additional directors.Getco, based in Chicago, is owned mainly by its partners and executive team. Its only outside investor is General Atlantic, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn.The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013. Getco buying Knight Capital in cash-and-stock deal that companies value at $1.4 billion AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Newfoundland government says No to fracking applications prior to review

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Newfoundland government says No to fracking applications prior to review ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador is shutting the door on applications for hydraulic fracturing or fracking for oil and gas while it reviews regulations and consults residents.Plans to frack wells near Gros Morne National Park pending government approvals had raised concerns about groundwater pollution and the impact on one of the province’s prime tourism draws.Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said Monday that no fracking applications will be accepted before the review is complete and made public. He set no deadline.“We need to be cognizant of the consequences of the decision and we’ll move through that process in due time,” he said outside the legislature.Dalley said the Progressive Conservative government’s top concern is health and safety.“In making this decision, our government is acting responsibly and respecting the balance between economic development and environmental protection,” he told the house, which began its fall session Monday.Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, involves pumping water, nitrogen, sand and chemical additives at high pressure to fracture shale rock formations and allow gas or oil to flow through well bores to the surface. It’s increasingly used across Canada and the United States as energy demands grow while conventional sources wane.The province has not yet received formal applications to frack wells in western Newfoundland although exploration licences have been granted in what’s known as the Green Point shale near Gros Morne National Park.The prospect of drilling near Gros Morne, a spectacular hiker’s paradise recognized by UNESCO world heritage status, set off intense debate. It has also raised alarms about groundwater pollution and other risks.It’s believed Newfoundland’s west coast has deep shale formations that hold oil — unlike more shallow coalbed gas deposits in western Canada and parts of the U.S.Still, the Council of Canadians has warned that a lack of independent research before and after fracking means safety assurances ring hollow.NDP Leader Lorraine Michael said her party has long urged the government to halt any fracking applications until the process is better understood.“There are a lot of issues that are out there in the environmental world,” she told reporters. “Some of them are proven, some aren’t. And I think we have to make sure before we go any further that we have absolute proof that if there are environmental concerns, which there are, that they can be dealt with.”Dalley said the government will take the time it needs to assess the geology of western Newfoundland and compare its existing regulations to other jurisdictions.Western Newfoundland’s shale-oil deposits have been described as a potentially huge resource. Shoal Point Energy Ltd. (CNSX:SPE) holds three exploration licences. It reached a farmout deal earlier this year with Black Spruce Exploration, a subsidiary of Foothills Capital Corp., for as many as 12 exploration wells to be drilled over the next few years in the Green Point shale, if the province approved.No one with Black Spruce could be immediately reached to comment on Monday’s announcement.In Quebec, a moratorium on fracking for natural gas under the St. Lawrence River is now the subject of a $250-million lawsuit by Lone Pine Resources Inc. (TSX:LPR). The company says it bought leases in good faith and is now being denied a chance to develop them. by Sue Bailey, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 4, 2013 11:44 am MDT read more

Caterpillar announces a number of Vice Presidential changes

first_imgDoug Hoerr, Vice President of Caterpillar’s Material Handling & Underground Division (MH&U), has elected to retire from the company. Caterpillar’s board of directors has appointed a new vice president, and the company is also announcing new responsibilities for three current vice presidents.“For more than 20 years of his career with Caterpillar, Doug worked in a wide range of accounting and finance roles with increasing levels of responsibility and global scope,” said Jim Umpleby, Caterpillar CEO. “In 2012, Doug was named group CFO for Customer & Dealer Support, a position he held until being named a Caterpillar vice president in 2015.”In his role as CFO for Customer & Dealer Support, Hoerr was instrumental in coordinating key elements of the Across the Table initiative, which drove improved performance and alignment between Caterpillar and the worldwide dealer network. Most recently within MH&U, Hoerr led the execution of Caterpillar’s Operating & Execution Model resulting in restructuring of the MH&U operational footprint as well as the product portfolio.Hoerr joined Caterpillar in 1993 after working for the accounting firm of McGladrey, where he gained experience in auditing and corporate tax. Within Caterpillar, he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in accounting, business analysis and business resources in Customer Services Support, Parts Distribution, Integrated Manufacturing, Finance Services Division, Large Engine Products & Fuel System Division, Corporate Services Division and Large Power Systems Division. In 2012, he was named group CFO for Customer & Dealer Support. On January 1, 2015, Hoerr became a Caterpillar vice president. His retirement is effective August 1, 2017.Caterpillar is also announcing changes in responsibilities for current Caterpillar vice presidents Tom Bluth, Jean Savage and Karl Weiss. These changes will be effective August 1, 2017.Bluth, who was first named a vice president in 2007 and is currently Vice President of the Surface Mining & Technology Division (SM&T), will become Caterpillar’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the Vice President of the Innovation & Technology Development Division (ITDD).Since joining Caterpillar in 1995, Bluth has held numerous positions, including corporate attorney in the Legal Services Division, industry manager in the Latin America Commercial Division, district manager in the North America Commercial Division, worldwide medium wheel loader product manager and president and managing director of Caterpillar France. In 2007, the Caterpillar board of directors named Bluth Vice President of Asia Pacific Operations and two years later, he became Vice President of the Earthmoving Division. In 2013, Bluth moved to Vice President of the Mining Products Division and three years later, Bluth’s responsibilities were expanded to include leadership for mining sales and support as the Vice President of SM&T. Bluth graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Iowa State University, a law degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.Savage, who was first named a Caterpillar vice president in 2014 and is currently Caterpillar’s CTO and the Vice President of ITDD, will become the Vice President of SM&T.Savage was formerly Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Locomotive and Railcar Services business unit for Caterpillar subsidiary Progress Rail Services (PRS). Savage joined PRS in 2002 as vice president for Quality and Continuous Improvement. She also served as vice president of PRS’ Freight Car Repair, Parts and Quality Divisions before her most recent position. Prior to joining PRS, she worked in a variety of manufacturing and engineering positions in her 14 years at Parker Hannifin Corporation, a leader in motion and control technologies and systems. That was preceded by nine years in the Army Reserves as a military intelligence officer. Savage has an electrical and computer engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Dayton.In 2013, Weiss (pictured) was named a Caterpillar Vice President for the Earthmoving Division, the position he still holds today. Weiss will become the Vice President of MH&U, replacing Hoerr.Since joining Caterpillar in 1992, Weiss has had various assignments within product development at Caterpillar’s Decatur, Joliet and Aurora, Illinois, facilities, primarily focused on large machine structural design. Weiss subsequently transferred to Geneva, Switzerland, with Caterpillar Global Mining as an equipment management consultant serving mining customers and dealers in Europe and Africa. He then became the large wheel loader new product introduction manager in Aurora. Weiss then moved to Beijing, China, for four years where he served as the wheel loader product manager for the Asia Pacific Region. He then was named the worldwide product manager for medium wheel loaders in Aurora before being named Earthmoving vice president in 2013. Weiss graduated from Purdue University with a degree in agricultural engineering and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.Caterpillar’s board of directors has appointed Frederic Istas, currently aftermarket solutions global manager for Caterpillar’s Global Aftermarket Solutions Division, to the position of Vice President of the Earthmoving Division.“Building on his more than 20 years with Caterpillar, Frederic brings strong product management leadership experience from previous roles in the United States and Europe, as well as product support and marketing experience to this role,” Umpleby said.Istas joined Caterpillar in 1996 as part of the Europe, Africa & Middle East (EAME) Marketing Division, based in Geneva, Switzerland. He held roles as a 6 Sigma black belt and master black belt. In 2004, Istas was named district manager for the EAME Marketing Division in Geneva. From 2008-11, he was a global process owner in the Global Revenue Management Group based in Peoria. He then was named a regional product manager for the Excavation Division based in Europe. Istas has a degree in electromechanics from Industriele Hogeschool, Gent, Flanders, Belgium. Istas will begin his new role August 1, 2017.last_img read more

Music levels the playing field between gay and straight people

first_imgMembers of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. Source: FacebookIT’S HARD TO hate someone that you’ve just sung a song with. It shows that we’re human beings like everyone else. Music levels the playing field.These are the words of Charles Beale, the artistic director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus – one of 50 LGBT choirs in Dublin for the Various Voices festival this weekend.The Chorus is one of the main attractions at the festival. They will perform their show Big Gay Sing in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre tomorrow night.Almost 100 singers, some of them Irish, will take part in the performance, which will raise funds for Marriage Equality ahead of next year’s referendum.Beale said that members of the chorus felt particularly compelled to raise “vital” funds for the organisation.We have marriage equality in New York State so it’s great to be able to give back a little.He added that the show “connects people to the gay community” and has the potential for real “political impact”.“We’ve become famous for doing big events around the world. It’s fantastic to be able to offer the Marriage Equality campaign in Ireland essentially a free gig from a bunch of New York singers.”Beale said the show, which premiered in New York this spring and will be hosted by Panti Bliss, is “full of all the gayest songs in the world”.“The clue’s in the title: it has to be extremely gay. Why sing one Madonna song when we can sing seven? Let’s not have one drag queen, let’s have 15!”Gay men in the audience should leave thinking ‘I never need to need to see another Gay Sing in my life.’It needs to be pink. It needs to be fluffy. It needs to be extravagant.  It also needs to be big: more over the top than you can imagine.‘Incredibly proud’Various Voices is being hosted by Glória, Dublin’s Lesbian and Gay Choir.Festival Director Ian Doyle said that Glória is “incredibly proud” to have brought the event to Dublin – the first time it has been held in Ireland. Source: Facebook“It’s hugely important for the LGBT community to be able to host an event of this size,” Doyle stated.Through music you can really engage with people in a different way.A number of free choral performances will take place today and tomorrow as part of ‘Singing in the City‘. All of the concerts will be streamed live on AerTV. Venue and ticket information is available here.Various Voices takes place every four years and was last held in London in 2009.Read: 59% in new poll think you’re not homophobic if you oppose gay marriageColumn: Are you frustrated by the number of ‘gay’ stories in the media? Then read on…last_img read more

PornHub Shows Politicians Getting Screwed Kinda With This Documentary

first_imgPornHub is more than the sum of its adult-entertainment parts.Sure, you can visit the largest pornography site on the Internet to fulfill your kinkiest desires.But the video sharing service also dabbles in philanthropy, hosting several events and campaigns since 2012 to raise awareness for different issues (breast cancer, the environment, whales, and pandas), even offering a $25,000 STEM scholarship to one woman pursuing a career in the academic disciplines.Now, the site is getting into foreign politics by serving as a platform for a video created by Russian opposition activist and anti-corruption blogger Aleksey Navalny.The documentary, which allegedly accuses top government officials (namely Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev) and big businessmen of corruption, was banned by a Moscow district court.Citing Russian media reports, local broadcaster RT said the magistrate found the information presented in the video “is inconsistent with reality,” and “obliged” Navalny and his nonprofit Foundation for Countering Corruption to remove it from the Internet.Instead, the film landed on PornHub, under the title “Russian Corrupted Politician F***ed Hard.”Geek’s preliminary search of the site came up empty (unless you’re super into Soviet sex). According to The Next Web, the video received thousands of views before it was made private and flagged for review.“I want to be vehemently clear about this—PornHub did not upload Aleksey Navalny’s video,” Vice President Corey Price said in a statement. “We are a video platform which functions very much like YouTube, in that users are able to upload their own videos provided they have an account and that the content adheres to our [terms of service]. We have no political stance on Putin, or the Russian government in general, but we are very happy to have been unblocked in Russia so that we can continue to entertain our fans there.”As reported by Newsweek, the porn site reached out to Navalny online, inviting him to post more clips to the forum. The figurehead offered his thanks, adding that “I will not be deleting it anyway.”“This will help many citizens realize what corrupt officials do to the people of Russia,” Navalny wrote.In a Wednesday blog post titled “Do not delete,” the lawyer and activist urged Russians to join him in protests across the country during the June 12 Russia Day holiday.A Russian court in September blocked PornHub, alleging it provided minors unrestricted access to adult content. The site was reinstated in April with an age verification mechanism.We just wonder what’s the percentage of people watching the whole thing waiting for nakedness?Editor’s Note: This story was updated on June 2 with comment from PornHub.last_img read more

Vancouver eyes new tool for downtown

first_imgThe city of Vancouver is pursuing a “tool” that could help downtown businesses raise funds to fill the service gaps between what the owners want to see and what the city can provide. But much is left to be determined, including how it will be governed, the rate businesses would pay, the services provided and the service area.“As the downtown has grown and evolved over the last several years post-recession, we’ve started to explore what tools might be at our disposal to address the specific needs of the downtown core,” City Manager Eric Holmes said.A downtown improvement area is similar to a business improvement district: a governing body made up of ratepayers — in this instance, business owners — that determines the assessed fee and how the revenue will be spent.“Downtown is changing and that means the management of downtown could possibly change as well and respond to that,” said Teresa Brum, Vancouver’s economic development division manager.In the last five years, 47 new restaurants and bars have opened downtown, and additional restaurants, hotels and apartment units are on the way as development on The Waterfront Vancouver continues.last_img read more