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Article 370 JK cadre IAS IPS officers to continue in old role

first_imgNew Delhi: IAS, IPS and other central service officers of J-K cadre will continue to serve in the two successor Union Territories (UTs) while new recruits of these services will be allocated the AGMUT cadre.According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, the provincial service officers will continue serving in their current positions till a new order is issued by the Lt Governor for the two new UTs of J-K and Ladakh. “In future, the All India Service officers to be posted to Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir or Union territory of Ladakh, as the case may be, shall be borne on the Arunachal Goa Mizoram Union Territory cadre, and necessary modifications in corresponding cadre allocations rules may be made accordingly, by the central government,” according to the Bill introduced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha on Monday. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Bill provides for creation of two UTs– J-K and Ladakh. The Arunachal Goa Mizoram Union Territtory is popularly known as the AGMUT cadre. The Bill added that the cadres of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) for the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir, on and from the appointed day, shall continue to function on the existing cadres. The Lt Governor, the Bill said, will decide about the provisional strength, composition and allocation of officers once the two new UTs are formed and notified. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KTalking about these provisions for “other services”, the Bill said “every person who immediately before the appointed day is serving on substantive basis in connection with the affairs of the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir shall, on and from that day provisionally continue to serve in connection with the affairs of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union territory of Ladakh, by general or special order of the Lieutenant Governor of Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.” It added that state government employees will be able to “seek option” to serve in either of the two UTs of J-K and Ladakh and this transfer will be “determined” by the Lt Governor. The Bill added that the “Central government shall have the power to review any of its orders issued under this section.” It also talked about the future of the public service commission that will function in the two UTS and recruit provincial service officials for the government. “The Public Service Commission for the existing state of Jammu and Kashmir shall, on and from the appointed day, be the Public Service Commission for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.” “The Union Public Service Commission, with the approval of the President, shall serve the needs of the Union Territory of Ladakh.” The government on Monday revoked some provisions of the Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and proposed bifurcation of the state into two UTs– Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.last_img read more

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Nova Scotia modernizing liquor laws ending plebiscites for dry communities

first_imgHALIFAX – A Prohibition-era law that has for decades required “dry” Nova Scotia communities to hold plebiscites on whether to change their liquor rules is coming to an end.Nova Scotia’s Liberal government announced the change to its Liquor Control Act on Tuesday, making it the last jurisdiction in the country to end the unusual ritual.The law had called for votes when a business wanted to make or serve alcohol in a dry town, or the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. sought to open an outlet in communities where the sale is restricted.There are about 100 communities — mostly in rural areas and some too small to support a bar — where the dry laws remained in place since the 1920s.As of Jan. 1 of next year, their municipal governments can quickly end this status if a brewery or liquor store wants to set up.Nova Scotia has been the only province that restricted where liquor can be sold or produced through provincial legislation. Other provinces have long relied on municipal zoning or bylaws to impose restrictions.The list of communities that were considered dry has been based on an old map in a government office in Halifax that is supposed to show which ones are still locked in Prohibition.But the names are so faded that the document is of little use.When an application is made for a rural liquor licence, research is often required to determine if the area is still dry because the electoral boundaries have been redrawn many times over the years.There’s also a different list of officially dry communities when it comes to the operation of liquor stores.Since taverns were first legalized in Nova Scotia in 1948, over 280 plebiscites have been held by the province’s alcohol and gaming division.As Finance Minister Karen Casey made the announcement on Tuesday, she noted recent plebiscites have had poor turnouts and have seen lopsided victories to end the liquor restrictions.It has also been two decades since any area voted against allowing the loosening of liquor restrictions.“The requirement dates back to Prohibition, and has become outdated,” said Casey.“They can be costly and they can add months in the time it takes to obtain licences and permits.”The province has seen a flourishing of wineries and small craft breweries in recent years, adding impetus to the Liberals’ desire to eliminate the plebiscite practice.Earlier this year, the community of North River, N.S., voted heavily to go “wet.”Similar one-sided victories occurred in Annapolis County’s District 3 and in District 4, according to Elections Nova Scotia results.Follow (at)mtuttoncporg on Twitter.last_img read more

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Turkish Greek ministers meet with positive agenda

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s foreign minister says the defence chiefs of Turkey and Greece could meet soon as part of new confidence-building measures aimed at reducing tensions between the NATO allies.Mevlut Cavusoglu made the announcement on Thursday during a joint news conference with Greek counterpart Giorgos Katrougalos. The two met in the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya to discuss an array of issues that have strained ties, including divided Cyprus and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.Katrougalos said the two were focused on pushing forward a “positive agenda.” He said that Greece recognizes that Turkey also has exploration rights in the Mediterranean under international laws.On Cyprus, Cavusoglu said he and Katrougalos would hold a series of informal meetings to see if a new peace effort for the island is possible.The Associated Press read more

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Serena Williams Is Some Kind Of Clutch

With Sunday’s U.S. Open victory, 32-year-old Serena Williams gathered her 18th major singles title — tying her with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for second on the all-time open-era list, behind only Steffi Graf’s 22. Remarkably, this was only Williams’s 22nd appearance in a final. Graf won her 18th Grand Slam title in her 26th final (at age 26). Navratilova didn’t win her 18th slam title until her 30th final (age 33), and Evert won her 18th (age 31) in her 33rd appearance (though, in fairness, those two had to play each other in 14 finals).Combined with her 22-3 record in semifinals, Williams’s career win rate in the last two rounds of major tournaments stands at 85.1 percent, easily topping the list of women with five or more slam titles:Second and third place go to Margaret Court and Graf, respectively — and then it’s daylight down to Monica Seles.But it’s also clear in the above chart that Williams’s performance prior to the semifinals is less remarkable: She ranks only 10th of 12 on that list in win percentage in the earlier rounds (despite not yet experiencing end-of-career decline). She has more exits in the first four rounds of majors (18) than Navratilova and Evert had, combined (16).In fact, Williams’s early-round performance is fairly similar to that of contemporary Maria Sharapova, particularly after we adjust for relative player strength. Both Williams and Sharapova have a reputation for dropping the occasional early-rounder against lower-ranked opponents. To see how often they lost to what kind of opponent, I broke the following chart down by “degree of mismatch” (techy mumbo-jumbo: the x-axis metric is the difference between the log of Williams’s/Sharapova’s seed and the log of their opponent’s seed. I treated all unseeded players like they had the No. 32 seed. This is just a better way of establishing relative strength than raw ranking difference):Williams does a little bit better, particularly in situations where she’s the lower seed (that’s not surprising considering her volatility), but then she takes a turn for the incredible at the semis:Williams is deadly when she makes it deep, regardless of ranking. Sharapova — the second-winningest player since Wimbledon 2004 — not so much.Of course, that Sharapova has been Williams’s main competition for so long is one of the reasons to be skeptical of Williams’s finishing skills: She hasn’t had to face a Seles or an Evert, as Graf and Navratilova did (or vice versa). So using the data from the 13 women with five or more major wins, I created a model to determine some basic odds of one of these top players beating an opponent based on each player’s ranking (actually, the model ends up using both the relative seeds and the absolute seed of the opponent — apparently, for top players, their own seed is much less important). From that, we can evaluate each player’s performance not just as a percentage, but against expectation considering the relative strength of their opponents.In this case, Williams has an even larger advantage than above when it comes to semifinals and finals, with a nearly 10 percent gap between herself and sister Venus Williams, with Court dropping to third, and Justine Henin taking the No. 4 spot.Yet, prior to the semifinals, Serena Williams is almost exactly at expectation: She’s ahead of it by two one-hundredths of 1 percent.To some degree, this has made me reconsider Williams’s career. Of course, we’ve always known she is brilliant, clearly the class of this generation and quite possibly the greatest female player of all time. But I have always assumed that she was reverse clutch — meaning that she was demonstrating clutchlike performance, but that it was probably a result of playing poorly in less-“clutch” situations (for example, if she didn’t try very hard in earlier rounds).This may still be the case. Or perhaps some other factor explains the findings — for instance, maybe Williams’s form entering Grand Slam events varies wildly, so she either loses early or wins the title. But the longer and more consistently this phenomenon persists, the more I’m forced to consider (at least conceptually) that perhaps Williams is really just a typical great player most of the time, but actually does possess the ability to summon something extra when the pressure is on. read more

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Warning over Adelaide travel business

first_imgTravellers have been told to be wary of an Adelaide travel agent after a number of customers were allegedly left out of pocket when trying to return home from their overseas trip. Acting Commissioner for Consumer Affairs George Kemencak has issued a public warning notice against Olympia Express Travel Services, run by Vasilios Koutropoulos. He said he had received a number of complaints from customers who claimed Mr Koutropoulos had accepted payment for services but failed to deliver. “At least four people claim they paid for their holidays to Greece in full before leaving Australia, but were shocked to discover when embarking on their way home that their return ticket was either not booked or not paid for,” Mr Kemencak said. Mr Kemencak said accepting payments and failing to supply all the services within a reasonable time-frame may breach the Australian Consumer Law. Mr Koutropoulos told the ABC he had met with the consumer watchdog and the money would be repaid. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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McDonalds Happy Meals Will Come With Mario Toys For a Limited Time

first_imgStay on target ‘Astral Chain’ and Other Dumb Nintendo SongsHands-On: ‘Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020’ Seems Fine With Nintendo being on everyone’s mind these days, McDonald’s has wisely partnered with the world’s most famous game company to include Mario Toys inside of Happy Meals. Happy Meals purchased from now until May 22 will come with one of eight different Mario toys.These Mario toys look a lot like Amiibos. Though the toys do not have the same functionality of Amiibos, they do have “special functions.” For example, the transparent Mario can light up with different colors.Nintendo Switch consoles are still hard to find. Thankfully, McDonald’s is giving folks a chance to win the coveted Nintendo system along with a copy of the upcoming Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. To qualify, you have to buy something at a McDonald’s restaurant and then register that purchase with the company’s mobile app. This will provide customers with one entry in the sweepstakes. Happy Meal purchases will get folks two entries. For the full list of rules, make sure to follow this link.via youtubeHappy Meals are technically supposed to be for children but don’t be surprised if there is a sudden uptick in the number of adult purchasers. I’m not the biggest Nintendo fan out there, but even I kind of want some of these toys. I don’t see the harm in buying them even if you are an adult. Although if you can, bring your little cousin or a friend’s kid with you to the register, so you don’t have to suffer too much embarrassment.In other Nintendo Switch news, GameStop will have a limited number of systems in stock today. They’ll all likely be gone by the time you read this, but there may be some left. Best Buy and Toys R Us will also have additional consoles in stock on Friday, so you may want to try getting one at that time. Good luck!last_img read more

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Pochettino warns fullstrength Spurs can challenge for league title

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino suggests that his side may be able to maintain their unexpected Premier League title till the end once at full-strength.Despite the absences of star duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli for over a month and a lack of signings across the past two transfer windows, Spurs have stayed in the mix with Manchester City and Liverpool for the league title this season.The Lilywhites have won four games in a row now following last week’s impressive 3-0 Champions League triumph over Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.But Pochettino thinks there may still be something left in the tank from his squad once his injured players have returned.“I am so happy and feel so proud of my squad,” Pochettino told Sky Sports. “From the beginning of the season no one believed we could repeat last season.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“[But] we are where we are because we deserve to be there. We’ve competed very well in the last few months, got the results we wanted and kept a very good position in the table while being involved in the Champions League.“With all the things [that have been] against us we were fighting, and we are going to fight in the future to be in a very good position and try to win.“But, of course, the moment we have the whole squad available we are going to be stronger than before.“We will see, if we are able to arrive in the last few months in a good position, that is the moment to push and to achieve the things that we want.”Spurs will take a trip to Turf Moor on Saturday to take on Burnley in their next Premier League match.Victory this weekend will enable Pochettino’s men to close up to two points within City, who will be facing Chelsea in the Carabao Cup instead, in third-place.LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 30: (EDITOR’S NOTE: Digital filters have been used) The corner flag is pictured prior to the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Watford FC at Wembley Stadium on January 30, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)last_img read more

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Soy Transportation Coalition to House Investment in Infrastructure Vital to Ag

first_imgIn testimony before a House subcommittee this week, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC) Mike Steenhoek emphasized the greater importance of transportation to farmers as agriculture has evolved.Steenhoek, testifying before the House Transportation & Infrastructure subcommittee, cited the need to invest in transportation infrastructure in a consistent and reliable manner, support for increasing truck weights to improve capacity and efficiency and the need for a more efficient process for bridge inspections and ratings. His full testimony can be viewed here. The STC is comprised of 13 state soybean boards, the American Soybean Association (ASA), and the United Soybean Board (USB).The hearing titled, “Meeting the Transportation Needs of Rural America,” was held in connection with the congressional efforts to reauthorize a new long-term surface transportation bill, commonly referred to as the Highway Bill.  The Highway Bill authority and funding was temporarily extended until July 31 as Congress seeks agreement on a long-term bill.last_img read more

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Railway Budget 2013 Unplugged Pawan Bansals First and Last Choice

first_imgOpinions on Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s Railway Budget 2013 may differ from person to person, but on a closer look, he has presented a good budget considering the current financial situation of the Indian Railways and the forthcoming elections next year.In fact, Bansal has taken a few praiseworthy steps towards narrowing down the deficit gap in the struggling Indian Railways without disappointing the common man and at the same time appeasing the industrial sector.Many may questioned if Bansal’s Railway Budget 2013 was too financial discipline and avoided taking bold steps, including hiking passenger fare, keeping in mind next year’s elections and not to disappoint the public who were irked by rail fare hike last month. He is also been criticized for introducing lesser new rail lines compared to previous years.But on a closer look, Bansal has cleverly hiked the passenger fares, though indirectly, and would do so in the future though he abstained from increasing the figure in his budget. The public will indirectly pay more through ticket cancellation, clerkage and tatkal charges. Supplementary charges for super fast trains have also been marginally raised. The cost of travelling on train too may go up as the railway minister hinted a possible annual hike of 5 percent for various kinds of services.The public may also have to pay more in the future depending on the flatuating fuel price as the government is implementing Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) linked revision for freight tariff from 1st April 2013. The railway minister said that the move could increase the cost of commodities by 4-8 paise per kg but additional revenue to the Railways will be around ₹4,200 crore.Bansal’s Railway Budget has many positive things that his predecesors didn’t think of. The announcement that a loan of ₹3,000 cr taken in 2011-12 has been fully repaid along with interest should come as a welcomed move. He also promised that the Railways will make profit by the end of the financial year.He announced the Indian Railways will set up an exclusive Centralized Training Institute at Secunderabad – Indian Railways Institute of Financial Management (IRIFM), indicating his long-term plan for the Railways.Bansal’s Railway Budget will also please investors, as much modernization projects of the railways will be done through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) route. Target of ₹1000 crore each fixed for Rail Land Development Authority and IR Station Development Corporation to be raised through PPP in 2013-14. Of the planned investment of Rs 63,363 crore for the financial year, ₹6000 crore will be under PPP mode.Many may not be happy for not introducing many new rail lines as expected but several measures announced in the budget like – safety, cleanliness and hygiene, special provision for women passengers and differently abled persons, introduction of Train Protection Warning System on Automatic Signalling Systems, elimination of 10797 level crossings to curb accidents, introduction of Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains, introduction of next-gen e-ticketing system that can handle 7200 tickets per minute as against the present 2000, and several others are necessary and will help the Railways in the long run.Bansal’s Railway Budget 2013 should be considered as a clever one.last_img read more

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Ammonites were probably eaten by fellow cephalopods

first_imgPhotograph of the ammonite Asteroceras obtusum taken by Dlloyd. The specimen is from the Jurassic Lower Lias Formation, Obtusum Zone. Image: Wikipedia. Explore further Giant Skull of 12m Pliosaur ‘Sea Monster’ Unearthed in England Citation: Ammonites were probably eaten by fellow cephalopods (2010, December 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-12-ammonites-eaten-fellow-cephalopods.html (PhysOrg.com) — Fossilized ammonites found with bite marks in similar places on their shells suggest they were eaten by other cephalopods such as beaked squid, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Fatally bitten ammonites from the lower Lias Group (Lower Jurassic) of Lyme Regis, Dorset, by Chris Andrew et al. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society , 58, 81-94. doi:10.1144/​pygs.58.1.276 © 2010 PhysOrg.com The ammonites were invertebrate marine creatures living in shallow waters less than 100 meters deep. They became extinct around the end of the Cretaceous period, and are thought to be the ancestors of the modern-day cephalopods, which include squid, cuttlefish, nautilus and octopus species. They are the best preserved and most widely found fossil around the world, and are recognizable by their spiral shells. They were predators themselves, feeding on a variety of fish, mollusks, and even other cephalopods, but little is known about ammonites as prey.Around a fifth of the ammonite fossils found on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset in the UK have what appear to be bite marks in an area near the back of the shell where muscles would have held the shell in place. A bite at this point would have severed the muscles and allowed the body to be drawn out of the shell.Any predator producing the bite marks would need to have been precise, and must have been capable of grabbing hold of the ammonite and manipulating it into the right position for the kill. One of the authors of the paper, Paddy Howe, a geologist with the Lyme Regis Museum, said modern cephalopods are perfectly capable of the kind of adept behavior required, and a beaked squid could certainly be the culprit, since the bite marks are consistent with a beak.Another possibility is a gas bubble between the body and the shell, but as Richard Edmonds of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site points out, this is a much less likely explanation. Depressions made in this way would be expected to contain crushed shell, but Mr Edmonds said he had never seen a fossil like that. Shell fragments would also be expected if the marks were made after the animal had died, and the marks would not all be in the same place on the shell.The Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site covers over 150 kilometers of coastline in the UK counties of Dorset and East Devon, and is an area well-known for ammonite fossils and many other fossils from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous geological periods.last_img read more

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Popular Music became angrier sadder over time

first_imgPopular music has gradually become angrier and sadder over time, and the expression of joy has declined, a study has found. While music fans preferred joyful songs during the 1950s, modern music consumers are more interested in songs that express sadness or anger, researchers said. Data scientists at Lawrence Technological University in the US used quantitative analytics to study the change in lyrics of popular music over seven decades, from the 1950s to 2016. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”The change in lyrics sentiments does not necessarily reflect what the musicians and songwriters wanted to express, but is more related to what music consumers wanted to listen to in each year,” said Lior Shamir, from Lawrence Technological University. Research analysed the lyrics of over 6,000 songs of the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ in each year. In the past the songs were ranked mainly by record sales, radio broadcasting, and jukebox plays, but in the more recent years it is based on several other popularity indicators such as streaming and social media to reflect the changes in music consumption. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe tones expressed in each song were analysed by applying automatic quantitative sentiment analysis. Automatic sentiment analysis associates each word or phrase in the song with a set of tones that they express. The combination of the tones expressed by all words and phrases of the lyrics determines the sentiment of that song. The sentiments of all Billboard Hot 100 songs in each year are averaged, and the average of each year allows to measure whether the expression of that sentiment increased, decreased, or remained constant. The analysis showed that the expression of anger in popular music lyrics has increased gradually over time. Songs released during the mid 1950s were the least angry, and the anger expressed in lyrics has increased gradually until peaking in 2015. The analysis also revealed some variations. Songs released in the three years of 1982-1984 were less angry compared to any other period, except for the 1950s. In the mid 1990s, songs became angrier, and the increase in anger was sharper during that time in comparison to previous years. The expression of sadness, disgust and fear also increased over time, although the increase was milder compared to the increase in the expression of anger. Disgust increased gradually, but was lower in the early 1980s and higher in the mid and late 1990s. Popular music lyrics expressed more fear during the mid 1980s, and the fear decreased sharply in 1988. Another sharp increase in fear was observed in 1998 and 1999, with a sharp decrease in 2000. The study also showed that joy was a dominant tone in popular music lyrics during the late 1950s, but it decreased over time and became much milder in the recent years.last_img read more

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Everyone in Canada is now officially allowed to say drag queen

first_imgBut notoriously strict local officials have decided that drag queen is now an acceptable French term, along with other English words like grilled cheese, cocktail and softball.The Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF), which defends the use of French and protects it from pervasive English words, made the changes earlier this year without much fanfare.Its official online dictionary now includes the phrase, defined as “a male person constructing a female identity, usually dressing in a colorful and extravagant manner, often as part of a show.”It is, the 56-year-old organisation says, now “within the sociolinguistic norm of French in Quebec.”OQFL spokesman Jean-Pierre Le Blanc told BBC News that the policy was loosened “to keep in the mind the social and linguistic reality of Quebecers”.“We’re legitimising what is already commonly being used,” he added.Le Blanc said the agency would continue to create and promote French equivalents to new English words like hashtag – a word which has prompted the rival suggestion of ‘mot-clic.’But he said the OQFL was “not closed to other languages. The phrase ‘drag queen’ has been officially permitted by authorities in Québec.The predominantly French-speaking Canadian province, which is home to more than eight million people, had previously excluded the phrase from its list of authorised foreign words. eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) “That’s what we want to show with this new policy.”The news will be welcomed by eight-year-old drag queen Lactatia, who leapt into the public’s hearts when he stole a Montreal show from RuPaul’s Drag Race queen Bianca Del Rio.He was pulled onstage during the Quebec leg of the Werq the World Tour, and the precocious star, whose real name is Nemis Quinn Mélançon Golden, won over the audience with his sass.Bianca told him: “I absolutely adore you.“I love the fact that you’re here, and what I love most about this is that your mum is here supporting you.”And Lactatia carried on taking the world by storm in an interview with YouTube channel LGBT in the city.Speaking with poise and certainty, he told the audience: “I think that anyone can do what they want in life.“It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks,” he continued.“If you wanna be a drag queen and your parents don’t let you, you need new parents.“If you wanna be a drag queen and your friends don’t you, you need new friends.”Last month, Toronto-based kindergarten teacher John Paul Kane hit the headlines for combining his drag performances with his work in education.Kane explained that he draws inspiration for his drag persona, Fay, from the children he teaches.“Ultimately my kids have influenced my style.“The music I choose and the colours of my costume. The kids have inspired her more than anything else.”Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Canada works on niche tourism effortsLGBT tourist hotspot Puerto Vallarta celebrates half-naked go-go boys and drag queensMeet the man who brought Drag Race to ThailandPINK NEWS-last_img read more

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Shadow Robot joins Avatar X program to bring realworld avatars into space

first_imgShadow Robots Company, experts at grasping and manipulation for robotic hands announced that they are joining a new space avatar program named AVATAR X. This program is led by ANA HOLDINGS INC. (ANA HD) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). AVATAR X aims to accelerate the integration of technologies such as robotics, haptics and Artificial Intelligence ( AI), to enable humans to remotely build camps on the Moon, support long-term space missions, and further explore space from Earth. In order to make this possible, Shadow will work closely with the programme’s partners, leveraging its unique teleoperation system that it has already developed and that is also available to purchase. AVATAR X is all set to be launched as a multi-phase programme. It aims to revolutionize space development and make living on the Moon, Mars and beyond, a reality. What will AVATAR X program include? AVATAR X program will comprise of clever elements including Shadow’s Dexterous Hand, which can be controlled by a CyberGlove worn by the operator. This hand will be attached to a UR10 robot arm controllable by a PhaseSpace motion capture tool worn on the operator’s wrist. Both the CyberGlove and Motion Capture wrist tool have mapping capability so that the Dexterous Hand and the robot arm can mimic an operator’s movements. The new system allows remote control of robotic technologies while providing distance and safety. Furthermore, Shadow uses an open source platform providing full access to the code to help users develop the software for their own specific needs. Shadow’s Managing Director, Rich Walker says “We’re really excited to be working with ANA HD and JAXA on the AVATAR X programme and it gives us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how our robotics technology can be leveraged for avatar or teleoperation scenarios away from UK soil, deep into space. We want everyone to feel involved at such a transformative time in teleoperation capabilities and encourage all those interested to enter the AVATAR XPRIZE competition.” To know more about AVATAR X in detail, visit ANA Group’s press release. Read Next Four interesting Amazon patents in 2018 that use machine learning, AR, and robotics How Rolls Royce is applying AI and robotics for smart engine maintenance AI powered Robotics : Autonomous machines in the makinglast_img read more

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Vehicle restrictions to be suspended for Wednesday holiday

first_imgDrivers with license plate numbers that end in 5 or 6 will be allowed to enter downtown San José Wednesday, as vehicle restrictions will be temporarily suspended.Public Works and Transport Ministry officials decided to suspend the restriction in observance of the April 11 holiday that celebrates Juan Santamaría, a national hero.Vehicle restrictions normally apply based on the last number of license plates on cars traveling through a restricted urban zone, which includes downtown San José and on the Circunvalación, a belt route around the city.  The fine for violating vehicle restrictions is ₡46,852 ($90). Facebook Comments Related posts:Vehicle restrictions to be suspended for the holidays on Dec. 23 Heavy vehicles restricted by traffic police this weekend Costa Rican vehicle restrictions return Monday Driving Restrictions Suspendedlast_img read more

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Costa Ricans ready to vote as hardfought presidential campaign draws to an

first_imgWhile a few political flags waved in the streets Saturday night, Costa Ricans quietly readied themselves for the end of a hard-fought electoral campaign and a Sunday vote to decide the country’s next president and Legislative Assembly.For the first time, two of Costa Rica’s left-leaning parties have a solid shot at taking the presidency and disrupting decades of ruling party governance.Despite occasional honking of caravans supporting one of the top four candidates, most of the country’s cities and neighborhoods were quiet Saturday, as some three million voters get ready to pick President Lauran Chinchilla’s successor.The outcome is anyone’s guess, as polls show a tight race between National Liberation Party candidate Johnny Araya, Broad Front Party candidate José María Villalta, the Citizen Action Party’s Luis Guillermo Solís and Libertarian Movement Party candidate Otto Guevara.Polls showed Araya and Villalta as the two frontrunners heading into Sunday’s vote. But Solís came on strong in the final weeks of the campaign, more than doubling his support in polls last week.On Saturday, Villalta – a progressive candidate who opponents attempted to link with the socialist governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua – acknowledged that he had been assigned a police security detail after reportedly receiving death threats. Villalta, however, seemed unfazed by the development.“We have reinforced security a little, which is normal as Election Day approaches. It’s normal that candidates boost security,” he said, according to the news site AmeliaRueda.com.Araya, the 56-year-old former mayor of San José, and lawmaker Villalta, 36, have traded the top spot in several polls in recent weeks. Pollsters say they are in a virtual tie. Right behind them are Solís and Guevara, with nine other presidential candidates and several legislative candidates on the ballot. Supporters of Costa Rican presidential candidate for the ruling National Liberation Party Johnny Araya wait for the start of a rally in San José on Jan. 31, 2014. Rodrigo Arangua/AFPThe candidates spent the day Saturday playing football in parks, walking through neighborhoods with supporters, and visiting markets and coffee plantations.Many analysts say an April runoff is unavoidable, as none of the candidates appear in a position to reach the 40 percent of the vote needed to win in a first round.“It’s practically impossible to avoid a second round. But it’s difficult to determine which candidates will make it,” political analyst Víctor Ramírez said.Ramírez pointed out that according to the most recent polls, undecided voters topped some 30 percent – a significantly high number in a country that has the longest and healthiest democracy in the region.Corruption and inequalityDespite its lauded social and democratic stability, which contrasts with Central American neighbors, economic inequality grew more in Costa Rica in 2013 than any other Latin American country, and with it, public discontent, said analyst Constantino Urcuyo.“There are huge corruption cases, we have a 20 percent poverty rate and inequality is growing. People are tired and they want solutions,” 46-year-old vendor Manuel Rodríguez said.That set the stage for the quick rise of a leftist lawyer and environmentalist who spoke out against corruption and a free trade agreement with the United States, converting himself into the “protest vote” for many Costa Ricans, analyst Jaime Ordóñez said.Villalta and Solís blame the traditional political class for the country’s current woes, and note that the ruling PLN has dominated the political scene for the past 60 years, along with the now-weakened Social Christian Unity Party. Many voters have grown disenchanted with the PLN’s neoliberal economic model implemented over the last 30 years. Critics say that policy has slowly eroded the public health and education systems, among others, which had been a source of deep pride for the country of 4.3 million.“The time for change has arrived. Thirty years of the neoliberal dark night is about to come to an end. They call me a communist because they can’t call me corrupt. But I won’t be copying other models,” Villalta said, referring to his opponents’ allegations that the young progressive would follow the path of Venezuela and its late leader Hugo Chávez, who died last year.Araya, meanwhile, has promised to reactivate the economy, decrease poverty and modernize the country.“There are those who have an apocalyptic vision. But I want to build upon our strengths,” Araya said.Serving as the capital city’s mayor for more than two decades, Araya inherits significant contempt for the past eight years of PLN administrations in the Casa Presidencial. His party’s current president, Laura Chinchilla, has the worst approval ratings in the hemisphere, and her administration has been criticized over corruption cases and accusations of incompetence.Although Costa Rica has shown stable economic growth – 3.4 percent in 2013 – the country has been unable to reduce poverty in two decades. Its infrastructure is falling into disrepair – particularly the roads and ports – and the fiscal deficit tops 5.4 percent while the national debt totals 50 percent of gross domestic product.Not a typical electionCosta Rica’s complex political panorama is marked by a fractured Legislative Assembly, and the next president – who takes office on May 8 – will face the difficult task of promoting policy through the Assembly.“Party and ideological lines have become blurred,” Ramírez said.Unlike past elections, where large caravans of cars, rallies in plazas and parks, and colorful flag-waving took place across the nation on the days leading up to the vote, this year’s campaign was bitterly fought mostly on social networks.Supreme Elections Tribunal President Luis Antonio Sobrado said the TSE would begin releasing results at 8 p.m., two hours after the polls close.If the vote count between the top two candidates is less than 2 percent, a manual count will take place, he said.Polls open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 6,515 polling centers, and will be monitored by the Organization of American States and other delegations. Some 12,000 Costa Ricans living abroad will be allowed to vote for the first time.Follow updates throughout the day at http://ticotimes.net.Here’s what the presidential ballot will look like: Related posts:UCR poll: Araya, Villalta, Solís neck-and-neck as campaigns close Luis Guillermo Solís and Johnny Araya head to April 6 runoff after close Costa Rica vote The real communist threat in Costa Rica CID-Gallup poll shows Araya might avoid presidential election runoff Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact TEMPE, Ariz. — They say familiarity breeds contempt. It may also breed success.The Arizona Cardinals’ schedule saw them take on the AFC South this season, and through three games, the team is a perfect 3-0 against foes from that division.Wins over the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts have helped keep the team in the playoff race, and a victory over the fourth and final team, the Tennessee Titans, is essentially a must if the team is to keep hope alive. “I think so,” quarterback Carson Palmer said when asked if it helps. “Having two opportunities to play against them last year is huge. “But at the same time, they had two opportunities to play against — obviously different players, but the same scheme. It definitely helps you in the personnel department and mismatch department, what you’re trying to accomplish on offense, so yeah, I think it’s definitely helped us.”For many Cardinals, the AFC South is unfamiliar territory. The last time Arizona played the division was 2009, with the team beating Houston and Jacksonville while losing to Indianapolis and Tennessee. Just six players on the current roster were on the team that year, and for perspective, the starting QBs in that game were Matt Leinart for the Cardinals and Vince Young for the Titans. Plenty has changed since then, but little has changed since Arians and his staff were roaming the division’s sidelines just last season.“Usually when you play someone like the AFC South and you’re from the NFC West it’s an unusual opponent for you, and for us it’s almost like a normal week when it comes to these guys,” Colledge said. “They’ve been game planning these guys for a long time and they know their tendencies and know what to expect, and that helps us with the process.” Granted, the coaches’ knowledge can only take a team so far. As Arians alluded to, at some point it comes down to players simply doing their jobs and making plays. While the coaches’ knowledge of the opponents may help in the game plan, it’s up to the men on the field to execute it. Which is why cornerback Jerraud Powers, who spent his first four NFL seasons in the AFC South as a member of the Colts, doesn’t see much of advantage at all.“I just think our mentality is to take it one game at a time and try to execute the game plan the best that we can,” he said, noting Arians himself was only in the division one year. “I wouldn’t just say we were familiar with the AFC South and that’s why we’ve had success. It’s just kind of how the chips fall, if they may.”Including this season, the Cardinals hold a 16-15 record against the four AFC South teams. Of all the divisions in the NFL, it’s the one the team has faced off against the least.But what the Cardinals franchise lacks in experience the coaching staff makes up for in knowledge, and up to this point, that has been most beneficial. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires ErrorOK… ErrorOK Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   So it’s a good thing, then, that the Cardinals have an idea of what they’re going up against. “It does help, there’s no doubt about it,” head coach Bruce Arians said of being familiar with the conference. “When you play those teams as long as we’ve played them — it seems like I’ve played Tennessee once or twice a year for the last 10 years — but it helps knowing their guys.”However, knowing an opponent only helps a team so much. Arians acknowledged that it all comes down to how well his players play. But Arians and much of his staff spent last season in the division, so there was, and is, an advantage to be had.“In this league you’ll take anything you can get, any little help you can get,” guard Daryn Colledge said. “Having a staff like this that knows these opponents helps us out a lot.”On average, the Cardinals have beaten their AFC South opponents by a score of 31-16, though the numbers are a bit skewed due to a 40-11 romp over the Colts a few weeks ago. But the idea that the staff’s knowledge has played a role in the team’s success is not necessarily unfounded. Top Stories last_img read more

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Mahwah New Jersey – Reported by Elite Traveler t

first_imgMahwah, New Jersey – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineThe iconic Land Rover Range Rover was officially introduced to the United States 25 years ago this year in 1987. To celebrate this milestone, Land Rover will host a special celebration in conjunction with the New York Auto Show and will invite consumers to an urban off-road adventure where they will drive 2012 model year vehicles at a custom-made course in the heart of New York City’s meatpacking district. In the past quarter century, the growth and acceptance of the Land Rover brand in the U.S. marks a true product and brand success story. That success is defined by loyal customers, a distinct authentic brand and consistent sales success.The original Range Rover (colloquially known as the “Range Rover Classic”) established a new market segment for dual-purpose vehicles that could go almost anywhere and has been the platform for numerous technological innovations in the industry. Its unmatched capability, rich heritage, and favored status among world leaders, entertainment personalities, athletes and design visionaries has established the Range Rover as a benchmark icon.Created in 1970 by Land Rover as their second model, the Range Rover luxury SUV was an addition to the well-established Land Rover utility vehicles that evolved after WWII. Land Rover vehicles were frequently featured in movies, TV shows about African exploration, and world news coverage. Land Rover was often the vehicle of choice for teams bringing humanitarian relief in war zones or natural disasters.In the 1980s, four-door sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were beginning to emerge in America. Often built on pick-up truck chassis with rather harsh rides, the lack of refinement often limited their appeal as all-purpose family cars. An innovation featured on the Range Rover was the use of coil springs at all four wheels, rather than leaf springs, as seen on other four wheel drive vehicles. This suspension design gave it an exceptionally smooth ride.The first Range Rover had a U.S. price of $30,850, an unprecedented figure for a vehicle most people thought of as a truck rather than a luxury car. The Range Rover of North America team set out to establish the brand, offering potential customers the opportunity to add the Range Rover to their portfolio of the very best luxury goods that life has to offer.In the past 25 years, the Range Rover has achieved an enviable position in the marketplace, and has been the choice of discriminating buyers for its prestige, panache and performance. Land Rover’s latest success story is the launch of the award winning 2012 Range Rover Evoque, the company’s lightest and most fuel-efficient SUV ever. The all-new Range Rover Evoque has received over 90 international awards including the 2012 ‘North American Truck of the Year’ and the 2012 Motor Trend ‘SUV of the Year’. The award winning Range Rover Evoque is currently sold out and expected to remain on backorder for the remainder of 2012.With 2011 sales up a remarkable 20 percent, Land Rover in North America scored the largest improvement, percentage-wise, of any of its luxury vehicle competitors with total sales exceeding 38,000 vehicles.“The outlook for the company in this its 25th anniversary year is strong and confident,” said Andy Goss, President, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. “Our current product line-up is the strongest we’ve ever had and the U.S. consumer strongly embraces our brand. The deeply ingrained corporate values and dedication to the brand that were instilled by the original management team 25 years ago has served Land Rover well. Today, there’s a renewed focus, enthusiasm and energy within the company,” Goss said.www.landrover.comlast_img read more

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Polish man extradited over tractor fraud case

first_imgA 34-year-old man from Poland was extradited to Cyprus on Wednesday in connection with money laundering and fraud over the sale of a tractor.According to police, a man reported on August 3, 2016 that he had agreed to buy a €7,200 tractor via the internet which was available for sale on a Polish website.He contacted the company and proceeded to transfer the money for the vehicle via his bank.However, the tractor was never shipped to Cyprus, and when the buyer searched for the company’s website, he found it no longer existed.Police carried out investigations and in early September 2016 requested the assistance of the Polish authorities.The authorities complied and sent evidence to their Cypriot colleagues revealing that the suspect had withdrawn the money deposited for the tractor from his bank account on three occasions.In February 2017, the Larnaca district court issued an arrest warrant, and a European arrest warrant was issued a few months later, in July.The suspect was arrested in January 2018 in Poland on the basis of the European warrant pending against him and the court agreed to extradite him to Cyprus.On May 14, officers from the Larnaca police force travelled to Poland to bring the suspect to Cyprus. They arrived at around 3am on Wednesday.The arrested man denies all charges.You May LikeHealth & Human Research7 Kidney-Damaging Foods You Probably Eat Every DayHealth & Human ResearchUndoTripminutes.comThe 20 Most Beautiful CastlesTripminutes.comUndoFritzguideThe Most Beautiful Lake Towns in EuropeFritzguideUndo Two days of music to dance toUndoFamagusta municipality says Varosha entry goes against UN regulationsUndoFilms and food at RialtoUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Theology teachers criticise archbishop over religious holidays

first_imgTheology teachers on Wednesday said they disagreed with Archbishop Chrysostomos’ suggestion to scrap some religious school holidays, arguing it would defeat the purpose of observing their educational value.In a written statement, the theology teachers’ association of the secondary education union Oelmek, said that they were against any attempts “either to restrict, switch or abolish any of the four legally established religious days as school holidays”.The reaction came after Archbishop Chrysostomos announced on Tuesday that he had suggested to education minister, Costas Hambiaouris, that five church holidays that see schools close for the day be abolished, including his name day.The move has been widely seen as the archbishop directly entering the ongoing dispute between the education ministry and teachers over attempts to streamline the present generous reduction in teaching hours according to years of service.Last month the archbishop called teachers ‘workshy’ for opposing the changes.But the theology teachers said that the wider theme of these religious days as school holidays “has a deeper meaning and content in relation to their pedagogical, educational value and dimension”.The group also said they opposed a proposal to abolish religious studies from state schools.They were referring to a social media post by Akel MP, Irene Charalambidou, who said that instead of the archbishop proposing to stop religious holidays, he should propose abolishing religious studies.“It is my opinion that the lesson should be replaced by the sociology of religion, which would also contribute to the development of critical thinking. Isn’t this what it is being sought after in education, or for some it is dogmatism that is being sought after?” Charalambidou said in her Facebook profile.The group said that converting the subject into that of sociology of religion was completely “out of place and misguided”.“It has been proven that the [existing] class provokes, among many other things, critical thought but also basic intercultural and sociological values,” the group said.They added that it prepares children for “a responsible life in a free society within a spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, gender equality and friendship between all the peoples and religious groups”.It is for these reasons, they said, that the subject in various forms is strongly enshrined in the education systems of all European countries.The association also called on everyone to “finally let schools operate within a peaceful and tranquil climate”.In his suggestion, sent in writing to the minister, the archbishop said he was responding to the stance of many who had voiced the opinion that too much time school time was devoted to religious holidays.He said that few, if any, educators take advantage of religious holidays for the purpose for which they have been established as neither they nor their students use the time for religious worship on those days.“These days are simply used as holidays,” he said.The archbishop proposed abolishing them, starting with his own name day which is marked on November 13.Other days he suggests are Ascension Day (movable), the day honouring Apostolos Varnavas founder of the Cypriot Church on June 11, the day of the Three Hierarchs, honouring three men made saints by the Greek Orthodox Church for their contribution to Christian theology, marked on January 30, and the Feast of the Saint of community or parish where an individual school is located.   You May Likedepthhome.comTop 10 Reasons to Consult an Accident Attorney if Someone Gets Hurt in Your Homedepthhome.comUndoFinance DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get Up To $250,000 If They Do This…Finance DailyUndoTravelfuntuGuess What Happens Next, Try Not To LaughTravelfuntuUndo Iran’s Revolutionary Guards publish purported exchange with British warshipUndoFamagusta municipality says Varosha entry goes against UN regulationsUndoTwo days of music to dance toUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Coldest night over but temperatures below normal Updated

first_imgThursday night was the coldest of this winter and this has been the fourth rainiest December in 15 years, the head of the meteorological office said on Friday.Friday night is also expected to be cold but a tad warmer than Thursday when temperatures dropped to -5 degrees Celsius on Troodos’ Olympus peak and around 3C at Troodos square.According to the head of the met office, Cleanthis Nicolaides, no snow is expected on Friday but the mountains may have a white new year as snow is expected over the next three days. No snow is expected in Nicosia.Although Friday will be warmer than Thursday, Nicolaides told the Cyprus News Agency temperatures will be lower than the seasonal average. Temperatures are expected to be around 13C inland, 17C in the coastal areas. In the highest mountainous areas, the maximum temperature will not exceed 2C, he said.In the evening, temperatures are expected to drop to 3C inland, around 7C in the coastal areas and -3C in the mountains.“With these temperatures it is very likely that frost will be formed on roads that are wet, so caution is necessary,” he said.Saturday is expected to be cloudy with the possibility of local showers. Snow or sleet is expected in the mountainous areas. Temperatures are expected to be around 17C inland, 18C in the coastal areas and around 6C in the mountainous areas.The same weather pattern is expected between Sunday and Tuesday. The temperatures are expected to remain on the same levels as Saturday’s.Nicolaides said that the wave of bad weather that has affected Cyprus over the past couple of days came from the northern sea, and has influenced the Balkan peninsula and Greece and moved east.In terms of rainfall, Nicolaides admitted that the met office had been off in its predictions as they expected a dry December.This year’s December, he said, was “excellent” as regards rainfall and is the fourth rainiest December of the last 15 years with more than 140 millimetres of rain.Average rainfall during the month reached 147 per cent of normal, according to the preliminary data.The heaviest rainfall was recorded at Paphos airport, 294 per cent, and Polis, 171 per cent.Average rainfall between December 1 and 28 was 155.2mm compared with 105.6mm, which is normal for the month. Average rainfall in the past 24 hours was 5.2mm, the Met said.Paphos airport saw 288.4mm, ahead of Pano Panayia, 239.1mm, Platania, 237.5mm, and Stavros tis Psokas, 222.4mm.The lowest was recorded in Athienou, 68.8 per cent, or 115 per cent of normal for the month, and Athalassa, 88.5 per cent, or 153 per cent.The rainiest December was 2012 with 209 millimetres of rain, Nicolaides said.On whether January will be as rainy, Nicolaides said that no one can say with certainty as climate prediction depends on a number of factors.“There are some predictions that January will be rainy, but there are some renewed forecasts for a dry month. It remains to be seen,” he said.The frost and snow in the mountainous areas caused some problems to motorists who tried to reach the Troodos square on Thursday, police said, as two to three cars that had no snow chains fitted on their tyres got stuck in the snow.A jeep overturned in a ditch. No injuries were reported.Police warned motorists that roads, especially in mountainous areas will be very slippery due to frost, and that those wishing to visit Troodos must fit snow chains or use four-wheel drive vehicles.On Friday, police have announced that all roads leading to Troodos, both from Limassol and Nicosia, are closed due to heavy snowfall.The following roads are open only to vehicles with four-wheel drive or those equipped with chains:Pedoulas-Pine Wood-Kakopetria, Pedoulas-Prodromos, Prodromos-Trooditissa, Prodromos-Lemythou, Prodromos-Troodos.Due to frost, the roads Kakopetria-Prodromos and Platania-Karvounas have become extremely slippery and dangerous and drivers are urged to be very careful, to drive at low speed, to keep their lights on and drive at a safe distance from vehicles in front.On Friday, police announced that the Prodromos-Troodos road was open only to vehicles with snow chains or on four-wheel drive.The following roads remain slippery due to frost, police said:Pedoulas-Pine Wood-Kakopetria, Pedoulas-Prodromos, Prodromos-Trooditissa, Prodromos-Lemythou, Prodromos-Troodos, Kakopetria-Prodromos, Platania-Karvounas and Pedoulas-Kykkos.Drivers were urged to be very careful, to drive at low speed, to keep their lights on and drive at a safe distance from vehicles ahead of them.More information: www.cypruspolicenews.com and on police social media pages. You May LikeDirectExposeWorld’s First Surviving Octuplets Are All Grown Up. 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