first_imgNick Wheelwright appointmentFormer Codemasters CEO joins MotoGP developer.GamesIndustry InternationalFriday 28th January 2011Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareRik, who invited Nick Wheelwright to join the team said,Im genuinely thrilled to have Nick on board as CEO.His appointment has already brought a fresh energy to the companyand Im looking forward to building the company alongsidehim.Nick Wheelwright added, This is going to be a good yearfor Monumental. The forthcoming MotoGP title looks and playsfantastically, and has already been described in the press asGran Turismo on two wheels a greatcompliment, and one that I feel is deserved. The dedication of thestaff throughout the company is formidable.We have some exciting times ahead building on thepotential of our PRIME engine, and I look forward to making a realcontribution to the success of the company. Monumental is in anextremely good position with its browser-based technology, which isgathering widespread acclaim from a number of differentpartners.(182 words)NOTES TO EDITORSAbout Monumental GamesHeadquartered in Nottingham (UK), Monumental Games owns andoperates PRIME, their proprietary technology for the creation ofbrowser-based Massively-Multiplayer Online Games (MMOs). Monumentalwas founded in 2005 by industry veterans Rik Alexander and RoccoLoscalzo, and is the developer behind MotoGP 09/10 and theforthcoming MotoGP 10/11 (Capcom), and Football Superstars(Cybersports).Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games For further press information and photography pleasecontact:Paul Mayze, Chief Operating OfficerEmail: [email protected] Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair 6 hours agoEA Play Live set for July 22Formerly E3-adjacent event moves to take place a month and half after the ESA’s showBy Jeffrey Rousseau 8 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

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first_imgRiot Games exec Greg Street promises change to sexist cultureMeanwhile, ex-Riot artist and Jinx creator Katie De Sousa reflects on her own experiences, is confident studio can turn things aroundJames BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefFriday 17th August 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleRiot GamesA leading member of League of Legends developer Riot Games has shared details on how the company is trying to improve its internal culture, following accusations of sexist behaviour among employees.The firm has already stressed it has a “zero tolerance policy” for such behaviour following an extensive exposé by Kotaku. Now Greg Street, head of creative development, has offered his own thoughts on the matter.Answering a question about how he plans to “fix the broken, sexist culture at Riot” via his Tumblr, Street said he is listening more to ensure the women on his team, and in other departments, “feel like we hear them, we really understand their point of view, and we understand what they want changed.”Greg Street, Riot GamesHe continues: “Some of the episodes mentioned that qualify as harassment or worse are horrible and inexcusable, and I would not allow them on my teams. I have fired people for such behavior at Riot and also at Blizzard. It’s a dissatisfying ending to the story because you typically don’t announce why someone is being terminated, and that is particularly true if there is a victim involved that you want to protect. As a leader at Riot, I have to make sure that the rest of the organization doesn’t tolerate it either.”I am personally more worried about the chilling effect that can happen if women feel like their ideas are not being heard, or they don’t receive fair pay or opportunities for promotion. I take those problems really seriously and I would like to think that women who have been on my teams feel like they have been recognized for their accomplishments. But it would be more meaningful to ask the women.”Street observes that, historically, Riot has focused on hiring “active game players”, which inevitably generates a male-dominated pool of job seekers. He reports the developer is now “trying to explore new avenues of how we source potential applicants” and believes there are “opportunities there to broaden the kind of folks we interview.””Look, this is an industry (gaming specifically, but tech at large) that has a pretty terrible track record for women and minorities,” he concludes. “It has been a problem everywhere I have worked, and sadly Riot is not immune either. “Riot talks a lot more about culture than anywhere I have worked, so perhaps that makes it doubly disappointing that we haven’t been able to deliver. Industry-wide, if not culturally-wide, these issues are not easy to fix, but they are important to fix, and that gives me hope that we won’t give up.”Meanwhile, a former Riot artist has shared her own experiences of working at the studio. Katie De Sousa spent five years at the firm and was the creator of League of Legends’ hero Jinx. She is currently the art director at Phoenix Labs working on upcoming free-to-play RPG Dauntless.Katie De Sousa, Phoenix LabsHer own Tumblr post is lengthy but well worth a read as she recounts the various forms of sexism and intimidation she experienced during the early stage of her career, adding that no matter how many women share their stories, it continues to be a challenge to truly convey how oppressive such a culture can be.”How do you talk about 5 years of awful, painful, mosquito bites so that people who have never been bitten can understand?” she writes.She recounts a company party at a nightclub where a drunk and older senior leader cornered her and began “asking me questions and coming uncomfortably close”, before aggressively demanding “Do you know who I am?”De Sousa writes: “I’m sure a lot of women can relate to feeling completely safe one moment, and then the next moment something happens and you experience the crushing realization that you’re still just prey. That’s what Riot felt like from then on. It felt like I was a deer trying to thrive while constantly surrounded by wolves. This feeling was validated over and over again. I got pretty good at pretending to be a wolf though.”She goes on to write how, despite adopting a “faux-alpha personality” to better fit in, she still experienced inappropriate comments (some of which the men believed to be compliments) and was even told by a male colleague that “women don’t fit in a male heirarchy”. When she attempted to vent her grievances to some coworkers, a lead took her aside and warned that it appeared like she was spreading rumours.”This is what happens when you speak up, even a little, as a woman,” she says. “You’re not raising awareness, you’re disturbing the peace.”She doesn’t note that several of her colleagues, particularly her art directors, were supportive and trusting. These peers took her seriously, acknowledged her good work, and even confront men that “treated me like a lesser human.” “I can’t, however, ignore the fact that striving for [my] achievements was harder as a woman than if I was a man,” De Sousa writes. “I feel like the road would have been easier if I wasn’t interrupted, ignored, or spoken over much more than my peers. If men didn’t cut me off mid-sentence in meetings to mock the way I said “Sorry”. I was on a team full of people from diverse backgrounds, I didn’t see any of them get their thoughts kicked aside for the sake of entertainment the way that mine were.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Despite her experiences at the company, she remains “optimistic about Riot’s future” and believes the studio can eradicate this toxic culture.”When people argue “oh the games industry is like this, it’s not just Riot” yes, that is true, and we should hold them all to higher standards,” she says. “Riot is one of the most forward thinking studios, and one that I believe is incredibly capable of change. The resources and talent they have can move mountains, if they’re collectively willing to set aside their egos, to listen, learn, and make the sacrifices necessary to be better. “This is a difficult task, and I don’t envy the work ahead to them. That studio is the size of a small town, and it’s going to take a lot of work to retroactively dig out the weeds that have been ignored and allowed to develop roots, but when has Riot ever shied away from difficult tasks?”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesTencent in talks with US Committee to retain Epic and Riot stakesThe CFIUS is investigating whether user data handled by the two studios could constitute a “national security risk” because they are Chinese-ownedBy Marie Dealessandri 6 days agoRiot issues cease-and-desist to League of Legends fan projectDeveloper denies claims that it tried to “extort” code and assets from the Chronoshift teamBy Danielle Partis 14 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

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first_imgDevelopers weigh in on “cold reality” check for indiesResponses to John Warner’s sobering article came from a range of indie devs, both with and without AAA experienceRebekah ValentineSenior Staff WriterThursday 4th October 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareEarlier this week, we published a guest column from Over The Moon studio director John Warner, entitled “It’s time we stopped encouraging indies.” In it, Warner pushed back against traditional encouragement of young creators toward indie development, referring to an “enabling” attitude that ignored the “cold realities” of the business.The piece sparked a number of replies from existing indie developers, some of whom came from AAA and others who did not, sharing their perspectives across social media and other platforms on why Warner’s approach was either a much-needed wake-up call or an inaccurate, limited portrayal of the industry.The range of opinions on Warner’s piece is broad, and we feel many of the stories are helpful in gaining a wider view of the current struggles of indie development; from the perspective of those with AAA experience who begin indie projects later in life, and those who find success carving their own path without that experience.”I am your competition as an indie dev. You may not like to think like that… but the fact is, I exist and I’m making games 60 hours a week and I love it” Cliff HarrisCliff Harris, founder of Positech Games, is one developer who largely agreed with Warner’s assessment, weighing in through a blog post. Harris laid out several industry factors contributing to the struggle to be noticed in a crowded marketplace and to make money after investing massive amounts of time and money.Though Harris admitted he doesn’t have a solution, he identified three “forces” that contribute to this struggle: the fact that indie developers are willing to take unnecessary risks and thus drive down wages, lowered barriers to entry, and skill disparity. All of these, he said, can often be avoided by someone with AAA experience who can recognize them.”A really AWESOME bricklayer may be able to lay bricks at double the rate of a bricklayer who learned the trade last week,” he wrote. “Maybe even three times as fast. That’s awesome. But a really AWESOME programmer is likely 40 to 50 or even 100x as productive as a newcomer to programming. It sounds like bullshit but its true, and the sad thing is you really need to HAVE that much experience before you truly appreciate this reality. The same is likely true for artists.Cliff Harris”In many ways I am the *worst case* scenario as a competing indie developer. I have 37 years coding experience, and 20 years indie dev experience. I learned to type before home computers even existed, and used to get a book and type out the text from the book on a manual typewriter *for fun* as a child. I’m married and have no kids, so I’m not constantly socializing or dating, and have zero distractions. I work from home in the countryside in a 100 per cent distraction-free environment. I can afford the most comfortable chair imaginable, the fastest PC imaginable, I am healthy, I love my job, I have no boss, and no financial worries. Add to this…I have no major hobbies, I hate most TV, the majority of books I read for fun are about programming or business or marketing.”…I am your competition as an indie dev. You may not like to think like that, and I certainly like to be helpful to other indies and encourage people, but the fact is, I exist and I’m making games 60 hours a week and I love it. I am not the only one. You are also trying out-code Chris Delay from Introversion, Jonathan Blow, Jamie Cheng, Ryan Clark, and a bunch of other indies who have WAY more experience and WAY more technical ability than you (probably), simply because of age and time.””The broad spectrum of skills you *must* master to be a successful independent dev is staggering” Raphael van LieropHinterland founder Raphael van Lierop felt the article provided much-needed perspective, though he offered a more moderate takeaway. His studio is currently working on The Long Dark, and it has assembled a team of veterans to do so – 90 per cent of the developers at Hinterland come from AAA studios, he said, and that has given the team the wisdom that comes with experience without diminishing their creativity.”The broad spectrum of skills you *must* master to be a successful independent dev is staggering, compared to the specialization that is required to work on very complex, large-scale software projects (which is what AAA games are),” he said. “Not better, just broader. When small, generalization is necessary. You sacrifice being great at one or two things to be very good/decent at many, many things. That’s what a small team/project/studio needs. Larger projects need specialists, discipline experts, to push things forward, break new ground.”Not better or worse, just different. There’s lots to learn on both ‘sides’ (if they are sides, and I’m not sure they are — I don’t think they should be), making anything is difficult, respect to anyone who ships anything at all, really.”Raphael van LieropEmma ‘Eniko’ Maassen of Kitsune Games also tweeted a lengthy reply, acknowledging that indie developers needed the dose of realism, but felt that the article didn’t give a fair shake to generalists.”The first assumption here is that being a specialist in AAA will give you the skills needed to run a successful business,” she writes. “It won’t. You see famous AAA designers transition to indie all the time and fail because they can’t apply the same techniques.”…The thing is, what you really need is the skills to make the best game you can as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. That’s not a skill you’ll pick up in AAA. Even more than that, to succeed as an indie you need to know how to run a business, which AAA doesn’t teach.”…Frankly I think this is where most indies go wrong; they don’t know how to run a business. They don’t know how to do market research or projections. They don’t plan for failure and to stack multiple smaller projects to spread out risk to the business, and more… Anyway, you wanna succeed in indie you need to not only be GOOD, you need to be a generalist who can flex into different roles when needed, and you need to know how to run a business, when to spend money and when to not. AAA experience will not teach you any of that.””What you really need is to make the best game you can as quickly and cheaply as possible. That’s not a skill you’ll pick up in AAA” Emma ‘Eniko’ MaassenChris Totten, who runs Pie for Breakfast Studios, pointed out another problem: the lack of industry jobs to provide that experience in the first place.”The industry is one where a few very big studios hold the cards (jobs with benefits) and have the ‘problem’ of too many choices of who to hire,” he said. “This is GREAT for studios as they have lots of talent to choose from, but is utterly toxic for applicants.”The fact of the matter is, most big studios nowadays won’t look at you unless you’ve shipped something, but by ‘shipped something’ a lot of these studios also mean ‘on Steam or the App Store.’ This is an important distinction, as students or new developers who understand this can find collaborators (or make a properly-scoped game on their own) and release something. This shows that 1) you are a self-motivated person who wants this, and 2) you have experience shipping.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Independent developer Zach Gage also offered a dissenting opinion. In a lengthy Twitter thread, Gage pointed out that the original article pre-supposes that success is reaching a particular, laid-out goal. Instead, Gage noted that many developers, as artists, don’t have a singular goal to work toward. And that, he said, is fine.”Almost everyone I know in the arts, even lots of successful amazing people, have side-jobs,” he said. “That’s what it’s like being an artist. That is normal. Try to recall the last time someone you know quit their day-job to strike it rich as a painter or a writer or a musician. The way to operate in the arts is to take small risks by doing highly risky small things that make you happy and give you experience/resumé items even when they fail catastrophically. Don’t build your livelihood or taste or happiness around expecting commercial success.”…This is what Warner misses in that article. He thinks mortgaging your house to make a puzzle platformer is stupid and advises you to learn a trade skill and enter the industry and put in your dues. These are both bad. They’re top-down, and to be an artist you need to go bottom-up.”Figure out how to make work that makes you happy NOW. Don’t join a company, don’t mortgage your house, don’t pay a team, or write a design spec. Don’t spend three years or even one year. Make things that you think are great and release them to the world and iterate, iterate, iterate.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 11 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 15 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

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first_imgUK: Shift from large-scale to rooftop PV confirmedThe anticipated shift in the U.K. solar PV industry from large, utility-scale plants to rooftop projects has been confirmed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Investors and developers will have to wait after the elections to get a clear view of the new policy landscape, however. March 11, 2015 Ilias Tsagas Installations Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has confirmed the U.K. solar market’s shift towards the rooftops of the country’s homes and businesses. Speaking at the Solar Finance and Investment Conference in London, Richard Cave, the DECC’s head of solar PV and hydro, said the U.K.’s solar strategy aims “to shift [the PV market] from large-scale to buildings, with the commercial and industrial rooftops fragment of the market being largely untapped today.” Cave said the DECC’s priority was to “guarantee power supply at affordable prices for the consumer,” but added that there was “no magic wand” to achieve this. Nevertheless, the DECC’s solar strategy puts in a place “a portfolio of different actions, which together are designed to help.” These actions include governmental efforts to lead the rooftop market via developments at its estates. On this front, Cave said that pilot projects are under way aiming to achieve scale. Secondly, the DECC is examining the current feed-in tariff (FIT) framework and is particularly interested in the transferability of the tariffs, agreements for permitted development as well a revision of the degression bands currently in place. Thirdly, the DECC recently hosted a round table discussion concerning the landlord and tenant relationship and what regulations could perhaps ease this relationship in order to boost commercial rooftop installations. Finally, Cave said the DECC was very much interested in community PV, hence the policy framework announced in November, which, he argued, extended the definition of a community project. Barriers to the rooftop PV commercial market The PV shift to rooftops is not going to be easy. A debate on Wednesday revolving around the U.K. rooftop market at the solar finance and investment event exposed barriers to this market fragment that don’t exist in ground-mounted plants. Such barriers might be technical (e.g., the building needs to withstand the installation weight), regulatory (e.g., what happens when businesses want to install PV in buildings they rent) and legal (e.g., the case of business insolvencies). Specifically, the landlord/tenant relationship is more characteristic of the U.K. than other countries. In Germany, for instance, businesses own rather than rent the properties they occupy. Other DECC guidelines that are eagerly anticipated include new rules that regulate the ability to move a solar kit to another site in the case of an insolvency. The DECC consultation on the matter ended January 5 but the results have yet to be published. Ultimately, “the life-cycle of solar PV is the same across Eurpean countries, albeit at a different pace,” said Francesco Zorgno, executive director at 2F Capital, a company that invests solely in rooftop projects around Europe. “This leads to industrial rooftops. Investors are increasingly more interested in industrial rooftop PV.” The reason behind this interest, Zorgno said, is that commercial rooftop PV bears higher returns. In the beginning of a rooftop plant, returns might be low but later tend to increase. Zorgno pointed out that the attention paid to the length of power purchase agreements was overplayed and urged investors to consider how much of their generated power was also sold to the market. James Hoare of LHW Partnership added that in order to avoid having power remain unsold, especially given the grid restrictions, rooftop PV owners should better develop systems that satisfy their demand. Other panelists predicted that the U.K. industrial rooftop PV market would soon be run by institutional landlords, who, a few years ago, were mainly concerned about the financial stability of their tenants. These days, with an improved financial environment, institutional landlords are looking to install PV on their buildings and eventually rent the generated power to their tenants in the same way they rent their properties, they added. The Solar Finance and Investment Conferencer took place March 10-11.Popular content Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. The re… Solar park built on rough wooden structures comes online in France Gwénaëlle Deboutte 26 April 2021 pv-magazine.com French company Céléwatt energized its 250 kW ground-mounted array, built with mounting structures made of raw oak wood.April 26, 2021 Gwénaëlle Debo… Spanish developer plans 1 GW solar plant coupled to 80 MW of storage, 100 MW electrolyzer Pilar Sánchez Molina 22 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Soto Solar has submitted the project proposal to the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco). The solar plant could start produc… We all trust the PV performance ratio test Dario Brivio, Partner 20 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The performance ratio test is at the core of the handover from EPC to owner. 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In 2021, government… ESG criteria: Should developers take notice? Michael Fuhs 7 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Something is brewing in the financial world. “Sustainable finance” and the growth of ESG funds have been taking the mark… Flexible tools for the next generation Jonathan Gifford 7 April 2021 pv-magazine.com A solar manufacturing investment cycle appears to be underway in Europe, with equipment suppliers reporting surging leve… PV feed in, certified pv magazine 7 April 2021 pv-magazine.com As more renewable energy capacity is built, commissioned, and connected, grid stability concerns are driving rapid regulatory changes. iAbout these recommendationslast_img read more

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first_imgWe are fortunate in India to have many rivers. Rivers are the best source of sweet water which is the essence of our life. The water is not only sweet but also carry innumerable minerals.We worship Rivers!!However, we, unfortunately, started dumping polluted water from cities, town and villages. Further wastewater, chemical, waste liquid and other polluted water/materials sent to the rivers. This is done just to avoid little extra efforts.The net result has been that many places river water is not even drinkable and also some places it cannot be even used for irrigation.Such a situation led us to realise to keep the river water clean. Govt has taken many actions for the last many years and also spent huge money. The result has not been so encouraging.Due to Covid-19 the country is going through a lockdown situation. We have all notices many positive aspects of lockdown such as reduction of pollution levels be it air, water, noise etc.Due to lockdown, the quantities of wastewater going to rivers is reduced and we found the quality of water has improved considerably. We may hope we can see the purest water in a short time.How can we get sweet mineral water from rivers?The solution is just simpleA. No wastewater of cities, towns and villages should be allowed to go to riversB. No wastewater, chemicals or any other waste is allowed to go to riversC. Nothing should be thrown to rivers.D. Any act of above must be heavily punishableHow do we handle waste?·      First we need WILL and some efforts·      We need to implement immediately waste management facilities by administration and Industries.·      There are many ways and means to handle any kind of waste.· In fact, waste management itself gives many-many business opportunities along with pollution control.This is the golden time to take corrective actions ASAP so that people of India are able to reap the benefits of natural sweet with mineral water and remain healthy.Suggest citizens must also be conscious and alert to ensure nothing is thrown in the rivers.With a hope that we shall get natural water (untouched from foreign materials of any kind except rainwater) from our rivers very soon.Stay safe and healthy.With best wisheslast_img read more

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Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesBy AARON KATERSKY, JAMES HILL and JOSH MARGOLIN, ABC News(NEW YORK) — Federal prosecutors in New York have formally requested testimony, through the United Kingdom, from Prince Andrew, as part of the criminal investigation into the alleged co-conspirators of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, two officials familiar with the matter told ABC News.The request was made through a Mutual Legal Assistance treaty to the British Home Office, which is the typical process. The Justice Department, notably, did not make a request through Buckingham Palace, but rather decided to ask for the U.K.’s help in compelling the royal’s testimony.Prince Andrew is only a witness and is not the target of the investigation, ABC News has previously reported.A spokesman for the Southern District of New York declined to comment. The Justice Department also declined to comment.The U.K. Home Office typically does not confirm or deny the existence of a Mutual Legal Assistance request, except where disclosure is necessary to obtain the cooperation of the witness, according to the British manual for such matters.The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, has previously sought to encourage Prince Andrew’s cooperation.“The Southern District of New York and the FBI have contacted Prince Andrew’s attorneys and requested to interview Prince Andrew, and to date Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman told reporters on Jan. 27.In a November statement, the Duke of York said, “I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations.”Prince Andrew has long denied any involvement in the wrongdoings of his late friend Epstein, the famed financier and convicted sex offender who was found dead in an apparent suicide in prison while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.Sources have told ABC News the investigation of Epstein’s alleged co-conspirators is ongoing and has focused on Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and associate.Prince Andrew may be able to provide information about his interactions with Epstein and Maxwell in New York, the Virgin Islands and London — three places where Epstein owned property, and where he allegedly took his victims. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. read more

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first_img“I will go to court with my head held high and my back straight,” Salvini said ahead of the vote when it became apparent that a majority would vote against him.This is the second time the Senate has lifted Salvini’s parliamentary immunity over his treatment of rescue ships while interior minister: The chamber did the same in February over a similar case concerning Salvini’s refusal to let 131 migrants rescued at sea disembark, this time keeping them aboard one of Italy’s coast guard ships for six days in July 2019.In both cases, judges still have the power to halt the proceedings altogether. Also On POLITICO Matteo Salvini’s coronavirus slump By Hannah Roberts The race to be Italy’s Nigel Farage By Hannah Roberts The Italian Senate voted Thursday to lift the immunity of former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, paving the way for him to be tried over his handling of boats carrying migrants rescued at sea.While still in his government post in August 2019, the far-right League party leader refused to let 164 migrants disembark in Italy, keeping them aboard the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms for 20 days. Public prosecutors have accused him of kidnapping and negligence, but he was protected from facing trial as he is a senator with immunity.A majority of 149 senators backed the prosecutors’ request, while 141 voted against.last_img read more

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first_imgOn Feb. 12, the world celebrated the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Much was made of his key idea, natural selection, and how it still resonates and informs science in the 21st century.With good reason. Darwin’s 1859 “On the Origin of Species” shook the world. Its 490 pages made modern biology what it is, accelerated secular thought, and became — in the words of E.O. Wilson, Harvard’s Pellegrino University Professor Emeritus — “the most important book ever written.”One aspect of Darwin went largely unnoticed in the celebrations: an acknowledgment of Darwin the writer, a man with the eye of a reporter and the pen of a novelist. Though he didn’t invent the phrase “survival of the fittest” (English philosopher Herbert Spencer did), it lived on because Darwin used it in the fifth edition of “Origin,” where it was preserved within a text whose language still shimmers with loving detail.But Darwin the writer was appropriately acknowledged at Harvard earlier this week (Feb. 23) in a lecture by Dame Gillian Beer, King Edward VII Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, sponsored by the Humanities Center at Harvard. Beer’s 1983 book, “Darwin’s Plots,” remains a seminal work on Darwin as a prose stylist who influenced the Victorian novel.Twice a day, later in life, Darwin loved having novels read to him, an exercise that Beer said sharpened his writing and “punctuated his work of observation.” Darwin once wrote, she added, “I often bless all novelists.”Exploring the interface between literature and science — and how both depend on metaphor — has been a leitmotif in Beer’s work.Sometimes, Beer discovered, writers simply thrill at how science gathers in the physical world. In her 2000 essay “Wave, Atom, Dinosaur: Woolf’s Science,” Beer wrote that Virginia Woolf was “exhilarated by outlandish facts” after reading H.G. Wells, and marveled “at how improbable is the world and all its denizens.”At Harvard, in front of a capacity crowd at the Tsai Auditorium, Beer shed light on Darwin’s close observation of those world’s denizens, from oysters and ants to orchids, horses, and humans.Sticking close to the title of her lecture, “Darwin and the Consciousness of Others,” Beer examined the fellow sympathy that Darwin felt for other living creatures. “The issue of animal intelligence was fundamental to his work,” she said — and he retained a lifelong “fascination with the emotional capacity of a whole range of beings.”She drew a laugh from the audience by quoting a sympathetic Darwin, who once wrote, “I cannot help thinking that horses admire a wide prospect.”In his early notebooks, Darwin let his imagination run free, touching sometimes on the issue of what qualities of mind animals may have. In one entry he insisted that wasps possess intellect. In another passage, he argued that even puppies have free will. And if this is true, Darwin reasoned, could it be that oysters and marine polyps possess free will, too?Beer called these notebook forays “free-ranging, spirited reflections” that marked Darwin’s “uninhibited willingness to entertain what might be thought absurd,” and which exercised Darwin’s imagination. “The capability of such trains of thought,” he wrote later, “makes a discoverer.”It was as if Darwin were describing himself, said Beer. “The uninhibited, the concentrated play of reverie can operate at a different level from a fully reasoned argument,” and, she said, “can allow categories to slide and doors to open.”Darwin’s reveries were an emblem of “the variety of his interest and pleasure in different life forms,” which captivated the scientist for a lifetime, said Beer — the reefs, orchids, pigeons, barnacles, climbing plants, and earthworms that were his successive fascinations.Even “crusts and fossils” — the buried storybooks of Earth’s passage through time — were to Darwin “fully alive,” she said.From the voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle onward, Darwin used his powers of observation and his empathy for fellow creatures to grapple with the issue of consciousness.That sometimes led to projections onto the animal world that even today seem far-fetched. Beer said Darwin would have agreed with English physiologist George Romanes, the youngest of his academic friends, who once outlined the emotions that make up “the universal animal experience.” The list included “fear, surprise, affection, pugnacity, curiosity, jealousy, anger, play, sympathy, emulation, pride [and] resentment.”Beyond the notebooks, Darwin continued making science from a blend of personal experience, reporting, and anecdote, said Beer. His method was an expression of 19th century individualism that informed science then and seems so out of place now.Beer described the way Darwin’s ideas seem to have crossed into the 21st century; an ecstatic and fulsome narrative on the origins of biological diversity has become the stuff of game theory, genomes, and algorithms.It seems quaint today too that beyond his wide youthful travels Darwin pursued science with a wide-ranging and literate correspondence as well as — quaintest of all — backyard experiments with pigeons, plants, and earthworms.Nearly forgotten among his late books is “Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms with Observations on Their Habits,” which appeared six months before he died. Consciousness remained a leitmotif. Darwin not only credited earthworms for healthy soil ecology, but attributed to them intelligence and even benevolence.Beer related a story Darwin used in “The Descent of Man” (1871). Two snails are in a walled garden, where there is little to eat. The stronger laboriously climbs the wall to a more fruitful garden — and comes back 24 hours later to lead the weaker friend to food.It was a story of quest, betrayal, return, and a happy ending (which Darwin insisted good novels have) — and it suggests, said Beer, a snail’s communicative capacity, sense of attachment, and even memory over 24 hours. Snails, Darwin went on to observe, “few of us know.”As a writer, Darwin toyed with the idea that plants, too, have emotion. He once observed that a climbing plant, upon reaching a zinc plate put in the way, recoiled “in disgust.”But however deeply Darwin believed in human-like aspects of consciousness in lower animals, he embraced a fascination for all life forms in a way that set aside hierarchy.In his early notebooks, Darwin commented on the advent of “intellectual man.” But wasn’t the introduction of insects, he added, certainly “more wonderful?”Throughout his life, Darwin had the empathetic capacity to explore the boundaries of consciousness, said Beer, “to try out whatever is around him, like him, and unlike him — children, climbing plants, snails, dogs, mountain ranges, baboons, gardens, barnacles, people as animals, and as peculiar human cultures.”last_img read more

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first_imgDom DeMoe and Ann Curtis | The Observer Editorial: The Observer endorses Boyle-McGuireStudent government candidates discuss platforms in election debateBoyle-McGuire ticket overviewMarkho-Ortega ticket overviewLuna-Coleman ticket overviewChang-O’Leary ticket overview Tags: 2019 Student Government Electionlast_img

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first_imgGrowing up, my professional athletic aspirations in high school were equally divided between becoming a Rip Curl-sponsored surfer or a kick boxer — both of which never came to fruition, of course. The latter came after I joined a local gym where amateur boxers trained. Two of them taught women’s kickboxing lessons. Before and after my hour-long class, I’d sit around the boxing ring and watch the men spar. I became enamored, not by their physiques, but by the intense power and strength that was displayed.During the three years of my membership at that gym, I went, on average, three times a week all 52 weeks of the year. I couldn’t get enough. Then college came along, and both my surfboard and boxing gloves began to collect dust.That’s why meeting Jeff Nockelin of the School of Hard Nocks in Greenport was a welcome challenge after all of these years. I arrived at his boxing studio to a scene right out of Rocky (which happens to be both of our favorite boxing movie), with basic workout gear in the front and a full-size boxing ring in the back, and padded flooring between. It was nothing fancy but everything that was necessary.Nockelin, an amateur fighter, who turned down two offers to go pro and once worked with three-time World Champion Greg Haugen, was exactly what I’d expect: an intimidating and beastly boxer’s build and an old-school, rough-around-the-edges, but friendly personality. The visual definition of what you’d want in a trainer.Knowing my prior training, he gave me an extended 45-minute session spanning boxing, core, cardio, and resistance training — or what he calls Super High Intensity Training — to get “Fighter Fit.”Basic dumbbell lifts, planks, and sit-ups were incorporated between the more difficult versa climber (like a StairMaster on steroids) and prowler push sled (like running on steroids) with hard beats playing in the background for motivation. To work out my back, Nockelin instructed me through a more primal exercise, sledgehammering a tire. Once the adrenaline kicked in, I was unstoppable: swing, hit, jump, switch; swing, hit, jump, switch. By the end of my reps I had nearly passed out.Then I was led into the ring — “Eye of The Tiger” playing in my head — where Nockelin handed me gloves and guided me through several choreographed boxing movements. Jab, cross, hook, uppercut, duck, and weave, all around the ring. Small motions, fast repetition, little rest times in between, burning fat while building lean muscle.Nockelin got into boxing after training with his older cousin as a teenager, and has stayed true to it ever since. “I’ve spent a lot of years and have been through a lot of experiences putting my workouts together. I really have a passion for what I do because I’ve seen in myself and in my clients the benefits and great quality of life that comes from it,” he said. “I sculpt people’s bodies to look amazing and work even better.”By the end of it all, I nearly threw up from pushing myself so hard. As truly exhausting as it was, I felt stronger physically and mentally. It was a feeling I had almost forgotten but deeply missed, the feeling of being an empowered badass.Sessions are 30 minutes each at $40 a session. Since each session is guaranteed to knock you out, Nockelin recommends going with the 30 minutes before requesting a full hour. The School of Hard Nocks is located at 74365 Main Road in Greenport, in the back, left corner. It is open Monday through Saturday by appointment only. Visit theschoolofhardnocks.com, call 631-873-9875, or email [email protected]@[email protected] Sharelast_img read more

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