Questions ahead as feds pave way for more on service dogs for

first_imgOTTAWA – Heads turn and smiles break out as the four veterans make their way through the Bayshore mall in Ottawa’s west end one recent Tuesday morning. But it isn’t just the men that the shoppers are watching: it’s also their dogs.A little-noticed promise in the most recent federal budget has sparked applause and sighs of relief from veterans across Canada dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological trauma.The commitment was to add “psychiatric service dogs” to the list of medical items that Canadians can claim as a tax credit on income-tax forms, as is already the case with guide dogs for the blind.The move follows the recent results of a government-commissioned study that indicated — as many veterans and advocacy groups had long claimed — that dogs can go a long way in helping those suffering from invisible injuries.“He lowers my anxiety. He gets me out of the house,” says Dwayne Sawyer of his service dog, a golden Labrador named Rex who has been helping the 22-year veteran with his PTSD.Rex sits at Sawyer’s feet as shoppers walk by.“I have to look after him, which makes me have to get up and do stuff. Prior to that, I wasn’t getting out of bed. And if we’re in a mall situation and he can feel my anxiety, he gets really cuddly and he gets right up into me.”Yet the answer to one big question is still being worked on: What, precisely, qualifies as a psychiatric service dog?The idea of using service dogs to treat and support veterans and others suffering from PTSD has been around for a few years, but was largely disregarded by the federal government until May 2014.That is when then-veterans affairs minister Julian Fantino pledged up to $500,000 for a two-and-a-half year study to assess the benefits — and risks — of such dogs, with an eye to whether their use should be encouraged and expanded.Documents obtained by The Canadian Press show the study was delayed because of “recruitment and retention issues of both trained psychiatric service dogs and veterans,” but a preliminary report was recently published.The findings: Three months after they were obtained, service dogs were found to have “some positive effects” on veterans’ ability to sleep as well as to manage their PTSD and depression.The study could not confirm whether service dogs were linked to improved quality of life or more movement in the community, but the overall results were nonetheless deemed “really promising.”A final report is expected this summer, but the Trudeau government opted not to wait and instead promised in last month’s budget to expand the medical expense tax credit to include psychiatric service dogs.“The efficacy study has still not been concluded, but it looks really good and enough veterans have told us what a difference this makes to them,” Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan said in an interview.“PTSD is something that we are all still literally getting our heads around, but you build up a critical enough mass of veterans who are saying this is making such a difference to them, we’ll go with it.”But there was another thing the government decided it didn’t need to wait for, even though veterans and trainers are the first to say it will pose a challenge: developing a national standard for the service dogs.That effort, which covers all types of service canines including guide dogs and those for children with autism, has been in the works almost three years — and proven controversial and divisive.The concern is that dogs that aren’t properly trained will misbehave in public, including jumping at people or otherwise disrupting businesses and making it more difficult for legitimate owners to be accepted.“You’ve got dogs coming in that aren’t necessarily safe,” said Danielle Forbes, executive director of National Service Dogs in Cambridge, Ont., which is accredited by Assistance Dogs International.“We get calls from businesses all the time wanting to know what their rights are because they’ve got a dog threatening their staff or their other customers.”There is also the fear that fake breeders will take advantage of veterans and others, who can expect to shell out thousands of dollars for a trained service dog unless they are lucky enough to be supported by a local organization.Alberta and British Columbia have adopted their own standards, which a dog must meet before those provinces issue a card that lets owners take the service animal into businesses and other places.The federal government has been working on a national service-dog standard for nearly three years, but it has so far failed to come up with an acceptable framework.A first draft released by the Canadian General Standards Board was greeted with anger and frustration from various segments of the community, but especially guide-dog users and the schools that train them.They argued the proposed rules would force schools to either change their time-tested training programs or possibly stop serving Canadian students altogether. Others felt the draft was too broad and tried to do too many things.“Each organization, let’s say the service dog for epilepsy, they want their own thing. The service dogs for the blind, they want their own thing,” said Serge Lemieux, vice-president of the Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit in Ottawa.“So it’s becoming so wide and broad that it was difficult to keep it in scope. Once they can define the requirement of what service dogs are, what they provide, and agree on the document, then I think we can move forward.”A second draft has been developed and consultations are planned for this summer, and most are hoping for a better result this time around, especially given the need; Lemieux said his organization has 40 veterans waiting for a dog.Sawyer is only too happy to have found Rex through the Canadian Veteran Service Dog Unit. And he hopes the government’s plan to give tax credits for such dogs makes them more accessible to other veterans in need.“He’s my buddy. He’s the reason why I wake up in the morning and get out of the house,” said Sawyer. “So what the government’s done, that’s amazing. I think it’s a great initiative, a great step forward.”last_img read more

Tribal land known for waterfalls wont allow tour guides

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Reservations open soon for tourists eager to snag a camping spot in an Arizona gorge known for its blue-green waterfalls.None of the spots will be available to tour guides.The Havasupai (hav-uh-SU’-peye) Tribe decided against issuing licenses to outfitters this year. That means anyone who wants to visit the tribe’s land must bring their own food and gear.Tribal spokeswoman Abbie Fink says the decision wasn’t prompted by anything in particular. She says the tribe wants to handle all tourist traffic.The remote reservation deep in a gorge outside Grand Canyon National Park has become increasingly popular because of social media.Spots at the campground sell out within minutes of opening up Feb. 1.Booking through a tour company had been another option for years.Felicia Fonseca, The Associated Press read more

Security Council speaks out against todays deadly blasts in Iraqi capital

Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Government offices, along with diplomatic missions, were among the buildings hit in the blasts. Today’s explosions coincided with the anniversary of the 2003 Canal Hotel bombing, which killed the head of the UN Mission in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello and claimed the lives of nearly two dozen other staff members. The Council, in a press statement, “took this sad occasion to reiterate their strong support and appreciation for the humanitarian work of the UN and its staff in Iraq.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in an address marking the first-ever World Humanitarian Day, also deplored today’s attacks, saying that he was saddened that violence persists in Iraq . The 15-member Council today also underscored the need to bring those behind such “reprehensible acts of terrorism” to justice, calling on all nations for their support. “The members of the Security Council reiterated that no terrorist act can reverse a path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq , which is supported by the people and the Government of Iraq and the international community.” 19 August 2009The Security Council today condemned the deadly series of terrorist blasts in Baghdad that have killed nearly 100 people and taken place on the sixth anniversary of the bombing of the United Nations offices in the Iraqi capital. read more

Sudan Security Council studies assessment report ahead of meeting on Darfur

UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters today at UN Headquarters that the report, which examines implementation of the Council’s latest resolution on Sudan, has been circulated to the members – but not officially made public – ahead of tomorrow’s open meeting on Darfur.At Thursday’s meeting Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan, will brief the Council on the situation in Darfur following his visit last week to the troubled region.More than 1.2 million people are internally displaced within Darfur and another 200,000 Sudanese live as refugees in Chad because of attacks by the Janjaweed militias and fighting between the Government and two rebel groups.On 30 July the Council adopted Resolution 1556, which stated it may take action against Khartoum under Article 41 of the UN Charter if the authorities do not show after 30 days that they are fulfilling earlier promises to the UN to disarm the Janjaweed and restore security.Article 41 measures include unspecified economic penalties and the severing of diplomatic relations. The Council’s 30-day deadline expired on Monday.Speaking outside the Council, which is holding consultations today, Sudanese Ambassador Elfatih Mohamed Ahmed Erwa told journalists his Government was “on the right track” and had done “lots of things” to improve the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur.Ambassador Erwa said Khartoum has no problem with more African Union (AU) troops being deployed to monitor the ceasefire in Darfur, but added that the situation would be “complicated” if the AU troops were mandated to disarm the parties.He said that only the peace talks currently taking place in Abuja, Nigeria, between Khartoum and the two rebel groups will solve the political problems in Darfur.In other developments on Sudan:The World Food Programme (WFP) today appealed for $12 million to expand a special feeding programme for malnourished refugees living in camps in eastern Chad. The agency said the effort will target children under five as well as pregnant women and nursing mothers.Violent clashes continue to be reported in Darfur’s three states, and most internally displaced persons (IDPs) remain reluctant to return to their home villages, Radhia Achouri, a spokesperson for Mr. Pronk, told reporters in Khartoum.Regarding the separate civil war in the south of Africa’s largest nation, the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) agreed during peace talks being held in Naivasha, Kenya, to extend their current ceasefire until 30 November. read more

Draw for European Cups 18 Finals Hypo in Leverkusen – Zaječar VS

Women´s Challenge Cup Last 16 pairings:ŽRK Kumanovo (MKD) vs ŽRK Zrinjski Mostar (BIH)Spartak Kiev (UKR) vs HBC Nimes (FRA)ABU Baku (AZE) vs AZS Politechnika Koszalin (POL)KSS Kielce (POL) vs Mios Biganos Bassin D’Arcachon (FRA)Sokol Písek (CZE) vs DHK Baník Most (CZE)FETA EPIRUS Anagennisi Artas (GRE) vs Üsküdar B.S.K. (TUR)ŽRK Maks-Sport-Nova Pazova (SRB) vs Fantasyland Samobor (CRO)VS Succes Schoonmaak/VOC Amsterdam (NED) vs H 65 Höör (SWE) Draw for the Women’s European Cups 1/8 Final was held in Vienna:Women´s EHF Cup Last 16 pairings:Astrakhanochka (RUS) vs WHC Radnički Kragujevac (SRB)Cankaya Bel. Anka Spor K. (TUR) vs Grupo Asfi Itxako Navarra (ESP)Tertnes Bergen (NOR) vs HAC Handball (FRA)H.C. Zalau (ROU) vs Juve Lis (POR)ZRK Vardar SCBT (MKD) vs HC “Kuban” Krasnodar (RUS)Team Tvis Holstebro (DEN) vs Lada (RUS)FC Midtjylland (DEN) vs RK GEN-I Zagorje (SLO)Metz Handball (FRA) vs KGHM Metraco Zaglebie Lubin (POL) ← Previous Story Women’s EHF Champions League draw: Gyori, Larvik, Buducnost in the same group Next Story → Over 15.000 votes for the Best Player and Coach – 10 days left Women´s Cup Winners´ Cup Last 16 pairings:HC Podravka Vegeta (CRO) vs Váci NKSE (HUN)Byåsen Trondheim (NOR) vs HC Leipzig (HUN)WHC Metalurg (MKD) vs Thüringer HC (GER)Hypo NÖ (AUT) vs TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen (GER)Stabaek Handball (NOR) vs Issy Paris Hand (FRA)Vistal Łączpol Gdynia (POL) vs Balonmano Bera Bera (ESP)Rostov-Don (RUS) vs Team Esbjerg (DEN)Dinamo Volgograd (RUS) vs RK Zaječar (SRB) read more

Stay away from the coast Warnings issued as storm expected to hit

first_img“The public should be extremely careful when venturing out in such conditions — they should check the weather forecast and remain away from exposed areas.” Winds of up to 130km are forecast for today in counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick. Meanwhile, a ‘yellow alert’ wind warning is in place for all of Leinster, as well as Cavan, Monaghan, Roscommon, Cork, Tipperary and Waterford.Anyone planning on travelling today is being advised to take heed of local forecasts, and to check out the Road Safety Authority’s advice on driving in stormy conditions.Map showing he expected swell off the Atlantic coast at noon. More details here. [Image: Magic Seaweed]In addition, the Coast Guard is warning that owners of small vessels and fishing vessels should seek shelter and secure them properly with moorings.High tide for Galway this afternoon is at 12.42pm — tide times for the rest of the affected area can be checked here.If you do see someone in difficulty at the sea, or lakes or rivers contact the Coast Guard on 999 or 112. Read: Orange alert: Coastal flood warning as 130km winds set to sweep countryPictures: More flooding in Galway, Cork & Waterford as stormy weather continues WITH THE WORST of this weekend’s stormy conditions set to hit today, the Irish Coast Guard has issued a warning to members of the public to stay away from exposed coastal areas.An ‘orange alert’ wind warning issued yesterday by Met Éireann remains in place for the West, North-west and Co Kerry.The strong winds are set to combine with high seas, leading to an increased risk of flooding, especially along coasts — with the risk at its highest this afternoon and tonight.People are being urged not to go out on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or any other coastal areas during the storm.“Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas. These waves can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline,” Coast Guard manager Declan Geoghegan said.last_img read more

Poll Should women be paid to be surrogates

first_img Poll Results: No, money shouldn’t be involved (2393) Yes, it should be an option (654) THE GOVERNMENT IS going to bring in a law making it illegal for women to be paid to be a surrogate mother.The Sunday Business Post reports that the new rules will allow for surrogacy – where a woman carries a baby and subsequently gives it up – but that no money will be allowed to change hands.What do you think? Should women who choose to be surrogates be paid? Yes, it should be an optionNo, money shouldn’t be involvedVotelast_img

Microsoft launches Windows Phone 7 handset status website alongside copy paste update

first_imgOne of the major frustrations for users of Android smartphones is the lack of updates their phone network and phone manufacturer provides. Whether you gain access to the latest versions of the Android OS is completely out of your hands.Microsoft is now facing similarly frustrated users waiting for Windows Phone 7 to get updated, and in particular when it will get copy and paste functionality. But Microsoft has decided to do something about it and is launching the Where’s my phone update? website.Microsoft say they understand that it’s frustrating knowing an update is coming, or is available, but there’s no information on when a particular phone will get that update. Where’s my phone update? aims to solve that problem by listing individual handsets and telling you what stage updates are at for each one.Here’s the current table for U.S. handsets:An update can be in three different states: testing, scheduling, or delivering. Testing means the update is in the process of being tested and modified if necessary to get it to work with specific phone hardware. Scheduling means it’s ready to go and the phone will have it available inside of 10 days. Finally there’s delivering, which is where long delays can occur. Even though an update gets released they are delivered in batches, so it could be several weeks before your phone gets the update message appearing, where as your friend with the same phone could get it tomorrow.As we have previously reported, the good news is that Microsoft has started rolling out the copy and paste update to specific handsets. The first to get it this week is open market phones, these are the phones not customized for operators. After that specific phones will be targeted and that’s when you need to look at the Where’s my phone update? table for your region of the world.The March 2011 update includes the following features and updates:Copy and paste functionalityFaster starting games and appsImproved search on MarketplaceMarketplace improvements (stability, better large app download experience, app sharing)Wi-Fi improvements (MAC address shown in settings)Outlook update (better non-Exchange e-mail support)Improved MMS supportFacebook intergration improvementsCamera and video stability improvementImproved Bluetooth headset supportHandset specific performance improvementsRead more at Windows Phone Bloglast_img read more

Major Nelson unboxes the Xbox One

first_imgThe Xbox One console has already had a lot of coverage focusing on the hardware and Microsoft has shared many a high resolution image of the machine. But today they’ve decided to go one better and asked Major Nelson to put together an unboxing video which you can watch below.The Xbox One Major Nelson unboxes is actually the Day One edition. It includes everything you’d expect including the console itself, Kinect sensor, wireless Xbox controller, power cord, power brick, headset (which now looks to be a standard feature for every Xbox One that ships), and owner’s manual. It’s also nice to see a 4K-rated HDMI included as standard and an Xbox One sticker for good measure. As this is the Day One edition you also get a message printed on the front of the controller and the D-pad is set in chrome.The video gives us a close up view of the console and ports available on the back and side. It also introduces us to the very nice power button, which looks like it is a touch sensitive area on the casing that lights up white when the console is powered on. It looks really nice, but I hope it isn’t too bright and distracting like those LED lights can be on the front of some Blu-ray and DVD players.The only thing not in the box of the Day One edition is of course the digital exclusive you are entitled to download. And don’t forget, if you pre-order Xbox Live Gold for the Xbox One you also get a free download copy of Killer Instinct to play.last_img read more

The Punisher is the Adaptation the Character Deserves

first_img Netflix Cancels Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘The Punisher”The Punisher’ Season 2 Trailer Teases Frank Castle’s Masked Enemy Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.center_img It certainly took a long time, but we finally have it. A live-action Punisher that truly lives up to the comic it’s based on. No more do we have to sit through Thomas Jane or Ray Stevenson or Dolph Lundgren. Oh yeah, that one existed. It wasn’t just a bad dream. All three of those Punisher movies might as well be bad dreams now though, because Marvel and Netflix have given us a definitive onscreen Frank Castle. One that treats the character with way more nuance than we ever thought an adaptation could. One that takes this brooding, monotone gun-toting mass murderer, and makes us genuinely feel for him. Does the series have its problems? Of course, it does. But that feat alone is a massive accomplishment.The Punisher is a character who is very hard to adapt. He is most interesting in the comics, because there he can run into anyone. He has plenty of great solo adventures over the years, but he typically works best as a reaction to/problem for other Marvel superheroes. He provides Spider-Man and the like with an interesting dilemma. Sure, he goes after bad guys, but he kills them. How do you deal with someone like that? That’s what made the first half of Daredevil’s second season so great. It was that dilemma played out over six episodes. The story would be even better with a superhero even more capable of taking Frank in, but most of them are in Marvel’s movies. They may exist in the same universe, but scheduling and tonal differences ensure they will never touch. The best we can hope for is if Luke Cage decides to come see what all those gunshots are about. That would make for a pretty great season, come to think of it. Hell, bring Iron Fist too. Let him try to take a swing at Frank. It’ll be funny.Jon Bernthal (Photo via Netflix)They couldn’t do that right away. As much as The Punisher is most interesting opposite a less lethal superhero, the show needed to establish Frank Castle’s story. They had to let us know who he was and where he comes from. Remember that this isn’t meant to be the final word on Jon Bernthal’s Punisher. This is the first season of a series Marvel hopes will have many more. There are tons of stories I’d like to see them tell with this character. I want to see “Means and Ends.” I want to see an adaptation of Garth Ennis’ MAX series. I really want to see the Punisher take on Ma Gnucci. But we’re not there yet. Hopefully, we’ll see all that stuff in future seasons, but for the first one, this was the story it needed to tell.The Punisher was a story about PTSD disguised as a conspiracy thriller. It was self-contained enough, and engrossing enough, that we never felt the need to ask where New York’s other superheroes are. From moment one, Castle is silently suffering from the trauma of everything he’s been through. He refuses to let himself deal with it by talking to anyone. Instead, he takes his frustrations out on a concrete wall and wonders why everything still hurts when he already disposed of the drug cartel that killed his family. The story really picks up when he discovers that he hasn’t. The cartel was a cover for what really happened. A man who went by Agent Orange back during Castle’s tour overseas did some real shady stuff in Kandahar. The drug cartel was a cover for the people who really carried out the attack on Castle’s family. So, he gets out his guns again. That must be why it still hurts. He hasn’t killed the people who are really responsible. Of course, by the end, he learns that’s not the case. And that’s what’s really remarkable about this first season. Frank grows. He changes. He’s still The Punisher at the end of all this, but he’s a different person for having gone through it all. He realizes he needs to talk about what he’s gone through. He realizes that he can help other veterans who are going through similar (though not quite as extreme) situations. How many superhero shows or movies can claim to do that?Michael Nathanson, Amber Rose Revah (Photo via Netflix)Not that it didn’t have its problems. Like a lot of these Marvel Netflix shows pacing is a huge issue. The show took a couple of episodes before we really got into the main plot. Even when we did, Castle’s objectives were small. A few episodes felt like a series of fetch quests, like Frank needed to level up before taking on the final boss. Only they weren’t even that coherent. The first half of the season didn’t feel like it was appreciably leading to anything. It was only around the sixth episode that we really got a sense of where it was all going. From that point on, the show straps you in and doesn’t let go. It’s not like the journey until that point was all bad. The path just wasn’t as clear as it should have been.The series also botched the Lewis Walcott story. It was so promising at first. He was a parallel to Frank. He too was affected by PTSD, haunted by nightmares of what he’d seen. He too was angry at the world. Only instead of taking it out on criminals, murderers and drug traffickers, he went deep into far-right politics. He became a terrorist, using bombs to take out anyone who disagreed with him or had a different view on gun control (I’ll come back to this part of the show later). Where the show succeeded with Lewis’ character was showing a path that Frank could have taken. He had just as much chance of becoming the Punisher as he did of becoming an actual terrorist. Where the show failed, was that the whole story felt tacked on. Like it was an afterthought. The resolution was so awkwardly placed, it felt like a distraction from the bigger story. We were tracking down Billy Russo and William Rawlins, but let’s pause that for a moment to deal with this angry kid. What makes it worse is that his ending was really well done. Told from multiple perspectives, it’s one of the best episodes of the season. That’s why it’s so frustrating that his story is immediately dropped after that. It feels inconsequential to the plot, and it could have been so much more. It’s also a missed opportunity. Lewis’ story would have been a perfect vehicle to talk about PTSD and how we let veterans with serious (mental and physical) health issues fall through the cracks. Instead, the show just wanted a secondary villain. And that’s all we got.Jason R. Moore, Daniel Webber (Photo via Netflix)For all its pacing issues, The Punisher had one storyline that was paced perfectly: Billy Russo’s. From the moment we met him, we were all sure he was up to something, but his story was a wondrous slow burn. It’s rare to see a show manage how we feel about a character this well, whether or not you’re familiar with the character in the comics. It made us grow incrementally more suspicious each episode until he finally made a full-on villain turn. Unlike with the Lewis Walcott story, The Punisher earned this one. His relationship with Frank only grew more fascinating the more we learned about it, and by the end, you wanted to see that guy suffer. And suffer he did. He might be the one enemy Frank didn’t kill, but he sure made the guy wish he was dead. Slicing off most of a dude’s face with broken glass and leaving him alive is a real messed up thing to do. It also ensures he’ll look like a comic book villain when he inevitably returns in season two.Ben Barnes (Photo via Netflix)Even though there was no way to get Frank interacting with superheroes this season, the show did do one important thing right: It made the story about the people around Frank. The first season of the TV show needed to establish what a solo Punisher story looked like, but there’s only so much time you can spend with a borderline sociopathic loner. Frank needs people around him to give him something to fight for and try to pull him back when he goes too far. Micro was the perfect foil to Frank as a man whose technical skills could enhance (and occasionally out-think) Frank’s tactical skills. He was the Spider-Man/Daredevil/whatever other superhero of this series. He was the one who needed Frank’s help but is seriously uncomfortable with how Frank does business. His friendship helps Frank keep one foot in the light this season. He also motivates Frank to act like a hero. Micro’s family is still alive; they just think he’s dead. Frank knows there’s no bringing his family back. Micro gives him the opportunity to make sure no one else suffers the same loss he did. That’s important for Frank’s growth as a character. Micro is another character that makes me glad the show took things as slowly as it did. It made us really care about him and his family. When they finally reunited near the end, I had a genuine emotional reaction. It didn’t quite make me cry, but it was in the ballpark. That’s something I never expected from The Punisher.Ebon Moss-Bachrach (Photo via Netflix)I was worried Karen Page would seem like an afterthought. Like a character who’s just here to establish some sense of continuity. Instead, she’s really important to the story. She’s the only one around who understands Frank. She’s rarely on board with the things she does, but as someone who’s been through her own trauma and carries a handgun. As a result, she sees where Frank’s coming from.That’s as good a segue as any to the elephant in the room. Gun control. After Marvel cancelled their New York Comic Con panel for this show due to the mass shooting in Las Vegas, it made a lot of people, me included, nervous. Would we even want to see a show where the hero’s “superpower” is gun violence? Honestly, if you look at it that way, there never is a good time to release a show about The Punisher. Sadly, mass shootings are part of American life, because we refuse to try anything to stop them. That’s not The Punisher’s fault, but it can put a damper on a good cinematic gunfight. Here’s my feeling. There are plenty of places where you can and should make an argument about guns and gun control. Movies and TV can certainly be one of them. (Remember Shoot ’em Up?) Not every movie involving guns has to, and The Punisher was under no obligation to take any kind of stand. We don’t wring our hands like this when John Wick comes out. Why are we so excited to watch Keanu Reeves shoot people, but don’t know what to think about Jon Bernthal doing it? Yes, at 13 hours, The Punisher is much longer, but I’m pretty sure John Wick shot a lot more people than Frank Castle. That’s actually the amazing thing here; I don’t think he actually shot that many people in this series. Stabbed them, hit them with a hammer, gouged their eyes out, sure. But make a list of his kills, and I think you’d be surprised at how few people he actually killed with a gun.Jon Bernthal, Deborah Ann Woll (Photo via Netflix)I think part of the problem here is that it tried to take a middling stance on gun control. That was its biggest misstep here. If the show had said absolutely nothing, we could look at it as another action movie. There really would be no difference between The Punisher’s action sequences and that last big scene of Commando. Instead, it introduced a pro-gun control senator. This was part of what made the Lewis Walcott story so disappointing. The show needed a target for Walcott to go after. That was this senator. But the show didn’t want to appear as though it was taking a stance. Wary of letting this conflict read as gun control=good, no gun control=bad, they make the senator as slimy and non-committal as possible. In a comic book adaptation full of well-realized three-dimensional characters, this senator is the most cartoonish. The Punisher tried to say something about gun control without offending anyone or turning anyone off. In doing so, it inserted itself in the middle of a national debate with nothing to say. That was a bad move.Even with all its flaw, I’m so happy we finally have a live-action Punisher that lives up to the comics. It’s easily one of the best Marvel Netflix series. It’s not as good as Jessica Jones, but it’s up there with the first season of Daredevil. It may take a while to get going, but once it does, it tells a thoroughly engaging story. And the action scenes were top-notch. It doesn’t have the long takes or bone-crunching hits of Daredevil, but it has its own distinctive style. It doesn’t shy away from the violence Frank causes. You see the result of his brutality in exacting detail. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t feel quite as distasteful as we feared it might. It doesn’t let you pretend that this violence is just fantasy. It’s real and people get hurt. The Punisher is unapologetic about telling Frank’s story. That’s all it had to be.last_img read more

Off Beat Vancouver woman blazed trail to Olympic gold in 1948

first_imgSunday’s closing ceremonies were a chance to celebrate the success of America’s athletes during the 2018 Winter Games.And, it was our once-every-four-years chance to note how the path to one category of Olympic gold was pioneered 70 years ago by a Vancouver housewife.That was Gretchen Fraser, who became the first non-European to win an Olympic skiing medal. She took the silver in the Alpine combined in the 1948 Winter Games at St. Moritz, Switzerland.Two days later, she struck gold. … Or, as The Associated Press reported on Feb. 6, 1948: “It was an historic day for the Red, White and Blue from the moment Mrs. Gretchen Fraser, the flying housewife from Vancouver, Wash., flashed across first in the women’s special slalom.”It was America’s first Olympic gold medal in skiing.Fraser did two interviews with The Columbian before her death in 1994, recalling how she and her husband, Don Fraser, actually had four Olympic berths between them. He was a member of the 1936 American ski team.They were scheduled to be husband-and-wife teammates in 1940, but the Winter Olympics were canceled because of World War II.The war wound up playing another role in her skiing career. While Don Fraser was with a fighter squadron, Gretchen Fraser volunteered as a rehabilitation worker on the slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho. She helped develop an amputee skiing program for U.S. servicemen who had lost arms or legs in combat.last_img read more

Sanchez set for United return – Solskjaer

first_imgManchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Alexis Sanchez is eager to put his injury woes behind him and start performing for the club.Sanchez has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since November and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now confirmed that the Chilean forward will be available for selection when they make the trip to Newcastle United on Wednesday night.“[Sanchez] had some great training sessions over the last few days,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.“He wanted to be here today as well but we had to manage. Obviously, he has been out for a month but he will be involved, yeah.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.“He wants to play all the time. He is one of those characters.“He made himself available [for Bournemouth] but it was a few days too early for him because he has not really had enough fitness work but he is chomping at the bit.”last_img read more

Provo invited to meet PDM Administration on Monday

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, November 10, 2017 – Providenciales – More public meetings are on the horizon; Middle Caicos gets it PDM Administration session today around 2:30pm at the Community Center and tonight, North Caicos will have a chance to speak to government leaders at the Raymon Gardiner High at 6:30pm.Already meetings have been held in South Caicos and Grand Turk and on Monday, Providenciales has its turn at 6:30pm at the Gus Lightbourne Gym.#MagneticMediaNews#PDMtownmeetings2017 Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img

Vancouver singers American Idol dreams end

first_imgVancouver singer Britnee Kellogg with her sons Caiden, right, and Hudson. The journey to become the next “American Idol” ended for Vancouver’s Britnee Kellogg on Thursday night’s broadcast.Kellogg, the divorced mother of two young sons, had survived Wednesday night’s Hollywood round and was among the 70 semifinalists invited to Las Vegas, where the hopefuls were divided into groups and asked to choose a song to perform from a menu of 1950s-1960s tunes.Kellogg, paired with Jessica Phillips and Courtney Williams in a group they called The Neapolitans, performed “You Just Keep Me Hangin’ On” in matching bright pink dresses.The group was apparently the only one not to choose to practice with the band beforehand. Immediately after the performance, Phillips was cut from the competition, and Kellogg knelt and cried when she found out she had impressed judges Randy Jackson and Jennifer Lopez enough to advance.But her luck was not to last. As the second day of Las Vegas taping closed, the contestants were brought back to be re-evaluated, and more cuts were made until only 42 contestants were left. Kellogg was one of those eliminated from the competition.She walked off the stage, face in her hands.”I worked my butt off,” she said. “My every performance was perfect. I don’t get it. I don’t get it. This is my life; this is what I do. It’s crazy.”last_img read more

Former eatery manager sentenced gets nine days in drug case

first_imgThe former manager of El Rancho Viejo was sentenced Thursday to nine days in jail, with credit for nine days served, for conspiracy to deal methamphetamine out of the Vancouver restaurant.Ramon Lopez-Guitron, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver 4 ounces of methamphetamine on Oct. 28, 2009, in exchange for fewer charges and a reduced sentence.Lopez-Guitron was initially charged in November 2011 with four counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to commit delivery of a controlled substance. Based on the reduced charges, Lopez-Guitron still faced up to 365 days of confinement.Clark County Superior Court Judge Scott Collier appeared taken aback by the leniency of the plea bargain, reached between Lopez-Guitron’s attorney, Maggie Smith Evansen, and county prosecutors.“On the face of this, for this charge, it seems an awfully light sentence,” Collier said. He asked whether there were problems with the prosecution’s evidence. After the attorneys affirmed that there were, he approved the nine-day sentence.Deputy Prosecutor Randy St. Clair explained later that the case was a joint federal and state investigation, and prosecutors were unaware that some evidence collected by federal agents wouldn’t be admissible.last_img read more

District Agencies Help Convicts Deal with Mental Health Issues

first_imgJeffrey Moore was shot in the face. The trauma from his ordeal caused mental health challenges while taking numerous medications. The resulted: He was incarcerated. “At some point people will have mental health challenges, especially with problems they face in life,” he said.Moore is getting assistance from University Legal Services (ULS), helping him transition to a halfway house. He believes it will be difficult to find work because of his condition. “People already make assessments about you,” he stated. “Why are people with mental health issues pushed back?”Moore is one example of the thousands suffering from mental health issues who have been incarcerated. The topic is broad-based and depend on behavioral mechanisms that are sometimes hard to define.ULS has formed a partnership with the D.C. Jail and Prison Advocacy Project (JPAP) for District residents who have been diagnosed with a mental illness or emotional impairment. Symptoms include schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).Dr. Jennifer Skeem, a professor at the University of California Berkeley whose research involves justice policy with people that have emotional and behavioral problems, was part of the panel.“There has been a dramatic increase since 2012,” Skeem said. “There is a perceived root of the problem through imperfect models of what actually works.”Skeem mentioned a three-step process that takes priority in helping cases of mental illness. “Psychiatric services are not the linchpin,” Skeem continued. “What is the roadmap in the number of people and risk factors in criminal behavior?”Ann-Marie Louison of the Nathaniel Project in New York City share her ideas about what is needed to help those who are incarcerated. As co-founder of the project, she developed the first “alternative-to-incarceration” program in the Manhattan Supreme Court. The program helps adults with severe mental illnesses that are convicted of felonies. “In New York, there is a natural judicial process in which the majority has felonies,” she said. “Quality of life is important.”There are 25 mental health clinics or Core Service Agencies (CSAs) in the District. University Legal Services can help those decide which one best suit their needs depending on their condition.The JPAP received a three-year grant from the Langeloth Foundation for a pilot program with ULS’ Federal Bureau of Prison’s Mental Health Transition Planning Project. Tammy Seltzer is the program director. The legal service provides incarcerated individuals with mental health assistance when leaving prison to go back into the community. The service also provides those who face discrimination due to their condition. The support continues for six months.Taylar Neuvelle was glad she networked enough to find out about the project. “I had a mental breakdown. I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) complex due to abuse,” Neuvelle said. “When I went in front of the judge due to my symptoms, he didn’t care,” she said.Neuvelle had been abused since childhood. Her former husband also abused her.More information on University Legal Services can be obtained at www.uls-dc.org.last_img read more

Watch These Fighting Games at EVO 2019

first_imgStay on target Some people say fighting games aren’t eSports. And I agree with them. But that’s because watching talented players throw down in Street Fighter is way more enjoyable than whatever is happening in Dota. That’s competition you can put on ESPN2, karate people punching and throwing fireballs at each other. Though it’s not perfect, the fighting game community is one of the coolest and most passionate fan bases in all of video games. And every year they gather to celebrate glorious combat at the Evolution tournament, or EVO, in Las Vegas.Because video game companies need to put out new products every so often, the actual lineup of fighting games at EVO changes from year to year. Granted, if you’re good at basketball, chances are your skills would transfer over to Basketball 2. But the new crop of games gives opportunities for new champions to emerge, like the wonderful SonicFox. Plus it just gives us something new to watch.So here are the nine major fighting games (not including weird side tournaments) we’ll be seeing at EVO 2019 this summer.This is what we’ve got.Street Fighter V, a game the maybe didn’t offer enough concessions to the mainstream but has kept its competitive core alive through frequent updates.Tekken 7, the premier 3D fighting that owns despite including characters from The Walking Dead.SoulCalibur VI, a chance to see people cheering for The Witcher’s Geralt of Rivia as he stabs a ghost pirate.Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the best Smash Bros. yet regardless of skill level and the game that has bumped off Melee at long last.Dragon Ball FighterZ, the gorgeous surprise anime fighting game sensation of last year with more Gokus than ever before.Mortal Kombat 11, the next gory NetherRealm fighter featuring deep character customization we’re curious to see jive with strict competitive standards.Samurai Shodown, the Street Fighter 4-esque reboot of the classic 2D weapons fighter.BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, the Guilty Gear successor good enough to make us get over its nameUnder Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st], the game where your guess is as good as ours.Watch the greatest players in the world go head to head in these fighting games and more at EVO 2019 August 2-4. For more on fighting games check our book-length breakdown of the history of the genre and here’s hoping a future EVO will have a Hanna-Barbera fighting game. Trade In Your Nintendo Switch For a Better Battery (With a Catch)Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech Suits last_img read more

Man arrested with explosives

first_imgHours before visit of US President Barack Obama, the Ghaziabad police have arrested a person carrying explosives at the Delhi-Ghaziabad border on Sunday. Police said that a huge quantity of explosives were recovered from his car. The explosives were illegal and he was trying to escape with them before he was apprehended. The police, however, have claimed to investigate the matter but have denied any link with the US President’s visit.The police were informed about the presence of few suspected elements along the border region. Suspecting foul-play ahead of the high-profile visit, security along border areas had been enhanced. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreAt around 11:30 pm at Sangam Vihar under the jurisdiction of Loni police station, a Maruti 800 car was spotted in the area. When the police intercepted the vehicle, Jahiruddin, the occupant of the car, attempted to escape but was forced to stop. During the search of the vehicle, as many as 78 packets of explosives were found following which arrests were made.The police claimed that during the interrogation, Jahiruddin said that he was transporting the explosives to Farrukh Nagar, an area known for factories of local crackers. The cops, however, failed to explain why such a large quantity of explosives were being carried to the border area ahead of the US President’s visit. “We have arrested the suspected person and are investigating the matter. Although there is no connection with the visit of the US President, we are investigating the matter with utmost urgency,” said an official investigating the matter.last_img read more

Live News traffic and weather updates for North Staffordshire South Cheshire on

first_img StokeonTrentLive – we’re #localandproud Watch again Watch Next We pay for stories! Send your videos to video@trinitymirror.comHello and welcome to Stoke-on-TrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Tuesday, November 13. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . Key EventsA number of major incidents this morning…07:3318:10Broken down vehicle causing delays on M6One lane closed and heavy traffic due to broken down vehicle on M6 Northbound between J14 A5013 (Stafford North) and J15 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent). In the roadworks area.Lane one (of three) is closed. There was a separate break down earlier on, along this stretch. 16:59Broken down vehicle causing delaysM6 Northbound lane closed on exit slip road due to broken down vehicle at Stafford Services. In the roadworks area.One lane is closed on the slip road toStafford Servicesfrom the Northbound M6. Stafford Services is located between J14 and J15.16:56Police name woman, 64 who died in A53 crash Police have today named a 64-year-old woman who died in a crash on the A53 in the Staffordshire Moorlands. More here.13:12Two lanes closed and queueing traffic due to broken down lorry on M6 Northbound from J18 A54 Middlewich Road (Middlewich / Holmes Chapel) to J19 A556 Chester Road (Knutsford). In the roadworks area.Lanes two and three (of three) are closed.12:53Heavy traffic on A53 Elder Road at A50 Waterloo Road (Cobridge Traffic Lights).12:32@Sotlive @BBCRadioStoke @6townsradio @CRCityRadio @Signal1Official @Signal2Official @thehitmix https://t.co/wGJozLrOjA— Potteries Moneywise Team (@MoneywiseTeam) November 13, 201812:30A34 Newcastle Road busy but moving between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). 12:18Slow traffic due to earlier accident on M6 Northbound between J14 A5013 (Stafford North) and J15 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent). All lanes have been re-opened.Lane one (of four) was closed. All restrictions were lifted at around 12:00. There was also a break down here much earlier on. 12:18A527 High Street in both directions partially blocked, slow traffic due to accident between Bellefield View and Upper Marsh.Not too far from McColl’s Supermarket. 11:01A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brinley Ford Southbound busy but moving at A5272 High Lane roundabout.10:47Brownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street busy but moving between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall. 10:43Queuing traffic due to rolling road block and emergency repairs on M6 Northbound from J14 A5013 (Stafford North) to J15 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent).To allow emergency pot hole repairs to take place. 09:38Heavy traffic on A527 Porthill Road at A500 D Road / Longbridge Hayes Road / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank). 09:15Heavy traffic on A50 Victoria Road at A5007 City Road. 08:39All lanes have RE-OPENED on the #M6 southbound between J21 – J20. Severe delays of over 1 hour remain on approach, however are now easing. Thank you pic.twitter.com/RQ8jLshmrw— Highways England (@HighwaysNWEST) November 13, 201808:35A50 busy but moving through the roadworks at B5030 Ashbourne Road (Little Chef roundabout). 08:35Very slow traffic and traffic heavier than normal on A530 Middlewich Road in both directions around Pym’s Lane. Congestion to Nantwich and Leighton Hospital.There was an RTC near Bentley this morning however this has since been cleared. 08:14Reports of A50 partially blocked, queuing traffic due to accident at B5029 Grindley Lane (Creda Roundabout / Meir Heath / Blythe Bridge).Police are on route. Affecting traffic between Stoke-on-Trent and Uttoxeter. These reports are separate from the earlier accident at the Blythe Bridge / Draycott Roundabout. 08:13Slow traffic due to earlier broken down van on M6 Northbound at J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). In the roadworks area. All lanes have been re-opened.Lane one (of three) was closed until around 08:10 now the van has been recovered. 07:44The closure in place due to the incident in King Street, Fenton, has now been lifted.07:43Heavy traffic on A500 D Road Southbound around A527 Porthill Road (Porthill Bank). Travel time is seven minutes. 07:33Heavy traffic on A50 Victoria Road at A5007 City Road. 07:33Heavy traffic on A53 Elder Road at A50 Waterloo Road (Cobridge Traffic Lights). 07:33Very slow traffic and traffic heavier than normal on A530 Middlewich Road in both directions around Pym’s Lane. 07:33KEY EVENTA number of major incidents this morning…The scene in King StreetEmergency services have been called to an incident in King Street, Fenton.And the A50 Eastbound is blocked after a car crashed trying avoid a broken down vehicle.Good morning!Welcome to our live blog! Share this video Video will play in center_img Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to playTap to play The video will start in 1Cancel Play now StokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudStokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmute0:01/1:20Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:19 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. UP NEXT:UP NEXT: Click for Soundlast_img read more

Mi familia es su familia at Kaps Place

first_imgThe entryway curiously features “Wizard of Oz” cutouts. A fountain spits water into an indoor fish and turtle pond. Gabe Dinsmoor From the print editionNortheast of downtown San José, a 10-minute walk from the National Museum, is perhaps the friendliest guesthouse in the capital. More than just a nice place to spend the evening, Kaps Place invites patrons into both its hostel and its every-growing family of travelers. The owner of the hostel and mother of the family is Karolina Bermúdez. Kaps has been around for years, but Bermúdez purchased the business this May from its previous owner. Bermúdez says she wants to maintain the warm, familiar ambiance on which Kaps has built its reputation, but she also has some upgrades in mind. At the moment, Bermúdez is replacing many of the individual fixtures in the rooms and training a new housekeeping staff.“My goal is to be the best, most well-known hostel in all of the capital,” Bermúdez said. “I am made happy by making others welcome and comfortable.”  Gabe Dinsmoorcenter_img The family-style hostel is brightly painted with mosaics scattered throughout the interconnected houses, which contain 25 guest bedrooms, dorm rooms, suites and long-term apartments. From the reception desk, visitors pass through to a comfy living room stocked with public computers and adjacent to two communal kitchens. Guests can eat meals at one kitchen’s island table, on the connecting outdoor patio or by the pool and ping-pong room. One living room also features hammocks alongside a fountain, where fish and turtles paddle about. Guest Vanessa Chambert can attest to the friendly vibes at Kaps. Visiting from George Town, Ghana, Chambert has been living in Kaps for a month and feels totally at home, she said, cutting potatoes in the communal kitchen. “Karolina has been like a sister to me,” she said.On Chambert’s birthday, Bermúdez and others in the guesthouse surprised her with cake and wine. All residents and staff partook in the dessert, making the far-from-home occasion something special for Chambert.Another group residing at Kaps is the Barrantes family. While Mr. Barrantes resides at the nearby Calderón Guardia Hospital, the four children, Mrs. Barrantes and a caretaker are staying at the hostel.“Though we are not here for the happiest reasons, it’s a good place for the kids,” said Dorcas Barrantes. This is the family’s second stay at Kaps, and the members report that the place has always been kind to them. Sometimes Bermúdez brings the kids cookies.  Room types range from single suites to five-bed, dorm-style quarters. A continental breakfast of bread, jams, cereal, fruit, coffee and fresh juice is served every day, 7-9 a.m. There are numerous computers in the lobby and WiFi throughout the building. One unique perk is the free international phone calls to 60 countries. And the owner has made friends across the country with owners of excellent restaurants and lodges, enabling her to hook you up with a good price.The hostel was 90 percent full last week, despite it being the rainy season, when fewer tourists venture to Costa Rica. Bermúdez said business was good, even as she has heard of three hostels in San José shutting down in the past month for lack of business.“It must be the pura vida vibes here,” she said. “I will be making some changes, but it will always be a guesthouse and a family.”Going thereRates range from $20-$125 a night, and the hostel is located in downtown San José. For more info, call  2256-4850 or visit www.kapsplace.com. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more