Common pesticide makes migrating birds anorexic

first_img Margaret Eng By Elizabeth PennisiSep. 12, 2019 , 2:00 PM White-crowned sparrows stop eating after they ingest small amounts of neonicotinoid pesticides. When birds migrate, timing is everything. Fly too late, and they miss the peak season for finding good food, a good mate, or a good nest site. But that’s just what may happen to migrants unlucky enough to eat pesticide-laced seeds, new research shows. Toxicologists studying white-crowned sparrows have shown that these large, grayish sparrows become anorexic after eating neonicotinoid pesticides, causing them to lose weight and delay their southward journeys. The study might apply to other birds as well—and help explain the dramatic songbird decline of recent decades, researchers say.Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used class of pesticide. They protect seeds—and the plants that grow from them—from insects resistant to other pesticides. But scientists have recently found that they can decimate pollinators like honey bees and bumble bees. Such concerns led the European Union to ban three of these compounds in 2018.Laboratory studies have shown that neonicotinoids sicken and disorient captive birds, but no data existed on how they affect wild birds, who often swoop into fields to nosh on pesticide-laced seeds. Wondering whether pesticide exposure might explain a massive recent decline in farmland bird species, Margaret Eng, an ecotoxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and her colleagues got to work.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The researchers caught dozens of white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) in southern Ontario province in Canada as the birds migrated from the Arctic to the southern United States. They kept the birds in cages with food and water for 6 hours. About a dozen received low doses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid—equivalent to what they might ingest had they eaten several seeds from a recently planted field. Another dozen got a lower dose of the pesticide, and control birds received the same handling but no pesticide. After 6 hours, Eng put a tiny radio transmitter on each bird’s back and released it into a 100,000-square-kilometer site in Ontario, where 93 regularly spaced radio towers track tagged animals.Within hours, birds with the highest pesticide dose lost an average of 6% of their body weight and about 17% of their fat stores, which are key to fueling long flights, Eng and colleagues report today in Science. Over the course of those 6 hours, the birds given pesticides stopped eating, taking in about one-third the food that untreated birds ate, they note.Nor did the birds recover quickly when released. Half of the high-dose birds stuck around Ontario an extra 3.5 days or longer. “It’s just a few days, but we know that just a few days can have significant consequences for survival and reproduction,” Eng explains. She thinks the birds needed that extra time to get the pesticide out of their systems, start to eat again, and regain their lost fat.The paper provides “a compelling set of observations” that shows how even low doses of neonicotinoids can affect bird survival and reproduction, says Mark Jankowski, a toxicologist at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul who was not involved with the work. These effects could help explain declines in sparrow populations—and may apply to other birds, says Caspar Hallmann, an ecologist at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. But more work would be needed to prove that, Jankowski adds.Few researchers think the United States or Canada will have the political will to ban neonicotinoids despite the harms, because they are so protective for plants. But there are workarounds, says Nicole Michel, a population biologist with the National Audubon Society’s Conservation Science Division in Portland, Oregon. For example, rather than treat all seeds before they are planted, farmers could save money and reduce birds’ exposure by applying the pesticide to plants only after an insect outbreak occurs. Jankowski says researchers could also explore other methods to reduce birds’ exposure, including coming up with better ways to bury seeds—and remove those that spill—during planting. Common pesticide makes migrating birds anorexiclast_img read more


first_imgThe Kerala school girls played with a lot of verve and The Kerala school girls played with a lot of verve and some aggression that it translated in to early goal when Ammukutty struck in the very third minute of the match. However, Sujata Baro restored party seven minutes after but the lanky Kerala striker put her team up in the 28th minute as teams went for the break. On resumptions, the teams indulged in long-ball play with no goal-bearing move happening on either side. When it looked as if the Kerala squad would return to their hotel with full points, Sujata Baro made most of a defence lapse to find the equaliser just before the hooter went long. Earlier, Myngkon Higher Secondary School, Meghalaya, scored a facile 1-0 victory over Mata Rukhmani Sewa Sansthan, Chhattisgar. The lone goal came via the boot of Pynhun Shulet just a minute before the interval. In the Sub-Junior Boys (Under-14) category, the Sainik School boys from Manipur did not show any mercy against Coast Guard Public School of Daman as the former pounded 14 goals with no reply coming from their opponents. The Manipur outfit qualified for the quarterfinals, to be played on Monday. The interesting part about the match was that for the first fifteen minutes nothing happened. But what followed was mayhem unleashed on the team from Daman and Diu and the worst sufferer was the man under Daman team bar at the NWC gound. Javed started the proceedings with a goal in the sixteenth minute. He added three more to his kitty while his teammates Jael Haokit (18, 20), Bhagat Huidron (34, 37), M. Kamesh Singh (24), Kamta Singh (39, 42, 47), Rohit Hemang (41), and D. Mowarson (45) contributed in good measures. In another match, Don Bosco School from Goa proved too hot for St. Johns High School, Chandigarh as the Panjim outfit won 3-0. For the Goan school Shanon Viegas scored a brace (6, 16) and Elija A. Fernandes struck in the 34th minute to complete the task. On the other hand, the school from Sector 26 could hardly make a worthwhile move in the entire 50 minutes of the match. In the third match, H Elias Higher Secondary School, Meghalaya, beat Namchi Sports Hostel, Sikkim, 7-0, with Kinsai scoring the maximum of three goals, while N. Mahesh, Vincent and Batshken making useful contributions. Contesting for supremacy among foreign outfits, Afghanistan school defeated Bangladesh Krida Prathisthan 2-0. The Afghanis were not only agile on the field but made quick movements which helped them beat a docile Bangla team. The winners scored a goal in each half, first in the 22nd minute when Farsheed struck. It was followed up in the second session by Rasheed. PTI FK FKadvertisementlast_img read more

10 months agoBarcelona midfielder Rakitic: Getafe win was important

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Barcelona midfielder Rakitic: Getafe win was importantby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic was pleased with victory at Getafe on Sunday.Rakitic played as the deepest midfielder on Sunday as Barça beat Getafe and he was delighted to start the calendar year with three points. “All teams struggle against Getafe,” he said. “They’re a strong, compact team. Their coach [Bordalas] knows what he has to do and his team are well drilled. “It’s an important win and we have to keep following this path. We go home happy and now prepare for what’s to come.” last_img

Video: UNC’s Joel Berry Did The “Strong Man” In Locker Room After Heels’ Win

first_imgJoel Berry celebrates a play.CHAPEL HILL, NC – FEBRUARY 03: Joel Berry II #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts during their game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at the Dean Smith Center on February 3, 2018 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 96-65. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)Throughout this season, UNC sophomore guard Joel Berry has impressed with his play on the court and dance moves off it. Berry’s signature step is the “Strong Man,” which he does when celebrating. Berry broke out the “Strong Man” in the Heels locker room following last night’s 88-74 Elite Eight victory over Notre Dame. He had good reason to do so: in 34 minutes, Berry scored 11 points, but more importantly dished out eight assists and committed zero turnovers. Coach told the guys Joel Berry had 8 assist 0 TO…. So @joelberry2 gave us the #strongman #heelslockinA video posted by Sean May (@bigmayallday) on Mar 27, 2016 at 10:19pm PDTDoes Berry have a couple of more strong performances and “strong” dances in him down in Houston? Carolina fans have to hope so.last_img read more

We have no space anymore: CWG chief on shooting exclusion from 2022 Games despite India threat

first_imgWe have no space anymore: CWG chief on shooting exclusion from 2022 Games despite India threatShooting has been a high-yielding discipline for India with shooters accounting for 16 of the country’s 66 medals, including seven golds, at last year’s Gold Coast Games.advertisement Reuters New DelhiAugust 13, 2019UPDATED: August 13, 2019 11:07 IST Heena Sidhu had won a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year (Twitter photo)HIGHLIGHTSCWG chief said the decision to exclude shooting from the Games had come down to a question of logistics16 of India’s 66 medals at the CWG have come from shooting, including 7 golds in 2018IOA chief Narinder Batra has suggested that India should boycott the 2022 CWG in protestCommonwealth Games chief Louise Martin said shooting will not be part of the 2022 edition in Birmingham despite a threat by India to boycott the entire event in protest.Martin, the Commonwealth Games Federation president, told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that the decision to exclude shooting from the programme for the first time since 1974 had come down to a question of logistics.Shooting has been a high-yielding discipline for India with shooters accounting for 16 of the country’s 66 medals, including seven golds, at last year’s Gold Coast Games.Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra suggested the country boycott the Birmingham Games in protest at the decision and last month sought approval from sports minister Kiren Rijiju for the move.”A sport has to earn the right to be in the Games,” Martin told the paper.”Shooting has never been a compulsory sport. We have to work through it but shooting will not be in the Games. We have no space anymore.”The IOA could not immediately be reached for comment.The Telegraph reported that Birmingham’s offer to hold two shooting events had been turned down by International Shooting Sport Federation, which wanted a full programme.The closest facility to Birmingham deemed capable by organisers of hosting a full shooting programme was in Bisley, Surrey, about 209 km (130 miles) away.Martin, the report added, would try and meet officials on the Indian side and also intended to speak to Britain’s sports minister, Nigel Adams.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Commonwealth GamesFollow 2022 CWG Nextlast_img read more

Strong Turnout Expected for Jamaica International Exhibition

first_img “There are large-scale economic changes currently going on in our country where there are good opportunities for bold business activity. Our aim is to make the JIE the centre of this activity, not only for Jamaica, but for the Caribbean,” the JMEA President said. Story Highlights President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) Metry Seaga, says the second staging of the biennial trade show promises to be huge and will afford exhibitors the opportunity of selling to local buyers. More than 80 exhibiters and 140 buyers from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the Caribbean are expected to attend the second annual Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE), slated for the Montego Bay Convention Centre from May 30 to June 1. More than 80 exhibiters and 140 buyers from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the Caribbean are expected to attend the second annual Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE), slated for the Montego Bay Convention Centre from May 30 to June 1.President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) Metry Seaga, says the second staging of the biennial trade show promises to be huge and will afford exhibitors the opportunity of selling to local buyers.“There are large-scale economic changes currently going on in our country where there are good opportunities for bold business activity. Our aim is to make the JIE the centre of this activity, not only for Jamaica, but for the Caribbean,” the JMEA President said.He was speaking at the JIE Business Breakfast held recently at the S Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.Mr. Seaga said while there is marked improvement in the production and export timeline, there is little room for complacency.“There is much more work to be done, undoubtedly. But Jamaica has made some noteworthy strides in supporting the industry. We see the impressive tax cuts recently announced by the Finance Minister, and also the public procurement reform that the JMEA has forcefully pursued over the last five years, finally [coming] into effect on the first of this month,” he further stated.Mr. Seaga noted that the new procurement regime allows for set-asides, which reserve a portion of the annual procurement budget for Jamaican micro, small and medium-sized suppliers; and domestic margins of preference, which give preferential treatment to Jamaican suppliers in accessing government procurement contracts in specific circumstances.“This is something we have fought very hard for and we are pleased to see it finally come to fruition. Additionally, the Jamaica Customs Agency is currently working on implementing a single window for trade which will provide a single entry point for all import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. Next month, we will see the launch of the Trade Information Portal (TIP) which is, in essence, a one-stop shop where we will be able to access all information relating to trade,” the JMEA President further stated.Mr. Seaga said these will enhance the potential for Jamaicans to compete for larger shares of government procurement contracts and promote ease of transaction and knowledge acquisition to undertake import and export.“It is against this background that the JIE becomes such a ‘must’. It’s a must for the region, it’s a must for the island and it should be a must for every Jamaican business owner, no matter the sector,” he further argued.Additionally, Mr. Seaga said: “We have buyers registered who are interested in information technology and communication as well as business process outsourcing (BPO); we have almost a dozen buyers interested in construction; approximately the same amount interested in printing, packaging and labelling as well as tourism; almost 20 buyers interested in chemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals; over 30 interested in beverages; nearly 60 buyers interested in food, agro-processing, processed foods and agriculture.”last_img read more

Capital Product Partners Buys 2017Built Tanker

first_imgzoom Greek shipping company Capital Product Partners (CPLP) has decided to acquire Aristaios, a 112,800 dwt eco-type crude oil/product tanker, from Capital Maritime & Trading Corp.As informed, the Ice Class 1C tanker which was built at South Korean Daehan Shipbuilding in 2017, is to be bought for a total of USD 52.5 million.The 250-meter-long ship is currently employed under a time charter to Tesoro Far East Maritime Company at a gross daily rate of USD 26,400. The Tesoro charter commenced in January 2017 with duration of five years +/- 45 days.CPLP intends to fund the acquisition through available cash in the amount of USD 24.2 million and the assumption of a USD 28.3 million term loan under a credit facility previously arranged by Capital Maritime with Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and ING Bank NV.The partnership said the purchase of Aristaios was entered into on an arm’s length basis and was reviewed and unanimously approved by its board of directors.COLP currently owns 36 vessels, including 21 MR product tankers, four Suezmax crude oil tankers, ten Neo Panamax container vessels and one Capesize bulker.last_img read more

National Child Day Celebrated with Licensed Childcare Centre Symbol

first_imgParents of day-care-age children can now more easily identify licensed child-care centres around the province with the help of a new symbol. Community Services Minister Judy Streatch celebrated National Child Day, today, Nov. 20, by unveiling the symbol at Giant Steps Children’s Centre in Tantallon. The identity program provides a sticker that all licensed centres must clearly display. “Parents will now be able to easily identify licensed child-care centres and be assured that their centre is regularly inspected,” said Ms. Streatch. “This is part of our government’s commitment to ensure that all children enjoy a good start in life and are provided safe, quality care,” she added. Licensing is managed under Early Childhood Development Services at the Department of Community Services. Early childhood development officers visit licensed child-care providers across the province to ensure that the requirements of the Day Care Act and regulations are met. The act and regulations outline specific criteria to ensure the health, safety and education of Nova Scotia children. Individuals providing care for more than six children younger than five (including their own) or for more than eight children age five to 12 (including their own) must apply for a licence to operate a child-care centre. Anyone interested in applying for a licence to operate a child-care centre or would like more information, contact licensing services at 902-424-5499 or visit the website at .last_img read more

The Monday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Monday, May 1———TORIES ACCUSE SAJJAN OF ‘STOLEN VALOUR’: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding fast amid angry calls for Harjit Sajjan’s resignation and accusations the embattled Liberal defence minister has “stolen valour” from Canadian Forces colleagues. Opposition parties have launched an all-out attack against Sajjan, who apologized again today for having described himself as the architect of Operation Medusa, Canada’s largest battle in Afghanistan in 2006. Interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose went so far as to accuse Sajjan of stealing credit for the actions of others — something military personnel call “stolen valour.” Conservatives have also called on House of Commons Speaker Geoff Regan to look into Sajjan’s claims that the Tories, and not the Liberals, cut tax benefits to Canadian soldiers in Kuwait. The NDP are also blasting the minister amid calls for a new probe into the mistreatment of Afghan detainees, which Sajjan refused to entertain last year. But Trudeau says the defence minister simply made a mistake and has apologized fully.———STRONG QUAKES JOLT YUKON, NORTHWESTERN B.C.: Dozens of aftershocks rattled parts of southern Yukon and northern British Columbia after a strong earthquake shook the area Monday morning. Natural Resources Canada reported the first quake with a magnitude of 6.2 hit at 5:31 a.m. Pacific time. It was centred in a remote area 77 kilometres northwest of Skagway, Alaska, and 127 kilometres southwest of Whitehorse. The U.S. Geological Survey website showed that the shaker was followed by many more over the next 90 minutes, including aftershocks with magnitudes of 6.3 and 5.2. Four hours after the quake, the geological survey had recorded more than 50 temblors, and aftershocks continued to shake the area. Earthquakes over a magnitude of six can cause damage to buildings, even well-built ones. Both the National Weather Service in the U.S. and Emergency Info B.C. said the quakes were not expected to trigger a tsunami.———LAWYER SAYS SENATOR WON’T ADDRESS AIDE’S ALLEGATIONS: A lawyer for Don Meredith said Monday the senator will not address sexual harassment allegations contained in a published news report. The weekend article by HuffPost Canada cited a former female aide alleging the senator repeatedly groped her behind closed doors. The woman, who was not named, also alleged Meredith threatened to wreck her employment prospects if she complained to anyone about him. Meredith’s lawyer, Bill Trudell, said the senator would not respond to the accusations. Meredith could find out within days what punishment the Senate ethics committee will be recommending for his unrelated sexual relationship with a teenage girl. The committee has been pondering a range of sanctions from reprimand to outright expulsion.———MANITOBA SETS UP REFUGEE RECEPTION CENTRE: The Manitoba government is transforming a former seniors residence into a reception centre for asylum-seekers who walk across the border. The centre is being set up in Gretna, Man., an official border crossing close to Emerson where refugee claimants have been walking through fields to reach Canada from the United States. The province says the centre will provide short-term shelter, food and help with the necessary refugee claimant paperwork. In an emailed statement, the government says it expects up to 60 people could be housed in the vacant building. It says the vast majority of asylum-seekers will be moved to Winnipeg within days. A few hundred people have walked across open fields and through ditches into Manitoba since Jan. 1.———TRUMP PROTECTIONISM HAS EU LOOKING TO CANADA: The EU’s agriculture minister says the Trump administration’s protectionist approach means European food and drink companies are seeking new opportunities in Canada. Phil Hogan tells The Canadian Press that’s one reason why he is leading a trade mission of 60 European firms to Canada this week. Hogan says he left that European business delegation at home while he was in Washington last week for talks with U.S. officials. And he says he’s confident Parliament will ratify the Canada-EU free trade deal before the summer break, which will mean more than 90 per cent of it will take effect under what is called provisional application. Negotiations towards a similar EU-U.S. trade deal are not officially dead, but Hogan says that with Trump in the White House, they are currently on hold. He says Trump’s anti-trade policies represent an opportunity for Canada and the EU to build on trade links with each other and with other non-U.S. partners.———U.S. SAYS CONDITIONS NOT RIGHT FOR KIM JONG UN MEETING: The White House says conditions aren’t right for President Donald Trump to meet with Korean leader Kim Jong Un despite Trump’s openness to that possibility in the future. Trump told Bloomberg he’d be open to a meeting under the right circumstances and that if it were appropriate, “I would be honoured to do it.” But White House spokesman Sean Spicer says he doesn’t see that happening any time soon. He says Kim would have to show signs of “good faith.” But Spicer isn’t elaborating on exactly what conditions would have to be met. Tensions with North Korea have escalated recently as American and other intelligence agencies have suggested the country was readying a possible nuclear test. The Trump administration has said all options, including a military strike, are on the table.———FORMER ONTARIO LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR CHARGED: A former lieutenant-governor of Ontario has been charged with six counts of wilfully exceeding federal political donation limits, including contributing more than legally allowed to Justin Trudeau and a rival candidate during the 2013 Liberal leadership contest. The charges against Henry N.R. Jackman, widely known as Hal, span a period of five years from 2008 to 2013. They were laid Monday by the commissioner of Canada elections, Yves Cote, at the request of the director of public prosecutions. Cote is not disclosing many details about the charges, including which political parties were involved. A spokeswoman for the commissioner says they involve donations to multiple parties, their riding associations and candidates. The commissioner has the discretion to deal with infractions of the Canada Elections Act without laying charges. He can issue letters of caution or conclude what’s known as compliance agreements, in which the offender publicly admits responsibility for breaking the law but does not wind up with a record of conviction.———BRACE FOR CLOSURE, CHAGGER WARNS COMMONS: Government House leader Bardish Chagger is putting her opposition colleagues on notice that the Liberals will be invoking closure on debate in the Commons a lot more often. The Trudeau government is backing down on some of the more contentious changes that it had been proposing to parliamentary procedure — changes that have had Conservative and NDP critics up in arms for weeks. But Chagger says the result will require the government to use “time allocation” — shutting down debate, essentially — more often in order to get things done. In a letter to her opposition counterparts Sunday, Chagger said she would proceed only with those changes promised in 2015 election campaign, including having the prime minister deliver all the responses in one question period each week. Chagger is letting go of more controversial proposals, which the opposition parties have denounced as an attempt by the Liberals to control the parliamentary agenda and curtail their efforts to hold the government to account.———HOME CAPITAL SEE MORE CASH WITHDRAWALS: Home Capital says it expects to receive an initial $1 billion on Monday from the $2-billion credit line it was provided last week as more customers pulled their savings out of the struggling mortgage lender. Shares of the Toronto-based lender tumbled last week following allegations from Ontario’s securities watchdog that it misled investors, accusations it says are without merit and has promised to defend itself against. The news spurred many savers to withdraw their deposits, which Home Capital uses to fund its lending. The stock tumbled another 20.77 per cent, or $1.67, shortly after the Toronto Stock Exchange opened Monday and was trading at $6.37. Home Capital says it expects the total amount in its high-interest savings accounts will dwindle to about $391 million by the end of Monday, a decline of about $1 billion from a week ago. It also says the balance of total guaranteed investment certificates has fallen to $12.86 billion as of Friday, down from $13.01 billion as of last Monday.———OILERS FANS HELP SING U.S. NATIONAL ANTHEM: The “Star-Spangled Banner” got a unique rendition on Sunday night at Rogers Place. Canadian country singer Brett Kissel came out to sing the U.S. national anthem decked out in an Oilers jersey and guitar prior to Game 3 of Edmonton’s Western Conference semifinal game against the Anaheim Ducks. But as he began to sing it, the microphone wouldn’t work. After two tries, Kissel threw his hands in the air to conduct the crowd. “Brett knew the mic was gone. As an American, for a Canadian to sing the national anthem was pretty special to me,” Oilers forward Patrick Maroon said Monday. “Certainly got me going. That was pretty cool.” Oilers anthem singer Robert Clark then gestured with his microphone for the crowd to continue their a capella performance with “O Canada.”last_img read more

Poll suggests Canadians appear pessimistic about their economic futures

first_imgOTTAWA – A new poll suggests the political battle constantly being waged for the support of Canada’s middle class is being fought over increasingly shrinking territory.An Ekos-Canadian Press survey of 4,839 Canadians suggests the number of people who self-identify as working class or poor is on the rise.Pollster Frank Graves says that while the middle class itself may be comfortable with the direction of the current Liberal government, the growing ranks of working class and poor aren’t.Graves says the question becomes where those increasingly disconnected Canadians park their votes and if they represent the groundwork for either a right-wing or progressive populism taking hold in the coming years.The poll, conducted between Sept. 15 and Oct. 1, suggests people are feeling more pessimistic about their own futures not just over the next year, but over the next five.The overall survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.last_img read more

AP FACT CHECK Facebook makes shaky data and privacy claims

first_imgFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made several assertions about Facebook’s data collection and privacy controls during two days of hearings on Capitol Hill.Those included claims that Facebook lets you download your data and take it elsewhere; that users can turn off data collection for advertising purposes; and that Facebook tracks users even when they’re not on Facebook itself, but only for “security purposes.”In all these cases, the situation is not as clear-cut as Zuckerberg made it sound. Here’s a look at his statements.___ZUCKERBERG: “People have the ability to see everything they have in Facebook, take that out, delete that account and move their data anywhere that they want.”THE FACTS: That’s only partly true.You can indeed download a subset of the information it has collected on you. But the resulting file mostly contains a jumble of contacts, messages and advertisers who have been allowed to target you through Facebook.That makes the information mostly useless if you hoped to use it to join a different social network, because it’s incomplete and not organized in a way that another service could easily import.Experts say Facebook has made it technically untenable to take your data elsewhere. University researchers have tried to figure out how to make that data portable, but failed because Facebook keeps changing the public-facing software required.There are other issues that make true data portability vexing. Zuckerberg alluded to one on Wednesday: Who owns material shared across a social network to multiple users? “Let’s say I take a photo and I share it with you. Now is that my photo or is it your photo?” he said.___ZUCKERBERG: “There is a setting so if you don’t want any data to be collected around advertising, you can turn that off and then we won’t do it.”THE FACTS: There is no such single setting on Facebook.You can limit ad targeting, but it requires several steps, which you may have to repeat from time to time. By default, Facebook shows you ads based on interests you’ve expressed over the years and the companies you have “interacted” with — for instance, by sharing your email or phone number, visiting their website or using their app.You can turn off such targeted ads with a single option in your Facebook settings. Doing so means, for example, that you won’t get an ad on Facebook for a pair of shoes you just looked at on a shopping website, though you’ll still get generic ads.But that doesn’t stop the data collection. Facebook also adds targeting categories based on your demographic information, such as whether you might have a child, your birthday and age, what mobile device you use and even your political leanings — whether or not you’ve explicitly shared any of that on Facebook.Turning off those categories is a chore, as you have to select them one by one in settings. And if you like a new page, click on a new ad or add your email to a new business’s contact list, the whole thing starts over.___ZUCKERBERG: “There may be specific things about how you use Facebook, even if you’re not logged in, that we — that we keep track of, to make sure that people aren’t abusing the systems.”At a different point in the hearing, he said: “In general, we collect data of people who have not signed up for Facebook for security purposes.”THE FACTS: Facebook collects data on your online habits wherever it can find you, and very little of it appears to be for security purposes.Facebook pays third-party websites and apps to let it place tracking code across the internet and mobile devices. That code can be embedded in browser files called “cookies,” invisible screen pixels, or Facebook’s familiar “like” and “share” buttons.That code then reports back to Facebook on your surfing habits to help it better target ads. Along with Google, Facebook is consistently among the top three data-collectors in the field, said Reuben Binns, an Oxford University computer scientist who researches these beacons.In February, a Belgian court ruled that Facebook had violated European privacy law with such tracking because it hadn’t obtained consent either to collect or store the data.___Find AP Fact Checks at @APFactCheck on Twitter: complete coverage of the Facebook privacy scandal, visit’S NOTE _ A look at the veracity of claims by public figureslast_img read more

A strong, decisive govt can make Gurugram Millennium City in true sense: Rao Inderjit

first_imgRao Inderjit Singh, who is seeking his fifth term as a member of parliament (MP), has been a politician for 45 years. Not only has he had a successful stint as an MP, but he has also proved his credentials by being a member in Haryana Vidhan Sabha. Son of Rao Birender Singh who was the second Chief Minister of the state, their family have fought over 20 elections in the South Haryana regions of Gurugram and Mahendargarh. Most of it has been in winning the cause. Despite a stellar political record, the electorate of Gurugram has not shied away from expressing their angst when required. Despite being a doyen in the politics of Gurugram, Rao Birender Singh lost general elections in 1977, 1991 and 1996. Even Rao Inderjit tasted failure from Gurugram in the general elections of 1998. Being a seasoned politician, Rao Inderjit understands this situation. Speaking to Piyush Ohrie of Millennium Post, Rao Inderjit emphasised the importance of a strong government in the Centre, his works for the development for Gurugram and also the concerns for fewer people voting for him in Mewat. Excerpts Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesYou are an incumbent MP. You have also had an experience for representing Gurugram Lok Sabha constituency in the parliament for a long. How are you convincing the electorate to vote for you again? These elections are extremely significant for our country. The electorate understands that a strong and decisive government is the need of the hour. There was a time India’s share in world’s GDP used to be 27 per cent, today it is just seven per cent. Due to our weak governance systems in the past, the country has been invaded many times and our resources have been looted. For a long time, we were perceived as weak and a country which cannot defend itself. A major achievement of the Modi led government has been that it has displayed to the international community that it can take bold decisions on economy and national security within a democratic framework. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarWhen we talk about Gurugram, Rs 1,300 crore have been sanctioned for setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rewari. There has been a vast improvement in road infrastructure and connectivity, urban governance has given a fillip by setting up of Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA). To make sure that the homebuyers are not harassed by the builder’s lobby we have also ensured the formation of Haryana real estate regulation act (HRERA). A strong and decisive government will ensure that Gurugram becomes Millennium city in true sense. There has been criticism that public healthcare and educational systems have not improved but deteriorated in Gurugram. What do you think? To begin with, the sanctioning of funds for AIIMS has already been done in the union budget. There is a medical university which is coming up in Gurugram. The state government has already started the process of how the Civil Hospital in Gurugram will be revamped. In my tenure, there was Indira Gandhi University that was opened in Mirpur. The process of Gurugram University in Kakrola functioning at the earliest is also being undertaken by the state government. Are you concerned about the levels of air pollution in Gurugram? Yes, I am concerned about the poor air quality levels in Gurugram and we are taking steps to improve the situation. We have improved the road infrastructure at NH-8 and this has resulted in less traffic congestion at the busy route. After years of delay, the Kundali-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway is finally open. The work for Sohna road elevated highway project has already started. We have ensured that the Metro line is extended towards the old city. How will you tackle the challenge of falling groundwater levels in areas in and around Gurugram? We will protect the water bodies, the natural nullahs and the Aravalli catchment aquifers to reduce flooding and increase the groundwater recharge in Gurugram and South Haryana. The Pond Authority that has been set up is an important step in this regard. There are large numbers of ex-defence personnel who are attending your public meetings. What are your plans for their welfare? The Modi government ensured that the long pending demand of one rank one pension was implemented. Today the government is spending Rs 12,500 crore annually for the welfare of our ex-defence personnel. Our workers and councillors are in constant touch with the retired Army personnel and we make sure that their needs are taken care of. Are you worried about the situation of you getting fewer votes in Mewat? In a democracy, if a public representative gets a lot of respect and affection from the electorate, there are going to be certain voters who may not be very happy with you. I have carried out my duties with integrity and honesty and I have spoken about my works to the voters in Mewat.last_img read more

Is Hosted UC Really the Way to Go

Is Your Head in the Clouds? – Part 2 Diane Halliwell June 05, 2019 Second in a two-part series exploring a move to a cloud contact center, with a focus on implementation best practices I haven’t seen cloud telephony meet the reliability of a five-nines model or deliver on QoS consistent with a premises-based system. Case in point,, which tracks cloud uptimes, indicated that in first-quarter 2018 outages for a national UCaaS provider equated to more than 10 hours per year. That’s below three nines (99.9%) availability, the equivalent of a single circuit with no redundancy. In my experience, a three-nines model is the baseline for circuit delivery and not for real-time communications applications reliability. Log in or register to post comments Some technologies that we’ve been discussing forever are now going mainstream. These include video conferencing, omnichannel contact centers, mobility, UC APIs, and of course the UCaaS and CCaaS hosted solutions. Some UCaaS providers now offer contract agreements that deliver on a five-nines model, as long as dual SD-WAN or MPLS connections go back to their data centers. These contractual penalties are just that, contractual, and don’t displace the design requirements for a five-nines model. While these providers are putting some skin in the game, generally speaking these penalties don’t have much teeth in them for non-performance. Hype Cycle StageFrom my perspective, we’re still in the hype cycle of the UC and contact center cloud. Yes, many applications, such as Salesforce and Microsoft 365, have already moved to the cloud successfully. These applications don’t require the real-time characteristics of UC and the contact center. Solid quality-of-service (QoS) — meaning minimal jitter, delay/latency, and packet loss — is a necessary requirement for a great UC and contact center experience. In addition, the traditional five nines (99.999%) uptime model (meaning five minutes of outage annually, or essentially always on) is also a requirement. Several CIOs that we work for have wanted to remove the telecom headache that plagues them, as UC technologies are the most sensitized to various network dips and possible network anomalies. I’ve seen such poor performance lead to demotions or firings of those responsible for telecom and UC. At the very least, companies start to question their authority. decision-making-3566980__340.jpg Is Your Head in the Clouds? Diane Halliwell April 03, 2019 The first part of this two-part series looks at decision criteria for moving to cloud contact center and evaluating potential solution providers. I’m writing this post based on my personal experience with hosted UC solutions and presenting a slightly different perspective beyond the hype of the UC cloud. Personally, I think the cloud industry players are overselling the OpEx cloud model, as compared with the level of maturity expected in a premises-based model. Some UCaaS providers deliver on shared-resource platforms, others on virtual private platforms, and others still on a private-cloud hybrid approach, with redundancy within the data center only… geo-redundancy optional. With any cloud solution, our consulting practice recommends geo-redundancy; data centers should be separated by at least 500 to 1,000 miles.And now the idea of customer experience, patient experience, and member experience is front and center; they’re the key buzz terms we’re now socializing and hearing about from every organization with which we work. The need to get reliability and QoS comparable to that of a premises-based model is even more important than ever. Another case in point, our firm uses one of the national cloud providers, and in the last 12 months outages have exceeded 15 hours (99.8%) — and the problems weren’t on our network. This again is well below three-nines availability — far below the required reliability models enterprises are used to at five nines. Tags:News & ViewsHosted UCon-premisesPremises vs. CloudDeployment ModelsCCaaSCloud CommunicationsCPaaSEnterprise ConnectUCaaS12nextlast Articles You Might Like Click below to continue to Page 2 See All in Deployment Models » According to Zeus Kerravala, of ZK Research, UCaaS sales already are far greater than premises sales, but the on-premises installed base is so much larger than the cloud base. But Zeus said he expects the installed base to be more than 50% cloud seats vs. on-prem seats by 2023. Whether this shift will be driven by the hype of the last few years or a real need for enterprises to move to the cloud is a matter of debate. Faster deployment timesAn organization’s intentional desire to move to an OpEx modelThe need or desire to remove the telecom ”headache” from a management perspectiveThe continuing increase in complexity of newer technologies attached to UC, including workstream communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), communications platform as a service (CPaaS), biometrics, 5G, software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), and moreSome reduction of staff requirements is expected (but in my experience not as much as one would think)  Key cloud characteristics include: Genesys in Japan: Blending the Old and New Sheila McGee-Smith June 05, 2019 Contact center provider finds that traditionalists tend to favor on-prem installations, while forward-looking brands embrace cloud. Is the hosted UC cloud really the way to go? In a two-word answer, “It depends.” Yes, the UC cloud is here, but at what financial cost? Based on my work with clients, I’ve found that over seven years, the total cost of ownership for cloud compared to a new premises-based solution will be anywhere from 40% to 50% higher. And that variance can be as high as 100% in the case of upgrades and incentives offered by premises-based vendors. Reliability and TCONo matter how many applications move toward a cloud solution, call quality and uptime will always vary by provider. To date in my experience with clients, cloud reliability isn’t quite on par with a premises-based model. In the world of digital telephony, enterprises historically took a five-nines reliability model for granted — it was a communications rite of passage and requirement. VoIP then lowered that bar slightly to four nines, with the introduction of network dependencies and network redundancy required to get to that five-nines model. Over time, VoIP has moved to a five-nines model, and therefore the expectations for five nines continues. UCaaS Takes Backseat to IP PBX as Future Enterprise Platform John Malone June 05, 2019 A new study from Eastern Management Group finds enterprises will use more server virtualization and hybrid cloud than UCaaS through 2024. read more

UN mission searches villages in eastern DR of Congo for rebel holdouts

In the cordon and search operation, the equivalent of a reinforced battalion from Bangladesh, Morocco, Pakistan and South Africa and a helicopter gunship from India searched Bolonzabo and Khodeza, two villages about 40 kilometres southwest of Ituri’s capital, Bunia, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told journalists at the daily briefing at UN Headquarters in New York.He reported the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) saying the two villages sheltered members of the Ituri Patriotic Resistance Front (FRPI), which refused to take part in the disarmament and re-integration programme that ended last Friday.”The peacekeepers were fired upon by armed parties and they returned fire. There were no peacekeeper casualties sustained during the operation,” he said.Initial reports indicated that some militia members fled ahead of the peacekeepers’ arrival, Mr. Eckhard said.”The operation falls within the UN Mission’s aim of acting vigorously against those armed groups in Ituri which refuse to disarm and, consequently, pose a threat to the civilian population,” he said.According to a report to the Security Council, the FRPI is dominated by fighters from the Lendu and related Ngiti ethnic groups, which have fought the Hema over Lendu land.Meanwhile, MONUC said its new force commander, Lt. Gen. Babacar Gaye of Senegal, took office today in the DRC capital, Kinshasa.After training in France, General Gaye racked up 33 years of service in the Senegalese armed forces, where he was chief of staff from 2000 to 2003. Much decorated, he took part in UN missions in Sinai and Lebanon and in Desert Storm in Iraq.He was also ambassador to Germany, Austria and the Vienna-based UN agencies last year. read more

DC Comics announces sweeping ebook push

first_imgDC Comics has finally announced a major initiative to bring its new comic book releases to ebook platforms on the same day they are released in physical form. So instead of rushing to your local spot for all things superhero, you will now be able to tap a couple buttons to have all the newest comic books from DC Comics delivered to your Kindle, Nook, or iOS device.Comic books are part of the shrinking group of media that people still prefer to have in their physical form over the digital one. However, the comic book crowd is also among the target audience for ebooks so the transition to digital distribution is only a matter of time, considering announcements like this one.Of course, the real challenge with digital comic books is the issue of piracy. As it is, there is rampant redistribution of the material even if it requires users to manually scan every page of a new issue and then upload them to a file-sharing site. Delivering this content as a digital file has the potential to swing those piracy doors open much wider, and that is why publishers like DC, as well as Marvel, have been so reluctant to embrace ebooks.Another interesting question aside from the piracy issue is whether or not the gradual transformation into digital distribution will have anywhere near the same kind of effect on comic book stores that retailers like Barnes & Noble and the now-defunct Borders started feeling years ago.It seems almost archaic to think of going into a book store to pick up the newest New York Times bestseller, while going to the comic book store is still safely accepted as a comic geek ritual. The question is how long that will last, though. Why step outside when you can pick up the latest issue of Green Lantern on your iPad?via DC Comicslast_img read more

Espèces menacées en Suisse le loup et le lièvre sont en danger

first_imgEspèces menacées : en Suisse, le loup et le lièvre sont en dangerLe WWF Suisse vient de publier son bilan quant à l’état de la faune dans le pays. Une étude dans laquelle nous apprenons que si le castor prospère, le loup est dangereusement menacé, à l’instar du lièvre.En 2010, l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature (UICN) a recensé quelque 18.351 espèces menacées, soit un tiers de l’inventaire qui été étudié. Alors que ce chiffre impressionnant représente une augmentation de 8% par rapport au bilan réalisé en 2008, en Suisse, la faune n’échappe pas à cette inquiétante menace.À lire aussiCes 18 animaux méconnus à l’aspect étonnant pourraient disparaître avant vousLe WWF helvétique vient en effet de dévoiler son bilan, et indique que le loup a vu sa population sensiblement diminuer, et ce malgré la protection internationale sous laquelle il est placé. Quinze ans après sa réapparition en Suisse, sa population est estimée à seulement quinze spécimens. Une situation qui est appelée à s’aggraver, le Conseil national ayant décidé de modifier l’ordonnance sur la chasse dans le but de permettre un abattage plus facile des spécimens de l’espèce lorsque l’un d’entre eux menace le gibier des chasseurs. L’association de protection de l’environnement s’inquiète également de la menace qui pèse sur le lièvre en Suisse. Sur le sol helvétique, leurs effectifs s’élèvent en moyenne à 2,7 lièvres par kilomètre carré. Un taux qui dans certaines régions, ne dépasse pas 1,5. Ce phénomène est considéré comme dramatique par le WWF, les experts estimant une densité comprise entre deux et six lièvres par kilomètre carré comme critique pour l’espèce. L’urbanisation, le développement de routes et de zones industrielles, mais aussi l’agriculture intensive, sont à l’origine de cette situation, fragilisant de plus en plus l’habitat de ces petits mammifères.Pour conclure ce bilan sur une note plus positive, l’association évoque le retour en force du castor dans le pays dont il a été éradiqué à la fin du XIXe siècle. L’animal a réinvesti le territoire suisse, et le dernier recensement fait état d’environ 1.600 rongeurs dans les cours d’eau situés entre le lac de Constance et le Léman.Le 28 décembre 2010 à 20:02 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Kjaer agent reveals AC Milan plan

first_imgThere were reports that AC Milan were interested in signing Denmark captain Simon Kjaer last summer, but his agent Mikkel Beck admits having seen the reports but stated the San Siro side have not made a concrete offer for the center-back this year.Also, Beck did not suggest there could be a deal this summer for the player who has also been linked with a potential switch to the Premier League.“I have seen the rumours, but I have not spoken directly with AC Milan in the last few days,” Beck told Goal.“What I can say is that AC Milan were showing interest in Simon last summer at one point, but in the end he chose to go to Sevilla.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“I am not surprised by the rumours. When a player performs on such a high level at a World Cup, as Simon did as Denmark captain, then obviously there will be media speculation – and other big clubs will probably focus on him as well.“Simon is happy to play for Sevilla in a great league like La Liga, and the club have big ambitions. Simon likes that, and he has just returned after the World Cup and started his pre-season, preparing to be ready to go all in to make it a great season.”Sevilla’s La Liga campaign starts with a trip to Rayo Vallecano on August 19 after a Spanish Supercopa date against Barcelona on August 12.last_img read more


first_img Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6m Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp TCI scholar making waves Bahamian Basketball player for first draft pick Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks & Caicos Islands Government Press ReleaseGrand Turk, 03 Oct 2014 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Commonwealth Games Association is hosting its tenth annual Grand Turk Beach Olympics on Saturday, 11 October 2014.This community event takes place at Governor’s Beach and starts at 10am. There will be competitions in beach Soccer, volleyball, road relay and sprint races, bicycle, swimming, kayaking, three-legged, eggs and spoon races and sack races, as well as domino, tug-of-war, weightlifting, kite flying, iron man and strong woman contests.Participants will be put in one of four teams, depending upon where they live on Grand Turk: those in North Back Salina will be in the green team; South Back Salina the orange team; West Road the red team; and those in Over Back will be the purple team. “We invite everyone who is in Grand Turk on the day to come along,” said Rita Gardiner, President of the TCICGA. “We are aiming to build community spirit in a fun-filled, healthy manner whilst determining who will win the Beach Olympics team of the year! We want to empower our people through sports, healthy living and live the Commonwealth Games vision of ‘Bringing Communities Together through Sport’.” Recommended for you Related Items:grand turk, olympics, Rita gardiner, sportslast_img read more

Installations Digital Twin Enhances DecisionMaking for Asset Energy Management

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR By integrating a number of cutting-edge technologies, Booz Allen Hamilton has developed a prototype, 3-D visualization model for a military base which allows public works staff to monitor most installation management functions, including property management, construction execution, energy usage and land use planning. The model, developed for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, tracks current conditions using unmanned aerial vehicles and other autonomous data collection platforms outfitted with cameras and other sensors, and employs data analytics to quickly detect anomalies. By aggregating data from a multitude of sources, this “digital twin” facilitates scenario planning for a wide range of applications, such as new construction, facilities sustainment, and energy efficiency and resiliency investments.A case study about the 3-D model will be featured as one of six “Innovators” at Installation Innovation 2018 in San Diego from Feb. 12-14. For more information about the Forum and to register, visit the IIF website.last_img read more

Spy Who Dumped Me director wants a female Deadpool

first_img 2019 movies to geek out over Thanks to the bed-hopping likes of James Bond, the spy movie is traditionally seen as a male-dominated genre. The Spy Who Dumped Me, an irreverent espionage comedy, made a clear dent in that perception this year.For director Susanna Fogel, the film points the way for women to reinvigorate established genres. In The Spy Who Dumped Me, available on digital download now and DVD & Blu-ray on Boxing Day, Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are two best friends thrust into the high-stakes world of international espionage and violent action. Fogel, who co-wrote the film with writing partner David Iserson, is keen to build on her experience of making an action movie.Mila Kunis (left) and Kate McKinnon get into the action in The Spy Who Dumped Me. Hopper Stone “I would love to work in that world of epic superhero/super-villain stuff,” she says when we chat on the phone. “I’m not a huge comic book person, but I do feel like there’s an iconic, unabashedly epic quality to those movies. I just don’t generally see female characters in those movies that behave like anything I would recognize.”Fogel is concerned depictions of women are still limited. “The strong woman of 2018 isn’t allowed to be flawed, isn’t allowed to be silly,” she says. It’s sort of considered anti-feminist to show them as anything but bionic super-heroines. So a lot of these spy movies, or action movies or superhero movies — they’re very self-serious in a way I don’t totally connect with.”While Marvel’s Black Widow or the women of Atomic Blonde and Red Sparrow rarely crack a smile, Fogel points out we’ve had various versions of male heroes like Batman, Superman and Spider-Man coming of age, exploring their powers and having emotional character arcs spanning drama, action and comedy. “I feel like on the women’s side of things you have Wonder Woman, but that’s kind of it,” she says, “and Wonder Woman is not a comedian. So it would be interesting to introduce a female Deadpool, a female Iron Man, with some wit infused into the female heroines, and not needing them to be so perfect all the time — letting them be a little bit more human just like the male icons.”The Spy Who Dumped Me Day 16Susanna Fogel (center) directs Kate McKinnon (left) and Mila Kunis. Hopper Stone/SMPSP She isn’t advocating swapping Ryan Reynolds or Robert Downey Jr. for female versions of their iconic characters. But Fogel would happily generate her own superhero or fantasy project. At the same time, she doesn’t want women directors to be pigeonholed as only taking on women heroes.”I feel for female directors, of whom there are not many. There haven’t been many who are able to be genre chameleons in the way that on the male side you have Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott,” she says. Women directors can end up known for one thing or get the reins only of movies perceived as women’s stories, even though a recent study found movies headlined by women lead to big box office returns.Ultimately, Fogel wants to tackle characters on the level of Bourne and Bond, regardless of whether they’re male or female. She’s currently directing an episode of a male-led TV show that has superhero-type elements and was excited she wasn’t hired for the “girl episode.” Before gender becomes irrelevant in the director’s chair, Fogel thinks there’s a “middle step” in which women will make bigger and bigger movies. “It’s hard for Hollywood to think of women for movies that are not necessarily needing a female director,” she says, “and the way to walk that road is to keep expanding the scale and then actually put the evidence in front of their face. Say, OK, you cannot tell me I can’t do another version of this thing I’ve already done.”Culture: Your hub for everything from film and television to music, comics, toys and sports.Movie Magic: The secrets behind the scenes of your favorite films and filmmakers.  TV and Movies Share your voice 9center_img 77 Photos Comments Tagslast_img read more