Gallery: A twinkling nest of treasures

first_imgPhotos by Nicky Rehbock, Sean Daniel and Richard Panaino. Compiled by Mary AlexanderThe creative force behind the White House chandeliers is Magpie Arts Collective, which specialises in lighting apparel, home décor and jewellery crafted from, among other things, recycled glass bottles, yoghurt containers, plastic, dog food cans, mosaic, bits of mirror, toys, charms and copper wire. Read the full storyClick on thumnails to enlarge.Before downoading the high-resolution images, please read the image library terms and conditions of use  Sean Daniel and Richard Panaino are two of the bright sparks driving the Magpie Arts Collective.Download larger image The Paternoster Bam Bam Screen – an installation piece created from dog food cans.Download larger image The Magpie Tea Pot ChandelierDownload larger image Magpie Princess Chandelier – installed in the White House in Washington DC.Download larger image The Barrydale Magpie Christmas Tree – December 2007Download larger image Magpie chandeliers incorporate glass beads, pastic bottle tops and recycled trinkets.Download larger image The designer light bulb covers are made from knitted copper wire, beads and silk flowers.Download larger image A funky light fitting irreverently called “the chicken bum”.Download larger image Blomme, Afrikaans for flowers, are made from plastic bottle tops and discarded wine containers.Download larger image The light bulb covers are made by Magpie’s income-generation project in Barrydale.Download larger image Magpie’s chandeliers sell from anything between a few hundred and a few thousand rands.Download larger image Chandelier detail showing recycled bottle tops and other plastic trinkets.Download larger image MORE GALLERIESlast_img read more

Cape Town night sky tops at photo contest

first_imgCape Town photographer Eric Nathan’s shot of the Mother City at night has earned him the top prize at the International Earth & Sky Photo Contest. But it also points out the effect light pollution has on our skies and the need to reclaim and reconnect with the stars. Eric Nathan’s image of Cape Town at night has earned the photographer worldwide acclaim. His image beat 839 entries to claim top prize at the International Earth & Sky Photo Contest. Click image to view in larger resolution. (Image: Eric Nathan) Staff writerWhen Cape Town photographer Eric Nathan stood at the top of Lion’s Head on a cold June night and snapped the Mother City, he would not have thought the image would garner worldwide attention. Yet it has done exactly that.The photograph Nathan titled Star trails above Table Mountain has earned him first prize in the 2015 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest, beating 839 other entries. It also took top spot in the Against the Lights category. But apart from these accolades, the success of Nathan’s image is in showing the effects of light pollution and that we need to reconnect with the stars we have lost to artificial light.The competition is hosted by photographic institution The World at Night (TWAN) and Dark Skies Awareness Project, which looks to preserve natural sites that are important to astronomical studies.Nathan, who lives between the Cape Town and London, would have taken more than seven hours to produce the image as it is a stack of over 900 30-second exposures.The image shows just how artificial light has come to dominate the natural world, with Table Mountain framed by the southern areas to the left and the exclusive beachside suburbs of Camps Bay to the right.According to TWAN, the images selected as winners were most effective in showing how important and delicate the starry sky is, and how bad the problem of light pollution has become. “Today, most city skies are virtually devoid of stars. Light pollution is not only a major waste of energy, it also obscures the stars, disrupts ecosystems and has adverse health effects.”TWAN founder and contest chair, Babak Tafreshi, said the contest’s goal was to present the night sky in this context and encourage us to preserve and reconnect with it. “The sky above us is an essential part of our nature, a heritage for us and other species on this planet.”View the rest of the 2015 International Earth & Sky Photo Contest entries:last_img read more

Microsoft’s selfie Windows Phone breaks cover

first_imgAfter Microsoft acquired Nokia’s smart devices division, not much has happened on its phone side of the business. There have been a few new Lumia phones but they belong to the category of affordable phones and do not bring anything new to the table in terms of technology. Looks like this is starting to change. On Thursday, WPCentral leaked images of a phone codenamed “Superman” which is believed to be a mid-range Windows Phone with a focus on selfies.The rumour is that this phone will be the successor to the Lumia 720 and could be called the Lumia 730. It is expected to have a 5-megapixel front facing camera. This will make the Lumia 730 a Windows phone with biggest front-facing image sensor. That said, we have seen 5-megapixel front-facing cameras on many Android smartphones. In fact, a few phones even sport 8-megapixel camera.Besides  the big front camera, the phone is expected to have a 4.7-inch display. Going by the leaked images it is expected to run on the Windows Phone 8.1 Debian Red update. No details are known about this update.A phone internally known as the Tesla is also being tested by Microsoft and it will be in the same price bracket as the Superman. This phone could have a PureView camera on the back. If this happens, it will mark the first time the PureView moniker to be used for a mid-range smartphone. So far, PureView has been reserved for Nokia’s flagship products.Follow writer on Twitter @DigitallyBoneslast_img read more

UK state contractor collapses in liquidationputting 6000 Canadian jobs at risk

first_imgLONDON – One of the British state’s biggest contractors collapsed Monday, putting thousands of jobs at risk, after creditors and the government refused to bail out a company struggling under the weight of more than 1.5 billion pounds (CAD$2.6 billion) of debt.Carillion said it had no choice but to go into compulsory liquidation after weekend talks with creditors failed to get the short-term financing it needed to continue operating. The construction and services company is working on major public works projects, such as the HS2 rail line in northern England, while also maintaining prisons, cleaning hospitals and providing school lunches.“This is a very sad day for Carillion, for our colleagues, suppliers and customers that we have been proud to serve over many years,” chairman Philip Green said.The company employs 43,000 people worldwide who now face the risk of redundancy. Almost half of them are in the U.K., though Carillion also has a presence in the Middle East, Canada and the Caribbean.Carillion Canada says on its website it employs 6,000 people and generates about $1 billion annually in Canada through energy transmission, construction and services in sectors including oil and gas, health care, and aviation, plus roads maintenance services for approximately 40,000 kilometres of highways across Ontario and Alberta.A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation said Monday it had met with Carillion Canada and was advised that its winter road maintenance services are continuing uninterrupted.However, the ministry says it will continue to meet with the company and will provide updates to the travelling public as they become available.Carillion has been struggling to reorganize for the past six months amid debts of about 900 million pounds (CAD$1.54 billion) and a pension deficit of 590 million pounds. Carillion’s share price has plunged 70 per cent in the last six months.Britain’s government refused to rescue Carillion, saying it could not be expected to bail out a private company. In the meantime, it said it would provide the necessary funding to maintain public services.“It is of course disappointing that Carillion has become insolvent, but our primary responsibility has always been (to) keep our essential public services running safely,” said David Lidington, head of the Cabinet Office.But questions remain about why the government continued to award contracts to the firm — even after it was having troubles. The opposition Labour Party said the government must move quickly to protect public services and ensure employees, supply chain companies, taxpayers and pension fund members are protected.“Given two billion pounds worth of government contracts were awarded in the time three profit warnings were given by Carillion, a serious investigation needs to be launched into the Government’s handling of this matter,” said Labour lawmaker Jon Trickett.As critics debated the wisdom of contracting out civic services to private entities, Lidington rejected the notion that there would be a fire sale of assets. He said government departments had drawn contingency plans to be activated in the event of a collapse.In cases of joint partners on a contract, the other partners will take up the slack.“As we go forward, some services will be taken in house, some services will go out to alternative contractors in a managed, orderly fashion,” he told the BBC.Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman, James Slack, denied that the government had been taken by surprise by the firm’s collapse. He said some of Carillion’s 450 public sector contracts might have to be taken over by the government, but there would not be a huge cost to taxpayers.David Birne, insolvency partner at chartered accountants H W Fisher & Company comments, said in a statement that it is extremely unusual for a company of Carillion’s size to opt for liquidation rather than administration.“It suggests there is little, if anything, of value within the company to be saved. Almost every big insolvency in recent years has been a move towards administration rather than liquidation,” he said “For Carillion’s 43,000 global staff, liquidation means the immediate risk of redundancy.”___Jill Lawless contributed to this report.last_img read more

Taylor council looking at changes to allow breweries and cannabis retail

first_imgBased on the interest expressed by the proponents, Staff prepared a proposal of zoning by-law amendments. Also while looking at changing the zoning by-laws for breweries, Staff also prepared a proposal for zoning by-laws surrounding the sale of cannabis.Based on these proposals, Council plans to seek feedback from the community in May before proceeding with any final decisions.The Cannabis Retail amendments proposed to the District of Taylor’s Zoning Bylaw are modelled closely after those adopted by the City of Fort St John.Currently, the District by-laws do not support the sale of cannabis.For more information on the proposal of zoning by-law amendments, you can visit the District of Taylor’s website. TAYLOR, B.C. – At a Committee of the Whole meeting, on Monday, District of Taylor Council started to look at making amendments to zoning by-laws to support Micro Breweries, Craft Distilleries, and Cannabis Retail Uses.Recently, the District has been contacted by local business investors that are showing interest in developing a small scale craft brewery within the municipality.According to District Staff, after reviewing the District’s Zoning Bylaw, it was determined that the proposed use is not permitted in any of Taylor’s commercial zones.last_img read more

Trump ex-campaign chief Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison

first_imgAlexandria: US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison on Thursday for tax crimes and bank fraud in the highest profile case yet stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. It was the stiffest prison sentence given so far to an associate of the president in Mueller’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election but was significantly lighter than many expected. Judge TS Ellis said the 69-year-old Manafort had committed “very serious crimes” but he rebuffed arguments by prosecutors from the Special Counsel’s office for a longer sentence. Advisory sentencing guidelines called for a prison term of between 19 and 24 years but Ellis dismissed that as “excessive” and disproportionate to what other defendants have received for similar crimes. “The government cannot sweep away the history of all these previous sentences,” the judge said. Manafort was convicted in August of five counts of filing false income tax returns, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to report a foreign bank account. Prosecutors alleged that Manafort used offshore bank accounts in Cyprus and other countries to hide more than USD 55 million he earned from political consulting services he provided to Ukrainian politicians. The money was used to support a lavish lifestyle which included purchases of luxury homes and cars, antique rugs, and expensive clothes, including an USD 18,500 python jacket. His conviction was the culmination of a stunning downfall for a man who, in addition to Trump’s campaign, worked on the White House bids of Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H W Bush and Bob Dole. Speaking from a wheelchair and wearing a green prison jumpsuit with the words “Alexandria Inmate,” Manafort told the court before sentencing that his “life, professionally and personally, is in a shambles.” “I feel the pain and shame,” said Manafort, who the defense says suffers from high blood pressure and gout. “To say that I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement,” he said. Imposing his sentence, Judge Ellis said he did not hear Manafort express regret or remorse but he said the sentencing guidelines were “way out of whack.” “I think what I’ve done is punitive,” Ellis said. He sentenced Manafort to a total of 47 months in prison for the eight counts and credited him with nine months of time served for the period he has already spent in prison. He ordered him to pay millions of dollars in restitution — the exact amount remains to be determined — and a USD 50,000 fine. Manafort still faces sentencing in a second case in Washington next week, where the maximum penalty is 10 years and the judge has appeared more sympathetic to prosecutors.last_img read more

BJP inducts 2 MGP MLAs to save its govt in Goa

first_imgPanaji: The Goa Forward Party (GFP), a partner in the state government, has expressed fear about creation of “suspicion among partners” after two MGP MLAs broke away and joined the BJP. The GFP has three MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly and is supporting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant’s government.”If this (defection from coalition partners) continues, then we will lose sympathy and it will create suspicion among coalition partners. Such incidents in future will result in lack of public goodwill,” GFP president Vijai Sardesai, also deputy CM of the coastal state, said. Putting the ball in CM Sawant’s court, Sardesai asserted, “The CM heads this (government) and he knows the contours of his alliance. I think he will very soon clarify on the future political road map of this coalition government,” said Sardesai.last_img read more

Sahil, Murad and Satish to represent India at MercedesTrophy World Final

first_imgPune: Indian golfers Sahil Jain, Murad Talib and Satish Cheeti booked their spots in the World Finals of the MercedesTrophy, scheduled to be held in Stuttgart, Germany in October this year. Playing at the National Finals at Pune’s Oxford Golf Resort, Sahil in handicap CAT A (3-10) won with a score of 39 points in his category. Murad carded a score of 37 points in CAT B (11-17) to book the second Stuttgart spot while Satish playing in CAT C (18-24) scored 36 points to complete the troika of India qualifiers. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh Sahil made the trip to Pune after becoming one of four National Final qualifiers from the Noida leg of the tournament. Murad qualified from Mumbai, while Satish made it from Hyderabad. A total of 41 qualifiers and two wild card entry from across 11 cities participated in the National Finals of the largest amateur golf tournament in the India. Hemant Goenka from Kolkata won the Straightest Drive Grand Lucky and will travel to the British Open Championship. He will get a chance to play the Royal Birkdale Championship course, a day after it hosts the Major event in July. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later The runners up trophies for each category were won by Shashidhar Koukutla Reddy (CAT A) from Hyderabad with a total score of 36 points, Umesh Nv Bhat (CAT B) from Bangalore with a total score of 32 and Puja Batra (CAT C) from Delhi NCR with identical scores of 34 points. The format of play for the National Finals was Modified Stableford against 3/4th handicap. The India tournament that began and concluded in Pune this year travelled through Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Lucknow respectively. The Indian leg witnessed 27 days of across the 11 cities.last_img read more

BJP to suffer huge seat loss: Mamata

first_imgDum Dum/Haroa/Hasnabad: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday claimed that the BJP will witness a drastic reduction in seat count in Uttar Pradesh and draw a blank in seven other states in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. This is the reason that the party, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are losing confidence and eyeing Bengal to garner votes.Banerjee also urged the administration and the Election Commission of India to check the vehicles of all political leaders, including herself and the Prime Minister’s, as BJP leaders are allegedly carrying cash for distribution among the voters. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework”I will request the district administration and the Election Commission to check the vehicles of all leaders including myself as BJP is trying to buy the voters. They should also check Modi’s vehicle. And, I want to know why the Election Commission’s surveillance camera does not cover Modi when he gets down from the helicopter. Once some black suitcases were spotted after he got down from the chopper. Since then, nothing has been reported on the matter,” she said while addressing a meeting in Hasnabad. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygenWithout naming Bharati Ghosh, the BJP candidate from Ghatal from whose possession Rs 1.13 lakh was recovered on Thursday night, she said: “Look at their leader from whose possession money was found.” It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress supporters gheraoed the car of the state BJP president Dilip Ghosh in Egra under Midnapore Lok Sabha seat on Saturday as they suspected him of carrying cash. Banerjee alleged that BJP leaders from other states are staying in hotels and guest houses in Kolkata with money and they are trying to woo the voters. “Leaders from Assam and Tripura are sitting with money which they plan to distribute among the voters. They should realise that they can’t win elections by paying money to the voters.” Banerjee held a section of the electronic media responsible for circulating distorted news. “In many states in the country, no Panchayat elections are held. In Bengal, there might have been some problem in some areas. But the local television channels portray those incidents in such a manner as if there is real trouble going on in the state. BJP has sent those ‘chosen’ clippings to the ECI as a result of which elections are being held in seven phases in Bengal,” she said. “In Uttar Pradesh, how many people had been killed by the gaurakshaks? In Gujarat, how many people have been lynched. In how many phases are the elections being held there,” she asked. The TMC chief also said that BJP has “hatred” for Bengal but now their leaders have come to ask for votes. “We wanted to change the name of the state from West Bengal to Bangla and the proposal was unanimously passed in the Assembly. But for the past three years, BJP is sitting on the matter. Because of the Centre’s delay, we could not start our mining activities in Birbhum.” In Dum Dum, which was stated to be a CPI(M) stronghold, she said: “CPI(M) had unleashed a ‘Reign of Terror’ in the state. Several of our party workers had been brutally killed by them in different areas. I have not forgotten those days. They have beaten me up also. Because of the good wishes of so many people, I am still alive.” Rooting for Saugata Roy as “one of the finest Parliamentarians”, she said he raises all important issues against the Modi government in Parliament religiously. Banerjee urged the people to vote for the veteran party leader from Dum Dum. In Hasnabad, she urged the people to vote for actor-turned-politician Nusrat Jahan.last_img read more

US embassy staffer’s espionage trial resumes in Turkey’s Istanbul

first_imgIstanbul: A US embassy staffer denied espionage charges as his trial resumed in Istanbul on Wednesday — part of a growing rift between Washington and Ankara. Metin Topuz, a Turkish citizen and liaison for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), was arrested in 2017. He was accused of contacts with police and a prosecutor suspected of ties to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says ordered an attempted coup in 2016. Topuz has denied all allegations against him and told the court on Monday that all his contacts were “part of my job”, an AFP reporter said. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: Report”I am not a decision maker. I have done what I was ordered to do” by my boss at the DEA, he said. His defence lawyer presented a list of his phone calls with police, saying they were entirely work-related. US embassy and consular officials, who have dismissed the charges as being without merit, were also at the courthouse to observe proceedings. The trial comes at a time when the NATO allies are increasingly at odds over Syria, Turkey’s decision to buy a Russian missile defence system and the US refusal to extradite Gulen. According to his indictment, Topuz is accused of espionage as well as arranging arms trafficking through exchanges on the WhatsApp messaging service.last_img read more