Young Stars Are Honored For Charity Work At Power Of Youth Event

first_imgOn Saturday, Variety honored Hollywood’s most philanthropic young entertainers at their seventh annual Variety’s Power of Youth event sponsored by Flips Audio at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.Flips Audio, the first ever headphones that convert to HD speakers, sponsored the star-studded event, produced in conjunction with Variety’s annual Youth Impact Report, and created a “Solo2Social” experience with their first headphone interactive red carpet activation for Variety. Celebrities tested Flips that were suspended from the red carpet wall fixture, and listened to some of their favorite tunes before flipping their headphone cuffs to speakers so guests could hear what they were enjoying.The event featured an exclusive afternoon of festivities, live performances and an awards presentation. The evening celebrated a select group of outstanding young entertainers, chosen to receive the Variety Power of Youth generationOn Award, who, through their efforts, have made significant contributions to their chosen philanthropic and charitable causes. The guest list was comprised of 500 invite-only guests, made up of the “who’s who” of under-25 actors, actresses and recording artists, industry executives and their families and the children and families directly affected by the honorees’ benefiting charities.This year’s honorees included Jake T. Austin (Ronald McDonald House Charities), Abigail Breslin (Project Sunshine), Nina Dobrev (Free The Children), Tyler Posey (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) and Quvenzhané Wallis (Teaching Gardens). The recipients got to relax backstage and listened to their favorite tunes with Flips, while waiting to be called to the stage to receive their awards for their generous philanthropic contributions.The goal of Variety’s Power of Youth initiative is to encourage the next generation of entertainers to support the philanthropic and humanitarian causes closest to their hearts – and to use their positions in popular culture to encourage their peers and millions of fans who look up to them to do the same. Celebrity supporters of the cause have included: Justin Bieber, Miranda Cosgrove, Darren Criss, Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff, Dakota Fanning, Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Vanessa Hudgens, Sarah Hyland, The Jonas Brothers, Angus T. Jones, Victoria Justice, Lil Romeo, Jesse McCartney, AnnaLynne McCord, Hayden Panettiere, Keke Palmer, Jordin Sparks, Hailee Steinfeld, Shailene Woodley and many more.Source:PRWeb.comlast_img read more

Atleo 2012 budget maintains the momentum of the CrownFirst Nations Gathering

first_imgAPTN National NewsAssembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo says that the 2012 federal budget “maintains the commitment from the Crown-First Nations Gathering”, in comments following the budget’s release.Atleo had pushed for $500 million to fix First Nations education. The budget, released last week, allocates $275 million for education, along with $330.8 million for water infrastructure and $27 million for job training under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy.Atleo also said that for the federal government, fulfilling the 2008 apology “means walking with First Nations in Canada”.APTN National News reporter Annette Francis caught up with Atleo following the budget’s release. Here’s his reaction, in full.last_img read more

Social media buzzer battlegrounds as Indonesia elections near

first_imgIndonesia`s president Joko Widodo (C) walks together with Siti Aisyah (front R) and her family after their meeting at palace in Jakarta, on 12 March 2019. Shock and delight rippled through the Indonesian town of Sindangsari on March 11 as residents got word that a local woman accused of assassinating the North Korean leader`s half-brother had been freed. Photo: AFPAlmost every day, “Janda”, a self-described Indonesian housewife with 2,000 Twitter followers, dispenses lifestyle tips, complains about city life, and praises how the government of president Joko Widodo has improved her life as a young mother.But Janda the housewife does not exist. The Twitter account’s real owner is an unmarried middle-aged man who offers political social media services backing Widodo’s re-election campaign.He is a leader of one of the many so called “buzzer” teams, named for the social media buzz such groups aim to create, that have sprung up in Indonesia ahead of the presidential election next month in the world’s third-largest democracy.”Our battleground is social media. The content we are making for the election is reaching at least a million people per week,” said the owner of the Janda account, declining to be named because his work is legally in a gray area.In interviews with Reuters, over a dozen buzzer team members, social media consultants and cyber experts described an array of social media operations that they said were spreading propaganda on behalf of both Widodo and his challenger, retired general Prabowo Subianto.Widodo enjoys a comfortable lead in most opinion polls over Prabowo, as the challenger is widely known. The two contested the previous election in 2014 as well, and Widodo won narrowly.Fake news was spread in that election as well, although social media was less far-reaching than it is now.Under Indonesia’s broad internet defamation law, creating and spreading fake news is illegal, but holding social media accounts in false names is not, unless a real person is being impersonated. Social media companies however mostly bar holding accounts under false names.Three buzzers directly involved in the current campaign described how they operate hundreds of personalized social media accounts each on behalf of the candidates. One denied propagating fake news, while two said they didn’t care about the accuracy of the content.Both campaign teams deny using buzzers or spreading fake news.Ross Tapsell, an expert on politics and media at Australia National University, said that it has become normal for candiates in Southeast Asia to hire online campaign strategists, who in turn tap an army of people to spread content on social media.”So there is no direct link at all to the candidate,” he said.The buzzer campaigns have far outstripped the efforts of Facebook and other social media companies to curtail creation of fake accounts and spread fake news, cyber experts say. Reuters found that while robot accounts were occasionally deleted, personalized fake accounts like “Janda” are widespread on Twitter and Facebook platforms, despite violating the companies’ rules.On the EdgeMisinformation spread by real accounts – which are often coopted by buzzer teams – is rampant on Facebook as well as on its Instagram and WhatsApp affiliates and rival service Twitter. The companies say they are working with the government and fighting back against false content.Representatives for Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp told Reuters they regularly delete fake accounts in Indonesia, but declined to share removal numbers.A Twitter spokeswoman told Reuters it is working to remove networks of accounts engaged in misinformation and disinformation.Facebook, which counts Indonesia as its third-largest market globally with an estimated 130 million accounts, says it trains election management bodies how to flag fake news to the company, which is then evaluated by moderators and deleted if it breaks its community standards.For Indonesian Communications Minister Rudiantara, those efforts are not enough.He said the government had asked social media companies to work with authorities to create a standard operating procedure that would allow fake news and hoaxes to be flagged and resolved. They have yet to comply.”We expect it to get much worse as we get closer to the election,” said Harry Sufehmi, co-founder of Mafindo, an Indonesian organisation fighting fake news, which listed nearly 500 social media hoaxes related to politics in 2018.He was one of three experts whose research found that a larger proportion of the misinformation targets Widodo, with some posts depicting him as anti-Islam, a Chinese stooge or a communist.All are inflammatory accusations in a country that has the world’s largest number of Muslims, where the communist party is banned and suspicions linger over the influence of Beijing.A smaller portion of the misinformation campaigns target Prabowo.Buzzing for MoneyOn a recent afternoon in Jakarta, one buzzer team leader scrolled through two mobile phones that had over 250 Facebook , Instagram, Whatsapp, Youtube and Twitter accounts, each with a fake persona. He updated five of them with posts praising Widodo’s achievements or mocking Prabowo and his running mate.He denied disseminating misinformation, focusing instead on content that gushed about his clients’s virtues. But he admitted he does look for dirt on opponents as part of a “complete package” of posts and videos that he sells for 200 million rupiah ($14,000) a month.His staff of 15, whom he refers to as “cyber troops”, in turn have subcontractors, throughout Indonesia, many of whom are unaware of the ultimate identity of clients, he said.He told Reuters he was hired by an adviser to Widodo’s campaign.Ace Hasan Syadzily, a spokesman for the president’s campaign team, denied knowledge of such groups, but said “the campaign had an obligation to counter false or negative narratives” against Widodo.Another buzzer said he had been hired by advisers to Prabowo, while the third said he supplied services to a social media agency used by both campaigns.Anthony Leong, the Prabowo digital team’s coordinator, denied they use buzzer teams, noting that the campaign required its “10,000 digital volunteers” to use real names and only allowed them to post “positive content”.”Work is Fun”According to the buzzers interviewed, a junior “cyber soldier” can be paid between 1 million to 50 million rupiah per project depending on the reach of his social media accounts.”For a lot of us, the work is fun…and the salaries are decent,” said the buzzer who said he is a contractor for a social media agency used by both the Widodo and Prabowo campaigns.He said his role was to create trending topics during key election moments, using hashtags and content provided by his agency in combination with his personal fake accounts, he said.”For me, there’s no hoax or so-called negative content. The material just comes from the client,” he told Reuters.Pradipa Rasidi, a researcher at the University of Indonesia, said most buzzers are young graduates who do it “because it’s hard to find a job after university and the pay is higher”.But the legal risks are real. The buzzer activities are punishable by jail if they are judged to breach Indonesia’s internet defamation law.All three buzzers interviewed by Reuters declined to be named or provide certain details of their operations because of those risks.Policing by the social media companies, however, was not a concern: None had ever had an account or post deleted. ($1 = 14,115.0000 rupiah)last_img

Michelle Obamas Grammy Appearance Did Not Impress Mom

first_imgBy The Associated PressPHOENIX (AP) — It appears Michelle Obama received a reality check from her mom following her appearance at the Grammys.The former first lady took to Instagram Wednesday to share a text exchange with mom Marian Robinson. Obama had received a standing ovation opening Sunday’s awards show with Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Jada Pinkett Smith.Alicia Keys, left, kisses Michelle Obama at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)Robinson wrote: “I guess you were a hit at the Grammys.” Her daughter asked mom if she had watched. Mom replied she saw it and then asked if her daughter had met “any of the real stars.”Mother and daughter then quibbled over whether Obama had told her she would be on.Obama ended the exchange by writing “And I AM A real star…by the way…”Her mother replied, “Yeah.”last_img read more

Vadehras at DCAW 2018

first_imgAt the DCAW, Roshini Vadehra decided that Vadehra Art Gallery would plumb the depths of history to unveil works that had historicity coupled with vintage vitality.K M Madhusudhnan’s untitled ship made of leather, thread, ink, charcoal and LED light was at once surreal and steeped in the narratives of the past. Madhusudhnan is a famed film maker, whose artistic practice flows seamlessly across various mediums in art and cinema, including video art and narrative feature film. He is deeply concerned with war, colonization, and man-made borders. Marxism and Buddhism have been decisive influences on Madhusudhanan’s art. This work incorporates materials that echo the genesis of an odyssey bringing forward the past into the present with the use of lead, it also positions the artist for a unique personal style in engaging with the historical subject and evoking magical powers of different materials. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAnju Dodiya’s felicity with metaphors is always charming as well as echoing with an elegance that straddles minimalist modes. Art remains rooted in the figurative and her works are charged with an emotional value that is unique to her artistic language. Anju’s self keeps recurring in the changing pictorial contexts as it does here too in Green Dive. Her watercolours and charcoal are an inward looking investigation with a keen sense of self-awareness and introspection. Her work compels the viewer to unravel the untold stories of the (usually) female protagonists, yet never fully reveal the full narrative. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveRanbir Kaleka’s ‘Raja Raja Ravi Verma’ in the house of levi is an archival ink and oil on canvas and it creates corollaries in context and content. Ranbir fuses the East and the West by playfully planting Raja Ravi Varma’s Indian figures from various paintings among the Biblical characters of ‘The feast in the house of levi’– Paolo Veronese’s iconic renaissance work. Ranbir takes up visual inscriptions of subjectivity: the image retains the aura of the icon and the desire for profane exposure; it reinvigorates the exhausted protocols of the identity question and the discourse of postcolonial theory.Atul Dodiya’s ‘The vegetarian society 1890’ was a part of his historic show – ‘Mahatma and the masters’ in 2015. Dodiya used painting and photography to focus on episodes of the life of Gandhi and combine them with contemporary and modern occidental artists.The result is a confrontation between two different moments of history: the fight for the independence of India, between 1910 and 1947, and important moments of European art. This image of 1890 becomes a hybrid work combining oil painting and photography. The figure of Gandhi is central, it questions the notions of modernity and universalism. Atul establishes a dialogue between two simultaneous moments in history: the fight for Indian Independence between 1910 and 1947 and the founding of artistic modernity in Europe.This work combines an episode of Gandhi’s struggle with contemporary creations from artists such as Picasso, Mondrian and Malevich. The complex fusion of painting and photography challenges the distinction between copy and original, between Eastern and Western tradition. Atul has been one of the first artists to to build bridges between Indian and Western art. The experience gained during a one-year course at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, during the early 1990s was key to his artistic development. In many ways this work created a counterpoint in a world that is battling cruelty to animals.last_img read more

Cathay Pacific sees 341 million loss as competition heats up

first_imgCathay Pacific sees $341 million loss as competition heats up By: Kelvin ChanSource: The Associated Press Share HONG KONG — Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific reported a loss in the first half of the year on Wednesday, blaming the severe toll from fierce competition.The airline said it lost 2.1 billion Hong Kong dollars (Cdn$341 million) in the six months to June, compared with a HK$353 million profit from the previous year.It said revenue was nearly flat at HK$45.9 billion (Cdn$7.7 billion).“It was a challenging first half. The performance of our core airlines was disappointing,” said Chairman John Slosar. The company also operates Asia-focused regional carrier Cathay Dragon.He said the biggest factor was strong competition from rivals such as low cost budget carriers around Asia and airlines based in mainland China like China Southern and China Eastern, which have been flooding the market with passenger seats on key routes.Travelweek reported in March that competition heated up on the Vancouver – Hong Kong route with arrival of Hong Kong Airlines.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programsFuel, the airline’s single biggest expense, also ate into earnings because of both rising oil prices and historic contracts that locked in fuel bills at higher levels than today. Another factor was the strengthening dollar, which raises costs for visitors to the city and cuts into profits earned in other currencies after they’re converted back to the Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar.The latest numbers add to the financial woes at Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s biggest carrier.Earlier this year it announced it was embarking on sweeping layoffs after posting a full-year loss of $74 million for 2016, which was Cathay’s first annual loss in nearly a decade.The company is axing almost 600 jobs, including 190 managers, from its 16,500-strong workforce in its biggest round of cuts since 1998.The cuts are part of a three-year corporate overhaul the upmarket airline, founded in 1946, is carrying out as it aims to keep up with its rivals. Tags: Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong, Profit Report << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, August 16, 2017 last_img read more

These are the weirdest weapons confiscated by the TSA

first_imgThese are the weirdest weapons confiscated by the TSA Burns’ sister-in-law, Candy Creech, said he had a dry sense of humour and a hefty dose of patriotism: He had served in the Gulf War. Burns had worked in airports before taking over social media and believed there was public negativity around TSA. He wanted to change that.More news:  Apply now for AQSC’s agent cruise rates“And I think he felt he could change that by communicating with people in a way that wasn’t scolding,” she said. “He was one of a kind.”During a TSA Facebook live, “Ask Me Anything” episode last year, Burns said the success of the account was partly due to the shock value.“People don’t come to a government Instagram account and expert to see humour,” Burns said, “And they also don’t expect to see these crazy things that people are trying to bring on a plane.” Johnston sent out a Valentine’s Day post that showed off a throwing star, axe and double-edged dagger confiscated from a passenger’s carry-on bag. (“Safe travels, you romantic fool!”) And it was national puppy day recently, so that was an excuse for a photo of Cole, a big-eyed TSA explosives detection dog.TSA is growing its social media staff – bringing in three more workers to expand its social media presence. The staff will continue to use fodder sent in by officers around the country, who seize all manner of unusual items people try to bring onboard. But it’s hard to find people who have both the government know-how and a sense of humour that resonates.Johnston said the thing that made Burns’ posts so special was Burns himself. “When you look at his posts, you’re seeing a window into his soul. It really was from his heart, he was a fun, happy guy.” By: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — David Johnston stands over a table full of peculiar items confiscated at Dulles International Airport: A glittery clutch with brass knuckles as a clasp. A perfume bottle shaped like a grenade. A rusted circular saw blade. A pocket-sized pitchfork.None of those are quite right. Then Johnston sees it: A guitar shaped like a semi-automatic rifle. Bingo. It will do nicely for the Transportation and Security Administration’s social media accounts.Johnston, TSA’s social media director, is following in the footsteps of Curtis “Bob” Burns, who created unlikely internet buzz for the not-always-beloved agency by showcasing the weirdest stuff travellers pack in their carry-ons. He died suddenly in October at age 48. Share Burns’ work created a model for other federal agencies. The quirky photos combined with a hefty dose of dad humour helped lure in more than a million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, who would then see important messages about the dos and don’ts of airline travel.“How are we going to replace Bob? The reality is we can’t,” said Johnston. “We had a unique situation with him, but we can still be entertaining and help people as we find our way forward without him.” << Previous PostNext Post >> Friday, April 5, 2019 On the blog, Burns shared a weekly count of firearms that TSA officers found at checkpoints nationwide. He did a summary of knives and all matter of other bizarre and sometimes scary items that travellers had stuffed into their bags, pockets, purses or briefcases.More news:  Honolulu authorities investigate arsons at 3 Waikiki hotels; no injuries reportedIn one Instagram post, someone tried to bring on a glove with razors for fingers and Burns (naturally) made a “Nightmare on Elm Street” joke.“It’s safe to sleep on Elm Street again. Freddy lost his glove at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).”The agency’s Instagram account won three Webby awards last year, including the People’s Voice Award for weird social content marketing. In his acceptance speech, Burns eyed the award, shook it and declared: “This Webby is carry-on approved!”Johnston, who worked with Burns for about three years, and has been in government jobs for nearly a decade, has tried to keep it up all on his own, but it’s been tough. Tags: Funny, TSA “The things people think of,” he says. Turning more serious for a moment, Johnston notes the importance of showing off these items, especially to people who aren’t well-travelled.“The bottom line is our social media pages makes travellers better informed so they have a better experience and it frees up our officers to do what they need to do – look for the bad actors,” he says. At Dulles, in the prohibited items section, Johnston sees a few possibilities for TSA’s YouTube series called “They Brought What?” including a large snow globe with big a white fairy imprisoned in some kind of liquid (It’s creepy and it has liquid, so they can highlight the liquid restrictions.)He passes over the four pairs of nunchucks (Yawn. You can’t believe how many people bring those) and a handful of pocket knives. He stops at a large bullet from Afghanistan that has been altered to be a cigarette lighter and pen.last_img read more