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The world’s biggest reptile fair is also a hub for traffickers

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Law, Featured, Forests, Green, Herps, Rainforests, Reptiles, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Shreya Dasgupta On June 1, a quarterly event in Germany which touts itself as the largest reptile trade show in the world, will again sell tens of thousands of reptiles.The fair, referred to as “Hamm”, is a meeting point for aficionados seeking the rarest and best reptiles, including animals that are threatened with extinction and may have been poached from the wild.Conservationists criticize the fair saying that it is the biggest hub for the legal and illegal trade in reptiles in the world.While national laws protect many of the reptile species, legal loopholes allow the trade to persist. HAMM, Germany — Two hours before the fair opens on a cold day in March, hundreds of people are already queuing in the cold. “The best merchandise is sold in the morning,” a shivering woman explains outside. She’s looking to expand her collection of exotic pet centipedes, and the Terraristika reptile fair in the German city of Hamm is the perfect place to do so. “You’ll find everything you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” she says.Styrofoam boxes loaded on dollies are pushed past the queue and inside the steamy warehouse, where some of the world’s most prolific wildlife breeders and traders are getting ready to sell tens of thousands of not just reptiles like snakes and lizards but also spiders, centipedes, insects and frogs.The fair itself is simply referred to as “Hamm,” after the nondescript town in the middle of Germany’s rust belt where it’s held four times a year. Touting itself as the largest reptile trade show in the world, it’s a bazaar brimming with more than 550 sellers who set up shop, reptile-enthusiasts and specialized transport companies that pick the animals up and drive them back to their clients in countries like the U.K. Some have come from as far as South Korea and the U.S., pushing past Indian giant tiger centipedes (Scolopendra hardwickei), which cost $550 a piece, and common pythons on offer as a “buy 2 get 3” deal.For buyers, sellers and middlemen, Hamm is the pinnacle of a growing international trade worth millions of dollars annually, and a meeting point for aficionados seeking the rarest and best “merchandise,” as the animals are referred to, from Chinese crocodile lizards (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) to manabi bird-eater tarantulas (Pamphobeteus sp. mascara) and beetles belonging to the scarab family (Scarabaeidae).For conservationists, however, Hamm is something else: the biggest real-life marketplace for reptile traffickers who have learned to exploit the European Union’s weak laws and lack of enforcement to sell high-value, endangered, and protected species.“The things that are being sold there, you can’t even imagine,” says biologist Sandra Altherr, who co-founded the German conservation group Pro Wildlife. “There are lots of reptiles that are protected, and they are being sold freely at Hamm.”Reptiles change hands at the “Hamm” reptile fair. Image by anonymous.Snakes in the parking lotHours before the fair officially opens, the parking lot of the nearby Cafe del Sol is bustling. Because not every seller pays for a stall, merchandise is also traded online — often on Facebook groups, despite Facebook’s ban on trading live animals — and exchanged in the parking lot.Phones keep buzzing as buyers and sellers seek out each other. “Where are you? I’m wearing a red backpack,” a middle-aged man with a southern German accent says. “Look for someone Chinese, that’s me,” another buyer describes himself.Poisonous snakes, scorpions and other animals are pulled out of their Styrofoam boxes, and payments of hundreds, sometimes thousands of euros are made in cash or via PayPal.Each transaction comes with a quickly filled-in and pre-typed “proof of origin” form, in which the seller simply attests that he sold a specific, captive-bred animal to the new buyer. No matter the international conservation status of the species, captive-bred individuals can generally be sold legally in Germany unless local laws specifically state otherwise. In many cases, a “proof of origin” letter is all one needs to show that the animal wasn’t poached from the wild — even though it may not be true.Altherr says that Hamm marks a “proliferation of the illegal trade” as a lack of oversight and inspections, and a general disregard for low-priority crimes such as the trafficking of reptiles, allows traders to sell any species they’d like. These include animals that are threatened with extinction and could have been poached from the wild in countries like Madagascar or Sri Lanka, and trafficked to Germany.Representative of local police and customs authorities who were not allowed to speak to the media confirmed to Mongabay that they were not going to inspect the fair in March. In 2015, however, a German customs unit followed a tipoff that led them to a hotel room in Hamm where more than 130 reptiles and amphibians, many of them protected and threatened species, were being sold on the sidelines.The vast majority of reptiles at the fair can legally be sold, but, as one trader at Hamm put it: “If you’re looking for a special animal, I won’t say it’s not possible.”The Hamm reptile fair touts itself as the largest reptile trade show in the world. Image by anonymous.Legal loopholesInternational trade in certain animal and plant species is subject to restrictions under CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which aims to ensure that threatened species aren’t pushed toward extinction by commercial trade. However, CITES only protects 8 percent of the world’s 10,700 known reptile species from the commercial trade.Many more reptile species are protected under national laws, though. Since CITES generally lists species once their numbers are dwindling and trafficking has become rampant, the governments of countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Cuba have banned trading endemic wildlife in the hope of never seeing their numbers dwindle in the first place.It’s a pre-emptive measure, but one with gaping loopholes, says Jordi Janssen, a program officer with the Canada-based NGO Monitor Conservation Research Society, who specializes in the reptile trade. While nationally protected reptiles shouldn’t make it out of the country protecting them, bans no longer apply once they cross the borders.“This grey area is really the biggest problem at the moment,” Janssen says. Sri Lanka, he says, is a good example.Out of the tropical island state’s 219 reptile species, many of which are endemic, all but four snakes are protected from being collected in the wild or traded. Yet trafficking in these species appears to be on the rise, Janssen and his colleague, Sri Lankan biologist Anslem de Silva, found in a recent study published in April this year.The pair monitored online trade websites and a number of Facebook groups between 2016 and 2018 and found several hundred Sri Lankan reptiles for sale across Europe, with Germany being identified as the main hub. Most were advertised as captive-bred, but some were openly advertised as having been poached from the wild.Protected at home, sold at HammSpecies that fall under that category — protected by national law but not beyond the border — are a common sight at Hamm. Take, for example, Tiliqua rugosa. Known as the bobtail, this blue-tongued skink is relatively common in its native Australia, where it’s protected from trade under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. This has made it a rare and highly coveted pet reptile outside Australia, with individuals fetching prices of more than $4,000. At Hamm, it’s one of the most expensive merchandises on offer.“At the moment, they are really into curly endives,” a German breeder selling the reptiles, kept in small, glass terrariums, explains to an interested buyer from South Korea. All of them were bred in captivity, he says, given the strict regulations in Australia. Mongabay could not confirm his claims.Both Altherr and Janssen say that no German or EU law stops the breeder from selling the species, even though at one point a couple of bobtails were trafficked out of Australia to begin captive breeding.Tiliqua rugosa, protected in Australia, is a coveted pet at reptile fairs. Image by Donald Hobern via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)Just how tightly wound the legal and illegal trade are is exemplified by some of the sellers’ criminal records, with arrests for smuggling in countries like Costa Rica, New Zealand and Madagascar, according to news reports. Despite their records, fair organizer Frank Izaber continues to provide them with a trade platform. Izaber declined to comment for this story.Journalists aren’t welcome at the fair, and photography is strictly banned. Security guards patrol the venue to remind everyone with a phone that they’ll be “escorted outside” if they don’t comply. Altherr says her advocacy got her banned from the fair.To stymie the trade in Europe, conservationists have proposed a law modeled after the U.S. Lacey Act, which bans the trade in any species that was taken, transported or sold in violation not just of U.S. law, but the law of any foreign country of origin.Such a regulation would also be needed in Europe, which experts say has become a popular hub and destination for trafficked wildlife, not just due to Hamm.In 2015 alone, more than 2,000 reptiles were seized at the EU’s borders, which is believed to be less than 10 percent of the actual trade. In 2018, Spanish authorities dismantled an international reptile trafficking ring and confiscated more than 600 reptiles collected from all over the world. How many had already been trafficked and sold is unclear.What is certain, however, is that reptile trafficking is highly lucrative. Some species can be bought for a few dozen dollars in their country of origin, are easily smuggled past airport and border authorities in check-in luggage or shipments, and can be sold in countries like Germany for thousands of euros per individual. Izaber told a local paper in 2014 that some traders make 200,000 euros ($223,000) or more at the fair.It’s so lucrative, in fact, that it pays off to fly in all the way from Asia, said the three South Koreans who had been bargaining for the Australian bobtail. They bought it for a little over 4,000 euros ($4,460). Toward the end of the fair, the trio had grabbed a table at the bustling Cafe del Sol. Together, they had spent more than 50,000 euros ($55,800) — a good exploit that will make them several times the buying price at home. Trading reptiles, they say, is their main job, and so they’ll be back for the next fair on June 1 this year.“Hamm,” one of them says, pausing as he chews on a steak, “It’s just the best.”Green tree python or Morelia viridis is often illegally traded. Image by anonymous.Banner image of a green tree python. Image released under Creative Commons CC0.Reporting for this story was supported by a grant from the Earth Journalism Network.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Mark Hunt sues UFC, Dana White, Brock Lesnar over drug testing controversy

first_imgMOST READ ‘The Super Samoan’ Mark Hunt. Image: UFC.comIt may have been almost six months since Brock Lesnar failed multiple drug tests leading to his fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 200, but the hulking Samoan is still holding a grudge over everyone involved.After publicly voicing out his displeasure over the incident, the 42-year-old heavyweight has elected to file a civil lawsuit against the currrent WWE superstar, UFC president Dana White, and the UFC’s affiliate company Zuffa LLC regarding their involvement in the doping issue.ADVERTISEMENT 15-year-old Gauff stuns Venus anew in first round Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ Senators think TWG’s move to axe motorcycle taxi pilot run an act of ‘revenge’ “This was the last straw. I lost that fight, it ruined it for my fans. It wasn’t good,” he added. “I asked to get out of my contract but I can’t. I need to work like everyone else.” Khristian IbarrolaSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia has Kerr–not critics–in his head Super Bowl a tossup at legal sports books Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LATEST STORIES Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Lesnar was originally awarded the victory after dominating Hunt over the course of three rounds. However, he was popped by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) for failing two separate drug tests and even tested positive for the same substance come fight time.The premiere mixed martial arts organization suspended Lesnar and overturned the result of their fight into a no contest, but the hard-hitting ‘Super Samoan’ says the UFC must pay for “wrongfully jeopardizing fighter health and safety for profit”.As of writing time, the UFC has yet to address the lawsuit, but seems to continue their relationship with Hunt who is expected to fight Alistair Overeem in a heavyweight bout on March 4 at UFC 209.Despite being put in a complicated situation, the New Zealand-based fighter said he won’t settle and shall push on with the suit.“I didn’t want to be in this position,” Hunt admitted to ESPN. “It puts me in a weird spot because I’m still under contract.”ADVERTISEMENT ‘Old school work ethic’ pays off for immaculate Federer Rodgers again falls short of another Super Bowl stint The suit, as per MMAFighting, covers eight charges of alleged racketeering, fraud, negligence, and breach of contract, and was filed by Hunt’s lead attorney, Christina Denning.“I want the UFC to understand it’s not OK to keep doing what they’re doing,” the current number 7 ranked heavyweight described his purpose for filing the case.  “They’re allowing guys to do this. They had a chance to take all the money from this guy, because he’s a cheater, and they didn’t.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnHunt is expecting “millions in damages” and said he wants to make an example out of Lesnar for the future generation of fighters.“What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday? The message is, ‘You just have to cheat like this and it’s OK.’ In society, if you commit a crime, you pay. Why is it different in MMA? It’s hurt the business, so it’s even worse. They need to be held accountable for this,” he said. View commentslast_img read more

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Popovich, Spurs back in Mexico after a bad experience

first_imgSan Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) talks with head coach Gregg Popovich during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Saturday, March 12, 2016, in San Antonio. San Antonio won, 93-85. APMEXICO CITY — The last time that the San Antonio Spurs visited Mexico to play a regular-season game, the contest was canceled because of smoky conditions from a malfunctioning generator.So probably it’s not surprising to find out that coach Gregg Popovich had only one wish ahead of the Spurs’ game Saturday against the Phoenix Suns, set to be played on the same venue.ADVERTISEMENT “I just want the game to come along. It felt horrible the last time we were here, everybody did so much work and everybody was excited to see the game and then it didn’t happen,” said Popovich upon his arrival at the team’s hotel in Mexico City.On Dec. 4, 2013, the Spurs were warming up, around 45 minutes before their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, when the lights went out in parts of the arena and smoke began coming out of vents in the upper deck. The court quickly became cloudy and players and coaches were rushed outside the arena.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe game was rescheduled and played at Minnesota.“It was nobody’s fault but it was kind of depressing for everybody so hopefully this time we get it done and put on a show for everybody”, Popovich said. Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town View comments Federer: Tennis taking proactive approach to address fixing Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member MOST READ The Spurs have been doing that in the NBA recently. On Thursday night, they beatthe Los Angeles Lakers 134-94 for their largest margin of victory this season. The game was so lopsided that the starters didn’t play in the fourth quarter and every player on the roster scored at least two points.“All of our players will not score every night, I can promise you that”, Popovich said.San Antonio arrives to Mexico boasting a 31-8 record, the second-best mark in the NBA just behind the Golden State Warriors (34-6).The game against the Suns will be the fifth regular season game played in Mexico. Phoenix also played in Mexico City on Thursday night, falling 113-108 to the Dallas Mavericks.ADVERTISEMENT Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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The French Government

first_imgThe French presidential elections last week grabbed world attention primarily because it was seen as a sign of how extensive the move towards “populism” – read “right wing” sentiment –was in Europe, after the Brexit vote in Britain and the election of Donald Trump in the US. Now that Emmanuel Macron’s one-year-old En Marche! Party has defeated Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN), the analysts will be generally consumed by the implications for EU unity and the terms of Britain’s exit as well as the facticity of Le Pen securing one-third of the French electorate’s support. The issues of immigration and European “identity” will not go away.But for Guyanese, there is another element in the French elections that should be of interest – the structure of their government. Launched in 1958 by their towering – literally and figuratively – – President Charles de Gaulle, it has been defined as a “semi-presidential” system, in which there is a President in addition to a Prime Minister and a Cabinet, but with the former elected separately. This is a classification under which our system of governance also falls, but with some noteworthy differences.Our system is rather unique, but is most like the “President-Parliamentary” system where the President appoints the Prime Minister and the Cabinet and the latter two can be removed at will by the former. Our President secures his post when his party obtains a majority or plurality – at the polls. France, on the other hand, has the “Premier-Presidential system” in which the Prime Minister and Cabinet are exclusively accountable to Parliament. The President, who is elected in a separate election as in the one just won by Macron, chooses the Prime Minister and Cabinet, but only the Parliament may remove them from office with a vote of no confidence. The President does not have the right to dismiss the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.In the Premier-Presidential system, which is in place in several other countries, such as Sri Lanka and Finland, when the President and his Prime Minister and Cabinet are from the same party, the system in effect works very similar to the President-Parliamentary system like ours. The President allocates as much power as he feels comfortable with to the Prime Minister.However, if the President’s party does not have a majority in Parliament and the Prime Minister is from another party – as occurred in France in the 1980s, a system of “cohabitation” falls into place. The President is now possessed of specific defined state powers and the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President with the approval of Parliament, is in charge of the other functions of Government. During “cohabitation” in France, by convention, the President is in charge of foreign affairs and defence policy. IN Finland, their Constitution explicitly allocates Foreign Policy to their President.For many analysts, when the Cummingsburg Accord was negotiated between the AFC and APNU before the elections, it was assumed that the AFC-origin Prime Minister by being allowed to “chair” Cabinet and be responsible for domestic affairs would in effect function as in the French Premier-Presidential system. The subsequent “explanation” by President David Granger that this agreement could not be implemented, because there was “no constitutional stipulation” flies in the face of the French experience, that works very well by convention. In Guyana, before the 1992 elections, Dr Cheddi Jagan had suggested that the French semi-presidential model might be suitable for Guyana with its divided polity and the need for a sharing of powers between the major parties.In the coming months, elections for representatives to the French Parliament will be contested by all parties including the Socialists and the Republicans, which were the major parties before Macron launched his En Marche!! It is very likely that the Prime Minister might come from one of those parties and the “balance of powers” under the “cohabitation” doctrine will be tested. Guyana should follow closely.last_img read more

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Bar association rebukes judge in rape case

first_imgIn a rare rebuke, a bar association has criticized a judge for refusing to uphold sexual-assault charges against a man who allegedly let friends rape a prostitute he had hired. The judge said she considered the case “theft of services.” Municipal Judge Teresa Carr Deni heightened the furor when she defended her decision to a newspaper. “She consented and she didn’t get paid,” Deni told The Philadelphia Daily News. “I thought it was a robbery.” Dominique Gindraw was accused of ordering the accuser at gunpoint to have sex with three men. But Deni dismissed the rape and sexual-assault charges Oct. 4. She upheld conspiracy, robbery, false imprisonment and other charges against Gindraw. The chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association issued a statement Tuesday that questioned Deni’s understanding of state law. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“The victim has been brutalized twice in this case: first by the assailants, and now by the court,” Chancellor Jane Leslie Dalton wrote. “We cannot imagine any circumstances more violent or coercive than being forced to have sex with four men at gunpoint.” The 20-year-old woman, a single mother, testified that she worked for an escort service that advertised through the Web site Craigslist. She went to a North Philadelphia home Sept. 20 to meet Gindraw, who had agreed to pay her $150 for sex. He then said a friend was coming with the money and that the friend would pay her an additional $100 to perform sex acts. Instead, three other men arrived, and Gindraw pulled a gun and ordered the woman to have sex with all of them, she testified. “He said that I’m going to do this for free, and I’m not going nowhere, and I better cooperate or he was going to kill me,” she testified at a preliminary hearing. Gindraw also took her cell phone and a purse containing pepper spray, she said. The other men have not yet been identified. “Even though the woman is a prostitute, it doesn’t mean she couldn’t be a victim,” Dalton said Wednesday. “Once she says `No, it’s not OK,’ then to have sex with her is rape.” A bar association committee recently gave Deni high marks and recommended that voters support her in next Tuesday’s election. Deni did not immediately return a phone message left at her office Wednesday. Assistant District Attorney Richard DeSipio and Gindraw’s public defender, Susan Lin, also did not return messages. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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Roy Hodgson keen to see more of Crystal Palace’s squad in Carabao Cup

first_imgRoy Hodgson intends to use Tuesday’s Carabao Cup third-round fixture with Huddersfield to continue assessing his new squad at Crystal Palace.The manager, 70, oversaw a 1-0 home defeat by Southampton on Saturday in his first match in charge, and after Huddersfield his team face Premier League fixtures with Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in the coming weeks.He has already spoken of his belief it could be some time before 20th-placed Palace significantly improve, despite his confidence he will inspire them to safety.Having similarly succeeded with Fulham and West Brom, he revealed one of the first stages of that process.“I’ll have a chance on Tuesday to see a few more (players),” said Hodgson, who last week signed a two-year contract at Palace, 14 months after resigning from his post with England.“Going forward, I’ll have a much better idea of the playing personnel, and that’s a very important factor.“That was an important part at Fulham: looking at the playing personnel, working out who’s going to be good enough on the field and who’s going to be really ready to roll their sleeves up and die for us in this cause because we’re not doing too well. That’ll be the main thing.“In terms of confidence you’ve got to be careful. You can’t just go round to people all the time saying: ‘You’ll be okay, you’ll be fine, that was all right, bad luck’, because they need more than that.“What you have to have is: ‘Look, what we’re doing here, or what you’re doing there, that’s not what we want, that’s not good enough, you’ve got to do this, that and the other’. And we’ve got to show them that in training, that’s what I mean by working in training.”Hodgson’s predecessor Frank de Boer oversaw the only victory of his five matches in charge via a 2-1 scoreline against Ipswich in the competition’s previous round.His first defeat of the four that came in the Premier League was against Huddersfield, when they lost 3-0 at Selhurst Park, but Hodgson’s options have been strengthened by the availability of Mamadou Sakho and Pape Souare.The latter’s return after a year out is particularly significant, given he feared he may have to retire after suffering a broken jaw and thigh in a car crash that also left him needing to be cut from his vehicle.Sakho returned to the club on a permanent basis on transfer deadline day but has not played since straining ankle ligaments in April while on loan from Liverpool. Roy Hodgson is still getting to grips with his new team 1last_img read more

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South Africa’s Gansbaai lands gold tourism award

first_img20 April 2015Gansbaai is the overall winner in the African Responsible Tourism Awards, beating 21 other finalists from around the continent in taking gold.The community of tourism businesses in the small Western Cape town work together to make better places to live in and great places to visit. The awards were handed out on 16 April during the World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town. They were sponsored by Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.“It is exciting to bring the World Responsible Tourism Awards to Cape Town and Africa,” said Harold Goodwin, the chair of the judging panel. “There are many world-class winners being announced today. Since 2004, African businesses from 14 countries have won awards, 20% of the awards winners have been from Africa.”More than 100 tourism professionals, media, ministers and officials attended the event. Heidi van der Watt, the managing director of Better Tourism Africa, pinpointed what made the award winners the leaders in responsible tourism in Africa.“Our winners have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the well-being of local communities and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won’t undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa,” she said.Tim Harris, the chief executive of Wesgro, handed out the awards. “We are pleased to recognise the vision of the award winners for providing leadership in their respective sectors throughout Africa, and effectively contributing to growing tourism in a sustainable manner,” he said.Overall winner: Gansbaai“This is a remarkable group of tourism businesses many of which have won Responsible Tourism Awards individually, including Grootbos for its conservation of the fynbos and its poverty reduction impact, and Marine Dynamics for conservation and local economic development,” said the judges.“The judges want to recognise them for the overall award for the way in which they have worked together to create a destination with outstanding product and memorable experiences, and have brought local economic development and communal facilities to the local community. “They have demonstrated what tourism can do to make better places to live in and great places to visit.”Other winnersBest for Beach Tourism: gold winner – Chumbe Island Coral Park in Zanzibar for its careful review of progress to 2006 and the development of the new management plan 2006-2016, which the judges saw as an example of good practice and one which others should emulate;Silver winner – Nuarro Lodge in Mozambique;Best Blog for Responsible Tourism: gold winner -The Good Holiday, which “inspires travellers to journey to African places with a unique cultural heritage, places that inspire people to consider a life seeking simple pleasures that tread lightly on the earth”;Silver winner – My Slow Journey;Best Destination for Responsible Tourism: gold winner – Gansbaai;Silver winners – Bigodo Wetlands Sanctuary in Uganda, and Cape Town;Best for engaging people and cultures: gold winner – Coffeebeans Routes in Cape Town, for creating travel experiences around urban stories and employing tourism as a tool to unlock economic potential and address societal inequalities through exploring cultural diversity and legacy;Silver winners – !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre on the Western Cape West Coast, Nkwichi Lodge in Malawi, and TFPD Foundation for the work done at Baleni Camp in Limpopo, South Africa;Best for Poverty Reduction: joint gold winner – Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in partnership with the Grootbos Foundation in Western Cape, and Transfrontier Parks Destinations in South Africa and Mozambique;Silver winner – Stormsriver Adventures in Eastern Cape, South Africa;Best for Resource Management: gold winner – Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana for its eco-friendly refurbishment and long-term approach to energy efficiency;Silver winners – Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia, Sandele Eco-Retreat and Learning Centre in Gambia, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company in Cape Town, and Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town;Best for Wildlife Conservation: gold winner – Marine Dynamics, South Africa, for its “very high quality shark cage diving experiences” that operate to the highest conservation standards;Silver winner – andBeyond’s Rhinos Without Borders, which has its headquarters in Johannesburg and offices across Africa and the world, and Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse in Riebeek Valley in Western Cape.Speaking about the joint gold winners for poverty reduction – Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and Transfrontier Parks Destinations – the judges said: “Here we have two winners working at different scales – each in their own way using tourism as a vehicle for poverty reduction.“Grootbos is no stranger to winning Responsible Tourism Awards. What stands out is the long history of interventions that amplify each other. The programmes of the Grootbos Foundation focus on improved livelihoods through self-reliance, development of viable enterprise development, gender balance and empowerment of women. Impacts are well quantified and information about projects easily accessible to the willing reader.“The scale and ambition of the Transfrontier Parks Destination’s work is truly remarkable. To actively seek out failing tourism businesses in areas of very high unemployment is very admirable but to them turn them round into viable businesses again employing many locals on a living wage giving them long-term stability and income displays true leadership.”Source: World Travel Market Africalast_img read more

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Self Publishing Tool Kit: How to Write and Publish a Novel

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Over the weekend the final book in the Harry Potter series was released. In the first 24 hours of release it sold a staggering 72.1 million copies worldwide, blasting out of the water the previous record book launch (held by the last Harry Potter book). “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” actually made more money than the latest Potter movie in the past two weeks of release. It’s not often that a book bests a Hollywood blockbuster in sales. So the question is, how can you tap into some of that magic?The tool kit below will help you write your novel from start to finish, publish it, and bring it to the masses without having to lay out a lot of cash and without having to download anything.DevelopmentThe first thing any novel needs is a character, and the first thing any character needs is a good name. Behind the Name’s Random Name Generator should do the trick. This handy little utility will let you create a random name from among a plethora of originating countries or sources. Our character will go by “Osvald Urban.” But just who is Mr. Urban? If writer’s block has you down, turn no further than Serendipity’s Character Generator. We now know that Osvald is a “dark brown-haired, gray-eyed apothecary with a willowy build and square-jawed face. He is diffident and cold-blooded, and is interested mainly in insects.”Since we’re writing a fantasy story (and with Harry Potter’s success, who wouldn’t these days?), we’ll need to give Osvald a home. The folks at Serendipity have us covered again with their handy Place Name Generator. Osvald now calls the land of “Actia” home.So we have Osvald Urban, the cold-blooded apothecary entymologist from Actia. Now all we need is a plot. PlotShot is a pretty nifty web 2.0 plot generation tool that matches a random plot with relevant photos from Flickr. Unfortunately, PlotShot is pretty contemporary, so we’ll turn to our friends at Serendipity once again. According to the Fantasy Plotter, after Osvald threatens a proud nymph, disaster ensues.PlotShot comes up with some pretty wacky plots.WritingI agree, the story is pretty bad so far. But these tools aren’t really meant to do all the work for you, just nudge you along when you’re stuck. So now that you have characters and a plot outlined, you have to sit down and write. If you’re having trouble sticking to a writing schedule, I’d suggest signing up for National Novel Writing Month. Every November a group of mildly insane writers from all over the world gather online and in coffee shops across the land to each bang out a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. My advice is to ignore your word count or the invariable advice on how to pad it — that just encourages bad writing. Instead, use NaNoWriMo as kick in the pants to get started on your book. If you’re really a glutton for pain, you might also consider the 3 Day Novel Contest.Since you’re actually writing now, there are some web 2.0 tools to help you get your words out of your head and onto the page. First and foremost, you need a word processor. Online word processors have come a long way in the past few years, and Google Docs, Zoho Writer, and ThinkFree Write are all great options for writing your novel. Tags:#Analysis#web While you’re writing, use Stikket to jot down any notes you might have about your characters or plot. Often times I have ideas in the middle of the night or while I’m doing something else, but if I don’t write them down write away, I’ll forget. Stikkit sticky notes can help you keep track of all your stray ideas. Two other staple websites any writer should keep in his or her arsenal are and ahead. You’ve completed your manuscript. Now you have two options: find an agent and try your luck at traditional publishers, or self publish. I’ll focus on the second option, and my favorite print on demand company Lulu. Lulu is one of the easiest ways to self publish just about any type of book (they also do CDs and DVDs) and was a winner of an SEOMoz Web 2.0 Award earlier this year. One of the best reasons to go with Lulu is that they don’t charge any set up fees, so you can get your book published in both print and downloadable (PDF) form with no cash up front. Lauren Parker, the PR manager at Lulu, says the company is attempting to create “a digital marketplace, like a mix of eBay and, a place for people to monetize their intellectual property instead of stuff.”In addition to distribution services that can get your book listed at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as on the shelves of your local bookstore, Lulu is trafficked by 3 million visitors each month, ensuring that publishing with Lulu is not only a cost effective way to get your book out, but will also get it out to a large and growing audience of readers. The company also owns Lulu TV, a community-owned video sharing site that shares ad revenue with content creators.Your book won’t sell without cover art to draw in potential buyers, though, and the best place to go for well designed art that won’t break the bank is the SitePoint Design Contests board, where designers compete for your job. For under $500, you could easily get a professional quality book cover designed for your masterpiece. (Disclaimer: I am a volunteer moderator at the SitePoint Forums.)ConclusionSo there you have it. With 100% online services and very little cash outlay, you can go from idea to published book in no time. You may not be the next JK Rowling (actually, you probably won’t be the next JK Rowling), but you could easily be holding a freshly printed paperback with your name on the cover. All you need to do is write. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting josh catone 1 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

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MeeGo Deathwatch: Intel Reportedly to Discontinue Development

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Intel is reportedly stepping away from its investment into mobile operating system MeeGo. According to DigiTimes, Intel may be discontinuing development of MeeGo due to lack of interest from original equipment manufacturers and vendors. Has another mobile OS been buried in a shallow grave?MeeGo was initially a joint project between Intel’s Maemo and Nokia’s Moblin projects and was designed as a response to mobile devices not supporting Intel’s Atom line of mobile processors. The Linux-based OS has been doomed since Nokia shifted its resources away from the project when the company signed on to make Windows Phone 7 devices. In the opinion of one Linux admin, Intel has “been flogging a dead horse.”See Also:MeeGo: A New Linux OS to Fight iPhone, iPad and MoreNokia N9 & N950 Revealed: Meego Lives, Even As it DiesThe Benefits of MeeGo – An Ecosystem for DevelopersEverything Wrong, From Start to FinishOur Linux expert, Joe Brockmeier (known in the Linux community as Zonker) said that Intel and Nokia have “done everything entirely wrong, from start to finish” when it came to MeeGo. They put obstacles in the way for developers and innovation was hampered. When Moblin and Maemo were merged, the Linux community was not entirely behind the move and developers were discouraged from making changes that were not under the thumb of either Intel or Nokia. The ostensible death of MeeGo will compound Intel’s mobile problem. Mobile is an ARM-based world. Intel’s Atom processor designed for mobile devices has found no real home in any popular devices. MeeGo was supposed to be Intel’s way to tie an operating system to a chip and create a device line that would be entirely Atom. Nokia then fled to Microsoft and the other OEMs primarily use chips made ARM-based chips made from Samsung, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. No Dice for Vertical Atom IntegrationOne of the reasons that Apple has a line of superior devices with iOS is that it designs its A-series ARM chips specifically for the operating system. It is the classic vertical integration scheme of device design. Android, almost by definition, cannot do this because of the nature of the ecosystem. Android runs on ARM but not all chips are the same, from Humming Birds to SnapDragons. Nokia did release one MeeGo phone earlier with the N9, to good reviews. Yet, that phone is not going to be sold in the U.S. and Nokia is probably not going to be making anymore MeeGo-based phones for the mass market.The death spiral of MeeGo wipes out the dark horse of the mobile ecosystem. Android, while dominant, is in a precarious position amid patents battles and how OEMs eventually respond to Google’s acquisition of Motorola. If Android were to be dragged down by the legal system, MeeGo could have been the open-source alternative that OEMs turned to.Linux community: what do you think about the final death spasms of MeeGo? Is it worth continuing as an independent project outside of Intel and Nokia’s watchful eyes? Let us know in the comments. dan rowinski Tags:#mobile#news#web Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

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Are your TV analytics just ‘good enough?’ 8 signs it’s time for an upgrade

first_img HomeDigital MarketingAre your TV analytics just ‘good enough?’ 8 signs it’s time for an upgrade Are your TV analytics just ‘good enough?’ 8 signs it’s time for an upgradeYou are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 It’s no secret that TV — and therefore TV advertising — has evolved dramatically in the last 10 years. Consumers are cutting the cord. They’re watching TV online, on their phones or on their laptops, and it no longer happens in isolation. TV has become part of a holistic experience deeply connected to digital activities.As marketers, we’ve tried to keep up. We’ve adapted our formats. TV advertising no longer falls into the two traditional camps of shorter brand spots and longer direct response (DR) infomercials, instead encompassing the full spectrum in between. We send viewers primarily to the web now via a vanity URL instead of an 800 number, and we use that traffic to tie TV back to digital and measure the efficacy of our campaigns.Here’s the problem: It doesn’t really work. The days of an immediate straight line from DRTV to a single-channel purchase, either on the phone or on the web, are behind us.[Read the full article on Martech Today.]From our sponsors: Are your TV analytics just ‘good enough?’ 8 signs it’s time for an upgrade Posted on 29th September 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+sharelast_img read more

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