“I will still do what coach wants me to do. I just hope this game of mine will continue,” he said. Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments PBA IMAGESFor Jerie Pingoy, it almost felt like a throwback of sorts.With his team’s fate on his hands once again, the former UAAP Juniors Most Valuable Player did what he does best: deliver the goods.ADVERTISEMENT Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ LATEST STORIES John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games PSL: F2 scores second win at expense of woeful Smart Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Admittedly still groping for form after undergoing surgery back in December, Pingoy’s aim in the PBA D-League may be a little different from the team’s collective goal.“I wanted to prove that I still can contribute even if I came off of an injury. I wanted to show that I still deserve to play,” he said.But Pingoy tries his earnest to not veer away too much from the team’s mission as Akari-Adamson prepares for the upcoming UAAP season later this year.“I just play my role. We don’t have a star player here, so we just try to help each other out,” he said as he seeks to follow the lead of top gun Jerrick Ahanmisi and recently-graduated guard Robbie Manalang.Pingoy, though, remains committed to the system of coach Franz Pumaren.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “I really wanted the game today,” he said.Finally putting his left ankle injury behind, the Cebuano guard drilled three consecutive treys in the final 2:03 which broke the back of Batangas-EAC to deliver the 89-79 victory for Akari-Adamson in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup on Thursday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: D-League: Pingoy’s late 3s tow Akari-Adamson past Batangas-EACThat late flurry capped off his 6-of-9 shooting from downtown en route to 23 points, eight assists, four rebounds, and three steals in the win — his best showing in the developmental league to date. LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus
NEW YORK — Michael Sam waited and waited. Hours passed, rounds came and went, and eventually, there were only eight more picks left on the third and final day of the NFL draft.For just a moment, it looked as if his chance of being picked by a pro team and becoming the league’s first openly gay player might take a detour. Or at least be delayed.The call finally came in from the St. Louis Rams, the team right down the road from where Sam played his college ball at the University of Missouri.Sam was selected in the seventh and final round and admitted it was a frustrating wait. He said teams that passed on him chickened out and he should have been drafted sooner.“From last season alone, I should’ve been in the first three rounds. SEC Defensive Player of the Year, All-American,” Sam said. He stopped short of directly saying his stock dropped in the draft because he came out.“You know what, who knows? Who knows? Only the people who sit in the war room know,” he said. “They saw Michael Sam, day after day they scratched it off the board. That was their loss. But St. Louis kept me on that board. And you know what I feel like I’m a (Jadeveon) Clowney, a first draft pick. I’m proud of where I am now.”Sam came out as gay in media interviews earlier this year. His team and coaches knew his secret and kept it for his final college season. He went on to have the best year of his career: He was the co-defensive player of the year in the nation’s best college football conference and had 11.5 sacks.The pick came after several rounds of suspense. The first round of the day, No. 4 overall, came and went, no Sam. Then the fifth and sixth, and finally, the day was down to just a handful of picks.When Mike Kensil, the NFL’s Vice President of game operations, walked to the podium at Radio City Music Hall in the draft’s final minutes to announce the Rams’ second-to-last pick, the crowd got a sense something was up. Very few of the last day picks were announced at the podium. Twitter lit up with suggestions the Rams were about to make news.When Kensil said: “The St. Louis Rams select … Michael Sam…” the fans gave a hearty cheer, chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and “Michael Sam!”Sam was in San Diego watching with friends and family at the home of his agent, Joe Barkett of Empire Athletes. ESPN and the NFL Network had cameras there and showed Sam’s reaction.Sam was on the phone bending over, with his boyfriend hugging him and rubbing his left bicep. When Sam got off the phone, the tears started. He gave his boyfriend a big kiss and a long hug as he cried and his eyes reddened. After, they shared cake — and another kiss.“Thank you to the St. Louis Rams and the whole city of St. Louis. I’m using every once of this to achieve greatness!!” Sam tweeted with a frenzied typo moments after he was picked, with a picture of himself wearing a Rams cap and a pink polo shirt.The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Sam was considered a mid-to-late round pick, far from a sure thing to be drafted. He played defensive end in college, but he’s short for that position in the NFL and slower than most outside linebackers, the position he’ll need to transition to at the professional level.He was taken with the 249th overall pick out of 256. Players from Marist, Maine and McGill University in Canada were selected before Sam.“In the world of diversity we live in now, I’m honored to be a part of this,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said during an interview on ESPN.The NFL had no comment on Sam being drafted.The impact of Sam’s selection goes far beyond football. At a time when gay marriage is gaining acceptance among Americans, Sam’s entry into the NFL is a huge step toward the integration of gay men into professional team sports. Pro sports have in many ways lagged behind the rest of society in acceptance.“Michael Sam wouldn’t have been drafted five years ago,” said former Viking punter Chris Kluwe, who has accused Minnesota of cutting him in part because of his vocal support for gay rights.In the last year, NBA veteran Jason Collins has come out publicly as gay, and is now playing for the Brooklyn Nets. Collins said before the Nets’ playoff game against the Heat that he was watching the draft and texted Sam after he was picked.“It’s a great day for Michael and his family and for the NFL,” Collins said.Publicly, most people in and related to the NFL have been supportive of Sam. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said Sam would be welcome in the league and judged solely on his ability to play. A few wondered whether teams would be reluctant to draft Sam because of all the media attention that would come with it.Fair or not, the NFL — coming off a season in which a bullying scandal involving players on the Miami Dolphins was one of the biggest stories in sports — was looking at a possible public relations hit if Sam was not drafted. He would likely have been signed as a free agent and given a chance to make a team in training camp, but to many it would have looked as if he was being rejected.Now that he’s there, it could be seen as an opportunity for the NFL to show that crass locker room culture is not as prevalent as it might have looked to those who followed the embarrassing Dolphins scandal. But all the reaction to Sam’s news wasn’t positive from the league.Miami safety Don Jones posted a one-word tweet, “Horrible” shortly after Sam was drafted. It was later taken down. The team’s General Manager said he was aware, and was disappointed.Wade Davis, a gay former NFL player who is now the executive director of the gay rights advocacy group You Can Play, said that Sam only needs to do his job to have an impact beyond the field.“Michael Sam doesn’t have to be a vocal advocate (for gay rights),” Davis said. “His visibility is his advocacy.”(RALPH D. RUSSO, AP College Football Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
$520 at HP Comments 2 Tags The Cheapskate Sarah Tew/CNET Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $60 at Best Buy Sarah Tew/CNET Boost Mobile Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Phones Gaming Mobile $299 at Amazon $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Read Google Home Hub review Angela Lang/CNET See it Apple iPhone XS DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. See It Read the AirPods review Share your voice Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Best Buy $6 at Tidal Tags Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Sarah Tew/CNET $999 Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $59 at eBay Turo: Save $30 on any car rental The original Asus ROG phone. Aloysius Low/CNET Asus and Tencent could be launching the ROG 2 phone in July, a post on Chinese social media site Weibo has said.The phone will be optimized for gaming content, according to the post.The original Asus ROG phone provides one of the best ways to play games on an Android phone and was priced at $900.It came with pressure-sensitive buttons called AirTriggers, two USB-C ports, dual rear cameras and a 4,000-mAh battery that lasted for 15 hours in CNET’s battery lab test for continuous video playback on airplane mode.Neither Asus nor Tencent immediately responded to requests for comment. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. $155 at Google Express See It Read the Rylo camera preview What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X See at Turo Read DJI Osmo Action preview An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Comments $999 $999 See It Sarah Tew/CNET JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Rylo Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Chris Monroe/CNET 7 Turo Sprint Asus,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $210 at Best Buy Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Share your voice TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $999 Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See at Amazon DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Amazon
An explosion that killed seven people and caused panic in the Pakistani city of Lahore was caused by a gas leak and not a bomb as police had earlier stated, according to officials 24 February. AFPPakistani officials on Friday said a blast that killed 10 people at a shopping centre in the eastern city of Lahore was most probably an accident caused by a gas leak, not a bomb, as initially described.Panic gripped the city on Thursday after the blast at an upscale market, which also wounded 32 people.Soon after, a burst tyre in another commercial district prompted police to clear the area and rumours of another blast began to spread.”Yesterday’s blast was not an act of terrorism,” Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters.”It took place by accident. There is no evidence of explosive materials. There were gas cylinders present at the site and there is a strong possibility that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.”Speaking to Reuters on Friday, Punjab government spokesman Malik Mohammad Ahmed Khan revised his statement the previous day that the initial blast had been caused by a planted bomb.”Confusion was caused because the evidence was buried under the rubble, but it is now clear that this was not a bomb blast,” Khan said. “It was a gas cylinder explosion.”The injuries suffered by victims were not consistent with a bomb explosion, he added, while no militant group had claimed the blast.Pakistan has been hit by a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks that have killed at least 130 people. One attack at a Sufi shrine in southern Sindh province killed 90 people.
Sitting against a large work-in-progress canvas in his East Delhi studio, he jovially says, ‘ I started out as a young and angry man almost 50 years ago but now I am a happy artist.’ That contentment is writ large on the 78-year-old world renowned painter-sculptor’s work. A. Ramachandran started out with portraying urban angst through his paintings before he shifted his glance towards the intricate Kerala mural arts and simple and joyous Rajasthani tribe- Bhils. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Millennium Post speaks to the Padam Bhushan-winning artist ahead of his first ever mini-retrospective in his native state, Kerala. The grand spectacle that starts from 11 August in Kochi will showcase 100 of his celebrated works.You have been bestowed with great honours such as the Padma Bhushan for your artistic excellence. As an artist what was the most fulfilling moment for you over the last 50 years?I am happy when I paint. No other honour can be equated to this feeling; the happiness I get is a spiritual experience in itself. When I put a blank canvas in front of me, I am struck with a terrifying state of mind; my first stroke creates ripples on the surface that make me rhythmically carry forward the painting. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYou studied Malayalam literature before being initiated into art. How did this interest develop. As a serious medium of expression I understood art only when I went to study at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan. There I saw the great masters at work and realized it’s a life search. Rabindranath Tagore once told my teacher, Ramkinkar Baij that whatever you see in life, catch it by the throat and don’t leave it till you get it. Once you get it, never look back. I carry forward these teachings as I capture the throbbing elements of life in my work and block them out of my vision once the work is complete.Your work seems to carry a continuity with an element, a creature peeking out from a corner. Who is it?That creature represents me. It is what I call Ramdev- a form that Bhils in Rajasthan worship. When I am gone and people look at my work, if they say something bad, you will see tears running down my face. When they say something good, you may trace a smile.
Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremists are strengthening ties with the Islamic State group, as shown by reports that Nigerian militants are fighting in Libya, recent arrests in Lebanon and India and the blocking of thousands of suspected extremists from leaving Nigeria.Boko Haram pledged allegiance to IS in March and in June was declared its West African province. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the insurgency since President Muhammad Buhari was elected in March and pledged to halt the 6-year-old Islamic uprising blamed for the deaths of some 20,000. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortAn estimated 80 to 200 Boko Haram fighters are in the Libyan city of Sirte, according to Nigeria analyst Jacob Zenn, in The Sentinel magazine of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation.Algerian security forces believe Boko Haram fighters have joined other militants in northern Niger, he wrote.“The openness of migration routes from Nigeria through eastern Niger to Libya makes travel … fairly straightforward, and the Islamic State can easily afford to pay smugglers to carry militants (and weapons) along that route,” wrote Zenn.Further evidence of Boko Haram’s links with IS is the arrest on August 15 by Lebanese authorities of hard-line IS cleric Ahmad al-Assir at Beirut airport. They said he planned to fly to Nigeria on a forged Palestinian passport with a Nigerian visa.
Aadi Mahotsav, a fortnight-long national tribal festival promoting tribal culture, cuisines and commerce, is being held at Dilli Haat. Organised under the supervision of Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED), the festival features exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, art, paintings, fabric, jewellery and much more through 204 stalls.The event, which was inaugurated on November 16 by M. Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India, in the presence of Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs and Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Government of India, will last till November 30. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWith participation of over 750 tribal artisans and artists from over 25 States are, the mega event has a lot to look forward to. A special feature of the festival is Aadi Vyanjan i.e., tribal India cuisine. The delectable food items are recreated and presented by tribal chefs, to suit the urban tastes. Offering local flavours of Assam, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand etc., festival gives you an opportunity to treat your taste buds with specialties like Chilka, Jowar papad, Pokkada, Khari Boti, Maka ki roti, and Urad daal vada. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis is not all, as an attractive stage has been raised at the venue to showcase tribal music and dance performances every evening, from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Artists from different parts of the country shall perform their traditional art forms to enthrall the audience. Moreover, four rock bands from North East would be giving enrapturing performances throughout the festival. The 15-day Mahotsav is expected to have a footfall of over one lakh delhiites as it promises to be a feast of shopping, exotic dining, and fine music. What’s interesting is that, for the first time, this Mahotsav displays rich digital commerce and e-commerce being promoted by Tribes India. In line with the national aspiration, to go cashless, the tribal artisans are accepting payment through major credit/debit cards for which Point of Sale (POS) machines have been installed in each stall. A special training program has also been conducted by State Bank of India for smooth operations of the digital transaction method. The main mandate of TRIFIED is capability enhancement of the tribals, promotion of tribal products and creation of marketing opportunities with a view to ensure them fair prices for their products and augmenting their income on a sustainable basis. Not only it is engaged in the retail operations for marketing of unique and ethnic tribal products but equally focuses on training for skill up-gradation and capacity building of tribal artisans. By signing of MOUs with online shopping portals like Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart, PayTM and GEM, TRIBES India has given a major push to the marketing of tribal products. Speaking of the same, Pravir Krishna, Managing Director – TRIFED said, “Being master craftsmen, tribals have the skills and talent to produce some of the finest handicrafts in the world, but what they lack are marketing skills. Therefore, TRIFED is taking an initiative to provide marketing support to the tribal people. This would help them to promote their craftsmanship thereby giving them a platform for commerce.” Since working with tribals was quite a difficult task for the government, TRIFED has trained about 60,000 tribals in the last one year. ”E-commerce platforms never work on charity. They seek profits. Therefore, we have a very strong quality control while we train a panel of 2,500 suppliers all over the country,” Pravir Krishna further adds.In order to appeal the customers so as to make a captive customer base, and to promote Tribes India as a brand, TRIFED is offering special discount schemes and offer packages on most of the products being sold through Tribes India outlets.
The monsoon season is a festive celebration of the spirit of strong family ties and happiness. Keeping the festive spirits high and with an aim to promote the feeling of communal harmony within the hearts of local masses, Delhi Tourism is back with its Teej Festival at all its three Dilli Haats – INA, Pitampura and Janakpuri until August 14, August 11-15 and August 12-15 respectively.In sync with the festivities, all the three centres of Dilli Haats have been decorated to put forth the best of this season. The long festive extravaganza will have stalls adorned by artificial jewellery, handicrafts and handloom products. Unique delicacies like Ghevar, Rajasthani thalis alongside savoury treats from across the city will be available. Teej Bazaar, the highlight of the festival is one of a kind flee market that offers a variety of colorful Rakhis and traditional decorative items. Mehandi artists, bangle, and jewellery stalls form a vital part of this tradition and will be showcased during the Utsav. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfCultural performances in association with Sahitya Kala Academy, Rajasthan Tourism etc. have been scheduled during the evening hours of the festival. The evening will showcase enthralling performances by folk artists, the ceremonial Rajasthani dance and traditional arts for the entertainment of the visitors. While parents indulge in the festivities, kids will be able to enjoy at the joy rides available at the venue.Dilli Haat, INA will also host a Mehandi and Rangoli competition on the August 11.
The Origin DApp is a decentralized marketplace on the blockchain mainnet. It launched last week and is in the beta stage. Purpose of the Origin DApp Large organizations like Airbnb or Uber often charge 20-30% as commission for providing a service. One of the goals of Origin mainnet is to host such services that are peer-to-peer. This will eliminate the middleman and the cost of services will go down. Think of it like Craigslist, but Ethereum based and decentralized on a blockchain network. Your account would be your Ethereum wallet. To transact on the Origin DApp, a crypto wallet needs to be attached to your browser. For doing this, the Metamask extension is a good option which available for both Chrome and Firefox. Also, communication is done via Origin Messaging directly between the seller and the buyer. Features of Origin DApp Some of the important features of this DApp are: Smart contract for the marketplace The marketplace contract implements transactions in multiple steps, dispute management, and optional affiliate commissions. It uses ETH and/or any ERC-20 tokens as currency. The Origin token OGN is an ERC-20 token integrated with the marketplace smart contracts. The token is meant to incentivize behaviors that will bootstrap the network and also protect against negative behaviors. The Origin token is meant to reward behaviors that will help the network flourish and safeguard against bad actions. Search You can use the search bar at the top to query listing data by keyword, category, and price. The listings are loaded directly from the blockchain. Resolving conflicts In case of a conflict between a seller and buyer, there is a workflow for dispute resolution. As of now, Origin is the only arbitrator on the platform, but more decentralized solutions are expected in the future. Future work Currently, listings like rentals, ticketing, and e-commerce are not supported. There is no mobile app, advanced search, and no JS SDK for third-party developers to build DApps on the platform. Future plans include enabling third-party developer partners to build on Origin, improving user experience, launching a mobile app/wallet, support for more types of listings, and hardening the infrastructure for greater security and scalability. Since Origin is in the beta stage, currently there are no push or email notifications available. There is a team to resolve any disputes. There needs to be enough abstraction to hide away the complexities of using a service on a blockchain to see mainstream adoption. It can take years for that to happen, for a regular cabbie or hotel owner to understand and use a ‘decentralized marketplace’. For more details, visit the Origin post on Medium and the beta website. To get started, here’s a demo video. Read next Vitalik Buterin says Ethereum 2.0 research has stabilized and might launch next year Ethereum Constantinople hard fork to move Ethereum from PoW (proof-of-work) to PoS (proof-of-stake) model Vitalik Buterin’s new consensus algorithm to make Ethereum 99% fault tolerant
Thursday, December 22, 2016 Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Share More engagement with trade will help boost Caribbean visits from Canada in 2017: CTO Hugh Riley — Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism OrganizationBRIDGETOWN — Calling 2016 “an impressive, yet challenging year” for Caribbean tourism, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Secretary General Hugh Riley says strong inbound visitor figures from Europe and the U.S. helped offset a tough year from the Canadian market.Riley said the Caribbean is poised to meet its 30 million arrivals target set two years ago at its State of the Tourism Industry Conference. “Yet, amidst the year’s impressive achievements, the Canadian market was a concern,” said Riley. Traditionally a robust achiever, even during the tough global economic meltdown, Canada delivered declining numbers this year, sparked by the weakening of the Canadian dollar.“We are moving to reverse that slide, combining our efforts with those of our CTO member-countries and our industry partners,” said Riley. The CTO is looking to hire a Business Development Representative in the first quarter of 2017 “to substantially enhance the Caribbean’s engagement in Canada’s most productive areas”, identify and develop business in non-traditional areas and work closely with our members’ representatives for maximum impact, he said.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”New travel agent training and certification, increased use of targeted social media, enhanced deployment of the CTO’s data analysis tools, and more focused engagement with the Caribbean diaspora are all components of the 2017 strategy for Canada, Riley added.While air arrivals to the Caribbean were up, key performance metrics for the region’s hotel industry recorded declined through the first half of 2016, based on data compiled by Smith Travel Research Inc. The slumps were influenced by a rise in room stock and a fall in demand for traditional hotel rooms, attributed in part to ‘the sharing economy’, e.g. Airbnb.Mother Nature challenged the Caribbean as well, with some member countries affected in varying degrees by hurricanes. “Yet despite the adversities occasioned by these events, our resilience and fortitude as a region stood out and even the worst affected were back open for business in quick time, proving that tourism is an effective way to re-energize an economy following a natural or other disaster,” said Riley.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe onset of the Zika virus also presented a challenge and the CTO continues to work with its partners, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to address concerns raised by our suppliers and potential visitors.The CTO also continues to monitor the possible impact of the Brexit vote as the UK moves to end and its membership in the European Union.The CTO’s declaration of 2016 as ‘The Year of Romance’ in the Caribbean was a success story, with member-countries and industry partners organizing events or participating in roadshows specializing in romance, said Riley. “Our 30 Days of Caribbean Romance social media marathon reached 10.5 million people in June, while millions more were reached through the innovative Periscope Marathon and Tweet Chat featuring romantic places of the Caribbean, and our Five Romantic Facts about each member-country during Caribbean Tourism Month in November.”What’s the theme for 2017? Riley announced that next year will be the ‘Year of Adventure’ in the Caribbean. Tags: Caribbean, Caribbean Tourism Organization
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 Tags: Promotions, Travel Agent Day Share Posted by Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Tour operators including Transat, Air Canada Vacations, Goway and more are showing their appreciation for their retail partners with prizes and incentives in celebration of Travel Agent Day.With Transat, three travel agents will win a seven-night all inclusive vacation to one of these Karisma resorts: Azul Beach Resort The Fives Playa del Carmen, by Karisma; El Dorado Royale; and El Dorado Seaside Suites. In addition, agents will earn $30 Bonbon rewards on South, Europe and cruise packages. Three agents will earn $150 Bonbon rewards on all their bookings. For more information, consult Get Connected.Air Canada Vacations is giving away 10,000 ACV&ME points to three agents and five $250 gift cards. “Our trade partners are vital to our business, growth and success,” said George Platanitis, Vice President, Sales & Partnerships, Air Canada Vacations. “We value our partnerships and focus on celebrating and honouring agents throughout the year.”Agents can sign up for the ACV&ME loyalty program at aircanadavacations.com/agents to be automatically entered in the draw. The winners will be announced on May 31.Club Med has launched a special contest to thank its travel partners for their involvement, expertise and loyalty. From May 3 – 17 using the Club Med Check app agents are invited to test and improve their knowledge of the brand and face off against colleagues and fellow travel agents through mini-games for the chance to win a Club Med getaway. The agent who gets the highest aggregate score will win a seven-night stay for two at Club Med.“The launch of this application is a great opportunity to give life to our new signature ‘Club Med, Amazing You’, specifically to our travel partners” said Jacinda Lowry, National Sales Director, Club Med. “We want to thank them and reward their knowledge of Club Med with this contest, available through an innovative and intuitive program. We are going to amaze you!”Agents can download Club Med Check app available through the Apple Store and Google Play. Agents enter their email address and create a password, then enter the code: AGAN and start the game.Club Med also says agents can subscribe to its travel agent-dedicated website, clubmedagents.ca, as well as the Club Med Agents’ Facebook page: facebook/clubmed.english for contest details.Goway is sending coffee cards to all agents who book and deposit a Goway package May 3 -5. All agents who book in this period will also go into the draw to win a ‘Spa Day.’ One winner will be chosen.In a world of online this and “there’s an app for that”, today’s client is often lost in options, some of which are highly questionable, says Goway. That’s where the value of a travel agent lives. “Travel agents are integral to our business,” says company founder Bruce Hodge. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. At Goway, we work with agents from all over North America from small home-based agencies to large consortia. The most successful agents we have seen are those who take the time to learn what their clients are really looking for, never stop learning themselves, and are truly passionate about what they do but sometimes their efforts go unrecognized.”Porter Airlines has launched a month-long contest in honour of Travel Agent Day on May 3, to recognize travel agents for their commitment to passengers and to Porter. “Travel agents represent our brand and support our passengers throughout the travel experience. They are an essential part of our success,” says Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTTravel agents can register their Porter and Porter Escapes bookings on flyporter.com/agent from May 3 – 31 for the chance to win prizes including one of three weekly prizes of 25,000 VIPorter loyalty points, and one of two grand prizes of a weekend getaway for two to New York or Toronto (includes Porter flights for two, hotel stay and more). Weekly winners will be randomly selected on May 10, 17 and 24. Grand prize winners will be randomly selected on June 8. Travel agents must have a valid IATA or TICO number registered with Porter Airlines or Porter Escapes.In addition to the contest, Porter is providing travel agents, along with a companion, 30% off their next Porter flight. Book May 3 – 24 for travel completed by June 28.Totalstay has a two-fold incentive for agents. All agents who make a totalstay booking May 3 – 10 will have their names entered into a draw to win a 1-night hotel stay in the Canadian destination of their choice. Also during this time, agents who find one of 150 maple leaves hidden on the totalstay.com website have a chance to win a Canadian-themed gift basket in a prize draw. Totalstay has some 165,000 hotels and 10,000 destinations. Agents can log into their account at totalstay.com to check availability and to book online, or speak to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.Now in its sixth year, Travel Agent Day has come a long way since its humble beginnings in Colleen Lorenzen’s office in Saskatoon. As the agent credited with coming up with the idea in the first place, Lorenzen, Operations Manager at Uniglobe Carefree Travel, says that Travel Agent Day was actually inspired by another group of professionals – secretaries.“One day our sales rep from Staples came in and was giving everyone a carnation for Secretary Day, and I thought if secretaries can have a day then so can we,” she says. “As a manager, we are always looking for ways to thank our staff for the great work that they do.”Before it was widely recognized as ‘Travel Agent Day’ in 2011, Lorenzen – who at the time sat on the board for the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC) – acknowledged the hard work of her agents each year on the first Wednesday in March by bringing in lunch, flowers and the like. Word of Lorenzen’s efforts spread to other CITC members, who all asked if they could do the same thing in their own offices. And the rest, as they say, is history.“Because I didn’t have a budget to get the word out, I started a Facebook page,” says Lorenzen, “and then at our Uniglobe Conference, I started to talk about it to suppliers and emailed them to let them know about TAD. Some of our suppliers took to the idea right away while others came onboard each year.”Today, Lorenzen’s Facebook page has close to 3,000 likes and features a steady stream of relevant industry tips and stories, exclusive agent offers, and humourous memes and videos. Open to anyone, facebook.com/TravelAgentDay is used to “promote the value of travel agents,” says Lorenzen, who also encourages agencies to post pictures of how their offices are celebrating TAD.“I think that some people don’t really know what it is that we do and it’s our job to let them know what we can do for them and why they should use us,” she adds. “Our suppliers are great and they continue to support us as they know that we’re on the frontlines selling their products.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”In fact, many of them take TAD beyond just one day, launching agent-exclusive offers throughout the month and, in some cases, throughout the year. TravelBrands has launched a nine-month campaign that includes a monthly draw for 100,000 Loyalty points and a grand prize of one million points. Air Canada Vacations is also celebrating agents with double the ACV&ME loyalty points on Canada and Europe bookings for the entire month of May, while The Travel Corporation will be treating some of its top agents to a celebration event on May 3.Anytime the travel industry takes notice of its frontline agents is a good thing, says Marco Pozzobon, Director, Marking, Communications and Partnerships at the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), especially since the Internet and OTAs are still taking a significant chunk of market share. But he says that consumers are now returning to agents, whose role in the industry remains as relevant as ever.“There may have been a brief period in recent history when most consumers believed travel agents were no longer needed. But we’ve seen that attitude starting to change,” he says. Even more, adds Pozzobon, the fact that we are living in the age of information makes travel agents more relevant than ever. “They’re able to cut through the clutter of the Internet, qualify the customer and propose customized itineraries while guaranteeing the best return on the investment.”The Internet will never go away, but there is a way for agents to co-exist with it and carve out their own niche, says Joe Gyuro of Kelowna, a former agent, general manager and co-owner of Mission Park Travel. He envisions a “new world order” where a compromise can be reached so that agents still have a role in the marketplace. “Maybe no longer doing simple transactions, point to point,” he notes, “but evolving into true professionals who can handle complex arrangements.”Gyuro says that as fewer agents will be needed, their expertise will have to be of a higher standard. This involves recognizing where they are the strongest and doing their best to gain that market share.“This could be complex international travel, adventure travel, special experiences travel, group travel or special needs travel. They must make contacts with similar parties around the world and use those contacts to make their travel arrangements unique and memorable. That will lead to repeat business and world of mouth acclaim,” he adds.The travel industry will continue to change, as Gyuro has seen throughout his illustrious 40-year career. “However, as the public sees how complex their arrangements can be, there will always be a segment who sees the value in guidance. There will always be a core group who would rather have an expert do what needs to be done than do it themselves.”And as long as there are travel agents there will always be Travel Agent Day, if Lorenzen has her way. She hopes to see TAD evolve to the point where it becomes part of the yearly calendar (“like Mother’s Day”), which would be the ultimate acknowledgement of a profession that many still believe is becoming obsolete.“The job is much harder than it used to be as we need to know more and stay on top of things that are happening around the world,” she says. “But travel agents will always adapt and continue to get better in this fast moving industry.” “Travel agents are integral to our business”: Deals and more to celebrate Travel Agent Day