first_imgRace to Erase MS has announced that multi Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Elton John will perform at the 20th Annual Race to Erase MS event, hosted by Nancy Davis, taking place on May 3rd, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.Also performing that evening will be multi-platinum singer-songwriter Taio Cruz.Elton John, one of the world’s most celebrated recording artists, has sold more than 250 million records in his four-decade career. He has won six Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award. In addition to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996 and received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.Over the course of the past two years, international pop star Taio Cruz has sold over 25 million singles and more than three million albums. Thanks to his Billboard Award-winning smash hits “Dynamite” and “Break Your Heart,” Taio is the first and only solo British male artist to have two consecutive No. 1 singles in the United States. He holds the distinction of being YouTube’s most viewed British artist of all time, with his music videos amassing over a billion combined views.The legendary, celebrity-filled gala has raised millions of dollars for Race to Erase MS and its Center Without Walls program. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the event, and will honor Sharon Osbourne and Jack Osbourne with the “Medal of Hope” Award. Guests will be able to participate in a silent auction before enjoying a dinner gala featuring the live musical performances by Elton John and Taio Cruz. The evening will also include a one-of-a-kind live auction featuring fabulous vacation getaways and experiential packages.The evening is generously sponsored by Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Associated Television International and American Airlines.Race to Erase MS is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure for MS. Funding research is the core focus of the foundation and significant strides have been made to find the cause and cure of this debilitating disease. All funds raised support our Center Without Walls program, a unique collaboration of the world’s leading MS research scientists currently representing Harvard, Yale, Cedars Sinai, University of Southern California, Oregon Health Science University, UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins. This nationwide collaboration of physicians, scientists and clinicians are on the cutting-edge of innovative research and therapeutic approaches to treat MS. It is the hope of the Race to Erase MS that in addition to combating MS through research in a clinical environment, awareness will be created by educating the public about this mysterious disease.last_img read more

first_imgBut that changed last month when TIFF emailed Machado, who identifies as Latinx (a gender-neutral form of “Latina” and Latino”), inviting her to attend as part of its new Media Inclusion Initiative.For the first time this year, TIFF is aiming to grow the diversity of the press corps covering the festival by 20 per cent. That amounts to up to 200 new critics and reporters who offer greater representation in the areas of cultural heritage, gender, sexual orientation and disability.TIFF says it’s responding to requests from the industry to expand the range of the conversation and opinions at the festival.“Often what happens is you get a particular response at a film festival premiere of a film that just reflects the media that happens to be there, the industry that happens to be there,” says Cameron Bailey, the festival’s artistic director.“Then the film goes out into the broader population and the reaction may be different — it might be stronger, it might be less strong, it might be just a different character of a reaction — and that’s because the general populace of filmgoers is often not reflected in who gets to attend the major festivals, and that’s for all kinds of historical reasons.”As part of the initiative, TIFF included a voluntary survey in its press accreditation form this year to get a sense of journalists’ backgrounds and how they identify.TIFF also reached out to entertainment writers and commentators who reflect the range of opinion they’re looking for but hadn’t been to the festival before. They offered them full press passes for the festival.Using funding from a combination of corporate donors, industry donors and public donations, TIFF offered almost 100 of the critics hotel accommodations for four nights during the festival and a reimbursement of their flight costs to get to Toronto.TIFF is also encouraging press to sign up for the Time’s Up Critical database, which aims to create greater diversity among critics and entertainment reporters. The initiative stems from the Time’s Up movement.“Access to these festivals is essential, especially if you want to be considered a professional,” Machado says.“The more access that they give us, the better playing field that we have and the more diverse the film criticism will be.”Danielle Solzman, a transgender freelancer writer in Chicago, says she reached out to TIFF as soon as she heard about the initiative. She now has accreditation to cover the festival for the first time this year.“I think it does make a difference, especially when close to 80 per cent (of film critics), at least on Rotten Tomatoes, are cisgender white men,” Solzman says.“Females, people of colour, LGBTQ — a lot of us don’t get the same amount of opportunities. I feel like I have to scream into the void to be heard…. If you’re not writing for the right outlet, it’s very hard to get on the press list.”Joelle Monique, a freelance film critic in Los Angeles, is also covering TIFF this year after the festival reached out to her.“I know there are so many good writers and strong voices of critique out there, people who are able and willing to do the job but just can’t get into the spaces,” Monique says.“I don’t begrudge anybody who is there — the film community at large is a wonderful place to live and work and thrive in — but to know that there are so many marginalized voices who could do the work who just can’t get into the room, that’s frustrating.”Filmmakers seem pleased with the initiative.“I think it’s a great idea because it’s better than having the bigger players writing about things and getting the credentials where the smaller players are left out,” says two-time Oscar-nominated director Gus Van Sant, who recently released the film “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.”“Inclusiveness and opening the doors, finding ways to bring underrepresented people into the industry, we have to do that,” adds Emmy-nominated director Kari Skogland.“The more you do, the more you get to do — so it’s just, what door do you open so you can start the process?”by VICTORIA AHEARN – THE CANADIAN PRESS Advertisement Twitter Advertisement Yolanda Machado is shown in this undated handout photo. Until recently, covering the Toronto International Film Festival was just a pipe dream for Los Angeles freelance writer Yolanda Machado. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Yolanda Machado Login/Register With:center_img Facebook TORONTO – Until recently, covering the Toronto International Film Festival was just a pipe dream for Los Angeles freelance writer Yolanda Machado.“I never would’ve considered attending. The cost is crazy,” says Machado, who has written for publications including Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar, and runs the entertainment blog Sassymamainla.com.“Writers that go, their outlets pay for everything. For freelancers, which a large group of diverse film critics and diverse film reporters are, we can’t cover that cost.” LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgIll-gotten money. Illustration: Prothom Alo Experts have questioned the move by the Anti Corruption Commission not to file cases against anybody who returns ill-gotten wealth.Although there is no law or provision in the country to this end, the ACC has made this move, aiming to retrieve Tk 140 million.Experts said that such measures will encourage the corruption.According to ACC, under this process, it made a breakthrough by retrieving Tk 130 million from Hallmark group.Besides, victims have got back Tk 9.83 million in 10 different cases through the mediation of ACC. In context of corruption, though, this amount is negligible.ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmood also admits there are legal questions in this regard.Speaking to Prothom Alo, Iqbal Mahmood said, “We will take measures based on circumstances pertaining to each case. We have to analyse the cost benefits. We have to take reality into consideration, as well as consider legality and ethics.”Executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh Ifthekharuzzaman said, “It is not acceptable either from an ethical or legal point of view. During 1/11 we opposed the idea of Truth Commission. Such a measure can’t act as a prevention of corruption after the institution fails to establish justice.”Former chairman of ACC Ghulam Rahman said although not permanently, a law named ‘plea bargain’ can be formulated. But, still there will be questions of legality.Nakshi Knit of Hallmark returned money in one of its three cases. Later, it decided not to return money. Two cases of Knit are underway.On 9 November, assistant manager of Sonali Bank Subrato Kumar Das told ACC director that it had received Tk 327.50 million due such action against Nakshi Knit.ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said although the process is questioned, ACC took a decision on Tk 130 million with Hallmark. Although it is not legal, ACC and the court gave consent on the matter. If the legality is challenged at the High Court, the decision will be cancelled.Despite a verdict by the Appellate Division in March last, the government did not return Tk 12.32 billion collected by the intelligence agencies during the army backed caretaker government in 2007. Besides, Tk 340 million collected by the Truth Commission is lying in the government exchequer.On condition of anonymity, an official at Bangladesh Bank (BB) said the central bank sent a letter to the government to implement a verdict on returning Tk 6.15 billion. But the central bank did not get any reply.Speaking to Prothom Alo, lawyer of BB Ameer-ul-Islam said a review petition has been filed against the verdict on returning Tk 6.15 billion collected from 40 businessmen. Preparations are on for the hearing.According to ACC, the anti-graft body sees some sort of success in recovering money embezzled by illegal means. The lion share of Tk 40 billion of BASIC Bank and Tk 26.86 billion of Hallmark is similar to embezzlement. Although these are loans in name, everything points to forgery.The ACC chairman said they have recovered Tk 11.48 billion from Hallmark and BASIC Bank, not by assuring that cases against them would be withdrawn. But it is true Tk 130 million was collected from Nakshi Knit of Hallmark in 2014 on a condition that cases will not be filed against them.ACC helps get back moneyA terminated cashier of the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) returned Tk 3.3 million to the company until 6 November. He confessed his involvement in taking bribe to a director general of ACC.A person gave Tk 5 million to a ruling Awami League member of parliament for investing in a business. But the MP simply kept the money. Later, ACC helped the victim get back Tk 2 million of the amount. Subir Kanti, an employee of a private organisation, gave more than Tk 1 million to a real estate company for purchasing a flat. The company, however, deceived him and did not hand over the flat. Later, Subir got back Tk 3 million in just 24 hours with the help of ACC.The office of the assistant commissioner of land (AC-Land) in Dhanmondi returned Tk 120,000 taken as a bribe for mutation of a flat as ACC intervened.The ACC also made a private dental college in Dhaka return Tk 400,000 taken as an advance for admissions.The anti-graft watchdog received a phone call recently claiming a Banani school was charging extra fees illegally. The headmaster of the school was made to return Tk 368,000 instantly by the ACC.According to ACC officials, the victims want to get back their money taken forcefully and unethically, alongside trial of the accused. When ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmud was reminded that they are catching small fish, he told Prothom Alo, ”Commoners are affected most by small fish. But, when we’ll be capable, we’ll net the big fish too.”Sole exampleIn past 10 years, the government managed to take back a small amount of money from a public servant through the apex court. On 6 April 2016, ATM Nazim Ullah Chowdhury escaped impriosnment by submitting Tk 684,000 to the state treasury.Asked about poor state of restoring embezzled money, attorney general Mahbubey Alam told Prothom Alo that the corrupt try their utmost to delay, resist and derail the trial.A special kind of prosecution team is needed to quicken the trials, he added.Bribery in ACCThe anti-graft watchdog, ironically, had to terminate one and suspend two of its officials recently for taking bribes and indulging in corruption.The ACC suspended one of its additional directors for amassing wealth amounting to Tk 50 million beyond the known source of income.An investigation officer of ACC was fired as he lodged a case against one  person instead of 10. According to a report of Transparency International Bangladesh, the amount of bribe was Tk 54.4 billion in 2007 which rose to Tk 88.2 billion in 2015.TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said, ”Today is International Anti-Corruption Day. The government has decided to observe the day nationally.””Recently ruling Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said if politicians don’t get involved in corruption, corruption would be 50 per cent less. I can see a political will from his statement. To benefit from this, we have to avoid indulging corruption,” he added.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam and Imam Hossain.last_img read more

first_img“Nothing shows the power of VR than trying it for the first time and falling out of the chair,” Macaroni told Variety, adding that he was encouraging for viewers to send in videos of their own VR fails. “We’d love more clips, and I know they are out there,” he said. “We had a lot of fun,” Steve-O added.However, “Headset Hotshots” isn’t just in it for the laughs. Macaroni said that he also wanted to find a way to highlight VR projects worth trying, which is why Steve-O is playing with Mindshow in one episode. “I’m trying to make VR cool and fun,” Macaroni said, adding that he’d ultimately like to turn the show into something like “The Tonight Show” of VR.Steve-O actually hadn’t tried much VR at all before starring in the show, but he said that he was up for the show regardless of the technology. “I’m an attention whore no matter what,” he joked, adding that he wouldn’t mind helping to attract new audiences to the medium. “If I can help make that happen, I’d love that too.”Macaroni didn’t receive any outside financing for “Headset Hotshots, but he said that he is looking for ways to keep the show going on a weekly basis. “I have 4 and I’d love to do more.” Steve-O recording a stunt while wearing a VR headset.With each episode lasting 4 minutes, “Headset Hotshots” features home videos of VR fails — players losing their balance and stumbling into their TV set, or being so scared by immersive VR that they literally fall off their seat. Steve-O then takes some of those fails and aims to reenact them while wearing a headset. Ever wondered what “Jackass” would have looked like in VR? Wonder no more: “Headset Hotshots,” a new show that combines VR demos with home videos and mindless stunts, is heading to YouTube next week. Viewers will be able to enjoy the show either in VR, or as 360-degree videos on their desktop or phone.The show is being made by VR producer and filmmaker Sam Macaroni and his production company Thundership. Macaroni won over longtime friend and partner Steve-O to be the host on 2 of the initial 4 episodes. New episodes are scheduled to be published weekly on YouTube. CREDIT: Courtesy of Thundershipcenter_img Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

first_imgJust when Google is facing large walkouts and protests against its policies, another consumer group has lodged a complaint against Google’s user tracking. According to a report published by the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), Google is using various methods to encourage users to enable the settings ‘location history’ and ‘web and app activity’ which are integrated into all Google user accounts. They allege that Google is using these features to facilitate targeted advertising. BEUC and its members including those from the Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Slovenia, and Sweden argue that what Google is doing is in breach of the GDPR. Per the report, BEUC says “We argue that consumers are deceived into being tracked when they use Google services. This happens through a variety of techniques, including withholding or hiding information, deceptive design practices, and bundling of services. We argue that these practices are unethical, and that they in our opinion are in breach of European data protection legislation because they fail to fulfill the conditions for lawful data processing.” Android users are generally unaware of the fact that their Location History or Web & App Activity is enabled. Google uses a variety of dark patterns, to collect the exact location of the user, including the latitude (e.g. floor of the building) and mode of transportation, both outside and inside, to serve targeted advertising. Moreover, there is no real option to turn off Location History, only to pause it. Even if the user has kept Location History disabled, their location will still be shared with Google through Web & App Activity. “If you pause Location history, we make clear that — depending on your individual phone and app settings — we might still collect and use location data to improve your Google experience.” said a Google spokesman to Reuters. “These practices are not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as Google lacks a valid legal ground for processing the data in question. In particular, the report shows that users’ consent provided under these circumstances is not freely given,” BEUC, speaking on behalf of the countries’ consumer groups, said. Google claims to have a legitimate interest in serving ads based on personal data, but the fact that location data is collected, and how it is used, is not clearly expressed to the user. BEUC calls out Google saying that the company’s legitimate interest in serving advertising as part of its business model overrides the data subject’s fundamental right to privacy. BEUC argues that in light of how Web & App Activity is presented to users, the interests of the data subject should take precedence. Reuters asked for comment on the consumer groups’ complaints to a Google spokesman. According to them, “Location History is turned off by default, and you can edit, delete, or pause it at any time. If it’s on, it helps to improve services like predicted traffic on your commute. We’re constantly working to improve our controls, and we’ll be reading this report closely to see if there are things we can take on board,”. People are largely supportive of BEUC on the allegations they made on Google. However, some people feel that it is just another attack on Google. If people voluntarily and most of them knowingly use these services and consent to giving personal information, it should not be a concern for any third party. “I can’t help but think that there’s some competitors’ money behind these attacks on Google. They provide location services which you can turn off or delete yourself, which is anonymous to anyone else, and there’s no evidence they sell your data (they just anonymously connect you to businesses you search for). Versus carriers which track you without an option to opt-in or out and actually do sell your data to 3rd parties.” “If the vast majority of customers don’t know arithmetic, then yes, that’s exactly what happened. Laws are a UX problem, not a theory problem. If most of your users end up getting deceived, you can’t say “BUT IT WAS ALL RIGHT THERE IN THE SMALL PRINT, IT’S NOT MY FAULT THEY DIDN’T READ IT!”. Like, this is literally how everything else works.” Read the full conversation on Hacker news. You may also go through the full “Every step you take” report published by BEUC for more information. Read Next Google employees join hands with Amnesty International urging Google to drop Project Dragonfly. Is Anti-trust regulation coming to Facebook following fake news inquiry made by a global panel in the House of Commons, UK? Google hints shutting down Google News over EU’s implementation of Article 11 or the “link tax”last_img read more