Latin American summit opens in Cuba with attack on US spying

first_imgRelated posts:Cuba’s Castro celebrates thaw with US but holds tough during speech in Costa Rica Bolivia’s Evo Morales: Obama should lift the embargo and return Guantánamo Naval base to Cuba White House travel exemptions to Cuba do not cover tourism Latin American and Caribbean family photo HAVANA, Cuba – Cuban President Raúl Castro Tuesday railed against U.S. spying as he opened a summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders, a group set up by Venezuela’s late anti-Western leader Hugo Chávez to counter U.S. influence.The meeting – which began with a moment of silence for the late leader – was hosted by Chávez’s closest ally, communist Cuba, in a major diplomatic coup for a country Washington has tried to isolate through a five-decade-old trade embargo.Analysts said it sends a strong signal to the United States that the region will no longer accept Cuba’s isolation – even if U.S. policy is unlikely to change.Castro, trading his usual general uniform for a dark blue suit, used his opening remarks in part to fiercely criticize the vast U.S. phone and email spying operation that has raised international consternation, especially among allies such as Mexico and Brazil included among surveillance targets.The secretive NSA program, details of which were leaked by former U.S. contractor Edward Snowden, “raises concerns about its potential to cause international conflicts,” Castro said, adding that the world needs to “prevent cyberspace from becoming a theater of military operations.”And he suggested the United States – referring obliquely to “the so-called ‘centers of power’” – was not ready to give up its “control of the rich region.”Standing with CubaThe CELAC bloc of 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations was the culmination of an effort by Chávez to bring together both right-wing and leftist governments to counter the influence of the United States.The group will declare itself “diverse but united” Wednesday, when it signs a more than 80-point statement that also hints at distancing the region from the United States, whose influence has been weakening in recent years.The meeting in Cuba also allows leaders to make a statement about the region’s commitment to Havana.“Today, Cuba is the capital of our America,” Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega said as he arrived for the meeting.Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla arrived Monday night and is expected to discuss efforts to mitigate climate change and drug trafficking, reported. Chinchilla will deliver a speech on Tuesday, and then accept the presidency pro tempore of CELAC on behalf of Costa Rica on Wednesday.And Monday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff declared “Brazil wants to be a first-order economic ally to Cuba,” at a ceremony marking the opening of a major container port, partly funded by Brazil and a major outlet for an island nation excluded from U.S. trade.“The creation of a common political space is essential for our region,” said Castro, 82, in his opening remarks at a ceremony attended by U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon and heads of state from around the region.Communist “Cuba has never had such a strong show of support from across the region,” said Arturo López-Levy at the University of Denver.However, “the United States is not going to change (its isolationist policy toward Cuba) just because a lot of regional leaders visit Havana,” stressed Patricio Navia, a New York University political scientist.The summit’s “Havana Declaration,” to be signed Wednesday, touches on issues ranging from combatting poverty and illiteracy to disarmament.It urges agricultural development and food security, technological and scientific cooperation, and affirms a “zone of peace” for the 600 million people across the region. It was prepared by delegates from the attending countries during diplomatic wrangling since the weekend.Wednesday’s session will also offer the first opportunity for Peru leader Ollanta Humala and Chile leader Sebatian Piñera, to meet after the U.N.’s top court ruled in Lima’s favor in a maritime border dispute. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Tico Times contributors make Buzzfeed list for top Costa Rica Instagram accounts

first_img Courtesy of Andres Madrigal Related posts:PHOTOS: A Holy Week children’s procession in Heredia 4 things not to miss during bird migration season And here are your Sloth Kong Airport Photo Contest winners… To conserve the Amazon, the forest must become an economic ‘asset’ Courtesy of Erin Morris Courtesy of Andres Madrigal Courtesy of Erin Morris Courtesy of Andres Madrigal We’ve always known that our photographers are amazing. But now Buzzfeed – the leading authority on making cute animals, pop culture andapparently politics go viral – has confirmed it. The Instagram accounts of Tico Times collaborators Andrés Madrigal and Erin Morris were named the second and third best for making people want to travel to Costa Rica. Here’s Madrigal’s account. Here’s Morris’. Both are consultants to the The Tico Times and contribute photos and articles. Additionally, Madrigal co-founded the magazine Costa Rica Traveler, and Morris runs her own graphic design business.By the way, The Tico Times also has its own Instagram account, which is pretty enticing as well.Following are some of Morris’ and Madrigal’s Instagram photographs (their high-res photos are just as good): Courtesy of Erin Morris Courtesy of Andres Madrigal Courtesy of Erin Morris Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Lets stop measles from crashing the World Cup in Brazil

first_img Facebook Comments The 2014 World Cup will be played next month in Brazil. It’s a fitting honor for a country that has won the most titles (five) in the 84-year history of the tournament. The excitement is already starting to build, and I’ll be pulling hard for my own Team USA.While I’ll have one eye on the matches, the other will be on the foreign fans that will flock to Brazil, some of whom may unwittingly carry the virus that causes measles. If measles were to crash the World Cup and then spread, it would put at risk the country’s impressive gains against the disease and threaten other countries as well.Brazil eliminated measles around the turn of the century, thanks to an aggressive national vaccination campaign. In 2002, the entire Americas region was declared measles-free. It was a tremendous achievement, and Brazilians are justifiably proud of it.Measles once ravaged Brazil. Thousands of people became infected with it each year, and many of them died. Newborns and malnourished children were among the most vulnerable.If not for the highly effective and safe measles vaccine, many of our countries would still be burying many of their young. By 2020, the elimination of measles in Brazil and the rest of the Americas will have prevented 3.2 million cases and 16,000 deaths, according to a study by experts from the Pan American Health Organization, among others.Measles in any one country is a threat to all. Two years ago, Brazil confirmed two cases that were  imported by travelers from countries where the disease is still endemic – most likely in Europe or Asia. The virus found small but important gaps in the country’s population immunity (for example, in communities with lower vaccination coverage).Last year, the imported virus spread and caused 213 more cases. From January to April of this year, there were another 172 cases.The Brazilian government and the Pan American Health Organization are very concerned about the 600,000 foreigners who are expected to travel to Brazil for the World Cup in June. Some of these people could unintentionally carry more of the highly contagious virus to the country, as well as to the rest of the region.The risk is real. Consider that of the 32 countries with teams in the month-long tournament, 19 reported measles cases in 2013.But we are not powerless. We can mitigate the risk of measles importation.We urge everyone who plans to go to Brazil to get vaccinated at least two weeks before traveling. This is how much time is needed for the vaccine to provide the fullest possible protection.We urge physicians and health care workers everywhere to be aware of the danger to their patients, and to advise them to get vaccinated for their own good and the good of others.At the same time, we applaud the Brazilian government for its efforts to ensure that all Brazilians – especially those who live, or will attend, in the 12 cities where matches will be played – get vaccinated.The Pan American Health Organization developed a campaign for the 12th Vaccination Week in the Americas (April 26–May 3), stressing the importance of action against all vaccine-preventable diseases: measles, but also polio, rubella, hepatitis, diphtheria, mumps, whooping cough, neonatal tetanus, bacterial pneumonia, yellow fever, diarrhea caused by rotavirus, influenza, and human papillomavirus.Vaccination works. We can use it to ensure a measles-free World Cup. We can keep measles from spoiling the quadrennial celebration of the world’s most popular sport.Let’s give it a shot. Let’s defend our goal. Let’s tackle measles before it has a chance to strike.Jon Kim Andrus is deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization. This article originally appeared at Related posts:Olympic official: Brazil’s preparations for 2016 ‘the worst I have experienced’ Transport chaos, World Cup security fears hit Brazil A rebuttal to Wall Street Journal editor’s call for US World Cup fans to ignore Costa Rica VIDEO: Thrill of victory, agony of defeat during France-Germany gamelast_img read more

Whats open closed for the holidays

first_imgBANKS:Banco Improsa (2284-4040) will be closed Dec. 25, 30, 31 and Jan. 1. BAC San José (2295-9595) will be closed Dec. 25-31, Jan.1; offices will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24. Banca Promérica (2519-8090, 2505-7000) branches will close at 4 p.m. on Dec. 24 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 31. Banco de Costa Rica (2287-9000) branches will close on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Banco Nacional (2211-2000) will close its offices at 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31, and will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Banco Popular (2211-7000) will be closed on Dec. 25, 26, 31 and Jan 1. Bancrédito (2550-0202) will close offices at 4 p.m. on Dec. 24 and will be closed Dec. 25-31 and Jan. 1. Davivienda (2287-1111) will be closed Dec. 25, 31 and Jan. 1. Mutual Alajuela (2437-1000) branches will be closed Dec. 25, 31 and most offices will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24. Scotiabank (2519-1300) will close Dec 25 and Jan 1.EMBASSIES: Holiday closures at major embassies are as follows: British Embassy (2258-2025), Dec. 22-26, Jan 1; Canadian Embassy (2242-4400), Dec. 25, 26, 27. Jan. 1; French Embassy (2234-4167), Dec 25, Jan 1; Japanese Embassy (2232-1255), Dec. 25-Jan. 5; U.S. Embassy (2220-3939), Dec. 25, 26 and Jan. 1.GOVERNMENT OFFICES: Most government offices will close Dec. 23 at 4 p.m. through Jan. 5. The Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and Supreme Court will have a limited area open 24 hours a day for emergencies, though all administrative areas will be closed. For emergencies, dial 911.HOSPITALS AND PHARMACIES: Rest assured that hospital emergency rooms will remain open 24 hours a day. The Red Cross (tel. 128) and National Insurance Institute (INS) (800-800-8000) also attend emergencies at all hours. Those who overeat at Christmas dinner can get their Alka-Seltzer and more 24-7 over the holidays at Clínica Bíblica Hospital drugstore and emergency room (2522-1000) in downtown San José; La Católica Hospital drugstore and emergency room (2246-3000) in Guadalupe; and  Farmacia Sucre 800-327-6224.MAIL AND SHIPPING: Aerocasillas (2208-4848) will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24 and at 1 p.m. Jan.  31, and all day Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Correos de Costa Rica (2202-2900) will be closed Dec. 25, 31 and Jan. 1. DHL (2209-0000) will close its offices at noon Dec. 24 and Jan. 31.MOVIE THEATERS: At Cinemark Escazú (2201-5050) in Multiplaza Escazú and Cinemark del Este (2280-0490) in Multiplaza del Este in Zapote, the last show on Dec. 24 and 31 will be at 3:30 p.m. Cadena de Cines Magaly, which represents most of the country’s movie theaters, will have all its theaters open at a regular schedule. The independent Sala Garbo in San José closes at 9 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31. Cinépolis theaters in Terramall and Desamparados will close at 9 p.m. Plaza Grecia Cinemas will close at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31. Multicines Plaza Liberia (2665-1515) in Guanacaste were not available at press time. Nova Cinemas (2299-7666) in Escazú will open at 11 a.m.MUSEUMS: The Central Bank Museums (also known as the Gold Museum, 2243-4221) underneath Plaza de la Cultura close from Dec. 23 through Jan. 6, and the Children’s Museum (2258-4929) at Ca. 4, Av. 9 will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. The National Museum (2257-1433) at Ca.17, Av. Central/2, will be closed Dec. 24-25, and Dec. 31 to Jan. 1. The Contemporary Art and Design Museum (2257-9370) at CENAC, Av. 3/5, Ca. 15/17, will close Dec. 19 and reopen Jan. 6. INBioparque (2507-8103) in Santo Domingo de Heredia will be closed Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31-Jan. 1. The Costa Rican Art Museum will keep regular hours (Tues.-Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m.) throughout the holidays.SUPERMARKETS: Auto Mercado (2257-4242) will close all its supermarkets at 10 p.m. on Dec. 24; the store in downtown San José will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; most stores will be open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Dec. 25, and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 31, except Herradura, Tamarindo and Plays del Coco, which will be open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Dec. 25 and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Jan. 1. Walmart (8008000722) stores in Heredia, Escazú, Guadalupe, San Sebastián, Cartago and Curridabat will close at 9 p.m. on Dec. 24, 25 and 31 and Jan. 1, and will be open 8 a.m-10 p.m. Dec. 26-30. Most Más x Menos (2243-7100) supermarkets will be open until 9 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31; from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 (except Cuesta de Moras store, which will be closed, and Jacó store, which will be open 9 a.m.-8 p.m.). Megasuper (2246-0400) will be open until 10 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 31, and 9 a.m-7 p.m. on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; the store near Mercado Borbón in San José and the store in Jacó will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Muñoz y Nanne (2253-4646) in San Pedro will be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 24, 30 and 31, and will close at 6 p.m. on Dec. 29. Palí (2243-7100) stores will be open 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Dec. 24, 30 and 31; and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. PriceSmart stores in Escazú (2288-0008), Heredia (2262-4848), Zapote (2283-9464) and Tibás (2297-2343) will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1; on Dec. 24 and 31 the stores will open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saretto (2228-6703) supermarket in Escazú will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.THEATERS: Arlequín (2221-5485) at Ca. 15, Av. 2/6, is closed until Jan. 14. Teatro Torres (2256-4295) at Av. 8, Ca. 11/13, is showing “toc, toc,” and will be closed Dec. 24 and 31 only. La Esquina Theater (2257-0223) at Av. 1, Ca. 21, is showing “Taxiando por un sueño” Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1-2. El Triciclo Theater (2222-2624) at Ca. 15, Av. 8/10, will be closed until Jan. 3, when it will reopen with “Se armó la gorda.” La Máscara Theater (2222-4574) at Av. 2, Ca. 13 bis, will resume showing the comedy “La otra cara del matrimonio” on Jan. 15.VETERINARIANS: The National University Veterinary Hospital (2260-9234; call before going) in Barreal de Heredia is open 24 hours. Dr. Bitter’s clinics (2227-5017, 2228-1753) in San José and Escazú will be closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Dr. Adrián Molina (2228-1909, 2288-1716, emergency 2225-2500) in Escazú will close at noon Dec. 24, and remain closed on Dec. 25 and on Jan 1. Facebook Comments Related posts:Want to start a business in Costa Rica? Let’s look at the details Want to start a business in Costa Rica? Getting it done 14 upcoming changes you should know about for Riteve auto inspections Nearly one-quarter of car owners fail to pay marchamo on timelast_img read more

Mexican cartel hangs banners after cop massacre

first_imgLlamamos a la población a ignorar estos mensajes. Solidaridad con quienes buscamos la paz, no con quienes viven de la violencia. (3/3)— Fiscalía de Jalisco (@FiscaliaJal) April 14, 2015 Related posts:15 Mexican police killed in gang ambush Military helicopter shot down as drug violence surges in western Mexico Nuevo León region rebounds from drug-cartel barbarism to thriving foreign investment hub Chapo’s motorcycle freedom ride spurs doubts about kingpin jail GUADALAJARA,Mexico — Authorities told residents of Guadalajara on Tuesday to ignore banners allegedly hung around Mexico’s second biggest city by a drug cartel that killed 15 police officers last week.The Jalisco state prosecutor’s office said the banners were placed in several locations with a message that seeks to “gain the empathy of citizens.”“We call on the population to ignore these messages. Solidarity with those who seek peace, not those who live off violence,” the office tweeted, adding that the banners were from the “same criminal group that cowardly” killed the 15 officers.center_img One of the banners is signed CJNG, the Spanish initials of the New Generation Drug Cartel. It states that it supports the population and its only problem is with their enemies, the Zetas and Knights Templar cartels, and “abusive” authorities.Officials say the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel was behind the April 6 ambush against a state police convoy on a rural road in Jalisco, marking the deadliest day for Mexican security forces in recent years.Security experts say the attack showed that the New Generation gang is well-armed and probably has military-style training, raising concerns of an escalation of violence in Jalisco.Two days after the attack, the U.S. government slapped financial sanctions on the cartel and its close allies Los Cuinis, saying they rank among the most powerful gangs in Mexico. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Winds seen as factor in Costa Rica plane crash that killed 12

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Plane crash causes still unknown in Costa Rica; pilot was cousin to ex-President Chinchilla Investigation continues into causes of plane crash in Costa Rica Civil Aviation authorities suspend Nature Air operations Costa Rica tourism sets new record with 2.6 million visitors in 2015 Strong winds are now being viewed as a factor in the crash of a small plane in Costa Rica that killed all 10 U.S.. passengers on board and two local crew members, according to officials and witnesses.The accident, which occurred Sunday in the country’s northwestern province of Guanacaste, which is popular with tourists seeking pristine tropical beaches, killed all on board the small Cessna 208 Caravan owned and operated by domestic airline Nature Air.The plane burst into flames on impact, according to rescue officials and locals.Costa Rica’s Civil Aviation agency said the pilots had tried to land at Punta Islita earlier Sunday to get the passengers but aborted their initial landing because of “the gusts of wind.”The aircraft was up-to-date with its certifications and had been inspected a month earlier, the agency said.“There had been a lot wind, really strong,” one resident in the area told AFP on Monday.She said when she and other locals arrived at the crash site, up a steep hillside, “we couldn’t see. Absolutely everything was black.”She added: “The front part of the plane was all on fire, and the tail part was the only bit intact.”Police and fire crews arrived within 25 minutes of the crash, which happened shortly after midday (1800 GMT), she said.Another resident, Efrain Rojas, told the newspaper La Nacion that the plane was “too low” after take-off.“It did a turn to the left. For us, it looked like some sort of problem, and it was trying to get back to the runway. With the turn it did, it one of its wings was vertical, and the other hit the trees,” he said.“When we arrived, it was all in flames…. The plane, when it came down, apparently exploded, caught fire,” he said.‘All on fire’The plane came down minutes after taking off from a small sealed airstrip in Punta Islita, a beachside town in Guanacaste, where the U.S. citizens had boarded.The U.S. State Department confirmed the U.S. citizens’ deaths in an email on Monday.“We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy,” the email read, adding that consular assistance was being extended.A U.S. family of five from the town of Scarsdale, New York, was among the victims in the crash, U.S. media reported.Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their three sons, William, Zachary and Matthew, were all killed while on a family vacation.The other U.S. victims were named as Thibault Astruc, Amanda Geissler, Charles Palmer, Leslie Weiss and Sherry Wuu.The Costa Rican pilot was Juan Manuel Retana, 52. He was the cousin of former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla, who spoke of their ties on Twitter. His co-pilot was Emma Ramos, also Costa Rican.Guanacaste is a popular vacation destination, especially this time of year, when U.S. and European tourists arrive in bigger numbers for an end-of-year respite from the northern hemisphere’s winter.Read more:center_img Plane crash causes still unknown in Costa Rica; pilot was cousin to ex-President Chinchillalast_img read more

Costa Rica celebrates 70 years without an army

first_imgCosta Rica celebrated on Saturday the 70th anniversary of the abolition of its army.Former President José Figueres Ferrer abolished the armed forces in Costa Rica on Dec. 1, 1948 following the end of the civil war that brought him to power.Carlos Alvarado, the current President of Costa Rican, commemorated the anniversary during an event at the Plaza de la Democracia in San José.“It is with enormous honor and pride as a Costa Rican that I partake in this commemoration — one that is unique throughout the world,” Alvarado said. “My heart fills with joy and patriotic love for this country of ours. It is an occasion that unites us with our history and throughout generations.”Watch Alvarado’s full address below:“My heart fills with pride as I celebrate today, December 1, the 70th anniversary of the abolition of the army,” Alvarado added in a Facebook post. “Our grandparents were the first generation in the world to know what it was like to live in a country without an army.“We carry a responsibility that calls us to build a better Costa Rica, for that fourth generation, for our daughters and sons — the great grandchildren of the abolition.”Read more in The Tico Times from previous celebrations of the anniversary: The day has served as a Veterans’ Day for a country that has few veterans: Related posts:Costa Rican veterans reflect 66 years after abolition of army Costa Rica seeks Nobel Peace Prize for abolishing its army Costa Rica celebrates 67 years without an army Costa Rican veterans reflect 66 years after abolition of armycenter_img Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years. Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments Costa Rica celebrates 67 years without an armylast_img read more

Capgras in the 21st Century

first_imgA little-known syndrome discovered exactly 200 years ago is becoming very relevant in the age of Facebook.The internet is rife with examples of the disconnect between reality and the virtual world. However, nowhere is more pronounced than on Facebook (FB). There, millions of people fill their friends’ feeds with images of a life well-lived – even if it’s not. The ability to create an idealized version of your own life and to share it so easily has never before been possible. What kind of effect has this had on our perceptions of ourselves and our online personas? Since social media has been around in some form or another for two decades, it’s a good time to have a look.Facebook is a Place Where You Can Pretend People love to portray their best selves on Facebook (and other social platforms, of course). Often, those ideal lifestyles they paint for themselves bely the darker side of life. Nobody really lives the ideal, sunny life where problems never arise, of course. But Facebook is a place where you can pretend. You can separate the real you from the ideal picture of you. In essence, you’re really splitting the yin from the yang, cordoning off the darker elements of your life. We all do it to some extent, by cherry picking the best images to share and then crafting uplifting messages to all who see them – “Had SUCH a great time on PEI this past weekend!”.Facebook is Also a Place to Manipulate Others In the same vein as painting a rosy picture of your own life, FB users can also paint other kinds pictures, like these:One-sided political argumentsUnscientific nonsense about fitness, beauty, health and wellness (“This anti-aging moisturizer actually reversed my skin damage!)Unsubstantiated scientific claims (“Global warming is a myth” etc.)In 2016, the U.S. presidential election process was compromised by an onslaught of “fake news” regarding the candidates and the issues. We’ve heard a lot about Fake News the past few years. By now, it’s clear that we should all be a little more skeptical when it comes to believing everything we see online, especially if the source is Facebook. As one Stanford University scientists puts it in his article on Capgras Syndrome,“Through history, Capgras syndrome has been a cultural mirror of a dissociative mind… Today we think that what is false and artificial in the world around us is substantive and meaningful.”~Robert Sapolsky, professor of biology, neurology, and neurosurgery at Stanford UniversityWhy are People so Easily Manipulated on FB? When it comes to the problematic presidency of Donald J. Trump, people still wholeheartedly support him. This is despite glaring factual evidence that he doesn’t believe in science, knows very little about political history, doesn’t make decisions based on good information, and might therefore be little more than a big, phony imposter.The ability to change the opinions of others with Facebook’s easy and widespread delivery of manipulative content is disturbing. It also begs the question, “why do so many people still rely on Facebook and other self-supporting online sources to form their political opinions?”The ability to willingly separate recognition and familiarity are what make Facebook such a powerful platform for delusion.So we know that Facebook is a place where we can all pretend. Individuals can separate the real from the ideal or they can create an imaginary world that funnels their followers into certain beliefs or actions (voting a certain way, for example).Facebook’s algorithms have been exposed to support mass suspension of belief by serving people the content they want to hear. It’s called a “filter bubble”.These algorithms use data to provide self-supporting news, not real reporting, to users who are only looking to have their self-serving opinions reinforced. What’s wrong with these people? Are they psychologically damaged? It could be that they suffer from a syndrome that’s both widespread and little-known: Capgras Syndrome.Introducing Capgras Syndrome People who suffer from Capgras Syndrome are convinced that a loved one has been replaced by an imposter. Sort of like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where someone looks the same but they’ve actually been replaced by an alien… only with Capgras, it’s simply just another human, masquerading as your spouse or a close relative.Scientists believe that the disorder stems from a damaged brain that can’t handle the classic love-hate relationship we all supposedly have with our loved ones. Because their brains can’t reconcile the love-hate conflict, people cope by splitting their loved ones into two different people. The real person, the one they love, has been replaced by someone they don’t trust: someone they “hate”. Both exist but the “real” one is lost. Alive, but inaccessible.As scientific knowledge of how the brain works has progressed over the past century, there’s new insight on why Capgras syndrome occurs in people. The person who suffers from Capgras may recognize an “intruder” as someone close to them but they don’t feel familiar with that person. Modern science tell tells us that recognition is a cognitive function whereas familiarity is an emotional response.Combined, cognition and emotion form the foundation for how we relate to other people. Separated, as they are in someone who suffers from Capgras, and the balance is off. The opposite of Capgras is where you don’t recognize familiar faces but you do remember who your loved ones are.In this context, familiarity is defined as “knowing the true identity of someone’. Hold onto that because it’s going to be relevant a little later.Social Media Also Creates Disassociation Between Recognition and Familiarity Social media allows us to keep in contact with friends but only superficially. We only see upbeat snippets of their edited lives. We recognize them but we don’t truly know what’s really going on in real live. In other words, we aren’t truly “familiar” with them via online channels.So if we recognize someone but we’re not familiar with them, isn’t that the definition of Capgras Syndrome?That’s exacerbated by the fact that salespeople, scammers, and others are constantly claiming to know us in order to extract information or convince us to buy something. They’re not who they say they are so we get used to the idea that nobody is who they say they are. In other words, everyone is an imposter.Doesn’t that sound a lot like Capgras, too?A Few Huge Side Notes A Huge Side Note Here: It’s Possible to Delude Even Yourself on FacebookThere’s an offshoot of Capgras Syndrome in which the person you don’t recognize is yourself. There are documented cases where people look in the mirror and see an imposter. The person looks like them, dresses like them, and talks the same as them, too. The person even feels that they know the person in the mirror very well. Nevertheless, they perceive that person to be an imposter – one who typically ends up being aggressive.This is usually called atypical Capgras syndrome.So, when we look into the mirror of Facebook and our self-created timelines and feeds are reflected back to us as the ideal self (one we really shouldn’t recognize as real), is that yet another version of Capgras? One in which the mind has separated an entity that’s close to us (ourselves) into two separate entities? Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?There are indeed several versions of Capgras, all of which are part of a larger set of delusional states.In any case, Capgras aside, there’s definitely some delusion when it comes to Facebook, our portrayals of ourselves, and the self-supporting news we want to hear. It may be tied to narcissism or it may be part of a syndrome where our digital lives are feeding our psychological disorders. There are actual scientists pondering that last idea. In an opinion piece titled, Facebook: has it created a generation of ‘self-absorbed spin doctors?”, a researcher from the University of Royal Holloway London conjectures that the social media platform has created a culture of narcissism.Another Huge Side Note: Could Trump Himself Have Capgras?last_img read more

Once blockchain finds the right application exponential adoption will follow Blockchain for

first_imgWhat is your background briefly?There is only really one theme in my life that would tie everything together. I Love technology and believe we can solve any problems we face with it. Bitcoin became my obsession a few years ago. The idea that we could send payment globally with little to no friction was amazing. But mining Bitcoin is very resource intense and challenging. For fun I was mining Bitcoin in my living room, and writing how-to guides. After a few months of heating my house with my bitcoin miner, I started to wonder if there were other things we could do that would allow us to better leverage the network.After discussing this with a friend and reading a white paper, he had helped author, I sold my company and moved to Texas to help build a new software company. That company was Factom and it is a high capacity blockchain network. We built some of the very first enterprise blockchain software. Not much was known about Bitcoin at the time so I started speaking publicly and writing to try and explain to the general public why the technology was such a game changer. At the time there was a lot of negative press about Bitcoin.I wanted to help change the narrative and talk about the business and social impact of blockchain. Wiley publishing reached out to me after reading some of my work and asked if I would be interested in writing a book on blockchain. A few months later and with a lot of help from my editors, we published Blockchain for Dummies.(see both reviews here)Blockchain For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Tiana Laurence, reviewedDoes it seem like a logical background to what you do now?Yes, I’m still advocating for blockchain technology, investing in the space, and writing.1 min pitch for what you are doing now?I have some new ideas about how we can leverage decentralized networks to enable smart IoT devices to negotiate for resources. I’m working on this project now. I also have another book in the works.In many ways it makes sense to write a 2nd edition as so much has happened since the first edition. Would you agree? Where do you feel we are in terms of the Gartner hype curve in terms of blockchain?The space moved so fast after the ICO crazy, a lot of money and talent was attracted. Blockchain is still a “backend” software so despite the excitement there were not enough engineers at the time to work on all the projects. The enthusiasm also attracted scam artists. When I wrote Blockchain for Dummies there were only a few dozen projects in the world.Now there are thousands. It is possible after Facebooks Libra is fully released that there could billions of people using blockchain technology and millions of companies. If we compare this to the progress of the internet, we are still in the early 90’s. Most people know about it, but it is for simple things like chat rooms. Libra could be equivalent to Hotmail + Myspace, an application that most people like and can use.If you were to do a 3rd edition in a few years time, what would ‘good’ look like if blockchain adoption continues to grow?I think that we will see governments issuing digital currency on permissioned blockchains. We will also see more companies switching to self-clearing and settling securities. They make a tone of sense and will save companies and regulators a lot of money.I hope we see more compelling use cases that engage the general public. Blockchain has yet to find an application that drives exponential adoption.What aspects are you excited about in terms of the roll out of blockchain?I’m very excited about Libra and the innovations on the Ethereum network. It will be very interesting to see how proof of stake works and sharding the network. If Ethereum is able to accomplish this while maintaining data integrity, mainstream Dapps can become practical.How can people find out more about you & your work?@laurencetiana is the best way to catch meSigned a bunch of my new Blockchain for Dummies books! Thanks @TheScottRob! @shayes!— Tiana Laurence (@LaurenceTiana) June 1, 2019More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

How Travel Improves Your Creative Abilities If You Let It Dave Birss

first_imgHow Travel Improves Your Creative Abilities, If You Let It Hi! I’m Dave Birss. And I’ve just arrived at Heathrow Airport.And in this episode I’m going to be talking about the effect that travel has on the creative mind. But I’m not doing it from here. I’m doing it from L.A.. So come and join me.Hello and welcome to L.A..This is my hotel room in the historic Culver Hotel. It used to be owned by Charlie Chaplin and then it was owned by John Wayne. And this was where the cast of The Wizard of Oz used to hang out when they were filming just across the street. So I feel very fortunate to be here.But I also feel very fortunate to be able to travel as part of what I do. I get to meet incredible people. I get to have experiences I wouldn’t normally have and that gives me input that helps me.So in this video, I actually want to talk about the importance of travel for creative thought. Because it has a huge impact on the way we think.But first [drinks coffee] It’s 7:00 in the morning Aaaah! That’s better.BE MORE OPEN TO POSSIBILITIESYou know, in the 1860s as Mark Twain, the famous author, did a tour around the coast of the Mediterranean. And on his way around he spoke to people. He got to see different cultures. And he wrote a book about it. And one of the things that he wrote in that book is that“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness”.And, you see, I totally agree with him. When you travel, you find that there’s different ways of doing things. And it breaks down your fear of otherness. So on a simple basis, if you imagine that breakfast to you might be a bowl of Corn Flakes and a cup of coffee. That’s the way that you think it’s always done because you’ve always done it.Your friends have breakfast that way. Your family always had breakfast that way. So that’s what breakfast is. To other people it might be a full fried breakfast. To other people it’s a stack of pancakes. If you go to India you might even have curry for breakfast. If you’re in France it’s dipping a croissant in some coffee.You know, there’s different ways of doing things. And when you travel you get to experience these little things. And as you experience them, you get to accept that there is another way that is not your way of doing things.In fact, there was a study that was done by the University of Tel Aviv in 2012. They took two groups of people. One group of people had, as they put it: “they believed that racial groups had fixed underlying essences”. In other words, they were a bit racist. And the other group were people who would look at culture and look at difference and not see it as being particularly important.They gave these people creative tests. And which group do you think performed better? Well, naturally it was the people who were open to difference. It was the people who didn’t see difference as being a problem. Being a bit racist, being ethnocentric, thinking that your way of doing things is the only way of doing things, led to worse ideas.And I believe that that’s absolutely true. Openness helps us get ideas that we wouldn’t normally have.Bear with me a second. [drinks coffee]DEVELOP MORE PATHWAYS IN YOUR BRAINThe way that our brains get wired is based on experience, it’s based on the people that we surround ourselves with, it’s based on the habitual stuff that we do. When you travel – when you’re exploring all these other ways of doing things – it starts to build up different wiring in our brain.So the wiring that had been reinforced out of habit and out of this influence of the environment around us, it ends up creating competing pathways with that. So this new wiring that you put in allows you to have more flexibility of thought, more, sort of, cognitively diverse approaches to things.And that, again, allows us to be able to access ideas we wouldn’t normally have. But you need to be willing to adapt.The old cliche of the British people who go on holiday to the south of France and in their suitcase they pack teabags, they pack baked beans, they pack Marmite and everything that feels British to them. They take it with them because they don’t want to experience something that feels “a bit foreign”. That stuff doesn’t help you.So it’s possible to travel and not get any benefits from it. It doesn’t build up that extra wiring because all you’re doing is reinforcing your existing wiring; your existing way of doing things.So when you travel, you actually have to immerse yourself. You actually have to experience stuff that might make you feel a little bit uncomfortable. And that is how we end up having those experiences that will allow us more flexibility of thought. That will allow us to have ideas we wouldn’t normally have.Yep. Just a second. [drinks coffee] That’s good.GIVE YOURSELF DISTANCE FROM A PROBLEMYou also find that you can get some of the benefits of travel without actually travelling. So it’s possible just by giving yourself perceived distance to a problem that you can actually solve it more effectively.So at Indiana University, they did this study where they got people to try and solve some puzzles. They told half the group the puzzles were created at the University in Indiana. And they told the other half that they were created in California. And they got to measure these two groups to see which group was better at solving the problems.And they found there was a distinct difference. The people who believed that the puzzles have been created in California – so there was a perceived distance between them and the puzzles – had far more creative approaches to trying to solve it. And also they were more successful at getting to the solutions.So actually just giving yourself a little bit of distance might be enough to help you solve a problem more effectively.Okay. Wait, wait, wait. I’m nearly finished. Nearly finished. Just give me a second. [drinks coffee]Now let me tell you about a university researcher at Columbia Business School. His name is Adam Galinsky and he’s particularly interested in travel and the effect that it has on the creative brain. He got together with some other researchers and they looked at the creative directors of 270 top fashion houses. They looked at their schedule to see what their travel was like and then they looked at their output.And they judged the output of the designs that they created. And they did that by getting people who were in the industry who would normally judge stuff – so buyers and journalists – to see which was the more creative designs that they were producing. They were looking for innovative approaches to design.And they found, again, there was a massive correlation to how well-travelled someone was and how creative their designs were. In fact, they looked to see people who had lived overseas and worked overseas and immersed themselves in the culture for a period of time by living and working there – and discovered that they were more creatively consistent over time than people who just lived in the same place they had been brought up. It seems as if actually immersing ourselves in a culture – truly, truly immersing ourselves in the culture – really is the thing that makes the difference.If you want to see if How To Get To Great Ideas is interesting, take a peek inside with one of my Read-Alongs. Here’s a wee snippet. And there’s more here: #HowToGetToGreatIdeas— Dave Birss (@davebirss) November 8, 2018THE LIKE, COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE GUMFThat’s all I wanted to talk about today. About the importance of travel on the creative mind. If you find this at all useful then please like it, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you like a video. You hit the ‘like’ button. Get a mallet out, smack that key as hard as you can so that maybe it just gives us a few extra likes – like a test your strength machine at a fairground.I’m hoping that’s how it works. Subscribe if you’ve not subscribed. Comment. Tell me is there anything else you think we can learn. Tell me if you disagree with any of this. I want to have a conversation with you, so I’m hoping that you will come back to me with some stuff that I can respond to.I’m off now to run a second day of workshops here in L.A.. This is about helping people think things through. Helping them get realisations that they wouldn’t normally have. And then come up with ideas that are going to be valuable to them. I love that stuff.That’s it for me. I want you to look after yourself. I’m going to try and look after myself here in L.A. before I fly home tonight. It’s a super quick trip! I’m exhausted. So in the meantime, big love to your beautiful brain.Dave Birss is an author, public speaker and consultant who specialises in demystifying creativity and innovation. You can find out more about him at and buy his last book, How To Get To Great Ideas on Amazon.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

Teenager bravely battles cancerTeenager bravely battles cancer

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite On April 15 this year, Zelda went back to Albert Luthuli Hospital, where she is still having tests and receiving treatment. The operation was performed on May 12 this year. The operation started at 7.30am and ended the next morning at 10am.“It was a tough and difficult time for my daughter and myself. I had to hike to Durban just to be with my daughter because I didn’t have transport,” says Zelda’s concerned mom.Doctors had to remove spinal nerves and Zelda struggles to walk after the operation. Zelda’s mother is now waiting anxiously for her to be discharged. They will get feedback on August 31 regarding the success of the operation, and more checkups and tests are yet to be done. The doctors will also let Zelda know whether the cancer is “gone” or not. Teenager Zelda Joubert is in a fight for her life after being diagnosed with cancer last year. This 17-year-old is a mother of a one-year-old boy and found out she had cancer in June 2014.After giving birth to her baby, she had difficulty with her eyesight and decided to see an optometrist. The optometrist picked up that something was wrong and referred her to a specialist in Ladysmith.The doctor requested a CT Scan, which was performed at Ladysmith Provincial Hospital. They immediately referred her to a hospital in Durban, where it was found that she had a malignant tumour.Her mum Maureen Susan Joubert, who was a member of the Weenen Klipriver Commando for 11 years, has stood by her daughter. She regularly accompanies her  when she undergoes treatment.Zelda was admitted to Albert Luthuli Hospital on June 18 last year, where she spent two months. She returned home on August 8 to be with her friends and family.last_img read more

Doctor halts op to answer text message

first_imgWe are still waiting for more information and comment from Ladysmith Provincial Hospital. He was shocked when the female doctor who was stitching him up suddenly stopped halfway through what she was doing to look at her phone and send messages on WhatsApp. To add to the absurdity of the situation, when she got back from sending and receiving messages, she looked around and asked the patient where the needle was she had been using to stitch up the gash in his face. The patient replied that it was still in his head. “Can you imagine, the doctor left the needle in my head and then couldn’t find it again, all because she was on WhatsApp. What if it had been a serious operation, would she still have paused to check out her mobile phone?” A doctor at Ladysmith Provincial Hospital left a patient with a needle in his head while stitching him up to look at her phone and return a WhatsApp message.The male patient was involved in a recent traffic accident. He was treated at the scene by paramedics and then transported to hospital, where he received further treatment. He needed stitches to his head. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsitelast_img read more

No fear for snakes at Hamilton PrepNo fear for snakes at Hamilton

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Hamilton Prep was infiltrated by a number of “slippery, slithery” intruders on Friday morning, including an over-three-metre Boa Constrictor.However, no one was screaming or running for the hills. This is because the scary snakes were under the watchful eye of snake expert Fanie Cilliers, who brought them along as part of an insightful presentation to educate the pupils.Three shows were held at the school, with all grades having an opportunity to speak to Fanie and ask him questions about these mysterious creatures. All the children showed great interest, with each and every child willing to touch and even hold a snake.Adding to the pupils’ excitement, the teachers even agreed to hold the large Boa!last_img read more

Businessman found not guilty after brutal police arrest

first_imgMr Imraan Sader, the owner of RS Butchery, won his case today (Monday) in court after police wrongfully arrested him on September 14 last year.The call came in to SAPS as the theft of a cell-phone and that a security guard had been assaulted. According to Mr Sader, police officers stormed into the building, handcuffed him and dragged him out of his own shop.Mr Sader was arrested and put into a cell to spend the night. He was released the next day on R500 bail. Mr Sader says he should not have been arrested in the first place, as he had done nothing wrong. Police thought he was the one who had assaulted a security guard. “My business sustained losses due to the injuries I sustained and police didn’t even provide any explanation for barging in and hauling me off like that,” he says. The official police response for the arrest was HEREMr Sader is happy that the correct decision was made by the magistrate, and that the ordeal is over for him and his family. He and his wife Sarah thank Attorney Vishnu Moodley for the excellent job he did and for the manner in which he conducted the trial. They say they had total confidence in him from the outset.Attorney Vishnu Moodley is also very pleased with the outcome and that justice has been served. He regrets Mr Sader’s mistreatment at the hands of the police and says they will be proceeding with a hefty civil claim against the SAPS for damages suffered by Mr Sader.The first court appearance was on the very day Mr Sader was released, and the matter was finalised today (March 2). Mr Sader was found not guilty and discharged at the close of the State’s case. He was charged with crimen injuria, resisting arrest and interfering with policemen while conducting their duties.Mr Sader still has handcuff marks on his arms to this day. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

Ladysmith loadshedding starts at 10am

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite You can follow all load-shedding updates on the Ladysmith Gazette  site, or on the Ladysmith Gazette Facebook page.So, basically, if there is a change, including load-shedding being cancelled, you will read about it here first!Full schedule HERE Load-shedding will strike Ladysmith from 10am to 12pm this morning, with Group 1 going down.Group 2 will follow from 12pm to 3pm. Then it will be Group 3’s turn from 3pm to 6pm. Group 1 then have another session from 6pm to 9pm. This is all according to the schedule provided by the municipality.Earlier this morning, power went off in parts of Ladysmith. However, this was not load-shedding and was the result of a transformer tripping.last_img read more

Questions and answers on the European Central Bank

first_imgFRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – The European Central Bank is the monetary authority for the 17 countries that use the euro currency. The eurozone has the world’s second largest economy after the United States, with annual output of (EURO)9.41 trillion, or $11.75 trillion, and a population of 331 million.Here are some questions and answers about the ECB.Q: What are the origins of the ECB?A: The ECB was established by the Treaty on European Union signed on Feb. 7, 1992. The treaty laid the groundwork for the shared euro currency. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths The president and the vice-president then appear at a news conference at 2:30 p.m. CET (8:30 EDT, 13:30 GMT). The president reads a statement and takes questions from journalists.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   Q: What about other important issues, like creating jobs?A: The ECB is supposed to pursue economic growth and job creation, as well. But only if that doesn’t get in the way of its mission to control inflation.That means the ECB has less flexibility than other central banks, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve, which treats inflation control and job creation as equally important missions.Q: Who runs the ECB?A: The ECB is run by a 23-member governing council and a six-member executive board, both chaired by President Mario Draghi.The executive board runs the bank’s operations day-to-day.The governing council is made up of the six executive board members and the 17 heads of the of the eurozone’s national central banks.Q: Why does Europe still have national central banks?A: They execute the monetary policy operations decided by the ECB, such as lending to banks With ECB permission, they can also make emergency loans at their own risk to their banks.Q: How does the council make decisions?A: Meetings are chaired by Draghi. Council members vote and usually seek to make decisions unanimously or by broad consensus.The bank issues its interest rate decision at 1:45 p.m. Central European Time (7:45 EDT, 12:45 GMT) via electronic link to information services used by financial professionals. It holds a simultaneous conference call where the news is given verbally. The information is then reported by the news media. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories center_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates The ECB’s precursor, the European Monetary Institute, started work in 1994 to prepare for the euro. It became the European Central Bank on June 1, 1998, six months ahead of the launch of the currency on Jan. 1, 1999.Q: What is the ECB’s job?A: The ECB issues the euro currency. Only it can authorize printing and circulation of euro banknotes.Its primary economic policy job is keeping inflation under control. The bank aims to keep the inflation rate less than, but close to, 2 percent.The ECB also provides credit to the 7,500 licensed banks and money market funds in the eurozone, should they need it. Banks must put up collateral such as government bonds to get that money.Q: How does the ECB keep prices stable?A: The ECB’s main tool in fighting excessive inflation is interest rates.It can raise or lower its benchmark rate, called the refinancing rate, which is what banks pay to borrow from the ECB. That in turn influences the rate at which banks lend to companies and consumers.Lower rates make it cheaper for people and companies to take out a loan to buy a house or expand a business. That can fuel inflation by increasing demand for goods and services.The ECB can step on the growth gas pedal by lowering rates, and it can hit the brakes on inflation by raising rates. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Mexican mayorelect shot to death

first_imgMEXICO CITY (AP) – Police say gunmen have shot down the mayor-elect of a town in San Luis Potosi state and a campaign adviser while they were riding in a vehicle with another person.The local public safety secretary says Matehuala Mayor-elect Edgar Morales Perez and aide Francisco Hernandez Colunga were returning from a birthday party when they were ambushed early Sunday in the town. Hernandez Colunga’s wife was also in the car but survived the attack. The assailants remain at large. Morales Perez had belonged to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which regained the country’s presidency last month. He was scheduled to take office in September. The National Action Party had governed Matehuala for years before his electoral win.A car filled with 14 corpses was found Thursday by a gas station along a highway in San Luis Potosi state.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself up More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Four benefits of having a wireless security system Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Top Stories last_img read more

Serbs pray for rain amid raging fires

first_img Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Emergency measures have been introduced in parts of central Serbia as two Russian firefighting planes try to extinguish blazes that have destroyed hundreds of acres of forests and threatened some villages.Serbia’s government, which called the Russians for help and deployed army troops to fight the fires, held an emergency session Sunday to deal with the disaster.Weather forecasters predict showers for Serbia overnight.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments   Share   5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – Several hundred people have answered a call by a Serbian Orthodox church bishop to pray for rain as fires rage in the Balkan country, and forecasts indicate their prayers may be answered.The church prayers in the town of Valjevo in central Serbia were held Sunday after months of record-setting temperatures and unprecedented drought that has triggered fires, destroyed crops and dried out rivers. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more