The Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh, has reaffirmed government’s commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the wake of United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) drawdown by next year, adding, “We are ready to take over the mantle of the security sector as UNMIL operations come to an end by June, 2016.”Minister Sannoh made the statement recently at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism regular press briefing, held in Monrovia.He said as part of government’s preparations, the security sector is being stepped up through the institution of some “relatively independent and vibrant” activities.He meanwhile frowned on those who over the past months have harbored the sentiment that the departure of UNMIL will leave a security vacuum in the country, believing that the government will not secure peace and stability in the absence of international peacekeepers.“This thinking on the parts of some the citizens,’’ he said, “is unfortunate and can be characterized as perceptions and speculations.’’ He spoke of his own disappointment in some Liberians, especially those in positions of influence that have also joined people with the sentiments that the country lacks the capacity to maintain its own national peace and security.According to Minister Sannoh, maintaining Liberia’s stability is now the responsibility of every citizen, and not the exclusive domain of the police and security forces. “If Liberians want peace and stability, they can have it. The achievement of national security goals does not rest exclusively on the police, the immigration, and the drug enforcement agency that provide physical security or on members of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) that provides military security. It rests on all of us as a people, a community, leaders, and not only in the Executive, but also in the Legislature and in the Judiciary,’’ he said.Cllr. Sannoh used the occasion and reaffirmed Liberia’s potential to maintain internal peace and security when UNMIL leaves the country’s security sector by June next year. He, however, admitted that the country is faced with threats such as local, national, regional and global security concerns which pose internal threat to the country’s security.Amongst the internal threats, the Justice Minister named existing land disputes, ethnic divisions, pervasive poverty, and high levels of unemployment, exacerbated by the legacies of civil wars, as factors that make the country vulnerable to internal conflicts. These security concerns, Minister Sannoh said, were further exacerbated by the Ebola virus crisis.Apart of the Ebola threat, he named threats, including terrorism and transnational organized crime, “because the West African region has increasingly become the route for illicit drug transshipment from Latin America and Asia to major western countries.”“As you are quite aware, drug trafficking brings with it the threats of drug cartel related corruption, violence and instability as witnessed elsewhere in the world. The continuous flow of small arms and light weapons in the sub region also pose a threat to the security of Liberia,” he said.For his part, UNMIL Deputy SRSG for Rule of Law, Waldemar Very, said Liberia’s job, with support from UNMIL and partners, is to deliver on the priorities, in the days ahead, for UNMIL’s departure. “This will require sustained commitment until the finish line. And the good news is that government, at the highest levels and across ministries, is fully committed to the comprehensive security transition plan.’’ The plan, he said, is closely aligned with the phased drawdown of UNMIL. But the government’s transition plan covers far more than the transfer of residual tasks still performed by the Mission. More importantly for the long term stability of Liberia, the plan addresses remaining security sector needs and establishes the foundations for a professional and accountable security sector that is responsive to the communities it serves. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Tá stampa éisithe ag An Post chun comóradh a dhéanamh ar Bhrian Ó Nualláin nó Flann O’Brien nó Myles na gCopaleen.Rugadh an t-údar agus iriseoir ar an tSrath Bán, i dTír Eoghain, ar an 5 Deireadh Fómhair na bliana 1911. Chaith sé a lán ama sa Ghaeltacht Thír Chonaill, go háirithe, sna Rosa agus d’fill sé go minic go dtí Tír Chonaill agus é ag obair i mBaile Átha Cliath san am sin.Bhí clú agus cáil air mar aorthaoir agus scríobh sé faoin am cleite Flann O’Brien ná At Swim-Two-birds agus The Third Policeman. Scríobh sé leabhar amháin sa Ghaeilge, An Béal Bocht. Ba é a dheárthair Micheál a tharraing an portráid de Bhriain atá ar an stampa (55c) atá éisithe ag An Post agus tá sé ar fáil ó irishstamps.ie. Chuir tús lena cholún grinn “An Crúiscín Lán” san Irish Times i 1940 faoin leasainm Myles na gCopaleen.Lena chois sin, scríobh sé i mBearla chomh maith agus bhí colún seachtainiúil aige go dtí go bhfuair sé bás i 1966. Bhí sé 56 bliana d’aois.Ag deireadh na seactaine, nochtadh plaic chuimhneacháin ar an theach a rugadh sé ag Bowling Green i Srath Bán leis an Ulster History Circle. COMÓRADH 100 BLIAIN Ó RUGADH BRIAN Ó NUALLÁIN was last modified: October 5th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Bhrian Ó Nualláin nó Flann O’Brien nó Myles na gCopaleen.
VAL VERDE – The head of the local civic association is urging the community to look inward in tackling land-use issues facing this semi-rural canyon community, rather than work through the Castaic Area Town Council. Jim Stephens, president of the Val Verde Civic Association, said the town council, a 10-member elected panel that advises Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich on local issues, has failed to look out for Val Verde. “The Castaic Area Town Council does not and has not represented the strategic key issues affecting Val Verde,” Stephens said. Val Verde, a town of about 1,500 in the canyons west of Interstate 5 and Castaic, is assigned two seats – currently filled by Patti Gustafsson and Bruce Van Wetter – on the council. But Stephens was upset by last month’s town council Land Use Committee decision to push forward Park City, Utah,-based Sterling Gateway’s Green Valley Ranch project. Developer Hunt Williams has proposed 254 homes on 109 acres north and east of Val Verde. The plan is up for consideration by the full town council. Opponents insist the project is too big and would cut down the community’s surrounding ridges. They prefer a smaller development of 50 to 125 homes. Current zoning regulations allow 217 houses on the property. “You can’t really take away (Williams’) right to do what he wants,” Kunak said. “He seems to be listening to the views of the majority of the people to try to do things to satisfy them. “Until it comes before the entire the council for our review, we need to continue to get information to make the decision the community wants.” Stephens said the local civic association has just as much clout to take on this, and other issues, as the town council. He cited other local forums, including churches and the various community districts formed to monitor the landfill. Chiquita Canyon’s owners have proposed increasing the 257-acre working area 355 acres. “We could do anything we want,” Stephens said. “(The town council has) nothing over us; they have no influence. They are not related to any political authority. “I’m not claiming any more power for VVCA or more power for them. I am only claiming this community has the ability and certain venues in which to articulate its interest, and it does not center on the CACC.” Kunak said Val Verde’s representatives are held with regard within the council. “I feel that the full council gives some degree of deference to the two representatives from each region,” Kunak said. “If they have an issue, the council will listen to their views. We look to them to provide the information.” Neither the town council nor civic association have actual legislative powers. Final decisions on land use rests with the county Board of Supervisors. Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell said the supervisor is open to community input, regardless of the forum. “Supervisor Antonovich ensures that Val Verde has a voice on the issues of concern, regardless of which town council and committee they associate with,” he said. “We’re there to assist them in whatever way, but it’s their decision.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Facing the community is the proposed expansion of nearby Chiquita Canyon Landfill, plus a proposed 254-home subdivision. These issues weigh heavily on this bucolic retreat, which has few sidewalks and no sewer service. Castaic Town Council President John Kunak said the council remains effective in representing the region’s interests to Antonovich, whose 5th district includes Castaic and Val Verde. The panel, under pressure from angry residents, helped convince Antonovich to retract a county proposal to stage a temporary homeless shelter at the Pitchess Detention Center this winter. The shelter instead is scheduled to open Dec. 23 in a county-owned equipment yard in the city of Santa Clarita. “I think (the supervisor) listens very, very closely and give our opinions a great weight,” Kunak said. “We’re there to represent our region. If a region doesn’t want representation, I don’t know how they’re going to get it.”
Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.SAN FRANCISCO — When Bruce Bochy rides off into the sunset this offseason, he won’t be doing it in a brand new SUV.The Giants planned to give one lucky fan at Sunday’s season finale a Toyota Rav4 to wrap up Fan Appreciation Day.Neither Bochy nor any of the Giants fans in attendance to support him on Sunday won the giveaway contest. As if the Dodgers’ ride to the postseason couldn’t get any smoother, the …
SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Financial services group Old Mutual’s investment arm has raised R9-billion for its innovative Housing Impact Fund for South Africa, which aims to help South Africans earning less than R15 000 a month to meet their housing needs. Addressing housing challenge “We are very excited by the progress made to date and future plans for the Fund, all of which have been made possible by both our investment and development partners spanning the public and private sectors,” added Kisten. “Such sustainable partnerships have a key role to play in South Africa’s successful development, helping to overcome the economic and social challenges we still face.” It helps fill a serious gap in the market between government-provided housing and those who have access to bank finance to purchase their own homes. Several dozen projects under way The Fund, one of the largest of its kind ever raised in South Africa, finances the construction of “affordable” homes for sale and rent, as well as providing housing loans and rental accommodation for families and students. “We are thrilled to be partnering with like-minded, socially conscious investors – the Public Investment Corporation, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company of SA, the Development Bank of Southern Africa and Eskom – to help ease the backlog of some 650 000 housing units in the affordable sector. Kisten said that the unique partnerships with developers through special purpose vehicles ensure that Old Mutual maximises the direct profit participation potential, and also mitigates direct corporate risk. It is managed by Christine Glover, an experienced low-income housing sector specialist and head of Development Impact Funds at Alternative Investments, who also manages the Financial Sector Charter Fund and other funds dedicated to making a positive impact on the country’s social and economic development. “Although much remains to be done to further improve general living conditions around the country, we believe we have established a successful model for housing investment in underdeveloped areas, as well as financing solutions for end-users, which have previously been neglected by institutional investors due to the high level of risk in this industry.” The Fund and its partners already have several dozen projects under way involving the construction or development of some 70 000 affordable housing units, with the ultimate target of building approximately 120 000 units in total over the life of the Fund. Announcing the closure of the Fund last week, Rojie Kisten, head of capital raising at Old Mutual Investment Group South Africa, said: “The Housing Impact Fund has been [the group’s] response to the government’s call on the private sector to assist in finding lasting solutions to the housing challenge in the country. 13 July 2011
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Working with Secondaries and Selective SelectionsSmoke’s Color Warper provides a powerful set of secondary color correction tools:1. Under the Work On menu, choose one of the 3 Selectives – SEL1, SEL2, SEL3[Click for larger image]2. You will see that your image changes to monochrome B&W.3. Move to the Secondaries menu and activate the selective 1, 2, or 3. The blue LED will light. 4. Click Pick Custom or choose a color range or RGBCMYw channel.5. If you choose Pick Custom, sample the colors you would like to isolate and work on in your image.6. You will see the color revel in the black & white image.[Click for larger image]7. Return to the Work On menu and under the VIEW choose MATTE from the pop-up button. Your matte will be revealed which will match your selection. With the Color Warper, white in your matte is protected and the black areas are parts that become affected.[Click for larger image]8. You can continue to click and sample in the view to clean up and refine the matte. But with color correction and grading, the mattes don’t have to be perfect.9. You will see a representation of the key in the Diamond Keyer. You can zoom in to the selection and manually move the points of the softness diamond which will also adjust and refine the key selection. 10. Once you are happy with your key, return to the Work On Menu and under View, choose Result. Your image should return to full color and look unchanged.11. Now adjust any of the color parameters to achieve the look and grade you want. 7. Press F4 to view the result (feel free to switch back to 1-Up view). 8. Adjust the midtone trackball to move the plot color (RED) towards the reference color (Yellow). 9. When the dots are lined up in the vectorscope the colors are matched between the 2 shots.[Click for larger image] 2. Click in the SRC selector and choose a part of the image that you would expect to neutral.3. You will see the selected color highlighted in the vectorscope.[Click for larger image]4. Adjust the Suppress trackball away from the color, which will move the selection color towards the center of the vectorscope.How to Manually Match colors from Back Clip to Front/Result Clip: 1. Press F1 to view the Front Clip (or use the 2-up view with Back & Front as illustrated)[Click for larger image]2. Click Plot and select a color that you want to change on your Front clip.3. You will see the selected color in the histogram and vectorscope in RED.4. Press F3 to view the Back Clip5. Click REF and select a color that you want to be the match reference.6. You will see the selected color in the histogram and vectorscope in YELLOW. 12. When you are done, you can then perform a 2nd and 3rd secondary selection within this same Color Warper node.13. Under the Work On menu, switch between your various selections for adjustments and to the Master section for an overall color adjustment.[Click for larger image]One feature lacking in the Color Warper is the exclusion of tracking and masking for the secondary selections. It was explained in the Color Corrector how to work with masks, but the mask does only work on the image overall, not within the secondary selection. For instance, if you want to change a red element in the shot with a secondary, it will change everything in the image with that color red. You are somewhat limited when you need masking. Even though you can mask and track that mask to isolate part of the image (and then use a secondary to adjust the color) you need to use another Color Warper node on the output if you need to perform other secondaries, or more masking and tracking.The Color Warper can perform some advanced corrections and grading on a shot by shot basis. But grading more than just a handful of shots, with masking and tracking, would become more than tedious.Under the Subsetups menu you can store and retrieve 10 color looks. These looks are presets that you can create (a nice way to keep color grading consistency between shots and save time).[Click for larger image] When you plot a color sample you will see it appear highlighted in the vectorscope. CTL+Drag to rotate the cube, SHIFT+Drag to scale it, and ALT+Drag to move the scope.How to Cancel Out a Color in a Single ImageHere’s a handy track for removing a color cast or suppressing a color in your Smoke project:1. Select Plot and then sample the part of the image that you would expect to be neutral.2. You will see the polt sample appear as a color in the 2D vectorscope with a RED ring around it. You will also see the color plotted in the histogram with a RED line.[Click for larger image]3. Adjust the Midtones trackball away from the color cast. You will see the dot in the vectorscope move towards the center.4. Keep adjusting the trackball until the dot reaches the center point. The color cast is now gone and the image is normal.[Click for larger image]NOTE: You can turn off both the Source and Destination buttons in the histogram and it will isolate just the plot color in the vectorscope so that you can see the position more clearly.As with many things in Smoke there are multiple ways to get the result you want. You can also use the SUPPRESS option in Smoke to also normalize a shot.1. Select Suppress from the menu pop-up. We dive deeper and deeper into the effects nodes inside ConnectFX on Autodesk Smoke. In this post, learn how to match color & do secondary color correction using the Color Warper.Smoke’s Color Warper:In a previous post, we looked at the original Color Correct Node, which is fine for doing primary color correction and grading work. However, the Color Warper is THE color node to perform complex color correction or artistic color grading on your clips inside Autodesk Smoke.The Color Warper node allows you to perform both primary and secondary color correction. It contains the same Front/Back/Matte inputs as the Color Correct Node, and all of the same basic workflows regarding referencing colors from one clip to another work in the Color Warper as well. But what makes the Color Warper the better choice to use in your ConnectFX workflow are the 3 way color wheels, the use of secondaries, the 2D and 3D vectorscopes in the viewer, and the saving of subsetups. With these tools the Color Warper is better at matching and balancing colors.The complexity of your color needs will determine whether you choose the Color Correct Node or the Color Warper. If you are unsure how deep you want to go, it’s always best to just jump right in to the Color Warper as all of the tools you need are there, from basic to advanced.The Smoke ‘Color Warper’ Interface[Click for larger image]In Smoke’s Color Warper there are 3 trackballs which operate like the color wheels in many other 3-way color tools or plugins you may be familiar with. The trackballs control the hue of the Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights of an image without affect the luminance. With the Histogram, you can adjust the range controlled by the Midtones. Therefore, when you adjust the Midtone trackball, it will pop back to 0 after the adjustment is made.The Black and White level sliders control the intensity of the Shadows and Highlights. The Hue and Saturation work like the do in the Color Correct node.The Gamma controls for RGB will affect the midtones. When you adjust the sliders the curves display will reflect the changes. To adjust all RGB together, CTL+ALT while dragging the sliders.The Match tools, allow you to select, sample, and plot colors which will show up in the Vectorscope to assit you in matching colors.This button allows you to select the 4 separate operations of Gamma, Saturate, Suppress, and Warp. The trackball underneath then makes the adjustment.The 2D histogram returns, and when the Gamma option is selected this area switches to the Curves Display. The Histogram and Curves perform like they do in Color Corrector.This area is for working with the Secondary Selectives. There are only 3 selective adjustments available with each Color Warper node, but you can stack them, by feeding the output of one CW node into another. You can pick a custom color selection in our image or choose a range of tones – Shadows, Midtones, or Highlights, as well as RGBCMYw channels.When you pick a selective color operation, a matte is generated to isolate that color in the image for color adjustment. The creation of a matte, means that a key operation was performed. The keyer inside the Color Warper is known as the Diamond Keyer. When a key is made, you will see 2 diamonds appear in the Color Cube. The inner gray diamond, can be used to refine the Tolerance of the key, and the outer black diamond can be adjusted to adjust the Softness. The selective controls also allow you to blur the matte.The Vectorscope and be changed from the traditional 2D view to a 3D Color Cube by double clicking the scope.[Click for larger image] There are some great looks you can download from the Autodesk Community Site, The-Area. These Color Subsetups are also explained in this episode of Smoke Signals (the Autodesk Smoke videocast).Are you color grading with Smoke? Got color correction tips to share?Leave us feedback in the comments!
It’s time to ditch the 3D glasses. MIT is here to change the way we go to the movies.Top image via Christine Daniloff/MITOnly weeks ago we mentioned that MIT was going to change SFX and sound design forever with their computerized sound design. While that could eventually change the whole world of post-production, their latest announcement ahead of SIGGRAPH will impact audiences in the not-too-distant future.The MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has released a new paper (alongside Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science) demonstrating a 3D display that allows audiences to watch 3D films without 3D glasses. As a daily wearer of eyeglasses, it almost brings me to tears that I may soon be able to watch a 3D movie in theaters. Now I won’t have to strain my eyes to look through the one tiny part where my glasses and the 3D glasses line up. Dubbed Cinema 3D, this new prototype uses a special array of lenses and mirrors to create a 3D image. The most astonishing feat — it doesn’t matter where an audience member is sitting in the theater. The 3D experience is available at every seat.“Existing approaches to glasses-free 3-D require screens whose resolution requirements are so enormous that they are completely impractical… This is the first technical approach that allows for glasses-free 3-D on a large scale.” – MIT professor Wojciech MatusikResearchers admit that the system is not ready for mass production, but they are optimistic that future developments will lead to theaters offering a glasses-free 3D experience. Glasses-free 3D does already exist on a much smaller scale, particularly in traditional televisions use of a parallax barrier — “slits in front of the screen that allows each eye to see a different set of pixels, creating a simulated sense of depth.”The downside is that parallax barriers require viewers to be a certain distance from the screen, which obviously wouldn’t work in theaters.Image via ShutterstockCinema 3D encodes multiple parallax barriers in one display, so each viewer sees a parallax barrier tailored to their specific seat. That is then replicated across the theater using Cinema 3D’s mirrors and lens special optics system.The MIT Media Lab is also involved in creating new projectors that cover the entire angular range of the audience, but the resolution of the projected image is much lower.The key insight with Cinema 3D is that people in movie theaters move their heads only over a very small range of angles, limited by the width of their seat. Thus, it is enough to display images to a narrow range of angles and replicate that to all seats in the theater.The Cinema 3D system isn’t practical at this moment, as the prototype required fifty sets of mirrors and lenses. Professor Matusik says that the team hopes to build a larger version of the display to refine the optics and improve the image resolution.It remains to be seen whether the approach is financially feasible enough to scale up to a full-blown theater… But we are optimistic that this is an important next step in developing glasses-free 3-D for large spaces like movie theaters and auditoriums. — MatusikRead more about the 3D tech here.
By Kushan Sarkar New Delhi, Sep 9 (PTI) Virat Kohli was the next big thing in Indian cricket when he was in-charge of the national team and Gary Kirsten is not surprised at the big strides that the Delhi lad has made at the international level both as a player and a leader. “Virat has been a great captain for India. His talent was always unquestionable. He has led by example with his on-field performances. His leadership at the Test level has worked really well for the national team. The best part about Virat is that he looks so inspirational as a leader in the manner he walks in the field,” Kirsten, who has come to Jaipur to help the Rajasthan Cricket Academy with his expertise, told PTI during an interaction. The entire tenure of Kirstens coaching was when Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the leader in all three formats but the South African opener does not want to get into comparisons on the leadership qualities. “Dhoni is a very good captain. I had thoroughly enjoyed working with Dhoni during my tenure as India coach. But since I have not watched the Indian team play all formats on a consistent basis, it will not be fair on me to compare Virat and Dhonis consistency levels,” Kirsten was cautious. Asked about ICC scrapping the two-tier Test format proposal, the 48-year-old veteran of 101 Tests said: “I am fine either way as long as there is high quality Test cricket. I dont think it would be monotonous if some of the top nations play each other on a regular basis. But whatever is best should be done.” On the sensitive subject of having quota for coloured and black athletes in the national sporting teams of South Africa, Kirsten was pleasantly forthcoming. “I completely support the inclusive policy in national sporting teams. It gives equal opportunity and is truly representative of the values our great nation (South Africa) stands for. It is a bold step in a forward direction. It is a step that addresses the imbalances of past,” Kirsten made his point of view clear. He termed it as a strong move. “It is a strong move something that was needed since it has been 25 years (the cricket team was back in international fold in 1991) since post apartheid era and the integration is more necessary than ever. Whoever is a part of South African society should be able to embrace the decision as a citizen of this country. It is a great decision and it has taken 40 years to reach here,” said Kirsten. On a personal front, Kirsten is pleased with the facilities at the Rajasthan Cricket Academy which has got into a tie-up with his high-performance academy. “It is wonderful to work with the Rajasthan Cricket Academy. I am here on a business venture. My high performance academy will be helping the talented Gen-Next cricketers of Rajasthan get a taste of quality modern day coaching which look at the technical as well as the mental aspect of their game. They will learn qualities of strategic planning, reacting to match situations,” concluded Kirsten. PTI KHS AT ATadvertisement