Biphoo https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews Sat, 23 Sep 2017 13:06:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Just 2.5 hours of activity per week can be beneficial — even doing household chores https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/home-garden/just-2-5-hours-of-activity-per-week-can-be-beneficial-even-doing-household-chores.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/home-garden/just-2-5-hours-of-activity-per-week-can-be-beneficial-even-doing-household-chores.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 12:11:28 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44276 Just 2.5 hours of activity per week can be beneficial — even doing household chores Just 2.5 hours of activity per week can be beneficial — even doing household chores :- According to a recent study published in The Lancet, 2.5 hours of physical activity per week — and researchers say this can include any […]

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Just 2.5 hours of activity per week can be beneficial — even doing household chores

Just 2.5 hours of activity per week can be beneficial — even doing household chores :- According to a recent study published in The Lancet, 2.5 hours of physical activity per week — and researchers say this can include any type of activity — can reduce the risk of death by 28 per cent. The study notes your risk of heart disease also can drop by 20 per cent.

“Being physically active doesn’t have to be complicated,” says Vancouver-based study author Dr. Scott Lear. “Going to the gym, going for a run or going swimming are all fantastic, but that doesn’t need to be the only way you get activity.”

Lear and his team looked at more than 130,000 people in 17 countries with different income levels. For some countries, he adds, being active was part of their day-to-day job and recreational activity (going to the gym, for example) wasn’t an option.

Countries in the study included Canada, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Poland, Turkey, Malaysia, South Africa, China, Colombia, Iran, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.

“Within these communities, we invited individuals aged between 35 and 70 years who intended to live at their current address for at least another four years. Total physical activity was assessed using [a questionnaire],” authors wrote.

Authors noted both recreational and non-recreational physical activity were associated with benefits, and the more activity you did, the lower your risk of heart disease and death were overall.

“Previous studies are focused on high-income countries and jobs where you sit all day. We have to go out in our free time to be active,” he says.

The generation that sits

And while there are many jobs in Canada that require being active on the job, Lear notes the majority of people are still sedentary.

About 100 years ago, he adds, people didn’t have to go to gyms to stay active or fit, and with a generation that sits, it’s even more important to look at how active you are before work, during work and commuting home.

“LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) activity is going to provide you with aerobic benefits, as stated in the study, which might include moderate [to] intensive housework, walking or a leisurely bike ride,” she tells Global News. “But these will not help you build lean muscle which we know is important as we age.”

The case for chores as exercise

And with a focus on household chores, keep in mind how much it actually works you out, Thebe says.

“You aren’t going to get very fit by simply pressing a button on the washing machine, but any housework that you do which requires lots of movement in every direction will get your heart pumping and count as aerobic activity.”

She adds unless you are doing two to three hours of housework every day, you shouldn’t be relying on it as your only activity.

Source :- https://globalnews.ca/news/3763411/chores-as-exercise/

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Immigration Officers Won’t Get Guest Lists Anymore, Motel 6 Says https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/immigration-officers-wont-get-guest-lists-anymore-motel-6-says.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/immigration-officers-wont-get-guest-lists-anymore-motel-6-says.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:59:30 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44273 Immigration Officers Won’t Get Guest Lists Anymore, Motel 6 Says Immigration Officers Won’t Get Guest Lists Anymore, Motel 6 Says:-Motel 6, one of the largest hotel chains in the United States, has introduced a policy forbidding its locations from sharing information on its guests with law enforcement unless they are compelled to. The policy comes […]

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Immigration Officers Won’t Get Guest Lists Anymore, Motel 6 Says

Immigration Officers Won’t Get Guest Lists Anymore, Motel 6 Says:-Motel 6, one of the largest hotel chains in the United States, has introduced a policy forbidding its locations from sharing information on its guests with law enforcement unless they are compelled to.

The policy comes in the wake of the revelation last week that employees at some Motel 6 locations in the Phoenix area regularly handed over information on hotel guests to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, prompting some to be detained and deported.

Locations will give guest lists to the authorities only if it is compulsory, said Raiza Rehkoff, a spokeswoman for G6 Hospitality, the Texas-based parent company of Motel 6. She cited subpoenas, warrants and imminent threats to public safety as exceptions to the rule.

It is not illegal for hotels to turn over guest information but the expectation of privacy by guests is standard across the industry, according to Rosanna Maietta, the senior vice president of communications and public relations for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the national association representing all segments of the lodging industry, who said that no guest information should be turned over unless law enforcement requires it. But hotel brands aren’t consistent in expressing their policies.

Hilton, which includes Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Hampton, said that its policy is to not share information with law enforcement unless compelled to, but InterContinental Hotels Group, which includes Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, would only say that it abides by all laws, including privacy laws.

The announcement by Motel 6 is the second attempt by the company to address the issue. Though G6 released a statement last week apologizing for the practice and said that senior management had not approved it, human rights groups, lawyers, comedians and the general public took to social media to express their outrage.

The Houston-based accident lawyer Rogelio Garcia was among those on Twitter who played off the brand’s tag line, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”

On both Facebook and Twitter, the American Liberties Civil Union asked readers to reach out to the group if they are aware of this practice happening again at Motel 6 or elsewhere. The group’s Sept. 15 Facebook post read, “If you hear of Motel 6 or any other businesses reporting guests to ICE, please contact your ACLU affiliate.”

This new policy may have come too late to contain damage to the brand. There is already a dip in interest in the hotel, according to the data from the Conversion Wizards, a web analytics and consulting company based in Bellevue, Wash. Visitors to Motel 6’s site are down after a temporary spike when The Phoenix New Times first reported the incident on Sept. 13.

New policies and expressing concern doesn’t cut it when it comes to restoring positive brand image, said Pam Moore, the co-founder of the social media training and consulting company Marketing Nutz. “The negative chatter on social media is definitely hurting the perception of the brand, especially because what happened is such a human issue,” she said.

Rummy Pandit, the executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University in New Jersey, thinks that the company’s business could take a hit. “I think customers are going to be hesitant to stay at a Motel 6 because they’ll have concerns about their privacy being violated,” he said.

While what happened in some Phoenix-area Motel 6 locations has riled the public and human rights groups such as the A.C.L.U., the hotel staff who handed over the guest information to ICE were not acting illegally, said Andrew J. Maloney, a lawyer at the New York City law firm Kreindler & Kreindler who specializes in hospitality law.

“There is nothing illegal about a hotel giving out information to law enforcement about its guests, including who is staying there and what they are doing,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s illegal for police to require the hotel for that information without a warrant.”

Source:-https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/travel/motel6-immigration-privacy-hotels.html

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9-year-old Girl Scout honored for saving mom from overturned car https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/9-year-old-girl-scout-honored-for-saving-mom-from-overturned-car.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/9-year-old-girl-scout-honored-for-saving-mom-from-overturned-car.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:53:02 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44265 9-year-old Girl Scout honored for saving mom from overturned car 9-year-old Girl Scout honored for saving mom from overturned car :- Last April Melina Lakey was riding home from a movie with her parents when their SUV clipped a drainage ditch and rolled over six times, landing on its roof. The 9-year-old was pulled to […]

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9-year-old Girl Scout honored for saving mom from overturned car

9-year-old Girl Scout honored for saving mom from overturned car :- Last April Melina Lakey was riding home from a movie with her parents when their SUV clipped a drainage ditch and rolled over six times, landing on its roof.

The 9-year-old was pulled to safety by her dad, Jeff Lakey, who was driving. When Melina saw that her mom, Ashley McCollum-Lakey, was stuck in the passenger seat, she ran back to help.

“When the airbags deploy you can’t see any of the doors, so she lifted them up so I could find my way out,” McCollum-Lakey told ABC News. “She said, ‘Mommy I’m right here. Come to me.’”

She continued, “She lifted up five impact airbags to get me out, through glass and debris.”

Melina, a Girl Scout from Pendleton, Indiana, was honored Thursday for her heroism by the Girl Scouts of the USA.

She received the Medal of Honor, one of two Lifesaving Awards given by the Girl Scouts for “saving life or attempting to save life without risk to the candidate’s own life.”

The Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, the 45-county council that represents Melina’s troop, has awarded only one other Lifesaving Award in the past decade, according to a council spokeswoman.

“It felt really good,” Melina, a fourth grader who has been a Girl Scout for the past five years, told ABC News. “It felt like everybody cared.”

Melina, who was 8 at the time of the accident, took control after rescuing her mom by calling 911 on her parents’ cellphone. She and her mom, who is her troop leader, had spent that April day at a local fire department with fellow Girl Scouts learning first aid skills and what to do in an emergency.

“They said that if you’re ever in a big accident, always call 911,” Melina said.

She added, “Even though you think [an accident] is not going to happen to you, it still will. They taught me everything I needed.”

Melina and her dad escaped the accident with no injuries. McCollum-Lakey suffered a shoulder injury and some bruising but credits her daughter with saving her life.

“Melina didn’t think twice,” she said. “She knew there was glass and debris and she just wanted to make sure that she knew mommy and daddy were OK.”

Melina, whose favorite Girl Scout activity is hiking, also received a congratulatory letter from Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo.

“Your extraordinary courage, incredible confidence, and your willingness to take decisive action in the midst of an emergency has not only saved a life, but also serves as a shining example for Girl Scouts everywhere of fortitude and dedication,” the letter read in part. “Your heroism and sound judgment have earned you a place in the pantheon of heroes who have come before you, and left an indelible mark on the Girl Scouts.”

Source :- http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/year-girl-scout-honored-saving-mom-overturned-car/story?id=50001959

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In Los Angeles, Hotel Hipness Makes a Grand Return https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/los-angeles-hotel-hipness-makes-grand-return.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/los-angeles-hotel-hipness-makes-grand-return.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:50:27 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44262 In Los Angeles, Hotel Hipness Makes a Grand Return In Los Angeles, Hotel Hipness Makes a Grand Return:-“It must have been marvelous when the century was young,” Eve Babitz wrote of the Garden of Allah hotel in 1977. By the time Ms. Babitz — whose frothy, witty, cutting books about Los Angeles have gained a […]

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In Los Angeles, Hotel Hipness Makes a Grand Return

In Los Angeles, Hotel Hipness Makes a Grand Return:-“It must have been marvelous when the century was young,” Eve Babitz wrote of the Garden of Allah hotel in 1977. By the time Ms. Babitz — whose frothy, witty, cutting books about Los Angeles have gained a new cult following since being recently reissued — was writing about the famed Hollywood hotel, it had already been demolished, bulldozed in 1959 to make way for the Lytton Savings bank. Then the bank was demolished to make way for a shopping center on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Laurel Avenue.

It, too, may soon be taken down so that Frank Gehry can lay the foundations for a sprawling glass-and-metal mini-village, the plans of which include two residential towers, a shopping center and communal green space. Mr. Gehry has said that he kept the spirit of the original Garden of Allah in mind when designing the project. As he told Architectural Digest: “I wanted to capture the feeling of that place, which was vibrant and memorable.”

Los Angeles often has a short memory when it comes to preserving historical sites, but there is a persistent sense of romance that swirls around its hotels, even those that no longer exist. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Los Angeles began as a transient industry town — actors, writers and filmmakers would pass through and do long stints at hotels while on seasonal studio contracts. Those temporary lodgings often became roiling social clubs, and the Garden of Allah was a prime example.

The stories about the hotel — which was first acquired as a private home for the celebrated Crimean actress Alla Nazimova in 1919 and then converted into artists’ bungalows where the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker toiled on screenplays in the 1930s — have become almost mythological. The oval pool, which Nazimova had made in the shape of the Black Sea, became a watering hole for Los Angeles’ bohemian intelligentsia. On a given day you might spot Eartha Kitt sunbathing, or Errol Flynn splashing someone for sport, or Marlene Dietrich sidling up to the bar in a suit — all mingling alongside the city’s striving young creative class. As the gossip columnist — and Garden regular — Sheilah Graham wrote in 1970, the hotel, “for one brief moment, was Camelot.”

While many of the classic hotel boîtes of Hollywood from the Garden’s era have remained intact — the Hollywood Roosevelt, the Chateau Marmont, the Beverly Hills Hotel — they have calcified over time, becoming ivy-covered institutions where industry types meet to do deals over $34 steak frites and celebrities hide away in dark corners.

But elements of the once-lost glittering age are re-emerging, thanks to a new breed of hotels, complete with public pools, pillowed banquettes, outdoor movie nights and gaggles of fashionable locals who have turned these transitory spaces into permanent hot spots. (The newfound ease of transit — and therefore imbibing — offered by ride-share apps has helped.) Here are three that I visited during a whirlwind trip in late spring — when the weather is always 75 degrees and the air smells of night-blooming jasmine, carnitas and salt — and what they offer both stalwart locals and itinerant West Coast explorers.

Mama Shelter, Hollywood

When the French hotelier Benjamin Trigano — whose father, Serge, founded Club Med — decided to open an American outpost of his casual-chic boutique chain Mama Shelter, which has been a hit in Paris, Marseilles and Rio de Janeiro, he knew right away that he wanted to open one in Los Angeles. “L.A. obviously has a great history of hotel culture,” he said. “But the Chateau Marmont and Sunset Tower are more formal, and you don’t really get a mixed crowd, which to us is very sexy. We love a motley crew, where you don’t have to be a celebrity or have a lot of money to mingle.”

Mr. Trigano wanted the L.A. branch of Mama’s (as the staff calls it) to feel like a kitschy, but upscale rec room, complete with a colorful chalkboard ceiling covered in saturated, surreal art from the local painters Alex Becerra, Alex Ruthner and Pearl Hsiung. The lobby also features a lending library stocked with trashy — but essential — Los Angeles reads, like tell-all biographies of Elizabeth Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock. A row of coin-operated gumball machines line one white brick wall.

When I visited Mama’s on a sweltering spring night, the high-low social mix Mr. Trigano aimed for was in full effect. On the rooftop, which sits six stories above gritty Selma Avenue, blocks away from Graumann’s Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I found a group of young actresses playing foosball and drinking vodka and sodas — one had just gotten her big break as a lead on the now-cancelled MTV comedy “Sweet & Vicious” — next to a cluster of bespectacled friends settling into a mountain of cushy beanbags to watch “The Hangover Part II” projected onto a floating screen.

Rainbow-colored tables circle a large, rustic wooden bar, which specializes in Moscow Mules and features a 360-degree view of the Hollywood Hills. At the bar, I met Joey Zimara, 53, who until recently ran a business supplying Los Angeles restaurants with Jamaican spices. He told me that he visits hotel rooftops at least twice a week, rotating between Mama Shelter, the glitzy W, and the rooftop Highlight Room bar at the brand new Hollywood Dream Hotel, where celebrities like Jessica Alba and Alessandra Ambrosio can often be seen lounging in the private pool cabanas. “I like being on top of the world,” he said, gesturing out over the glowing sea of slow traffic snaking down Hollywood Boulevard. “I always sit at the bar, and you can meet people from everywhere. You never meet the same person twice.”

Because the roof features free Wi-Fi and is open to nonguests, many Angelenos come to the hotel during the day to write or take meetings en plein-air. Alissa Latow, a 21-year-old actress and Hollywood resident, said that she prefers to haul her laptop to the roof of Mama’s over neighborhood coffee shops. “I feel like I have a clear head up here,” she said. “Most people in L.A. don’t have jobs,” she said, sipping from a copper mule mug in a neon crop top. “Well, not in the 9 to 5 sense. They’re acting or writing or freelancing.” Ms. Latow added that she bounces between Mama Shelter and the Dream: “Mama’s is more laid back, though it gets busy around sunset. The Dream is where you go if you want to start partying at brunch and move into a pool party with a D.J. in the afternoon.”

Mr. Trigano said that attracting a steady stream of working locals like Ms. Latow to Mama Shelter was his goal for the space, which opened in 2015 in building that once housed the Hotel Wilcox in the 1920s and later became a satellite Scientology Center. Like the Garden of Allah, he hopes that his hotel will feel as attractive for neighborhood denizens as it does for travelers just passing through. “When we picked Hollywood, it felt a little like Times Square in the 1980s,” he said. “We didn’t anticipate it to be so crazy popular that we have people coming in all day long. They work, they do yoga on the roof, they transition into a small dinner. A hotel is successful when locals make it their own place. We’ve hit that vibe now.”

6500 Selma Avenue; (323) 785-6666; mamashelter.com

The Line, Koreatown

Rising above busy Wilshire Boulevard, the Line feels like a midcentury oasis. Opened in up-and-coming Koreatown in 2014 by the Sydell Group, who run the NoMad hotel in New York and the Ned in London, the Line has since attracted a steady stream of locals, who drink cold brew and eat sticky pastries in the spacious lobby, which takes up half a city block. On the second floor, the Commissary restaurant serves cold-pressed green juice and kimchi and carnitas tacos in an open-air greenhouse that leads out to the pool deck.

The day I visited, the restaurant was crowded with dewy young people who had stopped in for a working lunch, scheming future plans over $19 Wagyu beef burgers and avocado toast topped with cured salmon and whole chiles. By night, the pool deck becomes a nightclub, often playing host to D.J. sets — like the Float Fridays party, which converts the swimming area into a dance floor from 6 to 11 p.m. “The romantic idea for the Line, going back to its initial creation is it would be a gathering place for the community,” said Andrew Zobler, chief executive officer at Sydell. “Now, at night, we get a large contingency from the neighborhood.”

Mr. Zobler says he has already seen the communal culture of the Line start to replicate at his new hotel, The Freehand, which opened this summer inside the historical Commercial Exchange building in Downtown Los Angeles (the roof deck bar, the Broken Shaker, opened to the public in September). “The beauty of a hotel lobby is there is both an air of a private space and a public space,” he said. “If you are at a restaurant or bar, people have an expectation of privacy, but at a hotel, some of that comes down.”

3515 Wilshire Boulevard; (213) 381-7411; thelinehotel.com

The Ace Hotel, Downtown

Leading the Downtown hotel renaissance — which now includes the renovated Figueroa and an upcoming outpost of New York’s NoMad — was the Ace, which popped up inside the Spanish Gothic United Artists building on South Broadway in 2014. The building, which was once a clubhouse for silent film stars, is very narrow — a creative challenge for the developers in situating the lobby. There was barely room downstairs for a restaurant, so the team made a bold choice: They made the rooftop into the nerve center of the hotel.

“We thought, we have such an iconic lobby experience in New York,” said Kelly Sawdon, an Ace executive vice-president. “And so we asked ourselves, what makes sense in L.A., where do real people want to be here?” The idea, she said, was to harness the city’s generally balmy weather and direct foot traffic straight up the roof by opening a public elevator on street level. “It’s not for guests only; there are no restrictions to coming up and taking in the view. We wanted people who live and work Downtown to feel like they have ownership over this space.”

Their strategy worked: the Ace rooftop is packed from breakfast to the wee hours. In the afternoon, locals bring their dogs up the elevator to pant near the small paddling pool (the day I was there, I saw two pitbulls and a terrier mix), and the bar serves oysters and $10 slices of funfetti birthday cake all day. After sunset, the cake is still available, but the focus shifts to Mary Bartlett’s cocktail program, which always features a frozen drink ($12; a slushy Paloma, for example) and quirky specials like Count Chocula-flavored Jell-O shots.

On the roof of the Ace, I encountered longtime friends Lindsay Rogers, 29, who works at the hip Bolt Barbers on Spring Street (“it’s a whole scene there,” she said) and Christopher Smith, 27, a choreographer and creative director who works with the pop star Justine Skye. They both live Downtown, which they say reminds them most of their native New York habitat. “The hotels here have become like Manhattan,” Mr. Smith said. “We come here so often that we know all the bouncers and bartenders by their first names.”

The roof of the Ace at night is an intimate environment, with groups of friends nestled into canvas and leather bucket chairs and huddled around a crackling fireplace. A D.J. booth features a rotating schedule of events, including a Wednesday night residency for NTS, an underground online radio station. Billowy tapestries and rattan rugs add to the bohemian-den feeling. At the long wooden bar, which sits between the dining area and the small concrete pool, patrons perch on spindly stools drinking mai tais and licking cones of soft serve, which comes in flavors like toasted coconut and granola.

“Los Angeles used to be a backyard culture,” Mr. Smith said. “But now, with all the new hotel roofs, you can sit outside and still feel like you’ve had a big night.”

929 South Broadway; (213) 623-3233; acehotel.com

Source:-https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/travel/la-los-angeles-hotels-nightlife-hip.html

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Bride and groom create epic music video in the pouring rain https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/relationships/bride-and-groom-create-epic-music-video-in-the-pouring-rain.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/relationships/bride-and-groom-create-epic-music-video-in-the-pouring-rain.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:38:33 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44258 Bride and groom create epic music video in the pouring rain Bride and groom create epic music video in the pouring rain :- This creative couple’s love is a match made in musical heaven. Luke O’Brien, a musician, and his wife, Kathleen O’Brien, made an epic music video during their wedding in the pouring rain. […]

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Bride and groom create epic music video in the pouring rain

Bride and groom create epic music video in the pouring rain :- This creative couple’s love is a match made in musical heaven.

Luke O’Brien, a musician, and his wife, Kathleen O’Brien, made an epic music video during their wedding in the pouring rain.

“The timing of it was really crazy,” Luke O’Brien, 30, of Philadelphia told ABC News. “The moment ‘You may now kiss your bride’ [was said] the skies opened up. It was so perfect. It set a really cool mood for the day. It could have potentially rained on our parade, but after it was over, everybody was like, ‘Whatever, let’s just go have fun.’”

Cameras were rolling at the exact instant “a crack of thunder roared from the heavens and the sky opened up, soaking everything in its path,” he explained.

The lush green fields and unexpected downpour at their rural Chester County, Pennsylvania, wedding made the perfect backdrop for his original song, “Old Love,” which he wrote for his beloved bride.

“At its core, the song is really about being in a relationship that has such a long history,” said Luke. “We’ve known each other for 13 years and in those years it wasn’t always perfect. We went our separate ways but kept in touch because we’ve always loved each other. It still feels like I have a crush on her. I’ve never lost that with Kathleen.”

The song holds special meaning to the couple. He wrote it just for her while recording and working in Denver, Colorado, and used it to propose to the shocked Kathleen when he returned.

“I feel like I’ve been living a fairy tale,” said Kathleen. “When he proposed, the day before I was at a bachelorette party and I remember telling the girls we don’t have the funds to get married and we already feel like we’re married. And literally the next day he proposed. It was a whirlwind from then.”

When Luke first introduced the idea of shooting the music video during their actual wedding, Kathleen, 28, was a bit skeptical, not wanting to take the time away from their guests or special day. But after about an hour, she came around, realizing it was a symbol of how their love has come full circle.

“We started dating in high school and he started his music career in college,” she said. “We started doing music videos together when he was 20 or 21. Now he’s 30. It’s the next stage in our lives. He’s such a great person. I feel so lucky that we are going to continue our life together. That he chose me and I chose him, and I feel really blessed. It’s kind of metaphorical. We started as such a raw, young couple and we turned into this upbeat, full blown song and it’s really fantastic.”

Even with the rain, which the newlyweds agree was an “unbelievable moment” during their ceremony, the music video is something they will cherish forever.

“I still look at it and smile so big, and I feel like it’s always going to feel that way for the rest of our lives,” said Kathleen.

Added Luke, “It’s always going to be such a cool thing to look back on. If times ever get tough, it’s nice to have that to remind ourselves of how lucky we are and how happy we make each other.”

Source :- http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/bride-groom-create-epic-music-video-pouring-rain/story?id=50025076

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Savor live music on a weekend escape to Saratoga, Calif. https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/savor-live-music-weekend-escape-saratoga-calif.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/savor-live-music-weekend-escape-saratoga-calif.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:38:17 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44256 Savor live music on a weekend escape to Saratoga, Calif. Savor live music on a weekend escape to Saratoga, Calif.:-Wine lovers appreciate Saratoga’s laid-back sipping experience. But I wasn’t hunting for a great new Cabernet or Pinot Noir on a recent visit to this peaceful town in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. My […]

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Savor live music on a weekend escape to Saratoga, Calif.

Savor live music on a weekend escape to Saratoga, Calif.:-Wine lovers appreciate Saratoga’s laid-back sipping experience. But I wasn’t hunting for a great new Cabernet or Pinot Noir on a recent visit to this peaceful town in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. My daughter and I were lured to Saratoga to watch two of my favorite vintage ’80s bands — Echo and the Bunnymen and the Violent Femmes — in concert at Mountain Winery.

The stunning hilltop venue serves up an extensive menu of alfresco concerts from late May through mid-October. The Greek-style amphitheater and complex of stone buildings, where you can enjoy a fancy sit-down or casual pre-show dinner, exude an old-world Mediterranean vibe. Like fine wine, headliners here tend to be perfectly aged. (Think Tom Jones, Pat Benatar and Steve Winwood.) But the annual lineup also includes a few contemporary artists such as Sheryl Crow and Michael Franti.

Before or after a concert, check out the shops, tasting rooms and restaurants that line Big Basin Way, Saratoga’s charming main drag. Or hit a nearby hiking trail. The tab for our overnight stay: $235 for a room at the Inn at Saratoga, $180 for two concert tickets, and about $125 for meals.

The bed

The 47-room Inn at Saratoga sits above a creek shaded by towering eucalyptus and sycamores. It’s also within walking distance of downtown’s attractions and a 10-minute drive to Mountain Winery. The rooms are quiet and comfortable, with big French windows and traditional décor mixed with antique accents. Some also have balconies overlooking the creek. Over our included continental breakfast, we traded concert reviews with other guests sporting souvenir T-shirts.

The meal

Craving a caffeine fix before the concert, we found Sue’s Gallery Cafe, a hip, airy spot where we sipped lattes while perusing owner and artist Sue Kang’s lovely handmade ceramics. For dinner, we strolled to the Basin. My tender scallops had a subtle but pleasing peppery kick. Salad and roasted cauliflower satisfied my vegan daughter. Before heading home, we ducked into cozy Big Basin Cafe for a quick lunch of quiche and salad.

The find

After rocking out on one hilltop, we were ready to Zen out on another. Hakone Estate and Gardens, built in 1915, is a Japanese-inspired sanctuary perched atop a steep driveway. We cleared our heads while feeding fish and turtles in the large koi pond, wandering through bamboo groves and exploring the rest of the tranquil 18-acre property.

The lesson learned

Parking at Mountain Winery is $20, cash only, and getting out of the lot after a concert can take a while. Consider Rhythm Shuttle, which will pick you up and drop you off downtown ($15 per person round trip).

If you go

Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga; [408] 741-2822. Wheelchair-accessible seating.

Inn at Saratoga, 20645 4th St., Saratoga; [800] 543-5020. Rates from $235 a night. Wheelchair-accessible rooms.

Sue’s Gallery Cafe, 14665 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; (408) 202-8079

Basin, 14572 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; (408) 867-1906

Big Basin Cafe, 14471 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; (408) 741-1185

Hakone Estate and Gardens, 21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; (408) 741-4994. Limited wheelchair access.

Rhythm Shuttle, (650) 260-3976

Source:-http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-escape-saratoga-20170910-story.html

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These four trains can carry you from coast to coast, where the final prize awaits: the vast beauty of the West https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/four-trains-can-carry-coast-coast-final-prize-awaits-vast-beauty-west.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/four-trains-can-carry-coast-coast-final-prize-awaits-vast-beauty-west.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:30:19 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44246 These four trains can carry you from coast to coast, where the final prize awaits: the vast beauty of the West These four trains can carry you from coast to coast, where the final prize awaits: the vast beauty of the West:-On the morning of Aug. 12, my wife, Laurel, and I were in New […]

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These four trains can carry you from coast to coast, where the final prize awaits: the vast beauty of the West

These four trains can carry you from coast to coast, where the final prize awaits: the vast beauty of the West:-On the morning of Aug. 12, my wife, Laurel, and I were in New York City’s Penn Station awaiting Amtrak’s Northeast Regional No. 141 to take us to Washington, D.C.

This would be the first leg of a 3,447-mile, four-train odyssey to Seattle — in the other Washington — and it would offer a window into Amtrak’s pleasures and problems.

I’m a lifelong train buff, and Laurel and I have ridden the rails in every state. I love the feeling of being on a train, the rumble and roar that seem to aid woolgathering, and I never tire of staring out the window, no matter the scenery.

Here are some of the things we saw, outside and inside:

Northeast Regional

We pulled out at 9:38 a.m., just three minutes late, and arrived in Washington on time at 1:05 p.m.

Of the three types of trains we would ride, this one was plain vanilla. The coaches were standard-issue Amfleet cars with undersized windows used throughout the East.

Though 40 years old, the cars are well made and, after refurbishing, look and ride just fine. There was ample leg room even in coach, so we skipped the upgrade to business class.

I had ridden this route, not Amtrak’s most scenic, countless times, and I always watch for certain landmarks: the “Trenton Makes, the World Takes” sign on a highway bridge over the Delaware River, the college boathouses that line the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, and the spiffy little town of Havre de Grace, Md.

In Washington’s Union Station, we ate fried oysters at the Thunder Grill in the station’s soaring marble Main Hall. We had time for a short visit to the National Postal Museum, a favorite that’s free and right across the street from the station.

At the station’s ClubAcela (a lounge for sleeping-car and first-class passengers on Acela trains that run between Boston and Washington), we made our dinner reservation.

That meant that when we settled into our bedroom on the Chicago-bound Capitol Limited, we knew we would be dining at 7 p.m., our preferred time. (Dinner on overnight trains is by reservation. Breakfast and lunch are first come, first served, with waiting lists once the diner fills. Meals are included in the tab for sleeping-car passengers.)

Capitol Limited

The Capitol Limited is equipped with double-deck Superliner cars, the oldest of which date from October 1979. In the East only the Capitol and Virginia-Florida Auto Train use the cars (they don’t fit in the tunnels into New York City), but the overnight trains in the West generally do, so we would encounter them again in Chicago when we boarded the Empire Builder for Portland.

Aging equipment is an Amtrak woe, but our sleeper on the Capitol was spruce: freshly reupholstered, nicks and scrapes minimal.

Our bedroom, the premier sleeping accommodation, had a sofa and facing chair with a table between by day, upper and oversize lower berths by night, a sink and an annex with toilet and shower.

The train was still in suburban Washington when we secured seats in the Sightseer Lounge. It’s open to all passengers, so it’s an attractive option, which means seats can be hard to get.

These lounges are bright, spacious and inviting, with high, broad windows and skylights. I knew the pre-dinner scenery would be good: the Potomac River; the mostly dry Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, its towpath now a hiking trail; and the hillside town of Harpers Ferry, W. Va.

In the lounge I picked up a handout — “White House Budget Cuts All Long Distance Rail Service” — provided by the National Assn. of Railroad Passengers.

“States in black will have no trains,” its headline said. The map showed 27 states with 16 trains under threat, including the Capitol and the Empire Builder.

On a more mundane level, culinary sameness is an issue for passengers on multiday trips. A standard menu is offered on all long hauls, so what was proffered on the Capitol was what we would see on the Empire Builder.

The premier dinner entree was a Field and Sea Combo of shrimp and steak, priced at $36 (or you could order just shrimp or just steak). After three dinners we concluded the best entree was the chicken and bacon fettuccine carbonara. The offerings also included a vegan special, chicken breast, plus three “limited-availability” rotating entrees.

Breakfast, on the other hand, remained a highlight, with some items freshly prepared.

Amtrak practices communal seating, so others will join you. The tablemates we’ve encountered over the years — and certainly on this trip — have defined our dining-car experience.

Empire Builder

Now it was time to switch again, this time in Chicago to the Empire Builder bound for the West.

The demand for bedrooms in summer on Amtrak’s Western trains, including this one (which splits in Spokane, Wash., sending sections to Seattle and Portland), far exceeds supply.

Though we booked three months in advance, no bedroom was available to Seattle. So we decided to go to Portland, spending the night at the lovely old Benson Hotel, then taking the midday Cascade to Seattle.

The Portland section of the Empire Builder has just one sleeper, and we scored the last bedroom for a head-spinning $2,048.

After our first-time visit to elegant, spacious, year-old Metropolitan Lounge (like ClubAcela) in Chicago’s Union Station, we boarded the Empire Builder and at 2:15 p.m, headed north to Wisconsin’s dairyland.

From there we traversed Minnesota, running for miles along the Mississippi River; North Dakota; Montana; Idaho; Washington and, finally, Oregon.

Forty-six hours and five meals later, we arrived in Portland. Our sleeper showed its age, which even duct tape couldn’t ameliorate.

The train was sold out, which may explain why service in the diner was a cut below what we found on the Capitol.

Random thoughts and highlights: Bathed in late, low afternoon sun, Wisconsin looked picture-perfect and prosperous.

The next afternoon, as we sped across the baked, brown plains of eastern Montana, the scene was different — crumbling barns and abandoned houses. Although not uplifting, this landscape told a story too.

Mark and Liz, volunteer docents with “Trails and Rails,” cosponsored by the National Park Service and Amtrak, boarded in Havre, Mont., and would ride for six hours to Whitefish, Mont.

They talked about how a century ago the Great Northern Railway, whose ancestral rails we were riding, recruited settlers to come and homestead, leaving the empty legacy we’d witnessed.

The best scenery was next. Mountains emerged to the west, and then we snaked up to Marias Pass on the eastern border of Glacier National Park in Montana.

The next day we awoke as our now-truncated Portland-bound train began the morning-long, scenic run along the Columbia River, presided over by snowy Mt. Hood.

We lost our diner to the Seattle section but were happy with our tray breakfast in the Sightseer Lounge.

Cascades

For our last leg, we boarded the Cascades train for Seattle, a four-hour run, with glimpses of Puget Sound, in comfortable, Spanish-designed Talgo cars, used nowhere in America but on the Cascades.

At journey’s end we walked into century-old King Street Station, its interior gleaming with reclaimed luster, a heartening end to a decades-long restoration project and to our own not insubstantial journey.

Source:-http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-four-trains-west-20170903-story.html

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Teen organ recipients who met as babies to attend homecoming dance together https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/relationships/teen-organ-recipients-who-met-as-babies-to-attend-homecoming-dance-together.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/relationships/teen-organ-recipients-who-met-as-babies-to-attend-homecoming-dance-together.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:25:21 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44248 Teen organ recipients who met as babies to attend homecoming dance together Teen organ recipients who met as babies to attend homecoming dance together :- Two teenagers who met as they battled the same metabolic disorder and then underwent liver transplants weeks apart, are now going to a homecoming dance together. “It’s heartwarming,” said Oula […]

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Teen organ recipients who met as babies to attend homecoming dance together

Teen organ recipients who met as babies to attend homecoming dance together :- Two teenagers who met as they battled the same metabolic disorder and then underwent liver transplants weeks apart, are now going to a homecoming dance together.

“It’s heartwarming,” said Oula Haddad, mother to 16-year-old Grace Haddad of Olney, Maryland. “To think your child is doing something so normal as going to a homecoming dance, I think it’s something a lot of people take for granted.”

Jakob “JJ” Jasin, 17, and Grace Haddad’s families first met in 2001 when they were being treated at the same hospital for maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) — a recessive metabolic disorder where the body is unable to process protein normally.

In 2004, JJ and Grace both received liver transplants just three weeks apart to treat their conditions.

In some cases, if left untreated, MSUD could cause severe brain damage, according to Dr. George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Mazariegos performed the transplants on both JJ and Grace 13 years ago. Mazariegos said the surgery restored enough of the enzyme his patients needed to allow normalization for their diets, while freeing them from possible neurological disorders.

“In a nutshell, the liver transplant really allows the life to be returned back to a normal one,” Mazariegos told ABC News. “It’s been great to see them now after 13 years to see how they’re growing and just enjoying life.”

JJ’s mom, Susan Jasin of Ashburn, Virginia, said she and the Haddad family first met at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, when the kids were just a few days old.

Since then, JJ and Grace have maintained a lifelong friendship. The pair have attended Camp Chihopi Liver & Intestine Transplant Summer Camp together over the years.

“They went to camp this year and deepened their relationship as friends,” Susan Jasin told ABC News. “I think them having a common bond, they’re able to rely on each other as a source of support.”

On Sept. 23, JJ and Grace will attend the homecoming dance at Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia, where JJ is a senior.

“Every time I would tell the story that he was taking her to homecoming, it would just make me smile,” Jasin said. “It would make my heart happy. It also puts the awareness out there for how critical the need is for people to have an organ donation and how life goes on through organ donation.”

Source :- http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/teen-organ-recipients-met-babies-attend-homecoming-dance/story?id=50025077

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Five underrated food cities in the South https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/five-underrated-food-cities-south.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/five-underrated-food-cities-south.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:18:41 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44242 Five underrated food cities in the South Five underrated food cities in the South:-The South has a defined cuisine that has put it on the food map in recent years largely thanks to cities like Charleston and New Orleans hogging the spotlight. We’re not denying that those cities have excellent food, but smaller locales like […]

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Five underrated food cities in the South

Five underrated food cities in the South:-The South has a defined cuisine that has put it on the food map in recent years largely thanks to cities like Charleston and New Orleans hogging the spotlight. We’re not denying that those cities have excellent food, but smaller locales like Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, and Lexington, Louisville’s oft-overlooked Kentucky neighbor, have food scenes that can compete with the South’s — and the country’s — best.

Baton Rouge, La., is ground zero for some excellent Cajun and Creole food, but unbeknownst to many, the city has so much more to offer. There’s a healthy pop-up scene and new spots like Cocha and Kalurah Street Grill are garnering widespread praise. Local radio talk show host Jay Ducote was a runner up on Season 11 of Food Network Star and runs a taco pop-up called Gov’t Taco that will finally get a permanent space next year. “Baton Rouge is really like a gumbo pot of all Louisiana cultures in one place,” explains Ducote. “We get the Creole influences of New Orleans, the Cajun culture from Acadiana and the traditional southern flare from the north part of the state. It all converges here in Baton Rouge, where finding our own unique culture has been challenging in the past.” The city is finding itself, thanks to “a crop of young chefs and adventurous culinarians who are pushing our food scene forward and using all of our various resources and influences to create a food scene that we can call our own,” he says.

Birmingham, Ala., is home to multiple James Beard Award winners, like Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill and his protégé Chris Hastings (Hot and Hot Fish Club, Ovenbird), and now the city is an incubator for new talent. Brian Somershield opened El Barrio Restaurante y Bar in 2016, Abhishek Sainju opened Abhi Eatery + Bar in March, and with the opening of Pizitz Food Hall this year, there’s even more space for new chefs to flourish.

Lexington, Ky., is often overshadowed by nearby Louisville, but its food — and bourbon — scene can certainly stand up to the challenge. Longtime spots like Stella’s and Dudley’s on Short mingle with lauded newcomers like Middle Fork and Lockbox. And the award-winning chef Ouita Michel has three spots in the city to complement her other restaurants along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, including the just-opened Honeywood. She has been a James Beard Foundation Award nominee as Outstanding Restaurateur and as Best Chef: Southeast numerous times. The city also welcomes Kentucky’s first food hall with the just-opened The Barn, inside The Summit in Fritz Farm development.

Greenville, S.C., Asheville, N.C.’s southern neighbor, has been slowly making a name for itself thanks to pioneering chefs like Joe Clarke of the recently closed American Grocery and newly opened Vault & Vator, and Michael Kramer, who opened Jianna after stints at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago and McCrady’s in Charleston, S.C. Meanwhile, newcomers The Anchorage and GB&D are making waves with their new takes on southern classics, while Methodical Coffee serves the kind of brew you’d expect to only find in coffee-focused cities like New York and Seattle.

Athens, Ga., lives under Atlanta’s shadow but it’s had one very famous champion: chef Hugh Acheson of Top Chef fame and winner of two James Beard awards. His two Athens restaurants, Five & Ten and The National, have helped put the college town on the map and led the way for spots like home.made, from Five & Ten’s former executive sous chef Mimi Maumus; Condor Chocolates from The National’s executive chef Peter Dale; and Pulaski Heights BBQ, from former Five & Ten executive chef Chuck Ramsey, to open over the last few years. There are some non-Acheson related spots worth seeking out as well, like vegetarian institution The Grit and Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Source:-https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/food-and-wine/2017/09/18/underrated-southern-food-cities/669715001/

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8-year-old who was bullied for love of bugs co-authors paper, ‘Why #BugsR4Girls’ https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/smart-living/8-year-old-who-was-bullied-for-love-of-bugs-co-authors-paper-why-bugsr4girls.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/lifestyle/smart-living/8-year-old-who-was-bullied-for-love-of-bugs-co-authors-paper-why-bugsr4girls.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:14:15 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44226 8-year-old who was bullied for love of bugs co-authors paper, ‘Why #BugsR4Girls’ 8-year-old who was bullied for love of bugs co-authors paper, ‘Why #BugsR4Girls’ :- An 8-year-old girl whose passion for bugs led to bullying at school is now a published author in a scientific journal. “Bugs are just amazing,” Sophia Spencer said today on […]

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8-year-old who was bullied for love of bugs co-authors paper, ‘Why #BugsR4Girls’

8-year-old who was bullied for love of bugs co-authors paper, ‘Why #BugsR4Girls’ :- An 8-year-old girl whose passion for bugs led to bullying at school is now a published author in a scientific journal.

“Bugs are just amazing,” Sophia Spencer said today on “Good Morning America.” “People think that bugs may be creepy and bugs aren’t cool but bugs are cool.”

She added, “I just love bugs.”

Sophia, of Sarnia, Ontario, gained the attention of entomologists around the world last year when her mom sent an email to the Entomological Society of Canada asking for a role model for her daughter.

“She told me she didn’t want to do it anymore,” said Sophia’s mom, Nicole Spencer, adding that Sophia would come home from school in tears after being teased. “I didn’t think it was right she would stop something she loved for so long just because she didn’t fit in with her classmates.”

When the society tweeted Spencer’s plea for an entomologist to speak with Sophia, the tweet, with its #BugsR4Girls hashtag, went viral.

The society received more than 300 replies. Sophia is now pen pals with a handful of the entomologists who replied, and also emails with kids around the world who are also interested in bugs.

“Sophia just got her passion back,” Spencer said. “Once we started getting the comments back, she said she’s not the weird one for liking bugs. She’s going to like bugs no matter what people think.”

Sophia also connected with Morgan Jackson, a 33-year-old entomology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Guelph. Jackson is also a social media volunteer for the Entomological Society of Canada and the person who posted the tweet about Sophia.

“I could tell she was super enthusiastic and really curious about and keen about learning more about them,” Jackson told ABC News of his first Skype meeting with Sophia.

Jackson traveled to Sophia’s house in June and the two went on a two-hour bug hunting expedition.

“I’ve never seen her so happy to have another bug person with her,” said Spencer, who traces her daughter’s love of bugs back to a visit to a butterfly conservatory when Sophia was 2.

A short time after meeting Sophia, Jackson was asked to contribute an article for the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. He asked Sophia to be his co-author.

The two share a byline in an article published in the journal this month entitled “Engaging for a Good Cause: Sophia’s Story and Why #BugsR4Girls.”

“After my mom sent the message and showed me all the responses, I was happy. I felt like I was famous. Because I was!,” Sophia wrote in the article. “It felt good to have so many people support me, and it was cool to see other girls and grown-ups studying bugs.”

She continued, “It made me feel like I could do it too, and I definitely, definitely, definitely want to study bugs when I grow up, probably grasshoppers.”

Jackson said he and Sophia remain in touch. He plans to pursue a career in education after he completes his Ph.D.

“My message for kids would be to follow your passions,” he said, adding that kids should also not hesitate to seek advice. “If you’re interested in it, it’s worth pursuing.”

Spencer admits she does not share her daughter’s love for bugs but plans to continue to help Sophia pursue her passion nonetheless.

“I’m her mom. I’ve got her back for her entire life,” she said. “I’m going to encourage her. She loves her bugs.”

Sophia shared her own advice for people who do not love bugs as much as she does.

“I would say bugs may be scary for some people but bugs really won’t hurt you if you try not to hurt them,” she said. “Bugs are very nice.”

Source :- http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/year-bullied-love-bugs-authors-paper-bugsr4girls/story?id=49978293

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Airbus says North American airlines now flying 1,500 of its jets https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/airbus-says-north-american-airlines-now-flying-1500-jets.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/airbus-says-north-american-airlines-now-flying-1500-jets.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:12:29 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44238 Airbus says North American airlines now flying 1,500 of its jets Airbus says North American airlines now flying 1,500 of its jets:-European plane-maker Airbus announced this week that 1,500 of its airplanes were now in service for U.S. and Canadian airlines. The milestone was celebrated at the company’s Mobile, Ala., assembly line with a brand […]

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Airbus says North American airlines now flying 1,500 of its jets

Airbus says North American airlines now flying 1,500 of its jets:-European plane-maker Airbus announced this week that 1,500 of its airplanes were now in service for U.S. and Canadian airlines. The milestone was celebrated at the company’s Mobile, Ala., assembly line with a brand new American Airlines A321 jet.

Airbus first entered the U.S. market in 1977 with Eastern Airlines. Then a relative upstart competing against American manufacturers Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, Airbus loaned four A300 jets to Eastern, betting that they’d perform so well that the airline would place an order.

The bet paid off, and Eastern ordered 23 of the airplanes, impressed with their economics.

Airbus has since gone on to place aircraft in the fleets of 25 US-based airlines and lessors, including virtually every major U.S. carrier.

“This milestone showcases the continued growth of commercial aviation in North America – and our four decades of commitment to providing the right aircraft at the right time with benchmark customer support for our customers,” Paul Oliver, Vice President-Customer Services for Airbus Americas, said in a statement recognizing the delivery to American that helped Airbus hit the 1,500-jet threshold here. “We’re proud to recognize this milestone with our partners at American Airlines, and it’s gratifying for it to happen with an aircraft built in the U.S.”

Take a look at our photo gallery of Airbus in North America (above), including photos past and present. Or scroll down to see other photos related to Airbus.

Source:-https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/09/22/airbus-says-north-american-airlines-now-flying-1-500-its-jets/692453001/

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Cruise ships to return to Key West earlier than expected https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/cruise-ships-return-key-west-earlier-expected.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/cruise-ships-return-key-west-earlier-expected.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 11:03:28 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44235 Cruise ships to return to Key West earlier than expected Cruise ships to return to Key West earlier than expected:-Good news, cruisers: It looks like Irma-hit Key West will be back on cruise ship schedules far sooner than expected. Royal Caribbean said Thursday it had been cleared to return to the destination as early as […]

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Cruise ships to return to Key West earlier than expected

Cruise ships to return to Key West earlier than expected:-Good news, cruisers: It looks like Irma-hit Key West will be back on cruise ship schedules far sooner than expected.

Royal Caribbean said Thursday it had been cleared to return to the destination as early as this weekend — weeks earlier than it expected.

Royal Caribbean recently had canceled all of its Key West calls through the middle of October, citing the impact of Hurricane Irma. But Thursday, it said many of the canceled calls would be put back on the schedule, starting with a visit Sunday by the 1,840-passenger Empress of the Seas.

A massive cleanup effort has been underway in the Keys since Irma hit the archipelago Sept. 9, and as of early Friday, it officially remained closed to visitors in its entirety. Florida Keys Tourism Development Council spokesman Andy Newmantold USA TODAY on Friday that although some parts of the Keys still are recovering from severe damage, other parts, including Key West, are basically ready to welcome back tourists.

“There’s very little structural damage in Key West, and … the shops are reopening on Duval Street, the restaurants are reopening,” Newman said.

Newman said the two biggest challenges for Key West after Irma — the loss of electricity and access to clean water — had been addressed. Power is back up pretty much everywhere in Key West, and a boil-water order was lifted Thursday, he said.

Key West was affected far less by Irma than parts of the Keys farther to the east where the storm’s eye made landfall. Officials debated how soon to reopen it to tourists, given that the resulting influx of travelers on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway to Key West could hinder the recovery efforts in harder-hit areas. As recently as Thursday morning, the Keys tourism site said Key West aimed to be back open for tourists by Oct. 20 — in time for the city’s big Fantasy Fest event.

Newman noted that a return of cruise ships to Key West wouldn’t impact harder-hit parts of the Keys, as the visitors wouldn’t stray beyond the town.

“People pour out into Old Town Key West for five, six hours, and then they get back on the ship and leave. In terms of taxing the infrastructure, it’s very minimal,” he said.

Other cruise lines that canceled upcoming calls at Key West in the wake of Irma include Carnival, which normally has two or more ships visiting the town each week. As of Friday morning, a travel advisory on Carnival’s website showed all Key West calls for the coming week as canceled and replaced by other ports. A spokesperson for Carnival did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Key West is one of several major cruise destinations that took a hit from Irma. Even more affected were St. Thomas and St. Maarten — the Dutch side of the island of St. Martin.

St. Thomas and St. Maarten were devastated by the storm, which roared across the Caribbean two weeks ago. Some officials hinted it could be several months before they are ready to receive tourists. In an interview with NPR last week, the governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands said he hoped St. Thomas could be back up and running for tourism by January.

In addition to Key West, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, cruise ship destinations affected by Irma included St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands; Barbuda; St. Barts; and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.

Source:-https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2017/09/22/cruise-ships-return-key-west-earlier-than-expected/692207001/

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7 Great Bars in Portland https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/7-great-bars-portland.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/travel/7-great-bars-portland.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 10:56:09 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44228 7 Great Bars in Portland 7 Great Bars in Portland:-Portland, Oregon, is home to a bar scene that rivals that of other major cities. Whether you’re looking for the perfect artisanal cocktail in a trendy speak-easy or a beer in a hole-in-the-wall dive bar, there’s a great bar that will fit your taste. “There is […]

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7 Great Bars in Portland

7 Great Bars in Portland:-Portland, Oregon, is home to a bar scene that rivals that of other major cities. Whether you’re looking for the perfect artisanal cocktail in a trendy speak-easy or a beer in a hole-in-the-wall dive bar, there’s a great bar that will fit your taste.

“There is certainly something for everybody here in Portland,” says Alex Dawes, general manager at Embassy Suites Portland – Downtown. “One of the best things I ever heard about Portland was that there is actually nothing here for people to see. People come here because they want to do what the locals do.”

To learn where in-the-know Portlanders like to grab a drink, U.S. News asked local experts for recommendations. Here’s what they said.

Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library

“The Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library is a beautiful old building that has … a whiskey library in it,” Dawes says. “It’s on two levels and has a list of whiskeys from around the world. And when I say around the world, it has shelves, and shelves and shelves of whiskey … it’s incredible.”

The library, with its overstuffed leather chairs and fireplace, features about 1,700 distilled spirits, which are prominently displayed on the exposed brick walls.

The bartenders will come to your table to make your drink. “All their mixologists are unbelievably good at what they do,” says Marcus Hibdon, director of communications and public relations for Travel Portland, the city’s tourism organization.

Bailey’s Taproom

“Bailey’s Taproom is a draft beer mecca,” says Dawes.

Bailey’s is conveniently located in downtown Portland, close to many popular hotels. While there are other bars that feature dozens of taps of draft beer, what makes Bailey’s different is its focus on Oregon brews. It aims to cater to beer connoisseurs as well as uninitiated beer drinkers.

But beer enthusiasts beware: Craft beers may have a higher alcohol content than what some visitors are used to. “One of the things we have to warn visitors to Portland is to be aware of the alcohol content of the beer that you are drinking,” Dawes says. “If you were like me when I first moved to Portland, I was drinking beer not realizing how much alcohol was in it, and got into my third one and almost fell over.”

Teardrop Lounge

Teardrop Lounge was one of the first local bars to focus on perfecting the handmade cocktail, and even makes its own bitters and tinctures.

“When you’re talking about handcrafted cocktails, you’re not going to find anything better than Teardrop anywhere,” Hibdon says. “I haven’t, not in any city I’ve been to. It’s wonderful. If you like cocktails, go to Teardrop, you’ll like it.”

Jordin Heath, front office manager at The Heathman Hotel, loves Teardrop’s circular bar. “It’s just one of those super hip craft cocktail spots. The drinks are always really solid, and it’s nice for people-watching.”

Shift Drinks

“Shift Drinks is probably one of my favorite spots right now,” says Heath, who loves the all-day happy hour. “They do a featured spirit and then build cocktails around it that are generally $5 to $7.”

It doesn’t have a full kitchen, but it does offer bruschetta, salads and sandwiches. “They make it all right there in front of you,” Heath says. “[You get] this experience of watching someone make your food. You know it’s good, you know it’s fresh, it’s really simple and delicious. I think it’s one of those perfect neighborhood bars to give you a nice, local feeling.”

Pépé le Moko


A hidden gem is Pépé le Moko, named after a 1937 French gangster movie. You go down a bending flight of stairs into a dark and mysterious bar that features classic cocktails.

“They do a Grasshopper, a traditional Grasshopper, that comes out on a pewter tray, and it is like a boozy milkshake,” Hibdon says. “It is so delicious. But you might want to bring somebody to split [it] with.”

Katie Gallagher, front office supervisor at Hotel Lucia, says, “It is probably one of the best date night bars I could recommend. You are very close to the bartender. You can watch them do everything, which is great. But it’s also very romantic with dim lighting. A really good place for conversation and friends.”

Kelly’s Olympian

Kelly’s Olympian, founded in 1902, is one of Portland’s oldest bars and one of its best dive bars. Located in an older part of downtown, near the Willamette River, the establishment is rumored to have been one of the entrances to the Shanghai Tunnels. Local legend has it that these passages were used to abduct unsuspecting drunk sailors and force them to crew on waiting ships, but the spaces were probably used for other purposes. As a dive bar, it boasts the right amount of neon, motorcycles and old road signs. It also has regular live music and comedy open mics.

“Kelly’s Olympian is one of the longest-standing bars in downtown with great music and plenty of local beers on tap,” says Lucas Lee, general manager at Hotel Rose – A Staypineapple Hotel.

Bible Club PDX

Bible Club PDX is a speak-easy-style bar located in an old house in Portland’s Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood. It focuses on pre-Prohibition drinks and features vintage decor, including 1930s solid brass deco-style beer taps and “Repeal the 18th Amendment” signs.

“The cocktails are amazing,” Hibdon says. “It’s a really, really great spot.”

Source:-https://travel.usnews.com/features/7-great-bars-in-portland-locals-picks

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Dungey cousins prove toughness in backfields and on bikes https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/dungey-cousins-prove-toughness-in-backfields-and-on-bikes.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/dungey-cousins-prove-toughness-in-backfields-and-on-bikes.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 09:05:23 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44216 Dungey cousins prove toughness in backfields and on bikes Anyone who has seen junior quarterback Eric Dungey of the Syracuse Orange play knows he has a good set of wheels, able to leap defenders with a single bound. Ditto for cousin Ryan, a motocross champion whose two wheels allow him to jump over anything and […]

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Dungey cousins prove toughness in backfields and on bikes

Anyone who has seen junior quarterback Eric Dungey of the Syracuse Orange play knows he has a good set of wheels, able to leap defenders with a single bound.

Ditto for cousin Ryan, a motocross champion whose two wheels allow him to jump over anything and everything in his way .

Different sports, singular trait — fearlessness.

“Toughness definitely is a shared trait,” Eric’s mother, Cindy, said. “Ryan has broken so many bones!”

Dubbed “boss of the cross,” Ryan Dungey had won every title in his sport by the time he turned 24 — Lites Supercross Championship and titles in both the 250cc and 450cc classes. Only one other rider in history had accomplished the feat at a younger age. He also was the first motocross rider to appear on a box of Wheaties, the first to win the 450cc Supercross and outdoor titles as a rookie (2010), and finished on the podium 69 times in 75 career outdoor starts.

Then there’s this — despite breaking at least 10 bones in his career, Ryan never missed a moto.

“He’s a real tough guy,” Eric said. “When I was younger, he definitely was a role model. I would always look up to him.”

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So it should come as little surprise that Eric, who has a history of jumping, diving and flipping off cliffs and bridges, has faced more than his fair share of vicious hits with his daring style of play. He was sidelined for the better part of eight games in his first two seasons at the helm of the Orange offense because of injuries.

As painful as it’s been, Dungey has simply taken the bad in stride. Being the quarterback, he figures it goes with the territory.

“I think it (toughness) is one of the most important attributes you can have to be a leader,” he said. “I just kind of lead by example. I take pride in that. It’s kind of the way I was raised.”

There is a mutual admiration between the cousins.

“Thinking about putting myself in the position of a quarterback and what it would be like, I’ve seen those football players,” Ryan said. “They’re hungry and they’re foaming at the mouth. It can be an intimidating situation.

“You’ve got to be tough. You’ve got to have the courage. Guys are ready not to just tackle you but to make sure they get you good where it hurts.”

Since he became the starter at Syracuse his freshman year at a wiry 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Eric, a dual threat with deceptive speed, has paid dearly. Two players have been ejected for targeting fouls committed against him, the first coming against Central Michigan in just his second start and resulting in a concussion.

Four games later, Dungey was knocked facedown on the Carrier Dome turf against Pittsburgh and lay motionless for a scary split second, his arms limp by his sides, before hopping up. Two weeks later at Louisville, he suffered another hard hit to the head late in the game while trying to scramble and left the field with the help of the training staff.

The injury jinx hit again last season when Dungey suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit after a short gain early in a game at Clemson and missed the final three games of the season.

Despite all of that, Dungey has accumulated some impressive numbers as the Orange (2-1) get set to play at No. 25 LSU on Saturday night. In 20 games he’s thrown for 4,764 yards and 31 TDs and rushed 255 times for 853 yards and 15 scores, the latter figure just four shy of the school record shared by Donovan McNabb and Bill Hurley.

Last year, Dungey produced the best game of his college career in a win at Boston College. He hit 32 of 38 passes for a career-high 434 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 54 yards to finish with 488 yards of total offense, the second highest single-game total in school history. He also displayed that signature toughness after BC defensive back William Harris made an interception, slamming Harris down hard and far out of bounds, sparking a sideline scrum.

“Ever since the first day, I knew that he was something special,” Orange wide receiver Steve Ishmael said of Dungey. “He was confident, wasn’t nervous. He came in there yelling. I was sort of scared myself when he started yelling. I love the kid.”

Although he was victimized by a targeting hit against Middle Tennessee two weeks ago, Dungey says the hits he’s absorbed haven’t been so bad because of the 20 pounds of muscle he added in the offseason. And he’s finally beginning to heed the advice of head coach Dino Babers in an effort to avoid those bone-rattling collisions. In last week’s home win over Central Michigan, he slid three times to avoid unnecessary contact on runs.

“He likes to bring his legs into the game,” Babers said. “We just want him to be smart.”

Dungey, who was lightly recruited coming out of high school in Lake Oswego, Oregon, is on the watch lists for three national awards (Maxwell, Manning and Davey O’Brien). His 27-year-old cousin, who retired in May at the top of his game, is impressed.

“I give him a lot of credit,” Ryan Dungey said. “It’s cool to see the Dungey legacy carrying on and hopefully he can keep that momentum going and bring that into the NFL.”

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2017/09/23/dungey-cousins-prove-toughness-in-backfields-and-on-bikes/105920172/

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Dodgers beat Giants 4-2 to clinch 5th straight NL West title https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/dodgers-beat-giants-4-2-clinch-5th-straight-nl-west-title.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/dodgers-beat-giants-4-2-clinch-5th-straight-nl-west-title.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 09:03:18 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44215 Dodgers beat Giants 4-2 to clinch 5th straight NL West title Dodgers beat Giants 4-2 to clinch 5th straight NL West title:- They made it look oh-so-easy, and made it seem woefully difficult. Now, these Los Angeles Dodgers figure they’re braced for anything. They’ll get to find out in the postseason after their 4-2 victory […]

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Dodgers beat Giants 4-2 to clinch 5th straight NL West title

Dodgers beat Giants 4-2 to clinch 5th straight NL West title:- They made it look oh-so-easy, and made it seem woefully difficult. Now, these Los Angeles Dodgers figure they’re braced for anything.

They’ll get to find out in the postseason after their 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night gave Los Angeles its fifth consecutive NL West title, setting off yet another September party at Dodger Stadium.

“You have to celebrate,” said Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. “You never know if this is the last time you’re going to win a division championship. We’re celebrating, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know there’s more work to do.”

The capper was highlighted by a homer from a player who couldn’t legally drink for most of this division title run. Cody Bellinger set an NL rookie record with his 39th homer, a three-run shot in the third inning. The 22-year-old topped the mark set by Wally Berger in 1930 and matched by Frank Robinson in 1956.Veteran Rich Hill (11-8) threw six strong innings for the Dodgers, allowing a run, five hits and a walk with nine strikeouts.

“It’s just so special every time you get a chance to celebrate, you have to take advantage of it,” Hill said. “This is something we should really enjoy — for a night.”

Los Angeles will open the NL Division Series at home on Oct. 6. The Dodgers are seeking to reach the World Series for the first time since 1988 under manager Tommy Lasorda, who was on hand at Dodger Stadium to celebrate his 90th birthday.

“This never gets old,” Lasorda said in the clubhouse after the game. He was wearing ski goggles to ward off sprayed sparkling wine.

Los Angeles tied for the third-longest streak of division titles behind Atlanta’s 14 from 1991-2005 and the New York Yankees’ nine from 1998-2006. It was the third time in four years they clinched against the Giants.

“Congrats to them,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. “They’ve had a tremendous year. Across the ball, they played really great baseball.”

After a record run that saw the Dodgers push their record to 91-36, they had gone just 6-20 — including a dismal 1-16 stretch — to make clinching their division more laborious than anticipated. Los Angeles stopped a nine-game home losing streak, winning at Chavez Ravine for the first time since Aug. 25.

“We’ve been through some enormous adversity,” Hill said. “With a chance to clinch, everybody tightened their level of play tonight and it led to the win. That will help us in the postseason.”

The Dodgers received a huge lift this season from Bellinger, who started the season in the minors and was not called up until April 25.

His three-run homer off Jeff Samardzija (9-15) in the third broke a 1-1 tie and left the Dodgers waiting to celebrate.

“The feeling running the base paths was awesome,” Bellinger said. “I knew it gave us a lead, and knowing the way our bullpen has been pitching, we were confident.

“This is so awesome. You see it on TV, and it looks fun. To actually be part of it, it’s even better. I’m glad to be part of it.”

Samardzija gave up five hits in 4 1/3 innings and surrendered all four runs in the third. At 60-94, the Giants matched their most losses since 1996.

Pablo Sandoval gave the Dodgers a scare when he led off the ninth with a solo home run off Kenley Jansen, but the closer then struck out the side to earn his 40th save and start the celebration.

Last postseason, the Dodgers lost to the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series.

“There’s a certain elation going on, but they’re still focused,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “They’re still focused on that sour taste we had in our mouths in Chicago. It hasn’t dissipated.”

GOOD COMPANY

Roberts joined Lasorda is the only Dodgers managers to lead the club to division titles in their first two seasons as a manager.

LOOKING AHEAD

Cleveland lost 3-1 to the Seattle Mariners on Friday, leaving the Dodgers two games up on the Indians for best overall record and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Giants: Bochy said OF Austin Slater is dealing with a sore right hip flexor. He could be out for a couple days.

Dodgers: RHP Josh Ravin was placed on the 60-day DL with sore hip and groin, and RHP Brandon McCarthy (knee tendinitis was activated. Roberts said McCarthy will be given a chance to earn a postseason reliever’s role. … 3B Justin Turner did not start because of a sore right thumb hit by a pitch Thursday and because he was dealing with a virus.

UP NEXT

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-9, 3.48 ERA) will seek to stop his four-game losing streak. The Giants haven’t won a Bumgarner start since Aug. 15 in Miami.

Dodgers: LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-7 3.46) will continue to make his bid as the team’s No.4 starter for the postseason. Ryu has been particularly strong at home of late, going 3-1 with a 2.62 ERA in his last 11 starts.

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2017/09/23/dodgers-beat-giants-4-2-to-clinch-5th-straight-nl-west-title/105917622/

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International team motivated by Presidents Cup failure https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/international-team-motivated-by-presidents-cup-failure.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/international-team-motivated-by-presidents-cup-failure.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 09:00:17 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44211 International team motivated by Presidents Cup failure International team motivated by Presidents Cup failure:- Nick Price got the celebration going. He won the second of 12 singles matches when David Duval conceded his short par putt on the 17th hole at Royal Melbourne, the decisive point for the International team to win the Presidents Cup. […]

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International team motivated by Presidents Cup failure

International team motivated by Presidents Cup failure:- Nick Price got the celebration going. He won the second of 12 singles matches when David Duval conceded his short par putt on the 17th hole at Royal Melbourne, the decisive point for the International team to win the Presidents Cup.

That was 1998.

Price was the No. 6 player in the world. Tiger Woods had only one major. Jordan Spieth was in kindergarten.

At the Payne Stewart Award ceremony in Atlanta, Price was introduced as a past recipient. He rose to be recognized, his gray hair brushed straight back, and the host couldn’t resist asking him with the Presidents Cup a week away, “Is this finally the year?”

Price only smiled and returned to his seat.

He gets his third chance as International captain to change the outcome of matches that have been one-sided for the better part of two decades. Nothing has changed except the venue and nearly a dozen fresh faces.

The Americans have won more tournaments. They have better world rankings. They are playing before a home crowd. They are big favorites.

“We’re tired of losing. There’s no doubt about that,” Price said last month under grandstands that were being constructed around the first tee at Liberty National Golf Club from the Statue of Liberty.

“Adam Scott has been on seven teams in a row and he hasn’t won one yet,” Price said. “That’s an awful lot of golf shots to come up empty-handed.”

The International team — 12 players representing eight countries from every continent but Europe — gets yet another crack it when the 12th edition of the Presidents Cup begins Thursday across the river from America’s most international city.

The Americans not only have the stronger pedigree, seven of their players were at Hazeltine a year ago to celebrate a rare Ryder Cup victory. They already are used to winning the Presidents Cup every year since that infamous tie in 2003 in South Africa. Now their cups are starting to overflow.

That led U.S. captain Steve Stricker to utter words of caution.

“I think the challenge will be a little overconfidence,” Stricker said.

The matches get started on Thursday with five matches of foursomes, followed by five matches of fourballs on Friday, both formats in the morning and afternoon on Saturday, and the 12 singles matches on Sunday.

It takes 15½ points to win, and that’s exactly what the Americans scratched out two years ago in a tense finish in South Korea.

That’s part of what gives the International team hope.

After losing by at least three points five straight times, this is one it thought it had won. Chris Kirk was 15 feet away for birdie on the par-5 18th. Anirban Lahiri, the first player from India in these matches, was 4 feet away. If Kirk missed and Lahiri made, the International team would win.

Kirk made. Lahiri missed. The Americans won again.

But it was the mood in the team room that made Price want to return for a third time, his hopes higher than ever.

“The morale and the feeling and the emotion that went through that team room, it won’t take much to pick that up again,” Price said. “Those who were there and experienced that, it will motivate them.”

Price has eight players back from that team, including Lahiri, whom he chose with one of his two captain’s picks. For the first time in 10 years, every player on the International team is a PGA Tour member who is comfortable competing against America’s best.

Stricker has six newcomers to the Presidents Cup, five of whom have never played for their country as professionals. That includes PGA champion Justin Thomas and Daniel Berger, along with 40-year-old Charley Hoffman.

And it includes Phil Mickelson, playing in his record 23rd consecutive Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup. Mickelson has played in every Presidents Cup, and while he thrives in the team atmosphere, he also brought up the word “overconfidence.”

Even so, the Americans have a built-in advantage from their experience in the Ryder Cup and history of their flag.

The International team plays under a flag that was created specifically for this event in 1994. They come from different continents. They grew up on different tours. They are united now by losing, even those who have never played.

“I don’t have the battle scars that some of these guys have from the previous ones,” Adam Hadwin of Canada said. “But the guys are hungry. Everybody who’s been there really wants to win. We’ve got a crop of freshmen coming in wide-eyed and ready to play good golf. It’s going to be fun — difficult, but fun.”

Scott won at Liberty National in 2013 when it hosted a FedEx Cup playoff event. He hasn’t competed for three weeks, though his motivation is high. This will be his eighth Presidents Cup match, tying the International team record held by Ernie Els and Vijay Singh. At least the other two know what it’s like to win the Presidents Cup.

Jason Day is playing for the fourth time. He failed to win a match two years ago as the International side’s best player. Scott and Day are among seven players on the International side who have failed to win a tournament anywhere in the world this year.

That doesn’t help the odds. What the International team has going for it is the sting of losing by a fraction last time, and the belief that it can change.

“It’s not a question of beating America,” Price said. “Maybe Europeans, whatever, they want to beat America. We want to win that cup. Because we’ve only had it in our hands once. It will be a memory, or week, that these guys will never forget.”

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2017/09/23/international-team-motivated-by-presidents-cup-failure/105920836/

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Wozniacki upsets Muguruza to reach final of Pan Pacific Open https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/wozniacki-upsets-muguruza-reach-final-pan-pacific-open.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/wozniacki-upsets-muguruza-reach-final-pan-pacific-open.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 08:58:19 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44210 Wozniacki upsets Muguruza to reach final of Pan Pacific Open Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki upset top-ranked Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the final of the Pan Pacific Open on Saturday. Wozniacki, a champion here in 2010 and 2016, converted six of seven break points to reach her seventh final of 2017. Playing in […]

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Wozniacki upsets Muguruza to reach final of Pan Pacific Open

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki upset top-ranked Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the final of the Pan Pacific Open on Saturday.

Wozniacki, a champion here in 2010 and 2016, converted six of seven break points to reach her seventh final of 2017.

Playing in her first tournament since earning the WTA’s top ranking, Wimbledon champion Muguruza had 29 unforced errors to drop the final 10 games of the match.

“I didn’t feel that fresh,” Muguruza said. “In the long rallies, I was struggling a little bit. I felt my energy was a little bit low, but I think she just had a good match. I didn’t make the important shots in the important moments so the match went to her side very fast.”

Sixth-ranked Wozniacki will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Sunday’s final. Pavlyuchenkova rallied from being down 3-0 in the final set to beat former No. 1 Angelique Kerber 6-0, 6-7 (4), 6-4.

Pavlyuchenkova, who is aiming for her third title of 2017, broke serve seven times and won six of the final seven games.

Pavlyuchenkova admitted her slow start in the final set had her thinking about the next tournament in China.

“I was already thinking about going to Wuhan,” Pavlyuchenkova said. “In my head I was booking flights. But at the same time, I always fight to the last point.”

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2017/09/23/wozniacki-upsets-muguruza-to-reach-final-of-pan-pacific-open/105921218/

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Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases could invade 75% of America, warns US government https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/health/mosquitoes-carrying-deadly-diseases-could-invade-75-of-america-warns-us-government.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/health/mosquitoes-carrying-deadly-diseases-could-invade-75-of-america-warns-us-government.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 08:46:24 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44207 Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases could invade 75% of America, warns US government Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases could invade 75% of America, warns US government;- Mosquitoes capable of spreading serious and potentially deadly diseases such as Zika, dengue and yellow fever could invade about three-quarters of mainland United States, the US Centres for Disease Control and […]

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Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases could invade 75% of America, warns US government

Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases could invade 75% of America, warns US government;- Mosquitoes capable of spreading serious and potentially deadly diseases such as Zika, dengue and yellow fever could invade about three-quarters of mainland United States, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have warned.

The CDC, a US federal agency, has previously warned that climate change could affect human health in many ways including increasing the number of “disease carriers such as mosquitoes and ticks”.

In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, it revealed maps showing areas where the habitat was suitable for two particular species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus to survive.

A study found 71 per cent of counties in the 48 contiguous states were suitable for aegypti and 75 per cent could support albopictus.

The paper said the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses in particular represented a “growing public health threat in parts of the United States where they are established”.

“We anticipate that Aedes aegypti and albopictus will be found more commonly in counties classified as suitable,” it said.

“Counties predicted suitable with 90 per cent sensitivity should therefore be a top priority for expanded mosquito surveillance efforts while still keeping in mind that Aedes aegypti and albopictus may be introduced, via accidental transport of eggs or immatures, and potentially proliferate during the warmest part of the year.”

Dr Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist with the CDC, said the maps showed the CDC’s “best estimate” of the insects potential range.

“In other words, these maps show areas where CDC predicts Aedes aegypti and albopictus mosquitoes could survive and reproduce if introduced to an area during the months when mosquitoes are locally active,” she said.

However the experts stressed the maps did not show where mosquitos were currently or the place where there was a risk of virus transmission.

Temperature was a key factor.

If there was just one day in winter when the temperature exceeded 10 degrees Celsius (50F), the chances that the area would be suitable for mosquitoes increased.

Consistently cold temperatures, however, reduced the chances that the insects’ eggs would survive the winter, particularly for aegypti, Dr Eisen said.

Rainfall had a significant influence on albopictus as it relies more on water courses filled by rainwater to lay its eggs than aegypti.

Dr Eisen said the maps would help monitor for signs the mosquitoes.

“Surveillance efforts can be focused in counties where Aedes aegypti and albopictus could survive and reproduce if introduced to an area during the months when mosquitoes are locally active or at least survive during summer months if introduced,” Dr Eisen said.

“Additionally, the maps can help healthcare providers and the public understand where these types of mosquitoes could be found so that they can take steps to protect against mosquito bites and possible infection.”

The CDC has produced advice on how to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and potentially catching one of the diseases they spread.

Their suggestions include wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers, staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens, using insect repellents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, treating clothing with an insecticide, permethrin.

Source:- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/mosquitos-deadly-diseases-us-government-warning-invade-america-zika-dengue-yellow-fever-chikungunya-a7959586.html

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What to Know About LASIK Surgery https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/health/know-lasik-surgery.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/health/know-lasik-surgery.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:59:00 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44202 What to Know About LASIK Surgery What to Know About LASIK Surgery:- When one of Kristina Alton’s contact lenses fell out at her office in New York City, she had to make the hour-long commute back to her apartment to get a replacement. “It was such a disaster,” she says. “I just couldn’t function without […]

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What to Know About LASIK Surgery

What to Know About LASIK Surgery:- When one of Kristina Alton’s contact lenses fell out at her office in New York City, she had to make the hour-long commute back to her apartment to get a replacement. “It was such a disaster,” she says. “I just couldn’t function without them.” That will never happen to Alton, 23, again. After undergoing LASIK surgery at Duke University Eye Center in early June, she now has better than 20/20 vision. “I’ll never be [making rounds] in clinic and have a contact fall out and have to leave,” says Alton, who recently started medical school.

During LASIK surgery, your ophthalmologist cuts a thin flap on your cornea – the clear, outer layer of the eye – using either a laser or a surgical blade. Once the flap is folded back, he or she uses a cool-beam laser to remove pieces of corneal tissue, sculpting your cornea into the ideal shape to focus light on your retina and create sharp images. The laser is controlled by a computer, preprogrammed by your doctor for your unique set of vision problems. If you’re nearsighted, the laser will remove tissue to flatten your cornea; if you’re farsighted, it will make your cornea steeper; and if you have an astigmatism, it will trim your cornea to be more spherical. The flap is then closed and eventually heals into a seal.

Patients stay awake for the procedure but are given numbing eye drops and, often, a Valium to relax. Alton says her surgery took just about 10 minutes. And although she could hear the “popping sounds” of the laser and smell pieces of her cornea “burning,” she didn’t feel any pain, just a little bit of nerves. When the surgery was over, “I remember I smiled so big because I looked up and I could see the ceiling tiles were crystal clear,” Alton recalls. It’s common to experience fluctuations in vision following the surgery, but Alton did not.

“Any surgery that you do carries risk with it. Fortunately, LASIK eye surgery is one of the safest procedures we perform in all of ophthalmology,” says Alton’s ophthalmologist, Terry Kim, a professor of ophthalmology at the Duke University School of Medicine, chief of the cornea and external disease division, and director of refractive surgery service at Duke University Eye Center. But like any surgery, it’s important to seriously consider the risks and do your research before going under the laser.

Am I an eligible candidate?

“I’m not going to offer an elective procedure to someone who’s not a perfect candidate,” says Kendall Donaldson, an associate professor of ophthalmology and medical director at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Plantation, Florida. In order to qualify as a perfect candidate, you must have generally normal, healthy eyes. Conditions such as dry eye need to be considered before you can undergo the procedure, as LASIK is likely to exacerbate symptoms. If you have large pupils or thin corneas, which your ophthalmologist will be able to tell you, he or she may recommend a different refractive surgery, such as PRK, to minimize risk of complications. Autoimmune conditions, which can predispose patients to developing dry eye, may also disqualify you, Donaldson says. And if your prescription hasn’t been stable for more than a year or you’re pregnant, LASIK will have to wait.

What are the potential gains?

“We never guarantee 20/20 vision,” Donaldson says, “even though that’s what most patients do get.” More than 90 percent of eyes (one eye for some patients, two eyes for others) reach 20/20 vision or better, and 99.5 percent get at least 20/40, according to an analysis of articles published between 2008 and 2015. Overall 20/20 vision is considered “perfect” and 20/40 is half as good, but good enough to pass an eye exam at the DMV. If you don’t get your desired eyesight after the initial surgery, an “enhancement procedure,” which entails lifting your corneal flap and applying a little more laser to tune your vision closer to 20/20, is an option. These procedures are fairly rare and are more commonly needed in those who had worse eyesight to begin with, Donaldson notes.

What are the risks?

Short-term side effects after LASIK are common. A 2014 study by the Food and Drug Administration found one or more visual side effects, such as glares or halos, in around 45 percent of participants three months after LASIK surgery, and dry eye in about 28 percent in the same time frame. Still, 95 percent of participants in the study said they were satisfied with the improvements in their vision, and less than 1 percent said the side effects seriously affected their daily lives. Usually these side effects clear up within six months, but in rare cases, they can persist. Kim and Donaldson say more serious complications that can cause vision loss, like inflammation and corneal ectasia, are also possible but occur in less than 1 percent of patients.

“LASIK is one of the few surgeries that we do both eyes on the same day,” Donaldson says. For larger surgeries, like cataract surgery or glaucoma surgery, doctors do one eye at a time to mitigate risk. “If we had significant reservations about the safety of LASIK … then we wouldn’t be doing two eyes at the same time,” Donaldson says. And technologies used during the screening process and the surgery itself are only getting better and safer, Donaldson and Kim agree.

What kind of LASIK surgery should I get?

“All-laser LASIK” or “bladeless LASIK” uses a laser instead of a blade to create the corneal flap. Although the FDA website states that “there is no absolute agreement among eye surgeons on the better choice of flap creation,” both Kim and Donaldson consider all-laser LASIK safer.

You can also choose to get “custom LASIK,” meaning your eye doctor measures your vision with a “WaveScan” of your eyes and is able to provide more precise guidance for the laser treatment than with the conventional measurement system. “It treats the eye like a fingerprint,” Kim explains. “No one else is going to get the same treatment, even though they wear the same glasses or contact prescription.” He highly recommends that patients ask for custom LASIK, in addition to all-laser LASIK, as studies have shown it increases the chance of patients getting 20/20 vision.

How much does it cost?

The average national cost for custom bladeless LASIK is about $2,500 per eye. However, LASIK surgery prices can vary significantly depending on your location, the technology used and whether follow-ups and enhancement procedures are included in the price. At Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, the price tag falls right around the national average, $2,500 per eye, and at Duke University Eye Institute, the tab per eye is a little less: $1,950. LASIK is an elective procedure so insurance will rarely help you cover the cost.

How long do improvements last?

The vision gains that patients obtain through LASIK “typically last them a lifetime,” Kim says. However, your eyesight can still naturally weaken over time. If your vision becomes significantly worse, you may have to choose between getting an enhancement procedure or returning to an external fix like glasses. According to a 2008 study in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, about 20 percent of people underwent an enhancement procedure 10 years after LASIK. More recent long-term studies are considerably lacking, but experts estimate that enhancement rates are now less than 10 percent or even less than 5 percent. Kim attributes the lower estimates to the technology advances we’ve made in the last few decades. Meanwhile, presbyopia – the gradual loss of near vision that develops with age – is a condition that everyone, including those who have undergone LASIK, can count on facing around age 40.

Source:- https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2017-09-21/what-to-know-about-lasik-surgery

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6 Must-Try Autumn Tricks That Prevent Winter Weight Gain https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/health/6-must-try-autumn-tricks-prevent-winter-weight-gain.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/health/6-must-try-autumn-tricks-prevent-winter-weight-gain.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:55:40 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44197 6 Must-Try Autumn Tricks That Prevent Winter Weight Gain 6 Must-Try Autumn Tricks That Prevent Winter Weight Gain:- No matter how awesome fall is – with its changing colors, crisp air and pumpkin-packed recipes – it’s also a bittersweet reminder that winter is on its way. And with winter comes short, dark days, bitter temps […]

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6 Must-Try Autumn Tricks That Prevent Winter Weight Gain

6 Must-Try Autumn Tricks That Prevent Winter Weight Gain:- No matter how awesome fall is – with its changing colors, crisp air and pumpkin-packed recipes – it’s also a bittersweet reminder that winter is on its way. And with winter comes short, dark days, bitter temps and a nagging temptation to hibernate with a bowl of calorie-packed comfort foods.

But you don’t have to let your summer successes turn into winter weight gain. By preparing and cementing your wintertime self-care strategies before the first snowflake falls, you can most effectively combat wintertime fatigue, skipped workouts, blue moods and extra holiday pounds, says Susan Albers, a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of “Eat Q: Unlock The Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence.”

Here, experts share six strategies that are never too early to put into practice. Cross them off of your fall to-do list for your healthiest winter yet.

1. Mark your calendar with goals.

Wait until the New Year to set health and fitness goals, and you’ll find yourself with a hole to dig yourself out of, says certified personal trainer Erik Marthaler, co-founder of Lateral Fitness in Chicago. Use fall to capitalize on any healthy habits you had over the summer (think: outdoor runs and bright, produce-packed meals) and set a long-term goal that will carry you clear into spring.

“Have something on the calendar such as a spring race and then put together a training plan that will lead you up to that date to keep you on track,” he says, emphasizing the importance of having weekly and monthly mini-goals to keep you accountable and prevent procrastination.

2. Experiment with indoor fitness classes.

Absolutely hate exercising in cold winter weather? Start trying new indoor fitness classes now so that by the time the bitter winds strike, you’ve become a regular in a class you love. Having a winter workout that you legitimately look forward to – and an accountability system in place to help you through those days when motivation is lacking – is critical to fitness success.

Try out one-time drop-in classes or consider subscribing to ClassPass for access to various group classes in your area before paying for a full membership. And speaking of local, opt for classes that are close to your home or work. That way, when the weather gets rough, you’ll have one less obstacle to getting to and from the studio.

3. Start combating SAD now.

While 6 percent of Americans suffer from full-on seasonal affective disorder, 14 percent of adults deal with winter blues, a less-severe form of seasonal mood change that similarly involves fatigue, depressive moods and overeating, according to research from Georgetown University Medical School. And, contrary to its name, it actually tends to start in the fall.

Take action now by talking to you doctor about whether you need a vitamin D supplement, Albers recommends. While fortified milk and orange juice, and dark, leafy greens contain some vitamin D, the bulk of your body’s D levels come from sun exposure, which tends to be at a minimum in the winter. So try to soak up all you can (while still wearing sunscreen, of course!) now by getting outside whenever you can and even repositioning your desk near a window if possible. You may also want to consider using a vitamin D lamp or light therapy box to help keep your mood up during the darker months. When it comes to these therapies, you can never start to soon.

4. Practice eating for the right reason.

During the winter, there are so many reasons to eat – from holiday parties to lackluster energy levels to cravings for something warm, gooey and filled with fat. However, it’s important to remember that the best reason to eat is hunger, explains registered dietitian Georgie Fear, author of “Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss.”

But eating in response to hunger (rather all of the other stuff) is a habit that takes time to build and requires tuning into your own hunger cues in what may be an unfamiliar way, she says. Whenever you go to reach for a bite of something, ask yourself, “Am I actually hungry?”

Ideally, you should eat when you feel just slightly hungry and stop when you feel slightly satisfied. So, if the answer to your question is “No,” consider what’s behind your craving and what you can do to better address your sweet tooth or winter blues. After all, if hunger isn’t the problem, eating isn’t the solution.

5. Adjust your winter mentality.

There’s a certain power to be gained from embracing the cold rather than trying to wish it away. “Stay in the now and focus on what the season provides,” Albers says. That could be the extra support from time spent with friends and family or fun activities such as snowball fights and holiday-themed runs.

“You don’t have to decide you are going to be a snow bunny right away. Take baby steps into your outdoor activities,” Marthaler says. Go ice-skating on date night or plan a family skiing trip. Don’t have an opportunity to make it to the mountains? Then cross-country skiing is perfect for you. And what a workout!

Now’s the time to start shopping for the workout gear you need to stay warm and comfortable on your treks to and from the gym – not to mention any outdoor workouts, says Marthaler, noting that many brands offer early-season sales (another big reason to get browsing ASAP!).

Consider a waterproof jacket, ear warmers, gloves and even ice cleats. The latter strap on and attach to your favorite running shoes to help you keep traction when traversing ice, snow and slush.

Sourcel;:- https://health.usnews.com/wellness/articles/2017-09-22/6-must-try-autumn-tricks-that-prevent-winter-weight-gain

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Apple iPhone 8 Plus Early Review https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/apple-iphone-8-plus-early-review.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/apple-iphone-8-plus-early-review.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:51:32 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44194 Apple iPhone 8 Plus Early Review: A Big Leap Forward With A Great Surprise I haven’t had the iPhone 8 Plus for long, so I’m not fully reviewing it yet. I did, however, think it was worth looking at it from the perspective of someone who didn’t attend the Apple launch and this year, for […]

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Apple iPhone 8 Plus Early Review: A Big Leap Forward With A Great Surprise

I haven’t had the iPhone 8 Plus for long, so I’m not fully reviewing it yet. I did, however, think it was worth looking at it from the perspective of someone who didn’t attend the Apple launch and this year, for the first time in ages, didn’t watch the live stream. So when I unboxed the 8 Plus, it was my first time seeing the phone.

The iPhone 8 Plus loan sample I’m using was sent to me by UK retailer Direct Mobiles so I didn’t get a choice in colour, however, I’m quite pleased to have the Gold device for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s enabled me to see how much of the Rose Gold colour there is here and secondly, it’s much nicer to have a bold colour for photos than either Silver or Space Gray. Anyway, the Gold is excellent and Apple’s done a really good job blending the bold colour of the metal with the rear finish.

So what’s the surprise?

Wireless charging. Honestly. I expected an experience that mirrors the ones I’ve had with Android devices. Competent at best, but often frustration at putting the phone down and it not picking up the charger. A slightly sluggish start to the charge cycle is also common on other phones too. Not with the iPhone 8 though. Using my Samsung wireless charger I was thrilled to discover that the iPhone 8 Plus immediately starts the charging cycle and feels a lot more snappy than other phones.

This is, to me, a good example of what Apple does best. It’s not always first with technology and wireless charging is nothing new. But if you want “normal” consumers using a tech like wireless it has to be seamless and easy. I feel like Apple has managed that when others have struggled. I don’t know how it managed it either, but the experience felt better.

I do wish Apple had put a wireless charger in the box, but this is just a fantasy – that wouldn’t happen with Apple and probably wouldn’t with any other mobile firm either.

How does it feel?

I expected the 8 Plus to feel different. The glass back is nice, but it doesn’t make as much of a difference as I would expect. I think the iPhone 8 is a lovely device, but coming as I am from a 7 Plus it doesn’t feel all that different. It is heavier though, and I feel like it’s quite noticeable in the hand.

The big question I had going in was “will it be slippery” and I’m pleased to say that it’s actually not. Well, it is but not enough more than the metal on the iPhone 7 to worry me much. Like most phones it accrues fingerprints at an alarming rate but I bought a job lot of microfibre cloths on Amazon to deal with this exact problem.

I suppose if I wanted to be super-critical of the iPhone 8 I could say that it doesn’t feel different enough to the iPhone 7. I expected the glass back to have a more distinctive feel, and the truth is that Apple has just done what it does best, which is producing a product that feels like it has always existed.

It’s worth it for the screen

One of my favourite features is the True Tone display. Since Apple launched the original iPad Pro 9.7 with this tech I’ve loved how it adapts to the ambient light. The idea is that this phone should always have a display that’s sympathetic to your environment.

There’s no resolution boost here from last year, so pixel counters will need to wait for the iPhone X to satisfy their need for higher resolutions. But as always, the iPhone’s display is beautifully crisp, with a wide colour gamut to produce accurate colours.

But the True Tone means that when you’re inside, under artificial light, the display isn’t pushing a blue tint at you. This feels a lot more natural to use and paired with Apple’s subtle automatic brightness the iPhone 8 is always giving you an image that feels comfortable. It should also help with colour accuracy too, matching the on-screen image to the ambient light you’re watching in.

Camera and video gets a massive boost

Apple is using HEVC to record 4K at up to 60 frames per second and, amazingly, slow-motion at 240 frames per second in 1080p. I realise for most people the technical achievement of this is somewhat lost, but I promise you these features are pretty staggering in a smartphone.

Although the iOS 11 update to how photos are handled also works on older phones, I do feel like it’s a massive improvement overall. Being able to loop Live Photos and generally have more control over filters feels like it’s going to be significant.

There have been other upgrades to the camera and processing but I’ve not had enough time to fully test them yet – I will do so for a full review later.

Should you upgrade?

First thing’s first, if you’re an iPhone 7 Plus owner, I suspect you’re going to want to hold fire on the iPhone 8 Plus. Last years phone is so good I’ve never got bored of it, or felt I needed to upgrade. This might not be what Apple wants to hear, but I suspect the big upgrade for current 7 Plus owners will be the iPhone 9 Plus next year. Or perhaps jumping to the iPhone X.

Personally, I think the people who should upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus are those with any of the smaller iPhones or the 6 or 6S Plus. The dual camera is so good that if you’re not using it, moving on to it will be such a massive leap forward for you that you’ll be blown away.

For Android users, it’s almost certainly a good time to switch. My feeling though is that anyone defecting from Android would probably want to go for the iPhone X, with its interesting features.

Obviously, people who can’t live without a headphone jack, or cope with an adaptor should avoid too – but the world is changing around you, it’s time to move on too.

If you are upgrading, there’s something important to remember

David Phelan pointed this out in his recent article, and I was blown away by the simplicity of how it works. If you’re moving from an older Apple phone that can support iOS 11 it’s worth upgrading before you switch to the new phone. The upgrade process for those who do this is so simple it’s amazing.

Very early verdict

It’s easy for us writers to forget that normal people don’t usually upgrade their phones every year so even if the iPhone 8 was only a small update it would still be a big change for a lot of users. However the iPhone 8 is a surprisingly big update over last year’s iPhone 7. Camera tweaks, new video options including a more efficient video codec and that glorious True Tone display mean that this is actually a pretty big update. It’s certainly more significant than the usual “S” increment on odd years.

It will be interesting to see how popular the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus turn out to be against a backdrop of the more expensive, but more desirable iPhone X. I’ll be honest here, if I was buying I’d go for the X. The real truth is that I’ve been considering pre-ordering the X when it’s available.

But if you were hesitating over the iPhone 8, don’t. There are some changes here that make the new iPhone a joy. Wireless charging is a really nice touch and the incremental improvements to the camera are always worth having. If you’re coming from an iPhone 6 or 6S and you want this larger device, I heartily recommend it.

Source:- https://www.forbes.com/sites/ianmorris/2017/09/22/apple-iphone-8-plus-early-review-a-big-leap-forward-with-a-great-surprise/#124ab9e8124b

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iPhone 8 vs. Galaxy Note 8 speed test https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/iphone-8-vs-galaxy-note-8-speed-test.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/iphone-8-vs-galaxy-note-8-speed-test.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:46:40 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44189 iPhone 8 vs. Galaxy Note 8 speed test: It’s not even a contest anymore We already know the iPhone 8’s A11 Bionic processor will deliver tremendous performance. Benchmark scores showed that the new chip is miles ahead of the competition when it comes to scores, and it’s even able to outperform some of Apple’s most […]

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iPhone 8 vs. Galaxy Note 8 speed test: It’s not even a contest anymore

We already know the iPhone 8’s A11 Bionic processor will deliver tremendous performance. Benchmark scores showed that the new chip is miles ahead of the competition when it comes to scores, and it’s even able to outperform some of Apple’s most recent MacBook Pros. But how does the chip fare in real-life tests?

We already saw an iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 7 speed test, since Apple’s 2016 handsets still does a lot better in these tests against top Android contenders. Tom’s Guide took things a step further and compared the iPhone 8 to its biggest rivals, the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8.

The conclusion? The A11 Bionic is miles ahead of what Android devices can do. It’s not even a contest anymore, and it looks like Qualcomm, Samsung, and Google are going to have a tough time matching the iPhone 8 and iPhone X speed.

In addition to running the same Geekbench benchmark tests that we already saw, Tom’s Guide also tested the graphics power of the iPhone 8 models. Apple makes its own GPU, the company revealed on stage last week, which scores up to 64412 (iPhone 8 Plus) in 3DMark tests. The Galaxy Note 8 tops out at under 40000, while the Galaxy S8 does around 36500 in the same tests.

But again, these are benchmark tests that don’t tell the whole story. It’s the real-life performance that really matters. And Tom’s Guide decided to put the phones through the same test we’ve seen in the past: “we put the same 2-minute video, shot in 4K by a drone, on the iPhone 8, Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8+, and then added the same transitions and effects before exporting and saving the video.”

The iPhone 8 did the job in 42 seconds. The Galaxy Note 8 came in second with a 3:03 time, while the Galaxy S8+ needed more than a minute longer, at 4:07. Similarly, the iPhone 8 is faster at opening resources-heavy apps than its rivals.

The iPhone 8 also opened more demanding apps faster than its predecessor and the top Android phone right now, although those differences were less dramatic. It took the iPhone 8 11 seconds to fully load the Injustice 2 game, compared to 14.53 seconds for the iPhone 7 Plus and 19 seconds for the Note 8.

The iPhone 8 “obliterates every Android phone we tested” the site noted, and it’s “easily the fastest phone ever.”

Source:-http://bgr.com/2017/09/22/iphone-8-vs-galaxy-note-8-vs-galaxy-s8-speed-test/

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Take Five World markets themes for the week ahead https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/take-five-world-markets-themes-week-ahead.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/take-five-world-markets-themes-week-ahead.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:41:57 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44176 Take Five World markets themes for the week ahead Take Five World markets themes for the week ahead: Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the Reuters stories related to them. 1/ STRONG QUARTER? NOT HALF It’s the end of the quarter. And what a […]

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Take Five World markets themes for the week ahead

Take Five World markets themes for the week ahead: Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the Reuters stories related to them.

1/ STRONG QUARTER? NOT HALF

It’s the end of the quarter. And what a remarkable quarter it has been. Wall Street and world stocks have climbed to record high after record high, chalking up the longest streak of quarterly gains in two decades. At the same time, volatility has remained anchored at the lowest levels in decades. By some measures, the last few days have been the calmest in U.S. stock market history. Bond markets have also been well behaved, considering many of the world’s major central banks are preparing to shrink their balance sheets. There’s been a little more volatility in FX, with the euro breaking above $1.20 and sterling recovering sharply this month. What does that mean for next week? Potentially some profit-taking and position squaring as investors lock in what they got during the quarter. If that’s the case, some weakness in stocks, bonds, and the euro.

2/ ON A ROLL

Sterling has, with a week to go to the end of the third quarter, put in its best performance against the dollar since the second quarter of 2015. The week ending Sept. 9, when the Bank of England began talking about raising interest rates in what would be its first hike in a decade, was the pound’s best in eight years. Recent days were dominated by anticipation of a major speech on Brexit from UK Prime Minister Theresa May. In the event, it did not break much new ground for markets and the pound was slightly lower on the day, raising questions over where the impetus for another move higher in sterling will come from.

3/ SPARE A ROUBLE?

After B&N Bank, Russia’s 12th biggest lender, became the latest domino to tumble in the country’s banking sector, markets will be on alert for hints of more trouble. B&N’s bailout request came three weeks after the rescue of Otkritie Bank while earlier, licences were revoked at Yugra bank and Tatfondbank. Investors reckon more banks will fail, stemming from Western sanctions and unbridled expansion before that. That means Russian financials’ shares, down 12 percent this year,may see little respite .MICEXFNL (Broader Russian shares have lost 8 percent). Bonds of afflicted banks have fallen heavily. As a result, private banks’ shares and bonds may stay under pressure (PSBR.MM) (CBOM.MM). There is also the question of expense – bailouts will be financed through a special fund but costs could be huge, with Otkritie’s capital deficit almost $7 billion and a $6 billion hole likely in B&N’s balance sheet. That’s on top of the $30 billion deposit insurance that’s already been paid to depositors of failed banks. The central bank will sell bonds and hold deposit auctions to finance the rescue. But if the sums are massive, it could fuel inflation – a setback in Russia’s battle against price growth. That would be bad news for the rouble and Russia’s local bonds, which have so far easily withstood the bank malaise.

4/ FOR REAL

It used to be that when the Federal Reserve raised rates, Asia’s emerging economies would follow. With the U.S. central bank announcing the final stage of its exit from unconventional policies, policymakers are watching for any evidence of risk aversion. For the moment, though, there are no signs of outflows from the region and there is little pressure to compete for funds with higher rates. Low inflation is a global pandemic and that keeps real interest rates in Asia attractive. In fact, India and Indonesia cut rates in August and could even have room to cut again – perhaps even joined by Thailand. The Thai central bank holds a policy meeting on Sept. 27

5/ IF…

Equifax and bitcoin have been much on investors’ minds this month. Fallout from Equifax’s massive data breach, which compromised the social security numbers and other personal information of as many as 143 million Americans, wiped out more than one-third of the company’s market value, sending its shares to a more than 2-1/2-year low. Meanwhile, the price of a bitcoin declined to about $3,000 from a September peak of about $5,100, as Chinese authorities said they would ban trading of the cryptocurrency in their country. Bitcoin has bounced back above $4,000, but Equifax shares, which fell as low as $89.59 from $142.72 before the scandal broke, have rebounded only to about $96. If Equifax shares were priced in bitcoin, they would be worth just 2 cents each. So, as investors enter the final quarter of the year, will Equifax or bitcoin be at the top of managers buy-and-hold list?

Source:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets-themes/take-five-world-markets-themes-for-the-week-ahead-idUSKCN1BX299

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Melania Trump’s Not So Down-To-Earth https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/celebrities/melania-trumps-not-so-down-to-earth.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/celebrities/melania-trumps-not-so-down-to-earth.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:30:06 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44175 Melania Trump’s Not So Down-To-Earth: She Sports $1,362 Red Plaid Shirt In White House Garden Melania Trump is digging into being the first lady, literally! She hit the White House Garden to plant veggies with local D.C. kids on Sept. 22, but the fashionista didn’t get her $1,362 designer red plaid shirt dirty. We doubt […]

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Melania Trump’s Not So Down-To-Earth: She Sports $1,362 Red Plaid Shirt In White House Garden

Melania Trump is digging into being the first lady, literally! She hit the White House Garden to plant veggies with local D.C. kids on Sept. 22, but the fashionista didn’t get her $1,362 designer red plaid shirt dirty.

We doubt getting down in the dirt and planting veggies with strangers was something Melania Trump, 47, ever foresaw in her future when she married Donald Trump, 71. But now that he’s president, she has to serve our country as the first lady and that means doing stuff that the former New York socialite probably never bargained for. She made her very first appearance in the White House Kitchen Garden on Sept. 22, surrounded by kids from a Washington D.C. Boys and Girls Club and she really tried to do her best to look like she was enjoying it. However, Melania made sure to keep up her stylish standards and since she couldn’t wear her beloved high heels in the dirt, she wore a $1,362 red plaid shirt with large gold buttons by French design house Balmain instead.

She also didn’t want to ruin her nicely manicured nails either, wearing a chic pair of matching red gloves that were hardly the gardening variety. Melania did keep her footwear sensible in a pair of navy Converse sneakers with dark blue skinny jeans to show off her figure. We’re just glad that the Trumps kept the White House Kitchen Garden around, as it was started by Michelle Obama, 53, as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign to end childhood obesity. Donald seems dead set on undoing everything that was related to the former White House residents, so thank goodness Melania is keeping the garden healthy and tended to.

Melania is such a natural she is with kids, as she definitely seems most at home working on projects involving children. Being a mom to Barron, 11, is be her greatest delight and now she’s able to share her maternal ways with the youth of our country. She gave the youngsters a pep talk about healthy eating while sitting next to a table full of veggies before they all got to work in the garden, planting new greens while harvesting peppers and onions. After spending the first five months of Donald’s presidency in NYC while Barron finished his school year, Melania’s now finally able to take on more duties as the first lady now that she’s living in Washington D.C. full-time.

Source:http://hollywoodlife.com/2017/09/22/melania-trump-red-plaid-shirt-balmain-white-house-garden/

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Fed officials in muddle over permanent vs temporary inflation lull https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/fed-officials-muddle-permanent-vs-temporary-inflation-lull.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/fed-officials-muddle-permanent-vs-temporary-inflation-lull.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:21:52 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44170 Fed officials in muddle over permanent vs temporary inflation lull Fed officials in muddle over permanent vs temporary inflation lull: Federal Reserve officials with competing views about inflation laid out on Friday the quandary facing U.S. policymakers as they wrestle over whether a recent dip in the pace of price increases is trivial, or the […]

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Fed officials in muddle over permanent vs temporary inflation lull

Fed officials in muddle over permanent vs temporary inflation lull: Federal Reserve officials with competing views about inflation laid out on Friday the quandary facing U.S. policymakers as they wrestle over whether a recent dip in the pace of price increases is trivial, or the result of global forces that could permanently throw off the Fed’s policy calculus.

The resolution of that debate will be critical to whether the Fed proceeds with an expected December rate increase and more hikes next year, or concludes that the inflation “mystery” is evidence of a change in how global prices are set. It is also central to an issue of broad political and economic importance: how low the unemployment rate can fall before rising wages and competition for goods starts pushing price increases to uncomfortable levels.

“We are all trying to get a grip on it,” Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said of discussion within the Fed over why an unemployment rate in the low four percent range has not led to greater inflation pressure, as it would under standard theories about the “Phillips Curve” tradeoff between a tight jobs market and rising prices.

With the most recent Fed projections showing unemployment falling to 4.1 percent in coming months with inflation still below the Fed’s 2 percent target, Kaplan said he is becoming convinced other forces are at work.

It may be global supply chains, he said, or technology giving consumers more pricing power. Either way, he said, the Fed could possibly let unemployment fall further without worrying about inflation rising too fast.

The recent projections “tells you people have started to conclude we can run a lower unemployment rate without inflation,” Kaplan said. “Then the question is why. I am putting forward the structural view.”

Fed Chair Janet Yellen called the behavior of inflation a “mystery,” though she has generally said she remains convinced tight labor markets will ultimately lead to rising prices.

The Fed’s most recent projections showed a solid majority of policymakers expecting to raise rates in December.

But the path from there is less clear. Some officials still expect traditional dynamics to emerge if unemployment stays low, and also argue it would be worse for workers if the Fed has to play catch-up and raise rates faster.

Kansas City Fed President Esther George said the recent weak inflation readings – the Fed’s preferred measure was most recently 1.4 percent – was no reason for the Fed to back away from a continued gradual pace of rate increases.

“It is hard for me to see…any of that is related to weak economic activity,” at a time of low unemployment and still strong consumer confidence, said George, who has long argued that it was time to raise interest rates to more normal levels.

The expected gradual pace of rate increases is “appropriate…but we do have to keep moving,” she said.

Fed officials, following their regular policy meeting, indicated on Wednesday they are prepared to raise rates again in December and three times next year.

Source:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed/fed-officials-in-muddle-over-permanent-vs-temporary-inflation-lull-idUSKCN1BX2TH

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U.S. challenged by rising North Korea tensions, Russia urges calm https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/u-s-challenged-by-rising-north-korea-tensions-russia-urges-calm.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/u-s-challenged-by-rising-north-korea-tensions-russia-urges-calm.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:11:29 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44153 U.S. challenged by rising North Korea tensions, Russia urges calm Russia urged “hot heads” to calm down on Friday as the United States admitted it felt “challenged” by North Korea’s warning that it could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific and President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un traded more insults. Trump called the […]

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U.S. challenged by rising North Korea tensions, Russia urges calm

Russia urged “hot heads” to calm down on Friday as the United States admitted it felt “challenged” by North Korea’s warning that it could test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific and President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un traded more insults.

Trump called the North Korean leader a “madman” on Friday, a day after Kim dubbed him a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who would face the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in retaliation for Trump saying the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the U.S. or its allies.

“We have to calm down the hot heads,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters at the United Nations, where world leaders gathered this week for the annual U.N. General Assembly. “We continue to strive for the reasonable and not the emotional approach…of the kindergarten fight between children.”

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed hope in an interview with ABC that sanctions and “voices from every corner of the world” could lead North Korea back to talks, but admitted intensifying rhetoric had left Washington “quite challenged.”

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific. Ri, who is due to speak to the United Nations on Saturday, added that he did not know Kim’s exact thoughts.

In response, Tillerson said U.S. diplomatic efforts would continue but all military options were still on the table.

North Korea’s six nuclear tests to date have all been underground, and experts say an atmospheric test, which would be the first since one by China in 1980, would be proof of the success of its weapons program.

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Washington was taking Kim’s threat seriously and added that any atmospheric test would be a “game-changer.”

But he said there were questions about North Korea’s technical capabilities and Washington did not give “too much credence” to Pyongyang taking such action. “There’s a certain amount of bluster that’s taken for granted when you’re dealing with North Korea,” the official told Reuters.

‘UNACCEPTABLE’

Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3 and has launched dozens of missiles this year as it accelerates a program aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

Lavrov on Friday again pushed a proposal by Moscow and Beijing for a dual suspension of North Korean weapons tests and the U.S.-South Korean military drills to kick-start talks. Lavrov suggested that a neutral European country could mediate.

He described the exchange of insults between the U.S. and North Korean leaders was “quite bad, unacceptable.”

U.S. Treasury and gold prices rose while the Japanese yen strengthened on Friday as the exchange of barbs fueled geopolitical jitters and drove investors into assets considered safer during times of turmoil.

The latest round of rhetoric began on Tuesday when Trump, in his first address to the United Nations, made the threat to destroy North Korea, a country of 26 million people. He also called Kim a “rocket man” on a suicide mission.

“His remarks … have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last,” Kim said in the statement carried by the North’s official KCNA news agency on Friday, promising to make Trump “pay dearly for his speech.”

South Korea said it was the first direct statement of its kind by a North Korean leader. Japan, the only country to suffer an atomic attack, called the North Korean threat to conduct an atmospheric test “totally unacceptable”.

‘MADMAN’

Trump on Friday tweeted: “Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before.”

The White House said on Friday that Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in had agreed to Seoul’s ”acquisition and development of highly advanced military assets“ and to increased deployment of U.S. strategic assets in and around South Korea on a rotational basis.” It did not name specific weapons systems.

On Thursday Trump announced new U.S. sanctions that he said allows the targeting of companies and institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea. Then when asked if diplomacy was still a possible, he said: “Why not?”

The additional sanctions on Pyongyang, including on its shipping and trade networks, showed Trump was giving more time for economic pressure to weigh on North Korea. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said banks doing business in North Korea would not be allowed to operate in the United States.

KCNA also published rare criticism of official Chinese media, saying comments on North Korea’s nuclear program had damaged ties and suggested Beijing, its neighbor and only major ally, had sided with Washington.

KCNA said Chinese media was “openly resorting to interference in the internal affairs of another country” and driving a wedge between the two countries.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: “All relevant sides should exercise restraint and dedicate themselves to easing the situation rather than irritating each other.”

The rhetoric has started to rattle some in other countries. French Sports Minister Laura Flessel said France’s team would not travel to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea if its security could not be guaranteed.

The 2018 Games are to be staged in Pyeongchang, just 80 km (50 miles) from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, the world’s most heavily armed border.

 

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-usa/u-s-challenged-by-rising-north-korea-tensions-russia-urges-calm-idUSKCN1BW1ZZ

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Bettencourt death stirs speculation about L’Oreal ownership https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/bettencourt-death-stirs-speculation-loreal-ownership.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/bettencourt-death-stirs-speculation-loreal-ownership.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:11:24 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44164 Bettencourt death stirs speculation about L’Oreal ownership Bettencourt death stirs speculation about L’Oreal ownership: The death of billionaire Liliane Bettencourt focused attention on Friday on how L‘Oreal’s founding family and major shareholder Nestle (NESN.S) would manage their stakes in the world’s biggest cosmetics firm. Bettencourt, listed by Forbes as the world’s richest woman and heiress […]

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Bettencourt death stirs speculation about L’Oreal ownership

Bettencourt death stirs speculation about L’Oreal ownership: The death of billionaire Liliane Bettencourt focused attention on Friday on how L‘Oreal’s founding family and major shareholder Nestle (NESN.S) would manage their stakes in the world’s biggest cosmetics firm.

Bettencourt, listed by Forbes as the world’s richest woman and heiress to the company started by her father, died at the age of 94, relatives said late on Thursday.

Bettencourt’s family owns 33 percent of L‘Oreal. Relatives including her daughter have managed the stake for several years since a court found she was suffering from a form of dementia.

Nestle retains a 23 percent stake in the company.

The death of the matriarch signals a potential shift in L‘Oreal’s ownership. A 43-year-old agreement between the family and Nestle not to increase their stakes will expire after six months. There were no restrictions on reducing the stakes.

“Speculation will now inevitably be re-ignited around Nestle’s intentions toward its L‘Oreal stake,” analysts at Jefferies said.

“This holds out the prospect of L‘Oreal either buying in the stake, or perhaps even Nestle buying L‘Oreal outright.”

Hopes of change lifted L’Oreal’s shares 3 percent, making it the best performer on France’s benchmark CAC-40 index .FCHI.

Bettencourt’s only daughter Françoise Bettencourt-Meyers, who sits on L‘Oreal’s board with her husband and one son, has said the family remained committed to L‘Oreal and its management.

“While the Bettencourt family has reasserted its commitment to the group, Nestle’s position is more in doubt,” said Gregoire Laverne, fund manager at Roche-Brune.

Nestle’s stake was worth 23 billion euros ($27.6 billion) before Friday’s share price rise.

Questions over Nestle’s investment in L‘Oreal have intensified since June when activist shareholder Third Point disclosed a holding in Nestle and urged the Swiss group to dispose of an investment which is worth more than 10 percent of its own market value.

Nestle has long said the stake was strategic and financial and its thinking has not changed, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Nestle conveyed its condolences to the Bettencourt family on Friday. Beyond that, a spokeswoman said: “This is not the right time to make any further comment.”

L‘Oreal could not be reached for comment.

TANGLED TAKEOVER TALK

Over the years there has been speculation that Nestle might try to acquire L‘Oreal outright, but that view is less common now that Nestle reduced its stake from 31 percent in 2014 and loosened the companies’ ties by taking over the Galderma dermatology joint venture they shared.

What is more, Nestle has pivoted toward nutrition and health while L‘Oreal is focused on beauty products.

“We think a disposal in the medium/long-term is more likely than a takeover,” said analysts at UBS.

Nestle’s new chief executive Mark Schneider, who began his role at the turn of the year, will lay out his strategy next week at an investor meeting in London.

L‘Oreal being controlled by two large shareholders has helped insulate it from unsolicited takeover bids like the one Unilever received this year which rippled through a packaged goods sector battling slowing growth.

Any decline in the influence of the two big investors could make L‘Oreal more vulnerable, an industry banker said on Friday, but noted that its $117 billion market value limited any pool of suitors.

L‘Oreal is seen as a willing and able buyer of Nestle’s stake, and could use its 9 percent holding in drugmaker Sanofi (SASY.PA), worth about 9.5 billion euros, to fund it. Sanofi shares were up just under 1 percent.

Jefferies estimates that if L‘Oreal bought back Nestle’s entire stake in financial year 2018, it would end up with net debt 2.9 times EBITDA, which it called affordable.

Earnings per share would rise 10 percent in 2018, and nearly 20 percent in 2019, they added.

However, buying all the shares and cancelling them would create complexities.

A reduced share count would lift the Bettencourts’ ownership to 43 percent, a level that could force them to launch a takeover bid for the company under French rules, although there are exemptions.

One way around that would be for Nestle to do an exchange offer, as suggested by Third Point, in which it would give its shareholders L‘Oreal shares in exchange for their Nestle ones.

Third Point declined to comment on Friday.

Source:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-l-oreal-bettencourt-stocks/bettencourt-death-stirs-speculation-about-loreal-ownership-idUSKCN1BX0O0

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S&P says downgraded China as credit growth still too fast https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/sp-says-downgraded-china-credit-growth-still-fast.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/sp-says-downgraded-china-credit-growth-still-fast.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:05:59 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44165 S&P says downgraded China as credit growth still too fast S&P says downgraded China as credit growth still too fast: China’s attempts to reduce risks from its rapid buildup in debt are not working as quickly as expected and credit growth is still too fast, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday, a day after it […]

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S&P says downgraded China as credit growth still too fast

S&P says downgraded China as credit growth still too fast: China’s attempts to reduce risks from its rapid buildup in debt are not working as quickly as expected and credit growth is still too fast, S&P Global Ratings said on Friday, a day after it downgraded the country’s sovereign credit rating.

While S&P warned in June that a cut may be on the cards, it said it decided to make the call after concluding that China’s “de-risking” drive that started early this year was having less of an impact on credit growth than initially expected.

“Despite the fact that the government has shown greater resolve to implement the deleveraging policy, we continue to see overall credit in the corporate sector to stay at a 9 percent point,” Kim Eng Tan, an S&P senior director of sovereign ratings, said in a conference call to discuss the one-notch downgrade to A+ from AA-.

“We’ve now come to the conclusion that while we do expect some deleveraging in the next few years, this is likely to be much more gradual than we thought could have been the case early this year.”

China’s finance ministry said the downgrade was “a wrong decision” that ignored the economic fundamentals and development potential of the world’s second-largest economy.

“China is able to maintain the stability of its financial systems through cautious lending, improved government supervision and credit risk controls,” it said on its website.

S&P’s move put its rating in line with those of Moody’s and Fitch, though the timing raised eyebrows as it came just weeks ahead of one of the country’s most politically sensitive events, the twice-a-decade Communist Party Congress (CPC).

S&P does not have a set schedule to review China’s credit ratings, Tan said.

“As part of our ongoing surveillance we do meet with the government and have calls with them. All these were done in the past few months,” he told Reuters by phone later on Friday.

But S&P is obliged to make a call “when the data points to one direction or another”, Tan said.

“Unfortunately it comes close to the Congress.”

KEY DEBT MEASUREMENT

Tan said broader lending by all financial institutions, excluding equity fund-raising, has started to rise after growing by a steady 12-13 percent in the last few years.

“That was the key metric we look at…we believe while this growth of aggregate debt financing could come down somewhat over the next few years, it’s not likely to come down very sharply.”

Indeed, China’s new bank lending and total social financing (TSF), a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, look set to hit record highs again this year.

“One of the things that we do look for is more than just stabilization of financial risks, but actual decline or moderation in financial risks,” Tan said.

To be sure, China’s economic growth has unexpectedly accelerated this year, racing ahead at 6.9 percent in the first half, but much of the impetus has come from record bank lending in 2016, a property boom and sharply higher government stimulus in the form of an infrastructure spending spree.

While the crackdown on riskier lending has pushed up borrowing costs from corporate loans to mortgages, it has not yet dampened growth as many China watchers predicted.

DON‘T WORRY?

The head of a government research institute said on Friday that China’s rising debt is not a big concern since it funds infrastructure and urban development, which support future economic growth.

“China’s debt sustainability is different form Western countries and other developing countries…if you just look at the size of debt, the debt-to-GDP ratio, and reach a conclusion on the credit rating, it’s very one-sided,” Liu Shangxi, head of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences under the Ministry of Finance, told a news conference.

But the International Monetary Fund warned this year that China’s credit growth was on a “dangerous trajectory” and called for “decisive action”, while the Bank for International Settlements said last September that excessive credit growth was signaling a banking crisis in the next three years.

The IMF said in August it expected China’s total non-financial sector debt to rise to almost 300 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022, up from 242 percent last year.

The IMF and others have called on China to drop its focus on growth targets, which add pressure to take on more debt.

“From our perspective, as long as any growth target cannot be obtained without very strong credit growth, that is something that will weaken the credit support for the government,” S&P’s Tan told Reuters.

DEBT BATTLE HAS MIXED SUCCESS SO FAR

Analysts say China’s campaign to cut financial risks this year has had mixed success so far, and opinions differ widely on whether Beijing is moving fast enough, or decisively enough, to avert a debt crisis down the road.

Regulators appear to be making significant inroads in reducing interbank borrowing – perhaps the most pressing risk – and have curbed some riskier types of shadow banking.

But analysts agree more comprehensive structural reforms are needed. Though the pace of credit growth may be easing by some measures, it continues to outpace economic growth.

Moreover, a recent Reuters analysis showed corporate debt is growing faster than last year, with few companies using stronger profits to reduce debt.

“There has actually been some progress recently in tackling credit risks, particularly in reining in the activities of the ‘shadow’ banking sector (and) broad credit growth has slowed,” Capital Economics said in a research note.

“But it continues to rise relative to GDP so the overall trend remains deeply unhealthy.”

Source:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy/sp-says-downgraded-china-as-credit-growth-still-too-fast-idUSKCN1BW18Z

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Bond prices, yen rise on North Korea concerns https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/bond-prices-yen-rise-north-korea-concerns.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/bond-prices-yen-rise-north-korea-concerns.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:57:05 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44156 Bond prices, yen rise on North Korea concerns Bond prices, yen rise on North Korea concerns: U.S. Treasury and gold prices rose while the Japanese yen strengthened on Friday as a fresh exchange of barbs between North Korea and the United States fueled geopolitical concerns. North Korea said it might test a hydrogen bomb over the […]

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Bond prices, yen rise on North Korea concerns

Bond prices, yen rise on North Korea concerns: U.S. Treasury and gold prices rose while the Japanese yen strengthened on Friday as a fresh exchange of barbs between North Korea and the United States fueled geopolitical concerns.

North Korea said it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat on Tuesday to destroy the reclusive country.

The aversion to risk drove investors into assets considered safer during times of geopolitical turmoil, like the yen, bonds and gold, though the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 stock index reversed mild losses late in the day to end higher.

“Increasing tensions with North Korea is putting a little bit of selling pressure on the dollar, especially against the Japanese yen,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington. “Keep in mind, the yen is bouncing off of about a two-month low.”

The U.S. dollar had scaled a two-month peak of 112.71 against the yen on Thursday, boosted by the Federal Reserve signaling this week that it was still on track to raise U.S. interest rates by the end of the year, and after the Bank of Japan maintained its bond-buying pledge.

The yen strengthened 0.44 percent versus the greenback to 112.00 per dollar JPY=, while sterling GBP= was last trading at $1.3484, down 0.69 percent on the day.

Sterling slipped and Britain’s main stock index climbed after Prime Minister Theresa May laid out plans for the country’s exit from the European Union.

May called for Britain to stay in the EU’s single market during a roughly two-year transition out of the EU. The FTSE 100 stock index .FTSE rose 0.6 percent.

TREASURY PRICES UP

U.S. Treasury prices gained on concerns about conflict with North Korea. Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR rose 7/32 in price to yield 2.2534 percent, from 2.278 percent late on Thursday.

Gold recovered from a four-week low in the previous session. Spot gold XAU= added 0.4 percent to $1,296.56 an ounce.

In U.S. stocks, investor focus on Washington’s latest healthcare legislation proposal and gains in energy shares overshadowed concern over geopolitical tensions.

Shares of health insurers cut losses and some ended higher after U.S. Senator John McCain said he opposes the latest plan to replace President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

The energy index .SPNY was up 0.5 percent, following gains in oil prices. Also, the Russell 2000 index closed at a record high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 9.64 points, or 0.04 percent, to end at 22,349.59, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.62 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,502.22 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 4.23 points, or 0.07 percent, to 6,426.92.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 rose 0.08 percent and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.13 percent.

Helping support the gains in Europe, euro zone businesses ended the third quarter with much stronger growth than predicted, adding to evidence of the region’s new-found dynamism which has spurred strong inflows into European equities this year.

Oil prices rose as major producers meeting in Vienna said they may wait until January before deciding whether to extend output curbs beyond the first quarter.

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 43 cents, or 0.8 percent, to settle at $56.86 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 settled at $50.66, up 11 cents or 0.2 percent, within a few cents of its May peak.

Source:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-markets/bond-prices-yen-rise-on-north-korea-concerns-idUSKCN1BX02H

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Shorting volatility Rising risks mean itchier trigger fingers https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/shorting-volatility-rising-risks-mean-itchier-trigger-fingers.html https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/shorting-volatility-rising-risks-mean-itchier-trigger-fingers.html#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:52:31 +0000 https://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=44132 Shorting volatility Rising risks mean itchier trigger fingers Shorting volatility Rising risks mean itchier trigger fingers: A long stretch of low volatility for U.S. stocks has made betting on continued calm a popular and lucrative trade, but traders and strategists warn that risks to the trade have mounted, while the potential for profits has shrunk. U.S. […]

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Shorting volatility Rising risks mean itchier trigger fingers

Shorting volatility Rising risks mean itchier trigger fingers: A long stretch of low volatility for U.S. stocks has made betting on continued calm a popular and lucrative trade, but traders and strategists warn that risks to the trade have mounted, while the potential for profits has shrunk.

U.S. equity market volatility – the daily fluctuations in stock prices – has hovered near record lows for much of this year.

The CBOE Volatility Index .VIX, a gauge of the degree to which investors expect share prices to fluctuate, has averaged 11.4 this year. That is lower than for any comparable period over its nearly three-decade history.

Robust corporate earnings, encouraging economic growth and a view that world central banks are available to rescue markets if trouble strikes, have helped mute stock market gyrations and spell success for those betting on calm.

The VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN (XIV.P), which makes money as long as the volatility drops or holds in place, is up about 100 percent this year.

Some traders, however, have grown more wary of increased risks to the trade.

“I think a lot of folks have gotten lulled into a false sense of security because the short trade has gone so well for so long,” said Matt Thompson co-head of Volatility Group at Typhon Capital LLC, in Chicago.

“We are still shorting volatility but we have an itchier trigger finger.”

VOLATILITY-LINKED ETPs

While there are many ways to short volatility – bet on lower stock gyrations – investors’ hunger for this trade is particularly apparent in the growth in volatility-linked exchange traded products (ETPs).

Assets under management for the top two short volatility products is at $2.8 billion and their exposure to volatility is at an all-time high, according to Barclays Capital.

But the very popularity of the trade has cranked up the risk.

These products hold first and second month volatility futures, buying and selling these contracts daily to keep their volatility exposure in line with the level of stock swings in the market.

Managers of these leveraged and inverse products are required to buy volatility futures as they go up and sell when they decline.

Strategists fear that this rebalancing – which needs be even more pronounced if a shock follows a period of unusually muted volatility, such as now – may be akin to adding fuel to fire.

“There could be a feedback effect and maybe selling begets more selling,” said Salil Aggarwal, equity derivatives strategist at Deutsche Bank in New York.

“Risk/reward considerations would imply cutting positions to more manageable levels,” he said.

RISK VS REWARD

Meanwhile, investors are not reaping as much for taking on risk as they did in the past, said Anand Omprakash, director of equity and derivative strategy at BNP Paribas, in New York.

What traders are being paid to take on the short volatility risk currently, is slightly below their average historical take since January 2013, and roughly 6 percent lower than what they were paid monthly in mid-2016, Omprakash estimates.

“You were being paid much better for much of 2016 than for much of 2017,” he said. “I don’t know if I would necessarily say the trade has run out of steam, but I don’t think it offers the kind of risk adjusted return that it offered last year.”

And the stakes are high. Strategists warn that one or two big shocks could wipe away months of profits.

The inverse volatility product XIV, while having doubled in price this year, logged an 11.4 percent decline in August as stock gyrations picked up briefly amid escalating worries about the ability of the administration of President Donald Trump to push through its economic agenda.

“The risk/reward of the trade as a buy and hold proposition is not the same as it was before the U.S. election or in the middle of the oil crisis in 2015 and early 2016,” said Stephen Aniston, president of investment adviser Black Peak Capital, in Connecticut.

Positioning in these products, primarily driven by retail players, may be more skewed to the short side than the broader market where institutional investors hold sway.

“I don’t think the risk is necessarily as big on the institutional side as it is on the retail side,” said Omprakash.

To be sure, not everyone is rushing to bet on a spike in volatility, but experts do warn that investors should tread carefully when shorting volatility from here.

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-stocks-weekahead/shorting-volatility-rising-risks-mean-itchier-trigger-fingers-idUSKCN1BX23Y

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