Delivering Full Stack Video Analytics with Viscovery and Quanta

first_imgHuman/Animal Online  video is a huge part of our connected world today. It’s a medium that we use  daily to share, communicate, learn, and of course, be entertained – and there  seems to be no limit to its growth.   Facebook is a great example – they are now getting an amazing 8 billion video views a day, more than double what  they saw 6 months earlier. According to a recent Cisco report, video  traffic will be 80% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64% in  2014, and mobile video  will increase 11X in the next 5 years. In China alone, the online video market  is expected to reach more than $17B by 2018 according to iresearch.As a  video and tech enthusiast, these developments are hugely exciting, but this  relentless deluge of video does indeed present some very real challenges (and  opportunities). Infrastructure challenges are obvious, given the need for  increased storage and compute to process, transcode and manipulate videos for end  user consumption.   However, there is another,  less straightforward, problem to overcome. How can viewers best navigate the  flood of online video content? And how can content providers and advertisers efficiently  and intelligently provide video content that is relevant (and useful) to consumers?This is  certainly a daunting task and something that we as humans are ill equipped to  handle.  Frankly, it is no wonder that many  companies are investigating the possibility of developing intelligent systems that  leverage machine learning and deep neural networks (DNN) to help automate these  tasks.With  this in mind, Intel, Quanta, and Viscovery came together to build a full stack  solution to this problem that leverages a deep learning based application from  Viscovery, the power and scalability of Intel® Xeon® processors, and Quanta’s  efficient platform designs.  We created a  turnkey solution specifically designed to solve the video content recognition  problem. At Intel, we recognize that it is critical to take a holistic view when tackling these types of  challenges and enable solutions that include everything from the silicon and  server hardware to the libraries and open source components all the way to the  end application. And of course, all of these ingredients must be optimized for  cloud scale deployments.  Below is a high  level view of the solution stack:In order  to tackle these problems at scale, libraries like Intel® Math Kernel Library and optimized open source components like Caffe* are tightly integrated into  Viscovery’s Deep Learning-based video content  recognition engine to take  full advantage of the performance of Intel® processors.  The result is a solution that seamlessly runs  across Intel® Xeon® and Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor-based platforms providing  the capability to train DNNs quickly and deploy at scale at an efficient total  cost of ownership. Below is an example of types of content that the Viscovery  application uses to train their DNNs.  As  you can see they’ve moved significantly beyond simple image and object  classification: Object Facial Motion Image Location/Event Brand/Model OCR in the wild Brand/Logocenter_img Target Of  course, the real proof of success is in the usage of this platform by end  customers.  Leaders in video content  delivery such as LeEco, YouKu, 8sian, Alimama (part of Alibaba) and many others  have already deployed solutions based on this stack.If  you’re at Computex this month, you can check out this video discovery service  in action running on our Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi processors at Quanta’s  booth and during Intel’s keynote speech by Diane Bryant. And with any luck, as  video content recognition capabilities continue to advance, you’ll never find  yourself watching irrelevant or unwanted video content again. Speech/Music Audio Text Scene Modality Action/Video2Textlast_img read more

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Japan kayaker banned for 8 years for spiking drink of rival

first_imgSuzuki spiked a drink with an anabolic steroid, causing Komatsu to fail a doping test, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency said on Tuesday.The Japan Canoe Federation began investigating after Komatsu tested positive but denied ever taking drugs.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingAfter Komatsu tested positive, Suzuki admitted putting a muscle-building supplement containing the banned steroid methandienone in his drink.Suzuki was hoping to qualify for the 2020 Olympics at home. But he will also miss the 2024 Olympics in Paris. PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid The incident is Japan’s first case of an athlete failing a doping test due to deliberate contamination, according to the Japan Anti-Doping Agency, which handed down the eight-year ban.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments MOST READ ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim In this November 2010, photo, Japan’s Yasuhiro Suzuki competes in the mens single kayak race at the 16th Asian Games in Shanwei, China. The top Japanese canoe sprinter has been banned for eight years, disqualifying him from the Tokyo Olympics, for lacing his rival’s drink with a prohibited drug which caused him to fail a doping test. The Japan Anti-Doping Agency said Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018 that Suzuki was banned for putting an anabolic steroid into the drink bottle of his rival at a national championship in September. (Kyodo News via AP)TOKYO — A Japanese kayaker has been banned for eight years for spiking the drink of a rival so he would fail a doping test.Yasuhiro Suzuki drugged his key rival Seiji Komatsu at the Japan championships in September.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Zach LaVine to make Bulls debut Saturday vs. Pistons Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto LATEST STORIES SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thaislast_img read more

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Ian Chappell calls for revamped domestic system in Australia

first_imgFormer Australia captain Ian Chappell called for a complete rethink of Australia’s domestic cricket system after the team’s crushing defeat in the ongoing Ashes series in England.Chappell also forecast dark days ahead due to the lack of batting depth in the domestic system. Australia lost the five-match Ashes 1-3 with still a match to be played.”Normally you’d be highly critical of the selection panel for doing that, but you have to have sympathy for the selection panel, because what they would obviously like is a lot of young players churning out runs regularly in first-class cricket, and sadly that’s just not happening,” Chappell was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on Sunday.Also read: What really went wrong for Australia”I think there are some guys there with a lot of skill. But whether they would do any better against the moving ball than what we’ve seen lately – you wouldn’t want to be betting your house on it.”Australia’s major failures in recent years have come when the ball has moved, either in spinning conditions or against seam and swing. Chappell said during his playing days, batsmen were exposed to enough variety in conditions during Sheffield Shield cricket that they had confidence in their techniques when asked to tour countries such as England or India, which he believes does not happen now.”Young players are going to be playing with an IPL contract in mind,” If I can show that I’m a terrific hitter of the ball and I can score at eight an over, that could get me a big IPL contract,” he said.advertisement”So the question you’ve got to ask yourself is, are they developing techniques that make it easier to play in that manner, to score at eight and ten runs an over and be terrific hitters?” Chappell said.last_img read more

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Mohammad Hafeez turns down BPL offer over Mohammad Amir’s presence

first_imgPakistan’s senior batsman Mohammad Hafeez has turned down a lucrative offer from Chittagong Vikings to play in the Bangladesh Premier League since the franchise had also signed on tainted young pacer Mohammad Amir.”It is not about individuals or any personality clash. It is about the image of Pakistan cricket. I cannot play with any player who has tarnished and brought a bad name to the country,” Hafeez told the Jang newspaper in Dubai. The newspaper reported that Hafeez had got a lucrative offer to play for Chittagong Vikings in the third edition of the BPL but he turned it down because Amir was in their side.Hafeez apparently turned down an offer of around 10 million Pakistani rupees as the franchise had already signed on Amir.Hafeez has also made his feelings about the three tainted players in the spot fixing scandal Amir, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif clear in the past. On one occasion when the Pakistan team was practising at the national cricket academy in Lahore, its former bowling coach Muhammad Akram invited Mohammad Amir to bowl to Hafeez in the nets. But Hafeez flatly refused to face the left-arm pacer because of his tainted past.Hafeez is also said to be among a group of players in the Pakistan team who are strongly opposed to allowing the tainted trio to play for the national team again in any format.The BPL has attracted around 16 top players from Pakistan and most of these players will go directly from Dubai after the T20 series against England to Dhaka. The top players include Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, among others.advertisementlast_img read more

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The Time for Sustainable Transport in Brazilian Cities Is Now

first_imgThis piece is cross-posted from TheCityFix and originally appeared on TheCityFix Brasil. Read this post in Portuguese here.Leaders from the world’s biggest cities convened in Sao Paulo earlier this month to find solutions to climate change during the fourth C40 São Paulo Summit.This is a critical time for mega-cities all over the world, not just for those in Brazil. All cities face the same burden of rapid motorization and population growth, which leads to many other problems, such as global warming, air pollution, congestion, and inaccessibility to jobs. For the first time in history, cities are home to more than half of the world’s population, and account for more than 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. These two trends create an unprecedented opportunity for policies that favor sustainable transport and urban development.In Brazil, specifically, there are several major factors shaping this opportunity. For one, Brazil’s high rates of economic growth and consumption require greater investments in energy, sanitation, housing, and, of course, transportation.Brazil will soon be the center of the two most-watched events of the decade: the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. In 2009, the Federal Government launched the Plan for Accelerating the Growth (PAC), providing $6.6 billion for urban mobility in host cities for the World Cup and Olympics, followed by a second round of $12 billion. Urban and transport planners are working hard to upgrade urban infrastructure to manage the millions of visitors expected in Brazil. Thankfully, Brazil is already much less car-dependent than other countries, with urban mass transit making up to 60 percent of all motorized trips in urban areas, with the great majority on buses.Over the next few years, many trips on public transport will be made using state-of-the-art bus rapid transit (BRT), which was pioneered by Curitiba in the 1970s and now serves as an example of high quality, low-carbon transport for cities around the world. Some of the BRT corridors planned, like those in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, will handle peak flows above 30,000 passengers per hour. BRT goes beyond improving mobility; it also reduces air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and traffic crashes—at 10 percent of the cost of rail.Because of these benefits, the 12 host cities of the World Cup plan to build 500 kilometers of new BRT corridors, nearly doubling the current number of kilometers of BRT in the entire continent. In addition to investing in BRT, Brazilian cities are investing in new roads, bicycle paths, flyovers, metro, suburban and light rail systems, to create truly integrated transportation options. Some of these developments will serve people living in neighborhoods that currently have limited access to public transit, improving the current situation that is both inequitable and unsustainable.EMBARQ Brasil, a nonprofit created in 2005 (and the producer of TheCityFix Brasil), is helping to develop integrated low-carbon transport systems in several Brazilian cities, including Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro. Our field experience reveals that cities should not act alone; they must rely on regional cooperation to be successful. That’s why EMBARQ helped establish the Latin American Association for Integrated Transport Systems and Bus Rapid Transit (SIBRT), a membership organization designed to share best practices from the most important transportation agencies from Latin America.After all, sustainable transport can also help solve another global epidemic: death on dangerous roads. Nearly 1.3 million people around the world die in road crashes every year, and this figure will likely double by 2030. Road traffic injuries are the number one cause of death among people aged 10-24 years. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are especially vulnerable. In Brazil, 23 people die on motorcycles every day, accounting for nearly one-third of all road deaths in the country. This is unacceptable—and preventable through better road design and transit options.Towards this end, EMBARQ is proud to be a member of the Global Road Safety Program, from Bloomberg Philanthropies, established by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is also the chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.With all eyes on Brazil, we must seize this opportunity to take the lead on sustainable transport. These improvements in our urban environment will not only accommodate the millions of visitors who come here temporarily, but they will also provide for the millions more residents who will reap the long-term benefits of sustainable transport: reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air, safer streets, and greater social and economic inclusion.last_img read more

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Laila Ali To Speak At Inspirational Women Of Fitness Event

first_imgLaila Ali will be in Abu Dhabi on March 8 for the Inspirational Women of Fitness event.Taking place on International Women’s Day, the event will support ‘Diabetes-Knowledge-Action’, a public health campaign to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and Operation Smile.Laila will share health and nutritional advice for women.“I am so excited to come to Abu Dhabi for International Women’s Day,” she said in a video.Find out more about the event here.Source:www.uaeinteract.comlast_img read more

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FSIN wants to oversee child welfare after deaths and abuses of children

first_imgAmber BernardAPTN NewsThe federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) wrapped up its assembly Thursday on child welfare and declared that the child welfare system in the province needs to change and it needs to have more control over it.“Because we need grassroots, grassroots support as well, ask your band members, how we can be better and stronger,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “How can we not lose our little ones no more.”The FSIN says it is looking to form an independent committee that wll address and take care of Indigenous youth in care with the goal of eventually taking over the system entirely.Tim Korol, a child advocate and former deputy minister of social services in Saskatchewan, said that’s a move in the right direction.“There has become such a culture of non-compliance with the provincial ministry,” he said. “The only way is to turn child welfare back over to the first nations and metis people. They need to have paramountcy and the decisions with respect to their children.”Korol says the system is fatal for children and he’s frustrated with the amount of Indigenous children dying while in care of the government.“The system is not working, we have 30 to 40 years of reports, audits that show that social services in Saskatchewan is not able to do the job,” says Korol. “We have 15 to 20 kids dying in care every year, we have our jails loaded with children from the child welfare system and we have this cycle, the children’s children end up in child welfare.”The FSIN’s timing couldn’t have been betterOn Friday, Indigenous Services Minster Jane Philpott is expected to announce that the government is moving on new legislation to turn control of child welfare over to First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities.abernard@aptn.ca@ashleybernardlast_img read more

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WSP Global reports improved Q2 earnings ahead of Louis Berger deal

first_imgMONTREAL – Montreal-based engineering firm WSP Global Inc. reported a seven per cent jump in earnings during its second-quarter, which closed just weeks before the company’s stock hit a 10-year high ahead of an announcement it would buy a New Jersey-based infrastructure contractor.Net income for WSP, which reports in U.S. dollars, came in at $67.8 million in the quarter ended June 30, up from $62.8 million in the same period a year earlier as the company reported all of its segments posted solid revenue growth.Revenues jumped 17.1 per cent to $1.54 billion.On an adjusted basis, the company’s net earnings amounted to 78 cents per share, falling short of analysts’ estimates of 85 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.The pending $400-million deal to acquire Berger Group Holdings Inc. came on the heels of a rapid rise in WSP’s share price that peaked at a 10-year high of $75.35 on June 15.The purchase will add several thousand more employees to the WSP roster, which it projects will hit 48,000 when the deal closes in the fourth quarter.Louis Berger comes on board carrying baggage. In 2015, the World Bank debarred subsidiary Louis Berger Inc. for a year for “engaging in corrupt practices” in two World Bank-financed projects in Vietnam.In 2010, the company entered into a $69-million settlement with the U.S. government following a federal fraud investigation into its work on projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development in Afghanistan.Companies in this story: (TSX:WSP)last_img read more

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Ensign moves up Trinidad bid deadline target prefers Precision Drilling offer

first_imgChairman Ken Stickland of Trinidad added separately his board still believes Precision offers the “best available option.”“With the combination of the two companies, our shareholders have the opportunity to benefit from the future upside created through a highly competitive fleet, growing cash flow generation and improved efficiencies, including significant cost savings,” he said. In early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Trinidad shares rose as much as 2.5 per cent, Ensign was up four per cent and Precision stock jumped eight per cent.In its news release, Ensign said the Trinidad board of directors’ acceptance of an “inferior” Precision offer permitted it to change its deadline.“Notwithstanding the significantly lower implied value of the Precision consideration for Trinidad shares, we are maintaining our offer price of $1.68 in cash for each common share of Trinidad,” said Ensign president Bob Geddes.Both Precision and Trinidad said Monday morning they continue to support the deal they announced on Oct. 4, noting Trinidad shareholders will wind up owning 29 per cent of the merged entity and citing “synergies” of the merger.Ensign’s date change makes it more likely that it will emerge as the successful bidder for Trinidad, said CIBC analyst Jon Morrision in a report.“We view this to be a very astute move on the part of Ensign as it removes the safety net of its cash offer from expiring post the proposed friendly Precision-Trinidad deal and reduces the time horizon for Precision’s stock to increase and for the company’s exchange offer to be more competitive with Ensign’s cash bid,” he said. CALGARY, A.B. – Rising temperatures in the battle between two Calgary drilling companies for ownership of a third were matched by rising share prices for all three on Monday.Ensign Energy Services Inc. announced late Friday it will give Trinidad Drilling Ltd. shareholders less time to think about its hostile takeover bid, moving up its deadline for acceptance to Nov. 27 from Dec. 13.That move puts its deadline ahead of a Dec. 11 meeting called by Trinidad to allow shareholders to vote on a friendly all-shares merger with Precision Drilling Corp., the largest driller in Canada.center_img Ensign insists the cash value of its offer of about $470 million now outweighs the all-shares offer by Precision because its rival’s stock value has fallen since it made its initial bid, dropping from about $540 million to less than $400 million at Friday’s closing price.Precision will likely have to either raise its offer or hope for its shares to rise by at least 15 per cent to be considered a superior offer, Morrison said.Ensign is in the “pole position” because it owns 9.8 million Trinidad shares and needs only 50 per cent plus one of the shares to take control, agreed analyst Ian Gillies of GMP FirstEnergy in a note, pointing out that Precision needs to have two-thirds of the shares voted in its favour to win.“We understand the timing of the Ensign cash bid for Trinidad has been opportunistically accelerated as markets have experienced recent volatility,” said Precision CEO Kevin Neveu in a news release confirming his support for his company’s bid.last_img read more

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Edmunds Discontinued cars offer value but should you buy

For 2019, it’s the end of the line for some notable Ford and General Motors sedans. And as a result, dealers will be slashing prices to try to move these discontinued models out of their inventory.Savvy consumers can take advantage and get one of these overlooked cars at significant savings. Going with a discontinued vehicle allows more wiggle room for negotiation, especially if a particular car has been on the dealer lot longer than average. You’re also more likely to see incentives or special offers as dealers try to unload their inventory.However, most discontinued cars tend to lose more value on average. The reason they were discontinued is that they weren’t popular among car buyers when new, so the same will apply when you’re looking to sell it down the line. Most used-car shoppers won’t have discontinued cars on their radar, so a dealership isn’t likely to offer you top dollar if you wanted to trade one in. But if you plan on keeping the car for many years, this concern won’t matter since the depreciation will eventually taper off.We’ve picked out our favourite discontinued cars that you might be able to get for a steal and note some pros and cons to buying a car that’s riding into the sunset. Keep in mind that specific discounts vary by region and may differ based on the trim level, and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price includes destination fees.2018 FORD FOCUSYou’ll still find the Focus on dealer lots even though production ended for the 2018 model year. Available as a sedan or a hatchback, the Focus offers satisfying handling and a quiet and smooth ride on the highway. You can also get the Focus ST, a performance-oriented model that comes with a powerful turbocharged engine and a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission.On the downside, the Focus is smaller on the inside than competitors such as the Honda Civic. Also, the available turbocharged three-cylinder engine is an underwhelming performer. But right now the savings might be too good to pass up.Starting MSRP: $18,825. Savings up to $8,000 in the Phoenix area, for example.2019 CHEVY IMPALAThe Impala is a smooth and quiet sedan with plenty of space for your family. Its 18.8-cubic-foot trunk is also one of the roomiest trunks on the market. Chevy fits the Impala with many available infotainment features, including a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot to keep everyone connected on long road trips.Drivers will appreciate the Impala’s smooth ride and optional V6 engine that provides strong power and respectable fuel economy. The standard four-cylinder engine is a bit lacklustre, but choosing it will give you the biggest discount. Chevy is continuing to build the Impala through the end of the year, so you’re likely to see incentives mount as the year progresses.Starting MSRP: $28,895. Savings up to $9,000 in the Washington, D.C. area, for example.2019 CHEVROLET VOLTThe Volt is an ideal vehicle to get if you want to reduce your reliance on gasoline. You can drive it approximately 53 miles on all-electric power. It then switches over to gas power when its battery pack runs out, and you can still drive it just like a regular car. By regularly recharging at home or at a public charging station, it’s easy to barely use any gas at all.The Volt isn’t the most fuel-efficient hybrid when running on gas, and dedicated electric vehicles offer significantly more electric range. But it strikes a decent balance between the two, and it’s currently being deeply discounted by dealers. Even better, the Volt is eligible for federal tax credits, making it a highly affordable option.Starting MSRP: $34,395. Savings up to $9,000 in both the New York and Los Angeles areas, for example.2019 CADILLAC CTSThe Cadillac CTS is a stylish sport sedan with luxury appeal. Every version offers sharp looks and nimble handling. There’s also the CTS-V version that comes with a Corvette-derived supercharged V8 engine. There are some drawbacks, such as hard-to-use controls, but none are likely to be deal-breakers for most shoppers.Cadillac is replacing the CTS with its new CT5. While that car will have updated technology and more backseat space, it’s hard to imagine it can offer much more in terms of performance.Starting MSRP: $47,990. Savings of more than $11,000 in the Detroit area, for example.EDMUNDS SAYS: Discontinued cars can offer great savings for new-car shoppers so long as you’re not sensitive to the potential effects to their resale value.___This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Will Kaufman is a content strategist and news editor at Edmunds. Twitter: @specwill.Related links:— Edmunds Review: 2018 Ford Focus https://edmu.in/2JICqqT— Edmunds Review: 2019 Chevrolet Impala https://edmu.in/2Mb0yEt— Edmunds Review: 2019 Chevrolet Volt https://edmu.in/30NDbnQ— Edmunds Review: 2019 Cadillac CTS https://edmu.in/2OaKEatWill Kaufman, The Associated Press read more

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General Assembly President and Qatari leader discuss Gaza flotilla raid

2 June 2010The Israeli military “attack” on the humanitarian flotilla headed for Gaza, which led to the deaths of 10 civilians, was among the issues discussed by General Assembly President Ali Treki during a meeting in Doha with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. Monday’s raid on the six-ship convoy that was carrying humanitarian goods and activists has drawn international criticism, including from UN officials, as well as a call for an immediate investigation into the incident. The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council today voted to dispatch an independent, international probe into violations of international law resulting from Israel’s actions. It also demanded that Israel release all detained persons and material aboard the ships.During their meeting earlier this week, Dr. Treki and the Emir condemned the attack, and called for the “immediate lifting of siege on Gaza, and the release of all detainees,” according to a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Assembly President. In addition to meeting with the Qatari leader, Dr. Treki also delivered a keynote address at the 10th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade. Prior to arriving in Doha, Dr. Treki paid a two-day visit to Brazil, where he attended the Third Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, entitled “Bridging Cultures, Building Peace,” which took place in Rio de Janeiro. The Assembly President noted the need to fight ignorance and to undertake practical steps that would lead to a new era of political, economic and social advancement. He also reaffirmed that the international community has denounced the atrocities committed by the Nazi against the Jews as a genocide and crime against humanity; underscored that the international community also adopted collective measures against ethnic cleansing; and stressed that the world should address the collective punishment measures against Palestinians in the occupied territories. The visit also included discussions with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim. Earlier last week on his official visit to Argentina, Dr. Treki participated in the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of that country’s independence. On 25 May, he had a bilateral meeting with President Evo Morales of Bolivia, with whom he discussed a wide range of issues, particularly the UN’s role on climate change and the high-level summit to be held in New York in September on the globally agreed anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Dr. Treki is now in Saudi Arabia for a four-day official visit. read more

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Beedi leaves found floating at sea in Udappuwa

A group of RABS personnel attached to the North Western Naval Command, recovered a haul of beedi leaves floating in the sea in Udappuwa.The beedi leaves was 1232.5 kg in weight and was packed in 35 parcels. It is suspected that the consignment was part of a smuggling attempt from India. The beedi leaves were handed over to the Customs Sub Preventive office in Sinnapadu for further investigations.

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World loses principled champion says UN rights chief on death of Chinas

The top United Nations human rights official today expressed his deep sorrow at the news that China’s “iconic” peace and democracy figure, Liu Xiaobo, has died at the age of 61.“The human rights movement in China and across the world has lost a principled champion who devoted his life to defending and promoting human rights, peacefully and consistently, and who was jailed for standing up for his beliefs,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein in a statement.Mr. Liu reportedly died at the hospital where he was receiving treatment for liver cancer. Mr. Liu was jailed in 2009 after calling for political reforms in China. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 while in prison. The High Commissioner described Mr. Liu as “the true embodiment of the democratic, non-violent ideals,” “the definition of civic courage and human dignity – a poet and intellectual who wanted, and strove for, a better future for his country,” and “a man who, despite all he suffered, continued to espouse the politics of peace.”Extending heartfelt condolences and deepest respects to his wife, Liu Xia, his family and friends, Mr. Zeid said Mr. and Mrs. Liu were a courageous couple and absolutely devoted to one another.“I urge the Chinese authorities to guarantee Liu Xia’s freedom of movement, and allow her to travel abroad should she wish so,” he said. Despite the imprisonment and separation from the wife he adored that could have fuelled anger and bitterness, Mr. Liu declared that he had no hatred for those who pursued and prosecuted him.“He was and will continue to be an inspiration and an example for all human rights defenders,” Mr. Zeid said. read more

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Erdogan says Turkey has given world lesson in democracy as he sweeps

first_img 9,032 Views Short URL Monday 25 Jun 2018, 7:06 AM Jun 25th 2018, 7:06 AM Erdogan celebrates victory. Erdogan celebrates victory. Image: AP/PA Images Image: AP/PA Images https://jrnl.ie/4089936 center_img Share9 Tweet Email By AFP TURKISH PRESIDENT RECEP Tayyip Erdogan has won tightly-contested presidential polls, the election authority said today, extending his 15-year grip on power as the opposition complained bitterly about the conduct of the vote count.Turkish voters had for the first time cast ballots for both president and parliament in the snap elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).The stakes were particularly high as the new president will be the first to enjoy enhanced powers, without even a prime minister, under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan but which opponents say grants autocratic powers.Erdogan defeated his nearest rival Muharrem Ince with an “absolute majority” of more than half the vote without needing a second round, said the chief of Turkey’s election authority, Sadi Guven.“I have been entrusted by the nation with the task and duties of the presidency,” Erdogan said in a victory address at his Istanbul residence, vowing that the new presidential system would be implemented “rapidly”.“Turkey has given a lesson in democracy to the entire world,” he added, pointing to an 88% turnout.‘Everyone wins’Erdogan won 52.5% in the presidential poll while Ince, of the secular Republican People’s Party (CHP), was on 31.5%, state-run Anadolu news agency said, based on a 99% vote count.If confirmed, the figures would show Erdogan polling on a similar rating or even stronger than his 2014 election victory where he won his first mandate after over a decade as prime minister.Celebrations erupted outside Erdogan’s residence in Istanbul and AKP headquarters in Ankara, with crowds of flag-waving supporters, AFP correspondents said.Erdogan flew in triumph to Ankara where he held his traditional victory speech from the balcony of AKP headquarters at 3.00 am (1am Irish time). “The winner of this election is each and every individual among my 81 million citizens,” he declared.The usually loquacious Ince however remained silent, tweeting only that he would make a statement at 10am Irish time today.HDP scores parliament seatsTrailing were Selahattin Demirtas of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) with over 8% in third and Meral Aksener of the nationalist (Iyi) Good Party with over 7%.Erdogan also declared victory in the parliamentary election saying that the alliance led by the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had won the majority in parliament.A count of 99% of the votes showed that Erdogan’s AKP and the MHP would win 293 and 50 seats respectively, enough for an easy majority in the 600-member chamber.The HDP was polling 11.5%, well over the 10% minimum threshold needed, to win 67 seats which would make the party the second largest opposition faction in the new chamber.Celebrations erupted in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, with people letting off fireworks into the sky, AFP correspondents said.Its success is all the more remarkable given the HDP’s Demirtas has campaigned from a jail cell after his November 2016 arrest on charges of links to outlawed Kurdish militants.‘Don’t cast a shadow’Erdogan had faced an energetic campaign by Ince, who has rivalled the incumbent’s charisma and crowd-pulling on the campaign trail, as well as a strong opposition alliance in the legislative poll.But the CHP expressed unease over the conduct of the count, accusing Anadolu of being over hasty in publishing results that favoured Erdogan.Its spokesman Bulent Tezcan said Anadolu had published a count of over 90% of votes while in fact short of 40% had been counted.Several world leaders supportive of Erdogan, including Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, called to congratulate him on his “victory”, the presidency said.Erdogan also warned anyone against casting doubt on the results: “I hope nobody will harm our country’s democracy by casting a shadow on the election system and its results in order to disguise their failure.”Erdogan has overseen historic change in Turkey since his Islamic-rooted ruling party first came to power in 2002 after years of secular domination. But critics accuse the Turkish strongman, 64, of trampling on civil liberties and autocratic behaviour.The president has for the last two years ruled under a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the 2016 failed coup, with tens of thousands arrested in an unprecedented crackdown which cranked up tensions with the West.Erdogan has also campaigned against the backdrop of increasing economic woes including high inflation and a currency that has sometimes been in freefall.And although Erdogan dominated airtime on a pliant mainstream media, Ince finished his campaign with eye-catching mass rallies, including a mega meeting in Istanbul on Saturday, that gave hope to the opposition.- © AFP 2018  20 Comments Erdogan says Turkey has given world ‘lesson in democracy’ as he sweeps to election victory Erdogan won over half of all the votes in the election, the state-run news agency said. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Google rend hommage à Freddie Mercury leader du groupe Queen

first_imgGoogle rend hommage à Freddie Mercury, leader du groupe QueenEn ce 5 septembre, Google a décidé d’honorer la mémoire d’un des plus grands chanteurs de rock du XXe siècle : Freddie Mercury, leader mythique du groupe Queen décédé le 24 novembre 1991 d’une pneumonie. Il aurait eu 65 ans aujourd’hui. C’est un hommage chargé d’émotion que le géant américain a décidé de rendre aujourd’hui. Comme à son habitude, Google a changé le traditionnel logo de la page d’accueil de son moteur de recherche. Mais il s’est cette fois-ci, bien donné du mal en le remplaçant par un Doodle vidéo tout à fait génial. Un petit clip destiné à honorer la mémoire d’un des chanteurs de rock les plus mythiques de l’histoire : Freddie Mercury, le leader du groupe Queen. De son vrai nom Farrokh Bulsara, Freddie Mercury est né le 5 septembre 1946 à Stone Town en Tanzanie. Après de nombreux jobs et des études d’arts, il fait sa première apparition en tant que chanteur le 23 août 1969 aux côtés du groupe Ibex. Grâce à cette première formation, le jeune Freddie goûte à la scène et teste ses talents de compositeurs en écrivant dès la fin 1969, la majorité des chansons du groupe rebaptisé Wreckage. Toutefois, victime du manque d’activité, le quatuor finit pas se séparer. Le chanteur intègre alors un autre groupe dans lequel il restera peu, avant que ce dernier ne se dissolve. Enfin en 1970, Freddie voit une nouvelle opportunité s’ouvrir à lui lorsque le leader d’un groupe nommé Smile quitte ses musiciens et lui propose de le remplacer. La formation signe avec un label américain et change de nom : c’est la naissance du groupe Queen. Le succès et la maladie Dès les premières années, le quatuor va connaitre un succès croissant autant grâce à ses morceaux créatifs tels que Bohemian Rhapsody que grâce à la personnalité de Freddie qui révèle son homosexualité en 1974. Au début des années 1980, le groupe se lance dans des tournées mondiales et collectionne les succès avec des titres devenus mondialement connus comme : Another one bites the dust, Under pressure ou I want to break free. À lire aussiÉquinoxe du Printemps : pourquoi tombe-t-il le 20 mars ?Le tableau s’obscurcit néanmoins vers 1987 lorsque Freddie Mercury apprend qu’il est atteint du sida. Une maladie qu’il n’annoncera officiellement que quelques jours avant sa mort, bien que ses dernières apparitions le montrent affaibli et amaigri, suscitant un torrent de rumeurs rapidement démenties. Le 24 novembre 1991, le leader de Queen meurt des suites d’une pneumonie favorisée par sa maladie, quelques mois après avoir enregistré la chanson The show must go on.  Aujourd’hui, Freddie Mercury aurait fêté ses 65 ans. Un anniversaire dont Google profite pour honorer la mémoire du chanteur et de l’une de ses chansons : Don’t stop me now, sortie le 26 janvier 1969 et classée 9e des charts britanniques. Dans le petit clip, se succèdent alors animations et images 2D de jeu vidéo, dans lesquelles le chanteur traverse plusieurs univers colorés voire loufoques, faisant des clins d’oeil à sa carrière et son mythique jeu de scène.  Découvrez le Doodle vidéo réalisé par Google en hommage à Freddie Mercury Le 5 septembre 2011 à 13:01 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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The Most Anticipated Games of 2017

first_imgStay on target Solar Energy Outpaced Fossil Fuels in 20174 New Gadgets You Should’ve Bought in 2017 This generation of consoles initially started off lackluster given the glut of remastered last-gen titles and the noticeable lack of new AAA games that actually took advantage of the “next-gen” hardware. However, things really turned around in 2016 with a great deal of titles that catered to fans of indie games and big studio projects.Now that 2016 is almost over, we’re looking forward to what gaming has in store for us in 2017. 2016 seems to have been just the beginning, as next year will provide us with a virtual avalanche of games to play. Initially, this list was only going to cover ten games. However, given the sheer amount of noteworthy titles on the horizon, the list has been expanded to cover 30 titles that gamers would do well to keep on their radar.Like I did for last year’s list, I compiled these entries from answers I gathered on Twitter when I asked my followers what games they were most looking forward to. Also, because I know someone is going to bring it up, I am fully aware that I already listed some of these games in 2016’s list. However, since those titles were delayed, I think you can all forgive me for a few repeats. With any luck, I won’t have to repeat any of this year’s entries for the inevitable 2018 most anticipated games list.Anyway, without further ado, here are some of the most anticipated games of 2017.Crackdown 3We haven’t heard much about Crackdown 3 since it was announced during Microsoft’s E3 press conference in 2014, but it is scheduled to drop sometime in 2017. This game’s most notable feature is a massive open world that is fully destructible thanks to the power of cloud computing. It remains to be seen whether or not the game will deliver on its promise of totally destructible environments, but if it does, it could set a new standard for open world games.CupheadCuphead combines the aesthetics of a 1930’s cartoon with classic Contra-like running and gunning action. This may sound like an odd combination, but it somehow works. Like some of the games on this list, this one has been in active development for quite some time. Despite that, it is clear that the developers are making this more than the simple boss-run game it was originally going to be. Let’s hope that Cuphead doesn’t suffer another delay so that we can all finally play it.Detroit: Become HumanQuantic Dream always delivers some of the most engrossing narrative experiences in gaming and its upcoming Detroit: Become Human seems poised to be yet another impressive title. Very little is known about Detroit, but it does deal with themes of prejudice and injustice as seen through the eyes of an android. It would be wise to have a box of tissues nearby while playing Detroit as it will no doubt be another Quantic Dream emotional roller coaster ride.For HonorDescribed by its developer as a “shooter with swords,” For Honor has a lot of potentials. The emphasis here is on melee combat with different types of medieval combat styles. Players must read their opponent’s movements carefully when facing them in single combat in order to prevail. For Honor’s multiplayer is reminiscent of a MOBA. However, Ubisoft insists that For Honor is its own type of game. We’ll find out if that is the case in 2017.Ghost Recon: WildlandsBecause every Ubisoft game needs to be indistinguishable from one another, Ghost Recon is being reborn as an open world, cooperative shooter. For this latest installment, players will have to work together to take out all manner of nasty Bolivian drug cartels in a persistent online setting. Ghost Recon: Wildlands has the potential to fix The Division’s mistakes if it offers enough content to keep things fresh and interesting for players.Gran Turismo SportTo many, Gran Turismo has no equal in the world of car simulators (sorry, Forza), so the release a brand-new entry in the series is cause for celebration. This seventh installment is considered to be the “next generation” of Gran Turismo according to series creator, Kazunori Yamauchi. How this series will distinguish itself from previous games remains to be seen, but whatever the case may be, GT Sport will no doubt help to sell even more PlayStation 4 units when it is released next year.Gravity Rush 2The original Gravity Rush was one of the more interesting and quirky titles upon its initial release. Unfortunately, it never gained much traction due to it being a PlayStation Vita exclusive. With Gravity Rush 2 being a PS4 title, it should hopefully bring the franchise the attention it deserves. The game’s central mechanic which allows players to defy and manipulate gravity is unique and should help sell it to skeptical audiences.Guardians of the GalaxyTelltale Games and Guardians of the Galaxy are hot these days, so it should come as no surprise that the celebrated studio will be launching a game based on Marvel’s most famous outer space-based superhero team. Telltale proved that it can deliver quality superhero stories with its excellent Batman series and Guardians of the Galaxy should be no different. This game also has the benefit of releasing around the time Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters — something that will no doubt boost its sales.HellbladeNinja Theory has brought us amazing games like Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, and (the criminally underrated) DmC: Devil May Cry. It’s next title, Hellblade, is a departure from previous works in that it is a smaller indie title. Despite not having a bigger budget, Ninja Theory promises that Hellblade will deliver not just a quality title, but one that deals with the struggles of someone who suffers from a severe mental illness.Horizon: Zero DawnThe PlayStation 4 will start 2017 on a high note with the release of Horizon: Zero Dawn. This massive open-world game promises to deliver the very best that the PS4 and the PS4 Pro have to offer both regarding graphics and gameplay. Taking full advantage of the PS4 Pro’s HDR and 4K upscaling capabilities, Horizon promises to be graphically on par with PC games. No small feat, but given everything we’ve seen from Horizon thus far, it looks like it’ll give hi-end PC games a run for their money.Injustice 2Everyone loves seeing superheroes beating the crap out of each other, and Injustice 2 will make good on delivering good old fashioned super-fisticuffs. Set in an alternate universe where most of DC’s heroes have become villains, this game will have the same quality fighting game experience that players of the original game expect. Forget about Batman v Superman, if you want to see DC’s big heroes throw down without feeling massively disappointed afterward, Injustice 2 is the game for you.Kingdom Come: DeliveranceMedieval fantasy games are a dime a dozen (sometimes literally during a Steam sale), but Kingdom Come: Deliverance will deliver us from monotony with its realistic medieval setting. A medieval RPG with no dragons or magic seems like a risk, but given the attention to detail the developers are bringing to this title, Deliverance has the potential to offer players something truly unique even in a setting that is familiar.The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildThe release of a new mainline entry in The Legend of Zelda series is always cause for jubilation, but considering how Breath of the Wild will be on the Nintendo Switch, the hype is more intense than ever. Breath of the Wild promises to have an expansive open world for players to explore, as well as updated gameplay mechanics that serve to modernize this classic series. Expect this game to be a huge system seller.Marvel vs Capcom: InfiniteWith the release of Street Fighter V this past year, it was surprising to see Capcom announce a new Marvel vs Capcom game at this year’s PlayStation Experience. Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite will have the same manic gameplay the series in known for but with an updated roster of new Marvel superheroes. Even if this title doesn’t have any mutant characters (as the rumors suggest) it should still have plenty of heroes and villains (both from Marvel and Capcom) for players to try out.Mass Effect AndromedaMass Effect 3’s ending was rather conclusive, so Bioware is taking this opportunity to start over again with Mass Effect Andromeda. Players will explore a completely different galaxy filled with strange planets, exotic creatures, and dangerous alien factions. Despite all the changes being introduced, this is still a Bioware game at its core, so expect a deep, rich story filled with memorable and relatable characters… even if they are blue or look like walking turtles.Ni No Kuni 2Ni No Kuni was a Studio Ghibli movie in video game form and was easily one of the more charming gaming experiences of the last generation. Expect Ni No Kuni 2 to have deep and satisfying RPG mechanics along with and a rich, and touching story set within a fantastical, colorful world. We don’t know much about Ni No Kuni 2, but it is definitely one to keep an eye out for — especially if you are a fan of JRPGs and Hayao Mizayaki movies.Nier: AutomataPlatinum Games has made a name for itself by producing some of the best action titles in recent years, and Nier: Automata looks to be another winner from the studio. This game has players taking on the role of a robotic girl who must explore a dystopian land filled with deadly automatons — some of which are the size of skyscrapers. The original Nier was a cult classic, but Automata has the makings of becoming a huge hit thanks to it being a Platinum Games project.NiohLike Final Fantasy XV and The Last Guardian, Nioh has been in development for nearly ten years, so it is great to have it see the light of day. With no new Dark Souls or Ninja Gaiden titles in the near future, Nioh will be the go-to title for those who love excessively challenging games. Nioh may not as well-known as some of the other titles on this list, but it should quickly become a favorite for the most masochistic gamers out there.Persona 5Megami Tensei fans have been extremely patient, but at long last, Persona 5 is set to finally be released. Like with previous Persona games, players must find the right balance between grinding for levels and loot in order to become stronger, while also establishing relationships with other characters. 2017 will see the release of several Japanese RPGs and Persona 5 will no doubt be a highlight.PreyThis reboot of the Prey franchise is returning to the series’ roots of being a space-based survival horror game. The player must navigate a space station full of monsters and find upgrades along the way that will help them survive. From what we’ve seen so far, this one is looking to be a visual stunner and should provide players with an alternative horror game to Resident Evil 7. Also, it has zero gravity sections, and you can never go wrong with those.Red Dead Redemption 2Red Dead Redemption was one of the best games of the last generation, and a sequel is finally on the way. We know very little about Red Dead Redemption 2, but Rockstar Games has an excellent track record when it comes to its open-world games, and it is expected that this title will be every bit on par with the previous game and the Grand Theft Auto series. Let’s just hope that Rockstar can deliver on the promised Fall 2017 release date.Resident Evil 7One of 2017’s early heavyweights is none other than Resident Evil 7. Though this game may seem like a radical departure, it is actually bringing back the survival horror aspect that has been missing in recent years. Resident Evil 7 is scary enough on its own, but when played in VR, it will be one of the most terror-inducing games ever released. Have a fresh pair of adult diapers on standby when playing this one.RimeThis once former PlayStation 4 exclusive blends elements seen in Team Ico games and anime in order to deliver what appears to be a very different sort of gaming experience. There hasn’t been much new information about Rime, but we haven’t forgotten about this little title and we hope to finally play it next year.ScaleboundAny game that features giant dragons is enough to warrant attention, but when it is being developed by one of today’s hottest studios, it should definitely be on folks’ radar. Scalebound will have players control not only a human but his dragon companion as they travel the land of Draconis to rid it of evil. Fans of the Xbox One are in for a treat with this latest offering from Hideki Kamiya and Platinum Games. Dragon on dragon action? Sold.Sonic ManiaSonic the Hedgehog games are at their best when they’re in 2D, and with Sonic Mania, the series is going back to its roots to deliver the most authentic Sonic experience we’ve had in years. Though Sonic Mania is an obvious love letter to the glory days of the franchise, it introduces some new gameplay features (along with smoother animations) that fans and newcomers alike will appreciate. Sonic Mania won’t sell a bazillion copies, but it will be one of the most enjoyable games of 2017.South Park: The Fractured But WholeSouth Park: The Stick of Truth was (surprisingly enough) a well put together title that many enjoyed so it was guaranteed that a sequel would follow. Like the last game, The Fractured But Whole is a turn-based adventure where players get to explore the town of South Park and engage with some of its more… colorful denizens. This game will not be for the timid, so make sure to be well prepared for an onslaught of offensive humor while playing.State of Decay 2If you can’t get enough zombie killing in your games, then State of Decay 2 will satisfy your craving to murder the undead. For this sequel, players will get the chance to team up with friends to smash zombie skulls together. With no new Dead Rising game for Xbox One in 2017, State of Decay 2 should be a great substitute.Tekken 72017 will see the release of a number of exceptional fighting games, and one of the biggest will be Tekken 7. With Virtua Fighter missing in action, Tekken 7 now stands as the king of 3D fighting games. Expect Tekken 7 to not only be a hit at home but also at national and international fighting game tournaments. Despite all the competition it faces next year, Tekken 7 should bring new life to the classic franchise.Uncharted: The Lost LegacyUncharted’s Chloe hasn’t popped up in quite some time, so it is great to not only see her return to the series but star in her very own adventure. Naughty Dog has previously stated that Nathan Drake’s days of adventuring are over, so having Chloe — along with Uncharted 4’s Nadine — take up the reins, even if just for a DLC, is a brilliant move. Though not yet confirmed, do not be surprised if this is a darker Uncharted game given the take-no-prisoners, shoot-first-ask-questions-later personalities of both Chloe and Nadine.VampyrDontnod Entertainment impressed us with the imaginative Life is Strange, and it appears that the studio will continue to give the gaming world something fresh with Vampyr. Here, players will take on the role of a doctor who was turned into a vampire. Though the good doctor must kill to live, he can eavesdrop on his potential victims to see if they have the right type of blood he needs — and more importantly — if they actually deserve to die.As extensive as this list was, it is by no means complete. What other games, big or small, are you all looking forward to playing in 2017? Let us know in the comments section below.last_img read more

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Oreo offering 50000 to whoever can guess new mystery flavor

first_img(WSVN) – Oreo lovers rejoice! The company is introducing a new flavor that they’re calling a mystery.Anyone who can figure out what the flavor actually is can win $50,000.All you have to do is buy a pack of mystery Oreos and try them. If you think you know the flavor, you can enter the Oreo mystery flavor sweepstakes for a chance to win the cash prize.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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