#AceNewsReport – Dec.27: The man was very quickly arrested and placed in a sobering-up cell: Friday, December 24, at around 6.30 p.m., police officers intervened on rue Albert-Tomey in Carcassonne, following an incident that had just happened at Saint-Vincent church.
#AceDailyNews says it reported by local media that a drunk disrupts Christmas mass by shouting that he is a Muslim,” translated from “Carcassonne – Ivre, il perturbe la messe de Noël en criant qu’il est musulman,” Calm down. He was just celebrating diversity according to L’Indépendant, December 26, 2021 (thanks to Medforth)
According to reports from L’Indépendant, a drunken man broke in during the Christmas service, shouting to anyone who would listen that he was a Muslim.
Very quickly arrested by the police, present to secure places of worship during this festive period, this 52-year-old Moroccan was taken to the police station for a necessary sobering up. No complaints were filed.
#AceNewsReport – Dec.25: It’s hard to imagine now, but at the beginning of the 19th century Christmas was hardly celebrated. Many businesses did not even consider it a holiday. However by the end of the century it had become the biggest annual celebration and took on the form that we recognise today…
Jack Walters has reproduced the spirit of the 80s and 90s at his Derbyshire home
Watching episodes of classic Christmas comedies – the likes of Victoria Wood and the Vicar of Dibley – probably features on many people’s festive to-do list.
But few of us will be watching them on an original black cathode-ray TV, complete with a video player.
However Jack Walters’ home is a shrine to the late 80s/early 90s, when such technology was standard.
Jack and his partner Matt – and dog Tilly – have embraced the styles of the period
“The whole house is a mix of 80s and 90s,” says Jack who, at the age of 23, has only the faintest memories of the period from first time around.
“My bedroom has a mid-90s terracotta and green vibe, with a matching border.
“We have a Laura Ashley lemon print in the kitchen.
“I have an old Nokia phone and drive a 1989 Mini Metro.”
Jack’s living room has an original cathode-ray TV and a video player
Jack lives in a cottage in Bakewell, Derbyshire, with his partner Matt and his mum and dad.
And although the taste for 90s decor was driven by him, he says his family have embraced the style.
Victoria Wood’s Christmas specials are a must-see in Jack’s household
At Christmas, he feels the era comes into its own.
“Everybody loves the cheesy kitschness of this era at Christmas,” he says.
For Jack, the period presented the perfect balance of technology and time away from screens.
“TV and mobile phones were in their infancy but we weren’t dominated by them,” he says.
Jack’s home is full of period festive decor
He also loves the designs of the era – which range from kitsch to garish.
“The era saw so many trends in terms of decor and you really see that coming through at Christmas,” he says.
“We have tinsel and coloured lights and silk decorations on the tree.
“For Christmas dinner, we are going to go all out. I have some old Ideal Home magazines with some recipes from the era we can cook.”
Jack’s home is decorated with tinsel and vintage lights
After lunch, he and his family will enjoy playing on vintage games consoles or listening to the classic Now That’s What I Call Christmas albums on his Walkman.
“I’ll be watching lots of Victoria Wood, Vicar of Dibley and Royle Family Christmas specials,” he says.
“I think that era of TV didn’t take itself too seriously and it was also quite heartfelt.”
Resourcefulness and simplicity
Hannah’s fascination with the period stems from her close relationship with her grandparents
Hannah Hall’s love for the 1940s is, in part, a tribute to her beloved grandparents.
Growing up, she would sit with her Grandpa Henry watching some of Hollywood’s festive classics, such as It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas.
“I was very close to my grandpa,” she says. “He was in the RAF. I still have his old uniform and the letters he wrote home.
“He was born in 1936 so he was growing up in that classic Hollywood era of the 1940s and 50s.”
Hannah says Christmas preparations 1940s-style involve more elbow-grease but are very satisfying
Today, Hannah lives with her mum Stephanie in a 1920s semi in Nottingham which the pair have filled with vintage pieces from the period.
“The house itself is full of quirky features: old sash windows, bedroom fireplaces,” says Hannah.
“I wear 1940s-style dresses. I have a faux fur coat and vintage handbags and my nan’s old pearls. My style is heavily influenced by my nan, Jacqueline, who was born in 1941.”
While the period of blackouts, Anderson shelters and make do and mend might not be the one most of us associate with the festive season, for Hannah the 1940s represents all that was best about the British spirit.
She uses old recipe books to inspire her traditional festive menu
“It was an era of resourcefulness and simplicity,” she says. “That’s what is so great about the 40s.
“I love the quintessential British spirit of making the best of what you have got.
“I haven’t grown up with a lot but, even though we only had a little, we wanted for nothing.
“The 1940s was an exceptionally scary and challenging time to live in but I think Christmas was just as magical.”
Christmas dinner 1940s-style involves a little more elbow grease but, Hannah says, it can be just as rewarding.
Most of Hannah’s cooking utensils are from the period
“We don’t ration – we’re not that dedicated,” she says.
“I thrifted my 1947 cooker and it cooks the best roast chicken.
“I bake my own mince pies using vintage cooking utensils – whisks, measuring jugs, a wall-mounted tin opener.
“A lot of these older items need a gentle touch – you can’t just flick a switch. But it’s more satisfying to boil the kettle on a stove.
“I have a great old cookery book with traditional recipes like Christmas pudding, bread and butter pudding, soups and broths.”
Hannah makes presents or finds inspiration at second-hand shops
Hannah and her mum find Christmas presents at vintage fairs, or make them themselves, and wrap them in recycled brown paper and string.
“I think it looks really tasteful and it saves you from having reams of wrapping paper,” she says.
The festive season then continues in traditional style with a trip to midnight mass.
Hannah likes to get dressed up for her traditional 1940s Christmas
“I really like to get dressed up,” says Hannah.
“I have old dresses that look nice and festive, paired with a nice red lip and nails.”
Back at home, they will put some Bing Crosby LPs on Hannah’s record player.
Frank Capra’s festive classic epitomises the spirit of a 1940s Christmas, Hannah says
Hannah’s job within the NHS’s bereavement services has brought her into close contact with many who have suffered losses during the pandemic.
“We are going through a really difficult time in our world at the moment,” she says.
“We can’t see the people we love. There are certain similarities with what people would have been going through back in the 1940s and, like then, Christmas probably felt even more special as a result.”
‘I am donning my Scrooge mantle’
This year, due to anxiety about Covid, Julia says she cannot find her festive spirit
At this time of year, Julia Wood’s halls are normally decked with boughs of holly.
“I normally hang wreaths above the fireplace and decorate them with traditional baubles,” says the author, who has had a passion for the Victorian/Edwardian era since she was a teenager.
“It goes really deep in my blood. Oscar Wilde has been a beacon in my aesthetic life,” she says.
Julia’s clothes are all inspired by the period she loves
Her Leicester home is full of antiques, printed velvet hangings and oil lamps – now with electric fittings.
“The oldest piece in my house is a beautiful Georgian bureau,” she says.
She employs a dressmaker to make her era-inspired clothes designs which, she says, consist of lots of sweeping velvet gowns and fake fur stoles.
Julia has filled her home with rich furnishings from the Victorian period
But Julia says unfortunately the challenges of modern times have put paid to her planned Victorian festive celebrations this year.
“My Victorian Christmas has been shattered by Omicron,” she says. “I am dreading not being able to see friends and family.
“My Victorian muse has deserted me.”
Instead, this year Julia says she will be drawing festive inspiration from a less likely Victorian source.
Julia says celebrating Christmas this year feels too difficult, given the uncertainties of Covid
“I am donning my Scrooge mantle,” she says.
“I feel I’m starting to understand him a bit more now.
“For me, my Victorian interest is like a protection against the awfulness of so much of our modern news but it is becoming very difficult to avoid that.
“I have a TV cabinet with curtains which I pull across to hide any reports about Covid. Either that or I will hide behind the chaise longue.”
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Julia says she is under no illusions that the 19th Century represented a far more difficult time for many.
“I’m aware many people’s lives were appalling,” she says.
“If you are nostalgic about history, you tend to pick the best parts to celebrate.
“I believe more people are feeling that nostalgia because our current times are so difficult.”
#AceNewsReport – Dec.25: According to flight tracking firm FlightAware, 2,380 flights were called off and another 11,163 delayed globally on Christmas Eve. The figures for Christmas Day stood at 2,388 cancelations and 2,579 delays as of the afternoon. Another 747 flights scheduled for Sunday have been pulled as well.
US airports accounted for more than a quarter of all cancelations, with United Airlines and Delta being among the worst hit. There were 688 flights pulled across the US on Friday, and a further 980 called off so far over the peak travel weekend.
The majority of the cancelations came from five airlines, with China Eastern forced to call off more than 1,200 journeys over the weekend. Meanwhile, Air China, United, Delta, Jet Blue, and Lion Air have reported large numbers of pulled flights, according to FlightAware’s real-time tracker.
“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,”United said in a statement on Friday, adding that it was “notifying impacted customers” and working to rebook them.
Delta also apologized to customers, noting that it had “exhausted all options and resources – including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying.” The airline attributed the cancelations to both the Omicron variant and poor weather conditions.
Meanwhile, German carrier Lufthansa told AP on Friday that it was canceling 12 transatlantic flights over the holiday period due to a “massive rise” in pilots calling in sick, and despite arranging for a “large buffer” of additional staff for the period.
The last-minute travel chaos added to the frustration for passengers looking to celebrate with their families over the holidays after pandemic precautions severely impacted Christmas in 2020. Airline social media feeds reflected this public anger, with several passengers weathering service delays to demand assistance and refunds.
@Delta HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!! Flight was canceled yesterday and I’ve been trying to get a refund since yesterday! Hours spent being sent from person to person only to be offered an ecredit!! I want my money back and the sky Miles I used to upgrade my flight— Sonny Wigginton (@SonnyW08) December 25, 2021
According to figures released by the American Automobile Association earlier this month, airlines were expected to see an 184% increase in traffic between December 23 and January 2 from 2020. The US Transportation Security Administration expected to screen nearly 30 million people between December 20 and January 3.You can share this story on social media:
Reports of snow have been confirmed in Braemar in Aberdeenshire, Shetland, Perthshire and the Borders.
Traffic camera footage also revealed snow fell across the Yorkshire Dales in England.
A spokeswoman said: “There has been snow falling in the early hours of Christmas Day and we’re seeing some snow across Aberdeenshire, Perthshire and Shetland so it is officially a white Christmas.”
Many parts of the UK are more likely to see rain on Christmas Day though it will be cold and bright in north East England and Scotland.
The rain in Northern Ireland will be particularly heavy and there are warnings of localised flooding.
Snow is expected to be more widespread on 26th December with a yellow warning in place for parts of central and southern Scotland and northern England.
In recent times about half of Christmas Days have seen some snowfall recorded somewhere in the UK but the widespread coverings evoked by Dickensian Christmas scenes are now a rare event.
There has only been a widespread covering – where more than 40% of weather stations in the UK reported snow on the ground at 09:00 – four times since 1960, in 1981, 1995, 2009 and 2010, according to the Met Office.
Good morning and merry Christmas! 🎄
Here’s how the weather is looking this #Christmas morning…
Last year was also technically a white Christmas, with 6% of weather stations reporting some snow falling but in most places it did not lie on the ground, and there was no snow recorded in 2018 or 2019.
The UK is generally more likely to see snow between January and March than in December, and climate change has also reduced the likelihood of Christmas snowfall.
White Christmases were more frequent in the 18th and 19th centuries, even more so before the change of calendar in 1752 which, in effect, brought Christmas Day back by 12 days.
BBC Weather Watcher MikeN found evidence that Santa Paws had visited Torphins, Aberdeenshire.
#AceNewsReport – Dec.25: The survey was conducted in response to a Norwegian postal service advert depicting Santa as a gay man.You can share this story on social media:
#AceChristmasDesk says according to RT News Report: A majority of British youths would not mind seeing Father Christmas depicted as gay, black, or female, while the older generation prefers a more traditional Santa, a new poll suggests.
Age is the key factor among the wider public, with the youngest Britons – those aged 18-24 – supporting a gay Santa by 60% to 20%,” reads a report by YouGov, which conducted the poll on December 14-15.
Findings show that the majority of Britons older than 65 “cannot tolerate a homosexual Father Christmas, by 58% to 24%.”
The general population seems to be divided on the matter with slightly more respondents – 41% to 39% – still preferring Santa as a straight man.
A significantly bigger gap can be seen in the numbers of those who think Father Christmas could actually be a mom, and those who want him to remain male. Some 54% of 1,714 adult Brits who took part in the survey are not prepared to accept a female Santa, although this figure rises in older groups, with only 27% supporting the idea. The younger Brits are much more tolerant: 45% are OK with Santa being depicted as a woman, while 31% are not.
Regarding a non-white Santa, the general UK population seems to be less accepting, not only compared to the youngest age group, but also to Americans who were polled by YouGov last year: only half of Britons (49-53%) say it’s fine for him to belong to any ethnicity other than white.
“By contrast, in the USA two thirds (67%) were accepting of a Black Santa, and 58-60% were comfortable with an Asian or Middle-Eastern Kris Kringle,” the researchers said.
“I haven’t been here for two years and I decided to come back to greet my customers again,” Vince Termini Sr., the owner, said. “It’s a pleasure seeing them, a lot of them have been coming here for 30 years, so I was glad I was out there to greet them.”
The tradition has been going on now for 100 years. But it almost didn’t happen this year.
Their 80-year-old cannoli dough maker broke. It was imported from Italy, and a replacement would’ve taken months.
They had to call in a few favors and eventually got the maker fixed just in time for the Christmas rush.
The bakery has heaters for customers who wait in line outside, but they are asking you to be patient.
They say they are understaffed and many of the people who are here are working their first Christmas Eve If you pre-ordered, they’re asking you not to show up before your allocated time slot.
#AceNewsReport – Dec.25: It’s the season of goodwill and Londoners did not disappoint with their generosity towards our 2021 appeal, which drew to a close on Thursday, 23 December.
#AceDailyNews MET UPDATE Annual Christmas Tree Appeal Report: A whopping 17,276 presents have been delivered to children, who would have otherwise received nothing, in time for Christmas – and that’s all thanks to you….This year was extra special as the Met marks 10 years of this important appeal.
24 December 2021 10:00
The majority of presents purchased this year have now been delivered by employees from local authorities all over London, with support from officers and Met volunteers, and in a ‘Covid secure’ manner.
Yesterday, the Commissioner visited social workers in Bexley as they wrapped gifts ready to deliver to children in the borough.
Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “The Christmas Tree Appeal is a cause very close to my heart and I am hugely grateful to everyone who donated this year, especially given the trying times we have all faced during the pandemic.
“No child should ever have to go without and, as ever, Londoners really have rallied to support this wonderful cause and ensure Christmas is special for all children in our city. Each and every year I am truly humbled by the kindness and generosity shown by my colleagues and the public, and this year is no exception.
“Thanks to you, we can spread some festive cheer and make sure thousands of children across London, who would not have received a present at Christmas, have something special to open on the day.”
Over the past decade, kind-hearted Londoners have been donating money and buying gifts for vulnerable and disadvantaged children across the Capital’s 32 boroughs.
During that time, a staggering 133,645 Christmas presents have been delivered to children, aged from one-week to 17 years old, being cared for by foster parents, in residential care homes, refuges, hospitals or from low-income families.
Kindness goes a long way and this has certainly been the case with our appeal. Having first launched in 2011, it has only grown in popularity. In its first year, 230 gifts were gathered for London’s children and this snowballed to 22,000 gifts by 2019.
It began with one tree outside New Scotland Yard being decorated with gift tags which provided information on how to buy a present for a child in care. The public were encouraged to take a tag and buy a present, which they then handed in to their local Met police station. Officers then ensured the presents were distributed to children across the Capital.
For the past two years, due to Covid-19, we have had to do things a little differently and take the appeal online to help keep everyone safe while still making sure children have something to open for Christmas.
The Commissioner added: “I am incredibly proud of what the Met’s Christmas Tree Appeal has achieved over the past 10 years. Including 2021, we have delivered well over 130,000 gifts which is phenomenal. To think of all those smiles is a gift in itself and we couldn’t have done it without the public and our colleagues in the Childhood Trust, Local Authorities, the NHS and those who run care homes and refuges across the City. For that, I wish to express my sincere gratitude. Thank you.”
After all gifts are distributed, all remaining funds raised through the appeal will be directed to local youth projects operating essential support services for disadvantaged children and young people across all London boroughs.
DEAR ALL. Another year of many changes have taken place and many people’s lives have altered, some for the good but many for the not so good but at this time of year ALL l WANT to do is ‘ Wish Everyone of YOU a very Merry Christmas and Hope and 🙏’s for ALL of those in NEED ……
As news spread late Sunday about the Christmas parade tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin, it didn’t take long for messages of concern and support for the community to begin circulating.
Those posting messages or releasing statements included the White House, the top elected officials in Wisconsin and even the state’s pro sports teams.
“The White House is closely monitoring the situation in Waukesha and our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by this terrible incident,” came a statement from Washington, D.C., according to FOX 6 of Milwaukee. “We have reached out to state and local officials to offer any support and assistance as needed.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called the parade incident a “senseless act.”
“Kathy and I are praying for Waukesha tonight and all the kids, families, and community members affected by this senseless act,” the governor wrote. “I’m grateful for the first responders and folks who acted quickly to help, and we are in contact with local partners as we await more information.”
Wisconsin’s two U.S. senators also issued statements.
“My thoughts and prayers for everyone injured in Waukesha’s Christmas parade,” Sen. Ron Johnson wrote. “My gratitude for all law enforcement, medical personnel, and community members who are responding.”
“The horrific violence at the Waukesha Christmas Parade is just heartbreaking,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin wrote. “Please keep the victims in your prayers tonight.”
Here’s what we know about the Christmas parade tragedy in Waukesha, Wisconsin
A small American town is reeling as joyous scenes of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats turned deadly in an instant.
Waukesha, in the midwestern state of Wisconsin, was celebrating its 58th annual holiday parade when an SUV ploughed through dozens of performers, killing at least five people.
Its line-up included people from local sports teams and cheer squads, police officers, politicians and businesses who were to march along the 1.6-kilometre route.
Just before 4:40pm, a red SUV broke through the parade barricades.
Video taken by bystanders showed it narrowly avoided a dancing child and marchers from Carroll University as it drove down part of a street that had four lanes.
But as the road tapered into the town’s historic downtown streetscape, the vehicle rammed dozens of parade performers from behind.
A witness estimated the SUV had been travelling about 64 kilometres per hour when it hit the crowd.
Waukesha Police Chief Dan Thompson said a police officer, who has been with the department for six-and-a-half years, fired his gun in an attempt to stop the car.
No bystanders were injured by the gun, and Chief Thompson said he did not know if the driver was struck by the officer’s bullets.
Who was injured?
The Waukesha Police Department said on its Facebook page that five people had been killed and over 40 were injured.
“However, these numbers may change as we collect additional information. Many people have self-transported to area hospitals,” it said.
At least 12 children were injured and taken to hospital, the head of the fire department said earlier.
Community groups that were marching in the same part of the line-up confirmed their members were injured in the parade.
Several girls from the youth troupe Waukesha Xtreme Dance were hit by the car.
The girls, reportedly aged between nine and 15 years, were performing with white pompoms.
The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, a group of dancing grandmothers, confirmed it was waiting for word on the condition of its members and volunteers.
A priest, parishioners and Waukesha Catholic schoolchildren, who were marching ahead of the Grannies, were injured and hospitalised, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee said.
Members of the Waukesha South High School’s marching band were also struck by the vehicle. All Waukesha public schools are closed on Monday.
Real estate agency RE/MAX Service First said one person who was involved in their parade team had a knee injury.
Has anyone been arrested?
Chief Thompson said a “person of interest” was in custody, but gave no details about the person or any possible motive.
It is not known whether the incident is related to terrorism, he said.
A vehicle was recovered near the town, and a local TV network later showed a picture of what appeared to be the red SUV involved with its hood crumpled and front fender hanging off, parked in a driveway.
ABC/Wires/NYTimes/Fox News/ By Dan Simmons, Mitch Smith, Robert Chiarito, Jesus Jiménez and Livia Albeck-Ripka & Dom Calicchio
#AceNewsReport – Dec.26: According to #police, the #shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. near 86th Street and Maryland in the city’s East Chatham neighbourhood WMAQ reported and published 48 minutes ago and updated 31 minutes ago by NBC Chicago …
According to authorities the victims were on a porch in the area when a man wearing a grey hoodie walked out of an alley and opened fire.
An 18-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene and a 21-year-old man #shot in the back was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where he later died, #police said.
A 35-year-old man who suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the body was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition.
A fourth person, whose age was not immediately known, was taken to John. H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County in critical condition along with a 27-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman who were both shot in their legs and listed in stable condition.
A 39-year-old man also took himself to Roseland Hospital with a gunshot wound to the foot. He was last listed in good condition, according to officials.
No one was in custody for the #shooting as of Monday morning. Area South Detectives are investigating.
“This is a business area, hopefully the cameras that are east of here can give police an image of the perpetrator that came through that alley,” said community activist Andrew Holmes.
#AceNewsReport – Dec.26: Mike Illing died in an East Vancouver alley on a cold December night less than two blocks from a new #homeless shelter CBC reported ..
Nubia Ayala, who had known Illing for about three years, discovered her friend lying under a sleeping bag behind the Commercial Drive food store where she works.
Ayala rushed to Illing’s side, but he didn’t respond. Paramedics who arrived within minutes worked on Illing for about an hour trying to revive him, but he died.
His death shook her and other store employees who were friends with him.
“He was really nice, thoughtful, just a really nice person you know?” said Ayala. More than two weeks after his death, she still finds it hard to believe Illing is gone.
She had spoken to him a couple of hours before his death Dec. 7 and he seemed fine.
“He was just talking to me like I’m talk to you,” Ayala said. “I said ‘Hey Mike, how is it going?’ and he said, ‘I’m OK.’ ”
Three hours later, he was dead.
Illing’s death prompted soul searching among homeless advocates who have pressed for more shelters during a prolonged cold snap in Vancouver.
According to the B.C. Coroners Service, a man in his 50s with no fixed address died in an alley in the 1900 block of Commercial Drive on Dec. 7. No cause of death has yet been established, said spokeswoman Barbara McClintock, but it’s under investigation.
The temperature hovered around 1 C that day.
One media outlet has reported that a homeless man who was turned away from a packed shelter earlier this month died later in the evening.
Sean Spear, associate director of RainCity Housing, which operates the new shelter on First Avenue, would not confirm that Illing sought shelter there the night he died.
But Spear did say the First Avenue shelter was filled to capacity that night; its 40 beds occupied
When that happens, those seeking shelter are offered a mat or a couch to sleep on in an overflow area — as well as food.
Although he couldn’t confirm if Illing sought a bed at the First Avenue shelter, Spear said the homeless man’s death was a tragedy which underscores the need for more emergency shelter and permanent housing.
Since the shelter opened in late November, the building has been filled to capacity nearly every night.
Staff, who are working hard to ensure people get warm accommodations, are also grappling with overdoses, which are commonplace, Spear said.
Slept behind the store
“We’re doing all we can right now,” he said. “But there are just so many things going on right now.”
Ayala said she didn’t know if Illing sought shelter at the First Avenue shelter the night he died. During the summer, he slept behind the food store.
She said Illing became homeless last April. Previously, he lived on East Hastings Street. She didn’t know why he lost his housing.
“Mike was really private about so many things.”
Ayala said Illing had a sister and brother, an ex-wife and grown son. A lawyer with the Pivot Legal Society said efforts are still underway to contact Illings’ family.
He sold calendars and newspapers on the street for a homeless organization.
In a YouTube video, Illing is seen performing a rap song for Megaphone magazine, which he sold on the streets.
She thought he suffered from a disability but didn’t know its exact nature.
“He was in the army and got hurt back in the day.”
Although he “liked to drink,” he did not do drugs, she said. A couple of weeks before he died, Illing fell and needed stitches on his chin.
Ayala wondered if the fall had an impact on his death.
The day he died, Ayala said Illing left the alley after their afternoon conversation. Her boss came to the store at about 6 p.m. He told her that he had seen Mike ‘”still sleeping outside.” Ayala went to check on him.
#AceNewsServices – Featured Post: YORKSHIRE:Dec.10 – Kev says it is that time again and he says:
I’ve just be looking through all the wonderful awards I received in 2014 and thought it was time I gave some back… so here you go folks!
I’ve also included the Community Heart Award I made earlier this year for anyone who is part of my wonderful blogging community. 🙂
I’m not nominating any one person for just any one of these awards folks… it’s the Christmas Season! I’m nominating my whole community of which there are too many to list individually. 😀 So, Pick an award or two… Jeez, pick three if you like!
What do you have to do?
It’s simple folks:
Pick your award (s)
Share it/them and this post with you blogging community
Promote one blogger by sharing a link to their website and at least one way in which they have been an inspiration to you this year.
The Person I’m promoting for this year
The blogger who has been the most inspirational to me this year has been my editor and friend, Kate. With her hard work, dedication and aspiration for perfection, I have been able to bring my books up to a very high standard for publishing that I am truly proud of. Let me add that I have had no negative reviews or nasty comments on those works since she edited them and their very successful, second editions were published. Kate’s editing skills are second to none. The books she has edited for me are:
Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear
The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn
The Devil’s Apology
The focus of Kate’s main blog is about her life in Gibraltar. (She’s still very much a Yorkshire lass, though.) 😉 She’s not afraid to tackle tough subjects that arise there, such as human rights, animal rights and other such causes. She has two beautiful doggies: Pippa and Snowy. (The real reasons I visit her blog at all, but, shush, don’t tell her I told you that.) She has a couple of other blogs as well, each have a specific focus. Anyway, I won’t say anymore because I’m always afraid that she’ll be spotting my errors! ( Sh.s’ Don’t tell her I said that!) Jeez you folks deserve these awards just for keeping my secrets! 😀
#AceNewsServices says according Nicholas Carson of Business Insider It has been a less profitable holiday season for many on-line retailers thanks to a small change Facebook made to how the site works.
On December 2, Facebook published a post on its official blog announcing that it had made a small change to the algorithm that determines what users see on the News Feed — that center column of status updates, news stories, and photos you see when you go to Facebook.com or open a Facebook app.
In the blog post, Facebook said it was tweaking the algorithm to favor more "high quality" news stories — articles that surveyed Facebook users say they prefer over funny photos and the like.
At first, Facebook-watchers took the company at its word, and assumed the tweak would only harm meme-oriented publications like Viral Nova and Upworthy get from the News Feed.
And maybe Viral Nova and Upworthy have been hosed by the change.
But, if so, they aren’t the only big losers.
So are a whole class of retailers.
Over the past five years, retail companies big and small spent a lot of time and money over building up their visibility on Facebook. They built up "Brand Pages" on Facebook, and attracted attention to them with a constant stream of posts. They put on contests. They hired "social media marketing" firms. Some companies began selling products directly through these Facebook posts.
These on-line retailers did all this with the full support and encouragement of Facebook, which was eager to show the world Facebook.com and Facebook apps are a place where consumers want to shop.
Facebook allowed these brands to set up their pages and reach out to the Facebook users who "liked" them for free. And, by November 2013, many of them had the Facebook News Feed into a source of actual, high-margin revenues.
Then came December 2, 2013, the day Facebook made its change to the News Feed. Suddenly, all that work went for naught.
It turns out the News Feed tweak did more than just highlight "high quality" news stories. It also totally buried posts from retailers on Facebook.
A source from one retailer told us that her company’s "reach" on Facebook declined 40% to 50% after the change. Another source from a different online retailer said that since Facebook’s change, her company’s posts are getting seen by an 80% smaller audience.
We asked several sources close to e-commerce companies about this trend, and almost all said they’d seen the same pattern.
(These companies asked us not to reveal their names because they have working relationships with Facebook, and don’t want to reveal internal metrics.)
All the retailers we spoke to emphasized that their actual sales have not declined since Facebook made the change. But each said they’ve only been able to maintain sales by increasing the amount of money they spend on Facebook ads.
One source at a retailer said: "Our overall traffic from FB is up due to our paid activity, while our "organic" traffic from Facebook has been consistently going down."
On some level, you have to admire what Facebook has done here. It spent years making itself a free and easy place for business to market themselves or sell actual products. Then, as soon as these businesses grew addicted to Facebook’s users, Facebook began charging for access to them.
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#AceWeatherNews says as at 20 December 2013 – Met Office forecasters are expecting the current unsettled weather to continue in the run up to Christmas, with spells of heavy rain and strong winds affecting the UK at times.
Much of this weekend will be cool and showery before an area of low pressure develops over the Atlantic on Sunday, deepening rapidly to pass just to the north-west of the UK on Monday and into Tuesday. This is bringing very strong winds and heavy rain to much of the UK from Monday morning through to late Tuesday morning and Met Office National Severe Weather Warningshave been issued for wind and rain across the southwest and northern areas of the UK over the next few days.
The public should be aware of the potential for significant disruption to travel due to the very strong winds and also the risk of some flooding issues due to the heavy rain.
Chief Forecaster Eddy Carroll said: “We can expect stormy weather in many areas to start the Christmas week, but looking forward to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we are expecting it to turn colder, with a mix of wintry showers and sunny spells but for wind speeds to drop. So there is a chance that some places may see a White Christmas“.
Throughout this unsettled spell Met Office forecasters and advisors are working round the clock with our partners to keep everyone up to date with the latest forecast information so they can plan and prepare for the expected weather.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “People who are set to be away from home for the festive period are urged to check the flood situation and take precautionary steps to prepare, for example by moving valuable items to safety, before travelling. People are also urged to check the flood risk situation for their journey and at their destination.
“People are also being urged not to drive through dangerous flood water. The Environment Agency has teams on the ground checking flood defences and monitoring river levels and will have teams ready to respond throughout the Christmas period.”
John McTaggart Head of On-Road Services at the Highways Agency said: “We are working closely with the Met Office to monitor conditions ahead of the weather being forecast for next week.
“Road users are urged to check traffic and weather conditions before setting out on journeys and to heed any advice such as speed restrictions once they are on motorways and major trunk roads.
“Be aware of sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, motorbikes and bicycles plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close certain bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signposted diversion routes.”
Don’t forget you can “Tell a Forecaster” the impacts the weather is having in your area, uploading photos and information via your mobile phone.
In this video Met Office Chief Forecaster, Eddy Carroll, explains how we expect the weather to develop over the next few days, the potential for a stormy day on Monday and whether we’ll see a White Christmas.
In 2012 the tradition continued, and showed even more ways that you and your little ones can follow Father Christmas‘ progress. A stunning 25 million people from around the globe are predicted to follow Santa in real-time on-line, on mobile phones and tablets, by email and phone.
What makes the program so special is that more than 1,250 Canadian and American uniformed personnel and Defense-Department civilians volunteer their time on Christmas Eve to answer thousands of phone calls and emails. What’s more, organizations such as Microsoft, Analytical Graphics Inc., Verizon, Vision-box and over 50 others support NORAD.
t’s hard to believe it all started with a typo. A program renowned the world over — one that brings in thousands of volunteers, prominent figures such as the First Lady of the United States, and one that has gone on for more than five decades — all started as a misprint.
That error ran in a local Colorado Springs newspaper back in 1955 after a local department store printed an advertisement with an incorrect phone number that children could use to ‘call Santa.’ Except that someone goofed. Or someone mistook a three for an eight. Maybe elves broke into the newspaper and changed the number. We’ll never know.
Official seal of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Note that the oceans’ colour is supposed to be “turquoise” http://www.norad.mil/about_us/heraldry.htm but has consistently been rendered, in recent years, as frankly greenish. Older memorabilia uses a bluer colour, ranging up to light blue. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But somehow, the number in the advertisement changed, and instead of reaching the ‘Santa’ on call for the local department store, it rang at the desk of the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center, the organization that would one day become the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or ‘NORAD.’
And when the commander on duty, Col. Harry Shoup, first picked up the phone and heard kids asking for Santa, he could have told them they had a wrong number.
But he didn’t, instead, the kind-hearted colonel asked his crew to play along and find Santa’s location. Just like that, NORAD was in the Santa-tracking business.
2012 Improvements Are Made:
Santa is already on his way across the globe delivering presents to the boys and girls on his Nice List. The 2012 NORAD Santa Tracker is currently tracking good ol’ Saint Nick as he makes his way across the world to deliver presents on Christmas.
You can watch a live video of Santa’s journey below thanks to Norad’s hightech Santa Tracker, but you can also interact with the Santa tracking team via Facebook and Twitter. NORAD will be posting a constant stream of updates via social media sites today.
If you want to talk to the team first hand, you can even give NORAD a call.
Santa’s navigation team can be reached at 877-HI-NORAD (877-446-6723). They’ll be able to give you Santa’s current location and may even be able to tell you when to expect your presents.
2013 Technology Steps Up:
For the second straight year, Microsoft has partnered with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to monitor Santa’s progress around the globe. Microsoft redid the site this year, however, to allow excited children armed with Surface tablets to spin an interactive Claymation-styled globe around (beginning Dec. 24) and pinpoint when the jolly old elf will arrive in their neighborhood.
The site, now live, offers several holiday-themed games (unlocked using an Advent calendar motif), holiday videos, and music. There’s also “secret Santa” files that talk about the tracker’s history, which began when an advertisement offering to help kids track Santas accidentally published the phone number of CONAD, NORAD’s predecessor. The Director of Operations when, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole, according to NORAD.
Years later, Google provided the first “data” that established the Santa Tracker Web site.(For the record, NORAD says its joint radar and satellite tracking system, together with a network of “Santa-Cams” and U.S. and Canadian jet fighters, provide up-to-the-minute alerts on Santa’s progress.) But two years ago, Google and NORAD parted ways, for unexplained reasons, and went with Microsoft instead.. Last year, Google’s revamped Santa tracker offered an opportunity to chat with Santa, download an Android app, and track him via Google+.
For Microsoft, it’s another opportunity to show off how sites designed for Internet Explorer and touch can mimic the apps that its platforms have unfortunately lacked. Microsoft has archived other, similar sites at its ”Reimagine the Web” site. Bing Maps will track Santa this year.
It looks like Google will be directly competing with NORAD this year, however.
“On Christmas Eve we’ll be proudly showcasing a preview of Santa’s dashboard—the technology that powers his sleigh during his around-the-world journey,” Google says. “We have received this special preview from one of Santa’s many developer elves, who are hard at work in the North Pole helping Santa prepare for his big day. Santa’s dashboard—featuring the latest and greatest in Google Maps technology and sleigh engineering—will allow you to follow his progress around the world, and also learn a little about some of his stops along the way.”
Don’t worry, though. As Stefan Weitz, Bing’s general manager, tweeted last month (as noted by Search Engine Land) Microsoft and Google have teamed up to avoid placing Santa in different locations throughout Christmas Eve night.
At a press conference Wednesday Democrats kicked off the annual holiday tradition of demanding Congress save unemployment benefits or else ruin Christmas for more than a million people. As has been the case for several years in a row, if Congress does nothing, federal unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless will expire around the holidays. As in previous years, Democrats are doing battle using holiday metaphors. “For this country, the richest in the world, to say to people at Christmastime, when you look in your Christmas sock you’re going to find a lump of coal from Congress — that’s wrong,” Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) said. “With just a few weeks left to act, [House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)] is really setting himself up to be the Speaker Who Stole Christmas,” Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) said. “Please don’t be the Speaker Who Stole Christmas.” [HuffPost]
As this mail can cause delays to personnel getting post from loved ones, members of the public are being urged to donate to existing service charities instead.
Head of the BFPO, Colonel Stephen Heron, said:
As we get closer to Christmas it’s important to remind people who, though their generosity is appreciated, the most important thing for our men and women on operations is to receive mail from their loved ones.
With this in mind we are urging the public to donate to recognised service charities, which can use their experience to focus their efforts directly on what will be of most benefit to deployed service personnel.
The public is also reminded that, due to the ongoing redeployment of UK personnel and equipment as responsibility for security is handed over to the Afghans, there will be significantly fewer UK troops in Afghanistan this Christmas compared to previous years.
How to show your support
The best way to support personnel on operations abroad is to make donations to approved charities such as uk4u Thanks! which works withBFPO to make use of any spare space in the existing supply chain.
The uk4u Thanks! Christmas Box appeal, which has sent festive boxes to personnel for 7 years, ensures a present ‘on behalf of the nation’ is sent at Christmas to every serviceman and women working overseas.
People can donate to this and other charities now to show their support and appreciation, and are encouraged to do so rather than sending their own gifts by post.
Christmas is a difficult time for servicemen and women who are serving away from their families on operations. uk4u sends them all a Christmas box filled with useful and fun items.
This year over 18,000 boxes will be sent all over the world using spare space in military transport; therefore we do not put additional strain onBFPO at Christmas. We know from feedback received that this helps to raise the morale of our troops at Christmas.
uk4u would like to thank all our sponsors and members of the public who donate, without whose support we would not be able to send the boxes.