We Are Marching

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first_imgAway from the figures that pile so highInto a zone of comfort for a short seasonShaking off the dust we accumulated thenNot remembering too our eyelid are shadedHasting into the tomorrow still in the pastWe Are Marching……….As fleeting scenes from a melee of timeThe cries echoes from mouths of unbornResonates how warm and even cold we areDeeds of selfless generosity breaks barriersFeeds into the corners of where morsel lacksWe Are Marching………..Build of a happy statute to embrace all kindSettled by no accident rather a divine meansFlowered as roses lillies habiscus and irisesJust to add lusters of glittery beads to the skyCome off the wall join hands to sparkly smilesWe Are Marching…………Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

ArcelorMittal Liberia Under House Probe

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first_imgThe Plenary of the House of Representatives has mandated the committees on Lands, Mines and Energy; the Judiciary, Investment, and Labor to investigate Arcelor Mittal Liberia Limited over allegations of disrespect to members of the 54th Legislature, allegedly bad social and environmental agreement and bad labor practices at the company’s operation area.The House’s Plenary has also added the Nimba, Grand Bassa and Bong counties Legislative Caucuses to form part of the probe.The House’s decision was reached on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 during the 18th day sitting of the 1st session of the House of Representatives of the 54th Legislature, following a communication to Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers from Nimba County District#3 Rep. Joseph Nyan Somwarbi. Somwarbi pleaded with his colleagues to invite the management of the company to clarify some concerns raised by him.The Joint Committee is expected to report to plenary two weeks after the Easter Break.According to Representative Somwarbi, his request to have an acquaintance meeting with the Arcelor Mittal management was downplayed, and he was later told to be part of the management’s planned meeting with the Minister of Mines and Energy.Nimba County District#3 Rep. Joseph Nyan SomwarbiThe Nimba County lawmaker is requesting for the current status of the company’s operations with respect to the above specified conditions which include system of water supply, agreement with private land owners, power plant and supply and the use of the US$200,000 annual scholarship fund.Accordingly, Representative Somwarbi indicated that contrary to the provision in Article X, Section 1, which talks about health care, the company is operating a 150-bed hospital below clinic standards, with one lab technician and no pharmacist.It may be recalled that Arcelor Mittal in 2017 re-employed at least 200 workers it had declared redundant in the past two years due to unfavorable global economic factors that affected the price of iron ore on the world market.In June 2015, 250 workers were declared redundant, while 142 jobs were also sliced in 2016, leaving many frustrated about the prospects of the world’s leading iron producer’s presence in Liberia.The slicing of social development funds for Grand Bassa, Nimba and Bong counties by the company also remains a contentious issue, which observers have described as a ‘gloomy’ future for the company’s investment in Liberia.When the company opted to slice jobs, the workers union put up a stiff resistance, prompting a deal which specified that redundant workers would be rehired once the production and market conditions improve.“What becomes of the promising future for those that were redundant and those that intend to comeback? The union did not just agree with management to declare those workers redundant,” explained Michael Tobloun, Secretary General of the AML worker union.“We agreed that if things subside, if the financial situation improves, if the price of iron ore was appreciated, some of those redundant will be rehired.”There are various prices of iron ore on the world market, but there are reports of a significant rise in the price. Market Index on January 3, 2017 reported that the price is US$74.37 per ton. This is a significant improvement, considering that the price of iron ore slumped to as low as US$37.50 per ton.The Nimba County lawmaker is requesting for the current status of the company’s operations with respect to the above specified conditions, which include system of water supply, agreement with private land owners, power plant and supply and the use of the US$200,000 annual scholarship fund.Accordingly, Representative Somwarbi indicated that contrary to the provision in Article X Section 1, which talks about healthcare, the company is operating a 150-bed hospital below clinic standards with one lab technician and no pharmacist.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

IUF urges Govt to look into plight of 5700+ fired sugar workers

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first_img…says no consideration given to establishing reform plansThe International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF), an international trade union confederation, through its General Secretary Sue Longley, has written to President David Granger expressing strong concerns over the downsizing of sugar.The IUF has strongly urged the President that his Government “…actively look at the plight that has befallen the thousands of workers of the sugar industry who have lost their livelihood…” The trade union body said the situation “…if left unchecked, would not be in the interest of your beautiful country and hospitable people.”In its letter to President Granger, the IUF, which speaks on behalf of 10 million workers through its 422 affiliated unions in 131 countries, said it was aware that the sugar industry “…has made substantial contributions to your country’s national life and development…Its role as a national institution cannot be diminished, especially recognising the absence of alternatives at this time.”The IUF said bearing those factors in mind and taking into account the information they have been receiving, it could not help but be saddened by what has taken place. “From our vantage point, we cannot fail to express our view that very little thought has been given to address the well-being and welfare of the thousands who have been affected. The impact, we have learnt, has been nothing short of significant and the disruption of village economies and the social fabric of communities, for us, is disturbing.”Moreover, the IUF said it was aware that the coalition Government, despite being advised to, did not pursue any considered study to get a better grasp of the eventualities that would flow from its reform plans. As such, the international body told the President in the missive that it was not the wisest of positions.Nevertheless, the IUF said too many Guyanese men, women, and children have found themselves facing tough and difficult times. “We are sure, Mr President, that you cannot be comforted by this fact. I should add, Mr President, that earlier this year during a visit to Guyana, myself and colleagues had an opportunity to meet a group of these workers,” the statement added.For the IUF, hearing first hand from the workers, their stories of survival and struggle as they live day in and day out, was heart rending and very moving. “It is difficult, therefore, for us to imagine what has taken place in the days and weeks that followed that interaction,” it added.Longley, in an exclusive interview with Guyana Times in January, had said that her organisation has been paying keen attention to the developments in the sugar industry. “We have been following this closely for some time. We’ve worked historically in sugar to improve working conditions with a view to having a stronger and healthy sugar sector in the Caribbean,” she said.The IUF official noted that it has been a concern for her organisation with the changes taking place in the Caribbean regarding sugar, starting with St Kitts and Barbados. “We were hoping that remaining producers like Guyana would remain very much committed to the industry,” she added.Asked to comment on the manner in which the retrenchment took place, Longley said, “Like we’ve heard, it’s not just figures on paper, but there is a very human impact or cost on those retrenchments. And we take note of the suicides that have taken place as a result of this.”Many civil society bodies and other interest groups have been urging the coalition Government to rethink the closure of estates and to implement plans that would tackle the welfare of workers.In its end-of-year statement, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) highlighted that come 2018, there would, in fact, have been 5000 sugar workers who would be left unemployed if Wales was factored into the current numbers. The body is of the view that this action would have “serious repercussions” this year.In November, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) first announced plans to dismiss thousands of workers, which it did. The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) says the downsizing and subsequent closure of sugar estates would lead to the loss of more than 15,000 jobs, and the potential threat of poverty for 50,000 to 100,000 people.In May 2017, Government announced plans to close the Enmore and Rose Hall Sugar Estates, sell the Skeldon Sugar Factory, reduce the annual production of sugar, and take on the responsibility of managing the drainage and irrigation services offered by GuySuCo.last_img read more

Park buyouts threaten affordable housing

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first_imgWhile Santa Clarita has rent-control protection for the 1,545 mobile home spaces in the city, mobile home parks are mostly regulated by the state. And state law allows for a park owner to evade city-mandated rent-control protections after it sells a single lot to a homeowner in the process of turning over a park to residents. During the years it would take for a park to become completely resident-owned, state protections would tie rent increases for low-income residents to the Consumer Price Index, which would usually amount to no more than a 3percent increase. But those making more than the low-income limit, which is $55,450 for a family of four, would gradually lose rent-control protections. That worries many California cities and counties. “I think our biggest concern is losing a stock of affordable housing,” said Erin Moore-Lay, administrative analyst for Santa Clarita. “It’s important for us to have affordable housing for the people in our community who need it. And as we lose (rent control in) these parks, it’s hard to replace that stock of affordable housing.” About 700,000 California residents live in mobile home parks, and almost all of them own their home but rent their space. At least a dozen of the 4,822 mobile and manufactured home parks in the state are in the process of converting to resident ownership. Critics of the process now in place for converting privately owned parks to resident ownership say that a park owner who proposes converting a park has the upper hand, especially over moderate-income residents. One of those critics is Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, who testified last month before a state Senate committee on mobile homes. “Imagine if I’m negotiating with you and I say, `You can buy at my price or watch your rents go up,”‘ Bennett said to the committee. “Or how different would that be if it would be, `You buy at my price or you can stay at your local rent control law.’ That would be a much more fair negotiation.” But critics of the conversion process and mobile home park owners agree on one thing: Residents benefit when they own their own space. Attorney Richard Close, whose firm represents Caravilla and other mobile home parks, spoke to those benefits when he testified before the Senate committee, urging legislators to increase funding to a California low-interest loan program that helps mobile home residents buy their spaces. “Residents don’t want to be tenants; they want to control their park,” Close said. The mobile home that Courtney, the retired secretary, lives in at Caravilla has wind chimes hanging from a beam below the roof and more wind chimes hanging inside between the living room and kitchen. Courtney said she would like to buy the land under her mobile home, saying it would simplify her life to make one payment a month instead of two – the loan payment on her home and the rent she pays to Caravilla. With a three-bedroom 1995 mobile home, Courtney said she pays about $1,200 a month including utilities. The roughly $600 a month she pays to rent her space is about the same as other Caravilla residents’ rent. Resident Doug Fraser, 48, a maintenance worker who led the fight against the $82 rent increase, said he would be interested in buying. “I support it if I can get it appraised correctly,” Fraser said. “But some of these people (residents), their credit is bad and they’re not looking long-term, so they may not enjoy it.” Newport Pacific is only beginning the process of converting its park; it has not even conducted the state-mandated survey of residents to find out what they think of the proposal. “Even though the residents don’t have veto power, we do try to make sure: Is everyone provided for? How can this be a win-win?” said Susy Forbath, a paralegal with the law firm representing Newport Pacific. alex.dobuzinskis@dailynews.com (661) 257-5253 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! At Caravilla park, located at 18035 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country, residents say they might want to take Newport Pacific up on its offer and buy their spaces instead of continuing to rent. But they are wary, not knowing what the asking price would be. Some residents are also wary of rent increases if they choose not to buy. Six months ago, Newport Pacific tried to force an $82 monthly rent increase, which would have amounted to about a 15percent increase for most residents. After residents protested and asked the city to intervene under its rent-control ordinance, the rent increase was cut to slightly more than 5percent. “I like it here,” said resident Mardel Courtney, 72, a retired secretary who moved to Santa Clarita after her husband died and finds the dry weather is good for her arthritis. “I’d hate to have to move away because of the rent going so high,” she said. CANYON COUNTRY – From the outside it looks like any other mobile home park, with residents ambling along quiet lanes between tightly packed residences. But the 86-unit Caravilla mobile home park could soon be quite different from Santa Clarita’s other parks. The park owner, Irvine-based Newport Pacific, could be among the first to give residents the option to buy the land under their homes. In the process, it would also scrap city rent-control protections, hurting residents who want to keep renting but earn too much to qualify for state protection. As in other cities throughout California, mobile home parks provide a rare stock of affordable housing in Santa Clarita, especially for the working poor and seniors. But since mobile home residents own their homes but rent their spaces, they can find themselves in a bind, especially if a developer wants to pave over their park and build houses. last_img

100-plus cats seized from man’s home

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first_imgPALMDALE – A Palmdale man accused of animal hoarding was cooperative, but seemed indifferent to health and safety concerns when confronted by authorities Monday night after more than 100 cats were removed from his home earlier in the day, the lead investigator assigned to the case said Wednesday. Tom Simpson, 48, is accused of keeping feral cats in his home in the 37900 block of Antibes Court in unsanitary conditions – a situation that posed health risks, said Walter Jimison, a Palmdale code enforcement officer. County animal control and health and safety officers removed 116 cats – including two that were dead – from the home Monday, Jimison said. Authorities were unable to remove an additional 20 or so felines living in walls. Simpson was permitted a few hours to remove personal items from the condemned property, Jimison said. Simpson, who works for a real estate broker, was not jailed, but will face felony animal cruelty charges. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “He seemed very coherent, but he really didn’t seem to grasp the totality of the situation,” Jimison said. Jimison said building and safety officials told him it would cost about $75,000 to $150,000 to rehabilitate the home, a project that will probably take months. He said Simpson’s mortgage lender assigned investigators to evaluate the home’s condition Monday. Jimison said Simpson’s permission will be needed to set up traps in the home to remove the remaining cats. gideon.rubin@dailynews.com (661) 267-7802last_img read more

Football fans: World Cup health warning

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first_img“It is not just a game,” warned a 2010 study in the American Journal of Medicine which said major sporting events “can acutely increase cardiovascular event and death rates.”Most at risk are patients with known coronary artery disease, it said, or those who find themselves in particularly stressful circumstances: “a passionate fan, a high-stakes game, a high-intensity game, a loss, and a loss played at home.”Many a football fan may have shouted at the TV that they “nearly had a heart attack” when their team missed a shot at goal or let an opposing player through to score.But this is not something to joke about.Research has repeatedly shown that psychological triggers such as stress, anxiety, and anger — emotions any sports fan can relate to — can bring on a heart attack.“We know that this is an exciting time but don’t forget about your heart health,” advises Julie Ward, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation.Measures to reduce risk include using blood-thinning aspirin, meditation, and avoiding activities such as smoking, eating artery-clogging, fatty foods, or binging on alcohol or drugs.– Eye strokes –Though not within the control of fans, winning or losing makes a difference too, according to one study in New Zealand.It found a 50 percent increase in hospital admissions for heart failure, particularly among women, after a semi-final loss in the 2003 rugby World Cup.By contrast, hospitalisations were lower after the country’s 2011 semi-final win.It is not only our hearts we should watch.One study noted an explosion during the 2014 World Cup in cases of “retinal vein occlusion” — a blockage of small veins in the eye that is also known as an “eye stroke”.A common cause of vision loss, it is more common in people with cardiovascular disease.Researchers compared the number of cases treated at a German university eye clinic during and four weeks afer the 2014 World Cup with the same period in 2013.It found a definite increase, and said “it can be assumed that the emotional strain caused by a World Cup is a risk factor.”Why does the beautiful game stir up such dangerous passions?Psychologists have suggested that sporting events can give people a sense of group belonging and shared identity.There is also the sense of hope they provide, even for fans of teams that never win… Maybe this time!With such a deep emotional investment and high expectations, failure can lead to crushing disappointment. And it can drive some to more than just tears.Several studies have found suicides rocketing after a World Cup defeat.A study last year found “a significant increase” in hospital admissions of young women in Tehran who drank poison during the four weeks of the 2014 World Cup.Iran was eliminated in the knockout stages.Conversely, in 2012, a study reported a “significant decline” in suicides in France during the four weeks of the 1998 football World Cup the country hosted and won.– Drink water, move around –A further threat to fans, experts warn, is risky behaviour driven by drinking too much alcohol, leading to road accidents, unsafe sex, and violence.A 2013 study, looking at trends during the 2002, 2006, and 2010 World Cups, found the risk of domestic abuse in England rose by 26 percent when the national team won or drew, and 38 percent when it lost.Keeping an eye on alcohol intake is high on the list of “simple steps to stay healthy” compiled by Ward.“Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated during the match,” she added.“Also cut back on the drinks high in sugar or caffeine as these can affect your heart rate and rhythm,” she told AFP.No need to cut out snacking altogether.“But try and have some healthy choices in the house too -– try hummus and carrot sticks, a variety of colourful fruit and some popcorn, either plain or spiced with paprika, chili or rosemary, for a lower-fat, lower calorie alternative to crisps and roasted nuts,” Ward recommended.And don’t sit down for too long, she added. Get up and move around at least every 30 minutes for the sake of our heart.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Research has pointed to a long list of hazards ranging from heart attacks and strokes, to unsafe sex, accidents, suicides, and a spike in domestic abuse. Photo/COURTESYPARIS, France, June 8 – For football fans, the World Cup should be a time of fun with family and friends. But beware, experts say, it can also sicken or even kill you.Research has pointed to a long list of hazards ranging from heart attacks and strokes, to unsafe sex, accidents, suicides, and a spike in domestic abuse.last_img read more

Cristiano Ronaldo announces: ‘I’m leaving Madrid for PSG where I can sell my own CR7 branded condoms’

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first_imgDISCLAIMER: Like Lionel Messi at a major international tournament, please don’t take this video too seriously.Despite being on course to become Real Madrid’s all-time record goal scorer, rumours persist that Cristiano Ronaldo could be lured to Paris Saint-Germain.Following a disappointing season for the Spanish club, the suggestion is that the 10-times European champions could cash in on their 30-year-old Portuguese idol.Although it appears unlikely any deal will be struck this summer, that hasn’t stopped our infamous translator from going to work on a Ronaldo press conference.Check out the video above to see what the talkSPORT Translator learned from Cristiano’s media gathering.last_img

DONEGAL DEMOCRAT CHIEF EXECUTIVE TO STAND DOWN

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first_imgTHE Chief Executive of the company which owns the Donegal Democrat is to stand down from his position in March 2012, the company has announced.John Fry is boss of newspaper publisher Johnston Press which has endured a worse start to 2011 than expected with Irish revenues dipping 19 per cent.The group, whose titles also include the Derry Journal and Yorkshire Post said total advertising for the first nine weeks of 2011 for its dozens of British and Irish titles fell 11.4 per cent compared with a drop of 6.4 per cent for the whole of 2010. In Ireland, revenues fell to Stg£11 million from Stg£13.6 million a year earlier.“We also saw an improvement in the rate of decline in the Republic of Ireland but this is a result of the comparatives in 2009 being lower rather than any improvement in the economic conditions in that market,” the group said in a statement.The weak trading, together with chief executive John Fry’s decision to stand down by March 2012 and a forecast that the economic outlook for 2011 would remain uncertain, sent Johnston shares down more than 20 per cent.Johnston shares were down 21 per cent to just 9.7 pence yesterday, valuing the company at around £62 million. Reuters reported analysts at brokerage Numis who said they had placed their target price for Johnston shares and their recommendation on the stock under review. “Given the lower base, (the) weak start to 2011 and mindful of inflationary cost pressure in newsprint we are downgrading our full-year 2011 pretax profit (forecast) from £40 million to £30 million,” they said in a note.The negative factors overshadowed the fact the group posted its first underlying operating profit increase since 2004, due to cost cuts and stronger digital advertising revenue, the news agency reported.Operating profit rose 3.9 per cent to £72 million, after the group cut total operating costs by £30.1 million, on revenue down 6 per cent to £398 million.“The board’s short-term priority remains debt reduction,” it said. “No final dividend is proposed.”The group said it would start looking for a new chief executive after Mr Fry said he would step down from his role by March 2012. further reading here:http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2011/mar/09/johnston-press-downturn#start-of-commentsDONEGAL DEMOCRAT CHIEF EXECUTIVE TO STAND DOWN was last modified: March 10th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man charged with attacking North Hills girls

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first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Trujillo was arrested soon after a grainy security videotape showing the suspect picking up the little girl was shown on local newscasts. SAN FERNANDO — A parolee was charged with kidnapping and attempted rape charges today for allegedly attacking a 17-year-old girl and a 4-year-old girl, all within about an hour in North Hills earlier this month. David Edward Trujillo, 24, of Sylmar, was charged with kidnapping for the purpose of child molestation and two counts each of assault and attempted rape, all felonies, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Trujillo, who was also charged with misdemeanor sexual battery, is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in San Fernando. The girls were attacked Dec. 14, and Trujillo, who had a prior sexual battery conviction, was arrested Saturday. Police said the 17-year-old girl was walking to a convenience store when Trujillo grabbed her near Rayen Street and Langdon Avenue and rubbed her thigh. About an hour later, he allegedly tried to grab and molest a 4-year-old girl at an apartment complex on the 15500 block of Rayen Street.last_img read more

PRINGLE SLAMS GOVERNMENT OVER GARDA STATION CLOSURES

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first_imgThomas Pringle TD has today strongly criticised the government over speculation of Garda station closures following the publishing of statistics on garda presence nationwide.Speaking on the matter today to the Taoiseach at Leaders’ Questions, the Independent TD for Donegal South-West said statistics published in recent days show low garda presence in numerous rural garda stations which will no doubt be used to justify the closure of stations across the rural landscape as part of the review of An Garda Síochána’s capacity to operate with reduced resources.“Almost a third of all garda stations are staffed by just one garda, a further 88 stations have just two serving gardaí, while 40 stations are without any permanent garda assigned to duty. This should not be used as a reason to close stations, but to reconsider the ban on new recruits. Counties like Donegal, Galway, Mayo and many others could face massive closures because of this. “As things stand, it can take a squad car from the nearest station up to two hours, if you’re lucky, to get to its destination – even in an emergency. I know of one incident in Donegal where a squad car had to travel 50 miles to a serious arson incident and there are numerous areas in Donegal that have been plagued by burglaries and vandalism where the criminals have no fear because they know they won’t be caught.“It’s gotten to the stage where people are so frightened that some living on their own lock themselves in their bedroom at night and leave 50 euro on the kitchen table. That is no way to live and the fact that this is what’s going on before these proposed massive closures makes it all the more worrying.“We have already seen the closure of nearly 40 stations this year, with it being reported that up to 80 stations could face closure by the end of the year. This isn’t efficient, this is dangerous.“I understand that the Garda Commissioner is expected to complete his list of recommended stations for closure any day now on foot of these statistics, but what we need to know is what exactly is this government’s plan on tackling crime in rural areas and how exactly can you equate less stations and less gardaí with more efficiency? “How many more closures will we see by the year’s end and how for many more years will we see these closures happening before the recruitment embargo is lifted by this government to ensure the safety of all citizens equally?”PRINGLE SLAMS GOVERNMENT OVER GARDA STATION CLOSURES was last modified: November 20th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more