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Archive for the month “August, 2012”

Kim Kardashian tries out what looks like a wedding dress, but is marriage to Kanye West in the cards?

Kardashian, 31, isn’t officially divorced from Kris Humphries yet, but her new look from high-end fashion designer Emilio Pucci is sure to fan the flames of speculation.

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 	Kim Kardashian's Instagram, captioned ‘Late night fitting at #pucci.’

Kim Kardashian’s Instagram, captioned ‘Late night fitting at #pucci.’

If wedding bells are ringing again for Kim Kardashian, she’s already got at least one dress.

The 31-year-old reality star, who wore three gowns when she wed NBA player Kris Humphries last year, struck a pose in another floor-length, white number on Tuesday night.

PHOTOS: KIM AND KANYE’S VERY PUBLIC ROMANCE

Kardashian shared the Instagram snap with her nearly 16 million Twitter followers, prompting rumors she’s ready to tie the knot with beau Kanye West.

The buxom brunette captioned the photo, “Late night fitting #pucci,” presumably a nod to high-end fashion designer Emilio Pucci.

“I hope that’s a wedding dress,” a fan commented on Instagram.

PHOTOS: KIM AND KANYE’S MATCHING STYLE

Others worried the backless, embroidered gown wasn’t appropriate to wear down the aisle.

“Please don’t say that’s a wedding dress,” another Instagram user wrote. “And yes, if you were my best girlfriend, I’d say the same.”

Kardashian’s camp hasn’t commented on the prospect of marriage with West.

Despite her relationship with the rapper, Kardashian’s divorce from Humphries, to whom she was famously married to for just 72 days, is not yet finalized.

Humphries, 27, is pushing for an annulment of the marriage on the basis Kardashian never intended the relationship to last, and only had her sights set on money and fame.

A hearing is set for Nov. 28.

Kim Kardashian tries out what looks like a wedding dress, but is marriage to Kanye West in the cards?   

Dating For Love – Guide To The Best Dating Sites On The Internet, Cupid At Work

Jobs Outlook Remains Tepid

By ECONOMIX EDITORS

This week’s economic data has come in broadly as expected, leaving the forecasters at Moody’s Analytics to continue to forecast that job growth will be slower in August — but still faster than it was in the spring. The latest post on Moody’s Dismal Scientist blog explains:

Labor market data over the past week confirm that August has been a sluggish month for job creation. We still look for a 145,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls, not far from July’s 163,000 gain and above the second quarter average of 73,000. The unemployment rate likely edged down to 8.2% this month from July’s 8.3%. While improving slowly, the U.S. job market is generating little wage income growth, which will be felt as rising gasoline and food prices test consumers’ resilience.

The Moody’s assessment, however, goes on to cite “reasons for concern that the August numbers could undershoot our forecast,” including a rise in the four-week moving average of continuing claims for unemployment benefits, aweakening index of consumer confidence and a region-by-region Fed report (known as the beige book) that was “not upbeat about the health of the job market.” It adds:

Each employment report is important, but this month’s will be especially so, as it comes as the Fed considers new round of quantitative easing. If the numbers are notably weaker than expected, the odds of near-term Fed action will rise.

Moody’s projections continue to indicate that the presidential election will remain close. As we’ve written previously, history suggests that average job gains between 100,000 and 175,000 in the six months before an election tend to lead to a close race.

Jobs Outlook Remains Tepid

Find A Job – Find The Job That’s Right For You

In Isaac’s Wake, the Bayou Blackout: 900,000 Without Power as Storm Moves Inland

Hurricane Isaac, while dissipating, is still wreaking havoc on the area surrounding New Orleans, causing major flooding in Mississippi, threatening a dam failure in low-lying areas, and causing one fatality so far.

By MADISON GRAY

Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Rescue workers transport residents trapped by rising water from Hurricane Isaac in the River Forest subdivision

Almost two days after Hurricane Isaac made landfall, striking the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, entire towns have been inundated with floodwaters, downing power lines across the region. Workers are scrambling to restore electricity to the affected area, a 300-mile wide swath of land stretching from southwesternMississippi to eastern Texas.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said utilities through the state are reporting a total of 900,000 were without electricity Thursday. Power utility Entergy said more than 760,000 of their customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas are experiencing power outages. As the storm moves toward Baton Rouge at a painfully slow nine miles per hour, despite flooding and storm surges still gripping the state, Entergy says they’ve dispatched a crew of 10,000 workers to help turn the lights back on.

“We have damage assessment teams on the ground in southeast Louisiana and repair crews are starting to restore power, so restoration has already begun,” Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde told TIME. “But we’re still being hampered by weather conditions, so that will slow us down.”

(PHOTOS: Scenes of Isaac’s Wrath)

He said that the utility is working as fast as possible, but given the circumstances, there’s no estimate when power will be fully restored to the area. “Until the storm gets out of here and there’s a full assessment, it’s hard to tell.” Some New Orleans residents are approaching their second day without power, and with temperatures expected to climb into the upper 80s this weekend as the storm vacates the city, concern turns to the stifling heat.

“We’re asking for customers’ patience. It’s been a very frustrating storm because it’s moved so slowly,” Lagarde said. “We couldn’t get people on the ground yesterday, so we’re asking customers to give us some time.”

(PHOTOS: The Most Destructive U.S. Hurricanes of All Time)

While no deaths have been reported because of lack of electricity, the storm has claimed its first victim. A tow truck driver was killed by a falling tree in Picayune, Miss., Sue McClaney, associate administrator in the Pearl River County planning office told TIME. The Associated Press reports the tree fell on the driver of the truck, identified by officials as Greg Parker, just after midnight. McClaney said the area is still inundated by the storm’s effects — 37 roads in the area are flooded. To compound matters, she said: “We’ve got high tides coming in right now.”

Those tides are stoking fears that a dam close to the Louisiana-Mississippi border may fail, threatening low-lying areas and forcing the evacuation of Tangipahoa Parish, La. Gordon Burgess, the parish’s president, told  WWL-TV that the threat affects 50,000 to 60,000 people, who were given a mandatory evacuation notice at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

Jindal said that officials are working on a controlled breach of the dam, without which waters would rise to a level of 17 feet affecting several communities along the Tangipahoa River very quickly. “If this dam were to break, it would take about 90 minutes for this water to get to Kentwood,” he said, referring to the Louisiana town lying south of the dam in McComb, Miss.

At a news conference, New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu said Isaac brought heavy precipitation to the area, but noted that preparations and improvements made since Hurricane Katrina held. “Isaac dumped 10 to 15 inches on the region,” he said. “Our levees and floodgates held as they were designed to do.”

Also on Thursday, President Obama declared a major disaster for Louisiana, which releases FEMA funds to 36 parishes for emergency measures. State and local recovery efforts will be supplemented by federal aid on a cost-sharing basis, the agency said in a statement.

As Isaac begins to dissipate and cleanup efforts begin in the Gulf Coast region, the National Weather Service reported that the fifth named hurricane of the 2012 season has formed. Kirk is currently located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and is moving northwest at 12 mph. However, it is not yet considered a threat to land.

In Isaac’s Wake, the Bayou Blackout: 900,000 Without Power as Storm Moves Inland  

U.S. court rejects Texas voter ID law

tagstand voting booth image

A federal court on Thursday rejected a Texas law that would require voters to present photo IDs to election officials before being allowed to cast ballots in November.

A three-judge panel in Washington unanimously ruled that the law imposes “strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor” and noted that racial minorities in Texas are more likely to live in poverty.

The decision involves an increasingly contentious political issue: a push, largely by Republican-controlled legislatures and governors’ offices, to impose strict identification requirements on voters. Texas’ voter ID rules, approved in 2011, had been widely cheered by conservatives statewide.

Republicans around the country are aggressively seeking similar requirements in the name of stamping out voter fraud. Democrats, with support from a number of studies, say fraud at the polls is largely non-existent and that Republicans are simply trying to disenfranchise minorities, poor people and college students — all groups that tend to back Democrats.

Thursday’s ruling almost certainly prevents the Texas law from going into effect for the November election, but state Attorney General Greg Abbott said he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court “where we are confident we will prevail.”

In the Texas case, the Justice Department called several lawmakers, all of them Democrats, who said they detected a clear racial motive in the push for the voter ID law. Lawyers for Texas argued that the state was simply tightening its laws. Texas called experts who demonstrated that voter ID laws had a minimal effect on turnout. Republican lawmakers testified that the legislation was the result of a popular demand for more election protections.

The ruling comes two days after a separate federal three-judge panel ruled that Texas’ Republican dominated state Legislature did not draw new congressional and state Senate district maps “without discriminatory purposes.”

“In a matter of two days, the state of Texas has had its dirty laundry aired out across the national stage,” said Democratic state Rep. Trey Martinez Fisher, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Conference. “This deals with the despicable issues of discrimination, voter suppression, these are things that we’re not proud of.”

The judges in the voter ID case are Rosemary Collyer, an appointee of former President George W. Bush; Robert Wilkins, an appointee of President Barack Obama; and David Tatel, an appeals court judge appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

Tatel, writing for the panel, called the Texas law “the most stringent in the nation.” He said it would impose a heavier burden on voters than a similar law in Indiana, previously upheld by the Supreme Court, and one in Georgia, which the Justice Department allowed to take effect without objection.

The decision comes the same week that South Carolina‘s strict photo ID law is on trial in front of another three-judge panel in the same federal courthouse. A court ruling in the South Carolina case is expected before the November election.

During an appearance in Houston in July, Attorney General Eric Holder said Texas’ photo ID requirement amounts to a poll tax, a term that harkens back to the days after Reconstruction when blacks across the South were stripped of their right to vote. The attorney general told the NAACP that many Texas voters seeking to cast ballots would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain the required photo ID.

Last December, South Carolina’s voter ID requirement became the first such law to be rejected by the Justice Department in nearly 20 years. Republican presidential candidateMitt Romney said the attorney general made a “very serious error” by blocking it. Romney said the requirement is easy to meet and will stem voter fraud.

“We don’t want people voting multiple times” and “you can get a photo ID free from your state. You can get it at the time you register to vote,” Romney said.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, the Justice Department’s chief civil rights enforcer, has said the Texas and South Carolina photo ID laws will hinder many citizens, particularly minorities, in exercising their right to vote.

Across much of the South, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is viewed as an overly intrusive burden on the states — a relic once used by the Justice Department’s civil rights division to remedy discriminatory practices that no longer exist. Under Section 5 of the act, Texas, South Carolina and all or parts of 14 other states must obtain clearance from the Justice Department’s civil rights division or a federal court before carrying out changes in elections. The states are mostly in the South and all have a history of discriminating against blacks, American Indians, Asian-Americans, Alaskan Natives or Hispanics.

Last year, new voter ID laws passed in Kansas, Mississippi, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. In addition to Texas and South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee tightened existing voter ID laws to require photo ID. Governors in Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and North Carolina vetoed new photo ID laws.

This year, Pennsylvania enacted its own law and voting-rights groups who filed suit in an effort to stop it are appealing to the state Supreme Court. A hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13 in Philadelphia. The Republican administration of Gov. Tom Corbett says a U.S. Justice Department inquiry into the state’s tough new voter identification law is politically motivated. The department is requesting the state’s voter registration list, plus any database of registered voters who lack a valid photo ID that the law requires voters to show before their ballots can be counted.

In Wisconsin, a county judge ruled in July that the state’s new photo ID law impairs the right to vote. In an appeal, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, is arguing that the ID law doesn’t impose an undue burden because voters can get free state ID cards.

Election administrators and academics who monitor the issue said in-person fraud is rare because someone would have to impersonate a registered voter and risk arrest. A report by the Brennan Center for Justice determined that new voting restrictions could suppress the votes of more than 5 million young, minority, low-income and disabled voters.

U.S. court rejects Texas voter ID law

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

This Is Why Your Windows 8 Computer Will Be Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Used Before

by Steve Kovach

samsung windows 8 slate

We’re less than two months away from Microsoft’s Windows 8 launch.

Love it or hate it, it’s going to be huge, likely the biggest operating system launch since XP.

So as the clock ticks down, Microsoft’s hardware partners like ToshibaLenovoHPSamsungDell, and pretty much everyone else are announcing their Windows 8 hardware this week. (That’s because there’s a big conference called IFA going on in Berlin.)

In fact, there are so many product announcements this week, that I don’t even have time to write about them all individually.

But they are important! Seriously. Windows is still the most popular PC operating system on the planet. Chances are you’ll be using it at work or at home within the next year or so.

I’ve been checking out a bunch of Windows 8 devices from various manufacturers in press briefings over the last few weeks. Because of the nature of Windows 8 – its default user interface is designed for touchscreen tablets instead of traditional laptops and desktops – you’re going to see a lot of funky hybrid devices hit the market this fall.

Based on what I’ve seen so far, it’s pretty clear PC manufacturers are still trying to figure out what to do with Windows 8.

There are a lot of cool ideas. But it does seem like most companies are sticking to a handful of common themes. Here’s what you can expect:

Tablet/laptop Hybrids

hp envy windows 8 slate combo

Samsung, HP, and a few others will release Windows 8 tablets that come with a keyboard dock. They’re similar in form and function to the Asus Transformer Prime Android tablet. These devices act as a “normal” laptop when you dock the tablet to the keyboard, meaning you can easily get around Windows 8’s classic “Desktop” mode.

Touchscreen Ultrabooks

I’ve also see a bunch of Ultrabooks that have touchscreens instead of normal displays. At first glance, these Ultrabooks look nearly identical to the Windows 7 machines that have launched throughout the last year or so. But the touchscreens make it easier to get around Windows 8’s new tile-based Start menu. The downside: I find it a bit awkward to reach out and touch a screen that’s sitting at a ~90 degree angle from my desk. However, it’s still a lot better than using your keyboard and mouse to navigate around.

All-In-One PCs With Touchscreens

All-in-one (AIO) PCs are nothing new. The concept was popularized by the Apple’s iMac, but now most PCs are available in that form. This year you’ll see more of the same, but with the added benefit of touchscreens for navigating the Windows 8 Start menu.

Regular Laptops And Ultrabooks

For the budget-conscious, most PC manufacturers will still continue to offer traditional laptops and Ultrabooks running Windows 8. That means no touchscreens. Of course, that’s going to be a bummer for users since Windows 8 can be pretty frustrating to use without a touchscreen until you learn all of Microsoft’s keyboard shortcuts.

Then There Are Some Really Strange Devices

toshiba windows 8 slider

So above you have all the “normal” types of Windows 8 hardware coming this fall. But it doesn’t stop there. Some companies are getting creative – perhaps even a little too creative – with their designs.

Toshiba has a tablet that converts to an Ultrabook by sliding the screen up and over. Dell has this interesting Ultrabook/tablet combo where the screen flips over. Lenovo has a device that lets you fold the screen over backwards, but you still feel the keyboard on the back. (It’s awkward!)

The list goes on and on…

So What Does This All Mean?

It’s pretty clear PC makers haven’t quite figured out what to do with Windows 8 yet. It’ll take some time. Meanwhile, we’re going to see a lot of experimentation with hardware designs.

So far, I think the tablet/keyboard dock combination is the best solution. It gives you the best of both worlds: a thin, light tablet you can take on the go, and a full-fledged Ultrabook PC.

And yes, I’m excited.

This Is Why Your Windows 8 Computer Will Be Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Used Before  

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Will.i.am Debuts Song on Planet Mars

The Black Eyed Peas front man teams up with NASA for special premiere.

By Arielle Loren

Will.i.am is taking his music beyond this world with the help of NASA and their Curiosity Rover. The Black Eyed Peas star will release his new solo track, “Reach for the Stars,” on the planet Mars as part of an educational initiative for students learning about NASA.

According to the renowned space program’s website, the popular producer signed on to be part of this project due to his passion for science, technology and space exploration. His song debuts today on the Red Planet, and will also be heard at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasedena, CA, via the Curiosity Rover.

Will.i.am is not the first musician to interact with NASA and the space machine. Earlier in the month, pop star Britney Spears tweeted, “So @MarsCuriosity… does Mars look the same as it did in 2000?” along with a link to her red planet set for the “Oops!…I Did It Again” video. The official Twitter account responded, “Hey Brit Brit. Mars is still looking good. Maybe someday an astronaut will bring me a gift, too. Drill bits crossed ;)” Perhaps, she will be the next star to team up with NASA like Will.i.am.

The rapper’s event will be live streamed today on his i.am.angel Foundation website, as well as NASA TV, at 1 p.m. PT (4 p.m. ET).

Will.i.am Debuts Song on Planet Mars

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Life Insurance 101: Types of Permanent Life Insurance

Life Insurance 101: Types of Permanent Life Insurance

Everyone please take your seats. There will be plenty of time to talk with your friends after class. Today, I will highlight some of the different types of permanent life insurance. We have a lot to go through in one short class period. So, please pay close attention and don’t disrupt unless you have a serious question.

What Is Permanent Life Insurance

For those of you who missed last week’s class, a permanent life insurance policy is effective throughout your life. It never expires unless you stop making payments or cancel the policy. Compared to term life insurance, they have higher premiums, but they do accumulate cash value throughout the life of the policy. These cash values are tax-deferred and are often used for retirement savings and making major purchases.

There are too many kinds of permanent life insurance policies to cover in one class. We will be focusing on some of the most common types.

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance policies are among the safest and most reliable permanent life insurance products. Whole life offers a guaranteed death benefit that will not fluctuate. It also features a guaranteed rate of return. The cash value of a whole life policy grows at a predetermined rate. It is guaranteed to accumulate over the course of the policy.

Variable Life Insurance

Variable life insurance is so named because it varies. It is offered via a prospectus. Cash value and death benefits depend on the performance of an investment portfolio. You can invest in stocks and/or bonds. Variable life insurance comes with higher risk. Poor portfolio performances can decrease death benefits and cash values. It also has higher rewards. A variable life policy can greatly outperform whole life policies with wise investments.

Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance offers more flexible premium payments. You can pay more when you have cash at hand and less at other times. You also have the ability to pay when you want. Universal life policies also offer the ability to adjust death benefits with greater ease. Like whole life, universal life insurance usually features a guaranteed rate of return on your cash value.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

As the name suggests, variable universal life insurance combines variable and universal features. These are the most flexible policies. You have the option to have some control over your payments, while also utilizing an investment portfolio. Since you have the options of paying higher premiums, you can grow your investments faster. You can also skip the occasional payment when times are tight.

Thank you for your attention. That was a lot to get through in one class. There are many other types of permanent life insurance policies. Going through all of them would take the entire semester. Any questions?

Yes. We will be going back to term life insurance. Make sure to do the reading on term life options in your text to prepare for next week.

Class is dismissed.

Life Insurance 101: Types of Permanent Life Insurance
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Saving texters from themselves

texting driving statistics

by Matt Brownell from CarInsurance.com in Personal FinanceInsurance

Texting and driving has been blamed for more than 100,000 car crashes a year , and according to one study it raises the chances of an accident by 23 times. And now even mobile carriers are getting fed up with it.

In recent weeks, AT&T has stepped up its ” It Can Wait ” campaign against texting and driving, including a renewed push for DriveMode, a free app the carrier developed to curb texting while driving.

The app allows users to temporarily disable texting and e-mail functions, thereby reducing the urge to fire off a quick text or read email at a stoplight. Calls to 911 are allowed. The app also allows you to set an auto-reply message to anyone who texts you while it’s activated, and it lets you set up a limited list of contacts whom you can call (or receive calls from) behind the wheel.

Sprint offers the Drive First app, which automatically kicks in when the phone’s GPS detects that it’s moving faster than 10 mph. When active, the app locks the home screen, auto-replies to text messages and sends any phone calls (outside of five allowed numbers) to voicemail. But the service doesn’t come free: After a 15-day free trial, it will cost you $2 per month per line.

T-Mobile’s DriveSmart is free in its basic versions; a premium app that senses a vehicle in motion and notifies parents of any override costs $4.99 a month.

Dozens of other applications are available for smartphone users, with varying levels of restrictions and functionality, at prices that range from free to monthly fees.

But all of them work only if you choose to use them.

It’s dangerous, illegal and expensive

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the major phone carriers are offering such tools. In addition to the increasing the odds of an accident, texting while driving is also illegal.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 39 states and the District of Columbia have outright bans on texting while driving, and five more ban it for novice drivers. Fines can be substantial. But only a few states treat texting as a moving violation — the kind that can hit your driving record and eventually raise your rates.

Get into an accident, though, and you will be lucky if you walk away with only a texting violation as a reminder.

An at-fault accident can raise your rates substantially: An analysis of 841,000 car insurance quotes delivered through CarInsurance.com’s rate-comparison engine shows that drivers with a single claim were quoted rates that averaged $300 more than drivers with no claims, an increase of about 17 percent. An accident surcharge could hurt your rates for years.

And even that pales next to possible criminal prosecution. Prosecutions of texting drivers under manslaughter or negligence laws have become distressingly common; in fact, a Massachusetts teenager was sentenced in June to jail time under the state’s vehicular homicide law. He also lost his license for 15 years.

How much technology do you want?

Few people will lock their phones away, however dire the consequences. Instead, apps try to make texting less tempting and less distracting.

There’s iZup (as in, “eyes up”), a third-party app that shuts down your phone’s texting and data functions except for the GPS, as long as you’re going over 5 mph.

DriveSafe.ly, on the other hand, still lets you receive texts, but it reads them aloud so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road. The free version will read messages up to 25 words in length, while a premium version for $14 a year has a larger word count cap and lets you dictate responses.

iOnRoad not only reads texts aloud, but also turns your phone into a collision-warning system. Mount it below your rearview mirror and the app uses your phone’s camera to monitor both your position in the lane and the distance to the car in front of you.

Despina Stavrinos, an expert on distracted driving and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Alabama, prefers those apps that totally shut down texting.

“Removing the whole element of distracted driving is the best way to combat the issue, but I’m not in support of the ones that do talk-to-text,” she says. Dictating texts or listening to them, she explains, is a “cognitive distraction” akin to talking on the phone, which is less dangerous than taking your eyes off the road to text but still a serious distraction.

The fine print at 60 mph

The rapidly evolving technology of text-avoidance still has some kinks.

For instance, apps that automatically activate at high speeds can’t distinguish between users who are moving fast because they’re behind the wheel or because they’re a passenger in a car or train. Some have a password-protected override in the event that you’re not the one behind the wheel. (Meanwhile, a team of engineers at Rutgers University has developed an app that uses the car’s Bluetooth speaker system to determine where the phone is located, providing a possible solution to the passenger problem.)

Another issue is that few of the available text-shutdown apps work on the iPhone, which doesn’t allow apps to run in the background and affect basic phone functions like texting. (The iPhone version of DriveSafe.ly, for instance, apologetically explains that reading text messages aloud “is not technically possible on iOS devices.”) The best bet for iPhone users is to dictate texts using Siri, though apps like JustDrive can at least be used by parents to monitor their teens’ behavior.

Finally, it’s worth noting that texting is hardly the only thing that can distract you on the road. As Stavrinos points out, “we pick on text messaging, but anything can take your attention off the road, even a child crying in the backseat.”

Anybody got a crying-child app?

Saving texters from themselves

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

But magazine says she’ll be knocked off in coming years

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year.

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year. 

Oprah Winfrey earned an estimated $165 million US in 2011-12, putting her atop the Forbes.com list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities for the fourth year in a row.

She may have given up her day-time talk show and be struggling to gain an audience with her new television network, but Winfrey still has a bevy of Harpo productions raking in the cash. Among them are syndicated TV shows such as Dr. PhilRachael Ray and The Dr. Oz Show as well as her still-popular O magazine.

Winfrey is taking to the airwaves again with shows like Oprah’s Lifeclass andOprah’s Next Chapter in an effort to boost ratings at OWN, Forbes notes, but the magazine estimates she will not remain the highest-paid celebrity in coming years. That’s because it plans to revise its method of ranking to exclude earnings from syndication.

Movie director Michael Bay earned only $5 million less than Winfrey, largely on the back of box-office smash Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which also led to toy sales and other spinoffs. Forbes estimates Bay earned $160 million between May 2011 and May 2012.

There are an impressive array of movie and TV producers in the Forbes top 10, among them Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Jerry Bruckheimer and Simon Cowell. Music producer Dr. Dre was a surprise addition to this year’s list, coming in at No. 5 with income of $110 million because of the sale of part of his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones business to handset maker HTC.

Spielberg is estimated to have brought in $130 million with films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, Dreamworks TV series Smash and his cut of Universal theme parks.

Bruckheimer had a box office hit with the latest Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, while Lucas contines to get residuals from the Star Wars franchise, as well as from his Industrial Light and Magic, which provides effects for movies like Battleship and The Avengers.

Forbes estimates celebrity earnings from upfront pay, profit participation and residuals and interviews with agents and industry insiders.

Forbes highest-paid celebrities

  1. Oprah Winfrey, $165 million.
  2. Michael Bay, $160 million.
  3. Steven Spielberg, $130 million.
  4. Jerry Bruckheimer, $115 million.
  5. Dr. Dre, $110 million.
  6. Tyler Perry, $105 million.
  7. Howard Stern, $95 million.
  8. James Patterson, $94 million.
  9. George Lucas, $90 million.
  10. Simon Cowell, $90 million.

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

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Special educational needs

 So, what exactly is the definition of Special educational needs?

A child is only considered to have special educational needs, (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty that requires a greater level of support than his or her peers. This would therefore require educational provision to be made for the child.

A child who has a disability that prevents them from fully accessing the same educational facilities as his or her peers, would also be considered to have SEN. This also counts for children who have social and emotional difficulties, or conditions that affect a child’s mental state, though this child would only be seen as having SEN providing such a condition hinders them from fully accessing educational facilities, therefore requiring provision that is eitherextra or different from what the school gives through its usual differentiated teaching.

Children that are younger than the compulsory school age, can also beconsidered as having SEN, if it is determined early on, that such child could not fully access the same educational facilities as his or her peers, or they have a learning diffculty that will certainly require special educational provision that is extra or different to the provision given to his or her peers, as and when the child was to start full-time education.

Section 312 of the education act 1996, stats, Special educational provision means:

“a) For children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different form, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LEA, other than special schools, in the area.

“b) For children under two, educational provision of any kind.”

Definitions in the 1998 Children Act (section 17 [11], Children Act 1989) defines a disability to be…

“A child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dump or suffers from a mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be described.”

 Autism and misconceptions

It is often the case that parents of children whom have been diagnosed as having an autism spectrum condition assume that their child’s educational setting will naturally make adjustments and accommodations for the child! Most assume that a child with autism is automatically considered to have special educational needs, therefore requiring additional provision to be made. Again isn’t actually the case at all. A formal diagnosis of autism is just that, “A diagnosis of autism” nothing more, nothing less! Such a diagnosis does not entitle a child to receive additional educational provision (through the school must make reasonable adjustment for any child with a disability, this is adifferent thing all together).

Although a child with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder is classified as having a, ‘disability’ this is not a ‘learning difficulty’. Whether the child has a learning difficulty is usually determined by the school or local authority (LEA) dependent of the child’s age.

 Common confusion

It should be noted that despite a child’s autism, they may well succeedacademically, requiring little if any extra provision at all. This is more commonly the case for children diagnosed with High functioning autism orAspergers syndrome. However it is extremely important to remember that regardless of a child with autism high academic progress, who may have even received the top grades in their class, can still be considered and seen as having special educational needs. As mentioned before, if such a condition as autism affects areas of the child’s social and emotional functioning while at school, hindering the way they access education could result in a child being placed on the special educational needs register. Behavioural difficulties, exclusions, misunderstandings, due to poor social interaction and communication, increased anxiety and school refusal are all factors that should be taken into account when considering if a child has SEN. Sadly it is often the case thatLEAs refusal to carry our a statutory assessment or even issue a statement as they claim the child does well academically therefore not requiring additional provision to be made. This is not true and certainly isn’t a good enough reason not to make educational provision for such a child.

 Lastly it is important to remember that just because a child doesn’t speak English as a first language doesn’t  mean they have SEN.

Coming up next time… Section one understanding special educational needs, part two, ‘The stages of SEN and is my child receiving the right type/amount of support?’

All information has been created to help others for their own personal use, this advice is independent and is given by myself a lone (No 3rd party participated was used throughout). Please do not use article for anything other than personal use, nor edit the information in any way. All published articles, throughout this site remain property of the author and this blog. Alway seek permission before using any post for anything other than described above.

Thank you

Creator

Claire-Louise

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Special educational needs

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