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Vatican Calls UNThe Vatican said on Wednesday, February 5, that a scathing UN report about sexual abuse of children by clergy was distorted, unfair, and ideologically biased.

Distorted and Unfair

According to a report by Reuters, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, responding to criticisms in the report on the Church’s stance on homosexuality, abortion and contraception, also said the world body cannot ask the Church to change its “non-negotiable” moral teachings.

Silvano, who is Vatican’s Ambassador to the UN, told Vatican Radio that non-governmental organizations that favor gay marriage probably influenced the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to reinforce an “ideological line” in the report.

In a written statement, the Church reiterated its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child and described the UN report as ideologically slanted.

Tomasi added that the Holy See, as head of the Vatican City, had already changed its procedures and introduced measures which are specifically designed to prevent child sex abuse.

Shame of the Church’

The UN committee heard first-hand witness statements from abuse victims when the Holy See had been forced to answer questions at a grilling of the Vatican delegation in Geneva last month.

Pope Francis, who has only been in office for less than a year, has called the sexual abuse of children “the shame of the Church” and set up a special commission of the subject which is due to report its findings soon.

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bathroom vanity unitsWhile the bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in a regular house, it is also one of the busiest and most cluttered. As it holds more bottles and trinkets than any other room, you need clever storage options to keep it tidy. Whatever the size of your bathroom, these ideas will help you add storage and stay organised.

Corner Cabinets

Corner cabinets are great for storing towels and linens. Look for new cabinets at discount furniture stores or purchase one at an antique shop. The installation for this is easy, as you can attach it to wall studs and finish the floor with moulding.

Narrow Shelves

Install or put up a narrow cabinet above the toilet. This makes use of the unused space and increases your storage options. Make sure to leave enough room between the shelf and the toilet tank for easy access to flush or toilet repairs.

Vanity Units

Bathroom vanity units provide additional storage space through cabinets and countertop space. They can keep the room clutter-free and improve your bathroom aesthetics. Learn how to select the best vanity units by visiting HGTV.com or the Bathrooms and More Store.

Racks and Bars

Add racks and towel bars to glass doors and ceramic tiles using stick-on products. As they are easy to apply and move, you can shift these accessories around as your needs change. You can also use suction cup-mounted towel bars as an alternative to permanent racks and bars.

Slim Shelf

If you have any space above the doorframe, mount a slim shelf above it. This provides storage for other bathroom supplies, such as extra rolls of toilet paper, bars of soap, and face towels. Use decorative bins, baskets, and glass jars for storing these items.

Wicker Baskets

Wicker baskets are an efficient way to add storage and visual appeal to your bathroom. You can place the baskets under the pedestal sink to save more room and allow easy access to toiletries. Add a unique flair in the room with wicker baskets in different sizes and finishes.

Maximise every inch of your bathroom with these storage ideas. Purchase the right bathroom vanity units, cabinets, and other storage options to create a stylish and organised bathroom.

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hiring the best beach photographerThe sun is up, the sound of water rushing onto the shore, the cool breeze, and the festive atmosphere only sums up to one thing: a fun beach excursion. Be it with your family or friends, hitting the waters always ensures an exhilarating adventure. You can ride the big waves, play Frisbee, grill barbeques, and enjoy a grand time with the people you love.

All these are nothing, however, without photographs for a keepsake. While anyone can now feel like a pro at taking shots with a DSLR, no piece of technology can replace the expertise of a real photographer. Here are some reasons you should bring an experienced beach photographer to your trip:

Technical Know-how

A professional beach photographer knows what it takes to make beautiful images in this kind of venue. In reality, the beaches are one of the toughest places to get a decent picture. The moment the golden hour passes—a period around sunrise or sunset—you would have serious problems with your lighting. A variety of exposure issues could arise, resulting in extremely bright photos.

Shooting under this condition calls for an extensive technical understanding of photography. The camera has to be on the right settings to avoid under and overexposure of shots. Professional photographers are adept at the technicalities of any types of cameras and have the necessary lenses to capture different kinds of shots.

Creative Shots

Beach photographers are well-versed in taking extraordinary shots. To make your beach mementos look unique, leave it to the professional and you can have a collection of artistic shots at the end of the day. They have an eye for seeing things differently out of ordinary things. Beach photographers can incorporate the natural beauty of the outdoors into your group and solo portraits.

Leaving your photography needs in the hands of a true expert gives you the liberty to enjoy every second of the excursion. A professional has the necessary sets of skills and experience to capture your priceless moments. The services of beach photographers are the best way to make sure that you’d have beautiful pictures to bring home.

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In what seems like a prelude to the upcoming 2014 Oscar Awards, Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron won the top prize at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) on Sunday, January 26, for the movie “Gravity.”

First Win, More to Come

Alfonso CuaronWith this win, the outer space drama film gathers momentum, alongside “American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave,” for the Oscars.

The best director award is Cuaron’s first from the DGA. This win is considered a strong predictor of Oscar success in six weeks. The DGA top honor has correctly predicted the best picture Oscar winner for nine of the past 10 years.

Honored and Humbled

“This is truly an honor and I’m humbled by being recognized by your peers,” the 52-yaer-old filmmaker said, accepting the award at a ceremony in Los Angeles.

Cuaron’s special effects-filled out-of-this-world film about an astronaut who becomes separated from her space shuttle also won a joint prize with “12 Years a Slave” from Hollywood’s producers last week in a rare tie.

With 10 Oscar nominations, ‘Gravity’ is likely to gain the most Academy Awards this year. “American Hustle” also has 10 nominations, while “12 Years a Slave” has nine.

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proper divorce negotiationsIn Long Island, child custody is often one of the most disputed areas in divorce negotiations. The court determines custody based on the best interest of a child. Unfortunately, this aspect can be the most complicated and controversial component of a divorce proceeding. With that said, children may sometimes become bartering tools, with their well-being getting lost in their parents’ tug-of-war.

Even though their marriage has ended, parents should still manage their children’s growth and development. Both should help their kids understand that although they no longer love each other as husband and wife, they care for each other as a mother and father.

As husband and wife, working together may be impossible for ex-spouses during or after finalizing their divorce in Long Island. As parents, ex-spouses can use different methods and resources to continue raising their children together. These methods and resources can include adhering to a child custody arrangement.

Child Custody Arrangements

Joint

Under this type, both parents have legal custody, with one parent designated as the primary residential guardian. Both ex-spouses also have the right to make major decisions for their kids, including their primary residence, medical and dental treatment, education, religious education, and extra-curricular activities.

Shared

Under this type, both ex-spouses share legal custody, with each parent having specific periods of responsibility with their kids. This arrangement provides both the right to make major decisions on an equal basis.

Sole

If the court doesn’t award joint, one parent will have sole custody, which means one parent has the authority to make legal decisions for their child. The non-custodial parent, on the other hand, receives specific visitation.

As parents, ex-spouses can use different methods and resources to continue raising their kids together. They just have to keep in mind that the most important purpose of any method is to convey to their children that they love and care for them.

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Ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden may have released a series of leaks that threatened global relations, but he says the US can recover from this.

snowden‘System of values’

Snowden said that he is not giving up hope for America. In his words, “What makes our country strong is our system of values.”

“We can correct the laws, restrain the overreach of agencies, and hold the senior officials responsible for abusive programs to account,” added the whistleblower.

No chances of coming back just yet

In an online chat, Snowden said he would not be coming back to the US until the laws are changed. He admitted that his return to his motherland “is the best resolution” for everyone, although he later responded, “It’s unfortunately not possible in the face of current whistle-blower protection laws.”

He reasoned that the Whistleblower Protection Act does not include former government contractors like himself.

The former contractor also revealed why he exposed the NSA’s spying actions.

“It’s not good for our country, it’s not good for the world, and I wasn’t going to stand by and watch it happen, no matter how much it cost me,” said Snowden.

The whistleblower is currently in Russia. He is charged with espionage in the US.

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Daniel RadcliffeAfter defeating He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in the span of eight blockbuster films, Daniel Radcliffe will soon hit the big screen again. This time, he will be the person who built the Brooklyn Bridge – civil engineer Washington Roebling.

‘Massive coup’

The movie is titled “Brooklyn Bridge,” and it will be directed by Douglas McGrath, who made the headlines for “Emma,” a Jane Austen adaptation, which starred Gwyneth Paltrow.

“Having Daniel’s involvement is a massive coup,” said Goldcrest Films’s Pascal Degove.

“Not only is he perfect for the role, but he’s consistently proved himself to be one of the very few actors who is genuinely a massive draw for audiences of all ages,” said Degove.

Historical landmark

Despite the Brooklyn Bridge’s image today of shiny steel cables and massive tourist pull, its construction was widely contested. The bridge is a historical landmark that took 14 years to finish, amounting to $15 million and costing 20 lives.

The bridge was declared as a “marvel of science” when it opened in 1883 despite its issues.

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The British Computer Society recruited a network of 400 “master” computer science teachers to train other educators on a new computer science curriculum in schools across England. The specialist teachers will go to different schools and will also provide resources for educators to use in class.

New Curriculum

British ComputerThe new curriculum will replace the current Information and Communications Technology (ICT) curriculum and will start on September.

“This new curriculum will be… much shorter and less prescriptive than the old ICT curriculum and it will allow schools to innovate and be much, much more ambitious,” said Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Coding and Programming

The secretary said the old curriculum focuses purely and narrowly on computer literacy, but the new scheme teaches children information technology, computer science, and digital literacy.

“It will teach them how to code, how to create their own programs, not just how to work the computer, but how a computer works, how to make it work for you,” he said.

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Signaling the importance of the connected automobile as the must-have feature for today’s drivers,  Hyundai and Kia models will soon start sporting 3G wireless service this year as part of a deal with Verizon, according to several reports.

Connection on the Road

HyundaiHyundai Motor Co. will unveil a deal with Verizon Communications Inc. to provide wireless service in its U.S. cars and trucks. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan, which will hit showrooms in May, will be the first vehicle to include the service, Mark Bartolomeo, a vice president at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, told Bloomberg.

Eventually, the carmaker will offer the faster 4G. Hyundai’s partner company Kia will also offer Verizon service in the near future.

Verizon has deals with Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, Bartolomeo told Bloomberg.

Connection Competition

The Hyundai-Verizon deal comes after General Motors announced earlier this month it is partnering with AT&T. Starting this summer, 2015 GM models will offer the option. AT&T hasn’t revealed any pricing details, but it will let consumers include their auto-based service to their monthly bill.

Verizon plans to do the same with Hyundai.

The first GM vehicles to offer 4G will be the Corvette Stingray, Chevrolet Volt, Chevy Impala, and Chevy Malibu. Tesla and AT&T also made a deal to bring wireless to cars.

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