An innovative Nova Scotia business is finding new ways to teach people different languages, and the government is helping the company learn the language of international trade. Copernicus Studios in Halifax is using voice recognition technology to develop a series of educational language games. The company’s digital artists, engineers and scientists are creating an entertaining way to play and learn all at once. “This company has the potential to do business anywhere in the world,” said MLA Joachim Stroink on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. “The province is always looking to partner with small and medium-size businesses that want to expand and do business in emerging and strategic overseas markets.” Through the Small Business Development Program, the province is providing $10,000 to support Copernicus Studios’ $20,000 project to identify new markets, and position its products for success. “By matching our investment, the province has given us the ability to be more specific about how we tailor our products for strategic target markets and consumers,” said Copernicus Studios CEO Juan Cruz Baldassarre. “This program provided the expertise we need to take the next step and expand our exposure in Europe and Asia, while increasing our share of this growing industry.” The games are undergoing trials at Dalhousie University’s NeuroCognitive Imaging Lab to ensure they meet the needs of consumers and educational institutions. More than 90 per cent of the Copernicus Studios’ business is exported outside of Canada. The province is committed to supporting innovative Nova Scotia businesses that want to expand and export. For more information visit www.novascotia.ca/econ .
Nova Scotia Museum sites are offering unique activities for families and visitors during March Break, March 14-22. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax is hosting March Break at Sea!, featuring poems and stories from Raina the Mermaid, Puppet at Sea Theatre shows, and underwater creatures and exploration with Shipwreck Ahoy! For more information, go to http://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca . The Museum of Natural History in Halifax will have live animals from Little Rays’ Reptile Zoo, Dinosaurs Unearthed, the Nova Scotia Dinosaur Exhibit and a variety of hands-on activities. For more information, go to http://naturalhistory.novascotia.ca/ . The Museum of Industry in Stellarton is hosting Crash! Bang! Boom! Music at the Museum, where children can create their own sounds at the Music Table and explore how shape changes sound at the Perfect Pitch area. For more information, go to http://museumofindustry.novascotia.ca . Ross Farm Museum in New Ross is offering an outdoor winter experience, with a different theme for each day related to the farm. Weather permitting, there will be sleigh rides. For more information, go to http://rossfarm.novascotia.ca/ . The Firefighters’ Museum in Yarmouth is inviting visitors to try one of their heritage hunts. For more information, go to http://firefightersmuseum.novascotia.ca/. Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro is featuring three different March Break activities for young people from March 17-19, starting at 1 p.m. For more information, go to http://fundygeological.novascotia.ca/ . Hours of operation and schedules for March Break activities are available on each museum’s website. -30-
The top United Nations refugee official, António Guterres, has urged the European Commission (EC) to convene a gathering bringing together Italy, Malta, Libya, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and others to create a joint response to irregular migration across the Mediterranean Sea.The moves comes on the heels of Italy’s recent ‘push-backs’ to Libya. Earlier this month, UNHCR expressed its concern after Italy sent over 200 people it rescued off Maltese waters back to Libya before properly assessing their possible protection needs.In late March, hundreds of people who were seeking new lives in Europe died off the Libyan coast, and UNHCR is increasing its presence in Libya to help those seeking international protection.In a letter to EC Vice President Jacques Barrot, Mr. Guterres said his agency recognizes the strain that irregular migration places on Italy and other European Union (EU) Member States.“At the same time, UNHCR believes fundamental principles are at stake and that these principles ought to guide the response to such movements,” agency spokesperson Ron Redmond said today.The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, guarantees the right to seek asylum from persecution, while the customary international law principle of non-refoulement precludes sending people back to situations where their lives or freedom would be jeopardized, he added.The provision of asylum remains a responsibility of States, Mr. Redmond said, emphasizing that UNHCR’s activities cannot be a substitute for that duty. 20 May 2009The top United Nations refugee official, António Guterres, has urged the European Commission (EC) to convene a gathering bringing together Italy, Malta, Libya, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and others to create a joint response to irregular migration across the Mediterranean Sea.