Casino Table Hire Roulette and Blackjack Tables Fun Pro UK

"I think I've lived long enough to see competitive Counter-Strike as we know it, kill itself." Summary of Richard Lewis' stream (Long)

I want to preface that the contents of this post is for informational purposes. I do not condone or approve of any harassments or witch-hunting or the attacking of anybody.
 
Richard Lewis recently did a stream talking about the terrible state of CS esports and I thought it was an important stream anyone who cares about the CS community should listen to.
Vod Link here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/830415547
I realize it is 3 hours long so I took it upon myself to create a list of interesting points from the stream so you don't have to listen to the whole thing, although I still encourage you to do so if you can.
I know this post is still long but probably easier to digest, especially in parts.
Here is a link to my raw notes if you for some reason want to read through this which includes some omitted stuff. It's in chronological order of things said in the stream and has some time stamps. https://pastebin.com/6QWTLr8T

Intro

CSPPA - Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association

"Who does this union really fucking serve?"

ESIC - Esports Integrity Commission

"They have been put in an impossible position."

Stream Sniping

"They're all at it in the online era, they're all at it, they're all cheating, they're all using exploits, probably that see through smoke bug got used a bunch of times"

Match Fixing

"How many years have we let our scene be fucking pillaged by these greedy cunts?" "We just let it happen."

North America

"Everyone in NA has left we've lost a continents worth of support during this pandemic and Valve haven't said a fucking word."

Talent

"TO's have treated CS talent like absolute human garbage for years now."

Valve

"Anything that Riot does, is better than Valve's inaction"

Closing Statements

"We've peaked. If we want to sustain and exist, now is the time to figure it out. No esports lasts as long as this, we've already done 8 years. We've already broke the records. We have got to figure out a way to coexist and drive the negative forces out and we need to do it as a collective and we're not doing that."

submitted by Tharnite to GlobalOffensive [link] [comments]

Victoria records 3 new local cases and 0 new overseas cases

Victoria records 3 new local cases and 0 new overseas cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours

  • +3 new local cases:
    • All three of the locally acquired cases in the community have been identified as primary close contacts of the existing cases in the Mentone and Mitcham clusters.
    • There are now exposure sites in Albert Park, Bairnsdale, Black Rock, Box Hill South, Brighton, Camberwell, Cape Schank, Caufield, Cheltenham, Doveton, Forest Hill, Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, Hallam, Glen Waverley, Lakes Entrance, Leongatha, Mentone, Mordialloc, Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Mount Waverley, Oakleigh, Southbank, and Wonthaggi and we expect this list of exposure site to increase over coming days as contact tracing continues
  • +0 new overseas cases.
  • Recap from yesterday:
    • All 18 of the locally acquired cases in the community have been identified as primary close contacts to the existing cases in the Mentone and Mitcham clusters.
    • Genomic sequencing results have been received from the samples from the Victorian outbreak, and it has established they are directly linked to the New South Wales cluster.
    • There are now exposure sites in Black Rock, Brighton, Cape Schank, Cheltenham, Doveton, Forest Hill, Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, Hallam, Glen Waverley, Lakes Entrance, Leongatha, Mentone, Mordialloc, Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Mount Waverley, Oakleigh, Southbank, and Wonthaggi and this list of exposure site will increase over coming days as contact tracing continues.
    • ⚠️ There are new case exposure sites, please see information below.
  • Expected overseas arrivals today, 03 January, 2021: 74

Recap from the Presser

Huge thanks to u/chessc for the summary:
Jacinta Allan:
  • 32 active cases
  • 3 new local cases - all linked to Thai cafe cluster
  • 0 new overseas cases
  • 190 testing sites operational in Victoria
  • Sites open from 8am to 8pm
  • 88% of people receive test results within 24 hours
  • 99.9% of people receive results within 48 hours
  • All Victorians who have returned from NSW have received text message alert with instructions specific to their circumstances
Allen Cheng:
  • 21 total cases in Thai cafe cluster
  • Haven't found the source but are investigating several avenues
  • All genomic testing results (from 10 people) show link to NSW outbreak
  • 220 close contacts in isolation
  • 359 secondary contacts
  • Expecting more close contacts to test positive in coming weeks
  • All transmissions so far are at the Thai cafe or in family gatherings
Jeroen Weimar:
  • DHHS website has details of all testing sites open
  • 35% increase in tests in the south-eastern suburbs yesterday
  • 51 exposure sites listed on website
  • 60,000 people came home from NSW to Victoria on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
  • People who are still in NSW and have an urgent need to return to Victoria: exemptions applications are being triaged and will take at least 24 hours to process

Cases to date

Last 24 hours TOTAL
Confirmed cases +3 20,391
Active +3 32
Recovered +0 19,538
Deaths +0 820
Community transmission +0 3,762
Test results received +22,477 3,929,815
Hospital +0 0

Active cases breakdown

Last 24 hours TOTAL
TOTAL +3 32
Locally acquired +3 21
Overseas +0 11

Currently in quarantine (as at 11pm on the 02/01)

Type of resident In quarantine hotel TOTAL In health/complex care hotels TOTAL
TOTAL 2,225 145
Returned overseas traveller 1,929 130
Airline crew 69 2
Community* 206 7
Frontline worker 3 0
Voluntary support person 1 6
*includes interstate travellers.

⚠️Case alerts – public exposure sites⚠️

Some points to note:
  • Please read the pinned stickied note within this post.

If you have visited any of the locations listed in the table below during the date and time indicated you must get tested immediately and quarantine for 14 days from the exposure.
Location Site Exposure period Notes
Abbotsford Bodriggy Brewing Company 245 Johnston Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067 28/12/20 2:50pm-5:30pm Case dined at venue
Black Rock Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant 305 Beach Road, Black Rock VIC 3193 21/12/20 7:30pm-9:30pm Case dined in restaurant
Black Rock Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant 305 Beach Road, Black Rock VIC 3193 21/12/20 6:30pm-9:40pm Case dined in restaurant
Black Rock Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant 305 Beach Road, Black Rock VIC 3193 27/12/20 7.30pm - 9pm Case dined for dinner
Brighton Royal Brighton Yacht Club - outdoor dining 253 Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186 29/12/20 12:00pm-2:00pm Case dined in outdoor restaurant
Docklands Melbourne Boat Hire - Yarra River Cruise. 45 Newquay Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008 28/12/2020 11.26am-2:00pm Case attended venue
Doveton Holy Family Parish Doveton Catholic 100 Power Road, Doveton VIC 3177 26/12/20 4:00pm-6:00pm Case attended Spanish Service
Glen Waverley Village Century City 285-287 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley VIC 3150 28/12/20 2:45pm-5:30pm Case attended Gold Class screening Wonder Woman 1984
McKinnon Hotlocks By Rachael Hairdresser, 260 McKinnon Road, McKinnon VIC 3204 23/12/20 4:00pm-6:00pm Case had hair cut in store
Melbourne Fonda Mexican Flinders Lane 31 Flinders Lane Melbourne 29/12/20 6:00pm-7:30pm Case attended restaurant
Melbourne Melbourne Central Lion Hotel, 211 La Trobe Street 28/12/2020 10pm - 12.30am Case attended venue
Melbourne Left Bank Melbourne, 1 Southbank Blvd 25/12/20 12pm - 3pm Case ate in store
Mordialloc Woodlands Golf Club - club bar 109 White Street Mordialloc VIC 3195 23/12/20 12:30pm-1:30pm Case attended club house bar
Mordialloc Woodlands Golf Club - club bar 109 White Street Mordialloc VIC 3195 28/12/20 4:40pm-5:15pm Case attended club house bar
Moorabin Grape and Grain Liquor Cellars, 14/16 Station St 21/12/20 2pm - 10pm 22/12/20 10am - 6pm 24/12/20 1pm - 10pm 28/12/20 8.05pm - 8.47pm 29/12/20 12pm - 4pm Cases workplace
Southbank Rockpool Bar and Grill, Crown Casino 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank 23/12/20 8:00pm-10:00pm Case attended restaurant

💩️Coronavirus fragments detected in wastewater

From the media release published on the 1st of January:
Viral fragments have been detected in a sample of wastewater taken from the inlet to the Lakes Entrance wastewater treatment plant on 29 December.
The Department of Health and Human Services is urging anyone in the Lakes Entrance area with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, no matter how mild, to get tested and stay home until they receive their result.
Bairnsdale Regional Health Services drive-through testing site is open from 9am to 5pm on New Year’s Day and over the weekend.

Other helpful information and links

submitted by Stoaticor to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]

Accuse me of stealing? You will lose everything

First post...be kind! This happened way back in the dark ages, 1986. I was 21 at the time and working for a gas station that was associated with a certain grocery store chain in Washington state. It was owned by a company not affiliated with said chain, but had locations at nearly every one.
As this was long before the days of debit cards, this was a cash only gas station. We didn’t even take credit cards. Customers would pull up, pump their gas and then come to my window to pay. We also sold cigarettes. No drinks, no snacks...customers couldn’t even get into my booth. I had been working there about a year when the company announced it was closing the location. My manager and I were offered positions at another location upstate and we both accepted. We moved our respective families and started our new jobs. As new hires (ugh).
This station was incredible busy. We did more business in 8 hrs than my old location would do in a week. This location also had a different set up: here you would pull into the station from a single entrance, pump your gas, and then drive forward to a single exit where the “Pay Here” booth was located. There were always 2 cashiers on duty. Each cashier had a cash drawer.
One thing I should note, there were also no computers. So closing the drawer down between shifts was timing consuming and tedious. We had to manually count the cigarettes remaining, and count the cash drawers. We would fill out an end of shift report listing the starting balances and the ending balances. We also had to list the gallons sold from each pump. At the end of the shift the total of gallons sold and the total cigarettes sold should equal the cash balance. It is important to note here that not once in the year I had worked for the previous location had I been off by more than 10 cents.
The following morning after my first shift I was informed by the manager that I was short $50. Impossible I said, I balanced out yesterday. He said that I must have stolen that money after I had completed the paperwork. I just looked at him and said, no I didn’t. He gave me a verbal warning and said if it happened again I would be fired and the stolen money would be deducted from my paycheck this week.
In the 5 days that followed I realized quickly the manager was up to something. My old manager who was just another worker now, was also accused of stealing. As was one other new employee. I can’t vouch for the other employee but I’m pretty sure she did nothing wrong. The employees that had been there awhile were never accused of anything. I did some checking and found out this manager was relatively new (had only been there about 6 months) and the other cashiers had been here before him. Only new cashiers were being accused of stealing. And that location had been having “stealing problems” for about 6 months and the turnover was high with the new employees.
I came to work at 6am on a Monday only to be told I was being fired. For cause. The manager accused me of taking $500 out of my drawer the previous Friday. He said he only discovered it this morning (even though he had worked Sat and Sun). I said ok and left. I was pretty angry and instead of going home, I parked in the grocery store parking lot and proceed to settle in to watch the gas station. I knew that at 9am sharp, he would take the cash in the safe and make the weekend deposit. At 9am he left the gas station and headed to the bank. But instead of walking into the bank, he walked into the Indian “casino” next door. It’s not really a casino like we think of today, but more of a betting parlor for the races. It did have slot machines, but no card tables.
I think “Well, this is interesting”.
He comes out of the casino at exactly 10 am, walks next door to the bank, does his business and then heads back to the gas station. I head home with a plan.
Every morning I follow him from the gas station to the casino. I take a picture of him leaving, and one of him arriving at the bank and walking into the casino. I take pictures of him coming out and then heading to the bank. I do this for 5 days straight. He even went on Saturday. On day 3 my old manager was fired for “stealing” $150.
I get the film developed (no digital camera in the dark ages) note the times and dates on the back of each one. Then I call the main office of the gas company. It’s after 5 but I’m hoping someone is there. And there is. I speak to a woman and explain my situation and she says she knows exactly who I should speak to and transfers me. By some grace of God, she has transferred me to none other than the President/CEO of the company!
I tell him my story and tell him I did NOT steal from his company and could prove who actually did. He took down my information and said he would be in touch. I’m thinking to myself “yeah right”. The next morning I went to the station to perform my usual observation of the manager. At 9am he leaves for the “bank”. At 10 am he comes out. At that moment 2 stern looking gentlemen approach him. One pulls out his wallet and shows him something. The other one is talking. The manager goes pale and takes a step back. Next thing I know he is being escorted to a car I hadn’t noticed and they drive off. I lose them at a traffic signal so I head back to the station. They all show back up about 5 min later, and a few minutes after that a police cruiser pulls in. The officer talks to the stern gentleman and proceeds to place the manager in handcuffs. The other man says nothing but is glaring daggers at the manager.
The President called me later that after noon and informed me that the manager had been arrested for embezzlement (turns out that in 6 months he had managed to steal about $5k). He would take the store cash into the casino and gamble with it; if he won, he would make the normal bank deposit. If he lost, he would make the deposit and note in his records that we had been short the previous day. The CEO had already been focusing on that location because of the stealing and high turnover rate, but my information helped them figure out what exactly had been going on.
I was thanked and sent a substantial check as a reward. My old manager was offered the manager’s job and I was offered my old job back. I declined as I had already found another job that I liked more and paid better. The gambling manager was sentenced to 1 year in jail and ordered to attend counseling for his gambling addiction. His wife divorced him and took their 3 children to California. His house was foreclosed on and he ended up in a homeless shelter.
Don’t accuse me of stealing. I will get revenge.
** UPDATE**
Thank you for the likes and awards!
Update 2: this was my first post and I really didn’t expect all the awards. Thank you!
submitted by MudmanNascar2020 to ProRevenge [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
First house
Second house
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
X
submitted by Worchester_St to nosleep [link] [comments]

Gov. Gina Raimondo COVID-19 Press Conference: 11/19/2020, 1:00 pm

Watch Here
WJAR Stream if issues with link above or WPRI
Gov. Raimondo is expected to announce new restrictions for high schools (announced by WPRI and WJAR last night) as well as discuss Thanksgiving.
Self-promotion: Yesterday I started graphing data in a few other threads. It's really ugly right now and far from finished (I'll make a separate post on this sub when it's done) but I did start a GitHub site to view the graphs

11/19/2020 Data

RIDOH Dashboard

Gov. Gina Raimondo

Intro

Data

New Restrictions

Intro - Rationale

Path from now to end of the year

Current restrictions will be extended until the Sunday after Thanksgiving with two exceptions, effective immediately:

Thanksgiving

Beginning 11/30 - "RI on Pause"

Open

Limited

Completely Closed

Stimulus grants announced next week for affected businesses

Comments on "pause"

Improvements to testing

Question Highlights

Q: CDC saying that in-person learning is dangerous (I'm glad someone asked)
A: "I believe that question is a mis-characterization of the data" - referencing Dr. Jha She sounds MAD about this question "we could argue about the risk, but children will suffer irreparable lifelong harm not being in school" She is trusting HS students to follow rules and "districts should keep kids in school if they can"
Q: "Wasn't the idea with PPE/testing that we wouldn't have to go back? What happened?"
A: "It turns out people don't follow rules very well when we have to do it for so long"
Q: What is the goal in terms of ease of scheduling/getting test results and do we need to scale back asymptomatic testing?
A: It isn't a perfect system (waiting to get tested) but we are working to fix it. "It's hard for me to believe you can't get a test at all" Personal note: I'm currently trying to get tested (possible exposure at work even though I have no symptoms) and I had to go online to CVS at 3:00 in the morning to get an appointment 3 days later
Q: Isn't distance learning with a teacher better than in-person with a substitute? Is there a percentage (like NY) where we would switch to full distance?
A: High schoolers work better with distance learning but younger kids really struggle. NY: We do not use a single metric to determine whether to shut down - "as long as schools can keep the environment safe" we will keep them open.
Q: Thoughts on a possible 4-6 week lockdown or advisory to governors to do so under President Biden?
A: "If congress would do their jobs" and send an appropriate stimulus, we could discuss a lockdown in RI
Q: Why is Twin River open until 11/30?
A: "If I could shut everything down immediately I would do that" but there is a need to be practical (restaurants who have increased inventory for next week will still be able to use it)
Q: Crisis standards of care?
A (Dr. Scott): Principles to help hospitals make difficult ethical decisions about care - we do NOT want to get here. (Gina): We cannot staff that many beds - patients may have medical students as nurses or not get checked on at all. We may have to "shut off" non-COVID procedures
Q: Nursing home staffing (can people volunteer to bathe their family members, etc)?
A: "Caregiver exemption" is in the works (allowing family to get certified to give care similar to CNA)
Q: Is RI still independently validating vaccine data despite Pfizer pilot program?
A: Yes.
Q: Will you get vaccinated?
A: I will not be first in line (not necessary), but yes.
My apologies, I missed a few questions
Q: General assembly?
A: They will need to meet before 12/31 to pass a 2021 budget - a space is being set up at the Vets to allow a safe in-person meeting or they may choose to do so virtually
Q: HS sports?
A: Winter season cannot start until January - no practices at all during pause

End of conference (2:25pm)

submitted by ComputerGeek1100 to RhodeIsland [link] [comments]

Dec/29/2020 news: \\ political party law reformed: idea > individual; transparency; female % \\ Pashinyan responds to "not being enough pro-Russian" \\ who owns which business? \\ protests & snap elect. \\ burglary case & HHK MP \\ humanitarian aid for Artsakh \\ Vitalik flexes muscles \\ bills pass

Your 14-minute Tuesday report in 3589 words.

Pashinyan about pre-war negotiations and "avoiding" the war:

The idea that a flexible foreign policy could have avoided this war is being constantly circulated. Those [former officials] who believe in this thesis must answer at least one question: as a result of their "flexible" policy, why was it not possible to avoid the war of 2016, which was preceded by the unprecedented escalation of 2015 and 2014?
The "flexible" policy adopted by Armenia for many years led to the introduction of Russian proposals in January 2016, which proposed the return of 7 territories (5 + 2) without any legal status for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Why did Russia make such an offer? For one simple reason, as a result of Armenia's "flexible" policy, the Madrid process had come to a standstill because Artsakh could receive a Status outside Azerbaijan only with the consent of Azerbaijan.
It was obvious to Russia and everyone else that Azerbaijan would not agree to this, so it was necessary to find ways to break the deadlock.
And, by the way, if certain people claim that Armenia's foreign policy after 2018 was not sufficiently pro-Russian and this was the reason for the war, then why in the conditions of the "sufficiently pro-Russian" policy of 2016 were Russian proposals born and why did the April war take place?
There was only one way to prevent this war: return the regions and forget about Artsakh's legal status. Now, after the war is over and we know the outcome, the number of supporters of [giveaway of 7 regions] is growing. What they forget is that if we gave away the lands to avoid the war, we would have the same situation in Syunik borders. They used to accuse us of "selling lands" [he means the contradictory statements like Nikol sold the lands, and why didn't Nikol sell the lands earlier to avoid the war].
The biggest failure by the supporters of the "flexible policies" is that they spent years trying to avoid a war instead of preparing for it. Our biggest failure is that we weren't able to recover enough embezzled public property in the past 2.5 years to help us better prepare for the war.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039231.html

businesses owned by opposition leaders

What are the known businesses owned by some of the famous people you might have seen in the public square lately?

Vazgen Manukyan

20% share in Lorva Amrots Ltd which plans to operate two hydro-power plants on Dzoraget river. Manukyan purchased the shares in 2011 after being appointed by Serj as the head of the Public Council.
In 2015-2016, he owned 30% shares in Vanavka Group. In 2015-2017 he had 30% shares in Jermakunq Group. These companies extracted and bottled water. At the time, the director of these companies was charged with illegal bottling and causing ֏55 million in damages to the state. The corruption case was sent to the IRS, which terminated the investigation after "not finding a crime". The companies export the products mostly to Russia.
 

Arthur Vanetsyan

Vanetsyan is a poor boy, according to the public declarations database. But if you have time, take a look at the investigative report I covered in Ap29/2020 news, according to which Vanetsyan's family allegedly used offshore firms and owns mining shares. More on that here. Here is a Hetq investigative report.
Vanetsyan's father owns AV Group flower importing business. About a year ago, the police investigated several flower sellers near a stadium. An opposition outlet claimed that the sellers were "beaten and forced" to testify that Vanetsyan's father was running an underground business. This was never properly proven and the opposition's claim that Vanetsyan was about to be charged did not happen. The police confirmed that there was an investigation against several flower sellers. These flower sellers ended up hiring Vanetsyan's co-party-creator Arsen Babayan as a lawyer.
Vanetsyan's father owns 50% shares of A B Export oil import company that began operating in 2017. It was a minor player that quit the market in 2019. Vanetsyan's father also owns 60% of A B Trans transportation company.
In Nov/2019, CivilNet wrote about Arthur Vanetsyan's cousins' possible involvement with Zangezur Copper factory (massive business). The same offshore firm in Cyprus, which purchased Zangezur shares, was tied to Vanetsyan's cousins' another business in the same offshore.
Vanetsyan's cousins also own a Switzerland-based Exoil wholesale cooking oil and shipping company. In 2019 it had a revenue of $148 million (11 billion Rubles). The cousins don't do this business in Armenia.
Per 2019 registration, Arthur Vanetsyan himself owns one apartment, $10,000, and ֏1 million.
Media reported in May/2020 that Vanetsyan's cousin purchased a ֏300 million mansion in Yerevan, which was donated to then-new political party "Hayreniq", co-founded by Arthur Vanetsyan and Arsen Babayan (the guy who is accused of helping HHK to fabricate documents in 2018 to hijack the Constitutional Court by appointing HHK MP Hrayr Tovmasyan as a judge).
Arthur Vanetsyan's mother served as the chief of the personnel-management department in Serj and Pashinyan administrations, before quitting and working as Serj's aide.
Vanetsyan's wife owns Villa Montessori preschool in Yerevan. She also runs the Young Education Center Ltd.
 

ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan

Pashinyan appointed Saghatelyan as Gegharquniq governor for a brief period after the 2018 revolution, when Pashinyan created a unity-government, represented by all political parties. The honeymoon soon ended and each party went their way.
Saghatelyan owns shares in i-mega Service Ltd. It's a tourism agency founded in 2006. It operates in Armenia, Artsakh, and Georgia.
Saghatelyan founded Navasar company and serves as director. It's owned by his father.
Saghatelyan family owns the Tsovasar hotel complex on Lake Sevan shores. It's 10,000 m2 (a hectare?).
As of 2018, Saghatelyan declared ownership of 8 pieces of land, 2 apartments, ֏18.5 million, $45,000, and €15,000.
Saghatelyan's father is the mayor of Gegharquniq's Geghamavan settlement. This municipality had recently sent a letter demanding Pashinyan's resignation.
Saghatelyan used to be a shareholder of Shiman Ltd which is no longer active.
 

BHK leader Gagik "dodi gago" Tsarukyan

BUCKLE UP, KIDS! Overall, Tsarukyan runs 54 companies. Студент, комсомолец, спортсмен, u наконец, он просто красавиц.
His business empire was covered in details here. Textile, gas stations, malls, Multi Group empire, Shangri-La Casino, Ararat Cognac & Wine Factory, BMW official office Euromotors (also Hyundai, Gazel, Niva), Multi Motors, Magas Invest, Multi Wellness, Olimpavan sports complex, Kotayk beer factory, TechnAlyumin door & window factory, Multi Rest House hotel chain, Paravon luxury restaurant, Onira Club, Zvartnot's airport's upper-level service company Avia Service, Farm Adama, Multi Pharm pharmacy, Multi Leon gas stations, Multi Solar solar panels.
He owns shares in Frank Mueller Yerevan watch company, Fortsa, Multi Gold, Multi Diamond jewelry firms, several fish-breeding businesses.
He also runs businesses in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czechia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia.
Per official declaration, he owns $168 million, €29 million, ֏675 million, 14 pieces of land, 6 houses, 2 public buildings, 1 apartment.
 
Details for BHK MP Mikael Melkumyan and HHK Vahram Baghdasaryan in the link below.
 
https://fip.am/14388
https://hetq.am/hy/article/88755
https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/gagkyp/apr292020_wednesday_news_armenia_being_sued_fo?
www.civilnet.am/news/2019/11/01/Զանգեզուրի-պղնձամոլիբդենային-Մաքսիմ-Հակոբյանի-ու-նրա-որդու-փոխարեն-նոր-բաժնետերեր-Ժնևից-և-Աջափնյակից/369792
www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/01/29/Բենզինի-շուկա-Արթուր-Վանեցյանի-հայրը-դուրս-է-եկել-ոլորտից-Միքայել-Մինասյանի-մերձավորը՝-խոշորների-մա/182670

opposition continues the demonstrations

The street demonstrations, organized by the former regime and its allies, continue. They demand Pashinyan's resignation and the appointment of their candidate Vazgen Manukyan as the Prime Minister for the duration of a year, after which they agree to hold new elections.
ARF leader Artsvik Minasyan said they don't plan to discuss snap elections with Pashinyan. "Right now, our only demand is Pashinyan's resignation. We demand SIS to immediately hold every criminal accountable". The demonstrators gathered in front of the SIS building to present the demands.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039316.html

Pashinyan meets leaders of several opposition parties

QP leader Lilith: there is a possibility there will be a meeting between Pashinyan and the three Parliamentary political parties. They could discuss snap elections. The impression is that politicians who demand Pashinyan's resignation do not want snap elections in an attempt to bypass the citizen's right to form a government. Our political team reaffirms the position that none of us is clinging on seats. //
LHK MP Gorgisyan: we cannot hold snap elections now, under this chaotic situation. We will discuss snap elections if Pashinyan discusses his resignation and transfer of power. (LHK wants its leader Marukyan to be elected as Prime Minister by a Parliamentary vote) //
Pashinyan met BHK leader Tsarukyan. The latter is against holding snap elections unless Pashinyan resigns now, and presumably, he wants Vazgen Manukyan appointed as PM.
LHK leader Marukyan also wants Pashinyan to resign now so a new Prime Minister can form a new government cabinet "consisted of experts".
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039261.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039268.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039299.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039322.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039323.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039327.html

felony case: ex-HHK MP charged with armed attack on ex-IRS official

In August of this year, Russia extradited a former HHK MP Alraghatsi Lyovik to Armenia. He was wanted for allegedly burglarizing and shooting at a senior IRS official a decade ago. At the time, his case was "frozen". It was relaunched in 2018. (magic wand)
NSS says: suspect Lyovik, with the help of citizens AK and AN, organized an armed burglary against IRS Chief (?) Avetisyan in 2008.
AK was in the United States. In 2004, he stole $150,000 from jewelry shops in Los Angeles. He got caught but managed to flee to Armenia.
Once in Armenia, AK colluded with policeman AN to organize a similar criminal ring in Armenia.
[MP] Lyovik personally knew AK, and learned about their burglaries. Since Lyovik had bad relations with the IRS chief (victim), he decided to punish the victim by urging AK to burglarize his house. Lyovik revealed the plot to his brother-in-law, who happened to be the victim's personal aide. The latter gave all the personal habits and details about the victim to the burglars.
[read the article for the full story, or wait for a Hollywood movie in theaters near you]
The burglars and organizers are charged with felonies.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 , https://youtu.be/brdozVbwQ6A , https://factor.am/274836.html , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183522 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 ,

Russian Orthodox chapel will be built

... in the Armenian settlement near Nakhijevan where Azerbaijan had earlier shut down a Russian helicopter, which killed and wounded Russian pilots. It'll be on a hill in Yeraskh. Construction starts on January 6th.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039259.html

Russian peacekeepers conducted training

... to stay in shape. A report by WarGonzo's Semyon Pegovn who returned to Artsakh to meet the New Year there.
https://youtu.be/-c1BSTkC-a8

Russia and Turkey comment

Russian MFA: The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh should not be used for the infiltration of foreign mercenaries into the region. Here we have exactly the same position as our Turkish partners.
Turkish MFA: we see that a ceasefire has been established. We hope to establish the joint RU-TR monitoring center soon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039281.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039282.html

Vitalik Balasanyan will return the lands, kicks junkies, and restrict Facebook

Artsakh President Arayik earlier announced that he will allow his opponents to take jobs in the new coalition government. Kocharyan-ally Vitali Balasanyan became the Security Council chief.
Vitalik: we will return Hadrut and Askeran region with the help of Russian and Armenian military-political efforts. We are in a better situation now to solve territorial issues.
We will soon create border guard forces. It will report to MoD, which will report to the Security Council (his office).
Drugs have no place in Artsakh. Drug users must quit or leave Artsakh now.
We need to return to traditional values of giving women as wives after asking if the man had served in the army.
No public official will be allowed to use Facebook during work.
More: https://youtu.be/DceHyi4AB5g
https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/289056/

search operations are paused / the "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign

Azerbaijan received criticism for refusing to allow search teams to enter the Hadrut region yesterday. They also prevented UNESCO from checking the status of several Armenian cultural sights, after complaining that UNESCO was "biased" against Azerbaijan during the war.
HR Ombudsman: Any untrue information can not be a reason to disrupt the humanitarian process [referring to unconfirmed rumors on social media that Armenians opened fire at Azeris in Hadrut. An unofficial Iranian social media channel claims 3 Azeris were killed but due to an internal fight.]
The Human Rights Ombudsman also criticized the Azeri troops for installing a provocative "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign on part of a road that went under Azeri control near Syunik borders. The Ombudsman says it's meant to intimidate the locals.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039233.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039237.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039244.html , https://factor.am/325511.html

Parliament votes: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan's chairmanship

Context: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan referred to the majority of Armenian voters as human trash *(or as she says: impure), and called for the establishment of forced re-education camps so people won't vote for a "wrong party" again. The ruling QP party launched a process to terminate her chairmanship in Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. Read yesterday's thread for more details.*
QP MP Arthur: the law states that the Parliament can appoint and terminate the chairman. The termination of this seat does not require the same procedures as in the case of MPs and Judges. Armenian Constitution states that in Armenia, human beings are of the highest value, and inalienable human dignity is the inseparable basis of their rights and freedoms. MP Zohrabyan's public conduct is against it. //
The law gives the second-largest political party the mandate to appoint the chairman of this particular Committee. BHK, being the second-largest party, said they wouldn't appoint a replacement if Zohrabyan is voted out.
QP MP Arthur: per rules, if BHK refuses to appoint a new candidate, the largest (QP) party will receive the mandate. //
Parliament voted 78-4 to terminate Zohrabyan's chairmanship. BHK and LHK did not vote.
BHK MP Zohrabyan: this termination was a Constitutional crime.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039245.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039264.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039304.html , https://factor.am/325132.html

Parliament votes: registering parties becomes easier / ideology instead of person / financial transparency

The goal of this reform is to have political parties that are more about ideology and less about an individual. The reform will boost internal democracy within parties; it will expand the powers of the Party Assembly.
Parties will be required to add more anonymous voting mechanisms.
The law also requires more financial transparency.
The required membership to register a party is lowered from 800 to 300.
Some of the public funding given to political parties will depend on the % of female members in the administrative boards.
Parliament voted 99-1 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039270.html , https://youtu.be/bPuZViCCCxo

Parliament votes: monthly fees towards soldiers' recovery are raised

Most workers pay a monthly 1000 Dram towards the Soldiers' Fund, which takes care of wounded soldiers and families of those who died. The govt found it necessary to raise the fee to cover thousands of new recipients. Here are the new fees and salary brackets:
֏1,500 for < ֏100k/month
֏3,000 for < ֏200k
֏5,500 for < ֏500k
֏8,500 for < ֏1 million
֏15,000 for > ֏1 million
Parliament voted 89-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039296.html

Parliament votes: ban on public smoking is delayed until 2022

The govt had adopted a law to ban smoking in public cafes and the public display of cigarettes in grocery shops. The ruling party wanted to delay parts of the bill that were set to go into effect in January, citing possible financial issues for businesses caused by the pandemic.
QP MP: the cigarette industry pays $383 million to state coffers.
Healthcare Ministry: it will be a mistake if you delay this bill for the sake of $10 million in tax revenues.
Parliament voted 86-0 to delay the anti-smoking bill until 2022.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039295.html

Parliament votes: no tax on goods donated to Armenia

QP MP: When you donate a charitable product to the Republic of Armenia, you are exempt from customs duties and other tax payments, except for one payment, which we are trying to exempt with this bill as well. //
Parliament voted 80-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039297.html

how is the Judicial Branch doing?

The Supreme Court protects or punishes judges. It also handles complaints. It's separate from the Constitutional Court.
bad boys
19 complaints against judges were heard, 14 of which were petitioned by Justice Ministry and 4 by Judicial Ethics Board. 10 judges ended up receiving disciplinary penalties, 3 received a warning, 3 were reprimanded, 2 were terminated, 4 were cleared.
the system is overloaded
61 judges are handling 6470 felony cases.
86 judges handle 175,940 civil cases.
24 judges handle 17,390 administrative cases.
The number of Arbitration cases rose from 3100 to 9900.
finances
This year, Supremes appointed 20 new judges. Supreme's budget remained the same this year. They returned ֏607 million in savings back to state coffers.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039249.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039284.html

anti-corruption: SIS busts an IRS agent

SIS says: IRS border inspector took a bribe from a citizen to help him avoid paying Millions of ֏ in import taxes by splitting a large load into smaller pieces, so each piece would fall below the taxable threshold.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039293.html

IRS wants you to file less paperwork

IRS says the latest reforms will help the exporters and simplify the process in which Armenia is used as a transit country for trade. Some tasks can be done online.
More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039247.html

update: electricity prices

...won't go up for low-income families or those using less than 400 kWh. That's 90% of consumers. The rest will pay 3 Drams more. The rates are presented (6-10¢):
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039285.html

police to guard Lake Sevan against poachers

Police and Nature Ministry have set up additional checkpoints as part of measures against whitefish poaching in Sevan. 24/7 monitoring on all alleys leading to the lake. They will also travel across markets to catch contraband whitefish.
Why? It's the egg-laying season. Fishing is banned for now. The legally-allowed fishing tools were temporarily removed from the lake.
https://youtu.be/8ZyRGpEazMQ
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039339.html

rare Caucasus Leopard is spotted by cameras again

https://youtu.be/2nidC5QJaIg

"only 10% of villagers should do agriculture"

...the rest should have access to other jobs. There is an opportunity now because many businesses operate remotely. Call Center workers don't have to visit an office. Businesses would rather pay less to hire a rural remote worker than more to hire someone in a Yerevan office.
The High Tech Ministry has an ongoing program to teach IT to 5,000 citizens. We must help workers to expand their skillset. We're working on a program to allow a worker to quit the job, not worry about the food on the table, and have enough time for education and learning new skills.
The villagers should ideally lease their smaller lands to large agricultural producers," said Economy Minister Qerobyan.
Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039319.html

State regulators bust another price-fixing ring: fruit mafia

Yesterday, the Economic Competition Committee busted the egg industry's alleged price-fixing and anti-competitive practices. Today they say a similar collision was observed in the orange, mandarin, kiwi, lemon industry.
The companies Best Fruits, Art-Fruits, and Promout were slapped with a ֏39 million in penalties for colluding to raise the prices for the products that had an increased demand during the pandemic period.
http://www.competition.am/.../resources/Vo370_17_12_2020.pdf
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039269.html

Lenovo slapped for "anti-competitive practice"

The Economic Competition Committee heard a petition filed by Oazis Computer company against Lenovo. The latter was issued a warning for anti-competitive behavior.
Public Regulator: "Lenovo" company had the ability to influence the process of importing Lenovo computers to Armenia from non-EAEU trade bloc countries. "Lenovo" took steps to reduce the import of Lenovo computers from non-EAEU states, by discriminating against Oazis Computer importer. Lenovo is given a month to correct the issue and fix the requirement and standards related paperwork.
(Facebook next?)
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039333.html

Artsakh will also increase childbirth benefits

First child: ֏300k instead of ֏100k
Second child: ֏300k instead of ֏200k
(or ֏500k if one parent is disabled)
As for monthly child care subsidy payments, it goes from ֏15k to ֏27k until the child turns 2.
https://factor.am/325487.html

year wrap-up: births in capital Yerevan

girls 2019: 10173
girls 2020: 10489
boys 2019: 11251
boys 2020: 11430
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039278.html

year wrap-up: tax revenues

2018: ֏1.257 trillion
2019: ֏1.458 trillion
2020: ֏1.379 trillion
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203846

COVID stats

+2483 tested. +348 infected. +22 deaths. +1267 healed. 13881 active.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039240.html

chess news

Levon Aronyan has advanced to the Airthings Masters quarter-finals where he will play against Hikaru Nakamura. He is 1pt behind the leaders. The winner receives a $60,000 prize.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/airthings-masters-chess-day-4
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039228.html

French city of Valence to name a street

... after Artsakh capital Stenapakert. It already had Ijevan Park, Armenia Street, and Yerevan Street. Stepanakert Street will be located in a newly built district. There will be Toros Street as well.
https://youtu.be/EuQV5bt4Ytc
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203833

Italian city of di Lovere has officially recognized the Artsakh Republic

https://www.facebook.com/HayastaniDespanutyun/posts/3499573803472410
https://factor.am/325379.html

Kapan Medical Center has a new CT scanner

... thanks to generous diasporan donors like you. The first one was installed during the war in Goris city.
https://factor.am/325090.html

Artsakh children receive New Years' gifts

Focus on Children Now charity organization distributed gifts to hundreds of Artsakh kids residing in Gegharquniq province. Backpacks, clothing, items of basic necessity, money, and postcards written by kids living in the United States.
https://www.focusonchildrennow.org/
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039302.html

Himnadram donates to refugee families

700 Artsakh families continue to live in 40 settlements of Gegharquniq province. The All Armenia Fund (HimnaDram.org) has provided food and household items to 241 families ahead of New Year.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039313.html

daily life in Syunik bordering villages Shurnukh and Vorotan

https://youtu.be/E1UJd4NtLLs
https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/12/29/Շուռնուխ-Որոտան․-կյանքը-անկոչ-հարևանների-հետ/414772

donations for Artsakh & recovering soldiers

www.1000plus.am (recovering soldiers & their families)
www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)
www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:
http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

The death of George Smith aboard a cruise ship on July 5th, 2005, is it another cruise ship suicide or foul play?

George Smith was an American man who, while on his honeymoon in 2005, was reported to have fallen overboard and drowned. Due to his remains never being located and the suspicious details of his apparent death the case remains unsolved.
Background
George Allen Smith was born on October 3rd, 1978. At the age of 26 he had been helping his family run their liquor store in Cos Cob, Connecticut. Described as clean-cut and smart, George was planning to take over the running of the liquor store once he had married his Fiancé, Jennifer Hagel.
Jennifer Hagel was 25 in 2005 and was about to begin a job as a third grade teacher, she had studied and graduated from Roger William's university with a Masters in Education the year before.
The couple had married in June 2005 in what friends and family described as a the perfect story-book wedding at the Inn at Castle Hill, Newport, Rhode Island. For their honeymoon, the couple had decided to take a Mediterranean Cruise.
The Cruise Ship
The Cruise Ship that the newlyweds would be travelling one was the 'Brilliance of the Seas', the ship is a 90,000 Ton, 292 meter cruise ship operated by Royal Carribean Cruises and in 2005 was operating the Mediterranean route between Italy, Greece and Turkey.
With over 850 crew and capacity for more then 2,500 passengers on board, the ship is a large hotel complex at sea. The trip that George and Jennifer Smith elected to take was the longest of the trips offered at the time by the company, a two week round-trip that took in several stops in Italy, Greece and Turkey along the way.
The Events of July 5th 2005
The couple had boarded the ship with thousands of others in Barcelona, just a few days after their wedding in late June. They were said to be very happy and quickly made friends with some other couples, notably fellow honeymooners Paul and Galina Kvitnisky who described them as normal down to earth people who were great to talk to.
The Cruise Ship was travelling off the coast of Turkey on the night of July 4th. The Kvitniskys and the Smith's reportedly had dinner before going to the Casino around 1-2am on the morning of July 5th. The Kvitniskys later said that George was a competent gambler and with his Breitling watch and prosperous appearance he fit right in.
While at the casino George met up with a friend he had made on the trip named Josh Askin, he was teaching him to play craps and Josh's friends, cousins Zachary and Greg Rozenburg joined them with their friend Rusty Kofman. This was apparently interrupted when George noticed a cruise ship employee was getting close with his wife.
Witnesses later said that a Croupier named Lloyd Botah had been showing Jennifer a lot of attention as the night went on. A fellow cruise ship employee said that the nature of their relationship wasnt known to him but that what he had seen certainly went beyond professional boundaries.
When the casino closed at 2:30am, George, Jennifer, Lloyd, Josh, Zach, Greg and Rusty all headed for the disco, sitting at a table together the group had been reportedly drinking absinthe that had been smuggled onboard when George got into an argument with Lloyd Botah about his conduct around Jennifer. The argument reportedly moved to the dance floor and Jennifer and George had a loud argument infront of everyone before she kicked him in the groin and stormed out of the disco.
Lloyd Botah then left to follow Jennifer while a clearly drunk George was helped back to the table by the others. Shortly after the men were seen helping an unsteady George out of the disco. The 5 men walked back to George and Jennifer's Stateroom but when George saw that Jennifer wasnt there he became annoyed and set off to search for her, the other men later said they waited in the room until George returned and the men continued to drink.
Clete Hyman, the man staying in the room next to George and Jennifer, reported that there was loud noises coming from the room next door around 3am, he later explained it sounded like a party or loud card game and had reported the couple previously on the trip for making a racket.
Josh Askin, Greg and Zachary Rozenburg and Rusty Koffman all claim they left George alone in his room shortly after this complaint was made, Clete Hyman says he saw only three men leave the room at that time through his peep hole.
Clete Hyman said he had then tried to return to bed but within a few minutes heard a loud thud, assuming someone had knocked something over or drunkenly collapsed he went to sleep.
Jennifer Smith was found passed out drunk and lying in a hallway in another area of the ship by several crew members and was helped back to her room around 5am, she said that George wasnt there and she slept for a few hours before then waking in the morning and going to a spa despite not knowing where he was.
When questioned later about this lack of concern for her husband, Jennifer explained that they had both slept in other staterooms at different times on the trip so she had assumed he had spent the night somewhere else.
Before she had finished her massage at the spa, Jennifer Smith was paged over the ships intercom and summoned to her Stateroom. Blood had been found smeared on the canopy of a lifeboat that lay beneath the rooms balcony by a passing passenger and the ships captain had wanted to check that neither her or her husband had been injured.
It was at this time it was discovered George was no longer onboard the ship and the alarm was raised.
Investigation
Jennifer Smith was taken ashore along with Josh Askin and they were both questioned by Turkish police within 24 hours of George's disappearance. Jennifer was found to have an alibi though it wasnt made public what this was other then the moment the crew members found her passed out in a hallway around 5am.
Josh claimed that he and his 3 companions had returned to their rooms and ordered room service before staying up to watch tv, the Turkish police found that while calls had been made around the time they said, no food was recorded as having been delivered to them.
Josh then reboarded the cruise ship to continue the journey while Jennifer immediately flew back to the U.S. It was 48 hours later that George was declared likely drowned at sea, his remains were never found.
Josh, Greg, Zachary and Rusty were all expelled from the cruise ship several days later when they allegedly raped a female passenger and taped it on a camcorder they had with them. The Italian Police investigated this and once they reviewed the footage declared that no rape had occurred and the men and their families were put on a flight home.
George's family arrived in Europe by the end of the week, appearing on tv appealing for information and passing out flyers to cruise ship passengers, they criticised openly at the time Jennifer's actions in flying home so quickly and not returning with them. Jennifer and George's family both stated at the time that they believed George had been murdered.
Later Developments
George's family found Jennifer becoming more distant and argumentative with them as the months went by, they said that she once became angry that they had used a cropped photo of George with Actress Tara Reid instead of a photo that included her for missing posters and badges.
In 2006 the Family hired a private investigator, the investigator claimed they had information that indicated a video tape existed showing Jennifer having sex with other men prior to the night of George's disappearance, this tape failed to be located but some in the family have alleged it is in the possession of Royal Caribbean Cruises.
Josh, Greg and Zachary later appeared on Geraldo Rivera and maintained the same story they had already told, Rusty didnt appear.
In late 2006, Jennifer Hagel accepted a $1.1million settlement from Royal Caribbean Cruises, this was far beyond the legal required amount of $70,000 at the time. George's family criticised Jennifer for accepting the money and took her and Royal Carribean to court over the amount of money and the circumstances of the settlement, they alleged Jennifer was trying to avoid details of sexual affairs that occurred onboard during the cruise being made public. Jennifer stated shortly after receiving the settlement that George likely died as a result of a drunken accident.
The FBI became involved shortly after George's disappearance and began a lengthy investigation which found evidence that the Turkish Police had missed. Blood stains were located inside the cabin as well as on the balcony above the lifeboat canopy. Most telling for the investigation was that the blood stain on the canopy was in the distinctive shape of a man, an unusual thing to be found in accidents on cruise ships, typically little blood is left when someone falls from a cruise ship at sea but this seemed to suggest George had already been bleeding badly when he had landed on the canopy and then had slipped off into the sea.
The FBI investigation officially ended in 2015 finding they couldnt rule in the case in any way and returned an open finding. George's family immediately began petitioning the courts to refer the case to a new jurisdiction in order for it to be investigated.
Theories
George Accident
George was heavily intoxicated according to witnesses and cctv from the cruise ship on the night of July 5th, it is possible like in many circumstances of deaths on Cruise Ships that he had stumbled over the Balcony railing and to his death before eventually sliding off of the canopy and into the sea. This is disputed by his family but supported by the accounts of Josh, Greg, Zachary, Rusty and Jennifer.
George Suicide
George may have been despondent about Jennifer leaving the Disco with Lloyd Botah on the night of July 5th, once he was alone in the stateroom and began to sober up he could have been overcome with grief at the failing of his marriage and considering the alleged other sexual partners she had on the trip likely had become depressed and jumped from the balcony, in the dark he may not have seen the canopy below and lay there injured or dead for some time before falling from it into the sea.
George Murdered
George may have gotten into an altercation with whichever of the men had remained behind on the night of July 5th, Clete Hyman has said only 3 left but never publicly identified who he didnt see leaving. George may have been attacked or robbed by the man who stayed behind only to die and then be thrown from the balcony in an attempt to cover up the crime.
It has also been alleged that he may have gotten into an argument with Jennifer due to her whereabouts not being publicly known while the Turkish Police have said they were satisfied her movements had been accounted for.
Lloyd Botah had also been suggested as a suspect in the case as he and George had already almost come to blows earlier that morning, his whereabouts on July 5th after leaving the Disco have not been made public.
Regardless of the circumstances of his murder, Georges family supports the theory he met his end through foul play and people close to him that night have answers.
Jennifer Later Developements
Jennifer later went back to being known as Jennifer Hagel, left the search in 2007 and went to work at the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research in New York. She then moved to Fairfield, Connecticut to work with Near and Far Aid, a non-profit that supports the homeless.
In 2009, Jennifer Hagel married Jeff Agne, a Financial Advisor who worked in Global Healthcare Equities for Pinebridge Investments. The couple went on to have three children as of 2015, Jennifer's family said they couldnt be happier that she has moved on with her life.
The Death of Greg Rozenburg
15 years after George was lost at sea, Greg Rozenburg was murdered on the doorstep of his home by an unknown perpetrator or perpetrators. Police in Davie, Broward County, Florida said in September of 2020 that they hoped their continued investigation into Greg's death might reveal more about George's.
Conclusion
George Smith's case remains unresolved, it has torn family and friends apart and set different jurisdictions investigations at odds with each other. Without his remains being found it's unlikely a satisfactory conclusion could ever be reached in this case.
What do you believe happened to George Smith on July 5th, 2005?
Wikipedia Link
News Article
Photo of Bloodstained Canopy below balcony
submitted by Armchair_Detectives to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]

Chapter by Chapter Summary of Comprehensive Research on Discrimination Against Men in Finland (PhD Thesis)

What can you do as an MRA?

Main Body - Here it is:

This is a chapter-by-chapter summary of Discrimination Against Men: Appearance and Causes in the Context of a Modern Welfare State, a 2009 doctoral dissertation by Pasi Malmi (University of Lapland) that provides an impressively detailed and balanced investigation of discrimination against men in Finland (the theory and results actually give almost as much detail on discrimination against women, although men will be the focus here).
Chapters 5 to 8 are the most important. Chapter 5 explains six biases that cause gender discrimination, chapter 6 delineates the patriarchal and matriarchal subsystems of Finnish society, chapter 7 examines the various discourses that justify discrimination against men, and chapter 8 analyzes a database of gender discrimination complaints made to the Finnish gender equality ombudsman, a third of which were made by men.
(Length: 1,800 words.)
Chapters 1 to 4 (introductory/background chapters)
Chapter 1 situates the perspective taken by the dissertation within gender studies. It rejects anti-feminist and anti-women perspectives, and the glorification of traditional masculinity and gender roles (e.g., the mythopoetic men’s movement). But it also rejects the “critical studies of men” paradigm, which sees men as the main causes of men’s and women’s problems, refuses to criticize feminism or women, and does not believe that discrimination against white, heterosexual, middle-class men exists (pp. 20–21).
Chapter 2 defines various relevant concepts, and explains that the findings from Finland are intended to be relevant primarily for the Northern European welfare states, and secondarily for other European and Anglo-American countries (pp. 32–34).
Chapter 3 gives a brief overview of current or traditional viewpoints on what causes direct or indirect discrimination or mistreatment of men: gender roles, hegemonic masculinity, industrial capitalism, feminism (specifically gender feminism and victimization feminism), and exploitative women (pp. 36-44).
Chapter 4 develops a theory of sociocultural evolution, which says that ideas that are simple, exaggerated, and coherent with popular paradigms generally win out over their rivals, regardless of whether they are true or backed up by evidence. This happens due to functional selection (p. 57), unintentional biases (p. 63), and interest group bias (p. 71), among other factors (see summary, p. 115).
Chapter 5: Applying the Theory to Gender Discrimination (p. 118)
This chapter develops a general theory of gender discrimination, centered on a typology of six different biases that cause gender discrimination (p. 127).
The masculine bias and feminine bias are unintentional gender biases caused by the processes that simplify, exaggerate, and mutate people’s mental memes or ideas according to their gender (p. 127). For example, a person’s conception of domestic work or childcare will be centered on their own experiences or contributions, which are partly determined by their gender, and so they will often downplay/exclude the other gender’s contributions (e.g., yardwork vs. housework) (pp. 135–138). As a result of these biases, segregated groups and networks of men or women tend to have a masculine-biased or feminine-biased culture of values, priorities, concepts, words, stories, jokes, stereotypes and beliefs that can lead to practices that discriminate against the other gender (p. 120). For example, a group of female social workers might decide that women are better custodians of children and default to recommending custody to them (pp. 141–142).
The masculist bias and feminist bias come from interest groups, networks, or movements seeking to advance the status of men or women, respectively. Masculism and feminism have sexist and anti-sexist branches (p. 143). The modern sexist branch of feminism includes theories like feminist standpoint epistemology (which gives special status to women’s feelings and intuitions) and the feminist theory of social work (interests of women and children are synonymous, social workers should identify with their female customers). It also includes stereotypes that women are unselfish, peaceful, responsible, loving, hard working, while men are the opposite (pp. 149–152). The anti-sexist branch of feminism by definition is less hostile towards men as people, but it is not necessarily able or willing to accept men’s issues: “[i]n general, the idea of the discrimination of men is perceived as bizarre by feminists” (pp. 155–158). The sexist branch of masculism is discussed primarily in the context of religion (pp. 144–129). The anti-sexist branch of masculism has little power, although it is discussed as sometimes being the source of biased statistics downplaying women’s issues (pp. 152–155).
The alpha male bias and alpha female bias are the biases of high status (wealthy, powerful, attractive, etc.) members of each gender against low status members of their gender. They are particularly apparent in high status men’s bias against male criminals (male judges giving harsher treatment, including sentences, to them compared to women) and high status women’s bias against female prostitutes (pp. 170–173).
A central point of this dissertation is that male-dominated and female-dominated organizations (the patriarchal and matriarchal subsystems) are prone to predominantly discriminate against the other gender, but it’s important to clarify that they’re not guaranteed to do so. The masculine and feminine biases (the unintentional “own gender” biases) are just two of the six biases. An organization could be more influenced by the ideological biases (masculist and feminist biases) or the biases against low social status people of each gender (alpha male and alpha female biases).
Chapter 6: Locating the Patriarchal and Matriarchal Subsystems of the Finnish Society (p. 188)
This chapter identifies Finnish society’s patriarchal and matriarchal subsystems by looking at various measures of power, including raw numbers, managerial positions, control of knowledge, and informal positions of power (p. 222).
Not all areas of Finnish society fall into one of these subsystems.
Chapter 7: An Empirical Examination of the Memeplexes, Discourses and Coalitions that Induce Discrimination against Men (p. 224)
This chapter analyzes the discourses that justify discrimination against men, coming from sources that include sexism and feminism.
Sexism: The development of the modern misandric versions of sexism is examined, including 19th century views of men as “barbarians whose urges had to be leashed in by the forces of decency—meaning women—if civilization were to survive” (p. 233), which it attributes to the joint interests of women and upper class men. Notions of chivalry and macho masculinity also lead to institutionalized belief systems where men’s comfort, health, and even lives are considered less important than women’s (p. 238). Macho masculinity, with its aversion to men “complaining”, tends to oppose talking about men’s issues or seeing them as relevant for gender equality (p. 306).
Feminism: Certain influential varieties of feminism see women as the disadvantaged and discriminated gender (p. 247). Thus the sole purpose of equality policy is women’s advancement (p. 256) and men are largely reduced to the role of defendant (p. 270). When faced with cases requiring a choice between promotion of equality and empowerment of women, many feminists reacted by rejecting equality as outdated or as a smokescreen for promoting men’s interests over women. Under these discourses, “the empowerment of women is more important than the advancement of gender equality in all contexts, including the matriarchal subsystem of the society” (pp. 259–260). That would apply even to women’s advantage in family courts and criminal courts (p. 305).
Also mentioned is a combination (and mutation) of difference feminism and equality feminism which says that “women are superior to men in many ways, but men are not superior to women in any ways” (p. 296)—which means that when men are ahead it’s because of sexism, but when women are ahead it is legitimate and natural.
The groups and alliances that justify misandry and discrimination against men (p. 334):
📷
Chapter 8: Gender Discrimination, According to the Complaints Sent to the Finnish Equality Ombudsman (p. 346)
Complaints: This chapter analyzes 800 complaints of gender discrimination made between 1997 and 2004 and sent to the Finnish equality ombudsman (p. 348). Men were 33% of victims, according to the author’s suggestion for the best measure of actual discrimination in these cases (outcome types 3–5, p. 356). Labour market discrimination, the largest category, primarily involved women (76%), while the second largest category, discrimination against customers, primarily involved men (~60%).
Another category, discriminative legislation, primarily involved men (77%). Few complaints were made, but due to active conscription policies (lasting 5-12 months), almost all men in Finland are affected by discriminative legislation. The author classifies these complaints as discrimination, although the equality ombudsman does not, “as the Finnish equality law is not applicable to men’s obligatory military service” (p. 354).
Bias: Per chapter 6, equality policy itself is in the matriarchal subsystem of equality (e.g., 90% of employees in the equality ombudsman office are female, p. 354). The ombudsman has a policy not to comment on complaints involving custody and divorce, purportedly to not interfere with the court system, but the author suggests that it stems from a bias against men, perhaps due to prioritizing women’s status over equality or wanting to avoid a flood of complaints from men (p. 354). This is made more explicit by another comment from the ombudsman’s office saying that it is not taking action on certain cases of discrimination against men because “the main purpose of the equality law is to improve women’s status especially in the labor market”, suggesting that the law should be applied more strictly to cases of discrimination against women (p. 381).
Patriarchal & matriarchal subsystems: 57% of discrimination cases in the matriarchal subsystem of society (as defined in chapter 6) were against men, compared to 31% in neutral domains, and 17% in the patriarchal subsystem of society (p. 358).
Discrimination examples: Many cases of discrimination against women (e.g., a workplace that only required women to do extra cleaning tasks on top of their regular duties) are recounted on the same pages but we’ll look at men here.
Likely motives: Two alternative rating methods (tables 52 and 53) find that either (certain) feminist ideas are the most common motivators of discrimination against men, or sexism and the feminine bias are the most common motivators (feminine bias meaning unintentional gender bias of groups of women, counterpart to masculine bias of groups of men). Financial motives were also frequent (pp. 401-402).
SOURCE: https://becauseits2015.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/comprehensive-research-on-discrimination-against-men-in-finland/
submitted by mhandanna to LeftWingMaleAdvocates [link] [comments]

I live in a small mining town in the mountains of Colorado. Someone is building a massive casino nearby, Pictures Included

I grew up in a small mountain town named Eureka. It was founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, but after the mines dried up the town began its slow descent into decay. Half the houses are empty or abandoned now.
You can see a picture of the kind of houses here in Eureka:
Abandoned House
Non-abandoned House
When a massive construction project began nearby, it was the talk of the town for weeks. Why would they build something in a sleepy dying town like Eureka? It wasn’t until my sister Selene talked to a few construction workers that we discovered they were building a casino.
A casino up in the mountains, over two hours away from Denver. None of us could understand why they’d chosen here of all places. After a few months of work, the casino was done.
I took a picture of the town with the completed casino in the background to the right. The ten-story-structure sticks out like a sore thumb off in the distance.
Town+Casino
After the casino opened, they hired a few dozen members of the town, offering high paying jobs to work as dealers or cleaning staff. I was already employed as a firefighter, but my sister Selene got a job as a blackjack dealer. She’s a widow with two young kids, so the paycheck was a real lifesaver.
Still, something about the situation seemed too good to be true. The jobs over there paid far too well, and the management was far too accommodating. The fire station where I work is located high on a hill overlooking the town, so I began watching the casino from a distance each day.
I had initially thought that the casino was located in a terrible location, but I was apparently wrong. True, Eureka was hours from any major city, but despite that, a bus full of people arrived every morning and left every evening.
One night I was over at my parent’s house and had dinner with Selene and her kids. I asked her about her experience as a dealer.
“It’s Ok,” she said. “Just a little boring I guess.”
“Boring?” I asked. “I’m surprised you don’t have your hands full.”
“Why’s that?” she asked. “It’s like you said, Eureka’s too small. I never have people playing cards. The casino is almost always completely empty.”
I wasn’t sure what to make of that. If the place was always empty, what happened to the people who I’d seen arriving on buses? “I’ve been keeping an eye on the building,” I said. “A bus full of people typically arrives around 9 AM every day.”
“Really?” she asked, looking confused. “If that’s true, I’ve never seen them.
“I can see it from the fire station,” I said. “If you head out for a smoke break at 9 AM, you’ll probably see them arriving.”
“Interesting,” she said. “I’ll do that. If they’re being processed for their organs or something, I’ll let you know.” She laughed.
“Har har,” I said sarcastically.
The next night she sent me a text calling me over. When I arrived, she was nearly breathless with excitement.
“Orin, You were right,” she said. “A big group of people did arrive, but they didn’t walk into my part of the casino. Instead, they all walked into an elevator at the back of the building. I’m not sure where that goes.” She looked thoughtful. “It was weird. They looked… How can I say it? Desperate? Something about the whole situation was very off. I’m gonna check out the elevator tomorrow.”
I told her to be careful, though, to be honest, I was excited to hear about what she discovered. When I visited my parent’s house the next night, I found her two kids there alone. They told me that Selene had never returned from work.
I called all her friends, then all our neighbors, but no one had seen her since she left for work that morning. Our conversations regarding the casino flooded my mind, then a plan began to form.
Early the next morning I walked across town in my nicest pair of jeans and a button-up shirt. I pushed through the door to the casino and saw that Selene wasn’t lying. The place was all but deserted. Three dozen slot machines crowded the walls surrounding a few tables interspersed throughout the floor of the casino. The only players in the whole building were Bob and Donald, two locals.
I walked up to a nearby table where Bridget, a girl I’d gone to high school with, was shuffling cards. She broke into a grin when she saw me. “Hey Orin, you here for a few rounds of blackjack?”
“I wish,” I said. “No, I’m here to ask about Selene. She never made it home last night.”
Bridget’s expression darkened. “Really? Have you asked around?”
“I already called around. Have you seen her?”
She shook her head. “No, our schedules rarely line up. I’ll be sure to let you know if I--” Her eyes focused on something behind me, and she cut herself off.
I turned around to see the casino’s pit boss watching us both. He was a tall thin man in an impeccably clean black suit. When I turned back towards Bridget, she was looking down at the table and shuffling cards absent-mindedly.
“Well, if you hear anything, let me know,” I said.
She nodded, so I turned around and headed for the pit boss. I stuck out my hand. The temperature of his hand was so hot that I had to pull my hand away after a few seconds.
“Have… have you seen my sister Selene?” I asked. “She hasn’t been seen since her shift here yesterday.”
He smiled. “Sir, this floor is for players. You’re more than welcome to head to the tellers for chips, but barring that I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to leave.”
I stared at him for a long second before stalking towards the door. When I looked back, he was talking with Bridget.
I checked my watch. 8:55 AM, just as I’d planned. I walked around the back of the building and waited as the morning bus pulled around the building. I waited for the telltale hiss of the opening doors and the sound of people descending before I rounded the corner and joined the crowd. None of them paid any particular attention to me as I walked with them into the casino.
The crowd walked through a side door down a hallway to an elevator. Small groups of people entered the elevator as the rest of us waited for our turn. I shot a glance at the casino patrons, surprised at their diversity. There seemed to be people from all different countries and ethnicities. I heard one speaking Japanese and another speaking what sounded like an African language.
My turn came along with a few other patrons in the elevator. A sickly woman hobbled into the elevator beside me carrying an IV that was still connected to one of her veins. We piled in and rode up to the top.
The elevator rose for a few long seconds. I wasn’t sure what I would find, but I steeled myself for something horrible. The elevator’s speaker let out a TING, then the doors opened.
We all walked out onto what looked like a standard casino. Another few dozen slot machines ringed the walls, but on this floor, they were almost all occupied by customers. I took in the scene, confused at why they’d have a ground floor that was almost completely empty when this place was almost--
Selene was dealing cards at a nearby table.
I jogged over and sat down at an open seat. None of the players around me paid me much attention.
“Selene!” I said. “Are you OK? Did you spend the night here last night?”
Her eyes were glassy and confused. She looked up at me with a dumb expression and didn’t respond to my question.
“Selene?” I asked.
“What’s your bet?” she asked me. “This table is for blackjack players only.”
“I…” I trailed off, looking at the players around me. None of them were betting with chips of any kind. “What’s the minimum bet?” I asked.
“Three years,” she responded.
“Three years then,” I said, not knowing what that referred to.
Selene nodded, then began dealing cards. I shot a look down at my hand. King and a 9. Selene dealt out cards for herself, showing a 9. I stood, then leaned forward again. “Should I call the police? Are you--”
“Congratulations,” she said tonelessly.
An almost impossibly warm hand grabbed my shoulder. I spun to see the pit boss I’d spoken to earlier. He gave an impressed smile. “Orin, was it? I’m impressed, truly. Would you mind if I had a word with you?”
I shot a look back at Selene who was dealing the next round of cards. Then I got to my feet, balling my hands into fists. “What did you do to her?”
The pit boss clasped his hands behind his back. “Nothing more, and nothing less than what I’m going to do to you. That is, offer you the chance to play.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
The pit boss nodded his head towards a nearby slot machine. A woman in a wheelchair pulled a lever and watched the flashing numbers spin. They exploded in a cacophony of sirens and flashing lights. “WINNER WINNER WINNER!” The machine screeched.
The woman in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground and stood up on a pair of wobbly legs that had clearly never been used before.
“As in any other casino,” the pit boss said, “you must wager for the chance to win.”
“She... won the use of her legs?” I asked, feeling light-headed. “Wait,” I said. “I played blackjack just now. ‘Three years,’ Selene told me. What does ‘three years’ mean?” I asked.
“Three years of life, of course. Did you win?”
My mouth felt dry. “I-- Yes, I won.”
He smiled warmly. “Congratulations. I hope you enjoy them. I can tell you from personal experience that watching the decades pass is a bore. Give it some time and you’ll be back to spend them.”
I watched the pit boss’s face. He couldn’t have been more than a few years older than me, and I was in my early thirties. I looked around at the casino. No one was playing with chips of any kind. “So what?” I asked. “I won years of life. That woman won the use of her legs. What else can a person win here?”
“Oh, almost anything. They can win almost anything you can imagine.”
A cold feeling settled in my stomach. “And what do they wager?”
His eyes flashed with greed. “Almost anything. They can wager almost anything you can possibly imagine. Anything equal in value to the item they want in return.” He nodded towards a nearby roulette table.
A man stood by the table, cradling his hands. “Another finger,” he called out. He only had three fingers remaining on his left hand. As I watched, the ball came to a stop, and another finger disappeared from his left hand.
The pit boss extended his hands. “Feel free to try any of our games. Bet and win whatever you’d like.” He reached out and snatched my hand. A feeling of intense warmth passed up my arm to my chest. “There,” he said. “I’ve even given you some house money to get you started. An extra decade of life, on me.”
I ripped my hand away, staring at him in horror. Then I looked back at Selene. Something clicked in my mind. “You offered her the chance to play. What did she want?” I asked.
“Her husband,” the pit boss said. “Quite the sad story. He died two years ago. She wanted him brought back to her.”
“What did she wager?” I asked.
“She wanted the chance to win a soul, the most valuable object in existence. I’m sure you can imagine what she needed to wager for the chance to win it. What she wagered is unimportant. The important question is: What do you want, Orin?”
I stared at Selene with a flat expression. “I’m sure you can imagine.”
His eyes flashed with greed again. “How wonderful. The casino could always make use of another dealer. Feel free to make your wager at any one of our games; I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results of your night. Oh, and do take advantage of our waitresses. We always supply food and drink for ‘high rollers’.” He walked away.
I spent the next few hours trying to decide which game to play. I was going to be wagering my soul, so I wanted the highest chance possible. Slots and roulette were out. I’d done some reading online about counting cards, so I figured that blackjack gave me the best odds.
I walked up to Selene’s table and sat down. “Bet?” she asked with that same toneless voice. “Three years,” I said.
I spent the next hour or so doing my best to remember how to count cards. I knew that low cards added one to my count and high cards decreased it by one, but the casino used three decks. I had read something about how that was supposed to change my calculation, but I couldn’t quite remember how.
Every time I won a hand, I cursed myself for not putting everything on the line. Every time I lost, I breathed a prayer of thanks that I’d waited. And all the while, I kept track of the count.
I had lost fifteen years of life when the count finally reached +5.
“Bet?” Selene asked.
“I wager my soul so you can be free,” I said.
The table around me fell silent. Selene’s eyes flickered, but she showed no other emotion as she dealt the cards. I watched my first card, punching the air in excitement when I saw a Jack. My excitement turned to ash when my second card was a four. Fourteen.
I looked at her hand. One card was facedown, but the faceup card was a King. I swore loudly, staring down at my hands.
“Hit?” she asked. The entire table was silently watching me.
“Hit,” I said, not looking down. The table erupted in cheers. I looked down to see a 7 atop my two other cards. 21. Blackjack.
I looked at Selene who flipped over her facedown card to reveal a 9. 19. I won.
The glassy look left her eyes immediately. She looked around in surprise, then her eyes locked on mine. “Orin?” she asked, then almost immediately began to cry. The entire casino broke out in cheers.
I grabbed her hand and headed for the elevator. The doors had begun to close when the pit boss reached out with a hand to stop them.
“Congratulations,” he said, beaming. He seemed to be honestly excited.
“Shouldn’t you be upset?” I asked.
“Not at all. Casinos love it when we have big winners. It inspires the other players to make larger bets. I imagine I’ll gain two or three dealers before the night is through from your performance.”
“Great,” I said flatly. “Now let us go.”
“Not yet,” he said. “You didn’t just win, Orin. You got a blackjack. And blackjack pays out 1.5 times your bet. You won your sister’s soul and more.”
I stared, not sure what to say. “What are you saying? I won half a soul extra?”
The pit boss grinned wildly. “Just remember what I said. You’ll find living for decades and decades to be a boring experience. After a few centuries, you’ll be back to gamble that half a soul away. Congratulations!”
He removed his hand, and the elevator doors slammed shut.
I helped Selene back to her house. Her children were relieved. I watched them cry, then moved into the kitchen to start making dinner.
It’s been a few days since that experience. The casino is still out there, and buses full of people still arrive. I… I cut my hand pretty bad a few days later. When I checked it an hour later, it had already healed, no scar or anything. I’m not sure exactly what I won at that casino, but there’s no way I’m ever going back.
Interested in more? Support me on Patreon at any level!
My Patreon backers will get early access to my horror stories, free copies of my horror novels, and an exclusive story each month.
Become a Patreon supporter here:
https://www.patreon.com/WorchesterStreet
Thank you to my lovely Patreon Backers:
Brooke Tang Private Castle Lilith Scyther Peter Jamison MADman611 Lily Bain Vivienne Hoai Claire Shabbeer Hassan Maranda Mae Madeline Budd Lauren Ashley Luna Vaughan Stephanie Jennings, Krystin Molina
and my new Patreon backers, Carter B, Yazz Ledgister, and an especial thanks to newest backer Christina! Your support is invaluable!
submitted by Worchester_St to WorchesterStreet [link] [comments]

Nationwide Casino Table Rental (800) 407-2788 Casino Tables for Hire Los Angeles: Fun and Profitable ... Casino table hire in London and throughout the UK - YouTube Fun casino nights and table hire dublin ireland - Mobile ... Casino Tables for Hire at Parties in Surrey by MGN events ... Casino Table Hire, Premium Fun Casino. Roulette, Blackjack ... Fun Casino Tables & Horse Racing Hire - YouTube

Our blackjack tables for hire are handcrafted to match casino specifications and just like all our other tables, the blackjack tables are fitted with LED lights to set the ambience and enhance the atmosphere at your casino party. Our table layouts are originated from the same supplier, who provides Australia’s leading casinos with their layouts to give you the real deal feeling when playing ... Fun casino hire based in London & Leeds, West Yorkshire with high quality casino table hire for weddings, parties, fundraising, corporate events, fun nights. Roulette, Blackjack & poker table hire. 007, vegas, Gatsby themes and uplighter hire. Casino table hire for all occasions. You can also hire our fun casino tables and equipment for you to D.I.Y. and save money on the professional croupiers. If you are not sure which casino table hire you require! Then take a look at our range of fun casino tables, associated ancillary accessories and equipment we supply. If you need any help or guidance please give us a call or contact us through this website. We take great pride ... Casino Table Hire – The best in Wiltshire Hiring a Fun Casino. Casino Table Hire – If you’re looking for party ideas – maybe for corporate events or a birthday party – then our Fun Casino could be the perfect fit for you! A casino theme can really add some flair and class to your event, no matter how big or small you’re looking to make your event. Hire a Casino Table, Gaming Table Hire - We Hire Poker Tables, Blackjack Tables, Roulette Tables for your Event, Corporate Events or Functions Our gaming tables for hire are exactly like the ones you'll find in the finest casinos, from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo, creating an authentic atmosphere that is totally thrilling and truly original. The whirr of the roulette wheel, the rattle of the ball, the click of the chips - it's all here to add to the ambience. You can enjoy a relaxed evening of casual casino fun, or go the full James ... All our Casino Tables are manned by our fully trained croupiers, who can run the game for you during the hire. Guests can ‘buy’ their chips at the tables using the funny money we provide, which you can hand out to guests either on arrival, at their table, or just when they come up to play, and then it’s time to place your bets. It’s going to end one of two ways: either in losing all ... Our experience allows us to offer clients only the best fun casino tables, props and decor hire. Platinum Fun Casino Table Hire is based in Melbourne and also serves the Werribee, Geelong, Ballarat ,Surfcoast , Bellarine Peninsula and Regional Victoria areas. We have packages to suit all your event requirements,this combined with outstanding service allows our clients to relax knowing their ... Casino Casino Casino provides the best in all forms of fun casino hire / entertainment. A glamorous evening of fun and laughter for any amount of guests, offering a unique opportunity to raise funds with charity casinos, teambuild with a great corporate or christmas fun casino, or simply great entertainment for any personal event. We have a wide range of differently sized tables ranging from 3 ... We hire casino tables for small private parties, community fundraisers, weddings or large corporate functions and we have a huge range of casino games that are certain to impress your guests. Every event we do is unique, so rest assured that we will work with you to ensure your fun casino hire night is everything that you are looking for. Casino Hire. We provide an exciting form of ...

[index] [21922] [5548] [2060] [11251] [11977] [8244] [2124] [20543] [3469] [7829]

Nationwide Casino Table Rental (800) 407-2788

♦️ Looking to throw the ultimate party? ♣️ Why not bring Vegas style and glamour to entertain your guests. We hold premium quality Roulette, Blackjack, Dice,... For more details & prices please visit our website: http://www.dickropa.com/casino_horse.php Fun casino nights and table hire in Dublin, ireland. Also available in Belfast and Northern ireland. We can hire the casino for weddings, corporate events, p... Welcome to London's Premier Fun Casino Party Hire Company...https://[email protected] supply superior quality Fun Casin... http://mccasinogaming.com/(310) 866-6865 or (949) 241-3220At M C CASINO GAMING, we have the friendliest staff, the newest tables, and the best entertainment ... Hire our casino tables as a form of entertainment for your next party in the UK.Case Studies: http://www.mgnevents.co.uk/case-studies/private-parties/This wa... Nationwide Casino Table Rental (800) 407-2788. We provide Monthly Rentals for the following Units:Nationwide Casino Table Rental in Los Angles, LA.,Nationwid...

#