Category: bfuewnth

Top stories: Probing the dino-killing impact crater, taxi cab troubles, and a study to raise the dead

first_imgExperiment to raise the dead blocked in IndiaThe Indian Council of Medical Research derailed a controversial experiment this month that would attempt to revive brain-dead accident victims. The trial, announced in May, would have given about 20 brain-dead people a mix of interventions including injections of mesenchymal stem cells and peptides, and transcranial laser stimulation, and median nerve stimulation. The lead researcher described his aim to the Indian media as bringing brain-dead individuals back to a “minimally conscious state” in which they show flickers of consciousness, such as moving their eyes to track objects. Scientists and physicians have raised concerns about whether the trial is ethically justified. One of those concerns: The mix of interventions has not been tested in animal models.Having trouble hailing that taxi? 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Could it be for another passenger with a bigger price tag? The results of a massive study of taxi drivers in Beijing support that suspicion: Avoiding certain passengers based on their destination is profitable. Researchers used 2 months’ worth of GPS records from 12,000 Beijing taxi drivers from 2012. The results reveal why drivers might be choosy. Those who stuck to trips between major pickup areas netted far more money. Trips to remote places, no matter how long the drive, pay less over the course of the day because the drivers waste time getting back to dense areas.Updated: Drilling of dinosaur-killing impact crater explains buried circular hillsScientists published their first results from a drilling expedition into Chicxulub crater, the buried remnants of an asteroid impact off the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. Their discovery of shocked, granite rocks from deep in the crust placed “out of order” on top of sedimentary rocks validates the dynamic collapse theory of formation for Chicxulub’s peak ring, scientists say. Chicxulub is the only well-preserved crater on Earth with a peak ring, but they abound elsewhere in the inner solar system. Last month, scientists using instruments on a NASA lunar mission showed that the peak rings within the Orientale impact basin were likely to have formed in a similar way as at Chicxulub.European diseases left a genetic mark on Native AmericansWhen the indigenous peoples of the Americas encountered European settlers in the 15th century, they faced people with wildly different religions, customs, and—tragically—diseases; the encounters wiped out large swaths of indigenous populations within decades. Now, researchers have found that these diseases have also left their mark on modern-day populations: A new study suggests that infectious diseases brought by Europeans, from smallpox to measles, have molded the immune systems of today’s indigenous Americans, down to the genetic level.West Nile virus may be deadlier than thoughtSince West Nile fever first appeared in the United States in 1999, more than 45,000 people have been infected, and nearly 2000 of them are known to have died, for a roughly 4% fatality rate. But a new study suggests that the fatality rate may be much higher. That’s because people infected with the virus may still die years after recovery, as it leaves them more vulnerable to other infectious diseases and kidney problems like renal failure.New Zealand earthquake rattles expertsThe magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck New Zealand shortly after midnight local time on 14 November, killing two people, is a stark reminder that New Zealand’s seismic activity is more complex than previously thought, researchers say. The ruptured fault is not along the tectonic plate boundaries where major quakes are expected, but instead on a little studied intraplate fault. The latest quake, along with strong temblors that struck Christchurch in 2010 and 2011, indicate the South Island is a riskier place than was previously thought, to the point that the country might have to redraw its earthquake hazard maps, scientists say.Now that you’ve got the scoop on this week’s hottest Science news, come back Monday to test your smarts on our weekly quiz!last_img read more

Cricket: Another Birla makes his mark – but this time, in first class cricket

first_imgAdvertisement(Image Courtesy: DNA India)Left-handed opener Aryaman Birla, who happens to hail the Birla family, slammed his maiden first-class century to help Madhya Pradesh salvage a draw following on vs Bengal.Aryaman, who always fancied playing at the Eden Gardens and scoring a century there had his dream come true. With his father and great grandparents hailing from Kolkata, Aryaman’s match saving knock of 103* makes it even more special.“More than the fact that my father was born here, I think I have come to Kolkata a lot as a child to visit my great grandparents. So it’s very special for me. And for me also, it’s very special. It has to be, because my first century came at Eden Gardens,” Aryaman said.Madhya Pradesh were following-on after being bowled out for 335 on Thursday morning. With a deficit of 175 still to be scored, the visitors had to bat out a little over two sessions on a fourth day pitch to earn a point. At 69/3 following Rajat Patidar and Naman Ojha’s dismissals, the side was starring at a defeat. Someone had to anchor the innings. Aryaman did that in company with Shubham Sharma with the latter too recording a century.Born in Mumbai, Aryaman decided to switch to Madhya Pradesh since he did not get chances in the age group cricket there. The left-handed opening batsman made his first-class debut in the Ranji Trophy match against Odisha last season. This was his third game at this level.Even though he was born with a silver spoon, Aryaman is determined to pursue and succeed in the field of cricket while also studying“There are two ways to look at that. Some might say there’s pressure that comes with your name. But I think it’s about how you look at it. Of course there’s a legacy that I would love to build on in my own way. I have been playing professional cricket for four-five years. I performed well in the U-23. So I made my journey through to the Ranji Trophy team because of my U-23 performances. Everyone is entitled to his choice and this is what I want to do,” Aryaman said.Aryaman has also had the privilege of sharing the dressing room with the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler after he was picked by Rajasthan Royals in 2018. He will hope that the experience he gained from that will help him develop into a better batsmen in the near future.Also Read:Cricket: Virat Kohli promises to be ‘sledge-free’ in Australia; Mitchell Johnson isn’t buying it Advertisementlast_img read more

Sardar Singh axed as captain, PR Sreejesh to lead men’s hockey team at Rio

first_imgSardar Singh has been axed as the captain of Indian men’s hockey team ahead of Rio Olympics 2016. Both the men’s and women’s hockey squads for Rio were announced by Hockey India president Narinder Batra in New Delhi on Tuesday.PR Sreejesh, who helped India clinch their maiden Champions Trophy silver, has been handed the job of leading the side at Rio. Women’s hockey team also saw a change in captain as Sushila Chanu replaces Ritu Rani. A big shout out to @16Sreejesh, Captain of the Indian Men’s Team & SV Sunil who is named as Vice Captain! #Rio2016 #MedalKaMission?? Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) July 12, 2016Rani had left the coaching camp in Bengaluru days before the announcement of final squad anticipating the board’s decision. Sources from team management confirmed Rani’s sacking came after her poor performances and attitude problems. Notably, under Ritu’s leadership the Indian women’s team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 36 years since 1980.Men’s squad Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Kothajit Singh, Surender Kumar, Manpreet , Sardar Singh, VR Raghunath, SK Uthappa, PR Sreejesh, Danish Mujtaba, Devender Walmiki, SV Sunil, Akashdeep Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah.Stand by: Pardeep Mor, Vikas DahiyaWomen’s squad: Savita (GK), Navjot Kaur (midfielder), Deep Grace Ekka (defender), Monika (midfielder), Anuradha Devi (forward), Poonam Rani (forward), Vandana Kataria (forward), Deepika (defender), Namita Toppo (defender), Renuka Yadav (midfielder), Sunita Lakra (defender), Sushila Chanu (defender), Rani Rampal (forward), Preeti Dubey (forward), Lilima Minz (midfielder), Nikki Pradhan (forward).Stand by: Rajani Etimarpu & H. Lalruat Feliadvertisementlast_img read more

IPL 2018: Oldies still calling the shots

first_imgIt’s still early days in the Indian Premier League. Even as the big teams have not soared to the top of the charts straightaway, fans are still getting used to seeing many players in new colours.Watching Madrasi R. Ashwin turn out as skipper for Kings XI Punjab is a new experience, more so with a maverick entertainer in Virender Sehwag as the mentor. Down South, or should we now say, in West, Chennai Super Kings are trying to adjust to their new base – Pune.If this is not confusing enough, Gautam Gambhir’s shift from Kolkata Knight Riders to Delhi Daredevils and Dinesh Karthik as the new leader of KKR add to it.If you talk of club football in Europe, the fan loyalty is fierce. It doesn’t matter whether the fans live in Europe or in India, Be it Man U fans or Liverpool fans, they are sworn loyalists. With Arsene Wenger deciding to bid goodbye to Arsenal as the boss at the end of the season, there is a sense of sadness for many who have followed his exploits.To be sure, as an entertainment format, one has not got to see such fierce loyalties in the IPL. What has hurt the fans most are the ardent Chennai Super Kings followers, who have been deprived of watching MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh showcase their skills at Chennai’s MA Chidambaram stadium.Anyone who has followed the Cauvery water crisis over the decades ought to know the fight between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu will not end in the near future. Sadly, the same Cauvery issue has forced Chennai Super Kings matches to be shifted out.advertisementAs it were, after a two-year ban, Chennai fans were waiting for this IPL edition to begin. There is a special train – Whistle Podu Express – from Chennai to Pune for IPL matches, which is perhaps why you can still see the canary yellow T-shirts inside the stadium. But that’s not the same as watching in Chennai.The other day, Sehwag posted an interesting comment on Twitter: I saved the IPL by picking @henrygayle. As an old timer who has shown what it is to use the bat as a bludgeon in the IPL and made life miserable for the bowlers, Gayle still rocks.His appetite for power hitting is very different when compared to the shot execution by MS Dhoni, who has a bad back and uses more of his arm muscle. God’s gift, so to say.Gayle no longer plays for the West Indies and almost did not get picked in the IPL auction. For Sehwag to say he saved IPL may be a bit too much as he actually saved the left-hander and his own team which is looking sharp this season.If you look at fresh batting talent in this IPL, there is none. The same Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik, KL Rahul and Sanju Samson are scoring runs. At least, that is the trend in the first fortnight.Talk of bowling, leg spinner Mayank Markande from Punjab, an under-19 player has fared well for Mumbai Indians. Mayank has not done anything worth note in first class cricket, so this is a bonus for him.At a time when high scores have become a pattern, the bowling badshahs continue to be old faces like Chris Woakes and Sunil Narine. Speedster Umesh Yadav, who did not have to bend his back in the tour to South Africa, is doing well this time and seems in good physical shape. If Umesh can sustain this intensity, he can hopefully be a good choice for the England tour.Hyped up Rashid Khan from Afghanistan is getting hit and Ravindra Jadeja is hardly bowling. If one were to look for fresh bowling talent, there is very little on view.Talk of Delhi Daredevils, they play Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday night. Under Gambhir, the side still looks unsettled and their bowling is a worry. Hopefully, when they start playing matches at home in Kotla from next week, there will be improvement.With the Capital still enjoying fair weather, Daredevils need to turn on the heat. Fans are waiting for it.last_img read more


first_imgThe Superintendent of the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Sioux City has resigned to accept a new position.The Diocese announced that Dr. Dan Ryan, has accepted the position of President at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.Dr. Ryan has been with the Diocese of Sioux City since July, 2009.The search for Dr. Ryan’s successor will begin immediately.Dr. Ryan will remain with the Diocese of Sioux City until June 30th.last_img

The Guardian view on 100-ball cricket: the sacred and the profane

first_imgThe announcement of a 100-ball form of cricket is yet more mildly depressing evidence that the glorious game is splitting into two forms: the classical and the popular. The former, Test cricket, is a codified, cultivated game played over five days and four long innings. It was amid the tactics and patience of “long-form” cricket that players cut their teeth. However, the classical game is dying in its pads. English county teams, who play the longer form, often get fewer spectators in a season than big football clubs get for one game. What are thriving are the “popular” shorter versions of cricket – their detractors consider them a different sport – such as the one-day game and Twenty20. These can be batting slugfests or target practice for pistol-quick bowling. Less treasured is the skill of building an innings and arranging the field to test a batsman’s – or woman’s – weaknesses. These are losses, aesthetic and otherwise, but the gain is popularity: 120 million people watched India’s domestic 2016 T20 final.It did not have to be this way. English cricket has never been more popular than it was in 2005, when almost 23 million watched at least 30 minutes of England’s victorious Ashes series. Cricket became a victim of its own success: Sky bought the TV rights and the game disappeared from terrestrial television. Today it has never been less popular. The England and Wales Cricket Board’s own survey of schoolchildren showed that three in five didn’t even rank cricket in their top-10 favourite sports. Instead of invigorating the classical form of the game, the ECB has created a novel 100-ball format and a new eight-team, city-based tournament. While this paper will mourn the demotion of the Test version, a crumb of comfort is that cricket will be shown live on BBC for the first time in 21 years from 2020. India cricket team Read more IPL Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Opinion ECB In attempting to make cricket attractive, the 100-ball game is polluting the game’s best traditions. An innings split into 15 six-ball overs and another of 10 balls means the format would need a change the laws of the sport. This seems a step too far: why not just put the cash into the existing T20 competition? The answer is presumably that only the shock of the new can jolt life into the sport. India’s recent cricketing experience is worth recalling. It was only after India won the 2007 T20 World Cup in a heart-stopping final against old rivals Pakistan that the country embraced the fast and furious game. A year later and the laser shows, cheerleaders and Bollywood stars proved an instant hit. Today the domestic tournament attracts £400m in annual television rights from Star India. Players come from all over the world to pick up large pay packets. Yet Indians remain fascinated by a long innings of attrition and retain an eye for a bowler’s line and bounce.Now the ECB has decided to submit cricket to the cult of the unsentimental – prepared to reinvent the game to save it by pulling in a billion pounds mostly from Sky, but with the BBC to reach a wider audience. One can only hope English cricket can lure people to make excursions across the border between popular and classical forms. Twenty20 BBC Topics Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up England cricket team editorials Share on Pinterest Cricket … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Share on Facebook Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Jordan Pickford saves the day as England beat Switzerland on penalties

first_imgTrent Alexander-Arnold excelled down either flank, his delivery vicious to bypass the Swiss backline, to serve notice of his talent as England’s right-back for the foreseeable future. Yet, for all the collective’s interchanges and energy, incisive passes and clever runs, there was no goal to celebrate.Harry Kane, bursting beyond Manuel Akanji before conjuring a sublime first-time chip from an unkind angle, had struck the face of the crossbar within 100 seconds of the start. Raheem Sterling would smack a free-kick against the woodwork at the other end 115 minutes later. In between, the Manchester City winger scuffed a fine chance straight at Sommer, watched Dele Alli denied by the goalkeeper and head another fine chance over the bar, and saw Fabian Schär divert Danny Rose’s cross inadvertently on to his own post.When England did eventually force the ball home, the substitute Callum Wilson shovelling the rebound into the net after Dele had looped another header on to Sommer’s bar six minutes from the end of normal time, the VAR penalised the Bournemouth striker for a shove on Akanji in the buildup. 14 Chilwell 21 Omlin 18 Sow 21 Wilson 10 Xhaka On the face of it, this should have been cause for celebration. England have finished third at a major finals for the first time since the 1968 European Championships even if, for context, that was a tournament won by Italy who had claimed their semi-final on the toss of a coin and this, in truth, is an inaugural four-team jamboree crowbarred on to the end of a slog of a season.Then there is the national team’s new-found confidence at penalties, their conviction personified by Jordan Pickford first thumping his team’s fifth spot-kick beyond Yann Sommer – “It was a decent pen, wasn’t it?” he offered through a post-match grin –then saving Switzerland’s sixth, spat to his right by Josip Drmic. No England goalkeeper had ever previously taken a penalty in a competitive shoot-out and, even if tension had long since drained from the afternoon, here was the hero from the Spartak stadium last summer outdoing himself by excelling at both aspects of the drill. 6 Lang Share on Messenger Match stats 11 Steffen England beat Switzerland on penalties to secure third place in Nations League – as it happened Fouls 17 Zakaria ENG SWI 9 Seferovic 19 Rashford Lineups Goal attempts 23 Shaqiri Having seen previous England teams succumb in their previous five attempts at what was once considered an unscientific lottery, Gareth Southgate’s side have now prevailed in successive shootouts. That is quite a turnaround. And yet, from the near disdain with which the manager and his players treated the bronze medals awaiting them back in the dressing-room – some were apparently unaware there had even been a medal on offer, and did not seem particularly keen to root them out once informed – to the constant reminders that all this was not enough, they departed for home on Sunday night frustrated.Progress has been made in the last year, but the Nations League was supposed to yield a first trophy. That thirst has not been quenched. Southgate admitted the days since the semi-final lost to the Netherlands had been difficult, the sense of deflation palpable. “They took some lifting, but the significant step we’ve taken is the level of disappointment that we leave here having not got to the final or won the trophy,” he said. “We played fine on Thursday but made ridiculous mistakes. It was important we responded with a high level of performance.”They duly outplayed the Swiss here, only for profligacy to undermine their display. Thankfully, they were far more ruthless from the penalty spot than from open play.This game should have been settled by half-time in normal time, so dominant had Southgate’s side been. Four times the woodwork had been left quivering and, inevitably given events late on against the Dutch, there would be a reversal of a goal award from a VAR to endure before the end. Encouragement was to be gleaned from the slick approach play, invariably stemming from Pickford’s short delivery to Eric Dier or one of his centre-halves as a springboard for a foray upfield.John Stones spent all afternoon looking on from the bench, with England as composed here against unambitious opposition as they had been panicked against the more feverish Dutch press. Joe Gomez, utterly unflappable, and Harry Maguire coped far more comfortably this time round. 17 Delph 7 Lingard 1 Pickford 5 Akanji 15 Keane Read more Corners 8 Henderson 5 Switzerland Off target 10 England 6 Switzerland On target 6 England 14 17 14 Zuber 20 Fernandes Substitutes (s 113′) 3 Moubandje 23 Heaton Switzerland That effectively condemned all those present to endure the additional half-hour, not least with the Swiss – one battered Granit Xhaka attempt aside – utterly becalmed with minds drifting to summer holidays. Pickford kept that shot out, and enjoyed his moment in the dregs of the campaign.His penalty had been dispatched with glee. “I’d never taken one before, other than a few back in my school days,” said the goalkeeper, who would have taken England’s seventh attempt against Colombia last summer had it been required. “So it was a bit more nerve-racking. But I’ve practised a lot in training in the last three weeks, relaxed, went through my routine, and stepped up. I trusted my ability and my ball-striking.” His punch of the air was a highlight of the afternoon, though England would have preferred something far more tangible to celebrate from their six-day stint in Portugal. 5 Stones England 3 Rose 2 Walker Possession 19 Drmic 13 Rodriguez 4 Elvedicenter_img (s 70′) Switzerland Read more England 12 Mvogo Topics Substitutes Share via Email 1 Sommer Share on Pinterest England 2-1 Scotland: Women’s World Cup 2019 – as it happened 12 Gomez 20 Alli 10 Sterling 16 Ajeti 4 Dier 16 Rice 3 9 (s 87′) (s 106′) 56 44 7 Okafor 13 Butland 22 Schar Share on WhatsApp ENG56SWI44% 15 Benito (s 106′) 18 Barkley 9 Kane (s 75′) (s 60′) 22 Alexander-Arnold Nations League 11 Sancho The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. match reports Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 8 Freuler Share on LinkedIn 6 Maguire (s 65′) 2 Mbabu Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Merry Christmas from Touch Football Australia

first_imgOn behalf of the Touch Football Australia (TFA) Board of Management and staff, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their contribution to our sport over the 2015 year.As an organisation, we are extremely proud of everything that has been achieved and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in 2016.I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff for their ongoing enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to the goals we have set for Touch Football.The TFA office will be closed from Thursday, 24 December 2015 until Monday, 4 January 2016. Please be aware only limited staff will return at this time and this may result in a delay to your enquiries.We wish all of those involved in our game a safe and enjoyable Christmas period and a well deserved break. See you for what promises to be an exciting 2016.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.Colm MaguireChief Executive Officer – Touch Football AustraliaRelated LinksMerry Xmas From TFA!last_img read more

Delhi HC asks AAP govt to give admission to 130 students

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has asked the AAP government to give admission to 130 students, which was denied on various grounds, including lack of Aadhaar, in government schools here. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani sought a response of the AAP government on an NGO’s petition seeking direction to grant admission to 130 students in governmentschools here. According to the petition, these children were denied admission or readmission in schools on “flimsy” grounds, including address proof, lack of Aadhaar, transfer certificate, age and seats full. The court asked the government to grant admission to students within one week or give reasons for non-admission and listed the matter for further hearing on May 9. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderNGO Social Jurist, in its petition filed through advocate Ashok Agarwal, said denying admission or readmission to the students was “illegal” and “unconstitutional” and the children were forced to go out of the mainstream school system. “Despite several orders having been passed by this court from time-to-time in the PIL for grant of admission or readmission to students in the Delhi government schools, the pernicious practice of denial of admission or readmission is continuously going on and has been widely seen also in the current academic year of 2019-20,” he said.last_img read more

When An American History Museum Censors Palestinian Voices

By Nicole LopezSt. Louis – For a country that values free speech, it is shockingly difficult to organize an event including Palestinian voices. It is even more appalling when a history museum is the organization excluding these voices.Today, Thursday March 19, a unique event was set to take place at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. The panel discussion, entitled Ferguson to Ayotzinapa to Palestine: Solidarity and Collaborative Action, aimed to bring together people from various social movements in order to have a discourse on where they might parallel each other or even overlap. AltaVoz, the group hosting and moderating the event, had planned to include Organization for Black Struggle (OBS), Stl Latinos en Axion, and St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee on the panel. However, a mere 48 hours before the event was set to take place, the museum called with an ultimatum:  remove the Palestinians from the panel or find a new location to host the event.This came as a shock to the students, community members, and activists who had been planning the event for months and had been in communication with the MO History Museum since February 1st. According to Deren Pulley, event organizer and member of the group AltaVoz, the museum had known about the inclusion of Palestinian voices before agreeing to be the venue for the panel.“It has been very clear since February 23rd that St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee was going to be on the panel. Between February 23rd and March 4th, the history museum reviewed and approved our title, our event description, and our flier, all of which very explicitly include Palestine as a topic of discussion. As early as March 4, the history museum even posted all of this information on their website,” stated Pulley, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis.The event organizers have declined to undermine the entire purpose of the panel by removing Palestinian panelists, and will be standing in solidarity in front of the Missouri History Museum (Lindell side) starting at 6:30 pm tonight, when the panel was set to take place. At 7pm, the panelists will give statements of solidarity on behalf of their respective groups and reflect on the deliberate silencing of voices in a public forum.Event organizers have also started a social media campaign decrying the history museum’s choice to promote #SelectiveHistory by excluding certain voices. To join the conversation, get on Twitter to tweet your thoughts to @mohistorymuseum using the hashtag #SelectiveHistory.Historians should know more than anybody that history is written by the winners. By silencing certain voices, the museum is essentially erasing those perspectives from the historical record. I thought a history museum would know better than this. read more

Newfoundland shipper challenges federal ferry subsidies Thats not fair

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A marine shipping dispute is challenging the country’s constitutional obligation to its youngest province, as a newly released report finds federal subsidies for Marine Atlantic ferries are pricing private carriers out of the market.Marine Atlantic, a Crown corporation operating ferries between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, uses federal tax dollars to provide shipping at less than half its true cost, according to a Transport Canada report prepared by CPCS Transcom.The subsidies create a “market distortion and entry barrier” for private-sector players, the report said, noting that Marine Atlantic would have to double its prices or cut its operating costs in half to level the playing field.“In dollar terms the government of Canada provides live loads (driver-accompanied trucks) and drop trailers travelling on the Port Aux Basques routes with a subsidy of roughly $800 per direction,” the CPCS report said.The report was obtained by Oceanex Inc., a private marine shipper which is fighting Marine Atlantic in court, through an Access to Information request.“We’re not looking for a special deal. We just want a level playing field,” Oceanex executive chairman Capt. Sid Hynes said in an interview. “They’ve got a lot of money to play with and we’re saying that’s not fair.”When Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949, Ottawa promised a freight and passenger service between Port Aux Basques, N.L., and North Sydney, N.S.The CPCS report said the obligation is to provide a service that is priced “fairly and reasonably,” but Marine Atlantic rates are some of the lowest among Canadian operators.While Ottawa has an obligation to ensure affordable freight and ferry service, Hynes said the terms of union under the Newfoundland Act doesn’t say the service must be heavily discounted.Marine Atlantic has roughly 55 per cent of Newfoundland’s surface freight transportation market share, while Oceanex, which provides intermodal freight transportation between Newfoundland and terminals in Halifax and Montreal, has about 45 per cent, according to the report.The Crown corporation “doesn’t even cover 50 per cent of its full economic costs with its current pricing” an internal Oceanex briefing summary said.“With the aid of the subsidy, (Marine Atlantic) is pricing Oceanex out of the market, threatening Oceanex’s operational sustainability and affecting the livelihood of our close to 1,000 employees throughout Eastern Canada,” the briefing said.Marine Atlantic’s 2015-2016 annual report said the federal Crown Corporation “receives a significant annual subsidy” that totalled $337.9 million that year, three-quarters of its $444.9 million in spending.Darrell Mercer of Marine Atlantic noted in an email Tuesday that much of the federal spending that year — about $235 million — was a one-time capital investment, including $212 million for the purchase of two ferries. Its operating subsidy in 2015-16 was about $102 million, with cost recovery of 65.8 percent, he said.“Marine Atlantic … does not agree with many of the conclusions and characterizations contained in this report,” Mercer said in an email. “Marine Atlantic asserts that its rates have been established appropriately and is vigorously contesting the Oceanex court challenge (and Oceanex’s attempt to cause those rates to be significantly increased).”In addition to sizable capital and operating subsidies, the Oceanex briefing noted that Marine Atlantic also receives aid in the form of waived taxes, wharfage fees, and harbour duties.Oceanex has filed an application for judicial review of Marine Atlantic’s rates for commercial freight services. A judge is expected to hear the case on Oct. 23 in St. John’s, N.L.— By Brett Bundale in Halifax read more

Managers seek to balance morale productivity during NCAA basketball tournament

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Every year, the NCAA college basketball tournament gives employees a reason to goof off at their desks and root for their alma maters.But there’s a growing source of potential headaches for bosses. Media companies like hosts CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc.’s Turner are doing all they can to promote so-called TV Everywhere services, which add value to cable and satellite TV packages by allowing subscribers to watch live TV on smartphones and tablets while on the go — and on the job.Although people have long been able to stream games live over the Internet, employers have always had the option to block content to keep productivity high. That’s harder to do when workers are bringing their own devices and using their cellphone data plans to engage in March Madness.Turner Broadcasting senior vice-president Jeremy Legg says the tournament, which kicks off in earnest on Thursday, is “one of the most significant opportunities we have to promote TV Everywhere” — and stats show it’s working.Last year, streamed video viewing of the first two weeks of the tournament more than tripled from the previous year to 14 million hours. The number of viewers using the NCAA March Madness Live mobile app more than doubled to 3.4 million.Jumping on the bandwagon, Dish Network Corp. started a new ad campaign Tuesday that touts how well its Hopper set-top box can help customers sneak in some game-watching at work. One of Dish’s TV spots features the company’s stuffed kangaroo mascot, who is streaming NCAA basketball to a tablet while at the office. The marsupial tucks the device away when a manager walks by. “Hey boss, woo! I love working,” says the kangaroo.Dish’s chief marketing officer James Moorhead says it’s up to companies to trust their employees to get work done, even if they spend time watching the games. Dish is encouraging its own employees to watch games on their mobile devices during breaks at work. And the company has bolstered its Wi-Fi network to accommodate the expected increase in streaming during the NCAA tournament.“Who better to evangelize this than Dish?” Moorhead says.Although the devices employees bring to work can present challenges for managers, productivity experts suggest that well-communicated company policies set the right tone for appropriate workplace activity.“There needs to be clearly defined ground rules,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of job placement firm Office Team. Such rules include that deadlines can’t be missed, and that real money betting isn’t allowed.But office activities can be a good way of promoting good-natured competition and friendly interactions, he says. A poll the company released two weeks ago showed that 32 per cent of the 300 managers found participating in March Madness at work boosted morale, up from 20 per cent who thought so a year ago. About 62 per cent thought it had no impact on either morale or productivity.Barrett Coleman, a 30-year-old accountant in Chicago, says his former employer’s no-streaming policy had a subtle effect on his behaviour.His employer, one of the big four accounting firms, blocked Internet streams of the tournament to avoid congestion on its network. But it also set up TVs for game viewing in conference and break rooms.The Texas native didn’t technically break any rules when he followed his Longhorns using his mobile data plan to stream live video to the iPhone he kept propped up on his desk. Then again, he sensed that following the action so closely wasn’t entirely approved of.“You don’t really want to go to the break room and be standing there for a couple of hours,” said Coleman, who now works at a major consulting firm. “I can see why watching the video might have sent the wrong message to the people below me.”Chicago-based Trustwave Holdings Inc., a provider of Web filtering and security tools, says more information technology managers are taking a moderate approach by employing measures such as time limits to keep workers focused without dampening their enthusiasm.“Let’s say you give everybody an hour,” says Steve Kelley, Trustwave’s vice-president of product management. “They clearly state their policy so everybody knows what the situation is, and the employees act accordingly.”For some companies, active March Madness participation on the job can definitely help.Denise Sawyer, a reporter at WBOC-TV in Salisbury, Md., says her station’s $5-a-bracket pool not only brings employees from different departments together, it helps strengthen the news team’s bond with viewers.“It does produce this intangible profit,” she says. “People from our viewing audience love it.” by Ryan Nakashima, The Associated Press Posted Mar 19, 2014 12:58 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email American University players warm up during a practice session for their NCAA college basketball tournament game Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Milwaukee. American plays Wisconsin in round two on Thursday. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) Managers seek to balance morale, productivity during NCAA basketball tournament read more

UN chief condemns attack on Iranian exile camp in Iraq

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned a mortar attack on an Iranian exile camp near Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, which reportedly killed six people and injured several others. According to media reports, the Hurriya camp, formerly known as Camp Liberty, was attacked this morning while most of the residents were sleeping. Iraqi police officers were among the wounded. The camp serves as a transit facility for more than 3,000 exiles, most of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran, where a process to determine their refugee status is being carried out by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Camp residents were previously situated at Camp Ashraf in eastern Iraq, but were relocated last year, in line with an agreement signed in December 2011 between the UN and the Iraqi Government. “The Secretary-General calls on the Government of Iraq, which is responsible for the safety and security of residents of both Camp Liberty and Camp Ashraf, to promptly and fully investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice,” said Mr. Ban’s spokesperson in a statement. “He has repeatedly stated that violence and provocation are unacceptable.” Mr. Ban also reiterated the UN’s strong commitment to continue its long-standing efforts to facilitate a peaceful and durable solution for residents of both camps. The High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, expressed his shock about the attack calling it “a despicable act of violence.” “I call on the Iraqi Government to do everything it can to guarantee security to the residents,” he said. “The perpetrators must be found and brought to justice without delay.” In a news release, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said it is closely liaising with the Government on the response to the incident, including medical assistance to the wounded. Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in the country, Martin Kobler, has also asked Iraqi authorities to promptly conduct an investigation into the mortar explosions. read more

Study aims to improve community sports

Julie Stevens and Paul Jurbala are researching how to improve leadership in Canadian sports.Brock researchers are helping build stronger coaches and athletes through a new research project that benefits community sports.Researchers in the Centre for Sport Capacity are working on improving leadership in community sports. The three-year project is in collaboration with Canadian Sport for Life, Basketball Ontario, the Ontario Soccer Association, the Ontario Volleyball Association and the Toronto Sport Council.“Understanding how community sport organizations manage change will be a key element of the project,” said Paul Jurbala, a PhD student in Sport Management.With a grant of $482,600, workshops and training will be developed for community sports clubs and associations. The goal of the programs is to increase the community and provincial sport system capacity and encourage the quality of sport participation. The overall goal is to have a more active population and athletes empowered to reach their goals, said Julie Stevens, director of the Centre for Sport Capacity.“The lessons learned will help to support real sustainable change at the local level,” she said.The potential benefits are widespread. Sport is the largest volunteer activity in Canada, with more than 33,000 community sport organizations across the country, Jurbala said.“This is a huge social phenomenon that has an impact on the lives of most Canadians, typically young Canadians.”As the project progresses, Stevens will work with Jurbala to direct the research in community sport and conduct project evaluations. The research will identify community leaders in provincial sport organizations, help them train champions and empower community sport organizations to implement the changes. read more

Online payments company creates 10 new jobs

first_imgIT SERVICE PROVIDER Willow Consulting is creating ten new jobs in Dublin after a significant expansion of its services.Willows Consulting, which is based in Chase House, Northern Cross, Malahide Road, Dublin 17, specialises in online payments integration and eCommerce solutions that allow wholesalers to receive orders after hours.Full-time positionsThe majority of the new full-time positions are technical IT positions, with a number of clerical and back office roles also on offer.Sean Owens, Managing Director of Willow Consulting said they were delighted to be able to provide the new positions at the firm, stating that the new full-time jobs “demonstrates our commitment to creating jobs in the local community”.Apply“While this expansion will initially cover the Dublin area, in the new year we plan to move into the UK,” Mr Owens added.Willows Consulting counts among its clients CityJet, Oxigen, Easytrip, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Chadwick’s, where its new ‘click and collect’ allows customers reserve stock before committing to a trip to the store.Interested candidates should visit the website to apply.Read: Graduates face tough recruitment process for jobs in Gilmore’s department>Read:  100 new jobs announced for Alltech in Dunboyne>last_img read more

Barack Obama salutes BOD at annual White House Shamrock ceremony

first_imgFIRST HE CLAIMED to be Robbie Keane’s Irish cousin, now US President Barack Obama is paying tribute to rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll.President Obama was speaking at the annual Shamrock ceremony at the White House in Washington, DC when he referenced O’Driscoll’s farewell to Test match rugby.He said, “I’m especially grateful that they’re here at a time when the rest of Ireland is focused on the final round of the Six Nations rugby tournament and the last match of the legendary Brian O’Driscoll.”The comments drew a cheer from the Irish contingent at the White House. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny was also in attendance but kept his composure, allowing himself the wryest of smiles.Earlier in the day, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore caught up with O’Driscoll in Paris to present the country’s leading try-scorer with a framed picture, marking his rugby exploits, on behalf of the Irish Government. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHOO’Driscoll will line out in the Irish 13 jersey for the final time at Stade de France from 5pm on Saturday as Joe Schmidt’s team chase Six Nations championship glory.Adrian Flavin: ‘Relax Ireland, BOD and the boys have got this’Evocative artwork and raising a toast in Peru – two stunning BOD tributeslast_img read more

Jeux en ligne 44 millions de comptes piratés

first_imgJeux en ligne : 44 millions de comptes piratésL’éditeur d’antivirus Symantec vient de révéler avoir découvert, lors de l’analyse d’un nouveau malware, une base de données contenant quelque 44 millions de comptes de jeux vidéo en ligne.Dans un rapport récemment publié, Symantec annonce en effet l’existence d’une base de données volée de 17 Go, qui concernerait 44 millions de comptes sur dix-huit sites de jeux en ligne. À lire aussi”Trash Tag Challenge” : le défi utile qui incite Twitter et Instagram à nettoyer la planèteCes données auraient été récupérées grâce à des chevaux de Troie tels que Infostealer.gampass ou Trojan.Loginck, et ce sont les utilisateurs du site chinois Wayi Entertainment qui ont été le plus touchés, avec 16 millions de comptes compromis. Vient ensuite le coréen NCsoft dont deux millions de comptes ont été piratés depuis la plate-forme PlayNC. Quant aux jeux de rôle en ligne les plus populaires comme Aion ou World of Warcraft, ils ont été relativement épargnés, avec respectivement environ 60.000 et 210.000 comptes piratés.Les comptes volés ont bien sûr pour vocation d’être vendus au plus offrant, au sein d’un véritable commerce parallèle. Les comptes des personnages virtuels les plus évolués des jeux de rôle en ligne peuvent en effet être revendus jusqu’à 28.000 dollars.Le 1 juin 2010 à 16:03 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

New Zika cases for TCI Activity to control revealed

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, September 20, 2016 – Three new cases of Zika for the Turks and Caicos confirmed the Government in a media release yesterday; taking the country count to 11.   Additionally, Government finally explains where the approved half a million in spending for Zika Virus control is going to be used, and half is set aside for the desperate problem of street cleaning.  Residents have been vocal about the quietness and about the apparent inactivity of the country’s Ministry of Health in the aftermath of the announcement since July; that Zika is here in TCI.  Weeks of that silence is broken and on Monday there was an update on an ongoing action plan which includes a breakdown in how that $500 thousand dollars – shifted from other capital works projects – will be used to fight the bite.  The Ministry of Health says, about $80k will be used for the promotion and awareness initiative by Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit while approximately $250k will be used for street cleaning by Public Works Department. It means, $170 thousand dollars is earmarked for the Environmental Health Department for staff support and other resource needs.  While the resource needs and augmentation of staff at EHD are not detailed, the report does – by island – say what has been done between February and August.  It lists that 2,147 premises inspections have been conducted; Grand Turk got the most of those… that there were 48 island wide clean ups, Provo led with 20… 594 swamp treatments, 469 fogging exercises in the six islands and in Grand Turk there been distribution of mosquito repellant to residents.  See more at Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:11 cases of zika now in tci, government reveals plans to control zika, half a million allocated in the fight against zikalast_img read more

ASA FarmerLeader Reappointed to USDA Biotech Advisory Committee

first_imgThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that ASA past-President and current Board member Alan Kemper has been reappointed to serve a second, two-year term on its Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture (AC21). Kemper has served on AC21 since 2011.The committee is charged with examining the long-term impacts of biotechnology on the U.S. food and agriculture system and USDA, and providing guidance to USDA on issues related to the application of biotechnology in agriculture. The AC21 is a broad-based committee representing a wide range of interests and agricultural expertise.Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has charged AC21 members with focusing on a specific topic in the near term: to develop practical recommendations for strengthening coexistence among different agricultural production methods.last_img read more