Category: djazwsdhzctn

Ronaldo is irreplaceable but others must step up – Courtois

first_imgReal Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted that former star Cristiano Ronaldo is “irreplaceable” at the club, but challenged his team-mates to pick up the baton in the wake of the Portuguese’s exit.The 33-year-old left Madrid for Juventus in July following a long and illustrious career with Los Blancos, with his departure coinciding with the exit of manager Zinedine Zidane.While the Champions League holders subsequently struggled to cope, with former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui fired following only a few months at the helm as the Frenchman’s replacement, they have since stabilised since Santiago Solari took the helm. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The former academy coach secured his first trophy this weekend with a 4-1 win over Al Ain in the Club World Cup final on Saturday, to ensure silverware for another season.Speaking to reporters, goalkeeper Courtois, who joined ahead of the campaign from Premier League giants Chelsea, stated that he believes it is up to the other key forwards to carry the goalscoring burden going forward.Karim Benzema has managed 11 so far this season, with Welshman Gareth Bale overcoming a rough patch to sit one behind that tally with 10.“Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable, you cannot forget what he did,” Courtois said.“But he is not here anymore, so it’s time for other players, like Bale did in the semi-finals [of the Club World Cup], to score the goals he [Ronaldo] used to score.“If we are able to do so, it’ll be fine.”Madrid’s victory over Al Ain assured them a third successive Club World Cup title in a row and means that the trophy will return to Spain for the fifth time in a row.Los Blancos previously defeated Japan’s Kashima Antlers in 2016 and Brazil’s Gremio in 2017, following their respective Champions League triumphs.They also claimed the crown in 2014, against Argentina’s San Lorenzo, while rivals Barcelona prevailed victoriously in 2015 against River Plate.Solari’s side sit fourth in La Liga, eight points behind the Catalan club, though they do have a game in hand.They do not play again until 2019 though, when they make the trip to Villarreal on January 3.last_img read more

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GoodBulk Optimistic on Capesize Market Recovery

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Goodbulk Monaco-based bulker owner and operator GoodBulk delivered a stronger profit for the period ended June 30, 2018, driven by a recovery in the Capesize market.The company said it remains optimistic that the Capesize market is in the early stages of a cyclical recovery supported by stronger fundamentals on both the demand for tonnage and supply of vessels, as evidenced by the stronger spot rates for Capesizes this year compared to 2017.During the second quarter of 2019, the company earned an average gross time charter equivalent rate (TCE) of $14,084 per day on its Capesize vessels, USD 13,149 per day on Panamax and USD 12,627 per day on Supramax vessels.On the demand side, new trade of seaborne coal from the United States to India as well as more longer haul Brazilian iron ore into China on Capesizes have contributed support to this segment.While GoodBulk is able to invest in dry bulk vessels ranging in size from 50,000 to 210,000 dwt, the company continues “to believe that secondhand Capesize vessels currently represent the most attractive risk adjusted return opportunity.” As such, the company continues to increase its capital allocation to this segment.The company’s net profit for the second quarter of 2018 surged to YSD 3.6 million, compared to USD 0.8 million seen a year earlier.For the first six months of the year, GoodBulk delivered a net profit of USD 12.6 million, up from USD 0.5 million reported in the first half of 2017.The second quarter of 2018 saw a continuation of the improvement in the Capesize market. Volatility continued to remain high, after bottoming at USD 7,051 per day on April 5, 2018, each month of the quarter showed sequential improvement resulting in an average of USD 13,963 per day for the first half of 2018.This corresponds to a 20.4% increase for the first half of 2018 versus the first half of 2017.“The Capesize segment is expected to see limited growth until 2020 following minimal new ordering in the last three years and the scrapping wave of 2015 and 2016. This fundamental position of demand and supply could result in a tight market in the remaining months of 2018 with a corresponding response in Capesize spot rates,” GoodBulk explained.last_img read more

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Hong Kong leader warns against path of no return

first_imgHong Kong: Pro-democracy protesters blocked passengers at Hong Kong’s airport Tuesday, causing further travel chaos a day after triggering an unprecedented shutdown and defying the city’s leader who warned against heading down a “path of no return”. The new rally came as Beijing sent further ominous signals that the 10 weeks of unrest must end, with state-run media showing videos of security forces gathering across the border. The crisis, which has seen millions of people take to Hong Kong’s streets, has become the biggest challenge to Chinese rule of the semi-autonomous city since its 1997 handover from Britain. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USHong Kong’s pro-Beijing leader, Carrie Lam, gave an at-times emotional press conference on Tuesday morning in which she warned of dangerous consequences if escalating violence was not curbed. “Violence, no matter if it’s using violence or condoning violence, will push Hong Kong down a path of no return,” Lam said. “The situation in Hong Kong in the past week has made me very worried that we have reached this dangerous situation.” But a few hours after her press conference, thousands of protesters returned to Hong Kong airport with many sitting down in front of security gates at the departure hall. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”I want to shut down the airport just like yesterday so most of the departure flights will be cancelled,” a 21-year-old student who gave his surname as Kwok told AFP at the rally. The protesters set up a long barricade made of luggage trolleys at one of the main security gates, then stood up to block passengers who sought to get through. On Monday a crowd that police said numbered 5,000 filled Hong Kong’s airport to denounce what they said were violent tactics by police in trying to quell weekend rallies. Hong Kong’s airport authorities in response cancelled all flights on Monday afternoon. Operations resumed on Tuesday morning but hundreds of flights were cancelled even before the fresh afternoon action caused further chaos. The protesters chanted: “Stand with Hong Kong, stand for freedom,” and daubed graffiti that included the term “an eye for an eye”. This was in reference to a serious facial injury that reportedly caused a woman to lose the vision in one eye at a demonstration that turned violent on Sunday night. The demonstrators accused police of causing the injury by firing a bean-bag round. While the disruptions caused headaches for travellers, many said they sympathised with the protesters. “The protesters are the loveliest people in the world,” said Pete Knox, a 65-year-old Brit on his way to Vietnam. “I understand the basics of the protest and they’ve got a point: it’s about freedom and democracy and it’s incredibly important.” The protests began in opposition to a bill that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland, but quickly evolved into a broader bid to reverse a slide of rights and freedoms in the southern Chinese city. Authorities in Beijing on Monday slammed violent protesters who threw petrol bombs at police officers, linking them to “terrorism”. On Tuesday state media upped the ante, calling protesters “mobsters”, warning they must never be appeased and raising the spectre of mainland security forces intervening to quash them. The official state news agency Xinhua warned in a commentary Tuesday that “violent radicals” were pushing Hong Kong into an “abyss”. In a video posted on its Weibo channel, a CCTV anchor warned viewers: “When dealing with terrorism, there is no soft hand”. Meanwhile, videos promoted by state media showed Chinese military and armoured vehicles appearing to gather in the southern city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong. The UN rights chief on Tuesday voiced concern over police force used against protesters during massive demonstrations in Hong Kong and called for an impartial probe. A senior US administration official on Monday urged “all sides” to avoid violence. “Societies are best served when diverse political views are respected and can be freely and peacefully expressed,” the official said on condition of anonymity.last_img read more

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Fredericton latest Canadian city to grapple with drivethru woes

first_imgThe City of Fredericton will spend $40,000 to direct motorists around a busy Tim Hortons in the latest move by a Canadian municipality to curb traffic headaches and other concerns caused by restaurant drive-thrus.At a transportation committee meeting this week, councillors approved the plan to construct a “traffic circle” at the end of the street and introduce a bylaw banning left turns into the restaurant’s drive-thru.Earlier this month, a Halifax official asked drivers to stay home in the immediate aftermath of post-tropical storm Dorian, noting that hundreds of cars backed up at drive-thrus were impeding cleanup efforts.A 2018 study published in the journal BMC Public Health by public health researchers at the University of Alberta found 27 Canadian municipalities across six provinces had adopted partial or full bans on fast food drive-thru service between 2002 and 2016.Reasons cited included community aesthetics and safety, traffic issues, litter, noise and concerns about air pollution.None of the municipalities identified obesity and chronic disease as a motivation, but the researchers noted that research into such bylaws could inform future policy development around chronic disease prevention.This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 20, 2019.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Moroccan Ambassador Fouad Yazourh Awarded Argentinas Highest Honor for Diplomatic Mission

Rabat – Morocco’s Ambassador to Argentina Fouad Yazourh has been honored with the Order of the Liberator San Martin, Grand Cross for his diplomatic mission in the country.The state decoration was handed to the Moroccan ambassador during an official ceremony held at the San Martin Palace on Thursday. The ceremony was marked by the attendance of high-level officials, including Daniel Raimondi, Argentina’s Deputy Minister of External Relations, and ambassadors of the Arab and Islamic countries accredited in Argentina.During the ceremony, Raimondi lauded Yazourh’s diplomatic efforts that helped promote bilateral ties between the two countries, emphasizing that “relations between Argentina and Morocco can be strengthened in a more intense and enriching way.” Raimond has also underscored the various initiatives and activities conducted by the Moroccan diplomat to make Morocco known in the South American country. The Argentinian official has also lauded Yazourh initiatives intended to make Moroccan culture and values known in Argentina.According to Maghreb Arab Press, the importance of bilateral ties between the two countries were underscored during the visit of Gabriela Michetti, Vice President of Argentina in July.During her visit, Michetti has met with several Moroccan officials, with whom she discussed means to reinforce cooperation in different fields.Speaking about the Moroccan-Argentina relations, Yazourh said that the relations between the two countries  knew in the last years, an important exchange of visits, which reflects the quality of “the excellent relations between the two countries that share values based on the defense of peace and the adoption of dialogue as the only way to resolve conflicts.”The Moroccan diplomat said that the visit of the Vice President of Argentina to Morocco “gave a new impetus to the excellent links between Buenos Aires and Rabat.”According to Yazourh, Morocco and Argentina are two countries, whose relations are based on trust and mutual respect, adding that the countries are working to deepen and diversify the links that unite them. “There is no doubt that we have been able to consolidate bilateral relations characterized by maturity, openness and multiple dimensions.” read more

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Climate change not just concern of scientists but of all – UN

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said that in looking at the range of international environmental issues, “climate change is clearly the preoccupation of the world today.” Speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters, where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has convened a summit of world leaders to discuss the phenomenon, Mr. Steiner noted that climate change has also “graduated from being an issue that is the responsibility of the North alone or a preoccupation of the industrialized world to being increasingly perceived as a direct and immediate and very costly threat to developing nations.” He pointed out that today’s meeting follows on the heels of a major agreement reached over the weekend by the 191 signatories of the Montreal Protocol to sign up to an accelerated freeze and phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) – the chemical compound which damages the ozone layer and also contributes to climate change. That outcome, said Mr. Steiner, showed that nations “convinced by the signs” and “in agreement on how to move forward” can deliver concrete targets and timelines for acting together.Today’s gathering also comes in the run-up to a meeting to be held in December in Bali, Indonesia, where countries will negotiate a global greenhouse gas emissions reductions agreement to kick in after 2012, when the current legally binding Kyoto Protocol is set to expire.He referred to the Kyoto Protocol as the “first stage” in developing a whole framework for international collaboration on climate change, adding that it is very likely that the post-2012 agreement will contain more issues, broader mechanisms and more opportunities for collaboration. He said the “crucial litmus test” for the post-Kyoto agreement will be whether it begins to address the reduction of emissions as outlined by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which affirmed earlier this year that global warming is directly linked to human activity.He called the IPCC the “incontrovertible reference point that nations are now using to define both their assessment of the nature of global warming, its potential impacts and the directions in which we need to move.” The Executive Director also highlighted the economic dimension of climate change which has taken “centre stage” in discussions, particularly in relation to what sort of investment decisions are needed today to ensure a low-carbon economy tomorrow. He cited the need for a better understanding of the “cost of consumption,” as well as the need to “act more intelligently” by investing in innovative and energy-efficient technology. Also important in that regard is how the industrialized world helps growing economies in the developing world make that technology transition much faster. “That is also what’s at the heart of the negotiations in Bali at the end of this year.”Climate change is not about whether to turn the lights off or keep them on, he stressed. “It’s about how we run our economy and how we reflect the costs our economic activity imposes on the planet.” 24 September 2007Today’s high-level gathering in New York builds on an “unprecedented momentum” of public and political attention that is now being given to climate change, which is no longer just the preoccupation of scientists or negotiators but has become a “people’s issue,” according to the top United Nations environmental official. read more

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Transcontinental Inc hikes dividend by 6 after doubling of firstquarter profit

MONTREAL — Transcontinental Inc. said Tuesday it is raising its dividend rate by 6% with its next quarterly payment on April 30.The Montreal-based printing and publishing company announced the dividend hike, to 17 cents per share quarterly and 68 cents on an annual basis, along with financial results showing a substantially higher first-quarter profit.Its adjusted earnings rose 36.7% to $36.1 million, or 46 cents per share. Net income more than doubled to $37.9 million or 49 cents per share. Revenue grew 1.1% to $504.6 million.Analysts had estimated 38 cents per share of earnings and $515.78 million of revenue.Transcontinental said its profit benefited from restructuring its operations through acquisitions, divestitures and closures as well as cost-cutting and the rising value of the U.S. dollar.It added that revenue growth was reduced by a slowdown in flyer printing and a challenging market for advertising spending.Transcontinental laying off workers as 20 newspapers cease publicationTranscontinental ends 61-year-run for TV Guide Canada, digital listings to continue read more

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Security Council told of indiscriminate brutal killings children face in conflict

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, said that she was appalled by the total disregard for human life shown by extremist armed groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Boko Haram. The situation also remains dire in Syria, she said as she presented the Secretary-General’s latest report on children and armed conflict.“ISIL has tasked boys as young as 13 to carry weapons, guard strategic locations or arrest civilians. Other children are used as suicide bombers,” said Ms. Zerrougui. According to UN monitoring, up to 700 children have been killed or maimed in Iraq since the beginning of the year, including in summary executions. Meanwhile, Boko Haram has attacked schools, leading to the death of at least 100 students and 70 teachers in 2013. Over 200 girls abducted by Boko Haram in April are still missing, while the armed group continues to attack and kidnap other children. In Gaza, over 500 children were killed and more than 1,300 injured, Ms. Zerrougui said, calling for a thorough investigation of the impact of the war on children. Thousands of displaced families are still living in schools and access to education for the children of Gaza is expected to remain limited. At least 244 schools were damaged or destroyed by Israel’s armed forces during recent fighting.“We cannot afford impunity in the face of such grave violations of international law that in some cases may amount to war crimes,” said the Special Representative. Many other situations witnessed grave violations against children in 2013 and face similar challenges today. Instability and rising tensions in Libya, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Mali and South Sudan continue to threaten children. The Special Representative’s presentation took place almost exactly six months after the launch with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) of the joint campaign ‘Children, Not Soldiers’, which works toward a goal of “no children in Government forces by the end of 2016.” The Government of Chad has already fulfilled all the requirements and pledged to prevent the recruitment of children in its armed forces. In May, Yemen became the 7th country to sign an action place. Progress has also been achieved in South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “Longstanding peace will never be achieved without giving the children the means, skills, and education to re-build a society and institutions torn by armed conflict,” Ms. Zerrougui said, stressing that more must be done to include special provisions for children affected by conflict into peace agreements. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, stressed that coordination of action with international child protection partners was instrumental in addressing the plight of children. Establishing partnerships with States in which UN peacekeeping operations are deployed was also important because States hold the primary responsibility of protecting children. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) would spare no efforts to promote the Children, Not Soldiers campaign and support the Governments and security forces of Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to be free of child soldiers by 2016. But beyond the campaign, Governments must also set the example and support access for monitoring, assistance, and engagement with armed troops, he noted. When negotiating ceasefires, States must prioritize the inclusion of non-negotiable child protection provisions in all agreements. Robust action against armed groups holding child soldiers has also taken place, Mr. Ladsous said. To this end, a specialized training unit on child protection for the military has been developed and shared with countries contributing troops to UN operations. Also briefing the Council was Forest Whitaker, Academy award-winning actor and Special Envoy of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for Peace and Reconciliation, who returned yesterday from South Sudan. “After meeting with generals on the ground, soldiers and civilians, I fear that there is no end in sight to the violence,” Mr. Whitaker said, describing a scene of thousands of civilians seeking shelter in over-crowded camps because they are too afraid to go back home. In the protection camp in Bentiu, he reported, malnutrition is causing some children’s hair to turn red. Throughout the country, hundreds of schools are empty and some have turned into military camps, as thousands of young people go without food. “Perhaps worst of all, walking through the cities, I saw child soldiers wearing military uniforms and carrying guns,” Mr. Whitaker said.In Uganda, he said the Lord’s Resistance Army would kidnap children from their villages, forcing them to kill those they loved. In some cultures, being a soldier is seen as a rite of passage, and many children join for the honour of supporting their tribes. “We may take a child out of an army, but unless we do more for him – help him re-enter society, enrol him in a good school, teach him a useful trade – we have not set him free,” said Mr. Whitaker. read more

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Yemen UNmediated peace talks continue following trilateral meeting with Ban in Qatar

In Qatar over the weekend, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon participated in a trilateral meeting with the Amir of Qatar and President Hadi of Yemen, which the Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, also attended, according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s office. To President Hadi, the Secretary-General underlined that peace negotiations are rarely smooth, but that there was a need for “commitment and perseverance” by all sides. “He said he strongly hoped that the talks that will shortly resume in Kuwait will lead to concrete results, and he appreciated Qatar’s support,” said the statement, which is dated 21 May. During the meeting, Mr. Ban also requested the special envoy to respond to the recent letter received from the Government of Yemen. At the time, the President of Yemen confirmed that he would send the Government’s delegation back to the talks as requested by the Amir of Qatar and the Secretary-General, according to the statement. The Secretary-General added that, in parallel to the peace talks, all parties needed to redouble their efforts to provide and facilitate humanitarian and other supplies, including fuel, to alleviate the “appalling living conditions” of millions of Yemeni citizens, the statement said. Today, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed expressed his gratitude to the Yemeni Government for the decision to return to the negotiating table and called on all the parties to make progress, in order to alleviate the burden placed on the Yemeni people.“Peace talks are always complicated and require time; however I urge the Yemeni parties to exert all possible effort to reach a sustainable peace agreement in the near future. Any delay wastes time and causes the tragic losses,” he said. read more

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Lake Chad Basin crisis is both humanitarian and ecological – UN agriculture

FAO has developed a three-year strategy for the Lake Chad Basin crisis to improve food security and nutrition, focusing on women and youth. Photo: FAO/Pius Utomi Ekpei “This is not only a humanitarian crisis, but it is also an ecological one,” José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said at a media briefing in Rome following his visit last week to some of the worst affected areas in Chad and north-eastern Nigeria.He underscored that the crisis is rooted in decades of neglect, lack of rural development and the impact of climate change, and the only way to ensure a lasting solution is to address these including through investments in sustainable agriculture. “This conflict cannot be solved only with arms. This is a war against hunger and poverty in the rural areas of the Lake Chad Basin,” stressed the FAO Director-General. “Peace is a prerequisite” to resolve the crisis in the region, but this is not enough, Mr. Graziano da Silva said. “Agriculture, including livestock and fisheries, can no longer be an afterthought. It is what produces food and what sustains the livelihoods of about 90 per cent of the region’s population.”Some seven million people risk suffering from severe hunger in the Lake Chad Basin, which incorporates parts of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and north-eastern Nigeria. In the latter, some 50,000 people are facing famine. While fighting and violence have caused much of the suffering, the impact of environmental degradation and climate change – including repeated droughts – is exacerbating the situation, continued the FAO Director-General.He noted that since 1963, Lake Chad has lost some 90 per cent of its water mass with devastating consequences on food security and the livelihoods of people depending on fishing and irrigation-based agricultural activities. Furthermore, while Lake Chad has been shrinking, the population has been growing, including millions displaced from conflict areas. Food assistance and long-term investment productionFAO and its partners, including other UN agencies, are calling on the international community for urgent support – a combination of immediate food assistance and food production support – to make assuage hunger in the region.Mr. Graziano da Silva reiterated that should farmers miss the coming May/June planting season, no substantial harvests will be seen until 2018, leading to more widespread, severe hunger and prolonged dependency on external assistance. He recalled FAO’s Response Strategy (2017-2019) for the crisis, which includes distributing cereal seeds and animal feed and providing cash transfers and veterinary care to enable displaced farmers and voluntary returnees to get a substantial harvest, replenish their food stocks and prevent animal losses among vulnerable herders. The FAO Director-General warned that the situation reflects the threats facing other African countries where a combination of ethnic or religious tensions fuelled by rural poverty and unemployment could escalate to full-scale crises.In the Lake Chad Basin region, FAO is working with farmers and displaced people to assist with producing food and selling surplus in the markets, which includes distributing cash vouchers that help stimulate markets for agricultural products.Additionally, the agency, together with its partners, is exploring the possibility of introducing irrigation techniques to save water, and then helping to train farmers in using them. read more

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NCAA Tournament future on the fence

The Ohio State women’s basketball team remains embroiled in a heated race for positioning in Big Ten play. With just four games remaining in the regular season, it is safe to say that parity has reigned in Big Ten women’s basketball this year. A recent two-game winning streak placed the Buckeyes (15-9, 6-6 Big Ten) back in the postseason picture. OSU earned a 90-67 victory against Purdue (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten) Thursday at Nationwide Arena to improve to 5-6 in the conference. The Buckeyes then traveled to Minnesota (11-14, 3-9 Big Ten) on Sunday for a game that coach Jim Foster described as a test of his team’s maturity. OSU fought off a late Golden Gophers charge to hang on for the win and even their conference record at 6-6. With the game tied, 71-71, in the second half, the Buckeyes took the last of the contest’s many lead changes and hung on for an 83-76 win. Senior center Jantel Lavender led OSU in scoring with 29 points. In the process, she scored her 2,587th point, passing Katie Smith to become the all-time leading scorer in program history. After Thursday’s win, Foster said his team could hardly afford to focus on its position in the conference standings, even with recent progress. “I haven’t looked at the standings; I’m not going to look at the standings,” Foster said. “We’re not in position to look into the future.” Foster has emphasized an inward-looking approach to his players, but Purdue coach Sharon Versyp provided insight into the depth and competitiveness of the Big Ten this year. “There’s at least seven teams that should go to the NCAA (Tournament),” Versyp said. “We’re beating each other up because it is a great conference. I hope people notice it.” According to Versyp’s estimation, the Buckeyes, No. 7 in the Big Ten, could be on the cusp of hearing their names called on Selection Sunday. OSU will have more chances to impress the selection committee as it still has matchups against the top three Big Ten programs ahead. The Buckeyes will host Penn State on Thursday before traveling to Purdue and Michigan State. Their regular season will end Feb. 27 at home against Wisconsin. Thursday’s game against the Lady Lions tips off at 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

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Balkan trio to HC Dinamo Minsk

Boris DeničDamir DoboracDavid Miklavcichandball transfersHC Dinamo MinskUros Bundalo ← Previous Story Dejan Peric farewell match on May 31 in “Zlatorog” Next Story → Bera Bera wins Spanish championship! HC Dinamo Minsk new coach, Boris Denic has a strong faith in players from Balkan. Three players from this region signed contract with the Belarusian champion in just a few days after he become appointed as a new head-coach. Playmaker Damir Doborac (33) is coming from RK Gradacac (BiH), where he spent last season after more serious part in German SC Magdeburg and Slovenian Cimos Koper.Right back David Miklavcic (3o) is coming from Slovenian champion RK Gorenje Velenje, while line-player Uros Bundalo (24) plays for RK Cimos Koper. read more

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How young is too young for smartphones

first_imgPrimary schools nationwide are introducing smartphone bans, as the usage of smartphone technology increases among children as young as five.The smartphone debate has been prevalent since the rise of the digital age in Australia, now focusing on age appropriateness at primary schools; ultimately, how young is too young for a smartphone at school?For educational psychologist and Melburnian mother of two Kathy Astrinakis, prep is simply too young for a smartphone at school. “Ages five and six are far too young for smartphones at school. They are not age appropriate.” There are many reasons why Astrinakis believes this. Ultimately, children at ages five and six are too immature to handle the limitless accessibility of information provided by a smartphone. Unlike a ‘dumb’ phone that does not have access to the internet and web applications, smartphones provide young children with infinite access to information which Astrinakis believes children “are not emotionally and cognitively ready for”. She further claims that there is also an after-effect of this accessibility in terms of wrongfully exposing content to classmates. Smartphones also hold social implications for primary school students and their friends. Astrinakis states that having a smartphone can produce a “social ripple affect”, whereby students without smartphones feel excluded and feel it a mandatory need to also attain a smartphone. Jenny Radesky, a clinical instructor in Developmental Behavioural Paediatrics at Boston University Medical Centre is also concerned about childhood development upon the usage of smartphones. In a recent report released by the medical centre in February, Radesky alluded to the idea that new age technological devices “may replace hands-on activities important for the development of sensory motor and visual motor skills” which are used to develop the empathy, social and problem-solving skills of a child. For Julie Melemenis – Melbourne mother of three primary school-aged children – the social effect extends beyond exclusion and development by filtering into the way our children socialise with one other. Melemenis is calling for socialisation on the playground rather than cyber space. “There is plenty time for being obsessed with phones in adulthood – let kids be kids!”Other topics raised by the debate include security issues. While some parents feel children who walk to school alone need smartphones for safety, schools are ultimately concerned with the security of the phone and the ability for theft.The smartphone debate is multidimensional in nature. Gone are the days when real time conversation was more prevalent than technological communication, and where children were left at school to learn at a traditional pace. As the presence of the digital age grows ever looming, so will the debates that surround it, and the smartphone debate is a prime example of this. While opinions vary, Astrinakis reminds parents that ultimately, having a smartphone in primary school is too premature an experience. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Sheriff 300 homes burned in Washington wildfire

first_imgTWISP (AP) — About 300 homes — twice as many as previously estimated — have burned in the largest recorded wildfire in Washington state history, a county sheriff said Friday.Officials had placed the number of homes destroyed at 150 in north-central Washington’s Carlton fire complex. But Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said he knew that figure would rise because crews hadn’t been able to reach some of the burned areas.The updated estimate came after Rogers and his deputies drove 750 miles of roadway through the blackened area, surveying the devastation.“It’s every road. Every road lost something,” Rogers said. “It looks like a moonscape; there’s nothing left. There’s hundreds of dead livestock. It’s horrifying.”At nearly 400 square miles, the lightning-caused Carlton Complex has eclipsed the 1902 Yacolt Burn, which killed 38 people and consumed about 373 square miles, or 238,920 acres, in southwest Washington. The Carlton Complex has been blamed for the death of a man who appeared to suffer a heart attack while trying to protect his property.Fire crews have reported good progress in the last few days, with cooler weather and rain helping in getting the fire a little more than half contained. But officials were concerned that hotter, drier weather and wind gusts in the forecast could increase fire activity.last_img read more

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Making Yourself Mobile

first_imgPublishers can make choices about their product lines and priorities that affect the transition, though.“The key question for me, a publisher, isn’t whether you should be doing things in the mobile space,” says Tim Hartman, president of Atlantic Media’s Government Executive Media Group. “It’s how important the mobile strategy is to your business and your audience. There’s a mixture of building a technology platform that is extensible, but also having a content strategy that supports the incremental effort it takes to build really useful products in each of those places.”One Size Fits AllFor Hartman’s b-to-b audience, mobile is integral.Government Executive redesigned its website, launched a mobile site and debuted an app last year as part of a growing commitment to the platform. A new brand, Defense One, will do the same when it’s unveiled this summer.From news to alerts to embedded tools, each product serves a different purpose, so Hartman believes they have to have a strong presence on each.The range of products makes production complex, though.“We figured out very early on in our digital process that we needed to streamline things,” says Krystle Kopacz, general manager of digital for the Government Executive Media Group. “One of the key pillars of [mobile integration] is trying to figure out how we can support more products across more devices with the same team, both from a technical and editorial perspective.”Originally scattered across three separate CMSs, Kopacz’ team built a proprietary Django platform to accommodate production across each of their digital products. They now have a single workflow. A few clicks tell the CMS if the content should be posted on the site, the app or even in a push notification or email alert—everything else is the same.That simplicity helps in getting newcomers up to speed and in freeing up her team to move from maintenance to product development.There’s a limit to the expansion though, both Kopacz and Hartman acknowledge, or at least the rate of it. “There’s a danger of building too many one-off projects that don’t add value over the long term,” Hartman says. “You may see an opportunity that is a short-term mobile revenue source, but publishers have to plan for a long-term mobile strategy. If you start responding to quick revenue wins, you’re probably going to build a very complex, technical architecture that is not scalable and will not serve you well in the future.”A Parade of ChangesParade has undertaken a number of digital initiatives recently, including a new responsive mobile site and an app, but its changes come as part a larger strategic content shift.The 72-year-old Sunday weekly is pursuing a more vertical content approach online, increasing production volume with a contributor network and organizing its stories into more specialty subsections. It has more content, by more writers, spread across more areas.As those silos and streams populate, it becomes important for that content to be managed from a single source, though. There’s a need to expand and consolidate at the same time.“In order to do that, we needed to build the business and technological infrastructure,” says Steve McNally, vice president and general manager of digital at Parade. “I knew that we needed to tear down the walls between those silos and have one canonical place where everything is going to happen. This is where all the creation, packaging and promotion of this content is going to happen, and it’s going to be in one place and be available across platforms at the same time.”McNally turned to a WordPress-based CMS that would accommodate content creation previously scattered across separate CMSs for the Web, mobile-only sites and platform-specific apps.Moving to a popular system like WordPress also made the transition easier for editorial staff, while allowing McNally to dip into a wider talent pool for his new digital development team and giving him access to existing features already in the marketplace. Parade was able to focus on the user experience and save resources that would have been spent customizing a proprietary system prelaunch.Migrating more than nine years of legacy content to the new site has been a challenge, McNally admits. Rather than tackle it as part of the launch, however, he’s been doing it incrementally. Certain sections of the Parade domain retain the old design elements.“That was a very purposeful move,” he says. “Tying a migration effort into a completely new build-out effort, which itself was tied into a completely new business model, is not something you want to tangle with all at once.”Step By StepThe strategy behind the migration effort is indicative of a larger philosophy McNally is bringing to the overhaul: Iteration.It’s not important to deliver a completely finished product at the beginning, he says. He’ll be able to ensure a smoother transition if each element is treated as a living project.Parade’s new digital properties only recently graduated from beta status after almost six months of testing. McNally’s team has rolled out more than a dozen different releases since then. Some have been immediately noticeable, others have been more subtle, but they’re constantly tweaking.“I wouldn’t call it eternal beta,” he says, “but we’re constantly in a mode of listening to the conversation and looking at user engagement. We didn’t want to be beholden to launching a fully-formed platform or product that could take into account every conceivable interest.” It’s not news that mobile has become a strategic imperative for publishers.Smartphone ownership has now crossed the 50-percent mark in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center, while mobile users are reporting significantly higher content consumption levels across the board.But optimizing content for mobile is a challenge. And it doesn’t happen in a vacuum.Mobile optimization is often intertwined with browser changes and CMS overhauls, which means editorial staffs need to be trained on the new systems and years of legacy content have to be ported over, usually in a labor-intensive project. Moving to mobile can be a massive undertaking.last_img read more

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Boeing 737 MAX trouble hits airline shares traders brace for more turbulence

first_imgIndian pedestrians walk on Dalal Street – Trader’s Street – next to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai. On Wednesday the shares of SpiceJet and Jet Airways nosedived on a day when bulls were on the play following the DGCA decision to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft on their fleet.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty ImagesUS aircraft maker Boeing’s troubles with its highly successful B737 MAX 8 planes have hit the share valuation of its only two users in India, SpiceJet and Jet Airways. The shares of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)-listed SpiceJet, which has 13 of these highly fuel-efficient planes in operation, plunged early in the day after reports emerged that aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had asked all airlines to ground before 4 pm all aircraft of the B737 MAX family that had been involved in two air crashes in five months. On the other hand, InterGlobe Aviation’s IndiGo shares surged as the prospect of higher price realisation from the grounding of rival carriers’ aircraft.An Ethiopian Airline MAX airliner crashed a few minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi killing all the 157 people aboard in an accident said to be similar to that of an Indonesian Lion Air Max plane in on October 29 last year killing 189 people.SpiceJet closed at Rs 77.15, down Rs 1.65, a decline of Rs 2.09 per cent, on a day when the benchmark index continued its surge closing at 37,752, about 216 points higher, a change of 0.58 per cent. The share opened at RS 74, hit a high of Rs 77.90, before sliding to the day’s low of Rs 72.50. Ever since new of the Ethiopian air crash spread and several nations began grounding the MAX family aircraft, the SpiceJet share that was trading at Rs 84.65 on Monday began declining, defying the market’s bull rally. The share hit a low of Rs 74.25 on Tuesday on Tuesday before recovering somewhat. The share was on a slow recovery from its 52-week low of Rs 60.60 that it hit on October 3, last year. The share’s 52-week high of Rs 142 was on April 9, 2018.Following the aviation authorities’ order to ground the MAX aircraft, SpiceJet, which has more than 150 aircraft of the same Boeing family on order, has announced several flight cancellations and rescheduling. A broadcast news channel said two of its B737 MAX aircraft deployed on international sectors would be withdrawn from service only later in the evening after their return to home base.The share of Jet Airways, the only other operator of B737 MAX aircraft in India in BSE and NSE nosedived, though its five MAX aircraft are no longer available to the airline because the lessors have grounded them over payment defaults. The cash-strapped Jet Airways, in the midst of a funding crisis, has already been suffering from operational issues with nearly 60 of its 120 aircraft unavailable for operations because of the payment default and technical issues. On BSE the Jet Airways share closed at Rs 240.60, down Rs 5.05, a change of 2.06 per cent. The share opened at Rs 241.70, hit a high of Rs 242.80 and then slid all the way to a low of Rs 236.70. The airline’s share has been having a rollercoaster ride over the past several months because of the continuing board room drama and issues with lenders and other stakeholders. The Jet share was on a path of recovery after the lenders reportedly neared a debt resolution programme for the crippled airline, rising to about Rs 252.90 on Tuesday. However, it slid to a low of Rs 236.70 on Wednesday around 3.30pm because of worries that even a debt resolution deal would not make it possible for the airline to bring the grounded aircraft back to air. The share that suffered a slump from its 52-week high of Rs 732 touched on March 16, 2018, to hit the 52-week low of Rs 171.90 on October 1, 2018, was on a slow recovery. A SpiceJet passenger aircraft takes off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport in Ahmedabad in this May 19, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Amit DaveThe Indigo share closed on the BSE at Rs 1,301.45, up Rs 26.85, a change of 2.11 per cent, performing better than the benchmark index. The share opened at Rs 1,279, went down to Rs 1,278, but hit an intra-day high of Rs 1,325 as the news of the grounding of MAX aircraft emerged. The company’s market cap has steadily risen to Rs 49,836 crore as the scrip has made a smart recovery from the 52-week low of Rs 697 that it hit on October 10, 2018. The period high for the share was Rs 1,520 that it touched on April 26, 2018.Aviation industry observers are expecting more turbulence ahead as the number of cancellations rise as the situation regarding B737 MAX aircraft is not likely to be resolved anytime soon.last_img read more

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Gunfight between AL groups kills one

first_img.A man was killed and four others sustained bullet injuries in an alleged gun battle between supporters of a ruling Bangladesh Awami League MP and of local Union Parishad chairman in Badda of the capital on Sunday.Police and locals said the clash took place around 4:30pm between supporters of AL MP AKM Rahmatullah, also president of party’s Dhaka City North unit and Beraid Union Parishad chairman Jahangir Alam, over the contractual work for a cement company there.The man killed in the clash is Kamruzzaman aka Dukhu, younger brother of the Beraid union parishad chairman.The injured were identified as the local UP chairman Jahangir Alam’s brother Taj Mohammad, his uncle Nazir Hossain and two cousins — Sharif Hossain and Kamal Hossain.Although victims’ family members and the supporters of UP chairman claimed that they did not fire gunshots in retaliation of the gunfire by the AL MP men, police said both groups exchanged gunshots during the clash.Locals said the AL MP has long been maintaining enmity with her former activist Jahangir over the elections to Dhaka North City Corporation as well as over establishing supremacy in the locality.Badda police officer-in-charge (OC) Kazi Wazed Ali told Prothom Alo that the clashes ensued over establishing supremacy in the area.The injured have been undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital in the city, the OC added. Brother of the deceased, Mohammed Shahin Alam, said his brother Kamruzzaman was supplying raw materials to a cement factory in Beraid. But the nephews of the AL north president – Md Farukh and Aiyub – forcefully took over the business.Shahin Alam added that on Sunday, Kamruzzaman with his nephews – Sunny and Abdul Hakim – went to the factory to submit some bills. A few of supporters of the MP’s group led by the MP’s nephew Farukh got into an argument with them there. At one stage, they hit Sunny’s head.Shahin Alam also said after the beating, they came back to their area. They then reinforced their group and went to Patni Para where they clashes again. At one stage, the MP’s supporters opened fire at them.Niyarul Islam, a witness, said the incident took place near the house of the MP’s nephew Farukh.There were two police vans around 100 yards from the spot, the witness said, adding that the policemen took Kamruzzaman to hospital.Local people said Beraid union has recently been included into the North City Corporation as ward no 42 and ever since the enmity between the AL MP and UP chairman began.When contacted, AL MP Rahmatullah told Prothom Alo that the incident of killing took place “accidently during a clash between two groups and none did so with a plan of killing somebody”.Claiming UP chairman Jahangir Alam to be his “former man”, AL MP said the clash took place over a trifling matter. “I am an MP and he [Jahangir] is a [UP] chairman. I bag as much as 92 per cent votes here. He was my man once upon a time. And he amassed wealth using my name.”last_img read more

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EA shutting down online services for 28 games by March

first_imgA new year and a new round of online services shutdowns for EA games. In total there will be 28 games going offline by March 1st.The full list of games split by the date online access will be switched off is given below:Jan 11, 2011 Online Service Shutdown AdChoices广告The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II for Xbox 360The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II, The Rise of the Witch-king™ for Xbox 360Jan 17, 2011 Online Service Shutdown The Sims CarnivalFeb 8, 2011 Online Service Shutdown FIFA 07 for Xbox 360FIFA 08 for PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and WiiFIFA 09 for PC, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and WiiFIFA 09 Ultimate Team for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360FIFA Street 3 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360EA SPORTS™ FIFA Manager 10 for PCEA SPORTS™ Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360Madden 09 for PlayStation Portable (all regions), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, WiiMadden 10 for PlayStation Portable (all regions), PlayStation 2 and WiiNBA LIVE 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360NBA LIVE 09 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and WiiNCAA® Basketball 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360NCAA® Basketball 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360NCAA® Football 07 for Xbox 360NCAA® Football 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360NCAA® Football 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360NCAA® Football 10 for PlayStation 2NFL Head Coach 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360NHL® 08 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360NHL® 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 09 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360UEFA EURO 2008™ for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 3602010 FIFA World Cup™ for PlayStation Portable and Wii2010 FIFA World Cup™ Demo for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360Mar 1, 2011 Online Service Shutdown Tiger Woods PGA TOUR® 09 for WiiIf you currently enjoy playing any of these games online then make the most of the time that’s left because when they are gone they are gone.EA also shutdown access to the following three games on December 31:The Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ for PCThe Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II for PCThe Lord of the Rings™, The Battle for Middle-earth™ II, The Rise of the Witch-king™ for PCRead more at EA, via CVGlast_img read more

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How quantum effects could improve artificial intelligence

first_imgPhysicists have shown that quantum effects have the potential to significantly improve a variety of interactive learning tasks in machine learning. This figure shows a tested agent-environment interaction. Credit: Dunjko et al. ©2016 American Physical Society Citation: How quantum effects could improve artificial intelligence (2016, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-quantum-effects-artificial-intelligence.html In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, Vedran Dunjko and coauthors have added to this research, showing that quantum effects can likely offer significant benefits to machine learning.”The progress in machine learning critically relies on processing power,” Dunjko, a physicist at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, told Phys.org. “Moreover, the type of underlying information processing that many aspects of machine learning rely upon is particularly amenable to quantum enhancements. As quantum technologies emerge, quantum machine learning will play an instrumental role in our society—including deepening our understanding of climate change, assisting in the development of new medicine and therapies, and also in settings relying on learning through interaction, which is vital in automated cars and smart factories.”In the new study, the researchers’ main result is that quantum effects can help improve reinforcement learning, which is one of the three main branches of machine learning. They showed that quantum effects have the potential to provide quadratic improvements in learning efficiency, as well as exponential improvements in performance for short periods of time when compared to classical techniques for a wide class of learning problems.While other research groups have previously shown that quantum effects can offer improvements for the other two main branches of machine learning (supervised and unsupervised learning), reinforcement learning has not been as widely investigated from a quantum perspective. “This is, to our knowledge, the first work which shows that quantum improvements are possible in more general, interactive learning tasks,” Dunjko said. “Thus, it opens up a new frontier of research in quantum machine learning.”One of the ways that quantum effects may improve machine learning is quantum superposition, which allows a machine to perform many steps simultaneously, improving the speed and efficiency at which it learns.But while in certain situations quantum effects have the potential to offer great improvements, in other cases classical machine learning likely performs just as well or better than it would with quantum effects. Part of the reason for the difficulty in determining how quantum effects can improve machine learning is due to the unique set of challenges involved, beginning with the basic question of what it means to learn. Such a question becomes problematic, the scientists explain, since the machine and its environment may become entangled, blurring the boundary between the two.Overall, the researchers expect that the systematic approach proposed here, which encompasses all three of the main branches of machine learning, will lead to the first steps in a complete theory of quantum-enhanced learning. “While the initial results are very encouraging, we have only begun to investigate the potential of quantum machine learning,” Dunjko said. “We plan on furthering our understanding of how quantum effects can aid in aspects of machine learning in an increasingly more general learning setting. One of the open questions we are interested in is whether quantum effects can play an instrumental role in the design of true artificial intelligence.” Journal information: Physical Review Letters Google combines two main quantum computing ideas in one computer Explore furthercenter_img (Phys.org)—Over the past few decades, quantum effects have greatly improved many areas of information science, including computing, cryptography, and secure communication. More recently, research has suggested that quantum effects could offer similar advantages for the emerging field of quantum machine learning (a subfield of artificial intelligence), leading to more intelligent machines that learn quickly and efficiently by interacting with their environments. More information: Vedran Dunjko, Jacob M. Taylor, and Hans J. Briegel. “Quantum-Enhanced Machined Learning.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.130501 © 2016 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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