Defence Department reports new delays in 10 major procurement projects

first_imgOTTAWA – The Defence Department is reporting fresh delays in 10 major military procurement projects, even as defence officials cast about for better ways to predict and manage when new equipment will get to the troops.The schedule slippage is detailed in a new report to Parliament and runs the gamut from a minor snag in the final delivery of engineering vehicles for the army to years of delays in the planned delivery of naval vessels.Many of the projects, such as the naval vessels and new transport trucks for the army, were already several years behind schedule, meaning they are now extra late.In an interview with The Canadian Press, the Defence Department’s head of procurement touted the last year as one of the more successful in terms of getting new equipment to the Forces.But Patrick Finn, the assistant deputy minister of materiel, also conceded that more must be done to address the scheduling problems, which he described as the factor that “we struggle with the most, much more than scope and cost.“There’s not a day that goes by that we’re not delivering stuff and doing stuff,” Finn said.“There’s also almost not a day that doesn’t go by that we’re not dealing with a technical issue or a schedule issue, whether it’s a vendor, whether it’s us causing delay or whatever it is. We’re spending a lot of time trying to get in front of it all.”That is why the department, which changed the way it estimates the cost of new equipment as part of the Trudeau government’s new defence policy, is looking to do the same with schedules.“How do we build in kind of schedule contingency, other best practices that we’re looking at so that, again, we don’t have unrealistic schedules we’re marching to,” Finn said.The focus on schedules comes as the government is preparing to unveil the next leg of its defence policy in the coming weeks, namely a plan detailing the investments it will make on new military equipment over the next five years.The 10 major projects identified in the Defence Department report as having experienced new delays include:— The navy’s new Arctic offshore patrol ships. Finn attributed the delay to problems with a subcontractor. The first vessel was supposed to arrive this year, but now won’t be delivered until 2019.— The air force’s CP-140 surveillance planes, which are due to be upgraded. The report appeared to pin the blame on the company responsible for the work, saying negotiations had “increased cost and reduced flexibility.”— The navy’s new support ships, with delivery of the first pushed to 2023 from 2021. The government has recently approved a plan to start work early on the vessels, which officials are hoping will result in delivery in 2022.— The army’s new transport trucks, with the delivery scheduled pushed back six months at the company’s request, though Finn also indicated that there were some design concerns.Some of the equipment listed as delayed have already been delivered, such as the army’s M777 howitzers, which saw service in Afghanistan, but parts of the contract, in this case a new type of ammunition, remain outstanding.There are several reasons that delays in the military procurement system are considered a serious problem. In some cases, such as fighter jets, a delay means the Forces is required to keep using old equipment longer than expected.In others, it means the military must make do without much-needed equipment; Canada has been without a permanent naval support ship since 2015 after the last two were retired because of an unexpected fire and excessive corrosion.Excessive delays also drive up equipment costs thanks to inflation, which is much higher in the defence sector because of constantly evolving technology and material.And a delay in one project can have a domino effect on others and essentially gum up the system, which will be expected to deliver more under the Trudeau government’s defence policy in the coming years than at any point in recent history.“We recognize that we’re going to be judged by everybody, including the government, if having kind of handed this (defence policy) to us, we don’t perform,” Finn said.“That’s why it’s like every waking moment we’re driven to have this move forward.”— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.last_img read more

Morocco Enjoys Exceptional Political Economic Stability in Arab World Financial Times

Rabat  –  Morocco is an exceptional case in the Arab region and investors are confident in its political and economic stability, Financial Times writes.The country’s economic and political stability – rare commodities in the region – have already brought returns, as tourists numbers were up by 7 per cent in 2013, the business daily said.Noting that investment in the automobile sector has grown, with car exports increasing 70 per cent year-on-year in 2013, the daily recalled that earlier this year, the government sold a € 1bn Eurobond – its first euro-denominated bond in four years. Many analysts predict Morocco will be North Africa’s best performing economy in coming years, Financial Times said, noting that Morocco aims to become a platform for production and export to African countries through Casablanca Finance City (CFC), a new regional finance hub.Rabat is also looking south to the fast growing economies of sub-Saharan Africa, the daily underlined, adding that trade has increased to an average of around $ 1bn per year and Moroccan investment outflows to Africa have jumped by more than 40 per cent over the past decade.With Map read more

TimorLeste making progress in overcoming last years crisis says Ban Kimoon

4 September 2007Despite the recent flare-up of tensions following the announcement of a new Government, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended Timor-Leste on overcoming the crisis of last year that led to the bolstering of the United Nations presence in the country which it helped shepherd to independence in 2002. An indication of that progress is the successful completion of presidential and parliamentary elections with which the Timorese people “once again demonstrated their faith in democratic processes to move beyond internal divisions,” Mr. Ban writes in his latest report to the Security Council on the activities of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) from 27 January to 20 August. However, he added, the process leading to the formation of the new Government and the violent disturbances following it “demonstrate that not all divisions have yet been overcome. Continued efforts to strengthen the culture of truly inclusive and participatory democracy based on rule of law and respect for human rights will be essential for the creation of a stable and prosperous Timor-Leste.” The Security Council created UNMIT in August 2006 to help restore order after fighting, attributed to differences between eastern and western regions, broke out in April and May and led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 people – or 15 per cent of the population – to flee their homes. In his report, Mr. Ban says the security situation in the country improved overall during the reporting period but continues to be volatile and subject to sporadic violence, such as that witnessed after the formation of a new Government led by former president Xanana Gusmão following the June elections, which failed to produce a single outright winner. “Elections are a fundamental step in consolidating democracy, but only an initial one,” he observed, adding that many of the challenges relating to the 2006 crisis remain unresolved, such as the grievances of members of the armed forces, gang violence and the situation of some 100,000 people who remain internally displaced. Mr. Ban cautions that the Government will face “a delicate balancing act” in addressing more immediate problems stemming from the crisis while guaranteeing public security and ensuring effective socio-economic programmes to tackle issues such as poverty, which continues to be “one of the major causes of instability” in the country. Other priorities include advancing on justice and reconciliation issues, strengthening the judicial sector and promoting human rights, as well as moving forward with security sector reform, including training of the national police force. The serious but temporary escalations of violence in the course of this year “serve as a reminder of the fragility of the security situation,” Mr. Ban states. “They also demonstrate that, despite the peaceful conduct of elections and wide acceptance of the results, there is still a need to nurture a culture of non-violence and promote the peaceful resolution of differences.” read more

Ban honours brave grandmothers of disappeared Argentines

23 September 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today paid tribute to the relatives of those who disappeared between 1976 and 1983 under the military dictatorship in Argentina, where tens of thousands of people became victims, for speaking out about their plight. “These brave grandmothers were robbed of their precious loved ones under unspeakable circumstances,” Mr. Ban said at the opening of the Abuelas of the Plaza de Maya exhibition at UN Headquarters.“Anyone would have forgiven them for shrinking in fear of the merciless forces that were inflicting such suffering on innocent families,” he added. “But they courageously stood up.”The women, armed with nothing but their courage, have been able to restore almost 100 children to their families thus far. “These grandmothers, unlike the dictatorship, had no guns and ammunition – only a burning passion for truth and justice,” the Secretary-General said.Also speaking at the exhibition’s opening, General Assembly President Miguel D’Escoto hailed the persistence of the women, noting that they inspired others in the region to stand up for justice.“By using the names and by remembering their identities through photos, letters and memoirs, they move us to remember and document the crimes that were committed against their loved ones,” he said.“They remind us so clearly that their daughters and sons are also our brothers and sisters. By acknowledging this fundamental truth, we can muster the confidence and courage to do like las abuelas, the grandmothers, to defend what is right and to protect those who are vulnerable.”At the General Assembly’s high-level annual debate today, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner appealed for universal ratification of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which outlaws enforced disappearances and allows victims’ families the right to learn the truth about what happened.So far, only four of the 74 countries that have signed have also ratified the Convention, which contains an absolute prohibition on the practice and calls on all States Parties to ensure that it is an offence under their domestic laws.The treaty will enter into force once 20 countries have ratified it. Its monitoring body will be entitled to receive requests for urgent action on individual cases, to conduct visits with the agreement of States parties concerned, and, in the situation of suspected widespread or systematic cases being practised in the territory under the jurisdiction of a State party, to urgently bring the matter before the General Assembly. read more

TNA says it was consulted on missing persons office Bill

“We reiterate that justice for crimes committed in the past by both sides is a necessary precondition to meaningful reconciliation. In this regard, we reiterate the importance of the full implementation of operative paragraphs 6 and 7 so us to ensure trust and credibility. We are particularly encouraged by the number of countries that continue to urge Sri Lanka to fulfill its commitments. Resolution 30/1 represents the solemn commitment of Sri Lanka to its own citizens, and to the Tamil people who we represent, and must be implemented,” the TNA added.The TNA also welcomed the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Human Rights Council at its 32nd Session on the implementation of Resolution 30/1. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it was consulted by the Government on the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Bill which was presented to Parliament recently.In a statement today the TNA said it is pleased that several of the extensive revisions they urged have been included in the gazetted text. The TNA says the OMP must represent a dramatic break from the experience of failed Commissions, including the current Paranagama Commission which it says lacks credibility. “We commend the Government for its constructive engagement on the Bill. We look forward to further amendments being moved at the committee stage, and to the early passage of the law through Parliament. A law on the lines contemplated by the Bill, if implemented sincerely, could bring relief to families of the forcibly disappeared who are in desperate need of answers,” the TNA said. The TNA says the oral update, in its view, captures accurately the opportunities and challenges for reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.The TNA however said it was concerned about the very slow pace of implementation with respect to a number of human rights issues in Sri Lanka, in particular, delays in releasing private lands illegally occupied by the military; the continued use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Government’s failure to repeal it; the breach of undertakings to release those held under the PTA; and the continuing surveillance and harassment of civilians in the North and East.The TNA also took note of the High Commissioner’s observations on the importance of crafting a new Constitution that serves all citizens of Sri Lanka and the support that this proposition has received from several countries. (Colombo Gazette) read more

UN rushes aid to flood survivors in Central African Republic

After appealing to individual donor countries for funds in response to the crisis, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has authorized an emergency grant of nearly $18,000 for the country.For its part, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), together with a local partner, has distributed 30,000 litres of clean water.After evaluating the need for specific health measures with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided anti-malarial medicines, and is carrying out an information campaign on hygiene, since the floods have increased a number of disease threats. WHO will also provide drugs to national medical facilities, and will work to strengthen an epidemiological monitoring system.UN agencies have already provided therapeutic high-nutrition biscuits, water purification tablets, jerry cans for clean water, and petrol lamps, which have been distributed through the national Red Cross.The CAR Government and national Red Cross had asked the UN to provide food, medicines, kitchen utensils, mosquito nets, clothing, blankets, sanitation materials, as well as construction materials for emergency rehabilitation. read more

LETTER Exposing AFCs double standards in relation to sugar workers plight

Dear Editor,An anonymous letter writer described me as ‘a confused complainer’ because I exposed Mr Moses Nagamootoo’s hypocrisy with regards the plight of the sugar workers. He, Nagamootoo had said at a rally in Canje (ironically the first set of workers in Berbice to be given redundancy letters) that, “Guyanese should light a candle for sugar workers…sugar workers are being screwed”. Now that the sugar workers are being ‘royally screwed’, where is Moses? Of course, he is not busy parting the Red Sea, that was done a long time ago! He divided the people and was rewarded with his ceremonial crown.The unknown letter writer then went on to state that Mr Nagamoottoo has a ‘history of standing up for sugar workers’.  Nagamootoo in his 2012 Budget speech had said that he was threatened with expulsion because he came to the rescue of the sugar workers. However, he should now recognize and accept the fact that ‘the standing up’ itself is now history. The real Nagamootoo has now emerged and the ‘standing up’ is for himself only, and no one else. Self-preservation can seal lips and harden hearts. It is now fitting to recall his own words taken from his 2012 Budget speech, ‘a classical case of the classical proverb, “I see not, I hear not, I speak not”, this is the case of the proverbial monkey’. Today he stands condemned by his own words! It is so unfortunate since I was a great admirer of this man’s zeal as a statesman.Would the late Dr Cheddi Jagan have stood silently while many of the sugar workers and their families are faced with dire poverty and starvation?  Nagamootoo is a self-proclaimed disciple of this great man. In 2012 Nagamootoo had bragged that the ‘PPP no longer hold the Jagan standards…we have it over here, the Alliance for Change….’ Moreover, apart from Nagamootoo’s reverberating silence, the AFC’s Minister of Agriculture, Mr Noel Holder agreed with GuySuCo’s heartless decision to serve redundancy letters to hundreds of sugar workers at Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates before Christmas. He arrogantly insisted that this decision was in keeping the White Paper, ignoring the fact that the Minister of State, Mr Joseph Harmon had assured the sugar workers that closure of the Estate will be delayed until next year. Is there a disconnect among the ministers of Government?  How could the Minister of Agriculture ignore the human aspect of the decision?President Granger at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, stressed that, ‘people must come before profits’, but I do hope that this can be seen as a general guideline of his Government’s policies. However, the manner in which sugar workers are being treated for some time now would suggest otherwise. This maxim does not apply to sugar workers. They are expendables because they are deemed to be ‘the raiders of the Treasury’!There seems to be reluctance on the part of the Government, especially the Minister of Agriculture and the Prime Minister to meaningfully engage sugar workers at Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates and try to alleviate some of their fears and try to convince them how they will continue to benefit from the privatisation/diversification process.Many of the sugar workers, who were given the termination letters do not have of savings and take groceries on credit during the out of crop period hoping to pay off during crop time.  I know these things because I live among them and my father was a cane cutter and my mother, a weeder at Albion Estate. I also worked as a cane cutter and a cattle ranger for some time at Albion Estate to make ends meetA final question: Are the redundancy letters to sugar workers just a ploy for the Government to now take up the savior’s role?Yours sincerely, Haseef Yusuf (FCCA; MBA)RDC Councilor-Region 6Former Cane Cutter Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMass firing of sugar workers: AFC supports move, says sugar is ‘terminally ill’- RamjattanDecember 8, 2017In “latest news”Letter: APNU/AFC have abandoned sugar workersNovember 26, 2016In “Letters”Letter: AFC’s concern about the plight of the sugar workers insincereJanuary 17, 2018In “Letters” read more

Traveller women refused entry to charity event win District Court case

first_imgTWO TRAVELLER WOMEN, who had both been widowed due to suicide, have won a case against a Kerry bar.Linda Mongan and Margaret Rose O’Neill took a case to Killarney District Court after being refused entry to an event that was raising funds for suicide awareness charity Aware.Both had purchased tickets in advance, but were told by the doorman that no such charity event was on, despite them witnessing many people entering the venue for the event.After two hours of evidence, the judge made an order awarding each woman €1,000 against McSorley’s of Killarney.Speaking after the ruling, Margaret Rose O’Neill said that the local travelling community had been massively impacted by suicide.“We were reluctant to attend the event but were encouraged to go by our families as it was to raise funds for depression. Both of our husbands died by suicide and between us we have lost six members of our extended family in the same way.“I had been involved in supporting bereavement and mental health charities, attended charity events during suicide month, cake sales and family fun days, but to be refused access to this event, ticket in hand, because I am a Traveller was devastating.I have experienced discrimination many times in my life and in Killarney town, but this experience caused so much hurt to both of us, to our families and friends, we felt no other choice but to take it to court.Both women were represented by the Irish Traveller Movement, who welcomed the court decision.“These two women have shown tremendous strength and courage to seek to have the wrong that was done unto them highlighted and shows the particular difficulties Travellers are faced with, in particular with respect to mental health challenges and suicide,” Susan Fay of the movement’s Law Centre said.Read: Prison officer recovering from cancer awarded €80,000 in employment tribunal caseRead: EasyJet in French court for refusing disabled passengerslast_img read more

GameCube Titles Could Be Playable on the Nintendo Switch

first_img Nintendo fans have asked for GameCube titles to be made available on the Virtual Console for years, but now at last it seems that their desires will be fulfilled. According to several sources that have spoken to EuroGamer, Nintendo will indeed have emulated GameCube titles available to purchase on the Switch’s virtual store.As per the report, three titles have already been tested and can run on the Switch. These games are Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Another game that will be tested is Animal Crossing. This game actually includes a dozen Nintendo Entertainment System titles within it. The report says that these games run well on the Switch. This hopefully means that Switch customers will eventually be able to buy NES, and perhaps even SNES titles too.Right now, the exact number of past Nintendo platforms available on the Switch’s Virtual Console hasn’t been decided. However, EuroGamer’s sources say that there will be an upgrade program akin to the one on the Wii U. What this means is that games that were previously purchased on the Wii U can be “upgraded” for a small fee instead of having to be bought again at full price.At this point, tests of these GameCube games on Switch is “promising,” with the titles running as good as they did on the original system. Whether or not the Switch can make these old games look better depends on the systems’ final hardware. We know that the Switch uses Tegra X technology for its chipset and that — according to EuroGamer’s own tests — this tech can run GameCube’s Dolphin Emulator rather well.One last noteworthy thing from this report is the reason why Smash Bros. Melee was among one of the first games to be tested. Despite being 15 years old, this title is still wildly popular among the fighting game community (FGC) and still brings in sizable audiences at fighting game tournaments. Having the game available on the Switch as opposed to running on third party hardware or even on old GameCubes will make things easier on those who are keeping the game alive at tournaments.As always, take all of this with a grain of salt. We’ll hopefully find out more about the Switch’s GameCube emulation capabilities during the Switch-centric Nintendo Direct that will be released on January 12, 2017. Stay on target ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President last_img read more

Belles Happy Ending Was So Sad on Once Upon a Time

first_img The new season of Once Upon a Time is going out of its way to not cheapen any of the happy endings from the season six finale. Emma and Hook came back in episode two for one more fun adventure with Henry before walking into the sunset. Now, the season brought Belle back for her final episode to ensure us that she did get her happy ending, even if Rumplestiltskin didn’t yet. Of course, the way they did that was by taking a page from Up. Yeah, there were almost certainly a lot of tears in the homes of Oncers last night.I was never a huge fan of the whole Belle-Rumplestiltskin relationship. The huge gulf in age between them always felt a little awkward. Then there was all the stalking and manipulation. There’s the fact that he was always tempted by the power of being The Dark One. It felt like the show wanted you to root for them as a couple while providing nothing but evidence of why you should not. Last season went a long way towards redeeming his character, and this episode made his relationship with Belle work better than any of the previous seasons could. It showed them growing old together. We saw the re-babied Gideon grow up and travel with his parents. We saw Rumplestiltskin being a good dad and struggling when it came time to let him go. Belle convinced him to give up magic and build a home for themselves the hard way. For the first time in the series, Belle made Rumple a better person. That made their romance much sweeter and easier to accept.Seeing Belle age also helped. As the episode progressed, Belle started getting grey hair and wrinkles in her face. The old age makeup wasn’t especially convincing (it never is), but it was enough to make the age gap no longer an issue. In the end, it paid off that the episode spent so much time with Belle and Rumple as a couple. The past six seasons were never able to, and this one episode did a fantastic job of getting us emotionally invested in them as a couple. All so it could punch us right in the gut. After having a full life together, Belle collapses in the house she and Rumple share. He brings her to the couch where she tells him to seek out The Guardian. Once he does that, he’ll be able to get rid of the dagger, become mortal and join Belle. No, YOU’RE crying!Robert Carlyle, Emilie de Ravin, Giles Matthey (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)It was on that journey that he met Alice, who figures heavily into the Seattle side of the plot this week. I always worry that whenever Once Upon a Time does a holiday themed episode, it’s going to be a throwaway. It’ll have a one-off story that doesn’t move the main plot forward. That’s not what happened here. Alice, Tilly in this world, has stopped taking her pills. She accosts Victoria Belfrey in her car, accusing her of bringing them all to this fake neighborhood in Seattle. There’s an interesting reveal. For whatever reason, maybe having something to do with her time in Wonderland, Alice can see through the curse. It’s only by keeping her medicated, foggy and unsure of her own reality that Belfrey’s able to keep a lid on it.Also, this time around, Weaver/Rumple isn’t aware of the curse. His memory is gone just like everyone else’s. Belfrey pressures him to drug Tilly, who takes him to her hideout to try to jog his true memory. Here, we get our second saddest death of the episode. She shows him Chip and when he doesn’t recognize the teacup as anything special, she smashes it on the ground. No! Leave Chip out of this, what did he ever do to you?! Saying she’s doing what Rumple told her to do, presumably just before this new curse, she shoots him. That’s when we learn he never found the Guardian. Even in Seattle, he’s still immortal. That near-death experience gives him the slightest glimpse of Belle, and he remembers everything. That well-placed “deary” in his hospital bed conversation with Belfrey is so good. I almost cheered, if not for the fact that I was alone on my couch and that would have been weird. The show really knocked it out of the park with Rumple’s story this week. It answered all our questions about Detective Weaver and took it somewhere really exciting. It’s nice to have Rumplestiltskin play the good guy, even if he is a vaguely dirty cop, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.Gabrielle Anwar (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)For all the excitement and heartbreak in the rest of the episode, Henry’s story fell into an already familiar pattern. He denies that he’s developing feelings for Jacinda and tries to ask her out, but chickens out. The more important part of the story involves Belfrey getting even pettier. After Jacinda saved the community garden, Belfrey forbids her from even taking Lucy trick-or-treating. Ivy is forced to instead. She clearly doesn’t want to, but she’s afraid to stand up to her mother. This is the one interesting part of their story. Ivy is as much a victim of her mother’s control as anyone else. She’s in a higher position, sure, but her life under this curse isn’t all that great. Lucy ditches Ivy to go to a haunted house and Henry helps Ivy find her. He even lets her play the hero, convincing Ivy to stand up to her mother and let Lucy trick-or-treat with Jacinda. Henry’s invited to join the family, but he decides to spend the evening at Roni’s instead, where Ivy buys him a drink as a thank you.Man, I am not OK with this love triangle the show is trying to set up here. We know for a fact that Lucy is Henry’s daughter and we don’t need this Ivy person moving in on him. Yes, this episode made us sympathize with her more, but that does not mean she gets Henry! I know exactly how things are going to play out from here. Henry is scared of jumping back into having a family again because, in his mind, he’s already lost one. He wants something safer and uncomplicated. That’s Ivy. They’re going to sleep together, Jacinda’s going to find out and it is going to be A THING. That’s how you know this is still Once Upon a Time. Even after six seasons and a half-reboot, it’s still able to get us emotionally invested in this corny fairy tale relationship drama.Dania Ramirez, Adelaide Kane (Photo by Jack Rowand/ABC)Any skepticism about this new Once Upon a Time should be gone after last night’s episode. Even with the new setting, story and characters it’s still the same show we fell in love with back in 2011. Last night’s episode was a showcase of everything that makes OUAT great. And even though Henry’s story appears to be in a holding patter for now, no scene in this episode felt wasted. Each one drove the story forward in some way. And now that the show has figured out how to use Rumple/Weaver, I can’t wait to see where it goes next week. Once Upon a Time’s Finale Was Everything We Loved About an Imperfect ShowHenry Screws Everything Up Again on Once Upon a Time Stay on targetlast_img read more

Silva teases that Brazil have a Plan A B ready

first_imgBrazil captain Thiago Silva has teased that they are well prepared for today’s last-16 game against Mexico with the coaching staff having made a “plan A and plan B” to ensure successToday’s meeting between the two nations will be the 41st time they have faced off against each other with Brazil having won 23 times compared to Mexico’s 10, although the latter has never managed to score against the Canarinho in their previous four World Cup matches.Brazil are determined to right the wrongs of four years ago, where they were thrashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals of the World Cup at home soil, and have got off to a steady start at Russia this time around by topping Group E with 7 points from their opening three games.And Silva revealed that the squad are taking no chances as they chase a record sixth world title.Neymar, BrazilNeymar can win the Ballon d’Or, says Ander Herrera Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 An “excited” Ander Herrera believes new Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar is a contender for the Ballon d’Or alongside Kylian Mbappe.“We are well-prepared and we are planning to progress to the quarter-finals. The coach provided us with all the necessary tools, we have plan A and plan B. We hope that tomorrow will be a wonderful day, and Neymar will be as inspired as everyone else,” said the 33-year-old, as stated on FourFourTwo.Brazil and Mexico last met in the World Cup four years ago where they had a goalless draw in a group game.Today’s match will take place at the Samara Arena at 16:00 (GMT +2).last_img read more

Klopp wary of Nigerian strikers threat

first_imgLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed he is concerned by the threat posed by Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho.The reds face Leicester in the Premier League at the King Power stadium this weekend, and the host will be without star striker Jamie Vardy who is still serving suspension after picking up a red card against Fulham in the second game of the season.However, Klopp has warned his players to be wary of the threat posed by Kelechi Iheanacho who has replaced Vardy in the starting line-up.“Jamie, what a player. He causes pretty much every team problems with his style of play, going in behind, on the shoulder. It’s difficult to defend, and makes him special, different to all the other strikers in the Premier League,” Klopp said in a pre-match conference, according to Goal.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“Now he will not play, that changes a few moments in a game for Leicester, but Iheanacho is a very good striker as well. They changed their style anyway.”“They’re a very good team, you see the work of Claude Puel paying off with Maddison, Gray, that offensive line, not a lot of teams in the Premier League have that.”“The preparation for the game was really interesting, because Leicester are playing good football. I think they are full of confidence after the last result which always helps. It will be difficult for us, but we are in a good moment as well. We go there and try everything to get the result we deserve. Maybe we can deserve a win, we have to be at our best.”last_img read more

5 Years Later Boston Marathon Survivors Responders Move On

first_img– / 9One was an attacker. One was a volunteer first responder. One lost her leg. Another lost his little boy. And a police officer very nearly lost his own life.Half a decade ago, these five lives probably never would have intersected. Then bombs bloodied the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators, wounding 260 others, and forever linking a villain to his victims and the heroes who rushed to help them.The attacks of April 15, 2013, touched off a manhunt that mesmerized the world. Boston ordered its people to shelter in place. Red Sox and Bruins games were canceled as police in tactical gear and armored vehicles fanned out across the city. Five days later, one bomber was dead, another was in custody, and locals had united around a social media hashtag that gave voice to their grit and resilience: #BostonStrong.Ahead of Sunday’s fifth anniversary, The Associated Press offers these snapshots:DZHOKHAR TSARNAEVTHEN: College classmates knew him as “Jahar” — a goofy young man more interested in getting high than studying. But prosecutors say he and his older brother, Tamerlan, became radicalized after the family moved to the U.S. from Russia in 2002. Chilling videoshows the brothers mingling with the crowds near the marathon finish, their backpacks concealing crude pressure-cooker bombs. Prosecutors said they wanted to retaliate against the U.S. for its actions in Muslim countries. Tamerlan was killed days later in a shootout with police; Dzhokhar was captured hiding in a boat.NOW: Tsarnaev, 24, has been on federal death row since his 2015 conviction for deadly use of a weapon of mass destruction and other counts. He is being held at the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, a lockup nicknamed the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.” Jurors approved death by lethal injection, but years — perhaps decades — of appeals await.In his own words: “Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop,” he scribbled inside the boat before his capture .REBEKAH GREGORYTHEN: Gregory was near the finish line with her 5-year-old son, Noah, and her boyfriend when bomb shrapnel shredded her left leg. She later wed the boyfriend in a fairytale ceremony featured on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.” But in the emotional aftermath — after enduring dozens of operations in a desperate effort to keep what was left of her leg, she finally had it amputated below the knee to stop her chronic pain — the marriage ended.NOW: Gregory not only survived, but thrived. She married her college sweetheart and moved to Houston, where the Astros put her on a baseball trading card. She had a daughter, Ryleigh, despite being told she probably couldn’t have any more children. She established the Rebekah’s Angels Foundation to help children with post-traumatic stress disorder. And she wrote a book , “Taking My Life Back.”In her own words: “Normalcy goes out the window. You have to figure out how to piece your life back together. This has made me look at life from a whole different perspective. I wake up just grateful to be alive and to have one more moment with my husband and our beautiful children. You count your blessings or you count your problems.”CARLOS ARREDONDOTHEN: Millions know him as the man in the cowboy hat who helped save the life of marathon spectator Jeff Bauman, the double amputee played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the 2017 movie “Stronger.” Arredondo had become an anti-war activist and suicide prevention advocate after one son was fatally shot by a sniper in Iraq and another killed himself, and he was at the finish line handing out American flags when the bombs went off. Instantly, Arredondo became a symbol of courage.NOW: Arredondo continues to do whatever he can to help others. His volunteers with the Red Cross, and his Arredondo Family Foundation works to prevent military-related suicides and hand out Thanksgiving turkeys to veterans and their families. He’s now preparing to run his first Boston Marathon.In his own words: “What many people don’t realize is that first responders also go through some of the same trauma as survivors. I’ve been dealing with some issues, but that doesn’t slow me down. It’s been an amazing journey.”BILL RICHARDTHEN: Cheering the marathoners at the finish line was part family tradition, part rite of spring, so Richard; his wife, Denise; and their three children were all at the finish that fateful day. Eight-year-old Martin was standing next to one of the bombs; he died on the sidewalk. The bright-eyed little boy lives on in a widely circulated photo showed him holding a poster he’d created the year before with the message: “No more hurting people — peace.”NOW: Richard and his wife astonished many by asking that Tsarnaev be spared the death penalty, if only so their family wouldn’t have to relive their ordeal through future appeals proceedings. In Martin’s memory, they’ve since set up a foundation and helped create a new park downtown where kids can play.In his own words: “Good will always triumph. It’s really not even close.”DIC DONOHUETHEN: When police in suburban Watertown frantically radioed that they were exchanging fire with the suspected marathon bombers, officers from virtually every law enforcement agency imaginable responded. Donohue, a transit police cop, soon found himself in a firefight . A bullet likely fired by a fellow officer severed his femoral artery. Donohue’s heart stopped ; he had lost so much blood, it had almost nothing left to pump.NOW: After being promoted to sergeant, Donohue retired from the Boston transit police, citing complications from his injuries. He and his wife since have welcomed a second sonand are expecting their third around this year’s marathon on April 16, and Donohue has a new career as a public speaker and officer safety trainer.In his own words: “I try not to dwell on the past. I’m in pain every single day but I don’t let it get the best of me. These days I’m making an impact on my community in a completely different way.” Sharelast_img read more

Calcutta Boys School to introduce Humanities from 201920 academic session

first_imgKolkata: The Calcutta Boys’ School (CBS) will introduce Humanities from the 2019-20 academic session. “We at CBS teach Science and Commerce in Class XI and XII. However, in recent times we are witnessing a huge demand amongst our students for pursuing Humanities after passing Class X Board examination. Hence, we have decided to introduce Humanities from the next academic year. All major subjects in humanities will be taught,” said Raja McGee, principal and secretary of The Calcutta Boys’ School. There will be 55 seats for the Humanities stream. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe school that has stepped into its 141st year inaugurated a new Commemoration Building on its main campus on SN Banerjee Road on Tuesday. The Commemoration building was inaugurated by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. Union Minister of state for External Affairs MJ Akbar and Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay were present at the inaugural function.The construction work for the new block had started in 2012. The school has witnessed a major boost in infrastructure to keep in pace with the changing times that includes total revamp of fire fighting facilities and elevators for the students. The new building will have ramp and other facilities for the disabled students. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”Ours is a heritage institution and the Commemoration Building has been built maintaining the heritage facia of the Main building which cradled the CBS ever since it moved to its own campus in 1893,” McGee saidThe CBS has also come up with a cafeteria and a gymnasium, nostalgically named the ‘Patty Man Café’ and the ‘Cub Den’ respectively. The school already has smart classrooms, bright and radiant science and computer laboratories equipped with the paraphernalia that modern laboratories command. It may be mentioned that Calcutta Boys’ School has 2,473 students on its main campus while there are three more branches at Beliaghata, Sonarpur and Asansol.It was Bishop Thoburn who founded the Calcutta Boys’ School. First located on Mott Lane, and then later housed in a room on Corporation Street (known as S N Banerjee Road today), the school struggled for its survival without a building of its own. It acquired a permanent residence in 1893 thanks to the generosity of Sir Robert Laidlaw, who could be regarded as the chief patron of the school.last_img read more

Wife paramour set husband on fire

first_imgKolkata: A woman allegedly killed her husband with her paramour’s help at Arambag in Hooghly on Sunday.According to sources, on Monday morning, local residents found a foul smell was emitting from the house of Lakshmi Pramanik (36) at Daharkunda in Arambag. When checked the house they saw his wife Moyna was sleeping in the other room of the house with her two children. When her neighbours woke her up and inquired about the foul smell, she said some rat might have died in the house. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBut some of her neighbours had doubts on her and they inquired where was Lakshmi. Due to pressure created by the neighbours, Moyna opened the door of the room where Lakshmi slept on Sunday night. As soon as the door opened the smell became stronger. When some neighbours went inside and they saw Lakshmi’s burnt body. When they asked Moyna if she knew anything about the the incident, she denied. Smelling a rat neighbouirs informed the police. After the police recovered the body and sent it for autopsy, they started questioning Moyna. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateDuring the investigation cops found some ambiguity in her statement. Also, from local residents police came to know that approximately a week ago Moyna suddenly disappeared and returned after a few days. Suspecting something fishy, sleuths grilled Moyna and she broke down and admitted that she murdered Lakshmi to continue with her extramarital affair with a person identified as Jhantu Dolui of the same area. She called Dolui on Sunday night after Lakshmi slept. Later, they tied him to the bed and stuffed a piece of cloth in his mouth and set him on fire. After knowing the details, police detained Dolui as well. He also confessed to the crime both of them were arrested on Monday afternoon. They will be produced before the Arambag Court on Tuesday with an appeal for police custody.last_img read more

SXSW 2017 Sure Youve Got a Brand Strategy but Whats Your Chat

first_img 6 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » It seemed so appropriate to visit Austin, alive last week with SXSW chatter, to explore the cutting edge of voice technology.Related: Microsoft Unveils Sarcastic Millennial Chat Bot Powered By Artificial IntelligenceAmong the plethora of panels, shows and workshops, I was out to understand the business opportunities and challenges that come with using chat interfaces.”Conversational,” “voice” and “chat” interfaces are catch-all terms used to refer to the next stage of human-technology interaction. Although tapping and swiping became the “new normal” means of interaction with mobile apps and devices, businesses are now shifting their services to a messaging format as a means of engaging users in a more natural way.To identify businesses already making waves with this approach, check out the range of brand “skills” which have been added to Amazon’s Alexa since that product’s launch. There is now even a lawyer chatbot on Facebook Chat, providing advice on parking tickets and asylum claims.The big opportunity for businesses to win with this technology lies with how well it succeeds in making their customer interactions more personable and intuitive. Thus, seamless and enjoyable interactions are likely to keep customers coming back to the brands that do this technology well.But, as with most new tech, the “how” is more complex than the “why.”Currently, you can create conversational interfaces in two ways. The first way is to piggyback on to existing tech (by adding your services to Alexa’s ever-growing skillset). The second is to add voice interfaces to your own platform (as with Santander’s voice banking feature). For either option, success depends on more than a simple plug-and-play approach.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessTwenty years ago, any business leader worth his or her salt had nailed down a brand strategy. But today, that kind of focus has shifted; today, it must be devoted to chat strategy: meaning, how to use conversational interfaces to add value to your business.So what is the right approach? And what issues should businesses tackle to make it a reality? Here are my three key considerations:Security and privacy: Know where you stand.Voice recognition and facial recognition are emerging as powerful, easy-to- use solutions for personal or sensitive services. HSBC, Barclays and First Direct are offering voice recognition to some of their customers already. MasterCard rolled out its facial recognition tech last year.But there are risks, as the current debate over the use of biometric data has shown. This was reflected at SXSW, with a debate between Christopher Piehota, ‎director of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, and privacy activist Cory Doctorow. Their session highlighted fundamental issues around the collection, storage and use of personal data. When bespoke services need more data from their users, how safe is that data? Who has access? And why?We have yet to see government legislation on biometric data storage. But in a privacy-sensitive climate, the rule of thumb is to be sparing in the data you collect, and thorough with its encryption.To walk in their shoes, tap new talent. Successful communication in any arena depends on empathy. Reading your audience members’ needs and motivations, then tailoring your interactions with them, is instinctive for us as humans. But that process represents the next benchmark for conversational interfaces.Making automated responses more human, more nuanced and more useful for users will shape the next wave of chatbots and voice assistants. But there is still a way to go before we get to “true” conversation. Author and futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted in his SXSW talk that that advance won’t happen until 2029.Sophie Kleber, executive director of product and innovation at Huge, recommended that designers and writers work on conversational interfaces and focus on psychology. They need to become more familiar with what goes on for people “behind” the surface dialogue, she said.But judging whether a dash of humor there would be welcomed or met with a stony silence can be a tricky call even for humans — can it be programmed? Part of Kleber’s solution to this dilemma, she said, entails understanding when a service has “permission” to connect with users.The solution requires our human resources capabilities to merge with those of machines. In practice, that means tapping the talents of comedians, theater directors and poets alongside those of designers and programmers.Technologist John Maeda (head of computational design and inclusion at Automatic) underlined this need when he presented the third annual Design In Tech report at SXSW. He called on designers to “love their copywriters and content strategists,” in order to take full advantage of language as an interface.Delight in diversity.Using creative talent to humanize automated interfaces is important. But if those new faces all look, think or behave alike, the result might still fall short. This was the crux of Maeda’s other key point: We need to reflect our audience in our workforce.That makes complete business sense. After all, your investment into voice interfaces will pay off only if it benefits your users. The problem is that as the user-base for conversational interfaces grows, it’s less likely to match a typical design team.Related: At Last, Customer Service Agents That Customers Can’t Drive Crazy.So, draw on diverse backgrounds to ensure that you’re not simply adopting new technology for its own sake, but as a tool to meet the needs of your customers. That was some of the wisdom I got at this year’s SXSW. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals March 20, 2017last_img read more

Super Spiffy Fun Time Weekend Hardware Deals

first_img Power Supplies Intel Core i3-4370$146.99 Beyerdynamic DT-990-PRO 32Ohm$271.00 Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR4 2400$112.99 RHA MA750i IEM$129.95 HDD Intel Core i5-4690K$234.99 ASUS R9 390X DCII$409.99 ASUS GTX 960 STRIX$219.99 Mushkin Enhanced ECO2 120GB SSD$52.99 Corsair CX430M 430W$29.99 Graphics Cards CM Storm Trooper Full Tower$149.99 G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Series 8GB DDR4 2800$64.99 Motherboards Schiit Fulla USB DAC/Amp$79.00 Seasonic Platinum-1200 1200W$209.99 SanDisk Ultra II 960GB$329.99 Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3$114.99 MSI Z97 PC Mate$74.99 RAM Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB DDR3 1600$82.99 IN WIN 901 Mini-ITX$159.99 CPU Team Elite Plus 8GB DDR3 1600$37.99 Intel Core i5-4590$188.00 ASUS Z97-A$144.99 EVGA NEX750B 750W$49.99 WD Green 4TB$135.99 Kingston HyperX Fury 120GB$64.99 Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+$99.99 ASRock Z170 Pro4$117.99 Silverstone Raven RV03B$129.99 ASUS R9 380 STRIX$199.99 Sony XBAH1 IEM$144.00 Intel Core i7-5930K$569.99 XFX Core Edition PRO850 850W$69.99 Cooler Master V550 550W$62.99 Audio Fidelity Seagate 1TB Hybrid Drive$77.00 Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB DDR4 2666$279.99 Cases Gigabyte GTX 970 Gaming ITX$299.99 Cambridge DACMagic XS$189.00 Well, that might be a slight misnomer, but some are not so bad after rebate!. Some aren’t necessarily the most impressive deals you’ve ever seen, but at the very least these are from legitimate establishments with workable return policies. That and some of these deals might just be able to sway you just enough in that direction to buy.It’s definitely time to upgrade for most, right? The Skylake is falling and those gorgeous Z170 motherboards are certainly starting to show up in stock.Unfortunately Skylake isn’t necessarily available in mass quantities, and of course we won’t see super spectacular prices just yet. But it seems that Z170 motherboards seem to be competing for the best prices, so great deals might be had. There are a few below even though Skylake isn’t quite skulking around like we’d prefer But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the inevitable upgrade, right?Image credit: walwalkaWeekend hardware deals to help kick-start your next build! Corsair Carbide SPEC-03$54.99 MSI GTX 980 GAMING$499.99 AMD FX-9590$259.99 ComponentPrice Fractal Design Arc XL$126.22 Share Tweet Submitlast_img read more

Trafalgar and Costsaver kick off Travel Talk events this week

first_img Travelweek Group Trafalgar and Costsaver kick off ‘Travel Talk’ events this week << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Tags: CostSaver, Trafalgarcenter_img Monday, July 8, 2019 Share TORONTO — Trafalgar and Costsaver are bringing back their popular ‘Travel Talk’ events for the 10th consecutive year, launching this week across Canada and taking place throughout the summer.Comprising 40 events in total, the event series gives travel agents and their clients the chance to meet like-minded travellers, be inspired by a world of destinations, and have their questions answered by the brands’ travel experts.Events also include light snacks and refreshments, special show offers and amazing giveaways.New this year are ‘Travel Talk’ webinars to be enjoyed from the convenience of agents’ offices or homes.“The ‘Travel Talk’ events are back by popular demand and an excellent opportunity for our loyal Canadian travel agents and their clients to learn how Trafalgar and Costsaver offer the best vacation experiences worldwide,” says Wolf Paunic, president of Trafalgar and Costsaver Canada. “With our ongoing #AgentsFirst commitment, we are also very excited to introduce our ‘Travel Talk’ Webinars, for agents to take part in an engaging travel presentation, show offers, prizes and much more! Interested participants are encouraged to RSVP today, as space is limited.”More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsThe first events take place this week in Oshawa, ON and Victoria, B.C. on July 9, Markham, ON and Burnaby, B.C. on July 10, and Brampton/Mississauga, ON on July 11.For a full list of all ‘Travel Talk’ dates and locations, contact your local Sales Manager or visit read more

Police investigate claims dead teen was bullied

first_imgPolice on Thursday said they are investigating claims that a 16-year-old boy who died last week in Larnaca while at a party may have been the victim of bullying.Panayiotis Stefanis from Troulli died last Sunday while at a party after reportedly complaining he did not feel well. He had gone outside where he collapsed and despite efforts by the father of one of the other teenagers at the party and later by the ambulance staff he could not be resuscitated. A post mortem showed that he had choked on vomit. Tissue was sent for toxicology tests. The results are expected to shed light on what alcoholic substances the teenager had consumed that night and how much.But after claims that Stefanis had been the victim of bullying, police said they are now also pursuing this line of inquiry.Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris said on Thursday that he had informed the police chief about the bullying claims.Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on Thursday that the Larnaca police were already investigating the circumstances surrounding Stefanis’ death but are now also investigating the latest claims.The file has now been transferred to the Larnaca CID.“It is a very sensitive and serious issue,” he said.The aim, he said, is to turn these claims into testimonies so that they can be investigated to ascertain their veracity.Hambiaouris said that he could not take position on the incident until after the police investigation but that tackling bullying in schools is one of his ministry’s top priorities.He referred to the national strategy against bullying.“Changes are being made that will yield very positive results,” Hambiaouris said.The parents’ association of secondary education have expressed their concerns and said they will brief the police chief on Friday on all the information they possess on this incident.“From the first moment there was news of this tragic incident it has been rumoured that there had been bullying against this child,” the group’s chairman Kyriacos Nikiforou told state broadcaster CyBC.He said the group, that had a scheduled meeting with the police chief on Friday, is to ask for full investigation into the incident.Another issue the parents will raise concerns the availability of alcohol to minors.“We want to ask him that the law that forbids selling alcohol to minors is finally enforced,” Nikiforou said.   You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Joe Jonas Says Diplo Ruined It by Live Streaming His and Sophie

first_img DiploGame of Thronesjoe jonasJoe Jonas Sophie turner wedding video First Published: May 30, 2019, 8:14 PM IST Following Billboard Music Awards last month, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner surprised everybody with their sudden wedding in Las Vegas. Joe, 29, and Sophie, 23, got married in front of an Elvis Presley impersonator while the American DJ-record producer Diplo documented their wedding live on Instagram. Joe’s brothers and bandmates — Nick and Kevin, stood by his side on his big day and Sophie’s new sister-in-laws, Priyanka and Danielle, were also there to support the couple.Recently, during a visit to the London radio show Capital Breakfast With Roman Kemp, the Jonas Brothers opened up about the surprise nuptial. On being asked about Diplo filming their wedding on social media, Joe jokingly said that he ruined it. His brothers Nick and Kevin added that they loved what Diplo did and they couldn’t help laughing seeing the wedding with dog face filters, Joe said, “I love Diplo, but he loves his ’gram more than a 13-year-old. He posts every five seconds. He literally, like, live-streamed with dog face filters. We just laughed. We loved it. We thought it was ridiculous. I just love that he was walking into the chapel and he’s like, ‘Gonna hit this wedding right quick.'”Joe revealed that he and the Game of Thrones actress have plans to go on a honeymoon, however, he wants to keep it a secret. He said, “We’ve got plans (for honeymoon) that we’ll be hush-hush about, but we’ll make time for that.”Meanwhile, reports state that the couple will exchange vows overseas in June. However, no other detail about the second wedding ceremony has been announced yet. The two celebs started dating in 2016 and got engaged in October 2017. They were seen attending Nick and Priyanka Chopra’s Jodhpur wedding last year. During a talk show, Jonas had suggested that the couple might get married this summer. On the professional front, the final season of Sophie’s popular show Game of Thrones premiering on HBO concluded earlier this month. On the other hand, the Jonas Brothers are back and Joe is been busy promoting his new singles and album Happiness Begins with his brother Nick and Kevin. Follow @News18Movies for more last_img read more