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Heavy rain lashes Odisha, hits normal life in coastal region

first_imgModerate to heavy rain continued to lash several districts of Odisha since Wednesday morning affecting normal life in the southern and coastal regions of the State.Triggered by a well- marked low pressure formed over the Bay of Bengal, heavy rain is likely over more areas of the State over the next three days.As less number of vehicles were seen plying on the roads, people living in slum clusters and low clusters faced difficulties in the urban areas of Berhampur, Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack during the day.The Bhubaneswar Centre of the India Meteorological Department said that heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places over the districts of Koraput, Gajapati, Ganjam and Puri on Thursday. More rain forecastHeavy rain was also likely to hit the districts of Malkangiri, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nayagarh, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Sundargarh, Kendrapara and Bhadrak, the centre warned. The centre said that heavy to very heavy rain was expected at isolated places over the districts of Sundargarh, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Keonjhar on Friday. The low pressure area, formed over the west-central Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a depression by Thursday night, the centre said.last_img read more

Two U.P. constables arrested in Pilakhuwa custodial torture case

first_imgMore than six weeks after a security guard Pradeep Tomar allegedly died because of torture at a police post in Pilakhuwa town of Hapur district, two constables have been arrested.Also read ‘Custodial’ death sparks tension in U.P. town“Manish Singh and Sonu Kumar were arrested on Wednesday. They were produced before a magistrate and have been sent to jail,” said Rajesh Kumar Singh, Circle Officer, Hapur (city), who is investigating the case.He refused to comment on the constables’ role in the case. “It is still a matter of investigation.” He said two other accused, SHO Yogesh Baliyan and sub-inspector Ajab Singh, who were under suspension, were still on the run.Deputy Superintendent of Police Santosh Mishra, who was also named in the FIR and transferred to Garhmukteshwar after the incident, has already been given a clean chit in the case.Mr. Tomar, 35, died on the intervening night of October 13 after he was picked by the police from the Chhijarasai toll booth in Pilakhuwa. The police had claimed he was picked up for questioning in connection with a murder case. However, Mr. Tomar’s family, including his 10-year-old son who was allegedly present when his father was picked up, claimed that he was tortured by the police personnel.Based on the complaint of the deceased’s brother Kuldeep, an FIR was registered against six police personnel under stringent Sections of the Indian Penal Code.last_img read more

Fury Takes Klitschko’s Title

first_imgDUESSELDORF, Germany — Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision to end the Ukrainian’s 9 1/2-year reign as heavyweight champion on Nov. 28 and take his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles.After a bruising encounter that ended with cuts near both of Klitschko’s eyes, referee Tony Weeks went to the judges’ scorecards.Cesar Ramos and Raul Caiz Sr. scored it 115-112 each, while Ramon Cerdan had it 116-111 in favor of the undefeated Briton (25-0, 18 KO).Fury, 12 years younger than the 39-year-old Klitschko, taunted and baited the champion at various stages, prompting jeers from fans at the 55,000-seat soccer stadium in Duesseldorf.Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO), contesting his 28th title fight, was cautious until attempting a recovery in the final rounds, but suffered his first defeat since April 2004.“The speed was missing. Reach played a big role. I tried but it didn’t work,” said Klitschko, who at 1.98-meters (6-foot-6), was in the unusual position of facing someone taller in the 2.09-meter (6-foot-9) Fury. Fury, who weighed in at 112 kilograms (247 pounds) also had half-kilo (1.1 pound) weight advantage.Klitschko, the premier heavyweight of his era, relinquished the IBF belt he had held since 2006, the WBO title he’d owned since 2008, and the WBA crown he’d had since 2011.The other major belt, the WBC title, was held by Deontay Wilder of the U.S. That was vacated in 2013 by Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, the current mayor of Kiev, Ukraine.“I’ve said some stupid things,” an emotional Fury said of his pre-fight talk and antics. “Wladimir, you’re a great champion and thanks for having me. It was all fun and games in the buildup.”The buildup had seen Fury dressing as Batman, serenading Klitschko, goading him and insulting him, and even complimenting him on his scent.Earlier, Fury threatened to call off the bout unless an issue with the canvas being too soft was resolved.There were also issues over gloves and glove-wrapping. Vitali Klitschko oversaw Fury’s glove-wrapping, but the Fury camp was incensed when the younger Klitschko wrapped the gloves without any of them present. That spat was resolved when he agreed to re-wrap.Fury was itching to go from the start, and he ran into the first round to put Klitschko off kilter. The Briton also goaded Klitschko during and after the round.Fury then landed a big right on Klitschko in the fifth, when he opened a small cut under his right eye, and taunted him again.The Briton’s intensity seemed to drop as Klitschko improved, but still he needled him in the seventh, when he urged Klitschko to “come on” and baited him with his hands behind his back, prompting more jeers.Klitschko replied to an uppercut in the ninth with a big right of his own, before Fury was warned for punching the back of his head. But then he had Klitschko in trouble in the corner.Klitschko needed a response, and sought it in the 10th, by which time there was blood coming from his left eye, too.Fury had a point deducted for hitting behind the head in the 11th and both fighters gave their all in a furious final round before raising their arms in celebration. The Fury camp’s celebrations seemed more sincere.(CIARAN FAHEY) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Stefanos Tsitsipas shocks Rafael Nadal to reach Madrid Open final

first_imgStefanos Tsitsipas pulled off one of the biggest wins of his short but remarkable career by beating Rafael Nadal 6-4 2-6 6-3 on Spanish soil on Saturday to book his place in the Madrid Open final against world number one Novak Djokovic.Tsitsipas, 20, had never won a set in his previous three meetings against claycourt specialist and 11-times French Open champion Nadal, but the Greek drew first blood by saving a break point to hold in the 10th game and take the first set.He broke Nadal six times in the epic three-setter played late into the Madrid night, lasting two hours and 34 minutes, while saving 11 of the 16 break points he conceded to his opponent.Before Nadal met Tsitsipas, he had won 26 of 27 service games in this year’s Madrid Open, and the Spaniard had breezed past the youngster in the Barcelona Open final last season and this year’s Australian Open semi-finals.Nadal won the second set and looked to have the physical edge over his opponent, who has also been playing doubles in Madrid.But Tsitsipas, the Next Gen ATP finals champion, came back stronger in the decider with impressive court coverage and broke Nadal to take a 5-2 lead although he could not immediately serve out for the match.He earned repeated match points in the next game when Nadal was serving and after the Spaniard had dug deep to save three of them he could only find the net on the fourth.Tsitsipas dropped his racket and put his hands to his face to savour his first victory over the titan of claycourt tennis, completing a clean sweep of wins over Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer in less than 10 months.advertisement”UNBELIEVABLE FEELING”Nadal, meanwhile, was left reflecting on a third straight semi-final exit on clay after losing to Fabio Fognini in the Monte Carlo Masters and Dominic Thiem in the Barcelona Open.”It means the world, it’s really nice to be able to play this way, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” Tsitsipas told reporters.”I had to show mental discipline and being tough and decisive in those crucial moments was key, I had to take all opportunities because Rafa is a fighter, he doesn’t give you many points.”Djokovic reached the final after seeing off last year’s runner-up Dominic Thiem 7-6(2) 7-6(4) in a gruelling, high-quality match lasting two hours 22 minutes.Tsitsipas beat Djokovic in the Rogers Cup in Toronto and was looking forward to another match with the Serbian.”I’ll have to be mentally prepared for Djokovic, I’m sure he wants the title as badly as me,” he added.Djokovic, winner in Madrid in 2011 and 2016, was fully rested after his quarter-final opponent Marin Cilic had withdrawn because of food poisoning, while Thiem had to dig deep to beat Roger Federer in a gruelling three-setter.Thiem, who won the Barcelona Open last month and was on an eight-match winning streak, struck an early blow by breaking Djokovic in the fourth game but the Serbian responded by winning the next three games and saved two break points in the eighth.The Serbian won the first tiebreak comfortably after poor shot selections from Thiem but was in trouble in the second set when he trailed 4-2.He immediately broke back and had the chance to serve for the match at 6-5 but squandered the opportunity with a double fault.Yet once again Djokovic had the edge in the tiebreak, earning three match points and taking the first as Thiem smashed a baseline backhand well out, booking his place in a first final since winning the Australian Open.Also Read | Kiki Bertens beats Simona Halep in Madrid Open final to lift the titleAlso Read | Madrid Open: Novak Djokovic back to best against Dominic Thiem to reach finallast_img read more

From climate change to honeybees, here’s why bumblebees are dying out

first_imgThere are several species that are staring at the risk of extinction. One such species is that of bumblebees, because of diseases spread by domestic honeybees, reports a recent study.”Several of the viruses associated with bumblebees’ trouble are moving from managed bees in apiaries to nearby populations of wild bumblebees and this spillover is likely occurring through flowers that both kinds of bees share,” said Samantha Alger, a scientist who led the new research published in the journal of PLOS ONE.”Many wild pollinators are in trouble and this finding could help us protect bumblebees. This has implications for how we manage domestic bees and where we locate them,” she said.Decline in population of rusty-patched bumblebeesAround the globe, the importance of wild pollinators has been gaining attention as diseases and declines in managed honeybees threaten key crops.Less understood is that many of the threats to honeybees (Apis mellifera) including land degradation, certain pesticides, and diseases also threaten native bees, such as the rusty-patched bumblebee, recently listed under the Endangered Species Act; it has declined by nearly 90 percent but was once an excellent pollinator of cranberries, plums, apples, and other agricultural plants.About the researchThe research team explored 19 sites across Vermont. They discovered that two well-known RNA viruses found in honeybees – deformed wing virus and black queen cell virus – were higher in bumblebees collected less than 300 meters from commercial beehives.The scientists also discovered that active infections of the deformed wing virus were higher near these commercial apiaries but no deformed wing virus was found in the bumblebees they collected where foraging honeybees and apiaries were absent.advertisementMost impressive, the team detected viruses on 19 percent of the flowers they sampled from sites near apiaries. “I thought this was going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack. What are the chances that you’re going to pick a flower and find a bee virus on it? Finding this many was surprising,” said Alger.In contrast, the scientists didn’t detect any bee viruses on flowers sampled more than one kilometre from commercial beehives.Alger showed concern about the long-distance transport of large numbers of honeybees for commercial pollination. “Big operators put hives on flatbed trucks and move them to California to pollinate almonds and then onto Texas for another crop,” she said.”This research suggests that we might want to keep apiaries outside of areas where there are vulnerable pollinator species, like the rusty-patched bumblebees, especially because we have so much more to learn about what these viruses are actually doing to bumblebees,” Alger said.Honeybees are an important part of modern agriculture, but they’re non-native. “They’re livestock animals. A huge misconception in the public is that honeybees serve as the iconic image for pollinator conservation. That’s ridiculous. It’s like making chickens the iconic image of bird conservation,” Alger concluded.(With inputs from ANI)Read | Rusty patched bumblebee on the verge of extinction: How will this impact our lives? Read | The mighty bees: From insane learning abilities to playing sportsRead | Bees can count with just 4 brain cells, says studylast_img read more

Shippers to Gain Most from Low Oil Prices

first_imgzoom With crude oil down to its lowest price in five years last week, all carriers stand to gain from lower fuel costs, but the competitive and over-supplied nature of the market means that the principal beneficiary will be shippers, according to Drewry Shipping Consultants.If bunker fuel prices were to remain constant at their current prices throughout 2015, the potential fuel savings for carriers are considerable. For the purpose of the analysis, Drewry has limited the scope to the Asia-North Europe trade.Assuming the above mentioned bunker costs represent the 2015 average and a round voyage of 77 days, the estimated annual saving for a single 18,000 teu vessel versus the forecast average for 2014 would be USD 5.7 million. For a single 12,000 teu ship – the average size currently used in the trade – the estimated saving is USD 4.75m. Therefore, the total annual fuel saving for a single service using 11 ships of 18,000 teu would come in at around USD 68.8m. These calculations do not take into account the introduction of new IMO sulphur limits from the start of next year.Using the same assumptions and based on 100% ship utilisation, lower fuel bills will actually narrow the cost advantage of the biggest containerships. For example, the bunker cost per round-voyage slot for an 18,000 teu ship in 2015 will come down by USD 67 to USD 123 per teu, whereas for a 12,000 teu ship the reduction will be USD 83 to USD 153/teu, a differential of USD 30 rather than USD 46 in 2014.Those with a more pronounced big-ship fleet profile stand to see a lower fuel cost reduction in percentage terms on account of their existing higher per slot fuel efficiency, but they will still be able to squeeze out more absolute fuel cost savings.One likely side benefit from prolonged lower energy prices is the stimulus it will give to consumer and corporate spending (outside of oil-dependent economies/sectors). Higher demand should translate into better ship utilisation, as long as carriers do not speed ships and increase the effective slot capacity. This in turn will improve the average bunker slot costs for carriers.A downside for carriers from lower bunkers is that it will undermine their attempts to lift freight rates as shippers will expect to see much of those fuel savings passed on. Drewry says that this sentiment played a part in carriers having to backtrack from recent US West Coast port congestion surcharges.Carriers have shown that they can make money as long as unit costs are cut harder than unit revenues. Those that have previously been giving away free, or at least heavily subsidised, bunker passes will need to take that into account when negotiating contracts, otherwise their base cargo rates will be unnecessarily dragged down by the expectation of a lower fuel element, which might not have existing in the first place.Source: Drewry; Image: Port of Hamburglast_img read more

One dead three injured as apple laden truck fell into gorge in

first_imgShimla: One person died and three others, including two women, sustained injuries as an apple laden truck fell into gorge in Himachal Pradesh’s Shimla district on Wednesday, police said. The 42-year-old truck driver Harnam Singh of Ludhiana (Punjab) died and its cleaner Sudhir Kumar (25) of Bihar’s Vaishali district was injured, police said. As the truck fell into the gorge, a kutcha house (dharha) near Anandpur on Shoghi bypass was also damaged and two women inhabitants were injured, Shimla Superintendent of Police Omapati Jamwal said. The injured women were identified as Vimla (18) and Dhani Kala (50) and have been admitted in a nearby hospital for treatment, he said. The SP said the police rescued them with the help of local people and national highway authority of India (NHAI) employees.last_img read more

JDS seeks to expand base in LS polls by capitalising on it

first_imgBengaluru: Limited to a couple of constituencies in the old Mysuru region in the successive Lok Sabha polls since its formation in 1999, the JD(S) in Karnataka is aiming to break new ground in the coming parliamentary elections capitalising on the party being in power. After the Janata Dal split in 1999, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda’s JD(S) has been winning two to three Lok Sabha seats in the old Mysuru region, largely from party bastions of Hassan and Mandya, dominated by the Vokkaliga community, its solid vote base, as also from Bangalore Rural and Chamarajanagara once. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day The JD(S), the lone surviving active offshoot of the erstwhile Janata Dal in the state, which has seen a revival with it coming to power in Karnataka in alliance with the Congress after the May 2018 assembly polls, wants to use the opportunity to expand its horizons. The party’s presence in the coalition government with the Congress and H D Kumaraswamy’s stature as chief minister will help the party in increasing its tally in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, senior JD(S) leader Y S V Datta told PTI. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty “It is true, if we were not in government and if there was no coalition, then our strength would have been limited to two or three seats in the old Mysuru region, but now that we are in the government and since our leader Kumaraswamy is chief minister, we can capitalise on his stature across the state,” he said. Datta, who is party’s campaign committee chief, said as per the understanding, the Congress will not field its candidates where the JD(S) is contesting, so minorities, backward class and SC/ST votes that were traditionally with the grand old party in those constituencies, will get transferred to the party. However, he also conceded that the JD(S) should have a base in those constituencies, as one cannot bat on a dead pitch. The Congress will contest 20 seats and the JD(S) eight in the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka under a deal finalised by the two partners of the ruling coalition on Wednesday after weeks of haggling and uncertainty. The Lok Sabha constituencies that the JD(S) will contest in are Uttara Kannada, Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Tumkur, Hassan, Mandya, Bangalore North and Bijapur. However, political analysts don’t see JD(S) gaining much in this election. “It is a bit unlikely… The JD(S) can improve its performance only if the Congress supports it wholeheartedly, which seems unlikely, because the sentiment that both parties should come together to forge an alliance against the BJP is not shared among the party’s rank and file,” Narayana A, a professor at Azim Premji University, told PTI. The kind of signals that have been going out ever since the formation of the coalition government has created some kind of confusion among the workers as to whether they are really in alliance, he said. “So it is unlikely that one can expect the kind of support from the the Congress that the JD(S) needs to win,” he said. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the vote share of the JD(S) in the seven constituencies was — Chikmagalur 1.44 per cent, Shimoga 21.29 per cent, Tumkur 23.47 per cent, Hassan 44.43 per cent, Mandya 43.95 per cent, Bangalore North 6.83 per cent and Bijapur 5.95 per cent. The party had not fielded any candidate from Uttara Kannada. The JD(S) had won the Hassan and Mandya seats in the last general elections. The Congress had bagged nine and the BJP 17 seats. However in the by-polls, the BJP yielded the Bellary seat to the Congress. Among the eight seats that the JD(S) is contesting this time, it has its sitting MPs in two. Tumkuru is with the Congress and the rest five constituencies are represented by the BJP. According to sources, during seat negotiations, the JD(S) got the Tumkur seat, dominated by the Vokkaliga community, after a hard bargain as the Congress had decided not to cede those constituencies to the regional partner where it has a sitting MP. Mysore-Kodagu was another constituency that the JD(S) had demanded from the old Mysuru region, but could not bag it due to opposition from Siddaramaiah, as the seat is in his home turf, sources said. Narayana also feels that despite the JD(S) fielding Deve Gowda’s grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy in their bastion of Mandya, it will not be a cakewalk for the party this time. “I’m not too sure that the party workers will have the same kind of feelings towards him, as they had towards, Deve Gowda or Kumaraswamy,” he said. He however said, Hassan should not be much of a problem for the JD(S), where Gowda’s other grandson Prajwal Revanna is the candidate, as he has been associated with the party affairs there for some time now. There is opposition to Nikhil Kumaraswamy’s candidature in Mandya, as many who claim to be JD(S) supporters have hit out at the party leadership for sidelining loyal party workers to favour some one from their family, despite not being actively involved in party activities in the district. Nikhil is likely to be pitted against Sumalatha Ambareesh, wife of late actor-turned-politician Ambareesh in Mandya.last_img read more

UN observes anniversary of Kristallnacht pogrom against Jews

Organized by the Holocaust and UN Outreach Programme of the Department of Public Information (DPI), the screening and the discussion commemorate the events of 9-10 November 1938. The pogrom, known also as the “night of broken glass,” signalled an escalation in violence towards Jews that ultimately led to their mass murder during the Holocaust.“Today, through the United Nations, we have the mandates and the body of international human rights laws and mechanisms to protect individual human rights and civil liberties,” Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka told the discussion participants in his opening remarks.“But we did not have these institutions and systems in 1938, and little action was taken to cease the cruel treatment and murder of the Jews. Kristallnacht marked a turning point in the persecution and imprisonment of Jews. Thousands of sons and fathers were torn from their families and sent off to concentration camps that night,” Mr. Akasaka added.The discussion examined the events leading up to the violence against Jewish people, how immigration policy contributed to the outcome and the lessons this history offers today. The event will also outline Jewish emigration to Shanghai as China was one of the few countries to offer a safe haven to Jews following the pogrom.Gary Phillips, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor and witness to the Kristallnacht pogrom, which symbolized the shattering of Jewish life in Germany, shared his personal story of survival with participants to discussion, who also heard from the Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev, as well as Jewish scholars. The film, My Opposition: the Diaries of Friedrich Kellner, tells the story of a justice inspector in Nazi Germany who risked his life by campaigning against the Third Reich and secretly documenting their atrocities. 10 November 2008A film screening and a panel discussion are being held at United Nations Headquarters today as the world body observes the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, the violent pogrom in Germany and Austria against Jews and their homes, synagogues and businesses. read more

ICE Futures Canada Thursday Canola prices lower barley unchanged

WINNIPEG — ICE Futures Canada closing prices:Canola: Nov. ’17 $3.40 lower $497.60; Jan. ’18 $3.50 lower $502.90; March ’18 $3.60 lower $506.70; May ’18 $3.70 lower $509.50; July ’18 $3.60 lower $511.90; Nov. ’18 $3.60 lower $478.00; Jan. ’19 $3.60 lower $478.80; March ’19 $3.60 lower $481.50; May ’19 $3.60 lower $481.50; July ’19 $3.60 lower $481.50; Nov. ’19 $3.60 lower $481.50.Barley (Western): Oct. ’17 unchanged $145.00; Dec. ’17 unchanged $141.00; March ’18 unchanged $141.00; May ’18 unchanged $141.00; July ’18 unchanged $141.00; Oct. ’18 unchanged $141.00; Dec. ’18 unchanged $141.00; March ’19 unchanged $141.00; May ’19 unchanged $141.00; July ’19 unchanged $141.00; Oct. ’19 unchanged $141.00.Thursday’s estimated volume of trade: 194,380 tonnes of canola; 0 tonnes of barley (Western Barley). Total: 194,380. read more

Fighting poverty and deprivation crucial to ensuring peace and security – Annan

Fresh from two days of talks with leaders of some 20 of the world’s regional organizations, Mr. Annan told his semi-annual news conference: “Indeed, one of the points most strongly made at our meeting was that our success in countering the more conventional threats may depend in large part on the progress we make in overcoming poverty and deprivation. These cannot be thought of as lesser priorities.” “History will not forgive us if we neglect them,” he said in introductory remarks, explaining that was why he attached so much importance to the current round of trade talks that will reach “a crunch point” with the ministerial meeting at Cancun, Mexico, in September. “Decisions taken there will tell us whether this is to be a real ‘development round’ – in other words, whether poor countries will or will not, at last, be given a real chance to trade their way out of poverty,” he added. Dividing the challenge into two parts, he said one – the issue of intellectual property as it affects public health in developing countries – was relatively narrow. “We must reach an agreement allowing those developing countries that cannot produce cheap generic drugs themselves to import them from other countries that can,” he declared. The other was very broad and potentially decisive for the economic prospects of many developing countries – the issue of trade in agricultural products. “We must reach an agreement that allows farmers in poor countries a fair chance to compete, both in world markets and at home,” Mr. Annan said. “They should no longer face exclusion from rich countries’ markets by protective tariffs and quotas. Nor should they have to face unfair competition from heavily subsidized producers in those same rich countries at home.” Another non-conventional threat that “we cannot afford to ignore” was HIV/AIDS, Mr. Annan said in announcing that he had just written to all Heads of State and Government urging them to attend a one-day session in September that the UN General Assembly will hold on the issue on the day before the general debate begins. “I believe all these crises can be solved, if the peoples and states of the world are really determined to work on them together, making good use of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions such as those whose leaders are here this week,” he said. “But we must not underestimate the gravity or the urgency of the task. We have real opportunities to make the world safer and fairer for all its inhabitants.” In a question and answer session afterwards Mr. Annan stressed how important the UN remained despite the divisions earlier this year over the war in Iraq. “I think the message that comes through loud and clear, given the reactions of other Member States, is that multilateralism is important…that the imprimatur of the United Nations – the legitimacy the United Nations offers – is important. “I think that this is a very clear message for those who thought that the United Nations was dead and had no influence,” he added. Noting that it was the only organization where all the governments can come together to discuss issues, he said. “Governments are telling us, the world and their people that the United Nations is important for them and that they take its decisions seriously.” On the Middle East, the Secretary-General noted that the peace process and the Road Map plan of the diplomatic Quartet – the UN, European Union, Russian Federation and United States – have made some progress with the ceasefire that has held for the past couple of weeks. But, he stressed, the plan demands the parties take parallel action – “actions that give hope to the Palestinians that there could be a State at the end of the process, and steps that also give assurances to the Israelis that steps are being taken to end violence and terrorism.” Asked about the separation fence being constructed by the Israelis, Mr. Annan replied: “I know that it is conventional wisdom that fences make good neighbours. But that is if you build a fence on your own land and you do not disrupt your neighbour’s life.” Turning to the issue of respecting human rights while fighting terrorism, Mr. Annan said there should be no trade-off and people should not be asked to give up their civil liberties for security. “We are concerned that, under the guise of terrorism, governments all around the world are using the T-word – and tagging people with it – to abuse their rights and lock them up in jail and to deal with political opposition,” he declared. Asked whether he had succumbed to pressure from the Rwandan Government in recommending the removal of the current prosecutor from the UN’s war crimes tribunal for that country, he replied: “Absolutely not. The question of the separation of the prosecutor function has been around for quite a long time.” Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte is also chief prosecutor for the war crimes tribunal for Yugoslavia and Mr. Annan said separating the two posts would accelerate the work of both courts. “I think that we have to admit that it is extremely difficult for a prosecutor even to run a tribunal in one country; but for a prosecutor to run two tribunals thousands of kilometres apart, with major cases in The Hague such as the Milosevic one, while at the same time wanting to pay attention to Rwanda – we have had problems from the beginning,” he said.” Video of the news conference read more

Tembec expects 55 million from Quebec rebate program for big electricity users

by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 24, 2017 9:37 am MDT Last Updated Mar 24, 2017 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – One of Quebec’s largest forestry companies says it expects to qualify for $55 million of electricity rebates due to a four-year capital investment program centred at its Temiscaming manufacturing site.Montreal-based Tembec Inc. (TSX:TMB) says its $136-million capital program will improve the competitiveness of its Quebec plants, particularly the specialty cellulose plant in the town of Temiscaming near North Bay, Ont.Tembec says the investment will qualify for rebates introduced in the province’s 2016-17 budget, worth about 40 per cent of the total capital investment.About 800 of the company’s 1,500 employees in Quebec work at the Temiscaming site, which uses wood fibre from the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region and converts it to specialty cellulose that’s used in a variety of consumer and industrial products.Tembec’s other products include lumber, paper pulp and paper. Tembec expects $55 million from Quebec rebate program for big electricity users read more

UK at the centre of new Grand Prix championship

A1 Grand Prix is set to be a showcase of British engineering talent. The new championship will begin on 25 September and will feature identical cars running for different countries. The cars, engines, and gearboxes are all made in Britain. Sheikh Maktoum, founder, president and chairman of the championship, has put his faith in British technology, having bought 50 Lola A1 cars and an equivalent number of engines, plus spares from British company Zytek Engineering. The new investment adds to an industry already worth £4 billion in the UK. Chairman of the A1 Team Great Britain is John Surtees, a former world championship driver. Surtees (pictured right) is the only man to have won several driving championships on both four and two wheels and has his own prestigious past with Lola, having raced their cars in Formula 1 in the 1960s. Commenting on the new series, Surtees said, ‘Apart from the championship promoting British products, it also presents opportunities for British business to get behind the British team in what will become the World Cup of Motorsport’. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Baseballs Savviest And Crappiest Bullpen Managers
Baseballs Savviest And Crappiest Bullpen Managers

At a glance, this leaderboard passes the sniff test. Aside from interlopers such as erstwhile Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez and former A’s manager Bob Geren, it’s a list of eight well-respected tacticians. Moreover, the first five men listed have all won Manager of the Year awards, as have seven of the top 10. While it is famously difficult to predict who will win that honor, which suggests the award might not be the most robust measure of managerial quality, it’s still good to know that our new metric isn’t coming completely out of left field. And the bottom-10 list also makes sense, as it could pass as a meeting of the Crusty Old Curmudgeons Society: Jerry Narron90 wRM+ is weighted reliever management plus, a measurement of efficient bullpen management, where 100 is average and higher values are betterSource: FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus Manny Acta87 Joe Torre113 NAMEWRM+ Joe Girardi111 Fredi Gonzalez108 Bob Geren108 Eric Wedge105 The best bullpen managers since 2000 Tony La Russa92 MANAGERWRM+ Bud Black106 As September draws to a close with multiple teams still locked in tight playoff races, baseball fans across the country have ample reason to pore over every last detail of their managers’ decisions. And when it comes to bullpen management, they have a great deal to scrutinize. Mistakes in this arena — which, by definition, almost always occur late in games — usually come in the form of either saving an ace reliever for “his inning” even as the game slips away at an earlier stage, or, conversely, wasting top relievers by deploying them in unimportant situations.Earlier this month, we showed that major league managers have gotten better at avoiding these types of errors over the past three decades. Instead of handing big moments to subpar relievers based on tired notions of seniority,1Such as age, career saves or years of big-league experience. managers are increasingly handing important responsibilities to the best relievers available. But not every manager is equally adept at doing this. Grading individual skippers on their ability to consistently deploy their best relievers in the biggest moments, we find that bullpen management is a repeatable skill that can be fairly assigned to individual managers, and that good bullpen management is worth something on the order of one win per season.Here’s how it worked. First, we ranked the relievers on each team2Excluding relievers who switched teams midseason. in every full season since 20003Moving the cutoff up from 1988 in order to focus on managers who are still relatively fresh in the collective memory. from best to worst in deserved run average (DRA), which is Baseball Prospectus’s context-neutral metric for evaluating pitcher performance.4The stat accounts for, among other things, weather, team defense and umpire performance. We then ranked those same pitchers by the average leverage index — essentially, the importance (and pressure) of the moment — at the point when they first entered the game.5We pulled leverage index data from Fangraphs. Finally, we checked how well each team’s ranking of relievers by leverage index matched its ranking by DRA, a correlation6Specifically, a Spearman correlation weighted by innings pitched. we’re calling a team’s reliever management (RM) score. Effective bullpen managers use their best relievers (those with the lowest DRAs) in the most important moments (those with the highest leverage index), which pushes the RM score toward an ideal of -1.In our last article, we refrained from assessing the reliever usage of individual skippers because we weren’t sure yet whether what we were grading was attributable to the manager’s ability or whether it was just a function of the bullpen he had at his disposal in any given year. So we decided to test that relationship out. If reliever management is indeed a skill, we’d expect to see the same group of skippers be good at it — or bad at it — year after year. You don’t wake up one morning and forget how to drive a car, but sometimes you do hit every red light on your commute to work, or, in this case, get handed a bad batch of relievers.After calculating each team’s RM score, we assigned it to their manager of record that season (the one who managed the most games). Then we looked at whether individual managers’ RM scores were correlated with each other from year to year. Although the effect we found was rather weak — only about 10 percent of the variation in RM score year-over-year is likely attributable to managerial choices — it was statistically significant, even two years out.7We found p-values under 0.02 in both our year-over-year and two-year correlations. So it’s reasonable to assign at least some credit (or blame) for a team’s RM score to the man in the dugout.Still, there’s so much variation in team RM scores from year to year that we needed to use a more sophisticated statistical model to estimate each skipper’s overall bullpen-management ability.8Specifically, we used a Gaussian random effects model with terms for the manager and the year, since we previously determined that bullpen management was a skill that managers are increasingly improving at. A random effects model, in contrast to a fixed-effects model, assumes a great deal of statistical noise around an uncertain mean, then strips that noise away to estimate, as accurately as possible, a “true talent” level over time. When we applied our chosen model to each manager’s raw RM scores for each season, we ended up with an aggregate measure of how likely any given manager was to optimally match their relievers to appropriate situations — good relievers to tense moments, worse relievers to calmer ones.We’re calling the resulting metric weighted reliever management plus (wRM+), and in the style of other “plus” statistics, it’s been rescaled for ease of interpretability: 100 is average, with numbers above 100 corresponding to the percentage factor by which a manager is better than average (or worse than average, for scores below 100). For example, Joe Torre grades out as the best manager since 2000 with a score of 113, meaning his bullpen management was 13 percent better than average. Here’s the rest of the top 10:9To be especially sure we were isolating managerial skill, we limited the table to only include skippers who have managed at least five seasons since 2000. Ozzie Guillen111 Bob Melvin93 Clint Hurdle90 Ron Washington94 John Gibbons91 Jim Tracy108 Bobby Valentine93 Bruce Bochy108 Jim Leyland92 Dusty Baker91 The worst bullpen managers since 2000 Buddy Bell105 wRM+ is weighted reliever management plus, a measurement of efficient bullpen management, where 100 is average and higher values are betterSource: Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus Several of these guys are on the record as advocating innings-based roles, which are the bane of optimal relief management. But even the worst bullpen managers can change their philosophies over time. Hurdle went from having one of the worst RM scores in the league in Colorado to having one of the best in Pittsburgh. His overall ranking is more of a testament to his earlier difficulties than to his current acumen, and to the influence that front offices can have on managerial decision-making.So, now that we have a means of grading individual managers on reliever usage, how much is that actually worth in terms of wins and losses? To answer that, we looked at how many fewer runs were allowed — which in turn points to how many extra games were won — by good bullpen managers versus bad ones, sketching out a rough estimate of how many additional wins a manager’s bullpen smarts have been worth to his team.10For every team in our sample, we looked at how many runs the team gave up and how much the team over- or underperformed its run differential. We found that raw RM scores were significantly — if also weakly — correlated with both runs allowed (with an r of 0.11 and a p-value of 0.015) and whether a team over- or underperformed its run differential (an r of 0.12 and a p-value of 0.02). We used linear regressions of RM scores on these two numbers — and the fact that each win is equivalent to about 10 runs — to derive a total run value for bullpen management.Perhaps surprisingly, we found that bullpen management — good or bad — doesn’t actually affect a team’s overall performance all that much. Certainly it’s not as important as, say, having good relievers to employ in the first place. A manager who’s bad at managing a bullpen (for example, Manny Acta) might be expected to win about 0.5 fewer games per season as a result of his bullpen-management problems than an average manager with the same ’pen, while a good one (such as Joe Girardi) might win 0.5 games more than average over the course of a season. The total effect of this skill has a range of perhaps one win per year.In other words, bullpen management isn’t the be-all and end-all of managerial skills. That fits with what we already knew about managers: How they shape the chemistry and morale of the team tends to be vastly more important than their on-field tactical machinations, no matter how high-profile those machinations might be. And since every team is getting better and better at using their bullpen, the range of this skill is likely to shrink even further. And, more to the point, the single biggest determinant of team success, now and forever, remains the same: player quality.The usual caveats, discussed in greater detail in our earlier article, still apply.11Notably, our simple correlation-based metric doesn’t take into account matchups, reliever fatigue or bullpens changing over the course of a year. What’s more, for now we’re laying all the responsibility for the bullpen at the feet of the manager, when the front office and pitching coach probably also play a role. And our particular ranking method doesn’t account for fluctuations in reliever performance throughout the season — a guy who’s good in the first half but terrible in the second will be viewed as the average of the two — or for bullpens where the range of talent available to the manager is not wide (which makes for less obvious choices).Still, we can say this with some certainty: Effective bullpen management is a skill attributable at least in part to managers, and is not just the result of random variation. Moreover, some managers are far better at handling their bullpens than others, probably to the tune of a win or so at the margins every year (which is not nothing — consider the tight wild-card races in both leagues this year). So your deepest suspicions about bullpen usage were always correct — unless you’re a Braves fan, in which case it’s probably worth sending a note of apology to Fredi Gonzalez.CORRECTION (Sept. 21, 4:35 p.m.): A table in an earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Dale Sveum among the worst bullpen managers since 2000. Sveum shouldn’t have qualified for the list because he managed fewer than five MLB seasons during that period. read more

The rise of the Yellow Vests increases tensions outside the House of

Anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray (L) and a pro-Brexit protester argue as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in WestminsterCredit:Jack Taylor/Getty Images Anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray (L) and a pro-Brexit protester argue as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster According to HOPE Not Hate, an anti-fascist group, Yellow Vests is also linked to the Liberty Defenders, a group founded by Timothy Scott, who led the Pegida UK group, an anti-Islam group established by Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson. However, the Liberty Defenders last night distanced itself from the Yellow Vests posting a statement online claiming they are “not right wing, just patriotic”. The Yellow Vests is understood to be planning a series of weekend protest in major cities, including Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester, with many apparently targeting offices of politicians who want to remain in the European Union.Nick Lowles, of HOPE Not Hate, said: “With the Brexit clock running down, the threat from the far right is growing and the risk of disorder and violence is on the rise. While everyone should be allowed to protest peacefully, it is time for the authorities to clamp down on the bullying and threatening tactics used by these extremists before someone is seriously injured.” Now, they target the Houses of Parliament on a daily basis standing opposite pro-European campaigners as both camps compete to be seen and heard on live television broadcasts outside the Palace of Westminster.The group has emerged from the dying embers of the English Defence League, and uses social media to rally supporters who are often bussed into the capital for protests. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, AKA Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the anti-Islam English Defence League In December, a group of predominantly middle-aged mes wearing high-vis jackets blockaded a few bridges leading into central London.Armed with loudhailers and carrying flags of St George, they chanted slogans claiming the will of the people over Brexit was being betrayed by the Government.Video clips of the Yellow Vests protests posted online show how the demonstrations became increasingly ugly as anyone who dared challenge them was met with a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse.Inspired by the ‘gilet jaune’ French protesters opposed to Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies, the British group has also held demonstrations outside Government buildings, including the Cabinet Office and Downing Street, as well as the Labour Party’s headquarters and even a London radio station. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, AKA Tommy Robinson, founder and former leader of the anti-Islam English Defence LeagueCredit:DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Domino competition turns deadly

…father of 3 succumbs to head injuries…suspect in hiding Deceased father of three John ChoongThirty-eight-year-old John Choong of Lot 197 Singh Street, Sisters Village, West Bank Demerara (WBD) took his last breath at the West Demerara Regional Hospital on Tuesday and relatives are still trying to come to terms with the loss.Choong sustained head injuries during an altercation with a fellow player at a domino competition on Father’s Day. The suspect, said to be in his early 20s, has gone into hiding after he heard of the hire car driver’s passing. Up to late Saturday, he remained at large, Police confirmed.Choong, a father of three – ages 18, 13 and 7 – and a former Wales Estate worker, would often play dominoes at Sideline Dam, Sisters Village on the weekends.Reports are that sometime after midnight into Father’s Day, Choong and the suspect got into an argument. The suspect reportedly pushed the father of three, causing him to fall into a nearby drain where he hit his head.Choong’s brother-in-law, Faroz Rafiek, told this online publication that following the incident, a report was made at the Wales Police Station. He added that Choong was treated and received 10 stiches to his head before being released from the West Demerara Regional Hospital the very Sunday.According to the brother-in-law, Choong went back to hospital on Monday, June 18, to clean the wound. However, on Tuesday June 19, when he went again to clean the wound he was admitted to the hospital.It was disclosed that Choong’s wife, Zaheeda, was with him up to Tuesday afternoon. The woman has since indicated that her husband started to behave delirious before succumbing later that evening.Relatives, who are hopeful for action into the matter, gave a statement to Wales Police, informing ranks of Choong’s death. They also claimed that after making arrangements with them to go the mortuary on Wednesday, no Police Officer from Wales turned up to the post-mortem examination. Relatives however requested and later acquired a rank from Vreed-en-Hoop, who witnessed the autopsy. This publication learnt that the father died from trauma and cerebral haemorrhage.A Police source has since told this publication that Choong and the suspect had settled the matter before Choong’s wound turned septic. A probe has since been launched.Choong’s spouse is a housewife and it was said that she is very distressed over her family’s future. The couple celebrated 19 years of marriage earlier this month. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMother of 3 stabbed to death by estranged loverAugust 25, 2019In “Crime”Suspect accused of severely beating father of 3 chargedJanuary 22, 2019In “Court”Police detain one over Belle West mechanic’s murderJuly 13, 2016In “Crime” read more

Contempt action to be taken over photos of James Bulgers killers

first_imgTHE ATTORNEY GENERAL in England and Wales is to take legal action against a number of people who posted pictures on the internet which purported to show the killers of Liverpool toddler James Bulger.Photos claiming to show Jon Venables and Robert Thompson as they are now have been circulating on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter in recent days but the AG says he will now begin contempt proceedings against “a number of individuals” who have posted the pictures.A worldwide injunction is in place which prevents the revealing of the new identities of the notorious child murderers and Dominic Grieve expressed concern that potentially innocent individuals may be wrongly identified as one of the two men and placed in danger.Venables and Thompson were both aged 10 when they abducted and brutally murdered two-year-old James Bulger in north Liverpool 20 years ago. They were sentenced to detention until they reached adulthood.They were released with new identities on life licences in 2001. In 2010, Venables was returned to prison for violating the terms of his parole after admitting downloading and distributing indecent images of children.A statement from the office of the Attorney General explained: “There is an injunction in place which prevents publication of any images or information purporting to identify anyone as Jon Venables or Robert Thompson.“The terms of the order mean that if a picture claims to be of Venables or Thompson, even if it is not actually them, there will be a breach of the order.“Providing details of the new identities of Venables and Thompson or their whereabouts is also prohibited – this order applies to material which is on the internet.”The Guardian reports that Google, Facebook and Twitter will all be ordered to remove the photographs and says that legal experts have said the breach could result in a landmark mass contempt prosecution by the government.Read: The 20th anniversary of the most shocking of crimesMore: James Bulger’s father: My son’s murder brought me to a very dark placelast_img read more

4Chan Taken Down Via DDoS

first_imgYou can’t hack a hacker–or can you? According to 4Chan’s status page, the popular message board behind LOLcats, Rick Rolling, and some far more questionable activities has been temporarily knocked out of commission via a distributed denial of service attack.“Site is down due to DDoS,” the site wrote in the early hours of the morning. “We now join the ranks of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, et al.–an exclusive club!” The comment refers to the recent “Operation: Payback” DDoS attacks that took down three major financial companies after they froze accounts linked to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.4Chan was one of the major rallying points for Operation: Payback’s activities. No definitive word on who is behind these new attacks, but this almost certainly means war.last_img read more