Darren Bravo taking legal action against WICB after sacking

first_imgWest Indies batsman Darren Bravo is taking legal action against the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) after he was dropped from the squad before their recent One-Day International (ODI) tri-series in Zimbabwe.Bravo is claiming unlawful dismissal after he was sent home by the on-tour management committee for blasting WICB president Dave Cameron in a row over contracts, reports CMC.The Guardian newspaper has reported that Bravo’s lawyer has sent a pre-action protocol letter to the WICB last week which has been received by the board.Bravo, the most consistent batsman for the Caribbean side in the longest format, was overlooked for the top tier and offered a Grade C contract.The row between the stylish Trinidadian batsman and Cameron erupted after the WICB chief gave an explanation for the omission, stating that Bravo’s performance was not consistent enough to merit a higher grade of pay.Bravo lashed out at Cameron on social media platform Twitter, accusing him and the board officials of never offering him a Grade A contract in the first place despite his consistency.In the tweet, Bravo was alleged to have referred to the WICB President as “a big idiot”.last_img read more

Mark Noble urges West Ham United to manage games better

first_imgWest Ham United must learn to hold onto a lead if they are to climb up the Premier League standings, club captain Mark Noble said ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool.Slaven Bilic’s side have recorded two wins in their opening 10 league games of the season and currently sit a point above the relegation zone in 16th place.They have lost five points from winning positions, allowing Southampton, Burnley and most recently Crystal Palace to score late goals, and Noble said such results could cost them in the long run.”You can’t make mistakes like we made at Crystal Palace in the Premier League and expect to win matches, so we really need to learn how to hold onto a lead because we’re really shooting ourselves in the foot,” the 30-year-old midfielder told the club’s website (www.whufc.com).”People talk about ‘managing the game’ and a lot of it is common sense. We need to be able to see the time out by slowing the play down and, in a way, get the opposition and their fans feeling anxious. I don’t think we have done that well enough this season.”Over the last two seasons, West Ham have lost just once in six meetings with Liverpool in all competitions but Noble said his team will have to be at their best to beat Juergen Klopp’s men at the London Stadium.”With where we are in the table and the fact we go into the final international break of the year after it, there is a massive motivation to win Saturday’s game,” Noble added.advertisement”Liverpool at home is a big game – it always is. We’re at home, we’ll have the crowd behind us and we’ve got to roll our sleeves up, look forward to the game and do the basics right.”last_img read more

ESPN: This Player Might Deserve The Heisman Over Tua Tagovailoa

first_imgalabama quarterback tua tagovailoa runs for a touchdown vs. lsuBATON ROUGE, LA – NOVEMBER 03: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs for a third quarter touchdown while playing the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alabama won the game 29-0. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)We are about a month away from the presentation of the Heisman Trophy. There isn’t much drama surrounding the race this year.Barring a miraculous 11th-hour change, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is going to take home the prize. He’s been outstanding all year, putting up big numbers on the best team in the country.However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t others also enjoying big seasons. ESPN’s David Hale made the case today that another signal caller has a strong resume for the award.According to Hale, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray is right there for college football’s highest honor.In Bedlam, Kyler Murray made his case. He completed 21 of 29 throws. He averaged 12 yards a pass. He topped 400 yards of offense for the fourth time this season (and twice more, he has topped 395). Murray has done all this in the long shadow of last year’s Heisman winner, on an offense that lost its star tailback in Week 2, with a defense that has already required a change at coordinator and looks about as enthusiastic to slow down traffic as a TSA agent on his lunch break.We know Alabama would be elite with or without Tagovailoa. But take Murray off Oklahoma’s roster and the Sooners would be lucky to be a .500 team.Murray is an electrifying player. We’re sad he won’t be around next fall as he turns his attention to playing professional baseball.When the Heisman finalists convene in New York City on December 8, Murray will be in attendance. He’ll likely garner the second-most votes.But even with Hale arguing his case, he isn’t beating out Tua.last_img read more

Amendments to the Community of Sackville Landfill Compensation Act

first_imgMunicipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill introduced amendments today, Nov. 24, to provide Halifax Regional Municipality with clear authority to award bursaries to graduates in the community of Sackville. The amendments to the Community of Sackville Landfill Compensation Act will update and clarify the definitions in the act to reflect changes within the municipality since the legislation was put in place. The amendments clarify that the bursary fund is for the benefit of the community of Sackville and students will continue to be able to apply for support for post-secondary studies. The Community of Sackville Bursary Fund was created in June 1994. Making the amendments retroactive will verify the municipality’s authority to make prior and future awards.last_img

Malaika gets trolled over armpit picture

first_imgMumbai: Actor Malaika Arora got trolled on social media after she shared a photograph of herself flaunting what many felt was armpit hair. Malaika recently shared a ‘behind the scenes’ monochrome image of her from a photoshoot, on Instagram. A section of social media users criticised it. The post, however, received over three million ‘likes’. Social media users commented that she should have waxed before the shoot, while some even found it disgusting. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die’One user wrote: “Atleast shave your armpits, that’s disgusting”, while another wrote: “I can see those dirty underarms.” Some even supported her bold move. One wrote: “Love the unedited underarms”, and another commented: “Being real is the new sexy.” There was a user who pointed out the hypocrisy by writing: “So apparently men are allowed to have hair in the underarm area and if women have them, it’s disgusting and pathetic? Way to go hypocrisy!”last_img read more

Create chain of command during disasters ensure India is no 1 in

first_imgNew Delhi: A clear ‘chain of command’ should be in place when multiple stakeholders get on-board to combat a disaster and government agencies should ensure that India becomes a top-notch nation for managing such emergencies, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Saturday.Officiating his first public event after taking charge of the ministry, Shah said it is important to quickly develop better resilience and capability against disasters given that India is much prone to catastrophes owing to its varied topography and expanse. Also Read – Prohibitory orders lifted from Mumbai’s stir-hit Aarey ColonyThe minister was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day annual conference organised here by the NDRF on capacity building of state disaster response forces (SDRFs) in consultation with home guards, civil defence and fire services. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a federal force of the country and has 12 battalions based across various states for quick response to any emergency, manmade or natural. Addressing the delegates at the meeting Shah said a chain of command between various agencies, stakeholders and department should be decided and formed when dealing with a disaster. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”This is very important as I have seen a very chaotic situation emerging in absence of this protocol and order of hierarchy,” he said, adding it is a big lacuna in the country’s bureaucratic system that no one pays heed to the other till a formal or official order is issued. The minister said agencies like the NDRF should not rest on their past laurels but strive to do better. “This is now the time to work and ensure that India becomes the number one country in disaster management. The path to achieve this goal is long but that should be our target. It should be our effort that the world takes note from our best practices and counter-disaster models,” Shah said.last_img read more

Indian journalist Ravish Kumar wins 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award

first_imgManila: Senior Indian journalist Ravish Kumar on Friday was awarded this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Award, regarded as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize. Kumar, 44, who is NDTV India’s senior executive editor is one of India’s most influential TV journalists, the award citation by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said. He is among five individuals who were declared winners of the award, which is Asia’s premier prize and highest honour and celebrates greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Kumar, born in Jitwarpur village in Bihar, joined New Delhi Television Network (NDTV) in 1996 and worked his way up from being a field reporter. After NDTV launched its 24-hour Hindi-language news channel – NDTV India – targeting the country’s 422 million native speakers of Hindi, he was given his own daily show, “Prime Time.” Kumar’s “Prime Time” programme “deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people”, it added. “If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist,” the citation added. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday As an anchor, Kumar is sober, incisive, and well-informed, it said. His more important distinction, however, comes from the kind of journalism he represents, the citation added. “In a media environment threatened by an interventionist state, toxic with jingoist partisans, trolls and purveyors of ‘fake news,’ and where the competition for market ratings has put the premium on ‘media personalities,’ ‘tabloidisation,’ and audience-pandering sensationalism, Ravish has been most vocal on insisting that the professional values of sober, balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice,” it said. His programme takes up current social issues; does serious background research; and presents issues in well-rounded discussions. Kumar interacts easily with the poor, travels extensively, and uses social media to stay in touch with the audience, generating from them the stories for the programme. Striving for a people-based journalism, he calls his newsroom “the people’s newsroom,” it said. In electing Kumar to receive the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award, the board of trustees recognises his unfaltering commitment to a professional, ethical journalism of the highest standards; his moral courage in standing up for truth, integrity, and independence; and his principled belief that it is in giving full and respectful voice to the voiceless, in speaking truth bravely yet soberly to power, that journalism fulfills its noblest aims to advance democracy, the award citation said. The four other winners of the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay Award are Ko Swe Win from Myanmar, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from Philippines and Kim Jong-Ki from South Korea. Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honour. It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine president after whom the award is named, and is given every year to individuals or organisations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service and transformative influence that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader. This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate and a medallion with an embossed image of Ramon Magsaysay facing right in profile. They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal presentation ceremonies to be held on August 31, 2019.last_img read more

Canadian dollar slightly higher after US GDP growth falls short of expectations

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar moved higher Friday after new data showed U.S. economic growth was slower than anticipated in the first quarter.The loonie gained 0.31 of a cent to 101.94 cents US, while oil prices rose to a four-week high.The U.S. Commerce Department reported that real gross domestic product grew at a 2.2 per cent annualized rate in the most recent period, a drop from three per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011.The data also came in below the 2.7 per cent growth rate that economists had predicted.In commodities, the June crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained 38 cents to US$104.93 a barrel, hitting its best finish since April 2.May copper lifted 4.5 cents to US$3.825 a pound. Gold bullion prices settled higher with the June contract up $4.30 to US$1,664.80 an ounce.Concerns about Europe’s economy have dominated global markets, with Spain’s economic problems becoming an increasing focal point. Questions about Spain’s ability to push through austerity and reforms at a time of recession and mass unemployment have been a key point of uncertainty.Meanwhile, Statistics Canada said the Canadian economy as a whole expanded 2.6 per cent in 2011, slowing somewhat after a 3.4 per cent expansion in 2010.And the Department of Finance said the federal government’s books were in surplus again in February, another sign that Ottawa is on track to eliminate the deficit. Ottawa recorded a surplus of $1.5 billion in February, compared with a deficit of $600 million a year earlier.On Friday, unemployment numbers from Spain showed the jobless rate jumped to 24.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2012 — the highest rate in the 17-country eurozone.The figures came shortly after Standard & Poor’s became the first of the three leading credit rating agencies to strip Spain of its A rating. It cited a worsening budget deficit, worries over the banking system and poor economic prospects for its decision to reduce the rating by two notches from A to BBB+. It also warned that a further downgrade was possible, leaving its outlook assessment on Spain at “negative.”The euro also eked out a 0.4 per cent rise against the U.S. dollar to $1.3232, having initially fallen on the bad Spanish news. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Canadian dollar slightly higher after US GDP growth falls short of expectations by News Staff Posted Apr 27, 2012 5:54 pm MDT read more

Productivity of US workers has biggest decline in a year in first

WASHINGTON – The decline in productivity among U.S. workers in the first months of 2012 was bigger than initially thought and the largest drop in a year, according to revised data issued on Wednesday.The U.S. Labor Department said Wednesday that productivity fell at an annual rate of 0.9 per cent in the first quarter. That’s faster than the initial 0.5 per cent annual decline for the period estimated last month.Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work.Less productivity is bad for corporate profits. But it could be good news for jobseekers. It could show that companies are struggling to squeeze more output from their workers and must hire if demand rises.Yet so far, companies have signalled a much different message. Employers added just 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, and just 77,000 in April. That’s a sharp decline from the 226,000 jobs created per month in the first quarter.“Going forward, the big question is the rate of gain in output growth. If it remains slow, as we feel likely, productivity gains will continue to be constrained,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc.The U.S. productivity rate fell at a faster rate than first estimated because revisions showed less output and slightly more hours worked.Labour costs rose 1.3 per cent in the January-March quarter, down from an initial estimate of 2 per cent. The decline was largely due to smaller compensation costs.The estimates were the government’s second and final look at first-quarter productivity and labour costs.The faster decline in productivity was expected after the government said last week that the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 per cent in the January-March quarter. That was slightly slower than the government’s initial 2.2 per cent estimate.Productivity grew last year at the slowest pace in nearly a quarter century after rising sharply in 2010. The main reason productivity soared in 2010 was that it followed the worst recession in decades, when employers laid off millions of workers.Economists said the trend is typical during and after a recession. Companies tend to shed workers in the face of falling demand and increase output from a smaller work force. Once the economy starts to grow, demand rises and companies eventually must add workers if they want to keep up.Economists expect productivity growth will remain weak this year. Economists at JPMorgan are forecasting productivity will rise 0.7 per cent this year as companies add more workers.With so many people out of work and looking for jobs, there is little chance that wage pressures will get out of hand, economists note. by News Staff Posted Jun 6, 2012 10:34 am MDT Productivity of U.S. workers has biggest decline in a year in first quarter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Kerry urges Britain EU to manage their divorce responsibly

A teller counts ballot papers at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after polls closed in the EU referendum on June 23, 2016. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/PA/Liam McBurney by Bradley Klapper, The Associated Press Posted Jun 26, 2016 3:02 am MDT Last Updated Jun 26, 2016 at 8:09 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Kerry urges Britain, EU to manage their divorce responsibly ROME – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday urged Britain and the European Union to manage their divorce responsibly for the sake of global markets and citizens, a day before he was to become the first senior American official to visit London and Brussels since the United Kingdom’s historic referendum.Kerry emphasized the importance of thoughtful co-operation at a time of economic uncertainty and fears about crumbling European unity. He said he would bring a message of U.S. support to both capitals. But he offered no concrete suggestions for how the two sides should make good on the decision by British voters to leave the 28-nation bloc.“The most important thing is that all of us, as leaders, work together to provide as much continuity, as much stability, as much certainty as possible,” Kerry said as he met in Rome with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni.Responsible handling of the situation, he said, will help “the marketplace understand there are ways to minimize disruption, there are ways to smartly move ahead in order to protect the values and interests that we share.”Kerry had scheduled talks in Rome with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later Sunday. But confronted with the gravity of Britain’s vote on Thursday, which crushed markets from the U.S. to Japan, Kerry set up a frantic, four-nation schedule for Monday.After gathering again with Netanyahu in the morning, he planned to fly to Brussels to discuss Europe’s situation with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Later, he was to meet British Secretary Philip Hammond in London before returning to Washington by day’s end.With the British, Kerry intended to echo last week’s immediate U.S. response, which focused on the unchanged nature of the allies’ “special relationship.”Even the gloomiest of predictions about the British exit from the EU do not foresee the collapse of the close cultural ties or military alliance between Washington and London. But how relations evolve is an open question, especially if Britain’s separation from the EU causes significant economic pain in the United States.Visiting Britain in April, President Barack Obama noted ongoing U.S.-EU trade negotiations and warned Britons that a vote to “leave” could put them at the back of the line for similar deals. Since the result of the referendum, however, Obama and other American officials have gone out of their way to emphasize the durability of the relationship, playing down the idea of any repercussions from Washington.“We will continue, the United States, to have a very close and special relationship with Great Britain,” Kerry said on the rooftop of a hotel overlooking the Pantheon. “We value that relationship. That does not change because of this vote.”In Brussels, Kerry planned to emphasize U.S. backing for the EU amid speculation that other member countries could follow Britain’s lead.Alongside Gentiloni, Kerry stressed the importance of political unity among 27 remaining countries that still represent a market of 450 million people, and help the U.S. provide security to unstable places in North Africa and the Middle East, and far-flung areas of conflict such as Afghanistan.It’s unclear what more Kerry, or the U.S., can say or do right now to help Britain or the EU.Britain’s exit negotiations could be a complicated, protracted affair, and the Americans are likely to have little say in the matter. The U.S. also has no answer for the EU’s dilemma about how to respond to the first loss of a member in its history.“There are steps Europe needs to take to respond to the expression of voters and the concerns of people in other countries,” Kerry said, without entering the European debate over a quick or a slow breakup with Britain. He described the U.S.-EU partnership as critical for Europe, America and the world. read more

Nobody Left Outside campaign launched as UN warns of dire shelter conditions

“Shelter is the foundation stone for refugees to survive and recover, and should be considered a non-negotiable human right,” stressed Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in a press release issued by his Office (UNHCR). “As we tackle worldwide displacement on a level not seen since World War II, no refugee should be left outside,” he added. The Nobody Left Outside campaign is aimed at individuals, companies, foundations and philanthropists worldwide.At the launch of the campaign, UNHCR underscored that forced displacement, most of it arising from war and conflict, has risen sharply in the past decade, largely as a result of the Syria crisis, but also due to a proliferation of new displacement situations and unresolved old ones. Worldwide, some 60 million people are forcibly displaced today, the agency said. Of that figure, almost 20 million people are refugees who have been forced to flee across international borders, while the rest are people displaced within their own countries. Nobody Left Outside campaign. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)“A shelter – be it a tent, a makeshift structure or a house – is the basic building block for refugees to survive and recover from the physical and mental effects of violence and persecution,” UNHCR emphasized. “Yet around the world, millions are struggling to get by in inadequate and often dangerous dwellings, barely able to pay the rent, and putting their lives, dignity and futures at risk.”Humanitarian funding is failing to keep paceThe campaign aims to raise funds from the private sector to build or improve shelter for 2 million refugees by 2018, amounting to almost one in eight of the 15.1 million under UNHCR’s remit in mid-2015. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) cares for the remaining Palestinian refugees. “Without a major increase in funding and global support, millions of people fleeing war and persecution face homelessness or inadequate housing in countries such as Lebanon, Mexico and Tanzania,” UNHCR said. “Without a safe place to eat, sleep, study, store belongings and have privacy, the consequences to their health and welfare can be profound.” The agency emphasized that as it continues to face high levels of shelter needs and with limited funding available, operations often face the difficult decision to prioritize emergency shelter for the maximum number of people of concern, over an investment in more durable and sustainable solutions. Outside of camps, refugees rely on UNHCR support to find housing and pay rent in towns and cities across dozens of countries bordering conflict zones. These operations are expected to cost US$724 million in 2016. Yet only US$158 million is currently available, a shortfall that threatens to leave millions of men, women and children without adequate shelter and struggling to rebuild their lives. UNHCR noted that the private sector is one of its increasingly important donor sources, contributing more than 8 per cent of its overall funding in 2015. “There is an important role for the private sector with its know-how, energy and money to act in a spirit of solidarity to shelter refugees from war and persecution,” said Mr. Grandi. “Proper shelter for everyone is central to social cohesion. Good homes make good neighbours,” he added. According to UNHCR, the regions most in need of assistance are sub-Saharan Africa ($255 million needed, $48 million available) and the Middle East and North Africa ($373 million needed, $91 million available). Asia requires $59 million, with $8 million available, while Europe requires more help ($36 million needed, $10 million available) as it faces a continued influx of refugees. read more

The Broncos And Chiefs Are Still Running The AFC West

How will your favorite NFL team do this year? See all of our predictions for the 2016 season » Kansas City ChiefsYou know what else Elo doesn’t know? The crushing, numbing experience of an Andy Reid playoff meltdown. Three seasons ago, Reid’s Chiefs blew a 28-point lead to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the wild-card round. After going 9-7 in 2014, the Chiefs sprang to life in the second half of 2015 and entered the playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league. With their win in the wild-card round, their Elo rating spiked to 1699, the highest it’s been since they beat the Vikings in the 1970 Super Bowl. And then, of course, disaster. Trailing the New England Patriots 27-13 with six and a half minutes remaining, the Kansas City offense snapped off a five minute, 16 second 16-play drive to get within one score. It was astonishing and horrifying to watch it play out in real time, and all too familiar to anyone who’d watched Reid’s Philadelphia Eagles over the years.It’s conventional nerd wisdom that results in close games are a matter of luck, not skill, but that refers to the generic scoreline — “games decided by 7 or fewer points” or whatever cutoff you like. There are, in fact, diagnosable maladies for teams, such as having difficulty stringing two scoring drives together in a short period of time. For teams with such issues, the saving grace has been the corresponding maxim: Good teams don’t play close games; good teams win in blowouts. But what comfort is that to a fan base that was only just recovering from somehow losing a playoff game it had been winning by four touchdowns? To Elo, the Chiefs lost two close playoff games to two very good teams and come into 2016 as the fourth-strongest team in the league. This is a good team with a very good chance of making the playoffs. If they do, we’ll know a good bit more than Elo does about what’s waiting in store.San Diego ChargersThe Chargers were bad last season. The team went 4-12, ranked 24th in overall team Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) and 28th in defensive DVOA, and finished the season with its lowest Elo rating since the 2004 draft in which it acquired Philip Rivers. The Chargers haven’t bought themselves much leeway off the field. After holding fans hostage all of last season, playing what many thought would be their final game in San Diego, they ended up in a madcap push to drum up support for a hugely unpopular $1.8 billion stadium/convention center proposal. If (when) the vote fails, the Chargers will have to decide by January if they’ll move to Los Angeles. In the meantime, the team chased off Eric Weddle, one of its best defensive players, and turned the good fortune of getting Joey Bosa — by many accounts the best player in the draft — into a sideshow. The Chargers engaged in an all-out assault on Bosa over contract provisions that are standard practice with every other team, which resulted in a 31-day holdout by Bosa.Elo predicts that the Chargers will see six to seven wins this season. That’s a little ungenerous, considering the number of injuries the Chargers have had the past few seasons (and with the re-addition of Ken Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator potentially jazzing up the passing game), but generosity is hard to come by after an offseason like San Diego’s.Oakland RaidersThe other team trying to pack up and leave town is, shockingly, in considerably better condition than San Diego. With Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, the Raiders have a proven backbone of a functional offense for the first time in a decade. And the defense, which finished the season in the bottom half of DVOA, came on late, with negative ratings (on defense, that’s good) for the final six games of the season. Things are looking up for the Raiders.Unfortunately, they’re looking even upper for the rest of the division. The AFC West is stacked, and Elo gives Oakland just a 19 percent chance of making the playoffs, with 6.8 projected wins. And that seems about right in the cadence of the NFL — it’s the inverse of the Broncos, in a way. The foundational elements of a good team are all here, but it takes a long time to stock a roster with the talent needed to contend at the highest rungs.VIDEO: How one spurned Rams fan found a new team To go with our 2016 NFL predictions, FiveThirtyEight is previewing each division. Denver BroncosThere are a lot of things Elo doesn’t know. Coming into the season, it didn’t know that the Broncos lost their Hall of Fame quarterback and replaced him with the most deliberately uncertain QB situation we’ve seen on a contender in recent years. After Thursday night, it didn’t know that Denver escaped with its Week 1 win thanks to a missed kick in the waning moments and a night of Panthers QB Cam Newton taking illegal hits that pretty clearly sapped the life out of him in the second half. It just knows that the Broncos were a fabulously good team last season, and they beat a very good team in Week 1. And actually, that might be all it needs to know.The Broncos had a lively offseason. They let last season’s backup quarterback, Brock Osweiler, abscond to Houston, drafted Paxton Lynch out of Memphis in the first round, brought in Mark Sanchez to compete for the job, and eventually gave the Week 1 starting job to Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round pick in 2015. They lost standout defensive end Malik Jackson to Jacksonville, and Von Miller took his sweet time signing his contract. But in the end, the defense is mostly intact. And to hear the Broncos tell it, that’s all that really matters:“We feel like we don’t care if George Bush was playing quarterback — we’re going to win because you can’t score,” says safety T.J. Ward. “You can’t score, you can’t win. That’s our mentality.“So, you want to come play quarterback for the Denver Broncos? That’s how we feel — it doesn’t matter who’s back there. We’re going to carry this team, and we’re going to get it done like we did last year.”This would obviously be a different story if Peyton Manning had provided more production last season, but he was terrible, so Elo’s blind spot was mostly about whether Siemian could hang against a good NFL defense. A lot of things go into an NFL team’s fortunes, enough that outside of a seismic catastrophe at the quarterback position, there’s a good chance a team’s fundamental level will carry over from year to year, with less regard to offseason moves than fans might think. Now that we know Siemian isn’t a lump, we have a pretty good idea what the Broncos are as well: the same terrifying defensive team as last year, just with George Bush lining up under center. read more

Giant agave plant bursts through the roof of grade II listed greenhouse again

first_imgAugust, 2015, when the first plant erupted A rare Agave has burst through the roof of the Italianate Glasshouse in the King George VI park in Ramsgate, KentCredit:Christopher Pledger  But the couple were amazed when in 2015, one of their agaves started to soar skywards, eventually barging through the greenhouse, in a botanical outburst which was as impressive as it was costly.It took more than a year to remove the plant, and restore the greenhouse,  but on April 17 this year, a second plant started growing six inches a day, and has been shooting up ever since, finally emerging through the roof last week.”I just thought, here we go again,” said Mr Dadds who has looked after the greenhouse with his wife for 14 years.”We suspected it might go, because it had begun to emit a sugary secretion which is a sign that the spike is about to start growing.”It took a lot of effort to remove the first one. We had to scaffold up the whole greenhouse, and attach the poles to the wall behind which made the scaffolders very nervous. Then we had to take apart the agave piece by piece. August, 2015, when the first plant erupted 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. The first agave bursting through in 2015Credit: Christopher Pledger Mrs Dadds, who also runs a tea room at the site, said: “It started growing on Easter Monday, growing at least six inches a day. We had a metal worker lined up to take the glass and glazing bar out.”Interestingly, the last time this happened was a general election.”The greenhouse usually attracts around 4,000 visitors each year but the agave blooms have attracted three times as many visitors, from all over the world.The couple have commissioned a local artist to turn the spike of the original agave plant into a totem pole, and made candle holders from the excess stem, which they are hoping to sell to fund the removal of the new 30ft plant.Both plants were brought from a house in nearby Cliftonville around 1975 but have shown little signs of activity in the last four decades.It is thought to be the first time an American Agave has bloomed in Britain for 14 years. The last time it happened was at Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh in 2001. Before its final growth spurt, it stood at around 4ft in height, with large leaves spreading over a 6ft in diameter. Then it started to produce a ‘spike.The greenhouse, which was recently restored with the help of Thanet District Council and English Heritage, has stood at the site since 1832, attracts around 4,000 visitors every year has seen a surge of interest in recent months, as news of the agave’s growth spread. It was originally part of a 22 acre estate owned by Sir Moses Montefiore, a British financier and former Sheriff of London, but is now part of the King George VI Memorial Park.In 2002 the nearby stableblock was bought by Mr Dadds’ architectural company who also are responsible for the upkeep of the greenhouse. The giant American agave is native to the deserts of the Southwestern United States and Mexico and specimens can grow for between 80 and 100 years before flowering and dying shortly afterwards.For this reason, the species is commonly known as the Century Plant.It has evolved to survive in harsh, low-water environments, so the plants produce hundreds, if not thousands, of seeds, giving them the best chance that a few might actually survive. “But at least we know what to expect this time. We’ll probably leave it up for a year, like last time, to allow people to see it, and then take it out next year.”The couple had been warned that the second agave could erupt shortly afterwards because the plants were brought to the greenhouse at the same time, between 80 and 100 years ago. But it was too large to to remove the couple could only wait and watch.Curiously the original agave bloomed during the last general election campaign, while while the new plant began to erupt a day before Theresa May called the snap June election.  A rare Agave has burst through the roof of the Italianate Glasshouse in the King George VI park in Ramsgate, Kent To allow one giant agave plant to erupt through the roof of a grade II listed greenhouse might be considered unfortunate, but to let two, starts to look like carelessness.So spare a thought for custodians Phil and Janice Dadds who had just finished repairing the glass panels of their Victorian Italianate glass house in Ramsgate, Kent, when they noticed that a second agave was starting to wake up. American agave plants can live for a hundred years and bloom spectacularly just once in their lifetime, before dying, and most gardeners will never see the flowers. The first agave bursting through in 2015last_img read more

SKM wins awards for bulk handling projects

first_imgSinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has been rewarded for its bulk handling expertise at the recent Australian Bulk Handling Awards.Senior Mechanical Engineer, David Rea, was joint winner of the AW Roberts Award for a Young Engineer who has made a significant contribution to bulk solids handling in the areas of research, design and practice. The Dampier Port Upgrade in the Pilbara, Western Australia, undertaken for Rio Tinto Iron Ore subsidiary Pilbara Iron, won a Highly Commended in the category of Bulk Handling Facility of the Year (Resources and Infrastructure).At Rio Tinto’s Dampier Port Upgrade Project in the Pilbara, Western Australia, as part of the A$2 billion EPCM contract, SKM developed a solution to modularise the construction of the wharf, while ensuring the port remained fully operational and record tonnages continued to be shipped during this period of unprecedented global demand for iron ore. This solution has resulted in the sustainable development of the project by improving the environment, building local capacity and introducing safer working methods.The upgrade, which began in 2003 with feasibility studies, and is due for completion at the end of the year, has doubled the port’s capacity from 72 to 140 Mt/y, while the creation of a multi-wharf facility enables it to berth four 220,000 t (dead weight) large ‘Cape’ type ships. The project was undertaken in two phases, with Phase A completed three months ahead of schedule in September 2005. The upgrade included extending the wharf by 600 m (450 m in Phase A and 150 m in Phase B), 7 km of rail track, incorporating two new car dumpers, a stockyard extension, four stackers, a reclaimer, two new shiploaders, two lump re-screening plants and associated conveyors, some up to 1 km in length. SKM’s WA/NT regional manager Malcolm Greenway said that by adopting techniques historically used in the off-shore oil and gas industry, the project had set a new benchmark in heavy wharf construction. “SKM developed a method of prefabricating 4 x 54 m wharf topside modules in Phase A and a further 3 x 54 m modules in Phase B, which were shipped as finished products and placed directly onto the pile caps installed on site, over a period of three days for each Phase. The modularised approach was adopted in response to critical labour shortages combined with an unprecedented resources boom, which placed construction schedule pressure on the project. By doing so, labour shortages were overcome and the project was accelerated, resulting in record shipments during the construction phase and several million tonnes extra in early ore sales that otherwise would have been foregone.”Mr Greenway said the project had also set a benchmark in sustainable development, by delivering a cleaner asset, with a significant social premium, massive economic wealth creation and improved safety for workers.“Traditionally, working over water carries a high level of safety risk,” Mr Greenway said. “By utilising modular construction and maximising the amount of work undertaken at the fabricator’s workshop, the project team was able to save more than 100,000 construction man-hours and record zero Lost Time Injuries.”The project also deliberately set out to employ local expertise and resources, with the wharf main structural steel being supplied by OneSteel, while the fabrication and modularisation was undertaken by AGC in Kwinana and Henderson. “What is most significant is that this simple, yet incredibly efficient Australian innovation has the potential to take months off the construction program for heavy wharf projects and leverage significant gains for the global seaborne resources sector,” he said.Rea has worked with SKM since 2002, during which time he has provided research, design and delivery skills to major projects undertaken by SKM in Queensland. He has particular expertise in in-pit crushing and conveying systems, the design of bulk materials handling conveyors and the modelling of fabricated steel structures and mechanical components in Inventor 3D.SKM’s Chief Mechanical Engineer (Qld), John Thomason, said Rea was integral to the design of a new dump haul trailer for Rio Tinto Alcan’s Weipa bauxite mine expansion. “More efficient trailers were required for this new deposit at Weipa, to optimise the productivity of the existing fleet,” Thomason said. “Through the use of 3D CAD and Finite Element Analysis (FEA), David worked as part of a team to design and fabricate the new trailer, which has proven to be highly successful. This was achieved just nine months after the award of the contract.”Thomason said that Rea had also been a significant team member on the Clermont coal mine project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, for which SKM has undertaken a feasibility study and is currently delivering the EPCM for Rio Tinto Coal Australia. The A$500 million project will utilise all SKM-designed systems and process, including a Coal Preparation Plant (CPP) and one of the first In-Pit Crushing and Conveying (IPCC) systems to be designed in Australia within the past 20 years.last_img read more

Explainer What is the weapon of mass destruction nerve agent that killed

first_img Feb 24th 2017, 12:58 PM By AFP Explainer: What is the ‘weapon of mass destruction’ nerve agent that killed Kim Jong-Nam? Stockpiled by the US in huge quantities during the Cold War, VX is perhaps 10 times as powerful as the Sarin toxin. The murdered Kim Jong Nam, left, and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un.What does it do?It strikes the nervous system fast. A high dose can kill in minutes when inhaled, as the blood vessels in the lungs rapidly spread the compound into the bloodstream and vital organs.Nerve agents over-stimulate glands and muscles, leading them to quickly fatigue and become unable to sustain breathing.Symptoms depend on dosage and whether it is inhaled or introduced through the skin — the slower form of poisoning.Exposure to low doses is survivable.But more serious contamination is fast-acting and often gruesome. People exposed to the toxin may become short of breath and nauseous in minutes, or at a higher dose experience seizures, heart failure and a total shut down of the respiratory system.There are antidotes but treatment must be immediate. US soldiers carried kits to inject themselves with antidote during the first Iraq War.Where does it come from?The compound was first created in a British laboratory in the early 1950s. But American scientists honed its potency during the Cold War arms race with the Soviet Union.Tens of thousands of tonnes of VX were churned out at Newport Chemical Depot in Indiana – a stockpile that was finally destroyed in the late 1980s as the Cold War ended.Accidental leaks have been reported in the US and Japan. It has been deployed as a war weapon infrequently but with devastating effect. Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar speaks during a press conference.Residues found on site suggest Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein may have used VX among a cocktail of chemical weapons he rained down on the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 killing at least 5,000 people.In 1994 VX was used by Japan’s Aum cult to murder an office worker in Osaka, and in the attempted murder of two other people.Legal status?VX is listed a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.Under the international Chemical Weapons Convention 1997, countries are allowed limited stockpiles for research purposes only but must declare them and are obliged to progressively destroy their supplies.“North Korea is not a signatory to CWC, so it’s no surprise if it possesses VX,” Satoshi Numazawa, professor of toxicology at Showa University, told AFP.© – AFP 2017Read: North Korea’s secretive media breaks its silence on Kim Jong-Nam murder >Read: Heavily armed police guarding body of Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother after attempted morgue break-in > 12,008 Views Friday 24 Feb 2017, 12:58 PM http://jrnl.ie/3256736 center_img Share6 Tweet Email Short URL A man walks in front of the forensic department at Kuala Lumpur Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesAS MALAYSIAN TOXICOLOGISTS reveal that the banned nerve agent VX was used in the airport assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, here are some key questions and answers about the deadly weapon of mass destruction.What is it?Code-named by the US scientists who mass produced it, VX is an organophosphate compound and one of the deadliest chemical agents ever manufactured.Stockpiled by the US in huge quantities during the Cold War, VX is perhaps 10 times as powerful as the Sarin toxin.Odourless and clear when pure, it has the appearance of motor oil and is stable enough to be transported. It is also hard to detect, an advantage for a would-be assassin.Downsides are that it lingers, potentially contaminating areas for long periods of time.“It can kill an adult weighing 70 kilogrammes with just five milligrammes on the skin,” said Yosuke Yamasato, former principal of the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force Chemical School.It’s unbelievable that the executors of the crime used it with their bare hands – they must have not known the material was VX. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 29 Comments last_img read more

On the brink of default

first_imgPrime Minister Papademos has said Greece may default on its debts in a matter of weeks unless trade unions accept further salary cuts. The PM said more cuts are needed to avoid exiting the eurozone, preparing the way for even greater austerity measures to be imposed. European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank inspectors arrive in Athens on January 15 to assess Greece’s progress in cutting its deficit. The ‘troika’ will decide whether Greece has done enough to continue to receive bailout funds. “Without an agreement with the troika and further funding, in March, Greece faces an immediate risk of an uncontrolled default,” said Mr Papademos during a meeting this week with union leaders and employers’ federations. “If we want to secure our most significant achievements – participation in the euro and avoidance of a massive, vertical income devaluation that a disorderly bankruptcy and exit from the euro would lead to… then we must accept short-term income reduction. The prime minister added: “We cannot expect other EU states and international organisations to continue to fund a country that does not adapt to reality and does not deal with its problems. Our actions and decisions in the coming weeks will decide everything.” Analysts believe the risks of withdrawing the bailout funding are too great for the troika to countenance, with Greece acting as a firewall to stem contagion in the eurozone. But even with the next tranche of bailout funds being made available, Greece risks a hard default unless a deal is agreed on private sector involvement. Greece owes much of its debt to private sector investors and the majority of these loans must be refinanced by March 12. Papademos’ coalition government is negotiating with the troika on a second bailout of 130bn euros ($164bn), which was agreed in principle in October, provided the government took steps to further cut its deficit and restructure its economy. In response to the Greek PM’s warning, Yannis Panagopoulos, head of the private-sector union GSEE said the union was ready to fight further cuts to its members’ salaries. “On the minimum wage of the poor worker, we are not willing to make any step back,” said Mr Panagopoulos, who also declared that his union would not discuss cuts to the minimum wage or the 13th and 14th month salary bonus. In Greece, workers are paid additional months’ salaries as part of their annual pay package. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Cocktails raise 63000

first_imgGreater Dandenong’s Greek community exceeded all expectations, when their fundraiser cocktail party at the St Panteleimon Church Hall on Melbourne Cup Eve raised $63,000 for cancer research. Members of the Greek community joined the Cocktail for a Cure party to honour family members or friends who have lost their battle with cancer, in order to support the fighters and survivors, by raising much-needed funds for a worthy cause. The more than 550 attendees who participated at the cancer fundraiser exceeded the expectations of the organisers, whose aim was to raise $50,000. One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and the other two will know someone who is diagnosed with cancer. All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, a hospital dedicated to caring for and treating patients with a wide range of cancers. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Secteur informatique la France sort progressivement de la crise

first_imgSecteur informatique : la France sort progressivement de la criseSi le marché des logiciels et services informatiques a été affecté par la crise en 2009, cette année, la croissance a quelque peu repris : d’1% en 2010, elle devrait atteindre les 3% en 2011.En 2009, le marché de l’informatique français avait enregistré une baisse de 4%. Sans atteindre le niveau des années précédentes où la croissance du secteur était de 5%, 2010 voit le marché redémarrer avec 1% de croissance. Deuxième pays après l’Allemagne (+1,5%), la France sort progressivement de la crise.À lire aussiLe fantôme de “Big Brother” pousse les autorités de San Francisco à agir”Les perspectives du secteur sont plutôt en amélioration et nous avons la visibilité pour dire que le marché reprend, même si ce n’est pas encore au niveau souhaité”, a résumé Guy Mamou-Mani, président du Syntec, qui regroupe un millier d’entreprises du secteur.Au niveau de l’emploi, l’année 2009 a été catastrophique avec la suppression de 7.000 à 10.000  postes. On entrevoit une amélioration de ce côté : “35.000 recrutements (dont 26.000 cadres) sont attendus en 2010, pour un total de 3.000 à 5.000 créations nettes sur l’année”, a indiqué le Syntec.Le secteur informatique emploie environ 365.000 personnes dans l’Hexagone pour un chiffre d’affaires annuel de 42 milliards d’euros.Le 10 novembre 2010 à 17:28 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Dropbox modifie ses conditions générales dutilisation

first_imgDropbox modifie ses conditions générales d’utilisationLe service de stockage en ligne Dropbox a décidé de modifier ses conditions générales d’utilisation, provoquant ainsi la grogne de ses utilisateurs.Service utilisé pour stocker et synchroniser ses fichiers entre deux ordinateurs, Dropbox a attiré ce week-end la foudre de ses utilisateurs, aujourd’hui de plus en plus nombreux. En effet, le service de stockage en ligne a décidé de modifier ses conditions générales d’utilisation, se laissant la possibilité nouvelle d’exploiter les données de ses clients. “En utilisant nos services vous pouvez nous donner accès à vos informations, fichiers et dossiers. Vous conservez la propriété de vos travaux. Vous êtes également seul responsable de votre conduite, du contenu de vos fichiers et dossiers, et des communications effectuées avec nos services”, peut-on désormais lire sur Dropbox, comme l’explique Le Nouvel Obs.À lire aussiFacebook envisage une version ouverte aux moins de 13 ans”Nous avons parfois besoin de votre permission pour l’utilisation de vos travaux (par exemple, l’hébergement ou le partage de vos fichiers). En nous soumettant vos travaux, vous nous accordez l’accès (et à ceux avec qui nous travaillons pour fournir les services) dans le monde entier, non exclusif, libre de royalties, les droits de licence, d’utiliser, copier, distribuer, préparer des travaux dérivés (tels que des traductions ou des changements de formats) d’exécuter ou afficher publiquement ces travaux dans la mesure raisonnable et nécessaire pour le service”, est-il ajouté. Une nouvelle qui a entraîné un tollé général parmi les utilisateurs qui ont pour certains, immédiatement décidé de supprimer leur compte. Face aux réactions, la société a tenu à expliciter ce changement de réglementations et a assuré que l’accès aux fichiers des utilisateurs était nécessaire pour le bon usage de leurs services. Mais ce discours, quelque peu ambigu, ne semble aujourd’hui pas avoir convaincu les utilisateurs. Le 5 juillet 2011 à 19:34 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more