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APTN political panel all about the scandals – Part 2

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere’s no shortage of things to talk about on Parliament Hill.There’s the Senate scandal.The prime minister’s former chief of staff.Over at Aboriginal Affairs questions about how the department investigated claims that it was spying on First Nations child advocate Cindy Blackstock.APTN’s Jorge Barrera with this week’s political panel.For Part 1 click here.last_img

EUMorocco Fisheries Agreement Complies With International Law European Commission

Rabat – The fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco is “in full compliance with international law,” said Enrico Brivio, the European Commission Spokesperson for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.“The Fisheries Partnership Agreement protocol is in full compliance with international law,” Enrico Brivio told EurActiv, the leading online media on EU affairs, adding that all of the EU’s agreements apply to the Western Sahara region.“Detailed reporting obligations on Morocco on use of Commission sectoral support ensure that the protocol serves the interests of all local population,” Brivio pointed out. He also stressed that the protocol’s clear reporting mechanism represents an additional tool to monitor compliance with international law.MWN with MAP

Release of political prisoners a must says TULF

He says the decision will only make things worse. It was decided at that meeting to release a few Tamil political detainees over the next few days. “I feel justified in demanding the unconditional release of those in Prison. First of all rightly or wrongly the entire country, the Tamils in particular fully believed,that they will be released. This was the type of campaign some political parties made during the Parliamentary Elections and also the general feeling was that all the burning questions would be sorted out including the release of the prisoners, after your election as President. Unfortunately although almost all expectations had been fulfilled this one and may be some others of less importance are still pending. You successfully and promptly dealt with the issues like the re- appoint of the chief Justice, the Army Comander Sarath Fonseka and many such other. But delay in solving this problem will give room forvarious speculations and misunderstandings. I don’t want this government to be misunderstood. Some may even start campaigning against you,” Anandasangaree said. Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Secretary General V Anandasangaree says the release of the Tamil political prisoners is a must and cannot be avoided.In a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, Anandasangaree noted with regret and much concern the decision taken by the President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at a meeting they had with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) headed by R. Sampanthan on the issue. “It is a pity that these TNA members could not foresee the consequences when they are released in batches. The whole thing appears to be akin to a “gamarala” story. But strangely enough they are proud of this achievement when in fact this decision had brought more misery. Your Excellency if your worry to release them is the opposition shown by some members of Parliament, if you assigned the task to me I will gladly meet them and convince them that their release will be beneficial to the country and will not cause any harm. Your Excellency please understand the feelings of the wives, children and parents who had been very hopeful of a re- union taking place on the seventh. I strongly urge that you must take a very courageous decision in this matter, release all of them unconditionally and explain to the country what factors compel you to take this decision and prove to the world that you are a fit and proper person to rule the country with the determination to bring all the people under a just rule as equals in this country,” Anandasangaree added. (Colombo Gazette) Anandasangaree noted that Deepavali is an important festival for Hindus and the tradition is mainly merrymaking and the prisoners should be released before the festival day.“The house wives get engaged in making sweet meets new dress for the children decorating the house and such other activities. The Deepavali that is coming shortly is of much importance since they have started dreaming as to how to celebrate it from the day your candidature was announced for the Presidential Elections. Their intention is to celebrate the home coming of their dear ones after a long lapse of time. The latest decision of yours has made things worse and they are all much disappointed and distressed,” he said.Anandasangaree said that he was also surprised that Sampanthan and his team are happy with the decision to release some Tamil prisoners in batches and others some day in the future. read more

Woman in hospital after 10vehicle collision in parking lot

(Photo courtesy Google Maps)One woman is in serious condition following a 10-vehicle collision in a Port Colborne parking lot.Investigators say a male driver, 70, lost control of his minivan within the parking lot of the Food Basics grocery story on Clarence St. and struck nine other vehicles.A 53-year-old woman was walking to her vehicle at the time and was struck by the out-of-control minivan. She was rushed to a local hospital where she remains in serious condition.Police say the 70-year-old driver of the minivan and his 70-year-old female passenger were also taken to hospital as a precaution but have since been released.Any witnesses to the collision are asked to contact detectives at (905) 688-4111, extension 5500.

Albertans cutting back Christmas spending this year poll

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Thinkstock Albertans cutting back Christmas spending this year: poll by Mike Tarasko Posted Dec 2, 2016 7:34 am MDT Many Albertans feel forced to be a little more like Scrooge than Santa Claus this year.A new ATB Financial poll shows 41 per cent of us will be spending less than we did last year on Christmas gifts, with one in five significantly cutting back.“It’s not as bad as you might think it would be given how long the downturn has been going,” Rob Roach, Director of Insight with ATB, said.But, he says it’s not surprising so many people are paring down the spending this holiday.“People are planning to reduce spending among all income categories but it is higher among those who make less than $40,000 a year,” Roach said.On a brighter note, almost half of Albertans still plan to spend the same as last year, with 10 per cent saying they’ll spend more.He says Christmas 2017 should be a little better for retailers as the province slowly climbs out of recession. read more

UN demands safe release of abducted personnel in South Sudan

Three contractors employed by the Mission (UNMISS) who were working at the airfield were seized on 10 October by an unidentified armed group of 15 to 20 men in uniformed and civilian clothes and driven away in a pick-up truck. Two of the three were released the next day, while the third is still missing, the Mission stated in a news release. Then on 16 October, a staff member of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) was similarly seized by a group of armed men at the same airfield while he was in the process of boarding a UN flight. He is still missing.“UNMISS strongly condemns these abductions and demands the safe release of the missing individuals,” the Mission stated. It noted that there is still a lack of clarity on the identity of the abductors, and various authorities and commanders have assured UNMISS and WFP that they are making all efforts to track down the abductors and secure the release of the two abducted individuals. The Mission emphasized the responsibility of the Government of South Sudan under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Organization, to protect UN personnel, “irrespective of the identity of the abductors.” UNMISS and WFP are actively involved in efforts to secure the release of the abductees, and urged the authorities and commanders to redouble their efforts to locate and free them. read more

Whats The Best Way To Build a Major League Baseball Team

“Moneyball” told the story of a plucky Oakland A’s team that exploited market inefficiencies, overcame the loss of several excellent players and went on to have one of the best seven-year runs in franchise history. Today’s A’s have won two straight AL West titles and are in the hunt for a third. They also have fewer elite homegrown players than their predecessors did a decade ago — even the most hardcore baseball fans would have a tough time naming a single A’s superstar. Given their lack of top talent, and the extremely subtle methods they’ve used to build a winner, you could argue that today’s A’s are even more “Moneyball” than their forebears were.The A’s lack of reliance on star players, combined with their recent success, has engendered numerous articles singing their praises and extolling the virtue of a team that uses balance, depth and versatility (and not star power) to win games. Hell, even the defending champion Boston Red Sox — a big-revenue ballclub with a $155 million Opening Day payroll — embraced the power of roster balance and depth to win it all.It’s easy to praise that kind of balanced approach as shrewd. It’s equally easy to denigrate teams that spend a boatload of money on a few famous veterans, leaving the rest of the team fighting for the last few dollars left. But is one tack really more effective than the other? If you want to build a winning baseball team, which strategy works best — a balanced roster, or one made up of stars and scrubs?To answer this question, we used a favorite tool of economists: the Gini coefficient. Typically, the Gini coefficient measures income distribution among a large group of people. We can apply the same principle to roster construction, by using wins above replacement. The Gini coefficient runs on a scale of 0 to 1, with the most unequal distribution coming closer to 1, and more balanced distribution shading closer to 0. A stars-and-scrubs roster would have more WAR variance among players and thus a higher Gini score. A balanced roster would have players bunched closer together by WAR, and thus a lower Gini score.The baseball statistics site FanGraphs’ version of WAR is calibrated to reflect year-end win totals. So if you have two teams generating 50 wins at the end of the season, one with a stars-and-scrubs roster, the other with a balanced squad, the team that will perform better is … neither. After 162 games, wins are wins, regardless of how you acquire them.The best way to solve this problem is to use monthly WAR data, which the good folks of FanGraphs were able to provide. We looked at WAR and WAR distribution for the month of April each year from 1974 through 2013.1Only one season, strike-shortened 1995, wasn’t included in the results. We ran month-by-month Gini data for every team going back those 40 years, tracking WAR inequality for the month, then comparing that result to WAR totals for the rest of the season, to see which of the two roster construction methods yielded more wins.The result? Having a larger Gini coefficient (as you’d see in a stars-and-scrubs roster) is ever so slightly associated with better outcomes over the rest of the season. However, the effect wasn’t large enough to be statistically significant, so this analysis says a team should probably just be indifferent about which approach it uses to build a roster.Of course, this merely tells us about future outcomes for teams that have certain WAR distributions in April. Trying a different route, we split up the monthly data into half-seasons, to see whether this finding (that Gini doesn’t matter after controlling for WAR) holds for a different timeframe. We computed each team’s WAR Gini number for each half-season — June and before, and July and after. Once again, we found that the Gini number was nowhere near statistically significant.Taking one last stab at the problem, we broke seasons up into even and odd months, just in case there was something about a pre- and post-July sample of games that might skew the results. At last, we found a Gini coefficient that was pretty close to being statistically significant. But here’s the thing: The effect was still very small for the purposes of measuring real-life wins and losses. For every one standard deviation of change in the Gini number, you get 0.37 wins per 162 games2In order to account for teams playing different numbers of games in different chunks of the season, the regression was run on WAR per game numbers. We multiplied the regression coefficient by 162 to arrive at the per-162 game rate. — about the same effect as replacing the crappy last guy on your bench with a slightly less crappy 25th man.Looking at the numbers as a whole, we arrive at this conclusion: Build a balanced roster or a stars-and-scrubs roster. Either way, which players are good, and how good they are individually, doesn’t make any difference after we control for how good the team is in the aggregate. The moral of the story is to find players who generate as much value as possible, in whatever combination, period.But if the way teams get their wins doesn’t matter much when looking at the forest, there might still be some lessons we can learn by zooming in on a few trees. Specifically, the most and least balanced teams in our data set.The most imbalanced team during our 40-year stretch was the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks. And man, did they suck. The D-Backs won just 51 games that year, and lost 111. Only one team in the past 40 years lost more games: the 2003 Detroit Tigers, who went 43-119.3The 2013 Astros likewise posted a 51-111 record, matching those lousy ’04 Diamondbacks. The Astros have been roundly criticized for tanking — not for losing on purpose per se, but for running out an anachronistically tiny $26 million payroll last year, and being content to pocket No. 1 draft picks. They’ll pick first again in this year’s draft, and are the favorites to do so next year, too. Those Diamondbacks employed Randy Johnson, who in 2004 reeled off the seventh-best season by any starting pitcher in the past 40 years, racking up 9.5 wins above replacement.4Tying with 2000 Randy Johnson and 1995 Randy Johnson. In fact, the Big Unit posted five of the nine best seasons by any pitcher in that four-decade span, with Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez claiming two top seasons each. Randy Johnson was really, really freaking good. Only one other player on that D-Backs team, fellow starting pitcher Brandon Webb, produced more than two wins above replacement that year; a two-win player is a league average player, which means only two members of the ’04 Diamondbacks even managed to be better than average.Turns out that D-Backs club wasn’t unique when it comes to an extreme stars-and-scrubs roster and lousy results. The 16 teams with the biggest WAR distribution in our study all finished below .500. Combined, they averaged fewer than 64 wins per season. You can win quite a few games with LeBron James and a bunch of crummy players, because the best basketball players deliver far more value than the best baseball players.5There are many reasons for this, but it boils down having only five basketball players on the court at the same time, and the best players not needing to wait their turn in the same way that an elite hitter has to wait for eight other guys to bat before he can stride to the plate. One superstar and 24 Oompa Loompas gets you nowhere in baseball.The most balanced team in our study was the 1976 Pittsburgh Pirates. The Buccos won 92 games that year, led by strong contributions from multiple quality players. The team’s top five starting pitchers all delivered above-average seasons, with Bruce Kison, Jerry Reuss, Doc Medich, John Candelaria and Jim Rooker all producing two or more wins above replacement. Six of the eight position players with the most plate appearances — Richie Zisk, Al Oliver, Dave Parker, Frank Taveras, Bill Robinson and Manny Sanguillén — produced above-average seasons.Here again we find that at the extremes, roster composition does seem to matter. The eight most balanced teams in our sample all finished at .500 or better, averaging 94 wins a season.Really, it comes down to this: There are advantages and disadvantages to both roster-building approaches. Assembling a deep and balanced group of players insulates you against one injury torpedoing your entire team. But there are still legitimate reasons to pay the best players $25 million a year or more; an elite baseball player might not be worth 20-plus wins the way the top NBA superstars are, but tacking seven, eight or more wins onto your team’s ledger can make a big difference.Even the scrubs element of the stars-and-scrubs approach can be a blessing in disguise. If a severely imbalanced team gets to the trade deadline and is in contention, it’s much easier to acquire a decent player who’ll be an upgrade over its terrible existing option than it is to do the same for a balanced team that already has decent players at every position.We might get a few more test cases on both ends of the spectrum this year. The deep and balanced A’s are tied for first place in the AL West. On the other hand, the New York Yankees project as one of the most extreme examples of a stars-and-scrubs roster. They employ multiple high-value players like Masahiro Tanaka, Hiroki Kuroda, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, but also a highly questionable infield that includes Mark Teixeira with a bum wrist; aging, injury-prone second baseman Brian Roberts; a third-base combination of Yangervis Solarte and Kelly Johnson that’s off to a hot start but figures to regress dramatically; plus Derek Jeter, the Hall of Fame shortstop now on his last legs. So far, that approach has worked, with the Yankees leading the AL East, and the possibility of trades to upgrade weak positions looms in June and July.6Acquiring quality second baseman Aaron Hill from the last-place Diamondbacks makes so much sense, it’s criminal. And that’s before we even touch the close relationship that exists between Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Arizona GM Kevin Towers.A poor team like the A’s might have no choice but to pursue that balanced method, since they lack the big revenue stream that would allow them to pay multiple veteran superstars. Doubly so without the army of homegrown stars like Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez and Miguel Tejada who led the way for the “Moneyball” A’s. Meanwhile, the Yankees might never be able to resist the siren song of a $100 million (or $275 million) player. If the two approaches deliver similar results, that could be an equalizer for low-budget teams trying to keep up with their richer rivals. read more

Ariel Castro in court charged with rape and kidnapping

first_imgA CLEVELAND MAN has been charged with rape and kidnapping after three women missing for about a decade and one of their young daughters were found alive at his home earlier in the week.Ariel Castro looked down at the ground for almost the entire court proceeding, biting his collar and signing documents with his handcuffed hands. He didn’t speak. Bond was set at $8 million.The women found alive after a decade in captivity endured lonely, dark lives inside a dingy home where they were raped and allowed outside only a handful of times in disguises while walking to a garage steps away, investigators say.The 52-year-old former school bus driver has emerged as the lone suspect.Assistant county prosecutor Brian Murphy said the women were beaten repeatedly and sexually assaulted. He said Castro used the women “in whatever self-gratifying, self-serving way he saw fit”.House of horrorsWhile many questions remain about how Castro maintained such tight control over the women for so many years before one of them made a daring escape Monday, the horrors they suffered are beginning to come to light.Castro lured the women into his vehicle, according to court documents filed Thursday.Police say the women were apparently bound by ropes and chains at times and were kept in different rooms. They suffered prolonged sexual and psychological abuse and had miscarriages, according to a city councilman.Gina DeJesus gives a thumbs-up as she is escorted toward her home Wednesday in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)Castro has been charged with four counts of kidnapping — covering the captives and the daughter born to one of them — and three counts of rape, against all three women.Kathleen DeMetz, a public defender who represented Castro in court, said he would be transferred from a city jail medical unit — where defendants charged with sex crimes or considered a suicide risk are normally held. She said he would probably be kept under suicide watch while at the county jail.Castro did not have a chance to talk to his two brothers, who were arrested and cleared without charges, DeMetz said.Case buildingThe women and Castro have given lengthy statements to police that have helped build their case, said Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba.None of the women, though, gave them any indication that Castro’s two brothers, who had been in custody since Monday, were involved, Tomba said. Prosecutors brought no charges against the brothers, citing a lack of evidence. The brothers appeared in court before Castro, on unrelated charges, and were in the process of being released.Pedro Castro, 54, pleaded no contest to an open container charge while two charges against Onil Castro, 50, were dismissed.“Ariel kept everyone at a distance,” Tomba said.One thing that remains a mystery, he said, is how the women were kept in the house so long.“As far as the circumstances inside the home and the control he may have had over those girls … I think that’s going to take us a long time to figure that out,” he said.VanishedThe women, now in their 20s and 30s, vanished separately between 2002 and 2004. At the time, they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.John Berry poses with a photo of his daughter, Amanda Berry, outside his home in Elizabethton, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Patrick Murphey-Racey)At a news conference, authorities would not discuss the circumstances of their kidnapping and captivity.City Councilman Brian Cummins earlier said: “We know that the victims have confirmed miscarriages, but with who, how many and what conditions we don’t know.”“It sounds pretty gruesome,” he added.They never saw a chance to escape over the last 10 years until this week when Amanda Berry broke through a door and ran to freedom, alerting police who rescued the other two women while Castro was away from the house.In newly released police audio tapes, a 911 dispatcher notifies officers on Monday that she’s just spoken to a woman who “says her name is Amanda Berry and that she had been kidnapped 10 years ago”.An officer on the recorded call says, “This might be for real.”After police arrive at the house, women can be heard crying in the background. Then an officer tells the dispatcher: “We found ‘em. We found ‘em.”Tomba said of Berry, “Something must have clicked and she saw an opportunity and she took that opportunity.”He said the women could remember being outside only twice during their entire time in captivity. “We were told they left the house and went into the garage in disguise,” he said.Also in the house was Berry’s six-year-old daughter. A paternity test on Castro has been ordered to establish whether he fathered the child.While prosecutors announced charges against Castro, federal agents searched a vacant house near where the women had been held. Officials would only say their search was an attempt to get evidence in the case against Castro, but they refused to say what they found or what led them there.Castro was in custody and couldn’t be reached for comment. A brother-in-law has said the family was shocked after hearing about the women at the home.Few people in Cleveland, outside the families of the women, thought there was any chance they were still alive.Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 22, were welcomed home Wednesday by jubilant crowds of loved ones and neighbors with balloons and banners. Family members hustled them inside, past hundreds of reporters and onlookers.Neither woman spoke.“This is the best Mother’s Day I could ever have,” said Nancy Ruiz, Gina’s mother. She said she hugged her daughter and didn’t want to let go.Ruiz said she spent time with all three women after they were rescued. “There’s no word to describe the beauty of just seeing them,” she said.DeJesus’ father pumped his fist after arriving home with his daughter, and urged people across the country to watch over the children in their neighborhoods — including other people’s kids.“Too many kids these days come up missing, and we always ask this question: How come I didn’t see what happened to that kid? Why? Because we chose not to,” he said.The third captive, Michelle Knight, 32, was reported in good condition at Metro Health Medical Center, which a day earlier had reported that all three victims had been released. There was no immediate explanation from the hospital.AffadavitsThe Associated Press does not usually identify people who may be victims of sexual assault, but the names of the women were widely circulated by their families, friends and law enforcement authorities for years during their disappearance.Police submitted four affidavits detailing the allegations against Castro — four kidnapping charges and three rape charges.The affidavits say Berry, DeJesus and Knight each were lured into Castro’s vehicle and then held captive at the home on Seymour.“During this time period, the victim was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the defendant,” Cleveland police Det. Andrew Harasimchuk wrote in each of the affidavits.Previous crimesCastro was accused of twice breaking the nose of his children’s mother, knocking out a tooth, dislocating each shoulder and threatening to kill her and her daughters, according to a 2005 domestic-violence filing in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court.The filing for a protective order by Grimilda Figueroa also said that Castro frequently abducted her daughters and kept them from her. Figueroa died in April 2012 after a battle with cancer.Figueroa’s father, Ismail Figueroa, said Wednesday that Castro would regularly lock his daughter inside a second-floor apartment in the house where they lived when they were first together.Later, when they moved a few blocks to the house Castro purchased — the house from which, years later, the women would escape — he kept a close eye on her and refused to let people come inside to visit her or even let her pick up their children from school, said Angel Villanueva, who is married to Grimilda Figueroa’s sister.Grimilda was “not allowed to go nowhere,” said Villanueva. No matter where she wanted to go, “it had to be with him.”Comments have been disabled because legal proceedings have begun.How Cleveland kidnap hero Charles Ramsey became an internet sensationThis is the 911 call made by Amanda Berry after 10 years missinglast_img read more

Lever de voile sur le Motorola Droid 4

first_imgLever de voile sur le Motorola Droid 4Motorola prépare le lancement américain de son nouveau smartphone Droid pour le 8 décembre en publiant photos et spécifications de son modèle haut-de-gamme.La gamme Droid de Motorola s’étoffera dans les prochains jours, le 8 décembre pour être précis, d’un quatrième modèle. Ce Droid 4 sera un cousin très proche du Droid Razr sorti il y a seulement quelques semaines indique Numerama. Le smartphone conserve les mêmes lignes que le modèle précédent en remplaçant son interface tout tactile par un clavier complet et coulissant.À lire aussiNomophobie : traitement, symptômes, qu’est-ce que c’est ?Le pari affiché de Motorola est de répondre à toutes les critiques énoncées à l’encontre du troisième mobile du constructeur. Sa fiche technique vient d’être publiée et démontre que le pari est en passe d’être réussi. Le Droid 4 sera un téléphone aux spécifications qui n’ont pas à rougir face à la concurrence, avec un processeur double-cœur d’1,2 GHz, un écran 4 pouces LCD mais maintenant une définition qHD (960 x 540 pixels) et une connectivité 4G. Il est doté de plus d’un appareil photo plutôt performant sur le papier de 8 mégapixels et filme en 1080p et d’un capteur frontal d’1,3 megapixels.Seul petit bémol, le Motorola Droid 4 sera livré avec un Android 2.3 mais le constructeur a dans la foulée annoncé qu’Ici Cream Sandwich, la version 4.0 du système de Google serait proposée ultérieurement. Aucune annonce n’a été faite quant à sa mise en vente en Europe mais Motorola n’avait pas communiqué sur le Razr avant de finalement le lancer en France. L’espoir reste de mise.Le 28 novembre 2011 à 21:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Minifig Beatles all live in a Lego Yellow Submarine

first_imgStay on target As we live a life of ease, every one of us has all we need… Which now includes an official Lego set that features the Fab Four in one of the most iconic images from their musical career.The folks at Lego have always had a knack for turning out brick reproductions of pop culture vehicles. In recent years they’ve offered up Ecto 1 and Doc Brown’s DeLorean, but this fall they’ve opted for a submersible: the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.Why now? Because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the song’s original release. The animated film that featured John, Paul, George, and Ringo on a magical, musical journey beneath the waves came along two years later and provided the inspiration for the set’s design.It’s not one that Lego dreamed up themselves, mind you. The Lego Yellow Submarine was actually born from a Ideas submission. It’s the work of Kevin Szeto — who also has an amazing Thunderbirds project posted right now and a slick old-school electric tram that’s getting very close to the 10,000 supporter mark.His original design has been tweaked a bit by Lego’s design team before heading to retail shelves, as most of the green-lit Ideas sets are. Clearly, they loved the set, though. They went so far as to create their very own animation to accompany its launch:In total, it takes 550 pieces to build the Yellow Submarine, John, Paul, George, and Ringo minifigs and their oddball companion Jeremy. It’s headed to stores on November 1 and will set you back $60, which is pretty typical pricing for an Ideas set like this. Will Google Music go to eleven on November 16?Les Paul Google Doodle songs: our top 5 last_img read more

UDP President Dembo Bojang Speaks

first_imgFollowing his recent appointment and after taking the prescribed oath of office as the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia, on behalf of the Central Committee and the entire membership, and sympathisers of the United Democratic Party (UDP) and on my own behalf as the Party National President, I feel highly honoured to most humbly and sincerely congratulate H.E A.N.M Ousainou Darboe the Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia and the Leader and Secretary General of UDP for the new post and to profusely thank  H.E Adama Barrow President of The Republic of The Gambia for the trust and confidence he has bestowed on our party leader.United Democratic Party since 1996 under his wise and able leadership, remains a vibrant and dedicated political party committed to the principles of democracy and rule of law in the strife to attain the new Gambia that we all cherish. UDP played an important role in the struggle to end the tyranny and dictatorship that characterised the former regime. The Fass standoff in 2015 and the 16th April 2016 peaceful demonstration by the UDP leaderships, clearly signalled the party’s total determination to end the two decades of oppression and suppression in the country come December 2016 Presidential Elections.For the purpose of clarity, prior to his arrest and imprisonment, the Secretary General and Leader of UDP took a leading role in reactivating the Gambia Opposition for Electoral Reforms (GOFER) and served as chairman. The group later formed a coalition of seven opposition parties plus an Independent Presidential Aspirant and defeated the former ruling party in the 1st December 2016 poll whilst he Darboe was in prison. The rest of the UDP Executive members who stayed behind on April 16, acted as instructed by the leader to continue the struggle in the event anything happened to them. UDP as a party stood firm in solidarity with Darboe and co. during the trial until their conviction and sentence before taking the political front to ensure the change of government and their release.After consultation with my humble self, Hon. Halifa Sallah the Secretary General and Leader of PDOIS, convened a Conference of Presidential Candidates at Kairaba Beach Hotel to map out the strategies to select a single opposition candidate which involved only presidential candidates or their representatives. At its second meeting, a conference of GOFER was proposed and agreed to and also for the opposition parties that were non-GOFER members to be included as well. Two civil society organisations and two Independent National Assembly Members who were also in the struggle to unite the opposition parties were also invited to be part of the conference upon their requests. Henceforth, the third meeting comprised GOFER and the team of the Independent Aspirant Dr. Isatou Touray plus two civil society groups (The Concerned Citizens led by Madame Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang and the Inter-Party Committee for Opposition Unification led by Kebba Singhateh) and Hon. Buba Aye Sanneh and Hon. Muhammed Magassey. I was unanimously chosen as the Chairman in the absence of Ousainou Darboe. At our subsequent meeting I proposed that Madame Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang assist me as Co-Chair which was accepted. As the parties could not come to terms on a single candidate but decided to go for convention, I proposed that Madame Tambajang preside over the convention and the meetings there after as Chairperson. However, I remained as Co-Chair.To conclude, I thank each and every political party, group or individual for their efforts in effecting the change and the services they have rendered to the government of President Adama Barrow in one way or the other. I wish H.E Vice President Darboe good health, long life and success in his new office. I pray for H.E President Barrow long life, good health and for Almighty Allah to grant him wisdom and guidance to govern this country.Hon. Dembo Bojang National President UDPlast_img read more

Hanley Wood Slashes Debt Via New Ownership Group

first_imgThe new ownership group, which also consists of Strategic Value Partners and Tennenbaum Capital Partners, is betting the debt reduction and new capital will give the company some breathing room until the markets improve. A deal of this nature is not a surprise. Observers have noted that the company would need to do something significant with its debt load. Last year, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s both issued tough critiques of Hanley Wood. Moody’s in August warned that the company would have to pursue a restructuring or risk violating its loan covenants as of the first of this year, and in May Standard and Poor’s downgraded its rating of Hanley Wood from “CCC” to “CCC-” for the same reason. Nevertheless, Hanley Wood CEO Frank Anton insisted the ratings had no effect on day-to-day operations. In August, the company said it had marginal improvements of high single-digit increases in revenues and a 20 percent increase in earnings in the first half of 2011. Yet these were off of a “very depressed base,” said Anton at the time. Later in the year, Hanley Wood shut down two magazines—Building Products and Big Builder—in an effort to “right size” its portfolio. The company also announced a 2-year plan to shift to a digital-first editorial approach, which included the centralization of editorial resources at Hanley Wood’s Washington, DC headquarters. Hanley-Wood has just received a major financial reprieve through a debt-reduction deal. In a recapitalization plan, the company has reduced its long-term debt of $440 million to $80 million. As a result, Hanley Wood has a new ownership group led by Oaktree Capital Management, which has also injected $35 million of capital into the company.Hanley Wood was acquired in 2005 by J.P. Morgan for $650 million. Serving the residential and commercial construction markets, Hanley Wood, considered one of the best-run b-to-b media companies, was hit particularly hard during the economic downturn and has continued to struggle as the housing market has been one of the slowest to recover. last_img read more

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji Earmarks Over 50 of His Wealth for Charity

first_imgWipro chairman Azim Premji, who was the ‘most generous Indian’ of 2014, has allocated an additional 18 percent of the stake he holds in the company for philanthropy, taking his total contribution for charity to more than 50 percent. Recently, the 69-year-old head of India’s third largest IT firm said that he has set aside 39% of the shares held by him in the company to a trust for carrying out philanthropic programmes, especially primary education.Premji’s 73.39 percent stake in Wipro is valued at about ₹99,500 crore.”Apart from the Tata Trust, nothing comes close to the commitment made by him on this front,” a person familiar with the development told The Economic Times.The details of Premji’s enhanced allocation for charity form part of the company’s annual report for 2015.”And now, he has two engines to carry on philanthropy—the Azim Premji Foundation, and the newly formed Philanthropic Initiatives formed to making grants to NGOs,” the person added. ‘Philanthropic Initiatives’ works in areas such as nutrition, water, street children and the urban homeless.”We are continuing to look at various areas, e.g., nutrition, water — the only area that we have decided on is support to NGOs working with the most vulnerable people — eg, street children, urban homeless, teenage girls from disadvantaged communities, women at risk of violence,” said Anurag Behar, CEO of Azim Premji Foundation and vice-chancellor of Azim Premji University, according to ET.Premji roped in Amnesty India head G Anantha Padmanabhan last year to establish a separate unit that focuses on donating to charities.Many rich Indians are increasingly donating their wealth towards philanthropic activities, encouraged by the charitable work of the world’s richest person Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffet.A minimum of 50 wealthy persons in India gave over ₹10 crore to philanthropic activities last year, said Hurun Research Institute.The Hurun India Philanthropy List 2014 disclosed Premji, Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal, HCL’s Shiv Nadar and Ratan Tata as “most generous givers in India.”last_img read more

UPDATE 13 Dead In Southern California As Rain Triggers Mudslides

first_img#CAstorm– Santa Barbara county FF’s rescue two men and a woman from flood water/debris flow of Hot Springs Rd. in Montecito. Multiple rescues are underway throughout the area. pic.twitter.com/bT5WAoAvf8— SBCFireInfo (@EliasonMike) January 9, 2018 Numerous road closures and travel delays will be possible through Tuesday as heavy rain moves into SW California. Potential flooding/debris flow issues. Check latest road conditions before departing to your destination. #CAstorm #LAWeather #LArain #cawx pic.twitter.com/RlZUBl5m0g— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) January 9, 2018 Unbelievable. This the 101 North in Montecito/Summerland. Completely blocked with mud. #CAStorm 📹: Joyce Dudley-Santa Barbara County DA pic.twitter.com/49BubOFvkp— Joe Buttitta (@KEYTNC3Joe) January 9, 2018___Heavy rain is drenching fire-ravaged southern California. And thousands of people are evacuating their homes because the rain is raising the risk of mudslides on hills stripped by the flames.Some 21,000 people have evacuated in large swaths of southern California, according to The Associated Press, including vulnerable areas of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. That’s where the Thomas wildfire raged last month. It was the largest in California’s history, burning more than 280,000 acres and destroying more than 1,000 structures.In Los Angeles County, several canyon areas are also under mandatory evacuation orders due to the heavy rains.Just an inch of rain fell in southern California last month, drying out the ground, as reporter Danielle Karson tells our Newscast unit. In areas where the fire burned, there’s almost no ground vegetation. Meteorologist Joe Sirard tells Danielle that this can cause problems.“When we get short-term heavy rain like we’re getting right now, it will build up debris in the mud in these areas and it comes right down the mountain,” Sirard says. “So it could be a dangerous situation.”The National Weather Service is warning of the potential for flash flooding “for much of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties,” with rainfall rates as high as an inch and a half per hour.Mud flows have already hit Montecito, in Santa Barbara County. “Heavy rains have triggered massive runoff,” Mike Eliason, a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, said on Twitter. “Access is difficult/delayed to due to — at some locations — waist deep mudflow, trees, and wires down.”Residents of vulnerable areas are also piling up sandbags to try to protect their homes. The AP reports that the Ventura County’s Sheriff’s Office says “jail inmates have been filling sandbags at the rate of 2,000 a day.”And the California Highway Patrol has closed the coastal 101 freeway in both directions for “flooding and debris flows.” Topanga Canyon “was also closed in both directions due to a mudslide north of Pacific Coast Highway,” member station KPCC reports.Authorities have also closed the Sepulveda Basin recreation area in the San Fernando Valley, which will cause closures on the nearby 405 freeway, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Share Daniel Dreifuss/APDebris and mud cover the street in front of shops in Montecito, Calif., Tuesday after heavy rain brought deadly flooding to the region.At least 13 people were killed and homes were torn from their foundations Tuesday as downpours sent mud and boulders roaring down hills stripped of vegetation by a gigantic wildfire that raged in Southern California last month.Rescue crews used helicopters to pluck people from rooftops because trees and power lines blocked roads, and firefighters pulled a mud-caked 14-year-old girl from a collapsed Montecito home where she had been trapped for hours.“I thought I was dead for a minute there,” the girl could be heard saying on video posted by KNBC-TV before she was taken away on a stretcher.Most deaths were believed to have occurred in Montecito, a wealthy enclave of about 9,000 people northwest of Los Angeles that is home to such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Rob Lowe and Ellen DeGeneres, said Santa Barbara County spokesman David Villalobos. At least 25 people were injured and others were unaccounted for.The mud was unleashed in the dead of night by flash flooding in the steep, fire-scarred Santa Ynez Mountains. Burned-over zones are especially susceptible to destructive mudslides because scorched earth doesn’t absorb water well and the land is easily eroded when there are no shrubs.Mike Eliason/APA flash flood area sign is posted as residents evacuate from several fire-ravaged communities in Santa Barbara, Calif.The torrent of mud early Tuesday swept away cars and destroyed several homes, reducing them to piles of lumber. Photos posted on social media showed waist-deep mud in living rooms.“I came around the house and heard a deep rumbling, an ominous sound I knew was … boulders moving as the mud was rising,” said Thomas Tighe, who discovered two of his cars missing from the driveway in the middle of the night. “I saw two other vehicles moving slowly sideways down the middle of the street in a river of mud.”In daylight, Tighe was shocked to see a body pinned by muck against his neighbor’s home. He wasn’t sure who it was.Authorities had been bracing for the possibility of catastrophic flooding because of heavy rain in the forecast for the first time in 10 months.Evacuations were ordered beneath recently burned areas of Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. But only an estimated 10 to 15 percent of people in a mandatory evacuation area of Santa Barbara County heeded the warning, authorities said.Marshall Miller, who evacuated his home in Montecito on Monday with his family, returned to check for damage and found his neighborhood devastated. He never reached his home because two of his neighbors, an elderly woman and her adult daughter, needed a lift to the hospital after being rescued by firefighters.The pair had left their house before it was inundated with 6 feet (1.8 meters) of mud, but they got trapped outside in the deep sludge.“It was sobering,” Miller said. “I saw them covered in mud and shaking from the cold.”The path of the deluge was graphically illustrated on the side of a white colonial-style house, where a dark gray stain created a wavy pattern halfway up the front windows.Cars were washed off roads, and one was deposited upside down in a tangle of tree limbs. In Los Angeles, a police cruiser got swamped in tire-deep mud.A stretch of U.S. Highway 101 looked like a muddy river clogged with trees and other debris and was closed between Ventura County and Santa Barbara County. A kayak was marooned in the flotsam, and a Range Rover was buried up to its bumpers.Some of the worst damage was on Montecito’s Hot Springs Road, where the unidentified girl was rescued and residents had been under a voluntary evacuation warning. Large boulders were washed out of a previously dry creek bed and scattered across the road.A rescuer working with a search dog walked among the ruins of a house as the yellow Labrador wagged its tail and scrambled into a destroyed building, looking for anyone trapped inside. Its belly and paws were black from the mud.The worst of the rainfall occurred in a 15-minute span starting at 3:30 a.m. Montecito got more than a half-inch in five minutes, while Carpinteria received nearly an inch in 15 minutes.“All hell broke loose,” said Peter Hartmann, a dentist who moonlights as a news photographer for the local website Noozhawk.“There were gas mains that had popped, where you could hear the hissing,” he said. “Power lines were down, high-voltage power lines, the large aluminum poles to hold those were snapped in half. Water was flowing out of water mains and sheared-off fire hydrants.”Hartmann watched rescuers revive a toddler pulled unresponsive from the muck.“It was a freaky moment to see her just covered in mud,” he said.Hartmann said he found a tennis trophy awarded in 1991 to a father-son team his wife knows.“Both of them were caught in the flood. Son’s in the hospital, dad hasn’t been found yet,” he said, declining to name them.The first confirmed death was Roy Rohter, a former real estate broker who founded St. Augustine Academy in Ventura. The Catholic school’s headmaster, Michael Van Hecke, announced the death and said Rohter’s wife was injured by the mudslide.Montecito is beneath the scar left by a wildfire that erupted Dec. 4 and became the largest ever recorded in California. It spread over more than 440 square miles (1,140 square kilometers) and destroyed 1,063 homes and other structures. It continues to smolder deep in the wilderness.The storm walloped much of the state with damaging winds and thunderstorms. Downtown San Francisco got a record 3.15 inches (8 centimeters) of rain on Monday, smashing the old mark of 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) set in 1872.last_img read more

Google Releases Chrome 20 Alpha

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — With the full release of Chrome 1.0 in December, Google has just released Chrome 2.0 alpha that brings many noticeable improvements over Chrome 1.0. With this new alpha release of Chrome 2.0, the browser has been overhauled in which it handles HTTP. LG Launches Versatile LG-KF700 Google Chrome 2.0 alpha Explore further Chrome 2.0 browser also includes the addition of auto-complete in text fields, full page zoom, improvements in spell checker, and auto scroll. Google also states that the 2.0 alpha is more reliable and faster browsing is achieved by accessing your hard drive less often.Now you can even import bookmarks from Google Bookmarks, a feature that was not found in Chrome 1.0. You also have the ability to drag a tab to certain positions on your monitor and have a docking icon appear. One interesting feature, worth mention, is the “Profiles” feature in this new release. The “Profiles” feature lets users separate their browser settings, including bookmarks, history, and cookies into different categories. For example if you use your work computer for personal use, you can set up a work profile and a personal profile so that your bookmarks, history and home pages are kept separate.A new version of WebKit rendering engine has also been implemented in Chrome 2.0 that’s the same as the one used in Apple’s Safari 3.1 web browser. The new rendering engine enables some CSS coding features such as reflections, masks, gradients, and canvas drawing. To get the new version of Chrome 2.0 you will need to have Chrome 1.0 installed on your PC. You will also need to subscribe to Google’s Developer Preview Channel. Keep in mind that Chrome 2.0 is an alpha release and expect it to crash quite often.On the web:Chrome 2.0.156.1 Release Notes: dev.chromium.org/getting-invol … s/releasenotes201561© 2009 PhysOrg.com Citation: Google Releases Chrome 2.0 Alpha (2009, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-01-google-chrome-alpha.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Reversals of Earths Magnetic Field Explained by Small Core Fluctuations

first_img Explore further Although volcanic basalt reveals when reversals occurred, it’s much more difficult to find evidence for why or how the Earth’s magnetic field reverses. In a recent study, scientists from the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, both in Paris, have proposed a general mechanism that provides a simple explanation for field reversals. In their model, small fluctuations in convective flow in Earth’s core can push the planet’s sensitive magnetic system away from one pole toward an intermediate state, where the system becomes attracted to the opposite pole. “We have found a mechanism that gives simple explanations of many features of the reversals of Earth’s magnetic field,” François Pétrélis of Ecole Normale Supérieure told PhysOrg.com. “In particular, it explains the existence and the shape (slow phase followed by fast phase) of reversals, the existence and the shape of aborted reversals (‘excursions’), the statistical properties of reversals, and the possibility for very long durations without reversals (‘superchrons’).”At present times, the Earth’s magnetic field can be described as a magnetic dipole, with the magnetic south pole currently located near the Earth’s geographic north pole, and the magnetic north pole near the geographic south pole (both magnetic poles are misaligned along the Earth’s rotational axis by about 11.3 degrees). The existence of such a long-lived magnetic field can be explained by dynamo theory, which describes how a convective, electrically conducting fluid that rotates can maintain a magnetic field. As the scientists suggest, the reversal mechanism relies on the existence of a second magnetic mode, in addition to the dipolar field. The presence of a second mode, such as a quadrupolar field, can have significant effects on how the magnetic system reacts to changes in equatorial symmetry. As the researchers explain, the equator can be thought of as a plane of symmetry, and the convective flow in the Earth’s outer core is usually north-south symmetric. Previous studies on paleomagnetic data have proposed that reversals involve an interaction between the dipolar and quadrupolar modes, which would correlate with changes in equatorial symmetry. In support of this idea, some recent numerical simulations have shown that reversals do not occur when the convective flow remains equatorially symmetric. (PhysOrg.com) — Based on studies of old volcanic basalt, scientists know that the Earth’s magnetic field reverses at irregular intervals, ranging from tens of thousands to millions of years. Volcanic basalt rock contains magnetite, and when the rock cools, its magnetic properties are frozen, recording the Earth’s magnetic field of the time. With this data, scientists estimate that the last magnetic field reversal occurred about 780,000 years ago. According to a new model, small fluctuations in convective flow in Earth’s core can explain how the Earth’s magnetic field reverses. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons. “The quadrupolar field (it is likely to be a quadrupole but another structure could be possible) is also generated by the flow of the liquid core of the Earth, exactly like the dipolar field,” explained the researchers. “Most of the time, we observe a dipolar field because it is more easily generated by the flow, but in other conditions a quadrupolar field could be maintained, and this occurs in a temporary manner during a reversal.”To further explain the dipole-quadrupole interaction, the scientists invoked a model that was recently used to describe the dynamics of a magnetic field generated in a very different system: a lab experiment involving a von Karman swirling flow of liquid sodium (which, like the Earth’s magnetic field, is generated by the dynamo effect). The scientists suggest that a general mechanism could explain both magnetic fields, independent of the different symmetries and velocities of the two systems.“We have shown that if the dipolar field of Earth is coupled to another magnetic mode (a quadrupolar field, for instance), this coupling provides a path to flip the dipole to its opposite,” the scientists said. “If this coupling is strong enough, the magnetic field will spontaneously oscillate between the two modes and their opposite polarities. We will then observe periodic reversals of the magnetic field (this is the case of the solar magnetic field, for which the period is 22 years). In the case of Earth, the coupling is not strong enough, and oscillations are not observed. Velocity fluctuations in the liquid core are then needed to trigger a reversal.”In the model, small fluctuations in convective flow can push the system away from one pole toward the intermediate quadrupolar state, where it becomes attracted to the opposite pole. A reversal occurs in two phases: a slow phase where the fluctuations are the motor of the evolution, and a fast phase during which the dynamics does not rely on the fluctuations. The first phase, during which the dipole amplitude decreases slowly, seems to last around 50 kiloyears (30,000-70,000 years). The second phase, which starts when the dipolar mode vanishes, is quite faster: 10,000 years are required for the dipole to recover with the opposite polarity. Sometimes, at the end of the first phase, the system may simply return to the initial pole, which is called an “excursion” when it occurs on Earth. However, if the system does reverse, the behavior happens relatively abruptly. In addition, the system usually overshoots immediately after reaching the opposite pole. The scientists noted that the amplitude of the fluctuations does not need to be large: “Fluctuations of the flow do not switch off the magnetic field and then regenerate it with the opposite polarity,” they said. “In contrast, the dipolar field continuously changes shape during a reversal because the amplitude of the other mode (the quadrupole, for instance) continuously increases, whereas the dipole decreases. When the dipolar component vanishes, it can increase again with the opposite polarity whereas the amplitude of the other mode decreases.”The model shows that the duration of the magnetic field in one state depends on the intensity of the convection fluctuations and also on the efficiency of the coupling between the two modes. Even a moderate change in convection can greatly affect the magnetic field polarity duration, which could account for “superchrons” – very long periods without geomagnetic reversals. Although little is known about the actual flow inside the Earth’s core, recent observations have shown that the ends of superchrons are often followed by major flood basalt eruptions, which are likely to produce equatorial symmetry breaking of convection at the core-mantle boundary, in support of the scientists’ model. More information: Pétrélis, François; Fauve, Stéphan; Dormy, Emmanuel; and Valet, Jean-Pierre. “Simple Mechanism for Reversals of Earth’s Magnetic Field.” Physical Review Letters, 102, 144503 (2009).Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.center_img Simulations shed light on Earth’s history of magnetic field reversals Citation: Reversals of Earth’s Magnetic Field Explained by Small Core Fluctuations (2009, April 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-reversals-earth-magnetic-field-small.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Union sues feds over hack says agency had ample warning

first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Hackers suspected of working for the Chinese government are believed to have stolen records for as many as 18 million current and former federal employees and contractors last year. Detailed background investigations for security clearances of military and intelligence agency employees were among the documents taken.OPM acknowledged the hack earlier this month, and has come under withering criticism from lawmakers and outside experts ever since. The agency’s inspector general told Congress he had been warning for years that the agency’s information security was inadequate but those warnings went largely unheeded.The lawsuit alleges that OPM was negligent when it failed to improve its security and safeguard employee information despite the warnings. The suit says an earlier hack of Keypoint systems allowed the attackers to obtain credentials that led to the later breaches.“Since 2007, officials at OPM have been alerted to their lackluster data security policies and protocols and failed to take appropriate steps to safeguard the information,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. and other union officials said in a joint statement. “Although they were forewarned about the potential catastrophe that government employees faced, OPM’s data security got worse rather than better.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img But, he added, the federal government will still be able to hire, and in some cases grant clearances on an interim basis.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WASHINGTON (AP) — The largest federal employee union filed a class action lawsuit Monday against the federal personnel office, its leaders and one of its contractors, arguing that negligence contributed to what government officials are calling one of the most damaging cyberthefts in U.S. history.The suit by the American Federation of Government Employees names the Office of Personnel Management, its director, Katherine Archuleta, and its chief information officer, Donna Seymour. It also names Keypoint Government Solutions, an OPM contractor. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and calls for more extensive credit monitoring for employees who had their personal information stolen, saying the 18 months of monitoring offered by OPM is inadequate.“We want the OPM and other responsible parties to take responsibility, do everything feasible to remedy the problem and ensure that our clients do not suffer any further harm as a result of their information being compromised,” said Daniel Gerard, the lawyer representing the union.OPM and Keypoint did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The suit came on the same day that OPM said it has shut down a massive database used to update and store background investigation records after discovering a new flaw that left the system vulnerable to additional breaches.The database is known as e-QIP, short for Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing.There is no evidence the vulnerability has been exploited by hackers, agency spokesman Samuel Schumach said in a statement, adding that OPM took the step protectively after analyzing its networks for security flaws. He said the system could be shut down for four to six weeks.The shutdown is expected to hamper agencies’ ability to initiate investigations for new employees and contractors, as well as renewal investigations for security clearances, Schumach said. Comments   Share   last_img read more

Greek Tourism to rake in 41 billion investments

first_imgThe outlay in the tourism sector is said to be one of the key factors for Greek economic growth. Now they are set to attract 4.1 billion euros whereas projects budgeted at 3.2 billion euros are already in the pipeline.The submission of 250 project plans that are calculated at 900 euros to the economy ministry with the waiting list of other projects budgeted at 3.2 billion, seems like the southeast European country, Greece, has done the groundwork really good.This year more than 195 investment plans have been submitted to the ministry of tourism, out of which 125 concerns only hotels one tourist resort, five conference centres two golf courses, 10 ski resorts, three theme parks, 24 hot spring facilities and 25 mountain resorts.Income from the sector is believed to hit 14.5 billion euros in 2017, as per the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE). But for the tourism industry to continue its healthy course of growth it is essential for them to curate 5-7 billion euros over the next four yearsThe interest of major international players like TUI Group, Four Seasons, Marriott, and Wyndham, and others has helped Greece to improve its reputation in this sector.last_img read more

Spanish court clears Shakira Vives of plagiarism

first_imgSpanish court clears Shakira, Vives of plagiarism AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted May 16, 2019 5:18 am PDTcenter_img MADRID — A Spanish court has cleared Colombian singers Shakira and Carlos Vives of a plagiarism claim after rejecting a lawsuit brought against them by a Cuban-born singer and producer.The court in Madrid issued its ruling in favour of Shakira and Vives on Thursday.Livan Rafael Castellanos had accused Shakira and Vives of plagiarizing his 1997 song “Yo te quiero tanto” in their award-winning hit “La Bicicleta.”“La Bicicleta” won two of the three biggest Grammy Latino awards for 2016, including song and record of the year.The ruling can be appealed.The Associated Presslast_img read more