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Security Council deplores attack on UN vehicle in south Lebanon

10 January 2008The Security Council today condemned the 8 January attack targeting the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which wounded two peacekeepers and damaged their vehicle. The Security Council today condemned the 8 January attack targeting the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which wounded two peacekeepers and damaged their vehicle. In a statement read to the press by Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for January, the 15-member body “commended the determination and commitment of the Government of Lebanon to bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack.” Two peacekeepers suffered minor injuries in the explosion, which occurred on the coastal highway at the northern entrance to the town of Saida. UNIFIL has launched an official investigation and is working in close cooperation with the Lebanese authorities. The Council also strongly condemned the rocket attack launched against Israel on 8 January from Lebanon, which is currently being investigated by UNIFIL, enhanced as part of the arrangements that ended Israel’s war with Hizbollah in 2006. Members of the Council “reiterated their call upon all parties concerned to respect the Blue Line in its entirety and to exercise utmost restraint,” the statement added. read more

Big mining companies saw stocks and profits tumble in 2013 says PwC

TORONTO – The world’s biggest mining companies saw their profits crushed and their stock market values plunge by a combined total of $280 billion in 2013, in one of the toughest years in memory, according to a report by PwC.The accounting and consulting firm said Thursday that the top 40 mining companies in the world saw their collective stock market value drop 23 per cent last year as they booked $57 billion in writedowns, led by weakness from the gold miners.Meanwhile, combined profits at the big firms totalled $20 billion, the lowest level in a decade.“The industry is adjusting to tough times in the short-term with strategies in place to regain confidence,” John Gravelle, global mining leader at PwC said in statement.“For example, we’ve seen new faces at the helm of almost half of the largest 40 mining companies in the last two years.”Gold miners were hammered especially hard last year as the price of gold fell 27 per cent, its biggest plunge in over 30 years.The sector accounted for $110 billion of the drop in market capitalization and five gold companies fell out of the Top 40 in 2013. Gold miners also accounted for $27 billion or nearly half of the impairment charges recorded by the top 40 companies.The report also found that companies in emerging markets fared better as they earned a combined $24 billion, compared with a loss of $4 billion by those in developed countries.Gravelle said the question remains on which firms will be able to thrive in difficult times.“Merger and acquisition activity, which was surprisingly subdued in 2013, seems to have started to pick up in early 2014,” said Gravelle.“And backed by a stronger U.S. economy and continued strong demand from China, the market is impatient to see demonstrable returns from recent strategic choices to deliver against the mantra of lower costs and higher productivity.”The PwC report noted that nearly half of the top 40 companies changed chief executives over the last two years, with seven firms switching leadership in 2013.The report said companies have pursued what it called “traditional quick-fixes” to falling commodity prices including cutting workers, slashing costs and deferring capital spending. Others made more fundamental shifts in strategy.PwC said some companies also looked to simplify and focus on extracting value from higher quality assets as well as share mining infrastructure as a means to reduce costs and risk. Big mining companies saw stocks and profits tumble in 2013, says PwC by The Canadian Press Posted Jun 5, 2014 11:01 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Iraq major relief effort underway in north as UN envoy warns against

UN Special Representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov said he was “particularly alarmed” about the latest spate of abductions and killings that have taken place in different districts in Basra governorate and urged authorities there to investigate these crimes and threats of violence and prosecute those responsible according to law.“Since 23 June 2014, at least 19 Sunni civilian men have been killed and a further 19 injured in a spate of targeted killings and abductions,” according to a press release issued today by the UN mission in Iraq (UNAMI). “Anonymous threats have also been issued to several mosques and a prominent Sunni organization, warning Sunnis to leave Basra or face death,” the statement continued. “In recent days, the houses of Sunni citizens in some areas of Abu Khaseeb district, Basra Governorate, have been marked with an ‘X’ and the external lights have been painted in black. As a result of these threats, many Sunnis are leaving the area.”Meanwhile, to counter the massive humanitarian crisis in the north, the UN refugee agency launched a major aid push with a 100-ton airlift that landed in Erbil today.“It’s the largest single aid push we have mounted in more than a decade,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in an update, adding that the combined volume of the emergency supplies on their way to Iraq was 11,306 cubic metres.Aboard the Boeing 747 from Amman, Jordan, that landed in Erbil Wednesday afternoon (local time) were 3,300 tents, 20,000 plastic sheets, 18,500 kitchen sets and 16,500 jerry cans – the first consignment in an operation that aims at bringing in 2,410 tons of aid between now and the start of September, UNHCR said.The aid will target living conditions for almost 500,000 displaced people in the region, many of whom are living rough in unfinished buildings, in parks or by the roadside.The UN refugee agency said Today’s flight will be followed by three others from Jordan on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, carrying 100 tons each. Aid is also on its way by road and sea, with 175 trucks bringing tents, blankets, plastic tarpaulins, and household items across borders from Turkey, Jordan and Iran from UNHCR warehouses in the region and Europe.Meanwhile, UNICEF’s representative to Iraq announced the signing of a $5 million agreement with the Governorate of Dahuk supporting one-time direct cash assistance to vulnerable, displaced families in the Governorate. This agreement comes as a complement to UNICEF’s mass humanitarian, supply-driven operation of relief and assistance.Since August 2, UNICEF has dispatched 89 truckloads, or more than 60 metric tons, of humanitarian aid including safe drinking water for 162,000 displaced people, supplementary food (such as high protein biscuits) for 92,000 people, and emergency health kits serving 100,000 people, among other items.Iraq’s escalating crisis means that the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq is now hosting more than 600,000 internally displaced civilians, including above 200,000 people who have fled the Sinjar area since early August. UNHCR is working closely with humanitarian partners and the Kurdish authorities in the region to deliver aid.According to UNHCR, across Iraq, an estimated 1.2 million people have been displaced so far this year, including more than 500,000 from fighting in the Anbar region which began in January, and more than 600,000 displaced from conflicts in and around Mosul (since June) and more recently Sinjar. The majority of the newly displaced are in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. read more

UN working intensively to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo following second

On Wednesday, David Gressley, the UN Ebola Emergency Response Coordinator, and Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response at the World Health Organization (WHO), released a joint statement announcing that they are “working intensively” to halt any further spread.Surveillance is being stepped up at all entry and exit points in the area, but more needs to be done to eradicate Ebola, the officials said, calling for a “strong, resilient health system” to avoid a resurgence of the disease in DRC.Tomorrow, 1 August, marks one year since the Government of #DRC declared an #Ebola outbreak in North Kivu province. @DrTedros, @UNReliefChief, @unicefchief & @WFPChief salute the heroic efforts of the #healthworkers on the front line 👉https://t.co/V22qcswIMA pic.twitter.com/SwsIVLTIQP— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 31, 2019 The senior officials stated that there is no evidence that the second case in Goma is linked to the first confirmed case. The first concerned a pastor who travelled to Goma from Butembo in North Kivu. The second is a miner who had been working in Ituri. The disease is centred in both provinces.The reports of the second case of Ebola come a day after the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said that it needs to trip its budget to tackle the complex crisis, which is complicated by ongoing conflict, and an outbreak of measles.On Friday, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that, over the next six months, it is planning to scale up and double food assistance to people affected by the disease, in preparation for a potential further escalation of the epidemic.The WFP support is for 440,000 “Ebola-affected” people in DRC, which includes contacts of victims and their families, as well as confirmed and suspected cases.Senior UN officials mark one year since Ebola outbreak in eastern DRCThe discovery of this new case comes just ahead of the marking tomorrow, 1 August, of one year since the Government of the DRC declared an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in North Kivu province. Two weeks ago, it was declared a public health emergency of international concern.“This latest case in such a dense population center underscores the very real risk of further disease transmission, perhaps beyond the country’s borders, and the very urgent need for a strengthened global response and increased donor investment,” said top officials from the WFP, WHO, UNICEF and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).In the last year, there have been more than 2,600 confirmed cases, including more than 1,800 deaths in parts of Ituri and North Kivu provinces. Almost one in three ‘cases’ is a child. Every single ‘case’ is someone who has gone through an unimaginable ordeal. More than 770 have survived. “The disease is relentless and devastating,” said a joint statement from WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, and WFP Executive Director David Beasley.  “The challenges to stopping further transmission are indeed considerable. But none are insurmountable. And none can be an excuse for not getting the job done. The United Nations and partners are continuing to ramp up the response in support of the Government and to further bolster joint action, the UN leaders said. Over 170,000 people vaccinated;1,300 people treated with investigational therapies across 14 treatment and transit centres;77 million screenings of national and international travelers;20,000 contacts visited daily to ensure they do not also become sick;3,000 samples tested in 8 laboratories every week;More than 10,000 handwashing sites installed in critical locations;More than 2,000 community engagement workers operating in affected – areas listening to concerns, gaining trust, and mobilizing local action;Over 440,000 patients and contacts provided with food assistance, crucial to limiting movement among people who could spread the disease; andDaily meals provided to 25,000 schoolchildren in Ebola-affected areas to help build trust within communities.Full statement here. Efforts carried out by UN and parters to support Government-led response read more

Ohio State mens basketball loses to No 5 Louisville 6455 as secondhalf

After falling behind by 19 in the first half, the No. 14 Ohio State men’s basketball team stormed back in the second half, but fell to No. 5 Louisville on the road.The Buckeyes second-half surge in Louisville, Ky., wasn’t quite enough as they took their first loss of the season, 64-55. The game moved OSU to 5-1 on the season while the Cardinals improved to 6-0.After falling into a 17-point hole at halftime, OSU outscored the Cardinals, 37-29, in the second half.At the 16:18 mark, OSU’s leading scorer — freshman guard D’Angelo Russell — committed his fourth foul of the game and was sent to the bench. After the Louisville, Ky., native sat down, OSU didn’t score another point until sophomore forward Marc Loving hit a 3-pointer with just under 12 minutes to play.Loving’s long ball sparked a seven-point run for OSU, helping the Buckeyes pull within 11 with less than 10 minutes to play.Loving hit another 3-pointer around the eight-minute mark, cutting the Louisville lead to single digits. But about a minute later, Loving — who was the only player on OSU’s roster in double digits with 13 points at the time — picked up his fifth foul, forcing him to the bench for the final seven minutes of the game.The Cardinals made it a double-digit lead once again moments later, but OSU redshirt-freshman guard Kam Williams answered with a 3-pointer and was fouled as he shot. Williams converted the free throw to pull the Buckeyes within eight for the first time since he hit a three with 11:41 to play in the first half.Russell made two free throws with 2:30 on the clock, making it, 56-51, in favor of the Cardinals. He added two more free throws to make it a one-possession game before Louisville made a 3-pointer.The Cardinals eventually took a 59-55 lead with 30.2 seconds to play and freshman forward Anas Mahmoud at the line. Mahmoud hit one of two, but Louisville picked up the rebound on his miss to keep possession.OSU couldn’t score the rest of the way as the Cardinals held on to win.At halftime, OSU was down, 35-18, and shooting just 6-of-26 from the field — or 23.1 percent — and 4-of-8 at the free throw line. The Buckeyes turned the ball over nine times in the first half and were out-rebounded, 28-17.Louisville — which shot just 35.3 percent in the first half itself — jumped out to its big advantage thanks in part to 16 points from senior forward Wayne Blackshear. The Cardinals also tallied nine assists in the opening 20 minutes, compared to just two for the Buckeyes.Russell was the only OSU player to make more than one field goal in the first half as he shot 2-of-9 overall and 0-of-3 from 3-point territory.After his slow start, Russell led OSU with 17 points and tallied all seven of the Buckeyes’ assists. Loving finished as the only other player on the team to score in double digits.Blackshear led all players with 22 points as the Cardinals shot 35.2 from the field.OSU finished the game 17-of-56 from the floor.The Buckeyes are scheduled to return to Columbus to begin a four-game homestand on Saturday. OSU is set to play Colgate at 4:30 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Track and Field Ohio State mens team wins Power 5 Trailblazer Challenge

Senior Zack Bazile competes in the long jump during a meet in the French Field House. Bazile has a chance to win the NCAA indoor national championship when Ohio State travels to the NCAA indoor national championships. Credit: Ethan Clewell | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State men’s track and field team won the Power 5 Trailblazer Challenge and the women’s team finished third Saturday in Los Angeles.The meet included Ohio State, USC, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Miami, which each have women who coach both men’s and women’s programs. Karen Dennis is in her fourth season leading both the Buckeyes’ men’s and women’s programs.Ohio State brought the full force of its roster, something that other teams did not. USC did not have its best 4×400-meter relay units for either its men’s nor women’s teams, both of which were indoor national champions. It also did not come with Michael Norman, a world-record holder in the 400-meter dash. Men’s recapSenior Cole Gorski and junior Coty Cobb packed a one-two punch on the pole-vault scoreboard. Gorski took gold when he cleared 5.36 meters and Cobb came in second, clearing 5.16 meters.Ohio State junior DaJuan Seward had an easy path to victory in the 110-meter hurdles. Miami’s Andreas Christodoulou false started and was Seward’s only opponent in the race. Seward also finished first in triple-jump with a leaps adding up to 15.28 meters.Bazile won gold in long jump with a jump of 7.93 meters. Even his first leap, in which he sailed 7.83 meters, would have finished in first.Senior Nick Demaline finished first in shot put with a 20.13-meter throw.The Ohio State 4×100 meter relay team, which consisted of freshman Eric Harrison Jr., junior Nick Gray, senior Drelan Bramwell and Bazile, finished second with a time of 39.36 seconds. That performance was good for the fourth-fastest time in program history.Senior Zack Bazile finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.40 seconds. Harrison followed right behind in third with a time of 10.45 seconds.In the 1500-meter run, sophomore Alexander Lomong finished second with a time of 3:48.Women’s recapOhio State was in second behind Miami heading into the final leg of the 4×400-meter relay before junior Karrington Winters took the baton and overtook the Hurricanes to give her team a first place finish at 3:36.Senior Maggie Barrie finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.61, which is the fastest time in the nation thus far in the outdoor season. USC’s Kendall Ellis did not compete in the race despite winning the event at the indoor national championship. The Buckeyes scored 23 team points in the 400-meter dash.Sophomore Julia Rizk took first place in the 1500-meter run while setting a personal record of 4:23.Mikaela Seibert won the triple-jump with a total of 12.72 meters.Ohio State will gear up for its first relay meet at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, North Carolina. read more

Mozilla releases Firefox 4 for Android

first_imgFirefox 4 for PC and Mac has been available for exactly a week and has already seen over 40 million downloads according to Firefox Glow. Now it’s the turn of Android to get its own version of Mozilla’s latest browser and the host of new features that brings with it.As well as being available in 10 languages, Firefox 4 is fast, three-times faster than the default browser on Android in fact. So even if you aren’t bothered about the new features, everyone will appreciate the faster browsing experience. Not only that, but you also get HTML 5 support meaning viewing the latest web pages that take advantage of it won’t be a problem.If you are into browser features, then Mozilla has plenty for you. Firefox Sync, as discussed when Firefox 4 for the desktop got released, allows you to not only have your bookmarks and browsing history shared across multiple devices, but your open tabs too. So you can be browsing at home, need to go out, and carry on browsing the same tabs on your smartphone.The Awesome Bar in Firefox 4 becomes the Awesome Screen in Firefox mobile, allowing you to search quickly with less typing. There’s also LongTap which lets your share images and links with a single tap of your finger, and Personas for customizing the look of your browser.Finally there’s the Firefox Mobile Add-ons which allow for further customization and new functionality to be added to the browser to suit your needs. These include add-ons such as Adblock Plus, NoScript, and TwitterBar.Firefox 4 for Android is available now from the Android Market and you can also download a version for Maemo devices.Read more at The Mozilla Bloglast_img read more

Review Toshiba Satellite P755S5270 laptop

first_imgRight now there are three general types of laptops. You’ve got your ridiculously thin, not terribly powerful ones. There’s the desktop replacement laptop, where the power brick alone weighs more than the first category, but the system packs enough power that you don’t mind the chiropractor visits. Then, there are the mid-range machines. These laptops focus on being portable enough to be comfortable to move from place to place, with enough power that the average user both appreciate the speed and be able to play most current games with no issues.Today, we’re going to take a look at one of the laptops in this third category. Toshiba‘s Satellite line has, for a long time now, been a great collection of mid-to-high-end laptops that combine their unique design style with quality hardware.First ImpressionsOut of the box, the P755 maintains the same design aesthetics as the rest of Toshiba’s line recently. The surface of the laptop, as well as the wrist rests and the touchpad, all have this raised textured design across it. I found the texture to actually be helpful when using the touchpad. The texture is far less raised in the touchpad than it is anywhere else, but the design is just enough to serve as a sort of guide when moving your finger from left to right. This means that when I went to select text on a screen, my finger moved smoothly in a straight line.Powering the laptop on, you are immediately blinded by the intense white light that comes from the power button, the Satellite Logo, and the stripe across the touchpad that lets you know that the pad is on. Fortunately, Toshiba makes it easy to turn these lights off in their control software. The Satellite booted in about 12 seconds, with the OEM final setup procedures that took about 10 minutes to finish. From the moment I unpacked the box, the laptop was ready to use in about 25 minutes.SpecsThis version of the P755 runs an Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 2.3GHz with 6GB of RAM. Coupled with the Nvidia GeForce GT 540M, this machine will be more than able to handle any task you throw at it. You won’t be playing Crysis with the settings cranked to 11, but you’ll be able to play just anything on the market right now.A pair of Harman Kardon speakers on the Satellite are pretty standard fare for laptop speakers, a little tinny and no real bass to speak of, but they do produce a pretty decent amount of volume without further degrading what you are listening to. Across the left hand side of the laptop there’s a monitor out, HDMI, Ethernet, SSUSB and a standard USB port. There are two more USB ports on the right hand side of the laptop next to the DVD Super-Multi Drive. The 15-inch monitor on this laptop maxes out at 1366×768, but the backlight is strong enough to handle most outdoor situations. Like most screens, direct sunlight will wash the screen out, but it is still useable. The webcam on the screen gives you a nice widescreen shot, and provides a quality video chat experience.When tested, the battery lasted about 4.5 hours when being actively used doing something like watching videos, surfing the web, or playing Flash games. When watching a DVD or playing a game, it was much closer to 3.5 hours. From completely dead, however, the laptop will recharge in about 2 hours even when in use.Eco ModeAvailable at the touch of a soft button, and fully configurable, Toshiba has included Eco Mode on this device. Amongst the soft keys above the keyboard is a globe with a leaf growing out of the top of it. This is Eco Mode, and touching it will cause the globe to glow a bright green and the preset power saving settings to kick in.Everything from screen brightness, LED illumination, and sleep settings can be adjusted automatically by tapping this button. Additionally, Toshiba provides you with an Eco Utility on the computer so you can see the changes that have been made and how they are affecting the computer. Included in this utility is a monitor of how much energy the computer is currently using.The idea here is to show you that the laptop is using fewer watts with Eco Mode turned on, which is a cool idea especially if you’re the type to nurse your battery life. When I tested this utility, I noticed about a 5 watt change in power consumption, even when doing something significant like watching a video. If you’re performing small tasks, some light browsing or reading, Eco Mode might give you about an hour of extra battery life. Otherwise, the difference doesn’t seem to be terribly significant.Final ThoughtsPriced right around $700 for this build, the Toshiba Satellite P755 is a great mid-range machine for the money. The laptop was able to handle complex assignments in Adobe Lightroom with ease, and at 5.44 pounds wasn’t too heavy to lug around in a messenger bag. If you are looking for a laptop, meaning not an Ultrabook or a desktop replacement, the P755 is well worth considering.last_img read more

Un dispositif à lessai pour communiquer avec les dauphins

first_imgUn dispositif à l’essai pour communiquer avec les dauphinsDes chercheurs américains travaillent actuellement sur un moyen de communiquer avec les dauphins en tentant de déchiffrer les bases rudimentaires de leur langage, selon New Scientist.Les tentatives de communication avec les dauphins n’en sont pas à leur premier coup d’essai. Déjà dans les années 1990, Louis Herman du laboratoire d’Honolulu à Hawai avait constaté l’incroyable capacité de ces mammifères marins à garder en mémoire une centaine de mots et à répondre de façon appropriée aux demandes formulées par un être humain. Le chercheur avait d’ailleurs relevé leur faculté de distinction entre deux consignes différentes composées des mêmes mots comme par exemple : “Apporter la planche de surf à l’homme” et “apporter l’homme à la planche de surf”.Ces mécanismes de communication unidirectionnels ayant été largement analysés, les chercheurs tentent actuellement de provoquer des interactions à double sens entre les dauphins et les humains. Depuis 1998, une équipe de chercheurs en Floride travaille sur des expériences consistant à proposer aux dauphins de formuler des demandes en pointant à l’aide de leur corps une des quatre grandes icônes représentée sur un “clavier” sous-marin. Les symboles, qui expriment une action telle que “jouer avec un morceau d’algue”, sont associés à des sons artificiels bien particuliers. Les auteurs de l’étude affirment que les sons produits par le dispositif ont attiré l’attention des dauphins mais que l’expérience a été menée sur trop peu d’individus pour prétendre à un véritable succès.Créer un langage pour communiquer avec les dauphinsUn des membres de l’équipe de recherche, Denise Herzing collabore actuellement avec Thad Starner, un chercheur spécialisé dans l’intelligence artificielle. Leur projet consiste à “co-créer” une langue avec les dauphins en utilisant des sons émis par les espèces sauvages. Un défi de taille puisqu’il est extrêmement difficile de capter l’intégralité du “langage” de ces cétacés dont la fréquence des ondes produites est 10 fois plus élevée que le plus haut son distinguable par l’homme. Ces animaux peuvent également projeter des signaux sonores dans différentes directions sans tourner la tête, en modifier la hauteur ou l’étaler sur une longue période de temps.À lire aussiPourquoi l’eau des océans est-elle salée ?La première phase de l’expérience de Denise Herzing et Thad Starner devrait débuter dans le milieu de l’année sur des dauphins sauvages en Atlantique. Le protocole est le suivant : des plongeurs équipés d’un dispositif spécial, produiront des sons artificiels associés à huit mots créés par les chercheurs. Un mico-ordinateur sous-marin, semblable à un smartphone et relié à deux hydrophones se chargera d’enregistrer les signaux produits en réponse par les dauphins. La suite de l’expérience consiste à analyser précisément ces enregistrements, pour relever d’éventuelles imitations élaborées par les dauphins en réponse aux huit mots. En analysant ces imitations les chercheurs espèrent pouvoir révéler les principales caractéristiques de la communication des dauphins, considérées comme des “unités fondamentales”. L’identification de ces unités pourrait permettre aux chercheurs de créer des signaux identifiables par les dauphins et d’en décoder leur sens en analysant leur réaction. Un espoir qui représente une véritable avancée dans la communication bidirectionnelle entre les humains et ces cétacés.Le 10 mai 2011 à 16:34 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Prospect members reject fiveyear Ministry of Justice pay deal

first_imgEmployees working at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) who are members of the trade union Prospect have voted to reject a five-year pay deal because of corresponding changes to their employment terms and conditions.Around 65% of Prospect members who work at the MoJ participated in the three-week ballot. As a result, 80% of members voted to reject the MoJ’s Modernising the Employment Proposition (MEP) deal.The proposed deal offered employees a 3% pay increase for the first three years, followed by a further 1% pay rise in both the fourth and fifth years.In order to accommodate the suggested 3% pay increases, the MEP proposition also included a number of changes to employment terms and conditions. This was to ensure that any awarded pay increase would be provided at no extra cost, and be supplied from existing staffing budgets.These changes included increasing working hours from between 35 and 37 hours a week to 38 hours a week, and reducing paid overtime to a flat single time rate. A reduction to travel and subsistence rates were also proposed. This would have affected allowances such as the overnight allowance, which would have decreased from £23 to £9, and mileage rates, which would reduce from 35p a mile to 25p per mile.The MEP further sought to replace the London allowance with a non-consolidated, non-pensionable payment of £500 in the third year of the deal, followed by a £1,000 payment in years four and five. Occupational sick pay was suggested at a maximum of five months at full pay and five months at half pay; however, according to Prospect, many employees currently receive occupational sick pay at a maximum of six months at full pay and six months at half pay.The proposals also wished to regrade the top pay band by splitting it into two and returning to the standard civil service grading classification. Prospect stated that this caused confusion for its members.Brian Harris, negotiations officer at Prospect, said: “During the course of the negotiations, Prospect raised a number of concerns about the length of the five-year deal, the allowances that were being removed, flat rate overtime and other significant changes that were being made to staff contracts.“Our members have overwhelmingly voted to reject this offer as the uncertainty and price of changes to terms and conditions were too severe for our members. We will be going back to the MoJ to discuss the next steps after such a clear decision to reject the offer by our members.”last_img read more

11 killed in Indian Kashmir

first_imgIndian army soldiers take cover near the site of a gun-battle between militants and government forces in Sirnoo Pulwama south of Srinagar on December 15, 2018. Deadly violence was reported in Indian Kashmir on December 15 during a gunfight and clashes with protestors in Indian-administered Kashmir, police and hospital authorities said. Photo: AFPSeven civilians were killed as Indian troops fired on protesters Saturday after a gunfight left three armed rebels and a soldier dead in the disputed region of Kashmir, police and hospital officials said.The fighting erupted soon after troops laid siege to a house in the southern Pulwama area in Indian-administered Kashmir where the militants were hiding, a police officer said.Three armed militants — including a former soldier who had joined the rebels — then jumped out of the house into an orchard to fight the soldiers and were killed.The fighting also left a soldier of the Indian army dead, senior police officer Swayam Prakash Pani told AFP.While the gunfight was in progress, hundreds of villagers poured out on to the streets in freezing cold and marched towards the orchard, shouting slogans in support of the militants and throwing stones at the troops, witnesses said.”It was mayhem. Six protesters died in the ensuing firing by soldiers,” a police officer told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.Hospital officials said a seventh man died later of gunshot wounds.Dozens of protestors were also injured in the clashes with government forces, another police officer said.Authorities suspended mobile internet services in many areas of the restive territory, including in the main city of Srinagar. A large number of students also held protests against the killings.Protests spread to the old quarters of Srinagar and the northwestern town of Sopore.Saturday’s bloodshed capped the deadliest year in the region since 2009, with nearly 550 killed so far including some 150 civilians, according to a monitoring group.Mother of slain teenaged militant Saqib Bilal Sheikh 17, mourns over her son`s body during a funeral procession in Hajin,north of Srinagar on 10 December, 2018. Photo: AFP- Support for rebels on rise -Security officials say some 230 militants have been killed this year, most of them locals from the Kashmir valley, but rebel groups have recruited new members at a matching pace.Popular support for the rebels and their cause has increased since the killing of a charismatic militant leader in 2016.Villagers, sometimes in their thousands, have been swarming sites of gun battles with government forces to help militants escape from military cordons.Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule over the subcontinent in 1947. Both claim the disputed Himalayan territory in full.Rebel groups have fought for decades about 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory New Delhi controls, seeking Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.More than 70,000 people have died in the fighting since 1989, mostly civilians.New Delhi regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training rebels to launch attacks on Indian forces, an allegation Islamabad denies saying it only provides political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris fighting for the right to self-determination.Separatists opposed to Indian rule of Kashmir called for a three-day general strike to protest Saturday’s killings and announced a march on Monday to the military headquarters in Srinagar.Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a senior member of the unified Joint Resistance Leadership group, took to Twitter to vent anger at government action, saying the Indian forces should “kill all of us at one time rather than killing us daily”.last_img

Why on Earth Does eHarmony Offer RealLife Matchmakers

first_imgOctober 9, 2014 When it comes to online dating, we’re often our own worst enemies. On the Internet, it’s easy to be rigidly selective – to rule out anyone who lives more than 10 miles away, for example, or is shorter than 6’1, isn’t vegan, is vegan etc. – thus missing out on some potentially great matches.Love isn’t a science, after all.The above is a familiar argument, mostly made by individuals staunchly against online dating, those men and women hell-bent on meeting the “natural way.” It’s rarely, however, a line of reasoning you’ll hear from online dating sites, whose core business lies in convincing people that love, in fact, can be solved by an algorithm, and that in our messy world, a high compatibility percentage is a good foundation on which to build a lasting relationship.It’s strange, then, that eHarmony — one of the biggest online dating sites around — is essentially admitting that, when it comes to love, an algorithm will only take you so far.Related: EHarmony Wants to Find You a JobThis past November, the company introduced a service called eH+, which sets users up not by algorithm, but through a flesh-and-blood matchmaker or “personal relationship coach.”The service – which rings in at a very hefty $5,000 a year, compared with the site’s average annual fee of $700 — provides users with a matchmaker, typically a licensed psychologist, tasked with sorting through suitable online profiles that the computer, for whatever reason, would have likely skipped over, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.With the introduction of this service, eHarmony is conceding that its much-touted compatibility ratings, based on a 200+ questionnaire users fill out when they sign up for the site, has its limitations. People still “fail out of eHarmony,” Grant Langston, eHarmony’s vice president, told the Journal. “They use it, and it doesn’t appear to work for them.”In general, Langston explained, this is because people are too restrictive when it comes to dating preferences, telling the computer to reject all individuals who aren’t athletic/’foodies’/dog-lovers etc., which results in the filtering out of otherwise great matches who lack one or two preferred traits.Related: New Dating App Startup Aims to Be the ‘Thinking Person’s Tinder’The matchmaker’s job, then, is to essentially act as a hand-holder, advocating for — and opening lines of communication with — suitable candidates their clients would otherwise reject.But as the WSJ notes, instead of introducing an offline matchmaking service, couldn’t eHarmony simply improve its algorithm, alerting two users, for example, that they are highly compatible save for their taste in movies and exercise routines?According to Langston, people’s preferences are often too complex and too subtle for an algorithm to accurately read or even pick up on. “People don’t know themselves a lot of the time,” he told the outlet. “The preferences they’re using may be sabotaging their goals.”The lesson here is twofold. First, apparently when it comes to love, we don’t always know what we want. And second, for all those online daters out there: instead of forking over $5,000 for an offline matchmaker, consider widening your preferences on your dating profile.Related: HowAboutWe’s Founders Redefine Online Dating — And What It Means to Be a CEO Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. How Success Happens Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. 3 min read Listen Nowlast_img read more

Stafford 10K to take place this Sunday and the following roads are

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailHundreds of runners are set to descend on Stafford for the annual Stafford 10K this weekend. The annual event, which is taking place on Sunday, attracts participants from across the country. As part of the run a number of streets in the county town will closed while the 38th run takes place this Sunday (September 23 2018). The following roads will be closed over the course of the event, with the council saying they anticipate the roads being shut from 7.30am on Sunday morning until around 1pm (some roads are listed twice in the Staffordshire County Council order, we have replicated that here). Earl Street, Broad Street, Stafford Street, Greengate Street, Bridge Street, A518 Lichfield Road, A34 Lichfield Road, Riverway, Corporation Street, Prospect Road, Trenchard Avenue, Portal Road, A513 Beaconside, B5066 Sandon Road, Isobel Trail, North Castle Street, South Street, Victoria Road, Tenterbanks (Victoria Park will be closed due to HLF project), Mill Bank, Greengate Street, Tipping Street, Eastgate Street, Salter Street, Gaolgate Street, Mount Street, Crabbery Street, St Martin’s Place, Martin Street, Market Street. Read MoreWatch out for these roadworks across Stafford Borough and Uttoxeter this week Traffic is expected to be busier than usual in the town due to the closure of the M6 for 24 hours while a bridge is torn down. However organisers Freedom Leisure say they have factored the closure into plans. Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here.last_img read more

Avail These Amazing Discounts On The GOOSE VPN Subscriptions – Offer Expiring

first_img Share Tweet Submit Cybercrime is increasing at alarming rates and it is becoming very important that our privacy is protected at all times. VPNs are high in demand but how can you get your hands on a reliable VPN and affordable prices? Well, we have a great solution for you. Wccftech is offering great discounts on the GOOSE VPN subscriptions. You can get a 1-year/3-years/5-years or a lifetime subscription depending on your need.GOOSE VPN featuresThe GOOSE VPN will protect your identity by masking your IP address and routes all traffic through a remote server. There is a very strict no logging policy so you can be sure that your data is only for your eyes to see. Whether you are using a desktop or mobile; you will be safe. With amazing customer support, high level encryption, easy setting up process, there is no reason why you shouldn’t invest in this amazing deal. Here are highlights of what the deal has to offer: Encrypts your online communication with high-strength 256-bit encryption Eliminates all online borders & limitations by routing your traffic through private servers Includes access to a capable network of 114+ servers in 20+ countries Includes downloads & simultaneous use on an unlimited number of devices (custom clients for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android) Adjusts your location & IP address Allows you to browse safely using any public or private hotspot Browse faster w/ zero bandwidth throttling Offers 24/7 support & a strict no-logging policySystem Requirements Windows XPMac OS Sierra Linux Chrome OS iOS 9.3.0 Android 4.4 KodiImportant Details Redemption: must redeem within 30 days of purchaseFor use on unlimited devices Length of access: lifetime Zero bandwidth throttling Play and P2P servers Servers available in 20+ countries Netherlands-based Not based in an “Enemy of the Internet” countryThis VPN is simply amazing and can be used with extreme ease and without any hassle. It is highly rated and a great favorite among many.Original Price GOOSE VPN:1-year: $59.88 I 3-year: $179.64 I 5-year: $299.40 I Lifetime: $899.95Wccftech Discount Price GOOSE VPN:1-year: $14.99 I 3-year: $24.99 I 5-year: $34.99 I Lifetime: $39.99last_img read more

Costa Rica and Sea Shepherd at odds again over failed turtle conservation

first_imgA failed project that aimed to protect sea turtles has led to another disastrous discord between the provocative conservation group Sea Shepherd and the Costa Rican government.After a month working on the Operation Jairo II campaign, volunteers were booted from Jacó beach on the central Pacific coast when authorities found the group was working without permits.The group’s Central American spokesman Jorge Serendero told The Tico Times the turtle rescue campaign named after murdered Costa Rican conservationist Jairo Mora was meant to be “low profile,” meaning the government wasn’t supposed to be involved.Authorities said they ordered Sea Shepherd to leave when they found the group hadn’t requested permits through the Environment Ministry (MINAE) or the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) to legally conduct conservation work on public beaches.“In order to conduct this type of work you need to be registered and authorized by SINAC,” a spokesperson from the National Police said via email. “However, instead of completing the necessary procedures to comply with environmental law and regulate their situation, these people opted to not collaborate.”Serendero said Sea Shepherd was told by Garabito police Chief Osvaldo Rodríguez that the permits were taken care of. “It was never official, it was just supposed to be a personal project,” Serendero said.“The error we committed was by not making things clear from the beginning with the government,” Serendero admitted.Sea Shepherd’s short-lived turtle conservation project — which, according to a 2015 news release, originally aimed to rescue sea turtles on infamous Moín Beach in Limón, where the project’s namesake Jairo Mora was killed, but which apparently was moved to the popular Pacific beach of Jacó — was supposed to help repair relations with Costa Rica.Instead, the efforts have led to the latest turmoil in a long history of discord stemming from Costa Rica’s indictment over Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson.On September 23, Sea Shepherd published a news release on their website about the forced end to the Jacó turtle project, but the post has since been taken down. Serendero called his own group’s news release “erroneous” and full of “bad information,” adding that he never had communication with Operation Jairo II group leader María Cristina Cely, who was critical of the government upon Sea Shepherd’s departure from Jacó.“Our presence has made a difference for these eggs and hatchlings, but now, thanks to mediocre minds we have to stop and the only ones who have everything to lose are the turtles,” Cely was quoted as saying in the Sept. 23 news release.Cely declined a request for interview by The Tico Times.Gerardo Chavarría, interim director of SINAC’s Central Pacific Conservation Area, told The Tico Times in a phone interview that the lack of permits was not the only reason Sea Shepherd was booted from Jacó’s shores.He said Costa Rica’s open indictment against Watson makes it impossible for Sea Shepherd to work in the country. The country brought attempted shipwrecking charges upon Watson years ago for a 2002 incident off the Guatemalan coast.“That legal process is still going on in the courts, so MINAE is not going to authorize any agreement with Sea Shepherd until that legal dispute is settled,” Chavarría said.Watson remains on Interpol’s Red List for those charges.Serendero maintains that Sea Shepherd has been working with the government to bring in a ship to monitor marine conservation and also do volunteer work at Cocos Island.Specifically citing both cases, SINAC’s Chavarría said that neither of those projects will happen before Watson’s legal situation is sorted out.Chavarría said MINAE has been in discussions with the National Police over the events in Jacó and the apparent behind-the-scenes deal the Garabito delegation had with Sea Shepherd. However, he could not comment on whether or not police Chief Rodríguez would face any legal consequences for allegedly brokering the deal without going through SINAC.Rodríguez declined to speak to The Tico Times about the incident.Despite the latest breakdown, Serendero said Sea Shepherd has a great future ahead in Costa Rica and that there are just a few “internal things to clear up” in the meantime.“I knew that a lack of permits could present a problem, but I never imagined something this bad would happen,” he said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Marine conservation award to be named after murdered conservationist Jairo Mora Costa Rican Electricity Institute launches construction of artificial reef Meet Costa Rica’s cleanest beaches Costa Rica launches quest to replace most single-use plastic by 2021last_img read more

VhernierMastery of understated chic is Vherniers

first_imgVhernierMastery of understated chic is Vhernier’s calling card. Even when its jewelry is emblazoned with diamonds, the design and construction commands as much attention as the gemstones. Unusual mixes of materials is another key trait from Vhernier and this year the Doppio Senso collection merges the brand’s uniquely flattering hue of 18K rose gold with ebony in necklaces and bracelets. The almond-shaped, generously proportioned links are statement pieces that don’t shout but still garner plenty of attention.WellendorffEveryone takes comfort in a taste of chocolate. German jewelry company Wellendorff has capitalized on that craving with its new “Chocolate” collection. Just as the edible confection comes in many flavors, new Wellendorf 18K gold rings and rope jewelry dons enamel accents in appetizing tones of mocha, truffle, and champagne, among others. The spectrum of hues from creamy white to dark espresso ensures there’s an option to suit every taste.Bogh-ArtThe Boghossian family has been at the forefront of the fine jewelry world, sourcing spectacular stones and creating wildly imaginative masterpieces for more than four generations. The Reveal collection from their new Bogh-Art brand centers on the artful, painstaking inlay technique, placing one transparent jewel within an opaque stone that’s carved to fit its dimensions exactly, some with diamond accents. The result is a full range of rings, earrings and pendants with intense, sophisticated color and a stroke of invention not common in fine jewelry. Nine color variations include perfect pairings of turquoise and aquamarine, and black jade set with heliodore.MikimotoIt would easy for Mikimoto, the company that brought the cultured pearl to the world, to rest on its laurels. Instead the preeminent pearl brand remains the standard bearer in its category, mastering everyday pieces and sought after rarities. Playing to the prevalence of hoop earrings, Mikimoto introduced its own Akoya pearl versions in round or elongated shapes that have a modern, architectural edge. True connoisseurs will go for unique pieces like the Flora brooch in 18K white gold, diamonds, and pink sapphires, designed expressly to showcase the rare baroque freshwater pearls that form its petals.AntoniniNinety years creating fine jewelry is certainly worth celebrating. Antonini, known widely for its sculptural jewelry that takes inspiration from far-flung destinations, has just launched an entire Anniversary collection to commemorate the milestone. Individually honed, hand polished disks in white gold with white diamonds or pink gold with champagne diamonds feature Antonini’s characteristic flair for geometry, reflectivity and perfect finishing. Choose from pendants, earrings and rings made complete disks or the lighter, more casual version with a cutaway at its center.www.baselworld.comlast_img read more

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