Stop sending Assam elephants to Gujarat: Congress MP

first_imgThe Congress has joined wildlife and animal rights activists in opposing the bid to transport during the ongoing heatwave four juvenile elephants from Assam to Gujarat for a religious procession.Wildlife officials in Assam, allegedly under “tremendous political pressure”, have been preparing to send the four elephants on a six-month lease for adding grandeur to Ahmedabad’s Jagannath Temple. The elephants are scheduled to take part in the Rath Yatra scheduled on July 4.“Many wildlife activists have opposed the decision of the State government. India is facing severe heatwave at the moment. Roughly half of the country is struggling through its worst drought in six decades. These are extreme conditions for the elephants to travel,” Assam’s Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said in his letter to Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Thursday.The elephants are expected to travel about 3,100 km from eastern Assam’s Tinsukia by railway wagons that animal rights activists said would be too hot under the summer sun for the animals to survive. “In such a case, the elephants may suffer from acute skin infection and dehydration,” Mr. Gogoi said, pointing out that it was still unclear whether the elephants were captive or caught from the wild. “And do the government rules allow transportation of wild animals for religious events?” he asked, seeking instruction to the Assam government for withdrawing the decision on the elephants as soon as possible.Assam has had a tradition of catching juvenile or sub-adult elephants from the wild and using them extensively for logging and other heavy-duty work. The Supreme Court’s ban on felling in 1997 rendered many such elephants ‘jobless’, forcing their owners to sell them off under the guise of a lease approved by the government.“A lease is for six months, but they are invariably extended. This way, elephants sent on lease to other states for religious or other purposes have never been returned,” wildlife specialist Bibhab Talukdar said.Records show that 40 domesticated elephants were transferred outside the State for specific periods between 2011 and 2015. But none of them were returned. Wildlife officials, declining to be quoted, said elephants in Assam or elsewhere in the northeast are not used to the extreme heat of northern, central or western India. “Gujarat could have easily procured elephants from neighbouring states such as Madhya Pradesh where the elephants may be used to similar climatic conditions. But for some strange reasons, we were asked to send the elephants,” he said.last_img read more

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This team can be more than a super power: Imran

first_imgKarachi, Jun 19 (PTI) World Cup winning captain Imran Khan says the current Pakistan team has the potential to become a force in international cricket even as he lamented the country lacks system to polish raw talent. “Our team was a super power in world cricket than. But this team has the potential to be even better than a super power,” Imran, who led Pakistan to 1992 World Cup win, told reporters. Lauding the team, led by Sarfraz Ahmed, for winning the Champions Trophy title, Imran said he was very happy to see that Pakistan cricket was still producing laudable young talent. “The problem is that we dont have the system to polish this young and raw talent properly and professionally. Yet it keeps coming through.” Imran, who is now a seasoned politician, felt that the captain and the management should now build on the Champions Trophy win and start preparing for the 2019 World Cup. The former captain said he was highly impressed with the way the team bounced back to win the trophy after the heavy loss to India in the opening match. “It was an amazing turnaround from these boys. Congratulations to them.” Imran, however, lamented that Pakistan despite having a huge population was nowhere in other sports globally and has lost its stature in hockey and squash. “At one time I remember our hockey team and squash players won world titles regularly and were unbeatable. Today we are struggling in both sports,” he said. India thrashed Pakistan 7-1 in the FIH World Hockey League semi-finals in London around the same time the cricket team outclassed the Indian team in the Champions Trophy final. “We dont have even a single proper representation to win medals in the Olympics.” Imran also said nowhere in the world did the President or Prime Minister appoint the Chairman of the cricket Board. “When you have such a system, then you will automatically have politics in cricket and that is our problem now. We still do well because of the immense raw talent we have at home.” Imran said that Pakistan had produced several champions in corruption, an obvious reference to his political opponents. “We have champions in corruption who are very good at taking money out of the country.” PTI Cor AT ATadvertisementlast_img read more

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OGQ ropes in seven foreign coaches

first_imgMumbai, Oct 16 (PTI) Seven foreign coaches in four disciplines have been roped in by the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ), an outfit founded by sports icons Prakash Padukone and Geet Sethi, to train 80 junior and senior sportspersons within the country and overseas.This has been done as OGQs research and experience over the last two Olympic cycles “has shown that foreign coaches bring in invaluable knowledge on the techniques, strategies and training methods used by top athletes worldwide which is important to implement in training of our Indian athletes as they prepare for the Olympic Games”, a media release from OGQ said today.More than 40 of these trainees are being supported by OGQ, the release said.The foreign coaches appointed by OGQ are: Charles Atkinson of England for boxing, Kim Hagyong of Korea for archery, Vladimer Mestvirishvili of Georgia for wrestling as well as Kim Seonil (Korea), Munkhbayar Dorjsuren (born in Mongolia but a German citizen) Lazslo Scuzak (Hungary) and Anton Belak (Slovak Republic) for shooting.OGQ, a not-for-profit foundation, has been established to help Indian athletes win Olympic Gold medals. OGQ raises donation from fans, individuals and organisations to support training of senior and junior Indian athletes who have a potential of winning an Olympic medal. PTI SSR RSY RYSlast_img read more

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Kontron COM Express Compact Type 6 with 8th Gen Intel Core or Celeron processors

first_img Continue Reading Previous SECO: new solutions based on 8th gen Intel Core U and 9th gen Core H processorsNext congatec boards with 8th gen Intel Core mobile processor and 10+ years availability Kontron announced the addition of new COM Express Compact Type 6 modules with 8th Gen Intel Core) or Celeron processors. Thus, the new Intel QuadCore processors with only 15 Watt power consumption on COM Express Type 6 modules are now available for Kontron customers for the first time. Kontron now offers a total of four new Intel processor variants for the Kontron COMe-cWL6 (E2S) module: Intel Core i7-8665UE, 4x 1.7 GHz, GT2, 15 W; Intel Core i5-8365UE, 4x 1.6 GHz, GT2, 15 W; Intel Core i3-8145UE, 2x 2.2 GHz, GT2, 15 W; Intel Celeron 4305UE, 2x 2.0 GHz, GT1, 15 W.The new Kontron COMe-cWL6 (E2S) modules allow up to 24 GB of DDR4 memory; optionally they are available in Compact format with fast NVMe SSD for the first time. The new COMe is also ideally suited for harsh operating conditions in industrial environments. For example, rugged modules are available that can be used within a temperature range from -40 to +85°C. The option with a soldered main memory (memory down) of up to 8 GB DDR4 ensures even more robustness. Kontron will also offer a screened E2 variant.The COMe-cWL6 is ideally suited as a powerful successor for existing solutions, as it takes over their pin assignment and feature implementation. Typical applications include communication, digital signage, professional gaming and entertainment, medical imaging, surveillance and security, industrial edge computing as well as industrial plant-, machine- and robot-control at the shop floor level and/or from the control room.The new COM Express Compact modules support the Kontron APPROTECT security solution based on Wibu-Systems CodeMeter. Kontron APPROTECT Licensing also enables new business models such as ‘pay-per-use’ and time-based trial versions.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules last_img read more

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Alabama 5-Star RB Commit Damien Harris Isn’t Fazed By Crimson Tide’s Tough Schedule

first_imgPhil Steele posts about the hardest football schedules for the 2015 season.phil steele toughest schedules 2015Alabama’s path to the College Football Playoff this fall will be a tough one. The Crimson Tide open their season against Wisconsin, host Ole Miss, Arkansas and LSU, and travel to Georgia, Mississippi State and Auburn, among others. Noted college football expert Phil Steele has Alabama’s schedule ranked as the country’s toughest. Top 10 toughest schedule 2015 1. Alabama 2. USC 3. Arkansas 4. California 5. Washngton 6. Auburn 7. Texas 8. Utah 9. Stanford @Pac12Networks— Phil Steele (@philsteele042) May 14, 2015This doesn’t seem to faze Crimson Tide five-star running back commit Damien Harris.Let’s get it https://t.co/WJGmR8mbzE— Damien Harris (@DHx34) May 14, 2015A 11-1 season and a win in the SEC Championship Game is likely what Alabama needs to make the College Football Playoff? Can the Crimson Tide get there?last_img read more

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The death of a river

first_imgThe Cauvery (also spelt ‘Kaveri’), known as Ponni in Tamil, is the fourth-largest river in south India. Originating in the Western Ghats at Talakaveri in Karnataka’s Kodagu district, it passes through Tamil Nadu. The river bisects the state into north and south, and finally reaches the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar, also known as Kaveripoompattinam in Tamil Nadu. The Cauvery basin is spread over 81,155 sq km in the states of Karnataka (34,273 sq km), Tamil Nadu (43,856 sq km) and Kerala (2,866 sq km) and the Union Territory of Puducherry (160 sq km). Also Read – A staunch allyCauvery’s major tributaries, Kabini and Moyar, join it before it reaches the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district. The river’s total length, from source to mouth, is 802 km. From antiquity till the present era, the river has been the lifeline of ancient kingdoms and cities of south India. Because of the river’s bountiful nature, the Cauvery delta was considered to be one of the most fertile regions in India, till recently. Also Read – Cuban pathosToday, though, that is no longer the case – Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been at bitter odds with each other over sharing the river’s waters due to the failure of the monsoon and consequent erratic rainfall. A cherished waterbody Today, the Cauvery might be a minefield of controversies. However, it has been among the most loved, cherished and celebrated waterbodies, finding an important place in Tamil literature, right from the Sangam era, spanning from the 5th BCE to the 3rd century CE. For instance, Pattina Palai, a Tamil poetic work belonging to the Sangam period, speaks highly of “Cauvery, the river that never fails, even if the sky does”. Similar praise of the river is found in Puranaanooru and Porunaraatru Padai. Puranooru, one of the eight books in the secular anthology of Sangam literature, writes: “The forceful water flow in the river Cauvery that can even uproot a tree, takes care of all the living beings of the world, as a woman feeds a child through her breast”. In the Kamba Ramayanam, when the great Tamil poet Kambar compares the Kosala kingdom of Sri Rama with the realm of the Cholas, he attributes the fertility of the Chola kingdom to the perennial river Cauvery. The Five Great Epics of Tamil Literature composed in Classical Tamil are Silappathikaram, Manimekalai, Seevaka Chinthamanai, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi. In Silappadhikaram, composer Elangovadikal sings many songs in praise of the Cauvery and elaborately describes how it has made the Chola kingdom at the Cauvery delta fertile and flourishing. Elangovadikal speaks about the greatness of the Cauvery through Kovalan, the hero of the epic and Madhavi, the second heroine. While Kovalan sings about the Cauvery in only three poems, Madhavi greets the ruler of the country and the river Cauvery in three poems. Thus, controversy arises between them and Kovalan gets separated from Madhavi. Says Madhavi: “Long live this fertile country! Long live the Cauvery that nurtures the country like a mother”. And Kovalan’s words are: “As farmers sing; As the sounds of sluice gates rise; As new waters break open As people celebrate; You walk! Long live the Cauvery!” In Manimekalai, another famous epic, the poet Saaththanaar describes the Cauvery with due regard and reverence. “As per the request of Kanthaman, the then Chola King, the great sage Agasthiyar (Agastya) poured holy water from his kamandal and the water started flowing in the name of the river Cauvery”. On seeing the river, the Goddess Sambapathy welcomes Cauvery thus: “Welcome the Ganges from the blissful sky that fulfilled the desires of the king Kanthaman” The poet describes the Cauvery as “the river that nourishes the land with perennial water, even if the zodiac signs show impending severe summer”. He praises the Cauvery as the family deity of the Chola Kingdom because of its “boundless benevolence through its copious flow of water”. Chola king, Karikalan (Karikala Cholan), built a stone dam across the Cauvery 2,000 years ago, based on the representations received from peasants to increase the extent of paddy cultivation. This dam was called the Grand Anicut by Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton, the famous British engineer, and served as a model for constructing a dam across the River Kollidam near Mukkombu during the 19th century. After the construction of the dam and other canals, about 1.2 million acres of land were brought under cultivation. Many temples like the Sri Renganatha Swamy temple at Srirangam (the island in the middle of the Cauvery in Tiruchirappalli), Pragatheeswara temple at Thanjavur and Sri Nataraja temple at Chidambaram had been built along the course of the Cauvery as well as in its delta. As the Chola empire was very prosperous due to the Cauvery, the lifeline of the kingdom, the then rulers were able to extend their reign up to Southeast Asia. Memories & death of a river During my training period at the erstwhile Southern Forest Rangers College, Coimbatore, sometime in 1975, I happened to stay with others in tents in the Makut (near Brahmagiri) forests of Karnataka, from where the Cauvery originates. The site was located just on the banks of the river. The forests were a moist deciduous type and water flow in the river was said to be perennial. But, of late, due to the development of roads, railway tracks, electricity pylons, etc., cutting through the rainforests, it has lost its charm and greenery. Moreover, the rainfall levels have come down drastically, resulting in sparse water in the river. In the past, every year on June 12, water used to be released from the Mettur dam, enabling farmers in the Cauvery delta to proceed with farming activities. Now, it is only a memory. Water was shared between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu according to agreements signed in 1892 and 1924 between the Madras Presidency and the Wodeyar Kingdom of Mysore. About 44,000 sq km of the river basin is in Tamil Nadu and 32,000 sq km in Karnataka. Since the water sharing has been done according to a British Era agreement, Karnataka does not agree with the sharing of drinking water with Tamil Nadu. Karnataka also wants the agreement to be renewed according to present day rainfall patterns. The Supreme Court of India, in its verdict dated February 16, 2018, had ruled that Karnataka would get 284.75 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft), Tamil Nadu 404.25 tmc ft, Kerala 30 tmc ft and Puducherry 7 tmc ft. The apex court had also directed the Centre to notify the Cauvery Management Scheme. The central government notified the Cauvery Water Management Scheme on June 1, 2018, constituting the Cauvery Water Management Authority and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee. The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) ordered Karnataka on May 28, 2019, to release 9.19 tmc ft of water to the lower riparian states for June. The CWMA meeting was attended by representatives of the Centre and the riparian states, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry. As several parts of Tamil Nadu are reeling under acute water shortage, the Centre had already issued a drought advisory, warning about the depleting water levels in the reservoirs. Karnataka had to ensure the flow of about 3 tmcft to Tamil Nadu by June 10. But it has only about 14.43 tmcft of water in the four major reservoirs of the Cauvery basin, namely Krishna Raja Sagar, Kabini, Hemavathi and Harangi. They need 4.84 tmcft of water to meet the drinking water requirements of 47 towns, including Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and 625 villages in the basin area. Karnataka has already issued directions against the use of water for irrigation. Many talukas in the basin have been declared as drought-hit. As such, Karnataka is not able to release any water to Tamil Nadu. It further states that Karnataka will think of releasing due share to other states only if the catchment areas receive good rainfall. In the present situation, only a good monsoon with copious amounts of rainfall can succeed in alleviating concerned parties. It is beyond time that everyone realises the responsibility of using water judiciously. Only people can bring an end to water pollution by taking all possible efforts to increase the groundwater table.Effective water management is the need of the hour. Maybe then, the Cauvery will be bountiful again one day. (The author is president, the Society for Conservation of Nature, Trichy, Tamil Nadu, and consultant with the Society for Social Forest Research & Development, Tamil Nadu. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Talent agent heads North to find next big star

first_imgAPTN National NewsA renowned talent agent went to the Northwest Territories to look for the next big star.Jack Cooper visited several communities across the region before wrapping up his search in a remote First Nation community.APTN National News reporter Wayne Rivers was there and has this story.last_img

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Godse extremist remark Kamal Haasan secures anticipatory bail

first_imgChennai: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to actor-politician Kamal Haasan in the case filed against him for his Hindu extremist comment. Campaigning for his party Makkal Needhi Maiam’s (MNM) candidate in the bye-election for the Aravakuruchi Assembly constituency, the actor speaking about the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, said: “The first extremist of independent India was a Hindu — Nathuram Godse. It all started from there.” Haasan made the comment in a locality were Muslims lived in large numbers. His comment created a huge row nationwide and police complaints were filed in Aravakuruchi against Haasan for trying to create enimity between communities.last_img read more

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International Astronomy Center Morocco To Start Ramadan Monday

Rabat – The International Astronomy Center (IAC) said that Ramadan is most likely to begin on Monday, May 6, in most Arab countries, including Morocco. Officials of countries like Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Jordan, India, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, and others have called on their citizens to keep a close watch on the moon for the night of Sunday, May 5, while other countries like Saudi Arabia called for moon sighting on Saturday, May 4, which corresponds to Sha’baan 29 of its official calendar, Umm al Qura. Saudi Arabia also called on its citizens to keep their eyes peeled for the moon to come out on Sunday, May 5, which, according to the center, corresponds with the actual 29th day of Sha’ban. The IAC said that, according to astronomical calculations, the crescent moon would be impossible to observe on Saturday, May 4, because it will “not be in the sky after sunset.” On Saturday, they added, there will be what astronomers call “conjunction” after sunset. This means the earth, moon, and the sun will be in a straight line and that the moon sighting is obstructed.The IAC notes that the of sighting the moon is only possible through the telescope for countries like Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Egypt, and Morocco.Because it relies both on naked eye sighting as well as astronomical calculations, Morocco has not even once misjudged the start day of Ramadan from 1984 to 2007, according to the Emirati astronomer Mohammed Shawkat Awda.In Saudi Arabia, however, the margin of error regarding start day of Ramadan stands at 87%. read more

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Chinese companies brace for tariff hike as trade talks begin

BEIJING — Chinese exporters of all sorts of products, from power adapters and computers to vacuum cleaners, are anxiously hoping trade talks in Washington this week will yield a deal that might stave off higher U.S. tariffs on imports from China.Companies across China are bracing for a tariff hike after President Donald Trump, complaining Beijing was backtracking and the talks on a festering trade dispute were taking too long, said he would raise import duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.Amber Chen, sales manager for a vacuum cleaner manufacturer based in southern China, says her company has $100 million in exports to the U.S. at stake.“I really hope that the two countries can reach an agreement,” Chen said in a phone interview. “We just can’t swallow the costs of a tariff increase.”The trade dispute erupted last summer with the first round of U.S. tariff increases. It deepened with Trump’s announcement via Twitter on Sunday that he plans to raise tariffs and have them cover all products imported from China, as of Friday.The tariffs have devastated many factories in Chinese coastal regions that serve the U.S. market. Industries such as electronics have seen sales to the U.S. plummet up to 40%. Overall Chinese exports to the U.S. dropped 13% in April from a year earlier.Many Chinese companies are reluctant to speak publicly about their problems, especially those linked to sensitive topics such as the ruling Communist Party’s policies on trade and technology.But sales managers of five Chinese companies that depend heavily on exports to the U.S. told The Associated Press that while they have managed to adjust to current tariff levels with minimal trouble, a jump to a 25% tariff would make doing business with the U.S. virtually impossible for most of them.“If the tariffs rise to 25 per cent, then we’re done for,” said James, a sales manager for a computer monitor manufacturer in Shenzhen, China’s southern tech hub.He declined to give his full name. He said 30 to 40% of his company’s products are exported to the U.S.Before this week, both the U.S. and China said the trade talks were making steady progress, giving the impression that the world’s two biggest economies were approaching an agreement. Trump’s unexpected threat Sunday sent global financial markets into a tailspin. On Thursday, China vowed to defend its interests and retaliate with “necessary countermeasures” if the increases take effect Friday as planned.China has kept official statements on the latest trade talks, the 11th round, low-key and restrained. That’s in contrast to more aggressive rhetoric in earlier rounds. Domestic media avoided reporting on Trump’s tweeted threat for hours after it was posted.If the tariff increase goes ahead, the impact will be deeply felt by small- and medium-sized enterprises, said Shawn Yang, sales manager for a company in Shenzhen that produces electric power adapters.“We’re on the front lines,” he said.Many of the company’s products are designed for use in the U.S., Yang said, so it would be difficult to shift sales to other markets.He said he’s confident it can weather the trade war because of the quality of their products, though some buyers are waiting for a conclusion to the trade dispute before placing new orders.Yang said he has faith the two countries will reach an agreement.“(The trade war’s) impact is too far-reaching,” he said. “It’s not possible for them to keep fighting like this.”_Associated Press researcher Yu Bing and video producer Fu Ting contributed to this report.Yanan Wang, The Associated Press read more

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Tens of thousands of refugees to benefit from new UNbacked microfinance project

13 January 2010Tens of thousands of displaced people around the world will get micro-loans to set up their own businesses and become self-sufficient thanks to a new agreement between the UN refugee agency and a microfinance services organization set up by Bangladeshi Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus. Under a memorandum of understanding signed by Mr. Yunus and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres, the Grameen Trust will set up micro-loan programmes for displaced civilians, mainly refugees but also including some returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) over three years in an initial 14 countries around the world, with a feasibility study early this year in Egypt, Tanzania and South Africa.“The Grameen Bank and its network have given millions of poor people access to microcredit,” Mr. Guterres said. “I believe the Grameen Trust can make a vital contribution towards refugee self-reliance and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods.”UNHCR and Grameen Trust staff will assess the number and profile of beneficiaries, while the project will also look at the rehabilitation or improvement of existing UNHCR microfinance activities. The Trust generally sets up programmes to provide seed or scale up funding, based on an approach pioneered by the parent Grameen Bank and imitated worldwide.Microfinance is important to UNHCR because by allowing people to run their own businesses and learn new skills it can help the displaced – especially women – become self-sufficient and also prepare them if they return home, integrate them in a host country or help them start a new life in a resettlement country.But despite the benefits it can bring, microfinance is not always considered in refugee operations. In some cases, the policies of host governments prevent refugee access to financial institutions. In others, the limited expertise of UNHCR and its partners in microfinance is a factor. It is to overcome these and other limitations, that UNHCR has established partnerships with organizations like the Grameen Trust and the UN International Labour Organization (ILO).Mr. Yunus, who won the Nobel Peace Prize with his Grameen Bank in 2006, has been dubbed “Banker to the Poor.” He started the Grameen project in the Bangladeshi village of Jobra in 1976. In 1983, the project was transformed into a formal bank to help people escape from poverty by providing small loans, or microcredit, on generous and tailored terms.The Grameen Trust was set up six years later to help poor and needy people inside and outside Bangladesh with the kinds of services pioneered by the Grameen Bank to reduce poverty, offer training and technical assistance, and help increase employment, income and management skills of the poor. The Trust has more than 140 partners in 38 countries. read more

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Fighting crime could boost development in Africa UN study says

Despite the troubling data, the study concludes that African countries can declare victory over crime and violence if the political will exists and resources are made available to translate policy into real-world change.Entitled “Crime and Development in Africa,” the study was unveiled by Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.According to UNODC, all available indicators suggest that the continent has a serious crime problem, including both violent and property crime, much of it committed by transnational organizations. In addition to hampering development, such activities are increasingly becoming a source of funding for insurgent and terrorist groups.The data presented in the study covers domestic and global criminal activities ranging from money-laundering to corruption and trafficking in human beings, drugs, and firearms, as well as the connection between such activities and the scourge of child militias.While in the past the only drugs widespread in Africa were cannabis and khat, the study says, the continent has recently become a transit area for cocaine and heroine. In addition, 89 per cent of African countries are involved in some way in human trafficking. Theft and smuggling of minerals, petroleum and wildlife have also become endemic.There is presently great momentum, however, to tackle all of Africa’s development problems, the study says, and there are signs of progress on many fronts, including the creation of a legislative and institutional framework to fight crime. The time is ripe, it concludes, to remove this important barrier to African development. read more

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UNbacked European and Central Asian regional meeting focuses on job creation

“We face a continuing economic and employment crisis with no obvious solution in sight,” ILO Director-General Guy Ryder a high level panel of representatives from 51 countries in Europe and Central Asia, urging them to propose “effective actions to achieve recovery.” The crisis has left over 26.3 million Europeans unemployed – 10.2 million more than when the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, according to the latest UN figures.The employment situation has continued to deteriorate since the introduction of fiscal consolidation policies, according to an ILO press release. “Following a brief respite in 2010-2011, unemployment has resumed growing and shows no sign of improvement,” the UN agency said.The regional – organized in collaboration with the Government of the Kingdom of Norway – provides an opportunity for tripartite representatives of the countries of the European and Central Asian Region to share their experiences and to discuss the response to the economic and jobs crisis in the region, looking at levels of social protection, social dialogue and the application of labour law, the ILO said. The regional meeting is held every four years to set priorities and discuss joint policies. Earlier in the year, the ILO reported that the number of unemployed worldwide rose by 4.2 million in 2012 with gloomy expectations of a further increase in 2013. read more

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Stoke youngsters tour Michelin factory to see career options in manufacturing

Youngsters considering their future career options got an insight into automotive manufacturing this month as Michelin hosted tours of its Stoke factory as part of a national government apprenticeship drive. Students from five nearby schools visited Michelin’s facilities on 11 and 13 October to receive guided tours and learn about the career and skills opportunities available in manufacturing careers.Lord Mayor of Stoke, Councillor Terry Follows, joined students on the first day of the two-day tours organised by Michelin, accompanying them on the guided tour of the facility and listening to presentations given by Michelin’s training, engineering and logistics departments. There was also a careers fair, offering flavours of the range of careers within Michelin including engineering, IT, personnel and health and safety and there was also an interactive quiz with prizes.The site tour was part of government’s ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative, launched in March by Business Secretary, Dr Vince Cable. The scheme is designed to help deliver an additional 250,000 apprenticeships in the UK and the automotive sector is the first industry to support this nationwide roll-out of activities.Factory Manager, Sean Parry, said, “The Michelin Stoke factory is very pleased to participate in the ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ initiative which was launched by the UK Automotive Council and supported by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. The aim is to raise awareness about the wide range of interesting and skilled job opportunities that exist within the manufacturing sector. It is a great opportunity to open our doors, during what is a very positive time for the Stoke factory as we are now progressing well on the multi-million pound modernisation project that will allow us to rebuild the latest generation of Michelin Durable Technology truck tyres.Michelin’s Stoke facility was the first Michelin UK factory to host a ‘See Inside Manufacturing’ event, followed by Ballymena, Northern Ireland and Dundee, Scotland in November.  For more information about ‘See Inside Manufacturing’, click here.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

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Whats Stopping The Rockets

3+0.5 2+6.4 1-7.3 PERIODNET PTS. PER 100 POSSESSIONS 4+22.0 “Clutch” is any time in the last five minutes of regulation or in overtime when the score is within 5 points.Source: NBA.com How the Rockets have performed in the postseason with Harden on the floor When James Harden left the game with 30 seconds to play in the first quarter, his Houston Rockets trailed the San Antonio Spurs by 3 points. When Harden was blocked from behind at the final buzzer by the ghost of Manu Ginobili, the Rockets were down by 3 points. This brings us back around to one of the oldest maxims in the basketball-nerd universe: The points count the same in the first quarter as they do in the fourth.Harden’s breakdown late in Game 5, when he went 1-for-6 with one assist and four turnovers, is the top-line takeaway after the Rockets’ Tuesday-night loss. Houston’s MVP candidate doing his best Toney Douglas impersonation at the worst possible time is concerning, both for its immediate effect on the series and for what it portends about how the injury-depleted rotation will fare in the remaining games. But Houston’s problems at the moment run deeper than that.They are starting too slowWhile performance in the biggest moments is undeniably important in the NBA, it isn’t all that matters. Generating good, reliable shots when the clock is winding down and the defense is moving at a devil-may-care clip you don’t see in other periods is an important skill. So is building a lead early in the game, and so is holding onto a lead once you have it. And in the playoffs, the Rockets have been losing first quarters. Clutch+13.9 Harden’s first-half numbers were excellent in Game 5, but the deficit by the end of his first-quarter run was no outlier in the Rockets’ postseason. Harden’s net rating in the first quarter is far worse than in any other period, at -7.3 points per 100 possessions. As a team, the Rockets are being outscored by 7.4 points per 100 possessions in the first quarter of playoff games. During the regular season, they won that period by 8.9 points per 100.The postseason number is weighed down significantly by Houston’s first-round series with Oklahoma City, in which the Thunder beat the Rockets’ brains in during a few early quarters, only to surrender much or all of those leads later on. But just because a team can punch its way off the mat doesn’t erase the fact that it got its brains beaten in to begin with.The bench is thin and it’s affecting everyoneNot helping matters: Houston’s best playoff lineups are no longer available. The numbers on the baseline starting five haven’t been great — which makes sense, given that the starters are, by definition, a big part of the reason that those first quarters have been so miserable — but shaking things up will be tough. The season-ending thigh injury to backup center Nene leaves the Rockets without an anchor for the alternative lineups Houston might be forced to try out.In Game 5, Houston designated Ryan Anderson as their backup center, moving him out of the potent starting lineup, and instead started sixth man Eric Gordon. As the coaches like to tell you, how a team adapts to an injury usually has less to do with the backup than it does with the backup’s backup. In this case, the regular-season starting power forward, Anderson, served as the backup to the backup center, meaning that not only is there no backup power forward, but the starting power forward spot is now an open question as well. That left Houston playing a lot of four-out lineups even though it’s missing Nene, its best four-out center.Harden is trying to do everything and it showsThe lineup shuffle in Game 5 added to Harden’s overall workload and muted the advantages of the lineups that theoretically remained intact, such as the group of regular starters.Harden filled in the nominal power forward role when necessary on Tuesday, and the position does play to Harden’s strengths (he’s powerful, and big for his position) while minimizing his weaknesses (lateral quickness that would barely keep him in front of Nate Silver, let alone Manu Ginobili). But in Game 5, at least, the bargain seemed to be a bad one.Harden’s late-game numbers suggest that he got worn down, but anyone looking at him could have told you that. The real question was whether the Rockets got enough out of their four-perimeter-player lineups to offset the toll those lineups took on the players involved, especially Harden. They didn’t. The only Rockets’ five-man lineups to finish with a positive net rating were ones featuring both Anderson and center Clint Capela. Every lineup that didn’t include both of those guys had a negative net rating or, at best, played San Antonio to a draw.(The Rockets had a positive standard plus-minus with two other lineups, but they were worse on a per-possession basis due to an imbalance in the number of possessions, which is common when you’re only looking at a single game.)So what’s to be done?It’s possible that there’s an obvious answer on the bench. Second-year forward Montrezl Harrell provided good minutes off the bench throughout the season, but he has hardly seen the court in the playoffs. Mike D’Antoni has always been known for shortening rotations in the playoffs, but if the four-out lineups keep on tanking, it probably makes more sense to put the season in the hands of an unknown than to keep relying on a known weakness. At the very least, playing Harrell would allow D’Antoni to see more of the starting lineup that’s still outplaying the Spurs, which might help him avoid those first-quarter deficits. read more

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Hines carries on Glenville tradition

There sits in Cleveland, Ohio, a high school by the name of Glenville Academy, a school that’s become a veritable pipeline filled with talented football players ready to don scarlet and gray. Jermale Hines, who is currently the Buckeyes starter at free safety, knew coming into college that a spotlight would be shining on him. After all, he was a former Tarblooder. “Anytime a player comes in from Glenville, it puts added pressure on you. Everyone expects you to do great things,” Hines said. “So it definitely put some added pressure on me, but I knew coming in that I had to work hard, and everything would take care of itself.” Before transferring to Glenville in his junior year, Hines played both basketball and football at Berrien County High School in Nashville, Ga. “I actually liked basketball better, but being my size, I always felt like I had a better chance at succeeding in football,” Hines said. After transferring to Glenville, the head coach of the football program, Ted Ginn Sr., wondered when Hines would start to open up and become a vocal leader. In an interview with The Plain Dealer in 2006, Ginn was quoted saying, “Jermale’s a quiet kid who we’re trying to make a leader out of with some kind, any kind of emotion.” Ohio State safeties coach Paul Haynes implied that even today, Hines doesn’t speak much. “He doesn’t say a whole lot but when he does talk, people listen, and when says to do something, people do it,” Haynes said. After his high school career ended, Hines chose to play for the Buckeyes. But a few academic issues made it appear as if Hines would never see the field of play. Due to the fact that he transferred from a Georgia school to an Ohio school, Hines had to take the Ohio Graduation Test before he could receive academic certification. The academic issues didn’t end there. As a freshman at OSU, Hines was ruled ineligible for the first half of the season. “Basically something didn’t go through with my Clearinghouse, so it held me back a little bit,” Hines said. “I was just a regular student at one point. But they got it together half way through the season and I was able to get back on the team.” Now a senior, Hines is stepping up and growing more mature with every game. While he’s not a team captain, he has become a coach on the field for the defense. Recently, he’s had the task of instructing freshman and former Glenville player Christian Bryant on where to be on the field during certain defensive sets. “The thing about Jermale is, he’s a great leader,” Haynes said. “He’s a very instinctive and aggressive football player, and his maturity has grown a great deal.” Hines is being projected as potential third- or fourth-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. And while the draft isn’t for another seven months, he admits there are some parts of his game he’d like to improve upon before the end of the season. “I’d say the strongest parts of my game are my physicality and tackling ability,” Hines said. “But I’d like to work on my one-on-one coverage, and just understanding the game of football more.” Haynes added, “There’s a lot of things that he has to improve on, starting with just getting better every day. I could for sure see him playing at the next level, but it’s not a perfect science. But with his work ethic, and his love and passion for football, I could see him playing at the next level.” And while it may be true that Hines doesn’t talk very much, he isn’t opposed to talking a little smack and challenging the offense during practice. “I just pick on them, basically call out their plays and try to punk them as much as I can,” Hines said while laughing. “I try to make it hard on them because when it’s game time, it’s definitely going to be hard on them.” Even Heisman Trophy candidate Terrelle Pryor isn’t safe from a verbal lashing. “Yeah I talk stuff to Terrelle, a few words that might get bleeped out,” Hines said, laughing again. “I know I’m going to need those guys so I might make it tough on them, but in the end I know they’ll come through for me.” read more

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Partizan has no pressure in Copenhagen Without respect for the favorite

AG CopenhagenAleksandar BrkovicHC PartizanOlafur Stefansson ← Previous Story Predrag Dacevic “comes – stays” in MT Melsungen Next Story → Men’s EHF CL (Round 8): Fantastic Jurecki silenced the “Veszprem Arena” Serbian champion, HC Partizan leaved positive impression despite without points in the first seven matches of the EHF Champions League. Young team from Belgrade goes to Denmark to face with AG Copenhagen (Sunday 16.50):– We are taking every much seriously. We want to fight and get some afirmation, if we get chance for that. It is absolutely clear that AG is 100% favorite, but we don’t want to let them without resistance…You have very good 45 minutes in Kiel, you won the first Half in the “Sparkasse Arena”…– That is now prototype of what we want to do. There is no rule, we can be better, but also worse than that. It is simple, to stay positive, without respect for the rival. In comparation from the first match, they are better for Stefansson and we are without Milinic. They have a new coach, only one, Andersson, what can be only positive. If we stop “easy goals” from Sigurdsson, our chances for a good game will be higher – told to Balkan-Handball.com, the youngest coach ever in EHF Champions League, Aleksandar Brkovic. read more

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Mozilla unveils BrowserID password management system

first_imgMozilla is interested in making the process of logging in to your favorite websites easier and more secure. Today the Mozilla Identity team unveiled BrowserID, a new authentication system that will allow users to use one username and password to log in to any site that supports BrowserID. Bonus: Mozilla wants BrowserID to be available in all browsers, not just Firefox.If BrowserID looks and sounds a lot like OpenID, it should. The service shares a lot of similar principles: it’s decentralized and managed externally from the site accepting the user, and gives users a single password they can use for multiple sites that support that authentication scheme. BrowserID users will use only their email address to log in to any site that supports BrowserID. The BrowserID service on the other hand, manages the password and trust relationship between the user logging in and the site that wants to be sure the user is who they say they are.AdChoices广告The service is very beta at the moment, but the folks at Mozilla Labs are looking for feedback. One thing that will be key to BrowserID’s growth is how many web developers and sites adopt the service as an authentication method. In order for users to leverage BrowserID, the site they want to use will have to allow it, which means site owners will have to work it into the way they currently allow users to log in.Considering how popular offloading authentication to services like Facebook, Twitter, and Google has been with new web services, it may not be a far-fetched proposition. Mozilla Labs wants to make BrowserID much like those current services, just without the reliance on a single company to keep your credentials safe. They note that trusting Facebook, Twitter, or Google comes with reliability issues, a lock-in with those services, or even worse, privacy concerns with those services.In that way, BrowserID is much like offloading authentication to Google, Facebook, or Twitter, but Mozilla Labs is taking the approach of being an unvested organization that doesn’t have a service that they want the user to sign up for just to get the authentication service. We’ll have to see whether or not BrowserID takes off: especially since it’ll be available in any browser and on any device. There’s certainly room for a unified login system on the Web as long as it’s secure and available on multiple devices and browsers.Read more at Mozilla Identitylast_img read more

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Sharp is making a cutting board with a tablet built into the

first_imgSoon you may not have to stare down at your bland, non-animated cutting board. Sharp has just introduced a new kitchen gadget that you probably never thought you’d need — a cutting board with a tablet built-in. The Chop-Syc is a prototype touchscreen device that Sharp sees as a tool to help people eat healthier and cook better food.The Chop-Syc is running on a custom software platform (yes, it’s surprising Android isn’t involved somehow) that helps the user pick a recipe, then lists the exact amount of each ingredient needed based on the number of people. The cutting board has a built-in scale for weighing food, and a neat spaghetti measuring tool that paints a circle on the screen to compare against the footprint of a handful of uncooked noodles. Oh, and it’s also a cutting board.The hardened glass surface should stand up to constant scraping with knives, which won’t do anything to alleviate the creeping, queasy feeling you get watching someone take a knife to a glass touchscreen. When you don’t need the advanced digital features of the Chop-Syc the touch features can be disabled and it will operate as a normal cutting board.Sharp sees the Chop-Syc as a way to help people make healthier food choices by delivering healthy recipes and tracking calories as a meal is prepared. It’s still in the early development phase, but Sharp is exploring options to bring the Chop-Syc to market as a real product.last_img read more

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Un appel lancé à lUE pour sauver les éléphants dAfrique

first_imgUn appel lancé à l’UE pour sauver les éléphants d’AfriqueAfrique – Lundi, les représentants de 17 pays d’Afrique ont appelé l’Union européenne à s’opposer à de nouvelles ventes d’ivoire afin de sauver les populations d’éléphants menacées par le braconnage.En 2007, un moratoire de neuf ans sur le commerce de l’ivoire a été décrété au sein de la Convention sur les espèces menacées d’extinction (Cites). Aujourd’hui, alors que la Tanzanie et la Zambie souhaitent être autorisées à vendre respectivement près de 90 et 22 tonnes d’ivoire, 17 pays d’Afrique demandent à l’Union européenne de s’opposer au projet, pour protéger les populations d’éléphants décimées par le braconnage.”De nombreux États membres de l’Union européenne sont de notre côté mais ils sont silencieux. Nous voulons qu’ils se prononcent très clairement et qu’ils disent qu’il y a beaucoup de braconnage en Afrique, que le changement climatique a de nombreux impacts négatifs qui déciment les éléphants et d’autres animaux sauvages, et qu’il faut préserver les éléphants pour les générations futures” a déclaré le ministre kenyan de la forêt et de la faune, Noah Wekesa. Avec le Mali, le Kenya copréside la Coalition pour l’Éléphant d’Afrique.Alors que “les derniers éléphants de Sierra Leone viennent d’être abattus par des braconniers le mois dernier”, un vote concernant la demande de la Tanzanie et la Zambie doit avoir lieu lors de la prochaine conférence de la Cites qui se tiendra à Doha, au Qatar, du 13 au 25 mars. Rappelant l’importance de l’Union européenne au sein de cette convention, Noah Wekesa l’avertit que “sielle s’abstient lors de ce vote, elle va contribuer à accentuer une situation déjà critique”. D’après l’eurodéputé néerlandais Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, certains pays tels que le Royaume-Uni, la France, l’Espagne et les Pays-Bas sont encore incertains quant à la position qu’ils adopteront et “seraient enclins à soutenir la demande de la Tanzanie”. Il précise toutefois que la Commission environnement se prononcera cette semaine en faveur du respect du moratoire adopté en 2007, position qui “sera soumise à la plénière en février”.Le 31 janvier 2010 à 13:28 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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