US service firms grew at slower pace in December

first_imgWASHINGTON — U.S. service firms grew at a slower pace in December, a possible indication that various headwinds from turbulent markets to trade tensions could be having an impact on economic activity.The Institute for Supply Management, which is composed of purchasing managers, says that its service index fell to 57.6 per cent last month, down from a November reading of 60.7 per cent.Any reading above 50 signals growth. So even with the December decline, the index shows that service industries, where most Americans work, has been expanding for 107 consecutive months.The weaker reading on the service economy followed a report last week that the ISM index for manufacturing slowed to the slowest pace in more than two years, with some manufacturers complaining about the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade policies.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Man given up for dead in Lanka alive in India

A native of Ambasamudram, Boomi Durai came to Coimbatore in 1991 in search of work after passing class 10. He worked with his brother-in-law for a few years and did several odd jobs in Avarampalayam, Sitco, Kovai Pudur before getting his driver’s license in 1994. He went to Chennai in 1999 and worked for a rice trader for a year before joining the Chennai Central Call Taxi Drivers’ Association. He was president of the association for a year until serious clashes with AIADMK trade union members led to Durai being charged with criminal intimidation and attempt to murder. Fearing threat to his life, he quit the association and joined a private call taxi in Chennai, before leaving for Coimbatore in 2007. “I don’t know who the man was and how he came to possess my ID card. I know that the association refused to accept new members and perhaps gave my ID card to someone else after I quit,” he said.Khurram Ahmed, who was the president of the association from 2001 to 2003, said new cards were not issued.“By the time the cards were issued, internal squabbling had torn apart the association. Even I did not receive the card,” Ahmed said when asked about Boomi Durai’s version of events. A Chennai taxi driver, Boomi Durai N, suspected to have died in floods and whose body was believed to have washed ashore in Sri Lanka on December 6 is alive and well, the Times of India reported.The 41-year-old, the driver of private bus in the city, is a native of Poosaripalayam in Coimbatore, India. With the discovery of Durai the mystery has deepened over the identity of the man whose body fishermen found off Trincomallee port in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province and handed over to the nation’s navy. “The man definitely did not die in the Chennai floods nor was he washed away from the city,” a senior ‘Q’ branch officer said. “We learned that he’s not a fisherman but could have died in Rameswaram. The sea may have carried the body to the Sri Lankan coast. We are probing every possibilities.” Officials of the Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ branch, which tracks extremist outfits, are not ruling out a possible LTTE link and say the man may have been an operative of the terrorist organisation. On seeing news about his “death” in the media, Boomi Durai called up the office of the Chennai police commissioner on the night of December 7 and informed officers he was alive. A ‘Q’ branch police team that had earlier visited NGO Colony in Choolaimedu in Chennai, the address given on the ID card, but failed to trace Durai. “We can’t do anything further unless the Union government intervenes at a diplomatic level,” the ‘Q’ branch officer said. The body was handed over to the Trincomallee government hospital by the Lankan navy.Durai told TOI that he never received the ID card that he had applied for from the Chennai Central Call Taxi Drivers’ Association of which he was a member for nearly two years. Drivers plying taxis at the Chennai central station were controlled by the association or union affiliated to the Labour Progressive Front, the DMK’s trade union wing. With a private bus service (A1 travels), he drives a bus from Coimbatore to Chennai every day carrying passengers to and fro.“I was shocked to learn that my ID card was found on a dead man,” he said. He added that the card held no value now as the association does not exist anymore. “I am unable to understand how someone had my card for over 10 years,” he said. read more

Shadow of persistent inequality is growing key UN human development report reveals

Quality, not just quantity of human development, is important, and it reveals large deficitsUNDP The world has made impressive progress in human developmentUNDP Progress is not linear or guaranteed, and crises and challenges can reverse gains. Countries experiencing conflict show HDI losses, which can be felt for generationsUNDP The degradation of the environment and atmosphere, coupled with significant declines in biodiversity, is linked to other development concerns ranging from declining food and water supplies to losses of livelihood and life from extreme weather events. This profoundly serious crisis threatens the human development of current and future generations.,All graphics: Human Development Report statistical update 2018, UNDP Disparities between and within countries continue to stifle progressUNDP One key source of inequality within countries is the gap in opportunities, achievements and empowerment between women and men. Worldwide the average HDI for women is six percent lower than for men, due to women’s lower income and educational attainment in many countries.Although there has been laudable progress in the number of girls attending school, there remain big differences between other key aspects of men and women’s lives. Women’s empowerment remains a particular challenge.Global labor force participation rates for women are lower than for men – 49 percent versus 75 percent. And when women are in the labor market, their unemployment rates are 24 percent higher than their male counterparts. Women globally also do much more unpaid domestic and care work than men. Looking at the widening gap in real terms, a child born in Norway today – the country with the highest human development index (HDI) – can expect to live beyond the age of 82, and spend almost 18 years in school. But the same child, if born in Niger – the lowest HDI – can expect only to live to 60, with just five years of formal education.“While these statistics present a stark picture in themselves, they also speak to the tragedy of millions of individuals whose lives are affected by inequity and lost opportunities, neither of which are inevitable,” said Achim Steiner, the Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which released the report today.Inequality occurs in many countries, including in some of the wealthiest ones, but it ends up taking a much bigger toll on countries with lower HDI levels; with low HDI countries losing almost a third of their human development capacity. For countries with a high HDI, the average loss is 11 per cent.The striking differences both within and among countries, are stifling progress and the trend can be seen again and again, according to UNDP.“Inequality in all its forms and dimensions, between and within countries, limits people’s choices and opportunities, withholding progress,” explained Selim Jahan, Director of the Human Development Report Office at UNDP.Women’s empowerment remains a particular challengeA key sources of inequality within countries is the gap in opportunities, achievements and empowerment between women and men. On average, the HDI for women is 6 per cent lower than that for men, notes the report.Inequality in all its forms and dimensions, between and within countries, limits people’s choices and opportunities, withholding progress – Selim Jahan, UNDPFurthermore, while there has been “laudable progress” in the number of girls attending school, there remain big differences in other key aspects of men and women’s lives – for instance labour force participation rates for women globally are lower than for men – 49 per cent, versus 75 per cent.And when women are working, their unemployment rates are 24 per cent higher than their male counterparts. Women globally also do much more unpaid domestic and care work than men.“Women’s empowerment remains a particular challenge,” underscored UNDP.Data tells a part of the story, quality of growth mattersThe Human Development Report 2018 update also shows “tremendous” variation between countries in quality of education, healthcare and many other key aspects of life.This quality-difference can be illustrated by looking at the number of students per teacher, in primary schools. Sub-Saharan Africa has, on average, 39 pupils per teacher while in developed regions, there is an average of one teacher for every 16-18 primary school pupils.Similar difference exists in terms of health care: OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries and East Asia and the Pacific have, on average, 29 and 28 physicians for every 10,000 people respectively. In South Asia overall, there are only eight per 10,000, falling to less than two, in Sub-Saharan Africa.“Much of the world’s attention is on data that tells only a part of the story about people’s lives,” said Mr. Jahan, highlighting that it is clearly not enough simply to count how many children are in the classroom. The important dimension is to know whether they are learning anything.“Focusing on quality is essential to foster sustainable and sustained human development progress.” UN News spoke with Mr. Jahan about the report’s findings. Listen to the interview here.,Key Findings from the 2018 Analysis Between 2012 and 2017, Libya, Syria and Yemen had falling HDI values and ranks – the direct effect of violent conflict. Although Lebanon is not directly involved in violent conflict, it has suffered spillovers from the conflict in Syria, hosting more than a million Syrian refugees. ProgressQuality MattersRisksDisparitiesGender GapsEnvironment Looking back over almost three decades, all regions and human development groups have made substantial progress.The global HDI value in 2017 was 0.728, up about 21.7 percent from 1990. Across the world, people are living longer, are more educated and have greater opportunities. Gender gaps in early years are closing, but inequalities persist in adulthoodUNDP Average HDI levels have risen significantly since 1990 – 22 percent globally and 51 percent in least developed countries. But there remain massive differences across the world in people’s well-being. Most people today live longer, are more educated and have more access to goods and services than ever before. But living longer does not automatically mean more years spent enjoying life.For example, healthy life expectancy for countries of very high human development is approximately 70 years, whereas for countries of low human development it is approximately 53 years. Environmental degradation puts human development gains at riskUNDP read more

The ACC Is Having A Bowl Season For The Ages

2015SEC119+9.2+1.7+25.6+5.9 Expected wins and point differentials are according to pre-bowl Elo ratings. Conferences classified as “independent” were excluded from the ranking.Source: College Football at Big 1264+7.3+0.9+19.1+2.7 Pac-1263-10.3-0.4+5.8+1.5 CONFERENCEBOWLSWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINS Sun Belt64+5.8+1.7+1.4+1.0 VS. EXPECTEDVS. FBS AVERAGE 2013SEC107+3.1+1.0+19.5+4.6 Big Ten103-4.2-1.5+6.4+0.8 Which conference is winning the 2016-17 bowl season? MWC74+2.9+0.1+2.9+0.1 CUSA74+1.2+0.5-2.1-0.0 Expected wins and point differentials are according to pre-bowl Elo ratingsSource: College Football at 1996SEC55+10.0+2.2+27.0+4.0 Independent22-8.5+0.4-6.1+0.5 2002Big Ten75+8.9+2.6+19.8+3.9 It’s also the second-biggest gap for any conference since 1936, trailing only the SEC’s 5.9 excess wins of a season ago.1If you’re curious, here’s the all-time top 10: 2008SEC86+7.0+2.3+18.1+4.2 VS. EXPECTEDVS. FBS AVERAGE 2006SEC96+9.7+2.1+20.7+4.1 2016ACC118+10.3+3.2+18.5+5.0 If Clemson knocks off the historically dominant Crimson Tide in the CFP championship game — and Elo gives that scenario a 33 percent chance of happening — the ACC would take over the No. 1 slot.2Again — this is, in part, a function of there being so many more bowls nowadays. If we limit ourselves to conferences with at least six bowl entries since 1970 (the year bowls stopped matching Division I-A/FBS teams with non-FBS ones), the 2015 SEC ranks seventh on a per-game basis, and the 2016 ACC 16th. But it’s also worth remembering that as a conference’s bowl contingent grows, the quality of its worst bowl-bound teams also decreases, depressing its per-game rating.Now, there are a few caveats to be had there. Although the ACC has won far more than we’d expect against a very tough slate of opponents, it’s also gotten a little lucky in the process. According to the Pythagorean formula, which generates an expected record based on the points a team scores and allows, the ACC’s bowl record should be more like 7-4 than 8-3, which matters when discussing the razor-thin margins atop all-time leaderboards. Relatedly, its adjusted scoring margin (+18.5) doesn’t even rank No. 1 this season; the Big 12 has a +19.1 mark, albeit in half as many games. By contrast, the SEC was +25.6 in bowls last season.ACC teams were favored by Elo in only four of the conference’s 11 bowls, and although one of those favorites lost (Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl), the rest of the ACC’s bowl teams picked up the slack with five upset victories. (Including Clemson’s 31-0 rout of Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.3Although Vegas listed Clemson as 1-point favorites, computer power rankings such as Elo and ESPN’s Football Power Index were (wrongly) slightly higher on the Buckeyes.) When the SEC won nine bowls last season, it was only a slight improvement on the 7.3 they were expected to win going into the bowls. The ACC’s eight wins this year are much more out of step with the 4.8 wins Elo would have predicted, a gap that will grow to 5.5 wins if Clemson upsets Alabama.Regardless of how much good fortune has been involved, however, the ACC has been the class of this year’s bowls. And a Clemson victory on Monday night would add more than just one bragging right to the conference’s trophy case. ACC118+10.3+3.2+18.5+5.0 SEC126-0.5-0.3+11.0+2.7 1998Big Ten55+9.7+2.5+25.9+4.2 2014SEC127-0.5+0.0+14.0+4.0 After Oklahoma cruised past Auburn in Monday night’s Sugar Bowl, college football’s 2016-17 bowl season is nearing its finale. The only game left? Next Monday’s national championship game between Alabama and Clemson, a rematch of last year’s title tilt. That game — a 45-40 Alabama victory — concluded a dominant season for the Crimson Tide’s Southeastern Conference, one that punctuated the first nine-win bowl season by a single conference in college history.But in a surprise twist, it’s Clemson and the Atlantic Coast Conference — not Alabama and the SEC — that are winning the bowl battle once we adjust for expectations. And with the Tigers carrying the conference’s banner into the title game, the ACC has a chance to top last year’s SEC for the most impressive bowl season ever.The ACC has gone 8-3 this bowl season, already the second-most wins by a conference in a single bowl season since the AP poll era started in 1936. (Of course, because bowl season has become so bloated in recent years, this year’s ACC teams have also played in the third-most bowls ever, tied with four other conferences since 2013.) But the ACC’s record is still notable because of its difficulty: FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings — which estimate the relative quality of every FBS team — would have expected an average team to go 3-8 against ACC teams’ bowl opponents, losing by an average of 2.7 points per game. Instead, ACC teams have won by 7.6 points per game. That five-win gap between the ACC’s bowl record and what Elo would have expected from an average group of teams is easily the biggest of any conference this season: 2007SEC97+4.3+2.6+15.7+4.9 Most dominant bowl seasons by conference, 1936-2016 MAC60-4.5-2.1-5.7-2.3 YEARCONFERENCEBOWLSWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINS American72-9.5-2.5-3.0-1.5 read more

Who Are The NBAs Best Defenders Right Now

For the past few seasons, the best defenders in the NBA have been some combination of Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard. But with Leonard and Gobert out for all or much of the season so far and Green’s production falling off just a bit, we’ve got some new blood in contention to be the NBA’s best defender.To put a number to this, we’ll use data from Second Spectrum that shows us both the total number of shots defended by a player and how much he affected those shots. There are a few ways to get at this, but we’re going to use “quantified shot probability” (qSP) — which determines the expected value of shots defended using shot distance, shot location and defender position, among other variables — and “quantified shot making” (qSM) — which subtracts the expected effective field goal percentage on those shots from the actual eFG to determine how much of an effect the defender had. In other words, does the defender make shots worse? And if so, by how much?We’ve used metrics like this in the past, but the rub with this set is it adjusts for who’s taking the shot, meaning weak defenders who guard bad shooters don’t get as much credit, and defenders tasked with guarding superstars aren’t punished for their assignment — the star’s excellence is baked into the stat.The per possession numbers will look a little different from the overall effect — players like Tarik Black and Marreese Speights have defended a lot of shots very well in short minutes — but this chart should demonstrate that there is a wide spread on defender effect. What we’re missing here, though, is how many shots a defender actually affects. Kevin Durant, Golden State WarriorsThe Warriors are unfair. Draymond Green — for my money the best defensive player in the league — has for whatever reason been a little off during the first quarter of the season, possibly because the Warriors can sleepwalk to a bare-minimum 2-seed. He’s not been bad, mind you, just not quite as dominant as usual. That’s left quite a lot of slack in the Golden State scheme, and Durant has picked up more than his fair share of it. Golden State ranks eighth in defensive rating, down from second a season ago, but that almost feels like a threat more than a falloff given how flat the team has looked at times. Beware, it says, this is a top 10 defense even while almost completely half-assing things, just on the virtue of Kevin Durant showing up to work. Durant has been improving as a defender for years, going back to his time with the Thunder. (If you ever go back and watch the 2016 series between OKC and San Antonio, watch Durant on defense — he was the best defensive big man in that series.) His style is also entirely his own: KD gives up relatively “great” shots — ones his opponents would be expected to turn into 52.3 eFG against an average defender, or about what Austin Rivers gives you as a defender. Not great. But because Durant is so long, so mobile and so smart positionally, the actual shots against him fall at a rate of just 45.2 eFG. This still happens within the overall Golden State system — Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry have similar opponent eFG numbers, albeit on fewer shots defended — but Durant’s role has him not only locking down his own man but also covering up for lapses by his teammates.Green may remain the more important defender for the Warriors — he’s the anchor, and what he does from his position is impossible to replicate. But Durant’s play so far has been the strongest on a Golden State defense that should end up being a top-3-type unit, at minimum. But despite the limitations, these metrics are a pretty good way to look at who’s having the best defensive season. A few players stand out on the list: Honorable mentionGiannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid have both been outstanding through the first quarter of the season, but they don’t have quite the same track record as some of the players listed above. Just the same, neither seems to be a fluke. We’ll be a little more certain how permanent their new defensive excellence is by the All-Star break. The same goes for Kristaps Porzingis, who last season was in the tier just behind Gobert and Green for overall defensive value, but this year fell off early before making up some ground in the past few weeks.Some others seem more like early-season mirages — Josh Richardson, Gary Harris and Eric Gordon are all having excessively good years by the metrics but are playing way above the levels they had in previous seasons.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Anthony Davis, New Orleans PelicansFrom the time he was a rookie, Anthony Davis has had all the tools. He’d block shots and steal alley-oops and tug on his shorts and check the opposing point guard 30 feet from the basket. He came into the league as a destructive defensive force, but for reasons ranging from injury to scheme to sheer offensive burden, Davis’s aggregate effect on the defensive end hasn’t always lived up to the promise of those moments. This season, it has. Davis ranks seventh in the league in shots defended overall, and the defense gets 12.7 points per 100 possessions worse when he sits down. That’s nearly double his defensive on/off split from last season, which was already by far the best of his career.Partly this is because of his partnership with DeMarcus Cousins. Defensive intensity hasn’t always been Cousins’s strong point, and that’s still true today, but he has defended the most shots in the league, and done so while holding opponents to a middle-of-the-road 51.4 eFG on shots he defends. Not great, certainly, but it’s a respectable backstop for the defense.Because of Cousins’s role as a reliable constant, Davis is free to cover more ground without making risky moves to get back into plays. And because of that, his personal foul rate is at an all-time low (2.6 fouls per 100 possessions). This allows Davis to do what he does best — stick to his man, rotate to help in the paint without overextending, and blitz spot-up shooters on the perimeter faster than anyone else his size in the league. Here we’ve got total shots as well as the qSM (the difference a defender makes on each shot) plotted against each other to show who’s affecting how many shots to what degree. This isn’t perfect. For one, a great defender doesn’t simply challenge shots — he denies them from happening, forcing a team to reset its offense. But by the same token, great defenders also work their way back into plays, affecting shots by playing smart help defense and covering acres of ground. Another thing these numbers don’t reflect the is overall quality of the shot — there are a few defenders who don’t depress value of each individual shot by as much as others but who force opponents into low-quality shots in general (through hard work and smart positioning) so that the overall effect is the same. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, Boston CelticsThe Celtic defense has continued to crush opponents. Boston is 18-4, with a league-leading defensive rating (100), the second-lowest effective field goal percentage allowed (48.6) and a roster full of live-bodied defenders who can switch practically any assignment. Even Kyrie Irving is chipping in on the effort. But while every Celtic is doing his part, some parts are more critical than others. It’s undeniably been the play from Smart, Brown and Horford that has carried the Celts so far.Smart does not possess the most graceful set of skills, but what he provides is unmistakable to anyone watching. He’s all over the floor, hounding ball handlers, bodying up on bigger players in the post and bumping cutting players he isn’t even guarding, like a middle linebacker jamming a slot receiver.Brown is a little different. While the Boston defense is built on interchangeable pieces switching and denying an offense space, it also needs players who can stick to their man across multiple screens, then square up and check their man as he plants and drives. Brown has stepped into that role and dominated so far. He can fight over screens (or just outright avoid them) to allow the defense to keep its shape, and he has the quicks to shut down first steps with the length to challenge pull-up attempts.Horford, meanwhile, does not have nearly the same reputation as the other two, but this season, he looks livelier than he has in the past when making switches, and he has defended the most shots of any Celtic. The newfound agility in space is especially important — because the defense will semi-regularly ask him to survive on an island against a wing, but also because his role at the center of the defense requires him to scuttle shooters who’ve just run over two or three screens trying to escape Smart or Brown. read more

Kristianstad boss Ola Lindgren Inspired by Malmo football team

Swedish TOP team IFK Kristianstad took the biggest scalp in club’s history, German one, from Rhein Neckar Lowen! The second victory of Ola Lindgren team suprised whole handball Europe, but also confirmed problem of the German teams at the VELUX EHF Champions League this season, who aren’t so dominant like before:– We got inspiration from Malmo yesterday. They showed that they can win against teams with better grades and larger budgets – said Kristianstad’s coach Ola Lindgren after the match to Malmo football team beat Ukrainian Shaktar Donetsk 2:1 in UEFA Champions League:– The way they did it, the audience and everything. This was a small mini notion of what was happening in terms of audience in Malmö, but according to handball standards, it was a big event for Swedish handball.Swedish left back, member of the “Lions” from Mannheim, Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz was hardly dissapointed:– Our performance was probably the worst during my 3.5 years in the club – said fantastic shooter.Legendary Magnus Wislander thinks that Kristianstad could play easily in German DKB Bundesliga:– Absolutely in upper part of the table. Not TOP 4 perhaps, but just behind, especially if you also count the arena and the atmosphere – said legendary “postman”. ← Previous Story Rhein Neckar Lowen lose in Kristianstad! Next Story → LNH: Total domination of PSG Handball – Latest victim US Dunkerque! Kristianstad handballOla Lindgren read more

He expanded the definition of us Clintons tribute to McGuinness as thousands

first_imgIn conversation he often repeated that there was no other way, we had to continually work for the building of peace and a better future for all. Despite many setbacks he never became disheartened. Crowds along Westland St await the funeral of Martin McGuinness at St Columba’s Church. Funeral is to begin in an hour.— Rónán Duffy (@ronanduffy_) March 23, 2017 Stand against bigotry. Stand against sectarianism. Respect our unionist neighbours. Reach out to them. Let us learn to like each other, to be friends, to celebrate and enjoy our differences and to do so on the basis of common sense, respect and tolerance for each other and everyone else as equals. Let me appeal also to nationalists and republicans; do nothing to disrespect our unionist neighbours or anyone else. Mar 23rd 2017, 6:15 PM Short URL Share1104 Tweet Email7 Source: Canny continued:There are people in this church today whose presence would have been unthinkable only a generation ago. President Higgins was also at the funeral of Derry City FC captain Ryan McBride in the city – at the same church – earlier today.Hundreds of mourners lined the streets of the city to pay their respects to McBride, who died suddenly on Sunday.Our reporter @ronanduffy_ is in Derry and will be tweeting updates this afternoon. Read: ‘He was brave and knew no fear’ – Derry bids farewell to inspirational captain Ryan McBride > Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesUpdated 6.20pm FORMER US PRESIDENT Bill Clinton called on the North’s political leaders to continue Martin McGuinness’s work in the peace process as he spoke this afternoon at St Columba’s Church.The funeral of the former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister took place in his native Derry this afternoon.Thousands lined the streets of the city hours before the funeral procession was due to leave McGuinness’s Bogside home.Alongside Clinton, major political figures like former First Minister Peter Robinson and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern also attended the ceremony.Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Micheal D Higgins were also among the congregation. Bill Clinton and Gerry Adams – with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the foreground. Source: Niall CarsonBill Clinton received a warm welcome from the crowd and drew laughter several times as he spoke. Referring to the often-remarked-upon friendship that McGuinness struck up with Ian Paisley, he quipped: “I thought that it was great that he got a word in edgewise.”McGuinness had made “honourable compromises,” he said.He never stopped being who he was – a good husband, good father and a passionate believer in a secure self-governing Ireland, said Clinton.He “expanded the definition of ‘us’, and shrunk the definition of ‘them’”.McGuinness’s wife Bernadette and their children Grainne, Fionnuala, Fiachra and Emmet, and grandchildren, were all present in the church. So, here at the graveside of this good man, let me appeal to our unionist neighbours. 71,063 Views The service was presided over by Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry. Fr Michael Canny was chief celebrant.McGuinness was as “a complex man” and “a remarkable man,” Fr Canny said.He “came to be a widely respected leader of this community, someone who has been acknowledged in recent days as a politician who spent year after year moving this community towards peace”.He said that by any standards, Martin McGuinness was:A remarkable man and his life was a remarkable journey. The values he had, the principles he championed are still very much alive. The coffin stops at a number of points as Derry men and women take a moment to applaud.— Rónán Duffy (@ronanduffy_) March 23, 2017 136 Comments Source: Rónán Duffy/Twitter Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin President, delivered the graveside oration.“This week, Ireland lost a hero. Derry lost a son,” he said.Rights are at the heart of the struggle of for Irish freedom, he told mourners.It’s all about rights; Civil rights, human rights, religious rights, language rights, LGBT rights, social and economic rights, rights for women, national rights, the right to freedom. Thursday 23 Mar 2017, 6:15 PM Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald flank Gerry Adams. Source: PA Wire/PA Images Source: Rónán Duffy/Twitter Some have even sat in government with him.  You are all very, very welcome. By Daragh Brophy The presence of those political rivals and opponents among you, who have come to pay their respects this afternoon, is the most eloquent testimony to the memory of Martin McGuinness.Fr Canny said that Martin McGuinness had visited the White House, Downing Street and Windsor Castle, but “only ever felt at home in his beloved Bogside, returning to his wife and family at every opportunity”.The priest said that he had many conversations with McGuinness down through the years “and he knew only too well how many people struggled with his IRA past”.Republicans were not blameless, and many people right across the community find it difficult to forgive and impossible to forget.He noted how Martin McGuinness had embraced peace, saying:On that journey many years ago, Martin realised that the time for peace had come and he pursued the peace process with relentless energy for the rest of his days, until illness finally struck him down.  In the course of that journey he encountered many obstacles but he remained resolute. They have forged working relationships with Martin McGuinness; they have built friendships with him; they have occupied Stormont’s benches alongside him. ‘He expanded the definition of us’: Clinton’s tribute to McGuinness, as thousands pay respects The former US President drew laughter from the crowd as he paid tribute to McGuinness. Lead, as Martin led, by example.Before the ceremony began, the Taoiseach, Adams and Clinton all paid their respects to the McGuinness family inside the church. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

PacifiCorp to spend 20M for fish habitat

first_imgPacifiCorp, which has more than 130,000 customers in Washington, will spend more than $20 million on habitat improvement for salmon and steelhead in the Lewis River watershed.A preliminary decision from the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service directs the Portland-based utility to develop habitat improvements in the river instead of additional fish passage facilities into Merwin Reservoir, according to PacifiCorp.Regulatory agencies will still review and approve plans ahead of their implementation, and the agencies will also consider whether to require additional fish passage facilities into Yale Reservoir later.“These decisions, which are based on extensive scientific studies, will have significant and long-lasting benefits for salmon and steelhead that call the Lewis River drainage home,” said Mark Sturtevant, managing director of PacifiCorp Renewable Resources, in a news release. “Conserving fish habitat and enhancing fish populations in the Pacific Northwest is important to our communities. Our mission is to conserve this fish habitat and enhance salmon and steelhead populations while producing the low-cost, emission-free electricity our customers count on and care about.”In the late 1990s, the original licenses from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for PacifiCorp’s dams in the North Fork of the Lewis River started to expire, said Todd Olson, director of compliance at PacifiCorp.last_img read more

Strictly Business A short way to happier customers

first_imgAt the risk of revealing my true inner self (as an old woman who is crabby and Andy Rooney-like), don’t you just hate when the sales clerk hands you a 1-foot-long receipt for a one-item purchase?You can only relate if you’re like me and save every receipt. Each one gets carefully folded over in triplicate (and sometimes quadruplicate) and stuffed into my checkbook-style billfold, increasing the pressure on its little snap closure as the paper piles up.By the end of the week, my wallet is so stuffed with receipts that it looks like George’s exploding wallet (as in George Costanza, played by Jason Alexander. You know, he was Jerry Seinfield’s sidekick from the 1990s sitcom, “Seinfeld.” Oh, just look up “George’s exploding wallet” on YouTube.)Told you, I’m crabby and old.Anyway, I got to thinking maybe those retailers would cut back on the length of receipts if they could see how irritating it is to customers. If it annoys you, be sure to let the CEO know. I mean, what business wants to tick off its clients?Even a business that doesn’t really care about its customers may cut down its store receipt lengths if doing so made a significant difference to the bottom line. I mean, we’re all watching that these days, right?last_img read more

Woman killed in road mishap

first_imgShamshabad: A woman was killed while two of her relatives were injured in a road accident occurred at Himayatsagar on Outer Ring Road early on Monday. The woman identified as Divya, was a resident of Vanasthalipuram. The accident occurred when the woman was on way to her mother’s place from her in-law’s place. The car in which they were travelling crashed into a truck on the Outer Ring Road at Himayatsagar. Due to serious bleeding injuries the woman died on the spot and the other two persons suffered injuries whom police shifted to the nearby private hospital for treatment. By registering a case police are investigating.last_img

Congress suspends Karnataka leader Roshan Baig for antiparty activities

first_imgThe All India Congress Committee (AICC) has approved Baig’s suspension on the recommendation of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC).IANSThe Karnataka Congress suspended its senior legislator from Bengaluru R Roshan Baig for anti-party activities, a party official said late Tuesday (June 18).”Baig has been suspended with immediate effect for his anti-party activities,” said state Congress General Secretary VY Ghorpade in a statement here.The All India Congress Committee (AICC) has approved Baig’s suspension on the recommendation of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) to take action against him on the basis of an enquiry into his activities.Baig, a former Congress minister, is an eight-time legislator from the Shivajinagar Assembly segment in the city centre.Baig has been in the news of late for wrong reasons, including his alleged involvement in the multi-crore Ponzi scheme, operated by IMA Jewels owner Mohammed Mansoor Khan, who fled the country on June 8.In a purported video clip posted in the social media, Khan accused Baig of blackmailing him for asking to return about Rs 400 crore he claimed to have given the latter for contesting in the recent Lok Sabha elections from Bangalore Central seat though he did not get the ticket.Upset by Baig’s open criticism of the party’s state leadership, KPCC on May 21 served notice to him, seeking an explanation for his attack on AICC general secretary KC Venugopal and Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Siddaramaiah for the rout the party faced in the parliamentary elections.Venugopal is also in charge of the party’s state unit affairs.Commenting on the May 19 exit polls on May 20, that projected Congress performing poorly in the general elections, Baig lashed out at Venugopal, Siddaramaiah and party’s state unit president Dinesh Gundu Rao.”Venugopal is a buffoon. What he knows about the party in our state as he is from Kerala? Due to Siddaramaiah’s arrogance, the party lost in the May 2018 Assembly elections and Rao’s immaturity is responsible for the dismal state of affairs currently,” Baig told reporters at his residence here.Baig has been sulking against the party leadership since a year for being denied a cabinet post despite being the Muslim face of the party after the death of veteran party leader Jaffer Shariff in November last year.last_img read more

BNP nomination seekers interview starts Sunday

first_imgLogo of BNPBNP will start interviewing its nomination hopefuls from Sunday to finalise the candidates who will contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets, reports UNB.The party nomination board, comprising BNP standing committee members, will take the interview at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.He said the interview will start with those who bought party nomination forms for Rangpur division’s Panchagar-1 constituency.Besides, the interview of the nomination seekers of Rajshahi division will also be taken the same day.He urged the presidents and secretaries of the city, district and upazila units under the respective divisions to be present during the interview.BNP sold 4,112 nomination papers over the last four days among the aspirants who want to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets. The nomination sale will end tonight (Friday night).Of the total, 1,326 forms were sold on the first day on Monday while 1,896 on Tuesday, 488 on Wednesday and 402 as of 4:00pm on Thursday.On Monday morning, the party formally started the nomination paper sale with the purchase of three nomination papers for its jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia.Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda on Monday announced a fresh reschedule for the 11th parliamentary elections saying the polls will be held on 30 December instead of 23 December.The last date for submission of nomination papers is 28 November instead of 19 November, he added.last_img read more

Modi eyes stronger DhakaDelhi relation

first_imgIndian prime minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Bangladeshi president Mohammad Abdul Hamid prior to a meeting in New Delhi on 31 May 2019. Photo: AFPIndia’s prime minister Narendra Modi on Friday emphasised the importance of taking the Bangladesh-India ties to a new level as ‘it remains the highest priority to India’.He said that this should be done as part of joint efforts to suitably commemorate the centenary of the birth of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020 and the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Liberation in 2021, reports UNB.Modi noted that the bilateral relationship between the two countries, forged in Bangladesh’s liberation war, remained of the highest priority to India.In the past five years, he said, the two countries had demonstrated great maturity and patience in resolving a number of complex pending issues, such as the demarcation of the land boundary.The Indian prime minister met Bangladesh president Abdul Hamid at noon at Hyderabad House in New Delhi and discussed the issues of mutual interests.During the meeting, they expressed great satisfaction at the excellent state of bilateral relations, according to Indian external affairs ministry.The president conveyed felicitations of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, now in Saudi Arabia, who was unable to travel in person because of a prior commitment.He conveyed the invitation of the government of Bangladesh to the Indian prime minister to visit Bangladesh, which was accepted with pleasure.The leaders agreed that dates would be decided through diplomatic channels.The president of Bangladesh was in India to attend the swearing-in event of the new government of India on Thursday.Hamid earlier paid a state visit to India in December 2014, as well as an official visit in March 2018, for the first meeting of the International Solar Alliance.last_img read more

Two superEarthsized planets discovered orbiting a nearby star

first_img © 2016 Citation: Two super-Earth-sized planets discovered orbiting a nearby star (2016, July 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—NASA’s Kepler spacecraft continues its fruitful exoplanet hunt with the newest discovery of two super-Earth-sized alien worlds. The newly detected planets are orbiting a nearby sun-sized star known as HD 3167, located some 150 light years away. The results are presented in a paper published July 18 on the arXiv pre-print server. Explore further K2 light curve of HD 3167. Top: the full K2 light curve. Both the numerous, shallow transits of HD 3167 b and three deeper transits of HD 3167 c are evident in the light curve by eye. Bottom left: K2 light curve (grey dots) phase folded on the transits of HD 3167 b, and best-fit transit model (thick purple line). Bottom right: K2 light curve (grey dots) phase folded on the transits of HD 3167 c, and best-fit transit model (thick purple line). Credit: Vanderburg et al., 2016. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. New system discovered with five planets More information: Two Small Planets Transiting HD 3167, arXiv:1607.05248 [astro-ph.EP] report the discovery of two super-Earth-sized planets transiting the bright (V = 8.94, K = 7.07) nearby late G-dwarf HD 3167, using data collected by the K2 mission. The inner planet, HD 3167 b, has a radius of 1.6 R_e and an ultra-short orbital period of only 0.96 days. The outer planet, HD 3167 c, has a radius of 2.9 R_e and orbits its host star every 29.85 days. At a distance of just 45.8 +/- 2.2 pc, HD 3167 is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets, making HD 3167 b and c well suited for follow-up observations. The star is chromospherically inactive and slowly rotating, ideal for radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses. The outer planet is large enough that it likely has a thick gaseous envelope which could be studied via transmission spectroscopy. Planets transiting bright, nearby stars like HD 3167 are valuable objects to study leading up to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. Although Kepler has lost two of its four reaction wheels and therefore cannot be precisely pointed toward stars, it is still capable of detecting new exoworlds. The spacecraft is now in its extended mission, known as K2, during which it has already found over 100 new planets. The HD 3167 system is just the latest addition to the vast collection of extrasolar worlds detected by K2.HD 3167 was observed by Kepler between January 3 and March 23, 2016 during Campaign 8 of its K2 mission. This observation campaign allowed a team of astronomers, led by Andrew Vanderburg of the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), to detect two transit signals that could be planets circling around this nearby star.”We identified two planet candidates transiting HD 3167 after processing pixel-level data to produce a light curve, removing systematic effects due to Kepler’s unstable pointing, and searching for planets using a Box Least Squares periodogram search,” the researchers wrote in the paper.To confirm the planetary status of these candidates, the team conducted follow-up observations employing the Tillinghast Reflector Echelle Spectrograph (TRES) on the 1.5 m telescope at the Fred L. Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins, Arizona and the Robo-AO adaptive optics system installed at the 2.1 m telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, also in Arizona. They also used statistical techniques to validate the planetary nature of the transiting signals.The confirmed exoplanets received designation HD 3167 b and HD 3167 c. With a radius of about 1.6 Earth radii, HD 3167 b is the inner planet, orbiting the host star in just slightly less than one day. The outer planet is nearly three times bigger in size than Earth and has an orbital period of approximately 30 days.HD 3167 could be an excellent target for further follow-up observations as it is one of the closest and brightest stars hosting multiple transiting planets. The scientists noted that this system is highly suitable for precise radial velocity observations to measure the planets’ masses.”If HD 3167 b is rocky with a mass of about four Earth masses, it should induce radial velocity variations with a semiamplitude of about 3 ms−1. Depending on its composition, HD 3167 c could induce radial velocity variations with a semiamplitude of anywhere between 1 ms−1 and 3 ms−1. These signals should be readily detectable with modern spectrographs,” the paper reads.The team also emphasized that the outer planet is one of the best currently known small planets for atmospheric characterization with transit transmission spectroscopy. However, they also noted that the short period of HD 3167 b makes it likely that spectroscopic observations of HD 3167 c’s atmosphere might overlap with a transit of the inner planet.”This could be an efficient way to rule out a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere for HD 3167 b. Observers should be cautious, however, to ensure that a transit of HD 3167 b not interfere with out-of-transit observations necessary for calibration,” the researchers concluded.last_img read more

Polymerase Chain Reaction Technologies Market is Estimated to Grasp 10776 Million

first_imgThe polymerase chain reaction technologies market accounted for $7,027 million in 2016, and is estimated to reach $10,776 million by 2023, registering a CAGR of 6.2% from 2017 to 2023. North America is the highest contributor in the polymerase chain reaction technologies market; however, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth rate.The advancement in PCR technology has increased the use of PCR in diagnostic centers & hospitals for the diagnosis of various diseases such as cancer and infectious disease boosting the global market growth.Download Report Sample @ techniques have the most potential features such as absolute detection and quantification of genetic materials such as DNA and RNA that are increasingly being used in life sciences research and molecular diagnostics. The device can be used quantify and analyze rare alleles and point mutations. Advanced PCR systems are being developed with enhanced capabilities such as broad menu of tests, higher sensitivity, and specificity. Other major advances related with the PCR are shorter PCR cycling time, higher productivity, and automated workflow.The advancement in the technology of qPCR and dPCR leading to automation, improved accuracy, and enhanced sensitivity majorly drive the market growth. These products provide high level of efficiency and productivity in research and drug discovery and reduce the time required for the novel drug development. In addition, there is increased demand for polymerase chain reaction technologies owing to increase in number of hospitals and research centers. Furthermore, the increase in number of patients suffering from infectious diseases and rise in funding in gene therapy and human genome projects will also help to fuel the growth of the global polymerase chain reaction technologies market. Moreover, there is growth in demand for polymerase chain reaction technologies in the field of life science, clinical diagnostics, and others, which would further drive the market. However, growth of non-validated home brew test and unstable reimbursement policies are projected to hinder the growth of global polymerase chain reaction technologies market.The report segments the market by product, technology, end user, application, and geography. In terms of technology, it is bifurcated into quantitative PCR and digital PCR. By product, it is classified into instruments, reagents, and consumables. Based on application, it is categorized into clinical, research, and forensic applications. On the basis of end user, it is divided into diagnostic centers & hospitals, forensic laboratories, biotech & pharma companies, and academic & research institutions. By region, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.Among the end-users, academic & research institutions occupied the major share of PCR instrument market due to increased test volume of infectious diseases and various types of cancers.Have any Query? Ask our Research Experts @ real-time PCR segment is the major contributor towards the global PCR market in 2016, due to several factors including increase in use of qPCR in research and medical diagnostics, technological advancements, growing use of robotics for lab automation, and expansion of installation base.In 2016, North America accounted for maximum contribution to the total revenue generated, owing to the rise in prevalence of infectious diseases and cancer in this region and technological advancement in PCR. However, Asia is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Opportunities in the Asian market have attracted huge investments by major companies in the area of R&D activities.Leading industry players:Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Sygnis AG, LGC Ltd, Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., Agilent Technologies, Inc., BioMerieux S.A., RainDance Technologies, Inc., Affymetrix Inc., Fluidigm Corporation, and Takara Bio Inc.Other Leading industry players:Beckman Coulter, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Cepheid, Clontech Laboratories, Eppendorf, Fluidigm, GE Healthcare, Kapa Biosystems, Maxim Biotech, PerkinElmer, Promega, and Siemens Healthcare.About Us:Allied Market Research (AMR) is a full-service market research and business consulting wing of Allied Analytics LLP based in Portland, Oregon. Allied Market Research provides global enterprises as well as medium and small businesses with unmatched quality of “Market Research Reports” and “Business Intelligence Solutions.” AMR has a targeted view to provide business insights and consulting to assist its clients to make strategic business decisions and achieve sustainable growth in their respective market domain.We are in professional corporate relations with various companies and this helps us in digging out market data that helps us generate accurate research data tables and confirms utmost accuracy in our market forecasting. Each and every data presented in the reports published by us is extracted through primary interviews with top officials from leading companies of domain concerned. Our secondary data procurement methodology includes deep online and offline research and discussion with knowledgeable professionals and analysts in the industry.Contact:David Correa5933 NE Win Sivers Drive#205, Portland, OR 97220United StatesUSA/Canada (Toll Free):+1-800-792-5285, +1-503-894-6022, +1-503-446-1141UK: +44-845-528-1300Hong Kong: +852-301-84916India (Pune): +91-20-66346060Fax: +1(855)550-5975help@alliedmarketresearch.comWeb: https://www.alliedmarketresearch.comlast_img read more

Here Are The Best Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Deals From Major US

first_img Samsung Galaxy S10+ Plus Factory Unlocked Phone with… Bestseller ENDS IN (353) ENDS IN Bestseller Bestseller (214) Close Major U.S. carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are offering deals on the recently unveiled Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus.  ( Samsung ) Now that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus are official, major carriers in the United States are offering deals here and there.To be exact, the smartphones are available for preorder from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, all of which have discounts worth considering.AT&TAs a BOGO deal, users can purchase a Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy Note 10 Plus from AT&T and get another Galaxy Note 10 for free or $950 that can be used toward another Galaxy Note 10 Plus. (844) $799.99$999.99 $9.99$9.99 ⓒ 2018 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. $10.99$10.99 Ads by Amazon DEAL OF THE DAY (107) $9.99$9.99 (638) DEAL OF THE DAY ENDS IN AllVideo On Demand: Rent or BuyClothing & AccessoriesMajor AppliancesArts, Crafts & SewingAutomotiveBaby & NurseryBeauty & GroomingBooks & TextbooksCollectible CoinsCamera & PhotoCell Phones & AccessoriesClassical MusicComputers, Tablets & ComponentsBlu-Ray & DVDElectronic Components & Home AudioEntertainment CollectiblesVideo GamesOther Gift Card BrandsGrocery & Gourmet FoodPatio, Lawn & GardenHealth & HouseholdBusiness & Industrial SuppliesJewelryKindle StoreKitchen & DiningMagazinesMiscellaneousDigital MusicCDs & VinylMusical InstrumentsOffice & School SuppliesPet Food & SuppliesPatio, Lawn & GardenShoes, Handbags, Wallets, SunglassesSoftwareSports CollectiblesSports & FitnessHome ImprovementToys & GamesVHSVideo GamesWatches DEAL OF THE DAY (108) ENDS IN USB Type C Charger Cable 3-Pack(1.5/3.3/6.6 FT),Nylon B… DEAL OF THE DAY Bestseller DEAL OF THE DAY DEAL OF THE DAY DEAL OF THE DAY $10.99$29.99 (941) Bestseller ENDS IN USB Cable Type C,10FT 2PACK,Extra Long Braide… Bestseller Bestseller ENDS IN $1099.99$1099.99 $6.99$9.99 ENDS IN USB Type C Charger Cable 3-Pack (1.5/3.3/6.6 FT),Nylon … Bestseller ENDS IN Related Products Micro USB Charging Cable 10FT 3Pack Fast Android Charger C… Wow facts 1Share this videoCopyPausePlay00:00% Buffered0PreviousPausePlayNextLive00:00 / 00:00UnmuteMuteExit fullscreenFullscreenCopy video urlPlay / PauseMute / UnmuteReport a problemLanguageBackMox PlayerDefaultEnglishEspañolУкраїнськаРусскийadvertisementA new line is required here, as well as a $950 installment agreement. The credits will come trickling in over 30 months’ time.On top of all that, the carrier is throwing in an AT&T Visa Reward Card worth $150 for those ordering online.SprintThe carrier is offering a Flex plan with an 18-month lease, costing $19.79 a month for the Galaxy Note 10 or $26.04 a month for the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. Users have the option to return the smartphone at the 18th month and upgrade to a newer model or buy it for a one-time payment or a six-month payment plan.Those who preorder will also receive $150 in Samsung rewards.T-MobileThe Uncarrier is offering up to $300 off the Galaxy Note 10 or Galaxy Note 10 Plus when customers purchase it on a monthly plan and trade in an eligible device. After getting the device, buyers will get a promo code and get a link to their virtual card.VerizonCustomers who preorder the Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 Plus, or Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G from the Big Red can get another Galaxy Note 10 free of charge or up to $949.99 off another Galaxy phone.Buyers need to get another line to avail the promo, and the credits will be added to their accounts over 36 months. Those who switch to an Unlimited plan will also get a $200 Prepaid Mastercard. Also, those who preorder the Galaxy Note 10 will also get a $100 gift voucher that can be used at the Samsung store, while the Plus and Plus 5G variants will come with a $150 voucher.The carrier is also offering up to $450 off any of the Galaxy Note 10 models when subscribers trade in an eligible device.The Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus debuted on Aug. 7, and they’re scheduled to start shipping out on Aug. 23, though the delivery dates of some models of the bigger variant may have been delayed a bit. TAG Samsung, Galaxy Note 10, Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Android DEAL OF THE DAY Adaptive Fast Charger Compatible Samsung Galaxy… $9.99$13.99 Charger Cable,USB Type C,10FT,Extra Long,Fast Cha… Ads by Amazon All Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Plus Factory Unlocked Phone with 256GB (U.S. Warranty), Aura Glow (Silver)last_img read more

Police close major Staffordshire road due to incident

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA major Staffordshire road is closed this evening due to a ‘police incident’. Watling Street in the Wilnecote area of Tamworth is shut in both directions between the junction with Tamworth Road (the A4091) and Dosthill Road (the A51). Police first said they were dealing with the incident at around 11.50pm tonight (Friday December 21). A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said: “Watling Street in Tamworth in Staffordshire is currently closed in both directions between the junctions of A4091 Tamworth Road and the A51 Dosthill Road whilst officers deal with an incident.” The accident is understood to be a serious road accident. Read MoreRoad closed due to accident as police warn motorists to take care due to standing water Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive .last_img read more

Missouri violence highlights militarization of US police

first_img Facebook Comments From high-powered assault rifles to camouflage-clad police officers perched on top of heavily armored vehicles, the violence gripping the Missouri town of Ferguson has highlighteda growing militarization of U.S. law enforcement seen by many as disproportionate.Since the death on Saturday of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, shot dead by a police officer, Ferguson has exploded into a seething morass of peaceful protests and urban riots and looting. But it is the police response to the unrest that has unsettled many across the United States.While police have used traditional crowd control tools such as teargas in Ferguson, they have also deployed body-armored officers toting M4 assault rifles and stun grenades.One image of a police officer wearing fatigues and carrying a sniper’s rifle while sitting on an armored car quickly went viral.The detention of journalists reporting on the violence on Wednesday also has angered many, with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) denouncing the “intimidation” of reporters from the region.President Barack Obama sought to cool the roiling fury on Thursday, stating that while there was “never an excuse” for violence against police, neither could “excessive force” by officers be justified.Nathan Bethea, an ex-infantry captain in the U.S. Army who completed a 13-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, said he had been appalled by police tactics witnessed in Ferguson.“I retweeted a picture of a guy they had pinned a laser on — a kid who was not even wearing a shirt and much less a weapon,” Bethea said. “Using incendiary grenades, flash bang grenades, tear gas. It seems completely disproportionate to the threat.” In St. Louis, Mo., demonstrators protest the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown outside Greater St. Marks Family Church, while Brown’s family met with civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and a capacity crowd of guests to discuss the killing. Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on Saturday in the nearby suburb of Ferguson. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP‘America, not Fallujah’“It’s America, not even a huge city and you see them acting like it’s the invasion of Fallujah in 2004,” Bethea added, referring to the bloody battle for the Iraqi city a decade ago.Many see the scenes in Ferguson as the logical consequence of the “1033 program.” Launched in the 1990s, the scheme allows the Pentagon to recycle military grade equipment to law enforcement across the United States. The police in Ferguson are one of 8,000 local forces which have benefited from the scheme.“Since that time local police have been stockpiling arsenals of weapons that are built for combat,” said Kara Dansky, of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).In a study titled “War Comes Home” published in June, Dansky denounced the “excessive militarization” of U.S. police forces.The increasingly frequent use of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams was often hard to justify, Dansky said.“For our investigation we looked at over 800 examples of SWAT raids that took place over the course of two years and we found that only seven percent of those were for real emergency situations, close to 80 percent were raids on people’s homes often to look for small amounts of drugs,” Dansky told AFP.Escalating risksOften, Dansky said, the tactical approach proved to be counterproductive.“We saw over and over again that the unnecessary use of paramilitary equipment and tactics escalates the risk of violence and puts people at risk,” Dansky said.So why do so many U.S. police forces believe it is necessary to arm their officers to the teeth in certain situations?Larry Amerson, sheriff in rural Calhoun county in Alabama, said his force recently took possession of an MRAP armored vehicle designed to withstand a blast from roadside bombs.For Amerson, the hardware is a welcome addition.“In 2000 I was sheriff and we had an incident where we had to deal with a mentally deranged man,” he explained. “In that incident he shot three law enforcement officers. We could not get personnel to where the officers were because the man was still armed and the shooting ongoing.“We had no way to get close to rescue those injured people because we couldn’t protect ourselves. So, that piece of equipment gives us the capability to move in dangerous environments in a safe manner,” he said.Many remain unconvinced. Rand Paul, the Republican senator for Kentucky seen as a potential candidate for the 2016 presidential election, believes the militarization of U.S. police forces needs to stop.“There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response,” he argued in a commentary in Time magazine. “The images and scenes we continue to see in Ferguson resemble war more than traditional police action.”Paul claimed the federal government had “incentivized the militarization of local police precincts” by helping local government “build what are essentially small armies.”“That goes far beyond what most of Americans think of as law enforcement,” Paul said. Related posts:Following Ferguson, US police use of military gear to be reviewed US Justice Department to launch probe of Ferguson police in wake of recent violence Grand jury declines to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson White House protester Concepción Picciotto dies after 35-year vigillast_img read more

Fiestas de Zapote get underway in San José

first_imgRelated posts:Dreaming of a weekend trip Slow and steady Sunday Bring on the high season A piece of paradise Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or a photo of your upcoming special event? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Comments PHOTOS: The agony, the ecstasy at the Zapote bullfights As the New Year approaches, many Costa Ricans are heading to the annual festival in Zapote to eat plenty ofchurros, take a spin on the rides and watch the renowned, controversial bullfights of the end of the year.Read more: Tico bullfights and horse shows: Tradition or torment?last_img

Just released Ponants October 2017 to May 2018 b

first_imgJust released, Ponant’s October 2017 to May 2018 brochure features 45 voyages, carefully created for those who seek the benefits of exclusive compact ship luxury and expedition cruising in the one package. Itineraries include polar and tropical expeditions to Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Antarctic on board two of Ponant’s luxurious fleet of small ships, L’Austral and Le Boreal.Monique Ponfoort, Vice President Ponant Australasia, commented “The brochure is a comprehensive A to Z of the globe’s finest luxury and expedition voyages – intimate travel experiences from Antarctica to Zululand  and just about everywhere in between! An extensive range of destinations that include voyages to the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, Costa Rica, Papua, the Bissagos Islands, Polynesia, Myanmar, the Seychelles, Latin America, Japan, and the vast icy wilderness of Antarctica, with voyages spanning six nights to a Grand Voyage of 85 nights duration from Vietnam to New Zealand”.“Select from itineraries that offer immersion in Maori and Melanesian cultures, the samurai and Torii of Japan, Borneo’s orang-utans, the wonders of Australia’s own Great Barrier Reef, the mysterious statues of Easter Island, World War II remnants in the Solomon Islands, active volcanoes and the heady appeal of the famed Spice Islands… I like to think we have something for everyone”.“Or, for a change of pace, totally relax under sail aboard the classic three masted yacht, Le Ponant, with a stylish Caribbean cruise to exotic Martinique and Tobago Cays – perhaps enjoy a Christmas of creole and calypso with a splash of rum.”All in all, very civilised ways to travel from A to Z, each voyage imbued with Ponant’s trademark dash of panache whichever ship, yacht or itinerary selected.last_img read more