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2013 NSWTA Country Championships

first_imgThe 2013 New South Wales Touch Association (NSWTA) Country Championships return to Dubbo on the weekend of Saturday, 25 May and Sunday, 26 May 2013, with games to be played at Bob Dowling Oval.This year’s event will involve a total of 57 teams from over 20 affiliates competing across seven divisions including Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Mixed Open, Senior Men’s, Women’s 40’s, Senior Mixed and Men’s 50’s. 2012 club champions, Wallsend Wolves, will be looking to defend their title while fellow Newcastle side, Newcastle City, who were last year’s runner up will be looking to upset their cross town rivals.Games begin at 8:15 am on Saturday, 25 May, with finals to be played on Sunday afternoon. To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and results from the 2013 NSWTA Country Championships, please visit the following websites:www.nswtouch.com.auwww.nswtaevents.sportingpulse.netSocial Media:www.facebook.com/nswtouch www.twitter.com/nsw_touchwww.instagram.com/nswtouch Related LinksNSW Country Champslast_img read more

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RS Implements Approval in Principle Service

first_imgzoom Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) has implemented the Approval in Principle (AIP) service as part of a project to enhance the Rules for the Technical Supervision During Construction of Ships and Manufacture of Materials and Products for Ships, RS announced. Under this service, RS reviews technical documentation for novel technological solutions.The scope of technical documentation is ranging from tender documents and technical design specification to draft designs, research and technological developments, as well as engineering analysis techniques.The Approval in Principle service is intended to assist customers and developers of conceptual and innovative technological solutions in shipbuilding and ship operation with expert evaluation of the technical documentation at the initial design stage.The documentation may be reviewed at the draft or conceptual design stage to assess whether the inherent technological solutions are applicable in principle, assess the specific actions required to obtain RS approval, and inform customers of the existing restrictions and conditions of applying the proposed new technological solutions based on RS engineering analysis and survey experience.By collaborating with leading engineering companies, shipyards and equipment manufacturers, RS has gained considerable experience in providing services similar to AIP, in particular, while reviewing modern LNG cargo containment systems on gas carriers and certifying pod drives designed to operate in ice conditions, as well as the application of non-standard shaped hulls with a high ice class.Press Release, July 17th, 2014last_img read more

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COSCO International Stable Despite Industry Headwinds

first_imgzoom Despite a slowdown in global trade growth during 2015, the Hong Kong-listed COSCO International Holdings Limited, the shipping services arm of China Ocean Shipping, has remained stable with a 6 percent drop in its annual net profit, compared to a year earlier.The company reported a net profit of HKD 336 million (USD 43.3 million), while in 2014 the net profit was at HKD 359 million.COSCO International’s revenue fell by 21 percent to HKD 6 billion during the year, from HKD 7.5 billion seen in 2014.The decrease was mainly attributed to a drop in international crude oil prices and diminished commodity demand.“Confronted with a prolonged industry depression, the group has remained committed to pursuing organic growth of existing business by improving marketing services and strengthening lean management, as well as actively constructing the shipping services industrial cluster with innovative services and products,” COSCO International said.The company said that, as at the end of 2015 it had a net cash position of HKD 6.2 billion, which provided strong capital support for acquisition and expansion of existing business in the future.“The global economy is in a state of deep readjustment in 2016 with a weak recovery momentum. Growth in global trade is expected to remain sluggish and the international shipping market will continue to be beset by excess capacity. As a result, cost control measures by ship owners will continue to dominate, bringing great operating pressure to shipping service business,” COSCO said.The company said it expects new opportunities to arise from the supply-side structural reform, “One Belt, One Road”, and the establishment of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited.last_img read more

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Council to Improve Classroom Conditions February Meetings

first_imgThe Council to Improve Classroom Conditions met for its scheduled meetings on Feb. 12, 13 and 14. The council continued its work to improve classroom conditions for teachers and students, discussing items including the assessment policy, report cards and how to use remaining funding. -30-last_img

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Investissements pour la croissance de léconomie lamélioration des soutiens communautaires

first_imgLes Néo-Écossais de toute la province pourront tirer profit de projets qui auront des impacts durables au cours des dix prochaines années. Un financement ponctuel de plus de 120 millions de dollars, provenant des recettes tirées des ressources extracôtières, permettra d’élargir et d’améliorer le service Internet haute vitesse pour les particuliers et les entreprises. Une somme supplémentaire de 40 millions de dollars servira à financer des projets qui stimulent la recherche et l’innovation, incluant des fonds pour la recherche postsecondaire dans les secteurs des océans, de l’énergie propre, de la santé et d’autres secteurs clés. Des investissements seront également faits dans les domaines des sports, des loisirs et des événements qui contribuent à nos collectivités. Plus de 16 millions de dollars serviront à appuyer les Néo-Écossais qui ont besoin de services précis tels que le financement d’une formation en cours d’emploi pour les personnes atteintes de troubles du spectre autistique, des programmes d’échange de seringues et de l’aide aux Néo-Écossais à faible revenu pour rendre leur maison plus écoénergétique. « Nous jetons les bases pour un avenir meilleur et une économie plus forte à laquelle un plus grand nombre de Néo-Écossais pourront participer, souligne le premier ministre Stephen McNeil. Nous tirons le maximum de cette occasion d’offrir aux Néo-Écossais les outils dont ils ont besoin pour réussir, et des idées qui proviennent de nos esprits les plus brillants afin d’aider les Néo-Écossais qui en ont besoin. » Au total, le gouvernement provincial investira environ 244 millions de dollars dans de nouveaux projets d’ici la fin de l’exercice 2017-2018. « Il s’agit de possibilités que nous n’aurions peut-être pas été en mesure d’appuyer sans ces recettes ponctuelles, et sans avoir déjà établi un plan financier efficace, affirme Karen Casey, ministre des Finances et du Conseil du Trésor et vice-première ministre. Même avec ces investissements, nous prévoyons de terminer l’exercice 2017-2018 avec un budget équilibré. » Voici les investissements qui sont possibles grâce aux recettes tirées des ressources extracôtières. Internet haute vitesse : 120 millions de dollars pour brancher un plus grand nombre de foyers et d’entreprises et améliorer le service pour les collectivités mal desservies. Investissement dans le service aérien international : 11,1 millions de dollars pour améliorer les liens avec les marchés clés en Asie, en Europe et dans les régions nord-est et centrale des États-Unis, et pour continuer d’augmenter le commerce, le tourisme et l’immigration. Réchauffement des foyers : 12,2 millions de dollars pour aider les Néo-Écossais à faible revenu qui vivent dans des foyers sans chauffage électrique à obtenir des évaluations de la consommation énergétique et des mises à niveau gratuites. Cadre de travail sur la consommation et la surdose d’opioïdes : 1,6 million de dollars pour stabiliser les programmes d’échange et de distribution de seringues offerts partout en Nouvelle-Écosse et pour faire en sorte que les services de police et les services correctionnels continuent d’avoir accès à la naloxone. Formation en cours d’emploi pour les personnes atteintes de troubles du spectre autistique : 1,4 million de dollars pour aider ces Néo-Écossais à mieux s’intégrer au marché du travail et à maintenir leur emploi. Shelter Nova Scotia : 1,2 million pour aider l’organisme à embaucher plus de personnel, à remplacer les matelas et à offrir un petit déjeuner aux Néo-Écossais qui en ont besoin. Santé et sécurité au travail pour les travailleurs de la santé : 520 000 $ pour financer une formation visant à aider le personnel offrant des soins à domicile et le personnel des établissements de soins de longue durée à soulever et déplacer les patients en toute sécurité. Research Nova Scotia Trust : 20 millions de dollars pour financer la recherche postsecondaire dans les domaines des océans et des technologies océaniques, des sciences de la vie, de la santé et du mieux-être, de la technologie de l’information et des communications, des technologies propres, de l’innovation sociale et des ressources. Stratégie pour la croissance du secteur extracôtier : 11,8 millions de dollars pour prolonger les activités extracôtières dans le domaine des sciences de la terre et du pétrole pendant quatre autres années. Centre d’entrepreneuriat, de découverte et d’innovation de l’Université Saint Mary’s : 11 millions de dollars pour créer un emplacement physique qui permettra de développer la créativité, l’innovation et la commercialisation et de mettre les étudiants et le corps professoral en contact avec les entrepreneurs, les entreprises et la communauté externe. DeepSense : 5 millions de dollars pour appuyer la création d’une plateforme de classe mondiale pour l’analyse des données sur les océans afin de contribuer à la croissance de l’économie maritime régionale. Équipe d’innovation : 1,5 million de dollars pour appuyer une nouvelle série de projets qui aideront les établissements d’enseignement postsecondaire à contribuer à la croissance de l’économie provinciale, à attirer les étudiants et à offrir davantage de possibilités de recherche et de développement. Bacs à sable : 850 000 $ pour créer un neuvième bac à sable dans la région du sud-ouest de la Nouvelle-Écosse afin de réunir les étudiants du Nova Scotia Community College et de l’Université Sainte-Anne ainsi que leurs mentors et leurs conseillers dans un espace où les étudiants peuvent explorer l’entrepreneuriat et mettre à exécution les idées ou les concepts d’affaires et d’entreprises sociales. Rugby Nova Scotia : 200 000 $ pour appuyer les séries internationales de rugby organisées par Rugby Nova Scotia de juin à août. Canoë-kayak, division de l’Atlantique – Jeux panaméricains : 320 000 $ pour appuyer l’organisation des Championnats panaméricains de course en ligne (canoë-kayak) de 2018 en septembre. Le ministère des Communautés, de la Culture et du Patrimoine versera une somme supplémentaire de 200 000 $ pour un total de 520 000 $. Commission de restauration de Sherbrooke : 246 000 $ pour appuyer la transition du régime de pension de Sherbrooke vers le Régime de pension de retraite de la fonction publique. Plusieurs projets sont toujours en cours de négociation. Ils seront annoncés au cours des prochaines semaines lorsque des ententes auront été conclues. Pour plus d’information, consultez le www.novascotia.ca/finance (en anglais seulement).last_img read more

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It still knocks you down First responders reflect on Humboldt Broncos crash

first_imgWhen Brian Starkell drives a particular stretch of highway in Saskatchewan, his stomach drops as he approaches the intersection that changed so many lives.The Tisdale fire chief says he still has flashbacks to the 911 call that came in just after 5 p.m. last April 6. A semi-trailer and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team had collided at the crossroads of Highways 35 and 335.“It doesn’t matter how strong a person can be. It still knocks you down a bit,” Starkell says, choking back tears.“We are blessed. We go home at night. We go back to our families, where those folks can’t.”Nearly every first responder in the area rushed to the site that night. Many say the horrific scene has stayed with them.The bus was flipped on its side. Its front end was completely missing and its roof torn off. Hockey bags were strewn among the wreckage, along with bales of peat moss the truck had been hauling.And there were the dead and injured.Fourteen people on the bus died at the scene. Two later died in hospital. Thirteen others were injured, including two players who were left paralyzed.“We did our job up there. But, of course, it’s still the families that suffered the most. And I don’t think we will ever get over that,” Starkell says.Tisdale’s fire hall is about 25 kilometres from the crash site. Firefighters drive by the intersection on a regular basis while working or taking their own kids to sports games, the chief says. They often stop and take a moment at a makeshift memorial of crosses set up on the corner.First responders were given support in the weeks and months after the collision. Starkell says a few firefighters took time off to deal with what happened. One still has not returned.RCMP also provided mental-health services to officers throughout a lengthy investigation and the subsequent court case against the truck driver. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary was recently sentenced to eight years for dangerous driving. Court heard he blew through a stop sign at the intersection directly into the path of the hockey bus.“The collision, our first response, the investigation, and the court proceedings have all had an impact on those who had a role in the RCMP’s response to this tragedy,” RCMP spokesman Cpl. Rob King said in an email.“This includes not only our front-line officers who responded to the scene, but the many others who supported them and their efforts.“It touched every corner of our country and left an impression well outside Canadian borders.”Some paramedics also took time off but have all returned to work, said Jessica Brost, general manager of North East EMS. She wishes others had also been able to take a break.“You kind of almost wish you could pause the EMS life for awhile and have things really slow down, but of course summer kicked in and things got really busy.”Over the last year, some paramedics have opened their doors to community members who were at the scene to help each other shoulder the memories and the grief. Brost said it’s important to be able to talk with someone who understands what it was like on the road that evening.“They know the actual feeling — the sight and the sound and just how overwhelming that whole situation was,” she said, holding back tears. “It’s indescribable, even though many of us have been in EMS for a long time.”Brost has stayed in contact with the player she helped that night, and his family, and has watched his health slowly improve.She doesn’t take life for granted anymore.“Take the happy times and just really stop and enjoy it. Stop and smell the roses,” she said. “It sounds so cliché, but it put a different spin on my life.”Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Moby To Be Honored At Animal Equality 10th Anniversary Celebration

first_imgMoby is to be honoured this weekend at the Animal Equality 10th Anniversary Celebration in Los Angeles.Animal Equality is an international animal protection organization working in the US, UK, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Germany, and India. The organization has more than three million supporters and works through education, advocacy, and investigations in order to promote social and legislative changes that protect farm animals. The event is cocktail attire and will honor Moby, with Michelle Forbes, Katie Cleary, and Elaine Hendrix as members of the host committee.Among those expected to attend are Kat Von D (TV Personality), Mischa Barton (The OC), Elaine Hendrix (The Parent Trap), Michelle Forbes (Berlin Station), Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter Franchise), Jayde Nicole (The Hills), Alison Eastwood (Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil), Patsy Palmer (EastEnders), Carissa Rosario (International Model), James Anderson (NFL, New Orleans Saints), Marco Antonio Regil (TV Personality), Tony Kanal (No Doubt), Jane Velez-Mitchell (News Reporter), Stephanie Corneliussen (Model), Simone Reyes (Animal Rights Activist), Shaun Monson (Director), Jon Mack (Blunt Force Trauma), and Seba Johnson (Olympian).WHEN: November 19th @ 6:30 pm.WHERE: “At The P” 832 N Cole Avenue.last_img read more

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UN meeting enlists technology in war on multibilliondollar counterfeit medicine market

“In the case of anti-counterfeiting, the challenges we face are finding technologies that cannot themselves be counterfeited and transferring them to resource poor settings at an affordable cost,” UN World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General for Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals Howard Zucker said. “While technology alone cannot solve the problem, some of these solutions could greatly enhance the ability to detect and deter the distribution of counterfeit medicines,” he added of the measures, ranging from simple, cheap but relatively easily copied tools like holograms to the more complex and expensive, such as invisible printing and digital watermarks. Dr. Zucker is chairman of the Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) set up by WHO and some 20 partners established last year. Today’s meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, brings together more than 20 technology companies with IMPACT’s Working Group on Technology to assess measures to improve the global prevention, tracking and detection of counterfeit medicines. Counterfeit medicines are on the rise in most countries but are particularly widespread and dangerous in developing regions. IMPACT’s most recent figures estimate their sales at 1 per cent in developed countries to more than 10 per cent in developing nations. But in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America more than 30 per cent of the medicines on sale can be counterfeit, while in some former Soviet republics, they make up more than 20 per cent of the market. “Technology can help to contain counterfeiting, but it is not a magic bullet that will stop this problem on its own,” Harvey Bale, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations and Chair of the IMPACT Technology Working Group, said. “In looking at these technologies, we will need to assess carefully their applicability in developing countries and their potential synergy with other approaches to stop this criminal activity which can and does result in the deaths of patients.” Forensic technology, essentially chemical or biological tags built into medicines packaging, are even more secure against copying but significantly more costly and provide no visible reassurance to customers. Serialization or track/trace systems, using technologies such as bar codes and radio frequency identification help provide authentication by allowing a medicine to be tracked through the supply chain. These require an expensive technical infrastructure and are not completely immune to “hacking.” These technologies cannot by themselves stop counterfeiting. Computer and technological illiteracy, lack of infrastructure and cost may limit the ability of technology to deliver solutions, especially in the poorer parts of the world where the threat posed by counterfeiting is greatest. “Technology needs to be combined with other measures including tough legislation and regulations against counterfeiting, rigorous enforcement, stiffer penalties, and diligent surveillance on the part of the authorities and healthcare providers,” Valerio Reggi, coordinator of the IMPACT secretariat at WHO, said. “IMPACT recognizes this and has complementary working groups looking at how each of these areas can be strengthened and made to work together in harmony.” 13 March 2007A United Nations-backed meeting to combat the multi-billion-dollar market for counterfeit medicines today sought to harness technology in the arsenal of weapons used to crack down on the products, which can promote drug resistant strains of disease, worsen medical conditions and kill patients. read more

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Conditions worsening for workers in occupied Arab territories UN report finds

22 May 2008The situation for workers in the occupied Arab territories is deteriorating, with rates of working poverty rising, genuine employment declining and individual frustration growing, according to the latest annual report on the issue from the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO). The situation for workers in the occupied Arab territories is deteriorating, with rates of working poverty rising, genuine employment declining and individual frustration growing, according to the latest annual report on the issue from the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO).Only one in three people of working age living in the occupied Arab territories, including the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, was employed for all or part of the time, the report said. Unemployment is now hovering at above 20 per cent.The report, based on missions to the region earlier this year, indicated that about half of all Palestinian households are dependent on food assistance from the international community, especially given the recent worldwide spike in the price of many basic foods.In November last year, about 40 per cent of the population in Gaza and 19 per cent in the West Bank were classed as living in extreme poverty – an actual slight improvement on the comparable figures from a year earlier after the Palestinian Authority was able to resume wage payments to civil servants.Prepared by the International Labour Office, the secretariat of the Geneva-based ILO, the report voices concern about the growing gap between the hopes and aims of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians and the reality on the ground.“With the devastation of military action, and the continuing fine net of restrictions on movement, there is no doubt that economic and social hardship is mounting in the occupied Arab territories,” it says, adding that the problems are compounded by what it called the systematic disregard of Arab workers’ right to equality of opportunity and treatment in employment.Institutions in the region that represent free and democratic employers and workers are also facing interference in their right to organize, according to the ILO. read more

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Closing Bell North American markets sell off as investors worry about China

TORONTO — North American stock markets sold off Thursday amid China economic growth concerns that have pressured markets all week, as well as increasing jitters over the crisis in Ukraine.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 1,032.11 -14.28 -1.36%S&P 500 — 1,846.34 -21.86 -1.17%Dow — 16,108.89 -231.19 -1.14%Nasdaq — 4,260.42 -62.91 -1.46%The S&P/TSX composite index dropped 73.86 points to 14,245.14 with losses limited by the gold sector as traders looking for safety sent bullion prices higher for a fourth day.The Canadian dollar rose 0.51 of a cent to 90.47 cents US.New York indexes tumbled with the Dow industrials falling 231.19 points to 16,108.89. The Nasdaq fell 62.91 points to 4,260.42 and the S&P 500 index gave back 21.85 points to 1,846.35.Traders grew cautious ahead of a referendum in Ukraine’s Crimea region on Sunday that will ask residents if they want the territory to become part of Russia. Russian forces have already seized control of Crimea and its parliament has given President Vladimir Putin permission to use the military to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine.Meanwhile, Chinese industrial production rose by a lower than anticipated 8.6% in the first two months of this year.Also, China’s premier, Li Keqiang, said that his country will keep this year’s economic expansion strong enough to create new jobs but will emphasize market-opening reform and the environment over hitting its official growth target of 7.5%.“So, the Wild East is over now, and they’re moving to a more managed scenario, they’re going to tighten the screws,” said Wes Mills, chief investment officer, Scotia Private Client Group.“And sure, it’s a slower growth kind of environment and in the long run it’s good; in the short run, it’s got the commodity guys nervous.”Copper prices have slid 9% over the past five sessions while the TSX base metals segment has been by far the worst performer this week, down over 9%.The May contract for the metal lost four cents to US$2.92 a pound Thursday and the base metals sector was 1.22% lower.More than demand issues have weighed on copper. The metal is also used for financing transactions and worries about corporate defaults have prompted concerns that a wave of such failures could result in a massive liquidation of copper on the markets.Oil prices edged up 21 cents to US$98.20 a barrel, but the energy sector slipped 0.21%.Financials were also a major drag, down 0.84%.Bullion prices ended the session at their highest close since early September 2013 amid concerns centred on the Ukraine-Russian crises, rising $1.90 to US$1,372.40 an ounce and the gold sector was ahead about 2.25%.In corporate news, shares in Empire Company Ltd. (TSX: EMP.A), fell $2.12 to $68.10 as the parent of supermarket chain Sobeys Inc. reported that quarterly net earnings slumped to $400,000 or nil per diluted share compared with $74.1 million or $1.09 per share in the year-earlier period. Ex-items, earnings were 84 cents per share, below analyst estimates of $1.23 per share.Media giant Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) posted adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $68 million or 55 cents per share, while revenues remained relatively flat at $1.12 billion. Analysts had called for 53 cents of adjusted earnings on $1.15 billion in revenues and its shares dipped 15 cents to $24.79.TOP STORIES Mark Carney let loonie soar and ‘traded condos for factories’ — now economy paying price: CIBCCanada’s home prices jump most in 20 months with biggest gains in prairiesQuebecor tops profit expectations, says it’s poised for ‘immense’ growth on NHL deal, wirelessCanada’s tech stars poised to lead new IPO boom for sector as investors more ‘hungry’ for growthWHAT’S ON DECK FRIDAYECONOMIC NEWSCANADA9 a.m.Existing home sales (Feb) MLS home price index (Feb) UNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Producer price index (Feb): Economists expect a 0.2% rise 9:55 a.m.University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index (March): Economists expect a reading of 82, up from last month read more

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WatchTSX higher on bank earnings Wall Street rebounds after Tuesdays selloff

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market posted a solid advance Wednesday as the heavily weighted financial sector got a boost from the first round of Canadian bank earnings.After a triple-digit pullback Tuesday, the S&P/TSX composite index closed up 59.66 points at 15,110.47 after adjusted earnings from both the Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) and National Bank (TSX:NA) surprised on the upside and both raised their quarterly dividend.Allan Small, senior adviser at HollisWealth, said people have been “bashing the banks … wondering, ’Where are the banks going to continue to make money from?”’ in a low interest rate environment. “But I think what these people fail to understand is that the banks now are moving into more of a wealth management style or model for themselves,” he said, noting how BMO talked up capital markets and wealth management business in its earnings report.“Charging that flat fee for a customer’s portfolio is a great thing … and I think that bodes well for their earnings this quarter and, going forward, the banks will be just fine.”The energy sector was the biggest drag on the TSX, down 0.73 per cent as the July oil contract retreated further from the $60-a-barrel mark, down 52 cents at US$57.51. June gold slid $1.30 to US$1,185.60 an ounce.Meanwhile, the loonie lost 0.21 of a U.S. cent to 80.26 cents as the Bank of Canada announced its key interest rate would remain at 0.75 per cent and looked to remain there for some time. That was its lowest close since finishing at 80.06 cents on April 14.Wall Street also bounced back smartly, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 121.45 points at 18,162.99, erasing much of its 190-point decline the previous session.The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, shot up a remarkable 73.84 points to a record close of 5,106.59, while the S&P 500 advanced 19.28 points to 2,123.48 and not far off its previous all-time high close of 2,130.82 last Thursday.Again, people shouldn’t be surprise by such “choppiness,” Small said, noting that on any given day market direction will depend on whether traders, especially high-frequency traders, focus on the positive or the negative.“So (one day) the news out of Greece, people will think it’s a good thing and buy up the market and all of a sudden they might think it’s a bad thing and sell off the market.”As well, for the past few years investors have had a “buy-the-dip mentality,” he said. So, if markets go down 100 or 200 points one day, very often traders will come in and buy that dip the next.The point being that with interest rates so low and equities fairly valued, investors don’t have any choice but to be in the market, he said. “We call it Tina: there is no alternative.”The Canadian Press read more

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UN human rights expert urges steps to prevent security vacuum in Afghanistan

“As the possibility of the existing regime losing control becomes imminent, certain critical steps need to be taken as a matter of the utmost urgency to prevent a vacuum in which men, women and children could be exposed to the risk to their lives and property resulting from a breakdown of law and order and from possible massacres, as had happened in the past when territory changed hands,” writes Kamal Hossain, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan, in a report released today. The document is an addendum to an in-depth report on the same subject prepared in August. The report also recommends the establishment of internal security arrangements in areas over which the existing regime loses control “in order to prevent massacres and protect the life and property of citizens.” In addition, the expert says access should be provided to media, including the possible establishment of a UN-sponsored radio station to give voice to Afghan people. “This would harness the energies of Afghans in building consensus and mobilizing opinion in support of any political plan which emerges,” he writes. The report notes that overall, while the events of 11 September and their aftermath have in certain critical areas exacerbated the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, they have also given rise to “opportunity and space for the Afghan people to become active participants in bringing about fundamental change.”As for the global response to the terror attacks against the United States, the Special Rapporteur calls on the international coalition to review the conduct of its military operations so as to strictly comply with international humanitarian law. “Appropriate measures must be taken immediately to prevent damage to civilian lives and property and disruption in the delivery of humanitarian assistance,” he says. read more

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Ethiopia Eritrea agree in principle on UN plan to improve handling of

The initiative, involving three Sector Military Coordination Committees, was approved at a meeting held in Nairobi under the chairmanship of Major-General Robert Gordon, Force Commander of the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).Addressing participants, he commended both parties for their continued cooperation while urging them to minimize talk of war because it fosters “an atmosphere of insecurity and anxiety among people living in the border areas,” according to an UNMEE statement released following the closed-door meeting. At the same time, the Force Commander acknowledged that recent tension stems from the stalled demarcation process.Both parties stressed their common desire to find a solution to the current impasse and expressed their respective viewpoints in a “frank and honest manner,” UNMEE said. They also remained committed to maintaining military stability.Brigadier-General Yohannes Gebremeskel led Ethiopia’s military delegation to the Military Coordination Commission (MCC) meeting and Brigadier-General Abrahaley Kifle led Eritrea’s party, while Brigadier-General Elliot Kamteni represented the African Union (AU).The Commission agreed to meet next on 2 February 2004 in Nairobi. read more

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Catastrophe looms from cholera epidemic in eastern DR of Congo – UN

“The cholera epidemic can be contained if people remain in Kakwa camp, where they have access to life-saving medical treatment,” said the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the DRC, Jahal de Meritens. He called restoration of security in Kakwa, home to over 25,000 people, an urgent priority.“However growing insecurity is forcing them to leave the area, taking the deadly cholera bacteria with them,” he added, noting that the displaced people, among 100,000 who have fled vicious ethnic fighting in the Ituri region, fear deteriorating security after the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) handed over protection of Kakwa to the Congolese army on Monday.“FARDC troops have limited logistical support, and are thus preying on the very population they were sent to protect,” he said, using the French acronym for the army.MONUC also withdrew from Tché camp yesterday, handing over security to FARDC.“Should this disease now take hold in Tché camp, and in Tchomia town, we could be confronted with a humanitarian catastrophe,” Mr. de Meritens declared. Over 35,000 displaced people are currently sheltering in the two areas. “Even Bunia town (Ituri’s capital) could be threatened by this epidemic, should infected people not find a safe haven with access to medical care and clean water elsewhere in the region,” he said.Humanitarian workers confirmed 54 cases of cholera in Kakwa on Wednesday, with the number significantly increasing as each day passes. Other cases are now being reported in Tché and Tchomia, most likely spread by those fleeing. One death has been recorded.Nearly 100,000 people are receiving emergency humanitarian assistance in the Territory of Djugu, Ituri, after fleeing violence that flared in late 2004, one of the last major combat zones in the DRC’s long-running civil wars and ethnic conflicts. read more

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FEATURE UN uses virtual reality to inspire humanitarian empathy

@media only screen and (min-width: 760px), screen9 {#PhotoHolder3 #PhotoCrop { max-height: 770px; /* sets max-height value for all standards-compliant browsers */ width: 134%; margin-left:-161px; margin-top: -420px;}#story-headline{ font-size: 4.5em; line-height: 1.2em; color:#fff; position: relative; top: 180px; xtext-align:center; text-shadow: 6px 6px 6px rgba(0,0,0,0.8); width:40%;}}#sidebar {display:none;} div#story-content .span8 {width:100% !important} #fullstory p { font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.8em;} Watching “My Mother’s Wing” though a virtual reality headset. Video screen capture using VRSE “Virtual reality is the ability to really take part in a story that usually you’re only a passive spectator on. And it’s giving you the possibility to walk in another person’s shoes,” said Gabo Arora, Creative Director and Special Adviser to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Campaign. The campaign is a special initiative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to empower and inspire people to support their Governments to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs that aim to alleviate poverty, provide universal education and help the environment. Mr. Arora is also a director, along with Chris Milk, of Clouds over Sidra, a short 360 virtual reality film about a 12-year Syrian girl named Sidra who lives with 130,000 other refugees in Za’atari camp in Jordan. “People come out of it feeling enlightened and often moved, and often ready to take action,” Mr. Arora told UN Television’s 21st Century Series in Virtual Reality: Creating Humanitarian Empathy.Excerpt: Virtual Reality Inspires Humanitarian Empathy at the United Nations. Credit: United Nations “It’s exciting for the UN to be involved in some of those early experiments of how we’re trying to tell stories, make these films and work with some of the most cutting edge people in the industry on it.” The UN wants to leverage the emotive connectivity of virtual reality at next week’s World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul, Turkey. Participants at the Summit will have a chance to visit the Virtual Reality Hub, an interactive visualization lounge created by a partnership between the UN, the SDG Action Campaign and an immersive media company, RYOT. Audiences at the Summit will be among the first to view “HOME.” Directed by Charlotte Cans and David O’Hana, this virtual reality film takes viewers on a humanitarian journey with the Secretary-General. Those not attending the Summit can experience the films at home through their mobile phones, thanks to VRSE, a virtual reality production and distribution company. Co-founder of VRSE, Aaron Koblin, told UNTV that whether viewers use high-end virtual reality goggles or a cardboard unit, the idea is the same. “Lenses that are using sensors to orient you and convince yourself that you’re somewhere where you’re not,” said Mr. Koblin. read more

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Arcure Blaxtair cameras deployed on El Teniente tunnelling fleet

first_imgFor its contract to excavate two tunnels in the El Teniente mine in Chile, VINCI Construction Grands Projets has fitted some fifty vehicles with the Blaxtair intelligent camera from Arcure, in order to minimise the risk of collisions between the machines and pedestrian operators on the worksites. In the context of tunnel excavation, the collaboration between machines and men on the ground coupled with the cramped conditions and low light levels inside the tunnel increase the risk of accidents considerably. Placing the safety of its employees on site at the top of its priorities, VINCI Construction Grands Projets wanted to select a reliable detection system to reduce these risks.Blaxtair is an intelligent onboard camera which detects pedestrians, helps avoid collisions between moving machines and operators on the worksite. VINCI Construction Grands Projets wanted first of all to test the system by fitting the Blaxtair camera to two machines it was using in the Lee Tunnel project in London. Having tested its performance and confirmed the usefulness of specific detection of pedestrians, VINCI Construction Grands Projets decided to install Blaxtair on all its machines on the El Teniente site in Chile: “Blaxtair not only offers the same functions as a reversing camera coupled with an obstacle detection radar, but above it specifically detects pedestrians. The system is a great help to the driver in detecting pedestrians and obstacles and thus reduces the risks of accidents”, notes Marc Bohin, Equipment Manager of VINCI Construction Grands Projets. In all, more than 50 vehicles on the El Teniente site have been fitted with the device since the start of 2012, including hydraulic diggers, dumpers, loaders, forklift trucks and mixers.last_img read more

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Snapshot Mick Wallace wore the latest Torino soccer jersey in the Dáil

first_imgMICK WALLACE WORE another striking soccer shirt in the Dáil chamber this morning treating TDs and viewers of Oireachtas TV (all three of us) to the latest Torino jersey.The controversial Wexford TD is a big Italian soccer fan and took that devotion to a new level last year when he first wore a Torino shirt during a debate on the Social Welfare Bill.Today it was during questions to the Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte that Wallace introduced us to Torino’s latest number.Our Leinster House spies were able to spot that the independent deputy also has a name and number on the back – that of Alessio Cerci, the Serie A side’s number 11.Read: Mick Wallace sets the record straight on wearing Torino top in the Dáillast_img

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State agency spent 600000 on staff workshops

first_imgOLYMPIA — A state agency is being criticized for spending $600,000 on workshops for more than 2,000 state employees.The three two-day events in Tacoma for the Community Services Division of the Department of Social and Health Services ended late last week, The Olympian reported.The workshop invitations went out a day after the head of the agency, Kevin Quigley, told staff about the need for potential budget cuts.Agency officials say the workshops were the first time in more than five years the staff has been brought together on a large scale to learn about agency goals for the division that works in welfare and food stamp-related programs. The overall cost included $17,500 for a motivational speaker.State Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler blasted the spending, saying that traditional staff meetings or webcasting could have accomplished the agency’s goals without the excessive cost.last_img read more

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Learn The ABCs Of HipHop With New Book

first_img Facebook News NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Jul 6, 2017 – 1:56 pm What trends dominate hip-hop today? Email Learn The ABCs Of Hip-Hop With New Book New Book To Explore Hip-Hop A To Z learn-abcs-hip-hop-new-book Twitter New book on hip-hop culture makes the history and culture of the genre accessible to all agesRenée FabianGRAMMYs Aug 24, 2017 – 2:17 pm Hip-hop’s esteemed history and culture deserve to be accessible at any age, and thanks to a new book, now everyone can learn the ABCs of hip-hop. Written by Howie Abrams and illustrated by graffiti artist Michael “Kaves” McLeer, Hip-Hop Alphabet touches on all facets of hip-hop history by attributing each letter of the alphabet with a pioneering hip-hop act. The artists represented include GRAMMY winners such as the Beastie Boys, Jay Z and LL Cool J, and topical subjects such as DJing, vinyl, microphones, and graffiti are also indexed in the book.To make this book deal even sweeter, a percentage of book sales will be allocated to the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music, a nonprofit established in the memory of Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay that aims to provide access to the arts for students regardless of their background.Fittingly, the book’s foreword is written by Jam Master Jay’s Run DMC bandmate, Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.”The wit and words of hip-hop with the artistic mastery of graffiti (our art) to provide a creative educational experience for young and old alike,” writes McDaniels. “It’s solid proof that hip-hop, as well as all of the arts, are powerful tools for learning — and educating our children.”‘Rap Yearbook’ To Join AMC Visionaries Lineup As New Miniserieslast_img read more

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Mission Mangal actress Nithya Menen responds to bodyshaming Trolling hurts me I

first_imgNithya MenenInstagramWhen it comes to showbiz, people expect actors (especially female actors) to look perfect. This hunt for unrealistic beauty often leads to body-shaming and trolling which destroys the victims’ self confidence as they start to believe the insults. Actresses like Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Bhumi Pednekar and Sara Ali Khan have been criticised for their body weight and south actress Nithya Menen too is not immune to body-shaming.The actress had been dealing with body-shamers for a long time now and just like any other girl, Nithya too gets upset when she gets trolled for her body weight.”At times, weight-related issues are hormonal and that can create a lot of pain and difficulty. When you add trolls to that, they have to deal with so much more. We need to educate people that weight is not just because we are sitting and enjoying our lives. Of course, trolling hurts me. I do get upset,” Nithya Menen spoke about body-shaming to Rediff in an interview.She also went on to put a spotlight on the ignorance of people who tend to assume that a person going through weight issues is because they are lazy and eat a lot.”That’s ignorance. I want to say that one faces weight issues very rarely because of being lazy and eating. Trust me, especially in case of actors, we are not lazy. The way we work, the way we stand for almost eight hours without even realising it… it’s not easy,” Nithya said.”So it’s not because we eat too much or are lazy. Sometimes, it’s a health-related thing. Maybe, these people are dealing with stuff that is painful,” she added.Nithya, who is a big star in the south film industry, made her debut with a multistarrer film Mission Mangal wherein she played the role of a scientist. The movie also stars Akshay Kumar, Vidya Balan, Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu, Kirti Kulhari and Sharman Joshi.last_img read more

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