No beef shortage in Goa, no cattle killed: Animal Husbandry Minister

first_imgThere was no beef shortage reported to the Goa Meat Complex Limited, the state’s only public sector abattoir, Minister for Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Mauvin Godinho on Wednesday told the State legislative assembly. However, not a single cattle had been slaughtered at the abattoir since November last year, he added.In a written reply to a question tabled by Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar on Wednesday during question hour, seeking information on whether there was a beef shortage during 2017-18 Mr. Godinho said that it was not so. Both ruling and Opposition MLAs, had earlier expressed concern blaming the non-functional abattoir and the targeting of beef consignments from Karnataka.On Tuesday, a delegation of Muslim leaders was assured of a provisional permission by the Minister for Factories and Boilers Vijai Sardesai ensuring that the abattoir will be functional before Bakri Eid.last_img read more

IPL: Gayle threat looms large over Kolkata

first_imgWith Chris Gayle in rollicking form, Royal Challengers Bangalore would have nothing but a place in the top two in mind when they clash with an equally determined Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.With six wins on the trot, Bangalore are barely two points away from ensuring a place in the play- offs and they could not have envisaged such a rosy scenario at the start of their IPL campaign.Three defeats and a wash- out against Rajasthan Royals had seen Bangalore tottering at the ninth slot with five points from six games.But the arrival of Gayle, as a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes, has seen them storm up the leaderboard, barely a point behind Mumbai ( 11 matches) and Chennai ( 12 games) who have 16 points each.A victory for Bangalore would strengthen their chance of finishing among the top two and earn the right to play the winners of the Eliminator ( between the third and fourth placed teams), even in the eventuality of them losing the first Qualifier.Even if they lose on Saturday, they still have two games to keep their hopes alive of making it to the play- offs.If Kolkata, who have 14 points from 11 games, win this game, they would also put themselves in contention for a place in the qualifiers.If they come a cropper, they too have two games to keep themselves in the hunt for a place among the top two finishers.BANGALORE will start as firm favourites at their stable. Their batting has been kept in good stead by Gayle, who has amassed 398 runs from six games. More than the number of runs that he has scored, it will be the West Indian’s sheer ability to savage the bowling attack upfront that will rattle Gautam Gambhir’s Knights.advertisementGayle has mercilessly plundered the bowlers in all his visits to the square, hitting as many as 30 sixes and 37 fours during his unrestrained onslaught.The rest have submitted to his blitzkrieg, and if Gayle cuts loose on Saturday as he has done in the last six matches, the writing would be on the wall for Kolkata.Tillakaratne Dilshan’s absence would be deeply felt by Bangalore.They are in a dilemma to find a replacement opener for the Sri Lankan captain, who had played the supporting cast to Gayle to a nicety.The early dismissal of Gayle and Virat Kohli could put Bangalore under pressure, as their lower middle has not been tested in the last six games. Kolkata Knight Riders would be seeking to make early inroads into the Bangalore citadel, though AB de Villiers would be another stumbling block.Kolkata are no pushovers. Having lost a home game to Bangalore, Gambhir’s legion would be looking to avenge the defeat orchestrated by the big- hitting Gayle who scored his maiden IPL century.The Bangalore bowling looked a bit weak without Daniel Vettori in the last match. Gambhir, Jacques Kallis and Manoj Tiwary would be seeking to take toll. They will have to ensure that Kolkata score in the excess of 170.last_img read more

Sunrisers Hyderabad will not take Delhi Daredevils lightly, says Tom Moody

first_imgSunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody stressed that his team would not be taking Delhi Daredevils lightly when the two teams meet in Raipur tonight. The Daredevils have struggled to find rhythm and have lost four off their last five encounters. Also, the Zaheer Khan-led side have no time to adapt to their new home ground.Moody on Thursday said Delhi Daredevils had some ‘dangerous’ players and the team needed to play their best cricket to beat them. (IPL Full Coverage|Points Table).”Delhi is a very good side as they have defeated us on our home ground. We know they are a very good (and) competitive side with some dangerous players amongst them.. We need to play our best game tomorrow to secure (the) winning points,” the former Australian player said.SRH TABLE-TOPPERS? Moody was also optimistic about his team finishing among the top-two spots on the table.”It’s important that we continue our momentum. The table’s getting very competitive and we would like to finish off by winning our last couple of games and have ourselves in the top two teams,” he said.SRAN IN PLACE OF INJURED NEHRAOver a query on replacement of pacer Ashish Nehra, who has been ruled out of the rest of the IPL with a hamstring injury, Moody said, they had number of options.”Left-arm seamer Barinder Sran can be brought in or any spin option,” he quipped.Sunrisers, who have won 8 of their 12 games, lead the table with 16 points.last_img read more

Sharapova ban a ‘sad situation’ for tennis: Caroline Wozniacki

first_imgDanish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki said on Thursday that the two-year ban of Maria Sharapova due to doping offence is a “sad situation” for the sport.The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday the sanction against the Russian tennis player after she tested positive for Meldonium on January 26.The ITF confirmed that the two-year ban is backdated to that day and ends on January 26, 2018, in accordance with Article 8.1 of the anti-doping programme.”It’s always a sad situation when someone is getting banned or you have heard they have failed a drug test, not only for Maria but for tennis in general,” Wozniacki told the BBC.”Tennis has a really strong anti-drug policy in place and it helps the sport really keep clean,” she added.last_img read more

New way to harvest renewable energy from mobile towers

first_imgMelbourne, Jul 14 (PTI) Scientists have found a way to harvest renewable or ambient energy from mobile phone base stations or communication towers to power battery-operated wireless sensors used in many industries including health and agriculture.Lead researcher Salman Durrani from The Australian National University (ANU) said current wireless sensors for buildings, biomedical applications or wildlife monitoring use batteries which are often difficult to replace.In a first, researchers have accurately modelled how much energy it takes to sense and transfer information by wireless sensors.”A major problem hindering the widespread deployment of wireless sensor networks is the need to periodically replace batteries,” said Durrani.Wireless sensors are increasingly being used in many aspects of daily life. For example, sensors are used to measure temperature, wind speed, light, humidity and soil moisture to optimise the growth of grapes and prevent crop loss due to excessive heat or frost.Wireless sensors are used in various sports, such as rowing, to collect performance data from athletes. They are also used for condition monitoring of structures such as bridges and machinery in factories.The research found it was feasible to replace batteries with energy harvested from solar or ambient radio frequency sources such as communication towers or other mobile phone base stations, with communication delays typically limited to less than a few hundred milliseconds.Durrani said although the technology was years away, the research dealt with an important practical problem.”If we can use energy harvesting to solve the battery replacement problem for wireless sensors, we can implement long-lasting monitoring devices for health, agriculture, mining, wildlife and critical national infrastructure, which will improve the quality of life,” Durrani said. PTI MHN CPSadvertisementlast_img read more

ISL: AIFF bans Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory for three games

first_imgChennaiyin FC have received a big blow ahead of their Indian Super League (ISL) match against Delhi Dynamos on Sunday with their head coach John Gregory suspended.The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Disciplinary Committee banned Gregory for three matches and fined Rs 4 Lakhs with immediate effect on Saturday for misconduct during Chennaiyin’s match against Jamshedpur FC on December 28, 2017.”All India Football Federation (AIFF) Disciplinary Committee found Chennaiyin coach Gregory in breach of Article 50 (misconduct against match officials) and Article 58 (offensive behaviour and fair play) for his offensive remarks to referee during Match #33 of JFC (Jamshedput FC) Vs Chennaiyin FC at JRD Tata Sports Complex on December 28, 2017,” said AIFF in a statement.Assistant coach Syed Sabir Pasha filled in for Gregory at the pre-match press conference on Saturday and felt the absence of the coach will not have much bearing on how they approach the game.ALSO WATCH”Delhi will be a great test for us. We have defended as a team so far and we know they will come at us looking for a win. And we have to counter that,” said Pasha.DELHI DYNAMOS’ CLAUDIO MATIAS and MUMBAI CITY FC’s SEHNAJ SINGH SUSPENDEDOn the other hand, Delhi Dynamos are going to miss the services of their attacking midfielder Claudio Matias on Sunday after he was banned for four matches, along with Mumbai City FC’s Sehnaj Singh getting the ban for two games.Matias and Sehnaj were found guilty of infringement and misconduct against opponents during the December 29, 2017 match between Dynamos and Mumbai and along with the ban, they were fined Rs 3 Lakhs and 2 Lakhs respectively.”advertisement”All India Football Federation (AIFF) Disciplinary Committee found Dynamos’ Matias and Mumbai City’s Singh in violation of Article 48 (serious infringement) and and Article 49 (misconduct against opponents or persons other than official) during Match #34 between Mumbai City FC and Delhi Dynamos at Mumbai Football Arena on December 29, 2017,” AIFF said in a statement.last_img read more

Emre Can apologises for sexist comments over Cristiano Ronaldo red card

first_imgEmre Can apologised for his comments regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s red card versus Valencia in their Champions League opener earlier this week.Can had come out and said that they are not women and it was not a red card.”That’s supposed to be a red!? I just heard that he said it was because of hair pulling. We’re not women, we’re playing football.”If you’re giving that as a red card, you can be sent off for any foul. One hundred per cent, that is not a red card,” he exclaimed when shown footage of the action by DAZN.But, his comments didn’t go down well with people and his remarks were marked ‘sexist’ and he was slammed for making such comments.Also read – Ronaldo leaves pitch in tears after seeing first Champions League red cardFollowing that, Can came out and cleared the year by saying that he didn’t have any such intention and apologised for any hurt feelings via his Twitter page.”I would like to take a moment to clear the air regarding the comments I made after last night’s game. My response after seeing the video footage of Cristiano’s sending off seemed to have caused some commotion.Also read – Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo red-carded but Juventus beat Valencia”I would like to state that the comments made were never focused on nor meant to degrade women, women’s football or equality in any form. Everyone who knows me knows about my respect for women, equality and respect,” Can saidadvertisement”My intention was to stick up for my team mate regarding a wrong decision which could have affected our game. I sincerely apologise if any of the comments I made have caused any harm,” he added.Ronaldo’s tussle earned him a straight red and he will be suspended for Juventus’ next match versus Young Boys on October 2 at Turin.Ronaldo was involved in a tangle in the penalty area with Valencia defender Jeison Murillo as he awaited a cross from the left.It did not appear too sinister but German referee Felix Brych, after consulting with his assistant behind the goal, pulled out his red card to the dismay of Ronaldo.Ronaldo, who signed from Real Madrid for 100 million Euros in July, had never been sent off in his previous 153 appearances for Real Madrid and Manchester United in Europe’s elite tournament.Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for Juventus in the Champions League tonight for this…What a joke! pic.twitter.com/7qFD8zwi10433 Formation (@433Formation) September 19, 2018After leaving the pitch, the five-time Champions League winner, waited by the tunnel entrance before leaving the pitch teary-eyed.However, Juventus responded to the shock in positive fashion and were ahead before halftime and then went onto extend the lead in the 51st minute.They held onto their lead and emerged victorious and are currently second in Group H behind Manchester United, who are ahead on goal difference after their 3-0 win over Young Boys.last_img read more

Indian Army concludes rafting expedition at Rishikesh

first_imgDehradun, Nov 29 (PTI) Keeping the spirit of adventure alive, soldiers of the Indian Army concluded Thursday a white water rafting expedition at Rishikesh in Uttarakhand.The team successfully completed the ‘Cockerel Gunners’ expedition, 150 km in the Ganga river over four days, an official release said.It passed through many rapids across a stretch which is popular among the white water adventure sport admirers. The expedition had begun Monday from Rudraprayag, with a team comprising 20 adventure enthusiasts of the Medium Regiment. PTI ALM AD DPBlast_img read more

Irfan Ansari, man who approached Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, banned for 10 years

first_img India Today Web Desk DubaiFebruary 20, 2019UPDATED: February 20, 2019 14:14 IST Image for representation (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSIrfan Ansari, who coaches domestic teams in the UAE, has been handed a 10-year ban from all cricketing activitiesThe ICC found him guilty of approaching Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed in a bid to engage him in corrupt conduct in 2017Sarfraz Ahmed has been lauded by the ICC for reporting the approach and then supporting the investigationIrfan Ansari has been banned from all cricket for 10 years after the ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching three counts of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code, the International Cricket Council said on Wednesday.During the hearing, the Tribunal heard evidence that Ansari approached Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed during the Pakistan series with Sri Lanka in the UAE in October 2017 with a view to engaging him in corrupt conduct by soliciting information from him. Sarfraz Ahmed reported the approach immediately and an ICC ACU investigation ensued which resulted in these charges and decision.Ansari is bound by the code as a result of his affiliation to the Pakistan cricket team and also as a result of being a coach to two teams that participate in domestic matches in the UAE.He was found guilty of the following three offences under the Code:Article 2.3.3 – directly soliciting, inducing, enticing or encouraging a participant to breach the Code Article 2.3.2 by disclosing inside information.Article 2.4.6 – failure or refusal to cooperate with the ACU’s investigation by failing to provide accurately and completely the information and/or documentation requested by the ACU in October 2017. This included a request by the ICC ACU to take possession of and/or copy or download information from his mobile devices.Article 2.4.6 – failure or refusal to cooperate with the ACU’s investigation by failing to provide accurately and completely the information and/or documentation requested by the ACU in February 2018. Again this included a request by the ICC ACU to take possession of and/or copy or download information from his mobile devices.advertisementSarfraz Ahmed lauded for “true leadership and professionalism”Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – ACU said: “I’d like to place on record my thanks to Sarfaraz Ahmed who showed true leadership and professionalism from the moment he reported this approach. He recognised it for what it was, rejected it and reported it. He then supported our investigation and subsequent tribunal.”This is the first time we have prosecuted for failure to cooperate with an investigation since the new rules enabling us to demand the participants hand over their phone for examination and the sanction reflects the seriousness of the offence. It is an important tool to aid our investigations and continue in our efforts to rid the sport of these corrupters.”Also Read | India-Pakistan World Cup clash likely to be discussed on sidelines of ICC meetAlso Read | No India vs Pakistan at World Cup? BCCI sources say government to take final callAlso Read | Photos of Imran Khan and other Pakistani cricketers removed from Chinnaswamy StadiumFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Irfan AnsariFollow Sarfraz AhmedFollow Pakistan cricketFollow Cricket match fixing Irfan Ansari, man who approached Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, banned for 10 yearsAnsari had approached Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed during the Pakistan series with Sri Lanka in the UAE in October 2017 with a view to engaging him in corrupt conduct by soliciting information from him.advertisementlast_img read more

Use Your Seatbelt Every Time

first_img Achieve and/or maintain a 95 per cent seatbelt wearing rate by all vehicle occupants and proper use of child restraints by 2010; A seatbelt can save your life. It could also save you the cost of a $128.75 fine and two demerit points on your driver’s licence. Police agencies across Nova Scotia are holding a series of checkpoints from Friday, Oct. 7 to Monday, Oct. 10, to remind drivers and passengers to use their seatbelts. The checkpoints are part of a program called Operation Road Safety, organized by the police and Nova Scotia’s road safety advisory committee. “Drivers and passengers, regardless of age, need to be secured with their seatbelt or safety seat no matter how short the trip,” said Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron Russell. “We reduce the risk of severe injury or death when we buckle up, whether we’re driving in urban or rural areas.” The non-use of seatbelts is a factor in one of every four road fatalities in Nova Scotia. About 89 per cent of Nova Scotians regularly use seatbelts. Nova Scotia is working toward benchmarks set by Road Safety Vision 2010, a national plan to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world. Road Safety Vision 2010’s national targets include: — Achieve a 40 per cent reduction in the number of unbelted fatally and seriously injured vehicle occupants by 2010. While annual seatbelt use surveys suggest that nine of 10 Canadians wear seatbelts on a regular basis, almost 40 per cent of occupants killed and 20 percent of those seriously injured had not buckled up. For more information on these targets see the website at www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp/tp13736/menu.htm .center_img FOR BROADCAST USE A seatbelt can save your life. It could also save you the cost of a one-hundred-and-twenty-eight-dollar fine and two demerit points on your driver’s licence. Police agencies across Nova Scotia are holding a series of checkpoints Friday through Monday (October 7th to October 10th) to remind drivers and passengers to use their seatbelts. Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron Russell says everyone needs to be secured by a seatbelt or safety seat no matter how short the trip. The checkpoints are organized by the police and Nova Scotia’s road safety advisory committee. The non-use of seatbelts is a factor in one of every four road fatalities in Nova Scotia. About 89 per cent of Nova Scotians regularly use seatbelts. -30-last_img read more

Updated policy to ban chocolate milk and juices in New Brunswick schools

first_imgFREDERICTON – New Brunswick students can say goodbye to chocolate milk and juices being sold in public schools as the province unveils changes to its school nutrition policy today.A government source tells The Canadian Press the new policy applies to all food and beverages sold, served or otherwise offered in New Brunswick public schools.It requires foods of a higher nutritional value which are lower in saturated fat, sugar and sodium.The policy applies to breakfast and lunch programs, vending machines, canteens, snacks and fundraisers.Over the last 12 years, at least six provinces have banned junk food from schools, and a report released last summer said the measure is having a positive impact on student health.The study by Philip Leonard, a health economist at the University of New Brunswick, found that students banned from making junk food purchases at school for five or more years were, on average, about two pounds lighter than students who did not face a ban.He said younger students showed the most positive results, but noted that probably stems from the fact that older students have more opportunity to leave the school grounds to get food from other sources.In 2005, New Brunswick became the first province to impose a junk food ban inside its schools.last_img read more

Idle No More supporters greet politicians

first_imgAPTN National NewsPoliticians returning to business on Parliament Hill were greeted by hundreds of Idle No More supporters Monday.But protests were also happening across the globe.Places like San Francisco, Oklahoma and New Zealand held demonstrations.And here in Canada dozens of cities took part.APTN National News reporter Nancy Pine has the story.last_img

Brexit tariffs populism could buffet Europe in 2019

first_imgFRANKFURT — 2019 is set to be a year of major change for Europe, with big decisions that will affect the continent’s economy.Britain is due to leave the European Union but there is no clarity on how that will happen, or how painful it will be economically. The EU has long seen deepening ties among countries as the best way to create prosperity, but a rise in populist and nationalist politics is likely to further test that commitment. And threats loom from outside, including possible U.S. tariffs on cars.The economy is already slipping. Growth in the 19 EU countries that use the euro enjoyed slipped from a decade-high of 2.4 per cent in 2017 to an estimated 2.1 per cent this year. It is expected to ease further to 1.9 per cent next year, according to the EU’s executive Commission.Here’s a look at the major events and challenges that will shape the coming year in the European Union.___BREXIT CHAOSEurope confronts one risk early in the year, as the British parliament faces a possible vote in mid-January on Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated deal on terms of an exit from the EU. If the deal is rejected, and no other solution such as a second referendum is found, the risk will increase that Britain would leave the EU as scheduled March 29 without any clarity on new trading rules. That could cause widespread disruption to business and complex supply chains such as those involving auto factories. Some predict it could even ground flights and lead to shortages of produce and some medicines.___TRUMP AND TRADEEurope and the U.S. are discussing new terms of trade after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to put tariffs on European cars. The tariffs would hurt growth in Germany and in Europe more broadly and could be imposed in 2019 if the talks fail. Angel Talavera, lead eurozone economist at Oxford Economics, says that U.S. car tariffs would lower German GDP by 0.2 per cent in 2020. That’s in addition to the U.S.-China trade conflict, which could sideswipe Europe because it trades extensively with both.___POPULISMElections to the European Parliament slated for May 23-26 can serve as a chance for voters to express dislike of their government and as a platform for populist parties that don’t like the EU. A strong showing by groups like Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, the League in Italy and the Alternative for Germany could make it harder for the EU to agree on legislation.Italy’s populist government could further complicate things. It has smoothed over a disagreement with the EU on a budget that drastically increases spending. But the plan could leave Italy, which has a debt load of 133 per cent of GDP, more vulnerable to new financial trouble.___YELLOW JACKETSWith Britain leaving and Germany’s Angela Merkel planning her political exit, French President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to seize the European spotlight in 2019 and push his agenda of economic change at home and strengthening EU unity. But weeks of protests by yellow-vested masses angry over high taxes and shrinking pocketbooks have hobbled his credibility.Riots forced him to offer billions of euros in tax relief and aid — which in turn is damaging his European credentials, because it risks pushing France over the EU deficit limit.Some yellow-vest groups are considering a bid for the European elections, though the movement has no single political bent.Macron and his parliamentary majority don’t face new elections until 2022 and he could yet rebound. Still, he is expected to scale back the pace of change to France’s long-stagnant economy, with repercussions for the whole region.___NEW TEAMAfter the elections, European governments will choose a replacement for European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, whose eight-year term expires Oct. 31, and for Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the EU Commission, who isn’t seeking a new term.Draghi has pushed the ECB into new territory by using bond purchases to push 2.6 trillion euros ($3 trillion) in newly created money into the economy as a way of supporting a weak-post-crisis recovery. His vow to do “whatever it takes” to rescue the euro from its debt crisis — followed by a program to quell trouble in bond markets — is credited with halting market turmoil in 2012.Stimulus skeptic Jens Weidmann, head of Germany’s national central bank, was an early front runner but has faded amid media speculation Merkel may push for a German to replace Juncker. That would make it tough for Germany to also claim the ECB job under typical EU horse-trading. Other possible successors are former Finnish central bank head Erkki Liikanen and Bank of France governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau.___INTEREST RATESThe ECB could raise interest rates for the first time since 2011.The bank, which has already closed out its bond-buying stimulus program, has signalled no increase in rates before the fall. That leaves it open whether it will be Draghi or his successor to lead the decision-making on the timing of a first rate move.Higher rates could increase consumer and business borrowing costs and improve returns for savers. The first rate increase could be postponed, however, if the economy looks weak.___Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.David McHugh, The Associated Presslast_img read more

3 Higher Education Institutions Will Open During 2017-2018 Academic Year: Hassad

Rabat – Among the promised reforms of higher education for 2017-2018 academic year, Minister of National Education Mohamed Hassad revealed that three higher institutions will open to accommodate increased numbers of students.Hassad announced that the three institutions expected to open their doors this year are the Faculty of Law, Economic, and Social Sciences in Tetouan, the School of Technology (EST) in Kenitra, and the School of Technology in Sidi Bennour.Speaking last week to the members of the Committee on Education, Culture, and Communication of the House of Representatives, Hassad also assured that the initiation of the school year will be completed during the first nine days of September at all academic institutions. Part of the higher education reform includes the reinforcement of bed capacities in university campus.The former interior minister and current Minister of Education promised that his ministry will put up 6,140 additional beds by this September, while four new university campuses will open their doors to students in the cities of Nador, Safi, Agadir, and Meknes.Four academic restaurants will also open in the cities of El Jadida, Settat, Safi, and Nador, with a capacity of 4,000 meals served daily, said the official, adding that 15 medical centers and three newly-rehabilitated centers will see the light of day starting in the 2017-2018 school year.The sector of vocational training will also see reforms, said Hassad. 29 new establishments, of which 22 are part of the Office for Professional Training and Promotion (OFPPT) will be inaugurated for the 2017-2018 school year.796 new trainers will be assigned to work in the various vocational training institutions around Morocco, said the minister.Vocational training institutions will also increase their capacity with the establishment of three new boarding schools, particularly for trainees from rural or disadvantaged areas. read more

Postmedia posts bigger Q2 loss as revenue from print operations continues fall

TORONTO — Postmedia Network Canada Corp. lost nearly $5.1 million in its second quarter as revenue dropped 7.5 per cent compared with last year as a result of shifting advertising and circulation patterns.The owner of the National Post and other newspapers reported Thursday that it had $145.7 million in total revenue for the quarter, including $28.2 million from its digital businesses and $110.8 million from print advertising and circulation.A year earlier, Postmedia’s total revenue amounted to $157.6 million, including $26.4 million from its digital businesses and $123.7 million from print advertising and circulation.Postmedia chief executive Andrew MacLeod said the company has made progress in slowing the decline in traditional revenue and reducing its long-term debt while growing its digital business.Overall digital revenue was up $1.8 million from last year, mostly due to a 10.2 per cent increase in digital advertising.“Our success in extending the legacy runway is providing us the time to allow our digital transformation to continue, demonstrating traction with its ninth consecutive quarter of double digit digital advertising growth,” MacLeod said.Postmedia’s second-quarter loss for the quarter ended Feb. 28 amounted to five cents per share, compared with a loss of $1.25 million or one cent per share last year.As of Feb. 28, Postmedia’s long-term debt was $238.3 million, down from $264 million a year earlier.MacLeod, who took over as CEO from Paul Godfrey earlier this year, has since been appointed to Postmedia’s board of directors.He announced Thursday that Mary Anne Lavallee has been appointed Postmedia’s chief operating officer, with a primary focus on digital growth.“Since joining the company in 2014, Mary Anne has been instrumental in driving our transformational strategy,” MacLeod said.MacLeod also joined Postmedia in 2014 as chief commercial officer. He became chief operating officer in 2016 and added the role of president in 2017. He became CEO in January as Godfrey became executive chairman.Companies in this story: (TSX:PNC.A, TSX:PNC.B) read more

Security Council calls on Israel to withdraw from Palestinian cities urges sides

Meeting in the early hours of Saturday morning in an emergency session on Middle East violence that followed a four-hour debate the previous night, the United Nations Security Council today adopted a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw troops from Palestinian cities, including Ramallah, and urging both parties to move immediately to a meaningful ceasefire. The Council adopted resolution 1402 by a vote of 14 in favour to none opposed. Syria, the 15th member, did not participate in the vote. Prior to the vote, the Council President, Ambassador Ole Peter Kolby of Norway, said it was the common understanding of the members that the draft’s operative paragraph 1, which listed the specific demands to the parties, did not indicate any sequence of the elements contained in it. Expressing grave concern at the further deterioration of the situation in the Middle East, including the recent suicide bombings in Israel and the military attack against the headquarters of the President of the Palestinian Authority, the Council called on the sides to cooperate fully with United States Special Envoy Anthony Zinni. With the aim of resuming negotiations on a political settlement, the Council urged the parties to implement the understanding reached by the Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, George Tenet, as a first step towards implementation of the recommendations made by a committee chaired by former US Senator George Mitchell. The Council also reiterated the demand of its earlier resolution, 1397, for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction. It expressed support for the efforts of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the special envoys to the Middle East to assist the parties to halt the violence and to resume the peace process. Late on Friday, at the outset of the debate that preceded the Council’s action, the Secretary-General urged the Council to consider how the international community could help ensure that the relevant Council resolutions become a reality, and how to help bring the parties back to the negotiating table. He urged Israel to halt its assault on the Palestinian Authority and called on the Palestinians to accept the Zinni peace plan. Terrorism would not bring the Palestinian people closer to the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, he stressed. At the same time, he noted that he had consistently voiced criticism over Israel’s use of disproportionate lethal force. In his statement, Israel’s representative, Ambassador Yehuda Lancry, stressed that the voice of the Palestinian leadership had been the voice of terrorism rather than moderation and wondered what Israel was to do in the face of the deliberate massacres and the failure of the Palestinian leadership to fulfil its commitments. He said Israel had no intention of occupying any territory under Palestinian control; rather, it sought to uproot the terrorist network there. Israel, he said, would keep its hand outstretched towards peace. Chairman Arafat could be convinced to fight terrorism, but, for that to happen, the message sent to him must be clear, comprehensive and unrelenting. The Permanent Observer for Palestine, Nasser Al-Kidwa, said the current Israeli military action represented the beginning of the destruction of the elected Palestinian Authority, getting rid of Mr. Arafat, and reoccupying Palestinian territory. That action, he pointed out, came directly on the heels of the Arab League Summit in Beirut, which had adopted landmark resolutions that could change the entire situation in the Middle East region. The Council must uphold its responsibilities under the Charter and follow up on implementation of resolution 1397, he said. It must also address the grave situation created by the latest actions by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and ensure that Israel put an end to acts of aggression and withdrew its forces from the Palestinian territories, including Ramallah. The Council debate, which involved representatives of some 30 countries, began at 6:40 p.m. on Friday, a UN holiday, and was suspended an hour before midnight. The Council then reconvened at 4:25 on Saturday morning to vote on the resolution. read more

SecretaryGeneral urges dialogue over nuclear issue with Iran calls for restraint

Speaking to reporters in New York, Mr. Annan said the report would be ready by the end of the month but emphasized that there was still time for the IAEA and Iran to explore diplomatic channels to resolve the issue.“What is important is that both sides have said negotiations are not dead, negotiations are not over, and they are prepared to talk, and I would urge them to continue,” the Secretary-General said.“In the meantime it would be important that no steps are taken that would escalate the already tense situation. And I hope Iran will continue to freeze its activities, the way they are now, to allow talks to go forward,” he added.The Secretary-General said such a decision by Iran would also “allow negotiations with the European Three and the Russians to come back to the table.”Earlier this month the Board of Governors of the IAEA passed a resolution in Vienna requesting the Agency’s Director General to report to the Security Council on Iran, marking the first time the 15-member body will become directly involved in the issue.The Board requested Iran to “extend full and prompt cooperation to the Agency, which the Director General deems indispensable and overdue, and in particular to help the Agency clarify possible activities which could have a military nuclear dimension.”That action followed three days of debate sparked when France, Germany and the United Kingdom – the so-called “EU-3” – requested a special meeting of the Board after Tehran broke IAEA seals on equipment used to produce enriched uranium.Last September, the Board of Governors found that Iran’s breaches of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty were within the competence of the Security Council, which can impose sanctions, but did not refer the matter then. read more

No corner of Aleppo is being spared Security Council told as UN

“Access to basic and essential services, such as water and electricity, is sporadic, at best. People are living under daily threat and terror. Those who remain in eastern Aleppo, roughly 300,000 people, live in constant fear over the next attack from the air, including from barrel bombs,” he explained, adding that “there can be no explanation or excuse, no reason or rationale, for waging war on civilians.”Mr. O’Brien’s remarks also focused on the “inexcusable, deeply disturbing attacks” on medical facilities: “We have all seen the harrowing images of bombs and mortars raining down on medical facilities and medical personnel across Aleppo in recent days. These terrible attacks not only claim innocent lives, but also have a multiplier effect, leaving tens of thousands of civilians unable to obtain even the most basic levels of care, even as fighting intensifies around them.”In the last few days, many humanitarian actors have had to suspend their operations while tens of thousands of children could not be vaccinated last week. Mr. O’Brien said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which he heads up, is “dismayed” that the Syrian Government did not approve their request for a cross-line inter-agency convoy to eastern Aleppo city in May. “My question to you today is again: how many more deaths, how much more suffering can we tolerate before there is a collective push towards an end to this senseless and shameful crisis affecting Syrians, their neighbours and many more people beyond?” the Emergency Relief Coordinator asked.Meanwhile in Geneva, Jan Egeland, the Special Advisor to the Special Envoy for Syria, briefed the press on humanitarian efforts, saying that the fighting and bombardment in recent days is creating new areas with endless suffering and no access for human right workers. Special Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Jan Egeland. UN Photo/Pierre Albouy The cessation of hostilities in Syria must be put back on track, the United Nations political chief today told the Security Council, as the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator said “there can be no explanation or excuse” for waging war on civilians, in Aleppo or anywhere else in the crisis-riven country.“Unfortunately, the ever more shocking reports have been received from Aleppo city over the past two weeks,” Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, recalled during a briefing on Syria and the situation in the country’s largest city. “You have all seen the horrifying images of attacks on hospitals in both government and opposition-held neighbourhoods of the city. Let me be absolutely clear once again: intentional and direct attacks on hospitals are war crimes,” he declared.Mr. Feltman took note of the recent arrangement concluded between the United States and Russia for a “day of silence” in Aleppo and its surroundings. It was scheduled to start at 00:01 Damascus time last night, but the implementation has reportedly proven challenging even as it has led to an overall decrease in violence.“Consolidating and extending this agreement would be an important step in the right direction. We also hope that the earlier announced arrangements of ‘days of silence’ in parts of Damascus and Rural Latakia will also be consolidated and welcome the news that the ‘silence’ has been extended in the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus for the next 48 hours,” the UN official said.Turning to the political process, he told the 15-member Council that the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, has clearly stated that in order to be credible, the next round of negotiations should be supported by “tangible” progress on the ground, including through increased humanitarian access.Mr. de Mistura intends to re-convene intra-Syrian talks in May to arrive at an agreed way forward by August. Doing so without progress on the ground “runs the real risk of a failed political process,” the UN political chief warned. The Security Council also heard from Stephen O’Brien, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, who said he is “horrified” by the further death and destruction in Aleppo, and that life for people there “has lost all sense.” Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien briefs the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas On a positive note, he reported that during April, humanitarian workers reached more than 40 per cent of all of the people in the besieged areas, compared to about 5 per cent of people in such areas being reached during all of 2015.Altogether, 778,000 people in hard-to-reach and besieged towns have been reached. In one of the key achievements, virtually all of the civilians in the city of Deir ez-Zor received aid from 22 air drops that have been conducted successfully in recent days. In addition, the four towns of Madaya, Zabadani, Foah and Kefraya were reached, following weeks of obstacles. But going forward, Mr. Egeland added, requests to reach besieged areas have only been granted for about 25 per cent of the affected people, with another 25 per cent of beneficiaries being approved only with a significant number of conditions.At the same time, in Berlin, following a meeting with the German and French Foreign Ministers, Mr. de Mistura said the top priority remained what was most important to the Syrian people: “They are telling us we are looking for peace, we are looking for the end of this conflict, we believe in discussion in Geneva but we need to see with our eyes that the cessation of hostilities is again [taking place]. And the test is Aleppo now.”Expressing the hope that his current diplomatic meetings, as well as the efforts of the Council, would revitalize the truce, he said: “The alternative is truly quite catastrophic because we could see 400,000 people moving through the Turkish border. We could see what, at the moment, looks like a possibility of a political transition to be actually handicapped by a cessation of hostilities, which is still there, [but] could be collapsing.” read more

International Womens Day Empowering more women decisionmakers essential says Guterres

United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day: , by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe“Gender equality is fundamentally a question of power” he stated, saying that a still male-dominated world has “ignored, silenced and oppressed women for centuries – even millennia”.Despite women’s achievements and successes, their voices are still routinely overlooked, and their opinions ignored, with everyone paying the price for inequality and oppression. “Increasing the number of women decision-makers is essential”, Mr. Guterres remarked, adding that the UN has reached gender parity among its leaders around the world.Shocking statisticsGeneral Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés told the event that she had mixed feelings about the Day.“On the one hand, it is important that we celebrate the gains we have made”, she said, noting that Barbados, Ethiopia, Georgia, Romania and Trinidad and Tobago welcomed their first female leaders last year and, among other firsts, Uruguay saw its first conviction for femicide.However, she regretted that nearly four decades after the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was adopted and some 25 years after the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, “we are still not even close to equal”.On pretty much any measure of development, women are behind, she said. “Every woman and girl knows that her lived reality is very different to that of her father or brother” Ms. Espinosa said, adding: These statistics are shocking”.We are sitting centre-stage and we have absolutely no plans to lower the volume  Geraldine Byrne NasonNoting that just 11 years remain to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, she spelled out: “We desperately need to close the gender education gap and get more women into science and technology”.In a bid to push women forward, she encouraged the support of grassroots organization, “to take the fight into our communities and into the corridors of power”. To boost the number and diversity of women in leadership positions, on 12 March she will convene a high-level event on “Women in Power”.Ms. Espinosa concluded her address by recalling “Audre Lorde’s powerful words: ‘I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.’”The Chair of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Geraldine Byrne Nason, recalled the early days of the UN, when “women were few and far between”.“It took us quite some time for our voices to be heard and for our messages to register”, she stated, but today “we are sitting centre-stage and we have absolutely no plans to lower the volume”.Get inspired and innovate, to lead the way UN Secretary-General António Guterres opened the event by enumerating some of the world’s collective challenges, “from climate change…to the weakening of commitment to multilateralism,” stressing that “gender equality and women’s rights are fundamental to addressing each of these”.“We can only re-establish trust and rebuild global solidarity by challenging historic injustices and promoting the rights and dignity of all”, he maintained. “We can only achieve sustainable development and peace by drawing on all our assets and capacities.” The event host and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said that “we want women and girls themselves to be inspired to innovate and influence the whole ecosystem of innovation.”“Women are not simply consumers of prescribed solutions, they also design solutions for whole societies and they are equipped to address the issues that affect their lives”, she told the group.She said her equality and empowerment agency was  “injecting the gender lens in the DNA of innovation” adding: “Women and girls have a vital role to play in the fourth industrial revolution, shaping the policies, services and infrastructures that affect their lives.”Education propels you to far-away placesDelivering the keynote speech, former Director of the Johnson Space Centre in the United States, Ellen Ochoa – the first female Latina astronaut – credits her education in science with propelling her into four outer space missions.She said her mother had been a role-model who took one college course each semester for 20 years to earn her bachelor’s degree, underscoring to her family, the importance of education. Ms. Ochoa herself emphasized that it was essential that girls study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, known as STEM.“Engineering, development and innovation is about curiosity, creativity, working with teams and solving problems,” she explained, saying “Girls love to do those things!”But describing the uphill struggle for women to be admitted to astronaut training programmes, she credited activists working tirelessly to change the laws, adding that she was pleased now to serve as a role model for “girls around the world who are dreaming big dreams”. read more

Ohio State mens basketball grinds out overtime victory over Akron in NIT

OSU freshman guard JaQuan Lyle (13) scans the floor during a Big Ten tournament game against Penn State on March 10 in Indianapolis.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State men’s basketball team took just over 40 minutes to find a sliver of rhythm against the Akron Zips in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.After a back-and-forth physical battle riddled with sloppy play and field-goal percentages hovering around a meager 30, the five minutes allotted in overtime was the narrow time window the Buckeyes needed to advance in postseason play.OSU held the Zips to just one point in the extra period, while redshirt sophomore guard Kam Williams led the offensive charge over the course of the second half and overtime. The Buckeyes’ focus during the extra period pushed the team into the second round of the NIT with a 72-63 victory at the Schottenstein Center.“They were very competitive, and it was a game down to the wire where I felt like we showed a little bit of growth,” said OSU junior forward Marc Loving. “I felt like at times this season we might’ve lost that game.”Loving, who recorded the sixth double-double of his career, was one of three Buckeyes who finished with 18 points on the night. Williams added 18 points as well as five rebounds, while freshman guard JaQuan Lyle also registered a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.“We felt like there was a lot of room for us to play our style of basketball,” Lyle said. “We really didn’t have much pace on offense, and we really weren’t disrupting them on the defensive side as much as we wanted to.”Lyle’s comments were primarily true to the first half of the game. The team’s six lowest-scoring halves this season all occurred during the first 20 minutes of gameplay, with one of those periods taking place against Akron on Tuesday.While OSU struggled early on to close out possessions down low and outside, the Buckeye bigs constantly challenged the boards to keep Akron within striking distance, totaling 57 rebounds. The problem was with following through and finishing.The two teams combined to begin the game shooting 2-of-14 from the field, but the Buckeyes eventually pushed through the lethargic start to find their momentum later on in the contest.“We were a little bit shaky at the beginning, and I thought we did a pretty decent job of playing through that,” said OSU coach Thad Matta.However, despite collecting 18 offensive boards as a team, the Buckeyes only managed to muster up 12 second-chance points, two fewer than the Zips. In a postseason game in which neither team led by more than single digits, missing multiple scoring opportunities during a single possession usually spells out defeat.Heading into halftime with a 29-25 deficit, there was very little room for error on either side.OSU struggled to break the 20-point threshold throughout the course of the first half, but some minor halftime adjustments led to the Buckeyes outscoring Akron by 13 points over the final 25 minutes of the contest.“I thought they did a great job of closing the game out,” Matta said.With just over two minutes left in the second half, Lyle came up with arguably the game’s most important two-way play. After a 3-pointer by Akron senior forward Reggie McAdams put the Zips up by two points with just under three minutes left in regulation, Lyle stole the ball from senior guard Jake Kretzer and took it down to the other end to tie the game.“To have something like that disappear from your lineup that fast, the next man has to step up, and we all had to contribute in a different way,” Loving said.Despite falling short to the Buckeyes, Akron’s night consisted of a trifecta of effective players. The sharpshooting abilities of McAdams and Kretzer helped to combine for seven converted threes.Although the Zips shot just over 21 percent from beyond the arc, Akron junior center Isaiah Johnson added a more physical presence to the team’s contrasting perimeter play. Johnson tallied 16 points and 12 rebounds on the night, but that was not enough to offset the team’s uncharacteristic struggles from beyond the arc.“If you would’ve told me we would shoot 9-of-42 from three with the shots we got, I would tell you I’d be surprised,” said Akron coach Keith Dambrot. “That probably was a determining factor.”Even though OSU was sluggish at times, too, Akron’s inability to garner extended momentum might have been trifled by the team’s recent schedule. The Zips competed in their fourth contest in six days Tuesday, but Dambrot was not going to let possible fatigue excuse the team of a loss.Dambrot said after the game he still believes his team had the talent and discipline necessary to knock off a major school like OSU.“I felt like we should’ve won the game,” Dambrot said. “If we play up to our capabilities and they play up to their capabilities, I have enough respect for my team to think we should’ve won the game.”Williams, Matta’s usual sixth man, stepped in as a starter in aid of sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop, who was held out of Tuesday’s contest with an undisclosed illness. Even though Williams was starting his first collegiate game against the Zips, he did not succumb to the pressure.The Buckeyes are next set to host the Florida Gators on Sunday in the second round of the NIT. Tipoff is slated for noon at the Schottenstein Center. read more

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