UNESCO Panel Takes High-Level Look at Helping Development

first_imgPARIS—Science and sustainable development were the buzz words at the first meeting of a new advisory panel to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the end of last week. The charge to the High Panel on Science for Development is to identify trends in science and technology and to help UNESCO sharpen the focus of its work in promoting sustainable development, according to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who addressed the meeting. The brief is broad, as the panel has been asked to include in its discussions all the organization’s work in the natural sciences, humanities, and engineering, as well as find links between science and culture, education, and communications and look for new partners in the private sector, civil society, and academia.Among the challenges on the table are to pinpoint the best ways of harnessing science and technology for local economic development, incorporating indigenous knowledge systems into the global scientific base, wiping out disparities in access to resources, and preventing brain drain from developing countries. The panel is also to define UNESCO’s role in promoting international cooperation in areas such as climate change and the climatic impact of the oceans, Bokova said at the meeting. Sustainable development “requires holistic approaches that cross disciplinary and policy domains and make the most of synergies between them,” she said. “Better understanding is the first step to anticipating developments and designing better public policy.” The panel, which will meet here twice a year, is made up of 24 scientists and academics drawn from a multitude of scientific disciplines and from all regions of the world. Members include Susan Avery, director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; José Sarukhán Kermez, national coordinator of Mexico’s National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity; Ahmadou Lamine N’Diaye, president of the African Academy of Science; Gong Ke, president of Nankai University; and Rolf Heuer, director general of CERN. But group deliberately has no chairperson, at least for the moment. “This is the way U.N. high panels usually work, Gretchen Kalonji, UNESCO assistant director-general for science told ScienceInsider. “But we may well change our methods of working as time goes by.”Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The 15 of the 24 panelists who attended the meeting debated two topics: “mobilizing international science to address pressing interdisciplinary challenges facing our societies” and “models for capacity building in science, technology, and innovation.” A recurring theme throughout the presentations and the panel’s discussions was the growing demand for interdisciplinary work. “It is important by the nature of the problems,” says physicist Jose Mariano Gago, Portugal’s minister of science, technology, and higher education, who moderated the debate. “Many can’t be solved without it.” The question of data-intensive science, which offers opportunities for developing countries but requires huge infrastructure investment, was also raised several times, Gago noted during his summing up. “What is new [in education] is that a back-to-basics policy is no longer sufficient,” Gago added. “Higher education will be a major driving force for the next decades.” But knowledge is not necessarily the whole answer, Bokova noted, citing Albert Einstein’s declaration that imagination is more important than knowledge.last_img read more

SPORT-SAG-IND 3 LAST

first_imgIn mens and womens 5000m races, Indians finished one- In mens and womens 5000m races, Indians finished one- two. Man Singh won the mens 5000m in Games record time of 14 minute and 2.04 seconds while compatriot Suresh Kumar was second in 14:02.70. Nepals Rimal Hari Kumar was third in 14:32.18. In womens 5000m, L Surya clocked 15 minutes and 45.75 seconds to win the event in Games record time ahead of countrymate Swaty Gadhave who clocked 16:14.57 to bag the silver. But the Indians disappointed in the 100m dash of both men and women with the Sri Lankas running away with the honours. Elsewhere, Indian lifters bagged one gold and a silver on the concluding day of weightlifting event to end their campaign with 12 golds and one silver. Out of the 15 events in the weightlifting competition, Indians won gold in 13 and a silver in another to complete overwhelmingly dominant performance. The Indian men weightlifters bagged six gold and one silver out of eight events while their women counterparts won six gold out of seven on offer. Sushila Panwar secured the lone gold medal for India today in womens +75 kg category as she lifted a total of 198kg. In mens +105 kg category, Gurdeep Singh finished in second place with a total lift of 345 kg. The cyclists, on the other hand, notched up one gold, two silver and a bronze on the final day of competition. They grabbed six gold out of the overall eight, besides winning five silver and two bronze medals as well in the total count. Today, in the womens 80km individual road race, T Bidyaluxmi won the gold in 2 hours 30 minutes and 55.350 seconds. Chirag Sharma added to Indias gold medal tally in Wushu competition by emerging champion in his event. Displaying superb techniques, Sharma scored 18.450 points to win the gold ahead of Bishow Budha Magar (Nepal) and Muhammad Waleed Ajmal (Pakistan). PTI PDS PM PMadvertisementlast_img read more

Ravi Shastri has a message for those who missed out on World Cup spot

first_imgAlso Read:Andre Russell faces yet another injury scare AdvertisementIndian coach Ravi Shastri feels that the players who missed their opportunity to make it to the world cup squad shouldn’t feel disappointed.The chief selectors announced on Monday the squad for the Indian team that will travel to England next month for the ICC Cricket World Cup. This side has seen exclusion of some players that has brought about a debate amongst the fans.The squad that was announced saw Ambati Rayudu miss out on a spot despite playing regularly for the national team for over a year. Similarly, experience was opted over form as Rishabh Pant saw his place being lost to Dinesh Karthik.With Rayudu’s tweet yesterday clearly showing that he wasn’t very happy with his exclusion, Ravi Shastri spoke to the media stating that the players shouldn’t lose heart on missing out on a spot.He went on to state that the players who missed out could be roped in anytime due to injuries that may occur in the course of the tournament. Also Shastri felt disappointed that the side could consist of only 15 members and not more taking into account that the side had to play 9 group stage games.“Keep at it. India is a big country and from 1.2 billion people only 15 players can be selected. I would have preferred 16, but even then, someone or the other would have missed out. When you have a pool of 18 or 19 players, who can make the team, there is bound to be some people who will miss out and it is unfortunate but they should not lose heart,” said Shastri.“Cricket is a funny game, there could be injuries to players so you never know when you could be called up,” he said. Advertisementlast_img read more

Mum helped me after I split with footballer Jamie Redknapp: Singer Louise

first_imgEnglish singer Louise Redknapp recently spoke about her split with former footballer Jamie Redknapp and how tough those years were. Louise, 44, and Jamie, 46, divorced in 2017 due to professional differences after 19 years of marriage. The singer highlighted the split during the launch of some of her tracks from her new LP ‘Heavy Love’ in London recently. “When you make a new album after 18 years it’s so scary. As it [divorce] was well documented I went through some really tough, tough years. My mum always encouraged me to write down my feelings. This song got me through a really tough time so mum, I want to thank you,” she said. Jamie Redknapp Catch up on all the latest entertainment news and gossip here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updateslast_img read more

Southgate: We can’t write teams off

first_imgWorld Cup Southgate warns against England writing off Tunisia & Panama Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 01:41 12/2/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Southgate-Cropped Getty Images World Cup England Belgium Tunisia Panama Tunisia and Panama await England at the World Cup, but Gareth Southgate does not believe they can afford to write off any team. England manager Gareth Southgate believes they cannot afford to write off Tunisia and Panama after being handed a favourable World Cup draw.Southgate’s men were pitted against Tunisia – a team they beat at the same stage at the 1998 World Cup – and tournament debutants Panama in Friday’s draw at the Kremlin in Moscow.The Three Lions were also handed the tricky proposition of a game with Belgium, who boast what is seen as a golden generation featuring the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard, in Kaliningrad in their final Group G game. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player That could be seen as a match to decide the winner of the group, but, with England having finished second in a group containing United States, Slovenia and Algeria in 2010, before failing to get out of a group also boasting Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in 2014, Southgate feels a team that lost to Iceland in the last 16 of the European Championship last year can ill-afford to look beyond any opponent.Speaking to BBC Sport, Southgate said: “We’ve been good at writing teams off and then getting beaten by them haven’t we? We’ve got to be prepared for every game.”Southgate was part of the England team that defeated Tunisia 2-0 in the opening game of the 1998 tournament and added: “Remembering the Tunisia game in 1998, it was the first thing that went through my mind. It was a fantastic day and it’s nice to be able to relive that.”We haven’t done as much preparing on the African teams yet so now that’s what we can focus in on.”Belgium are 10 places ahead of England in the world rankings, but both teams went unbeaten through qualifying and their encounter on paper is one of the ties of the group stage.”They’re an outstanding team,” Southgate said of Roberto Martinez’s side.”They’re ranked where they are in the world because of the quality they’ve got. They’re top, top quality opposition.”Through the qualifying campaign you don’t think about days like today where everything hits home, but that’s the beauty of the World Cup.”When you look at old videos and goals it takes you back to the pureness of football. Now, the country knows what’s coming and they can get excited.”That’s why it’s so fantastic to be involved again. For me personally it’s been an incredible journey. To play for my country in a World Cup is an incredible honour, to lead my country there as a manager is beyond that.”last_img read more

Reducing defenders to tragically-sprawled pieces of Renaissance art

first_imgfeatures Why I was wrong over Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s Egyptian king Barney Ronay’s a bigger man than The Fiver, which is why he is happy to admit being wrong about Mo Salah, Liverpool’s gerbil superhero. Barry Glendenning meets Charlie Fogarty MBE, the footballer forced to rebuild his life from scratch after a car accident aged 15.Rob Smyth relives the infamous West Germany-Austria lash-up at España 82 in the latest of our reheated World Cup stunning moments series.Suzanne Wrack runs the rule over the Women’s Big Cup quarter-finals and says: lump on Lyon.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!THE BEAUTIFUL GAME The Fiver Pinterest Those in Egypt who sign up to a bundle named after their great hope will, between now and the end of the season, get 11 free minutes’ chatter every time he does what he always does. If anyone needed persuading, he has starred in an ad that paints a rounded picture of his life on Merseyside: trips to the playground, trips to the chippy, games of pool, games with the kids, haphazard pauses for thought on street corners. An everyman and, in Egypt, everyone’s main man.We’re going to assume his next opportunity to cause ringtone-related embarrassment will arise on Friday, when he comes up against Portugal. He would have bankrupted a few phone companies if a similar offer had applied in His pomp; both players are absolutely critical to any hope of World Cup success for their countries and if Salah is causing marketing bods to high-five by full-time then perhaps he’ll have offered some sort of clue that Egypt aren’t to be trifled with when this summer’s tournament comes around. He’ll also have auditioned pretty nicely for the world record move to Madrid/Barça/PSG/delete as appropriate, being banded about, that will bore everyone witless until it, almost inevitably, comes to pass. High stakes for everyone then, whether or not you’re pacing through Cairo’s streets on the hands-free while watching your minutes drain helplessly away as Salah takes an age to place the ball for a penalty. Not that there’s much danger of your conversation being curtailed: he’ll score it, after all.QUOTE OF THE DAY“When we don’t have the ball, what should we do? Defend high up the pitch and quickly. Why? To [effing] stifle the opponent by closing the spaces. The less space we give our opponents, the less chance they have to reach our goal. What’s football? It’s space-time” – Xavi gets cosmic.C64 USER OF THE DAY“At 13, I went to Real Madrid and started taking notes. I was giving marks to my team-mates after every game, writing down the top scorers. I still have those notebooks at home somewhere. I have all the training sessions of my players. I have my old computers, the Commodore 64 I used to work on. I used MS-DOS, then Basic, but I also learnt you have to be careful with computers. They give you too much information” – Rafa Benítez, ladies and gentlemen, quite possibly the only person in history to use a C64 for actual work and not just epic sessions of Jet Set W1lly and Pitstop II.RECOMMENDED LOOKINGDavid Squires on the FA Cup and football heritage. Oh it’s good. Football Here’s hoping Welbz wasn’t trying to score. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism – the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us by making a one-off or recurring contribution.FIVER LETTERS“Blimey – if you’re struggling for letters already, I dread to think how bad it’s going to be once international week actually starts” – Jim Hearson.“If Barnet’s Tony Kleanthous (yesterday’s Fiver) was from Yorkshire, then his name would be an accurate description of how he likes to run his club” – Dave Form.“As an Edgware native, I take exception to some of the ‘facts’ in your missive about Barnet. They play in neighbouring Canons Park, where the only glistening vistas one might stare out over is the sight of numerous youths exchanging cash for illicit substances under the cover of a willow tree in the local park” – Ben Fox.“Upon seeing the photo of the tumbleweed lazily rolling across the road in Friday’s Fiver, I thought for sure the prizeless letter o’the day award would go to ‘Rollover’. But you gave it to ‘A Tumbleweed’! I was just about to complain about this most undeserved LOTD award in Fiver history, when I read yesterday’s winner, which was arguably even less deserved. One more bizarre gong and I’m afraid Fiver letters will find itself in a full-blown crisis. I can’t tell if you’ve been hacked, had too much sake or become even lazier than before” – Peter Oh.Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Dave Form.THE RECAPGet the best of Big Website’s coverage sent direct to your inbox every Friday lunchtime (GMT). Has the added bonus of being on time. Sign up here.RECOMMENDED LISTENINGJoin Max and co for the latest Football Weekly podcast.BITS AND BOBSLiverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has been given the rare and exciting opportunity to see Gareth Southgate coaching in the flesh after being called up to train with England before Friday’s 0-0 draw with the Netherlands. Twitter Twitter Pinterest Topics Twitter Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Vince Hilaire. Photograph: Simon Czapp/Solent News Facebook Your man etc. Illustration: David Squires Share on WhatsApp Stevenage have wedged former player Dino Maamria into their vacant managerial hot seat. “We had a lot of applications for the job but we needed to bring Dino back home,” trilled chief suit Phil Wallace.Didier Deschamps reckons Paul Pogba has every right to feel fresh and funky after being made to study Scott McTominay from the Manchester United sidelines. “This is a situation that he must not appreciate because of everything he would have been able to offer,” hee-hawed the France boss. “He cannot be happy with what he is going through with his club.”N’Golo Kanté has taken a glass of cold water and half-heartedly poured it over rumours linking him with a move to Ligue 1 champions Qatar FC. “I am at home. It is my club. I am a Chelsea player,” he helpfully confirmed.And Newcastle have been charged by the FA for breaching kit regulations by fielding a team of whippersnappers in shirts bearing the logo of whatever betting company is sponsoring them at the moment.STILL WANT MORE?Palace and Portsmouth legend Vince Hilaire talks about the racism he had to endure in the 70s and 80s, and plenty more besides, with Dominic Fifield. Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Pinterest Facebook Share on Pinterest Read more RED-HOT CHATDuring Euro 2016 a pub in Dublin offered free pints to women whenever the better-favoured team scored, and pints to the men when an underdog managed to hit the net. Iceland’s success presumably went some way towards ensuring both $exes ended up stumbling around with equal measures of decrepitude – but just imagine the chaos if Mohamed Salah had been Icelandic!In the kind of seamless segue The Fiver learned before getting slung out of writing school, we follow this with news that Salah is currently doling out inadvertent treats of his own. It might not have escaped your attention that he is having a rather prolific time of things at Anfield, reducing defenders to tragically-sprawled pieces of Renaissance art in one move and looking dangerously close to being the new incarnation of late-2000s Him in the next. They’re all talking about it back home in Egypt and tongues have even more reason to wag because, in the latest example of a cuddly football-related gimmick to be employed by a tech company, a leading mobile phone network is scattering freebies around every time he hits the net. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Qatar reach final after UAE fans throw sandals

first_img Reuters Abu DhabiJanuary 29, 2019UPDATED: January 29, 2019 23:50 IST Asian Cup 2019: Hasan Al Haydos scored his Qatar’s third goal against UAE (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSQatar defeated hosts UAE 4-0 to reach their first-ever Asian Cup finalThe local UAE fans threw shoes and sandals onto the pitch during the matchQatar will take on Japan in the final of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup on FridayQatar defied sandal-throwing local fans to storm into the Asian Cup final for the first time with a 4-0 win over hosts United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, setting up a decider against Japan in Abu Dhabi on Friday.Boualem Khoukhi’s early strike and an eighth goal of the tournament from striker Almoez Ali gave Qatar a 2-0 halftime lead and captain Hassan Al-Haydos and Hamid Ismail completed the rout in the last 10 minutes.The UAE had been hoping to reach the Asian Cup final for the second time, but instead look likely to face sanctions after Ali was pelted with footwear as he celebrated his goal with Haydos and Ismail also the target of missiles.The cloud of the diplomatic and trade boycott of Qatar that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched in June 2017 hung heavy over the stadium with the visitors’ national anthem roundly booed by the majority of the crowd of 38,646.Fans throwing shoes at the Qatari players after they score their 2nd goal pic.twitter.com/zCxyhZeWOcJordan Gardner (@mrjordangardner) January 29, 2019The crowd were stunned into silence in the 22nd minute when Khoukhi cantered into the UAE half on the break and launched a speculative shot towards goal from the corner of the area that slipped under the hands of goalkeeper Khalid Eisa.While Eisa should have stopped the first goal, there was little he could have done about the second 15 minutes later.Ali powered his way through a trio of static defenders on the left edge of the box and curled his shot into the net off the far post to extend his lead as the tournament’s top scorer.advertisementThe young striker was showered with sandals thrown by irate home fans as he celebrated in scenes that will surely elicit some response from the Asian Football Confederation.1st ever team to not concede in opening 6 #AsianCup games1st ever #AsianCup final stage appearance for @QFAQatar are writing their names in the history books! pic.twitter.com/uwJLiTGGFu#AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 29, 2019Sadly for the home fans, there was little response from their team, whose few first-half chances came from crosses launched into the area from the flanks.Striker Ali Mabkhout, looking for his 10th goal over two Asian Cups, revived UAE hopes with a sizzling long-range drive in the 52nd minute that Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb was forced to tip over the bar.UAE captain Ismail Matar also looked lively when he came on as a substitute and had a shot blocked in the 69th minute, while Saad was again a match for a looping Ahmed Khalil header.The breakthrough would not come, however, and Haydos scored the third for the visitors on the break, cheekily chipping Eisa before grabbing the badge on his shirt in celebration to attract a shower of drinks bottles from angry fans.Insult was added to indignity in stoppage time when UAE defender Ismail Ahmed was sent off after a VAR review for an elbow to the face of Salem Al-Hajri and Hamid Ismail beat Eisa for the fourth time to trigger another barrage of bottles.For 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 Tags :Follow QatarFollow UAEFollow Qatar vs UAEFollow Asian Cup 2019Follow Asian CupFollow Asian Cup semifinal AFC Asian Cup 2019: Qatar reach final after UAE fans throw sandalsAFC Asian Cup 2019: Qatar defeated hosts UAE 4-0 to reach their first-ever Asian final after the home fans threw shoes and sandal on the football pitchadvertisement Nextlast_img read more

Valley Company Receives Environmental Approval

first_imgENVIRONMENT/LABOUR–Valley Company Receives EnvironmentalApproval The Department of Environment and Labour today, Sept. 19,approved an application from Lawson Bennett Trucking Ltd. toexpand an existing sand and gravel operation in Cambridge, KingsCo. Under terms of the approval the company will have to create acommunity liaison committee, establish a treed buffer at thenorthern edge of the property, and develop surface andgroundwater monitoring programs, among other conditions. In addition to the conditions established through the approval,the company has committed to what is called a progressiverehabilitation program. Sand and gravel will be excavated fromthe site in about three- to four-hectare pieces, meaning onlysmall parts of the 38-hectare site will be disturbed at any onetime. As work in each section is complete, the land will bereclaimed to protect against erosion, control sediment andimprove site aesthetics. The complete environmental assessment approval, including thecompany’s original application, will be available on theDepartment of Environment and Labour Web site, atwww.gov.ns.ca/enla/ess/ea/ . Formed in 1989, the Environmental Assessment Branch isresponsible for assessing major projects to identify, correct, orprevent adverse environmental impacts. A guide to theenvironmental assessment process is also available on thedepartment’s Web site.last_img read more

June Tourism Stats Available

first_imgMore than 200,000 visitors came to Nova Scotia in June, a one per cent increase over June 2006, and room nights sold were up two per cent. “Nova Scotia’s tourism industry is continuing to attract a steady number of tourists despite challenges like the weather and a strong Canadian dollar,” said Len Goucher, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “This performance is due, in large part, to our marketing efforts and the hard work of tourism operators across the province who are paying attention to their customers’ preferences and catering to them with quality service and unique Nova Scotia experiences.” Room nights sold varied in regions in June, from a 23 per cent increase on the Eastern Shore to a two per cent decrease in the Annapolis Valley. There were 11 per cent fewer American visitors over June 2006 and the same number of visitors from other countries. Visitors from the rest of Canada increased by three per cent. The number of people travelling to Nova Scotia by road increased four per cent, largely because of more Ontario and Atlantic Canadian visitors choosing to drive, while the number arriving by air was down seven per cent. Nova Scotia’s comprehensive system for reporting tourism statistics includes counting overnight visitors — excluding Nova Scotia residents — at all entry points to the province and gathering the number of room nights sold from all licensed accommodation operators. Detailed tourism statistics can be found on the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage website at www.gov.ns.ca/dtc/pubs/insights . Statistics for July are expected to be released in early September.last_img read more

NSBI Announces 201112 Annual Results

first_img For more information on NSBI’s 2011-12 annual report visit http://www.novascotiabusiness.com/AR2011-12. Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the province’s private-sector-led business development agency. Through trade development, investment attraction, business financing and venture capital, NSBI assists local companies and attracts international companies to Nova Scotia. For more information, visit www.nsbi.ca. In collaboration with partners, NSBI’s trade services assisted 441 companies expand existing markets and explore new markets, versus 328 from the previous year. Investment Attraction, which focuses on attracting new investment to the province, closed five foreign direct investments deals for the fiscal year. The approximately $11 million in earned incentives will create up to 1135 jobs and $162 million in payroll and benefits. The province can potentially earn up to $16 million in direct tax revenue though these agreements. NSBI charted five transactions in business financing providing structured financial solutions totalling about $2.4 million to help Nova Scotia businesses grow. NSBI Venture Capital’s five transactions provided access to about $14,850,000 in capital for businesses in Nova Scotia. The client-reported actual and forecasted export sales more than doubled to $318 million. Nova Scotia businesses are trading more, exporting more and creating more jobs in key sectors across the province, thanks to strategic provincial investments through Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI). NSBI released its tenth annual report today, Dec. 6, which covers the fiscal period from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2012, and marks the end of NSBI’s second five-year strategic plan cycle. “Nova Scotia is turning the corner on 20 years of the worst economic performance in the country and we are doing this by helping businesses showcase their innovation and products to the world – and by supporting the creation of high value jobs across the province,” said Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “Our information technology sector is growing faster than any other province – and that was before IBM selected Nova Scotia as home for its Canadian global delivery centre.” This fiscal year was one of NSBI’s busiest in investment and trade development. Export Development Canada forecasts Nova Scotia export growth to lead the country in 2013. KPMG recognized Halifax’s financial service sector as the fastest growing hedge fund administration centre in the country and Nova Scotia’s information technology sector grew faster than any other province in Canada over the last five years. Stephen Lund, president and CEO of NSBI, said that in spite of the economic turbulence of the past few years, Nova Scotia has seen a 35 per cent increase in trade activities over the last year. “We continue to see more world class companies, like Admiral Administration, wanting to do business in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Lund. “These gains have positioned Nova Scotia for future growth and created an opportunity for us to illustrate our success in bringing Nova Scotia to the world and the world to Nova Scotia.” During the past fiscal year, NSBI, along with its partners and clients, has done business in over 40 countries, spanning five continents. In 2011-12, the growth in total trade exceeded the growth of provincial GDP by eight per cent. “NSBI is helping our Springhill-based company achieve its goals and service increasing demand in our export markets, especially in the renewable energy sector in Europe and Central America,” said James Surrette, president, Surrette Battery. Some highlights of the annual report include:last_img read more

Commuters can now use Metro staff toilets

first_imgKolkata: Metro Railway has decided to allow commuters to use staff toilets in all Metro stations from Wednesday. According to sources, senior Metro officials have conveyed the message to all the station masters on the issue. A few days ago, the National Human Rights Commission had taken up the matter seriously and got in touch with Metro Railway regarding the issue. Metro authorities informed that they were mulling about installing toilets but before that commuters will be allowed to use the toilets designated for Metro staff members. However, the staff of Metro are not happy with the decision. A section of staff stated that the toilets are not big enough to accommodate such a huge number of commuters.last_img

Commonwealth TT Indian women reach semifinals men follow

first_imgCuttack: Indian men and women were the first to book their semifinal slots after winning their Super Eights group matches in the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Thursday. Though the Indian men have a formality to complete — they play their last match against Wales in group F — the women finished their engagements in group F with emphatic triumphs over Wales (3-0), Malaysia (3-0) and Nigeria (3-0). Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenEarlier, the men’s team defeated Sri Lanka and Malaysia with an identical 3-0 margin to seal their berth in the semi-final. Anthony Amalraj, who got to play his matches on Thursday, had it rather easy against Sri Lankan Krishan Wickramaratha, cleaning him up with a 3-0 verdict in the opener though he was found to be struggling a bit against Malaysian Feng Chee Leong. But the Indian overcame the initial hiccups to beat him 3-1. As for the rest of the matches, they were as simple as they can get as G. Sathiyan and Manav Thakkar formed part of the squad against Sri Lanka while Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai were pitted against Malaysia. Coaches Australian Brett Clarke and Soumyadeep Roy gave ample opportunities to all the players before the knockouts on Friday. Also Read – Fast bowler Behrendorff to undergo spinal surgeryArchana Kamath was the common factor in all the three women’s matches while the two coaches rotated the other players, including Manika Batra, Madhurika Patkar, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee. All the players came out with flying colours against their respective opponents. Besides India, England men and women too made the semi-final grade after notching up two wins each. Their men beat Singapore 3-2 while they claimed a 3-1 victory over Australia. Their women, on the other hand, beat Australia 3-1 and then trounced Sri Lanka 3-0. With two semi-final slots left in each of the two sections, the teams that look to book their berths are Singapore and Nigeria, barring a problem or two in the last match. In individual events, only one of the two Indians, G Sathiyan and Manav Thakkar, would progress to the medal round as they were drawn in the same quarter while the other three Indians were lucky to find themselves evenly distributed into the other quarter-finals. All the Indian male players were among the top eight seeds (based on their ITTF July rankings) while only three women — Manika Batra, Archana Kamath and Madhurika Patkar — were seeded and got first-round byes in the main draw. The remaining two — Sutirtha and Ayhika — will have to make it to the main draw through qualifiers.last_img read more

Morocco Foils International Drug Trafficking Operation Seizes 4 Tones of Cannabis

Rabat – Morocco’s Royal Gendarmerie foiled on Tuesday an international drug smuggling operation in the city of El Jadida. The members of the royal gendarmerie have managed to seize four tones of Chira  (cannabis resin).The gendarmerie forces busted a truck loaded with four tons of Chira on Tuesday at about 5:00 a.m  on the Lahyalma beach, a rural commune of M’harza Sahel, as the truck drivers were preparing to unload the illegal cargo.The operation, according to Maghreb Arab Press, allowed the royal gendarmerie to arrest 2 drug smugglers. The security forces also seized two dinghies. Investigations are underway to determine the circumstances of the case and to arrest possible suspects involved in illegal drug trafficking.

Great research horrible commercialization Why investors see Canada as a potential hotbed

Today, the MolecuLight is in the hands of doctors in North America and Europe, allowing them to see bacteria on human skin in real time, which allows for better treatment of chronic, infected wounds.DaCosta’s device is an early Canadian success in a health technology field that had become one of the hottest spaces for startups — and one in which Canada is well-positioned to take advantage, even if access to the massive U.S. health care industry is the primary target for most investors.“It’s a three and a half trillion dollar industry, just in the U.S. alone. When you have that much spend, it just creates opportunity,” said Jeff Becker, an industry analyst with Forrester Research focusing on healthcare.But according to Becker, it’s more than just scale alone that is driving the new flood of interest. Recent policy changes in the U.S. — and the need for hospitals and doctors to play catch up after being slow to adopt digital technology — are accelerating interest in the sector. Real estate, health sectors in need of tech disruption, Whitecap Venture Partners says How to finance a Canadian tech startup, from pre-seed to series D Canada risks losing its artificial intelligence edge as adoption lags and the tech goes mainstream The first change was the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which encouraged “value-based care” instead of a traditional fee-for-service model where doctors and hospitals bill for each procedure.“Instead of paying hospitals for the number of visits it sees per year, we’re going to calculate how much that hospital should be spending to care for its community and then incentivize it if it comes in under that number,” Becker said.“This put providers on notice that growth strategies in health care could not just be focused on keeping beds full. We need to shift the focus on keeping the population healthy.”The second change came with heavy incentives to adopt electronic health records, which opened up reams of data for various software systems, internet-connected medical devices, and artificial intelligence applications.“We created a surplus of data and we created an economic pivot that moved patients from the hospital and to the ambulatory, and then into the home,” Becker said.“So now, everyone is racing to create the digital front door to engage consumers at home, keep them healthy, optimize care delivery, and get them care in the lowest cost place of service that meets their needs.”All that data from electronic health records also creates an opportunity to build powerful new artificial intelligence tools, which can optimize care.This creates a huge opportunity for Canada, and in particular the cluster of research hospitals and universities in southern Ontario and Quebec, according to Sam Ifergan, president and CEO of iGan Partners, the venture capital fund that invested in MolecuLight.iGan recently closed a $100 million venture fund, with another $100 million in co-investment committed from partners — money will be targeted at early-stage health-tech startups.Ifergan said they focus their investments on the cluster of leading universities and research hospitals in southern Ontario and Quebec, and in particular the Greater Toronto Area, because it allows iGan to be hands-on with the startups, and shepherd them through the business challenges associated with commercializing academic research.“All these universities, there’s so much money being pumped into them, so there’s great research, but there’s horrible commercialization,” Ifergan said.Ifergan said that he likes to invest in companies that have more than an idea; they need some patents and a proof of concept, and clinical evidence. It still takes time and money to get regulatory approvals, and bring a commercial product to market, but a lot of heavy lifting is already done.“The government had already poured, like, $10 million into the research by this scientist, right? So we’re taking that and commercializing it,” he said. “That takes a lot of know-how. It’s not pure science, but it takes engineering and business acumen.”In traditional venture capital investing, the truism is that a fund will write cheques to 10 startups, and nine of them will fail, but hopefully the tenth will go public or get acquired, and that exit will cover the other busts.Ifergan called that approach “spray and pray” but he said in health tech, they go for a more steady strategy. He said their companies tend to get bought up by big American or European distributors.“We’re not swinging for the fences each time. So some companies are not going to make huge returns, but they’re not going to be zeros,” he said.Reliability also makes healthcare an attractive investment vehicle further up the food chain. This week DW Healthcare Partners closed its fifth private equity fund, raising US$610 million. In total, the firm has US$1.43 billion under management.DW Healthcare co-founder and managing partner Andrew Carragher said that they like to buy profitable healthcare businesses with around $50 million in revenue.Carragher said that it’s still enormously difficult to sell new products and services into the health care system, because of strict budgets and complicated bureaucracy. He said a company can get a product to market, and then stagnate because it’s so difficult to grow to the next level. In Canada, it often means a provincial government studying the technology by committee before deciding if it meaningfully improves outcomes and offers value.“I consider ourselves as sort of the bridge to get people over that chasm, and it’s a big one,” he said.“The value that we provide to these founders, and to the companies, is that we spend our entire lives penetrating and selling and building sales forces into hospital systems in the U.S. and Canada, and it is really a unique skillset.”• Email: jmcleod@nationalpost.com | Twitter: About 13 years ago, Dr. Ralph DaCosta noticed something unusual — a fluorescent glowing red mass of bacteria — while looking at the insides of a lab rat in his microscope as a PhD student in Toronto.The glowing bacteria wasn’t directly related to his research, but it planted the seed of an idea: what if it was possible to make bacteria visible to the naked eye?Eventually he filed a patent, but it didn’t really go anywhere until 2014, when a Toronto-based venture capital firm wrote a cheque for $4 million to help him commercialize a handheld fluorescent imaging device.It’s a three and a half trillion dollar industry, just in the U.S. aloneAnalyst Jeff Becker read more

Womens tennis Miho Kowase the programs winningest player leading team into NCAA

Ohio State senior tennis player Miko Kowase is the all-time winningest singles player in program history. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsFor senior Miho Kowase, individual accolades come second to team success, something that the No. 5 Ohio State women’s tennis team has seen a lot of en route to its second consecutive Big Ten regular-season title.As a matter of fact, Kowase, who broke the school record for all-time singles wins with her 105th career win against Northwestern’s Alex Chatt April 16, didn’t even know she was approaching the record.“Actually I had no idea, that’s the funny part,” Kowase said. “My teammates told me, actually, after the match and my coaches told me and I was like, ‘What?’”This wasn’t the first time Kowase unknowingly approached a big milestone in her career, as something similar happened when she won her 100th singles match March 31 against Rutgers.“I had no idea,” Kowase added. “I had no idea when I won (my) 100th match actually before my teammate came up to me like, ‘Congrats, Miho, that was your 100th match!’”Her focus remained on the competition at hand, which OSU has been taking care of handily as of late.“It’s just all the hard work she’s put in over the years and the way she’s gone about doing the work,” coach Melissa Schaub said. “She’s just an unbelievable competitor and she wants to win every single match … When you have that competitiveness and that confidence in what you’ve put in, then you just get to go out there and have fun and that’s what the matches should be like.”The team finished the regular season on an eight-match win streak and a perfect record against conference opponents. All season, the team surrendered only one point to Big Ten opposition, outscoring the conference 73-1.The team also set a new school record for shutout victories with 18 over the course of the season.“I think breaking the record will mean something to her one day for sure,” Schaub said. “But right now, all the credit to her for just playing each match as it is.”In her senior season, though, Kowase is strictly focused on the team and its potential in the postseason.“Last year we won the Big Ten tournament, like (the) first time ever and that was really great,” she said. “And then we have a chance to do it again, that’s something I never thought we could’ve done.”Kowase is one of four graduating seniors for the team, and wants to make sure she goes out with a bang.“I don’t know if I’m ready to be done, but I just want to finish strong and I just want to keep working hard so that I don’t have any regrets” Kowase said. “So I just need to keep competing, keep playing for my team.”The No. 3 seed Buckeyes play No. 14 South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday in Athens, Georgia, in the round of 16 of the NCAA tournament. read more

In Cooperstown a Crowded Waiting Room

Jessie Schwartz for The New York Times Baseball writers elected no one to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, despite what might have been the deepest ballot in years.The failure of the writers to pick Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens was not a surprise given the low vote totals received in the past by Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, other players associated with the use performance-enhancing drugs. But the vote totals for Bonds and Clemens, just 36 and 38 percent, were lower than expected.Craig Biggio, who received 68.2 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, will almost certainly make it into the Hall of Fame someday. Still, his profile is quite similar to Robin Yount and Roberto Alomar, two players who did better in their first year on the ballot. (Yount got 77.5 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot in 1999, while Alomar got 73.7 percent of the vote in 2010 and made it in the next year.)Perhaps the clearest effect of the crowded ballot, however, was realized among candidates who were returning to the ballot from last year. Of the 13 players who carried over from the 2012 ballot, nine received a lower share of the vote, including Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.This is atypical; instead, players usually add votes with each additional year they spend on the ballot. Since 1967, when the Hall of Fame adopted balloting rules similar to the ones it uses now, about two-thirds of holdover players gained ground from their prior year’s vote percentage.It is possible to be a bit more precise about this pattern. Based on an analysis of Hall of Fame voting between 1967 and 2011, I found that the increase in a player’s vote total is typically proportional to his percentage from the previous year. In his second year on the ballot, for example, the typical player’s vote share increases by a multiple of about 1.1.Thus, a player who received 10 percent of the vote in his first year would be expected to receive about 11 percent on his second try, while a player who got 50 percent of the vote would go up to 55 percent.The pace of improvement is typically highest in the first several years that a player spends on the ballot, slowing down once he has been eligible five or six times. (The exception is in a player’s 15 and final year of eligibility, when he may receive a fairly large boost.) But these small percentage gains can add up, something like the way in which interest compounds over time. For example, as shown in the chart below, a player who gets just 30 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot would be projected to make it in on his 14th year of eligibility if he follows the formula each year.In practice, the growth in a player’s vote share is rarely this smooth — and you should not necessarily expect the pattern to hold for Bonds and Clemens. (Instructively, the vote shares for McGwire and Palmeiro have actually been declining.) Nonetheless, Hall of Fame candidates typically have a tailwind as time passes.This year, however, veterans on the Hall of Fame ballot faced a headwind instead. The next chart compares the actual vote that each player received against that projected by the historical formula. Actual results in 2013 compared to projections based on historical patterns.Twelve of the 13 players underperformed their projection; the exception was Dale Murphy, who got a larger-than-average boost in his final year of eligibility, but still came nowhere close to winning election.Even some players who gained ground did not necessarily help their chances. Jack Morris went from 66.7 percent of the vote to 67.7 percent, below his projection of 69.4 percent. The small difference could be important because next year will be Morris’s final year of eligibility, and he projects to be very close to the 75 percent threshold for election. (Perhaps the player who had the best year, instead, was Tim Raines, whose vote share grew to 52.2 percent from 48.7 percent, and who is now a clear favorite to be elected someday by the writers.)Most other players lost ground outright. Trammell, in his 12th year of eligibility, declined to 33.6 percent from 36.8 percent of the vote. He was an underdog to make it in before, but now he seems to have very little chance. The same also holds for Smith, who lost most of what he gained last year after years of stagnant vote totals.McGriff, as Joe Posnanski writes, seemed to be a plausible candidate to gain ground this year as writers sought out players who were perceived as clean, as opposed to known or suspected of steroid use. Instead, his vote share declined to 20.7 percent from 23.9 percent. Williams had received just under 10 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, but his case was not entirely hopeless; players like Bob Lemon and Carl Hubbell were eventually selected by the writers with a similar vote total in their first year.Instead, Williams fell below the 5 percent threshold required for a player to stay on the ballot.The crowded and confusing ballot may be affecting these players in several ways. The most obvious is that the writers are limited to voting for a maximum of 10 players. This year, according to the sample of ballots collected by the Twitter user @leokitty, 24 percent of writers used all 10 of their picks. That compares with 12 percent in 2011, and just 4 percent in 2012.Did the 10-vote limit keep Biggio and Morris out of the Hall of Fame, perhaps along with other players?Actually, it was almost certainly not responsible all by itself. Of the 24 percent of writers who used all 10 ballot slots, 90 percent did name Biggio, meaning 10 percent did not. At best, therefore, if all writers who exhausted their ballots would also have named Biggio if they had unlimited votes, he would have gotten only 10 percent of the 24 percent, adding only 2.4 percentage points to his overall vote total.The logic here is that it’s hard to make a case that Biggio was only the 11th or 12th best player on the ballot. Instead, most of the writers who left him out were probably more like Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman wrote that he saw Biggio as the eighth best player on the ballot — but he also thought that only six were worthy of inclusion. Most of the writers who left Biggio out, in other words, were those who take a conservative overall approach to how many players they want in the Hall of Fame, and not those who ran out of ballot positions.Morris is a more debatable case. If all writers who maxed out their ballot slots had included him, he would have come very close to 75 percent of the vote. However, Morris is also a highly polarizing candidate. Those writers who included him often thought he was among the very best players on the ballot; on several ballots, in fact, Morris was the only player named. But other writers think he falls fall short of Hall of Fame standards and would not have picked him no matter how many votes they had to spare.Nor, obviously, were Bonds’s and Clemens’s totals affected to any material degree by the 10-player limit. Nobody left Bonds off their ballots because they thought he had only the 11th-best statistical record; they did so because they don’t think steroids users should be in the Hall of Fame. (In fact, most of the writers who maxed out their ballot slots included Bonds and Clemens; the writers who are willing to consider performance-enhancing drug users have much more crowded ballots than those who are not.)Instead, players like McGriff, Trammell, Williams and Edgar Martinez were probably most affected by the 10-player limit. The logic for McGriff, for example, is very close of the opposite of that which might be applied to Biggio. It’s fairly hard to sustain a case that McGriff was one of the best six or seven players on the ballot this year. But you might credibly argue that there is a glut of a dozen or so qualified players, McGriff among them, and you had to leave McGriff out because of the ballot limit.However, the players are not only being affected by those writers who ran out of ballot slots. There were a higher-than-average number of writers this year who listed very few players, or even none at all. Some 10 percent of voters named two or fewer players this year, according to Leokitty’s spreadsheet. That is lower than in 2012, an underwhelming year on the ballot, when 16 percent of voters did so.But it is less than 2009, 2010 or 2011, when between 3 and 8 percent of writers listed so few players. Some writers are deliberately listing very few players as a protest vote, whether against the steroids era or the Hall of Fame balloting process.Between the protest voters on the one hand, and the maxed-out voters on the other, the players are being squeezed at both ends.Finally, some players may be harmed by the psychology of the ballot. If Clemens were not on the ballot, for example, then you could credibly make a case that Curt Schilling was the best pitcher on the ballot (if you don’t think that Morris is). But Schilling’s accomplishments look poor by comparison to Clemens’s, as do those of almost any pitcher — even if you aren’t willing to vote for Clemens because of his steroids use. The same holds for outfielders whose statistics might be compared with Barry Bonds’s.There is even something to be said for the so-called “paradox of choice”: that when presented with too many options, we may be overwhelmed with information and have trouble making any decisions at all.Hall of Fame voting is ultimately designed to be a consensus process. One reason that players tend to gain votes over time is because the writers are looking at what their peers are doing and value the endorsements of their colleagues. Moreover, because they have as many as 15 chances to elect a player, many writers tend toward conservatism initially. There is no way to remove a player from the Hall of Fame once he has been elected, but you can change your mind to include him later. When a writer initially votes “no” on a player, it really means “wait and see” in many cases.But consensus is harder to achieve when members of a group have divergent values and ideologies. Instead of the typical friendly arguments about how a player’s lifetime accomplishments might be weighed against how dominant he was in his best seasons, or how to compare players at different positions, the writers are now spending most of their time arguing about who used steroids and when, and how this should affect Hall of Fame consideration. Many have passionate beliefs about this, whichever side of the argument they take. An increasing number of writers would like to elect a dozen or more players; an increasing number would like to lose the whole “steroids era” to history. Good-natured debates may be replaced by tactical considerations, as voters make guesses about who everyone else might vote for, or where their ballots might be wasted.Next year will place even more pressure on the voters, when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina are added to the list of candidates. Those who apply little discount for steroids use may credibly claim to identify 15 or more qualified candidates, and even those who do not may have to drop one or two names that they otherwise see as worthy. The New York Times will probably not have to publish a blank page again, but no one but Maddux seems sure to make it in.,Jessie Schwartz for The New York Times Baseball writers elected no one to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday, despite what might have been the deepest ballot in years.The failure of the writers to pick Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens was not a surprise given the low vote totals received in the past by Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, other players associated with the use performance-enhancing drugs. But the vote totals for Bonds and Clemens, just 36 and 38 percent, were lower than expected.Craig Biggio, who received 68.2 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, will almost certainly make it into the Hall of Fame someday. Still, his profile is quite similar to Robin Yount and Roberto Alomar, two players who did better in their first year on the ballot. (Yount got 77.5 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot in 1999, while Alomar got 73.7 percent of the vote in 2010 and made it in the next year.)Perhaps the clearest effect of the crowded ballot, however, was realized among candidates who were returning to the ballot from last year. Of the 13 players who carried over from the 2012 ballot, nine received a lower share of the vote, including Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.This is atypical; instead, players usually add votes with each additional year they spend on the ballot. Since 1967, when the Hall of Fame adopted balloting rules similar to the ones it uses now, about two-thirds of holdover players gained ground from their prior year’s vote percentage.It is possible to be a bit more precise about this pattern. Based on an analysis of Hall of Fame voting between 1967 and 2011, I found that the increase in a player’s vote total is typically proportional to his percentage from the previous year. In his second year on the ballot, for example, the typical player’s vote share increases by a multiple of about 1.1.Thus, a player who received 10 percent of the vote in his first year would be expected to receive about 11 percent on his second try, while a player who got 50 percent of the vote would go up to 55 percent.The pace of improvement is typically highest in the first several years that a player spends on the ballot, slowing down once he has been eligible five or six times. (The exception is in a player’s 15 and final year of eligibility, when he may receive a fairly large boost.) But these small percentage gains can add up, something like the way in which interest compounds over time. For example, as shown in the chart below, a player who gets just 30 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot would be projected to make it in on his 14th year of eligibility if he follows the formula each year.In practice, the growth in a player’s vote share is rarely this smooth — and you should not necessarily expect the pattern to hold for Bonds and Clemens. (Instructively, the vote shares for McGwire and Palmeiro have actually been declining.) Nonetheless, Hall of Fame candidates typically have a tailwind as time passes.This year, however, veterans on the Hall of Fame ballot faced a headwind instead. The next chart compares the actual vote that each player received against that projected by the historical formula. Actual results in 2013 compared to projections based on historical patterns.Twelve of the 13 players underperformed their projection; the exception was Dale Murphy, who got a larger-than-average boost in his final year of eligibility, but still came nowhere close to winning election.Even some players who gained ground did not necessarily help their chances. Jack Morris went from 66.7 percent of the vote to 67.7 percent, below his projection of 69.4 percent. The small difference could be important because next year will be Morris’s final year of eligibility, and he projects to be very close to the 75 percent threshold for election. (Perhaps the player who had the best year, instead, was Tim Raines, whose vote share grew to 52.2 percent from 48.7 percent, and who is now a clear favorite to be elected someday by the writers.)Most other players lost ground outright. Trammell, in his 12th year of eligibility, declined to 33.6 percent from 36.8 percent of the vote. He was an underdog to make it in before, but now he seems to have very little chance. The same also holds for Smith, who lost most of what he gained last year after years of stagnant vote totals.McGriff, as Joe Posnanski writes, seemed to be a plausible candidate to gain ground this year as writers sought out players who were perceived as clean, as opposed to known or suspected of steroid use. Instead, his vote share declined to 20.7 percent from 23.9 percent. Williams had received just under 10 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility, but his case was not entirely hopeless; players like Bob Lemon and Carl Hubbell were eventually selected by the writers with a similar vote total in their first year.Instead, Williams fell below the 5 percent threshold required for a player to stay on the ballot.The crowded and confusing ballot may be affecting these players in several ways. The most obvious is that the writers are limited to voting for a maximum of 10 players. This year, according to the sample of ballots collected by the Twitter user @leokitty, 24 percent of writers used all 10 of their picks. That compares with 12 percent in 2011, and just 4 percent in 2012.Did the 10-vote limit keep Biggio and Morris out of the Hall of Fame, perhaps along with other players?Actually, it was almost certainly not responsible all by itself. Of the 24 percent of writers who used all 10 ballot slots, 90 percent did name Biggio, meaning 10 percent did not. At best, therefore, if all writers who exhausted their ballots would also have named Biggio if they had unlimited votes, he would have gotten only 10 percent of the 24 percent, adding only 2.4 percentage points to his overall vote total.The logic here is that it’s hard to make a case that Biggio was only the 11th or 12th best player on the ballot. Instead, most of the writers who left him out were probably more like Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman wrote that he saw Biggio as the eighth best player on the ballot — but he also thought that only six were worthy of inclusion. Most of the writers who left Biggio out, in other words, were those who take a conservative overall approach to how many players they want in the Hall of Fame, and not those who ran out of ballot positions.Morris is a more debatable case. If all writers who maxed out their ballot slots had included him, he would have come very close to 75 percent of the vote. However, Morris is also a highly polarizing candidate. Those writers who included him often thought he was among the very best players on the ballot; on several ballots, in fact, Morris was the only player named. But other writers think he falls fall short of Hall of Fame standards and would not have picked him no matter how many votes they had to spare.Nor, obviously, were Bonds’s and Clemens’s totals affected to any material degree by the 10-player limit. Nobody left Bonds off their ballots because they thought he had only the 11th-best statistical record; they did so because they don’t think steroids users should be in the Hall of Fame. (In fact, most of the writers who maxed out their ballot slots included Bonds and Clemens; the writers who are willing to consider performance-enhancing drug users have much more crowded ballots than those who are not.)Instead, players like McGriff, Trammell, Williams and Edgar Martinez were probably most affected by the 10-player limit. The logic for McGriff, for example, is very close of the opposite of that which might be applied to Biggio. It’s fairly hard to sustain a case that McGriff was one of the best six or seven players on the ballot this year. But you might credibly argue that there is a glut of a dozen or so qualified players, McGriff among them, and you had to leave McGriff out because of the ballot limit.However, the players are not only being affected by those writers who ran out of ballot slots. There were a higher-than-average number of writers this year who listed very few players, or even none at all. Some 10 percent of voters named two or fewer players this year, according to Leokitty’s spreadsheet. That is lower than in 2012, an underwhelming year on the ballot, when 16 percent of voters did so.But it is less than 2009, 2010 or 2011, when between 3 and 8 percent of writers listed so few players. Some writers are deliberately listing very few players as a protest vote, whether against the steroids era or the Hall of Fame balloting process.Between the protest voters on the one hand, and the maxed-out voters on the other, the players are being squeezed at both ends.Finally, some players may be harmed by the psychology of the ballot. If Clemens were not on the ballot, for example, then you could credibly make a case that Curt Schilling was the best pitcher on the ballot (if you don’t think that Morris is). But Schilling’s accomplishments look poor by comparison to Clemens’s, as do those of almost any pitcher — even if you aren’t willing to vote for Clemens because of his steroids use. The same holds for outfielders whose statistics might be compared with Barry Bonds’s.There is even something to be said for the so-called “paradox of choice”: that when presented with too many options, we may be overwhelmed with information and have trouble making any decisions at all.Hall of Fame voting is ultimately designed to be a consensus process. One reason that players tend to gain votes over time is because the writers are looking at what their peers are doing and value the endorsements of their colleagues. Moreover, because they have as many as 15 chances to elect a player, many writers tend toward conservatism initially. There is no way to remove a player from the Hall of Fame once he has been elected, but you can change your mind to include him later. When a writer initially votes “no” on a player, it really means “wait and see” in many cases.But consensus is harder to achieve when members of a group have divergent values and ideologies. Instead of the typical friendly arguments about how a player’s lifetime accomplishments might be weighed against how dominant he was in his best seasons, or how to compare players at different positions, the writers are now spending most of their time arguing about who used steroids and when, and how this should affect Hall of Fame consideration. Many have passionate beliefs about this, whichever side of the argument they take. An increasing number of writers would like to elect a dozen or more players; an increasing number would like to lose the whole “steroids era” to history. Good-natured debates may be replaced by tactical considerations, as voters make guesses about who everyone else might vote for, or where their ballots might be wasted.Next year will place even more pressure on the voters, when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina are added to the list of candidates. Those who apply little discount for steroids use may credibly claim to identify 15 or more qualified candidates, and even those who do not may have to drop one or two names that they otherwise see as worthy. The New York Times will probably not have to publish a blank page again, but no one but Maddux seems sure to make it in. read more

Urban Meyer names Cardale Jones Ohio State backup quarterback despite disappointing Spring

Urban Meyer looks on during the OSU Spring Game April 12 at Ohio Stadium. The Gray defeated Scarlet, 17-7.Credit: Mark Batke / For The LanternThe most publicized position in all of sports is arguably the quarterback position, and at Ohio State, even the backup spot is a point of emphasis.With senior Braxton Miller out for the spring after undergoing minor shoulder surgery in February, the competition to see who would be his backup became a big storyline throughout spring practice.The two players most likely to fall next in line behind Miller — redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett — both got their chances to shine in front of 61,058 people Saturday, and neither seemed comfortable for a majority of the game.Neither quarterback accounted for a touchdown. However, Barrett nearly broke free twice after keeping the ball on designed run plays before being whistled down. Both he and Jones sported black, no-contact jerseys once the game got under way.Barrett finished the game 17-33 passing for 151 yards, also rushing for 25 yards on six carries. He led a pair of 80-yard scoring drives, while also leading a 90-yard drive that stalled on fourth and goal.Jones, who coach Urban Meyer said after the game is in position to be Miller’s backup, got off to a very slow start. He headed into halftime just 6-15 passing for seven yards, including a pass play that resulted in a loss of 12 yards. After losing the ball in the end zone, Jones was forced to find a receiver in order to avoid a safety and dumped it off to junior wide receiver Kato Mitchell, who was well behind the line of scrimmage.Jones improved his game in the second half, as he finished the game 14-31 passing for 126 yards while also rushing for 21 yards on four carries.Meyer said he was unhappy with Jones’ performance.“Cardale was disappointing,” Meyer said after the game. “I thought he made some misses today, but I’m not going to let that ruin his spring. He’s had a good spring for us.”Despite a poor performance, Jones said he was excited to finally be on the field.“It was pretty cool,” Jones said after the game. “I’ve been waiting for a long time and I’ve still got work to do to enhance my ability.”Junior offensive lineman Taylor Decker, who sits as the lone returning starter on the OSU offensive line, said he was pleased that under the pressure of performing in front of a large crowd, the young quarterbacks didn’t buckle.“To see that calmness in a quarterback, even though they may be a new guy, it’s still good to see from an offensive lineman standpoint,” Decker, who hardly saw time on the field Saturday, said.The lone turnover committed by a quarterback was early on when Barrett — despite wearing the no-contact jersey — was hit from behind, forcing him to lose the ball in his own end zone. Redshirt-senior defensive lineman Rashad Frazier forced the fumble, then pounced on it, resulting in the Scarlet’s only touchdown of the game.When asked if he thought he had locked up the backup spot, Jones was concise.“Oh no, not at all,” Jones said.The Buckeye quarterbacks have all summer to improve before fall camp opens, and OSU is scheduled to open the 2014 season at M&T Bank Stadium against Navy on Aug. 30 at noon. read more

Ganja farms with 25000 plants destroyed Police

Twenty-five-thousand (25,000) plants, ranging in heights from one foot to five feet have been photographed and destroyed by fire along with two camps and in excess of one hundred kilograms of dried cannabis at locations in the Berbice river.Dried cannabisThis is according to a press statement from the Guyana Police Force, which said that officers on Friday conducted a drug eradication operation in “the Berbice River (DeVeldt and Tabali).”According to the police no arrests were made.However, it was outlined that investigators are currently in the process of tracing the ownership of the lands with a view of instituting changes. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related5 acres of cannabis cultivation, including 3 camps destroyed- PoliceDecember 1, 2018In “Crime”25,000 ganja plants destroyedJuly 11, 2019In “Crime”44 acres of Marijuana fields destroyed in BerbiceMay 3, 2014In “Crime” read more

Hayes Creek confirmed to be a leading zinc and precious metals project

first_imgPNX Metals Ltd has completed a PFS for its Hayes Creek zinc-gold-silver project, located 170 km south of Darwin in the Pine Creek region of the Northern Territory, Australia. The PFS confirms the project to be a high value, relatively low risk and technically strong development opportunity for the company. Given these outcomes, the PNX Board has resolved to proceed immediately with a DFS, with baseline studies relating to long lead-time items such as the approvals process already underway.PFS outlines a robust zinc and precious metals project forecast to generate net smelter revenues of A$628 million over a 6.5 year mine lifeA$266 million pre-tax net cashflow estimated over Life of Mine (LoM) at an average of A$41 million per yearPre-tax NPV10% of A$133 million, IRR of 73% and a very short 15 month pay-back periodLow up-front capital of A$58 million to construct the 450,000 t/y sulphide flotation processing plant and associated infrastructure to produce annually in concentrates 18,300 t zinc,14,700 oz gold, and 1.4 Moz silver, or a combined total of 39,100 t zinc equivalentProduction targets are based on Mineral Resources at the Mt Bonnie and Iron Blow VMS deposits which are classified as 98% IndicatedGiven the exceptional outcomes of the PFS, the PNX Board has resolved to proceed with a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) and seek mine approvals which are considered capable of being finalised in 2018Significant opportunities exist to expand the project’s Mineral Resource base with near-mine and regional exploration. PNX will aggressively pursue exploration in tandem with ongoing DFS work.last_img read more

Apple awarded patent for solarpowered Macbook

first_imgAPPLE’S NEXT MACBOOK could be able to partially charge itself using only solar panels if the company ever follows up on a new patent.The company was awarded 31 patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office this week, one of which is a patent called “Electronic device display module” which describers a two-sided display for the lid of a laptop.While the traditional LCD screen would be placed at the front of the lid, the back will be transparent and would allow light to pass through.The proposed patent from Apple (Image: US Patent and Trademark Office)The cover, made out of electrochromic glass or “smart glass”, would change from transparent to translucent and control the amount of light (and heat) it sends out. The light may be used to illuminate a logo which would be made from a different material to the rear cover.The patent says that the top plate of the laptop would have solar cells located between the smart glass and the LCD screen. You can then adjust the smart glass to allow light to transmit to the solar cells and charge your laptop’s battery.Other aspects of the patent include the cover being touch-sensitive, allowing people to use it while the lid is closed. The device would also be cellular, meaning it could transmit and receive cellular telephone signals.Of the 31 patents recently published by the US Patents office, all were originally filed by Apple back in August 2010.Read: ‘Wearable’ book lets you experience characters’ emotions while reading >Read: 48 hours with no technology or electricity, could you hack it? >last_img read more