Steve Smith’s date night with fiancee Dani Willis in New York

first_imgAustralia captain Steve Smith took his fiance Dani Willis on a date at a rooftop cinema in New York on Saturday. On Wednesday, Smith took to social media to announce his engagement to Dani Willis.Smith shared a picture on his Instagram account captioned, “Today I got down on one knee and dani_willis said YES ????#engaged @ Top Of The Rock NYC.”The couple has been dating each other for the last five years now. They met at a bar during the first season of the Big Bash League in 2011-12.Smith, who is holidaying with Willis in New York, is among the cricketers who were left unemployed after Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association failed to reach an agreement in the ongoing pay dispute.Australian cricketers will boycott an Australia A tour of South Africa unless Cricket Australia takes action within days to resolve a bitter pay dispute, the players’ union said Sunday.Players held an emergency meeting in Sydney on Sunday where they threatened to boycott the Australia A tour, scheduled to start on July 12. The cricketers say unless a new Memorandum of Understanding is signed by Friday, they won’t be touring South Africa.The memorandum between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association expired last Friday, leaving about 230 cricketers from Test to state levels without a contract. The two parties remain deadlocked over the issue of revenue sharing and negotiations have stalled for months.ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson said a “significant breakthrough” is needed for the tour to proceed.advertisement”They don’t intend to tour, but the reality is they don’t fly out of the country until Friday,” Nicholson said. “So the players are going to go into camp as planned and hopefully we can make some progress with regards to the MoU. There would need to be a significant breakthrough on the key issue of the revenue-sharing model.”The Ashes series will be at threat if the situation is not resolved before November, a point that vice-captain David Warner has made in several interviews recently. The five-test series against England is scheduled to begin November 23 in Brisbane.Cricket Australia has paid the women’s World Cup squad in advance for the ongoing tournament in England.last_img read more

Jockeys’ chief urges more testing after Irish increase riders’ cocaine bans

first_imgShare on Twitter Jonjo O’Neill Jr shines on Big Time Dancer to land the Lanzarote Hurdle Read more Share on Facebook Thank you for your feedback. Topics Hide Fontwell 1.20 Not Never 1.55 Oriental Cross 2.25 Midnight Bliss 2.55 Umndeni 3.25 Night Of Sin 4.00 Golden Cannon Ffos Las 1.30 Cottonvale (nb) 2.05 Nordic Combined 2.35 Whatswrongwithyou 3.05 Gone Platinum 3.40 Bennys Girl 4.15 Get In The Queue Wolverhampton4.40 Valley Belle 5.15 Very Honest 5.45 Secondo 6.15 Aircraft Carrier 6.45 Simple Thought 7.15 Michele Strogoff (nap) 7.45 Mac O’Polo  Was this helpful? Share via Email Since you’re here… Share on WhatsApp “They had two-year suspensions, they increased them to four years and the message now is, effectively, it’s still not working, so we’ll increase it to five. Well, if two years or four years aren’t working, is five years going to make the difference?“My view is, without condoning the behaviour, people can make a mistake. The penalties need to be a deterrent but don’t need to be so swingeing that their entire life is ruined and, frankly, five years pretty much does that.”There have been fewer recent positive tests for cocaine in Britain, where the typical punishment for a first offence is a six-month suspension. Struthers feels that is possibly lenient but added: “I do feel what’s more important is education and testing. And I think there’s a strong argument that the deterrent is the risk of getting caught, not the sanction when you get caught.“For the last two years we’ve been lobbying the British Horseracing Authority for increased testing. Hopefully, if any jockey is minded to take something, more testing would give you pause for thought. At the moment there might be 500 urine samples a year, with the aim of ensuring every jockey is tested once. But one test a year is not much and the chance of being caught is not great.”He suggested the BHA could increase its testing capacity by having its own staff collect samples at the track rather than contracting out that job.Struthers added that his organisation is working with the BHA and the two racing schools to expand the drug-related education available to jockeys. He noted that support is available to jockeys struggling with addiction issues, through a helpline and access to therapists.“There is no place for drug-taking in racing but the reality is, it’s out there in society and, from what you read, it’s increasingly common and increasingly affordable. We’ve got to deal with the issue, absolutely, but I just don’t think that five-year bans is the way to go.” Share on Messengercenter_img Support The Guardian British Horseracing Authority Quick guide Racing tips for Monday 14 January Show Drugs in sport Share on LinkedIn news Racing’s ruling body should refrain from copying the Irish example in seeking harsher penalties for jockeys who fail drug tests and instead consider a significant increase in the number of tests carried out, according to Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association. He was speaking on Sunday, two days after it emerged that jockeys caught in Ireland with cocaine in their systems will face entry-point riding bans of five years.Irish officials justified the severity of their stance by saying their anti-drug message was evidently “not getting through”, in light of five positive tests last year. But Struthers doubts whether longer bans will have the desired deterrent effect. Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Horse racing Reuse this contentlast_img read more

University Council of Jamaica Hailed

first_img Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Phylicia Marshall, has underscored the importance of the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) in creating a robust and reliable accreditation framework for higher education in Jamaica. Story Highlights Assistant Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Phylicia Marshall, has underscored the importance of the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) in creating a robust and reliable accreditation framework for higher education in Jamaica.She noted the “excellent work” being done by the accreditation body in monitoring, auditing and assuring the quality of tertiary institutions and the programmes that they offer.She said that the importance of the work of the UCJ “cannot be overstated, especially within the context of education and training being among the growth sectors of our society”.“Employers, institutions and the general public [must] have confidence in the knowledge and competence of the graduates of our institutions for the various professions as well as for further studies,” Dr. Marshall pointed out.“Students who seek to attend our institutions do so with the expectation that they will be receiving a quality educational experience, and that the certificates they obtain at the end of their programme of study will be recognised locally and internationally,” she added.Dr. Marshall was representing portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, at the UCJ’s symposium on quality assurance in higher education, held on Tuesday (March 12) at the Iberostar Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.The event was part of the council’s 14th annual Quality Assurance in Higher Education Week, which is being observed from March 11 to 15.A statutory body under the Education Ministry, the UCJ is the sole accreditation body in Jamaica for tertiary-level education and training.The body is empowered to grant and confer degrees, diplomas or certificates for accredited programmes, register tertiary institutions that have met the required educational standards, establish equivalence and facilitate recognition of foreign qualifications, and assure the quality of programmes being offered in Jamaica by foreign institutions. She said that the importance of the work of the UCJ “cannot be overstated, especially within the context of education and training being among the growth sectors of our society”. She noted the “excellent work” being done by the accreditation body in monitoring, auditing and assuring the quality of tertiary institutions and the programmes that they offer.last_img read more

Crown Attorneys Appointed in Halifax and Dartmouth

first_imgSarah Kirby has been appointed a Crown attorney in Halifax and Emma Woodburn has been appointed a Crown attorney in Dartmouth. Martin Herschorn, director of public prosecutions, announced the appointments today, Nov. 3. “Ms. Kirby and Ms. Woodburn each have a unique background which, in combination with their legal skills, will be a solid asset to our team of Crown attorneys,” said Mr. Herschorn. A native of Halifax, Ms. Kirby graduated in 1994 from Dalhousie University with an honours bachelor of science and in 1999 from the juris doctor program. She articled with McInnes Cooper and was later appointed an associate concentrating in commercial litigation with a sub-specialty in marine law. In 2007, Ms. Kirby moved to Metcalf and Company, and in 2009 to Ritch Durnford. At each firm, she provided dispute resolution, litigation and regulatory advice, and representation to a variety of commercial clients. In 2011, Ms. Kirby was appointed assistant dean at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University. In addition to her role at the law school, she was also a Small Claims Court adjudicator and a member of the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada. A native of Halifax, Ms. Woodburn graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2006 and from Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in 2013. Between degrees Ms. Woodburn worked in Poland as an international projects assistant with the Association of Entrepreneurship Promotion and as an English teacher in South Korea. Ms. Woodburn articled with Stewart McKelvey and later was appointed an associate.last_img read more

Australian fire crews arrive to support BC wildfire suppression efforts

first_imgKAMLOOPS, B.C. – Fifty experts from Australia are expected to arrive today to help with the wildfire battle in British Columbia’s central and southern Interior.Fire information officer Navi Saini says they’ll put the Australians where the need is greatest, taking advantage of their expertise in equipment, technology and logistical support.The experts arrive as 155 wildfires burn across the province and more than 45,000 people are forced from their homes.Apart from concerns for their property, many evacuees are also worried about the pets and livestock they left behind.RCMP Staff Sergeant Annie Linteau says officers took a man into custody after finding him in an evacuation zone trying to feed a friend’s pet — an issue she says could have been avoided if the owners followed procedure and contacted their regional government for help.The Cariboo Regional District says the B.C. SPCA is also increasing its efforts to rescue or care for animals left behind in evacuated areas, and they’re encouraging residents to contact the SPCA if they need help.last_img read more

Raptors prevail over Warriors in Game 3 to take 21 lead in

first_imgOAKLAND — People he’d pass on the streets of Toronto would tell Danny Green to stay positive and keep shooting, keep shooting, keep shooting. Fans filled his Instagram inbox with similar messages. Even Shaq had a few words for the slumping player on Wednesday.The Raptors sharp-shooter ended his slump in spectacular fashion on Wednesday. And now Toronto has regained momentum in the NBA Finals.Green had six three-pointers in an 18-point performance to lead Toronto to a 123-109 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday at Oracle Arena.Toronto now takes a 2-1 lead into Friday’s Game 4, also at Oracle.Moments after the decisive win, Green joked about the shooting tips he received from former teammate Shaquille O’Neal.“I spoke to him before the game briefly. He’s always on the TNT set. And every time I see him, he’s giving me his pure shooting advice — because he was good at it,” Green deadpanned. “But just the fundamentals, the small things, telling me to be confident and just hold the follow-through.“And obviously after a good shooting night, it’s easy to see that his advice has worked,” added Green, who played with Shaq in Cleveland in 2010. “He’s always been that guy to me every year that we get on the playoffs or on this stage where he comes over and tells me stay confident and give me his shooting advice.”Green’s success from three-point range was part of a big night in that category for the entire team. Toronto’s 17 three-pointers tied a record for most threes by a road team in Finals history.Kawhi Leonard led six Raptors in double figures with 30 points. Kyle Lowry had 23 points and nine assists for the Raptors, who are making their NBA Finals debut. Pascal Siakam had 18 points, while Marc Gasol finished with 17, and Fred VanVleet had 11.WATCH: Calgary rallies behind Raptors The Warriors, who swept Portland in the Western Conference final, were playing their first home game since May 16. Oracle Arena, which has seen the Warriors win four of the past five NBA titles, is in its final season as home of the Warriors. The team is moving to the new Chase Center in San Francisco next season.Pockets of Raptors fans dotted the arena, enough to produce an audible “M-V-P!” chant when Leonard went to the free-throw line. There were also plenty of stars on hand including Beyonce and Jay-Z.Vince Carter was in attendance as part of ESPN’s broadcast crew, a full-circle moment for the former Raptors star who won the dunk contest during NBA All-Star weekend at Oracle Arena in 2000, an event that helped put Toronto’s basketball team on the map.Canadian Tenille Arts sang “O Canada,” while Metallica’s James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performed an electric guitar rendition of the American anthem. Rapper Lil Pump performed at halftime.The Raptors led for all but 30 seconds of the first quarter, despite 17 points from Curry. A Siakam step-back shot capped a 13-3 Raptors run that put the Raptors up by 10. They stretched their advantage to 12 with 2:13 left in the quarter, and led 36-29 heading into the second.Ibaka’s free throws had Toronto up by 14 points midway through the second. The Warriors responded with a 10-3 run to pull to within seven. The Raptors took a 60-52 lead into the halftime break.The series returns to Toronto for Game 5 on Monday. A Game 6, if necessary, would be back in Oakland. Stephen Curry had a playoff-best 47 points for the banged-up Warriors, who lost for the first time in six games at Oracle Arena.“My dad used to tell me the stats don’t matter, just the final score,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said on Curry’s big night. “So we’ll take the win and be thankful for that.”Danny Green says the ‘job’s not done’ against WarriorsGreen’s huge game ended a lengthy dry spell for the Raptors long-range specialist, who made four three-pointers in the entire six-game Eastern Conference final against Milwaukee.Green has now made six or more three-pointers in three career NBA Finals games, the second most in history.“Danny’s buckets I think boosted our whole team’s confidence because we’re kind of used to most of the year relying on those,” Nurse said. “I think that when he banked a couple there and then he kind of kept it going, I think it was just a huge confidence boost all around.”Moments before tipoff, Nurse noticed three words scribbled on the whiteboard in the Raptors’ locker-room: “Let it rip.”“I [asked Lowry], ‘Did you write that?”’ Nurse said. “But he said, ‘No, but that’s what I’m thinking.”Lowry was the Raptors’ motor. VanVleet figured the veteran point guard was in for a good night.“He came out firing tonight and he was big,” VanVleet said. “I think putting him on Steph early got his juices going a little bit as a competitor. He was unbelievable for us tonight. Every time we needed a bucket, he gave us one. Every time they made a run, he had an answer. Kyle was unbelievable.”The Raptors led virtually from outset, going up by 12 points in the first quarter, stretching it to 14 in the second, and 16 in the third to stun the yellow-clad crowd, which hadn’t seen a loss at Oracle Arena since April 25 — Game 5 of the opening round of the playoffs versus the L.A. Clippers.READ MORE: Warriors even up series with win over Raptors in Game 2There was zero letup by Toronto in one of its most consistent games of the post-season. With 29 seconds left in the third, Leonard hustled to keep the ball inbounds after Lowry’s shot was blocked, then fired a deft pass to Green, who launched his sixth three-pointer of the game. Toronto took a 96-83 lead into the fourth.“They outplayed us. They deserved it,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.The Raptors held their proverbial foot to Golden State’s throat in the fourth. A Serge Ibaka steal led to an easy Siakam dunk just three minutes into the quarter that set the tone for the final frame. Leonard drove to the hoop three minutes later to put Toronto up by 17 points.A driving layup by Draymond Green sliced Toronto’s lead to 10 with 2:28 to play, but then Leonard, with Curry and Alfonzo McKinnie all over him, got a pass off to VanVleet, who drained a three-pointer as the shot clock buzzer sounded. The play with 1:37 left put the Raptors back up by 13 and sent many Warriors fans to the exits.“We answered a lot of runs,” Nurse said. “Each time they chipped, we kind of answered back.”Virtually any fan left sitting departed when Gasol connected on a three with just over a minute to play. Toronto fans in attendance chanted “Let’s go Raptors!” over the game’s dying seconds. They broke into a raucous singing of “O Canada” as the players headed for the locker-room.“All around the world, there’s Canadian fans surprisingly. That’s one thing I learned being on this team, a lot of Canada is all over,” Green said. “Raptors fans are crazy, man. They’re all over the place and they come from all over the place to watch the games and to support us.”The Warriors’ slogan is “Strength in Numbers.” But they were down in numbers on Wednesday.Klay Thompson, one half of the Splash Brothers with Curry, was ruled out shortly before the game because of the left hamstring injury he suffered in Game 2. The Warriors were already without Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney because of injuries.“The whole point was not to risk a bigger injury that would keep him out rest of series,” Kerr said. “That was the decision we made. I feel very comfortable with it. I never would have forgiven myself if I played him tonight and he would have gotten hurt.”The Raptors have their own battle wounds. Lowry has been playing with a serious thumb injury since the conference semifinals, and Leonard, who played just nine games last season with San Antonio, has hobbled at times.The Raptors captured Game 1 of the Finals 118-109, but dropped a 109-104 decision to Golden State in Game 2, allowing a 20-0 Warriors run that straddled the end of the second quarter and the first five minutes of the third — the longest run in NBA Finals history.WATCH: Players speak after Game 3 win for Raptorscenter_img With files from CityNewslast_img read more

Norway airlifts passengers off cruise ship caught in storm

first_imgOslo: Rescuers were working Sunday to airlift more than 1,300 passengers and crew off a cruise ship after it ran into trouble in rough seas off the Norwegian coast. The Viking Sky lost power and started drifting mid-afternoon Saturday in perilous waters two kilometres (1.2 miles) off More og Romsdal, prompting the captain to send out a distress call. The authorities decided to launch a helicopter airlift in very difficult conditions rather than run the risk of leaving people on board. “We would rather have the passengers on land rather than on board the ship,” police chief Tor Andre Franck said. By early Sunday, the crew had managed to restart three of its four engines. Authorities said 397 of the 1,373 people on board had so far been taken off by helicopter, with each chopper able to take 15-20 people per trip. Police said 17 people had been taken to hospital. The vessel was making slow headway at two to three knots off the dangerous, rocky coast and a tug would help it towards the port of Molde, about 500 kilometres northwest of Oslo, officials said. Five helicopters were scrambled along with coastguard and other rescue vessels. Two tugs were reportedly closing in on Viking Sky. “Towing cables are being set up by the tugs,” southern Norway’s rescue centre said on Twitter. Dramatic footage of the ordeal showed furniture and plants sliding round the lurching vessel as parts of the ceiling came down. Dozens of passengers wearing life jackets were seated around waiting to get off the vessel. “We’re still waiting for the helicopter to get out,” says Ryan Flynn who was shooting one of the videos. “This is taking very long.” The airlift was continuing, emergency services spokesman Per Fjeld said. “I have never seen anything so frightening,” said one of the passengers who was rescued, Janet Jacob. “I started to pray. I prayed for the safety of everyone on board,” she told the NRK television channel. “The helicopter trip was terrifying. The winds were like a tornado,” she added. “We were sitting down for breakfast when things started to shake… It was just chaos,” said another passenger, American John Curry, as quoted in Norwegian by media. The Viking Sky sent out a distress signal due to “engine problems in bad weather”, the rescue centre tweeted earlier. The ship was sailing south from Tromso to Stavanger when engine trouble struck in an area that has claimed many vessels. “It is dangerous to encounter engine problems in these waters, which hide numerous reefs,” said Tor Andre Franck, the head of police operations. A reception centre has been set up in a gym on shore to accommodate the evacuees, many of whom are from the US and Britain. “For the moment everything appears to be going well,” said a rescue centre spokesman, Einar Knutsen. The area where the ship got into problems, known as Hustadvika, is notoriously difficult to navigate.last_img read more

Company decisions hurt Polands hopes for shale gas industry

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Monika Scislowska, The Associated Press Posted May 8, 2013 3:28 pm MDT Company decisions hurt Poland’s hopes for shale gas industry WARSAW, Poland – News that Talisman Energy Inc. and Marathon Oil are pulling out of exploration for shale gas in Poland is a blow to the country’s hopes that its deposits of the hydrocarbon will soon cut its dependence on Russian supplies and support the weakening economy.Canada’s Talisman and U.S. Marathon Oil said Wednesday they had not found enough gas to warrant further expensive exploration or extraction procedures. Talisman will sell its Polish interests to a European company, San Leon Energy, and focus on easier-to-get deposits in North and South America, Southeast Asia and the North Sea.Marathon is to wrap up its operation in 2014.The companies’ retreat — three all together by major companies in less than a year — suggests Poland was too optimistic about the value of its deposits, or at least the speed with which it can retrieve them.A key problem is that big energy companies are currently focusing on shale gas deposits that are easiest to extract. Poland’s shale rock, running some 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) underground from the Baltic Sea coast, through central and eastern Poland to Belarus and Ukraine, has proven more difficult to mine than shale rock in the U.S. That is due both to the geological make-up of the land and to the fact that the region is much more densely populated than the U.S.As a result, experts say, it will take many more tests, more time and much more money to produce shale gas here.“The issue for us … is to make sure that the industry is not disincentivized to carry on with exploration activity and carry on investing hard money in projects,” said Kamlesh Parmar, chief executive of 3Legs Resources, the first energy exploration company in Poland to obtain test gas flow, in 2011.So far, only 43 wells have been drilled, while hundreds of them will be needed to accurately assess the country’s reserves potential. Only 12 have produced some gas flow, according to Jolanta Talarczyk, spokeswoman for the State Mining Authority.The Polish government had been hoping that a boom in investment would help the economy, which has been slowing sharply. It grew just 1.9 per cent last year, down from 4.5 per cent in 2011. The shale gas industry was also expected to create thousands of jobs, helping to reduce the unemployment rate, which has risen to 14.3 per cent.Beyond economic concerns, shale gas was also meant to boost Poland’s geopolitical independence from Russia. Like many other Eastern European countries, Poland has since the fall of the Soviet bloc been trying to move out of Russia’s sphere of influence. It did so by joining the European Union but it still has big economic ties — it imports 70 per cent of its gas and some 90 per cent of its oil from Russia.That has become an increasing concern in Poland as Moscow has shown it is willing to use its gas supplies as a weapon in political matters. It shut off supplies on two occasions in price disputes with Ukraine, affecting homes in central Europe in the middle of winter. Russia also dictates prices, making Poland pay one of Europe’s highest, almost $500 for 1,000 cubic meters of gas.“We do not want Poland’s strong economy to be dependent on energy deliveries from the East,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on his website.Early estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that put Poland’s shale gas reserves at 5.3 trillion cubic meters were revised last year by Poland’s geology experts to below 800 billion cubic meters. But even that amount would help the country reduce its dependence on Russia and boost the economy. The question is getting the investment and encouraging major companies to persevere in the exploration.The government is sticking with its plans to have commercial production start in 2015.Hopes for quick returns from shale gas were initially fuelled by the enormous success of the industry in the United State over the past two decades. Large-scale production from thousands of wells in the U.S. cut gas prices to less than $100 per 1,000 cubic meters, making the nation self-sufficient in the gas sector.But outside of Poland, many European countries have been more reluctant to embrace shale gas because of the extraction method’s potential environmental impact.Shale gas is natural gas trapped in porous shale rock. It is extracted though hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that involves pumping huge amounts of water — laced with sand and small amounts of chemicals — into horizontal wells drilled in the rock. That crushes the rock, releasing the gas.Activists say the fluids make their way into the natural ground water reserves, poisoning tap water and contaminating agricultural land.A study by the Polish Geological Institute last year declared shale gas extraction to be safe but experts remain divided. Some U.S. companies, like Halliburton Inc., are developing non-toxic extraction liquids.With shale gas developing slower than planned, Poland continues to rely on its rich black coal resources, which are cheaper than gas. It is also building a liquid gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast, to be operational in 2014. The government wants Poland to have a nuclear power plant in the 2020s and is encouraging development of renewable energy sources like wind turbines, biofuels and solar panels. read more

UN report examines link between hormonedisrupting chemicals and health problems

Many chemicals found in household and industrial products that have not been adequately tested could have disrupting effects on the hormone system and lead to significant health issues, according to a United Nations report released today.The report highlights some associations between exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and health problems such as breast cancer in women, prostate cancer, attention deficit and hyperactivity in children and thyroid cancer.“Chemical products are increasingly part of modern life and support many national economies, but the unsound management of chemicals challenges the achievement of key development goals, and sustainable development for all,” said the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Achim Steiner.The report, produced jointly by UNEP and the World Health Organization (WHO), calls for more research to fully understand the associations between EDCs and specific diseases and disorders.“Investing in new testing methods and research can enhance understanding of the costs of exposure to EDCs, and assist in reducing risks, maximizing benefits and spotlighting more intelligent options and alternatives that reflect a transition to a green economy,” said Mr. Steiner.The endocrine system regulates the release of certain hormones that are essential for functions such as metabolism, growth and development, sleep and mood. EDCs can alter these functions increasing the risk of adverse health effects.EDCs can enter the environment through industrial and urban discharges, agricultural run-off and the burning and release of waste. Some EDCs occur naturally, while synthetic varieties can be found in pesticides, electronics, personal care products and cosmetics. They can also be found as additives or contaminants in food.“We urgently need more research to obtain a fuller picture of the health and environment impacts of endocrine disruptors,” said the WHO Director for Public Health and Environment, Maria Neira. “The latest science shows that communities across the globe are being exposed to EDCs, and their associated risks. WHO will work with partners to establish research priorities to investigate links to EDCs and human health impacts in order to mitigate the risks. We all have a responsibility to protect future generations.”The report, “State of the Science of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals,” also raises similar concerns on the impact of EDCs on wildlife. In Alaska in the United States, exposure to such chemicals may contribute to reproductive defects, infertility and antler malformation in some deer populations. The otter and sea lion populations may also be at risk due to the chemical found in certain pesticides.The report recommends further testing to identify EDCs and their routes of exposure to humans and wildlife. It also calls for wider collaboration among scientists so their shared data can fill in the current gaps in knowledge primarily in developing countries.“Research has made great strides in the last ten years showing endocrine disruption to be far more extensive and complicated than realized a decade ago,” said the Chief Editor of the report, Åke Bergman, who is also a Professor at Stockholm University. “As science continues to advance, it is time for both management of endocrine disrupting chemicals and further research on exposure and effects of these chemicals in wildlife and humans.” read more

PODCAST Goodman prof leading international marketing research conference

In this week’s Conversations with Goodman podcast, host Susan LeBlanc talks to Goodman School of Business marketing Professor Narongsak (Tek) Thongpapanl about the upcoming Academy of Marketing Science conference he is co-chairing May 24-26 in Coronado Island, Calif.Thongpapanl is playing a lead role in the marketing research conference, which attracts top scholars from around the world.“It’s an honour to represent Goodman through this avenue,” he says.Thongpapanl says the focus of the conference is to go back to the basics of marketing to remind researchers of the fundamental value of their field.“We have seen a lot of advancement in technology and methodologies in recent years that helps us enhance our marketing knowledge and wisdom,” he says.“The issue is that sometimes we can be overly focused on technology and methodology and we lose sight of what is the core of marketing. The core always goes back to providing customer value.”Brock’s Goodman School of Business will be well represented at the conference. Goodman marketing professors Todd Green and Abdul Ashraf, who have completed research on green marketing and electronic marketing, respectively, will join Thongpapanl.Ali Anwar and Luciano Lapa, both students from Goodman’s Master of Science in Management, will also be attending this week’s conference where they will each have an opportunity to present research they have completed as part of their coursework.The chance to present research at a research conference is an important step in every student’s academic career, Thongpapanl notes.“I really think this is a great opportunity for them to be able to have a chance to go out and make the research presentation that they have been working on for the past eight to 12 months. It’s a good learning opportunity because that’s what we are trying to do — we want to make sure they have first-hand experience,” he says. read more

IHF to change World Championship playing model for WCh 2019

← Previous Story NEW ERA IN ANGOLA with Morten Soubak: It looks very exciting Next Story → RK PPD Zagreb appoint Kamenica even before summer The International Handball Federation has clear intention to change playing model at World Championships in near future. Absence of the biggest handball nations as Germany and Denmark from the final stage at World Championship 2017 put this question on the table.The Olympic and European champions suffered defeats at the start of knock-out campaign, which put pressure on IHF to think about “saving money, TV and sponsors interest” in the future.Knock-out stage goes to history. Tournament of 24 teams will continue after Preliminary Round (six teams in four groups) in two groups with six teams (three best per group). Two best teams from Main Round Groups will play for the medals – in same model which was active until World Championship 2011 in Sweden. read more

Its not on the agenda The government wont be getting rid of

first_imgTRANSPORT MINISTER LEO Varadkar has dismissed suggestions that the government is looking to take away the Free Travel Pass.Varadkar was speaking in the wake of a story in today’s Irish Times which said that transport providers are threatening to withdraw from the scheme as it is not covering the cost of their services.It comes as a government working group is currently reviewing the scheme, which costs €77 million annually and is under increasing pressure now that the number of those availing of it has increased but the budget hasn’t in recent years.The scheme allows anyone aged 66 and over a pass which entitles them to free public transport on all State-funded transport as well as the Luas.There have been concerns that the government may introduces changes to the scheme around eligibility, but ministers have sought to dismiss such talk.Speaking at an event to mark 10 years of the Luas today, Varadkar said that there are now around a million people using the scheme when you include companions who can also travel free.He said that the current review is about “modernising the scheme” and added: “It’s not about taking it away, that’s not our agenda at all as a government.”The Fine Gael TD said that in addition to modernisation there are “a few issues” around fraud and IDs but once again dismissed suggestions that it is going to be taken away.“It’s not on the agenda to get rid of it, that’s not what we’re about at all,” he repeated.“Absolutely none”: Changes to Free Travel Pass are off the table, says Burton“Hands off”: Older voters send warning to Government on Free Travel Passlast_img read more

Our business Alpha band

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Background: Alpha Band was formed in 1985. At that time there was a huge demand for Greek bands playing Greek music at receptions, all over Australia. Since then, Alpha Band have moved with the times and included a mixed collection of party tunes and Italian traditional folk songs to their repertoire. Members: Chris – lead vocals; Jim – keyboards; George – bouzouki; Peter – drums; Steve – bass; Dino – Italian singer / guitarist. What Alpha Band do: Weddings, functions, dances – any function that requires Greek, Italian and English music, Alpha Band are the entertainers for that special function. “We love entertaining people,” says Chris from the band. “The more we see the crowd going, the more it gets us going.” They have played shows in Melbourne, all over Australia and have done an international gig in New Zealand. Most memorable function: “Back in the day where grooms would wear tails on their jackets, one groom dunked their coat tails in the toilet and it was funny to watch him spend the whole night under the hand dryer trying to dry it off,” reminisces Chris. He also recalls a time that one of the band members forgot their shoes at home and had to spend the whole performance in a suit and sneakers, hiding behind the speaker so no one would see his feet. Bizarre requests: Chris lives by the motto “each to their own” and it’s your special day, it’s your function so “ask whatever you want”. Alpha Band cater to all requests and have been known to rock out to Metallica thanks to one heavy metal loving couple, play with pyrotechnics going off, get clouded by dry ice in the ’80s and inundated with a dancefloor of balloons. Are you anything like Adam Sandler in The Wedding Singer? “Nothing like him,” says Chris laughing. “Actually, the hairdo’s from the ’80s. I did have some hairstyles like [Adam Sandler’s character in the movie] that but that’s where the comparison stops.”Future plans: “As long as we they like us we will keep doing what we’re doing for another ten or so years, well until the fresh blood comes in and takes over,” says Chris. Contact: For more information and to book visit or call Chris on 0411 558 522.last_img read more

Ronda Rousey to be first woman inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

first_img(WSVN) – Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is breaking boundaries as the first woman to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.In addition to being the first woman inducted, Rousey will also be the youngest honoree at the age of 31.Rousey’s induction, announced Saturday, will take place in Las Vegas next month.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

POLICE LOG for September 16 Wilmington Man Arrested On Warrant North Reading

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Sunday, September 16, 2018:John Amaro Gearty (31, Wilmington) was arrested on a probation warrant. (8:34am)Anonymous passerby reported a Carter Lane resident is draining pool into sewer in street. Police responded and advised the homeowner, who stopped the draining. (1:58pm)Robert A. Newton, Jr. (43, North Reading) was arrested on Operating A Motor Vehicle With A Suspended Or Revoked License; Marked Lanes Violation; and Motor Vehicle Operator’s Refusal To Identity Self Or Give False Name. Newton was pulled over on Chestnut Street. (3:31pm)A juvenile was reported missing from the Milestone Group Home on High Street. (11:42pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 4: Lowell Man Arrested On Warrant; Bad Crash In Front Of Rocco’s; Syringe FoundIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 28: Dracut Woman Arrested; Lawrence Man Issued Summons; Missing RingIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for August 1: Lowell Woman Arrested For OUI; Billerica Teen Arrested On Warrant; 2 Drivers Issued SummonsesIn “Police Log”last_img read more

SC upholds HC order on Shahiduls division in jail

first_imgShahidul Alam. File photoThe Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the leave to appeal petition filed by the government challenging a High Court order that had directed the prison authorities to provide first-class division facilities to photographer Shahidul Alam.A four-member bench of the Appellate Division led by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order following a hearing on the petition, reports UNB.There is no legal bar for Shahidul to get division facilities in jail following the SC order.Noted lawyer Sarah Hossain stood for Shahidul while attorney general Mahbubey Alam represented the state.On 17 September, a chamber judge of the Appellate Division upheld the High Court order providing first class division to Shahidul and asked the state to file leave to appeal over the matter.Earlier on 5 September, the HC directed the authorities concerned to provide first division to Shahidul Alam, founder of the Drik Picture Library and the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute.Detectives arrested Shahidul Alam from his Dhanmondi residence on 5 August and a case was filed against him with Ramna Police Station on 6 August.He was also placed on a seven-day remand in the case.Police claimed that Shahidul spread propaganda through his Facebook account during the student movement demanding safe roads.last_img read more

Microsoft to Offer Software for Local Governments to Regulate and Tax Legal

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. December 14, 2016 Microsoft has quietly entered into the cannabis business, partnering with a California software company to offer governments a system that tracks marijuana sales and compliance issues.The partnership combines Los Angeles-based Kind Financial’s software for tracking production and sales of cannabis with Microsoft’s Azure Government Cloud. The goal is to contract with local and state governments where marijuana is legal, providing officials with a simplified way to keep track of tax payments and cannabis production.Teaming up with Kind made sense for Microsoft, according to Kimberly Nelson, executive director of state and local government solutions for Microsoft. In a statement, she said Kind will utilize the Azure Government cloud, which she called “the only cloud platform designed to meet government standards for the closely regulated cannabis compliance programs.”Related: Steve Wozniak Offers 4 Pieces of Advice for First-Time EntrepreneursGovernment challenges regulating legal marijuana.Government agencies at the state and local level face a complex task with marijuana regulation and tax collection. Not only is the legal marijuana business relatively new, but cannabis remains an illegal drug under the federal Controlled Substance Act. This means few financial institutions will make loans or handle business transactions for marijuana-related companies.Because of this, many cannabis retailers work in cash-only transactions. Some install ATM machines on their property to make it convenient for customers. In this environment, Kind Financial offers its software system to track production and sales, both for private retailers and government agencies.Related: Richard Branson: How to Spot an OpportunityKind’s AgrisoftCalled Agrisoft Seed to Sale, the Kind Financial software allows companies and government agencies to track costs from the production stages of marijuana to the sale of the product in dispensaries. The software also ensures operations comply with government regulations. The software creates “100 percent accountability and transparency for all levels of your organization and through to the government,” according to the Kind Financial site.For government officials, the software allows them to track all licensed marijuana growers and sellers, ensuring a company doesn’t produce marijuana that disappears into the black market to avoid taxation.Kind Financial began in 2013 as a company geared toward providing financial, technological and marketing services to the growing marijuana industry. The company was founded by David Dinenberg, the former COO of Grasso Holdings, a real estate development company.Related: 5 Reasons Businesses Shouldn’t Keep Ignoring Content MarketingPartnership with MicrosoftMicrosoft entered into a partnership with Kind on the government side of the business. The tech giant plans to include the software in the suite of services it offers governments through the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud.The cloud’s offerings include infrastructure, platform and software services. Microsoft partners with a number of software development companies to offer a full suite of services to both private and public entities. For Kind, the partnership is a step toward reaching a wider range of potential clients. Microsoft’s team will help the company make bids for government contracts. The demand, said Dingenberg, will always be present.“No one can predict the future of cannabis legalization, however, it is clear that legalized cannabis will always be subject to strict oversight and regulations similar to alcohol and tobacco;” Dinenberg said in a prepared statement. Free Green Entrepreneur App Keep up with the latest trends and news in the cannabis industry with our free articles and videos, plus subscribe to the digital edition of Green Entrepreneur magazine. 3 min read Download Our Free Android Applast_img read more

Defense chief Iraqis showed no will to fight at Ramadi

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — The Islamic State group’s takeover of the provincial capital Ramadi is stark evidence that Iraqi forces lack the “will to fight,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a TV interview that aired Sunday. The harsh assessment raised new questions about the Obama administration’s strategy to defeat the extremist group that has seized a strategically important swath of the Middle East. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of FILE – In this May 1, 2015 file photo, Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington. The Islamic State group’s takeover of Ramadi is evidence that Iraqi forces do not have the “will to fight,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” that aired Sunday, May 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Over the past year defeated Iraq security forces have repeatedly left U.S.-supplied military equipment on the battlefield, which the U.S. has targeted in subsequent airstrikes against Islamic State forces. The Pentagon this past week estimated that when Iraqi troops abandoned Ramadi, they left behind a half-dozen tanks, a similar number of artillery pieces, a larger number of armored personnel carriers and about 100 wheeled vehicles like Humvees.The list of air strikes overnight in Iraq announced by the Pentagon on Sunday included four near Ramadi that destroyed 19 armored vehicles. It was unclear whether any of those had been recently abandoned by the Iraqi army.U.S. lawmakers from both parties criticized the administration’s strategy Sunday, urging a more aggressive posture.Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, an Iraq war veteran, cast doubt on the U.S. preference to deal only with the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad, calling instead for directly arming both the Kurds in the north and Sunni tribes that have asked for help in beating back the Islamic State group. She criticized Baghdad’s close links with Iran-backed Shiite militias that have declared themselves enemies of the United States. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments   Share   Obama’s strategy is predicated on Baghdad granting political concessions to the country’s alienated Sunnis, who are a source of personnel and money for the Islamic State group. But there has been little visible progress on that front. Baghdad has continued to work closely with Shiite militias backed by Iran, which have been accused of atrocities against Sunnis, a religious minority in Iraq that ruled until Saddam Hussein fell from power.The U.S. has sought to reach out on its own to Sunni tribes and is training some Sunni fighters, but those efforts have been limited by the small number of American troops on the ground.Carter defended the use of U.S. airstrikes, but he said they are not a replacement for Iraqi ground forces willing to defend their country.“We can participate in the defeat of ISIL,” he said. “But we can’t make Iraq … a decent place for people to live — we can’t sustain the victory, only the Iraqis can do that and, in particular in this case, the Sunni tribes to the West.”American intelligence officials have assessed for some time that Iraq is unlikely ever again to function as the multi-ethnic nation-state it once was, and that any future political arrangement would have to grant significant local autonomy to the three main groups– Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. But the Obama administration has continued to pursue a “one Iraq” policy, routing all assistance through Baghdad. Republican Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, called for thousands of U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq, including spotters who can better direct air strikes.“There is no strategy,” McCain said.Even Obama administration allies were urging the president to do more.“I think there is a major hesitation to get too deeply involved in Iraq again,” said Michele Flournoy, a former senior Obama administration defense official. But, she said, “This is a terrorist problem that affects us and we have to take a more forward leaning posture.”Gabbard and Flournoy spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union;” McCain appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”___Associated Press writers Sameer Yacoub in Baghdad and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Although Iraqi soldiers “vastly outnumbered” their opposition in the capital of Anbar province, they quickly withdrew last Sunday without putting up much resistance from the city in Iraq’s Sunni heartland, Carter said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The interview aired on Sunday.The Iraqis left behind large numbers of U.S.-supplied vehicles, including several tanks, now presumed to be in Islamic State hands.“What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” Carter said. “They were not outnumbered; in fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”The White House declined to comment on Sunday.Iraqi lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the parliamentary defense and security committee, called Carter’s comments “unrealistic and baseless,” in an interview with The Associated Press.“The Iraqi army and police did have the will to fight IS group in Ramadi, but these forces lack good equipment, weapons and aerial support,” said al-Zamili, a member of the political party headed by radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is stridently anti-American. American officials say they are sending anti-tank weapons to the Iraqi military. But they also noted that Iraqi forces were not routed from Ramadi– they left of their own accord, frightened in part by a powerful wave of Islamic State group suicide truck bombs, some the size of the one that destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City two decades ago, said a senior State Department official who spoke to reporters last week under ground rules he not be named.“The ISF was not driven out of Ramadi,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week. “They drove out of Ramadi.”A senior defense official noted that the troops who fled Ramadi had not been trained by the U.S. or its coalition partners. The official was not authorized to address the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.Still, the fall of Ramadi is reviving questions about the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s approach in Iraq, a blend of retraining and rebuilding the Iraqi army, prodding the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad to reconcile with the nation’s Sunnis and bombing Islamic State group targets from the air without committing American ground combat troops. The vital role family plays in societylast_img read more

CFPB Investigation Uncovers Servicing Violations

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicing Some mortgage servicers have violated the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s new servicing rules by continuing to use failed technology that has harmed consumers, according to a special edition supervision report issued by CFPB on Wednesday.The Bureau reported violations due to deficient technology and process breakdowns as a result of numerous examinations of mortgage servicers since the CFPB’s new servicing rules went into effect in January 2014. The Bureau’s examiners found specific problems regarding loss mitigation and servicing transfers, according to the CFPB.“Mortgage servicers can’t hide behind their bad computer systems or outdated technology. There are no excuses for not following federal rules,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Mortgage servicers and their service providers must step up and make the investments necessary to do their jobs properly and legally.”According to the CFPB, mortgage servicers were experiencing problems due to bad practices and sloppy recordkeeping even before the crisis. The problem was exacerbated by the crisis as millions of borrowers fell behind and servicers were unable to keep up, according to the CFPB.To address this problem, the CFPB enacted new mortgage servicing rules two and a half years ago that require servicers to keep accurate records, allow distressed borrowers access to servicing personnel, credit payments promptly, and to correct errors in the servicing file at the request of the borrower.  The new rules also contain protections for struggling homeowners. A servicer’s ability to comply with the CFPB’s new requirements are largely dependent on the servicer’s policies related to technology.The report released on Wednesday includes supervision work completed by the CFPB’s supervision program between January 2014, when the new servicing rules were put in place, and April 2016. The CFPB’s examiners found that while some investors have made some investments as far as compliance with the new rules, those investments have not been sufficient across the marketplace. Consumers continue to be plagued as a result of this insufficient investment, according to the Bureau.“Mortgage servicers can’t hide behind their bad computer systems or outdated technology. There are no excuses for not following federal rules.”Richard Cordray, Director, CFPBThe examiners found that many servicers used outdated or deficient technology that posed risks to consumers—and that many servicers lacked the proper training to properly use their computer systems and software platforms.The CFPB’s examiners reported that technological breakdowns or malfunctions resulted in servicers sending loan modification notices late, or resulting in those notices containing incorrect or deceptive information; and that the transfer of loans to servicers with incompatible computers systems sometimes resulted in the servicer getting the runaround or the servicer failing to identify and honor a modification that was already in place.CFPB alerts institutions to concerns and outlines necessary remedial measures where the Bureau’s examiners found violations of the law or other significant violations or weaknesses.Click here to view the CFPB’s complete supervisory report. CFPB Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Mortgage Servicers technology 2016-06-22 Seth Welborncenter_img CFPB Investigation Uncovers Servicing Violations June 22, 2016 503 Views last_img read more