CALGARY – Vast geographic distances and high staff turnover have made it more difficult for justice officials to help Indigenous women and girls in the North, a national inquiry was told Monday.A week-long hearing of the missing and murdered Indigenous women inquiry began in Calgary with a look at the role of prosecution and victim services. The hearing is the first of two to delve into how systemic issues can contribute to the vulnerability of Indigenous womenMental-health care and housing are scheduled to be discussed later in the week. A session on policing is to take place in Regina next month.“This is going to provide us with a foundation for our recommendations ultimately and our final report,” inquiry chief commissioner Marion Buller said.Leanne Gardiner with the Northwest Territories Justice Department told the hearing the biggest challenge is building trust with victims and their families. When there is only one victims services provider in a community, staff turnover can be disruptive.“At some points, it has to start from scratch,” she said.Some people in remote areas have no way to quickly get face-to-face services, Gardiner said.“The reality is that we don’t have victims services providers in every single community, in person ready to support someone. And crime and victimization happens in every single community.”The Northwest Territories has 11 victims services providers who work through eight community organizations. Gardiner said those providers have been creative helping people by phone or teleconference, but she said that in person interaction is always preferable.Poor weather and spotty Internet connections can also pose a challenge, she added.“As northerners are apt to do, you adjust to the circumstances that you’re in.”John Phelps, Yukon’s chief federal prosecutor, said his office deals with a hefty caseload.“We deal with a significant percentage of violent and sexualized violent crime within the territories compared to the national averages,” he said.Crown witness co-ordinators have made things run more smoothly by helping victims navigate the justice system and by acting as a liaison with lawyers and judges, Phelps said.But not enough co-ordinators are Indigenous, given how many people from those communities are victims of crime, he said. All of the Crown witness co-ordinators in Nunavut are Indigenous, but in the Northwest Territories only one of seven is. In Yukon, it’s one of five.Keeping in contact with victims has also been a challenge.“Either we don’t have adequate information coming from the investigative agency or, because of the lapse in time, victims have moved on.”Northern prosecution offices also have a tough time recruiting and retaining staff, he added.The inquiry has already heard from 1,200 people across the country whose loved ones have been killed or have disappeared.“Families and survivors have told us about a lack of information coming from service providers and families have also told us about lack of timely response,” said Buller, who added that a lack of cultural understanding is also a problem.“Families and survivors have told us time and time again that there weren’t translators available, that elders weren’t consulted, that there was also a lack of understanding that in some communities women certainly cannot talk about domestic violence, for example.”
MONTREAL – The Quebec government says Montreal’s Olympic Stadium will have a new, $250 million roof by 2023.Tourism Minister Julie Boulet said on Thursday that the province doesn’t know yet whether the stadium’s new covering will be retractable.She said the government is open to having a roof that could be demountable for certain events.Quebec will begin asking for proposals in 2018.Montrealers have been dealing with the stadium’s problematic roof for years.Radio-Canada reported in May the roof tore 677 times over the last year and 7,453 times over the past ten years.Montreal’s Olympic Stadium was designed by architect Roger Taillibert and it was built for the 1976 summer games.
Microsoft’s big bet on cloud computing is paying off as the company has surpassed Apple as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company.The software maker’s prospects looked bleak just a few years ago, as licenses for the company’s Windows system fell with a sharp drop in sales of personal computers.But under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has found stability by focusing on software and services over the internet, or the cloud, with long-term business contracts.That 1990s personal-computing powerhouse is now having a renaissance moment, as it eclipses Facebook, Google, Amazon and the other tech darlings of the late decade.Apple had been the world’s most prosperous firm since claiming the top spot from Exxon Mobil earlier this decade. Microsoft surpassed Apple briefly a few times this week, but didn’t close on top until Friday, with a market value of $851 billion to Apple’s $847 billion. Microsoft hadn’t been at the top since the height of the dot-com boom in 2000.Microsoft became a contender again in large part because Apple’s stock fell nearly 20 per cent in November, while Microsoft hasn’t done any worse than the rest of the stock market. But the fact that it hasn’t done poorly is a reflection of its steady focus on business customers in recent years.Microsoft lost its lustre as people were shunning PCs in favour of smartphones. In 2013, PC sales plunged 10 per cent to about 315 million, the worst year-to-year drop ever, according to research firms Gartner and IDC. It didn’t help that Microsoft’s effort to make PCs more like phones, Windows 8, was widely panned.But a turnaround began when the Redmond, Washington, company promoted Nadella as CEO in 2014. He succeeded Microsoft’s longtime CEO, Steve Ballmer, who initially scoffed at the notion that people would be willing to pay $500 or more for Apple’s iPhones.That bet paid off. Windows is now a dwindling fraction of Microsoft’s business. While the company still runs consumer-focused businesses such as Bing search and Xbox gaming, it has prioritized business-oriented services such as its Office line of email and other workplace software, as well as newer additions such as LinkedIn and Skype. But its biggest growth has happened in the cloud, particularly the cloud platform it calls Azure. Cloud computing now accounts for more than a quarter of Microsoft’s revenue, and Microsoft rivals Amazon as a leading provider of such services.Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said Azure is still in its early days, meaning there’s plenty of room for growth, especially considering the company’s large customer base for Office and other products.“While the tech carnage seen over the last month has been brutal, shares of (Microsoft) continue to hold up like the Rock of Gibraltar,” he said.Being less reliant on consumer demand helped shield Microsoft from holiday season turbulence and U.S.-China trade war jitters affecting Apple and other tech companies.President Donald Trump amplified those tariff concerns when he told The Wall Street Journal in a story published late Monday that new tariffs could affect iPhones and laptops imported from China.The iPhone maker had already seen its stock fall after reporting a mixed bag of quarterly results in early November amid fears about how the technology industry will fare in the face of such threats as rising interest rates, increased government regulation and Trump’s escalating trade war with China.Apple also spooked investors with an unexpected decision to stop disclosing how many iPhones it sells each quarter. That move has been widely interpreted as a sign that Apple foresees further declines in iPhone sales and is trying to mask that.While smartphones caused the downturn in personal computers years ago, sales of smartphones themselves have now stalled. That’s partly because with fewer innovations from previous models, more people choose to hold on to the devices for longer periods before upgrading.Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager for Synovus Trust, said Microsoft is outperforming its tech rivals in part because of what it’s not. It doesn’t face as much regulatory scrutiny as advertising-hungry Google and Facebook, which have attracted controversy over their data-harvesting practices. Unlike Netflix, it’s not on a hunt for a diminishing number of international subscribers. And while Amazon also has a strong cloud business, it’s still more dependent on online retail.___AP Technology Writer Michael Liedtke contributed to this report.Matt O’Brien, The Associated Press
Kolkata: Rating each bowler a match winner, former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad said the kind of options this team is blessed with, India never had going into a World Cup. “We have a very balanced side – both in the batting and bowling department. And especially with the fast bowlers and spinners, the kind of option the Indian team has today, I don’t think we have ever had this kind of options,” Gaekwad told IANS. “Our bowlers, spinners or pacers, are match winners on any given condition.” Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju The pace battery of the Virat Kohli-led Indian team has the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, whom many rate as the world’s best especially with the white ball, in-form Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is expected to swing the ball both-ways in English conditions. In the spin bowling department, wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have struck gold for India so far and will be expected to continue the good work in their maiden World Cup campaign. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters Gaekwad, who featured for India in 40 Tests and 15 ODIs, also heaped praise on head coach Ravi Shastri, saying Shastri operates the way he used to during his time with the team. “He has done well right from the beginning. He has put captain (Kohli) as the boss of the team. He has taken a backseat unlike Greg Chappell. I did the same with (Md) Azharuddin when he was the captain. “Ravi has a great understanding with the captain and is a great man manager. Knowing Virat, the way he pushes the players everyone has to be on their toes and Ravi also helps in that.” Gaekwad, who worked as a national selector also besides coaching the team from October 1997 to September 1999, and again in 2000 for a brief period – before John Wright succeeded him — said the much-talked about No. 4 spot is more or less settled with K.L. Rahul fitting the bill. There has been lot of changes at No. 4 since Kohli took over as captain. There has been a process of trying out new players for the No.4 spot by the selectors. “Rahul is my pick because he is a stroke player and he will complement the top three as all of them are stroke players. Now there is Dinesh Karthik who has proved over a period of time that he can settle the innings once there are early wickets lost. “As far as Vijay Shankar is concerned, if he gets a chance in the XI we will see,” said the 66-year old who did not have Shankar in his 15-member squad before it was announced. Gaekwad likened “mentor” M.S. Dhoni’s presence in the team to Sachin Tendulkar, saying if he was the coach he would pick the decorated former India skipper even if he was in the worst form of his life. “The biggest advantage Virat (Kohli) has is Dhoni. His mere presence gives confidence to the captain. You can’t go to the shop and buy experience, what Dhoni has. He is the mentor of the Indian team. When I was coach of the Indian team, I told Sachin during a series against Australia where he had a stiff back, to just stand at slips and don’t move. “He could not move, he was in a bad situation. So a mere presence of a player makes a big difference to the opposition. “If I was the coach, I would play Dhoni if he is fit. Whether he gets runs or not, I don’t care. I play him. His fitness and keeping is out of the world anyway.” Gaekwad further said Rishabh Pant, whose exclusion from the squad made so much noise, is still a work in progress and his glovework needs to improve. “Pant still needs to learn a lot. His wicketkeeping needs to improve. As a batsman, Pant can finish a game on a given day but he is not a planner. Karthik is a planner.”
Rabat – Manchester United’s new sensation, Anthony Martial, chose to remain humble as dismissed the recent comparisons between him and Thierry Henry saying he still has to improve to reach the French legend’s level.“Henry was a great player but I don’t think we are equal. I still have a lot to demonstrate. Maybe if I keep working, one day I will reach his level”, said Martial in an interview to Radio Montecarlo.Following his goal-scoring debut with Man United, Anthony Martial has been compared to the French star in his appearance, moves, and overall technique. Brazilian midfielder, Thiago Silva said: “[Martial] does remind me of Henry in his technique, appearance and his understanding of the game.”Their similarities have been considered “impressive”. Even Henry’s unforgettable goal against Tottenham was analyzed in slow-motion and compared to Martial’s goal against Liverpool, resulting in an alleged “identical” move.Despite holding a great resemblance, Martial prefers to wait until he can grow and get better at his game.The French forward also expressed to Radio Montecarlo his joy about his new life at Old Trafford. “For now it’s going very well, I have played several games back to back and I’m scoring goals,” he said.Martial has proved his talent with a series of outstanding performances in his debut at the Premier League quickly becoming United’s No. 9 player. He quickly won the trust of his coach, Luis Van Gaal.“It is important that the coach shows he trusts in me. I knew I was going to be the second striker, I had the chance to score against Liverpool and he gave me the opportunity,” he said about Van Gaal.Martial went on to add: “When I arrived at Manchester [Van Gaal] told me it would cost me to earn the position. [He] is on top of me and that’s important for a player of my age.”
TORONTO — Some of Toronto’s wealthiest residents now have easy access to cannabis with the weekend opening of the city’s second legal store.A few dozen eager buyers stood in line in Yorkville on Sunday to make the first purchases at Ameri.But as the day wore on, the lines disappeared and a few people were milling about the store to examine buds through a magnifying glass or sniff the contents of some jars.The company says it chose a Sunday opening to avoid the lineups in front of The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co., Toronto’s first legal cannabis outlet that opened on Queen Street last Monday.Ameri consultant Rob — who declined to give his surname over concerns about crossing the U.S. border — says the first hours of operation saw a wide cross-section of customers from different age groups.He says being located in a wealthy neighbourhood will make it more convenient for shoppers who may have been afraid in the past to be associated with the drug, before it became legal across Canada in October.The Canadian Press
BOSTON — A Florida prep school administrator is set to plead guilty to taking entrance exams for students in a nationwide college admissions bribery scheme.Mark Riddell is due to enter guilty pleas Friday afternoon to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering at federal court in Boston.The 36-year-old Riddell oversaw college entrance exam preparation at IMG Academy, a Bradenton school founded by renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri that bills itself as the world’s largest sports academy.Documents say Riddell secretly took exams for students or replaced their answers with his own. Prosecutors say he typically was paid $10,000 per test.Riddell was charged with nearly 50 other people, including celebrities and wealthy parents who allegedly paid bribes to get their children into elite U.S. colleges.Riddell could have faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but prosecutors are recommending incarceration and a fine at the low end of guidelines.According to federal prosecutors, Riddell played a key role in an arrangement hatched by William “Rick” Singer, an admissions consultant accused of orchestrating the scheme for years while catering to a rich clientele that included Hollywood stars and business executives.Among dozens of others charged in the scandal are actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin; Loughlin’s husband, designer Mossimo Giannulli; college sports coaches; athletic administrators; and CEOs.Huffman will plead guilty May 21 to paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score. Prosecutors have said they will seek a prison sentence on the low end of a range of four to 10 months.The Associated Press
20 March 2007The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for vital funds to boost its operations in eastern Sri Lanka to ensure basic supplies for over 155,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need of immediate aid after being uprooted by intensified fighting between the Government and Tamil separatists. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is appealing for vital funds to boost its operations in eastern Sri Lanka to ensure basic supplies for over 155,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in need of immediate aid after being uprooted by intensified fighting between the Government and Tamil separatists. “Unless we receive new funding very soon, we will run out of food supplies by the end of April,” WFP Regional Director for Asia Tony Banbury said in Bangkok, Thailand, today, terming the need for additional contributions “critical and urgent.” “After all the suffering endured by the victims of the fighting in Sri Lanka, they should not be hurt further by a lack of international support and concern,” he added. The Common Humanitarian Action Plan for Sri Lanka has only received 33 per cent of its required funding for food aid and he called the latest influx a major humanitarian challenge. “We will do everything we can to ensure that all these victims of the conflict – many of them women and children – get the assistance they so desperately need,” he said. For the last several months, WFP has supplied food aid to some 60,000 people living in camps in Batticaloa District through the Sri Lankan Ministry of Nation Building and Development. Recent intensified shelling west of Batticaloa in the over two-decades-long conflict between the Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has forced an estimated 95,000 more people to flee in the past week. “WFP urges the Government and the LTTE to guarantee unimpeded access by WFP and other humanitarian organizations to the displaced people,” Mr. Banbury said. “We will continue to work with our government implementing partner, operating in frontline areas, but in order to meet the new needs we will also bring forward our own transportation capacity and work with other partners, including NGOs [non-governmental organizations], to reach all displaced persons.” In some districts, WFP has already been forced to put on hold its Mother and Child Nutrition and school feeding programmes in order to re-direct its limited resources towards the newly displaced. It has also suspended most food-for-work rehabilitation projects in districts ravaged by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. After renewed fighting between the Government and the LTTE in August, WFP significantly expanded operations to provide emergency food to the most vulnerable displaced and conflict-affected people in Sri Lanka. In addition to providing food in Batticaloa, WFP has distributed 13,400 tons of food, sufficient to feed 300,000 people for three months, in Jaffna and several other districts.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador will borrow $5 billion over 40 years to help finance the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project, Premier Kathy Dunderdale said Tuesday as she announced that the federal loan guarantee for the development is finalized.Dunderdale made the announcement Tuesday evening during a news conference at the provincial legislature in St. John’s.“We are affirming that the Muskrat Falls project is indeed one of the most significant ventures Canada has ever undertaken,” Dunderdale said of the $7.7-billion development, which is under construction.“This is a project with tremendous vision. Our province will be practically 100 per cent renewable, powered by clean, emissions-free energy and our electricity customers can bank on stable electricity.”She said the completion of the loan guarantee will result in more than $1 billion in savings through lower interest rates and enabled the province to secure a $5 billion loan for the project to be repaid over 40 years at an interest rate of 3.8 per cent.Proponents of the development cleared a major hurdle last month when Nova Scotia’s Utility and Review Board approved the $1.5-billion Maritime Link. The subsea link would bring Muskrat Falls power to Nova Scotia as part of the joint project to help cut that province’s reliance on coal.Prime Minister Stephen Harper affirmed the loan guarantee for Muskrat Falls a year ago, requiring that partners in both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador remain committed.The development is a joint venture between Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown utility company, and Nova Scotia utility company Emera (TSX:EMA).Muskrat Falls will be capable of generating up to 824 megawatts of electricity with first power expected in 2017. About 170 megawatts would go to Nova Scotia annually for 35 years, serving around 10 per cent of that province’s power needs.The Maritime Link deal also grants Emera a commercial guarantee from Nalcor for access to cheaper market-priced power above that amount.Nalcor is building the dam and power station in Labrador as well as transmission lines on the island of Newfoundland at an estimated cost of $6.2 billion.Emera would build the 170-kilometre subsea Maritime Link to bring power from southwestern Newfoundland to Cape Breton.The deal has been touted as a big step for cleaner, renewable energy. But it’s also the target of ongoing aboriginal protest in Labrador along with legal challenges.“I find it a bit remarkable that the federal government has gone through with a loan guarantee,” said Todd Russell, president of the NunatuKavut Community Council. “At least two aboriginal groups in Labrador have outstanding court cases relative to issues of consultation.”His group, representing about 6,000 Inuit-Metis in southern Labrador, has vowed to keep fighting the project.“Environmentally, this is huge,” Russell said. He cited aboriginal concerns for how the dam and power station will affect not just the lower Churchill River but eight other waterways.The Nunatsiavut government has also raised alarms about how potential mercury contamination from associated flooding could affect Lake Melville, a key food source for about 2,000 Inuit.Nalcor says it has broadly consulted with aboriginal groups as part of lengthy environmental assessments. It has also maintained that any mercury pollution will be diluted to “no measurable effects” but has said it will monitor water samples.Russell said such assurances are cold comfort.“It’s an old Cree prophecy: ’You can’t eat money,”’ he said in an interview. “And people’s rights are at stake. People’s rights are being trampled on.”But Dunderdale defended the merits of the project.“No project in our history has been investigated more thoroughly or by authorities more knowledgeable or in details more accessible to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” she said.
TORONTO — A new report says the number of Canadians cutting the cord on their TV services is expected to increase this year.The Convergence Research Group estimates in a report released Wednesday that TV subscriptions in Canada will drop by 247,000 this year, up from 220,000 subscriber losses last year.That would represent an annual drop of two per cent, and the consulting firm says that decline is expected to grow by three per cent in 2019.Television cord cutting hits record level in 2016 for Canada’s big providers: reportCord cutting escalates for Canada TV subscribers in first three quarters of 2016The report estimates 3.8 million households or 26 per cent did not have traditional TV services at home last year and projects that will rise to 4.18 million or 28.4 per cent this year.Canada’s major telecommunications providers have been racing to add next-generation TV services such as streaming to their offerings in a bid to retain and add new TV customers.The Canadian Press
UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next week, sources told the Colombo Gazette.Swire is scheduled to have talks with the Government and the opposition during the visit. Following the August Parliamentary elections, the British Government had said it looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka.While congratulating Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on his reappointment to the post in August, Hugo Swire had said he looks forward to continue working with Sri Lanka on peace and prosperity. (Colombo Gazette)
During his career of more than 34 years, he has held a variety of staff appointments. Among them are the General Staff Officer II at the Directorate of Training at the Army Headquarters, Brigade Major of 521 Brigade, Director Psychological Operations, Director Sports, Director General Operations & System at the office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Officer Instructor at Kotelawala Defence University, Commanding Officer at Kotelawala Defence University, Commandant at Army Training School, Maduruoya before he was appointed the Deputy Chief of Staff.To his credit, he had also held several operational appointments, such as the Battalion Commander of 5 Gemunu Watch, 8 Gemunu Watch, Brigade Commander of 533 & 512 Brigades, General Officer Commanding of 23, 65 & 54 Divisions before he was appointed the Commander, Security Forces in Mullaittivu. He is also the incumbent Colonel of the Regiment, the Gemunu Watch of the Army. As a talented sportsman, he represented Sri Lanka in basketball and Defence Services squash tournaments. He is a proud product of De Mazenod College, Kandana. (Colombo Gazette) Major General Dampath Fernando has been appointed as the 52nd Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army. He succeeded Major General Amal Karunasekara who retired from service a few days ago.Major General Fernando was serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Army Headquarters before he was appointed as the Chief of Staff, the second highest office in the Army. He joined the Sri Lanka Army (Regular Force) as an Officer Cadet on 27 April 1983 and underwent basic military training at the Sri Lanka Military Academy – Diyatalawa in the Intake 18. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on 7 November 1984, and posted afterwards to the GW Regiment.
The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) this week launched its Round 5 funding competition. The announcement follows news in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement of new financial backing for the Automotive Council project.The APC was formed through the Automotive Council’s Industrial Strategy, and aims to bring automotive R&D projects to fruition through government funding. Since its inception in 2013, the APC has worked with more than 50 companies and provided £90 million in grant funding. Between 2013 and March 2015 it was a key player in attracting £750m of investment into the UK automotive supply chain.The funding is made available to the winners of bi-annual competitions for projects which are collaborative, business-led and typically where the eligible project costs are in the range of £5m to £40m.The Round 5 competition is expected to generate £70 million in total project funding, and will seek proposals for collaborative R&D projects which offer significant reductions in vehicle emissions compared with existing technologies. All APC funded projects must include both an SME and either a vehicle manufacturer or Tier-1 supplier.In addition, Newcastle University has been appointed as the APC’s Electric Machines Spoke, making it the sixth spoke in the APC hub-and-spoke network. The existing spokes cover digital engineering and test, electrical energy storage, and power electronics, with two spokes focusing on internal combustion engines.Business Secretary Sajid Javid said, “The UK’s automotive sector got a big boost in the Autumn Statement, providing an additional £225 million funding for automotive R&D. We already have the most productive auto sector in Europe, and the government is determined to build on this.“The projects established by the APC to promote low carbon innovation will ensure world-leading automotive manufacturing – and high-skilled jobs – in the UK for years to come.”Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
The Boston Red Sox have intensified contract discussions with power-hitting David Ortiz, who is coming off another big year, albeit it cut short by injury.General manager Ben Cherington said re-signing would be a priority in the offseason. While the sides have had informal talks, serious conversations with the free-agent designated hitter will begin at “some point next week,” according to a team source.Ortiz, 36, missed 71 of Boston’s final 72 games due to a right Achilles strain but said last week in New York that he felt good and should be able to begin his normal offseason workout regimen next month.“David is someone who we feel strongly about bringing back, and we’re trying to figure out a way to do that and we hope that happens,” Cherington said in New York.Cherington also said last week that the club is in talks on a new contract with free-agent outfielder Cody Ross.Ortiz hit .318 with 23 home runs and 60 RBIs in 90 games. His 1.026 slugging percentage would have led all of baseball had he finished with enough at-bats to qualify in the rankings.A year ago, Ortiz accepted arbitration from the Red Sox but contract negotiations dragged on through the winter until, finally, he signed a one-year deal worth $14.58 million on the day he was scheduled for an arbitration hearing.Under the new collective bargaining agreement, the process for a player like Ortiz is different this offseason. Instead of arbitration, teams have the option of making a qualifying offer (based on the average salary of the top 125 players in the league) to their free agents. In Ortiz’s case, that would mean a pay cut because the salary is believed to be in the neighborhood of $13 million.Ortiz has been vocal about wanting a mult-year deal for a few years now, and the Red Sox might be in position to offer one after shedding so much salary in their July deadline trade of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Carl Crawford and pitcher Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Embed Code Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Feb. 22, 2018), we’re taking the All-Star Game back into The Lab. In the aftermath of a pretty successful Team Steph vs. Team LeBron showdown, Neil and Kyle dive into our best listener suggestions for how to improve the game even more. Next, we’re joined by our ESPN colleague Brian Windhorst to discuss NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s latest comments about potentially switching up the playoff structure. Plus, a significant digit on the Toronto Raptors’ amazing bench.Here are links to what was discussed this week:Keep an eye on our 2017-18 NBA predictions, updated after every game.In case you missed it, check out last week’s brainstorm with FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver on how to fix the All-Star Game.ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz writes that this year’s All-Star Game got the shake-up it needed.Guest Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported on Adam Silver’s possible playoffs compromise.According to Basketball-Reference.com, Toronto’s second unit is the best lineup in the league. By Neil Paine and Kyle Wagner More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed
…slams M&CC for overreaching authorityDespite refusing to support the Parliamentary Opposition when it brought a motion to debate the contentious Parking Meter Project in the National Assembly, the Alliance For Change (AFC) arm of the coalition Government has now bowed to pressure and has come out criticising the initiative.A Parking Meter in GeorgetownIn a statement to the media on Tuesday, the AFC expressed concerns over the Georgetown Municipality overreaching its authority on a number of matters, including taxation arrangements, traffic arrangements and road ownership.The political party argued that the current arrangements of the parking meter project do not appear to be in the best interest of the public and therefore called on the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to suspend its implementation.The AFC said the suspension period should be used by the authorities to reconsider the pertinent aspects of the Finance Ministry’s review of the project and seek a second independent review of its contract with Smart City Solutions Inc (SCSI).“The AFC is of the view that the current arrangements do not appear to be in the best interest of the people of the city. The party therefore registers its serious concern with regard to the handling of this project from its inception to its current stage, but specifically in terms of the lack of sufficient prior public consultation; the absence of transparency and of a competitive bidding process; the seeming lack of proper planning with regard to exemptions and the pricing and penalty structures,” the party expressed in its statement.Further, the AFC said it views “with alarm” this development, as there appears to be an apparent “exclusivity and monopolisation of paid metered parking in the city”.In spite of these assertions, the AFC contended that it is “neither supportive nor against” the implementation of paid parking in Georgetown.The party also said it recognises the autonomy of the M&CC as the duly elected representatives of the Georgetown Municipality to regularise parking and to raise revenue.MotionIn an invited comment, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Member of Parliament (MP) Irfaan Ali told Guyana Times that he called out the AFC over its hypocrisy as it did not support the parking meter motion which was tabled in the National Assembly.PPP MP Irfaan AliThe motion had called for a debate on the transparency of the project, method of procurement involved, terms and conditions of the contract, and the overall lack of consultancy with stakeholders.Ali, who had tabled the motion, contended that the AFC cannot claim to be an innocent party, nor can it divorce itself from the collective decision by its Government when the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) aligned Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan signed the By-laws for the project to be implemented.“The Government, of which the AFC is a part, has the ability and power to suspend the project as the very Government has the majority of Councillors on the City Council,” the politician argued.Ali also rapped the AFC for making this issue a political football, highlighting that the execution of this project has had devastating impacts on the business community and the pockets of the people.He also noted that notwithstanding the many appeals from the public and the parliamentary Opposition for an urgent intervention, the Government, of which the AFC is a part, never budged in allowing a constructive re-evaluation of the “glaringly biased and detrimental” project.To this end, Ali contended that the AFC must answer why it refused to support his motion, which was presented to the National Assembly if it truly is concerned.ProtestsMarked as a unique moment in Guyana’s history, a mass protest by disgruntled taxpayers was conducted on Friday last against the parking meter project. A second protest against the initiative is slated for Thursday and it is expected to attract a much larger crowd.Many have already complained of the injustices meted out against them from employees of the parking meter company.For instance, some have complained of parking meter officials clamping their vehicles before their time has expired and that 16 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) is still being charged, even as the new tax regime reduced it by two per cent.One of the glaring aspects of the contract is that if it is cancelled, City Hall will be forced to pay SCSI for 49 years.Additionally, the By-laws include draconian measures such as in an area of both metered parking and unmetered parking, a driver is banned from parking in the unmetered zone and a violation can result in a short prison sentence.It also stipulates that the city wardens will not be liable to any damages to vehicles during the course of clamping or towing.Moreover, it was discovered that consumers are losing huge monies with the structure of the parking meter cards.The prices for the cards vary from $570 to $11,400. The rate for parking is $50 for 15 minutes plus VAT – taking the total to GYD$58 for 15 minutes or $232 per hour.If any of the cards are used up to its limit, there is a non-transferable balance on the cards.For example, a $580 card gives a consumer a maximum parking time of two hours. The balance on the card after paying for two hours is $36. This balance is therefore wasted as it cannot purchase the minimum parking time, nor can it be transferred. The same applies to all values of cards.Several professionals have contended that the current implementation of the project is unlawful since the By-laws governing its operations are still under the review of the Attorney General and are yet to be approved by Cabinet and gazetted.A team of lawyers have already signalled their intention to challenge the project in the courts on the basis of it being unlawful. (Guyana Times) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMovement Against Parking Meters to protest again today in front of City HallFebruary 9, 2017In “Business”Continued protest over paid parking could negatively impact Govt chances come 2020- HindsMarch 16, 2017In “latest news”Immediate forensic audit needed into M&CC, parking meter contract – AliMarch 6, 2017In “Local News”
Calvin Brutus…says ‘C’ Division CommanderBy Ramona LuthiPolice “C” Division Commander, Calvin Brutus on Wednesday asserted that according to the laws of Guyana, persons who are stopped by police officers who suspect them of driving under the influence of alcohol, should be administered a breathalyser test on the road- at the point where they were stopped.This affirmation comes as a result of several complaints received by this news entity that drivers would be stopped by traffic ranks and ordered to drive to various police stations to be given a breathalyser test.“The test should be done on the road. That’s the initial test because it makes no sense or its rather inconvenient, and the law is clear”, he remarked.Commander Brutus also explained that the drivers of motor vehicles usually become frustrated each time they are stopped and no offence has been committed on their part.“Even in our policy, when you take someone off the road and inconvenience them, they lose time and distance travelled, and expense in gas and what have you, to take them somewhere to test them and then to find out there’s no alcohol in their systems. It’s an inconvenience and that’s why we have the mobile stations where the tests ought to be administered on the road, on the spot where ever you stop them,” he told iNews during an interview.Moreover, when confronted with concerns aired by residents in the East Coast Division about them being systematically harassed by traffic ranks, especially at routine road blocks, Brutus denied knowledge of such but promised to look into the matter and have it addressed.“I’m unaware of these complaints but I’m going to enquire and look into that,” he assured. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSeveral injured in vehicular collision on Enmore Public RoadOctober 6, 2017In “Crime”Officer in Ryan Crawford episode to be sanctioned for posting video on social mediaSeptember 22, 2018In “Crime”Calvin Brutus is new ‘E’ Division CommanderJuly 19, 2014In “Crime”
Germany beat Austria 26:22 (12:10) in the friendly match out of official schedule – EHF week. Germans were lead by fantastic right wing Patrick Groetzki who scored 8 goals, while home team best scorer was Hermann with five. Both teams preparing for the Play-Off clashes in June for the WCH 2015 in Qatar.Germans will face tough challenge – Poland, while Austria will meet with Norway… ← Previous Story BSV Silkeborg sacked sports director Carsten Albrektsen Next Story → Montenegro appointed Ljuba Obradovic for a new NT headcoach! Austriagermanyhandball
Fenix ToulouseMilan JovanovicRK Vojvodina The French team Fenix Toulouse will get reinforcement on left-back position in the upcoming years. The 20-years olf Serbian backline player, Milan Jovanovic, the youngest at Men’s EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia, will be the new member of the French team from the next summer.Jovanovic signed three years contract with the French team in which captain is his team-mate from the national team – Nemanja Ilic.Jovanovic is one of the TOP 10 scorers of the SEHA Gazprom League this season. He had great role in win over Iceland at Men’s EHF EURO 2018, which put Serbia at Main Round.He is playing at RK Vojvodina Novi Sad. ← Previous Story Orlen Wisla Plock sack Piotr Przybecki Next Story → Koper and Veszprem to host battles of Slovenia and Hungary
http://the42.ie/3229802 BERNARD O’BYRNE has claimed ‘five or six’ sports federations have colluded in advance of Thursday’s vote to elect the next president of the Olympic Council of Ireland.O’Byrne, the current Chief Executive of Basketball Ireland, will be on tomorrow’s ballot alongside acting OCI president Willie O’Brien and Swim Ireland’s Sarah Keane.But speaking to Ger Gilroy on Newstalk’s Off The Ball this evening, O’Byrne painted a picture of a tainted, corrupt process.“I know there are other deals done in advance of it. I haven’t done any deals. I’ve declared who I’m going to vote for for the officerships”, he said. 15,981 Views Feb 8th 2017, 8:07 PM Short URL Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO By Eoin O’Callaghan Wednesday 8 Feb 2017, 8:07 PM No Comments O’Byrne is one of three people in the running to succeed Pat Hickey as OCI president. Source: James Crombie; ©INPHO/James Crombie/INPHOHe was then pressed by Gilroy on what he meant by ‘deals’.“Five or six federations went into a room and carved up the positions between them, that they were all going to vote for each other. ‘You have the presidency, you have the vice-presidency, you have a place on the Executive’”, O’Byrne said.I thought that was very bad in terms of openness and transparency because immediately when six people go into a room to do that you’re excluding the other 27. Why on earth would you do that? Why would you not call a general meeting and say, ‘Look, can we have a chat and see what we can work out?’ But, no. It was dark rooms, smoke-filled corridors”.For legal reasons, O’Byrne would not confirm what federations were present in the room but said such behaviour and those responsible for it were well-known.“Everybody knows it. One of them that was at the meeting told me. That’s the reason I know. They were actually in the room. That shouldn’t happen. That absolutely shouldn’t happen and I wouldn’t go near it”.O’Byrne also claimed that he was approached about becoming OCI treasurer as a compromise.“I was sounded out – did I want the treasurership? It was a very short answer. And it was left at that. ‘We have our preference for presidency, would you like the treasurership?’ – that type of thing. Somebody else might describe that as good electioneering and good tactics. What it isn’t is open and it’s not transparent”.Comments have been disabled for legal reasonsPat Hickey says it was an ‘honour’ to lead OCI during 28 years as presidentOCI reverse decision to ban media from presidential elections Share24 Tweet Email OCI presidency candidate claims ‘five or six’ sports federations have colluded ahead of vote Bernard O’Byrne has attacked the lack of transparency and openness before tomorrow’s ballot. Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article