Drivers between Springhill and Oxford will soon have a smoother ride because of a paving tender announced by the province today, April 8. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has called a tender to repave 5.7 kilometres of Route 321 from the intersection of Wyvern Road at River Philip toward Springhill. “So far this year our department has scheduled more than 200 kilometres of repaving on Nova Scotia roads,” said Murray Scott, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “This is a useful route for drivers in the Oxford and Springhill areas and I’m pleased to see it on this year’s construction schedule.” The project is part of government’s commitment to better roads and infrastructure as outlined in the speech from the throne. The department’s highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro, and Sydney.
The May long weekend typically sees an increase in travellers on the road and unfortunately, an increase in the number of people driving impaired. The government is asking drivers to be especially alert and, in partnership with law enforcement, for people to report suspected impaired drivers by calling 911. “This is a beautiful time of year in our province and I know many Nova Scotians will be hitting the road this long weekend to take advantage of it,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “If you’re planning a road trip, please put down your hand-held device, wear your seatbelt, watch your speed and, I wish this could go without saying, never drink or take drugs and drive.” The leading causes of fatal collisions are: driver inattention and distraction not wearing a seatbelt speeding and aggressive driving impaired driving “As the first long weekend going into summer, traffic volumes increase across the province so we often see an increase in collisions on our roadways,” said Insp. Bernardine Chapman, officer in charge of RCMP Traffic Services. “In Nova Scotia, distracted driving is the leading cause of fatal and serious injury collisions, followed closely by impaired driving. “Both can have tragic consequences leaving a lasting impact on many individuals and families in our communities.” In 2014, 54 people died in collisions on provincial highways. “RCMP officers will be out conducting extra enforcement throughout the weekend with a focus on the four leading causes of fatal and serious collisions,” said Insp. Chapman. “We want to remind motorists that road safety is everyone’s responsibility. If you see someone you think is impaired, don’t hesitate to call 911.” “Driving with your mind completely focused on the task of driving is perhaps the most loving thing you can do for family, friends and other Nova Scotians you encounter this long weekend,” said Shirley Burdock, community co-chair of the provincial Road Safety Advisory Committee. Follow the department on Twitter @ns_tir for the latest highway updates and information.
The stars came out for Lupus LA’s 5th annual ‘Get Lucky for Lupus’ celebrity poker tournament at the Petersen Automotive Museum last Thursday, September 12th.Bob Guiney at the tablesCredit/Copyright: Tiffany RoseBob Guiney hosted the event, and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing Star Josh Altman was honored for his philanthropic work with Lupus LA. The grand prize which was won by ‘Arrow’ actor Roger R. Cross, was was $10,000 dollar seat at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure poker tournament in the Bahamas. In addition to a riveting night of high stakes poker, guests enjoyed SodaStream hand crafted sodas, Venice Beach Beer and Skinnygirl Cocktails.Laila Ali helped raise funds for Lupus researchCredit/Copyright: Tiffany RoseLupus LA raised nearly $100,000 at the fete. Key attendees included: Michael B. Jordan, Ian Ziering, Bobby Brown, Laila Ali, Gilles Marini, Jason Collins (NBA), Michael Vartan, Shanna Moakler, Shannon Elizabeth and Tito Ortiz.
Critically-acclaimed, NAACP Image and SAG award-winning actor, producer, activist and author Isaiah Washington has been a star of stage, film, and television for nearly three decades. A veteran of several Spike Lee films, Washington has starred alongside such actors as Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Warren Beatty, George Clooney, William H. Macy, Steven Seagal, Jet Li, Halle Berry, and Jennifer Lopez, successfully carving a definitive niche for himself as a formidable talent.Through natural progression, he branched into the development end of the business, including executive producing the critically acclaimed 2013 film Blue Caprice. Washington received universal praise in such media as The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, GQ, Esquire, the New York Times, and Los Angeles Times for his dark, stirring portrayal of DC sniper John Allen Muhammad. He recently produced and starred, along with Oscar® winner/producer Mo’Nique, in the film Blackbird, and his documentary Bound: Africans versus African Americans, won the Women in Cinema Lena Sharpe Award at the 2014 Seattle Film Festival.Actively involved through his The Gondobay Manga Foundation with global issues that often find him speaking at congressional hearings in the U.S. Capitol and working with world leaders – particularly on issues that greatly impact his DNA-traced homeland of Sierra Leone (a subject covered in his autobiography, A Man From Another Land), the Congo, Rwanda and many other countries throughout the African diaspora (including his vigorous campaign in the fight against Ebola) – the Texas native is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, and currently stars as Chancellor Thelonious Jaha on the CW’s hit series, The 100. Twitter Facebook Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement
New Delhi: Searching for a life partner on matrimony sites has become hi-tech now, as the marriage portals are taking the help of artificial intelligence to find and recommend a life partner for their users. Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm is helping the users on matrimony sites to find a match not only based on their preferences but also by observing and understanding user’s behaviour and suggesting real-time appropriate profiles. “AI algorithm knows more about what you are looking for than you might yourself! This helps us find the best matches for our users – not just by searching according to preferences but by observing user behaviour and suggesting similar matches,” Shaadi.com Chief Technical Officer Siddharth Sharma told PTI. Consenting to it, Meenakshi Variankaval, Head (Data Sciences Lab) at Matrimony.com, which owns BharatMatrimony, said AI is helping the matrimony services to understand the diversity and several other factors for matchmaking. “Definitely AI and machine learning help to match better. The diversity and the numerous factors that come to play during matchmaking — ranging from personal interests, education, language, career, family, lifestyle to horoscopes is what makes it interesting for AI to understand behaviour, history and more to match,” she added. According to Variankaval, Matrimony.com employs data-driven techniques, which offer suggestions on a real-time basis and recommend appropriate profiles to its members, thereby enhancing their experience and helping them find a match based on their preferences. “We have also deepened behaviour-based personalisation,” Variankaval added. According to Sharma, machine learning is used from day one when a user registers and helps through his or her journey. On being asked whether it has led to any positive impact on the number of users, Sharma said: “Yes, the moment we started using machine learning, it improved the engagement on our platform significantly.” Matrimony site Banihal co-founder and CEO Ishdeep Sawhney said, “Artificial intelligence is better technology in solving problem compared to an individual or marriage broker trying to take all this information and finding the right answer,” Sawhney added. According to him, “Banihal has been doing matchmaking using the artificial intelligence engine Rae for the past 2 years. We have been successful with making the right introductions through this platform so that our customers do not need to search for profiles and take the time to talk and meet people to complete their search. On being asked whether AI system would replace the traditional questionnaire format to gather the information at the time of opening a user’s account, Sharma said :”To a large part but not completely” “For example, from the name, one can surmise the community and language preferences. One can make educated guesses by observing their likes and dislikes and start to build a picture of what kind of matches, they are looking for. “However, matchmaking often requires precise information such as date of birth, education, occupation and income which is not something that can be surmised. So yes, while AI can help make the questionnaire much shorter, it cannot eliminate it entirely,” said Sharma.
The conference, hosted by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), will focus attention on the trend of rising road traffic injuries. Participants, including Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), ministers from several countries and road safety experts, will review proven strategies for reducing road traffic injuries, which claimed over 1.2 million lives in 2000 alone.In addition to escalating death rates, injuries due to collisions are a major drain on health care resources. Data show that in some countries, a crash victim occupies one in 10 hospital beds.“The human suffering for victims of traffic-related injuries and their families is incalculable,” said Dr. Brundtland. “In strict economic terms, the costs associated with surgery, prolonged hospitalization and long-term rehabilitation for such victims, in addition to their lost productivity, represent tens of billions of dollars each year.”The majority of the victims of these incidents are people who will never be able to afford a car: pedestrians, cyclists and users of public transportation. Although car ownership is greater in industrialized than developing countries, studies show that in 2000, 90 per cent of all traffic fatalities occurred in low- and middle- income societies.Looking ahead, the WHO Director-General has decided to mark World Health Day 2004 under the theme “Safe Roads” creating an opportunity to draw the general public’s attention to the growing but preventable problem of road traffic injuries. WHO and the World Bank are expected to launch a report on preventing road traffic injuries.
“In order to enable us to fully utilize the extended period, it is essential that the Council take that decision most urgently,” Benon Sevan, Executive Director of the UN Office of the Iraq Programme (OIP), told the 15-member body in a closed session, according to a text of his briefing.[Ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zinser of Mexico, the Council President for April, told reporters after the session that his delegation had circulated a draft resolution that would extend the current operation of the Oil-for-Food programme until 3 June, and that he was hopeful a decision on the “technical rollover” would be taken in the next few days.]The OIP oversees the Oil-for-Food programme under which Iraq was allowed to use a portion of its oil revenues to buy food and other relief supplies, while the rest was used for reparation claims against Baghdad stemming from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.The programme was temporarily halted on 17 March after the withdrawal of all UN staff from Iraq on the eve of hostilities. The Security Council adopted a new resolution on 28 March giving Secretary-General Kofi Annan more authority to administer the operation for the next 45 days, until 12 May, including prioritizing deliveries and finding new entry ports to speed their shipment.But Mr. Sevan noted that 11 of those 45 days were lost while the Council’s 661 committee, which set up the Oil-for-Food programme, approved the procedures, resulting in a relatively limited number of contracts that could so far be processed – $454.6 million-worth out of a pipeline of some $10 billion.”Accordingly, the Council may wish to consider extending the provisions of resolution 1472 (of 28 March) up to 3 June 2003,” he said. Such a technical rollover would coincide with the end of the mandate of the current phase of the original Oil-for-Food programme.”An extension of 21 days to 3 June would not only recover the 11 days already lost, but also provide us with the opportunity to utilize additional supplies available in the pipeline,” Mr. Sevan added.With sanctions in force, the Oil-for-Food programme is the only legal way of selling Iraq’s oil and France today proposed the immediate lifting of those measures.”I have proposed that the decision be taken to immediately suspend the civilian sanctions,” Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière told reporters earlier Tuesday. Listen to UN Radio report
Doudou Diene, the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, told a General Assembly committee that he wished to draw its attention to two particularly striking examples of racism and discrimination.The first was that sports today, instead of promoting the values of respect, equality and humanity, often showcased the racist uses of physical violence and verbal abuse, he said.Because of the educational, symbolic and popular dimensions of sports, there was a high risk that this negative behaviour could intensify, rather than lessen, a racist and discriminatory culture and mentality, Mr. Diene said. The United Nations and governments needed to take urgent and determined steps, along with international sports authorities, to head off such a development.The second major problem, the caste system in certain societies, had profound historical roots embedded in value systems and woven into the social fabric. These properties made caste prejudice, especially in Asia and Africa, resilient and pervasive, he said, adding that he intended to give that kind of discrimination a central place in a future report.
The United States vetoed the draft, which received 11 votes in favour, with Germany, Romania and the United Kingdom abstaining.Speaking prior to the Council’s vote, Ambassador John C. Danforth of the United States called the proposed text “lopsided and unbalanced” for containing many “material omissions” and said it deserved a no vote.Ambassador Danforth said it not only encouraged the terrorists, but would not do anything to prevent the predictable Israeli response. “Ultimately a resolution like this emboldens terrorists, encourages counter-attacks and contributes to the ultimate terrorist goal of derailing the peace process,” he said. “The Security Council should reverse the incessant stream of one anti-Israel resolution after the other and apply pressure even-handedly, on both sides, to return to the road of peace.”Ambassador Abdallah Baali of Algeria, a co-sponsor of the resolution along with Pakistan and Tunisia, said he regretted that a “balanced and credible text” did not gain unanimous endorsement by the Council.”By failing to take action, the Security Council is failing its responsibilities. It is once again failing the Palestinian people and once again it is sending the wrong message to the world. It is confirmed that when it comes to Israel, the Security Council is unable to take action, let alone under Chapter VII. It is sending the impression that it is effective only when it deals with Arab countries,” he said.The Permanent Observer of Palestine, Nasser Al-Kidwa, called today another “sad day” for the Security Council for its failure again to fulfil its responsibility in maintaining international peace and security. “The Council failed to take a stand vis-à-vis the bloodshed against the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupation forces,” he said. “The Council failed to call for an end to bloodshed and destruction.”Ambassador Dan Gillerman of Israel said a resolution that sought to condemn mechanisms for fighting terrorism, instead of the terrorism itself, distorted the seriousness of the issues at hand. “A resolution that indicts the victims of terror rather than their murderers is wrong and shameful,” he said. Video of Council meeting [46mins]
ChemChina offers $43B for Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta HONG KONG – A Chinese state-owned chemical maker offered to buy Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta for $43 billion in what would be the biggest-ever foreign acquisition by a Chinese company.Syngenta AG said Wednesday its board is recommending shareholders accept the offer from China National Chemical Corp., also known as ChemChina. Basel-based Syngenta said in a statement that ChemChina’s cash offer is worth the equivalent of 480 francs ($482) a share, including a special 5 franc dividend for shareholders if the deal goes through.The deal is part of a global acquisition spree by Chinese companies, which are diversifying abroad to counter a slowdown at home while also seeking foreign expertise and technology. Last month Chinese home appliance maker Haier Group bought General Electric’s home appliance business while conglomerate Wanda Group acquired Hollywood movie studio Legendary Entertainment.The Syngenta deal, if completed, would overtake CNOOC’s 2012 purchase of Canadian energy company Nexen as the biggest foreign acquisition by a Chinese company, according to Dealogic data.Beijing-based ChemChina will keep existing Syngenta management in place following the deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. It said it would also consider an initial public offering of the business “in the years to come.”“We think it’s a very good deal for Syngenta and all the stakeholders will benefit from this transaction,” Syngenta Chairman Michael Demaré said in a video posted on the company’s website.Last month, ChemChina bought German machinery maker KraussMaffei for about $1 billion and took a 12 per cent stake in Swiss energy trader Mercuria. In March it bought Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli.The Syngenta deal is also part of a shake-up of the global agricultural and chemical industry, which is being pressured by tumbling commodity prices that are forcing farmers to spend less on seeds, pesticides and equipment. The company reported Wednesday that net income for 2015 fell 17 per cent to $1.3 billion as it struggled with low crop prices, instability in emerging markets and currency fluctuations.For China, it’s an opportunity to beef up its expertise in the “ag-chem” industry as part of President Xi Jinping’s plan to modernize the country’s farms to keep up with demand from a rising consumer class.“Our vision for Syngenta is all about growth,” ChemChina Chairman Ren Jianxin said in a video posted online. “We see big opportunities for the company to expand its presence in emerging markets and notably in China where there is rapid modernization driven by the need to increase grain productivity and increase food quality.”Sygenta agreed to the takeover bid after spurning a $46.5 billion offer from agricultural giant Monsanto. FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2014 file picture the logo of Syngenta AG, a producer of agricultural chemicals, is photographed in Basel, Switzerland. A Chinese state-owned chemical maker offered to buy Swiss pesticide giant Syngenta for $43 billion in what would be the biggest-ever foreign acquisition by a Chinese company. Syngenta AG said Wednesday Feb. 3, 2016 its board is recommending shareholders accept the offer from China National Chemical Corp., also known as ChemChina.(Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP,file) by Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press Posted Feb 2, 2016 11:22 pm MDT Last Updated Feb 3, 2016 at 8:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
by Jake Coyle, The Associated Press Posted Apr 17, 2016 10:47 am MDT Last Updated Apr 17, 2016 at 2:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ‘Jungle Book’ roars with $103.6 million debut In this image released by Disney, Mowgli, portrayed by Neel Sethi, left, and Gray, voiced by Brighton Rose, appear in a scene from, “The Jungle Book.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Disney via AP NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Walt Disney Co.’s “The Jungle Book” opened with $103.6 million in North America, making it one of the biggest April debuts ever at the box office and continuing the studio’s streak of unearthing live-action riches buried in its animated classics.Jon Favreau’s update of Disney’s 1967 animated version of Rudyard Kipling’s book tells the tale of Mowgli with computer-generated imagery and big-screen bombast. A sizable 42 per cent of the film’s domestic sales came from 3-D and premium-format screens.“The Jungle Book” is just the latest of Disney’s string of live-action remakes of classic cartoons (“Cinderella,” ”Alice in Wonderland,” ”Maleficent”), most of which have fared well at the box office. More plundering of the Disney library is in the works: “Cruella De Ville” and “Peter Pan” are in development; “Beauty and the Beast” is scheduled for next March.“There’s some consistency that’s happened here in the last few years as we’ve really made this a priority and a strategy from a company perspective,” said Disney distribution head Dave Hollis, who credited production president Sean Bailey with overseeing the live-action adaptations. “He’s been able to do it in a way that really makes them contemporary and, certainly in this case, fully utilizes available technology.“We’ve got a lot more of these stories to tell.”“The Jungle Book,” made for about $175 million, was propelled by glowing reviews from critics. It ranks as the second biggest April opening ever, behind only “Furious 7’s” $147.2 million debut.It also took in an estimated $136.1 million overseas that includes $20.1 million so far in India where it’s the third-highest grossing Hollywood release after 10 days. Ahead of the film’s big opening, Warner Bros. — sensing stiff competition — pushed the release of its own “Jungle Book” a year to October 2018.Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Rentrak, says that the live-action remakes are proving to be another substantial engine for Disney, along with its franchise-building assets in Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm.“To have this incredible vault of content that they can go back to and reimagine, retool and recreate for today’s audiences just gives them a depth and breadth of films that is almost unparalleled,” Dergarabedian said. “Disney has this knack for taking something that’s very old and making it new again.”Opening in second place was Ice Cube’s “Barbershop: The Next Cut” with $20.2 million. The fourth film in the comedy series (which included the 2005 spinoff “Beauty Shop”) failed to match the $24.2 million debut of the previous “Barber Shop 2: Back in Business” in 2004, but it still supplied a solid opening for New Line and MGM.The Kevin Costner action thriller “Criminal,” however, opened with a mere $5.9 million for Lionsgate. It cost around $30 million to make.The Melissa McCarthy comedy “The Boss,” the number 1 film last weekend, dropped steeply. It slid 57 per cent with $10.2 million in its second week, landing in third place.Two well-reviewed films opened in limited release: the Weinstein Co.’s musical coming-of-age tale “Sing Street” ($69,000 in five theatres) and A24’s bloody thriller “Green Room” ($91,000 in three theatres).___Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.1. “The Jungle Book,” $103.6 million ($136.1 million international).2. “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” $20.2 million.3. “The Boss,” $10.2 million ($2.5 million international).4. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” $9 million ($15.1 million international).5. “Zootopia,” $8.2 million ($10.8 million international).6. “Criminal,” $5.9 million ($2 million international).7. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” $3.3 million. ($1.3 million international).8. “Miracles From Heaven,” $1.9 million.9. “God’s Not Dead 2,” $1.7 million.10. “Eye in the Sky,” $1.6 million ($1.9 million international).___Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theatres (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:1. “The Jungle Book,” $136.1 million.2. “The Huntsman: Winter’s War,” $17.6 million.3. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” $15.1 million.4. “Zootopia,” $10.8 million.5. “London Has Fallen,” $9 million.6. “Kung Fu Panda 3,” $7.5 million.7. “10 Cloverfield Lane,” $4 million.8. “Les Visiteurs: La Revolution,” $3.5 million.9. “The Divergent Series: Allegiant,” $3 million.10. “The Boss,” $2.5 million.___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
“In particular, I highly appreciate the agreement to hold regular inter-Korean dialogue, and hope that this will serve as a mechanism to effectively manage any problems that may arise on the Korean Peninsula”, Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by the UN spokesperson.The Secretary-General strongly encouraged humanitarian measures such as reunions of separated families to be regularized without being subject to political and security considerations. “I further hope that this hard-won momentum for inter-Korean dialogue will lead to the resumption of talks for addressing the nuclear issue,” he added.Stressing the importance of the full implementation of the agreement for the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the UN chief assured that he stands ready to support inter-Korean cooperation.
Speaking via videoconference from London, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien recalled that for over five years, the UN and the entire humanitarian community have raised the alarm about the devastating impact of the conflict in Syria on millions of ordinary men, women and children. “Our calls, and the requests, even the demands of this Council, have largely gone ignored.” Security Council must come together and stop the brutality in SyriaMr. O’Brien, who is also the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that nowhere has the cruelty of the Syrian war been more grimly witnessed than in Aleppo, where the world has witnessed “bombs and mortars raining down in recent days, weeks and months – on civilian areas, residential houses, schools, medical facilities, water and electricity stations, and public markets. Constant, tormenting images of people murdered, bloody, and exhausted.” Amid intensifying attacks on eastern Aleppo, he said that over the last four days, numerous civilians have reportedly been killed. “Just today we received a report that scores of people were killed in an airstrike this morning.” “It may be too late for many of the people of eastern Aleppo, but surely this Council can come together, stop the brutality and also prevent a similar fate befalling other Syrians,” he said, telling the Council that what Syrians and the humanitarian community need to see above all is three things: real respect and protection of civilians (and civilian infrastructure); safe, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access; and an end to brutal sieges once and for all. Children under five know nothing but a lifetime shaped by war To say that the situation is tragic would be an understatement, emphasized Geert Cappelaere, Regional Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the Middle East and North Africa, who said “it is difficult to imagine what words could still adequately convey the unspeakable horrors endured by Syria’s children every day.” Indeed, tens of thousands of children have already been killed. Millions have been uprooted, some more than once. Too many have been deprived of basic medical care and safe drinking water. Too many have witnessed the death of their loved ones and the destruction of the places they once thought are safe: their homes, their schools, their playgrounds. “Simply put, Syria’s children are trapped in a living nightmare,” he said. “Children ask ‘why.’ We ask ‘why.’ The devastating downward spiral has to end. Today, every single child under the age of five has known nothing but a lifetime shaped by war,” he stated, stressing that protection of children should be, at all times, a primary consideration for all.“We have failed them over the last six years, and we continue to fail the children in Syria. This is not only jeopardizing children’s lives, but the future of the country, the future of the region and the future of the whole world […] UNICEF renews its call on all parties to lift the sieges across Syria, and to allow and facilitate immediate, unconditional and sustained humanitarian access to all areas across the country.” Painting a dire picture of the situation on the ground, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, told the Council that the “humanitarian tragedy” in Aleppo is only deepening as both ground and air assaults against the eastern half of the iconic city have intensified over the last two weeks, forcing an estimated 25,000 from their homes since Saturday.“It is likely that thousands more will flee should fighting continue to spread and further intensify over the coming days,” he said, briefing the Council via video conference from Geneva, adding that he had strongly suggested that Ali Al-Za’tari, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator in Damascus, together with international members from the UN Country Team, should head to Aleppo as soon as possible to rejoin national aid workers to assist the civilian population – on both the city’s east and west sides. And while the Council is today focused on Aleppo, he underscored that the war continues elsewhere – Idlib, Hama, al-Waer, Homs, north of Latakia, Western Ghouta, north-west of Damascus, and Eastern Ghouta. “Each deserves its own description, but the underlying theme remains the same: the continued dominance of military over political strategies, and the brutal price being paid by civilians in the process.” Most Syrians left in Aleppo are too poor to leave and live in the carcasses of apartment blocks. Photo: Tom Westcott/IRIN
Average team pull-up 3-point attempts per game Across the league, stars are turning to the shot more in the postseason. LeBron James is shooting four pull-up 3s per game, up from 2.6 during the season, and making 43.8 percent of them. And after a slow start during the season, Steph Curry is shooting 41.5 percent on nearly six attempts per game. It’s a shot that can bail a team out when first and second options are taken away by the defense.But no one takes more pull-up 3s than the Rockets. During the regular season, Houston took 13.3 3s off the dribble; Harden alone took 6.8. During the postseason, those numbers have shot up to 18.1 per game for the Rockets and 9.1 for Harden. Harden’s uptick in pull-ups has come with a downturn in makes — he’s gone from hitting 33.3 percent during the season to 28 percent in the playoffs.Harden’s misses are often offset by the inordinate number of cheap shooting fouls he draws on these 3s, but he’s not the only player to see his accuracy numbers decline in the playoffs as he throws up more pull-ups. Isaiah Thomas shot 36.7 percent on pull-up 3s during the regular season, but is making just 22.9 percent of them in the postseason. Kyle Lowry led the high-volume pull-up 3 crowd1Players who averaged at least 3 attempts at pull-up 3s per game. at 42 percent during the season, but made just 27.6 percent in the playoffs. Same goes for Chris Paul, who fell from 39.1 percent to 31.3. This could just be noise in a small number of games — Paul George and Dennis Schroder both shot much better than their regular-season averages in first-round losses — but the players whose percentages plummeted tended to be the ones for whom the pull-up was the offense, rather than just one facet of it.There’s no surefire way to take away the 3-pointer in the NBA. Even without Harden pulling shots out of thin air, Houston began to figure out San Antonio’s strategy by using different players to set different sorts of screens. But it’s a whole lot easier to unlock a defense when the answer is as simple as pulling up and taking your shot. 2016-176.88.6 2014-155.37.5 Through May 7, 2017Source: nba.com SEASONREGULAR SEASONPLAYOFFS For a few games there, San Antonio’s defense seemed to be solving the Houston Rockets. After laying a 27-point mollywhopping on San Antonio in Game 1, Houston dropped Games 2 and 3 due in part to crucial defensive adjustments by the Spurs that threw Houston’s potent high-screen game into chaos. San Antonio began planting a rim protector under high screens, threatening to block James Harden if he drove, while keeping everyone else close to their men on the perimeter to discourage the drive-and-kick 3s that power the Rocket offense. It’s a neat little wrinkle in the series.But Houston can make all of that irrelevant with a wrinkle of its own: the pull-up 3. That’s exactly what the Rockets did at the turning point of Game 4.With the Spurs trailing by eight with a little less than eight minutes left in the third quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge had switched onto Harden, who was isolated at the top of the key; everyone else stayed home. Harden could have easily driven past the big man and challenged at the rim, but that would be playing into San Antonio’s hand. Instead he stepped back for a pull-up 3. Rockets by 11. The next trip down, Harden peeled off a screen and, with Pau Gasol’s armpit in his face, drained an even more ridiculous step-back. Rockets by 14. The Spurs wouldn’t pull within single digits again.As the NBA moves more and more of its offense behind the 3-point line, teams are taking more pull-up 3-pointers than ever before. In the playoffs, due in part to 3-point-denying defenses and in part also to playing out more desperate situations, teams are taking even more than they do in the regular season. The Cleveland Cavaliers are attempting more than three additional pull-up 3s per game, with a marginal improvement in percentage; the Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, have made a tiny increase in attempts but a massive improvement in accuracy. 2015-165.97.5 2013-145.16.3
18-year-old Akelo Nurse of Independence Boulevard was on Saturday around 21:15h busted with an unlicenced pistol with no rounds.According to the police, ranks were conducting a mobile patrol in Charlestown, Georgetown when nurse was arrested.He has since been charged and is expected for court on Tuesday. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIllegal immigrant busted with unlicenced pistol, ammoDecember 8, 2018In “Crime”Bartica Businessman busted with unlicenced gunNovember 2, 2017In “Crime”Man who hid unlicenced gun in crotch bustedDecember 26, 2017In “Crime”
It’s a universal truth: games are supposed to be fun. They might have a higher purpose, such as helping us learn a new skill or how to play well with others, but at the end of the day they are all about enjoyment. Interestingly enough, there is a game (or two) that I’ve literally fallen asleep while playing. Sure, maybe it was during a slow section, or maybe I could have used a cup of coffee at the time, but it’s a strange juxtaposition that you could fall asleep doing something as exciting and mentally demanding as gaming.When I polled the rest of the Geek.com staff, I learned that just about every one of them — and they are the farthest thing from a bunch of narcoleptics — had fallen asleep playing a game.Here’s the list…Sal Cangeloso – Broken Sword: The Shadow of the TemplarsMatthew Humphries – JourneySebastian Anthony – Final Fantasy XIIIRay Walters – Alan Wake and LA NoireNatalie Shoemaker – Final Fantasty VIIIRyan Whitwam – Bioshock 2Sam Cook – MinecraftClearly the outliers here are Alan Wake and Bioshock 2. The other games are slower paced, and they are more peaceful in general. For example Broken Sword is a point-and-click adventure game that I love, but it can be slow at times. I fell asleep playing it on my Nintendo DS while on a roadtrip — I dropped the stylus and woke up about 20 minutes later wondering if I was really enjoying the game as much as I thought I was.The Final Fantasy games are pretty likely picks for mid-game napping because they are turn-based and some have extended cut-scenes. They are also quite lengthy, so it seems quite possible that you might pass out while playing one late into the night. The same goes for LA Noire. Some people really like it, but I found it to be incredibly dull. As acclaimed as the game is, this is the least surprising game on the list for me, aside from Broken Sword.As for Journey, it’s a fantastic game, but I’m not shocked. It’s peaceful, the music is beautiful, and you can’t die. With Minecraft, Sam had this to say, “I’ve been doing a lot of wheat farming lately, and wheat doesn’t grow unless there’s someone nearby. So basically my avatar spends a lot of time standing around while I do something else, causing the peaceful sound of flowing water to constantly play on my speake… zzzzzzzzz.” Makes perfect sense.So, have you ever fallen asleep while gaming? What were you playing? Something predicable, like Tetris? Or were you mid-match, camped out, playing CoD MW2?
Ireland have endured a difficult winter and serious questions need to be asked. Ireland have endured a difficult winter and serious questions need to be asked. Image: Presseye/Rowland White/INPHO Follow us: the42.ie Humiliating defeat leaves Ireland’s golden generation facing into make-or-break summer Head coach John Bracewell is coming under increased pressure after a disappointing two years in charge. http://the42.ie/3315479 Mar 30th 2017, 8:01 PM By Ryan Bailey 17,948 Views Short URL IT’S HARD TO remember such a low point in Ireland’s recent cricketing history. For all the memorable days — the famous wins at Sabina Park, Bangalore and Nelson — these are now desperately worrying times.A team which once held supremacy at Associate level, a team which once played with such swagger, purpose and conviction and a team which was on the cusp of something special is in rapid decline.Those heady days, the days when Ireland brought the likes of Pakistan, England and West Indies to their knees and made those in power stand up and take notice, feel like a world away now.Today’s comprehensive, and damaging, defeat to Afghanistan in the Intercontinental Cup has plunged John Bracewell’s side to as close to rock bottom as imaginable with the prospect of a Test play-off now slipping from their grasp.One result doesn’t make Ireland a bad team, but the performance in Greater Noida over the last three days has been indicative of the last 24 months under Bracewell’s tutelage; inconsistent, mediocre and uninspiring.“We’re disappointed with the result, of course. We’re better than that and we’ve proven ourselves to be better than that,” Cricket Ireland performance director, Richard Holdsworth, told The42.“It’s the nature of how we lost the game, and the players and coach will be disappointed.”The manner in which Ireland slumped abjectly to an innings and 172 run defeat is the most concerning aspect; although it wasn’t exactly surprising. Ireland lost both the T20 and ODI series against Afghanistan this month. Source: Altaf QadriThere was an alarming inevitability about it all, and that feeling is born out of watching the same shortcomings undermine every second performance over the last two years.Irrespective of conditions, irrespective of the opposition and irrespective of injuries, this was undoubtedly Ireland’s worst-ever performance in the four-day format; the bowling attack lacked penetration and variety and the batsmen were devoid of the necessary application or fight in the circumstances.It all made for a pretty dire effort, and questions of the players and coach must be asked.It’s not an exercise in being critical for the sake of it — setbacks are part and parcel of sport — but Ireland have been on a downward spiral for some time now and the graph is only going one way.In the last 24 months, Ireland stuttered to qualification for the ICC World Twenty20 on home soil, then failed to win a game at that tournament as they lost to Oman and Netherlands and overall have won just 21 games of cricket in 52 fixtures.Ten of those games were against Full Member nations — Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Australia and South Africa — and aside from a two-wicket win at the end of a lost series against Zimbabwe last October, Bracewell’s side were rarely competitive.The progress made over the last ten years has given Ireland the opportunity to play the higher-ranked sides on a more regular basis, but all of this comes at a time when the team are going through an incredibly difficult period.“Results haven’t gone our way and the timing of that isn’t great with what is going on in world cricket but sides go through spells when they’re not great,” Holdsworth continued.“We’re taking a bit of a hiding in those games [against Full Member nations] but we’re learning and getting better and hopefully that will put us in good stead. We’ve got to be realistic, we’ve a lot of work to do. We’ve to look at the systems and processes and make sure we’re doing the right things.” Ireland coach John Bracewell. Source: Barry Chambers/INPHOIndeed, you’ve got to be realistic when Ireland are playing the Full Member sides and certainly there can be no criticism for losing to the likes of South Africa or Australia or suffering series defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.But, results against other Associates have also turned. Afghanistan have emerged as the new leading force at this level and in 10 games against the Asian side in 2017, Ireland have lost seven.When you also consider that Ireland have slipped to defeats against Hong Kong, Netherlands, Oman, UAE and Papua New Guinea in the last 12 months, the argument that the bad performances have only come against Test-playing nations lacks substance.The question is why? Why has a team who as recently as 2015 came agonisingly close to qualifying for the Super 8s of the World Cup lost fallen so far?The loss of experienced players cannot be ignored. The retirements of John Mooney and Alex Cusack left a considerable hole in the lower order and the depth of talent coming through is practically non-existent. Ignore the hype about the Academy system; the conveyor belt isn’t working.Then there is also the fact that only four players from this week — William Porterfield, Gary Wilson, Tim Murtagh and Paul Stirling — have contracts with county sides this year.Niall O’Brien and Andrew Balbirnie were released by Leicestershire and Middlesex respectively while Ed Joyce made the decision to return home with his family. George Dockrell is among a number of players to have experienced a dramatic loss of form.Then there is the issue of selection. Barry McCarthy enjoyed a breakthrough season at international and county level last summer, proving to be a revelation with the ball, yet carried the drinks for much of the winter. His exclusion has been particularly baffling, but not the only one.And then the injuries. Boyd Rankin’s availability is hit and miss while last summer Bracewell was without Joyce, O’Brien and Balbirnie for the series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.“These aren’t excuses, they’re just facts,” Holdsworth insists.But something has got to give. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. Changes have got to be made, and a lot of quarters will be pointing at the coach. It’s a huge summer ahead for Irish cricket. Source: Altaf QadriThere is no denying the last two years simply haven’t been good enough, and that’s based on the standards set by these very players under the previous regime.Not all of the blame can be put on Bracewell because those selected haven’t performed to the levels they’re capable of but serious questions have to be asked about the philosophy and methods the Kiwi has brought to the job.Bracewell’s remit when assuming the role in April 2015 was to win the Intercontinental Cup. His contract expires at the end of the current campaign in October and the primary objective was to win that tournament for the fifth time in seven editions.Before this week, Ireland were top of the table with four wins from four but this was always going to be the real test and the fixture the campaign hinged on. Now, with two games remaining, Ireland’s hopes of earning a place in Test play-off are hanging by a thread.The stakes in India this week couldn’t have been any higher yet, in a game of such significance, Ireland simply rolled over. Yes, Afghanistan are a very good cricket team and conditions were in their favour but there’s enough excuses flying around at this stage.It all means the significance of the next few months, for the team and Bracewell, cannot be understated.A two-game series against England, at Bristol and Lord’s, in May is the start of a busy period which also sees Ireland host Bangladesh and New Zealand for a triangular series and then a one-off game against West Indies in September.Given how meekly Ireland rolled over against Sri Lanka and Pakistan on home soil last summer, there is huge pressure on the side to perform and be somewhat competitive against touring nations.The visit to Lord’s will be a momentous occasion with Ireland set to play their first ODI at the ‘Home of Cricket’, but there is now almost a sense of foreboding given the current circumstances. Ireland can ill-afford to perform as badly again when the world is watching.“John’s future and us considering his future will of course very much depend, not so much on results, but the manner in which we go about things,” Holdsworth added. Cricket Ireland CEO Warren Deutrom. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO“It will depend on how competitive we are. If we’re highly competitive and lose games closely then that’s a huge improvement but what we don’t want to be seeing is that we’re well beaten in these games and therefore not being competitive.“That’s a concern because I believe we have good enough players to be highly competitive and we’ve proven that in the not too distant past. That will be a consideration in John’s future.”“He has my full support but results are results and there haven’t been some good results and therefore this summer is very important for that.”Warren Deutrom, Holdsworth and all at Cricket Ireland have worked tirelessly over the last number of years to get the national team and sport to the level it’s currently at. There can be no denying the superb job they have done and the progress which has been made on and off the field.But the most important piece of the jigsaw is now missing and while it would be preferable if Ireland were heading into a defining summer for all the right reasons, 2017 now has the potential to be a defining one for all the wrong reasons.The ICC are, at last, broadening its horizons and opening the door to Ireland but that door will only stay ajar for so long. Afghanistan have already leaped ahead in the pecking order and Ireland are in danger of falling further behind if a quick fix isn’t found.Whether that’s with Bracewell at the helm or not remains to be seen, but this is uncharted territory for Irish cricket and the gloom needs to be lifted.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! 15 Comments Test play-off place slipping out of grasp as Ireland slump to huge Afghanistan defeat Share3900 Tweet Email1 Thursday 30 Mar 2017, 8:01 PM Image: Presseye/Rowland White/INPHO Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Teenager charged after ‘suspicious fire’ breaks out at Scottish high school More than 80 firefighters worked through the night at Woodmill High School. More than 80 firefighters have been fighting the blaze since yesterday. Image: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Monday 26 Aug 2019, 1:18 PM 11,765 Views More than 80 firefighters have been fighting the blaze since yesterday. Aug 26th 2019, 1:18 PM Short URL Source: Cara Hilton/Twitter Share1 Tweet Email Officers thanked members of the public who came forward with information in relation to this incident, as well as those who provided the police and fire service personnel in attendance with refreshments during the extremely hot conditions they found themselves working in.Comments closed due to legal reasons. https://jrnl.ie/4782539 Image: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service No Comments A 14-YEAR-OLD boy has been charged in relation to a fire which started at a high school in Scotland over the weekend.More than 80 firefighters worked through the night at Woodmill High School after the alarm was raised yesterday afternoon.Police in Fife confirmed to TheJournal.ie that the teen has been arrested and charged following the suspicious fire in Dunfermline.The boy is to appear at Dunfermline Sheriff Court on tomorrow. In a statement, the police said officers attended the high school, along with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, following reports the building was alight.Photos and footage shared online showed the huge blaze taking hold of the school, with fire services deploying more than 15 mobilisation units to the fire. By Christina Finn Thinking tonight about the firefighters who’ve been working for hours now to put out the fire at @WoodmillHigh – absolute heroes. Hoping for a miracle – we are all devastated 😢 #WeAreWoodmill #Dunfermline @fire_scot @FBUScotland pic.twitter.com/uUz9gSqNDq— Cara Hilton (@cara_hilton) August 25, 2019 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Loi SOPA/PIPA: l’Europe fait entendre sa différenceIl semble que le Congrès américain freine ses ardeurs quant à sa loi controversée SOPA/PIPA qui vise le téléchargement sur Internet et la protection des droits d’auteurs. C’est le sénateur du Nevada et chef de la majorité Démocrate, Harry Reid, qui a annoncé le report du vote de la loi PIPA, programmé à mardi prochain. Face à cette loi, de nombreux (et solides) acteurs du milieu comme Google (qui avait lancé une pétition en ligne avec 7 millions de signatures), Wikipédia (qui avait fermé son site pour protester) ou encore Microsoft et Mark Zuckerberg qui ont pris position contre le texte actuel. Si la loi n’est pas annulée, elle risque tout de même d’être revue et corrigée.De l’autre côté de l’Atlantique, l’Union européenne observe calmement. Pour la commissaire européenne chargée des nouvelles technologies, Neelie Kroes via son Twitter (lien non disponible), SOPA est une « mauvaise législation », la « régulation de l’Internet doit être efficace, proportionnée et préserver les bénéfices d’un réseau ouvert ». A l’heure actuelle, l’UE assure qu’elle « ne bloquera jamais l’Internet » et continue de chercher la solution adéquate et certainement pas une SOPA. Le 23 janvier 2012 à 17:15 • Maxime Lambert
Juventus defender Alex Sandro announced he would like to play Premier League football one dayThe Brazil international is widely regarded as one of the world’s top left-backs and has linked with switches to Chelsea and Manchester United.Now Sandro has revealed a desire to try his luck out in the English top-flight before the end of his playing days.“I think, one day, who knows what will happen?” said Sandro, according to Fox Sports.“I have a desire to play in the Premier League but right now I am very happy where I am at, the club I am at, the league I am playing in.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“So today my only thought is to continue where I am because that’s where I feel happy.”Sandro has provided two assists in Juventus’ opening 12 Serie A games this season.The unbeaten Italian leaders will be back in action this Saturday at home to SPAL.Meanwhile, Sandro will likely feature in Brazil’s friendly with Cameroon tonight in Milton Keynes with kick-off to begin at 20:30 (CET).