LATEST STORIES There were shockwaves after a few people saw Thirdy Ravena allegedly mouth some cuss words at Isaac Go, who missed a potential game-winner against rival La Salle, but both players quickly clarified the incident.The truth? Ravena just told Go to keep his head up after the botched play.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“What really matters is the next game, right? FEU,” said Ateneo coach Tab Baldwin as his Blue Eagles gear up for their UAAP Final Four showdown against Far Eastern U on Sunday.That’s how it has been for most of the Ateneo’s campaign this season. They get the job done and move on to the next. Or, in the case of last Sunday’s showdown against the Green Archers—the Blue Eagles’ first loss after coming so close to a perfect elimination run—they learn from it and move on to the next. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “Coach Olsen? He knows how we play because a lot of us played in the RP Team,” said the 6-foot-7 Go. “They have their dribble-drive offense, they have Arvin, they have stars there that can score at will. You’ve got to prepare.” Street court art, technology intersect in latest testimonial to PH love for hoops CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games There’s no trouble brewing in the Ateneo camp. It was—quite comically—just a case of lip-reading gone wrong.ADVERTISEMENT “Things like sweeps and undefeated seasons are things you dream about, but you got to leave them behind pretty quick,” said Baldwin. “Even if we [completed a sweep], we got to leave it behind because the golden apple that we’re after is still in front of us.”The golden apple, of course, would be Ateneo’s first UAAP crown in five years since winning five straight titles under legendary coach Norman Black.“We still have to win the title,” said Baldwin. “So now, we just have a different route to try and do what we really want to do.”Blocking the Blue Eagles’ path now are the Tamaraws (7-7), who have been unpredictable all season.Go, who played under Olsen Racela in the Philippine youth team, also knows how the FEU coach can steer the Tamaraws to an upset win. And there’s also Go’s former national youth star teammate Arvin Tolentino at the helm of FEU’s bid.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort MOST READ Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View comments
S. Kannan.The hype over Yuvraj Singh’s return to cricket is something which has never been seen before in Indian sport. Ten days ago, when I had gone to the Rashtrapati Bhavan for the Arjuna Awards presentation ceremony, Yuvraj was being chased by the media.The first question he was asked was regarding his battle against cancer, and Yuvraj immediately wanted a change of topic. It was understandable, since he had won that battle and only wanted to talk about positive stuff and celebrate winning the Arjuna Award at long last.However, in the last few days, the dashing allrounder has himself engaged fans around the globe through Twitter on his fight against cancer. With his family and close friends also talking about it and the ‘YouWeCan’ bit, it is good that so much awareness is being spread about this dreadful disease.To be sure, Yuvraj’s battle against cancer has been a thoroughly emotional one and well chronicled. People have now forgotten and perhaps forgiven those who were supposed to be close to Yuvraj and yet delayed his treatment at the start of the year for a disease which is scary, to say the least.However, where I think the Indian cricket selectors have been a bit too emotional is drafting Yuvraj back into the T20 squad. After the highs of the ICC World Cup, when Yuvraj was adjudged the man of the tournament, he has spent a long time battling injuries and illness, and has stayed away from cricket since competitive November last year.Getting his fitness back and being able to rehabilitate and train again at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore are true signs of a champion fighting bravely.However, right now, the euphoria over Yuvraj’s return seems to have overtaken the Indian cricket team’s overall preparations. With the much-awaited T20 match against New Zealand in Visakhapatnam rained out on Saturday, it is now time to look ahead to the second T20 in Chennai.There is no doubt the hype over Yuvraj playing in Chennai will now begin, though it would be in the best interests of the Indian team that people focus on cricket.Given his absence from the cricket field and lack of match practice, Yuvraj will need time to settle down. He has the backing of the BCCI and skipper Dhoni has also said that the team needs to focus on cricket and not get swayed by emotions.Perhaps, in Indian sport, something of this magnitude is taking place for the first time, where an athlete battles a life-threatening disease and makes a comeback.Yet, when you look at the bigger picture, if Yuvraj does well with bat and ball, it will indeed be a triumph of spirit as he has chosen to draw inspiration from the nowdisgraced champion cyclist Lance Armstrong.From the macro perspective, it would be better if the Indian team can focus on its preparation for the ICC World Twenty20 as, in the last two editions, we haven’t done well.Having defeated New Zealand in the two-Test series, efforts should be to carry forward the momentum.And just as Yuvraj’s induction into the side comes as a big surprise to me, since he hasn’t proved himself in competitive cricket, it’s equally baffling how off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has made a return to the squad. Given R Ashwin’s prowess in recent weeks, the inclusion of Harbhajan is hard to explain. He hasn’t done anything big in English domestic cricket which can be counted as a reason for his re-induction into the squad. Then again, going with Piyush Chawla is also not a great decision.On the positive side, it is good to note that Ishant Sharma has been sent from Bangalore to Hyderabad to play in the Moin-ud-Dowlah cricket tournament, where the longer format of play should help him bowl flat out.So, even as we celebrate the return of Yuvraj and how he is now a source of inspiration to people from all walks of life, one must not forget that cricket is a team sport and we cannot lose focus.Dhoni has talked of senior players cementing their places before the World Twenty20. Right now, the goal must be to continue in the winning mode and do well in Sri Lanka.advertisement
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo denied on Tuesday ever hiding any income from the taxman or committing any tax fraud in Spain, after prosecutors filed a lawsuit accusing him of defrauding tax authorities of 14.7 million euros ($16.5 million).The prosecutor’s office said the Real Madrid forward had knowingly used a business structure created in 2010 to allegedly hide his image rights income in Spain between 2011 and 2014.This involved a “voluntary” failure to comply with his tax obligations in Spain, the statement from the office’s economic crimes section said. The four counts of tax fraud were based on a report from Spain’s tax agency, it said in a statement.Ronaldo denied the accusations through his representatives late on Tuesday.”There is no tax evasion scheme. There has never been any hiding nor any intention to hide anything,” Gestifute, the agency representing the player, said in a statement.Gestifute said it would publish documents to show the Portuguese player had not created such a structure and had instead used firms he had owned since his time at Manchester United that both British and Spanish tax authorities had been aware of.The agency also said the case could relate to different interpretations between the British and Spanish tax systems over where to declare some revenues but would in any case not constitute fraud.Ronaldo, who led Real Madrid to their 12th European Cup earlier this month, is the latest in a long line of soccer players in Spain – among them Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Neymar – to be caught up in cases over tax or transfers.advertisementBetween 2005 and 2010, foreign players in Spain were protected under the so-called “Beckham law” allowing them to curb their taxes. But as the financial crisis bit deeper, that exemption was lifted, paving the way for the cases.The prosecutor’s office alleges that Ronaldo had defrauded the tax authorities of 1.4 million euros in 2011, 1.7 million euros in 2012, 3.2 million euros in 2013 and 8.5 million euros in 2014.IMAGE RIGHTSThe prosecutor said that after Ronaldo signed a contract to join Real Madrid in December 2008 he ceded his image rights to a company called Tollin Associates Ltd, domiciled in the British Virgin Islands and in which he was the only stakeholder.Tollin Associates then ceded his image rights to a company in Ireland called Multisports&Image Management Ltd which was responsible for managing them. Tollin Associates itself had no business activity, the statement said.”Ceding image rights to (Tollin Associates) was completely unnecessary and its only purpose was to create a screen to conceal the totality of his image rights income from the Spanish tax authorities,” the statement said.The prosecutor’s office filed the lawsuit against Ronaldo on Tuesday to a court in the Madrid district of Pozuelo de Alarcon.Ronaldo finished the soccer season scoring two goals in a 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final to become the tournament’s top scorer with a total of 12 goals.In May, Spain’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Messi and stood by a Catalan regional court’s 21-month prison sentence for defrauding authorities of 4.1 million euros on image rights. He is unlikely to go to prison as under Spanish law sentences under two years can be served under probation.Spain’s High Court last month cleared Neymar of fraud but he still faces a corruption trial in Spain in connection with the value of his 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona. He has denied wrongdoing.
The service was installed at a cost of just over $3 million by REP Residents of Plumwood in New Forest, Manchester, now have electricity in their homes The REP has the specific mandate of expanding electricity supply to rural parishes Story Highlights After years of dependence on candles and kerosene lamps as their main source of light, residents of Plumwood in New Forest, Manchester, now have electricity in their homes.Upwards of 50 residents are benefitting from the service, which was installed under a six-month project implemented at a cost of just over $3 million by the Rural Electrification Programme Limited (REP), an agency of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM).Residents, who turned out for the recent commissioning ceremony, erupted into tumultuous applause and cheering as portfolio Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, symbolically switched on the lights.They are welcoming the arrival of the service, comparing it to the dawning of a new day in the community. For 80-year old senior citizen, Adina McKenzie, life without light was “very rough.”“When we had to buy ice, we had to dig a hole, place grass in it and put the ice in it and cover it down. When you put 50 pounds of ice in, the next day you might end up 20 pounds of ice,” she told JIS News.“We give God thanks. Now we have light, we have our refrigerators, we can buy meat and put it down in there. First time, we had to salt the meat we bought so that it could last for some days. When we buy the fish, we have to eat it one time or we put salt on it as well. But we have life good, now that we have electricity,’ Ms. McKenzie indicated.One of Plumwood’s young people, Keesha Barnes, who has lived in the district for some seven years, highlighted the challenges associated with the lack of light, particularly on the street.She pointed out that “for me who works and has to come home in the night”, not being able to see the roadway clearly in the dark, “was very dangerous”, because “it was very dark around here.”“So with the street light and the light in our homes we are very grateful. Now that it is on our doorsteps, now that the light is here, we are glad because it is a blessing,” Ms. Barnes stated.Seventy-one year old Marshall Bent said he has been elated since news surfaced that Plumwood would finally be getting electricity. “We have to give the Lord thanks and praise for enabling us to see that we have received the light, and the feeling can’t be any better,” he said.Another of Plumwood’s young adults, Patrick Bent, noted the challenges, which students experienced in studying and completing assignments without electricity, and also the poultry farmers in preserving their meat for sale.“You have some bright scholars over here and they have to study at night with the lamp or candle light. You have people who rear chicken inside here, who were (previously) unable to store their chicken after they process it. They had to transport the chickens (elsewhere) where they have relatives and friends who have the facilities that they could actually store their product until they are ready for it. So we are happy, we are grateful for this, and it’s a wonderful success,” Mr. Bent said.Plumwood is one of six communities in South Manchester, which did not previously have electricity, where the REP undertook work to institute the service at a cost of some $12 million. The others are Duff House/Eliot Lane; Rowes Corner/Logwood; Rose Hill/Grants Green; Green Pond/Back-a-Wall; and Green Pond/Baratt.In expressing satisfaction with the work undertaken in Plumwood, Mr. Paulwell said it is in keeping with Government’s focus of providing electricity in communities which have never had any.“We shouldn’t have communities in the year 2013 where people don’t have electricity; and the mission to address this has to be undertaken as quickly as possible. The Prime Minister (the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller) has mandated me to bring light to people right across every nook and cranny of this country, and I am going to do it,” he stated.The Minister urged the residents of Plumwood to be “responsible” in using the electricity, such as turning off lights and keeping the refrigerator closed, when not in use.He is also encouraging the use of energy saving devices. “Buy the…LED bulbs they may be a little more expensive…they will last you much longer and the electricity bill will be that much lower,” he stated.The REP’s General Manager, Garfield Daley, informed that extensive groundwork preceded the installation of electricity in Plumwood. This, he outlined, included analyzing the terrain and drafting designs, before dispatching work crews to erect utility poles, and installing electricity conductors and transformers “so that we (could be) in a position to connect to the national grid and take the power all the way in to the residents.”Mr. Daley advised that the electrification projects in all six targeted communities, to benefit over 1,000 residents, were undertaken simultaneously, pointing out that “the others are up and ready already.”“This (Plumwood) was the last of the six and one of the reasons for this is that the terrain is very rocky and the ‘earthing’, which is a critical requirement when electricity is being installed, was very poor. So we had to introduce some interventions to get the grounding levels to a particular point,” he explained.The REP General Manager said while the $12 million expenditure in the six areas “might seem a large investment for a relatively small area,” based on the extent of the work required, “we think it was value for money and a reasonable investment.”In his remarks, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Hon. Michael Peart, noted that the commissioning of the community’s electricity service “marks the beginning of a new era for Plumwood.”“I don’t think anybody here understands how I feel. So I want to thank the Minister for his assistance in getting this project to its completion. Thanks to the Board and members of management and staff of REP. Thank you very much on behalf of the people of Plumwood,” Mr. Peart said.REP Board Chairman, Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper, noted that bringing light to a community represents a significant step in advancing the residents’ welfare. He contended that it entails beneficiaries determining whether “they are just going to be consumers” or are going to use the electricity to enhance their lives and their community.“The choice you make is important and the choice is up to you. We have done our part by bringing the electricity to you. You must do the rest,” Rev. Roper said.Principal of Porus High School, Michael Stewart, described the arrival of electricity as a milestone achievement for Plumwood. He noted that the community’s access to electricity will greatly benefit its students attending institutions in Manchester and the adjoining parish of St. Elizabeth.“Now they will be able to do their assignments (especially at night). I want to commend and thank the REP Board members here for having gone the extra mile. It has been long in coming and we are very happy that we have achieved this significant milestone,” he said.The REP was incorporated in 1975 with the specific mandate of expanding the reach of electricity supply to rural parishes, the majority of whose residents did not have access to any, at the time. Over the years the entity has successfully wired over 80,000 rural households, representing approximately 96 per cent coverage.
zoom Dubai-based shipping company Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC (GulfNav) has entered into an agreement with Switzerland-based SeaQuest Group to set up a partnership in ship management, advisory services and marine project management.Under the agreement, GulfNav will expand its business in the Middle East, Africa and other neighbouring countries through a new company that will be headquartered in Dubai starting from January 2017 and will be a subsidiary of Gulf Navigation Holding.GulfNav said that the partnership is in line with its strategic plans and capitalization on opportunities to develop the maritime sector in the region, diversify the sources of the income and switch to a multi-enterprise business establishment.“This partnership will not only contribute in our business growth in the field of the ship management, but also it will contribute in the expansion of our services in the field of the technical consultancy, to manage a variety of maritime projects and improve the quality of our services with the support and experience of our new partners,” Khamis Juma Buamim, Board Member, Managing Director and Group CEO of Gulf Navigation Holding, said.The agreement was signed between GulfNav’s subsidiary Gulf Ship Management and SeaQuest Group in Geneva on December 21.
TRANSPORTATION/INFRASTRUCTURE RENEWAL– Traffic Advisory, Digby County DIGBY COUNTY: Sissiboo Road Closed From Wednesday, July 7, to Friday, Aug. 6, Sissiboo Road in Bear River will be closed between Landsdowne Road and Bell Street for slope repairs and road reconstruction. A marked detour route is available on Clark Street. Local Area Office: 902-245-4090 -30-
Noida: It was a strange sight for the morning walkers at Noida stadium on Monday morning when they spotted a 28-year-old youth hanging from a tree near gate number two of the stadium. Cops said that the deceased had committed suicide by hanging himself under mental depression.According to police, the deceased has been identified as Rahul Chaudhary, a native of Bulandshahr and lived at a rented house in Nithari area of Noida. Rajeev Kumar Singh, Circle Officer-II, Gautam Buddh Nagar said that police have recovered a suicide note from one of the pockets of deceased in which he has written that he committed suicide under mental depression. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder”Police received information through a phone call around 8:30 am and a team rushed to the spot. Police found body of the young man hanging from the tree and he was taken into custody. Police recovered a suicide note from his pocket in which he mentioned how he lost his job and took to borrowing money from more than one persons, who had now started asking for the money to be returned. He has also named at least three persons in the note who have been pressurizing him to pay back their money,” said Singh. Also Read – Two brothers held for snatchings”Police sent the body for postmortem and informed the family members of deceased. As of now we have not received any complaint into the matter and will take actions if a complaint is received,” added Singh. Meanwhile in yet another incident, a 45-year-old man was also found hanging from the ceiling fan inside his house in Chhalera area under sector 39 police station of Noida on Monday. Police officials said that the deceased had been working at a private company in Sector 8 of Noida. “The man committed suicide as he was upset over being jobless. We are yet to receive any complaint into the matter,” said police.
COOKSTOWN, Ont. – Ontario Provincial Police have identified one of the three victims of last week’s fiery pileup on a highway north of Toronto.Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says 37-year-old Benjamin Dunn of North Bay, Ont., was driving one of the two fuel tankers involved in the Highway 400 crash that set off a massive fireball and sent motorists running for their lives.Dunn’s wife, Nikiyah Mulak-Dunn, has said her husband was a veteran truck driver who worked three jobs to provide for their nine children.Schmidt says the intensity of the fire has made it difficult for the coroner’s office to officially identify those who died in the crash.He says investigators hope to confirm the identity of the second victim this week, but adds it will take more time to identify the third.The 14-vehicle collision happened Halloween night on Highway 400 near County Road 88 in Cookstown, Ont., when at least one truck slammed into vehicles stopped in the area because of an earlier collision.Schmidt says the cause is still under investigation and authorities would not be releasing information.
(Virginia Pictou Noyes in an undated photo. Courtesy of the family)Kathleen Martens APTN News There’s been a breakthrough in the case of a Virginia Pictou Noyes, a Mi’kmaq woman missing 24 years.The family of Pictou Noyes, originally of Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia, say new information is pointing to suspects close to home.“I received a text message on Oct. 26,” said Virginia’s brother Francis Pictou. “The cold case unit is going to interview them.”The text message came from a relative alleging Virginia was murdered by two men known to the family.One of those men has since died, Francis said.“The cockroaches are running,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Massachusetts.Pictou Noyes vanished April 1993 after leaving a hospital in Bangor, Maine.Her family says she was seeking first aid after allegedly being beaten by two men.The Mi’kmaq woman was born in Membertou but moved to Maine as an adult.Brother Robert Pictou, who lives in Terrace, B.C., said police arrested both men after the beating but released them on conditions.Then his sister disappeared.(The family of Virginia Pictou Noyes testifying at the national MMIWG inquiry in Membertou. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)The family says they heard little about the case until the text message arrived just before they testified at the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Membertou last month.Francis said the tipster claimed the men confessed to killing Virginia.“They burned her body in a car…she was 26 years old.”But that wasn’t the most shocking part.Francis said the family recently learned that police knew about the car fire in 2009 but didn’t tell them about it.“They’ve been keeping us in the dark in regards to my sister’s life,” he said.The family shared a letter with APTN News from the Maine State Police, confirming Virginia is listed in the missing person database. She is also the subject of an “open investigation,” the letter says.Robert said police were called to a dispute involving Virginia and two men at her home in Maine where Virginia declined to press charges.Then she changed her mind, he said, and gave a statement, so police arrested the men, and then released them. And she went missing.“This happened the day before we were supposed to testify (at the inquiry),” Robert said of the news, adding he, Francis and sister Aggie Gould in Membertou were working to verify the information ever since.Robert said a family friend communicated with the tipster online but he has declined to say anything more.Francis says he has been in touch with the Maine attorney general’s office and been promised a full investigation.“This case is under the microscope now,” he said.
MONTREAL – A Quebec man who was allegedly served sparkling wine instead of champagne on a flight is seeking permission to launch a class action against the airline, his lawyer said Thursday.Court documents claim Daniel Macduff, a retired civil servant from the Quebec City area, booked a Sunwing Airlines flight to Cuba last November that advertised a “champagne service.”But instead of a glass of high-quality bubbly from France’s famous Champagne region, Macduff was served a cheap sparkling wine, his lawyer said.“He was served, in a plastic cup, an ounce or an ounce and a half of sparkling wine that was not champagne, and on his flight back there was nothing at all,” said Sebastien Paquette, who is spearheading the class action request.“He felt as if he’d been tricked.”If authorized, the suit would seek compensation for the price difference between the drinks as well as punitive damages against the company for alleged false and misleading advertising practices.In a statement, Sunwing dismissed the legal action as “frivolous and without merit,” saying the word champagne was used in its marketing to refer to the quality of the service rather than a specific drink.“The terms ‘champagne vacations’ and ‘champagne service’ were used to denote a level of service in reference to the entire hospitality package from the flight through to the destination experience and are not a reference to beverages served inflight or in-destination,” the statement read.The company also said that whenever it detailed its services, it always specified these included “a complimentary welcome glass of sparkling wine.”Sunwing’s website appears to have removed the references to champagne.A judge is expected to decide in March 2018 whether to authorize the class action.Paquette said the suit is less about the differing cost of the beverages and more about the need to fight Sunwing’s advertising practices.He said the company’s marketing — which included pictures of bubbly-filled long-stemmed glasses — crossed a line into false advertising.“It’s their marketing practice, of using the word ‘champagne’ next to pictures of flutes, that’s what we’re looking to punish,” he said.“Imagine Sunwing wrote ‘sparkling wine vacation’ instead,” he added. “Doesn’t quite have the same pull, does it?”The suit would be filed on behalf of any Quebec resident who bought a Sunwing package that included the word “champagne” in its marketing since February 2014.Paquette believes more than 500,000 consumers could be involved.
CAIRO – Egypt’s military-installed government declared the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed Morsi a “terrorist” group Wednesday, banning all its activities, including demonstrations, ministers said after a cabinet meeting.Deputy prime minister Hossam Eissa said the movement has been declared a “terrorist” group and social solidarity minister Ahmed al-Borei said the government would ban all its activities, including “protests.”The decision is likely to accelerate a crackdown on the movement that has killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, in street clashes and imprisoned thousands since Morsi’s overthrow by the military in July. It comes a day after a suicide car bombing of a police station killed 15 people, in an attack condemned by the Brotherhood and claimed by an Al-Qaeda-inspired group based in the restive Sinai Peninsula.Morsi’s supporters, who continue to organise near-daily demonstrations demanding his reinstatement, insist they are committed to peaceful protest.Eissa said the government decided to “punish according to the law whoever belongs to this group or remains its member” after the decision was adopted.Egypt will notify Arab countries who signed a 1998 anti-terrorism treaty of the decision, he added.
“Since the high-level meeting on Libya which took place on the margins of the General Assembly on 2 October, [the UN Support Mission in Libya, UNSMIL] convened what should have been a final round of talks in Skhirat, Morocco to facilitate Libyan deliberations on the composition of the Presidency Council that would lead the country’s future Government of National Accord,” Bernardino León, the Head of UNSMIL, told the Security Council.Indeed, after four days of intensive consultations which concluded on 8 October, members of the Libyan political dialogue process had succeeded in forging consensus on a list of six nominees, including a Prime Minister designate, three deputy Prime Ministers, and two Senior Ministers.According to Mr. León, the proposed composition of the Presidency Council was seen as a means of securing the necessary consensus and inclusivity that would allow for a Government of National Accord to assume office with the requisite support and backing of all relevant political and security stakeholders, as well as the Libyan public at large.“While the proposal was hailed as a major breakthrough in the dialogue process, strong objections were voiced in some quarters, notably from within the House of Representatives, for what was perceived as inadequate representation for the east, particularly Benghazi,” he explained, in what is expected to be his last address to the Council as UNSMIL chief.In the three weeks that followed the announcement of the proposed composition of the Presidency Council, the official indicated that the United Nations has consulted closely with parties from across the political spectrum in an effort to resolve outstanding concerns regarding representation. In this regard, he said there appears to be growing support to the idea of expanding the Presidency Council “as a means of consolidating and safeguarding Libya’s historical traditions of geographical and regional balance and representation.”“Despite the passing of the 21 October constitutional timeline by which we had hoped that a final political settlement would be agreed and endorsed by the main political stakeholders, there is yet to be a formal and final pronouncement by either of the main political stakeholders on the Libyan Political Agreement and the proposed Presidency Council,” he noted.Meanwhile, working closely with representatives of the international community, Mr. León said UNSMIL continued to impress upon both the Libyan House of Representatives and the Tripoli-based General National Congress the need to urgently convene sessions that would allow for a democratic vote on the Political Agreement and proposals for the Presidency Council.“While I have always remained hopeful about the chances of Libya’s leaders reaching a peaceful agreement, I have had no illusions about the difficulties and challenges that would likely face the political dialogue process,” he told the Council.He added that the growing influence of terrorist and other extremist groups is posing a direct threat to the very authority of the Libyan State, with “the cruelty and barbarity witnessed in areas under their control an omen of what may yet come unless there is united action to contain and eliminate this growing threat.”“Equally important is the scale of human suffering,” Mr. León continued. “The political and military conflict has exacted a heavy toll on the Libyan people. Death and displacement have become an all too common a theme, particularly in Benghazi which has for the longest duration borne the brunt of the conflict in Libya. Massive displacement of population, the destruction of entire civilian neighbourhoods and vital infrastructure, and large-scale human rights abuses which continue to take place on a regular basis have scarred the city beyond the recognition.”He added that the “cowardly targeting by terrorists of peaceful demonstrators” in the city on 23 October is an urgent reminder of the need to expedite efforts towards peace, and that restoring peace and stability to Benghazi will be the first step towards stabilising Libya. During his address to the Council, Mr. León also reminded Libya’s leaders that they have a unique opportunity to reach a political settlement that could spares their country and people further bloodshed and destruction. “The proposed Agreement was never intended to provide a panacea for all of Libya’s problems, but rather to lay out a set of structures and principles that would guide the next phase of Libya’s political transition until such time that the constitution making process is completed,” he stated.Ending his remarks, he said the next few days will be critical to Libya’s future. “While the United Nations will continue to encourage the two main political stakeholders to formally endorse the Political Agreement and the proposed composition of the Presidency Council, it will also continue working with the moderate voices from the different dialogue tracks as well as from across Libya’s political and civil society spectrum, as well as those among security actors, for the sake of forging a viable way forward.”In conclusion, he said the onus is now on Libya’s leaders to forge a new political reality and bring a decisive and permanent end to their country’s political turmoil and armed conflict.Earlier this week, it was announced that Martin Kobler, the current Head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), will succeed Mr. León as Head of UNSMIL.
“The law is clear. Governments do have obligations to protect the environment and human rights. The norms themselves are fairly well established, but there is an implementation gap,” said John Knox, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment at an event being held on the sidelines of the 13th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), also known as COP 13, in Cancun, Mexico.“The laws exist, but the problem is that many governments simply do not comply with their obligations towards indigenous peoples. They don’t do enough to protect and promote their rights,” he added.Mr. Knox also noted that governments should also respect the rights of local communities that are not indigenous groups. He stressed that these communities need to be consulted and should participate in decision-making that affects them, but pointed out that many times they are marginalized.“The law for non-indigenous local communities can sometimes be unclear because their rights are not as clearly set out in binding instruments and this creates problems,” he said, adding that this issue would be featured in his next report to the Human Rights Council. “Their livelihood, subsistence and territories should not be taken away.” Mr. Knox was speaking at a side event where various experts highlighted the crucial role that indigenous peoples and local communities play in conserving biodiversity. Their traditional knowledge and skills is considered invaluable in ensuring food security, creating medicines, and sustainably managing the world’s resources.He emphasized that while it makes social and economic sense to protect this communities, governments should also do this because it is the law.In addition, he highlighted the need to protect the rights of indigenous and local communities that are opposing projects supported by their governments, adding that more than 100 have been killed this year alone defending their land and resources.“We’re really living through a global crisis when it comes to protecting the rights of environmental defenders,” he said. “It is simply unacceptable that we’re doing a terrible job in protecting the lives of those protecting the environment of which all of our lives depend on.”He added that international organizations and civil society must amplify their voices and work together to shine a light on the plight of these communities.Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
FiveThirtyEight More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s episode (Aug. 1, 2017), we celebrate the publication of Kate Fagan’s latest book, “What Made Maddy Run.” FiveThirtyEight senior editor Chadwick Matlin and Kate discuss the story of Madison Holleran, a University of Pennsylvania track star whose death by suicide sparked a conversation about the difficulties of transitioning to college life, mental illness and the impact of social media. Next, we’re joined by FiveThirtyEight’s Rob Arthur, who helps us make sense of the MLB trade deadline by breaking down how the deals made by this year’s top teams might affect the playoffs. Plus, a significant digit on the Chicago Cubs.Here are links to what we discussed on this week’s show:An excerpt from “What Made Maddy Run” can be found here.ESPN looked at the trade deadline’s biggest winners and losers, declaring that the Dodgers and Yankees stocked up while the Orioles missed out.Ahead of Monday’s MLB trade deadline, Rob wrote that trades aren’t just for the deadline anymore.Rob also notes that as a result of this year’s trades, baseball’s richest just got much richer.Significant Digit: 14, the number of years between the infamous Steve Bartman incident during the 2003 National League Championship Series and the Cubs’ decision to present a 2016 World Series ring to Bartman. The Cubs said that “while no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization.”
By Marc Davis, www.BNWnews.ca With bullion prices at all-time highs and worldclass gold discoveries becoming ever more elusive, the investment industry is gambling increasingly sizeable sums of money on major mines-in-the-making. A recent example of this new trend involves Exeter Resource Corp. Specifically, a handful of top-tier investment banks snapped up the high-flying mining junior’s C$57.5 million equity financing last month in less than 24 hours. Of Exeter’s war chest, a sizeable amount is being used to develop one of the world’s largest gold discoveries in recent years. The Caspiche gold/copper deposit in Chile is a veritable monster that weighs in at 33.7 Moz gold equivalent. (The ‘equivalent’ involves silver and copper by-product metals that are valued using baseline prices of $12 for silver and $2.00/lb for copper, while $800 is used for the gold valuation). Stated another way, Caspiche boasts an inferred resource estimate of 19.8 Moz of gold, 40 Moz of silver and 4,800 Mlb of copper.The amount of money poured into Vancouver-based Exeter Resource is a clear indication that multi-billion dollar hedge funds are beginning to diversify into gold exploration companies – at least the ones that have especially large in-development gold assets. This is because these gold stocks are increasingly assuming a newly-found collective role as a powerful inverse proxy to the weakening US dollar. In this regard, they are proving as attractive as gold bullion, itself. And though they are far riskier investments when compared to owning physical gold, they have been offering much greater returns as of the past few months.Indeed, this reality appears to be the big attraction for the participants in Exeter’s financing. To date, their identities have not been disclosed, but they apparently include some marquee names among US and European investment funds. This is according to an investment banker who wishes to remain anonymous as he is not authorised to talk to the media.“Notably, this financing includes one of the world’s largest hedge funds. This fund has only been investing in gold stocks as of recently, but this has already started a trend among large more ‘macro generalist’ institutional investors,” our source says.This emerging trend among the type of big league money managers who have mostly ignored the gold sector for many years has not gone unnoticed by Exeter.“This latest financing was fully subscribed literally overnight. Its size was a surprise to some people,” Exeter’s Executive Chairman Yale Simpson tells BNWnews. “Our previous smaller financings were dominated by resource funds that are specialists in the gold space,” he adds. “This time, I believe we’re dealing with much more mainstream players than has traditionally been the case. And these are funds that obviously believe that either our gold resources will continue to build substantially or that gold prices are still heading significantly higher – or both.”Furthermore, the apparent appetite among institutional investors for a piece of Exeter may also be an indication that the theory of ‘peak gold’ is beginning to win over converts. Especially since the CEO of the world’s largest mining company, Barrick Gold, recently added credence to this argument.Aaron Regent told a gold investment conference in London last month that major gold mining companies are continually struggling to replace mined-out reserves. Especially their high-grade ore, much of which was severely depleted when gold was fetching much lower prices.The problem is that fewer and fewer world-class gold deposits (at least 5 Moz in size) are being found. The current success rate is about one per year, regardless of how many companies are hunting for them and the some $4 billion per year that is being spent in this quest.“There is a strong case to be made that we are already at peak gold,” Regent said. “Production peaked around 2000 and it has been in decline ever since. And we forecast that decline to continue as it is increasingly difficult to find ore.”The facts certainly seem to back up Regent’s argument. For instance, global gold output has been dwindling by nearly 5% per annum since it peaked in 2001, even though bullion’s spot price has virtually quadrupled since then. In the world’s mature gold fields the situation is even worse. For instance, in North America output has dropped over the last decade from 17.06 Moz in 1998 to 10.59 Moz in 2008 – an extraordinary 60% plunge.Hence, prospectively world-class discoveries are becoming increasingly important to hungry mining majors with deep pockets. Especially since about three quarters of all significant discoveries are made by exploration-oriented mining juniors.That is why we are increasingly seeing small companies with lucrative gold finds being gobbled up by mid to major sized gold producers. Exeter is unlikely to be an exception. Before that can happen Exeter’s management says it is exploring ways to add significantly more value to Caspiche by way of additional detailed drilling and mine planning.There has even been speculation that the company could spin off and commercialise its small but very high grade Cerro Morro gold/silver deposit in pro-mining Argentina. To date, the deposit has an inferred resource is 646,000 oz of gold that includes the rich Escondida vein, which contains 518,000 oz gold equivalent at a grade of 34 g/t Au.The company plans to advance this to the Indicated resource category during 2010, while also targeting a resource expansion to over 1 Moz gold. The deposit is scheduled to be in production by 2011. Over time, it is expected to continue to grow significantly in size due to its largely untapped overall potential, Simpson says.Yet, the Caspiche deposit is an entirely different situation as it is far too large for Exeter to go it alone, Simpson says.Market observers suggest it could cost upwards of $1 billion to commercialise. But that would be a relatively small price to pay for a giant multinational mining company that needs to produce as much as several million ounces of gold each year just to keep pace with its rivals.Such potential suitors are not far away. The deposit is sandwiched between Kinross Gold’s 6.2-Moz Maricunga mine and the Cerro Casale mine-in-the-making. Jointly owned by heavyweights Barrick and Kinross, Cerro Casale is huge, boasting a 23-Moz gold resource, along with 6,000 Mlb of copper.Ultimately, significant economies of scale could be realised if the major players get together to share mining infrastructure in the area. Kinross and Barrick are the obvious candidates. But given the size of Caspiche, any of the world’s major gold miners could commercialise it.“Due to its size, Caspiche has heightened appeal to major mining companies, of which nine have already signed confidentiality agreements with us. All would like to be considered when we do a transaction,” Simpson says.For the mean time, Exeter appears to be happy to go it alone as the company is convinced that there is considerably more value in the deposit that has yet to be unlocked.In recent weeks, other major equity financings involving Canadian gold exploration-oriented mining juniors include an $86.33 million shot in the arm for Rubicon Minerals; $40 million for Ventana Gold; $67.5 million for Gabriel Resources; $63.35 million for Greystar Resources and $71.87 million for Collosus Minerals.
Another LG smartphone has popped up on the web, and surprise, surprise… it’s another rectangular black slab. This time, however, the hardware hiding inside the rather unassuming chassis of the LS970 is a nice contrast to its subdued exterior.Apart from the 13 megapixel rear shooter hiding in plain sight on the back of the phone, there’s some serious muscle inside — specifically Qualcomm’s quad-core Krait SoC. What goes nicely with all those cores? Why, 2GB of RAM to handle all the multitasking you’ll be doing on your LS970, of course! LG has also packed in 16GB of internal storage,a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and an LTE radio. The 2100mAh battery should provide plenty of powerThe screen on the LS970 won’t disappoint, either. It’s a 4.7-inch display that runs at 1280×768 pixels — which equates to a pixel density of around 317, just slightly better than the Samsung Galaxy S3. Pixel density alone doesn’t tell the story, of course, so we’ll have to wait until the LS970 (which is claimed to have a TFT LCD display) can really compete with a Samsung HD Super AMOLED display. An operating system wasn’t specified, either, but Android is a safe bet considering LG’s tepid relationship with Windows Phone.Several important details have yet to be revealed, such as the name the phone will be branded with (presumably an Optimus something), what it will cost, or which carrier it’s headed to. Clues in the leak indicate that a likely target might be Sprint, who seem to be loading up on LTE models for that day in the (hopefully near) future when they finally flip the switch on their now-dormant LTE network.More at Brief Mobile
Figures released this week by the Australian Department of Immigration confirm a dramatic surge in the number of Greek nationals successfully applying for student visas to study in Australia. In 2010-11, only 102 Greeks were awarded student visas (64 male and 38 female) but in 2011-12 this figure shot up to 587 (407 male and 180 female); an increase of nearly 500 per cent. The data, published in Australia’s Migration Trends 2011-12 report, confirms that young people faced with meagre job opportunities in Greece are increasingly looking to improve their prospects in Australia. Dr Bob Birrell of the Centre for Population and Urban Research told Neos Kosmos that the influx – whilst largely due to desperate labour market conditions in Greece – was also a result of recent reforms made to the rules applying to student visas. “The student visa reforms have eased up the situation, in the sense that the rules governing bona fides have been loosened,” says Dr Birrell. “The Australian government has left it up to universities to make the decisions, and those who are successful in getting a student visa are granted, as of right, two years in our labour market once they’ve graduated. “It doesn’t matter what the course is, it could be Greek History. The rule used to be that you had to have a credential related to an occupation that was in short supply, but that’s been removed. “So any degree given provides access to employment, that’s the big change.” Dr Birrell says that whilst the government’s reforms make it harder for overseas students to gain permanent residence, every temporary entry program offered by Australia was being influenced by the traction of the Australian labour market. “There’s a very significant surge for instance in working holiday visa numbers from places like Ireland and Taiwan. “As the labour market softens, I think there should be tougher rules to ensure that employers who sponsor skilled migrants do a proper local labour market test,” says the Monash University analyst, who applauds the government’s recent moves to tighten the 457 visa program. “There’s an equally strong case to tighten up on the Working Holiday Visa Program, because today it’s being used fundamentally as a work program,” says Birrell. “Working holiday visa holders are crowding into the entry-level labour market in Australia and are making it even tougher for locals to get work. They’re just letting that run without paying any attention to it.” Roula Tsiolas, Managing Director of the Australian Industrial Systems Institute (AISI) – one of Melbourne’s leading registered training organisations for overseas students – told Neos Kosmos that the increase in student visas to Greek nationals reflected the AISI’s own experience, with enrolments up by 75 per cent. Ms Tsiolas said that whilst presenting at overseas study seminars in Greece last month she noticed that demand for Australian qualifications was higher than ever. “It’s an indication that student visa applications will increase even further in the future.” The AISI’s chief added that many of those she had met were set on gaining Australian qualifications to increase their chances of being employed by multinational companies – who they anticipate will invest in Greece in the future. “They see the potential for being employed by these companies, should they possess foreign qualifications and work experience abroad,” says Ms Tsiolas. While the number of student visas offered to Greeks have increased exponentially, the Department of Immigration’s latest statistics show that the number of permanent residency visas awarded to Greek nationals in 2011-12 actually decreased from 2010-11. Between July 2011 and June 2012, 134 Greek citizens, (82 male and 52 female) were awarded permanent residency visas, but in the previous year, 325 Greeks (204 male and 121 female) were given the right to live in Australia permanently. The downward turn may be a result of tighter rules in relation to permanent visas. Visitor visas awarded to Greek nationals increased by almost 14 per cent in 2011-12 from 2010-11; up to 7938 from 6977. 440 Greeks holding temporary visas – who overstayed their visa – were deemed ‘unlawful non-citizens’ in Australia at 30 June 2012. Overstayers from China topped the league of ‘unlawfuls’ with 7800 in breach of their visa conditions. More than 5000 US nationals were also designated as unlawful citizens in Australia for the same reason. In 2011-2012, 67 Greek citizens had their visas cancelled. 2781 British nationals also had their visas cancelled in the same period. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Back in the days of geek prehistory, a T-shirt was a signal to the world around you that you cared about your nerdy pursuits enough to fly them like a flag. Companies like Graphitti Designs contracted with movie studios and comics publishers to create shirts with our favorite characters and sold them up on the walls of comic book stores and through mail-order.The computer revolution has enabled the T-shirt world to become something totally new – affordable production and distribution means that shirts can be printed in small quantities and sold anywhere in the world. Starting with Threadless, dozens of companies popped up letting artists and designers show their stuff. It’s a better time than ever to be a geek fashionista, and if you’re looking to expand your wardrobe we’re going to help you out every week… on T-Shirt Tuesday.This week: Drop into the storm dressed for a Victory Royale with these Fortnite duds.AdChoices广告Victory Royale BadgeIt’s pretty crazy that a simple video game has introduced a phrase into the lexicon, but “Victory Royale” is inescapable these days. Ninjadesigninc gives us this classy hipsterish badge design, which takes inspiration from classic hardcore music logotypes and navigational symbols to deliver a shirt that’ll blend in with the normies while still broadcasting your love of Fortnite.$20, buy it here.Loot LakeIt’s kind of crazy how the fictional neighborhoods of Fortnite have ingrained their way into the public consciousness so quickly. Can you think of any other video game levels that people talk about as if they were real places? You have to give it up to Epic’s strategy of creating areas that are both generic and memorable, and can inspire fan creations like this shirt from TuffiDesigns. With a clean and elegant design, it’ll have you mentally splashing down every time you wear it.$20, buy it here.The BusHub areas, where you wait to get into the action in multiplayer video games, are usually pretty boring. Fortnite defies that tradition with the Battle Bus, a floating school bus kept barely aloft by a hot air balloon that you leap out of to start each match. The Battle Bus is one of the more iconic elements of the game, so props to artist SPadawan for their good-looking hand-drawn take on the vehicle. Makes me want to listen to some classic Van Halen, if you know what I mean.$20, buy it here.GTA StyleArtist Berger92 gives us two great tastes that taste great together – the funky characters of Fortnite arranged in the classic design of the Grand Theft Auto games. There’s no denying that the mayhem of Rockstar’s smash hit series has inspired the kind of chaotic play that today’s battle royale shooters excel at, so this is sort of bringing things full circle and we approve.$20, buy it here.Durrr BurgerThe world of Fortnite is full of fanciful brands and imaginary landmarks, giving it the appearance of a fictional world that’s been deeply considered from the ground up – or at least cobbled together by a bunch of jokesters. One of the most notable is Durrr Burger, a fast food franchise located in the urban areas of the game. With a mascot of a drooling, mentally damaged hamburger, it doesn’t look terrifically appetizing but beggars can’t be choosers.$20, buy it here.Tilted Towers Demolition CoIt’s hard to pick just one thing that vaulted Fortnite into the top spot in the gaming world, but its clever pseudo-Minecraft building mechanism is definitely up there. It’s the perfect gateway drug for kids who are a little bored with block stacking into the bigger world of online shooters, and even though you can’t make quite as much different stuff, there are plenty of possibilities. If you’ve been smashing up Tilted Towers for raw materials so much your hands are callused, this one from Hallowscream could be the shirt for you.$20, buy it here.Walls, Floors, Stairs, RoofsWe’re certainly not coming down on PUBG – they innovated the battle royale genre, after all – but there’s a good reason that Fortnite has lapped them (besides being exponentially less buggy). The grim, brown, realistic aesthetic is just sort of played out in video games these days, and letting you hunt down foes in a silly candy-colored world is just more appealing. Nothing epitomizes that aesthetic quite like the game’s unicorn pickaxe, which lets you mine materials and get melee kills with the beast’s surprisingly sharp horn. Nice drawing by KingClothes.$20, buy it here.UnicornWith just four kinds of constructions, the building in Fortnite is deliberately limited, especially because you have to do it fast. People have come up with a pretty wide variety of structures, though, from humble sniper towers to bizarre agglomerations of ramps and floors that stretch high into the sky. Artist perrsimmons gives us an iconic yet charming illustration of the quartet of constructables that you’ll deploy.$20, buy it here.Slurp TattooChugging down a Slurp can change the flow of a Fortnite battle, as the blue beverage lets you restore health and shield every second. It’s become one of the most iconic power-ups to come out of the game, and artist Woah_Jonny loves it so much that he created a tattoo design. If you’re not committed enough for permanent body art, maybe you should just buy the T-shirt instead? That’s generally a better idea.$20, buy it here.Three Llama MoonWhy exactly Epic decided to pick a llama as the animal responsible for rare supply drops in Fortnite is a mystery for the ages, but the long-necked camelids are undergoing a pop culture resurgence because of it. Hell, at the E3 party they had eight of them just wandering around. Artist ChazKelley takes the pinata-esque creatures and grafts them onto an old but good meme to create this very funny shirt.$20, buy it here.How To BuildIt remains to be seen if excessive Fortnite play will translate into any real-world skills, but artist Akairos makes a pretty good parallel between the construction action and assembling Ikea furniture. Their shirt perfectly captures the visual language of those pictographic instructions and uses them to build a box to snipe your foes in. Pretty funny stuff – can you pass the Allen wrench? I’m worried about this bookshelf.$20, buy it here.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Denali wolf (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service)Republicans in the U.S. House are trying to roll back some of the environmental rules of the Obama Administration, and today they turned their attention to a regulation that applies only in Alaska. The rule prohibits several methods of hunting predators in National Wildlife Refuges in the state. Amid talk of “puppy killing,” Alaska Congressman Don Young argued it’s up to the state to manage wildlife populations.Listen nowIn a Rules Committee hearing, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., cast himself as the defender of the Obama wildlife rule, and he painted the bill to repeal it in emotional terms.“This bill should really be called ‘the puppy killing act,’” Polis said. “What it does is allows inhumane methods and cruel methods, like killing wolf pups and their mothers, in and near their dens.”And, Polis said, the repeal bill would open the door to shooting brown bears over bait and other practices he characterizes as inhumane. Young disagrees with that assessment.“That’s the most bunch of bull poop I’ve ever heard,” Young declared.The Obama–era rule bans predator hunting practices that aren’t broadly allowed in Alaska anyway, but the state Game Board said they’re tools that can be deployed, when needed, to restore a balance between predator and prey species. Young said such decisions should be up to the state.“We have to recognize this is not about the little polar bears and the little grizzly bears and the wolves that you’re seeing on television,” Young said. “This is about the state’s right to manage(wildlife). Not allowing the federal government to do it.”Young also seemed to scold those who hold a romantic view of predators.“One year, on my trapline, the wolves killed 17 moose. Cows. With babies. Ate nothing but the noses and the fetus out of the belly,” Young said. “That’s your wolf.”(Young’s spokesman said Young ran a trapline for about eight years along the Black River, before he became a state legislator in 1967.)Supporters of the Fish and Wildlife Service rule say the feds can’t always defer to state hunting policies if they conflict with mandates in federal law, like their obligation to manage for biological diversity.The repeal measure now goes to the House floor. It is one of several attempts to use the Congressional Review Act to erase regulations the Obama Administration imposed in its final months. The State of Alaska is also challenging the rule in federal court.
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