5 Reasons Apple’s India Strategy Is An Epic Fail

first_imgApple — in which I have no financial interest — has a growth problem and tried to solve it by selling iPhones in India. That’s proven to be an epic fail.Apple shares trade 28% below their October 3 high. And that leaves open a question for investors: Can Apple grow faster? Its India strategy suggests it can’t.Read it at Forbes Related Itemslast_img

See More

Ian McDonald’s Algorithms is a sneak peek into the lesser-seen world

first_imgSport-sociologist Ian McDonald’s first documentary feature Algorithms takes viewers into the lesser-seen world of blind chess competition in India. It does so movingly by following three characters for three years both in India and abroad. They include Charudatta Jadhav, the General Secretary of the All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AIFCB), and two chess prodigies in Darpan Inani, a totally blind boy from Gujarat, and Sai Krishna ST, a partially-sighted player from Chennai. PVR Director’s Rare will be releasing the movie on Aug 21 in theatres across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kochi. What drew you to the world of blind chess and its young practitioners? I am a sport-sociologist turned documentary filmmaker. So I have a particular interest in sporting cultures, especially non-mainstream sports. And as a documentary filmmaker, I am drawn to ‘other worlds’, untold stories. For me the process of filmmaking is a journey, a voyage of discovery. So way back in 2006 when I was in India just finishing a short film, a small report tucked inside the pages of a newspaper about blind children playing chess caught my attention. I was curious to find out more about this but was unable to pursue it at that time. The idea would not leave me. Eventually Geetha, my creative collaborator, said ‘Come on, let’s look into this’.In late 2008 we investigated further and eventually made contact with Charudatta Jadhav, the General Secretary of the All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AIFCB). Charudatta invited us to the National Team and Junior Blind Chess Championship in Mumbai in January 2009. There my initial curiosity turned to amazement when we discovered that there was a thriving but hidden community of blind chess players in India. That is where the film starts.advertisementWe decided on the three boys during the first shoot itself. Darpan’s reputation preceded him. He was the undoubted star of blind chess. The young Sai Krishna was the rising star while Anant was the ‘new kid on the block’. He had just started to play chess but was recognized as being very talented. It just so happened that the three boys came from three different parts of India: Baroda, Bhubaneswar and Chennai, each hailing from three socio-economic classes. And furthermore, together they represented the span of visual impairment with Darpan being totally blind and having no visual memory, Anant also totally blind but with some visual memory, and Sai Krishna who is partially sighted but facing the prospect of going blind due to a genetic condition. But actually there is a very important fourth character in the film, ‘Charu-sir’, the unassuming but inspirational pioneer of blind chess not just in India but internationally.  The movie highlights how instrumental a figure Charudatta Jadhav is in the blind chess scene in India. Did his support make it easier for you to shoot the film?  Yes, Charu is an unassuming but inspirational pioneer of blind chess not just in India but internationally. He is a fantastic role model for blind kids everywhere. After talking to us, he got convinced we were sincere in our intentions. We wanted to go in-depth and capture the truth of this world, both the highs and the lows. He was indeed instrumental in convincing the AICFB and the International Chess Braille Association to give us the freedom to shoot at all of their tournaments.   Once you had the story, was it always on the back of your mind that you needed to follow all these characters for a longer duration as opposed to just one competition? Before we went to Mumbai in January 2009 for the first shoot, we had thought that this might be a six-month shoot and that we will cover one national and one international competition. But after Mumbai, we knew that this was not a film that could be completed quickly. As an observational documentary filmmaker, six months is a quick film! We knew that this needed time, time to do justice to the subject matter, to explore all the different layers of meaning and the complexities of the blind chess world, and of course to gain the trust of our subjects. So it ended up as a three-year shoot, with over 250 hours of footage, that took over 12 months to cut into the 100 minute version you will see in theatres. What prompted you to shoot the film in black and white? Was it to reflect the colours of the chessboard?We decided to make the film black and white very early on in the editing process. The images had a much greater intensity and an intimacy than in colour, and the film as a whole felt much more of a piece and more immersive in black and white. Not one person has ever come up to us and said it they would have liked to have seen it in colour! In fact many people have commented that they quickly forget that they are watching a black and white film, because it feels so natural.advertisementThrough Darpan one can sense the parental pressure that kids face–the need to succeed. This is especially evident in the behaviour of Darpan’s mother. Is that an aspect that you want to subtly highlight?Darpan’s mother is incredibly devoted. I don’t think she is a typical pushy parent. That is a superficial reading of her character. She is more complicated than that. This takes us back to an earlier question of needing to spend time to capture the complexities of relationships. Had we just done one shoot, the first tournament in Mumbai, where we see Darpan’s mother get very upset at the outcome of a match, then it seems that she is a rather pushy parent. But then as we get to know her, we see how she is always there for Darpan, supporting him in his training, and also how she is there for other children. Was it difficult for you to convince the parents to give you access to their personal space?This is where Geetha, my wife, was key. See, no matter how comfortable I am in India, no matter how empathetic and committed I am to the subject of my documentary, I can never forget that I am still a white male from Europe. Even if I spent ten years on this film, I could never gain the kind of trust and intimacy that Geetha is able to as an Indian female with an ability to speak the different languages. It also helped that she was a former journalist with a very gentle interviewing style. For example, she gave the parents the emotional space to talk about the trauma of how their children went blind. Are you still in touch with the kids? What are they up to? Yes, we have stayed in contact. And they are all doing very well in their studies. They were all toppers in their respective schools and colleges and are all now flying in their degree studies. Chess has taken a back seat for now but they all recognize the contribution of chess in giving them the confidence to succeed in the sighted world and the contribution of chess in their intellectual development. Do you share Charudatta’s belief that a blind person can become a grandmaster?Yes I do. Why not! I think it’s a long way off, but with the right support and infrastructure I think it is a realistic goal–ambitious, but realistic! And when we do have a Blind Grandmaster, I wouldn’t be surprised if he or she is from India!advertisementlast_img read more

See More

Virat Kohli opens up on absence from Asia Cup 2018: Definitely needed the break

first_imgVirat Kohli’s absence from the Asia Cup 2018 was met with mixed opinions from cricket pundits and fans but on Wednesday, the Indian captain himself cleared the air on the issue saying that he “definitely needed the break”.Kohli was rested for the Asia Cup which India won for the seventh time under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy after going unbeaten in the tournament.Kohli joined the team ahead of the two-match Test series against the West Indies which starts from Thursday in Rajkot. On the eve of the first game, the 29-year-old spoke at length about his absence and actually prompted him to take this short break.Virat Kohli looks at the future as India gear up for West Indies”I feel rejuvenated. It was both mental and physical because of the intensity at which the two tours in South Africa and England went,” the world’s top-ranked Test batsman said.”People usually talk about workloads but they don’t usually understand the concept. They refer to workload as number of games played. There is no workload if you make zero in every game. If I bat for six hours that is workload.India vs West Indies: Prithvi Shaw to debut in 1st Test as India announce 12-man team”I definitely needed the break as my back went once in South Africa and again in England. These things are very important to consider… to give players ample rest and opportunity to train well and come back stronger. You don’t want guys breaking down in very important series,” Kohli added.advertisementCaptain @imVkohli looking on point on the eve of the 1st Test against West Indies #TeamIndia #INDvWI pic.twitter.com/JR65lonaacBCCI (@BCCI) October 3, 2018Virat Kohli, Prithvi Shaw share a light moment as India get down to practice in RajkotIndia on Wednesday also announced a 12-man squad for the first Test against the Caribbean side with Prithvi Shaw’s name being the new addition.Selection is not my job: Virat Kohli on Karun Nair omissionShaw will make his Test debut at Rajkot as India’s 293rd Test cricketer. Shaw has played only 14 first-class games, scoring 1,418 runs at an average of 56.71, and will open alongside Lokesh Rahul, who was the third opener in England and survived the axe after posting a breezy 149 in the final test at the Oval.Also read – Virat Kohli tells Prithvi Shaw the secret behind his success in EnglandAll set! #TeamIndia gear up for their practice session on the eve of the 1st Test against West Indies #INDvWI pic.twitter.com/penzpeSDHdBCCI (@BCCI) October 3, 2018″We have a change at the top of the order and we will give these guys enough space and enough chances to feel comfortable at that position,” Kohli told reporters. “We want them to be confident about what they are doing.”Apart from the top of the order getting cemented, I don’t think that with these two test matches there’s a lot that we are looking at. The rest of the things feel quite settled.”At the top of the order these guys are new, so they will take a bit of time to get into it. They definitely have the skill-set, they are supremely talented and what we have seen of them is very, very exciting,” Kohli said on Shaw’s inclusion.last_img read more

See More

Srinivasan, Ganguly among top names who attended meeting to discuss future of BCCI

first_imgFormer president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, N Srinivasan headed a meeting in Mumbai on Friday where several current and former cricket administrators discussed pushing for fresh BCCI elections and ending the supervision of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).BJP leader and former BCCI president Anurag Thakur, former India captain and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president, Sourav Ganguly, former BCCI secretaries, Niranjan Shah, and Ajay Shirke, Gujarat Cricket Association president, Jay Shah had also attended the meeting. Close to 20 former and current cricket administrators, including BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhury, were part of the meeting, according to ESPN Cricinfo.The Srinivasan-led group discussed the way forward in Indian cricket administration and push for fresh elections in the BCCI. Notably, the CoA, which had submitted a status report on the compliance of state units to the recently-approved BCCI constitution, and the top brass of the board are in favour of elections.The Supreme Court, which has been overseeing the operations of the apex cricket body in the country, is expected to pass orders on the administrative matters at the January 17 hearing. The veteran cricket administrators also discussed how the state units can collectively work together after the hearing, keeping the potential elections in mind.Dissolution of the CoA was also one of the major talking points during the meeting, according to media reports. There is a general notion among the veteran administrators that the much-publicised friction between CoA members, Vinod Rai, and Diana Edulji is hampering the administration of cricket.advertisementThe way CoA handled the controversy surrounding KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya over their “inappropriate” comments during a television show has come under scrutiny. Rai and Edulji, who have hardly been on the same page on crucial cricketing matters, are once again divided on how an inquiry should be conducted.Even as the two cricketers remain suspended, Rai has proposed a quick inquiry but Diana Edulji fears it will be construed as a cover-up” job.”The members expressed shock at the manner in which the decisions and views of one member were being ignored and the decisions of the other were being executed irregularly despite there being a deadlock in decision making on such decisions,” a media release issued after Friday’s meeting read.”The members decided they would bring forth certain points before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in order to ensure that democracy is restored in decision making especially on cricketing matters so that Indian cricket does not suffer.”This is not the first time members from the board’s top brass have criticised the CoA for handling cricketing issues in the country. Sourav Ganguly had written to the BCCI office bearers, expressing disappointment at the way cricket was run in the country and the manner in which several members were not kept in the loop while taking important decisions.”Cricketing rules are changed in the middle of a season, which has never been heard off. Decisions made in committees are turned around with complete disrespect. One of my friends who is involved in matters relating to the functioning of the board asked me who should they go to (for a problem), I had no answer. I had to ask who should I invite for an international game from a particular association as I did not know what was going on,” Ganguly had written.Also Read | Vinod Rai wants quick inquiry into Hardik, Rahul controversy, Diana Edulji fears cover upAlso Read | Suspended Hardik, Rahul shouldn’t enjoy the perks of travelling with Team India: GavaskarShubman Gill and Vijay Shankar to replace Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul in Australia, New ZealandAlso Read | Also See:last_img read more

See More

Borussia Dortmund 1 Augsburg 1

first_imgBorussia Dortmund 1 Augsburg 1: Danso ends Stoger’s winning run Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 05:24 2/27/18 Kevin Danso Bongarts Peter Stoger remains unbeaten in the Bundesliga as Borussia Dortmund coach, but Augsburg earned a point thanks to a Kevin Danso strike. Kevin Danso’s equaliser prevented Borussia Dortmund from continuing their revival with a fourth consecutive Bundesliga win, Augsburg claiming a 1-1 draw at Signal Iduna Park on Monday.Peter Stoger is yet to taste defeat in nine games since being appointed as the replacement for Peter Bosz in mid-December, but the coach will feel his side should have won this game.A fine team move saw Dortmund take an early lead, Marco Reus on target for the second Bundesliga match in a row, the Germany international tucking home a close-range rebound. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Augsburg had chances to take a draw from a quiet, sparsely-populated Signal Iduna Park, with Dortmund fans protesting against their first Monday match in 28 years.And in the closing stages Augsburg earned a hard-fought point, Danso thumping in after Roman Burki parried his header to snatch a result for his side. Dortmund sit a point clear of third-placed Schalke, but with a massive 19 points to make up on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich there is little hope of BVB reviving a long-over title race.Die Zuschauerzahl. #bvbfca 1-0 pic.twitter.com/WBlrPl3xEj— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) February 26, 2018Although Augsburg are yet to win away in 2018 they started on top, Michael Gregoritsch recording the first shot on target, although Burki made a comfortable save.But after 15 minutes Dortmund were in front, scoring from their first meaningful attack.Reus won the ball in his own half, launching a rapid break through Julian Weigl, and with Martin Hinteregger only able to block Andre Schurrle’s low cross Reus was on hand to lift a clever finish over the prone defender and into the roof of the net.7 – Marco Reus (@woodyinho) managed to score 7 times for @BVB in his last 9 #Bundesliga appearances. Sniper.— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) February 26, 2018Gregoritsch cleared the crossbar with a free-kick and Raphael Framberger fired at Burki after 25 minutes as Augsburg hunted a leveller.Jonathan Schmid tested the BVB goalkeeper with another set-piece shortly before half-time, Burki unconvincingly getting down to his right to turn the dipping effort around the post.Augsburg continued to threaten after the interval, Schmid and Hinteregger both missing the target with decent headed chances.Dortmund substitute Mahmoud Dahoud fired off-target moments after his introduction and Schurrle almost made the points safe, his 18-yard drive fading wide with Marwin Hitz beaten.Augsburg had scored in eight successive games against Dortmund and the visitors scored a deserved equaliser after 72 minutes.Danso lost marker Sokratis Papastathopoulos and, although Burki saved his header from a right-wing Schmid corner, the defender smashed in the rebound to set up a grandstand finish.But when the best chance to win the game fell to Dortmund, Michy Batshuayi hammered a shot over the crossbar after taking the ball away from captain Marcel Schmelzer. Key Opta Facts:- For the first time since March 2013 Marco Reus and Mario Gotze have started together in two consecutive Bundesliga games for Borussia Dortmund.- Gotze played his 154th competitive match for Dortmund, overtaking European Champion Matthias Sammer (153).- Reus has scored scored Dortmund’s last two league goals. The forward has scored 7 goals in his last 9 Bundesliga games.- In 36 competitive matches in 2017-18 Borussia Dortmund have scored 72 goals – exactly 2 goals per game on average.- After nine Bundesliga games as BVB manager Peter Stoger is still undefeated (5 wins, 4 draws).- Augsburg have not won any of their last 5 league games away from home (2 draws, 3 losses).  read morelast_img read more

See More

Rob Thomas Performs At StarStudded Global Lyme Alliance New York City Gala

first_imgGlobal Lyme Alliance (GLA), the world’s leading organization dedicated to the research and education of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, announced its third annual New York City Gala raised $2 million.Rob Thomas and Chris DaughtryCredit/Copyright: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesThe funding will support GLA’s mission to advance scientific research leading to a reliable diagnostic test and better treatment protocols, as well as educate both the public and physicians about Lyme disease.This year’s gala, produced by celebrity event planner Larry Scott of Lawrence Scott Events, was attended by more than 700 supporters at Cipriani 42nd Street and honored Marisol Thomas, philanthropist, animal rights advocate and wife of Grammy Award-winning musician Rob Thomas and Joseph Abboud, celebrated and award-winning menswear designer and author of Threads: My Life Behind the Seams in the High-Stakes World of Fashion and Fashion Designer Encyclopedia, for their active roles in driving awareness of Lyme disease and their commitment to finding a cure for this complex and misunderstood disease. The event was hosted by Rosanna Scotto, co-anchor of FOX 5’s Good Day New York.Yolanda Hadid and Bryan AdamsCredit/Copyright: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesCelebrated event planner Larry Scott of Lawrence Scott Events produced and designed the gala for the third year in a row, including donating the décor. The space was decorated in a black and gold color scheme, featuring sleek centerpieces and stunning floral arrangements. Scott is as well-known for producing spectacular, one-of-a-kind events as he is for his commitment to philanthropy. With a long-standing dedication to the community and decades of charitable endeavors, Scott is both a devoted philanthropist and legendary event planner. He supports more than 30 charities annually, including the Global Lyme Alliance.For Scott, it’s all about the mix — the high and the low, the formal and relaxed — when it comes to creating a truly standout celebration. Scott’s innate understanding of his guests makes everyone feel included; and his usage of exclusively in-house services means clients receive only the best in custom décor, food, florals, and entertainment, creating timeless, unforgettable events.“The threat of Lyme is real, and growing by the day. This gala helps get us closer to finding answers, and ultimately a cure for Lyme disease, thanks to the support and generosity of everyone involved,” said GLA CEO Scott Santarella. “We are truly grateful to have such tremendous support this year. From our honorees, to our co-chairs, donors, and everyone else who played a role in making this event successful, we are so thankful.”The Co-Chairs for the gala included Tim Baxter, president and CEO, Samsung Electronics America; Nick Lippman, partner, Lippman Entertainment; Jay McInerney, best-selling author; Jarrod Nadel, chief product development director, Tailored Brands, Inc.; Julian Niccolini, partner, The Four Seasons Restaurant; David Nolan, vice chairman, Millennium Management; Larry Scott, owner, Lawrence Scott Events; Rob Thomas, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and producer; Alex von Bidder, partner, The Four Seasons Restaurant. The evening’s Honorary Event chairs included Yolanda Hadid, television personality and author; Ally Hilfiger, author, Lyme advocate and fashion designer; Dee and Tommy Hilfiger; Thalia Mottola, singer/songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur; Mike Schneider, broadcast journalist and documentary producer.The ceremony was followed by performances from special musical guests, including Grammy award- winning artist Rob Thomas and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter and front man for the band bearing his name Chris Daughtry. Guests were also treated to amazing food inspired by The Four Seasons Restaurant’s new menu, courtesy of executive chef Pecko Zantilaveevan.Notable attendees included Larry Scott, Yolanda Hadid, Ally Hilfiger, Marisol and Rob Thomas, Chris Daughtry, Bryan Adams, Ramona Singer, Joseph Abboud, Jean Shafiroff, Rosanna Scotto, Jim Miller, Charles Balducci, Debbie Siciliano, Rob Kobre, Diane Blanchard, Scott Santarella, Staci Grodin, Andrew Saffir, Daniel Benedict, Richard Baker and many others.Everyone is susceptible to Lyme and is just one tick bite away from contracting the disease. Cases of Lyme have been reported in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, making it a health crisis with worldwide impact. Additionally, current diagnostic tests for Lyme disease are inaccurate in more than fifty percent of Lyme patients, leading to both failed and misdiagnoses.The number of cases reported annually has increased nearly 25-fold since national surveillance began in 1982. 329,000 people in the United States alone contract Lyme disease each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.last_img read more

See More

Apple sees further weakness in iPhone sales

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Apple warns that disappointing iPhone sales will cause a significant drop in its revenue over the crucial holiday season compared to earlier projections.CEO Tim Cook made the announcement after the market closed Wednesday. It embodies some of the worst fears of investors, who have been dumping Apple shares amid signs that the latest iPhone models weren’t living up to expectations.Cook cited China as Apple’s biggest weak spot, but also said that consumers weren’t upgrading to the latest iPhones models as eagerly as anticipated.As a result, Apple now expects revenue of $84 billion for the fiscal quarter running from October through December. Management had previously predicted revenue ranging from $89 billion to $93 billion.The Associated Presslast_img read more

See More

Ontarios Ombudsman asking the Niagara Region to apologize to reporter and

Ontario’s Ombudsman is calling on the Niagara Region to apologize publicly to a reporter and a citizen blogger for seizing their property and ejecting them from a council meeting.When the incident first occurred it was denounced by journalism organizations as an assault on press freedoms.“You know you would expect more from our leaders.”The actions of Niagara Region Officials are being called “unjust, wrong and contrary to law” by Ontario’s Ombudsman.“Part of my concern especially that night and the week that followed, is that it would be swept under the carpet. But that didn’t happen.” says St. Catharines Standard reporter Bill Sawchuk.Paul Dube began an investigation shortly after a Decemeber incident that saw, Sawchuck and a citizen blogger Preston Haskell, ejected from regional headquarters.“We’re promoting transparency, accountability and fairness and that’s how we enhance good governance.”The confusion began when Haskell left his audio recorder running while he went to the bathroom. In his absence Council went into a closed session.“Jumped up ran to the washroom, when I came back, couldn’t get back in.”When a councillor spotted the recorder, “chaos followed.” ultimately ending with equipment being seized and police being called.“They said too bad, the recorder has been confiscated and you won’t be getting it back.”Today Dube released a 60 page report on the incident.Noted in the Ombudsman’s report was that the region had no policies or procedures in place to deal with any kind of improper conduct during council meetings.He also made 14 recommendations for better practices, but says he’s yet to hear back from the region.“I don’t know where they stand, i don’t know if they accept the recommendations or not.”While Regional Chair Alan Caslin says they’ve already adopting some recommendations. He also offered an apology.“I’m happy to apologize for whatever inconvenience this may have caused them.” read more

See More

UN food convoys converge on Iraq

Dozens of World Food Programme (WFP) trucks left Amman in Jordan to the west and Kermanshah in Iran to the east on their way to Baghdad and Sulaymaniyah respectively, spokesman Khaled Mansour told the daily briefing in Amman on UN humanitarian activities.The Amman convoy – 50 trucks with more than 1,400 tons of wheat flour – will be the first one to cross the border into Iraq from Jordan. The Kermanshah convoy – five trucks with 100 tons of vegetable oil – was moving slowly on a hilly road and was expected to reach the border tonight, heading towards Sulaymaniyah tomorrow morning.To the north, WFP said the corridor from Turkey had been dramatically scaled up. A large convoy with as many as 100 trucks was scheduled to cross into Iraq today heading for Dahuk with 3,000 tons of food, the biggest consignment yet to travel along this corridor.To the far south, WFP was preparing to move 50,000 tons of wheat flour from Kuwait to warehouses in Iraq. The wheat arrived late last week for milling, the first Oil-for-Food shipment since the programme, upon which 60 per cent of Iraqis depend as their sole source of food, was adjusted by the Security Council to meet the new situation following hostilities in Iraq. A second 50,000-ton shipment is expected in the Jordanian port of Aqaba within days.The World Health Organization (WHO) said the situation in Baghdad continued to cause major concern. The Central Public Health Laboratory had been looted and incubators containing polio virus cultures had been stolen, spokesperson Melanie Zipperer said. Hospitals reported to be functioning to some extent included the Medical City complex, Yarmouk, Kadhimiya and No’man. WHO staff would continue to visit major hospitals in order to prioritize and rapidly meet the most urgent needs, she added. “We have made contact with WHO staff in Baghdad and the information they have provided is bleak,” Ms. Zipperer said. The WHO Baghdad office had been very badly looted and burned, all official vehicles had been stolen and much valuable equipment and information destroyed.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), meanwhile, reported an outbreak of blackwater fever in southern Iraq. The waterborne disease, also know as laeshmaniasis, leads to severe debility and eventually death if not treated within four to six weeks. Spokesman Geoffrey Keele stressed the urgency of getting medicines into the affected area.He said the Iraqi Refugee Aid Council had reported 100 cases in Amarah, 70 in Nasiriya, and an unspecified number in Az Zubair. Children under five were the most vulnerable to contracting the disease, he added.For its part, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said farmers in Iraq were in urgent need of spare parts and fuel for combine harvesters and tractors for the upcoming spring harvest, the country’s main harvest, for which the outlook was uncertain following the conflict.”Every effort should be made to enable farmers to return to their fields and start harvesting wheat and barley at the beginning of May,” Laurent Thomas, Chief of FAO Special Emergency Programmes Service said in Rome. “In addition, urgent support is needed to revive cereal marketing and distribution facilities.” read more

See More

In Geneva UN chief urges new push to free world from nuclear

“Countries persist in the mistaken idea that nuclear weapons make the world safer,” said the Secretary-General, addressing the UN Conference on Disarmament, in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.“At the global level, we must work together towards forging a new momentum on eliminating nuclear weapons,” he urged.Outlining a new initiative to give greater impetus and direction to the global disarmament agenda, Mr. Guterres said the world must respond to the dangers of the over-accumulation and proliferation of weapons, and reinforce the need to integrate disarmament into the UN efforts on preventive diplomacy and peacemaking.Side-by-side, a focus is needed on the impact of conventional weapons on civilians as well as on the link between disarmament and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular the resources lost to excessive military spending – resources that could have been used to spur development activities.“My initiative will strive to offer a new perspective on traditional priorities; and a clear vision for the future; and also, practical and implementable actions,” he said, noting that while the challenges are enormous, “history shows that it has been possible to reach agreement on disarmament and arms control even at the most difficult moments.”The UN chief also welcomed the completion of reductions by the United States and Russia under the New START Treaty (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), and urged that the “courageous initiatives” taken by the Republic of Korea during the recent Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Games be translated into lasting improvements, based on the central objective of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and sustainable peace in the region.“We must work together towards our common goal: a world free of nuclear weapons,” underscored the Secretary-General.Speaking alongside Mr. Guterres, the President of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, stressed that Conference on Disarmament – which was established in 1979 but whose last decision was in 1996 – remains as critical as ever as the demand for disarmament has only risen, not fallen.“The Conference on Disarmament has been deadlocked since the agreement on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, more than two decades ago,” he said.“We have to address this reality […] the Conference is the world’s foremost multilateralism forum on disarmament. It should be producing global frameworks and policies. It should be driving discussions and decisions, around the world. It should have the loudest voice of all,” he stressed.The Conference on Disarmament, established as the single multilateral disarmament negotiating forum of the international community, is not formally a UN body but reports annually, or more frequently as appropriate, to the UN General Assembly. Currently, the consensus-based body focuses primarily on the following issues: cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament, prevention of nuclear war, including all related matters, prevention of an arms race in outer space and effective international arrangements to assure non-nuclear-weapon states against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. read more

See More

NCAA approves tougher violations rules Gene Smith sees improvement in flawed system

The NCAA Board of Directors released a new, more stringent set of rules Tuesday for enforcing athletic programs’ adherence to codes of conduct. The new rules try to simplify and accelerate what has traditionally been a long and complicated rule-enforcing process. The rules also aim to increase the severity of the sanctions and make punishments more uniform instead of treating things on a case-by-case basis, according to the announcement posted on ncaa.org.  Among the most notable changes involve holding head coaches more accountable for the actions of their staff. Now, violations by any member of the staff will reflect on the head coach, unless he or she can prove their personal effort for an “atmosphere of strict compliance.” There was also a change in tiers of violations. Rather than categorizing a violation as “major” or “secondary,” there will now be four levels, with a level one violation being the most “severe breach of conduct.” The NCAA could potentially disqualify a team for multiple years of postseason play and fine the program millions of dollars for a level one violation. Other consequences for various levels of infractions include harsher scholarship reductions, recruiting limits and head coach suspensions. Suspensions for coaches as well as programs can range from 10 percent of the season to a full season. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions will expand from 10 members to 24, speeding up the infractions process and handing out violations in a more timely manner. In Ohio State football’s case, this could have meant serving out OSU’s bowl ineligibility during the 2011 season rather than the current season. The last of the most significant changes in the new set of rules includes a more consistent penalty system. Sanctions will no longer be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and the new standards will ensure equal treatment – and punishment – across the NCAA. NCAA President Mark Emmert said the rules aim to eliminate the temptation for teams to do whatever it takes to win. “We have sought all along to remove the `risk-reward’ analysis that has tempted people — often because of the financial pressures to win at all costs — to break the rules in the hopes that either they won’t be caught or that the consequences won’t be very harsh if they do get caught,” Emmert said. “The new system the board adopted today is the result of a lot of hard work and membership input devoted to protecting the collegiate model.” OSU athletic director Gene Smith said he agrees with the new rules and says they help to solve a “flawed” system. “I am supportive of the new legislation,” Smith said. “It provides clarity and transparency to a system of enforcement and infraction management that was flawed. It also will improve the ability for cases to be handled more expeditiously.” Emmert began the process of establishing a new set of rules in August 2011. The new enforcement structure will take effect on August 1, 2013. Dan Hope contributed to this article
See More

ExNew York police officers charged in 911 disability scam

first_imgONE RETIRED POLICE officer who told the government he was too psychologically damaged to work ran a martial arts studio, prosecutors said.Another claimed his depression was so crippling it kept him house-bound, but he was photographed aboard a watercraft, they said.All were wrongly receiving thousands of dollars in federal disability benefits, prosecutors said while announcing a sweeping fraud case involving scores of retired officers, firefighters and jail guards.‘Faked problems’The retirees faked psychiatric problems, authorities said, and many falsely claimed their conditions arose after the September 11 attacks.“The brazenness is shocking,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R.Vance Jr said.More than 100 people were arrested, including 72 city police officers, eight firefighters, five correction officers and one Nassau County Police Department officer.Four ringleaders coached the former workers on how to feign depression and other mental health problems that allowed them to get payouts as high as $500,000 over decades, Vance said. The ringleaders made tens of thousands of dollars in secret kickbacks, he said.The four — retired officer Joseph Esposito, 64; detectives’ union disability consultant John Minerva, 61; lawyer and former FBI agent and suburban prosecutor Raymond Lavallee, 83; and benefits consultant Thomas Hale, 89 — sat stolidly as they pleaded not guilty to high-level grand larceny charges. All were released on bail, ranging from $250,000 to $1 million.Defence lawyers said the four staunchly denied the accusations, and some noted their clients had legitimate jobs helping people seek benefits. Minerva wasn’t “steering people or telling people what to say when they applied for those benefits,” said his attorney, Glenn Hardy.Esposito’s lawyer, Brian Griffin, pointed out that, according to prosecutors, many of the benefit-seekers had been found eligible for city disability pensions before they got federal benefits.But prosecutors noted eligibility for Social Security disability benefits is a higher bar – complete inability to work – than qualifying for a city worker disability pension. And they said the applicants strategically lied, with the ringleaders’ guidance, to make themselves appear to meet it.Memory testsThe applicants were taught how to fail memory tests and how to act like people suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, and their applications were filled with strikingly similar descriptions – “my (husband or wife) is always after me about my grooming,” ”I nap on and off during the day” – in what appeared to be the same handwriting, prosecutors said.Esposito, advising one applicant preparing to meet with Social Security Administration officials, told her to make mistakes in simple spelling and math exercises, prosecutors said in court papers.If applicants claimed to be traumatised by September 11, “they were instructed to say that they were afraid of planes or they were afraid of tall buildings,” Assistant District Attorney Christopher Santora told a judge.Police Commissioner William Bratton said the arrests represented an effort to ensure:the memories of those who did, in fact, contribute their lives or their physical well-being to dealing with 9/11 are not sullied.Over 26 years, the workers arrested collected about $22 million in bogus benefits, authorities said, and more arrests could follow. Prosecutors estimate hundreds more people and as much as $400 million may be involved.The defendants said they couldn’t drive, shop or handle their finances, yet one piloted a helicopter and another played blackjack in Las Vegas, prosecutors said. One traveled to Indonesia and boasted on YouTube about his investment prowess, they said.The president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, said the union didn’t condone the filing of false claims but people shouldn’t forget “there are serious psychological illnesses resulting from the devastating work performed by first responders following the attack on the World Trade Center” and from police work in general.Minerva has been suspended without pay from the Detectives’ Endowment Association, President Michael Palladino said.The case started about five years ago when Social Security Administration investigators noticed a flurry of similar applications and realised a number of the applicants had gun permits despite claiming severe psychiatric problems on their benefits forms.Read: 12 years later, large piece of 9/11 airplane found in New York>Read: Authorities resume search for human remains in New York’s 9/11 debris>last_img read more

See More

Are we human or are we dancer voted most bonkers lyrics of

first_img You know the question we all really need to ask ourselves is are we human or are we dancer?— Josh Black (@TheJoshBlack) August 1, 2014 Blinkbox Music surveyed 2,000 people and the majority said they hadn’t a clue what Brandon Flowers and co were on about when they wrote the song.At the time Flowers was quoted as saying that the lyrics were inspired by a Hunter S Thompson quote.Meanwhile rounding out the top ten of oddball lyrics were:The Beatles, I am the Walrus I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the walrus, goo goo g’joobAgreed. Bonkers.Michael Jackson, Earth Song What about elephants? Have we lost their trust? Source: Whicdn Source: Sodahead Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweet Will nobody think of the elephants?Lionel Richie, All Night Long Tom bo li de se de moi ya, yeah jambo jamboHe’s Lionel Richie. He can do what he likes.Carly Rae Jepsen, Call Me Maybe Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad.Listen, if we’re going to pick on Carly we’re going to need to pick on The National’s song Slow Show for “you know I dreamed about you for 29 years, before I saw you’. Source: WordPressBlack Eyes Peas, Boom Boom PowBeats so big I’m stepping on leprechaunsIt’s a common misconception that leprechauns are afraid of large beats.Duran Duran, The Reflex The reflex is an only child, he’s waiting in the parkTell him to come in, his dinner’s ready.Wham! Club Tropicana Club Tropicana, drinks are free, fun and sunshine, there’s enough for everyone, all that’s missing is the seaFrankly, these lyrics make perfect sense to us. They have no place on this list. Source: TumblrTaylor Swift, Love StoryCause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter, and my daddy said stay away from JulietAgain. These make sense.Oasis, Champagne SupernovaSlowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonballListen, if it rhymes, Oasis will use it. Deal with it.How many of these misheard song lyrics did you notice this year?>So, just what IS the Song of the Summer this year?>center_img Source: Josh Black/Twitter Are we human, or are we dancer?have been named the weirdest ever, according to a poll carried out by a music streaming service.Proper order too. That line has been confusing the hell out of popular indie rock lovers since the song ‘Human’ was released in 2008.Its baffling premise is regularly referenced in popular culture; it’s made its way into memes, TV shows, clothing and daily parlance. THE KILLERS’ BONKERS lyricslast_img read more

See More

Total veut produire des biocarburant à base de canne à sucre

first_imgTotal veut produire des biocarburant à base de canne à sucreLe groupe pétrolier français Total a décidé de produire des biocarburants à base de canne à sucre. En s’implantant au Brésil, le groupe s’est associé à l’américain Amyris Biotechnologies.Les sociétés Total et Amyris Biotechnologies se sont associées pour produire des biocarburants. Le Français assurera la partie chimique et l’américain la partie technologique et logistique, rapporte l’AFP. La production d’énergie grâce à la biomasse est l’objectif recherché par Total.À lire aussiUn lion retrouve la liberté après avoir vécu en cage pendant 13 ans (Vidéo)Pour les deux groupes, il s’agit de développer produits chimiques et biocarburants. La canne à sucre permettra de fabriquer de l’éthanol, le Brésil étant le second producteur au monde mais le premier exportateur. Pour le groupe français, ce pays est le seul à permettre “de produire des énergies propres sans subventions ni déforestation”.La mise sur le marché de ces produits devrait commencer en 2012. Parallèlement, Amyris Biotechnologies a déjà ouvert une usine en 2009 pour produire du biodiesel, là aussi à base de canne à sucre.Le 22 décembre 2010 à 16:03 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

See More

Rudiger HudsonOdoi has asked me about Germany

first_imgGerman defender Antonio Rudiger revealed that his Chelsea team-mate Callum Hudson-Odoi has asked him about his homeland, amid interest from Bayern MunichAfter struggling to earn regular opportunities this season at Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi is understood to be keen on seeking a move away from Stamford Bridge this month.Now Bayern, who have reportedly had four bids turned down by Chelsea for Hudson-Odoi, confirmed their “great interest” in the 18-year-old on Wednesday.And Rudiger has admitted a move to the Bundesliga is definitely on the teenage winger’s mind.“He asked me about Germany. It was a general question from him,” said Rudiger, according to Sports Mole.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“He is still young, I can advise him, but at the end of the day he decides about his future“You can see it from both sides. He can develop here but he can develop in Germany as well — and don’t forget Bayern Munich are also a big club.“For his future, I wish him all the best but I just wish he stays with us.”Despite his lack of opportunities, Hudson-Odoi has started in Chelsea’s last two games in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.last_img read more

See More

School board applicants invited to orientation

first_imgBattle Ground Public Schools has added a second orientation session for applicants who seek appointment to a vacant school board seat.Candidates for the District 2 position formerly held by Karen Lehman are invited to learn more about the responsibilities of the volunteer job and about the application process.Identical orientations will be held 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Friday at the district office, 11104 N.E. 149th St. in Brush Prairie.Orientation is not required. Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. April 20. All details regarding the opening and applications are on the district website: http://battlegroundps.org.They also appear in a Columbian newspaper legal advertisement published today, to be repeated in Wednesday’s issue.last_img read more

See More

Lack of bus shelters puts passengers in fix

first_imgPatny: With lack of bus shelters at the Patny bus stands near the newly constructed Metro Rail Station, the commuters waiting for the TSRTC buses are at the mercy of the motorists, who drive past by occupying the entire road space.Commuters travelling from one place to another have to get drenched in the rains or face the scorching heat while waiting for the bus. It is the major junction for buses coming from Secunderabad and Panjagutta it gives a tough time to the commuters. Also Read – Secunderabad: Major General N Srinivas Rao makes farewell visit to AOC Advertise With Us Speaking to The Hans India here on Monday, K Teju, a local, said “A lot of bus shelters were demolished to construct footpaths and they were not rebuilt. When it comes to passengers waiting for buses, they have to remain standing in all the seasons without any proper shelter.” T Anand, a pedestrian, said “This place of the roadside has heavy traffic and continues to be a crowded point with vehicles and people. Proper shelters should be provided for everyone.”last_img read more

See More

Railways to focus on passenger comfort

first_imgNew Delhi : Railways received a budgetary allocation of Rs 65,837 crore and highest-ever outlay for capital expenditure amounting to Rs 1.6 lakh crore in the Budget for the year 2019-20 presented on Friday, which includes a whopping 200 per cent increase in funds for passenger amenities. Last year, the outlay for the railways was Rs 1.48 lakh crore while the Budget allocation was Rs 55,088 crore. In the interim Budget, the allocation was Rs 1.58 lakh crore. Also Read – National Herald case: Officer bearers of Congress were cheats, Subramanian Swamy tells court Advertise With Us In the 2019-20 Budget, funds of Rs 7,255 crore have been allocated for construction of new lines, Rs 2,200 crore for gauge conversion, Rs 700 crore for doubling, Rs 6,114.82 crore for rolling stock and Rs 1,750 crore for signalling and telecom. The allocations have remained the same as in the interim budget presented in February. “This is a budget for 130 crore Indians, rich or poor, for entrepreneurs, for the industry, promoting new work and opportunities,” said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us The allocation for rail passenger comfort this fiscal has gone up to Rs 3,422.57 crore from Rs 1,657 crore in the Budget presented last year by then finance minister Arun Jaitley. In the 2017-2018 financial year, the budgetary allocation for railway passenger amenities was Rs 1,100.90 crore. Indication of the sharp rise was given in the interim Budget in which the allocation for passenger amenities jumped by 50 per cent from the amount allocated in 2018-2019.last_img read more

See More

Its Been A Bad Year for Texas Wildfires It Will Probably Get

first_imgMIGUEL GUTIERREZ JR. FOR KUTA view of the 2015 Hidden Pines Fire in Bastrop County.Four large wildfires have broken out in Central Texas in just about a week. It’s part of a bad year for Texas fires, and climate researchers say the uptick in fires bares the fingerprints of climate change.Statewide, it started early in the Panhandle, then the fires crept south and east into Central Texas.“Resources are getting overwhelmed,” says Texas A&M Forest Services spokesman Logan Scherschel. More recently, he says the state has brought in resources from out of state to assist us with fighting these fires – including volunteers from out-of-state departments to fight the Park Road Fire in Burnet County, which also just received a grant from FEMA to help battle the blaze.So why is this year so bad in Texas? It’s not just drought. Extreme heat is also to blame – especially here in Central Texas.“One of the big contributors to that has been these last two weeks of temperatures over 100 degrees,” says Geeta Persad, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists.  “It has allowed the fuel in that area to dry out really quickly.”She says climate change is partly to blame for that heat, meaning heavy wildfire years like this may become more or less normal in the near future.“I feel very confident in saying Texas is in the bull’s-eye of climate change,” says Donald Falk, a forest ecologist at the University of Arizona.Falk recently worked on a paper that suggests the burn area of wildfires will double, or even increase by as much as eight times, in parts of the Southwest over the next few decades.  That has implications for all sorts of things, from where people live, to how we allocate firefighting resources when there are more fires to fight. “That’s the big issue we’re running into right now,” says Scherschel. “It’s getting hard to get extra resources from other states, because the states in the Pacific Northwest, California and out west are taking up a lot of resources in that area, and they’re not available to come assist us.”Some policymakers advocate things like better forest management, increasing firefighting capabilities and creating housing policies to get people out of harm’s way.But, Falk says, there’s only one big way to prevent forest fires.“The lesson from our research is very, very clear,” he says. “You cannot fix the fire problem without getting real and confronting climate change. Period. End of story.” Sharelast_img read more

See More

Become a video game photographer with Ansel

first_imgEveryone’s talking about Nvidia’s elite new graphics card that was announced this past weekend, the GTX1080. The company also announced a new software that will make playing with that graphics card all the more fun. Take a look at Ansel, a free-movement photography software that allows you to take sweeping landscapes and portraits of your favorite scenes in video games, and save them as digital photos. Named in honor of Ansel Adams, the landscape photographer from the 20th century, the software is more than just about taking screenshots.Until now, you could really only take a photo from the angle that your game allowed. Sometimes that means head on,or through your characters POV, or maybe even of the back of the head. Ansel gives you complete free range of motion with your “camera” to take a shot from any angle in the game. Imagine getting that killing blow from the ground up, or an overhead shot as you land that kick to the face caught in one perfect frame.You can also save your screenshots at a resolution of up to 61,000 pixels. Yeah that’s a 2,000MP photo — a far cry from those 2MP digital cameras we had in the early 2000s. And to take full advantage of that resolution (because why not), you’re able to export the file in OpenEXR, which is essentially the RAW format of screenshots. It gives you a complete, full dynamic range of editing capabilities in Photoshop. The images you can create with this are some real next level photography. Imagine the virtual galleries that you could showcase them in!Of course, Ansel comes with its own onboard editing tools. You can adjust brightness, add a vignette, enhance the color, roll the camera, add special effects. Pretty cool for the amateur video game photographer in you. Or imagine what professional screen shot photographers will be able to do once they get their hands on this! Because yeah, they are a thing.Nvidia has also included a 360 capture, so you can then put it on your VR headset of choice and look around the world you just played in. Okay, that’s a bit gimmicky and probably fun for all of two minutes, but hey, what a two minutes!The whole software may seem a bit of marketing shtick, but for the people who really enjoy creating images on this level, this is a game changer.last_img read more

See More