Scotch Pie Championship attracts record entries

first_imgA record number of Scotland’s bakers have entered their best pies into the 16th World Scotch Pie Championships.Judges considered more than 600 pies from 100 of the country’s butchers and bakers, and will announce the winner of the title this coming January.Contestants also entered sausage rolls, speciality savouries, Scottish football pie, apple pie and savouries.Les McKeown, original lead singer of The Bay City Rollers and the competition’s guest pie taster, said: “I was honoured to be asked to join the panel of judges again for this iconic competition. The contest is a hard-fought one and in each category we are looking for something really special that stands out from the crowd.” Last year the 2014 title was taken by Stephen McAllister from The Kandy Bar of Saltcoats.last_img read more

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U.S. needs upgrade against cyber threats, commander says

first_imgThe United States will need a combination of strategies to combat the growing risk of foreign attacks on computer networks, the chief of the nation’s cyber operations told a packed room at the Kennedy School on Wednesday.“When it comes to cyber defense, there is no one single strategy, there is no one single tool or capability,” said Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency.Appearing at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, Rogers outlined the daunting challenge of defending against cyber threats posed by both foreign nations and independent actors.“I think it’s fair to say that right now the odds favor the offensive side. That’s in no small part because the reality is today we are dealing with network structures that were designed and built in a totally different environment” that did not anticipate cyber attacks, said Rogers.Confronting the cyber threat, he said, will require better network protection, altering normal protocols, and changing “the risk calculations for actors so they stop and say to themselves, ‘Even if I could technically do this, would the benefits outweighs the risks and costs?’”“When it comes to cyber defense, there is no one single strategy,” Adm. Michael Rogers (right) told Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff PhotographerRogers’ visit came amid reports that the FBI secretly arrested and is now investigating a former NSA contractor in connection with stolen computer code. Asked at the forum about the report, Rogers acknowledged the arrest but declined to comment further.The admiral touched on foreign cyber hacking cases that have made news in recent years, including North Korea’s infiltration of Sony Pictures’ computers, the Chinese military’s alleged hacking into the networks of U.S. firms to steal industry secrets, and the recent hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Such cases reflect how cybersecurity is now a society-wide concern, affecting individuals, businesses, and government, Rogers said.“I don’t think any of us are comfortable with the status quo.”The growing scope of the problem, Rogers said, requires rethinking what defines critical infrastructure in the digital age.“The power of big-data analytic tools is now making large data concentrations … very attractive and of increased importance to a whole lot of actors out there,” he said, suggesting that systems given little attention in the past, such as those used in voting, have become more likely targets.A Conversation with Admiral Michael Rogers <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdA–RDf8hQ” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/HdA–RDf8hQ/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Asked about privacy concerns over the NSA’s enhanced ability to collect data, Rogers acknowledged that “technology is driving us [to] a point that the ability to rapidly assimilate a wide range” of information is improving.“I would also remind people that just because you see something on television or in a film doesn’t mean it is really happening or technically capable,” he said.At the NSA, he added, “We don’t set the law; we don’t write the law. Our job is to execute the mission we are assigned within that legal and policy framework.” Still, Rogers said, attempts to strike a balance between security and privacy merit a broad policy discussion.“I think we’ve all got to acknowledge we are in a place now where the current state of technology has outstripped our legal and policy frameworks. One of the challenges for all of us is how we realign those.”The event was co-sponsored by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.SaveSaveSaveSavelast_img read more

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Revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves Sets West End Dates

first_img View Comments Alan Ayckbourn Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, How The Other Half Loves, is heading back to the West End this spring. The 1969 classic—the first of Ayckbourn’s plays to be staged on Broadway—returns to London to play the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited engagement March 23 through June 25. Directed by Alan Strachan, opening night is scheduled for March 31.As Bob and Fiona clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Featherstone become stuck in the middle, falsely accused of adultery and with no idea as to how they’ve become involved. The plot culminates in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights, shown at the same time, after which the future of all three couples seems in jeopardy…2016 marks Alan Ayckbourn’s 55th year as a theater director and his 57th as a playwright. To date he has written 80 plays and his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards. He became the first British playwright to receive both Olivier and Tony Special Lifetime Achievement Awards. He was knighted in 1997 for services to theater.The production will feature sets and costumes by Julie Godfrey. Casting will be announced later.last_img read more

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CNTB launched the first pre-season campaign this year in 12 markets

first_img“This year we continue to implement activities that significantly contribute to the further positioning of Croatia as a year-round tourist destination. In this sense, we are conducting this marketing campaign to promote the pre-season in 12 key markets by promoting nautical, active tourism, culture, eno-gastronomy and natural beauty. Namely, these are products that are the main motive for the arrival of tourists in the pre-season periods”, Said Kristjan Staničić, director of the Croatian National Tourist Board. The Croatian National Tourist Board has launched the first marketing campaign to promote the pre-season this year in twelve European markets. Photo: HTZ The target countries of this campaign are Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Slovenia, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The campaign will run on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as well as in the form of display advertising, until April 15th.center_img During 2019, the Croatian National Tourist Board will conduct four main promotional campaigns, as well as two pre- and post-season promotion campaigns and two brand campaigns. The main goal of these promotional campaigns is, among other things, a positive impact on tourist traffic, which so far this year has more than 525.000 arrivals and 1,4 million overnight stays, ie an increase of 11 percent in arrivals and 6 percent in overnight stays compared to the same period last year. As they point out from the CNTB, the first brand campaign of this year of the Croatian National Tourist Board, which was conducted in five emitting markets – Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain, recently ended. The primary goal of the campaign was to raise the profile of Croatia as an attractive tourist destination, but also to strengthen the strength of the national tourist brand.last_img read more

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Irish DB schemes strengthen funding as reform looms

first_imgSource: The Pensions AuthorityWhile the data was only correct to last year, and much of it was more than 12 months old according the Pensions Authority, the overall picture was a positive one.The Irish DB sector has been in the spotlight in recent months as politicians have sought to improve regulatory protections for savers to stop sponsors walking away from schemes and leaving them underfunded.Politicians are set to debate reforms later this year. Across 628 pension funds that submitted an annual actuarial data return (AADR), the regulator reported an 11% decline in the number of DB schemes with active members still accruing benefits, from 503 to 447.On aggregate, Ireland’s DB system was 104.6% funded, with €60.8bn of assets and €58.1bn of liabilities, according to data submitted to the regulator by 31 March.There were 163 schemes not meeting with the country’s funding standard, The Pensions Authority said.While the “vast majority” had proposals in place to meet the funding standards, the regulator said there were three schemes with no funding proposal. These ran the risk of regulatory action, the authority said, which could include an enforced wind-up or benefit cuts.Liability analysis showed that pensioners accounted for 58.5% of total liabilities, despite only making up 16.2% of DB scheme membership. Actively contributing members accounted for 17.7% of the total, the regulator reported.Aggregate asset allocation data showed a shift away from equities and government bonds towards alternative assets such as property, absolute return funds, and hedge funds.Allocation to equities fell to 32.5%, the regulator said, compared to 35.8% in 2015 and 41.7% in a year earlier.Asset allocation of Irish DB funds, 2015-16 Roughly three-quarters of Ireland’s defined benefit (DB) schemes meet the minimum funding level, according to data collected by The Pensions Authority.The 74% of schemes meeting the standard marked an improvement on last year’s figure of 70%, the Irish regulator reported.However, larger schemes were less likely to meet the requirement, the authority said. Of the top 50 biggest DB schemes, 28 of them (56%) met the funding standard.Irish pensions law requires DB schemes to hold sufficient assets to meet transfer values for all members along with the estimated costs of winding up.last_img read more

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Poyet reveals secret of his plans

first_img Having been found in plenty of space unmarked inside the six-yard box from Bardsley’s header, the summer signing from Juventus somehow put the ball over the crossbar. And Poyet revealed the Italian was apologetic to his team-mates afterwards. “He’s so sad, he hasn’t stopped thinking about it and saying sorry,” he said. “But it’s football, things happen for a reason sometimes. “The main thing is to perform and for us, without a doubt, it was our best performance away from home.” While Sunderland have struggled on their travels, Villa have been unable to impress in front of their own support. Saturday’s stalemate ensured they have now won just two of their seven league matches at Villa Park this term, losing on four occasions. They have picked up more points from less games on the road. In total they have won just 11 of their previous 45 league matches on home soil while the club’s last back-to-back home wins came in August 2010. And following a below-par display against Sunderland, manager Paul Lambert was unable to identify exactly why that was the case. “It’s a hard one to put your finger on,” Lambert said. “We don’t change anything, we try to set our stall out to play the same way (home and away). “I’m not one of those who says we’ll sit and defend, we try to win the game. “We’ve just got to come through that. The only difference is the majority of the crowd are on your side here.” Press Association It almost worked as a much-improved Sunderland claimed only their second away point of the season courtesy of a goalless draw at Villa Park, climbing off the foot of the table in the process. And it could have been all three points as Borini saw his glancing header rebound off the crossbar, Giaccherini contributed a worthy contender for miss of the season from a mere four yards while Gardner had an effort ruled out for offside. “I want to tell you a secret about this game,” Poyet said. “I played every single player who has scored for us this season in the Premier League, every single one. “If you think about who has scored for Sunderland in previous games – Fletcher, Borini, Giaccherini, Gardner, Bardsley – the rest, nobody has scored. Every single one who has scored at least one goal was on the pitch. “So we are looking for goals, I can promise you that. “The formation maybe surprised a few but there was a reason behind it, there’s always a reason, right or wrong, and it nearly worked.” Giaccherini will not want to see his miss again. Manager Gus Poyet revealed he deployed a calculated formula to aid struggling Sunderland’s search for goals on their travels and it almost paid off at Aston Villa. In stark contrast to the Black Cats’ home form since taking charge two months ago, Poyet’s three away Barclays Premier League matches had seen three defeats, three red cards, three own goals and no goals scored prior to Saturday’s trip to the Midlands. In order to try and reverse that sorry run, the Uruguayan opted to start with every player who has found the net for Sunderland in the league this season – recalling Fabio Borini and Craig Gardner to play alongside Steven Fletcher, Emanuele Giaccherini and Phil Bardsley. last_img read more

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Dunne lives up to Spieth likeness

first_imgAfter being mistaken for Jordan Spieth several times this week, Irish amateur Paul Dunne did a pretty good impression of the world number two on the course as well with an opening 69 at St Andrews. Dressed in the same make of clothes as the Masters and US Open champion, Dunne shared the early lead in the 144th Open Championship after teeing off in the second group and making birdies on the first two holes. The 22-year-old from Greystones also produced a superb pitch to birdie the fifth and holed from 45 feet for another across the ninth green, but dropped his only shot of the day on the 11th and parred the last seven holes. Asked what he was thinking after his flying start, the University of Alabama student admitted: “My first thought was is anyone at home going to take a picture of it on the computer screen and send it to me later? “It was cool to see my name on the screen. When I’m 70 years old sitting in a bar with a pint I can tell someone I led the Open. Hopefully I can do it a few more times in the future.” Dunne, who came through final qualifying at Woburn for the second year running, added: ” It was an early start but I got off to a nice start. I was really nervous on the first tee but once I got off the tee I felt quite comfortable and it was nice to birdie the first two holes and get the round off and running. “As the day went on it was disappointing to bogey 11. I went out with a number in my head trying to shoot 68 so I came up just short, but I’m pretty pleased with a 69. “I did not feel as much out of my comfort zone in the practice rounds as I did last year and got a strategy ready for the course. Last year (he missed the cut at Hoylake) I was a bit overwhelmed and more worried about who I was playing with. This time I got some nice compliments off a few people like Francesco Molinari and Graeme McDowell which settled me down.” As for his resemblance to Spieth, Dunne added: “When I put my head down people just see the hat and I get asked for a few autographs. Then I lift my head and they are disappointed!” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Roy Keane: Robbie Keane will be available for Germany clash

first_img Press Association Roy Keane is expecting the Republic of Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane to be ready to face Germany if selected days after becoming a father. “He didn’t have the baby. Unless he’s breast-feeding he should be all right.” Frontman Keane was part of the team which secured a famous 1-1 draw with the world champions courtesy of John O’Shea’s injury-time strike in Gelsenkirchen in October last year, and a repeat at the Aviva could have a major say in whether or not they make it to the finals in France next summer. That result came amid an uncharacteristically slow start to the campaign by Joachim Low’s men, who have since put together a run of five successive qualifier victories. However, while former Manchester United captain Keane admits they will be a different proposition this time around, he is confident Ireland have improved too. He said: “I think we are a stronger team. Like you’d expect with any campaign, teams improve. We were still new to the job at the time and, yes, I think we are a better team. “But certainly Germany’s form, as you would have expected – they were a bit sluggish at the start, but with all the qualities they have it was only a matter of time before they started winning matches and topped the group, no doubt. “But we will be ready.” Ireland go into an intensely difficult double-header – they face second-placed Poland in Warsaw on Sunday evening in their final game – knowing victory in just one of those matches will guarantee at least a third-place finish and a play-off spot. The 35-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy striker was not due to arrive in Dublin until Tuesday evening after his wife Claudine gave birth to the couple’s second son on the other side of the Atlantic. Asked if his former team-mate would be available for the showdown with Group D leaders Germany at the Aviva Stadium, Ireland’s assistant manager said: “Yes, why wouldn’t he be? However, they are equally aware that should Scotland, who currently trail them by four points, beat both the Poles and Gibraltar, even creditable draws against the Germans and in Warsaw will see them miss out. O’Neill’s number two said: “I’ve said it before, this is what the players and this is what we are in the game for. It’s a big game, we are playing quality opposition. This is what it’s all about.” The Republic have a series of selection headaches with midfielders Glenn Whelan and James McClean suspended and full-back Seamus Coleman, central defender Marc Wilson and playmaker Wes Hoolahan carrying knocks. Cyrus Christie, who could yet deputise for hamstring victim Coleman, did train at Abbotstown on Tuesday morning but the management team will keep their collective fingers crossed as they await news on their walking wounded. Meanwhile, former Aston Villa assistant boss Keane adopted a similar stance to that of O’Neill over Jack Grealish’s decision to opt to represent England rather than Ireland. He had tried to persuade the 20-year-old to continue to play for the nation he has represented at age group levels up to Under-21 during their time together in the Midlands, but ultimately accepted his decision to chose the country of his birth. O’Neill had earlier launched a stern defence of his handling of the situation, insisting he had not prostituted himself in a bid to land the youngster, and asked if everything had been done that could be done, Keane said: “Yes, absolutely. What more can you do? “I think the manager did everything he could. Jack was already playing for Ireland and you were hoping that he’d continue. That’s life, you move on.” last_img read more

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Southampton want to retain key duo Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama

first_img Press Association Wanyama started against Norwich but ultimately cost Saints, with Alex Tettey scoring the winner three minutes after the Kenyan midfielder was sent off for collecting a second booking. The weekend indiscipline saw talk increase that the pair could exit in January, but Press Association Sport understands Saints remain determined to keep hold of the African duo. While Mane’s tardiness irked manager Koeman, the Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Paris St Germain target’s late arrival to the team meeting is understood to have been accepted as a genuine mistake. Wanyama, reportedly on Arsenal and Tottenham’s radar, agitated to leave St Mary’s during the summer and handed in a transfer request, but the club intend to keep him this month. When asked a fortnight ago about possible January departures, particularly the possibility of Wanyama leaving, Koeman said: “They talk about players from Southampton because we have some good players and there is always interest in players. “And the ambition of players is about playing Champions League. “We know what we like to do and how we like to do our business. “That means in January nobody will leave Southampton.” Southampton remain determined to keep hold of Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama this month despite recent disciplinary issues, Press Association Sport understands. Earlier in December, the Saints boss said a bid of £100million would not even be enough to tempt the club to sell a key player such as Mane. “No, no, not in January,” he said. “Already we spoke about that situation and we sell nobody in January. “Nobody, even when they pay £100million.” Speculation over the highly-rated pair’s Saints futures has mounted in recent days after issues before and during Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Norwich. Ronald Koeman benched attacker Mane for the Carrow Road encounter after again turning up late for a team meeting, having been dropped for the same reason against Liverpool in February. last_img read more

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Security is Tight for Super Bowl LIV in Miami

first_imgThe Magic City is a stunning host city for the Super Bowl, but it has its challenges when it comes to security.First of all, Miami is surrounded by water. Security teams will monitor Hard Rock Stadium in Miami from the sky, ground and water as thousands of football fans begin to pour in for Super Bowl LIV.While there are no credible threats against the Super Bowl, federal agents are ready for anything even the coronavirus is a concern.The Super Bowl has long been considered a potential target for terrorists or other violent extremists, and this year the game will be played amid rising tensions with Iran. But none of the games has ever been attacked.State and federal law enforcement agencies said they’re ready for anything this coming Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, including a detonated bomb or massive food poisoning, but haven’t identified any threats.Events for Super Bowl LIV between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers kicked off earlier this week around South Florida, with an interactive Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Super Bowl LIVE at Miami’s Bayfront Park.It’s a lot of mileage to patrol, but officials said they are well prepared after planning for months and running drills.Maj. Ed Caneva, the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Operations Commander for the NFL title game, said his agency has identified a raft of different scenarios.“We have been training and addressing anything,” Maj. Caneva said.Several thousand federal, state, and local law enforcement officials are involved in the game and the events leading up to it.You can watch Super Bowl LIV from the safety of your own home on WFLX FOX 29 on Sunday, Feb. 2 starting at 6:30 p.m.last_img read more

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