Local election monitors today noted a positive change in Sri Lanka’s political culture which was having an impact on the Parliamentary elections.The Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said that collective action had led to the positive change and this should now be maintained. He said there were less reports of State resources being used ahead of election day and Government vehicles which were used, had been returned following the intervention of the Elections Commissioner. Hettiarachi also hailed the measures taken by the police and the Elections Commissioner to prevent violations of elections laws.He said the powers with the Elections Commissioner has been boosted as a result of the 19th Amendment to the constitution and so those who backed the 19th Amendment must also be commended. PAFFREL meanwhile urged the public to select suitable candidates to represent them in Parliament when they go to vote on Monday.Hettiarachi also said that simply because someone had a bad past record does not mean he is clean now when contesting the election. (Colombo Gazette) The Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachi said that when compared to past elections there has been a considerable drop in pre election violations reported ahead of the August 17 polls.
President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to deliver his special speech at the Session on July 16. The 24th session of COFO and the 6th World Forest Week will explore the contributions that forests can make to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). President Maithripala Sirisena arrived at the Fuimicino International Airport in Rome today to attend the 24th session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) and the 6th World Forest Week organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations scheduled to begin tomorrow (16).He was received by a special representative and officials, the President’s office said. Later, President Sirisena will undertake a tour to Georgia from 17-19 to attend the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2018. (Colombo Gazette)
Cypriot gov’t officials: Plan B aimed at getting bailout to be presented Thursday by Menelaos Hadjicostis And Elena Becatoros, The Associated Press Posted Mar 19, 2013 5:42 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NICOSIA, Cyprus – Searching for a way out of a crippling financial crisis, officials in Cyprus on Wednesday pursued a new bailout strategy that could include a loan from Russia in exchange for natural gas leases and selling off assets from its most troubled banks.Cyprus needs to come up with 5.8 billion euros ( $7.5 billion) on its own in order to secure 10 billion euros in rescue loans from international creditors. But the country’s first plan to seize up to 10 per cent of people’s bank accounts failed miserably. Now officials are trying to limit the amount of money they need to take from customer’s deposits.The new “Plan B” could be voted on as early as Thursday, three top government officials said.The latest move came a day after lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against the earlier plan — a rejection that threw Cyprus’ entire bailout into question. That raised the possibility the country’s banks could collapse, the government would be unable to pay its bills and Cyprus could be forced out of the euro.That could roil global financial markets as well as endanger deposits in the country even further.The new “Plan B” was described by three top government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the proposal were not being released until party officials had a chance to review them at a meeting Thursday morning.The package includes a proposal to restructure Cyprus’ heavily indebted second-largest lender, Laiki. The idea would be to isolate the bank’s bad assets, which would be taken over by the government, from its good assets, which could be sold off to raise money. That strategy could also be applied to the country’s biggest lender, Bank of Cyprus.To avoid bank runs and give officials time to push the package through, the country’s banks, which have been shuttered since Saturday, will remain closed for the rest of the week, said the central bank spokeswoman, Aliki Stylianou. Monday is a bank holiday, so banks will not reopen before Tuesday.Cyprus has turned to long-time ally Russia for help, and Finance Minister Michalis Sarris was in Moscow on Wednesday to discuss a range of aid options and vowed to remain there until he secured a pledge of support. “We will be here until some kind of agreement is reached,” Sarris said.Nearly a third of the total amount of deposits in Cyprus’ banks is believed to be held by Russians. The idea that authorities could dip directly into people’s bank accounts had outraged Cypriots and Russians alike.A Cypriot government official said the new proposal still includes some tax on deposits, but at a percentage far lower than those originally proposed. The official said the EU had given Cyprus until Monday to come up with an alternative, so speed was of the essence.The European Union and Germany in particular, have long argued that they should not have to ask their own taxpayers to contribute to bailing out a country when it was Russian oligarchs who would benefit.While the economy of Cyprus is tiny — a mere 0.2 per cent of the eurozone — its exit from the shared currency could raise speculation that other, larger countries could leave, roiling global financial markets.Cypriot political leaders held emergency meetings throughout the day Wednesday to try to find an alternative plan and seemed inclined to rely on Russia to help them out.Russia is a longtime ally and also has skin in the game — Russians own about a third of the 68 billion euros in deposits with Cypriot banks. It was unclear however, how much it would help and the Russians appeared to be balking at pouring any more money into the country.Russia could extend a 2.5 billion euro loan that it gave Cyprus in 2011 and lower repayment rates. It could also provide a fresh loan, have one of its banks take over one of Cyprus’ ailing lenders, or demand an interest in natural gas fields that Cyprus has discovered in the Mediterranean.Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev criticized the eurozone and Cypriot officials for their plan to seize deposits, comparing them to Soviet-style autocrats.“So far, the actions of the European Union, the European Commission and the government of Cyprus have resembled that of an elephant in a china shop,” Medvedev said in remarks carried Wednesday by the Interfax news agency.Scrambling to avert a financial meltdown, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades held talks Wednesday with European and IMF officials. The eurozone and IMF must sign off on any Plan B the Cypriots come up with if it is to be approved as part of the bailout.Some sort of deal must be approved within days because Cyprus is running on borrowed time — literally.The European Central Bank is keeping the Cypriot banks alive by allowing them to draw on emergency support from the local central bank. But the ECB has said it would cut off that aid if there was no bailout deal soon and it became clear the banks had no hope of becoming solvent again.In Nicosia, residents waited anxiously to see what lay in store for them.Avetis Bahcecian has been running his Armenian restaurant in Nicosia for years. Now, with the uncertainty swirling around Cyprus, he’s worried about his business.“Whatever they do, they have to do it quickly because this uncertainty is hurting business,” the 41-year-old said as he kneaded dough to make lahmacun, a traditional Armenian pizza-style food. “Our business is down by 40 per cent in the last couple days.”ATMs have been dispensing cash and debit and credit cards have been working, so Cypriots have not faced any immediate cash shortage for day-to-day living.Tensions remained high as Cypriots wondered whether the country’s final rescue deal would include the hated bank deposit seizures.Under the initial bailout plan conceived in Brussels last weekend, Cyprus was to have funded its part of the bailout by seizing 6.75 per cent of all deposits up to 100,000 euros and 9.9 per cent of those above that threshold. That caused outrage, leading the government to propose an amended version that would have spared deposits up to 20,000 euros. That plan was rejected by lawmakers on Tuesday.As uncertainty grew over the country’s future, even the country’s influential Orthodox church offered to help.Its head, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, said the church was willing to mortgage its assets to invest in government bonds. The church has considerable wealth, including property, stakes in a bank and a brewery.“The wealth of the church is at the disposal of the country,” Chrysostomos said.___Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and David McHugh in Frankfurt, Germany, contributed to this report.
“The rule of law, better criminal justice systems, access to justice, well-functioning law enforcement and prosecution authorities – they could be enablers for development,” the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, said in a recent interview with the UN News Centre.“That’s why the Crime Congress is important, especially this year, just a few months before the UN summit on the post-2015 development agenda,” added the chief of the Vienna-based UNODC.The theme of the Congress, which will take place in the Qatari capital from 12 to 19 April, is “Integrating crime prevention and criminal justice into the wider United Nations agenda to address social and economic challenges and to promote the rule of law at the national and international levels, and public participation.”Hundreds of policymakers and practitioners in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice, as well as individual experts from academia, representatives of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, specialized agencies and other UN entities, and the media are expected to attend the forum, which is held every five years. This year’s Crime Congress, which will be opened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, also marks the 60th anniversary of the first such meeting held in 1955. Participants are expected to discuss the successes and challenges in the implementation of comprehensive policies and strategies for the prevention of crime and criminal justice in order to strengthen the rule of law at the national and international levels and to support sustainable development.Other issues include international cooperation, including at the regional level, to combat transnational organized crime; comprehensive and balanced approaches to prevent and adequately respond to new and emerging forms of transnational crime; and national approaches to public participation in the strengthening of crime prevention and criminal justice.In addition to the main session, several side-events are planned on various topics, such as human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, wildlife and forest crime, and cybercrime. The Congress is expected to adopt the ‘Doha Declaration,’ a political document that will put an emphasis on important aspects of fighting transnational organized crime and strengthening criminal justice systems and crime prevention. It will contain recommendations which will be submitted to the next session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, to be held in Vienna from 18 to 22 May. Mr. Fedotov believes that international cooperation is crucial to fight crime. “National borders do not stop criminals. That’s why international cooperation has to grow. That’s why the 13th Crime Congress is very important,” he said.He also believes that the role of the public in strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice is very important, noting: “We cannot do anything without civil society.” In advance of the Congress, a Youth Forum involving the participation of more than 160 students from different backgrounds will take place during which they will be asked to role-play the 13th Crime Congress to discuss the main themes.
Established by the General Assembly in 1949, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provides assistance and protection to over five million registered Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.This year, the Agency faced an acute funding shortage after the United States, which has traditionally been its single largest contributor, decided to reduce its contribution by $300 million.“The announcement of an additional $118 million is a very significant step in the direction of overcoming UNRWA’s greatest and gravest financial crisis ever,” its Commissioner-General, Pierre Krähenbühl, told reporters at UN Headquarters following a ministerial meeting to discuss the Agency’s funding gap.He said the level of participation in Thursday’s meeting, held on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual high-level session, and the collective mobilization that was displaced to help UNRWA overcome its financial crisis, sent a message to Palestine refugees that they are not forgotten.We’re sending a message that the world does still care about the plight of Palestinian refugees – UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl Despite various efforts in recent months, including $260 million in new funding, UNRWA came into today’s meeting facing a remaining shortfall of $186 million. With the pledges announced today, it still has a deficit of $68 million.“We’ve dealt with part of the challenge today, which is trying to move closer to addressing the budget deficit that exists,” said Ayman H. Safadi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Jordan, which co-hosted today’s meeting along with Turkey, Sweden, Japan, Germany and the European Union.“I think the challenge is to sustain this effort and I think part of what we discussed today is a way in which we could have a long-term financial planning so […] every year in August Palestinian kids will [not] be wondering whether they’ll have a school to go to or not.”
Penn State freshman punter Blake Gillikin (93) and OSU redshirt sophomore wide receiver Terry McLaurin (83) rush towards the ball after a blocked punt in the second half of the Buckeyes game on Oct. 22. The Buckeyes lost 24-21. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorFew Ohio State fans expected to see their beloved team struggle against Penn State. Even fewer expected the Buckeyes to fall 24-21 in Beaver Stadium on Saturday after a thrilling overtime win in Madison, Wisconsin, just a week prior. In a game that seemed to have an inevitable outcome when OSU led 21-7 in the fourth quarter, the team looked on in horror as a blocked field goal for Penn State was returned for a touchdown, giving coach James Franklin’s squad the go-ahead and game-winning score. It was an emotional roller coaster for Buckeye backers looking on at the Scarlet and Gray trying helplessly to stop the charge of Penn State. In the end, the white out crowd was storming the field, and the Buckeyes had their first loss of the year.OSU coach Urban Meyer said it was the play of his lines on both sides of the ball that hurt the Buckeyes the most.“Any good team controls the line-of-scrimmage, you win the game. And I didn’t feel that way,” he said.Although the first blow delivered to OSU came by way of an unranked Penn State team, a loss does not doom a team with playoff aspirations. But, it certainly doesn’t help the team paint a convincing picture.Here are five takeaways from OSU’s gut-wrenching loss to Penn State.OSU has developed an execution problemOnce in awhile, a team will come along that has sky-high expectations from its players, coaches and fans after months of offseason hype, even following a season that doesn’t go its way. OSU was one of those teams this offseason, with many fans expecting a cake walk for the Buckeyes after a convincing win in Oklahoma. Saturday was proof that lots of fan backing and player potential gets you nowhere if the team as a whole fails to follow the game plan. Sure, maybe the play calling was lacking at times, and maybe OSU played down to an opponent that is much less skilled than the Buckeyes are. Regardless of any outside excuses, the game was decided over one key element: a lack of execution.During key moments, when the Buckeyes needed to limit the Penn State offensive attack, the defense allowed Nittany Lions’ redshirt sophomore quarterback Trace McSorley to buy time and scramble or locate an open receiver. When OSU was leading 12-0 just before halftime, a breakdown in coverage gave Penn State a chance to score.In that instance, Penn State executed and OSU did not.Questions will be brought up for the next week about co-offensive coordinators Ed Warinner and Tim Beck’s play selection, as well as the ability of redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett to lead the team from a late deficit. But the loss falls on the team as a whole, and the ability of the Scarlet and Gray to follow the game plan laid out for them.And speaking of Barrett …Barrett still figuring out young receiversBarrett has been the man with the plan for the OSU offense since the season began. Meyer said he had the keys to the car, but there’s a slight issue arising in the 2016 campaign.The timing between he and his receiving corp has been incredibly unreliable for OSU this year.On a few throws, the perfect coordination between wide receiver and signal caller was there, like on redshirt sophomore Noah Brown’s late route that resulted in 34 yards. Brown broke open, and Barrett found him in stride with no one around. For the majority of passing attempts in the past few weeks, Barrett has camped in the pocket, looking hopelessly downfield for somebody to get open. When a player does break free, the eyes of the OSU quarterback are looking elsewhere, with his progression making him move past that area of the field.On Monday, Barrett said he thought his timing was the biggest thing he needed to work on in the week leading up to the Penn State showdown. He might have completed 65 percent of his passes for 245 yards, but the timing with wide receivers was simply not there.In all, Buckeyes’ wideouts caught five of Barrett’s 28 completions, with Brown hauling in three. Overall, they were targeted just nine times out of a possible 43.OSU has some true elite potential in its wide receivers, but until they can break open and get the rhythm down with Barrett, the rest of the season could be filled with nothing but checkdowns to running backs and curl routes to tight ends.The offensive line is still inexperiencedAn offensive line anchored by a pair of three-year starters is bound to be solid. However, introducing three new starters, including a true freshman, makes that offensive line a little more vulnerable. Vulnerable is exactly what OSU’s offensive line looked like for most of Saturday’s game. Beaten off the edge and up the middle, the unit nicknamed “The Slobs” for their tenacity and grit was overmatched by a team that ranked 43rd in yards allowed.Sophomore right tackle Isaiah Prince had an especially rough game. He allowed pressure in the pocket against Barrett and failed to set the edge on running attempts to his side on multiple occasions. The monster of a blocker from the Oklahoma game looked to be lost on occasion against Penn State.“They schemed us,” redshirt junior guard Billy Price said. “They brought one more guy, and sometimes we could see, or they disguised the look. Got to give credit to Penn State.”If a player with the experience of Price is struggling to decipher the defensive look of the opposition, that should spell out how the young players were feeling before each snap. The youth was as apparent as it could be. With each missed blocked, Penn State pass rushers had a free run at Barrett.The Buckeyes pride themselves on the ability of their offensive line to dictate a game, but they will need to undergo a major growing-up phase if they hope to keep pressure from Barrett and keeping the running game alive.Special teams not a bright spot for the BuckeyesCornerbacks and special teams coach Kerry Coombs has been coaching for over 30 years. He has been the mastermind behind OSU’s special teams for the last five. The experience of Coombs and his colorful attitude on the sideline are often a catalyst to success to the unit.This year has been an entirely different story. From muffed punts to missed extra points, OSU had a rough couple of weeks to start the year.Against Penn State, OSU had one of its worst games on special teams in recent memory. The Buckeyes had breakdowns in kick coverage on multiple occasions to go along with a missed extra point and two blocked kicks.In a word, OSU’s special teams performance was bad, very bad.The play of the special teams unit for OSU was far from the only reason for OSU’s loss. But the rough outing for Coombs’ squad is just another issue to add to the list for an OSU team that has been underwhelming in the last three weeks.Playoff hopes are still alive in ColumbusA team coming off back-to-back close games against opponents ranked below them might not seem like a convincing playoff unit. But things are still looking bright for the Buckeyes, as long as they can turn the tide.Penn State is a 5-2 team, with no real convincing win other than OSU. Still, a strong finish for the Nittany Lions would benefit the Buckeyes.Two ranked opponents still lie in wait for OSU in Nebraska and Michigan. Wins against both could very well thrust the Scarlet and Gray into playoff contention.The rest of the season must turn out one way for Meyer and company if they hope to reach the playoffs: win out.If the team can figure out how to fix the problems from the last few weeks and perform like the team that toppled Oklahoma, OSU has a real shot at making it to the Big Ten championship as well as the College Football Playoff. Otherwise, the Buckeyes will be looking for ways to enjoy themselves in another bowl. Outback Bowl anyone?
Former Ohio State men’s soccer standout Chris Hegngi was drafted No. 22 in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft by the Portland Timbers. The forward, who was drafted Jan. 22, scored 18 goals during his career and was second on the team with nine points last season. A four year letterman, Hegngi started every game his freshman year and all but two his second season at OSU. The star forward tallied three goals and four assists in each of his first two years for the Buckeyes. Despite the successes of his early career in Columbus, it wasn’t until his junior year that Hegngi might have started to show his worth. Scoring nine goals and starting every game, Hegngi was voted MVP of the team by his teammates his junior year and was showered with accolades, including being named second team NSCAA All-Region and the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. His 6-foot-2, 180 pound frame made him a prime target heading into his senior season for any MLS clubs looking to add a big man up front. A disappointing senior season where Hegngi only scored 3 goals and added 3 assists, however, caused him to fall off most teams’ radars. Hegngi was passed up in the MLS Super Draft, but eventually the Portland Timbers selected him in the later Supplemental Draft. The Timbers might need a physical presence that could help them improve on their atrocious offensive performance from a year ago, when they finished the season with a 8-10-16 record and an average of only 1 point per game, leaving them second last in their conference. Finishing near the bottom of the Western Conference in 2012, the Timbers only found the back of the net 34 times, the second lowest total in the league. Having come up through the ranks of the D.C. United Youth Academy and played for his high school before arriving at OSU, Hegngi has years of experience that could help him find a position on the final roster for the Timbers. With the selection, Hegngi joins other former Buckeyes in the professional ranks. He joins the ranks of former stars Matt Lampson, a current Columbus Crew player, and Roger Espinoza, a current Wigan Athletic player in the English Premier League, to leave OSU with hopes of succeeding in the MLS.
ITT Corporation has unveiled the latest innovation in its family of mining products, the Fabri-Valve® 33 PTA push-through slurry valve. Specifically designed to withstand harsh slurry applications in the mining industry, the 33 PTA incorporates proprietary sleeve technology and a wide body design that together maximise valve life. With the addition of this heavy duty slurry valve, ITT believes that it now offers the most complete line of mining knife gate products available globally.“The 33 PTA adds to an already robust line of mining products, allowing us to better serve the mining industry,” said Paul Lopez, Global Marketing Manager for ITT Engineered Valves. “This new valve rounds out ITT’s full line of highly engineered slurry valves, so that customers can be assured of ITT quality for all of their engineered valve requirements. We now have 15 valve products for slurry applications for our customers to choose from. Our 65 years of experience in the development, design, manufacture, installation and automation of knife gate valves sets us apart from others in the industry,” he added.The new valve’s elastomeric seats have been engineered to provide the highest degree of abrasion resistance and chemical compatibility. The seats form a pressure boundary, allowing for maintenance of gate and actuation while under pressure, to minimise downtime. The push-through seat design is self-cleaning and has low discharge. When dealing with discharge valves, ITT said that it takes into consideration operator safety as the number one priority. ITT states that it has developed specific guidelines to help raise safety awareness and help customers choose the right valve for their applications. The 33 PTA is available in sizes ranging from 3 in through 24 in diameters (DN80 – DN600) and is rated to operate at 100 psi (10.3 bar).
The CW has announced that The Lost Boys, an television adaptation of the classic 1987 vampire film, is in the works from iZombie creator Rob Thomas. What’s more, it’s being planned as a seven-season, decades-spanning anthology.Season 1 will begin with the vampires in San Francisco in 1967, and each season will take place over the course of a decade.Since vampires never age, they will stay the same while the world around them changes. This also means that we’ll be able to get a more futuristic take on vampires at some point… for the ones that survive, at least. Let’s not forget that the 80s were a rough decade for them in Santa Carla.The show was written by Thomas, and is said to “explain what it really means to be immortal,” which they’ll certainly have time for if it lasts its entire intended run.This isn’t the first vampire rodeo for the CW, of course. The network is currently in the process of finishing up the eighth and final season of The Vampire Diaries.If you’ve somehow missed the original Lost Boys, rectify that, as you’ve missed out on one of the finest (and most 80s) movies ever made. It stars Jason Patric and Corey Haim as two brothers who take on a brood of vampires, including Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman.Besides The Lost Boys, Warner Brothers Television has four more film-to-TV properties in the works, including Training Day at CBS, Lethal Weapon at Fox, the hugely underrated Frequency at the CW, and Time After Time at ABC. Hopefully they all fare better than the Rush Hour series, which premiered earlier this year and lasted all of seven episodes before being canceled.
The flu has arrived in Clark County — and it came a little early.Flu activity increased countywide at the end of October, and this week, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center is reporting a big jump in positive flu tests.“In the past two weeks we’ve seen a spike in positive results for influenza,” said Catherine Kroll, infection prevention specialist at PeaceHealth Southwest, in a news release. “We’ve gone from a baseline of zero confirmed cases to our current level of about 50 percent positive for those admitted to the hospital.”For the week ending Oct. 29, more than 10 percent of influenza tests in Clark County came back positive — a threshold health officials use to determine when flu transmission is occurring in the community. That week, 12.8 percent of tests came back positive. The following week, which is the most recent county data available, Clark County had a flu test positivity rate of nearly 7 percent.The flu strain sickening people locally appears to be mainly influenza A virus — a strain included in this year’s flu shot.The increase in positive flu tests means PeaceHealth Southwest is implementing patient and visitor restrictions.The hospital asks that nobody who is sick — fever greater than 100 degrees, plus cough or sore throat — visit patients. In addition, the number of visitors should be limited to two family members.In hospital special care units — adult intensive care unit, cardiovascular intensive care unit, family birth center and neonatal intensive care units — additional limitations are in place. In those units, visitors must be 12 or older (except for siblings) and immediate family members (children and significant others). Some units may also implement visiting hour restrictions.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has formally commenced enforcement action against parties it believes to be liable to support the British Home Stores (BHS) pension scheme.TPR has sent warning notices to Sir Philip Green, Taveta Investments, Dominic Chappell, and Retail Acquisitions. These notices comprise arguments and evidence as to why TPR believes these parties should be liable to support the BHS pension scheme. The warning notices issued to Sir Philip Green and Taveta Investments differ to those sent to Dominic Chappell and Retail Acquisitions.BHS was sold to Retail Acquisitions in March 2015. The organisation went into administration in April 2015.The enforcement action follows an anti-avoidance investigation conducted by TPR, which launched in March 2015.The notices include evidence to support the use of TPR’s Contribution Notice (CN) powers, which demands a specified sum of money, and its financial support direction (FSD) powers.An FSD requires respondents to put ongoing support in place for a pension scheme. The form and amount of financial support will need to be agreed between the involved party and TPR. If no agreement is reached then TPR can move to impose a CN instead.The individuals and organisations that have received warning notices now have a specified time period in which to respond. Their responses will be considered by TPR case teams before being passed to TPR’s Determination Panel.The BHS pension scheme is currently in the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period.Lesley Titcomb, chief executive at the Pensions Regulator, said: “We have been clear in our public commitment to make significant progress by the end of 2016 and the issue of these notices meets that commitment.“Our decision to launch enforcement action is an important milestone in our work to attain redress for the thousands of members of BHS schemes who have been placed in this position through no fault of their own.“Issuing warning notices at this time reflects the outcome of our investigations and that we are yet to receive a sufficiently credible and comprehensive offer in respect of the BHS schemes.“We continue to pursue the best deal for members of the BHS pension schemes. If parties wish to approach us with settlement offers, that course remains open to them.”
MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) – A man in Margate came to the rescue of a bird that was found stuck high above the ground, Monday.That man was prepared to scale an 80-foot-tall tree to rescue the injured bird.“Like four days ago, I heard some noise coming from my backyard, not knowing what was there, and I saw something swing from the tree,” said Sharon Feist, who spotted the bird.Feist saw an osprey tangled in a tree inside the Margate neighborhood near Northwest 108th Street and 67th Avenue.Members from the South Florida Wildlife Care Center were brought in to try to help.They in turn called in an arborist, a professional who climbs trees to trim their branches.This time, however, Nate Stuart used his skills and expertise to climb and rescue a helpless bird. He slowly climbed up and, after some time, he finally reached the top, making contact with the bird.A cage was then sent up and, after the bird was untangled from the branch, the animal was place inside.“He was alert but very tired; he didn’t seem to be hugely injured,” said Stuart. “I feel good about helping the bird. The thing probably wouldn’t have lasted another day.”The osprey is currently in the care of the South Florida Wildlife Center, where it will be nursed back to health and then released.It is expected to make a full recovery.If you’d like to learn more about the work done by the South Florida Wildlife Center, visit their website, www.southfloridawildlifecenter.org.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Mattison joined Guggenheim two years ago after serving in several executive roles at Wal-Mart, her latest as senior vice president and general manager of the Apparel Global Merchandising Center—a group that manages cross-category entertainment merchandising. As long ago as August, Beckman was denying rumors of his departure when, at the time, he gave up day-to-day oversight of the company for “brand development” responsibilities. Beckman had been brought on board in early 2010 from Condé Nast when Prometheus, then called e5 Global Media, bought its brands from Nielsen, and quickly began consumerizing the trade titles, notably hiring Janice Min, and her hefty salary, to head up the Hollywood Reporter. Beckman also hired Michael Wolff as editorial director of Adweek. Wolff left the company in October last year. Mattison has already appointed Jeffrey Wilbur as CFO. Wilbur previously managed investments for Guggenheim. These two latest executive appointments clearly bring Guggenheim much closer to the day-to-day management of the Prometheus brands, which is not the usual arrangement for media company financial backers, which typically like to form separate executive teams to operate their portfolios. Prometheus Global Media, publisher of Billboard, Adweek and The Hollywood Reporter, has quickly named its new CEO. Dottie Mattison [pictured], senior managing director of Guggenheim Partners, which, along with Pluribus Capital, backs Prometheus, has taken the top spot just days after it was announced that previous CEO Richard Beckman stepped down.That quickness, however, is belied by the fact that Beckman has been at odds with Prometheus leadership over the last year. His departure was arrived at “by mutual consent,” according to an announcement from Prometheus last Friday following a WWD report of his ouster.”I came to Prometheus with a strategic vision for the company and, having been fortunate to work with a group of talented individuals on these storied brands, I am proud of what we accomplished here over the last two and a half years. I wish them continued success in the future,” said Beckman in a prepared statement.
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COPY LINKAD Loading … Unadkat has to be in top form for the Royals with ball in hand.The Royals are extremely dependent on Jaydev Unadkat to deliver with the ball. The left-arm pacer had a fantastic 2017 season in the IPL but did not match his heroics in the following season. The huge salary may have impacted him but the 27-year-old will have to put all that behind as the Royals look very thin on the Indian pace bowling front without him. Close Rahane will be heavily dependent on his team’s English recruits Stokes and Buttler.Rajasthan Royals InstagramThe team is strewn with all-rounders in plentitude which always ensures the captain has plenty of options with the ball and also has finishers who can provide the final flourish. Krishnappa Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal were revelations with the bat last season as they managed to dig the Royals out of seemingly unwinnable situations. With Archer and Stokes also in the mix, the Rajasthan Royals could have batting depth up to number 9. Weaknesses The quality of Indian batsmen is a cause of concern for the Royals. Rahane is a class act but has not been at his best for India or in the IPL of late. Rahul Tripathi is a good Indian option but given the makeup of the Royals, he will not be batting at his favoured position at the top of the order. Sanju Samson has always been talked highly of but flatters to deceive on most occasions. The spin bowling department looks a little short of international talent. Although Ish Sodhi is a part of the squad, it is difficult to see him getting a game ahead of the other international stars that the Royals have at their disposal. Gowtham and Gopal are decent bowlers but are not a match for some of the other teams in the tournament. Read: Predicted playing XI… Opportunities The IPL will be Steve Smith’s return to mainstream cricket following the Sandpapergate incident. The former Australian skipper will be keen to prove a point to his detractors and announce himself back in the cricketing circuit. This IPL will be the right-hand batsman’s final tournament before the World Cup and is thus a chance to get back into form before the tournament. The number 4 spot for India is still up for grabs and although Ambati Rayudu remains a frontrunner, Ajinkya Rahane can stake a claim with a strong performance with the bat. Rayudu has been disappointing of late and given Rahane’s experience, he could make a late surge to make it to the World Cup squad. Rahane is also a very good fielder and especially good in the slip cordon which gives him an added advantage over Rayudu. ThreatsThe English and Australian players in the World Cup squad will leave for a preparatory camp in the beginning of May which could have a massive impact on Rajasthan Royals’ campaign. The Royals will subsequently lose Smith, Stokes, Buttler, Archer and Ashton Turner which will make their squad look extremely thin heading into the final phase of the league season and the playoffs following that. Rajasthan Royals punched above their weight last season in the Indian Premier League and sneaked through as the fourth-placed side in the playoffs. In their last game of the league season, the Royals beat Royal Challengers Bangalore and then saw Mumbai Indians lose their last game to Delhi, in order to book their place in the eliminator where they were eventually ousted by Kolkata Knight Riders. The team from Jaipur will be bolstered by the return of Steve Smith and captain Ajinkya Rahane will once again look to lead his side to a healthy finish this campaign. Here’s taking a look at RR’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths The Royals have some outstanding overseas players who can single-handedly win games for their team on their day. Jos Buttler lit up the last IPL when he was promoted to open the batting and his countryman Ben Stokes is another player who can turn games with both, bat and ball. The Royals also have Jofra Archer who is one of the most feared T20 all-rounders in the world. Cricket superstars gear up for IPL 2018 Squad Ajinkya Rahane (C), Krishnappa Gowtham, Sanju Samson (WK), Shreyas Gopal, Aryaman Birla, Sudhesan Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mahipal Lomror, Jos, Buttler (WK), Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Shubham Ranjane, Manan Vohra, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag (WK)
Sonia ThiyamPR HandoutSonia Thiyam’s blogging journey kick started during her final year of her MBBS. She won the competition for the south zone and that’s where it all started.After finishing the MBBS course, she started pursuing blogging as a full time career. For almost a year, she dedicated all her time and energy into creating content without having earned a single penny.Slowly, after one year, she started getting smaller projects that really kept her going and made her want to work harder towards her goals.There was no looking back ever since for Sonia Thiyam. She was a full time blogger and a part time doctor too.Sonia’s success did not come easily to her. She had to make her career decision against her family’s wishes and being the eldest in her family, there was a lot of pressure that she had to deal with.Despite all the hurdles, Sonia has put in intense efforts in her work to reach where she is. In spite of financial instability, she invested in hiring a photographer because she knew that good photos played a very important role in her blogging career.Eventually, many brands started noticing and liking her content and fashion curation. And soon they wanted her on board for campaigns and projects.Sonia’s approach to fashion is artistic, simple and all about comfort with a smart style. Her mind-blowing fashion sense is reflected through her photos on Instagram.Sonia Thiyam believes that one should notice and take inspiration from the tiniest details in their surroundings.For Sonia her job is a work of art; she doesn’t do it for fame, for her it’s about creating an impact. She wants to tell the youth to chase after their dreams regardless of the obstacles. She strongly feels one should love what they’re doing and make sure to live their dreams.
Smoke billows following a reported air strike on a rebel-held area in the southern Syrian city of Daraa. Photo: AFPThe United States stepped up pressure Sunday on Russia to rein in the Syrian regime, warning that any further chemical attacks would be “very damaging” to their relationship and suggesting there can be no peace while President Bashar al-Assad remains in power.President Donald Trump’s top advisers took to Sunday television talk shows to set the stage for a diplomatic confrontation in Moscow when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives Tuesday for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.It will be their first face-to-face encounter since US cruise missiles slammed into a Syrian air base early Friday Damascus time in retaliation for a suspected sarin gas attack on April 4 that killed at least 87 civilians in the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun.In Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United States had made a “strategic mistake,” and vowed that Iran “will not leave the field… in the face of threats.”And a joint operations center in Damascus that includes Iran, Russia and Lebanon-based Hezbollah militants threatened reprisals.“We will react firmly to any aggression against Syria and to any infringement of red lines, whoever carries them out,” it said in a statement carried on the website of Al-Watan, a newspaper close to the Syrian regime.Meanwhile, US-led coalition forces and Syrian rebels thwarted a significant Islamic State group attack on their base near the Jordanian border Saturday.The coalition said the attack on the At-Tanf Garrison, a remote outpost used by elite US and British forces, was a complex one involving a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, followed by a ground assault and suicide vests by up to 30 IS fighters.Damage to relationsTillerson said the chemical attack was preceded by two others in March.The presence of Russian advisers at the airfield used to launch the attack raised questions about how they could not have known about Syria’s chemical weapons.Tillerson stopped short of accusing the Russians of complicity. “But clearly they’ve been incompetent and perhaps they’ve just simply been outmaneuvered by the Syrians,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”“Absolutely they’re complicit,” said Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.“Russian intelligence may not be as good as ours, but it’s good enough to know the Syrians had chemical weapons, were using chemical weapons.”If Syria carries out any further chemical attacks, “that is going to be clearly very damaging to US-Russian relations,” Tillerson warned.“I do not believe that the Russians want to have worsening relationships with the US, but it’s going to take a lot of discussion and a lot of dialogue to better understand what is the relationship that Russia wishes to have with the US.”He said he would call on Russia “to fulfill the obligation it made to the international community when it agreed to be the guarantor of the elimination of the chemical weapons.”Moscow has sought to deflect blame from its long-time ally Assad over the incident and says Syrian jets struck a rebel arms depot where “toxic substances” were being put inside bombs.The US retaliatory strike marked the first time the United States has intervened directly in the Syrian civil war against Assad’s Russian- and Iranian-backed regime, raising questions about Washington’s next steps.‘Enough is enough’“This was something that needed to tell Assad, ‘Enough is enough.’ And this is something to let Russia know, ‘You know what? We’re not going to have you cover for this regime anymore,’” Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”Just days before the chemical attack, Haley and Tillerson both had indicated that removing Assad from power was no longer a US priority.But Haley suggested there has been a shift in US thinking.“In no way do we look at peace happening in that area with Iranian influence,” she said.“In no way do we see peace in that area with Russia covering up for Assad. In no way do we see peace in that area with Assad as the head of the Syrian government.”Tillerson, on the other hand, stressed that the air strike had the limited aim of deterring further use of chemical weapons.“Other than that, there is no change to our military posture,” he said.While he did not rule out the future use of military force, Tillerson said the US administration was mindful of “the lessons of what went wrong in Libya when you choose that pathway of regime change.”First priorityBoth Tillerson and H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said defeating the Islamic State group remained the administration’s first priority, with the strategy for stabilizing Syria a longer-term political effort that could involve Russia.“It’s very difficult to understand how a political solution could result from the continuation from the Assad regime,” McMaster said on “Fox News Sunday.”“We are not saying that we are the ones who are going to effect that change. (What) we are saying is, other countries have to ask themselves some hard questions,” he said.“This is a great opportunity for the Russian leadership to reevaluate what they are doing.”
Washington Wizards recently partnered with Make-who served as a Howard A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic to help grant the wish of 10-year-old Wizards fan Amaris Jackson. Amaris, who is battling renal cell carcinoma will undergo surgery in the near future to remove a tumor in her lungs, was signed by the team for Saturday’s game against Milwaukee Bucks. Amaris is also a point guard for Takoma Elementary School and is from Washington, DC. Amaris joined Coach Randy Wittman and the entire team for the pregame shootaround followed by a personalized basketball workout with John Wall and coach Ryan Saunders. Later that evening, she joined Monumental Sports & Entertainment chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis and Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld for the signing of a one-day contract. Amaris led the team onto the court prior to the game and was the game’s honorary captain. She also received John Wall’s jersey immediately after the game as part of the “jerseys off your back” initiative.
I absolutely love bringing you all cosplay round-ups whenever I get the chance! It is epic shows like Megacon and Star Wars Celebration that attracts some of the best cosplay talents around. But from all my years of attending conventions, only one show has ever completely wowed me year after year.Yes, DragonCon. A show where I once dressed up as Toki Wartooth from the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse. There I lived out my ultimate rocker fantasy with the rest of my friends dressed as the dysfunctional death metal band. Quickly we had strangers dressed as The Warriors rocking out with us randomly in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis lobby. Soon others started to follow from all different pop culture favorites. We eventually hosted panels as the characters and people actually showed up and packed the room out. It did not get old for six straight years until the series neared its end. Strangely enough, the fandom only grew larger!Randomly walking around, The Goon creator Eric Powell saw us and nearly flipped. He immediately stopped us and wanted a picture with “the band”. Why you ask? Because he attended our panel as a fan. About a year later, he wrote the Metalocalypse comic. This was the moment I knew this convention was special. You see at DragonCon, everyone you encounter in costume, stays in character (for the most part.) The ones who do continually have a crowd of cameras and tons of smiling faces around them. I mean, It’s a real unique experience to chat with Brak about beans as you party with Visenya Targaryen on the dance floor; all while Tina from Bob’s Burgers is hyperventilating in a corner at the sight of your rump. That’s just DragonCon! Now I’m not saying everyone completely stays in character 24/7 at the show. During the day, DragonCon opens its doors to thousands of fans to attend panels, art shows, dealer rooms, themed bars, celebrity meet and greets and so much more! This year’s show alone pulled in more than 80,000 attendees from all over the glob. But once the sun goes down and the kids home, DragonCon turns into something unique that I like to call Nerdy Gras!You can basically compare the nightlife to Halloween. Sadly theses days when going downtown or to a party on All Hallows Eve, some people can just be.. well.. assholes. Lots of half-assed / store bought outfits with zero imagination. Plus most of these folks barely know who they are dressed as. Oh and let’s not forget the friend who doesn’t even want to be out on Halloween in the first place (you can say I’ve had a handful of awful Halloweens). At DragonCon, everyone around you has been working on their costumes all year! Costumes you never imagined you’d see in person. The more niche, the better! There are also tons of unique cosplay outfits that are completely original and will make you wish they were real. One beautiful thing I notice at DragonCon is the passion cosplayers have for each other. I’ve seen creators share tips and tricks with one another, all while helping each other grow and get better for the following year. Most of the time they all will join forces and blow fans away together! There really is nothing else like it. Alright, I’ve gabbed on long enough. Check out all the amazing cosplay from DragonCon 2017 below. Enjoy! View as: One Page Slides1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
2019 Tech Trends Worth Getting Hyped AboutYou Can Finally Buy A Terabyte SD Card Thanks to Lexar Stay on target Who let the robo-dogs out? At CES 2019, Continental demonstrated their package delivery concept — and it involves robo-taxis driving canine-inspired robots that autonomously bring deliveries right to your doorstep.With the Continental Urban Mobility Experience (CUbE), the tech company hopes to provide a “seamless mobility chain,” comprised of a driverless vehicle and a delivery robot to deliver packages all the way to the customers – even when they’re not able to physically receive them.Of course, autonomous delivery vehicles are not new anymore. In Arizona, compact driverless R1 “pods” are already hitting the roads to save locals from a run to the grocery store. But the customer still needs to go outside to grab their deliveries.Continental’s proposal will eliminate the need to even go out and meet the van, but deploying delivery robo-dogs that can navigate sidewalks, walk up front porch steps, go right to the door, and even ring doorbells.“With the help of robot delivery, Continental’s vision for seamless mobility can extend right to your doorstep. Our vision of cascaded robot delivery leverages a driverless vehicle to carry delivery robots, creating an efficient transport team,” said Ralph Lauxmann, head of systems and technology for Continental’s Chassis & Safety division. “Both are electrified, both are autonomous, and in principle, both can be based on the same scalable technology portfolio.”Photo Credit: Continental AGContinental believes the concept will be important as online shopping continues to surge and delivery costs per hour rise. And to reduce idle times, the CUbE’s driverless vehicles can be used as an addition to public mass transport.“There will be peaks in demand for driverless vehicles during the day. To make use of driverless vehicles outside those peak ‘rush’ hours is where robot-delivery comes in,” said Jeremy McClain, director of systems and technology for Continental North America.He adds: “We see great potential in our automotive technology to support robotics companies in developing autonomous delivery robots as an additional use case for driverless vehicles.”More on Geek.com:Yandex’s Self-Driving Car Is a High-Tech RideSex Toy Stripped of CES 2019 Award Because VaginasWalker the Robot Is Here to Help Manage Your Smart Home
News | Contrast Media | July 17, 2017 ACR Offers Revised Contrast Media in Imaging Manual The American College of Radiology (ACR) recently revised its authoritative guide for the safe and effective use of… read more GU12171120 Sponsored Content | Case Study | Contrast Media Injectors | April 02, 2019 The Power In Prefilled Syringes The continuing search for advantages to improve workflow has radiology departments constantly searching for new solut read more TriHealth in Cincinnati. Example of full-dose, 10 percent low-dose and algorithm-enhanced low-dose. Image courtesy of Enhao Gong, Ph.D. Feature | Contrast Media Injectors | April 11, 2019 | By Jeff Zagoudis Using Artificial Intelligence to Reduce Gadolinium Contrast One of the most controversial issues in radiology in recent years has been the use of… read more News | Contrast Media | October 10, 2017 Guerbet to Participate in French Interventional Radiology Conference Guerbet announced it will be taking part in the 65th edition of the Journées Francophones de Radiologie (JFR) that will… read more November 25, 2008 – MEDRAD is working on advancing the P3T software family of products for clinical applications beyond Cardiac CT, MEDRAD will demonstrate some of these potential advances at its RSNA Booth 2815 Hall A, South Building.Personalized patient injection protocols are showing promise, according to a recent University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) study which documented that contrast injection protocols personalized to patient-specific parameters of its test group resulted in a higher percentage of exams that could be classified as “diagnostic, without limitations” to rule out pulmonary embolism than resulted from non-personalized standard injection protocols. A diagnostic exam without limitations is the type that is most desired by radiologists. The personalized patient protocols provided better contrast enhancement of the pulmonary arteries in the study group as well.(2) Researchers presented the study results in a scientific poster at a meeting of the Society of Thoracic Radiology earlier this year. Copies of the study will be available at MEDRAD’s booth at the RSNA 2008 exhibition in Chicago, November 30 through December 5.Joan Lacomis, radiologist at UPMC and co-author of the UPMC study, said, “Achieving a diagnostic CT image for pulmonary embolism, without limitations, helps the hospital and emergency department in a number of important ways — with efficiency, patient care, and cost savings. Achieving high quality images for a higher percentage of studies multiplies these benefits and our research indicates that personalizing the contrast injection protocol to patient-specific parameters is a promising approach.”Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is a sudden blood clot or blockage in a lung artery and is a serious condition. At least 100,000 cases of PE occur each year in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health. PE is the third most common cause of death in hospitalized patients, and if left untreated, kills about 30 percent of patients who have it. Most of those who die do so within the first few hours of the event. CT imaging is often used in the emergency department setting to quickly identify the presence of life-threatening disorders like PE, making efficiency important in quickly and accurately diagnosing the condition. CT has a high specificity and sensitivity in ruling out PE, and researchers in a 2005 meta-analysis (JAMA 2005; 293:2012-17) found that the negative predictive value of a CT angiography of the pulmonary arteries was 99.4 percent.For more information: www.medrad.com and www.bayerhealthcare.com (1) Lacomis, J; et al. “A Clinical Evaluation of the MEDRAD SmartFlow Power Injector Software System for Contrast Delivery in Patients Suspected of Pulmonary Embolism Undergoing Chest CTA”. Society of Thoracic Radiology. http://www.thoracicrad.org/meetings/str2008/Syllabus/additional/posters.pdf. March 2008.(2) P3T Cardiac indicated for CT Pulmonary Angiography is pending FDA clearance [510(k) pending]. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | Contrast Media | February 28, 2018 Guerbet Presents Contrast&Care Injection Management Solution at ECR 2018 February 28, 2018 — Guerbet will present its new Contrast&Care application, as well as other… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Contrast Media Injectors | March 06, 2018 The Power In Prefilled Syringes The continuing search for advantages to improve workflow has radiology departments constantly searching for new… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Contrast Media Injectors | April 13, 2017 Experience at 3 Sites Utilizing Syringe-Less Contrast Injectors The volume of computed tomography (CT) imaging exams continues to grow in the United States, adding pressure to… read more Technology | November 25, 2008 MEDRAD Demos Cardiac CT Injection Software at RSNA Technology | Contrast Media Injectors | December 05, 2018 Guerbet Launches Multi-Use OptiVantage Contrast Media Injector in Europe Contrast agent company Guerbet recently announced that the OptiVantage multi-use contrast media injector is now CE… read more News | Interventional Radiology | December 12, 2018 Guerbet Showcases Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging Solutions at RSNA 2018 Guerbet LLC USA highlighted new and next-level product offerings and partnerships in contrast media, injectors,… read more Feature | Contrast Media Injectors | March 07, 2018 | Grand View Research Inc. Contrast Media Injectors A $1.4 B Market by 2025 The global contrast media injectors market is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual… read more Related Content