Rabat – Morocco received on Tuesday the La Razon Tourism Trophy in Madrid under the category of Best International Destination.The award recognizes the North African country’s ’s achievements in the tourist industry.The award was handed to Mohamed Soufi, head of the Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT) in Spain. This award also serves as an acknowledgment of just how appealing Morocco is to Spanish tourist demands and expectations. “In 2015, approximately 2 million Spanish tourists visited Morocco,” Mr. Soufi told MAP. “This award proves the ONMT’s efforts. The ONMT is in fact hoping that 3 million Spanish tourists visit Morocco in the near future,” Mr. Soufi added.The head of the ONMT in Spain also added that these efforts will continue their culmination through communication and ad campaigns, as well as through staying in touch with Spanish professionals working in the field of tourism.Every year, the La Razon awards include categories such as Touristic Excellence, Best Cruise Company, or Best Family Destination. Initiated by the Spanish newspaper La Razon, the La Razon Tourism Awards offer a worldwide insight into the best possible international destinations.Edited by Christopher Thomas
The Police Special Task Force (STF) arrested four suspects with narcotics in Wattala today.According to the Police, two women were among the four suspects. The STF recovered heroin, ICE and firearms during the arrest. (Colombo Gazette)
The confirmed deaths occurred among some 7,000 miners working at a very unsanitary mine in Zobia in Ituri district, but there could be up to 300 other cases, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) team leader Dr. Eric Bergerat told a news conference in Geneva.About two-thirds of the miners ran away from the mine and had to be contacted in a radius of 200 kilometres so they could get chemo-prophylaxis in the hope of heading off a secondary outbreak, he said by phone, but an unknown number of them died in the forest or on the trail.The local staff of the DRC Ministry of Health gave the early cases rapid diagnostic tests which confirmed the plague and they then used the national protocol for treatment of plague, which was the appropriate case management, Dr. Bergerat said.WHO would send in a team of 10 to help comb through nearby villages, if the security situation permitted, and make sure all the cases have been isolated and treated, he said.Only 2 per cent of people infected with plague usually have the pneumonic form, Dr. May Chu of the WHO’s Alert and Response Operations said.The bubonic plague, caught from bites by infected fleas, generally total 85 per cent of cases and another 12 per cent are blood-borne, caught when humans with open hand wounds touch infected animal tissue, she said.”Incubation for pneumonic plague is anywhere from two to six days,” she said, because the lungs fill up and the patient dies from a lack of oxygen.
by The Associated Press Posted Jan 23, 2015 9:37 am MDT NEW YORK, N.Y. – GoPro has signed a deal with the NHL to bring its wearable cameras closer to the action on the ice and let viewers see games from the perspective of players and referees.It’s the company’s first such deal with a major professional sports league. While GoPro would not comment on whether other partnerships are in the works, they would make sense.As part of the NHL deal, footage from GoPro cameras on players, referees and placed around the rink will be shown as part of the live broadcast of this weekend’s All-Star events.Later, prerecorded footage from the players will be incorporated into TV broadcasts of hockey games. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email GoPro, NHL sign deal to put cameras on the ice, show content in live broadcast of games
“Climate change is the defining issue of our times. It has sweeping implications for the entire security and development agenda,” said the United Nations chief to a group of world leaders, including the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim.He urged global leaders to reach an ambitious and achievable agreement to limit global temperature rise within 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which is “what the international community has agreed is the upper limit of safety,” and beyond which “the consequences will be unpredictable, highly dangerous and perhaps irreversible.”“Climate impacts are already affecting agriculture and food security, human health, water supplies, and ecosystems on land and sea,” warned Mr. Ban, adding that “the world is not prepared yet.”The UN chief is convening this upcoming 23 September a Climate Change Summit, with leaders from Governments, businesses and civil society, to “raise the level of ambition, catalyse action on the ground and increase political momentum.”While global warming is a threat, said the Secretary-General, it presents also “a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.”The UN chief called on all leaders to make the necessary political investments for a sustainable future. “We need to address market distortions, such as fossil fuel subsidies, that promote more energy use and greater emissions and inhibit the adoption of cleaner technologies,” he stressed, adding that we need to be clear about the risks of investing in fossil fuels.”“None of these areas are politically easy,” he noted. “Addressing them will demand vision and leadership — in the climate negotiations and at home.”In addition to political investments, Mr. Ban also called for financial investments in climate action. “Financing is the key to achieving a universal legal climate agreement in 2015. We have to provide $100 billion by 2020 and thereafter $100 billion. We have developed a Green Climate Fund but that is not yet capitalized,” he said.“I am counting on you to provide funds for it,” he told the world leaders, stressing that developing countries, in particular, are in need of investments as they build their own low-carbon futures.The Secretary-General explained that “public policy must pave the way — with a financial framework that is conducive for private money to flow at scale into the green space,” noting that “all business leaders say they are ready to finance a green economy but they need clear direction and predictable policies from governments.”Earlier in the day, Mr. Ban attended a World Bank event on reaching universal health coverage, titled “Investing in Health: toward universal coverage and ending poverty by 2030.”In his address, the UN chief hailed the “great advances on health” achieved by countries all over the world through the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Millions of women and children have been spared preventable deaths. The spread of HIV/AIDS has been slowed and malaria is being contained. And there is progress against tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.”He encouraged world leaders to pursue their efforts further, particularly in reaching the most vulnerable people, stressing that the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health reveals that there is an opportunity to close the gap by 2035.“I have seen that success is possible. In rural parts of Africa, Asia and beyond, I have visited small health posts that deliver big results. I have witnessed immense relief on the faces of pregnant women when they find a skilled attendant to help them during delivery. I have spoken to adolescents and young adults who need sexual and reproductive health services. And I have underscored the importance of helping members of the older generations who may require special care.”The Secretary-General then went on to name some of the biggest challenges the world faces in terms of public health as the pos-2015 development agenda is being shaped: “reducing exposure to pollution, improving nutrition, and promoting overall well-being.”Highlighting the importance of the concept of universal health coverage, Mr. Ban deplored that “right now, an estimated 100 million people fall into poverty because health costs break their family budget. “Universal coverage would protect them and build resilience across society,” he continued. “Universal health care can be the model for the 21st century. It provides access to services, prevents against exclusion and protects people from financial risk. This will bring more than health – it will bring equity, and contribute to a life of dignity for all.”
Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), sounded the alarm during the regular bi-weekly news briefing in Geneva. He was responding to a question from a journalist who asked him to clarify a warning yesterday from UN aid chiefs that the closure of air, sea and land ports in Yemen threatened millions of vulnerable children and families.“It means that these are the number of people in areas where there’s an IPC4 – Integrated Phase Classification 4 – which is the last step before obviously 5, which is famine […] But you are correct, there may be as we speak right now, famine happening, and we hear children are dying. I mean, there’s excess mortality as a cause and consequence of undernourishment.” Yemen imports up to 90 per cent of its daily needs, including fuel, which has now reached crisis levels. Reserves are in such short supply that three Yemeni cities have been unable to pump clean water to residents in recent days, according to UN partner the Red Cross. This has left one million people at risk of a renewed cholera outbreak, just as the country emerges from the worst epidemic in modern times. RELATED: Humanitarian Crisis in YemenOther diseases are also a threat, including diphtheria, a serious infection of the nose and throat, that’s easily prevented with a vaccine. It is “spreading fast” and has already claimed 14 lives, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which said that a vaccination campaign is planned in nine days’ time. In addition to water and sewage problems in Hodeida, Sa’ada and Taiz, the Red Cross warned that the capital Sana’a and other cities “will find themselves in the same situation” in two weeks – unless imports of essential goods resume immediately. Also at the briefing, Alessandra Vellucci, for the UN Information Service (UNIS) recalled yesterday’s statement in New York from Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary‑General regarding a letter the UN chief sent to the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations. In the letter, the Secretary-General said that the blockade imposed by the coalition since 6 November is already reversing the impact of humanitarian efforts. While he welcomed the reopening of Aden port, the Secretary‑General noted that “this alone will not meet the needs of 28 million Yemenis.” As such, the Secretary-General called on the Saudi-led coalition to enable the resumption of UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights to Sana’a and Aden airports, and the reopening of Hodeida and Saleef ports so that fuel, food and medical supplies could enter Yemen.
FASTBALL VELOCITY (MPH) Luis SeverinoNYY97.798.0+0.3🔥 PITCHERTEAMAVERAGELAST FIVE FASTBALLSDIFF.PREDICTED STREAK Who’s hot and who’s not as the playoffs beginAmong expected playoff starters, predictions of five hot and five cold streaks based on how each pitcher finished his last start John LackeyCHC91.492.7+1.3🔥 Most hurlers tend to lose velocity in October, whether because of colder temperatures or just the accumulated fatigue of six months of throwing baseballs.7We didn’t have pitch classifications for the postseason, so we compared the velocities of pitches in the 99th percentile for speed in both the postseason and regular season. All pitchers lost an average of 0.29 mph per fastball in the postseason. But a starter who finishes his last game hot tends to see his fastball drop by 0.55 mph less than one who ends the year on a cold streak. Over the last three seasons, there has been a significant correlation between a pitcher’s streak at the end of the regular season and his October velocity loss.8The correlation was 0.25, with a p-value of 0.02.The list of pitchers who were running hot going into the postseason reads like a who’s who of great recent playoff performances. The aforementioned Bumgarner makes two appearances, once in 2016 and again just before his overpowering 2014 run. Last year’s Kluber performance was there, alongside somewhat unexpected performances like the 2015 Blue Jays’ Marco Estrada and 2014 Cardinals’ Lance Lynn.And just as the hot starters often excelled, the cold ones often flopped. Nobody expected Clayton Kershaw to get shelled in the 2016 postseason, but sure enough, his fastball velocity had dropped enough to trigger a cold streak just before October. The same goes for other aces who underperformed in the postseason, like James Shields in 2014. (You may have forgotten, but Shields was actually good back then.)This year, there’s no shortage of starters riding hot streaks into the playoffs.9An important caveat is that pitch-tracking technologies that MLB uses switched from Pitchf/x to Statcast this year, so the results from the last three years may not match up as well with what happens this season. In fact, the Cubs (John Lackey), Yankees (Luis Severino), Red Sox (Chris Sale) and Astros (Dallas Keuchel) all enter the playoffs with a pitcher boasting higher than average velocities — and each one of these guys has the potential to take over a series. Rich HillLAD89.388.5-0.7❄️ One team does stand to lose more than any other, and that’s the Dodgers. With Kershaw and Rich Hill both on cold streaks, two of L.A.’s best starters might struggle this October.10The Dodgers’ Alex Wood is also on a cold streak, but it’s less clear whether he will make the playoff rotation. Kershaw’s struggles are nothing new, but the persistent loss of velocity he seems to have experienced each of the last three years suggests that he’s not a choker — he’s probably just tired.To measure the possible impact of these streaks in the upcoming playoffs, we re-ran FiveThirtyEight’s Elo-based prediction system for the last three years’ regular seasons, adding the hotness of each pitcher in a matchup to the analysis. Across 1,621 games, when one starting pitcher was hot and his opponent was cold, his team was eight percent more likely to win the game than it would be if both pitchers were hot or both were cold, which is roughly twice the benefit of having home field advantage compared to playing at a neutral site. If two otherwise evenly matched teams go head-to-head and one has a hot starter and one has a cold one, the hot starter’s team will win at about the same clip as the 2017 Red Sox did.Of course, knowing that a pitcher is hot isn’t a secret sauce for predicting the playoffs. October is so random that an ice-cold hurler could muddle his way to victory, and all it takes is one misplaced pitch to turn an ace’s fiery start into a blowout. For example, last year, every pitcher in the Chicago Cubs’ rotation entered the playoffs in cold mode and throwing more softly than normal. That didn’t stop the Cubs from claiming the title, although it was arguably a little more difficult than the projections expected. So although the Dodgers have some reason to worry, they might still be able to claim the trophy.CORRECTION (Oct. 2, 8:10 p.m.): A previous version of the table in this article reversed the numbers in two columns — average fastball velocity and velocity of last five fastballs — for Kyle Hendricks and Drew Pomeranz. The table has been updated. Ervin SantanaMIN93.392.8-0.5❄️ Kyle HendricksCHC86.487.2+0.8🔥 Source: PitchInfo Almost every year, one or two pitchers seem to take over October and almost single-handedly spur their teams to victory. In 2014, Giants starter Madison Bumgarner capped one of the best postseason performances in history with an unforgettable World Series Game 7 relief appearance. Last year, the Indians’ Corey Kluber led the way, allowing only seven runs across more than 34 innings.A few weeks ago, we showed that hot streaks like these can arise from pitchers throwing harder than normal. Add a couple ticks to an ace’s fastball, and he can go from normal, everyday excellence to almost superhuman levels of greatness. But the effect goes beyond mere velocity: Hot streaks can tell us when to expect a significant boost to a pitcher’s entire statistical profile, which can come in especially handy during the notorious crapshoot that is the MLB postseason.A lack of reliable metrics stymied many previous efforts to study the hot hand in baseball. Noisy measures of performance like ERA and on-base percentage can have just as much to do with the team a pitcher is facing or the fielders behind him as they do with his innate talent. By zeroing in on the one thing a pitcher has absolute control over — his fastball velocity — we could see when he was running hot or cold.Although throwing harder is almost always a boon for pitchers, it’s less important than getting outs. To show that hot streaks matter for more than just radar guns, we gathered the predicted stat line for each start that a pitcher made after June in 2016 (according to the Steamer projection system).1Provided to us courtesy of Rudy Gamble of Razzball. The projections gave us a pitcher’s expected performance in each game, adjusted for opponent, park and home-field advantage. We compared the pitcher’s actual performance to the pitcher’s projected performance. Then we ran an algorithm analyzing every start in the season preceding the start in question, to see whether a pitcher’s hot or cold streak predicted whether he would overperform his projection in the next game.2As in our last article, we analyzed only pitchers who threw at least 800 fastballs in a season. To minimize overfitting, we ran the model for the first two months of the 2016 season and then used the Viterbi algorithm to predict starts beginning in June. (We considered a pitcher hot if the last five fastballs of their previous start were hot and cold if their last five pitches were cold.)3We also tried looking at the last 10 and 20 pitches of the previous start, and we obtained similar results with those methods.Across a wide variety of measures, a pitcher who’s on fire at the end of one start seems to do better than expected in the next. Compared with a cold pitcher, a hot one strikes out 0.39 more batters than predicted per start, while allowing 0.1 fewer walks plus hits per inning pitched. Add it all up, and one pitcher can perform 1.02 earned runs per nine innings better than expected depending on whether he’s fiery or frigid.4After making a Bonferroni adjustment, we found the differences in strikeouts and ERA are significant at the standard 0.05 level (with adjusted p-values of 0.003 and 0.044), while the differences in WHIP are significant at the less stringent 0.10 level (with an adjusted p-value of 0.099).Although we detected hot streaks using fastball velocity, the performance boost doesn’t seem to be solely the result of speedier pitches. For example, when pitchers’ cutters are preceded by a hot pitch, they tend to have more lateral movement. Curveballs drop further, and sliders cut more across the zone. Since breaking balls that move further tend to get more swinging strikes, a hot pitcher’s entire arsenal takes a step forward. And the boost in speed and amount of break doesn’t seem to come at the expense of command, because hot pitchers are more likely to get called strikes than expected.5According to a binomial logistic regression, which used game location, pitcher, catcher, the count, pitcher handedness, pitch position in the strike zone and velocity as predictors.A pitcher’s ups and downs become even more important in October. A 1.02-run drop in a couple of starters’ ERAs can mean the difference between an early wild card exit and making the World Series. And fortunately for playoff-bound aces, when we looked at the last three postseasons’ worth of data,62014-2016 we found that a pitcher who ends the regular season hot is likely to carry that momentum into the playoffs. Max ScherzerWAS94.392.2-2.1❄️ Drew PomeranzBOS91.288.1-3.1❄️ ⋮ Clayton KershawLAD93.192.2-0.9❄️ Chris SaleBOS95.097.7+2.7🔥 Dallas KeuchelHOU88.090.2+2.1🔥
Almost a third of graduates now find themselves in non-graduate jobs, with some earning less than if they hadn’t gone to university at all, the report says.Giving every 18-year-old a lump sum of cash and giving them the freedom to choose how they spend it would encourage students to give more serious consideration to technical and vocational routes, it adds.The money could be spent on any approved qualification at a regulated provider, including university degrees, college courses and apprenticeships, the report says. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Scrap student loans and instead give every 18-year-old who stays in training a £20,000 lump sum, a former Government adviser has said.This would work out as better value for the taxpayer than the current system of student loans, according to a new report by Tom Richmond who is now director of EDSK, a think-tank specialising in education and skills.The report, titled Free to Choose, argues that the £20,000 loan should be available for all school leavers to spend on either university, college or an apprenticeship.It comes ahead of the Augur review into higher education, which is due to be published in the coming weeks. Last February Theresa May ordered a review of post-18 education led by Philip Augar, a former equities broker. The Prime Minister came under pressure on the issue after it was felt that Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to abolish tuition fees won support from young voters in last year’s general election. Only 20 per cent of students will ever pay back their loans in full, the report says, leaving taxpayers to pick up a multi-billion-pound tab every year.Mr Richmond, who used to advise the Department for Education (DfE), argues that the loan repayment threshold should be lowered from £25,000 to £12,500 which would mean that a greater proportion is paid back by graduates.
A twenty-five-year-old technician was hauled before Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts earlier today (Thursday), for allegedly presenting to a law enforcement officer at the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) a forged firearm license approval letter in favour of himself, after he was denied permission by the Commissioner of Police.Jerimah Noerhamid who was represented by Legal Counsel Tiffany Jeffrey denied the charge which detailed that on September 25, 2017, with intent to defraud he uttered the forged letter to Kizia Carrington, (a GRA agent), purporting to show that same was issued by the office of the Commissioner of Police, knowing same to be false.It is alleged that the defendant purchased an air gun online earlier this year, and shipped same to Guyana but was unable to uplift the weapon from the Shipping Corporation in absence of a permit issued by the Commissioner of Police. His attempt to secure approval from the Commissioner’s office proved futile, causing the defendant to prepare an imitated, along with a forged signature which he presented to the GRA as instructed, in order that he may clear the weapon.The letter was discovered to be forged when it came under the scrutiny of officials at the GRA, corroborated by the office of the Commissioner of Police which denied any knowledge of issuing such approval.Meanwhile, his Attorney attested that her client received the approval letter by way of mail through the Post Office.The matter continues on October 5, 2017. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedFake visa appointment letter lands man in courtDecember 31, 2015In “latest news”Cuban charged with forging visa appointment letter remandedJanuary 10, 2019In “Court”Man charged with forging his own adoption papers to get US citizenshipJuly 23, 2018In “Court”
..says the independence of these constitutional agencies must be respectedThe recent multi-million-dollar cuts by the Finance Ministry to the budget proposals put forward by several constitutional agencies is not going down well with the Parliamentary Opposition. The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) party wants the autonomy of these agencies to be respected by the government.The Audit Office of GuyanaAccording to PPP/C Parliamentarian Juan Edghill, the agencies submitted their plans based on the programs they have to conduct. He was adamant that these agencies, especially the Audit Office of Guyana, be allowed to carry out their Constitutional mandate without interference by the Executive.“These agencies are protected. These are independent agencies from the Executive and they come up with their own program and they request their monies to fund these programs. If the Minister of Finance is going to cut budgets, it is going to interfere with the agencies, the audit office in particular which has to scrutinise Government.”According to the 2018 annual budget proposals of Constitutional agencies which were tabled in Parliament last week, the Audit Office’s request of $844.4M was slashed to a proposal of $783.8M. In slashing the amount, it was noted that budget 2018’s submission did not fulfil certain requirements set out in a Budget Circular.The need has been expressed for the audit office to be as strong as possible when it comes to its audit capacity. This is especially so as Guyana gets ready to enter oil production. In addition, Auditor General Deodat Sharma has already expressed intentions to audit Guyana’s environmental protection systems.Auditor General, Deodat SharmaDuring the closing ceremony for a multi-year capacity building programme held recently, resident Representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Sophie Makonnen had highlighted this issue.According to Makonnen, the independence and capacity of the Auditor General’s Office is one of the priority areas to be addressed by Guyana. She had noted that this was to ensure there is transparency and accountability with regards the oversight of the nation’s revenue and expenditure of public resources.She had explained that the US$2M the IDB plugged in the capacity building programme for the Audit Office is a component of the wider assistance provided to Guyana with regards capacity building for the Public Sector.The Audit Office of Guyana was reportedly plagued with a poor work environment, limited IT capacity and a huge backlog of statutory auditing among other issues prior to technical assistance from Inter-American Development Bank and the government.But while the international donor agency has been fully supportive, the proposed budget for the Audit Office was slashed by the Government in the National Assembly during consideration of the 2017 Estimates of Expenditure, and the resultant consequences had included the AG grappling with not having adequate staff, or adequate funds to pay them.The proposed estimate for the AG’s office in the last budget was $771.2 million for that Constitutional agency that is tasked with auditing ‘the state apparatus’, but Finance Minister Winston Jordan had decreased this sum to $754.9M.The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had been vocal in its opposition to the budgetary cut. The party pointed out that the total budgetary allocation for constitutional agencies in 2016 was $8 billion, whereas it is only $6 billion in 2017.The AG’s office has a wide remit, being responsible for auditing the public accounts of Guyana and presenting reports of those audits to the Minister of Finance, thence to the National Assembly. As laid out in Article 223 of the Constitution of Guyana, the Auditor General is authorised to audit all officers and authorities of the Government, including Commissions.Other agencies on the chopping block for 2018 were the Parliament Office, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the Supreme Court of Judicature (request of $2.7B was reduced to $1.8B), the Director of Public Prosecutions chambers (request of $223.8M was reduced to $174.2M) and the Office of the Ombudsman. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedFormer President Jagdeo flays Finance Minister over ‘fiscal space’ argumentOctober 28, 2016In “latest news”Govt flayed over billions cut from constitutional agenciesOctober 25, 2016In “Anil Nandlall”Expenditures by Coalition Gov’t will be reviewed, excesses will be cut – Jagdeo assures if PPP returns to powerJuly 2, 2019In “latest news”
The World Coal Association notes that The Institute of Public Affairs, a public policy think tank based in Melbourne, Australia, recently released The life saving potential of coal: How Australian coal could help 82 million Indians access electricity. The report looks into the value of Australian coal, not just in Australia itself but also further afield, as solutions to global energy poverty continue to be sought.The report begins by demonstrating the progress that has been made globally in terms of poverty reduction over recent years. Affordable energy has led to great advancements in fields such as technology, medicine and infrastructure, all improving people’s lives. Coal, as the most affordable and reliable source of energy, has been at the forefront of this movement. Between 1990 and 2010 some 830 million people gained access to electricity for the first time thanks to coal-fired generation, many in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.The report points out that coal consumption around the world continues to increase and is projected to do so over the next 25 years, before looking at India and China and how coal has changed the landscape of these two developing nations. China, in particular, is shown as an example of the power of coal and its ability to bring people out of poverty, with the report highlighting coal’s role in the country’s rapid economic development.The report points out that the priority for the Indian and Chinese governments is to pursue policies which will increase the quality of life for their citizens, identifying coal as a legitimate means of doing so.The WCA also recently welcomed the announcement by China of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in preparation for the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris later this year.“China has put low emissions coal technology at the centre of its commitment to building a low carbon energy system,” said WCA Chief Executive Benjamin Sporton. “China’s INDC shows that coal will remain a crucial part of their energy mix for decades to come. The INDC represents a real commitment by China to use modern high efficiency low emission coal-fired power generation and develop carbon capture and storage.”According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) New Policies Scenario Chinese electricity generation from coal will be 45% higher in 2040 than it is now – despite its total share of the energy mix reducing from 76% now to 52% in 2040.“Coal has powered the huge advances we have seen in China’s economy in the past few decades lifting 600 million people out of poverty and connecting 99% of its population to the electricity grid. China is now a leading player in the deployment of low emission coal technology. Their INDC announcement shows that economies can continue grow with the benefits of affordable, reliable coal while taking ambitious action on reducing carbon emissions,” Sporton said.Modern high efficiency low emission supercritical and ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants emit up to 35% less than CO2 than older subcritical plants. They also have significantly reduced emissions of SOx, NOx and particulate matter which means they have significant air quality benefits. High efficiency low emission coal plants are also an important first step on the pathway to carbon capture and storage.Sporton said: “The climate talks in Paris later this year must recognise that low emission coal technologies will be a crucial to achieving the world’s climate objectives. Without action on high efficiency low emission and carbon capture and storage technology it will be impossible to achieve the 2 degree target.”“China’s growing economy means demand for energy will continue to grow and it is clear from the announcement today that all energy sources will play their part,” Sporton said.“Recent market fluctuations have led some commentators to claim that China is moving away from coal. China’s announcement shows that is patently not true. China has made serious commitments to low emission coal technology because coal will continue to be the backbone of its energy mix for decades to come.”Picture courtesy of China Shenhua Energy Co.
Kilkenny County Council and the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, need to wake up and realise that this complaint is not going to be shrugged off.The houses in Vicar Street are an important part of Kilkenny’s built heritage and Kilkenny County Council must comply fully with domestic and European law in relation to them. Earlier this week, Kilkenny County Council’s archaeologists say that a site on Vicar Street contains no traces of a medieval minister’s house, but An Taisce disagreed, stating that there were a whole host reasons why the Central Access Scheme should not proceed.Read: An Taisce rejects claims that Kilkenny home is not medieval site>Read: Former owner of Kilkenny ‘heritage house’ says delay in demolition ‘wasting taxpayers’ money’>Read: EU to investigate Kilkenny plans to demolish ‘heritage houses’ for new roadway> THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has confirmed to the Independent MEP Nessa Childers that they are assessing the Irish authorities’ response to a formal complaint about the demolition of ‘heritage houses’ in Kilkenny.A new road in Kilkenny City due to be built requires the demolition of the houses, but the EU Commission is investigating if it is in breach of an EU directive.The EU directorate General for the Environment made a commitment earlier this month that it would investigate plans by Kilkenny County Council to demolish houses in the city’s Vicar Street.The Irish authorities have now responded to the EU Direcotrate, for which they will decide to proceed further.DemolitionThe complaint stated that the proposed demolition of 20-22 Vicar Street, to make way for a proposed Central Access Scheme, could be in breach of the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments.In an email to the MEP, a senior official in Brussels responsible for enforcement of environment law, Mr Paul Speight, said: “The Irish authorities replied to us on 25 October. We will now be assessing that reply and will inform you and the other complainants of our conclusions.”Medieval remainsA local group has said that medieval remains – a gable wall and a shouldered chimney – at one of the 19th century houses should be protected by the council. However the former owner of the house told TheJournal.ie that the delay in the demolition of the house was “wasting taxpayers money”.Childers welcomed the EU Commission’s response during a visit to Kilkenny city yesterday, when she visited the site of the proposed Central Access Road Scheme, together with Councillor Malcolm Noonan and Ms Shirley O’Brien – who complained to the EU on behalf of local citizens – as well as a representative of An Taisce.Taken seriouslyMs Childers said she was “delighted that the EU Commission is taking the complaint seriously. She said:
Help NASA Develop Autonomous RoversU.S. Army To Test Remote-Controlled Combat Vehicles Stay on target More than 2,500 AI researchers have vowed to steer clear of lethal autonomous weapons.Google DeepMind and resident robot pessimist Elon Musk are among the organizations and individuals who pledged to neither participate in nor support the manufacture of artificially intelligent armaments.“Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to play an increasing role in military systems,” according to the letter published by the Future of Life Institute. “There is an urgent opportunity and necessity for citizens, policymakers, and leaders to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI.”The pledge comes less than a year after the Institute released a short film, appropriately titled “Slaughterbots,” as part of its Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.Designed to resemble actual events, the video highlights a future (or, more likely, a present) in which palm-sized drones can take out a single human with “surgical precision.”A world where weapons, not people, make the decisions, and a $25 million order gets you enough killer bots to take out half a city—”the bad half,” of course.“We would really like to ensure that the overall impact of the technology is positive and not leading to a terrible arms race, or a dystopian future with robots flying around killing everybody,” signatory Anthony Aguirre, a professor of physics at UC Santa Cruz, told CNN.The threat, however, isn’t limited to walking, talking androids. A recent report from Undark revealed the everyday dangers of cyber weaponry—high-tech howitzers that have been in service for decades.“In this light, we, the undersigned, agree that the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine,” according to the pledge.“There is a moral component to this position, that we should not allow machines to make life-taking decisions for which others—or nobody—will be culpable,” it said. “There is also a powerful pragmatic argument: Lethal autonomous weapons, selecting and engaging targets without human intervention, would be dangerously destabilizing for every country and individual.”AI researchers agree that lethal autonomous weapons could become “powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems.”While most folks still carry physical firearms, some advanced armies are dropping cyber cannons, which can cause damage well beyond battle zones.The Stuxnet virus, for example, emerged in 2010 as a cyber weapon jointly developed by U.S. and Israeli officials in an effort to shut down the develop of Iran’s nuclear program.To combat future risks, pledge participants are calling on government officials to “create a future with strong international norms, regulations, and laws against lethal autonomous weapons.”Independent of this promise, 26 countries in the United Nations have explicitly endorsed the call for a ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems: Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, Holy See, Iraq, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, State of Palestine, Uganda, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.For more, check out Geek’s lineup of 11 real-life sci-fi weapons that are the future of war.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Leah Moss sports a salmon costume at the Alaska Center barbecue. (Henry Leasia / Alaska Public Media)Alaska Wild Salmon Day celebrations took place across the state on August 10th. This marks the second year of the official state holiday.Alaska Public Media’s Henry Leasia produced this audio postcard from The Alaska Center‘s Salmon Day barbecue at Cuddy Family Midtown Park in Anchorage.Listen nowPOLLY CARR: My name is Polly Carr. I’m the director of the Alaska Center. Salmon connects us via our families, our cultures, recreation, and it gives us a strong sense of our state identity. We have 500 pounds of wild Alaska salmon that we hope you are all going to put down tonight.ERIC BOOTON: I’m Eric Butoon. I work for Trout Unlimited. Trout Unlimited works throughout the state to protect and conserve fish habitat. We fired the grill up around 5 and we’ll be cooking until the salmon’s gone. It came throughout the state from a number of different commercial fishermen and fish providers who helped donate it. I am drooling over here, but at the end of the day if I walk home and didn’t get any and it went to people who attended, I’m fine with that.LOUISE STUTES: I’m representative Louise Stutes from House District 32. House District 32 is Kodiak, Cordova, Yakutat, Seldovia and several small coastal communities. My district is a fishing community, and it’s got huge impacts on not only my district but on all the people in Alaska. Fishing is the number one private employer in the state of Alaska. I think [Alaska Wild Salmon Day] brings to the forefront the importance of salmon to the state of Alaska, not only subsistence-wise for rural communities, but for the whole economy.Fishermen from across the state donated 500 pounds of salmon for the barbecue. (Henry Leasia / Alaska Public Media)BRITTNEY: I think Salmon Day is all about protecting this beautiful fish that we have in our state, and it’s very plentiful. It’s just about honoring and celebrating them and keeping them where they belong.SHAUNA: Salmon Day is just one day, but every day is for celebrating and protecting salmon.BRITTNEY: My favorite ones are Chum salmon because they’re cool striped, they’re striped really awesome, and they’re great to smoke as well.BILLY MANUEL: My name’s Billy, Billy Manuel. I came down to Cuddy Park to do some volunteering and to support a great organization. Yeah of course they’re rambunctious — they’re kids running around, it’s summer time in Alaska. The little ones run around, the adults are having fun — they’ve played cornhole before. The little ones just want to kind of throw the sandbags around, which is fine. It’s been more throwing them at each other than throwing them into the cornhole. You get a prize for getting it in the hole! Awesome, alright nicely done! Just one little prize out of the bucket. There’s bubbles in there.
Gold bars. File PhotoMembers of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in a raid detained a man along with 10 gold bars, weighing 1.2 kg, from Amtala Gatipara border area in Sharsha upazila of Jashore on Thursday.The arrestee is Hasanuzzaman Hasan, 30, son of a certain Mainul Islam of Kharki area in Jashore town, reports UNB.Acting on Tip off, a team of BGB-49 conducted a raid in the area and detained Hasanuzzaman along with the gold bars, worth Tk 6.2 million, said BGB-49 commanding officer lieutenant colonel Ariful Haq.The seized gold bars were deposited to Benapole port police station, he added.
First impressions for young NFL quarterbacks can be misleadingJared Goff’s first impression in the NFL was that of a bust. He looked over his head on Hard Knocks and incompetent in Jeff Fisher’s remedial offense. Fast forward to year two under rookie whiz kid Sean McVay, and Goff looks like a Pro Bowler.Colin sees Goff as the perfect example of why no young quarterback should be definitively judged as a “player” or a bust until they have the pieces around them to succeed. In Houston, Deshaun Watson just lit up the Titans, but inherited weapons, an elite roster, which has allowed him to hit the ground running. If he was drafted by Cleveland, he wouldn’t be having anywhere near the early success.Everyone wants to immediately define young quarterbacks based on first impressions, but they should reserve judgment until they have a fighting chance.Guests:Tony Gonzalez – FS1 NFL Analyst is in-studio talking Jared Goff’s improvement; Odell Beckham’s drama; and why he disagrees with Colin’s take on Matt Ryan.Peter King – Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the MMQB joins the show to talk about the Rams turnaround; if it’s safe to call Deshaun Watson the real deal already; and if the Patriots can correct their defensive problems.Rob Ryan – Former NFL Defensive Coordinator and co-host of Red Zone Radio joins the show to discuss the Rams second half adjustments against Dallas; what Deshaun Watson does that has allowed him to have early success; and if the Patriots’ defensive problems are solvable.Bucky Brooks – Former NFL Scout and NFL Analyst is in-studio to discuss Deshaun Watson’s outstanding performance; why Matt Ryan isn’t matching his 2016 success; and if the Bears made the right call to move to Mitchell Trubisky. Clemson and Alabama are on another level than the rest of college footballThe College football season isn’t even to the midway point yet, but Colin thinks Clemson and Alabama are head and shoulders above the rest of the top teams in the country, are both a lock for the playoffs, and are likely headed for a third straight title game match up.If you look at their schedules, it’s hard to find any remaining potential losses, and both teams don’t have anything resembling a rival in conference. Even though it’s good news for fans of the schools, Colin thinks it’s turning into a less compelling version of the NBA, where for the last three years, Warriors/Cavs has been a foregone conclusion and the regular season has been reduced to a formality.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read May 23, 2013 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » The app economy is thriving with an estimated annual revenue of $25 billion and over a million apps across app stores. But while the number of apps hitting the market increasing every month, the question is, how many are getting noticed and ultimately making money?One in four downloaded mobile apps is never used and discarded, according to a study by Localytics, thus making download rates, to an extent, misleading. After all, there are only a handful of apps that every person uses on a daily basis.Consumers launched 7.9 apps per day in 2012 according to Flurry analytics. So how does one get their app among the top eight apps that most users use?The answer lies in great execution. Here are four key ingredients that will determine the success of your app:1. Solve a problem.Every successful product solves a problem that a great number of people experience. We all know that vitamins have a positive impact if you take them regularly. Yet, if you miss a dose, there’s no harm done. However, if you’ve got a bad headache, an Aspirin becomes a must have product, without which, you’d suffer far longer.Your app needs to be the Aspirin that people need.There are two ways to look at problems that can be solved. You can solve either the intrinsic problems (think the Flashlight app) or the ones that are enhancements (think Solar, a weather app with a sleek user-friendly interface). Each of these approaches works equally well as long as it satisfies a need for consumers.2. Make it intuitive.Are you making life simpler for your user? Is your mobile app intuitive? Can people figure out how to use your app within seconds to minutes without any guidance?You want to offer users a fantastic experience. Take for instance, Clear app, which entered the hugely competitive market of to-do list apps. Coupling a great concept with fantastic usability is what made it a big hit in the app store.A great user experience also means making sure your app is free of bugs and crashes. According to a report by Compuware, only 16 percent of users will try a failing app more than twice.3. Start marketing in advance.Don’t make the mistake of starting your marketing plan once your app is developed. Successful apps are promoted way before they even hit the app store.Let’s talk about the Clear app again. This app started to get tech blog coverage based on demos, previews and teaser videos even before it went to market. Within nine days of its launch, 350,000 copies sold.Divide your marketing plan into three phases: pre-launch campaign, launch campaign and post-launch campaign. Create banner images that will go up on your app store profile page. Use absolutely stunning screenshots of your app in the app store description. Write a fantastic app description and use the right keywords. These are just a few examples of all that you can do to gain visibility among your target audience.4. Be strategic about distribution.With the many distribution channels available for apps today, you have to choose a combination of those that work best for your target audience.Being featured in Apple’s What’s Hot, New & Noteworthy, Top 25 or 100 apps lists, for example, is a strategy that will get your app noticed. One way to get Apple to notice you is to generate press coverage around the launch of the app. Apple takes note of positive coverage in the media, which could get you an entry to the New & Noteworthy list.How you make your app available in terms of pricing is also a big driver. Offering a free basic app to hook a user and then selling premium content is a popular way to increase traction. Some other ways: choosing the right PR tools, launching app giveaways and running contests.Make sure that your app is noticed and favored by customers. Most failures happen when one of these key ingredients is ignored.
Emirates passengers will now enjoy deep discounts and exclusive offers this summer with ‘My Emirates Pass’, launched jointly with the department of Economic Development in Dubai.Passengers flying to or through Dubai between June 1 and August 31, 2016 can now avail a range of offers at some of Dubai’s best known hotspots by simply showing their boarding pass and a valid form of identification. They can enjoy special discounts and offers at over 65 restaurants and hotel dining outlets, 10 leisure experiences ranging from desert safaris, golf course packages and helicopter tours in addition to a range of spa experiences can be accessed for less with ‘My Emirates Pass’ in Dubai.Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, Executive Director Commercial Compliance & the Consumer Protection Sector said, “The Department of Economic Development in Dubai ensures that Dubai’s visitors enjoy a memorable shopping experience, and we want to make Dubai their preferred destination to shop, dine, sightsee and so much more. The joint initiative between the Department of Economic Development and Emirates aims to provide tourists and consumers with the best that Dubai has to offer.”‘My Emirates Pass’ is one of a series of collaborations between Emirates and the Department of Economic Development to help visitors discover more of Dubai.
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