A report on excited delirium was released today, Sept. 4, by Justice Minister Ross Landry. The province commissioned the 38-page Report of the Panel of Mental Health and Medical Experts Review of Excited Delirium in November 2008, to make recommendations to help law enforcement officers when responding to individuals showing excited delirium symptoms. The report contains nine recommendations to develop new principles, protocols and procedures to deal with individuals who come into conflict with the law and display extreme agitation, aggressive and paranoid behaviour. It also outlines the need for further training and research. The volunteer panel members included physicians, government staff and experts in the area of mental illness. Dr. Stan Kutcher from the department of psychiatry at Dalhousie University chaired the group. “I want to thank the experts who offered their advice on this issue which is of great importance to those responsible for public safety and those who deliver medical help,” said Mr. Landry. Government will now consult other health and justice first responders. The full report is available at www.gov.ns.ca/just .
New Brunswick boxer David Whittom, who had been in an induced coma since suffering a brain hemorrhage following a fight last spring, has died. He was 39.His partner, Jelena Zerdoner, announced his death on Facebook on Friday.“With a broken heart in a million pieces, I announce to you my friends that my David Whittom has joined the angels and my mother this afternoon,” she said in French.“Rest in peace my champion.”Whittom’s passing nearly 10 months after a knockout prompted an outpouring of support on social media from friends, fans and fellow boxers.Brandon Brewer, a professional boxer and Canadian light middleweight champion from Fredericton, offered his “deepest condolences” to Whittom’s family.“Every time Dave came down to Fredericton he would help me train,” Brewer said in a Facebook post Saturday.“He was always trying to help guide me in the right direction. He always taught me to stay positive and stay focused no matter what.”Whittom, a native of Saint Quentin, N.B., was once a promising super-middleweight who fought world title contenders.Saskatoon’s Gary Kopas beat him by technical knockout with just 37 seconds left in the 10-round bout in May.Whittom became ill hours later and was taken to hospital in Fredericton and later to Saint John, N.B., where he underwent surgery the next day.He had twice considered retirement, hanging up his gloves briefly only to return to the ring.
Joss Stone, one of Britain’s leading female vocalists, will perform the pre-game show at the NFL’s third International Series game at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, 9 November when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Dallas Cowboys.A double BRIT Award winner and Grammy Award winner, Joss will perform before the 6.00pm kickoff of the eleventh NFL regular-season game to be played in London since the International Series began in 2007.Her pre-game show will conclude with No Man’s Land – Green Fields of France, the official Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal single, which she recorded with guitarist Jeff Beck. The performance will highlight the NFL’s partnership with the Legion for Remembrance with the Legion’s iconic poppy logo also being displayed on the players’ uniforms and helmets and various fundraising activities taking place around the game on behalf of the Poppy Appeal.“We are very excited that Joss Stone will be performing before the final game of our Wembley season”, said Alistair Kirkwood, Managing Director of NFLUK. “Her pregame show will be one of the highlights of a very special day and I am sure that the performance of ‘No Man’s Land’ will be a memorable and poignant moment for fans in the stadium and those watching at home.”Fans at the game should be in their seats by 5.30pm to enjoy the pregame show in its entirety and in order to fully participate in honouring Remembrance Sunday.Joss Stone, owner of one of most distinctive voices in British music, rose to fame in 2003 with the multi-platinum album ‘The Soul Sessions’. Following the 2004 release of ‘Mind, Body and Soul’ she won the 2005 BRIT Awards for Best Female Vocal Artist and Best Urban Act. Having previously been nominated three times, she won her first Grammy Award in 2007 for Best R&B Performance by Vocal Duo or Group for ‘Family Affair’ with John Legend and Van Hunt.She currently has six album releases to her name, including four consecutive top 10 entries on the Billboard 200 in the US, with a seventh due to be released next spring.Previous pre-game artists in the International Series have been: The Feeling (2007), Stereophonics (2008), Calvin Harris (2009), Goo-Goo Dolls (2010), My Chemical Romance (2011), Train (2012), Tinie Tempah (2013), NE-YO (2013), Def Leppard (2014), Little Mix (2014).The US national anthem, ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ will be sung before the game by Grammy Award-winner Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, one of the most successful female vocal groups in music history. She previously performed the US national anthem before the 2010 International Series game at Wembley.The UK national anthem will be sung by best-selling soprano Laura Wright, who has performed ‘God Save The Queen’ at each of the International Series games this season.The Jaguars-Cowboys game will kick off at 6.00 pm UK time (1.00pm ET) and will be aired live in the UK on Channel 4 and Sky Sports and in the US on FOX.
14 September 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the decision of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) to hold its first-ever global meeting, saying there was “great scope” for using modern technology to help with rescue and relief efforts in the wake of major disasters. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the decision of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) to hold its first-ever global meeting, saying there was “great scope” for using modern technology to help with rescue and relief efforts in the wake of major disasters.In a message to the meeting, which opened today in Kobe, Japan, Mr. Ban noted that this year has already been marked a series of terrible natural disasters.“I visited Haiti in the aftermath of the January earthquake and saw the devastation,” he said. “Yet I also witnessed many moving examples of bravery and selfless devotion to duty. Your impressive work saved many lives, including those of United Nations colleagues trapped under the rubble.”The Secretary-General said INSARAG had “come a long way” since it was founded in 1991, and he welcomed its efforts to promote greater professionalism and coordination.“There is great scope for sharing lessons learned and using modern technology to provide even more effective support to affected communities and governments.”
12 October 2011An increase in food prices, political uncertainty and fuel shortages are severely straining Yemenis’ ability to feed their families, the United Nations Food Programme (WFP) warned today, adding that the country is now facing a serious humanitarian situation. “Rising food prices and political instability have left millions of people in Yemen hungry and vulnerable. Malnutrition is stalking the lives of women and children,” said WFP’s Executive Director Josette Sheeran.Food prices in Yemen have risen dramatically since the beginning of this year, with the price of bread doubling in the past six months.A recent WFP assessment revealed that an increasing number of people are unable to meet their basic food needs, placing families – especially children – at risk of malnutrition. Even before the crisis, more than 50 per cent of Yemeni children were chronically malnourished and more than 13 per cent were acutely malnourished.In a news release, the agency said it would scale up its programmes in the country to feed 3.5 million people affected by the crisis, particularly those who have been displaced in the northern and southern regions of the country.“The challenges to reach and meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable are huge, especially in the midst of a very volatile security situation,” said Lubna Alaman, WFP’s representative in Yemen.“In addition to feeding internally displaced people, WFP is also assisting refugees from the Horn of Africa, severely food insecure people affected by the high food prices, malnourished children and pregnant women and nursing mothers.”The security situation in Yemen has progressively deteriorated since a civilian uprising began earlier this year, despite international efforts to promote a peaceful political transition. As a result, many people have died and thousands of others have been displaced.
TORONTO — Resource and financial companies were the main culprits behind a lower session on the Toronto stock market Friday as traders wondered if economic conditions warranted further moves up for stocks.The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 74.15 points at 14,514.74.The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.17 of a cent at 92.11 cents US.U.S. indexes registered gains amid a disappointing read on consumer confidence but a strong showing for housing starts. The Dow Jones industrials climbed 44.5 points to 16,491.31, while the Nasdaq gained 21.3 points to 4,090.59 and the S&P 500 index rose 7.01 points to 1,877.86.Markets finished in negative territory overall for the week after data showed the economic recovery in Europe is more fragile than thought, while retail giant and economic barometer Wal-Mart Stores delivered a disappointing outlook for the second quarter.Meanwhile, the University of Michigan’s latest consumer sentiment index also offered a glum reading. The index registered 81.8 for this month, well below the 85 level that had been expected.However, U.S. housing starts for April came in at an annualized pace of 1.072 million units, higher than the 980,000 that economists had expected.This has also been a remarkable week in the fixed income area where bond yields have fallen sharply amid equity market nervousness.The benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury bond was at 2.52% Friday afternoon, after starting the week at 2.66% and going as low as 2.47% on Thursday.“I think that has got more focus than anything and justifiably because people are worried that (lower yields are) anticipating a recession,” said Wes Mills, chief investment officer Scotia Private Client Group.Mills notes the move started out of Europe earlier this week as a flight to safety targeted U.S. Treasuries. Yields on those bonds are about 1.2 percentage points higher than German 10-year bonds. On top of that, investors think that stocks in North America are largely fairly valued right now and economic conditions don’t warrant significant moves higher, conditions which make bonds attractive.“So you add into that it’s been a long great recovery, and so you hit a key level like 1,900 on the S&P (hit briefly on Wednesday), and some asset allocation models kick in and people start buying bonds and selling equities.”Mills thinks this situation portends a market that is likely in for a good deal of sideways action along with a fair bit of volatility as traders look for direction.In earnings news, private equity firm Onex Corp. (TSX:OCX) reported quarterly consolidated net profit of $99 million, up from a net loss of $271 million a year ago. Revenues were up 3% to $6.5 billion. Onex says it’s increasing its quarterly dividend 33% to five cents and its shares declined 88 cents to $62.47.The financials sector was the biggest weight on the TSX, down 0.75% ahead of the release of quarterly earnings by the big banks starting next week.The gold sector faded about 1.1% as June bullion edged 20 cents lower to US$1,293.40 an ounce.June crude gained 52 cents to US$102.02 a barrel and the energy sector dropped almost 1%.The base metals sector was down 0.67%, while July copper was unchanged at US$3.15 a pound.There was also major merger and acquisition activity Friday morning as restaurant chain Red Lobster is to be sold to investment firm Golden Gate Capital for US$2.1 billion.For the week, the TSX drifted 0.13% lower while the Dow industrials lost 0.6%.
TORONTO — Amazon waded through 238 bids that included promises of hefty tax breaks and canoeing to work to narrow down a short list of some 20 candidates, including just one Canadian city — Toronto. Here’s a look at what some of the other cities who placed bids had to say:CalgaryIn an effort to sway Amazon, Calgary emblazoned the sidewalks across from Amazon’s current Seattle headquarters with messages including, “Hey Amazon. We’d change our name for you. Calmazon? Amagary? Love, Calgary ;)” and hung a 30-metre banner outside saying, “we’re not saying we’d fight a bear for you, but we totally would.” The same message ran in a full-page ad the city took out in the Seattle Times.Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley said she had spoken with Amazon on Thursday and the company felt Calgary’s bid was “particularly exciting.”“They actually said very, very good things about it and they said that they’ve got a whole new idea of Alberta and that Calgary did an excellent job,” she said.“There’s no question, it’s unfortunate. It would have been great to have gotten that deal.”——WinnipegWinnipeg’s bid included a humorous video starring football star Blue Bomber Obby Khan and Mayor Brian Bowman showing off the city’s best features to Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated system.When Economic Development Winnipeg heard it hadn’t made Amazon’s shortlist on Thursday it released a playful video featuring Alexa breaking the bad news to Khan. In the video, Khan cuts Alexa short and instead picks up his phone saying, “Hey Google, I would love to pick you up tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the airport.”Bowman said in an email that “the competition was fierce, but our bid positioned Winnipeg well for future opportunities.” He added he was “optimistic Amazon and other companies took note and will keep Winnipeg in mind for future opportunities.”——Ottawa-GatineauOttawa and Gatineau were offering Amazon space in the 120-acre stretch of waterfront lands that are poised for development, 15 minutes away from Ottawa’s airport and close to policymakers.Upon hearing the cities had failed to make the cut, Ottawa mayor Jim Watson and Gatineau mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin released a statement saying they were “disappointed,” but “proud” of the way the cities “came together.”“Should Amazon HQ2 find a home in Toronto, there would likely be significant economic spinoffs for the Ottawa-Gatineau region, and we would welcome those opportunities,” the mayors said.——VancouverVancouver’s bid to host Amazon HQ2 focused on its proximity to the e-commerce giant’s original headquarters in Seattle, a move Metro Vancouver chairman Greg Moore said may have put it at a disadvantage.Moore said he was disappointed to hear Vancouver hadn’t made the shortlist but described the experience as a learning opportunity.“It emphasized the need for us as a region to be working together,” Moore said. “Amazon won’t be the last opportunity.”Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson released a statement saying he was disappointed the city didn’t make the short list.“Vancouver offers much more than just an exceptional quality of life for our residents. Our city is home to a booming economy, fuelled by Vancouver’s growth as an international tech hub with world-class talent.”——HalifaxHalifax rolled out a flashy website mirroring Amazon’s fonts and buttons to claim that Halifax housing the headquarters would bring Amazon a savings of more than $10 billion over 10 years.Mayor Mike Savage told The Canadian Press he was “not surprised” his city had lost out because he felt it was “always a long shot.”He said “I’m rooting for Mayor Tory and I hope that they do well” and vowed to hang a “Go Toronto” banner.——Sault Ste. MarieSault Ste. Marie didn’t splash out on a big proposal with lots of tax incentives or “wacky exercises” — though it did suggest employees could canoe to work — to attract attention for its bid because it knew it likely wouldn’t land the headquarters, said Mayor Christian Provenzano.“We were swinging for the fences on something we appreciated we did not have a significant opportunity at getting, but we thought it was important to tell our story about our community,” he said.——EdmontonEdmonton refused to disclose the contents of its bid, even after it was cut from the potential cities to host the headquarters. However, a spokesperson revealed the city spent between $50,000 and $75,000 on its pitch.Brad Ferguson, the president and CEO of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, said he was throwing his support behind Toronto, adding that with matters like this his philosophy is to root for his country, then his province and then his city. He wished Toronto well, but said he hadn’t picked up the phone to extend his best wishes to Mayor John Tory because “I don’t feel that is my role.”——WindsorWindsor partnered with Detroit to make its pitch to Amazon, which Windsor’s Mayor Drew Dilkens says spoke to the strong relationship the two cities have had for centuries. Months ago Dilkens said he would even be open to connecting twin offices in each city with a cable car or gondola.Moving forward, he said he would be open to the pair teaming up again to court other big companies. “We believe the business case was so strong that we could take Amazon’s name out of the proposal and make it equally compelling for someone else,” Dilkens told the Canadian Press.——MontrealMany thought Montreal had a good chance at nabbing the headquarters because it is already home to Amazon Web Services’ cluster of data services and its competitiveness in the hydro-electric power arena was a big draw for the tech company when it was searching for another home for its data facilities.Montreal mayor Valerie Plante said in a statement that the city is “of course, disappointed” it won’t host the headquarters, but glad that the process had allowed it “to build new relationships and to strengthen old ones with the private and public sectors as well as to reinforce Montreal’s reputation as an international creative hub.”——HamiltonHamilton’s bid for the headquarters reportedly cost almost $467,000. A statement from Mayor Fred Eisenberger said the investment it made in its pitch “a 50/50 split of public and private funds.”After it was passed on, Eisenberger stressed “our ambition will not waiver.” He said Amazon “choosing to locate anywhere in Ontario is beneficial,” so Hamilton was looking forward to working with Toronto “in whatever way we can to support their bid.”
A 47 year old woman and her 9 year old daughter sustained serious injuries in the accident and were admitted to hospital. A mother and child succumbed to their injuries following an accident in Mawathagama last evening, the police media unit said today.The accident took place when a car veered off the road and crashed into the front porch of a house where the mother and child were seated. The accident had taken place along the Kandy – Kurunegala road at the Kahagolla junction. They succumbed to their injuries in hospital. The driver of the car was arrested. (Colombo Gazette)
After the second-degree murder charge was stayed, Thanabalasingham was judged a danger to society and a flight by immigration authorities and was immediately arrested. The Crown appealed the stay, but he was deported in July 2017 before the appeal could be heard.Quebec’s appellate court subsequently rejected the Crown’s appeal, declaring that in Thanabalasingham’s absence his prosecution had become irrelevant and theoretical. In 2017, Thanabalasingham avoided trial for the alleged murder of his wife when the Quebec Superior Court ruled the nearly 60-month delay between his arrest and the start of his trial was unreasonable. The Supreme Court’s 2016 Jordan ruling set a 30-month limit between the laying of charges and a trial for Superior Court cases. Thanabalasingham’s wife, Anuja Baskaran, had been found dead in the couple’s home in 2012 with knife wounds to her neck. Quebec public prosecutor’s office said it is satisfied with the court’s decision. Spokesman Jean Pascal Boucher said his office will continue to work to ensure justice is served in the case. “The order for a ‘new’ trial that the Crown seeks is simply not susceptible of being executed,” Justice Allan Hilton wrote for the Court of Appeal majority in 2017. “There is no factual basis before us to believe that such a trial will or could plausibly ever happen. I would accordingly dismiss the appeal because it is now moot.”In a ruling from the bench, the Supreme Court said the lower court’s decision was wrong. “It remains a current litigation even if the accused’s return to Canada is not probable,” Chief Justice Richard Wagner said on behalf of the court.The fact Thanabalasingham was deported to Sri Lanka — which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Canada — doesn’t make the case theoretical, Wagner said. Despite no longer being in Canada, a Sri Lankan national who had his murder charge stayed because of unreasonable delays in his trial isn’t done with the Quebec justice system just yet.Canada’s highest court has ruled the murder case of Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham should be sent back to the Quebec Court of Appeal, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
TORONTO — The Bank of Montreal is creating a financial crimes unit bringing together existing capabilities around cybersecurity, fraud and physical security.The new unit will be led by Larry Zelvin, who joins the bank on Jan. 14. He has been CitiGroup Inc.’s managing director and global head of cybersecurity.BMO’s financial crimes unit will work together with the bank’s anti-money laundering group. Banking regulator hiking ‘domestic stability buffer’ to protect banks from elevated risks Bank of Montreal sees U.S. earnings growth continuing to outstrip bank as a whole Banks hire their own hackers to get ahead of criminal infiltrators BMO chief executive Darryl White says the financial industry is faced with more sophisticated criminal activities and it’s critical to invest in data protection.The creation of the unit comes after the bank said last May that hackers contacted the bank claiming to be in possession of the personal data of fewer than 50,000 customers.At the same time, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s Simplii Financial digital banking brand said “fraudsters” may have accessed certain personal and account information for about 40,000 clients.
CALGARY — Complaining loudly about crushing tax hikes appears to have paid off for owners of small businesses in Calgary after moves by city hall that will see a 10-per-cent cut in non-residential property taxes this year.Council voted unanimously during an emergency meeting Monday to slash $60 million from its budget and pull nearly $71 million from its reserves for tax rebates.The vote followed a rally outside city hall Monday morning during which hundreds of disgruntled business owners said they are facing massive tax hikes that could force a number of them to close their doors. Carbon-tax backstop leaves small businesses at pointy end of pricing-adjustment stick: CFIB Alberta’s small businesses say they’re the canaries in the coal mine — and things aren’t going well What small business wants on party platforms: Tax cuts (of course) and revival of income-splitting Some even called for Mayor Naheed Nenshi to resign over the increases.City managers told councillors the budget cuts can be found but warned they will affect front-line services in every department, from planning to policing.Taxes are due July 1 and Coun. Evan Woolley says the city will move quickly to get rebates out to businesses.Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said the city needs to act more like business when it comes to trimming costs.“Calgary households and businesses have been making tough decisions for years,” said Terrazzano. “They were forced to tighten their belts during the downturn and city council has been largely unwilling to tighten their belts.”Business owner Kelly Doody said while she welcomes the cut, it’s not really helpful for those who have faced tax hikes as high as 200 per cent in recent years.“That has to be righted,” said Doody, who believes business owners will continue to push for tax reform at both the civic and provincial level.“I don’t think any of us assume that the fight is over. That would be really naive.”It’s expected Nenshi will send a letter to the provincial government seeking reforms to property assessment and taxation.
“Hans Blix will be in the meeting,” spokesman Fred Eckhard said in response to questions by reporters in New York. He added that the talks would open at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning “and last for something like three and a half hours – at least that’s the provisional plan.”Asked about Mr. Annan’s agenda for the meeting, the spokesman said, “As far as the Secretary-General is concerned, they’ll be talking about UN resolutions, and his emphasis will be implementation, implementation, implementation.”UN inspectors have not been in Iraq since 1998, when experts from the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) departed the country. UNMOVIC was created by the Security Council in 1999 to continue UNSCOM’s mandate to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, and to operate a system of ongoing monitoring and verification.Meanwhile, the office running the UN oil-for-food programme, which allows Iraq to use a portion of its oil revenues to purchase humanitarian relief, announced today that exports “gained considerably in volume last week, averaging almost 2.5 million barrels per day, following month-long sluggish levels.”According to the Office of the Iraq Programme, Baghdad sold a total of 17.4 million barrels of crude, netting an estimated €370 million (euros) or $320 million in revenue.
Fed proposes making banks keep a bigger financial cushion in line with global standards WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve wants U.S. banks to set aside more money to cushion against unexpected losses, a key step in preventing another financial crisis.The Fed governors voted 7-0 on Thursday to propose rules requiring all banks hold at least 7 per cent of their assets in capital reserves. That’s up from a minimum of 2 per cent currently required, and more in line with international standards.The rules are open to comment until September. They will be finalized after that. But some banks won’t have to meet the requirements until 2019. That’s because the rules have to be co-ordinated with international standards that are being phased in over the next seven years.The capital requirements for banks were mandated under the 2010 financial overhaul.“Capital is important to (banks) and the financial system because it acts as a financial cushion to absorb a firm’s losses while reducing the incentive for firms to take excessive risks,” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said at the meeting. The proposed requirements will make the banking system more resilient in times of stress, “thus contributing to the overall health of the U.S. economy,” he said.The banks have lobbied vigorously against the proposals. They say setting aside so much money in reserve could limit what they could lend.“At a time of economic uncertainty, it will be imperative for regulators to ensure that implementation and enforcement of these new standards will not hamper the ability of financial institutions to help finance economic growth and job creation,” Tim Ryan, president and CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said in a statement.Experts say most big banks already have increased their capital levels close to the stricter levels.For smaller banks, though, the increased capital requirements will be “a real wake-up call,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics in Washington.Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo told lawmakers Wednesday that JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion-plus trading loss is a good example of why the rules are needed. He said JPMorgan was able to weather the loss because it had sufficient reserves.“A bank with a strong capital position can absorb losses from unexpected sources,” Tarullo said at the Fed meeting Thursday.The Fed also finalized rules for additional capital requirements for banks that hold at least $1 billion in assets such as complex financial derivatives that they trade with other banks. Banks in this category include JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.A formula will be used to determine the additional amounts that each bank will have to set aside.A leading opponent of the international standards, known as the Basel III accords, has been JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.Dimon pressed Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in a public forum last year, asking if regulators had gone too far and might be slowing down the economic recovery. Last September, Dimon called the Basel standards “anti-American.” by News Staff Posted Jun 8, 2012 4:49 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
As the world marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of the global mine ban treaty and commemorates International Mine Awareness Day, the head of the United Nations’ office dealing with the threat they pose stressed today the importance of looking beyond the effects of just anti-personnel mines.Agnès Marcaillou, Director of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), told reporters in New York the significance of the commemoration had expanded over the years and that now it was “mine awareness week” rather than just “mine awareness day.”The theme for this year is ‘More Than Mines’, she said, explaining that an evolution had taken place since the mid-1990s, when the focus had been on anti-personnel landmines and civil society had rallied together to conclude a treaty banning landmines that had since become a cornerstone of international humanitarian law.She said that since then, the remit of UNMAS had expanded and it was now applying its expertise to an increasingly wide range of explosive hazards that kill and maim people every day. Work on cluster munitions since the mine ban treaty resulted in a separate treaty banning their use, while unexploded ordnance (UXO) and ammunition were among the main challenges keeping the body busy as they impacted an increasing number of communities. The threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had also caused a reaction by the UN.They disrupted peacekeeping operations and deliveries of humanitarian assistance and that disruption increased the bill. There were direct costs, along with indirect costs stemming from the slowness of reconstruction and delivery.She pointed also to a high political cost, seen most clearly when the Security Council’s mandates were not fulfilled because mines and the explosive remnants of war hampered efforts. She stressed, however, that there is a bright side, which was that the threat posed can be mitigated and the weapons destroyed. To do that more money is required. With more money, more clearance teams could be paid for, which would mean that roads could be more quickly verified and a more coherent response ensured.
For the second straight year, Serena Williams’s bid to make history at the U.S. Open was derailed in a semifinal upset. Last year, Williams was seeking to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988 and to tie Graf’s Open-era record of 22 career major titles when she was defeated by No. 43 Roberta Vinci. On Thursday night, Williams was two match wins from passing Graf in career major titles, but, hampered by an injury to her left knee, she lost to No. 11 Karolina Pliskova.Williams was ranked No. 1 heading into both matches. And according to win probabilities based on our tennis Elo ratings, both results were big surprises: She had a 97 percent chance of beating Vinci and an 87 percent chance against Pliskova.1In this article, our estimates of win probability heading into matches at this year’s U.S. Open use a blend of players’ overall Elo ratings and Elo ratings based only on hard-court matches, according to the methods described in our article about our tournament forecast. For earlier matches, we’re using probabilities based on overall Elo ratings for both players. That’s not unusual for Williams, who has left majors in two ways over the past five years, each one happening about as often as the other: Either as the champion (9 of 20) or as the loser of a big upset (11 of 20). She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning all 11 of the matches she has lost at majors since 2012 (her first year playing the majors in her 30s). Those 11 losses are among the 14 most surprising of her career at majors: In other words, her 14 Slam losses for which she entered the matches with the highest Elo-based win probabilities.The series of surprise losses is the result of two factors:1) Williams is losing more matches she should win, perhaps a reflection of increased susceptibility in her 30s to injury or wear during a tournament. She has won 89 percent of Slam matches since 2012 in which she had an 85 percent chance or better, compared with a 96 percent win percentage in the same type of matches before 2012.2In both time periods, the average of her win probability in these matches was 95 percent.2) Against a field with fewer all time-greats than she faced earlier in her career, Williams is playing a lot more matches as a big favorite, giving her more opportunities to be upset: She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning in 88 percent of her major matches since the start of 2012, compared with 64 percent earlier.
A statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in her home town of Grantham will require a high plinth to curb the threat of vandalism, police have said.Plans to install the £300,000 statue on a 10ft-high platform will be voted on next week amid fears it could become a “likely target for politically-motivated vandals”.However, the police added that despite a “motivated far-left movement… who may be committed to public activism” who are against Mrs Thatcher “the passage of time does seem to have diminished that feeling”.Members of the South Kesteven District Council’s Development Management Committee will vote on the proposals next Tuesday after the idea had 17 objections and seven people writing in support.A report to the committee said: “In general there remains a motivated far-left movement across the UK (though not so much in Lincolnshire) who may be committed to public activism.”Margaret Thatcher does however maintain an element of emblematic significance to many on the left and the passage of time does seem to have diminished that intensity of feeling.”Currently, the only marking of Baroness Thatcher in the Lincolnshire town is a plaque on the corner of North Parade and Broad Street to show where she was born.Plans to erect the statue in Westminster were rejected by Westminster Council last year with a report saying it could have attracted “potential vandalism and civil disorder”. An artist’s impression from 2013 of what the statue could look likeCredit:Grantham Museum/PA It said: “The divisive nature of Baroness Thatcher due to her political career and policy legacy and the potential for this to result in vandalism has been raised as a concern.”A threat assessment has been carried out by Lincolnshire Police who consider there is a possibility any public statue of Baroness Thatcher could be a target for politically motivated vandals.”Lincolnshire Police’s Crime Prevention Officer has not objected to the proposal but they have recommended the statue is placed on a sufficiently high plinth and is sited in a location that benefits from good natural surveillance as well as lighting and CCTV.”Letters in support of the statue said the location – at St Peter’s Hill in the Lincolnshire town – was suitable to “commemorate the first female Prime Minister”, while objections said Baroness Thatcher was a “divisive figure to due to political career and policies”. The report to the authority in Lincolnshire said these issues were present in this case. 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.
L’Afrique du Sud procède à un dépistage du VIH en masseDepuis plus d’un an, l’Afrique du Sud mène une campagne de dépistage du VIH. A ce jour, plus de 13,5 millions de personnes ont été soumises à un test dans le pays.Vendredi, la présidence d’Afrique du Sud a indiqué que 13,5 millions de citoyens (sur une population de 49 millions) avaient passé un test de dépistage du VIH depuis le lancement par le gouvernement d’une campagne, il y a maintenant 15 mois. Parmi les personnes testées, deux millions sont séropositives et sont appelées à se rendre dans leur centre de soins pour être prises en charge. Le gouvernement envisage par ailleurs d’amplifier son programme de distribution d’antirétroviraux, l’étendant à des malades dont le taux de lymphocytes CD4 passerait sous les 350 cellules par microlitre, contre 200 auparavant (les personnes séronégatives possédant un taux de CD4 compris entre 500 et 1 200).À lire aussiSIDA : 10 symptômes qui doivent alerterTV5monde rappelle que la campagne lancée en avril 2010 par le président sud-africain, Jacob Zuma, visait à dépister 15 millions de personnes, celles-ci se soumettant volontairement à un test de dépistage du sida. “La campagne a été un succès éclatant, des millions de personnes répondant à l’appel pour connaître leur statut sérologique”, s’est félicitée la présidence dans un communiqué. C’est notamment parce que les derniers chiffres de 2010 indiquaient que c’était l’Afrique du Sud qui comptait le plus grand nombre de séropositifs au monde (près de six millions de porteurs du VIH), que cette campagne a été mise en place. Aujourd’hui, après avoir pris le taureau par les cornes, le pays dispose du plus important programme de distribution d’antirétroviraux (ARV) qui soit.Le 15 août 2011 à 13:01 • Maxime Lambert
The internet is filled with streaming services, and now they’re getting more particular, hoping to cater to a specific genre and audience.Recursor is the latest in this widening catalog of options. The platform, which launched this month, is specifically for indie sci-fi, hosting content from creators and original series.At the time of launch, Recursor also premiered its first web-series Nina_Unlocked, which stars YouTube personality Lana McKissack as an android and former assassin with amnesia who sets out to interview guests about her history and creation. Three episodes are currently available to watch.Recursor hopes to be the hub where users can go to find serial, narrative-heavy stories, or what it calls the “highest quality science fiction.”“This is a golden era for hard science fiction, and we’re thrilled to be premiering the first video platform devoted to the genre,” Recursor CEO and Nina_Unlocked writer E.J. Kavounas said in a statement.“While other platforms cater to audiences of horror, comedy, and animation, we felt that despite the enormous passion people have for high-quality science fiction, there was no dedicated alternative for these viewers,” Kavounas added.On Recursor, you can search by title, obviously, but you can also search by sci-fi category, which includes sections like “Alien Encounter,” “Cyberpunk Noir,” “Post-Human,” and “Space Opera.” That’s about as specific as you can get when it comes to what you’re in the mood for.As Recursor is a hub for indie creators, it says it’s open to submissions. Filmmakers can submit projects at a time for review, which includes unfinished projects. Officials with the platform also announced an upcoming contest for creators to submit ideas for an original Recursor film, although there are few details at this time.It’ll be interesting to see if this kind of platform can be successful. The media watching economy seems to be moving in the direction of the streaming service, so giving an audience a niche platform to indulge in, would in theory, be a good idea. It also gives a platform for independent creators who might not have a place for distribution otherwise. But how much will people give for this kind of service?Currently, Recursor is hosting short films and longer projects from YouTube, so it isn’t exactly a streaming service. It’s more a center and aggregator for this kind of content, along with a way to discover filmmakers on the internet. Netflix Axes ‘The OA’ Sci-Fi Series After 2 Seasons‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ Becomes Mostly Harm… Stay on target
Amazon May Take Over Where Toys “R” Us Left OffToys “R” Us Sells Off Its Secret Sex Domains Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the toy store…The late Toys “R” Us—which died a long, slow death over the past two years—is being resurrected this holiday season.Parent company Tru Kids Brand has teamed with software-powered retailer b8ta to launch a new, curated shopping experience designed for children.Two new Toys “R” Us locations are set to open later this year in The Galleria in Houston, Texas, and Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J.“We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys “R” Us brand in the US and are thrilled to … create a new, highly engaging retail experience designed for kids [and] families,” Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids and interim co-CEO of the new Toys “R” Us joint venture, said in a statement.Aimed at the next generation of ADHD-riddled children, the playground-like environments are centered around product discovery and engagement. Highly interactive, each store will feature fresh activities and events every day.Test toys before making a purchase. Embrace education with STEAM projects. Or just pal around with Geoffrey the Giraffe.“As a kid, my memory of Toys “R” Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys,” b8ta president Phillip Raub, interim co-CEO of the new joint venture, reminisced.“As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits. But what hasn’t changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply play,” he continued.(In my experience, adults aren’t so different.)“The new Toys “R” Us stores will be the most progressive and advanced stores in its category in the world,” according to Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta. “And we hope to surprise and delight kids for generations to come.”Additional U.S. locations will pop up through 2020, though no formal plans have been announced.After 70 years of bringing joy to children across the globe, Toys “R” Us in 2017 filed for bankruptcy, and in March 2018 announced that its U.S. operations were going out of business.Nationwide stores closed last June.As part of going out of business, Toys “R” Us also sold off its intellectual property—including some spicy sexual domains.More on Geek.com:YouTube’s Top Earner Is a 7-Year-Old Who Made $22M Reviewing ToysAmazon May Take Over Where Toys “R” Us Left OffNew Bill Stops ‘Grinch Bots’ From Stealing Holiday Shopping Stay on target
KUSI Newsroom, April 23, 2018 Posted: April 23, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Prominent cancer researcher at Salk Institute suspended over sexual assault allegations KUSI Newsroom Inder Verma, Salk Institute for Biological StudiesSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A prominent scientist and cancer researcher at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla has been suspended over apparent sexual misconduct allegations.Inder Verma, 70, was placed on leave by the Salk Institute’s board of trustees over the weekend, apparently after receiving a list of detailed questions last week from the magazine Science regarding allegations of sexual harassment.The Indian-born Verma, hired at Salk in 1974, is also an adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego, and a highly regarded gene therapist who completed his studies in India and Israel before completing his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His suspension is another blow for the Salk Institute, which last year was accused of gender discrimination in three separate lawsuits filed by female employees.As part of those lawsuits, Verma was ousted from his prestigious position as editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s top science journals, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported last year.Neither Salk Institute officials nor Verma said exactly why the renowned scientist has been suspended, but the magazine Science reported over the weekend that the suspension was related to an investigation tied to an upcoming story a reporter from the magazine was working on.The reporter apparently asked to interview Salk officials this week about sexual harassment allegations against Verma, to which the officials responded by asking for a detailed list of questions from the magazine, Science reported. Two days after receiving the list, Verma was placed on leave. In an email obtained by Science, Salk’s board of trustees chairman, Dan Lewis, said that Salk officials “recently became aware of allegations concerning” Verma.“Consistent with Salk’s policies governing workplace conduct, the Institute has undertaken a formal investigation that is being led by an independent outside party,” Lewis wrote in the email sent to Salk employees and obtained by Science. “We have also learned that Science is preparing a story about Dr. Verma and related allegations. Earlier this week, the reporter presented the Institute with information about her story that included claims the Institute was not previously aware of. We take these allegations very seriously and have expanded the scope of the investigation.”Lewis said that the board of trustees met Friday and decided to place Verma on administrative leave.“He will not be performing scientific or administrative roles on behalf of the Institute during this period,” Lewis wrote.In a statement issued to several media outlets by Verma’s lawyer, the married father and grandfather denied all allegations against him.“I have never used my position at the Salk Institute to take advantage of others,” Verma said in the statement. “I have also never engaged in any sort of intimate relationship with anyone affiliated with the Salk Institute. I have never inappropriately touched, nor have I made any sexually charged comments, to anyone affiliated with the Salk Institute. I have never allowed any offensive or sexually charged conversations, jokes, material, etc. to occur at the Salk Institute.”The trouble began for the Salk Institute last summer when biologists Vicki Lundblad, Katherine Jones and Beverly Emerson all filed separate lawsuits against the small but renowned institute near“After decades of trying to work within the administrative structure to resolve these issues, I agree with my colleagues that we can no longer turn a blind eye to the blatant discrimination that exists against female full professors in the Salk culture,” Emerson said when she filed her lawsuit last July.Emerson alleged that, while the Institute publicly touts its commitment to women in science, it privately operates as an antiquated boys club, undermining and marginalizing its tenured female professors.Those lawsuits came before the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine published explosive stories about alleged serial sexual harassment by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Those stories are largely credited with starting the #MeToo movement in which women have felt empowered to share their stories of sexual harassment or more serious sexual mistreatment by powerful men in entertainment, politics, media and other fields.Verma’s suspension appears to be the latest result of the #MeToo movement as Salk confirmed that it’s investigating allegations brought forward by the magazine Science.