+123 456 7890 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043

Rallies, campaigns echo in Darjeeling

first_imgSupporters of the separatist Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) group shout slogans while burning an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an indefinite strike called in Darjeeling on June 19, 2017. Hundreds of protesters on June 18 paraded with coffins containing the bodies of two men they claimed were killed in clashes with Indian security forces in Darjeeling, as the hill resort reels from separatist unrest. Violence erupts in the Darjeeling hills A tourist looks on as security personnel stop the supporters of the GJM during a protest amid a general strike in Darjeeling.Thousands of tourists fled the Indian hill resort of Darjeeling on June 12 after local activists demanding the creation of a new state warned that a general strike could degenerate into violence. Hundreds of troops and riot police patrolled the streets of the famed tea-producing resort in eastern India as panicked tourists packed their bags. A soldier patrols next to a burned out vehicle after clashes with supporters of the separatist GJM in Darjeeling.A man has been killed and dozens of police personnel injured in clashes between Indian security forces and protesters. The roads wear a deserted look as the GJM called for an indefinite total bandh in Darjeeling. Students, returning home after the closure of schools, walk past shuttered shops during a general strike called by the GJM. The imposition of Bengali in schools had sparked the protests for a separate state. The roads wear a deserted look as the GJM called for an indefinite total bandh in Darjeeling. Members of the Indian Muslim community take part in a rally in support of a separate state of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on June 18, 2017. A child rides her tricycle as paramilitary personnel stand guard during an indefinite strike in Darjeeling on June 16, 2017. A soldier patrols next to a burned out vehicle after clashes with supporters of the separatist GJM in Darjeeling.A man has been killed and dozens of police personnel injured in clashes between Indian security forces and protesters. Students, returning home after the closure of schools, walk past shuttered shops during a general strike called by the GJM. The imposition of Bengali in schools had sparked the protests for a separate state. There are about a few thousand students in reputed boarding schools of Darjeeling whose summer vacations start on Friday. Authorities of schools such as St. Joseph’s School, North Point, and Mount Hermon School, which have hundreds of students from foreign countries on their rolls, had expressed concern over how they would go home.Parties to skip meetIn a fresh jolt to the West Bengal government, the Congress and the CPI(M)-led Left Front have decided not to attend the meeting called in Siliguri on Thursday to discuss the Darjeeling situation. On Tuesday, a meeting of 14 political parties and social organisations decided not to participate in the meeting. In the absence of those parties, the meeting has no meaning, Asok Bhattacharya, CPI(M) MLA, said. A tourist looks on as security personnel stop the supporters of the GJM during a protest amid a general strike in Darjeeling.Thousands of tourists fled the Indian hill resort of Darjeeling on June 12 after local activists demanding the creation of a new state warned that a general strike could degenerate into violence. Hundreds of troops and riot police patrolled the streets of the famed tea-producing resort in eastern India as panicked tourists packed their bags. A child rides her tricycle as paramilitary personnel stand guard during an indefinite strike in Darjeeling on June 16, 2017. Supporters of the separatist Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) group shout slogans while burning an effigy of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an indefinite strike called in Darjeeling on June 19, 2017. Hundreds of protesters on June 18 paraded with coffins containing the bodies of two men they claimed were killed in clashes with Indian security forces in Darjeeling, as the hill resort reels from separatist unrest. With no breakthrough in sight in the Darjeeling impasse, the situation in the hills remained on tenterhooks on Wednesday as the indefinite shutdown entered the seventh day.There was a near-total shutdown, and only essential services such as medical shops and hospitals remained open. Vehicles did not ply on the streets in Darjeeling. Nari Morcha, the women’s wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, organised a number of rallies across the town. While there were bike rallies by GJM supporters in various parts of the hills, pro-Gorkhaland supporters started a new poster campaign. According to sources, Internet services are likely to remain shut for the next few days..Meanwhile, the GJM late on Wednesday announced a 12-hour relaxation in the shutdown from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 23 to help students staying in hostels leave.There are about a few thousand students in reputed boarding schools of Darjeeling whose summer vacations start on Friday. Authorities of schools such as St. Joseph’s School, North Point, and Mount Hermon School, which have hundreds of students from foreign countries on their rolls, had expressed concern over how they would go home.  With no breakthrough in sight in the Darjeeling impasse, the situation in the hills remained on tenterhooks on Wednesday as the indefinite shutdown entered the seventh day.There was a near-total shutdown, and only essential services such as medical shops and hospitals remained open. Vehicles did not ply on the streets in Darjeeling. Nari Morcha, the women’s wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, organised a number of rallies across the town. While there were bike rallies by GJM supporters in various parts of the hills, pro-Gorkhaland supporters started a new poster campaign. According to sources, Internet services are likely to remain shut for the next few days..Meanwhile, the GJM late on Wednesday announced a 12-hour relaxation in the shutdown from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 23 to help students staying in hostels leave. A tourist looks on as security personnel stop the supporters of the GJM during a protest amid a general strike in Darjeeling.Thousands of tourists fled the Indian hill resort of Darjeeling on June 12 after local activists demanding the creation of a new state warned that a general strike could degenerate into violence. Hundreds of troops and riot police patrolled the streets of the famed tea-producing resort in eastern India as panicked tourists packed their bags. Members of the Indian Muslim community take part in a rally in support of a separate state of Gorkhaland in Darjeeling on June 18, 2017.last_img read more

Read More »

Keys to Victory: Lyceum-San Beda Finals series

first_imgCPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 93 PLAY LIST 02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9302:00NCAA Season 93 Preview: Lyceum Pirates02:23NCAA Season 93 Preview: San Beda Red Lions01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Standhardinger on his one-handed freethrows: ‘I’m not very conventional’ The Red Lions have shown that they won’t hesitate cashing in on those charities, as they are the league’ssecond-best free throw shooting team with their 70.6-percent clip.Those charities were also the biggest difference maker in San Beda’s semifinals clash against San Sebastian, and almost won them the game in their second round clash against Lyceum.For the Pirates to finish what they started, they have to make the right adjustments while maintaining the intensity of their dizzying defense. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Truth be told, this is a post-season of firsts for Lyceum — first NCAA playoff appearance and first Finals appearance.Another first for the Pirates will be playing in big venues, and with the best-of-three Finals all scheduled at Smart Araneta Coliseum, their mettle will surely be tested under the brightest of lights and with crowds expected to swell to the rafters.Lyceum’s games have been a crowd-drawer all year long, with the biggest trove of fans coming in that final eliminations assignment against San Beda, a 107-105 double overtime classic which felt like a championship game.But playing in the historic Big Dome is a beast of its own, and Robinson has subjected his Pirates to soak in the atmosphere, bringing the team to UAAP games during their extended break.That’s a factor which could really come in handy for the Red Lions, as they are no strangers to being in venues of this magnitude, playing season openers and this time, their 12th straight Finals appearance.Cashing inIt’s not often that an opposing team gets the better of coach Boyet Fernandez.And with San Beda yet to topple the mighty Lyceum crew, the multi-titled mentor sure is motivating his crew to prove the doubters wrong.But for the Red Lions to do just that, they have to catch fire from downtown and make the most of their outside shooting prowess.San Beda has been ahead of everyone this season in utilizing the three-ball, shooting a league-best 35.3-percent, with Clint Doliguez, AC Soberano, and main man Robert Bolick all figuring in the league’s top 10. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding The one man who could help the Red Lions go over the hump will be Davon Potts, who was used sparingly through the course of the eliminations but made his presence felt in the semifinals against the Golden Stags both on offense and defense.Pace or setIt’s no surprise that the immaculate Lyceum is at the top of majority of the statistical categories. Points, rebounds, assists, steals — you name it, the Pirates are the best.But what makes this Intramuros side dangerous is their frantic pace as the players have shown no let-ups when it comes to pushing the ball.Lyceum has thrived on the madness it enforces on its games, allowing it to take 7.1 steals which leads to 16.1 fastbreak points.On the other hand, San Beda makes the most of its deliberate sets as evidenced by it nabbing the league’s slowest pace.The question now is whose game will prevail once the ball gets tipped: the Pirates’ gung-ho attack or the Red Lions’ calculated approach?Let’s get physical?Lyceum’s relentlessness also bites it in the back whenever the referees call the games tight.And for San Beda, that might just be the opening it needs to finally puncture a hole on the Pirates’ ship. Lyceum and San Beda will finally have the chance to go at it again, this time with the NCAA Season 93 championship at stake.With their first two duels easily going down as the top games of the season, the clash between the Pirates and the Red Lions is no doubt going to be a must-see TV.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch run SPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHowever, both teams will be looking to expose even the slightest edge to tilt the title favor to theirrespective side.Here are INQUIRER’s keys to victory for this year’s NCAA Finals. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Read Next After five months of fun-filled and action-packed games, the best of the best remain.ADVERTISEMENT Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Sharper sawComing off a 19-day layoff, San Beda didn’t look like it missed a beat, escaping San Sebastian, 76-71 last Tuesday to win in the stepladder semis.That shifts the spotlight to Lyceum, which will be coming into Friday’s game from a 22-day break after last seeing action last October 19 to complete the unprecedented 18-game eliminations sweep.Coach Topex Robinson has tried his best to keep his wards sharp, but will the near-one month break affect the psyche of the Pirates going into the series against the Red Lions?Under pressureADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Read More »

Champions League T20: Skipper Mahela Jayawardene praises Unmukt Chand

first_imgHaving praised Unmukt Chand for playing an important role in Delhi Daredevils ‘ victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in their opening CLT20 encounter at the Centurion on Saturday, skipper Mahela Jayawardene urged the youngster to improve further.”I saw him batting in the Under-19 World Cup final as well. It was a fantastic knock. When we came here and he was in squad I always wanted to try and back him and give him the opportunity. But I wasn’t sure where he is going to fit in that batting line-up exactly.”I think he is a very mature young cricketer who understands the game well. These were tough conditions but I think he handled them very well. Hopefully he can improve further,” Jayawardene said. Jayawardene feels that while the Daredevils batsmen failed to convert, the bowlers did well. “None of our top guys went on to make big runs. We failed to convert our starts. That one big over (from Lakshmipathy Balaji) probably gave us the momentum and when we came out to bowl, the bowlers showed a lot of purpose.”The guys not only swung the ball, but also hit the deck. They continuously asked questions and handled the situation and conditions brilliantly. The wicket was a bit up and down,” he said.Commenting on Kevin Pietersen, Jayawardene said: “He has been very keen even during training and looked hungry. We just wanted him to go out and enjoy himself.”last_img read more

Read More »

Back with Barcelona, Lionel Messi thrives in latest Liga win

first_imgBarcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Espanyol at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday March 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)MADRID — Lionel Messi picked up from where he left off before the international break, leading Barcelona to another Spanish league victory.After struggling for Argentina yet again, Messi returned to Barcelona and thrived as usual, scoring twice in the 2-0 win over Espanyol in the Catalan derby on Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess His 334th league win with the club tied with former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas for most all-time in the competition. Messi also reached 41 goals, breaking the 40-goal mark for the 10th straight season.He opened the scoring with a free kick in the 71st and sealed the victory from inside the area in the 89th, leaving Barcelona 10 points in front of Atletico Madrid, which routed fifth-placed Alaves 4-0 later on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsMessi scored six goals in his last three matches with Barcelona before the international break, when he didn’t do much to help Argentina in a 3-1 loss to Venezuela in a friendly last week. He later complained about the constant criticism against him in his homeland, saying even his six-year-old son asked why he was being attacked.Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde defended Messi on Saturday. Wu, who came off the bench in the 64th, has been the center of attention at Espanyol since being signed from Chinese club Shanghai SIPG in the winter transfer window. His jersey is the top-selling for Espanyol, which is owned by a Chinese businessman.Wu is only the second Chinese to play in the Spanish league, and the first ever to score a goal. The other Chinese in Spain’s first division was Zhang Chengdong, who played briefly for Rayo Vallecano in the 2015-16 season.ATLETICO KEEPS PACEAtletico Madrid rebounded from two straight losses with a comfortable win over Alaves, opening a five-point gap to Real Madrid, which hosts last-placed Huesca on Sunday.Saul Niguez and Diego Costa scored early in the first half, and Alvaro Morata and Thomas Partey sealed the victory after halftime.“We needed a win like this,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “We have to keep competing until the end.”Costa, who scored with a nice shot from outside the area, had to be replaced at the break because of a muscle problem.CELTA RALLIESCelta Vigo moved closer to escaping the relegation zone with a come-from-behind 3-2 home win over Villarreal.Striker Iago Aspas, who had been nursing injuries and hadn’t started since December, scored the game winner by converting an 86th-minute penalty kick. The former Spain player also scored in the 50th to start the comeback after the hosts conceded twice in the first 15 minutes. LATEST STORIES Google Philippines names new country director Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting It was an emotional return for Aspas, who cried on the bench after being replaced in the final minutes.The win ended Celta’s six-match winless streak and moved the club within one point of Villarreal, the first team outside the relegation zone after 29 matches.GETAFE FALTERSGetafe lost a chance to strengthen its grip on fourth place after losing to southern Madrid rival Leganes 2-0.The result ended Getafe’s seven-game winless streak.Leganes was 11th in the standings.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag “Messi is the same player with Barcelona and with Argentina, and he would be the same if he played with Australia,” Valverde said. “All I can say is that we are delighted with him.”There were no complaints from the crowd at Camp Nou Stadium after another great performance by Messi, who leads the league scoring list with 31, 13 more than his closest competitor, teammate Luis Suarez.Espanyol defender Victor Sanchez had a chance to clear Messi’s left-footed free kick shot at the goal line but ended up heading the ball into his own net. Messi’s second goal came with an easy low shot after a pass from substitute Malcom.“Everyone should enjoy Messi while he is still playing,” Espanyol coach Joan “Rubi” Ferrer said. “He is unique and will be missed when he is done playing.”Saturday’s match attracted a lot of attention in China, with media there highlighting the first match of Chinese sensation Wu Lei against Messi.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles View comments MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Man City top of English Premier League after beating Fulham Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgivinglast_img read more

Read More »

Neymar Trains and Waits as PSG Mull Latest Offer From FC Barcelona

first_img Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Paris: Neymar trained with his Paris Saint-Germain teammates on Wednesday as reports in France and Spain indicated a protracted deal to take him back to his old club Barcelona may still be reached before the transfer deadline.The transfer window closes on Monday, September 2, leaving Barcelona in a race against time to come to an agreement with PSG that would allow the Brazilian to get his desired transfer back to the Camp Nou. French sports daily L’Equipe reported that, after previous failed attempts, Barcelona had made a new offer of 160 million euros ($177.3m), paid in two instalments, which could convince PSG to finally sell, provided at least one player is thrown in as a makeweight.According to Le Parisien, Barcelona are willing to pay a slightly lower fee, between 140 and 150 million euros, while also offering Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic as well as allowing Ousmane Dembele to return to France on loan.However, the agent of 22-year-old French World Cup-winning winger Dembele insisted his client was not interested in being used as bait in a deal for Neymar.”Ousmane is 100 percent staying. There is no chance of him leaving. He wants to establish himself at Barca and he will,” Moussa Sissoko told French television station TF1.Dembele has endured an injury-hit two years at the Camp Nou since being signed by Barcelona for an initial 105 million euros from Borussia Dortmund immediately after Neymar’s world record 222 million-euro switch to PSG.In Catalonia, radio station RAC1 has reported that Barcelona have taken out a loan in order to have the funds needed to pay for Neymar’s transfer, having already spent 120 million euros in the close season to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.Wednesday’s reports from both sides of the Pyrenees came after Barcelona director Javier Bordas had raised hopes in Catalonia on Tuesday night as he spoke to reporters after returning from a meeting with PSG counterparts.”We are continuing negotiations, we are closer to a deal,” he said.Meanwhile, a move to Real Madrid now seems increasingly unlikely for Neymar, who took part in PSG’s training session ahead of the French champions’ next league game at Metz on Friday.The 27-year-old, scorer of 51 goals in 58 appearances in his two years at PSG, has not featured for his current club this season amid the uncertainty surrounding his future.On Tuesday, the player revealed one of his dreams had come true as he made a cameo appearance in his favourite Netflix show.Neymar appeared in the crime drama La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) having originally been edited out pending the outcome of his rape case.Once Brazilian police dropped their investigation last month, Netflix re-released the episodes to include the 27-year-old.”I was able to fulfil my dream and be part of my favourite series. And now I can share Joao (his character) with you all,” he told his 44 million Twitter followers. FC BarcelonafootballFootball transfer windowNeymar First Published: August 28, 2019, 11:30 PM ISTlast_img read more

Read More »

Rooney backs Unsworth after humiliation

first_imgEverton Rooney stands by Unsworth after humiliating defeat to Atalanta Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 08:28 11/24/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) WayneRooney - cropped Getty Images Everton Everton v Atalanta Atalanta UEFA Europa League The Toffees forward has backed the club’s caretaker manager despite a heavy defeat to the Serie A side in the Europa League Wayne Rooney labelled Everton’s 5-1 Europa League thrashing at the hands of Atalanta as “upsetting” and “hurtful” but maintained caretaker manager David Unsworth has had a positive effect on the squad overall.The Premier League strugglers had already blown their hopes of reaching the knockout stages and were mercilessly put to the sword by Gian Piero Gasperini’s side, who also found time to miss a penalty at Goodison Park.Rooney 5/2 to score vs. Saints Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Midfielder Bryan Cristante scored a goal in each half and after Sandro Ramirez’s first goal in Everton colours gave the hosts false hope, Robin Gosens lashed home spectacularly from range in the 86th minute before fellow substitute Andreas Cornelius helped himself to a brace amid shambolic defensive efforts.”There’s nothing riding on the game but it’s our pride. It’s not nice to lose games and the manner we lost it is very disappointing and upsetting,” Rooney told BT Sport.”There’s nothing much more to add. We wanted to win the game, we haven’t and that was a hurtful defeat for us.”Getting the goal to make it 2-1, we were back in the game and had a couple of chances to equalise.”Sloppy goals, set plays – we knew they were strong from set-pieces and we didn’t deal with them.”It was Everton’s sixth game under Unsworth since Ronald Koeman’s sacking and the ex-Toffees defender now has four defeats and a solitary win to his name.”We all have to play a role. Obviously [there has been] a change of manager and I think it’s been a popular change in terms of performances, tonight aside,” Rooney added.”We have to keep trying to pick up points in the Premier League and move up the table.David Unsworth, Everton“It’s the board’s decision. Since David Unsworth has come in there’s been a great atmosphere among the players, some positive results and the players are enjoying day-to-day training.”The board have got a decision to make and I’m sure they’re working on it.”Rooney was one of nine changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Crystal Palace last weekend and Unsworth lamented his second string entirely blowing their chance to impress.”We gave a lot of players who haven’t been playing the opportunity to get minutes under their belt and get in the team for the weekend. Unfortunately the majority didn’t take that,” said the 44-year-old, who is now set to lead Everton at Southampton on Sunday.”You can’t give away cheap goals and three goals the way we did in the last few minutes. It’s just not acceptable.”last_img read more

Read More »

AusSquad Camp Postponed

first_imgThe camp will now be held from Friday, 2 August until Sunday, 4 August. If you have any queries, please contact the TFA office on (02) 6212 2800.Related LinksAusSquad Camp Touch Football Australia (TFA) wishes to advise that the AusSquad camp for New South Wales participants which was to be held in Wollongong this weekend has been postponed due to the weather. last_img

Read More »

USC WR Announces Transfer To Big Ten Program

first_imgA general view of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.LOS ANGELES – NOVEMBER 11: General view of action as the Oregon Ducks take on the USC Trojans on November 11, 2006 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Trojans defeated the Ducks 35-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)USC sophomore wide receiver Randal Grimes, who announced his intention to transfer in December, has picked a new school.Grimes announced on Saturday that he will transfer to Minnesota. He will have to sit out the 2019 season.Grimes will have two years of eligibility remaining starting in 2020.“Sworn in. Can’t wait to get this train rolling. @GopherFootball,’’ Grimes tweeted.Sworn in!! Can’t wait to get this train rolling @GopherFootball pic.twitter.com/nVQiw8pOkf— LOADING……. (@RandaRandal) January 12, 2019As a freshman in 2017, Grimes caught two passes for 17 yards. He played in three games this season before transferring.Grimes was a three-star prospect out of Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines in the class of 2017. He was the No. 23 athlete in the cycle, according to 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.Grimes chose the Trojans over Nebraska, Colorado State, BYU, Cal and others.last_img read more

Read More »

Gov’t Committed To World-Class Customer Service Delivery

first_imgStory Highlights Amidst complaints about less-than-desirable public-service delivery, the Government of Jamaica is pushing ahead to achieve world-class customer service through the more than 200 public-sector institutions islandwide. Principal Director of the Modernisation Programme Implementation Unit, Wayne Robertson, acknowledges that services offered by some agencies are at a higher level than others, noting that some entities are using technology to facilitate the ease with which customers’ transactions are conducted. This is consistent with one of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan goals, which commits the Administration to “foster world-class customer service and professionalism in all public institutions and to create mechanisms for efficient and effective delivery of services”. Amidst complaints about less-than-desirable public-service delivery, the Government of Jamaica is pushing ahead to achieve world-class customer service through the more than 200 public-sector institutions islandwide.This is consistent with one of the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan goals, which commits the Administration to “foster world-class customer service and professionalism in all public institutions and to create mechanisms for efficient and effective delivery of services”.Since April 2017, the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Division (PSTMD), which was created to streamline activities aimed at boosting government efficiency, has been engaging technocrats in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), civil society and other groups at service excellence visioning workshops.These engagements form part of the Public Sector Modernisation Programme and are in line with the Administration’s undertaking to develop a Service Excellence Policy that outlines the core principles, values, standards, strategies and accountability mechanism that will promote and institutionalise service excellence to facilitate consistency in service quality.The purpose of the workshops, in which the wider public will also be engaged, is to establish a clear definition of service excellence and identify the underlying principles, values and standards that should drive the framework underpinning this across Government.Director General of the PSTMD, situated in the Office of the Cabinet, Veniece Pottinger-Scott, tells JIS News that the workshops are part of the wider transformation and modernisation agenda, aimed at establishing a culture of service excellence across the public sector, especially in the MDAs, which have a duty to provide services of the highest standard to internal and external clients.“It is an imperative. Without it, things are not going to improve at the rate anticipated in terms of growth and economic development over time. The public service workers’ image, for the most part, is nowhere near where we want it to be. It’s somewhat negative, and we think that it is very critical that that image be improved,” she says.The Director General says the objective is to create an overarching framework that sets out how customer service improvement should be undertaken in the public sector.‘Part of what we are doing is to start the visioning process of what that ought to look like by way of shaping the elements that must comprise a Policy,” she informs.Mrs. Pottinger-Scott indicates that a survey of the status of customer service in the public sector was done to provide a baseline for future evaluation of the Policy and to establish the status of customer service across the public sector, and specific issues to be addressed.This survey was done by a consulting firm, Hurwich, and overseen by a steering committee comprising representatives nominated by Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies.It also provided both quantitative and qualitative snapshots of service experience in seven high-impact areas of Government, namely health, business facilitation, revenue collection, security, justice, agriculture and social security.Some of the issues raised by clients included insufficient signage and poor accommodation at facilities, long waiting times and systems being too paper-based, limited facilities for the disabled, and lack of simple communication and transactional web services for customers.Mrs. Pottinger-Scott said public-sector workers interviewed during the assessment acknowledged the need for change in the culture of service and indicated their willingness to work to this end.The Cabinet Office will also be working with MDAs to improve weaknesses identified during the assessment.But this is not the only action being taken by the Administration. Over the past 20 years, successive Governments have implemented initiatives aimed at improving the quality of public-service delivery.One such is the biennial Public Sector Customer Service Competition introduced in 2001, which seeks to nurture and inspire a culture of service excellence by rewarding and recognising entities and individuals delivering world-class service.Over the years, a number of entities have gone the extra mile to improve the customer experience by reducing the waiting time to access services.Among these are the National Health Fund (NHF); National Housing Trust (NHT); Administrator General’s Department (AGD); Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).Principal Director of the Modernisation Programme Implementation Unit, Wayne Robertson, acknowledges that services offered by some agencies are at a higher level than others, noting that some entities are using technology to facilitate the ease with which customers’ transactions are conducted.“But it needs to go wider than what we currently have. We need to get to a stage where all service providers are providing online solutions and are fully sensitising customers around various options,” he adds.Referring to some of the successes in the public sector, Mr. Robertson notes the introduction of a colour-coded ticketing system by staff at the Percy Junor Hospital, Spaldings, Manchester, which he says has alleviated some of the challenges encountered by clients.“We have seen improvements at PICA. There are (still) some challenges which they have, but we have seen improvements. If we do a trend analysis for the past 10 years, we (would) see (the) improvements there,” he further states.Mr. Robertson also lauds Tax Administration Jamaica’s (TAJ) introduction of online solutions for client convenience. He, however, emphasises the need for greater sensitisation of persons to get them to the point where they are in “e-base mode to automatically go to our laptops or desktop computers or cell phones when paying a tax, rather than go into the offices”.“We are seeing a heavy strain being placed on the internal machinery at some of these offices, because customers are not fully utilising the online option. So, we recognise there needs to be greater sensitisation on a more ongoing basis so that it resonates with customers that we need to use these options more frequently,” he adds.Despite these notable improvements, there are still lingering grey areas for some clients.Chairman of the Manchester Parish Development Committee, Anthony Freckleton, who attended a visioning workshop, says that body is working with the local municipal corporation to make Manchester “a parish of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.He says one of the Committee’s first tasks is to focus on improving service delivery at health clinics, especially to the elderly.“They have to be at the clinics by 5:00 a.m., and when they get there they don’t have anywhere proper to sit (and as such), are exposed to the elements. To me, that should be dealt with without any delay,” he arguesHe further notes that the level of service in the public sector varies between urban and rural areas, adding that “some workers do not treat people as customers, since their life doesn’t depend on it”.Mr. Freckleton hopes that the new culture of service excellence being embarked on will permeate through every level of the public sector and be enforced by indexing it to workers’ evaluations., emphasising that “your salary increases must depend on or have some relationship with the level of service (provided)”.Another workshop participant, Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network, (JYAN) council member, Malike Kellier, tells JIS News that he wants to see a Policy “that is inclusive and not exclusive of any person, group or entity”.While acknowledging efforts being made to accommodate the disabled through the provision of signage and other services, he underscores the need for “some level of sensitivity and care” to be shown when dealing with the disabled on the streets.Mr. Kellier recounts an incident reported to him by a person with hearing impairment who claimed he was wrongfully ticketed by a police officer. He says the person tried to explain using sign language, but the police officer “got very flustered and issued him with a ticket (anyway)”.“I wouldn’t say that we are at our best or our lowest, but there is still a far way to go in improving how we provide services to various groups within our society,” Mr. Kellier contends.last_img read more

Read More »

Nieuw Statendam Presented at Fincantieris Marghera Yard

first_imgNieuw Statendam, the new cruise ship of Holland America Line, a brand under Carnival Corporation & plc, was presented today at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard.The new vessel, the sixteenth ship built by Fincantieri for Holland America Line, is the second Pinnacle-class ship after Koningsdam, delivered in 2016.Fincantieri will also build a third unit of the series at the Marghera shipyard with delivery scheduled in 2021.Featuring 99,500 gross tons, Nieuw Statendam is almost 300 meters long, with accommodation for up to 2,660 passengers on board in more than 1,300 cabins.Fincantieri informed that the ship’s technology is aimed at optimizing energy efficiency and minimizing environmental impact and it responds to the most demanding and current safety regulations.Image Courtesy: Fincantierilast_img read more

Read More »

Ministerial Changes Announced

first_imgPremier Darrell Dexter, today, May 30, announced ministerial changes that will help government continue to fulfill its commitment to make life better for Nova Scotia families while getting back to balance. Maureen MacDonald will become Nova Scotia’s first woman Finance Minister. She will also be responsible for the Securities Act, the Credit Union Act, the Utility and Review Board Act, the Liquor Control Act and the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation. She will chair the Economic Investment Committee, become a member of Treasury Board, and remain a member of Policy and Priorities. David Wilson is the new Minister of Health and Wellness and Acadian Affairs. “The province’s back to balance plan is in good hands with Minister MacDonald, who has proven to be an excellent, hard-working cabinet minister,” said Premier Dexter. “Minister Wilson’s background and ability to work with multiple stakeholders will help him in his new, challenging portfolios.” Graham Steele and Bill Estabrooks have informed the premier that they will not re-offer in the next provincial election. They will step down from their ministerial positions immediately to ensure a seamless transition. “Both Mr. Estabrooks and Mr. Steele have made instrumental contributions to the province of Nova Scotia. I thank them for that, and I look forward to working with them as caucus members,” said Premier Dexter. “This opens up new opportunities within Executive Council, and I believe we have the right people in place to lead the province through the next year, back to balance.” Premier Dexter also announced that Leonard Preyra and Maurice Smith will join Cabinet. Mr. Preyra will become the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage, focusing on preserving and promoting Nova Scotia’s rich and diverse heritage and culture. He is also responsible for part 1 of the Gaming Control Act and will keep his seat on TreasuryBoard. Mr. Smith will become the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. He is also the new Minister of Gaelic Affairs, and the Minister responsible for the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency, the Sydney Steel Corporation Act, the Insurance Act, and the Nova Scotia Police Review Board. He will sit on the Policy and Priorities Committee. “I want to welcome Leonard and Moe to cabinet. Each is a great fit for their respective departments, and bring knowledge and work ethic to their new portfolios,” said Premier Dexter. “Government is making significant progress and is on track to fulfill our commitments to Nova Scotians. I look forward to working with my cabinet and caucus colleagues to continue to make life better for people across this province.” Changes to Executive Council are effective immediately.last_img read more

Read More »

Israeli Newspaper: Palestinian Land Doesn’t Belong to the Jews

first_imgTaroudant, Morocco- According to the Palestinian Safa News Agency, the Hebrew language newspaper Yated Ne’eman published an article Thursday morning under the title: “This land is not registered in the Land Registry for the people of Israel,” refuting the Israeli and Jewish people’s claim to the land.The newspaper, which is affiliated with the United Torah Judaism movement, a Jewish orthodox movement, posed the following question: “The pressing question is to whom does this land belong?” The author provided an answer to his query saying, “We should not make a mistake; this land is not registered in the Land Registry in the name of the Israeli people and the Jewish people have no legal claim to this land, so this land is owned by others.” A snapshot of the articleAccording to the same source, the article generated “scathing criticism from other Jewish parties,” accusing the newspaper’s editors of “serving Hamas’s agenda through publishing such an article”.The author of the article quoted Moti Yogev, a member of the Knesset for the Jewish Home party, which is a far-right and religious zionist political party in Israel, as saying, “We must first and foremost answer the pressing question: who are the owners of this land?”Following the latest round of discussions led by John Kerry to revive the peace process between Israel and Palestine, US attempts have be unfruitful, following Israel’s refusal to release Palestinian prisoners and to stop its settlements activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.last_img read more

Read More »

The top 10 audiobooks on Audible.com

Audible.com bestsellers for week ending May 31:Fiction:1. More Bedtime Stories for Cynics by Kirsten Kearse, Gretchen Enders, Cirocco Dunlap, Aparna Nancherla & Matt Lieb, narrated by Nick Offerman, Patrick Stewart, Alia Shawkat, Ellen Page, Jane Lynch, Anjelica Huston, Mike Birbiglia, Rachel Dratch, Matt Walsh, Nicole Byer, Aparna Nancherla, Harry Goaz & Gary Anthony Williams (Audible Studios)2. The Mystery of Alice by Lee Bacon, narrated by Bryan Kennedy, Jessica Almasy, Josh Hurley, Cassandra Morris, Libby McKnight, Emily Bauer & Michael Crouch (Audible Studios)3. Evil Eye by Madhuri Shekar, narrated by Nick Choksi, Harsh Nayaar, Annapurna Sriram, Bernard White & Rita Wolf (Audible Studios)4. Black Crow, White Snow by Michael Livingston, narrated by Janina Edwards (Audible Studios)5. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, narrated by Cassandra Campbell (Penguin Audio)6. Alien III: An Audible Original Drama by William Gibson, narrated by Tom Alexander, Barbara Barnes, Michael Biehn, Lance Henriksen, Lorelei King, Laurel Lefkow & Keith Wickham (Audible Studios)7. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 by George R. R. Martin, narrated by Roy Dotrice (Random House Audio)8. Good Intentions by J. D. Trafford, narrated by Will Damron (Brilliance Audio)9. The Boy by Tami Hoag, narrated by Hillary Huber (Brilliance Audio)10. A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2 by George R. R. Martin, narrated by Roy Dotrice (Random House Audio)Nonfiction:1. The 3-Day Effect by Florence Williams, narrated by the author (Audible Studios)2. Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff & Georgia Hardstark, narrated by the authors (Macmillan Audio)3. The Mueller Report: The Findings of the Special Counsel Investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, Special Counsel’s Office U.S. Department of Justice, narrated by Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett & Victor Bevine (Audible Studios)4. The Wild Heart of Stevie Nicks by Rob Sheffield, narrated by the author (Audible Studios)5. Becoming by Michelle Obama, narrated by the author (Random House Audio)6. Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover, narrated by Julia Whelan (Random House Audio)7. Unfu(asterisk)k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop, narrated by the author (HarperAudio)8. Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins, narrated by the author & Adam Skolnick (Lioncrest Publishing)9. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb, narrated by Brittany Pressley (Audible Studios)10. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown, narrated by the author (Random House Audio)—–The Associated Press read more

Read More »

Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon expected to be completed by end September UN

Marking one month since Security Council resolution 1701 ended the 34 days of fighting between Hizbollah and Israel in Lebanon, the United Nations Force Commander in the country said today he expects all Israeli forces to have withdrawn from the south by the end of September.“The cessation of hostilities is generally maintained, the Israeli Army is continuing to withdraw from South Lebanon, while the Lebanese Army deploys in these areas. I expect the withdrawal to be complete by the end of this month,” said Maj. Gen. Alain Pellegrini, head of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).“Working in conjunction with the Lebanese Armed Forces, and in close coordination with the Israeli Army, I think we can ensure a stable environment here in south Lebanon, something that the people need very much to get on with their lives.” UNIFIL said that it has observed a “number of minor incidents and violations” in its area of operation between the Litani River and the Blue Line that separates Lebanon and Israel, but added that these have not been of an offensive and hostile character, and the parties seem determined to uphold the cessation of hostilities agreement.Resolution 1701 called for a strengthening of UNIFIL to up to 15,000 troops and Major General Pellegrini said a contingent from Spain would arrive on Friday. The Force currently has around 4,000 troops in its theatre of operations.“UNIFIL is now enhancing its presence, we have been reinforced by Italian and French troops, and I expect the Spanish contingent to arrive tomorrow. We are starting to have the numbers that we need, we have a detailed concept of operation and the required rules of engagement.”In a related development, the interim naval task force of ships from various nations continues to assist the Lebanese navy in patrolling its maritime boundary, and Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said in a letter to the Security Council that this will continue until a full UNIFIL naval task force is deployed, as agreed with Lebanon’s Government.A group of UNIFIL military, police, customs and border experts are also reviewing security measures at other entry points in Lebanon, and the Force is also continuing its extensive humanitarian work on the ground, including helping to destroy the masses of unexploded ordnance that litter the countryside. read more

Read More »

Pending US home sales slumped in May amid supply shortage

by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Jun 29, 2016 8:48 am MDT Last Updated Jun 29, 2016 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – This Tuesday, May 24, 2016, file photo shows a “Sold” sign in front of a house in Andover, Mass. On Wednesday, June 29, the National Association of Realtors releases its May report on pending home sales, which are seen as a barometer of future purchases. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) WASHINGTON – Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in May, with the year-over-year pace of pending sales sliding for the first time in nearly two years.The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 3.7 per cent last month to 110.8, slightly below its May 2015 reading of 111. Overall home sales have steadily improved over the past year. But buyers are facing a shortage of available homes that might have curtailed pending sales last month.Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A sale is typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed. May’s decline suggests that completed home sales could slow in July or August.In May, completed sales of existing homes rose 1.8 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million, the highest level since February 2007, the Realtors reported last week. But the number of listings sank 5.7 per cent from a year ago, meaning that homebuyers have limited choices.The tight inventory has caused homes to sell after fewer days on the market and pushed up prices.Homes sold in May after an average of just 32 days on the market, the fastest pace ever measured by the Realtors since they began tracking the figure in 2011. Homes stayed on the market on average for 40 days a year ago. The median sales price was $239,700, a 4.7 per cent increase over the past 12 months.Rising prices and a limited supply of homes have likely constrained sales, which have been steadily improving from the depths of the housing bust.Would-be homebuyers have been able to consider higher-priced homes because of mortgage rates near historic lows.Mortgage purchaser Freddie Mac said the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage last week was 3.56 per cent, down from 4.02 per cent a year ago. Pending US home sales slumped in May amid supply shortage read more

Read More »

How Anjem Choudary swore allegiance to Islamic State after curry house meeting

first_imgChoudary and Rahman had a combined 60,000 Twitter followers and were avid users of YouTube – their chosen platform to deliver their message through recorded lectures.Mr Justice Holroyde explained he would not take into account allegations against Choudary and Rahman spanning 20 years and said: “My duty is to sentence you for the offences for which you have been convicted.’But he told them: “You indirectly encouraged violent terrorist activity.’The judge said: “You are both mature and intelligent men who knew throughout exactly what you were doing.”While Rahman was “something of a hothead”, he said Choudary was “more calculating”.“In your differing ways I regard each of you as dangerous.”Both were likely to continue to spread their message as long as they could, the judge  said.Speaking after the conviction, Cdr Dean Haydon, head of the Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, said the pair had “poisoned vulnerable minds”.He said: “These men have stayed just within the law for many years and there has been frustration for both law enforcement agencies and communities as they spread hate.”We have watched Choudary developing a media career as spokesman for the extremists, saying the most distasteful of comments, but without crossing the criminal threshold.”Their recent speeches and the oath of allegiance were a turning point for the police – at last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they were actively encouraging support of [Isil].”This has been a significant prosecution in our fight against terrorism and we will now be working with communities to ensure that they are not replaced by others spreading hate.” Mohammed Mizanur Rahman was also sentenced to five-and-a-half-yearsCredit:Nick Edwards After the meeting, Choudary and his co-defendant, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, agreed to swear an oath of allegiance to the new Isil movement under their Islamic nicknames.The timing of the document made it all the more important, Mr Justice Holroyde said.With turmoil across Iraq and Syria after the advent of the caliphate, many Muslims were seeking guidance on whether the new organisation was legitimate.While the great majority of the Muslim world dismissed the extremists, the judge said Choudary had quickly set about communicating his message to as many persons as he could. Mohammed Mizanur Rahman Choudary dismissed questions about why Isil was killing people or beheading Western hostages.Mr Justice Holroyde said: “At no point did either of you say anything to condemn the violent means by which ISIS claimed to have established a caliphate.“In fact, none of the many speeches which the jury heard contains any criticism by either of you of any of the violent actions of [Isil] or its supporters. On the contrary, each of you was invariably able to find a way of justifying their most appalling acts.“Throughout all of your speeches and broadcasts you expressed your contempt for the values of the democracy in which we live, and encouraged your audience to believe that no one who failed to support the caliphate established by [Isil] could be a true Muslim.”The danger of their oath and lectures was multiplied by their army of social media followers, the court heard. 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. It was the obligation of every Muslim to obey the caliph who ruled in accordance with sharia law and to fight those who differed from him, he said.In his lecture he said every Muslim would want to live under sharia, and stressed that the caliphate needed to expand to achieve world domination.A few days later in the second lecture, he said al Baghdadi was the legitimate caliph and that apostates who left Islam would face capital punishment.Choudary happily referred to the prospect of the flag of Islam fluttering over Downing Street and the White House.center_img Choudary was hugely influential among extremists, the court heardCredit:Luke MacGregor/Reuters Within days, the oath of allegiance document, affirming the legitimacy of the caliphate, was posted on the internet by Choudary’s associate in Indonesia, Mohammed Fachry.Weeks later, Choudary went on to restate his support in two lectures.In the first of two online talks in late August 2014, Choudary said that Isil had established a legitimate caliphate. Anjem Choudary Those present included Siddhartha Dhar, also known as Abu Rumaysa, who is later alleged to have become an Isil executioner, and Abdul Muhid, who was jailed for fundraising for terrorists in 2008.Also present was convicted terrorist Simon Keeler, who was jailed alongside Omar Brooks earlier this year when they were caught in Hungary in breach of their travel bans.Even among such notorious figures though, Choudary’s influence was supreme, the Old Bailey heard.Dhar had pleaded by text message with Choudary to give his “Islamic verdict” on the new caliphate, saying his “words would be gold on Twitter.’ After 20 years of avoiding serious prosecution, Anjem Choudary was finally bought down after pledging allegiance to Islamic State following a curry house meeting with his associates in East London.Days after militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) streamed across the Syrian border to seize swathes of northern Iraq in June 2014, Choudary and his henchmen met to discuss Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s self-styled caliphate.At the meeting at Hayfield Masala, in Mile End Road, Stepney Green were some of the Britain’s most notorious extremists.last_img read more

Read More »

This battery uses sewage to generate energy

first_imgUS SCIENTISTS MAY have found a new way to produce clean energy by way of dirty water, according to a new study.The engineers have developed a more efficient method to use microbes to harness electricity from wastewater.They hope their technique could be used in wastewater treatment facilities and to break down organic pollutants in the “dead zones” of oceans and lakes where fertilizer runoff has depleted oxygen, suffocating marine life.Generating energyHowever, for now the team from Stanford University have started small, with a prototype about the size of a D-cell battery, consisting of two electrodes – one positive and one negative – plunged into a bottle of wastewater, filled with bacteria.As the bacteria consume the organic material, the microbes cluster around the negative electrode, throwing off electrons, which are captured in turn by the positive electrode.“We call it fishing for electrons,” said environmental engineer Craig Criddle, one of the lead authors of the study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Acadamy of Sciences (PNAS).“You can see that the microbes make nanowires to dump off their excess electrons,” Criddle added.Scientists have long known of microbes, dubbed exoelectrogenic, that live in airless environments and are capable of “breathing” oxide minerals, instead of oxygen, to generate energy.Simple, yet efficientOver the past dozen years, several research groups have tried different approaches for transforming these microbes into bio-generators – but it has proven difficult to harness this energy efficiently.The researchers said their new model is simple, yet efficient, and can harness about 30 percent of the potential energy in the wastewater – about the same rate as commercially available solar panels.There is far less energy potential available in wastewater than the sun’s rays, they concede, but say the process has an added benefit: it cleans the water. That means it could could be used to offset some of the energy currently being consumed to treat wastewater.- © AFP 2013.Read: How lifestyle changes can reverse ageing>Read: Here’s why flies can avoid being swatted and a T-rex might not see you sneak by>last_img read more

Read More »

Catchup Wednesday 3 midweek longreads

first_img“I have been involved in every aspect of Glenn’s life, why wouldn’t I be a part of this?” Miranda asserts over lunch at a fashion mall in Rio’s São Conrado neighborhood the next afternoon. “I think what Snowden did was heroic. Glenn and Laura’s reporting is so important. It caused a serious debate about privacy and internet freedom in my country and around the world. I’m so proud to be able to play any role at all in that. I’d go to jail for that.” 2. Free dive to deathNicholas Mevoli fought hard to be a champion free diver. But as John Branch, Adam Skolnick, William J Broad and Mary Pilon find in this collaborative piece, his greatest challenge led to his premature death.New York Times, approximately 13 minutes reading time, 2738 wordsMr. Mevoli, like his daring friends and competitors, brushed off the danger. He loved the purity of free diving, man against water, man against himself, no snorkel or oxygen tank. Swim into the depths of the ocean until the water turns from blue to black and the light fades to dark. Down, down, down, every meter into the abyss meaning another meter back to the light.3. When my son had meningitisIt’s Universal Children’s Day today, and mother Roisín Hartley writes a moving story about when she discovered her baby son Callum had meningitis.TheJournal.ie, approximately 4 minutes reading time, 809 wordsIt is so hard as a parent to know when is the right time to ask for medical help. We had already seen the doctor the day before and I knew I needed to give the antibiotics a chance to work. But something just didn’t feel right. We had to have another opinion.Want some more longreads? Then check out Sitdown Sunday> IT’S MIDWAY THROUGH the week and you want to get up to speed on the latest news topics and catch up on opinions and insights.We’re here to help you do just that, with our three midweek longreads:1. Life as David MirandaAs the partner of Glenn Greenwald – who broke the Edward Snowden story – David Miranda has found himself involved in an intense situation. But as Natasha Vargas-Cooper writes, those who think he is clueless about the dangers have it all wrong.Buzzfeed, approximately 32 minutes reading time, 6452 wordslast_img read more

Read More »

Gangster Fat Freddie arrested at Dublin Airport

first_imgUpdated 6.45pmGARDAÍ TODAY ARRESTED 33-year-old crime boss ‘Fat Freddie’ Thompson after he stepped off a plane at Dublin Airport.The gangster had been extradited from Holland on foot of a European arrest warrant and was met on the runway by gardaí from Kilmainham Garda Station.Thompson appeared in court this afternoon to face charges of violent disorder during a row at Morrissey’s pub on Cork Street in Dublin last year after a funeral.He was remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison and a hearing will take place on 27 May in the Criminal Courts of Justice.First published 5.21pmRead: Love/Hate actor Leroy Harris shot in late night attack>Read: Man due in court over Christy Daly killing… Two more arrests this morning>last_img read more

Read More »

Nintendos ComicCon lineup full of playable games DS goodies

first_imgNintendo issued a press release detailing the company’s line-up of playable games for 3DS and Wii at Comic-Con 2011 in San Diego. The company will have not one but two locations to indulge in Nintendo-y goodness between an official booth on the show floor and a “Nintendo Gaming Lounge” set up at the Marriott hotel across the street.For the 3DS, fans will be able to play titles announced at E3 last month, including Super Mario, Mario Kart, and Kid Icarus: Uprising. Should they get bored of those, Star Fox 64 3D, Ocarina of Time 3D and Pokedex 3D will be on hand as well.AdChoices广告On the Wii side, players should get excited for a hands-on demo of Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. What’s more, a Kirby game (tentatively titled just Kirby Wii) and the quietly-announced-at-E3 Rhythm Heaven will show up, too.All of that will just be the Comic-Con show booth. The Nintendo Gaming Lounge, on the other hand, will be a comfortable home for fans wanting more Nintendo culture. A chalk drawing commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise will be created on-site. On Thursday, July 21, the Lounge will serve as home to a Pokemon meet-up where owners of Pokemon Black/White can meet, trade, and battle. Also, Pokedex 3D users can meet up to trade data and interact with a “giant AR marker of Legendary Pokemon Reshiram.”There will be more AR cards in the lounge that allow visitors to pose for photos taken with a 3DS. The company also mentions the opportunity to share 3DS StreetPass data and download additional maps for Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies.Read the full press release at Nintendo.comBlake’s OpinionComic-Con is an event famous for its attendance by ultra-hard-core fans. Take a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic, for example. Plenty of fans worldwide are just excited for the game, but Comic-Con attendees are the type to have insatiable curiosities about every inch of backstory and foam at the mouth with supremely detailed questions for writers and creative directors.Marketers, likewise, foam at the mouth at the prospect of getting to address these fans directly. They generate priceless word-of-mouth buzz. So it’s fascinating that Nintendo isn’t bringing the Wii U to the show. As we noted a couple of weeks ago, the Nintendo party line is that the Wii U has to be experienced in-person to be believed. The Big N has also conceded that negative Internet buzz surrounding the E3 reveal took the company by surprise.What better opportunity to take back the story about the Wii U? Let the rabid fans try out the system, then go home and blog or tweet about their good experiences, and maybe the Nintendo skeptics would come back on board.last_img read more

Read More »