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first_imgFormer NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has once again teamed up with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) to promote responsible drinking to those planning to drink while their favorite teams are shooting hoops this month.Shaquille O’Neal says fans should consider using the Virtual Bar before hitting bracket partiesResponsibility.org wants individuals to better understand what it actually means to drink responsibly and, if they choose to drink, to know their own individual limits. To that end, the organization created the Virtual Bar to educate individuals about responsible drinking, whether hosting or attending parties where alcohol is served.“The Virtual Bar is a smart tool for fans to consider using before hitting bracket parties,” said O’Neal, who is featured in just-released Public Service Announcements about the Virtual Bar mobile app.The Virtual Bar helps explain how different factors affect blood-alcohol concentration or BAC on an individual level and can also help you see how your night could go depending on the food you eat, the water you drink, and other important variables.“We are very pleased to work with Shaq at this time of year to get the message out about what responsible drinking means for individuals and the tools available to make that a reality for them,” said Ralph Blackman, president and CEO of Responsibility.org.The organization is working to inspire conversations about what it means to drink responsibly, and the Virtual Bar is one tool to help keep that discussion going. The Virtual Bar is available for free from the iTunes App and Google Play stores and is also available online at Responsibility.org/VirtualBar.last_img read more

WASHINGTON — The United States has initiated another anti-dumping investigation against Canada, this time involving sodium sulfate anhydrous.The Department of Commerce says the investigation was initiated based on a petition filed March 28 by three U.S. companies: Cooper Natural Resources Inc., Elementis Global LLC and Searles Valley Minerals Inc.The alleged dumping margins for Canada range from 43.37 to 170.08 per cent.An estimated US$5.7 million worth of sodium sulfate anhydrous, which is used as a drying agent, was imported from Canada last year.The U.S. has previously initiated investigations against imports of lumber, Bombardier airplanes, newsprint, welded pipe and structural steel.The Canadian Press read more

5 October 2007Myanmar needs to take major steps towards democratizing, protecting human rights and accelerating its national reconciliation process, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, calling authorities’ recent use of force against peaceful demonstrators in the Asian country “abhorrent and unacceptable.” Addressing a Security Council meeting, which also heard a briefing from his Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari on his visit to Myanmar earlier this week, Mr. Ban said it was time for a serious and comprehensive dialogue between the Government and the political opposition.“Now, more than ever before, the Government of Myanmar should take bold actions towards democratization and respect for human rights,” he said. “The national reconciliation process must be accelerated and be made as broad-based, inclusive and transparent as possible.”Both Mr. Ban and Mr. Gambari welcomed news that Senior General Than Shwe has is prepared to meet the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, albeit with certain conditions.“This is a potentially welcome development which calls for maximum flexibility on all sides,” Mr. Gambari said, adding that it was vital the meeting take as soon as possible.The Secretary-General and his Special Adviser told the Council they were deeply concerned by recent events, amid reports of continued human rights violations by authorities in the wake of the protests.Mr. Gambari said both security forces and non-uniformed elements are reported to have carried out abuses, especially during the nightly curfews, including arbitrary arrests, disappearances, beatings, raids of private homes, the blockading of monasteries and the mass relocation of monks outside Yangon, the country’s biggest city.The Government told Mr. Gambari that 2,095 people arrested because of the protests have been released, including 728 monks, and that more releases will follow. The curfew in the cities of Yangon and Mandalay has been relaxed as well.Although some restrictions have been eased and some military forces have been withdrawn, Mr. Ban stressed that “the overall situation still remains of serious concern, especially with regard to the unknown predicament of the large number of individuals who were arrested without due process.”He called for the immediate release of all those in detention because of the protests.Mr. Ban and Mr. Gambari also emphasized the need for sustained support from the region and the wider international community, including the United Nations, to help in advancing the cause of democratization and economic development.Mr. Gambari told Council members that senior Government officials informed him that the demonstrations had been instigated by minority elements opposed to the Government and largely limited to Yangon and Mandalay. They also said the authorities had acted with “the utmost restraint” and that those detained would soon be released after investigations had been completed.“It is clear, however, that the demonstrations over the past few weeks are for the most part the expression of deep and widespread discontent about socio-economic conditions in the country,” the Special Adviser said.He noted that poverty is accelerating across Myanmar and the country’s social service structures are increasingly unable to meet the basic needs of the population. The average household now has to spend as much as 69 per cent of its budget on food consumption because of the rising prices of basic items.Mr. Gambari added that while the protests followed a sudden spike in fuel prices in mid-August, they also contained an important political dynamic.“What is clear is that since 1988, the democratic aspirations of the people of Myanmar have been systematically denied by the Government in the name of stability and security.”He warned that unless the Government opens up its process of national reconciliation, “the demands for greater inclusiveness, participation and transparency, and for an acceleration of the transition to democracy and civilian rule, are likely to continue.”Mr. Ban said it was too early to say whether Mr. Gambari’s mission had been a success or not, but it appeared “that a window of opportunity has opened, and it is vital that the Government of Myanmar responds positively.”The Security Council then held closed consultations with Mr. Gambari after the initial open meeting on his visit.Earlier, Mr. Gambari also briefed General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim, who voiced “grave concern” at the situation and condemned the use of force to resolve the situation.Mr. Kerim also called on the Government to ensure that all representatives of political groups and ethnic minorities can participate fully in the national reconciliation and political transition processes, including the drafting of the constitution, according to a statement released by his spokesman. read more

“Family farmers are key to unlocking global progress,” declared Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in his message marking the annual observance of World Food Day. “They run the vast majority of farms in the world. They preserve natural resources and agro-biodiversity. They are the cornerstone of inclusive and sustainable agriculture and food systems.” The theme of this year’s Day, which is celebrated on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945, is Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the Earth, and has the stated goal of drawing attention to the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers in an effort to help eradicate poverty and help safeguard the environment. This year’s World Day also coincides with the International Year of Family Farming, designated by the UN General Assembly in 2012, through a resolution that recognized the important contribution that family farming and smallholder farming can play “in providing food security and eradicating poverty in the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A farm family eats a meal together in Jalal-Abad Oblast, Kyrgyzstan. Family farms must innovate in order to meet the world’s needs for food security and environmental sustainability, says the UN. FAO/Sergey Kozmin A woman farmer at work in a wheat field in Nepal. The theme of this year’s World Food Day is, ” Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the Earth.”FAO/Saliendra Farmers cultivate rice fields in Sapa, Vietnam. The aim of this year’s World Food Day is to draw attention to the world’s family farmers and their potential to help eradicate poverty and safeguard the environment. UN Photo/Kibae Park ‹ ›For its part, FAO notes that other objectives of the World Day include encouraging attention to agricultural food production and stimulate national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end; encouraging economic and technical cooperation among developing countries; encouraging participation of rural people, particularly women and the least privileged categories; promoting the transfer of technologies to the developing world; and strengthening international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Amid continuing global efforts targeting the goal of “zero hunger,” the Secretary-General observed in his message that there are 100 million fewer hungry people today than there were 10 years ago while 63 countries have managed to halve the portion of their population suffering from undernourishment. Moreover, he pointed to the recent Climate Summit, held in New York ahead of the UN General Debate, during which more than a hundred organizations and governments pledged to work more closely with farmers, fishers and livestock keepers to improve food security while also focussing on addressing climate change. But, Mr. Ban cautioned, much work remained to be done. “More than 800 million people do not have enough healthy, nutritious food to lead active lives. One in three young children is malnourished,” he warned, adding that in 2015, the international community finally had an opportunity to “turn the tide by achieving the Millennium Development Goals” and achieving a new agenda for sustainable development. In Kenya members of the Kweka farmers group display how seeds are stored between harvest and the next planting season to ensure food production will continue. FAO/Christena Dowsett A poultry farmer feeds her chicken in Nigeria. Efforts to ensure food security must also go hand-in-hand with addressing gender inequity, the UN says. FAO/Pius Ekpei At a farm in Botswana, a veterinarian examines a cow for Foot and Mouth disease. Ninety per cent of the planet’s 570 million farms are managed by families, says the UN. FAO/Antonello Protow World Food Day. Credits: FAO“A world free from poverty and hunger where all people have realized their right to adequate food, is central to the future we want,” he said. Adding their voices to the tributes for family farmers, three top UN officials for food security and agriculture-related issues also underscored the importance of smallholder farms in reducing global hunger while stressing the need for Member States to do more to empower them. Writing in the introduction to the FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture 2014 report, released today, FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, pointed out that 90 per cent of the planet’s 570 million farms are managed by families making them “vital to the solution of the hunger problem.” Within its pages, the new report notes that small family farms are particularly pressed to innovate in order to meet the world’s needs for food security and environmental sustainability, as well as promote their own productivity growth and livestock diversification to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. As a result, the report calls for the public sector to work with farmers, civil society organizations and the private sector to improve innovation systems for agriculture.“Family farmers need to be protagonists of innovation as only this way can they take ownership of the process and ensure that the solutions offered respond to their needs,” said Mr. Graziano da Silva, who also shared his message in his opening remarks for the annual World Food Day ceremony held today at FAO Headquarters in Rome.Also speaking at the ceremony, UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, joined Mr. Graziano da Silva in lauding family farms as the “fulcrum on which our future food security pivots.” She added, however, that efforts to ensure food security must also go hand-in-hand with addressing gender inequity. “Ending gender inequity is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” Ms. Cousin told those gathered, noting that unequal access to agricultural inputs widely affected women, forcing them to “work harder and longer for less.”Michel Mordasini, Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), meanwhile, called on the international community to reinvigorate all efforts towards the MDGs and “avail of 440 days to achieve the MDG target of halving the percentage of undernourished people.”“To succeed,” Mr. Mordasini stated, “let us support more actively the world’s small family farmers.”At the same time, in a statement urging Member States to show “a more meaningful commitment” to the development of policies benefitting small, family farms, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, emphasized that protecting the rights of family farmers was “paramount to the eradication of hunger and ensuring food security.” “With over 70 per cent of the world’s food production reliant on family farmers, this type of farming represents the vast majority of agriculture worldwide, both in developed and developing countries,” Ms. Elver said. “Family farming is based on tradition, and forms the social fabric of many societies playing a key role in protecting the world’s biodiversity and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources.”The UN expert also underlined the crucial role played by women in agricultural development, noting that some 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries is female. Ms. Elver insisted that “every effort” be made by Member States to ensure that women in agriculture are afforded “the same rights and access to necessary resources as their male counterparts.” The majority of rural women depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. They produce, process and prepare many of society’s meals, frequently taking primary responsibility for household food security, health status and education opportunities. As a result, a number of UN initiatives are geared towards enhancing their ability to work on farms and fisheries in a way that guarantees parity. In China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, for instance, UN Women helped educate scores of women farmers about how to advanced irrigation systems while in Zimbabwe, the agency helped women from the Tonga ethnic group break into the male-dominated fishing industry. Instead of selling fish purchased from men’s boats, they now market their own catch. read more

In a statement marking the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the head of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) said that everyone needed to recognize the true value of land.“I would ask you: when you choose what to eat, what to wear or what to drive, think about how your choice impacts the land — for better or for worse,” said Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary, in her message for the day, marked on 17 June.Land-grabbing, unplanned urban sprawl, unsustainable agriculture and over-consumption can yield quick economic gains, but such short-sightedness eventually causes degradation and loss of critical ecosystem services due to unsustainable land use.As a result, a third of the world’s usable land has already severely degraded over the last 30 years, with 75 billion tons of soil from arable land lost annually, said UNCCD.However, the UNCCD says everyone can contribute to, and benefit from, investing in sustainable land management — as consumers, producers, corporations or governments. Farmers can invest in smart agriculture with higher yields but reduced pesticides. Policymakers and land managers can invest in sustainable land management while consumers can choose to spend on organic and fair-trade products that avoid ruining the land.“Let us work together to transform the way we consume, produce, work, and live together without compromising our current or future social, economic or environmental security. Without compromising the land on which it all depends,” said Ms. Barbut.The UN General Assembly established the World Day in 1994 to promote public awareness of land degradation and to draw attention to the implementation of the UNCCD — the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The World Day is observed annually on 17 June, the date the UNCCD was adopted.This year’s theme for the Day is “Land has true value — invest in it.” The campaign hopes to promote changes in behaviour and adoption of more efficient planning and practices, to ensure there are sufficient land resources for the world’s long-term sustainability and economic prosperity. read more

Three Brock University students are the inaugural winners of a new academic award created by a professor who is using her own book royalties to help fund the prize.Kata Boric, Cydney Cronk and Rebecca Hadfield have been awarded the Promise Prize for Top Achievement in the Study of Animals at Work after achieving the highest grades in the course ‘Animals at Work’, which challenges students to think deeply and differently about people, animals and the future of work.The course, believed to be the only one of its kind, is taught by Labour Studies associate professor Kendra Coulter, whose research into the treatment of animals at farms and other workplaces has made headlines across Canada and internationally.Last year Coulter published her latest book, Animals, Work, and the Promise of Interspecies Solidarity, and used its royalties to help establish the prize. She says her course leads students to explore professions that advocate for the promotion of humane jobs to protect animals and the environment, and she created the award “to recognize particularly strong students’ accomplishments and to encourage scholarship in this important but nascent field of study.”Boric said the course leads students to understand political, sociological and economic theory in new and different ways.Cydney Cronk“Professor Coulter helps students realize the intersectional oppressions experienced by all workers, human and non-human,” said Boric, “and how our actions, or lack thereof, have repercussions on the environment and all living things.”Boric graduated earlier this month with a double major in Political Science and Labour Studies (Honours). As part of Brock’s collaborative program, she will attend George Brown College in September for post-graduate certification in Human Resource Management and Labour Studies.Cronk graduated this spring with a BA (Honours) in Sociology and will return to Brock in September to start a Master’s in Critical Sociology.Hadfield will be returning to Brock in September to continue working on a BA in Philosophy. read more

* Partial season.Estimates are based on Tom Tango’s WARcel projection method and use the median recovery periods for Tommy John surgery patients who were hitters (11 months) and pitchers (15 months).Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs, Jon Roegele, TangoTiger.com 2018RecoveringRecoveringRecovering 20191.5*0.4*1.1 SeasonJuly 20182018-19 OFFSEASONDOESN’T HAVE SURGERY 20201.21.21.2 2018Recovering0.70.7 SeasonJuly 20182018-19 OFFSEASONDOESN’T HAVE SURGERY July 20182018-19 OFFSEASONDOESN’T HAVE SURGERY Returning to the Los Angeles Angels’ lineup following a monthlong injury layoff, Shohei Ohtani finally reminded everyone last Sunday night why he ranks among baseball’s most electrifying players. Pinch-hitting against the crosstown rival Dodgers in the seventh inning, Ohtani blasted a 2-2 fastball from JT Chargois 443 feet to center field, giving the Angels what eventually proved to be a decisive lead in the game. 20201.61.61.6 Total WARSurgery in … Batting WARSurgery in … 2019RecoveringRecovering2.0 Pitching WARSurgery in … What should Ohtani and the Angels do?Shohei Ohtani’s expected wins above replacement by when or if he has Tommy John surgery, based on median recovery periods for pitchers and hitters 3-year total4.33.96.6 Ohtani’s ability to crush those towering homers while also slinging nasty splitters is what makes him unprecedented in the modern game. At the time of the arm injury that shut him down in early June, he ranked among the American League’s best dozen or so hitters and pitchers on the season. However, that injury — a ligament strain to Ohtani’s pitching elbow — has limited him to “just” hitting for the foreseeable future. Since Ohtani throws right-handed but hits lefty, he can swing the bat without putting much strain on his damaged elbow.Ohtani has since slid back into LA’s lineup as its regular designated hitter, batting in seven straight games for the first time all season.1When Ohtani was pitching roughly every seven days, he would be held out of the lineup in those games plus usually two or three others per week. And that appears to be how the Angels are handling Ohtani’s recovery for now, using him only as a hitter and hoping that a combination of rest and platelet-rich plasma therapy can heal his arm and help him avoid the dreaded Tommy John surgery, which could take him out of action as a pitcher for years.The hitting half of Ohtani is still pretty valuable by itself, and there’s some chance he could return to the mound without needing surgery. But Los Angeles may also just be delaying the inevitable, as injections like the ones Ohtani is getting don’t always successfully stave off Tommy John in the end. (Indeed, Ohtani already underwent the same treatment for a less severe UCL sprain last fall, only to have the injury re-emerge.) With the Angels’ playoff chances all but dried up this year, is it worth it to run him out at half strength for the rest of his rookie campaign? Or should they just call it a season and schedule the operation to fully repair his damaged elbow? Ohtani’s unprecedented ability has given Los Angeles an unprecedented front-office dilemma.Having Ohtani back certainly improves the Angels’ short-term outlook, since the team looked lost without him for most of June. On June 6, the day of Ohtani’s last start, Los Angeles was 35-28 with a 39 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to The Baseball Gauge. By the time he returned, they’d fallen to 43-42 with a 7 percent playoff probability. It wasn’t all due to Ohtani’s absence — teammates like Andrelton Simmons and Andrew Heaney also fell off pace after hot starts — but losing a player with his unique production abilities didn’t help. According to an average of the metrics found at Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, Ohtani has been worth 2.0 combined wins above replacement as a hitter and pitcher in 50 games of action this season, which is roughly what we’d expect from one solid starter over the course of an entire season.By now, though, Ohtani’s contributions may be too little, too late to save the Angels’ season. As of Tuesday afternoon, they sat fourth in the AL West, 14 games behind the division-leading Astros and 10 games back in the wild-card race. Most likely, any playing time Ohtani gets from here on out this season will be to get him more reps against MLB pitching (no small consideration) and improve his Rookie of the Year candidacy, not to power an epic playoff push. Because of this, the Angels have come under some criticism on social media for putting off Ohtani’s Tommy John surgery for the sake of batting him during what’s likely a lost season.We can do some rough math to map out the options for Ohtani and the Angels. According to this database of Tommy John surgeries collected by Jon Roegele, the median time for a hitter to return to his previous level of competition after the procedure is 11 months, and the median for pitchers is 15 months. That means that, looking at the regular season only, if Ohtani had surgery now, he could expect to return as a batter in June 2019 and as a two-way player for the start of the 2020 season. If he delays surgery to the offseason, though, he’d miss all but the final month of 2019 as a hitter, though he’d still return as a pitcher in time for the start of the 2020 season.(Obviously, these are just the median outcomes — a quarter of position players recover in under 10 months, while 25 percent of pitchers take more than 20 months to return. But these numbers do help give a sense of the recovery times involved for most players who undergo Tommy John surgery.)If we combine those time frames with a simple age progression on Ohtani’s projected regular-season hitting and pitching WAR,2An admitted simplification of things, since it assumes the injury can only affect his performance by keeping him off the field entirely, not by reducing his effectiveness when he does play. we can come up with an estimate of how much value Ohtani figures to add over the next three seasons, depending on when (or if) he elects to go under the knife: At a first glance, the difference between the two Tommy John-related strategies is small (just 0.4 WAR), and that’s assuming that Ohtani does eventually need surgery. The ideal scenario, of course, is one where Ohtani the pitcher comes back without needing surgery and the Angels reap the benefits of Ohtani the hitter in the meantime. This outcome would have an expected value of 6.6 total WAR over the next three seasons, dwarfing the expectation if they shelved him right now. It’s a gamble with considerable upside.Research shows that the plasma injections can keep a player out from under the knife between about 40 and 65 percent of the time. For simplicity’s sake, let’s treat that as a 50-50 shot. Baking in that estimated 50 percent chance of Ohtani’s elbow recovering without surgery, we’d expect the non-surgery choice to deliver an overall expected value of 5.2 WAR — that’s just the average of the delayed-surgery and no-surgery scenarios.Of course, the calculations change a bit if we lower the odds of not needing surgery (dropping them to 40 percent would mean weighting the average toward the delayed-surgery numbers, which would bring his expected value down to 5.0 WAR), or if we account for the fact that LA’s wins over the rest of this season come with lower championship leverage than they might in future seasons, due to the Angels’ poor chances of making the playoff at the moment. The last time the Angels had a comparable playoff probability at this stage of a season, their average play was only 35 percent as impactful as the typical opening-day play.But even if we reduce Ohtani’s hitting WAR over the rest of 2018 by that factor and assign a mere 40 percent chance he won’t need surgery, the expected three-year value of LA’s wait-and-see approach comes out to 4.5 WAR, essentially the same as the expected value of his having surgery right now (4.3 WAR). And again, that’s assuming the least-favorable rate of success for the non-surgical approach, which might be underselling its effectiveness.In other words, the Angels are probably making the right call with Ohtani at the moment. It feels strange to only use half of Ohtani’s incredible skill set, particularly with LA’s playoff chances on life support, and it certainly isn’t exactly what the Angels were envisioning when they paid a $20 million posting fee for Ohtani last December. But it’s a good quandary to have — if he was an ordinary pitcher, this wouldn’t even be a debate. By putting off surgery for now, they’ve given Ohtani’s arm a chance to heal without necessarily losing his services for a year (or more) while also giving his bat a chance to develop further (remember, he just turned 24).And if nothing else, it also gives us a chance to see more weird, puppet-based depictions of his home runs: read more

After a back-and-forth battle Friday between the Badgers and the Buckeyes, freshman forward Hokey Langan’s game-winning goal Friday wasn’t enough momentum for an Ohio State win Saturday. The OSU women’s ice hockey team split a pair of weekend games against defending National Champion Wisconsin.With a feed from sophomore Natalie Spooner, junior Christina Mancuso put the first point on the scoreboard with a shot from the left side, only 4:27 into the first period.The Badgers answered back with two power-play goals at 13:28 and 4:35 on the clock to lead 2-1 at the end of the first period.Just about six minutes into the second period, Spooner scored from the right post on a Buckeye power play to tie it up 2-2.Wisconsin’s Jasmine Giles took advantage of a loose puck in the Buckeye defensive zone and backhanded it for the lead at 11:13 in the second period. But just 43 seconds later, senior co-captain Raelyn LaRocque scored her first of the night to even the score to 3-3.Another goal by Wisconsin just before the second intermission gave the Badgers a 4-3 lead going into the third period, but the Buckeyes came back with two unanswered goals for the win. Sophomore Laura McIntosh grabbed her own rebound, netting a top-shelf goal, while freshman forward Hokey Langan’s wrist shot scored the game-winner with only nine seconds left in the game. Friday’s win is the fifth OSU victory over Wisconsin in the all-time series.With Buckeye spirits high Saturday, the Badgers played for redemption.Freshman goaltender Chelsea Knapp stopped 31 shots on goal in the first and second period combined, and 42 on the night.Wisconsin took the lead in the first with just about three minutes left on the clock, but Spooner netted a top-shelf goal 12 seconds later, tying the game 1-1.An even-matched second period left both teams scoreless heading into the third period, but Wisconsin took the lead scoring two with under 10 minutes left in the game.With chants from young Buckeye fans in the crowd, the OSU team rallied together after a timeout call, pulling Knapp from the goal for the extra skater. With just 1:01 left in the game, sophomore forward Kim Theut charged the net and scored from a line change to bring the Buckeyes within one. But the Badger defense held off eager Buckeyes while time ran out. Wisconsin won 3-2 for a weekend split.While disappointed about the loss, coach Jackie Barto said her team really hung in for a full 60 minutes Saturday against a Wisconsin team that never backed down.“Tonight Wisconsin won a few more battles, a few more foot races,” Barto said. “[Knapp] was solid and kept us in the game.”Barto said the team will get back to work and prepare for another tough weekend against North Dakota Feb. 5-6.Despite the heartbreaking loss, LaRocque remained upbeat about the progress of the team looking forward to their series against North Dakota.“We just got to look at the positives this weekend. We played well against them, we were able to come back, [and] we know we can come back,” she said. “We just got to take the positives out of it [and] we’ve got to run with it.” read more

first_imgA Christian evangelist was accused of a hate crime and locked up in a cell after preaching from the Bible to a gay teenager.Gordon Larmour, 42, was charged by police after telling the story of Adam and Eve to a 19-year-old who asked him about God’s views on homosexuality.The street preacher referred to the Book of Genesis and stated that God created Adam and Eve to produce children.Within minutes he was frogmarched to a police van, accused of threatening or abusive behaviour ‘aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation’ – despite not swearing or using any form of offensive language.The father-of-one spent a night in custody and faced a six-month ordeal before a sheriff cleared him of any blame.The incident, which occurred in his home town of Irvine in Ayrshire, has become a rallying point for Christian campaigners who are concerned that freedom of speech is being stifled by political correctness.Mr Larmour told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “I can’t see why I was arrested in the first place – it was a massive overreaction and a waste of everyone’s time. The police didn’t listen to me. They took the young homosexual guy’s side straight away and read me my rights.“I feel they try so hard to appear like they are protecting minorities, they go too far the other way. I want to be able to tell people the good word of the Gospel and think I should be free to do so. I wasn’t speaking my opinions – I was quoting from the Bible.”Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “It is a great relief that the judge ruled in favour of Gordon, because the case simply did not stand up to scrutiny.”Mr Larmour is a born-again Christian who has been street preaching for seven years. At around 7.30pm on July 17 last year he was handing out leaflets on Irvine’s High Street when a group of young men passed him.He told them: “Don’t forget Jesus loves you and He died for your sins.” One asked Mr Larmour, “What does your God say about homosexuals?”The two argued and Mr Larmour claimed he was chased by the young man. However, he was the one arrested when the police arrived.He said: “I think the police should have handled it differently and listened to what I had to say. They should have calmed the boy down and left it at that.“In court the boy’s friend told the truth – that I hadn’t assaulted him or called him homophobic names. I had simply answered his question and told him about Adam and Eve and Heaven and Hell. Preaching from the Bible is not a crime.”At Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last month, Sheriff Alistair Watson ruled there was no case to answer and acquitted Mr Larmour of threatening or abusive behaviour, aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation.The sheriff also found him not guilty of a second charge of assault aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation. 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.last_img read more

first_imgDubs Stars 2-13Dublin 0-13CIARÁN KILKENNY IS considering an offer from Dublin hurling manager Anthony Daly to become the GAA’s highest profile dual star in 2014.Daly confirmed he’s contacted the All-Ireland winning football forward about performing a dual role with both county teams. The former Clare hurler has also put the same offer to footballers Cormac Costello and Eric Lowndes though they turned him down.Kilkenny has indicated in the past that he would like to play for both county sides, however, and told Daly that he would mull over the offer.“I had a chat with himself, he didn’t say no,” revealed Daly. “He’d love to have a go at it I’d say but I don’t know how practical it is.I left him alone really since because they’ve been away and our lads were away. We’ll see, I don’t know if it’s a possibility or not. It’s a very hard thing to do really, to try and do both in terms of training. I don’t know. It would be up to Ciaran really.”One player who is definitely in Daly’s plans for 2014 is Barry Connolly, son of Galway legend Joe. The wing-forward shot a point in the Dubs Stars hurling challenge which was won by the club selection thanks to second-half goals, at Clondalkin’s Round Towers, from Paul Ryan and Aidan Roche.“Barry missed four or five chances for points that he’d normally score with his eyes closed,” said Daly. “That’s a bit of a lack of match sharpness. That’ll come.”Dublin will warm up for the new season with a number of challenge games. The Leinster champions will play Waterford this weekend followed by ties against Na Piarsaid, Loughgiel Shamrocks and the University of Limerick.Scorers Dubs Stars: Paul Ryan 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-5 fs, 0-1 65), Aidan Roche 1-0, Conal Keaney 0-2, Nial McMorrow, John McCaffrey, Paul Winters, Shane Stapleton and Alex Darbey 0-1 each.Scorers for Dublin: Martin Quilty 0-3, David Treacy, Ryan O’Dwyer and Eamon Dillon 0-2 each, Barry Connolly (0-1 f), Sean McGrath, Mark Schutte and Glen Whelan 0-1 each. Referee: James Brennan (Thomas Davis).– Post first published at 9:17amUnforgettable: an oral history of the 2013 hurling championship, part 1Unforgettable: an oral history of the 2013 hurling championship, part 2 Dublin: Stephen Chester; Simon Timlin, Cian O’Callaghan, Conor McCormack; Stephen Hiney, Chris Crummey, Matthew McCaffrey; Kevin Byrne, Martin Quilty; Barry Connolly, Ryan O’Dwyer, Sean McGrath; David O’Callaghan, David Treacy, Mark Schutte.Subs: Sean McClelland for for McCormack h/t, Joey Boland for Hiney h/t, Liam Rushe for Byrne h/t, Colm Cronin for O’Dwyer h/t, Glen Whelan for McGrath h/t, Eamon Dillon for O’Callaghan h/t, Tom Devlin for Treacy 41, Paul Schutte for McCaffrey 44.center_img Dubs Stars: Gary Maguire; Jack Doughan, Peter Kelly, Stephen O’Connor; Shane Durkin, Darren Kelly, Conor Robinson; Niall McMorrow, Johnny McCaffrey; Paul Winters, Shane Stapleton, Conal Keaney; Adam McGreal, Kevin O’Reilly, Paul Ryan.Subs: Eoin Moran for Robinson h/t, Aidan Roche for O’Reilly h/t, Gary Quinlivan for Stapleton 48, Alex Darbey for Winters 52.last_img read more

first_imgIN THE YEAR to January, property prices across the country fell by 3.3 per cent, according to the latest Central Statistics Office figures.This compares with an annual rate of decline of 4.5 per cent in December and a decline of 17.4 per cent recorded in the twelve months to January 2012.Residential property prices fell by 0.6 per cent in the month of January, compared with a decrease of 0.5 per cent recorded in December and a decline of 1.9 per cent recorded in January 2012.In Dublin, residential property prices increased by 0.5 per cent in January and were 2.1 per cent higher than a year ago.The price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland (outside of Dublin) fell by 1.6 per cent in January, compared with a decline of 0.7 per cent in January last year.Overall declineHouse prices in Dublin are 54 per cent lower than at their highest level in early 2007, while the fall in the price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland is somewhat lower at 47 per cent.Overall, the national index is 50 per cent lower than its highest.Read: What goes up…: Property prices fall 0.5pc in Decembe r >last_img read more

first_imgFOR THE LAST few weeks Labour candidates for leader and deputy leader have been hearing many complaints from members that the party has’t been assertive enough in government over the past three years.The junior coalition partner is very much in transition at the moment with the leadership up in the air until Friday, but it’s already beginning to be assertive post its election bloodbath when it comes to the job of Ireland’s EU Commissioner.Outgoing Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has let it be known that he wants the job having previously indicated he would be happy to retire to the backbenches once his replacement is elected and work on the considerable task of retaining his Dáil seat in 2016.Far more attractive now is the possibility of being one of the EU’s 28 Commissioners – a plum job with a sizeable wage, lots of prestige (if you get a good portfolio) and a chance to restore a reputation battered by his time in government.Several Labour ministers are throwing their support behind him with junior minister Joe Costello identifying him as having the “strongest credentials” for the job.For Labour this too is an opportunity to be more assertive in government by demanding that the commissioner role go to it and not Fine Gael whose minister Phil Hogan has been for sometime considered a shoo-in for the job.Indeed the commissioner post was seen as a reward for one of Enda Kenny’s most loyal lieutenant’s who saw off the attempted heave in 2010 and took the unpopular Environment Minister job that brought with it a storm of criticism and abuse over the household charge, septic tanks, the property tax, and water charges.Indeed at the height of Hogan’s unpopularity around two years ago there was almost a political imperative to dispatching him to Brussels, much like there was when Bertie Ahern sent Charlie McCreevy’s to Brussels in 2004 after the then finance minister dared to suggest the good times might be coming to an end.Now if the Commission job goes to Gilmore – or someone else – Hogan will be staying at home. Whether it be in Environment or elsewhere it is likely that the Carlow-Kilkenny TD will remain at Cabinet. He is after all a loyal servant to Kenny whose allies are diminishing with the departure of Alan Shatter in May and the likely demotion – either from Health or Cabinet altogether – of James Reilly.While the permutations for the Cabinet reshuffle are many and varied and almost impossible to call with any great degree of accuracy, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it will either be Hogan or Gilmore for the EU Commissioner job (an outside bet also being talked about is Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness).Of course were Kenny to relent and give it to Gilmore, Fine Gael would expect a quid pro quo be it that Labour loses a plum Cabinet post or some concession in the Budget in October perhaps.But right now with Labour’s poll numbers in the single digits and the party having no representation whatsoever in the European Parliament it would be a boost to secure this position.It would also mark an early victory for the new leader of the party and if that is, as widely expected, Joan Burton then she might also prefer that Gilmore, her one-time rival, is away in Brussels rather than loitering on the backbenches for the next 18 months or so as she attempts to rebuild the party.“Worth considering”: Howlin talks up Gilmore’s credentials for EU jobRead: We asked these two ministers who they’d like Ireland’s next European Commissioner to be*last_img read more

first_imgEarlier today we reported on the contents of the PS4 console retail box. It is what we expected–a console, DualShock 4 controller, and all the cables you need. On launch day you’d expect to pick one up along with a game or two. But Sony may have a second option available it has yet to officially announce.A gallery on the US PlayStation website has appeared containing 30 images of the console. However, the images are numbered 1-33. So what is hidden in those three images Sony chose not to use? You can view the telling picture above.It seems Sony has decided to bundle the PS4 with the camera and a copy of first-party launch game Knack (which Jimmy Fallon recently got to play). Whether this bundle is still set to happen is unclear, but it would make sense to maybe offer this with a $499 price tag and match the base price of the Xbox One.Although the Knack box is shown in the image, I’d imagine Sony would just include a code in the box for a download version of the game. That would save on cost while still offering a lot of value to the gamer. With a 500GB hard drive as standard it’s still going to leave you with an abundance of space for other download games.I’m guessing Sony has just decided to hold back this PS4 bundle pack to announce as a surprise closer to launch. If it is indeed a launch pack, then it’s another blow to Microsoft and the Xbox One. Not only are they competing with a cheaper console, they might actually be launching at the same price as a rival console that ships with a camera and a game included.last_img read more

first_imgLes constructeurs automobiles se tournent vers les énergies renouvelablesAvec la volonté de réduire toujours plus les émissions de gaz à effet de serre, les constructeurs automobiles commencent peu à peu à employer les énergies renouvelables dès leurs sites de production.C’est en Allemagne en particulier que les constructeurs automobiles commencent à utiliser des éoliennes et des panneaux photovoltaïques dans leurs usines. Comme l’explique Christian Mohrdieck, responsable du développement des technologies hydrogène et batteries électriques chez Daimler : “cela n’aurait aucun sens de réduire à zéro les émissions de CO2 des voitures si nous en émettions beaucoup pour les produire. Nous devons considérer l’ensemble de la chaîne”.Les Allemands sont à la pointe du progrès dans ce secteur et avec le choix de renoncer à l’énergie nucléaire d’ici 2022, les initiatives se multiplient davantage encore dans le développement des énergies renouvelables. A partir de 2013, BMW, par exemple, veut équiper d’éoliennes son usine de Leipzig pour générer l’électricité nécessaire à l’assemblage de ses futurs modèles électriques et hybrides i3 et i8, indique TV5monde.De son côté, le groupe Volkswagen a signé un partenariat avec le fournisseur d’électricité autrichien Verbund afin d’assurer, à partir de 2013, 10 % de la consommation électrique de 12 de ses sites allemands avec de l’hydroélectricité. Un milliard d’euros doivent être investis dans les énergies renouvelables dans les deux prochaines années par le constructeur. Par ailleurs, le géant européen prévoit d’investir un milliard d’euros dans les énergies renouvelables au cours des deux prochaines années.Une usine “zéro carbone” pour Renault À lire aussiMal des transports : pourquoi est-on malade en voiture et comment l’éviter ?Ainsi, Audi, la filiale haut de gamme du groupe, développe le projet “e-gas” qui propose de transformer chimiquement le surplus d’électricité d’éoliennes en méthane destiné à alimenter le moteur de sa future A3 TCNG, qui doit être produite en série à partir de fin 2013.Quant à Renault le constructeur français, il annonce avoir lancé à Tanger, au Maroc, une usine “zéro carbone”. Les rejets industriels générés sont recyclés, l’alimentation électrique est d’origine éolienne et la vapeur et le chauffage sont fournis par des chaudières biomasse. Le groupe prévoit également d’équiper ses sites français avec des centrales photovoltaïques l’an prochain.Le 16 septembre 2011 à 17:18 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

first_imgMohamed Salah has been impressive this season so far and not just in the Premier League but also in the Champions League where he managed to guide his team to the final game as they will face Real Madrid there.Sergio Ramos, the Real Madrid skipper, insisted that he doesn’t fear anybody and Mohamed Salah is just one of the eleven players that made it to the finals – and he is not unstoppable.The Spain international spoke about the upcoming battle with Salah as he said, according to Mirror:“We have seen what Salah can do this season, but he will just be one of eleven players we face against Liverpool.”divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“Throughout my career, I have faced the best forward players in the world — many of them who are considered among the greatest ever.”“For me, there is never a fear. A respect, yes, but never a fear.”“We can’t be arrogant but we can be confident. We know it is in the DNA of Real Madrid to win the Champions League.”last_img read more

first_imgAslan has over twenty years of experience researching religion and history. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, putting him the ranks of those other rabble-rousers, Horatio Alger and R.W. Emerson. Saying Reza Aslan, a known scholar of religion, shouldn’t write a book about Christianity because he’s Muslim is like saying Paul McCartney shouldn’t write a book about vocal harmonies because he’s a guitarist. [Did that make sense to you? No? Good.]Let’s be honest: No one really cares that Reza Aslan wrote a book about Jesus even though Aslan is a Muslim. Murdoch doesn’t care. Ailes doesn’t care. Lauren Green didn’t even care enough to read the second page of Aslan’s book where he notes his Islamic faith. And the bravado with which she goes after him is alarming, considering that she herself is a Christian who, as noted by Eric Hananoki at Media Matters, frequently reports on Islam.The people who care about the Aslan-writing-about-Jesus bit are those easily-manipulated, fear-mongering Americans, because FoxNews has told them to care, and it’s spent a decade building an empire that depends on a good chunk of its audience being afraid of Muslims.In an interview with John Oliver on The Daily Show, Aslan talked about who Jesus really was, in the context of his time: “… [he] stood up for the weak and the powerless, the outcast and dispossessed… [Jesus] went to the cross on behalf of these outcasts he was fighting for…”According to Aslan, Jesus was a rebel badass. And FoxNews can’t have you agree because FoxNews doesn’t make money if you agree. Jesus loved the underdogs so much, that he went to bat for every single one of them. It’s pretty hard to find controversy in a selfless Jesus, regardless of your religion. So instead, FoxNews switches the focus to the seemingly incongruous notion of a Muslim writing a book about Christianity. Otherwise, the network doesn’t have a story, its audience doesn’t have anything to get worked up about and the rest of the media has nothing to jump on.So is FoxNews’ crappy journalism a pretty genius marketing move? Only their ad team knows for sure. But given that Aslan’s book just hit number two on the New York Times bestseller list, I’d bet they’re happy to argue all the way to the bank. Here’s the thing with Lauren Green’s interview with Reza Aslan about his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth that aired on FoxNews.com, which you’ve absolutely seen passed around Buzzfeed and Facebook like a cheerleader’s slambook post-prom: It’s ‘gotcha’ journalism. It wasn’t meant to inform or engage (that is still the goal of journalism, right?). It wasn’t meant to be thought provoking or to inspire debate.FoxNews.com brought Reza Aslan on for an interview to boost ratings, period. He was asked that first question: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” because it was incendiary. FoxNews knows who is not its audience as well as who is its audience, and if they’re not going to make money off you for clicking a story because you like them, then they may as well make money off you for clicking a story because you don’t like them. The network wanted a viral story, something with bite even if it had no teeth, because crazy press is bad journalism, and bad journalism equals good press, and all press leads to clicks, which leads to those sweet dollar bills, y’all. I mean, the first thing I thought was, “Craaaap… is Rupert really losing that much money?”last_img read more

first_imgThe market will be keenly watching the progress of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. The past four phases have returned 67 percent polling which is similar to that in 2014, giving rise to speculation that there is no anti-incumbency wave.Reuters fileThe markets are expected to remain rangebound during the week as the seven-phase general election continues unless the unfolding earnings season brings up some surprise for sectoral push. The Chinese team for trade talks with the US will arrive in Washington on May 8, but a breakthrough is unlikely despite US President Donald Trump’s claim a deal could be signed any moment now. Chinese media have been less optimistic and have tried to play down expectations.The market will be keenly watching the direction of oil price through the first full week after the waiver from sanctions that the US granted to major Iranian oil importers ended on May 2. Brent crude continued to reign above $70 a barrel, heating up worries in major consumer markets. Suggestions in media of non-Opec member Russia that it will further cut production this week could send crude to over $75 a barrel and make markets jittery.While traders could look for stock-specific play as earnings unfold, economic data like March factory output and manufacturing numbers could bolster the markets.The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex fell 104.07 points, or 0.27 percent, to 38,963, last week while the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty fell 42.40 points, or 0.6 percent, to 11,712. Significantly, Sensex closed the week below 39,000 points and Nifty fell through the 11,750 and will need a fresh impetus to find a direction. The market will be particularly watchful of the earnings season this week. Among the major companies announcing their March quarter results are Bharti Airtel, State Bank of India and HCL Tech.TwitterThe fifth phase of voting in the general elections on Monday will see voting in 51 Lok Sabha constituencies in seven states. The 67 percent voting in the first four phases is deemed comparable to 67.6 percent in 2014, supporting the market feeling that the incumbent party could return to power led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.On the earnings front, 216 companies will report their March quarter earnings in the coming week. The key players include State Bank of India (SBI), Bharti Airtel, Vedanta, Escorts, Titan, HCL Tech, and Apollo Tyres. Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank, and Marico will be announcing results on Monday, Vedanta, Escorts and CEAT on Tuesday, Titan and Dhanlaxmi Bank on Wednesday, HCL Tech and Apollo Tyres on Thursday and SBI, L&T, Eicher Motors and Allahabad Bank on Friday.The market’s expectations of the industrial production numbers for March set to be announced on Friday will continue to influence the market direction. The index of industrial production (IIP) was a 20-month low in February. Monday’s purchasing manufacturer’s index (PMI) will also be keenly watched for a cue on the direction of the economy.last_img read more

first_imgkustiaAn idol of Hindu goddesses Kali was vandalised by some unidentified miscreants at a temple in Thanapara area in Kushtia on Thursday, reports UNB.Thanapara Sarbojanin Puja Mondop president Bishwanath Saha Bishu said the temple caretaker found a part of Kali idol broken while another idol lying on the floor after opening the temple in the morning.Besides, the gold ornaments put on the Kali idol was also missing, he said.Police visited the spot, said Nasir Uddin, officer-in-charge of Kushtia model police station.Police are investigating the incident, he added.last_img read more

first_imgStay on target How AMC’s ‘The Terror’ Uses American History to Delive…33 Killed in Suspected Arson Attack on Kyoto Animation Studio in Japan What’s your favorite flavor of Pringles? There may seem like there are too many to count, let alone choose a favorite. Have you ever thought about what a ramen-flavored potato chip might taste like, though? As it turns out, Top Ramen has, because it’s introduced its very own Pringles flavor. Yes, Top Ramen Pringles. They join the ranks of wasabi seaweed, T-bone steak and a swath of other weird and wonderful flavors, probably some you’ve never tried before.The Top Ramen noodles are from Nissin, who brought you Cup Noodles as well. The official flavor isn’t just “ramen” though, it’s Nissin Top Ramen Chicken, to be specific. Honestly, what probably happened here is Nissin sent over a whole bushel of chicken-flavored ramen powder and dumped it over a bushel of Pringles, right? That has to be the only explanation.Because that’s what you do with regular Top Ramen. You cook your ramen noodles and then add the flavor powder to the noodles and soup before you dig in. The broth is delicious of course, but it’s really trash food for when you don’t want or have anything else on hand. It’s good in a pinch, and sometimes it’s delicious if that’s what you’re craving. But on Pringles? That might be a little weird.AdChoices广告If you want to try out the Pringles and see what they taste like (and don’t have plain Pringles on hand with ramen seasoning around), you can head to the Dollar General and try them out, as that’s currently the only place you can get the chips. That’s the only place they sold the coveted Lisa Frank adult coloring books too, weirdly enough.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

first_img New Tinder Alert Protects LGBTQ Users in Hostile NationsYouPorn’s New ‘Sexy Lingo’ Web App Helps You Flirt in Different Languages Stay on target Facebook is hoping that “like” turns into love. The social-networking firm announced Thursday that it is expanding its online dating service Facebook Dating to two new markets — Canada and Thailand.close dialogclose dialogFacebook Dating first launched in Colombia in September after being unveiled at Facebook’s F8 conference earlier this year.Facebook Dating operates within the core Facebook app, not as a spinoff like Messenger, with users creating profiles that are separate from their Facebook ones and kept out of sight of friends. Facebook will recommend matches that users aren’t already friends with, but who share dating preferences, interests and if they choose, mutual friends or groups and events.Facebook hopes to steer clear of the reputation that plagues some dating apps, such as Tinder, for simply enabling hookups or “casual encounters,” instead of fostering meaningful relationships, Facebook Dating’s program manager Charmaine Hung told Huffington Post Canada.The company is also releasing new features to coincide with the launch in the two countries, including one called Second Look, that lets users look back at someone they may have previously passed on.Another feature lets users take a break from the dating scene by putting the service on pause — similar to the “Snooze” button that Bumble implemented on their own service in September. (Facebook says users can still message people they have already matched while on pause.)According to TechCrunch, other new features include the ability to review a blocked list, support for non-metric units (for things like range and height) and more interactive profile content.The expansion to Canada and Thailand will initially begin as signups, Facebook says. Users won’t be able to immediately browse through matches until enough people have opted into Facebook Dating.More on Geek.com:Geek’s Guide to Online Dating7 Icebreakers for Facebook’s New Dating ServiceSwipe Right on the Best Thirsty Mobile Gameslast_img read more