first_imgThere is no greater investment that you can make than the investment you make in yourself.There is no greater return on investment on Earth that is greater than the ROI on books. I don’t care what the price of gold, oil, water, real estate, or pork bellies is right now, the return on investment from a single book outstrips all others. On the shelf behind me are a half-dozen books, let’s call it $150 worth of books in hardcover when I bought them. Those half-dozen books have helped me generate literally hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. The ROI is incalculable . . . and still growing.I’ve been fortunate enough to have received a formal education. The price of a college degree, a degree from law school, and a masters degree are individually staggering, let alone collectively. But the price of the diploma isn’t the real price. The real price you pay for an education is measured in the time you spend reading the books and trading and arguing big ideas with a group of smart people. It’s a lot of money, but you can and will get the money back and more. But will you really invest the time to sharpen your thinking skills without the formal education? The truth is that most won’t. The return on the time invested getting an education pays dividends for the rest of your life.Whenever I want to learn something, I find a coach with the skills and the track record to bend the learning curve in my direction. I pay them to coach me. The money that I spend with a coach speeds my time to results. A coach looks at what you are doing and shows you the distinctions you can’t yet see for yourself. A good coach holds you accountable for making changes. The faster acquisition of the skills and the speed to results makes coaching very inexpensive. Pay somebody.Consulting is another investment with an outsized return on investment. You are literally paying for someone to help you discover the right choice for your business. Consultants are expensive. But the price you pay for not knowing what you need to know is more expensive (If you sell insight, this is true for your clients too, isn’t it?).Right now I am listening to two audio programs. I paid $497 for one program and $297 for another. The two programs combined total about 30 hours of content. I made a life-changing distinction on the first track of the first program. I’m also signed up for a professional development course that costs around $2,000. At the end of the program there is a live event. I expect to make back my $2,000 at least 40 times next year–and for the following decade.And the financial rewards are just the beginning.What are you doing to make yourself more valuable right now? What are you doing to grow increasingly valuable in the future? You need to answer these questions as if the quality of your life and results depend upon that answer.last_img read more

first_imgChinese company LeEco is holding a grand launch event in Beijing on April 20 where it will unveil the latest products in its smart device ecosystem. One of the products could be the Le 2 smartphone or rather Super Phone as the company likes to call them. The phone in question is the supposed successor to the Le 1S, and it just found its way to GFXbench database , revealing much of its spec sheet.As per the listing, the Le 2 (model number X620) will come with a 5.5-inch FullHD display and MediaTek’s MT6797T (Helio X25) deca-core processor with Mali T880 GPU and 3GB of RAM under the hood. It will come with 32GB of internal memory, a 16-megapixel camera on the rear along with an 8-megapixel camera on the front. Most notably, the Le 2 is expected to carry the company’s new logo. The Le 1S meanwhile continues to hone the LeTV branding.The Le 1S – a budget phone – on the other hand comes with a 5.5-inch FullHD display, MediaTek’s Helio X10 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory.It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. The dualSIM phone uses a 3,000mAh battery (with fast charging) and supports 4G LTE connectivity option.LeEco’s April 20 event is big for the company as it is eyeing the West with this one. The company is said to announce its foray into the US market on the said date.last_img read more

first_imgStar all-rounder Yuvraj Singh will add another feather to his cap when he takes the field in the second semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy against Bangladesh on Thursday. Yuvraj will feature in his 300th ODI match, 17 years after he made his debut for India.Yuvraj is only the fifth Indian cricketer after Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid to achieve the rare milestone.Seventeen years ago, Yuvraj made his debut for India in this very tournament, but back then it was known as the ICC Knockout event featuring 11 teams. He did not get an opportunity to bat in his first match against Kenya and only bowled four overs for 16 runs with one maiden.But the southpaw announced himself in the next game against the mighty Australians, smashing a match-winning 84 against the likes of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and Ian Harvey in Nairobi. Yuvraj’s special talent was unveiled to the world for the first time and he didn’t look back since that day.Standing on the cusp of his 300th One-day International, it still remains a difficult task to describe Yuvraj in a nutshell.The 40 Test matches that he has played will not be able to tell the story of a cricketer, who, inarguably, will rank among India’s greatest ever match-winners in limited overs cricket. And that list isn’t too big.Kapil Dev, Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the names that immediately come to mind when one talks about match winners in the shorter versions. And that’s the paradox.advertisementBut for all the talent and skill that he possess, it’s consistency which as deserted him all these years. In 299 ODIs Yuvraj has amassed 8622 runs at an average of 36.84 with 14 hundreds and 52 half-centuries.He has batted in the middle-order throughout his career and played the role of finisher for the Men in Blue in limited-overs cricket which is perhaps why his average is not up there in the high forties. On his day Yuvraj smashed the best of bowlers and ripped apart dangerous bowling attacks although that hasn’t happened regularly in his career.But fortunately for India, Yuvraj has always been a big match player and his record in ICC events and important tournaments has been phenomenal, to say the least.HIGH POINTS OF YUVI’S CAREERIt was white ball cricket where he found his mojo, and Yuvraj has always held his own with his immense contribution in the 2002 NatWest final and India’s two World Cup triumphs.The six sixes off Stuart Broad during the inaugural World T20 in 2007 remains one of the most memorable sights in world cricket. Yuvraj finished the tournament with 148 runs in five innings at 29.60 with two half-centuries and a highest score of 70. His performance against England and Australia took India into the final where they defeated arch-rivals Pakistan to clinch the maiden T20 World Cup.Reuters PhotoWinning the tournament in South Africa helped it gain impetus and those sixes sown the seeds of an alternate brand of cricket.From 2005 to 2007, Yuvraj was at his peak averaging over 40 in ODI cricket. Six of his 14 hundreds came during this period and resulted in India turning into a dominant force in the limited-overs formats.And then came the big one – 2011 World Cup. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s six has a recall value — being shown million times — just like Kapil Dev’s catch off Vivian Richards in the 1983 final.But, perhaps, one of the biggest reasons for India’s victory was the 15 wickets he took and 362 runs he scored at an average of over 90.Reuters PhotoAs he went about his task Yuvraj coughed blood, couldn’t eat, and was totally unaware that he was suffering from a rare germ cell cancer.BATTLE WITH CANCER AND COMEBACKThe battle against cancer was the biggest he has fought in his life. It was tougher than a Lee yorker or a James Anderson outswinger.The phases of life that he has gone through, anyone else would have been happy to survive, but Yuvraj, the fighter, wanted to play on.Yuvraj went to America immediately after being named the Man of the tournament in the World Cup in 2011 and started the four-month long chemotherapy treatment.He made a comeback and it was an emotionally overwhelming feeling. But after every high, there is a low, and Yuvraj’s was the 2014 World T20 final against Sri Lanka in Dhaka. He scored 11 off 21 balls and India lost the match as he couldn’t accelerate.As it often happens in Indian cricket, his epitaph was written and no one would have even bet a penny that he would make a comeback at 33.advertisementBut then he had made a comeback in T20 Internationals in Australia. People thought that the only version he could play. But he had conviction, did the hard yards in Ranji Trophy and earned an ODI recall.The 150 against England at Cuttack meant he would be on the plane to England.”His contribution to Indian cricket has been outstanding. He’s been total match-winner for India, won us so many tournaments and series. This is just a testimony to the kind of talebt he possesses and it’s obviously you need to have all those things to play 300 ODIs for India. I congratulate him and wish him all the very best, hopefully he can play a lot more for us and get in those match-winning performance all over again. I hope tomorrow is a special one for him,” Kohli said.Reuters PhotoHe won’t be prolific like he used to be in his younger days. You won’t find him standing at point like a crouching tiger. With Ravindra Jadeja around, Kohli will rarely turn up to him to roll in some of his effective ‘pie chuckers’.But he will be present somewhere around – like strikers in a game of football – who will not do anything for 85 minutes but will do the needful in the 88th or 89th.Yuvraj has that calibre and that is why he made a comeback to ODIs after nearly four years. It’s time to doff that hat as he steps in for his 300th outing.There were cricketers. And there was one Yuvraj Singh.last_img read more

first_imgThe International Cricket Council Saturday charged Sri Lankan performance analyst Sanath Jayasundara with two counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.Jayasundara, a performance analyst at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect, according to an ICC media release.Jayasundara was charged under Article 2.1.3 for offering a bribe or other reward to the Sri Lankan sports minister to contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of an international match or (in the alternative) or under Article 2.1.1 for contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of an international match.He was also charged under Article 2.4.7 for obstructing or delaying an ACU investigation into possible corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.Jayasundara has 14 days to respond to the charges.Also Read | ICC partners with UNICEF to organise #OneDay4Children at 2019 World CupAlso Read | India have strong side for ICC 2019 World Cup: Shikhar Dhawanlast_img read more

first_imgSpinner Imran Tahir has removed both Pakistan opening batsmen to become the leading South Africa wicket-taker in Cricket World Cups. The two wickets gave him 39, one more than fast bowler Allan Donald, who retired after the 2003 World Cup.Tahir, the oldest man in the tournament at 40, induced Fakhar Zaman to lob a catch to first slip in the 15th over, and brilliantly caught Imam-ul-Haq off his own bowling in the 21st. Pakistan was reduced to 98-2.Tahir, as always, celebrated by running around the Lord’s ground with arms out like he was flying. He has 10 wickets in this tournament.Imran Tahir is now South Africa’s leading World Cup wicket-takerHis two wickets so far today have taken him to 39 across editions, one more than Allan Donald’s 38A true Proteas legend!#CWC19 | #ProteaFire (@ICC) June 23, 2019At the time of writing this article, Pakistan were 133-2 after 25 overs against South Africa at Lord’s. Both openers were gone after an 81-run stand, both dismissed on 44 each by legspinner Imran Tahir.Babar Azam was at the crease on 25, and Mohammad Hafeez on 17, having just survived a strong lbw appeal off Tahir. South Africa lost its review. Hafeez was also dropped on 2 by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock off Tahir.Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq thrashed South Africa pacemen Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi to race out of the blocks.But Tahir got Fakhar to scoop to first slip in the 21st over, and Imam was brilliantly caught one-handed by Tahir diving low to his right.advertisementAlso Read | India vs Afghanistan: Getting a World Cup hat-trick great feeling, says Mohammed ShamiAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli fined for excessive appealing during India vs Afghanistanlast_img read more

first_img Show Galtres Stakes winner Lah Ti Dar will run in the St Leger at Doncaster Read more features Horseplay is dropping back from Group One company after finishing fourth behind Sea Of Class in the Yorkshire Oaks last time out, but she may have a potential Group One filly up against her in Pilaster, who continued her rapid progress with a narrow defeat of Maid Up in the Lillie Langtry Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Maid Up won the Group Three Gordon Stakes next time up and has also been supplemented to run in the St Leger on Saturday so the form with Pilaster looks rock-solid and it will be a surprise if Roger Varian’s filly cannot extend her winning run to four this afternoon.Mystic Flight (5.10) was third in a strong handicap at York last time and should be another winner for the Varian stable on Thursday’s card, while the success of Global Applause on Wednesday’s card here is a boost for Rio Ronaldo, who was not far behind him at Sandown Park last time.Lady Cosette (1.50) is an interesting runner in the opening for Jeremy Noseda, who won the same race with a well-backed favourite in Nemoralia three years ago. She went on to finish third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf less than two months later and also finished second in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in her three-year-old season. No one expects Lady Cosette to be quite that good, but she put up a good performance on the clock at Windsor last time and should be good enough to register her first win.The rest of the racing on Thursday looks a little thin after Epsom’s meeting succumbed to an infestation of chafer grubs earlier in the week, but Woodside Wonder (6.25) could be worth a small interest at around 12-1 at Hamilton. He did not run up to his previous form at York last time but that was a hot race and he is reunited today with Rowan Scott, who was in the saddle when he won at Hamilton earlier in the season. He also has a big chance on his earlier form at Musselburgh, when he was second in a good time behind a winner next time up. Share on LinkedIn Support The Guardian Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Doncaster 1.50 Lady Cosette 2.25 Dubai Beauty 3.00 Pilaster (nap) 3.35 Aim Power 4.05 Rio Ronaldo 4.40 Banditry 5.10 Mystic Flight (nb)Ffos Las 2.15 Sod’s Law 2.50 Smashing Lass 3.25 Sylvia’s Mother 3.55 Fox Fearless 4.30 Chrisellaine 5.00 Sir Roderic 5.35 The Night KingHamilton 3.45 Dodgy Bob 4.15 Autumn Flight 4.50 Island Song 5.20 Orobas 5.55 Liars Corner 6.25 Woodside Wonder 6.55 Yes You 7.25 Tolkyn Was this helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Share via Email John Gosden revealed on Thursday that Frankie Dettori’s thoughts about the best place to run Lah Ti Dar had played a role in the decision to send her for the St Leger.A field of 12 runners has been declared for the final Classic of the season on Saturday, and Lah Ti Dar’s inclusion was described as a “fantastic news” by sponsors William Hill. Share on Pinterestcenter_img Share on Messenger Topics Reuse this content Horse racing tips Horse racing The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Since you’re here… St Leger Quick guide Thursday 13 September racing tips Hide Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Gosden’s decision to send the filly to Doncaster rather than Sunday’s Prix Vermeille at Longchamp was only taken after plenty of discussion but the trainer said: “Frankie was adamant she should she should run in the St Leger when he got off her at York and often the feel a jockey gets when they immediately get off a horse is the one to listen to. He said he could have kept going another three furlongs and she certainly stays well.“We ummed and aahed about running her in the Yorkshire Oaks [instead of the Galtres on the same card] but thought ‘she’s been off a long time and been sick, so don’t throw her in a Group One’. Instead of having a hard race, she had a lovely extended hand ride gallop.“I had no worry about her level of fitness [at York] but when they’ve been sick like that you worry. It was a strange sort of viral thing. Nothing else in the place had it. Her bloods were all wrong and she was very down in herself. The great thing is that the one day she showed it to us she’d only done a gentle canter that morning – thank God she hadn’t worked.”The dozen lining up on Saturday includes a five-strong team from Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable including Lah Ti Dar’s main market rival, Kew Gardens, the winner of the Grand Prix de Paris in July. Dee Ex Bee, the runner-up in the Derby in June, is also among the final declarations.The Park Hill Stakes, dubbed the “Fillies St Leger” even though fillies can, and regularly do, run in the Leger itself, is the feature event on the second afternoon of the Leger meeting, which is also Ladies’ Day at Town Moor.This year’s renewal is not blessed with many runners but it is a tight and competitive race all the same, with Horseplay, God Given and the fast-improving Pilaster (3.00) in the field. Talking Horseslast_img read more

first_imgChanges to the Film Industry Tax Credit are helping to secure projects in Nova Scotia. Copernicus Studios Inc., a local animation production studio signed a co-production partnership with U.S.-based Home Plate Entertainment, Wild Grinders LLC and its partners Moonscoop, Telegael and Agogo. With work being done in Canada, Ireland, and China, the partners will co-produce Wild Grinders, a high definition animated TV series, for Nicktoons U.S. With a significant pre-production budget, Copernicus was able to generate more than 20 full-time positions for the series, which will run about 14-months. “Having the opportunity to work with production companies from the U.S., Ireland, France and China on this co-production is a fantastic opportunity for us,” said Juan Cruz Baldassarre, partner at Copernicus Studios Inc. “The changes to the tax credit provided us with the opportunity to build a great proposal, and to successfully bring this project to Nova Scotia.” Wild Grinders is an original comedy series created by pro-skateboarder turned TV star, Rob Dyrdek (Rob & Big, Fantasy Factory). Mr. Dyrdek will executive produce and provide the voice for the lead character. The series follows skater kid Lil Rob, his dog Meaty, his nerdy inventor friend Goggles, and the rest of their wacky group of friends on their comedic and fantastic adventures. A number of shorts and other multi-platform digital content will proceed the 2012 premiere. Moonscoop is handling worldwide distribution of Wild Grinders. “We are excited to be working with the team at Copernicus — their work speaks for itself. The talent and tax credits are a great combination of resources for making high-quality shows in today’s marketplace,” said Wild Grinders executive producer and Home Plate CEO Bill Schultz. In December, the province removed the 25 per cent production cost cap from the Film Industry Tax Credit. This allows labour-intensive sectors of the industry, such as digital animators, to claim more eligible labour and encourages the development, training, and hiring of Nova Scotians in the audiovisual industry. “We have been consistently hearing that the tax credit enhancements have helped local digital companies secure projects,” said Ann MacKenzie, president and CEO of Film Nova Scotia. “By continuing to invest in the industry, the province is ensuring that Nova Scotia maintains its reputation as a film-friendly destination.” Film Nova Scotia is a provincial Crown corporation reporting to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. The corporation provides a wide range of programs and services to support the province’s audiovisual industry. With an industry that employs almost 3,000 and contributes upwards of $100 million to the economy annually, Nova Scotia is among the largest production centres in Canada.last_img read more

first_imgLawyer Chris Murphy, right, represents Colten Boushie’s family. Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man was fatally shot on a Saskatchewan farm. Also pictured (from left to right) are Boushie’s uncle, Alvin Baptiste, mother Debbie Baptiste and cousin Jade Tootoosis.The Canadian PressA lawyer helping the family of a young Cree man shot and killed by a Saskatchewan farmer left a different courthouse this week with an idea about how Canada’s jury system could be improved.Chris Murphy is part of a coroner’s inquest examining the death of an Indigenous man who died following a police chase in Saskatoon.Some provinces have fatality inquiries headed by provincial court judges. But others – including Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia – have coroner inquests with juries.And in Saskatchewan, if a deceased is Indigenous, a coroner’s jury is often part Aboriginal too.“I felt that we had been engaged in a very fair process,” Murphy said.“They had literally two separate piles from which names were randomly drawn and we alternated between Indigenous and non-Indigenous jurors.”In January, Murphy watched as a jury with no visibly Indigenous members was selected for the murder trial of white farmer Gerald Stanley in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.Of 45 potential jurors selected at random, five appeared to be Indigenous, Murphy said. They were rejected by Stanley’s lawyer through peremptory challenges, which can be made without having to give a reason.“I walked away … firmly believing that the justice system has got to change,” Murphy said. “Allowing that process to happen is, in my view, state-sanctioned discrimination.”The jury found Stanley not guilty. Accusations of racism followed, as well as calls to end peremptory challenges and for more Indigenous representation on juries.Jordan Lafond, 21, was in a stolen truck being chased by Saskatoon police when it crashed. Media have reported that officers found Lafond under the truck, but he resisted arrest and an officer used a knee to subdue him. He later died in hospital.Murphy is representing Lafond’s family at the inquest. He said lawyers agreed that at least three of the jury’s six members should be Indigenous. They were able to ask potential jurors about whether they would be comfortable on a jury, could come up with recommendations and had any possible bias.The selected jurors were told to return to court when the inquest resumes in June.Potential jurors are similarly questioned for inquests in other provinces, but qualifying them by race may be unique to Saskatchewan.The province amended legislation in 1999 to allow its chief coroner to request a jury be “composed, wholly or in part, of people from a specific racial or cultural group.”The Justice Ministry said in an email that the provision is commonly used and puts juries in a better position to understand the deceased’s circumstances.Murphy said there’s no constitutional reason why the same approach couldn’t be used in criminal courts where an accused is supposed to be judged by peers. Indigenous people have high incarceration rates yet low representation on juries.Nicholas Stooshinoff, president of the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association, said he believes Canada’s justice system is the finest in the world and doesn’t need an overhaul because of “knee-jerk” reactions to the Stanley verdict.He said he recently met with Indigenous clients who live in the same area as Stanley and they agree with the acquittal.“I have not seen any evidence or any indication that an all-First-Nations jury would not have come to the same conclusion,” Stooshinoff said. “There is an assumption among some individuals, politicians included, that this man was acquitted because of racism on the part of the jury.“I find that very disturbing. And it really does not do anything to enhance the quality of our judicial system.”last_img read more

By Dil BolaRabat – Confusion has arisen over tax agencies responsible for “notice to third holder” (ATD) after a man attempted suicide Sunday at the Regional Directorate of Taxes of Marrakech. The individual had received an ATD. The ATD is a method used by the public collector in which banks block the accounts of an individual who owes back taxes. The public collector then seizes the balance, along with future deposits, in order to recover public debts. Following the attempted suicide, many blamed the General Management of Taxes (DGI)—one of many agencies within the sphere of public debt collection—for seizing funds. The DGI, however, rejected the accusations made as the notice received is not a result of their services.  The DGI is primarily responsible for corporate tax (IS), income tax (IR), and domestic value-added tax (VAT), along with registration, stamping and special annual taxes on motor vehicles. In contrast, the General Treasury of the Kingdom (TGR) is concerned with collecting the business tax, the municipal services tax, and the housing tax. Additionally, they collect transactional or lump sum fines along with monetary penalties.Following a wave of recent ATDs sent just after deadlines to pay several taxes, it has become clear the TGR is chiefly concerned with enforcement procedures. The means of enforced recovery differ, ranging from the seizure and sale of goods, the notice to third holder, and a ban on the sale of vehicles and goods. Prior to taking such enforcement actions, the administration must notify the taxpayer of the exacted claims amicably. Taxpayers may appeal to local or national tax commissions, or to the courts in event of administrative abuse. Public authorities have become more relentless as public finances continue to deteriorate. Due to a fall in tax revenues and increase in expenses, Morocco’s budget deficit has widened by 66 percent or an expected MAD 20 billion. Further, the TGR stated at the end of 2016, unrecovered taxes surpassed MAD 40 billion. Many maintain that despite the legality of these practices, they are too harsh and inflexible. In the face of mass amounts of public debt, citizens must ask if the state is within its rights to seize what is owed in order to continue running the state? read more

Six officers and one other crew member of the M/V Asphalt Venture are being held at an undisclosed location after the ship and the rest of the people aboard were released by pirates off Somalia last Thursday, nearly seven months after they were hijacked.In a statement issued yesterday from its London headquarters, IMO stressed that it deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and the treatment of seafarers held hostage.“Using seafarers as human shields to continue to engage in piracy – one of the most heinous of crimes against humanity at sea – is totally unacceptable,” the agency said.IMO is backing a new “Save Our Seafarers” campaign launched by the shipping industry, saying that the safety and well-being of sailors should be of paramount importance to any strategy to respond to piracy.The agency’s statement comes amid mounting international concern about the problem of piracy, particularly in the waters off Somalia.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia needs more resources to carry out its mandate.The trust fund’s board has approved 12 projects worth $4.3 million since the fund was created in January last year, including a media project to disseminate anti-piracy messages in the region and other initiatives to strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice in Somalia, Kenya and Seychelles.In a message to an event in Dubai to support the trust fund, delivered on his behalf by UN Legal Counsel Patricia O’Brien, Mr. Ban said the fund offered an opportunity to translate regional and global concerns into concrete actions. 19 April 2011The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) has condemned the use of sailors as human shields after Somali pirates continued to detain seven crew members of a recently released ship even though a ransom had been reportedly paid. read more

UNICEF said fighting in and around the town of Soubré in the south-western province of Bas-Sassandra has displaced at least 4,000 persons, mostly women and children, forced a halt to an immunization campaign planned with the health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) to curtail the spread of a form of polio reported in the area, and prevented UN aid agencies from accessing affected people. Earlier this month, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that despite the end of a post-electoral crisis, the humanitarian situation in the country remained “alarming” for tens of thousands of civilians.The country’s political crisis ended when former president Laurent Gbagbo surrendered on 11 April, following months of deadly violence that erupted in the wake of his refusal to step down after he lost the UN-certified presidential run-off election last November to Alassane Ouattara. In today’s statement, Hervé Ludovic de Lys, UNICEF Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, said, “This recent outbreak of insecurity is putting on hold key child survival activities such as vaccinating against polio which would prevent children from being exposed to a virus that could leave them paralyzed for life.” Three cases of polio have been confirmed in the area. A national polio immunization campaign, including the district of Soubré, is planned to start this Friday if security conditions allow, he said.“As the country is getting on the path to stability and recovery we should not overlook pressing humanitarian needs in localized areas of the country where swift humanitarian response is still required to save the life of women and children,” Mr. Ludovic de Lys said. A UNICEF statement released today said critical needs remain unmet such as decent shelters, water and sanitation facilities and emergency health services. “The risk of widespread epidemics is becoming high with the poor health conditions of displaced populations being compounded by the start of the rainy season and the poor quality of health services delivery in the current post-crisis situation. “UNICEF fears that the overall conditions of displaced women and children could further deteriorate if safe humanitarian access is not quickly restored to allow rapid assessments and delivery of aid. The situation could possibly be worse in other parts of the southwest region of Côte d’Ivoire but so far the lack of safe access does not allow aid agencies to draw a clear picture of the situation on the ground.”Cote 24 May 2011Armed clashes in south-western Côte d’Ivoire have displaced thousands of women and children, halted a vital polio immunization campaign, and are threatening other forms of life-saving assistance, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported today. read more

“Thousands of children are living through the deaths of their mother, father or family members from Ebola. These children urgently need special attention and support; yet many of them feel unwanted and even abandoned,” Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said in a news release. “Orphans are usually taken in by a member of the extended family, but in some communities, the fear surrounding Ebola is becoming stronger than family ties,” he added.Since its outbreak earlier this year, Ebola has claimed more than 3,000 lives while infecting over 6,500 people in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. However, alongside the devastating physiological effects of the virus, the outbreak has also ignited panic and fear across the affected areas with some victims, and their children, being spurned by their local communities.“Ebola is turning a basic human reaction like comforting a sick child into a potential death sentence. The vast majority of children affected by Ebola are still left without appropriate care,” Mr. Fontaine explained. “We cannot respond to a crisis of this nature and this scale in the usual way. We need more courage, more creativity, and far, far more resources.”According to preliminary reports obtained by UNICEF, the Ebola death toll in the three affected countries continues to rise, suggesting a spike in the numbers of orphaned children in the past few weeks and the likelihood that they will double by mid-October. As the orphaned children of Ebola victims confront the devastation left by the disease, UNICEF has announced that it is accelerating its response and will roll out both traditional and new ways to help provide them with the necessary physical and emotional healing.These include the training of 400 additional mental health and social workers in Liberia; the training of 2,500 Ebola survivors – now immune to the disease – to provide care to quarantined children in Sierra Leone; and providing an estimated 60,000 children in Guinea living among Ebola-affected communities with psychosocial support.At the same time, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) continues to establish its headquarters in Accra, Ghana, to lead the world body’s efforts in stopping the outbreak, treating the infected, ensuring essential services, preserving stability and preventing any further outbreaks. “The situation that Ebola has created is very grave. It is more than just a public health crisis, it has become a multi-dimensional crisis with serious risks affecting the health, economic, political, humanitarian spheres,” Anthony Banbury, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNMEER, told a news conference in Accra today. “The rate of infections is growing exponentially. The total number of cases is doubling every three weeks. The number of deaths now is greater from this outbreak than in all previous Ebola outbreaks in the history of the world,” he added. “The world has recognized the risk to the people of the three affected countries, the sub-region, the continent and the world.”Mr. Banbury thanked the Government of Ghana for its willingness to support the Mission’s work and noted that while UNMEER would be headquartered in the Ghanaian capital, it would maintain strong operational presences in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.“Our Mission will work on establishing operational capacities in the countries concerned – providing vehicles for transportation, supplies for the health workers, and other needs identified by the national governments,” he stated.“Where there are gaps in their plan, we will work with partners to make sure someone is filling those gaps to stop the spread of Ebola as soon as possible,” added the Special Representative, who will travel to Liberia tomorrow and then on to Sierra Leone and Guinea. read more

The shading shows you the general range of strengths for each seed.Although not a huge effect, the gap between the No. 5 and 6 seeds and their competition has been narrowing over time. The average difference between No. 5 and 12 seeds from 2000 to 2002 was about 7.6 points, but it has been about 5.8 from 2012 to 2014.More importantly, the 5 vs. 12 matchup looks a lot more like the 6 vs. 11 one than it does the 4 vs. 13. The No. 5 seeds have been considerably weaker than No. 4 seeds, and No. 12 seeds have been considerably stronger than No. 13 seeds. The average No. 5 seed had a 6.6 point expected advantage going into a game against its No. 12 seed opponent. That’s only 2.2 points higher than the average advantage that No. 6 seeds held against No. 11 seeds (4.4 points), but it’s 5.1 points lower than the average advantage that No. 4 seeds held against No. 13 seeds (11.7 points).It seems like the 5 vs. 12 seed matchup is the threshold where the games should start being much more competitive. Combine that with the psychological effect of thinking five is a number that has more in common with four than six (blame our five fingers), and you have a recipe for “shocking” upsets.That is, there are a number of upsets, but we shouldn’t really be shocked. Even just looking at recent history, No. 5 seeds have only been a greater than 10 point SRS favorite in eight round-of-64 games since 2005, and they won 7 of them.3The loser was Illinois against Western Kentucky in 2009. The No. 5 seed has been an SRS underdog three times (and lost twice). Still, the No. 5 seed has performed below what one would expect based on the difference between them and their opponents. But so have most seeds. Here’s a chart comparing the average expected outcomes based on SRS difference and average actual outcomes for each seed over the past 12 years:From this angle, the No. 5 seed “outlier” doesn’t look as impressive. Seeds No. 1 through 6 all underperformed expectations by a smallish — but somewhat consistent — amount. The main difference with the No. 5 seed is that it didn’t have a big enough advantage to underperform this much without losing a lot more games.In other words, if there’s something that has systematically led tournament favorites to underperform their expectations by a few points or so across the board,4As a strictly mathy thing, having a somewhat constant deviation isn’t as weird as it may seem because the standard deviation for a team’s actual SRS is similarly stable. So in this case, it’s a bit like the stronger teams are all running one standard deviation below the expected mean. No. 5 seeds would be disproportionately hard-hit. Thus the 5-seed jinx may be more like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine,” indicating that something bigger is going on.We know the Big Dance is exciting, but could there really be something about the tournament that makes favorites underperform and gives underdogs better-than-normal chances?It’s tricky. For example, the selection committee may systematically overvalue particular types/classes of teams, but that doesn’t necessarily explain why teams would underperform relative to SRS. Some of it could be that SRS is poorly calibrated for the types of matchups we see in the tournament (e.g., between larger and smaller conferences that rarely play each other). It could be that favorites are more likely to regress to the mean.5This is always a good candidate, but, interestingly, there is no such effect in the women’s tournament.Or it could just be that this is March Madness, and anything can happen. If there’s one piece of folk wisdom that has emerged over the past decade or so of March Madness, it’s that No. 5 seeds are jinxed. SportsCenter did a whole story on the subject featuring Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2012, VCU was a No. 12 seed that pulled off a “shocking” upset against Wichita State. In 2013, VCU was itself a No. 5 but defied the trend, crushing No. 12 Akron by 46 points to become the only No. 5 seed to win its opening-round (round of 64) game that year. In 2014, VCU’s story came full circle. It again entered the tournament as a No. 5 seed but was upset by unheralded No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin University. The tournament quirk that was once VCU’s magic was now its curse.Including those VCU games, No. 12 seeds over the past three years have pulled off upsets in eight of 12 round-of-64 matchups, including six of their last eight. It would be extremely easy to dismiss this as a freak occurrence. (I certainly did at first.) But it’s a real phenomenon. And after looking into it, I think it may be indicative of something larger. The 5-seed jinx may be a sign that March Madness — at least on the men’s side — is even madder than we think.But I’ll get there. First, let’s look at the phenomenon. If it seems like No. 12 seeds beat No. 5 seeds more than they should, it’s because they have. Going back to 1995, No. 5 seeds have been upset 33 times in 80 games. Their 59 percent win rate compares unfavorably to the 66 percent win rate of No. 6 seeds. Based on the trend, it would appear that No. 5 seeds should be winning more like 72 percent. Take a look at how far No. 5 seeds deviate in the chart below. The gray region is the standard error on the fit between seed and win percentage when not including the No. 5 seed:So they’re an outlier, but is it significant? Particularly, how unlikely is this to have happened by chance? Let us consult the oracle of binom.dist() — Excel’s handy function that tells you the probability of things happening a certain number of times, given the probability of them happening once. In a fun bit of symmetry, given an expected win rate of 72 percent, the odds of No. 5 seeds losing six of eight, eight of 12, or 33 of 80 are all about the same: Each is a little under 1 percent.10.8 percent, 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.Note that it would be unremarkable for this to have happened by chance: One in a hundred-type things happen every day. But, as a committed Bayesian, I have to consult my priors and determine whether the phenomenon of No. 5 seeds’ underperforming is more likely to be a result of chance or other plausible factors.First, let’s look at how strong each seed’s teams have been since 1995. As you go from the 1 vs. 16 matchups down to the 8 vs. 9 ones, the better-seeded teams get worse and the worse-seeded teams get better, making the contests much closer. To see how much so, we can plot each team’s SRS (Simple Rating System, a metric that measures margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule) prior to the game.2I backed these out myself, so there may be very small differences from what was actually recorded at the time. They’re as prior to each team’s round-of-64 match for each year (since 1995). Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

first_img Yes, it should be abolished (2080) THE GOVERNMENT HAS just announced plans for a referendum on whether the Seanad kept or abolished.Minister Simon Coveney argued this morning that a country the size of Ireland does not need two chambers and that its abolition would move the country toward an “international norm”.However, opponents of the proposal believe the upper house is necessary to provide checks and balances on those in power.What side of the debate are you on? How will you vote in the Seanad referendum? Yes, it should be abolishedNo, it should be keptVote No, it should be kept (3848) Poll Results:last_img

first_imgEmployees of German airline Lufthansa are striking today (9 November) in a dispute over changes to pay and pension provision.The Executive Boards of the Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa German Airlines will also decide today on the ramifications of the present strike action by cabin crew staff that are members of the UFO independent flight attendants’ union.The decision will be announced at around 6pm this evening.Members of the UFO union are planning further industrial strike action throughout the week.Lufthansa last invited UFO to talks on 5 November, at which it presented the union with a modified offer, through which the airline offered to compensate any employee ceasing gainful employment before reaching the statutory retirement age for the corresponding reduction in their state retirement pension.Lufthansa also made an alternative offer on the investment returns assumed for retirement pension funding purposes.The present pension system at Lufthansa permits cabin staff to voluntarily retire from flight duties from the age 55 onwards. Anyone who does so will then receive up to 60% of their last salary as a ‘transitional pension’.last_img read more

first_imgEssence magazine named Antoinette Mabry as senior director of marketing. Prior to joining Essence, Mabry served as a senior marketing manager at Boost Mobile.Kiplinger named Wallace Ryland director of digital business development ofr the Kiplinger Washington Editors. Most recently, Ryland served as interim president of Hyper Localized Media LLC.Shelley McCormick was appointed publisher of East Coast Home + Design. Previously, McCormick served for seven years as vice president of sales, and acted as the lead architect in the rebranding Fairfield County Home to East Coast Home + Design. Former Newsweek editorial director and Newsweek Digital editor Mark Miller has been named editor of the Texas Tribune . Miller will report to CEO/editor-in-chief Evan Smith, who previously served as president and editor of Texas Monthly.Joyce Parente was named associate publisher of marketing at Rolling Stone. Previously, Parente served as associate publisher of marketing for Men’s Health.IDG’s GamePro Media, publisher of GamePro Magazine and, appointed Julian Rignall vice president of content. Most recently, Rignall was editorial director at Future US where he led the Future Plus custom-publishing creative team.Source Interlink Companies appointed David G. Algire president of Source Interlink Distribution. Most recently, Algire served as vice president of retail sales at Meredith’s National Media Group.Also at Source Interlink, Tyler Schulze was promoted to vice president and general manager of IntelliChoice, which is part of the Motor Trend Automotive Group. Previously, Schulze served as vice president of strategy and corporate development for Source Interlink Media.last_img read more

first_imgUnion Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday clarified that fears of of privatizing railway operations are misplaced, saying seeking private participation is aimed at raising funds. Addressing an Asia Society event through video conferencing, Prabhu said that some people, especially the unions, “do not understand” the difference between merely getting private capital and privatisation.”There are unions who feel that Railways is going to be privatised, government will not own Railways anymore. Railways will continue to be an important, dominant part of India’s social-economic culture and Government of India will make sure that we’ve proper trade-offs between private participation which can come through proper regulatory framework,” he said, according to the Narendra Modi government came to power, a lot of talk has been generated around foreign and private investment in the railways.This has been opposed by unions, who represent the two-million strong workforce of the state employer.Two of the unions had even come forward to offer employees’ provident fund deposits for upgrading the rail network.The resource crunch of the railways requires private investment, which would prove to be a “win-win” situation, benefiting the country and all its stakeholders – investors, passengers and most importantly the employees, Prabhu said.The Railway Minister added that “he wants to make Railways “vibrant, sustainable and an efficient effective business organisation” and promised to never let go of its agenda of doing social good. Travel by Indian Railways set to get more expensiveReuterslast_img read more

first_imgStreet Organized Noize will be hosting a community drumming session on Sept. 16 at the Archives Metro Station, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 4:30 7:30 p.m. The event is free of charge and is open to all ages. Musicians should bring their drums, instruments and voices. For more information about the event, visit

first_imgAround six years ago, Q-Games released an odd title on the PlayStation Network, PixelJunk Eden. It was the third game in the PixelJunk franchise. Eden was something of a surprise, its extremely unique gameplay following a fairly standard slot car racing title and a pretty-but-plain tower defense endeavor. Though it’s six years old, it was voted as a community choice option in the recent Steam winter sale, and sold at a price of just $0.99. After the eight-hour sale period was over, PixelJunk Eden doubled the company’s income to date for the Steam version of the game.@PixelJunkNews @abrasion we just made our income to date, again, in just 8 hours, it was a huge success— Dylan Cuthbert (@dylancuthbert) December 31, 2013 The statement was made by Q-Games boss Dylan Cuthbert, and though the wording can be a little vague, Cuthbert likely meant the game’s life-to-date income. This means that the eight-hour sale matched the income of the game ever since it was released on Steam back in February of 2012. Cuthbert did not reveal the sales figure as related to the game’s total six-year lifespan beginning on the PlayStation 3.In Eden, you assume the role of a little fairy-like creature called a Grimp — named after its two abilities, to grip and jump. In the game, you swing around a psychedelic world like Spider-Man, collecting pollen and growing plants onto which you can grip and jump in order to reach and collect seeds. The overall mechanic is simple, but it’s one of the most mechanically unique games made in a very long time, and the combination of trippy visuals and trance-like music creates an even more unique atmosphere and vibe.At this stage in its life, we all know that Steam is a powerful platform for exposure, and that just about every single PC gamer on the market partakes in the Steam sales. Furthermore, the iOS and Android markets have shown time and again that just because a game costs less than a dollar doesn’t mean that tiny price can’t be monumentally profitable. After all, thousands and thousands of people giving you one dollar will generate more cash than a hundred people giving you ten.If you still haven’t dabbled in the PixelJunk franchise, now is a good time to start. Eden, Monsters (the tower defense title), and Shooter (basically a shmup) are available on Steam right now, though that community sale is long gone. PixelJunk Inc, a Terraria-style game about building and running a secret soup factory (trailer below), will be releasing on the PC as Q’s next game.last_img read more