Indian National Lok Dal MP Dushyant Chautala on Sunday accused the ruling BJP government in Haryana of moving towards privatisation of education in the State. Mr. Chautala alleged that as a first step towards privatisation, the contract for recruitment of ‘C’ and ‘D’ category employees in the Education Department has been outsourced. “Private companies will now be recruiting teachers for primary schools of the State,” said Mr. Chautala at a press conference. He said this anti-people and anti-education policy would adversely impact the right to equal opportunity in employment since the teachers will be recruited by the recruitment agency. Mr. Chautala demanded that the State government withdraw this scheme or the Opposition would approach the court.
November 22, 2019
Pakistan are not assuming the absence of batting superstar Chris Gayle to mean the West Indies will be a weakened unit for their three-match Twenty20 International series starting in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday.”I don’t think that there is much of an advantage when it comes to T20 cricket when players have changed,” captain Sarfraz Ahmed said here on Wednesday, reports CMC.”True, they don’t have Chris Gayle but they do have some other good players. Our focus is to do well on the field. We finished on a good note in Manchester (against England earlier this month) and I hope we start on a good note here.”Gayle, one of the most destructive batsmen in the game’s shortest formats, was not available for selection. He also missed the two-match series against India in Fort Lauderdale, United States last month. (Also read: I am a complicated person: Chris Gayle to India Today)He was joined by Lendl Simmons who was also unavailable because of medical reasons, while dynamic all-rounder Andre Russell pulled out of the squad last week for “personal reasons”.However, Sarfraz pointed out that regardless of the line-up, the key to winning T20s was execution.”In T20, you cannot win by names alone. You need to go out there and play well,” he contended.”If you see, England are a good team and we have quite a few young and exciting players who have performed well. And I’m sure they will do well here too.”advertisementThe West Indies have been installed as heavy favourites, especially after lifting an unprecedented second T20 World Cup title in India last April. They are currently ranked number three with Pakistan four places lower in seventh. (Also read: Under-fire Azhar Ali retained as Pakistan ODI skipper for West Indies series)Despite the absence of Gayle, Simmons and Russell, the West Indies boast the likes of all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, along with leg-spinner Samuel Badree and off-spinner Sunil Narine.But Sarfraz said while there was no doubt about the quality of the Caribbean side, Pakistan would not be daunted.”They are the best T20 team in the world and won the Twenty20 World Cup,” he noted.”We are also a good team and when we played against England, we didn’t think that we were playing the T20 World Cup finalists and that they are one of the best T20 teams in the world. Our focus was mainly on that we should play well and play good cricket.”That is the same focus here. Our aim is to play good cricket and play a good brand of cricket and beat them.”
November 22, 2019
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November 19, 2019
(Eds: Adding more details from the meeting) New Delhi, May 22 (PTI) The Olympic Task Force, set up by the Sports Ministry, today recommended formation of an Empowered Steering Committee for the 2020 Tokyo Games along with removal of salary cap for the Indian coaches. The Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) along with High Performance Director (HPD) will work cohesively to create an atmosphere which brings out the best from the potential medal hopefuls going into Tokyo 2020. Among eight recommendations is the introduction of Pradhan Mantri Gold Card for elite athletes and coaches giving them access to emergency quota in air/rail/bus tickets. A 24×7 NADA helpline would help the athletes get a clarity on the kind of supplements they can use. “We put up a few pointers during our meeting and the main recommendation was to set up an empowered steering committee to take charge of the next Olympics,” Pullela Gopichand, member of the Task Force told PTI.”We have been meeting at regular intervals. And, besides 2020, of course the discussions are also being held for 2024 and 2028.”We debated several issues and brought to the table ideas that can eventually be implemented to bring in greater synergy among all the stakeholders and supplement the efforts being made by different segments,” Gopichand added. Besides, the three sportspersons, the other five members of the task force are School Sports Promotion Board head Om Pathak, hockey coach S Baldev Singh, who runs an academy in Shahabad, G L Khanna (Professor and Dean of Exercise and Physiology at Manav Rachna International University at Faridabad), journalist Rajesh Kalra and Sports Authority of Gujarat Director General Sandeep Pradhan. “Pradhan, Om Pathak and Baldev Singh will be in charge for 2024 and 2028 Olympics. Rajesh Kalra and G L Khanna will be helping both the sub-committees. But our first priority is 2020,” former India hockey captain Viren Rasquinha, who has also been named as the spokesperson of the committee, had said on February 3, when the task force has met for the first time. “Me, Abhinav (Bindra) and Gopi will help the other committee once we finish our immediate job of preparing a plan for 2020 Olympics,” he had said. Following are Recommendations 1. The task force made a point strongly that all recommendations should apply to Para athletes as well. Towards that, the report itself has been titled “Preparation of 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games”. 2. Set up an Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) to drive all initiatives. This body will be solely responsible for ensuring proper preparation for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This body should also have full financial autonomy. 3. An internationally acclaimed High Performance Director (HPD) be appointed to work with the Empowered Steering Committee. 4. Removing cap on salary for Indian coaches and support staff. Former athletes should be encouraged to return to coaching/support staff/technical field through deputation from various organisations. While this happens, they should retain their seniority in their respective organisations. 5. Pradhan Mantri Gold Card should be issued to the elite potential athlete & their coaches as an identity of being a ?National asset?. This card will also provide facilities for emergency quota for air/train/bus tickets and hassle free access at various places. 6. A special cell within ESC should be established to take care of all the logistical issues for athletes, so they can concentrate on training alone. 7. Sports Science to be accorded top priority. It must play a key role in assisting HPD. Coaches to deliver results. It will ensure all sportspersons have access to the latest in the world, be it medicine, nutrition advise, anti-doping, etc. Athletes should also have access to a 24×7 NADA helpline where they can seek advise on any doubt. 8. Primacy of Athletes and Coaches to be maintained at all times. ESC and HPD to work towards creating an environment that allows them to deliver. Would include infrastructure, equipment, training camps and all else. PTI KND AT KHS ATadvertisement
November 16, 2019
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday recalled the heartbreaking World Cup final loss in 2003, saying the final vs Australia was one of the most disappointing moments in his celebrated cricket career.India, under Sourav Ganguly, were one step away from emulating Kapil’s Devils but faltered in the final hurdle. India were impressive throughout the campaign as they recovered well after a 9-wicket thrashing to Australia in their second match.Sachin Tendulkar led from the front with the bat and scored 673 runs in 11 matches — which still is a World Cup record for the most number of runs scored in a single edition of the quadrennial cricket tournament.However, Team India capitulated in the final after Australia took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners after being sent in to bat. Ricky Ponting smashed 140 from 121 balls and Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist hit fifties as Australia posted a mammoth 359 for 2 in 50 overs.In reply, India were off to a horrible start as they lost their star batsman Sachin Tendulkar for 5 in the first over of the chase. Tendulkar was caught and bowled by Glenn McGrath in the 5th ball of India’s chase. Virender Sehwag’s valiant 82 went in vain as India were bundled out for 234 in just 39.4 overs.Speaking at Salaam Cricket at Lord’s on Sunday, Tendulkar said India’s aggressive outlook to the final backfired.”Yes, there was regret. It was one of the biggest disappointments of my life because we played so well in that tournament. Before that our batsmen were not in good space because we played in New Zealand were they prepared lively pitches,” Tendulkar said.advertisement”When we went to South Africa we started gaining confidence with every match. The only team that we lost to in that entire tournament was Australia.”I felt we were charged up in the finals, maybe a bit too much. Sometimes when your aggression is not controlled, the result tends to go the other way then. If given a chance again we would approach that game differently.”Tendulkar shared the stage with former arch-rival and good friend, Wasim Akram at Salam Cricket.Akram recalled his early-career rivalry with Sachin Tendulkar, saying the Pakistan team knew the India batsman was “special” right from the time the teenager toured his neighbouring country.”Tried sledging Sachin Tendulkar but then we realised he would not react. Akhtar tried, Waqar tried. Some guys would get upset but Sachin would get more motivated. I remember when India were about to come to Pakistan – we heard about a young sensation coming from India. And we thought how could a 16-year-old boy playing Test cricket be so good?”ALSO READ | R Ashwin was relieved when he was told he would not play World Cup semis vs PakistanALSO READ | Salaam Cricket 2019: India’s bowling attack better than Pakistan, says Younis KhanALSO WATCH | Tendulkar greeted with ‘Sachin, Sachin’ chants at Salaam Cricket 2019
October 17, 2019
SURREY, B.C. – Anti-gang advocate Sukhi Sandhu says he will be watching closely as the new city council in Surrey, B.C., attempts what many local governments before have considered but few have done: replacing its RCMP with a municipal police force.The city just east of Vancouver is among the fastest growing in the province, with a young and diverse community that speaks more than 100 different languages and where about one-third of its residents are under 19. It’s expected to surpass Vancouver in population as the largest city in B.C. by 2041.With that growth, the longtime resident said he’s concerned about gun violence involving youth, even as the RCMP says overall crime is on the decline.When two teenagers were found dead on a rural road in what police called a targeted shooting in June, Sandhu said many in the city felt the same way: “Enough is enough.”Answering that problem will require a multilayered approach involving police, as well as schools, families and politicians, he said.“We have no hesitation in saying that we are at a crisis point socially in Surrey,” said Sandhu, who is a spokesman with the anti-gang violence group Wake Up Surrey.“We’ve seen rapid growth in our city in terms of our development but at the same time we’ve seen a social decay.”Council unanimously passed a motion immediately after it was sworn in this week to terminate its contract with RCMP and begin forming a municipal force.The RCMP says it would be the first time a local government moves from the national force since Cape Breton, N.S., made the move in 2000. Abbotsford, B.C., dropped the Mounties in 1995, when it amalgamated with Matsqui and formed the Abbotsford Police Department, and a small town in Prince Edward Island made the move in the early 1990s.Rob Gordon, a criminology professor with Simon Fraser University, said it’s a daunting and costly task. While it typically comes with the benefit lighter caseloads for local officers, it means immediately losing a 10 per cent subsidy that the federal government offers any municipality that uses an RCMP.“There will be a lot of eyes on Surrey to see whether or not it is cost effective to do this,” he said.Mayor Doug McCallum has defended the expense, which he said voters condoned when they filled all but one council seat with Safe Surrey party members who ran on making the change.“A local police force will understand the community better and will be more motivated to tackle problems,” his campaign platform said.McCallum has said he believes the switch to municipal policing can be accomplished within the next two years at a cost of about $120 million.Assistant RCMP Commissioner Dwayne McDonald, who is in charge of the Surrey detachment, has already said his officers will remain on the job throughout any changes.Yvon Danduran, professor emeritus of criminology at the University of the Fraser Valley, said one benefit of a municipal police force is the perception of governance. The RCMP gets its direction from Ottawa, while a police board oversees a local force and the city holds the purse strings.“It’s really about ownership and control,” Danduran said. “If you have your own police force, you live with it, you improve it and you try to be proud of it.”The RCMP says statistics in Surrey don’t back up the alarm. Overall crime has declined in the past decade in all areas, including violent offences and property crimes.Cpl. Elenore Sturko said publicity around some high-profile cases, such as the hockey dad who was gunned down in front of his home in a case of mistaken identity in July, may be skewing perceptions of crime in the city.“People, especially externally, have a perception of Surrey as being a dangerous place or having a real crime problem that’s not necessarily supported by what we see statistically,” Sturko said.Shootings have declined by about half since a spike in 2015, when there were 59 instances of shots fired in the municipality, she said.Homicides remain relatively steady, with a local rate of 2.15 per 100,000 population in 2017, above the national average of 1.8. There have been 13 homicides so far this year, compared with 12 in 2017, eight in 2016 and nine in 2015.Mounties have also increased enforcement in several areas, Sturko said, including boosting staff on its gang enforcement unit. It has prevention programs specifically targeting at-risk youth and other education and community engagement initiatives like a diversity unit, she said.“It is such a unique community and we have unique needs, but we also have unique programs,” she said.“That doesn’t necessarily mean people’s concerns are alleviated. That comes with more work in sharing, for example, the success that we are having and letting the public know what kind of headway we’re making and what’s happening,” Sturko said.Sandhu said he is skeptical that changing the police force alone will answer a problem that requires more grassroots change. The solution has to come from the community itself, he said.“The current situation in the city of Surrey should be a red flag for all political leaders that when you neglect the demographics or uniqueness of a city and try to do a one-size fits all school district, a one-size fits all policing model, you are going to get to this stage.”
October 14, 2019
APTN National NewsThousands of Aboriginal children across the country are caught up in the child welfare system.Something needs to be done to fix the overrepresentation says the Canadian Council of Child and Youth Advocates.“It’s a huge proportion and a national disaster we’ve got to do something about,” said Darlene MacDonald, Manitoba’s children’s advocate.The western provinces have some of the highest numbers of children in care.In British Columbia, nearly 8,200 children are in care of the province.Over half are Aboriginal.But it gets worse.Over 5,000 Aboriginal children are in care of the province of Alberta. They represent nearly 70 per cent of kids.The number grows to 5,600 Aboriginal children in Saskatchewan or 83 per cent of all kids in care.But it’s Manitoba that has the highest numbers.More than 10,000 Aboriginal children, 87 per cent, are under the care of the province.APTN’s Dennis Ward looks for answers.
October 13, 2019
SQUAMISH, B.C. — The Squamish Nation has approved economic benefit agreements for Woodfibre LNG, a project worth up to $1.8 billion in British Columbia’s Howe Sound.The approval of the agreements by an eight to six vote means the First Nation could receive cash and contract benefits worth almost $1.1 billion.Woodfibre LNG is licensed to export about 2.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year for the next 40 years from a former pulp mill about seven kilometres south of Squamish.The First Nation says in a news release the agreements include annual and milestone payments totalling about $226 million, a cultural fund and cash for employment opportunities.It says the agreements also mean the Squamish Nation and member-owned businesses could be awarded up to about $872 million in contracts, but only if they are fully qualified to win the bids.Squamish councillor Khelsilem says it was a difficult decision for many in the community.“The next steps will be holding the proponents accountable for the life of the project and beyond; that includes the construction, operation and eventual decommissioning of Woodfibre LNG.”The First Nation says it will help develop management plans for the project and will have its own monitors to report any non-compliance with environmental, cultural, employment and training requirements.The deals also mean nine parcels of land would be transferred to the Squamish Nation for housing and economic development along with five cultural leases in Howe Sound.In a statement issued Friday, the company says it has already received environmental approvals from the federal, provincial and Squamish Nation governments.Byng Giraurd, vice-president of corporate affairs at Woodfibre LNG, says it is pleased to have fulfilled another key condition of the project.“The Woodfibre LNG project is the first industrial project to undergo Squamish Nation’s groundbreaking environmental assessment process and is the first industrial project in Canada to be awarded an environmental assessment certificate by an Indigenous government.”The Canadian Press
October 12, 2019
OMAHA, Neb. — A cryptocurrency pioneer is behind a more than $4.5 million charity bid to have a private lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett.The Glide Foundation said in a news release Monday that the top bidder was Justin Sun, founder of Tron and CEO of BitTorrent. The online auction raises money for the Glide Foundation’s work to help the homeless in San Francisco. The eBay auction ended Friday night with Sun’s winning bid of $4,567,888.Buffett isn’t a fan of investing in cryptocurrencies, calling them nonproductive assets.Sun said on social media Monday that lunch with the Omaha legend “will be a great opportunity for mutual understanding and knowledge transfer.”Sun’s bid shattered the previous record of nearly $3.5 million. Sun and up to seven people get to dine with Buffett in New York City.The Associated Press
October 8, 2019
A landmark in Jaffna town, the Duraiappah stadium has been renovated over the last two years by the Lankan company Wahid Constructions, with an Indian government grant of LKR 145 million. Apart from renovating the main and secondary pavilions, a gymnasium has been built. A playground with a 400 meter track has been laid, and floodlights have been put up. Adequate sanitary and garbage disposal facilities have also been installed. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President President Maithripala Sirisena will jointly inaugurate the renovated Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna through video conferencing on June 18, Indian officials told the New Indian Express.While Modi will speak from India, Sirisena will speak from Jaffna, where he would be the Chief Guest at the gala opening ceremony. When it is thrown open to the public, the primary beneficiaries will be the 50,000 school students in the Jaffna peninsula ,who had lacked sports facilities for 30 years because of the war. (Colombo Gazette)
September 24, 2019
Meet the founder and president of DOMTEC International, Michael Hunter, builder of what the company says are the “world’s strongest bulk storage domes” at MINExpo. In these structures, an industrial-grade roofing membrane (DomeSkinTM) is fabricated into a hemisphere or in some cases, a hemisphere with a cylinder at the base, and attached to a circular, concrete ring beam foundation. Large inflator fans blow air into the DomeSkin. The dome is now a massive air-supported structure. Technicians apply 51 mm of polyurethane foam to the interior of the dome to add initial rigidity and eventually protect the product from temperature fluctuation. Rebar is attached to the foam in a grid pattern and sprayed with shotcrete, a flowable concrete under pressure. Additional mats of rebar and layers of shotcrete are added until the thickness of the dome meets the engineered requirements.The company explains that “acting like a vessel, a dome will hold product against the walls and roof, like a water bottle, at the same time supporting heavy conveyors, head houses and equipment on the apex.Insulated concrete bulk storage domes don’t just cover a pile, they contain the product.Other bulk storage buildings only cover a pile because they cannot support product high against the walls and roof. Containers don’t need as much real estate to build, gravity reclaim is more efficient and reclaim equipment and conveyors can be reduced in size saving a considerable amount of space and money.”Advantages:Water and wind off pile -no leaching, erosion or fugitive dustLocal labour and materials used to build dome -keeping money in the local economySecure place to contain and store product100% reclaim options availableHeavy apex loadingQuick construction timeNo corrosion to buildingDurable enough to last the life-cycle of the mine.
September 21, 2019
Got some spare Lego parts, a few stepper motors, and a Raspberry Pi laying around? Why not combine the whole lot into a slick little rig that lets you experiment with gigapixel photography in the comfort of your own back yard?That’s what the Stocker brothers set out to do with their GigaPi project. Thanks to their hard work, anyone with a little technical know-how and programming skill can build an inexpensive, motorized setup that lets a DSLR capture truly massive images.The frame was crafted out of inch-thick MDF, sanded smooth, and given a coat of bright yellow paint. It’s been fitted to an off-the-shelf laser level that included a tripod base, which ran about $30. Pi-friendly stepper motors can be sourced on eBay for about $5, and a few more bucks were spent on a Vero board and relays that control the camera’s shutter and focus.There’s no actual Lego build here. Instead, the Stockers fit Technic gears and worm drive bits onto the steppers and laser level base to enable the GigaPi’s movements.One of the rig’s best features is that it’s fully portable and self-contained. Power for the Raspberry Pi, motors, and an integrated display is provided by an Anker USB battery pack — which can be picked up quite cheaply from a number of websites.Any reputable brand’s pack will do, but one with dual USB ports and a capacious lithium-ion battery is worth the extra cash. One that provides 8000mAh or more should last for several hours of shooting with the GigaPi.The massive, beautiful images the Stockers captured using the GigaPi wouldn’t be possible without software that can make the necessary calculations and provide movement instructions. Thankfully, the Stockers are letting enthusiasts grab everything they need from their GigaPi project over on GitHub.The GigaPi rig can already take some pretty amazing pictures, but it’ll be interesting to see what the community can do with that source code, too. Open source, Lego, and a Raspberry Pi… what more could a true geek ask for?
September 13, 2019
Installation officials testifying last year about the Pentagon’s request for a new BRAC round were eager to tell Congress about the European Infrastructure Consolidation plan, as lawmakers previously had insisted the department address its excess capacity overseas before tackling its domestic infrastructure.On Capitol Hill last week, several members of the House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee asked the services’ top installation officials about the costs and savings associated with the European consolidation and whether those results could serve as a barometer for the potential payoff from a domestic BRAC.The Air Force — which is responsible for the bulk of the initiative’s actions, including the divestiture of its Royal Air Force Mildenhall facility in the United Kingdom — plans to spend about $1.1 billion and expects to save between $275 million and $300 million annually, Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy, told the panel.“The process worked. It worked very effectively. And we are not reducing our warfighting capabilities at all. We’re just viewing it more effectively,” Ballentine said in response to a question from Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.).The Army is spending $300 million to implement its portion of the consolidation and estimates it will save $170 million annually, said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment.“What we’re going to end up is not zero excess infrastructure, but around 7 percent. And around 7 percent is where we think we can balance surge requirements, we can balance modification to mission requirements. And that’s what we’d like to do in the United States,” Hammack told Jolly.Both officials told Jolly they believed the European consolidation is a good model for a new domestic BRAC round, which the Pentagon has requested be conducted in 2019.Pete Potochney, acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, told Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) that the department modeled its decision-making process for eliminating excess infrastructure in Europe after BRAC.“We did that on purpose, both as BRAC practice, as you mentioned, training, but also because it’s a good way to look at your infrastructure,” Potochney said.The European consolidation — which calls for the closure of Mildenhall and 14 other facilities — will be carried out over the next several years, according to Potochney’s written testimony. The initiative is projected to generate $500 million in annual recurring savings across all services.Written testimony and a webcast of the hearing on the installations, environment and energy budget request for fiscal 2017 submitted by DOD and the military services are available on the committee website. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
September 10, 2019
Post a comment Tags 0 Facebook has been criticised by the Vietnamese authorities as the country tightens control over the internet. Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Trouble is brewing for Facebook in Vietnam.The social network has infringed on a new cybersecurity law in the country by letting users post content it deemed illegal on its platform, state media reported Wednesday. Such posts include those containing “slanderous content,” “anti-government sentiment” and the defamation of individuals and organisations, it added, citing the Ministry of Information and Communications. Despite repeated emails, Facebook did not remove the offending content and refused to hand over information on “fraudulent accounts” to the authorities, the ministry alleged.The report comes more than a week after a controversial law came into effect on Jan. 1. The law requires internet companies to keep user data locally, remove offending content from their platforms and provide user data to the government without the need for a warrant. Vietnam’s existing rules penalise comments online that contain “propaganda against the state” and “reactionary ideology.”In addition, the ministry accused Facebook of allowing users to sell and advertise illegal and counterfeit products. It also failed to recognise its tax obligations in Vietnam despite earning $235 million from ad sales last year, causing the state to “lose money,” the publication added.CNET has reached out to Facebook for a comment. Have you deleted your Facebook? The pros and cons (The… Facebook Now playing: Watch this: 4:24 CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show.CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Internet Share your voice
September 6, 2019
A 38-year-old woman committed suicide by jumping off the fifth floor of her apartment building late on Tuesday night at Kothapet. Srilekha is a resident of Vysya apartment at HUDA colony. Neighbours alerted the police who rushed to the spot and took up the investigation. The body was shifted to Osmania General Hospital (OGH) for post-mortem.According to the police, Srilekha had come to her parents’ home from US along with her husband and son on July 1. She is learned to have been suffering from depression. Also Read – Hanamkonda: TDP will hit back strongly Advertise With Us On June 16, 2019, a 68-year-old woman jumped to death from the terrace of her building at Langer Houz. According to her family members, Balamma was suffering from kidney related ailments for the last two years. Balamma might have depressed over her illness and took up the extreme step, said her family members. The police registered a case.
September 3, 2019
Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson appears before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his confirmation hearing to be US Secretary of State on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Photo: AFPDonald Trump’s secretary of state pick Rex Tillerson hit out at China Wednesday during his Senate confirmation hearing, warning the US would send a “clear signal” that the Asian giant must abandon its artificial islands in the South China Sea.“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first the island building stops, and second, your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed,” Tillerson told a US Senate panel.Beijing has fuelled regional tensions by turning tiny, ecologically fragile reefs and islets in the strategically vital South China Sea into artificial islands hosting military facilities.The former ExxonMobil chief said China’s building in the disputed waters and its declaration of an air defence identification zone over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea were “illegal actions”.“They are taking territory or control or declaring control of territories that are not rightfully China’s.”Beijing asserts a claim to almost the whole of the South China Sea, based on a “nine-dash line” dating to 1940s-era maps.An international tribunal—whose jurisdiction Beijing rejected—ruled last year that there was no legal basis to such claims.Tillerson added that “building islands and then putting military assets on those island is akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea.”His remarks came amid rising tensions between the two countries as Trump has suggested Washington could jettison its decades-old “One China” policy, and the Chinese military has ramped up activities in a show of strength, with its Liaoning aircraft carrier passing through the Taiwan Strait in a show of strength.Tillerson said the US should affirm to Taipei it will live up to its commitments to Taiwan, which could require the US to intervene militarily if China attacks the island, but added he did not know of any plans to alter the “One China” policy.In his remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he also criticised China for failing to sufficiently help rein in North Korea.“China has proven a willingness to act with abandon in the pursuit of its own goals which at times has put it in conflict with American interests. We have to deal with what we see, not what we hope,” Tillerson said.“It has not been a reliable partner in using its full influence to curb North Korea,” he added. Beijing is a close Pyongyang ally and is seen as critical in helping contain the pariah state’s nuclear activities.But the former oil executive said disagreements with Beijing on some issues should not preclude “productive partnership” on other matters.Trump’s nominee also branded Russia a “danger” during the hearing, signaling that he is prepared to diverge from the president-elect and take a firm line with Moscow.
September 3, 2019
US president Donald Trump addresses a Congressional Medal of Honor Society reception at the White House in Washington, DC, on September 12, 2018. AFPThe number of illegal voters. Crowd size. The GDP.US president Donald Trump loves to cite stats and numbers to bolster his political standing. He just doesn’t seem to care much about whether they’re true.More than any other president in recent memory, Trump openly embraces shaky numbers to shape his reality. No amount of fact checking or finger-pointing has steered him toward the truth. He rarely corrects himself and often leaves aides scratching their heads about where he gets his information.On Thursday, Trump’s factually challenged tweeting took a new grim turn. He claimed the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year was inflated – “3,000 people did not die,” he tweeted – falsely blaming Democrats for a count intended to make him “look as bad as possible.”More than any other public fight over the numbers, the comment rattled aides and stunned much of Washington. One Republican called it a “new low.” Many others dodged.Although Trump is far from the only politician to cherry-pick favorable statistics, the president frequently engages in wholesale distortion, manipulating numbers to score a political point and leaving aides to clean up the mess. His questionable claims have addressed the success of the economy, the number of illegal voters in the 2016 election, the size of his inaugural crowd and much more. Those off-base numbers are often repeated by aides, regurgitated by conservative media and embraced by supporters.Earlier this week, Trump tweeted: “The GDP rate (4.2 percent) is higher than the Unemployment Rate (3.9 percent) for the first time in over 100 years!”Not quite: The GDP hit that number 12 years ago. Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, acknowledged that Trump was incorrect and said he wasn’t sure where the president received his information.“Let me just say that the history of thought of how errors happen is not something that I can engage in,” Hassett told reporters. “And at some point, somebody probably conveyed it to him.”Other aides have defended the president’s factually challenged comments, with senior aide Kellyanne Conway supplying “alternative facts” and lawyer Rudy Giuliani advising that “truth is not truth.”Trump this summer told a rally crowd that “what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.”In the case of Puerto Rico, the official government conclusion is that nearly 3,000 Americans died from the storm and there is no evidence that Democrats attempted to manipulate the data. White House aides did little to explain the president’s tweets other than to suggest that Trump was marking the lower death total that was known when he visited the island two weeks after the storm hit.Puerto Rico’s governor last month raised Maria’s official death toll from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found that the number of people who succumbed in the sweltering aftermath had been severely undercounted. Previous reports from the Puerto Rican government said the number was closer to 1,400.Trump’s attack on the number of dead enraged Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla, who told reporters that Trump has a “warped mind that would turn this statistic into fake news.”“It might be a new low,” said Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring from Congress. “Boy, that’s saying something.”Even Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he believes the president “sees every attack on him as sort of undercutting his legitimacy. I don’t think it’s bad to say we could have done better in Puerto Rico.”The sources of Trump’s bad information can be varied but often derive from cable news or Twitter.Trump, who lost the 2016 popular vote to Hillary Clinton but won the electoral college, pushed the theory soon after his election that 3 million or more votes were illegally cast by noncitizens, an idea first floated in a series of tweets by Gregg Phillips, a little-known conservative activist. Phillips never backed up his claims. The authors of two studies on voting – one in the journal Electoral Studies, the other by the Pew Center on the States – accused then-press secretary Sean Spicer of misrepresenting their findings to support the president’s claim.Spicer also infamously claimed that more people attended Trump’s inauguration than President Barack Obama’s swearing-in, a claim disproven by visual evidence. This week, The Guardian newspaper obtained documents that revealed that a government photographer edited official pictures of the 2017 inauguration to make the crowd appear larger.Trump at times has promoted flat-out lies and conspiracy theories, including suggesting that Obama was not born in the United States, that his predecessor may have wiretapped him or that Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the plot to kill President John F. Kennedy. The habit predates his political career, though in his 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal,” he engages in a little spin, suggesting that his falsehoods were playing “to people’s fantasies.”“That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular,” he wrote then. “I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration – and a very effective form of promotion.”Case in point: He added 10 floors to Trump Tower, the Manhattan skyscraper where he lived for decades. In promotional materials, the high-rise is listed as having 68 stories.In reality, it has 58.
August 30, 2019
September 11, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Apple wasn’t the first company to introduce smartphones, but it was the first to release a handset device that convinced the masses to ditch their flip phones. Over the years, Cupertino’s ”best, not first” philosophy also has extended to new mobile technologies. Apple isn’t always the first, but when it does get involved, it plays to its strengths — delivering products that resonate with its loyal customers and attracting new converts to the brand. From there, the rest of the industry often finds itself playing catch-up.Change is coming.Despite selling 1.2 billion smartphones over the past decade, Apple hasn’t exactly been an innovator in recent years when it comes to iPhone. The company’s flagship device, which usually gets a design refresh in even-numbered years, has remained virtually unchanged since the iPhone 6/6 Plus arrived in 2014.Change finally is in the air. With the 2017 iPhone cycle, Apple is poised to release at least one new handset that looks significantly different than its most recent models. The so-called “iPhone 8” arrives a decade after the original iPhone took over the world. To commemorate this milestone, the new handset is expected to include features not yet seen on other mobile devices — even Apple’s own.It’s likely, however, the smartphone also will include a few clever nods to the past, borrowing design cues from previous devices. One of the most popular iPhones in history, the iPhone 4, is making a comeback of sorts via the iPhone 8. That earlier model (and its immediate successor, the iPhone 4s) featured a glass front and back. The iPhone 8 also will use glass in place of the metal on the back of current-generation models. Stainless-steel edges reported on the iPhone 8 are another wink to the iPhone 4 series.Related: A Decade of iPhone EvolutionNew features and functions.The iPhone 8 will differ markedly from other mobile devices in a few key areas. It will be the first handset to introduce 3-D facial recognition for unlocking and making payments. Thanks to newly designed infrared sensors, the facial-recognition tech will work even in the dark. The iPhone 8’s smart camera, meanwhile, will be the first in the industry to offer augmented-reality features for users and developers alike. This ties nicely into Apple’s recently introduced ARKit API, which allows third-party developers to build augmented-reality apps.Related: Augmented and Virtual Reality Headed to Macs and iPhonesApple’s next flagship device also will become one of the first smartphones to include a virtual home button, similar to ones found on the recently introduced Samsung Galaxy S8 and first-generation Essential Phone. Unlike the virtual home buttons on those handsets, however, the iPhone 8’s version likely will extend beyond basic controls. That’s why some are calling this not a home button but rather a “function area” or “home indicator.”All these upgrades could combine to make the iPhone 8 the first smartphone with a price tag surpassing $1,000 in the United States. Though some Apple fans might complain about this news, most will probably look right past it and make a purchase anyway. Don’t be surprised if other smartphone providers quickly follow to release their own pricey smartphones.Related: 16 Amazing — and Surprising — Uses of Facial-Recognition TechnologyOld or borrowed tech.The 3-D facial recognition and other new technologies will get plenty of press once Apple officially announces the iPhone 8. Ultimately, though, the company will rely on proven technologies to push the iPhone 8 into the winner’s circle.Chief among these will be the use of an OLED display — the first for an Apple handset. OLED, or Organic Light-Emitting Diode, replaces the liquid crystal displays (LCD) found on older iPhone models. With OLED, iPhone 8 users can expect better color reproductions and deeper blacks and whites. Samsung handsets long have used OLED displays. That makes good sense, since the South Korean giant is the world’s largest producer of the material. Incorporating OLED enables Apple to offer thinner bezels on the iPhone 8. Nearly the entire front of the device is expected to be made up of just the screen.Related: 7 Easy Ways to Save Your Eyes From Smartphone StrainInductive charging is another common Android-based feature now coming to iPhone. The late, great Palm first introduced the technology in 2009. Cupertino already embraced inductive charging for the Apple Watch, which it launched in 2015. “Tap to wake” rounds out the new-to-Apple function list. Users can wake their devices just by tapping on the glass.The bottom line.The Apple iPhone 8 should include a nice mix of new and maturing technologies. The phone not only represents the future of Apple but also gives the market an idea where smartphones will be headed in the coming months and years.Related: What the Creation of Apple’s iPhone Tells Us About Innovation Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 5 min read
August 12, 2019
airlinesCapella SingaporefamilhotelsMarina Bay SandsMICESingaporeSingapore AirlinesSingapore Tourism Board Singapore Tourism Board, together with Singapore Airlines, recently hosted a famil for a group of corporate meeting planners and professional conference officers last week to see what the city state has to offer the MICE sector.Land arrangements were provided by Tour East Singapore and the group was accommodated for two nights at the exclusive Capella Singapore where they enjoyed a spectacular ‘Chef’s Table’ experience following an inspection of the property’s rooms and meeting space.The following two nights were spent at Marina Bay Sands where the group inspected several venues and participated in sunrise yoga at the rooftop Skypark, taking in amazing views across Marina Bay.In what was considered one of the highlights of the trip, the group also participated in a CSR initiative at Dignity House which provides food and beverage training to the under-privileged as well as complimentary meals to Singapore’s senior citizens.IMAGE: In Singapore’s Chinatown
February 28, 2019
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