This year’s Passport Index rankings are out and India stands at 67th on the list.The 2019 Passport Index ranks 199 countries on the basis of their visa-free scores and on the UNDP Human Development Index.Read it at CNBC Related Items
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has suggested that Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku will be ready to return against Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.The England winger missed the win over Leicester City having only just returned from his post-World Cup holiday, while Lukaku was only used as a second-half substitute.But both players could well be involved from the start against Brighton, with Mourinho suggesting that, following a full weeks’ worth of training, the duo are in better condition to feature. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! He told the club’s official website: “I think we will have the same players [as against Leicester]. I think the injured players aren’t going to be back for Brighton.”What we have is Paul [Pogba] with nine days’ training, [Marcus] Rashford with 11 days’ training, [Marouane] Fellaini with nine days’ training and, of course, they will be in a better condition.”Normally, these boys that [against Leicester] were in a difficult situation will be ready to give a bit more [against Brighton] – more Lukaku, more Rashford, probably Lingard coming back, more Fellaini. I think normally we’re going to have more.”That means that United will still be without the likes of Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia, while Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo will also miss out having also been absent from the win over Leicester.The Red Devils will be looking to build on the opening-day victory over Claude Puel’s men, with Paul Pogba’s penalty and Luke Shaw’s first ever goal for the club ensuring they came out with a 2-1 win.After facing Brighton, United take on Totenham at Old Trafford on August 27 before a trip to Burnley on September 1.
New Delhi, Nov 22 (PTI) Indian students engage in more extra classes and co-curricular activities than their peers in other countries, according to a Cambridge study.Almost two-third of Indian students take extra tuition for key subjects after school, 72 per cent participate in co-curricular activities and 74 per cent say they play sports regularly in school.They also rank high on the time spent doing homework, with 40 per cent spending two to four hours on their homework every day while a good 37 per cent spend the same time over the weekend too.The findings have been revealed in Global Education Census conducted by education group Cambridge Assessment International Education (Cambridge International), which is part of the Cambridge University.The survey, conducted with almost 20,000 teachers and students around the world, including 4,400 teachers and 3,800 students across India, gives insight into what life is like in schools around the world today for students and their teachers.”India and China have the highest number of students taking extra classes (58 pc). Those taking extra lessons or tutoring mainly take Maths (74 pc), Physics (64 pc) and Chemistry (62 pc). Among Indian students, debating is the most popular extra curricular activity (36 pc), followed by science club (28 pc), art (25 pc) and book club (22 pc),” the report said. The study highlighted that most Indian teachers don’t feel pressurised to ensure their students perform well but they are doing everything in their power to help their students succeed. “42 per cent teachers said they have good professional opportunities and 67 per cent find teaching to be a rewarding career. The majority of teachers surveyed in India say they help their students prepare for exams by teaching them to respond to different types of questions (73 pc). The second-most common way of offering exam help is to show their students how to plan their time in an exam (68 pc),” the study said.advertisement The study also revealed that Indian parents have a keen interest in their children’s education. “66 per cent of Indian students said their parents ask about their school day, and over half say their parents attend school events while 41 per cent help with the parent-teacher association this is the highest proportion of any country globally,” it added. PTI GJS DPB
Back in the early 2000s when the craze for football was at its bloom in the Northeast, a shy boy from Imphal East picked up the football shoes just like his friends but for a different purpose.Five kilometers away from his home was the hockey turf ground, the only one in the area, and Nilakanta Sharma drove his cycle everyday to learn nuances of the sport that attracted him as a child. The journey, as one would expect, wasn’t easy.”When I started hockey in Manipur, there wasn’t a proper turf ground to practice on. The one where we trained was away from home and the most difficult part was that it was open just from morning 5am to 8.30am. So we had to reach on time, finish our practice and vacate the place. In the evening, we used to practice in mud nearby if there were enough players, otherwise it was just one time training. Even today, it’s difficult to get hockey equipments in Manipur. We used to wear football shoes as we didn’t have the other ones and had to wait for someone in the state to go for the national camp so that we he can get us the hockey sticks. That’s the kind of challenges I faced earlier in the career,” the 23-year-old told Mail Today from Bhubaneshwar.To realise his hockey dream, Nilakanta decided it was time he moved on and looked for an academy to train, that’s when he was welcomed at the hockey academy managed by Olympian MK Kaushik in Bhopal. It was 2011 when the Manipuri lad’s real journey began – one that taught him something more than the sport of hockey.advertisement”When I first entered the hostel in 2011, I was stunned by the level of hockey being played there. It was like a new beginning. I learnt something new about the sport every day and took a keen interest in the midfield position. I never liked defending so I opted for a position that would suit me.”The biggest challenge living in a hostel was homesickness. I used to miss my family, my friends and used to think about them all the time. We used to get a vacation once a year and the travelling time amounted to about 3-4 days. But I also used to think that I left home for a purpose. I wanted to prove my family and my friends something. I didn’t have the courage to face them without being someone or having achieved anything,” he explained.Nilakanta came to national recognition with the Junior World Cup triumph in 2016 and was already a member of the Dabang Mumbai team in the Hockey India League.After spending time as a standby in the Hockey World League Finals and the Asian Games, the big moment finally arrived for the 23-year-old in July 2017 and in such short span, he already has 33 caps to his name.The Asian Champions Trophy last month worked as a catalyst in Nilakanta’s career as he opted for the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar ahead of the 18-year-old Vivek Sagar Prasad, the boy who led India to silver at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires.Looking back, the Manipuri credits hard work and support of fellow Northeast players Chinglensana Singh – the vice-captain – and Kothajit Singh for his incredible rise.
As we celebrate World Health Day in our way, fitness enthusiast Malaika Arora celebrated the day by dancing on her famous song Chaiyya Chaiyya.The sultry actress recently posted a video of herself dancing on her official Instagram account. The video that is captioned, “On #worldhealthday I got my entire team at the divayoga to #chaiyyachaiyya with me n jus have some fun… thank u my entire team n my partner in crime Sarvesh Shashi,” shows Malaika dancing on the song Chaiyya Chaiyya.This video of Malaika dancing the exact same steps takes us down the memory lane. We are reminiscing those days of Malaika Arora and Shah Rukh Khan killing it with their moves on top of a train.For her workout session, the dusky beauty is wearing a white tank top with a black sports bra under it. She matched her sports bra with a pair of yoga pants of the same colour. She has tied her hair in a high ponytail and looks radiant without any makeup on her face.Seems like Malaika has not aged a day, in fact she is getting younger day by day.ALSO READ | Malaika Arora turns up the heat as she gets into a pool in hot red monokiniadvertisementALSO WATCH | Are Malaika and Arjun the newest lovebirds in B-Town?
On Your Feet is all about that new shoe feeling- from the first time you open the box until they’re worn into the ground. Sometimes we’ll sift through the constant Air Jordan releases to bring you the gems other people will leave on the shelves, and sometimes we’ll slide on reclaimed leather loafers from Prague, but we’ll always focus on comfortable shoes with appealing and creative aesthetic. So lace up your new kicks and stand on the precipice of adventure, where will we go together?Some shoe brands are resigned to one side of the footwear aisle. Either a designer is totally invested in the highest quality dress shoes, or interested in creating casual sneakers. Not Beckett Simonon though. The already accomplished dress shoe maker has expanded into sneakers, and it’s definitely starting off on the right foot.The process of finding a factory to produce Beckett shoes to the right standards of quality and ethics has been a rocky one for the manufacturer. After initially settling on a workshop in India, it was discovered that the way the family-owned business treated employees was subpar, so production was moved to Colombia.After two releases with the Bogota-based manufacturer, Beckett Simonon is doubling down with both a premium line of dress footwear, and a collection of premium quality sneakers.The premium formal shoes are built around the Goodyear Welt, a sole construction that’s one of the most time-consuming, but also allows for a number of noticeable benefits. Not only does the shape and design of the seal keep water out excellently, but the soles are easy to replace when they wear out.As an added value to their comfortable, sturdy construction, the shoes are available in a wide range of color and style options, from loafers to chukkas and everything in between.The sneakers are based around a Rapid Blake construction, which still offers decent protection for your feet from the elements, but isn’t easily resoled. They are, however, much more comfortable right out of the box, and Simonon Shoes has improved the design further with a supportive, absorbent layer of cork between the insole and the outsole.Available in black, white, and burgundy leather, the Beckett Simonon sneakers take lessons learned from the dress shoes and employ them on a classic silhouette. When paired up with high quality materials and a nice low price point, you can buy from both collections and feel like a winner.Pre-0rders for both the sneakers and dress shoes are available on the Beckett Simonon store page. The Opus OP15′ Is a Tricked-Out, Off-Road-Ready Travel Trailer Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App Editors’ Recommendations Oliver Cabell’s New Phoenix Sneakers Are 3D-Printed With Recycled Plastic Bottles Your New Favorite Pair of Go-to Leather Shoes Just Got More Affordable Escape to the Pacific Northwest at Hoh Rainforest Caravan Cabins
Best Buddies International, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is pleased to announce that journalist and activist Maria Shriver and Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom will return as Honorary Co-Chairs of the 12th Annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle.More than 2,000 people are expected to participate in the Challenge – a charity walk, run and ride to benefit Best Buddies International – on September 12.“In my 12th and final year as the Chair of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, I am so incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished and excited to continue the spirit of inclusion and friendship that makes Best Buddies so incredible,” said Maria Shriver. “I took the role of chairperson as First Lady and six years ago, we started our own team of individual people joined together in wanting to make an impact … which we have certainly achieved. Together, we have raised $12 million for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), with over $2 million raised solely by Team Maria — aka “the people’s team.” It has been an extraordinary journey, and while I’ll always be involved, I’m excited to let someone else infuse their own energy, enthusiasm and new ideas into this phenomenal ride next year. But before then, let’s make this year the best one yet! Let’s ride like the wind and ride forward together!”The Challenge kicks-off with an Inaugural Mountain Bike Experience on Friday, September 11. Participants will have the chance to ride a private course on the 180 acre network of off-road trails. The day caps off with the Official Opening Ceremonies of the Best Buddies Challenge. Participants, VIPs, sponsors and guests are invited to join at the first ever opening ceremonies, in which guests will enjoy food, cocktails and other refreshments. The reception will conclude with a live musical performance and a special program designed to celebrate key supporters and Best Buddies programs, led by Best Buddies International’s Founder and Chairman, Anthony K. Shriver and his sister, honorary event co-chair, Maria Shriver.On Saturday, September 12, hundreds of cyclists will take to the starting line at Quail Lodge Golf Club for the 100-mile ride down the majestic Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel to San Simeon. The Challenge, which is open to people of all ages and abilities and is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action, also features alternative 62, 30 and 15-mile cycling routes, as well as the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run/walk led by the Olympic gold-medalist himself.Several other celebrities, professional athletes and special guests are also expected to participate in the Challenge including: Actor Rob Lowe; Supermodel Cindy Crawford; WWE Total Divas Nikki Bella and Brie Bella; Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis; and Actress and Best Buddies Global Ambassador Lauren Potter.The Challenge will be capped off by a barbecue, awards ceremony and live concert by The Pointer Sisters.Challenge sponsors include: The Hearst Corporation; Hublot; Chevron; Pepsi-Cola Company; E. & J. Gallo Winery; 20th Century Fox; The Bay Club; Carnival Cruise Line; Pacific Gas & Electric; Natixis Global Asset Management; Southern Wine & Spirits; Testa Catering, Official Caterer of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle; FIJI Water, Official Water of Best Buddies; Pilot Freight Services; Cannondale, Official Bike Sponsor; Goorin Bros; Niche Media, Premiere Magazine Sponsor of Best Buddies; Bicycling Magazine; San Francisco Chronicle; Getty Images, Official Photography Sponsor of Best Buddies; and Silicon Valley Bank.Additionally, Best Buddies is receiving the support of the Honorary Ambassador Committee, whose members are helping to promote not only the event, but also inclusion for individuals with disabilities. Committee members include: California Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins; California State Senator Anthony Cannella; Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti; Mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson; Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee; California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon; and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Tim Hortons parent company Restaurant Brands International closed four more American locations as the coffee-and-doughnut chain struggles to overcome franchisee discontent and souring public opinion.RBI says it reached a mutual agreement with the franchisee in Cincinnati, Ohio, to close four restaurants.Spokeswoman Devinder Lamsar did not directly answer why the company made the decision and instead sent a statement.“Every market we enter poses unique opportunities and challenges, the U.S. market is no different,” the statement reads. “We have learned a great deal about what works well and areas where we can improve by working closely with our area development partners.”The company has seen robust growth in some markets, like New York and Michigan, she said in the email.However, it has closed multiple restaurants in the U.S. over the past several years.It reportedly recently also closed an Indianapolis, Ind. location after less than four months of operations.Lamsar declined to confirm the closure, but sent a statement saying the company believes the city “remains an attractive market” for it.Show Me Hospitality LLC, the area developer for Tim Hortons restaurants in the Greater St. Louis, Mo.-area, closed six of its restaurants there in late 2017, according to a statement it released in January.The developer said it was forced to do so after RBI terminated franchise agreements for the six spots.Show Me Hospitality filed a lawsuit against the parent company in July 2017. It claims RBI wanted the group to enter into a new area development agreement that required it to open 200 restaurants — five times more than its original agreement with former management. When Show Me Hospitality declined to do so, it claims RBI said it would terminate the old agreement.Neither the developer’s president, its lawyer nor RBI immediately responded to a request for comment on the suit.The closures come as Tim Hortons is embroiled in an ongoing public battle with some of its franchisees, who have formed an unsanctioned group called The Great White North Franchisee Association to fight against alleged mismanagement.The company and group have filed multiple lawsuits against each other in both Canada and the U.S. Meanwhile, Tim Hortons ranking plummeted in two recent reputational surveys and the company grappled with nationwide protests against how it and some franchisees handled a minimum wage increase in Ontario earlier this year. Some restaurant owners scaled back on employee benefits to offset the higher labour costs.Show Me Hospitality is a member of GWNFA’s U.S. chapter. GWNFA says it represents about half of all Tim Hortons franchisees in Canada and the U.S.GWNFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the string of American closures.In June, after reports RBI was scaling back on its U.S. expansion plans, Tim Hortons president Alex Macedo said in a statement that the company has seen softer comparable sales growth in the U.S. in more recent quarters amid a very competitive environment.The company had 685 American locations at the end of 2017, up from 649 stores at the end of 2014, he said.Lamsar said the company remains committed to working closely with its franchisees to drive the brand’s growth in the U.S.“We will need to determine the sequence of our expansion efforts outside of Canada to prioritize markets to establish density and brand awareness.”RBI’s shares fell 94 cents or 1.14 per cent to $81.62 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Follow @AleksSagan on TwitterCompanies mentioned in this story: (TSX:QSR)
The first judgment came Monday in a lawsuit from a state government seeking to hold a drug company accountable for a U.S. opioid crisis that has ripped apart lives and communities. More trials and legal settlements are likely to follow the ruling in Oklahoma as the nation looks for answers and solutions to a massive societal and legal problem.Following are questions and answers about the opioid crisis.Q: What are opioids and how are they used?A: They’re an addictive family of drugs that block pain signals between the body and brain. They include prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin as well as illegal drugs such as heroin and illicit versions of fentanyl. Until recent decades, they were prescribed largely for pain for patients with cancer, at the end of their lives, or with acute pain, such as after surgery. Since the 1990s, there’s been a push in the medical world, partly funded by drug companies, to do better at treating pain — and opioids came to be seen as part of the solution.Q: Are opioids used to treat chronic pain?A: Yes. That’s one of the results of the push to do more to treat pain. But recent studies have questioned their effectiveness with chronic pain and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told prescribers to be cautious about using the powerful drugs to treat patients with long-term pain. Experts say the longer patients are on the drugs and the higher the doses they receive, the more likely they are to develop addictions. Also, more people with prescriptions means more access to the drugs for recreational users and addicts.Q: When did the opioid crisis begin?A: By the early 2000s, the death toll from opioids was rising and there were growing numbers of thefts of drugs from pharmacies. In 2007, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, paid a $634 million fine and pleaded guilty to understanding the addiction risks of the drug. But the crisis only deepened after that. Prescriptions flowed freely at “pill mill” clinics, especially in Florida, where drug dealers would get drugs and spread them around the country.Q: How many people have opioids killed?A: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tallied more than 400,000 opioid-related deaths across the country since 2000, including more than 47,000 in both 2017 and last year. In recent years, opioid overdoses have been the nation’s largest cause of accidental deaths, ahead of even automobile accidents. The death tolls per capita have been the highest in the same places as the highest prescription rates. The Appalachian region has been hardest hit.Q: Have prescriptions stopped being given out so freely?A: Yes. States have used databases to track prescriptions and prescribers, pill mills have been shut down and prescribers have become more conservative in calling for the drugs since around 2011. Government guidelines and some insurance company standards have also been tightened. But as prescription rates started falling, death rates actually rose, with more addicts using deadlier illicit versions of opioids. Preliminary data shows that the death toll declined very slightly in 2018 for the first time since the crisis began.Q: What’s the financial toll of the crisis?A: The White House Council of Economic Advisers published a report in 2017 pegging the cost of the crisis at just over $500 billion in 2015. That includes lost productivity as well as costs born by taxpayers, such as ambulance runs, jail treatment costs, and the costs of caring for children whose parents have died from opioid overdoses.Q: Is that why so many governments are suing over opioids?A: It’s a big factor. Forty-eight states plus around 2,000 local and tribal governments have sued companies in the drug industry, arguing that those that make, distribute and sell the drugs are partly responsible for the crisis. They argue that drugs were improperly marketed and that companies failed to stop suspicious orders from shipping.Q: What makes the cases legally complicated?A: There are dozens of defendants and thousands of plaintiffs with different interests. State and local governments are battling over control of any settlement money before any national deals have been reached. And unlike with tobacco, which was the subject of a massive legal settlement in the late 1990s, opioids are allowed by the federal government and prescribed by doctors and other licensed medical professionals.Q: What’s happened leading up to the Oklahoma trial?Oklahoma’s public nuisance lawsuit against several drugmakers and their subsidiaries was the first in a wave of opioid litigation to make it to trial. Before the start of the six-week trial in May, Oklahoma reached a $270 million deal with Purdue and an $85 million settlement with Teva, both of which faced criticism from state lawmakers, who argued they have control over dispersing funds. The Purdue settlement calls for about $200 million to go into a trust to fund an addiction studies centre at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa.The remaining defendant, Johnson & Johnson and some of its subsidiaries, proceeded to trial. A judge who oversaw the case found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid drug crisis and Monday ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million.Q: What’s next?A: The first federal trial, involving claims from Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Summit counties, is scheduled for Oct. 21. The Cleveland-based judge in that case, Dan Polster, intends to use that as a bellwether, providing decisions that could apply to other cases. Polster is overseeing most of the opioid cases and is pushing the parties to settle.Other cases in state and federal courts could be tried as soon as next year.___Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihillGeoff Mulvihill, The Associated Press
Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press In the end, one maverick Liberal MP wasn’t enough.Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion was poised on Wednesday, ready to appear via videoconference before the House of Commons ethics committee, but his services were never required.Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith voted against his party’s line, joining three opposition members in favour of letting the ethics commissioner testify about his damning report into the SNC-Lavalin affair.At first, the opposition members couldn’t quite believe they had lured a Liberal to their side. Could a hearing that was expected to be mere spectacle turn into a showdown? After Erskine-Smith finished a lawyerly speech about his position, NDP MP Charlie Angus interrupted the committee to make sure he had heard him correctly.“Are you voting for the motion or against it?” Angus asked.Erskine-Smith confirmed that he was voting for the motion and Angus saluted him. “I don’t like his shoes, but everything else I have respect for,” Angus said.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below. Liberals shut down opposition attempt to have ethics commissioner testify on SNC-Lavalin affair Who is Mario Dion, the ethics watchdog who found Trudeau broke conflict-of-interest rules in SNC-Lavalin affair? Read the full report: Watchdog finds Trudeau broke conflict of interest rules on SNC-Lavalin Angus quickly did the math, though, noting that there were six Liberal MPs and three opposition MPs, so they could afford to let one go rogue because he’s a “nice guy.” Angus was right; the remaining five Liberal MPs shut down the motion.Although the MPs were generally collegial with each other, the upcoming election campaign suffused the debate. Liberal MP Steven MacKinnon said the whole thing was just “partisan games,” and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, who gave an impassioned speech about how the ethics report had shaken her to the core, said she wasn’t sure that it could be analyzed dispassionately so close to the election.“Everyone goes into hyper-partisan mode before an election,” May said. “And this is, in a way, red meat before the election.”The ethics report was a matter for resigning, although she added that she was not calling for Justin Trudeau to resign.Although the writ has yet to drop for the Oct. 21 election, the campaigning has begun and, from the pre-campaign trail, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was making personal pleas to Liberal MPs on the ethics committee to buck the party line.Earlier on Wednesday, Scheer said he bumped into Erskine-Smith in his Toronto riding and urged him to “do the right thing for Canada.” Liberal MPs Mona Fortier, Steve Mackinnon and Anita Vandenbeld head to a meeting of the House of Commons ethics committee on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Aug. 21, 2019. Before voting in favour of the Conservative motion, Erskine-Smith made a point of noting that he wasn’t voting that way because Scheer told him to, or because of an email campaign to his office, which he said totalled about 10 emails.The Liberal MP said he voted for the motion out of a desire for transparency around the ethics report and because he wanted a chance to interrogate the ethics commissioner. Erskine-Smith said he agreed that the “PMO exerted pressure that should not have been exerted” in the SNC-Lavalin affair but said he also had major questions and concerns about the conclusions reached by Dion. “I want him to sit right there” and answer them, he said, pointing at the empty witness seats around the committee table. Erskine-Smith said he didn’t agree with Dion that Trudeau had committed a conflict of interest in pressuring the attorney general to intervene in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin.It was left to MacKinnon to defend the government’s side and, for his efforts, he was interrupted by three points of order from the opposition side and numerous snorts of laughter and derision.“This issue was studied thoroughly,” said MacKinnon, referring to justice committee hearings which heard testimony from former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould and Gerald Butts, the former principal secretary to Trudeau.This is, in a way, red meat before the electionDion’s report said Trudeau contravened conflict of interest rules when multiple people in his office tried to coax Wilson-Raybould into offering a deferred prosecution deal to SNC-Lavalin.When MacKinnon insisted the government was simply trying to protect jobs, he was interrupted by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre who asked whether he had any analysis that showed jobs were actually at risk.“Uhh, no,” said MacKinnon, causing a general uproar around the committee table.The rest of the Liberal MPs kept quiet for the full two-hours of debate, then voted down the opposition motions.Their silence allowed the stage to be commanded by the Conservatives and the NDP who set upon the government with relish. Common themes from the opposition included that Trudeau broke the law, that the prime minister snubbed the ethics commissioner and that there had been obstruction of justice.But Bill Morneau also came in for criticism from Charlie Angus who noted that the finance minister appeared to have had several memory lapses when talking to the ethics commissioner. Morneau was “the man with the amazing disappearing memory,” he said.Talking to reporters after the hearing, Conservative MP Peter Kent said MacKinnon was a Liberal “hitman,” sent to quash any embarrassing testimony from the ethics commissioner and keep the other members quiet. MPs Bob Zimmer, left, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, middle, and Charlie Angus from the federal ethics committee at a news conference in Ottawa, Dec. 11, 2018. MacKinnon said he had no direction from the Prime Minister’s Office and that the individual members had chatted before the hearing about how they would each vote.The Liberal leadership, though, surely has its eye on recent polling that showed Canadians are either unaware or unconcerned about the recent ethics report, which dropped in the middle of August.Abacus Data found that only 16 per cent of Canadians “consumed a lot of news” on the topic compared to more than a third of Canadians who had not heard of the ethics report at all.Nearly 80 per cent of Canadians polled said the report didn’t change their opinion about what happened in the SNC-Lavalin affair, while a mere six per cent said the report had changed their mind and they now believe the prime minister did something inappropriate.“So all in all, not much impact,” said Abacus Data CEO David Coletto, on Twitter on Wednesday.A Leger poll released on Wednesday showed the Conservatives and Liberals remaining in a dead heat, at 33 per cent each.Conservative MP Lisa Raitt told reporters that Canadians can’t make a decision in October until they hear the whole story on the SNC-Lavalin affair.“The prime minster has never been really clear on what aspects of the ethics commissioners report that he actually is in disagreement with,” said Raitt.• Email: email@example.com | Twitter:
Today, SMMT released figures for April pre-registrations in the UK new car market. The data shows the number of cars disposed of by vehicle manufacturers in April 2014 that were defined as pre-registrations.CLICK HERE: Download the April 2014 release.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
After upsetting No. 10 Northwestern, 3-2, on Wednesday, the Ohio State field hockey team routed visiting Missouri State and made history in the process. OSU (7-3) defeated Missouri State (3-6), 10-1, on Sunday, at Buckeye Varsity Field. The 10 goals are tied for the most any OSU team has ever scored in a single game. Six OSU players scored in the game and three members of the team had multiple goals. The Buckeyes’ offensive attack was led by three goals from senior forward Berta Queralt. In OSU’s last three games in five days, they’ve scored 21 goals, a figure that triples the amount of goals they netted in the first seven games of the season. “We were moving the ball very well and we were attacking in numbers,” said coach Anne Wilkinson. “We are finding the open player and we are very, very unselfish with the ball.” Thanks to an assist from junior midfielder Paula Pastor-Pitarque, OSU took the lead early with Queralt’s first goal of the game almost five minutes into the contest. Queralt said the team could have taken it easy today because it was their third game in a week, but they came out and passed the ball and finished their scoring opportunities well. Next, senior forward Danica Deckard netted her 10th goal of the season with the help of an assist from sophomore midfielder Mona Frommhold. Just 33 seconds later Frommhold scored a goal of her own, deflecting in a shot from freshman forward Peanut Johnson. “We are just working really well together, connecting passes and stuff,” Deckard said. Queralt scored again on a reverse shot in front of the net with 17 minutes left in the half after an assist Deckard. The two would team up again later. Pastor-Pitarque scored the half’s last goal seven minutes later, making the score 4-0 in favor of the Buckeyes. “We kept the patience, kept passing around, practicing the easiest ball and playing our field hockey,” Pastor-Pitarque said. “I think that was the key, us playing unselfish and the team playing like we would do against the best teams of the Big Ten.” The Buckeyes came out firing in the second half as Queralt scored her third goal of the game, and sixth of the season, less than two minutes into the half. Deckard provided the pass to Queralt. The next two goals came in an eight-minute span from Johnson and brought the score to 8-0. She scored both shots unassisted and leads OSU’s freshmen class with three goals this season. With 19 minutes left in the game, Missouri State scored their lone goal. Pastor-Pitarque answered the Bears’ shot two minutes later, scoring her second goal of the game which extended the Buckeyes’ lead back to eight. The final goal of the game came with less than two minutes to play and was scored by freshman back Emma Royce. She sent a screaming slapshot into the goal on a pass from Frommhold. Players from the Buckeye bench saw more action than usual as seven players came off the bench and six of them played 20 minutes or more. In the last five matches an average of almost four players have substituted in. Just five times have one of those players played more than 20 minutes. “It was nice to have some of the younger kids get in to play and get those minutes so they can build their confidence up,” Deckard said. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play against Robert Morris University, Wednesday at Buckeye Varsity Field.
Cleveland-Cliffs and Alpha Natural Resources have approved a definitive merger agreement under which Cleveland-Cliffs will acquire all outstanding shares of Alpha in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $10 billion. The combined company, which will be renamed Cliffs Natural Resources, will become one of the largest US mining companies and be positioned as a leading diversified mining and natural resources company. Its mine portfolio will include nine iron ore facilities and more than 60 coal mines located across North America, South America and Australia. The company’s significant position in both iron ore and metallurgical coal will make it a major supplier to the global steel industry, as well as provide a platform for further diversification both geographically and in terms of the mineral and resource products it sells. Upon the transaction’s close, Cliffs Natural Resources would have estimated combined pro forma 2008 revenue of nearly $6.5 billion and EBITDA of $1.9 billion. The company’s estimated 2009 revenue would reach $10 billion with estimated EBITDA of $4.7 billion.Joseph A. Carrabba, Cleveland-Cliffs’ Chairman, President and CEO, said, “Today’s announcement represents a significant strategic milestone for both companies. Cliffs Natural Resources will be positioned as a diversified natural resources company with significant holdings in a variety of important minerals. By combining our companies’ complementary operations and management capabilities, we will be well positioned to meet the world’s increasing demand for raw materials. Since its inception in 2002, Alpha has been highly respected for its industry leading expertise around both the operation and acquisition/integration of coal properties, and we are confident our two management teams and more than 8,900 employees will achieve great things together.” Michael J. Quillen, Alpha’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Together, Alpha and Cleveland-Cliffs will have the size, the management depth and the mining expertise to compete on the global stage as demand for raw materials continues to increase around the world. This transaction is financially compelling for Alpha’s stockholders, who will benefit from enhanced value today alongside growth opportunities in the future. We look forward to working together with Joe Carrabba and the Cleveland-Cliffs management team to realize the substantial opportunities that this combination presents.” The combined company’s enhanced size and scale will enable it to efficiently offer a broad portfolio of various iron ore and metallurgical coal types to meet the growing needs of world steel producers. Cliffs Natural Resources will have a reserve base of approximately 1,000 Mt each of iron ore and metallurgical and thermal coal. The company anticipates having an annual sales volume in excess of 30 Mt of iron ore and some 16 Mt of metallurgical coal, making it one of the largest suppliers to the world’s steel industry. The combined company will have a more diverse revenue stream and will be well-positioned to continue its aggressive growth. In addition to leading positions in iron ore and metallurgical coal, the company will also ship approximately 15 Mt of thermal coal.The combined company is expected to have a strong credit profile. Year-end 2008 pro forma leverage is expected to be 1.2 x EBITDA. The company expects to generate substantial free cash flow, enabling significant debt reduction and supporting future growth. In 2009, the transaction is expected to be accretive to current analyst expectations for Cleveland-Cliffs. Cliffs Natural Resources expects to realise annual synergies of at least $200 million beginning in 2010, with the majority being achieved through enhanced coal processing and blending efficiencies along with elimination of duplicative administrative expenses associated with two public companies. Under the terms of the transaction, Cleveland-Cliffs will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Alpha Natural Resources for aggregate consideration of approximately $10 billion. For each share of Alpha common stock, Alpha stockholders would receive 0.95 Cleveland-Cliffs common shares and $22.23 in cash. The aggregate consideration comprises $1.7 billion in cash and approximately 71 million new shares of Cleveland-Cliffs common stock. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is providing an underwriting commitment for up to $1.9 billion which will be used to finance the transaction. The combined company expects to generate strong operating cash flow which it will use to pay down debt. Upon completion of the transaction, Alpha stockholders would own approximately 40% of the combined company and Cleveland-Cliffs shareholders would own approximately 60%. Following the close of the transaction, Cleveland-Cliffs’ Board of Directors will be expanded by two seats to be filled by two current Alpha Natural Resources directors, Michael Quillen and Glenn Eisenberg. Joseph Carrabba will serve as Chairman and CEO of the combined company, and Michael Quillen will serve as non-executive Vice Chairman. Cliffs Natural Resources will have two operating divisions-Iron Ore and Coal. Kevin Crutchfield, currently president of Alpha Natural Resources, will become President of the combined company’s coal businesses. Donald Gallagher, currently Cleveland-Cliffs’ President, North American Business Unit, will become president of the combined company’s iron ore businesses. Cleveland-Cliffs’ executive Vice President and CFO, Laurie Brlas, will remain chief financial officer of the combined company. Cliffs Natural Resources’ world headquarters will be located in Cleveland. The iron ore business will operate from Cleveland and the coal business from Abingdon, Virginia.
AS SOME 116,845 Junior and Leaving Certificate students prepare for their first day of exams this morning we thought some soothing numbers might ease their stress about the English papers.The 53,749 Leaving Certificate students, 2,853 Leaving Certificate Applied students and 60,243 Junior Certificate students will have these figures, provided by the State Examinations Commission, to contend with over the next two weeks:13 – That’s how many days the exams will last, with Junior Certificate Students finishing a day earlier.6,000 – The total number of examiners.3.1 million – The amount of examination papers in boxes across the country right now.38 million – The staggering number of A4 pages in those 3.1 million exam papers. A gold star to the person who can tell us how tall the paper tower would be if we piled them all up…105 – The total number of curricular and non-curricular subjects.15 – The number of non-curricular language subjects including Dutch, Ancient Greek and Bulgarian.80,465 – The amount of oral tests that will take place over the next fortnight.1.9 million – The number of test items including scripts, art and craftwork pieces, practical materials like wood, journals and portfolios.1 million – The amount of individual grades that will be generated.12,679 – That’s how many appeals the Examinations Commission is expecting.14 August – The date Leaving Certificate students will get their results. Junior Certificate students will have to wait until mid-September.If you’re taking the exams today, all of us here at TheJournal.ie wish you the best of luck.Read: Quinn wishes students luck in exams during “stressful” time>
It’s a safe bet that anyone manning the airport baggage security scanners over the holidays is going to see a growing number of e-readers inside carry-on baggage. The devices are perfect for reading while traveling, and easily slip into the side pocket of your shoulder bag.There does seem to be one issue with passing your e-reader, and in particular your Amazon Kindle, through airport security, though. Apparently some Kindles are appearing the other end of the X-ray scanners with their E Ink screens broken.The blame is being attached to the radiation the scanners emit, but at least one expert has said that is very unlikely. The very low levels of radiation wouldn’t have an impact on the E Ink display. Amazon has also pointed out that the majority of Kindle devices make it through airport checks unscathed, again making it unlikely to be a radiation issue.Another explanation does exist though, and has been offered up by the chairman of the University of Cambridge center for Advanced Photonics, Professor Daping Chu. He believes that the airport scanners suffer from a build up of static electricity due to the rubbing of the rubber belt they use. If that somehow discharged through the Kindle, your display would be toast.The static charge makes more sense because it would only happen occasionally, and that would explain why only some Kindle device are appearing broken.If you want to avoid the chance of a broken e-reader, then the best thing to do is make sure your device is inside something that would block the static charge, even something as simple as a plastic bag would help.You may even be able to form your very own e-reader antistatic bag if you’ve bought a few PC components lately e.g. a hard drive or memory modules. A decent case is a good idea too, as it will protect your screen from scratches or drops.Read more at eWeek
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Turks and Russians are among the tourists outside the Schengen area whose number has spiked in the previous four years, from 2010 to 2014, according to a survey published on Monday by the Intelligence Institute of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE).The number of visas issued to Chinese visitors to Greece reached 64,221 last year, growing at a far greater rate than that of rival destinations such as Spain, Italy, France and Portugal.Visas to United Arab Emirates visitors doubled in those four years to 7,084 in 2014, while visas to Indians grew six time to reach 17,028. Visas to Turks grew threefold to 144,063.
Asian stock markets were tentative on Tuesday as they braced for a run of policy announcements from the world’s major central banks this week, with all eyes on the Bank of Japan’s meeting later in the day after it stunned markets in January by adopting negative rates.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dipped 0.1 percent in early trade, but still near 2-1/2-month highs touched on Monday. It was dragged down by a 0.4 percent fall in resource-heavy Australian shares following a drop in oil and commodity prices.Japan’s Nikkei tacked on 0.1 percent after hitting a six-week high on Monday.Wall Street shares were narrowly mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 0.09 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.13 percent.With the global economy slowing and many countries facing deflationary pressures, investors’ attention was squarely on policy decisions from the world’s major central banks.The Bank of Japan kicks off its meeting on Tuesday, followed by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank on Thursday.”On the whole you could say the recovery in markets so far has been just a reversal from sharp falls earlier this year. There are hopes that the Fed may be more dovish but we need to see whether there will be more supportive stance from central banks,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.The BOJ is widely expected to keep its policy on hold after its surprise decision in January to introduce negative interest rates raised worries about banks’ profitability.Even those wary of the side effects of easing expect BOJ add to its stimulus in coming month, given heightening risk to Japan’s fragile economic recovery.The Fed is unlikely to raise rates this week but it will likely make clear that as long as U.S. inflation and jobs continue to strengthen, economic weakness overseas won’t stop rates from rising fairly soon.Still, a consensus in the market is that fresh forecasts from the Fed’s 17 officials released after the meeting will signal perhaps two or three rate hikes this year, a retreat from their projection in December for four or more increases in 2016.The interest rate futures markets are even more cautious, pricing only one rate hike by year-end.U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on Monday, rebounding from an aggressive sell off last week, as investors tried to get back to neutral positions ahead of this week’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting.The 10-year U.S. notes yield stood at 1.961 percent US10YT=RR, off a six-week high of 1.986 percent hit on Friday.Oil prices are running out of steam on concerns that a six-week market recovery may have gone beyond fundamentals as U.S. crude stockpiles continue to build and Iran is seen showing little interest in joining major producers in freezing production.U.S. crude futures CLc1 last traded at $37.28 a barrel, up slightly from Monday settlement.On Monday it fell 3.4 percent to $37.18 a barrel, while Brent LCOc1 finished down 2 percent at $39.53.In the currency market, the euro slipped further from its three-week high hit after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi indicated he does not plan further cuts in interest rates.The euro traded at $1.1101, off Thursday’s high of $1.1218. The yen was little changed at 113.80 to the dollar while the British pound changed hands at $1.4283, off Friday’s three-week high of $1.4437.
More than 4,000 registered voters in Baltimore City have been removed from the voter rolls since the last federal election in 2012. But at Votefest 2014, an event sponsored by Radio-One to be held at Coppin State University on May 17, a number of organizations will look to register new voters as well as anyone whose registration may have been purged since that election. The event comes just ahead of this year’s June 3 deadline for voting in the June 24 primary. The state of Maryland has a multi-step process in place under which a registered voter can be removed from the active rolls. If a jury notice or any correspondence from a local board of elections to a registered voter is returned because that voter is no longer at his or her registered address and has not set up a forwarding address, the local board of elections will send a second correspondence to verify the address, according to Abigail Goldman, deputy director of the Baltimore City Board of Elections. If that second correspondence is also returned, the voter is placed on an inactive list. Once placed on the inactive list, if that voter then fails to vote in the next two general elections, one gubernatorial and one presidential, he or she is removed from the roll of registered voters. Since the 2012 presidential election, 4,246 people have been removed from the voter rolls in Baltimore City, Goldman said. Because election years in which the presidency is not at stake tend to generate lower turnout than presidential elections, more Maryland residents may be at risk for removal from the rolls for their failure to participate this time around “Quite frankly this campaign has been very dry, and the people are not as excited as we want them to be,” said Larry Young, an on-air personality with Radio-One, and the coordinator of Votefest 2014. Young will also be serving as one of the hosts, he said in an interview with the AFRO. The 2008 and 2012 presidential elections saw 67 and 66 percent voter turnout in Maryland, according to the United States Elections Project, an elections research database created by George Mason University professor and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Dr. Michael McDonald. However, the last two midterm elections in 2010 and 2006 saw that percentage drop to approximately 47 percent across the Old Line State. For Young, the lack of voter engagement during mid-term elections is a mistake. “If we do not see the voters come out in strong numbers around this country,” said Young, “we could very well see red states putting forth candidates and winning; that could beat the blue states, and that could lead the Obama administration to become [a] lame duck.” According to Young, the goal for Votefest 2014 is to register at least 1,000 people. To that end, the Baltimore Urban League, the Baltimore City Branch of the NAACP, and the National Action Network—all co-sponsors of the event—will have booths available at the event where voters may register. This is the first year in Maryland in which the primary election will be held in June rather than the fall, according to Tess Hill-Aston, president of the Baltimore City NAACP, giving community organizations less time to register voters prior to the election than they have had in the past. “A lot of people are not used to the fact—or none of us are—that the primary has come so soon, so we’re trying to do the best we can to keep people pumped up,” said Hill-Aston. In order to register to vote in the state of Maryland, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, a Maryland resident, and at least 16 years old, according to the State Board of Elections website. While anyone 16 years of age or older may register, voters must be 18 in order to cast a ballot. Additionally, anyone with a past felony conviction is eligible to register and vote so long as he or she has completed any court-ordered prison term, including parole or probation. Anyone convicted of buying or selling votes, however, is not eligible. Votefest 2014 will be held at the Physical Education Complex of Coppin State University, located at 2523 Gwynns Falls Parkway in Baltimore City. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and feature activities for children, including a magic show, and performances by R&B, hiphop, jazz, gospel groups, comedians, and step dancing troupes. Candidates for office are also expected to be on hand to address those gathered regarding their candidacies.
After five million sales, a convention that drew more than 4500 people, and countless YouTube tutorials, it’s safe to say that Minecraft has been a hit, but not a hit like most others. More than just a well-executed rehash of the classic formulas, Minecraft became a phenomenon because it felt fresh and unique, and players hadn’t experienced anything quite like it.Now that the gaming world has had time to digest Minecraft’s official release, one has to wonder what kind of impact such a unique and popular title will have in the long run. Years from now, will we look back and see Minecraft’s most interesting elements in the games that come after it? Here are three lessons that future titles could, and hopefully will, learn from Minecraft.The Power of InfinityMinecraft worlds aren’t truly infinite, but their maximum size is thousands of times the surface of the Earth, so they’re infinite for most practical purposes. As a player moves into new areas of the map, the game algorithmically generates his surroundings in all directions (including deep underground), continually combining various terrains and biomes into blocky, Monet-esque landscapes. Despite a few logical oddities, like arid deserts that butt up against snowfields, the game’s unpredictable environments create a sense that this virtual world is a real place where new sights are always waiting a little further ahead.In most games, the boundaries of the play space are obvious, no matter how many conveniently locked doors or for-some-reason-impassable shrubs developers use to cover the world’s edges. With a little suspension of disbelief, players can look past those hard limits, but invisible walls always hamper the sense of immersion. Minecraft demonstrates the value of creating worlds that aren’t so claustrophobic.Not every game could adopt Minecraft’s form of algorithmic near-infinity, but the technique is a natural fit for genres where exploration is a focus. The fantasy world of a dungeon crawler, for instance, would feel far more genuine if it seemed to go on forever. Developers could even create fixed, well-crafted dungeons, then let the automated map decide where to place the entrances (as long as those entrances were kept reasonably close to the starting point, of course).The Power of InventionEven games that focus on user creation, like Little Big Planet and Spore, can’t match Minecraft’s level of authorial power. Every last cube of space within Minecraft’s upper and lower boundaries can be filled in or emptied, which lets players create any sort of structure they want, from houses to castles to secret lairs inside hollowed-out mountains. But the inventive power truly opens up because of redstone, the wiring material that runs Minecraft machinery. Using combinations of block-pushing pistons, powered torches, and other basic mechanisms, Minecraft players have made some mind-boggling devices within the game world: auto-loading cannons that fire explosive rounds, automated minecart-based inventory systems, and lightning fast elevators just to name a few.More focused interactive experiences can’t be expected to match Minecraft’s moldability, but the basic lesson is one other games should take to heart: “crafting” can be deeper than just creating a better sword. When virtual worlds are malleable, they seem more genuine, and more like the real world; when they’re static, they seem flat and fake. If players can design their own devices, and make meaningful changes to a persistent game world, their incentive to create is incredibly strong.The Problem of OwnershipMinecraft’s virtues have a lot to teach gaming, but so do some of its drawbacks. The game’s impressive level of player freedom makes griefing a serious problem. If one player builds a gigantic pyramid in Minecraft, there’s nothing to stop another player from blowing it to pieces. Likewise, when a player stores hard-earned materials in a chest, he has to hide it well because there’s no way to lock it. As you might expect, servers that host large number of users often rely on anti-griefing mods to keep the peace.The items a player acquires and the things he creates are a part of his investment in a game, and it’s disheartening when those things are taken away unfairly. It’s likely that many Minecraft players have abandoned a particular server or the game itself because they found their hard work undone by some anonymous party. Encouraging players to explore, build, and create is meaningless if they have no way to protect their investment. Designers of persistent world games must carefully walk the line between allow player freedom and preventing player abuse.
When will the PlayStation 4 be revealed? We’ve heard several dates so far this year including a May announcement just before E3 and even one during GDC in March. But there’s another date to add to the mix now, and this one is a bit more official and even sooner.Sony has announced it is set to have its first PlayStation meeting in two years on February 20 in New York. No details of what will be announced have been forthcoming other than Sony stating it will focus on the “PlayStation business.”Historically, though, Sony has used PlayStation meetings to announce new hardware. Here’s a list of the last few meetings and what was revealed/focused on:1999 – PlayStation 22005 – PlayStation 32011 – PS VitaClearly PlayStation meetings have all been about new hardware in the past, so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that February 20 could be the first time we get to see the PlayStation 4. It may just be revealed in concept form, but that’s still something for us to start getting excited about. We may also get to hear about the new DualShock controller that’s meant to emulate the PS Vita as well as incorporating biometrics.Even though Sony would like a longer cycle between hardware releases, we are definitely in the timeframe where a new console launch is expected. The PS2 saw a release in 2000, then the PS3 turned up in 2006. That suggests a 2012/13 release for the PS4.Sony also needs to consider what its competitors are doing. Nintendo has already launched its next-gen machine with the Wii U, and Microsoft is expected to launch the new Xbox before the year is over. To not react to that would be risky, especially with competition coming from other areas such as Ouya and the growing games market on smartphones.via Reuters