first_imgAhead of the Indian Grand Prix, at least three drivers still have the 2012 title within their graspThe recent reshuffle among drivers and teams ahead of the 2013 F1 season has added spice to the Airtel Indian Grand Prix. Come race day, at least three drivers could still have the,Ahead of the Indian Grand Prix, at least three drivers still have the 2012 title within their graspThe recent reshuffle among drivers and teams ahead of the 2013 F1 season has added spice to the Airtel Indian Grand Prix. Come race day, at least three drivers could still have the 2012 title within their grasp.The news that McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will join Mercedes, who in turn will drop seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, has added drama to one of the most unpredictable and close-fought Championship battles in F1 history.The man who has led the points for most of the season is Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. It is a tribute to his gritty determination and sublime control that the Spaniard has won so many races despite not having the best car. Even Alonso did not expect to be leading the title race.After an unexpected win in Spain earlier this season, I asked him whether any more ‘surprise’ victories are in prospect. “To be honest,” Fernando confided with a broad grin, “each victory I have scored for Ferrari has been a surprise to me!”While this year’s Ferrari is not the quickest or easiest to handle, it has been reliable. With the exception of the Belgian Grand Prix, when an errant Romain Grosjean crashed into him, Alonso had scored points in every race this season and was rarely far from the top. That consistent record is something his closest rivals have lacked.Sebastian Vettel, last year’s world champion and winner of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, has had his 2012 title bid blunted by electrical failures that sidelined his Red Bull in both Spain and Italy. Alonso and Vettel’s fellow rival in the title chase, Lewis Hamilton, suffered a gearbox failure after dominating the early stages at the Singapore race. Whether the disappointment of Singapore influenced Hamilton’s decision the following week to sign for the next five years with rivals Mercedes is open to conjecture. More likely, a multi-million dollar pay rise swung the deal.advertisementWhat is beyond debate is that for the remainder of the 2012 season, Hamilton and his McLaren teammate Jenson Button are driving the quickest cars on the track. Either could be contenders for victory at the fast Buddh International Circuit.Meanwhile, it seems the ultimate irony is that Michael Schumacher, the most successful racing driver in history, with 91 victories and 7 world titles, will soon be out of a job. After being dropped by Mercedes to make way for Hamilton next year, he has chosen to retire for a second time from F1.Schumacher’s return from retirement has been a disappointment. Three years of hard work have brought just one win for the Mercedes team-and that came for teammate Nico Rosberg. However Schumacher still has a point to prove, could his elusive 92nd win come in India?Two other drivers will also look to India as an opportunity to make their mark. Both were tipped as future contenders for a seat at Mercedes, before Hamilton muscled in. Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta both drive Mercedes-powered Force India cars and their mid-season performance has marked them as potential top-three contenders.In Singapore, di Resta’s fourth place was not only a career best for the Scot, it could perhaps have been even better. Di Resta was unfortunate that his pit stop strategy was compromised by a safety car period.Without that, di Resta was sure Force India would have battled Alonso’s Ferrari for a place on the podium. If that battle is repeated in New Delhi, what a spectacle it would be!- Steve Slater has been the voice of ESPN-Star Sports’ Formula 1 coverage since 2009last_img read more

first_img(Eds: With additional inputs)New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today assured Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas of Indias “unwavering support” to the Palestinian cause, saying it hopes to see a sovereign, united and an independent Palestine, co- existing peacefully with Israel.Modi, who is scheduled to travel to Israel in July, also hoped for early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli sides to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution.After extensive and wide-ranging talks between Modi and Abbas, the two sides signed five agreements.Addressing a joint press event with Abbas, the prime minister said, “We hope to see the realisation of a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel. I have reaffirmed our position on this to President Abbas during our conversation today.”Modi also added that “India has been unwavering in supporting the Palestinian cause. India hopes for early resumption of talks between Palestinian and Israeli side to move towards finding a comprehensive resolution.”Modis remarks come ahead of his scheduled visit to the Jewish state and assume significance in the backdrop of growing proximity between India and Israel. Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.On his part, Abbas said Palestine appreciates the solidarity India extends to its cause.”India is a friend. It has influence at the international level. India can play an important role (in the resolving Palestine Israel crisis,” Abbas said.He also said that he recently had meetings with US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and discussed possibilities of an early resolution to the long-pending dispute with a two-state solution.advertisementModi also noted that he and the visiting dignitary had an extensive exchange of views on West Asia and the Middle East peace process and said the challenges in West Asia should be addressed through sustained political dialogue and peaceful means.The Palestine President also condemned terrorism in all forms.The two sides signed agreements for visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders, in the fields of agriculture cooperation, IT and electronics, health sector and cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.”At the bilateral level, India is committed to be a useful development partner of Palestine. We would continue to support development and capacity of the Palestine. The agreements concluded today are reaffirmation of our intent to strengthen cooperation in this direction,” Modi said.Referring to the technopark jointly built by India and Palestine in Ramallah, he said it will a one-stop solution to IT-related services in Palestine.In October 2015, India has announced grant of USD 12 million for setting up the park with payment of USD 3 million each on half-yearly basis for 2 years. The Palestinian side has made the land available for the project.Abbas said India is “ahead of all friendly countries” in helping Palestine.Modi said the India is looking froward to enhance cultural exchanges by adding new elements including yoga.”I have reaffirmed our coalition on this to President Abbas during our conversation today.”President Abbas and I concluded useful and detailed discussion that will add further strength in partnership,” he said. PTI PR MPB PYK ZMNlast_img read more

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Industry, Security Editor’s Note: Recently, I posted a column about a Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) startup company called Lyrebird (see Thinking of using voice authentication? Think again!). The folks at Lyrebird are working on a new generation of speech analysis and generation technologies that — as a bi-product — could pose a significant threat to speech-based biometric security. One possible counter-solution may be as described in this column; now, read on… Voice biometrics has become more widely adopted for user authentication because it delivers a more frictionless and seamless experience than solutions based on passwords and even fingerprints. At the same time, there is a growing realization across all biometric modalities that the most effective approach employs behavioral as well as physical characteristics to prevent fraud. Another challenge with biometric solutions, including voice, is how to ensure that personal identity information is protected. This can be done by ensuring that any relevant data is securely stored inside the system’s hardware, rather than in the cloud, and distributed across embedded devices in the authentication infrastructure that is less accessible to hackers.Now, Human to Machine Communication (HMC) optical sensor technology that isolates a speaker for near-perfect speech recognition in voice-controlled applications is available to support this biometrics implementation strategy by ensuring all biometric template matching functions are performed inside the end-user device (see New technology provides breakthrough speech recognition in noisy environments). This approach both secures and simplifies system solutions ranging from smartphones and PCs to FIDO-compatible ATMs and mobile devices as well as the connected car. It also opens the door to integrating other optically-acquired behavioral biometric authentication factors, such as the speaker’s tone of voice and unique heartbeat and facial skin characteristics.Improving biometric verification matching Using biometrics to verify identities for user authentication is far more convenient and secure than using PINs or passwords. The person authenticating at the door or to a kiosk, ATM, or mobile service or application is matched to a biometric template in a stored database that was created at enrolment. This “1-to-1” matching process answers the question: “Is the person who is logging in or requesting access or entry the same person who created the biometric template?”The matching process can either be performed in the cloud, on the host device, or inside the sensor. With the former approach, the biometric template (either fingerprint or voiceprint) data is captured when the user enrolls in the system, and then again each time the user presents his or her finger or voice during access or entry; all processing and matching functions are performed on the authentication system’s host platform. In contrast, when matching and biometric management functions are performed inside the sensor, the overall system architecture is not only more secure, but also more streamlined, since all processing, template, and instruction storage, and higher-performance cryptography, also remain inside the sensor IC.This ability to perform these functions inside the sensor has generally not been possible with voice modality, especially in noisy environments. This all changes when traditional acoustic voice-acquisition technology is replaced by a new type of HMC optical technology.A new way to acquire voiceprints Most would agree that voice is the most convenient way to interact with machines to control today’s digital world, but none of today’s solutions work in noisy environments. Even with the best noise reduction algorithms, acoustic microphones cannot isolate and identify one voice from among others, and machines are incapable of inferring meaning as humans do if background noise periodically drowns out the speaker. While speech-recognition software can be trained to understand accents and other speech patterns, they cannot be trained to ignore background noise.The advent of HMC optical sensor technology solves this problem, turning the human voice into the most natural, personalized, and secure interface with the digital world. One example is VocalZoom’s HMC sensor, which is pointed at the user’s face and used to pick up signals created by vibrations on the facial skin during speech. This approach has the potential to revolutionize voice control and offers equally promising benefits for voice biometrics. The two applications are essential and complementary elements of any comprehensive voice user interface solution.(Source: VocalZoom.com) In voice-control applications, the latest HMC sensor technology is used alongside conventional acoustic microphones to deliver a near-perfect, isolated reference audio signal that improves the performance of today’s noise-reduction software. In the case of the VocalZoom implementation, the sensor uses unique laser measurement techniques as it captures nanometer-resolution skin vibrations. The data is converted into audio; algorithms filter out any vibrations not associated with the user’s speech; and these signals are combined with the output from the acoustic microphone. Because the facial vibrations are associated only with the sound waves originating inside the speaker’s mouth and throat cavity, there is an extremely high level of directional pickup and — in turn — near-perfect isolation from extraneous noise and other background voices, thereby enabling seamless voice-control performance in applications ranging from wearables to the connected car.Another advantage of this approach for voice biometric applications is that only the HMC optical sensor is needed to acquire a voiceprint. It is important to understand that there are two types of voice biometric characteristics: physical (based on the structure of the vocal cords and mouth) and behavioral (including tone changes and other behavioral characteristics). No two people display the same behavioral voice characteristics in exactly the same way during speech; thus, no two people generate the same voiceprint. An HMC sensor may capture less physical voice information (1 kHz out of the full 4 kHz spectrum) than an acoustic microphone, but it has a very high level of accuracy in behavioral detection. Using both types of information to perform user authentication with voice biometrics is very effective, particularly when it can be achieved using a single, noise-immune HMC sensor.All of this is possible as long as the HMC optical sensor can perform adequately in noisy environments. It is critical that the sensor only pick up the signals that are inside the mouth cavity and transmitted from vibrations in the facial skin during speech. Tests performed by VocalZoom and its customers show that these signals are impervious to noise.For higher-security applications, such as financial wire transfers, two-factor authentication is required. Until now, solutions in these applications have generally combined fingerprints with facial recognition or a password. With an HMC optical sensor, it will be possible to combine two authentication factors in a single solution. As an example, a voiceprint could be combined with a skin-print that is unique to each person and allows for two-factor authentication in a single sensor. Skin biometrics is a frictionless authentication factor that requires no special action by the user during identification. It is also continuous, in that a device can authenticate again and again during an authentication interaction.In all applications, HMC optical sensors provide a simple and secure way to perform biometric template matching inside the sensor, but there is also an additional value. In the past, one of the few advantages of conducting biometric template matching on the host was that the host could implement all required “anti-spoof” mechanisms for detecting biometric forgeries. With HMC optical sensors, it is now possible for the voiceprint acquisition technology, itself, to deliver these anti-spoof capabilities through inherent liveness detection, or the ability to know whether the person seeking entry or access is present and not a recording. With this capability, an HMC optical sensor can also detect other parameters such as skin characteristics, heartbeats and blood flow at the same time as it is acquiring the user’s voiceprint. Each time a user authenticates, a voiceprint and/or other behavioral biometric data is acquired in real time, optically confirmed to be from a living person rather than a recording, stored inside the sensor, and securely matched against information in its embedded template to verify the user and complete the authentication process.Using this new generation of HMC optical sensors to perform biometric template matching inside the sensor aligns well with initiatives like the FIDO Alliance Passwordless User Experience (UX) Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) protocol. In this experience, the user registers their device to the online service by selecting a local authentication mechanism, such as speaking and entering a PIN, etc. Once registered, the user simply repeats the local authentication action whenever they need to authenticate to the service. The user no longer needs to enter their password when authenticating from that device. UAF also allows experiences that combine multiple authentication mechanisms such as fingerprint + PIN. When an optical sensor is used to acquire voiceprints, these additional authentication factors could also include heartbeat characteristics, facial feature geometry, or various forms of behavioral authentication metrics that the sensor can capture.The latest HMC Optical sensor technology offers a new approach to voiceprint acquisition that enables a more streamlined, compact system solution supported by inherent liveness detection. It converts the speaker’s facial vibrations into a unique, noise-free voiceprint both at enrolment and for biometric template matching, with all acquisition, storage, matching, and cryptography functions executed in a completely closed match-in-sensor environment. Optically-acquired voiceprints have the potential to be the most secure, cost-effective, and easiest biometric to verify for fraud-proof authentication, in full compliance with financial and other regulatory mandates. Continue Reading Previous How mixed-signal design drives innovationNext Time is running out to speak at ESCcenter_img Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.last_img read more

first_imgUpdated 2:35p 6/19/17CHILDREN AND A FEW ADULTS KEPT COOL MONDAY AFTERNOON AT SIOUX CITY FIRE RESCUE’S FIRST “HYDRANT PARTY”.LT. JOE RODRIQUEZ AND FIREFIGHTERS OPENED THE HYDRANT AT 9TH AND IOWA STREETS, SPRAYING WATER FOR NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS TO SPLASH AND HAVE FUN:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/HYDRANT.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC…..BEFOREHAND. :10 THE FIREFIGHTERS HAD MUSIC PLAYING AND ALSO GAVE TOURS OF THEIR FIRE TRUCK AND HANDED OUT FIRE PREVENTION INFORMATION.———————————————SIOUX CITY FIRE RESCUE IS GOING TO HOST A “HYDRANT PARTY” MONDAY AFTERNOON.FIREFIGHTERS WILL OPEN THE HYDRANT AT 9TH AND IOWA STREETS AND SPRAY WATER TO COOL OFF LOCAL KIDS AND RESIDENTS WHO WANT TO TAKE PART IN THE FUN.THEY WILL ALSO GIVE TOURS OF THEIR FIRE TRUCKS AND HAVE FIRE PREVENTION INFORMATION TO HAND OUT.BRING YOUR OWN TOWEL TO THE HYDRANT PARTY WHICH STARTS AT 12:30 AND GOES UNTIL 2:30 THIS AFTERNOON.last_img read more

first_imgTopics Facebook Twitter Pinterest It’s been just under six months since Caster Semenya ran at the world championships, which makes it just over five since the last time everyone was talking about intersex athletes in sport. The media cycle moves along but the debate goes on. Last Friday the court of arbitration for sport released details of the latest developments in the crucial case of Dutee Chand v the IAAF. Semenya became the public face of the fight for the rights of hyperandrogenic athletes because she is so successful. But it’s Chand, a 21-year-old Indian sprinter, whose lawyers have been prosecuting the argument against the IAAF’s policies.Chand was born in Gopalpur in Jaipur in 1996, one of seven children in a family that lived below the poverty line. She always loved to sprint. They say when she was a kid she spent so much time running that the neighbours thought she was crazy. When she was 10 she won a spot at a government-run sports hostel and in her teens she broke local, state, and national records in the 100m and 200m. In 2014, aged 18, she was picked in the India relay squad for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. And then she was dropped from it when tests showed her natural testosterone levels were higher than the International Association of Athletics Federations allowed.This was under the regulations introduced in 2011 in reaction to the controversy over Semenya’s performances in 2009. At this point Chand had four options. She could start a course of hormone suppressing drugs, as Semenya did. She could have unnecessary and invasive surgery, which is what the IAAF encouraged several other young intersex athletes to do. She could quit or she could fight for her right to race. As Chand said: “I want to remain who I am and compete again.” She took the case to Cas. In 2015 the court gave an interim ruling suspending the IAAF’s testosterone limit. Since you’re here… The ignorance aimed at Caster Semenya flies in the face of the Olympic spirit Share on Pinterest Read more Last Friday Cas released some brief notes on the state of the IAAF’s case. The upshot is the final decision has been suspended for another six months, which means Chand and Semenya will be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April. There is nothing much left for Semenya to prove at those Games but for Chand, who was so traumatised by her public humiliation in 2014, they will be a precious opportunity to make a major final. The reason for the delay is that instead of defending the existing, suspended, testosterone limit, the IAAF appears to have submitted an entirely new set of regulations to Cas.In the words of Cas, the IAAF submission “includes draft revised regulations that would only apply to female track events over distances of between 400 metres and one mile”. This is strange, because that same key study the IAAF was so keen to publicise last summer also found the testosterone advantage was even greater in the pole vault (2.9%) and the hammer throw (4.5%). Yet the IAAF has provided Cas with a set of draft regulations that do not make any provision for those events. So the IAAF’s proposals do not seem to be in line with its proof.Which may be because in the six months since that key study was published and publicised, the methods behind it have been called into question. The same day Cas put out its press release, the BJSM published another paper that systematically dismantled the techniques that produced the 1.8% finding. In the meantime the IAAF has changed its case. It proposes new regulations that cover only women’s middle distances, events Chand does not run in.As ever, it feels like it all comes back to Semenya, who could be forgiven for thinking the IAAF’s motives are all about her. Athletics Support The Guardian Caster Semenya … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Sport politics There are so many sides to this argument. It is being fought on ethical grounds because it pitches the rights of a marginalised minority against the need to ensure fair competition for the majority. And it is being fought on logical grounds because while high testosterone is a natural advantage, athletics is a sport that already seeks to “protect” female competitors from those who possess that advantage by splitting men and women into separate categories. But Cas decided that it all came down to scientific proof.The court found the IAAF had failed to prove natural testosterone provides a significant athletic advantage. You might intuitively assume it does since artificial testosterone is a banned performance enhancer. Natural testosterone is another matter and besides it is hard to quantify the size of any advantage when there are so many variables involved in performance. There was dissent about the decision even among the group of consultants who reached the consensus that allowed the IAAF to bring in a testosterone limit in the first place.So for two years Semenya and Chand were able to compete unhindered while the IAAF tried to find proof. Last July it showed its hand. A key piece of new research was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The headline finding was that in Semenya’s favourite event, the 800m, women with high testosterone levels had a 1.8% performance advantage. Here, it seemed, was the IAAF’s proof. The 1.8% figure was widely repeated in TV and newspaper commentaries. It drew a lot of attention because the IAAF pushed it so hard in the media. IAAF Share via Email Katrina Karkazis comment Share on Facebook Dutee Chand had two choices. She could quit or she could take on the IAAF. ‘I want to remain who I am and compete,’ she said. Photograph: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images Reuse this content Share on LinkedInlast_img read more

first_img Next India Today Web Desk New DelhiMay 22, 2017UPDATED: July 7, 2019 11:21 IST Sir Arthur Conan DoyleSir Arthur Conan Doyle, best known for creating the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, was a multi-faceted personality — a doctor, a writer, journalist, and public figure. He was born as Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle on May 22, in the year 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland.Did you know that the birthday of Sherlock’s sidekick, Dr Watson, in whose voice Doyle writes the mystery tales, actually coincides with that of the author?Listed below are some lesser-known facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:1. Doyle played cricket: He was on the same cricket team as Peter Pan writer JM Barrie.2. Debut of Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in ‘A Study of Scarlet’, published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887.3. Killing and resurrection of Holmes: In 1893, Conan Doyle killed off Holmes, hoping to concentrate on more serious writing. A public outcry later made him resurrect Holmes.4. Doyle helped in popularising skiing: In 1823, Doyle moved to Davros, Switzerland where he helped to popularise the winter sport. Doyle was also the first Englishman to document the thrill of skiing: “You let yourself go,” he said.”Getting as near to flying as any earthbound man can. In that glorious air it is a delightful experience.” Doyle correctly predicted that in the future hundreds of Englishmen would come to Switzerland for the ‘skiing season.’5. Doyle played as goalkeeper: Under the pseudonym AC Smith, the writer played as a goalie for amateur side Portsmouth Association Football Club.6. He ran for Parliament, twice: Doyle ran for parliament (representing the Unionist Party) once in Edinburgh (in 1900) and once in the Border Burghs (in 1906). Although he received a respectable vote both the times, he was not elected.advertisement7. He coined the caption ‘Licensed to Kill’: When Arthur Conan Doyle obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Master of Surgery degree, he drew a funny sketch of himself receiving his diploma, with the caption ‘Licensed to Kill’. It became the tagline for another sleuth, James Bond.8. Doyle not only wrote mysteries, he actually solved a few: One such example was the case of George Edalji, who, thanks to Doyle’s efforts, was exonerated for charges of sending threatening letters and mutilating animals.9. He died clutching a flower: Doyle died on Monday, July 7, 1930, in his garden, clutching a flower. His last words were addressed to his wife. He whispered, “You are wonderful.”10. Doyle believed in fairies: When a photograph surfaced purportedly showing a young girl surrounded by fairies, Doyle enthusiastically hailed its authenticity and believed it was clear evidence of psychic phenomena. He even wrote a book called The Coming of the Fairies.11. He started an ophthalmology practice in London: But not a single patient ever crossed his door, which made Doyle resort to writing for killing time.12. He was friends with famous illusionist Harry Houdini: However, their friendship soured when Conan Doyle and his wife called him for a seance. There, they claimed to have contacted Houdini’s mother from beyond the grave. As proof of her communication, they showed her a letter which was written in English, a language which Houdini’s mother didn’t speak! Houdini was outraged and publicly denounced the author and his wife.13. Knighted by King Edward: In the year 1902, King Edward VII Knighted Doyle, not for his famous fiction stories on Sherlock Holmes, but for his book that justified Britain’s involvement in the Boer War.14. He popularised ‘dinosaurs’: Can you imagine Jurassic Park without dinosaurs? At the time Doyle wrote The Lost World, the term dinosaur hadn’t even been around for two centuries.Read | Sherlock Holmes’ birthday mystery solved!Interested in General Knowledge and Current Affairs? Click here to stay informed and know what is happening around the world with our G.K. and Current Affairs section.To get more updates on Current Affairs, send in your query by mail to education.intoday@gmail.comGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Sherlock HolmesFollow Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 14 crazy facts on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who created Sherlock HolmesThe article features some lesser-known facts about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on his 89th death anniversary.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Ole Martin Wold/Yara International Builder of specialized vessels Vard Holdings Limited has secured a contract to construct an autonomous and electric-driven container vessel for Norwegian chemical company YARA.The world’s first autonomous and electric-driven container vessel, to be named Yara Birkeland, will be delivered from Vard in Brevik in early 2020. The shipbuilder informed that the contract value is around NOK 250 million (USD 29.5 million).After delivery, the vessel will gradually move from manned operations to fully autonomous operations by 2022. It will operate in Norway, in a cargo transit between Yara’s plant in Porsgrunn to ports in Brevik and Larvik.With a length of 80 meters and a beam of 15 meters, the vessel will have a cargo capacity of 120 TEU, replacing 40,000 truck journeys a year. Yara Birkeland will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.“A vessel like Yara Birkeland has never been built before, and we rely on teaming up with partners with an entrepreneurial mindset and cutting edge expertise,” Svein Tore Holsether, President and CEO of Yara, said.last_img read more

CALGARY — Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. has reported lower second-quarter profits and once again trimmed its 2012 production outlook.The largest owner of the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oilsands mine said net income was $101-million, or 21 cents per share, compared to $346-million, or 71 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.Revenues were $866-million, down from $994-million during the second quarter of 2011.Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were on average expecting Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. to earn 32 cents per share and book revenues of $729-million.[np-related]The Calgary-based company expects annual Syncrude production to range between 106 million and 112 million barrels.It’s the second time Canadian Oil Sands trimmed the upper target of its production range. In February it said it expected an upper end of 117 million and in April it lowered it to 114 million.CEO Marcel Coutu said the results were in line with expectations, reflecting periods of planned maintenance downtime at the Syncrude mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta.“With these main upgrading units now back in operation and no major maintenance planned for the remainder of the year, we expect robust production over the balance of 2012,” he said.Canadian Oil Sands owns a 37% stake in Syncrude, the biggest project of its kind in the world.Syncrude’s other owners include Imperial Oil Ltd., Nexen Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., China’s Sinopec, Mocal Energy Ltd. and Murphy Oil Co. Ltd.In April, Canadian Oil Sands increased its quarterly dividend to 35 cents from 30 cents. On Friday it said its next payout would remain steady at 35 cents.Shares in Canadian Oil Sands, which reported its results after markets closed, rose 14 cents to close at $21. read more

A leading international human rights group today warned that leaders in both the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party should not discount a Mahinda Rajapaksa return.The International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report that President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe must reach workable compromises on key issues including economic reform that shares the pain of change equitably and renewed anti-corruption, anti-impunity drives that prioritise a limited number of significant criminal cases implicating both major parties. To achieve a deal on the constitution that includes strengthened devolution, ICG says Sirisena must speak forcefully and lead a campaign that explains the reform package’s benefits for all communities. “Renewing transitional justice hopes requires rapid launch of the Office on Missing Persons and faster progress on reducing the military footprint in the north and east.  But time is running out. Leaders in both parties should not discount a Rajapaksa return. For their own survival and to deliver on at least some of their big promises, they should reject chauvinistic politics and daily bickering and invest their political capital in promoting an inclusive vision and more accountable polity that can mitigate the risk of new conflict,” ICG added. The report also notes that Tamils in the north and east were assured of confidence building measures that require major changes in the security forces’ role. Yet, the military resists returning additional occupied land to its owners in these areas and continues to run shops and hotels and build Buddha statues in Tamil and Muslim communities.ICG says failure to reduce the military footprint has led to a campaign of protests by Tamils in the north that is weakening support for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil party cooperating closely with the ruling coalition. (Colombo Gazette) read more

TURKEY POINT – Persistent winter conditions forced managers of the beach in Turkey Point to come up with a new strategy for removing the dead phragmites along Ordnance Avenue.Plan B was deployed Wednesday in the form of a unique amphibious vehicle from Ukraine called “The Sherp.”Two Sherps were floated down from Sudbury earlier this week to big-foot the dead reeds before the spring thaw arrives. Time is of the essence because hibernating species will soon emerge from their winter hiding places.It took all day for the vehicles with large, heavy rollers behind them to flatten nearly 20 acres of dead phragmites.When they were finished, motorists on Ordnance Avenue could actually see Long Point Bay from their vehicles for the first time in many years.“It’s not built for phragmites, but it can move through phragmites,” said Eric Giles of Giles Restoration Services in St. Williams, one of the vehicle’s operators.“And that’s what we need – a tool that can function in a winter-time environment.”Phragmites is an aggressive, invasive species of reed that chokes out native vegetation while destroying wildlife habitat. It has established a large presence in the Long Point-Turkey Point area in recent years.See phragmites | A2 phragmites from A1 Conservation officials have mounted an eradication offensive that starts with the spraying of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular herbicide Roundup.The phragmites stand in Turkey Point was sprayed last year. A machine called a Marsh Master was scheduled to cut it down but it doesn’t perform well in winter conditions because the tracks plug up with ice.Eric Cleland, director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s invasive species program, said it was critical to flatten the phragmites before the spring thaw. Waiting later than this could result in the death of animals and birds when time came for a controlled burn.Cutting or flattening the stand is critical because an important part of the eradication program is secondary spraying.Glyphosate will kill 97 per cent of phragmites where it is sprayed. However, control teams have to be able to get at the three per cent of phragmites that regenerate. If they are not dealt with the prolific phragmites will quickly grow back stronger than ever.“Re-treatment will be required on Ordnance Avenue,” Cleland said at the scene Wednesday. “We’ve had to do that everywhere we’ve treated.”The Sherp is manufactured in Kiev and sells in North America for about $105,000 US. The machines brought to Norfolk this week will be engaged in flattening operations for the next several weeks.MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

Police had a heavy presence near the 900 block of Montague Street where officers placed at least one person in custody. BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post At least one person is in custody after police responded to a possible firearm incident in North Central on Tuesday morning.The Regina Police Service issued an update at 10:42 a.m. that a police operation in the 900 block of Montague Street had concluded without incident, but that no further details were available. One man was seen being taken into police custody.At 9:13 a.m., police issued a release that said officers were investigating a possible firearm offence in the area. Police described it as a “dynamic situation.”UPDATE: Montague St. The police operation in the 900 block of Montague St is concluded without incident. Investigation is continuing; no further details available at this time. Thanks to the public especially the residents of the 900 block of Montague Street for their patience.— Regina Police (@reginapolice) September 3, 2019 BRANDON HARDER / Regina Leader-Post Police apprehend a man following an incident that drew a heavy police presence to the 900 block of Montague Street. read more

More than 16,000 refugees in Largo and Tobanda camps are, on a voluntary basis, using the new sheeting designed to provide shelter as well as protection from malaria and other vector-borne diseases, UNHCR said yesterday. Participating families are given six pieces of plastic sheeting each, which they put up inside their shelters. Families in one section of the camps receive insecticide-treated sheeting, while others receive normal ones. Over the next six to 12 months, all participating refugees will be examined regularly for signs of malaria or other diseases, and given treatment where necessary, the agency stated. “Prevention is much better than cure,” said Olivier Siegenthaler, a technical expert at UNHCR. “This evaluation is really innovative, and we hope in six months’ time to have some results that will allow us to test the efficiency of the project. However, it requires a lot of effort to monitor and is quite expensive.”Malaria is a leading public health problem in Sierra Leone, accounting for 48 per cent of the country’s total out-patient numbers, according to UNHCR. Among the high-risk group are refugees living in temporary camps, especially pregnant women because malaria can cause miscarriages, low birth-weight babies and maternal anaemia. The disease is also one of the major causes of death among children.The project, co-funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office, started in March and is now under way in Kenema district’s Largo camp and Bo district’s Tobanda camp. After this period, UNHCR will assess whether the new insecticide-treated plastic sheeting is successful in controlling malaria and if it can be used in other refugee camps.Some 54,000 refugees currently live in Sierra Leone’s eight camps. UNHCR said the mass movement of people in this volatile region could exacerbate the spread of malaria as Anopheles mosquitoes bite infected people and transmit the disease by biting non-infected people. Insecticide-treated plastic sheeting is more practical in such emergency situations as it requires less time to deploy compared to materials that are manually sprayed with insecticide. read more

first_imgLogiCamms has been awarded a contract with Stanwell Corp (through its subsidiary TEC Coal Pty), to upgrade the control system of the Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP) at the Meandu mine in south east Queensland. The contract has an estimated value of A$8.5 million, with work commencing immediately and continuing for approximately 18 months. The Meandu mine supplies over 7 Mt/y of coal to the adjacent Tarong power stations. LogiCamms’ scope for the control system upgrade project involves detailed design, installation, factory and site acceptance testing, commissioning, and operator training.LogiCamms’ Managing Director, Steve Banning, said that the contract award builds on the company’s solid track record in control system projects and delivery of services to the coal industry. “We are pleased to be working with Stanwell to deliver the Meandu CHPP Control System upgrade, for which LogiCamms will draw on its extensive coal industry experience across multiple disciplines, as well as a strong understanding of delivering projects in brownfield environments,” Banning said. “The award of this contract is further evidence of our capability in assisting clients to enhance the long term value of their existing operational assets,” Banning said.last_img read more

first_imgMoussa Dembele  has revealed Bruce Lee’s influence as he joins Chinese club Guangzhou R&F from Tottenham Hotspur.The Belgian midfielder left Spurs and turned down a move to Bayern Munich and Inter Milan for the chance to emulate kung-fu icon Bruce Lee in the Far East.“I chose China because I needed something new,” said Dembele, according to Daily Mail.“Other clubs in Europe and Qatar were also a possibility but the adventure at Guangzhou was the most interesting.”“I’ve always been a fan of martial arts actor Bruce Lee. His films made me want to go to China one day.”“Of course the financial aspect played a part but I want to throw myself completely into the football.”Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…Dembele will earn around £5million a year in the Chinese Super League after the former Fulham midfielder departed English football.The 31-year-old featured in 249 games across all competitions for Tottenham, since signing joining them in the summer of 2012, but had just six months remaining on his contract.Dembele has only played 13 games this season, with the likes of Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko featuring more in his absence.He has also not played since picking up an injury and being substituted after just seven minutes in Spurs’ victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on November 3.Dembele has made 82 appearances for Belgium, and has played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, as well as Euro 2016.last_img read more

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS, NOVEMBER 7, 2013- Seven teams will be competing for the championship title of the first ever Women’s Speed Soccer League. Launched last Sunday, the competition brings to the playing field women of all ages and fitness levels competing in 5-aside games. There are the CIBC Cats, Earthbenders AFC, Revolution FC, The Blow Pops, U12 Trailblazers FC, Trailblazers FC and Palmiss. The first official game kicks off this Sunday November 10th at the TCIFA Football academy at 3pm and the competition runs up until December 8, 2013. TCIFA Officials at the launch.last_img read more

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, November 20, 2017 – Providenciales – Each year Universal Children’s Day, also recognized as World Day of Prayer and Action for Children, is observed on the 20th of November.   The Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation and Communication- Department of Social Development would like to welcome all residence of the Turks and Caicos Islands to join in the celebration of this special day.Universal Children’s Day commemorates the United Nations adoption of two landmark documents concerning the human rights of all children, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.   This day is used to spread awareness about the rights of children, the effects of violence on children, and to celebrate our youth.Universal Children’s Day focuses on four main articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:Non-Discrimination: ALL CHILDREN have the same rights regardless of their gender, race, religion, language, culture, disability, nationality, ethnicity, or social background.Best Interest of the Child: When making decisions about any action regarding children individuals must act in the best interest of the child (which may not always a line with the immediate response or interest of adults).Right to Life, Survival & Development: Children have the right to life, to health, to education and to play and the right to be protected against violence.  The survival and development of children should always be ensured.Respect for the Views of Children: Children have the right to have their views heard and taken into account on matters that affect them, in accordance with their age and maturity.Religious groups and faith based organizations play a significant role in sharing this information.   Places of worship are change agents to improve children’s lives.A follow up theme of “Stop Violence Against Children” is incorporated in Universal Children’s Day.   The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines violence as:“All forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.” Every day in the Caribbean at least one child becomes the victim of violence, in most cases being abused by someone whom they know and trust. There are no spiritual, ethical or moral justification for the abuse of children.   All must encourage the care, protection and nurturing of children.Exposure to violence during childhood can lead to a wide range of problems including cognitive, emotional, mental and physical issues as the child grows. Experiencing violence as a child affects the child’s ability to lead a happy, healthy, and productive life.It is required by law within the Turks and Caicos Islands for individuals to report suspected child abuse.   Reports should be made to the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force and/or the Department of Social Development and can be made anonymously.The following activities are planned for this Universal Children’s Day:Morning Devotions at schools throughout the Islands.Information sharing on Radio TC on birth registration and child rearing practices.Partnership with churches to incorporate aspects of Universal Children’s Day into their sermons.Information booths at grocery stores on Positive Parenting Practices.So, this Universal Children’s Day celebrate your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or any child in your life.   Be thankful for them, cherish them, and appreciate all the joy they bring into this world.last_img read more

first_imgSLOVYANSK, Ukraine — Pro-Russian insurgents commandeered six Ukrainian armored vehicles along with their crews and hoisted Russian flags over them Wednesday, dampening the central government’s hopes of re-establishing control over restive eastern Ukraine.The Ukrainian soldiers manning the vehicles offered no armed resistance, and masked pro-Russian militias in combat fatigues sat on top as they drove into the eastern city of Slovyansk, a hotbed of unrest against Ukraine’s interim government.In Brussels, NATO announced it was immediately strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border — which often lies next to Russia — in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The leaders of Russia and Germany, meanwhile, talked about the turmoil in Ukraine but came to very different conclusions, their offices said. Insurgents in Slovyansk have seized the police headquarters and the administration building, demanding broader autonomy for eastern Ukraine and closer ties with Russia. Their actions have been repeated in at least eight other cities in eastern Ukraine — and the central government says Moscow is fomenting the unrest.One of the Ukrainian soldiers said they had defected to the pro-Russian side — which raises the specter of an uprising led by disgruntled Ukrainian forces. But an AP journalist overheard another soldier suggesting they were forced at gunpoint to hand over the vehicles.last_img read more

first_imgA yearlong investigation by Reuters linked multiple cases of elevated blood-lead levels in young children to the presence of lead-based paint in family housing at several large Army installations. The investigation also found that some installations failed to report the test results for military children to state health authorities. Last month, though, the Army said it had “instituted new procedures to ensure that all reporting requirements are properly observed” nationwide. The partnership that manages family housing at Fort Knox, Ky., implemented a lead abatement program after installation leaders learned about high levels in peeling paint from homes in one neighborhood. … DOD’s Inspector General has opened an investigation into the practice of open burning of ammunition and explosives at U.S. military sites, including Radford Army Ammunition Plant in southwest Virginia. The investigation will evaluate DOD’s compliance with “relevant environmental and related laws, inter-agency and municipal agreements, and policy,” according to the inspector general’s office, reported Army Times. The announcement was prompted by a congressional request and follows an in-depth investigation by ProPublica.Army Photo by Jackie Pennoyer Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

first_imgAn assistant commissioner of Detective Branch (DB) of police, and two others sustained bullet injuries in Dhaka city’s Postagola area on Saturday night.The injured police officer, Rahul Patwari, his informant Billal Hossain Mridul, and a pedestrian, Selim were taken to Dhaka Medical College HospitalLocal people heard sounds of several gunshots around 8:45pm in front of the Postagola Nagar Health Complex.How and why they were wounded could not be ascertained immediately, Shyampur police station officer-in-charge (OC) Abdur Razzaq told Prothom Alo.However, Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Md Asaduzzamman Mia told newsmen that unidentified criminals fired gunshots at detectives as a DB team led by Rahul, acting of a tip-off, raided the spot in Jurain.last_img read more