VANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver is moving to legalize short-term rental accommodation like Airbnb but operators will only be able to advertise their principal residence.Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said Wednesday that new regulations to be enacted next week are designed to protect and free up rental housing in response to a critically low vacancy rate.“The goal of the city is to restore some of our long-term rental and take a balanced approach, making sure we are protecting rental stock at the same time that we’re enabling supplemental income for people who are using Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms,” he said.There are roughly 6,600 short-term rentals posted online, and more than 80 per cent will remain legal under the program, city officials said.Operators will be required to apply for a business licence by Sept. 1 and include that number in their listing, which Airbnb has agreed to make as a requirement on its platform.Secondary suites can only be listed on the platform by a long-term resident of the unit, and city staff say there are about 1,000 units currently listed that are not an operator’s primary home.Robertson said most of those units should go back on the rental market or be subject to a $1,000 a day fine as of Sept. 1.Airbnb spokeswoman Alex Dagg said the agreement reached with the city, which also requires the company to share quarterly data and user contact information, is the first of its kind in Canada. She said other jurisdictions globally have implemented a similar partnership.“I’m always reminded how progressive the Vancouver community is,” she said. “This agreement today is an important step to making home sharing easier while giving the city the tools it needs for enforcement.”She said the information being given to the city will help enforce the new regulations, while allowing users to continue to list their homes with ease.The city’s general manager of development, Kaye Krishna, said about 88 per cent of all online short-term rental listings are posted on Airbnb.Other platforms are in negotiations with the city, Krishna said. The Expedia Group, which owns the platforms VRBO and HomeAway, has agreed to educate users on the new regulations and encourage them to obtain licences, she said.The cost of the licence is $49 annually, and operators must have permission from their landlord or condo board and adhere to fire and safety standards.The city has set up an online application, which Krishna said takes only minutes to complete, that will launch next week.The city has hired bylaw enforcement officers to monitor violations and issue tickets.“Housing here is for homes first and be used as a business after that and be taxed as a business appropriately,” Robertson said.The new regulations, paired with the city’s recent empty-home tax, are “tools that can boost the supply of long-term rental, and again, make sure we are getting the best use of our housing stock across the city,” he said.The city’s vacancy rate is currently at 0.8 per cent, Robertson said.—Follow @Givetash on Twitter.
Casablanca – Since the deadly Ebola disease first appeared in late 2013 in West Africa, it has continued to spread throughout Africa.Last week, team leader, Bart Jansesens of the organization, ‘Doctors without Borders’ stated that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was “completely out of control.” The rare virus causes painful bleeding inside and outside the body as well as high fever, difficulty breathing, and rashes.According to the World Health Organization, 467 people have already lost their lives as a result of this virus. There are also other 759 reported cases of infection. For now, no licensed vaccine for the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is available. Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available yet for clinical treatment. Since the deadly disease first appeared in late 2013 in West Africa, it has spread rapidly. To date, outbreaks have occurred in the three countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The risk of it spreading to other areas is very high, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).The deadly disease causes huge waves of refugees to flee their cities every day, in order to escape from the outbreak. The disease is transmitted through blood and body fluids of infected animals and people and raises fear and panic among the residents. So they would rather run away from the scourge, rather than face it.Isata Sanaoh, one refugee was quoted by the German News channel, RTL as saying: “I ran away from home because of Ebola. A lot of people have died there, including many in my family.” Yet, many refugees unwittingly carry the virus to other parts of the country and controlling the spread of the disease is not in sight.The World Health Organization has called for more doctors to come help prevent the spread. But the lack of doctors is not the only issue. People from West Africa tend to distrust foreigners. Most of them want to take care of themselves at home, which exacerbates the problem because family members or friends become infected from caring for the sick.For the residents of the affected regions, the ebola virus is not just a disease, but an evil curse. People are convinced that Western medicine is powerless. So, the race against time to save lives is a continuous back and forth between clarification of facts and focusing on stopping the spread of the disease.Unfortunately, the governments of West Africa have not invested in their health institutions over the last years. The result is that many citizens are the victims of their own country’s recklessness.On the other hand, authorities have banned the sale and consumption of wild animals in Guiana. Monkeys, bats and snakes are locally considered delicacies, but are also potential carriers of the virus.Those who help fight against the deadly virus face the skepticism of the local population. This is an extremely dangerous conflict situation that costs a lot of lives of more and more people.Many people around the world wonder whether there could be an outbreak in their own countries. In fact, infected travelers can easily spread the disease. However, airline crews are trained to spot the symptoms, so the chances of travelers spreading the virus are being minimized.West Africa is experiencing the worst disease outbreak in its history. Many people have already lost their lives, and desperation has become part of their daily agenda.Although, there is no effective treatment yet, the WHO is focusing on eradicating all the origins and sources of Ebola by cleaning and disinfecting the affected areas.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
Briefing the Council behind closed doors, Martti Ahtisaari, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Kosovo’s future status process, said he intends to take the process, begun in February, from technical talks to a new high-level political phase, to be held this month in Vienna, UN spokesman Marie Okabe told reporters in New York. During the new phase, teams from both sides will be invited to present their positions on status, she added. At a closed meeting this morning, the Security Council heard from Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, while in the afternoon, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu briefed Council members. Kosovo, an Albanian-majority Serbian province, has been run by the UN since Western forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting. Mr. Ahtisaari’s status dialogue between Kosovo Albanians and Serbs has been held about twice monthly since it began in February.
Valeant faces new legal challenges with investigations into eye care business by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 27, 2015 1:20 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 27, 2015 at 4:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which has been under the gun over its relationship with specialty pharmacies and price hikes on its heart medications, is facing new legal challenges as U.S. investigators look into the embattled company’s growing eye care business.Valeant disclosed Monday that it is subject to separate investigations launched by the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department.The FTC has requested information and documentation related to its “non-public investigation” of Valeant’s acquisition of Paragon Vision Sciences in May, the Laval, Que.-based company said in a regulatory filing about its third-quarter results.Valeant also said the Justice Department has issued it a subpoena as part of a criminal investigation into Bausch & Lomb’s payment to medical professionals related to its surgical products Crystalens IOL and Victus femtosecond laser platform. Valeant said it is co-operating with the investigation into possible violations of federal health-care laws.The Department of Justice’s civil division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania are also probing possible false claims on Medicaid pricing made by Biovail, Valeant’s previous company, the company added in its SEC filing.Valeant couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. But Jan Svochak, the president of the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association in the U.S., said he was interviewed by investigators with the FTC as part of their probe.Svochak said in an interview Tuesday that Valeant is jacking up manufacturing costs, threatening the survival of small makers of rigid gas permeable contact lenses.“My raw material prices have effectively doubled,” said Svochak, who is also president of Texas-based Tru-Form Optics, a contact lens manufacturer. “It’s not good for me, my employees, my customers, my bottom line (and) puts companies like us at risk.”Valeant controls 85 to 90 per cent of the supply chain for gas permeable lenses in the U.S., he said, adding that gas permeable lenses are 10 per cent of the overall contact lens market and offer the “last resort” for many patients who can’t wear soft lenses.The owner of Quebec’s Blanchard Laboratories said price increases will eventually be passed on to consumers.“We have no choice,” Jean Blanchard said in an interview.Blanchard said contact lens makers still face hefty cost increases even though Valeant backed down plans to double prices after getting negative feedback from thousands of practitioners. He said the company reverted to its original increase, ranging between six and 30 per cent.However, he said Valeant still plans to remove the middleman, including labs that make costly Ortho-K (orthokeratology) lenses, a growing market Valeant has a near monopoly on to treat severe eye problems.“They make good products, it’s just the approach that was taken,” he said of Valeant’s aggressive moves on pricing.Withering scrutiny of Valeant’s pricing strategy and its use of specialty pharmaceutical companies has resulted in a deep drop in its share price.In a report last week, short-selling firm Citron Research alleged that Valeant set up a network of phantom pharmacies to fool auditors — allegations that CEO Michael Pearson said are “completely untrue.”Follow @RossMarowits on Twitter.
Does this underrate OKC? Yeah, probably. As I’ve said, our simple method is liable to underrate teams dealing with injury problems. The Thunder have played pretty well since Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have returned to the lineup. But two points to consider.First, when a team has the talent the Thunder do, there’s no time like the present to win a title. But the Thunder are unlikely to win the championship this year. They’d be the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference if the playoffs started today, and while Hollinger’s method may underrate them, there’s a big gap between the Thunder and the top seven seeds. Even if they improve to (for instance) the No. 6 seed, they’ll probably have to win four playoff series as the road team to win the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Not. Easy.Second, Durant is a superstar by any definition, but the degree of superstardom matters. If Durant is the star Sirius, as he was last season, shining brighter than anyone else in the NBA firmament, the Thunder will always have a leg up on the rest of the league, other things held equal. If he’s merely “in the conversation” as the league’s best player, along with Curry, James, Chris Paul, James Harden and Davis, then the Thunder will perennially compete with Curry’s Warriors, James’s Cavs, Paul’s Clippers, Harden’s Rockets and Davis’s Pelicans — but not necessarily beat them.To be even more geeky about it, championship contention in the NBA is nonlinear function. Being a 56-win team instead of a 60-win team — because, say, Durant has become a half-step slower or more injury-prone — could matter a great deal.But how overjoyed Gotham would be if blue and orange stood for the Manhattan Thunder and not the Knicks! The Knicks, obviously, will not win the championship this season. And here’s how the model pegs their chances over the next four seasons. In 2015-16, they have a 0.3 percent of winning the title. In 2016-17, their chances are 0.6 percent. And then in the two subsequent seasons, 0.9 percent and 1.0 percent. Overall, there’s about a 3 percent chance the Knicks will win the NBA title in the next five years.Three percent is not zero percent, so naturally you’ll find the exception to the rule if you dig in deep enough. The 2007-08 Miami Heat, who finished at 15-67, are the most favorable precedent. Their situation wasn’t entirely different from the Knicks’; in a down season, their roster featured one star (Dwyane Wade) and a lot of aging and overpriced “talent” around him. Three seasons later, they signed LeBron James, and in 2011-12 they won the NBA title.So, maybe the Knicks will luck into Jahlil Okafor in next year’s draft. And maybe Durant signs with them two years from now, and maybe Anthony has a gentle decline. I’m telling you there’s a chance, Knicks fans! It’s just not bloody likely.The Knicks, however, do not quite have the worst projection in the league; instead that belongs to the 76ers, whose title chances are lower still.If your eyes are on the long-term, wouldn’t you rather be in a tanking rebuilding situation like Philly than in the predicament of the Knicks or Lakers? Maybe, but the history of teams who have been as laughably bad as this year’s Sixers is not good. Since the ABA merger, 51 teams have finished with fewer than 20 wins in a 82-game season or the equivalent amount in a shortened season. How many of them won a championship in the next five years? Only one — the aforementioned 2007-08 Heat, whose situation was more analogous to that of the Lakers or Knicks than that faced by the 76ers.The thing about starting from a 15-win baseline is that you can add a 20-win megawatt superstar from the draft, and sign a 10-win free agent, and have another guy develop into a five-win talent … and still be a 50-win team, a No. 5 or 6 seed. It’s not clear there’s anyone on the Sixers’ roster who is a good bet to develop into a better-than-average NBA player. A team like the Detroit Pistons, who at least have Andre Drummond, is about twice as likely to develop into a championship contender, according to the model. The Pistons also face extremely long odds, but you’d rather have Drummond and a slightly inferior lottery position than the other way around. Tanking doesn’t pay, kids!But there are a lot of ways to be awful in the NBA, and only one team wins the title. Golden State is the best bet to be pouring the champagne soon. I can see Madison Square Garden from my Manhattan apartment. This year, the arena installed LED lights along the exterior columns of the building — blue, red and white for New York Rangers games; orange and blue for New York Knicks games. They outshine everything else along a drab stretch of Eighth Avenue. When the Knicks colors shine, I’m reminded that there’s a dreadful basketball team playing a few blocks from me.The Knicks are 5-22 on the year, on pace for their worst season in the not-exactly-glorious history of the franchise. But unlike a lot of bad teams, the Knicks are not yet in rebuilding mode. Their only players to have performed at an above-average level so far this season1According to ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus are 30-year-old Carmelo Anthony, 32-year-old Amar’e Stoudemire and 37-year-old Pablo Prigioni. They have a few (not many) good players and a few (not many) young players, but there’s almost no overlap on the Venn diagram.Just how dire is the Knicks’ situation? Are they worse off than the Los Angeles Lakers? Than the Philadelphia 76ers, who very much are in rebuilding mode and are 2-22?Let’s take a longer view. What are the chances any of these franchises will field a championship-caliber team over the next five seasons (from this year through 2018-19)? On the flip side, which NBA franchise has the most reason to be optimistic about its future? Would you rather be the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Golden State Warriors? Would you rather be the Memphis Grizzlies, with a sterling record so far this season but no superstar, or the New Orleans Pelicans, who aren’t so good yet but have a potential world-beating talent in Anthony Davis?There have been some valiant attempts to answer such questions before (see ESPN’s NBA Future Power Rankings). Our method here will be simpler and more statistically driven. The idea is to project the number of NBA championships a franchise might expect to win over the next five seasons based on three easily quantifiable factors:How good is the team now?How old the team?How good is its best player?To be clear, we are not claiming these are the only things that matter. You’d probably want to give a team some extra credit if it’s run by a genius like Gregg Popovich. You’d probably want to dock it if it has traded away some of its future draft picks (as the Knicks have) or if its salary cap situation is poor. And our approach will not be so great at handling teams with injuries to star players. But simple models like these can be a useful tool for understanding how NBA franchises evolve.Some modestly technical bits follow. You can skip ahead a few paragraphs if you’re not sweating the small stuff.As I mentioned, our goal is to estimate the likelihood of a team winning an NBA championship over the next five seasons. The method won’t give much credit to a team for being just decent. Unlike in certain other sports, an NBA team almost never backs into a championship by being slightly above average and then getting lucky in the postseason. A 52-win team in the regular season will win the NBA championship only about 2 percent of the time; a 64-win team will win it something like half the time.More specifically, the model takes the form of a logistic regression analysis where the inputs are three factors I described above — age, overall team quality and the quality of its best player — and the output is the projected number of championships won.2More specifically, the model treats championships probabilistically based on regular-season win totals. For example, a 60-win team is treated as having about a 20 percent chance of winning the title based on the process described here — whether or not it did so. I believe this to be a more robust method than treating championships as binary outcomes; it has the effect of reducing the impact of postseason luck. I’ve used data from the ABA-NBA merger season of 1976-77 onward.To measure overall team quality, I’ve used the number of games a team won.3Win totals are prorated to 82 games in the event of seasons shortened by labor disputes. But when looking toward future seasons, a team’s most recent win-loss record isn’t all that matters; so does the distribution of its talent. The presence of an actual or potential superstar significantly improves its chances of winning championships.This shouldn’t be surprising. In the NBA’s economic structure, there are two types of players who routinely produce a high return on investment: young players (who often make far less than they would as free agents under the rookie salary scale) and superstar players (who are often underpaid because of the maximum salary). Teams built around superstars face downside risk; if the superstar leaves town or gets hurt, they’re screwed. But in the NBA, you’d rather take a high-risk, high-reward approach than settle for a No. 8 seed every year.Our measure of superstar talent is how a team’s top player rated according to the statistic “wins added,” which is described at more length here. Wins added is based on a combination of Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating (PER). Neither metric is perfect (far from it), but because each can be computed from readily available “box score” statistics, they allow us to compare players and teams on a level playing field dating back to 1976-77.Having a younger team helps, of course, but it’s better to evaluate the age of a team’s best players rather than everyone on its roster. So, our calculation of a team’s average age is weighted based on wins added.4In the calculation, negative wins added totals are treated as zeros. This is important. The average New York Knick, weighted based on the number of minutes played this season, is about 28 years old. But the team’s better players are old; its average age is closer to 30 when weighted by wins added.There are a couple of further details in the footnotes,5The model also accounts for the number of teams in the league; it’s easier to win a title in a 23-team NBA than a 30-team NBA. I also calibrate the numbers such that the cumulative odds of a title win in any given season is one exactly among all teams in the league. There’s only one trophy to go around. but let’s see how this works in practice. Here’s how the 30 NBA teams ranked in future championship potential based on their statistics at the end of last season. We’ll run the numbers based on the current season’s data in a moment.At the end of last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder had the most hopeful situation in the league, projecting to win 0.8 championships over the next five years. This total includes cases where the Thunder would win multiple championships, so this is not quite the same as saying they had an 80 percent chance of winning at least one championship. (Titles in the NBA can come in bunches.)Still, this was a reasonably impressive figure; since 1976-77, only 12 teams had a better projection. The top one belonged to the Chicago Bulls going into the 1996-97 season. They projected to win 1.2 more championships to go with the four that Michael Jordan had won already; Jordan won two more in reality.But the NBA is a tough league. Some of the teams that projected almost as highly as Jordan’s Bulls never won a championship. The Cleveland Cavaliers projected to win about 1.2 championships over their next five seasons heading into the 2009-10 season — but LeBron James left, and they didn’t win any. (A championship in Cleveland this season now that James has returned would be one year too late to count within the five-year window.) Other teams appeared likely to follow one championship with more but failed to do so. The Philadelphia 76ers, coming off a 67-win championship season in 1982-83, projected to add another title to Julius Erving’s mantle but never did.Last season is old news, however. So, we’ve also come up with a projection that accounts for roster turnover and a team’s performance so far this year. This required a few modifications to our original model:Team win totals are projected based on John Hollinger’s playoff odds, which account for potential reversion to the mean.6For instance, the Knicks have a .185 winning percentage so far this year and are on pace to go 15-67. But they’ll probably improve on that at least a little bit, according to the Hollinger standings, which project them to finish with a 25-57 record instead.For individual players, wins added are projected based on a combination of a player’s performance so far this year and in recent past seasons.7For each player, I made a preseason projection based on his age and wins added over his past three NBA seasons, then averaged this with a projection based on his wins added per game so far this season, assuming he’ll play in 95 percent of his team’s remaining games. I did not consider players like the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George who have not played this year.Team ages are weighted based on projected wins added.To estimate a team’s chances of winning a title this year (2014-15), I used Hollinger’s playoff odds simulation. For the remaining seasons in the five-year window through 2018-19, I used the figures from our model instead.All projections are based on stats through Tuesday evening.One team is clearly ahead of the pack. It’s the Golden State Warriors.The Dubs project to win 0.95 championships between now and 2018-19. Some of that is because they’re the favorite to win the title this year, according to Hollinger’s method, with a 36 percent chance. But they also rate as the best bet to win the championship in each subsequent season through 2018-19.This isn’t rocket science: the Warriors are really good. They’re young — in fact, their average age has declined slightly from last year as older players like Andre Iguodala have come to play less important roles. And they have a superstar in Stephen Curry.Following the Warriors on the list:At No. 2, the Los Angeles Clippers. They’re not off to the start the Warriors are, and they’re a little older. But they have the talent they’ll need.At No. 3, the Cavaliers, who have a young core surrounding James, but who don’t yet look like they’ll stand head and shoulders above the pack as James’s teams did some years in Miami.At No. 4, the Toronto Raptors, another obvious choice. They’re young, Kyle Lowry is on the verge of being a superstar, and they have the benefit of playing in the Eastern Conference.8The model does not explicitly account for which conference a team plays in. It may account for it implicitly, however, because it uses W-L totals without adjusting for strength of schedule. It’s easier to win the same number of games with lesser talent in the Eastern Conference.At No. 5, the Houston Rockets, whose projection is largely unchanged from the end of last season despite a disappointing off-season.At No. 6, the Grizzlies. Note, however, that this year is probably their best hope of a championship drive. The roster is fairly old, and there’s not a true superstar to build around.At No. 7, the Pelicans. They haven’t gotten off to an especially strong start this year and have little shot of title contention this spring. But Davis has as bright a future as anyone in the league and the team’s average age (weighted by wins added) is just 23.6. They project to be the second- or third-best team in the league by the end of the five-year window, according to the model.At No. 8, the Portland Trail Blazers, whose numbers are similar to the Raptors across the board but who play in the tougher conference.At No. 9, the Chicago Bulls. Theirs is a decent projection, but the Bulls are older than you might think, and Derrick Rose hasn’t played like a superstar lately, even on the rare occasion he’s played. Instead, wins added thinks that Jimmy Butler is their best player.And at No. 10, the Thunder, whose projection has declined more than any other team since the end of last season.
Ohio State senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr (1) prepares to take a goal kick in the second half of the game against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sept. 7. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorThe Ohio State women’s soccer team (7-5-2, 4-2-2 Big Ten) drew a 0-0 tie with No. 21 Rutgers (9-1-5, 5-1-3 Big Ten) this Friday evening on alumni weekend at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.With neither team able to score in the first 45 minutes of the game, the score was tied 0-0 at the end of regulation. Rutgers finished the day with 20 total shots, but with only two shots on goal. Freshman forward Kayla Fischer, senior forward Eleanor Gabriel and senior midfielder Sarah Roberts combined for six of Ohio State’s eight total shots, with Fischer and Roberts each recording a shot on goal. Then, the Buckeyes and the Scarlet Knights went into overtime, but couldn’t find either opponents net. Rutgers freshman goalie Megan McClelland and Ohio State senior goalie Devon Kerr both ended the match with two saves and a pair of clean sheets.Last weekend, the Buckeyes fell 1-0 to the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, but then won 1-0 in a match against the Spartans. The Buckeyes will look to come out on top against Maryland this Sunday at 2 p.m. when they return to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Commenting on his controversial impersonation of a constituent during a TV3 debate, he said he couldn’t tell whether that had pushed him out of the running.“I’ll tell you, I’ve had some good interviews and some bad interviews and I’ll put that down to a bad interview,” he joked. “That was a week and a half ago – whether it affected me or not, I really don’t know.”https://vine.co/v/MwrTTLQ2AhpMinister Varadkar told reporters “it was a very hard day in which to be a Fine Gael candidate” and that Coghlan and his team should be proud of the result.“You know, this was an opportunity I think for the electorate to send the government a message,” he said. “They’ve sent the message that they’re hurting and that they’re not happy with a lot of the things the government has done.”Follow our liveblog this evening for all the latest results… Related: There are just 448 votes between the Socialists and Sinn Féin in Dublin West>More: What matters to the voters of Dublin West?> FINE GAEL CANDIDATE in the Dublin West by-election Eamonn Coghlan has said the campaign has been “a wonderful experience”, despite coming in sixth place with less than 4,000 votes.Sinn Féin’s candidate Paul Donnelly has topped the poll so far in first tally as Socialist Party councillor Ruth Coppinger follows close behind with 448 votes between the two.Speaking to reporters at the count centre, accompanied by Minister Leo Varadkar, Coghlan said he wasn’t disappointed at his loss. When asked if he plans to run in the next general election, the Fine Gael Senator indicated he will.“Having gone through this, it excited me and it excited me from the point of view that it gave me an opportunity to see how the community really came together in a big way on a voluntary basis – people who were’t really in politics at all, who were willing to come out and support Eamonn Coghlan,” he said. “So, that has excited me; I think I will dwell on this over the next two or three or four weeks and whenever the next general election is, perhaps in two years’ time, I’ll be giving it some serious thought.”Coghlan noted that “there was a huge anti-government sentiment out there that has been obviously noticable over the last number of months”.There’s been an awful lot of negative soundbites out there. People were certainly concerned about the water charges, the medical cards, the local property taxes, and the soundbites out there were really turning people towards anti-government sentiment.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Eight parcels, suspected of being booby-trapped, were intercepted by police authorities in Athens on Monday, at a post office sorting centre in Northern Attica. The packages were about to be dispatched to an array of multinational companies, individuals, and political authorities throughout the EU, not least among them Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, according to some reports. Counter-terrorism authorities have been on the lookout since last week, when two booby-trapped parcels were sent from Greece to the German Finance Ministry and to the International Monetary Fund offices in Paris. The former, addressed to Wolfgang Schaeuble, was seized by German police, but the latter exploded, causing minor injuries to an administrative officer. According to sources, the packages stated Greek politicians as senders; authorities suspect an urban guerrilla group, the Conspiracy of Fire Cells, which claimed responsibility for the first booby-trapped parcel, although this has not yet been established.
La Cnil autorise la reconnaissance de la frappe au clavierPour la première fois, la Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (Cnil) a autorisé une société à étudier un dispositif de biométrie comportementale basé sur la reconnaissance de la frappe sur un clavier d’ordinateur. Pour l’heure, ces études ne sont autorisées qu’à des fins de démonstration.La Cnil a examiné un nouveau type de biométrie comportementale reposant sur la reconnaissance de la frappe au clavier. Et comme elle l’annonce dans un communiqué, elle a autorisé une société à développer cette technologie. Toutefois, précise la Cnil, ces travaux ne devront être menés qu’à “des fins de démonstration auprès de clients potentiels”. Le dispositif repose sur les variations de la durée séparant la frappe de deux touches du clavier au moment de la saisie d’un identifiant et d’un mot de passe. “Cette authentification vient donc s’ajouter à celle reposant sur le secret (identifiant/mot de passe) connu de l’utilisateur” explique le communiqué. À lire aussiDas Keyboard : le confort de frappe atteint les macCe type de biométrie comportementale ne nécessite aucun matériel particulier en dehors d’un clavier et d’un ordinateur bien sûr, et du logiciel de reconnaissance biométrique installé sur un serveur. Il pourrait être utilisé en complément des traditionnels identifiants et mots de passe, afin de renforcer l’authentification d’une personne. La Commission assure avoir été “particulièrement vigilante sur le risque de dispersion des données biométriques, que son origine en soit accidentelle ou malveillante”. La société évoquée, mais pas nommée, a apporté à la Cnil l’assurance qu’elle traitera uniquement les données de personnes volontaires. Des données qui seront supprimées à l’issue de la démonstration, souligne le communiqué.La Cnil a imposé trois conditions à la société qui développera cette biométrie : le résultat de l’analyse des données de frappe devra être chiffré, tandis que la base de données du démonstrateur sera hébergée par la société démonstratrice et non par un prestataire. Enfin, la société devra s’assurer qu’aucun logiciel ou dispositif matériel permettant d’enregistrer puis de simuler les caractéristiques de la frappe clavier d’une personne ne sera installé à son insu.Le 29 juillet 2011 à 15:47 • Maxime Lambert
KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsPOWAY (KUSI) – An hours-long standoff ended Sunday afternoon after a man barricaded himself in a Poway building for much of the morning and early afternoon.The standoff was taking place at an apartment attached to a business on the 14000 block of Poway Road.The road was blocked off between Garden Road and Sudan Road. Authorities confirmed that no one was in danger.The Sheriff’s Department said SWAT and crisis negotiation teams were at the scene. The department also urged media and others not to post pictures or video that could endanger deputies.“Please do not put the lives of deputies at risk by posting video or photos of their positions LIVE on TV, web or social media during the incident,” the department said.Sheriff Lt. Dave Perkins confirmed that the standoff had ended by about 1 p.m. No details on how the situation was resolved or identifying information on the suspect was immediately available. Posted: February 17, 2019 Updated: 6:30 PM February 17, 2019 Update: standoff ends in Poway KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
The American Soybean Association (ASA), a membership-driven policy organization representing 25,000 members, is presenting a series of seven one-day Soybean Rust Education meetings around the country that will help farmers in the United States be better informed about soybean rust and better prepared to deal with its eventual spread to the U.S. Without early detection and proper fungicide applications, soybean rust can cause yield losses of up to 80 percent, depending on the plant’s growth stage at infection.“Growers need to have a better understanding of how to properly manage this disease before it arrives, and ASA is committed to helping inform and prepare growers,” said ASA President Ron Heck, a soybean producer from Perry, Iowa. “The meetings will bring together ASA leaders, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials, scientists, industry representatives, and soybean growers to discuss the latest information about soybean rust.”At the rust education meetings, experts will talk about the approval status and registration of fungicide products to combat the disease in the U.S., discuss fungicide application techniques and equipment, and present identification and detection methods for soybean rust.The Soybean Rust Education meeting dates and locations are:July 21, 2004, Raleigh, N.C.July 22, 2004, Plain City, OhioJuly 23, 2004, Memphis, Tenn.July 27, 2004, Indianapolis, Ind.July 28, 2004, Fremont, Neb.July 29, 2004, Moline, Ill.July 30, 2004, Mankato, Minn.Registration for these meetings is free to current ASA members. A registration fee of $30.00 will be charged to non-members, which can be applied toward association membership. To register in advance for one of the meetings, go to www.SoyGrowers.com/rust for an online registration application, or contact ASA toll free at 800-688-7692. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for meeting attendance have been applied for.ASA’s Soybean Rust Education series is conducted in cooperation with the USDA and is sponsored by BASF Corporation, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, John Deere, Sipcam Agro USA and Syngenta Crop Protection.
Instead of raiding the pantry for a convenient after-school snack, 11 Brush Prairie kids meet each Tuesday afternoon to learn about healthy cooking.Around 3 p.m. for the past three weeks, Xanna Burg, a nutrition educator with the Clark County Food Bank, has set up shop at the Rock Solid Community Teen Center for her eager students, who range from preteens to high school juniors. This week, she laid out the ingredients for macaroni and cheese infused with diced broccoli and a honey and peanut butter fruit dip on the side.“We’re going to compare the mac ‘n’ cheese we make to a boxed mac ‘n’ cheese and decide why ours is healthier,” Burg said. “Anything that you prepare that’s not from a box is going to have less salt. You’re going to know what’s going in it.”The class is a new venture for the food bank, which teaches a cooking class for adults on food stamps and budgets called Cooking Matters. This year, the staff decided to broaden its focus to a younger group with the new six-week class at Rock Solid, putting an emphasis on teaching the kids about nutrition and food security problems.“We know that a lot of these kids and a lot of people in general aren’t in ideal situations,” Burg said. “We strategically have targeted this population, hoping that we’re teaching them skills that later in life are going to decrease their dependence on food boxes.”Not all of the kids necessarily rely on food banks, said Gilda Ciraulo, the executive director of the community center. But regardless of their access to good food at home, the class gives the kids something constructive to do after school, she said.
Tank Bund: Saifabad ACP C Venu Gopal Reddy inaugurated an ambulance service within the Lakeview Police station limits by name ‘Manava Sevaye Madhava Seva’, on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day celebrations here on Wednesday. ‘ By looking at the efforts of risk swimmer Shiva alias Hanumanthu, who saved hundreds of lives and the need for an ambulance at Tank Bund premises for rescuing the people who plunge into the Hussian Sagar lake to commit suicides under depression, to get rid of family and financial problems, a businessman by name Kamalesh and his family and friends arranged the ambulance service. Also Read – With 61 feet high, Khairatabad Ganesh claimed to be tallest idol in India Advertise With Us They spent nearly Rs 7 lakh for purchasing the ambulance. The round-the-clock services of the ambulance would be provided free of cost on the mobile number 9100006794. Speaking on the occasion, ACP Venu Gopal Reddy said the free ambulance services would help swimmer Shiva and the Lakeview police to shift the rescued persons speedily from Tank Bund to the nearby hospitals for emergency treatment. He said when no cases were found at Tank Bund, the ambulance services would be provided to the poor families to shift the dead bodies of their family members from hospital to their residences. B Dhanalaxmi , SHO, Lake Police Station and other staff participated in the program.
Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, celebrates after partial results in the first round of 2017 French presidential election, at the Parc des Expositions hall in Paris, France April 23, 2017.ReutersBenchmark indices BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty ended with gains of about 1 percent on Monday tracking global cues, mainly centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron qualifying for the May 7 run off in the first round of French presidential elections held on Sunday.The Sensex closed 290 points higher at 29,656 while the 50-scrip Nifty ended at 9,218, up 98 points.”France led gains in European equities as investors speculated that pro-growth centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron will win the presidential election after he made it through to the second round,” brokerage Motilal Oswal Securities said in a note.”Strong global cues and better than expected quarterly results by HDFC Bank, ACC and UltraTech lifted market. Moreover, fall in oil price, hopes of GST implementation and positive domestic cues boosted the market sentiment. Asian markets like Nikkei surged nearly 1 percent and European markets gained between 2-4 percent after French election (results),” the brokerage added. The rally was also supported by upbeat Q4 results by HDFC Bank last week, triggering a spurt in many bank stocks, including state-owned lender Vijaya Bank that hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 76.80 before closing 8.74 percent higher at Rs 75.25. The US Federal Reserve’s observation on GST’s potential to boost India’s GDP growth by up to 4.2 percent also added to the positive mood on the exchanges.Top Sensex gainers were GAIL, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and Larsen & Toubro. HDFC Bank shares closed 2.41 percent higher at Rs 1,533 on better business prospects. “With tier 1 capital of 13.3%, strong capacity amid the moderate growth cycle and significant digitization initiatives, the bank is well placed to benefit from the expected pick-up in the economic growth cycle,” Motilal Oswal Securities said in another note.Later in the day, Reliance Industries will be declaring its Q4 results. The stock closed 1.19 percent higher at Rs 1,416. Apart from Vijaya Bank, other stocks that hit a new 52-week high included India Cements, Hathway Cable, Dilip Buildcon, Future Retail, South Indian Bank and Piramal Enterprises.The Indian rupee closed at 64.44 to the US dollar on Monday, a gain of 0.27 percent from the Friday closing of 64.61.Gold prices lost Rs 350 to close at Rs 29,650 per 10 gm while silver ended at Rs 41,700 per kg.Among major companies, Wipro, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, IDFC Bank, LIC Housing Finance and Zensar Technologies will be declaring their Q4 results on Tuesday.
Finance Ministry officials had said the government could raise about 10-15 per cent of the proposed Rs 7.1 lakh crore government borrowings this fiscal through sovereign bonds. TwitterThe Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) wants the Finance Ministry to re-look the idea of issuing foreign currency overseas sovereign bonds and critically examine issues raised by former bankers and economists before taking any call on implementing the budget proposal.The PMO has asked the ministry to seek more consultation from stake-holders before proceeding with any plans. Finance Ministry officials had said the government could raise about 10-15 per cent of the proposed Rs 7.1 lakh crore government borrowings this fiscal through sovereign bonds.The chief architect of the proposed bond was the former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and he had a lone supporter in this campaign. Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian had said this is the right opportunity for India to raise funds through overseas sovereign bonds at a much cheaper rate, compared with those in the domestic market.Garg has since been moved to the Power Ministry and the sudden move just after the Budget presentation and its approval by Parliament is being seen by many paying the price for pushing the idea of foreign money into India by a government led by a largely nationalist, right-wing party where the ‘swadeshi’ card evokes sentiments. The former Finance Secretary is being seen as hurting such sentiments, while former RBI Governors and other experts shot down the idea as risky.The opposition to the proposed bond is widespread. The government should not issue foreign sovereign debt without getting into larger public consultations, and the many arguments it has given in favour of issuing such securities do not hold, Rathin Roy, member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, had recently said.He said government should pay attention to what several former Governors of the Reserve Bank of India are saying, the sovereign liabilities are in perpetuity.Roy also dismissed the contention that such bonds are cheaper after the hedging costs are added. Noting there was a reason why the country hadn’t issued overseas debt for 70 years, he had said that Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Greece, and Indonesia had all paid a price for foreign currency sovereign borrowings.”I have grave concerns about this proposal on grounds of economic sovereignty, and about the macroeconomic consequences… the government should instead look at relaxing the rupee bond limits for foreign portfolio investors,” Roy said.Former RBI Governors Raghuram Rajan, C. Rangarajan and Y.V. Redy and former Chief Statistician Pronab Sen had also raised concerns over the Finance Ministry’s proposal.Rajan has said that any plan to issue foreign currency debt has no real benefit and is fraught with risks. A global bond sale won’t reduce the amount of domestic government bonds the local market has to absorb and the country should worry about short-term “faddish investors buying when India is hot, and dumping us when it is not”, he had written in a newspaper column.Rangarajan has said that borrowing in foreign currencies may expose the economy to risks as the rupee’s depreciation or current account deficit cannot be contained in the long run. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has said that even in the face of the 1991 balance of payment crisis, the government did not go for sovereign bonds.The main fear is as they argued it could create long-term economic risks by exposing the government’s liabilities to currency fluctuations.All of these experts had suggested issuing rupee bonds instead of foreign currency bonds.In an interaction with IANS, Ashiwini Mahajan, the co-convenor of the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), said: “About 95 per cent of the experts are saying the move is risky. The average depreciation in the rupee is 6.23 per cent in the last few years. The overseas rates of interest is 3.25 per cent, so together it makes 9.5 per cent.”In India, the government borrows at 6-7 per cent. So how the foreign currency bonds are cheap? The whole idea of a sovereign bonds is bad idea for any other country, not just for India. Everywhere the sovereign borrowing has led these countries into the debt trap, into the vortex of debt. It is a risk not worth taking. It is a foolish idea.”The benchmark 10-year bond yield rose as much as 11 basis points to 6.55 per cent after the news of a rethink of the proposal, as market participants fear this may boost government borrowing in the domestic market.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Budget speech on July 5, had announced: “India’s sovereign external debt to GDP is among the lowest globally at less than 5 per cent. The government would start raising a part of its gross borrowing programme in external markets in external currencies. This will also have beneficial impact on demand situation for the government securities in domestic market.”Garg had told Indian business leaders last week that the overseas debt move was part of efforts to bring down real interest rates for Indian firms, and to help the economy grow faster.
Seven pastors from local churches in Baltimore are coming together to host a free concert on November 30th form 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Reginald Thomas, William Boyd, Alonzo Jones and Nicholas Hollingsworth are a few of the preachers featured in the concert. Call the church at 410-675-2430 for more information.
Cuisines evolve with time and to keep a track of latest experimentation, evolving food habits and other things, it is important to include certain changes in the menu. The restaurant La Piazza, Hyatt Regency has radically changed the menu where there will be more options for vegetarians. During the visit to the restaurant, the décor and usage of space is the first thing that catches the eye. The whole arrangement is typically Italian and well maintained. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’After settling down, I was offered sparkling wine and soon the exquisite delicacies from the newly curated menu were dished out one after the other. The first dish served was a salad with vegetables and fruits procured from the hotel’s own farm. The salad, called Insalata di rucola e parmigiana with lettuce, vegetables and strawberry balsamic dressing, was crunchy and flavourful. The freshness of the salad was sufficient to create more room for what was about to follow. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixCarpaccio di tonno cetrioli pomodori finocchi cipolloto which is basically Tuna carpaccio with cucumber, tomato, spring onion, extra virgin olive oil and lemon was soft and it melted in the mouth with the meat giving its own distinct flavour. Gorging onto it was simply delightful. Next dish was Tortelloni ripieni di ricotta e tartufo nero serviti con crema, which is truffle and ricotta tortelloni with potato, parmesan cream sauce which vanished as soon as it came on to the table. The delicious gravy gave a unique texture to the dish and the drizzled olive oil gave the whole dish a new dimension. After I was done admiring the culinary marvel, the next dish to satiate my taste buds arrived which was Trancio di salmon alla griglia peperonata con patate olio al basilica which is basically grilled salmon fillet with capsicum potato stew and basil oil. The softness of the perfectly cooked salmon made the taste buds quiver with joy. The stew was delectable but the fish clearly stole the show. I was joined by the two Chefs, the newly appointed Ivan Chieregatti, Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency, Delhi and Alessandro Sandrolini, Executive Sous Chef. In between the meal, we shared the intricacies of Italian cooking. The Chefs said: “We’ve curated the menu keeping in mind the meat preference, people’s choices and availability. The change is radical and people love the new dishes. We’re happy to receive a positive response.”They assured that they will not overfeed me and we laughed heartily. The next dish was asparagus and artichokes lasagna which seemed difficult to finish as the portions were large but I took out a generous helping and devoured it slowly. The sourness of the asparagus gave a lovely tinge to the lasagna and it merely took 3-4 minutes to consume the entire helping. Now it was time for dessert and I couldn’t wait to gorge on some exquisite Dolci. The chefs told me that they are ready to surprise me and when the dish arrived, I was astonished to see a beautiful choco lava cake along with Banana flavoured Gelato and egg white meringue. Delighted as I was after a joyous lunch, this new menu is bound to tingle your senses.
It’s time for Colin’s Blazin’ 5 Prediction Podcast, and his weekly sit down with RJ Bell from Pregame.com to see where there’s agreement and disagreement from the Vegas wiseguys on his NFL Week 13 Blazin’ 5 picks.Colin torched Vegas in last week’s Blazin’ 5, going 4-1, and bringing him to 35-24-1 on the year. In Week 13, he’s coming back at the desert with a flamethrower.In Week 13, Colin likes the Rams getting 13.5 on the road in Foxboro against the Gronk-less Pats. The Pack as a 6-point home favorite over the Texans. The Bills and Bucs as road dogs heading out to the west coast, and the Giants getting 6 against Big Ben and Pittsburgh.Here are Colin’s Week 13 Blazin’ 5 plays:Rams (+13.5) at PatriotsTexans at Packers (-6)Bills (+3) at RaidersBucs (+4) at ChargersGiants (+6) at SteelersThe Blazin’ 5 Prediction Podcast is available every Saturday through the end of the football season. Download and subscribe to it exclusively at TheHerdNow.com, iHeart Radio, Google Play, or iTunes. Don’t be a mark!
Agents can travel with Tauck with enhanced Agent Rewards program Share Posted by Travelweek Group Tags: Tauck WILTON, CT — Tauck’s new sales materials will be arriving in Canadian travel agencies starting next week, plus Canadian agencies can participate in the U.S. tour operator’s Agent Rewards program.Tauck is helping its network of travel agents to navigate “the crowded and sometimes confusing European river cruising market” with new sales materials that spell out the differences between Tauck’s river cruises and those offered by other lines.The Tauck sales materials include a River Cruising Sales Guide, an 11” x 17” poster highlighting Tauck’s river cruising innovations and exclusive-to-Tauck onshore experiences, and a printed comparison grid contrasting Tauck and its ships to other lines and their respective vessels. The reverse side of the comparison grid highlights signature elements like onboard experiences, signature experiences ashore and cruise components included in Tauck’s prices.The 24-page River Cruising Sales Guide provides an in-depth explanation of the ‘Four Cornerstones’ that differentiate the company’s river cruises: comprehensive all-inclusive pricing; high service levels provided by the Tauck Cruise Director and three Tauck Directors staffing each Tauck riverboat; the destination experience; and the onboard atmosphere.More news: Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterAlso featured in the Sales Guide are details on the typical Tauck river cruise customer, suggestions on different client-types that agents might successfully target, an FAQ and conversion strategies to help agents grow their Tauck river cruise business.The company is also encouraging its agents to gain first-hand experience on Tauck’s river cruises (and its land tours) by enhancing its Agent Rewards travel incentive program. Agents earn US$200 in points for each client booked on a Tauck tour or cruise, and they can accrue up to $12,000 in points every year.Tauck recently automated much of the program and moved it online to the company’s Agent Connect password-protected web. Agents can review their existing points balance, track their pending points from future bookings and apply earned points to their own Tauck travels.“We’re excited to provide these new sales materials to our agents, and to make the Agent Rewards program even more user-friendly,” says Tauck’s Vice President of Global Sales, Steve Spivak. “At Tauck, we are absolutely committed to constant improvement, whether it’s enhancing our tours and cruises, or raising the bar on the level of service and support we provide to our agents.”More news: Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureAgents looking for more information can call Tauck at 1-800-468-2825 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Friday, September 30, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand ATF 2018 TRAVEX opens with promise to deliver Boundless ProsperityTRAVEX 2018 officially opened for business today under the ATF 2018 theme of ‘Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosperity’ with Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Board of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, presiding over the ceremony.An auspicious ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Thai tourism industry leaders and VIPs welcomed buyers and sellers to the TRAVEX floor. The two-day event showcases ASEAN’s premier travel marketplace as the region is poised to receive a record number of arrivals during 2018.The Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre quickly becomes a hive of activity after the opening ceremony with buyers and sellers getting down to business on day one.