first_imgBijay Bhuyan, a farmer in Odisha’s Bhadrak district, has been living with his family in their ancestral home for years, but he had no inkling that he was sharing it with cobras.To his utter surprise, he found 106 juvenile cobra snakes in the house in Paikasahi village on Friday. Efforts are on to retrieve more reptiles from an ant-hill that has come up adjacent to an earthen wall. Fellow villagers have thronged Mr. Bhuyan’s house to see the young reptiles.“Family members had come across snakes around their house on several occasions,” said Seikh Mirza, a member of Snake Helpline, a voluntary forum that helps rescue snakes in distress. “Their religious belief did not allow them to dismantle the ant hill.”“We have rescued 99 young cobras. Six snakes were found dead. As many as 19 eggs have also been spotted,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgA report from the Wall Street Journal today details Apple’s minuscule success in India with iPhone, specifically highlighting Amit Rajput, who runs a counter selling iPhones in the country with a population of over 1.3 billion. Rajput spoke on how one iPhone sale a day is considered ‘lucky’, with his coworkers at the Samsung, Oppo and Nokia counters selling well over ten devices daily.Read it at 9to5mac Related Itemslast_img

first_imgChief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Friday assuring him of what the Delhi government officially termed was its “full cooperation for the further development of Delhi”. Mr. Kejriwal, the State government said in a statement, also “appealed that it is important for Delhi and Central governments to work together”.The 20-minute-odd meeting, which commenced around 11.30 a.m., was the third meeting between the two since the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government in the Capital in early 2015 and the first after the commencement of the NDA government’s second term in office.In addition to congratulating Mr. Modi for his victory in the recent Lok Sabha polls, the Chief Minister also invited him to visit the AAP government’s flagship Mohalla Clinics and schools administered by it.Conciliatory note Mr. Kejriwal, who has on innumerable occasions accused Mr. Modi of attempting to obstruct the functioning of his government indirectly through the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, seemed to strike a conciliatory note in Friday’s meeting. He offered to “examine” if the Centrally-sponsored Ayushman Bharat health scheme “could also be integrated into the Delhi government’s”, after having criticised it on several counts recently.“Ayushman Bharat was briefly discussed. Informed Hon’ble PM that Delhi Govt’s Delhi Health scheme is much bigger and wider in scope. However, assured him to examine if Ayushman Bharat scheme cud also be integrated into our scheme (sic),” the Delhi Chief Minister tweeted.Water storage projectThe Delhi government statement said Mr. Kejriwal also sought the Central government’s cooperation for an “ambitious” project aimed at the natural storage of water in the Yamuna floodplains.“Mr. Kejriwal said that since Delhi faces an acute water shortage, particularly in summer months, this project once implemented will ensure that storage of water during a single monsoon will be sufficient to meet Delhi’s water requirements for two years,” it said.The first official meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Kejriwal, which took place on February 12, 2015, saw the latter inviting the Prime Minister to his oath-taking ceremony at Ramlila Maidan two days later – which the Prime Minister, however, had declined. Their second, on August 25, 2015, was to seek the Prime Minister’s intervention in bridging the “trust deficit” between the Centre and the Delhi government. “Assured full cooperation of Del govt. To develop Delhi, capital city of India, it is imp that Del govt n Centre work together (sic),” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted after their third official meeting on Friday.last_img read more

first_imgStand-in captain Suresh Raina is happy that the new-look Indian team that got very little time to prepare for the West Indies series have produced results.India beat West Indies by three wickets here to clinch the five-match ODI series 3-0.”God has been very kind to all the boys. Credit goes to Duncan Fletcher, Eric Simmons and the other support staff. We have gelled well as a team. We didn’t get much time for preparation after IPL. We came here and had a few quality team meetings and practice sessions. That helped us,” Raina said at the post-match presentation ceremony.The Indian captain was all praise for man-of-the-match Andre Russell who scored an unbeaten 64-ball 92. “Russell played some amazing shots. Credit goes to Amit Mishra for bowling well.”Raina believes that Mishra may have role to play in the upcoming Test series. “We have the Tests coming up. These tracks are helpful for leggies and he (Mishra) has been among the wickets in the IPL and against South Africa as well.”The skipper admitted to having a bad shots and some of the shot selections weren’t upto the mark.”I played a bad shot, but Rohit and Harbhajan batted really well. Rohit has been in good form in the series having got his second fifty. I hope that he would do well in the remaining matches also.”Raina indicated that the likes of Manoj Tiwary, Ranganath Vinay Kumar and Ravichandran Ashwin are likely to be inducted in the first XI for the remaining few matches.advertisement”We have a couple of guys sitting on the bench. I hope everyone gets a chance in the last two games.” .West Indies captain Darren Sammy blamed the lack of “killer instict” being one of the reasons for the team not being able to win despite reducing India to 92 for six.”It is a game that got away from us. Russell brought us back along with Baugh. Our guys were confident during lunch, but we lacked the killer instinct after taking early wickets,” Sammy stated.He admitted that the batsmen haven’t performing upto the mark. About his team’s bowling, he did say that he expected a bit more from fast bowler Kemar Roach.”We have not been getting runs at the top. We just lacked the finishing touch. About our bowling, Kemar is one of our strike bowlers and we needed a bit extra from him. But I can’t fault anyone, he has been doing a good job over the past months. If you put the ball in the right areas, you could reap rewards on this wicket.”Man of the match Andre Russell stated that he was posituve from the very beginning. “Myself and Carlton Baugh told each other that we should try to just bat as long as possible. I take my batting seriously although I would consider myself as a bowling all-rounder. I am trying to balance both departments as I want to be called a legend once I retire from international cricket.”- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

first_imgLaveesh BhandariThis Budget needed to get a grip on inflation, accelerate growth, restore trust in the government and build confidence in the economy. It does a bit of all, but only tentatively. In a word, the Budget is disappointing: Much talk and a lot of small measures, but little to,Laveesh BhandariThis Budget needed to get a grip on inflation, accelerate growth, restore trust in the government and build confidence in the economy. It does a bit of all, but only tentatively. In a word, the Budget is disappointing: Much talk and a lot of small measures, but little to show by way of major initiatives. It seems the team of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has decided to wait it out till next year by when the NDA Government would have greater experience. India is looking for a grand vision, and actions to go with it. We need leaders at the helm who have conviction and are not afraid to take bold decisions. Such leaders would have convinced us that this is the time to chart a new path for India to shape a great future for our children. Instead, we have got a budget put together by people unwilling to take hard decisions. They may have tried to please all or displease none. But all they have achieved is more of the same, with some extra bits thrown in here and there.Charting a reform pathJaitley’s Budget speech and statements do, refreshingly, identify the direction of reform we can expect in the coming years. It grants that getting the manufacturing sector back on track requires a more credible financial regulator,basic labour reform that ensures flexibility for the employer as well as protection for the worker, skill development and access to basic finance for the small and medium entrepreneur (SME).At the same time, the Budget recognises that India needs to change the regime defined by APMC (Agricultural Produce Market Committee) acts and give the farmer unhindered access to markets anywhere in the country.The recognition that publicprivate partnerships are not delivering and need to be reoriented is welcome.Combine this with improved access to finance for SMEs, including addressing the issue of insolvency law, and we get a clear outline of the direction NDAintends to take the economy in.advertisementRating: GoodSetting inflated targetsThe Budget aims for very high growth in tax revenue in an economy that is not growing very rapidly. At the same time,budgeted expenditures are not as high as one would normally expect in a drought year. Based on this, it manufactures a fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent for 2014-15, which it will no doubt fail to achieve-the figure will instead be around 4.6 per cent by the end of the year. It seems that Jaitley’s predecessor P.Chidambaram,with all his numerical skullduggery, is still lurking somewhere in the background. Numbers aside, the Budget also lacks a clear action plan to correct the problem of burgeoning subsidies. India’s subsidy regime, which is aimed at benefiting households, needs to be changed-from incentivising consumption to encouraging investment, and from focusing on leakage-prone items to those that can be better targeted. But we see none of this in this Budget. Neither do we see any change in the subsidy regime that is oriented towards the productive sector-say for the farmer or the SME entrepreneur- but is not very effective.Rating: BadInadequate reform of PSUsAlarge chunk of the Government’s assets is locked up in an unproductive public sector. Therefore, a comprehensive set of public sector reforms combined with large-scale privatisation and disinvestment would have been great. Instead,we will get about Rs 58,000 crore from disinvestment this fiscal. This is a good move but could have been better had some thought gone into what all would be possible to disinvest easily. Both internal and external security have received higher allocations, which is a good step since these have been ignored for years.Greater focus on the North-east was long due and is, thus, laudable.Yet, there was much more that needed to be done in these areas and we can only hope that this is just the start.Rating: AverageWhat lies ahead?The Government has tried to do a little of many things in this Budget and decided against going for big-bang announcements. But then this is a relatively inexperienced team and, perhaps, Modi and Jaitley are giving themselves and their team more time to get better at their jobs. In which case,we have to wait for Budget 2015-16, when they could come out all guns blazing on reforms.Let’s hope it is so.Laveesh BhandariEconomist and head, Indicus AnalyticsTo read more, get your copy of India Today here.last_img read more

first_imgVirat Kohli and Rohit Sharma on Sunday shattered the record books in ODI cricket as the two in-form batsmen smashed hundreds to guide India to their seventh consecutive series victory. While Rohit scored 147 off 138 balls, Kohli struck 113 off 106 balls to help India post a challenging 337/6 in 50 overs in the third and final ODI against New Zealand in Kanpur.The duo forged a 230-run stand from 211 balls for the second wicket at the Green Park to create a new record for most double century partnerships in ODI cricket.WATCH FULL VIDEOKohli was adjudged man of the series while Rohit won the man of the match award after India recorded a narrow six-run victory to clinch the three-match series 2-1.Kohli and Rohit have a history of running out each other but on Sunday they communicated well and rotated the strike at will.After the match, the skipper caught up with the ‘Hitman’ on BCCI.TV to discuss the importance of their double hundred partnership and how India bowlers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.Virat Kohli: I have the man of the match with me, the guy I like batting with. We had a huge partnership today. Well done on your hundred, Rohit. This was our fourth double hundred partnership, hope to have many more in future.Rohit Sharma: Absolutely. Many more in future and I look forward to that. It’s tough to maintain the consistency when we play at this level. But as a player we always want to improve as much as possible. Whenever I get an opportunity, I just want to express myself. Since I started opening the batting, it was all about giving the team a good start. We wanted to get a big partnership as it was important for us in the series decider. Good that we didn’t get run out. That was good. We have had a few mishap before but it was good today. We stuck in the middle quite well and rotated the strike. It’s always fun batting with you.advertisementKohli: Generally when we play together we don’t have to say much because we both understand where the game is going, understand the situation and we both think for the team so it’s always great batting with him. We know if we play well our team will benefit. Also just a word on our bowlers and how we pulled back things, how you felt? I felt really proud.Rohit: When you win games like this, it gives you confidence as a bowling unit. We knew that it was not going to be easy for our bowlers considering the dew factor. I thought the bowlers were courageous with what they did with their planning and they stuck to their plans. We have seen that the last series as well, against Australia, the bowling unit delivered for us, We were put under pressure many times but these guys came back really well and that’s the hallmark of this team. They were quite courageous and were not afraid of executing their plans.Kohli: It was a great day for us. Another special day for us to remember on a personal level and as a team as well. Four double hundred partnership now and I have enjoyed each of them batting with Rohit. It’s always amazing to watch him bat from the other end. Really loved batting with him. Cheers man!India and New Zealand will now face-off in a three-match Twenty20 international series starting November 1 in New Delhi.And that’s a wrap from Kanpur. #TeamIndia seal the 3-match ODI series 2-1 #INDvNZ BCCI (@BCCI) October 29, 2017last_img read more

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Lampard delivers new Kante updateby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard says N’Golo Kante could be back for their Champions League tie with Lille.Kante missed victory over Brighton yesterday with a hamstring strain.Lampard said, “I spoke to N’Golo about it and I didn’t want to take the risk. “He’s so important for us but it’s been difficult for him to get going because of the break-up of his pre-season, with his injury carried over from last season. It wasn’t right to risk it today but he could have a chance for Lille.” last_img read more

first_imgA view of Cal's football field during a sunset.BERKELEY, CA – NOVEMBER 13: A general view taken from the hill overlooking the California Memorial Stadium during the Oregon Ducks game against the California Golden Bears at on November 13, 2010 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)California’s football program shared some tough news on Twitter this evening. An incoming freshman football player has suffered a serious spinal cord injury.The Bears shared a statement on Twitter provided by the family of freshman linebacker Chris Fatilua, a three-star prospect out of San Diego, Calif.“Chris has sustained a significant and serious spinal cord injury from an accident that occurred Monday afternoon in San Diego,” the statement reads.“He is receiving treatment for his injury and his long-term prognosis is unknown at this time. Our family is tremendously appreciate of the support we have received from everyone at this difficult time.“It is reassuring and inspirational to know that we will have that support as we begin the recovery process and tackle the challenges ahead. At this time we ask that our privacy be respected to help allow our family and those closest to us to focus on Chris’ recovery.”The following statement is being provided on behalf of the family of 2018 incoming freshman Chris Fatilua.— Cal Football (@CalFootball) June 14, 2018Fatilua is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker out of San Diego. He was ranked the No. 58 inside linebacker in the class by 247Sports’ Composite Rankings.Our thoughts are with him and his family as he recovers.Stay tuned for more updates.last_img read more

first_imgMiami quarterback Tate Martell at the spring game.MIAMI, FL – APRIL 13: Tate Martell #18 of the Miami Hurricanes warms up before the annual Spring Game at Nathaniel Traz-Powell Stadium on April 13, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)The new season is finally just around the corner and college football fans couldn’t be more excited to see their teams in action.Florida and Miami (FL) get the part started in just three weeks on August 24.After moths of offseason activity, there are plenty of new faces around the country. Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell took his talents to the state of Florida for a fresh start.He seems to have found love in the process. The new University of Miami quarterback appears to have a new love interest. Earlier this summer he was spotted in a photo with model Kiki Passo.Passo is a swimsuit and Instagram model and has massive following on the social media platform.She has over 850,000 followers on Instagram.The 22-year-old model was born in Brazil before moving to the United States.Her Instagram feed consistently sees her donning swimsuits.After former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields made his move to Ohio State, Martell decided to take his talents away from the Buckeyes.Now he’s fighting for the starting job for the Hurricanes.last_img read more

first_imgzoom The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is launching two new Mariners’ Routeing Guides covering the Turkish Straits, providing Routeing information for the area between the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The two new guides were published on 13 February 2014 and are the latest additions to the UKHO’s growing portfolio of Mariners’ Routeing Guides.With over 100,000 vessel movements every year, the Turkish Straits are a busy and important shipping gateway between Europe and Asia, via the Strait of Istanbul and the Strait of Canakkale. The two new Mariners’ Routeing Guides from the UKHO provide quick and easy access to the essential information required by seafarers for accurate and safe passage planning when transiting through these two narrow passageways.Bringing together key route planning information into one chart, the two new guides give an easy overview of one of the world’s most complex and congested shipping areas. The guides contain advice and recommendations for passage planning and highlight visual details of traffic separation schemes and routeing measures. This information will help users ensure they plan the most safe and efficient voyages through these congested areas, whilst meeting all reporting requirements and complying with regulations.Nick Dekkers, Product Manager at the UKHO commented: “The UKHO’s range of Mariners’ Routeing Guides are a simple way to quickly access vital information for seafarers that need to navigate some of the most complex shipping passages in the world. With the addition of these two new guides covering the Strait of Istanbul and the Strait of Canakkale, the UKHO is helping to ensure that vessels are able to plan their passage through these busy waters. All of our Mariners’ Routeing Guides are designed to be quick to use and as simple as possible, enabling seafarers to ensure they are meeting all current regulations and reporting requirements in the most efficient and safe manner.”Providing guidance and passage planning information on the world’s busiest shipping straits, the existing range of Mariners’ Routeing Guides cover the English Channel and Dover Strait, the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Suez, and the Malacca and Singapore Straits.UK Hydrographic Office, February 20, 2014; Image: Wikipedialast_img read more

first_imgFour wines received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines at a ceremony at Government House in Halifax, today, July 20. The award, established by former Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant in 2014, recognizes the exceptional quality of locally sourced and produced wines, and honours the dedication and craft of those in Nova Scotia’s wine industry. Through blind tastings an independent panel of experts chose the following wines, in alphabetical order, as the best among the wines submitted: “I am delighted that this award recognizes the wonderful wines that are being produced in our province,” said Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc. “The many quality submissions from wineries is a testament to how far this industry has advanced in a relatively short time and I offer my sincere thanks to the wineries who submitted their wines for judging and I extend my congratulations to the award-winning wineries.” Winery Association of Nova Scotia and Taste of Nova Scotia members were invited to submit up to three commercially available grape wines with 100 per cent Nova Scotia content. “Nova Scotia’s farmers and fishers are the heart and foundation of our culinary heritage,” said Emily Haynes, executive director of Taste of Nova Scotia. “The growth, innovation and opportunities demonstrated by our local grape growers and winemakers helps define us as a culinary tourism destination.The Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Nova Scotia Wines recognizes the significance and contribution of the wine industry to our province.” “Year after year, the winemakers in Nova Scotia continue to raise the bar with the wines that they are producing.” said Gillian Mainguy, executive director of the Winery Association of Nova Scotia. “The association and its members are very honoured that the lieutenant-governor has continued this prestigious award and continues to sing the praises of the wines of Nova Scotia.” The award ceremony included the presentation of a certificate and the Wine Award Gold Medal to each winning winery. Domaine de Grand Pré, Grand Pré – Muscat Icewine, 2016 Domaine de Grand Pré, Grand Pré – Riesling, 2016 Luckett Vineyards, Wolfville – Black Cab Mercator Vineyards, Wolfville – Mercator Sauvage, 2015last_img read more

first_imgCritics are warning that a proposed bylaw targeting bullies in Whitehorse could lead to racial profiling and infringe on free expression rights.It’s a quandary that has plagued several jurisdictions that try to proactively stem bullying through legislation before the problem crosses a criminal line.Russell Knutson, chair of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, said the proposed bylaw appears to trample on both the Constitution and the Canadian Human Rights Act.“If a bully is defined too broadly and the powers of discretion that are in the hands of enforcement officers are too broad, then you set yourself up for the potential of conflict,” Knutson said.The first draft of the bylaw defined bullying behaviour as repeated behaviour intended to cause, or that should have been known to cause, fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other forms of harm to another person. It also included creating a negative environment and objectionable or inappropriate comments, but excluded “nuisance behaviours.”Beyond that, it grants an enforcement officer the power to require a person suspected of bullying to produce identification.Knutson said the practice of random identification checks, or “carding,” can lead to racial discrimination because visible minorities are often confronted more often by enforcement officers. Yukon’s large Indigenous population could be vulnerable to discrimination if the bylaw officer has a bias, he said.“The likelihood that they will be the primary target is very high, so in that sense, the carding or the racial profiling would probably develop just by sheer numbers,” Knutson said.Knutson said he has sympathy for any bus drivers and other city staff whose complaints must have led to the proposed legislation. But he said the fix should come from elsewhere.“You can’t deal with a bully through legislation. You need to rely on education and reform, because the roots of the problem are so deep,” Knutson.The staff report says groups like the Anti-Poverty Coalition and Bringing Youth Towards Equality felt the bylaw criminalized the bully. It also said those consulted supported an approach that treats both bully and victim, offering third-party programs and social services to address underlying issues.Myles Dolphin, manager of strategic communications for Whitehorse, said no city staff or council members were available to comment before the bylaw goes to council Monday.Other jurisdictions have also adopted, amended and dropped anti-bullying legislation.Sgt. Kelly Kokesch of Grand Prairie Enforcement Services said the broad definition of bullying in that Alberta town actually means officers enforce the bylaw less often.“It is a difficult bylaw to enforce, just because of the definition of bullying or what people consider to be bullying. It’s all up to interpretation, so it has to be a very blatant action,” he said.But he said the threat of a fine can be a useful tool in convincing someone to curb their bad behaviour.“We rarely use the legislation or charge anybody, but we do use it as leverage when we’re educating people and trying to diffuse a situation,” he said.Kokesch said he’s aware of one conviction under the bylaw, since it was adopted in 2003.Other communities in Alberta with bylaws that address bullying include Edmonton, Consort and Rocky Mountain House.In Regina, there were no convictions in the first nine years after a bully bylaw was introduced, until two high school students were charged in 2015 after taking a video of another student with Down syndrome while he was dressing for gym class.Councils in both Halifax and Saskatoon have considered adopting anti-bullying bylaws, but declined.last_img read more

“For every person who reaches Europe, several others have never made it,” UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa told the Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development taking place in Rabat, Morocco.“Europe will never see the untold numbers who die in the Sahara, who are left penniless in transit countries for from home, who drown when their dilapidated boats capsize, or who waste their lives in North African prisons,” he added, calling for the adoption of an ‘irregular migration pact’ to block smuggling routes, improve information sharing among law enforcement officials and raise awareness of the dangers of migrant smuggling. “Irregular migration is mostly profiting criminals at the expense of people’s lives and dreams, and giving legal migration a bad name,” he noted.To stem the flow of irregular migrants from Africa to Europe, Mr. Costa underlined the need to address some of the root causes of why people are risking this exodus in the first place – factors like underdevelopment, crime and corruption. To combat the smuggling, he urged States to ratify the UN Protocol Against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.UNODC estimates that some 200,000 Africans attempt to enter Europe clandestinely every year. Recent high-profile incidents include migrants coming ashore in the Canary Islands, Malta and the Pelagi Islands in the Mediterranean, or trying to enter Europe via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Mellila in Morocco. read more

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Share19 Tweet Email THE TRIAL OF former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick today became the longest-running criminal trial in the history of the State.It is the prosecution’s case that multi-million euro loans taken out by FitzPatrick (68) and his family were “artificially reduced” for a period of two weeks around the bank’s financial end of year statement by short-term loans from other sources, including Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS).The jury has been told that the case is about the alleged failure by the bank’s former chairman to disclose the extent of these loans to the bank’s auditors in the years 2002 to 2007. Mr FitzPatrick has denied all charges.Today the trial at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court entered its 90th day, making it longer than any other criminal trial ever.The trial began last September and was due to end by Christmas but was delayed by weeks of legal argument over certain issues.Last week Judge John Aylmer told the jurors that they should not be embarrassed if they felt tired and needed a break. He told them that the evidence during the trial was at times “tedious”.Today Bernard Condon SC, defending, finished his cross-examination of Vincent Bergin, a partner with audit firm EY (previously Ernst & Young) who led the audit of Anglo for the years 2005 to 2008.Mr Condon has told the jury that the statement of Mr Bergin was produced by a process of coaching and “cross-contamination” using processes ruled by the court as “unlawful”.Judge Aylmer told the jury that a legal issue had arisen and that it would take nearly two weeks to deal with. He asked the jury to return to court for 13 March to continue hearing evidence.He also told them that it was no longer the case that the trial would finish by the end of March, as the jury had been previously told. He said it is now estimated the trial will run into April.The jury forewoman told the judge that members of the jury had commitments and holidays booked from 3 April to 24 April.Mr FitzPatrick of Whitshed Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow has pleaded not guilty to 27 offences under the 1990 Companies Act. These include 22 charges of making a misleading, false or deceptive statement to auditors and five charges of furnishing false information in the years 2002 to 2007. The trial continues.Read: Gardaí have never investigated a State official shredding Seán FitzPatrick documents By Declan Brennan Feb 28th 2017, 6:13 PM Former Anglo chairman’s trial is now the longest-running criminal case in Irish history It entered its 90th day today. Image: Leah Farrell/ 12,058 Views Image: Leah Farrell/ No Comments Tuesday 28 Feb 2017, 6:13 PMlast_img read more

first_imgNo evidence of engine failure in crash that killed pilot and seven-year-old boy Kacper Kacprzak (7) and Neil Bowditch (47) died in the accident. Neil Bowditch and seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak. Monday 11 Jun 2018, 9:41 PM 39,188 Views Short URL By Paul Hosford 27 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img Neil Bowditch and seven-year-old Kacper Kacprzak. Image: Go Fund Me Share141 Tweet Email1 A PRELIMINARY REPORT into a plane crash in Offaly that claimed the lives of a seven-year-old and a 47-year-old pilot has found no evidence that the engine failed.The Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) preliminary report into the fatal crash was released today.Kacper Kacprzak (7) was a first class pupil in Scoil an Chroí Ró Naofa Íosa in Huntstown in Dublin.He died in the crash which took place after 16 parachutists from the Irish Parachute Club successfully made a jump after taking off from Clonbullogue Airfield last month.The young boy’s father Kris was one of the skydivers who jumped from the aircraft.The pilot of the plane Neil Bowditch, known as Billy to the club’s members, also died in the crash after the aircraft plunged from the sky into a boggy area near Clonbullogue.The report found that while examination of the Aircraft Data Acquisition System (ADAS) was ongoing, the engine was providing power until the end of the flight.“The data indicates that the engine was providing power to the propeller until the end of the data recording.”The investigation has interviewed a number of witnesses, with three being around 750 metres away.“The Investigation interviewed a number of witnesses. Two witnesses (Witness A and Witness B) were situated approximately 750 m to the south of the accident site at the time of the accident. Witness A described hearing the aircraft pass overhead, before seeing it flying “sideways” and that it was “low down”. The witness indicated that the aircraft was on its left side and that it was travelling approximately northwards at the time. Witness A said that he and Witness B looked away momentarily and when they looked back, the aircraft was gone.“He said that as he moved away from where they were standing, he met another person (Witness C) who said that “the plane’s gone down”. Witness B then assisted Witness C with contacting the emergency services, via mobile phone.”Witness C said that they saw the aircraft coming straight down, nose first, before it disappeared below a line of trees, followed by a “thump”.A full report will be delivered at a later date and the investigation is ongoing. Jun 11th 2018, 9:41 PM Image: Go Fund Melast_img read more

first_imgThere are over 44 million donkeys worldwide and many are suffering unimaginable abuse and neglect in the hands of their owners.Unfortunately, a worryingly increasing number of such incidents has reportedly been linked to one of Greece’s most beautiful islands, Santorini.Islanders have been using donkeys and mules as taxis for decades if not longer, as the caldera perched town of Thira is not easily approachable from the port.Even though there is a double direction asphalted road for buses and cars, it is often congested with traffic whereas the picturesque ride on the cobblestone alternative is more popular amongst visitors.With the unprecedented increase in tourist arrivals on the island over the past two years, so have increased cases of animal neglect and abuse. Voted the world’s number one popular island destination for 2017, Santorini’s success surpasses the municipal authorities’ ability to manage the tourist intake during peak periods.Even though the port of Santorini put a limit on the visitors allowed on the island each day, that number is still too high to manage, especially when it comes to transportation.Photo: Caters News.For this year the Cycladic destination culled the number of cruise ships that can land and disembark passengers limiting visitors to 8,000 per day, down from over 12,000 in 2017 and 70,000 people in 2016.Those day trips to the island have been the residents’ main source of income, with most cruise ships coming from the U.S., the U.K. and Russia.Constant flow of people sees donkey ride demand sky-rocketChristina Kaloudi, the founder of the Santorini Animal Welfare Association, said: “Donkeys are pretty much in work [all] year round. They are made to work in terrible conditions without adequate water, shelter or rest, and then I find them tied outside my shelter, barely alive.”According to Kaloudi, during the summertime and especially in peak season, donkeys might make four or five journeys going up more than 500 steps from where the boats land, bringing tourists onto the island, to the main town of Fira.“Over the years, as the weight of tourists has risen, the number of donkeys getting hurt has risen too,” Kaloudi said.Photo: Caters NewsMeanwhile, a spokesperson for the charity Help the Santorini Donkeys complained to several media outlets that “obese and overweight tourists combined with the lack of shade and water, heat and cobbled steps is what’s causing such a problem.“There should be a weight restriction. With donkeys it should be no more than eight stone, but how would that be imposed? It’s recommended animals carry no more than 20 percent of their body weight.”As a result, some opportunists who jumped into the donkey and mule breeding industry as a means to increase their profit have now resort to using cross-bred mules,” as the donkeys just aren’t strong enough”.Mules have the capacity to bear a larger weight, however, campaigners insist that the weight they are being asked to carry up steep hills under the scorching sun is “torture”.Last week a shocking video showing men that profit from donkey rides attack a peaceful protest by animal welfare activists went viral.In the video posted last Friday, the men verbally harass and seriously injure three women.Konstantina Lyrou, a witness that recorded the incident said that one of the activists was a 15-year-old girl. The men are documented throwing the women’s belongings off the cliff, punching one and dragging another until her shoulder is dislocated. International animal welfare organisation The Donkey Sanctuary has also visited the picturesque island documenting several cases of mistreated donkeys and mules due to lack of food and water, lack of rest, abuse, and injuries due to the weight and the ill-fitting saddles.The organisation sent out a team of members to investigate the animals’ well-being and prepare a report while they also plan to demand that the Greek government takes action to ensure better conditions for the poor critters.“Everything increases, including the volume of trash and water consumption,” Santorini Mayor Nikos Zorzos confirmed. “Over-exploitation will lead to environmental impoverishment, and the waste of natural resources will sap the island’s attraction.“No more hotels, no more cars,” added Zorzos, who has appealed to the government to take measures to curb development on the island.Watch a video documenting the conditions below: Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramcenter_img Αυτό είναι το Κρατος και η Παιδεία τους..Αισχος και ντροπή…#santorinidonkeys #humanabuse #animalabuse #donkeysPosted by Konstantina Lyrou on Friday, July 27, 2018last_img read more

first_imgThe responses of three major stakeholders to the New League Working Group (NLWG) report and recommendations, delivered to the FFA last Sunday, indicates that consensus is still some way off on the alternative model for the professional leagues: A-League, W-League and Y-League.Whilst all agree that a new model is required, a final form has yet to be agreed to and as a result, the NLWG has extended the time frame for formalising the model to 31 June, 2019.The FFA released the NLWG report last Tuesday and it contained the following five key principles:* That a new and separate professional leagues entity must have in regard to the best interests of Australian football as a whole;* The new League’s entity would be responsible for the professional football leagues including, but not limited to, the A-League, W-League and Y-League;* The new entity would be autonomous and separate from Football Federation Australia (FFA);* The League’s entity would offer the clubs greater responsibility and encouragement to invest in order to commercialise and to grow the professional game as a part of and for the benefit of Australian football; and* The new League’s entity should foster the development of the leagues and, through the leagues, football in Australia by providing the pathway for Australian footballers to an elite level and, ultimately, Australian national teams.The NLWG acknowledged that more time was needed for the various stakeholders to negotiate and work out the detail of “legal, commercial and regulatory arrangements needed to put these principles into effect.”The positions of the various stakeholders around some of these issues have come to light in response to the FFA’s release of the NLWG report on Tuesday. In response, the Member State Federations released a nine page document outlining their Professional League Principles under the over-arching vision which it calls “the Good of the Australian Game.”READ MORE: How an Independent A-League will affect clubs like South MelbourneThe Member Federations go on to “acknowledge the benefits of an entity dedicated solely to the governance, operation and commercialisation of the professional leagues, so long as that entity is wholly integrated, duty-bound and equally committed with all stakeholders to developing Australian football as its core purpose and objective.”However, even though there is support for the new entity, which they name League Co, as an independent and self governing organisation, they tellingly advocate the inclusion of FFA as a majority membership stakeholder with an entitlement to proceeds from sale or commercial gain arising from League Co assets. They also advocate that FFA is to have representation on the governing board of the League Co and its committees and working groups.In contrast, the A-League clubs responded to the NLWG report with another forceful warning about the precarious state of the professional game and the need to establish an independent Professional League structure, although he was short on detail as to what this looks like other than to imply that those who invest the most (club owners) should be the ones who manage the entity.“The message from the broadcaster and sponsors is clear,” Lederer said.“Our league needs to be immediately turned around and put on a growth trajectory, together with the W and Y Leagues. They must be invested in now.“The message from the A-League clubs also needs to be clearly understood. The professional game must be transformed now in order to make it something that can be invested in.“The clubs are the only investors ready to provide the capital required to see our domestic elite professional game flourish.“Combined, the clubs will lose more than $25m this year and we and the game will have little to show for it.“If we are to turn the professional game around and fulfil its potential, the clubs will need to invest more than $120m over the next four years. Only in that way can the value of the league’s broadcast rights be maintained or grown at the end of the current cycle.READ MORE: All About A-League and a whole lot more“We cannot be expected to continue to financially prop up something that we do not own and that is managed by a third party that is failing to perform.“The FFA and the stakeholders of the Australian game need to decide, and do so quickly. Do you want a domestic professional competition that maintains us as an advancing football nation? Or in four years’ time do you want to go back to the days when our elite player pathway was based entirely overseas?“That is the decision to be made in the coming weeks. The game is at a critical decision point and the clock is ticking.”Finally, the PFA ( Professional Footballers Association) CEO, John Didulica has urged the various stakeholders to work towards a compromise to avoid gridlock, urging them to consider an independent model similar to the AFL Commission, governed by a diverse board whose members provide diverse skill sets, ethnic and gender backgrounds.“The challenge is to find the right checks and balances to make sure the clubs can’t run a league in an unadulterated way working outside the interests of the broader game,” Didulica said. “That can be achieved through a number of means. If you look at an independent commission running the competition making sure that what they’re imposing on the clubs in terms of licensing, in terms of management, in terms of finding that harmony between national teams and clubs is always achieving the right balance. That’s where an independent commission.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_imgThe Xbox One has enjoyed a pretty decent year so far with the release of Quantum Break, ReCore, and Forza Horizon 3. While only the latter of those has met with critical and commercial success, the company is today releasing a title that is sure to be a hit and may even help push some consoles out of the door. What game is that? It’s Gears of War 4, of course.It has been a few years since we’ve gotten a new, main-line Gears game (sorry, Judgement) and the excitement for this title is understandably high. Pure cover-based shooters are a rare thing these days so it is refreshing to have a game that goes back to basics. Even though Gears of War 4 will deliver the sort of experience that fans of the franchise expect, it will also have a good amount of new features which should keep it from being another stale retread (again, I’m looking at you, Judgement).Gears of War 4 has a lot going on for it, but here are the top five reasons why Xbox One and PC gamers should be excited for the game.1. New friends, new enemiesPrevious Gears games focused on Marcus Fenix and his allies but now that 25 years have passed since the world-shattering events of Gears of War 3, a new generation has arisen to replace the old guard. Even though we will see some familiar faces, most of the characters in the game will be brand-new to the series. These include the game’s protagonist, JD Fenix, his best friend, Delmont “Del” Walker, and their ally, Kait Diaz.On top of new human characters, we’ll be introduced to a new batch of enemy creatures. In place of The Locust, we have The Swarm. Though these monsters are very similar to The Locust, they will have some new and terrifying tricks up their collective sleeve. It remains to be seen how or if these foes are related to The Locust, but we should expect that they’ll have their own interesting origin story.Most surprising of all is that your enemies won’t all be monsters or mutated humans. JD and friends aren’t exactly on good terms with the world government so there will be portions of the game where they have to face off again military robots. This will add an all-new dimension to combat that will help the game stand out from previous titles.2. Return of Horde ModeEvery modern day multiplayer mode that has players facing off against waves of enemies owes its existence to Gears of Wars’ Horde Mode. Gears of War 4’s Horde 3.0 will have everything players love about Horde Mode but with new mission parameters, weapons, barriers, and more. This won’t be your dad’s old Horde mode that’s for sure.This time, Horde will have character classes to choose from and each of the five (Engineer, Scout, Sniper, Soldier, and Heavy) have a specific role to play. Each class will be upgradeable so it is best to level them up by playing a few games on Easy and Normal before tackling the harder difficulties.Like the previous Horde Mode, you will be able to create defenses to hold back enemies. These come via the Fabricator which can not only create things like barriers, decoys, and turrets, but also store your weapons and let you purchase new items. With 50 waves to survive against, you’ll need to utilize the Fabricator to its fullest.3. The best looking GearsThe first Gears of War was a technical powerhouse which made the Unreal Engine the go-to engine for many developers last generation. Gears of War 4 will be the very first AAA exclusive game to utilize the latest version of Unreal Engine 4. Like with the original Gears, Gears 4 will be a wonder on both Xbox One and PC.The Xbox One may not be as powerful as the PS4, but it does a great job of providing its users with great looking exclusive games. Rise of the Tomb Raider and the recently released Forza Horizon 3 are a testament to this. Gears of War 4, however, will truly reveal what Microsoft’s console is capable of, graphics-wise.Then of course there is the PC version which is being released on the same day as the console edition. Unlike previous Play Anywhere titles, Gears of War 4 has been fully optimized for the PC. This means that PC users will get a ridiculous amount of optimization options to play around with. As impressive as this game will look and run on Xbox One, the definitive version of Gears of War 4 will be on PC.4. New WeaponsGears of War 4 will see the return of classic weapons like the Longshot, Snub Pistol, and of course the chainsaw equipped Lancer. Along with these, there will be a couple of new weapons to help fight off the game’s evil forces. Gears of War 4 takes place during a time where humans are restoring their world, so the new weapons are modified construction equipment.The Dropshot lets you shoot an aerial mine that hovers over the battlefield in a straight line. When you let go of it, the mine will drill down into the ground before exploding. You can also use it to drill into an enemy’s head which will result in them exploding into glorious chunks of meat. This weapon, like the Digger from Gears of War 3, takes some practice to fully master.The Buzzkill fires chainsaws in rapid succession. The blades can be shot at walls where they will ricochet at various angles. This is a great weapon to use if you want to kill many enemies at once, however, the blades can come back and hurt you so you’ll have to make sure not to fire it all willy-nilly lest you cut your own head off.Finally, there is a combat knife which can be used to perform brutal melee finishers. In multiplayer, knives take on different appearances depending on which faction you play as.5. Play AnywhereLike ReCore, Quantum Break and Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4 is an Xbox Play Anywhere title. Those who buy the game on Xbox One will be able to play it on Windows 10, and vice versa at no additional cost. There will also be crossplay support between Xbox One and PC, meaning that the same game save can be used across both systems. You’ll be able to start the campaign on Xbox One, continue playing it on a Windows 10 PC or laptop, and then return to Xbox One without any progress being lost.Because of the crossplay functionality, players on PC and Xbox One will be able to face each other in the game’s various multiplayer modes. How this is being regulated is unknown, as PC players have a distinct advantage over their console counterparts thanks to mouse and keyboard controls. In some ways, Gears of War 4 could prove once and for all which platform has the most skilled players: PC or console.There are several other reasons to be excited about for Gears of War 4 such as: the start of a new trilogy from The Coalition, a bigger focus on eSports, dynamic weather, and split screen co-op. We’ll have to see how folks end up reacting to the game during the upcoming weeks, but from everything we’ve seen so far (not to mention the positive feedback from those who got the game early), it appears that Microsoft will be delivering one of the strongest titles of 2016.last_img read more

first_img ‘The Division 2’ Is the Only Looter Shooter Worth PlayingThese Are the Games You Should Check Out in March 2019 Stay on target Last week, I got to check out a preview of The Division 2‘s campaign, endgame, and post-launch content. What I took away from the presentation is that Red Storm Entertainment is looking to provide meaningful content for narrative-driven players. If you combine this with the robust multiplayer, The Division 2 will certainly give players their money’s worth. In fact, it’s shaping into 2019’s must-have looter shooter. Sorry, Anthem!I once again had the chance to speak with Red Storm Creative Director Terry Spier. We discussed how The Division 2‘s narrative helps players better connect with the world and how the team crafted a believable Washington D.C. We also talked about how the new enemy faction, The Black Tusks, will force players to cooperate in the Dark Zone.While The Division had a solid story, it felt impersonal. How does The Division 2’s narrative help the player feel more connected to the world?Our approach to the civilians, the settlements, and engaging the player in those stories make it a little more personal. Taking players on that journey of recovery I think really engages me. I’m hoping it’ll do the same for you.If you’re trying to save the world in a video game it’s important to feel you’re actually accomplishing that.Exactly. You see that impact and change [in The Division 2]. You see the civilians and settlements as they’re recovering. You’re saving the city and the people. We hit it this time.In what ways do players see the impact they’re having on the world?Visually, you’re going to see it in the settlements and the living system in the actual open world. We talked about all the living world systems in there. Who is on the streets with you? Is it civilians or is it enemy factions? Based on what you do, you’ll see that difference in the world. There’s certain subtleties and there’s certain things that’ll hit you over the head visually. You’ll see a terrible run down section that now has beautiful flowers all over it with kids playing. You’re going to catch those vibes.This game takes place seven months after the viral outbreak, not weeks like in the first game. What kind of research went into creating a believable post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.?I want to give all the thanks to Ubisoft because they shipped a lot of us directors off on a special trip to D.C. We were there for over two weeks and had the opportunity to talk to scientists, first responders, SWAT team, police department, fire department, the national guard, and lawmakers. We had behind-the-scenes access to many amazing locations around D.C. and we asked them all: “How would you respond to a crisis like this? What would happen to the city in your expertise?” It was amazing the kind of things they said.I don’t think as much overgrowth would be present, but come on, it’s a video game. We wanted to make sure we expressed the fact time passed and nobody’s mowing the lawn or trimming the hedges. We have so much insight into how the city would have actually reacted and we put that all into the game.You have to bump things up in order to make it more interesting even if it isn’t 100% realistic. But there’s also a lot that’s pretty accurate as well, right?Some of that stuff’s going to be totally true. There’s no doubt. When you talk about the sort of heat waves we’ll be presenting to the player and the kind of storms you’ll see in the dynamic weather. In my head it just started to click with me. It could happen like this in certain locations. It’s not ridiculous.What was different between creating New York City and Washington D.C.?D.C. was a whole new challenge. Like, you walk ten feet and trip on a landmark in Washington D.C. The whole place is iconic in a way. It’s much different than Manhattan. We worked really hard on that recreation. People that know D.C. will find things they recognize.How 1:1 is Washington D.C.? I ask because when I walked around in the first game some stuff was off. There’s no music store where the Javits Center is, for example. Is D.C. a more faithful recreation than Manhattan was in the first game?There’s some liberties we take for video games. Let’s just say it’s the same. I think there are parts that are more accurate in D.C. but there’s probably some parts we had to fudge on as well. It’s still going to be amazing. You’re still going to walk by the steps of buildings and think: “Oh my god, I took a picture here in real life.” Or “That’s my friend’s house! That’s the flower shop!” You’re going to see it.Can players use subways to get around the city?There’s a whole aspect to the game I can’t even talk about. I don’t want to spoil it but we created as much as we could of the city.We talked about the endgame last time. Based on today’s presentation I can tell it’s even bigger than you first described. What else can players expect when they hit the level cap and finish the campaign?We wanted to create content that mattered for a lot of people. That’s why we brought in this faction, the Black Tusks. We wanted to attach that narrative coolness factor to the endgame as well. We wanted to say: “You think you’re good now? You haven’t seen it all, baby.” Now we’re giving you a faction that’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done. They’re going to have their own story and reason to be there and it’s tied narratively. You get to uncover all this new stuff when you thought you finished the game.When people think of endgame, generally they think they did all the story and hit the max level. So yeah, we could take that traditional look at it, but we’re giving you more story at the endgame. It’s an infusion into all the content you’re familiar with. So you know what to do and how to do it, you know how to access it, you understand the world. But we just lift up all the old factions you’re used to and we put in this new amazing faction and say: “Now what are you gonna do?” It’s mind-blowing how the world changes, how the civilians respond to this endgame content, and to watch that living-world system react.What is the main thing you’re looking forward to fans seeing?Occupied Dark Zones. We talked about it at the PvP event but what I couldn’t say at the time was that it’s tied to the Black Tusks. They’re a critical element in the Occupied Dark Zones. They change the DZ from a rules standpoint, from a difficulty standpoint, and sort of the insanity that comes around it. I know we talked about the DZs already, but I can’t wait for players to get into that and see the difference in how they react.We’ve talked about how players tend to interact with each other in the Dark Zone. We talked about the rule sets we’ve established in the post-launch of the original game and the things we’ve brought over to the main game of The Division 2 like normalization and toggling of Rogues. People automatically assume when we say there’s no rules that everyone is just going to go buck wild. Dude, it’s so hard. I think people are going to be more cooperative. I anticipate there will be some people that need help, even the ones who think they’re the best, because it’s so difficult. The Black Tusks are that kind of crazy.That’s an interesting way of bringing players together.We’ll see. I’m sure people will prove me wrong but I’ll tell you what, I wouldn’t want to be alone in the Occupied Dark Zone. I’d want to find friends real fast because of the Black Tusks.The Occupied Dark Zones are difficult, as I mentioned in the presentation. The factions don’t like the Black Tusks either because they’re more powerful and they’re a threat to their organizations as well. When they arrive in the Dark Zone they are killing other factions that are in the landmarks. They’re wiping them out. Everyone has to deal with the Black Tusks. They change everything.You aren’t asking players to pay extra for all the content you’re releasing post-launch. Isn’t that going to impact your bottom line? I’m sure some gamers would happily pay for some of this content.I’ll leave the money making to the business people. When we approached post-launch, the directors got together and said we wanted to keep everybody playing the same game. We didn’t have the opportunity to do that with the model in the original game because you had to pay for each installment. If you didn’t buy the underground, then we couldn’t play together, right? This time we said we wanted everyone together. How did we do that? Make it free. Everyone that buys the game gets all the same content. Now all the community stays together through this journey. That was our number one stance. We wanted to keep players together. They’ll find a way to make money. I’m not worried about that.More on ‘The Division 2’ Overhauled Multiplayer Modes Are Exactly What the Series NeededTerry Spier on ‘The Division 2’ Multiplayer ModesThe Most Exciting Video Games of 2019last_img read more