Gujarat Fortune Giants gear up for fifth season of PKL

first_imgAhmedabad, Jul 12 (PTI) The Gujarat Fortune Giants have geared up for the fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League, which commences later this month.Edible oil major Adani Wilmar today formally launched the team and unveiled the jersey at an event here in presence of wrestler Geeta Phogat and teams skipper Sukesh Hedge.Gujarat Fortune Giants is one of the four new teams.”We are working hard and are confident to lift the title. Ours is a young team and two Iranian players provide strong defence to our side. Although young, we will show that the team has mettle. We aim to win each game,” said Hegde.Coaches Manpreet Singh and Neel Gulia said the team is going through backbreaking routine and are giving eight hours of training every day.”We are the only team to have an international physiotherapist, who is the best. Players are going through an eight-hour session everyday starting at six in the morning. We are confident of lifting the title,” Singh said.The new team has three internationals.Iranian players Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mohajermighani are expected to provide formidable defence.Adani Wilmar MD Pranav Adani said he bought the team for the love of the sports and with the aim to promote kabaddi in Gujarat.”Being among countrys top ten companies, our headquarters remains in Gujarat. Entrepreneurship is in our blood, but we also need to promote sports. There are several sports in the country that are not getting their rightful importance, and kabaddi is one of those,” Adani said.advertisementHe, however, refused to divulge the investment he made for the team, but said that the company will own the team for another seventeen years.Phogat said she was happy to see that games other than cricket are getting their due attention.”I am happy to see that kabaddi is being approached in a very professional manner. The players is getting both proper infrastructure and training to succeed,” she added. PTI KA PD NRBlast_img read more

Indian Super League: Alessandro Del Piero rules out coaching stint in near future

first_imgFormer Italy and Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero has ruled out a coaching role in the foreseeable future, including a stint in the Indian Super League, where he played last as a professional.The 44-year-old, who played for Delhi Dynamos in the inaugural season of the ISL in 2014, is happy being a television expert. The former World Cup-winning Italy forward had announced his retirement in October 2015.He greeted a select Indian media group with a namaste on the sidelines of the Laureus World Sports Awards held Monaco earlier this week.”I have been to India couple of times for different reasons after my ISL stint. I am following what is happening in the league. I had a great time there, short time, just three months but happy that the league has grown, it is six months now. I quite like how things are moving,” he said.When asked why the Indian national team is not improving despite ISL being five seasons old, Del Piero said: “I know what is going on with your national team but don’t know the reason why they are doing badly. It is not easy. One thing is how you grow the league and another is how national team grows. It is not easy to balance.”Whether he would like to come back to India in a coaching job, he said: “Not at the moment. I see the game in a different way now, working with the tv. Thanks to my experiences in India and Australia my knowledge is growing.”advertisementTalking about the ‘Ronaldo’ effect at Juventus this season, Del Piero is not surprised by the success of the star striker.”I am not surprised how good he is doing. Cristiano has the same mentality of Juventus. They want to win every game, ever friendly game, every training game. The result is there to see.”Now, they are in toughest phase of the season. Juventus needs the best Ronaldo and Ronaldo needs the best Juventus. The team is really high level but the other teams are not. So they need more competition,” he added.Also Watch:last_img read more

a month ago​Nuno insists Wolves focused on Braga

first_img​Nuno insists Wolves focused on Bragaby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNuno Espirito Santo insists that everyone at the club is focused on their next game – a Europa League tie against Braga.Wolves are suffering a dip in form, after suffering two successive defeats against Everton and Chelsea.They are in the bottom three in the Premier League, which is an unusual position considering their form last season.But Nuno thinks they must take things one game at a time in order to find their groove.”It’s the third season for us. We started in the Championship, Thursday we play Europa League, we are the same,” said Nuno to reporters.”We have to work hard, but we don’t stay too much time in the past, we just look at Thursday.”This is my job. It’s not when we win everything is OK, when we lose everything is bad.”That’s why I say we have to realise what happened.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Make permanent capital

first_imgGlobal trends in money management and business efficiency are a useful guide to build and scale Indian businesses, especially to increase the efficiency of capital usage. The one trend that has been in focus throughout the asset management industry, especially the private equity world, has been that of “permanent capital”. This is broadly defined as access to funds for long periods, instead of the usual seven to ten-year fund horizon that has been the norm in the private equity industry. Permanent capital funds focus less on existing investments in a defined period – and the emphasis is more on generating potential long-run investment returns. Also Read – A special kind of bondInvestors have generated permanent capital through a variety of strategies. Some large investors such as the likes of Blackstone, Apollo & KKR have utilised Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) to generate capital they can then invest strategically. Apollo has also generated permanent capital through investing and managing assets for a retirement solution focused annuity business called “Athene”, which, through its annuity business, generates significant cash that Apollo has utilised to generate returns. Also Read – Insider threat managementAccess to a constant pool of capital has helped boost returns for both the capital provider and capital allocator. The essential point to learn is that a higher degree of permanent capital allows businesses to access opportunities for longer time-periods, ride out periods of high market volatility and, most importantly, acquire assets at attractive valuations when rivals are unable to do so due to unfavourable market conditions or internal distress. The lessons and advantages from permanent capital apply as much to companies as they do to asset managers. The vital question businesses must ask is whether they are building sources of permanent capital or, even better, are they improving the stability of cash flows available to the business – especially with a view on the next market downturn. For a company or conglomerate, “permanency” of capital can be obtained through access to businesses that provide stable incoming cashflows. For instance, a firm focused on high-risk-return projects in the biosciences field must continuously evaluate whether it has a portfolio of royalty-generating patents that provide it with mission-critical capital inflows. As mentioned earlier, in market downturns, stable cash flows can help shield businesses from the adverse funding conditions and assist a company in acquiring valuable assets across the industry. Most importantly, the steady incoming cash flows that provide the permanency of capital can assist a firm in continuing to pursue the high-risk-return projects that may yield significant investment returns in the future. In a world where factors such as specialisation, patents and vertical integration can provide competitive advantages to firms, so can greater access to permanent capital. To frame the argument differently, firms that can have greater permanency to their capital or can unlock sources of permanent capital will have distinct advantages over their rivals. For companies to succeed through permanent capital vehicles (PCVs), whether through private company platforms or structures such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), the aim must be long-term value-creation and not just short-term capital raising. Creating market credibility through both efficient capital usage and managing investor relationships is vital. For businesses that are exceptional operators, PCVs are the avenue to partner with patient capital providers to generate value for all. For investors looking towards emerging markets such as India, PCVs are essential, especially in the context of relatively lesser secondary market liquidity, longer investment horizons for value generation and smaller size of debt capital markets. The utilisation of PCVs to hold on to investments longer for value creation could be a vital factor. However, it will be crucial that PCVs, when utilised by investors or companies to raise and manage capital, avoid the issues that have been prevalent in some cases. The focus must be on long-term value creation and not on capital “extraction”. Therefore, the PCVs must be structured to incentivise the operators to maximise long-term value and not focus on merely creating large investment vehicles to generate high fees. As the capital markets and businesses in India evolve, winners and losers in highly competitive markets will get determined by a variety of factors, including sources of funds. Both the quality and quantity of funding available will be one of the fundamental factors that determine long-term winners. Permanency of capital offers some essential insights into improving one’s competitiveness.(Taponeel Mukherjee heads Development Tracks, an infrastructure advisory firm. Views expressed are personal)last_img read more

Moroccan Telecom Providers to Further Restrict Use of WhatsApp Viber and

Washington D.C. Morocco’s three telecom providers are moving forward to impose further restrictions on the use of WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber. Last week, Moroccan telecom providers Maroc Telecom, Meditel, and Inwi placed restrictions on the use of several applications that offer free VoIP services such as WhatsApp, Skype, and Viber. So far, the restrictions on such applications has only been partial. Internet users have not been able to make VoIP calls using 3G and 4G internet yet are still able to leverage the free services through a Wi-Fi connection.However, according to an anonymous source from Meditel, which has been quoted by Telquel, the restrictions will soon be covering calls made through Wi-Fi connections as well. These last few adjustments will be made by Maroc Telecom, since it currently dominates the ADSL platform in Morocco. Several days after these restrictions were imposed on Moroccan customers, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ANRT) stated that applications that offer free VoIP services “are not in compliance with current regulations and represent a large loss for the national telecom providers.”Moroccan internet users have been opposing the decision, labelling it as “unethical” and denouncing the  “corporate greed” of Moroccan telecom providers.On Tuesday, Moroccan technology blogger Amine Raghib posted a video on YouTube and called on all Moroccans to turn off their phones on 16-17 January in protest of the recent restrictions.In the video, which was viewed by over 100,000 people, Amine denounces the telecom providers’ “attack on free speech” and label them as “capitalist companies that are poorly managed and not competitive.” read more

Election law violations reported at several locations

Tennakoon said that in the Kurunegala District several processions were held outside the town while in the Vanni District a candidate had attempted to travel by procession using over 120 vehicles from Silavathura to Vavuniya but was stopped at three locations by the police.Keerthi Tennakoon also hailed the efforts taken by the police today to ensure election laws are protected after accepting of nominations for the election ended. CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said that most of the election law violations were reported from Kurunegala, Galle and the Vanni Districts. Local election observers have been deployed around the country to monitor the pre and post election period as the accepting of nominations of the Parliament election ended on Monday.The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) are main organisations involved in election monitoring in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette) He said that in the Galle District at least six processions were held in violation of election laws disregarding orders issued by the Department of Elections and the police. Local election monitors reported election law violations at several locations around the island as the deadline for accepting of nominations for the August 17 Parliament elections ended this afternoon.The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said that processions including several vehicle processions were reported after the main political parties handed over their nomination papers to the respective District Secretariats this afternoon. read more

GO Trains unaffected by CP Rail strike

Just another Wednesday commute for GO Transit users in Hamilton – despite job action at CP Rail.“For our GO Transit riders, it’s business as usual,” said Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikens. “We watched the trains leave Hamilton this morning without a problem.”Three-thousand CP Rail engineers and conductors walked off the job at 10 p.m. Tuesday, even as talks continued with the help of federal mediators.A second group of workers who had expected to join them on the picket lines are still on the job with a tentative contract agreement.There were concerns that commuter trains would be affected by a strike but Metrolinx says GO trains are not being disrupted.“It’s important that railway companies like our pay very close attention to what’s happening day by day – and that’s what we are doing.”Aikens says there are contingency plans in place should the job action affect GO Trains. read more

One of the important things for the success of our effort is

UNAMA’s mandate is centred on leading and coordinating international civilian efforts in assisting Afghanistan leadership and ownership, guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan sovereignty. This involves promoting more coherent support by the international community to the Government of Afghanistan’s development and governance priorities. In his interaction with Afghans from all walks of life, Special Representative Yamamoto makes a point of emphasizing the international community’s commitment to the country, including in the areas of security, development, governance and reconciliation. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi The histories of Afghanistan and the United Nations have intertwined over the past 60 years. The Central Asian nation became a member of the world body in 1946, and played a part in some historic moments, such as its vote for the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. While subsequent decades of conflict impacted the UN’s ability to operate on the ground, a UN presence has been a constant, with some agencies, such as the UN Development Programme, working there continuously since 1966. After the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001, and with the establishment of an interim government, the Security Council in 2002 established a political mission known as the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) – currently headed by UN Special Representative Tadamichi Yamamoto, it continues to support the Afghan government and people in line with the world body’s long-term approach to aid in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development. Photo: UNAMA/Freshta Dunia Afghanistan’s strategic location as a trading route crossroads has meant that it has attracted invasion it throughout its history. With some 30 million inhabitants and some 90,000 square kilometres in size, it has a preponderance of mountains and is 1,200 metres above sea level. It has frontiers with Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and, at its north-eastern extremity, borders China. Towering above the capital, Kabul, is the Hindu Kush mountains range, with an elevation close to 5,000 metres and at one point reaching almost 7,500 metres. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi 18 November 2014 – Tadamichi Yamamoto began his work in Afghanistan for the world body in late 2014, when he was appointed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Deputy Special Representative for the country. However, it was not the former Japanese diplomat’s first exposure to the Central Asian country. His 40 years of professional experience includes serving as Japan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2010 to 2012. In that capacity, he facilitated preparations of the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in 2012, which resulted in the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework, a mechanism to review progress towards Afghanistan’s sustainable development. Shown here, Mr. Yamamoto meets the UN chief soon after his initial appointment. In March 2016, he was announced as Mr. Ban’s new Special Representative for Afghanistan. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard World’s commitment vital for Afghanistan’s future – UN envoy Tadamichi Yamamoto. Credit: UN News CentreI would say that the most fundamental challenge is security. Security actually affects all activities of life in Afghanistan. After the drawdown of the international forces in 2014, the Taliban had tested the ability of Afghan national forces to defend the country. This had created a rather difficult situation in 2015, when the Taliban insurgency was able to make headway in terms of expanding their areas of control, and also the Afghan national security and defence forces seemed to be on the defensive. This year, a similar kind of intensified attack continued but, for the time being, the Afghan national forces are able to hold the ground, having learned lessons from last year. But still, they are posing a rather huge challenge to security in terms of, for instance, surrounding the provincial capitals in the south.I would say that, in addition, there is a challenge for the government itself. The government is a national unity government, which has brought differing political sides together to work as a unified political force. But because they come from different political grounds, it has not been so easy to maintain the smooth management and implementation of policies in the government.This issue of the differences within the government has surfaced recently, and I believe that to try to ensure that the government is internally stable and to be able to cope with all the necessary issues [before it] is really critical. UN News Centre: What is UNAMA’s role in respect to those challenges you just mentioned?Tadamichi Yamamoto: We have a particularly larger role in terms of meeting the political challenge. UNAMA has the mandate to provide good offices, to enable these people to work together better. So this is actually the core issue for our role: to try to enable the political leaders to work together better. In terms of the security, UNAMA really doesn’t have – we are not really a big mission – a direct responsibility. But the strength of UNAMA is that we have offices in the provinces – so-called field offices – in twelve places across the whole country, and we are able to actually monitor and assess the situation, including the security situation of the country, better perhaps than any other international presence. And we will be able to provide our assessment to the international community, and sometimes even to the government itself, and this will help them to manage the situation better. But also, I think, our role is to try to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the situation, to try to provide the outlook for the country, as to where we should be going – I think that is something that we can provide. 23 December 2014 – While UNAMA is headquartered in the Afghan capital, Kabul, it also has a strong field presence throughout the country with offices in 12 provinces, as well as liaison offices in Pakistan and Iran. As part of his efforts to consult widely with different parts of Afghan society and government, the Special Representative endeavours to regularly meet with Afghans throughout the country. Shown here is Mr. Yamamoto, while serving as the Deputy Special Representative, while on a trip to the eastern province of Nangarhar, during which he consulted with a wide range of people, including government and security officials, religious leaders and civil society representatives. Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA ‹ › UN News Centre: It has been almost two years since the National Unity Government was agreed upon and it has not always been smooth sailing – what more can be done to instill a great sense of unity there?Tadamichi Yamamoto: The important thing is for the leaders to try to really think about the country and its future, and how to better serve the people. Of course, since it is a political system, each of the political leaders has their own constituency, where they have to be able to deliver upon the expectations of their supporters – but Afghanistan is facing severe challenges; not only security, but also in terms of the economic situation, the human rights situation and corruption. These are all things which will affect future stability, and also the prospects for the growth of the country. And if they really thought about how they should go about doing this, they have to think of how to exercise their statesmanship, and also try to look at the larger objectives together. It is a difficult thing to do, but they will have to try to understand the responsibility which they are charged with.UN News Centre: There were challenges to the conduct of the last presidential election, in 2014, which led to calls for electoral reform. Has there been progress in this area?Tadamichi Yamamoto: There are many challenges and this is one of them. Because the presidential election of 2014 had been regarded as an election which had suffered from many irregularities, people do not actually sort of feel that they would trust the electoral system as such. And so they are looking for reforms to take place in the electoral system. However, the reform of the electoral system actually impacts upon the outcome of the election, which is a very political undertaking, and so the compromise between political leaders regarding what sort of electoral system should be instituted has in itself become a subject of discussion. Naturally, the implementation and reform should be conducted by the independent electoral commission with impartiality – but in terms of what sort of system, for instance, is to be adopted, in any country, it is the political decision of the people concerned. UN News Centre: Corruption has been a huge issue for the country. Has there been progress on combating it?Tadamichi Yamamoto: Yes, President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah – the President and the Chief Executive Abdullah – have a rather strong vision as to how the country should cope with corruption, and recently in particular, the government, under the strong leadership of President Ghani, has been able to come out with strong reforms in terms of creating what they call an Anti-Corruption Justice Centre. And this is a new system which will be insulated, to the greatest extent possible, from outside influence. The choice of the commissioners and the secretariat members will be very carefully conducted. They are tasked with the prosecution of higher-level officials, and I think they are determined to do this. But they also understand that corruption is an issue which actually seeps throughout society, and they are not simply implicating people – changing the whole system of how bureaucracy and society operate is necessary. So they are going for a more long-term approach of trying to reform the ministries and how the government functions. So, in terms of both having egregious cases of corruption held to account, and trying to change the system from the foundation [upwards], both are ongoing. This is a very difficult undertaking, which requires strong determination, and the international community needs to help the efforts of the leaders in this regard. UN News Centre: Civilian casualties from the government-militant violence has been an ongoing issue for Afghanistan. Has there been progress in reducing these casualty figures?Tadamichi Yamamoto: You raise a rather important area for the United Nations and to the international community as a whole: the United Nations, as you may know, has been conducting what we call ‘civilian casualty reports,’ with very detailed and objective investigations into cases where civilians suffer casualties. We have been doing this for a few years. Unfortunately, civilian casualties have been increasing year by year. We have dialogues with the government forces, also with the insurgents and the international forces, and explain to them the circumstances under which civilian casualties are caused, and make recommendations trying to minimize this, with concrete steps to be taken. All actors – insurgents, government and international forces – they all understand the importance of minimizing civilian casualties. There has been progress in terms of the way in which they look at this issue, with instructions, directives on conduct in all areas, amongst all parties, to try to reduce the numbers of civilian casualties. But, in reality, the number has been increasing because of the change in the nature of the conduct and because the conflict has intensified over the past couple of years. It is very unfortunate but recently we’ve seen an increase in the number of casualties of women and children, and this is due to the increase in the fighting. Street fighting and cross-fires actually account for the deaths of many of these women and children. This is a serious issue. All parties are trying to make efforts, but it is something that is very hard to change at the time.UN News Centre: Why is the violence getting worse?Tadamichi Yamamoto: There’re several reasons, I presume. But one of the largest causes for the Taliban to test the capacity of the Afghan forces after the drawdown of international forces is that they consider this to be an opportunity, and have been increased their attacks – so the number of incidents has increased over the past three years. The presence of international forces has decreased enormously; at their peak the international forces numbered more than 100,000 troops, now there are 10,000. 4 September 2016 – The Afghan Government and the international community have been busy preparing for the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, taking place in the Belgian capital on 4-5 October 2016. In the lead-up to the event, a group of senior government officials, diplomats and representatives from the private sector, civil society and international organizations – including Special Representative Yamamoto – met to review preparations in Kabul. “Our government is meeting its commitments to the international community to fight corruption, to improve gender equity, and to advance on the road toward self-reliance through economic growth,” President Ashraf Ghani told the gathering. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi My sense is that the economic development will take a much more pragmatic route, meaning that they will go to things that are much more down-to-earth, closer to the people, including agriculture and perhaps even small house industry. So there has been some progress and I also feel that with effort and cooperation with countries in the region it will be possible to try to really start the process of dialogue with insurgents. We have the opportunity of talking to the insurgents sometimes and we find that they also think of the future of Afghanistan and the Afghan people – so there is something common between the Afghan Government and the so-called insurgents regarding the future of Afghanistan. They both care about their country so there are potential grounds for them to come together. It may not be so easy, it may not be in four years’ time, but I believe people will start exploring how, as Afghans, they can better bring the country together and build something for the future. So I am cautiously optimistic but I have to stress that there are challenges and hurdles and we of course, first of all, have to overcome these challenges, which are centred on security and the political stability of the government, as well as the creation of a more fair and trustworthy society through tackling things like corruption.UN News Centre: On a more personal note now, the posting of Afghanistan is not one of the easiest ones in the UN system. Actually, it is one of the tougher assignments. What motivated you to take up this post leading UNAMA?Tadamichi Yamamoto: I think that as a diplomat, or a person working in an international field, to be able to work for a country in its nation-building is something that is really worthwhile. It is something that is extremely exciting in terms of being able to contribute to something which would be lasting. And when you look at Afghanistan, it is a country which has suffered conflict throughout 30 years, close to 40 years, and it is a country which used to have a glorious history and also enjoyed a high quality of life in the 1960s and 1970s. So the potential for creating or bringing the country back to something really rich in terms of livelihoods is certainly there, and you can see that the Afghan people are very conscious of their nation’s integrity. There is a real opportunity for this country to be brought back to becoming a very attractive, prosperous country.@media only screen and (min-width: 760px), screen9 {#PhotoHolder3 #PhotoCrop { max-height: 770px; /* sets max-height value for all standards-compliant browsers */ width: 134%; margin-left:-161px; margin-top: -268px;}#story-headline{ font-size: 4.0em; line-height: 1.05em; color:#fff; position: relative; top: 440px; margin-left:-2em; text-shadow: 10px 10px 10px rgba(0,0,0,0.8); width:120%;}#sidebar {display:none;} div#story-content .span8 {width:100% !important} #fullstory p { font-size: 14px; line-height: 1.7em;}strong { font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.7em; xfont-family:Georgia, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif;}li { font-size: 15px; xline-height: 1.7em;}blockquote { font-size: 1.2em; line-height: 1.5em; font-style:italic;}.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 1em; height: 0; margin-bottom:1em;}.videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;} Hosted by Afghanistan and the European Union, the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan will have some 70 countries and 20 international organizations and agencies represented, and provide a platform for the Government of Afghanistan to set out its vision and track record on reform.For the international community, the two-day gathering is expected to provide an opportunity to signal sustained political and financial support to Afghanistan’s peace, state-building and development.The international community has to understand that, and I think they do understand, that the country… requires a lot of assistance for years to come.Attendees will focus on three areas: joint international and Afghan efforts to increase the effectiveness of sustained international support and funding, on the basis of a new Afghan national development framework; Afghan reform efforts, including on economic reform, rule of law, improved public finance management and anti-corruption, so as to ensure the provision of the most important services and public goods; and, regional efforts to support a political process towards peace and cross-border economic cooperation.The United Nations has a long history in Afghanistan, with various agencies at work there, some extending back until 1949. Spearheading the world body’s current efforts there is the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which leads and coordinates international civilian efforts in assisting the country. UNAMA also provides political good offices in Afghanistan, works with and supports the government, supports the process of peace and reconciliation, monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict, promotes good governance and encourages regional cooperation.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend the Brussels meeting, as will his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, who spoke with the UN News Centre in the lead-up to the conference.UN News Centre: What are the biggest challenges facing Afghanistan today?Tadamichi Yamamoto: I think challenges have to be thought of in terms of those within the government and those which are challenging the government itself. UN News Centre: With so many other competing interests for the international community, are you noticing any sort of fatigue or lack of interest from the international community in terms of Afghanistan’s political and security situation? Tadamichi Yamamoto: I think we have to look at this from many aspects – certainly, the international community has been assisting Afghanistan for a long time, so even if there’s fatigue, it is no wonder, it is not strange. But I have to say that fatigue has not really surfaced. When you look at the Warsaw Summit, the NATO Summit in Warsaw this July, NATO countries were able to re-confirm their assistance in the security field at the current level until 2020. In the meeting there, the leaders were saying that they would not withdraw from the country as long as it is necessary, as long as they’re needed. Many of the leaders were saying that the withdrawal [of their remaining troops] will be conditional on the situation on the ground, and they were saying that this is not a message to the Afghan people but a message to the insurgents. And I interpret it as them trying to convey the insurgents that time is not on their side. That they cannot wait out until the international community tires and departs. That they will defend the Afghanistan, by first of all, fostering and nurturing the ability and capability of the Afghan forces, including the police and the army, and that the international forces will engage as needed to the extent possible. Of course, things are calming down in all countries and there is very strong pressure to keep engagement at a minimum – but you can see this political will.UN News Centre: And any sign of fatigue from donor countries in relation to longer-term development?Tadamichi Yamamoto: In terms of development, there perhaps one might talk more about fatigue. But again we are preparing for the Brussels Conference in October, where it is expected that the donor community will provide Afghanistan with development assistance until 2020, so for the next four years, at near the current level which is more than $2 billion. This commitment by the international community is actually something that I was very impressed with and very pleased about. 19 November 1946 – Afghanistan’s linkages to the United Nations began in 1946, when the country became a member of the world body. Shown here, at the UN’s temporary headquarters at Flushing Meadows in New York, the Afghan representative to the United States, A. Hosayn Aziz, signs – on behalf of his government – the ‘instrument of adherence’ to the UN Charter during the country’s admission ceremony to membership in the United Nations. Those sitting in front of the ambassador include (from left) Secretary-General Trygve Lie and the President of the General Assembly at that time, Paul-Henri Spaak. UN Photo 25 July 2016 – Civilian casualties is a major issue in Afghanistan. UNAMA produces regular reports on the situation and, in its report covering between January and June this year, it documented 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injured civilians – an increase of four per cent in the total number of casualties compared to the first six months of 2015 and the highest half-year total since 2009. “Every single casualty documented in this report – people killed while praying, working, studying, fetching water, recovering in hospitals – every civilian casualty represents a failure of commitment and should be a call to action for parties to the conflict to take meaningful, concrete steps to reduce civilians’ suffering and increase protection,” Mr. Yamamoto said of the report at the time. Shown here, the Special Representatives and colleagues launch the report at a news conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi 14 September 2016 – In his first briefing to the Security Council as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMA, shown here, Mr. Yamamoto highlighted the challenges facing the country and stressed that avenues for peace there must be explored with utmost urgency and seriousness. “As one of the world’s most aid-dependent countries, it will be difficult for Afghanistan to achieve self-reliance as long as there is conflict,” the Special Representative told Council members. “Conflict diverts resources, which would be better spent on developing Afghanistan and helping its people. Peace is therefore a requirement.” UN Photo/JC McIlwaine The total number of Afghan national forces, including the police is around 300,000. So you can see if 100,000 or over 100,000 of the international forces decreased, it has a huge impact. As we predicted, this has provided opportunities for the insurgents to go on the offensive. Also, problems exist among Afghan forces: with the conduct of its operations, the coordination amongst different forces of the army and police has not been well-managed. And, sometimes, the command structure has not been very effective. This has resulted in rather severe losses. For instance, last year, the city of Kunduz, the capital city of a province, was over-taken. If we look at how the actual fighting took place, there was not much resistance from government forces – in a way, they collapsed. This is partly due to the ability of the Afghan forces to coordinate and hold ground. Now one thing that has improved this year is that the Afghan forces have been able to coordinate better and, also, for international forces to support the actual fighting done Afghan forces. So the response has been more effective. They have been more mobile and their response has been quicker. This has even been the case in the south where the insurgents have strong influence – a city called Lashkar Gah which is also the capital city of a province, had been under heavy attack. But with reinforcements and with the strategic help from international forces, they [government forces] were able to hold their ground quite well. I am sure the insurgents will try to test the Afghan national forces during the rest of this year – but they also suffer. The casualties are heavy on both sides. But I am afraid that even if the Afghan national force keep holding ground, the losses are very heavy – in fact, the death tolls are larger than last year’s. This is not a situation which can be turned around by either side for years to come. We hope that the realization of the situation and also the heavy toll that is imposed upon civilians would make both sides realize they have to need a negotiated settlement and try to seek peace for their country. The role of women has been a focus of the world body’s work in Afghanistan. According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) – which has been present in the country for more than 50 years, even continuing to operate from Pakistan during the Taliban regime – women still face widespread discrimination and human rights abuses. Despite some progress, most girls remain out of school, women are largely restricted to low-paid and unregulated employment, harassment is widespread, political participation is limited, and women face numerous obstacles to getting fair treatment from the justice system. In addition, women are often shut out from effective and gender-responsive healthcare – particularly in rural areas, where a lack of facilities and trained female healthcare providers remains a serious barrier improving health outcomes. Photo: UNAMA/Jawad Jalali Away from political, security and development issues, Afghanistan also faces challenges in the humanitarian sphere. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), providing humanitarian assistance in a complex environment where separate – and not always complementary – military, political and security objectives pose challenges to the implementation of humanitarian principles and the ability of responders to reach people in need, as well as the safety and security of aid workers. The country is currently facing a new humanitarian crisis with increased support urgently needed to help more than one million people anticipated to be displaced internally and across Afghan borders by the end of the year. For many of these vulnerable families, it will be the first time experiencing the severity of an Afghan winter. Photo: UNAMA/Sayed Muhammad Shah 4 September 2016 – At the preparatory meeting ahead of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Special Representative Yamamoto noted that competition for development resources was increasing around the world, and called on international partners to sustain their support for Afghanistan. He described the Afghan Government’s plans for its future as “essential tools,” that will “serve both to attract support from donors at the upcoming Brussels Conference on Afghanistan and to guide how that support is used to benefit the Afghan people.” Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi Some countries are actually increasing their commitment and even those countries which may reduce their amounts would still be of effective assistance to Afghanistan. If you look at the assistance to Afghanistan in the past, you can see that there was also an issue of absorption?? (22:36) capacity in Afghanistan. So, even with a slightly decreased amount of international assistance in the economic field, the effectiveness of the assistance can be maintained, in fact, with better focus to where the money is needed. This is particularly the case when trying to help Afghan people sustain their livelihoods. For instance, in agriculture, where most of the people depend upon for their living, we will be able to actually provide a very sound basis for future growth and development. So although we talk about donor fatigue, I think that, at least until 2020, the international community has thought through this and is taking very responsible action. This is particularly remarkable when you look at the increased demand in the money needed for Europe and elsewhere around the globe. UN News Centre: It seems that the international community will have a major role to play with Afghanistan’s progress for some time to come?Tadamichi Yamamoto: Well, I would say that the one of the important things for the success of our effort is real commitment from the international community. The international community has to understand that, and I think they do understand, that the country – although they are trying to be more self-reliant – requires a lot of assistance for years to come. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and it is probably one of the more dependent upon international assistance in terms of their budget and in terms of their ability to deliver services to people. They, of course, will become more independent and self-reliant but, for still some time to come, this support of the international community will be critical in ensuring that the path that they have started to take for bringing back normalcy and putting them on the right growth path will require the continuation of the commitment from the international community, not just in terms of the development assistance but at the political level.UN News Centre: You mentioned 2020 being an important year for Afghanistan in terms of the international community’s engagement. Where do you see the country in four years’ time? Tadamichi Yamamoto: I believe that the development over the past 50 years, from when the international community first started working in Afghanistan, there has been much progress in many areas, including education, health, technology and education and many other areas, and I should imagine that this will continue. 14 September 2016 – “The Security Council reaffirms its support to the Government of Afghanistan and, in advance of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan to be held on 5 October 2016 co-hosted by the European Union and the Government of Afghanistan, calls on the international community to continue their civilian and development efforts to assist the Government and the people of Afghanistan in a manner consistent with the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF) and with the Afghan leadership and ownership,” the Council President said following the meeting in a statement which also expressed concern about the country’s security situation and called on all political entities to work together to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future for all Afghans. Shown here is the Council during its meeting. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine Decades of war have had a major impact on Afghanistan’s food security. According to the UN World Food Programme (WFP), a severe slowdown in economic growth between 2011 and 2014 contributed to the fact about 39 per cent of Afghans live below the poverty line, and 33 per cent – some 9.3 million people – are food insecure, according to a 2014 survey. In addition, an estimated 235,000 people affected by natural disasters and nearly 750,000 conflict-affected people will require humanitarian food assistance in 2016. Afghanistan is one of the world’s top ten countries with the highest burden of undernourished children, and is affected by some of the highest infant, child and maternal mortality rates in the world. Photo: UNAMA/Sayed Barez read more

Samedi la Lune sest éclipsée derrière lombre de la Terre

first_imgSamedi, la Lune s’est éclipsée derrière l’ombre de la TerreCe week-end, la Lune est entrée dans l’ombre de la Terre et s’est vue totalement éclipsée par la planète. Le phénomène était observable en Asie, en Australie et dans une partie de l’Amérique du Nord. En Europe, en revanche, il n’était que partiellement visible. Si l’on peut observer plusieurs éclipses solaires par an, c’est un phénomène un peu plus rare qui s’est produit ce week-end dans notre ciel : une éclipse totale de Lune. Celle-ci se produit lorsque le Soleil, la Terre et la Lune sont bien alignés et que l’astre de la nuit passe dans le cône d’ombre de notre planète. Il est alors privé de la lumière solaire, à tel point que son aspect en est modifié devenant rougeâtre. Et c’est précisément ce qui s’est produit ce week-end. Samedi, à 12H45 GMT, la Lune a commencé à entrer dans l’ombre de la Terre puis elle a progressé jusqu’à être totalement recouverte entre 14H06 et 14H57 GMT. Les heures suivantes, elle est progressivement sortie de l’ombre, donnant lieu à une éclipse partielle, avant de repasser dans le cône de pénombre de la Terre. En fin de soirée, l’astre était alors redevenu entièrement visible, s’agissant d’une nuit de Pleine lune. Toute l’éclipse, y compris ses phases partielles, “seront visibles de l’Asie à l’Australie”, avait prévenu l’astronome américain Fred Espanak cité par l’AFP.En revanche, les phases totales n’ont pu être observées en Afrique et en Europe, l’éclipse se produisant avant le lever de la Lune. Mais heureusement, il est possible de revivre l’évènement grâce à de nombreux spécialistes et amateurs qui ont pensé à filmer l’éclipse. C’est le cas du  Salinas Observatory basé à Pacific Grove en Californie qui a pu enregistrer les différentes phases du phénomène. Deuxième éclipse solaire de 2011 À lire aussiSpaceX : un satellite d’Elon Musk manque d’entrer en collision avec un satellite de l’ESALa Lune se cache progressivement puis prend un aspect rougeâtre dû au fait que l’atmosphère terrestre dévie les rayons du Soleil qui frôlent la Terre. La couleur rouge du spectre de la lumière solaire étant la plus déviée, c’est dans les teintes rougeâtres qu’apparaît le disque lunaire, variant de l’orange clair au rouge sombre. Une couleur qui dépend de la composition de l’atmosphère terrestre, de l’activité solaire et de la distance Terre-Lune. Quatre éclipses solaires partielles et deux éclipses lunaires totales, dont celle du 10 décembre, étaient prévues en 2011, une combinaison rare qui ne se produira que six fois au cours du 21e siècle, rapporte l’AFP. La prochaine éclipse totale de Lune n’aura lieu que le 15 avril 2014.Si vous n’avez pas eu la chance de l’observer, découvrez en vidéo la Lune éclipséeLe 12 décembre 2011 à 14:56 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Leak Reveals Assassins Creed Odyssey Takes Place in Ancient Greece UPDATE

first_img UPDATE: Ubisoft has officially revealed Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey on Twitter with a short clip. The video shows what appears to be a Spartan warrior kicking a Persian “Immortal” off a cliff. This is a not-so-subtle nod to the infamous 300 “THIS. IS. SPARTA” scene. The featured image promises more at this year’s E3.See you at E3!— Assassin’s Creed (@assassinscreed) May 31, 2018ORIGINAL STORY: One of my favorite parts of Assassin’s Creed: Origins was exploring the city of Alexandria. This section (along with the Roman-occupied Northwestern portion of the map) made me want to play an entire game set in Ancient Greece. It appears Zeus has heard my desires. If today’s reports are true, the next installment of Ubisoft’s popular action adventure game is called Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and it will indeed take place in the land that birthed Western civilization.The report originates from French site JeuxVideoLive, and is confirmed by Kotaku. Shots of a keychain featuring a Spartan helmet and a logo for “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey” began to circulate around the web thanks to that original JeuxVideoLive post. Kotaku also received a different picture of the same keychain. The keychain is said to start arriving in game stores around the world today. Ubisoft has not responded to requests for comments.Photo from JeuxVideoLivePhoto from KotakuAccording to Kotaku’s sources, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is a “drastic departure” for the series. Even more so than Origins. The game is expected to have dialogue choices, which would be a first for the series. Players will also get to choose between playing as a male or female protagonist. Two sources say Odyssey will release during Ubisoft’s 2019 fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2019. If this is true, it means the series is going back to an annual schedule. If you recall, there wasn’t an Assassin’s Creed game released in 2016. Odyssey could release this fall, though Ubisoft could potentially release it early in 2019, thus avoiding the Fall rush of titles.As with all rumors, take this with the proverbial grain of salt. Given how often Assassin’s Creed games get leaked before their official reveal, I’m putting my money on this report being legit. E3 is almost here, so expect a full reveal during the big show. If the next game does take place in Ancient Greece, consider me excited.Stay tuned for more as it develops.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ Is Still the ‘Hamilton…Toy Tuesday: The Deadliest Assassin’s Creed Toys last_img read more

VIDEO Hulk Hogan appears at Golden State Warriors game

first_img Now Playing Up Next Kurt Angle Jason Namako RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WWE has posted the following video of WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan appearing at last night’s 11/13 Golden State Warriors NBA game. You can view the video below.  Google+ Joan Jett Set To Perform Ronda Rouseys Entrance At WrestleMania 35 Twitter Seth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate Occasions Facebook Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next Recommended videosPowered by AnyClipSeth Rollins Defends WWE On Two Separate OccasionsVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmuteDuration 0:30/Current Time 0:04Loaded: 100.00%0:04Remaining Time -0:26 FullscreenUp NextThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Replay the list WWE celebrates Smackdown’s 20th anniversary on the first episode on FOX on October 4 Is WWE Losing Its Audience? Cesaro Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Now Playing Up Next WhatsApp Now Playing Up Next Videos Articles Seth Rollins Hulk Hogan Will Host WWE’s ‘Crown Jewel’ Event In Saudi Arabia Pinterest RAW Preview: Hall of Famers and Legends return for RAW Reunion, Live Post-Show tonight WWE RAW Results – 7/22/19 (RAW Reunion show, Hall of Famers and Legends return) Roman Reigns is in Remissionlast_img read more

Macau casino stocks enjoy strongest day since December on rising GGR

first_img RelatedPosts Big trouble in little China Strong VIP growth sees Okada Manila GGR climb 72% in August Load More Macau casino stocks enjoyed their best day since December on Tuesday following the news that gross gaming revenue in the SAR had beat consensus to record its second straight month of growth.According to a Bloomberg Intelligence index of casino shares, Macau’s concessionaires grew by up to 7% on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange early in the day with all six finishing the day in the green. JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner Galaxy Entertainment Group enjoyed the largest spike, rising as high as 8.3% before finishing the day 7.12% higher at HK$56.40.Sands China rose by 7.9% before finishing 7.36% higher at HK$40.10, while MGM China finished 6.78% higher at HK$14.18, Wynn Macau 5.83% higher at HK$18.52 and SJM 5.74% higher at HK$9.40.NASDAQ-listed Melco Resorts & Entertainment finished 2.85% at US$23.48.Comfortably beating consensus of 1.8% growth, Macau’s June GGR instead climbed 5.9% to MOP$23.81 billion with analysts estimating strong growth in both the mass and VIP segments. They also suggested the recent slowdown may be gradually easing amid promising trade talks between the US and China at the G20 in Osaka last week and a recovering credit cycle in China.Macau is expected to record a third consecutive month of growth in July with early estimates coming in at +2% to +4%.last_img read more

VIDEO Sidebyside video of Mayweather and McGregor training proves McGregor has no

first_imgConor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather each released the first videos of them training for their upcoming August 26 publicity stunt. If you watch them side-by-side, the difference in the boxing skill from the two jumps off the screen.The 49-0 Mayweather looks like he hasn’t lost much in his “retirement” and still looks lighting quick. McGregor, on the other hand, looks like a slow UFC fighter who’s throwing punches in quick drying cement. You don’t have to be Bert Sugar to see that McGregor is going to get dismantled by Mayweather. The only real question is will he get knocked out.Anyone who says they believe McGregor can win this fight after watching this side-by-side is either a fool or a liar. This is going to be a massacre.Mayweather and McGregor training videos from today side by side. ?— BlackSportsOnline (@BSO) June 29, 2017 Advertisementlast_img read more

New 4G Technology Might Wipe Out Your WiFi Connection

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. July 8, 2015 Mobile networks and Wi-Fi have long occupied their own distinct territories on the airwaves. Cellular operators stick to licensed spectrums, which they typically pay billions to use exclusively. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi takes advantage of a vast swathe of spectrum known as the unlicensed airwaves, which costs nothing. That distinction is one of the main reasons why connecting to Wi-Fi is cheap and often free, while connecting to a mobile network is not.The line between Wi-Fi and mobile has existed for two decades, and it’s produced enormous growth and innovation in both industries, but mobile operators are now changing the game by crossing over into Wi-Fi’s turf. A new technology called LTE-Unlicensed, or LTE-U, will allow mobile carriers to dip into unlicensed frequencies for additional capacity, essentially creating 4G networks in Wi-Fi’s airwaves. This has the Wi-Fi industry worried, and has ended up pitting mobile industry giants like T-Mobile, Verizon and Qualcomm against Wi-Fi advocates like Google, Cisco Systems, and other cable providers“The worse case scenario is that LTE operates in unlicensed spectrum in a way that does not pay due regard to other users, making the Wi-Fi experience significant degraded,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, a global non-profit that supports Wi-Fi technologies. “In such a case, bandwidth is eliminated from use by Wi-Fi because it’s being used exclusively by LTE.”The ins and outs of unlicensed airwavesBefore you jump all over mobile operators, keep in mind that they have every right to use these airwaves. The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands are called “unlicensed” for a reason. Everyone is free to use these frequencies, regardless of whether or not they’re an operator adding bandwidth to a 4G network or a just an average Joe setting up a Wi-Fi router in your home.However, there are some rules everyone using these frequencies must follow. First, users must transmit at low power, which is why Wi-Fi’s weaker signals won’t cover much more than your apartment. Second, if there are other nearby users trying to use the same frequencies then individuals will have to share.Wi-Fi does this sharing through a protocol called, quite simply, Listen Before Talk. A Wi-Fi network is constantly scanning its environment looking for competing signals. If it detects them, it doesn’t transmit, waiting several milliseconds before trying again. It’s the same basic principle as talking at a dinner party. Everyone waits their turn to speak rather than everyone trying to talk all at once.This kind of frequency sharing allows multiple Wi-Fi networks to live in the same physical space, and it’s been one of the key reasons for Wi-Fi’s huge proliferation. Wi-Fi isn’t the unlicensed band’s only tenant, though. It has to share the same space with Bluetooth, cordless phones, wireless remotes and even baby monitors, but for the most part those technologies have managed to co-exist peacefully. The introduction of LTE-U, though, represents a major new incursion into unlicensed airwaves.LTE-U basically is intended to supercharge our mobile connections in places where mobile data demand is the highest. LTE-U combines your regular connection to the 4G network with a new transmission in the unlicensed band, effectively doubling your bandwidth. For example, if you were humping along with a 10 Mbps link and suddenly entered an LTE-U coverage area, you would find your connection speed boosted to 20 Mbps or more.Due to the low-power requirements for unlicensed bands, operators can’t use LTE-U everywhere. Mainly it’s an indoor technology, but inside of buildings is exactly where the vast majority of mobile data consumption happens today. LTE-U could add a lot of capacity to an operator’s networks, and because operators wouldn’t have to sink billions of dollars into buying airwaves, they could deliver all of that capacity at a much lower cost, which could—at least, theoretically—be passed on to consumers.Why Wi-Fi is freaked outWi-Fi Alliance’s Figueroa has made it clear he doesn’t want to boot the mobile operators out of the unlicensed airwaves, which would be antithetical to the idea of shared band. What he and other Wi-Fi advocates want is to ensure that LTE plays by the same rules as the band’s other users currently do.In fact, the Alliance and other Wi-Fi standards groups are working closely with their mobile industry counterparts to create a standardized technology similar to LTE-U called LTE-Licenses Assisted Access. LTE-LAA would employ the same Listen Before Talk protocols as Wi-Fi, which Figueroa believes will allow the two technologies to co-exist peacefully.The problem is LTE-LAA gear and chips won’t be commercial available for several years, and mobile operators in several countries—notably the U.S., South Korea and India—don’t want to wait. Both Verizon and T-Mobile US plan to roll out LTE-U network gear and devicesin 2016.LTE-U uses a less stringent sharing protocol than Listen Before Talk, and the Wi-Fi industry fears that it will give mobile operators an unfair advantage, effectively muscling Wi-Fi users off their networks. According to comments Google filed with the Federal Communications Commission, an LTE-U transmission sharing the same frequency channel with a Wi-Fi transmission could degrade the Wi-Fi connection as much as 75%. The result, according to Google, would be a much better experience for users on the mobile network, but a much crappier experience for users on Wi-Fi.One of LTE-U’s biggest backers, Qualcomm, has dismissed those fears. The telecom company argues that while LTE-U uses a different sharing protocol than Wi-Fi’s Listen Before Talk, it’s perfectly adequate to ensure that Wi-Fi and LTE-U cooperate peacefully, said Prakash Sangam, Qualcomm director of technical marketing. Furthermore, Qualcomm has a vested interest in keeping Wi-Fi safe, Sangam said, since the company has its own Wi-Fi technology division, Atheros, so creating a technology that would run amuck in the unlicensed frequencies would cannibalize one of its major businesses.“Fair co-existence with Wi-Fi has been our main concern since we started the design phase on LTE-U,” Sangam said.He added that LTE-U actually might be a better neighbor to Wi-Fi than Wi-Fi itself. Typically Wi-Fi access points in any given location act independently, creating a constant over-the-air negotiation for signals. In contrast, LTE-U is part of an operator’s centrally managed cellular network. This type of arrangement would mean LTE-U access points would coordinate their activities in crowded airwaves, making more efficient use of the frequencies available and improving the data experience for Wi-Fi and LTE users alike.However, the Wi-Fi industry has a different view about that kind of centrally managed network. Instead of using that central coordination to the benefit of Wi-Fi, LTE-U could use that capability to force Wi-Fi networks off the air, much like the individual cars on a racing team can cooperate to pass competing cars on a track.Solving the impasseThe public will eventually find out if the Wi-Fi industry’s fears are warranted when T-Mobile  and Verizon’s LTE-U networks go live next year, although Wi-Fi advocates don’t want to wait that long. They’re asking the FCC to step in now, and put restrictions on the types of radio technologies operators can use in the unlicensed bands.Even if the Wi-Fi and mobile camps sort out their differences and find a way to fairly share the unlicensed frequencies, there will still be some big repercussions for both industries. A lot of our smartphone traffic today already rides over Wi-Fi networks, but as LTE-U goes live you can expect some of that traffic to shift back onto mobile networks. While Wi-Fi access is largely free today, mobile operators charge for their data connections.Also, the unlicensed band is going to get a lot more crowded. LTE-U will become a major new tenant on the unlicensed band, and regardless of how well it cooperates with Wi-Fi, space is going to get a bit tight. Anyone who’s tried and failed to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot at a crowded coffee shop or conference center, knows there’s already a limited amount of unlicensed bandwidth to go around.Ultimately, a move onto Wi-Fi’s turf by mobile operators demonstrates just how much interest there is for finding new uses for the unlicensed bands. Maybe, the government should take the hint and open up more airwaves not just for Wi-Fi, but for everyone. This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine Register Now » 8 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more

Roadworks in the Staffordshire Moorlands for the week ahead

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid Email Drivers are being warned to expect  traffic and travel  delays due to roadworks across the Staffordshire Moorlands this coming week. Motorists hitting the roads of the district on Monday morning can expect a raft of delays and road closures waiting for them. The following roadworks are taking place in the Staffordshire Moorlands from Monday February 25 until Sunday March 3. This list contains only the roadworks considered to be most likely to cause delays on key routes as well as those involving road closures and temporary traffic lights. It is not exhaustive and does not feature some minor or emergency repairs that come up after publication, or roadworks listed as unlikely to cause delays. Other roadworks may finish or start before schedule or be cancelled altogether. All information from local authorities and utility companies. Read MoreNine homes on land behind Land Rover dealership refused   A523 (near Rudyard Lake): Multi-way signals on A523 Macclesfield Road at the junction of Rushton Road/Leek Old Road on February 27 Bradnop: Temporary traffic lights along A523 Ashbourne Road from February 27 until March 4 Blythe Bridge:  Caverswall Road closed from January 28 until March 14 Blythe Bridge: Give and take traffic control on Grindley Lane from February 25 until February 27 Brown Edge: Roadworks and road closure on Sandy Lane from junction with Bank End to junction with Hough Hill until 6pm on February 25 Cheadle: Roadworks and road closure on High Street between Cross Street and Tape Street  on March 3 Denford: Huntley Lane closed between Sandy Lane and Catswall Lane from February 26 until February 28 Leek: Multi-way traffic signals on Ashbourne Road near Moorhouse Street from February 25 until March 1 Leek: Multi-way traffic signals on A53 Broad Street at junction with Hartington Street from March 3 until March 6. Leek/Leekbrook: Two way signals on A520 Cheddleton Road between Birchall and Leekbrook Bridge until April 12 Leek: Road closure on Portland Street until February 25 Read MorePet owners to face £100 penalty for not cleaning up dog mess Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us  @SOTLive or message us on  our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at  StokeonTrentLive .last_img read more

Another record year for international tourism in Australia

first_imgAnother record year for international tourism in AustraliaInternational visitors to Australia spent a record $33.4 billion over the year to June 2015, or around $91 million each and every day, TTF CEO Margy Osmond said today.Total visitor expenditure grew by more than 10 per cent over the 2014/15 financial year – setting a new benchmark for the highest annual growth rate on record – according to the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) results released today by Tourism Research Australia.“Australia’s stellar performance continues to be underpinned by strong growth in spending by Chinese visitors,” Margy Osmond said.“Chinese visitors were responsible for $7 billion of the total spend, or around one-fifth of the total spent by international visitors.“Total spending by Chinese visitors also grew by 32 per cent over the 2014/15 financial year, which is the highest growth rate on record for Chinese visitors.“This expenditure supports both jobs and business confidence across Australia, in cities and in regional areas, and across a range of service providers such as accommodation providers, restaurants, bars and visitor attractions.“To capitalise on this strong growth in international visitor spending we must ensure Australia remains welcoming and competitive internationally as a must-visit destination.“We need further reform to our visa system to make it easier and cheaper for visitors from our major markets such as China to come to Australia. What we see at the moment is visitors to Australia from mainland China paying around seven times more for their visas than visitors from Hong Kong or the United States.“Other countries recognise the economic benefits generated by Chinese tourists and are taking visa reform seriously in order to capture their share of the burgeoning and valuable Chinese market. For example, the Canadian government reduced their visa fees early last year to promote tourism and the South Korean government introduced a $90 (USD) 5-year multiple entry to encourage Chinese visitors. We must adopt the same mentality.“We also need to invest more in destination marketing to make sure Australia, as a great tourist destination, is front and centre in the minds of the 200 million Chinese expected to travel abroad in 2020.“Investments in transport infrastructure are also crucial. We must build links to airports like Melbourne’s Tullamarine and Sydney’s Badgerys Creek, as well as invest in demand-driven infrastructure like national parks, cultural institutions, convention centres and urban open spaces.” Tourism & Transport ForumSource = Tourism & Transport Forumlast_img read more

FILE In this July 7 2017 file photo Kendrick

first_img FILE – In this July 7, 2017, file photo, Kendrick Lamar performs during the Festival d’ete de Quebec in Quebec City, Canada. Lamar is nominated for seven Grammy nominations. The 60th Annual Grammy Awards will air on CBS, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File) He said, she said: AP writers predict Grammy winners by Mesfin Fekadu And Nekesa Mumbi Moody, The Associated Press Posted Jan 22, 2018 8:00 am PDT Last Updated Jan 22, 2018 at 8:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img NEW YORK, N.Y. – Here at The Associated Press, we’ve written stories for years about how the Grammys have dissed rap, R&B and other evolving genres before others wrote about the hot topic after Beyonce lost to Adele last year. Check our records.So you could imagine how vindicated and excited we felt when the nominations rolled out late last year with Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Luis Fonsi and Childish Gambino dominating in the top three categories, where rap, R&B and Latin music almost never win.But because of our expertise in this Grammy game, we know what’s obvious: The Recording Academy is unpredictable.So, again this year, we try our best at predicting who will win big when the awards are handed out Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York City.___ALBUM OF THE YEAR: “Awaken, My Love!,” Childish Gambino; “4:44,” Jay-Z; “DAMN.,” Kendrick Lamar; “Melodrama,” Lorde; “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars.FEKADU: Let’s just call this a black out. The Grammys clearly want a non-white act to win, because if they didn’t care that much, they would have put Ed Sheeran up for this honour (deservingly). That’s why they chose Lorde — she’s a critical favourite so it’s a not a surprise she’s nominated, but who even remembers that she put out a project last year? Kesha or Harry Styles would have a stronger chance at winning album of the year than she would. With no rock or country nominees here, it makes you wonder where people from those genres will send their votes, and me thinks that’s to Kendrick and Bruno. Tom Coyne, the epic master engineering who died last year, worked on Bruno’s album, giving him a boost. Plus, Bruno plays multiple instruments, has written and produced all of his own songs as well as several hits for others, earning him appreciation from the music community at large, from songwriters to producers to engineers. I think with all of that support, along with Jay-Z and Kendrick splitting some of the votes, Bruno will dripping in finesse with “24K Magic.”MOODY: This is definitely the “let’s correct that Adele win” batch of nominations, and Lamar would be a heavy favourite to win it all, making it the first true rap album to take the top trophy. But this is the Grammys — and that’s why it’s not going to happen. First off, Jay-Z and Lamar will likely split the rap vote, and while Childish and Lorde are critical favourites, they are also underdogs. Grammy voters will more than likely be charmed by an act with huge commercial appeal, an amazing live act, top-notch songwriting capabilities, a multi-instrumentalist — who hails from Hawaii. This is Mars’ for the taking.___RECORD OF THE YEAR: “Redbone,” Childish Gambino; “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber; “The Story of O.J.,” Jay-Z; “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar; “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars.MOODY: Even though “Despacito” was the biggest hit of the year compared to its competitors, Grammy voters often ignore the most popular for the “artistic” choice. Here that would seem to be Lamar’s “HUMBLE.,” but I think overall, the record and artist that moved voters most was probably Mars over everyone else. Plus, it also was ubiquitous. Mars wins again.FEKADU: “Despacito” was much more than your average pop hit of the year. It broke several records on Spotify and YouTube, and opened more doors for Latin music to be integrated on pop radio without watering down or Americanizing its songs. That’s enough for Luis Fonsi and friends to take home the prize.___SONG OF THE YEAR (songwriter’s award): “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber, Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd, Erika Ender and Marty James Garton; “4:44,” Jay-Z and No I.D.; “Issues,” Julia Michaels, Benny Blanco, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen and Justin Drew Tranter; “1-800-273-8255,” Logic, Alessia Cara, Khalid and Arjun Ivatury; “That’s What I Like,” Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Ray Charles McCullough II, Jeremy Reeves, Ray Romulus and Jonathan Yip.FEKADU: Normally I would say that Bruno would automatically win this, but do we really think the Academy is going to give this award to eight songwriters? Nah. A couple of songs with four songwriters have won this award, though usually most of the writers count for band members, from Dixie Chicks to U2 to Coldplay. That gives the edge to Jay-Z, who wrote “4:44” with just No I.D. He’ll make history and become the first rapper to win song of the year — appropriately a year after he was the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.MOODY: I would agree with your logic typically, but just about everyone in this category has multiple songwriters, so I’m thinking voters are getting used to the fact that there are more songs by committee and fewer single songwriters or duos in this era. Plus, as powerful as “4:44” was it was, I don’t think it resonated with enough of the Academy. I’m thinking Bruno did. I say he takes it with his songwriting entourage.___BEST NEW ARTIST: Alessia Cara; Khalid; Lil Uzi Vert; Julia Michaels; SZA.MOODY: SZA is the most nominated woman of this year’s Grammys and had crossover success, but something tells me voters may have an easier time gelling with the PG-rated verses of some of her counterparts than her raw lyrics. And between Cara, Khalid and Michaels, I say Michaels has the edge, particularly because the “Issues” singer has written plenty of hits for others, and voters may want to reward her for that as well.FEKADU: Alessia Cara — who some thought would be a best new artist nominee last year — had hits and success with her 2015 debut album and co-starred on more hits with Zedd and Logic last year (and even those songs are nominated for Grammys this year). Despite their success, the other nominees haven’t had the most outstanding debut years like past breakthrough acts have. So to voters, Alessia is the one they’re most familiar with, and that’s why she’ll win.___BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM: “Kaleidoscope EP,” Coldplay; “Lust for Life,” Lana Del Rey; “Evolve,” Imagine Dragons; “Rainbow,” Kesha; “Joanne,” Lady Gaga; “Divide,” Ed Sheeran.FEKADU: Ed Sheeran, here is your consolation prize.MOODY: Sheeran for the win! Also: “Ed Sheeran is not here to accept his trophy, so we will give it to him later…”___BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE: “You Want It Darker,” Leonard Cohen; “The Promise,” Chris Cornell; “Run,” Foo Fighters; “No Good,” Kaleo; “Go to War,” Nothing More.MOODY: I’d normally say the Foo Fighters, but there are two chances to give a posthumous honour, with Cohen, who died in 2016, and Cornell, who died last year. Cornell’s suicide at the age of 52 may have affected more people, and his song, about the Armenian genocide, is resonating now, with an Oscar campaign (it’s from a movie of the same name). I think Cornell takes it — and it’s richly deserved.FEKADU: Cornell is definitely winning this. It would have been epic to see another great who died last year — Chester Bennington — nominated here for something from Linkin Park’s latest album, “One More Light.”____BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM: “Free 6LACK,” 6LACK; “Awaken, My Love!,” Childish Gambino; “American Teen,” Khalid; “Ctrl,” SZA; “Starboy,” The Weeknd.FEKADU: First of all, SZA needs to win this. “Ctrl” is one of the BEST ALBUMS OF ALL-TIME, said in Kanye voice. OK, maybe not of all-time, but it was definitely the highlight of 2017! Here’s her problem though: Khalid also had huge success as a rising artist last year; Gambino’s album is nominated for album of the year, plus he’s a Golden Globe and Emmy winner; and The Weeknd is still hella popular, despite earning only one Grammy nomination this year. But because this category makes me super emotional, like SZA’s music, I am going to predict she wins simply because she deserves to.MOODY: You’re getting in your feelings, son. And that’s clouding your view. While yes, I do think “Ctrl” was good it was not the best album of last year — but I digress. It IS the best album in this category but still won’t win — I think Grammy voters will be too impressed that Donald Glover made a musical album in between acting projects, even if it is a rip-off of Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament and any other 70s funk album released. Childish Gambino takes it.___BEST RAP PERFORMANCE: “Bounce Back,” Big Sean; “Bodak Yellow,” Cardi B; “4:44,” Jay-Z; “HUMBLE.,” Kendrick Lamar; “Bad and Boujee,” Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert.MOODY: Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” was the sensation of the year but her inclusion will likely be seen as honour enough. Plus, anyone trying to beat “HUMBLE.” should really sit down.FEKADU: Cardi B may be the current queen of rap, but King Kendrick is easily winning here.___BEST COUNTRY SONG (songwriter’s award): “Better Man,” Taylor Swift (performed by Little Big Town); “Body Like a Back Road,” Sam Hunt, Zach Crowell, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne; “Broken Halos,” Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson; “Drinkin’ Problem,” Midland, Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne; “Tin Man,” Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Jon Randall.FEKADU: If more people knew Stapleton’s song, he would have a stronger shot here. Sam Hunt, whose song set the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the country charts, has a better chance in the best country solo performance category. That leaves us with Tay Tay, who will return to her roots with another win for best country song. You can’t deny her skill with the pen.MOODY: While Swift’s departure for pop likely still stings for some country voters, she remains one of the genre’s top boosters of other acts, and the fact that she wrote such a straight-forward country song for one of its biggest acts goes a long way. Swift gets another country trophy for her mantle.____Online: http://www.grammy.com___For full coverage of awards season, visit: read more

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