Supporting Cloud Services Endanger Your Uptime

first_imgWhere’s your site? In a server sitting in the back room, most of us would say, or at a host provider across the country or even (if you’re planning for disaster) scattered across cloud instances around the world.The truth is we usually don’t know — and not knowing could set us up for a world of hurt.That’s because many sites depend on external Web services that, together, make up each site. Services such as third-party advertising, analytics, social-media controls or newsfeeds, just to name a few. If any of those services crash or flake out, they can take down, slow down or generally give sites the appearance of suck.Given the recent GoDaddy and Amazon EC2 East outages, and the coding problems with Facebook’s Like button that halted the loading of many client sites, administrators need to pay a lot more attention to what goes into their final site experience, because an outage or failed service can have a domino effect.Missing The ObviousIt’s a serious issue for Web administrators, though not one that comes up in covversation until there’s a problem. In a way, it’s analogous to riding in a hot-air balloon and realizing that, oh yeah, that 50-gazillion-BTU propane torch two feet from your head will be pretty darn hot. It’s obvious when you are standing there in the basket and your scalp is getting cooked, but when you see the pretty, serene pictures of the graceful balloon in flight, it doesn’t really occur to you to wear a hat to avoid first-degree burns.The analogy holds true for sites. Add some Twitter buttons or a Facebook Like button or too, throw in some banner ads, a little Google Analytics monitoring and suddenly your site is now dependent on four additional hosts in order to work at peak efficiency. It’s obvious when you think about it, but is it on your list of things to care about?Complicating the situation even further is the fact that the number of hosts that a site owner has to actually touch can changes depending on where the site is located. Cloud application-monitoring service Compuware has illustrated this pretty neatly in the map below, which shows the average number of hosts that contribute to a typical web transaction in the locations shown (based on over 250 million Web measurements).Average Website Hosts Per User Transaction, June 2012Most of the additional hosts are third-party services that sites in these locations tie into in order to deliver the full experience. With some sites dependent on 10 hosts or more, the chances for some kind of failure goes up significantly, explained Compuware’s Stephen Pierzchala, APM Technology Strategist.A Bad Taste For Visitors“A site is like a big pot of stew,” Pierzchala said. “If one ingredient tastes bad, it can ruin the whole stew.” And there are a lot of ingredients on most sites.An analytics script can fail, causing the site to load slowly, or a content-delivery network that the site uses can fail, making the site crawl for in one part of the world. Or, as with what happened last May with a faulty Facebook Like button that admins embedded in sites, pages could simply stop loading after the Like button appeared, Pierzchala said.The take-away for admins is the importance of knowing what’s on a site. What are the components and where do they come from? Just as important, who’s putting stuff on your site? If content is auto-fed to your pages from an outside provider, what happens when its server borks?Once you have identified the third-party providers, “take control of your third parties. Don’t let them control you,” Pierzchala emphasized.Identify what-ifs. Build fail-safes into your site’s code to work around failures, and set up lines of communication with service providers to ensure you can learn about problems from them, and before you hear from disgruntled visitors. Knowledge is a powerful thing to have when things go awry.Because when you site fails, all that your visitors will know is that you and your brand — not some host sitting halfway across the world — disappointed them.Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Compuware. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Web 2.0 center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting brian proffitt Related Posts last_img read more

I’m the Most Ecstatic Baby on the Block! Adding Emotional Words to Babies’ Vocabularies

first_imgBy Jenna M. Weglarz-Ward[Flickr, Simi and Rachael by Jerry John, CC BY-ND 2.0] Retrieved on September 17, 2015Children begin to learn about relationships and language starting in the womb. As babies listen to their mothers talk to the clerk at the grocery store, sing to the radio, and chat with family members, they begin to develop a brain for language. Once born, they continue to listen to their mothers and family members use language to communicate with each other, solve problems, and develop relationships. Even before their first words, babies understand the language around them and their brains develop pathways to strengthen their ability to understand and express themselves.At the same time, they are learning about the emotional environment. They experience stress, excitement, happiness, sadness, and frustration themselves and observe and feel other’s emotional states. They are learning that when Mom makes a certain face, she does not feel good but when her body feels a different way, she feels better. Similar to language, babies are developing neural pathways to help them learn what do with their own and other’s emotions.Research has indicated that the earlier and more we talk to our babies, the better their outcomes will be. Additionally, children with strong emotional literacy have better academic success and less challenging behaviors [3]. Betty Hart and Todd Risley’s [1] ground breaking work indicated that children who live in low incomes families are not exposed to as many words as children in more affluent homes, as many as 30 thousand less words before they enter kindergarten. This commonly referred to as the Word Gap. Additionally, vocabulary in lower income homes is more likely to be directive and negative (e.g, get your shoes, you’re in trouble). Children in more affluent homes are more likely to have exposure to a larger range of vocabulary. However, family income may not be the only factor that impacts the word exposure to children. Parents who struggle with mental health issues, are experiencing trauma or illness, are single parents, work long hours, have multiple children, or spend a lot of time with their smartphones, may be talking to their children less often than possible. Therefore, it is important to support all families in bridging the word gap.Not only does this word gap impact language and cognitive outcomes including school readiness, a lack of learning and understanding of emotional words can impede social and emotional development. It is common that children with language delays also have challenges in making friends and identifying and coping with their emotions. Therefore, it is important to not only talk to our babies more, but make sure that we are including emotional vocabulary as well.Dr. Dana Suskind at the University of Chicago has more recently expanded on this work through the 30 Thousand Word Initiative. Dr. Suskind, has been working to support parents and communities in talking to their children more in order to close this gap. In addition to the strategies we presented in our December webinar on emotional literacy such as expressing your own feelings, labeling children’s emotions, and reading and singing about emotions, Suskind [4] recommends the 3 T’s.Tune In: Notice what the child is focused on and talk about that. Respond when a child communicates – including when a baby cries or coos.Talk More: Narrate day to day routines, such as diaper changes and tooth brushing. Use details: “Let Mommy take off your diaper. Oh, so wet. Does that feel better now?”Take Turns: Keep the conversation going. Respond to your child’s sounds, gestures and, eventually, words – and give them time to respond to you. Ask lots of questions that require more than yes or no answers.What Emotional Words to Include?Starting with basic emotions such as happy, sad, angry are great. However, adding more complex words, even early, develops a rich emotional catalog from which children can use as they learn to understand and express their emotions. It is important to include both positive and negative emotions in their vocabularies.Complex Feeling Words [2]Affectionate, agreeable, annoyed, awfulBored, brave, bummed, beamingCalm, capable, caring, cheerful, clumsy, confused, cooperative, creative cruel, curiousDepressed, disappointed, disgusted, down, delightedEcstatic, embarrassed, enjoying, excitedFantastic, fearful, fed-up, free, friendly, frustratedGentle, generous, gloomy, guilty, gladHeavenly, hilariousIgnored, impatient, important, interestedJealous, joyfulKindLonely, lost, lovingMerryOverwhelmedPeaceful, pleasant, proud, pleased, positiveRelaxed, relievedSafe, satisfied, sensitive, serious, shy, stressed, strong, stubbornTense, thoughtful, thrilled, troubledUnafraid, uncomfortableWeary, worried, worn outWhile working with families, take time to share with them why it is important to share emotions with their children as well as how. In addition to modeling and practicing with parents, share resources available through our December webinar materials.References[1]  Hart, B., & Risley. T. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.[2]  Joseph, G. E., & Strain, P. S. (2003). Enhancing emotional vocabulary in young children. Young Exceptional Children, 6(4), 18-27.[3]  Joseph, G. E., Strain, P. S, & Ostrosky, M. M. (2005). Fostering emotional literacy in young children: Labeling emotions. Center for Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. [4]  Suskind, D. (2015). Thirty million words: Building a child’s brain. New York, NY: Dutton.This post was written by Jenna Weglarz-Ward & Amy Santos, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

Largest ever protected habitat proposed for Arctic ringed seals

first_imgShrinking sea ice is wreaking havoc on Arctic ringed seals (Phoca hispida hispida), which live throughout the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. The seals live in and beneath the ice and even birth and nurse atop it. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed designating a vast area—more than 906,000 square kilometers—off Alaska as protected habitat for the seals. The pinnipeds, which are named for the lacy, white circles on their fur, were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in December 2012.At the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, Arizona, which had petitioned NOAA to address the seals’ plight, conservationists reacted with joy to the proposal. The organization’s climate science director, Shaye Wolf, said in a statement: “We’re thrilled that the ringed seals are getting the habitat protections they so desperately need as their sea-ice home melts beneath them.” But Senator Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) criticized the proposal. “This is an unprecedented attempt to place restrictions on a larger than Texas-sized area of water surrounding our state,” she said in a statement.NOAA’s proposal stems from a yearlong study of the critical habitat needs of the seals and the economic effects that protecting them may have on the region, which harbors extensive oil and gas reserves and commercially valuable fish.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)NOAA’s scientists identified climate change as “the principal threat” to the animals. The seals rarely come ashore, but live instead beneath the ice, using their claws to open and maintain breathing holes. They also construct caves on top of the ice and under the snow, where they birth and nurse their young. They build several of these caves so that they always have a place to escape their chief predator, polar bears.Climate change models predict that the Arctic sea ice will continue to shrink in a warming world (as much as 40% of the ice is expected to be gone by midcentury), and the resulting changes—including later formation of ice in the autumn, rain falling on the snow, and decreasing snow depths—will make it increasingly difficult for the seals to construct their snow caves, NOAA says. And that, in turn, will likely lead to a significant decline in the seals’ population, which was thought to number about 2.5 million in 2002. Since then, researchers have recorded a decreased number of pups in some areas, probably because of climate change. A pup often dies when its cave collapses on top of it. If a species is likely to become endangered in the future throughout a major portion of its range, it is considered threatened.If the proposed critical habitat designation is approved, other federal agencies will be required to consult with NOAA Fisheries on actions such as oil exploration and drilling that could destroy or adversely affect the area. The designation is also likely to impact commercial fishing in the region. Because the dwindling ice is lengthening the open-water commercial fishing season, certain target species (such as Arctic cod and saffron cod, which are the seals’ preferred prey) may also require “special management considerations,” NOAA says. The proposed designation would not, however, stop the subsistence hunt of the seals by Alaska natives.Although most oil and gas activities are now occurring only in the Beaufort Sea, primarily near Prudhoe Bay, there has been a recent lease sale in the Chukchi Sea, NOAA notes, and the agency expects oil exploration and drilling to increase there. Murkowski worries about the economic effects of the proposal and charges in her statement that NOAA’s decision was motivated by “several non-scientific” reasons, such as “enhanced public awareness.” She also expresses concern that the designation “may help focus and contribute to conservation efforts.” “I remain skeptical,” her statement says, “that the listing of ringed seals based on a 100 year weather projection was justified, and I am concerned that this designation would severely impact any economic development from Northwest all the way to our border with Canada.”NOAA will be accepting public comments on the proposed critical habitat designation for the ringed seals for 90 days, until 3 March 2015.last_img read more

JD(U) becomes a recognised State party in Arunachal Pradesh: EC

first_imgThe Janata Dal (United), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has become a recognised State party in Arunachal Pradesh, the Election Commission has said. The JD(U) won seven Seats in the 60-member Assembly of the north eastern State, next only to the ruling BJP which bagged 41 Seats and secured a majority.“The Janata Dal (United) is now a recognised State party in the States of Arunachal Pradesh and Bihar,” a statement from the Election Commission said on Friday. The Party will also be able to use its symbol arrow in Arunachal Pradesh, the statement added. The JD(U) shares power with the BJP and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar. After its success in Arunachal Pradesh, the JD(U) national general secretary K.C. Tyagi had said, “The tally entitles us to the status of the main Opposition party. But we will offer full support to the BJP government” in that State.“Even if we get the Opposition party status, we will be a friendly Opposition,” Mr. Tyagi had made it clear.last_img read more

Gilas training under wraps

first_imgView comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Reyes, although appreciative of Abueva’s effort, said the he was there as “part of the pool.” But Abueva is not counting on it.“I’m here to give everything that I have [in practice],” Abueva said. “We all don’t know what can happen.”Gilas won its first two matches in this grueling qualifying home-and-away series being used by the Fiba for the first time, routing the Japanese in Tokyo and then carving out a tight win over Chinese Taipei at Smart Araneta Coliseum last November.Naturalized center Andray Blatche planed in on Friday and was glad to rejoin practice, appearing to be in far better shape compared to the previous times when he came over after long vacations.June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, Jio Jalalon, Carl Bryan Cruz, Matthew Wright, Kevin Alas and Kiefer Ravena are the other members of the Gilas team bracketed in Group B with Australia, Japan and Taiwan. They will be fighting for one of seven available slots for Asia.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum LATEST STORIES MOST READ The injured Troy Rosario was the only one missing in practice at West Greenhills g.ym and would likely be out for the duel with the Aussies at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne and against Japan at Mall of Asia Arena three days later.Rosario took a horrific fall in TNT KaTropa’s game against Phoenix Petroleum last week and sat out the Texters’ next game against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHe hit the floor face first and had to be wheeled out of the game strapped in a gurney.Calvin Abueva, who along with Raymond Almazan were dropped for the coming matches by Reyes after failing to attend several practice sessions, was at the workout on Monday which fueled speculations that he could be recalled with Rosario likely to be out. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Gilas Pilipinas has started practicing full time and in full force, but coach Chot Reyes is seeking understanding from everyone as he again made it a closed-door session as the Filipinos gear up for a tough battle with Australia on Feb. 22 in the Fiba World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Has the POC president gone deaf and blind? Read Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena stinglast_img read more

RoS import vows to play better after lack of aggressive play vs Kia

first_imgLacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games MOST READ “The style of play here is what I got to be able to adjust to. I was fortunate to have this game right now so I can adjust and make the adjustments this week,” he said, as the Elasto Painters gear up for TNT next Sunday. “Life’s a challenge. I accept all challenges and we’ll just see what happens.”What Bullock’s glad about, though, is helping Rain or Shine finally break out of its slump and level its standing at 2-2, even if it came against a lowly foe like the Picanto.“Even though it wasn’t the best team in the league, it’s still a win,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT J’Nathan Bullock. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netEven J’Nathan Bullock admitted his debut game for Rain or Shine on Sunday was far from advertised.“It wasn’t my best performance, but we were able to still get the win,” he said after posting 20 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in the Elasto Painters’ 94-86 win over Kia.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his sidecenter_img Facing KYK huge challenge, morale-booster for PH volleybelles Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Though Bullock’s statline was still decent compared to his counterparts, coach Caloy Garcia expressed his displeasure for what he felt was lack of aggressiveness from his new reinforcement, as he only earned six free throws for the game.READ: Bullock ends Rain or Shine skid in nipping of KiaFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Our import took too much outside shots. He only started attacking the basket in the last six minutes of the game and that’s the only time we started getting to the line. I was surprised that he was not able to get to the stripe during the first half, so I just told him in the fourth quarter to head to the line,” said the youthful mentor.The 30-year-old Bullock understand his coach’s concenr and vowed to adjust better for Rain or Shine’s next game. NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View commentslast_img read more

Saric, Heurtel lead Efes to season-ending win

first_imgAnadolu Efes Istanbul fought back from a 13-point second-half deficit to defeat Panathinaikos Athens 91-86 on Thursday at Abdi Ipekci Arena. The game had no relevance for the hosts, but the Greens needed a victory to have a shot at home-court advantage for the playoffs. But Dario Saric and Thomas Heurtel led a balanced effort to deny Panathinaikos, which fell to 9-5 and finished the Top 16 in third place. The Greens will meet Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz in the playoffs. Efes placed fifth in Group E with a 7-7 record. Panathinaikos got off to a fast start as six players combined to make 9 of 10 three-pointers in the first half alone, while James Gist threw down a pair of highlight reel slams for a 43-52 halftime advantage. A Nick Calathes triple extended the difference to 45-58 early in the third quarter. However Saric and Heurtel scored all the points in a 10-0 run that brought Efes back. It was Heurtel’s three-point play that gave Efes its first lead, 77-76, midway through the fourth quarter. Saric stepped up with a clutch triple to extend the lead, a key block on defense and a three-point play as Efes pulled away to give their fans a parting gift. The forward tallied 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks to lead six Efes scorers in double figures. Jon Diebler added 13 points, Cedi Osman scored 12, Bryant Dunston and Derrick Brown each posted 11, Alex Tyus 10 and Heurtel finished with 9 points and 9 assists. Gist, Calathes and Elliot Williams led Panathinaikos with 14 points apiece and Vladimir Jankovic, Miroslav Raduljica and Dimitris Diamantidis added 10 points each. Calathes also dished 10 assists. Panathinaikos missed its final 6 three-point tries of the game.First quarter: Gists’s, Haynes’s threes push Greens aheadGist opened the scoring for the Greens with a triple from the corner. Calathes, who assisted on the first basket, buried a jumper. More than two-and-a-half minutes passed before Dunston finish in the paint got the hosts on the scoreboard. Williams buried a baseline jumper for a 2-7 Panathinaikos start. The lead grew on a Jankovic triple. Efes fond its footing with a Dunston put-back and Osman’s three-point play. A second three by Gist made it 7-13, however Dunston outmaneuvered Miroslav Raduljica inside to keep the hosts close. Saric rejected Raduljica at the rim and Furkan Korkmaz followed his own missed shot in for a basket and foul to bring Efes within 1. MarQuez Haynes drilled a pair of threes to put the visitors back in charge at 12-19. Tyus sank a jumper for Efes and Raduljica finished a pick-and-roll at the other end. Derrick Brown brought the hosts within 4 with a three-pointer only to see Diamantidis answer with a jumper that ended the quarter at 17-23.Second quarter: Visitors keep up hot shooting to remain in controlTyus went inside for a layup before Diamantidis and Diebler traded threes. After a timeout, Ognjen Kuzmic split free throws and Calathes put back the miss as the Greens’ lead swelled again. Derrick Brown missed a pair of free throws and Diamantidis nailed another three for the game’s first double-digit difference, 22-32. Tyus managed an acrobatic finish inside, but James Feldeine countered with yet another Panathinaikos triple. But Efes fought on through a Tyus put-back and a Birkan Batuk three. Williams tipped in a Calathes miss, but Tyus drained a jumper. Calathes’s brilliant pass led Williams to a slam and a 31-39 lead midway through the quarter. Osman turned the heat on with a three from the wing. Osman matched Jankovic’s put-back with a floater. Batuk buried a contested jumper to close the gap to 38-41. Jankovic netted free throws, but Osman scored again on the offensive glass. However Calathes nailed a three before Gist came up with a steal and took it in for a 360-degree slam dunk. Efes guard Jayson Granger was helped off the court with an apparent injury on the play. Dunston split free throws and Batuk made 2 more to close the deficit to 43-48. Williams darted through the Efes defense for a layup and Gist dunked again on the break thanks to a great outlet pass from Antonis Fotsis to lead 43-52 at the break.Third quarter: Heurtel, Saric spark Efes revivalJankovic kept the Greens shooting in form with a triple to start the second half. Diebler nit back with a jumper, but Calathes found himself open and hit another three. Heurtel found a cutting Saric wide open for a layup and the forward soon netted free throws. Heurtel added foul shots and Saric scored on the break thanks to a Heurtel steal. Heurtel then went through the Greens’ defense for a layup that capped a 10-0 run that brought the hosts within 55-58 and prompted a Panathinaikos timeout. Calathes found Raduljica inside for a layup to revive the visitors and Gist went through Saric as the Greens regained control. Dunston dunked home a missed Oman layup. And after a Diamantidis layup, dusnton turned an offensive rebound and into a Brown slam. A well-run play in transition finished with an Osman layup to make it a 3-point game again. After Raduljica’s free throws, neither team scored in the final two minutes of the quarter, which ended at 61-66.Fourth quarter: Efes uses 19-4 march to finish season in styleRaduljica extended the difference again with 2 free throws, but Dunston matched him after drawing an unsportsmanlike foul from Vince Hunter on the ensuing play. Heurtel’s turnover led to a Williams layup on the break, but soon Brown split free throws and Diebler buried a three to make it 67-70. Williams rescued the Greens with a nifty layup and Calathes also scored. Heurtel kept Efes in the picture with an off-balance bucket, but Raduljica matched him with a basket inside. After free throws by Brown, Osman’s steal led to a Saric triple, which cut the deficit to 2. Heurtel pushed the ball in transition for a three-point play and Efes’s first lead, 77-76, midway through the quarter. The lead changed hands on a Gist slam and a Diebler triple. Saric extended the difference to 5 with another big triple with two-and-a-half minutes remaining and then rejected Williams at the other end. Brown’s fast break layup made it 85-78 and prompted a Panathinaikos timeout. Feldeine kept the Greens alive with a layup, but Saric all but finished off the game with a basket-plus-foul. Calathes then missed free throws, although Calathes saved the second one and Hunter put it in. After a Calathes steal, he made free throws to bring his team within 88-84 with a minute to go. After Brown split free throws, Saric captured the offensive rebound to help kill the clock. Williams made it a 3-point game with 11 seconds left, but Diebler iced the game from the line.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Sarri remains in frame for Chelsea job

first_imgChelsea Sarri re-emerges as Chelsea manager hunt threatens to delay transfer plans Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea Correspondent 14:30 6/12/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Maurizio Sarri Antonio Conte Napoli Chelsea 2017-18 Getty/Goal Chelsea Carlo Ancelotti Antonio Conte Napoli Premier League The Blues are still looking at the Napoli head coach but he is among a group of other candidates as complex negotiations continue Chelsea are set to renew their push to bring Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to the club as their new manager, Goal understands.With Antonio Conte still expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, the Blues have struggled to find a replacement due to the complexities of hiring primary target Sarri.Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis – who has already hired Carlo Ancelotti to replace Sarri in Naples – remains firm in his stance that Sarri’s £7 million ($9.4m) release clause be paid as compensation despite it officially having expired on May 31. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Chelsea’s reluctance to pay such a fee has led them to look elsewhere, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc and Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic high on their shortlist.Blanc has already begun sounding out potential backroom staff should he be offered the role, but both ex-Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Roma’s Eusebio Di Francesco have been ruled out of the running despite having spoken to Chelsea regarding the potential vacancy.The five-time Premier League winners remain hopeful, however, that Sarri can be prised from his contract having led Napoli to second place in Serie A last season.The delay in finding a new manager means the west London outfit have fallen well behind their rivals when it comes to securing new signings for next season.Sarri himself has already highlighted Napoli defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Elseid Hysaj as individuals he would want to bring with him to England, though Chelsea would still get final say on potential incomings as they have previously with other head coaches.The confusion over the club’s future is also creating uncertainty within the squad as star players potentially weigh up exits from the club.Eden Hazard Chelsea Manchester United FA CupWidespread reports have claimed goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will look to move on this summer while Eden Hazard has spoken publicly on a number of occasions that he will only make a firm decision on his future once he knows who will be in the dugout next term.The Belgium forward is keen to play more attacking football than under Conte and continues to be linked with Real Madrid despite Zinedine Zidane’s departure from the Champions League winners.The hold-up in appointing a manager also means that deals for Chelsea’s annual army of loanees cannot be signed off on, with the Blues having had 35 players out on temporary deals last season alone.And with owner Roman Abramovich having had to take up Israeli citizenship after being denied a Visa to enter the UK and with plans to extend Stamford Bridge on hold, there is a real sense of uncertainty around one of England’s most successful clubs of the past decade.last_img read more

The Best Insect Repellents to Take the Bite Out of Summer

first_img The Best Food Shows on Netflix to Binge Right Now 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now Editors’ Recommendations Mosquitoes and ticks can turn a pleasant day outdoors into a Biblical plague if you’re not careful. Those little bastards are miniature Nosferatus, coming for our blood and spreading diseases all along the way. The surest method of keeping the bloodsuckers at bay is to use a repellent that includes a decent percentage of the chemicals DEET or picaridin.DEET was getting a bad rap a few years back, but as WebMD reports, it was probably being confused with DDT, a now-banned pesticide.DEET can, however, damage rubber, plastic, leather, vinyl, rayon, spandex, elastic, and auto paint, so be sure to wash your hands before handling anything made of those materials — sunglasses, for instance. It doesn’t hurt cotton, wool, or nylon. To be safe, just use a product with picaridin instead. Another option is to wear clothing that incorporates permethrin, a chemical which can be bonded to fabrics.Health and fitness guru Dave Asprey believes that DEET can cause “adverse effects such as manic psychosis, seizures, and cardiovascular changes.” So if you’re already a fan of his Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil, you can always try whipping up a batch of homemade bug spray, by mixing the product with water, witch hazel, and essential oils. Just don’t try adding it to your coffee.Another point. There are websites that tout the effects of taking Vitamin B supplements, which supposedly makes your body smell less … delicious … to mosquitoes. Studies have shown that this inside-out technique probably doesn’t work. (Editor’s note: The jury is also still out on mosquito repellent foods.)Finally, we address that other scourge of summer, poison ivy (or poison oak or sumac, depending on where you live). Just when you thought you were safe, a quick shortcut through the brush can make for an itchy, painful couple of days or weeks. “Leaves of three, leave it be”…but make sure you’ve got some of these products available as a backup.Sawyer Picaridin Insect repellant Lotion — $9REI shoppers — an outdoorsy lot for sure — give this lotion a five-star rating. It repels ticks and mosquitoes for up to 14 hours and flies and chiggers for up to eight. It’s particularly effective against the breeds of mosquito that live in Central and South America. So keep in mind if a trip to either is in your plans.See ItSawyer Picaridin Insect repellant Lotion Packets — $9We also love these individual packets of the product that make it easy to grab-and-go. Easy to pack for a weekend trip, but also perfect if you’re just driving to a favorite local spot for a hike or picnic.See ItTotal Home Woodland Scent Insect repellant — $6A DEET product that gets high ratings from consumers is this Total Home version from CVS. It’s more of a quick fix, lasting for about two hours, and in an easy to use spray. It’s great for a short outing with the kids.See ItRepel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect repellant Pump — $5The Centers for Disease Control supports using “natural” products with oil of lemon eucalyptus to ward off mosquitoes, but they aren’t sure that these countermeasures work against ticks. It is effective for up to six hours. We’d suggest using when you’re wearing shoes, socks, and long pants. Just be sure to do an all-over body check ASAP to make sure you haven’t picked up any errant ticks on exposed skin.See ItBullFrog Mosquito Coast Sunblock with Insect Repellent — $9We’re always a fan of products that do double-duty. Protect your hide from bugs and the sun’s damaging rays with BullFrog’s aptly named Mosquito Coast Sunblock. It’s DEET-free and should repel mosquitoes for up to eight hours, although the company suggests reapplying every two hours or after swimming to continue sun protection.See ItExOfficio BugsAway Woven Bandana — $12We like a lot of ExOfficio’s travel-oriented clothing, and their BugsAway apparel collection provides a stylish solution to ward off the little bloodsuckers. As its website says, “The built-in insect repellent permethrin provides a carefree outdoor experience, letting you focus on your adventure, not the bugs.” Grab one of these bandannas to wear on your head, around your neck, or give Fido a little fashion flair.See ItL.L. Bean Sea to Summit Bugwear Jacket and Mitts — $40When all else fails, just go old school. This hoodie is a mosquito net that you wear … and not too different from some of the things we saw going down runways during men’s fashion week in Paris.See ItThermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller — $25Go high tech in taking back your camping area from bugs. This Thermacell repeller looks like an Alexa for your backyard. The device provides a 15-by-15-foot zone of safety by using butane to heat up a “mat” of natural insect repellent.See ItNoBugs Blanket — $25A kinder, gentler approach that may be perfect to take to those summer outdoor concerts. The Blanket uses permethrin to provide a protective barrier between you and bugs.See ItIvyX Poison Oak and Ivy Pre Contact — $9According to the manufacturer of this product, it takes less than the equivalent of a grain of salt of urushiol—the “active ingredient” in poison ivy—to cause a reaction in most humans. Smooth on this gel to tighten skin’s pores and provide a barrier against those nasty florae before heading into questionable territory.See ItTecnu Oak-N-Ivy Cleanser — $8So you’re walking back up the bank from the river in your flip-flops when you look down and realize that yes, you are, in fact, walking through a big patch of poison ivy. Get directly to a shower and break out the Tecnu. This cleanser will break down the oily urushiol on your skin and rinse it away. Use it on those flip-flops and anything else that may have touched that demon weed, too.See ItIvyX Cleansing Towelettes — $58Great for camping. Great to keep in the car. These little wonders are an excellent first defense after a poison ivy encounter. The moment you’re in the clear, grab a couple of these and wipe down.See ItIf you’re looking to not only protect yourself against mosquitoes but actually get rid of them entirely, check out our guide to how to avoid them in the first place.Article originally published June 5, 2017. Last updated June 26, 2018. 10 Best Crime Documentaries on Netflix Right Now The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now last_img read more

Five Indians qualify for World Amateur Golfers Championship

first_imgBengaluru: Five Indians, competing at the 11th Sara Futura Karnataka Golf Festival (KGF), have qualified for the World Amateur Golfers Championship (WAGC) to be held in Borneo, Malaysia in October. The winners of KGF, which is an amateur golf championship supported by Karnataka Tourism, earned the rights to represent India at the WAGC. On Sunday on the concluding day of the event, Narender Kudwa won the 21-24 handicap category with a gross score of 40, while Sandeep Malhan (16-20, 41 points), MK Aiyappa (11-15, 41 points), Amit Khansaheb (6-10, 40 points) and David D’Souza (0-5, 39 points) emerged as the overall winners. The KGF, which is an annual event, saw participation from over 500 golfers from across the country. Among the star names that participated in the tournament include former India cricketers Karun Nair, Subramaniam Badrinath, Sujith Somasunder, along with Lakshmipathy Balaji and Venkatesh Prasad.last_img read more

Global Affairs aware of Canadians detained in Syria

first_imgGlobal Affairs Canada says it is aware of Canadian citizens being detained in Syria.The confirmation comes in the wake of a CNN report which spoke to two women – a college student from Toronto and graphic designer from Alberta – who say they recently fled the former ISIS controlled town of Baghouz Al-Fawqani in eastern Syria.Syrian Democratic Forces said more than 20,000 civilians were evacuated from the IS-held area as U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian forces launched a final push to defeat the Islamic State group from a small pocket of land near the border with Iraq.A woman identified by CNN as Dura Ahmed said she left Toronto in 2014 with her husband, claiming she didn’t know anything about ISIS despite studying “English and Middle Eastern studies.”“It was an easy life. It was a city. It was stable,” she tells CNN about her arrival in Raqqa. “You’re there and you’re eating Pringles and Twix bars. You’re just there. You don’t feel like you’re in a war.”The Alberta woman, whom CNN says did not identify herself, also claimed not to know anything about ISIS before arriving in Syria. She also left Canada at the insistence of her husband.“He’s like, ‘it’s obligatory for you to come here. You have no choice, and as your husband I’m telling you to come here.’ And as a Muslim wife you have to obey, even though it was really hard for me to do it,” she tells CNN.Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Richard Walker says given the security situation on the ground in Syria, their ability to provide consular assistance is extremely limited.“Canadian diplomats have established a communications channel with local Kurdish authorities in order to verify the whereabouts of some Canadian citizens,” he said in a statement to CityNews.“Reports of an agreement concerning the repatriation of Canadian citizens from Syria are false.”Even if the two women were able to leave Syria, they would likely face arrest and prosecution in neighbouring countries if they were found to be affiliated with ISIS.U.S. officials have said in recent weeks that IS has lost 99.5 per cent of its territory and is holding onto fewer than 5 square kilometres in Syria, or less than 2 square miles, where the bulk of the fighters are concentrated. But activists and residents say IS still has sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq, and is laying the groundwork for an insurgency. The U.S. military has warned the group could stage a comeback if the military and counterterrorism pressure on it is eased.Files from The Associated Press were used in this reportlast_img read more

King Mohammed VI Holds Phone Call with Rwandan President

Rabat – King Mohammed VI and the Rwandan president, who is also the chairman of the African Union,  “discussed the positive dynamics ad promising prospects in the bilateral relations between the kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Rwanda in all areas.”The meeting comes on the eve of the Extraordinary African Union Summit.In June 2016, King Mohammed VI received Kagame in Rabat. During his visit to Morocco, King Mohammed VI decorated Kagame with the Grand Collar of Wissam Al-Mohammadi, Morocco’s highest national Award of honor, before hosting him to an official iftar (breaking iftar) in observance of the holy month of Ramadan. In October 2016, King Mohammed VI along with a delegation visited  Uganda. During the visit, both leaders charged the signing of bilateral agreements in business, political and social sectors.The delegation that accompanied Kin Mohammed VI explored investment opportunities and partnerships in Rwanda.Among the agreements signed during King Mohammed VI’s visit to Rwanda a Memorandum of Understanding on political consultation mechanism, an air service agreement, an agreement on the exemption of visa and an agreement on security cooperation and tourism.Following Morocco’s return to the AU in 2017, King Mohammed VI expressed the country’s commitment to Africa’s development as a top priority.Kagame is one of the African leaders who welcomed Morocco’s return to the AU.In January, Kagame told Hommes d’Afrique Magazine at the 30th Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa that “with the return of Morocco, Africa becomes greater and stronger.” read more

NGOs to offer fresh hope and perspective to World Summit 2005

“Governments can do a lot in fighting drugs, crime or terrorism, and they should do more. But they can’t do everything,” Executive Director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Antonio Maria Costa told a press conference highlighting a special UN forum to bring together private entities with governments.”We need and require the commitment of society at large, whether it is society understood as the education system, or the places of faith, or places of sport,” he added. NGOs are “essential partners” in the process of “curbing the threats to security.”The forum, in its second day, is sponsored by the UN Department of Information (DPI) and NGOs, and comes a week before the 2005 World Summit, the largest ever gathering of international leaders at UN Headquarters in New York from 14 to 16 September.Former Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande of the UN Mission in Liberia, representing the military point of view, said: “My conviction is that civil society has played a leading role exploring the ills that bring conflict.” It is also their role to “tell the bad guys who are ruling by the sword, to stop doing what they are doing,” he added.One NGO representative at the press briefing, Gareth Evans, President of the International Crisis Group said that on “all key principles,” such as peace building, government use of force, human rights council, arms control, and policy on terrorism, there was very little agreement among UN Members prior to the Summit. “If nothing else, I hope [the results of the forum] can be a wake-up call, a cry of pain from civil society.”Mr. Evans was referring to the marathon discussions by a General Assembly panel that have so far been unable to produce an agreed draft document on issues ranging from enacting UN reform to promoting development to battling terrorism.Speaking at this morning’s session, the UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Anwarul K. Chowdhury, encouraged the NGOs to be more engaged in the development process with the international community. “Your role is to monitor international agreements and commitments, share your findings and create a database detailing the performance of countries. You must participate in the inter-governmental process and help governments achieve their commitments,” he said.Speaking at the conference yesterday, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor called for civil organizations to help deliver people every where to greater freedom and achieve better standards of life by working closely with their governments and the UN.”In no small way, you are the guardians of reform of the international system,” he said. “What is more, I hope you use your voices and your expertise to praise the achievements of the Summit, and, of course to call for more where more is needed,” he added.Also speaking yesterday was UN General Assembly President Jean Ping of Gabon who praised non-governmental and private concerns for their desire to help the international community, and called on them to continue their good work in pursuing peace and the protection of human rights.The forum, “Our Challenge: Voices for Peace, Partnership and Renewal,” is taking place in preparation for the issues to be dealt with by Member States at the 2005 World Summit next week. Over 2,000 civil society groups and activists are attending, along with Member States and UN representatives. read more

Global increase in HIV infection despite a decrease in some countries –

Despite the fact that Kenya, Zimbabwe and some countries in the Caribbean region show declines in HIV infection rates due to behavioural changes, the number of people around the world living with HIV continues to rise past 40 million, its highest level ever, according to a United Nations report released today.The AIDS Epidemic Update 2005, the annual report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO), stressed that increased, long-term HIV prevention and treatment efforts were needed to slow and reverse the epidemic.“We are encouraged by the gains that have been made in some countries and by the fact that sustained HIV prevention programmes have played a key part in bringing down infections. But the reality is that the AIDS epidemic continues to outstrip global and national efforts to contain it,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Dr Peter Piot. “It is clear that a rapid increase in the scale and scope of HIV prevention programmes is urgently needed. We must move from small projects with short-term horizons to long-term, comprehensive strategies,” he added.Among other decreases, the report says that in Kenya adult prevalence rates dropped from a peak of 10 per cent in the late 1990s to seven per cent in 2003, HIV rates among pregnant women in Zimbabwe dropped from 26 per cent in 2003 to 21 per cent in 2004. In those countries and in the Caribbean region (Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Dominican Republic and Haiti), it said there was evidence that the declines were caused by such behavioural changes as increased condom use among sex workers and expansion of voluntary HIV testing and counselling.Despite those decreases, however, infection rates continued to increase in all regions except the Caribbean, with an additional five million new infections in 2005. The 40.3 million people living with HIV is up from an estimated 37.5 million in 2003. More than three million people died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2005, the report says. Of these, more than 500,000 were children.At the same time, HIV treatment has improved markedly over the past two years, with an estimated 250,000 to 350,000 deaths averted this year because of expanded access to HIV treatment.The report emphasizes that a comprehensive response to HIV and AIDS requires the simultaneous acceleration of treatment and prevention efforts with the ultimate goal of universal access to prevention, treatment and care.”We can now see the clear benefit of scaling up HIV treatment and prevention together and not as isolated interventions,” said WHO Director-General Lee Jong-wook. At a UN Headquarters press conference to introduce the report, Jim Kim, Director of the WHO HIV/AIDS Department, emphasized the need for integrated strategies in prevention itself, using all possible modes.He said those modes include abstinence, especially for children, behavioural change when it is relevant, and condom use. Harm reduction – methadone and needle programmes to prevent transmission through intravenous drug use – should also be included.“We’ll never really know for sure exactly what particular intervention led to a particular change in a person’s behaviour. And so what we recommend is that the full range of preventions and interventions must be utilized,” he said.“Any time you take one or the other out of it for ideological or political reasons, you are really putting a country and individuals at risk,” he added. read more

US rapprochement with Cuba creating investment window for Canada ambassador

by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 30, 2016 1:33 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 31, 2016 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email U.S. rapprochement with Cuba creating investment window for Canada: ambassador MONTREAL – Cuba’s rapprochement with the United States is creating a window of opportunity for Canadian business to invest in the island country, its ambassador said Wednesday.Ambassador Julio Garmendia Pena said that despite decades of friendly relations between Canada and Cuba, the lengthy U.S. “blockade” has made many Canadian companies reluctant to invest so as not to risk American sanctions.But he said the more than 50-year-old relic of the Cold War will eventually slide into “the dustbin of history.”“When that happens we’d like to see many Canadian investors,” Pena said during a speech to the Montreal Council of Foreign Relations.He said Canada has underinvested in Cuba’s tourism sector even though more than 1.3 million Canadians vacation on the Caribbean’s largest island each year.Currently, Canada is Cuba’s fourth-largest trading partner. Among its biggest investors is Sherritt International (TSX:S), which has extensive oil and power operations there.Pena said Canada has a “moral advantage” over other countries seeking to do business because it has worked with Cuba in difficult times. But he said there is no financial advantage when competing for business against foreign rivals.The communist government is looking to secure billions of dollars in foreign investment in the coming years and hopes to tap into Canada’s expertise in clean energy, agriculture, mining and biotechnology.In addition, the two countries are enhancing sports and cultural ties. Cuba’s national baseball team will visit this summer for about 20 games to be played in Ottawa and several Quebec cities.Pena said the recent state visit to Cuba by U.S. President Barack Obama has fostered unprecedented interest from potential foreign investors.Delegations from Europe and elsewhere have helped to fill Havana hotels while a growing number of American congressmen and senators have visited for a first-hand look.“Cuba is in fashion,” Pena said. “My suggestion is (investors) come today or tomorrow and not to wait until the embargo is over.”Cuba has changed some laws to encourage investment. No taxes are paid on profits earned in the first eight years and are set at 15 per cent in subsequent years. There is also a free transfer of corporate dividends.However, investors must have some level of ownership partnership with Cuban companies, often 50 per cent. The government also vows to preserve its socialist policies and defend its sovereignty and independence.While relations have improved through Obama’s executive actions, normalization can only follow the ending of the embargo by the U.S. Congress and the occupation of the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, said Pena.He said such dramatic change is inevitable although he wouldn’t say how long he thinks it will take.“The genie came out of the bottle and to put it back would be very difficult for anyone in the United States,” he said. “I even think the visit of Obama helped a little bit to make this process irreversible.”The ambassador declined to weigh in on the impact of the U.S. presidential election, saying Cuba hopes to work with whomever is elected this fall.Meanwhile, Cuba hopes to build upon its strong relationship with Canada by enhancing ties with the new Liberal government and rekindling the historic bond that existed between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s father and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.Pena said he hopes state visits will take place soon, although no dates have been confirmed. read more

In Afghanistans deadliest year civilian casualties top 10000 in 2014 – UN

As Western nations withdrew their military forces and combat support in 2014, UNAMA observed a rise in deadly ground battles. Civilian deaths and injuries from ground engagements, operations and attacks by Pro-Government Forces rose significantly with 921 civilian casualties (336 killed and 585 injured). This is an increase of 141 per cent increase from 2013. An increase in civilian casualties by Anti-Government Elements was also documented with 1,551 civilian casualties (438 deaths and 1,113 injured), up 51 per cent from 2013. Women and children were particularly hard hit by the armed conflict in 2014, the report found, documenting a 40 per cent increase in children casualties with 2,474 children casualties (714 killed and 1,760 injured) compared to 2013. Women casualties increased by 21 per cent with 298 women killed and 611 injured. In speaking with dozens of women from all regions in Afghanistan whose husbands –all civilians – were killed or seriously injured, UNAMA found that women who were left as sole income-providers for their households faced poverty forcing many women to give their daughters in marriage in exchange for debts or to take their children out of school to work. Widowed women were particularly vulnerable to forms of violence from family and community members. The UN Mission had shared a draft of its 2014 Annual Report with the Government of Afghanistan, the Taliban and NATO’s Resolute Support Mission. In its recommendations to all three groups, UNAMA called on Anti-Government Elements to cease carrying out indiscriminate attacks and deliberately targeting civilians. Armed groups must also enforce statements made by Taliban leadership that prohibit attacks on civilians. Meanwhile, UNAMA called on the Government of Afghanistan to cease firing rockets and grenades into civilian areas and enforce efforts to protect its people. It must also disarm armed groups and ensure accountability for human rights abuses. To international forces, UNAMA urged them to ensure all foreign intelligence or security forces take all necessary measures to protect civilians during ground and aerial operations. Since 2009, the conflict in Afghanistan has caused 47,745 civilian casualties with 17,774 Afghan civilians killed and 29,971 injured. Civilian casualties in Afghanistan topped 10,000 in 2014, a 22 per cent increase compared to the past year, reflecting increased ground battles between armed groups and the Government, and a drastic drawdown of Western troop presence in the country, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today. A total of 3,699 civilians were killed and 6,849 injured in 2014. The figures, released today in the Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict and prepared in coordination with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, are the highest number of civilian casualties recorded in a single year since the UN started keeping track in 2007. The report also found that for the first time since 2009, more Afghan civilians were killed and injured in ground engagements than improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Civilian deaths and injuries from ground operations surged 54 per cent in 2014. Parties to the conflict are increasingly using mortars, rockets and grenades, sometimes indiscriminately, in civilian areas. “Rising civilian deaths and injuries in 2014 attests to a failure to fulfil commitments to protect Afghan civilians from harm,” the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom, said today as he presented the report in Kabul. “Parties to the conflict should understand the impact of their actions and take responsibility for them, uphold the values they claim to defend, and make protecting civilians their first priority. We need to see concrete steps and a real drop in civilian casualties in 2015,” Mr. Haysom stressed further. The UNAMA report highlighted that ‘Anti-Government Elements’ remain responsible for 72 per cent of all civilian casualties. Meanwhile, Pro-Government Forces are responsible for 14 per cent of civilian casualties with 12 per cent of that linked to the Afghan national security forces and two per cent to international military forces. Ten per cent of civilian casualties could not be attributed to a specific party and three per cent were caused by explosive remnants of war. read more

FROM THE FIELD Free tutorials in Mali a lifesaver for Fatouma

But listening to local radio one day, she heard about an education programme for girls and young women offered by UN Women. Here’s what happened next. “Leaving school without a diploma meant that I could only find a job as an unskilled worker for the rest of my life” she said. Having failed the national high school exam twice, coupled with expensive school fees, Fatouma had little choice but to drop out to become a cleaner, earning around $17 a month.

Make trespassing a criminal offence to stop travellers moving onto private land

A police officer was bitten by a dog as cops evicted a group of travellers and their caravans from an abandoned leisure centre in West London earlier this monthCredit:Get West London/BPM Media Caravans parked on Cranleigh Common in Surrey Mr Sharma, who ordered the consultation on the law which closed several weeks ago, said: “My view is clear – the law needs strengthening and trespass needs to be made a criminal offence.“This is the case in the Republic of Ireland and we need this change here. It will deter illegal encampments as the individuals concerned will understand they will face criminal law sanctions, rather than civil ones, right from the start.” Government officials have admitted that since 2010 that the number of traveller caravans on authorised sites has increased.A Housing department spokesman said: “The vast majority of the travelling community are decent and law-abiding people, but we are very concerned about unauthorised traveller encampments and some of the anti-social behaviour they can give rise to.“The rule of law must be applied and we are committed to tackling illegal behaviours wherever they occur. We have consulted on the effectiveness of enforcement powers and we are considering the responses before deciding on next steps.” Dozens of Conservative MPs including several former Cabinet ministers are demanding that the Government makes trespassing a criminal offence to stop travellers moving onto private land.The MPs, led by Mark Francois and John Baron, have written to Theresa May and Housing Secretary James Brokenshire urging them to make “acts of deliberate trespass a criminal offence”.They say that people “have a right to expect that the law should be applied equally and fairly to all and they want to see the authorities given additional powers to deal with unauthorised encampments, which are an increasing problem, particularly in the spring and summer months”.The news has emerged days after a police force in Surrey failed to take action to remove a group of travellers who had set up camp illegally in a park in Thames Ditton.The group were eventually evicted by the local council after three days, but left behind significant damage and mess, including “rutted” football pitches from drag racing cars, two dogs, and a water-logged cricket pitch, forcing this weekend’s games to be cancelled.The council also hired a specialist cleaning company to carry out a “cleanse” of the the park’s playground following their stay.  Paul Gregory, 42, a Long Ditton resident who lives opposite the park, agrees with the proposals to criminalise trespass.He said: “It would mean the police could actually do something about it and confront the issue straight away, rather than the long-winded civil process. “There are double-standards to the way travellers are treated and what they are able to get away with, compared to ordinary citizens. A friend of mine recently got fined £80 for dropping some litter on the ground in that park, but travellers can come and do what they like without facing the consequences.”Some 59 Tory MPs – nearly a third of the backbench Conservative party – have signed the letter include former Cabinet ministers John Whittingdale, Sir Michael Fallon and Priti Patel and submitted it to a Government consultation on travellers.The MPs said the new criminal power “would provide a timely method of dealing with unauthorised encampments on private or public land, in contrast to the current powers which are either very limited in scope or require often time consuming recourse to the courts”.The group of MPs met with James Brokenshire, the Housing secretary, days before Parliament broke up for its summer recess last month.The proposal to criminalise trespass was first mooted by the Tories in the party’s 2010 general election manifesto.The MPs’ call has also been backed by Alok Sharma, a senior Work and Pensions minister and a Housing minister until January this year, in his capacity as a MP for Reading West.Earlier this he launched a petition on tackling illegal encampments calling for a change in the law to make trespass a criminal offence.The petition said that “the residents of Berkshire have suffered an intolerable imposition from an increasing number of unauthorised encampments. “The Petitioners therefore urge the Government to introduce legislation to make trespass a criminal offence. “This will strengthen the powers used by the police to deal with illegal encampments, in addition to those already available under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.” Caravans parked on Cranleigh Common in SurreyCredit:BPM Media A police officer was bitten by a dog as cops evicted a group of travellers and their caravans from an abandoned leisure centre in West London earlier this month Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Movember power rankings the top 10 sporting mos week 1

first_imgONCE AGAIN WE’RE fully behind the Movember cause here at HQ and we’re delighted to see sports stars getting into the spirit.But as with last year, it’s not about taking part. It’s about winning.So we’ve ranked ten of the best efforts so far and we’ll track their progress over the rest of the month.If you spot a particularly nice nose neighbour that we’ve missed, let us know and your favourite might break into the top 10 next week.May the best mo’ win.last_img