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Their understanding of each other’s game improving with every match, Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan today said he and Rohit Sharma would look to not just emulate but surpass the success of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar-Sourav Ganguly pair.”Me and Rohit have been opening for a long time. We understand each other very well, we know each other’s nature very well. I know what he likes to do in the middle. We are quite comfortable. We both have a lot of strokes so if he plays fast I can play the role of rotating the strike,” Dhawan said in the open media session ahead of the team’s departure for the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.”The way Sachin and Sourav had a long career opening for India, we can also have that in time. Maybe we can break more records. It’s surely going to benefit both of us as well as the country,” he added.Earlier, Rohit had also spoken about emulating the success of the Tendulkar-Ganguly combo.Speaking of his own game, Dhawan said he is in a good space having done well in the recent series against both Australia and Sri Lanka.”I am enjoying that I am scoring runs at the moment. Looking forward to continue in the same way and do better in Asia Cup. I want to continue stretching that good form till the time I can,” he said. Also read: MS Dhoni loses cool over retirement query “It’s a journey, getting more experience and mature with time. With time I am knowing my game better. In bad patches, I tried to stick to those things. I believe in my abilities,” he added.advertisementQuestions on his famed debut Test hundred against Australia still follow Dhawan, who looks back fondly.”I was enjoying the flow. No my instincts had taken over my mindset and it worked for me. I feel it’s a balance of both,” he said.Also present at the media session was rookie allrounder Pawan Negi, who can’t contain his excitement at being part of the national team.”It’s a big thing to share the dressing room with great players. I’m enjoying this moment a lot. I am excited to play and will try my best in all three departments,” he said.
As a bowler, Hastings job would be to out think the As a bowler, Hastings job would be to out think the batsmen who keep on improvising in the shortest version of the game. “These days, the batters are so good, they can hit the ball anywhere in the field. So, youve got to be one step ahead of the batter and also make sure that youve got a lot of variety so they dont know what kind of ball is coming… “Not always the slower balls, the fast cutters that you can bowl into the wicket. Cant bowl the same ball more than once because if you do so the ball will sail over heads for six.” “Having played India over in Australia, our wickets were pretty similar, pretty flat and slow surfaces. India played quite well there. On such surfaces, you have to have a lot of variety, two-three slower balls, execute a good yorker and be able to hit a really good length at the top of the stumps. “So, theres a lot of different factors that come into play when you are playing on flat pitches. Small grounds, flat wickets, its quite tough with little margin for error,” he said. PTI TAP KHS AT
Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming Monday said focusing too much on the big-hitting Andre Russell could backfire as Kolkata Knight Riders also have other quality batsmen in their line-up.”Possibly, there are a couple of challenges. One is you ignore the other six (batsmen). And in a team that has (Chris) Lynn, (Dinesh) Karthik and (Robin) Uthappa you do that at your own peril. We’ve got to be careful we don’t focus overtly on Russell,” he said at the press conference ahead the IPL match against KKR.”Even though he has been so dynamic, there’s still good work done by the other players. So, again, I stress it doesn’t change our preparation to focus on one or two players, but we’re acutely aware of how dangerous these players are so, it’s business as usual for us,” Fleming said.Also Read | One man doesn’t win the IPL: Fleming disagrees with Gambhir’s comment on Kohli’s captaincyWith the flamboyant Jamaican being in red-hot form, Fleming whether it is spin or seam, one had to be accurate against hitters like Russell.”You’ve got to put context around that as well different stages of the game. Look at analysis and match up with what you have, it’s no secret that we’re spin-heavy anyway. So, if there’s an opportunity to change-up to Russell, we will certainly look at it.”Whether it’s spin or seam at the end you’ve to be accurate against hitters like Russell, Dhoni, Pollard and Pandya. It’s no different really, the pressure is always on in the last few overs.”advertisementAlso Read | Watch: CSK players celebrate coach Stephen Fleming’s 46th birthday after beating RRAbout the possibility of CSK using spinners at the death, Fleming said things couldn’t be over planned.”Possibly. But, again, if it’s dewy. Mitch Santner who is one of the best spinners around struggled to hold the ball…So, you can’t overplan…We have to have a free mind and be smart enough to assess conditions.”Fleming said Dhoni and the team had moved away from too much of analysis and data.”We’ve gone a long way away from that. A lot of teams are loading up on analysis and numbers and we’ve actually gone away from that. Sometimes, information overload can be confusing. So, we’re really trying to simplify it and make sure that the time we spend together is meaningful and understood,” he added.Also Read | IPL 2019: Harbhajan Singh’s cooking session with Stephen FlemingAlso Watch | Great to have someone like Chris Gayle in KXIP: KL Rahul
Liverpool Meet Massimo Carrera: The Conte protege plotting Liverpool’s demise Melissa Reddy Liverpool FC Correspondent Last updated 2 years ago 15:00 26/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Liverpool UEFA Champions League Spartak Moskva v Liverpool Spartak Moskva Opinion Jurgen Klopp will be up against a similarly animated character on Tuesday night, with Spartak Moscow’s boss having turned doubters into believers Through the haze of continuous red smoke and the blurs created by the flashes of camera phones, the delirium – dashed with disbelief – was still pronounced.Having earlier scaled a fence outside Otkrytie Arena with a guitar, as well as a “wonder drink” from his hometown of Millerovo, Denis Glushakov removed the scarf from his neck and swirled it triumphantly as chants of “We are the Champions” reached a crescendo amongst the sea of supporters.Spartak 17/4 to beat Liverpool Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Spartak Moscow, after 16 excruciating years, were the toast of Russian football again. Their intoxicated captain drank in those unbelieving scenes on May 7 from the top of a car surrounded by the club’s faithful with goalkeeper Artyom Rebrov.How did the perennial underachievers finally reach paradise, and who was most responsible for their long-awaited triumph?The answer was best illustrated 10 days later – ahead of the trophy presentation – as Spartak’s ultras, the Fratria, unveiled a tifo with the initials of each player on a periodic table and coach Massimo Carrera depicted as the professor that formulated success.Massimo Carrera portrayed as the ‘professor’ of Spartak’s title success pic.twitter.com/FtFFNPNGJ6— Danny Armstrong (@DannyWArmstrong) May 17, 2017 Meanwhile, in London, the genius of another Italian tactician was being celebrated after Antonio Conte, like his compatriot, had lifted a top-flight title in a new country at the first time of trying.The Chelsea boss was as proud of Carrera’s success as his own, not only on account of their shared citizenship, but due to their valued relationship that began as Juventus players and spanned decades.In 1991, both men transferred to the Bianconeri, with Conte joining from Leece and the defender arriving from Bari. Twenty years later, when the former replaced Luigi Delneri at the helm of the club, he appointed Carrera to the coaching staff as technical director, transporting the bond they had earlier shared in the dressing room to the dugout.The 53-year-old, despite being Conte’s senior, studiously soaked up his methods and admitted working alongside his countryman was like “getting a university degree” in management.That proved useful in August 2012 when his former team-mate was dealt a 10-month ban – later reduced to four on appeal – for failing to report match-fixing and Carrera had to fill the temporary void.“I experienced every day for the past year working with him, so I do not have a problem replacing him,” he told journalists at the time, revealing they shared “the same idea of football”.Carrera was unbeaten during his time as caretaker, claiming the Supercoppa Italiana in his first match in charge, before following Conte out of Juve to serve the Italian national team between 2014 and 2016.But when Carrera’s mentor was approached by Chelsea and the Premier League side asked him to also join the staff, a more left-field offer had already attracted the attention of the man who won everything as part of the Bianconeri’s rearguard.“They called me after the Euros,” Carrera told La Stampa. “I was sure I could have gone to Chelsea with Conte, and I very much liked the idea, but this was something different.”At the beginning of the tournament, Carrera met Spartak manager Dmitry Alenichev, who was seeking an assistant to remedy his defence. The club’s owner Leonid Fedun wanted an Italian option to complement goalkeeping coach Gianluca Riommi, and Alessandro Nesta was the priority target.However, the legendary centre-back was not inclined to abandon his ambitious project at Miami FC to play second fiddle in Russia.Riommi then suggested Carrera and, as Alenichev recalled: “We met in Lyon after the game between Italy and Belgium and made an official offer immediately afterwards. Massimo agreed in principle and the contract was signed after the tournament ended.”What happened in the months that followed was “impossible and unimaginable”, as per Carrera’s words.Fedun had unsuccessfully tried to replace Alenichev with his preferred choice Kurban Berdyev in the off-season and, at the first sign of trouble, it was clear he’d try again. Knowing this, a shock defeat to Cypriot side AEK Larnaca in Europa League qualifying saw the manager submit his resignation and Carrera was put in charge for the next two games.That would allow Fedun time to again court Berdyev, who admitted “talks did take place, and they were serious.” However, negotiations disintegrated over the extent of control he would have at the club and Carrera had shown an immediate nous in the role, which led to his position becoming permanent.Over the next months, the football obsessive who had only called time on his playing career at the age of 44, built on the offensive foundations at the club and their possession-based template. Most importantly, though, he added superior protection and organisation without the ball, made Spartak fitter, as well as added a mental steel that saw them strike late on to win games that might have otherwise been surrendered.There was a greater sense of togetherness as even those on the fringes felt like they were core to the cause.Like Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who Carrera will pit his tactical acumen against in the Champions League on Tuesday night, the man from northern Italy is a ball of animation on the touchline.“His passion is always apparent barely sitting on the bench during any game I can recall – and it seemed to resonate with the players, not least Quincy Promes, the No.10 and star man,” Russian football journalist Danny Armstrong told Goal.Spartak Moscow in love with their coach Massimo Carrera – a former protege of – Conte. pic.twitter.com/lqeg67gpIz— The Front 3 (@TheFront3) January 19, 2017“He has a hugely respectable pedigree and instilled belief first and foremost. He has united the terrace with ultras carrying the message, ‘Massimo, one of us’ in appreciation. They believe he gets the ethos of the club.”Spartak fans had become so accustomed to seeing their side dazzle only to dim when it came to the crunch that they only allowed themselves to think about the title when it was within touching distance.Carrera had done in Moscow what Klopp planned to do from his first day at Liverpool – “turn doubters into believers.”While tactically dissimilar, the Reds boss and his counterpart are both advocates of collective responsibility that stretches beyond the pitch, as well as being proactive rather than passive.What approach will Klopp need to combat at the Otkrytie Arena? Carrera usually opts for a 4-2-3-1 formation that can switch to a 4-3-3 – as was the case in the 2-2 draw against Anzhi Makhachkala over the weekend – with an emphasis on constructing play from the back as well as pacy, direct attacks from wide areas. As is the case at Liverpool, the Italian demands flexible movement from his players to disrupt the organisation of the opponents, while defensively, he prefers man-marking and operating from deeper zones.“Spartak haven’t enjoyed the greatest start to the Russian Premier League this season (they are currently seventh – 10 points off top spot), but European football brings the world’s watching eyes and a chance to beat one of the most recognisable clubs on the continent,” Armstrong says of a side sweating on the fitness of Promes, their gold dust.“Klopp won’t be the only charmer in the post-match interview room and everyone in attendance will be treated to a bear-pit atmosphere and swift, attacking football as well as a midfield scrap led by Brazilian warhorse Fernando.“Spartak’s weak spot lies in the back four, where they haven’t adequately strengthened this summer.”Liverpool supporters will find familiarity in the line above, given the club’s failure to recruit a pedigreed centre-half as a priority, and they will bank on the talents of their forward unit to do damage.Klopp, too, will want to perplex Professor Carrera and further disturb Spartak’s equilibrium on Tuesday night. 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Alabama, which finished the regular season undefeated, knocked off Georgia in the SEC title game and dispatched Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, ultimately fell to Clemson in the national title game, 44-16.Clemson supporters, fair or not, believe that their team has not been given enough credit for the win.This year, the two programs are favored to reach the College Football Playoff yet again. If they meet in the event, it’ll be for the fifth year in a row. NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts in the second half of the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)A few months back, during an interview with Greg McElroy of the SEC Network, Alabama head coach Nick Saban offered up an explanation as to why the Crimson Tide were blown out against Clemson in the national title game. In short, Saban blamed it on“internal distractions” for both his players and coaches.Wednesday, at SEC Media Days, Saban doubled down. Saban noted that his players learned from the experience of losing. He also said that “personal numbers” may have been a contributing factor as to what went wrong against the Tigers.Clemson fans will likely roll their eyes at Saban’s words.Saban said the team will learn and get better after the Clemson game. He feels the team had too many distractions at the end of the year. Players need to focus on the team and not personal numbers. #SECMD2019 #ALABAMA #WBRC pic.twitter.com/bp5AMGHvpy— Russell Jones (@russellwbrc) July 17, 2019
India Today Web Desk LondonSeptember 17, 2019UPDATED: September 17, 2019 14:00 IST America’s Sarah Thomas swam the English Channel for a record 4th time. (Twitter: Sally Bundock)HIGHLIGHTSSarah Thomas, 37, swam the English channel for the 4th timeSarah achieved the milestone after undergoing breast cancer treatment a year agoThe American achieved the 84-mile challenge in 54 hours and 13 minutesAmerica’s Sarah Thomas has become the first person to swim the English Channel four times non-stop. The ultra-marathon runner achieved the feat by finishing the 84-mile challenge in 54 hours and 13 minutes.Sarah Thomas’ milestone achievement comes a year after she completed her breast cancer treatment after having diagnosed with an aggressive form of disease in November 2017.After resgistering her name in the record books, the American celebrated her success with champagne and chocolates.Sarah began her challenge in the wee hours of Sunday and finished it about 06:30 BST on Tuesday as she dedicated her success to all the cancer survivors.Extraordinary, amazing, super-human!!! Just when we think we’ve reached the limit of human endurance, someone shatters the records. Huge congratulations to Sarah Thomas on swimming the English Channel 4x continuously!!! pic.twitter.com/kOa9QlereH— Lewis Pugh (@LewisPugh) September 17, 2019″I just can’t believe we did it.” Sarah was quoted as saying by BBC.”I’m pretty tired right now,” she said and added that she has planned to sleep for the day.”Every length had something that was really hard about it. Coming back from France the last time was definitely hard. It took forever and the current pushed me all over.”I got stung in the face by a jellyfish and it wasn’t as cold as I thought it might be but it was still chilly.”Only four swimmers had previously crossed the English Channel three times without stopping. Before Ms Thomas no-one had ever completed a fourth leg.advertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow English Channel Next Cancer survivor becomes first person to swim English Channel four times non-stopSarah Thomas’ milestone achievement comes a year after she completed her breast cancer treatment having diagnosed with an aggressive form of disease in November 2017.advertisement
Owner and designer Allseas and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have signed an agreement to this effect. The plan is for ‘Pieter Schelte’ to arrive in Rotterdam at the end of 2014.‘Pieter Schelte’ is 382 metres long and 124 metres wide. The length, in combination with the massive width, makes this vessel unique.‘Pieter Schelte’ is intended for installing and removing topsides and jackets of large offshore oil and gas platforms in a single lift.At the bow of the vessel is a slot, where topsides are lifted. The vessel is also equipped for laying large pipelines and, with her capacity, will be the largest pipelay vessel as well.“Final assembly of ‘Pieter Schelte’ will take place in the Alexiahaven”The vessel can lift topsides of offshore platforms weighing up to 48,000 tonnes and jackets up to 25,000 tonnes.AlexiahavenFinal assembly of ‘Pieter Schelte’ will take place in the Alexiahaven. The inner lake of Maasvlakte 2 currently provides the necessary space.A special pit will be dredged there for the vessel. In the port of Rotterdam, the 65 metre long beams of the topsides lift system will be installed. The lifting beams are being constructed in Italy and will be transported by ship to the Netherlands.“The construction of ‘Pieter Schelte’ means a great boost for the maritime industry. We’re proud that Allseas is responsible for this innovation and pleased that the port of Rotterdam can make a contribution. It’s in line with the Port Authority’s endeavour to develop the port further as a centre of the global maritime industry”, according to Allard Castelein, Chief Executive of the Port Authority.Press Release; July 11th, 2014 zoom Pieter Schelte‘Pieter Schelte’, the biggest vessel in the world, is to be completed in the port of Rotterdam.
The anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of the Second World War, will be commemorated on Sunday, May 6. “Each year on the first Sunday in May, people from across our province and country take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of the 4,234 Canadian sailors, airmen and members of the Merchant Navy who lost their lives while trying to maintain shipping routes linking North America with Europe during the Second World War,” said Premier Stephen McNeil, who is also Minister responsible for Military Relations. The Battle of the Atlantic lasted 2,075 days between 1939 and 1945. It was a defining engagement for the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Merchant Navy who courageously braved the dangerous and freezing waters of the North Atlantic to ensure vital supplies reached Europe from Canada. “I am honoured on behalf of all Nova Scotians to extend my sincere appreciation to our veterans who fought so bravely during the Battle of the Atlantic for victory in one of the defining conflicts of the Second World War,” added Premier McNeil. In 1943, the Allies gained the upper hand in battles with German U-boats. Though skirmishes continued until the end of the war, anniversary commemorations mark this as the turning of the tide. Commemorative events marking the anniversary will take place at various locations across the province. For information on ceremony locations contact the local branch of The Royal Canadian Legion.
New Delhi: Coal India targets more than 8 per cent growth in production at 660 million tonnes in 2019-20 compared to 607 million tonnes in the last fiscal and plans a capital expenditure of Rs 10,000 crore in the current fiscal, according to sources. The target for revenue from operations (net) has been fixed at Rs 1 lakh crore for FY2019-20, they said. The targets were fixed during a meeting between the Coal Ministry and Coal India (CIL) held recently. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents”CIL had signed the mandatory memorandum of understanding … with Ministry of Coal for its key performance areas for the fiscal 2019-20. Thus the coal production and offtake target for the year 2019-20 is 660 MT …. CAPEX target has been set at Rs 10,000 crore,” sources said. As laid down in the MoU 2019-20, the Maharatna PSU has to ramp up its coal production growth to 8.75 per cent over the previous year. CIL closed 2018-19 with a coal production of 606.88 million tonnes, against the MoU target of 610 million tonne. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefFurther to make the MoU more comprehensive, production efficiency and HR parameters have been included. Also, parameter relating to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) conclave are an added features of the MoU 2019-20. “The MoU for 2019-20 has been formulated on the lines of new DPE guidelines and finalised after discussions with the Pre-Negotiation Committee and Inter Ministerial Committee,” source said. Coal India which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output had set an internal aspirational target of 652 million tonne FY2018-19, but could not go closer to it as things did not fructify as perceived, sources had earlier said.
OTTAWA – A possible clue to how the federal Liberal government will arrive at its annual immigration targets for 2018, to be unveiled Wednesday, can be found in a similar provincial plan unveiled just last week.Quebec — which sets its own immigration targets in connection with the federal government — is aiming to bring in some 51,000 people, a target that is unchanged from 2017.That has observers saying they expect the federal numbers for next year to remain largely in line with the 2017 goal of 300,000 newcomers, though a slight bump is likely.Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen offered no details Monday.“The main priority will be to focus very strongly on the real need of employers, and many sectors of the economy, saying we need immigration,” Hussen said before question period.“We need skilled immigrants to not only come and fill certain jobs, but also create more jobs for everyone else, and prosperity for all of us.”In 2016, the government’s economic advisory council recommended boosting levels to 450,000 over the next five years to address an aging workforce and declining birth rate, both of which are leaving major gaps in Canada’s labour market.But that bumps up against practical considerations, said Kareem El-Assal, a senior researcher with the Conference Board of Canada.“It would require a significant increase in federal government expenditures to hire visa officers to send them overseas and whatnot, and the question is where will the money come from.”The same holds true of a call for the government to set immigration targets for a wider window, not just annually. At the last federal-provincial meetings of ministers responsible for immigration, all emerged united on the need for a multi-year approach. Many eyes are on whether Hussen follows through.Being able to plot out immigration over a longer period of time would lend additional certainty for everyone from employers to refugee settlement agencies, who are among those calling for a three-year planning document.“The challenges and opportunities that immigration provides to this country necessitate a much broader public consultation than one focused on annual levels planning,” said the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance in its briefing note to Hussen on the immigration plan.“We strongly believe that we should be moving beyond annual level plans to multi-year immigration level plans.”Hussen wouldn’t say Monday whether that’s his plan.When the issue was raised with focus groups earlier this year, some respondents said they felt a multi-year approach would give immigrants false hope that if their application wasn’t accepted one year, it might be the next.And backlogs are already plaguing many parts of Canada’s immigration system.For example, the 2017 levels plan called for about 15,000 people to be admitted under the in-Canada asylum system. So far this year, there have been upwards of 35,000 claims filed in Canada, thanks to a surge in asylum seekers at the border — 10,000 of those claims are still pending before the Immigration and Refugee Board.Hussen said Monday that space will be created within the levels plan to address backlogs, but at the same time he also suggested refugee levels will be maintained.That’s sure to be a disappointment to the United Nations, which is also watching the plan closely to see whether Canada increases spaces for resettled refugees. The UN had hoped to see Canada take the lead at a time when the politics in other countries — most notably the U.S. — have led to refugee programs being scaled back.But domestic politics is at play as well, said Jack Jedwab, the executive vice-president of the Association for Canadian Studies.While the same socio-cultural concerns about immigration that dominate political debate around the globe don’t seem to be as much in play in Canada, they still underpin the immigration debate here to an extent, he said, so the government will only go far.“I think they feel that there is still come concern out there about a significant increase and they want to be sensitive to that.”
Advertisement Twitter LACOMBE, ALTA.—Christopher Cattrall, the brother of Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall, has been found dead on his property in rural southern Alberta, according to police.The actress tweeted Sunday afternoon that she and her family were announcing Christopher’s “unexpected passing” — less than 24 hours after she took to Instagram to ask for help in searching for her brother.“At this time we ask for privacy,” Cattrall said in the post. “We want to thank you all on social media for your outpouring of love and support in this trying time.”It is with great sadness that myself and my family announce the unexpected passing of our son and brother, Chris Cattrall. At this time we ask for privacy. We want to thank you all on social media for your outpouring of love and support in this trying time. pic.twitter.com/n4dQAMrTvS— Kim Cattrall (@KimCattrall) February 4, 2018 Police said in a news release Sunday afternoon that Cattrall’s body was found on that property.“The investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death will continue by the RCMP, but preliminary information indicates that his death is not being considered suspicious,” RCMP said in the release.Police said they would not be commenting further on the case out of respect for the family. Kim Cattrall, who was born in the U.K. but spent much of her childhood in Canada, had said in an earlier Instagram post that her brother’s keys, cellphone and wallet were left on a table in the house, and his front door was unlocked and his seven dogs were left alone.THE CANADIAN PRESS Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment RCMP had said the 55-year-old was last heard from on Tuesday, and was believed to have been at his home on a rural property in Lacombe, Alta., at the time. Login/Register With: Advertisement
APTN National NewsA Nova Scotia First Nation has opened a controversial gaming centre on a satellite reserve in the Halifax area while some local residents have opposed the development.The Indian Brook First Nation, also known as Shubenacadie, hopes it brings in some much needed cash.APTN’s Trina Roache has more.
United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guterres is “continually” monitoring the situation between India and Pakistan and his office is available to both parties, his spokesperson has said. Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric was asked if the UN chief had spoken with the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to de-escalate tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian neighbours. “The Secretary General and members of his staff are in touch have been in touch with the parties at various levels. We continually monitor the situation and [are] available to the parties,” Dujarric told reporters here Thursday. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingEarlier this week, Dujarric had said that the Secretary General had not spoken with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan over the situation between the two nations but had expressed his concern to officials on both sides on the need to de-escalate tensions. “We’re fully aware of the situation. The Secretary General has had no calls with those two Heads of Government as far as I’m aware, but he’s had contacts with both sides to express, I think, his concern and the need to do as much as anyone can to de-escalate the tensions,” Dujarric had said at the daily press briefing Tuesday. Also Read – US blacklists 28 Chinese entities over abuses in XinjiangWhen asked if the Secretary General is planning to get involved to try and mediate a de-escalation, Dujarric had said last week that “as always”, the Secretary General’s good offices are always “available should both parties or all parties, depending on the situation, agree to do that”. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February 14.
WASHINGTON — The animated video begins with a photo of the black flags of jihad. Seconds later, it flashes highlights of a year of social media posts: plaques of anti-Semitic verses, talk of retribution and a photo of two men carrying more jihadi flags while they burn the stars and stripes.It wasn’t produced by extremists; it was created by Facebook. In a clever bit of self-promotion, the social media giant takes a year of a user’s content and auto-generates a celebratory video. In this case, the user called himself “Abdel-Rahim Moussa, the Caliphate.”“Thanks for being here, from Facebook,” the video concludes in a cartoon bubble before flashing the company’s famous “thumbs up.”Facebook likes to give the impression that it’s staying ahead of extremists by taking down their posts, often before users even see them. But a confidential whistleblower’s complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained by The Associated Press alleges the social media company has exaggerated its success. Even worse, it shows that the company is inadvertently making use of propaganda by militant groups to auto-generate videos and pages that could be used for networking by extremists.According to the complaint, over a five-month period last year, researchers monitored pages by users who affiliated themselves with groups the U.S. State Department has designated as terrorist organizations. In that period, 38% of the posts with prominent symbols of extremist groups were removed. In its own review, the AP found that as of this month, much of the banned content cited in the study — an execution video, images of severed heads, propaganda honouring martyred militants — slipped through the algorithmic web and remained easy to find on Facebook.The complaint is landing as Facebook tries to stay ahead of a growing array of criticism over its privacy practices and its ability to keep hate speech, live-streamed murders and suicides off its service. In the face of criticism, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken of his pride in the company’s ability to weed out violent posts automatically through artificial intelligence. During an earnings call last month, for instance, he repeated a carefully worded formulation that Facebook has been employing.“In areas like terrorism, for al-Qaida and ISIS-related content, now 99 per cent of the content that we take down in the category our systems flag proactively before anyone sees it,” he said. Then he added: “That’s what really good looks like.”Zuckerberg did not offer an estimate of how much of total prohibited material is being removed.The research behind the SEC complaint is aimed at spotlighting glaring flaws in the company’s approach. Last year, researchers began monitoring users who explicitly identified themselves as members of extremist groups. It wasn’t hard to document. Some of these people even list the extremist groups as their employers. One profile heralded by the black flag of an al-Qaida affiliated group listed his employer, perhaps facetiously, as Facebook. The profile that included the auto-generated video with the flag burning also had a video of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri urging jihadi groups not to fight among themselves.While the study is far from comprehensive — in part because Facebook rarely makes much of its data publicly available — researchers involved in the project say the ease of identifying these profiles using a basic keyword search and the fact that so few of them have been removed suggest that Facebook’s claims that its systems catch most extremist content are not accurate.“I mean, that’s just stretching the imagination to beyond incredulity,” says Amr Al Azm, one of the researchers involved in the project. “If a small group of researchers can find hundreds of pages of content by simple searches, why can’t a giant company with all its resources do it?”Al Azm, a professor of history and anthropology at Shawnee State University in Ohio, has also directed a group in Syria documenting the looting and smuggling of antiquities.Facebook concedes that its systems are not perfect, but says it’s making improvements.“After making heavy investments, we are detecting and removing terrorism content at a far higher success rate than even two years ago,” the company said in a statement. “We don’t claim to find everything and we remain vigilant in our efforts against terrorist groups around the world.”But as a stark indication of how easily users can evade Facebook, one page from a user called “Nawan al-Farancsa” has a header whose white lettering against a black background says in English “The Islamic State.” The banner is punctuated with a photo of an explosive mushroom cloud rising from a city.The profile should have caught the attention of Facebook — as well as counter-intelligence agencies. It was created in June 2018, lists the user as coming from Chechnya, once a militant hotspot. It says he lived in Heidelberg, Germany, and studied at a university in Indonesia. Some of the user’s friends also posted militant content.The page, still up in recent days, apparently escaped Facebook’s systems, because of an obvious and long-running evasion of moderation that Facebook should be adept at recognizing: The letters were not searchable text but embedded in a graphic block. But the company says its technology scans audio, video and text — including when it is embedded — for images that reflect violence, weapons or logos of prohibited groups.The social networking giant has endured a rough two years beginning in 2016, when Russia’s use of social media to meddle with the U.S. presidential elections came into focus. Zuckerberg initially downplayed the role Facebook played in the influence operation by Russian intelligence, but the company later apologized.Facebook says it now employs 30,000 people who work on its safety and security practices, reviewing potentially harmful material and anything else that might not belong on the site. Still, the company is putting a lot of its faith in artificial intelligence and its systems’ ability to eventually weed out bad stuff without the help of humans. The new research suggests that goal is a long way away and some critics allege that the company is not making a sincere effort.When the material isn’t removed, it’s treated the same as anything else posted by Facebook’s 2.4 billion users — celebrated in animated videos, linked and categorized and recommended by algorithms.But it’s not just the algorithms that are to blame. The researchers found that some extremists are using Facebook’s “Frame Studio” to post militant propaganda. The tool lets people decorate their profile photos within graphic frames — to support causes or celebrate birthdays, for instance. Facebook says that those framed images must be approved by the company before they are posted.Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert at the University of California, Berkeley, who advises the Counter-Extremism Project, a New York and London-based group focused on combatting extremist messaging, says that Facebook’s artificial intelligence system is failing. He says the company is not motivated to tackle the problem because it would be expensive.“The whole infrastructure is fundamentally flawed,” he said. “And there’s very little appetite to fix it because what Facebook and the other social media companies know is that once they start being responsible for material on their platforms it opens up a whole can of worms.”Another Facebook auto-generation function gone awry scrapes employment information from user’s pages to create business pages. The function is supposed to produce pages meant to help companies network, but in many cases they are serving as a branded landing space for extremist groups. The function allows Facebook users to like pages for extremist organizations, including al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and the Somali-based al-Shabab, effectively providing a list of sympathizers for recruiters.At the top of an auto-generated page for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the AP found a photo of the damaged hull of the USS Cole, which was bombed by al-Qaida in a 2000 attack off the coast of Yemen that killed 17 U.S. Navy sailors. It’s the defining image in AQAP’s own propaganda. The page includes the Wikipedia entry for the group and had been liked by 277 people when last viewed this week.As part of the investigation for the complaint, Al Azm’s researchers in Syria looked closely at the profiles of 63 accounts that liked the auto-generated page for Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, a group that merged from militant groups in Syria, including the al-Qaida affiliated al-Nusra Front. The researchers were able to confirm that 31 of the profiles matched real people in Syria. Some of them turned out to be the same individuals Al Azm’s team was monitoring in a separate project to document the financing of militant groups through antiquities smuggling.Facebook also faces a challenge with U.S. hate groups. In March, the company announced that it was expanding its prohibited content to also include white nationalist and white separatist content— previously it only took action with white supremacist content. It says that it has banned more than 200 white supremacist groups. But it’s still easy to find symbols of supremacy and racial hatred.The researchers in the SEC complaint identified over 30 auto-generated pages for white supremacist groups, whose content Facebook prohibits. They include “The American Nazi Party” and the “New Aryan Empire.” A page created for the “Aryan Brotherhood Headquarters” marks the office on a map and asks whether users recommend it. One endorser posted a question: “How can a brother get in the house.”Even supremacists flagged by law enforcement are slipping through the net. Following a sweep of arrests beginning in October, federal prosecutors in Arkansas indicted dozens of members of a drug trafficking ring linked to the New Aryan Empire. A legal document from February paints a brutal picture of the group, alleging murder, kidnapping and intimidation of witnesses that in one instance involved using a searing-hot knife to scar someone’s face. It also alleges the group used Facebook to discuss New Aryan Empire business.But many of the individuals named in the indictment have Facebook pages that were still up in recent days. They leave no doubt of the users’ white supremacist affiliation, posting images of Hitler, swastikas and a numerical symbol of the New Aryan Empire slogan, “To The Dirt” — the members’ pledge to remain loyal to the end. One of the group’s indicted leaders, Jeffrey Knox, listed his job as “stomp down Honky.” Facebook then auto-generated a “stomp down Honky” business page.Social media companies have broad protection in U.S. law from liability stemming from the content that users post on their sites. But Facebook’s role in generating videos and pages from extremist content raises questions about exposure. Legal analysts contacted by the AP differed on whether the discovery could open the company up to lawsuits.At a minimum, the research behind the SEC complaint illustrates the company’s limited approach to combatting online extremism. The U.S. State Department lists dozens of groups as “designated foreign terrorist organizations” but Facebook in its public statements says it focuses its efforts on two, the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. But even with those two targets, Facebook’s algorithms often miss the names of affiliated groups. Al Azm says Facebook’s method seems to be less effective with Arabic script.For instance, a search in Arabic for “Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula” turns up not only posts, but an auto-generated business page. One user listed his occupation as “Former Sniper” at “Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula” written in Arabic. Another user evaded Facebook’s cull by reversing the order of the countries in the Arabic for ISIS or “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”John Kostyack, a lawyer with the National Whistleblower Center in Washington who represents the anonymous plaintiff behind the complaint, said the goal is to make Facebook take a more robust approach to counteracting extremist propaganda.“Right now we’re hearing stories of what happened in New Zealand and Sri Lanka — just heartbreaking massacres where the groups that came forward were clearly openly recruiting and networking on Facebook and other social media,” he said. “That’s not going to stop unless we develop a public policy to deal with it, unless we create some kind of sense of corporate social responsibility.”Farid, the digital forensics expert, says that Facebook built its infrastructure without thinking through the dangers stemming from content and is now trying to retrofit solutions.“The policy of this platform has been: ‘Move fast and break things.’ I actually think that for once their motto was actually accurate,” he says. “The strategy was grow, grow, grow, profit, profit, profit and then go back and try to deal with whatever problems there are.”___Barbara Ortutay reported from San Francisco. Associated Press writer Maggie Michael contributed to this report.___Follow the authors on Twitter at https://twitter.com/desmondbutler and https://twitter.com/BarbaraOrtutay__Have a tip? Contact the authors securely at https://www.ap.org/tipsDesmond Butler And Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a regional arm of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), called today for the elimination of industrial trans fats from food supplies throughout the Americas in order to prevent heart attacks. Citing “conclusive evidence” that consuming trans fats increases the risk of heart disease and possibly the risk of sudden cardiac death and diabetes, nutrition and public health experts convened by PAHO said reducing such consumption by just 2 per cent to 4 per cent of total calories would prevent an estimated 30,000 to 225,000 heart attacks in Latin America and the Caribbean.The negative effects of trans fats “are completely avoidable through good education and information,” said Dr. Ricardo Uauy, President of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences and chairman of a task force on the issue.Trans fats are found primarily in foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils, whose texture and longer shelf-life make them attractive to food processors, but which have harmful effects on human health, according to the experts. Research has shown that trans fats contribute to heart disease by raising levels of “bad cholesterol,” lowering levels of “good cholesterol,” and damaging the cells in the linings of blood vessels, contributing to inflammation and blockage and leading to heart attacks.The PAHO task force suggested several measures to speed up the process of eliminating trans fats from food in the Americas, including eliminating industrial trans fat from food supplies and promoting unsaturated fats as an alternative. It also recommended that governments consider mandatory labelling of trans fat content in foods, and that public health advocates work with industry to speed the phasing out of trans fats and to promote healthier oils and fats in foods.The experts noted that several countries have begun to take action to reduce or eliminate industrially produced trans fats. Canada and the United States both require labelling of trans fat in processed foods and recommend that consumers reduce trans fat consumption to as little as possible. Meanwhile, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Paraguay and Uruguay are all considering proposals to reduce trans fat consumption by their populations. 7 June 2007The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a regional arm of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), called today for the elimination of industrial trans fats from food supplies throughout the Americas in order to prevent heart attacks.
Toronto’s main stock index continued to push higher Thursday as Wall Street veered lower on heightened interest rate expectations from the U.S. Federal Reserve.The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 65.32 points to 15,454.92, with rising energy and financials shares among the key gainers.Following Wednesday’s announcement that the Fed remains on course to raise rates one more time this year and three times in 2018, interest-sensitive names on the TSX have benefited, said portfolio manager Kash Pashootan.“Banks stocks are having a good couple of days here given that higher interest rates help their net interest margins,” said Pashootan, who works at First Avenue Advisory, a Raymond James company.“So although the announcement came from the U.S. it had a spillover effect in Canada.”South of the border, banks and industrials were among the few bright spots on U.S. stock indexes as modest gains from a day earlier were wiped out.The Dow Jones industrial average was down 53.36 points to 22,359.23. The S&P 500 index lost 7.64 points to 2,500.60 and the Nasdaq composite index gave back 33.35 points to 6,422.69.“You’re seeing a hangover effect from yesterday’s Federal Reserve meeting and comments,” said Pashootan. “Really, the take away of course is that if there were any doubts that rates were going to continue to rise, that’s been removed off the table.”As a result, he said, that’s having a bullish effect on the U.S. dollar and putting downward pressure on the loonie.The Canadian dollar was trading at an average price of 81.04 cents US, down 0.44 of a cent.Pashootan said the fact that the market has been fairly boring and inactive in the United States “is a good thing because it’s taking the time needed to digest the news.”“If you think about monetary policy in Canada compared to the U.S., it’s been quite different in the sense that the U.S. has done a better job at speaking ahead and preparing the markets for higher rates,” he said.“The Bank of Canada didn’t prepare the markets as well in advance and you’ve seen the result of that in the Canadian dollar being up double digits in the last six months.”In commodities news, the November crude contract shed 14 cents to US$50.55 per barrel and the October natural gas contract was down 15 cents to US$2.95 per mmBTU.The December gold contract dropped $21.60 to US$1,294.80 an ounce and the December copper contract declined three cents to US$2.93 a pound.Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter
“The Prime Minister and I take every opportunity to raise Canada’s concerns with respect to the need for progress on reconciliation, accountability and respect for human rights in Sri Lanka”, Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird said last month. “Canada calls on the Sri Lankan government to finally put the people of that country first”.MP Seeback extended his thoughts and prayers towards all those that have been affected by the latest events in Sri Lanka and encourage the international community to call on the Sri Lankan government to implement measures to ensure the protection of human rights, statement from the MP’s office said. Another Canadian MP has raised concerns over the situation in Sri Lanka, particularly in Jaffna.Kyle Seeback, Member of Parliament for Brampton West, expresses serious concern over the continued detention of the Jaffna University students in Sri Lanka. “Continuing arrest, harassment and intimidation of university students is unjustifiable. I urge the Sri Lankan authorities to exercise restraint, respect peaceful demonstrations and release the students from Jaffna University”. “Freedom of speech, association, and independent judiciary are pillars of any democracy. The recent threat to these pillars of democracy in Sri Lanka is a serious concern to me and my constituents from Sri Lanka,” said MP Seeback. Recently Patrick Brown, the Member of Parliament for Barrie in Canada, had expresses serious concerns over the recent threats to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly in Sri Lanka.“On November 28, the beating of a reporter in Jaffna, harassment by Government of Sri Lanka officials towards independent media outlets and searches of journalists without warrants all serve to stifle the freedom of the media,” he said in a statement.
He said it is important to have an objective approach and extend equal treatment to all countries when fulfilling the assigned mandate. With regard to High Commissioner Pillay’s reference to the last days of the armed conflict, Prof. Peiris stated that the Sri Lanka military was involved in the largest hostage rescue operation in contemporary history. It is factually known that the LTTE ruthlessly annihilated people trying to escape from their clutches. While noting that Ms. Pillay too had called on Sri Lanka to end military operations, the Minister stated that if Sri Lanka had acceded to that call the present ground realities would have been different as a responsible government steps had to be undertaken to safeguard the Sri Lankan people not heeding to calls of some external elements.The Minister also referred to the High Commissioner’s concern over the inclusion of the police under the newly created Ministry of Law and Order, instead of the Ministry of Justice. He indicated that her stated position is fundamentally unacceptable and does not move in accordance with the established procedures of Sri Lanka. The Minister pointed out that the Police Department has consistently been under the Ministry of Defence and only briefly, 2002-2004, under an Interior Ministry. It has to be noted that most countries too have Police under Ministries other than Justice, and further, he indicated that the creation of the new Ministry of Law and Order under which the Police Department is now placed is in line with a LLRC recommendation. (Colombo Gazette) On the aspect of accountability, the Minister highlighted the action taken by the law enforcement authorities and cited the instances of some members of the Special Task Force having been indicted in relation to the killing of five students in Trincomalee and status of investigations with regard to the Muttur incident involving the ACF workers. He further explained the difficulties encountered in identifying the perpetrators due to the conditions prevailing at the time of incidence, with regard to the ACF case. The Minister informed however that mobile phone evidence is being pursued in this regard, and therefore the case remains open. He drew a parallel with the case of the assassination of the former Foreign Minister late Lakshman Kadirgamar, where conviction has not been possible due to the lack of evidence.Addressing allegations of disappearances, Prof Peiris explained that the Ministry of Justice has formulated a draft amendment to the Penal Code to criminalize enforced disappearances, also formulated amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act in order to give effect to recommendations in the National Human Rights Action Plan. He outlined the difficulties in identifying the missing due to instances involving persons having migrated to other countries holding multiple identities, and those host governments not divulging their details. This fact aggravates the difficulty in compiling correct statistics. It was indicated that the repeated use of baseless and arbitrary figures in respect of disappearances, eventually acquire authenticity in the face of the massive propaganda that is being carried out against the Government of Sri Lanka. The government says there is no culture of impunity in the country and in instances where evidence is available action to conduct legal proceedings have been instituted irrespective of the status of those accused, which include politicians, public officials and officers of the law enforcement agencies.External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris said this when he met visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay at the Ministry of External Affairs today. Minister Peiris reiterated to High Commissioner Pillay Sri Lanka’s firm resolve to work with the United Nations system. However he said that there is a perception in the country about the lack of objectivity and fairness in the treatment meted out to Sri Lanka. The Minister added that Sri Lanka accepts constructive and justified criticism but resents vicious and baseless positions which are incessantly repeated.
With the unanimous adoption a of new resolution, which extends the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) through 31 October, the Council expressed its continued strong support for the efforts of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his Personal Envoy, James Baker III, and similarly for their peace plan for self-determination of the people of the territory as an “optimum political solution” on the basis of agreement between the two parties. Later Thursday, a spokesman for the Secretary-General said Mr. Annan “is gratified that the Security Council has adopted a resolution expressing its clear and strong support” for his efforts and those of Mr. Baker, and for the peace plan.“Given the unanimous nature of this resolution, he invites the parties to act constructively and to work with each other and with him and his Personal Envoy towards acceptance and implementation of the peace plan,” the statement said.In a report to the Council in late May, Mr. Annan recommended that the 15-nation body endorse the proposed peace plan – which combines elements of the draft framework agreement and agreed elements of the settlement plan. The report was issued on the heels of Mr. Baker’s tour of Western Sahara, during which he presented the plan to representatives of all the parties, including Morocco, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO Front), Algeria and Mauritania. Representing something of a compromise, “[the plan] provides each side some, but not all, of what it wants,” Mr. Annan wrote in the report. It envisages a period of transition during which there would be a division of responsibilities between the parties before the holding of a referendum for self-determination within four to five years. And unlike the settlement plan, the new peace plan does not require the consent of both parties at each and every step of its implementation. Concerned that a lack of progress in settlement of the dispute remained a source of potential instability in Western Sahara and obstructed the economic development of the Maghreb region, the Council today called on all the parties and the States of the region to cooperate fully with the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy. Under a related provision of the resolution, the Council reaffirmed its call on the POLISARIO Front to immediately release all remaining prisoners of war in compliance with international humanitarian law. The Council also reaffirmed its call on Morocco and the POLISARIO Front to continue to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to resolve the fate of the persons who are unaccounted for since the beginning of the conflict. It reiterated its call on the parties to work with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the implementation of confidence-building measures and continued to urge the international community to provide generous support to UNHCR and the World Food Programme (WFP), in order to help them overcome the deteriorating food situation among the refugees. Video of the Security Council meeting