Leave These Tribes and Join These Instead

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now As a human being, you are part of individual tribes. Some of the tribes are very small, like your immediate family or your high school graduating class. Other tribes are quite large, like your state or country, your political affiliation, or your religion. The place where you work is a sort of tribe that might be large or small, or it might also be a collection of small tribes.Each of your tribes contributes something to your beliefs, how you view the world, and ultimately, what you believe to be good, and right, and true. These tribes can help propel you forward, or they can prevent you from being more, doing more, having more, and contributing more.There are some tribes you should leave, and others you should join. You should leave any tribe that prevents you from growing and join tribes that have something to valuable to offer.Some Tribes You Might ChangeThere is a large tribe made up of people who don’t read books (or listen to them on audio). This tribe isn’t intellectually curious and doesn’t spend much time exploring new ideas or working to understand better the world they occupy. This is a tribe worth leaving to find membership in the tribe of people who read books and who spend time thinking about and discussing significant and meaningful ideas.The tribe that reads books is a tribe worth joining. Reading provides them with a more vibrant, fuller life. The tribe members have a greater understanding of how things work and how to better live their one life, the single theme of all literature when boiled down to its core. The price to join this tribe is about $20 and 6 hours, but the price seems to increase the longer you are a member.Another huge tribe includes people who share the belief that there is nothing they can do to improve themselves or their lot in life. You can identify this tribe by their firmly held belief that they have no agency, no volition, no ability to act on their behalf and change their future. The tribe members here aren’t quick to let you leave the tribe, and they will accuse you of believing you are “too good” for them when you leave, but leave you must.The tribe of people who believe their life is their own is a most welcoming tribe, where you will find more like you. The price for joining this tribe is accepting responsibility for your life, and sometimes it means spending less time with people who drift through life. However, joining this tribe doesn’t have to be a judgment of those with a different belief. Instead, it’s a judgment about whom you will become.Trading Unhealthy Tribes for Healthier OnesOne vast tribe is made up of people who are negative, cynical, and pessimistic. You find the tribe members spread out across many other tribes, including your family, and especially your co-workers. The primary attribute defining this tribe is their ability to believe nothing is good, nothing is right, no one is worth believing, and things are getting worse—and can only get worse. The members are perpetually unhappy.There is another tribe comprised of people who are positive and optimistic. They believe that even when things go wrong, they will turn out to be okay in the end. While the negative tribe sees things are wrong or broken, the positive tribe sees how things can be improved. The first group does nothing to make things better, and this tribe, because it is positive, does what is necessary to improve things.A tribe worth leaving is the tribe of the ultra-political. The ultra-political tribe members share the ugly characteristic of believing anyone with a different set of beliefs is their enemy. They are wholly incapable of seeing another person’s perspective and seek only ideas that confirm their beliefs. You find this tribe everywhere, but they tend to be most active on social media, where the different members argue and insult each other, believing it to be their duty and responsibility.If you should leave the ultra-political tribe, you might consider joining the tribe of people who believe that they can have friends of all political persuasions, and who are more interested in understanding their perspective than trying to argue or insult them out of it. This tribe is small, and it is tiny during election cycles, and the price of entry is very high, requiring you to respect other people’s opinions even when they conflict with yours.A Tribe Called SuccessOf all the tribes you might join, the tribe of people who share the common characteristic of chasing something called “success,” a word with more definitions than can easily be contained in a post like this or a dozen books, is a tribe worth joining. This tribe truly believes they should be more, do more, have more, and contribute more in the course of their life.You can identify people in this tribe by their continued effort to grow and improve themselves. They are also very active, and wherever you find them, they are always involved in projects and initiatives that improve things. Because these two things are true, they tend to create abundance, and they find ways to share with others.The price of joining this tribe is rather high. It requires time and effort in improving yourself. You also have to continue even when you fail and ask for the help of others when you need it (and the tribe called success will help, although they are likely to extract a promise that you pay forward that help when you are able).On BecomingJim Rohn once said you become the composite of the five people you spend the most time with. The influence of your tribes is too important to leave to chance. You are better off choosing the tribes where membership improves your life—and leaving those that no longer serve you. You have to give up who you are to be whom you are becoming.last_img read more

Sharapova throws shade at Wozniacki: Where is she?

first_imgMaria Sharapova, of Russia, serves to Sofia Kenin, of the United States, during the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in New York. APNEW YORK—Maria Sharapova hit back at Caroline Wozniacki over a US Open scheduling row on Friday, saying of her bitter Danish rival: “I’m in the 4th round. I don’t know where she is.”Wozniacki was furious that her second round match was played on an outside court while five-time major winner Sharapova was playing all of hers in Arthur Ashe Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension NBA: Ever improving DeRozan looks to further develop ‘much better’ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief On Sunday, she will face Latvian 16th seed Anatasija Sevastova for a spot in the quarter-finals.But she will need to cut out the errors that plagued her against 18-year-old Kenin, a fellow America-based player who was born in Russia.She was broken three times and her 38 winners just offset 33 unforced errors.“She had really nice words for me in the locker room, which was really nice,” said Sharapova, older than her opponent by 12 years and regarded as an idol by Kenin.“I wasn’t surprised with the way she came out and competed. She was down I believe a few match points in the previous match.“She’s a grinder. She’ll get many balls back. Despite not having the experience, she’s a tough player.” The Danish woman said it was “unacceptable and questionable” for Sharapova, who is playing her first Grand Slam since the end of a drugs ban, to be given the showpiece court.“With regards to scheduling, as you know, I don’t make the schedule,” said Sharapova after reaching the fourth round with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Sofia Kenin of the United States.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’m a pretty big competitor. If you put me out in the parking lot of Queens in New York City, I’m happy to play there.“That’s not what matters to me. All that matters to me is I’m in the fourth round. Yeah, I’m not sure where she is.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police 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 Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Wozniacki, who has never won a Grand Slam, lost her second-round match to Ekaterina Makarova on Wednesday after being scheduled on Court 5 before getting bumped up to Court 10.“When you look on Center Court, I understand completely the business side of things, but someone who comes back from a drugs sentence — performance enhancing drugs -– and all of a sudden gets to play every single match on Center Court, I think that’s a questionable thing to do,” fumed the Danish former world number one.Sharapova, the champion in New York in 2006, returned from a 15-month doping ban in April but was refused a wildcard for the French Open while injury ruled her out of Wimbledon.Her world ranking of 146 meant she needed a wild card to get into the main draw at the US Open.But she has responded to the decision by the US Tennis Association by knocking out world number two Simona Halep in the first round and recovering from a set down to beat Timea Babos in the second.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ View commentslast_img read more

Ronaldo gets off the mark as Juve see off Sassuolo

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo opened his Juventus account with two second-half goals in the Serie A champions’ 2-1 victory over Sassuolo, but substitute Douglas Costa’s red card for spitting cast a shadow over the match.Unspectacular though it may have been, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s first goal delivered a palpable sense of relief around the Allianz Stadium, where the hosts had struggled to create chances against their in-form visitors. His second smacked of a man settling into life in Turin, the former Real Madrid star coolly drilling the ball home after 65 minutes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! A memorable hat-trick seemed certain when a looping cross found Ronaldo unmarked at the far post, but the Portuguese side-footed his volley narrowly wide before missing another gilt-edged opportunity eight minutes from time, and events turned sour when Costa headbutted Federico Di Francesco in the build-up to Khouma Babacar’s consolation and then spat in his face.28 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored with his 28th attempt in Serie A, as in the last Spanish La Liga. Fortuity. #JuveSassuolo— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) September 16, 2018It looked set to be a difficult afternoon for Ronaldo when he missed from just inside the box after six minutes and fluffed a header moments later, his frustration quietly matched by an increasingly underwhelmed home crowd.Andrea Consigli ensured the game remained goalless at the break with a reaction save when Marlon Santos turned Joao Cancelo’s cross towards his own net, the goalkeeper doing well to palm the ball away.The second half was five minutes old when Gianmarco Ferrari attempted to head the ball out for a corner, but instead hit his own post and Ronaldo was on hand to poke the ball over the line from a yard out.With 25 minutes left to play, Emre Can’s pass found Ronaldo in space on the left and he strode confidently into the box before rattling the ball beyond Consigli into the bottom-right corner of the net.Babacar was allowed a free header to pull one back in stoppage time, but it was Costa’s behaviour and subsequent dismissal that really took the shine off Juve’s celebrations.  What it means: Champions at full strength going into EuropeJuve made it four wins from four in Serie A despite leaving the likes of Costa, Juan Cuadrado, Giorgio Chiellini and Miralem Pjanic out of the starting line-up, leaving coach Massimiliano Allegri will have a strong and healthy squad to pick from for the start of the club’s latest Champions League campaign. Pat on the back: In-form Ronaldo can inspire the Old LadyAllegri’s men went into this game having failed to hit top gear in their opening three matches, but as Ronaldo got into his stride in the second half the stadium began to buzz. With the monkey off his back, the 33-year-old cut out his attempts at audacious long-range shots and ambitious passes, instead playing with the kind of poise and composure that will light up Juve’s season if he can maintain his best form.Boot up the backside: Costa madness will enrage AllegriRonaldo will claim the headlines, but Costa will be under intense scrutiny in the coming days and weeks after three appalling incidents in the closing minutes of the game. After swinging an elbow at Di Francesco, he headbutted him right in front of the referee and then spat in the forward’s face. Allegri will be furious at the Brazilian for almost ruining an otherwise thoroughly successful day for his team.Key Opta stats- For the first time in Serie A, Juventus have won all the first four league games for two seasons in a row.- Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first Serie A goal after 320 minutes of playing time. – Ronaldo scored with his 28th attempt in Serie A, as in his last LaLiga campaign.- Juve have failed to score in the first half in five of their last 11 league games.FT – @Cristiano’s brace gives us all three points at the Stadium! #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve #JuveSassuolo pic.twitter.com/EdfuoqwM5u— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 16, 2018Juve travel to Spain for Wednesday’s Champions League Group H clash with Valencia before taking on Frosinone in the league next weekend, while Sassuolo entertain Empoli on Friday. read morelast_img read more

Ohio State Made Sure To Remind Recruits Of Its National Championship At Its Biggest Recruiting Event Of The Year Last Night

first_imgOhio State National Championship banner lit up at their stadium.Ohio State Friday Night LightsThe most important recruiting night of the year took place yesterday for the Ohio State football program. The Buckeyes held “Friday Night Lights,” their annual recruiting event under Urban Meyer that brings dozens of the top recruits in the country to Ohio Stadium for a workout camp that serves as a showcase to OSU’s coaches. The night went well. Ohio State got a couple commitments – a four-star tight end and one of the country’s top kickers – and made sure to remind the high schoolers of what happened this past January. Meyer had the highlights from the inaugural College Football Playoff title game playing on OSU’s jumbotron and unveiled the “2014” championship banner. Ready for an unveiling… pic.twitter.com/L8oS6YpNCF— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) July 25, 2015More of that Urban Meyer testimony #OhioState pic.twitter.com/ycIFS8EBla— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) July 25, 2015Hype video time https://t.co/8vaaXgAlQw— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) July 25, 2015If you’re recruiting a prospect Ohio State wants, well, good luck.last_img read more

Big Ten Head Coach Called Out For Comment About Recruiting

first_imgMinnesota football coach P.J. Fleck walking on the sideline.DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 26: Head coach P. J. Fleck of the Minnesota Golden Gophers look on while playing the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field on December 26, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Minnesota won the game 34-10. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Earlier: Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck is known for his positive attitude and messaging, but recent comments Fleck made about recruiting have drawn some negative reaction.During a Coaches Caravan event this week, Fleck spoke about his policy with accepting verbal commitments. If a player wants to commit to the Golden Gophers, Fleck doesn’t want him visiting elsewhere.Basically, you’re either all-in or not at all.“I have a rule: You commit to me, you can’t go see another place,” Fleck said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “Not because I’m insecure. But if you want to be committed, you’re going to be committed. Too many people teach young people to be committed but also one foot in and one foot out. … You’ve got to be all in.”Or as Fleck termed it: “We have a problem in our society. We don’t have a problem in our program.”Now, Fleck isn’t the only coach to have this rule, though it occasionally backfires when you give kids an ultimatum like that. However, he’s taking some heat for these remarks, as there are those pointing out the coach for being hypocritical.Now do coaches decommitting https://t.co/5U8zNHSbNR— Bud Elliott (@BudElliott3) May 23, 2019Just like when he signed that six-year extension to commit to Western Michigan… https://t.co/d7LOdtZQkm— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) May 23, 2019P.J. Fleck — a man who left Western Michigan for Minnesota two years after signing a six-year contract extension and who flipped six WMU commits on his first day at Minnesota — thinks society has a commitment problem. https://t.co/rt8IYbLnFb pic.twitter.com/AZcY7piPA6— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) May 23, 2019Not to mention that Fleck is notorious for pressuring guys to commit as early as possible.— Barton Simmons (@bartonsimmons) May 23, 2019PJ Fleck has coached at 6 places in 13 years.— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) May 23, 2019Even now, Fleck’s name often comes up as a potential candidate for vacancies around the country.Wonder if his comments will be thrown back in his face the next time he takes a new job.Update: For a look at an alternate take on Fleck’s comments, Ryan Burns, who covers Minnesota for 247Sports, has chimed in.(2/x) Even when Fleck says if you’re committed, “you can’t go see another place”, even that’s not entirely true. Minnesota had multiple commits from the 2019 class take other visits while being committed, and they still ended up becoming #Gophers.— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) May 23, 2019(4/x) It’s a calculated risk the recruit decides to make, as they (the recruit) have to do what’s best for them, as do the college coaches. It’s not personal, it’s just business.— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) May 23, 2019Fleck is entering his third season with the Golden Gophers.last_img read more

Palfinger Expands Its Business through Two Acquisitions

first_imgPalfinger, November 28, 2013 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 Print  Close My location zoom The PALFINGER Group finalized the contracts for two acquisitions. The majority takeovers of Palfinger systems GmbH and the Megarme Group will expand PALFINGER’s portfolio for the shipping and offshore industries as the Group will henceforth provide access and working systems meeting the special demands of these sectors. Moreover, through Megarme, PALFINGER will acquire its first value creation structures in the Arab region, which is a core market for these industries.Both companies being acquired offer special systems for accessing and performing repair and maintenance work on ships and oil rigs, including interior and exterior cleaning, rust and paint removal, recoating, inspection and repairs.With a staff of approx. 50, Palfinger systems GmbH develops and produces innovative technologies in engineering and processing as well as tailor-made customer and project solutions. The advantage of these solutions is that they make work processes faster, more efficient, safer and more environmentally friendly than conventional methods. Very recently, in mid-November, a Singapore company placed a major contract for a volume of approx. EUR 10 million with Palfinger systems GmbH.“The solutions have now reached a degree of maturity that makes them an extremely interesting addition to our portfolio. As innovation leader, we will thus consolidate our presence in the marine sector,” explains Herbert Ortner, CEO of PALFINGER AG. “At the same time, Palfinger systems now needs capacities and structures for production and services in order to be able to exploit the additional potential. We have all this available the world over.”Palfinger systems, which is headquartered in Salzburg, Austria, and operates a manufacturing and assembly plant in Weng im Gesäuse (Austrian province of Styria), has so far been owned by the Palfinger family. Now the PALFINGER Group is acquiring 85 percent of the company, which generated revenue of approx. EUR 1 million in 2012, for a symbolic purchase price of EUR 1. The company’s disproportional dividend arrangement will remain in force until 2025.The Megarme Group, composed of three companies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, specializes in the service business and provides rope access technologies applied by rope access professionals. With approx. 500 employees, the company currently generates annual revenue of EUR 15 million. After the closing, PALFINGER will take over full operational and entrepreneurial control over the highly profitable business of Megarme.Rope access professionals are specially trained technicians primarily assigned to particularly difficult tasks. In combination with the products of Palfinger systems, PALFINGER will provide not only innovative special access products but also the required highly qualified service personnel, making the newly available solutions an interesting alternative to the comparatively expensive and time-consuming scaffolding.The takeover of Megarme also marks another step in the internationalization of the PALFINGER Group, which until now has had no value-creation structures in the Arab countries. Given the strong presence of the shipping industry in this region, it is a particularly important one for the marine business. The Group will also benefit from Megarme’s longstanding knowledge of this market.last_img read more

KMC to complete repair work of damaged roads before Puja

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will complete road repair work on war footing to ensure a hassle-free experience for the Puja revellers in the city.The road on EM Bypass, which has been damaged due to work for the Garia-Dum Dum Metro project, will also be repaired by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) before Durga Puja. Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL), which has been executing work for the Metro project, had allegedly dodged responsibility in repairing the road, claimed Mayor Firhad Hakim, who is also the Urban Development minister. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaSome of the thoroughfares in the city have been badly damaged and potholes and craters have developed, putting the lives of pedestrians and vehicle drivers at great peril. “We will soon take up repair work at some of the major roads in the city, where the top layer of the road has been damaged. We want to complete the work before the Puja this year. We will use cold mix for the repair work since the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked us to refrain from using mastic,” Hakim told reporters on the sidelines of the monthly meeting of KMC. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayHe said that instructions have been given out to put up the name of the contractor carrying out the repair work on a signboard at the working site. It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed KMC to carry out road repair in the city regardless of which road it is and whether it falls under the KMC’s jurisdiction. KMC should repair the roads and then settle the payment from the concerned agencies responsible for the maintenance of those roads. The decision was taken after it was observed that some agencies were indulging in blame game when it came to repair work. “E M Bypass, Taratala Road, Park Circus connector etc. are some of the roads needing repairs,” an official in KMC’s Road department said.last_img read more

Glenn Close To Present Elly Award

first_imgThe Women’s Forum of New York will present The 3rd Annual Elly Awards Luncheon benefitting The Education Fund of the Women’s Forum on Tuesday, June 25 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.The awards, named for Women’s Forum founder Elinor “Elly” Guggenheimer, will honor outstanding women leaders.The Elly Award Recipients (both in attendance) will be:• Maria Cuomo Cole, advocate, activist, filmmaker and Chair of HELP USA• Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of the Paley Center for MediaThe Elly Award Celebrity Presenters (both in attendance) will be:• Glenn Close, award winning actress• Matilda Raffa Cuomo, former New York State First Lady and Founder, Mentoring USAEve Ensler, Tony award-winning playwright, activist and author of Emotional Creature and The Vagina Monologues, will lead a conversation on leadership with the honorees following the awards presentation.“The Women’s Forum of New York is comprised of the most successful women in the city in every professional sector from finance to fine arts. We all know that education is key to success in any field. We are proud to help high-potential women over 35 whose education has been postponed or disrupted because of extreme adversity in their lives. Putting these women back on track to realize their potential is our way of giving back,” said Doris P. Meister, President of the Women’s Forum of New York.“The change that Education Fund grants have on women and their families is truly inspirational. Our awardees redefine for themselves what’s possible and become great role models for their daughters. We believe if you educate a woman you impact generations. Twenty-six years ago we started out small but now, because of the Elly Awards, our education grants are significant and make a real difference. They can truly help high-potential women who have overcome serious hardships realize their dreams,” said Beverly Beaudoin, President, The Education Fund of the Women’s Forum of New York.The Elly Awards will begin at 11:30 a.m. at The Plaza Hotel with a reception & VIP arrivals. The Luncheon and Presentation will be from 12:15 to 2:00 p.m.last_img read more

Sampoor power project to get green nod soon

The NTPC, approached by this reporter for its version, did not send its reply. At present, the total installed power generation capacity of Sri Lanka is approximately 4,050 megawatt (MW), of which the share of coal-fired thermal power plants is 900 MW. On commissioning, the proposed Sampur plant will be next to the 600-MW Norochcholai coal-fired thermal power plant in terms of capacity. The Norochcholai plant has come up with Chinese assistance. The electricity demand in Sri Lanka grows by four per cent to six per cent annually.Sampoor has also been in news for another reason – resettlement of Tamils, who were displaced in 2006 during the Eelam War. The restoration of 818 acres of land to the Tamils in the area was an important issue at the time of Presidential elections early this year and the regime change facilitated it, after overcoming legal obstacles. In August, President Maithripala Sirisena and his predecessor, Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike, went to Sampoor to inaugurate the resettlement formally. But, this development raised questions on the future of the project, as it was originally not factored in to the EIA report, which was submitted to the CEA in February. One more issue – the impact of discharge of coolant water from the plant on the marine eco-system – also came under focus subsequently.“All these issues have now been addressed and we have held discussions with the CEB,” Mr Jayasinghe points out.Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, Anura Wijayapala, who also heads the Trincomalee Power Company Limited [a special purpose vehicle for the project], feels that the project would now have been under implementation had the NTPC done EIA properly about two years ago. The Indian power utility had prepared the initial EIA report, which was rejected by the Authority. Consequently, using a local consultant, another EIA report was prepared. In the process, the timetable for the commissioning of the project was delayed by two years – from January 2018 to January 2020, Mr Wijayapala adds. Though he declines to give any specific time frame for the environmental clearance, he hints that it is only a matter of formality. Decks will be cleared soon for the take off of the 500-megawatt (MW) Sampoor thermal power project, a joint venture involving Sri Lanka and India, with the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) moving closer to giving the much-needed environmental clearance, The Hindu newspaper reported.“At present, the evaluation committee is scrutinising a report on environment impact assessment (EIA). As soon as it is over, our Board of Directors will take a look at the matter, after which the clearance will be given,” U.K.D.G. Jayasinghe, Deputy Director General of the Environmental Management and Assessment Division (EMA) of the CEA, says. Located in the Eastern Province and about 275 km from Colombo, the proposed Sampoor power plant, estimated to cost $ 512 million, will be coal fired. It has been proposed as part of a joint venture between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the NTPC of India on 50:50 basis. An Indian official says there is no stipulation that coal has to be imported from India. read more

Robotics and coding now an option in the Saskatchewan curriculum

Across Saskatchewan, students from Grades 7 to 12 may now see robotics and coding become part of their practical and applied arts classes, due to the province’s launch of a new course curriculum.After running a year-long pilot project in 18 schools, the Ministry of Education has released a curriculum for a new class called Robotics and Automation for Grades 10 to 12. Parts of the curriculum can be modified and brought into existing Grades 7 to 9 practical and applied arts classes.Marc Gobeil, a co-ordinator of learning services for Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, said Bethlehem Catholic High School was one of the pilot schools.“Everything we’ve seen suggests that students love it,” Gobeil said, noting students had the opportunity to design and 3D print their own robots, then code them to battle one another and go through a maze.“It’s already kind of expanded, so this year they’re doing a (Grade) 10 course as well as a 10/11 split, and we’ve also expanded to Bishop Murray High School as well as E.D. Feehan Catholic High School.”Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Gobeil said he is pleased to see robotics and coding integrated into the curriculum with a hands-on approach, and said the division is hoping to expand the program to all its high schools in the near future. Work is also being done to pull parts of the high school classes into existing practical and applied arts classes for Grades 7 and 8 students.“We feel that’s kind of a great combination between a computer science … and practical and applied arts, which is really hands-on, so it’s a really good combination of those two worlds,” he said.“It’s definitely a class where when I walk in I can see huge levels of engagement. I think we’re probably just at the beginning stages of seeing a real kind of growth in this area.”Related Regina students taking unique robot to international competition Thom Collegiate robotics team represents Sask. in world competition The Robotics and Automation curriculum was created as part of the provincial government’s 2017 commitment to grow students’ opportunities to learn coding skills. With the government’s recent renewal of practical and applied arts, it was also recommended that a curriculum for this type of class be created, said Susan Nedelcov-Anderson, assistant deputy minister of education.Nedelcov-Anderson noted some schools across the province were already running their own locally developed robotics and coding courses.Schools in both Regina and Saskatoon have been doing just that. Regina Catholic Schools spokesperson Twylla West said many of the division’s schools already have elements of robotics and coding worked into their programming, and that teachers have responded well to this. Veronica Baker, spokesperson for Saskatoon Public Schools, said the division has been running its own pre-engineering class at Bedford Road Collegiate and electronics class at Walter Murray Collegiate for several years already.“Because there was such interest in the locally developed courses, that’s when the reference committee made the recommendation to use those courses as the base to create provincial offerings in this area,” said Nedelcov-Anderson.The new course’s curriculum is flexible, so teachers can decide to focus on one particular area over another, depending on what students are interested in.“We’re always wanting to ensure that we’re providing students with relevant and engaging curriculum that reflects the world around them and the future,” she said.lgiesbrecht@postmedia.com read more

Security Council speakers laud Saudi proposal other Middle East initiatives

As the United Nations Security Council wrapped up on Wednesday evening its debate on the volatile situation in the Middle East, new ideas for resolving the conflict – including Saudi Arabia’s recent proposal – received close attention from many speakers who stressed the need for the Israeli and Palestinian sides to return to the negotiating table. Asserting that “it is the Arabs who seek peace and good-neighbourly relations and are the ones who made peace a strategic option,” Saudi Arabian Ambassador Fawzi Bin Abdul Majeed Shobokshi said “the initiative of the Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister was welcomed and supported throughout the world.” “The total withdrawal of the Israeli forces of occupation from the territories occupied in 1967 will ensure security and stability and allow the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self-determination and to create its own State, with Jerusalem as its capital,” he said. “A withdrawal from the Sheba’a farmlands and the Syrian Golan Heights will reinforce good-neighbourliness, security and stability.” The Council’s two-hour session on Wednesday night was a continuation of the debate that had begun on Tuesday. During the two days, representatives of some 40 countries took part in the discussion, many of whom expressed support for the Saudi proposal while urging the consideration of other new ideas to end the bloodshed and re-start talks among parties in the troubled region. “Like others, we are encouraged by the reports of new thinking attributed to Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,” said Australian Ambassador John Dauth. “However, violence must be halted and lead to a durable ceasefire in order to rebuild the confidence necessary for a return to negotiations,” he added. Saying his country also appreciated “new and interesting ideas for consideration, such as that put forward by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” Chilean representative Juan Gabriel Valdes urged the international community to continue assisting the parties. The Ambassador of Ukraine, Valery Kuchinsky, said his country saw “merit in proposals coming from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and from European countries, as well as in the so-called Peres-Abu’Alaa peace plan.” Those proposals, he added, “might bring about new prospects for peace, and should therefore be carefully considered by the parties and the international community.” Japan’s delegate, Motohide Yoshikawa, joined others in welcoming “the fact that initiatives have recently been proposed from several quarters, in particular by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.” read more

Annan again calls for restructuring trade in favour of poor nations

“Setbacks in the Doha talks have led some to consider settling for something less than a true development round – or for no round at all. That must not happen,” Mr. Annan said in a message to the UN message to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum in Geneva.“This Forum provides a chance to reflect on the rules of international trade, and how they affect people’s lives. It is a reminder that opening up global trade is essential, if we are to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015,” he added, referring to the targets of slashing a host of ills, such as extreme hunger and poverty, high infant and maternal mortality and lack of access to education and health care, all in the next nine years.The Doha Round has been in limbo for many months, partly over subsidies that wealthy countries grant their agricultural industry and tariff and other measures that impede access to such markets by poorer nations, and Mr. Annan has issued numerous appeals for progress, most recently at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana earlier this month.“I join developing and least developed countries in calling for the round to resume as soon as possible,” he said in today’s message. “Our countries, and our people, need and deserve no less in order to lift tem selves out of poverty. I urge WTO members to go the extra mile (and) make a trade deal possible.” read more

US judge cuts nearly half of 1 billion award against Samsung in

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal judge slashed nearly half of the $1 billion damage award a jury ordered Samsung Electronics to pay Apple Inc. after a high-profile trial over the rights to the design and technology running some of the world’s most popular smartphones and tablet computers.U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh on Friday lowered the damages awarded to Apple Inc. by $450.5 million for 14 Samsung products including some products in its hot-selling Galaxy lineup, saying jurors had not properly followed her instruction in calculating some of the damages.She also concluded that mistakes had been made in determining when Apple had first notified Samsung about the alleged violations of patents for its trend-setting iPhone and IPad.Koh ordered a new trial to recalculate damages for those products.“We are pleased that the court decided to strike $450,514,650 from the jury’s award,” Samsung spokeswoman Lauren Restuccia said. “Samsung intends to seek further review as to the remaining award.”Apple declined to comment on the Koh’s ruling.The ruling reduced Samsung Electronics’ bill to just under $599 million. The judge said the tab will probably increase after the appeals of both companies are resolved.Apple is seeking more damages and Samsung a complete dismissal of the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Washington, D.C.-based court that handles all patent appeals. The new trial to recalculate the damages could also increase the award.Still, the ruling was the second significant setback in Koh’s courtroom since the headline grabbing verdict was announced.In December, Koh refused to order a sales ban on the products the jury found infringed Apple’s patents. She said Apple failed to prove the purloined technology is what drove consumers to buy a Samsung product instead of an Apple iPhone or iPad. Samsung says that it is continues to sell only three of the two dozen products found to have infringed Apple’s patents.After a three-week trial closely followed in Silicon Valley, the jury decided that Samsung ripped off the trailblazing technology and sleek designs used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad. Jurors ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion.Apple filed another lawsuit last year accusing Samsung’s newer line of products of continuing to use technology controlled by Apple. Koh has scheduled trial in that case for early next year. She has implored both companies on several occasions to settle their difference with little success.Apple filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of America’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.The jury found that several Samsung products illegally used such Apple creations as the “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.Samsung has mounted an aggressive post-trial attack on the verdict, raising a number of legal issues that allege the South Korean company was treated unfairly in a federal courtroom a dozen miles from Apple’s Cupertino headquarters. Samsung alleges that some of Apple’s patents shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place and that the jury made mistakes in calculating the damage award.Samsung has emerged as one of Apple’s biggest rivals and has overtaken it as the leading smartphone maker. Samsung’s Galaxy line of phones run on Android, a mobile operating system that Google Inc. has given out for free to Samsung and other phone makers.Apple and Samsung have filed similar lawsuits in eight other countries, including South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain, France and Australia. by Paul Elias, The Associated Press Posted Mar 1, 2013 4:53 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US judge cuts nearly half of $1 billion award against Samsung in patent fight with Apple read more

Week 15 NFL Elo Ratings And Playoff Odds

Remember the Seattle Seahawks? For all 137.6 decibels of noise at CenturyLink Field, they’ve been relatively quiet this year. The Seahawks have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL, rarely blowing anybody out and rarely getting blown out.Seattle’s 24-14 win in Philadelphia on Sunday was typical of its season. The Seahawks faced an excellent opponent — they’ve had one of the league’s tougher schedules — and they won clearly and cleanly, although not overwhelmingly. It was their sixth win in seven games. During that time, the Seahawks have gone from modest underdogs to make the playoffs to 94 percent favorites to do so.Seattle has also nearly regained the top spot in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL Elo Ratings. The New England Patriots, who scored their own impressive victory over the San Diego Chargers, remain in No. 1, but it comes down to decimal points. The Patriots’ Elo rating is 1717.1; the Seahawks’ is 1716.6. The Denver Broncos remain in third and the Green Bay Packers in fourth.But although the Seahawks’ playoff chances were once imperiled, the Elo ratings were never down on their quality. Seattle started the season at No. 1 and fell only as far as No. 3 in the league before moving back into a near-tie for first place. Seattle didn’t fall that far, in part, because Elo factors in a team’s preseason standing. (Preseason estimates are based on where the teams stood at the end of 2013.)Seattle isn’t the only team that testifies to the value of accounting for preseason expectations. Among Elo’s preseason top four, Denver has remained in the top four every week of the season, and the Patriots have remained in the top four during all but two weeks.Meanwhile, teams that looked average to start the year before making a charge up the standings, such as the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs, have since fallen back into the middle of the pack. The only real exception has been the Packers, and Elo has a good excuse for them, because the system doesn’t account for the injury to Aaron Rodgers that harmed their 2013 performance and depressed their preseason rating.The Seahawks still have some regular-season work left: They’d much rather enter the playoffs as division winner, which would allow them to play as many games as possible at CenturyLink Field and probably get a first-round bye. Our simulation has Seattle with a 23 percent chance of repeating as Super Bowl champions if they win the NFC West, but just a 10 percent shot if they enter the playoffs as a wild card team.But Seattle’s situation is a little more favorable than it might appear from the NFC West standings. Although they’re a game behind the Arizona Cardinals, the Seahawks have beaten them once this season and will play them again Dec. 21. If Seattle wins that game, it’ll make up the game against Arizona and also clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker. Seattle rates as a slight favorite in that game even though it’s being played in Arizona, so it’s a slight favorite to win the division, too, per Elo.Here are the playoff odds for the Seahawks and the other 31 NFL teams:No team has clinched a playoff berth so far, although some are all but certain to make it. The Packers reached the playoffs in 98.7 percent of our simulations this week. And both the Broncos and the Patriots made it 99.9 percent of the time.Some other team will make the playoffs in far less glorious fashion. The 5-8 Atlanta Falcons, 5-8 New Orleans Saints and 4-8-1 Carolina Panthers are still competing for the division title in the NFC South; the “champion” will not only make the playoffs, but host a home game. The best the NFC South champion can do is an 8-8 record; there’s a 31 percent chance of that, according to our simulations. There’s a 59 percent chance the division winner finishes with just seven wins, and a 10 percent chance they’ll have only six wins (either a 6-10 record or 6-9-1 in the case of Carolina). For the rundown on everyone else — including this week’s extremely high-leverage games in the NFC East and AFC South — check out Mike Beuoy and Reuben Fischer-Baum’s playoff implications column.Elo point spreadsRecord against point spread: 105-86-3 on season (10-5 in Week 14)Straight-up record: 144-63-1 on season (12-4 in Week 14)Elo has been on a hot streak in Las Vegas; the point spreads the system spits out have been on the right side of the closing Vegas line about 55 percent of the time this year.This is almost certainly just blind luck. The system isn’t as sophisticated as what bookmakers use, and Elo only beat the point spread 51 percent of the time in our backtesting of it — not enough to make a profit after the casino’s take.But this has been a fairly predictable NFL season; for the most part, the teams that looked best when it began look the best now.CORRECTION (Dec. 11, 10:29 a.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly said New England has remained in Elo’s top four every week of the season. It has remained in the top four during all but two weeks. read more

Shortage of sugar on local market possible with Enmore production deficit

The East Demerara Sugar Estate (Enmore) is way behind its production target for the first crop of 2017, and this could possibly result in a shortage of sugar on the local market.This information was relayed by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand, sometime last week.President of GAWU, Komal Chand“There will be a shortage of sugar on the local market, because (at Enmore) they needed to produce 1200 tonnes of sugar from the time they closed the crop some days ago,” Chand disclosed.GAWU was, last week, asked to intervene to resolve a dispute between the workers and the management of GuySuCo, after management had closed the crop and wanted to restart it in the last week of May.The workers had already made up their minds that the crop was closed, and therefore demanded that GuySuCo give them their out-of-crop benefit — holiday with a week’s pay. Although workers agreed to return to work, adverse weather conditions and the poor state of the dams along the cane fields served as major impediments to the estate’s target being met.“They will not be able to make the target to ensure that the local market is adequately supplied with sugar. They are far from realising it…there is a massive deficit at Enmore Estate,” Chand again emphasised.Chand said the only estate that remains in operation at this time is Enmore, and its production as at April 22, 2017 stood at around 8000 tonnes of sugar. Thus, he said, the overall production across the sugar industry would be severely curtailed.Accordingly, GuySuCo’s first crop set target of approximately 74,000 tonnes of sugar may not be realised.“(GuySuCo’s first crop production) most likely would not surpass 50,000 tonnes. (It was) at 49,000 tonnes with only Enmore operating. Production will be significantly curtailed by over 24,000 tonnes. (GuySuCo) might just make 67 percent of the sugar production (target),” Chand explained.It was revealed in early May that Uitvlugt Estate, located on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD), had missed its first crop production target by just over 1300 tonnes. This estate has reportedly produced 7031 tonnes of the projected 8339 tonnes of sugar, representing a shortfall of 1308 tonnes of the projected target.A number of factors were reportedly responsible for the estate’s shortfall in production, two of which were: rat damage to crops, and cane shortage to facilitate production. This publication learnt that much of the canes from several locations on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) could not, in fact, go to Uitvlugt for processing.Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in his 2017 Budget presentation, had indicated that the status quo in the sugar industry could neither be sustained nor maintained. He explained that, as currently structured, the industry would require Government’s support to the tune of $18.6 billion for 2017 and $21.4 billion for 2018.He elaborated that, based on the CoI, it was concluded that any money injected into the sugar industry in its current state was money wasted. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGAWU says Govt should ‘permanently postpone’ closure of sugar estates, save jobsNovember 20, 2017In “latest news”“GuySuCo is a headless chicken without a Board of Directors” – GAWU’s Komal ChandJune 17, 2014In “Politics”GAWU Head “disturbed” at sacking of GuySuCo’s CEO, but admits industry was “lagging”June 5, 2015In “Politics”,The East Demerara Sugar Estate (Enmore) is way behind its production target for the first crop of 2017, and this could possibly result in a shortage of sugar on the local market.This information was relayed by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand, sometime last week.President of GAWU, Komal Chand“There will be a shortage of sugar on the local market, because (at Enmore) they needed to produce 1200 tonnes of sugar from the time they closed the crop some days ago,” Chand disclosed.GAWU was, last week, asked to intervene to resolve a dispute between the workers and the management of GuySuCo, after management had closed the crop and wanted to restart it in the last week of May.The workers had already made up their minds that the crop was closed, and therefore demanded that GuySuCo give them their out-of-crop benefit — holiday with a week’s pay. Although workers agreed to return to work, adverse weather conditions and the poor state of the dams along the cane fields served as major impediments to the estate’s target being met.“They will not be able to make the target to ensure that the local market is adequately supplied with sugar. They are far from realising it…there is a massive deficit at Enmore Estate,” Chand again emphasised.Chand said the only estate that remains in operation at this time is Enmore, and its production as at April 22, 2017 stood at around 8000 tonnes of sugar. Thus, he said, the overall production across the sugar industry would be severely curtailed.Accordingly, GuySuCo’s first crop set target of approximately 74,000 tonnes of sugar may not be realised.“(GuySuCo’s first crop production) most likely would not surpass 50,000 tonnes. (It was) at 49,000 tonnes with only Enmore operating. Production will be significantly curtailed by over 24,000 tonnes. (GuySuCo) might just make 67 percent of the sugar production (target),” Chand explained.It was revealed in early May that Uitvlugt Estate, located on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD), had missed its first crop production target by just over 1300 tonnes. This estate has reportedly produced 7031 tonnes of the projected 8339 tonnes of sugar, representing a shortfall of 1308 tonnes of the projected target.A number of factors were reportedly responsible for the estate’s shortfall in production, two of which were: rat damage to crops, and cane shortage to facilitate production. This publication learnt that much of the canes from several locations on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) could not, in fact, go to Uitvlugt for processing.Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in his 2017 Budget presentation, had indicated that the status quo in the sugar industry could neither be sustained nor maintained. He explained that, as currently structured, the industry would require Government’s support to the tune of $18.6 billion for 2017 and $21.4 billion for 2018.He elaborated that, based on the CoI, it was concluded that any money injected into the sugar industry in its current state was money wasted. read more

Tireless work in securing peace Tributes for Edward Haughey following crash tragedy

first_imgUpdated 23.10pmTRIBUTES ARE BEING paid to Dr Edward Haughey — Northern Ireland’s richest man — after he was killed in a helicopter crash in England last night.Two pilots and a site foreman at one of Haughey’s companies were also killed when the twin-engined AgustaWestland AW139 came down near the town of Beccles in Norfolk.The 70-year-old, who was named as Lord Ballyedmond in 2004, was founder and chairman of Norbrook, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company. He was also a former member of Seanad Éireann, and a sitting member of the House of Lords.Haughey owned Gillingham Hall, a stately home near the crash site. His personal fortune was worth around a billion euros, according to The Sunday Times newspaper’s Rich List 2013.Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore described the businessmen as “a leading employer who brought many high-quality jobs to Newry in particular” whose influence “spanned both sides of the border”.He took a great interest in Northern Ireland where he made his home and, whilst a member of Seanad Éireann, acted as a member of the British Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body and on the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation.Edward Haughey pictured alongside former Taoiseach Charles Haughey at an event in 1996 [Photocall Ireland]Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Paddy Burke said that alongside his success in business, Haughey “will be fondly remembered for his tireless work in securing peace on the island of Ireland”.The Louth-born businessman and politician was appointed to the Seanad by Albert Reynolds in 1994, and again by Bertie Ahern in 1997.Current Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin said this afternoon that his work in the lead up to the Good Friday Agreement in particular marked him out “as an important figure in the progress of peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland over the past two decades”.CrashNorfolk Constabulary received a call at about 7.30pm yesterday from a member of the public who reported hearing the noise of a loud crash.Police were deployed to the scene and began searching the area, with air assistance. All four occupants on board the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene.Police at a cordon on the A146 this morning. (Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images)The BBC is reporting this evening that the businessman’s company Haughey Air Ltd. lodged a writ against AgustaWestland last year over concerns about the in-flight mapping systems of a helicopter supplied by them.A spokesman for AgustaWestland said it could not comment on possible defects with the crashed helicopter, but that the company was investigating.InvestigationThe site of the crash was sealed off as police investigators carried out initial enquiries, while air accident investigators were also sent to the scene.Early reports suggested that the helicopter may have been heading to Northern Ireland, though police refused to comment on its departure point or its planned destination.Local resident Roland Bronk said it had been “very foggy” in the area at the time of the crash.The crash site is 72 kilometres from where a US military helicopter came down during a training exercise in January, killing four crew members.Forensic officers examine the wreckage [Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images]A statement on the Norbrook website confirmed the death of the company’s CEO, and the identities of the other three victims of the crash:It is with sincere sadness and deep regret that the Company confirms our founding Chairman and CEO, Lord Ballyedmond, was one of four people who tragically lost their lives in an aviation accident at Gillingham, Norfolk, UK at approximately 7.30pm on Thursday 13 March 2014.Norbrook management and staff also mourn the loss of their friends and colleagues Declan Small (Site Foreman), Captain Carl Dickerson (Pilot) and Captain Lee Hoyle (Pilot).Our thoughts are with the immediate families and friends of the deceased who have requested privacy at this difficult time.We take enormous pride in our Chairman’s extraordinary legacy in establishing Norbrook as a global veterinary and pharmaceutical industry leader. Management will continue to advance his pioneering vision with a renewed vigor and determination befitting his memory. Additional reporting — Sinéad O’Carroll & AFP.Read: Two men injured in a shooting in BallyfermotMore: Teenager dies after car overturns, three other occupants uninjuredlast_img read more

Kodak on the verge of bankruptcy

first_imgEastman Kodak, the 131-year-old photography pioneer and once the hottest tech firm on the planet, is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy in the coming weeks. The company is making a last-ditch effort to sell patents in order to stay out of bankruptcy court, according to The Wall Street Journal. If sale plans fall through, the firm is preparing a chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would protect it from creditors while it reorganises its business. The New York Stock Exchange has warned it could be de-listed unless its fortunes rebound in the next six months. Kodak once sold 90% of the world’s film but started to struggle from the 1980s as foreign competitors gained market share, and photography entered the digital age. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

EC lags behind own roadmap

first_imgElection CommissionThe election commission has deviated from the roadmap it announced in order to hold the 11th parliamentary polls in a successful manner.The commission had begun working on three major tasks but failed to complete them within its own deadline of December 2017, a review of its pledges suggests.The commission, led by chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda, announced the roadmap on 16 July.It fixed a target of implementing seven tasks to hold the national elections before 28 January 2019, the date of expiry of the current Jatiya Sangsad (national assembly).The commission held dialogue with staholders and took their recommendations for simplifying and updating the election process but it could not publish the recommendations by December despite pledges to do so.The commission was to redemarcate 300 parliamentary constituencies by the yearend but it could not act as it failed to reform electoral law.It was supposed to complete the review of the commission’s legal framework by December.Other targets are making a flawless voters’ list, setting up polling stations, registration of new political parties and auditing of registered parties and empowering through training all involved in the election process.Former election commissioner Sohul Hossain told Prothom Alo, “The reform of law and demarcation of constituencies are very important tasks ahead of the elections. These tasks should have been completed much earlier.”Of the rest, the voters’ list is due to be completed by 31 January, according to official announcement. Setting up of polling stations is supposed to be begin in coming June.Registration of political parties is going on and training of those engaged in electoral process is also progressing gradually, commission officials said.Speaking to Prothom Alo, secretary in charge of EC secretariat Helal Uddin Ahmed said the commission has been working as per the roadmap. “Recommendations derived from consultations with the stakeholders have been finalised. The tasks of reform of law and redemarcation of constituencies would be completed as well,” he said adding that other tasks would be completed in time.In its roadmap, the commission made a special focus on redemarcation of parliamentary constituencies, in view of number of voters and size of the areas, ahead of the next elections.According to the EC secretariat, a primary draft of fresh law was prepared in July but it is not finalised yet. The commission, however, has begum redemarcating the constituencies as per existing law.The commission was supposed to publish the gazette notification after making the redemarcation of all 300 constituencies by December 2017.An EC official said the task of redemarcation is still at an initial stage.Different political parties made a number of proposals for reforming various sections of Representation of People Order (RPO), a key law on elections.The commission is reviewing 31 sections of the order but could not yet prepare the draft for its amendment.Commission officials now say the final draft of the amended RPO will be made ready by this week.Emphasising the importance of timely completion of tasks, former commissioner Sohul Hossain said in case of failure, the commission should explain it publicly, as the people observe performance and role of the commission.Shujan (Shushaner Jonno Nagorik or Citizens for Good Governance) secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said although the chief election commissioner recently claimed the commission is ready to hold early elections, it is lagging behind in terms of its overall preparations. “The slow progress in implementing roadmap shows it,” he added. *This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.last_img read more

340000 yaba tablets seized

first_imgBorder Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members are seen with the seized packets of contraband yaba tablets in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar on 12 August 2018. Photo: UNBMembers of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) seized 340,000 pieces of contraband yaba tablets from Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar district early Sunday.A BGB team conducted a raid in Nazirpara area around 3:30am and seized the contraband pills said BGB headquarter’s public relations officer Mohsin Reza, reports UNB.The price of the seized pills is about Tk 102 million, he added.last_img read more

Amazon Alexa Learns British German Slang

first_imgStay on target Fancy that: Amazon Alexa will soon sound more natural to Brits.The company introduced special words and phrases that the voice-controlled digital assistant can use to converse with UK customers.Last week’s launch of SSML (Speech Synthesis Markup Language) support for speechcons means developers can now build Alexa skills that pronounce common terms in a more homegrown style.The aim, it seems, is to create a sort of persona for Alexa—one that reacts as your grandparents might. From the looks of the speechcons library, Amazon is starting with some old-fashioned sayings; terms that, as an American living in Britain, I’ve never heard used by anyone under the age of 65.Thanks to speechcons, the disembodied voice box can articulate distinctly British exclamations “ace,” “Bob’s your uncle,” “Cheers,” and “oh my giddy aunt” as any native would. (That is, with a charming accent and affable manner.)Speechcons can be triggered using the “say-as” SSML tag (via Amazon)Simply wrap the expression in a “” SSML tag, and Alexa will tack on the necessary chutzpah to words like “bother,” “codswallop,” “pardon,” and “tut tut.”“SSML support on Alexa allows you to control how Alexa generates speech from your skill’s text responses,” developer Dean Bryen explained in an announcement.Amazon rolled out US speechcons in February, proving that the company trained its AI on the entire series of The Simpsons. (It clearly added showings of Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music for the UK version.)It remains unclear whether the company will add more phrases in the future. Personally, I’d like to see some more familiar slang like “chuffed,” “gutted,” “numpty,” and “taking the piss.”A standardized form of markup for Alexa-based responses, SSML already allows developers to add pauses, change pronunciation, spell out a word, and add short audio snippets, among other functions.In February, Amazon rolled out support for US speechcons—a feature now open to developers in the UK and Germany (where Alexa may use phrases like “Da lachen ja die Hühner”—literal translation: “The chickens are laughing”; colloquial meaning: “I don’t believe a word you are saying”).Five other new SSML features available in the US, UK, and Germany include whispering tags and expletive beeps. Alexa Lets You Donate School Supplies to Students in NeedAmazon Alexa Provides NHS Medical Advice in the UK last_img read more