US To Unleash H-1B Visa’s Biggest Change; Indian Govt. Will Have To Intervene Now

first_imgAs per fresh reports coming in, US Govt. has made up its mind to implement what analysts are terming as H-1B visa’s biggest ever change.Now, the effect would be so huge, that Indian Govt. will have to intervene now.Now, the effect would be so huge, that Indian Govt. will have to intervene now.Read it at Trak Related Itemslast_img

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Ricky Rubio traded from Wolves to Jazz for 1st-round pick

first_imgREAD: NBA: Paul goes from Clippers to Rockets in blockbuster dealOther targets, if the Wolves can clear room, include J.J. Redick and Paul Millsap.Rubio has been at the center of trade rumors for years, and one finally came to fruition.Rubio was drafted in 2009, but did not come over from Spain until 2011, electrifying a stagnant franchise with his enthusiasm and no-look passes while also suffering through losing season after losing season. Teaming with Kevin Love, Rubio had the Wolves in position to make the playoffs in the Western Conference as a rookie when he tore the ACL in his knee in a game against the Lakers in March 2012.Rubio also missed 60 games in 2014-15 with a severely sprained ankle that required surgery. The two major injuries affected his ability to work out during the summers, when players often make the biggest strides in developing their games.READ: Garnett will kill for his teammates, says Rubio Finally, in year No. 6, Rubio started to show signs of his potential. Over the last 2 1/2 months of the season, he averaged 15.0 points and 10.3 assists while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3-point range, helping to take some of the scoring load after Zach LaVine went down with his own torn ACL.The performance was validating for a player who had been criticized during most of his NBA career for his poor shooting, and for an owner who had backed him through all the injuries, all the shooting struggles and through the heartbreaking death of his mother during the 2015-16 season. Glen Taylor and Rubio had grown close over the years, and Taylor very much wanted to keep Rubio as the passer with the new nucleus of Butler, Towns and Wiggins.The constant rumors were strain on Rubio, especially this season when Thibodeau took over as coach and president of basketball operations.Thibodeau had long been known to prefer point guards with more of a scoring mentality and had success with those types of players — Derrick Rose, D.J. Augustin, Nate Robinson — in Chicago. As the rumors heated up in February with talks with the Knicks centered on a Rubio-for-Rose swap, the Spaniard thought his time in Minnesota was coming to an end. Thibodeau ultimately decided to pass on the deal. Rubio wanted a conversation with Thibodeau to seek clarity on the issue, and perhaps receive a vote of confidence, but that never occurred. Once the season ended with a disappointing 31 victories and the 13th straight trip to the lottery, Rubio quietly let it be known to the organization that he would welcome a change of scenery if they felt there was a better point guard for Thibodeau’s system.After six straight years of losing, he joins a top-flight franchise on the rise. If the Jazz can hold on to Hayward and make a few more moves, they will be considered an upper tier Western Conference team.Rubio’s defensive prowess should mesh well with coach Quin Snyder and center Rudy Gobert, and his playmaking will be a big boost for a team with young talent on the wings. China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. What ‘missteps’? Ricky Rubio #9 and Zach LaVine #8 of the Minnesota Timberwolves talk during a free throw in the second half against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 13, 2016 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Adam Bettcher/Getty Images/AFPMINNEAPOLIS — The Ricky Rubio era in Minnesota is over and it didn’t take long for the Timberwolves to find a replacement.The Wolves sent Rubio to the Utah Jazz on Friday to clear cap space for a big run in free agency, then moved quickly to reach agreement with free agent point guard Jeff Teague on a three-year, $57 million deal, a person with knowledge of the agreement said.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera MOST READ LATEST STORIES Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend The Jazz are looking to bolster the roster with hopes of convincing All-Star free agent Gordon Hayward to return and build off last season’s playoff run. Utah reached the postseason for the first time since 2012.READ: Hayward starting his free-agent tour as West gets tougher Rubio’s arrival likely means the end of George Hill’s run in Utah, though general manager Dennis Lindsey said Wednesday that Hill remained a top priority. Hill averaged a career-high 16.9 points after being acquired from Indiana last summer. Injuries, however, limited him to 49 games and caused Hill to miss the final three playoff games against Golden State.The deal means Minnesota can clear as much as $32 million in cap space to make a run at several free agents to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and the recently acquired Jimmy Butler.They started with Teague, a more consistent shooter at point guard than is Rubio, which makes him a better fit for Tom Thibodeau’s system. Teague averaged 15.3 points and a career-high 7.8 assists for the Indiana Pacers last season. He turned 29 last month and fits with the philosophy of ramping up the development curve for a team that has had a baby-faced core for the last three years.ADVERTISEMENT Hayward starting his free-agent tour as West gets tougher The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be signed until July 6.READ: Paul George heading to Thunder, Griffin stays with Clippers FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Jazz sent a protected future first-round pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Timberwolves in exchange for Rubio, the Spaniard who has struggled with injuries at times over his six years in Minnesota. Utah received the pick when it traded Enes Kanter in a three-team deal in 2015.The two sides agreed to the move hours before free agency opened. The Jazz needed to make the deal before July 1 or would have lost the salary cap room necessary to pull it off. View commentslast_img read more

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Hashflags, the new cool on Twitter for 2014 World Cup

first_imgHashflags are the new phenomenon on Twitter. A concept, appearing in its second avatar on the occasion of the football world cup in Brazil, has taken over fans on the popular social media platform.A hashflag allows football fans to display a country’s flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by a three-letter country code. The feature lets fans express the love for their team through an emoticon. #BRA, for instance, when mentioned in a tweet, will automatically put a Brazilian flag after #BRA in a tweet.Twitter has reintroduced its popular hashflags, allowing fans to display their countries flag by simply putting a hashtag followed by the three letter country code.Shakira, who sang ‘Waka Waka’, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature. Twitter launched hashflags in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but it did not catch much attention.The Indian flag, sadly, does not have a hashflag yet because this feature is currently restricted to the 32 participating teams in the football world cup.Shakira, who sang Waka Waka, the official 2010 World Cup song, was among the first users of this popular feature.Clicking on the hashflag code in a tweet takes a user to the team’s official Twitter account, with the exception of Iran which has blocked Twitter. The team’s official Twitter account lists statistics and information of the team.This world cup, Twitter will be tallying all the tweets containing hashflags and unveil the “World Cup of Tweets”. The winner will be the country with the most number of hashflags tweeted.advertisementlast_img read more

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Mother’s Day: Fraser-Pryce, Felix get golds at worlds

first_imgShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, of Jamaica with son Zyon after winning the gold medal in the women’s 100 meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Only moments after Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce zoomed past the finish line Sunday night, she scooped up something more precious than gold.Her 2-year-old son Zyon came down to the track to join her for the victory lap. What a fitting way to celebrate the Jamaican speedster’s fourth and hardest-earned 100-meter title at world championships.ADVERTISEMENT Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical “What she’s done is amazing,” Felix said. “She’s had a hard road, too. She keeps encouraging me. Her first year wasn’t the best, but her second year, she’s better than ever. Women are amazing and she’s leading the way.”Fraser-Pryce said she sat on her bed and cried the day she found out she was pregnant. Not too much after that, she heard people saying it might be time to quit.“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” she said. “I knew how I felt and I knew I wasn’t ready to go. I had something left to do, and I stayed focused on the goal.”And that, in many ways, has been the point of this year for her, for Felix, for any woman who has ever been told it’s over once she decides to start having kids.Felix spent more than a decade cultivating a reputation as a classy champion, but a very private person. When she went public with her issues with Nike, it served as a tipping point to the movement begun earlier in the summer by Alysia Montano in track, and members of the U.S. women’s soccer team, who were fighting a similar battle on different turf for equal pay during their run to a World Cup victory.ADVERTISEMENT Eumir Marcial leads PH boxing team in SEA Games “For 10 weeks, I couldn’t lift weights (while lying) on my back,” Fraser-Pryce said. “And mentally, it’s even harder because you’re 30, you’re having a baby, the females are out there running fast. You wonder if you can come back. For me, I just worked really hard.”Felix’s baby came two months prematurely and spent around a month in the neonatal intensive-care unit.“It puts things in perspective,” Felix said.Any doubts about what this night was all about were more than put to rest as Fraser-Pryce circled the track, with Zyon resting his head on her shoulder.So many Jamaican victory laps in the past — whether by Bolt or Fraser-Pryce, who now has a total of eight world golds to go with two from the Olympics — have been topped off with Bob Marley tunes to fuel up a crowd on its way to a party.This time, it was a selection from “The Lion King” playing over the PA system as the sprinter they’re now calling the “Mommy Rocket” exited stage right with her son in her arms.The song: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. This jewelry designer is also an architect LATEST STORIES “A victory for motherhood!” Fraser-Pryce said.Sure is. And if 2019 has been the Year of the Mother in track and field, then Sunday was Mother’s Day.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40Only moments before Fraser-Pryce — this time with her long hair arranged in a rainbow-pastel pastiche — blasted past the field in a season-best 10.71 seconds, new mom Allyson Felix surpassed none other than Usain Bolt with her record 12th gold medal at worlds. This one came in the brand new mixed relay, in which two men and two women team up for four trips around the track.Felix was among the Americans who banded together in protest this summer, getting Nike to change a long-standing policy that stopped payments to pregnant athletes in this sport. Her 10-month-old daughter, Camryn, was with her at the stadium. Felix said she got goose bumps watching Fraser-Pryce cross the finish line first .12 seconds ahead of Dina Asher-Smith of Britain. All of it eventually made a difference — not only in the terms Nike was willing to rework in its endorsement contracts for elite athletes, but in the message it sent about equality.“I think everything I went through this year … it just brings it all back that it’s so much bigger than myself,” Felix said.There were others competing in the quarter-full stadium Sunday night, including Christian Taylor, who won his third straight triple-jump world championship.And pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia, who cleared 4.95 meters to beat American Sandi Morris for the gold. Sidorova is competing as a neutral athlete because of Russia’s doping problems and will receive her medal Monday night with the IAAF’s “anthem,” not Russia’s, playing in the background.Another mother won gold in the women’s 20-kilometer walk early Monday morning. Liu Hong of China took the 2017 and 2018 seasons off to have a child before returning triumphantly in 2019. She led a Chinese podium sweep.Another gold medalist was Courtney Okolo — Felix’s 25-year-old relay teammate.“It’s definitely an inspiration to all women,” Okolo said of the 33-year-old Felix. “You see the journey she’s been on this year, and now you’re seeing a lot of women can do that and come back successfully. I know that when the time comes for me to have kids, it’s something I can do, as well.”Between them, Fraser-Pryce and Felix have piled up a combined 27 medals at world championships over the past 14 years. They are, by almost any measure, the two most dominating sprinters of their time.Even so, these two golds are destined to stand out for them, mainly for the work they put in simply to make it back to the track.On top of the normal stresses of pregnancy, both women delivered via cesarean sections that ravage the core muscles critical for sprinters trying to burst out of the blocks. Becoming his own man Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? MOST READ Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers View commentslast_img read more

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Bengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri voted best player of I-League

first_imgBengaluru FC skipper Sunil Chhetri, who scored seven goals in the just-concluded edition of the I-League football tournament, has won the most coveted Hero of the League award, it was announced on Tuesday.Mohun Bagan’s Debjit Majumder, with eight clean sheets, won the Best goalkeeper award of this season.Bagan’s Anas Edathodika, who recently made his international debut, edged others to win the ‘Jarnail Singh Best Defender’ of the league award while Alfred Kemah Jaryan of Aizawl FC was adjudged as the Best Midfielder.There was very little competition for the Best Striker award as Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka of Shillong Lajong grabbed the award, thanks to his tally of 11 goals in 18 matches.’Best Emerging Player of Hero I-League’ award was inducted by the AIFF this season to encourage the youngsters and it was Jerry Lalrinzuala (DSK Shivajians), who grabbed the award this season.Khalid Jamil, who mentored Aizawl FC to their historic I-League victory, was bestowed with the ‘Syed Abdul Rahim Best Coach Award’.Meanwhile, Churchill Brothers FC Goa, who made a comeback to the fray after a hiatus, won the ‘Fairplay Award’ of Hero I-League 2016-17.DSK Shivajians FC and Bengaluru FC shared the ‘Best Organiser Award’ this season on the basis of points awarded by the respective AIFF Match Commissioners.last_img read more

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Confident of podium finish in both CWG, Asiad: Thingalaya

first_imgBy SS RamaswamyMumbai, Oct 27 (PTI) Young Mumbai high hurdler and national record holder Siddhanth Thingalaya has set his sights on a podium finish at next years Commonwealth Games in in Australia as well as the Asian Games in Indonesia.Prior to these two multi-sport events, 6-foot-3-inch tall Thingalaya has the chance to run and prove his credentials in the 60 m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships scheduled in Birmingham, in March next year.He claimed that he has already achieved the qualifying mark of 7.70 seconds.”I am definitely sure about getting medals in the Commonwealth as well as the Asian Games after having seen the earlier winning times. I am slowly improving,” said Thingalaya, who would be 27 as he heads into the top three events of 2018.Thingalaya ran in this years World Athletics Championships in London but couldnt make a mark and blamed lack of sufficient preparation time as he hit many hurdles during his race.”I am a 110m specialist, the first athlete to go for world championship this year as no one has done it in 110m (from India) earlier.”I and my coach (American Gary Cablayan) have to rectify a few mistakes ? from start of the race to its end including between hurdles that happened in the World Championship for which I did not have enough time to prepare,” said the Mumbai hurdler, who is supported financially by his parents.His father has retired and his mother, also a bank employee, is still in service, Thingalaya said.advertisement”I have also done the qualifiers for the World Indoors scheduled in March and I am among the early qualifiers (7.70 secs). I have done the same done in Seattle and I will be competing again there in January, before the World Indoors and CWG,” said Thingalaya, who started training for indoors in California, constantly improving upon his timing.”I am hoping to get my times even better. A podium finish in the World Indoors may be difficult, but I can make the finals,” said Thingalaya, who rued that it clashed with the Federation Cup meet in Patialia.”I am not sure whether there is any qualifier just after the World Indoors. Its an experience to run with world level athletes. I am focusing on it. Its unfortunate it clashes with the Federation Cup.”I need to concentrate on World Indoors for international exposure as they are the same who will show up in the Tokyo Olympics,” he said.Thingalaya is not in the Government-supported TOPS and is hoping to get into it following his request to the Athletics Federation of India.”I am not in TOPS. I have approached AFI, lets see. They said they will consider my case. They have to put forward my case to TOPS at the next meeting.”He said he was with the Bengaluru-based JSW for two years before being left out in 2014 and had approached Mumbai-based OGQ a month ago without tasting success. PTI SSR KHS KHSlast_img read more

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FIFA takes charge of Uruguay FA

first_imgMontevideo, Aug 22, 2018 (AFP) – Football’s world governing body FIFA has taken control of the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) after the organisation was plunged into chaos following the sudden resignation of president Wilmar Valdez last month.A letter from FIFA reported in local media said the body had set up a “regularisation committee” aimed at restoring order to the AUF.The FIFA committee would be responsible for managing the affairs of the FA through to February 28, 2019 and would revise the organisation’s statues and arrange new elections.Uruguayan football has been in crisis since July 30, when president Valdez, who had favourite to win a new term in a vote the following day, abruptly resigned.Valdez stepped down after the emergence of mysterious audio recordings just before his re-election bid.Although the exact content of the recordings is unknown, media said they contained comments about sports administrators, a member of the government, sports journalists and supporters.One of Valdez’s campaign rivals said the recordings were “slightly compromising Wilmar’s image.”Valdez, however, has denied the recordings were responsible for his resignation.”This decision has been motivated solely by family and personal reasons that have nothing to do with the context of the current election,” he said.”I want to stress that I was under no undue pressure, threats or extortion in making this decision.” (AFP) APAAPAlast_img read more

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SC extends protection from arrest to Chidambaram till Thursday in INX Media

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday extended till tomorrow the interim protection from arrest granted to former finance minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). A bench of Justices R Banumathi and A S Bopanna heard arguments advanced by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who said that Chidambaram was trying to play “victim card” and prevent ED from exercising its right to arrest him in the case. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “This is not a witch hunt as alleged by them. We have material to show that it is a serious case of money laundering. We have collected cogent materials in the case,” Mehta told the bench, which would continue hearing arguments in the case on Thursday. The apex court is hearing a plea filed by Chidambaram who has challenged the August 20 verdict of the Delhi High Court denying him anticipatory bail in the INX Media corruption and money laundering cases lodged by the CBI and the ED. “A ghost is sought to be created by playing the victim card,” Mehta said while opposing grant of anticipatory bail to Chidambaram.last_img read more

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The Latest May to speak to UK lawmakers Brexit vote looms

first_imgBRUSSELS — The Latest on the debate over Britain’s impending departure from the European Union (all times local):12:20 p.m.British Prime Minister Theresa May will make an emergency statement to Parliament about Brexit, amid reports that a crucial vote on her EU divorce deal will be postponed.The House of Commons Speaker’s office says May will make the previously unscheduled statement at about 3:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. EST).The announcement came as May held talks with her Cabinet about the next steps in the Brexit process. The House of Commons is due to vote Tuesday on whether to accept or reject the Brexit deal, and signs point to a big defeat for the prime minister.May’s office said the vote was definitely going ahead, but the BBC and other outlets reported it would be delayed.___9 a.m.The European Union’s top court has ruled that Britain can change its mind over Brexit, boosting the hopes of people who want to stay in the EU that the process can be reversed.The European Court of Justice ruled Monday that when an EU member country has notified its intent to leave, “that member state is free to revoke unilaterally that notification.”Britain voted in 2016 to leave the 28-nation bloc, and invoked Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty in March 2017, triggering a two-year exit process.Article 50 contains few details, in part because the idea of any country leaving was considered unlikely.The Luxembourg-based ECJ said that given the absence of any exit provision in Article 50, countries are able to change their mind in line with their own constitutional arrangements and that such a move “reflects a sovereign decision.”The British government is free to do so as long as no withdrawal agreement has entered force.___Lawless reported from London.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Rain and Cold Sweep Morocco Today

Rabat – Rain and cold weather are making their comeback today in most of Morocco, says the National Meteorological Directorate.Clouds and stormy showers will sweep over Souss, Chiadma, Abda, Doukkala, southern High Atlas as well as the northern and southern provinces.In the afternoon, clouds will become dense with rain and thunderstorms on the north, the reliefs of the Atlas, the western plains, the east, the Mediterranean and the south-east slopes and will be moderate to strong on the north of the High Atlas and the Rif at night. Snowfall on the reliefs of the High and Middle Atlas will reach more than 1,600 m.Strong winds are forecasted on the northern and central plains, the east, the Saiss, the reliefs of the High and Middle Atlas and the southeast.Minimum temperatures will  range from -04 to 02 ° C on the reliefs of the Atlas, from 02 to 07 ° C on the Oriental, the Rif, the Saiss, the plateaus of phosphates and Oulmes and the southeast, from 07 to 12 ° C on the interior plains, the Mediterranean, Loukos, Gharb, Chaouia, the plains of Tadla, Rhamna and the northeastern provinces of the South and 12 to 16 ° C elsewhere.Maximum temperatures will be around 08 and 13 ° C on the reliefs of the Atlas and the plateaus of phosphates and Oulmes, 13 and 20 ° C on the north, the center, the interior plains, the Oriental, the Saiss, the southeastern slopes and the north of the southern provinces and between 20 and 25 ° C over the rest of the southern provinces.Mediterranean waters will be calm, while the coast of the Atlantic will be agitated. read more

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Google Celebrates Moroccos Independence Day

Rabat – Like every year, Google honored Morocco’s Independence Day with a new doodle featuring Morocco’s red and green flag waving.Besides the Moroccan flag, the doodle and Google signs have been rendered in light and dark brown color, which symbolize the color of earth and stability.Read Also: Independence Day: Importance of November 18 in Morocco’s HistoryMorocco celebrates its independence on November 18 which marks the end of the French and Spanish colonial rule. In 2017, Google celebrated Morocco’s independence day with a doodle featuring the outstanding architecture of Ksar Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate. The letters of the word Google were also featured with red and green to symbolize the colors of the Moroccan flag. read more

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UN agency hails draft law in Ireland that would speed asylum for

31 January 2008The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed a draft law in Ireland that would speed up the asylum process for people seeking protection in the country. The United Nations refugee agency has welcomed a draft law in Ireland that would speed up the asylum process for people seeking protection in the country.The new Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill offered “a unique opportunity to strengthen Ireland’s existing asylum system by introducing a single asylum procedure,” said Manuel Jordão, Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ireland.The draft legislation, which must be tabled in parliament, would bring Irish law in line with the European Union’s asylum directives while simplifying the asylum process. The current multi-stage system, criticized by Ireland’s Department of Justice as far too lengthy, would enable decision-makers to examine grounds for protection with wider scope to make a ruling at the initial and appeals stages of the asylum process.Mr. Jordão said the bill would enhance the quality of asylum decisions, greatly reduce the risk of gaps occurring in the assessment of asylum claims, speed up decision-making and reduce the time asylum seekers live in accommodation centres. read more

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Talisman Energy reports unexpected billiondollar loss in fourth quarter

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Talisman Energy reports unexpected billion-dollar loss in fourth quarter by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 12, 2014 4:14 am MDT CALGARY – Talisman Energy (TSX:TLM) posted an unexpected US$1-billion net loss in the fourth quarter, reflecting the reduced value of its North Sea operations, which have been a long-running headache for the Calgary-based oil and gas producer.The asset and goodwill impairments totalled US$826 million after tax for the quarter, much of which was related to its European offshore activitiesThat included a $277-million charge on its U.K. North Sea joint venture with China’s Sinopec, “as a result of negative reserves revisions influenced by poor reservoir and asset performance, increased decommissioning cost estimates and higher development and operating cost estimates.”Since taking over as CEO in 2012, Hal Kvisle has been steering Talisman in a more focused direction, concentrating on the Americas — North American shales and Colombian oilfields — and Asia Pacific. Talisman has announced $2.2 billion in asset sales since then and said Wednesday that it aims to shed another $2 billion over the next 12 to 18 months.The North Sea assets, which are mature and prone to operational upsets, are not seen as core to Talisman’s new strategy.“So the best case scenario is that we convey our ownership interests to somebody else that sees that as a longer-term game,” Kvisle said in an interview Wednesday.“It’s not a bad game. It’s just that it takes a lot of capital and we can’t afford to do the North Sea as well as North America, Asia Pacific and Colombia.”“So we’ve chosen to focus on the other areas and the best-case outcome is that we have a smooth exit and turn the North Sea over to somebody else that’s committed to it,” he said.John Stephenson, a portfolio manager at First Asset Investment Management, said earlier this week that the market was expecting the North Sea writedowns. He said it would be best for Talisman to get the ugly news out of the way and move on.“It’s all been a disaster for them and that’s the problem for the stock,” Stephenson said.“Any kind of action on the North Sea, even if it’s ugly, is better than just a continued slow drip, drip, drip of problems.”Last year, the company also booked an after-tax impairment expense of $252 million on conventional dry natural gas properties as it lowered its long-term outlook for natural gas prices while raising its expectations for costs in some areas.Talisman shares rose two per cent to close at $11.92 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Its fourth-quarter net loss, reported in U.S. currency, amounted to 98 cents per share. A year earlier, Talisman posted a fourth-quarter net profit of $376 million, or 37 cents per share.It also reported a loss from operations of $116 million, or 11 cents a share, widening from an operating loss of $107 million, or 10 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.Analysts had expected Talisman to break even on an operating basis and have a small net profit equal to four cents per share, according to estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.Talisman is looking to sell down part of its position in Alberta’s Duvernay shale to a potential partner.“Our land position in the Duvernay is so large that there’s no way that Talisman could fund the full appraisal and development of that Duvernay position,” Kvisle said.“So, if we go it alone, we maybe only ever work our way through half the land, whereas if we could bring in a partner, between us, we can work the whole spread and I think that’s the better value for us at the end of the day,” he said.While a recent run-up in natural gas prices adds some optimism to what has been a weak deal-making environment in Western Canada, Kvisle said he’s not getting his hopes up.“Things continue to be slow and I think that’s just going to be the reality for a little bit longer yet.”Talisman may also look for deals in the semi-autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan, where it has a potentially huge oil discovery, as well as processing infrastructure in the massive Marcellus shale formation in the northeastern United States. However, the company isn’t holding its breath for the North Sea to contribute much towards reaching its divestiture goals.Talisman has set a capital budget of $3.2 billion, about the same as last year but down 20 per cent from 2012.It lowered its general and administrative expenses — in part through layoffs — by 20 per cent over the past year and is aiming for a further 10 per cent reduction in 2014.Pressure for a quick-turnaround at Talisman mounted in October when activist investor Carl Icahn began amassing a seven per cent stake in the company. Two representatives from Icahn’s firm joined Talisman’s board of directors in December and Kvisle described his company’s relationship with Icahn as “constructive.”Kvisle also dismissed as “complete misinformation” a media report out of London last month that French utility GDF Suez had made a $17-billion takeover bid for Talisman, which was rejected. The two firms had discussed assets in the North Sea and other non-core areas, but nothing more, he said. GDF’s CEO also denied the report.Follow @LaurenKrugel on Twitter. read more

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Parents retrace late daughters roundtheworld trip to meet Tongan baby girl she

After dinner with Meleane, the couple made their final stop at Paradise Hotel in Ta’anea, which Dr Clark had stayed at during her trip.”As I slowly shut the door to room 115 [where she had stayed], I felt a strong sense of personal closure,” Mr Clark said.”We had followed Lisa’s footsteps though her diaries, we had seen what she wanted us to see, we had touched on her foreign experiences.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. She told her father on her deathbed: “Dad, I don’t want to be forgotten.”The trip, from December 15, 2018 to January 17, 2019, saw Mr and Mrs Clark travel from Chandler’s Ford, Hants, to Macquarie Island near New Zealand to photograph rare Royal penguins, the New Zealand Northlands, and the Tongan Island of Vava’u, where the baby was delivered. Lisa holding baby MeleaneCredit:Solent News Roger Clark with Meleane, the baby girl delivered 21 years ago Writing about the delivery in her journal, Lisa said: “I went to the hospital and after a lot of waiting around I delivered my first baby and it weighed 9lb 12oz.”It was all a bit nerve wracking but I loved it. It was the mother’s eighth baby – she was 40 – and it was a little girl this time.”The lady was very proud though and even named her after me.”After a visit Ta’anea hospital where the child was born on January 28, 1997, a village resident recognised the mother from the Clark’s photograph and directed them to the family’s house.Mr Clark said that, after a halting introduction, they had managed to communicate with the Tongan family via one member who spoke English, eventually being introduced to the 21-year-old girl, who is now called Meleane. Roger Clark with Meleane, the baby girl delivered 21 years agoCredit:Solent News Dr Clark, who worked as an A&E consultant, was 26 when she was sent to train in Tonga by her London medical school in 1997, and wrote letters to her parents recommending places for them to stay. Lisa Clark in room 115 of the Paradise Hotel, Tonga Lisa Clark in room 115 of the Paradise Hotel, TongaCredit:Solent News Lisa holding baby Meleane “We had to prove to them we were friendly and honest, and we ended up having a wonderful connection with Meleane and the family.” Meleane, who was delivered by Lisa Clark  Meleane, who was delivered by Lisa Clark Credit:Solent News “I really felt very humbled to meet the family,” said Mr Clark. “I knew, for me, it was a really important moment and I wanted to make this girl feel special, but I thought about it from her angle – we were just some tourists with some loose connection to her. Parents who have travelled the world in memory of their late daughter have retraced her steps to Tonga to find the first baby she ever delivered.Roger and Lynette Clark, who are in their 70s, followed entries in the travel journal kept by their daughter Lisa, who died aged 40 of ovarian cancer in October 2012.In 2016, they travelled 8,000 miles to photograph the same breed of penguin that featured an old postcard from Lisa from her holiday in Australia, then made the trip a second time after realising they had captured the wrong bird.They have now completed a mission to meet the baby girl Lisa, a doctor, delivered 21 years ago during her medical training in Tonga. Armed with just a name and a picture of the mother and baby after the birth, Mr Clark spent a month trying to trace the girl before embarking on the month-long trip.He contacted genealogy experts, the hospital where the baby was delivered, the Ministry of Tourism in Tonga and the Tonga Registry Office, even posting on Facebook, before finally getting the name of the girl’s village, Ta’anea, from the Tonga High Commission in London. read more

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The scientific reason your earphones always get tangled

first_img The US is building a case against Iran in the attacks on Saudi Arabia, but Trump is in no rush to act SpaceX is trying to buy a hamlet inside its Texas rocket-launch site because it ‘did not anticipate’ there’d be any ‘significant disruption’ to residents who live there A car plowed through the main hall of Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, New York 16-year-old Greta Thunberg met with Obama and chided senators, saying they’re not trying hard enough to fight climate change IT HAPPENS TO everyone who owns an iPhone: you reach into your bag or pocket to listen to some music or take a call, and your earbuds have conspired against you.They’ve tangled themselves into a knot so vicious that you risk snapping the wire to get them undone (especially the little thin wires that go to each earpiece).It happens to all earbuds, not just Apple’s, but iPhone tangles seem more visibly conspicuous because their wires are white.Strangely, the knots even occur when you coil them carefully before putting them away. Unless they’re on that plastic spindle that came with the box — and no one ever keeps that — those headphone wires will knot themselves on a daily basis.It turns out that there is a reason this happens, and it has been the subject of scientific research. iPhone earbud tangles are a function of the length of the wire and the amount of “agitation” the wire is subjected to. When the two are plotted against each other — length versus agitation — the rate of knots and tangles obeys a statistical pattern that describes a curve.A paper titled “Spontaneous knotting of an agitated string” by Dorian M. Raymer and Douglas E. Smith of the University of California at San Diego Department of Physics demonstrated this phenomenon.It revealed that a cord of less than 46 centimeters in length (about one foot. six inches) will almost never tangle itself when sealed inside a rotating box for a period. But between 46 centimeters and 150 centimeters (about five feet), the probability of a knot forming rises dramatically.With a cord longer than that, the probability of a knot forming reaches a plateau of 50%. It turns out that the odds of getting a knot do not go higher because the cord wedges itself inside the shape of the box and that prevents further tangles from forming. Raymer and Smith performed 3,415 trials to demonstrate this.Here is what that curve looks like:Apple’s iPhone earbuds are 139 cm long and thus right at the 50% tangle-rate-sweet-spot at the top of the curve.In other words, if you place your earbuds in a bag the odds of them tangling into a knot as you carry them around are 50%, at least.“At least” because earbuds are, of course, a Y-shaped string, and thus the knotting frequency is confounded further. (Raymer and Smith didn’t look at strings with more than one branch, but anecdotally I can confirm that the tangle-rate is pretty high.)Finally, here is a schematic showing how a cord that starts off neatly coiled — you don’t just stuff them in there, do you? — quickly becomes tangled inside a rotating box, even though there is no gremlin inside tying them into reef knots. It shows that one end of a wire only has to cross another part of the wire twice in order to start spontaneously knotting itself:That last part is perhaps the most magical of all: The research shows that your earphones are indeed spontaneously knotting themselves. Sure, it’s because of their length and the agitation of the container they’re in. But the knots really do form as a matter of physics, not because of your personal lack of neatness.Though Apple has shipped its white in-ear headphones with every iDevice since the iPod in 2001, Apple most recently updated its earbuds — now called EarPods — in late 2012. Hopefully Apple will pay attention to the science of tangling — and its own patent application filed in 2011, which proposed thicker wires to prevent bending and looping — when it decides to release new earbuds at some point in the future.Looking for a simpler smartphone? This could be what you’re looking forlast_img read more

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Wexford set up Limerick quarterfinal with nervy win over Waterford

first_imgScorers for Waterford: Colin Dunford 2-1, Pauric Mahony 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1’65), Austin Gleeson 0-3, Jake Dillion 0-2, Stephen Molumphy and Shane Walsh 0-1 each.WEXFORD1. Mark Fanning (Glynn Barntown)2. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)3. Matthew O’Hanlon (St. James’)4. Keith Rossiter (Oulart the Ballagh)5. Andrew Shore (Parnells, Dublin)6. Eoin Moore (Oulart the Ballagh)7. Ciaran Kenny (Buffers Alley)8. David Redmond (Oulart the Ballagh)9. Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers)23. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn)11. Podge Doran (Oylegate/Glenbrien)13. Jack Guiney (Rathnure)10. Paul Morris (Ferns St. Aidan’s)14. Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna)15. Liam Og McGovern (St. Anne’s)Subs: Diarmuid O’Keeffe for Kehoe (22); Willie Devereux for Rossiter (27); Ian Byrne for Devereux (54); Garrett Sinnott for Redmond (64); Rory Jacob for McGovern (67).WATERFORD1. Stephen O Keeffe (Ballygunner)4. Noel Connors (Passage)3. Liam Lawlor (Fourmilewater)9. Padraig Prendergast (Lismore)2. Shane Fives (Carrigtwohill)6. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)5. Darragh Fives (Tourin)8. Michael Walsh (Stradbally) (Captain)7. Tadgh de Burca (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg)10. Shane O’Sullivan (Ballygunner)11. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner)12. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)14. Shane Walsh (Fourmilewater)13. Colin Dunford (Colligan)15. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)Subs: Gavin O’Brien for Walsh (14); Stephen Molumphy for Fives (43); Seamus Prendergast for Dillon (43);  Martin O’Neill for Mahony (56); Shane McNulty for Lawlor (61).Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).Kildare narrowly get past a spirited Clare after a huge turnaround in EnnisArmagh momentum builds as Rossies fall short in qualifier Wexford 3-15Waterford 2-15THERE WAS NO need for extra-time this week as Wexford overcame a nervy final few minutes to set up their first All-Ireland SHC quarter-final since 2008 with a three point win over Waterford this evening.In front of a crowd of nearly 19,000 people in Nowlan Park, the sides looked evenly matched in the early stages, trading seven points before Paul Morris gave Stephen O’Keeffe no chance in the Waterford goal to make it 1-4 to 0-3 after 12 minutes.Waterford had a chance to reply almost immediately but Austin Gleeson’s penalty was stopped by Eoin Moore on the line before Pauric Mahony made no mistake with the resulting 65.Indeed, it was Mahony’s place-ball striking that kept the Déise in the game and his side took the lead on 26 minutes with his fourth free of the half.However, a late Conor McDonald effort raised the green flag in injury time to ensure Wexford went into the break with a 2-9 to 0-12 lead.Six minutes after the restart, Liam Dunne’s men led by seven when David Redmond’s powerful run went unchecked and the Oulart the Ballagh midfielder buried the sliotar past the helpless O’Keeffe. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOThat looked like game set and match for Wexford but, credit to Waterford, two goals in three minutes from Colin Dunford put his side back in front, 2-14 to 3-10. However, Derek McGrath’s charges would only score once more in the final 21 minutes.While Wexford were also wasteful towards the end, Morris and Ian Byrne’s scores were enough to help the six-time All-Ireland winners book a quarter-final spot against Limerick next Sunday; their fourth championship game in as many weeks. Scorers for Wexford: Paul Morris 1-6 (0-3f), Conor McDonald 1-2, David Redmond 1-0, Podge Doran and Liam Og McGovern 0-2 each, Ian Byrne, Jack Guiney and Diarmuid O’Keeffe 0-1 each.last_img read more

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Star Wars Battlefront II Cant Resist the Force of Nostalgia

first_img Star Wars x Adidas Ultraboost Photos Have Leaked’Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form Let’s get one thing out of the way. I don’t care about the multiplayer, arguably the biggest part, of Star Wars Battlefront II. I don’t really enjoy online shooters and the first game’s focus on multiplayer exclusively is what kept me from touching it, even if you could play as Emperor Sheev Palpatine. So if you’re looking for an exhaustive review of that part of the game, I can’t really give it to you. Plus, reviewing the performance of an online multiplayer game before the servers are live for everyone can only be so useful.That said, I did sample much of what Battlefront II has to offer. There’s an appreciable increase in the amount of modes and features and overall content. You can shoot Clone Troopers in the waves of Kamino, take down AT-ATs on Hoth, and fly above Maz Kanata’s cantina on Takodana. There are some cool offline multiplayer modes, too, like playing split-screen with a friend or tackling solo “Battle Scenarios” where you try to mow through hordes of soldiers as a famous Star Wars hero/villain.It’s too bad the whole experience is tainted by the specter of loot boxes, the idea that your initial $60 investment isn’t enough to give you the whole game in a timely fashion. Even forgetting fears that paying for new skills gives you a competitive advantage over folks who didn’t, I was almost ready to put the controller down when I saw how much grinding was required to unlock what felt like most of the multiplayer game. At launch EA now plans to drastically reduce the amount of in-game credits needed to unlock heroes, which would’ve been nice to have during this review period.As one of the few remaining T-rated shooters, and the biggest game based on the biggest brand this holiday, Star Wars Battlefront II is destined to sell an unfathomable amount of copies just like it’s predecessor. So it’s a shame EA and Lucasfilm view customers as wallets to be infinitely mined, not fans to be satisfied and entertained.All that said, there is a safe haven for Battlefront II owners like me who don’t want to mess around with loot boxes and massive, occasionally aimless, Battlefield-esque multiplayer matches. Unlike the first (third) Battlefront, there’s now a story-driven single-player mode that’s the closest thing you’ll find to a cinematic Star Wars experience before The Last Jedi hits.I already shared my initial thoughts on the campaign when I played the first few missions a few weeks ago. In that article you can also read my interview with lead actress Janina Gavankar. But now that I’ve played the whole thing I can confirm that despite a fresh start, like the new Star Wars films, Star Wars Battlefront II ultimately succumbs to nostalgia.Like most modern shooter campaigns, Star Wars Battlefront II’s single-player mode isn’t very long. And it leans more toward Call of Duty’s spectacle than EA’s own Titanfall II’s mind-bending mechanical creativity. But that’s okay. I enjoyed how exaggerated the shooting is, whether you’re charging a laser pistol or shooting rockets at an AT-ST. And the game does a good job of teaching all the different quirks of the playable characters. You can do things like stealthily shock far away foes with your droid, shoot through a smoke grenade cloud with thermal vision, or do a crazy Force leap and pull all enemies toward your twirling lightsaber.Managing these different skills gives you some amount of expression in how you play despite the missions themselves being quite linear. You can also equip different cards to buff various stats or grant temporary bonuses like MOBA abilities on cooldown. One mission basically places you in a huge multiplayer match in the streets of Naboo, and being able to quickly quadruple my health for a short time proved very useful indeed.I was surprised just how much space combat there is, too, and how it’s integrated with the on-foot gameplay. One of my favorite parts of the maligned Star Fox Zero (itself taking much inspiration from Star Wars) was seamlessly transitioning from a space battle to a shoot-out in a corridor. Battlefront II also occasionally let’s you do that. Going from not-quite Rogue Squadron in space to shooting panicking Stormtroopers in a hangar to storming the inside of the base was so cool it made me nearly forget how similar all the corridors look.So as a compact piece of Star Wars action, Battlefront II essentially delivers. Like Star Wars these days, the gameplay won’t surprise you, but it will give you what you want. Unfortunately, that pull towards the familiar also applies to the story itself, and in that context it is harder to forgive. Some spoilers ahead.The initial premise starts strong. The crumbling of the Empire following the end of Return of the Jedi is a cool narrative space to explore. And playing as ruthless Imperial soldier Iden Versio and her Inferno Squad is morally ambiguous in a tense and kind of fascinating way. It may appeal to some deplorable parts of gamer culture, but shooting through diverse rebels as a faceless, armored defender of the already dead Empire was a cool kind of uncomfortable, especially since the woman beneath that mask is a well-written and well-acted (and weirdly skin-lightened) woman of color.However, my first major groan (after earning an achievement called “ Dark Forces”) happened during an early mission when all of a sudden the camera revealed I would now be playing as Luke Skywalker. Lightsaber combat is an important part of the game, and the campaign was right to incorporate it. But knowing the campaign wouldn’t be that long, I worried over whether the story could afford to spend time on this fan service digression.It turns out the answer is no. The more I played the more the story cut away from ostensibly the main plot starring Versio and instead put me in control of folks like Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, and bearded Han Solo. While these tangents were fun in their own right, this left the main characters with too little room for their own plots to meaningfully develop. And it makes all of the familiar Star Wars story beats (an evil father, a turn toward the Light side, a big dogfight finale) seem that more cliche compared to the subversive opening. Even the Kylo Ren cliffhanger really only exists to tease a DLC follow-up tie-in to The Last Jedi.I get it. Folks who buy the shiny new Star Wars game are expecting to see the Star Wars stuff they already know and love. And that Star Wars stuff is gorgeously rendered thanks to the Frostbite engine being allowed to powerd the type of shooter game it was built for. But the shift toward the familiar just makes the initial pitch with the new Inferno Squad seem a bit deceptive.And it’s symptomatic of the larger modern Star Wars problem of leaning too heavily on what we’ve already seen. There’s no need whatsoever for a Han Solo spin-off movie. For Star Wars to move forward, we need to purge this obsession with nostalgia in every revisitation out of our shared cultural system, if that’s even possible. Help us, Rian Johnson. You’re our only hope!Disappointing story aside, if Battlefront II’s campaign is what we can reasonably expect from EA single-player Star Wars games from now on, it’s a pretty good start and a format I would like to see continue. So congratulations, EA. You fixed one part of Star Wars: Battlefront. Now ditch the paid loot boxes and crank up the Sheev.Buy Star Wars: Battlefront IIView as: One Page Slides1/51. Star Wars: Battlefront II is EA’s latest attempt at a modern AAA Star Wars shooter.2. Fight against tons of other players online in scenarios based on any and all Star Wars movies.3. Shooting happens both on-foot and in the sky thanks to vehicle combat.4. There’s also now a brief but action-packed single-player campaign featuring the morally ambiguous Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad.5. But like the recent Star Wars films, Battlefront II’s new ideas eventually give way to the force of nostalgia.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more

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Drivers cautioned to watch for school buses

first_imgWith classes underway at a handful of area schools and more to follow next week, the Washington State Patrol warns drivers to carefully navigate around buses picking up and dropping off children. The state patrol posted a video on YouTube focused on safety and making clear when drivers must stop, and when they can proceed. A $394 ticket for failure to stop for a school bus cannot be reduced, suspended or waived. “We cannot stress enough how important it is to practice safe driving, especially when children are present,” the state patrol said in the release. For more information, visit the “Hot Topics” section of state patrol’s web site at www.wsp.wa.gov.last_img read more

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UAFs Walsh wins international science award

first_imgDownload AudioA University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist is receiving the recognition of his peers. Dr. John Walsh recently garnered a medal from the International Arctic Science Committee. The prestigious award recognizes Walsh’s sustained work in far north.last_img

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