Shikhar Dhawan, who is a father of three, is very happy for his opening partner Rohit Sharma after the Indian ODI vice-captain welcomed his first baby with wife Ritika Sajdeh on late last year.Rohit and Ritika became proud parents of a baby girl on December 30 and they named their child, Samaira.Dhawan, who was addressing the media ahead of the third ODI against Australia, was asked about Rohit’s daughter and he took this opportunity to congratulate the Hitman.”I’m very happy for Rohit and his wife. Ofcourse he is very happy after becoming a father and I’m sure he’ll be a great father,” Dhawan said.Congrats on becoming a Daddy @ImRo45 – @SDhawan25 has a message for you #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/JTlNoRR7OhBCCI (@BCCI) January 17, 2019The left-handed opener was also quizzed about him practicing with tennis balls during India’s nets session on Thursday. Dhawan replied by saying that he does that to fine-tune his reflexes against the short ball.”That drill is to keep my muscle memory and reflexes quick for bouncers, as Australia has fast bowlers, quick fast bowlers.”As an opener I make sure that my reflexes are quick, and even my decision making gets stronger, it’s a repetitive drill so I like doing it,” Dhawan explained.Dhawan also said that it was great to see MS Dhoni performing well in both the ODIs of their ongoing three-match series and added that he is happy that the wicket-keeper batsman is getting back in touch.He also praised right-hand batsman Dinesh Kartik who played a knock of 25 runs off 24 balls in the last ODI against Australia.advertisement”It was great to see a good team performance in the last one day match against Australia. The way Dhoni played in both the games is really great. I am very happy that Dhoni is getting his touch back. A player of his stature, who plays the game with so much calmness, gives so much confidence to other batsmen. It is very important for us.”Even Dinesh (Karthik) played a very good knock in the last game. So the good thing is that we got all fit and mature players which make us a strong batting unit. We have been consistent in our performance over the past few years and hopefully, we will continue performing well in coming years,” he said.India will be aiming to clinch the ODI series while taking on Australia in their final match of the series. Dhawan admitted that if they won, it would be a good achievement for the team adding that they are looking forward to the match.”It will be a big final tomorrow. It is going to be an interesting game for both the teams. We are looking forward to an exciting game tomorrow. It (the victory) will mean a lot to us. It is always good to come here and win. If we win tomorrow, it will be a big achievement for us. Of course, we are going to value it and cherish it,” Dhawan said.Meanwhile, Cricket Australia announced the final playing XI for the series-decider against India, making two changes to the team with Adam Zampa and Billy Stanlake replacing Nathan Lyon and Jason Behrendorff.Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Alex Carey, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa, Billy StanlakeAlso Read | India’s only concern in ODI series vs Australia is 3rd seamer: Sunil GavaskarAlso Read | Rishabh Pant for World Cup 2019? Sachin Tendulkar weighs in with his thoughtsAlso Read | MS Dhoni back with a bang after Adelaide heroics, says Nikhil Chopra
“There is no better time to have an entrepreneurial venture than when you are young… this is the time to take risks,” Dr. Clarke said. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Hon. Nigel Clarke, emphasises a point while addressing attendees at the finals and awards presentation of the 6th staging of the National Business Model Competition at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Friday (March 22). Story Highlights Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Hon. Nigel Clarke, is encouraging young persons, to take on entrepreneurial ventures, particularly those leaving tertiary institutions.“There is no better time to have an entrepreneurial venture than when you are young… this is the time to take risks,” Dr. Clarke said.He was speaking at the finals and awards presentation of the 6th staging of the National Business Model Competition at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Friday (March 22).The Finance Minister pointed out that the skills being learnt and the knowledge being gained in college/university will be useful in embarking on a new business in the current economic climate.“The environment that we have today, which is an environment of great economic opportunity, the likes of which we have not seen in Jamaica in decades, is one that I would encourage you to take advantage of,” Dr. Clarke urged.The Finance Minister emphasised that the “new Jamaica” which is emerging, is one of economic opportunity particularly for young people who want to go into business.“Jamaica will not be able to achieve its potential without persons venturing out, taking a risk, starting a business, providing a service, hiring people, growing and prospering,” he said.He assured that the Government has been putting measures in place to continually improve the business environment and provide a supportive ecosystem which facilitates the success of small businesses.“We have put in place a set of policies that are geared towards encouraging the “bubbling up” of small businesses, that are geared towards encouraging small and micro businesses to emerge and to thrive” he said.These include, as was outlined in his Budget presentation – the abolition of minimum business tax “which has been an unnecessary burden on micro businesses”.The Minister also announced the abolition of the asset tax for non-financial businesses; and the raising of the threshold of General Consumption Tax (GCT) from $3 million to $10 million.“We believe that these measures will remove some of the fiscal obstacles to small business growth and small business success,” he said.Dr. Clarke also informed that for the upcoming financial year, the Government has put in place avenues through which Micro Small and Medium Enterprises can find financial support, which he termed the “oxygen” for businesses.“We have programmes through the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and directly through the Ministry of Finance to provide financial support whether it be by way of loans or by way of collateral support,” he said.He noted that the Government has also set aside $200 million in equity financing for business start-ups to complement private angel networks. He was speaking at the finals and awards presentation of the 6th staging of the National Business Model Competition at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Friday (March 22).
Nova Scotia’s harness-racing industry is getting a $375,000 boost from the provincial government to help the three facilities plan for the future. The announcement provides $100,000 to each of the three race tracks — Truro, Inverness and North Sydney — to assist with infrastructure and operations. Funding is also being provided for an independent economic assessment of the provincial harness-racing industry. “Harness racing has a long and rich history in Nova Scotia, but today the sport faces many challenges,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “This funding will help with day-to-day operations and capital expenses. As well, there is an opportunity for an economic assessment to see what the industry can do for a more sustainable future.” There are more than 600 harness horses and 500 horseowners in Nova Scotia. The three tracks also board horses throughout the year. Over the past three years, the number of horses has increased while race attendance and wagering has decreased. “We want to give the harness-racing industry a chance to revitalise. The industry has a wonderful opportunity to develop a business-development strategy that works for them,” said Brooke Taylor, Minister of Agriculture.
Education Minister Ramona Jennex is pleased the province’s 10,000 public school teachers have accepted a new two-year agreement with the province. Members of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU) ratified the agreement today, Oct. 7. “Both parties worked very hard to reach an agreement that is fair to teachers, allows the province to live within its means and is in the best interest of public education,” said Ms. Jennex. The agreement will see teachers receiving a one per cent salary increase in each of the two years. The contract also commits the Department of Education and the NSTU to establishing a joint committee to examine a number of workload issues facing teachers.
It’s a great time to be a landlord in America, not so much if you’re a renter.Apartment rents are continuing to rise this year, fueled by higher demand from millennials looking for a place of their own, strong job growth and rising wages.The U.S. median rent climbed 3.4% in March from a year earlier to $1,535, according to data from online rental housing portal HotPads.While apartment construction surged in the years after the housing bust, it hasn’t kept up with demand, giving landlords the upper hand. Years of rising home prices, meanwhile, have made it more difficult for many would-be homebuyers to save up for a down payment.“Even though mortgage rates are sliding a little bit and are lower than the historical average, you still have a huge amount of people who are not able to afford homes right now,” said Joshua Clark, an economist at HotPads. “That’s keeping people renting and that’s going to keep people competing against each other for the same units.”The national median rent has risen annually since at least December 2012, the earliest data available from HotPads.That trend has developed against the backdrop of a steady increase in rental households and a sharp decline in the homeownership rate for much of the last two decades.The number of renter-occupied U.S. housing units climbed from a low of around 32.9 million in 2004 to a high of about 44.08 million in 2016. It’s been mostly flat ever since, reaching around 43.11 million at the end of last year, according to Census data.At the same time, the nation’s homeownership rate has tumbled from a high of 69% in 2004. It bottomed out at 63.4% in 2016 and has since crept higher, reaching 64.4% last year.HotPads’ March report shows rents are rising in all of the nation’s top 50 most populous metropolitan areas.Phoenix notched the biggest gain, with its median rent vaulting 6.7% from a year earlier to $1,520. On the opposite end of the scale, the median rent in Houston rose just 1.3% in March to $1,585. New York’s median rent also rose slightly, increasing 1.5% to $2,380.“A year ago, the country was experiencing slowing rental markets and tighter for-sale markets,” Clark said. “Today, most of the country is experiencing the opposite.”Steady job growth and demographic trends, namely more of the younger millennials coming of age and seeking to move out on their own, are expected to continue to drive more demand for rental housing, pushing rents higher.“What I’m confident about right now is that over the next few months we’re going to see rents continue to rise,” Clark said. “The fact that we have been accelerating in these winter months a little bit, that’s a really strong signal that we’re going to have higher rent appreciation this year than last year.”Alex Veiga, The Associated Press
by News Staff Posted Aug 31, 2012 4:55 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve said he will be holding off on another round of stimulus for the time being, but told a crowd Friday morning that high unemployment is a “grave concern” and the feds will do more if conditions do not improve. Ben Bernanke is defending his actions to stimulate the economy, citing studies which show the first two rounds of bond purchases which created at least two million jobs. The stimulus programs have cost the U.S. government about $2.3-trillion, and have not managed to bring the unemployment rate under eight per cent. Bernanke said quantitative easing could do more. The speculation for more stimulus has shifted to the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which meets on September 12 and 13. The fed’s policy committee, meanwhile, decided that action “would likely be warranted fairly soon” unless it saw evidence of economic strengthening. Chair of U.S. Federal Reserve says unemployment ‘a grave concern’ ben bernanke|stimulus|u.s.|unemployment
Established in 1993, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has spent more than 10,800 trial days, heard at least 4,650 witnesses, produced over 2.5 million pages of transcripts and indicted 161 individuals – all in its quest to end impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed there.“The ICTY has been the foundation for the existing international criminal justice regime. I believe it’s fair to say the ICTY can be considered the genesis of the global culture of accountability,” the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel, Miguel de Serpa Soares, told a recent event held to reflect on the tribunal’s 24 years of operation.The ICTY has been the foundation for the existing international criminal justice regimeAmong other achievements, Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic – two of the main architects of some of the worst atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the genocide of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica – were convicted by the ICTY, with sentences of 40 years and life in prison, respectively.“In 1993, I think, no one believed that we would have been able to bring justice to anyone […] We have proved exactly the opposite,” ICTY President Carmel Agius told UN News. He noted that the court has completed all judicial work, despite complex challenges, including the difficulty to bring witnesses from abroad, translation and interpretation issues, and a lack of cooperation from countries from which help was needed.When the ICTY – the first court to undertake the prosecution and adjudication of the gravest international crimes since the post-World War II Nuremberg and Tokyo trials – was created, the international community was studying the possibility of creating an international criminal court and was still developing international criminal code, Mr. Agius recalled.VIDEO: Through its trials, the Tribunal has heard 4,650 witnesses; established facts about numerous horrific crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.Given the atrocities being committed with absolute impunity in what was then Yugoslavia, UN Member States could not stand by and created the ICTY as “an emergency remedy,” said Mr. Agius, who was first elected to the tribunal as a judge in 2001 and has been serving as its President since November 2015.In his view, an early success of the ICTY paved the way for the establishment of a permanent tribunal, namely the International Criminal Court (ICC).“The international community, which believed in international justice and was watching us to see if we could make this experiment work, suddenly realized that the time was ripe to take one step further and that what could not be achieved over the previous 50 years could now become a possibility,” he said.Mr. Agius said he was part of the negotiations for the establishment of the ICC that started around 1995. “By 1998, we had the [Rome] Statute,” he said, referring to the treaty that established the ICC as the central institution of the global criminal justice system.“The Americans speak of the miracle of Philadelphia. I speak of the miracle of the ICTY,” he said, “because we inspired the international community to take our example forward” to create a permanent international criminal court.Earlier this month, Mr. Agius addressed the Security Council, the body that created the ICTY, for the last time.“Despite all the sceptics, the naysayers, the deniers who, from the very beginning, embarked on a campaign against the Tribunal and have been at pains to question our legitimacy and integrity and portray a doomsday scenario, I am proud to appear before this esteemed Council today and say: mission accomplished,” he declared.Phone call: ‘General Mladic was arrested’The Chief Prosecutor of the ICTY, Serge Brammertz, told UN News that the closure of the court, which is based in The Hague, in the Netherlands, does not mean the end of impunity for the crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and other places.“We have indicted 161 individuals. It is a lot, compared with other international tribunals, but it’s very little if we look at the number of crimes which still need to be investigated and prosecuted,” he said, noting that in Sarajevo alone, there are more than 3,000 investigations ongoing.“You can only have peace, long-term peace, if there is accountability for crimes committed during the conflict,” he added.Final fugitive arrested – Goran Hadžic. On 20 July 2011 Goran Hadžic, former president of the self-proclaimed Serb republic within Croatia is arrested after living for seven years as a fugitive. With his arrest, all 161 individuals indicted by the Tribunal are accounted for. Photo: ICTY.Mr. Brammertz said the ICTY “exceeded expectations” and was “a success despite the legitimate criticism” that many victims’ associations have because of their higher expectations.The most important moments for him over the past 10 years as Chief Prosecutor were his meetings with victims and survivors, who always reminded him why the tribunal was set up.“But if I have to choose one specific moment, it was when I got the phone call: ‘General Mladic was arrested,’” he said.Legacy of fighting impunity, ensuring accountabilityAmong the tribunal’s achievements, it held individuals to account regardless of their position. The ICTY indicted heads of state, prime ministers, army chiefs-of-staff, government ministers and many other leaders.It has also provided thousands of victims the opportunity to be heard and to speak about their suffering. Many of them displayed exceptional courage in recalling their harrowing experiences. The tribunal preserves their testimonies in court transcripts and video recordings.One of the witnesses who testified at the ICTY, Teufika Ibrahimefendic, a healthcare professional who had been involved in treating victims of war crimes, said that “the Hague Tribunal, [for] all the victims, all the women with whom I have had a chance to work, has a very great significance for them… They do trust that the real causes of what happened will be identified and that the people will muster enough courage, including victims, to tell the story of what happened… People expect that justice will be done and that the right decisions will be reached.”The ICTY has also established crucial facts related to crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, following careful review of testimonies of eyewitnesses, survivors and perpetrators, forensic data and documentary and video evidence. The tribunal’s judgements have contributed to creating a historical record, combatting denial and preventing attempts at revisionism and provided the basis for future transitional justice initiatives in the region.In addition, the tribunal has encouraged judiciaries in the former Yugoslavia to reform and to continue its work of trying those responsible for war crimes committed there during the 1990s. It works in partnership with domestic courts in the region – transferring its evidence, knowledge and jurisprudence – as part of its continuing efforts to bring justice to victims in the former Yugoslavia.
Print magazine Game Informer has a cover feature on the upcoming South Park RPG, and the detail made available from that feature makes the game appear to be a properly ambitious effort with intense participation from the animated cartoon’s staff, including creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.The game, in development by Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, Dungeon Siege III), is a true RPG with classes, turn-based combat, character customization, enemy encounters, collectible items, and a lot of the TV series’ characteristic humor. Despite previous South Park game releases, this is the first game where Parker and Stone will directly participate, including creating the game’s script and dialogue.The story follows the player’s customizable character, the new kid in town, and follows his quest to fit in and be accepted. Cartman will appear and let you specialize in one of five classes: wizard, paladin, adventurer, rogue, and a fifth class that’s allegedly made up by Cartman. The player will carry a smartphone, which holds a “Facebook-like app” showing a friend count and social standing with different cliques.Gameplay appears to be an amalgamation of other RPGs. The combat is said to be borrowed from the Paper Mario series while Final Fantasy‘s Materia system also works its way in. The game will be powered by the Dungeon Siege III engine. Enemy encounters will be visible in a nod to other great JRPGs including Chrono Trigger. There will also be a summon system, but no further details were given.In an interview with the magazine, Parker and Stone confess that they’re both avid gamers and strongly feel that an RPG is the right treatment for South Park. Their job will be to give the game the true South Park treatment. In one anecdote, the duo was showed a potential quest from Obsidian where the player fights a “giant bat boss” being ridden by Ike, the tiny baby. The two called out Obsidian for making a generic video game quest and instead suggested sending the player to the City Wok, a Chinese restaurant that often appears on the show, to retrieve an order of Kung Pow Chicken to better fit the South Park universe.The game has no release date yet, but is expected to appear on 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Check out the link below for a lot more detail.via NeoGAF
A new study in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that test plates that had been left under a hand dryer for 30 seconds gained at least 18 to 60 colonies of bacteria, while those that were simply left in the bathroom air for two minutes had fewer than one on average. This could be a strong indicator that these devices suck up and disperse pathogens.“Results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers, and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers,” the authors wrote. Plenty more research will be needed as it’s not entirely clear whether the dryers simply disperse dirty air or if something else is at work. The study authors did note that the bacteria on the nozzles of the dryers were minimal — indicating that dryers probably simply take already dirty air and help bacteria “stick” to the hands. “The more you move? The more bacteria stick,” lead author Peter Setlow told Business Insider. “And there are a lot of bacteria in bathrooms.”One way to reduce the bacterial load? Use dryers with HEPA filters. These reduce bacterial exposure by four times according to the study. Setlow, who is in his 70s, has since stopped using hand dryers altogether. “If I’m a person whose immune system is suppressed, I want to minimize my exposure to bacteria,” he said. Paper towels, while not the best for the environment, are the best for us. They dry your hands much, much more quickly, as well as carrying fewer baseline risks. Having wet hands is really the worst thing, as bacteria will be more likely to tag along. So, drying them faster and more completely (which paper towels do) is generally the more sanitary option.The more you know. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
By Kebba JeffangRenowned Gambian musicians Abou and Fafa, will today Friday April 26th, hold a fundraising event at a local Hotel in Senegambia and part of the proceeds will be donated to victims of rape and abandoned children.The event also coincides with the celebration of the 10th year of music career and performance of the band.“In celebration of our ten year anniversary of playing music, we deem it fitting to give back to a worthy course in the form of a gala dinner. Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Victim’s Center, where victims of rape of minors, abandoned babies and trauma victims are housed, and barely have enough to get by,” the artists told Foroyaa in a statement; that the idea was conceived and driven by fans and individual philanthropists.“In view of the above, Abou & Fafa and our fans, will organize the fundraising Gala as our newly released album will be featured with a live band performance during the night,” the statement added.The duo who were born in Banjul, are biological siblings who have shared interest in music.
Travis McCain plugs in his 2013 Nissan Leaf. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau)The price to plug in could become a little cheaper for electric vehicle owners in Juneau. That’s because the city’s privately-owned electric utility is trying to expand a program, aimed at shifting when those drivers juice their cars.Listen NowFor electric utilities, the twilight hours are a relatively quiet time.“The biggest thing that happens is people go to sleep so they’re not consuming energy at the same rate as they are when they’re awake,” Alec Mesdag explained. Mesdag is a director at Alaska Electric Light & Power (AEL&P).Mesdag said when you power down most of your household gadgets at night, it leaves open an energy window. Essentially, there’s just not as much of a drain from the grid. So, it’s a perfect time to plug in the city’s growing number of electric vehicles.About six years ago, the utility came up with a pilot project for 10 electric vehicle owners to incentivize twilight charging. Drivers charging their cars after 10 p.m. would receive a cheaper rate.“It took a while to get started,” Mesdag said. “Then, once we saw those ten customers fill in, it wasn’t very long before I had twice as many people contact me about getting into the program, but it was already full.”In 2013, it’s estimated there were about nine fully electric vehicles on Juneau’s roads. That number has now ballooned to about 80, and it’s expected to increase even more — with the cars becoming more affordable.Last week, the utility filed a request with Regulatory Commission of Alaska or RCA to expand the pilot project.“We want to shift when people charge their vehicles,” Mesdag said. “So that we don’t create a situation where we have too many people.”Mesdag said forming those habits now, reduces the risk the utility will have to build costly infrastructure later — as electric vehicles start to become the new norm.Mesdag expects the average owner who signs up could save about $10 a month in the summer to charge their vehicle.“And then in the wintertime, it will be about $12 to $13,” Mesdag said.If approved by the RCA, the utility will began offering the new rate structure to electric vehicle owners in early 2017.
Muzaffarnagar: A person wanted in murder, robbery, extortion, and over two dozen criminal cases was gunned down in an encounter by a team of Special Task Force (STF), UP Police here in Meerapur on Tuesday. The accused, identified as Adesh was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head. According to STF, UP Police, Adesh was imprisoned in the Baghpat prison when gangster Munna Bajrangi alias Prem Prakash was shot dead by a fellow inmate last year.
Akriti KakarPR HandoutSinger-composer Akriti Kakar has always managed to keep her fans happy with her concept, ‘You choose, I sing’. She is now ready to impress her fans once again with her new single, a fusion of ‘Soch, Sakhiyaan and Soch Na Sake’ based on the most popular request across her social media. Her last single ‘Chitta Kukkad & Baghe Vich’ was loved by one and all.When she was asked to shed some details of her upcoming single, Akriti said “All my followers have been requesting for these songs and I’ve waited to put them together in a way that it’s justified to the song. I wanted to Keep the treatment of the songs as organic as possible and in the same family as the other songs that I have videos on my YouTube channel. All my music listeners expect and appreciate the fact that the nature of music is not Digital and all live played together like olden times.”Akriti will soon be entertaining her fans with a new Bengali song called Madhubala, composed by Arko Pravo Mukherjee in a film by Jeet the superstar.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at a reception hosted in her honour by the Bangladeshi community in Sydney. Photo: Focus Bangla Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said her government began works to formulate plans and action programmes to transform Bangladesh into a developed country during a set timeframe from 2021 to 2041.”We have started to devise the plan how we want to develop Bangladesh and how we want to look Bangladesh from 2021 to 2041,” she told a reception hosted in her honour by the Bangladeshi community in Sydney.Sheikh Hasina said implementation of various short, mid and long term development plans kept Bangladesh on a process of rapid advancement earning the country’s eligibility to become a developing country.Bangladesh, she said, by now achieved its development targets required for next six years to keep its status as a developing country and “now we are engaged in devising our plans to become a developed country by 2041″.”Bangladesh would be a developed and prosperous country by 2041 and we are taking all steps and plans to materialise the vision,” the PM said.Awami League’s Australia chapter organised the reception at Sydney’s Sofitel Hotel Saturday evening marking the visit of Sheikh Hasina, also the party president, to join the Global Women’s Summit-2018 which conferred her Global Women’s Leadership Award for the year as well.The PM urged everybody to remain careful so the war criminals, killers and the forces having no faith in country’s development could never come to power and nothing could dislodge Bangladesh from its ongoing development process.Sheikh Hasina urged the expatriate Bangladeshis to always remain careful about the country’s dignity saying “Wherever you live, you have to work with patriotism to uphold the country’s honour which we have earned at the cost of blood”.”We have to pay homage to millions of martyrs through materialising the dream of the father of the nation Bangabandbhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build a hunger and poverty free Bangladesh,” she said.Bangabandhu’s younger daughter and PM’s sister Sheikh Rehana was present at the reception while foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and state minister for women and children affairs Meher Afroj Chumki also spoke on the occasion.Leaders of different chapters of Australian Awami League as well as professional and cultural organisations greeted Sheikh Hasina with flowers at the beginning of the event.Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh could have attained the status of a developing country in ten years after independence if Bangabandhu was alive.”Bangabandhu had taken steps to stamp out poverty and presented people a prosperous life. But the post-1975 rulers pushed the country towards destruction as they had no faith in country’s independence,” she said.She said Bangabandhu during his three-and-a-half-year tenure had shaped well the country’s economy, reconstructing the war-ravaged Bangladesh. “It surprises us when we think about the huge task he had done for the country during his short period in office. After his assassination Bangladesh had gone backward in all areas,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said Ziaur Rahman was the first ruler responsible for destroying the spirit of liberation war and creating an elite and corrupt group to cling to power. As a result Bangladesh was turned into a nation of beggars, she said, adding all other illegal and military rulers followed his footsteps, she said.Sheikh Hasina said unbridled corruption of Khaleda Zia for five consecutive years made Bangladesh a corrupt country. American and Singaporean intelligence agencies unearthed the corruption, she said.The prime minister said Bangladesh Awami League is an organisation, established by Bangabandhu, liberated the country. But, Zia and his wife left no stone unturned to erase the name of Bangabandhu, Awami League, historic 7 March speech and all documents and symbols of independence, she added.”But, nobody can suppress the truth and recognition of UNESCO to Bangabandhu’s historic speech on 7 March 1971 was a glaring example,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said she returned home in 1981 after six years in exile at a time when people of Bangladesh were passing through a difficult period and the county was reeling under the reign of killers.Unequivocal support of the people and enormous sacrifices of leaders and workers of Awami League made it possible for her to come back home despite repeated attempts on her life, she said.”I was never afraid of their threats and I continued my work for the welfare of the people by building Bangladesh in line with the spirit of the liberation war,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh witnessed a massive development in 1996 when Awami League came to power after 21 years of Bangabandhu’s killing.”Today the country is reaping the benefits of development works being implemented since 2008″, she said.Listing the successes of Bangladesh in different socioeconomic areas, the prime minister said combating terrorism was the foremost task on which her government had attached priority to make a fair society.Criticising BNP, the PM said BNP ruled the country like Pakistani rulers after coming to power in 2001. The party had established a reign of terror resorting to killings and corruption, she said.Sheikh Hasina said BNP did not take part in the 2014 election and preferred destroying country’s democratic system. In the name of demonstration, they went on a rampage and destruction all over the country, killing and injuring innocent people through arson attacks, she added.Expressing her government’s steadfast stand against corruption, the prime minister said the corruption allegation against the Padma Bridge project as raised by the World Bank proved false and fabricated in the Canadian court.”World Bank’s ill motive to brand us as corrupt guided us not to take a single Taka from them and build the mega project with our own finance,” she said adding that none thought that the project could be implemented without World Bank’s money.Sheikh Hasina said she joined politics to serve the people, not to make fortune.”My father liberated the country and made sacrifice throughout his whole life for the people of this country….. My duty is to build Bangladesh in a way Bangabandhu showed us,” she said.She thanked common people and expatriate citizens of Bangladesh for their overwhelming support to her government to build the Padma Bridge with its own finance.Sheikh Hasina highly appreciated Australia’s role in development of Bangladesh saying many political leaders of Australia had given immense support to our liberation war and it was the first developed country acknowledged Bangladesh as an independent state on 31 January, 1972.Australia also played a great contribution to rebuild war-ravaged Bangladesh, including extending food support and others, she said adding that Bangladesh is enjoying an excellent relation with Australia since its independence.
If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably heard of Gamefly. If you haven’t, here it is in a nutshell: it’s Netflix for video games. For a monthly fee, gamers can rent games which are delivered by the US Postal Service; when they’re done with them, they just mail them back. Gamefly mails out about over a million games a month. With that amount of shipping, you’d think that Gamefly must have a special deal inked with the USPS to deliver their games cheaply and efficiently… but they don’t, and Gamefly’s failure to get such a deal inked has them writing to the Postal Regulatory Commission for resolution.AdChoices广告Gamefly wants the US Postal Service to allow them to pay the same amount of shipping that Netflix pays. Why is this such a pressing issue for them? It’s more than just about maximizing profits: according to a letter sent anonymously to Ars Technica, Gamefly is currently spending more shipping discs every month than they are making in subscriber fees.“At the company’s current volume of approximately 1.2 million shipments per month, the difference between the two-ounce flat rate of $1.05 that GameFly must pay to avoid automated letter processing for most of its DVD mailers, and the one-ounce letter rate of $0.44 that Netflix pays to avoid automated letter processing of return mailers, amounts to about $730,000,” wrote Gamefly in a complaint. “This amount represents more than 100 percent of GameFly’s monthly net income in 2011.”While Gamefly characterizes the issue as one in which Netflix gets preferential treatment over their own service, the fact of the matter is that Netflix discs are mailed in packages that are brightly colored to assist in manual sorting, they’re lighter than GameFly mailers, and Netflix operates at a much higher volume than the game rental service.While the issue is more complicated than GameFly wants to admit, one thing’s for sure: either GameFly figures a way to minimize shipping costs, or the company is going to fold. You might want to capitalize on your subscription while you can.Read more at Ars Technica
The Unity team announced guidelines to Ethical AI, last week, to promote more responsible use of Artificial Intelligence for its developers, community, and the company. Unity’s guide to Ethical AI comprises six guiding AI principles. Unity’s six guiding AI principles Be unbiased This principle focuses on designing AI tools in a way that complements the human experience in a positive way. To achieve this, it is important to take into consideration all types of diverse human experiences that can, in turn, lead to AI complementing experiences for everybody. Be Accountable This principle puts an emphasis on keeping in mind the potential negative consequences, risks, and dangers of the AI tools while building them. It focuses on assessing the factors that might cause “direct or indirect harm” so that they can be avoided. This ensures accountability. Be fair This principle focuses on ensuring that the kind of AI tools developed does not interfere with “normal, functioning democratic systems of government”. So, the development of an AI tool that can lead to the suppression of human rights (such as free expression), as defined by the Universal Declaration, should be avoided. Be responsible This principle stresses the importance of developing products responsibly. It ensures that AI developers don’t take undue advantage of the vast capabilities of AI while building a product. Be Honest This principle focuses on building trust among the users of a technology by being clear and transparent about the product so that they can better understand its purpose. This, in turn, will lead to users making better and more informed decisions regarding the product. Be Trustworthy This principle emphasizes the importance of protecting the AI derived user data. “Guard the AI derived data as if it were handed to you by your customer directly in trust to only be used as directed under the other principles found in this guide” reads the Unity blog. “We expect to develop these principles more fully and to add to them over time as our community of developers, regulators, and partners continue to debate best practices in advancing this new technology. With this guide, we are committed to implementing the ethical use of AI across all aspects of our company’s interactions, development, and creation”, says the Unity team. For more information, check out the official Unity blog post. Read Next EPIC’s Public Voice Coalition announces Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (UGAI) at ICDPPC 2018 Teaching AI ethics – Trick or Treat? SAP creates AI ethics guidelines and forms an advisory panel
<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share ORLANDO — Universal Orlando Resort is launching its first-ever customer service team dedicated exclusively to travel agents, with the option for agents to reach UOR reps via online chat and text. The theme park company is the latest in a growing list of travel suppliers announcing major investments into their travel agent booking channels.UOR says its highly-trained team will provide agents “with more support and resources than ever before, reinforcing Universal Orlando’s commitment to the travel agent community”.The all-new resources include a dedicated call centre team, a responsive text message service and a live online chat feature – all created to offer convenient, multi-platform assistance to travel agent partners whenever and wherever they need it.UOR says the new communication options add to the existing tools available to travel agents and are specifically designed to better assist in creating the ultimate Universal Orlando vacation experience for their clients:Call Centre Team for Travel AgentsThis team is dedicated to assisting travel agent partners with bookings and questions about products at Universal Orlando. This team will ensure that agents receive answers promptly in order to create an experience that meets the needs of their clients before, during and after their vacation. Travel agents can contact the team today by calling: 1-800-224-3838.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Live Online Chat for Travel AgentsThe most instant communication method for travel agents is the ability to access a representative via a mobile-friendly chat feature on VAXVacationAccess.com, Universal Orlando’s travel agent vacation package booking website. Agents can chat real-time with a representative as they navigate the booking engine. Representatives are available to answer any questions, discuss pricing, offer suggestions on vacation package options, and more.Text Message Service for Travel AgentsAnother communication capability now available to travel agents is the ability to text a representative once payment of their client’s vacation package has processed. The text service is the perfect method for simple or even last minute questions to be answered in a timely fashion. When final payment is applied, travel agents will receive a code enabling the text message service.For hours of operation and additional information on the new communication resources, travel agents should visit UniversalTravelAgents.com.UOR reminds the trade that travel agents who register at UniversalTravelAgents.com have access to exclusive tools such as training modules, marketing collateral, vacation packages and offers, tickets and enhancements and more.More news: Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesTravel Agents can also join the recently launched Universal Orlando Travel Professionals Facebook group to receive the latest news, updates and more.Universal Orlando’s theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, are home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Hogsmeade and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley, and much more. Universal Orlando’s third park, Universal’s Volcano Bay, a new water theme park experience, opened in May 2017.Universal’s on-site resort hotels, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, feature a total of 5,600 rooms. There’s also Universal CityWalk offering dining and entertainment. Tuesday, August 8, 2017 Travelweek Group Posted by Tags: Education, Theme Parks & Attractions, Universal Studios Universal Orlando unveils new dedicated support resources for travel agents
Flight Centre Independent agents ‘Discover the Undiscovered’ in Tulum Posted by Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Tags: Flight Centre, Sphere Travelweek Group The recently-rebranded Flight Centre Independent host agency division is not just a Canadian focus, but also a global focus for Flight Centre, says Flight Centre Founder Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner. “Flight Centre as a whole are right behind our Independent Agents and they’re going to be a very, very important part of our future,” said Turner.Last month Flight Centre Independent agents were hosted by Air Transat and AMResorts for their annual conference and gala awards. The theme for this year’s conference was ‘Welcome To The Jungle: Discover The Undiscovered’ with FCI agents in attendance exposed to new product, new systems and new information about their businesses and the Flight Centre Independent (formerly Flight Centre Associates) brand as a whole.FCI agents are having fun with the new name, nicknaming themselves ‘Indies’ in recent months, says FCI General Manager Lee Zanello.Flight Centre Independent attendees at FCI’s annual conferenceAs a result, he says, FCI support staff couldn’t help but have some fun of their own when planning this year’s conference and gala awards. “We had already been working with the jungle theme for the last ten months,” says Zanello. “It was a perfect fit to throw in the Indiana Jones references.”Agents donned Indiana Jones fedoras throughout the week and earning ‘Indy Bucks’ and ‘Snake Idols’ for participating in various aspects of conference.The money and idols then factored into a Survivor-style auction at the end of the week where over $10,000 of trips and prizes were given away.“The support we are seeing from the company both nationally and globally is unprecedented,” says Zanello, “and this only means more investment, more resources and more support for our Independent Agents.”FCI says its support-to-agent ratio is 10:1 and with the new introduction of the Regional Leader role at this year’s conference, support is getting stronger at the local level.“Our Regional Leaders are the Independent way to run with Flight Centre’s time-tested philosophy around Family, Village and Tribe groupings,” says Zanello. “Within this structure, support truly is everywhere and our six new Regional Leaders will only add to that.”Over the course of the week agents took in shows, fine dining and had the opportunity to build relationships with many of Flight Centre’s preferred tour partners, an area where many agents were wanting and needing more training, notes Zanello.There was also a lot to celebrate as a mock wedding evening turned into a celebration of an agent’s recent 25-year wedding anniversary with her partner, who was also present, and the week started with one agent receiving (and accepting) a wedding proposal of her own.Top agents from the previous fiscal year were also recognized and agents who contribute positively to the culture of FCI were honoured in the evening’s top awards.Attendees also heard that Flight Centre Independent Agents are now not only eligible for the annual Preferred All-Stars Trip – an all-expenses paid trip for the top agents who support Flight Centre’s Preferred Partner strategy – but several spots are also open to attend Flight Centre’s Global Gathering taking place in Berlin next July. Share << Previous PostNext Post >>
Builder Confidence Ends Growth Streak in October October 16, 2014 484 Views Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) index of builder sentiment fell in October, ending a four-month streak of gains that resulted in a nine-year peak.The group’s Housing Market Index, a measure of homebuilder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes, lost five points in this month’s reading, bringing it to 54. An index value above 50 indicates market perceptions are more positive than negative.”We are seeing a return to the mid-50s index level trend established earlier in the summer, which is in line with the gradual pace of the housing recovery,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly.All three index components lost ground in October, led by six-point declines in both the gauge of current single-family sales (to 57) and the gauge of traffic from prospective buyers (to 41). The index measuring sales expectations in the next six months slipped three points, meanwhile, falling to 64.Despite the all-around decline, NAHB’s chief economist, David Crowe, remains optimistic.”While there was a dip this month, builders are still positive about the housing market,” Crowe said. “[H]istorically low mortgage interest rates, steady job gains, and significant pent up demand all point to continued growth of the housing market.”Month-to-month, confidence declined in all four census regions, led by an eight-point drop in the Midwest to a reading of 53. The Northeast saw the smallest decline—two points to a reading of 40—while the South and Midwest posted moderate decreases.Looking at the three-month moving average, each region’s index was little changed. Both the Northeast and Midwest remained flat in October at 41 and 59, respectively, while the West lost a single point to settle to 57. Meanwhile, the South reported the only increase, a two-point gain to 58. Confidence Homebuilders National Association of Home Builders New Home Sales 2014-10-16 Tory Barringer
by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 13, 2018 11:05 am PDT Last Updated Aug 13, 2018 at 11:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email This combination photo shows singer Justin Bieber at the Cannes festival palace in Cannes, southeastern France on Nov. 7, 2015, left, and model Hailey Baldwin at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 20, 2018. Justin Bieber fans flooded social media with photos of the popstar and his fiancee Hailey Baldwin spending time in his southern Ontario hometown over the weekend. The fan site Justin Bieber News tweeted several photos of the duo meeting fans and checking out local hangouts, including a Tim Hortons restaurant in Stratford, Ont., and an ice cream shop in Shakespeare, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP Photo Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin spotted over the weekend in Stratford, Ont. STRATFORD, Ont. – Justin Bieber fans flooded social media with photos of the pop star and his fiancee Hailey Baldwin spending time in his southern Ontario hometown over the weekend.The fan site Justin Bieber News tweeted several photos of the duo meeting fans and checking out local hangouts, including a Tim Hortons restaurant in Stratford, Ont., and an ice cream shop in Shakespeare, Ont.Stratford Mayor Dan Mathieson (@Danmathieson) tweeted a photo of Bieber at a children’s lemonade stand, thanking the star for stopping by.The famous couple announced their engagement in July.Back then, Mathieson said the city was prepared to host the “Sorry” singer’s wedding, if he decided to hold it there.