ProGovt supporters rally as Hong Kongs divisions deepen

first_imgHong Kong: Hong Kong democracy activists kicked off a weekend of fresh rallies on Saturday in a major test for the movement following criticism over an airport protest earlier this week — and as concerns mount over Beijing’s next move. The new marches came as thousands of pro-government supporters — many waving Chinese flags — gathered in a park to condemn their opponents and support the police, a stark illustration of the polarisation now coursing through the city. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USTen weeks of demonstrations have plunged the international finance hub into crisis, with communist-ruled mainland China taking an increasingly hardline tone, including labelling the more violent protester actions “terrorist-like”. Democracy activists are billing the weekend rallies as a way to show Beijing and the city’s unelected leaders that their movement still enjoys broad public support, despite increasingly violent tactics deployed by a minority of hardcore protesters that have cast a shadow. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsOn Tuesday, protesters blocked passengers from boarding flights at the city’s airport and later assaulted two men they accused of being Chinese spies. Images damaged a movement that until then had largely only targeted the police or government institutions, and prompted some soul-searching among protesters. China’s propaganda apparatus seized on the violence, with state media churning out a deluge of damning articles, pictures and videos. State media also ran images of military personnel and armoured personnel carriers across the border in Shenzhen, prompting the United States to warn Beijing against sending in troops, which analysts say would be a reputational and economic disaster for China. Saturday’s rallies began with thousands of teachers marching through torrential rain in support of the largely youth-led protests. In the afternoon thousands also marched through Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan, two harbourside districts popular with mainland tourists. Some protesters targeted the local offices of the staunchly pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions, pelting it with eggs and spraying graffiti. “The government has yet to respond to a single demand and has escalated force through the police to suppress the people’s voices,” a 25-year-old protester, who gave his first name Mars, told AFP. “If we don’t come out, our future, our next generation will face even more suppression,” he added. But across the harbour at the pro-Beijing rally, where a giant screen showed recent clashes with police, 60-year-old retiree Irene Man had a very different take as she rounded on democracy protesters. “Their acts are not human, they have all become monsters. They are rioters, with no reason, no thinking,” she said. The biggest pro-democracy rally is expected to take place on Sunday on the main island. Billed as a “rational, non-violent” protest, it is being organised by the Civil Human Rights Front, a group that eschews confrontations with police and was the driving force behind record-breaking rallies in June and July that saw hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets. The protests were sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the mainland, but have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city. Millions of people have hit the streets while clashes have broken out between police and small groups of hardcore protesters. Battles between police firing tear gas and rubber bullets — and hardcore protesters using rocks, Molotov cocktails and slingshots — have since become routine in an international finance hub once renowned for stability. Beyond suspending the extradition bill, Beijing and city leader Carrie Lam have shown no desire to meet key demands such as an inquiry into police violence, the complete withdrawal of the bill and an amnesty. But protesters remain unbowed, despite the arrests of more than 700 people and 11 consecutive weekends of rallies that have won few concessions. Beijing has turned the screws on Hong Kong’s businesses, pressuring them to toe the line and condemn the protesters. On Friday, Cathay Pacific announced the shock resignation of CEO Rupert Hogg after the carrier was excoriated by Beijing because some staff supported the pro-democracy protests. On Saturday, the “Big Four” accountancy firms scrambled to distance themselves from a advert placed in a newspaper purportedly by employees saying they supported the protests. Deloitte and PwC posted statements on their websites saying the ad does not represent their positions and expressing opposition to violent or illegal behaviour. In statements quoted by Chinese state news agency Xinhua, KPMG and EY also expressed opposition to violence and illegal acts.last_img read more

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Nova Scotia argues that supported housing for disabled is not a right

first_imgHALIFAX – Nobody has the unfettered right to live in government-assisted housing of their own choosing, a lawyer for the Nova Scotia government told a human rights board of inquiry Monday.“It is not a right guaranteed by the government,” said Kevin Kindred, the counsel for the Attorney General, during opening arguments in a case advocates say could help people with disabilities move into supported housing in the community.The inquiry is considering the case of two people seeking to move out of locked-door, hospital-like settings and a third complainant who has died since the case started.Vince Calderhead, the lawyer for the three complainants, told the inquiry that Nova Scotians with disabilities who are kept in institutions are the “last vestiges of the … county asylum” where impoverished citizens were once housed.Calderhead said it contravenes the Human Rights Act to keep people with intellectual and physical disabilities in facilities where they lack control over their own lives, can seldom go out, and may be hundreds of kilometres from their family.He cites sections that prohibit discrimination in the provision of government services on the basis of physical or mental disability.“When the government provides social assistance to people in Nova Scotia, the way it provides it to people with disabilities cannot be worse than people without disabilities. That is the essence here,” he told reporters after the morning session.However, Kindred argued before inquiry chairman John Walter Thompson that while the province supports the principle of community-based care, it’s not a human right as defined in the legislation.Housing programs offered to people on social assistance also have limits and waiting lists, said Kindred: “When the government does provide housing solutions it can only do so in a way that involves limited choices and a system of limited capacity.”The arguments being made to the board of inquiry about waiting lists and inadequate services are better made to the minister of Community Services, argued the provincial lawyer.“You’re here in your role as a board of inquiry … and that role isn’t to make policy decisions about reform or how to best serve the needs of people with disabilities … This is not a public inquiry of the government’s programs for persons with disabilities as much as sometimes the complaint seems to be set up with something like that in mind,” he said.“Most social problems the government is called to address are not discrimination.”Still, the case, which will be heard over the next two months, is already surfacing details on the difficulties of the lives of people with disabilities in the province.Two nieces of Sheila Livingstone, the complainant who died during various delays in the case, were on hand as Calderhead told her story to the inquiry chairman.The lawyer said Livingstone had lived in institutions for much of her life, but for 18 years did well in a small options home.When she was temporarily hospitalized, she lost her place in the community and remained in a locked-door facility for a decade.“After a series of assaults on her, and complaints about those assaults, she was offered a placement not in the Halifax area but in Yarmouth. Why Yarmouth? Because there was a bed,” said Calderhead.The location of the supported home was 300 kilometres from her friends and family.The lawyer said he has documentation from the province showing from 2011 officials believed she could have lived in the community.“In the fall of 2016 she died with no family member around. … That is a feature of the province’s treatment of people with disabilities,” the lawyer told the judge.After the hearing, Jackie McCabe-Sieliakus, Livingstone’s niece, said she’s hoping the hearing prompts changes.“A lot of people are in the system like Sheila. Sheila suffered a lot and I think the government needs to step up and everybody needs to hear the story,” she said.“It won’t make a difference to Sheila now. But it will make a difference to other people.”The other complainants in the case are 45-year-old Joseph Delaney and 46-year-old Beth MacLean. Both have said in court documents they should be permitted to move from the hospital-like settings into small homes where assistance is provided in areas such as meals and personal care.The Disability Rights Coalition, an advocacy group for people with disabilities, is also participating in the case.A spokeswoman for the Department of Community Services has said it is working to improve its Disability Support Program and to create more small-options homes.The province says a new program called Flex Independent is making efforts to ensure that the community-based supports are in place and is moving people to them when it is safe to do so.The Liberal government has said it is investing $4.2 million to develop eight small option, community-based homes over the next two years, bringing the total from 222 to 230 homes.There were about 504 people awaiting some form of support from the Department of Community Services as of last Thursday, and 1,024 people awaiting a transfer to a different housing option or location.The human rights case resumes hearings on Feb. 13 at a hotel meeting room in Halifax.last_img read more

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New trial for man who killed roommate over alleged relationship with teen

first_imgTORONTO — A new trial has been ordered for an Ontario man who beat his roommate to death with a hammer in a drunken confrontation over the other man’s alleged sexual relationship with a teenage girl.Toby Land appealed his second-degree murder conviction in the May 2009 killing of Dominic Doyon, arguing the judge was wrong to rule out the defence of provocation.Had the defence been presented to the jury, Land argued he could have been convicted of manslaughter instead, which would allow for a lower sentence. Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.In a ruling released last week, Ontario’s highest court found the trial judge erred in determining that Land could not claim provocation because he had initiated the confrontation while armed.The three-member appeal panel said the trial judge failed to consider whether Land, who anticipated that Doyon may become violent, could have realistically predicted that his roommate would reach for a samurai sword.The appeal court added that Doyon’s comments about his relationship with the teen during the dispute could also count as provocation, particularly for Land, who “was raised in a sexually abusive home.”“This confrontation arose out of Mr. Doyon’s alleged sexually abusive conduct. Mr. Land’s personal reaction to that conduct would obviously be affected by his experiences,” the court wrote.“Mr. Land, an Indigenous man, then 24 years old, had a horrendous past. It scarred him deeply,” it said. “He left his home with substance abuse issues and with a violent aversion to sexual abusers. On numerous occasions prior to May 4, 2009, Mr. Land attacked men he knew to be sexual abusers.”The decision said Land was angered by his 33-year-old roommate’s relationship with the teen, and the pair had clashed over the issue in the past. On two occasions, the dispute turned physical, with Doyon gaining the upper hand, it said.One day, Land said he came home to find Doyon and the teen shirtless on the couch, the document said, and he remained “deeply troubled” hours later.After drinking about eight beers, Land decided to confront Doyon but feared for his safety, so he armed himself with a hammer and held it at his side as he addressed his roommate, it said.He then noticed Doyon had a samurai sword — which had previously hung on the wall or been kept beside the couch or window — with him on the couch, the decision said.Doyon grabbed the sword’s handle as he got up and said something about how he could do whatever he wanted with his life, it said.Land told the court he felt like he snapped and “just reacted,” the document said. He vaguely remembered hitting Doyon in the arms with the hammer and said his next memory was of his other roommate pulling him back and, he believed, pulling the sword from his hands, it said.“Mr. Land said he could not control his thoughts and his actions,” the appeal court said.In fact, Land had “engaged in a frenzied attack upon Mr. Doyon, hitting him dozens of times with the hammer, including about the head,” it said.Doyon was also stabbed repeatedly with the sword and beaten with a pair of crutches, it said.The appeal court said the defence of provocation “had an air of reality and should have been left with the jury.”Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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National police undertake UNbacked preelection training in Darfur

5 January 2010Sudanese police officials have wrapped up a series of United Nations-backed security training sessions in the country’s war-ravaged region of Darfur in preparation for this year’s national election. The three-day session focused on security issues, election rules and crisis management ahead of the general election, slated for April.The training was conducted in all three of the region’s states by police advisers from the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and officials from the Government of Sudan. Some 120 police commanders and officers participated in yesterday’s final session in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, which aimed at helping Sudanese Government officials guarantee the safety of voters.Acting Commander of the UNAMID North Darfur police force, Aliposo Vakuloloma, voiced hope that participants will use the knowledge gained to ensure fair and safe elections, and underscored the importance of an effective police force for the polling process. read more

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Three UN air service crew members freed from captivity in Darfur

8 December 2010The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today welcomed the news that three Latvian men working as helicopter aircrew for the agency’s humanitarian air service in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region have been freed after more than a month in captivity. “We are so grateful that these three men have been freed and our thoughts are with their families in Latvia who will be reunited with them in the coming days,” said WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. The three men – Captain Artjoms Nalbandjans, co-pilot Janis Gindra and mechanic Kaspars Reihlers – were seized by gunmen in the South Darfur capital of Nyala on 4 November while carrying out vital humanitarian work for the UN in Sudan.They will be flown to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, before travelling home to Latvia, WFP said in a news release.“Throughout their detention, WFP was assured that they were safe and well. WFP worked closely with the Government of Sudan at all levels for the safe release of the three men,” stated the agency.Run by WFP, the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flies aid workers from the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as journalists and others, to some of the hardest-to-reach emergency operations around the world. It plays a vital role in accessing remote locations and in cases where insecurity prevents travel by road. read more

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Markets update at midmorning

On the markets at midmorning (ET):The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was up 18.45 points to 15,628.11, after 90 minutes of trading.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 13.21 points to 22,353.92. The S&P 500 index was down 0.74 of a point to 2,506.30 and the Nasdaq composite index was down 14.50 points to 6,438.76.The Canadian dollar was trading at 80.24 cents US, down from Wednesday’s average price of 80.57 cents US.The November crude contract was up 30 cents to US$52.44 per barrel and the November natural gas contract was unchanged at US$3.06 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was down $2.30 to US$1,285.50 an ounce and the December copper contract was up one cent to US$2.94 a pound. read more

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Oil loses strong early gains finishes little changed above US93 a barrel

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Oil finished little changed Monday, after being up more than $1 earlier in the day. Benchmark crude fell two cents to US$93.11 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Uncertainty over the outcome of Italy’s general election contributed to a weaker euro and a stronger dollar. A stronger dollar tends to put pressure on oil prices by making crude more expensive for traders using other currencies.In China, a survey released Monday showed manufacturing declined to a four-month low in February, a reminder of possible threats to recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy.Traders were also keeping an eye on a new round of talks beginning Tuesday in Kazakhstan between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.Iran, nominally one of the world’s top oil producers, has had to make substantial output cuts because U.S.-led sanctions are greatly limiting its crude exports.In London, Brent crude was up 34 cents to end at US$114.44 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.In other energy futures trading on Nymex, wholesale gasoline was unchanged at US$3.26 a U.S. gallon (3.79 litres), heating oil fell less than one cent to finish at US$3.10 a gallon and natural gas rose 12 cents to end at $3.41 per 1,000 cubic feet.(TSX:ECA), (TSX:IMO), (TSX:SU), (TSX:HSE), (NYSE:BP), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:XOM), (NYSE:CVX), (TSX:CNQ), (TSX:TLM), (TSX:COS.UN), (TSX:CVE) Oil loses strong early gains, finishes little changed above US$93 a barrel by The Associated Press Posted Feb 25, 2013 8:23 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Gladiator laments bad refereeing in ancient epitaph

Michael Carter displays a photo of the gladiator tombstone he studied.In popular culture, Roman gladiators are a symbol of appalling barbarism – men who fight to a gruesome death as bloodthirsty crowds cheer them on.But Michael Carter has evidence that we may have it all wrong.The associate professor in the Department of Classics studies Roman entertainment spectacles, particularly their impact on Greek culture. He has uncovered the latest example that gladiators did not fight to the death. That example comes in the form of a message on an 1,800-year-old tombstone criticizing a referee’s call.Carter examines many epitaphs as part of his research. The most recent is on a stone found 100 years ago in Turkey, now on display at the Musée du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, Belgium.The stone marks the death of a gladiator named Diodorus who battled a man named Demetrius. During the match, Demetrius ended up on the ground in a prone position, but Diodorus did not kill him. The referee (or summa rudis) seemed to think Demetrius’ fall was accidental and ruled that the match continue. Demetrius went on to kill Diodorus in the match.“After breaking my opponent Demetrius I did not kill him immediately,” the epitaph reads. “Fate and the cunning treachery of the summa rudis killed me.”It all points to the notion that there were rules and referees in gladiator matches, Carter said. Many gladiators fought multiple battles. Some retired quite wealthy. Their epitaphs often show their stage names, the number of battles they fought and the number of people they spared in doing so.“There is all kinds of evidence to show that they didn’t kill each other just because they had the opportunity.”The notion changes popular perceptions of ancient Rome, which many see as a possible model for the decline of western civilization, he said.It shows that the matches weren’t so different from some of the sporting events we have today.“There’s a whole debate right now about whether UFC is sport or spectacle,” he said. “There has even been a debate around hockey. The mob mentality we saw in Vancouver recently, Romans knew all about that.”Carter’s paper about the epitaph was published in volume 177 of the journal Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. He recently presented it at a conference in Halifax.In the news:• Gladiator referee chewed out on tombstone — Discovery News• Gladiator’s tombstone: Blame my death on ref — msnbc.com read more

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The Scouts And Stats Agree Kris Bryant Is Going To Be Dope

Jay Bruce1.1.84914.3 B. J. Upton3.0.78013.8 David Wright2.0.83549.7 Jurickson Profar1.7.678-0.1 Miguel Cabrera2.0.76259.4 Even the messiah can strike out three times on his first day in the majors. Last Friday, Kris Bryant, the Cubs’ anointed savior, was called up from the minors after weeks of debate about whether he should’ve just started the season in the majors. There is an aura of myth to Bryant’s arrival, as though the stars have aligned to offer the Cubs a chance to fulfill a prophecy. Yet Bryant is still an untested prospect, and, as Cubs fans know too well, even the best prospects can fail to live up to expectations.But Bryant really is special — he’s the rare prospect that has both scouts and stats in complete agreement. Because of the unique intersection of scouting know-how and minor league data, Bryant is likely to match the hype.Let’s start with the stats. In this case, all we have to go by are projection systems, which take the minor league data of previous prospects and compare it with their MLB results to predict what up-and-coming players will accomplish. That’s no easy task — the minor league data is sparse, and performance is confounded by the effects of the league and the age differences between players.In Bryant’s case, however, the projections are so high that there is little room for doubt. No matter whether you look at FanGraphs’ Steamer (.260/.333/.498) or Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA (.265/.356/.525), all the algorithms are in agreement in their preseason projections: Bryant is going to be a fantastic hitter.1This kind of agreement among separate systems often means greater certainty in the resulting prediction. ESPN’s Dan Szymborski, who runs another algorithm called ZiPS, tweeted that Bryant’s is the best prediction he’s ever given to a prospect.There’s no mystery as to how Bryant arrived at these projections — the guy hit between 60 percent and 120 percent better than average while in the minors, depending on the level. Still, Bryant’s projection is so extreme that at one point, the developers who run the projection systems became worried. In a mid-winter Twitter consultation, baseball projection system developers compared Bryant’s projections to make sure that they weren’t out of line. There was consensus: All of their independently developed algorithms were giving Bryant one of the top hitting lines in the majors.Even so, not all prospects hit as well as their projections say they should. The computers, operating solely on minor league performance, can fail to notice fatal flaws in a hitter’s swing, flaws that can be exploited ruthlessly at the major league level. That’s partly why projection systems aren’t as good as scouts at predicting how prospects will perform in the major leagues. So, despite their depiction in “Moneyball,” scouts are an integral part of evaluating baseball players, and that goes double for prospects.Scouts look at the shape of a hitter’s swing, if he can generate power, and how easily he adapts to a pitcher’s shifting tactics. Bryant’s ludicrous numbers in the minors were no guarantee that the scouts would love the tools he used to achieve those numbers.The scouts are every bit as high on Bryant as the projections. He was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball for 2015 by venerable scouting organization Baseball America. FanGraphs also put him at No. 1, Baseball Prospectus put him at No. 5, and a host of others ranked him similarly. All publications praised his rare, top-notch, seemingly effortless power. As with the projection systems, a consensus quickly developed, and that consensus proclaimed Bryant the best prospect in baseball.The highest-rated prospects of the past 25 years have tended to become great major leaguers — on average. Yet there are some notable busts, players who the scouts thought were destined for greatness but who ended up falling short. Orioles outfielder Delmon Young, for example, consistently rated among the best prospects in baseball four years in a row, only to turn in a disappointing, journeyman career. Projection systems aren’t immune to mistakes, either. Once upon a time, Eduardo Nunez was PECOTA’s favorite, but he’s since become better-known for hitting a preponderance of popups. There’s no foolproof way to tell how a player will develop or respond to the challenges of the major leagues.Independently, then, each source has its share of errors. Often, the scouts will disagree with the predictions, or vice versa. Scouts might see future potential that never manifests in the majors. Or PECOTA will fail to consider a player’s unfixable weakness against major league competition.But Bryant has the approval of both stats and scouts, which is why he’s so special. Using data on historical prospect rankings2Which are generously provided by Chris St. John. and PECOTA projections going back to 2004, I looked for players who received comparable acclaim from both PECOTA and the scouts. Here is a complete list of the players in my data set who received a consensus prospect ranking better than fifth and a PECOTA-projected OPS greater than the projected league average. Kris Bryant1.7.881— Jose Reyes2.0.72336.2 The names on this list combine for three MVP awards, 34 All-Star appearances and 273.2 wins above replacement3Baseball-Reference.com version. (a statistic that measures the overall value of a player, combining his hitting, baserunning and defense). Bryant’s predicted OPS, relative to the league average, is higher than the comparable projections for all the players on the list before they entered the league.Several of the above players are potential Hall of Famers (Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Joe Mauer), while others have been merely very good (Jose Reyes, Jay Bruce). Notably, there’s not a true bust among them. Melvin Upton (formerly B. J.) isn’t a good hitter anymore, but he was excellent for the first six years of his career (just less than the seven years for which the Cubs will control Bryant).A few of these players (such as Profar and Wieters) have fallen victim to injuries. This is the kind of problem that can end the career of any young player, no matter how bright his future might be. But Bryant has yet to suffer any serious injuries, whether in the minors or in college before that.4Whereas both Profar and Wieters lost time in the minors due to injury. To the extent that players can be injury prone, Bryant has so far shown no such inclination.Bryant has won the acclaim of both the projections and the scouts. Rarely are the two in such resounding agreement. He is likely to be great, and while it may be too soon to be planning a parade, it’s not too early to begin envisioning a long period of Cubs offensive dominance led by Kris Bryant. PLAYERAVERAGE PROSPECT RANKPROJECTED OPSCAREER WAR Matt Wieters1.1.94113.6 Joe Mauer2.2.82346.3 Evan Longoria2.6.79940.0 read more

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UK prison crisis in numbers

first_imgUK prisons are at crisis level, with a record 290 deaths in prisons in the 12 months to March 2016 and a 92 per cent rise in the prison population in England and Wales since 1993.Watch the video above to learn more about the figures behind the crisis. 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.last_img

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Investec is cautiously optimistic on iron ore

first_imgConsidering West Africa specifically, Hunter Hillcoat at Investec says “iron ore equity prices continue to track lower, notwithstanding the fact that the underlying iron ore price remains remarkably resilient in the face of a broad commodity price rout. We acknowledge that there are market concerns of a looming glut of iron ore supply, but remain of the view that prices can be maintained around current levels for several years, enabling the new producers to entrench their positions. Unlike some other market commentators, we are not of the view that the iron-ore market will be materially over-supplied in the near term, although we do expect increasing supply, particularly from the majors, to eventually depress pricing. This is reflected in our iron ore price assumptions (62% Fe fines, FOB) of $126/t in FY13E, $123/t in FY14E and $115/t in FY15E, before reducing to a long term US$85/t (nominal) by the end of FY17E.“We are, however, less confident that there will be the financial backing to support new developments and/or expansions, given weak global investment sentiment. For this reason, we have taken a more conservative approach in valuing new projects. It is now not so much a matter of determining a risked valuation for a project, as determining whether it is likely to go ahead at all.“As a consequence, we have reduced our recommendations for Zanaga and Bellzone from Buy to Hold. The reality is that the projects do still offer the potential for considerable value generation, but there remains too much uncertainty surrounding both development parameters and financing to be more aggressive.“We have increased our recommendation on London Mining from Sell to Buy, following the recent pull-back in its share price.“African Minerals remains our preferred West African iron ore play, given its relative scale, growth options and more assured Chinese backing.” Its Tonkolili project has recently had a significant in situ resource upgrade from 5,100 Mt to 12,800 Mt. Low cost of transport and infrastructure, low stripping ratio and low processing requirement drive low cash costs. All Tonkolili project mining licences awarded, environmental permits issued and fiscal terms agreed with the Government of Sierra Leone.last_img read more

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So it turns out that dinosaurs were neither warm nor cold blooded

first_imgDINOSAURS MAY HAVE been neither cold-blooded like reptiles nor warm-blooded like mammals, but instead had a kind of lukewarm blood, researchers say.The discovery overturns what had long been held to be true about dinosaurs: they have traditionally been classified as reptiles and assumed to be cold-blooded (even the word ‘dinosaur’ comes from the Greek meaning ‘terrible lizard’).However scientists have discovered that their blood was instead a rare type which fell somewhere between hot and cold.“I think we were all surprised by this,” said John Grady, the scientist at the University of New Mexico who led the research. “The idea certainly took some getting used to.”Scientists published in the journal Science looked at the growth rates of hundreds of species, both living and extinct, and then examined the metabolic rate of the different species.Cold blooded animals are usually slow-moving and have less brain power, while mammals – such as humans – and birds can control their own body temperature at a safe constant, are quicker, and more brain power. It allows a performance advantage over ectothermic reptiles but without the high overhead costs of modern birds and mammals. In any case, it was a successful formula for a long reign in the Mesozoic Era.Read: Newly-discovered dinosaur was the T Rex of its day > Read: A real (not live) dinosaur is being sold in the UK > Source: John Grady/UNMThe researchers found that feathered dinosaurs and primitive birds grew distinctly slower than their descendants, modern birds. But while dinosaurs didn’t grow as fast as modern birds or mammals, they did grow significantly faster than modern reptiles.“This higher energy use probably increased speed and performance,” said Grady.He said that dinosaurs were mesothermic, which he described as “thermally intermediate”. “Only a few species – such as great white sharks” are like that nowadays, he said.This may have helped dinosaurs to dominate their environment – and it probably also helped them to become enormous.“A lion the size of a T-Rex, while a frightening thought, would quickly starve to death because it would be so hard to find enough food,” said Felisa Smith, who also worked on the research.However by adopting a slightly more energetic strategy, the blood-type would have been the perfect solution.last_img read more

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Kindle Touch fallout Kindle Keyboard get price cut new models pricier in

first_imgAt Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet event today, CEO Jeff Bezos announced three new Kindles. We were impressed by the pricing of the new e-readers: $149 for the Kindle Touch 3G, $99 for the Kindle Touch, and $79 for the new Kindle. Bezos glossed over the fact that the ads seen in the Kindle with Special Offers version, that was first released back in April, are the reason why these new e-readers have such a low price.Kindle with Special Offers “instantly became the best selling version of the Kindle,” Bezos said in his keynote. He mentioned that Amazon’s standard for the Special Offers screensavers is that you don’t even realize they’re special offers, “you might just think they were beautiful images.” That’s the goal with the new version of the Kindles. If you want to have an ad-free experience, you’ll actually end up paying $109 for the Kindle without Special Offers, $139 for the Kindle Touch without Special Offers, and $189 for the Kindle Touch 3G without Special Offers. So, that’s $30 extra to have the Kindle and Kindle Touch ad-free, and $40 extra to have the Kindle Touch 3G ad-free.If you’re one of those people who prefer a keyboard over a touchscreen, you can still get the older, 3rd-gen Kindles, which have been retroactively renamed the “Kindle Keyboard.” The Kindle Keyboards have also gotten a bit of a price cut, but nothing too drastic. The Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi that includes Special Offers was previously $114. It has been discounted to $99. However, the non-ad version remains at the same price: $139. The Kindle Keyboard 3G version is selling for $139 with Special Offers, and $189 without. For the price of the Kindle Keyboard 3G without Special Offers, you might as well buy the $199 Kindle Fire tablet.If you live across the pond, you may be one of the many people upset with the cost of the new Kindle. Special Offers has yet to be made an international service, so Kindles in the UK only have the full-price option, instead of the Kindle with Special Offers version. Though the least expensive one is only $79 in the US, in the UK, it’s £89 ($139 USD) with WiFi only. If the $79-Kindle was the same price in the UK, it should equal £50. Since Kindle with Special Offers isn’t available anywhere besides the US, the UK version is ad-free. The ad-free version in the US is $109, which works out to £70 in the UK. Add the 20 percent VAT (sales tax) onto that, and you have a £84 Kindle, which means you’re actually paying £5 more.There’s still no news on whether or not countries besides the US will get Special Offers Kindles. Right now, the only new product in the UK Amazon store is the £89 Kindle. There’s no sign of the Kindle Fire Tablet, nor of the Touch Kindles.last_img read more

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Tangerine Tango named 2012s Color of the Year

first_imgWe know that you were all holding your breath just waiting for Pantone to announce its 2012 Color of the Year. The long (well, year long) wait is over and “Tangerine Tango” has been announced as the winner of the prestigious honor.Chosen because of its “sophisticated and dramatic undertones,” Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463) is a continuation of last year’s winner, Honeysuckle (Pantone 18-2120). The 2011 winner was said to be “inspiration to face life’s everyday troubles with verve and vigor,” with Tangerine Tango building off of that by giving an “energy charge” to move forward. Pretty dramatic language, but these people takes their colors seriously.The process of choosing the color of the year is quite an ordeal. Pantone employees look the world over for color influences in media, music, and art, searching for the hues that most affect people. With the digital age well underway, they also look at designs created electronically.While all that sounds good to a fashion designer, or a makeup artist, why in the world would us geeks care? Because Pantone is still the standard when it comes to the hurdle of color matching across devices to create uniformity in design. If you are using an Adobe product in a professional capacity, odds are you are using the Pantone pallet in some of your projects.For those unfamiliar with Pantone, the company started out in the 1950’s as a printing house. Upon hiring a Hofstra grad name Lawrence Hebert, the company began work on creating a color standard that would guarantee uniformity across different devices.If you have ever experienced picking out a color for paint or created a design on your computer, only to have the final product look completely different than what you saw, the Pantone color matching process is the answer to that.For reference, here is last year’s winner:Read more at Pantonelast_img read more

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Apple may be selling 3 iPad models in January

first_imgThankfully we’ve seen a drop off in the number of rumors surrounding new Apple devices ever since the iPhone 4S launched. But with the iPad 3 slated for a release early next year, speculation as to what Apple has planned for its tablet hardware is starting to grow.The latest rumor coming from “supply chain partners” is that Apple won’t be replacing the iPad 2. Instead we’ll have three iPad-branded tablets on the market by the end of January.The move is thought to be in response to the popularity of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which has already sold millions of units in the short time it has been on sale. Apple is expected to position the iPad 2 as a competitor to the Kindle Fire by giving it a budget price, while still offering a larger screen than Amazon’s device. If true, that’s a very clever move on Apple’s part, especially if they can get near a $199 price point.As for the iPad 3, apparently there will be two models available. While the iPad 2 becomes the entry-level model, there will be an iPad 3 for mid-range, and then a better specced high-end model. Both are expected to sport a display capable of a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution and be lit by dual-LED light bars. Inside will be a quad-core A6 processor.The iPad 3 is also meant to include a much larger battery–14,000mAh instead of the iPad 2’s 6,500mAh. Just how Apple intend to fit such a massive battery inside an iPad has me scratching my head. Does that mean the iPad 3 is set to be thicker? If nothing else, it will certainly be noticeably heavier.As ever, these are just rumors, and the battery one in particular sounds too far fetched. I think it’s safer to assume there will only be one iPad 3, but repositioning the iPad 2 as a budget tablet could help keep sales high while seeing off competition from the Kindle Fire.More at DigiTimeslast_img read more

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Une technique plus écologique pour produire les jeans

first_imgUne technique plus écologique pour produire les jeansUn ingénieur suisse a présenté une méthode permettant de produire des jeans avec une technique réduisant de 92% la consommation d’eau et de 30% la consommation électrique.Dévoilée hier aux Etats-Unis par un ingénieur suisse, une nouvelle méthode de confection des jeans permettrait d’économiser 92% d’eau et 30% d’énergie comparativement aux procédés actuellement employés. En effet, pour produire une paire de jeans il faut actuellement plus de 9.450 litres d’eau, près d’un demi-kilo de produits chimiques et une dépense énergétique colossale.Au cours d’une conférence de l’Institut de la chimie verte, Miguel Sanchez, un ingénieur de la firme chimique Clariant a ainsi souligné que “si vous multipliez par près de deux milliards de jeans produits annuellement dans le monde vous avez une bonne idée de ce que représente cette industrie, qui contribue pour une part notable à la production d’eaux usées et aux émissions de gaz à effet de serre dans l’environnement”. Or, avec le procédé “Advanced Denim” qui vient d’être mis au point on peut économiser de l’eau, de l’énergie, réduire de 87% les déchets de coton habituellement incinérés (ce qui émet du CO2 et d’autres gaz à effet de serre), et n’utiliser qu’une seule substance chimique. La nouvelle teinture employée est composée de soufre liquide concentré et est bien plus écologique.Des économies faramineuses À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”Toutes les autres étapes de la production traditionnelle sont éliminées”, assure Miguel Sanchez. “Si ne serait-ce que 25 % de toutes les toiles de jeans étaient teintes avec ce procédé, il serait possible d’économiser suffisamment d’eau pour satisfaire les besoins de 1,7 million de personnes chaque année, soit environ 9,45 milliards de litres”, affirme de son côté la firme Clariant. Par ailleurs, 31,3 millions de mètres cubes d’eaux usées ne seraient plus rejetées et 220 millions de kilowattsheure d’électricité seraient économisés tout en éliminant les émissions de CO2 qui en découlent.Le 24 juin 2012 à 14:18 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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GM Wants Cars With No Steering Wheels or Pedals On Roads Next

first_imgStay on target This isn’t a render you’re looking it. It’s a very real car, and one that General Motors wants to have them rolling autonomously around public roads as early as next year.Meet the Cruise (not Cruze) AV. It’s classed as a level 4, which means that it can operate without any assistance from a human co-pilot but only under a very specific set of conditions.  Those can include a limited geographic area or certain types of roads — say two lane roads with a speed limit of 35MPH or less.GM has been developing the Cruise AV for quite some time. They’re now at the point where they believe it’s ready to hit the streets in earnest, so they’ve filed a safety petition with the Department of Transportation. If it gets approved, you may very well spot a Cruise AV chauffeuring humans around city streets in 2019.In their most recent safety report, GM notes that human error is a contributing factor in as many as 94% of vehicle accidents. Putting the Cruise AV on the streets, they say, will help decrease the number of injuries and fatalities. Side note: it’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions, too — the Cruise AV is electric.It’s worth remembering that a level 4 autonomous vehicle designed for ordinary folks to own is still required to have manual controls for driving under out-of-spec conditions. Given that the Cruise AV doesn’t have a steering wheel or pedals, it seems to be destined for commercial driving duties.There’s a very good chance that would include driving for Uber, since they’ve been talking with GM off and on since 2016. There have also been rumors swirling that GM is planning to launch some kind of competing service of its own.They’re in a great position to do that, given their previous relationship with Lyft and, you know… the fact that GM is building the actual vehicles that will be doing the autonomous driving.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Keto Turns Your Smartphone Into Your Car KeysAston Martin Will Build You Your Very Own Supervillain Lair last_img read more

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Alderweireld Spurs must bounce back immediately

first_imgTottenham defender Toby Alderweireld aims to return to winning ways at Cardiff City on New Year’s DayMauricio Pochettino’s side saw their five-match winning run come to an end with a shock 3-1 home defeat to Wolves on Saturday.However, Spurs have bounced back superbly from losses this season and Alderweireld is hoping they will prove that again at Cardiff.“We have to stick together,” Alderweireld told the club website.“Of course, everyone is very disappointed to get this result (against Wolves) but we have to bounce back on Tuesday and show what kind of team we are.”In the game at Wembley, Harry Kane’s first-half strike gave Spurs the lead heading into the break.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedLiverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.But goals from Willy Boly, Raul Jimenez and Helder Costa in the space of 15 minutes in the second-half handed Wolves the win.“I thought we had a good first half, second half we couldn’t get the energy from the last games, we defended, defended and then a goal against… it was difficult,” added Alderweireld.“The desire was there, sometimes it’s just the energy. Normally we’re on top of it and we’re better than the opponent but we couldn’t create a lot chances (in the second half).“Defensively they stood okay and we couldn’t get through. The second half was difficult.”Saturday’s defeat in London was also Alderweireld’s 100th league match for Spurs.last_img read more

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Homer Man Arrested For Entering Home And Assaulting Residents With Bear Spray

first_imgThe Alaska State Troopers responded to the incident at an address on Stovall Ave in Anchor Point, and arrested Roy Burke, 40, of Homer. Burke also took items from inside the house and fled the scene in a vehicle.  Further investigation by Troopers showed Burke was on conditions of release from another criminal case. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享A Homer man was arrested for entering a residence without permission and assaulting several people inside the residence with bear spray, on May 8. According to the Troopers Burke had entered the residence without permission and assaulted several people inside the residence with bear spray. According to an online Trooper dispatch, an arrest warrant was issued for Burke.  Burke was contacted and arrested later the same night and transported to Wildwood Pretrial facility.last_img read more

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Christmas Services Schedule For Wilmington Churches

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedChristmas Services Schedule For Wilmington ChurchesIn “Community”Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Schedule For Wilmington ChurchesIn “Community”Christmas Services Schedule For Wilmington ChurchesIn “Community” Thank You To Our Sponsor: WILMINGTON, MA — Below is information on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services for all Wilmington churches:Abundant Life Church — Christmas Eve: 4pmCongregational Church in Wilmington — Christmas Eve: 7pmGrace Chapel — Christmas Eve: 3pm and 4:30pmSt. Dorothy’s — Christmas Eve: 6pm; Christmas Day: 7:30am and 11amSt. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church — December 23: Family-Friendly Christmas Service at 10amSt. Thomas — Christmas Eve: 4pm and 10:30pm; Christmas Day: 9amWilmington United Methodist Church — Christmas Eve: 5pm (Family Service), 7pm (Traditional Service), 11pm (Candlelight Service)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.last_img read more

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